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Luo Di slowly exhaled, blowing white mist from his mouth. He looked up at the worn-down, slightly yellowish shop. He grasped his right arm, and slowly walked into the shop.
The interior of the shop was dimly lit. There was a bowl of soup left on the counter, only the noodles were eaten. A pair of wet chopsticks was left on the side. The wet stains formed two lines on the glass countertop.
The clock on the wall ticked away. The second hand would occasionally rub against some metallic object and creak.
“I’m going to trouble you again, Madhu,” Luo Di said in a deep voice.
His initially strong, big, and tall body was currently emaciated, and even his bones protruded under his skin. His whiskers had long been neglected, while his eyes were sunken, which made him look thin and pallid.
A bright-eyed middle-aged man stood up slowly from behind the counter. This man seemed skinnier than the current Luo Di.
“It’s alright… Old rules, old price. However, you’re about to face the death scene soon, right?” The man’s voice was as sharp as a duck’s.
“Mhm. Very soon…” Luo Di nodded.
“After all these years… If you die as well, I won’t have many old friends left,” said the man ruefully. “So, don’t die.”
Luo Di managed an unsightly smile. “I’ll… try my best…”
One month later…
“Blub, blub, blub…”
A huge amount of extremely thick light green liquid was brewing in a large pot. Lu Sheng stood at the side and kept stirring the liquid with a wooden trowel as he kept an eye on the intensity of the fire.
‘This is the final pot… This should be enough for now…’
Ever since he returned, he hired some workers and started making large batches of medicine. He bought all the herbs he could get his hands on around the manor.
There was a total of 115 formulas on the list.
For every medicine, he had prepared enough to last 100 users 50 years. The concentrations were terrifyingly high.
Very quickly, as the contents of the pot thickened, Lu Sheng’s countdown was also finished.
An acrid smell of something overcooking started wafting into the air.
“It’s done.” Lu Sheng tossed the trowel away and lifted the pot. He did not seem to mind that it was still boiling, and poured it directly down his throat.
“Glug, glug, glug…”
Fortunately, there was nobody around him. Otherwise, if they’d witnessed this scene, they would have fainted in shock. If he was able to pour the boiling medicine into his mouth, he could no longer be considered human.
After Lu Sheng drank everything, his stomach was bloated.
He immediately summoned his modifier, and focused his gaze onto the frame.
“Improve Gelailo Sword Skill!”
The frame suddenly blurred.
Lu Sheng’s skin quickly reddened and swelled. His height was 180 cm initially, but he was slowly getting taller now.
This was a natural process of gigantification, which occurred when the body was strengthened to a certain threshold.
His bones were strengthened, becoming thicker and harder. His muscles became bigger and tougher. His strength and agility increased as well. All these improvements required a huge amount of energy.
If there was no way to condense one’s energy, it was only natural for a person’s body to swell and enlarge to contain more muscles.
A few seconds later, the frame became clear again.
“Gelailo Sword Skill, Great Master (special quality, sword skill, complete. Strength increment, level one hundred and three, Constitution increment, level one hundred and three, speed increment, level one hundred and three.)”
‘I’ve gone up by one level. Not bad.’ Lu Sheng nodded slightly. ‘However, this is still too slow for me…’ He frowned.
‘Moreover, I can find some muscle training techniques from what I’ve learned that can be applied in this world. There’s so much improvement in my Mental Energy, but I’m only using so little of it. There should be enough for the future.’
He put the large pot down, turned around, and walked out of the kitchen. He went into the warehouse.
Containers with various medicines were arranged on the iron shelves inside the warehouse. Every container contained concentrated medicine copious enough to last 100 people 50 years. They were practically gel-like substances that were almost solid.
‘My body is already strong enough to withstand the poisons’ stimulation. Well, what’ll happen if I mix different poisons together?’ Lu Sheng suddenly had this thought.
He had Deep Blue, after all. It did not matter what kind of poison it was. As long as he spent some Mental Energy for the derivation, he would certainly be able to derive the corresponding training method, and directly convert the poison’s effects into a strengthening effect.
‘But before that, I must first derive the extreme Yin status. Otherwise, it would be bad if I turn into a strangely shaped being from all that strengthening and Luo Di mistakes me for a monster…’ Lu Sheng remembered the situation that happened when he’d cultivated the hard body skill, and his face twitched.
He casually picked a can of ointment, and poured it into his mouth. Then, he chewed on it on his way back to his bedroom. He was ready to rest.
“Young… Young Master… there’s a guest here for you…” A voice that was trembling with fear immediately reached him from the courtyard. It was a servant from the manor.
Ever since Lu Sheng crushed the head of a servant who accidentally left some ingredients out from the list, nobody dared to talk to him face to face anymore.
Such a situation was normal close to the borders. The laws were too far away to reach them, and nobody would safeguard them here.
After Lu Sheng crushed the heads of the family members of a person who tried to scam them, nobody mentioned that matter in front of him anymore.
“A guest? For who? For me?” Lu Sheng asked in a deep voice.
“Yes…” the servant replied in a trembling voice.
“Mhm… Have him wait a while.” Lu Sheng turned around and walked toward his wardrobe. He intended to search for a piece of clothing which could fit him.
On the arching stone bridge beside the manor’s mill, a black-clothed person completely covered with a cloak stood before the doors of the courtyard. The person waited silently.
Under the hood was a cold face that did not seem to contain any blood.
His name was Solomon. He came here to pass the message Luo Di had for his son, Luo Sang.
He was an old friend of Luo Di. They were sworn friends for life and death. Currently, Luo Di and the others had already headed toward that place to encounter the death scene.
However, he was asked to come here and have Luo Sang leave this place by telling him a fabricated story. He would tell Luo Sang to go to another place to inherit a supposedly huge fortune…
“Meaningless,” Solomon muttered under his breath. He had seen Luo Sang before. He was a brat so cowardly that he did not even meet his gaze.
In the short span of time he was waiting for the doors to open, he decided not to follow his good friend’s request. Instead, he intended to tell Luo Sang the truth.
He would leave the decision up to Luo Sang.
“That’s the fair choice.” Solomon sighed softly.
The doors opened. This courtyard was the only place in the manor that was used for sword practice.
The doors were barely open, but Solomon already choked on the thick smoke that wafted out. He could not see anything through the smoke.
“Is Luo Sang here?” His expression remained unchanged, and he maintained his straight posture.
“You are?” A ringing voice came from the thick smoke.
“I am Solomon. I’m here to tell you unfortunate news.” Solomon was not a man good with words. Hence, he decided to get straight to the point.
“Your father is going to die.”
There was an awkward silence.
“…Sorry, what did you say? Can you repeat it?” The smoke was slowly dispersing. It was only now that Solomon caught a clear glimpse of the figure that stood behind the door.
It was a strong and big man who was taller than him by a head. If he raised his arms, a horse could gallop across them. His chest was as hard as steel granite, and the knots of his muscles were like small hills. This man was standing at the door and looking down at him with a focused gaze.
It was only now that Solomon noticed that the mist was this huge man’s breath…
He only had one thought. ‘Wtf…’
His heart shook wildly. He began to wonder if he had come knocking on the wrong door.
He took a deep breath and decided to try again.
“I said… your father is going to die.”
His voice barely faded when Solomon saw the smile on the huge man’s face freeze.
For an instant, he felt as if he had seen God. His body floated on clouds and was shrouded in mist. He reeled for who knew how far. The powerful impact made him feel as if he was a machine that was about to break apart.
His sternum whined and his brain rolled. His stomach felt as if it was tugged and pulled by a large hand.
He plunged into the river like a cannonball. He crashed to the riverbed, and bounced back up to the surface.
He could not help but spit out a mouthful of blood. He lay on the water’s surface while looking at the sky.
“It’s so good… to be alive…” He saw the bright sun shining on him. He was desperately trying to calm his emotions.
“Kid…” However, a large hand immediately covered his field of vision. It seemed as if it was blotting out the heavens and the earth as it clamped down onto his head.
Amid splashes in the water, Lu Sheng lifted Solomon up and held him at eye level.
“You must understand that some things shouldn’t be said carelessly.”
“I…” Solomon wanted to say something, but spat out blood instead. He felt that he was going to die. However, he would not be dying at that wretched place. Instead, he would die in the hands of this peculiar huge man.
He felt mind-boggled.
“Tell me, my father, Luo Di, how’s he now? Who sent you here? Don’t you let me catch you lying. My patience is limited,” Lu Sheng said in a deep voice.
Solomon fell silent. When he felt more comfortable, he took a few more breaths before speaking again. “You’re… Luo Sang? I’m Solomon. I’ve seen you when you were still little. I’m here on your father’s behalf. I have a message for you.”
“Are you sure?” Lu Sheng stared at his eyes.
“You’re not lying to me?”
“Absolutely not!” Solomon felt that he had rotten luck… He was known for his frank nature and sharp tongue. However, never had he regretted his sharp tongue and frank nature as much as in this moment.
“Nobody can lie to me. That’s because those who’ve lied to me are all dead.” Lu Sheng hurled a punch at the ground.
The ground shook. A pit the size of a bathtub erupted as if an explosion had just occurred.
The soil spattered onto Solomon’s face.
“Heh… Heheh… I can see that…” Solomon managed a smile.
Ten minutes later…
Lu Sheng sat opposite Solomon.
A wooden table was set between them. Sumptuous dishes, wine, and fruits were served.
“I was wrong to blame you. I’ve even injured you without getting to the bottom of the story. I’m sorry.” Lu Sheng solemnly bowed toward Solomon and admitted his wrongdoing.
“If you’ll feel better after hitting and cursing me, you may do as you please,” he said seriously. Correcting a wrong had always been his virtue; he was not the kind of person to be stubborn in his shortcomings. He had only been following his own standards in the depths of his heart, and did not care about the standards and morals of the world.
“Uh…” Solomon was at a loss for words.
Currently, two servants presented a few iron rods and wooden staves as thick as an arm with deft movements.
“It’s alright, there’s no need to hold back.” Lu Sheng picked up an iron rod which was as thick as a child’s arm. “Just like this.”
He brought the iron rod mercilessly down onto his head. A dent in the obvious shape of his head was made in the rod.
Lu Sheng switched to a solid wooden staff.
He struck the side of his neck mercilessly with the wooden staff, which cleanly broke in two.
He placed these two objects down without even flinching. Then, he pointed at the wooden frame at the side.
Solomon looked at the iron rod on the floor. Then, he looked at Lu Sheng’s unscathed forehead and neck.
“Since it’s only a misunderstanding and I didn’t die, I think it’s better for us to talk about your father first.” He decided to forgive this child who had just offended him. After all, he did not recognize him, because it truly had been a long time since they last met. Everybody deserved to have a second chance.
“I understand.” Lu Sheng nodded.
Solomon’s injuries were not as bad as they seemed. He broke a bone or two, but they were not fatal wounds. Lu Sheng had precise control over his own strength.
Then, Solomon told Lu Sheng everything about Luo Di.
Time passed slowly. Lu Sheng’s initially serious expression gradually grew grim and solemn. However, he did not interrupt Solomon even once. He merely waited for him to finish what he had to say.
After Solomon finished, the two of them fell into a temporary silence.
After a dozen minutes, Solomon spoke up again. “So, what’s your decision?”
“…” Lu Sheng did not answer him directly. Instead, he stood up. “How much time is left before the death scene reaches him?”
“According to our calculations of the cycle, we still have around 10 days,” Solomon replied.
“So, do you still remember the way there?” Lu Sheng asked again.
“That’s my objective for coming here.” Solomon immediately smiled when he heard that. “However, aren’t you afraid of death?”
“Death?” Lu Sheng displayed a peculiar smile. “There’s no such thing.”
He moved his shoulders. His joints cracked like firecrackers within his body.
“Everything in this world is too weak. I just so happen to be needing some punching bags.”
“You’re powerful,” Solomon said with a straight face, “but the monsters are more powerful. More importantly, they’re immortal. Luo Sang, you must be careful… Powerful Great Masters have tried to go up against them before this, but all of them failed. Don’t be careless.”
“I’m different… You only have to bring me there.” Lu Sheng smiled.
Unbroken hills rose and fell. Skies were gloomy, and it was drizzling slightly.
An old, ruined town crouched silently on one side of the hills. Mottled grayish-white spots covered the town’s ground and houses.
From afar, it was as if everything was built from small white pebbles.
A bolt of lightning suddenly streaked across the skies. It lit up the entire town. The shadows in the corners were accentuated by the increased contrast.
Urus wore a martial attire. Badges and ribbons which he took pride in were attached to the shoulders and chest of his black uniform.
Two groups of elite special troops 20 men strong followed behind him.
Further away were scattered field artillery battalions. He had brought five of them with him this time. Each battalion was issued five heavy artillery pieces, for a total of 25. He did not believe that this peculiar town could survive this.
“General, you’ll only be increasing the number of casualties needlessly. These soldiers are innocent,” the black-clothed cloaked man advised him helplessly from the side.
“You and I are about to face the death scene. Since we’re about to die, why fret over such trivial matters? Who knows, maybe it’ll work? Just because the monsters can’t be killed, it doesn’t mean that this town can’t be killed.” Urus displayed a nasty grin.
“It’s not as if nobody has tried what you’re about to do before…” said the cloaked man in a deep voice.
“I know, that’s why I’ve prepared the big boys.” Urus’s face contorted further.
“You…” The cloaked man seemed to have remembered something, and decided to shut his mouth and say no more. He remembered the mission entrusted to this general’s wife. Perhaps… That was also a trial…
A huge amount of ointment was poured into the bathtub.
Lu Sheng sat in the middle, wearing only a pair of shorts. He had a servant continuously pour ointment into the tub.
He had already settled Solomon in a nearby courtyard in the manor. He had 10 more days, so he had to strengthen his body as much as possible in that time.
He would not be able to make it by consuming the medicine. Hence, he decided to take a bath with it to absorb it in larger quantities.
Barrels of ointment were poured into the wooden tub. In no time, 50 barrels’ worth of ointment was in the tub.
The ointment reached Lu Sheng’s chin.
“You guys are dismissed,” he instructed.
“Yes, Young Master.” The servants exited the room and shut the door.
When Lu Sheng saw that the others had left, he submerged himself completely into the ointment.
Large amounts of ointment were being wildly absorbed into his body. It seeped into his body through the pores of his skin. By this time, he was already able to utilize a certain amount of power from his main body. This was exactly the moment where he should use his main body.
It was not a problem for him to use his main body’s power in a simple and minimal manner as long as it did not cover a wide area or surpass a high threshold.
White smoke rose from the top of his head. The ointment in the wooden tub was quickly losing its color. Gradually, transparent liquid was seeping out of Lu Sheng’s skin.
His Divine Lord’s spirit was controlling his body so that it absorbed the ointment precisely. His body wildly consumed large amounts of the medicine.
The modifier’s interface surfaced again.
‘Let’s start… This way, I’ll be able to absorb them all in a few attempts.’ Lu Sheng slowly focused his spirits and held his breath. His gaze quickly fell on the frame at the end. He pushed the overall modify button, and then pressed the derive button.
Deep Blue’s interface immediately blurred.
Days passed by.
Solomon quickly went to the courtyard which Lu Sheng stayed in—as per the promise they’d made. He intended to call him and prepare for their departure.
What exceeded his expectations was that after seven days, Luo Sang’s appearance was skinnier than before.
The scent of medicine filled the entire courtyard. He choked on it so much that he found it difficult to breathe.
Luo Sang wore a white shirt and black trousers. His body size seemed to have shrunk considerably, and he appeared more like an ordinary person now.
Lu Sheng had a simple sack in his hands. He would be traveling light.
“Let’s go and see Father and the others.”
Solomon sized Lu Sheng up with shock. “Are you… alright?”
“I’m alright, don’t worry.” Lu Sheng grinned. “The only thing I’m worried about now is if we’ll be able to catch up to them in three days.”
“Two days will suffice. That place… We can take a shortcut,” said Solomon calmly. “Have you taken the train before? A wonderful thing, that is.”
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