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Facing Ji Wujiong’s usual sarcasm, Meng Qi was noncommittal, tilting her head slightly. She now understood how terrifying the pain that Ji Wujiong had warned her of. The process of forcibly absorbing spiritual aura from the spirit stones and converting it for personal use felt like self-torture at every moment, an excruciating pain that few could bear. On top of that, the horrifying tribulation that befell her was far more dreadful than the usual Golden Core to Nascent Soul tribulation.
One careless move, and she would have died.
Meng Qi exhaled softly. Even now, the pain coursing through her body hadn’t lessened by a fraction, and she had to be extremely cautious with every breath.
“What’s wrong?” Ji Wujiong stared at her expressionless face, raising an eyebrow. “Do you really plan to continue cultivating using this method?” He paused and continued, “This is just the pain you experience from Golden Core to Nascent Soul. It’ll be even more terrifying if you insist to go to the Spirit Severing. Moreover, can you withstand the subsequent tribulations, huh?”
Meng Qi tilted her head slightly again, looking at Ji Wujiong’s injured face. After leaving the Starfallen Sea, the scars on his face became more pronounced. Initially, there were only three narrow wounds running from his eyebrow to the front of his ear, occupying almost half of his left cheek. Coupled with their black color, it gave him a somewhat fierce appearance.
Now, the wounds were wider than before, and the black color had started to seep into the surrounding skin. The wounds even showed signs of slight cracking, revealing coiled black flesh underneath. Occasionally, black mist oozed from the wounds, making it even more eerie and horrifying.
Ji Wujiong’s right cheek remained unscathed, and his appearance put him into the top-tier handsome man in any realm of the Three Realms. However, his left cheek was something people couldn’t bear to look at for too long. It wasn’t just the ugliness caused by the wounds, but there was a kind of devilish, terrifying sensation to it.
Ji Wujiong seemed indifferent, casually displaying the wounds on his face. However, a faint smile gradually appeared in his eyes, and the corners of his lips slightly curved, as if he was self-mocking or ridiculing something, making the wounds appear even more peculiar.
He suddenly chuckled, reaching up to touch his left cheek. “Did you figure it out?” he asked abruptly.
Meng Qi withdrew her gaze and calmly replied, “I am a medical cultivator.”
She had said this sentence to him in the Great Tournament Barrier when they were still enemies and had an unpleasant interaction. It had only been a few months since then, which was nothing more than a fleeting moment in the long life of a Nascent Soul cultivator. However, she felt a sense of impermanence and change, as if the world had transformed around them while they remained the same.
Ji Wujiong touched the wounds on his face again and said, “I don’t really care…”
Before he could finish his sentence, Meng Qi glanced at him. When she first saw him, this guy was wearing a black veil over his face. How could he say that he didn’t care about appearances?
“Um… Ahem…” Although the girl in front of him hadn’t said anything, Ji Wujiong still felt uneasy and cleared his throat a few times. “I mean, us men, we don’t really care about looks that much. As long as we’re strong enough, who cares if we’re handsome or not? But women are different after all…”
“What’s the difference?” Meng Qi tilted her head again, looking at Ji Wujiong in confusion. “Isn’t cultivation the same, where strength is respected?”
Ji Wujiong found it hard to respond. In a rare moment of speechlessness, he stared at Meng Qi for a while before snorting and glancing sideways at her. “In the Demon Realm, there are countless beauties: charming, pure, sizzling, passionate… Demon cultivator beauties are renowned in all three realms, and you can find all kinds of them. Take Sikong Xing, for example. She’s considered top-tier beauty in the Three Thousand Worlds, but in the Demon Realm, she doesn’t even rank among the best. Are you really not concerned at all?”
Meng Qi pondered seriously: “Xingxing is beautiful.”
Ji Wujiong: “…”
After Meng Qi finished speaking, she slowly stood up, supporting herself against the cave wall. She looked down at her palm, where fine red lines outlined an incredibly intricate and delicate array. Meng Qi clenched her fist and then glanced at Ji Wujiong. After a moment’s contemplation, she said, “I can try to treat this injury.”
She then looked up at the entrance of the cave. When she first arrived, the cave was hidden in the tranquil forest. Now, the trees outside the cave had been devastated by the terrifying tribulation, turning to ashes within a mile radius.
Ji Wujiong also stood up. He walked leisurely to Meng Qi’s side and stood shoulder to shoulder with her, gazing outside the cave. He sneered, “Even Jingyuetian Sect, recognized as the top cultivation sect in the Three Thousand Worlds, had their elders personally come to investigate the Golden Core to Nascent Soul stage tribulation. It’s rare to see such timidity and caution.”
Meng Qi uttered a soft “Hmm.” She took a deep breath and casually took out a profound-grade spirit stone from her pouch. When the spirit stone touched the array on her palm, the previously dim red lines suddenly turned bright red, resembling fresh blood. Those blood-like red lines slowly extended toward the spirit stone, enshrouding it. Threads of spiritual aura flowed from the spirit stone into Meng Qi’s palm through the red lines…
Her face changed abruptly, large beads of sweat rolled down from her forehead, and her complexion turned incredibly pale. In the next instant, three narrow black lines appeared on Meng Qi’s previously flawless left cheek. Underneath her fair and delicate skin, the black lines became increasingly apparent. On their own, they might not look too terrifying, but if one stared at her cheek closely, they would see something seemed to be surging and roiling beneath the thin layer of skin… as if it could burst through her flesh and spurt out at any moment.
With her elegant features, Meng Qi’s cheeks were much fairer than Ji Wujiong’s, but in this state, she did indeed look quite fearsome.
“Hey!” Ji Wujiong’s expression changed, and he grabbed Meng Qi’s wrist. “Are you looking for death?!” He snatched the spirit stone from her hand. “You just went through the tribulation, and your spiritual sea is unstable. Have you gone mad?!”
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