Following the old Sect Master, both of them returned to the Crimson Whale. Lu Sheng meditated for a while and swallowed several pills to recover bruises and accelerate blood circulation. After two days rest, most of his injuries had healed.
Once he recovered, he immediately summoned his deputy.
The deputy assigned to him by old Sect Master was an effeminate young man who was so pretty that it was ridiculous.
This mans alias was Jade Lotus. He had once been a Taoist priest and was a mere four years older than Lu Sheng.
Presently, Lu Sheng was only twenty years old. This meant that Jade Lotus was a mere twenty-four years old. His martial arts skill, however, was extremely impressive. With his Iron Tribulus, he was extraordinarily accomplished in the use of concealed weapons. Once, in a duel with someone, he had formed the pattern of a lotus flower with his Iron Tribulus darts, thus earning him the alias Jade Lotus.
In the Golden Peace & Prosperity Restaurant.
Both of them sat in Chamber A situated on the topmost floor. Jade Lotus was in plain white long robes, a white ribbon in his hair, which draped down to his waist. His facial features were even more attractive than those of a woman. Sun rays shone into the chamber, reflecting gently off his snow white skin.
Lu Sheng sized him up with a peculiar look. Honestly speaking, apart from on the Internet on Earth, this was the first time he had encountered a man like this who was prettier than a woman in real life.
If not for the Adams apple clearly discernible on his throat, Lu Sheng would probably have thought that he was a woman in disguise.
"External Head, have you seen enough?" Jade Lotus sat upright, his face expressionless.
In the Crimson Whale Sect, the real official designation for External Affairs Emissaries was actually "External Head".
"Im sorry this is my first time seeing a man as pretty as you, Brother Jade. I got distracted for a moment, my apologies," Lu Sheng smiled. Under usual circumstances, he was actually a rather mild-mannered man.
"Your subordinate also has no idea why Im like that. Its been this way since I was young," Jade Lotus replied.
Lu Sheng nodded. He had read Jade Lotus file. Jade Lotus had been a pretty boy from childhood and was thus nearly sold as a human pet. But thankfully, he was rescued by the old Sect Master, who had taken him in into Crimson Whale Sect and raised him. Now, he belonged to the Sect Masters faction as one of his trusted confidants.
"Right, then. Lets look at some troubles that need to be sorted out by External Head now," Jade Lotus retrieved a roll of sheepskin parchment from his sleeves and unfurled it gently.
"Firstly, Mountain-Edge City has now completely fallen under External Heads jurisdiction. Old Sect Master has given his full confirmation. Of the three harbors under our management, a serial robbery occurred in Eastern Mountain Harbor yesterday. The authorities have made no headway in investigations and have requested our assistance."
"Ill leave this to you to handle. We dont have many key personnel. Just let Soaring Eagle Squad handle this," Lu Sheng replied flippantly.
"Soaring Eagle Squad comprises Former External Head Wu Sans men--they were all his trusted men, trained by him. Doesnt External Head Lu intend to remove them from power?" Jade Lotus was surprised.
"Why would I remove them from power? As long as theyre obedient," Lu Sheng waved his hands dismissively.
"Alright, then. Secondly, some trouble has cropped up in Eastern Mountain Society. The son of one of their Branch Chiefs was arrested for instigating trouble in one of our casinos. Now hes being held by our men. It was someone from Soaring Eagle Squad who did it," Jade Lotus continued.
"Let Soaring Eagle Squad handle their own mess," Lu Sheng replied lackadaisically.
"Soaring Eagle Squad doesnt care. They want their money repaid, otherwise theyll break his arm," Jade Lotus said impassively.
"How much did that lad lose?" Lu Sheng asked.
"Two nights. Ten thousand taels."
"HUH??" Lu Shengs jaw dropped.
Ten thousand taels!!!
What kind of figure was that? A tael of silver was equivalent to the purchasing power of a thousand dollars. Ten thousand taels that was a billion dollars!
Two nights and he lost a billion dollars!?
"The lad thinks that he was scammed of his money, and so would rather die than pay up," Jade Lotus continued. "Oh, and this happened on the day you fought with Gongsun Zhanglan."
Lu Sheng became quiet as he narrowed his eyes.
"Interesting. Such a big hoo-hah and yet the Soaring Eagle Squad made no report to me in advance. Heh, interesting"
"Soaring Eagle Squad may officially fall under Crimson Whale Sects power, but in actual fact it has always been a relatively independent force under External Head Wu Sans command. Its natural that theyre a little untamed," Jade Lotus explained.
"I dont need untamed. I only want obedient," Lu Sheng rose and looked at Jade Lotus. "Of the thirteen men in Soaring Eagle Squad, each one of them are at the pinnacle of Strength Proficiency. How many of them can you take on?"
Jade Lotus fell deep into contemplation. Then, slowly, he replied, "One at most. Theyre no average brawlers."
"When therere benefits, theyre happy to keep them to themselves. Only when theyre in trouble do they think of me, the External Head. What good is this Soaring Eagle Squad to me?" Lu Sheng paced about with his hands behind his back.
"If External Head makes a move on them directly, you might just disillusion and discourage our men. External Head Wu San has only just died. And in the line of duty, at that. If you eliminate his trusted confidants now, youll be seen as unreasonable, whichever way you look at it."
"I dont give two hoots about anyones heart. I only want obedience," Lu Sheng waved his hand. "Why has our Crimson Whale Sect been able to draw so many men to join us?"
Instantly, the light of realization sparkled in Jade Lotus eyes.
"Its for the name of the Number One sect. Its powerful enough and offers attractive benefits."
"And thats why no matter how others think, youve just got to write out the whole incident from beginning to end and put it up for all to see. The majority of our men merely desire a reason they can use to convince themselves. People always believe that which they want to believe," Lu Sheng remarked.
Jade Lotus thought for a moment and understood Lu Shengs drift.
Because of Crimson Whale Sects power and benefits, a slight bit of discouragement was of no consequence as long as they did not cross the bottom line.
Such a method was undoubtedly most apt for a martial arts powerhouse like External Head Lu. Whoever had a disgruntlement could come and look for the External Head. As long as no one kept doing such things, nobody would be truly go against the Sect for the sake of Soaring Eagle Squad.
Once he had straightened this out, Jade Lotus immediately started to see Lu Sheng in a new light. Initially, he had thought that this new boss was just a bunch of muscles. Now, however, Lu Sheng took on an air of mystery and imperceptible depth in his eyes. Such deep grasp of human psychology was beyond that of even the counselors or advisors in the yamen.
"Well go with that. Ill leave it to you. You only need to show me the results. Anything else?" Lu Sheng continued.
"Nothing else. Im able to handle the rest," Jade Lotus replied calmly, laying to rest the excitement in his eyes.
"Ill leave it to you then. Im going back to train now," Lu Sheng rose, patted his shoulders, and then strode out without a further word.
Soaring Eagle Squad, a faction formerly under Wu San, lasted a mere several days under Lu Shengs pressure before disbanding.
Their plan was to band together and bargain with their new boss. None of them wished to see what they possessed being reassigned by their new boss once he arrived.
After the Eastern Mountain Society-casino incident, however, they had reached the end of their endurance under the pressure of Eastern Mountain Society, which was also a powerful faction in the Northern Lands.
It all actually began as a coincidence. This Branch Chief had only just been deployed here from elsewhere and had no time to inform the other factions in the area of his arrival before his son, a gambling nut, rushed into the casino. In the end, he not only lost all his money but also fell into a trap.
By the time both sides discovered each others backgrounds, it was too late.
Soaring Eagle Squad could not stand up under Eastern Mountain Societys pressure and so had no choice but to seek Lu Shengs help. Lu Sheng showed up and made the lad pay back the actual amount that he had lost, which was merely a few thousand taels of silver. The matter ended just like that.
Eastern Mountain Society had also learned his name. This was the one who had beaten Gongsun Zhanglan to death; there was no hiding it. Lu Sheng had already become a famous name among the leadership of all the sects, societies and clans.
Hence, Eastern Mountain Society was extremely polite towards him as well, taking the initiative to apologize and offer up gifts. The Branch Chief even gifted Lu Sheng with five thousand taels of silver as compensation for his trouble.
These were trivial matters to Lu Sheng, however. What he truly cared about was the present status of the Gongsun family.
According to his informant, the great Mountain-Edge hero Fang Zhidong escorted Gongsun familys Zhang Huishu southwards to the Central Plains.
Despite escorting her in person, many foes who had heard of Gongsun Zhanglans demise still flocked to them. Among them, there were even those of the Intent Proficiency level. Just Strength Proficiency experts alone already numbered more than ten. Many experts from small families who were formerly persecuted by the Gongsun Family now came to settle the score.
Some even deliberately obstructed them to do a favor to the current Crimson Whale Sect.
Lu Sheng didnt care about that womans whereabouts. After all, Fang Zhidong had given his guarantee, making it unreasonable and morally wrong for Lu Sheng to strike personally. He, too, had a family. Once he broke this rule, others in the future would have an excuse to make a move against his family.
Yet, though he could not strike personally, this did not mean that he could not strike indirectly.
After Soaring Eagle Squad pledged their allegiance to Lu Sheng, he deployed several of the experts from within to oversee this matter. They did nothing but track Zhang Huishus location.
He himself, on the other hand, stayed quietly in Mountain-Edge City, studying and training martial arts.
A wooden cudgel, the width of an arm, smashed onto Lu Shengs head then split open with a ka-cha.
Topless and covered all over in a layer of medicinal oil, Lu Sheng stood under the hot sun. His bald head glowed as the suns rays reflected off it. A masochistic smile was on his face.
Around him, several cudgel-wielding muscular men were panting heavily, their eyes nearly rolling over from exhaustion.
The men swung the cudgels again, smashing them onto Lu Sheng. After a few more swings, they were spent of their strength.
"Whats wrong, whats wrong? Didnt any of you eat?! Huh???" Lu Sheng growled with dissatisfaction. With this strength, are they trying to scratch my itch?
"Boss were really out of strength" Duan Mengans face was miserable. He pointed at the seven or eight men who had collapsed on the ground around Lu Sheng, each of them muscular men.
"CALL ME YOUNG MASTER!" Lu Shengs face scrunched up and he slapped Duan Mengan on his head, almost slamming him into the ground.
"Young Master, Young Master!" Duan Mengan hurriedly changed his term of address. This boss is really a weirdo he loves people calling him "Young Master". But look at him. Which part of him looks like those gentle and meek Young Masters?
Naturally, he wouldnt have the guts to say any of those thoughts aloud. Recently, boss temper is getting more and more explosive god-knows-why! He keeps hitting us out of the blue. Although his beatings arent heavy, but its still shameful and embarrassing for us to walk out with bruises on our faces, isnt it?
"All the registered muscular men in the city base have been summoned here. But were all too tired"Duan Mengan complained helplessly.
Lu Sheng was feeling pissed too. He had been cultivating this Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill for half a month, without even making it to Initiation.
This hard body skill was cultivated by subjecting ones own body to blunt force trauma. Initially, after summoning many muscular men with great strength to hit his body, he seemed to be making progress. But now, just when he sensed that he was just a step away from Initiation, he was finding these muscular men's strength inadequate.