It was only when Jun Xiaomo turned her attention back to Ye Xiuwen’s injuries that she finally discovered just how deep the wounds were. Ye Xiuwen’s chest and back were filled with injuries that were so deep that even his bones could even be seen. And that was not to mention the other innumerable shallow wounds which appeared completely charred and burnt on the outside. On a whole, Ye Xiuwen’s injuries looked completely grotesque.
“How did you get yourself that severely wounded?” Jun Xiaomo placed her hand gently on one of the wounds as a wave of sorrow washed across her heart.
As Jun Xiaomo’s cool fingers ran along Ye Xiuwen’s skin, he couldn’t help but stiffen up the muscles on his back.
“Ah! Martial brother, did I hurt you?” Jun Xiaomo noticed Ye Xiuwen’s peculiar reaction, and she immediately released her right hand and rubbed her nose bashfully as she added, “I’m sorry. I’ll apply some medicine on your wounds right now.”
Ye Xiuwen shook his head as he responded with a soft, low voice, “Nothing to worry about. It’s not a problem.”
When Jun Xiaomo had earlier placed her hand on his back, it felt as though a light feather had gently landed on the surface of his still heart, sending a single ripple sweeping out into the horizon.
Jun Xiaomo looked at Ye Xiuwen with a bewildered gaze, wondering whether she had misheard Ye Xiuwen – his voice had sounded slightly hoarse earlier.
That said, Jun Xiaomo cast aside her bewilderment in the blink of an eye. She picked up the medicinal powder, poured it onto her hand and began to scatter it onto Ye Xiuwen’s back. Afterwards, she began to distribute the scattered powder evenly across the wounds.
Jun Xiaomo was extremely careful with her actions because she was afraid that she would accidently brush against Ye Xiuwen’s wounds. It had to be said that the medicinal powder was rather effective. As soon as Jun Xiaomo began to apply the medicinal powder, Ye Xiuwen’s wounds stopped bleeding in no time.
Then, just as Jun Xiaomo continued to apply the medicinal powder, Ye Xiuwen suddenly drew a cold breath softly.
“What happened? Did I use too much force there?” Jun Xiaomo quickly lifted her hands again. Then, cautiously, she used a single index finger to rub the medicinal powder and distribute it across the wound she was presently working on.
However, Ye Xiuwen couldn’t help but tense up his back muscles even more.
With that, Jun Xiaomo no longer dared to rub the powder across her wounds anymore. She was worried that the more she did so, the more pain Ye Xiuwen would feel. Thus, she simply scattered the medicinal powder on the remaining wounds on Ye Xiuwen’s body without rubbing them in.
Ye Xiuwen finally heaved a sigh of relief, yet he couldn’t help but chuckle bitterly in his heart.
Had he been possessed earlier? Otherwise, why would the image of his little martial running her finger across his back surface and linger in his mind like that earlier? He spurned the dirty thoughts that had surfaced on his mind, yet he knew that there were certain things he just couldn’t control.
After all, he was a normal man through and through, and he was not impervious to the thoughts and fantasies that all men possessed, particularly when a person dear to his heart drew close to him.
In particular, when his little martial sister had touched the parts of his back that were slightly more sensitive than others, the reaction in his mind had been commensurately more intense.
That said, he knew that these were not things that were kosher for their discussion, so he simply shrugged it off on the pretext that Jun Xiaomo had used too much strength when rubbing the medicinal powder into his wounds and hurt him. In fact, the truth of the matter was that Ye Xiuwen had experienced injuries that were a hundred or even a thousand times worse, yet he had managed to grit his teeth and fight through the pain at that time. In other words, these wounds could hardly be considered unbearable to him.
Jun Xiaomo spent one full incense stick of time cleaning out the wounds on Ye Xiuwen’s back. Then, when she was finally done, both she and Ye Xiuwen heaved a massive sigh of relief.
In her heart, Jun Xiaomo was relieved that she was finally done with the difficult part, and she would no longer be clumsily bumping into her martial brother’s wounds, causing him pain. On the other hand, Ye Xiuwen was relieved by the fact that he no longer had to endure the torment of the sweet and somewhat-alluring sensation of Jun Xiaomo’s finger running across his back.
As to Ye Xiuwen’s wounds on his chest and abdomen, these wounds were something that he could see full well, and there was no need for Jun Xiaomo to attend to them to begin with.
After Jun Xiaomo handed the medicinal powder to Ye Xiuwen’s hands, she sat directly in front of him, hugged her knees and grimaced as she watched intently as Ye Xiuwen applied the medicine on his own body.
Ye Xiuwen continued to apply the medicinal powder on his own body for a while before he finally noticed Jun Xiaomo’s intent gaze on himself. He lifted his head and stared straight back at Jun Xiaomo’s slightly peculiar expression.
“What’s the matter?” Ye Xiuwen chuckled softly, “Why are you always so somber and serious? Are you thinking of something important?”
Jun Xiaomo locked eyes with Ye Xiuwen, yet she found herself completely lost for words.
“Speak your mind. Are there really things you still can’t tell your martial brother, hmm?” The gaze in Ye Xiuwen’s eyes softened slightly.
As she looked at Ye Xiuwen’s soft and warm disposition, the disappointment in Jun Xiaomo’s heart burgeoned uncontrollably – Martial brother’s good at everything, but why, of all people, would he fall in love with that scumbag Zhang Shuyue?
Blinking her eyes at Ye Xiuwen, Jun Xiaomo lowered her head as she murmured, “Martial brother Ye, did you sustain those wounds on behalf of Zhang Shuyue?”
Ye Xiuwen didn’t know whether to laugh or to get mad at Jun Xiaomo’s baseless conjectures – What makes this little brat think that I would go so far to duke it out with several Firescale Snakes at the Golden Core stage of cultivation for Zhang Shuyue’s sake? Does she think that I’ve got nothing better to do with my life?!
“What gives you the impression that I’d sustained these injuries for Zhang Shuyue’s sake?” Ye Xiuwen asked with some measure of exasperation as he looked at the whorl on Jun Xiaomo’s head.
“Isn’t it so?” Jun Xiaomo looked up and stared at Ye Xiuwen with widened eyes.
“Then, tell me what basis you have for making such conjectures.” Ye Xiuwen sincerely found it both aggrieving and amusing at the same time. Yet despite all that, his tone of voice remained placid at best.
Jun Xiaomo couldn’t tell what was on Ye Xiuwen’s mind from his placid expression, and she could only puff up her cheeks as she murmured, “Isn’t it because…because…”
“Because of what, hmm?”
Because you’d also sustained injuries for Zhang Shuyue in my previous life as well! Jun Xiaomo exclaimed in her heart. Her heart was throbbing with pangs of sourness and bitter astringency, and yet she found herself completely speechless at the moment.
Ye Xiuwen’s gaze darkened momentarily. His little martial sister had always been like this, unwilling to reveal the contemplations on her heart, and always choosing to bury all of her deepest, darkest secrets in the depths of her heart.
Jun Xiaomo looked up with an aggrieved look in her eye as she asked, “Then, martial brother, where did the wounds on your body come from? You’d clearly gotten injured shortly after leaving together with Zhang Shuyue.”
She finally found some basis for her earlier conjectures, and the displeasure in her heart only grew as a result of that – she sincerely hoped that her martial brother would prove her wrong in the very next moment.
At the same time, the exasperation in the depths of Ye Xiuwen’s eyes only burgeoned as well. He gestured to Jun Xiaomo, “Come over here.”
After hesitating for a moment, Jun Xiaomo stood up and walked over.
Then, when she went closer to Ye Xiuwen, he rapped her hard on the head as he explained, “Just because I’d left your room with Miss Zhang, you’d immediately concluded that I’d sustained all these injuries for her? Where’s your logic? Have you gotten dumber over the years?”
“But martial brother wasn’t willing to reveal anything about it. I’d asked you so many times prior to this, yet you’ve only responded with silence.” Jun Xiaomo rubbed her head, feeling even more aggrieved than ever before.
Ye Xiuwen sighed once more as he retrieved a bunch of Flameridge Flower from his Interspatial Ring, explaining, “I’d gone out to harvest these Flameridge Flowers earlier, and I didn’t expect to see so many spirit snakes living among the field of Flameridge Flowers. I only sustained such serious injuries because I wasn’t prepared to deal with so many spirit snakes all of a sudden. I’m sure you’re fully aware of what these Flameridge Flowers are used for. I didn’t say anything earlier only because I didn’t want you to feel remorseful or guilty about these injuries.”
Jun Xiaomo held the bunch of Flameridge Flowers in her hand, and tears began to fill the rims of her eyes.
That’s right. After living for so many years, how could she possibly be unaware of what these Flameridge Flowers were used for? The Flameridge Flowers were most effective in accelerating the rate of recovery of cultivators with fire-based spiritual roots. Her martial brother had undoubtedly harvested all of these for the sake of her recovery.
To think that she had thrown a childish tantrum for such a long time, causing her martial brother such headache and worry.
When he noticed how Jun Xiaomo clutched tightly to the bunch of Flameridge Flowers with her head hung low, Ye Xiuwen knew that she was completely guilt-ridden right now.
The reaction he had wanted to see was not Jun Xiaomo’s guilt or remorse. However, the multitude of considerations plaguing his heart had time and again prevented him from making that first step, thus, resulting in misunderstanding after misunderstanding.
Regardless, Ye Xiuwen decided to interrupt Jun Xiaomo’s train of thoughts in order to snap her out of her guilt-ridden state of mind.
“Didn’t you say you were going to help your martial brother wrap up his wounds? Why have you become seized up there now, hmm?” Ye Xiuwen tousled Jun Xiaomo’s hair.
Jun Xiaomo was jolted back to her senses. She quickly stuffed the bunch of Flameridge Flowers into her Interspatial Ring and retrieved a roll of bandage. Then, she walked over to Ye Xiuwen’s side and began to wrap up the wounds on his body.
Jun Xiaomo had been injured innumerable times in the past now, and she was incredibly proficient with wrapping up wounds by now. That said, she also subconsciously slowed down her actions because she was afraid of causing pain to Ye Xiuwen.
As she covered and concealed Ye Xiuwen’s manifold injuries with the bandages, she couldn’t but agonize over his sacrifice.
That’s right, she had felt aggrieved by the prospects of Ye Xiuwen getting injured because of Zhang Shuyue. However, she hardly felt any better knowing that Ye Xiuwen had sustained injuries for her sake either.
Simply put, it distressed her seeing injuries on her martial brother Ye’s body, no matter the cause.
Ye Xiuwen discovered that Jun Xiaomo still seemed to be rather dispirited, so he turned his head and looked towards Jun Xiaomo.
In the very next moment, he was immediately taken aback by what he saw.
The rims of Jun Xiaomo’s eyes were completely reddened – it was evident that she was on the brink of tears.
“Martial brother hadn’t picked the medicine for you just so that he could see you cry, alright?” Ye Xiuwen consoled her with a soft voice before he segued into a more serious matter, “I’m your older martial brother after all, and it’s my duty to look after you when all is said and done. There’s no need to feel so burdened by all this. In fact, I should be the one feeling aggrieved having left you alone at the Sect to deal with He Zhang and his lackeys earlier.”
“But that’s not martial brother’s fault to begin with. I was the one who had concealed my identity to begin with.” Jun Xiaomo hurriedly explained.
“That’s right, so by extension, this shouldn’t concern Xiaomo either, right? Martial brother was just bearing his own burden when he went out harvesting for medicines, and martial brother had only gotten injured because he had underestimated the dangers in doing so. Do you understand what I’m saying?” Ye Xiuwen backed up his consolation with sound reasoning as he explained everything slowly, with clear, distinct articulation.
Jun Xiaomo was slightly taken aback, before she softly uttered, “Mm.” As she nodded her head in understanding, she also tied the final knot on the bandages on Ye Xiuwen’s body.
Ye Xiuwen sighed once more. It suddenly dawned on him that he had been sighing far more than usual over tonight.
“Little Mo, you’re still thinking about something else, hmm? Why are you still keeping things to yourself? Also, has there been any animosity between you and Miss Zhang previously? Is that why you hate her so much?”
Jun Xiaomo looked up and gazed straight into Ye Xiuwen’s concerned eyes.
Martial brother Ye is always like that – even if I’m merely considered a burden to him, he’s like an immovable fortress that will never hesitate to carry my burdens as well.
She really shouldn’t conceal the truth from her martial brother Ye any longer, should she? After all, her martial brother Ye didn’t deserve to be deceived by Zhang Shuyue in this life as well.
Having made her resolve, Jun Xiaomo bit down on her lower lips as she looked back at Ye Xiuwen with determination in her eyes, “Martial brother, I don’t want to see you get deceived by her again.”
“Again?” Ye Xiuwen grasped the nub of the issue.
“Some time ago, I had a dream. I dreamt that you fell for Zhang Shuyue and you got together with her. Yet in the end, she turned on you and plunged a sword straight through your chest.” By the time Jun Xiaomo got to the last phrase, tears had begun to roll out from the rims of her eyes, trickling down her cheeks.
This was one of the most painful memories in her heart; and this was one of the memories that had tormented her for countless days and nights on end.
The tears in her eyes had caused Jun Xiaomo’s vision to grow blurry, and she didn’t notice when exactly Ye Xiuwen had stood up and made his way over to her side.
Lifting his hands to wipe the tears off Jun Xiaomo’s face, Ye Xiuwen sighed yet another time as he carefully asked, “Little Mo, are you more concerned of the fact that I’d fallen for Zhang Shuyue in your dreams, or are you more concerned of the fact that I’d been murdered by Zhang Shuyue in your dreams?”
What? Is there a difference between the two?
Jun Xiaomo was unable to process the difference between the two in the spur of the moment.
She lifted her and gave Ye Xiuwen a bewildered look once more, only to realize that she was faced with a deep, abstruse and complicated gaze in Ye Xiuwen’s eyes.
Jun Xiaomo’s heart tensed up. For some strange reason, Jun Xiaomo felt as though Ye Xiuwen’s gaze was like a powerful whirlpool which absorbed and devoured all of the ponderances of her heart and mind in just an instant.Previous Chapter Next Chapter