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NETS - Chapter 106 – Soul Nurturing Wood

On the way back to Zhen Ling Sect, Enlightened Master Guo Xuan-Shan asked, “Kid, when I saw Xuan Ling Sect showing off with Meteorite Essence Gold, the other little ones were all calm. They clearly knew you had something better than that. But, when you took out Earth’s Core Infernal Fire, they were all shocked, why is that?”

Lu Ping looked at Guo Xuan-Shan with slight surprise, he had thought that Enlightened Master Liu would be the one to notice and question him. It was out of his expectation that Enlightened Master Guo Xuan-Shan, who was bold and unrestrained in appearance, would be so discerning.

But on reflection, these Enlightened Masters had used hundreds of years to reach their current position. They had been through many vicissitudes in life and so naturally none of them were easy to deal with.

Lu Ping knew these things couldn’t be hidden and so was planning how he could get the most out of the sect. He didn’t say much and only took out a Jade Marrow Bottle from his interspatial pouch.

From the moment the Jade Marrow Bottle was shown, Enlightened Master Guo and even Enlightened Master Liu, who was always composed, showed passionate reactions.

Enlightened Master Liu took the Jade Marrow Bottle from Lu Ping’s hands, she opened the bottle and exclaimed in excitement, “It’s really the Core Forging Pellets, there are eight of them inside!”

“What?” Enlightened Master Guo exclaimed in disbelief. He hurriedly took the bottle and confirmed, “They are real, these are genuine Core Forging Pellets!”

But quickly, they were able to calm down from their previous excitement and Enlightened Master Liu said, “Earlier, you all thought Lu Ping would show these Core Forging Pellets, right? That said, the Earth’s Core Infernal Fire was obtained by Lu Ping alone!”

Everyone nodded and Enlightened Master Liu said solemnly, “It’s true that Lu Ping didn’t take out the Core Forging Pellets. From now on, forget everything about the Core Forging Pellets, none of you obtained them on Fei Ling Island. Understood?”

Lu Ping and the others quickly assented to her order. At the same time, they were also curious about why Core Forging Pellets were so important.

Enlightened Master Guo said, “With this bottle of Core Forging Pellets, Senior Martial Brother Jiang’s chances of success in his Third Core Forging to breakthrough to Avatar Realm, with the heaven-and-earth spirit item, will be much higher.”

Enlightened Master Liu smiled as she said, “I have already sent out a message. Senior Martial Brother Jiang probably already knows by now that we’ve got Core Forging Pellets.”

She then turned and looked at the puzzled expressions on Lu Ping and the other’s faces, and said smilingly, “Core Forging Realm cultivators use heaven-and-earth spirit items to refine their Golden Cores, in a process known as Core Forging. Core Forging Pellets improve the Core Forgings with higher chances of refining the grade and quality of a Golden Core. They are therefore the most important medicinal pellets every Core Forging Realm cultivator wishes for.

“But that’s not their biggest use. Core Forging Pellets are most useful during the third core forging process in the Late Core Forging Realm. The pellets can greatly improve the chances of success in the Third Core Forging and the breakthrough from Late Core Forging Realm to Avatar Realm.

“Therefore, whilst Core Forging Pellets are not Avatar Realm medicinal pellets, they are worth more than ordinary Avatar Realm medicinal pellets. In terms of heaven-and-earth spirit items, nothing below the Earth-class can compare to these eight Core Forging Pellets.”

As soon as everyone returned to Tian Ling Mountain, Lu Ping was called by Enlightened Master Jiang Xuan-Lin to his cave-dwelling.

Enlightened Master Jiang Xuan-Lin's cave-dwelling was opened on the hillside closest to the top of Tian Ling Mountain, testament to his status amongst the other Core Forging Realm cultivators at Zhen Ling Sect.

Enlightened Master Jiang Xuan-Lin looked at the Core Forging Pellet in his hand and said, "Eight Core Forging Pellets. There will be at least two Late Core Forging Realm cultivators because of you. There is also the heaven-and-earth spirit fire which can help create a Mid Core Forging Realm cultivator. On top of that there are several more bottles of Core Forging Realm medicinal pellets, even I am jealous of you. Say, boy, what do you want?"

Lu Ping was waiting for this exact moment. The reason he didn’t hesitate to expose Earth’s Core Infernal Fire was not just because he already had the Azure Spirit Fire and that his cultivation method was not fire-element in nature, but also because he wanted to exchange it for other more suitable items with the sect.

Knowing that it was impossible to play mind games with Enlightened Masters, without hesitation he said, “I want a piece of Soul Nurturing Wood.”

Enlightened Master Jiang Xuan-Lin pointed at Lu Ping and laughed, "I knew you were not easy to deal with. You have directly asked for a piece of Soul Nurturing Wood which is on the same level as Earth's Core Infernal Fire. Fine. It looks like I’ll have to use my old face to do something for you in order for me to have these Core Forging Pellets.

“The good thing is that your merits from the Fei Ling Island expedition are incredible. Not only have you brought back many resources, you’ve also earned a good reputation for the sect. There will be plenty of others in the sect that will side with you.”

Lu Ping hastily thanked Enlightened Master Jiang Xuan-Lin, who waved his hand and said, "You’ve done a great service this time, the sect will surely reward you. But those thousand-year spirit herbs you have, I’m afraid you won’t be able to keep them for long. The sect's alchemists will be coming to you very soon. It’s up to your own skills for how well you bargain with those bossy brats."

The sect’s rewards came down quickly. Wei Zi-Heng and the others were each awarded a high-grade spirit stone, five bottles of Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets, and were allowed to enter the Blood Condensation Treasure Vault to select three items.

Lu Ping's reward was slightly more generous. In addition to a piece of mid-grade Mystic-class Soul Nurturing Wood, there was also a high-grade spirit stone and fifty mid-grade spirit stones.

As for the chance to select three items in the Blood Condensation Treasure Vault, Lu Ping chose to postpone the trip. He was only in the Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm now so with his medicinal pellets and mystic instrument he was not anxious for more resources for the next two years.

Due to special approval given by Enlightened Master Guo, Lu Ping was able to keep half of the 60 bottles of Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets he obtained from Fei Ling Island. He was allowed to keep an additional ten bottles in exchange for the five bottles of Core Forging Realm medicinal pellets he had.

Lu Ping was also left with 2,300 500-year spirit herbs and 40 thousand-year spirit herbs, which greatly caught the attention of Zhen Ling Sect alchemists.

"You're the one who got lucky on Fei Ling Island, right? Give me all your thousand-year spirit herbs. I’m an alchemist and have brought several bottles of Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets, enough for a whole year’s worth of your cultivation. Oh, and I’ll also have all the 500-year spirit herbs and in return I’ll leave you a few more bottles of medicinal pellets.

Lu Ping looked at the guy in front of him. He looked gentle and scholarly but was evidently very arrogant and overbearing. Lu Ping replied indifferently, "Sorry, I have to practice alchemy with these spiritual herbs, so I can't give them to you."

The conceited alchemist almost choked to death. He pointed at Lu Ping and stammered, unable to utter a coherent sentence, "You, you…”

Lu Ping turned around and left Tian Ling Mountain. He heard the alchemist behind him shouting in anger: "Bastard, do you think you can become an alchemist? Do you have a teacher guiding you? Do you even know the rules for alchemists?

“How can you practice with the 500-year spirit herbs and thousand-year spirit herbs? What a big joke, what a waste ...... Brat, you better not leave! You are a walking humiliation to all alchemists. As long as you are in Zhen Ling Sect, we Zhen Ling Sect alchemists will never concoct a single medicinal pellet for you......"

Not far away, Enlightened Master Jiang Xuan-Lin looked at the scene in front of him with a bitter smile and returned to his cave-dwelling, shaking his head.

Lu Ping never expected that the sect’s alchemists would be so arrogant, or could it be that all alchemists in the cultivation world were that arrogant? It seemed like the high status of the alchemists had gotten to their heads.

It was just a short conversation, yet Lu Ping had already offended the alchemists in Zhen Ling Sect, which would probably hinder his cultivation progress in the future. At least he still had some accumulated resources and wouldn’t be hindered for the next two years.

Furthermore, he had also gained some jade scrolls with insights about alchemy and even some medicinal pellet recipes on Fei Ling Island. Without this, it would be too difficult for him to obtain any more medicinal pellets in the future.

The Soul Nurturing Wood was a heaven-and-earth spirit item that was useful to repair and cultivate divine sense. Lu Ping used it to practice the [Divine Separation Technique] in order to strengthen and expand the range of his divine sense.

The [Divine Separation Technique] was an extremely cruel and painful secret technique. In order to practice it, a part of the cultivator’s divine sense had to be forcefully separated and stored in the Soul Nurturing Wood.

Moreover, the separation of divine sense was not just performed once, but rather continuously, until the stored divine sense was half that of the cultivator’s original divine sense. Only then, could the separated divine sense be returned and added to the original divine sense, thereby increasing the cultivator’s divine sense by one-half.

Due to his persistent practice of the [Divine Furtherance Technique] for more than a year after breaking through the Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm, Lu Ping’s original divine sense of 60 feet had increased to 64 feet.

Feeling a sliver of his divine sense separate from himself and wind towards Soul Nurturing Wood, Lu Ping finally experienced what was the pain known as soul tearing. It was the most primitive sort of pain that originated from within and extended out encompassing every part of him. The pain was not just physical, but also mental. For the first time in his life, Lu Ping felt that the word "painful" was not enough to describe his feelings at this moment.

When he remembered that he still had to go through this pain again and again he couldn’t help but feel a chill down his spine. But, whenever he thought back to the domineering and arrogant attitude displayed by the alchemist, he instantly became determined to bear with the pain. After all, he didn’t want to have to submit to the arrogant alchemists and be limited by their medicinal pellet supplies.

Fortunately, he had also brought back a large number of hundred-year spirit herbs that could be used to concoct the Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets in order to hone his alchemy skills.

After returning to Huang Li Island, he activated the Ice Age Slaughtering Array and entered closed-door cultivation. 

Lu Ping had broken through to the Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm in Fei Ling Island, but he had been in a constant state of tension on the island, always on guard against any danger from the surroundings. As a result, he didn’t have the time to systematically cultivate and sort out his cultivation base. Even most of his arcane energy was regenerated with the help of the Spirit Regenerating Pellets.

The cave-dwelling was peaceful and quiet. Two Spirit Gathering Pearls had been buried in the spirit vein by Lu Ping, gradually fusing into the spirit vein causing the concentration of spiritual energy in the cave-dwelling to slowly increase.

Although the increase was very slow and subtle, it would still be noticeable after a while. When the two Spirit Gathering Pearls have completely fused in the spirit vein, Lu Ping would have four mini spirit veins in the cave-dwelling and his cultivation speed would most certainly benefit.

As the biggest contributor to Lu Ping’s Fei Ling Island expedition, the first thing Dabao did after returning to Huang Li Island was to take a nap. It fell into a deep sleep as if trying to compensate for all of its hard work.

The giant monster turtle he had recently tamed was casually floating in spring in the cave-dwelling. Lu Ping had named him Dagui, and as his strongest pet he had prepared the Blood Condensation Pellets needed for its advancement into the Blood Condensation Realm.

But what made Lu Ping the happiest were the three Emerald Sea Spirit Snake eggs. Under Lu Ping’s diligent care, these three eggs were finally almost about to hatch. The eggs were placed in the center of the spring and shook from time to time. The population in the cave-dwelling would soon increase again.

RD's Notes:

Editor: Immortal BloodRogue

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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.