Way Of The Devil Chapter 416
414 Probing 3
Su Lun had once been a prodigy. His master Yuanqu Xing made that clear the moment the former became an Evil Art Master.
And the former, in turn, believed it ever since.
Then his master Yuanqu Xing fell in battle, and disappeared after reincarnation. Shizi Xing was sent to become the new cult district leader.
Without the attention of his master, he lost all his halo, and went from the greatly admired prodigy to an ordinary cult member.
If it hadn't been for his elder brother, he wouldn't have had any chance of becoming Shizi Xing's assistant.
But now, after his brother had finally found an opportunity to recommend him to be Master Shizi Xing's assistant, the position was randomly stolen by an outsider.
The cold wind blew by. Lu Sheng held the segment of Su Lun's neck that he snapped off during the strangling attack.
"You want to go on?" Lu Sheng shook the neck segment in his hand.
Now missing a segment of his neck, Su Lun was silent, and his face started to twist slowly. Only a gap existed in place of the missing segment now, while dense gray mist made sure the two parts were connected.
"You… damn it!" Su Lun's body abruptly shrunk as his neck returned to normal. He turned, and attempted to escape.
Lu Sheng's body was too tough. With that level of strength, he wouldn't be able to strangle him even with all his power. On the contrary, his neck, the hardest part of his body, was the one to snap.
"Why leave when you are here already?" Lu Sheng stepped forward. His right arm extended out, turning into an enormous clawed hand covered in black scales, then swept toward Su Lun.
The air screamed as the sand around Su Lun flew everywhere from the shock.
The air current slammed into him before the immense pressure he expected.
He was forced to block Lu Sheng's claws with his arms before he could say anything more.
An enormous crater 10 meters in diameter and seven, eight meters deep appeared under Su Lun.
Lu Sheng stood at the edge of the crater, and slowly retracted his clawed hand. The wounds on his body closed and healed by themselves as if nothing had ever happened.
"The knife was truly sharp. Unfortunately, the wielder was too weak."
Su Lun stood in the center of the crater as a vast amount of gray mist spewed out all over his body like blood.
He stared at Lu Sheng with a blank expression, his eyes filled with terror.
"You are not... not…"
His body exploded into pieces, then became a swirl of gray mist before finally dissipating into thin air.
Lu Sheng stood silently on the side, observing the flowing gray mist.
'Impressive speed and powerful attacks, at least powerful enough to wound my body. Standard Divine Lord level. Unfortunately, his physical body was too weak, and completely lacked the defense and resiliency a Divine Lord should possess.
'Maybe this is Evil Art Masters' weakness, and why they would throw finished Divine Weapon into Inferior Worlds to be completed with sacrifice?' he theorized. Maybe that wasn't exactly true, but at least it was plausible.
After a close inspection, Lu Sheng didn't find any bones or body left in the crater. Everything turned into the gray mist, or the aura of Source of Pain, and dissipated into the air.
'This Su Lun… if all Evil Art Masters were as powerful as him, then the World of Pain truly has the power to conquer every other world.' Lu Sheng estimated the power level of the World of Pain. He had seen Su Lun a couple of times before, and had observed that he seemed to be a mere soldier. He would be nothing special if it hadn't been for his elder brother, who had secured a nice position for him.
But even someone like him somehow possessed a Divine Lord level spirit.
True, his body might be extremely weak, but he could utilize the Source of Pain!
"If everyone else in the World of Pain possess this level of power, then truly…" Lu Sheng glanced at the weird tree, which had stopped moving.
He flicked his finger.
A jet of white air shot out, and slammed squarely into the middle of the tree.
The tree howled in pain, then fell to one side. A twisted ancient face appeared on the trunk, and screamed as the tree disintegrated into gray dust.
The dust then soon turned into gray mist before dissipating into the sky.
Soon, the only thing left behind was a brilliant, clear sapphire.
"Hm?" Lu Sheng blanked out, then picked up the sapphire. It was the first colorful thing he had seen since entering the World of Pain.
The gem emitted a faint warmth in his hand, and vibrated rhythmically like a heart.
"Maybe it will be useful." Lu Sheng put up the gem, checked his direction, then continued on his way.
In the next hour or so, he encountered several different trees. Some used their branches to puncture the bodies of their prey and consume its blood and flesh, while others strangled their prey to death.
He named them Whipping Tree Demon, Puncture Tree Demon, and Strangling Tree Demon.
Compared to the Whipping Tree Demon, the Puncture Tree Demon was larger, and had more branches and leaves. Its bark was also tougher, tough to the point where Lu Sheng's normal Extreme Yin Mode wasn't able to do anything to it. He had to use the power of his true form to kill it, and received a large sapphire for his trouble.
The Strangling Tree Demons were even larger and stronger. They were at least 30 meters tall from root to canopy, and seemed to be an evolved version of the previous two. Lu Sheng nearly utilized his full strength in his Extreme Yang Form before barely ripping it apart. His reward with a sapphire as large as a fist.
After killing the second Strangling Tree Demon, Lu Sheng knew he couldn't continue. The World of Pain possessed too many secrets, and he couldn't discover them all with his current strength.
He still had plenty of room for improvement. As long as he had enough Mental Energy, he could evolve Death Blaze to an unfathomable level.
Divine Lord level was far from his limit.
Hence, he promptly returned after killing the second Strangling Tree Demon.
Autumn Moon County, half a month later.
After the retreat of the Devil Army, the sect masters of the three major sects, including Chen Jingzhi, spent most of their energy on reconstruction. Though they didn't need to personally attend to the matter, they needed to be on constant alert to protect imperial officials as well command and protect the workers.
Lu Sheng, on the other hand, also started to work with Divine Lord Tong Yi to investigate the fate of Xiao Zizhu. He started to reside in the Thousand Sun Palace every day, and would sometimes ask Divine Lord Tong Yi questions regarding the cultivation of Divine Lords.
He only occasionally returned to the World of Pain to complete some minor missions.
During this time, the Turquoise Conch Agency sent people to inform Lu Sheng and Divine Lord Tong Yi that clues had surfaced regarding the recent murders and Divine Weapon robberies, and they would appreciate the assistance of the two masters.
Lu Sheng was discussing whether Divine Lords should focus on the cultivation of spirit or body with a cup of hot tea in hand with Divine Lord Tong Yi when he received the news.
A girl in a tight purple outfit was led in by a Thousand Sun Sect disciple. She knelt on one knee, and reported the intel the Turquoise Conch Agency received.
Lu Sheng was a little surprised, but still asked calmly, "If I remember correctly, the Head of the Turquoise Conch Agency has changed, right?"
The girl in purple replied respectfully, "Correct, Sir. Our Head Cheng Xiao was assigned here by the Prefecture Capital last month.
"Cheng Xiao? I have heard of this person before. Quite famous when it comes to detection, and might very well solve this case." Divine Lord Tong Yi stroked his beard, and nodded. He then looked at Lu Sheng. "Why don't we go check it?"
A case that involved someone who hunted and killed Divine Weapons could only be investigated by Divine Lords like them.
"Naturally." Lu Sheng nodded, though his mind went on alert.
'Did someone see me? Probably not. If the Agency Head of the Autumn Moon County somehow observed me undetected, he wouldn't be working in a County Capital.'
"Lead the way."
Divine Lord Tong Yi, along with Lu Sheng, followed the girl in purple outside. Tong Yi waved toward the ground, and a ball of white silk appeared. It expanded into a carpet wide enough for all three, then carried them into the distance.
The headquarters of the Turquoise Conch Agency was in the County Capital, not far away from the Thousand Sun Sect.
As the three of them landed, everyone in the Agency greeted them respectfully, and led them into a courtyard. Many were silently waiting in there already.
"Master Tong Yi!" A burly man with a red face and two Judge's Pen Divine Weapons on his waist stepped up, and knelt in front of Tong Yi.
"Ah, Qingyuan. Why are you here?" Tong Yi was a little surprised, and helped him up.
Then, he introduced the man to Lu Sheng. "Divine Lord Lu, this is my third disciple, Liu Qingyuan. He would be glad to receive your guidance if you have the time."
Lu Sheng nodded with a smile. He immediately checked if there was an ambush set up when he entered, but clearly there was none. Only ordinary Weapon Masters were present for basic security.
A middle-aged scholar-like man on the side hurriedly spoke, "My Lords, now is not the time for stories. When I found the suspect, I was shocked too. I've never expected these people of legends actually existed."
"You are the agency's head?" Lu Sheng asked.
"I am Cheng Xiao, alternative name Qing Chen. It's an honor to meet Divine Lord Lu." The new head of the Agency respectfully bowed toward Lu Sheng.
"Let us see who this mysterious suspect is. It just so happens that we've made no progress regarding Xiao Zizhu, so might as well start with this guy instead." Divine Lord Tong Yi was obviously in a good mood after seeing his disciple. He entered the living room first with a wave of his hand.
The rest followed. Tong Yi sat on the main seat, while Lu Sheng sat next to him.
The Turquoise Conch Agency's Head Cheng Xiao's face was solemn. He took out an enormous glass, and set it up before everyone. Then, he stroked the edge of the mirror, and lit up patterns one after another.
Soon, a scene similar to surveillance appeared on the mirror.
A tall middle-aged man with a huge scar on his right arm was standing in the corner of a dark alley. He held the neck of an elderly woman in his hand, and slowly ripped a jade circle-shaped Divine Weapon from her hand.
The elderly woman's neck cracked with a crisp sound. A black whirlpool appeared behind her, while countless pale hands extended from it, and pulled her in.
Suddenly, the man seemed to have realized he was being watched, and turned toward the mirror.
The scene being played instantly shattered, then disappeared.
"That was Jing Hong," the Agency Head explained. "He was a wanted convict from the three noble families that disappeared decades ago. He was powerful, but also mysterious, and no one knew his true potential. Back then, he escaped by himself from the Jin Family, one of the three noble families. He had a volatile mood, and held a deep hatred toward all Divine Weapons since his first love and sister were both sacrificed during Divine Weapon ceremonies.
"Yet, he couldn't improve without the help of a Divine Weapon, which made him even more twisted. With the help of a Devil Blade called Heaven Scorch Ruler, he rampantly hunted Divine Weapons, and used their shards as sacrifices for his Devil Blade, in turn strengthening himself.
"We have only heard of people that could strengthen themselves by robbing other people's Divine Weapon too. This is the first time I have witnessed one in person."