NETS - Chapter 115 – Secretly Tracking
This cloud was the high-grade mystic instrument, Auspicious Cloud, which Lu Ping had found in the cave-dwelling on Fei Ling Island. It was not only fast, but was also very effective at concealing cultivator’s tracks.
About an hour later, Lu Ping's divine sense detected a fluctuation underneath the water. Shortly after, a cultivator with a pale face, wearing a special mystic instrument, appeared on the surface of the sea.
The cultivator looked around carefully for any signs of danger, and then lit a sound transmission charm on fire.
After some time, more than a dozen lights suddenly appeared in the distance and were rapidly approaching. A group of more than twenty cultivators in the Mid and Late Blood Condensation Realm appeared around the cultivator.
The pale-faced cultivator stepped forward and said to the leading Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivator, "Senior Martial Brother Zhao, Junior Martial Brother Huang Piao-Ling and two other junior martial brothers should have been killed here.
“I’ve looked around, whoever killed them was both quick and clean, leaving no tracks behind. It seems like the Junior Martial Brothers were overwhelmed by an enemy with absolute power."
Senior Martial Brother Zhao nodded and said, "Recently, Zhen Ling Sect has strengthened its control over the buffer sea and has greatly increased the number of cultivators on patrol. Rumor has it that there are also cultivators from Zhen Ling Sect disguising as rogue cultivators in order to investigate and track down our whereabouts.
“Two days ago, a team of cultivators under Zhou Wei-Long encountered Zhen Ling Sect, and five cultivators under him were wiped out. Now, Junior Martial Brother Huang and two others have also been wiped out. This is most likely Zhen Ling Sect’s counterattack to purge us from its buffer sea region."
A cultivator behind Senior Martial Brother Zhao stepped forward and asked, "Senior martial brother, what should we do now, should we return to the sect?"
Senior Martial Brother Zhao smirked coldly, "Return? We have yet to complete the sect's mission and still bear the sins from our actions in the past. Should we return now, not only will our clans and families suffer, but we will also have to undertake the sect's chores like slaves and be despised by others. My dear Junior Martial Brothers, are these insults what you seek?”
The cultivators behind him all looked indignant. Senior Martial Brother Zhao continued, "Only by completing the sect's mission of causing chaos in Zhen Ling Sect’s buffer sea, can we wash away our sins. Not only that, but we will also earn honor for our clans and families and be respected by others in the sect."
The cultivator who had asked the question earlier inquired, "How should we deal with the purge from Zhen Ling Sect then, Senior Martial Brother?"
Senior Martial Brother Zhao replied, "Let’s go back to our hideout first. We are not the only ones who have pretended to be rogue cultivators and attack the other cultivators in Zhen Ling Sect’s buffer sea. We are also not the largest group of Fallen Cultivators  compared to the other groups sent by their respective sects. Therefore, we are not the ones who should be most afraid of Zhen Ling Sect's reprisal."
The pale-faced cultivator said in amazement, "Is it possible that Senior Martial Brother is seeking to join hands with the other Fallen Cultivators to deal with the attacks from Zhen Ling Sect? Wouldn't that make us an even bigger target?"
Senior Martial Brother Zhao laughed, "What's wrong with that? Zhou Wei-Long has called all of the Fallen Cultivators from all the sects to gather on Nameless Island. What else could he want to discuss other than the purge?"
One of the cultivators said, "Senior Martial Brother Zhao, Xuan Ling Sect is used to its high status and its cultivators are all arrogant brats. I'm worried that Zhou Wei-Long's intention is to consolidate the power of the various sects under his command."
Senior Martial Brother Zhao smiled, "Wouldn't that be perfect? If we let him take the lead in dealing with Zhen Ling Sect, we will be safer at the back. Trickery and deception, that’s all it is.”
As the cultivators were talking, they headed towards a small coral island. The crowd didn’t notice that a white cloud was floating in the sky behind them, and was following them.
Looking at the island in front of them, Lu Ping thought for a while and decided not to alarm the group of Fallen Cultivators. Instead, he planned on informing the sect once Senior Martial Brother Zhao and the rest grouped up with the sinned cultivator of Xuan Ling Sect. At that time, the sect would be able to take down all the perpetrators in one go.
Fallen Cultivators? Lu Ping was surprised to learn that this rumored group of cultivators actually existed.
Every North Ocean sect had a long heritage and a strict system that rewarded and punished cultivators.
Cultivators who committed serious crimes were often arranged by the sect to accomplish certain secret missions. These cultivators were known as Fallen Cultivators.
If these Fallen Cultivators complete the mission, the sect would forgive their sins, restore their identity, and even honor them for their contributions.
However, if the mission failed or if they were exposed, the sect wouldn’t recognize the identity of these Fallen Cultivators, and would leave them to their own demise.
As a result, Fallen Cultivators were actually sacrificial pawns that the sect would use in dealing with some difficult matters.
Lu Ping sat and waited for Senior Martial Brother Zhao and others to head to the sinned cultivator meeting organized by Xuan Ling Sect’s Zhou Wei-Long.
At the same time, he sent a message back to the sect about what had occurred here with the sound transmission sword.
Whilst waiting, Lu Ping took a look in the interspatial pouches of the three Mid Blood Condensation Realm cultivators he had killed.
As expected of sacrificial pawns, these three interspatial pouches only contained several mystic instruments, a total of 10,000 spirit stones and a few bottles of Mid Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets. Other than that, there was nothing else.
Lu Ping couldn’t even find anything that could be used to determine the identity of this group of cultivators.
Shortly after, the light of a sound transmission sword flashed from the horizon. Lu Ping lit a charm which guided the light into his hand.
Master Immortal Liu’s voice came from inside of the sound transmission sword, he said, "Monitor them closely. Report back timely. We lay siege at night. Be safe.”
He couldn’t help but feel relieved, since the sect’s reinforcement of twenty cultivators was led by Master Immortal Liu.
In the evening, three figures left the small coral island and flew rapidly northeast. He didn’t dare to follow behind them closely and maintained a safe distance.
Luckily, the Auspicious Cloud's concealment effect was not bad, and Lu Ping also used the [Sea Crossing Concealment Art] to further conceal his presence. As the sky slowly darkened, the Auspicious Cloud also changed its color accordingly.
Nameless Island was located in the northeast of Zhen Ling Sect buffer sea.
Lu Ping watched Senior Martial Brother Zhao and the other two land on Nameless Island. He recorded the location of Nameless Island and sent the information with the sound transmission sword.
Seeing that there was no movement on the dark and bleak Nameless Island, Lu Ping controlled the Auspicious Cloud to slowly approach the island to find out what was going on.
Just as Lu Ping landed on the nameless island, he suddenly heard a sound of applause. Lu Ping turned his head and saw Senior Martial Brother Zhao and a man in his thirties walking towards him.
As the man walked, he clapped his hands and said to Lu Ping, "You are a brave one, I’ll give you that. With a mere Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm cultivation you actually dare to break into Nameless Island. Is Zhen Ling Sect looking down on us so much that they actually just send an Early Blood Condensation Realm cultivator to track us down?"
As he spoke, a dozen more cultivators surrounded Lu Ping. Every one of them was in the Mid Blood Condensation Realm. The five leaders of the Fallen Cultivators, including Senior Martial Brother Zhao and the man, were in the Late Blood Condensation Realm.
Lu Ping's heart jumped. It seemed that he had already been discovered by the Fallen Cultivators. Lu Ping's mind was moving quickly, the most important thing right now was to find a way to break out of this predicament and save himself.
He calmly asked, "How did you find me?"
Senior Martial Brother Zhao smiled and said to the man next to him, "I'm really embarrassed. If it wasn't for Senior Martial Brother Zhou Wei-Long's reminder, I wouldn't have known that I was being followed all this time. I almost spoiled the meeting."
The man who spoke earlier was none other than Xuan Ling Sect's Zhou Wei-Long, who said modestly, "Actually, we just got the news that a cultivator secretly dispatched to the buffer sea by Zhen Ling Sect, had already discovered our whereabouts.
“The news stated that he had followed one of the sinned cultivator groups to Nameless Island. So, we naturally took precaution and made some arrangements. To our surprise, it was Senior Martial Brother Zhao who was followed."
Senior Martial Brother Zhao smiled awkwardly. Zhou Wei-Long continued, "I'm afraid that Nameless Island has been exposed, and Zhen Ling Sect's cultivators are arriving soon.”
He turned to Senior Martial Brother Zhao and said, “Senior Martial Brother Zhao, I’d also like to express my regrets to you. I am afraid that all of our Shui Yan Pavilion brothers and sisters in your hideout have been killed."
Senior Martial Brother Zhao's face turned pale. He looked at Lu Ping, who was surrounded in the middle, with a face of hatred and bloodthirst.
Hearing Zhou Wei-Long's words, Lu Ping was shocked and asked, "Who gave you the information?"
Zhou Wei-Long smiled contemptuously and asked back, "Do you think I will tell you?"
Lu Ping naturally knew that he wouldn’t get an answer. He was just trying to stall for time as Master Immortal Liu was already on his way towards Nameless Island.
Unfortunately, Zhou Wei-Long seemed to have seen through Lu Ping's plan. He laughed and said, "The secret meeting involved six sects. Other than Senior Martial Brother Ling Ruo-Ming, the person in charge of Ling Gu Sect's group, who accidentally fell into Zhen Ling Sect’s trap two days ago and was killed, the people in charge of the remaining five sects are all here. However, now it seems that we need to change our base as soon as possible. But before leaving, shall we send this courageous disciple from Zhen Ling Sect on his way first?"
Amidst the laughter of the crowd, Lu Ping took the lead and attacked first. There was no room for hesitation, he needed every advantage he could get.
Lu Ping cast the Soaring Wing Swords. They headed towards two Mid Blood Condensation Realm cultivators in the east like a giant wave.
Senior Martial Brother Zhao, who had lost many of his martial siblings, laughed viciously as he said, "Like a turtle trapped in a jar, where do you think you can escape to?"
Senior Martial Brother Zhao raised a pair of small bronze hammers and chased after Lu Ping. The other Late Blood Condensation Realm leaders smiled as they watched Lu Ping struggle like a cornered beast.
Suddenly, Lu Ping turned around and threw an object at Senior Martial Brother Zhao who was chasing after him. Zhou Wei-Long's face changed abruptly when he saw the object and he hurriedly shouted, "Senior Martial Brother Zhao! Be careful, it's a talisman treasure!"
The remaining four Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivators also stepped in to help Senior Martial Brother Zhao defend the attack from the talisman treasure.
A flame spread on the surface of the talisman treasure, followed by a chirping sound. A huge Fire Luan rose up in the air. It swooped down towards Senior Martial Brother Zhao who was in a frenzy. Several high-grade mystic instruments were cast to help Senior Martial Brother Zhao defend the Fire Luan.
In a few moves, the five Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivators had torn the Fire Luan apart into sparks of fire.
The five of them looked in Lu Ping’s direction, where two Mid Blood Condensation Realm cultivators were blocking his escape path. However, they saw that one of them had his mystic instrument shattered by Lu Ping and was injured, while the other one was lying unconscious on the ground.
As for Lu Ping, he had already fled from the scene, leaving only a silhouette on the horizon.
The five leaders looked at each other in shock. Zhou Wei-Long laughed happily, "I didn’t expect this brat to be so capable. I like that pair of flying swords, I want to have them."
The five of them flew up in the air and chased in the direction where Lu Ping fled while the rest of the Blood Condensation Realm cultivators followed behind them.
Lu Ping had just left the Nameless Island when he heard a sharp cracking sound coming from the side. Without thinking, Lu Ping threw out another talisman to the back.
This was Lu Ping's last remaining talisman treasure, and also his most powerful one, as it was crafted by a Third Layer Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master.
The five Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivators behind him were shocked and quickly stopped. They each used their own methods and worked together to defend.
A sword light was shot out from the talisman treasure. Its power was far greater than the previous Fire Luan. When the cultivators finally blocked the sword light, Lu Ping could no longer be seen anywhere.
There was only a Xuan Ling Sect disciple who used a secret technique to obstruct Lu Ping’s escape path standing there in a daze. This disciple was looking at his mystic instrument that had been knocked to the ground while blood flowed from the corner of his mouth.
 The Fallen in Fallen Cultivators refers to cultivators who have fallen from grace, rather than being killed. Similar to fallen angels.
Currently translated up to Chapter 160.