Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

THDP Ch 148 – The Voice From The Swamp

Meng Qi took a deep breath and stepped onto the narrow wooden plank bridge. Medical cultivators were surprisingly skilled in many spells, but few were for attack and defense. Hence, for combat, most medical cultivators relied on the various pills, poisons, and other medicinal stuff they created. For this reason, using a pill cauldron as one’s natal weapon like Meng Qi was actually quite popular among medical cultivators.

The Five Spirits Cauldron emitted a faint light, continuously releasing a medicinal aura that completely enveloped its master. Meng Qi walked steadily, cautious not to pace too fast. Although the voice she heard just now had said that their starting position for climbing would be determined by the time it took them to reach the mountain base, haste could lead to errors.

Her steps were firm despite the shaky-looking narrow plank bridge, which seemed like it would collapse under a little more weight. Unexpectedly, the planks felt stable as she walked on them. Standing on the bridge, she could see the dark, murky waters of the swamp on both sides. The water, already turbid, bubbled continuously, each bubble bursting with a loud pop, causing the surface of the swamp to churn momentarily.

No vegetation was visible in the swamp, nor any living creatures. Once Meng Qi stepped onto the wooden bridge, the voice disappeared, and everything around became eerily silent, devoid of any signs of life. Only the grey, floating miasma in the air hinted at what had once occurred here.

Meng Qi wondered what challenges others were facing. The medicinal aura protected her well; she wasn’t affected and kept observing her surroundings as she walked. Was this swamp—clearly easier for medical cultivators—a common challenge for everyone, or did the challenges change depending on the type of cultivator entering?

Then, what about the next one? Would she keep encountering trials suitable for medical cultivators to handle?

Thinking this, Meng Qi continued to walk steadily. Soon, she had gone a considerable distance, and if she looked back now, she might not even be able to see the way back to the edge of the swamp.

With a popping sound, another bubble burst in the swamp. This had happened many times already, so Meng Qi only glanced at it from the corner of her eye and didn’t pay much attention.

“Blurp, blurp, blurp…” However, the sound of bursting bubbles in the swamp suddenly intensified. Before, a bubble would burst every three or four steps she took, but now, seven or eight bubbles burst continuously with each step she made. Meng Qi kept walking, her expression becoming more serious.

As she took another step, the swamp bubbles burst frenziedly, as if boiling. The entire swamp seemed to be bursting apart. The already murky water churned, and large swathes of grey-black gas rose from the swamp, blending with the miasma in the sky.

This… Meng Qi’s expression turned even more grave. She had seen such a scene before. In her previous life, when she first met Li Che, it was in a similar swamp in the Southern Realm. Back then, the entire swamp was like this, as if struck by some terrible disaster, with miasma, poisonous insects, and toxic gases attacking from everywhere. Where the cloud of miasma and poisonous insects passed, death descended, leaving not even a single blade of grass alive.

Swamp waves! Meng Qi suddenly realized — this was the phenomenon of swamp waves! Back in her previous life, Li Che had informed her about this deadly phenomenon: every few years, an anomaly would occur in the swamp, which was the most dangerous time. The miasma and poison gas, along with the poisonous insects startled by the swamp’s anomaly, would even attack nearby towns, overwhelming ordinary residents and low-level cultivators alike.

Those below the Golden Core stage had no hope of withstanding such attacks. Therefore, every time this happened, the Canglang Academy would mobilize all its members to help the people.

Li Che also mentioned that during the swamp waves, the most terrifying thing wasn’t the scattered poisonous insects, but the poisonous gases and miasma that had been accumulating at the bottom of the swamp for many years. Let alone ordinary people, those at the Golden Core or even Nascent Soul stages couldn’t withstand it.

Meng Qi recalled everything she knew about swamp waves. This swamp was already part of the Ten Absolutes Mountain. She might not reach even the base yet, but she couldn’t let her guard down. In fact, she had a feeling that the terror of the swamp waves here would definitely not be inferior to those in the Southern Realm.

Meng Qi quickly sprang into action, taking out another handful of spiritual herbs from her storage bag and throwing them into her Five Spirits Cauldron. With clacking sounds, several ninth-grade spirit stones flew from her hand into the Five Spirits Cauldron. The light from the cauldron’s belly immediately intensified, and its inside churned even more violently. The medicinal aura dripping from the cauldron instantly became much denser and was no longer transparent. Almost like a tangible substance, the aura completely enveloped Meng Qi.

“Heh heh heh…” A strange laughter resounded from the swamp. It sounded like someone laughing, yet also like grinding teeth. “A little medical cultivator, hmm… heh heh…” A sharp voice came from the bottom of the swamp, “Such tender and fragrant flesh, so tempting… It’s been a long time since I encountered such a delectable medical cultivator. I love the medicinal scent of medical cultivators… heh heh…”

With a flick of her finger, Meng Qi quickly held a sixth-realm artifact in the palm of her left hand. Her right hand was also ready, brandishing her trusted silver medicinal knife.

The sharp voice was initially stilted, but gradually became more fluent. It continued to emit strange laughter, “Little medical cultivator, since you’ve come to this old man’s place, don’t leave. Such a tender and delicious medical cultivator, I will never let you go.”

Meng Qi swiftly looked around, trying to locate the source of the voice. But the voice seemed to come from all directions, as if from deep underground, accompanied by the roaring, thunderous sounds made by the waves of the swamp, sounding simultaneously distant and close.

Unable to locate the speaking entity, Meng Qi simply ignored it. She continued moving forward, walking faster than before. The Five Spirits Cauldron spun in the air, pouring down medicinal aura like a cascading waterfall. Both the cauldron and its master had now reached the center of the swamp, the area where the toxic miasma clouds were the darkest and the densest. The Five Spirits Cauldron spun faster, its small form emanating a soft light in the swamp. Though not as powerful as the toxic clouds, it forcefully carved a path through them.

“Eh?” The sharp voice, who had quieted for a moment, spoke again, “It’s a Five Spirits Cauldron. This Lord, I, have not seen a medical cultivator using a Five Spirits Cauldron for many years.” The entity initially called himself ‘This Old Man’ but suddenly changed its form of address.

“Little girl,” he suddenly asked, “who taught you to use the Five Spirits Cauldron?”

Meng Qi scoffed lightly. This time, when the voice spoke, it seemed much closer to her. A terrifying, cold pressure descended from above onto Meng Qi’s shoulders. She felt her knees weaken, nearly losing her balance.

“Oops, I forgot,” the voice then sounded farther away, “the little girl can’t withstand it.” The dark, toxic clouds in the sky began moving rapidly. Initially, they just floated in mid-air, and cultivators who knew medical techniques and had sufficient medical cultivation could pass through by protecting themselves with medicinal aura. But now, those toxic clouds suddenly swirled like a vortex, encircling Meng Qi in the center.

 

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