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NETS - Chapter 189 – Message Sword

Lu Ping cleared away his greedy thoughts and quietly left Golden Scale Palace without alerting the monster soldiers.

After all, even though the palace was tens of thousands of miles away from Golden Jiao Island, it would only take a few hours for Enlightened Master Jin Li to return if he discovered that his cave-dwelling had been invaded.

In those few hours, Lu Ping would never be able to return to Huang Li Island in time; Enlightened Master Jin Li would definitely catch up and kill him.

Unless Lu Ping advanced into the Core Forging Realm and attained the divine revelation, thus preventing the other from locking onto his aura, there was no way he could survive the chase.

It would be wise to not alert Enlightened Master Jin in the first place.

For three days straight, Lu Ping took no rest as he rushed back to Huang Li Island. Upon his arrival, he did not alert anyone on the island and entered as a rogue cultivator.

At this time, Liu Zi-Yuan and the rest had left Huang Li Island on their mission. But Zhen Ling Sect had many idle Blood Condensation cultivators on Tian Ling Mountain and they were dispatched to a temporary post on the island. As such, the area remained heavily guarded and peaceful.

The next day, Lu Ping called Fang Tao to his cave-dwelling. Fang Tao was overjoyed with his return, and he quickly reported the situation of the stores to Lu Ping.

Lu Ping waved his hand impatiently and said, "Report them to Senior Sister Hu when she arrives. Spare me from this, I don't like to deal with these matters. Just send me the 500-year spirit herbs acquired by the stores."

Fang Tao knew that his employer was a noble alchemist, so he had kept a close eye on the spirit herbs traded in the market, acquiring them whenever possible.

He was already over 50 years old, his talent was lacking, and he knew he had no hope in entering the Blood Condensation Realm. So when Lu Ping employed him, he sought to work as hard as he could, saving up his earned spirit stones for his children's cultivation.

Lu Ping and Hu Lili had a great appreciation for Fang Tao's sincerity. With Huang Li Island becoming more prosperous along with the blooming marketplace, they needed a Blood Condensation cultivator to look after the stores, but they were both in their prime years of cultivation and naturally would not want to be troubled by such trivial matters as stores.

This led to them helping Fang Tao, who was in the Ninth Layer Blood Refining Realm, to advance into the Blood Condensation Realm. Lu Ping gave him his unused Blood Condensation Pellets and helped him advance a step further in his cultivation.

Fang Tao was naturally even more grateful, which was why during Lu Ping’s five years of absence, Fang Tao had remained steadfast in stopping Li Yu’s group from entering Lu Ping's cave-dwelling.

As time passed, Lu Ping's status on Huang Li Island grew higher, and it was even rumored that he had come under the tutelage of a famous Enlightened Master in Zhen Ling Sect. Fang Tao was secretly pleased with his foresight, and knowing that Lu Ping would have a bright future ahead of him, he worked even harder.

Lu Ping took the interspatial bag containing spirit herbs from Fang Tao's hand, looked inside and smiled. "Not bad, I see several rare spirit herbs I can use. They’re lower in quantity, but a wide variety. Is there an increase in cultivators entering the monster race sea recently?"

Fang Tao smiled and replied, "Yes, sir. Ever since the sects cooperated to eliminate the monster sea beasts, many think that the dangers have been suppressed. More people have gone to the sea more frequently than ever. Naturally, the harvests have increased accordingly."

Lu Ping suddenly remembered Golden Scale Palace's expansion. His instincts were telling him that something was going on.

He remembered that Liu Zi-Yuan and the others were out on a mission to make a mess of Golden Jiao Lord's birthday banquet, so he asked, "Has there been any news from the sea recently?"

Uncertain of what Lu Ping wanted to know exactly, Fang Tao said, "The hottest news recently is the opening of Heaven of Seven Stars, and our sect's harvest in Seven Star Palace has exceeded that of Xuan Ling Sect's. When Heaven of Seven Stars was about to close, the sects and monster cultivators joined hands to eliminate the Ocean Overturning Gang, which was said to have suffered heavy losses."

Although Fang Tao had come from a small family, he had been raised by Zhen Ling Sect, and his sense of belonging to the sect was not inferior to Lu Ping’s. Naturally, he was immensely happy to hear that they had defeated their old rival Xuan Ling Sect.

"Oh right, there’s also news about you, sir. They say that you’ve earned quite the reputation in the Heaven of Seven Stars and won the title of Zhen Ling Three Talents. Sir, you’re quite gifted for one so young."

Lu Ping was stunned for a moment, he only knew the title of Zhen Ling Twin Talents referred to Ji Zi-Xuan and Yin Zi-Chu—how did he suddenly get included to become the Three Talents?

Lu Ping calmly put the matter aside and asked, "What else has been said about me?"

Fang Tao thought about it and said, "The news relating to the Heaven of Seven Stars has just arrived, and they’re mostly dubious in nature. Some say that you’ve found some treasures, and others say you’ve fallen. The rest are too vague, and I don't know if it's about you."

Lu Ping knew that most of his actions in the Heaven of Seven Stars were still unknown, but even the smallest of rumors was enough to stir the greed of some people. Adding those with ulterior motives, there would be trouble ahead in the future.

But on second thought, he had always been in trouble. Otherwise, Lu Ping would not have gained as much as he had now.

Not wanting to think about it anymore, he asked, "How are your two little kids doing?"

Fang Tao was suddenly all smiles as he said, "Their talents are lacking like mine, but they have been quite diligent with their cultivation. Over the years, thanks to sir's grace, we have been allowed to buy medicinal pellets at a low price. The eldest's cultivation base has reached the Seventh Layer Blood Refining Realm, and the youngest daughter is in the Sixth Layer. She should have no problem becoming a Grade 3 disciple in the next six months."

Lu Ping nodded. "Good, good. Tell them to cultivate well. The Late Blood Refining Realm is a hurdle; every step forward will be more difficult than the last and cannot be taken lightly. If they can reach the Ninth Layer before leaving the Side Hall, come and find me for some Blood Condensation Pellets."

Fang Tao suddenly trembled, his eyes tearing up as he choked out, "Sir, how can we… how can we let the sir spend so much on us? Thank you, sir. We have nothing to repay you with but our loyalty. I will thank you on their behalf and tell them to repay you in the future."

Lu Ping noticed Fang Tao's excitement from his incoherent speech.

The Fang Family's leader was only a Mid Blood Condensation Realm inner disciple. So, when Fang Tao advanced, he became one of the only three Blood Condensation cultivators in the Fang Clan, greatly increasing his status.

Truthfully, even though these cultivation families were much more blessed under the heritage of the sect, their daily cultivation progress could sometimes be worse than that of rogue cultivators. At the very least, rogue cultivators only had to care for themselves—the families had to take care of all their members.

For the Fang Family, the value of a Blood Condensation Pellet was considered a great treasure. When Fang Tao received one from Lu Ping and successfully advanced to the Blood Condensation Realm, many in the Fang Family were envious of him. The Fang Family's leader even repeatedly instructed Fang Tao to give his best to Lu Ping.

Just as Lu Ping was about to continue, he suddenly waved his hand—a small gap appeared on the Ice Age Killing Array and a golden light flew in.

Lu Ping reached out and caught the shining message sword. Given the long range it had traveled and the surging true energy on it, the message sword was clearly from an Enlightened Master.

Lu Ping probed the message sword with his divine sense and Enlightened Master Qu Xuan-Cheng's bold voice immediately sounded, "Boy, you’re in trouble! Return to Zhong Hua Palace at once!"

Perhaps Huang Li Island was too far from Tian Ling Mountain, thus Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling had tasked Enlightened Master Qu Xuan-Cheng to summon Lu Ping.

Lu Ping could guess the reason for this summons, most likely due to the recent circulating news. As the first and only cultivator who had returned from the Heaven of Seven Stars, he obviously must report back to his teacher.

But perhaps it wasn't just the teacher's idea; the sect was probably behind this as well. After all, the other disciples that came out of Heaven of Seven Stars were on a mission to Golden Jiao Lord's birthday banquet, so it was only normal that the sect would expect his report to the higher-ups.

Lu Ping finished reading the message sword and said to Fang Tao, "In the future, I will no longer concoct Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets. Even Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets will be reduced, subject to the availability of spirit herbs and many other reasons. Even if I do concoct, it will mostly be Essence Recuperating Pellets, Spirit Regenerating Pellets and other healing medicinal pellets.

"Keep on acquiring spirit herbs, the more the better. If the spirit stones aren’t enough, come and take more from me. The stores' businesses will be under your care; do not always come asking for instructions. Take the remaining Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets in the store back to the little ones and let them have it."

Lu Ping raised his hand to stop Fang Tao's thanks and said, "These are two bottles of Fu Ling Pellets—they’re effective for cultivation in the Early Blood Condensation Realm. You’ve reached the peak of the First Layer, so with these two medicinal pellets, try to break through to the Second Layer."

Fang Tao hurriedly waved his hand and said, "Sir, I am already grateful to receive your care for the little ones, I cannot ask anymore from you. I know my own talent, this is as far as I can get. It's already a blessing to enter the Blood Condensation Realm and live for another two hundred years. I am already satisfied."

Lu Ping ignored Fang Tao and placed the medicinal pellets on the table. "After the breakthrough, improve on your spells and skills, master them if you can. At the same time, have the little ones do more preparations as well. It's always good to be prepared for anything."

Fang Tao was someone seasoned and sophisticated; he immediately noticed the hint of worry within Lu Ping's words. But Lu Ping didn’t look like he would explain, and Fang Tao couldn’t ask further. In the end, he could only accept the medicinal pellets and follow his instructions.

RD's Notes:

Weekly Chapters (2/5)
Editor: MilkBiscuit

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Written by SleepingAutumn. Translated by RD.