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.
Indeed, the old man soon continued, “Cultivation is inherently going against the heaven. If everything goes too smoothly, sooner or later…” The old man stopped abruptly. He fell silent for a moment, then took a bamboo slip from a nearby shelf and handed it to Meng Qi, abruptly changing the topic. “This is what you wanted, a record containing information about the ancient Ten Absolutes Mountain.”
“Thank you, Senior.” Meng Qi took the bamboo slip and didn’t inquire further about what happened to the old man’s grandnephew. She had a vague idea of whom he was talking about. After all, exceptional talent was exceedingly rare, and if the person was also a demon cultivator, the answer was fairly easy to guess.
Meng Qi held the bamboo slip and found it difficult to calm down and start reading immediately. She discreetly glanced at the old man and pursed her lips, feeling torn apart inside. Her reason told her to read the bamboo slip right away and not to let herself be distracted by other matters…
——But anything about that person was not mere ‘other matters’!!
Meng Qi pursed her lips again, watching the old man leisurely stroll around the towering bookshelves with his hands behind his back. Eventually, she gritted her teeth and hurriedly caught up, “Se… Senior… That, um, about your grandnephew, is he really that powerful?”
“Oh, he’s quite powerful,” the old man replied casually, seemingly oblivious to Meng Qi’s expression. He just gave a perfunctory response and didn’t continue with the story.
“W-well… how powerful is he?” Meng Qi waited for a moment before hastily asking again.
“How powerful, you ask?” The old man stopped in his tracks, stood with his hands behind his back, and looked up at the ceiling. “Hmmm… how should I put it, I wonder?”
“I mean…” Meng Qi walked up to his side and said, “Could you give me an example?”
The old man nodded, but he still seemed somewhat hesitant. After thinking for a while, he began to murmur, “Taking age as an example, would become the ruler of our race shortly after coming of age be considered powerful?”
“Of course, of course.” Meng Qi quickly nodded. She had never heard Yun Qingyan mention her own affairs, and she rarely heard others talk about the Demon Monarch. Most people outside the Demon Realm only knew that he was powerful, as when he ascended to the position of the monarch, he was still very young by demon cultivator standards. The most detailed account of his strength that Meng Qi knew of was the one Chu Tianfeng had shown her, where Yun Qingyan annihilated the detached spirit of Fentian Palace’s elder who secretly infiltrated the Demon Realm. Other than that, Meng Qi hadn’t seen him in action much.
“How did he become the ruler?” Meng Qi asked again.
“How?” The old man thought for a moment. “Those who didn’t submit to him were all suppressed by his martial prowess. Once they were defeated, they willingly acknowledged him as their lord.”
Meng Qi: “…”
To be honest, she found it a bit hard to believe. Did Sovereign Qingyan really have such a violent and overbearing side?
In her impression, that person had always been elegant, refined, patient, and gentle. He was indeed powerful, but the idea of him suppressing others with force was a bit hard to fathom.
However, as the old man spoke, Meng Qi couldn’t help but picture it —— A young Yun Qingyan, dressed in white robes, looking down upon people who opposed him, defeating them so thoroughly until they fell into submission.
Meng Qi let out a slow breath, and for some reason, her heart couldn’t help but flutter a bit.
For a moment, she found herself wanting to be there in person and witness such a Yun Qingyan…
Meng Qi stood still for a while, and by the time she snapped back from her imagination, the old man had walked away. She quickly caught up, hesitated for a moment, and then asked again, pretending to be nonchalant, “Is the fight for the Monarch position in the Demon Realm very dangerous?”
“Naturally, it’s dangerous,” the old man said. “When the Demon Monarch’s order appears, countless people vie for it. The Nine Heavens of the Demon Realm often become shrouded in darkness during this period. Sometimes, the clashes are so intense that the contending forces literally fill the entire sky.” He paused for a moment, then slowly said, “The fight for the monarch’s order is… never ending.”
Meng Qi gasped in shock and instinctively looked up at the sky, forgetting that she was indoors and couldn’t see the floating islands above.
“Speaking of which, it seems that the Demon Monarch’s order is about to reappear. Soon, it’s going to be another bloody and chaotic time,” the old man shook his head, his expression becoming somewhat melancholic and world-weary.
Meng Qi’s heart skipped a beat. So, the fight for the Demon Monarch’s order was happening again?
Could it be that Yun Qingyan’s sudden appearance near the Qingfeng Valley, covered in such severe injuries, was also related to the Demon Monarch’s order?
“Senior,” Meng Qi remained silent for a while before asking, “Is there a way to send things to the Demon Realm from Beyond The Heaven?”
The old man stopped once again, smiling as he looked at Meng Qi and asked, “What do you want to send over?” His gaze seemed to penetrate deep into her soul, and his smile grew even warmer.
“I…,” Meng Qi initially didn’t think it was a big deal, but she felt a bit embarrassed under the old man’s gaze. She turned her head slightly, and her cheeks inexplicably flushed. “Actually, it’s not much, and I don’t know if it will be useful. I obtained some materials earlier that can be used to refine Nirvana Pills. Although… they might not necessarily be needed, but the nirvana fruits… they originally belonged to him, and he seems to like them.”
It was unusual for Meng Qi to be so hesitant. She tried not to look at the old man, but she could still sense his gaze fixed on her.
“Nirvana Pills can restore all spiritual aura when one gets seriously injured.” Meng Qi took a deep breath to calm herself down, “so they might still be of some use.”
Apart from this, she couldn’t think of anything else that might be of assistance to Yun Qingyan. Even with the nirvana pills, she wasn’t certain if he would need them. After all, her cultivation level was not high enough, and the grade of the pills she could refine was also limited.
She… just wanted to do whatever she could.
Meng Qi’s left hand, hanging by her side, slowly clenched into a fist. Under the old man’s smiling gaze, her heart raced faster and faster. She was afraid of being outright rejected, yet she also faintly hoped for a rejection, because that would mean Yun Qingyan already had a perfect plan and did not need these things.
Meng Qi grew increasingly nervous. She had never experienced such hesitation before. In the past, she was always resolute and acted according to her own will. She might not be strong, but she had never felt this kind of ambivalence, nor found herself turning so cowardly.
“Alright,” the old man finally said, showing the same gentle smile, “I’ll think of a way.”
“Th-thank you,” Meng Qi breathed a sigh of relief, though she couldn’t tell if she was more relieved or worried.
“Oh, by the way,” the old man suddenly added, “do you know that in the Western Realm’s Jingyuetian Sect, there is a place called Ten Absolutes Mountain? It is one of the branches of the ancient Ten Absolutes Mountain you’re looking for.”
“Eh? Y-yes, I know.” Meng Qi nodded.
“The ancient Ten Absolutes Mountain has long disappeared, leaving behind four branches,” the old man continued, “although they may not be as dangerous and powerful as the ancient ones, each of them has its uses. If you have the chance, Young Daoist, you might as well visit the Ten Absolutes Mountain in Jingyuetian. You might find some opportunities there.”
“Thank you for your guidance, Senior,” Meng Qi cupped her hands and thanked the old man with a bow.
“If you want to send Nirvana Pills to the Demon Realm, you can return to this place,” the old man said again, “but the Minor Ten Absolutes Mountain will open within ten days. Don’t miss the opportunity, Young Daoist.” He reminded her, “You don’t need to refine too many Nirvana Pills. One pill can be as effective as ten.”
Meng Qi: “???”
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