“I’m still going,” Meng Qi said calmly as she sat back down, her tone light but firm. As she spoke, she was tinkering with the Five Spirits Cauldron, under which a few profound-grade spirit stones emitted a faint blue light. The liquid in the cauldron churned as Meng Qi continuously added herbs to it. Soon, the liquid became thicker and more concentrated. She took a deep breath and added a small, bright red fruit as the final ingredient.
With a muted thump, a flash of red light passed through the cauldron, and all the liquid vanished, leaving behind a dark red pill the size of a thumb. Meng Qi carefully inspected the pill, nodded in satisfaction, and placed it into a smooth white porcelain bottle.
“It smells weird,” Ji Wujiong, who had been watching Meng Qi’s actions, sniffed the air. Suddenly, a look of disbelief flashed on his face: “Is this a Nirvana Pill?!”
“Yes,” Meng Qi nodded. Most ingredients for the Nirvana Pill were relatively easy to find, but the key ingredient was the hardest—the Phoenix Fruit. Many medical cultivators in the Three Thousand Worlds knew how to make Nirvana Pills, but Phoenix Fruits were extremely hard to find. After buying so many herbs from Beyond The Heaven, all Meng Qi needed was enough time to refine all the Phoenix Fruits into Nirvana Pills.
“…” Ji Wujiong stared at Meng Qi as she repeated her actions. Belying its value, the small crimson fruit in her slender, fair fingers looked quite ordinary. For a while, he was at a loss for words—where did Meng Qi find these Phoenix Fruits?
A cold light suddenly flashed in Ji Wujiong’s eyes as he realized something. Could it be… the Starfallen Sea?
Ji Wujiong lowered his eyelids, hiding the light in his eyes. “Nirvana Pills are not very useful for you,” he said after a moment of silence, watching as Meng Qi finished another pill.
“I know,” Meng Qi responded lightly.
“Didn’t you say you bought some defensive artifacts? Show them to me.” Ji Wujiong then said again. He no longer tried to dissuade Meng Qi from going to the Ten Absolutes Mountain. His previous words were just to inform her of what he knew and, being Meng Qi’s master, to offer some perfunctory advice.
Meng Qi took out a bunch of sixth-realm artifacts she had bought and placed them on the table in front of Ji Wujiong.
“Look what we have here…” Ji Wujiong picked up a palm-sized jade pendant and glanced at it casually, “Tsk… the jade is good quality, and wearing it as a regular amulet might ward off evil. But is this what Tianhai Pavilion produces?! Just a toy, no different from a regular amulet. What a waste of good resources.”
Meng Qi glanced at the artifact, remembering it was called the Guiyuan Amulet, carved from a rare kind of jade known for warding off evil. Wearing it could indeed repel common poisons and miasmas, hence its name. Tianhai Pavilion had turned the jade into the Guiyuan Amulet and added a Sandstorm Spell to it, which could summon a protective sandstorm around the wearer. In Meng Qi’s opinion, it was a quite practical defense.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk,” Ji Wujiong picked up another artifact, “Didn’t they say Tianhai Pavilion has revived an ancient inheritance and their refinery skills have improved dramatically in recent centuries? Is this the result of their progress? Were they just making pots and pans for common folk before?”
Meng Qi didn’t even bother to look at what he was holding this time. In Ji Wujiong’s eyes, aside from himself, there probably wasn’t anything in this world worthy of note. She focused on the Five Spirits Cauldron, repeating her previous actions.
Soon, Ji Wujiong finished inspecting the nine sixth-realm artifacts, tossing the last one onto the table. His gaze returned to Meng Qi. The blue-robed slender figure was so earnest, meticulously doing the same thing over and over with no sign of impatience.
As Meng Qi completed each Nirvana Pill, her expression remained calm, carefully stored them one by one in the porcelain bottle. Ji Wujiong quietly watched her do this, the light from the burning spirit stones under the cauldron flickering on her face, casting fluctuating shadows on both of them, making his own expression indiscernible.
“In the Ten Absolutes Mountain, there are ancient inheritances,” Ji Wujiong suddenly spoke, his voice slow and deliberate.
“Hm?” While continuing to add herbs to the Five Spirits Cauldron, Meng Qi glanced at him, “What?”
Ji Wujiong stood up and paced around the room, as if making up his mind about something, “Although no one knows what happens in the Ten Absolutes Mountain, there are ancient inheritances within.” He stopped abruptly and took a deep breath, “It could be a reward for reaching the summit or something gained within the mountains. But historically, cultivators who survive the opening of the Ten Absolutes Mountain always receive significant gains.”
Meng Qi nodded, “I understand.”
“I…” Ji Wujiong took out a piece of black jade slip from his storage pouch, “This is the compilation of arrays passed down in my Ji clan. I am passing it to you now.”
Meng Qi looked at Ji Wujiong in surprise, her hand growing cold as the black-robed man’s icy hand grabbed hers. The cool black jade slip was pressed into her hand, and he clasped her fingers, ensuring the slip was securely in her grasp. “Meng Qi, I’m leaving Jingyuetian tomorrow to return home. You…” he paused, “…you must return safely.”
“Okay,” Meng Qi gripped the black jade slip tightly, holding it even firmer, “I will.” She smiled at Ji Wujiong, “I will definitely come out alive, and I will successfully reach the summit. When I return, I will surely be a Spirit Severing cultivator.”
Ji Wujiong opened his mouth but ultimately said nothing. He suddenly embraced Meng Qi tightly, then quickly let her go, “I’m leaving.”
After saying this, the black-robed young man turned and strode towards the door. He didn’t look back at Meng Qi again. His amethyst eight trigram compass had quietly appeared beside him at some point. This natal artifact had its own spirit, and its round body swaying in the air as if bidding farewell to Meng Qi.
The door of the room opened and then closed again. The sound of Ji Wujiong’s footsteps gradually faded away and eventually disappeared. Meng Qi sat back down, opening her palm to reveal the small black jade slip lying silently there. Even in this state, she could still feel an ancient aura emanating from the slip.
After sitting quietly for a moment, Meng Qi sent a wisp of spiritual aura into the slip. It contained almost all the Ji family’s arrays, some of which Meng Qi had seen Ji Wujiong use and others she had never seen before. At the end was the great array used by Ji Wujiong during the Grand Tournament Barrier, the one capable of summoning a phoenix. However, a mist obscured part of the array, making it impossible for Meng Qi to learn.
Learning arrays were as natural to Meng Qi as eating or drinking. A quick skim was all she needed to memorize most of them. After a moment of contemplation, she stored the black jade slip in her storage space and continued refining more pills.
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