Chapter 75 – Planning
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Nine Evolutions of the True Spirit Chapter 75 – Planning

For the next two days, the group of four carefully hid their tracks and roamed around the sixteen mini islands. Since Lu Ping had a detailed map of the seas around Xuan Qi Island, it didn’t take them a lot of effort to rescue five island disciples. Naturally, their rescues were followed by the deaths of fifteen Xuan Ling Blood Refining disciples.

The next evening, they finally bumped into one of the Blood Condensation island disciples. When they discovered him, he was already on the verge of death and being chased by two Xuan Ling Blood Condensation disciples. But with pure perseverance, he continued to flee up until they rescued him.

Both pursuers were easily killed by Lu Ping, Yao Yong, and Du Feng who had recovered from his injuries. The addition of a Blood Condensation island disciple expanded the group to ten people.

They spent the entirety of the third day looking for island disciples, but without success. Instead, they bumped into two more Xuan Ling Blood Condensation disciples who were patrolling nearby.

The group of ten swarmed over and captured the two unfortunate victims.

Hu Lili brought the two to an islet, interrogating them separately for information on the Xuan Qi Island siege. Both were given a warning should they provide misleading information; being smashed into a meat patty by Yao Yong.

To show that they meant it, Yao Yong specially demonstrated the power of his brick mystic instrument on a Xuan Ling Blood Refining disciple who’d been captured the day before. The two Xuan Ling disciples looked at the flattened lump of flesh in front of them and puked on the spot.

As a result, they were quick to spill out everything they knew. All they asked was for their lives to be spared. After the interrogations, Hu Lili confirmed they were telling the truth. Hence, she only asked Du Feng to obliterate their cultivation bases and left them on their own on the islet.

From the interrogations, Hu Lili and the group learned that Xuan Ling Sect had dispatched two Blood Condensation disciples for each Blood Condensation island disciple. For each Blood Refining island disciple, they sent three disciples with the equivalent realm as well. A total of ten Blood Condensation disciples and thirty-three Blood Refining disciples were assigned to this mission. However, only two Blood Condensation disciples and half of the Blood Refining disciples had returned.

This immediately alerted the Xuan Ling Sect’s higher-ups. They believed that a Zhen Ling expert must be on the loose. Moreover, this expert was at least in the Mid Blood Condensation Realm, otherwise how could eight Mid Blood Condensation cultivators be killed in such a short time?

Naturally, they didn’t consider the expert to be in the Core Forging Realm. The reason was simple: he would have headed straight for Xuan Qi Island or broken through Xuan Ling Sect’s blockade by now. After all, it would take at least three cultivators of the same realm to stop a Core Forging Enlightened Master from leaving.

Thus, Xuan Ling Sect quickly dispatched two teams of cultivators to hunt down this unknown Zhen Ling expert. Each team was made up of ten Blood Condensation disciples and led by a Late Blood Condensation expert.

As a result of their departure, Xuan Ling Sect’s attacks on Xuan Qi Island were significantly weaker. Despite this, they still had the upper hand in battle, as their Enlightened Masters on the frontline numbered higher than their opponent. Zhen Ling Sect could only hold its ground with the island’s protective great array formation.

Hu Lili gathered the group’s four Blood Condensation island disciples together and explained the situation to them. “Things have changed. Xuan Ling Sect has dispatched two Late Blood Condensation experts to look for us, each accompanied by ten Blood Condensation experts. Our plan is to stay hidden within the vicinity of Xuan Qi Island. They’ll never expect us to go there.

“But the key point now is the number of Enlightened Masters, and they have the advantage. Plus, Xuan Ling Sect should already realize our cultivators are trying to destroy the sealing array on the teleportals. They’ll definitely be prepared. If our cultivators rashly attack the island, they will fall directly into Xuan Ling Sect’s traps.”

The Blood Condensation cultivator they rescued was Zhong Jian from Group 2. Like Yao Yong, he was one of the Four Talents.

At first, Zhong Jian was puzzled to see Hu Lili, a Blood Refining outer hall disciple, leading the group. But this quickly turned to respect when he witnessed her skillful management and the intelligence she displayed. He soon acknowledged her status in the group.

After hearing Hu Lili’s explanation, Zhong Jian anxiously asked, “What should we do?”

Hu Lili hesitated for a moment before answering, “Well, we could destroy the sealing array formation.”

Yao Yong shook his head rapidly. “No can do. Let’s not talk about how weak we are by comparison, the fact that Xuan Ling Sect knows about our existence means they’ll also be prepared to protect the sealing array formation from us. After all, their higher-ups aren’t fools.”

Lu Ping mused, “Then we’ll direct their attention somewhere else.”

Hu Lili’s eyes brightened up. “What do you mean?”

“Does anyone share a message sword with someone on the island?”

He asked Yao Yong, Du Feng, and Zhong Jian as the message sword could only be used by Blood Condensation cultivators.

Curious, Zhong Jian replied, “I have one. But what use does it have? Xuan Qi Island is surrounded, sending the message sword will only expose our location!”

Hu Lili chortled. “That’s what we want! Right now, we only have two problems to figure out. Firstly, who will be the bait? And secondly, how do we destroy the sealing array formation?”

All of them carefully thought about the plan.

Hu Lili hesitated for a second, then said, “I’ve studied sealing array formations before, and I know how to break one as fast as possible. So, I’ll have to go to Xuan Qi Island.”

Hu Lili was just a Blood Refining disciple, they never considered using her as bait in the first place. Furthermore, without her knowledge of arrays, it would be a lot more troublesome to destroy the sealing formation.

Lu Ping made a decision. “I’ll be the bait. The rest of you will go and destroy the sealing array formation.”

Yao Yong hopped up from the ground and said, “I’ll come with you!”

Lu Ping was inwardly moved. “Don’t worry, Senior Martial Brother. When it comes to fleeing, the fewer people the better. And I have a few tricks up my sleeve that can help me escape. On the other hand, when it comes to breaking the sealing array, the more people the better.”

Du Feng stood up and patted Lu Ping’s shoulder. “Junior Martial Brother is right. As the strongest, his chance of survival is the highest.”

Then, he looked at Lu Ping and said, “If you die, then I, Du Feng, swear to kill every last Xuan Ling Core Forging cultivator to avenge you.”

Yao Yong loudly agreed. “Me too!”

Lu Ping knew Du Feng wasn’t good with words and didn’t like to talk. It was rare for him to say so much and to even make such a vow. It was clear that he sincerely took Lu Ping as a brother.

Lu Ping laughingly replied, “You’re all underestimating me. Why would I volunteer to be bait if I had no confidence?”

Zhong Jian passed his message sword to Lu Ping. He abruptly took out another charm, hesitating for a second before handing it to Lu Ping, he said, “Junior Martial Brother Lu, this is the only life-saving charm left to me by my ancestor. I’m giving it to you today.”

Lu Ping took the charm and saw that it was a Blood Escape Charm. The charm glowed with radiant lights, a clear sign it was a top-grade Blood Condensation charm. Hence, he quickly declined. “This was a gift to Senior Martial Brother from your ancestor. I cannot take it.”

Zhong Jian's face suddenly stiffened. “Junior Martial Brother, I know you’re good at charm-crafting. I’m giving this to you so you can return the favor one day with plenty of better and stronger charms. But hmph, but now I can see that you’re a stingy man. Fine, I won’t give it to you.”

And with that, he pretentiously raised his hand to take back the charm.

Everyone suddenly burst into laughter, not expecting Zhong Jian to make a joke in this tense situation.

Lu Ping laughed and said, “Well then, if Senior Martial Brother is willing to give this life-saving charm to me, I will definitely return the favor in the future. I will remember this in my heart.”

Just when Lu Ping was about to leave, he suddenly turned back and asked, “Senior Martial Brother Zhong, who is the recipient of this message sword?”

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Zhong Jian’s face blushed like a tomato and he murmured, “Um… this… it’s to Senior Martial Sister Ma Yu.”

Everyone suddenly stared at Zhong Jian’s face and burst out laughing again. 

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