Chapter 43: Endless Provocation

Jun Xiaomo looked at Yu Wanrou’s flickering, uncertain eyes, replete with hesitance. Jun Xiaomo could not help but chuckle to herself, tapping on the Heart-Oath Talisman, meaningfully saying, “It seems that martial sister Wanrou cannot guarantee that she would not spread rumours in futures huh…That’s alright. Since that is the case, I’ll just keep this, and I won’t force you to apologize any longer.” Saying that, Jun Xiaomo motioned to store the Heart-Oath Array in her Interspatial Ring.

“Hold on!” Qin Lingyu who had been silently observing all these while suddenly interjected and stopped Jun Xiaomo’s actions. He turned towards Yu Wanrou and said indifferently, “Martial sister Wanrou, I’ve brought you here today to apologize to Xiaomo. I also think that Xiaomo’s request here is not unreasonable. The Heart-Oath Array only requires that you keep to your oath. If you don’t violate your oath, then there won’t be any punitive effects on you. So, there is no need for you to be so hesitant about it.”

Yu Wanrou held back the tears in her eyes as she sorrowfully looked at Qin Lingyu. Calling her “martial sister Wanrou”, while he referred to Jun Xiaomo more dearly as “Xiaomo” – it was evident who he was distancing himself from. Even though she knew Qin Lingyu was merely acting here, she still felt extremely hurt. 

It had long since slipped Yu Wanrou’s mind that Qin Lingyu and Jun Xiaomo were an engaged couple. All she could think about at this moment was how Qin Lingyu had betrayed their relationship and how he had abandoned her for some meagre benefits from Jun Xiaomo.

Jun Xiaomo mocked in her heart as she saw all these. To her, the torment that Yu Wanrou had experienced this day could hardly be compared to a thousandth of what she had experienced in her previous life! How could the trivial fact that Qin Lingyu had set aside his relationship with Yu Wanrou for some benefits be compared with how Qin Lingyu had used Jun Xiaomo in her previous life, drained her completely dry, and then sent her to that dark dungeon for countless days where Jun Xiaomo could only await her own death? All of these had been a result of those two masterminds, Yu Wanrou and Qin Lingyu.

Therefore, Jun Xiaomo could no longer care less about sowing discord between these two people. In fact, she took pleasure in the fact that they were now being torn apart. After all, she had sworn to herself that she would be repaying them with everything they had done to her!

As Qin Lingyu saw that Yu Wanrou only looked at him with her teary eyes and did not show signs of any other response, Qin Lingyu grew anxious, and he promptly demanded, “Martial sister Wanrou, hurry up! What are you waiting for?”

Yu Wanrou took a deep breath and managed to finally repress the sourness and unwillingness of her heart, before she turned to Jun Xiaomo and said, “Fine, martial sister Xiaomo, I agree to make the oath. What do I have to do?”

“It’s simple.” Jun Xiaomo smiled in satisfaction as a waved her hands, and a wooden table appeared in front of their faces. Then, she placed the scroll with the formation array onto it.

The scroll unwrapped into a large formation array talisman. As it unfurled, Qin Lingyu and Yu Wanrou saw a complicated formation array inscribed in red ink that they could not understand.

After all, they were not talisman masters, and there was no impetus for them to analyze how formation arrays were inscribed. In fact, most cultivators would generally only come into contact with the more common talismans that they could purchase with spirit stones, such as Teleportation Talisman, Invisibility Talisman, Spirit Gathering Talisman, Thunderbolt Talisman, and the like. As for the more uncommon talismans like the Heart-Oath Talisman which were much more expensive, these were outside the consideration of most cultivators.

Therefore, even though Qin Lingyu had heard of the Heart-Oath Array before, it was not difficult to see why Qin Lingyu was unable to determine the strength of this Heart-Oath Talisman. Of course, he was also unable to tell that this talisman was actually drawn by Jun Xiaomo herself!

“Bite your fingertip and drip a drop of blood onto the talisman. Then, put your palm on the center of the Heart-Oath Talisman, say your oath, and the oath will be sealed.”

Heart-Oath Talismans drew power from the natural laws of this world. Therefore, once an oath was sworn, it would never lose its effectiveness unless a special method was used to destroy the talisman itself, or until the oath-maker violated his or her oath and depleted the punitive efficacy of the Heart-Oath Talisman.

However, Jun Xiaomo was certain that before Yu Wanrou comes to know that talisman master lackey of hers in the future, she would not have any means to dispel this oath. This way, Yu Wanrou would have no choice but to constantly watch what she says, or else she would suffer the wrath and punishment of the Heart-Oath Array.

As for the things in the future…we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Jun Xiaomo knew that if she wanted to deal with Yu Wanrou, not only did she have to deal with only Yu Wanrou herself, but she would have to deal with all the lackeys who would eventually come to recognize Yu Wanrou as a matriarch. This was the greatest obstacle which Jun Xiaomo knew she would have to overcome. This was also one of the greatest motivating factors for her to become stronger.

After all, pure strength trumps all – whether it be schemes and cunning, trickery and techniques, all of these would be useless in the face of absolute strength. Therefore, possessing absolute strength would simplify things when Jun Xiaomo dealt with these schemers around her in future.

Under Jun Xiaomo’s relentless determination and Qin Lingyu’s cold, watchful eyes, Yu Wanrou knew that there was no escaping the making of this oath. Therefore, she did as Jun Xiaomo instructed – she placed a drop of her blood onto the center of the formation array, and then placed her palm on top as she swore her oath –

“I, Yu Wanrou, hereby make oath that I will not spread baseless rumours about Jun Xiaomo.”

“Also, you are not allowed to weave any untrue tales or tell any lies about me. Once you’re done with the oath, you’ll have to end off by saying the words “that is all”, otherwise the formation array would still expect you to continue.” Jun Xiaomo “benevolently” reminded Yu Wanrou.

Yu Wanrou clenched her teeth as she battled back the anger and frustrations roiling deep within her heart before she finally managed to supplement her oath with Jun Xiaomo’s requirements. As she concluded her oath, a red light glowed from the heart of the array, exuding some measure of primal, domineering force about it. Then, with a flash, the lights disappeared, and everything was back to normal. 

This was the power of the natural laws of the world. It was rumoured that once a person’s cultivation reached the absolute pinnacle, that person would possess the powers to change the laws of the world, and even hold in their palms the key to the secrets and mysteries of life! Of course, these were but hearsay, and no one had been able to achieve all these things – even those cultivators who had attained the Transcendence stage of cultivation!

Jun Xiaomo nodded her head satisfactorily, before she carefully rolled up the Heart-Oath Talisman and stored it within her own Interspatial Ring.

At this time, the colour of the inscriptions on the Heart-Oath Talisman had turned a bright crimson red, as though it had come alive. This was evidence that the formation array was now effective, and the oath was successful.

Yu Wanrou felt that she had suffered enough humiliated today. It must be said that before she passed into this world, even while she was the illegitimate child of her father’s frolics, she had never suffered such humiliations.

“Are you pleased now? I’ve already apologized to you, and I’ve already sworn an oath – do you still have any other demands?” Yu Wanrou asked Jun Xiaomo with a glazed look over her eyes. She no longer displayed her usual pitiable look which earned her the sympathy of those around her.

It was understandable. The only person whom she thought would take pity on her turned out not to care about her feelings at all. There was no longer any reason for her to put on any pretense at this moment.

Jun Xiaomo smiled radiantly as she nodded her head, saying, “I’m satisfied. You should have done this right from the outset. What was the point in your bickering and your jibber-jabber at the start? The result turned out to be the same at the end.”

At this moment, Yu Wanrou was so infuriated that she almost choked in a fit of rage.

“Then if there’s nothing else, I’ll take my leave.” Yu Wanrou said with slightly reddened eyes, and no one could tell whether it was because of the humiliation or the anger in her heart.

Regardless, she did not wish to stay any longer than she had to. As for Qin Lingyu, Yu Wanrou was so maddened by his behaviour that she did not even want to deal with him at this moment.

“Alright, there’s nothing else from me. Martial sister Wanrou, take care on your way out.” Jun Xiaomo waved her hand jovially as she smiled smugly at Yu Wanrou.

Hmph, useless trash at the first level of Qi Mastery. Yu Wanrou reluctantly bit down on her lower lips as her eyes flashed with a derisive look.

Yu Wanrou swore in her heart that one day she would make Jun Xiaomo come begging to her for mercy. She took a deep breath, gave a cryptic look to Qin Lingyu who promptly avoided her gaze, nodded at Jun Xiaomo before finally taking her leave.

As Yu Wanrou left, Qin Lingyu finally heaved a sigh of relief. He was nervous that Jun Xiaomo would confront and question them about the relationship between him and Yu Wanrou. To his relief, Jun Xiaomo’s anger was directed solely at the previous incident, and she did not press for an explanation on his relationship with Yu Wanrou.

Of course, had Jun Xiaomo asked him about it, Qin Lingyu had already decided to deny all her allegations and maintain that he and Yu Wanrou were merely martial brother and sister from the Sect. As long as Jun Xiaomo could not find any evidence of their secret relationship, then there was no way she could prove that Qin Lingyu had been unfaithful while they were engaged.

Further, Qin Lingyu thought that if Jun Xiaomo was not pressing this issue, then that must mean Jun Xiaomo was uncertain about the matters between him and Yu Wanrou, and it was perfectly safe and reasonable for him to continue to tap on the rich vein of resources that is Jun Xiaomo.

As the thought of resources crossed his mind, Qin Lingyu naturally would not forget about the two fifth-grade Energy Rejuvenation Pills. Now that Yu Wanrou had apologized as agreed, Jun Xiaomo ought to also fork over those two pills to him.

Therefore, Qin Lingyu pondered over how he was going to broach this topic to Jun Xiaomo.

“Xiaomo--” Just as Qin Lingyu spoke, Jun Xiaomo immediately cut him off midway – “Eh? Martial brother Qin, aren’t you leaving yet? We’ve already concluded the agenda for today, and unfortunately I’ve got nothing here to host you with.” 

Hearing this, Qin Lingyu was stunned. He now experienced firsthand exactly what Yu Wanrou had felt earlier.

The present Jun Xiaomo had such a sharp tongue that she could practically anger people to death with just her words.

Qin Lingyu’s face turned sickly green and pale – he absolutely did not expect Jun Xiaomo to act dumb about their agreement right now. The former Jun Xiaomo would have obsequiously delivered countless spirit treasures and spirit tools to Qin Lingyu without any prompting on his part. But now, for just two measly Energy Rejuvenation Pills – not only did Jun Xiaomo set down countless conditions for exchange, she even acted dumb about the transaction after Qin Lingyu had performed his end of the bargain!

Was the person before his eyes truly the same Jun Xiaomo that he had always known?!

Seeing how Qin Lingyu was staring at him listlessly like he had just seen a ghost, Jun Xiaomo smirked to herself, shrugged her shoulders as she said, “Since martial brother likes my yard so much, then I’ll just leave you here to slowly appreciate the surroundings! I’ll return to my room first.”

“Hold on!” Qin Lingyu knew that if he did not explicitly state his demands, then this bird in hand was truly going to spread its wings and fly away, “Xiaomo, what about the two fifth-grade Energy Rejuvenation Pills you’ve agreed to give to me?”

“Ah! So it’s about that!” Jun Xiaomo slapped her head as though the matter had completely slipped her mind. At the same time, she revealed an apologetic look on her face, explaining, “Martial brother Qin, I’m sorry about that, but the fifth-grade Energy Rejuvenation Pills in my Interspatial Ring have all been given to others, and I currently don’t have any with me.”

“You’ve given them away?!” Qin Lingyu stared at her with disbelief, no longer able to calmly conceal the roiling emotions in his heart. Just a little while ago, Qin Lingyu was still absolutely certain that Jun Xiaomo would hand over the Energy Rejuvenation Pills to her. That was also why he hardened his heart and did not step in to prevent Yu Wanrou from making the oath even when Yu Wanrou was weeping and sobbing away. 

Besides, he had to let Jun Xiaomo realize that there was nothing going on between him and Yu Wanrou at all. 

Little did he expect that after putting on a good show and indulging in Jun Xiaomo’s antics, the only thing he got in return was an explanation that all the pills had already been given away.

“That’s right. I had something to ask of others, so I’d given away all five fifth-grade Energy Rejuvenation Pills in my Interspatial Ring to them.”

“Five?!” This new piece of information dealt yet another heavy blow to Qin Lingyu. He had gone through so much trouble just to please Jun Xiaomo in order to obtain two Energy Rejuvenation Pills from Jun Xiaomo’s hands; yet Jun Xiaomo had in the blink of an eye given five away to others.

Qin Lingyu eyes burned with a raging fire at this moment. He took a step forward, intending to grab onto Jun Xiaomo’s arm and demand an explanation. However, Jun Xiaomo swiftly tilted her body and avoided his grasp.

“Speak if you have something on your mind. Don’t get all touchy-feely on me.” Jun Xiaomo threw a dirty glance at Qin Lingyu.

Seeing Jun Xiaomo’s attitude, Qin Lingyu collected his thoughts and finally understood everything.

Like a wild beast that had just lost its prey, Qin Lingyu momentarily lost his mind as he bared his teeth, coldly roaring, “Jun Xiaomo, you’ve swindled me!”

“Tsk-- so what if I did?” Jun Xiaomo no longer bothered to keep up with the pretense any further. She despised Qin Lingyu with every fiber of her being – every time she saw that detestable face of his, she could not help but develop an urge to tear his face to shreds. Therefore, she wanted to give him a piece of her own mind right this moment. “So, you are allowed to toy with my feelings, while I am not allowed to toy with your feelings as well?” Jun Xiaomo laughed sardonically, “How does it feel? That feeling of expectant hope quickly transforming to an abject despair – it’s pretty exciting isn’t it.”

“Jun Xiaomo! What exactly do you want!”

“I don’t want much. I just want you to know that I, Jun Xiaomo, am not a cheap vein of resources for you despicable Qin siblings. How dare you come take what you want, as and when you want – and do it as though it were an honourable thing. Ingrates!”

“But we had an agreement that as long as I get Yu Wanrou to apologize to you, then you would give me the spirit talisman and spirit medicines in your Interspatial Ring. This was a fair transaction!” Qin Lingyu was truly deserving of being called He Zhang’s First-Seat Disciple – his retorts were quick and clever, “And what are you doing now? Recanting on your word?!”

“That’s right. This was only a verbal agreement. I can recant if I want to – what are you going to do about it?” Jun Xiaomo smirked.

“Jun Xiaomo, you’re courting death!” In a fit of rage, Qin Lingyu momentarily forgot that Jun Xiaomo was Jun Linxuan’s daughter, and he lurched forward with his fists!

“Stay your hand!” A low voice resounded as Qin Lingyu’s attack was intercepted by a wave of sharp sword intent.

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