Because of her astonishment, Jun Xiaomo did not realize that Ye Xiuwen had addressed her as “Xiaomo” instead of “martial sister”. Her momentarily vacant mind had only one thought remaining –
Martial brother has discovered it?! When did this happen? Will he hate me if I become a demonic cultivator?
Jun Xiaomo knew that the Ye clan had been annihilated by demonic cultivators, and Ye Xiuwen would naturally despise demonic cultivators. If not for the fact that Jun Xiaomo’s parents had both perished in her previous life, leaving no one to care for Jun Xiaomo, perhaps the already estranged Ye Xiuwen might even have distanced himself with the then-demonized Jun Xiaomo.
Therefore, when Ye Xiuwen asked her about the demonic energy in her body, Jun Xiaomo simply stood there in a daze, completely confounded as to whether she should admit it or not.
Ye Xiuwen could also see Jun Xiaomo’s hesitation, so he did not press for an answer. Rather, he casually retrieved a tea set from his Interspatial Ring, put in some tea leaves, boiled a pot of water, and then rinsed the tea leaves twice before making a pot of tea. Finally, he carefully filled an exquisitely designed teacup and set it in front of Jun Xiaomo.
“Take a seat. Have some tea first.” Ye Xiuwen told the distressed Jun Xiaomo as she stoodstanding to the side.
Jun Xiaomo compliantly took a seat, hesitantly picking up the teacup and taking a sip.
Instantly, the tea’s fragrance dispersed some of her earlier shock and allowed her to recompose herself. Ye Xiuwen also noticed that Jun Xiaomo had somewhat recovered, and thus he continued, “I’ve already set up a formation array and a restrictive barrier, so you don’t have to worry that anything you say would be heard by others. Of course, if there’s something you wish to keep to yourself, I won’t force you to say it either.”
Jun Xiaomo slowly finished the cup of tea she was holding. As she collected her thoughts, she subconsciously ran her finger along the edge of the teacup. After some time, she finally spoke with some difficulty, “Martial brother…when did you realize that there is demonic energy within my body?”
“On the day you hurt Yu Wanrou.” Ye Xiuwen stated matter-of-factly, as Jun Xiaomo’s fingers twitched slightly in response.
Jun Xiaomo smiled grimly, “If that was the case, how come you…”
“How come I didn’t say anything in the Penal Hall?” Ye Xiuwen had guessed what Jun Xiaomo was going to ask and completed the sentence for her, “Because I am your martial brother, not Yu Wanrou.”
The most important point was that Jun Xiaomo had hurt Yu Wanrou because Yu Wanrou had seduced Qin Lingyu. Ye Xiuwen had no reason to throw Jun Xiaomo under the bus.
Hearing this, Jun Xiaomo finally let her guard down a little – given how willingly Ye Xiuwen had taken on the burden of looking after her in her previous life, she should have known that this was based on his immutable principles, and by extension his stance on this present matter would not be vastly different either.
Perhaps martial brother Ye had not thrown me under the bus on account of my parents? But regardless of the main reason, Jun Xiaomo’s heart was nevertheless filled with warmth and gratitude.
Martial brother Ye is still the same person I used to know. This is great…
It was as though Jun Xiaomo had a huge load taken off her back right now. She suddenly felt that it might not be so bad to tell Ye Xiuwen a portion of the truth. At least she would not have to bear this burden all by herself.
Jun Xiaomo closed her eyes and deliberated over the matter. After a few moments, she slowly opened her eyes after having made her decision.
She nodded, and said to Ye Xiuwen, “Yes, martial brother, my body indeed has demonic energy. Furthermore, the reason why my cultivation level has fallen to the first level of Qi Mastery is also related to the demonic energy in my body.”
Ye Xiuwen knit his eyebrows together, saying, “Tell me more about it.”
“That day, after I received punishment for trespassing on the Sect’s forbidden grounds…”
Jun Xiaomo told Ye Xiuwen all about He Zhang’s medicinal pills, and how the demonic energy in her body increased day by day after taking these medicinal pills. However, she did not say anything about the Nineform Spirituo-Demonic Refinement Technique.
It was not that she did not trust Ye Xiuwen, nor was she worried that Ye Xiuwen would covet this secret art of hers. Truth be told, the people she trusted the most in this world, apart from her parents, would only be Ye Xiuwen.
However, she would be unable to explain where and how she came to obtain this secret art. After all, she had made up her mind to keep the matter of her rebirth a secret for life.
After listening to Jun Xiaomo’s explanation, Ye Xiuwen grasped two things – the first was that Jun Xiaomo’s constitution had been transformed to a demonic body and as a result of that her cultivation level had fallen to the first level of Qi Mastery; and secondly He Zhang could be the mastermind behind these events, because these things had only happened to Jun Xiaomo after she had taken the medicinal pills given by He Zhang.
Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows even more. He could tell that Jun Xiaomo was not lying, but the contents of what she had said bordered on incredulity.
Ye Xiuwen did not interact much with He Zhang because he was not He Zhang’s disciple. But he knew that the relationship between Sect Leader He Zhang and Jun Xiaomo’s parents were still rather good, and He Zhang and Liu Qingmei were once even martial brothers and sisters. This being the case, why would He Zhang want to harm Jun Xiaomo? There seemed to be something missing here.
Of course, Ye Xiuwen would not determine whether He Zhang was a good or bad person simply on his previous interactions with He Zhang. He only silently sowed a seed of suspicion against He Zhang in his heart, waiting to see whether any future events would sprout this seed and reveal more about He Zhang’s nature.
But quite apart from all these, his martial sister’s present cultivation condition was absolutely worrisome.
Ye Xiuwen pondered for a moment before he asked, “Xiaomo, since you know the reason for the fall in your cultivation level, why didn’t you inform the Sect Elders and let them figure out what’s wrong with your body?”
Jun Xiaomo clenched her fists and gritted her teeth, “Martial brother, I can’t trust them…”
Ye Xiuwen looked at Jun Xiaomo strangely. He did not expect her to give such an answer.
Jun Xiaomo’s eyes reddened slightly from anger. Every time she thought of the number of enemies within the Sect, whether hidden and concealed or otherwise, she could not help but think of burning down the entire Dawn Sect to wipe out all these pests and vermin!
They were like branches of the same tree – yet why did these other branches have to force the issue despite being from the same source? Jun Xiaomo could not understand how people’s hearts could be so evil and vicious – why did people of the same Sect have to force their martial brothers in the Heavenly Peak to such ends?
Taking a deep breath, Jun Xiaomo adjusted her emotions before continuing, “Martial brother, have you thought about it before? With Second Elder’s abilities, how could he not have discovered the demonic energy in my meridians and Dantian? Yet he did not say anything about it, and the other Sect Elders also did not press the issue. I can’t tell who’s a friend and who’s a foe among all these Sect Elders as things are right now.”
Hearing this, Ye Xiuwen became taciturn. He never thought that a person who had been spoilt by her parents since young and who acted as though she had no worries in the world would in fact be bearing such heavy burdens on her heart.
“Xiaomo, then why didn’t you tell your mother about these things?”
Ye Xiuwen felt that her martial sister was still too young to be bearing such heavy burdens on her own.
Jun Xiaomo laughed bitterly in exasperation. Shaking her head, she said, “Martial brother, if I told these things to my mum, would she even believe me? In her eyes, I’m still a kid who hasn’t grown up yet – how would I be able to convince her? Furthermore, mum isn’t a person who likes to hide things in her heart. If she confronts He Zhang or reveals it in her expressions, then she may inadvertently alert He Zhang to our suspicions. Once He Zhang knows we have grown suspicious of him, then I shudder to think of what he will do.”
And this was not simply limited to Liu Qingmei. Jun Linxuan was also a person who was straightforward and wore his heart on his sleeves; he never thought too much about the intricacies of interpersonal relations at all. Otherwise, he would not have seen He Zhang’s true nature only on his deathbed in Jun Xiaomo’s previous life. The disciples taught by Jun Linxuan naturally inherited these characteristics of his. Among all his disciples, only Ye Xiuwen could be considered to be more aware of the nuances of interpersonal relations.
This was also one of the reasons why Jun Xiaomo was willing to tell these things to Ye Xiuwen.
Thinking about how her parents had died in her previous life, Jun Xiaomo’s eyes darkened, and she grew taciturn as well.
Ye Xiuwen had now discovered that this martial sister was much more mature than he thought. Her level of analysis on such matters was certainly not commensurate with that of a sixteen year-old spoilt princess.
Perhaps it was because of the impact on her from recent events? Ye Xiuwen sighed in his heart.
It was absolutely devastating to any cultivator to have their cultivation level fall back to the first level of Qi Mastery as a result of demonic energy within their body. Furthermore, to have to keep these matters bottled up in their heart…
Such devastation could accelerate one’s maturity, and perhaps Jun Xiaomo was no exception to this.
Ye Xiuwen looked at Jun Xiaomo who currently had her head hung low and looked depressed. He could not help but feel sorry for her.
Ye Xiuwen stood up and walked over to Jun Xiaomo’s side. Patting her shoulder, he said, “Didn’t you say you wanted to learn sword arts from me? Come here at dawn tomorrow. I have a wooden sword in my Interspatial Ring which should be suitable for your use.”
“Martial brother?!” Jun Xiaomo raised her head, and her eyes gleamed with radiant joy.
Ye Xiuwen’s eyes revealed traces of joy in response. He felt that this kind of expression suited Jun Xiaomo much better – the earlier Jun Xiaomo was simply too downcast.
However, Ye Xiuwen’s expression quickly turned stern. Even though this were largely obscured by the veiled conical hat he was wearing, Jun Xiaomo could tell from his tone the change of his attitude.
“But I’d like to forewarn martial sister – learning sword arts is an arduous and painful process. Once you begin, you are not allowed to give up easily. Otherwise, I won’t teach you anymore.”
“Mm-mm!” Jun Xiaomo eagerly nodded her head, and her eyes were filled with a bright and joyful radiance.
“Also, your main focus right now should be to improve your Qi Mastery level. Therefore, practicing sword arts cannot take up your cultivation time. In this regard, I will give you a cultivation plan. Unless you have a better idea, you will have to adhere strictly to these plans no matter how difficult it gets. Can you do this?”
Since Ye Xiuwen had agreed to teach Jun Xiaomo, he would go all out to make the necessary arrangements for Jun Xiaomo so that she would not be overwhelmed by juggling both sword arts and her cultivation. This was Ye Xiuwen’s style of doing things – serious, diligent, meticulous, and impeccably responsible.
Jun Xiaomo continued to nod her head in response to all of these, and tears of joy even welled up in her eyes.
It was as though the Ye Xiuwen of the past had returned in the present…