"Then who could have done this and who would have the immense power necessary to exterminate the mighty Transformation Clan in one swift attack?" Li Shans brows were furrowed as he asked in a low voice.
No matter how they saw it, there was something unusual about this event.
"Forget it, lets not think about this for now. With you and me joining hands together with the Three Ape Warriors, even if something happens, we will find a way out! At the very most, well escape from Mountain-Edge City and head to the Central Plains!" Zhang Yuandong dismissed this topic with a hand gesture.
"Brother Dong, youre right," Li Shan said smilingly.
"Alright, men, bring the wine! You and I shall drink to our hearts content today!" Zhang Yuandong instructed loudly.
Oddly, it was deadly quiet outside the garden, without even a single reply to reach their ears.
"MEN?!" Zhang Yuandong hollered again. "Where have all the guards run off to!?" His brows knotted tightly together.
However, it remained silent outside.
Zhang Yuandong and Li Shans expressions gradually turned solemn.
"Ive arranged for three elite teams to rotate and stand watch outside. Theres no way they wouldnt have heard us," Zhang Yuandong whispered.
"Big Bro, Ill go take a look," Li Shan reached out for the large ax on his back, then approached the entrance to the courtyard gingerly.
In the night, many yellow lanterns hung by the entrance to the garden. Swaying along with the wind, they struck against the wall constantly, resulting in light flapping sounds.
Li Shan walked out of the garden and surveyed his surroundings. It was still and quiet outside. The sidewalk to both his left and right was deserted, without a single soul in sight.
"Where have those rascals run off to!?" He cursed under his breath.
He turned around and looked in the direction of his Big Bro.
"Eeee?" Zhang Yuandong, who was in the garden just a moment ago, was actually nowhere to be found.
Li Shans heart constricted as he immediately sensed that something was wrong.
There was no reply.
Making his way back to where the two of them were previously, he lowered his gaze to search for traces of Zhang Yuandongs footprints.
A familiar set of footprints could be seen clearly on the groundit was none other than Zhang Yuandongs.
Li Shan was startled. Seeing that the footprints made an about-turn to head towards the back, he swiftly followed after them in pursuit.
The footprints extended out continuously. As Li Shan followed after them, his hand gripped tightly onto his battle ax. He lowered his breathing and kept the sound of his footsteps to a hush.
He walked along. Suddenly, he was startled as his gaze which was focused on the ground froze.
A pair of feet had appeared without warning in his field of vision; they were a womans feet, delicate and slender, covered in a pair of red canvas shoes.
They were placed together, facing him squarely, as if their owner was presently standing in front of him and looking at him.
'This' beads of sweat formed on Li Shans forehead. Slowly, he lifted his head.
A red shadow flashed. Then, it was once again stark empty inside the garden. As for Li Shan, not a trace of him remained.
Lu Sheng stood bare-chested inside the courtyard as heavy beads of perspiration rolled down his entire body profusely. His breathing came across like bellows, causing violent vibrations to ripple out across the entire courtyard, which even trembled lightly.
His physique had expanded and strengthened by yet another fold from previously. Standing where he was, he resembled a small mountain. Just his skin alone emanated billows of hot steam, which made others feel as if they were standing next to a furnace.
He had finally initiated into Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill after using a copious amount of medicinal baths, as well as the Golden Fragrance Cream for nourishment. Moreover, bolstered by his robust foundation, he finally initiated thoroughly into this unique hard body skill which carried the Rebound special effect two hours ago.
Presently, he was more than 2 meters tall and very muscular. Just his arms alone were almost as thick as an average person's waist. Where both his arms connected with his shoulders, his muscles were packed tightly together like little mice, as if there were numerous tumors and lumps beneath his skin. A gray-veined pattern decorated his skin.
Lu Sheng sat in the middle of the courtyard. A fearsome aura seeped from every inch of his body as every breath that he exhaled boiled like steam. He was practically a towering mountain of flesh.
Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill is finally initiated now, I should directly modify and upgrade it, Lu Sheng took a moment to rest, slowly catching his breath before rising again.
The reason why he was so tired was because one of the steps to train Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill required him to use his own strength to pummel his entire body. This occurred according to a specific frequency, which gradually produced a tremor effect that was used to achieve the effect of tempering his internal organs and fleshly body.
Because he had to defend against his own attacks at full strength, it was exhausting even for Lu Sheng.
Thankfully, its been initiated, he detected a mild numbing sensation that coursed slowly through him. He looked thoroughly relaxed.
With more and more hard body skills stacked up, my physique is also growing larger and larger However I can sense that this is still not the limit.
Yin and Yang interacts and transforms from one into the other; this physique is not the ideal form to have. There will definitely be a change in appearance in the future, Lu Sheng had many hard body skills up his belt. The very first of them was Bear-Wrestling Arm, then Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill, added to it Golden Veil Skill, and now this Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill. Of these four hard body skills, he had already achieved full-mastery in the earlier three.
For any martial arts cultivator, this was an unfathomably terrifying achievement. One must understand that hard body skills required decades of tempering ones fleshly body before there would be any sort of breakthrough.
Take, for example, the Bear-Wrestling Arm. Even though it was a Strength Proficiency hard body skill, it had very mediocre effects and was of the same level as Chasing the Wind Blade. However, it would require at least twenty years of grueling training to attain full-mastery of this hard body skill.
As for the Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill, at least three decades of arduous cultivation were needed to arrive at full-mastery. By the time one cultivated it to the highest level, one would already be in old age.
It was somewhat better for the Golden Veil Skill, but even it required more than two decades of painful hard work.
Only the most resilient and persevering of men would choose such a path and train these hard body skills. Yet, Lu Sheng had been able to accumulate and stack a few of these hard body skills all by himself. This was something never before achieved by anyone else in history.
No one knew what sort of effect this would produce.
Lets begin Deep Blue, Lu Sheng delayed no further. He summoned the Modifier as soon as he returned to the sanctuary.
A pale blue square frame surfaced. A new selection had appeared for Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill at the bottom.
Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill: Initiated, Special Effect(s): Mild Rebound. Level One Strength Reinforcement.
Upgrade Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill to Level One," Lu Sheng commanded.
There were three levels to this hard body skill. According to records, the full-mastery of this skill could produce a rebound effect against the majority of Strength Proficiency palm and fist strikes as well as blunt weapon attacks.
Very soon, Lu Sheng felt the Yin Yang Jade Crane Skills inner Qi depleting completely while his own body seemed to have inflated a great deal. Gradually, the swelling of his body caused the onset of an intense ache throughout his body.
The square frame blurred rapidly. When it resurfaced, it had altered to Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill Level One, its special effects including Level One Rebound and Level One Strength Reinforcement.
The ache from his body swelling all over continued to grow more intense and sharp.
Could it be that my fleshly body is also nearing its limit? Lu Sheng wondered in shock. However, he could distinctly sense that there was still room for him to upgrade. This was vastly different from the very apparent limit of his inner Qi. This sort of pain from his bodys swelling was more like the kind which resulted from his bodys inability to adapt to the new transformation.
Inside the courtyard, Lu Shengs physique gradually swelled and ballooned at a visibly alarming pace. He actually didn't increase in height, but the muscles all over his body expanded a great deal.
Chunks of muscles bulged out furiously, twisting and turning like the tumors on an old tree's branch. They packed tightly on all parts of Lu Shengs body, as if he was wearing a layer of flesh armor.
Lets try again! Lu Sheng ignored the changes to his body; there would inevitably be costs incurred in his quest for greater power. It was merely a change in his physical form that could always be altered back in the future.
Upgrade Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill to the Second Level! He once again called out inwardly.
Instantly, the Modifier blurred for a moment, before Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill swiftly came back into focus again.
Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill: Level Two, Special Effect(s): Level Two Rebound, Level Two Strength Reinforcement, Level One Defense Reinforcement.
This hard body skill seemed to be more powerful than the earlier ones; there were actually three special effects.
Before Lu Sheng could focus on the changes that had occurred, he could already detect the muscles on his chest inflating rapidly. Concurrently, a cuticle-like layer gradually cloaked the originally frail skin tissue on all the vulnerable parts of his body, including his crotch, throat, eyelids, and ears.
He raised his hand to rub his throat. There was now a layer of hard and tough film that had grown on the surface of the skin there. Then, he touched his eyelids; they too had grown extremely tough. As soon as he closed his eyes, he could feel a strand of hot current that flowed from within him into his eyelids, which reinforced their strength and sturdiness.
Although it couldn't compare to the level of defense on other parts of his body, they were much more well-protected than the ordinary eyelid.
Now, the only weak spots Im left with on my body are the seven orifices this sort of change seems to be a result of Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill, but in reality, this is more likely a change in the substance of my body thats generated by the sheer quantity of hard body skills that Ive accumulated and stacked up, Lu Sheng was confident that given his current strength, he was absolutely able to counter the corrosive power of Bind.
The strength of his body had actually multiplied many more times compared to previously!
Ive expended all the Yin Yang Jade Crane Skill inner Qi, but theres still Yin Qi I can use. Its just enough for me to upgrade the levels, Lu Sheng looked at the last row on the Modifier.
He promptly pressed onto the selection for Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill.
This time round, the Modifier blurred for a full five breaths of time before it slowly refocused.
Compared to the other hard body skills, there was only a small change to the newly surfaced Dusk Dantian Inflating skill.
Dusk Dantian Inflating Skill: Level Three, Special Effect(s): Level Three Rebound, Level Three Strength Reinforcement, Level Two Defense Reinforcement.
However, all around his body, Lu Sheng could detect that he had abruptly broken through an ineffable layer of resistance.
He could faintly hear the sound of something being ruptured into smithereens inside his body, producing the crisp sounds similar to shattering glass.
He extended his hand and looked at his massive palms that were larger than even those of a bears. The joints on the top were thick and large, with gray veins patterning his distorted muscles. It didn't resemble a human hand, but rather looked like the claws of some ferocious beast. It even caused him to recall the dinosaurs he had once seen in the movies.
From the looks of it, there wasn't much difference between his palm and the claws of a fierce animal.
This is a change in substance Lu Sheng shut his eyes, feeling as if his body had been freed from some sort of shackles. A faint sense of freedom to follow his hearts desire coursed through him.
He stood unmoving in the middle of the courtyard for a long time.
"Sz Sz Sz"
Suddenly, the strange sounds of something being twisted and agitated started to extend out from his body, like the stirring of a mire.
Under the moonlight, Lu Shengs massive physical form was actually beginning to shrink visibly, little by little.
It was almost as if some unknown power was forcibly compressing and subduing his burly and twisted muscles, squeezing all over on Lu Shengs physical body.
His tall, strapping physique seemed to have been shrunk by some body shrinking skill that rapidly condensed his giant frame of more than two and a half meters tall into the normal anatomy of the regular grown man.
Although he still looked robust and very muscular, he no longer emitted that terrifying, inhuman aura of a mountain of flesh.
It was akin to physically compressing a large chunk of meat into a very small piece of meat.
After standing in the middle of the courtyard for a long time, Lu Sheng finally opened his eyes. The corners of Lu Shengs mouth curved upwards as he looked down at both of his hands, which had lost most of their giant size.
He abruptly clenched his palms into fists. In that split moment, his five fingers squeezed the air around it, causing an explosion not unlike a muffled thunder.
Looking at his steel-like hands, he sensed that his body had reached a frighteningly powerful state that was stronger than before by leaps and bounds. Finally unable to contain it any longer, Lu Sheng lifted his head to the sky and laughed madly to his hearts content.