Zhen Ling Side Hall, Grade 2 Group 7’s courtyard, Lu Ping’s room.

In a dark room, a pair of eyes opened. Lu Ping raised his hand and a small flame appeared at the tip of his finger. Then, with a flick, the small fire was catapulted to the oil lamp on the table, lighting up the room.

The room was not big, only a few yards in width and length. The furniture was simple and crude, and there were only a few essential items. It was clear that Lu Ping lived a simple life of pure cultivation.

More than half a month had passed since the competition. Lu Ping’s Eighth Layer Blood Refining Realm cultivation finally solidified. He thought back to what happened in the competition and still couldn’t shake off his lingering fears.

During the last match, Lu Ping’s spiritual energy had completely depleted. Without the spiritual energy’s help in consolidating his breakthrough, his newly attained cultivation layer would collapse like a run-down building in no time. If that happened, the best Lu Ping could wish for was a demotion to Seventh Layer; the worst scenario was a serious internal injury that could take years to recover.

This was why after dispensing with his final attacks, he didn’t even look at the match result and fell to the ground immediately to cultivate.

Fortunately, he wasn’t too late to help himself. Furthermore, Master Immortal Liu gave him another precious high-quality Essence Recuperating Pellet to aid his cultivation. And so, he was able to stabilize his cultivation breakthrough in time. However, he was unable to participate in the competition on the second day and could only forfeit his match.

For the next half month, Lu Ping secluded himself in his room to recuperate his injuries and consolidate his cultivation base.

window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "64ce79d606107d003c23ea27", id: "pf-5140-1"})Lu Ping was scared the breakthrough would leave indiscernible injuries that would affect his future cultivation progress. So he meticulously inspected and consolidated every part of his body with his arcane energy and triple-checked for assurance.

After half a month, Lu Ping finally finished his cultivation. Not only had his cultivation base consolidated, but it was also sturdier than ever.

Although he stopped and ended his matches while in the top 16, he still felt sad that he couldn’t continue. However, looking back, if he didn’t have the actual prowess to defeat Leng Qian without relying on sheer luck, he surely wouldn’t be able to defeat his next opponent. Hence, it was more than satisfactory to be in the top 16.

The moment he thought about the prizes, Lu Ping couldn’t calm his excitement. He took out an exquisite, little blue pouch from his waist—an interspatial pouch. Lu Ping had seen one on Li Sheng and Leng Qian during the competition.

There was a small dimensional space inside the pouch that could easily store more items than what the little pouch should be capable of. Lu Ping had been eyeing this kind of pouch for a long time and was initially planning to get one from the market after the competition. However, he didn’t expect the sect to use an interspatial pouch to deliver the prizes.

Now he wouldn’t have to spend more spirit stones to get one.

Lu Ping transferred his arcane energy into the interspatial pouch, which was required to open it. Of course, once he entered the Blood Condensation Realm, he could use his divine sense to draw an array formation on the pouch. By then, only the owner of the interspatial pouch could use it. For now, Lu Ping could only use the interspatial pouch in the simplest way.


window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "64cc9e79c7059f003e4ad4b0", id: "pf-5109-1"})Lu Ping took out the prizes from the competition and spread them out in front of him.

Every Late Blood Refining Realm disciple in the competition was automatically rewarded with twenty spirit stones. Those in the top 64 were given another forty spirit stones and the top 32 would receive another twenty medicinal pellets.

Since Lu Ping had entered the Eighth Layer, his rewarded medicinal pellets were changed from Blood Purification Pellets to Blood Essence Pellets. The Blood Essence Pellets contained more spiritual energy and were more effective for Eighth Layer Blood Refining Realm cultivators.

As someone who made it to the top 16, Lu Ping specifically requested for a mystic instrument with a movement attribute. He already had an offensive mystic instrument, the Landslide, and a defensive mystic instrument, the copper mirror. So he still lacked a mystic instrument for moving around.

Lu Ping has long suspected the sect’s true intention of increasing the number and quality of prizes in the competition. He felt like the sect was hiding something and so, he remained wary of the situation.

‘The sect is happy with the side hall disciples’ achievements and decided to increase the prizes to encourage the disciples to continue working hard’—Lu Ping just couldn’t accept this explanation.

There had been rumors that for the past few decades, Zhen Ling Sect’s disciples were better in quality than the other sects, making the sect’s prowess steadily grow stronger. But even if the rumors were true, the difference the young disciples could bring would still be minimal and surely not to the point where the sect would suddenly raise their rewards.

There were more things going on underneath the surface, but this was not something that Lu Ping’s ability and status could learn.

window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "663633fa8ebf7442f0652b33", id: "pf-8817-1"})All he could do now was to grab every opportunity to improve his prowess. Lu Ping didn’t care what future price he had to pay to the sect for receiving these prizes now.

On the other hand, Group 7’s results in the competition made Master Immortal Liu a big winner.

Although Lu Ping only reached the top 16, Yao Yong and Du Feng entered the top 8 and were rewarded with Blood Condensation Pellets. Afterward, Du Feng was matched with a peak-stage Ninth Layer disciple, and after using a low-grade defensive mystic instrument and mid-grade mystic instrument, Du Feng ultimately lost the match.

Whereas Yao Yong defeated the strongest among the “Five Talents”, Lin Sheng, and made it into the top 4. But he was defeated in the following match.

Therefore, Group 7’s journey in the competition ended with Yao Yong’s defeat. Even though Master Immortal Liu was saddened to see Yao Yong fail to make it into the finals and Lu Ping’s forfeit in the top 8, Group 7’s overall performance was still in the top three out of the twenty groups.

This meant Master Immortal Liu would get eighty mid-grade spirit stones from the bet. Minusing out the initial twenty mid-grade spirit stones he contributed, he earned sixty mid-grade spirit stones. That could be translated into a total of six thousand low-grade spirit stones, a considerable fortune to a Blood Condensation Realm cultivator.

As a result, after Lu Ping ended his seclusion, the happy Master Immortal Liu shared his cultivation attainments to Group 7 disciples for three days. The sessions were carried out after the disciples ended their morning routine cultivation and everyone garnered much knowledge.

One day, after Lu Ping finished his morning routine cultivation with the disciples, Master Immortal Liu specifically asked him to stay back. He had entered the Eighth Layer and it was customary for Master Immortal Liu to give him three private tutor sessions. But because he spent the past few weeks recovering from his injuries and solidifying his breakthrough, the tutor sessions were postponed.

Since he was now fully recovered, it was time to have the tutor sessions. Even if Master Immortal Liu didn’t ask him to stay back, he would’ve made the request himself.

Half a year later, the Grade 2 Group 7 would be promoted to the Grade 3 Group 7. But Master Immortal Liu would still be the master immortal leading the group.

However, because of Group 7’s good results, some of the disciples would be assigned to other groups that had fewer disciples qualified for promotion. But only a few disciples would be chosen. Furthermore, Master Immortal Liu was definitely unwilling to hand over any Late Blood Refining Realm disciples to the other groups, unless he was an idiot, which he wasn’t.

Lu Ping remained as the Tenth Senior Martial Brother but the group disciples commonly acknowledged him as the third strongest disciple. His prowess was placed just beneath Yao Yong and Du Feng—even Shi Lingling was placed below him.

But Shi Lingling didn’t have anything to say about that. After all, Lu Ping was merely at Seventh Layer when he defeated Leng Qian, who was two cultivation layers higher. The match had shaken the disciples in the entire side hall and some even said that the Enlightened Masters on the center stage praised him.

Even if there were people dissatisfied with this outcome, they wouldn’t challenge Lu Ping for now.

During the period of time Lu Ping was recovering from his injuries, Zhang Zicheng challenged and defeated Li Cheng and became the Eleventh Senior Martial Brother. Shi Lingling also defeated the Third Senior Martial Brother and replaced him to become the Third Senior Martial Sister.

After the competition, the Grade 2 disciples shuffled the rankings of the disciples. The top 16 disciples were known as the “Four Prodigies”, “Five Talents”, and “Seven Brutes”. Among which, Lu Ping was one of the “Seven Brutes”.

One must say, Lu Ping was a little startled when he learned about that.