"Whats wrong?" Chen Yunxi pinched Lu Shengs hand and put it against her cheek, puzzled. "Why do you look so solemn?"
Lu Sheng snapped back to the present.
"No nothing." He plastered on a faint smile. "Maybe Im just slightly tired from the recent busyness."
Chen Yunxi smiled. "You work too hard. Youre already so powerful, why cant you just stop and rest? We cant always live for others youve got to enjoy your own life, dont you?"
Lu Sheng smiled. "Thats true. But, what a pity thats the way the world is if you dont advance, others will surpass you. And when the time comes when youre faced with a problem that youre lacking just a bit of strength to solve, youll regret it."
"I dont like to listen to your sermons." Chen Yunxi spun round. "I only just learnt recently that youre the Sect Master of Crimson Whale Sect. You dont know how I fell into a daze for an entire day when I heard the news." She could not help but cover her mouth in laughter. "It took me a whole day to process it."
"You had such an outrageous reaction?" Lu Sheng scratched her nose playfully.
"Thats how outrageous it was!" Chen Yunxi pouted. "Number One expert in the Northern Lands. How cool and awesome is that title? You didnt see how my dad grinned from ear to ear the whole day."
"Oh yes, have you encountered any strange unfamiliar person recently?" Lu Sheng asked suddenly.
"No I havent." At the sound of that, Chen Yunxi immediately turned cautious. "Did something happen?"
"Nothing much. Any discomfort in your body lately?" Lu Sheng asked again. At the same time, that thread of Aquarius Qi was travelling through Chen Yunxis body, checking.
"I dont think so? I dont feel anything strange. Its just that recently recently Ive put on slightly" At that, she looked down embarrassedly.
All females were very concerned about their weight indeed.
Lu Sheng checked further and finally located a trace of an extremely faint but bizarre aura in a patch of skin on the back of Chen Yunxis right elbow.
It should be a mark left on her by Scarlet District Mistress.
He heaved a sigh of relief.
It seemed to be just a mark. Although he was unsure of its effects, it should not be much of a problem given how weak and harmless it seemed.
Scarlet District Mistress probablys just slightly suspicious and has left a mark on her beforehand. Im not on her radar yet she hasnt gone to the step of using Chen Yunxi to threaten me.
Lu Sheng frowned.
But why would Scarlet District Mistress leave a mark on Chen Yunxi all of a sudden? Could she have discovered something? Like my correspondence with umbrella girl?
He pondered as he continued chatting with Chen Yunxi. At the same time, he was containing the mark with Aquarius Qi.
Finally, he didnt remove the mark, since it seemed like Scarlet District Mistress was only hazarding a suspicion and had not intended to make a move.
In order not to put her on guard, he did not eradicate the mark after some hesitation.
"Nine Beauty Festival is just around the corner. Would you like to see the blossoming of the Nine Beauty Flowers with me? In the Thousand Flowers Valley outside the city, theres a sea of Nine Beauty Flowers; its very pretty. And Winged Honor Guard patrols go by that area so its very safe," Chen Yunxi suggested, staring at Lu Sheng with a look of hope.
"Nine Beauty Festival" A helpless expression surfaced on Lu Sheng. "Im sorry. I really do have something on that day." The day the Nine Beauty Flower blossoms wasnt that the day Wandering Heart Society said they would make a move against Scarlet District Mistress?
At the sound of that, disappointment crept into Chen Yunxis heart immediately.
"Alright then, Ill just go with my sisters. But if some young master happens to join our company, dont be jealous alright?"
"Dont worry. Do I look like someone so petty?" Lu Sheng smiled. Which member of the opposite gender could Chen Yunxi ever meet who was not first screened meticulously by his men? At any time, at any place, there would be at least five experts following and protecting her in the dark.
Add to that Lu Shengs fame in the Northern Lands, and the likelihood of her meeting with mishap fell to zero.
"Alright then. Oh, yes my daddy has found someone to partner with for a large business transaction but we cant quite be sure of his background"
"Mm, Ill send someone to investigate later." Lu Sheng smiled.
The two of them continued to enjoy each others presence in the garden for a little longer before Lu Sheng sent Chen Yunxi back.
He did not dispatch more experts to protect her because he knew how pointless that would be. No subordinate of his could possibly protect Chen Yunxi from Scarlet District Mistress.
That fact that Scarlet District Mistress possessed the means to make a move on his loved ones increasingly confirmed Lu Shengs previous decision. Scarlet District Mistress was an unstable and dangerous element.
When dusk fell, he headed for Mountain-Edge City again. In an inner courtyard in the yamen, he was met with Taoist Baifeng, who took the initiative to welcome him.
"Sect Master Lu, how have you been? Its been a long while since we last met, you look like youve become stronger!" Baifeng looked more like a businessman than a Taoist.
"Where did that come from, Brother Baifeng? At our level, how can any improvement come so easily?" Lu Sheng sighed.
The two of them walked into the hall shoulder to shoulder.
Xiao Hongye had long since arrived as well. It was a gathering between the three of them as usual; the three of them still remained in full control over the situation in the Northern Lands.
The banquet had already been prepared and the servant girls had all been dismissed. This was unlike Xiao Hongyes Xiao Manor, which was full of all sorts of gimmicks. It was an ordinary, everyday meal.
"Come in, come in." Taoist Bai Feng gestured for Lu Sheng to enter. "Lets chat as we eat."
Xiao Hongye also rose to greet Lu Sheng.
"Brother Lu, youre late! Three cups of wine as punishment!"
"Forgive me, my two Elder Brothers. Theres been too much on my plate recently." Lu Sheng cupped his fists with a smile.
He found a place to sit, and very sportingly downed three cups of wine as a self-imposed punishment. The three of them shared a meal around a square table, engaging in insignificant, polite chatter as they tried to suss each other out.
Taoist Bai Feng repeatedly raised his wine cup. After three rounds of toasts, he put down his wine cup and looked at Lu Sheng.
"Brother Lu, you have been making bigger and bolder moves lately. Is there some sort of change or adjustment in the Sect?"
Lu Sheng shook his head.
"I guessed that you both had invited me over regarding this matter." He had long since prepared an excuse. Smiling, he added, "Speaking of which, a few factions like Gong Qu Clan were suddenly attacked recently. Have the two of you heard anything about this?"
Bai Fengs eyes darted across to look at Xiao Hongye. This was something that both Ashoka Manor and Scarlet District were responsible for.
Xiao Hongye chuckled drily. "Seems like both you and I are just pawns in the game" He misunderstood Lu Sheng and assumed that the latter was also acting on the orders of those above him. As one of the nine Families of the Central Plains, Shangyang Family enjoyed tremendous power and might. Not to mention him; even if the entire Ashoka Manor were to come forth, it would pale in comparison.
Naturally, the topic was shelved. As long as nothing happened to these ordinary mortals on too massive a scale, the overall impact wasn't too great.
"Frankly speaking, Ive invited you both over this time round to discuss none other than the matter of the Scarlet District Mistress. Id like to hear the stand on her of the two parties behind you both," Bai Feng spoke solemnly as he put down his winecup. "Scarlet District Mistress has struck successively in the recent days, and each time on a larger scale than previously. I fear that she may suddenly explode into a fit of frenzied rage one day and massacre the entire city this Taoist has already reported the matter to the Court, which has dispatched an expert from the central agency who is expected to arrive in a matter of days. But you and I both know that, given the level of Scarlet District Mistress prowess, its not so easy to stop her."
Xiao Hongye sighed as well.
"Elder Brother Bai Feng is absolutely right. Our hands are also tied at Ashoka Manor. Our Manor Lord Ye Moling has also been greatly troubled by this matter in the recent days. Scarlet District Mistress is simply too ruthlessshe has killed at least several hundreds in Martial League alone, and no fewer than a hundred within Mountain-Edge City.
And these are just the ones were aware of. Subsequently, I also received news that she had massacred three strongholds in the mountains, wiping out more than a thousand people without leaving anyone alive. Although these men are but bandits, the sheer number of casualties is hard to stomach."
Lu Sheng nodded slightly. "What do you two have in mind, brothers?"
"My only plan now is to determine just what exactly the District Mistress is after, and try our best to get it for her," Bai Feng said helplessly.
Xiao Hongye was also at a loss. Basically, those at the Snake realm were able to establish their own powerful Noble Families and stand on their own feet in this treacherous world.
Such a realm was beyond anything that they at the Three-Vein level were capable of going up against.
Lu Sheng was somewhat disappointed. He was expecting some new ideas from these two and hadnt thought that this was all they had come up with.
After the three of them exchanged some intelligence, Taoist Bai Feng incidentally mentioned a matter that caught Lu Shengs attention.
"Speaking of Li Shunxi, since he left the Northern Lands for the Central Plains, news spread quickly about the Soul Suppressing Lock. Rumor has it that he's now wanted by Huang Family for destroying their Soul Suppressing Lock and eating the hundred-year-old Heartless Fruit that they painstakingly cultivated. Now, however, his whereabouts are unknown. Many people are hunting him now to extract the essence of the Heartless Fruit from him."
"Isnt he just an ordinary martial arts expert?" Lu Sheng asked.
"Not since a long time ago," Bai Feng shook his head. "Just like Brother Lu, his background is shrouded in mystery."
"Oh? Whats so extraordinary about my background?" Lu Shengs brow arched.
"You, my Brother!" Bai Feng pointed at Lu Sheng and laughed. "Your mother isn't born of the Sun Family at all. She's got a mysterious background. Granted, the secret is well-kept, but it's not something that can be hidden from our Intelligence Agency."
Lu Sheng had expected him to talk about his strength and power. Yet little did he expect that his long-deceased mother, Sun Yan, would be involved.
Not even he himself was aware of this matter. He silently committed it to memory. He continued to chat with the two men and clarified the strategy for dealing with Scarlet District Mistress sudden spate of attacks. It was deep in the night when he finally bade them farewell.
The massive frozen plains of the Northern Lands bore a gentle-sounding namethe White Grass Frozen Plains.
Due to the extremely harsh weather on the frozen plains, which was prone to fierce blizzards, its residents mainly gathered together in small cities. They covered the top of these small cities with enormous conical lids so that the falling snow would not pile up on top.
The small cities lined up one after another, resembling a group of triangular tents that were pitched by the sides of the hills. Some of these larger ones could hold more than a hundred people, akin to a mountain stronghold on the ice field. The smaller ones were big enough for just ten over people.
Firstly, they had to dig a huge pit in the ground to lay a proper foundation before carefully planning in detail. Finally, bit by bit, they would carve out an ice conical lid. It was painstaking effort.
A snowstorm raged and whistled across the white sky.
Scarlet District Mistress wrapped herself up in a white cloak. Following closely behind her was the umbrella girl, Yingying. Similarly, she had a thick white cloak over her shoulders.
The duo approached a small city that was over ten meters tall. The exotic architecture was large and very magnificent.
It towered over the land like a pyramid. The only difference, however, was that the bulk of its body was underground.
"This is the place," Scarlet District Mistress smacked her lips as a greedy glint flashed across her eyes.
"Big Sis be careful" the umbrella girl cautioned in a whisper.
"Dont worry. Other than those few people, who else in the vast Northern Lands can pose a threat to me? You just focus on looking after yourself!" Scarlet District Mistress placed her palm on the rough, icy cold wall of the small city.
Soundlessly, a gaping hole was melted in the wall which had been made from layers of ice.