Nine Evolutions of the True Spiritchapter 64: war preparations

Lu Ping had a general understanding of the situation after leaving Master Immortal Liu’s cultivation room. At the same time, he also learned how Zhen Ling Sect planned to deal with the situation.

He wasn’t surprised that Master Immortal Liu knew of their plans. After entering the Late Blood Condensation Realm, the elder had quickly been promoted to be a core disciple.

The promotion considered several factors such as his steady and composed manner, his well-established cultivation base, his contribution to the sect, and his status as a student to the sect’s quintessential disciple, Enlightened Master Xuan Wu.

Hence, it was not a surprise that Master Immortal Liu was privy to the decisions and plans of the sect.

Before he left, Lu Ping informed Master Immortal Liu his intentions of setting up a cave-dwelling on Huang Li Island. Although Master Immortal Liu wondered why Lu Ping didn’t settle down on Tian Ling Island, he didn’t ask much.

In fact, the sect actually encouraged the disciples to set up their cave-dwellings outside of Tian Ling Mountain. Firstly, this could alleviate the burden of the spirit vein on Tian Lian Mountain; secondly, it would strengthen the sect’s control over its territory.

Master Immortal Liu only advised Lu Ping to set up his cave-dwelling underwater. This way, he could avoid having his cave-dwelling destroyed during the upcoming clash between the sects.

window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "64ce79d606107d003c23ea27", id: "pf-5140-1"})One must say, Master Immortal Liu’s advice was just in line with Lu Ping’s intentions. He couldn’t help but think of Sheng Tao’s spirit herb garden and the Emerald Sea Spirit Snake’s lair.

However, because the Emerald Sea Spirit Snake’s lair was in Xuan Ling Sect’s territory, it wasn’t suitable for him to set up his cave-dwelling there. On the other hand, the nameless island where Sheng Tao’s cave-dwelling was located wasn’t an option either since the consecutive battles almost destroyed it completely. This made it impossible for him to expand his cave-dwelling in the future.

Perhaps he could set up his cave-dwelling on Huang Li Island. He could then find an opportunity to move the spirit vein from the nameless island to Huang Li Island. However, moving the spirit vein would not be easy.

On top of that, the migration of the spirit vein would cause an earthquake. This would catch the attention of other cultivators. This required careful planning, but for now he should focus on setting up his cave-dwelling first.

After entering the Blood Condensation Realm, not only was his divine sense two times stronger than his peers, his sense of perception was also sharper and quicker. He could pick up a few strong auras in the air on Xuan Qi Island. They should be from the Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters. However, even though he could pick up their auras, he couldn’t tell how many Enlightened Masters were present on the island.

After he left Xuan Qi Island, the auras suddenly disappeared. Lu Ping was amazed by these Masters’ abilities and also quickly realized that this was part of Zhen Ling Sect’s plan against Xuan Ling Sect.

Releasing their auras on Xuan Qi Island could enhance the battle spirit and confidence of the disciples, and ease their fear against the upcoming battles. At the same time, the Enlightened Masters restricted their auras from leaking out of the island. This way, Xuan Ling Sect wouldn’t learn about their existence. Should Xuan Ling Sect misjudge the island’s true strength and launch an attack on the island, they would surely pay a hefty price.

window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "64cc9e79c7059f003e4ad4b0", id: "pf-5109-1"})Lu Ping had always looked down on Xuan Ling Sect’s actions. The conflict between the two sects were based on the limited cultivation resources in this world. These resources directly affected the height of a cultivator’s achievements.

In the cultivation world, there was a saying that goes like this: “To obstruct one’s cultivation path is akin to killing one’s parents.”

Hence, the conflict over cultivation resources was one that could never be resolved peacefully.

Yet, Xuan Ling Sect always tried to gain the moral advantage in such conflicts. One must understand, public opinion was always inconclusive. No one party could convince the other they were on the side of righteousness. It was always the winner that writes the history books.

For example, when Zhen Ling Sect insisted that Xuan Ling Sect was digging for the secrets of the sect. They used this excuse to raid more than a dozen of Xuan Ling Sect’s islands without giving them a chance to prove their innocence.

And after the raid, when Xuan Ling Sect tried to prove itself, the North Ocean Alliance had already bought into Zhen Ling Sect’s accusations. Truth or not, Xuan Ling Sect bore the reputation of spying on another’s secrets.

Hence, in Lu Ping’s opinion, Qiao Xipeng’s intrusion into Zhen Ling Sect’s territory to avenge his brother was nothing more than a scheme to provoke Zhen Ling Sect.

window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "663633fa8ebf7442f0652b33", id: "pf-8817-1"})Xuan Ling Sect was waiting for Zhen Ling Sect to chase Qiao Xipeng out of their territory. This way, Xuan Ling Sect could accuse Zhen Ling Sect of colluding with the monster race to murder its disciples. They would then convince the other sects in the North Ocean Alliance to crusade against Zhen Ling Sect.

However, Xuan Ling Sect would have never foreseen the following incidents. Lu Ping killed Qiao Xipeng, wiping away every trace left behind, and the Emerald Sea Spirit Snake died in its lair. Without any evidence, Xuan Ling Sect’s initial plan was ruined entirely.

By the time Xuan Ling Sect realized the situation, Zhen Ling Sect was already prepared. This left Xuan Ling Sect hanging in midair; it couldn’t decide whether it should continue its plan and initiate the battle, or cease and stop.

If they continued, Xuan Ling Sect wouldn’t have the moral high ground; if they stopped, Xuan Ling Sect would have to bear the consequences of losing a disciple and worst of all, they couldn’t avenge his death. This would bring shame to their name as the Number 1 sect in the North Ocean Alliance.

After all, Xuan Ling Sect wasn’t confident that they could completely defeat Zhen Ling Sect in a battle of strength. Yet, it still crowned itself as the Number 1 sect, forgetting that one’s dignity and status had to be earned and supported by one’s prowess.

Lu Ping arrived on Di Kun Island. It was still as lively as before, showing no signs of war preparations.

Since Lu Ping already decided to establish his cave-dwelling on Huang Li Island, in addition to the recent tense situation, he naturally needed to be fully prepared.

Lu Ping walked into the Multi-Treasure Pavilion and the server brought him directly to the second floor. The second floor was the place for Blood Condensation Realm cultivators.

A welcoming manager approached him with a warm bright smile. “My fellow Daoist, you look new. Is this your first time here?”

Lu Ping was frank and straightforward as he said, “Just entered the Blood Condensation Realm. I’m looking to set up my cave-dwelling, and I’ll need a defensive array formation. Would you happen to have a suitable formation chassis?”

The manager made a gesture of invitation and led Lu Ping to a room. They sat down and tea was served. Through a short conversation, Lu Ping learned that the manager was surnamed Gui.

Shortly after they sat down, a server came in with a wooden tray. On the wooden tray were three formation chassis.

Manager Jia pointed at the formation chassis and explained, “Little Friend Lu, these three array formations are all high in quality in the Blood Condensation Realm. The first is the Miniature Cosmic Trinity Array. Strong and powerful, and easy to set up. It is a common array formation used by cultivators to protect their cave-dwellings. But because of that, it is also the one most cultivators are familiar with.

“The second formation chassis is the Misty Mirage Array. Not as powerful, but strong in making illusions, making it quite effective for those who need it. It is also easy to set up, and most importantly, it is not expensive.

“As for the third one, it is known as the Ice Age Killing Array. It is not any weaker than the Miniature Cosmic Trinity Array, but because it is complicated to set up and consumes a lot of energy, most cultivators don’t use it. It is also troublesome to decipher and break out of the array formation. Hence, it is the most expensive one among the three.”

Lu Ping thought for a while and asked, “Are there any requirements on these array formations?”

Manager Jia praised, he said, “Little Friend Lu, you sure are thoughtful. The Miniature Cosmic Trinity Array has a wide range of applications and so it has no special requirements; the Misty Mirage is most suitable for cultivators with wind, water, ice, or wood elements; whereas the Ice Age Killing Array is only suitable for water and or ice element cultivators.”

Lu Ping was calm, he pondered for a second and asked, “How much is the Ice Age Killing Array?”

Manager Jia smiled happily when he heard the question. He immediately knew Lu Ping was a wealthy customer and he said, “It’s worth 5,000 spirit stones. But since you’ve just entered the Blood Condensation Realm, as a congratulation to your advancement, I can give you ten percent off!”

When Lu Ping heard the price of 5,000 spirit stones, his heart tightened up in shock. He was reminded again that he was no longer a Blood Refining Realm cultivator. From the aspect of a Blood Refining Realm cultivator, Lu Ping’s wealth was a lot; but in the Blood Condensation Realm, he was still a poor man.

Lu Ping gritted his teeth and took out 45 mid-grade spirit stones from his interspatial pouch and gave it to Manager Jia. With that, most of his wealth plundered from Qiao Xipeng and rewarded by the sect was spent away.

Before he left, Lu Ping told Manager Jia his intention of selling some junk as well as consigning a few items to their auction house. Manager Jia ordered a server to bring Lu Ping to the counter to handle his business.

Hence, when Lu Ping left the Multi-Treasure Pavilion, he earned another 20 mid-grade spirit stones and an invitation card for the Blood Condensation Realm auction that would be held on 12th April next year.