Chapter 100: The Strife at the Auction

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

To prevent any misunderstandings, Jun Xiaomo immediately recounted her encounter with the first prince last night, particularly shedding light as to why the first prince would have ended up lying on her bed.

“In other words, you immediately set out in pursuit of the first prince when you saw the Blood Jade glow last night?” Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows.

Jun Xiaomo could not see Ye Xiuwen’s expressions and thought that he was only clarifying her earlier account of what happened. Therefore, she immediately nodded her head in affirmation, “That’s right, that’s right.”

Ye Xiuwen immediately curled up his fingers and gave Jun Xiaomo a hard rap on the head. Then, he bluntly chided her, “You’ve got guts larger than most spirit beasts, don’t you? You gave chase without determining whether your target is a friend or foe, and you didn’t even tell me about this matter. Do you think that you can deal with any situation with just those talismans of yours, hmm?!”

Jun Xiaomo finally realized that Ye Xiuwen was angry. He was angry at the fact that she had recklessly rushed out last night. After all, it would be too late for regrets if she had encountered a life-threatening situation.

“Cough…I only wanted to locate the owner of the Blood Jade quickly. Furthermore…”

“Furthermore, you think that the owner of the Blood Jade wouldn’t be dangerous to you, isn’t that right?” Ye Xiuwen completed the sentence for Jun Xiaomo helplessly, “Little Mo, you can’t measure dangers with just your instincts, understand?”

As Ye Xiuwen finished speaking, his words grew so sharp that they cut straight to the heart.

As the Heavenly Peak’s First-Seat Disciple, there were times when Ye Xiuwen would have to chide and discipline mischievous martial brothers and sisters on Jun Linxuan’s behalf. He displayed the attitude of a First-Seat Disciple right now. Despite his relatively calm tone of voice, the manner in which he spoke left Jun Xiaomo no room for any rebuttals.

Therefore, Jun Xiaomo could only obsequiously lower her head as she softly murmured, “I understand…”

In fact, she had failed to consider matters with the same level of meticulousness as Ye Xiuwen, despite the age of her soul being far greater than Ye Xiuwen’s. That said, this had more to do with one’s personality than their age and life experiences. Jun Xiaomo’s personality was in complete dissonance with the concept of “meticulousness”. Otherwise, she would not have been so completely fooled by Qin Lingyu in her previous life.

Ye Xiuwen patted Jun Xiaomo’s head as he added, “Brother Ye’s not blaming you. I’m only reminding you that you’ll have to watch out for these little details in future. When you’re outside, every slip up can potentially cost you your life, understand?”

“Alright…” Jun Xiaomo nodded her head once more.

Ye Xiuwen’s hand was still on Jun Xiaomo’s head. Therefore, when Jun Xiaomo nodded her head again, her ink-black hair ran through Ye Xiuwen’s fingers, leaving a sensation as though one had been tickled by a feather. This action of hers seemed to directly tickle at Ye Xiuwen’s heart.

Ye Xiuwen’s eyes darkened, and he retracted his hand without a word.

“Alright, it’s not much of a solution to keep him cooped up in your room. Let’s go check on him and see if he’s awakened yet.” Ye Xiuwen suggested with a calm voice as he hid the peculiar feelings in his heart from Jun Xiaomo.

“Mm, mm. That’s exactly what I’m thinking of. Let’s go, brother Ye.” As Jun Xiaomo responded, she swiftly hooked her arms around Ye Xiuwen’s arms and dragged him towards the second floor of the inn, in the direction of her room.

Ye Xiuwen had already made up his mind to go with the flow. Therefore, he calmly accepted Yao Mo’s affection without any form of resistance.

Jun Xiaomo pushed opened the door and stepped into her room. Then, as she turned to look at her bed, she suddenly stopped in her tracks, completely stunned.

“What is it?” Ye Xiuwen noticed her bizarre reaction. However, Jun Xiaomo had slapped on the first prince an Invisibility Talisman last night, and no one would be able to see the first prince’s position apart from Jun Xiaomo. Therefore, the reason for Jun Xiaomo’s shock wasn’t immediately apparent to Ye Xiuwen.

“That…that…he’s gone.” Jun Xiaomo turned around in confusion, pointing towards the empty bed as she stammered to Ye Xiuwen.

Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows. Then, he sighed helplessly and patted Jun Xiaomo’s shoulder as he suggested, “Perhaps he left immediately after coming to. I guess the matter pertaining to the Blood Jade will have to wait till the next time you encounter him.”

Jun Xiaomo nodded her head in exasperation as she thought to herself – I just hope that he’ll come back sooner rather than later. Sigh, I wonder when I’ll next encounter this madman. Where would I go about looking for this crazy fella to begin with?

Time passed by quickly, and it was soon afternoon. Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen made their way to their meeting point at the previously agreed time. There, they once again linked up with the second prince and the other Dawn Sect disciples.

It was unclear what had exactly transpired in this time that they were apart, but the relationship between the second prince and Yu Wanrou seemed to have developed substantially within one morning. Both of them chatted with each other casually as they even held hands. At the same time, Ke Xinwen trudged silently along behind the two of them as he wore an extremely dark expression on his face.

Zhong Ruolan swept a mocking gaze over towards Yu Wanrou. She personally felt that Yu Wanrou’s profligate habit of falling in love with any man that came along was tantamount to courting her own doom. After all, how was this any different from what a prostitute did? If the other disciples start talking about this when they got back to the Sect, Yu Wanrou’s reputation might truly fall into shambles.

If Jun Xiaomo could only hear what Zhong Ruolan was thinking right now, she would certainly laugh and sigh at Zhong Ruolan’s naivete – Jun Xiaomo was able to ascertain from her previous life’s experience that not only would Yu Wanrou’s reputation remain intact, she would even become one of the most coveted ladies in the cultivation world that male cultivators wouldn’t even mind sharing with others!

As to how exactly Yu Wanrou had achieved all of this, Jun Xiaomo presently had no way of knowing these things.

“There doesn’t seem to be too many people attending this auction.” One of the disciples looked around as he estimated the number of people around, before thinking aloud.

“This auction in Xingping County is held over five full days. As time goes on, the items auctioned will get increasingly more valuable. Today is only the third day of the auction, so the things sold at this auction today are only slightly better than average. Therefore, you won’t see that much interest in the goods being sold today.” The second prince explained from his past experiences at the auction.

“So that’s how it is.” The disciples all nodded in appreciation as they thanked the second prince for his explanation.

“Haha, there’s no need for thanks. If anyone sees anything that catches your fancy, please feel free to let this prince know. If it’s within this prince’s capacity to help out, this prince certainly won’t scrimp on those few spirit stones.” The second prince fanned himself as he generously offered.

At the same time, his gaze was transfixed on Yao Mo’s body when he said all these things. That pair of flirtatious, coy looking eyes gleamed with a certain obsession.

Jun Xiaomo immediately turned her head away, ignoring the second prince’s gaze entirely.

Even if the second prince hadn’t been complicit in murdering her child in her previous life, she would never stoop so low to associate with someone who tangled himself with just about anyone who presented themselves to him.

Just like that, the auction commenced. The items that were to be auctioneered today were brought up onto the stage one by one and displayed there. A plaque was placed on a table on the side, and this plaque displayed the starting price of the object to be auctioneered. Everyone could make their bids on their desired objects starting from the starting price, and the highest price wins the bid.

As the second prince had pointed out earlier, the objects auctioneered today were nothing extraordinary. Most items were only at the fifth or sixth grade, and they were items that were considered uncommon at best.

Because of this, few people were interested in the items that were being sold, and the last few objects to be sold had been auctioned off with only one bid. Accordingly, none of the items were sold for a high price, and the auction progressed extremely quickly.

The disciples all looked on at the objects as they were auctioned off one by one. Slowly but surely, the disciples started to lose interest in the auction. The items being sold right now were either too impractical, or so commonly found that they could hardly be considered special. Therefore, no one contemplated even participating in the auctions.

Just as Jun Xiaomo yawned lazily with dwindling interest, something suddenly caught her eye. She immediately perked up and fixed her eyes on the item that was being brought out onto the stage right now.

At this moment, the auctioneer held up a paintbrush-like object and introduced it to everyone around, “This pen is called the Seven Aperture Talisman Brush. This item has been carefully crafted by the master craftsman, Official Hong, over forty-nine painstaking days, and it can be considered one of his most prized creations. This item is at the upper-tier of the sixth-grade, and its starting price for this auction is thirty superior-grade spirit stones. Highest bid wins. The auction begins. Dear guests, please make your bids.”

A few moments passed, and everyone remained silent. No one made any bids at all.

“Little Mo, do you like this brush?” Ye Xiuwen lightly leaned over towards Jun Xiaomo as he whispered into her ears.

Jun Xiaomo bit down on her lips, before replying, “I can’t say that I’m truly attracted to that brush.”

This was the truth. She did not truly “like” this brush. After all, compared with the talisman brushes that she had obtained towards the end of her previous life, this upper-tier sixth-grade talisman brush was truly not deserving of any special mention.

However, this brush possessed a different type of worth to Jun Xiaomo. This was because seeing this brush immediately reminded Jun Xiaomo of the memories of her past – in her previous life, she had seen this exact same brush before, but had never used it once.

Back when Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo were escaping for their lives together, they had once encountered a team of persecutors which comprised of a talisman master.

During that encounter, Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen barely made off with their lives intact, and their only spoil of war in that encounter was a talisman brush which the talisman master had inadvertently dropped during their skirmish.

Once they ascertained that they had left their persecutors in the dust, Ye Xiuwen presented Jun Xiaomo with this talisman brush as he suggested, “Since you’re still trying to find a suitable cultivation art for yourself, why not learn how to make talismans in the meantime? At least, by doing so, you’ll be able to preserve your own life better.”

At that time, Jun Xiaomo had just experienced the trauma of losing her parents and the entire Heavenly Peak, and she was perpetually in a state of discombobulation. Furthermore, Jun Xiaomo had just been betrayed by her martial brothers and sisters from Dawn Sect whom she had wholeheartedly trusted. Therefore, Ye Xiuwen’s suggestion was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. She burst out with fury, grabbed the brush from Ye Xiuwen, threw it harshly on the ground and stamped on it furiously with her foot. As she continued to trample on the brush, she lamented in anguish, “I refuse! I absolutely refuse to be a talisman master! I’m a cultivator, and I’m not a stupid talisman master!”

According to Jun Xiaomo’s perception and understanding of the world at that time, Jun Xiaomo had unilaterally concluded that a talisman master was a career without any prospects, and their existence was a nuisance and a burden to the world around them. Therefore, when Ye Xiuwen suggested for her to learn to draw talismans, she imputed her own meaning into his words and thought that Ye Xiuwen was foreclosing any possibilities of her continuing on the path of cultivation.

Jun Xiaomo had always taken pride in her talents in cultivation. Therefore, how could she set aside her pride in that instant and resign to a life of being a talisman master?

Despite her tantrum, Ye Xiuwen remained taciturn as he stared vacantly at Jun Xiaomo’s maddened expressions. After a little while, he turned around silently and began to walk away.

Jun Xiaomo looked at Ye Xiuwen’s figure as it gradually grew smaller, and her heart soured with disappointment. She crouched on the ground and began to cry in despondence. As she continued to bawl, she deplored, “I know martial brother hates me. I know you think of me as a burden, and you don’t want to take responsibility for me anymore…wuu-wu-wu…”

Ye Xiuwen stopped in his steps. He continued to look away into the distance, and no one was privy to what went through his mind at that time.

Yet, a few moments later, he turned around and walked back to Jun Xiaomo’s side. He looked directly at Jun Xiaomo crouching on the ground as he assured her, “Get up. I promise you that as long as I shall live, nothing is going to happen to you.”

Jun Xiaomo hurriedly got to her feet. Her eyes quivered with roiling emotions, and she wrapped her hands tightly around Ye Xiuwen’s arm, as though she were grabbing onto her only lifeline in this world.

Ye Xiuwen turned around and motioned to leave again, and Jun Xiaomo followed alongside clumsily.

On that day, as Ye Xiuwen led Jun Xiaomo away from that place, the brush that Ye Xiuwen had intended to give to Jun Xiaomo remained forsaken on the ground where Jun Xiaomo had trampled on it.

In the end, Ye Xiuwen kept every bit of his promise to Jun Xiaomo. He protected her with every fiber of his being until he drew his final breath. Yet, it was only much later that Jun Xiaomo finally realized that Ye Xiuwen had suggested for her to learn the art of drawing talismans only for her own good.

Back then, Jun Xiaomo was unable to control the demonic energy in her body and she was unable to draw talismans. She was truly a burden to Ye Xiuwen. If she had learnt how to draw talismans and thereby improved her self-preservation abilities, then perhaps she might not have needed Ye Xiuwen’s watchful protection over her every step of the way. She might not have caused Ye Xiuwen’s death in the end!

However, it was a pity that she had only come to this realization all too late.

Jun Xiaomo regretted everything she had done.

Presently, the Seven Aperture Talisman Brush held in the auctioneer’s hands right now looked exactly the same as the one that Ye Xiuwen had presented Jun Xiaomo with in her previous life. Even though Jun Xiaomo knew in her heart that these two brushes were different, she still couldn’t help but be reminded of that incident in her previous life when she saw the Seven Aperture Talisman Brush.

Ye Xiuwen had always been a meticulous and sensitive person. Even though Jun Xiaomo had explicitly stated that she was not attracted to that brush, the quivering and roiling emotions in her eyes could not be faked.

In Yao Mo’s eyes, Ye Xiuwen could see a confluence of pain, despondence, regret, disappointment, longing, and other similar emotions, and he just couldn’t figure out whether Yao Mo cared about that talisman brush or not.

I’m almost certain that this talisman brush is of some sentimental value to Yao Mo, even though he says he doesn’t like it. Ye Xiuwen assessed in his heart.

Having thought about this, Ye Xiuwen retrieved thirty superior-grade spirit stones and placed it into the bowl in front of him and called out, “Thirty superior-grade spirit stones. I wish to make a bid for the Seven Aperture Talisman Brush.”

The bowl was imbued with a miniscule talisman array. As long as someone placed spirit stones into the bowl, it would alert the auctioneer to the location of the person placing the bid.

The auctioneer had waited for some time now, and he was worried that he wasn’t going to be able to sell this talisman brush today. Fortunately, someone made a bid for the brush in the end.

“A man on this side has just made a bid for the talisman brush at thirty superior-grade spirit stones. Is there anyone else who wishes to place a bid?” The auctioneer inquired in a sonorous voice.

Jun Xiaomo was jolted back to her senses by the auctioneer’s inquiry, and she immediately turned her head and looked at Ye Xiuwen with a stunned expression, “Brother Ye, you don’t have to…”

Ye Xiuwen patted her head as he cut her off, “It’s fine. Since that brush is so important to you, let’s buy it.”

Jun Xiaomo bit down on her lower lip, and the rims of her eyes instantly reddened. The scenes of the past and the scenes of reality had seemed to come together harmoniously, instantly evoking the deep, profound emotions in her heart once more.

If nobody else were around right now, she might very well have burst out into tears and cried her heart out.

Jun Xiaomo sniffled slightly as she murmured to Ye Xiuwen with a shaky voice, “Mm, thanks, brother Ye.”

She had made up her mind that she was going to treasure the talisman brush this time.

“Is there anyone else? …” After a few moments, the auctioneer began to count down, “Thirty superior-grade spirit stones going once… Thirty superior-grade spirit stones going twice…”

“Sixty superior-grade spirit stones.” Another voice rang out leisurely as it cut off the auctioneer’s trailing voice, completely silencing the entire audience.

The price immediately doubled?! Which nouveau riche is this?

The entire audience turned their attention to the person who had just spoken, only to see a man dressed in a dignified manner with an entourage of people standing behind him. Obviously, this man was someone with stature.

Jun Xiaomo also turned around furiously and looked at the person who had just placed his bid –

It was not just anyone. It was that man who had noticed Yao Mo’s interest in the brush and intentionally placed a bid in order to win Yao Mo’s favour – the second prince, Rong Yebin!


Previous Chapter Next Chapter