The delicate cry was shrill – almost earsplitting. Jun Xiaomo, whose mind was already almost on the brink of crumbling, furrowed her brows even more.
Ye Xiuwen noticed the slight changes on Jun Xiaomo’s expressions, and his gaze darkened.
He set Jun Xiaomo gingerly back down onto the cushion in the carriage and helped her to lean against the window. Then, he turned to the old man and told him, “I’m going outside to take a look.” With that, he drew the curtains and stepped out of the carriage.
As soon as he stepped out, he saw a group of people who were ostensibly part of an aristocratic family or clan. Over and above the fact that these people donned garments made of expensive, luxurious materials, Ye Xiuwen could detect faint traces of spiritual energy emanating from their bodies. If his guess was right, these traces were characteristic of spirit tools.
The leader of the group outside the carriage was even more ostentatious. She was dressed garishly from head to toe, and even her whip and her mount were exquisite-looking. The spiritual fluctuations emanating from her body was the highest, and it was naturally evident to Ye Xiuwen that everything she wore were spirit tools of at least the fifth-grade or higher.
From the way she habitually referred to herself as “this Highness”, she might very possibly be the actual princess of a kingdom. It was no wonder she was able to be so extravagant, even with her clothes. This was a clear indication that she probably had been pampered since young.
Ye Xiuwen managed to roughly guess the identities of this group of people with just one glance. Meanwhile, just as Ye Xiuwen was sizing them up, the group was also attempting to identify and size up Ye Xiuwen from the little details they could glean from his appearances –
He wore ordinary clothes that appeared to be the uniform of a regular sect of cultivators. There was some simple embroidery on his sleeves. That said, they were unable to detect any modicum of spiritual fluctuation from his clothes.
His accessories were incredibly ordinary as well. Ye Xiuwen wore nothing more than a jade pendant, and this pendant hardly appeared to be a valuable one, much less be a spirit tool.
The Interspatial Ring on his hand was even more of a telltale sign – it was something that was extremely common in the cultivation world, not imbued with any abilities at all, and it was no different from something that anyone would be able to purchase from a run-of-the-mill shop.
After sizing up Ye Xiuwen from his appearances, the group unanimously concluded that he was nothing more than a “poor sod”. Naturally, they grew more arrogant than they had been before.
“Hey! I’m talking to you. Why didn’t you even bother to address us after stepping out of the carriage? Are you deaf, dumb or both?” With her nose in the air, the leader of the group castigated Ye Xiuwen as she pointed her whip at him.
Ye Xiuwen turned his gaze placidly towards her. Slowly, yet inconspicuously, traces of vile, dark energy began to swirl in the depths of his eyes once more.
Faced with Ye Xiuwen’s deep, abstruse gaze, the lady was slightly taken aback. Her heart skipped a beat or two, evidently flustered.
She had only just realized how handsome and striking this man’s appearance was. He possessed a chiseled face, deep, profound-looking eyes, and a thin grimace on his lips. His dignified disposition was second to none – even among all who were present right now.
As a princess of an entire kingdom, the lady undoubtedly arrogant. However, she was no fool. She knew that there were many hidden experts in the cultivation world, and it would be imprudent to simply judge a book by its covers. In this instance, the man’s disposition alone spoke volumes about how he was no mere ordinary cultivator.
The lady’s heart began to thump with ever-increasing vigor. Collecting herself, the lady glanced over at Ye Xiuwen’s horse carriage, before turning her gaze back onto Ye Xiuwen once more. This time, she changed the expressions on her face and began to smile genially as she continued, “I’d been a little ill-tempered earlier. I hope this brother can overlook my earlier misgiving against you. I noticed that you’re heading in the same direction that I am. Why don’t we travel together since that’s the case? This way, we’ll be able to look after each other on the way.”
The men behind the lady immediately exchanged glances sheepishly – What’s Princess thinking? How could her disposition have changed in just a blink of an eye?
Ye Xiuwen hated the idea of third parties intruding upon his private time with Jun Xiaomo. It was enough that the sprightly old man had done so, much less an entire entourage of people. Thus, he immediately rejected the lady’s suggestion, “We don’t have to travel together. There’s no need. If you’re in a rush, we can shift our carriage to the side of the road so that you can go on ahead first.” Ye Xiuwen had not forgotten the fact that this entire incident had arisen because their horse carriage had been blocking the path.
If not for the fact that the lady had changed her attitude for the better in a timeous fashion, he might not even have entertained the request to make way for them. After all, notwithstanding the fact that these people carried several powerful spirit tools with them, the vast chasm between their respective cultivation levels and that which Ye Xiuwen possessed made them hardly a threat at all.
On the other hand, the group confronting them had never expected Ye Xiuwen to react so impolitely. This was especially the case for their leader. After all, she had never really faced a rejection like this before. Yet, today, a nobody had just rejected her in front of everyone, humiliating her and trampling on her pride and dignity alike. Thus, the lady’s heart began to fume with fury.
“Impudence! I give you an inch, yet you take a mile?! Do you know who This Highness is?! Hah. Look at your shabby appearances. It’s your privilege and glory that This Highness had looked favorably upon you to suggest travelling together to begin with. Who knows, if This Highness in good spirits, This Highness might even bestow upon you a decent spirit tool for your service. Otherwise, be prepared to face This Highness’s wrath!” The lady exploded in fury, throwing around her title as she mocked Ye Xiuwen derisively.
Ye Xiuwen’s gaze instantly turned cold and frigid, while the men behind the lady revealed looks of realization on their faces – Ah! So it turns out that Princess has taken a liking to this man.
Unfortunately, Princess already has a husband, and her husband’s stature isn’t low either. Even if this man agrees to follow Princess, he can only remain a secret lover of hers, one that is fated to come and go according to her beck and calls, right? As these thoughts crossed the men’s minds, they began to reveal sympathetic looks on their faces.
Just as the confrontation appeared to come to an impasse, the curtains of the horse carriage drew open once more, and a lady dressed in red stepped out of it.
“What’s going on here? What’s the commotion all about?” Jun Xiaomo asked somewhat weakly. She could hear the commotion from within the horse carriage, and she had thought to ignore it and remain inside. Unfortunately, the commotion only seemed to get more and more heated, while the princess’s voice was sharp and shrill, ringing and reverberating endlessly in her eardrums and sending waves of splitting pain straight through her mind.
Thus, unable to tolerate it any longer, she decided to step out of the carriage to check on the situation herself.
The princess’s men immediately drew a deep breath as soon as Jun Xiaomo stepped out of the horse carriage. It was not that they were blown away by Jun Xiaomo’s appearances. Rather, they had immediately recognized Jun Xiaomo, especially her characteristically striking red garments that left an indelible mark in their memories.
“Jun Xiaomo?! How could it possibly be you?!” The princess, also the leader of the men, shrieked in shock.
That’s right. The lady standing before Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo was none other than the princess of the Greenwich Kingdom that Jun Xiaomo had previously had a tussle against – Yue Linglong. Back then, Yue Linglong’s fiancé had taken a fancy to Jun Xiaomo because of her looks. Unfortunately, just as he was teasing and making advances on Jun Xiaomo, Yue Linglong appeared and caught them “red-handed”. If not for the fact that Jun Xiaomo’s master, Tong Ruizhen, found a way to send Jun Xiaomo deep into hiding within the Proving Grounds, Jun Xiaomo would already be dead by now!
What incensed Yue Linglong the most was the fact that Jun Xiaomo somehow knew the first prince of the Inferno Kingdom. When he learnt of Jun Xiaomo’s “death”, he immediately fixed his gaze on the Greenwich Kingdom like a maddened dog, and he led an entire army to march against the Greenwich Kingdom, causing them to retreat back into their capital. If not for the fact that the Zephyr Sect finally agreed to lend them a hand in the nick of time, the Greenwich Kingdom might very well have been wiped off the surface of this world.
All this while, Yue Linglong thought that Jun Xiaomo had perished for all eternity. Unexpectedly, about a month ago, news began to spread that Jun Xiaomo was not dead at all. In fact, rumours had it that both she and her martial brother had singlehandedly caused a massive upheaval within the Dawn Sect. At that time, Yue Linglong gnashed her teeth and swore on her heart that she would give Jun Xiaomo a piece of her mind the next time she saw her!
Who would have thought that they would truly cross paths, and within such a short span of time to boot! Furthermore, Jun Xiaomo appeared to be weak and feeble, almost as though she were afflicted with a chronic illness – the heavens were on Yue Linglong’s side!
“Men, get her! Whoever catches Jun Xiaomo will be greatly rewarded!” Yue Linglong barked her orders at her men.
Rewards inspire courageous heroism. Besides, there was nothing holding the men back given how they had assessed that neither Ye Xiuwen nor Jun Xiaomo possessed abilities that were beyond the ordinary. Thus, Yue Linglong’s men immediately scattered from their positions and surrounded Jun Xiaomo’s horse carriage in the very next moment.
“Do I know you?” Jun Xiaomo furrowed her brows as she stared at Yue Linglong. She had earlier lost her memories, so was naturally unaware of who Yue Linglong was.
“Hmph, Jun Xiaomo, stop pretending. You’re such a vile person that this Highness will still be able to identify you from a mile away, even if you’d already turned into ash!” Yue Linglong gnashed her teeth with seething hatred. Then, she turned her gaze to Ye Xiuwen and smiled coldly, “Since you’re with her, you must be accomplices, huh? This Highness is going to give you a choice – if you’re willing to abandon her and stand on my side, this Highness will spare your life and even pamper you. Otherwise…hah, don’t blame me for being discourteous!”
Yue Linglong both brandished her stick threateningly and dangled a carrot in front of Ye Xiuwen, thinking that it would most certainly deal Jun Xiaomo a heavy blow if she could win Ye Xiuwen over to her side. After all, she hardly believed the existence of any men who couldn’t be bought out by the temptation of riches.
Unfortunately, Yue Linglong had underestimated both Ye Xiuwen’s feelings towards Jun Xiaomo as well as the extent of Ye Xiuwen’s abilities. As soon as she finished speaking, Ye Xiuwen made his move. His body vanished in a flicker, and his sword intent flashed by so quickly that none of the men surrounding the horse carriage even had a chance to react properly to the sudden development. Just like that, a shadow flickered about, and several men were beheaded in the blink of an eye. Some of the men who possessed a slightly stronger cultivation base and combat abilities were able to evade the fatal strike in the nick of time. However, they were still grievously wounded and incapacitated by Ye Xiuwen.
The tides had turned in the blink of an eye. Yue Linglong’s men were either dead or incapacitated. Each of them had several powerful spirit tools at their disposal, but what use were these spirit tools when faced with such overbearing, absolute strength?
Yue Linglong’s pupils constricted instantly, and an intense chill went down her spine. She still had a whole bunch of derisive words to say to Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo, but the sudden development in the situation and stuffed the words straight back into her throat.
Yue Linglong had always been pampered ever since she was young. Whether in the palace or in the sect, she would always find herself surrounded by people who were willing to be at her beck and call and do her bidding, and she was hardly ever exposed to the cruel reality of the cultivation world at large. This was the reason why this incident stumbled her so greatly, dealing her such a heavy blow in her heart.
She began to take a few steps back in fear. Her earlier arrogance had thoroughly been washed away by Ye Xiuwen’s frigid killing intent.
Alarms of dread and fear of Ye Xiuwen were blaring in her heart right now.
“You…don’t come any further! This Highness is Princess Linglong of the Greenwich Kingdom. The King will never let you off if harm this Highness!”
Yue Linglong stammered uncontrollably. Even though she were speaking words of threat right now, the result was hardly intimidating or imposing given her present disposition.
Most importantly, there was nobody by her side able to stand up against Ye Xiuwen’s absolute strength right now. If Ye Xiuwen were truly intent on killing her, there was no way she would be able to stop him.
“Greenwich Kingdom?” Ye Xiuwen squinted his eyes. He was reminded once again of the Rainbow Lotus Flower that the sprightly old man had referred to. This was something that would able to regulate the symptoms of Jun Xiaomo’s present condition.
“Since you’re the princess of the Greenwich Kingdom, then you must know where the Rainbow Lotus Flower grows, don’t you?” Ye Xiuwen asked placidly, temporarily suppressing the frigid intent in his heart. It was almost as thought the killer earlier was someone completely different.
“Rain…Rainbow Lotus Flower?” Yue Linglong was slightly dumbfounded. After all, her residence was deep in the depths of the palace, and she could ask her servants to deliver anything she needed to her – how could she possibly know where such a thing was located?
Ye Xiuwen’s lips stretched out into a thin grimace, and a seething, frigid intense began to seep out of his eyes once more – Since you don’t know, then there’s no reason to keep you alive either.
The notion of courtesy was as far removed from the present Ye Xiuwen as it got. After all, the present Ye Xiuwen was devoid of all rationality, and he simply acted on his impulses under the influence of the demons in his heart.
As soon as Ye Xiuwen’s killing intent began to flourish again, one of Yue Linglong’s men grew anxious and he immediately ran over to Ye Xiuwen’s side and pleaded, “Senior, please don’t be rash! I…I know where the location of the Rainbow Lotus Flower is…”
“You know?” Ye Xiuwen squinted at him. The frigid gaze caused Yue Linglong’s servant to burst out in cold sweat.
“This junior knows.” He had subconsciously changed his term of reference from “me” to “this junior”, treating Ye Xiuwen with the humblest of attitudes he knew.
“Bring me there right now. You’d best not be deceiving me. Otherwise, you’re going to end up in the same fate as all those people.” Ye Xiuwen pointed at the dismembered bodies on the ground threateningly.
“Ye…yes.” The man wiped off the cold sweat that was percolating off his forehead as he thought in his heart – I just hope I haven’t remembered wrongly. Otherwise, this is going to be the end of my road…
Yue Linglong noticed that Ye Xiuwen’s killing intent was subsiding once more, and she couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief. Yet, in the very next moment, her heart began to be filled with fuming rage and indignation once more – Why is it that nothing good ever happens when I encounter Jun Xiaomo?!
Whenever she turned her mind to address the fact that he had been humiliated so thoroughly by nobodies in front of her followers, the rage in her heart would surge straight through her mind.
No! I must get my revenge!
With those thoughts weighing heavily on her mind, Yue Linglong discreetly bit her thumb and sent her sect and her palace an emergency paper crane, pleading for help.
As she watched the paper cranes flying away, disappearing into the horizon, a victorious smile crept up the corner of Yue Linglong’s lips once more.Previous Chapter Next Chapter