"Without an Officiator, dont tell me both of you will conduct the Ritual Offering yourselves?" Duke Ashoka said coldly.
"The Northern Lands have been in chaos since the Scarlet Dragon Tribulation. Finding the culprit is rather difficult. The original plan was to gather the Ten Spears of the Evil Jade Crystal who knew that our efforts would all go to waste. Its effect on us is tremendous. Weve got to spare no resources in getting to the bottom of the matter."
"You want to do it in person?" Duke Ashoka was surprised as he realized what he was saying.
"Between Zhao Rong and I, one of us will do," Ye Moling replied.
No one knew that there were two Snake Realm experts in Ashoka ManorDuke Ashoka himself and him.
Ye Moling was originally the Manor Lord of Mortal Sweeping Manor. Ever since Mortal Sweeping Manor had been destroyed, he had been absorbed into Ashoka Manor. Together with Zhao Rong, they were the Deputy Manor Lords who assisted Duke Ashoka.
Now, a dire situation had appeared and Duke Ashoka was reaching the end of his lifespan. He had only five Officiators under his command and the three surviving ones were already engaged in important tasks and could not be deployed. He was left with no choice but to act in person.
Duke Ashoka must not die. Once he died, that woman from the royal family would certainly pounce on Ashoka Manor like an evil ghost and devour its flesh.
Ye Moling did not have the confidence to stop this woman. Only the status of Duke Ashoka could deter her.
Duke Ashoka gazed intently at Ye Moling, then slowly nodded.
"As for Scarlet District, theres finally news about their District Mistress. Shes been gravely wounded and will return to the Northern Lands in the next few days. You can pay a visit to Scarlet District and join hands with them in investigating the mishap that happened to our Ritual Offering in the Northern Lands. And since their Deputy District Mistress will be there as well, you can enquire about Twin Eagle City at the same time."
Ye Moling bowed his head in agreement. "Ill set off immediately."
"Bai Jiang was close to breaking through Seven-Vein. He was the one with greatest hope of attaining our realm in the Manor. Whod expect hed fall in the Northern Lands just like that. Whether dead or alive, we must find out what came of him!" Duke Ashoka humphed coldly.
"And if it was the work of Shangyang Jiuli?"
Duke Ashoka paused, his face turning more sinister.
"Even if its Shangyang Family, dont be restrained. Im reaching the end of my life, whats there to fear!"
A glint of icy intent flashed across Ye Molings eyes as well. He had been exiled from the Northern Lands by Zhen Family, running with his tail between his legs. But now, it was time for his return.
Neither of them mentioned the Martial League. In their eyes, only League Master Qin Wumian was to be reckoned with. The rest of them were dogs that did not even enter their view.
To the two of them who possessed the destructive power of the Snake Realm, even the pinnacle of the realm of Bind, the Seven-Vein Level, could not break their protective black snake.
The key defining characteristic of the Snake realm was the condensing of black membrane into black snakes which protected the body. These black snakes were inanimate and possessed unlimited regenerative ability, and thus were termed Indestructible Black Snakes.
Different Noble Families with different Divine Weapons or Devil Blades naturally resulted in different abilities. But all experts who had stepped into Snake realm would produce these Indestructible Black Snakes.
All damage that landed on them would be inflicted on the Indestructible Black Snakes. As long as they held, their bodies would never die.
Which was to say that once one entered the realm of Snake, one no longer had any weak or fatal spots on the body. A battle between Snake experts was just a pitting of accumulated energy and power.
Once one materialized these Indestructible Black Snakes, Bind realm power had absolutely no possibility of breaking it.
This was due to the radical difference in power between Snake realm power and Bind realm. The power of Snake realm was a totally different type of evolved power. That was why Ye Moling could entirely disregard Shangyang Jiulis Seven-Vein Level cultivation.
The gap between them was simply too vast.
Northern Lands, Scarlet District.
The umbrella girl dashed into the courtyard, unkempt and disheveled.
The red umbrella in her hand was riddled with holes and broken. Back when it was seconds right before the evil jade had erupted, she waited till Crimson Whale Sect had departed before she left Twin Eagle City to avoid detection by Lu Sheng. But, the delay had caused her to be implicated in the blast, severely wounding her.
But thankfully, she survived.
The umbrella girl recalled the scene where the Officiator, Ghost Hair, had his head slammed into the ground repeatedly until he had lost all strength to resist, and shivers went down her spine.
Compared to when he had fought against her previously, the present Lu Sheng no longer seemed human. Had he always been that strong? Or did he achieve a breakthrough only recently after their fight?
She had no way to tell. All that she wanted to do now was to quickly tip off Ashoka Manor and her District Mistress.
Stumbling and fumbling, she knocked her way over to the side of the old well. Gazing at her own disheveled reflection in the water, she could not help but begin sobbing and whimpering.
The District Mistress was away and most of her subordinates had perished in Twin Eagle City. Scarlet District now existed in name only. Apart from controlling some lone stray ghosts, it had no more forces left.
And these stray ghosts did not have any intelligence; they could only hunt for food out of instinct.
Sorrow overwhelmed the umbrella girl. Alone in the District, she was surrounded only by stupid or completely mindless and shapeless ghosts.
She recalled the times when the District Mistress was around, and cried even more badly.
But after crying for a while, she gradually stopped.
"The losses in Twin Eagle City are too great. Ashoka Manor will definitely send men to investigate. That Lu Sheng foiled my plans must kill him!"
The umbrella girl was baffled. But she understood that until a more powerful expert came from Ashoka Manor, Scarlet District was basically undefended ground to Shangyang Family and that freak from Crimson Whale Sect now. If word spread that she knew about Lu Shengs power, perhaps she would meet her end before Ashoka Manors reinforcements could arrive.
"That freak has hidden so much he must harbor some agenda!" the umbrella girl leaned on the well, staring dazedly at the water.
All she could do now was to wait for Ashoka Manors expert to arrive.
Mountain-Edge City, Lu Manor.
Lu Sheng was seated on the main seat in the house. Beside him was his father Lu Quanan and relatives as well as friends of the family.
This banquet was to celebrate his Eldest Uncle Lu Anpings successful transfer from Nine Links City to Mountain-Edge City. Eldest Uncle sat on a main seat of equal height as Lu Shengs, filled with smiles as he continued receiving toasts.
At the main table, Lu Sheng sat on a seat that was second only to his father Lu Quanan and Eldest Uncle, Lu Anpings.
By now, more and more in his family had learnt about his status and identity. Although Lu Quanan had no means of contact with the upper echelon of Crimson Whale Sect, nothing could stop Lu Shengs subordinates from currying favor with him.
After a couple of times, he gradually realized what kind of status his son had.
He definitely was some big shot in Crimson Whale Sect.
The surroundings of the hall were brightly lit. Servant ladies and housemen came serving up dishes after dishes endlessly.
At the main table, apart from Lu Quanan and Lu Anping who were equally seated, there were several officials in Mountain-Edge City who happened to hold authority over Lu Familys businesses. They had been specially invited to the banquet to join in the celebration.
However, these officials kept glancing in Lu Shengs direction with a mood of uneasiness and nervousness.
Lu Anpings frequent toasts were the only thing keeping the atmosphere of the table from turning too awkward.
Lu Sheng lifted up his wine cup casually and sipped at the tea in it. Probably he was the only one who would drink tea with a wine cup.
After his wounds had recovered, he did not upgrade himself immediately. Rather, he meditated and circulated Qi within him daily to consolidate the Yin-Yang balance in him.
Earlier in Twin Eagle City, he had detonated one drop of liquefied Qi and had slightly taxed himself. Thus, he needed rest now.
Fortuitously, he received the good news of his Eldest Uncles transfer from his family at that time, and was asked to come back for the celebration.
He had not seen Lu Anping for a long time, and thus came back to join the banquet. But, his return was rather sudden, causing the atmosphere at the banquet to turn a little stiff and weird.
"Oh right, wheres Yingying?" Lu Sheng surveyed the hall but did not find the pregnant Lu Yingying.
At the mention of Lu Yingying, Lu Quanans face fell. He did not reply.
Eldest Uncle glanced at his younger brother, then smiled bitterly. "Shes in the backyard."
Lu Sheng immediately could tell that something was amiss, but did not ask further. He had had enough of the weird and awkward atmosphere and rose. "Ill go take a look."
She was, after all, a pregnant girl. No matter what sin she had committed, the child in her was innocent.
"Brother Sheng, Yiyis accompanying her at the back," the Eldest Uncles son, Lu Hongying, whispered from the adjacent table.
"What exactly happened?" Lu Sheng frowned.
"That scholar, he just married a wife" Lu Anping whispered.
Lu Sheng was stumped.
That scholar had married a wife, which meant that Lu Yingying could only be a concubine.
It didnt matter how Lu Yingying felt about it, or whether or not she was willing to be a concubine.
How could Lu Shengs sister become someones concubine? If word of this spread, how would others look at Lu Family?! The sister of the Sect Master of Crimson Whale Sect was impregnated, and yet could only be his concubine?
He slammed the tabletop with his palm. A huge bam reverberated across the entire hall. A clear, distinct palm print was indelibly pressed into the table.
Interrupted abruptly by Lu Shengs slam, the lively banquet fell into an awkward silence.
Nobody dared to look at Lu Sheng, that mountain of muscle with a near bald head, tyrannical posture, and eyes reminiscent of daggers.
Right now, his anger brought about a scene of silence. The few officials who had been invited to the banquet were almost frightened to death, trembling uncontrollably as their faces turned as white as paper.
All the younger generation of the family, Second Mistress, Third Mistress and the female relatives etc., had their hearts in their mouths. They did not even dare to breath.
Lu Quanans face was ugly, but he kept silent. It was Eldest Uncle Lu Anping who stood up and patted Lu Sheng on his shoulder.
"Little Sheng, both your dad and I were furious about this matter as well. But too bad we couldnt do anything about it. That scholar comes from a rather powerful family background"
"Just leave it to me." A habitual savage grin appeared on Lu Shengs face. "Ill handle this matter in person. I want to see which family dares not to show me face."
"Little Sheng, this is your Eldest Uncles celebration banquet" at another table, Second Mother Liu Cuiyu stood up and chided him.
Lu Sheng immediately apologised profusely to his Eldest Uncle. Indeed, he commanded too strong a presence which relegated his Eldest Uncle to the sidelines of todays banquet.
"Doesnt matter, doesnt matter, were all a family." Eldest Uncle Lu Anping waved his hand and smiled. "Little Sheng, if you arent too occupied, theres a party later. You can spend some time with the young lads. These little brothers and sisters of yours will be depending on you in the days to come."
"Thats not a problem at all!" Lu Sheng nodded. "Let me go check on Yingying and Yiyi now," he rose and left.
"Im coming too!" beside Lu Tianyang, Zhang Xiuxiu suddenly stood up and went after Lu Sheng.
A few other younger ones also stood up and left with Lu Sheng.
Lu Sheng was now the backbone of the Lu Family; naturally, many wanted to walk closer with him.
Likewise, members of the older generation walked closer with Lu Quanan. It was naturally inappropriate for them to curry favor with Lu Sheng given their seniority. But nobody would criticize them for walking closer with Lu Quanan. After all, the son would never disown the father.