Western Realm, Duankong City. It was one of the largest cities in the region, with its streets and alleys forming a dense network like a spider’s web. The bustling crowds filled the streets, and the intersection of the two busiest streets in the main city divided Duankong City evenly into four parts, making it the most lively area in the entire city.
Duankong City was a rarity in the Three Thousand Worlds, as it housed its sect within its walls. The northwestern section of the city, separated by the two main streets, was where the Duankong Sect resided. Compared to the other bustling areas, this place seems much more tranquil. Under the multiple layers of eaves, one could occasionally spot disciples walking together in pairs or small groups. These disciples, usually dressed in matching garments, seemed familiar and close to one another. However, when they encountered disciples from different branches of the sect, their demeanor becomes noticeably colder.
It was at this moment that five disciples in the same dark green robes hurriedly entered through the main gate of the Duankong Sect. “You’ve returned?” someone greeted them shortly after their arrival, “How did it go, Junior Brother Qiao Ran? Did you find anything?”
The youngest — and also the most handsome — among the five cupped his hand: “Greetings, Senior Brother.” After a pause, the youth called Qiao Ran continued, “We’ve gathered some information.”
“Oh?” the disciple asks, “Tell me about it.”
“Excuse us, Senior Brother, but we should report to our Master first.” Qiao Ran smiled gently at the person, his warmth and politeness making it impossible for anyone to take offense.
The person who stopped them sneered and gave Qiao Ran a cold look before turning around and leaving with several other disciples.
“Junior Brother Qiao Ran,” the young cultivator to Qiao Ran’s left called out, “Won’t it …”
Qiao Ran gestured for him to be silent. “Senior Brother, let’s go see our Master first.”
The other four nodded silently and hastened towards the depths of the sect. The Duankong Sect already occupied a quarter of Duankong City, but only after you were inside would you realize the true vastness of the site, which did not match its outer appearance. Qiao Ran and the others walked at a brisk pace, taking nearly the time it took for an incense stick to burn before reaching a certain area in the depths of the sect.
There, a lush bamboo forest awaited, and as soon as they stepped into it, a cool breeze greeted them, calming their hearts.
In the middle of the bamboo forest stood a simple bamboo house, harmoniously blending with its surroundings. Besides its spaciousness, the bamboo house lacked any unnecessary decorations.
“Master,” Qiao Ran stood respectfully outside the bamboo house, bowing along with his senior brothers. “Disciple Qiao Ran has returned.”
After a moment of silence, there was a slight creak, and a middle-aged man wearing a deep blue robe stepped out from the door. He appeared to be around forty years old, casually draping the robe over his shoulders. A few strands of hair hung at his temples, and his deep, handsome eyes scanned his five disciples lightly as he asked, “How did it go?”
The disciples quickly bowed respectfully to the middle-aged man, and Qiao Ran stepped forward to report, “Master, during our trip to the Eastern Realm, we found that Fellow Daoist Meng Qi comes from Qingfeng Valley, located near Qingfeng Town. It is a small sect in the Eastern Realm, and its Sect Leader is only at the Golden Core stage.”
The middle-aged man frowned slightly at the news. “Only a Golden Core?”
“Yes,” Qiao Ran’s tone remained calm. “Qingfeng Valley is just a small sect, and Qingfeng Town is situated at the junction of the Demon Realm and the Three Thousand Worlds. It has very few residents, and the disciples mainly have cultivation bases of Qi Condensation and Foundation Establishment. The state of medical cultivation in the Eastern Realm is only slightly better than those in the Southern Realm. After leaving Qingfeng Valley, many of its disciples become ordinary healers in the town.”
“Hmm,” the middle-aged man responded in a low voice.
“A few months ago, Fellow Daoist Meng Qi left Qingfeng Valley. Fentian Palace wanted to recruit her, but she declined the invitation personally offered by Fentian Palace’s Young Master… until now, she remains unaffiliated and has joined no sects,” Qiao Ran explained.
“Fentian Palace’s Young Master?” The middle-aged man pondered, “Is it Chu Tianfeng?”
Among the current younger generation, Chu Tianfeng could barely be considered outstanding. As for the Fentian Palace, it ranked among the top ten in the Eastern Realm.
After a while, the middle-aged man nodded slightly and said to Qiao Ran, “Continue.”
“Yes,” Qiao Ran continued, “This year’s Medical Cultivators Conference was held in Xingluo City. At that time, accompanying her were Su Junmo and another young female demon cultivator named Sikong Xing.”
“Sikong… should be of the red fox clan,” the middle-aged man casually nodded, not paying too much attention to this information. “Still, Su Junmo was actually with her?” The corners of his lips lifted slightly, a hint of sarcasm flashing in his eyes. “Xue Chuan has always wanted to form an alliance with this envoy from the Demon Realm and marry his talented precious daughter to Su Junmo. Ha…”
As he spoke, all four disciples, except for Qiao Ran, lowered their heads deeply, obediently remaining quiet. Upon hearing the man’s cold laughter, their hands clenched slightly at their sides. Even if she was the most favored little princess of the Xue clan, if their Master wanted…
The middle-aged man was standing by the railing outside the bamboo house, and his slender fingers lightly tapped the railing a few times. “Continue.”
“Fellow Daoist Meng was accompanied by Su Junmo and Sikong Xing to Xingluo City to participate in the Medical Cultivators Conference. She is also the first medical cultivator to pass the Apricot Forest’s trial in thousands of years,” Qiao Ran said. “The disciples under the Third Elder’s seat in our sect also took part in that tournament, and have exchanged words with Fellow Daoist Meng. They fought side by side.”
“I know,” the man replied nonchalantly. “I have asked them already.”
“This disciple asked the friends who were with her in the Apricot Forest that day. It is said that at the end of that day, the sky above the Apricot Forest became like a mirror, and tens of thousands of medical cultivators from all four realms, including the sect masters and elders of the ten major medical sects, as well as the younger generation of disciples, all witnessed Fellow Daoist Meng passing the trial,” Qiao Ran paused, “Fellow Daoist Meng received recognition from the ancient profound realm powerhouse, Lin Yan, who personally admitted her as a friend.”
This news had already spread throughout the four realms. In the days immediately following the Medical Cultivators Conference, Qiao Ran and his fellow disciples heard about this topic wherever they went. The same was true in Beyond The Heaven. The appearance of an ancient profound realm medical cultivator was a major event for the entire Three Thousand Worlds. Especially because the person was Lin Yan, the last profound realm medical cultivator who was originally expected to reach the mythical earth realm and eventually ascend.
And such a legendary person personally acknowledged Meng Qi as her friend.
Just this alone had shocked countless people.
Qiao Ran had accompanied his Master to the Heaven Auction House in Beyond The Heaven. Even there, the topic of conversation among the powerful sect leaders and elders was Meng Qi, or rather… they were busy speculating what kind of benefit did she gain in the Apricot Forest.
Wants more chapters?