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“Awake?” In a daze, Meng Qi heard a deep voice of a man ringing in her mind. The voice seemed distant, yet also close to her. She felt her head heavy, and every part of her body ached, especially her meridians and spiritual sea. It felt as if they had been completely shattered and then reassembled. Even her limbs and muscles all over her body seemed to be crushed under countless small needles.
“Mmm…” Meng Qi groaned softly, her eyelashes trembling gently as she slowly opened her eyes.
Before her, there was a deep gray stone wall. The surroundings were gloomy, with two fist-sized pearls floating in mid-air, emitting a soft light.
“Mermaid pearls?” Meng Qi widened her eyes in surprise. Only then did she notice that the air was filled with the breath of the sea, vigorous and vast, making her feel as if she was submerged in the ocean. The aura from the mermaid pearls entered her body, soothing every inch of her meridians and flesh, easing her pain slightly.
Meng Qi’s consciousness also became clearer. She slowly exhaled and quickly probed into her spiritual sea. Before losing consciousness, she had successfully overcome the tribulation, and at this moment, her spiritual sea had expanded to about three times the size of the Golden Core stage. The aura in her spiritual sea overflowed, and right over there, quietly hovering above, was her golden core. Strands of aura slowly oozed out from the core, pouring into the vast sea below. The Five Spirit Cauldron floated in the air, and beside it was the bamboo slip Lin Yan had given her. The bamboo slip seemed to have become even more lustrous than before, emitting a faint glow.
As a cultivator advanced to higher realms, it would also have some impact on their natal weapon. At this moment, the Five Spirit Cauldron looked more mellow and delicate, with the patterns on its body becoming more intricate.
Meng Qi’s spiritual sense delved into the Five Spirit Cauldron, realizing that at its current level, she would be able to save about ten percent of the time while refining pills in the future, and the efficacy of the pills would increase by ten percent as well.
The strands of spiritual aura from her golden core now divided into two parts: one part entered the Five Spirit Cauldron, underwent tempering within it, and then slowly poured back into the spiritual sea, while the other part extended towards the small bamboo slip. The spiritual aura enveloped the bamboo slip, becoming increasingly thick until it eventually formed a cocoon-like light covering, completely surrounding the bamboo slip.
“Hmm?” Meng Qi was a little surprised. She carefully observed the bamboo slip, finding the cocoon of aura had grown thicker and larger. When it was almost as big as the Five Spirit Cauldron, the cocoon suddenly split open at the top. The aura, carrying the bamboo slip, spurted out from the cocoon. In an instant, the cocoon turned into countless silvery threads, each one weaving back into the Five Spirit Cauldron.
Meng Qi’s eyes widened slightly. She could clearly sense that the spiritual aura that had flowed from the bamboo slip to the Five Spirit Cauldron did not return to her spiritual sea, but instead accumulated and was slowly absorbed by the cauldron itself. The Five Spirit Cauldron was her natal weapon, inherently connected to her with a thread of spiritual sense, allowing her to perceive every subtle change within it.
She was taken aback. Natal weapons naturally also needed advancement, but their method of advancement was different from that of a cultivator. For once, natal weapons didn’t need aura to advance. Even if they stayed in a cultivator’s spiritual sea for a long time, they usually only absorbed a bit of aura to nurture their connection to their master, a trait that made them different from ordinary magic weapons.
So, why did the Five Spirit Cauldron ‘retain’ this aura?
Meng Qi sat still, her spiritual sense remained focused as she observed the circulation of aura within the Five Spirit Cauldron. The cluster of spiritual aura that had been refined by the bamboo slip had become a small, pure, and condensed sphere, looking almost substantial. At this moment, it was slowly revolving in the cauldron’s belly, gradually becoming smaller and thinner until it was about to completely disappear.
Just then, another cluster of pure white aura flew into the Five Spirit Cauldron. Meng Qi’s spiritual sense instinctively turned towards the bamboo slip, and sure enough, a new cocoon of aura was gradually forming around it.
This was an experience Meng Qi had never encountered before. She subconsciously raised her head and looked at the black-robed youth sitting nearby.
Ji Wujiong crossed his arms lazily in front of his chest, leaning against the cave’s stone wall. The mermaid pearl floated in the air, casting its shimmering light on his handsome features, even making his usually sharp lips appear somewhat gentle. The amethyst eight trigram compass floated beside him, shimmering faintly.
A hint of disappointment that she didn’t even notice flashed in Meng Qi’s eyes. She turned her gaze away, steadying her mind and breathing slowly.
So, it’s Ji Wujiong, not…
She was slightly taken aback, and a fleeting sense of confusion passed through her eyes, but she quickly regained her clarity.
“How long was I unconscious?” Meng Qi lightly rubbed her head as she retracted the strand of spiritual sense that had been immersed in her spiritual sea. As she raised her hand, the excruciating pain surged again, even more intensely than before. She wrinkled her brows, suppressing the urge to groan, but her face turned deathly pale in an instant, and fine beads of sweat appeared on her forehead.
“Three days.” Ji Wujiong still leaned lazily against the stone wall. He looked at Meng Qi’s pale face, and his lips curled slightly, “You’re not bad. You woke up in just three days. I thought you might be unconscious for ten days or even a month, and who knows, you might never wake up again.”
As he spoke, he absentmindedly waved his hand, and the amethyst eight trigram compass flew over, swiftly circling around Meng Qi several times. Then, with a ‘whoosh,’ it landed on her cheek, rubbing against it before shaking and disappearing.
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