As everyone in the private room left, not a single one of them glanced at Lu Qingran in the corner. Whether it was Meng Qi and Ji Wuji or Chu Tianfeng, Qin Xiumo, and the others, it was as if they had completely forgotten her existence.
Lu Qingran sat there in a daze, watching as the people filed out of the room.
Chu Tianfeng, Su Junmo, Sikong Xing…
And Xue Chengxuan and Li Che, her fellow medical cultivators.
Not long ago, both Li Che and Ji Wujiong seemed to value her. But now, none of them bothered to look at her, as if she were nothing more than an insignificant bug or bird.
Lu Qingran was at a loss, unable to understand why these people had gathered together.
Just because of Meng Qi?
Especially Xue Chengxuan and Li Che. After all the farce during the Medical Cultivators Conference, weren’t they supposed to confront Ji Wujiong on sight? However, from the time they met in the Starfallen Sea until now, they seemed to have maintained a somewhat peaceful coexistence with Ji Wujiong, even if the atmosphere wasn’t particularly friendly.
As she watched Xu Zijun, who was the last to leave the room, Lu Qingran was surprised to see that he closed the door behind him.
If this were in the past, she couldn’t have imagined these people standing together so peacefully. Now, they seemed like a team, united.
The atmosphere between them seemed rather harmonious.
And then there was Ji Wujiong…
Lu Qingran couldn’t help but shiver at the thought of his cold, dark eyes that seemed like bottomless abysses. Since leaving Qingfeng Valley, she had known just how terrifying he was. He had no hint of compassion, and the life and death of others were like child’s play to him. Even though she seemed to be somewhat special to him, Lu Qingran never dared to act recklessly in front of Ji Wujiong.
She was genuinely afraid of him!
Now even he, in front of Meng Qi, was no longer the overbearing, cold, and aloof man he used to be. He could smile, although he was still sarcastic, it seemed that he was no longer as aggressive, and he even engaged in witty banter with someone like Sikong Xing?! This version of Ji Wujiong felt incredibly unfamiliar to her.
Why was it like this? Lu Qingran couldn’t understand.
It was as if she was completely invisible, no different from a small grass or flower by the roadside. All their conversations revolved around Meng Qi, as if she didn’t even exist in this place.
Why was it like this?
Lu Qingran didn’t quite understand. Was it all because of Meng Qi’s outstanding performance at the Medical Cultivators Conference?
She lowered her head and looked at her hands. She and her former junior sister were both a Golden Core, so why did Meng Qi suddenly become so important?
Just then, with a loud “bang,” the door to the private room was forcefully pushed open.
Lu Qingran quickly looked up, her eyes uncontrollably showing a trace of joy.
“Hmm?” Several cultivators dressed in saffron robes stood outside the door. “Why is there only one person? Could the information be wrong?”
“Take her away first, and then we’ll see!” Another person beside him looked around cautiously and said, “This is the Ruyi Inn. Don’t linger.”
“Umm…” Lu Qingran didn’t have time to react. She felt darkness envelop her vision as a large bag was placed over her head. Those people didn’t even touch her body, but she felt weak all over, as if all her strength had been drained. She could sense that she was being lifted up and uncomfortably slung over someone’s shoulder. Before losing consciousness, Lu Qingran seemed to hear cries of battle. After that, she knew nothing more.
Outside the vicinity of Jingyue City, on the side of a green mountain, there was a cave about two people tall. The cave entrance was not large, only allowing two people to walk in side by side. The cave extended about 90 meters deep, with no daylight reaching inside. It was located six hundred li away from the city walls, hidden amidst the undulating mountain ranges, with leaves from the surrounding trees blocking the sunlight, and the air filled with the scent of decaying leaves.
Meng Qi sat cross-legged in the center of the cave, her face as pale as paper. Fine beads of sweat covered her fair forehead, and even her nose was covered in sweat. Her palms were facing downwards, each holding a small piece of profound-grade spirit stone. The spiritual aura emanated, and threads of it flowed up from her palms.
Time seemed to pass endlessly in the cave, while the black-clad man lazily sitting at the cave’s entrance would venture outside for a while each time the sun rose and set.
“Ugh—” About seven days and seven nights later, Meng Qi, sitting cross-legged in the mountain cave, suddenly groaned. She slowly opened her eyes, and her originally clear eyes were now filled with bloodshot lines.
Ji Wujiong let out a soft sigh, turning his head to look outside the cave. Outside, the faint rays of sunlight that had been shining through the leaves had since disappeared.
Now, the sky was pitch-black.
Above the forest, where it had been clear skies before, now a mass of dark clouds hung overhead, precisely above the mountain cave. Within the dark clouds, occasional flashes of lightning erupted, accompanied by rumbling thunder.
Meng Qi exhaled lightly, gripping her hands tighter.
“Hey!” Ji Wujiong spoke, “The tribulation clouds have come.”
“I know,” Meng Qi replied, her voice hoarse, no longer as clear as before.
“Are you ready?”
“Mm,” Meng Qi softly responded.
Ji Wujiong looked deeply into her eyes and opened his mouth as if to say something, but in the end, he said nothing. He stood up, turned, and walked outside the cave.
Cultivation itself was an act of defiance against the heavens. So, from the Golden Core stage to the Nascent Soul, cultivators had to undergo heavenly tribulations, each one more formidable than the last. When reaching the Great Ascension stage, with each advancement in minor realms, they would experience a new tribulation.
He just couldn’t understand why Meng Qi, who clearly wasn’t the type obsessed with power, would suddenly…
Before Ji Wujiong finished his thoughts, a loud boom sounded from behind him.
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