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NETS - Chapter 103 – Fei Ling Island Closed (2)

It was already too late when the three cultivators chasing after Ai Shutao noticed the Zhen Ling Group cultivators in front of them—their escape paths were already cut off.

They tried to send a signal out to warn the Xuan Ling Group cultivators but the Zhen Ling Group cultivators had already swarmed in and killed them before they could do it. Then, the Zhen Ling Group cultivators divided their harvests.

When Lu Ping heard Ai Shutao, he quickly asked what happened.

“Xuan Ling Group and Hai Yan-Shui Yan Group found a Core Forging Realm cave-dwelling. In order to prevent the news from getting out, the two groups worked together and frantically hunted and killed the other sects’ cultivators around the cave-dwelling. I inadvertently ran into the two groups when they were preparing to break the cave-dwelling’s protective array formation. That’s why they chased after me.”

Wei Zi-Heng asked, “Brother Ai, how many of them did you see at the time?”

“About thirty cultivators.”

Wei Zi-Heng looked at the team behind him. Adding on Ai Shutao, they had gathered 25 cultivators. He laughed and said, “Well then, we can’t let them have all the good items on their own. Come, let us go and share a piece of the fortune.”

The cultivators laughed while they followed Ai Shutao’s lead to the back of the mountain. Along the way, other cultivators joined them in their expedition. Many of them joined because they were indignant at the relentless means taken by the two groups to solo the cave-dwelling.

Previously, they didn’t dare to provoke them due to their combined strength, but now that Zhen Ling Group had stood up, they would naturally join in their crusade against the two groups.

Lu Ping watched as more and more cultivators gathered around, and he couldn’t help but sigh. In order to win the competition with the Zhen Ling Sect, Zhang Wei-Qing didn’t hesitate to use unscrupulous means to hunt and kill the cultivators of the other sects. His decision had incited the public’s wrath.

Although these cultivators weren’t significant people in their respective sects, they were still the best among their martial siblings. As time passed and their prowess improved, they would gradually become a noteworthy figure in their own right. By then, these cultivators who had bad impressions on Xuan Ling Sect would naturally be their obstacles in the future.

At this time, there were already more than forty cultivators in the crusade, outnumbering the other two groups. No longer afraid, they walked openly and directly towards the newly discovered Core Forging Realm cave-dwelling.

The sentry cultivators quickly noticed them and reported back to the team in front of the cave-dwelling.

When Zhen Ling Group and the other cultivators reached their destination, they were all excited to see an array formation glimmering with five-colored lights. 

Wei Zi-Heng laughed as he said, “Hahaha, my dear friends—Xuan Ling Sect’s Zhang Wei-Qing, Hai Yan Sect’s Si Chang-Sheng, and Shui Yan Pavilion’s Xu Li-Yuan. Why didn’t you inform the rest of us about your recent discovery? It’s not a good habit to claim everything on your own.”

Zheng Wei-Qing was gnashing his teeth with hatred. “So what are you going to do about it?”

Wei Zi-Heng said with a solemn face, “Every sect and clan here will select a representative amongst themselves. When the cave-dwelling is accessible, the representatives will enter together; however much they seize will depend on their own abilities. But the cultivators cannot fight in the cave-dwelling, otherwise, the offenders will be punished by death by the rest. How about that?”

Zhang Wei-Qing was so furious he lost his usual composure, and he clearly didn’t notice Wei Zi-Heng was calculating against him. “Why should I agree to your suggestion? We discovered the cave-dwelling first, not to mention, how can these small sects and clans with less than three cultivators each compare to our Xuan Ling Group?”

As soon as Zhang Wei-Qing said that, the cultivators were visibly dissatisfied. Wei Zi-Heng coldly snorted, “Zhang Wei-Qing, you’re talking about strength? Well then, our Zhen Ling Sect has eleven cultivators here, making us the strongest sect of all right now.

“If you ask me, our Zhen Ling Sect is the one that sacrificed the most. Yet, we didn’t say a single thing, so how dare your Xuan Ling Sect tell us no. Do you think that your eight cultivators are on par with our eleven?”

At this point, the cultivators from the other sects were already clamoring in objection, They cursed and accused Zhang Wei-Qing and Xuan Ling Sect of their wrongdoings.

Only then did Zhang Wei-Qing realize he had fallen into Wei Zi-Heng’s calculations. A look of indignance filled his face. He was about to retort when suddenly, Shui Yan Pavilion’s Xu Li-Yuan, who had clearly grasped their situation, said crisply, “In that case, we will follow what Fellow Daoist Wei suggests.”

Hai Yan Sect and Shui Yan Pavilion were in the same group, so Si Chang-Sheng naturally agreed with his suggestion. Zhang Wei-Qing noticed the wrathful appearance of the cultivators, and he had no choice but to submit.

At this time, the happiest people were obviously the ones from the small sects and clans. Most of them only had two or even one cultivator entering Fei Ling Island. Since the beginning, they never expected to compete with the big sects for a Core Forging Realm cave-dwelling.

But now, there was an opportunity to scavenge one. So it was only natural that they were excited, and their eyes were much kinder and affectionate when they looked at the Zhen Ling cultivators.

Fei Ling Island’s closing time was getting closer, so the cultivators all worked together. They broke the cave-dwelling’s protective array formation in just a few moments.

Then, among the 80-plus cultivators, 15 representatives were selected by the sects and clans. But one must know, a total of 30 sects and clans were participating in this expedition.

Although the ten strongest sects took up three-quarters of the area, as well as those cultivators hiding somewhere in Fei Ling Mountain and didn’t join in, everyone was still taken aback that only 15 representatives were left from the 30 sects and clans.

Naturally, Lu Ping was the representative for Zhen Ling Sect. There were several reasons for that, including him being the strongest in the group, Wei Zi-Heng was severely injured, and they had seen the strength of his divine sense when rescuing the latter.

His divine sense had a range of 40 feet which was naturally advantageous in exploring the cave-dwelling for the valuables inside of it.

Lu Ping stood in the middle of the line of 15 representatives, directly facing the cave-dwelling’s entrance. But the cultivators had no disputes over his position. After all, Zhen Ling Sect was now the strongest group in Fei Ling Mountain, so it was only normal that they were given the best treatment.

Next to him was Zhang Wei-Qing, Xu Li-Yuan, and Si Chang-Sheng. Although they weren’t satisfied, they didn’t voice their displeasure. This was partly because the situation wasn’t in their favor, and also because they’d seen Lu Ping’s abilities. His flying swords were really powerful.

Some even said he could easily cast two high-grade mystic instruments with ease. Although the majority of the cultivators didn’t buy it, the rumor still suggested that he had another high-grade mystic instrument other than his flying swords.

At 15 minutes before the closing time, the 15 representatives shot out into the cave-dwelling like nocked arrows let loose. Ai Shutao was the only cultivator from the Ai Clan, so he was naturally among the 15 representatives.

It was just a cave-dwelling, so it didn’t take long before they finished scavenging the valuables inside of it. Furthermore, the true valuables were usually in the interspatial pouches of the owners, the items left behind in the cave-dwelling were naturally nothing too good.

After some time, Lu Ping was the first to exit the cave-dwelling. He handed Wei Zi-Heng three Crystal Jade Bottles, one top-grade defensive mystic instrument Wooden Vine Armor, and a bottle of Blood Condensation Pellets.

Yes, a full bottle that contained ten Blood Condensation Pellets. Lu Ping initially thought the cave-dwelling’s owner was a master of alchemy, but he couldn’t find anything alchemy-related inside. He left shortly after realizing that most of the items were already taken by the other representatives, and not much remained in the cave-dwelling. 

Wei Zi-Heng didn’t expect to see Lu Ping bring back so many valuables and he was overjoyed.

Soon, the representatives all exited the cave-dwelling. Ai Shutao privately told Lu Ping that he had found a mid-grade mystic instrument that consisted of six weapons. Their combined power almost added up to a high-grade mystic instrument. He said he would try to wield the mid-grade mystic instrument after reaching the Mid Blood Condensation Realm.

Lu Ping recalled that day in the Heavenly Gold Sand spirit mine, when Ai Shutao fought against two cultivators with a set of flying dagger instruments. Hence, he knew that the other was good at using mystic instruments that came in sets. He offered Ai Shutao his congratulations.

As they spoke, Fei Ling Mountain suddenly quaked—it seemed like the closing time had come.

Every cultivator here had a teleportal charm given to them by their sect or clan’s Enlightened Masters. The teleportal charms were shining brightly and swiftly swallowed them in a white light. In the next second, they all disappeared from Fei Ling Mountain.

Meanwhile, in the air above the ocean, the Enlightened Masters were standing in a formation as they activated the large teleportation array formation again. The stone platform rose from the bottom of the ocean.

Then, white light appeared out of nowhere, and the cultivators reappeared on the stone platform.

When the Enlightened Masters glanced over, they already had a rough estimate in their minds: only 80 to 90 cultivators had returned from Fei Ling Island. But it wasn’t the time to talk about the expedition yet, and the Enlightened Masters hurriedly ordered the cultivators to leave the stone platform.

After that, the stone platform slowly sank to the bottom of the ocean again in a rumbling noise that filled their ears. This marked the end of the Fei Ling Island expedition that only happened once every 500 years. The island would remain in isolation until the next opening 500 years later.

In the past, even when there were major conflicts between the cultivators, 60% to 70% of the 200 cultivators would still make it back from the expedition. However, this time, the figure was reversed; 60% of the cultivators had fallen. 

The Enlightened Masters listened carefully as their cultivators explained what happened on Fei Ling Island. But even they were surprised when they heard of the nine unearthed Core Forging Realm cave-dwellings.

Cultivators would usually carry their valuables with them when leaving the cave-dwellings, which meant there wouldn’t be anything too precious left inside. However, that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes the cultivators could still find some valuable items in the cave-dwellings.

Lu Ping was calm—only he knew that there were actually ten Core Forging Realm cave-dwellings unearthed this time. Although some might speculate that he had privately scavenged one on his own, it was still just speculation. Lu Ping was sure he didn’t leave any evidence behind.

The cultivators from the small sects were looking enviously at the ten strongest sects like Zhen Ling Sect, Xuan Ling Sect, Hai Yan Sect, and Shui Yan Pavilion.

Obviously, these sects were the ones that gained the most out of the expedition. At the same time, they also knew about the competition between Xuan Ling Sect and Zhen Ling Sect. Hence, they all stayed back to watch the final show.

When Enlightened Master Feng Xu-Dao saw that three of his students didn’t make it back, and only 22 Xuan Ling Sect cultivators had returned compared to Zhen Ling Sect’s 27 cultivators, he already knew they would lose the competition.

The competition was only among the Early Blood Condensation cultivators, which didn’t mean too much to the factions involved. Hence, the other Enlightened Masters naturally didn’t hold back on such a trivial matter, and they clamored for the two factions’ disciples to show their harvests on the spot.

The first to start was Zhen Ling Group’s Chong Ming Sect and Xuan Ling Group’s Ling Gu Sect.

Although Chong Ming Sect had two more cultivators that entered Fei Ling Island, two of them were the ones Lu Ping met at the periphery of Fei Ling Mountain. Their harvests weren’t even a quarter of what the other two Chong Ming cultivators had.

As a result, Chong Ming Sect lost the bet with Ling Gu Sect. Half of their harvests from Fei Ling Island were taken away by Ling Gu Sect. This made the two Chong Ming cultivators that hid in the periphery of Fei Ling Mountain feel extremely embarrassed. 

RD's Notes:

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Currently translated up to Chapter 160.
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Written by SleepingAutumn. Translated by RD. Edited by Milkbiscuit, Immortal BloodRogue.