NETS - Chapter 184 – Golden Jiao Island
Three days passed quickly. Lu Ping had been hiding in the underground cave, with no intention of leaving. Instead, he used the time to successfully refine his second mystic treasure, the Scarlet Sunset Bead.
The Scarlet Sunset Bead only had one Mystical Inscription. Its main effect was neither attack nor defense, but rather confinement. Hence, compared to the pestle mystic treasure, the consumption of his arcane energy when activating the bead was far less. Lu Ping only expended one-third of his arcane energy and divine sense to refine the Scarlet Sunset Bead.
The rest of Lu Ping's time was spent recovering from the many intense battles he had been involved with in the Heaven of Seven Stars, especially the clashes in the Seven Star Palace. These conflicts not only exhausted his arcane energy and divine sense, they also took a toll on his mind and body.
Hence, Lu Ping decided to just rest and relax in the cave, sleeping for an entire day.
This time Lu Ping didn’t forget to remind Dabao to be vigilant. He also released the snake trio and Dagui to guard the perimeters. Lu Qin was injured by Ouyang Wei-Jian's whirlwind while snatching the three spirit pearls, and so she remained in the spirit pet pouch, recuperating with the help of medicinal pellets.
A while later, Lu Ping, who was fully rested, suddenly felt an invisible force field pressing down on him followed by heavy dizziness, and a falling sensation. He quickly calmed his mind and found that he had teleported out of the Heaven of Seven Stars, and was in mid-air falling towards the sea.
Auspicious Cloud quickly emerged beneath Lu Ping's feet, immediately stopping him from falling. He looked around but couldn’t recognize anything that could help him identify where he currently was.
Suddenly, a jade talisman vibrated in his sleeves. Lu Ping knew that it was the jade talisman given to him by Qi Zi-Cai, which had no other use besides communication.
Lu Ping followed the direction indicated by the jade talisman and soon found a group of cultivators gathered on the sea. Senior Martial Brother Cao and Senior Martial Brother Sun were amongst them.
But at this time, their auras were very different from when they were in the Heaven of Seven Stars. True energy circulated in their bodies and their power had become immeasurable. They were clearly in the Core Forging Realm.
Lu Ping stepped forward to pay his respects, but as he didn't know how to address them, he said, "Zhong Hua Palace's Lu Zi-Ping, greets the Enlightened Masters!"
Senior Martial Brother Cao saw Lu Ping and his resting gloomy expression softened a little, but he remained quiet as usual.
The ever friendly Senior Martial Brother Sun who was always smiling, said, "Ah, Junior Brother Lu! Your achievements in the Heaven of Seven Stars were amazing, especially the battle of swords with Young Master Jin and Ouyang Wei-Jian. You have established yourself and boosted the sect's reputation!"
Lu Ping didn’t expect that news would spread so fast in just three days and quickly said, "Enlightened Master, I'm flattered. They didn't go all out because there were others around, that's why this junior could do it. It's not worth mentioning at all!"
Enlightened Master Sun waved his hand, "Senior Brother Cao and I both address Enlightened Master Xuan-Ling as our Junior Aunt. So, as her disciple, Junior Brother Lu can just address us as Senior Brothers."
As Lu Ping had hid in the underground cave the entire time, he naturally didn't know what happened in the Heaven of Seven Stars during the final days.
During the last three days, Young Master Jin and Ouyang Wei-Jian had fought frequently, killing more than a dozen cultivators in their hands. As a result, the red-faced cultivator who fought against them was naturally put under the spotlight as well.
Even though the mysterious red-faced cultivator never appeared again after battling Young Master Jin and Ouyang Wei-Jian, rumors about him travelled like wildfire amongst the cultivators.
Some claimed that they had seen him in the center of the Canyon of Sullied Gold before and saw him walk out of it unharmed.
Some said he had encountered Young Master Jin before when he was still in the Sixth Layer Blood Condensation Realm, and that he managed to escape under Young Master Jin's attack. He even escaped from Shui Yan Pavilion He Li-Xin's pursuit, right after. Then, when he reappeared the next time, he was already in the Seventh Layer.
There was also a rumor about the red-faced cultivator working together with the Zhen Ling Sect's Twin Talent, Ji Zi-Xuan and Yin Zi-Chu, during the opening of Tian Quan Hall. He secured a jade box and disappeared in the woods with several cultivators chasing after him.
Then, when Tian Ji Hall opened, he snatched another treasure which was thought to be a high-grade alchemy cauldron. However, some also thought that he had already been killed and that the alchemy cauldron was in someone else's hands now. Although, no one could verify anything that had been claimed.
Another rumor also said that during Tian Xuan Hall's opening, the same red-faced cultivator stopped Xuan Ling Sect's Ouyang Wei-Jian from getting a large piece of Void Stone, delivering it to the hands of Zhen Ling Sect.
This couldn't help but cause the cultivators to suspect the relationship between the red-faced cultivator and Zhen Ling Sect. But Zhen Ling Sect naturally wouldn’t expose Lu Ping's identity, nor would Ai Botao and the others who knew him.
However, the cultivators who were present during the opening of Tian Xuan Hall, said they clearly heard Ouyang Wei-Jian calling out the red-faced cultivator's identity as Zhen Ling Sect's Lu Zi-Ping.
After that, the cultivators suddenly remembered that Xi Ling Island's Ai Clan once claimed that Hai Yan Sect's Peng Chang-Qing, one of the North Ocean 18 Warriors, was severely injured by Ai Clan's Ai Shu-Tao and Zhen Ling Sect's Lu Zi-Ping before his death. It seemed that the claim was actually true.
The cultivators gathered the information and concluded that Lu Ping had at least two treasures from the Seven Star Palace, a number of rare spirit herbs from the Canyon of Sullied Gold, and also some Amethyst Bee Honey from Amethyst Flower Sea.
Suddenly, everyone realized that Lu Ping was a walking treasure vault!
On the penultimate day, the cultivators noticed that every Zhen Ling Sect cultivator had gathered together, including the Twin Talents, but Lu Ping was the only one missing!
This meant that Lu Ping was alone and not under the protection of Zhen Ling Sect cultivators. As a result, everyone in the Heaven of Seven Stars had gone mad searching for his whereabouts!
On the final day, the cultivators in the Heaven of Seven Stars only had two goals left.
The first was to continue eliminating the Ocean Overturning Gang cultivators and plunder their resources. The second was to search everywhere for Zhen Ling Sect's Lu Zi-Ping.
This included the Zhen Ling Sect, but instead they were looking for Lu Ping in order to protect him.
After listening to Senior Martial Brother Sun, Lu Ping was stunned, he didn’t expect so many things to have happened in the last three days. He could even feel a hint of envy and respect in the gazes from the Zhen Ling Sect cultivators.
When the two Enlightened Masters heard that Lu Ping had spent the last three days sleeping in an underground cave, Enlightened Master Sun couldn't help but burst out laughing. Even Enlightened Master Cao's face twisted, while the Zhen Ling Sect cultivators were also trying their best to hold in their laughter.
At this time, Qi Zi-Cai, Yin Zi-Chu and Ji Zi-Xuan also regrouped with the team. Naturally, they were also envious when they saw Lu Ping.
Ji Zi-Xuan smiled smugly, "Fortunately, Golden Jiao Island's big crocodile didn’t see you, so he didn’t know that you’re the one that killed his fourth brother; Young Master Jin also didn’t know that we are the ones that killed his four monster generals. Otherwise, hoho......"
Qi Zi-Cai and the others clearly didn’t know that Lu Ping was wanted by Golden Jiao Island, so after listening to Ji Zi-Xuan's story, they looked at him again with admiration.
Enlightened Master Cao, asked directly, "Do you need another mask?"
He took out a pale-white mask without even waiting for Lu Ping's answer.
Lu Ping quickly took the mask from Enlightened Master Cao's hand, and thanked him before putting it on.
At the same time, Lu Ping was quietly thinking to himself.
What if he told them he also had the Amethyst Bee Royal Jelly, 3,000-year spirit herbs, Golden Nuts, Million Poisons Pulp, an unidentified heaven-and-earth spirit water, and two mystic treasures?
He also wondered how they would react if he told them that not only did he kill Golden Jiao Island Lord's fourth son, he also killed his third daughter. He also got rid of two Ocean Overturning Gang Division Masters.
Since they left the Heaven of Seven Stars, Qi Zi-Cai was no longer the leader anymore.
Enlightened Master Cao wasn’t good with words, so Enlightened Master Sun was the one giving the orders now. He said, "I suppose all of you know that the North Ocean Alliance has organized a mass operation to bring the fight to the monster sea. In another few days' time, the famous Golden Jiao Island Lord will hold his 600th birthday. I think it's reasonable for us to attend his celebration and present him our gifts."
The crowd burst out laughing. At the same time, they appeared eager to stir up the celebration. It couldn't be helped, humans had an eagerness towards destruction by nature, even more so when they didn't have to clean up the aftermath.
Lu Ping now understood why Enlightened Master Yang Xuan-Mu repeatedly told Liu Zi-Yuan and the rest to reach Qiu Yun Island before the seventh month. It seems like that was also a part of the preparation for the Golden Jiao Island Lord' 600th birthday "present".
Qi Zi-Cai said with some concern, "Senior Brother Sun, as far as I know, Golden Jiao Island has a high reputation in the monster race, the island lord himself is at the peak of the Core Forging Realm. Not to mention the many Enlightened Masters under him. More importantly, there’s a rumor that he had fought and survived under the attacks of an Avatar Great Ancestor before. This showed how powerful he really is. Although the sects are working together, there isn’t any Late Core Forging Realm cultivator in the operation. I'm afraid that we won't be able to pose much threat to the Golden Jiao Lord."
As shrewd as she was, Qi Zi-Cai naturally knew the sects would have made other preparations, but she still asked the question so she could know if there was anyone else on their side that could stand against the Golden Jiao Lord.
After all, the Golden Jiao Lord was just half a step away from the Avatar Realm. If they didn't have a candidate that could stand against him, the operation could fail miserably, leading to heavy casualties.
Furthermore, the cultivator couldn’t be a human Great Ancestor, since otherwise a monster race Great Ancestor would also act accordingly.
Enlightened Master Sun knew the implicit meaning behind Qi Zi-Cai's question. He smiled softly, looked up at the sky with a slightly narrowed gaze, and faintly said, "The Golden Jiao Lord isn't the only peak Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master that can stand against Avatar Great Ancestors!"
The disciples were naturally curious and eager to know the answer, but Enlightened Master Sun quickly interrupted them, "This mass operation against Golden Jiao Island has been carefully planned by the sects in the North Ocean Alliance. Our Zhen Ling Sect naturally has made appropriate preparations. Disciples, you are only asked to follow the orders given to you all."
Enlightened Master Sun clearly didn't want to mention who the candidate was. After that, Enlightened Master Sun pointed in the direction they would be traveling in. Just as they were about to depart, Enlightened Master Cao suddenly pointed at Lu Ping, and said, "He stays!"
Editor: Immortal BloodRogue