Black Jade City, Thalia District.
The party came to a small and dilapidated house made of stone that contained little more than a few items of crude furniture; a table, a chair, a bed, and an iron cooking pot. On that bed of stone, a woman that had long gone without a trace of life silently lay.
Sanguis took light steps into the room and knelt before his mother’s stone bed. After a heartfelt round of prayer, Sanguis stood up emotionless, turned to Han Shuo, and said, “Master, I wish to bury my mother’s body!”
Han Shuo nodded. Without saying another word, he took out a few pieces of pitch-black ‘black stone coins’ from his space ring and placed it on the crack-lined table at the center of the room.
Whichever material plane one was on, burying the dead was not for the penniless. The Abyss realm was no exception. The reason Sanguis had left home for the streets was precisely to find the funds to properly bury his mother. But he chanced upon his ‘old friends’ and was nearly beaten to death.
Had he not met Han Shuo, this impoverished child wouldn’t have gathered enough money for a burial even when his mother’s body had rotten. Towards this newly known master of his, Sanguis did not behave overly humble. After he saw the enormous sum of black stone coins Han Shuo placed on the stone table, Sanguis only said in a dull voice, “Thank you master.”
In the Abyss realm, black stone coins were of the greatest denomination in circulation. One coin could be exchanged for ten blue stone coins, or for a hundred pieces of yellow stone coin. In normal circumstances, just a few blue stone coins were enough for a basic ceremony. Those pieces of black stone coin Han Shuo put down were definitely more than enough for Sanguis to squander.
“Alright, you go take care of your matters.” Han Shuo nodded, looked at his three ladies standing outside the door, and apathetically exited.
“With black stone coins, it wouldn’t take long to complete,” Sanguis replied. After he followed Han Shuo out of the room and said, “Master, masters, please wait here for a while. I need to leave for a moment and will be back very soon,”
“Go ahead,” Han Shuo agreed.
With the few pieces of black stone coins, Sanguis bolted off. This youngster had a strong and even morbid thirst for power. Even since obtaining the foundation cultivation methods of Bloodgod Mantra, he had been persistently thinking about the cultivation methods. Han Shuo could make that out from his constantly knitted brows and abnormalities of the blood inside his body.
“Han Shuo, this kid, he does have very tenacious willpower. But, can he really become the powerful expert to match your expectations?” Jasper asked with gently creased brows as she watched Sanguis leaving.
“Yeah, he said that he couldn’t cultivate in any of the eight elemental energies or four edictal forces. In the Abyss, those would can’t cultivate in any of these twelve energies definitely are, just like he said himself, rubbish. How could such a person also possess mighty strength?” Sylph too was skeptical. Having grown up in the Abyss realm, they did not seem too optimistic about this youngster.
Han Shuo put on the smile of an insightful man, turned his eyes to the three ladies, and said, “The eight elemental energies and four edictal forces are not the universal cultivation pathways for everyone. Some are gifted and different from birth, and destined for the unbeaten path. If Sanguis hadn’t come across me, he might remain mediocre his whole life. But, since he was so fortunate for us to have met, it is a matter of course that he would be an outstanding expert in the future.”
The three ladies were astonished at Han Shuo’s explanation. After exchanging glances with each other, Jasper gave a smile and said, “I believe you. Hehe, there are indeed many magical things about you. Perhaps it is true that only by meeting you could Sanguis ever expect to excel in life.”
Han Shuo was actually quite satisfied with this newly adopted apprentice of his. As he didn’t have any business to deal with, Han Shuo decided to stay there with his three women. He watched on as Sanguis got busy arranging his mother’s funeral.
Han Shuo and his three ladies had actually offered to help Sanguis with the burial. However, that was tactfully declined by Sanguis. He insisted on doing it alone and finishing his mother’s funeral by himself. From this, it was reasonable to say that Sanguis was a filial son.
The Abyss realm wasn't one for overly elaborate ceremonies when burying the deceased. Thanks to the few pieces of black stone coins, Sanguis had properly completed his mother’s burial in less than half a day. After completing all the matters and a round of griefful weeping, Sanguis’ heart finally regained tranquility. He returned to that tiny stone house.
“Master, thank you!” Sanguis gave Han Shuo another bow as an expression of his gratitude.
“Get up. Don’t be so courteous with me in the future,” Han Shuo replied calmly. After Sanguis stood up, Han Shuo’s consciousness inspected his body once through. With his brows in a knit, he said, “About the cultivation of the Bloodgod Mantra, if there’s anything you are not clear about, you must ask me. Do not ever attempt to cultivate before you are absolutely clear about a technique. The cultivation of demonic arts is very dangerous. Any misstep might cause you to sink into an irreversible state with no hope of salvation. I do not wish to lose an apprentice right after receiving one.”
Other than being tenacious in character, Sanguis was also somewhat uncommunicative. Having observed him all this while, Han Shuo noticed that Sanguis didn’t seem to like asking others for guidance. In fact, as he silently deciphered the Bloodgod Mantra that Han Shuo left in his soul, he had even started with practicing some of those simpler techniques.
Although Han Shuo did not personally cultivate in Bloodgod Mantra himself, nor would he be able to like Sanguis, Han Shuo’s mind contained all the comprehension and memories about demonic arts, which he obtained from Chu Cang Lan. As Sanguis did not have any experience with demonic arts, Han Shuo was afraid that something might go wrong with Sanguis exploring the techniques on his own.
After hearing Han Shuo’s words, Sanguis revealed a somewhat embarrassed expression, and said, “Oh, so that’s the case. Erm, master, there indeed are many things that I’m not clear about.”
“This type of martial arts is completely distinct from those twelve energies that you know of. If you could cultivate without one bit of hindrance knowing merely the cultivation methods, you would have my salute. Speak. Whatever questions you have, I will explain to you in detail,” Han Shuo said smilingly. Having cultivated his demonic arts to this realm, in addition to the memories left by Chu Cang Lan, even if Han Shuo didn’t cultivate in Bloodgod Mantra, he would be able to help Sanguis in resolving the problems he faced in his cultivation.
Bloodgod Mantra and God Slaying Devil Path were the same in that they were branches of demonic arts. These branching martial arts would allow one to obtain substantial progress within a short amount of time. Especially Sanguis, someone of Sanguis kind would make even faster progress. However, even if Sanguis had come to master Bloodgod Mantra and become a so-called Blood Demon, it would still be hard for him to surpass Han Shuo who cultivated in the mainstream demonic arts.
With Han Shuo’s reminder, Sanguis no longer kept the troubles he faced to himself and sought clarification from Han Shuo on all the things he did not understand one by one. Han Shuo generously answered all the question Sanguis had and illuminated for him a bright pathway for his cultivation.
Sanguis had proved himself to be the most suitable candidate for practicing Bloodgod Mantra. After he figured out the cultivation methods under Han Shuo’s guidance, it didn’t take long before he could truly control the blood within his body and operate the energy in his body in accordance with the unique cultivation technique of Bloodgod Mantra.
The power that Sanguis had been so longing for had in fact always been inside of himself. More precisely, his own blood. However, he previously did not know how to utilize this type of energy, and therefore the energy in his body could not be released. When Sanguis cultivates in accordance with Bloodgod Mantra, the blood within his body circulating, he would look blood red on every inch of his skin.
When Han Shuo saw that Sanguis seemed to have sunken into the wonderful meditative-state in his cultivation, he nodded, feeling satisfied with his apprentice’s wits and effort. As not to disturb Sanguis, Han Shuo silently indicated to his three ladies and walked out of the little stone house with them. Apart from chit-chatting, Han Shuo would educate Jasper on some of her misconceptions on the cultivation of mental strength.
With the help of Han Shuo, a godly existence, both Hemanna and Sylph had started to meditate using the same method that Jasper had used to gain mental strength, attempting to sense the presence of this mysterious energy within the brain. Of the two, Sylph had even managed to sense the presence of mental strength ahead of Hemanna, but Hemanna wasn’t far behind and was on the verge of a breakthrough.
“My Lord, that enemy spy is in there. I’m certain,” a familiar voice suddenly entered Han Shuo’s ears. After a short while, those few youngsters that were previously drenched with cold sweat after receiving a great shock from Han Shuo now carried a heavy air of arrogance as well as an expert of level-one Demon strength to Han Shuo.
Before this Demon, the few teenagers were full of respect and reverence. They obviously intended on using this Demon to take care of Han Shuo. Sanguis, who had entered a meditative state not long ago, walked out from his house after hearing the voice.
The youngster turned somewhat cowardly when he saw Han Shuo. But when he recalled the origins of the person standing beside him, he suddenly regained his confidence, and daringly pointed at Han Shuo as he shouted, “My Lord, there they are!”
The other few kids that came with him all had their heads high and chests out. As they thought they had found someone they could rely on, all of them started to berate Han Shuo at the top of their tiny voices, as though they had forgotten their humiliating looks not long before.
“My apprentice, use that energy you just comprehended to kill these clowns for me!” Han Shuo unenthusiastically instructed after giving them a disdainful cold smile.
“Yes, master!” Sanguis replied naturally. At the next moment, his lips curved to reveal a ruthless and evil grin, while his eyes began to redden crimson. He marched step by step towards those arch enemies of his as they continued to mock him.