In the blink of an eye, 10 days passed.
Lu Sheng had just eaten lunch and was about to return to the cave to continue his cultivation when a junior apprentice brother stopped him.
"Senior Apprentice Brother Lu, I have some mail for you. It's from a long time ago, but because we couldn't find you, there was no way to hand it to you," the junior apprentice brother said with a sigh. "I've finally found you."
Lu Sheng took the mail from his junior's hands. To be specific, there was a letter and an invitation.
"Thank you. I'm always here in the mornings before the bell rings, so if you have any problems with your cultivation, you can come and ask me. I'll help with whatever I can." Lu Sheng nodded.
"Thank you, Senior Apprentice Brother Lu!" The man was overjoyed. To be honest, wasn't this the only reason why he waited on Lu Sheng patiently for so many days?
As for Lu Sheng, helping these junior apprentice brothers and sisters was really easy for him. He only needed to ask a few questions, examine their body with Devil Qi a bit, and he would immediately find their problem.
It was even easier for him than his teacher Liu Shanzi; it would only take him less than a minute. But he would always chase the people away immediately after giving them help, which was the main reason why he was known to be indifferent and aloof.
As he watched his junior apprentice brother disappear into the distance, Lu Sheng started reading the letter right then and there on the side path beside the library.
The letter was wrapped in a pale yellow sheet, without a name or address written on it. However, on the bottom corner was a red stamp, indicating that it wasn't just a prank letter, for stamps with such complicated patterns meant that this letter must have cost a ton and that the information inside was definitely some sort of secret.
The cost of mailing one of these letters was equal to mailing a hundred regular ones. And in this world, mail was not a cheap service.
Lu Sheng squinted, then tore open the envelope slowly, taking out the parchment inside.
As he unfolded the grayish-white parchment, a neat line of words appeared at the top.
"My friend Lu Sheng, it has been a year since our last meeting in the Northern Territories. I don't know how you are doing, and I didn't want to contact you due to the mess around me so as not to get you into trouble, but my situation has changed. I need your help.
Brother Lu, after reading the information below, please believe me and make preparations without wasting time. As for proof, you can turn to the back of this letter."
Lu Sheng had already guessed who it was. He flipped to the back and saw a familiar picture of the treasure map he had kept. It was marked with a wide array of rare medicinal herbs.
This was the expensive present Li Shunxi gave him, the treasure map depicting the locations of rare medicinal herbs.
The Crimson Whale Sect had already found most of the herbs and taken them, but there were still a few that they were unable to get to due to the terrain and weather.
To Lu Sheng, these medicinal herbs no longer had much of an effect, but to a regular strong person, these were heavenly medicine.
If it weren't for the possible side effect of being poisoned from eating too much medicine and having one's future growth hindered, Lu Sheng would have used these herbs to strengthen some experts to help him.
After looking at the map, he turned the letter back over and continued reading what Li Shunxi had written.
As he read, Lu Sheng's expression changed from calm to solemn.
After reading everything, Lu Sheng closed his eyes.
He crumpled the letter into a ball and lit it with Poison Flames, burning it to white ashes within moments.
"Is such a thing... possible..." His expression got even more serious. "If everything he wrote is true, then we have a real problem"
Although Li Shunxi had absolutely no reason to lie to him, Lu Sheng wasn't one to believe everything that everyone would say. So, he still had his suspicions about this letter.
If someone could bribe one of Li Shunxi's close associates in the Northern Territories and fake a letter, it was possible to fake the treasure map as well.
So the credibility of this letter had to be checked first.
After burning the letter, Lu Sheng picked up the invitation that had come with the letter.
The long silver invitation only had two characters on it: Shang Yang.
The two characters were written in dark gray and were strong and forceful, as if they could slice open the heavy envelope.
Lu Sheng paused and examined the two characters. The strength hidden in them seemed like it could look upon the whole earth and cover the whole sky, extremely forceful and strong.
He opened the invitation to see only a single line of small words.
"Songhua Banquet. Prime Devil Sect's first seat Mister Lu Sheng, please arrive at the Wisdom Garden on November ninth, twelve o'clock at night."
A slip of paper with Shangyang Jiuli's handwriting was tucked underneath the invitation.
After reading the slip, Lu Sheng finally understood what this Songhua Banquet was.
This banquet was hosted by Shangyang Fei, held specially to familiarize all the important people working for the Shangyang Family with each other.
Shangyang Fei's subordinates were all really mysterious. Even Shangyang Jiuli only knew that she had a super-powerful information network.
This seemingly fragile and innocent prodigy had unimaginably powerful subordinates and information network. What was even more scary was that Shangyang Fei built all this up herself.
This kind of immense power, and this kind of extensive information network; everything was built up from scratch piece by piece with an endless work.
At first, some people had tried to estimate her assets, but now, there wasn't anyone who knew what sort of power Shangyang Fei had in her hand.
Shangyang Jiuli told Lu Sheng in the letter that Shangyang Fei had an extremely high position in her family. No matter if it was fame or power, no one could match her. When she got the invitation, she was also surprised, but since Lu Sheng got invited, he couldn't miss this opportunity.
As for the reason, Shangyang Jiuli only gave one. Not only did Shangyang Fei have power in her own family, she also had much influence with the other noble families. Many young and handsome guys were after her, and although they wouldn't support her completely, lending a hand here and there when she needed it was expected. Because of this, she had much more potential.
Shangyang Jiuli wished that Lu Sheng could make friends with some other people and enlarge his influence. If possible, he had to find some sort of trouble and display his ability. Finding a way to make himself known would be best.
While burning Shangyan Jiuli's letter, Lu Sheng looked thoughtfully at the invitation.
"If the dangers that Li Shunxi mentioned are true, then as part of the real power behind White Bell City, the Shangyang Family must have received similar warnings. If I go, I'll be able to notice something. So this banquet would be the best place to determine if this information is true or false."
He suddenly remembered the previous drought in Yun province. Millions had died. It didn't matter whether they were normal humans, noble families, or demonsall suffered. If this danger was real, then the death toll would be even greater...
He still needed a few days before he could finish cultivating his Enmity Fire Devil Body. The further he got, the more Aquarius Qi he needed and the longer it took for his Aquarius Qi to regenerate. So of course his progress slowed.
But this was way past Lu Sheng's expectations.
He thought about it for a moment, calculating the time. If everything went well, he should finish cultivating his Enmity Fire Devil Body before attending the banquet.
Putting away the invitation, Lu Sheng continued towards the caves for cultivation. At the Rank Application stage, he was mostly strengthening his Poison Flames and his resistance to it.
To put it simply, he was using outside flames and fire to strengthen the temperature and poison of the Poison Flames in his cross mark while using special materials to strengthen the body parts that contained the Poison Flames. He was changing his flesh to a strong container that was immune to high temperature and poisons.
To do so, Lu Sheng prepared a large amount of materials, easily enough to fill a horse cart. Along with the crazy regeneration and healing speed of the Aquarius Qi and his own powerful body, getting burned was the last of his worries.
At first, he only used fire to strengthen his Poison Flames. It went smoothly.
However, after reaching the fourth level of Rank Application, Lu Sheng couldn't take it anymore. The temperature and poison of the Poison Flames reached a terrifying degree.
Unable to just rely on his body anymore, Lu Sheng started using outside materials to soak the flesh around the cross mark. He was changing it into a special type of material.
Then he opened the Skills Modifier and only used two days' time to raise himself to the Rank Application level.
Five days later.
Lu Sheng's eyes were closed as he stood naked in the deepest part of the cave, swirls of black liquid-like flames floating around him.
These flames bounced around in the air beside him, giving off terrifying heat. But the creepiest thing was that when these black flames burned, they let out human-like screams and groans of pain.
This noise reverberated in the cave as if there were hundreds of people being tortured at once.
Lu Sheng opened his eyes and grabbed a fistful of the black sticky flames.
"According to the Enmity Fire Devil Body, there are five levels of the Poison Flames: Standard, Full, Connected, Destruction, and Hatred. As the level increases, the strength of the Poison Flames will also increase. Right now, I'm at the highest point in the Destruction level, so with the same amount of flames, I can deal more than ten times the damage of normal flames. Plus, I have a continuous supply of Devil Qi"
His originally weak Poison Flames already became a great team fighting skill.
"It's time to start cultivating my Enmity Fire Devil Body..."
Lu Sheng reached out gently. Threads of flames started spinning and gathering in front of him, forming a black vortex as tall as a person.
The sound of flames spinning through the air echoed in the cave.
Lu Sheng slowly closed his fist.
As his fist tightened, triangular symbols started appearing on the flame vortex in front of him. Each symbol was extremely complicated and familiar.
If Liu Shanzi was here, he would have exclaimed loudly because these symbols were almost exactly the same as the blood-red ones on the stone pillar in the middle of the square of the Prime Devil Sect. Except these were more complicated.
"Hatred is the origin for all burning. Burn the hate, burn yourself, burn everything!!"
In that instant, black flames shot out from Lu Sheng's whole bodyincluding even his apertures.
A large amount of Poison Flame spilled out, filling up the whole cave.
Lu Sheng's body floated into the air and started changing and enlarging. He quickly went from his one meter Yin Extreme Form to his three meter tall real body.
And then continued enlarging until he reached his six meter Yang Extreme Form.
Lu Sheng moved his right foot forward, slamming it onto the ground. His thick limbs were like extremely thick stone pillars, shaking the entire cave with every movement.
From the black flames that covered his body, human screams of agony could faintly be heard.
Large amounts of flames continued pouring out through the cracks between his scales as if he was burning up from the inside. But because of his extreme resistance to fire and meticulous control, Lu Sheng did not sustain any real damage.
Instead, under such burning, he was increasing his body's resistance to fire rapidly.