Scarlet District Mistress gouged out a small white bone from the mud. She held it up in her hand for detailed inspection.
A revolting stench emanated off the bone. Fine white hair was grown on its surface and thin blood veins remained on it.
"This is... the remains of the Six-Vein Level Bai Jiang." She frowned as she rotated the bone.
"It's a miracle it hasn't disintegrated." Scarlet District Mistress was surprised that Bai Jiang, as a Six-Vein Level expert, would still leave behind remains after his death.
"It is unusual indeed. Experts like us truly disintegrate after death. Even if he's a Zombie, there's no way he should have left behind any remains. The being that killed him would have consumed and absorbed his remains or turn them into dust."
"Unusual... indeed..." umbrella girl looked puzzled as well.
"Take a look nearby first. I will trace the aura of his remains and take a look further away," Scarlet District Mistress said.
"Alright," umbrella girl agreed.
She watched as Scarlet District Mistress headed in the other direction with the piece of bone in her hand. Then, she walked slowly to the side of a tree trunk. With a wave of her arm, countless pale white ghosts flew out and spread out in all directions.
Under her exact control and manipulation, these ghosts went looking for clues that might have been left behind.
These ghosts did not search for leads the way humans did. Rather than look for physical remains or marks, they were looking for aura.
Rays of light shot down through the gaps between the leaves, casting light beams that fell on umbrella girl and her surroundings.
She walked aimlessly in the forest, seemingly in a daze.
Suddenly, a ghost flew in front of her and whispered something to her.
Umbrella girl lifted her head and listened carefully. As the ghost continued to whisper in her ear, a look of surprise gradually emerged on her face.
It had been so long after Lu Sheng had killed the Ashoka Manor Emissaries here. Who would have thought that a problem would be discovered now when no leads had been uncovered previously?
The ghost found another soul similar to itself.
Although the soul did not possess any intelligence and only had beast-like instincts, there seemed to be something interesting in its surviving memory.
"Take me... there..." umbrella girl thought of Lu Sheng, her sister, and that web within her.
Quickly, the ghost led her to a ditch. A skeleton lay in the ditch with a translucent man standing next to it. His neck was distorted in a bizarre manner. Obviously, he had died from a heavy impact which had broken his neck.
Several ghosts surrounded him, forbidding him from leaving.
Umbrella girl walked over and placed her hand on the soul's body.
Scenes flashed before her mind rapidly.
Without warning, a familiar savage face flashed across her mind.
She retreated several paces in shock, gasping for air and her face in pale shock. Clearly, she did not need to breathe. But at the sudden sight of that terrifying savage face, she could not help but perform such an act from a time when she had been alive instinctively.
'It's Lu Sheng!
Umbrella girl screamed inwardly. The face that she had just seen from the soul's memories was Lu Sheng's!
The ghost had personally witnessed Lu Sheng slaughter Ashoka Manor's Emissaries.
Umbrella girl stood on the spot and fell into silence.
"All of you... go somewhere else first... keep looking. I'll... take it over... from here," she ordered.
The ghosts did not have much of a mind themselves; all they could do was to follow orders. So they dispersed, leaving only umbrella girl alone.
She stared intently at the man's soul. Abruptly, she reached out and grabbed its soul.
The soul exploded in a burst under her grab, without even the chance to scream.
Umbrella girl withdrew her arm. She watched the dissipating spots of light from the soul while she lowered her red umbrella to cover her face.
'I can't let sis find out... that man... that man...' A shiver went down her spine. 'Isn't it nice to just live on peacefully and quietly like this...? With nothing happened, just like things used to be.'
She pressed on her chest lightly, shut her eyes, then opened them again. Only then did she walk back in the direction she had come from.
A leather shoe stepped on a dried twig.
Xu Chui was dressed in inky green athletic robes, with Lu Sheng behind him. The two of them were advancing in the thick forest.
"After passing through this, we'll reach Martial League's base." Lu Sheng stood before a tree as thick as a man's embrace and looked up to stare at the canopy of leaves and branches that blotted out the skies.
A gang of red-eyed monkeys were hanging upside down from the branches, starting at them aggressively.
"My Lord, do we need to make direct contact?" Xu Chui stood in front of him emotionlessly, shielding him.
"Of course. We've come here for more than just one reason." Lu Sheng grinned and licked his lips.
Gripping his sword hilt, Xu Chui slowly pulled out his sword. The exposed blade of his sword grew longer and colder in the forest.
In that instant, the gang of red-eyed monkeys above the two of them dropped down on them from the air.
Armed with sharp claws, they were no ordinary wild monkeys. Each of them was as fast and nimble as a martial arts expert.
Several dozens of monkeys dropped down on them like an entire platoon of heli-dropping commandos.
In the blink of an eye, countless streaks of sword gleams flashed on Xu Chui's hand like an exploding ball of silver light which lit up the world for one moment.
In just a blink, the red-eyed monkeys were falling to the ground like rain. They smashed into the ground, never to move again.
Blood seeped out from the monkeys' bodies into the ground.
Xu Chui kept his sword, his face impassive throughout the entire process.
Ever since he had received his master's personal impartation of his cultivation, the speed of his swordsmanship had increased to an unimaginable level.
With such power, it did not matter if there were one or two peculiarities on his body.
"Let's go." Lu Sheng was not surprised in the slightest. Along the way on this trip, Xu Chui had already dealt with many such ferocious wild beasts.
Back when he had been transferring Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi to him, he discovered that Xu Chui's body was unable to bear with the nature of Aquarius Qi. His body and flesh were being frozen from the cold Yin nature of Aquarius Qi.
Left with no choice, he had to attempt transferring Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies Skill into his body to neutralize the cultivation he had just injected into him.
And who would have expected that it would work out just fine?
Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies inner Qi entered Xu Chui's body, enveloped in Aquarius Qi. Swiftly, it generated an all-new Yin Crane Web in him.
With the Yin Crane Web formed, Xu Chui's inner Qi was immediately channelled into it, resulting in the drastic increase in his explosive power and inner Qi replenishment rate.
The scariest thing about Yin Crane Web was that it encountered no bottlenecks. One possessed as much inner force as one could cultivate.
That explained why Xu Chui's strength had become so much more powerful in such a short time. Lu Sheng merely built him a new bodily infrastructure. Or perhaps, one could say that he had reformed his bodily constitution.
Yin Crane Web was essentially a new meridian network that he had sculpted for Xu Chui. Naturally, however, it depended on the mother web in Lu Sheng's body.
Yin Crane Web's mother web was closely connected to its daughter webs. Lu Sheng could sense that if the mother Yin Crane Web in his body were ever to break apart, all daughter webs would be affected as well.
Lu Sheng's mind came back to the present. He glanced at Xu Chui, who was walking on ahead of him.
His impartation of cultivation expended about fifty years' worth of his inner Qi. But as a result, Xu Chui's might had far outstripped the level of Intent Proficiency and was, practically speaking, no different from a Spirit Focus expert.
This was evidence that confirmed to Lu Sheng that he could mass-produce Divine Prime experts in the same way. Naturally, inner Qi was not easy to cultivate and he could not waste it flippantly either. He had to select good people to groom.
As for the inner Qi he would deplete, he would simply replenish them with other experts inner Qi.
The two of them continued forward for about another hour. Finally, they came to the end of the forest and the scene before them opened up to the top of a cliff.
Lu Sheng walked to the edge of the cliff and gazed down.
Below them was a paradise of a jade green lake. White waterfalls surrounded it and an intricate, elegant silver tower rose up from the middle of the lake.
"What a fine place hidden from the world!" Lu Sheng exclaimed.
"If my Lord likes it, we can build a branch just like this," Xu Chui said respectfully.
"Well, liking it is one thing. But if we really lived in it, I'm afraid our clothes would never dry, will they?" Lu Sheng shook his head.
Just then, several figures flew towards them from the bottom of the cliff. These figures were all dressed in a standardized pale green uniform and obviously belonged to a particular organization.
"Who's there!?" A calm and clear voice rang beside Lu Sheng and Xu Chui's ears.
Lu Sheng smiled and retreated away with Xu Chui. Soon, however, they appeared again at the bottom of the cliff in another spot, evading the figures who sped towards them earlier and entering Martial League easily.
Zhang Wuya was holding onto a manual, studying it in detail. Somehow, however, he could not quite set his mind to the task. Ever since Li Shunxi's case, a mood of unsettledness and trouble had pervaded Martial League.
He put the manual down.
"The League Master is in solitary confinement, leaving the League to suffer in the current mess..." He recalled Liu Qin's wordsshe had assisted Li Shunxi in escaping.
That was her assessment of the League Master.
"What's the situation now?" An old woman with long white hair and carrying a saber walked into the room. "I've just made a round in the League, and all those Noblemen looked unsettled and in panic. I wonder if they've learnt some news."
"What else can happen?" Zhang Wuya shook his head. "Ever since Brother Shunxi was falsely maligned and escaped, the League Master has been in solitary confinement. Now, Zhong Yunxiu and Guan Nian have each rallied a force behind them against each other. Day in and out, the friction hasn't ceased. Of course there's bound to be some unsettledness under such a mood."
"What really happened that night when you went for the transaction? Why has everyone who come back been keeping mum about it?" The old woman was named Zhang Minggu. Although she was over eighty years old, she retained her youthful looks. Apart from her hunched back, she showed no illnesses that tended to plague the elderly.
"Can't speak about it. I made a promise. Just put this matter to rest. Your energies are better spent considering the future of this bunch of old fogeysus!" Zhang Wuya waved his hand. "If this goes on, I'm afraid the entire Martial League will break apart sooner or later. Without the League Master, there's no controlling these Noblemen at all."
"What about Guan Nian's Green Squad?"
"After the mole was exposed among them, they were disbanded." Zhang Wuya shook his head.
"Disbanded? How can that be!" A third voice rang out from outside the room.