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NETS - Chapter 156 – The Trio (1/2)

This was the lair of the monster crab that Lu Ping had used to hide in the monster race waters for five years.

After Lu Ping went his separate ways from Patrol Team One, he didn’t make his way back to Huang Li Island. He was curious about Golden Jiao Island’s conspiracy and the North Ocean Alliance’s hunting operation.

Moreover, the Verdant Luan, Lu Qin, was pleading with him to stay and help her out.

Although Lu Qin was tamed by Lu Ping and became his pet, she was still a prideful monster bird. Other than Lu Ping, she didn’t look up to anyone, not even the Emerald Sea Spirit Snakes. Only Dabao, who was adept at communication, could converse with her.

Hence, when such a prideful Lu Qin suddenly pleaded with Lu Ping again and again, it naturally aroused Lu Ping's attention.

Through a simple exchange with Lu Qin, Lu Ping learned that she wanted revenge!

There was a Scarlet Ibis in the Late Blood Condensation Realm, who owned this sea territory. It was also the eighth monster general under the Golden Scale Mansion's Enlightened Master Jin Li.

This Scarlet Ibis was Lu Qin's biggest enemy.

After the death of her parents, Lu Qin inherited their heritage, which included a lair containing a mini spirit vein. It was thanks to this spirit vein that Lu Qin was able to advance to the Mid Blood Condensation Realm in just a few decades.

However, the Scarlet Ibis somehow learned of the spirit vein in Lu Qin's lair. Relying on its superior cultivation base and Enlightened Master Jin Li’s influence, the Scarlet Ibis expelled Lu Qin from her territory, taking the lair away from her by force.

Lu Qin barely escaped from the Scarlet Ibis's claws as a result of her superior flight speed. After that, she began to wander in the nearby territories while recuperating from her injuries. But a while later, before she had fully recovered, she had been tamed by Lu Ping.

Lu Ping was ignorant about this piece of Lu Qin’s past, but he still remembered what happened five years ago.

At that time, Lu Ping had decided to leave this sea territory because a Late Blood Condensation Realm's monster general had come to scout the area after he kept killing the nearby Mid Blood Condensation Realm monsters.

Was it possible that the monster general who came to investigate was the Scarlet Ibis?

It seemed that this favor had to be done. Lu Qin’s submission to Lu Ping was mixed with some coercion and enticement. But if he helped Lu Qin take back her nest, it would make Lu Qin completely submit to him.

Furthermore, Lu Ping was also attracted by the mini spirit vein in the nest. In fact, just the spirit vein alone was enough for Lu Ping to kill the Scarlet Ibis.

Lu Qin gave a long cry and carried Lu Ping towards her former nest.

Lu Ping was wearing a mask and was disguised as a red-faced middle-aged man. He also cast the [Spirit Hiding Art] that he obtained from the Blood Condensation Treasure Vault, to conceal his cultivation base to the Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm.

After Lu Ping learned this secret art, he naturally understood the value of it, and had been practicing it for quite some time. Currently, he was able to conceal his cultivation base to three cultivation layers lower, without fear of being discovered by cultivators with divine senses stronger than his own.

Lu Qin was filled with high spirits after Lu Ping promised to help her, and was chirping loudly along the way.

None of the Early and Mid Blood Condensation Realm monsters in the territory dared to come out when they saw the Sixth Layer Blood Condensation Realm Verdant Luan flying above.

Soon, the small island where Lu Qin's former nest was on was just a few miles away.

Lu Qin was very wary. She let out a long and provocative chirp that spread far away.

Lu Ping’s expression was grave and he immediately stopped Lu Qin's provocation with a tap of his palm. Although Lu Qin was dissatisfied, she didn’t dare to disobey Lu Ping's wishes.

As the duo quietly sneaked closer to the island, Lu Qin finally knew why Lu Ping had stopped her.

There were loud noises coming from the sea not far away from the island. It was obvious that someone was fighting there.

Lu Ping pondered for a second and instructed Lu Qin to land on the island first. With Lu Qin leading the way, he easily made his way to the nest and found that the Scarlet Ibis was not here as he had expected.

There were only a few Blood Refining Realm monster birds guarding the nest, but they were easily dispatched by Lu Qin's claws and beaks.

Lu Ping walked towards the bottom of the cave and found that there were many bones and furs on the floor. They were obviously leftovers from the Scarlet Ibis' daily meals.

Lu Qin also noticed the leftovers and was clearly dissatisfied to see the current state of her former nest. With a swing of her wings, the leftovers were swept out of the cave, and the pungent smell was cleared.

Lu Ping continued to travel towards the bottom of the cave without stopping. When he reached the bottom, he felt the spiritual energy wafting through the cave, and was delighted.

There really was a mini spirit vein in this cave. Furthermore, the path to the bottom was deep and winding, so the spiritual energy from the spirit vein was contained within the cave. This was why the spirit vein could remain undiscovered all this time.

Lu Ping was so happy that he didn’t care about the battle happening outside the island right now.

He quickly finished laying out a set of array formations around the spirit vein, and at the same time placed a total of 36 mid-grade spirit stones in the array formation.

This place was too far from Huang Li Island. Hence, it would take some effort to relocate the spirit vein to Lu Ping's cave dwelling.

After setting up the migration array formation, Lu Ping checked the cave again. After nothing was found, Lu Ping mulled for a moment. Then, he took out a small formation chassis and set it up in the last bend of the path to the bottom of the cave.

As the formation chassis was set up, the environment suddenly twisted, and the migration array formation at the bottom of the cave miraculously disappeared.

This was a small illusionary formation that Hu Lili had given him. She had made it herself for Lu Ping to use for self-defense.

Lu Ping, who had been concentrating on setting up the array formation, suddenly became distracted and his movements slowed down, when he thought about Hu Lili.

He wanted to know how Hu Lili was, where Patrol Team One was, and what their situation was. Since it was a large-scale hunting operation, they would definitely encounter many battles with monsters.

Although Hu Lili was quite crafty, her combat power was lacking, so Lu Ping couldn’t help but worry about her safety.

But thinking about it further, Lu Ping mocked himself.

Patrol Team One was strong. There was Master Immortal Liu, Du, and Fang leading the team, and the members were also close friends. Yao Yong, Chen Lian, and the others would naturally take good care of Hu Lili.

Besides, Lu Ping had given Hu Lili the pair of jasper hairpins, along with the high-grade defensive mystic instruments that his Fourth Senior Martial Sister, Wang Xuan-Jing, had gifted him. With the protection of the hairpins, Hu Lili would be safe as long as she stayed away from the Enlightened Masters.

Looking back on their relationship, he felt that their progress was strangely fast.

It was as if they had a tacit understanding, able to read each other’s minds and help each other out, acknowledging and maintaining their relationship in a natural way. This unspoken understanding between them made everything seem so uneventful, yet romantic at the same time.

Lu Ping couldn’t help but smile ear to ear. It turned out that the relationship between couples didn’t necessarily always have to be explosive.

Lu Ping also smiled self-deprecatingly. He knew that it probably wasn’t as if Hu Lili didn’t like romance, but rather she, who had always been understanding, hadn’t asked anything from him. Not even the slightest hint.

Lu Ping knew that this was an emotional debt that he owed her, and he could only repay her by accompanying her for the rest of their lives.

Damn, this woman had calculated his life into her scheme!

Lu Ping shook his head and left the nest, taking Lu Qin with him as they flew toward the place where the fight was taking place.

In the sea, a few miles away from the island, four Eighth Layer Blood Condensation Realm monsters were attacking three human cultivators.

Although the human cultivators were in a disadvantageous position, they were still able to defend. It seemed unlikely for the monsters to kill them anytime soon.

Lu Ping got closer and found that they weren’t three human cultivators, but two. The one he had mistaken for a cultivator was in fact a Late Blood Condensation Realm puppet, wrapped in a layer of gray and black armor. It moved with stiff but powerful moves, and pummeled the monsters backwards.

When he looked closely at the two cultivators, one of them was holding an octagonal shield to block the monsters' attacks, while sweating profusely as he commanded the puppet to fight.

Obviously, he was the master of the puppet and his arcane energy and divine sense had been stretched to the limits, resulting in no energy left to use other mystic instruments to attack the monsters.

The second human cultivator was the opposite. His movements were extremely erratic, making it difficult to catch his position. He wielded two short swords and moved like a ghost, swift and unpredictable. He was able to release a burst of attacks in just a few seconds.

If the monsters weren’t always vigilantly watching their surroundings, ready to rescue each other, he would’ve already been able to severely injure or even kill any one of them.

Lu Ping looked at the two human cultivators and was surprised that he recognized them. They were Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin’s disciple, Yin Zi-Chu, and Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai’s disciple, Ji Zi-Xuan. They had both impressed Lu Ping at the discipleship ceremony.

At the same time, they also noticed Lu Ping's arrival. But as Lu Ping was in disguise and wearing a mask, they didn't know if he was a friend or foe.

Lu Ping's arrival also alerted the monsters, but once they noticed that this human cultivator was only an Early Blood Condensation Realm cultivator and his monster bird was just a Mid Blood Condensation Realm, they felt at ease.

A large bird with scarlet plumes saw Lu Qin and laughed mockingly. The bird suddenly spoke human words, "Isn't this the homeless prodigal Verdant Luan? How did she become someone's mount? A Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm lowly human cultivators' mount? You are really a disgrace to us monster cultivators!"

Lu Qin heard Scarlet Ibis' mockery and let out an angry cry. Lu Ping hovered in mid-air, while the Verdant Luan pounced out on Scarlet Ibis with her wings and claws.

The Scarlet Ibis laughed strangely and broke away from the battle with Ji Zi-Xuan and Yin Zi-Chu. He turned into a bird-headed, half-humanoid monster, and pounced towards Lu Qin while shouting, "Today, I will show you the power of a half-humanoid!"

Ji Zi-Xuan and Yin Zi-Chu had fought a long time with these four monsters, but they didn't know that this scarlet monster bird could actually talk. They were naturally taken aback by the sudden discovery and their attacks slowed down for a moment.

The monsters seized this chance and almost broke through their defenses. Fortunately, the Scarlet Ibis had left the battlefield and the two of them were able to stabilise their positions quickly. Furthermore, the pressure on them was greatly relieved now and they were gradually turning the tide of the battle in their favor.

On the other hand, the battle between Lu Qin and the Scarlet Ibis had entered a feverish stage right from the start.

The Scarlet Ibis' huge beak opened and blasted out a red-hot flame towards Lu Qin, while Lu Qin agilely moved with the breeze. She was dancing beautifully amidst Scarlet Ibis's unrestrained flame attacks.

She flapped her wings, consecutively shooting out high-pitched quivering wind blades at the Scarlet Ibis. However, the Scarlet Ibis used its feathers to raise a feather wall together with its aegis energy, and easily fended off the wind blades.

Lu Ping looked at the two battlefields. It seemed that he was ignored by all of them. Indeed, a Third Layer Blood Condensation Realm cultivator was insignificant and was prone to be ignored here.

Lu Ping shook his head slowly and proceeded to take off his mask.

While the monsters still ignored Lu Ping's existence, Ji Zi-Xuan and Yin Zi-Chu were suddenly in high spirits.

At this point, Lu Qin's movements had been limited by the Scarlet Ibis' massive rain of fire. Although Lu Qin was still moving agilely, she was clearly out of options.

Just as Lu Qin was about to be ravaged by the fire, amidst Scarlet Ibis' taunts, a green flame suddenly burst through the Scarlet Ibis' rain of fire.

Lu Qin, whose graceful body was wrapped in green flames, suddenly shot into the sky like an arrow, splitting the rain of fire into two halves.

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.