Jun Xiaomo saw Ye Xiuwen’s white garbs out of the corner of her eye. Immediately, she collected and suppressed her earlier moment of anxiety and listlessness and adjusted her emotions and expressions. Then, with feigned imperturbation, Jun Xiaomo replied, “Your highness must be joking. What would I need to use an Alteration Talisman for?”
Rong Ruihan meaningfully glanced over at Ye Xiuwen on the side, before looking back towards Jun Xiaomo and chuckling lightheartedly, “This prince was only shooting off the hips. Brother Yao doesn’t have to take this prince’s questions to heart.”
Jun Xiaomo: …… Since you’re only shooting off the hips, why did you have to put on an expression as though you’ve seen through the pretense? It’s incredibly frightening, alright?!
Jun Xiaomo lowered her head and bit down furiously into the grilled meat in front of her. Then, she chewed and ground the meat down fervently, as though she were ventilating the frustrations in her heart on that poor little piece of meat.
Even though Ye Xiuwen was still quite a distance away, the divine sense that he had released around in his surroundings had allowed him to “listen in” to this conversation. His eyes darkened slightly, and suspicions once again arose in his heart as to Yao Mo’s true identity.
By the time Ye Xiuwen arrived back at Jun Xiaomo’s side, he had already collected his thoughts. He knew that he would not get any proper answers if he questioned Yao Mo about this directly. Therefore, he resolved that he would bide his time – he would wait until Yao Mo revealed his own identity to Ye Xiuwen of his own volition.
Furthermore, Ye Xiuwen’s intuition told him that Yao Mo’s identity was inextricably linked to his own.
Rong Ruihan stared blankly at Jun Xiaomo burying her face in her food and stuffing her cheeks. Mirth swelled up in his eyes as he found this young man before him to be increasingly comical and humorous.
After all, it had been such a long time since he had seen a person who wore his heart on his sleeves. Earlier, he had only intended to tease Yao Mo. He had never expected to discover some of Yao Mo’s secrets from that innocent question of his.
However, he could tell from Yao Mo’s earlier expressions that Yao Mo had in fact used the Alteration Talisman. Perhaps even Ye Xiuwen wouldn’t know of Yao Mo’s true identity.
All of a sudden, Rong Ruihan found himself rather intrigued by Yao Mo’s true appearances and identity – If one day, I manage to uncover and expose his true identity, I wonder what kind of expression Yao Mo is going to make?
Rong Ruihan raised his eyebrows curiously and his thoughts wandered along as he explored the infinite possibilities to his musings. If Jun Xiaomo could hear the thoughts of Rong Ruihan’s heart right now, she would almost certainly choke with shock and insist on recovering the talismans she had kindly offered to Rong Ruihan!
“Let’s use the Teleportation Scroll to leave this place once we’ve finished eating. I estimate that it would only take us three Teleportation Scrolls to get to my hideout.” Rong Ruihan flipped the meat on the grill as he suggested.
Jun Xiaomo nodded her head in agreement.
Moments later, Jun Xiaomo lifted her head and ferociously stood up in shock as she exclaimed, “Damn! I’ve forgotten about the little packrat!”
Poor little packrat. It had been locked up inside the inn with Jun Xiaomo’s Confinement Array, and it was unable to escape no matter how much it scrambled about and scratched at the array. After struggling for an entire night and morning, her little packrat had already grown faint and weary from its pointless resistance.
Jun Xiaomo could roughly also guess the extent of her little packrat’s sorry state. She hurriedly set down the grilled meat aside as she insisted, “This can’t do! I have to make a trip back to the inn. Even though the Confinement Array will lose its effects after a while, who knows whether the second prince’s lackeys would seal off the inn?”
“If the Grand Vizier’s men have indeed sealed off the inn, you won’t be able to do anything even if you return now. Are you just going to barge in?” Rong Ruihan calmly pointed out the flaws in Jun Xiaomo’s plans.
“I’ve got to give it a try no matter what. I can’t just leave my little packrat behind.” Jun Xiaomo hated the fact that she had been so careless. After all, she had only remembered her little packrat after several hours had passed!
“Alright, take a seat first. This prince will trouble his clandestine agents to rescue your little pet from the inn you’ve been staying at. It could very well be the case that your portrait is already being put up all over the Xingping County right now. There’s a good chance that you’ll immediately be arrested by the county guards once you enter its vicinity.
After deliberating for a moment, Jun Xiaomo found that Rong Ruihan’s perspective of the matter also made sense. Thus, she sat back down disparagingly and clutched at her own fingers in frustration.
Then, Rong Ruihan retrieved a Transmittance Talisman from his Interspatial Ring, wrote some words on it, and the Transmittance Talisman self-immolated and vanished into thin air.
The Transmittance Talisman could transmit a message much quicker than a Messenger Paper Crane. Generally speaking, once the Transmittance Talisman had completely burnt up, the other side would almost immediately receive the message to be transmitted.
However, the Transmittance Talisman required far more resources to manufacture. Furthermore, the other side that was to receive the message also had to possess the same type of talismans for the transmission to be effective. Therefore, even Rong Ruihan was reticent to employ the usage of Transmittance Talismans unless it was absolutely necessary.
Jun Xiaomo also understood these considerations. Therefore, seeing how Rong Ruihan had treated her concerns with such gravity, she solemnly and sincerely thanked Rong Ruihan for his help.
Rong Ruihan also noticed that Yao Mo’s eyes no longer viewed him with the same reticence and distance as before. He saw his own reflection in Yao Mo’s clear, glossy eyes, and he couldn’t help but smile subconsciously as he responded, “You’re welcome.”
Ye Xiuwen’s fingers twitched slightly. He wanted to lift up his hands and pat Jun Xiaomo’s shoulders reassuringly like he had always used to. But in the end, he lowered his head and shut his eyes, strongly repressing that desire of his.
Rong Ruihan’s clandestine agents proved to be highly efficient in what they did. After approximately one hour from the transmittance of the message, a black shadow suddenly appeared beside Rong Ruihan’s body. More importantly, he carried a plump and fluffy little packrat in his arms.
Squeak squeak! The little packrat squeaked excitedly as it leapt out of the clandestine agent’s arms and scampered over towards Jun Xiaomo. Within moments, it shot itself into Jun Xiaomo’s bosom joyfully.
Squeak squeak squeak… Her little packrat clawed at Jun Xiaomo’s clothes. Its black, soulful eyes looked slightly damp as it gazed longingly into Jun Xiaomo’s eyes. Its incessant squeaks even seemed to contain a multitude of complaints.
“Alright, alright. I’m sorry little packrat. I was wrong. I won’t leave you behind next time, alright?” Jun Xiaomo was thoroughly frightened by the prospects of losing her little packrat again. If she had indeed forgotten about her packrat earlier, or if she had failed to rescue her little packrat before the Grand Vizier’s men spotted it, one could only imagine the kind of suffering her little packrat would be put through.
Fortunately, her little packrat had been rescued without a hitch, and it was completely unscathed as well.
Squeak squeak… Jun Xiaomo’s little packrat clutched onto her clothes tightly and stuck close to Jun Xiaomo, as though it were afraid that she would leave it behind again.
Jun Xiaomo’s heart ached. She held her little packrat closely in her bosom and stroked her little packrat gingerly. Then, she retrieved a bag of pine nuts from her Interspatial Ring and fed them to her little packrat, one by one.
As the little packrat ate, it also licked Jun Xiaomo’s fingers affectionately – one kernel of pine nut, one lick of the finger.
Rong Ruihan looked back at his black-garbed clandestine agent and waved his hands gently as he instructed, “Alright, you may take your leave.”
“Yes, master.” The clandestine agent bowed to Rong Ruihan respectfully. Then, he pulled out a talisman and slapped it on himself. Instantly, he vanished from right beneath their eyes.
Jun Xiaomo had been overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and remorse by the fact that she had left her little packrat behind. Therefore, ever since her little packrat had been rescued by the clandestine agent, she had devoted her full attention to her little packrat, treating it with the utmost patience and care. At this moment, Jun Xiaomo inadvertently obviated from her mind the existence of the other two persons around her.
Ye Xiuwen had long since discovered that this little packrat had displayed human characteristics. He involuntarily squinted his eyes and found the entire scene rather unbearable when he saw this little packrat burrowing its head into Yao Mo’s bosom.
Thus, Ye Xiuwen spoke up with indifference, “Little Mo, if your pet has been hungry for too long, it might not be a good thing to feed it large amounts of food at one go. It might get too stuffed.”
Ye Xiuwen even emphasized the words “too stuffed” as he spoke.
“Ah? It’s like that?!” Jun Xiaomo immediately stored the kernel of pine nut that she was holding onto. Then, she patted her little packrat’s head and said, “Be good, I’ll continue to feed you later.”
The little packrat was still thoroughly enjoying itself when its moment of splendor ended just like that. Annoyed, the little packrat brandished its claws and gnashed its teeth at Ye Xiuwen.
Rong Ruihan found the interactions among these three entities left no room for him to interject. Therefore, he held back for a little while longer, before finally interjecting and breaking up their “happy reunion”, “Since brother Yao’s little pet is back, we should be on our way with the Teleportation Scrolls as soon as possible. The longer we dally, the higher the chances of being caught by the Grand Vizier.”
Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo concurred, and immediately began packing up their things.
On the other side at the Grand Vizier’s residence, the second prince who had been lying unconscious for several hours finally awakened from his slumber. When he first learnt that his cultivation level had fallen to the first level of Qi Mastery, he momentarily lost control of his emotions and began thrashing about and smashing anything he could.
“It’s Rong Ruihan! It’s that damned Rong Ruihan!” If the second prince had earlier only harboured feelings of envy and jealousy against the first prince, then an emotion of boundless hatred would most certainly have joined the fray right now.
He had never felt as weak as he currently did. All the spiritual energy in his body felt as though they had been dispersed into the surrounding. Even his meridians and Dantian felt exactly the same way, save for a single, thin thread of spiritual energy that remained.
As a result of his fall in cultivation level, his meridians had shrunk from the size of a raging river to that of a small creek – it could no longer hold even a fraction of what used to course through his body.
He had spent over twenty grueling years of time to attain his twelfth level of Qi Mastery. Yet overnight, he had reverted to the state he had been in at the start of this cultivation journey – he was now no different from a useless person’s existence.
If word got out that the Inferno Kingdom’s crown prince had now fallen from grace and become a useless “trash” at the first level of Qi Mastery, it wouldn’t even require the schemes and ploys of his ambitious brothers to overthrow his position as a crown prince. Just a simple call for investigations and an account of this incident from kingdom’s ministers would be sufficient to topple his grand ascension plans.
“This prince is definitely going to kill Rong Ruihan!” The second prince yelled out with fanaticism in the Grand Vizier’s residence.
“Rong Ruihan? Ye-er, are you certain it’s him?” The Grand Vizier walked in from outside and furrowed his brows as he clarified.
“I’m certain! How could I be mistaken about how that damn face looks like?!” The second prince’s eyes were bloodshot. His present frenzied state was akin to that when Rong Ruihan had lost his rationality.
“His cultivation level is only at the twelfth level of Qi Mastery. How could he possibly have hurt Ye-er so seriously?” Situ Cang had initially suspected the culprit to be Rong Ruihan as well. However, Situ Cang knew full well the extent of Rong Ruihan’s capabilities, and his assessment was that Rong Ruihan could never have inflicted such grievous on Rong Yebin.
“Who knows what kind of stroke of luck that damn fella’s chanced upon?!” The second prince swore and cursed, before he gritted his teeth and added, “Master, we cannot let Rong Ruihan live any longer. Otherwise, sooner or later, he’s going to be our greatest stumbling block.”
Situ Cang patted the second prince’s shoulders reassuringly in response, “Your master understands. You just focus on recovering right now. Leave the rest to your master.”
When he saw how his dear disciple and son that he had placed so much hopes and expectations on had been reduced to such a sorry state, Situ Cang’s heart was filled with boiling hatred. In fact, if one could measure hatred, then there was no doubt that the hatred in Situ Cang’s heart would far greater than that in the second prince’s heart.
“Master, what are your plans?” The second prince asked worriedly. He wanted to witness with his own eyes how Rong Ruihan was going to pay for what he had done.
“Let’s talk about this after I’ve located Rong Ruihan.” Situ Cang patted the second prince’s shoulders as he replied.
“Master, don’t you have a formation array that can allow you to track down a person? It shouldn’t be too difficult to locate them, right?” The second prince furrowed his brows. Having regained his consciousness, he was extremely anxious to have some closure on this matter.
“The perpetrator might have used several Teleportation Scrolls to evade capture. The X-mark Array isn’t able to accurately pinpoint their location.”
In fact, Situ Cang had already begun to operate the X-mark Array, even while the second prince had been unconscious. He had imbued the heart of the formation array with the demonic energy that he had earlier collected from the courtyard. However, his efforts bore no fruit.
“Then what are we going to do?!” The second prince clenched his fists restlessly.
“Don’t worry. As long as they haven’t left the Inferno Kingdom’s territories, then they will not be able to escape your master’s clutches.” Situ Cang gave a slow, enigmatic response with an awe-inspiring yet frigid tone of voice.
Teleportation Scrolls? Very well. Then I shall seize and restrain the effects of all Teleportation Scrolls within all of Inferno Kingdom’s lands!Previous Chapter Next Chapter