Chapter 320: Zhang Shuyue’s Scheme; Change of Circumstances

After Ye Xiuwen’s meticulous explanation of the situation, everyone around finally understood that they had misinterpreted Jun Xiaomo’s earlier words.

As it turns out, Jun Xiaomo had been far too tired at night that she had decided to remain in Ye Xiuwen’s room and retire for the night there. Nothing else happened between the both of them, and their relationship was completely clean and pure.

That said, everyone still had their doubts whether their relationship was still nothing more than that between mere martial siblings. Could there have been something else that had happened that everyone is unaware of?

The Heavenly Peak disciples had to be given credit for their acute and keen senses in this regard. After all, they could already smell the love in the air early this morning.

Jun Xiaomo’s face flushed slightly with a pink hue. She had never expected her own responses to give rise to such a horrendous misunderstanding on the part of her martial brothers.

Most importantly, after that earlier misunderstanding, it would be rather awkward for her to reveal the latest developments in the relationship between her and Martial Brother Ye, even though things were still completely innocent and pure.

Ye Xiuwen could see Jun Xiaomo’s bashfulness, and he smiled faintly as he patted her head, saying, “What are you guys still standing around for? Let’s take a seat. It’s difficult to eat while standing around.”

The Heavenly Peak disciples couldn’t help but smell something fishy about Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen. After all, they had not sensed anything out of the ordinary while Jun Xiaomo was still in a state of comatose. At best, Ye Xiuwen could only be described to be slightly more doting and concerned for his dear Little Martial Sister of his. But now that Jun Xiaomo had regained consciousness, the interaction between Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo appeared to have crossed the limits of that between that of ordinary martial siblings. At the very least, they would never interact with Jun Xiaomo in the same manner that Ye Xiuwen was acting with Jun Xiaomo right now.

And to think that they had all been innocently assuming all this while that Ye Xiuwen had taken an interest in Zhang Shuyue. Compared to his interactions with Jun Xiaomo right now, Ye Xiuwen’s interactions with Zhang Shuyue could be described to be cold and distant at best – how could they possibly have misinterpreted it as “taking an interest” to begin with? Seems like we’ve all been mistaken earlier…

The Heavenly Peak martial brother coughed dryly once more as they turned their gaze away from Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo. None of them could bear to continue watching their interaction any longer.

Besides, wouldn’t the intimacy between Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen only accentuate the loneliness and solitude of the other martial brothers around? They were far too pitiful right now.

Unfortunately, Jun Xiaomo failed to notice her martial brothers’ peculiar behaviour. She glanced around, before asking with some measure of bewilderment, “Eh? Where’s Martial Brother Zhou and the rest? We seem to be missing some people here.”

Jun Xiaomo’s query successfully shifted their attention away from the “intimate” problem at hand. Chen Feiyu turned back to Jun Xiaomo and responded, “Oh, about them. Earlier this morning, they had headed out of the valley in order to harvest and procure some herbs and tonics. Martial Sister Xiaomo’s body is still very weak right now, and everyone thought that it would be best to give it some nourishment.”

Jun Xiaomo was moved. She saw the Heavenly Peak martial brothers like part of her family, and she was incredibly pleased and relieved that her martial brothers had not perished in the earlier crusade against the Heavenly Peak. In fact, it was an incredibly fortunate thing that she had managed to arrive in the nick of time and rescue them from the evil clutches of He Zhang and his lackeys.

It was a good thing that they were fine. It was a blessing that all of her martial brothers were still alive and well, and not a single one had lost their lives.

The Heavenly Peak disciples felt a little bit embarrassed when they saw Jun Xiaomo’s intensely touched gaze staring back at them. Truth be told, they should be the ones who were touched and moved instead. After all, if not for their Little Martial Sister who had returned for them, they might well have perished to He Zhang’s evil schemes.

“Then, shall we wait for Martial Brother Zhou before having lunch?” Jun Xiaomo suggested, “Martial brothers, are any of you hungry yet?”

“Not yet. We’d taken a slightly later breakfast today anyway.” Chen Feiyu explained, “Let’s do that then. It’s more fun when everyone eats together anyway. Zilong and the rest have gone out for quite some time now, and I imagine that they will be back shortly.”

Speaking of the devil – just then, the sound of scrambling footsteps drew close. In the next moment, a martial brother covered with injuries burst into the dining hall.

“Quick…quick…something’s happened to Martial Brother Zhou!”

“What?!” The Heavenly Peak disciples immediately shot to their feet in unison, including Jun Xiaomo. Her anxiety had come to a head.

Zhou Zilong had gone out of the valley in order to procure herbs and tonics for her after all. If anything happened to them in the course of doing so, she would never be able to live it down.

“Don’t get anxious just yet. Speak slowly. Tell us where they are, and what exactly happened?” Ye Xiuwen was the most cool-headed right now, and he reined in the tense atmosphere with his controlled response.

“We were heading out of the valley to procure the herbs and tonics when we’d encountered a group of people waiting to ambush us. I’d only managed to break out of the encirclement after putting my life on the line. I’d thought to communicate these things to you through a Transmittance Talisman earlier, but I’d never expected those bandits to come at us so furiously. I was nearly even unable to make it back in one piece!” He was covered in top to toe in wounds, and it was apparent just how ferocious the bandits’ attacks had been.

Ye Xiuwen quickly made a decision on the spot as he began to direct roles accordingly, “Little Cheng, take some recovery pills for now, and then bring us back to where the incident had occurred. Once we’re there, I want you to stay out of the fight and remain on the side, understand?”

Cheng Guanyu nodded his head. After consuming the recovery pill that Ye Xiuwen had handed over to him, he began to prepare himself to lead the rest of his martial brothers back to where they had earlier been ambushed.

Jun Xiaomo was just about to follow along when Ye Xiuwen tapped Jun Xiaomo on the neck, causing her to pass out.

“Martial Brother, you…”

“Sorry, Xiaomo, you can’t come with us. You’re still recovering from your injuries; it’s too dangerous.” Ye Xiuwen explained quickly.

In the next moment, with infuriation burgeoning in her heart, Jun Xiaomo passed out completely.

When Ye Xiuwen and the rest finally arrived at the location of the ambush, the fight had already escalated to its climax. The assailants were all cultivators at approximately the Golden Core stage of cultivation. Dealing with such assailants was hardly a difficult thing for Ye Xiuwen. However, the other Heavenly Peak disciples would naturally find it much harder to fend off the assailants’ attacks.

Thus, Zhou Zilong and the others were barely holding on when they finally arrived.

Ye Xiuwen and the other immediately dove straight into the fray as soon as they arrived, turning the situation around completely.

Just then, Ye Xiuwen heard a shrill cry calling out from beside him, “Careful!” Ye Xiuwen immediately turned around, only to see Zhang Shuyue rushing to his side while an assailant stabbed straight towards him.

Truth be told, there was no need for Zhang Shuyue to have done all these things. After all, given Ye Xiuwen’s cultivation level, such a weak level of attack from the assailant was something he could avoid with his eyes closed. In fact, Zhang Shuyue’s appearance had disrupted his combat rhythm, impeding his battle with the assailants.

As she drew closer and closer to Ye Xiuwen’s figure, a glint flashed across the depths of Zhang Shuyue’s eyes.

At about the same time, Zhou Zilong had also just managed to fend off the attack of an assailant in front of him when he witnessed the situation occurring where Ye Xiuwen was. Thus, he also charged straight towards Ye Xiuwen…

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When she woke up again, Jun Xiaomo discovered that she was already lying on a bed. After glancing around at her surroundings, she concluded that she must be back in her own room.

I wonder if it was Martial Brother Ye who carried me back into the room. Jun Xiaomo thought with some lingering grievance in her heart. She had been disallowed from tagging along or participating in the fight, and she was completely in the dark as to how Martial Brother Ye and Zhou Zilong were.

Did Martial Brother Ye successfully manage to rescue Martial Brother Zhou? Or are they still furiously fighting their way out of the encirclement right now?

As the tension and anxiety on Jun Xiaomo’s heart mounted, she got out of the bed and walked towards her door.

When she opened the door to her room, she discovered that everything outside was completely still and silent, and not a single person could be seen in sight. To make matters worse, she noticed that the sky had already darkened by now, which meant that she must have passed out for an entire afternoon.

Logically speaking, having skipped both breakfast and lunch, Jun Xiaomo should already be famished by now. However, there was hardly a trace of such feelings in her body. In this very moment, she was completely held captive by thoughts of the safety of her martial brothers.

She stepped out of her courtyard and began to examine the other courtyards around her. To her dismay, all of the courtyards were empty, and not a single person was in sight.

Her heart sank, and a bad premonition surfaced at the forefront of her mind – Could something really have happened to Martial Brother Ye and the rest?! What should I do? Where should I go about looking for them?

With her heart on fire with anxiety, Jun Xiaomo began to run towards the main courtyard of the entire valley. As she ran along, it suddenly dawned on her that she could first attempt to use her Transmittance Talisman to contact her martial brothers to check in on them.

That said, if Ye Xiuwen and the others had truly found themselves on the backfoot of the fight, Jun Xiaomo’s attempt to contact them using the Transmittance Talisman would have been in vain. After all, they would never be able to respond to Jun Xiaomo’s Transmittance Talisman if danger was staring at them straight in the face.

Thus, truth be told, Jun Xiaomo did not bear much hope in her heart when she attempted to contact her martial brothers. After all, the empty courtyards told her that her martial brothers had evidently not returned back just yet.

Fortunately, and to Jun Xiaomo’s present surprise, she heard Ye Xiuwen’s voice in no time after attempting to contact them.

“Is that Xiaomo?”

“Martial Brother Ye, where are you guys? When I woke up and saw nobody around, I’d thought all of you had been restrained by the assailants.” Jun Xiaomo blurted anxiously. It was almost as though she were raring to be transmitted in her entirety to where Ye Xiuwen through the Transmittance Talisman right now.

She dreaded the prospects of not being able to see her martial brothers ever again. It was as though she had returned to her previous life once more, where she was completely alone, and all of her loved ones had vanished off the face of the world.

Ye Xiuwen’s voice was initially rather stern. However, after picking up on how Jun Xiaomo’s voice was trembling slightly, he couldn’t help but soften his tone of voice and speak in a slightly more cajoling manner.

“Don’t worry, we haven’t been trapped or encircled by our enemies. It’s just that we’ve encountered a slight hiccup on our side that has to be resolved before we can return.” Ye Xiuwen assured Jun Xiaomo.

“What’s the problem? Is it serious? Can I go over to render any help?” Jun Xiaomo felt rather aggrieved. The lack of clarity on the situation was tearing her apart from the inside.

I’m no longer a little child that can’t take care of herself, alright? Can you please stop standing in front of me whenever the slightest signs of danger arises?!

Ye Xiuwen sighed in his heart as he shrugged it off, “It’s nothing big. Xiaomo, wait for us at the courtyard, alright? We’ll be back soon.”

Jun Xiaomo bit down on her lower lip as she reluctantly accepted the compromise, “Alright. Martial Brother Ye, I’m going to ignore you if I discover that you’ve tricked me.”

She loathed the prospects of being made a simple porcelain doll that always had to be handled carefully. After all, she sincerely believed that she had already done enough to prove that she possessed the strength to fight by her martial brothers’ side.

Ye Xiuwen didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry at Jun Xiaomo’s tantrum. At the same time, he also felt rather pained by the fact that Jun Xiaomo had to carry such a heavy burden on her shoulders at such a tender age – after all, she was the youngest one among all of them, yet she was also the one who had always worried over all her martial brothers.

That said, Ye Xiuwen had obviously selectively chosen to obviate from his mind the fact that Jun Xiaomo had already spent a whopping three hundred and thirty years within the Proving Grounds. In his eyes, Jun Xiaomo would forever be the little martial sister that they would all dote on and protect.

“Let’s go.” Ye Xiuwen instructed the rest of his martial brothers, “We’ve already dealt with the assailants and elicited whatever information we could from the interrogations. It’s time to head back. Otherwise, Martial Sister Xiaomo is going to start worrying for us.”

“Ah? But Miss Zhang is still injured.” Zhou Zilong remarked in distress.

Ye Xiuwen responded calmly, “Since Miss Zhang is still injured, isn’t there even more reason to return to the valley to rest and recover? Zilong, why don’t you carry her back?”

“Me?” Zhou Zilong’s eyes widened slightly as he stared back at Ye Xiuwen with some measure of disbelief. Then, when he noticed the resolution in Ye Xiuwen’s eyes, he rubbed his hair and responded, “Then…then…alright.”

There was a deep, gaping wound in Zhang Shuyue’s chest right now, and she was fighting hard for her life, even after consuming some recovery pills. Zhou Zilong walked over to Zhang Shuyue’s side and assured her, “Miss Zhang, hang in there, alright? We’ll treat your injuries once we get back to the valley.”

Zhang Shuyue revealed a weak yet determined smile on her face as she softly responded, “Then, I’ll have to trouble Brother Zhou.”

Zhou Zilong’s face suddenly flushed red as a tomato. Regardless, he lifted Zhang Shuyue and held her close to his bosom.

As he experienced the feeling of Zhang Shuyue’s warmth spreading through his bosom, Zhou Zilong stammered, “No…no problem. If not for what Miss Zhang had done earlier, I would have been injured instead. Thus, I should be the one thanking Miss Zhang.”

The expressions on Zhang Shuyue’s face stiffened slightly. But since her face was overwhelmed by the weak and pale look, nobody noticed the subtly peculiar expression on her face right now.

Zhang Shuyue cursed in her heart – Who’s saving you, you big buffoon?! The person I’d wanted to rescue was Ye Xiuwen! Damn it, why did you appear out of nowhere and ruin everything?!

Zhang Shuyue gnashed her teeth as grave, vicious thoughts festered in her heart.

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