There was a moment of silence in the main hall. As if being prompted, the two disciples turned their heads simultaneously toward the elder sitting on the other side of the hall.
“This is Beyond The Heaven.” The elder of the Tianhai Pavilion, noticing their gazes, spoke calmly, “Remember, you are the disciples of the Tianhai Pavilion. Since the owner of this place has set such rules, there are things you shouldn’t ask too much about.”
“Yes, Martial Uncle.” The two disciples quickly cupped their hands, “We will heed your teachings.”
The elder closed his eyes again, adding, “Your Master ordered you to come here so that you can learn how to maintain your state of mind and focus on cultivation in any place and situation. Never forget his consideration.”
“Yes.” The two young men bowed slightly, respectfully receiving the admonishment.
The elder closed his eyes again, and the small bamboo slip in his palm emitted a faint light.
The hall became quiet once more. The disciple who had brought Meng Qi here had already left, returning to the shop in Beyond The Heaven City.
All of this seemed like an ordinary interlude.
However, such an interlude was about to repeat twice on the same day.
By the time Meng Qi left Canglang Academy’s door, she had spent another fifty profound-grade spirit stones. Before that, she had already visited the shop of the Northern Realm’s medical sect, where she spent a total of eighty profound-grade spirit stones. Both establishments sold unique spiritual herbs and medicines that were not available elsewhere. Although the grade still fell below legendary-class natural treasures, each item she purchased had its own special use.
Her trip today was very rewarding. She had begun to understand why higher-level cultivators pretty much preferred Beyond The Heaven compared to Cloud Immortal Pavilion. Indeed, many items sold here were not available elsewhere; not even at the Cloud Immortal Pavilion.
After spending over a hundred profound-grade spirit stones, Meng Qi had purchased most of the medicines she needed. With the Minor Ten Absolutes Mountain not yet open, she still had time to refine some more.
With light steps, Meng Qi headed toward the nearest teleportation array. Her next destination was the Heaven And Earth Bookhall, where she intended to see if she could find any records about the Ten Absolutes Mountain. Her first encounter with this name was from the bamboo slip she had read in the bookhall. According to Ji Wujiong, the Ten Absolutes Mountain under Jingyuetian’s supervision was a minor one, and its danger and complexity had quite toned down compared to the genuine Ten Absolutes Mountain.
Regardless, the Minor Ten Absolutes Mountain was already very dangerous for Meng Qi, so she was determined to prepare as much as she could.
Exiting the teleportation array, Meng Qi followed the direction in her memory. There, in a deserted corner of the city, stood Heaven And Earth Bookhall. No other pedestrians were around, but Meng Qi didn’t hesitate and quickly entered the building.
Sure enough, there were no other patrons inside—
Meng Qi had visited the bookhall several times and yet, except for the elderly man who owned this place, she had never encountered a single soul. Paying no attention to it, Meng Qi walked straight to the spiraling staircase. She now understood the value of spirit points and could see why there were never any other patrons besides herself. Ten spirit points were needed to read one book — already an exorbitant sum to begin with. Furthermore, you wouldn’t know whether the book would really be useful for you until you finished reading it. If the elusive owner of the bookhall was absent, you probably would spend hundreds of spirit points and still fail to find what you needed. No wonder most cultivators wouldn’t come here.
Deep in thought, Meng Qi’s eyes scanned around and found no figure of the owner. She was somewhat disappointed and walked towards the section that kept the historical records of the Three Realms.
The books in the Heaven And Earth Bookhall didn’t have titles, and you had to borrow them first to know what they were about. However, it wasn’t complete chaos; the books on each floor were mostly of the same category. Meng Qi climbed the stairs and arrived at the floor. Unfortunately, there were too many books categorized as historical records, formal and informal alike. If you were unlucky, you might end up reading ten books in a row and find all of them featuring gossipy biographies about some random big figures in Three Realms.
“Hmm? Young Daoist, it’s been a while since you visited my bookhall.”
As Meng Qi put down the seventh book about the amorous adventure of a certain bigshot celestial demon, a familiar voice suddenly came from behind her. Delighted, she quickly turned around in the direction of the voice.
The elderly owner of the Heaven And Earth Bookhall, dressed in a white robe, stood behind her, smiling gently.
“Senior,” Meng Qi quickly gave a respectful bow, “I’ve come to trouble Senior again.”
“No trouble, no trouble.” The old man waved his hand and glanced at the bamboo slip in Meng Qi’s hand. “Young Daoist, what book are you looking for this time?”
“Senior…” Meng Qi took a deep breath, “I’m looking for books that record information about the ancient Ten Absolutes Mountain.”
“Ten Absolutes Mountain, huh…” The old man’s eyes flickered with a hint of surprise. “Are you… in the Nascent Soul stage? Congratulations, Young Daoist.”
“Thank you, Senior.” Meng Qi felt a bit embarrassed. “My cultivation talent is limited. Please don’t take it to mind.”
“What does cultivation talent matter?” The old man smiled slightly. He walked slowly among the bookshelves. “When I was young, I was considered the one with the worst cultivation talent in my clan. Those who looked down on me even said that I was tarnishing my bloodline.”
Meng Qi wasn’t particularly surprised. For the human cultivators of the Three Thousand Worlds, it was common to emphasize one’s individual talent, and if your talent was lacking, then it was just that. However, the demon race and the devil race placed a greater emphasis on bloodlines. If you were born as a member of a royal clan, the power bestowed by your bloodline would be much stronger than ordinary celestial demons.
After Meng Qi realized that Yun Qingyan should be the owner of Beyond The Heaven, she realized that this place must be more formidable and mysterious than most people knew. Given the identity of the owner, the existence of shops run by demon cultivators wasn’t so surprising, and there was a high chance that these shops might not be open to just anyone.
Meng Qi silently followed behind the old man and listened as he continued, “Talent, possessing a powerful bloodline from a strong lineage, and one’s birth… These factors may give you a slight advantage when embarking on the path of cultivation. However, how far you can go on this path, how high you can ascend, doesn’t solely depend on talent.”
“Understood,” Meng Qi replied.
“This old man has a grandnephew.” The old man continued. “His bloodline talent is exceptionally powerful. Even among our clan, he is said to be a talent that appears only once in millennia.”
“Hmm…” Meng Qi nodded in acknowledgment.
The old man let out a light snort and continued, “Not only does he possess incredible talent, but his dedication to cultivation is also much stronger than others. Our clan, as well as some other clans with good relations to ours, have produced many beauties. However, he’s different. He is wholeheartedly devoted to cultivation, and for a thousand years, not even the most beautiful women could distract him.”
Meng Qi was taken aback. She had initially thought that the old man would tell a story about a genius who wasted himself and eventually faded into obscurity.
Unexpectedly, it took such a sharp twist.
“And then?” Meng Qi instinctively asked.
“To put it bluntly, it’s infuriating. When he was a hundred years old, he had already reached a level that took me five hundred years to attain.”
Meng Qi: “…” She chose to remain silent.
“Later on, he progressed at an astonishing rate, becoming so powerful that he left the entire clan behind. I thought that if he had ambitions, he could probably unify the Demon Realm and then the Three Realms. Fortunately, just when things seemed that way, he finally encountered his due tribulation.”
The old man chuckled when he reached this point. It was clear that he was talking about his grandnephew, who had encountered a tribulation. Despite that, Meng Qi couldn’t help but feel that he seemed quite pleased. Was the old man happy because he was jealous of his grandnephew’s talent? Meng Qi didn’t believe it.
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