Meng Qi hadn’t finished speaking, but Lu Qingran interrupted anxiously, “But…even if he is a demonic cultivator, we can’t just leave him to die! Junior Sis—…Fellow Daoist Meng! Please, can you save him? If he’s left alone here with his severe injuries, he’ll definitely die.”
Meng Qi’s gaze flickered, and she looked up at Lu Qingran. She had almost forgotten about some things, but Lu Qingran’s anxious and worried expression suddenly reminded her of those memories. “Oh,” as memories of past grudges and grievances flooded her mind, Meng Qi’s eyes turned slightly cold, “I can save him… but I need to collect payment.” She said calmly.
“What?” Lu Qingran was caught off guard. She stared at Meng Qi’s beautiful face in a daze. After parting ways at Qingfeng Valley, she occasionally heard the news about this junior sister of hers. And, when they met again at Xingluo City during the Grand Tournament in the Apricot Forest, she saw how Meng Qi shone brightly and gained public recognition. At that time, Lu Qingran was also among the onlookers who could only look up at Meng Qi from afar. She could hear everyone around her discussing Meng Qi and trying their best to save her. She also heard people say that the ones who spoke the loudest and looked the most anxious were the disciples of prestigious sects, the descendants of the main branch whom Lu Qingran couldn’t even dare to think of.
As if all of that was not enough, Lu Qingran later witnessed for herself the cold-hearted and merciless Ji WuJiong, who never compromised nor yielded to anyone, gave Meng Qi a smile. Even when Meng Qi reminded him of his debt to her, he simply said, “Got it,” with another smile and left.
The gorgeous and powerful battle spirit summoned by Ji Wujiong that day was said to be a celestial demon phoenix… that breathtaking sight left the entire Apricot Forest silent. Hundreds of people watched as the man in black stood proudly, pointing his pitch-black blade with an imposing and oppressive aura that could shock the Three Realms.
And there stood Meng Qi, slender and delicate in her blue robe, looking very charming next to him. The two of them, surprisingly… matched each other quite well.
This wasn’t just Lu Qingran’s own idea. Many people in the Apricot Forest were thinking the same. Meng Qi stuck with Ji Wujiong regardless of danger, and Ji Wujiong fought fiercely for her. It was no wonder that people suspected something was going on between them.
Although half of Ji Wujiong’s face was wounded, the intact side of his face was more attractive than the majority of men, even in the world of cultivation where good-looking people were never rare.
Lu Qingran couldn’t recall her thoughts at that moment. She simply watched silently, her neck a little sore from looking up for too long. As she listened to the murmurs around her, she overheard a female cultivator says, “Though it’s dangerous to be able to fight alongside a strong cultivator like Ji Wujiong, passing through the tests of the Grand Tournament, and earning the recognition of Senior Lin Yan… If it was me, I would feel that my life is already worthwhile, and I wouldn’t have regrets even if I died!”
Too many things happened later. Lu Qingran caught the eye of the clan head of the Murong Clan, one of the four major clans that formed the Feng Alliance, and formally became a Murong disciple. She also met two former fellow disciples from Qingfeng Valley, who was very envious of her sudden turn of luck. As a result, she was too busy and no longer thought much about what had happened at the Apricot Forest.
Lu Qingran looked at Meng Qi’s familiar face, at the familiar blue robe and familiar slender figure. When she heard her say, “I need to collect a payment,” for a moment, Lu Qingran was bewildered. Memories flooded in like a tidal wave, leaving her feeling a little lost.
—Just like that day in the apricot forest, she stood in the crowd, observing and listening as everyone’s focus was on Meng Qi. Even Li Che, the young cultivator who had initially come to save her from Ji Wujiong, now had eyes only for Meng Qi.
Lu Qingran swallowed nervously and said, “I…I…” She became flustered and began rummaging through her storage bag. “I only have a few dozen spirit stones.” She suddenly remembered how someone said that whenever Meng Qi acted, she would always use eighth or ninth-grade spirit stones, and sometimes even profound-grade ones!
There were only dozens of fourth and fifth-grade spirit stones here. Junior Sister Meng Qi must look down on them!
Even when they were still in Qingfeng Valley, she had already handled spirit stones in the range of eighth and ninth grade…
Blushing furiously, Lu Qingran quickly said, “How many spirit stones do you want? I can write an IOU first, and when we leave Starfallen Sea, I will find a way to pay you back.”
Suddenly, the man on the ground started groaning, “Uh…cough, cough!!” His eyes slowly opened with a struggle, and his dark pupils first met Lu Qingran before turning to Meng Qi, “I… cough, cough!!”
With great effort, he managed to lift his hand and reached the black scale belt around his waist. Although his spiritual sea still had a bit of aura left, there were more cracks than before. If this kept up, he feared…
“I…” The man licked his dry lips and forced a trace of spiritual aura into his storage bag. Just by doing this, his meridians felt like they were slashed by a sword, and the pain made him black out for a while before he slowly recovered.
“How are you?” Lu Qingran hurriedly came to his side. She knelt and carefully supported his arm, “You’re badly injured; don’t move.”
“I…” The man took a deep breath, “I have spirit stones. I will pay for it.” A brocade bag rolled down from his palm, and he weakly looked up at Meng Qi, “Is this enough?”
“Fellow Daoist Meng.” Lu Qingran quickly took the bag and brought it to Meng Qi, “Please look. Are these enough?”
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