The Jingyuetian disciple then turned his eyes at Ji Wujiong, “And this is… Fellow Daoist Ji Wujiong, I presume?”
Ji Wujiong raised an eyebrow, “This is getting more interesting. Who would have thought that the famous Apricot Forest’s Grand Tournament barrier isn’t a place exclusive for medical cultivators? Duankong, Jingyuetian… Tsk, tsk, turns out so many other forces have long infiltrated. ”
“Fellow Daoist Ji must be joking,” the Jingyuetian disciple was one of the cultivators who fought alongside Meng Qi and Ji Wujiong during the second trial in the Grand Tournament’s barrier. He took another step forward and bowed politely. “The strength displayed by both of you during our battle that day was truly awe-inspiring. There are always talents beyond talents. I sincerely admire you both,” he paused. Unable to contain himself, he looked at Meng Qi again, “Fellow Daoist Meng Qi, have you come at the invitation of our sect’s elders?”
“Yes,” Meng Qi’s words were cut short when Ji Wujiong interrupted, “That’s correct.” With a snap of his fingers, an oddly shaped object flew from his hand, stopping in front of the two disciples. Under the moonlight, Meng Qi could clearly see that it was a crescent-shaped token, crystal clear and exquisitely crafted.
“May we enter now?” He directly stated his business.
“Yes,” the disciple replied promptly, showing great respect as he bowed to both of them. He didn’t even dare touch the crescent-shaped token and waited until Ji Wujiong retrieved it with a wave of his hand. After a brief, hushed conversation with his companion, the disciple who had been speaking to Meng Qi turned back to them and said, “Please follow me, both of you.”
Meng Qi glanced at Ji Wujiong in surprise. The black-robed youth met her gaze and raised an eyebrow, looking somewhat pleased with himself. Earlier in the city, he hadn’t mentioned having Jingyuetian’s token, and it was indeed quite peculiar that he chose to arrive at the sect’s gate in the middle of the night without prior notice.
Meng Qi had a feeling that there was more to this than met the eye. Still, she had agreed to follow Ji Wujiong’s lead in all matters during their time in Jingyuetian. Keeping her curiosity inside, Meng Qi remained silent as she walked alongside Ji Wujiong and followed behind the Jingyuetian disciple, keeping a close eye on their surroundings.
As they entered Jingyuetian, it felt like stepping into a realm bathed in moonlight. Silver moonlight fell onto every surface, adding soft radiance to the surrounding mist and cloud. The moment they stepped inside the sect’s territory, the boundary to the outside world disappeared, replaced by this beautiful silver scenery.
Underfoot, a road paved with blue stone slabs led directly ahead. Although they were walking on level ground, each step forward seemed to elevate their position. Before long, Meng Qi felt as though she were halfway up a mountain, able to see shorter peaks beside her, giving her a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains.
Continuing forward for a while longer, a towering mountain peak appeared to their left. The mountain resembled a sharp sword thrusting into the sky. It looked deceptively close, but Meng Qi knew that regardless of how they walked, they wouldn’t be able to reach the mountain’s vicinity without the permission from Jingyuetian Sect Leader.
That should be the Ten Absolutes Mountains… casting a sidelong glance, Meng Qi’s scrutinizing eyes fell on the majestic silhouette.
Ji Wujiong noticed her gaze and followed her line of sight. Then he nodded slightly in her direction.
Meng Qi withdrew her gaze. There didn’t appear to be anything particularly unusual about the mountain peak; it was just a straight, towering structure that seemed to extend directly upward. Without relying on spells or magic tools, it would indeed be challenging for cultivators to reach the peak. Some trees grew on the mountain, but they were sparse, with most areas covered in bare, dark brown steep cliffs.
The Jingyuetian disciple leading the way had never turned back and continued walking silently at the same pace. After a while, Meng Qi suddenly felt that everything in front of her had cleared up. The neat stone path they had been walking on suddenly turned into a broad open area at its end. In the center of this flat ground stood a small mountain, not very tall, but with layered eaves and numerous buildings.
“Both of you, please come this way,” the disciple said as he led them around the back of the mountain, stepping onto another blue stone path.
The path remained level as it led straight ahead. As before, with each step Meng Qi took, she felt herself ascending. Moreover, she noticed that the small mountain in the distance was much larger than it had appeared initially. After walking just a few steps, she could already see more buildings than before.
Meng Qi wasn’t surprised — given the reputation of Jingyuetian, this much was nothing. What came to her attention was something else. She couldn’t help but glance at Ji Wujiong. In the past, she had been unaware of how such mysterious effects were achieved. However, now that she looked around, she realized that Jingyuetian, with legacies inherited from ancient times, was covered with intricately woven arrays that spanned throughout every part of their territory. From every blade of grass to every brick and house, nothing was left uncovered. Meng Qi couldn’t help but recall Ji Wujiong’s previous words. Indeed, seeing such scenery, it wasn’t hard to imagine the grandeur that array cultivators had back in their heyday.
“We’ve arrived.” Soon, the disciple led them to a standalone pavilion halfway up the mountain. “Please wait here,” he said in front of the three-story structure, opulent enough to resemble a palace. As he approached, the grand door opened silently, and he entered with brisk steps.
Meng Qi looked back at the road they had taken, but the clouds and mist had already obscured the blue stone path, making it impossible to see what lay below the mountain.
After a brief moment, the disciple returned to them. “Fellow Daoist Meng, Fellow Daoist Ji, please come in. My martial uncle requests your presence.”
Meng Qi nodded to him. “Thank you.”
Ji Wujiong gave her an eye signal and walked in first.
Meng Qi came after him. She didn’t know what Ji Wujiong was planning; all she could guess was that his plan involved the Jingyuetian’s young master and Ten Absolutes Mountain. As they entered the pavilion, the grand doors closed behind them. The place they were in now resembled a large hall. The entire hall was constructed from massive white stones, giving it a spacious and majestic appearance. Pearls embedded in the stone walls emitted enough light to illuminate the entire hall. Besides some simple tables and chairs, there was no other decoration, giving the hall the impression of a cave in the snow.
In the innermost part of the hall stood a raised platform. There, a middle-aged man in a dark blue robe sat on an intricately carved chair. When he heard their arrival, the man opened his eyes and looked towards them.
Meng Qi was momentarily surprised. The middle-aged man had a gentle gaze, looking more like a friendly elder rather than a powerful cultivator. She couldn’t sense any aura from him, indicating that his cultivation level was much higher than hers, making it impossible for her to gauge his strength.
“Hello, Young Daoist Meng,” the middle-aged man, who was Jingyuetian’s sect leader Yan Shunbei, said with a faint smile. “And welcome, Fellow Daoist Ji.”
Sorry for going MIA >_<. These four chapters are the updates I missed last week and the week before. This week’s updates will be posted tomorrow at the usual hour.
Wants more chapters?