Sitting on the side, Lu Sheng listened with great interest. To him, this was an absolutely new secret. His purpose for coming here had precisely been to understand the Noble Families, Divine Weapons, and Devil Blades. This was exactly what he wished to hear about.
But before the morning lesson, he overheard from a distance a female disciple speaking with He Xiangzi about why so many people had not come.
They were few to begin with. And now only fewer were left.
Apart from himself, He Xiangzi, and Fei Huangzi, only two other male disciples and a female disciple were left. But even with so few left, the two male disciples were harboring thoughts of leaving.
Lu Sheng tidied his thoughts and continued listening to the Grand Elder's lecture. Whether or not they left the sect, he would stay. There were still many, many more books left for him to read in the library. He was in no hurry.
Last night, he had used the Modifier to raise Karmaless Skill to Level Three. The muscles in his body needed time to adjust. At the same time, he needed the poisoned fog in the Devil's Pool to provide the next level of stimulation. Otherwise, he could not advance.
After the morning lecture, he intended to make another trip to the Devil's Pool and see what reaction would occur after he raised Karmaless Skill to its maximum limit.
Grand Elder continued lecturing. Suddenly, he lost interest.
"...the source of the Prime Devil Secret Art once too originated from a Devil Blade. It was also the product of research on Devils. Alright, we'll call it a day. Do you have any questions to ask?" He gazed at the six people before him.
Among them, only two were listening intently. The rest harbored other thoughts and perhaps no longer had their hearts in the sect.
Momentarily, a wave of cold disappointment washed over Grand Elder. Before waiting for a reply, he waved his arm weakly.
"Forget it. Disperse."
"Yes." Everyone slowly exited.
Fei Huangzi was the first to stand up, turn around and walk out of the cave.
Lu Sheng stepped out of the cave and saw the struggle and anguish on Fei Huangzi's face, as if he was discontent with giving up a certain something.
Ever since he had been exposed previously, he no longer made any effort to hide his true nature. This further disheartened the Grand Elder and thoroughly shattered his intention to impart him the Prime Devil Secret Art.
Lu Sheng watched as Fei Huangzi descended from the rock wall and paced to and fro in the shadows at the side of the wall, a look of hesitation on his face.
Lu Sheng followed him and hid in a corner, observing him quietly.
Under Yin Extreme Mode, Lu Sheng's ability to conceal his own presence and aura was extraordinarily strong. It was nothing at all to render himself undetectable by someone of Fei Huangzi's caliber.
In the shadow, Fei Huangzi paced to and fro. Finally, he stopped in his tracks and gazed towards the rock wall, discontent burning in his eyes.
After a long while, the struggle in his eyes finally faded away, replaced by a certain resolution. Then, he turned around and left, seemingly without the earlier hesitation that plagued his steps.
Lu Sheng watched as he vanished in the darkness. Shaking his head, he walked towards the Devil's Pool.
The dark cavern was empty and devoid of the warmth of life.
At high speed, Lu Sheng sped across the bridge and continued rushing along the side of the library. On both his sides, scenes of emptiness flashed past him.
'I remember that when I first came to the sect, it was Song Zi'an and White Face who greeted me and brought me into the sect. Why haven't I seen any trace of them for so long ever since entering the sect?' Lu Sheng was baffled.
But at the thought of Song Zi'an pale white face, he somehow felt as if they were non-human.
Especially that Senior Apprentice Sister White Face. She was absolutely no normal human.
Since they were not considered in the ranks of the disciples, then they probably were the deacons of Prime Devil Sect whom he had not seen...
'But if I haven't seen them for so long, could it be that they're active only at night? After we've all gone back to rest?' Lu Sheng suddenly recalled the rule which stipulated that he had to rest in his cave every night. Surely there must have been a reason behind such a strange rule.
And perhaps it might have been the cause behind why he had not met Song Zi'an and White Face.
'After this trip to the Devil's Pool, I'll go to the cemetery and clarify this with Song Zi'an.' Lu Sheng slowed down his advance. On both his sides, rows of Devil's Pools had begun appearing.
With a quick glance, he soon found a Devil's Pool he could use.
A Devil's Pool behind a bronze basin with two incense sticks within appeared in his view.
'This shall be it.' Lu Sheng strode past the bronze basin and stepped into the cave.
Like previously, he relaxed his entire body and allowed Devil Qi to pour into his body freely.
Despite learning that his method was wrong from He Xiangzi's reminder, he discovered that his body had become tougher after being fully immersed in Devil Qi previously. In fact, it began to be imbued with the toxic nature of the Devil Qi.
Rather than calling it torture, perhaps his immersion method should be called a form of tempering of the body that used external stimulation, much like hard body skills.
Large waves of Devil Qi began gushing at Lu Sheng in a frenzy like tidal waves.
Without the power of a bloodline to resist it, such physical flesh was the best food for Devil Qi.
Countless volumes of Devil Qi formed a whirlpool that filled the entire cave, pouring Devil Qi ceaselessly into Lu Sheng's body.
With great familiarity, Lu Sheng activated Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi to accelerate the pace of his body's healing.
At the same time, he began meditation on Karmaless Skill. The minute muscles in his body trembled intensely, dissolving under the corrosive stimulation of Devil Qi yet quickly being reborn under the nourishment of Aquarius Qi.
Level Three of Karmaless Skill bestowed Lu Sheng with a certain resistance against Devil Qi. He felt that the pain now was much weaker than his first time.
Quietly, he stood in the several meters wide cave. Large volumes of Devil Qi swirled around and encircled him. These strands of Devil Qi were even still drawing Devil Qi from other places and attracting them here.
Lu Sheng slowly closed his eyes, sensing his muscles hardening as he meditated on Karmaless Skill. Under the stimulation of Devil Qi and the continual process of rebirth, these muscles were gradually toughening up.
'The effect of Karmaless Skill is to strengthen the body and amplify the potential of the bloodline. It's a strengthening of one's own muscles. I haven't got any bloodline from which to develop any potential. So the only thing that's useful to me is this body-strengthening effect.' Lu Sheng activated Karmaless Skill, feeling the gradual changes taking place in his body.
Most of his muscles on his body, especially in his limbs, were tightening and pushing against each other intensely, accelerating the speed of his blood circulating and thus becoming thicker and stronger.
As time passed, the Yin Flame face in his mind was also sharpening in detail as Devil Qi churned vigorously within him. It was as if the Yin Flame face in his mind existed in the real world.
Time ticked on. Like previously, massive volumes of Devil Qi poured into Lu Sheng's body madly, dissolving his muscles, bones, and organs, which were then quickly healed by Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi.
In such a continuous process of destruction and repair, Lu Sheng's body was growing in toughness and resistance against poison.
After an unknown length of time, Aquarius Qi was finally nearly fully expended.
Lu Sheng slowly exited his meditative state and backed out of the cave.
Like breaking the surface of the water, Lu Sheng pulled himself out of the thick Devil Qi and returned to the edge of the bronze basin.
He sucked in a deep breath of air, feeling the ache on every inch of his body. He lifted his arm. The skin on his arm, being newly born, was white and fine.
"This feeling..." Lu Sheng frowned. He could sense that he was undergoing some incredible transformation or adaptation under the baptism of Devil Qi.
The high-speed recuperative ability brought by Aquarius Qi gave him the capital to recover and maintain his energy under the assault of Devil Qi against his body.
In actual fact, the process of breaking down and repairing his body continually was the process of adapting to the Devil Qi.
"Deep Blue," Lu Sheng called out his Modifier once again.
The pale blue screen appeared in response to his call. The Modify button appeared behind Karmaless Skill's row on the screen.
'There's been enough stimulation. The Yin Flame face is distorting again. This means that I've reached the benchmark for the Devil Qi tempering in this level. Next is the tedious meditation and body training, which can be completely substituted by the Modifier to save time.
Now I haven't got enough Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi. But once I go back and recover, I can upgrade directly to Level Four.'
Lu Sheng gripped his fists. Faintly, he could feel the raw physical strength of his body increasing in force and flexibility under the tempering of Karmaless Skill.
This was unlike the stiffness of his body in the past, which could only strike in straight lines.
This meant that Karmaless Skill did help Lu Sheng. It was just limited and subtle because Lu Sheng's present level was too high.
After coming out of the Devil's Pool, Lu Sheng returned to his cave to rest as usual. The next day, he continued attending the morning lesson.
But the scene that greeted him early next morning made him exclaim inwardly.
More disciples had left. Yesterday, there were six disciples left including himself. But now, only himself, Fei Huangzi, and He Xiangzi were left.
"Even Rumeng's gone?" Grand Elder asked gently.
"This morning, I saw her leave the cavern with her luggage..." He Xiangzi replied softly.
Grand Elder sat in silence. He spoke no further.
Just like that, he sat quietly on the praying mat. Fei Huangzi, He Xiangzi and Lu Sheng could only sit with him quietly, not daring to make a sound.
Only three were left...
In the entire sect, the great Prime Devil Sect, only three disciples were left.
After a long while, Grand Elder finally shut his eyes slowly.
"Go do whatever you want. This old man's tired... let me take a break."
Fei Huangzi remained silent. He was the first to turn and leave. But before leaving, he bowed in greeting to the Grand Elder.
He Xiangzi seemed down and appeared as if there was something she wished to say. But at the sight of Grand Elder's melancholy, she kept silent as well. Standing up, she left as well.
Lu Sheng stood up and glanced at Grand Elder, feeling a sense of waste and pity.
"Teacher, how about today's morning lesson then? Are we still doing it?" he suddenly asked.
Grand Elder's eyes opened in surprise suddenly and stared strangely at him.
"Today's supposed to be on the history and categories of Divine Weapon symbols..." It was a topic that all disciples disliked.
"Yeah." Lu Sheng nodded. "I even read quite a few books on this topic in the library yesterday specially in preparation for this lesson. I was going to ask you some questions."
Grand Elder stared at him dumbly.
After a while, he finally asked in a coarse voice, "They've all left. Aren't you... leaving?"
Lu Sheng arched his brows.
"Why should I leave? I like it here pretty well."
He smiled. "As long as there're books to read, this place's pretty comfortable."
"So you've joined this sect not for cultivation, but to read books?" Grand Elder's curiosity was piqued. "Aren't you cultivating your secret art anymore?"
"I'm cultivating of course," Lu Sheng said strangely. "I'm now at Level Two of Karmaless Skill now and I feel pretty good... it's been going pretty smoothly, but-"
"HUH? LEVEL TWO?!"
Before Lu Sheng could finish, he was interrupted by the wide-eyed Grand Elder.