Yet another heavy collision slammed Lu Sheng into retreating. Unable to contain the blood gushing out from inside him, blood spurted out from his mouth and splashed onto the ground.
Another red silk ribbon shot out from the carriage, twisting itself around his waist, but was burnt through by Lu Shengs scorching inner Qi in an instant.
The lady in red appeared on Lu Shengs flank once again, striking him on his right shoulder with the lantern.
An indiscernible, guttural roar rang out from the ladys throat. She kept flashing here and there around Lu Sheng, smashing him on his head, his body, and his limbs.
"BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM."
Under the series of heavy hits, blood gushed out from Lu Shengs mouth in spurts.
"Hit harder! Its too light! Hehehehe" Lu Sheng did not look bothered at all as he continued blocking with his saber. Sometimes, he managed to block the incoming attacks. But most of the time, he failed and took those hits by the toughness of his body.
"You know how I killed her back then? I struck much harder than youre now. I hacked her into two halves right down her center. She thought she could recover, but I suppressed her with my inner Qi. I gave her pain like living hell! HAHAHAHAHA!!!" Lu Sheng laughed madly, blood foaming at his mouth.
The lady in reds assaults increased in intensity and speed. Madly, she struck the red lantern against Lu Sheng incessantly, with ever-increasing force. At the same time, she scratched Lu Sheng with her free hand; sharp purplish black nails left streaks of blood on Lu Shengs body.
A chunk of flesh was savagely gouged out from the left side of Lu Shengs waist. Rapidly, the wound began turning purplish black, but was quickly suppressed by Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill.
Armed with lantern in one hand and fingernails on the other, the lady in red assaulted Lu Sheng as if she had gone crazy.
Abruptly, a red light flashed and her arm glowed with a scarlet hue, as if a layer of scarlet ice had frozen over her hand. Immediately, her speed and strength drastically rose.
Purplish black claws pierced towards Lu Shengs chest, lightning-quick. She wished she could gouge out Lu Shengs heart and liver to avenge her sister!!!
The lady in red was extremely fast to begin with. Now with her drastically increased speed, she was too fast for Lu Sheng to duck; all he could do was slightly nudge away from his original position.
The sharp claw pierced deeply into Lu Shengs right chest, pencil-straight. In the nick of time, Lu Sheng barely managed to shift slightly, causing the claw to miss his fatal spot by inches.
Blood foamed continuously out of the wound. Lu Sheng was pushed back more than ten steps by a massive force. Oxygen mixed with blood and bubbled out of his chest.
The lady in red released her lantern and, with her other hand, pierced Lu Shengs abdomen.
Lu Shengs entire body trembled. He gripped both her shoulders like a vice with his hands. Tried as the lady might, she was unable to break free from Lu Shengs vice-like grip.
"Ive got you" he lifted his face, filled with blood and filth, to reveal a hideously savage grin.
Steam began rising from both of them as blood was boiled by the scorching Ultimate Crimson Qi.
Amidst an untamable tiger roar, Lu Sheng bellowed, and slammed his knee into the ladys torso without warning.
"BAM!!! BAM! BAM! BAM!!!"
The lady in red struggled, screaming pathetically like an infant. Her torso had caved in from Lu Shengs attacks. White smog billowed out from all around her body and her facial orifices.
"Didnt you have a good time smashing me earlier!?" Clutching her hair, Lu Sheng smashed her head against his own.
A giant hole was smashed into the ladys head. White goo and smoke came up from it. She shrieked miserably, attempting to wrestle free with all her might. However, Lu Sheng held onto her mercilessly and sent her slamming backwards into an old tree by the road.
In a loud bam, the trunk split.
"HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" Lu Sheng laughed like a madman, raining fists on her head, smashing her into a complete pulp. Her head was like a smashed watermelon and huge amount of white smoke billowed from her wound.
"DIDNT YOU COME TO KILL ME!? COME ON! COME ON! COME ON!!!" His powerful punches landed continuously on her head and body.
"BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM!!!"
Several dozen punches had landed on her. Inner Qi flowed frenziedly in Lu Shengs body; Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill continued to replenish Ultimate Crimson Qi, allowing him to put full might into each punch. His body was scorching hot like a furnace.
The ladys head and neck had turned into charred pulp.
Singlehandedly, Lu Sheng pulled her claws out of his body and hoisted her high up in the air under the dark clouds.
Though left hanging on to her last breath, the lady retained one final strand of consciousness and reached out for Lu Shengs arm.
"This is the price to pay if you seek to kill me!"
With one pull, he ripped the ladys battered head out from her body! A section of the spine still hung from the bottom of her head!
Copious amounts of white goo splattered on him, but Lu Sheng was not bothered in the slightest. He roared in maniacal laughter towards the skies.
Rolling on the ground, the light in the red lantern extinguished in that very instant.
In a dark gloomy forest, a thick canopy blotted out the sun, casting the entire area in gray darkness.
A manor sat in the forest, covered in red roof tiles and seemingly inhabited by a large family. Inside and out, rows of red lanterns hung all over it.
A lady in a white dress stood silently by the well in the courtyard under an umbrella. She seemed to be staring at her own reflection in the well.
The red paper umbrella obstructed all view of her face. Only a long head of inky black hair fell straight down her back like a waterfall. The umbrella was decorated with pink plum blossom motifs, appearing even redder under the glow of the red lanterns in the manor.
"Zhen Family theyve killed many of us what should we do" a stifled female voice rang out from under the umbrella, starting and stopping.
"Theyre the real ones who got their hands on Scarlet Dragon Tribulation. Then they led so many factions astray simply with a piece of fake news and a pretense. Now that theyre striking with full force, they prove themselves to be well-endowed indeed," a rather hoarse, devious female voice rang out from within the well. "Previously, they destroyed three of our bases. And now theyre fighting our Anomalies head-on. Zhen Xun hes quite some character. Impressive."
"Shall I kill him myself?" The lady under the umbrella asked in a stutter.
"Youre not his match. The Zhen Familys acting so tough now. It must be because of their confidence in the Scarlet Dragon Tribulation," the voice in the well continued. "Therere only so many Anomalies we can control and influence. To think that theyd all be eliminated by them. Weve got to wait and see for now."
"Alright" the lady under the umbrella replied.
She stood by the well and waited for a while longer until the voice from within had completely ceased. Only then did she walk slowly to her bedroom in the manor.
Before the bedroom, she looked up at the red lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Among the rows of red lanterns, at least fifteen of them had been extinguished, leaving a stretch of the corridor in darkness.
"Defeated and dispersed fifteen of them? Even the one sent to deal with the mortal is gone too theyre really cleaning us up" the lady under the umbrella mumbled, her voice still eccentric.
"Zhen Xun sooner or later Ill eat you"
A faint gust of wind blew past, and no person remained before the bedroom.
Lu Sheng clutched at his chest. The smell of burnt flesh emanated from it. Before long, his wound had been cauterized.
He held onto his saber with his other hand; blood dripped slowly from his palm. In between his palm and saber hilt was a silver hairpin.
It was the sort of silver hairpin one could buy anywhere on the streetsvery ordinary, worth only a few coins and weighing no more than a few grams.
Lu Sheng had found it on the lantern lady.
After the lantern lady had died, her entire body dissolved thoroughly into smoke, leaving behind only miscellaneous items like her clothes and the lantern. Lu Sheng found this silver hairpin among them. He attempted dripping his blood on to it and discovered that it was indeed filled with absorbable Yin Qi.
Presently, Yin Qi seeped into his palm continuously. Though it was not thick, it kept flowing.
Lu Sheng felt a fiery pain in his chest. The external wound was no longer bleeding, while the internal wounds were being healed by Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill. Together with Ultimate Crimson Mantra, he first pressed his arteries and veins together with his hand, then cauterized it with Ultimate Crimson Qi. Finally, Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill quickly healed the injury.
During the combat, majority of his skill was spent on suppressing poison; the actual amount of inner Qi spent on attacks was rather minimal.
Only a pile of red clothes and the horse carriage by the side remained on the ground. The lantern on the carriage had been extinguished. The black horse that had pulled the carriage stood still on the spot like a statue, blood flowing out from its orifices; it had died standing.
Using his saber as a crutch, Lu Sheng chased after the carriage team, step by step.
Before long, he was greeted with a series of hoof beats. Lifting his head, he saw that it was Jade Lotus riding hard towards him, with two disciples on horses behind him.
Jade Lotus caught sight of Lu Sheng stumbling along by the road, covered in blood and being a mess. He was alarmed.
The three of them flipped off their horses immediately.
"External Head, are you alright!?"
The three of them hurried forward to support Lu Sheng.
"Im alright. Whyre there only the three of you? Have arrangements been made in the city?" Before leaving them, Lu Sheng had instructed Jade Lotus to tidy up his territory in Mountain-Edge and monitor it for any unusual phenomena. Once an incident occurred, he was to immediately dispatch men to quarantine the area and coordinate with the yamen authorities in peacekeeping.
"Alls well in the city. External Head, how did you get so badly injured? Who in the region is capable of hurting you so gravely!?" Jade Lotus asked somberly, at the same time taking out some medicine from his waist pouch to apply on Lu Sheng.
"Ill do it myself," Lu Sheng took the medicine and pulled away his robes to reveal the wounds on his chest and abdomen. Lightly, he sprinkled some medicinal powder on his wounds and rubbed evenly.
"Its a long story not something that you guys need to know. Lets head back first. My familys right ahead. You guys go ahead first to the forbidden zone."
Seeing Lu Shengs wounds, the trio including Jade Lotus sucked in a breath of cold air. Both wounds were purplish black in colora clear sign of poison.
"Its nothing. Looks like poison, but Ive cauterized this part with inner Qi to isolate it. I just need to carve out some flesh when I get back," beads of sweat emerged on Lu Shengs forehead as he explained, enduring the pain.
"Ive still got some poison antidotes here" Jade Lotus hesitated.
"No need. The average antidotes wouldnt help with this," Lu Sheng sensed that his poison could be counteracted with Yang-attribute inner Qi. After expending a huge amount of Ultimate Crimson Qi, the poison didnt seep deep into his body. He would recover as long as he hurried back to the city to carve out the poisoned flesh and sterilize his wounds.
"Alright then, Ill ride back with External Head. Both of you follow behind on a single horse," Jade Lotus quickly ordered.
Having made arrangements, the four of them rode hard in pursuit.
Quickly, the carriage team appeared in sight. Thankfully, they were continuing steadily forward without much commotion among them.
Lu Sheng did not alight from his horse. He looked awfully pale, his face drained of color. As he sped past the carriage team, his Old Dad Lu Quanan did not even have time to recognize him before he faded from their view.
Along the way, Lu Sheng carefully observed his surroundings to ensure that the path ahead of the carriage team was safe. He gritted his teeth through the intense pain until he reached Mountain-Edge City. Only after instructing the sect disciples to receive his familys carriage team was he helped into the Golden Jade Greenhouse by Jade Lotus.
The place had half become Lu Shengs base of operation. He had even employed workmen to construct a new building here for him to rest in.
 TL/N: "Yu" was a verbal command to horses for halting in ancient China. EN/N: I believe the English equivalent is "Whoa".