Qin Xiumo opened his eyes and stood up. His fingers flicked slightly, and his natal long sword appeared beside him, gleaming with cold light and emitting a strong sword aura. The sword circled around the rest of the group, who were still meditating to recover their spent aura. Qin Xiumo was protecting his allies, but he was also doing it out of vigilance.
Soon, the rest of the group recovered their aura. “Let’s go.” Qin Xiumo pointed ahead, sending his sword flying straight ahead. Xu Zijun also waved his hand, and his long sword flew behind the crowd. This was the method they devised to ensure the safety of their group.
The group moved fast. Maybe they were very lucky, or maybe their fight with the black fox just now had deterred the nearby beasts, but for the next two hours, they did not encounter any danger again.
“Wow!” After walking ahead for a while, Sikong Xing exclaimed. A bright area suddenly appeared before them. The gloomy forest, which they had been walking on for a full day and a half since their arrival in the Starfallen Sea, finally ended.
Leaving the forest behind, the group looked at the range of hills in front of them. Those hills were not high, and from a distance, they seemed to be layered on top of one another. Just like a landscape ink painting, the scenery looked picturesque and beautiful.
“The forest in the west is the place our ancestors concluded to be the safest after many attempts of exploring the Starfallen Sea.” Xue Chengxuan, who was mostly silent on the way, suddenly reminded the others. “Be careful, everyone.”
“Yeah.” Sikong Xing nodded heavily. Perhaps as Xue Chengxuan said, those seemingly beautiful hills were hiding unknown dangers.
Qin Xiumo’s long sword was still flying ahead of the group, but its speed was much slower than before. Xu Zijun simply recalled his sword and let it guard the team up close.
“Xingxing.” Su Junmo said, his expression grave. “Summon your black water to scout the surrounding.”
“Okay.” Sikong Xing was normally a bit rash and stubborn, but she knew when to follow instructions obediently. During the journey, she never caused trouble for her teammates and was very cooperative with the team’s strategic actions.
Sikong Xing raised her hand very slowly. Along with her movement, the originally flat and hard ground seemed to slowly liquefy and began to make a wave.
“Go!” Sikong Xing drew a half-moon shape with her fingers and pointed ahead. Following her command, the black water she summoned immediately returned to the ground and rushed forward.
The group stopped, waiting for Sikong Xing’s water to finish the scout. This was not their first time seeing this girl using the black tortoise’s technique of path-finding. By exploring the area from the ground, the water could avoid arousing the fierce and blood-thirsty mutant beasts, making this technique not only fast and agile but also very safe.
“Huh?” After a while, Sikong Xing suddenly raised her eyes and looked forward.
“What did you find?” Su Junmo asked quickly.
“There!” Sikong Xing raised her finger and pointed to a group of three hills in front of them. “There is someone there!” She tilted her head slightly, and her tone suddenly became excited: “A young female cultivator!”
“Is it Meng Qiqi?” Chu Tianfeng’s eyes lit up, and he asked eagerly.
“I don’t know.” Sikong Xing replied, “Let’s go and see!”
A day later, in the Luoyun Manor at the Great Wilderness Island. Meng Qi was sitting cross-legged on a white jade platform. Her eyes shut tightly, and her spiritual sense penetrated into her body, staring intently at the prototype of the Five Spirit Cauldron floating above her spiritual sea.
In the beginning, the cauldron looked very rough and crude, more like a toy made by a child playing with mud. As time passed, however, its shape gradually became more refined, and after one full day of continuous tempering, the cauldron now looked similar to the cauldron Meng Qi bought at Cloud Immortal Pavilion: three legs, two handles, and five shallow inscriptions written in the ancient script on its body.
Meng Qi sighed softly, then slowly opened her eyes. Not far from her, Yun Qingyan was reclining lazily on a chair, holding a book in his hand.
In the three realms, the main method of writing or other knowledge retaining basically used either bamboo or jade slips, which were easy to carry, held a large amount of content, and were also easy to preserve.
In other words, books were very rare.
Yet, Meng Qi was not surprised to see Yun Qingyan reading a real book. In her memory, this person always preferred to read books compared to bamboo or jade slips. Moreover, he once had also told Meng Qi that some ancient knowledge could not be written into slips and could only be passed down using scrolls and books.
Yun Qingyan seemed to notice the moment Meng Qi opened her eyes. He turned his head slightly and asked, “Have you finished the cauldron’s shape?”
“Just a bit more.” Meng Qi answered honestly.
Yun Qingyan gave her a slight nod.
Meng Qi fell into deep contemplation. She was just one step toward finishing the initial shape of the Five Spirits Cauldron. Since it was to be her natal magic weapon, she naturally couldn’t refine it with the same method as refining normal items. If she wanted her natal weapon to synchronize with her mind and thought, she must refine the cauldron using her own spiritual sea as a refining furnace and her spiritual aura as the flame.
As the final touch, it was necessary to engrave the cultivator’s understanding of their cultivation path.
Pei Mufeng once told Meng Qi a story. When the sword he refined as his natal weapon was completed, he engraved the word ‘Sword’ on it. This was the Dao that Pei Mufeng had been pursuing all his life, the path that he had been walking on so far, and also the cultivation ideal that kept him moving forward regardless of how many obstacles he had to overcome.
For Pei Mufeng, such a simple and pure ideal suited him the best.
Then what about her? Meng Qi closed her eyes again. What word should she engrave? Should it be ‘Medical’?
No! She quickly rejected it. This word was too broad. Throughout her life, she had been pursuing the Great Dao of Medical relentlessly, yet she didn’t dare to say that she had touched even the outermost part of its edge.
At this moment, Yun Qingyan stood up and walked slowly to Meng Qi’s side. Looking at the girl’s solemn yet conflicted expression, he knew she was currently at the most critical juncture. He didn’t want to disturb Meng Qi, nor did he want to interfere with her process of finding her best ideal.
Yun Qingyan thought for a while. He raised his hand and hung it in front of Meng Qi. A clear light shone down and enveloped the girl, along with Yun Qingyan’s wish for her to see her true heart.
Suddenly seeing a clear vision in front of her, Meng Qi abruptly opened her eyes.
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