After stocking up his cultivation resources for the next three months, Lu Ping learned from Shi Lingling that Di Kun Island’s market would hold an auction for the Blood Refining Realm disciples in half a year’s time. He decided he would take a look and maybe trade his worthless items for something more useful.
In the meantime, his cultivation had been increasingly stressful of late. It was time to check the treasure he plundered from Lin Sheng.
A hundred miles southeast from Huang Yu Island, the sea was filled with underwater coral and reefs. Flying in from a distance, a carriage-shaped mystic instrument arrived at the sea. When it stopped, four cultivators clad in Xuan Ling Sect disciple outfits alighted from the carriage.
Among them, a roughly 25-year-old disciple who was presumably their leader said, “No more further to the north or we’ll be entering Zhen Ling Sect’s territory.”
The youngest one among them, a 16-year-old looking young man asked, “Senior Martial Brother Qiao, has the Zhen Ling Sect gone mad? They’ve just occupied Xuan Qi Island and yet they still keep sending their Blood Condensation Realm cultivators to our sea territories. Are they trying to occupy more of our islands?”
A female cultivator standing beside Senior Martial Brother Qiao chuckled. “Junior Martial Brother Zhou, Zhen Ling Sect can only occupy Xuan Qi Island because they were lucky enough to have a sensible reason to do so. Otherwise, why should we, Xuan Ling Sect, the strongest sect in the North Ocean, be afraid of Zhen Ling Sect? We rule more than thousands of islands, what does one island matter anyway? Just see it as a little gift we bestowed to Zhen Ling Sect.”
Senior Martial Brother Qiao eyed the female cultivator. “Don’t let your guard down. We’re here to patrol the sea this time. We may not know what Zhen Ling Sect is up to yet, but there have been reports of three Zhen Ling Sect cultivators sneaking around the nearby sea. It’s like they’re looking for something.”
Just as he spoke, a flicker of light flashed from Huang Li Island’s direction, and a short and little cultivator landed beside the four. Upon seeing the cultivator’s arrival, Senior Martial Brother Qiao quickly asked, “Junior Martial Brother Yin, have you learned their objective?”
Junior Martial Brother Yin nodded and said, “It seems like they’ve discovered a cultivator’s cave-dwelling. The three of them stopped on an island fifty miles south of Huang Li Island. They haven’t found the exact location of the cave-dwelling yet, but they seem to be running out of supplies and plan to return to Zhen Ling Sect to stock up first. They’ll return three days from now.”
Senior Martial Brother Qiao asked, “How about their cultivation levels?”
“Two Ninth Layer Blood Refining Realm, another one in the Eighth Layer. All three of them own mystic instruments.”
“Let’s do it!” The previously silent cultivator behind Senior Martial Brother Qiao suddenly spoke up viciously.
After some thought, Senior Martial Brother Qiao agreed. “Four of us are in the Ninth Layer Blood Refining Realm, and we all own mystic instruments as well. It won’t be a problem taking down just three of them.”
The cultivator behind Senior Martial Brother Qiao chimed in again, “Let’s take the role of orioles. We’ll let them help us find the cave-dwelling first before we kill them!”
The female cultivator added, “The day after tomorrow, we should wait on the island in advance to ambush them.”
Senior Martial Brother Qiao concluded, “Make sure to defeat them swiftly and cleanly. That place is not far from Huang Li Island. It would be troublesome if the cultivator stationed there were to come.”
After discussing the plan, they climbed into the carriage-looking mystic instrument and returned to Xuan Ling Sect.
Soon after they left, a ripple of water suddenly appeared above a submerged reef and Lu Ping surfaced from the water. He had initially come to fetch Lin Sheng’s interspatial pouch that he’d hidden away here. He hadn’t expected to overhear the Xuan Ling Sect disciples’ plan.
Moreover, he never thought that such a treasure was so close to the territory under his care. No matter what it was, he definitely wanted a share of it. Lu Ping looked at the Invisibility Charm and Spirit Concealing Charm he’d used to hide from the Xuan Ling Sect disciples. Clenching his teeth with distress, he flew back to Huang Li Island to check his looted gains.
Shortly after Lu Ping left, a huge snake’s head rose up from the calm sea surface, looking in Lu Ping’s direction. It stuck out its forked tongue, shaped like a sword, and waved it around rapidly, as if trying to discern the difference in smell between the Xuan Ling Sect disciples and Lu Ping.
A few moments later, the huge snake’s head sank back into the waters and disappeared without a trace.
After the incident with Lin Sheng, it would appear that Zhen Ling Sect and Lin Clan not only alarmed Xuan Ling Sect, but also alarmed the monster race dwelling in the seas. However, Lu Ping, the one who single-handedly directed the incident, didn’t know he had also become the mantis to a monster oriole. Right now, he just couldn’t wait to check Lin Sheng’s wealth.
His excitement had yet to falter even after two months had passed. Seeing the pile of items in the room, Lu Ping felt a great sense of relief.
Naturally, Lu Ping kept for himself the two mid-grade mystic instruments Lin Sheng used in battle—the handkerchief and the flying sword. He found another mid-grade flying sword, a mystic instrument specifically forged for the purpose of flying, but with no attacking ability.
There were also two low-grade mystic instruments, one for attacking and one for defense, that Lin Sheng kept as spares. Naturally, Lu Ping wasn’t fond of them as well.
He was also pleasantly surprised to find six bottles of Blood Solidifying Pellets. Lin Sheng was truly worthy as a talent of the Lin Clan. Not only did he have an abundant supply of cultivation medicinal pellets, they were also high in quality.
Lu Ping was initially worried that he would have to use Blood Essence Pellets for cultivation every one month out of three. But now he had enough Blood Solidifying Pellets and Blood Vigor Pellets for the next half year.
There were also other high-quality medicinal pellets that could regenerate arcane energy and heal wounds. It was clear that the Lin Clan invested a lot on Lin Sheng.
The spirit stone mine had produced more than 1,300 spirit stones that month. In addition to the 500 spirit stones Lin Sheng owned himself, Lu Ping now had enough spirit stones for two more months of cultivation expenses.
Although the loot was plentiful, it didn’t include the Blood Condensation Pellets Lu Ping was hoping for, nor did he find any spirit herbs used to concoct them.
Even though he knew how unlikely his chances were, he still nursed a small glimmer of hope.
Lin Sheng might have won a Blood Condensation Pellet in the side hall competition, but pellets this precious were usually given to the group Master Immortal first. When the disciple was ready to break through, only then did the group Master Immortal return the Blood Condensation Pellet to the disciple. This protected the pellet from covetous hands.
As far as Lu Ping knew, both Yao Yong and Du Feng had placed their Blood Condensation Pellets under Master Immortal Liu’s care.
Lu Ping didn’t care about the remaining miscellaneous items, but there were two jade scrolls in particular that attracted his attention. One of the scrolls was called [Elementary Alchemy] which contained introductory knowledge of alchemy.
Ever since he felt the hindrance in his cultivation from the lack of medicinal pellets, Lu Ping had considered learning alchemy more and more. This way, he wouldn’t have to worry about getting supplies for medicinal pellets anymore.
However, not only did Zhen Ling Sect have strict requirements for alchemists, the entire alchemy industry was absurdly protective over their secrets. On top of all that, alchemy itself was a huge and rigorous system to begin with—one had to waste a great amount of resources just to hone their alchemy skills. This was something Lu Ping could never afford.
The [Elementary Alchemy] scroll introduced the basic knowledge of alchemy in great detail. At the end of the scroll, there were even recipes for several Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets. Even though these weren’t effective for Lu Ping’s current cultivation level anymore, they were crucial for learning alchemy.
The second jade scroll contained a kind of secret technique known as [Blood Sacrificial Art]. It described how to refine a mystic instrument with the caster’s blood, to then be detonated against the enemy. With a low-grade mystic instrument, its power was equivalent to a Blood Condensation Realm expert’s killing blow.
However, not only would this secret technique consume the cultivator’s blood essence, it also used up a mystic instrument for the detonation. One might say that this secret technique incurred losses on both sides.
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