Chapter 99: Jun Xiaomo’s Guilty Conscience

After their breakfast, the second prince suggested to show the Dawn Sect disciples around Xingping County, introduce them to Xingping County’s famous sights and to take a walk down the main marketplace.

“I know that everyone here is travelling outside their sect to glean some life experiences. But you must also ensure that your life experiences are holistic. Work and leisure are the main constituents of life, and one cannot do without the other. Achieving harmony between the two is the path to understanding life’s mysteries. Therefore, can I suggest that this prince shows everyone the sights and sounds of Xingping County?” The second prince fanned himself leisurely as he asked the disciples. Yet at the same time, he cast a flirtatious, coy look directly at Yao Mo as his lips curled into a smile ostensibly filled with hidden intent.

Yu Wanrou bit down on her lips. Her heart once again swelled with reluctance as she noticed how the second prince had cast an impassioned gaze at Yao Mo. Therefore, she smiled softly at the second prince as she interjected with her remark, “Sounds good! This is my first time in the Inferno Kingdom, and I’m quite interested in the people and the culture here. We’ll have to trouble the second prince then.”

Rong Yebin raised his eyebrows curiously as he finally shifted his attention over towards Yu Wanrou.

A beauty who’s come knocking on my door? That’s not too bad either. After all, her looks can be considered top-notch, and they suit my taste. Rong Yebin’s coy-looking eyes momentarily ignited with passion as he sized up Yu Wanrou again.

Rong Yebin had never understood the meaning of “faithfulness” or “love”. To him, there were only two kinds of beauties in this world – people who were his prey, and people who were not.

Yu Wanrou could not be considered a prey to him. However, since Yu Wanrou had packaged herself nicely and come knocking on his door, Rong Yebin was naturally not going to reject her.

Before he could seize Yao Mo and make him his own, he could always have some fun with the beautiful Yu Wanrou in the interim.

As he thought about this, the second prince grinned even more as he responded, “It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to travel with such a beauty. This is no trouble to this prince at all.”

Ke Xinwen’s heart fumed with rage when he saw how the second prince and Yu Wanrou were exchanging coy, coquettish looks with each other. His heart swelled with the urge to retrieve his great sword and cleave the second prince in half this very moment. Yet in the very next moment, he immediately remembered that his life was currently under Qin Lingyu’s control. Therefore, he could only suppress the hatred in his heart as he dispelled any thoughts of acting out of line.

What can I do to win martial sister Wanrou’s heart? Ke Xinwen sighed in disappointment.

Little did Ke Xinwen know, Qin Lingyu had already been passionately involved with Yu Wanrou.

In fact, Qin Lingyu was also feeling somewhat restless in his heart seeing Yu Wanrou’s interaction with the second prince. Previously, he had been so fixated by the second prince and the commander’s mention of the task’s completion rewards that he had completely obviated Yu Wanrou from his thoughts. Therefore, he remained apathetic regardless of what Yu Wanrou had done.

But now that matters had come to a closure of sorts, Qin Lingyu’s heart once again began to feel uneasy at the sight of Yu Wanrou’s present actions.

Even though Yu Wanrou had decided to join Ke Xinwen’s team because she had earlier fallen out with Qin Lingyu, Qin Lingyu did not take this matter to heart.

Ke Xinwen’s talents and capabilities were far below that of Qin Lingyu’s to begin with. As a result, Qin Lingyu had never once seen Ke Xinwen as a threat.

After all, Yu Wanrou would have to be blind to have chosen Ke Xinwen over Qin Lingyu.

However, the second prince was different. He possessed everything that Qin Lingyu had, be it strength, talent, stature or potential. In fact, he might have even exceeded Qin Lingyu in several respects.

Most men were secretly competitive in their hearts, even if they did not outwardly reveal this. When he saw how Yu Wanrou had turned her attention away from pleasing himself and now fixed her mind on currying favour with the second prince, Qin Lingyu heart soured with dissatisfaction.

This type of dissatisfaction had nothing to do with the fondness of a person. It arose solely when a male creature’s machismo was threatened or hurt.

Qin Lingyu squinted his eyes and trained his gaze directly on the interactions between Yu Wanrou and the second prince.

Jun Xiaomo watched on in delight as this multi-angled love affair unraveled. She tapped on her cheeks mischievously as she tried to predict who would eventually fall prey and be subjugated by Yu Wanrou to form part of her harem.

In her previous life, it was Qin Lingyu and the second prince who had ended up as Yu Wanrou’s subjects. From the way things looked right now, things might not differ too greatly in this lifetime either. It was slightly harder to say whether Ke Xinwen would be able to stick by Yu Wanrou’s side till the end.

After all, Yu Wanrou was quite picky in her taste, and she despised men who were too weak. At best, these weaker men would be relegated to a mere supporting role in her life.

Yet somehow, it did not occur to Jun Xiaomo even once that one of these three men vying for Yu Wanrou’s attention right now was in fact her fiancé-in-name.

“Brother Yao has been silent all this while, and I wonder what brother Yao thinks of this prince’s suggestion? Are you keen on talking a walk with this prince?”

The second prince fanned himself leisurely, displaying a suave and charming look as though he were an immaculate prince sent to save an especially troubled and chaotic world.

But this were only how he appeared to be. Furthermore, the precondition to appreciating this “appearance” was that one would first have to look beyond his presently impassioned, lustful gaze.

“Haha, I’ll pass, unfortunately. There are still some things that I need to sort out on my end here.” Jun Xiaomo laughed pretentiously as she replied.

These words were not entirely perfunctory. The truth was that Jun Xiaomo still had to return to her room to check on that crazy fellow lying in her bed right now. No matter what the case was, she had to interact with that man for a bit to determine whether his character was deserving of her assistance or not.

The second prince was hardly surprised at Yao Mo’s response either. Therefore, he feigned a sigh as he responded, “So it’s like that. Then, this prince won’t press the issue any further. However, Xingping County will be organizing an auction over the next few days, and I’d like to bring brother Yao there to take a looksee.”

An auction! Jun Xiaomo’s eyes immediately brightened as she exclaimed in her heart.

What a coincidence! Healing the scar on martial brother’s face still requires several precious medicinal elements which are pretty hard to locate. Perhaps we might have some luck at this auction!

The second prince noticed the change of expression in Yao Mo’s eyes, and he knew that Yao Mo’s interest had been piqued! He sighed in his heart again – As expected. Not many people are able to resist the temptation of obtaining precious treasures and valuable objects!

A smile crept up the corner of the second prince’s mouth as he elaborated, “Brother Yao seems pretty interested in this. If there’s nothing too urgent, why not come along with this prince and take a looksee at the auction? Furthermore, brother Yao could simply let this prince know if he’s interested in anything, and this prince will do all he can to fulfill your every wish.”

At this moment, Jun Xiaomo knew that she had worked herself into a bind. Even though she wanted to steer clear of this lascivious prince as far as possible, it was nevertheless extremely difficult to pass up on a rare auction such as this!

However, what was she going to do about the man lying in her room while she attended the auction? Was she going to leave him there alone? Would any issues arise because of that?

Just like that, a series of questions and doubts started springing up in her mind, causing her to furrow her brows in frustration.

Ye Xiuwen’s eyes darkened when he noticed this. He absolutely did not want to see the second prince lead Yao Mo away by the nose.

“Little Mo.” Ye Xiuwen called out softly to Jun Xiaomo. The awkwardness from before seemed to have also dissipated by a fair bit.

“Mm?” Jun Xiaomo turned her head reflexively and looked straight at Ye Xiuwen.

She was unable to see Ye Xiuwen’s expression due to the obfuscation of Ye Xiuwen’s veiled conical hat.

“Let’s go practice our sword arts together later.” Ye Xiuwen suggested calmly. At the same time, he stretched out his long, muscular arm under the table and firmly gripped onto Jun Xiaomo’s right hand.

“Ha--?!” Jun Xiaomo had not expected Ye Xiuwen to suddenly talk about practicing their sword arts.

When they had been travelling through the woods previously, she had often tagged along with her martial brother’s sword art practices. However, her martial brother had been extremely quiet earlier; and the first thing he did when he broke the silence was to change the topic of discussion at hand. This caused her to feel extremely perplexed at her martial brother’s behaviour.

“The things which you can get at auctions are often more suitable for people at a higher level of cultivation. Your cultivation level isn’t high enough. Rather than buy things that you can’t use for a long time, why not take the opportunity to improve your cultivation level first?” Ye Xiuwen explained in an apodictic manner.

Naturally, this were only a pretext for his true motives. Ye Xiuwen simply did not want Yao Mo to follow the second prince to the auction.

Jun Xiaomo pouted to herself as she murmured unwillingly, “I also know this fact. I only wanted to take a look on brother Ye’s behalf to see if there’s anything useful at the auction.”

Ye Xiuwen’s heart skipped a beat, and he involuntarily tightened his grip around Jun Xiaomo’s hand.

“Tss---” Jun Xiaomo sucked in a breath of cold air involuntarily as she winced in pain. Ye Xiuwen looked at her, loosened his grip, but continued to hold onto her hands in a reassuring manner.

Their hands were under the table right now, so nobody apart from the two of them knew what was going on right now.

However, it was at this moment that Jun Xiaomo finally brought her attention to the fact that she and her martial brother were holding hands under the table right now. Subconsciously, she began to feel slightly flustered by the turn of events. She coughed dryly, attempting to dispel the strange feeling that was swelling up within her right now.

On the other hand, the second prince’s keen senses meant that he immediately noticed when Yao Mo’s ears flushed slightly at this moment. This caused him to look suspiciously at Ye Xiuwen and Yao Mo as he attempted to reassess their relationship.

Could it be that these two people have already developed mutual feelings for each other? The second prince pondered in his heart.

However, what did mutual feelings mean to the second prince? After all, it wasn’t as though the second prince had never broken apart loving couples to seize his objects of desires before. Furthermore, he never once coveted Yao Mo’s feelings. All he wanted to do was to devour Yao Mo – this had nothing to do with Yao Mo’s feelings to begin with.

The second prince’s thoughts continued to brew in his heart. Despite all of that, the second prince never once contemplated the possibility that he would slip up.

But since this beauty’s sole purpose for attending the auction were to purchase something for his man, then the second prince was naturally not going to fund Yao Mo’s pursuit in this regard. After all, committing such follies was not in line with the second prince’s style of doing things.

The second prince smiled coyly as he alluded, “Eh? Seems like brother Yao and brother Ye have quite the close relationship, huh? One would even think of the other first in deciding whether to attend the auction or not. Anyway, since brother Yao is busy, then so be it – we can pass on the auction. Tonight, …”

The second prince was initially going to think of another excuse to lure Yao Mo into his abode. Unexpectedly, Yao Mo immediately cut him off before he could say anything else, “Who says I’m not going to the auction? I’m definitely going!”

Jun Xiaomo announced categorically, and her tone was filled with decisiveness.

“Little Mo, you don’t have to…” Even though Ye Xiuwen was extremely moved by Yao Mo’s actions at this moment, he was not willing to see Yao Mo sacrifice so much for himself.

“Don’t worry, it’s only an auction. It’s not like I’m sending myself to the lion’s den!” Jun Xiaomo leaned over slightly towards Ye Xiuwen as she whispered into his ears so that only the two of them were privy to their conversation, “Brother Ye, the scar on your face still requires some precious and valuable medicinal elements. These medicinal elements aren’t commonly seen in the shops at the marketplace. I want to take a look at the auction, alright?”

As Jun Xiaomo finished speaking, she looked straight into Ye Xiuwen’s eyes and batted her eyelids twice.

It was at this moment that it suddenly dawned on Ye Xiuwen that Yao Mo’s spirited, lively eyes were beautiful. Her pupils looked like two polished obsidian stones that were sheening mildly, and its depths seemed so profound as though they contained the constellations of the skies.

“Alright.” Ye Xiuwen responded softly, “Thank you, Little Mo.”

Jun Xiaomo smiled radiantly, revealing her two characteristic dimples, “Brother Ye doesn’t have to thank me. You’ll know in the near future.”

Ye Xiuwen mentally noted her promise in his heart, and he gently tousled Jun Xiaomo’s hair.

“Alright, since brother Yao is so keen to attend the auction, then let’s go take a looksee. I hear that there are several previous treasures that will be sold at this auction!” The second prince added in an unperturbed manner. He absolutely did not take to heart the warm and intimate atmosphere between Yao Mo and Ye Xiuwen.

This beauty will know once he attends the auction – the price of the items there aren’t something that a measly cultivator like him can afford. The second prince chuckled wickedly as he thought to himself.

When that time comes, this beauty is going to look at me helplessly and pleadingly for assistance, and I’ll be able to earn the beauty’s favour and respect. A lascivious smile crept up the second prince’s lips as he thought to himself.

---------------------------------------------------

The auction commenced in the afternoon. Therefore, both Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo informed the rest that they would link up with them in the afternoon.

The second prince did not force the issue either. After they fixed a time and location to meet, he led the way as he began to show the rest of the disciples the sights and sounds around Xingping County.

Truth be told, Jun Xiaomo would not have entertained the second prince if there were no entry requirements at the auction. Otherwise, there was nothing preventing her from attending the auction with her martial brother undercover.

However, this was the harsh truth of the reality. Because of the entry requirements at the auction, Jun Xiaomo had no choice but to suppress the frustration in her heart and agree to the second prince’s suggestions.

It’s only an auction anyway. I don’t believe that the second prince would dare take advantage of me in the watchful eyes of the public in any event. Besides, the second prince had only been verbally teasing me. He’s never shown any signs of making a move to begin with.

Jun Xiaomo made up her mind to ignore the second prince’s gaze as long as he did not attempt to take advantage of her.

After the second prince left with the other disciples, the only people remaining at the table were Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo. Jun Xiaomo coughed twice dryly as she broke the awkward silence – she suddenly felt as though the air had become rather stifling, and their interactions had become a lot more tense and peculiar than before.

In the past, she would eagerly draw closer to Ye Xiuwen and chat about everything under the sun as they poured out their hearts to each other. But now, she found herself speechless when faced with her martial brother’s abject silence.

To make matters worse, she could not see her martial brother’s expressions under that veiled conical hat of his at all. She could not make out what he was thinking about right now.

That said, she could still sense Ye Xiuwen’s gaze that was trained on her. This gaze was filled with complicated emotions, and it left her with a peculiar sensation that gave her the urge to flee from this place.

It was truly too awkward for comfort!

Ye Xiuwen also noticed that this young man was avoiding his eye contact right now. He had earlier consciously distanced himself from Yao Mo because he could not understand his own feelings. But right now, he found himself gradually discarding those thoughts.

He must have hurt the feelings of this young man when he had distanced himself earlier. How could he bear to continue hurting someone who had always treated him with such sincerity?

Ye Xiuwen sighed helplessly. He patted Jun Xiaomo’s head as he made the first move to apologize, “I’m sorry. Brother Ye has been too muddleheaded earlier.”

“Haa--?!” Jun Xiaomo could not understand why Ye Xiuwen was suddenly apologizing to her.

However, it was precisely because of this apology that the earlier awkwardness and stifling atmosphere between the two of them seemed to have vanished into thin air.

“Even though I’m not sure what brother Ye is apologizing for, I won’t blame brother Ye for anything.” Jun Xiaomo responded sincerely.

Ye Xiuwen was slightly amused at Yao Mo’s response. At the same time, his heart was particularly moved by Yao Mo’s unwavering trust in him.

“Alright, then let’s put this matter behind us once and for all.” Ye Xiuwen patted Jun Xiaomo’s head, “Didn’t you say you had something to deal with earlier? Is this matter urgent?”

“Ah! That’s right! I’ve almost forgotten!” Jun Xiaomo smacked her head, “That fella’s still on my bed!”

“That fella? Your bed?” Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows as he picked up on the most important words.

“Cough cough cough…” Jun Xiaomo coughed dryly into her fist.

It suddenly dawned on her that her earlier expression had been…slightly…ambiguous. Her heart seemed to be battered by her guilty conscience right now. What’s going on?

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