Bang! A thunderous noise caught the attention of all who were in the courtyard. Everyone craning their necks and looking into the small wooden hut could practically feel the tremors echoing through their internal organs. As they turned their heads around reflexively, they saw Ye Xiuwen standing in the middle of the courtyard. To their horror, everything within a ten-meter radius had been completely reduced into nothing more than sawdust.
One step at a time, Ye Xiuwen began to march towards Princess Linglong and the rest. His ink-black, abstruse eyes were barely able to conceal the two immeasurably deep whirlpools intent on consuming and destroying everything in his path.
“Who were you saying you were going to toss to the whorehouses in the mortal world? Repeat it for me.” Ye Xiuwen stared at Princess Linglong with a gaze so frigid that it sent chills straight down her spine.
“I…I never…” Princess Linglong had never expected Ye Xiuwen to appear so suddenly at this place. The exigency had completely stripped away her ability to think on her feet, and she found herself stammering and stuttering in response to Ye Xiuwen’s cold interrogation.
“Are you trying to say that you’ve never said you were going to throw anyone into the whorehouses in the mortal world, or are you trying to say that you’ve never capitalized on my absence to drug my master and capture Xiaomo?” Ye Xiuwen uttered coldly as he continued to march towards Princess Linglong and her men with an aura that was growing all the more imposing by the second.
He was already in the advanced-tier Nascent Soul stage of cultivation, while Princess Linglong had only just broken through to the advanced-tier Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation. In other words, he completely crushed her in terms of his cultivation abilities.
Finally, when Ye Xiuwen was merely meters away from Princess Linglong, her bodyguards finally managed to collect themselves and rally together as they yelled at the other Zephyr Sect disciples around, “This man is formidable. Quickly, protect the Princess!”
The Greenwich Kingdom and the Zephyr Sect were in a symbiotic relationship. With her distinguished status in the Greenwich Kingdom, Princess Linglong was naturally also entitled to command a portion of the Zephyr Sect’s ordinary disciples to do her bidding, just like she did right now.
At the very least, these Zephyr Sect disciples knew that they could not stand idly by as they watched Princess Linglong perish before their very eyes.
Thus, each of them began to retrieve their own weapons of choice and stood in front of Princess Linglong, attempting to dissuade Ye Xiuwen from taking a further step forward.
“If you don’t wish to die, stand aside.” Ye Xiuwen muttered coldly as the vile energy continued to swirl vigorously within his eyes.
Princess Linglong stared nervously at Ye Xiuwen. Her heart was filled with both hatred and fear right now. She hated that Ye Xiuwen had arrived so quickly that she had been unable to do a single thing to Jun Xiaomo. At the same time, she also feared the expression that was on Ye Xiuwen’s face – she could tell that he did not intend to let her off the hook lightly, if at all.
Princess Linglong was unable to tell the exact extent of Ye Xiuwen’s cultivation level. The only thing she knew was that Ye Xiuwen’s abilities were well above her own.
Ever since learning that Jun Xiaomo was still alive, Princess Linglong had conducted her own investigations and learnt that there was a man who stood beside Jun Xiaomo, supporting her. This man was none other than Ye Xiuwen, the Heavenly Peak’s First-Seat Disciple. Amongst other things, Princess Linglong had learnt that Ye Xiuwen was only in his thirties right now, hardly any older than Jun Xiaomo was.
A person in his thirties was considered incredibly young within the cultivation world. In fact, some would even consider him akin to a newborn in the mortal world.
Thus, Princess Linglong firmly believed that Ye Xiuwen’s abilities were limited. After all, conventional wisdom dictated that no matter how talented he was, there was no way he would be able to achieve much with the meagre number of years under his belt. At best, his cultivation level would be no more than the Golden Core stage of cultivation, right?
At the same time, there were several Zephyr Sect disciples standing around Princess Linglong whose cultivation levels were already in the secondary-tier Golden Core stage and above. Thus, Princess Linglong assessed that Ye Xiuwen was hardly a threat to her any longer.
With those thoughts in mind, her heart began to feel much more at ease.
Princess Linglong glanced at Ye Xiuwen once more, and a contemptuous smile crept up her face, “You must be Ye Xiuwen, right? This Highness has already checked out your identity. What’s the matter? Are you thinking of exacting vengeance for your martial sister by killing This Highness? Alas, it’s such a pity. Do you think you’d be able to accomplish that with your present cultivation level? Dream on. That said, This Highness commends you for your courage in coming to this place alone. Perhaps if you wagged your tail obsequiously and pleaded for sympathy, This Highness might just extend that measure of mercy to you and spare your damned life.”
Princess Linglong had noticed the several formidable Zephyr Sect disciples standing on her side, and she stood by her assessment that Ye Xiuwen would be unable to deal with her reinforcements. It was for this sole reason that she had provoked Ye Xiuwen without hesitation.
That said, the Zephyr Sect disciples standing in front of Princess Linglong hardly appeared at ease at all. In fact, their backs even began to be covered by profuse, cold sweat when Princess Linglong began to threaten Ye Xiuwen thoughtlessly.
Princess, even if you’re looking for death, that’s not the way to do it! None of the Zephyr Sect disciples were able to perceive the depth of Ye Xiuwen’s cultivation!
In other words, Ye Xiuwen’s cultivation was most certainly well above theirs. In fact, it would hardly be a surprise if Ye Xiuwen could singlehandedly dispose of a group of cultivators at the Golden Core stage of cultivation like they were.
Just as the Zephyr Sect disciples were contemplating whether to abandon Princess Linglong and save their own skin, Ye Xiuwen made his move.
He had moved without any warning at all, and no one was able to react in time. In the blink of an eye, Princess Linglong found herself completely at Ye Xiuwen’s mercy. Ye Xiuwen had wrapped his fingers firmly around Princess Linglong’s slender neck in a chokehold, lifting her up with ease, leaving her feet dangling and flailing about in mid-air. Furthermore, Ye Xiuwen had retreated from the group of bodyguards and Zephyr Sect disciples as soon as he captured Princess Linglong, leaving them with hardly any opening to rescue Princess Linglong.
“Uhk…huurk…” Princess Linglong’s eyes were bulging and forced to stare at the ground as she struggled furiously to pry Ye Xiuwen’s fingers apart. Unfortunately, her efforts were futile. No matter what she did, she found that Ye Xiuwen’s grip around her neck only grew tighter and tighter.
As soon as the rest motioned to charge forward to rescue Princess Linglong, Ye Xiuwen swept a cold, threatening gaze at all of them, sending chills down their spines and halting any further movements.
“You…let go of the Princess. We can discuss matters civilly. There’s no need to resort to violence.” The bodyguard responsible for Princess Linglong’s safety stammered sheepishly, hoping to convince Ye Xiuwen to release Princess Linglong.
Ye Xiuwen glanced placidly back as he muttered, “A life for a life. If you don’t wish for your princess to die by my hands, bring Jun Xiaomo back out and release her to me.”
Princess Linglong’s gaze slowly shifted towards her bodyguards that stood a distance away, sending them a pleading look.
It was the first time that she had found herself in a truly life-threatening situation, and she finally realized how all those people who were tormented by her had felt just before they perished tragically. Her neck felt incredibly weak and frail in Ye Xiuwen’s tight grip – it was as though he need only slightly tighten his grip in order to snap and crush her neck.
Unfortunately, none of her bodyguards found themselves able to sympathize with Princess Linglong at this moment. In fact, some of them even felt a peculiar sense of joy seeing her plight.
After all, Princess Linglong had never treated them with any measure of mercy or sympathy. In fact, they would invariably suffer whenever Princess Linglong was in a bad mood. Those who were lucky would escape from her wrath with just a few whiplashes, while those who were less fortunate would find themselves crippled by Princess Linglong and cast out of the palace grounds.
That said, the joy in their heart manifested but for a fleeting moment. As her bodyguards, none of them could afford to stand idly by and watch as tragedy befell Princess Linglong.
Thus, they reacted almost immediately. Some remained in the courtyard, attempting to appease Ye Xiuwen, while the rest immediately ran into the wooden hut, thinking to bring Jun Xiaomo back out for the trade that Ye Xiuwen had earlier proposed.
Unfortunately, those who ran into the wooden hut ran back out clumsily within moments, shouting at the top of their voices, “Damn it! Damn it! The two in the wooden hut have vanished!”
Princess Linglong’s eyes widened. At the same time, she could feel Ye Xiuwen’s grip slowly tightening around her neck.
Save me…quick, save me… The fear and anxiety in Princess Linglong’s heart burgeoned as she beckoned to those standing around with bulging eyes. She appeared no different than a choking frog right now.
“Dear senior, we beg of you to release the Princess. It’s not that we don’t want to release Miss Jun. It’s just that we don’t know where Miss Jun might be right now…” One of the Princess’s bodyguard began to entreat Ye Xiuwen, fearing that Ye Xiuwen might snap Princess Linglong’s neck in the very next moment.
“If you’re unable to produce and hand over my Little Martial Sister, then you leave me with no choice but to dissect your Princess.” Ye Xiuwen’s voice was cold as Thousand-Year Frost.
“Esteemed senior, esteemed senior, your martial sister must have been taken by Zou Zilong. They were the only two people remaining within the wooden hut earlier. He must have been the culprit responsible for that.” Another one of Princess Linglong’s bodyguards hurriedly revealed his postulations to Ye Xiuwen.
“Who is he? Where is he right now?” Ye Xiuwen turned his icy gaze towards the bodyguard who had just spoken up, sending shivers down his back.
“I…I don’t know. But he should be nearby. He’s the Princess’s husband, so he probably wouldn’t have brought your martial sister too far away from us.”
“Since he is your Princess’s husband, then the Princess is going to have to follow me for a trip.” Ye Xiuwen continued to hold Princess Linglong’s neck with a vice-like grip.
He intended to use Princess Linglong to lure out Zou Zilong.
As Princess Linglong continued to struggle, she managed to loosen one of Ye Xiuwen’s fingers slightly, and she sputtered, “This Highness can call Zou Zilong back if you release this Highness now.”
Ye Xiuwen sized her up sullenly, evidently skeptical of her words.
Princess Linglong’s eyes reddened slightly, before she swore resolutely, “This Highness speaks the truth! This Highness swears on it! And Zou Zilong would never dare to disobey this Highness unless he wants to risk losing his title as my husband.”
Ye Xiuwen squinted his eyes slightly, sizing up Princess Linglong once more, before he finally conceded, “You’d best make good on your word.”
He threw Princess Linglong onto the ground as soon as he finished speaking.
Princess Linglong lay on the ground, coughing and hacking as the breath of fresh air filled her with second wind. Her bodyguards and the Zephyr Sect disciples also immediately ran up to her and helped her back up to her feet.
Ye Xiuwen folded his arms and watched the scene unfold dispassionately, waiting for Princess Linglong to fulfill her end of the deal to recall Zou Zilong.
Unfortunately, Princess Linglong had never been a woman of her words. As soon as she felt safe and secure in the numbers that they had, her expression changed completely, and she pointed at Ye Xiuwen as she ordered those around her, “Capture that man right now! This Highness will greatly reward anyone who does so!”
In the blink of an eye, the atmosphere grew tense and harsh once more.
On the other side, as soon as Zou Zilong realized that somebody had arrived to rescue Jun Xiaomo, he was immediately awash with reluctance to see his “fresh meat” seized from right under his nose. Thus, he took Jun Xiaomo and escaped the wooden hut from a back door.
Jun Xiaomo’s hands and feet were still shackled and bound, and she had no ability to resist Zou Zilong at all.
Zou Zilong had thought that everything would go without a hitch once he had left the wooden hut from the back door. Unexpectedly, after travelling only a short distance, he bumped into a spirited, sprightly old man.
“Young brother, may I know where ye might be runnin’ with my disciple’s wife?” The old man smiled radiantly as he asked. If one ignored the content of the words he was saying, it would be easy to mistake him for a warm-hearted, friendly old man.
That’s right – this old man was none other than Ye Xiuwen’s master. After receiving a harsh dressing down from his own disciple, he took it upon himself to resolve the problem that his indiscretion had given rise to.Previous Chapter Next Chapter