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NETS - Chapter 125 – Unexpected Encounter

On the surface of the sea, Lu Ping flew with Ai Botao and the others while surrounded by a veil more than 20 feet long. For cultivators outside of the veil, they would sense nothing ahead in their divine sense.

Ai Botao and several Late Blood Condensation cultivators were taking turns to continuously cast the Green Veil with their arcane energy.

At this moment, Ai Botao who was spearheading the group’s formation, suddenly gave a hand sign to halt and the group stopped.

Then, an odd wave of water suddenly surged from the sea underneath them; immediately after, a figure emerged from the water. Seemingly prepared, Ai Botao quickly opened a gap in the veil, and the figure then jumped inside.

Only then did the crowd realize that the figure was Cultivator Wei, who had spied on the Ocean Overturning Gang and explained the situation to the crowd in the cave.

Lu Ping was secretly amazed at the cultivator’s concealment skill. Despite the Green Veil covering their presence, Lu Ping's long-established habit of caution made him spread out his divine sense from time to time to observe his surroundings.

However, with the strength of Lu Ping's divine sense, which was no weaker than a Ninth Layer Blood Condensation cultivator, he still failed to notice Cultivator Wei's hidden presence in the sea water underneath them.

Although Lu Ping’s [Cloud Moving Rain Falling Art] and [Sea Crossing Sky Concealment Art] also had the effect of concealment, these two arts were more offensive-oriented; their concealment effects were only supplementary and insignificant.

Lu Ping touched his chin and pondered—it seemed that he must look for a proper concealment art to practice.

After traveling a few more miles, the appearance of five islands jutted out from the horizon in the distance. Four of these islands were spread around like guards, with the tallest island positioned in the center.

Cultivator Wei explained the situation, "The treasure should be on that island in the middle. The four surrounding islands were arranged by fallen sea pirates, in accordance with the Four Prison Array, which serves as the center island’s protective formation. Right now, the Ocean Overturning Gang has already broken two of the four formations in the west and south..."

Suddenly, they heard a muffled explosion noise coming from the island in the east, followed by a wave of rising smoke and dozens of disappearing lights that flew towards the island in the north.

Cultivator Wei's face changed and he said, "The Four Prison Array’s east formation has been broken, and only the north formation is left now."

Ai Botao nodded somberly. He commanded the group to slowly and carefully sneak past Ocean Overturning Gang's warning array and then head towards the small island in the north.

When Lu Ping and the others were still more than a hundred feet away from the northern island, a sharp whistling sound suddenly came from the sea ahead, followed by the shouts of an Ocean Overturning Gang cultivator on the island, "Enemy attack! Be alert!"

Immediately, dozens of Ocean Overturning Gang cultivators flew up into the sky with mystic instruments under their feet.

The sudden change puzzled the group, causing Ai Botao and the others to look at each other. They had already sneaked past the warning array formation, how come they were still discovered?

While everyone was looking at Ai Botao and waiting for him to make a decision, Lu Ping looked at the sky to the north as if he had sensed something.

At that time, Ai Botao also noticed that their foes were facing something in the sea to the north. He quickly said, “Calm down, they haven’t spotted us.”

Some alert cultivators also saw the Gang’s reaction. Ai Botao and the rest stopped moving the Green Veil and stayed on the spot.

In that moment, the sky in the north was suddenly lit up by 80 to 90 trails of lights. The lights flashed across the sky and stopped above the island in the north. Following their arrival was a huge rumbling sound and a heavy gust of wind.

An Ocean Overturning Gang cultivator stepped forward—it was a Ninth Layer Blood Condensation deputy division master. He sternly shouted at the group of unknown cultivators and asked, "Who are you people? Do you not know that we’re the Ocean Overturning Gang?"

His words were met with peals of laughter. A Xuan Ling Late Blood Condensation cultivator walked out from the crowd and said "Ocean Overturning Gang, you have robbed and killed many North Ocean cultivators since the sea ban was lifted. Today, our Xuan Ling Sect, along with our friends from Cang Lang Sect and the other North Ocean sects have joined hands to challenge you. Today is your death day!"

The leader of the Ocean Overturning Gang laughed coldly. "You certainly have wild ambitions. Is this the quality of the number one sect in North Ocean? No wonder you’ve been overwhelmed by that Zhen Ling Sect these recent years."

The mockery in his words was unmistakable.

Sure enough, what the Xuan Ling cultivators couldn’t accept was being compared to Zhen Ling Sect and found wanting.

The Xuan Ling cultivator was naturally furious when he heard the other’s ridicule. He retorted, "Ocean Overturning Gang scums, you’ll talk tough even on your deathbeds. North Ocean cultivators, let’s destroy them together, and the hidden treasure will be ours!"

Roaring in response, more than eighty North Ocean cultivators rushed out to battle. Various mystic instruments and spells of different colors were launched into the sky, smashing towards the Ocean Overturning Gang.

Ai Botao and the rest were dazzled by this sudden scene. The group looked towards their leader with questioning eyes. Ai Botao observed the chaotic situation in the sky, pondered for a moment and said, "Let's wait and see what happens."

After hearing Ai Botao's decision, everyone quieted down and looked at the battlefield on the sea, sometimes commenting on the fight by transmitting their voices directly into each other’s ears.

Although the North Ocean cultivators had the numerical advantage, Xuan Ling Sect did not have an effective organization. Their members mostly fought on their own, advancing and retreating in an uneven manner.

But that was not the worst part—there were even some who turned around to attack the island’s array formation instead, in an attempt to seize the hidden treasure before the rest.

Lu Ping and the others couldn’t help shaking their heads in disappointment.

By comparison, although the Ocean Overturning Gang had fewer cultivators, their movements were coordinated. When the North Ocean cultivators attacked, they gathered together and formed a simple formation, supporting each other methodically.

After the initial strike, when they were caught unprepared by the North Ocean cultivators and lost a few men, they didn’t suffer anymore losses later on in the battle. They were quick to form an effective resistance against the attacks and even slowly turned the tide of battle—the North Ocean cultivators were starting to rack up casualties instead.

Lu Ping watched the battle on the sea with a frown; the North Ocean cultivators were fighting on their own, which wasn’t out of Lu Ping's expectation at all.

What surprised Lu Ping was that the Ocean Overturning Gang's cultivators had a good understanding of each other's movements, as if they had practiced for a long time. This was certainly not the usual style of a simple sea pirate gang.

Lu Ping's eyes looked around and saw Ai Botao also had the same gloomy look on his face, he obviously noticed this peculiarity as well.

At that moment, the battle situation changed again. The Ocean Overturning Gang cultivators, who had gained control of the battle, suddenly took the initiative to launch a counterattack.

The North Ocean cultivators were caught off guard, but at the same time, it also cost the lives of several sea pirates who spearheaded the counterattack. The move had shaken the Ocean Overturning Gang's stable defense line, placing them under a lot of pressure.

Seeing their foe’s compromised defense line, the attacking North Ocean cultivators were overjoyed and put more weight into their strikes.

Even the selfish cultivators who wanted to seize the hidden treasure for themselves also gave up the array formation and joined them in attacking the Ocean Overturning Gang. After all, who wouldn’t want to take out their biggest threat when given the opportunity?

Lu Ping frowned even deeper when he saw the Ocean Overturning Gang's careless move.

Instead of doubting why these sea pirates were so well coordinated, it would be better to ask why this organized group had carried out such a reckless move?

Lu Ping watched as the besieged Ocean Overturning Gang cultivators lost more ground, while the North Ocean cultivators gradually gathered their forces together as they continued to thin down the sea pirates’ defenses.

Suddenly, Lu Ping's eyes lit up with realization.

The Ocean Overturning Gang deliberately staged a failed attempt to counterattack. They presented themselves like a piece of bait to entice the scattered North Ocean cultivators over to them. But why are they doing this?

Lu Ping, who had just figured it out, spread out his divine sense and looked around carefully.

At this time, Ai Botao had slowly moved Green Veil to a distance of about 60 feet away from the island. Hence, Lu Ping's divine sense could already spread out to the surroundings of the battlefield.

Just as the Ocean Overturning Gang’s defenses were broken through, and the North Ocean cultivators had completely surrounded them, Lu Ping's divine sense finally detected a faint ripple of spiritual energy in a corner of the battlefield.

"The Ocean Overturning Gang placed a trap!" Lu Ping shouted.

Luckily, Green Veil was able to contain the sounds within and so his shout didn’t alert anyone in the battlefield. However, he still caught the attention of the cultivators in the tent.

Ai Botao lowered his voice and asked Lu Ping, "Did Brother Lu Qi find something?"

Lu Ping naturally wouldn’t reveal the secret strength of his divine sense, so he just nodded and explained, "Those sea pirates are clearly coordinated. Even though they have the disadvantage in numbers, they managed to secure a stable ground in battle. They’re definitely not easy targets, so how could they make such a rash move and fail so terribly in their counterattack?"

A cultivator refuted disdainfully, "What's wrong with that? Maybe the Ocean Overturning Gang is used to being arrogant and won't take us North Ocean cultivators seriously."

Lu Ping saw many cultivators secretly nodding their heads. They obviously didn’t agree with his words, but he wasn’t concerned. "Look at the Ocean Overturning Gang now. Are they not acting like bait to gather those North Ocean cultivators into surrounding them?"

The crowd looked at the tightening battlefield and didn’t say anything.

Lu Ping continued, "The sea pirate's attack seemed reckless, exposing an opening in their defense line and compromising their formation. However, from another point of view, this is effectively dragging the North Ocean cultivators into a clump in the battlefield."

The previous cultivator laughed coldly and mocked, "So you're saying that they’re doing this with the intention of fully annihilating our North Ocean cultivators?"

Lu Ping nodded with a serious expression. "Yes!"

The cultivator was about to laugh at Lu Ping's delusional thinking when Ai Botao suddenly said, "Brother Lu is probably right. Look, although the sea pirates seem to be in disarray under the siege, the direction of their retreat has remained the same this entire time. Even though they’re facing attacks, they’re still steadily moving towards the south. There must be something up their sleeves!"

The crowd observed the battlefield and found that the situation was just as Ai Botao had said, this was also a detail that even Lu Ping hadn’t noticed.

As if to confirm Lu Ping's speculation, there was a loud bang that suddenly came from the other side of the island, accompanied by a loud shout, "North Ocean cultivators, today is the day you die!"

RD's Notes:

Editor: MilkBiscuit

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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.