"Originally, we were daughters of a wealthy family in Yun Province. Both my sister and I were studying in a private academy. One day, a bunch of bad people came to our house," hatred swirled in Liu Qins eyes.
"Those bad people were very, very powerful. They killed Old Master and our house protector. Even the reinforcements we got from outside could not escape the same fate. After slaughtering all members of the main family, they started killing the branch families.
Only in retrospect did we realize that our family was merely collateral damage. Our Liu Family was also a branch family of a larger family. Those bad people were looking for an item. They slaughtered their way to our Liu Family, ruining and destroying us."
"It was only under the help of a good Samaritan that we were able to escape under disguise as beggars. We begged our way to the Northern Lands after that," Liu Caiyun added.
"Then, as for why you would encounter attacks by ghosts" Lu Sheng frowned.
"Thats a special ability that my sister and I were born with. We were innately gifted with a constitution that attracts ghosts and spirits, and which is able to sense and detect their presence and abilities," Liu Qin quickly replied.
Beside her, Liu Caiyun quickly nodded too.
Lu Shengs face remained calm; the sisters could not tell if he believed them or not.
"I see so, what plans do you have now?"
The two sisters glanced at each other. Liu Qin spoke first, "Since those things have come again, we better leave this place."
Hearing that, Lu Shengs frown grew deeper.
"How old are the two of you this year?"
Liu Qin and her sister were caught by surprise, perplexed by Lu Shengs intention behind his question. Nonetheless, they replied honestly,
"Im eleven. My sisters ten."
"Youre so young. And both of you are sick. Is there any point in continuing to flee? Sooner or later, youd die of starvation or thirst. Or of illness. Or perhaps by ghosts," Lu Sheng said.
He rose and sighed, a trace of compassion in his eyes. He closed his eyes and thought for a moment.
"Fine," Lu Sheng said. "Id ignore this if I hadnt seen this. But since its happened right before my eyes, I cant just ignore it.
Both of you girls can rest and recover under my care. Im still missing two assistants. How about both of you fill those vacancies?" He said.
"Thank you, Young Master Lu. But assistant? What does that mean? What does the job entail?" Liu Qin hesitated with caution.
"Oh, basically to tidy up after me," Lu Sheng smiled.
"Oh, like a maid? We can do that!" Liu Caiyun blurted out without waiting for her sister to speak.
Liu Qin was about to speak, but seeing as her sister had already agreed, she kept quiet.
"Go look for Jade Lotus. Tell him that this is my arrangement. Let the physician come and take a look at your condition and make a list of all the medicinal herbs needed," Lu Sheng instructed.
"Is that really ok?" Liu Qin stared at Lu Sheng wide-eyed, finding it hard to believe that such grace would fall from the skies.
"Of course it is," Lu Sheng chuckled. "I have high hopes for both of you. The ability to detect the presence of ghosts in this world is extremely rare. Theres great potential for your future development; dont underestimate yourselves," he encouraged.
"Really?" Liu Caiyuns voice trembled.
"Of course. As for your body constitution that attracts ghosts, dont worry. I was just looking for an opportunity to practice my saber strokes. Both of you will stay in the room above mine," Lu Sheng grinned, revealing a row of white, ghastly-looking teeth which gave him a look of savagery. Yet, his savagery at this moment was incredibly reassuring to the two sisters.
"Thank you, Young Master Lu" Liu Qin gritted her teeth and knelt before Lu Sheng suddenly, pulling her sister into kneeling position with her.
"Its nothing, its nothing!" Lu Sheng hurriedly pulled both of them up. "Youve encountered such great calamity at a young age, but have kept your heart from being distorted and preserved your integrity. Its deeply admirable. Since Im able to lend a helping hand, I most certainly wont shy away from it."
The Liu sisters burst out in gratitude and appreciation for him. After experiencing so many ups and downs, they deeply understood how precious a refuge where they could truly rest was.
All along, they had been fleeing in all directions, not daring to stay in one place for more than a while. Both of them had awoken in fright innumerable times and fled in hurry. Often, they implicated the good Samaritans who had taken them in. They had cried too many times, their hopes shattered too often.
But this time, things seemed different from previously. This Young Master Lu standing before them was muscular and bald. His glare was fierce and his aura extraordinary. Most importantly, he was completely undaunted by ghosts. The ghost which had just been attracted was dealt with by this Young Master Lu without so much as a blink of an eye. That went to show how strong he was.
As Liu Qin left, a trace of hope was birthed in her heart once more. Perhaps this time, they could stay longer in this place.
Both sisters left the yard and returned to their room, about to change their clothes and look for Jade Lotus to get their condition checked out.
"Sis, do you think we can finally stop fleeing now?" Liu Caiyun whispered.
Liu Qin fell into silence.
Liu Caiyun continued, "Sis, why didnt you tell Young Master Lu the truth? Hes a good man."
"So what if I did?" Liu Qin retorted. "Our trouble is too great. Even if I told him, wed at most be able to stay here for just a slight bit longer."
"Even just one day more would be nice" Liu Caiyun mumbled.
Liu Qin sighed.
"We cant implicate Young Master Lu. Hes already very kind to us."
"I know" Liu Caiyun was crestfallen. "As long as a single day goes by in which Giant Spirit Blood remains unfound, they wont leave us alone"
"Shush!" Liu Qin quickly pressed a finger to her lips.
"Whats there to be scared of? Its not like weve got any idea where that thing is! Were just but a branch of the Liu Family. Hows it fair that weve got to pay the price for the main branchs woes!" Liu Caiyuns eyes were filled with hate. "Daddy Mummy what wrong did they do that they had to be skinned alive?! What wrong did we do!? This life is worse than death!"
"Thats enough, Caiyun!" Liu Qin finally reached the end of her tolerance and shouted.
Liu Caiyun fell silent. She bit her lip as tears welled up in her eyes.
"One day, if Im powerful enough I must make all those whove harmed us, whove gloated in our misfortune I must make them all" her eyes spit venom.
"Caiyun!!!" Liu Qin hugged her. "Have you forgotten what Dad and Mum taught us??!"
"Sis whoevers kind to me, Ill be kind to him or her. Whoevers bad to me, Ill make them suffer a living death! Isnt that fair?" Liu Caiyun replied, a tremor in her voice.
Liu Qin did not know what to say.
Outside the door, Lu Sheng stood still by the entrance, listening thoughtfully to the conversation inside.
He was about to take the two of them to see the physician personally when he overheard their secret.
It seemed like the pair of sisters did not have any body constitution that attracted ghosts. Rather, it seemed more like they were being hunted by a certain faction.
Interesting, Lu Shengs eyes narrowed as he left swiftly.
But if the ghost from earlier was a benchmark for their strength, then this faction was really but a small fry in his eyes.
"BAM! BAM! BAM BAM BAM!!!"
Thick cudgels smashed onto Lu Shengs body. On his back, chest, and shoulderspeople continuously hit him heavily.
Lu Shengs top was bared. The muscles on his body were solid like chiseled metal, reflecting a layer of oily glint under the sun.
All around him were cudgel-wielding muscular men from Crimson Whale Sect. Each one of them was exhausted, yet forced to continue hitting Lu Sheng with the iron cudgel.
In the clearing in the greenhouse, Lu Shengs body was expanding, thick bands of muscles intertwining with each other like steel bars. Fine veins emerged on the surface of his skin like chains.
That was one of the signs of Initiation in Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill.
"Thats enough. Wheres the medicinal tub?" Lu Sheng opened his eyes and surveyed the men around him, who collapsed in exhaustion.
"Its already prepared, Big Bro," Duan Mengan hurriedly said.
Lu Sheng nodded. It has been tough on these subordinates. Apart from Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill, another reason why it was hard for him to attain Initiation in this hard body skill was the fact that he had already cultivated Bear Wrestling Arm.
In order to practice a second hard body skill after already mastering one, the body needs to receive stimulation of an even greater intensity to train its toughness.
This also resulted in a high level of difficulty for Lu Sheng to be initiated into Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill.
But thankfully its done, Lu Sheng took his top from Duan Mengan, gulped down some water, wiped his sweat and strolled back into his room.
In the middle of his room was a round wooden tub which was filled to the brim with a purplish black medicinal bath.
Martial arts are for the rich indeed just this tub of medicinal bath alone is worth at least ten taels of silver, Lu Sheng shook his head.
Without further ado, he rapidly stripped himself of his clothes and stepped into the tub.
A thick burning sensation spread all over his skin and swiftly permeated his five bowels and six viscera.
Lu Sheng completely submerged himself up to his neck into the medicinal bath, leaving only his head outside.
Lets begin, he shut his eyes and leaned on the tub. Deep Blue.
With a swish, the Modifier screen appeared before his eyes.
He clicked the Begin Modification button with great familiarity. Then his gaze fell on Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill.
Upgrade Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill to Level One, Lu Sheng declared in his mind.
Instantly, the Modifier blurred and the status display of Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill jumped from "Initiated" to "Level One".
A faint sizzle entered Lu Shengs ears. He looked down into the tub to see the purplish black medicinal liquid turn clear at visible speed.
At the same time, a hot flush radiated out from inside Lu Shengs body but was quickly suppressed. Lu Sheng endured it purely by his constitution without serious repercussions.
Looks like I was right to prepare ten servings of the medicinal liquid, Lu Sheng immediately understood. The medicinal solution, together with his own fundamental constitution, must have enabled him to pull through the upgrading of Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill to Level One.
Typically, the upgrade of a hard body skill requires repeated external stimulation, day after day, year after year, in order to increase the density of the body. Naturally, its strength and toughness would also rise. Such a transformation is far more drastic to the body than upgrading an inner force skill. Thats probably why a hard body skill like Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill consumes more or less as much as Ultimate Crimson Mantra.
But with the aid of sufficient medicinal liquid, the consumption can be reduced to an extent that allows continuous upgrading.
He carefully sensed the traces of numbness circulating across the surface of his skin and muscles. This was Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skills inner Qi. Instead of circulating via the internal viscera, it traveled on the surface of the skin and muscles, forming a network all over the bodys surface like a web of steel chains. When struck by external impact, especially by blunt force, it provided very effective defense. Bear Wrestling Arm, on the other hand, provided good defense against sharp weapons. Both skills thus complemented each other felicitously.