Lu Ping waited for the cultivator who would take over his duties on the island to arrive. After that, he hurriedly returned to Xuan Qi Island and handed in the 400 pounds of spirit rice to the sect. Once he reported the situation of Huang Li Island to the Blood Condensation Realm master immortal in charge, his duty was completed.
After that, he paid Master Immortal Liu a visit and asked him some questions regarding his cultivation. Master Immortal Liu answered each of them in great detail, something Lu Ping was extremely grateful for.
Master Immortal Liu was a righteous man who treated each disciple fairly. As long as one worked hard and continued to show improvement, he would always give them unexpected rewards. Even though the rewards were often small, he always knew what would be the most beneficial for their cultivation.
If not for Master Immortal Liu quietly sheltering him under his wings, Lu Ping wouldn’t be the third strongest disciple in the seventh group. Otherwise, how could Lu Ping, an orphan, be able to suppress Li Cheng, a young noble from a cultivator clan?
Afterwards, Lu Ping met up with his martial siblings from the seventh group who had also just returned, and they talked about their experiences during the past three months. Together, they went to claim their stipend from the sect. Lu Ping’s stipend included 180 spirit stones for three months, 20 pounds of the common spirit seeds, and some other materials. Although Lu Ping had no use for the common spirit seeds, he still wouldn’t reject something given for free.
Just like that, a third of their three-day holiday was over.
On the second day, everyone teleported to the nearest medium island, Di Qun Island, to buy cultivation resources. Meanwhile, Lu Ping had to spend a few more spirit stones to teleport back to the Medicinal Pellet Store in Zhen Ling Side Hall for his medicinal pellet supplies. Fortunately, there were other cultivators who needed to return to Zhen Ling Side Hall as well, so by sharing the cost of teleportation, he saved a lot of spirit stones.
He bought some medicinal pellets, spiritual spring water, charm papers, spiritual inks, and also sold out his crafted charms at the market. After that, he hurried back to Xuan Qi Island and rested for the night.
On the third day, everyone bid farewell and returned to their respective islands.
As soon as he returned, the Spirit Seeking Mouse—who he named Dabao—appeared out of nowhere and crawled up along his pants to his hand. It squeaked happily as if it had accomplished some important feat.
A smile radiating across Lu Ping’s face, he took out a Spirit Beast Pellet concocted from the spirit rice and rewarded it to Dabao. “Dabao, you found a spirit-gathering land? Quickly, bring me to see it!”
Dabao finished the pellet and nodded its head rapidly. Then, it jumped down from Lu Ping’s hand and rushed out. Lu Ping followed closely behind the little mouse as it headed toward the eastern part of Huang Li Island. He couldn’t help feeling puzzled at its actions.
The spirit paddy fields were mostly concentrated along the hillsides of the island, with five spirit paddy fields located in the west forest. The eastern part of the island had been developed a long time ago, so any spirit paddy fields there should’ve been long discovered already.
But Lu Ping’s doubts were cleared when they finally arrived at the mouse’s destination. Since the eastern area had been developed a long time ago, the irrigation system there was well-refined so the paddy fields gave higher yields. At the same time, this made the area muddy all year round.
Hence, the previous master immortals always assumed their predecessors had already explored this area before, and thus were unwilling to put down their status to inspect a muddy field. As a result, this piece of spirit-gathering land was unwittingly overlooked.
Lu Ping carefully inspected the area and realized that he could reclaim an acre of spirit paddy field here. According to custom, he didn’t have to report this piece of land to the sect for the duration of his three years on the island. Therefore, this one-acre spirit paddy field would be his private property until he left the island.
Overjoyed, Lu Ping took out a leftover Blood Increment Pellet from his interspatial pouch and threw it to Dabao. Blood Increment Pellets were medicinal pellets for Fourth and Fifth Layer Blood Refining Realm cultivators.
Dabao had no cognitive abilities; it didn’t know what the medicinal pellet could do to its body. It just knew that it was a reward from its master and consumed it right away without thinking too much. Before Lu Ping could snatch the medicinal pellet back, Dabao had already eaten half of the pellet and fallen back unconsciously into a mud puddle.
Putting aside Dabao’s tragic experience, Lu Ping finally experienced a rare little surprise in his life. Hence, he happily converted the one-acre mud field into a spirit paddy field and planted the same quality spirit seeds grown in the other five-acres.
After that, life returned to the same routine as the past three months. One day, Lu Ping who was cultivating in earnest suddenly thought about spicing up his dull life here. His thoughts immediately flew to Lin Sheng who was stationed on Huang Yu Island!
Lin Sheng had backstabbed Lu Ping before, leading to his life on Huang Li Island managing the spirit paddy fields on his own. Meanwhile, Lin Sheng was stationed on Huang Yu Island, where he hired the islanders to mine spirit stones for him. He didn’t have to lift a finger and could still receive a monthly dividend of more than 300 spirit stones for operating the spirit stone mine.
Lu Ping had a detailed map of the sea around Xuan Qi Island and had been to Huang Yu Island during the siege. Sure enough, he knew the island very well.
During his three-day holiday at Xuan Qi Island, he furtively collected a lot of information from his martial siblings. He learned that the delivery of spirit stones from Huang Yu Island had changed from every ten days to once a month. Perhaps Xuan Ling Sect had needed to keep the spirit stone mines a secret which meant a more frequent delivery schedule, whereas Zhen Ling Sect had no reason for secrecy. On top of that, there was still a Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master stationed on Xuan Qi Island. Naturally, the sect was more relaxed in this matter.
Seeing that the month was coming to an end and the days were turning cloudy, Lu Ping cheered in his heart, Even the weather is on my side!
He took out a few items from his interspatial pouch: several bottles, a mystic instrument, charms, and the outfit of a Xuan Ling Sect outer disciple.
Lu Ping actually kept the outfit he used to rob Huang Yu Island and Huang Li Island during the siege last time!
The sky turned darker, and Lu Ping hid on Huang Yu Island for the entire day. He used up three invisibility charms, but Lin Sheng still remained in his cultivation room. It seemed like Lu Ping wasn’t the only one cultivating hard these days.
Lin Sheng was only a few months younger than Lu Ping, but in terms of progress, he was two years ahead in achieving the Ninth Layer Blood Refining Realm. There was a high chance he was ready to advance into the next realm.
While Lu Ping was lost in thought, the top-grade Parent-Children Warning Charm on his body suddenly vibrated. Raindrops started drizzling on the island, Lin Sheng was seen walking toward the mine.
Lu Ping sighed. Even nature has abandoned you!
Through the charms, Lu Ping knew Lin Sheng was less than a hundred yards away from him.
Lu Ping slowly poured his arcane energy into the jade bottle and a mist rose from the opening. It gradually spread higher into the air, becoming denser as it slowly fused with the raindrops, effectively becoming part of the rain. Followed by a breeze that didn’t feel quite natural, the raindrops drifted lazily in Lin Sheng’s direction.
Lin Sheng was making his way to the mine. Today was the last day of the month and the miners would be handing in the excavated goods. Although the sect had changed the delivery rate of spirit stones to once a month, Lin Sheng still made it his routine to collect the spirit stones once every five days to safeguard the quality of the stones and to prevent the miners from taking a portion for themselves.
Lin Sheng was in a good mood; he was just a step away from the peak of the Ninth Layer. Once he succeeded in condensing his bloodlines and entered the Blood Condensation Realm, he would instantly become a Zhen Ling Sect inner disciple. Due to his past victories in the competition, he might have received the treatment of an inner disciple, but he had yet to receive an official title. Not until he entered the Blood Condensation Realm.
As he approached the mine, he suddenly felt the strangeness in the rain. Why did it feel so greasy on his skin? He couldn’t help thinking how nice it would be in the Blood Condensation Realm, where he could just repel the rain away from his body with arcane energy.
The breeze also felt odd. The leaves on the trees were swaying back to the west, meaning the wind must be blowing from the east side. But Lin Sheng was walking northeast, so why was the wind blowing straight onto his face?
Suddenly, a chill fell down Lin Sheng’s spine as he realized there was a slightly sweet odor in the air. How could he have missed it all this time—someone else was here!
“Who are you!? Show yourself!” Lin Sheng shouted in anger!
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