Back in his cave, Lu Sheng sat down cross-legged at the first available opportunity, held his breath and sensed if anyone was spying on him. After confirming that he was alone, he called out in his mind, "Deep Blue."
The Modifier screen appeared before him, floating in mid-air.
"As expected" Lu Sheng saw an additional line of words in the last row as he had expected.
'Three Yin Technique: Uninitiated. Special Effect(s): None.'
'As expected, the Modifier regards even body tempering methods like those in the sect as martial arts. Previously, I tried cultivating the secret art in the booklet obtained from umbrella girl. But even after Yingying explained it as clear as can be, the Modifier just did not record it. But now Three Yin Technique has been included within the realm of martial arts by the Modifier Looks like I've made a right move in coming to Prime Devil Sect.
Yin Qi's not enough. But I've got my Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi. That can replace Yin Qi up to a certain extent. It's not much, but it shouldn't be a problem for a foundational skill like this. Let's try.'
Lu Sheng's adjusted his mental frame and decided to try to upgrade Three Yin Technique. He was excited to see what kind of upgrade it would do to his overall strength if he could integrate the Noblemen's system of cultivation into his own.
With great familiarity, he clicked the Modify button on the screen. The button appeared behind most martial arts, save for that Three Yin Technique. Lu Sheng focused on that box in his mind.
It was in vain.
'Since it's appeared in the box, it should mean that the Modifier can modify it. That's how I programmed it initially. If I'm not wrong, it should be because I've yet to be initiated in it, that's why I cant upgrade it. Three Yin Technique shouldn't belong to the realm of outer force skill and cant be upgraded directly.'
Having thought through it, Lu Sheng was no longer in a hurry. Anyway, since this skill did not involve the use of the black membrane, it was only a matter of a few days before he achieved initiation in it given his achievement in the path of martial arts and the extent of control over his own body.
'No hurry I'll go ask the others what are the do's and don't's in the Sect.' At that thought, Lu Sheng could not sit still any longer. He was itching to go to the library again, but something about that place felt bizarre. Before understanding what it was, he felt uneasy about going back to that place.
He stood up, changed his clothes and walked out of the cave. A few steps later, he was greeted by He Xiangzi who was just coming up the flight of stairs.
"Nice timing, Junior Apprentice Brother Lu. Master has asked me to explain the do's and don't's in the Sect to you."
"Oh, Senior Apprentice Sister He Xiangzi. Alright, I'll have to trouble you then. Please come to my cave and have a seat." Lu Sheng was about to find Song Zi'an, but Grand Elder had already sent He Xiangzi to him. It was just what he needed.
The two of them returned to the cave. He Xiangzi surveyed Lu Sheng's cave, finding nothing fanciful in it. Everything in it were ordinary average items, with nothing special about them.
"Junior Apprentice Brother, just call me Senior Apprentice Sister He Xiang.
About the taboos in the sect, they're simple. Number one, do your very best to get back into your cave before night falls and ignore anything that happens outside. Just rest.
Number two, there're some places you must not enter. Three of them, mainly: Devil's Pool, Secret Arts Hall, and any unlabeled cave."
"Please explain, Senior Apprentice Sister," Lu Sheng listened attentively.
He Xiangzi sat down and explained seriously, "The Devil's Pool is a place we use to train in at the later stages of our cultivation. It's meant for training higher, stronger levels and it's filled with lethal, corrosive smoke. There're also lots of live, active forces in it. It's still too early for you to make any contact with it. But you'll learn more about it in time to come.
There's a huge sign outside Devil's Pool. It's a large golden basin with a stick of incense in it. If the incense is lit, it means there's still power in the pool. Don't enter without making preparations, lest case you get hurt."
He Xiangzi glanced at Lu Sheng and added,
"In the past, a disciple died in it. He didn't develop his bloodline, which was weak and diluted to begin with, adequately. It was courting death for him to have entered."
"Mm, I got it." Lu Sheng nodded.
"Oh, and there's more than one Devil's Pool. Pay attention to the signs outside. If the incense is unlit, you may enter, but there's no point in that. It's empty and still accumulating power," He Xiangzi continued.
"Next is the Secret Arts Hall. That's on the right of this stone wall, through the Devil's Graveyard. It's not guarded, and ninety-nine percent of the secret arts in it are lost. The remainder have been kept away by Master, so it's empty except for some dangerous traps left over from the last. On top of that, there're wandering Forbidding Puppets. Best not to go in for no reason. Not even Master wants to go in."
"Forbidding Puppets?" Lu Sheng's eyes narrowed.
"A type of monster. When you've the chance to, you can look from afar and you'll know what I'm talking about." He Xiangzi did not have much of an expression on her face. "The last is unlabeled caves."
"Unlabeled caves?" Lu Sheng repeated.
"That's right. Because our ancestors researched so many Devils, the remaining Devil aura has attracted many problems. That's how the unlabeled caves came about.
Those caves are constantly spewing out Devil aura. Any sort of danger can happen within. So, never, ever enter them," He Xiangzi instructed solemnly.
"Senior Apprentice Sister, since there're so many dangers, why haven't we relocated?" Lu Sheng was puzzled.
"Because the denser the Devil aura in a place, the faster it is for us to cultivate in it. The highest risk gives the highest returns," He Xiangzi explained. "It's just like how fire-based Noble Families build their base at the entrance of the volcano. Same principle."
"I understand now Devil's Pool, Secret Arts Hall, and unlabeled caves."
"As long as you understand. When you master Three Yin Technique, you can cultivate Karmaless Skill and temper your body in the Devil's Pool. When that time comes, you may enter them and they wouldn't be places of absolute danger to you."
"Many thanks, Senior Apprentice Sister," Lu Sheng thanked her politely.
"Don't mention it. We our Prime Devil Sect may currently be short on resources for the time being, but we still are very established Junior Apprentice Brother, you you'll understand if you stay don't make a decision that you'll regret just because of short-term factors," He Xiangzi said earnestly in the end.
Clearly, she was trying to dissuade Lu Sheng from leaving in a hurry. But her words carried no ounce of persuasive power in them.
Lu Sheng simply nodded.
"Don't worry, Senior Apprentice Sister."
"Remember to cultivate Three Yin Technique. Don't be impatient. Do it three times a daymorning, afternoon, and night. Each time mustn't be too long, but neither can it be too short. Above all, it must not be interrupted. If your bloodline is strong enough, you'll light up the Three Yin Flame soon enough.
Most of us took ten days to light it up. And that's already pretty long. Even if you're slower, it wouldn't take you much more time either. So you musn't be impatient," He Xiangzi continued to remind him solemnly.
"Yes. Don't worry, Senior Apprentice Sister."
After that, Lu Sheng continued making detailed enquiries about Three Yin Technique before He Xiangzi rose to leave.
Lu Sheng waited till He Xiangzi was gone and continued sitting in his cave for a while, completing the basic routine in Three Yin Technique. Finally, he slowly headed for the library.
Under the light from the oil lamp, Lu Sheng slowly flipped a page, reading the contents on it carefully.
This was a book he had found from another book shelf. The four large words on the cover attracted him like a magnet:
"Secrets of Divine Weapons".
The contents within did not disappoint Lu Sheng; the book provided a very clear explanation of what Divine Weapons and Devil Blades meant to Noble Families.
'In the fourth year of the Song Dynasty, the War of Tang Song broke outthe first major war after the founding of the kingdom.
The Royal Noble Family suffered heavy casualties while fighting against Ju Rong Nation and Dayun Dynasty simultaneously. The treasury was exhausted. Were this situation to go on, Song Dynasty would certainly meet its end.
In the fifth year of the Song Dynasty, the Royal Family decided to put in all their stakes and deployed their Weapon Masters!
Nineteen Weapon Masters assaulted Dayun Dynasty by surprise. At the same time, they created a diversion by accumulating large amounts of troops at the border with Ju Rong Nation.
In October of the same year, Dayun Dynasty sues for peace and Ju Rong Nation retreats. The surviving eight Weapon Masters return and peace is restored to the kingdom.'
Pinching the moldy page between his fingers, Lu Sheng frowned.
"Weapon Master?" This time, he was seeing records of Song Dynasty's pinnacle power for real. Perhaps because of the customs of his present sect, or perhaps due to its state of decline, nobody guarded the library, allowing him easy access to such sensitive material.
Regardless, now he finally learnt that Song Dynasty's greatest reliance was on its Weapon Masters, not the Heads of Noble Families or the like.
Refocusing, Lu Sheng continued reading.
'The power of Divine Weapons and Devil Blades can transform the heavens and earth. Where did such gargantuan power originate from? How are Divine Weapons and Devil Blades formed?' the author posed a question.
'Under the illumination of the light of Divine Weapons, our bloodlines mutate and the power of Divine Weapons seeps into them. Then we train hard from young and perform Ritual Offerings wherever we can. Finally, we produce a complete system.
A system for the grooming of a Weapon Master.
From the realm of Bind, we increase our Vein count until we attain the realm of Snake. From the lower three grades to the middle three grades, and then to the upper three grades, and even beyond that.
This is our choice. For no one would be content with falling wholeheartedly into slavery to Divine Weapons and Devil Blades. So we work hard to raise our strength, choosing the path of complementary match in order to turn the tables around and attempt to master the Divine Weapon. This is to fulfil the basic requirement for wielding the Divine Weapon or Devil Blade.'
At this point, Lu Sheng felt a weight press on his heart.
In rough contours, he was beginning to see the massive system built by the Noble Families in its entirety.
This was an epic force built completely around the Divine Weapon and the Devil Blade, with them as its peak.
He continued flipping to the next page.
'The power of Divine Weapons is too strong. When one attains the upper three grades in the realm of Snake, one would have gained the ability to remain sober under the power radiating from it, and may attempt to establish contact and even master it.
But this is akin to a mortal attempting to lift a giant boulder, which is tens of thousands of catties heavy, with his own strength. A slight misstep and the boulder would crush him. Thus, the thicker the bloodline, the higher the degree of complementarity, and hence, the lower the risk.
As for the origins of Divine Weapons, it is not hard for us to discover that they come from...' The words following that seemed to have been rubbed away intentionally. Even the page behind it was blurred and smeared, as if someone had deliberately wiped the contents off.
But Lu Sheng was just at the critical part of the book. Immediately, he frowned.
Just as he was about to scrutinize the page to try and discern the smeared contents, the bell sounded.
Without any alternative, Lu Sheng closed the book and returned it to its shelf, then walked towards the exit without hesitation.
He had asked Senior Apprentice Sister He Xiangzi about what the danger in the library was. But even He Xiangzi was unsure; all she had said was that it was best not to stay outside of his cave at night.