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NETS - Chapter 149 – The Beginning

This secret art didn’t have a stealth ability, but it could help hide Lu Ping's real cultivation base. Any cultivators checking on him with their divine sense would end up misjudging his true strength.

In other words, this was a secret art that would him keep a low profile and mask his true prowess from others.

The practice of this secret art was very demanding. First of all, it required a strong divine sense as its foundation. The more powerful the divine sense, the deeper the concealment of the cultivation base; the purer the arcane energy, the better the effect of the secret art.

Lu Ping's divine sense was as strong as a Ninth Layer Blood Condensation cultivator, if not stronger. After all, a cultivators’ divine sense has many uses, and many would cultivate multiple secret arts to enhance it..

Lu Ping was satisfied to learn that he could mask his cultivation at the Early Blood Condensation Realm without being detected by Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivators.

After all, he also cultivated the [Divine Separation Technique] which would enhance his divine sense another level once successful. By then, probably even Core Forging Enlightened Masters would be unable to see through this [Spirit Hiding Technique]!

Lu Ping left the Blood Condensation Treasure Vault and went to Chong Hua Palace to pay Enlightened Master Liu a visit.

Enlightened Master Liu observed Lu Ping's cultivation progress and gave him words of encouragement.. After hearing that Lu Ping was going to participate in the sect's monster hunting operation, she handed him a jade talisman. Lu Ping took a look and realized that it was a talisman treasure!

Enlightened Master Liu said, "This is a talisman treasure I made more than a hundred years ago. I'm giving it to you for your protection."

Lu Ping thanked her and saw that the jade talisman in his hand actually had seven white clouds within it. He quickly held back his surprise, then asked Enlightened Master Liu some questions on cultivation.

Suddenly, Enlightened Master Liu's face froze and she turned her head to look at the summit of Tian Ling Mountain.

Lu Ping saw her change in expression and felt puzzled, not knowing what was going on.

He followed his teacher’s gaze, only to see a huge vortex had suddenly formed at the summit which was usually always surrounded by clouds. The vortex formed a giant funnel of clouds, and a faint rumbling noise could be heard coming from within.

Lu Ping's divine sense was keen, and he vaguely perceived that the surrounding spiritual energy was becoming thinner as it flowed towards the direction of the summit.

This sudden change in the sky immediately alarmed the disciples on Tian Ling Mountain. Many had rushed out of their cave-dwellings, gazing at the huge spiritual energy vortex and speculating on what was going on.

Could someone have made a cultivation breakthrough at the summit of Tian Ling Mountain?

In the silence within Chong Hua Palace, the space beside Enlightened Master Liu suddenly rippled and a sound transmission sword suddenly appeared in front of her.

Enlightened Master Liu ignored the slack-jawed Lu Ping behind her and received the message sword with a slight salute. After checking its contents, she gave an inaudible reply and returned the message sword back into the rippling void at her side. Then, the space ripple smoothed out and the air returned to normal as if nothing had happened.

Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling looked at the awestruck Lu Ping and calmly said, "The Great Ancestors are practicing a new divine ability at the summit of Tian Ling Mountain, and it accidentally caused a commotion."

Lu Ping gave an understanding nod and said in admiration, "Avatar Realm Great Ancestors! Their divine abilities are certainly heavenly!"

Enlightened Master Liu didn’t give any response. Lu Ping couldn’t tell anything from her expression, but he still felt that the heavenly phenomenon at the summit was definitely related to his teacher. However, since his teacher didn’t say anything, then as a disciple, he couldn’t and shouldn’t ask any questions.

At that moment, five lights flew in from outside and landed in Chong Hua Palace. They turned out to be Li Xuan-Ru, Zhao Xuan-Ji, and Yu Xuan-Jing, who were Lu Ping’s three Core Forging senior martial sisters. The remaining two Enlightened Masters were registered disciples under Enlightened Master Liu.

After his senior martial sisters landed, they obviously had something to say, but they suddenly spotted Lu Ping.

Without waiting for her three official disciples to say anything, Enlightened Master Liu spoke first, "Inform the disciples that the Great Ancestors are practicing a divine ability at the summit of Tian Ling Mountain. All disciples need not panic and should continue their regular cultivation diligently."

The five nodded their heads and sent out their sound transmission charms to inform their disciples. As they were already Core Forging Enlightened Masters, these five senior martial brothers and sisters naturally had the qualification to start their heritage and accept disciples.

Lu Ping took the opportunity to hand over three bottles of Beauty Everlasting Pellets to the three senior martial sisters and said, "These are Beauty Everlasting Pellets that I concocted this year. I intended to deliver them to the three sisters today, so this sudden meeting has really saved me the journey."

The three sisters were happy to receive the pellets and thanked Lu Ping one after another. Lu Ping knew that they had something to discuss with his teacher, so he excused himself and said goodbye.

By the time he left Chong Hua Palace, the disciples had already calmed down from the commotion. Clearly, the sect’s senior management had quickly spread the word that the "Great Ancestors were practicing their divine abilities".

Lu Ping looked at the remaining fourteen Beauty Everlasting Pellets in his interspatial ring and sighed in his heart; he couldn’t help feeling impressed at how alchemists were indeed a wealthy class of cultivators.

Normally, when cultivators asked an alchemist to concoct medicinal pellets for them, they would often have to prepare a double portion of spirit herbs for a bottle of Blood Condensation medicinal pellets.

When it came to Late Blood Condensation medicinal pellets, which were notably difficult to concoct, It was also common to see some alchemists asking for three cauldrons of spirit herbs. Then, after concocting the medicinal pellets, any extras were naturally taken by the alchemists.

For a bottle of Core Forging Realm medicinal pellets, cultivators often had to prepare three to four cauldrons of the required spirit herbs for the alchemists.

Lastly, when it came to Avatar Realm medicinal pellets, the number of cauldrons of spirit herbs wasn’t even a question anymore due to their scarcity. It was only normal for Great Ancestors to spend decades or even centuries to gather a single cauldron of the required spirit herbs.

Naturally, given the high level of difficulty and the scarcity of spirit herbs, the success rates for Avatar Realm medicinal pellets were oftentimes extremely low. Therefore, the Great Ancestors would be incredibly grateful and would return a favorable gift to their alchemists, even when only one medicinal pellet was successfully concocted out of a cauldron of spirit herbs.

The status of alchemists among cultivators couldn’t be any more obvious!

For example, after the disciple acceptance ceremony, some well-informed cultivators had approached Lu Ping and asked him to concoct medicinal pellets for them.

However, Lu Ping didn’t want to sacrifice his cultivation progress because of alchemy, especially when his cultivation was rapidly progressing. Hence, he had declined all requests for alchemy on the grounds of closed-door cultivation.

Only for close friends like Chen Lian, Yao Yong, or the three senior martial sisters, would he willingly take the time to concoct medicinal pellets for them.

Since Lu Ping's three senior martial sisters knew that he wasn’t at the level of Master Alchemist yet, they each prepared four cauldrons of spirit herbs for the Beauty Everlasting Pellets.

Naturally, Lu Ping wouldn’t reject the spirit herbs and used the opportunity to hone his alchemy mastery. As a result, the success rate of the first four cauldrons of spirit herbs was thirty percent, while the success rate of the remaining eight was stabilized at forty percent.

After delivering a full bottle of ten Beauty Everlasting Pellets to each of the three senior martial sisters, he still had fourteen left, plus the four pellets leftover from his teacher’s appreciation gift. Lu Ping now had eighteen Beauty Everlasting Pellets in his hands.

Lu Ping himself didn’t use any Beauty Everlasting Pellets.

After all, once his cultivation level reached the Late Blood Condensation Realm, he would have a life span of nearly 300 years. So before he turned 60, he could guarantee his appearance would remain the same as his 20-year-old self. Taking the pellet now would be a complete waste.

Back on Huang Li Island, Lu Ping walked into Chen Lian's smith store. He wanted to upgrade his Landslide to a top-grade mystic instrument within three days, in order to promote his strength to a new level before the monster hunting operation.

There were already nine Arcane Inscriptions engraved on Landslide, which was the limit of what a high-grade mystic instrument could contain. To upgrade it to a top-grade mystic instrument, all nine Arcane Inscriptions had to be fused together, which required the mystic instrument itself to be of the highest quality.

Chen Lian instructed Lu Ping to refine and purify the liquified Deep Sea Silver Sunken Iron with his arcane energy.

This way, when the spirit material was forged into Landslide, the mystic instrument would also be conditioned to his arcane energy. Lu Ping could then wield it with ease and the mystic instrument would have a more solid foundation for future upgrades to the ranks of mystic treasure.

Lu Ping remembered that he had once learned a refinement technique from Fei Ling Island, known as the [Spirit Fire Refinement and Purification Technique].

Since he didn’t know any other refinement techniques, he could either use the most direct way—by refining the spirit material with his arcane energy—or he could choose to use this refinement technique.

Despite never putting this technique into practice, Lu Ping believed it wouldn’t bring him harm, so why not try it out?

To ensure the quality of the Deep Sea Silver Sunken Iron, the refinement of the spiritual material had to be carried out by Lu Ping alone.

He naturally didn’t want to use the earth fire which Chen Lian used for his refinements. Hence, Lu Ping took out his Azure Spirit Fire and practiced the [Spirit Fire Refinement and Purification Technique] to refine the Deep Sea Silver Sunken Iron little by little.

After familiarizing himself with the refinement technique, his arcane energy gushed out to refine the Deep Sea Silver Sunken Iron repeatedly, one time after another.

In the end, the originally large piece of Deep Sea Silver Sunken Iron was reduced by three quarters, turning into a liquefied silver piece of iron without a single impurity.

When Lu Ping called Chen Lian over to check on the refined material, the young smith looked at his exhausted appearance due to the heavy depletion of arcane energy. He exclaimed in disbelief, "Freak!"

Lu Ping hurriedly regenerated his depleted arcane energy, and then assisted Chen Lian to forge the liquified Deep Sea Silver Sunken Iron into Landslide.

Landslide’s nine Arcane Inscriptions were fused with each other, forming a circle and becoming a whole.

At the end of the upgrade, Lu Ping injected his arcane energy into the mystic instrument, and Landslide turned from its original gray-black color into a warm silvery jade color, altering its original overbearing and solemn appearance.

This transformation marked the successful upgrade of Landslide into a top-grade mystic instrument.

Lu Ping held the three-inch stamp seal in his hand and examined it lovingly.

After successfully upgrading Landslide, Lu Ping went to Old Man Chen’s smith store in Di Kun Island and received an antique jade pendant from the old smith.

This jade pendant was a top-grade auxiliary mystic instrument forged with the top-grade spirit material, Thousand-year Cold Iron. His Second Senior Sister Li Xuan-Ru had given the material for its main body, and supplemented it with several high-grade and top-grade water-element spirit materials he’d collected over the years.

The jade pendant had no offensive or defensive capabilities, and its only effect was to calm the cultivator’s mind and soul, attract spiritual energy, and prevent any wild fluctuations in their cultivation.

Lu Ping wore this jade pendant on his waist and immediately felt invigorated.

The circulation of arcane energy in his body seemed to be a tiny bit faster and his aura suddenly felt more vividly ethereal.

In stark contrast, Old Man Chen’s smith skill had a marked improvement in proficiency and strength. Even though Chen Lian had received teachings from both sides which gave him greater potential, he was still too inexperienced to match Old Man Chen’s standards.

Seven days later, Lu Ping and the others gathered at the Huang Li Island council chamber.

The chamber included the other five sea patrol teams on the island. Everyone was obviously in high spirits and ready to go.

At that moment, Li Zi-Yuan and a dozen other Late Blood Condensation cultivators walked into the council chamber, following behind a man in his thirties.

This middle-aged man naturally attracted everyone’s attention, but surprisingly, no one could sense the slightest hint of cultivation from him!

The middle-aged man walked to the center of the council chamber, glanced over the surrounding cultivators and smiled. "I am Yang Xuan-Mu, and I will be the backup for this hunting operation on Huang Li Island. Rest assured that you can all fight the monsters without worrying about reprisals from the monster race’s Enlightened Masters."

The sect’s hierarchical name of ‘Xuan’—this middle-aged man was an Enlightened Master!

The cultivators were overjoyed to hear that they had an Enlightened Master as their backup.

Yang Xuan-Mu then said, "Recently, a group of monsters have been hunting and eating human cultivators all throughout the monster race sea, and their methods are extremely cruel. Should you come across them, make sure to capture and kill them all, and if you find yourself overpowered, you should quickly report back. I will dispatch any nearby cultivators to support you. We mustn’t let them escape."

Enlightened Master Yang spoke in a low but murderous tone, his words ringing out in everyone's ears like a mesmerising command. They left a clear impression on Lu Ping and the others, and their battle spirits surged high.

In that moment, Lu Ping suddenly had a feeling that he and the others were about to raise a bloody storm in the monster race sea.

RD's Notes:

Weekly Chapters (2/5)
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.