If the legend of the Luoxin Tree was true, then this might be the place where Lin Yan, the legendary medical cultivator from the bygone golden era, finally met her ends.
If the legends she read in the books were true… Did it mean that the benevolent and compassionate genius like Senior Lin Yan still had a strong lingering regret, something she couldn’t let go of even in her last moments?
Meng Qi’s gaze fell upon Yun Qingyan, who stood with his hands behind his back, dressed in a flowing white robe that gave him an ethereal appearance. Today, he wore a silver headdress that tied his flowing black hair, and his wide sleeves and tidy robe made him look even more elegant and refined.
“We…” Meng Qi began, then looked around. She hadn’t paid attention to where she had ended up while Yun Qingyan was holding her hand earlier, but it was clear now that they weren’t heading towards the open space where Pei Mufeng was. “Sovereign Qingyan,” Meng Qi lowered her head and tightened her grip on the jade pendant in her other hand, “I haven’t thanked you yet. Thanks to your jade pendant, I was able to lead my friends out of this forest.”
She paused, “Coincidentally, Pavilion Master Pei and another girl are still waiting. Let’s take them out first, shall we?”
“Pavilion Master Pei?” Yun Qingyan turned around, looking at Meng Qi. “Do you want to leave?”
“This place is quite strange. If it weren’t for the token you gave me, I wouldn’t have been able to navigate through it smoothly. My friends are trapped here, and the longer they stay, the more dangerous it becomes. That’s why I want to send them away first.”
When Meng Qi spoke again, her voice was even softer than before. “I… They all thought I fell into the Starfallen Sea and came to save me. Once I ensure their safe departure, if you have no intention of leaving, Sovereign Qingyan, I… I naturally should stay behind and serve by your side.”
As Meng Qi spoke, she subconsciously tightened her grip on the jade token in her hand. The token had already been held tightly by her for a long time, smooth and comforting. Her words weren’t unreasonable; in the previous life, they had spent years together like this.
Yun Qingyan was very powerful, but he was also very easygoing. With his cultivation level, he no longer needed to eat. However, at that time, Meng Qi was still in the Foundation Establishment stage and couldn’t completely abstain from food. Besides, she loved eating. So, when the two of them secluded themselves in the valley, Meng Qi would often go and find fresh vegetables, edible spiritual flowers, herbs, and fruits, or even snacks and delicacies sold in the town, to bring back to the mountain. She would often cook by herself. Yun Qingyan would always dine with her and never felt that there was anything wrong with her doing so.
Cultivators did not need to bother with trivial matters such as cleaning, tidying up rooms, washing clothes, or selecting vegetables… These were tasks that ordinary people needed to do, but a single spell from a cultivator could handle them all. Occasionally, there were some necessary tasks, like dealing with spiritual beasts or cultivating spiritual flowers and herbs, and Meng Qi obediently took the initiative to do them all. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that she served Yun Qingyan, showing the respect of a disciple to her master.
So there was nothing wrong with her words, yet Meng Qi’s voice grew increasingly soft. She didn’t understand why she was behaving this way. The jade token remained clasped in her hand, emanating warmth. However, even she could sense that something between her and Yun Qingyan seemed different now.
“Are you going to go to them?” The white-robed man gave her a sideways look and changed the subject noncommittally.
“Yes.” Meng Qi was startled for a moment, but still nodded. She faintly felt that something seemed wrong, but she couldn’t tell what.
“Okay.” Yun Qingyan nodded slightly, chose a direction, and continued to walk forward.
“Sovereign Qingyan,” Meng Qi hurriedly caught up. “Are you familiar with this place?” she asked. What intrigued her even more was that ever since Yun Qingyan appeared, the voices in the forest had increased.
The rustling sound of the wind through the leaves, occasional insect chirping, and the lively chirping of birds filled the air. The clear bird songs occasionally echoed from deep within the forest. Even when they spoke, they could hear each other’s voices.
Yun Qingyan didn’t answer Meng Qi’s question and continued walking forward at a steady pace. His steps were not heavy, and his boots made a crunching sound as they stepped on the dried leaves on the ground. Meng Qi bent down and picked up a few dried leaves, finding the once green leaves now completely black, but still bearing the droplet-like red marks.
“I wonder if Senior Lin Yan had any unfinished matters.” Meng Qi opened her palm and looked at the withered leaves blown by the wind. “Sovereign Qingyan,” she turned to Yun Qingyan and asked, “do powerful individuals like you and Senior Lin Yan also have regrets?” She sighed softly. “Since Senior Lin Yan, there hasn’t been another Profound realm medical cultivator in this world. Coupled with the long conflicts in the Three Realms, some medical sects have even lost their legacies. Three thousand years ago, the last ninth-rank medical cultivator perished, and since then, no one has ever reached the high again.”
Yun Qingyan responded casually, as if he had no interest in these matters.
Meng Qi obediently closed her mouth and followed him silently. She didn’t know why she suddenly brought up this topic, perhaps because they had spent several years together in the previous life. Even if not as master and disciple, they could talk about anything with each other. From the secrets of the Three Realms to the difficulties encountered in cultivation or trivial matters, Meng Qi occasionally shared stories of the people she saved while searching for medicine or training. Yun Qingyan would sometimes be absent for days or even weeks, and during that time, various things would happen. Every time he returned, he would always patiently listen to Meng Qi’s chats and sometimes share his own.
Meng Qi was accustomed to their familiar interaction, where they could speak their minds and say whatever came to their thoughts. She had never concealed anything in front of Yun Qingyan, nor did she hesitate to express her feelings freely.
She took a step forward, feeling a bit absent-minded.
Because Yun Qingyan had never shown the slightest impatience or disdain in front of her.
Even though he was undoubtedly strong, with a cultivation far surpassing her own.
But now, that Yun Qingyan seemed reluctant to speak to her.
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