Jun Xiaomo and the others took out the third Teleportation Scroll and activated it. As a result of Situ Cang’s formation array, the third Teleportation Scroll shone with an intense blue light, before fainting away feebly. Jun Xiaomo and the others remained in the center of the Teleportation Scroll’s area of effect, staring blankly at each other.
“Seems like the Teleportation Scroll has lost its effects.” Rong Ruihan sighed with resignation.
“Why would it lose its effects? The Teleportation Scroll doesn’t have an expiration date, does it?” Jun Xiaomo murmured as she held up the Teleportation Scroll in her hands to examine it. She began to run her fingers along the inscriptions on the Teleportation Scrolls as she gradually furrowed her brows.
Teleportation Scrolls were made with a special material, and their inscriptions were etched with spirit stones that had been ground to a fine powder. Therefore, there was immense energy contained within the scroll itself.
However, when Jun Xiaomo placed the Teleportation Scroll in her hand, she discovered that immense source of energy seemed to have disappeared. The mysterious sensation that these inscriptions normally emanated had also vanished into thin air along with its energy.
“Could another formation array be absorbing the Teleportation Scroll’s energy?!” Jun Xiaomo widened her eyes in shock.
“Is there such a formation array?” Rong Ruihan raised his eyebrows curiously.
“There is, but…” Jun Xiaomo knitted her eyebrows together as she added with some difficulty, “These formation arrays aren’t easy to prepare. Furthermore, the formation array would only be effective if the Teleportation Scroll is used within the domain of the formation array itself. The Grand Vizier can’t possibly be so powerful to determine our location so accurately for this formation array of his, can he?”
Rong Ruihan chuckled lightheartedly as he responded, “Indeed, he can’t determine our location with such accuracy. However, this doesn’t mean that he can’t set up this formation array over the Inferno Kingdom’s entire territory.”
Jun Xiaomo drew a cold breath, “A formation array over the entire Inferno Kingdom’s territory?! How large must the array be…”
“Don’t you forget that Situ Cang had been the Inferno Kingdom’s Grand Vizier ever since the Inferno Kingdom had been established. Setting up a formation array over the span of a thousand years isn’t something that is too difficult.”
“That’s true…” Jun Xiaomo muttered under her breath, before glancing over at Rong Ruihan with a slightly sympathetic expression on her face, “You’ve actually pitted yourself against a thousand years-old freak, haven’t you? It’s a miracle that you’re still alive right now.”
Rong Ruihan didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this. He returned a glance at Jun Xiaomo as he remarked, “Don’t forget that your name also forms part of Situ Cang’s to-do list.”
Jun Xiaomo almost choked from Rong Ruihan’s response. Then, in her abject frustration, she squatted down on the floor and began to pluck at the grass around her.
Rong Ruihan looked at the top of Jun Xiaomo’s head and curled up his lips found this entire sight to be rather comical. He chuckled lightly to himself as he retrieved a Transmittance Talisman from his Interspatial Ring, wrote a few words on it and then burnt it up. His agents on the other end of the Transmittance Talisman immediately received his message.
Situ Cang would soon be able to locate them, and he had to make some preparations in advance.
It was night. Once again, Jun Xiaomo, Ye Xiuwen and Rong Ruihan huddled up close to a bonfire that they had set up in the wilderness. In order to counteract the potential disastrous consequences of losing his rationality again, Rong Ruihan had taken a preventative Heart Purging Pill in advance and managed to keep his sanity for now. He sat on the side silently, as he worked hard to absorb and subjugate the two foreign sources of demonic energy that was wreaking havoc within his body – one source of energy came from the demonic wolf’s core; while the other source of energy had come from his consumption of the Abomination’s demonic energy at the second prince’s residence.
Ye Xiuwen was also meditating at the side. Things were escalating out of control, and he knew that he had to make full use of every opportunity possible to improve his abilities. It was ideal if he could break through to the Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation during this period of time – that would greatly improve their odds of success right now.
Jun Xiaomo sat in the midst of the two as her gaze vacillated between the two of them. Once she had ascertained that they were both deep in meditation, she snuck off to the side and laid a mat on the floor. There, under the warm glow of the bonfire, she began to start drawing her talismans.
What Jun Xiaomo was drawing now was the Alteration Talisman. She had given one Alteration Talisman to Rong Ruihan a few days ago, and she had used another one on herself shortly afterwards. Therefore, she no longer possessed any more Alteration Talismans right now.
Over the last few days, Jun Xiaomo had struggled to find time or make time to draw up an Alteration Talisman. Yet every time she set down to draw an Alteration Talisman, something unexpected would arise or require her attention. Therefore, she had not managed to draw even half an Alteration Talisman as yet.
Today, her goal was not only to draw up an additional Alteration Talisman for herself – she had to prepare an additional set for Rong Ruihan as well. Whenever she thought of the size and importance of this task, her heart would sink slightly under the pressure.
If Jun Xiaomo lived in present times, she would certainly have come across a term which would aptly describe what she was going through right now – and that was “stress-induced anxiety”.
One brush, and one stroke; another brush, and yet another stroke…
Jun Xiaomo was so focused on her task at hand that she completely lost track of time. When she finally drew on the final stroke of her brush that completed the Alteration Talisman that she had spent the last few nights on, she heaved a great sigh of relief. She set aside that talisman and made preparations to commence work on the second one.
“Little Mo, what are you drawing?” A warm voice suddenly called out from behind her. Jun Xiaomo’s hand immediately jolted involuntarily, and she inadvertently drew a heavy-handed stroke on the next talisman she had just started on. The entire talisman was now rendered useless.
Jun Xiaomo looked on at the ruined talisman paper, and tears nearly welled up in her eyes. Fortunately, she had only just started on this second talisman.
Ye Xiuwen took a few steps forward, and he noticed the slightly yellowing talisman paper which Jun Xiaomo had earlier set aside.
“Ah, is Little Mo drawing talismans? Sorry about that. Brother Ye must’ve disturbed you.” Ye Xiuwen apologized. He had also noticed the special cinnabar-ink that Jun Xiaomo had been using for her talismans.
“It’s fine. I’ve only just started on this one anyway.” Jun Xiaomo hurriedly waved her hands as she gave Ye Xiuwen a reassuring, radiant smile.
Ye Xiuwen patted Yao Mo’s head - he couldn’t help but feel slightly moved by Yao Mo’s sensibility and consideration for him.
“What talisman is this?” Ye Xiuwen minced towards Jun Xiaomo as he asked.
Jun Xiaomo coughed dryly. She wracked her brains for a moment before finally replying, “This is an Alteration Talisman. It can be used to change the first prince’s appearances.”
“You’ve stayed up all night and put aside your meditation just to draw that Alteration Talisman for him?” Ye Xiuwen responded indifferently.
Even though Ye Xiuwen’s expressions were calm and composed, something made Jun Xiaomo feel that her martial brother was still a little bit miffed about what she had just said.
“That…the first prince’s appearances are simply too eye-catching. Therefore, I’m drawing up a few Alteration Talismans so that he can conceal his appearances and not draw so much attention to us…” Jun Xiaomo replied with a soft voice and a trace of diffidence as her voice trailed off towards the end.
After all, she had been drawing this Alteration Talisman for herself.
“The first prince has so many clandestine agents at his disposal. He can easily get any one of them to go out and buy some Alteration Talismans, can’t he? Why does he need you to especially draw these for him?” Ye Xiuwen tousled Jun Xiaomo’s hair, “Alright, you’re still a naïve little child. Go get some rest for now. Otherwise, you’re never going to grow taller.”
Jun Xiaomo opened her mouth and drew a breath, intending to respond. Yet, in the next moment, she closed her mouth without saying a word. Defeated, she began to collect her talismans and the drawing apparatus as she stored them into her Interspatial Ring.
Ye Xiuwen’s words were too logical, and there was no way she could reasonably refute them. What a headache…
Jun Xiaomo walked to the side and sat down cross-legged. She put on the appearance of entering a meditative state; yet in actual fact, she was secretly contemplating how else she could find the time to draw up a few more Alteration Talismans.
In the next few days, Jun Xiaomo found that she had even less time to draw up these Alteration Talismans. As a result of their inability to use Teleportation Scroll, they had no choice but to press forward towards the location of the first prince’s hideout. In fact, they had even encountered several ambushes by the Grand Vizier’s men along the way.
These ambushes were all well organized, and the assailants that attacked them donned clothing that bore the emblem of the Grand Vizier’s residence. Evidently, the Grand Vizier had managed to get a good grasp of their whereabouts.
That said, Rong Ruihan’s raw abilities were far too strong; while Ye Xiuwen could also hold his own with his sword arts. With the aid of Jun Xiaomo’s powerful talismans supplementing and enhancing their abilities, the assailants stood no chance against the trio.
Even then, the ambushes were incessant. Time and again, the trio were assaulted and ambushed as they slowly marched towards the first prince’s hideout. Regardless of how strong their individual abilities were, it did not change the fact that there were only three of them. As the relentless attacks whittled and wore them down, they also increasingly began to find these ambushes unbearable.
“First prince, don’t you have any contingencies available? What about those followers and agents of yours?” Jun Xiaomo shouted at the first prince with some measure of frustration as she threw an explosive talisman towards an assailant. The resultant explosion sent several other assailants flying away as well.
Rong Ruihan heard her and brandished a somber gaze. With one strike of his fist, he cleanly rebuffed and sent flying a whip-wielding assailant.
He did not immediately respond to Jun Xiaomo’s questions because he naturally couldn’t divulge his plans in the presence of these assailants.
Yet once that ambush had been defeated and rebuffed, the ambushes and assaults seemed to have ceased completely, as though the Grand Vizier had simply given up. Not a single assailant appeared to ambush the trio over the next few days.
“First prince, is this your handiwork? That’s simply too impressive! How did you lure them away?” Jun Xiaomo asked curiously, “Or did you simply get your clandestine agents to dispose of the assailants before they can reach us?”
“We didn’t dispose of the assailants. I’ve only employed some simple tactics to confuzzled and distract them.” Rong Ruihan vaguely explained with indifference.
“Do you mind sharing some details?” Jun Xiaomo tilted her head and blinked eagerly at the first prince.
Rong Ruihan curled his lips into a wry smile as he confidently presented his distraction tactics, “If Situ Cang wishes to determine our location with a formation array, he would need a medium or a primer of sorts. This medium could be an object belonging to any of us, as long as it contains traces of our aura. What I’ve done is to separate one of these mediums to several parts and give these parts to my clandestine agents and let them each run off in a different direction. This way, Situ Cang’s formation array would be confused by the multiple locations of the medium and he would no longer be able to determine our presence with any certainty.”
“Medium? How do you know what medium Situ Cang is using to determine our location?”
“Do you know what medium carries the most characteristic signature of a person’s aura?” Rong Ruihan didn’t directly address Jun Xiaomo’s question.
Jun Xiaomo rubbed her chin in deliberation. Then, she murmured, “I would say that it’s the spiritual energy or demonic energy within a person’s body.”
“It’s exactly that. This prince had severely wounded Rong Yebin. The wound on Rong Yebin’s body would definitely carry traces of this prince’s demonic energy. In order to locate the perpetrator, the Grand Vizier would definitely have stored some of this demonic energy and used this as a medium to locate us.”
“I understand now. You must have sealed some of your own demonic energy within various bottles and have your subordinates run about with them, then?
Rong Ruihan smiled knowingly. He did not expressly confirm or deny Jun Xiaomo’s postulations, but his expression had tacitly confirmed that Jun Xiaomo had hit the nail on the head.
Jun Xiaomo couldn’t help but be impressed by the first prince. When it came to schemes and plots, she could hardly hold a candle to these members of the royalty who had been engaged in internal strife and vying for the top spot ever since they were young sprouts.
On the other side, at the Grand Vizier’s residence, the Grand Vizier’s subordinates all knelt on the floor with their heads on the grounds. They had time and again been misdirected by the first prince’s countermeasures, and the Grand Vizier had exploded with infuriation at their incompetence.
“Wrong again! Are you telling me that I’m wrong again?!!” The outburst of Situ Cang’s aura had battered against these subordinates, splitting their skin and leaving several wounds on their bodies. Yet, these subordinates did not dare to make a peep of sound in response.
“Master, I suspect that the first prince might be employing some measures to confuse us. I’ve recovered an object from one of the first prince’s clandestine agents that we have killed. Please examine, master.” One of the subordinates reported with a trembling voice as he presented an object to the Grand Vizier.
Situ Cang opened the bottle cap and examined its contents. Then, he ferociously smashed the bottle onto the ground.
No wonder his formation array couldn’t locate the whereabouts of Rong Ruihan and the others. Rong Ruihan was already prepared against them!
“Go! Summon those fellas from Dawn Sect right now.” Situ Cang demanded. His eyes flickered with a frigid, grave intent.
“Yes!” The representative of Situ Cang’s subordinates heaved a sigh of relief as he swiftly ran out of the room under Situ Cang’s orders.
Situ Cang slowly crushed the Transmittance Talisman in his hand as he mocked in his heart – Do you think that you would be able to escape your current predicament just like that? Rong Ruihan, you’re still too naïve.
This time, he was going to take things into his own hands and crush those ants without fail! They’ve been running amok for far too long.Previous Chapter Next Chapter