Lu Sheng didnt know any Huang Qiuyuans before. Those that he knew were the sects in Mountain-Edge City. Judging based on their dressing, they did not seem like people from Mountain-Edge City.
"Were you invited by Squire Xiao as well?" Lu Sheng asked casually.
"Yes, were all here to meet Squire Xiao," they answered respectfully. Crimson Whale Sect was the number one sect in the Northern Lands. Although their own sects did pretty well in their domains, they could not hold a candle to Crimson Whale Sect and hence they could not help but be respectful towards him.
Having obtained the answer he sought, Lu Sheng frowned and nodded.
"Ill make a move first."
"Please, as you please, Sect Master," they hurriedly nodded.
Lu Sheng walked out only to see Xiao Hongye waiting for him outside the door.
"I seek your understanding, Brother Lu. This was the order of the senior in my house. The matter is of grave proportions" Xiao Hongye smiled bitterly and cupped his fists at Lu Sheng.
"Dont say that, Brother Xiao. Since senior has come all the way to Mountain-Edge City, the least this junior could do was to come and pay him a visit." Lu Sheng plastered on a superficial smile. He and Xiao Hongye were business partners without any deep feelings for each other to begin with. Naturally, there was no need for him to be overly familiar with him.
"I was shocked too at Manor Lord Yes sudden arrival in person," Xiao Hongye said helplessly. "The fire over at that place was shocking enough.
Now that person has returned. And Manor Lord too has come in person. Is the Northern Lands going to fall into chaos again after such a short peace?"
"That person?" Lu Sheng arched his eyebrow. Because they had only just begun to grow out, they were very faint; he still had that look of savage ferocity.
"Who else but the District Mistress of Scarlet District?" Xiao Hongye mentioned, intentionally or not. "That person kills without batting an eyelid. Returning to find that her old home has been turned upside down, she was enraged. She captured many people and even my Manor Lord has no choice but to assist her in the investigation. What an eventful season!"
"Scarlet District Mistress is back?" Lu Sheng aptly displayed a trace of unsettledness. After all, he had used to be Zhen Familys subordinate, and Zhen Family was Scarlet Districts foe. If Scarlet District Mistress decided to vent her rage on Crimson Whale Sect, they would be in dire straits.
On the other hand, it would be abnormal if he had remained impassive.
"Sect Master had better inform Young Miss Jiuli as soon as possible," Xiao Hongye said.
Lu Sheng recovered and nodded slightly.
"Many thanks for the heads up, Brother Xiao. Farewell." He left hurriedly with Xu Chui on board the horse carriage. Quickly, he disappeared into the night.
Xiao Hongye gazed after him as he left, then returned to stand outside the main hall. Presently, the middle-aged men who had entered earlier were just leaving, cold sweat covering their foreheads. They bowed at him and quickly left.
Only after they had all disappeared from view did Xiao Hongye enter the main hall.
"Manor Lord." He looked at the man standing with his back towards him. "About Scarlet District Mistress return, Ive sent out word to Shangyang Family."
"Mm. Thats good." Ye Moling turned around. "Shangyang Jiuli is Shangyang Familys number two prodigy. And now shes in solitary confinement Im guessing shes about to break through the Seven-Vein Level and step into Snake realm. Once such a genius steps into Snake realm, Im afraid Shangyang Family would have another candidate for Family Head."
"Yes, sir." Xiao Hongye nodded. "If that happens, Shangyang Family would certainly put more attention on Shangyang Jiuli. Given her explosive temper, coupled with Scarlet District Mistress fearless personality" he did not complete his sentence.
"I get what you mean," Ye Moling smirked. "Lets wait and see."
Back in Crimson Whale Sect, Lu Sheng immediately brought umbrella girl with him into his solitary confinement sanctuary.
He circled the umbrella girl several times, as if inspecting her and deliberating over something.
Umbrella girl was scared stiff by him.
Before long, Lu Sheng spoke. "Your sister has returned"
Umbrella girl paused in surprise, then broke out in joy. She clutched the red umbrella in her hands.
"Do you want to go back?" Lu Sheng looked at him with a smile.
Umbrella girl hesitated. She had no idea what Lu Sheng was intending. But judging based on the past, he did not seem like the sort who would let her go just like that.
"Your sister is in great danger, and so am I. Your sisters enemy is the same enemy Im looking for. So Im willing to release you. But of course, it comes with strings attached." Lu Sheng smiled, deliberately making his words vague and foggy.
"What strings?" In her moment of tremendous excitement, she ceased to stammer.
"At an opportune time, Ill release you. But I wont disable what Ive put on you. As long as you dont speak about me and rat on me to your sister, it wont activate," Lu Sheng said casually. "My condition for letting you go is this: I need you to stay by Scarlet District Mistress side and help me cover up the fact that I destroyed Scarlet District."
Umbrella girl fell into silence.
Over the past few days, she could feel that the bizarre seed was thoroughly integrated with her own body. The only way to remove it was to cut away ninety percent of her soul body. The only possible outcome of doing that, however, was the complete disintegration of her soul.
She did not want to die. But neither did she want to betray her sister.
"I wont betray sis even if I die." Her eyes flashed with resolve.
"I wont do anything to harm your sister. I dont have the power to do so even if I wanted to." Lu Sheng smiled. "I just want self-preservation. To live in quiet simplicity and bland peace for the rest of my life. Im sure you wouldnt deny my only request?"
Umbrella girl thought hard. She had tried all sorts of means in vain to expel that thing in her body.
If Noblemen found power from developing the potential in their own bodies, then ghosts and Anomalies grew in power by consuming peoples fear and their essence blood.
Hence, ghosts and Anomalies, just like Noblemen, had extremely high control of their own bodies.
As the Deputy District Mistress, she was naturally even more skilled in manipulating and controlling her body. Still, however, she was unable to expel that thing.
That was why umbrella girl knew that even her sister could do nothing about it. Because in terms of precision of control, even her sister could not compare to her.
As strong and mighty as her sisters power may be, in fact it was precisely because it was so strong that she was unable to manipulate it totally. She usually would not strike easily, because the moment she did, even she herself could not control the strength behind the attack. Hence, in terms of precision of control and manipulation, umbrella girl was actually more skilful.
Hence, before ascertaining if her sister could deal with this web-like thing in her, she could not and dared not reveal this matter.
Umbrella girl lifted her head and gazed at Lu Sheng.
"You really promise to let me go?"
"I have no need to lie to you," Lu Sheng said calmly.
Umbrella girl knew a lot of his secrets, such as the fact that he had killed Ashoka Manors Officiator and destroyed Scarlet District. Hence, she absolutely could not be allowed to walk free.
And Lu Sheng said what he did because he had his plans in mind.
"Of course, I dont mean right now," Lu Sheng added. He was trying to stall for time now for the transformation in his body from Yin Yang fusion to take place.
As for releasing umbrella girl, even she herself could not believe it, regardless of whether or not it was actually true.
In the past few days, Lu Sheng had also thoroughly discovered the abilities of Yin Crane Web: manipulating Yin souls, thoroughly assimilating them into part of his Aquarius Qi. Umbrella girl and the ghosts he caught as lab rats were living examples.
"Think about it. We havent got any death feud with Scarlet District, so theres no need at all for us to fight your District Mistress to the death," Lu Sheng explained. "Better to make friends than foes. All I did was destroy some buildings and wandering ghosts. At the very most, Ill compensate you and rebuild them. Im sure you dont want your sister to make an enemy out of my Shangyang Family either, do you?"
Umbrella girl could not help but nod slowly.
"No buts." Lu Sheng stepped behind her, the corners of his lips curving upwards into a grin. "As long as you dont do anything thats not in my interests, I wont activate the thing in your body. Well continue to live in peace. Isnt that swell?"
"Think about it. You just want whats best for your sister. If she killed me because of you you can guess the kind of status an expert like me enjoys in my family.
If that happens, then all of you would have become our Shangyang Familys foe. Do you think your sister alone is a match for the mighty force of one of the nine great Noble Families of the Central Plains?" Lu Sheng pulled out his backer without any sense of shame.
Poor umbrella girl. Little did she know that Lu Sheng was merely an ant from an ordinary mortal organization in the eyes of Shangyang Family. He had no status or importance to speak of.
"So, if you truly seek whats best for your sister, then you should help me cover up this matter. I can return you the items I took," Lu Sheng added. "As long as you help me cover this up, everything will work out well for all of us.
Shangyang Family might be powerful, but Ive got only one life. Theres no reason for me to play it tough against you."
"But I how should I say it" Umbrella girl was moved. Undeniably, Lu Sheng made sense.
If she truly went back and revealed the truth, the best outcome would be that Sis District Mistress would kill Lu Sheng in rage and end up hunted by Shangyang Family, forcing her to go on the run with a home she couldnt return to. After all, a Three-Vein Level expert was considered elite no matter which Noble Family he was found in. Killing a Nobleman when there werent many of them to begin with was a declaration of war. Simply for the sake of making an example and defending its inviolable dignity, Shangyang Family would not let her Sister off the hook.
And even if she did expose the fact that Lu Sheng was the one who had destroyed Scarlet District and killed the Ashoka Manor Officiator, he would at most receive some slight punishment. Nothing more. After all, Ashoka Manor and Scarlet District were not in the same league as one of the nine great Noble Families of the Central Plains.
After long deliberation, umbrella girl finally opened her mouth slowly,
"I promise you"
"Thats a good girl." Lu Sheng revealed a satisfied smile. Should umbrella girl renege on her word, he would be able to kill her immediately.
Yin Crane Webs effectiveness had far surpassed his imagination. After Aquarius Qi took root deeply in the body, it gave him perfect control and manipulation of that body.
That feeling was just like programming.
In his previous life, he was a coding expert who could program his own game mod easily. Ever since coming back a few days ago, he had been researching and studying this ability.
Once he understood the principles behind Yin Crane Web, he learnt the basics of using it to control ghosts and even assist in his mastery over his own strength.
Such control was effective even on umbrella girl. That was the pre-condition for his subsequent agenda and arrangements.
In the ruins of Scarlet District.
Scarlet District Mistress stood against a broken wall with her arms crossed. She gazed at the large slabs of tiles and concrete rising up and floating in the air all around her as they were once again arranged to form a brand new perimeter wall.
In broad daylight, she was commanding the new wandering ghosts she had captured to rebuild the new Scarlet District headquarters.
Just as she was in the thick of it, she suddenly spun round and stared at a slender figure walking towards her from afar.
The sky was overcast, but the appearance and approach of that person brought about a gentleness on Scarlet District Mistress face.
"Yingying, Im glad youre alright" She strode towards her and hugged her, without moving.
Umbrella girl, too, was shaking from joy. But at the thought of her pact with Lu Sheng, a trace of gloom swept across her heart.