Approximately one month had passed since the end of the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition. Over the last month, the sects that had participated in the competitions had gradually begun to make their way back to their respective sects’ grounds. The Dawn Sect did so as well.
The Dawn Sect had been the greatest winners in this iteration of the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition. They had claimed the titles of champions of the Lower Category, Middle Category and Open Category individual battles, and they had even been crowned the title of champions for the group battles. Thus, there was no doubt that the Dawn Sect stood head and shoulders above the rest of the Secondary Sects through this competition.
That said, there were few people within the Dawn Sect who were pleased by these results. The members of the Heavenly Peak had no longer considered the Dawn Sect as their home, while He Zhang and the other members of the Dawn Sect found themselves cheerless by the fact that their schemes against the Heavenly Peak had failed time and again.
In fact, the greatest victors of this iteration of the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition was not the Dawn Sect, but the Heavenly Peak within the Dawn Sect. After all, the Heavenly Peak disciples were the ones who had taken the titles of champions of the Lower Category and Middle Category individual battles, as well as the title of champions of the group battles. Everyone who had watched their battles were incredibly amazed by the abilities of the Heavenly Peak disciples.
It had to be said that He Zhang’s greatest miscalculation this time was to altogether swap out the list of participants for the group battles for the Heavenly Peak disciples. Had they not done so, where would the Heavenly Peak disciples have found the opportunity to display the full extent of their abilities to the rest of the world? Their stellar performance throughout the course of the group battles had drawn the attention of several Greater Sects. Thus, over the last few days, the Dawn Sect had seen several sect elders from Greater Sects call upon the Dawn Sect looking specifically for Heavenly Peak disciples.
Just like that, He Zhang felt as though a swathe of blood had been lodged in his throat. He could neither swallow it nor spit it out.
What was more aggrieving and aggravating than presenting his own enemies with the opportunity to shine on a silver platter? Nothing!
The only thing that He Zhang could still celebrate about was the fact that Ye Xiuwen had remained missing, and there was no news of his whereabouts to date. Otherwise, the champion of the Open Category battles might not even have been Qin Lingyu!
To He Zhang, Ye Xiuwen’s disappearance was something delightful to be celebrated. Yet to Jun Xiaomo, this was something that brought her inexplicable pain and hurt.
It was night. Jun Xiaomo leaned against her windowsill and stared at the moon in the horizon. She held a small glass of wine and took sips from it from time to time.
As time passed, the moon crept upwards until it hung high in the sky. Despite that, Jun Xiaomo did not reveal any intention to retire for the night. Ever since returning to the Sect, she had meditated throughout the nights in order to tide through its immense darkness and stillness. That said, she found herself unable to still her mind and delve into her meditative state tonight.
Her heart was in a complete mess.
Just earlier today, the Dawn Sect had welcomed some guests from the second-ranked Frozen Sword Sect. They had come to communicate their intentions to nominate her martial brother Chen Feiyu as a Chosen Disciple of the Frozen Sword Sect. This was supposed to be a joyous occasion. However, while everyone was busy congratulating Chen Feiyu for his achievements, Jun Xiaomo experienced a strong sense of deja vu, and a bitter and astringent sensation crept up from the bottom of her heart.
Some time ago, Ye Xiuwen had earned the favor of the Frozen Sword Sect in a similar fashion. As soon as this piece of news spread throughout the Sect, several martial brothers from the Heavenly Peak immediately ran over to congratulate Ye Xiuwen.
In her previous life, Ye Xiuwen did indeed successfully become a disciple of the Frozen Sword Sect. This was because Ye Xiuwen had not encountered such a life-threatening situation on his travels outside of the sect back then. Thus, he had successfully completed the sect’s task and stepped into the Foundation Establishment stage off cultivation and later become the official disciple of the Frozen Sword Sect.
This was not the first time that Jun Xiaomo had wondered whether her martial brother Ye would have returned to the Sect safely had she not been willful and headstrong and looked for her martial brother outside the Sect.
Even though her intentions were not to make things worse for Ye Xiuwen, it did not change the fact that her appearance had altered the outcome of their travels and changed Ye Xiuwen’s fate in this life.
At this point in time, it had already been more than a year since Ye Xiuwen’s disappearance, yet nobody had received any news of their martial brother to date. As time crept by slowly, Jun Xiaomo felt as though the odds of Ye Xiuwen’s survival was gradually dwindling…
Drip. A drop of tear rolled off Jun Xiaomo’s cheek, off her chin and landed on the windowsill.
She finished the rest of her wine in one big gulp, and she hung her head low. She batted her tear-stained eyes, and her entire being was enshrouded in an air of sorrow and misery.
Will I still be able to see martial brother Ye in this lifetime of mine?
Jun Xiaomo clenched her fists tightly as the guilt weighing on her heart stifled her.
Just then, a regular Transmittance Talisman glowed in her Interspatial Ring, breaking Jun Xiaomo’s train of thought.
She was momentarily taken aback. As soon as she regained her senses, she furiously suppressed the roiling emotions in her heart as she retrieved the Transmittance Talisman from her Interspatial Ring.
“Hello, who’s that?” Jun Xiaomo held the Transmittance Talisman in her hand as she asked.
“It’s me.” Rong Ruihan’s voice resounded from the talisman, “Why aren’t you asleep yet?”
“I’d thought brother Rong had called me because you’d guessed that I’m still awake.” Jun Xiaomo quipped back with a faint smile on her face.
That said, there was barely any joy underneath that smile of hers.
“I’d only thought to try my luck. What’s the matter? Can’t fall asleep?” Rong Ruihan’s low voice was just like a solid boulder – it possessed the ability to calm a person’s heart as it slowly echoed in a person’s mind.
“You can say that was the case. I’m much better now.” Jun Xiaomo chuckled lightly.
The anxiety and frustrations on her heart had indeed dwindled substantially by now.
“Don’t think too much about it. Sometimes things aren’t as bad as you think they are. You’ve still got some time ahead of you. You can only see hope when you loosen your mind and broaden your perspectives.”
Rong Ruihan knew that there were only a few things that could possibly keep Jun Xiaomo awake at night. Thus, if Jun Xiaomo chose not to reveal them to him, he would naturally respect her choice and not ask either.
That being the case, this was the only way he could appease her mind and calm her heart right now.
“I understand. Thanks, brother Rong.” Jun Xiaomo revealed a sincere smile on her face. Then, as though she just remembered something, she continued, “That’s right, brother Rong, is there any reason why you’ve called me this late at night?”
Rong Ruihan chuckled with some measure of exasperation, “There is indeed something. In fact, it’s something that’s rather important.”
Jun Xiaomo revealed a slightly astonished expression, “What’s tha--…”
Before Jun Xiaomo could complete her sentence, she immediately heard a few howls through the Transmittance Talisman – Awooo! Awoooo!
“So it’s got to do with the Scarlet Heavenly Wolf…” Jun Xiaomo rubbed her temples. She had roughly guessed what the problem might be –
It must be the fact that the Scarlet Heavenly Wolf was not used to the Chi Clan’s grounds, and it had begun to throw a tantrum so that it could get in touch with Jun Xiaomo, right?
“I’m sorry, brother Rong. It must be causing you guys a lot of trouble, isn’t it?” Jun Xiaomo smiled helplessly.
“Actually, it’s not too bad. It was only when master had informed us that it might take three full years to thoroughly purge its body of all the remnant refinement technique that it might have got a shock and began to throw a tantrum.”
“Three years?! I didn’t think it would take that much time…” Jun Xiaomo was surprised by this revelation.
“There’s no choice. It’s been put through three rounds of the refinement technique. Even though each attempt had failed, the scars remaining in its body have some measure of permanence to them. If we want to thoroughly purge its body of these traces of refinement technique, it naturally requires a fair amount of time.”
“Seems like I’ll have to trouble old man Chi, then.” Jun Xiaomo chuckled bitterly.
“Old man Chi isn’t too concerned about this. In fact, he’s a little…” Rong Ruihan paused for a moment as he selected the right words, “He’s a little eager about it.”
“Eager about it?”
“That’s right. Master enjoys a challenge from time to time. Don’t you think that purging the refinement technique from the Scarlet Heavenly Wolf’s body is a pretty good challenge for him?” Rong Ruihan chuckled with some measure of exasperation laced with bemusement.
“So that’s the case…then…I’ll have to thank old man Chi in advance then.” Even though Jun Xiaomo was sincerely grateful to old man Chi, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the entire situation either.
For some strange reason, she suddenly became slightly sympathetic to the Scarlet Heavenly Wolf that was residing in the Chi Clan’s grounds. It won’t become an experiment to old man Chi, right?
But something told Jun Xiaomo that the truth was otherwise…
“I’d bothered you in the dead of the night because I’d hoped you would have some way of appeasing its tantrum.” Rong Ruihan continued.
“It’s not a bother at all. Let me have a word with it.” Jun Xiaomo repressed the laughter in her heart.
On the other side, Rong Ruihan brought the Transmittance Talisman closer to the Scarlet Heavenly Wolf as he said, “You’ll be able to communicate with Jun Xiaomo through this.”
The Scarlet Heavenly Wolf was incredibly clever, and it immediately understood what Rong Ruihan was saying.
Awoo? The Scarlet Heavenly Wolf lay obsequiously on the ground and yowled at the Transmittance Talisman.
“Little Wolf…” Jun Xiaomo’s crisp and clear voice began to flow out of the Transmittance Talisman, “You’ve got to be good and listen to them, understand? Only old man Chi can purge the refinement technique from your body. You don’t want to be controlled by the bad guys anymore, right?”
Awoo… The Scarlet Heavenly Wolf’s voice was filled with some delight and some grievances at the same time – it was delighted that it could speak with Jun Xiaomo through the Transmittance Talisman, and it was aggrieved that it would have to be trapped within the Chi Clan’s grounds for three whole years.
The Scarlet Heavenly Wolf was naturally not too familiar with the concept of “years”. However, it knew that three years was a rather long time. After all, when it was bound and trapped within the Du Clan’s grounds and forced to do their bidding, it had come across the term of reference for “years” on occasion.
To its mind, every reference to the word “year” would mean an incredibly long period of time. In fact, the duration felt practically as long as its current age.
It was no wonder that it would have such an adverse reaction when it heard old man Chi mention “three years”. The period of time that it had been trapped within the Du Clan’s grounds had evidently left it traumatized.
“Don’t be too aggrieved now. I’ll visit you when I have the time, understand? But you’ll have to promise me to be good and listen to brother Rong and old man Chi so that they can thoroughly purge your body of the refinement technique.” Jun Xiaomo instructed as she gave it her word that she would visit it.
Awooo! The Scarlet Heavenly Wolf finally appeared to be more invigorated as it howled at the Transmittance Talisman with joy.
Apart from that, Jun Xiaomo also heard Rong Ruihan’s voice through the Transmittance Talisman as he quipped, “I’m rather envious of what you’ve just promised the Scarlet Heavenly Wolf. You’ve never given us your word that you’ll be visiting either me or your little packrat.”
Jun Xiaomo was momentarily lost for words at Rong Ruihan’s response. She could neither agree nor disagree with it. In the end, she simply shook her head and chuckled helplessly.
“Alright, I was just pulling your leg. It’s getting late. Xiaomo, you should try and get some rest for the night. Don’t push yourself too hard. Remember, everything in moderation.” Rong Ruihan left Jun Xiaomo with some parting words.
Jun Xiaomo found it amazing that Rong Ruihan could always be so meticulous about everything.
She curled her lips into a blissful smile as she responded, “I will. Brother Rong should get some rest as well.”
Awoo—The Scarlet Heavenly Wolf also minced its way forward to bid farewell to Jun Xiaomo as well.
As she returned her Transmittance Talisman to her Interspatial Ring, Jun Xiaomo’s eyes were filled with blissful emotions – it was precisely because of friends like this that she would never become as despondent and hopeless like how she was in her previous life.
Some distance away, under the same moonlit sky, another person found herself unable to sleep in her own room as well. Having extinguished all of the candles in her room, she turned to face her pill cauldron as she suffused it with her spiritual energy.
I have to succeed this time! Yu Wanrou gritted her teeth as a bright gleam flashed across her eyes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter