"Im supposed to know about you?" Lu Sheng was surprised too.
Now it was Zhuo Wenyus turn to be dumbstruck. This dude didnt know a single thing and yet walloped her all the same.
It was a good thing that she was experienced in dealing with many different types of situations and was able to react rapidly. With a turn of her eyeballs, she said, "Let me go, and I can gather some intelligence on Scarlet District for you. Zhen Family isnt in a very good shape now, trust me. Letting me go does you more good than harm."
"Give me this thing on your neck. If youve got similar stuff, I can consider letting you go," Lu Sheng pointed at a pearl necklace beaded through with a metal string on her chest.
"Deal!" Zhuo Wenyu was caught by surprise. The pearl necklace she was wearing wasnt any treasure. It was just slightly valuable because it was a dated necklace. She hadnt expected that her opponent would request for it.
"And that thing in the corpse mouth. I want to take a look at it before deciding," Lu Sheng continued to bargain.
To be honest, he didnt want to kill this person either. She was someone from Scarlet Tower, which meant she was from Scarlet District. Her understanding of ghosts would definitely far outstrip that of outsiders like them in Crimson Whale Sect.
He hoped to find a method for breakthrough from her.
"That thing isnt of any use to you. Only demons like us have any use for it," Zhuo Wenyu explained. Bizarrely, despite her grave injuries, she could still speak clearly and composedly, as if she were not affected by her severe injuries.
"And even for us, its difficult to absorb this sort of corpse Qi. We need time to digest it."
"Corpse Qi?" Realization dawned on Lu Sheng. Although he could feel that the thing in the corpses mouth was peculiar, it was a very vague feeling rather than a clear detection.
After all, had it not been for the Modifier, he would be no more than a mere mortal. Hence, apart from Yin Qi and inner Qi, he could not detect anything else.
"Youre very strong. Among mortals, youd be considered one of the small minority of the strongest experts. They term themselves the realm of Divine Prime and largely live in seclusion all over the world. How is it that youre so powerful and yet still involved in a sect such as this?" Zhuo Wenyu asked.
"My strength is at Divine Prime?" Lu Sheng was astonished. He had only used Level Five of Ultimate Crimson Skill, with Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill and his hard body skill. Although his actual combat strength should surpass the old Sect Master's, but the difference should not be great. And yet she described his level as comparable to that of Divine Prime.
"Isnt it?" Zhuo Wenyu countered. "Ive once exchanged blows with a few Divine Prime experts. Their power was like yours."
"Alright, lets put that aside and look at what toy this is first," Lu Sheng stared at the pearl necklace on her neck.
With a tug, Zhuo Wenyu ripped it off her neck and tossed it to Lu Sheng. "To be honest, Ive no idea what you want this stuff for. Apart from being slightly dated and worth a few more coins, its just an ordinary necklace. If you want, I can get you a dozen of them."
"Naturally, I have my reasons for wanting it," Lu Sheng caught the necklace and walked to the corpse on the bed. One saber cut cleaved its head open, revealing the object in its mouth.
It was a tiny black round cauldron with intricate patterns carved on its surface. It had six handles around it and was about the size of an egg, made of neither gold nor jade.
Carefully, Lu Sheng lifted it up with the tip of his saber, then looked at Zhuo Wenyu. This womans eyes shone with a green hue as she stared intently at the egg-sized cauldron.
"You want this very much?" The corners of Lu Shengs mouth curved upwards.
"Of course," Zhuo Wenyu dispensed with all pretense.
Lu Sheng sensed the Yin Qi emanating from the pearl necklace in his hand. "If youve still got objects like the necklace, Ill gift you with this thing."
"For real?" Zhuo Wenyu frowned, befuddled. "Are you sure you just want pearl necklaces like that?"
"No, its not the necklace that I want. What I want are objects that are dated like this. Objects that are mostly burial items, ideally those worn directly on the dead, or in physical contact with them," Lu Sheng explained.
Zhuo Wenyu bowed her head in thought.
"Objects like that take a look and see if this counts?" She retrieved a gold-threaded purse from her chest and passed it to Lu Sheng.
Lu Sheng received it and was overjoyed to sense threads of Yin Qi coming from it. He knew it was a right decision to collaborate with this demoness.
"Yes! Ten more of such items and Ill give you that thing."
"Ok," Zhuo Wenyu agreed without hesitation.
Surprised at the speed of her agreement, Lu Sheng instantly realized that he had set his price too low.
"Er no I made a slip of the tongue," with a turn of his eyeballs, he chuckled, "I want a hundred more of such items! A hundred of them and this treasure is yours!"
"You!" Zhuo Wenyu stared at the bald man in front of him, seized by anger. "You cunning human! Dont go overboard!!"
"Im not going overboard. Im merely selling high," Lu Sheng grinned. "Who can help that you especially need this item?"
Zhuo Wenyu glared at Lu Sheng for a long while. Eventually, however, she had to concede defeat. She truly needed this cauldron too desperately.
"A few dozen at most. These items are all antiques worth a hefty sum. And theyre mostly beloved items. Any more and I wont be able to find it no matter how hard I look."
Looking at her, Lu Sheng knew that she was telling the truth this time.
"Can you bring it to me all at one go? Item for item. Any problems?"
"No way! I need time to gather these items. They wont all come at the same time. Moreover, most of them are others beloved items. I can bring it to you for you to take a look at it first. If youre certain that you want it, then Ill give it to you," initially, Zhuo Wenyu had thought that Lu Sheng was merely making a demand on the spur of the moment. But now it seemed to her that he truly desired those items and hence she felt that she had more bargaining space.
"However, if you have a long-term demand for such items, I can find you a stable source and be your business partner. But youve got to help me collect some items that only people like you can lay hands on too."
"Oh? Are you serious?" Lu Sheng was hooked. The amount of Yin Qi on the pearl necklace was limited (there was only a bare thread of Yin Qi in it). It was equivalent to the powder left behind by the white-robed ghost that he had killed in the pastsufficient for extrapolating an average foundational skill, but clearly inadequate for high-level martial arts. But if there were more such items, and even a stable supply of it, that was a different story.
"I'm serious!" Zhuo Wenyu nodded. Her life was now in his hands and the wounds on her burned with pain. She would not lie to him.
"Fine, its a deal then," Lu Sheng picked up a random piece of cloth on the ground and lifted the cauldron with his saber tip, then placed it in the middle of the cloth and wrapped it up. Then he kept it and looked at Zhuo Wenyu, "How do we keep in touch hereafter?"
"How about right here? When Im here, Ill leave three stones in a triangle under that withered tree by the perimeter wall," Zhuo Wenyu said. "You can leave a sentry here."
Then, she reached behind her neck and tore a small piece of her flesh along her wound and passed it to Lu Sheng, "This is for you. If you need to reach me, just burn it."
Lu Sheng received the chunk of flesh with the saber tip and scrutinized it. Satisfied that it was not poisoned, he used the earlier piece of rag and wrapped it snugly into a parcel.
Neither the necklace nor the purse contained much Yin Qi. From the time he had received them till now, they were nearly entirely drained clean. Add to that the Yin Qi from the ghost that he previously slew, and he had enough for an upgrade of Ultimate Crimson Mantra.
"Pleasure doing business with you. Oh, and you had best leave soon. Im gonna raze this place to the ground," Lu Sheng chuckled and left with the cauldron.
He did not care about how Zhuo Wenyu was going to leave. In a few steps, he walked past the courtyard and out of the main entrance. Dry wood was heaped all around the perimeter wall with oil doused on them, as per Lu Shengs instructions.
Xu Chui stood waiting outside with a torch.
"What method of cleaning up beats razing it to the ground? Anyway, Ive razed it once. Why not a second time?" Lu Sheng looked back and took the torch from Xu Chuis hand and tossed it casually on the dry wood by the door.
Once the torch landed among the heaps of dry wood, it instantly lit up the oil doused over them. Yellow flames leaped up and spread like wildfire. Before long, thick columns of smoke billowed, enveloping the entire Song Manor.
This time round, Lu Sheng had his men bring over massive amounts of dry wood specifically to raze this haunted place off the surface of the world. He was much better prepared than in case of the previous hastily lit fire.
Zhuo Wenyu certainly had more secrets to hide. But, whatever, as long as she could supply him with Yin Qi items, Lu Sheng could not bother himself with her secrets.
"Big Bro, is this enough?" Xu Chui asked softly. "That woman from before"
"She ran away. But shes gravely wounded by me so dont worry about her," Lu Sheng replied. "Lets head back. Our business here is finished. Our men are still waiting outside."
"Yes, sir," Xu Chui acknowledged with a bow of his head.
Lu Sheng quickly led his men back to headquarters. After debriefing and reporting to old Sect Master, Hong Mingzi, on the Crimson Whale, he eagerly rushed back to Golden Jade Greenhouse.
Most of the works in it had been completed. Because the tower was made of a composite of wood and bricks, the building speed was very fast and it was now ready for habitation.
Lu Sheng thus moved out of his previous small apartment to a double-story apartment in the building.
Once he entered the apartment, he headed straight for a quiet room designed for cultivating, locked the door and the windows, ordered that none was to disturb him, then sat down on a cushion in the room.
This time I should be able to break through the limit of Ultimate Crimson Mantra and extrapolate it to new heights! Lu Sheng was filled with anticipation.
Ultimate Crimson Mantra was strong indeed. Earlier, just Level Five of the mantra coupled with Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill and his hard body skill was enough for him to whack Zhuo Wenyu, who was capable of holding her own against Divine Prime experts, half to death.
If he had attacked at full strengthLevel Seven of Ultimate Crimson Mantrahe was sure its might would be several folds stronger! Yet even such a level was still long ways away from the realm of Bind.
But Lu Sheng sensed that he was drawing closer and closer to this boundary that separated mortals from Noblemen and Anomalies with each passing day.
Sucking in a deep breath, he closed his eyes and called out, Deep Blue.
A light blue screen emerged, floating silently before his eyes.
A dialogue box jumped out immediately.
Begin martial arts extrapolation?
Lu Sheng composed himself to thwart his excitement. When he was completely in control of his emotions, he replied mentally,
The dialogue box vanished in the blink of an eye.
After confirming the decision to extrapolate, Lu Sheng felt once more the wonderful feeling that all the martial arts in the Modifier could be extrapolated and integrated.
His line of sight immediately fell on Ultimate Crimson Mantra.
Ultimate Crimson Mantra: Level Seven. Special Effect(s): Blood Web, Intensified Fire Poison, Six-Fold Tremor, Intensified Incendiary. Indeed, a button for extrapolation appeared after it.
Lu Sheng pressed the button gently within his mind, eager and shaking with anticipation.