Chapter 25 - Disputes (2)
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Nine Evolutions of the True Spirit Chapter 25 - Disputes (2)

Lu Ping wasn’t at all affected by the disputes between the sects. As if detached from worldly affairs, he continued to cultivate in seclusion. Not a single moment was wasted other than going to the market every seven days to sell his loot from the training mission, purchasing his cultivation resources, and getting updated on current affairs.

Another seven days passed, Lu Ping earned more than 200 spirit stones selling mid and top-grade charms at the market and a hundred pieces of fine copper ores to Multi-Treasure Pavilion. Since his cultivation supplies were sufficient, he didn’t buy anything this time.

Currently, Zhen Ling Sect and its affiliated sects were facing Xuan Ling Sect’s counterattacks from the east and west. However, because Zhen Ling Sect had been preparing for a long time, both sides suffered equal losses—Zhen Ling Sect managed to protect the 10 islands it had occupied.

However, in the northern and southern lands where Zhen Ling Sect’s and Xuan Ling Sect’s territories meet, the border was strangely quiet and calm.

Meanwhile, the conflicts between the higher-ups of the two sects continued to escalate. Both sects were attempting to persuade the sects sitting on the fence to join their side. Although Xuan Ling Sect was the traditional head of the alliance and considered the most powerful, Zhen Ling Sect had morality and justice on its side. Hence, it won the sympathies of the neutral sects, enabling it to hold its ground firmly.

With the passing of another seven days, Lu Ping received an invitation letter to a trade fair. It was organized by the side hall and outer hall disciples who had just completed their training missions. The trade fair was a means to exchange their unused loot to complement each other’s needs and also to promote their cultivation progress. It would be held in a month’s time.

Lu Ping gave it some thought and decided to take a look.

At this time, news had arrived stating that, long before, on the second day after seizing Xuan Qi Island, Zhen Ling Sect and Xuan Ling Sect had fought on the border. The rumor said that the battle involved Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters, which explained why both sects had kept quiet.

Word spread that tsunamis and thunderstorms wreaked havoc on the area. Such phenomena could only happen during a battle between Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters.

Someone else also provided evidence to support the claim. Group 7’s training mission was to seize and conquer Xuan Qi Island. But right after seizing Xuan Qi Island, they were ordered to return to the side hall immediately. What had caused Group 7 to end their training mission seven days earlier than the rest of the groups?

More rumors spread—Xuan Ling Sect had actually sent two Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters to the territorial waters of Xuan Qi Island on the same day. But they were seen leaving with pale faces and ragged clothes; they had obviously suffered severe wounds.

So what kind of power could have put two Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters into such a miserable state? The answer would be: at least four Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters with the same prowess.

Hence, the strange calmness in the southern waters was most likely because both sects were quietly preparing themselves and formulating deeper schemes.

As someone involved in the matter, Lu Ping naturally had a clearer picture of the truth, but only just a little bit more than the rest. Although the discovery of the spirit stone mine was a surprise, it clearly wasn’t the only reason—both sides obviously had deeper plans behind it all.

But Lu Ping had a feeling that a war wouldn’t erupt between both sides, it would mostly end with a truce. Although he had no evidence to support this conjecture, he knew he was right, judging from the calm expressions on the master immortals in the side hall. They didn’t seem at all worried at the prospect of war.

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Another seven days later, Lu Ping looked at his newly crafted set of warning charms with a smile of joy.

The warning charms were extremely difficult to craft, and this was the first time he actually succeeded. The set consisted of a parent charm and eight children charms; the latter could monitor the general condition of his surroundings. Although it wasn’t as meticulous as the divine sense, it had some special features that the divine sense wasn’t capable of.

Sadly, he only knew the crafting method for Blood Refining Realm Parent-Children Warning Charms. It would’ve been nice to complement the warning charms and divine sense together. Of course, that would only be after cultivating the divine sense and learning the higher-level crafting methods for the Parent-Children Warning Charms.

Presently, there were rumors of battles in the east and west, involving Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters from the two sects and their respective allies. Xuan Ling Sect and its allies managed to recover three lost islands but Zhen Ling Sect and its allies still retained the other 14 in hand. Among them, Zhen Ling Sect alone occupied 9 out of 14 islands.

There were also rumors about strange incidents happening in the southern waters. It was said that one day, the weather had switched back and forth between sunny and shady, but strangely enough, no clouds were seen in the sky that day. The waves were calm and the winds were gentle; the fishermen sailed smoothly and didn’t encounter any sea beasts like they usually would. Hence, the fishermen had a great harvest that day.

Another seven days later, a figure of blood-red light blinked into the forest on the back mountain of the side hall. As the light faded, a 17-year-old young man was revealed—it was Lu Ping.

Lu Ping’s face was abnormally pale as if he had just recovered from a serious illness, but his expression was that of excitement. He murmured, “Finally, I’ve cultivated the [Blood Spirit Escape]. Just how much of my blood essence did I use up to cultivate it? I almost puked from eating so many Blood Spirit Pellets.”

By then, the disputes between Zhen Ling Sect and Xuan Ling Sect had suddenly stopped, and even their allies had stopped all hostile activities. The sudden change confused the North Ocean cultivators that were keeping abreast of the current situation.

Lu Ping recalled the seven Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters that Zhen Ling Sect had mobilized in an instant. With the speedy dispatch of Enlightened Masters, it showcased a high level of preparedness and decisiveness from the sect. Hence, it was no surprise that this move had intimidated their opponent.

So it seemed like the disputes would be settled peacefully. However, it was impossible for Zhen Ling Sect to let go of the spirit stone mine. This meant that the sect would have to make a concession in some other aspect.

A week passed, Lu Ping carefully sorted out all of his mystic weapons. He has a total of seven low-grade mystic weapons including, Landslide, the copper mirror, a flying saber, a wolf teeth club, a ruyi scepter, a flying sword, and a jade bottle. On top of that, he also owned a mid-grade mystic weapon, Oppress Mountain Pagoda.

After some consideration, Lu Ping put aside the flying saber, flying sword, ruyi scepter, and wolf teeth club. Then, he carefully refined the other four mystic weapons with his arcane energy. He decided to get a mid-grade flying sword mystic weapon for when he advanced to Ninth Layer Blood Refining Realm.

The peace talks between Xuan Ling Sect and Zhen Ling Sect were announced. Naturally, Zhen Ling Sect would want to secure the 14 islands that the sect and its allies had seized. On the other hand, Xuan Ling Sect was trying to wash away the “accusations” made by Zhen Ling Sect while putting pressure on Zhen Ling Sect with its strong prowess and allies.

Right now, the main focus was all on those 14 islands!

Another week passed. Lu Ping spent the past two months getting the most out of his gains from the training mission and he was hugely satisfied with his progress. At the same time, the sect had already distributed rewards to each group and their individual members based on their contributions.

Even though he concealed the fact that he killed a cultivator outside of the spirit stone mine cave, Lu Ping was still rewarded with 20 contribution points for exterminating two Xuan Ling Sect disciples and another 15 contribution points for assisting his groupmates in taking out three other Xuan Ling Sect disciples.

This was considered pretty excellent among his peers. After all, Zhen Ling Sect ambushed Xuan Qi Island with an overwhelming number of disciples. Hence, it was difficult to stand out among the rest and take the stage during the siege.

Other than that, there were two more hidden rewards for him. One for assisting Master Immortal Du in taking down Zhang Zhihe and another one was for the discovery and timely report of the spirit stone mine. Both merits rewarded him with 20 contribution points each. But for some reason, Master Immortal Du didn’t tell the other disciples about the first merit.

Adding to that the contribution points he earned for reporting the Cultivator Sharing Union to Master Immortal Liu, Lu Ping now had 85 contribution points on him.

In order to participate in the trade fair, Lu Ping specially sorted out his possessions. Thus far he owned:

More than 3200 spirit stones—this was because he used up a huge portion for his cultivation in the past two months.

Five 500-year spirit herbs used to concoct Blood Condensing Pellets and one more 500-year spirit herb used to concoct other Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets.

Four unused low-grade mystic weapons.

A huge batch of Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets. Among these were three bottles of top-grade Blood Vigor Pellets commonly used by those in the Ninth Layer Blood Refining Realm.

More than a hundred top-grade blood charms that he had saved up for the past two years. He also had more than 50 top-grade charms, more than 100 high-grade charms, seven sets of high-grade warning charms, and two sets of top-grade warning blood charms.

In addition to all that, a variety of other cultivation resources and materials.

Lu Ping was fully prepared for the trade fair. He was just waiting for the day to arrive.

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