“Senior Xiao Lang, he…” Meng Qi lowered her eyes, looking at the cold jade box that Lin Yan was carefully holding in her hands.
Lin Yan paused for a moment. She seemed to have no reservations about Meng Qi, or perhaps her wish was about to be fulfilled, putting her in a good mood. She spoke candidly, “At that time, someone received information that the Devil Realm intended to annihilate all the people in the six cities and eight towns of the Southern Realm. The Southern Realm has always been inferior to the Eastern Realm, not to mention the Western Realm. The selected cities and towns were not the major ones guarded by prominent sects. It was suspected that the devil cultivators simply chose this place to enjoy slaughtering. When I arrived after receiving the news, the land was already covered in poisonous miasma.”
“At that time, there was actually a debate about whether to protect the entire six cities and eight towns or only the cultivators,” Lin Yan forced a bitter smile. “Because in order to save them, it was inevitable to exchange with a profound realm medical cultivator. And I was the only profound realm medical cultivator at that time.”
“But you still chose to save them,” Meng Qi said softly. Regardless of the disputes at that time, Lin Yan ultimately chose to save everyone.
“I have also regretted it,” Lin Yan said calmly. She gently touched that small fragment of finger bone again. “The Devil Realm wasn’t slaughtering ordinary people for pleasure; they were… dealing with him.”
“Dealing with Senior Xiao Lang?” Meng Qi paused, then realized, “It was intentional?! They used the lives of the common people to trick you, and it was for… for…”
“For bait,” Lin Yan said. “They used me as bait to lure Xiao Lang into a trap.” She lowered her head and softly stroked the small finger bone. “And I… I knew nothing! I didn’t know that he was fighting bloody battles for me. I knew nothing! I didn’t know that, and in the end, all I could do was… only left with…” Tears suddenly fell, drop by drop, onto the small finger bone.
Lin Yan’s voice choked, “When I finally found him, all he left me with was…”
Meng Qi stared at the scene in front of her, stunned. Behind the scenes, there was such a heart-wrenching story. She suddenly understood why, even after thousands of years, Lin Yan’s remnant will could still linger in the Starfallen Sea. Besides the help of the array and the Luoxin Forest, it was probably her obsession to save Xiao Lang that kept her will from dissipating.
Glancing around, Meng Qi’s eyes fell on the various treasures Lin Yan took out: the Azure Dragon Crystal, Nirvana Flower, Nether Grass, Starlight… They were indeed rare, but what did they really mean? If she was in Lin Yan’s place, she would do everything in her power to find these treasures, even if it meant going against the heavens or plunging into an abyss from which there was no return. She would definitely find a way to save Senior Xiao Lang.
Meng Qi felt a cool sensation on her face. She reached up and touched her cheek, only to discover that tears were streaming down her face. So, this is what love between a man and a woman feels like, the so-called profound affection described in books?
In the Five Spirit Cauldron, the medicinal herbs that Lin Yan placed last were surrounded by vibrant green leaves. The leaves of the Luoxin Trees gradually merged with the herbs, turning into wisps of smoke that completely blended into the essence of the Nether Grass.
The Starlights flew into the Heavenly Purgatory Array, surrounding the Five Spirit Cauldron like twinkling stars.
“But Senior…” Meng Qi understood the purpose of these arrangements and knew what Lin Yan intended to do. “If you resurrect Senior Xiao Lang this way, will he still be himself?”
Lin Yan’s residual consciousness could last for thousands of years, whether in the Apricot Forest or here, relying on powerful arrays and precious treasures. Here, there was a vast forest of Luoxin Tree, while in the Apricot Forest, there were the sacred Apricot Trees, the holy object for medical cultivators that represented vitality, and with the help of the array, enabling Lin Yan’s will to preserve.
However, Xiao Lang had long since died; his spiritual consciousness dissipated. Even if Lin Yan could truly do the resurrection, rebuilding his body and consciousness, would it still be the same Xiao Lang she knew? His spiritual consciousness was not his own, but constructed from so many others, pieced together using the Nether Grass. Even his memories had to be bestowed by Lin Yan. Could this still be considered Xiao Lang?
Furthermore, without an inner core, all this effort would be meaningless.
Meng Qi clenched her hand by her side and then relaxed it. She understood what Lin Yan needed her to do. Now that everything was in place, Lin Yan only lacked the vital ingredient—a living cultivator’s inner core. However, forcibly taking someone’s core was impossible. Even if she tried to deceive the other person with the Luoxin leaves, she couldn’t extract their inner core.
Unless… the person willingly offered their own inner core.
Only medical cultivators could accomplish such a feat. That’s why Lin Yan must have already collected all these heavenly treasures long ago and waited for the right person to appear.
This person had to be willing to offer their inner core and must also be a medical cultivator who understood arrays. It was extremely difficult for all these conditions to come together. When Lin Yan discovered that Meng Qi possessed the Five Spirit Cauldron and her medical notes, she must have been preparing for this moment.
“Senior Lin Yan,” Meng Qi turned her head to look at the medical senior she respected the most, “May I ask another question?”
“Go ahead,” Lin Yan’s gaze flickered slightly.
“Did you discover that I had the Five Spirit Cauldron and your medical notes from the moment I entered the Starfallen Sea?”
Lin Yan gently closed her eyes, and a smile appeared on her lips. “Even earlier than that.”
“Although I cannot leave this place, she is still me. Since we are all within these Three Realms, I naturally know about those who pass her tests and become her successor.”
“Sister Xue… Was it you who brought her into the Starfallen Sea?”
“There is someone very powerful by your side.” Lin Yan didn’t answer Meng Qi’s question directly. As if speaking to herself, she continued, “To possess such cultivation and talent at such a young age is truly remarkable.”
Was she talking about Yun Qingyan?
Meng Qi’s heart skipped a beat.
“Were you wary of him?” Meng Qi asked.
“Wary? That’s not quite right.” Lin Yan’s tone was faint. Her eyelashes were still damp from her previous tears, but her voice became calm and composed. “The Starfallen Sea seems to have some connection to him, and I just didn’t want to cause too much trouble.”
“But what if I don’t leave him?” Meng Qi asked.
Lin Yan suddenly raised the corners of her lips and smiled enchantingly. “Meng Qiqi,” she reached out and pinched Meng Qi’s face, “I’ve waited for thousands of years. I won’t be in a hurry now.”
“Besides, you will leave,” Lin Yan’s gaze went beyond Meng Qi’s shoulders and looked behind her. They were already in the center of the forest, and there were no sights of Su Junmo and the others waiting outside. “I can sense the fate between you and those people. You wouldn’t ignore them.”
“Then, Senior, why are you so certain that I would come here with you?” Meng Qi asked again.
“Because you are also a medical cultivator,” Lin Yan looked at Meng Qi, smiling gently. In that moment, her smile genuinely came from the heart, filled with a tacit understanding and pride. “If I knew someone had a way to resurrect the dead, even if I didn’t have someone I wanted to revive at the moment, I would definitely go and see.”
Lin Yan said with certainty, “How could I resist the curiosity?!”
Meng Qi: “…”
“Did you tell me Senior Xiao Lang’s story to make me willingly give you my inner core?” She asked again.
“Inner core? Yours?” Lin Yan seemed surprised, “No, no, no!” She quickly waved her hand, “Meng Qiqi, I don’t want your core.” She reached out and pinched Meng Qi’s cheek, saying, “You are my only successor. You’ve inherited the Five Spirit Cauldron as well. How could I bear to hurt you?”
“Didn’t I say before that I wouldn’t harm you?”
“Eh?” Now Meng Qi was stunned, “You don’t want my inner core, then what are you…”
Lin Yan suddenly gestured with her hand. The vines in the forest obediently followed her command, and in the blink of an eye, a person in pink clothes was brought to her side. Lu Qingran, still with her head down and unconscious, lay before them.
“I’ve been here for thousands of years, not idle at all. But as a mere remnant of consciousness, there are many things I can’t do. That’s why I need you… I need someone with the Five Spirit Cauldron, someone to inherit my mantle,” Lin Yan glanced at Lu Qingran and chuckled. “Coincidentally, you don’t like her either, and she’s also a medical cultivator. We’ll use her inner core.”
She spoke with an air of complete certainty.
Continued to Part Four: Western Realm
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