It was a still, dark night. The dim glow of the moonbeams painted a faint sheen on the lands.
Jun Xiaomo tossed and turned in bed, unable to fall asleep. Finally, she decided to get up. She climbed out of bed, opened the door to her room and walked out into the cold, chilly courtyard just outside.
Although several hours had passed by now, the earlier events in the day had nevertheless left an indelible mark in her heart, sending pangs of frustration and pain echoing through the fibers of her body. This type of pain wasn’t something a simple, light twitching sensation; rather, it felt as though something pressed heavily on her chest, causing her breathing to grow ragged and shallow.
Ye Xiuwen did not return to her after sending Zhang Shuyue back to her room. This left Jun Xiaomo thoroughly aggrieved. It was as though everything in her past had once again resurfaced to haunt her – she knew exactly what was going to happen, yet she felt completely powerless to do anything about it.
Is martial brother Ye going to fall in love with that woman again?
Jun Xiaomo removed her shoes and set them on the ground. Then, barefooted, she curled up into a ball and held her head to her knees as she sat on the stone table in the middle of the courtyard.
She truly felt aggrieved by the entire situation. They have been martial siblings for over twenty years now, yet it seemed as though their relationship could hardly hold a candle to a woman whom Ye Xiuwen had barely met. How could her martial brother Ye just defer to Zhang Shuyue like that?
That said, after Ye Xiuwen and Zhang Shuyue took their leave earlier today, she had also heard about another important piece of information from the other martial brothers. As it turns out, the valley they were residing in right now belonged to Zhang Shuyue, and they were temporarily putting up at her place. That being the case, hurting Zhang Shuyue earlier for no good reason had only made her seem as though she had been throwing a fuss and repaying good with evil.
Several Heavenly Peak disciples noticed it when Ye Xiuwen sent Zhang Shuyue back to her room. On the one hand, they couldn’t help but exclaim in their hearts how the relationship between Ye Xiuwen and Zhang Shuyue had been blossoming incredibly quickly; and on the other hand, they also wondered why Zhang Shuyue appeared to have been injured by a whiplash.
Was there really anyone else in this valley apart from Jun Xiaomo who preferred the whip as her weapon of choice?
Just like that, the Heavenly Peak disciples began to smell the scent of a complicated love triangle in the air, and they voluntarily called upon Jun Xiaomo to better understand the situation. Thus, they heard about the entire incident from the horse’s mouth.
Even though they empathized with Jun Xiaomo’s plight, they knew they had to give regard to the fact that they were imposing on Zhang Shuyue’s hospitality for their recovery as well. To hurt one’s host like that could truly be considered going overboard.
Therefore, they began to persuade Jun Xiaomo to shelf her thoughts about Ye Xiuwen and Zhang Shuyue and focus on her recovery.
“Don’t think about it…? How do you expect me to do that…?” Jun Xiaomo murmured to herself as pangs of sourness filled the rims of her eyes.
After all, ever since the day she had been reborn, she had resolved in her heart that she would do everything she could to ensure that her martial brother Ye would find true happiness. At the same time, she had also sworn in her heart that Zhang Shuyue would pay the price if she dared to make a move against Ye Xiuwen again.
Yet, despite all that she had done, she simply couldn’t accept the fact that Ye Xiuwen and Zhang Shuyue appeared to have fallen in love at first sight.
She had gathered from her martial brothers that Ye Xiuwen and Zhang Shuyue could always be found by each other’s side over the last few days. Furthermore, Zhang Shuyue’s intentions towards Ye Xiuwen was evident from any onlooker’s perspective.
Ye Xiuwen was not a sloppy person who liked beating about the bush. If he did not reject a person’s advances, it was more than likely that his intentions were to reciprocate her feelings.
Just like today, when a dispute arose between Jun Xiaomo and Zhang Shuyue, Ye Xiuwen had evidently stood on Zhang Shuyue’s side and even berated Jun Xiaomo as a result.
“Damn that love at first sight!” Jun Xiaomo gritted her teeth as she cursed softly. Her fists were tightly clenched, and she rubbed her reddened, puffy eyes.
Just then, she suddenly saw out of the corner of her eye the figure of a person quickly flickering past and entering the neighboring house.
Damn it! Who could it be this late at night?!
Jun Xiaomo had never taken a single step out of her courtyard since she had arrived at this valley. That said, she could vaguely guess that the neighboring house must have been occupied by one of her martial brothers.
Without thinking, Jun Xiaomo leapt down from the table and applied on herself an Invisibility Talisman and a Windsail Talisman, and she dashed into the adjacent house as well.
After bidding farewell to Zhang Shuyue, Ye Xiuwen made his way straight towards the other side of the valley.
Back when they first entered the valley, Ye Xiuwen had already noticed the fiery-red field located on the other side of the valley filled with high-grade wild Flameridge Flowers. At that point in time, he had already made a mental note that he was going to harvest some of these before they left the valley.
The Flameridge Flower was a main constituent ingredient in the refinement of many high-quality recovery medicines. The higher the grade of the Flameridge Flower, the better the quality of the recovery medicine.
In fact, high-grade Flameridge Flowers could even be consumed directly, and its restorative effects were particularly strong when consumed or used by a cultivator with a fire-based spiritual root. Even though the its medicinal qualities would naturally be higher if it had first been refined into a medicinal pill, consuming it directly would still give rise to rather decent effects.
Thus, Ye Xiuwen had the mind to harvest some. He had planned to give a portion of what he harvested to his little martial sister in order to nourish her body and restore her to full health, and he would store the rest in his Interspatial to be refined into medicinal pills when he next encounters a pillmaster.
Ye Xiuwen had expected that the simple task of harvesting some Flameridge Flowers would hardly take up any time. Unfortunately, five Firescale Snakes in the advanced-tier Golden Core stage of cultivation had made their nests within the field of Flameridge Flowers. Thus, he had only managed to harvest a few Flameridge Flowers when he suddenly found himself surrounded by the five Firescale Snakes.
Ye Xiuwen was already at the advanced-tier Nascent Soul stage of cultivation. That said, the combat abilities of spirit beasts were generally already stronger than that of a cultivator at the same cultivation level. Furthermore, he had found himself up against five powerful spirit beasts. Thus, under the confluence of these factors, a long, arduous battle unfolded and went on for a long time.
Then, about two hours ago, Ye Xiuwen finally managed to conclude the long-drawn battle and deal a final deathblow to the last remaining Firescale Snake.
After harvesting the cores within the bodies of the Firescale Snakes, Ye Xiuwen continued to harvest some more Flameridge Flowers before finally returning to his abode in the middle of the night.
Injuries caused by Firescale Snakes were nothing to laugh at. Even though Ye Xiuwen had already consumed some recovery pills, his wounds still looked just as macabre and horrific. Dark, charred scars splayed across various parts of his body, covering his chest and back with a grotesque sight. Some of these scars were even still bleeding at this point in time.
Ye Xiuwen did not enter his room immediately. Instead, he had stopped outside at the courtyard to his home, intending to attend to some of these wounds that were still bleeding and change his clothes before entering the room.
“Martial brother Ye, why is your entire body covered with wounds?!” Jun Xiaomo tore off the Invisibility Talisman on her body and ran over to Ye Xiuwen’s side. The complicated thoughts of the relationship between Ye Xiuwen and Zhang Shuyue had instantly been washed aside and replaced by the grotesque wounds on Ye Xiuwen’s body.
She stretched out her hand, thinking of touching the wounds on Ye Xiuwen’s body. Then, she hesitated. She did not want to hurt him.
Ye Xiuwen immediately grabbed at her outstretched right arm and furrowed his brows.
“Why have you come out without wearing your outer coat?” Ye Xiuwen chided.
Jun Xiaomo’s sudden appearance had indeed shocked him for just a moment. But as soon as that moment passed, his heart was immediately filled with concern and anger – Just how long as she been outside without her outer coat? Her hands are so cold!
She was still recovering from her injuries right now. Did she really want to risk falling sick and aggravating things?
The truth of the matter was that cultivators were not impervious to illnesses and ailments. Rather, it was simply that they had a much lower propensity of falling sick because the constitution of their bodies was vastly different from that of mere mortals.
That said, someone like Jun Xiaomo who had been injured and bedridden for three whole days would naturally be at her weakest right now, and she was accordingly at risk of falling sick.
“I’d just been idling about at my own courtyard when I noticed someone enter your courtyard. I was just worried that it would be someone with ill intentions, so I had hurried over here.” Jun Xiaomo lowered her head obsequiously as though she were a child that had just done something wrong.
Ye Xiuwen’s grip around Jun Xiaomo’s hand tightened, and his eyes were filled with a complicated gaze. That said, Jun Xiaomo failed to notice all of this because her head was lowered right now.
“Come here.” Ye Xiuwen calmly stated.
Jun Xiaomo raised her head and looked at Ye Xiuwen once more, before taking a few steps forward and lowering her head again.
Then, Ye Xiuwen retrieved a thick outer coat from his Interspatial Ring, stood up and placed it around Jun Xiaomo’s body.
This outer coat was made from the fur of spirit beasts, and it was particularly warm. However, since Jun Xiaomo was a fair bit shorter than Ye Xiuwen, the coat appeared slightly too large around Jun Xiaomo, and it looked as though she were a little kid wearing an adult’s clothing.
As the fur of the spirit beast cost tickled Jun Xiaomo’s cheeks, she could detect wafts of her martial brother’s cool fragrance emanating from the coat. Thus, her pale, white cheeks instantly flushed with a pink hue.
Perhaps it was because of the warmth of the coat; or perhaps it was some other reason… For some strange reason, she felt rather awkward and embarrassed at this moment, and she clutched tightly at the coat’s collar.
Ye Xiuwen’s gaze darkened. In fact, he could very easily have instructed Jun Xiaomo to take out her own coat and put it on. After all, Jun Xiaomo’s Interspatial Ring would most definitely contain a change of outer coats, and there was no need for Ye Xiuwen to do all this to begin with.
However, he had still done it. As he looked at how his little martial sister wore his own outer coat in an obsequious fashion, a mysterious sensation of joy washed over his heart.
“Ah! That’s right, martial brother hasn’t told me where these injuries had come from.” Jun Xiaomo finally realized that her earlier question had been sidestepped by Ye Xiuwen’s earlier exclamation.
“It’s nothing much. I’d just gone out to harvest something and unfortunately encountered a few spirit snakes.” Ye Xiuwen patted Jun Xiaomo’s head lightly, “Don’t worry, even though these wounds look grievous, they’ll recover in no time.”
“Liar! I can still see that they’re bleeding!” Jun Xiaomo glared at Ye Xiuwen, “Why didn’t you treat and wrap them up even after you’ve returned? Are you waiting for your wounds to fester before treating them?!”
She could tell that these injuries had not been left by merely ordinary spirit beasts, and it would naturally be best if they could treat them as soon as possible.
Ye Xiuwen chuckled lightly with some measure of exasperation, “Hadn’t I been planning to treat my wounds and wrap them up before you’d arrived?”
In other words, if Jun Xiaomo had not suddenly arrived in his abode, he would already have been done treating his wounds and wrapping them up.
Thinking about this, Jun Xiaomo rubbed her nose with some measure of embarrassment.
She turned her attention to the injuries on Ye Xiuwen’s body and murmured softly, “And to think that you’d chided me for being too reckless and throwing my body in harm’s way. Aren’t you the same as well?”
Ye Xiuwen raised his eyebrows quizzically – This little gal does make sense from time to time…
“Cough…” Jun Xiaomo coughed into her fist as she tugged at Ye Xiuwen’s sleeves, “Um, martial brother Ye, it’s not getting any earlier. Let me help you clean and wrap up your wounds. It wouldn’t be good to leave them as they are.” As she finished speaking, she lifted her eyes and stole a glance at Ye Xiuwen’s expression.
Ye Xiuwen noticed the careful, apprehensive look in Jun Xiaomo’s eyes, and he couldn’t help but look back at Jun Xiaomo with a slightly bemused gaze.
“Alright.” Ye Xiuwen patted Jun Xiaomo’s head, “Then I’ll have to trouble little martial sister.”
Thus, Jun Xiaomo retrieved some medicinal powder and bandage, and she began to loosen Ye Xiuwen’s shirt.
Ye Xiuwen’s body was lanky yet well-built; and his abundant, well-defined muscles were most definitely mesmerizing, to say the least.
Jun Xiaomo coughed dryly and rubbed her flushed cheeks as she lifted the medicine that was in her hands.
“Are you falling ill? Why do you keep coughing?” Ye Xiuwen turned to Jun Xiaomo and placed his hand on her forehead to check her temperature. She immediately recoiled in shock.
“No…I’m fine.” Jun Xiaomo lowered her head to prevent Ye Xiuwen from noticing her peculiar behaviour.
Her face was boiling hot right now, and she knew that it must be completely red. What if her martial brother Ye really thinks that she had fallen ill? Furthermore, how could she let him know the real reason why her face was so flushed?
How could she tell him that her face had flushed red because she had seen her martial brother’s chiseled body? Wouldn’t her martial brother think she was very lustful?
Jun Xiaomo bit down forcefully on her tongue, suppressing the peculiar sensation that was welling up from the depths of her heart.
Unfortunately, the redness on the tip of her ears betrayed her. In fact, the redness had extended all the way down her neck.
Ye Xiuwen noticed Jun Xiaomo’s exquisite, delicate looking ears that were slightly pink in colour, and his expressions darkened instantly. Then, he lifted his hands and caressed it gently.
Sensitive to the touch, Jun Xiaomo cried out in shock as she lifted her head and stared back at Ye Xiuwen with astonishment.
Ye Xiuwen was jolted back to his senses by Jun Xiaomo’s exclamation. It suddenly dawned on him that a fire had been lit in the depths of his heart, and his actions right now were uncharacteristic of a regular interaction between a martial brother and his martial sister.
Ye Xiuwen was worried that his actions had gone overboard and would induce hatred and a backlash from Jun Xiaomo. Thus, he closed his eyes and furiously collected his roiling emotions. Then, when he finally opened his eyes once more, everything had returned to his usual, cool and composed state.
“It’s nothing much. Your hair seemed to be blocking your view earlier, and I was helping you tuck it behind your ears.” Ye Xiuwen smiled warmly with a usual, placid expression on his face.
“Oh, haha, so that’s the case.” Jun Xiaomo coughed dryly once more, “Then, martial brother, could you turn around? I’ll help you wrap up your wound. It’s going to sting slightly, so you’ve got to bear with it.”
“Alright.” Ye Xiuwen went with the flow and turned around.
After he turned his back around, Jun Xiaomo heaved a sigh of relief as she suppressed the peculiar sense of disappointment that had arisen in her heart.
Strange. What am I so disappointed about?Previous Chapter Next Chapter