A gust of wind and snow rushed past at top speed. Lu Sheng was hot on the heels of the white cloud before him.
That cloud was the racing giant white wolf.
On both his sides, the forests raced past. The terrain rose and fell; he had lost count of how many hills he had passed.
As time ticked on, Lu Sheng lost track of how long he had been in pursuit. Finally, the white wolf before him landed lightly by a frozen lake, as silently as if it were really a cloud of vapor.
Like a mountain, its massive body rested in a squat by the lake. It turned its blood red eyes back towards Lu Sheng.
"You're following me, what do you want?" The giant wolf's voice was not loud, but carried far and entered Lu Sheng's ears precisely, as if someone had spoken by his ear.
"What do I want?" Lu Sheng paused in surprise.
"I'm the greatest White Wolf King par excellence, Gendi. Tell me your wish and what you're willing to offer in exchange. If I so please, I can fulfil your wish," the giant white wolf said in a deep tone. It all sounded rather ridiculous to Lu Sheng's ears. "Since you've come after me, you should be acquainted with my rule."
Lu Sheng stared at the white wolf. The pressure he felt from the giant wolf was immense; he was much stronger than all his opponents thus far.
And judging based on what he had just said, this wolf seemed pretty famous and frequently engaged in some form of transaction or exchange.
He snapped back to the present. "What can you give me?"
White Wolf King arched his back, extending his massive head towards Lu Sheng.
"Me? Wealth? Gems? Power? Even... the deepest longings of your heart..."
Its giant head was but several meters away from Lu Sheng, as if it could swallow him up at any moment.
"I don't want any of those." Lu Sheng thought for a while, then said suddenly, "I want power. Strength!"
The other party seemed not to have recognized Lu Sheng's identity. Presently, his Yin Extreme Mode had concealing abilities that were off the charts. The strength he was displaying now was heaven and earth from his power after transformation.
"Oh?" White Wolf King scrutinized him. "Why do you want strength?"
Lu Sheng laughed. "Does one need a reason for that in such a chaotic world?"
"You're right." White Wolf King nodded. "But your power's pretty decent already. To trade for even higher power, the corresponding cost would naturally be greater."
"As long as you supply it, don't worry about the cost. I can afford it," Lu Sheng remarked placidly.
He was simply bullshitting and playing along with this white wolf. If he truly could help him gain more power and strength, then that would be a pleasant surprise. But if he could not, then it would be no loss either. He was merely surprised to see such a giant wolf pass by while he was testing out his martial art and hence decided to follow it.
White Wolf King was confused. As the Head of Wandering Heart Society, many ghosts and demons came to him for trade. Some sought specific items, some hungered for strength. But none were like this human before him who did not fear him in the slightest.
It had been a coincidence for him to come here too.
After that mysterious man had spoken those words to him previously, he had vanished mysteriously.
But he did not believe his words entirely. Furthermore, even if Shangyang Family was indeed behind all these, there was nothing he could do about it. As one of the Nine Great Families of the Central Plains, its power far exceeded his imagination. Even if he were to seek revenge, he could at the very most scratch their skin. Instead, he would agitate and provoke this gargantuan faction.
Fury simmered helplessly in the White Wolf King's heart. It was coincidentally then that he had received the invitation of a good friend, presenting him with an opportunity to strike back against Shangyang Family. That was why he had left his people and come to the heart of the Northern Lands.
Little did he expect he would meet such a man in the Northern Lands. What was most peculiar about him was that he could match his speed!
"Once, a tribe of lone-eyed titans formed a deal with me, trading their loyalty in exchange for strength. I granted it to them. Other tribes and peoples, likewise, traded all sorts of precious items in exchange for power. I agreed to develop their potential," White Wolf King said. "I can give you power. But it depends on what you can bring to the table." He did not recognize Lu Sheng, having never seen his portrait. His only worry in the Northern Lands was the hidden arm of Shangyang Family.
To have killed his two Deputy Heads, one could imagine the extent of their forces hidden here.
However, while he was wary of Shangyang Family, he could not be bothered with a puny mortal faction like Crimson Whale Sect.
Lu Sheng's curiosity was piqued. It turned out that the other party was some kind of merchant among demons and devils.
"I want power without side effects. It must not affect my mind." He thought for a moment, then fished out an object from his robe. "I'll trade it for this."
"This is..." White Wolf King's eyes narrowed suddenly, gazing intently at the object in Lu Sheng's hand. "A shard of a Divine Weapon? It looks like a remnant shard of the Yin Gloom Seal..."
The object that Lu Sheng had produced was the dark yellow metal shard that he had obtained from Officiator Bai Jiang. At that time, he had even acquired several dozen units of Yin Qi off it.
But even after studying it for a long time, he was still unable to use it. Now that it popped up in his mind, he decided to try his luck with it.
"Yin Gloom Seal?" Lu Sheng committed it to memory silently, maintaining his poker face.
"So how much power can I buy with this?"
White Wolf King scrutinized the metal shard.
"It's quite a large shard, so I can give you three options."
"Oh?" Lu Sheng was surprised. "Please explain."
White Wolf King lifted his head and gently breathed out a large ball of white fog which enveloped them like a cloud, isolating them from the world around them.
"One, I bestow you with strength directly, loaned from my own body. The advantage of that is that it's quick.
Two, I inject demon power into you, turning you into a Half-Demon. But it'll affect your longevity.
Three, I give you precious materials which you can absorb and digest. But a good deal of its power will be lost in conversion."
White Wolf King laid out three options for Lu Sheng considerately. Each had its pros and cons.
Lu Sheng thought for a while. He decided that he might as well follow through on the trade, since he could not put the shard to any use anyway. To a faction like Shangyang Family, a Divine Weapon shard was no big deal to them. It was merely an item on an Officiator from Ashoka Manor to begin with. Probably it was meant as a reward for someone down the chain of command... probably nothing too great.
"I want the precious materials," he said after some consideration.
"I've got precious herbs that can strengthen either the body or inner Qi. Which type do you want?" White Wolf King asked.
Lu Sheng recalled the map of precious herbs. A variety of herbs were listed on it, forming a reference for Lu Sheng. "I want an aged Four Spirit Flower."
"Deal." With a twist of his head, White Wolf King shook out a white palm-sized box from the hair on its neck.
As though gripped by a giant invisible hand, the box descended steadily till it floated before Lu Sheng's eyes.
"A thirty thousand year old Four Spirit Flower in exchange for the Divine Weapon shard in your hand." White Wolf King was a fair merchant. This was Wandering Heart Society's core principle in all these years.
As the mysterious merchants in the world of demons and devils, their price might have been a little steep, but they never sold fake goods.
Lu Sheng received the box and opened it. A small green flower with four petals and translucent stem and leaves lay silently in the box.
A subtle scent, as refreshing as peppermint, wafted up his nose, as if it could reach into the depths of his heart.
"Thirty thousand years old..." Lu Sheng's face was emotionless, but inwardly, he was seized with joy.
One had to know that even the best herb in the Northern Lands listed on Li Shunxi's map was not half as effective as this Four-Spirit Flower before his eyes.
That was if this one was truly thirty thousand years old.
If treated properly, this stalk of Four Spirit Flower was sufficient to offset several dozen units of Yin Qi expenditure. Perhaps it would even be sufficient to upgrade his entire inner force cultivation once.
This time, he had forgotten that he could have replaced Yin Qi with his own Yin-attribute inner Qi to upgrade Light Void Skill. But in the end, he landed up exhausting almost all his Aquarius Qi on healing the hidden injuries caused by the drastic transformation of his body anyway.
But now, it was entirely possible for him to upgrade low-tiered martial arts slowly with Yin-attribute inner Qi. It simply took more time to do so.
"So?" White Wolf King looked at Lu Sheng, awaiting his reply.
"Deal." Lu Sheng nodded and tossed the metal shard in his hand forward.
An invisible force caught the metal shard and sent it towards White Wolf King.
"In that case, pleasure doing business with you. If there's a need, you can find me on Frozen Sea Island next time." After speaking, White Wolf King hid the metal shard in his hair, then turned and leapt. In the blink of an eye, he vanished into the flurry of snow like a cloud.
This time, Lu Sheng simply watched as he left instead of pursuing him. The fruit of this trip was already sufficient for him to return and digest.
Mist and vapor poured down from the skies all of a sudden.
On the vast frozen plains, a slender blurred figure stood silently, gazing at the falling mist.
White Wolf King emerged slowly from the mist.
"Shangyang Family has gone too far against me, Ice Fox King. The Nine Great Families of the Central Plains may be powerful, but that doesn't mean that all I can do is swallow the insult," White Wolf King growled.
The slender figure remained silent.
White Wolf King spoke no further either and simply waited for the other party's decision.
Ice Fox Kingtruly the strongest demon in the Northern Lands.
If he, White Wolf King, was the most powerful demon in the Frozen Seas archipelago, then the one before him was indeed the most powerful demon in the whole of the Northern Lands, publicly acknowledged by several Demon Kings in the region, including himself.
He was precisely the factor that prevented the Nine Great Families of the Central Plains from plundering the Northern Lands and its resources without end.
After a long wait.
"You going... is it any use?" the figure finally spoke.
"No." A cruel bloodthirsty smile appeared on White Wolf King's face. "But killing a few geniuses of their Shangyang Family is still within my means."
"In the fight for Scarlet Dragon Tribulation, even several of my princesses were gravely wounded. You making a move now is completely pointless," the figure said calmly.
The smile faded immediately from White Wolf King's face. No one understood the Ice Fox King's cold-hearted cruelty better than he did. Even he could not bring himself to throw his own children out, let them kill one another and fight with those ants for the opportunities that should have easily and rightfully been theirs.
"So?" He calmed down.
"You should go back," the figure said placidly.
White Wolf King suddenly felt a coldness in his heart. Although the two Deputy Heads were merely vassals with slightly higher abilities that could be easily replaced, he had a sense of Ice Fox King's attitude through this episode.
He was all high and mighty, beyond the reach of this world. As long as it was not them Demon Kings who got into trouble or some great change in the present state of affairs, he would not make a move. In fact, he would even stop them from making a move.
"I understand..." White Wolf King was silent for a long while. Finally, however, he withdrew. "You'll regret it."
"No one can make me regret my decision," Ice Fox King replied blandly. "You don't understand."
White Wolf King snorted coldly, then turned to leave.
In the snow, the figure remained standing motionless, gazing silently at the departing white wolf without a word.