At the same time in Dawn Sect, the Sect Leader He Zhang had called an urgent meeting with all Peakmasters and Sect Elders, saying that he had a pressing matter that they needed to discuss together.
The Heavenly Peak’s Peakmaster, Jun Linxuan, was still in his closed-door cultivation. Therefore, his wife, Liu Qingmei, attended the meeting on his behalf.
“That’s not possible! How could Little Wen possibly be in cahoots with those demonic cultivators?!” After listening to He Zhang’s explanation of the issue at hand, Liu Qingmei stood up in fury and slammed her hands on the table.
In Liu Qingmei’s eyes, Ye Xiuwen was almost akin to her adoptive son. She had watched Ye Xiuwen grow and mature ever since he was a young little sprout. Therefore, her protective, maternal instincts kicked in strongly right now as she refused to see Ye Xiuwen receive the Sect’s punishment.
“Martial sister Qingmei, please don’t get so riled up. Do you think that I want to see a Dawn Sect disciple in cahoots with a demonic cultivator either? But apart from Ye Xiuwen, all the other disciples who are out on their travels have confirmed this.” He Zhang had always harboured furtive thoughts in his heart for Liu Qingmei. Even though his heart experienced immense elation from Ye Xiuwen’s predicament right now, he nevertheless had to display a look of worry and concern on his face.
“Where’s the proof? If there’s no proof, then this is nothing more than slander!” Liu Qingmei’s beautifully sharp brows were now knitted tightly together. Her eyes glared viciously at He Zhang, and a trace of infuriation could be seen in the depths of her pupils.
In Liu Qingmei’s eyes, He Zhang was no longer her dear martial brother at this moment. Instead, he was now an antagonist out to harm her child!
It had to be said that Jun Xiaomo had completely inherited her mother’s traits in this respect – as long as she placed someone in her heart, then there was no doubt that she would go all out to protect that person regardless of the kind of taboo or unforgivable act committed by that person.
Furthermore, without hard evidence supporting these allegations, everything said by He Zhang right now was just one side of the story.
He Zhang sighed pretentiously, before handing over Ke Xinwen’s message to Liu Qingmei. At the same time, he instructed that the letter be passed on towards each and every Peakmaster and Sect Elder for their inspection and perusal, for their own determination of the matter.
Liu Qingmei grimaced as she slowly read the contents of this letter, line by line. Then, when she finally turned her attention to the signatories of the letter, her pupils immediately constricted with disbelief.
The reason for her shock was that the letter was not signed off merely by Ke Xinwen alone – it included all the other disciples who had gone out on these travels. In fact, not only did it carry their signatures, they had also left their unique seals on the letter and imprinted their aura on these seals, proving the authenticity of their signatures and seals.
Given the circumstances, this was a letter that could hardly be refuted. However, –
“There’s still another person.” Liu Qingmei spotted a loophole with her keen senses and clutched tightly at the letter as she articulated word by word.
“What?” He Zhang couldn’t understand what Liu Qingmei meant.
“There’s still another person!” Liu Qingmei repeated her earlier statement with greater emphasis. She lifted her head, locked eyes with him and elaborated with a frigid tone, “When Little Wen went out on these travels, he took two other Dawn Sect disciples with him as his teammates. One of his teammates called Di Yue hasn’t signed off on this letter.”
Liu Qingmei refuted He Zhang in a slightly overbearing manner. Given that her husband was still locked in his closed-door cultivation, she knew that if she did not stand her ground and aggressively rebuke the allegations right now, these Sect Elders might very well convict Ye Xiuwen without conducting any proper investigations of the matter.
Liu Qingmei had lost all respect for the Sect Elders ever since that incident when her daughter was punished by the Sect for trespassing the Sect’s forbidden grounds.
That said, the basis for her refutation was still a little bit of a stretch. He Zhang pretended to be exasperated as he walked over towards Liu Qingmei, intending to pat her shoulder reassuringly. Unexpectedly, Liu Qingmei tilted her body and avoided this gesture of his.
Right now, Liu Qingmei’s gaze towards He Zhang was filled with nothing more than a deep sense of frigidity and enmity.
A dark and gloomy expression flickered in the depths of He Zhang’s eyes as he retracted his hands. Then, He Zhang explained with a sigh, “Martial sister, I know that you’re really angry at the situation. But you have to understand that Dawn Sect simply cannot afford to harbour a disciple that had been implicated with a demonic cultivator. This would tarnish the Sect’s reputation and topple our foothold among the rest of the mid-tier sects. As for that one person who hasn’t signed on this letter, don’t you agree that this hardly stands for much? After all, most of the disciples have already endorsed the contents of the letter. Under the testimony of these other disciples, would the lack of one endorsement absolve Ye Xiuwen of all liability just like that?”
He Zhang spoke with sincerity and ostensible logic and reasoning. Yet Liu Qingmei simply shrugged it off.
Or perhaps it might be more accurate to say that she had heard every single word of He Zhang’s explanation, but her protective maternal instincts dictated that she had to shield Ye Xiuwen to the bitter end.
“I don’t care!” Liu Qingmei ignored He Zhang. With an erect back, she stood her ground firmly and swept her gaze around at the other Peakmasters and Sect Elders within the room as she coldly added, “Back then, all of you had leveraged the fact that my husband was in closed-door cultivation and hurt my daughter. Are you all thinking of taking further advantage of this and disposing of my husband’s First-Seat Disciple right now? Is the Heavenly Peak really such an eyesore to you? If that’s the case, we can uproot the entire Heavenly Peak and leave this Sect once my husband is out of his closed-door cultivation. From thenceforth, we will each walk our own path and make our own decisions. The Heavenly Peak and Dawn Sect will no longer have anything to do with each other!”
Liu Qingmei and Jun Linxuan had both grown up as members and disciples of Dawn Sect. Over time, they had developed such a strong sense of camaraderie with the Sect itself that this sense of family and belonging to the Sect that made them reject the much-coveted offers from upper-tier sects and return to Dawn Sect to establish their own Peak.
However, ever since the previous Sect Leader passed on, the Sect gradually changed and became different from what they had known it to be. In the past, she had always focused her mind on her daughter, while her husband had been completely obsessed with his cultivation. Therefore, they were completely oblivious to the innumerable schemes and plots that had sprung up around them, and they had even fallen prey to some of these at times.
But now, as she stood in the midst of the Penal Hall addressing the Peakmasters and Sect Elders who mostly seemed to stand in agreement with He Zhang, she suddenly discovered that those Peakmasters and Sect Elders no longer seemed to have any regard for the concept of sect fraternity as they had used to. Instead, their eyes were only filled with furtive and insidious thoughts that could not be allowed to see the light of day.
Liu Qingmei’s lips tightened anxiously, while her heart swelled with ever increasing vigilance against them.
He Zhang swore in his heart. He had never expected Liu Qingmei to be so protective over Ye Xiuwen. She had even grown suspicious of them as a result of this incident.
He Zhang knew that this little martial sister of his was different from Jun Linxuan, a man concerned only about his own cultivation. Her thought processes were meticulous and filled with introspection. Therefore, he knew that several schemes which he had already put to motion had just ground to a halt as soon as Liu Qingmei’s suspicions were aroused. In fact, she might even begin to uncover some of his previous ploys against her if she were to bring her mind to those matters.
Just as He Zhang was about to cajole Liu Qingmei to mitigate the situation, a sonorous voice boomed out from outside the Penal Hall with much gravitas, “Who dares to convict my disciple in my absence?!”
As this voice rang out, a stern, imposing figure with striking appearances strode majestically into the Penal Hall.
“Linxuan!” Liu Qingmei saw her pillar of support walking into the hall, and she ran over to him and leapt into his bosom.
Her earlier aggressive, overbearing disposition was now completely gone, and she had revealed in its place the disposition of a weak, vulnerable lady who sought the support of her husband.
This period of time that her husband was locked up in closed-door cultivation had been too eventful for her – Jun Xiaomo’s punishment by the Sect Elders, the fall in her cultivation level, and now the prospects of their most beloved disciple facing the charge of being implicated with a demonic cultivator…
One after another, these heavy burdens had been unforgivingly piled onto Liu Qingmei’s body. When day turned to night, her burdens were further amplified by the fac that there was not a single person she could pour her emotions out and ventilate her frustrations to. She knew that for everyone’s sake, she could only persevere and grit her teeth tightly as she hefted these burdens all by herself.
Jun Linxuan had always loved his wife immensely. He immediately returned her embrace and patted her back reassuringly without saying a word.
He Zhang took all of this in, and he squinted his eyes as he suppressed the rising jealousy and fury in his heart.
Even though Liu Qingmei had always deeply respected He Zhang in his capacity as her martial brother, she had never displayed such reliance and vulnerability in front of him before. Therefore, he watched on in fury and abject jealousy at the special place Jun Linxuan had in Liu Qingmei’s heart.
His combat abilities were hardly worse than Jun Linxuan’s to begin with! What basis did his martial sister have for choosing that unromantic and insensitive wooden block that was Jun Linxuan over him?!
His jealousy was like a prick that had stabbed straight into his heart, and He Zhang had never been able to pull it out after all those years.
On the other hand, the other Peakmasters and Sect Elders reacted differently from He Zhang. These other Peakmasters and Sect Elders did not harbour any ulterior motive towards Liu Qingmei, and they therefore watched the tearful reunion of the husband and wife duo with indifference.
That said, the Grand Elder who possessed the highest cultivation abilities nevertheless discovered a difference in Jun Linxuan’s disposition –
“Linxuan, has your cultivation level risen to the secondary-tier Immortal Ascension stage?” The Grand Elder slowly questioned with a calm tone of voice, yet he trained his eyes on Jun Linxuan with a complicated gaze.
Achieving the secondary-tier Immortal Ascension stage of cultivation before the age of two-hundred! Heavenly Peak Peakmaster Jun Linxuan’s abilities and talents were truly impressive – it could even be described as heaven-defying!
“Secondary-tier Immortal Ascension stage?!” He Zhang’s earlier jealousy was immediately rendered to play second fiddle to this striking piece of news that jolted him back to his senses. At this moment, He Zhang could hardly find it within himself to maintain any modicum of cordiality with Jun Linxuan any further.
He had thought Jun Linxuan’s closed-door cultivation was for the purposes of breaking through to the elementary-tier Immortal Ascension stage of cultivation. How could he have known that Jun Linxuan had in a short span of time broken through twice and leapt straight into the secondary-tier Immortal Ascension stage of cultivation from his earlier advanced-tier Nascent Soul stage of cultivation?
This Jun Linxuan…… He Zhang’s heart shivered slightly. He knew that disposing of Jun Linxuan was going to become more difficult than ever before.
Even Liu Qingmei did not expect her husband to immediately break through to the secondary-tier Immortal Ascension stage of cultivation.
No wonder Jun Linxuan’s closed-door cultivation was especially long this time. Liu Qingmei thought to herself, before turning her thoughts back to her daughter and Ye Xiuwen with perplexity.
It’s still good that he’s in the secondary-tier Immortal Ascension stage right now. This way, he will be able to ensure Little Wen’s safety.
The cultivation world was ruled by the strong. Without the backing of absolute strength, no one would care about listening to a person’s logical reasoning.
But if one possessed absolute strength, no one would be able to pin the blame on a person even if he annihilated an entire sect of his own volition. Of course, this were unless several sects joined forces to condemn the perpetrator.
In her previous life, Jun Xiaomo had experienced just that. She was slapped with various charges by different sects and ended up being persecuted by the eight great sects for several hundreds of years.
Yet Jun Linxuan did not respond to the exclamations and queries of the others. Liu Qingmei held onto him tightly and briefly got him up to speed on the pressing matters at hand. Naturally, the most pressing one was the charge that Ye Xiuwen was on the verge of being convicted for. As for her daughter’s fall in cultivation level, that was something that could wait till they returned to their abode.
After processing Liu Qingmei’s explanations, Jun Linxuan immediately erupted with the pressure of a secondary-tier Immortal Ascension stage cultivator. This was the manifestation of his infuriation –
“You dare to convict my First-Seat Disciple with one meagre letter?! What wanton behaviour! What audacity!” Jun Linxuan’s outburst of energy knew no bounds, “Let me make this clear to all of you – whoever wishes to convict my disciple will have to do so over my dead body!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter