Chapter 373: A Crushing Force, Princess Linglong’s Miscalculation

The sprightly old man had only aroused from his stupor after Ye Xiuwen returned from his reconnaissance mission.

Despite being the old man’s disciple, Ye Xiuwen was hardly courteous with his master. He poured a bucket of cold water over the old man’s, engulfing his head completely, causing the old man to think for a moment that he had been tossed into a pond of sorts. Naturally, if there were a pond near the inn, Ye Xiuwen might well have done even that instead.

“Where’s Jun Xiaomo?” Ye Xiuwen cast an ashen look at the old man. His voice was incredibly placid, but the old man could sense the flourishing of Ye Xiuwen’s oppressive aura.

Faced with Ye Xiuwen’s imposing gaze, the old man turned his head around sheepishly and glanced towards the bed. In the next instant, his eyes widened with disbelief – Where’s Disciple-in-Law?!

Ye Xiuwen pressed the issue coldly, “Who’s the one who had assured me time and again that he would help me to look after Jun Xiaomo and prevent anything from happening to her?”

“But…that…Disciple, please listen to Master’s explanation. Master’s usually very good at holding his alcohol, and he doesn’t get drunk easily at all. This incident must have been an accident…an accident…”

“Accident?” Ye Xiuwen repeated his master’s words coldly, “Since there could be an accident, why did you assure me time and again that nothing would go wrong? Is your guarantee so cheap that it’s subject to just about any and every exigency and accident?”

Ye Xiuwen was incredibly disrespectful. If he had done this at any other point in time, the old man would most certainly have slammed his fist on the table and lashed back, saying that Ye Xiuwen has no respect for his master. Unfortunately, the old man knew that he was at fault this time, and there was no way he could justify getting angry.

Shrinking his head back slightly, the old man braced himself to face the music with a slightly pitiful expression on his face.

That said, Ye Xiuwen did not castigate his master for too long, because the more pressing issue at hand was to locate Jun Xiaomo’s whereabouts.

Ye Xiuwen walked to the tableside and sniffed at the wine cup, before tossing about the old man’s leftovers with a pair of chopsticks.

“You’ve been schemed against.” Ye Xiuwen threw his chopsticks onto the table and glared coldly at the old man, “Master, I truly wonder whether all your years of experience has been for naught. How could you fall for such a clumsy scheme? Take a look for yourself – what’s different about these dishes today?”

The old man picked up his chopsticks and tossed the leftovers about before bringing some of it close to his nose for a gentle whiff.

“Triple Torpor?” The old man’s eyes widened slightly.

These dishes contained a type of drug called the Triple Torpor. The scent of the drug is extremely similar to that of the fragrance of wine, which was why the mildly intoxicated old man had failed to detect it when the dishes were served.

It was only with the lens of suspicion that he finally detected the scent of Triple Torpor within the dishes.

The old man set his chopsticks down gingerly. He was absolutely unable to retort a single word of his disciple’s criticism.

“I’ll deal with you when I’m back.” Ye Xiuwen barked coldly. He was far more ill-tempered than he had ever been before. The fact that the old man’s oversight had directly caused Jun Xiaomo’s disappearance was something that Ye Xiuwen could never tolerate. Thus, notwithstanding the fact that the old man was his master, Ye Xiuwen didn’t think to let him off the hook so easily.

The old man shrunk his head back even more, responding in silence.

Truth be told, his cultivation and abilities were several levels higher than Ye Xiuwen’s, and Ye Xiuwen was naturally no match for the old man in a proper battle. That said, the old man was incredibly guilt-ridden for the present incident, so he simply accepted without putting up a fight when Ye Xiuwen said that he was going to deal with him.

Ye Xiuwen was incensed at Jun Xiaomo’s disappearance. Fortunately, he had always been vigilant against Jun Xiaomo’s escape, and he had previously already scattered on Jun Xiaomo’s body a type of powder that was useful for tracking purposes. Thus, he was able to locate Jun Xiaomo’s whereabouts in no time.

This was why he had suddenly appeared in the courtyard that Princess Linglong was holding Jun Xiaomo in so quickly. It had taken Ye Xiuwen only slightly more than four hours between Jun Xiaomo’s capture and his arrival.

Ye Xiuwen possessed a wind-based spiritual root, and his movements were naturally much quicker than that of the old man. Yet, it was also because he was lagging far behind his own disciple that the old man happened to catch Zou Zilong red-handed just as he was about to shift Jun Xiaomo to a different location.

Zou Zilong was neither aware of the extent of Ye Xiuwen’s abilities, nor certain of whether Ye Xiuwen would possess the ability to break out of Princess Linglong’s encirclement. The only thought in his mind was simply that it would be far too much of a waste if his “prey” was snatched away from right under his nose.

As to whether Jun Xiaomo’s disappearance would anger Ye Xiuwen, this was something that was completely outside Zou Zilong’s ambit of consideration. In his eyes, Ye Xiuwen possessed neither stature nor authority. So what if his cultivation level was higher than others? Without backing nor people skills, Ye Xiuwen could never create sufficient ripples to even touch him, much less affect him.

Zou Zilong always viewed his identity as the First Seat Disciple of the Stoneknife Peak an immunity pass of sorts, and he was certain that Ye Xiuwen would never dare to raise a finger against him, no matter how angry he was. This was one of the main reasons why Zou Zilong had brazenly removed Jun Xiaomo from the wooden hut, thinking to bring her to a safe place where he could have his way with her before discarding her.

Unfortunately, Zou Zilong had failed to consider the existence of a variable. After taking a mere few steps from the wooden hut, an old man stood right in front of him, obstructing his way. He was unable to see the old man’s cultivation level, so it was immediately apparent to him that the old man’s cultivation level was above his.

Zou Zilong squinted his eyes, thoroughly displeased by the fact that his plans were being interrupted.

“I wonder if Senior would care to look the other way, and not interfere with business that is not your own.” Zou Zilong spoke rather discourteously.

The old man glared at him, so infuriated that he began to chuckle sardonically, “Interfering with business not my own?! Young man, are ye deaf or just plain stupid? Didn’t ye hear what I said? The lady ye are carrying is my Disciple-in-Law. If ye carry her away, my disciple would be all alone. How can ye call this ‘interfering with business not my own’?”

Zou Zilong cast an unfriendly gaze at the old man, “Since Senior is Ye Xiuwen’s master, then Senior must have a pretty passable stature, right? I wonder what sect Senior hails from?”

In other words, the old man hardly looked like a cultivator from a large sect no matter how Zou Zilong looked at it. So what if his abilities were strong? Can an individual’s abilities truly compare with the power of an entire sect? Besides, practically all of Sect Elders and Peakmasters within the Zephyr Sect were in the Immortal Ascension stage of cultivation or higher. For instance, Zou Zilong’s master was already in the advanced-tier Immortal Ascension stage of cultivation.

Thus, Zou Zilong hardly placed the old man in his sights at all.

However, the old man simply snorted and chuckled coldly, “This bag of bones had never thought that the younger generation would become so brazen after spending a mere several hundred years within the Death’s Gorge. Since ye are lacking in so many aspects, this Senior is going to take it upon himself to teach ye young sprout yer place. Ye are going to learn the hard way that old is still gold!”

“Death’s Gorge?! Impossible!” Zou Zilong exclaimed. From what he knew, nobody had ever escaped from the Death’s Gorge alive.

Unfortunately, the old man hardly deigned to debate with Zou Zilong whether a person could escape from the Death’s Gorge alive. Instead, the sprightly old man simply made his move, leaving Zou Zilong no chance to react whatsoever. In the blink of an eye, a massive wave of pressure engulfed Zou Zilong’s entire being like a tidal wave, causing his body to seize up momentarily, unable to escape.

Zou Zilong’s heart constricted slightly. It was only at this moment that he realized that the old man’s abilities were well above his earlier estimations.

Before Zou Zilong could think of an appropriate countermeasure, a shadow flickered by, and Jun Xiaomo vanished from his bosom, while he was sent flying back like a kite with a broken string.

After striking several massive trees around and spitting out a huge mouthful of blood, Zou Zilong passed out completely.

The old man snorted dispassionately at Zou Zilong before looking back down at the still-unconscious Jun Xiaomo in his arms. When he saw Jun Xiaomo’s appearances, he couldn’t help but reel in horror as he exclaimed aloud, “That li’l brat! No wonder he was in such a hurry to take Disciple-in-Law away – he was actually thinking of doing such a vile deed to her!”

Jun Xiaomo’s outer coat had already slipped down past her collarbone, and her pair of swollen lips was particularly striking on that pale face of hers. If one looked closely, he would even be able to make out some teeth marks on them – Jun Xiaomo was evidently ferociously bitten by a person. With all these telltale signs in tow, Zou Zilong’s intentions were markedly clear.

“Tsk tsk, it seems that Disciple-in-Law is quite a highly coveted person. As expected, Disciple’s got good taste.” The sprightly old man chirped aloud. Just then, a thought suddenly struck the old man, and he smacked his own head, “Damn! I forgot to send word to Disciple telling him that I’ve already located Jun Xiaomo.”

As he exclaimed, the old man retrieved a Transmission Talisman and imbued it with a thread of his own spiritual energy.

On the other side, despite Princess Linglong’s fierce orders, neither Zephyr Sect disciples nor her bodyguards made a move against Ye Xiuwen.

What kind of a joke is this?! This man’s abilities are clearly well above ours. If it were really so easy to capture him, how could he have possibly gained an edge over us and captured Princess Linglong earlier?! All of them knew the gravity of the present situation – all, save for Princess Linglong. In fact, it might be more accurate to say that Princess Linglong’s rational mind had already been so consumed by rage that she had lost all ability to assess the situation at hand by now.

“What’s the matter?! Are you all dumb?! This Highness has just ordered you to capture him! Didn’t you hear me?!” Princess Linglong shrieked at the top of her voice. As the inferno of rage in her heart burgeoned to unprecedented levels, she spat furiously, “You! If you still refuse to obey my orders, this Highness is going to ask the King to deal with you!” Princess Linglong pointed directly at her bodyguards.

She did not possess the authority to threaten the Zephyr Sect disciples.

Princess Linglong’s bodyguards exchanged glances helplessly. Left with no choice, they braced themselves and began to surround Ye Xiuwen.

Ye Xiuwen’s expressions darkened. As soon as the bodyguards settled down in the encirclement, Ye Xiuwen made his move – a glint from his sword flickered quickly, leaving countless afterimages in the wake of his flurry of attacks. At the same time, all of his attacks were interspersed by innumerable Wind Blades that populated the air like an all-consuming mesh net of destruction.

Within a few moments, and after a cacophony of agonizing cries, Princess Linglong’s bodyguards were all incapacitated and reduced to nothing more than a bunch of bloodied bodies on the floor. None of them had even the strength to hold their weapons anymore.

This was the manifestation of the vast chasm between their abilities. If Princess Linglong were that little bit brighter, she would have realized that the fact that Ye Xiuwen dared to intrude upon her affairs all alone meant that he had no fear and hesitation to begin with – it meant that he possessed the ability to crush them with his absolute strength at any time he wished.

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