Chapter 219: Ephemeral Success, the Du Clan’s Retaliation

The numbing effect of the Thousand-Eyed Spider’s poison was incredibly powerful. It only took a small bit of it to thoroughly numb and incapacitate a person, and that person would wind up with a tragic fate where he would watch in horror as he was devoured by the Thousand-Eyed Spider bit by bit.

The Thousand-Eyed Spider liked to lay out a sprawling web in a concealed place and even slather a layer of its poison on its web. If any cultivator lower than the Golden Core stage of cultivation were to be so unfortunate as to find himself caught on the web, his fate would immediately have death written all over it.

That said, the Thousand-Eyed Spider’s poison was not unrivalled. At the very least, the Thousand-Eyed Spider’s poison could not affect any cultivators at the Golden Core stage of cultivation or higher. If the Thousand-Eyed Spider were not careful, they might end up being killed by these stronger cultivators instead.

Apart from that, there were also some spiritual herbs that acted as natural antidotes to the Thousand-Eyed Spider’s numbing poison. Jun Xiaomo and the rest had used these spiritual herbs as preventive medicines when they had earlier encountered the Thousand-Eyed Spider on the second day of the competition, and they were thus able to escape a fate of certain death.

This also formed the basis of the countermeasures that Jun Xiaomo had thought up against Du Yongxu and the rest of the Du Clan disciples before they showed up at their campsite. After all, if they simply pit their ability against the Du Clan disciples in a full-on confrontation, Jun Xiaomo knew that the odds of success might not be very high despite their strength in numbers.

And if they relied on formation arrays again, she was concerned that the Du Clan disciples would already have noticed the strength of her formation arrays and thus come prepared with the necessary countermeasures for the same.

Thus, Jun Xiaomo thought about using the poison from the Thousand-Eyed Spider. The corpse of the Thousand-Eyed Spider that they had killed earlier should still be where it was. Whether from its poison sac or the web itself, they would almost certainly be able to harvest some of its poison. If one soaked a talisman in the Thousand-Eyed Spider’s poison for an hour or so, the talismans would naturally also be imbued with the effects of poison when used.

Perhaps even the Eternal Summit Sect’s disciples might not have considered that we would use such a method against them, huh? The corner of Jun Xiaomo’s lips curled up as she looked at the Du Clan disciples who were laying there completely numb and helpless. She raised an eyebrow at then and raised her chin at them – she was filled with a delighted and pleased expression right now.

Truth be told, it was a rather galling expression that made one have the urge to beat her up.

Du Yongxu and the others were indeed so upset that they were on the brink of choking on their own blood – especially Du Yongxu. Du Yongxu had thought that guarding against Jun Xiaomo’s formation arrays would be sufficient; how could he possibly have expected Jun Xiaomo to use the poison from the Thousand-Eyed Spider against them?

Du Yongxu had earlier been fully convicted that it was going to be an incredibly simple task to round up the Heavenly Peak faction and complete their task; yet now he completely regretted his own complacency.

This was a simple task that he was confident of completing with over a ninety percent rate of success. Yet these favourable odds had just decreased substantially and become very much of an unknown.

Du Yongxu began to operate his own spiritual energy to attempt to force out the poison from his body. Yet, almost as though she knew what he was thinking about, Jun Xiaomo minced her way over to his side within moments as she remarked, “You’d be wise not to struggle. The more you do, the quicker the poison spreads.”

Du Yongxu immediately stopped struggling. Yet the fact that he had to listen to Jun Xiaomo made his blood boil even more.

To suffer from Jun Xiaomo’s schemes in the eyes of everyone present made Du Yongxu feel as though his pride had been stripped off his face and trampled thoroughly on the ground. And what made things worse was the fact that he could hardly support his body right now without any aid, much less possess any strength for retaliation. He was now left in a tragic state through and through.

Du Yongxu suddenly realized that he had never had his pride trampled on like that ever since he was born.

He drew a deep breath before he smiled bitterly as he bellowed in rage, “Interesting. Jun Xiaomo, I’d truly underestimated you.”

Jun Xiaomo raised her eyebrow quizzically, “Thanks for your compliment. However, I would be even more pleased if you could compliment me without gritting your teeth and scrunching up your face.”

Du Yongxu: ……

If he still had the ability to retaliate right now, he might well have used the fullest extent of his abilities to take out Jun Xiaomo in the quickest time possible. He most certainly regretted playing the games of cat-and-mouse earlier.

And now, the roles had been completely reversed, and the hunter had now become the hunted.

Jun Xiaomo estimated that the Thousand-Eyed Spider’s poison would last for approximately one hour. Thus, she ignored the Du Clan disciples that were all collapsed in different positions on the ground, and she turned towards Luo Xuyuan and Meng Huanqiu as she expressed her sincerest gratitude to them, “Thank you very much.”

When she first broached this idea to Luo Xuyuan and Meng Huanqiu, her heart was filled with ambivalence. But could one really blame Jun Xiaomo for not being able to trust the teams from the Dragontiger Sect and the Purple Hut Sect? After all, Jun Xiaomo had experienced a whole lifetime of betrayal by the ones she was closest to, and she found it difficult to trust anyone from the bottom of her heart anymore.

It could be said that apart from the Heavenly Peak disciples as well as Rong Ruihan, there was not a single other person who had proved themselves to be trustworthy prior to this.

Furthermore, the journey back to the Thousand-Eyed Spider was fraught with dangers, and Jun Xiaomo was not certain if the disciples of the Dragontiger Sect and the Purple Hut Sect would be willing to brave these dangers for them.

But in the end, her gamble had paid off. The disciples from the Dragontiger Sect and the Purple Hut Sect returned successfully with talismans soaked in the Thousand-Eyed Spider’s poison and sealed their victory for them.

“You’re welcome. There’s nothing to thank us for.” Meng Huanqiu patted Jun Xiaomo’s shoulder, “Don’t you forget that you’re our benefactors to begin with. If not for your assistance earlier, we would already have perished in the depths of these marshlands.”

“That’s right. Us Dragontiger Sect disciples aren’t ingrates by any means.” Luo Xuyuan smiled as he added, “You’ve even taught us a thing or two about group battle tactics, so how could we turn our backs on you after what you’ve done for us?”

“Hahahaha, not bad, not bad at all!” Wei Gaolang ran over to Luo Xuyuan’s side and placed his arm around his shoulder chummily, “Henceforth, we Heavenly Peak disciples recognize all of you as our brothers!” As he spoke, he patted his puffed-up chest.

However, the fact that Wei Gaolang had made such a haughty gesture with his tender and innocent face was incredibly comical no matter how one looked at it. At the very least, his disposition was certainly not commensurate with the effects which he was trying to achieve.

Jun Xiaomo curled up her lips and laughed helplessly.

“Oh yes, what shall we do with these fellas?” Meng Huanqiu walked over to one of the Du Clan disciples and kicked him as she asked.

Several other Du Clan disciples glared back at her, but Meng Huanqiu completely ignored them.

Since they could not do anything to hurt her, there’s really no harm letting them glare her anyway.

Jun Xiaomo quickly swept her gaze at the other Du Clan disciples as she pondered over the question. Then, she retrieved a stack of Body-Binding Talismans as she suggested, “Shall we bind them up? Then, we’ll do the usual to them – leave them with commensurate memorabilia for each and every mark they’ve left on us as well.”

In fact, she might very well have fed the Du Clan disciples directly to the swamp monsters if not for the fact that she was concerned about inviting unnecessary trouble onto the Heavenly Peak!

After all, she had clearly sensed the killing intent emanating from the vicious gazes of these Du Clan disciples earlier – they had evidently come at their throats.

That said, she knew that the Heavenly Peak was undoubtedly caught between a rock and a hard place right now. Without the backing of a strong and powerful Greater Sect or the like, she knew that she was only in a position to make these Du Clan disciples suffer slightly for now.

Even though Jun Xiaomo had made her suggestion in a lighthearted tone of voice, the Du Clan disciples’ faces immediately turned pale with fright and sickly green. They felt incredibly humiliated.

The Du Clan disciples were practically infuriated by the Jun Xiaomo and Meng Huanqiu duo – they had never encountered such aggravating female disciples that could cause them to nearly choke on their own blood with just their words. Yet the Du Clan disciples knew that there was nothing they could do to resist Jun Xiaomo and Meng Huanqiu right now.

Conversely, every single one of the disciples from the Heavenly Peak faction esteemed Jun Xiaomo’s suggestion, especially Wei Gaolang. He brandished his fists as he received the stack of Body-Binding Talismans from Jun Xiaomo before he hummed in delight as he made his way around the Du Clan disciples as he fiercely slapped the talismans on their bodies.

That’s right – he had slapped the talismans on their body replete with the aid of his spiritual energy. When he saw how those Du Clan disciples simply gnashed their teeth but could not do a single thing to resist him, Wei Gaolang’s heart leapt with joy.

“Martial sister, it’s all done!” Wei Gaolang clapped the dust off his hands.

“Very good. Toss them into a pile. The Thousand-Eyed Spider’s poison is still effective for slightly less than an hour. We can thoroughly greet these ‘friends’ of ours with any special ‘moves’ that we can think of.” Jun Xiaomo chuckled wickedly, “Then when the rest of the hour is up, we’ll collect their identity tokens and send them out of the competition grounds so that they won’t receive any further punishment here.”

In other words, they intended to kick the Du Clan disciples out of the competition so that they would be out of their sight.

Outside the marshlands, the old fogeys from the Eternal Summit Sect watched the water screen with a completely pale face. They completely regretted agreeing to the swapping out of their disciples right now.

If they had not agreed to let the Du Clan disciples take their place, their disciples might have placed reasonably well within these group battles. However, they were now faced with the prospects of being entirely disqualified from the competitions. The Eternal Summit Sect would have their pride thoroughly trampled upon if this happened.

Dai Yanfeng’s appearance was hardly any better. He had initially thought that achieving stellar results in these group battles would be an extremely easy thing given the strength of the Du Clan disciples. Yet who could have expected the weakest team of the Heavenly Peak disciples could actually turn the situation around and claim victory against all odds?

Could it be that Jun Xiaomo was like a jinx that only brought bad luck to the Eternal Summit Sect?!

Most importantly, Dai Yanfeng was the one who had broached the idea of swapping out their disciples for the Du Clan disciples to begin with. If anything went wrong with these group battles and they failed to achieve their objectives, his standing within the Eternal Summit Sect was going to fall substantially. To make matters worse, there was no way he could demand an answer out of the Du Clan Head if anything went wrong because his cultivation level was far weaker than the Du Clan Head’s to begin with. He might even find himself at the receiving end of the Du Clan Head’s oppressive aura if he tried to demand an answer.

Thus, Dai Yanfeng grew more and more frustrated at the situation. At this point in time, he was practically hoping for a miracle.

After all, the Du Clan disciples were formidable. Perhaps they might have some way out of their current predicament.

They should have a way out…right?

Dai Yanfeng thought with some measure of skepticism in his heart. His eyes darkened, and a cloud of gloom loomed over his head.

Perhaps the gods of fate had heard the cries from the bottom of Dai Yanfeng’s heart, but just as the disciples of the Heavenly Peak faction was about to introduce the Du Clan disciples to their fists and their spells, a deafening roar rang out in the marshlands, and a slight tremor quaked below their feet.

“Wha--…what’s this?” Wei Gaolang’s eyes widened as he cried out aloud, but nobody had an answer for him.

Jun Xiaomo immediately furrowed her brows. Her gaze looked far into the horizon where something seemed to be moving slightly in the distance.

ROAR! Another furious roar rang out, and the knees of several disciples buckled, including Wei Gaolang. They nearly knelt straight to the floor.

It was not that they were weak; rather, it was that the roar was simply too powerful and overbearing. The oppressive aura emerged from way out in the horizon and instantly weight down heavily on their bodies.

Any spirit beasts that possessed such overwhelming and powerful roars must undoubtedly be at the Golden Core stage of cultivation or beyond.

“Martial sister, what do we do?” Wei Gaolang reflexively looked towards Jun Xiaomo for her assistance.

Everyone else looked straight at Jun Xiaomo as well. It was evident that she had become their de facto leader.

“Don’t worry. Let’s wait and see.” Jun Xiaomo responded calmly as she retrieved and prepared several talismans from her Interspatial Ring.

Du Yongxu’s head was lowered close to the ground at this moment. Where nobody else could see, a vicious and wicked smile crept up the corner of his lips.

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