Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

THDP Ch 150 Part 3 – Karmic Fire Red Lotus (III)

Meng Qi slowly stood up, a few strands of hair plastered to her forehead with sweat, her blue robe soaked on the back: “Thank… thank you, senior.” Her voice trembled, and her mind was blank. She remembered talking to the voice about Yun Qingyan, but her mind was hazy, and she couldn’t recall what they had actually discussed.

She had completely forgotten the conversation they just had.

“You…” the voice sighed softly, “should continue on your way.”

“Yes.” Meng Qi bowed to the void, “Thank you for the lotus, senior. I take my leave now.”

“Go then,” the voice urged, “I haven’t spoken to anyone in centuries. I thank you too.”

Meng Qi shook her head, trying to clear the fog in her mind. She remembered obtaining the Karmic Fire Red Lotus, and that Yun Qingyan had obtained it before her.

But what then?

She walked briskly forward, trying to recall the conversation.

The senior mentioned that Sovereign Qingyan was wild, powerful, and highly talented.

And then?

Meng Qi tapped her head, trying to remember what else was said, but it was like trying to catch fog with bare hands. She knew this memory blockage indicated she had touched the topic she was not meant to understand. Yet, she vaguely understood that it was something very important to her, something she should remember.

In a daze, Meng Qi stepped off the last of the wooden plank bridge and found herself already at the edge of the swamp. She looked back; the sky was still overcast, and the once-boiling swamp had completely quieted down, covered by a thick layer of toxic clouds.

After staring in that direction for a moment, Meng Qi bowed towards the center of the swamp for the last time and then turned to continue forward. Her steps were firm and quick, and soon she was out of the swamp.

Suddenly, everything brightened, and she found herself back on the grassland. The sky was still blue, and the towering Ten Absolutes Mountain was as majestic as ever. Walking on the soft grass, she noticed that the only difference was that she was no longer alone.

Here and there on the grassland were cultivators, some standing, some sitting, and even a few lying on the ground. She didn’t know all of them, but they looked familiar, likely those she had seen before at the square prior to entering the mountain.

“Meng Qiqi!” A red-clothed woman who was lying on the ground suddenly sprang up and rushed towards Meng Qi, “You finally came out!”

Sikong Xing’s situation was similar to Meng Qi’s. She didn’t seem to be injured, but with a few strands of sweat-dampened hair sticking to her forehead, her originally pretty face was a bit smudged, looking somewhat disheveled. “Phew…” She grabbed Meng Qi’s arm, “I knew you’d be fine.”

“Xingxing,” Meng Qi smiled. She looked around, found none of their friends, and asked, “Have you seen the others?”

“No,” Sikong Xing shook her head, “But I heard from the Feng Alliance’s guys that Xue Chengxuan has already moved on to the next challenge.”

Meng Qi nodded, then scanned the area again. She wasn’t worried about the others, except for Yan Xuan. She wondered if he was okay.

“But we can rest here, it’s okay. I asked the voice who guided us, and it said that the time spent is only calculated from the moment we enter the test, so it’s okay to rest here if we’re injured or exhausted.”

“Okay.” Meng Qi nodded, having already checked all the people here, but still couldn’t find Yan Xuan.

“Meng Qi, are you looking for someone?” Sikong Xing followed her gaze, looking around, “I’ll help you look.”

“Yes, he is…” Before Meng Qi could finish her sentence, a black figure suddenly appeared on the grassland close to her. The person was still wearing a cloak that completely hid his face in the hood’s shadow, leaving only the lower jaw visible.

“Is it him?” Sikong Xing guessed who Meng Qi was looking for and quietly asked.

“It should be.” Meng Qi nodded. Among those who could enter the Ten Absolutes Mountain, only Yan Xuan would need to conceal himself like this.

Meng Qi walked over to the cloaked figure, who also noticed the two of them and turned to look at her. “You’re out?” Meng Qi approached and asked softly, “Are you okay?”

“Yes.” The cloaked figure was indeed Yan Xuan. He slowly lifted his hand, gazing at his palm, and said in a low voice, “It was within my ability to handle. But just now, I…”

“Um?” Meng Qi tilted her head slightly, looking at his palm.

“What did you encounter?” Yan Xuan suddenly looked up at Meng Qi.

“A swamp filled with toxic miasma,” she replied.

“I see.” Yan Xuan nodded and then looked at Sikong Xing, “And you?”

“Me?” the girl in the red robe replied, “Lots and lots of enemies. I fought until my hands were tired.” She shook her hands and added, “And they all looked like that person I hate the most! Hmph!!”

Meng Qi slightly tilted her head. From their experiences, it seemed that everyone’s tests were indeed different and tailored to be manageable, as the mysterious senior had mentioned.

“As for me…” Yan Xuan looked up, allowing some sunlight to fall on the lower half of his face, “Let’s talk somewhere else.” As he spoke, he started walking towards an area farther away from the other resting cultivators.

Meng Qi and Sikong Xing followed him over, and the three of them sat down on the grass, forming a circle.

“Just now, I… regained my peak strength,” Yan Xuan spoke without removing his hood, his voice low.

“Huh?” Sikong Xing was surprised, but kept her voice small, “So you’ve recovered?”

“Not exactly,” Yan Xuan gave a bitter smile, “It was just a temporary restoration during the test.”

“What did you encounter?” Sikong Xing quickly asked.

Meng Qi couldn’t help but smile at her; Sikong Xing was indeed a very good conversation partner. If that mysterious senior had met this cheerful fox girl instead, he probably would have been thrilled.

Yan Xuan took a deep breath and said calmly, “I encountered the very thing I least wanted to face.” He gave a wry smile and added, “The battle that injured me before.”

Sikong Xing gasped, “Against the devil cultivators?”

“Right!” Yan Xuan confirmed, “So I fought them again.”

“And then?” Sikong Xing asked, “What happened at the end this time?”

Meng Qi didn’t speak, just quietly observing Yan Xuan’s hand. His hand was larger than both hers and Sikong Xing’s, and his fingers were also longer, with neatly trimmed nails. Even though his cultivation had fallen to the Qi Condensation stage, his body still looked fit and possessed enough muscle power.

“But this time, my opponents were even stronger than I could remember,” Yan Xuan said, “So strong that I felt I couldn’t possibly hold on for long. I seriously believed I was about to be defeated soon.”

“But you didn’t,” Meng Qi stated. Since Yan Xuan had passed the test, he must have held on.

“Right…” Yan Xuan paused, “I wasn’t defeated. I actually managed to hold on, although I don’t even know why I did. Actually, in the middle of the battle, I…”

“Someone suggests that you give up and seek help, right?” Meng Qi asked.

“Yes, a voice told me to leave first and call enough reinforcement to come back and continue the battle.” Yan Xuan said.

“Why didn’t you leave then?”

“Because the voice said that my return would be… to take revenge.” He paused, then slowly continued, “To take revenge means that, because of my exodus, people would have died, and probably not just a few.”

“So, I don’t know why, even though I clearly couldn’t win and couldn’t last that long, I just kept going.” Yan Xuan continued, “By the time I realized it, all the devil cultivators were dead, and I…” He struggled to say, “I passed the test.”

“Congratulations.” Meng Qi smiled.

“Meng Qi.” Yan Xuan looked down at his hand, “I also received a lotus. That person told me a young medical cultivator named Meng Qi also just received one.”

“Hmm?” Yan Xuan receiving the Karmic Fire Red Lotus didn’t surprise Meng Qi much. After all, if what the senior said was true, Yan Xuan met all the conditions.

So, did he also meet that senior?

Then…

Meng Qi nearly jumped up, “Your injury!” She reached out and grabbed Yan Xuan’s arm, “There might be a way now.”

 

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