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THDP Ch 153 Part 2 – I Already Have a Dao Companion (II)

“Okay.” Meng Qi immediately divided the spirit stones into five parts, one share each for Li Che, Xue Chengxuan, the two disciples from the Canglang Academy, and herself.

“No, no need!” Li Che waved his hands, insisting he couldn’t accept them. His sect, the Canglang Academy, was not as wealthy as the other major medical sects, and yet he didn’t find it right to accept the share of payment. Meng Qi had used precious pills to detoxify him and his fellow Canglang disciples first, and she was also the one who came up with the method later. Their assistance was negligible, and it was not worth even a single profound-grade spirit stone. “You don’t have to give us any,” Li Che insisted.

“Take it,” Meng Qi refused to yield. “Our rule is to share equally among those who lend a hand.” She smiled at Li Che, reminding him of their time in the Starfallen Sea.


“Just take them.” Sikong Xing also persuaded: “Since Meng Qiqi gives it to you, just accept it.”

“Well, thank you then.” Li Che finally accepted the stones and put them into his storage space. Although his Master had prepared many items for his journey to Ten Absolutes Mountain, including plenty of spirit stones, a dozen profound-grade spirit stones were a considerable fortune for him.

The two other disciples from the Canglang Academy also followed suit after seeing Li Che accept his share. The most they usually earned from sect missions was in the range of fourth or fifth-grade spirit stones. Even if they found rare medicinal materials and handed them over to their sect, the highest reward would be seventh or eighth-grade spirit stones. Ninth-grade spirit stone was already an unthinkable sum for them, so receiving over a dozen profound-grade spirit stones was something they had never even dared to dream of.

Li Che’s two fellow disciples couldn’t hold back their curiosity and took a serious look at Meng Qi. This young medical cultivator named Meng Qi was very generous. While medical cultivators generally weren’t focused on accumulating wealth, having more spirit stones meant access to better spiritual medicines, herbs, cauldrons, and pills.

“Meng… Qiqi,” Xue Chengxuan, befitting his identity as the eldest son of the Xue Clan of the Feng Alliance, was the most composed among them. “Have you passed the second challenge?”

Meng Qi and the others shook their heads.

After a moment of contemplation, Xue Chengxuan asked, “Qiqi, what was your first challenge?”

“A swamp filled with poisonous miasma,” Meng Qi replied.

“Hey, me too!” Li Che exclaimed. “There were a lot of poisonous insects, very similar to the great poisonous swamp in our Southern Realm. You know about it, Meng Qiqi. The one that has a major eruption every two years.”

“Don’t be silly!” Before Meng Qi could respond, Sikong Xing laughed first. “Meng Qiqi has never been to the Southern Realm, so how would she know about it?!”

“Right.” Li Che smiled sheepishly, realizing his mistake. “I keep feeling like I’ve known Meng Qiqi for a long time. Sorry, I forgot you’ve never been to the Southern Realm.”

Meng Qi’s heart stirred. She had indeed been to the great poisonous swamp in the Southern Realm, but that was in her previous life. It was there she had met Li Che, who had fainted in the swamp and whom she had dragged out and detoxified, a process that had taken quite an effort. Later…

Meng Qi’s brows furrowed slightly as she remembered the man who had betrayed Qin Xiumo. His pregnant wife had been poisoned, and he had posted a notice seeking a healer. Curious, she had left Li Che, who was already out of danger, entrusting him in the care of an innkeeper with some spirit stones, and went to the man’s house to treat his wife.

So Li Che, he too…

Meng Qi looked at Li Che, his gaze clear and apologetic as he said, “I must have been confused, perhaps because we fought side by side in the Starfallen Sea. I got mixed up.”

Meng Qi shook her head.

“I also faced a swamp,” one of the Canglang Academy disciples quickly said.

“Me too,” the other disciple raised his hand.

“My younger sister encountered a swamp too,” Xue Chengxuan added. “So, it seems the first challenge for us medical cultivators is similar.”

“…Mine was a forest with poisonous insects and snakes,” Chu Tianfeng said. “I burned my way through it.”

“Mine was snow wolves,” Qin Xiumo stated.

“Fiery eagles,” Pei Mufeng also spoke up.

“Mine were also poisonous creatures, but I used a black tortoise water shield to get through,” Sikong Xing shared.

“So, it seems for Qiqi’s second challenge, you will…”

“Hold on!” Chu Tianfeng suddenly interrupted Xue Chengxuan loudly. “Qiqi? Are you and Meng Qiqi close? Closer than us?!”

Xue Chengxuan looked at Meng Qi, his lips curving into a gentle smile. “My apologies, Meng Qiqi. Seems like I have been rude,” he said, addressing her like Sikong Xing and the others, but with a gentler tone. “The second challenge is all about identifying spiritual plants and herbs. Just follow the non-poisonous plants, and you’ll quickly find your way out.” He spoke softly, “You’ll definitely be fine. I’ll wait for you here.”

Chu Tianfeng: “…”

What the f***! Has Xue Chengxuan lost his mind?!

The young master of the Fentian Palace warily eyed the heir of the Xue Clan from the Feng Alliance. Chu Tianfeng’s right index and middle fingers were already together, ready to summon his natal weapon. He suddenly remembered that it was Xue Chengxuan’s sister who had mentioned the Xue clan elders wanting Xue Chengxuan to marry Meng Qi, as she had passed the Grand Tournament challenge of the Apricot Forest and gained the recognition of the ancient great healer Lin Yan. This alone made the Xue Clan keen on having their future head marry Meng Qi.


Chu Tianfeng became even more vigilant. Was Xue Chengxuan now planning to heed his family elders’ wishes and set his sights on Meng Qi?

Not under his watch! No one would get close to Meng Qi without passing his test first!

“Hey!” Chu Tianfeng suddenly stepped forward, positioning himself firmly between Meng Qi and Xue Chengxuan, separating them rudely, “You should focus on your sister first. I’ll wait here for Meng Qiqi.”

“My sister doesn’t need my concern…”

“Meng Qiqi isn’t less capable than your sister and doesn’t need it either,” Chu Tianfeng said coldly.

Xue Chengxuan smiled faintly, not continuing to argue. “Meng Qiqi,” he said, taking out a bamboo slips from his storage space and passing it to Meng Qi under Chu Tianfeng’s stern gaze. “This is the Xue clan’s Classic of Hundred Herbs. I can’t share the Feng Alliance’s texts with you, but I can lend you this.” He paused for a moment. “However, after leaving here, I might be able to take you to the Feng Alliance’s library. You have a predecessor’s medical journal from the Starfallen Sea which you can exchange. While that might not be enough to get you access to our strongest medical spells, the Feng Alliance’s Classic of Hundred Herbs should be possible.”

“Really?” Meng Qi’s eyes lit up.

“Of course. In fact, if you’re willing to join the Feng Alliance, that medical journal will grant you access up to the seventh floor of our library,” Xue Chengxuan said with a smile. “But it’s up to you. If you prefer, you can just exchange the journal for some medical texts.”

“Hmm,” Meng Qi had already circled around Chu Tianfeng to accept the bamboo slips from Xue Chengxuan. She rummaged through her storage pouch, finding the medical journal from the Starfallen Sea, which Xue Chengxuan also had a share of. He could ask to read it whenever he wanted, but both he and Li Che had agreed to leave it with her for now.

What about other items…

Meng Qi rummaged around and finally took out an artifact, handing it out to Xue Chengxuan. “This is a sixth realm artifact. I’m giving it to you.” She paused, then explained, “It has a sword technique inscribed on it. When activated with spiritual aura, it’s equivalent to a Void Comprehending sword cultivator’s strike. It’s quite useful for us.”

“Thank you.” Xue Chengxuan accepted the artifact, carefully storing it away.

In Meng Qi’s eyes, the value of the Xue clan’s Classic of Hundred Herbs was much higher than the sixth realm artifact. After a moment of thought, she took out another bamboo slips and said, “This is my own compilation of the herbal compendium of the Demon Realm. The Xue clan surely has better resources, but I’ve read a lot of unconventional and obscure texts, so maybe this could be of some small help to you…”

Meng Qi wasn’t exaggerating. The Heaven and Earth Bookhall she had access to contained much more extensive records about the Demon and Devil Realms compared to what was commonly known in the Three Thousand Worlds.

“Thank you,” Xue Chengxuan’s eyes softened as he took the bamboo slips. “I’m actually quite interested in the medicinal herbs of the Demon Realm. We can exchange some insights later.” He paused, then added, “Be careful.”

“Sure,” Meng Qi nodded. “You don’t have to wait here for me, Fellow Daoist Xue. You can go ahead to the next challenge.”

She said: “We’ll see you on Ten Absolutes Mountain.”

“Did you hear that?” Chu Tianfeng, initially annoyed, now seemed pleased. “She told you not to wait, so we’ll meet again on Ten Absolutes Mountain.” He then pulled Meng Qi behind him, keeping her further away from Xue Chengxuan.

“Very well,” Xue Chengxuan nodded. “I’ll go ahead to the third challenge and see what it’s like.” He cupped his hands to the group and turned to walk towards the edge of the grassland.

“Meng Qiqi,” Chu Tianfeng said, pulling her aside as Xue Chengxuan left. He warned her, “Stay away from him, he has ulterior motives towards you.”

“Ulterior motives?” Meng Qi frowned.

“Yes!” Chu Tianfeng snorted, “The Xue clan has set their sights on you because of your performance in the Apricot Forest. They want him to woo you. He may want to become your Dao companion, but it’s not out of genuine feelings. It’s all for the sake of his family, his sect, to use you. Can’t you see that?”

“Me? Become a Dao companion with Fellow Daoist Xue?” Meng Qi was momentarily stunned, then shook her head decisively, “That’s impossible.”

“How is it not possible?!” Chu Tianfeng almost laughed in frustration. “Even his sister said so. That guy’s certainly up to no good. Let me tell you, someone like him, groomed as an heir by the Feng Alliance, has been raised with a different mindset than regular people. He can marry someone he doesn’t love if that person is beneficial to his family.”

Chu Tianfeng turned to Qin Xiumo for support, “You tell Meng Qiqi too. For power, status, to be stronger… men will disregard anything. Marrying someone they don’t love is nothing out of the ordinary, right?”

Qin Xiumo’s gaze deepened as he said, “Meng Qiqi, what Chu Tianfeng says isn’t wrong.”

“But that’s impossible,” Meng Qi insisted. “Fellow Daoist Xue and I cannot possibly…”

“Why not?” Chu Tianfeng interjected, “What if he’s despicable enough to trick you…”

“Because I already have a Dao companion,” Meng Qi cut him off, her voice clear and firm. “In the Three Thousand Worlds, each cultivator can only have one Dao companion, remember? So, it’s absolutely impossible for me and Fellow Daoist Xue to become Dao companions.” She concluded.

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Translator’s Note:
Meng Qi: Casually dropping a bombshell

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