Just as Ye Xiuwen continued to be plagued by questions of how there were two Chen Feiyu’s in the prison, the “Chen Feiyu” within the prison cell suddenly burst into flames, and its fiery blaze extended towards the other “martial brothers” around him, burning everyone to a crisp.
In an instant, over ten burnt human-shaped talismans began to float to the ground, leaving the rest of the cells and the hooks completely empty and vacant. The earlier illusion had completely vanished.
So, the martial brothers outside the prison cell are the real ones, while the one inside are nothing more than Humanoid Puppets. Ye Xiuwen finally grasped the truth of the matter.
As he watched the human-shaped talismans float to the ground, Ye Xiuwen could already roughly guess the person responsible for this – Seems like that little brat of a lady has already come through this place and helped me rescue my martial brothers.
Ye Xiuwen’s heart was filled with gratitude towards “Qin Shanshan”. Had he come into this place alone, he might not even have been able to break the formation array on the door of this prison cell holding his martial brothers, much less breach the surrounding defensive formation arrays within the forbidden grounds. It was evident just how much help “Qin Shanshan’s” assistance had been.
Thus, he resolved in his heart that he would sincerely express his gratitude towards “Qin Shanshan” the next time they met.
At the same time, Ye Xiuwen didn’t think too much about “Qin Shanshan’s” disappearance for now. After all, she seemed to have have taken off to attend to her own matters after rescuing his martial brothers.
“Martial brother Ye, I didn’t think you’d make it out of the Death’s Gorge alive! And your face…” Chen Feiyu began to blabber with excitement as soon as he ascertained that it was Ye Xiuwen, and his heart was immediately filled with delight at their reunion.
Their martial brother Ye was alive; and their martial sister Xiaomo wasn’t dead. Furthermore, both had come here together just to rescue them – was there anything more joyous and worth celebrating than this?!
“Xiaomo helped me with my face.” Ye Xiuwen’s heart was crestfallen, but he did not reveal any of this outwardly.
“So that’s the case…I understand, I understand.” Chen Feiyu nodded his head.
Chen Feiyu was not privy to the fact that Ye Xiuwen was still kept in the dark as to “Qin Shanshan’s” true identity. Rather, he thought that Ye Xiuwen had met up with Jun Xiaomo as soon as he escaped from the Death’s Gorge, and Jun Xiaomo had then healed his scar as they made their way to the Dawn Sect together.
Ye Xiuwen smiled calmly and remarked, “Let’s go. We’ll find a way out of this place.”
Chen Feiyu was instead slightly taken aback by this statement – Didn’t martial sister Xiaomo earlier mention that she had already discussed with martial brother Ye how they were to escape from this place? Why do we still need to find a way out of this place? Where has martial sister Xiaomo gone to?
“Eh? Didn’t we say…” Just then, the entire prison cell trembled violently, interrupting Chen Feiyu’s clarifications.
Then, wave after wave of powerful tremors began to echo throughout the prison cell, and stones and ash began to fall from the ceiling and walls of the prison cells. The entire place looked like it was about to crumble any minute.
“Let’s go! This place is going to collapse soon!” Another Heavenly Peak disciple exclaimed anxiously.
Thus, with Ye Xiuwen taking the lead, everyone began to make their way out of the long corridor.
The tremors within the prison cells only continued to worsen and grow more powerful. As they ran forward, they could hear that cell after cell behind them had already begun to collapse completely, sending clouds of dust, ash and stones scattering everywhere as it buried the traces of blood, gore and evil that used to plague these places.
Just as everyone believed that they were going to perish in this place, they noticed a large whirlpool swirling on the ground just ahead of them. That said, it was so dark that nobody knew what this whirlpool was or where it led.
“Jump in.” Ye Xiuwen curtly ordered. The Heavenly Peak disciples had always been incredibly obedient to their martial brother Ye’s commands because they firmly believed in his abilities, and they knew that he would never make a rash or reckless decision in the spur of the moment. Thus, as soon as Ye Xiuwen barked out his instructions, the Heavenly Peak disciples immediately leapt into the dark, swirling whirlpool on the ground.
None of them questioned for a single, brief moment what the whirlpool was or where it went.
At the same time, Ye Xiuwen waited till every single one of the Heavenly Peak disciples had entered the whirlpool, making sure none were left behind, before he finally leapt into the whirlpool as well.
As soon as Ye Xiuwen was consumed by the whirlpool, the swirling began to slow down and fade away without leaving a single trace of its existence.
Within moments, the whirlpool completely vanished just as suddenly and mysteriously it had earlier appeared.
The tremors within the prison cell continued to rumble and escalate. Moments later, a loud rumble echoed through the lands, and the prison cells were reduced to nothing more than a pile of stone and dirt.
The vile, evil place that had existed for several hundred years had finally seen the last of its days. It had finally been buried in the depths of the earth, fated to be forgotten with the effluxion of time.
Back at the heart of the master formation array, Jun Xiaomo watched with a soft gaze the figures belonging to martial brother Ye and the others, and her lips curled into a faint, radiant smile.
“Hah, you’re really naïve. You’d sent all of your martial brothers out to a place where nobody else is. Do you think you’ll be able to stand alone against the hundreds of people within the Dawn Sect with your meagre abilities? Don’t you forget that the Dawn Sect’s Sect Elders have lived for thousands of years now. Their cultivation level is far stronger than yours right now. Any single one of them would be able to squash you as easily as they would an ant!” He Zhang chuckled coldly as he quipped.
Jun Xiaomo turned her attention from the formation diagram back at He Zhang. Then, she smiled genially as she responded, “Like I said, martial uncle He doesn’t have to worry about all these things. In fact, you’d best reserve any capacity to worry to yourself for now. Let me put this in the most sincere and genuine fashion I can – I hope you’ll be able to walk out of this place alive.”
“What…what do you mean?!” He Zhang’s eyes widened, and his pupils constricted.
“I mean exactly what I’d said.” Jun Xiaomo smiled. However, a trace of viciousness could be heard lacing her voice, “I’d earlier mentioned that I wasn’t going to let martial uncle He die so easily, but I never said that I was going to let you continue living a good life. Rather than repay evil with good, I would much prefer to see my nemeses suffer a fate that is worse than death. I wonder what you think of my suggestions, martial uncle He?”
Beads of sweat immediately filled He Zhang’s forehead profusely, yet nobody could tell whether this was borne out of pain or fear.
“You…you…just what are you going to do to me…”
He Zhang had finally revealed the first traces of a vulnerable expression before Jun Xiaomo. There was fear, anxiety and panic in his eyes, and his voice was even trembling in trepidation.
Jun Xiaomo muttered a mnemonic and pointed lightly to the formation diagram on the ground. In an instant, a massive whirlpool began to swirl in an open space nearby. The whirlpool was filled with innumerable crimson-red worms that were writhing and squirming incessantly.
“Martial uncle, I wonder if you know what these worms are?” Jun Xiaomo looked quizzically at He Zhang.
“Spi-…Spirit Devouring Worms?!” He Zhang could vaguely already guess what Jun Xiaomo was planning to do, and he immediately began to scramble on all fours as he retreated from Jun Xiaomo as quickly as his hands and feet would take him.
Demoness! This woman is a demoness! How could martial sister Qingmei’s daughter be such a demoness?!
Jun Xiaomo lifted her chin slightly as she pointed lazily at He Zhang. Instantly, a tidal wave of Spirit Devouring Worms surged and swept towards He Zhang, completely engulfing him in the blink of an eye. The Spirit Devouring Worms thrashed and squirmed about furiously as they all clamored for their nourishment. At the same time, a tragic, shrill scream could be heard echoing from deep within that mound of flesh.
Jun Xiaomo looked placidly at how He Zhang was writhing on the ground in pain as she softly remarked, “Martial uncle He, back when you fed other cultivators to these worms, have you ever thought about the day when it would come back and bite you on the ass?” Jun Xiaomo’s eyes were filled with a frigid intent as she smiled grimly, “Little worms, don’t take his life just yet. Leave him a breath of life to cling onto. I still want him to witness the day when Dawn Sect crumbles into nothingness with his very own eyes!”
Almost as though the worms could understand what Jun Xiaomo was saying, as soon as He Zhang was reduced to his final breaths, the Spirit Devouring Worms began to scatter to the side, leaving a considerable berth of space between He Zhang and the encirclement of worms.
He Zhang’s Dantian was already completely drained of spiritual energy by now, and he was no better than a crippled cultivator. Not only that, his body was completely covered with the grisly remains of half-eaten flesh, and there was not a single bit of his skin that remained intact.
His eyes bulged in a disgusting fashion, and his pupils stared vacantly into the sky. His mind was a complete blank right now.
At this moment, Jun Xiaomo’s cold voice seemed to echo from afar, “Hmph. Take care, and enjoy my parting gift to you.”
As Jun Xiaomo finished speaking, she flicked her wrist, and another large whirlpool appeared in the middle of nowhere. She stepped into it and vanished into its depths.
He Zhang was had fallen into the mires of complete despondence at this moment. He knew full well that as soon as his body recovered even a little bit of its strength, the Spirit Devouring Worms surrounding him right now were going to pounce on his body once more and reduce him to his final breaths yet again. And this was going to continue indefinitely until Jun Xiaomo was willing to allow him the reprieve of death.
He had finally understood the meaning of a life far worse than death.
He suddenly recalled the words that his master had left him with just before he passed on –
“He Zhang, truth be told, I don’t feel at ease leaving the Dawn Sect in your hands, but I’ve got no choice given how Linxuan isn’t interested in taking up the mantle as the Sect Leader. Sigh, I wish that you martial brothers can be united as one and work together in harmony as you bring this Sect to new heights. Don’t end up fighting and treating each other as enemies after I die. Don’t make me die with a remaining grievance.”
“He Zhang, I don’t have many days remaining ahead of me. The only thing I wish to impress upon you is this – having ambitions isn’t a bad thing, but everything must be done in moderation. Remember, you reap what you sow.”
He had shoved his master’s teachings into the deepest corner of his mind after the effluxion of several hundreds of years, and it was only at this moment of despondence that his master’s wise teachings had finally surfaced and returned to the forefront of his mind. He finally understood what his master was truly getting at several hundred years ago.
Unfortunately, it was far too late for regrets now.
Jun Xiaomo did not choose to reunite with Ye Xiuwen and the rest. Instead, she had sent herself through the whirlpool to the entrance of the forbidden grounds where she was immediately confronted by Qin Lingyu and the others.
She knew full well that her Heavenly Peak martial brothers were all grievously wounded, and Ye Xiuwen could not possibly run far if the rest of the Dawn Sect disciples were to pursue them right now. Thus, Jun Xiaomo had unilaterally taken it upon herself to remain behind in order to hold Qin Lingyu and the rest back so that she could buy the others time for escape. As long as her martial brothers were able to make their way outside of the forest where the Sect’s protective formation array was located, the rest of the Dawn Sect would never be able to pursue and chase after them.
Qin Lingyu and the other Sect Elders surrounded the only entrance to the forbidden grounds that they knew of, thinking of obstructing Jun Ziwen and the other Heavenly Peak disciples as soon as they left the place. They had never expected Jun Xiaomo to be able to take control of the entire forbidden grounds and open a new exit for her martial brothers’ escape.
Thus, Qin Lingyu and the rest were completely unaware of the fact that Ye Xiuwen and the rest left via another exit, and they remained none the wiser to the exigencies that had already arisen.
That said, He Zhang did send all of them a missive earlier while he was still within the forbidden grounds, instructing them to make their way to the forest to obstruct and capture any escapees if he was not out of the forbidden grounds within two hours’ time.
He Zhang’s message was slightly unexpected, leaving Qin Lingyu and the rest slightly confused as to why He Zhang had left such standing instructions. Nevertheless, given He Zhang’s stature, everyone chose to comply anyway.
Yet, to their immense surprise, they discovered that the person leaving the forbidden grounds after approximately two hours was not He Zhang. Instead, it was a person that they had never expected to see.
“Jun Xiaomo?! You’re Jun Xiaomo?!!!” Qin Lingyu’s eyes widened with disbelief as he looked at lady dressed in striking-red garbs hovering in mid-air. Jun Xiaomo smiled grimly at the other members of the Dawn Sect who were waiting just outside the forbidden grounds.
Despite not having seen Jun Xiaomo for over ten years, and despite the fact that Jun Xiaomo had matured and changed slightly over the years, he could tell exactly who she was with just one glance.
After all, her appearance right now was far too similar to the lady he had been seeing in his dreams all this while.Previous Chapter Next Chapter