NETS - Chapter 187 – General Whale, General Shark
Following the traces left by Lu Qin, Lu Ping made his way to the seventh monster general's quarters. There, he found Lu Qin drinking with the general from two long-necked bottles filled with wine. A monster servant was busily refilling the bottles on the table whenever they were empty.
When Lu Qin received Lu Ping's signal, she quietly waited for the general to lower its head to drink from the bottle. With his attention diverted, she pecked at the seventh monster general's eye.
Furious at her audacity, it was about to strike back at Lu Qin when a sword light unexpectedly pierced through its heart from the back.
Lu Ping glared at Lu Qin, who shrank her head back and said weakly, "Big Brother Dabao said drinking will lower its guard."
As they were in enemy territory now, Lu Ping didn't have time for such trivialities and let the matter go.
He followed Dagui and headed for the Golden Scale Palace's armory. After removing all traces of his tracks, he stealthily trailed behind Lu Qin. Since Lu Qin was the second-in-command under the seventh monster general, the monster soldiers patrolling the area naturally wouldn’t stop her.
With Dagui’s help, Lu Ping easily got his hands on the armory key. Even though Dagui had told him of its contents, he was still a little disappointed when he actually entered the armory.
The room mostly consisted of mid and low-grade spirit materials, with hardly any ranging in the high-grade and top-grade. Even then, the top-grade spirit materials were commonly found and nothing actually precious.
There were also several roughly-crafted mystic instruments, but most of them had been distributed among the newly recruited monster soldiers during the recent expansion.
Lastly, he found some spirit herbs that were losing their medicinal properties, most likely due to inadequate harvesting and storage.
It seemed that Enlightened Master Jin Li had kept all the good stuff and brought them along in his interspatial storage.
Although the items in the armory lacked quality, they would still suffice for an ordinary cultivator. Hence, Lu Ping took out an interspatial pouch and stored everything away.
At this time, Dabao came out of nowhere and squeaked at him again.
Lu Dabao was recently having some bad days. Unlike the others who joined later, he had followed Lu Ping the longest, as early as when Lu Ping was still in the Blood Refining Realm.
The snake trio saw Lu Ping as their father and obeyed him unconditionally;
Dagui viewed Lu Ping as his master and followed his commands loyally;
Lu Qin took Lu Ping as her teacher and respected him;
But Dabao's relationship with him was different. They had experienced almost everything together in Lu Ping's cultivation journey. This made Dabao not just a follower, but also a brother.
Therefore, Dabao was the biggest spirit pet and the closest to Lu Ping. Even though he had the weakest cultivation base, he was still Lu Ping’s number one spirit pet, and the others wouldn’t think of challenging his position.
However, recently, Lu Ping's face always turned somber when he saw Dabao, and he would always kick him in the butt. But thanks to his thick flesh, Dabao would always land safely on the ground.
So Dabao had been avoiding the other these days. He dug out a new cave beneath Lu Ping's temporary cave-dwelling and hid in it.
Dabao thought all he did was give the little bird some advice and precautions. He didn’t understand why Lu Ping was not happy with this.
Thus, as soon as they arrived at Golden Scale Palace, Lu Ping threw Dabao out into the palace to look for treasures.
Dabao searched many places and finally found something good, so he came out and reported it back to Lu Ping.
Lu Ping listened to the report and said, "A spirit stone mine. It seems like Dagui's information is correct."
Dabao was feeling helpless. He was the one that discovered the location of the spirit stone mine, so why give Dagui half of the credit?
Based on Dabao's report, combined with Dagui's and Lu Qin's information, Lu Ping quietly followed the monster soldiers to the back of Golden Scale Palace, where there was a small spirit stone mine.
Every three days, the excavated spirit stones would be divided into two parts and sent to two cultivation rooms inside the palace.
Ever since he heard about the spirit stone mine, Lu Ping’s thoughts kept turning back to it.
Back then, it was precisely his discovery of the small spirit stone mine on Xuan Qi Island which led to the escalation of conflict between Zhen Ling Sect and Xuan Ling Sect, even getting the Enlightened Masters involved in the matter.
So Lu Ping thought, could this small spirit stone mine be the reason why Enlightened Master Jin left Golden Jiao Island to set up his cave-dwelling here?
Lu Ping followed the monster soldiers transporting the spirit stones, all the way to a manor at the center of the Golden Scale Palace.
The manor was guarded by an array formation that would not only alert the monster cultivators inside, but also Enlightened Master Jin Li, who was tens of thousands of miles away.
Dabao squeaked again at Lu Ping's feet, and Lu Ping asked happily, "There’s a spirit vein here?"
Dabao hastily nodded.
Then, they saw the two monster soldiers spit out a piece of jade talisman from their mouths. The surface of the jade talismans flashed with a bright light, and two openings appeared on the array formation for the monster soldiers to enter the manor.
The monster soldiers entered the array formation and went their separate ways. They placed the bags of spirit stones into two stone rooms on opposite sides of the manor. These appeared to be the cultivation rooms currently occupied by the first monster general and second monster general.
When both monster soldiers came out, Lu Ping casually killed them and pulled out the two pieces of jade talismans. Fortunately, they were underwater and the jade talismans were immediately rinsed clean of their saliva.
As for the corpses, Lu Ping didn’t care to clean up the battlefield.
He passed through the manor's protective array formation and was immediately welcomed by a rich wave of spiritual energy no thinner than the air in his cave-dwelling.
Lu Ping was overjoyed.
The manor was huge, obviously much larger than his cave-dwelling. There were two Peak Blood Condensation Realm monster generals cultivating in the area, consuming a huge amount of spiritual energy.
Yet, the manor still managed to maintain such a high level of spiritual energy—the only plausible explanation would be a small spirit vein in the area!
Lu Ping turned around and looked at Dabao, only to see that the mouse had already dove underground. Lu Ping couldn't help giving praise in his heart. Dabao was becoming more human-like, a fact that brought a smile to his face.
It wasn’t easy to take two Peak Blood Condensation Realm monster cultivators at once. After all, these two monster generals had followed Enlightened Master Jin and fought their way through the Heaven of Seven Stars.
Lu Ping had seen them before; one was a sperm whale and the other was a great white shark.
Lu Ping turned to Lu Qin on his shoulder and asked, "Are you sure Enlightened Master Jin rewarded the six spirit pearls to his two subordinates?"
Lu Qin nodded her head like a pecking bird and said, "That silly seventh monster general got drunk and told Qin'er that the six spirit pearls were given to General Whale and General Shark. He wants them to advance to Core Forging Realm as soon as possible and refine the spirit pearls into their mystic treasures. The other monster generals were greatly envious."
Lu Ping secretly thought: Enlightened Master Jin Li seems impatient to expand the strength of his Golden Scale Palace. Could the monster race be brewing something big, or is he just trying to expand the Golden Scale Palace's power?
Lu Ping knew the monster race's internal conflicts were much more vicious, fiercer, and bloodier. Furthermore, monsters preferred to bring their conflicts out in the open and clash head-on, unlike humans who liked their calculations.
So, when the Golden Scale Palace showed signs of preparations for war, Lu Ping suspected something big was coming, but he couldn’t figure out the target.
The monster cultivators rarely refined any decent mystic instruments, mostly because they were more focused on refining their own body into their nascent mystic instruments.
The six spirit pearls were clearly the best spirit materials for this task. Once the two monster generals refined the spirit pearls, the pearls could easily be upgraded into nascent mystic treasures once they advanced into the Core Forging Realm.
No wonder the other monster generals were envious.
Lu Ping wasn't sure if Enlightened Master Jin had left any more protective measures in the Golden Scale Palace, so he decided to quickly kill the two monster generals and snatch the six spirit pearls to avoid unnecessary trouble.
From his interspatial ring, Lu Ping took out a lapis jar and used his arcane energy to extract a ball of Million Poisons Pulp.
As soon as the Million Poisons Pulp left the suppression of the heaven-and-earth spirit water in the jar, it immediately evaporated into a golden mist. Lu Ping used his [Water Manipulation Art] to control the mist, splitting it into two strands, and blew them toward the two cultivation rooms on each side of the manor.
After a few moments, two loud roars suddenly erupted from the rooms, shouting, "Who is this? Who dares to plot against me?"
"You’re asking for your own demise!"
The cultivation rooms were both destroyed by the monster generals simultaneously.
A giant man with huge nostrils on top of his head, and a big man with a fish tail and sharp teeth, came out from the collapsed stone rooms.
As the sand and mud obstructed their vision, the two could not clearly see the man standing in front of the manor.
At that time, a pestle appeared and enlarged above General Whale, smashing down towards his nostrils.