After deliberating about it, Ye Xiuwen decided to expose his intentions and declared, “I intend to enter the Dawn Sect’s forbidden grounds. I wonder if Miss Tong would be willing to help me in this regard?”
“So you’re also looking to enter the Sect’s forbidden grounds?!” Jun Xiaomo’s eyes widened.
“Also?” Ye Xiuwen picked up on the crux of the issue, “Could Miss Tong have also attempted to enter the Dawn Sect’s forbidden ground last night?”
Jun Xiaomo coughed twice dryly and rubbed her nose as she responded, “Yeah…that…” She looked at Jun Ziwen again, but was still unaware of what his true motives were, and at the same time, she was not prepared to alert him to the fact that she was here to rescue the Heavenly Peak disciples. Thus, her mind spun, and she supplemented with an excuse, “I’d heard that there are priceless, invaluable treasures hidden within the Dawn Sect’s forbidden grounds. That’s why I’d come here to begin with.”
“Is that all?” Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows.
“That’s all.” Jun Xiaomo opened her eyes wide and stared straight into Ye Xiuwen’s eyes, doing all she could to seem that little bit more persuasive.
“Ridiculous!” Ye Xiuwen exploded again, “Do you think the forbidden grounds is somewhere you can trespass and enter just like that?!”
“That…” Jun Xiaomo lowered her head and murmured, “But I’d made sufficient preparations before attempting it…”
“Would you still get injured if your preparations were sufficient?” Ye Xiuwen snorted coldly.
“Believe it or not, it’s natural to get injured…After all, I’ve got to decipher the abilities and purposes of the formation arrays involved…” Jun Xiaomo stubbornly maintained.
Ye Xiuwen was once again reminded of his little martial sister. Back then, his little martial sister had also trespassed upon the Sect’s forbidden ground after being tempted by others. That was the genesis to the issue with her body, and that was what forced her to acquire a demonic body and become a demonic cultivator through and through. Who would have expected that years later, he would encounter another person that was just as daredevil as his little martial sister?
“Haven’t you heard of the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’?!” Ye Xiuwen castigated with displeasure.
Jun Xiaomo lowered her head and glared back at Ye Xiuwen as she rebutted, “Don’t you want to enter the forbidden grounds as well? How can you berate me like that? If you’re still going to continue, I’m not going to tell you how to enter the forbidden grounds anymore!”
Ye Xiuwen immediately found a lump lodged in his throat, and he began to panic, “I’m going in for a different purpose! How can you compare our purposes like that?!”
“How is it any different? We’re both going to trespass and enter the forbidden grounds either way!”
“I’m entering because I’m…”
“What are you going to do?” Jun Xiaomo stared at Ye Xiuwen with a bright glimmer in her eyes.
Ye Xiuwen was slightly taken aback. After retracting his words and remaining taciturn for a moment, he cut himself off, “Nothing much. You should have some rest.”
Jun Xiaomo pouted, evidently displeased with how Ye Xiuwen had just changed the topic like that as she muttered under her breath, “You want me to help you, yet you’re not even willing to tell me this much.”
Ye Xiuwen was momentarily taken aback, and he grimaced, as though deep in thought, before finally responding with some measure of exasperation, “Once everything ends, I’ll tell you everything, alright?”
He truly couldn’t afford to gamble with the safety of his martial brother’s lives. After all, “Qin Shanshan’s” identity and motives were too mysterious and secretive, and something told him that “Qin Shanshan” was still hiding something from him. That said, out of pure respect for her, he chose to refrain from asking her about it if she was not willing to talk about it.
His only hope was that “Qin Shanshan” did not harbour any ill intentions towards the members of the Heavenly Peak. Otherwise, even if he were able to rescue the martial brothers from the Heavenly Peak, he might no longer be able to maintain this friendship of theirs once the truth had come to light.
It couldn’t be helped that Ye Xiuwen no longer considered the possibility that “Qin Shanshan” was Jun Xiaomo. After all, “Qin Shanshan” had previously affirmatively declared that she had already lived for the last three hundred years. On account of this fact alone, Ye Xiuwen could already justifiably rule out the possibility that “Qin Shanshan” was Jun Xiaomo.
After receiving Ye Xiuwen’s pledge to reveal the truth to her, she nodded her head in delight as she responded, “Alright, then. I’ll make an exception and give you a hand in this regard.”
Ye Xiuwen was amused by the way Jun Xiaomo described how she was “making an exception”, and he curled his lips into a smile.
“But, let me put this out there first. Entering the forbidden grounds isn’t an easy feat, and sustaining injuries is part and parcel of the process. You’re not allowed to make a mountain out of a molehill in this regard.” Jun Xiaomo suddenly put on a stern and somber face as she instructed Ye Xiuwen.
Ye Xiuwen’s expressions stiffened as he stared vacantly at Jun Xiaomo, completely speechless – Is this really considered making a mountain out of a molehill?
However, he sighed with resignation as he decided to give in, “Alright. But you’re not allowed to enter the grounds alone. Since I need to enter the forbidden grounds as well, I’m going to move together with you.”
“No way!” Jun Xiaomo rejected that notion entirely, causing Ye Xiuwen to furrow his brows and glare at Jun Xiaomo with a disapproving look.
Jun Xiaomo stuck out her finger and wagged it in front of Ye Xiuwen as she explained, “It’s not that I’m being haughty or arrogant, but with brother Jun’s abilities, you wouldn’t be able to leave with your life and limb intact if you follow me into the formation array before I can set up the appropriate countermeasures. In fact, if you follow me into the formation array, I’ll be distracted by the fact that I’ve got to look after you as well. Conversely, it’s only if I enter the formation array alone that I’ll be able to wholeheartedly focus on my own safety. In any event, we’ll need to leave someone here to deal with any uninvited guests.”
Jun Xiaomo’s spiel was based on sound logic and reasoning, but for some reason, Ye Xiuwen continued to find it unacceptable to him.
“Alright, alright. I’ll give you a special Transmittance Talisman as well. When I enter the formation array, you’ll still be able to contact me, and it won’t be obstructed by the existence of the formation array at all. Will this do? Then, if I really encounter any life-threatening dangers, you’ll be able to come running after me like a hero rescuing a damsel in distress.”
Jun Xiaomo batted her eyelids at Ye Xiuwen as she cajoled him.
Ye Xiuwen couldn’t think of a single reason to raise in objection to what Jun Xiaomo had just said. Thus, after an extended period of silence, he had no choice but to agree with Jun Xiaomo’s suggestions with some measure of exasperation.
If she were to thoroughly understand the forbidden ground’s formation array, Jun Xiaomo still needed to enter and probe about within the formation array twice.
Under Ye Xiuwen’s instructions, Jun Xiaomo rested within Qin Shanshan’s abode for the next few days and prepared several life-preserving talismans for herself at the same time. After approximately one week, when Jun Xiaomo felt like she was almost in the pink of health, she decided to enter the forbidden grounds to probe at its formation arrays once more.
At about the same time, the array master that He Zhang was looking so desperately for had finally also arrived within the Dawn Sect.
Ever since time immemorial, array masters and talisman masters were existences that were few and far between within the spiritual cultivation world. After all, the pursuit of such disciplines invariably required a person to sacrifice a substantial portion of time that he could be using to elevate his cultivation level to the next level or even next stage of cultivation. To most people, the trade off was practically a no-brainer. Unless a person’s talent for cultivation were too low, most people would never choose to pursue the disciplines of becoming an array master or a talisman master.
However, it was precisely also because they were few and far between that the stronger the array master or talisman master, the more highly sought after they were. As long as his abilities were sufficiently strong, even an array master at merely the Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation could be more well regarded than the average cultivator at the Nascent Soul stage of cultivation.
The array master invited by He Zhang to resolve their issues possessed abilities that were only slightly above average among all of the array masters within the spiritual cultivation world. However, time was of the essence. Furthermore, the stronger array masters would usually come and go as they pleased, and they were in such high demand that they would never be idling about, waiting for the next Sect to call upon them. Thus, He Zhang had no other choice but to contend with an array master that was no more than passable.
However, as soon as he saw the array master they had invited, He Zhang’s eyelids immediately began to twitch – this array master’s expressions were far too deserving of beating. This array master walked about with an air of haughtiness around him, as though anyone around were completely beneath him. Even when he looked at the Dawn Sect’s Sect Leader, there was not a single trace of respect within his eyes.
“Sect Leader, this is Chen Taiguang. He is the thirty-second generation’s successor of the Chen Clan formation array arts. Brother Chen, this our Sect’s Sect Leader He.”
“Pleased to meet you, brother Chen.” His guest was an array master when all was said and done, so He Zhang had consciously set aside his pride as a Sect Leader and bowed politely to Chen Taiguang.
However, Chen Taiguang simply lifted his chin and nodded in response to He Zhang.
The Sect Elder that had brought Chen Taiguang back displayed a rather embarrassed and awkward look on his face. From their interactions on the way back, he had already discovered this array master’s problematic behaviour. However, he had not had the opportunity to inform He Zhang of the same.
Furthermore, he had never expected that Chen Taiguang would not even give their Sect Leader any respect.
He Zhang was infuriated by Chen Taiguang’s arrogance. However, he knew that he needed Chen Taiguang’s assistance right now, so he had no choice but to suppress the burgeoning rage in his stomach.
“Men, bring brother Chen to his room so that he can get a good shower and clean up after his long journey here.” He Zhang coldly demanded of the Dawn Sect disciples who were awaiting his instructions.
“Eh, hang on.” Chen Taiguang raised his hands and interrupted He Zhang, “I’m hungry. I’d prefer if you guys made something for me to eat for now. Oh yes, remember to include some meat as well – and make sure that the meat is from a spirit beast that is at least of the fifth-grade. Otherwise, the food wouldn’t have any flavour.”
The veins on He Zhang’s forehead instantly bulged and began to throb, and he gnashed his teeth as he instructed the disciple who had run over to him, “Didn’t you hear the man? Go prepare it right now!”
“But…but, Sect Leader, we don’t have in stock any meat from spirit beasts that are in the fifth-grade or higher.” The disciple receiving his new set of instructions stammered as he explained the issue with such a request.
Before He Zhang could say anything, Chen Taiguang immediately exclaimed, “As expected, a small sect is a small sect indeed. You don’t even have meat of spirit beasts at the fifth-grade. Tsk tsk.”
His words were clearly filled with disdain for the Dawn Sect.
He Zhang and the other Sect Elders’ faces immediately darkened with rage – if not for the fact that they needed his assistance right now…
Suppressing his fury once more, He Zhang bellowed and ventilated his anger at the Dawn Sect disciple, “Even if we don’t have any in stock, don’t you know how to obtain something like that? Don’t tell me that you can’t even defeat a fifth-grade spirit beast after practicing your cultivation for such a long time?!”
The disciple at the receiving end of He Zhang’s rage felt incredibly aggrieved and humiliated right now. However, the person instructing him was none other than his Sect Leader, and he was not in any position to put up a contrarian perspective to matters. Thus, he hurriedly bowed in compliance and ran off with his tail between his legs.
If I really can’t find a fifth-grade spirit beast, I’ll have no choice but to use money to buy the meat from the market. The Dawn Sect disciple thought in his heart.
When he thought about how valuable the meat of fifth-grade spirit beasts was, the disciple couldn’t help but feel pangs of pain emanating from his heart. The more he thought about it, the more he was determined to hunt for the meat if that was possible.
After the disciple left, Chen Taiguang brazenly walked over to the seat that was meant for the chairman presiding over any meeting and took his seat there. Then, he retrieved a scroll from his Interspatial Ring and began to scribble some words onto it.
Shortly after that, he tossed it to He Zhang. Puzzled, He Zhang received it and opened the scroll once more.
As he skimmed over the contents of what was written within, He Zhang’s face grew completely ashen.
Chen Taiguang slowly explained, “These are my fees. I’d already agreed this with your Sect Elder on the way here. Sect Elder He, please prepare these things in advance. Once I’m done with the work here, I’ll be leaving immediately.”
“But this is completely different from what we’d previously agreed!” He Zhang’s fists tightened around the scroll. It was evident that he was almost unable to control his anger anymore, “This is fifty percent more than what I’d prepared!”
“So what? You’re the one with the request, not me. In fact, what I’m requesting for is considered quite little already. If you don’t believe me, you can ask the others who had engaged my services in the past just how much they had paid me. You’re from a Secondary Sect after all, I don’t think you’d be unable to fork over just this much, would you? If you really can’t afford this much, then you’ll have to forgive me, but I won’t be able to help you out.” Chen Taiguang looked at He Zhang with a derisory gaze in his eyes.
He Zhang was completely incensed. He had only intended to locate an array master to check on and identify what was wrong with the Sect’s protective formation array. But as things were right now, they seemed to have inadvertently invited a tyrant to their midst!
Ever since he had become the Sect Leader, who else, apart from the Du Clan Head, had dared to treat him with such contempt and disrespect?!
Forget about the Du Clan Head for now. After all, his abilities were way in excess of He Zhang’s abilities, and it was only natural for him to be flaunting his arrogance about He Zhang. That said, what did this puny array master count for? With his abilities, He Zhang could squash him as easily as an ant right now!
The Sect Elder standing beside He Zhang noticed that He Zhang’s rage was ever increasing, and he quickly tugged at his sleeves and whispered in a hushed voice, “Sect Elder, bear with it for now. We’ve got no choice – he’s the only one who can help us right now. If we chase him away, the issue with the Sect’s protective formation array will remain unresolved. Without knowing where Jun Linxuan and the rest of the Heavenly Peak are, it would be imprudent to leave the issue with the Sect’s protective formation array unresolved.”
With the aid of the Sect Elder’s persuasive reasoning, He Zhang finally managed to repress his rage and regain some measure of his rationality.
He glanced at Chen Taiguang once more with a deep and abstruse gaze, before plastering a stiff smile on his face as he quipped, “Brother Chen makes sense. Since we’re the ones with the request, we’ll naturally have to show sufficient sincerity for your assistance.”
“That’s exactly how it should be. Oh yes, if you’ve got any good spirit wine with you, don’t forget to bring some to me later as well.”
It had to be mentioned that Chen Taiguang truly knew no bounds. He was the very embodiment of the idiom “give an inch, take a mile”. As he continued to present himself with the delighted, pleased look on his face, the Sect Elders standing around couldn’t help but develop an urge to tear him to shreds.
However, none of them acted on their thoughts.
At the same time, even though He Zhang responded obsequiously, his eyes glanced coldly at Chen Taiguang once more.
This man’s abilities had better be as formidable as he makes himself out to be. No, he’d better pray that he can do something about the Sect’s protective formation array. Otherwise…
A trace of killing intent surfaced on He Zhang’s heart.Previous Chapter Next Chapter