NETS - Chapter 208 – Li Clan's Invitation
Lu Ping's words were like a fire, igniting Li Er-Qiang's hopes, causing him to suddenly lift his head, as if he had just come back to life.
The crowd burst into clamor, but quickly quieted down to listen to Lu Ping's explanation.
Lu Ping pondered for a moment, and said, "They are a type of thousand-year spirit herb, precious and rare, but extremely unpopular since they are only used to concoct a peculiar medicinal pellet. Which is why they are rarely known even amongst alchemists. Coincidentally, I am also looking for them. So, tell me, what do you wish to exchange them for?"
The crowd burst into another clamor again. They didn't expect these black-colored herbs to actually be spirit herbs, even more, thousand-year spirit herbs. Especially considering this was the mortal's marketplace!
After hearing Lu Ping, the crowd quieted down and looked at Li Er-Qiang, who was standing beside Lu Ping with a dumbfounded expression. They waited to see what he would ask for.
However, Li Er-Qiang was still immersed in great joy and only murmured to himself, "They really are treasures, big brother, can you see this? They really are treasures, finally someone recognized them......"
Li Er-Qiang's emotions were in turmoil, and at this rate, his emotional state would not only affect his mental health, it could also impair his cultivation base.
So, Lu Ping used a hint of arcane energy and cleared his throat. The sound erupted like a thunderstorm in Li Er-Qiang's ears, immediately bringing him out from his emotional state.
Li Er-Qiang looked at Lu Ping with gratitude and said, "Senior, I came with the thought of getting rid of these spirit herbs today. If you hadn't recognized them, I would've already thrown them away by now. So, senior, I’ll gladly take anything you are willing to offer."
Lu Ping smiled and praised Li Er-Qiang's shrewdness in his heart.
Thousand-year spirit herbs weren’t suitable to be owned by Blood Refining Realm cultivators as they could easily get into trouble by owning them.
Hence, Lu Ping said, "In that case, I also won’t take advantage of you. Although rare, they are pretty useless if an alchemist doesn’t know their use. I only want them because I have a secret technique that could use them. So, their value will naturally not be as high. You are already at the peak of the Ninth Layer Blood Refining Realm, so you must be preparing for your breakthrough. Here, this is a Blood Condensing Pellet which should help you in your breakthrough."
Li Er-Qiang's mind went blank when he heard that Lu Ping was giving him a Blood Condensing Pellet, so he dumbly received the jade bottle handed to him.
It was only after Little Sima reminded him that Li Er-Qiang remembered to thank Lu Ping.
Lu Ping waved his hand, "Hurry up and find a place to cultivate. Before successfully breaking through, it's best for you to not leave the city."
Focus finally returned in Li Er-Qiang's eyes, and he immediately understood his situation now. He inadvertently glanced around and saw some cultivators staring at him.
But because Lu Ping had cast a spell when speaking that sentence, only Li Er-Qiang heard his words of caution. So, those cultivators didn't know that Li Er-Qiang had already raised his vigilance.
Li Er-Qiang hurriedly bowed to thank Lu Ping and walked out of the marketplace.
Not long later, Lu Ping noticed several cultivators had also shut their stalls and quietly left in the direction where Li Er-Qiang had gone.
Lu Ping shook his head and continued to shop in the marketplace.
After Li Er-Qiang's incident, many people in the marketplace also brought their items to Lu Ping. Whilst most of them were just ordinary items, Lu Ping still managed to find several 500-year spirit herbs.
Even so, this also brought him their appreciation. After all, their spirit herbs were rare and unpopular, such that most ordinary alchemists couldn't recognize them. Not to mention that only the three big clans had alchemists and they seldom came to the marketplace.
Another day passed just like that and Lu Ping returned to the cave-dwelling.
No wonder some cultivators liked to shop in the marketplace, the feeling of recognizing good stuff and hitting the jackpot sure was incredible.
Furthermore, as an alchemist, whenever he identified spirit herbs, the gaze of admiration from the crowd made him feel good. Lu Ping couldn't help but smile gently and think that cultivators weren’t much different from mortals after all.
Lu Ping tipped Little Sima with 10 spirit stones. Little Sima happily received the tip and repeatedly implored Lu Ping to hire him again whenever possible. Lu Ping nodded smilingly and watched as Little Sima hopped happily away.
Then, Lu Ping started another round of closed-door cultivation in the cave-dwelling.
In the last closed-door cultivation, Lu Ping only recovered his depleted arcane energy and relieved his exhausted body and mind.
In fact, as his cultivation level progressed, it became harder for him to deplete his arcane energy and exhaust his body and mind. However, whenever it happened, he would not be able to recover from the depletion and exhaustion within a short period of time.
Lu Ping consumed a medicinal pellet and began to cultivate on the spirit-gathering mat. The [North Ocean Wave Listening Scripture]'s incredible recovery ability, sucked the spiritual energy around him into his body.
His bloodlines were like a group of hungry beasts, devouring every strand of spiritual energy that entered his body, and turning them into arcane energy.
However, every time his arcane energy circulated past his right chest, Lu Ping could feel a sword intent appearing out of nowhere. It would sting his chest and disrupt his cultivation, slowing down the circulation of the [North Ocean Wave Listening Scripture].
Lu Ping's face became gloomy. He didn’t expect Enlightened Master Jin's sword intent to be so difficult to deal with.
Lu Ping thought that he had weakened Enlightened Master Jin's attack and only ended up slightly injured. But in the last few days, he realized that there was more to Enlightened Master Jin's attack.
The attack had left a sword intent inside his body. Not only would the sword intent affect his cultivation, the stinging sensation was also unbearable.
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I've been too careless!
Lu Ping twitched his mouth as he thought.
Enlightened Master Jin was definitely worthy of being a Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master!
Lu Ping also figured out that Enlightened Master Jin could also sense the sword intent. Through this, Enlightened Master Jin could track the sword intent and quickly find his location!
As a result, he must eradicate this sword intent as soon as possible!
For three months, Lu Ping dived into endless cultivation. However, every half a month, he would summon Little Sima to bring him around the city’s stores and the mortal marketplace, to buy some spirit herbs.
The stall owners in the marketplace now knew that Lu Ping was an expert, so many of them often asked him about spirit herbs, to which he would always answer them patiently.
Cultivating as a rogue cultivator was not easy, they had to fight for their resources and cultivation heritage.
Hence, any cultivation knowledge was invaluable to them, since knowing more would help them to better identify spirit herbs and harvest more of them. This in turn would lead to the exchange of more cultivation resources.
Therefore, they were also more willing to sell their harvests to Lu Ping, in order to repay his kindness.
What Lu Ping didn't notice was that when he was explaining to others, Little Sima, who was following behind Lu Ping, was also quietly listening. Whenever Lu Ping returned to the inn's cave-dwelling, Little Sima would hurriedly leave to return to his place.
Seeing Little Sima change how he usually left, Lu Ping only smiled and didn't say anything.
At this time, Lu Ping's arcane energy had already fully recovered. Whenever his arcane energy circulated to his right chest, Enlightened Master Jin's sword intent would still appear and obstruct the flow of the arcane energy, like a boulder in the middle of a gushing river.
But overtime, as the water brushed past the boulder continually, the boulder eventually smoothened and started to loosen up. Today, the river launched another round of 'attacks', causing the boulder to wobble and finally give way.
Lu Ping drew a stream of water from the Cold Jade Glazed Bowl. Under his command, the water flowed around him like a river. It turned out that he was mimicking the flow of his arcane energy in his bloodlines.
Suddenly, there was a splash of water in the river, and a water sword flew up in the air. The water sword was lively and elegant, and looked as if it was a living water fish.
Then, came a second water sword, third, fourth, … until the eighty-first water sword, and they all spread out around Lu Ping.
It didn't just stop there. The water continued to splash and a total of 243 water swords flew out. But this time, the water swords were more mechanical. They spread around him in a sword array, protecting him in the middle.
Lu Ping looked at 324 sword lights, among which 81 were spiritual sword lights, and smiled happily. Finally, after half a year of hard work, not only did he refine Enlightened Master Jin's sword intent, he even used the sword intent to his own advantage, using it to aid his breakthrough in swordsmanship.
However, his cultivation base remained relatively stagnant. Although he had been consuming medicinal pellets, Lu Ping's eighth Condensed Blood Bead had only grown from one-sixth to one-third the size of the other seven Condensed Blood Beads.
Lu Ping was feeling a little helpless. The Heart Condensation Pellet was still a shortcut after all. Whilst it wouldn’t affect one's cultivation potential, it would still delay the cultivation time.
After Lu Ping exited from his closed-door cultivation session, he saw a golden message card hovering outside of the cave-dwelling's protective array formation. Message card’s were actually no different than ordinary message swords, they were just more exquisite and so were usually used as invitation cards.
Lu Ping received the card and checked its contents with his divine sense. After a moment, Lu Ping squinted his eyes subtly, and murmured, "An invitation from the Li Clan? Interesting…"
Editor: Immortal BloodRogue
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