In his abode, Shen Yaoxue was reporting her findings to He Zhang, while He Zhang’s expression remained completely stoic and indolent. There was neither joy nor sorrow on his face.
“So, you’re saying that you’d noticed that the door to their room as well as their windows were tightly shut, and they had even plastered a talisman on their door to obstruct the penetration of divine senses. Thus, you decided to walk close to the door to determine whether they were in their room?”
“Yes, Sect Leader. That’s exactly it.”
“But since you didn’t see their physical persons, how do you know that they must be in their room? Under normal circumstances, why would anybody need to obstruct the penetration of divine senses?” He Zhang pressed the issue.
“Disciple thinks that the reason why they had closed their windows and even consciously obstructed the penetration of divine senses had very much to do with what they were doing at that point in time.” Shen Yaoxue postulated.
“Oh? What were they doing?” He Zhang raised his eyebrows.
“This…” Faced with such a question, Shen Yaoxue couldn’t help but recall the exact contents of what she had heard at that time once more. Her face flushed once more, and her eyes trembled slightly as she began to stammer, “When disciple drew closer to the door, they…they were…”
“What were they doing? Don’t sputter on like this!” He Zhang barked coldly.
“They…they were having intercourse.” Shen Yaoxue took a deep breath before blurting out what she was trying to say. Her skin felt hot like it just been roasted, while her mind was completely dazed and disoriented by the blood that had rushed into her brain once more.
There was no need to look in the mirror – she knew full well how red her face was right now.
He Zhang squinted his eyes as he echoed meaningfully, “Intercourse…”
Moments later, “Alright, you may take your leave first.” He Zhang waved his hand and dismissed Shen Yaoxue.
Seeing that He Zhang did not appear to be too upset, the tension in Shen Yaoxue’s heart eased slightly, and she heaved an immense sigh of relief. If He Zhang were to find any fault in her report, she would most certainly be left debilitated after the manifestation of his wrath.
After Shen Yaoxue took her leave, He Zhang remained taciturn for a little while longer, before he finally retrieved a Messenger Paper Crane, wrote some words on it, and then released it.
“Seems like the need to locate an array master has become something of even greater urgency…”
The first light of dawn that illuminated the earth and scattered the darkness also marked the end of a sleepless night. Ye Xiuwen rubbed his forehead, attempting to dispel some of the lingering weariness. Finally, after he perked up his spirits, he picked up the Transmittance Talisman that was placed just beside him once more.
He had attempted to get in touch with “Qin Shanshan” the entire night, yet to no avail.
Where exactly has “Qin Shanshan” gone? A sense of unease enshrouded Ye Xiuwen’s heart.
As though echoing and affirming Ye Xiuwen’s suspicions, the Transmittance Talisman in his hands suddenly brightened. Ye Xiuwen instantly picked up the Transmittance Talisman, only to hear “Qin Shanshan’s” feeble voice echoing from within.
“I’m…I’m on the path to the abode…I can’t hold up any longer. Come get me, alright…?”
As soon as “Qin Shanshan” finished speaking, Ye Xiuwen heard a dull thud ring out from the Transmittance Talisman, as though something heavy had just landed on the floor. Then, no matter how much he called out, he did not receive any form of response whatsoever from “Qin Shanshan”.
Ye Xiuwen immediately stored his Transmittance Talisman, imbued his body with his wind-based spells and sped towards the location that “Qin Shanshan” had earlier described.
“Qin Shanshan’s” body was still concealed by her Invisibility Talisman, so Ye Xiuwen was unable to see her physical body right now. Fortunately, “Qin Shanshan” had earlier made some fundamental alterations to her Invisibility Talisman, so that Ye Xiuwen would be able to discover her whereabouts as long as uses his divine sense.
Very quickly, Ye Xiuwen discovered someone lying on the ground completely motionless, almost as though she were dead.
“Shanshan? …Shanshan? …Miss Tong? …” Ye Xiuwen tried various ways of shaking awake the person lying unconscious on the ground. However, he received no response whatsoever.
Ye Xiuwen knew that he could not dally any further. Thus, he knelt down and picked up the person on the ground, before speeding straight back to Qin Shanshan’s abode.
If others were around right now, they would most definitely find this a strange sight to behold – it was a sight of a handsome and charming looking man appearing as though he were carrying someone horizontally in his arms with an intense, grim expression on his face as he sped along, yet there was nothing visible in his arms.
As soon as he returned to Qin Shanshan’s abode, Ye Xiuwen set “Qin Shanshan” gingerly down onto the bed. Then, he was faced with another problem – even though he could sense where “Qin Shanshan” was using his divine sense, the fact remained that he was unable to see her. If he could not see her, how was he going to know just what problems had surfaced on “Qin Shanshan’s” body right now?
Fortunately, “Qin Shanshan” gradually roused from her state of comatose, and the first thing she thought to do was to tear of the Invisibility Talisman on her body. Thus, what appeared to be an empty bed suddenly presented itself with a person lying on it.
“Qin Shanshan’s” sudden appearance didn’t astonish Ye Xiuwen. Rather, it was the plentiful wounds, lacerations and injuries on her body that rendered Ye Xiuwen completely flabbergasted, and his body instantly seized up where he was.
It was only after the Invisibility Talisman had lost its effects that Ye Xiuwen finally discovered just how serious “Qin Shanshan’s” injuries were. Apart from the plentiful wounds on her body, he could even see traces of serpentine blood streaking out of the corner of her lips – it was evident she had earlier coughed out blood.
“What were you doing last night?!” A fiery gaze ignited in the depths of Ye Xiuwen’s eyes. As he questioned her in anger, he immediately retrieved a bunch of bottles from his Interspatial Ring, all of which were filled with invaluable recovery pills.
He had already discovered that “Qin Shanshan” was similar to his little martial sister in many respects. Yet, today, he had just discovered that even her reckless, bold and headstrong attitude resembled that which his little martial sister possessed.
She must have done something incredibly dangerous to have sustained all these wounds. Otherwise, by the mere fact that she’s wearing Qin Shanshan’s identity right now, there’s no way she should have sustained such serious injuries.
“Cough, cough…” After consuming some of the recovery pills, Jun Xiaomo’s mind was no longer as disoriented. As focus slowly returned to her eyes, she managed to look straight back at Ye Xiuwen.
“It’s nothing too much. I was just attempting to breach the defenses of a formation array.” Jun Xiaomo smiled weakly as she spoke in a lighthearted and relaxed manner.
It was as though she refused to recognize what she was doing as something dangerous, as she shrugged it off as something simple as having a meal.
“Breaching a formation array? Do you think formation arrays are to be simply breached just like that?! Do you think that you’re unrivalled just because you’re an array master?!” Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows as he castigated her behaviour.
“Alright, alright. Don’t get angry. Aren’t I fine now?” Jun Xiaomo patted Ye Xiuwen’s arm. The recovery pills she had just consumed were incredibly effective, and she had already recovered a substantial portion of her strength.
To be able to encounter such a reliable friend like Jun Ziwen in such dire circumstances isn’t too bad. Jun Xiaomo remarked in her heart.
Even though their relationship had been founded on the basis of mutual benefit and cooperation, they had already begun to develop some level of understanding for each other over their days of cooperation – they were each undoubtedly of the character and personality that the other person admired and respected. Thus, they had over time begun to recognize each other as true friends.
Although they had not made these thoughts of theirs explicit, they knew in their hearts that the other thought the same way about them as well. Thus, they had begun to tacitly treat each other as friends as well.
Just like now, Jun Xiaomo could see very clearly the kind of worry that was highly evident in Ye Xiuwen’s eyes.
“You call this ‘fine’? If I weren’t around to pick you up and bring you back here, you might very well have been spotted by someone else!” Ye Xiuwen began to realize just how gutsy and reckless this lady was – it was as though she were unafraid of even death itself.
“Don’t worry, they won’t be able to discover me. I’ve already made preparations.” Jun Xiaomo smiled, causing Ye Xiuwen to glare at her with disapproval once more.
Realizing that her efforts to dispel the rage in Ye Xiuwen’s heart had all been in vain, she sighed with some measure of resignation as she added, “Trust me, if there were any way to breach the defenses of a formation array without putting my life in danger, I would be the first to jump in on it. Unfortunately, there’s none.”
“What kind of formation array is this that is so important for you to breach that you would even risk your life?” Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows.
After all, “Qin Shanshan” had proven so formidable that even the Sect’s protective formation array was unable to stand against her assault. What other formation array was there that could possibly be even more dangerous than the Sect’s protective formation array?
Jun Xiaomo’s eyes brightened, but she immediately shut her mouth. This was because the answer to this question was somewhat related to her identity that was a secret for now. Thus, she was unable to reveal something like that to Jun Ziwen.
Ye Xiuwen understood “Qin Shanshan’s” unwillingness to respond to his question. Thus, he decided to approach the issue from a different perspective, “Then, having attempted to breach the formation array’s defenses for an entire night, apart from reducing your life to its final breaths, did you discover the way to breach its defenses?”
This was most certainly something that Jun Xiaomo could answer.
She rubbed her cheeks, “I might have to make two more probative attempts like earlier before I can ascertain the way to breach the formation array’s defenses.”
“Another two attempts?!” Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows, and a burgeoning rage could once again be seen in the depths of his eyes.
“Alright, alright. Don’t get mad just yet. I can’t say this about anything else, but I’m almost certain that you can’t possibly be more familiar than I am with formation arrays and talismans, are you? At this moment, my goal is to investigate and decipher the abilities and functions of this formation array so that I can set up the appropriate countermeasures. I’m confident that there aren’t many formation arrays in this world that is able to stand up against my abilities. Even if there are some around, you would probably never find any of these within the Dawn Sect, because the Dawn Sect will never be able to set up a formation array that can stymie me. Don’t be too astonished by the sheer number of injuries on my body. These are but surface wounds, and they’re nothing that won’t recover completely after a few days’ rest.” Jun Xiaomo sincerely explained everything to Ye Xiuwen. When it came to matters pertaining to formation arrays, her eyes would invariably be filled with pride and confidence.
She knew that she had the right to be prideful and confident in her abilities. After all, she was Tong Ruizhen’s handpicked disciple, and she had fully immersed herself in the discipline of formation arrays and talismans within the Proving Ground for a whopping three hundred and thirty years. If she were unable to even breach the defenses of a formation array sequestering the forbidden grounds of a meagre Secondary Sect, her master Tong Ruizhen would most definitely give her an earful for three whole days and nights when he discovers this.
Unfortunately, the precondition to breaching the defenses of any formation array was first to learn of and identify the formation array’s functions and abilities. It was just like counteracting any poison – even if a person knew the antidote to every single type of poison in the world, he would still have to decipher what kind of poison it was before he could deliver the appropriate antidote to the person. Otherwise, everything would be done in vain.
Thus, Jun Xiaomo had already braced herself and made sufficient preparations before attempting to breach the formation array’s defenses. She had already known that the road ahead would be fraught with danger, and she would also have to face a period of hardship in the near future.
Ye Xiuwen realized that he was unable to refute what Jun Xiaomo had said, and he simply stared at her with a cold look on his face. In the end, he sighed with resignation.
“Oh yes, what about your goals here? I’ve noticed that you’ve remained within the abode all this while, almost as though you’ve not thought to make your move just yet.” Jun Xiaomo queried curiously.
Ye Xiuwen grew sullen for a moment, before responding, “I’d also encountered a formation array, and I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it.”
Jun Xiaomo looked at Ye Xiuwen with some measure of surprise, before nodding her head in understanding.
“Then, do you need my help?” Jun Xiaomo looked at Ye Xiuwen as she mischievously batted her eyelids.
Ye Xiuwen hesitated. He was evidently caught between a rock and a hard place right now. However, after deliberating about it for some time, he was unable to think of a single way to enter the Sect’s forbidden grounds apart from asking “Qin Shanshan” for her assistance.
“Perhaps…I might really need Miss Tong’s assistance in this regard.”
Ye Xiuwen sighed softly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter