"TOO LIGHT! Too light too light too light TOO LIGHT!!!" Lu Sheng's arms struck wildly at the green beam that was shooting at him at lightning speed.
Chao Long dodged and attacked from time to time, inflicting one wound after another on Lu Sheng's body. However, these bloody wounds were mended by a formidable self-recovery power.
The house and walls in the courtyard were destroyed to tatters as the duo charged and dodged.
Outside, the faint glow of torches could be seen, hurrying over in the distance. Those were Tea Sect's men who had been alarmed and were presently rushing over to investigate. However, they were immediately kept at bay by the Crimson Whale Sect guards.
These guards had seen the terrifying form of Lu Sheng's transformed body. In order to prevent the true power of their Sect Master from being exposed, as well as to prevent any collateral damage he might inflict, they were quick to refrain anybody from nearing the area.
Lu Sheng lifted the huge slab of stone roof from the house with both his hands. Viciously, he slammed the massive roof, wider than ten meters, onto the courtyard.
As the stone debris and shards flew through the air, a green beam of light broke the roof apart and burst towards Lu Sheng's face.
Lu Sheng's mouth cracked open, revealing a row of ferociously sharp teeth within that glistened brilliantly like a saw.
He opened his mouth.
A crimson-red breath shot out from Lu Sheng's mouth like a laser beam. It was the highly condensed and concentrated Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies Inner Qi.
The temperature within such a densely packed pillar of Qi skyrocketed to more than a thousand degrees Celsius in the blink of an eye, not to mention the raw scorching Yang-attribute destructive power contained within!
The green beam of light and the crimson pillar of Qi collided violently into each other. It all happened in a flash; it was impossible to evade.
The green beam shot forward to meet the challenge. Midway, however, it faltered and was forced into the ground by the massive impact, slamming deep into the ground.
A loud bam resounded. Two deep pits were formed on the ground; they were left behind by Chao Long's legs, which he had stabbed deep into the ground.
In the blink of an eye, however, he had disappeared. By the time he resurfaced, he had already hidden himself behind a stretch of the broken wall.
Presently, the skin all over his body was swiftly transforming into a pale-green outer shell. Adding to it his pair of Cicada blades on both his shoulders, as well as an eccentric change in his countenance, he was basically no different from a strange insect-man.
Right now, however, this insect-man was gasping for breath desperately.
He arched his back slightly. The rear end of the blades on his shoulders had been somewhat disintegrated, and his outer shell had been burnt black in many patches. Worse, some areas of his shell had even broken off, a pale-green blood-like substance oozing out from within.
That was the only sensation Chao Long felt presently. He turned and peered over the edge of the broken wall at that five-meter-tall, gigantic beast of a monster.
How many years had it been since he had last met such a formidable foe?
Even after activating his innate secret art, gaining superhuman speed and drastically reducing his mass, he still had no way to deal with this opponent. Chao Long could feel a scorching hot sensation in his lungs. His shoulders were unbearably sore from constantly cutting into material that was too tough. He knew that he couldn't remain for long in this state, or his body would fall apart on its own even without the other party's 'help'.
'In my Nine Heavens Mode I'm already in Snake realm. Even Chao Hu would not dare to belittle my current strength. Why why'
He looked up at that monster that was presently destroying everything in its path.
Massive booms reverberated in a cacophony of sounds. Dust and crushed stones flew everywhere.
"Where are you?" Lu Sheng's savage and bloodthirsty voice boomed incessantly in his ears. "Where are you, oh cute little bug?"
Chao Long's chest heaved up and down frantically as he tried to suppress his wildly beating heart, which was threatening to burst out of his chest, with all his might.
Without warning, his eyes burst wide open and he made a swift dash to the right.
At once, the slab of wall behind which he had just been hiding was violently smashed into pulp by a gigantic hand.
But nothing was to be found behind the wall.
Lu Sheng was clutching onto Unlaughing Master's neck in one hand. Slowly, he lifted his other hand from the rock debris. His eyes, each as large as a lantern, scanned his surroundings.
"Oh not here" he said in disappointment.
Behind another pile of ruins, Chao Long spurted out a mouthful of dirty green blood. Lightly, ever so gently, he tugged at the piece of crushed stone lodged into his right chest resolutely.
His face turned even more ashen in that moment. Although it was a mere ordinary crushed stone, its impact had been magnified manifold by Lu Sheng's terrifying strength and exacerbated in his weakened state after being hit by that pillar of Qi earlier, which had disintegrated his black membrane by more than half.
"Passageway It's minemy passageway!!" Teeth clenched, a new resolve settled in his eyes again.
A deep voice rang out behind him out of the blue.
A massive hand that blotted out the sky came crashing down on him mercilessly, without time for him to even react.
The colossal force caused sent a light tremor across the ground of the entire Tea Town.
Lu Sheng's right arm sank deep into the earth, all the way till his elbows.
He lifted it up again, this time pulling out a pale-green form, broken thoroughly beyond recognition.
"This time it's over for real." He held Chao Long before him, the latter hanging onto his life by a thread.
"The winner takes all" Mustering all his strength, Chao Long opened his remaining good eye and said weakly. "You've won the passageway is yours"
"What passageway? I don't understand what you're saying," Lu Sheng asked, puzzled.
Suddenly, he seemed to remember something. Searching around in the surrounding ruins, he soon found Dong Qi lying in a corner, unconscious. This Tea Sect Sect Master had been buried by a heap of crushed stones and was comatose.
Lu Sheng body shrank rapidly and soon reverted back to his original size in the Yin Extreme Mode.
He was very satisfied with his current level of strength.
If Yin Extreme Mode constituted ten units of combat strength, then Yang Extreme Mode constituted two hundred such units after transformation. As for his Yin Yang Integration Mode, it would attain roughly three hundred to four hundred units. Moreover, if he were to detonate liquefied inner Qi in that mode, then it could skyrocket to nearly a thousand such units.
And a thousand units was the strength of the Scarlet District Mistress, Hongfang Bai at the peak of her power after she had been bolstered by the Scarlet Dragon Tribulation shard.
Unfortunately, she could not sustain that state for long because it was not her own true power. That was how she had been defeated squarely by Lu Sheng.
Lu Sheng hesitated as he held up Chao Long. In the end, he did not deliver the killing blow. Chao Long knew too many things, and was even somehow connected with the Three Sacred Gates.
He was also in the know of the relationship between that so-called passageway and the Unlaughing Master.
In contrast, Lu Sheng was clueless about everything. Compared to him, Lu Sheng felt as if Crimson Whale Sect was quite the failure.
"Why don't you kill me?" Chao Long gradually slipped out of that green-shelled state and returned to his ordinary human form.
"What good would killing you do me? Other than to sow enmity with Wandering Heart Society, there's no other benefit." Lu Sheng stirred up Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi within him and injected a few threads into Chao Long's utterly destroyed body.
Jets of bright-red blood spurted out violently from within Chao Long.
He opened his mouth wide as his face distorted miserably.
Lu Sheng could sense that Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi was facing intense resistance in setting up a Yin Crane Web, as if Chao Long's body were a marsh-filled swamp; every inch of inner Qi advance took ten times the usual effort.
'Could it be that he can't be controlled? Or is there insufficient inner Qi?'' Lu Sheng wondered, the increased the outward flow of inner Qi.
Chao Long's head lolled backwards violently as he spewed out a large mouthful of blood. His head hung slanted to the side as cracks and wounds appeared all over his body, from which green blood flowed profusely.
His life force was weakening by the minute. Lu Sheng was at his wit's end. He watched on as Chao Long continued to lose a large amount of blood.
It wasn't long before the light in Chao Long's eyes gradually faded and was replaced by darkness.
He was dead.
Abruptly, Chao Long's corpse turned inky black and hardened, then swiftly withered in Lu Sheng's hands into black fragments. These fragments disintegrated further into black powder and slowly fell to the ground.
"Oh" Lu Sheng retracted his hand. His brows tightened into a knot. "Why was the resistance so strong? It didn't seem to come from Chao Long's own will."
He had not originally intended to kill the other party, but merely to control him. If he could gain a Snake realm subordinate, things would become a lot more smooth.
But the result was utterly unexpected.
"What a pity What about this one?" Lu Sheng looked at Unlaughing Master, whom he still held in his other hand.
Because his physique had shrunk and returned to normal, he had long since crushed all of this fella's bones, leaving him in a vegetative state. This prevented him from even trying to escape.
Yet, what really astonished Lu Sheng was how Unlaughing Master was still struggling desperately despite having lost all his bones. A ball of black light shone faintly from inside his abdomen.
At the perimeter of that mass of black was a rim of pale silver glow.
"Passageway" Lu Sheng suddenly understood something. Reaching out, he dug at the Unlaughing Master's abdomen viciously.
His fingernails swiftly mutated into razor-sharp nail blades. With a mere scoop, he dug out a large chunk of the Unlaughing Master's bloodied abdominal flesh.
A foul, rotten stench emanated from the bloodied flesh, smelling no different from a decomposed corpse from aeons ago.
Carefully, Lu Sheng carved away the bloodied flesh, revealing the mass of black light in its center.
What caused the black light to glow was a translucent black crystal pearl that was about the size of an egg.
Suddenly, Lu Sheng discovered that there seemed to be something bizarre that was throbbing inside the pearl. Curious, he lifted the pearl to examine it.
Peering into the translucent material, he was surprised to see a passageway inside the pearl.
The passageway meandered and curved like a snake inside a gray fog. It extended into the depths of the fog as far as the eye could see, its end nowhere in sight.
It was a very strange sensation.
Lu Sheng put down the pearl and all returned to normal before him.
Then, he lifted the pearl to his eyes again. Just like before, that passageway appeared within it. It was as if this pearl was connected to a strange and mysterious place that was unknown.
'What a small passageway; if one could enter this pearl and walk along this path... I wonder if this might be the passageway that Chao Long was talking about?' Enlightenment dawned on Lu Sheng.
This was a passageway hidden within a pearl that led deep into the mysterious fog to an unknown location.
This led Lu Sheng to believe that a big secret undoubtedly lay at the heart of it all. Otherwise, the Deputy Chief of Wandering Heart Society would not have ventured out this far just for an Unlaughing Anomaly released by Three Sacred Gates.
'Don't tell me a joke is the key to opening the passageway?' Lu Sheng suddenly recalled the rumors surrounding the Unlaughing Master.
'No Although the guy that said the joke was out of danger temporarily, he still landed up dead in the end.' He looked down again at Unlaughing Master on the ground, whose pearl had been dug out from him. Presently, the corpse had actually decomposed and withered, and was on the verge of completely disintegrating into ash.
Clearly, the pearl was the real mystery at the heart of it all.
'I've sown enmity with Wandering Heart Society now. However, I'm not Scarlet District. I've got the powerful Shangyang Family backing me up. There's nothing Wandering Heart Society can do to me.
Moreover, I've only revealed myself to be of the Three-Vein level. As long as I keep mum and Dong Qi doesn't reveal it either, no one will know that I caused Chao Long's death.' Although he was unafraid of Wandering Heart Society, it'd still be best to keep any trouble to a minimum.
Lu Sheng walked unhurriedly to Dong Qi's side. This woman had been buried under a heap of stone rubble and was hanging on to her life by a thread. She seemed to be suffering from some internal bleeding.
Lu Sheng thought it over and decided not to leave her to die. This woman was a talent who had single-handedly led the Tea Sect to flourish and prosper. It was a pity for her to just die like that.
He pressed his hand on Dong Qi's forehead, injecting strands of Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi into her body rapidly in an attempt to save her life.
Hi everyone!! Im really sorry for the 2 week break in releases... what happened was that I fell pretty badly sick for a few days, and accumulated quite a backlog at my full-time job... I spent the whole of last week clearing up my backlog and now can finally resume translation. Im really sorry to keep all of you faithful readers waiting so long for the chapter release and not updating all of you earlier... honestly i was just really stressed... Anyway, Glad that I can get back to translating now!