Snapping out of his reverie, Lu Sheng asked, "What are the physical characteristics of this wanted fugitive?"
Clearly prepared beforehand, Xiao Hongye clapped his hands and a young lady immediately delivered a stack of drawings.
He handed the drawings to Lu Sheng.
Lu Sheng unfurled it gently. Immediately, surprise flashed across his face.
The first drawing in the stack was the likeness of Li Shunxi. Although it wasnt a very precise sketch, it was enough for one to recognize him at one glance.
He browsed through the other drawings beneath it. One of them was a fat monk with large ears. Another two were, unexpectedly, the Liu Family sisters who had just recently left his care.
Lu Sheng kept the drawings, his face emotionless.
"Ive actually seen these people before," he did not intend to hide his relationship with them. Xiao Hongye was obviously the well-informed type who was skilled in networking. It was unrealistic of him to attempt to hide such an obvious news.
Li Shunxi had gone in and out of the Sect with him several times and more than a few people must have seen him. There was no point hiding that.
As for the Liu sisters, due to their extremely uncommon appearance, as well as the fact that they had stayed for a period of time in the Golden Jade Greenhouse, even more people knew of their existence.
"Hehehe Brother Lu is honest indeed. But this cant be helped. Theyve committed whats taboo to the Manor Lord. Even your Brother here has no say in this matter," Xiao Hongye chuckled. As expected, he was not surprised at all by Lu Shengs admission.
"Ill take heed when I get back. If I discover them, Ill inform you," Lu Sheng quickly made his stand clear.
At the end of the day, both he and Xiao Hongye were but the representatives of the factions behind them; they had no say in this matter.
"That would be for the best. I know your background, Brother, so I trust that you wont shelter the fugitives," Xiao Hongye smiled. "Lets drink, lets drink."
He lifted his cup towards Lu Sheng again for another toast.
At night, Lu Sheng left Xiao Manor for home on a carriage with a heavy heart.
While Xiao Hongye was high on wine, he made use of the opportunity to ask several questions that were common knowledge for Noblemen, helping him to understand the realm of Bind better.
Even within the realm of Bind, the extent of ones indestructibility differed depending on ones Vein-Count. The indestructibility of Single- and Double-Vein was far outshone by that of Three-Vein. With Single- or Double-Vein, one was indestructible as long as no more than thirty percent of ones body was damaged and no vital parts like the head or heart were wounded.
But, the Three-Vein Level introduced a radical change in the substance of the body. It was impossible to kill a being of Three-Vein Level without destroying more than eighty percent of its body in one go.
The next watershed after that was the Seven-Vein Level, which introduced the second transformation of the body in the realm of Bind. According to the legends, even if the entire body of a Seven-Vein expert was thoroughly smashed into pulp, he could regenerate at high speed. Moreover, because he had entered the highest tier in the realm of Bind, he could be truly killed only by effectively slaying him seven times to destroy his seven layers of black membrane.
'Seven times' for the first time, Lu Shengs heart was heavy. This was a terrifying number, not to mention the fact that a Seven-Vein expert would be extremely powerful in the first place. In other words, unless one possessed strength that far outstripped him, and was somehow able to prevent him from escaping, the best course of action when faced against such an expert would be to run away.
'I thought that after attaining my present level, I finally have some power to protect myself. But now, it seems that Im still too weak' sitting in the pitch-black carriage, Lu Sheng felt fatigued for once.
But, he quickly recovered from his momentary rest. This world had no need for weaklings. As a mortal, being weak meant being meat on others plates.
'Judging from the war previously, Divine Weapons can be seized by force. When I possess sufficient strength, perhaps I can seize a Divine Weapon and turn myself into a legitimate Nobleman?' Lu Sheng had a sudden idea.
But, almost immediately, he gave up on that thought.
'Whats the point of a Noble Family that must offer up a hundred living sacrifices every ten years!?' He recalled the Xu Family massacre. The sight of the rows of corpses was still fresh in his mind.
'If I truly became a Nobleman like that one day, how different would I be from those inhuman beings?' Repulsed, he killed the thought.
'With the Modifier in hand, so what if Im against Noble Families? As long as I gather sufficient powerful martial arts and find more Yin Qi, Im sure I can extrapolate martial arts to an unimaginable state! When that day comes, be it Noble Families or Divine Weapons, Ill cleave them all apart!'
A sudden rage lit ablaze in him; he was disgusted with a world like this disgusted with those Noble Families and demonic beings that leech on mortals like parasites, sucking them dry!
'Let me be the one to correct such a deformed world!' A dangerous aura emanated from deep within him.
The intent to cleave apart all things unfair and unjust rose in him like a tidal wave.
'Kill kill kill kill kill!!!' Countless streams of murderous intent and untamed aggression expanded in his heart. 'Restore the world to the tracks it ought to be on!!! Those who dont see eye to eye with me must all die!!!'
Seated in the carriage, Lu Shengs eyes began to turn red. A streak of blood climbed out, straight as pencil, from the whites of his pupils.
The streak of raw red blood connected his irises to the corners of his eyes. One glance at it would turn one aggressive and violent immediately. An extremely unsettling aura spread from it.
'Eh? Not good!!!' All of a sudden, Lu Sheng snapped back to his senses. Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies Skill was operating within him at accelerated speed, far beyond the limits of his body. The skin all over his body was searing red, as if he could burst into flames at any time.
'This is the sign of losing myself!' Alarmed, he quickly collected his thoughts and intent, channeling inner Qi to calm himself down.
Fortunately, his cultivation base was the result of the Modifiers upgrades and thus had a firm and rock-solid foundation. He easily regained control and calmed down.
After a while, he gradually emerged from his state of meditation and breathed out slowly.
The drivers puzzled voice rang out from outside.
"Im fine. Are we there yet?" Fatigued, Lu Sheng asked.
"Mm, weve reached," the drivers frantic voice regained its composure after hearing Lu Shengs reply. "Were at the entrance of Lu Manor."
In the darkness of the carriage, Lu Sheng stayed still for a long while.
'Should be because Ive cultivated too many hard body skills. And, previously, I cultivated the Yang-type Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies Skill, resulting in excessive Yang Qi in me. My bodys lost its balance I need Yin-type mantras to even it out now'
With the Modifier, it wasnt a problem for him to cultivate Yin-type mantras. Once he knew what went wrong, it was easy for him to address the problem. But, this experience showed him a possible direction for his future development.
'Since my multiple hard body skills have led to Yang Extreme Mode, there should theoretically exist a contrasting Yin Extreme Mode as well. Ill check the sects database of martial arts,' Lu Sheng seemed to have found his future direction.
In order to step into a higher realm of inner force achievement, it seemed like the pure Yang produced by harmonizing Yin and Yang was the way to go, especially if it was without the use of the Modifier.
Yang Extreme Mode, a result of stacking multiple hard body skills together and complementing them with Yang-type inner force, was absolutely, violently, and tremendously powerful. Expecting that Yin Extreme Mode should also carry extremely powerful effects, Lu Sheng was filled with anticipation.
After returning to the Manor to rest, he rose the next day and headed straight to Martial Proclamation Library in the Crimson Whale.
The old librarian sat behind the counter, sleepy-eyed.
"So the new sect master has come," he lifted his eyes at Lu Sheng without any change in his attitude towards him from before. The only change was the title he used to address Lu Sheng.
All disciples who had come to browse manuals came by to greet Lu Sheng reverently. Only the old librarian regarded Lu Sheng indifferently.
"Looking at Sect Masters situation, you should be looking for an inner force mantra of the Yin-nature, arent you? This is the list of all the Yin-type inner force skills in Martial Proclamation Library," he took out a piece of paper and tossed it to Lu Sheng.
Lu Sheng was caught by surprise. The librarian had known his intention before he had even opened his mouth. Was his condition that obvious?
He eyed the old librarian suspiciously for a moment, then looked at the paper in his hand.
"Jade Spring Skill, Three Yin Mantra, Aquarius Qi, Four Rings Winter Plum Skill, Spirit Stepping Pill Skill, Flying Frost Mantra."
Six in totalall of them Strength Proficiency. Detailed introductions were written beneath their names.
Now that Zhen Family was gone, so were their rules. Naturally, Lu Sheng had special privilege as the sect master to ignore the contribution merit requirement.
Lu Sheng put away the list.
"How could you tell that I need Yin-typed inner force mantras?" He had always felt that there was more than meets the eye the old librarian. Even when great calamity had fallen on the sect, he continued to guard the library with all composure. Most importantly, not a single incident had occurred in the entire gigantic library containing so many important manuals.
Now that was something.
"This old man can only tell that Sect Masters Yin and Yang are out of balance. Sect Master is exceptionally gifted, but prefers too extreme a cultivation path. Some pills and medicine may increase ones inner force, but theyre best sparingly taken," the old librarian said calmly.
"Many thanks to elder librarian for your reminder," Lu Sheng nodded. The librarian had assumed that he owed his cultivation base to pills, and Lu Sheng did not attempt to correct that misunderstanding. In truth, his foundation was much more solid than one of those who relied on pills, and possessed the possibility of infinite upgrading. This was something that pill-takers could only dream of.
After studying the inner force skills on the list carefully, Lu Sheng asked for a copy of Aquarius Qi, intending to cultivate it when he returned. Now that he had achieved Yang Extreme Mode, perhaps the earlier problem of limited capacity in his meridians had been improved.
Additionally, it was time for him to hunt for Yin Qi in person. Since he could not find any from among antiques and Zhuo Wenyu had gone dark, he was left with no alternatives but to hunt some ghosts. That was more efficient.
Scarlet District was, naturally, off-limits. Now that theyve retreated and drawn a clear line between themselves and Crimson Whale Sect for the time being, as long as he did not take the fight to them, they would not make any moves as well.
But the random ghosts and Anomalies popping up in other places recently needed dealing with.
Lu Sheng left Martial Proclamation Library and returned to the sect masters study. Jade Lotus was burying his head in a pile of sect matters. Seeing Lu Shengs return, he hurriedly returned Lu Sheng his seat, as if he had just been pardoned from some grave sentence.
"Sect Master, youre finally back! Just the recent unsolved cases of Ordinary Grade, sent in from the various territories, number more than ten. And Spirit Grade cases number at least five or six! Its too much to handle," Jade Lotus complained. Eye bags had appeared on his pretty face. The overwhelming workload recently has robbed him of good sleep.
Upon his appointment, the first thing Lu Sheng did was to classify all cases into Ordinary Grade, Spirit Grade, or Bind Grade. As for those cases above Bind Grade, they were all incorporated into Bind Grade since that made no difference to the average sect disciple.
With that, they were now able to handle the cases with a more targeted approach.
"Wheres sect master Chen Ying?" Lu Sheng asked as he sat down.
"Hes already led men out to handle a Spirit Grade case," Jade Lotus replied.
"How many Bind Grade cases are there?" Lu Sheng asked.
"Of Bind Grade, theres only one. But its still unclear whether or not it really belongs in that category," Jade Lotus frowned. "Sect Master, you mean to"
"I mean to handle the case in person," Lu Sheng nodded, confirming his guess. He wanted to gather more Yin Qi. Naturally, he could do so only by slaying ghosts. In order to save time, it was definitely more efficient to find ghosts with thicker Yin Qi.
With his present strength at Three-Vein Level, he was even a cut above Scarlet Districts Deputy District Mistress, the umbrella girl. Dealing with the average Anomaly was a piece of cake for him, not to mention an ordinary ghost. As long as he was careful, he could basically roam freely over all of the Northern Lands.
"Since Sect Master has decided to handle it in person, it will surely be successfully resolved," Jade Lotus relaxed in relief. "When I first saw this case, I was also hesitant about which grade to classify it under."
"Let me see," Lu Sheng said.
Jade Lotus stepped forward, quickly found a folded piece of yellow paper on the desk and spread it open.
The heading on the paper, comprising three phrases, immediately entered Lu Shengs view"Tea Sect, Pharmacist, Stained Glass Mirror."