Chapter 25: Third-Grade Flowerleaf Koi

Jun Xiaomo was not aware of Liu Qingmei’s thoughts. She had fully immersed herself in the world of cultivation at this moment, and she did not find this to be dry or dull at all.

Perhaps to the former sixteen years-old Jun Xiaomo, living such a repetitive life would be exactly synonymous with a dull life to her. But, to someone who had been wholeheartedly pursuing the goals in mind like Jun Xiaomo, every little bit of progress was something to be celebrated. Naturally, she would not find such progress towards her goals to be dull or dry at all.

To date, she had been practicing the Nineform Spirituo-Demonic Refinement Technique for already half a month. Yet even with these fifteen days, Jun Xiaomo had not managed to grasp the nub of enhancing her true energy transformation speeds.

During this time, Jun Xiaomo had also thoroughly tested both of her previous conjectures. But neither experiment was successful, and in the end, she had only suffered a minor injury and wasted a precious fourth-grade superior recovery medicinal pill.

Luckily, her mother was not aware that this precious fourth-grade superior recovery medicinal pill was used in the course of an experiment. Otherwise, would Liu Qingmei simply let her off the hook that easily?

At this moment, Jun Xiaomo’s true energy transformation speed had remained at three-thousandth of her total energy in ten hours. Even with half a month of painstaking cultivation at that speed, the true energy from her first infusion cycle had not been fully dispersed.

That is to say, Jun Xiaomo had not even achieved one complete outer cycle within the last fifteen days of cultivation. 

When Jun Xiaomo first embarked on the journey of cultivation, she had only used seven months’ worth of time to improve her cultivation from the first to the second level of Qi Mastery. At that time, her father was so happy that he lifted her up with his hands, joyfully proclaiming, “You are truly Jun Linxuan’s daughter!” But at the rate her cultivation is going now, even if she had one years’ time, she might not be able to increase her cultivation to the second level of Qi Mastery.

As it was right now, to win the two wagers would be no more than a fantasy.

Jun Xiaomo suppressed the frustrations that were rising from her heart. She had to think calmly at this point in time.

What exactly was it that caused her true energy transformation efficiency to increase? Jun Xiaomo thought to herself.

She had a vague and blurry inkling of what the answer might be, but at the same time this answer remained an elusive thought and she was unable to pinpoint what exactly it was.

It felt as though she were grasping at water – she could tangibly feel its existence, yet when she tried holding onto it, it would be nothing more than a cool, damp feeling on her skin.

Just as Jun Xiaomo found herself deep in contemplation of this matter, her room’s door rang out with a knocking sound – Dong! Dong!

“Xiaomo, are you there? Can I come in?” Liu Qingmei gently asked from outside.

Mother? Jun Xiaomo found it strange that her mother would come looking for her at this time of the day, but nevertheless replied, “Mum, come in.”

Liu Qingmei walked into the room with a basket hung on her arm.

“I noticed that you did not set up any formation arrays outside your room, so I guessed that you were not cultivating.” Liu Qingmei explained.

Generally, cultivators would always set up formation arrays outside their room to alert and prevent others from disturbing them in the midst of their cultivation. Being disturbed in the midst of cultivation was not just annoying for the cultivator, it could even cause the cultivator to experience cultivation deviation and go crazy!

Therefore, Liu Qingmei had checked time and again that her daughter were not cultivating before knocking on Jun Xiaomo’s room door.

“Mum~ What is this? It smells so good!” Jun Xiaomo swiftly jumped out of bed and ran over to her mother’s side, motioning towards the basket carried by Liu Qingmei.

“Shoo!” Liu Qingmei smacked Jun Xiaomo’s hand, “This belongs to your martial brother Ye. Stop hankering for it!”

“Ai~ Mum, can’t I just take a quick peek at it? I’m starting to find you somewhat biased. How can you make such good stuff for brother Ye and not let me try even a little bit of it?” Jun Xiaomo bitterly murmured while her sharp nose continued to savour the aroma emitted from the basket.

It really smells so fragrant…

Before Jun Xiaomo had been reborn, her life’s priorities had generally been matters relating to evading capture or avoiding the next attempt at her life, and naturally the pleasures in life would always take a backseat. Even though cultivators no longer relied on food for sustenance once they had attained a certain level of cultivation, many cultivators would nevertheless indulge in some delectable delights from time to time. After all, food is still one of the greatest pleasures in life. And besides, if a cultivator did nothing but cultivate, then wouldn’t his life be very dull and gray?

Jun Xiaomo was one of these cultivators who enjoyed delectable delights from time to time as well. Even while she was evading capture and avoiding attempts at her life, she would always find time to indulge in the good food and wine of different locales. 

Liu Qingmei looked sharply at Jun Xiaomo, saying, “Do you think it’s possible that your mother would make this only for your martial brother Ye? Your martial brother Ye had chanced upon this third-grade Flowerleaf Koi in one of his excursions outside the Sect. He found this koi to be rather unusual, and he stunned it and brought it back alive as a gift to us. You little brat, on the other hand, even suspected that your mother would only make this for your martial brother Ye. This is but one portion of it, and there’s more in the pot. It’s a good thing that Xiuwen didn’t witness your grumbling, or he would be so disappointed that his kindness had been taken for granted here.”

Jun Xiaomo stuck out her tongue, clung onto her mother’s arm and said, “Mum~ It’s only cause I’m feeling peckish right now~ I spoke too fast…I spoke too fast.” 

Liu Qingmei rapped Jun Xiaomo’s head tenderly, simultaneously shoving the basket into her arms, “Mother needs to go out in a moment. This koi tastes better when it’s eaten hot. Go deliver it to your martial brother now if you have the time now.”

“Mm, okay Mum! You can count on me!” Jun Xiaomo patted her chest and declared.

“Pfft! I don’t know where you learnt that kind of expression from. You’re getting more and more boisterous.” Liu Qingmei shook her head with resignation, and rubbed the part of Jun Xiaomo’s head where she had earlier rapped, saying, “It’s also good that you’re cheerful. You’ve rarely shown such joy in your face ever since you ran into trouble with the Sect for entering its forbidden grounds.”

Jun Xiaomo was a little bit shaken up by her mother’s words, and she could not help but feel touched at this moment. She looked into her mother’s eyes, smiling sweetly at her, saying, “Then from today onwards I’ll always be so happy in front of you, okay?”

“It’s joy I was referring to, not a pretense in front of me~” Liu Qingmei tenderly prodded Jun Xiaomo’s forehead. “Okay, don’t delay any further. Mother has to leave shortly. Hold the basket securely, and don’t sneak any bites.”

“It seems that I’m only a glutton in my mother’s heart.” Jun Xiaomo stuck out her tongue at her mother in jest. Then, after waving her hands at Liu Qingmei, she promptly departed.

As she looked at Jun Xiaomo’s silhouette, Liu Qingmei sighed with resignation – I only hope that the rift between Xiuwen and Xiaomo can gradually be washed away.

After Jun Xiaomo had been punished by the Sect for trespassing its forbidden grounds, she seemed to be more carefree and much livelier. This truly gratified Liu Qingmei.

However, just as Liu Qingmei was about to leave Jun Xiaomo’s room, a thought suddenly occurred to her – Oh dear. Does Xiaomo know where Xiuwen’s abode is?

Liu Qingmei promptly retrieved a Pathfinding Paper Crane, wrote the names of Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen on its back, and sent it flying off with a spell.

“Ai~ I’d only just praised her for being mature, and there she goes carelessly and clumsily again.” Liu Qingmei laughed and shook her head before finally departing as well.

On the other side, Jun Xiaomo was not as lost as Liu Qingmei had expected. In her previous life after the death of her parents, she was hidden by Ye Xiuwen in his abode for three whole years. During these three years, even though she rarely stepped out of Ye Xiuwen’s abode, yet she would occasionally follow Ye Xiuwen out for a walk to clear her mind. Therefore, she knew exactly where Ye Xiuwen’s abode was located.

If not for the fact that she had been so focused on her cultivation right now, perhaps she might even have sought opportunities to visit Ye Xiuwen at his abode, chat for a bit, and hopefully slowly but surely warm Ye Xiuwen up to herself.

As she walked along towards Ye Xiuwen’s abode, toting the basket in hand, wafts of fragrance from the basket constantly assaulted her senses. While Jun Xiaomo was extremely tempted by the food right now, yet deep in her heart she was somewhat moved by Ye Xiuwen’s gesture.

The meat of Flowerleaf Koi were extremely tender. However, to obtain one was not easy. Not only did they have high offensive capabilities, they even had the ability to conceal themselves. Higher grade Flowerleaf Koi would naturally be even more difficult to catch.

She knew that this Flowerleaf Koi was Ye Xiuwen’s token of respect to her own parents. But even so, it was an extremely touching gesture.

Jun Xiaomo lightly ran her finger along the basket’s cover and gently sighed. If not for Ye Xiuwen’s deep filial piety for her parents, then he would not have taken on the burden of looking after Jun Xiaomo in her previous life, much less be prematurely killed in his attempt to rescue her.

As Jun Xiaomo remained immersed in her thoughts, she unknowingly arrived at Ye Xiuwen’s abode.

Ye Xiuwen’s abode bore the same dignified air about it as Ye Xiuwen. It had a simple, minimalist design with serene and calm surroundings. A small, winding gravel path ran from the main door to his room’s entrance. Several unknown spirit plants and spirit flowers grew in an orderly fashion along both sides of the path, filling the place with an air of exuberance. Over ten willow trees spread their leaves around these spirit plants and flowers, sheltering them from the heat. As the gentle breeze swept past, the willow leaves danced about with a mesmerizing rhythm, as though ripples were being sent through a sheet of jade-green curtains.

As she approached Ye Xiuwen’s room, Jun Xiaomo’s heart seemed to skip a few beats. The scene before her eyes now was exactly that from her memory. It was as though she had just walked down memory lane through the winding gravel path, and now stood before that serene and cool place which had once brought her many warm memories. 

As she finally arrived before Ye Xiuwen’s room, she took a deep breath and cleared her mind of the thoughts of the past.

“We’re still not very familiar with each other right now.” Jun Xiaomo muttered a reminder to herself under her breath, before knocking on Ye Xiuwen’s door, “Brother Ye, are you in? I’m your martial sister Jun Xiaomo.”

She waited a while, but there was still no response.

“Could it be that no one’s home right now? I should’ve known better to send a Messenger Paper Crane first.” Jun Xiaomo’s heart was filled with disappointment.

She knocked on the door a few more times, and after thoroughly ascertaining that Ye Xiuwen was not home, she turned around and began to leave.

But after taking a few steps, Jun Xiaomo suddenly stopped.

Since brother Ye isn’t around, why not take a look around this place? It’s still too early to go home anyway. Besides, my cultivation hasn’t produced much results recently. A change of environment is a good thing!

As Jun Xiaomo made up her mind, she turned around, and walked deeper into the abode down a narrow trail.

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