Aerial Rain
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THDP Ch 147 Part 3 – The First Hundred Li (III)

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“Now that all of you have made your preparations, then…” Yan Shunbei spoke up again, slowly raising his hand. Behind him, a bright moon rose in tandem with his motion. Had it not been dark already, with the moon rising in the sky, Meng Qi might have thought that it was the actual moon.

Sikong Xing moved closer, gripping Meng Qi’s hand tighter. Both could feel each other’s sweaty palms and tension. Yan Xuan spoke softly, “This is the ‘Mirror Moon,’1 passed down within our sect from ancient times.” He looked up at the moon rising with his father’s gesture, its light cascading down like a waterfall, enveloping everyone in the square.

Meng Qi felt a refreshing sensation sweeping through her body, even brushing her spiritual sea, making her feel incredibly comfortable. It appeared the aura within his body became more condensed under the moonlight’s touch.

Yan Xuan watched the familiar scene quietly. Once in his teens, he had secretly come to watch the opening of the Ten Absolutes Mountain, although his father hadn’t allowed him to enter. But there hadn’t been so many people then. Vaguely, he felt that some things in the Three Thousand Worlds had inevitably changed.

“Once inside…” Yan Xuan said, pressing a small jade pendant into Meng Qi’s palm, “Hold on to this, don’t put it in your storage space. This way, even if we get separated, I can still find you.”

“Okay.” Meng Qi clenched the jade pendant tightly.

The moon gradually rose higher, but its light slowly receded. Soon, the cultivators standing at the front disappeared from their spots as the moonlight faded. Meng Qi saw Xue Chengxuan and his sister, Qin Xiumo, then Li Che, who was with his fellow disciples from Canglang Academy, and Chu Tianfeng standing beside his father…

The square was crowded, but each sect could only send three people. With around a hundred people now gone, it was less crowded, though not empty.

The moonlight receded faster and faster, soon reaching where Meng Qi stood. She looked down as the last of the light brushed over her fingers and arms before completely fading away.

Meng Qi’s vision gradually darkened as the moonlight faded. Finally, she felt a sudden darkness before her eyes, and the surroundings seemed to become empty. The mountain wind blew through her hair, and, as Meng Qi’s body swayed, her feet finally touched a solid ground. She quickly opened her eyes and found herself standing in a vast grassland. In the distance, majestic green mountains soared into the clouds, splitting the sky as if dividing the land in two.

“Is that the Ten Absolutes Mountain?” Meng Qi stared at the distant mountain for a long time. It didn’t seem so majestic when she had seen it from the Jingyuetian. Since no one knew what had happened inside the Ten Absolutes Mountain after leaving, the cultivators had no idea how to climb it before entering. The only thing those who left remembered was whether they had reached the summit or not.

Meng Qi looked around but didn’t see Sikong Xing and the others. They had thought they would be at the foot of the mountain upon entering the Ten Absolutes Mountain and then climb up together. Unexpectedly, the landing site was very vast. As far as Meng Qi could see, the grassland was immense, almost endless, stretching into the horizon.

Only a little over a hundred people had entered the mountain this time, and it seemed everyone had been sent to different locations. Meng Qi looked at the small jade pendant in her palm. As Yan Xuan had instructed, she didn’t put the pendant in her storage space and instead hung it on her belt. After checking her surroundings once again, Meng Qi made her way in the direction of the Ten Absolutes Mountain.

She had just taken a step forward when a grand, somber voice suddenly echoed in her ears. The voice, seemingly both ancient and distant, spoke, “Young Daoist, halt.”

Meng Qi stopped as instructed. She looked around but still saw no one.

“The distance from here to the Ten Absolutes Mountain is one hundred li2,” the voice continued. “The entrance to the Ten Absolutes Mountain is now closed. One hundred and thirty people have entered this time, and they will be ranked based on the time it takes to travel these one hundred li. The cultivator who ranks first can directly ascend halfway up the mountain, while the rest will appear on the Ten Absolutes Mountain based on their ranking. The last-ranked cultivator will end up at the foot of the mountain. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” replied Meng Qi.

“Remember, the faster you finish, the better,” the voice added.

“This junior understands. Thank you, Senior,” Meng Qi replied, not knowing who was speaking, so she simply bowed in the direction in front of her as a sign of respect. She then pondered for a while. It seemed that Yan Xuan wouldn’t be able to meet up with her. In fact, she wasn’t sure whether he could pass through this one hundred li of land.

“Senior,” Meng Qi spoke again as the voice fell silent, bowing forward, “I have a companion who, although a Void Comprehending cultivator, currently possesses only Qi Condensation strength. May I ask if he too must cross this one hundred li grassland?”

“Of course,” the voice responded. “Young Daoist, worry not. This one hundred li is not meant to be an insurmountable challenge for you all; everyone can pass through it, and the challenges you encounter will be within your current capacity to solve.”

“I see. Thank you, senior,” Meng Qi bowed for the last time.

“Now, go,” the voice commanded.

Meng Qi took a deep breath and touched her storage space. She could use a storage space item here, as she had already tried, and even the artifacts she had bought could be freely taken out. This meant that the Ten Absolutes Mountain didn’t restrict the methods used; what mattered was the result.

Understanding this, Meng Qi stepped forward. As she took her first step, the scenery before her suddenly changed. Where there had been lush, thriving green grass, she now stood at the edge of a swamp. The swamp water was murky, its color ominous, and emitted a strange odor. A grey mist hung over the swamp, flickering with eerie, greenish lights, creating a terrifying sight.

It seemed the test had begun. Meng Qi looked into the distance and saw a path leading straight ahead through the middle of the swamp. It was more of a narrow, thin plank bridge than a path, looking quite dangerous.

Meng Qi took out some herbs from her storage space and, with a flick of her fingers, summoned the Five Spirits Cauldron from her spiritual sea. She threw a bunch of herbs into the cauldron and flicked her finger again, embedding a handful of eighth-grade spirit stones into the base of the cauldron. As the spirit stones emitted a faint glow, the contents of the cauldron began to churn. Almost instantly, the scent of the herbs wafted from the cauldron.

Meng Qi took a step forward. A cultivator and their natal weapon shared a certain degree of understanding between them. Without being commanded, the Five Spirits Cauldron flew above her head, and the medicinal aura it produced swirled inside, completely enveloping her.

 

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  • Greetings, Ninth Uncle
  1. Jingyuetian literally means ‘Mirror Moon Sky.’
  2. One li more or less equals to 1/3 of a mile.

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