Way Of The Devil Chapter 444
442 Hidden Grounds 1
Lu Sheng was silent. He had his own guesses about this, though he couldn't be completely sure.
"Alright." He didn't have anything else to do anyway, so he might as well chat with this strange man.
He found a good spot, and sat down.
"Judging by your look, you haven't had someone to talk to in a long time," he commented calmly.
The man's arm moved slightly on the chair.
"It's been 20,000 years at this point. Not that long. Enough about me, let's talk about the biggest secret of you Heavenly Devils."
He paused, and cracked a slight smile.
"Any time an intelligent life form loses control of their emotions, Foreign Heavenly Devils could easily follow the weakness in their mind and break in. Lives possessed by Heavenly Devils are technically still themselves, but not completely. The Heavenly Devil and the being itself are in truth one. They are similar to time—it is a concept that we came up with in our mind." A string of very abstract and confusing descriptions came out of the man's mouth.
Even though Lu Sheng didn't understand completely, with the knowledge from Earth, he still understood the idea.
"You mean that the individual and the Heavenly Devil are actually one? But they were separate and lived in different environments, and would only merge under certain special circumstances?" Lu Sheng asked after a moment of silence.
"You are a fast learner," the man praised. "And when the Heavenly Devil merges with the individual, it would make one's spirit more whole and complete, in turn leading to obtaining even stronger power. This is the peak form of cultivation for Foreign Heavenly Devils. Do you know why your kind is called the Foreign Heavenly Devil? Because as the name suggests, the Heavenly Devils are usually foreign to the world they end up in."
"Heavenly Devils of all kinds in different regions and different worlds all have the same ultimate goal—to cultivate to the completeness of one. There are tens of thousands of Daos out there, and this is the Heavenly Devils' way of cultivation."
"Continuously finding other copies of yourself, then integrating them in order to improve your own strength? That's how Heavenly Devils cultivate?" Lu Sheng fell into thought. His mind instinctively wandered to the powerful Weapon Grandmasters of the Great Yin that sat high upon their thrones and looked down on mortals.
They controlled the various technology needed to travel between worlds. They claimed they were using it to reap resources from Outer Worlds, but there was probably more to it than that.
"You are still lost, and don't even know your own Heavenly Devil's method of cultivation. No one would ever figure this stuff out by themselves without a teacher. Don't look at me, I'm not a Heavenly Devil, nor am I interested in your kind's system."
"But, I do have a set of records you need. I got it back when I killed the Heavenly Devil King Sharmentian of the Poyun World. Do you want it?" He raised his arm slightly, and a long piece of dark purple jade shaped like a ruyi scepter. A row of strange and complex symbols was carved along its middle, shining a mysterious purple light. Slivers of golden light surrounded it, indicating its rare status.
Lu Sheng focused his gaze on it, and felt that the jade ruyi emitted a faint sense of attractiveness. It lured him to take it like an intelligent being.
Suppressing the anticipation in his heart, he once again looked at the man.
"There's no such thing as a free lunch. What do I need to do?"
The man smiled again.
"I like talking to smart people." He raised two fingers. "Two things."
Lu Sheng sighed silently in relief. The fact he wanted something meant this wasn't a complete scam, and he at least had a chance at getting the jade ruyi.
"Please tell." He straightened his posture.
"First, I need you to go to three places and shatter the Universal Ward Column there. Universe Ward Columns are white gold stone pillars with simple patterns carved into them, and might disguise themselves. They might also have other ways to protect themselves, which are all for you to deal with."
Lu Sheng narrowed his eyes, and didn't talk.
"Done. The other one?"
"I need Spiritual Power, vast amounts of Spiritual Power. The more, the better! In other words, I need you to capture enough Protectors for me. That's what they are called here, right?" The man's smile turned ominous.
Even though he didn't open his eyes, Lu Sheng could still sense that he was staring at him.
Lu Sheng thought about it, and answered in a low voice, "That I can't promise, but I can try my best. You know how hard it is to capture Protectors. It's difficult for me to even touch them."
"No matter… I can lend you something." The man's index finger moved slightly, and something instantly flew out from behind the chair with a whoosh, stopped, and floated in front of Lu Sheng.
It was an expertly made dark purple hairband, engraved with long wires of crystal.
Before Lu Sheng could react, the headband flew behind him, and tied his hair high behind him, leaving a ponytail that stopped at his neck.
Lu Sheng's normally muscular shape looked even more savage and wild after his hair was tied with the hairband.
The ponytail hung high behind him, and combined with his muscles as strong as steel, gave off a wild and cruel look.
"What is this?" Lu Sheng's expression didn't change, but his heart jumped. He was prepared to shatter the raven figurine at any time.
"Just a gadget that will help you physically touch and see the Protectors. Don't worry, it won't harm you in any way. Only a little something I made myself," the man said softly. "Oh, and you can call me Ju Yan. I've lived for a long time with that name."
"Ju Yan?" Lu Sheng remembered that name. Even though he didn't know why, simply hearing the name gave him a clear understanding of exactly which two characters formed that name. The power of the language he used was truly impressive.
Then, the two of them started to chat. Actually chat. Ju Yan told him his life's story—he had once been a poet, and left his verses all over the worlds he traveled to. But one time, he angered a powerful being that lived hidden in a world, and it chased him for a decade. They finally fought within a Star Scar, at which point he found out that this was all caused by him portraying this being negatively in an epic.
Ordinary lives would care less, but beings as powerful as them affected the world around them with their every word and action. His epics caused some very troublesome consequences for the being he fought.
Ju Yan told the story very nicely, and Lu Sheng, too, was intrigued by its outlandish nature. Time passed by as Ju Yan recalled and told his story slowly.
After the fourth story, Ju Yan seemed tired, and prompted Lu Sheng to leave.
He also allowed Lu Sheng to take the jade ruyi that held the record of Heavenly Devils' way of cultivation, though only the first part. Lu Sheng also received a method to cultivate Spiritual Power, though only a simple version Ju Yan had on hand. He briefly explained what Spiritual Power was before Lu Sheng left.
It benefited Lu Sheng immensely.
But the nicer he was, the louder a bell rang in Lu Sheng's mind. The more he knew, the more dangerous it became. He was not dumb enough to put all his hopes of surviving on someone's kindness.
Over the course of the next several days, Lu Sheng frequently sneaked into the seal in secret to chat with Ju Yan, though it was more like listening to stories in reality.
Maybe because it had been too long since Ju Yan talked, he had a lot to say. He would spend a lot of time even on a minor incident.
For the most part, Lu Sheng listened with closed eyes, and would respond only when Ju Yan asked him a question. At the same time, he started to learn the language of E that was used in the Heavenly Devil Jade Records. It was also the strange language Ju Yan spoke.
Speaking E was a basic skill every Heavenly Devil needed to learn; otherwise, it would be a hassle to communicate in the different worlds. Not all life forms could tolerate communicating by spirit, and many might not even have spirit.
While studying E, Lu Sheng also studied the first half of the jade code, as well as the Protectors he captured.
As for the leaking evil spirits, there hadn't been a leak since he first saw Ju Yan. Clearly, he took care of it.
Two more months passed by in a blink. Lu Sheng had mastered the basic grammar and words of E, and had become a beginner. Ju Yan urged him to start fulfilling his part of the bargain, and also promised there wouldn't be any more escaping spirits unless he failed his tasks.
As for other consequences of not completing his task, Lu Sheng had no idea, but he could sense the imminent danger.
And so, he quickly packed, and found Lu Dangfeng to seek permission to travel outside.
"Traveling outside?" Lu Dangfeng was a little surprised. "That has never been a tradition at the Purple Smoke Villa, but if Chong'er really wants to go, I am fine with it. Where would you go? And for how long?"
"Outside the border, I want to see the plain," Lu Sheng answered simply. "The great desert is good too."
"You can go, but the road is long, and you are alone. Be sure to stay… safe…" Lu Dangfeng patted his son's broad shoulder, and felt 'safe' wasn't really a word that fitted here. His eldest son was clearly the type that made others feel the need to be 'safe.'
"Don't worry, I will be fine. Evil spirits leak had decreased in frequency as well, and we have less work to do. I would be more content during my travels that way," Lu Sheng explained. "And I remember our villa having certain businesses in the central plain, which I would like to check out."
"Go if you want," Lu Dangfeng said casually. "Bring enough money for the trip, go get it in the finance office. Also, remember to prepare your horse and pack carefully."
"Of course." Lu Sheng nodded.
Lu Dangfeng then warned him about several other things, and Lu Sheng had to memorize everything before he was allowed to leave.
Traveling in this world was bound to be safe as long as he didn't travel to certain dangerous places and stayed within range of human civilization.
When Lu Quan and Lu Zhenling heard of the news, both begged to go as well, but were rejected sternly by Lu Dangfeng.
After he packed his bags, Lu Sheng left quietly in the night, forgoing the servants and caravan Lu Dangfeng prepared for him.
After all, this wasn't a simple vacation. He had to find three hidden grounds to shatter the three white gold pillars.
If he was right, then shattering those three pillars was part of the process to release the man from his seal. The process as a whole would take a long time, which gave him ample time to study the new material he'd just received. [ED/N: Just google ruyi scepter or jade ruyi scepter.]