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Jingyuetian was the largest spell cultivation sect in the Three Thousand Worlds. The city it controlled, Jingyue City, was also the second-largest city in the Western Realm. Located on the eastern side of the Western Realm, its closest neighbor was the Xue City under the Feng Alliance’s Xue Clan.
This was Meng Qi’s second visit to Jingyue City. Jingyue City had no walls or gates; the entire city stood proudly, showcasing the might of Jingyuetian. It was currently midday, and the streets were bustling with people coming and going. Regardless of residents of the city or cultivators from afar, everyone was wearing relaxed and happy smiles on their faces. Indeed, under the radiance of the number one spell sect in the Three Thousand Worlds, the people of Jingyue City led a prosperous and peaceful life.
Ji Wujiong walked beside Meng Qi with a slight smile on his lips. “Everything looks normal, but they are still on high alert. When you underwent your tribulation earlier, they should have sensed something, and the elders of the sect have already taken action,” he chuckled.
“I see,” Meng Qi made a thoughtful sound and nodded.
“By the way, do you know…” Ji Wujiong turned his head to look at Meng Qi as he spoke. His eyes flashed and fell on her profile. Meng Qi’s fair cheeks already showed three fine black lines, running from her ear to her smooth forehead. Although the black lines had not split open yet and were not as terrifying as the ones on his face, Meng Qi’s complexion was naturally fairer than his, and she was also a girl on top of that. Such wounds on her face must have impacted her much more than him.
Ji Wujiong looked at the pair of calm and clear eyes, and a strange feeling flashed through his heart — while cultivators pursued only the Dao and cared less about appearances, she was, after all, a girl.
“What were you going to say?” Seeing him remain silent for a long time, Meng Qi became impatient. She turned to him and repeated, “Aren’t you going to tell me something?”
“Oh? Oh!” Ji Wujiong suddenly snapped back and continued, “Do you know about Beyond The Heaven?”
Meng Qi’s heart stirred, but she nodded calmly.
“Beyond The Heaven is a special place. Beside the city itself and the floating islands above, there are many unclaimed grotto-heavens for cultivators to explore in the surrounding areas,” Ji Wujiong said. “Not long ago, there were signs of anomalies in one of these grotto-heavens. The owner of the Beyond The Heaven thus auctioned an entry token on the Heaven Auction House…”
He paused for a moment and continued, “The entry token allows one to explore these grotto-heavens. It always fetches a sky-high price during auctions, and each token can admit five people. This time, it was said that they auctioned the token to enter the grotto-heaven located at the seventh mountain of Beyond the Heaven.”
“Ah,” Meng Qi softly responded. She was aware of this. Not only that, but she actually had been attending this exact auction and witnessed as the entry token was being auctioned. Her original goal was to bid for Blazing Feather, but in the process, she had also spent several hundred eighth-grade spirit stones on an ancient jade slip retrieved from the Starfallen Sea. Unfortunately, she still didn’t know the contents of that jade slip.
Thinking back to those days, Meng Qi couldn’t help but smile. She had been quite poor at the time, and in order to gather funds, she had gone hunting for criminal demons with her friends so that they could exchange the bounty for spirit stones at the Cultivator Alliance. Even after going through a dangerous adventure, the most each of them had managed to earn was just a few ninth-grade spirit stones.
Reminiscing now, it had become a nice and warm memory.
Meng Qi’s eyelids drooped slightly, and her long eyelashes trembled lightly, hiding the smile in her eyes.
Ji Wujiong had sharp eyes and noticed it. He didn’t ask, as he could clearly see that Meng Qi wasn’t entirely willing to address him as her master even now. But that was fine! He was quite an optimistic fellow, and he didn’t mention the seventh mountain’s grotto-heaven for no reason. He had his own plans.
“Outside Beyond The Heaven City, there are eighty-one mountain peaks,” Ji Wujiong continued. He seemed to be very knowledgeable about Beyond The Heaven. “From the first grotto-heaven that appeared in the world to the present day, spanning thousands of years, there are still nine mountains that have not been explored, and it’s widely acknowledged that the smaller the number, the better the grotto-heavens inside.”
Meng Qi nodded again.
“The seventh mountain is, naturally, numbered top ten. Excluding the first mountain, it is the highest-ranking grotto-heaven yet to be explored. I heard that a total of 16 entry tokens were auctioned that day, and the owner of Beyond The Heaven generally will keep one for himself. From the Western Realm, Jingyuetian, Duankong Sect, and Feng Alliance each have one entry token in their hands.”
With his last sentence, Ji Wujiong finally had Meng Qi’s full attention. Grinning from ear to ear, he raised his eyebrows in satisfaction, “Do you find it strange that I know such details?”
He paused, then continued, “Well, this is a long story. When we have some free time, I’ll tell you slowly. Beyond The Heaven is complex, with its seven Floating Sky Islands… Hmph…” Ji Wujiong snorted softly: “The owner there has absolutely no small plans. Simple transactions using spirit stones cannot satisfy him. Huh! The cultivators of Three Thousand Worlds can compete on equal grounds with the demon and devil realms without being defeated precisely because they have a wealth of talent”
Meng Qi’s heart trembled. The owner of Beyond The Heaven, isn’t that…
Ji Wujiong continued his rambling, “These grotto-heavens in Beyond The Heaven, to put it nicely, are places filled with abundant spiritual aura, countless precious rare treasures, and even the possibility of ancient relics. They are also the best sites for cultivators to cultivate. In addition, some rare spiritual plants and herbs that can no longer be cultivated elsewhere can be nurtured in these grotto-heavens. It can be said that possessing a grotto-heaven is like having a sect for a cultivator. If a cultivator can possess a grotto-heaven like the seventh peak, which fetched sixteen entry tokens, it is possible for them to rise to the level of the great sects within a hundred years. Maybe not the top ten, but definitely a force to be reckoned with.”
“So, grotto-heavens not only allow people to find treasures but can also be owned by cultivators?” Meng Qi was hearing this for the first time.
“Yes,” Ji Wujiong nodded. “But not all grotto-heavens can be owned. In some cases, you can find the ownership artifacts of the grotto-heaven’s previous master. After obtaining and imprinting the artifact, that person can then own the grotto-heaven, coming and going freely, becoming the new master. Among the top ten sects of the four realms, six of them own the grotto-heavens of Beyond The Heaven. Without exception, they have seen significant growth afterward, quickly joining the rank of first-class power.”
Ji Wujiong talked about these stories with as much enthusiasm as Su Junmo. There were no others around, and he had toned down his sharp-tongued comments when speaking to Meng Qi. Meng Qi found it quite interesting and listened with great interest.
“You said just now that there are eighty-one mountain peaks in Beyond The Heaven, with less than ten left unexplored. But only six sects owned a grotto-heaven?”
Nodding in satisfaction, Ji Wujiong said in a hushed tone, “This is Beyond The Heaven’s greatest secret.”
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