NETS - Chapter 159 – Golden Nut
Lu Ping was playing with the middle-aged cultivator’s interspatial pouch in his hand.
Besides a hundred mid-grade spirit stones and the high-grade golden wheel mystic instrument, it also contained a defensive mystic instrument that looked like a budding flower. The middle-aged cultivator had used it to block Lu Ping’s Soaring Wing Swords.
The pouch also held nearly a hundred 500-year spirit herbs and a dozen 1000-year spirit herbs. Many spirit herbs seemed to be growing in the Heaven of Seven Stars.
However, these spirit herbs weren’t grown on a large scale like the spirit gardens on Fei Ling Island, instead they were mostly scattered in the wild and the cultivators had to search for them.
There was also a jade scroll that caught Lu Ping's attention. Unrolling the jade scroll, he realized that it was a map that led to a Golden Nut Tree located on the Heaven of Seven Stars. It seemed to be the middle-aged cultivator’s ultimate goal.
Every time the Heaven of Seven Stars opened up, the geographical pattern in the dojo would change, so very few maps of the region had been passed down. However, only the major geographical pattern in the dojo would change, and the smaller terrains such as the mountains, canyons, and rivers, rarely changed.
According to the map, the Golden Nut Tree was located in the bottom of a canyon, and it was surrounded by various monsters and poisonous insects. The cultivator who had left behind this map many years ago only saw the Golden Nut Tree from afar, but retreated as soon as he realized the difficulty of approaching it.
Since they had three months to be in the dojo, Lu Ping wasn’t in a hurry to find the Golden Nut Tree. Instead, he released Dabao out from his spirit pet pouch. As a Blood Condensation Spirit Seeking Mouse, Dabao undoubtedly had an inherent advantage in such dojo ruins.
Dabao was kept in the pouch for a long time, and with its active character, the moment it left the pouch, it ran and jumped wildly around Lu Ping. It appeared happy to be outside and also complaining that Lu Ping didn’t let it out earlier.
Lu Ping scolded it with a smile, "You little rat, you eat so little, yet you have all this energy to hop around and your body just keeps getting rounder and rounder! If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were a pig!"
Dabao squealed as if to protest being called a pig.
Lu Ping didn’t bother to pay attention to Dabao. After some thought, he released the three Emerald Sea Spirit Snakes out as well.
The three spirit snakes had already reached the level of Early Blood Condensation Realm. Initially, Lu Ping planned to hunt a monster snake with a Jiao bloodline to help them in their cultivation breakthroughs.
However, after communicating with them, he learned that the Emerald Sea Spirit Snakes were gifted, and they could break through solely on the self-evolution of their foundation bloodlines. Even though it would take longer for them to ascend this way, at least they didn’t have to absorb additional bloodlines.
The three spirit snakes were now longer than ten feet and as wide as a bucket. They only shrank their size to about three feet so they could play around intimately at Lu Ping's feet.
The spirit snakes were nurtured with Lu Ping’s own arcane energy for several months before they hatched. Because of that, his arcane energy was closely familiar to them, so they viewed Lu Ping as their parent.
When Lu Ping saw that no one was around, he placed the huge carcass of the monster sea snake in front of him. Lu Bi, Lu Hai, and Lu Ling immediately understood Lu Ping's intention, and they moved to the carcass.
They coiled their bodies together and started to cultivate as they usually did. Opening their mouths, they each breathed out a strange thread of spiritual energy.
Lu Ping saw light cyan arcane energy flowing out from Lu Bi's mouth, entered the monster sea snake's body for a moment, and then returned to Lu Bi's mouth. The returning arcane energy was much stronger than when it entered the monster sea snake’s body.
The other two also did the same, but Lu Hai’s arcane energy was blue in color, while Lu Ling’s arcane energy was snow-white. After every cycle, the huge monster sea snake's body would dry up and shrink a little more.
Lu Ping knew that they were doing this to absorb and store the essence of the monster sea snake—this would help their cultivation breakthrough to the Mid Blood Condensation Realm.
But this was still an Eighth Layer Blood Condensation monster sea snake after all. Even in death and after losing its Condensed Blood Beads, its essence was still too abundant for three Early Blood Condensation spirit snakes to absorb in a short time.
Hence, Lu Ping took the opportunity to familiarize himself with the area first.
The middle-aged cultivator's map had marked a lot of areas, but not in detail. It seemed that he only entered the dojo two days earlier than Lu Ping, and he went directly to the Golden Nut Tree without staying long in other places.
With Dabao’s help, Lu Ping collected more than twenty 500-year spirit herbs after following the exploration trail of the middle-aged cultivator.
According to Ji Zi-Xuan, the Heaven of Seven Stars had last appeared more than three hundred years ago. Hence, even though the spiritual energy here was not as thick as that of Fei Ling Island, many of the spirit herbs had matured.
When Lu Ping returned, only a huge snake skin remained from the monster carcass. The three coiling Emerald Sea Spirit Snakes were yawning and looked satiated, and their auras were beginning to undulate.
Lu Ping smiled self-deprecatingly. He didn’t expect them to be met with an opportunity to break through so soon. His original intention was to find the canyon first, then use their abilities to assist him in getting to the Golden Nut Tree.
But that seemed improbable now. However, they still had three months left, so he had a lot of time.
In the next few days, Lu Ping travelled alone in the Heaven of Seven Stars. With Dabao’s help, he harvested a lot of spirit herbs. As a result, the Tome of Thousand Millets was now transplanted with a variety of spirit herbs that Lu Ping hadn’t seen before outside of the dojo.
However, he had yet to meet another cultivator in the Heaven of Seven Stars, let alone regroup with Ji Zi-Xuan and Yin Zi-Chu.
On one particular day, Lu Ping was harvesting a strain of a 1000-year spirit herb growing below a cliff. The spirit herb was the main ingredient for a Core Forging Realm medicinal pellet.
In fact, the 1000-year spirit herbs were also graded.
Most of the 1000-year spirit herbs were only auxiliary ingredients to concoct Core Forging Realm medicinal pellets. Auxiliary ingredients could often be replaced with other spirit herbs with similar medicinal properties, unlike main ingredients that couldn’t be swapped.
For example, Golden Marrow Grass, which was the main ingredient for Golden Marrow Pellets, must be used. Otherwise, the concoction would fail.
Therefore, 1000-year spirit herbs that were used as main ingredients were very precious, often several times more valuable than that of ordinary 1000-year spirit herbs.
Lu Ping had just carefully harvested this inconspicuous Gray Rock Grass from the rock cracks under the cliff. Suddenly, his divine sense picked up something and he quickly put the Gray Rock Grass into a jade box.
He quickly cast the [Spirit Hiding Art] to suppress his cultivation base to the Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm, followed by the [Sea Crossing Concealment Art] to hide himself. As a further precaution, he activated an Invisibility Charm and Spirit Concealment Charm as well.
Right after Lu Ping had just hidden himself, a light flashed into the rocky valley below the cliff, followed by a bout of coughing. A figure ran with staggered steps towards the bottom of the cliff while at the same time, scouting the surrounding area with their divine sense.
Lu Ping felt a coolness sweeping through his body, and he didn’t know whether the newcomer had noticed him. The staggering figure seemed to only be in his twenties—blood flowed from his mouth and nose, which strongly suggested that he was seriously injured.
The young man looked at the situation at the bottom of the cliff.
It was unknown whether his next move was intentional or not, the newcomer chose to settle down behind Lu Ping.
First, he threw a formation chassis to the ground, then planted twelve formation flags around him. After making several hand seals, the array formation was activated and the young man disappeared from the scene, leaving nothing but an empty mess of rock at the bottom of the cliff.
Weekly Chapters (2/5)
Currently translated up to Chapter 160.