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NETS - Chapter 136 – Teacher

Lu Ping’s return to Huang Li Island didn’t cause any ripples other than some discussions amongst the Zhen Ling Sect Blood Condensation Realm cultivators.

After all, it was quite an impressive feat to challenge ten Blood Condensation Realm cultivators and easily dominate them.

The disciples had long heard that Lu Ping was at odds with Li Zi-Ming and the others. But now it seemed like they had completely fallen out.

Shortly after, a rumor was spread that Lu Ping was ambushed whilst on his undercover mission to investigate the sea pirates. The sea pirates themselves admitted that they only learned about Lu Ping's whereabouts after the information was leaked to them.

There were only a handful of cultivators who knew about Lu Ping's secret mission. Among them, Li Zi-Ming was the one who came up with the idea and actively proposed that Lu Ping should undertake the mission. As a result, this deepened everyone’s suspicions, and Li Zi-Ming couldn't even clarify his innocence clearly.

While everyone was looking forward to further developments, Lu Ping spent his days either in his three stores or in his own cave-dwelling.

Li Yu and the others also made fewer appearances and took time off from their normal sea patrol duties. Both sides seemed to have coincidentally ceased to elevate the matter further.

Lu Ping was very busy these days.

Hu Lili had been helping to take care of the stores he opened in the market while he was away. During the last few years, the Charms and Pellets Store's profits had dropped quite a bit, with the absence of Lu Ping’s charms and pellets.

Fortunately, Hu Lili was there to help out with the situation. She instructed Fang Tao to purchase large quantities of charms and pellets from Di Kun Island and sold them in the Charms and Pellets Store.

Hence, the stores were still able to make tens of thousands of spirit stones in the past five years.

Lu Ping naturally didn’t take this amount of spirit stones seriously. Other than giving half of them to Hu Lili, Lu Ping instructed Fang Tao to use the rest to buy spirit herbs of 500 years and older.

After dealing with the Charms and Pellets Store, and looking at Hu Lili's grocery store, Lu Ping went to Chen Lian's smith store.

At present, Chen Lian had some fame amongst the cultivators on Huang Li Island with his expert smithery skills.

To begin with, Chen Lian came from a smith family. In addition to him studying under one of Zhen Ling Sect’s Master Smith, Enlightened Master Xuan-Huo, his smithery had combined the strengths of both heritages.

As a result, the high-grade and mid-grade mystic instruments he forged were of excellent quality and had a good reputation. This essentially made him the number one smith in the regions near Xuan Qi Island and Xuan Hua Island.

When Lu Ping found Chen Lian, Chen Lian had just forged a high-grade defensive mystic instrument, the Spirit Stout Boulder.

When he saw Lu Ping entering the store, he directly threw the Spirit Stout Rock to Lu Ping and said, "Take a look, how is the refinement?"

Lu Ping took a look and saw that this Spirit Stout Boulder was made from the Spirit Stout Stones that he had given Chen Lian. The whole boulder looked like a magic cube.

Although it was only slightly bigger than the size of a palm, when a user encountered an enemy and powered it with their arcane energy, the Spirit Stout Boulder would expand into a thick Spirit Stout Wall to defend the user from any threatening attacks.

Lu Ping carefully examined the details, engravings and workmanship, "This is really good. I didn't expect you to forge high-grade mystic instruments so easily."

Chen Lian smiled smugly, "This is the defensive mystic instrument Niu Da-Zhuang asked me to forge for him. This fella just broke through to the Mid Blood Condensation Realm. His initial high-grade mystic instrument is actually still quite strong, but he wouldn’t stop bugging me for a new one. I had no choice but to use all the remaining Spirit Stout Stones you left behind. "

Lu Ping laughed nonchalantly, "No matter, we can always excavate some more again when needed. By the way, about top-grade mystic instruments, how confident are you with them now?"

Chen Lian immediately understood, "You are talking about Landslide, right? You’ve had your hands on that piece of Grade 2 Deep Sea Silver Sunken Iron for a long time already. With your current prowess, you definitely can wield a top-grade mystic instrument."

Chen Lian saw Lu Ping nodding, and then continued, "I am still a little lacking to forge top-grade mystic instruments, so I am afraid we have to go back to Di Kun Island to find my old man."

Lu Ping laughed, "How do you know if you don't try? If you have this with you, how confident will you be?"

After saying that, Lu Ping took out the high-grade smith furnace he obtained on Fei Ling Island from his interspatial ring.

Chen Lian was no doubt a qualified smith. His eyes shone brightly the very instant he saw the smith furnace. He quickly said, "Where did you find this antique? Judging from the refining method which is quite ancient and mysterious, I’m guessing it has around four to five thousand years of history. Hmm, this refining technique is ancient and clumsy, but is also grand and majestic.

"… it can enhance the mystic instrument’s power to the maximum, but not without a cost, the lifespan of the item’s use will be relatively shortened. But we can make up for this defect if we carefully select and refine the spirit materials used to forge the mystic instruments. But my refinement skills, I’m still lacking…"

Lu Ping watched as Chen Lian became obsessed the moment he saw the smith furnace. This made Lu Ping admire Chen Lian’s passion a lot, but he still interrupted him and asked, "You can study this smith furnace later. With this now, you should have no problem upgrading Landslide to a top-grade mystic instrument, right?"

Chen Lian struggled internally before finally diverting his attention away from the smith furnace, and replied, "There should be no problem. But if I fail, don't go pointing your fingers at me."

Lu Ping viciously said, "If you fail, I’ll take back this smith furnace!"

Chen Lian’s face immediately turned bitter while Lu Ping couldn’t help but want to laugh.

After that, Lu Ping took out two pieces of mid-grade inner vest and a crocodile skin from his interspatial ring. After some thought, he also took out two, three-feet-long bills, and handed them to Chen Lian.

Lu Ping said, "You should already know these two inner vests. This time, I’d like to upgrade them to the level of high-grade mystic instruments. Also, I want these two long bills forged into two high-grade flying needle mystic instruments."

Chen Lian said with surprise, "Good stuff, good stuff! Is this the skin of a Primal Giant Crocodile? This color, this toughness… this came from a Late Blood Condensation Realm Primal Giant Crocodile? My God, did you kill a Primal Giant Crocodile? They are ferocious monster beasts. Even Ninth Layer Blood Condensation Realm cultivators may not be able to kill a Seventh Layer Blood Condensation Realm Primal Giant Crocodile!"

Chen Lian didn’t even wait for Lu Ping to explain and already continued, "Aren’t these the bills of Swordfishes? These are the ideal materials for making flying needle mystic instruments. Swordfishes are often found in pairs, and work well together against their enemies. Even Late Blood Condensation Realm monsters aren’t willing to easily provoke a pair of Mid Blood Condensation Realm Swordfishes. Were they also killed by you?"

Lu Ping helplessly said, "It’s all luck. I just got lucky. Do whatever you can to make the most use out of these materials with your best judgement!"

After that, Lu Ping ignored Chen Lian, who was still admiring the materials, and returned to his cave-dwelling. He still had a cauldron of medicinal pellets that he was about to concoct soon.

A long time later, an exasperated voice cursed from inside Small Chen Smith Shop, "Bastard, where is he? To upgrade two pieces of mid-grade inner vests to high-grade, how is this crocodile skin alone enough? I still need several other high-grade spirit materials. Also, did he really think these long bills can be directly forged into flying needle mystic instruments? I still need at least five high-grade spirit materials to do the job. This brat runs fast, leaving behind all these issues to me. Pity my little pocket. It looks like I will have to use up most of the spirit materials I have saved up over the last few years."

Lu Ping, who ran back to his cave-dwelling in a flash, naturally didn’t hear Chen Lian's complaints.

After all, there would still be some of the Primal Giant Crocodile’s skin left over after it was used to upgrade the two top-grade inner vests. Additionally, the smith furnace that he gave to Chen Lian was also a top-grade mystic instrument.

Therefore, this deal was definitely beneficial to Chen Lian, so it naturally wouldn’t be a problem to use some of his spirit materials.

The cauldron of medicinal pellets Lu Ping was concocting in his cave-dwelling was the Bottleneck Breaking Pellets he promised to Lu Dagui for his breakthrough to the Mid Blood Condensation Realm. They were being made with the Primal Giant Crocodile’s blood, along with more than a dozen 500-year spirit herbs.

Strictly speaking, Lu Dagui and the Primal Giant Crocodile were both pure water-elemented monsters, but one of them had the Turtle Foundation Bloodline whilst the other had the Jiao Foundation Bloodline. This meant that the Primal Giant Crocodile’s bloodline wasn’t the ideal complementary bloodline for Lu Dagui.

However, Lu Ping knew that there was more or less a homologous relationship between the two species.

Besides, the Primal Giant Crocodile was a Late Blood Condensation Realm monster, so its blood was definitely a strong tonic to Lu Dagui, which was already a very rare opportunity for it.

The Primal Giant Crocodile’s blood was enough for Lu Ping to make seven or eight cauldrons of Mid Blood Condensation Realm's Bottleneck Breaking Pellets. So, Lu Ping used up most of the 500-year spirit herbs he acquired on his way back from the monster waters to Zhen Ling Sect.

In the end, he eventually concocted a total of five bottles of Bottleneck Breaking Pellets, with a 70-percent success rate.

Lu Dagui was already reaching the peak of the Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm, so after just eight Bottleneck Breaking Pellets, it fell into a deep sleep.

Lu Ping believed that after it woke up, he would have another Mid Blood Condensation Realm fighter amongst his spirit pets.

A month after Lu Ping's return, Master Immortal Liu returned from his sea patrol duty, along with Yao Yong and others.

When they heard that Lu Ping had returned safely, they were all very excited and came to visit him in his cave-dwelling. After seeing Lu Ping's cave-dwelling, they were all envious about his good luck.

During the visit, they asked Lu Ping, whose cultivation level had reached Mid Blood Condensation Realm, if he had any plans to study under a Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master.

Whilst Lu Ping hadn’t thought about it, it was actually a very important matter.

After reaching the Mid Blood Condensation Realm, Zhen Ling Sect's disciples would automatically be recognized as elite disciples.

Elite disciples could cultivate under the guidance of a Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master in the sect. The benefit of this was that elite disciples would get more help and guidance in their cultivation, allowing them to reach higher achievements in the future.

For example, Yao Yong who studied under Enlightened Master Qu Xuan-Cheng, in just five years, reached the Sixth Layer Blood Condensation Realm.

Chen Lian, who studied under Enlightened Master Xuan-Huo, also achieved the same cultivation progress, in addition to his improvements in smithery.

Du Feng, who practiced the gold-element cultivation method, studied under Enlightened Master Xuan-Fan, who practiced the [Seventh Gold Perished Army Slaughtering Scripture]. Du Feng's cultivation reached the Fifth Layer Blood Condensation Realm.

Hu Lili was taught by an Enlightened Master who specialized in the art of array formations.

Zhong Jian's teacher was Enlightened Master Guo Xuan-Shan, and he also progressed into the Fifth Layer Blood Condensation Realm under the Enlightened Master’s guidance. The list goes on.

Lu Ping had no clue which teacher to study under.

When talking about the sect's Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters, Lu Ping only knew a few of them; among which, the most familiar one was undoubtedly Enlightened Master Jiang Xuan-Lin.

However, Lu Ping also didn’t know whether Enlightened Master Jiang's cultivation method was compatible with his own method. Moreover, Enlightened Master Jiang would probably be preparing for his breakthrough to the Avatar Realm, and so likely wouldn’t have the time to accept any disciples at the moment.

After everyone said goodbye, Lu Ping then went to visit Master Immortal Liu. He briefly explained his events over the past few years and then mentioned that his whereabouts was actually revealed by their own sect cultivators.

Master Immortal Liu frowned upon hearing his guess, "You have done well. The Li Clan father and son are the most likely suspects. But, the Fallen Cultivators of the various sects were killed and injured under our own sect's siege, with the few surviving ones having returned to their respective sects. This leaves us with no evidence to point our fingers at anyone for now. The Li Clan and Lin Clan more or less have some influence in our sect, so without evidence, there is nothing we can do. You are really unfortunate this time."

Lu Ping accepted the advice. Master Immortal Liu looked at Lu Ping and continued, "I know you are a prideful man, and it is unlikely that you will let this matter slip. But I still have to remind you to be cautious with any action you may take. Zhen Ling Sect has strict rules. Colluding with the enemy is a major crime that will lead to a clan’s total annihilation. So, how will a small Li Clan, who is no more than an ant compared to Zhen Ling Sect, dare to take such a risk and reveal the identity and whereabouts of a sect's undercover cultivator on a secret mission?"

Lu Ping was stunned for a moment and asked, "Master Immortal’s meaning is that there’s still someone behind the Li Clan?"

Master Immortal Liu nodded, "But there is still no evidence after all!"

Just as Lu Ping was leaving, Master Immortal Liu said, "Seven days later, you should go back to Tian Ling Mountain and prepare to pay homage to your teacher."

Lu Ping asked who he was studying under, but Master Immortal Liu said he didn't know, he had just been informed by the sect to have Lu Ping return for the ceremony.

RD's Notes:

Weekly Chapters (4/5)
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.