The Sunset Mountain Range near the Greenwich Kingdom was an incredibly idyllic destination. Every year, towards the end of the autumn season, the Sunset Mountain Range would see its fair share of romantic couples and sight-seeing cultivators enjoying its sights and sounds. Its fiery red maple forests and the rolling white clouds in the azure blue sky overhead, replete with a cacophony of chirruping birds completed an all-consuming atmosphere that seized the mind and dispersed any tensions in the heart.
That said, the Sunset Mountain Range saw far more visitors this year than all previous years. To be more precise, there were far more powerful cultivators visiting the Sunset Mountain Range this year, many of whom could be seen patrolling the region on a daily basis.
“Who would’ve thought that so many people would make the trip down to the Sunset Mountain Range this year?” One of Yue Linglong’s remaining bodyguards muttered aloud as he glanced at a cultivator whose cultivation level he was unable to decipher.
“Ah, don’t you know, dear guests? This year is precisely the year when the Rainbow Lotus Flower in the Sunset Mountain Range’s lotus pond is supposed to bear seeds. This occurs only once every one-hundred years, so there are naturally cultivators who have come from far and wide just to seize the seeds for themselves. These people are not here for sight-seeing.” The attendant explained in a loud voice.
“The year that the Rainbow Lotus Flower bears seeds?” Yue Linglong’s bodyguard couldn’t help but turn his gaze towards Ye Xiuwen – If memory serves me well, the Rainbow Lotus Flower was exactly the fiendish war god’s objective, wasn’t it? I wonder how he would react when he hears what the attendant has to say? There are so many people vying for the lotus seeds after all!
After observing Ye Xiuwen for a little while longer, he discovered that Ye Xiuwen remained calm and placid, as though he had already expected the intense competition in this regard. The bodyguard sighed in his heart – Sigh, no wonder they say that strong people are invariably in a league of their own. How could they face the intense circumstances with such ease?
Then, he glanced discreetly at Princess Linglong.
As Princess Linglong’s bodyguard, he could not wrap his mind around what Princess Linglong was thinking right now. The fiendish war god had only requested of them to lead him to this place, so that request had already been fulfilled as soon as they entered the Sunset Mountain Range. Why was the Princess still lingering around like this? Was the Princess thinking of vying for the seeds of the Rainbow Lotus Flower as well? The bodyguard simply couldn’t wrap his mind around these thoughts.
Unfortunately, the bodyguard would never be able to understand Princess Linglong’s thoughts. He was not one of the bodyguards who had watched over Princess Linglong as she grew up. Thus, he naturally wouldn’t understand the extent of the blow that Ye Xiuwen had dealt Princess Linglong by trampling on her pride and humiliating her in front of all her entourage of people.
Furthermore, the thing that irked Princess Linglong the most was the fact that this was the second time she had found herself stumbling before Jun Xiaomo. In Princess Linglong’s mind, Jun Xiaomo was miles behind her, whether in terms of beauty, identity, stature or wealth. Thus, she could neither understand why her own fiancé would be so enraptured by Jun Xiaomo; nor why the strikingly handsome man would appear completely unfazed by her own beauty. After all, Ye Xiuwen had hardly even deigned to cast a passing glance at her.
Princess Linglong had been given anything she desired ever since she was young. How could she understand the truth of the matter, that relationships had to be nurtured, not seized? Perhaps one might experience a temporal infatuation by a certain object of beauty, but true, lasting relationships are things that are nurtured over the investment of time. There were no shortcuts in this regard.
Overwhelmed by the desire to earn her dignity back, Yue Linglong naturally bore no thoughts of returning as yet. She was simply biding for time while waiting for reinforcements to arrive from both her father and her sect. When that happens, she would finally show Jun Xiaomo who was on top!
Princess Linglong didn’t have to wait for long. On the third day of their arrival at the Sunset Mountain Range, her fiancé Zou Zilong arrived, leading a group of Zephyr Sect disciples. One of the disciples who had appeared together with Zou Zilong was a person that Princess Linglong could hardly stand – Zhuang Lenghui.
“Why are you here as well?” Princess Linglong furrowed her brows and asked when she saw Zhuang Lenghui walking alongside Zou Zilong.
Zhuang Lenghui curled her lips into a smile as she quipped, “I heard that the Sunset Mountain Range is pretty scenic, so I’d thought to tag along.”
“Is that so…” Princess Linglong made her way over to Zou Zilong’s side, hooked his arm around hers and pulled him in closer. Then, glancing back at Zhuang Lenghui, she barked, “You’d best keep your thoughts that way. Don’t you dare let your heart wander.”
Zhuang Lenghui smiled meaningfully, before turning and walking away, ignoring Princess Linglong’s threats entirely.
Just as much as Princess Linglong disliked her, she, too, disliked Princess Linglong. She found Princess Linglong an incredibly willful, headstrong yet naïve person. Does she really think that everyone was like her, perpetually bogged down by useless thoughts about relationships and love?
Does she think that Zou Zilong is like a steamed bun that everyone wants to take a bite out of? Zhuang Lenghui thought disdainfully to herself. She had no respect for men who sold themselves through marriages just so that they could earn themselves stature and power.
The only reason why she had come today was because her master had instructed her to take charge of several Zephyr Sect disciples and seize the seeds of the Rainbow Lotus Flower. In other words, it had nothing to do with Princess Linglong whatsoever, much less Jun Xiaomo who had returned from the dead.
As she walked past Jun Xiaomo, Zhuang Lenghui cast a fleeting glance at her and noticed how feeble and frail she looked, as though she would be battered and swayed about by a gentle breeze. She immediately laughed at her sardonically in her heart.
So what if you’ve become Elder Tong’s disciple? Look at how decrepit you’ve become! You’re not even a worthy opponent to me right now.
With such thoughts on her mind, Zhuang Lenghui walked upstairs to her room in a good mood.
On the other hand, Jun Xiaomo was completely unaware that she had just been labelled a “weak and frail” lady by her previous “martial sister”. In fact, even if she were aware of this, she would hardly have the energy to address her mind to these trivial matters. After all, she was being incessantly tormented by the child in her womb. Even though her child were no more than a clump of fetal energy right now, it still remained a fact that their respective bodies were built on different and opposite energies, and the fetus would constantly draw in the surrounding spiritual energy in order to fuel its own growth. Thus, Jun Xiaomo was growing noticeably feebler and frailer by the day.
Ye Xiuwen had already personally witnessed Jun Xiaomo passing out a few times without any warning. Each time, his gaze would darken as he turned his attention to Jun Xiaomo’s lower abdomen as he toyed with the notion of aborting the child.
If the cost of pregnancy was Jun Xiaomo’s life, he would much rather the child perish within Jun Xiaomo’s womb.
The sprightly old man could see the thoughts plaguing Ye Xiuwen’s mind, and he would time and again remind Ye Xiuwen not to act rashly. After all, the seeds of the Rainbow Lotus Flower were just in front of their eyes. They had coincidentally arrived at the Sunset Mountain Range at the most opportune time, and it would be too much of a waste to give up on seizing it right now.
Furthermore, Jun Xiaomo had time and again reiterated her position to Ye Xiuwen as well – no matter what happened, she would never abandon her child. Thus, under both Jun Xiaomo and the old man’s constant reminders, Ye Xiuwen managed to forcibly suppress the urge to act impulsively.
Jun Xiaomo had once again passed out without warning today. The Rainbow Flower Lotus was going to bear fruits in just a few days’ time, and Ye Xiuwen had intended to bring Jun Xiaomo out for a stroll so that they could check on its situation and survey their surroundings as well. Unfortunately, those plans would naturally have to be shelved for the time being, given how Jun Xiaomo had passed out again.
“Alright, is there really a need to be so distressed and troubled? Can’t ye just leave your wife here and survey the surroundings on your own?” The sprightly old man poured out a cup of wine and took a large swig from it, before adding, “Don’t worry. Nothing is going to go wrong with this old man watching over her.” The old man patted his chest as he reassured Ye Xiuwen.
Ye Xiuwen was well aware of the old man’s abilities, so he knew that protecting Jun Xiaomo was hardly an issue for him. Unfortunately, he couldn’t shake off the uneasiness plaguing his heart for some strange reason.
“Alright, alright. What’s going to happen if ye don’t make this trip to the lotus pond to survey yer surroundings? Who are ye going to run crying to when ye fail to seize the lotus seeds at that time? Even if ye are able to deal with the failure, yer wife most certainly can’t.” The old man continued to coax Ye Xiuwen until Ye Xiuwen’s heart was finally moved.
“Fine. I’ll leave her here with you. I hope that she’ll still be safe and sound by the time I return.” Ye Xiuwen glanced back at the tightly shut door to Jun Xiaomo’s room as he finally relented.
The old man waved his hand dismissively, signaling that everything was going to be alright.
With that, Ye Xiuwen activated his Windwalk ability and made his way straight towards the lotus pond, intending to quickly survey the surroundings there before making a beeline back to the inn.
The old man hiccupped as he pulled a chair over to the side closest to Jun Xiaomo’s bed. There, he hummed a chirpy little song as he continued to indulge himself with food and drinks.
Unfortunately, the old man had miscalculated. After all, how could he have ever expected someone to spike his food like that? Shortly after Ye Xiuwen’s departure, his body swayed slightly, and his vision faded to black. Moments later, his head slumped and landed with a resounding thud onto the table in the room.
“Foolish old man.” Princess Linglong strode brazenly into the room and nudged the old man slightly. Once he ascertained that the old man was dead asleep, her lips began to curl up into a wicked smile.
Then, turning her gaze towards how Jun Xiaomo lay unconscious on the bed with her eyes tightly shut, Princess Linglong revealed a victorious gleam in the depths of her eyes – she was intent on seeing just how smug Jun Xiaomo could be when she finally realized that she was waltzing in the palm of her hand!
“Men, take Jun Xiaomo away!” Princess Linglong instructed the men behind her.
“Yes.” None of them dared to disobey Princess Linglong. Even though they were afraid that Ye Xiuwen would come after them as soon as he realized something amiss, they still obeyed Princess Linglong’s instructions.
Let’s just hope that Ye Xiuwen wouldn’t be able to do a thing against Princess Linglong now that her husband’s around. Princess Linglong’s men hoped for the best.
The “husband” that they referred to naturally referred to the First-Seat Disciple of the Stoneknife Peak, Zou Zilong. In their eyes, Zou Zilong was already incredibly distinguished and powerful in his own right. After all, his cultivation level was well above that of most of his contemporaries. Yet, despite all of that, Zou Zilong’s abilities were only in the elementary-tier Golden Core stage of cultivation.
His abilities could not even be compared with Jun Xiaomo’s abilities, much less Ye Xiuwen!
Thus, it was evident that Princess Linglong and her faction had once again underestimated Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen’s abilities, and they were fated to pay the price for such a costly mistake.
The old man lay on the table, completely knocked out, even after Princess Linglong took Jun Xiaomo away.
Trapped in a long-drawn dream, the old man continued to smack his lips casually, completely ignorant to the fact that his own disciple would soon rain hellfire on him for his oversight.
Jun Xiaomo awakened from her stupor to an immense wave of nausea. As soon as she opened her eyes, she discovered that her surroundings had completely changed. She was no longer in her own room within the inn. Instead, she noticed that she was now located within an old wooden hut that was filled with logs and other scrap materials.
She was hungry, and she could feel the twinges from cramps in her abdomen. It was very likely that she had naturally roused from her stupor because she needed food and sustenance.
Truth be told, a person in the Nascent Soul stage of cultivation should generally be able go on for a few months on end without consuming any food. That said, there was a clump of fetal energy that was struggling furiously to form its own body. Naturally, the amount of nutrition that her body required was far more than that of any other cultivator in her shoes. If she continued to simply stave off the hunger without feeding herself, the fetal energy within her body would quickly deplete her body’s energy, and her body’s condition would only worsen more quickly.
Jun Xiaomo grimaced slightly, thinking to comb through her Interspatial Ring for some sustenance. To her horror, she discovered that both of her hands had been tightly bound using a peculiar set of chains. These chains were so secure that she was unable to loosen or free her fetters no matter what she did.
Just as she was struggling to break free of her shackles, the door to the wooden hut swung open, and a person walked through the door with his back to the light.
“Stop struggling. You won’t be able to break those shackles.” The person spoke slowly as his gaze slowly slithered about Jun Xiaomo’s body like a vicious snake.
Jun Xiaomo squinted her eyes, attempting to identify the person who had just entered the room. Unfortunately, with his back to the light, she was unable to see any identifying features right now.
Was this someone that she knew?Previous Chapter Next Chapter