Chapter 31: Combat and Skirmish

Jun Xiaomo once again closed her eyes and probed about the true energy stored within her Dantian and meridians in disbelief. When she finally ascertained that she had used only two hours’ time in order to transform and disperse five-thousandth of all of the true energy within her body, her heart leapt with joy.

Her demonic energy transformation speed had indeed increased once again – from the previous three-thousandth of her total capacity in ten hours, to five-thousandth of her total capacity in just two hours!

Jun Xiaomo opened her eyes, delightedly biting down on her lower lip. Suddenly, she realized that there was some weight on her lap. As she looked down, she discovered Packie obediently waiting on her lap, and even playfully tumbling about.

Jun Xiaomo looked at it curiously as she scratched its ear, thinking that this little packrat was truly her lucky star.

Packie squeaked in pleasure and clumsily tickled Jun Xiaomo’s fingers with its whiskers.

“I have to consider what it is exactly that is causing my true energy transformation efficiency to increase.” Jun Xiaomo thoughtfully tapped her sharp chin and immersed herself in her thoughts.

She recalled to mind everything that occurred before both instances where her transformation efficiency increased – 

On the first occasion, she encountered Dai Yue, Dai Yue attacked her, and she instinctively reacted by operating her true energy. Although it did not work too well, she managed to move away slightly.

On the second occasion, she was stealing a look at Ye Xiuwen’s swordplay when Ye Xiuwen attacked her and she urgently operated her true energy…

These two occasions had been under similar conditions of being attacked suddenly, and as a result she had reflexively transformed true energy to spiritual energy. Previously, she had brushed this reaction off as completely mundane and useless. But under closer examination, perhaps this was the true cause of the increase in her true energy transformation efficiency.

At this point, Jun Xiaomo’s analysis gave rise to much more clarity than before. She remembered the idiosyncratic trait of all demonic cultivators – their cultivation improved with every combat and skirmish.

Demonic energy is by nature difficult to handle and manipulate. Therefore, demonic cultivators who were under the influence of demonic energy day and night would invariably develop a wild and unrestrained personality; becoming fearless – unafraid of combat and unfazed by death. Over time, some demonic cultivators even grew addicted to the euphoria brought by frenzied slaughter and become the archetypical demonic cultivators that were both dreaded and hated by spiritual cultivators.

Of course, Jun Xiaomo did not agree with the ways of these demonic cultivators whose life revolved around indiscriminate killing. These frenzied demonic cultivators were no different from regular cultivators who became deranged as a result of cultivation deviation – after these frenzied demonic cultivators and deranged cultivators attained a certain level of cultivation, they would either implode and die; or lose all ability to think and become a slaughter-obsessed maniac, eventually having their souls judged and destroyed by tribulation lightning.

At the same time, not being an indiscriminate killer did not mean that she had to turn the other cheek even if others sought trouble with her. Jun Xiaomo had always lived by the principle that if others gave her an inch, she would reciprocate with ten; but if others aggrieved her, she would repay that tenfold! Therefore, in her previous life, countless persecuting cultivators from the “righteous and upstanding” sects had perished under Jun Xiaomo’s hands.

In any event, perhaps Jun Xiaomo’s prowess would not have improved at such an immense speed had she not been forced into difficult situations at every step of the way. If the people from her previous life realized that it had been their efforts that fueled the creation of this Lady Demoness, then they would certainly be banging their heads on the wall in utter regret.

As Jun Xiaomo checked her theories against the matters of her previous life, she finally gained a new understanding of her present cultivation art.

No matter what, this refinement technique was considered a demonic cultivation technique, and it would naturally have the same characteristics as other demonic cultivation techniques. For instance, combat was far better at improving one’s cultivation levels than simple meditation.

This would also explain why every time Jun Xiaomo encountered a potentially dangerous situation, there would be an obvious increase in her body’s true energy transformation speed. This was because she reflexively operated the refinement technique in order to escape harm, and thus her cultivation level would always improve slightly.

“Ai-, it’s such a simple thing. How could I have only figured it out now.” Jun Xiaomo sighed.

Squeak squeak~ The little packrat that was curled up into a ball suddenly started moving in her bosom. When Jun Xiaomo looked down at it, she discovered that this little thing was actually gnawing away at her clothes!

“Eh! My clothes aren’t food, alright?” Jun Xiaomo waved her hand and swiftly retrieved a handful of pine nuts from her Interspatial Ring and set them on the table. Then, she put Packie in front of these nuts, saying, “Here, have this instead. This should fill you up.”

Packie went up and sniffed the pine nuts, but then turned around and looked at Jun Xiaomo as though it were trying to say it disliked the nuts. But even though Jun Xiaomo was tenderly smiling at it, her eyes revealed a resolute firmness – clearly, her decision was non-negotiable. Therefore, Packie had no other choice but to pick up a pine nut and grouchily gnaw at it.

“It’s really strange. Are all the Demonic Packrats as spiritually aware as you are?” Jun Xiaomo chuckled as she stroked Packie’s fur. Yet Packie simply twitched its whiskers, focusing on the food before it and completely ignoring Jun Xiaomo.

Jun Xiaomo gently stroked one of her little packrat’s whiskers as she delved deeper into her own thoughts.

Since she had now grasped the essence of why her true energy transformation efficiency was so low, she had to think of a reasonable solution. With her present cultivation level, looking for combat opportunities outside the sect was tantamount to committing suicide. But if it were within the Sect…

Ye Xiuwen was the first person to come to mind. She momentarily stopped her finger in mid-air as she considered.

Martial brother Ye…would he agree to this?

Jun Xiaomo bit down on her lower lip, seemingly distressed about some issues with this thought.

If she were to ask Ye Xiuwen to be her sparring partner, then she would have to trouble Ye Xiuwen on several occasions. On the one hand, she would feel sorry if she were to keep bothering Ye Xiuwen with this request of hers; while on the other hand she was nervous and even a little bit expectant about the increase in their interactions.

These conflicting considerations caused Jun Xiaomo to feel absolutely perplexed about what the right decision were – she knew that if she came clean with her analysis of the situation to Ye Xiuwen, it was quite likely that he would not reject her suggestions. However, whether he would reluctantly agree to help her or be delighted to do so would be another question altogether. After all, Jun Xiaomo knew that on account of respect for her parents, Ye Xiuwen would not easily reject any request from Jun Xiaomo, unless that request crossed his bottom line.

Yet it was precisely because of this that Jun Xiaomo did not want to coerce or compel Ye Xiuwen into doing something that he would rather not do. This would make her feel guilty.

“Sigh…this is so difficult. Should I look for martial brother or not~” Exasperated, Jun Xiaomo patted that little furball enjoying his pine nuts, “Little Packie, do you think I should go look for martial brother?”

Hearing this, her little packrat immediately threw away the pine nut in its hands and clutched tightly to Jun Xiaomo’s index finger.

Jun Xiaomo laughed at this. “What am I doing asking you such things, eh, you oblivious glutton~? Alright alright, go eat your pine nuts. Mum is almost back. I’m going to go heat up the pot of Flowerleaf Koi in the kitchen.”

As she said that, Jun Xiaomo lightly pulled her finger away from Packie’s grip, stood up and left.

Packie looked at her longingly as she left. Then, as soon as Jun Xiaomo were out of sight, it licked its paws again and picked up another pine nut…

-------------------------------------

It was a serene night, and constellations splashed across the dark skies as they silently blanketed the Earth.

At Dawn Sect’s Pill Cauldron Peak, Yu Wanrou lit up a candle in her room. Instantly, the flickering flame illuminated the room, revealing a burdened gaze in her eyes.

She held a medicinal pill in her hand with a humiliated and unwilling look in her eyes.

She swallowed that pill, and as the medicine took effect, the pain in her chest also gradually diminished.

As she reveled in the effects of the medication, Yu Wanrou recalled how Jun Xiaomo had forced her into a spot with her reasoning in the Penal Hall, and a deep sense of burning indignation swelled up from her heart, choking and stifling her.

If not for the Second Elder bailing her out of the difficult situation, perhaps her hard-earned reputation would have been single-handedly torn apart by Jun Xiaomo there and then.

But Second Elder’s aid had not come freely. In order to secure herself some backing within the Sect, she had earlier used the spirit spring within her spectral demiplane to refine several medicinal pills and offered them to the Second Elder to earn his favour and protection. After the Second Elder bailed her out this time, Yu Wanrou had no choice but to present him with a few more of these medicinal pills. But because of this, she even almost let slip the existence of the spirit spring!

Yu Wanrou was cautious of the fact that having such a treasure might incite the jealousy of others and invite trouble upon herself. Therefore, she could not gift the Second Elder with her medicinal pills too frequently, or he might learn of her treasure and turn on her and scheme against her instead.

Furthermore, in order to conceal the existence of the spirit spring, Yu Wanrou had not dared to heal herself by drinking from the spirit spring directly. If she recovered too quickly from her injuries, this would also invite suspicion by those who were around her as well. Therefore, she had no choice but to take ordinary medicinal pills and bear with the pain from her injuries for a few weeks.

As she thought about these matters, a desire to tear to shreds the culprit, Jun Xiaomo, welled up in Yu Wanrou’s heart.

Just as Yu Wanrou was immersed in her own thoughts, an obscure picture beside her bed suddenly brightened up. Her heart leapt with joy, and immediately her eyes were filled with tears. She sat on her bed and pitifully gazed upon that dancing flame on the candle.

“Wanrou.” A deep voice from a man called out softly. A warm body pressed itself against Yu Wanrou’s back and immediately embraced her from behind.

Plop—A glistening tear drop fell from Yu Wanrou’s eyes, landing on the man’s arm. However, if a third person were present, they would be absolutely astonished by this scene – that drop of tear that fell did not hit the ground; rather, it seemed to have simply vanished into this air!

“Alright, stop crying. I know you feel humiliated and snubbed. But during this time, I have not gone to see her either – I’ve always come here to visit you. What else is there to be upset about? Cheer up, hmm?” A pair of invisible hands turned Yu Wanrou around to face himself, gently wiping away the tears on her face.

This man was Qin Lingyu. He had not dispelled the effects of the invisibility talisman on his body. Therefore, apart from Yu Wanrou who had left her mark on the invisibility talisman, as well as cultivators who were of at least the Nascent Soul cultivation level, nobody would be able to see him at all.

Every time Qin Lingyu visited Yu Wanrou, he did the same thing – he would use a teleportation formation array in conjunction with an invisibility talisman to enter Yu Wanrou’s room covertly without alerting anybody. Therefore, nobody was aware of their secret rendezvous or their hidden relationship with each other.

“You know my feelings towards you. How could I be truly happy when your marriage arrangement with Jun Xiaomo still stands?” Yu Wanrou leaned tenderly into Qin Lingyu’s embrace. She looked into his eyes with tear-filled eyes and added dolefully, “But I know you are an ambitious man. So, I’m willing to wait. I will wait till the day when you can finally marry me.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter