Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

THDP Ch 141 Part 3 – Confusion and Conflicted Heart (III)

Yan Xuan was momentarily lost in thought. He didn’t know what Meng Qi meant by “things that must be achieved, even if it means gambling with one’s life.”

“So…” Meng Qi extended her right hand towards him, “Shall we collaborate?”

“Alright!” Yan Xuan reached out and slapped her right hand with his.

“Then let’s go back,” Meng Qi said.

“Huh?” Yan Xuan raised his eyebrows.

“To Jingyuetian,” Meng Qi quickened her pace, “I need to go back and refine pills. I’ve bought a bunch of herbs, and the more pills I refine, the greater our chances of success.”

“Weren’t you not in a hurry just a moment ago?” Yan Xuan was startled for a moment and then hurried to catch up with her, asking casually as they walked.

“I am in a hurry. But no matter how rushed, I couldn’t just watch that child die,” Meng Qi responded.

Yan Xuan paused for a moment but didn’t stop walking. As he walked beside Meng Qi, observing her slender figure, he suddenly said, “Meng Qi, be careful!”

“Watch out!” Both of them voiced a warning at the same time.

Although Yan Xuan was now only at the Qi Condensation stage, having once been a Void Comprehending cultivator, his reactions were still sharp. He instinctively wanted to protect Meng Qi behind him, but Meng Qi’s actions were faster. She stepped forward, her silver medicinal knife already in her right hand. With her left, she took out an artifact from her storage pouch, her eyes fixed ahead without faltering.

On the quiet street, it was empty, save for a slender sword that suddenly came out of nowhere, hovering in front of Meng Qi and Yan Xuan. At first glance, the sword seemed unremarkable, but a longer look would reveal a deep, chilling sword aura emanating from its blade.

“This is…” Yan Xuan’s expression gradually became serious.

Meng Qi recognized it too: “Duankong Sect Leader, Ling Ji.”

Yan Xuan looked at Meng Qi in surprise, then stepped forward to shield her. “Run first, I’ll…”

“He is a powerhouse on par with your father,” Meng Qi said, “If he wants to stop us, neither of us can escape.”

The owner of the sword seemed to have heard their conversation. The tip of the sword trembled lightly, as if acknowledging her words. In the next instant, Meng Qi saw a blur, and Ling Ji suddenly appeared beside his sword.

“Young Daoist Meng, we meet again,” Ling Ji raised his hand, and his almost transparent natal longsword was retracted. Even so, Ling Ji himself was like the sharpest sword, dominating the world without needing to unsheathe.

“Greetings, Sect Leader Ling.” Meng Qi and Yan Xuan bowed politely.

“Oh?” Ling Ji looked at them, a faint smile in his eyes, “Yan Xuan is here too.”

He scrutinized Yan Xuan, his gaze sharp and piercing. Even though it was not their first meeting, Yan Xuan always felt that the look Ling Ji gave him now was filled with an unprecedented scrutiny.

“How are your injuries?” As expected, Ling Ji quickly asked, addressing the very topic Yan Xuan least wanted to mention.

“Thank you for your concern, Sect Leader Ling,” Yan Xuan replied politely.

However, Ling Ji’s actions were faster than his question. In a blink of an eye, Ling Ji had already reached Yan Xuan, touched his wrist, and then returned to his original spot. This movement was so swift that not only was Yan Xuan completely caught off guard, but even if he had been in his prime, fully alert, he likely couldn’t have avoided it.

“Young Daoist Meng,” Ling Ji turned to Meng Qi, “I have something to talk to you about. Follow me,” he said and began walking ahead.

Meng Qi exchanged a glance with Yan Xuan, nodded slightly, and quickly followed Ling Ji. The night had grown deeper and darker. The sky was dense with stars, and Jingyue City was quiet. Ling Ji didn’t walk fast, and Meng Qi quietly followed him at a distance of about an arm’s length, neither hurried nor slow. They soon turned a corner and stopped in an open area.

Ling Ji waved his hand, and a thin mist spread from his palm, enveloping the two of them and isolating them from everything around. With his cultivation level, unless someone of Yan Shunbei’s caliber came personally, no one could hear what they said or did inside.

Ling Ji turned to look at Meng Qi, noticing her calm demeanor. He had seen her composure before. Even in the presence of him and Yan Shunbei earlier that day in Jingyuetian, she had been equally unruffled.

Who did she take after… he pondered silently.

“What is your natal weapon?” Ling Ji suddenly asked, fixing his gaze on Meng Qi.

Meng Qi: “???” It was a rather baffling question right off the bat.

“I think medical cultivators usually prefer cauldrons, needles, or the like, aren’t they?” Ling Ji waved his hand, “Let me see yours.”

Meng Qi: “???”

“Sect Leader Ling…” She was utterly baffled. They had only met for the first time that afternoon!

“I am older than you, and can be considered your elder, so call me Uncle Ling,” Ling Ji spoke again.

“…” Meng Qi looked at Ling Ji in surprise, unaccustomed to such familiarity. The other party was, after all, the sect leader of a major sect. Was it really alright for him to be this casual?

“Come,” Ling Ji lowered his voice, trying to make it sound gentler, “Let me see your natal weapon.”

“There’s no need,” Meng Qi thought for a moment and still refused.

“Ten Absolutes Mountain is very dangerous,” Ling Ji said, “Very few who enter come out intact. And this time, it’s the centennial grand opening, which is even more perilous.” As he spoke, Ling Ji stroked his chin. He was a sword cultivator with a high level of swordsmanship, almost without peer in this era. Also, as the sect leader of Duankong, he was one of those standing at the pinnacle of Three Thousand Worlds. He had quite the mighty bearing in front of Yan Shunbei earlier in the day, but now he seemed somewhat laid back, casually standing there, looking at Meng Qi with his hands tucked into his sleeves after stroking his chin.

“You use a knife?” He noticed the silver medicinal knife in Meng Qi’s hand.

“Um,” Meng Qi looked down at her weapon and nodded.

“Let me see it,” Ling Ji said again, “How is your knife technique?”

“… I’m a medical cultivator.” She felt more baffled and knew that her modest knife skills wouldn’t impress a sword master like Ling Ji.

“That’s okay,” Ling Ji said, “I won’t laugh at you.”

“…” Meng Qi silently looked at Ling Ji. She didn’t sense any malice or hostility from him, but the situation was indeed very peculiar.

“Don’t worry,” Ling Ji continued, “Do you know why I wanted to become the sect leader of Duankong?”

Meng Qi shook her head.

“Because this way, I can choose the disciples who enter Ten Absolutes Mountain this year,” Ling Ji explained while stroking his chin again. “The Qiao Ran you met today will be one of them.”

“Is that so?” Meng Qi didn’t know what to say, feeling the conversation going even weirder.

“Qiao Ran has a good talent for swordsmanship, but he is still young and hasn’t had the time to compensate for his weaknesses. Let me tell you, you just need to…”

“Sect Leader Ling,” Meng Qi couldn’t help but interject, somewhat exasperated, “Is this really okay?” She was finding the situation increasingly bizarre. What was Duankong Sect trying to do? Were they like Ji Wujiong, trying to get her to join Duankong Sect?

The thought itself seemed amusing to Meng Qi. One Ji Wujiong was understandable, given their bits of bond forged during the battles they overcame together, but this Ling Ji hadn’t seen just how bad her cultivation talent was. She had learned and practiced the Yinyue sword technique given to her by Xue Cheng, but every time Ji Wujiong saw her practicing, his face was so full of disdain it was hardly hidden.

“Hmm…” Ling Ji nodded, saying, “I should explain clearly.” He paused, then with a snap of his fingers, his natal longsword appeared beside Meng Qi.

Meng Qi looked at the sword, even more confused, and then raised her head to look at Ling Ji.

“Come,” with another snap, a longsword also appeared beside Ling Ji, “Use this and learn a sword technique from me.”

“Don’t worry, just follow me through the moves, and you will understand,” he said, “Really.” Ling Ji looked at Meng Qi, his eagerness almost unable to be concealed, “Your talent is definitely not in medicine!”

“You were meant to be a sword cultivator, so outstanding that it would amaze the world!” he said earnestly, “Believe me!”

 

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