Chapter 286 – Enlightened Master Xuan-Feng
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Nine Evolutions of the True Spirit Chapter 286 – Enlightened Master Xuan-Feng

As time passed, more and more Enlightened Masters arrived. Lu Ping was surprised to see so many Enlightened Masters come to the ceremony and give face to Enlightened Master Mei. Especially as she had only used her identity as Melodious Inn's owner, and hadn’t used the influence of Maiden Pavilion at all.

The witnesses were largely divided into two groups. The first group were cultivators invited by the Li Clan to witness Li Xiu-Zhu being accepted by Enlightened Master Mei. While the second group was made up of cultivators invited by Melodious Inn to witness Enlightened Master Mei accepting Li Xiu-Zhu.

Clearly, most of the Enlightened Masters here were invited by Melodious Inn, with only a few being invited by the Li Clan, such as Lu Ping.

Three gorgeous ladies walked down from the upper floors of the inn. Upon seeing them, the seated Enlightened Masters all got up to greet the ladies. Lu Ping soon learned that these three ladies were all Enlightened Master Mei's disciples, and shockingly they were also all Enlightened Masters themselves.

After the ladies, Li Xiu-Zhu walked in with a middle-aged woman, accompanied by two other Enlightened Masters, Grandmaster Alchemist Yan Wu-Jiu and the Northern League's Enlightened Master Qin.

Back in the cave-dwelling, Yan Wu-Jiu had mentioned that he was actually here because of an old friend's invitation and that joining the Alchemy Conference was just something to do in the meantime. It seemed that the invitation was actually from the mysterious Enlightened Master Mei to witness the ceremony!

Enlightened Master Qin and Yan Wu-Jiu obviously hadn’t expected to run into Lu Ping here. However, after Enlightened Master Qin received Great Ancestor Hong Ye's hint, he understood some things. While Yan Wu-Jiu was also surprised, his change in expression was almost unnoticeable.

Chu Ting and Li Mao-Lin returned to the inn's hall after the guests had all arrived, signaling the start of the ceremony.

At this moment, Enlightened Master Mei seated in the host seat, and Enlightened Master Qin and Yan Wu-Jiu seated in the guests of honor seats, suddenly all turned towards the doors.

A small breeze blew into the inn, and before Lu Ping could even notice anything, a slender middle-aged man was already inside the hall!

What skillful wind-element footwork!

The middle-aged man was clearly a Late Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master. His footwork was so exceptional that most Enlightened Masters hadn’t even noticed his arrival, causing him to earn their respect.

On the other hand, Yan Wu-Jiu and Enlightened Master Qin both looked at the middle-aged man, weighing up his strength and wondering if he was a friend or foe.

Enlightened Master Mei looked at the middle-aged man but didn't react.

Behind her, one of the three ladies suddenly wore a happy expression when she saw the middle-aged man. Whilst she almost stepped forward to greet him, she remained silent when she noticed her teacher's reaction.

The middle-aged man saw the lady's expression, and nodded with a smile. He then looked at Enlightened Master Mei, and said, "It’s been decades, yet you’re still the same, without changing at all."

Enlightened Master Mei answered indifferently, "Find yourself a seat and don't disrupt the ceremony."

From this short and simple conversation, it was clear that the two of them obviously knew each other very well.

Enlightened Master Qin frowned, suddenly thinking back to his conversation with Great Ancestor Hong Ye; the Great Ancestor was right, Enlightened Master Mei wasn't as simple as she appeared on the surface. Yan Wu-Jiu also thought of something and contemplated in silence.

The middle-aged man didn't mind Enlightened Master Mei's indifference, and glanced at the seats in the hall. Most of the seats had been occupied, with only those in the corners left. He walked towards one of the empty seats, sat down, and smiled at the man next to him.

Lu Ping smiled calmly back at the Enlightened Master, but he was in fact extremely excited.

The silent breeze of the windy night!

The ceremony continued. Li Xiu-Zhu presented her gift of appreciation to Enlightened Master Mei, which was ten high-grade spirit stones and a hundred pieces of 1,000-year spirit herbs. This was much more valuable than the gifts Lu Ping had presented during his ceremony, but that wasn’t surprising as Li Xiu-Zhu was a Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master, so she naturally could present a better gift.

Afterwards, Enlightened Master Mei's disciples stepped forward to present Li Xiu-Zhu their welcome gifts. The first one to present was Enlightened Master Mei's second disciple, who was also the female disciple that had almost gone to welcome the middle-aged man.

She took out two gifts and mentioned that one was from her, and the other was on behalf of the eldest disciple who wasn't present.

Enlightened Master Mei sneered coldly, she clearly wasn't happy, but she also didn't say anything. At the same time, the middle-aged man sitting next to Lu Ping suddenly laughed softly.

Enlightened Master Mei's gift to Li Xiu-Zhu was a flying sword mystic treasure, shocking everyone in the hall, including the Enlightened Masters.

Lu Ping watched the entire disciple acceptance ceremony which was almost a replica of what the North Ocean sects practiced. As far as he was aware, the East Ocean didn’t follow this custom, so he couldn't help but cast some suspicion towards Enlightened Master Mei's heritage.

Whilst some of the guests lingered around after the end of the ceremony to network with the other cultivators and form connections, Lu Ping left the Melodious Inn soon after the ceremony finished.

The middle-aged man and Enlightened Master Mei went upstairs together. Some time later, Enlightened Master Mei returned to the ground hall, and after a while, the middle-aged man also returned.

The middle-aged man bid farewell to Enlightened Master Mei and left Melodious Inn. He casually strolled in Qian Yuan City, arriving at a remote corner before suddenly stopping and looking behind him, "Kid, there's no one else around. Come out."

Not far behind him, Lu Ping came out from a corner.

The middle-aged man looked at Lu Ping with interest, and said, "How brave, a small cultivator like yourself dares to follow an Enlightened Master around? Although Qian Yuan City forbids fighting, it wouldn’t take more than a lift of my palm to erase your existence right here. No one, not even the Northern League, would know what happened."

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Lu Ping didn't take the threat to heart. He smiled, and said, "The Seven Sages."

The middle-aged man's face suddenly changed and he immediately appeared right in front of Lu Ping as if he had just teleported. At the same time, his divine revelation and true energy came crashing down on Lu Ping's shoulders, rooting Lu Ping to the spot.

His eyes filled with killing intent as he stared right into Lu Ping's eyes, and asked, "What did you just say?"

Although the middle-aged man's true energy confined him to one spot, Lu Ping was not affected by the divine revelation at all. He continued smiling, and asked, "Is this senior's surname Liang?"

After hearing his question, the middle-aged man suddenly removed his confinement, and asked with a smile, "Kid, you’re from the North Ocean?"

Although he was now free to move, Lu Ping didn't think that the middle-aged man had let his guard down. After all, he was a Late Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master, so there was no way Lu Ping could escape from him in such a close distance. The true energy and divine revelation suppression was more of a test than anything else.

Lu Ping bowed slightly, and said respectfully, "Senior, please prove your identity."

The reason he asked this was because the middle-aged man was clearly in full control of the situation. So, proving his identity would show Lu Ping that he wasn't hostile, and only then would Lu Ping be willing to tell him everything.

The middle-aged man casually threw a nameplate into his hands. Lu Ping cast a secret technique to inspect the nameplate, before smiling and returning the nameplate back.

The middle-aged man kept the nameplate away, and laughed, "Kid, now it's your turn."

Lu Ping bowed and introduced himself, "Lu Zi-Ping, disciple under Zhong Hua Palace. This Junior greets Junior Martial Uncle Liang Xuan-Feng."

Liang Xuan-Feng looked dumbfounded at Lu Ping and said with some disbelief, "You… you’re the one and only male disciple that Senior Martial Sister Xuan-Ling accepted? If that's the case, how did you get to attend this disciple acceptance ceremony?"

Lu Ping was a bit confused, and asked, "Nephew was invited by Three Clans Island's Li Clan for Miss Li Xiu-Zhu's disciple acceptance ceremony."

He asked with some uncertainty, "What's wrong with my participation in the ceremony?"

Liang Xuan-Feng had regained his previous calm demeanor, and said, "So that's how it is. I had heard that Senior Sister Xuan-Ling had taken a male disciple who is also said to be an alchemical genius. Your mysterious disappearance caused a big fuss in the sect. It would have been an even bigger fuss if not for the fact that your soul lamp was still burning."

It had been many years since Lu Ping had left the North Ocean, and so he was eager to know everything that had happened during his absence, especially Zhen Ling Sect's situation. However, Enlightened Master Liang Xuan-Feng had also not been in the sect these last few years, so he didn't know much.

But as an Enlightened Master, he had news channels that allowed him to learn about the general situation. So, he told Lu Ping everything he knew about Zhen Ling Sect and the North Ocean.

At the same time, Lu Ping also briefly explained his situation in the East Ocean over the last few years. Enlightened Master Liang Xuan-Feng patted Lu Ping on the shoulder, and said, "What a talent, so you’re the Alchemist Lu Jiu who made a big splash in the Alchemy Conference! No wonder Senior Sister Xuan-Ling took you in."

Lu Ping smiled shyly, and said, "Junior uncle, I’ve been in the East Ocean for a long time now, how can I return to the North Ocean?"

Enlightened Master Liang Xuan-Feng paused for a moment, before he answered, "That's going to be a problem. We have a teleportation formation set up in the Fallen Rift that leads back to the North Ocean. Normally, I'd bring you back to our hideout in the inner layer of the Fallen Rift and let you use the teleportation formation, but I’m in the middle of something very important right now. I won’t be returning to the hideout anytime soon, and you’re too weak to reach the hideout by yourself."

Lu Ping said curiously, "Our sect has a hideout in the Fallen Rift?"

Enlightened Master Liang Xuan-Feng thought for a while, and said, "You’re not supposed to know about it yet, but as you’re already halfway into the Core Forging Realm, I guess it's fine to tell you in advance. Yes, we do. The Fallen Rift has the one and only colossal spirit stone mine in the oceanic continents. As a result, sects from every other oceanic continent are attracted to come and establish their forces in Fallen Rift.

"Over the years, the forces have formed a relatively balanced system of distributing the resources in the inner layer of the Fallen Rift. Our Zhen Ling Sect has secured a medium-sized island, with Great Ancestor Tian Xiang guarding it. That is our hideout, and that is where we have a teleportation formation. However, the island is in the inner layer, and the northernmost part of the Fallen Rift. It's almost impossible to get there without being a Mid Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master."

Lu Ping couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. Although he might be on par with Early Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters, the Mid Core Forging Realm was still far beyond his reach. He asked, "Junior uncle, is there anything I can help you with in your mission?"

Enlightened Master Liang Xuan-Feng looked carefully at Lu Ping, and shook his head in slight disappointment, "It is related to the future of my cultivation path in the Avatar Realm. You’re too weak to help in this mission. But, if you manage to condense your Golden Core within three years, you may just be able to offer some help. If you do, come find me in Silver Sword Island under Sky Cleaving Sword Sect's territory. Your help will also be rewarded at that time."

Translator Notes

Weekly Chapters (1/5)
Editor: Immortal BloodRogue

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