Yan Xuan was momentarily stunned. Pressure? What pressure? Then he quickly realized: What pressure could he possibly have?!
“You…” He gazed intently at Meng Qi. It was already late at night, and the tavern where they were located was in the outskirts of Jingyue City, far less bustling than the city center. The two of them had walked here from the tavern without encountering anyone. “Do you really not plan to impose any conditions on me?” He asked again.
“Do you want me to?” Meng Qi returned the question.
“…” Yan Xuan felt that this conversation was a bit strange, but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was off. After a moment of silence, he changed the topic: “Aren’t you going to ask me something?”
Meng Qi thought for a moment and replied, “What do you want me to ask?”
Yan Xuan: “…”
Where on earth did this woman come from?! Why did it feel like their thoughts were completely misaligned? Not only that, she seemed to lack curiosity. At least, wouldn’t a normal person ask why he appeared here? Or why he fell into Qi Condensation stage? By this point, wouldn’t anyone wonder why he didn’t return to Jingyuetian, but chose to wander in the city and mingle with ordinary people?
Yan Xuan had been known as a cultivation prodigy since childhood, and even in a top sect like Jingyuetian, he was among the best disciples. Moreover, his father was the sect leader. Needless to say, he had been used of having many people wanting to please him from a young age, and as he grew older and reached the teenage years, women never ceased to flock to him.
These people, whether they wanted to please Yan Xuan or were aiming to be his Daoist couple, all revolved around him. Although he was not interested in anything other than cultivation, he was used to being the center of attention, with everyone prioritizing his needs.
Yan Xuan’s expression darkened slightly.
Later, everything changed after he was seriously injured, his cultivation regressed from the Void Comprehending stage back to the Qi Cultivation stage, with a dim prospect of recovery. Still, his father was the sect leader of Jingyuetian, the foremost figure in the number one spell sect of the Three Thousand Worlds. No matter how far he fell, those who used to be around him still wouldn’t dare to treat him badly, but some things had inevitably changed.
Yan Shunbei couldn’t publicly announce that his son became like this for the sake of the Three Thousand Worlds. At that time, Yan Xuan had to fight alone against a group of invaders from the Devil Realm, resulting in his severe injuries and the death of the devil cultivators he had fought against. One of the devil cultivator who died in Yan Xuan’s hands was the favorite son of the lord of a Devil Seat, who declared to seek revenge for the son.
If only Yan Xuan had still been his former self, he wouldn’t have feared such retribution, but he was no longer the same. His inner core was severely damaged, and soon after being rescued, his cultivation level plummeted by two major levels. Back then, when the devil cultivators initially tried to sneak into the Three Thousand Worlds through a crack in the barrier, it occurred in a remote and desolate area in the Western Realm. Otherwise, Yan Xuan wouldn’t have had to wait three days for aid, fighting alone until he was completely exhausted.
This incident was handled quietly, with very few people knowing about it. As much as Yan Shunbei was the sect leader of Jingyuetian, he was also Yan Xuan’s father. It was Yan Shunbei’s decision not to let more people know about what happened to his son. Even within Jingyuetian, only a few elders—those who had gone to rescue him—were in the know.
As such, Yan Xuan’s fellow disciples didn’t know why the sect’s young prodigy had fallen seemingly overnight, becoming dispirited with his cultivation growing weaker and weaker over time. Eventually, even the disciples responsible for menial tasks in Jingyuetian had higher cultivation levels than him.
No one would treat the sect leader’s son badly in Jingyuetian, but it was inevitable that more and more people began distancing themselves from Yan Xuan. The people around Yan Xuan became fewer and fewer, and the many female cultivators who once admired and looked up to him gradually left. Those who once revolved around him, in these two years, one by one, grew stronger and were now the bright stars admired by others.
Only Yan Xuan remained forever at the bottom of the valley. In fact, he was never humiliated or bullied. He knew well that as long as his father was there, people wouldn’t even dare to speak harshly to him. But perhaps only those who have experienced it can understand such despair. Only those who have gone through such an ordeal can understand the sorrow of falling from the cloud nines and never being able to rise again.
On the dark night streets, only the unhurried footsteps of Yan Xuan and Meng Qi could be heard. They walked a long distance, long enough for Yan Xuan to recall everything that had happened in the past two years. As time passed, he became more and more reluctant to stay in the sect. There were no harsh words or deliberate trampling of his dignity, but every moment he spent there, he could feel the growing gap between himself and his peers, widening more and more with each passing time. They still had a future, a path ahead, needing only to diligently cultivate. But for him, everything was over.
He now had nothing.
Ever since his injuries, many famous medical cultivators from all over Three Thousand Worlds had come to diagnose him. However, even the most renowned among them, the prestigious Xue Clan of the Feng Alliance, shook their heads in regret before leaving. He still remembered the disappointment and pity on the face of the Feng Alliance’s leader as he left. Yan Xuan’s father had once mentioned that he might marry the daughter of the Xue Clan in the future. But this was not urgent, and it also depended on whether he and the girl were willing.
As he reminisced, Yan Xuan’s lips curled into a slight smile, yet it was tinged with bitterness. Of course, after his regress, this matter was never mentioned again. This couldn’t be considered as looking down on him, right?
Even if she was still willing, he wouldn’t be.
Returning to his senses, Yan Xuan glanced at Meng Qi again. The blue-robed girl had been keeping silent all this time, just quietly walked beside him. A faint medicinal fragrance emanating from her, carried farther by the night breeze, creating a barely perceptible bitter-sweet scent that was not at all unpleasant.
“Aren’t you going to ask?” Yan Xuan repeated his earlier question, “Aren’t you going to ask why I am here?”
“I come from a sect called Qingfeng Valley,” Instead of asking questions as he demanded, Meng Qi said to Yan Xuan, “Have you ever heard of it, Young Master Yan?”
Happy New Year!
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