Chapter 35: Punishing Qin Lingyu

Jun Xiaomo’s heart felt much lighter after sharing with Ye Xiuwen some of the things she had cooped up within her heart for the longest time. At the same time, she was elated and relieved because she could finally let her guard down around Ye Xiuwen and be truthful with him.

Even though He Zhang and the numerous schemers within the Sect still lurked about Heavenly Peak like prowling lions stalking its prey, it would be much more difficult for them to succeed in their schemes or move against the Heavenly Peak once martial brother Ye has put up his guard against these people. Jun Xiaomo thought to herself as her lips curled into a smile. 

On the other hand, Ye Xiuwen was thinking about something else.

“Xiaomo, is your body still absorbing demonic energy?”

Jun Xiaomo was jolted back to her senses. Again, she was confounded by Ye Xiuwen’s query which got to the nub of the issue.

What do I do? Should I tell martial brother the truth? What happens if he guesses that I’ve become a demonic cultivator?

After deliberating for a moment, she nodded and told Ye Xiuwen truthfully, “Yes, my body has already been changed on a substructure level, and it now naturally absorbs demonic energy.”

Ye Xiuwen grew taciturn. If his martial sister’s body absorbs demonic energy more smoothly than demonic energy, then spiritual cultivation would no longer be suitable for her.

Unless there was a way to revert Jun Xiaomo’s body to a spiritual body, she may be left with no choice but to become a demonic cultivator.

Ye Xiuwen’s silence caused Jun Xiaomo to feel anxious and uncertain. She knew that Ye Xiuwen’s entire clan had been slaughtered by demonic cultivators, and she was fearful that Ye Xiuwen would detest her if she became a demonic cultivator.

Thinking of this, Jun Xiaomo pulled gently on Ye Xiuwen’s sleeves, softly murmuring, “Martial brother, even if I end up as a demonic cultivator, I will not hurt anyone. I swear it on my heart!” As she said that, she raised three fingers, swearing formally to show her sincerity.

Seeing the pitiful Jun Xiaomo acting so cautiously towards him, Ye Xiuwen could not help but smile in amusement. He ruffled Jun Xiaomo’s hair, saying warmly, “I know martial sister won’t hurt anyone. I only worry that if your body continues to absorb demonic energy, then the cultivation methods available within the Sect would no longer be suitable for you. Furthermore, cultivating with demonic energy is different from cultivating with spiritual energy, and even I am not certain what exactly these differences are. I only fear that you may run into some accident during cultivation.” 

Jun Xiaomo subconsciously rubbed her head, evidently a little shaken up at Ye Xiuwen’s response. At this moment, a warm feeling laced with joy rose up from within her heart – she could feel her martial brother’s concern towards her, and this proved that he was also gradually warming up to her.

Jun Xiaomo smiled radiantly at Ye Xiuwen. She wanted to assure Ye Xiuwen that she had everything under control so that he would not have to worry about the demonic energy in her body. Thus, she tugged at his sleeve again, raised her head and said, “Martial brother, don’t worry. As for this matter, I already have a way to deal with it. Um…even though I’m not at liberty to say what the solution is right now, but I will definitely let you know when the time is right later.”

In this regard, “the right time” naturally meant when she was confident of revealing these details to Ye Xiuwen without having to allude to her rebirth.

Ye Xiuwen patted Jun Xiaomo’s shoulder in response, “As long as you have a way to deal with it, I don’t mind if you don’t tell me at all. But if you encounter any difficulty or issues with your cultivation, you must immediately inform me. You’re still young after all, and there’s no need for you bottle it up and bear all these burdens on your own.”

“Okay. Thank you, martial brother!” Jun Xiaomo smiled at Ye Xiuwen brightly. In the spur of the moment, she leaned forward and hugged Ye Xiuwen, rubbing her head tenderly in Ye Xiuwen’s bosom.

This little gesture of hers was something that she often expressed to her loved ones only – Liu Qingmei and Jun Linxuan had often experienced it. However, this was the first time she had acted this way towards Ye Xiuwen. The embrace even carried with it some traces of acting like a spoilt child. But Ye Xiuwen was a person who guarded his personal space closely, and his body froze in shock when he got caught off guard like that by Jun Xiaomo.

Jun Xiaomo had always feared that Ye Xiuwen would hate and shun her, so she was always cautious with everything she did around Ye Xiuwen. But seeing Ye Xiuwen’s change of heart towards her today, Jun Xiaomo’s cautiousness also gradually faded away, and she brazenly clung tightly to Ye Xiuwen’s waist, refusing to let go of him.

In the seemingly unending days she spent in the dark dungeon, Jun Xiaomo had time and time again thought about how Ye Xiuwen had allowed her to experience the warmth of family and love, even if this warmth may well have been derived from Ye Xiuwen’s responsibilities and duty. These thoughts brought about wave after wave of regret and sorrow on the then-captive Jun Xiaomo.

But now, she could finally once again experience Ye Xiuwen’s warmth and concern. Even if it were only for a short time, she wanted to cherish every moment of this interaction and not let go.

Yet, it was indeed only for a short time. Once Ye Xiuwen realized that Jun Xiaomo had no intention of letting go, he gently nudged her away, and patting her back, he helplessly said, “Alright alright, have you become a puppy now?”

Whilst he framed his response this way, his tone was nevertheless mixed with some slight annoyance and displeasure. The truth of the matter was that Ye Xiuwen did not despise such actions – he was just not used to these things. 

Jun Xiaomo finally raised her head, and the radiant smile on her face was like a blossoming flower at this point. Despite being young, she had beautiful, sharp features set perfectly on her smooth, tender cheeks. Her features seemed to be even more defined after her recovery from the Sect’s punishment. At the same time, her expressions exuded the bright and cute charms of a sixteen years-old teenager, especially the two dimples on her cheeks.

Ye Xiuwen’s eyes glinted momentarily, revealing an expression of warmth and softness he did not even know he was capable of.

At this moment, a paper crane flitted through the bamboo forest towards the pavilion where Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen were located, but because of the formation array and restrictive barrier, it circled about the bamboo forest, unable to enter the same.

Ye Xiuwen discovered the slight disturbance outside the formation array. Having full control over the formation array, Ye Xiuwen sent a thread of divine sense through the formation array and probed about outside, discovering a Messenger Paper Crane circling outside the formation array. The aura on the Messenger Paper Crane was an unfamiliar one – meaning this was sent by someone unfamiliar to him.

“Martial brother, what is it?” Jun Xiaomo noticed Ye Xiuwen placing his hand on the heart of the formation array inside the pavilion and asked curiously.

“Seems like someone is looking for me. Xiaomo, do you still have anything you wish to tell martial brother? If there’s nothing, I’ll be releasing the formation array and restrictive barrier.” Ye Xiuwen asked Jun Xiaomo.

Even though she was slightly dissatisfied by the fact that their blissful interaction was coming to an end because of the interruption of a measly paper crane, she was appeased by the fact that she could still see Ye Xiuwen when she learnt sword arts from him tomorrow.

“There’s nothing else I have to add. You can go ahead and release the formation array and restrictive barrier, martial brother.” Jun Xiaomo shook her head and obediently said. She did not want to get in the way of her martial brother’s duties. 

Both Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo had thought that the Messenger Paper Crane was here to relay a message to Ye Xiuwen. Unexpectedly, once the formation array and restrictive barrier were removed, the Messenger Paper Crane actually landed in front of Jun Xiaomo instead.

“This paper crane is looking for me?” Jun Xiaomo widened her eyes in surprise, muttering, “Could it be mum? But it doesn’t seem to be her.”

Jun Xiaomo picked up the paper crane and swiftly opened it.

Immediately, a familiar cold and low voice rang out within the pavilion, “Xiaomo, I’m outside your room door right now. Once you receive this Messenger Paper Crane, hurry on back. I’ve got some matters to discuss with you.”

It’s actually Qin Lingyu?! Jun Xiaomo’s eyes widened even more, as though she had just seen a ghost.

In the next moment, Jun Xiaomo’s eyes ignited with fiery blaze – That’s just great. This jerk is quite something else. I haven’t even looked to settle the score with him, and he’s already come knocking on my door. And he’s even using such a demanding attitude towards me.

Who does he think he is!

And the most frustrating thing was that he even disrupted the interaction she had with Ye Xiuwen!

Jun Xiaomo gritted her teeth, slowly but surely crushing the Messenger Paper Crane into an unrecognizable lump of paper, as though she were crushing Qin Lingyu’s flesh and bones.

Ah-- This scumbag would never think about this “fiancée” of his unless he was looking for some goodies or benefits. Jun Xiaomo mocked in her heart as the burning blaze burgeoned into a raging firestorm, raring to raze Qin Lingyu to the ground.

Ye Xiuwen frowned at this. From Jun Xiaomo’s earlier words, he knew that He Zhang could well be the orchestrator causing his martial sister’s cultivation to fall to the first level of Qi Mastery. And Qin Lingyu was He Zhang’s First-Seat Disciple – did their association with each other mean anything? If their suspicions against He Zhang bore out, then did this mean that Qin Lingyu was complicit or in the know for these things as well?

As he brooded over these matters, Ye Xiuwen looked silently at Jun Xiaomo’s reactions. This was because Jun Xiaomo’s fondness for Qin Lingyu was public knowledge to members of the Sect. In fact, everyone knew that the former Jun Xiaomo was but one step away from wrapping herself up with ribbons and presenting her entire self to Qin Lingyu.

Therefore, Ye Xiuwen did not know whether when faced with Qin Lingyu, Jun Xiaomo would muddleheadedly capitulate and completely set aside her earlier suspicions.

But as he looked on, his martial sister seemed unfazed, and perhaps even incensed by Qin Lingyu’s demand that she returned straight away.

Ye Xiuwen heaved a sigh of relief, and his heart welled up with a complicated feeling.

Jun Xiaomo tossed the crushed Messenger Paper Crane to a side, glaring at it, before leisurely saying, “Let Qin Lingyu slowly wait then. He wants me to return immediately? I’ll do the exact opposite! Pfft. Who does this Qin Lingyu think he is!” Jun Xiaomo even rolled her eyes as she finished.

Ye Xiuwen found Jun Xiaomo’s slightly boorish behaviour comical, while at the same time her candor rather refreshing and perhaps even cute. He set his hands down from the heart of the formation array, before walking beside the table and pouring out a cup full of tea. He set the teacup in front of Jun Xiaomo, playfully exclaiming, “Since martial sister is not in a rush to return, then why not accompany martial brother here for a few cups of tea?”

“Suits me, suits me~” Jun Xiaomo chuckled flippantly as she nodded. She picked up the cup of tea and gulped it down all at once.

Ye Xiuwen froze in place at the sight – he was completely stunned by his martial sister’s almost vulgar way of drinking tea.

After a few moments, Ye Xiuwen burst out into laughter – this little martial sister is becoming more and more interesting!

Jun Xiaomo rubbed the dimples on her cheek abashedly, before she too joined Ye Xiuwen in uproarious laughter.

On this side, Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo were having the time of their lives, and the atmosphere was casual and harmonious. On the other side, Qin Lingyu who expected Jun Xiaomo to drop whatever she was doing and speed back upon receiving the Messenger Paper Crane, instead stood there waiting in the “cooling” autumn wind for almost four whole hours.

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