Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

THDP Ch 149 Part 3 – My Dao, I Will Walk It Myself (III)

“Okay,” Meng Qi quietly observed the lotus. What was a karmic fire? She had never heard of it.

As she cautiously took a step forward, Meng Qi retrieved a Nirvana Pill from her storage bag and held it in her left hand.

“Nirvana Pill… You little girl have quite a few treasures on you,” the entity noticed Meng Qi’s pill immediately, “So now even Nascent Soul youngsters are wandering around with Nirvana Pills? Those celestial demons must be slacking a lot, tsk tsk tsk…”

Meng Qi remained silent. She now had no doubt that this mysterious speaker was a formidable figure from ancient times, as indicated by his vast amount of knowledge. She just didn’t know why he was on this branch of the Ten Absolutes Mountain. Could it be related to this being the first millennium opening of the mountain?

“Little girl, let This Lord teach you something. Lihuo fire scorches the body, but karmic fire scorches the mind, burning your consciousness first. The firmer your Dao heart, the less you need to fear this karmic fire,” the person spoke again.

Meng Qi’s mind stirred, suddenly recalling something she had read. It was said that after reaching the Great Ascension stage, a cultivator must undergo tribulations with each realm advancement. These tribulations weren’t lightning strikes but tests of the Dao heart, using a type of flame called karmic fire. If one’s spiritual consciousness and Dao heart could withstand the test, their cultivation would increase. Otherwise, they might perish completely, just as the person said, utterly obliterated as if they never existed.

Could this karmic fire be the same karmic fire? Meng Qi took a step forward, slowly bending down and reaching out towards the Karmic Fire Red Lotus. As her fingertips almost touched the small golden lotus, a strange burning sensation spread instantly from her fingertips throughout her body.

Meng Qi’s body stiffened in an instant. She didn’t feel the heat on her skin, but her spiritual sea felt like it was ablaze. Above her spiritual sea, a small golden lotus hovered, emitting a translucent red flame that continuously flowed out. The aura in her spiritual sea turned into fuel for the fire, igniting quickly and spreading rapidly. In the blink of an eye, her spiritual sea became a sea of fire.

The flames furiously burned her spiritual sea and her inner core. Her Five Spirits Cauldron, which had returned to her body and was now quietly floating above her spiritual sea, was also scorched, turning blazing red in just a moment.

—That was Meng Qi’s natal weapon, with which she shared a spiritual connection.

“Ah….!!!” she screamed.

So hot!

Meng Qi had never felt such heat before. Ordinary fire couldn’t make her feel this way. It was as if the flames were rising from the depths of her soul, roasting her internal organs.

“So hot!” Despite her discomfort, Meng Qi retained her consciousness and flicked her finger to take a pill.

The voice chuckled again, seemingly delighted, “This is karmic fire, little girl. Anyway, you’ll experience it someday when you reach the Great Ascension.” He laughed heartily for a while before speaking again, “Did you forget what I just told you?”

The pill Meng Qi had just taken was meant to neutralize fire poison. Swallowing it didn’t alleviate the intense heat. On the contrary, the discomfort intensified. She heard the person’s laughter and his words.

Karmic fire…

Meng Qi was becoming delirious, the unbearable heat driving her to frantically loosen the collar of her robe. But the heat wasn’t external, and loosening her clothing did nothing to alleviate it.

So hot…

And so painful…

It wasn’t just her spiritual sea being scorched; her spiritual consciousness was also burning. Moments later, even Meng Qi’s mind began to blur.

She raised her head and looked up, her usually clear eyes now clouded and lost.

So hot……

Gradually, that was all Meng Qi could think about as the flames in her spiritual sea seemed to sweep through her meridians and blood, eventually engulfing both her body and her mind.

So hot…

She struggled to exhale. To an outsider, she would appear to be standing still, her right hand tugging at her collar. No one could see any outward signs of distress, not even a bead of sweat on her forehead.

“Little girl, why not choose to stay? Why put yourself through such torment?” the voice taunted with a satisfied laugh, “Stay, and you can learn great skills without enduring the burning of the Karmic Fire. Isn’t that better? How great!”

“No…” Meng Qi’s voice was hoarse and barely audible. She wasn’t even sure what she was saying anymore; all she knew was that she couldn’t just give in.

She couldn’t, and she wouldn’t! She had important things to do, to climb to the top of the Ten Absolutes Mountain, to become stronger as quickly as possible!

She… has to…

But why… did she need to become stronger?

Her vision blurred. Why was there such a rush… to become stronger?

“Little girl, stay here. I’ll teach you everything. You won’t suffer from the Karmic Fire and once you leave, you’ll be strong enough to command respect and fear from others,” the voice coaxed with a gentler tone.

“No…” Meng Qi responded instinctively. She could only feel a raging inferno within her, threatening to consume her entirely. Her hair, her eyes, her ears, her heart… everything felt like it was about to burn away.

“Stay with me. Just agree, and I’ll extinguish the fire immediately, okay? Isn’t it enough? You’ve done well, child…” the voice continued.

“I’ve done enough?” Meng Qi murmured, her voice so weak it was almost inaudible.

“Yes, enough. No one will blame you if you give up now and choose to stay. You’re still young; you shouldn’t have to endure the burning of the karmic fire. Is there someone outside you can’t bear to leave?”

Before Meng Qi could respond, the voice kept talking, “Is it your Dao companion? Are you afraid he won’t wait for you? Don’t worry, when you’re powerful enough in the future, you’ll be able to take any companion you desire…”

Dao companion?!

Right! She and Yun Qingyan were now Dao companions.

Sovereign Qingyan!

Suddenly, Meng Qi’s eyes, which had been clouded and lost, regained their clarity.

She had to leave this place; she had to become stronger! She would not let Sovereign Qingyan suffer for her again, let alone nearly losing his life…

“Ah!” Meng Qi suddenly stood upright, her slender shoulders pulled back taut. Although there was no wind in the swamp, it seemed as if a gust had passed at that moment, lifting her long hair furiously.

Her gaze was brighter than before. In her spiritual sea, the Karmic Fire Red Lotus spun, and the translucent red flames continued to pour out furiously, still burning her spiritual sea, her inner core, and her natal weapon.

The first to react was Meng Qi’s inner core, the foundation of a cultivator. The small golden orb began to spin on its own. Then came her Five Spirits Cauldron. The cauldron spun faster and faster in the spiritual sea, forming a small whirlwind. This whirlwind seemed to have a tremendous suction force, drawing in much of the translucent flames erupting from the Karmic Fire Red Lotus.

The lotus spun faster in response, emitting even more flames. Although Meng Qi’s Five Spirits Cauldron was desperately absorbing the fire, she was only a Nascent Soul cultivator, and her cauldron hadn’t reached the highest level. Gradually, the Five Spirits Cauldron began to slow down, and the flames inside her intensified as it did. The sensation of being burned from the inside out started to dominate her consciousness again.

“Well, well, well… little girl, stop struggling. It’s already remarkable you have such talent. Stay here. How about this, I’ll compromise further: I can protect your beloved Dao companion for you. And I promise, after ten years, the Karmic Fire Red Lotus will still be yours. Then you can take it without suffering like this…”

“Karmic fire…” Meng Qi clenched her teeth and spoke word by word, “Isn’t it for refining one’s Dao heart?” Her face was deathly pale, but suddenly, she curled her lips into a faint smile. Meng Qi wasn’t the type with a stunning beauty that would stun cities or awe onlookers. Yet, the smile she had at this moment had a breathtaking allure.

Even the mysterious entity momentarily forgot to speak.

Meng Qi’s spine was rigidly straight: “My Dao, my path, I will walk it myself!” She paused, her eyes shining brilliantly, and added, “…and my people, I will protect them myself!”

 

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