As he gazed upon the lady with a peculiarly familiar disposition standing some distance away, a swathe of complicated emotions washed over Qin Lingyu’s heart.
Ever since Jun Xiaomo left for the Zephyr Sect, he would from time to time find himself falling into a series of similar dreams. In these dreams, Jun Xiaomo had become his wife, and the trajectory of her life therein had been completely different from her present circumstances.
Qin Lingyu was well aware that if Jun Xiaomo had not presented herself with such a stark personality change after escaping from the Sect’s forbidden grounds years ago, her fate might well have ended up akin to that which he had been dreaming about – she would become his wife, and he would cast her aside and abandon her.
As conventional wisdom would have it, one tends to dream about their most prominent thoughts throughout the day. Even though Qin Lingyu was unaware of why he had such a dream, he shrugged it off as nothing more than a one-off dream that was never going to occur again. Unfortunately, this dream did persist on, and it even persisted through a series of his dreams.
The series of dreams appeared to be an alternate reality that played out and presented itself in front of his very eyes. During this entire period of time, his life felt as though it had been cleaved in two halves – one of which was lived through that series of dreams, while the other was lived through the present reality.
In his dreams, he had taken Jun Xiaomo as his wife in accordance with their marriage arrangement, and he had brought her to the Limitless Sect with him. However, at the Limitless Sect, he would stand idly by as she suffered from all forms of abuse from those who were around, and there would not be a single ripple in his heart.
Even though Jun Xiaomo treated him incredibly well in his dreams, giving him anything and everything that he demanded immediately on a silver platter, he had always reacted to her actions with disdain, treating her as nothing more than a fool.
After all, what else could one call a person who did everything sacrificially for another who simply refused to reciprocate such love? Qin Lingyu firmly lived by the mantra – “every man for himself”. Thus, he didn’t think that his actions were wrong in any way. If Jun Xiaomo had to blame someone, the only person she could blame was herself, for how easily she had trusted and been used by others.
Just as Qin Lingyu had expected, as his dreams went on, Jun Xiaomo would experience a demonic outburst, resulting in the Heavenly Peak becoming the target for a unified crusade led by various spiritual cultivating sects in the world. Everyone wanted to purge the world of such a demonic cultivator. On the other hand, Jun Xiaomo’s parents and the Heavenly Peak stood foolishly by Jun Xiaomo’s side against the relentless attacks by the rest of the spiritual cultivation world, attempting to protect her. At that time, Jun Linxuan’s First-Seat Disciple Ye Xiuwen had also rushed back from the Frozen Sword Sect in order to bear the burden that his little martial sister had turned out to be, as they began their journey together on what would be a long, arduous escape from persecution.
At that time, where did Jun Xiaomo’s husband disappear to? Qin Lingyu had simply hidden in the dark as he watched all of this pan out with a cold, unwavering gaze in his eyes. He had even silently cheered in his heart as his master’s plan came to fruition.
In his dreams, he had been given a share of the spoils from Heavenly Peak for his part to play in this grand scheme. They had even raised wine cups together to celebrate their success after everything happened.
Just like that, Qin Lingyu thought that his dreams had come to an end, and he would no longer have any interactions with Jun Xiaomo after that. In the end, several years later, he chanced upon Jun Xiaomo once more.
At that time, Jun Xiaomo appeared just like she did right now. She was dressed in striking-red garbs as she stood magnificently in front of everyone with only looks of contempt and disdain in her eyes. Just like a lotus flower that had bloomed in the depths of a dark and dank dungeon, she was mesmerizing, yet dark and demonic. She was enshrouded by such an intense aura of danger, yet one couldn’t help but allow their gaze to linger intently on her.
In his dreams, Qin Lingyu had remained frozen in his steps for an extremely long time upon their first reunion after such a long time. In a similar fashion, Qin Lingyu found himself completely speechless right now.
The complex emotions swirling about in his heart rendered him unable to find any words to express himself.
But his speechlessness did not extend to the other Sect Elders at all. The hot-tempered Fifth Elder bellowed almost immediately, “Jun Xiaomo, your parents have already betrayed the Sect and the rest of the spiritual cultivation world. Are you thinking of going down the same road as them?! Quite apart from breaching and trespassing the forbidden grounds, do you know just how much chaos you’ve caused to the Dawn Sect this time?!”
Yet Jun Xiaomo simply glanced at the Fifth Elder with a disdainful smirk, “I don’t think I’ve ever been considered or treated as part of the Dawn Sect to begin with. How can I possibly ‘betray’ the Dawn Sect?”
“You arrogant brat! Looks like if I don’t teach you a lesson today, you won’t understand what ‘modesty’ means. Have a taste of my fist! I’m going to teach you a lesson right now!” The Fifth Elder charged straight at Jun Xiaomo with an infuriated gaze in his eyes and sent a series of three palm strikes towards Jun Xiaomo, each filled with more vigor than the other.
The Fifth Elder could be considered one of the weakest ones among all of the Sect Elders in terms of his cultivation level. Yet despite that, everyone firmly believed that it was an incredibly simply feat for a person of the senior generation like the Fifth Elder to severely injure a junior that Jun Xiaomo was.
After all, where were their respective cultivation levels? No matter how gifted and talented Jun Xiaomo was, she could not possibly have already attained the Nascent Soul stage of cultivation within the short span of just over ten years, right?
The Fifth Elder was already in the elementary-tier Nascent Soul stage of cultivation. Unless Jun Xiaomo possessed a similar cultivation level, she would never be able to receive even a single palm strike from the Fifth Elder, much less three palm strikes.
Thus, everyone eagerly anticipated the bloodshed that awaited Jun Xiaomo.
Unfortunately for them, everyone witnessed the impossible in the very next instant – Jun Xiaomo avoided the Fifth Elder’s three palm strikes with complete ease.
In fact, Jun Xiaomo went on to avoid over ten series of attacks over the next few moments. By then, not even the dumbest simpletons would be able to attribute all of this to plain, dumb luck on Jun Xiaomo’s part.
“Damn! It must be your talismans! Jun Xiaomo, you’ve used a talisman on yourself, isn’t that right?!” The Fifth Elder berated with rage, pausing in his attacks as he began to pant and catch his breath.
He had almost forgotten the fact that Jun Xiaomo had entered Zephyr Sect with her new master, Tong Ruizhen, just to master the arts of formation arrays and talismans.
At this moment, he had just recalled the fact that Jun Xiaomo’s proficiency with formation arrays and talismans was already quite decent to begin with. Now that over ten years had lapsed, she must have become more powerful than before. She must have been able to escape from the joint efforts of the Zephyr Sect and the Greenwich Kingdom with her mysterious formation arrays and talismans.
Hah. So what if she’s got her talismans? Her cultivation level still can’t hold a single candle to our Sect Elders combined. Does she think she can use talismans for her entire life?! The Fifth Elder mocked in his heart.
Yet Jun Xiaomo simply raised her eyebrows quizzically as she quipped, “Fifth Elder, what makes you so certain that I’ve used a talisman?”
“Hah! What else could it be? Are you saying that it’s more believable that you’re able to avoid my attacks based on your own abilities? Little brat, you’ve still got a thing or two to learn in telling a believable lie. I’m already in the elementary-tier Nascent Soul stage of cultivation. What about you? You’ve probably just scraped past the bottleneck of the Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation only, haven’t you? Hahahaha!” The Fifth Elder laughed heartily. He was laughing at Jun Xiaomo’s underestimation of her own abilities.
“Oh? Is that right? Then I’ve got an idea that would make the situation clearer to the Fifth Elder – why don’t you have a taste of a whiplash of mine?” As Jun Xiaomo spoke, she immediately lashed out at the Fifth Elder with a fiery-red whip in her hands, fully backed by her surging energy.
“Ahh--!” The Fifth Elder shifted his body, but he was still slightly too slow to react. His shoulder was struck directly by Jun Xiaomo’s whiplash, and a gruesome, black wound split open on his shoulder just like that. In fact, the injury was so deep that even his bones could be seen!
Everyone standing around immediately gasped in shock – how powerful must Jun Xiaomo be right now to be able to cause such damage to someone at the Nascent Soul stage of cultivation?!
Jun Xiaomo had earlier already applied a high-grade talisman on her body to conceal her cultivation level. Thus, not even the strongest cultivator present, the Grand Elder, was able to sense the depths of her abilities right now.
The most fearsome thing was the fear of the unknown. This was what Jun Xiaomo had capitalized on. Several people began to perceive an unknown force and pressure weighing on their hearts as they began to contemplate just how deep and profound Jun Xiaomo’s abilities must be.
At the same time, Jun Xiaomo did not pause to let anyone take a breather, and she continued to attack the Fifth Elder relentlessly. Having sustained one painful strike from Jun Xiaomo, the Fifth Elder no longer dared to be complacent around her, and he quickly adjusted himself as he began to exchange blows with Jun Xiaomo.
As the battle wore on, the Fifth Elder’s heart burgeoned with ever greater disbelief and astonishment. Given Jun Xiaomo’s current abilities, and even if she had applied some powerful talismans on herself prior to this battle, her cultivation level could not be any lower than the advanced-tier Golden Core stage of cultivation – But is this even possible?!
Jun Xiaomo had left for the Zephyr Sect only eleven years ago. How could she possibly have increased her cultivation level to the advanced-tier Golden Core stage of cultivation, or even higher?! How talented must she be to achieve this?!
Impossible! This is absolutely impossible! If Jun Xiaomo was so incredibly talented, we would have noticed it ever since she was a child. How could it only have appeared after she had entered the Zephyr Sect?!
Such thoughts continued to plague the Fifth Elder’s mind, and he grew distracted for a slight moment. That said, a single moment was all the opening that Jun Xiaomo needed. She grasped that very opportunity that presented itself, imbued her whip with her demonic energy, and plunged it straight through the Fifth Elder’s chest.
That’s right. The greatest part of this modified Firescale Whip that Jun Xiaomo was using right now was the fact that it could be used both as a whip, and as a longsword. As soon as her Firescale Whip was imbued with demonic energy, it would become a sharp, vicious weapon in an instant that could slice through the hardest of materials as though they were warm butter, much less human flesh and bones.
In an instant, her demonic energy perfused through the Fifth Elder’s Dantian, sending it into a chaotic state.
Pfft! The Fifth Elder spat out a large mouthful of blood, staggered two steps back, and then collapsed onto the ground.
“Fifth Elder!” Everyone began to sprint over towards the Fifth Elder.
“Enough! Don’t go courting death like that!” The Grand Elder barked, causing all of the Dawn Sect disciples to pause in their steps in fear of facing Jun Xiaomo’s dreadful abilities. They immediately shuddered in fear before retreating slightly again.
The Grand Elder flicked his sleeves in mid-air, and the Fifth Elder’s body immediately flew back to their encampment.
After quickly examining the Fifth Elder’s body, the Grand Elder furrowed his brows as he cast a complicated gaze at Jun Xiaomo –
“You’ve become a demonic cultivator?”
It was evident that the Fifth Elder’s body was currently being plagued by the incursion of roiling demonic energy. If they did not do anything to purge this demonic energy from his body quickly, the Fifth Elder’s cultivation was bound to sustain some irretrievable damage.
The Grand Elder’s words stunned everyone – What’s going on? Jun Xiaomo is also a demonic cultivator?! Didn’t Wei Gaolang of the Heavenly Peak already turn to demonic cultivation? Could it be that Jun Xiaomo was the same as well?!
In other words, was the Heavenly Peak a breeding ground for demonic cultivators?
As the Dawn Sect disciples began to let their imaginations run wild, their gazes on Jun Xiaomo were now filled with indignation and hatred.
They were an upstanding and righteous Sect that prided itself on grooming spiritual cultivators. Of course they would hate demonic cultivators who resorted to underhanded means of elevating their own abilities, just like Jun Xiaomo probably did. It was no wonder Jun Xiaomo had appeared with a completely different disposition as she had before – demonic and wild, with a stark change in her personality. All of these were explained by the fact that she had become a demonic cultivator.
Jun Xiaomo swept her gaze at all the disciples’ change of expressions with some measure of bemusement as a smile crept up the corner of her lips.
This was such a familiar sight to her. After all, this was something that she had received too much of in her previous life. Back then, especially the first time she experienced this, she felt incredibly pained seeing someone else stare at her with such an expression on their face, and she reacted with disbelief and denial. But now, she was absolutely unfazed by it.
So what if she had become a demonic cultivator? Compared with these people standing in front of her, some of the demonic cultivators she knew were far less heartless! The Chi Clan were a prime example of this.
As he took in Jun Xiaomo’s unrepentant attitude, the Second Elder pretended to grieve bitterly as he lamented, “Jun Xiaomo, I knew that your parents were muddleheaded, but I’d never expect you to be even more stubborn and unrepentant than them. We’re left with no choice. We’ve got to purge the Sect of any blemishes. After all, the Dawn Sect doesn’t need any disciples that have turned to demonic cultivation!”
“Oh? Alright, are you all coming for me at once?” Jun Xiaomo raised her eyebrows curiously, “Bring it on.”
Jun Xiaomo’s arrogant attitude had thoroughly enraged all the Sect Elders and disciples. Thus, without a consideration for the dishonor in fighting many against one, everyone began to charge straight at Jun Xiaomo, attempting to surround her!
Yet, despite all that, Jun Xiaomo simply chuckled lightheartedly as she flicked her wrist. Then, in the next moment, she vanished into thin air.
Where’s she?! Everyone began to exchange nervous glances.
A light chuckle rang out in mid-air once more –
“I’m sorry, my hand slipped, and I accidently applied an Invisibility Talisman on myself. If you want to catch me, you’ve got to put in more effort than that.”
As Jun Xiaomo’s voice rang out, a faint breeze carrying traces of demonic energy within swept past their bodies, yet they were unable to locate the direction from where the demonic energy came from.
Damn! Ten years’ time, and Jun Xiaomo’s ability to irritate and annoy has only escalated to new heights!Previous Chapter Next Chapter