“That’s settled then,” Ling Ji said. Seeing Meng Qi’s skeptical expression, he lightly flicked his finger, and a small sword, about the size of a palm, appeared in front of him. “If you’re worried, take this.”
Next to him, Qiao Ran looked up and took in a sharp breath. However, he dared not say anything under his master’s imposing presence.
Ling Ji continued, “We can have Sect Leader Yan serve as a witness. I’ll seal this item with my spiritual sense. As long as you come out of the Ten Absolute Mountains and win the bet, it will be yours.”
Ling Ji finished speaking and tapped the small sword a few times with his finger. The sword was enveloped in a layer of clear light and quickly returned to its dark appearance. Ling Ji then handed it to Meng Qi. The unremarkable, dark sword felt heavy in her hand. It didn’t appear particularly impressive, yet it carried a sense of age and history.
Meng Qi’s heart stirred, and she nodded as she gripped the small sword, placing it into her storage space.
“That settles it. We’ll discuss the rest after they come down from the Ten Absolute Mountains,” Ling Ji said. “I’ll take my leave for now.”
“Why not stay within our sect for a while, Brother Ling? The Ten Absolute Mountains will open soon,” Yan Shunbei suggested.
“All right,” Ling Ji nodded. “But I cannot take your hospitality for nothing.” He tossed a small pouch, which Yan Shunbei caught. After examining its contents, Yan Shunbei’s expression subtly changed. He had been quite casual, but now he stood up and offered a respectful bow to Ling Ji. “Thank you, Brother Ling.”
Ling Ji merely nodded slightly before turning to leave the hall with his disciple.
Meng Qi watched him depart, feeling that this Duankong Sect Leader was somewhat unusual. Soon, only the three of them remained in the hall. Yan Shunbei held the pouch, standing in place with a somewhat dazed expression, lost in thought.
After a while, he regained his composure and said to Meng Qi, “Young Daoist Meng, regarding the Ten Absolute Mountains, if you…” He paused at this point. The Ten Absolute Mountains were exceptionally perilous, but Meng Qi was likely one of the few medical cultivators capable of saving his son.
“Sect Leader Yan, I want to go,” Meng Qi understood what he was trying to say, and her voice was resolute. “Even if you don’t allow me, I will find a way to enter the Ten Absolute Mountains secretly.” She couldn’t afford to consider so much right now, except for getting stronger as quickly as possible. As long as she became stronger, she wouldn’t hesitate to venture into even more dangerous places.
“Very well,” Yan Shunbei said, “In that case, both of you, please stay within our sect. The Ten Absolute Mountains will open within ten days, and no one knows what will happen once you enter. Still, Jingyuetian has been guarding the Ten Absolute Mountains since our inception, and I will share everything I know with you. Furthermore…” he paused for a moment, then added, “I have a small treasure here, which I used during my Nascent Soul years. It hasn’t been used in many years. While it may not be very useful, among the items available to Nascent Soul cultivators, it offers decent defense. I’ll give it to you as well.” With that, Yan Shunbei took out a small object and offered it to Meng Qi.
It was a small crescent-shaped jade pendant, slightly warm to the touch.
“Young Daoist Meng, there’s no need to be polite,” Yan Shunbei said, noticing that Meng Qi hesitated to accept the item. He continued, “This item has become useless to me, and besides…” he sighed softly, “although my son is fated to experience such a calamity, I still hope he can return to the path of cultivation.”
“Then… thank you, Sir,” Meng Qi put away the jade pendant and bowed respectfully to Yan Shunbei.
Soon, two disciples came to escort Meng Qi and Ji Wujiong to their guest quarters. Along the way, Meng Qi didn’t see any other Jingyuetian disciples. They followed the mountain path further up until they reached their lodgings. It was not far from the main hall where they met Yan Shunbei. After the disciples led them to their courtyard, they bowed respectfully and departed.
Yan Shunbei had arranged for them an elegantly furnished, independent courtyard. Meng Qi and Ji Wujiong sat face to face in the courtyard. She first examined the jade pendant given to her by Yan Shunbei for a moment before taking out the small sword gifted by Ling Ji.
“What is this?” She asked Ji Wujiong.
“Hmph,” Ji Wujiong cast a disdainful glance at the item and snorted lightly, “This Duankong’s new sect leader is far too arrogant. He seems to believe he’s already won, giving you this thing. No wonder people say that the seventh disciple of the Duankong sect is Three Thousand World’s number one madman. Even as a swordsman, he is indeed terrifyingly conceited.”
He paused for a moment before explaining, “This is one of Duankong Sect’s special tokens. Although it cannot compare to the sect leader’s identity token, if you hold it, all the disciples under the sect will not dare to do anything to you.”
Meng Qi tilted her head slightly. “He’s a Comprehending Perfection cultivator. If he truly intends to harm me, would Sect Leader Yan confront him on my behalf?”
“Probably not,” Ji Wujiong’s expression darkened.
“But he agreed to bet with me straight away and even used such an important thing as a token.” Meng Qi rested her chin, “It’s definitely not as simple as arrogance.”
“What are you trying to say?” Ji Wujiong asked, looking at her.
“It doesn’t matter,” Meng Qi put the small sword back into her storage pouch. “So, I’ll definitely come out of the Ten Absolute Mountains, and I’ll do whatever it takes to climb to the highest point.” As she spoke, she turned her head to the left. Their courtyard had a clear view of the Ten Absolute Mountains, situated at the center of the Jingyuetian.
Meng Qi felt a tinge of regret. Unfortunately, her Beyond The Heaven jade slip was not with her. Otherwise, she could have visited the Heaven And Earth Bookhall to search for information about the Ten Absolute Mountains. Lost in thought, she stashed Yan Shunbei’s jade pendant into her storage pouch and tidied up her belongings.
Huh? Meng Qi’s expression suddenly changed. She swiftly retrieved a small jade slip from her pouch, almost jumping up in surprise. “This… my Beyond The Heaven jade slip!!!”
So…. the problem with the ads still continued. I’ve contacted my ads provider, but they claim to be unable to replicate the problem. I am still tweaking with the settings, but any change needs a few hours before going live so the progress are slow… it looks improving on my ends though, although the annoying page-covering ads are still there. I’ve just make another change an hour ago, please let me know the results….
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