Way Of The Devil Chapter 377
375 Assassination 2
Master Yuan Zheng nodded, and said proudly, "As long as you are prepared. Get ready, we are leaving soon."
"Alright then, what sacrifice do you want?" Lu Sheng talked mentally with the Wei River Sword. "What sacrifice do you usually have?"
"Slaves, criminals, beasts, livestock. I don't have a big appetite, so 20 or so people per year would do," the Wei River Sword said in a low and weary voice. "Can you not be so brutal? That squeeze hurt like hell. Why are you so strong, anyway?"
Lu Sheng ignored his questions, and again asked, "Any other options?"
"You could join the battle—the essence blood of Devils works even better. Three to five should do," the Wei River Sword added.
"Per three years."
"Good." Lu Sheng nodded. The lesser the requirement, the less trouble he'd have to go through for sacrifices.
After some instructions and guidance from Master Yuan Zheng and Cave Master Jiuwei, the upper management conducted a thorough inspection to make sure there was nothing out of order or any attempt at cheating.
Then came some mandatory lessons on how to react to situations in war, various anomalies, and what to do after the battle.
After a lengthy preparation, everyone finally fell silent and waited.
Time slowly passed, and soon, a pillar of red light shot straight down from the sky. It landed squarely in the middle of the black ball of light formed by the combined force of Cave Master Jiuwei and Master Yuan Zheng.
"Enter!" Master Yuan Zheng shouted.
Zhangsun Lan jumped first and shot into the black ball of light. Sun Rongji was second, and Lu Sheng followed in last.
Unknown territory, Outer World.
Outside an immense cavern filled with rotten branches, dark clouds covered the sky. An occasional flash of lighting could be seen, and a roar of thunder heard.
The flash of white-blue lightning sometimes illuminated the three people lying on the branches inside the cave.
Outside the thirty meter tall cavern, a bolt of lighting streaked across the sky like antlers. Immediately afterward, huge drops of rain fell down at a rapid rate. Torrential rain started pouring in the blink of an eye.
"Whoosh… whoosh… whoosh..."
An enormous black eagle—its body even larger than the cave's entrance—was flapping its heavy wings as it swept past the cave, accompanied by a fierce gale.
The sound of the wind was the booming voice made by its black wings.
Lu Sheng slowly stood up and looked around. He regained conscious long ago—in fact, he was awake the moment the teleportation completed, and never really lost consciousness.
He pretended to have fainted in case there were people watching. But that didn't seem to be a problem.
He looked below him. The ground was covered by black, rotting branches and leaves. Everything was soft, wet, and cold.
"Hmmm…" Sun Rongji also woke up, rubbing his temples. As he saw Lu Sheng stand up, he asked casually, "What is this place?"
"Not sure. According to the rules Master Yuan Zheng told us about, we should have been pulled to an Outer World very far away. This should be where the main sect's contest is held," Lu Sheng answered. "Ordinary Outer Worlds post no challenge to the powerful disciples from the prefectures and provinces. This place must have been chosen specially for the occasion."
Zhangsun Lan, who was lying on the sound, also woke up and slowly sat up. She pulled out something shaped like a stick from her legs and stabbed it into the ground.
An invisible ripple spread, centered around the thing. It quickly went pass Sun Rongji and Lu Sheng, and out of the cave.
"This is a World Mark. It has the information of hundreds of discovered worlds stored in it. We just need to wait," Zhangsun Lan said softly as if her mind was still shaken from the teleportation.
The three of them waited for a while. Soon, another invisible ripple spread out centered around the stick.
"And this place is…." Zhangsun Lan seemed to have gotten a response, but her face immediately turned pale while her body started trembling.
"This is… This is the Devil World!!!"
"Devil World!?" Sun Rongji was dumbstruck too.
Even Lu Sheng was shocked.
What did the Devil World include? The Four Devil Emperor Pillars ruled expansive territories in the Devil World, but that didn't mean they had control of the entire Devil World.
The Devil World was an absurdly enormous Outer World. The four Devil Emperors were like local tribe leaders, who established their own sovereign lands and forces after cultivating to a horrifying level of power.
But all their territories were only a small piece of the entire Devil World. No one from the Great Yin even knew how big the Devil World actually was.
Like with the question of how many Divine Weapons and Devil Blades the World of Pain actually had, no one had the answer for the former, either.
No one knew how much danger one could encounter in the Devil World.
"We… how did we!? What happened!? What actually happened!?" Unlike other people, Sun Rongji had fought Devils before, and knew full well how powerful they were. Being sent to the Devil World like this, completely unprepared, was basically like a sheep running into tiger's mouth—a complete suicide.
"I don't know… I don't know!" Zhangsun Lan shook her head, her pretty face getting even paler.
"Enough, why does it matter that this is the Devil World? Can you find out if we are still part of the contest?" Lu Sheng said suddenly.
This question immediately gave Sun Rongji and Zhangsun Lan hope.
"You are right. If we are still in the contest, that means the three major sects planned this all along."
Zhangsun Lan closed her eyes and started to operate the flag.
After a while, she opened her eyes and let out a long sigh of relief.
"This is part of the contest. We are in a safe zone of the Devil World, and also the largest Scarlet Devil Tribe territory under the Devil Emperor Vera.
"Our mission is to assassinate one Starry Sky Noble named Yawala that the Scarlet Devil Tribe is sending to the Gorge of Two Worlds. His team will pass by this cave in half an hour. We just need to attack."
"Risks? Intel on their powers? How many guards does this Starry Sky Noble have? We don't know anything!" Sun Rongji frowned. "What do they want us to do? A suicide attack?"
"I think not. Maybe this is just part of the main sect contest." Lu Sheng shook his head. He stood up straight and lightly tapped his foot.
The rotten branches and leaves dispersed with a swish and exposed the black dirt underneath. A red line of an eye-catching text was clearly drawn on the ground.
'Return to this place after the mission is complete. You may return to the Great Yin then.'
"And what if we fail the mission?" Sun Rongji's expression turned ugly.
None of the three spoke.
Even though the previous contests were all quite ruthless, none had approached anything like this. They might be the elite prodigies of each prefecture, but sending them straight to the Devil World was too much.
Prodigies might be hard to kill and resilient, but that didn't mean they were immortal.
"Why are they in such a hurry?" Sun Rongji said in a low voice, his hands tightly gripped into fists.
"Don't panic." Suddenly, an elderly voice rung in the three people's ears. It was Cave Master Jiuwei.
"The situation is dire right now, and the leadership couldn't spare any help. We have to take matters into our own hands. Don't worry, the part you are responsible for won't be past your limits.
"You three are not alone. We, along with the three major sect's various other prefectural and provincial branches, are all part of the operation. The contest is really a disguise to cover the signs of activating the great tactical matrix."
Cave Master Jiuwei said flatly, "This is a test, but also an opportunity. Live well and don't be careless."
The voice gradually faded, obviously being just a recorded message.
No one spoke inside the cave. The silence persisted.
Zhangsun Lan silently started to set up small flags with beasts engraved on it, while Sun Rongji took out a clear and strange-looking glove from his backpack and slowly put it on.
Lu Sheng took down the Wei River Sword from his back and hung it on his waist to make drawing the weapon faster.
"Let's go." He looked at the sky outside. The torrential rain had covered everything with a thin veil. "This seems to be the nest of some kind of beast. We might get in trouble if we stay here for too long."
"You actually plan to complete the assassination mission?" Zhangsun Lan looked blankly at Lu Sheng, surprised.
"Why not?" Lu Sheng cracked open a smile. "How else would we return?"
"My dad won't give up on me like this!" Sun Rongji said in a low voice.
"Neither would my grandfather." Zhangsun Lan nodded.
"So?" Lu Sheng smiled. "Can they complete this mission for you? Both of you have special treasures that could bring you back to the Great Yin, right? Items that could save your life?"
Sun Rongji and Zhangsun Lan's expressions changed slightly. Lu Sheng clearly guessed right.
"I only thought this contest might be a little dangerous… I didn't expect…" Sun Rongji straightened himself, his confidence from before returning slightly.
"Brother Lu is right. There is no way my father or Master Yuan Zheng made the decision. Must be orders from above."
"I agree." Zhangsun Lan smiled bitterly.
"Then let's go. We won't have much time." Lu Sheng interrupted their conversation and walked out of the cave first. He looked around.
Outside the cave was an endless black plain. The gray torrent of rain covered everything, including most of the view.
A vague pillar of light penetrated the clouds far away. The rain seemed to be subsiding.
Lu Sheng judged the distance and was about to jump. Suddenly, he looked into the distance.
Through a small crack, he saw a gray segment of an enormous snake-shaped body passing through the thick layers of cloud. The booming sound of a roaring beast accompanied it.
Lu Sheng vaguely saw the snake-like body turn slowly, large round scales constantly splitting open the clouds as it flew toward the plain in the distance.
Another flash of lightning, and the cloud was empty again.
"Was that… a dragon?" Lu Sheng licked his lips and tightly gripped the hit of his sword.
He looked down on the expansive plain below.
From the left, an enormous black eagle was savagely diving toward the three people.
Just the enormous eagle's wingspan was 30 to 40 meters. Even from afar, one could notice the strange waving, sharp branches poking out of its tail instead of feathers.