NETS - Chapter 137 – Palace Maiden
After Lu Ping left Master Immortal Liu's place, he went straight to Chen Lian's smith store.
When Chen Lian saw Lu Ping coming, he threw a few things over, "Here, your things."
Lu Ping first took a look at the two pieces of high-grade inner vests.
The golden-colored inner vests had a shiny surface inscribed with several Arcane Inscriptions. Both the inner vests were looking more impressive and grandiose than before. After all, these high-grade inner vests consisted of two noble monsters’ skins, the Emerald Sea Spirit Snake and the Primal Giant Crocodile.
Lu Ping couldn't stop playing with them in his hands.
Chen Lian said in a cold voice, "Two pieces of inner vests are a waste for you alone. What are you going to do with the second one?"
Lu Ping admired the two gorgeous inner vests while he replied, "Spare!"
Chen Lian rolled his eyes, "Nonsense!"
Lu Ping put away the two pieces of inner vests, and picked up the two high-grade flying needle mystic instruments.
Chen Lian said, "These two sewing needles cost me a lot of effort. Your Swordfish bills were only mid-grade spirit materials. I still had to put in several high-grade spirit materials that I had saved up over the years, to raise these two sewing needles to the level of high-grade mystic instruments."
Lu Ping felt a cold chill when he heard Chen Lian referring to them as sewing needles as if he had some weird obsession with sewing needles. He hurriedly corrected, "What sewing needle, have you ever seen a three-inch-long sewing needle before? These are Emerald Blood Divine Needles, understand? Emerald Blood Divine Needles!"
Chen Lian saw that Lu Ping was anxious, "Fine, Emerald Blood Divine Needles. Whatever you say, after all, they are just needles, aren’t they?"
Seeing that Lu Ping was about to get mad again, he quickly corrected, "Mystic instruments, they are mystic instruments! Not needles!"
Seeing Lu Ping looking better, Chen Lian said again, "Forging the flying needles was a rather difficult challenge compared to forging mystic instruments of other types. You see, I had to put in so much time and effort, you have to repay me with something, right?"
Lu Ping said, "Alright, what do you want?"
Chen Lian was delighted, "A hundred pounds of Refined Spirit Stout Stone will do!"
Lu Ping pretended to think for a moment, "Deal. But recently I have made a lot of progress in alchemy, and the mid-grade cauldron I have is not good enough anymore. I think this smith furnace is not bad. A little modification is all it needs and it should be barely enough to satisfy my alchemy needs."
Chen Lian jumped at those words with a pained expression. He pointed at Lu Ping's nose with a quivering finger and raised his voice, "What? What? Converting it into a cauldron? Are you kidding me? You're just wasting it. Forget it, I don’t want the Spirit Stout Stone anymore. You can just leave with these pieces of mystic instruments. I will just consider myself unlucky to have you as a friend. No matter what you are thinking, don’t ever think of taking away this smith furnace, unless you no longer want to upgrade your Landslide into a top-grade mystic instrument."
Lu Ping saw that he finally had the upper hand after his joke, so he happily left the smith store, leaving Chen Lian pounding his chest and cursing himself for his bad friendship.
After that, Lu Ping went to Hu Lili's residence and returned her the inner vest, which had been upgraded into a high-grade mystic instrument. He said, "How about it, do you like it? Chen Lian's workmanship is still good."
Hu Lili blushed and graciously took the inner vest, "At the least, Chen Lian is the best smith in the surrounding seas for thousands of miles. The quality of mystic instruments he makes are naturally guaranteed. What about you? What’s your plan when you return to Tian Ling Mountain in seven days to pay homage to your teacher?"
Lu Ping said nonchalantly, "I don't even know who my teacher is. What can I even plan?"
Hu Lili was slightly disappointed, but the disappointment was short-lived. She then reminded him, "During the ceremony to pay respects to a teacher, disciples have to present gifts of appreciation. Have you prepared one yet?"
Lu Ping was surprised, "Is there such a thing? I didn't know about it at all. Tell me more details."
Hu Lili looked at Lu Ping helplessly and told him about Zhen Ling Sect's custom of paying homage to the teachers after being accepted as disciples.
In Zhen Ling Sect, when a disciple reached the Mid Blood Condensation Realm, they met the requirement to study under a teacher. Generally speaking, there were three ways to be accepted as disciples.
The first way was through a disciple’s own outstanding performance that attracted a Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master’s attention beforehand. In this case, the disciple would naturally be accepted as an official disciple once they met the cultivation base requirement.
An example of this was Yao Yong. He piqued Enlightened Master Qu Xuan-Cheng’s attention back when his cultivation was still in the First Layer Blood Condensation Realm.
The second way was through a disciple’s connections. For example, Shi Lingling who had a strong family background had already contacted a suitable teacher in advance, long before she met the cultivation requirement.
The third and final way was by passing the tests set by the Enlightened Masters who were ready to accept disciples. This was also the most common way and how the majority of disciples were accepted. Any disciple who passed the tests, would be accepted under the tutelage of the Enlightened Masters who set said tests.
This was also how Hu Lili, Du Feng, and the others were accepted by their respective teachers. However, these disciples were normally just registered disciples at the beginning. They had to slowly work their way up to become official disciples under their teacher.
Initially, Hu Lili thought that with Lu Ping’s outstanding performance, he would have already attracted a Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters’ attention. But now it seemed that Lu Ping had to take the most common third path, like her.
At the beginning, registered disciples usually had difficulty in getting the attention of their teachers and would therefore receive very little guidance. However, Hu Lili also believed in Lu Ping's prowess. She thought that with Lu Ping's performance, he would definitely earn his teacher’s consideration sooner or later.
On the other hand, Lu Ping didn’t really care much at all.
This was because the cultivation method he practiced was not Zhen Ling Sect's [Sea Coast Wave Listening Scripture] anymore, but rather, the more powerful and mystical [North Ocean Wave Listening Scripture].
It was quite likely that within the entire Zhen Ling Sect, he was the only one who cultivated this cultivation method. As a result, even if he studied under a teacher, he was afraid that even his teacher wouldn’t be able to provide much guidance to him.
After being accepted, it was customary that the disciple offered a gift of appreciation to their respective teachers. However, this was really nothing more than just a token.
After all, Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters were knowledgeable and experienced. In their cultivation life, they had seen, encountered, and owned many precious items. So, they naturally wouldn’t care much about what their disciples could give them.
However, it was still a matter of face after all. The more precious and original their disciples’ gifts were, the more face they would earn in front of the other Enlightened Masters. Naturally, they would also place more importance on said disciples.
Seven days later, it was the Zhen Ling Sect's annual Discipleship Ceremony.
Every new Mid Blood Condensation Realm cultivator and old cultivators who missed the last Discipleship Ceremony, like Lu Ping, all returned to Tian Ling Mountain to participate in the ceremony.
Lu Ping reported his name to the Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master on-duty, who asked with interest upon hearing his name, "So you are Lu Ping?"
Lu Ping didn't know why he, a small Blood Condensation Realm cultivator, was recognized by an esteemed Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master, so he replied with puzzlement and also a little fear, "Yes, I am!"
The Enlightened Master smiled and said, "You don't have to take the tests, go to the side palace and wait."
Lu Ping was confused. He followed the escort to the side palace of Tian Ling Palace and waited.
The Mid Blood Condensation Realm cultivators who were waiting in line behind him displayed envious looks. Some even muttered sourly, "Another guy who got lucky."
Lu Ping came to the side palace, where several Blood Condensation Realm cultivators were already waiting. They had also apparently received some special care like Lu Ping.
After a while, a palace maiden came to the side palace. Her arrival caused a commotion amongst the crowd of cultivators; clearly, the girl’s beauty was an irresistible temptation to the young cultivators.
The palace maiden asked playfully, "Who is Lu Ping?"
Confused, Lu Ping stood up and said, "I am."
The young girl smiled cheekily which brightened up the crowd's eyes, as if a sun had just risen in the palace.
The young girl ignored the others and said to Lu Ping, "Come with me!"
After saying that, she turned around and left without turning back. Lu Ping had no choice but to follow, blocking the many sharp eyes that followed the young girl’s movements with his back.
Lu Ping followed the young girl through the side palace and towards the top of the mountain.
As she was about to reach the top of the mountain, the girl turned around and led Lu Ping towards a forest on the side.
Lu Ping didn’t think much and just followed the girl into the woods.
The young girl came to a cleared piece of land in the middle of the woods and stopped. Lu Ping stood still behind her.
The young girl turned her head and said, "If you want to study under my mother's tutelage, you have to go through me first. Don't think that you can get away with the test just because daddy asked for you."
Lu Ping froze for a moment, "May I ask which two Enlightened Masters are your parents, in our sect?"
The young lady was puzzled after hearing his question, "Huh, you actually don’t know them? No matter, you still have to pass my test first before you can think about the rest!"
After she finished saying her piece, the two ribbons on the girl's palatial dress suddenly flew out like two water snakes lunging towards him. They slithered in the air and took beautiful paths. They were extremely difficult to track as they wrapped towards Lu Ping's body.
It turned out that these two ribbons were actually high-grade mystic instruments.
At the very moment the palace maiden made her first move, Lu Ping immediately noticed the layer of cyan arcane energy protecting her body. This could only mean that this girl, who was younger than him, was actually a Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivator!
Lu Ping noticed the two ribbons coming towards him which were constantly changing their trajectories, trying to cover their attack pattern. Moreover, the ribbons’ movements were swift and natural, with a special rhythm which only came from attaining the State of force.
Lu Ping stopped hesitating and brought out his Soaring Wing Swords. He didn’t try to predict the two ribbons’ movements.
Instead, he just staggered his two swords and attacked consecutively. Each sword instantly slashed out 49 sword lights that formed a torrential wave that cascaded towards the two ribbons.
The ribbons turned around, as if they were water snakes trying to swim against the current, but as soon as one wave had passed, another wave had already pounced on the previous one again and again. The two ribbons were drowned by the sword waves.
The young girl clearly didn’t expect Lu Ping's attack to be so powerful, and his arcane energy to be so profound. Even as a Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivator, she was still suppressed in the fight; she couldn’t help but cry out in alarm.
However, the young girl wasn’t an ordinary cultivator after all. Seeing that she was losing the fight, she reached out and launched a high-grade flying sword at Lu Ping.
Lu Ping didn’t want to reveal too much of his strength, not to mention that the girl only had the intention of testing his prowess, there was no sense of hostility in her moves.
Hence, he only two cast out the Yan Ling Swords and alternated the mid-grade mystic instruments to parry the high-grade flying sword in the air.
The young lady saw that Lu Ping, who was just a Fifth Layer Blood Condensation Realm, was able to compete equally against her and felt driven to get into a real fight with him.
But suddenly, as if remembering something, she abruptly withdrew her mystic instruments and ceased her attacks against Lu Ping.
While Lu Ping was confused at the sudden change, the palace girl had already darted out of the woods and flew away, along the east side of the mountain.
Her crisp laughter could be heard saying, "The Discipleship Ceremony is in three days, so prepare a nice gift of appreciation. I can be considered as half a teacher, so if I find that the gift is unsatisfactory, and you lose mother’s face in front of others, I will ask mother to only accept you as a registered disciple."
Editor: Immortal BloodRogue
Currently translated up to Chapter 160.