NETS - Chapter 186 – Golden Scale Palace
Lu Ping was so irritated by whatever Dabao had told Lu Qin, that he nearly forgot to ask about what Lu Qin was trying to tell him earlier.
Lu Qin said, "The man I'm talking about is Enlightened Master Jin Li. Little Qin'er grew up in this place, so I have a lot of friends around here! Little Qin'er was out playing with them today. They told me that Golden Scale Palace's Master Jin Li was going to pay homage to a bigger master, who is also his godfather!"
Lu Ping was a little confused by the different "masters" Lu Qin was talking about, but still managed to understand her meaning. Today was already the end of the sixth month, and the Golden Jiao Lord's birthday celebration was at the end of the seventh month.
So, if Enlightened Master Jin Li was Golden Jiao Lord's godson, it would be reasonable for him to head to Golden Jiao Island early and help prepare the celebration.
Ever since Lu Ping was alone, he had his eyes on Enlightened Master Jin Li's cave-dwelling.
This was because during the opening of the Seven Star Palace, he saw with his own eyes that Young Master Jin was very close to the Golden Jiao Island's Primal Giant Crocodile. Hence, Lu Ping was certain that Enlightened Master Jin would definitely be invited to Golden Jiao Lord's birthday celebration.
However, Lu Ping hadn’t expected Enlightened Master Jin Li and Golden Jiao Lord to be godfather and godson. Enlightened Master Jin Li's early departure gave Lu Ping more days to prepare.
Lu Ping's goal was naturally the remaining six spirit pearls Enlightened Master Jin Li had obtained. But he wasn't sure if Enlightened Master Jin would keep the spirit pearls in his cave-dwelling or bring them along with him.
From what Lu Ping had gathered, Enlightened Master Jin was the only Core Forging Realm cultivator in his Golden Scale Palace. His subordinates were all just in the Blood Condensation Realm.
This showed that Enlightened Master Jin's Golden Scale Palace was a new force in the monster race, with a weak and shallow foundation. In other words, in the absence of Enlightened Master Jin Li, the Golden Scale Palace wouldn't be able to withstand the attacks of other Enlightened Masters.
Hence, there was a high chance that Enlightened Master Jin would bring his wealth along with him, instead of leaving it behind in his cave-dwelling.
On the other hand, if the Golden Scale Palace was strong and managed well, Lu Ping wouldn't be able to do anything even in Enlightened Master Jin's absence.
It seemed like he would have to take the chance either way!
Lu Ping made up his mind and turned to look over his shoulder. He saw Lu Qin carefully combing her feathers, it was rare that she didn't continue to chatter all day long.
Although Lu Qin was talkative, she was perceptive and knew not to disturb Lu Ping when he was thinking.
Lu Ping couldn't help but want to tease her, so he asked, "Little Qin'er, didn't you say you are already 60-years-old, why are you talking like an eight-year-old right now?"
Lu Qin replied, "We Verdant Luan’s have a life expectancy of 500 years, Little Qin'er is only 60 years old this year. That is equivalent to only eight or nine years in the human race!"
While talking, Lu Qin stretched out her wings and counted with her feathers.
Lu Ping pretended to be surprised, "Oh, so our Little Qin'er is a genius! An eight-year-old Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivator!"
Lu Qin tilted her little head up at the sky and said proudly, "That's right, Little Qin'er is a genius! Mommy was 200 years old when she broke through to the Late Blood Condensation Realm, and only then did she occupy the nest that had the mini spirit vein. But Little Qin'er is already in the Late Blood Condensation Realm at the age of sixty. Of course, it's also thanks to master's delicious medicinal pellets."
The little bird didn't forget to pat Lu Ping on the back as she was showing off. Lu Ping asked, "Little Qin'er, didn't you just say that Verdant Luan’s have a lifespan of 500 years? If so, why did your mother die so early?"
Lu Qin said with confusion, "Hmmm, Little Qin'er also doesn’t know. Mommy's health just got worse and worse, eventually she couldn’t even go out hunting anymore. So Little Qin'er had to go out hunting by herself, and come back to feed mommy. But mommy still died before reaching 300 years old."
Golden Scale Palace was located on the cliff of an underground mountain range.
Enlightened Master Jin had recruited twelve monster generals who were all in the Eighth and Ninth Blood Condensation Realm.
Among them, four had been killed by Lu Ping and his friends in the Heaven of Seven Stars. But those four were only in the Eighth Blood Condensation Realm, and so were clearly not highly-ranked within the twelve monster generals.
According to the intelligence gathered by Lu Ping's spirit pets, the disappearance of the four monster generals had not attracted much attention from Enlightened Master Jin Li. Perhaps, Enlightened Master Jin was busy preparing for his godfather’s birthday.
Equally, perhaps Enlightened Master Jin simply didn’t value his Eighth Layer Blood Condensation Realm monster generals much.
After all, the cultivation world was a cruel place. While humans hide their malice under a mask of kindness , monsters display their malice openly.
Lu Ping wasn’t foolish enough to break into the Golden Scale Palace. He asked his spirit pets to continue gathering more intelligence first.
Apparently, Enlightened Master Jin had brought the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth monster general with him to Golden Jiao Island.
This meant there were only four remaining in the Golden Scale Palace.
The monster generals in Golden Scale Palace were ranked according to their strengths. The first six were in the Ninth Layer Blood Condensation Realm with the remaining six in the Eighth Layer Blood Condensation Realm.
This meant that only the first and second monster generals, who were also the two strongest monster generals, were left in the Golden Scale Palace. Besides them, there were two other Eighth Layer Blood Condensation Realm monster generals, but Lu Ping naturally wasn’t concerned with them.
This gave Lu Ping more confidence in his plan.
Furthermore, Enlightened Master Jin had ordered the recruitment criteria to enter Golden Scale Palace be lowered, to expand the number of monster soldiers.
Enlightened Master Jin was always only willing to recruit elites, so this order had baffled the monster generals.
Even though the monster generals didn’t know why their master had changed his mind, they were more than willing to expand the monster soldiers under them. After all, monsters were strong believers of the law of the jungle. Having more monster soldiers to command simply meant that they would possess greater power, so they were naturally happy to do so.
This also gave Lu Ping's spirit pets a chance to go undercover inside of the Golden Scale Palace.
Lu Dagui was recruited and assigned a position of managing the armory.
The snake trio hid their auras and disguised themselves as ordinary sea snakes, but their talent still managed to draw the attention of the tenth monster general, who also happened to be a monster sea snake. So, the snake trio were taken as the tenth monster general's followers.
The Late Blood Condensation Realm Lu Qin, was directly recruited under the seventh monster general as its second-in-command.
After Enlightened Master Jin Li left with the four monster generals, Lu Ping took Dabao directly to the Golden Scale Palace.
Lu Qin had rerouted the patrolling monster soldiers to elsewhere, so Lu Ping easily entered Golden Scale Palace and sent Dabao out to search for the treasures inside.
Then, he cast the [Sea Crossing Concealment Art] and headed directly to the tenth monster general's station.
Ever since he had attained the State of Intent, Lu Ping had been thinking about the water-element sword art given to him by his Sixth Senior Sister, Dong Zi-Yu.
It was a sword art known as [Shapeless Sword Art] from the fallen Fei Ling Sect, named after water's formless and shapeless nature.
The sword art was unpredictable, dynamic, and difficult to counter.
The sword arts in the [North Ocean Twelve Ultimates] were all about fighting head-on, while the [Shapeless Sword Art] was about striking unpredictably, at the least expected time and place.
Although the [Shapeless Sword Art] was also not specialized in stealth, the elements it contained were still useful references for Lu Ping to improve his stealth skills.
When Lu Ping arrived at the tenth monster general's quarters, the general had already sensed his aura and moved to intercept him with its new followers.
When it saw a human cultivator casually strutting in front of it, it sneered coldly at the human's ignorance and audacity.
Just as the tenth monster general was about to instruct its new followers to take down this human cultivator, it suddenly felt a sting on its back. Its new followers, the three sea snakes, had ambushed it from behind!
The tenth monster general was also a monster snake, and so was very confident about its cultivation base and ability to resist poison. It sneered coldly and said, "You three little scums, do you think your poisons will work on me? How dare you betray your superior?"
As the tenth monster general finished its sentence, the cold smirk on its face suddenly faded as it felt three strands of poison, that could never be possessed by ordinary sea snakes, seep into its arcane energy and body.
The tenth monster general opened its mouth, but before it could say something, it found itself fully numb with no control over its body.
Lu Ping casually waved his sword and beheaded the tenth monster general. Then, the snake trio slithered forward and devoured the general's bile.
After that, Lu Ping kept the sea snake monster general's carcass as a snack for the snake trio, and collected the blood for his alchemy.
Editor: Immortal BloodRogue