Indeed, as soon as Chen Taiguang’s avarice manifested once again, and he bit off more than he could chew, He Zhang had already mentally branded Chen Taiguang with the death penalty.
To begin with, He Zhang was not an easy person to get along with. After all, he was a calculative man who valued his personal gains over anything else. To this date, several hundred years from the date of the incident, he still bears a grudge against Jun Linxuan for nearly snatching the position of the next Sect Leader that he was coveting. Chen Taiguang had undoubtedly crossed He Zhang’s bottom line when he had time and again increased the fees for his services, while threatening to leave things as they were if he did not receive his increased fees.
In fact, as a Sect that was ranked among the top three of all Secondary Sects, the Dawn Sect was in a good position to afford all of the remuneration listed by Chen Taiguang, despite the extravagant increments to his fees. However, He Zhang considered all of the Dawn Sect’s wealth as his own personal wealth. Accordingly, Chen Taiguang’s requests were undoubtedly perceived as a request for a pound of He Zhang’s own flesh and blood.
Anyone who asked for a pound of He Zhang’s flesh would naturally become He Zhang’s next target.
As He Zhang stood by Chen Taiguang’s side, his gaze began to creep all over Chen Taiguang’s body like that of a poisonous snake staring at its prey.
Yet Chen Taiguang was completely oblivious to the kind of trouble he had just got himself into. In fact, he was even gleefully thinking of how he was going to enjoy life for some time after making off with the resources that the Dawn Sect was going to pay to him as remuneration.
After He Zhang agreed to his revised fees, Chen Taiguang stood at the heart of the Dawn Sect’s protective formation array and pretentiously retrieved a bunch of spirit tools from his Interspatial Ring. Then, he began to load these spirit tools with a number of objects that even He Zhang was unable to name, before suffusing these spirit tools with his own spiritual energy.
Within moments, the spirit tools began to emit a cacophony of buzzing sounds as they each emitted and glowed with their own characteristic lights. Immediately after that, Chen Taiguang placed the formation diagram that He Zhang and the other Sect Leaders had earlier handed over to him into the midst of where all of the spirit tools were located. Just like that, the lights emitted by the spirit tools shot straight into the heart of the formation diagram.
In the very next moment, He Zhang and the rest felt the ground beneath their feet tremble slightly, and they realized that their surroundings seemed to have mysteriously and miraculously changed slightly.
Finally, after an intense, bright blue light burst out and faded away, everything went back to normal once more.
“It’s done.” Chen Taiguang opened his eyes and began to collect the spirit tools that were strewn all over as he reported to He Zhang and the other Sect Elders.
The Sect Elders immediately exchanged looks of disbelief with each other.
Is that it?! That didn’t even take one incense stick of time!
That said, from Chen Taiguang’s earlier expression, as well as the slight changes to their surroundings, it did seem rather believable that something had already been done.
On the other hand, He Zhang simply squinted his eyes as he placidly clarified, “Brother Chen, are you certain that everything has been resolved?”
He Zhang’s enigmatic gaze did cause a trace of sheepishness to surface in Chen Taiguang’s heart. However, for the sake of his remuneration, Chen Taiguang battled to repress the guilt in his heart as he confronted He Zhang’s oppressive gaze head on.
“You…you don’t believe me? Hah! Are you guys trying to renege on the deal after I’ve resolved your problem for you so that you don’t have to pay me my fees?” Chen Taiguang widened his eyes as he responded with another allegation of his own, pretending to be completely infuriated.
In fact, the only reason why he pretended to be infuriated was to conceal the guilt weighing on his heart.
“It’s just that everything seemed to be resolved so quickly, so I had thought to make sure that it was all fine. After all, we did agree to pay you almost an arm and a leg for your services, wouldn’t you say?” He Zhang’s gaze was still filled with traces of inquisition and suspicion.
“Hah. Don’t worry. As a person from the Chen Clan, you can trust that I’m a man of my word. Since I dare to accept your remuneration, you can naturally count on it that everything has been resolved.” Chen Taiguang patted his chest as he gave his word.
“You’d best hope that that’s the case. Otherwise, in the same way that you’ve guzzled the remuneration, I’ll see to it that you’ll spit everything out in the exact same fashion.” He Zhang remarked coldly.
Chen Taiguang’s heart shuddered as he thought – What’s up with this Sect Leader’s attitude? How is it that it has completely changed just like that? I recall that his earlier attitude to me was still pretty good…
But how would he know that he was already no more than a dead person in He Zhang’s eyes? After all, he had already outlived his use, while He Zhang remained unwilling to part with the remuneration he had earlier agreed to.
In turn, what reason was there for He Zhang to be polite to a “dead person”? There was naturally none. Thus, He Zhang no longer suppressed and masked his attitude towards Chen Taiguang.
Chen Taiguang suddenly shivered, and he ran his fingers over the goosebumps that were creeping up all over his arms as he exclaimed in his heart – I wonder why I suddenly got the chills even though it’s such a warm day? It’s truly strange…
Then, after assuring and reassuring He Zhang with guarantee after guarantee that the formation array would no longer have any issues, He Zhang’s expressions finally began to soften once more.
After that, He Zhang informed Chen Taiguang that he was unfortunately unable to prepare all the remuneration just yet, and he invited Chen Taiguang to continue to reside within the Dawn Sect’s premises over the next few days as his guest. As soon as he manages to prepare everything, he would hand them over in one go to Chen Taiguang.
Chen Taiguang also took the view that receiving all of his remuneration at one go was the best arrangement for him. After all, it would save him from having to make a few trips just to collect his dues.
Thus, without suspecting that anything was amiss, he gladly agreed to stay at the Sect for the next few days as He Zhang’s guest. Regrettably, he failed to notice the trace of killing intent in the depths of He Zhang’s eyes, as well as the roiling hatred in He Zhang’s heart.
It was night. Chen Taiguang was sound asleep and having a beautiful dream where he had become a formidable array master like the first of his entire clan had been, and there was a long line of people queuing up, eagerly anticipating the day when they could hand over their valuables and priceless treasures to him in exchange for his services.
As he looked at the mountain of treasures lying in store for him, a dribble of drool seeped out of the corner of his mouth, and Chen Taiguang smacked his lips in delight as he thoroughly enjoyed his dream.
A black shadow flashed past, and just like that, Chen Taiguang’s room now contained an uninvited guest as well. This uninvited guest sat lazily on the table in the middle of the room. Then, the uninvited guest lifted her chin, looked at Chen Taiguang and clicked her lips.
“Tsk. Your head is already on the chopping board, yet you can still sleep so soundly. I wonder if it would be more accurate to say you’re a fool, or that you’re simply far too naïve.”
The intruder’s voice was incredibly pleasant to the ears, just like a stream of waters gently trickling down a bed of rocks. That said, the content of what was said was clearly not as pleasant. In fact, it was evidently filled with disdain for the person lying on the bed right now.
“To think that you even dare to call yourself an array master. I think your Chen Clan ancestors must be stirring in their graves right now.” As the intrude spoke, she flicked her wrist and shot a talisman towards the person lying on the bed.
As soon as the talisman struck Chen Taiguang’s body and faded into his body, he immediately began to rouse from his slumber and come to his senses.
“Ungh…is it already time to wake up? How come I still feel so weary and tired…” Chen Taiguang muttered to himself. The intruder sitting on the table was so taken aback by his statement that she almost fell off the table.
This…what kind of a buffoon is this?! How unlucky must He Zhang be to call upon such a person to inspect the Dawn Sect’s formation array?
However, the more of a fool this man was, the more delighted and pleased her heart felt. The thought that He Zhang was duped by this man thoroughly satisfied Jun Xiaomo’s heart.
That’s right. The intruder was none other than Jun Xiaomo. She knew that He Zhang was going to make a move against this man very soon. At the same time, she knew that anything which caused He Zhang misery would invariably give her some sense of satisfaction and pleasure. Thus, Jun Xiaomo had decided to lend Chen Taiguang a hand and rescue him without much hesitation. This was why she had intruded on Chen Taiguang’s room tonight.
“You…who are you?! What are you doing in my room?!” Chen Taiguang clambered out of bed quickly and stared at the intruder as he stammered. It had taken Chen Taiguang some time before he finally realized Jun Xiaomo’s presence in his room.
As a result of the dim lighting in the room, he could not see the appearance of the intruder very well. In fact, the only thing he saw right now was the silhouette of a person sitting on the table. The sudden appearance of such a foreign figure would naturally scare anyone in Chen Taiguang’s shoes.
“Tsk tsk, you’re such a coward.” Jun Xiaomo leapt off the bed and began to walk towards Chen Taiguang as she added, “Would you believe me if I said that I was here to rescue you?”
Chen Taiguang gulped down his saliva with some difficulty as he responded, “That…this…lady, I don’t even know who you are, this…don’t you think it’s going to be difficult for me to believe you? Furthermore, my life isn’t even in danger right now.”
“The fact that your life isn’t in imminent danger doesn’t mean that your life won’t be in danger over the next few days.” Jun Xiaomo explicated as she continued to walk forward slowly.
Just then, the cloud cover in the night sky drifted apart, allowing the moon to peek through, gently illuminating the lands with a faint light. In turn, this allowed Chen Taiguang to see Jun Xiaomo’s appearances for the very first time.
More accurately speaking, what he saw was “Qin Shanshan’s” appearances. Jun Xiaomo had not torn off the Masquerade Talisman from her body just yet.
Chen Taiguang’s jaws dropped slightly. He had never expected the person who had come to “save his life” would actually be so beautiful.
As a result, his face had completely flushed, and he began to stammer uncontrollably.
“That…that, you…you mentioned that I would be in danger? Also, you…you…why did you come save me in the first place?”
Jun Xiaomo raised an eyebrow quizzically. Having already attained the Nascent Soul stage of cultivation, she had no troubles seeing Chen Taiguang’s exact appearances, even with the present dim lighting in the room.
And it was for this reason that she could tell how Chen Taiguang’s face was filled with a look of…innocence.
“If I say…I’m attracted to you?” A faint smile crept up the corner of Jun Xiaomo’s lips.
Chen Taiguang’s face immediately grew as red as a tomato. His mind went blank, and he found himself completely at a lost for words, “That…that…”
“Pfft…hahahahaha…you’re really cute, hahahahaha…” Jun Xiaomo burst out laughing. Even though Chen Taiguang was a swindler who loved to idle around, she could tell from his present response that his heart was filled with innocence and purity.
Truth be told, she did not loathe people with such characters. At the very least, it was hardly as tiring to interact with these people compared to conniving schemers.
“Alright.” As her laughter subsided, a stern and somber look returned to her face as she got back to the crux of the matter, “If you don’t want to be killed by He Zhang and the rest, you’d be wise to leave this place now, under the cover of the night.”
“Under…under the cover of the night? Why?” Chen Taiguang’s eyes widened with some measure of disbelief.
Jun Xiaomo glanced at him as she placidly explained, “Do you think that you’ll be able to live to tell the tale after asking He Zhang an arm and a leg? I’m afraid that the day you receive your remuneration is also going to be the day your fate is sealed.”
“Ah? Aren’t they all from an upstanding, righteous Sect? The Dawn Sect is even ranked the first among all of the Secondary Sects! Such things don’t happen here, do they?” Chen Taiguang shook his head as he retorted.
“Upstanding and righteous Sect? Hah! That label is the greatest joke ever. The number of atrocities committed by these so-called upstanding and sanctimonious sects are even greater than that which the demonic sects and clans would even consider.” Jun Xiaomo derided.
“You dislike He Zhang and the rest?”
“Dislike is probably too weak a description. I think it would be more accurate to say that I hate them.” Jun Xiaomo calmly responded. For some strange reason, Chen Taiguang discovered that this last statement from the intruder was laced with roiling undertones of emotions.
“But if that’s the case, how would I know you’re not deceiving me? Maybe you just hate them, and so you want to…smear them and tarnish their reputation?” Chen Taiguang looked at Jun Xiaomo curiously as he postulated.
Jun Xiaomo glanced at him once more as she shrugged her shoulders, “It’s up to you whether you want to believe me. After all, what you want to do with your life is up to you. I’d only decided to give you a word of caution because I’m in a good mood, seeing how you had earlier duped He Zhang.”
“Haa--?! You…how do you…” Chen Taiguang’s face instantly turned pale.
“How do I know, you ask?” Jun Xiaomo grinned at him, “How do you think I know about it, hmm?”
“You…” Chen Taiguang’s mind began to spin quicker and quicker, “Could you be the array master that tampered with and altered the Dawn Sect’s protective formation array?!”
Jun Xiaomo smiled faintly and bared her teeth at Chen Taiguang as she quipped, “You’d best keep this to yourself. Otherwise, I’ll make certain that you don’t live to see the light of day tomorrow.”
“I won’t say a word! Not a single word!” Chen Taiguang immediately raised his hands with a “surrender” gesture. At the same time, he muttered, “There’s no benefit to me if I talk about it anyway. Wouldn’t speaking about it be tantamount to admitting that I’d duped Sect Leader He?”
“Hmph. Glad that you know that much.” Jun Xiaomo snorted.
“That…lady, do I really have to leave tonight?” Chen Taiguang did not have much on his mind at this moment. His goal in life had always been to rely on the treasures that had been left behind by his ancestors to dupe others for a comfortable living. As long as there was food on the table and clothes to wear, he did not bog his mind down with other matters that were too complicated.
At the same time, he found Jun Xiaomo very believable, so he immediately chose to believe what Jun Xiaomo was saying right now.
“Why? You still want to remain here so that He Zhang can take care of you?” Jun Xiaomo replied with yet another question.
“It’s not that…it’s just that I find it a waste to leave before I receive my remuneration…” Chen Taiguang muttered.
“Do you think your remuneration would mean much if you’d lost your life? Besides, does it really sit well with your heart and soul that you continue to swindle people for a living?” Jun Xiaomo glanced at him with a gaze filled with disdain. She lived by a personal philosophy that everyone should work hard for their own personal goals. Conversely, she found such dishonest acts of swindles and trickery completely contemptible.
“But I don’t have any talents in this area. Your mastery of the formation array arts is just too formidable – you’re even able to overcome the spirit tools left by my ancestor. I imagine you must have a lot of talents in this field to begin with, right?” Chen Taiguang responded with a tone of voice filled with respect for Jun Xiaomo’s abilities.
“If you’re lazy, just admit it. Don’t use pretexts and excuses to cover it up. The Chen Clan has always been renowned for its achievements in the discipline of formation arrays. There’s no reason for the talent to have been completely drained out in your generation all of a sudden, is there?” Jun Xiaomo derided.
Chen Taiguang rubbed his nose with some measure of embarrassment.
“Besides, I’ve only attained my present proficiency with the formation arrays after over three hundred years of arduous, painful training. What about you? Do you even have thirty years under your belt?”
“Three…three hundred years?!” Chen Taiguang stammered in disbelief.
He had thought that the lady was only in her twenties. How could he ever have imagined that she was already well over three hundred years-old?!
That said, it was a fact that the number of people within the cultivation world who did not look their age were dime a dozen.
Chen Taiguang suddenly felt incredibly ashamed of what he had been doing over the years. In fact, he felt that he could not even lift his head in front of this “senior” of his right now.
“Someone’s coming.” Jun Xiaomo suddenly whispered in a hushed voice, jolting Chen Taiguang back to his senses.
“There’s…there’s still someone else?! Who would be coming over this late at night?”
“Seems like He Zhang doesn’t even intend to let you live to see the light of day tomorrow. I’d still thought that you would have a few days of buffer period too.” Jun Xiaomo looked out of the window pensively as she thought aloud.
“Then, what do we do?” Chen Taiguang no longer cared about the matters pertaining to his remuneration. The only thought on his mind right now was to leave this place as far behind as he could.
Jun Xiaomo glanced at Chen Taiguang once more, before retrieving an Invisibility Talisman and tossing it over to him.
“This is an Invisibility Talisman that can conceal both your physical appearances as well as your aura and disposition. It’s only effective for two hours, but that should be enough time for you to make your getaway.”
“But…I’ll have to pass through the Dawn Sect’s protective array if I want to leave this place. Without the Sect’s identity token, I won’t be able to leave…” Chen Taiguang responded in dismay.
“The Sect’s protective array has already been altered by me. I can allow access to anyone I wish. You’d best be on your way.” Jun Xiaomo assured him.
“Oh! You can actually take control of the formation array and make it your own? That’s too amazing! You’re even more formidable than my great grandfather!” Chen Taiguang was completely filled with amazement at Jun Xiaomo’s abilities at this point.
“Alright, alright. You can start working hard at it if you want to become as strong as I am. Don’t treat formation arrays with such nonchalance and tarnish the name of all array masters. If I see you like that again, I’ll make sure to give you a good spanking.” Jun Xiaomo left Chen Taiguang with some motivating words of advice.
“Hehe…” Chen Taiguang had already begun to see Jun Xiaomo as a mentor of sorts, and he did not get upset at how Jun Xiaomo was chiding him. In fact, he even rubbed his nose with a slight measure of embarrassment.
“Hurry on and go then. If you don’t leave now, you’ll be blocked by the intruders soon.” Jun Xiaomo hurried the fool in front of her.
“Ah? Then what about senior?” Chen Taiguang hurriedly asked.
“Me?” Jun Xiaomo curled her lips into a smile as her eyes gleamed brightly, “A rare opportunity has just showed up for me. Of course I’m going to remain here and ‘play’ with these intruders.”
As he looked at the wicked expression on Jun Xiaomo’s face, for some strange reason, Chen Taiguang began to pity the intruders that were making their way over right now.
Sigh…it’s true. The last person you’ll ever want to offend is a formidable array master…Previous Chapter Next Chapter