Chapter 46: Imminent Departure

After the three disciples at the twelfth level of Qi Mastery had completed the mission selection process, the other sect disciples took turns as well, each selecting their desired missions to be completed together with Ye Xiuwen and the other two. It was also an unwritten rule that those who managed to complete their missions would give a portion of their rewards to their team leaders, which in this instance would be Ye Xiuwen, Ke Xinwen and Qin Lingyu, as repayment for their team leader’s protection along the way.

“Martial brother Ke, I’d like to travel with you on my mission, is that okay?” Yu Wanrou walked before Ke Xinwen and fluttered her eyes at him as she asked coquettishly, as though with hidden meanings to her words. 

Ke Xinwen had always been fond of Yu Wanrou. Therefore, when Yu Wanrou looked to him rather than the two more prominent disciples Ye Xiuwen and Qin Lingyu, his heart suddenly skipped a beat and he was momentarily dazed and lost for words.

“That…tha-…that, martial sister Wanrou, you…are you sure that you want to travel with me on your mission?” Ke Xinwen stuttered.

“That’s right. I think that martial brother Xinwen treats me well, and you’re also meticulous in your ways. I would feel more at ease travelling with you.” Yu Wanrou said with a voice as soft and sweet as cotton candy, and it immediately melted Ke Xinwen’s heart.

At this moment, the only thought running through his mind was that only a fool would reject Yu Wanrou’s request! After all, he was just given a chance to spend several days and nights with a beauty like Yu Wanrou – of course he would not let such a once in a lifetime opportunity slip by!  

Instantly, Ke Xinwen’s mind was filled with fantasies of how he would save Yu Wanrou from dangerous situations like a hero, while Yu Wanrou would lean in his firm chest like a damsel-in-distress, fawning over him with looks of admiration. Ke Xinwen almost got drunk in his own fantasies.

“Martial brother, would it be alright?” Yu Wanrou prompted again as she stole a glance over at Qin Lingyu, hoping to catch his response to all of these.

Indeed, ever since that incident where Jun Xiaomo had played out both Yu Wanrou and Qin Lingyu, Yu Wanrou and Qin Lingyu had been in a cold war and had not managed to reconcile their differences. Yu Wanrou was mad at Qin Lingyu for forcing her to make an oath under the Heart-Oath Array, while Qin Lingyu was so perturbed by Jun Xiaomo’s unusual behaviour that he could not be bothered about Yu Wanrou’s feelings. Therefore, the two of them had not spoken to each other even after one month from that incident.

At the same time, Yu Wanrou did not want to completely give in to Qin Lingyu’s profit-driven mentality. Even though she knew that men generally aspired to make one’s mark in their lives and leave a legacy, and thus Qin Lingyu could not be wholeheartedly devoted to Yu Wanrou herself, she still felt that it was absolutely maddening if she were going to be sidelined every single time Qin Lingyu was faced with the prospects of obtaining a benefit for himself.

And besides, Yu Wanrou fully subscribed to the belief that one had to loosen the reins from time to time in order to reel in the hearts of her men. After all, men would treat it for granted if their women always fawned over them or gave in to them, just like how Qin Lingyu treated Jun Xiaomo.

Therefore, having carefully thought about these things, Yu Wanrou decided to use this opportunity of travelling outside the Sect to let Qin Lingyu realize her importance in his life.

Didn’t Qin Lingyu put her on the sidelines just so that he could gain some profits? Then, she wanted to see if Qin Lingyu would feel any remorse or regret for his actions when he saw her act affectionately with another man.

Unfortunately, Yu Wanrou’s ploys did not seem to bear any fruit. At this moment, Qin Lingyu was so focused on his mission at hand that he was completely oblivious to what Yu Wanrou was doing on the side.

Seeing this, Yu Wanrou felt even more frustrated and neglected. She bit down on her lower lip as she consoled herself – It’s alright. There are many days ahead of us on this trip – I don’t believe Lingyu would remain cold to me forever.

On the other hand, Ke Xinwen was completely ignorant to Yu Wanrou’s thoughts and he hastily replied to her, “I agree! Of course I agree! I’m so happy that martial sister Wanrou has decided to join my team!”

Yu Wanrou heard Ke Xinwen’s reply and she smiled to him as she replied abashedly, “Thanks, martial brother Ke.” Even though she said that, her innermost thoughts were the exact opposite – she scorned Ke Xinwen for his sorely lacking abilities and average looks.

Soon, all of the disciples who were looking to travel out of the Sect on a mission had managed to decide on the respective team leader who they wished to follow. In order to prevent the formation of any disproportionately strong teams, the Sect limited the number of people in one team, and priority was given to the stronger disciples to fill up the vacancies in each team. Those whose cultivation levels were weaker were naturally filtered out as well – after all, the Sect only wanted their disciples to gain experience from their travels and not to lose their lives out there.

In the end, Ke Xinwen and Qin Lingyu each formed a team with five other martial brothers and sisters from Dawn Sect of at least the eighth level of Qi Mastery; while Ye Xiuwen only had two other martial brothers in his team, both of whom were at the fifth level of Qi Mastery – the bare minimum level of cultivation required to leave the Sect on these travels. Furthermore, these two disciples had originally wanted to join Ke Xinwen or Qin Lingyu’s teams, but because their teams had already filled up, they had no choice but to pick Ye Xiuwen’s team.

It was not that they felt Ye Xiuwen’s cultivation level was too low. Rather, it was merely because Ye Xiuwen was just not well known by the other disciples within the Sect. Ye Xiuwen’s objective-minded personality meant that his life revolved around his cultivation; and this was unlike Ke Xinwen and Qin Lingyu, who were much more outgoing and often mingled with their other martial brothers and sisters within the Sect. Of course, if there were any Heavenly Peak disciples around, there was no doubt that they would have chosen to follow Ye Xiuwen. However, most of the disciples from Heavenly Peak had followed their Peakmaster Jun Linxuan to the back of their Peak for closed-door cultivation and instruction. The disciples from the other peaks were not familiar with Ye Xiuwen’s personality, and they naturally would not entrust their lives into the hands of someone whom they did not know well enough.

It was also important to note that even though team leaders were entrusted with the tasks of protecting their team members, they were equally entitled to choose to save themselves when their own lives were threatened as well. Therefore, the Sect’s disciples were generally very circumspect on who they selected as their team leaders.

If Jun Xiaomo knew what these disciples were thinking at this moment, she would surely have mocked them for their ignorance. Among the three team leaders present, Ye Xiuwen was the only one who took his responsibilities and duties seriously. Naturally, picking Ye Xiuwen was the safest choice. As for Ke Xinwen or Qin Lingyu, their team members could count themselves lucky if they did not find themselves being used as cannon fodder.

Whatever the case was, the arrangement for their travels had thus been finalized. Ye Xiuwen, Ke Xinwen and Qin Lingyu would depart and travel to the Mystic Woods together, and only when they arrived at the Mystic Woods would they each go their separate ways to complete their respective missions.

Having safety in their numbers would naturally also mean that their journey to the Mystic Woods would be safer. At least, this was the case on the surface. After all, no one knew whether any of these disciples had schemed or planned anything devious for their travels…

On the other side, Jun Xiaomo also got wind of roughly when her martial brothers were going to leave the Sect, and so she expedited her talisman making processes.

Jun Xiaomo was extremely fortunate to have retained her memories of the past. Otherwise, she would never have been able to leave the Sect and follow these martial brothers and sisters without a hitch.

Jun Xiaomo was presently working on a third-grade superior Elementary Alteration Talisman. When these were applied to one’s own body, one could change his or her appearances to that of another person’s, and no one under the Foundation Establishment stage would be able to determine that person’s real looks.

A third-grade superior Elementary Alteration Talisman was not difficult to make. At least, to people who were relatively adept at making talismans like Jun Xiaomo, these Alteration Talismans were things that she could do with her eyes closed. In her previous life, Jun Xiaomo had even made several stronger and more complex Alteration Talismans in order to escape her persecutors. But as it were right now, her cultivation level was too low, and the amount of spiritual energy she could operate was too little. Therefore, taking everything into account, Jun Xiaomo had only managed to complete five such Alteration Talismans despite having worked on these talismans for one whole month.

Every Alteration Talisman could maintain a person’s altered state for one week before the talisman would burn up and become dust. That is to say, Jun Xiaomo had a total of five weeks’ time where she could hide the truth from Ye Xiuwen and travel alongside him. After the five weeks were up, she would have to find another way to dupe him.

Jun Xiaomo was satisfied by the present outcome of things and she temporarily kept the matters of the near future on the backburner. If they had the appropriate materials, she could even secretly create more of these third-grade superior Elementary Alteration Talismans as she tagged alongside Ye Xiuwen.

Of course, another option available to Jun Xiaomo would be to purchase a few of these talismans from the marketplace. But she knew that Ye Xiuwen was extremely sharp. She felt that since Ye Xiuwen already knew of her intentions to tag along with Ye Xiuwen, he might already have considered the fact that Jun Xiaomo could resort to Alteration Talismans for the same. Therefore, she was left with no choice but to make these talismans herself in order to completely conceal the truth from Ye Xiuwen.

Ye Xiuwen was unaware that Jun Xiaomo had been reborn, and naturally he was also oblivious to the fact that Jun Xiaomo knew how to make talismans. Otherwise, he would have been even more cautious and observant of every action of this crafty martial sister of his in order to ensure that she would not secretly tag along.

“Martial brother, will you be leaving tomorrow already?” Jun Xiaomo had been extremely diligent with her daily sword practices with Ye Xiuwen, and today was no exception either.

“That’s right. You’d better not slack off once I depart. You have to continue to practice your sword arts according to the training plan I’ve given you, understand?” Ye Xiuwen meticulously instructed Jun Xiaomo. His voice no longer carried with it any traces of indifference or distance, but it was instead filled with warmth.

Ye Xiuwen’s personality was just like that – a person was only able to see a different side of Ye Xiuwen’s when he let his guard down and opened his heart to that person. His concern for these people would be sincere, honest, and it would subconsciously be revealed in every single one of his actions.

“Alright, I will definitely not slack off!” Jun Xiaomo nodded forcefully as she smiled radiantly at Ye Xiuwen, revealing her two cute dimples to him.

Truth be told, Jun Xiaomo was presently only using her smile to mask the immense guilty conscience in her heart right now. She knew that Ye Xiuwen was particularly sensitive to people’s emotions, and if she had revealed even a trace of her guilty conscience, this would undoubtedly be picked up by Ye Xiuwen.

Jun Xiaomo envied and respected Ye Xiuwen’s abilities to discern people’s true emotions. But at the same time, it was extremely frustrating when she was the one who had to deal with his penetrating, omniscient gaze. In front of Ye Xiuwen, she felt as though she were a transparent being, and Ye Xiuwen were able to grasp the nuances of every single bit of her feelings at any point in time.

Having had her true intentions and true emotions exposed by Ye Xiuwen several times, Jun Xiaomo also learned from her mistakes. Therefore, she acted as she did right now, and she used a bright, resplendent smile to cover up her innermost thoughts. This had also proven to be a rather effective method of dealing with Ye Xiuwen.

Jun Xiaomo was generally a genial and jovial person around her loved ones, so Ye Xiuwen naturally did not notice the subtle trace of guilty conscience which was masked by Jun Xiaomo’s smile.

Furthermore, Ye Xiuwen was also feeling somewhat distracted by the listlessness he was experiencing at this moment. Whenever he was reminded of the fact that he would be leaving the Sect tomorrow and leaving his present life behind, he would experience a sense of reluctance.

Ye Xiuwen subconsciously stretched out his hand and patted Jun Xiaomo’s head, as Jun Xiaomo reciprocated by rubbing her head against his palm gently and relishing in his act of affection.

To Jun Xiaomo, she had thought that this was martial brother Ye’s way of rewarding her “determined” response to his earlier instructions.

Yet Ye Xiuwen was slightly startled. Under his veiled conical hat, a trace of reluctance flashed across his eyes before he retracted his hands and said coolly, “Alright, today’s training is almost over. Take a break here before you return to your meditation.”

Jun Xiaomo pouted a little as she bargained, “Martial brother, you’re already going to leave tomorrow, why are you chasing me away so quickly today?”

“I’m not chasing you away; I just don’t want you to lose precious time for your meditation.” Ye Xiuwen was unaware that Jun Xiaomo had already changed her cultivation method, and he was still under the impression that Jun Xiaomo was still using the Sect’s cultivation techniques. To every spiritual cultivator at the Qi Mastery level, meditation was a very important part of the cultivation process. Therefore, cultivators at the Qi Mastery level would invariably make every second of their meditation count in order to quickly improve on their cultivation progress.

“But…losing one day’s worth of time won’t really make much of a difference anyway… and I think that I will miss martial brother once you leave. Can you just let me stay a little while longer, please~?” Jun Xiaomo swiftly minced her way over to Ye Xiuwen’s side as she tugged gently at his sleeve and acted like a spoilt child.

Of course, Jun Xiaomo had her own reasons for doing this. Even though she were going to be reunited with Ye Xiuwen shortly after their entourage left the Sect, she had to be thorough with her acting and act as though she were unwilling to see him leave. Otherwise, Ye Xiuwen might even grow suspicious of her.

Ye Xiuwen did not think that his little martial sister would be so meticulous about these things, as he gently placed his hand on her shoulders, tacitly allowing her to stay for a little while longer.

But at the same time, a complicated feeling arose from his heart.

Truth be told, he was also rather unwilling to leave…

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