Chapter 137: The Recurring Nightmare

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Ye Xiuwen was carrying Jun Xiaomo on his back as he operated his Windwalk ability. Once he heard Jun Xiaomo’s voice, Ye Xiuwen immediately slowed down his steps and furrowed his brows.

By now, they had already left a considerable distance between themselves and where they had come from.

Jun Xiaomo leapt off Ye Xiuwen’s back, clutching at her hair anxiously. She was evidently flustered like ants on a hot pan. She paced around as she berated herself, “Not good, not good! How could I have forgotten about the two of them? Where are we going to find them now…”

Truth be told, this was not entirely the fault of Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen. After all, they had just escaped from an emergency situation earlier. If not for the fact that Jun Xiaomo had employed some tricks to distract the attention of Qin Lingyu and the others, they might not have been able to escape their encirclement so smoothly and easily. In fact, they might well have been captured by the Grand Vizier’s men by now!

Despite knowing all of this, Jun Xiaomo continued to beat herself down. She had already considered her little packrat and Rong Ruihan as her friends, and it was absolutely unacceptable to leave her friends behind. This was the manifestation of Jun Xiaomo’s immutable personal principles.

Jun Xiaomo looked down on the ground as she paced about in circles anxiously. Then with a resounding thud, her head collided into something that felt like a wall.

“Arghh.” Jun Xiaomo rubbed her slightly swollen nose. The rims of her eyes were slightly reddened as she looked to that “wall”, which was Ye Xiuwen, as she complained, “Martial brother, why didn’t you avoid me…”

It was not particularly painful, but Jun Xiaomo’s nose nevertheless felt sore from that collision.

Exasperated, Ye Xiuwen rapped her head gently as he replied, “If you didn’t bump into me, would you have stopped pacing around so anxiously? Even I felt dizzy watching you go in circles like that.”

Jun Xiaomo lowered her head and pouted her lips as she grew taciturn.

Ye Xiuwen sighed again. He discovered that while this little martial sister of his was sometimes brilliant, she was equally immensely clumsy and muddleheaded at times as well. She had earlier singlehandedly confounded a whole throng of pursuers with her ingenious tactics. Yet now, just moments later, she had cornered herself with her anxious thoughts just because of her little packrat and the first prince. Where had all of her earlier brilliance gone?

A trace of sourness welled up in Ye Xiuwen’s heart out of nowhere. Yet it was extremely fleeting. Within moments, Ye Xiuwen shrugged it away and forgot about it entirely.

He patted Jun Xiaomo’s head reassuringly, “Don’t be anxious. Didn’t Xiaomo hand each of us a Transmittance Talisman earlier? Let’s try it out and see if we can contact the first prince for starters.”

“Mm, mm! That’s right, that’s right!” Jun Xiaomo immediately retrieved the Transmittance Talisman from her Interspatial Ring, dripped a drop of blood onto it before bringing it close to her lips as she shouted, “First prince, are you there?”

Ye Xiuwen retrieved his Transmittance Talisman and dripped a drop of his own blood onto it as well. Jun Xiaomo’s voice immediately leapt out from his talisman. But there was no other reply from the first prince.

Jun Xiaomo tried again, “Rong Ruihan, can you hear my voice? Where are you now?”

Moments passed, but everything remained still and silent. It was evident that the first prince was not using the Transmittance Talisman right now.

“What do we do…” Jun Xiaomo seemed to have lapsed back into her earlier muddleheaded stupor again. She was at a loss for what to do.

After deliberating for a moment, Ye Xiuwen looked at Jun Xiaomo and inquired, “Xiaomo, are you able to prepare a formation array to locate people similar to the one the Grand Vizier used?

“That…” Jun Xiaomo furrowed her brows, “That formation array isn’t easy to prepare. Furthermore, my cultivation level is too low, so the one I can prepare is only of the lowest grade. The chances of erroneous results are high…Ah! That’s right, I think there was one such formation array among the things that senior Jiang Yutong had left for us earlier. Let me take a look.”

As she finished speaking, she immediately sent a thread of divine sense probing about her own Interspatial Ring.

“I’ve found it!” Jun Xiaomo retrieved a scroll with that formation diagram and laid it out onto the floor, “There’s really one, and it’s even a high-grade formation diagram at that. As long as we have sufficient spirit stones, we can keep reusing it for up to a thousand times! Senior Jiang Yutong is truly formidable…Ah, but we aren’t carrying any artefacts belonging to the first prince…”

Jun Xiaomo found herself at a loss once again.

Ye Xiuwen helplessly waved the Transmittance Talisman in front of Jun Xiaomo’s eyes as he asked, “Doesn’t this Transmittance Talisman have all of our blood on it? Both of us have a Transmittance Talisman each, but we really only need one, don’t we?”

Jun Xiaomo lowered her head and puffed up her cheeks sheepishly as she responded, “Oh yeah. I really get muddleheaded when I start to become anxious, don’t I…”

Ye Xiuwen saw how worried Jun Xiaomo had been for the first prince’s safety, and he too found himself at a loss as to how to respond to her.

That said, since Ye Xiuwen had always been a rather inert person, Jun Xiaomo did not notice anything peculiar about Ye Xiuwen’s behaviour.

Jun Xiaomo laid out the formation diagram properly, before placing a few spirit stones onto a few circles on the formation diagram. Instantly, the originally dark formation array began to glow with a faint blue coloured light.

Jun Xiaomo tore off a third of her Transmittance Talisman and placed it into the heart of the formation array.

Gradually, the heart of the formation array revealed a topographic map and a little red blip on it. The topographic map was that of the Mystic Woods, while the little red blip revealed the first prince’s present location.

“We’ve found him!” Jun Xiaomo’s eyes brightened. Then, she gingerly placed her little packrat’s hair into the heart of the formation array, and another red blip immediately showed up on the map.

“My little packrat seems to be a little bit farther away from Rong Ruihan…” Jun Xiaomo frowned.

If they were to seek out one of them, that would necessarily mean abandoning the other for now.

“It would be wise to prioritize the first prince.” Ye Xiuwen immediately made his decision, “The Grand Vizier goal has always been the first prince, while your little packrat has only been incidentally implicated. Besides, the first prince is a more obvious target.”

Jun Xiaomo thought about it, and concurred. The little packrat was nothing more than a little round ball of fluff. It could hardly be seen as long as it hid itself among the tall grass and flowers in the area. Furthermore, the Grand Vizier’s men might not even bother to stop for a small, measly animal.

But despite that, Jun Xiaomo still found it difficult to make the decision to relegate her little packrat to playing second fiddle. As her little packrat’s owner, she felt extremely guilty about making such a decision.

I wonder whether my little packrat would feel extremely anxious and afraid when it can’t locate me?

As these thoughts crossed Jun Xiaomo’s mind, she realized that it was imperative that they moved quickly and dallied no further.

“Martial brother, we’d better make haste then.”

Jun Xiaomo thought to resolve this issue as soon as possible. She wanted to quickly locate the first prince so that she could turn her attention to her little packrat immediately.

However, Ye Xiuwen hesitated. After deliberating for a few moments, he shook his head.

“Martial brother?” Jun Xiaomo couldn’t understand what Ye Xiuwen’s gesture meant.

“Xiaomo, I’m going to bring you to a safer place. You’ll wait there for me while I go look for the rest.” Ye Xiuwen explained slowly.

“No way!” Jun Xiaomo yelled back in objection.

“Xiaomo!” Ye Xiuwen’s voice had become harsher as well.

“Martial brother, have you ever considered that no matter how safe a place seems, we’re still standing right in the middle of the Mystic Woods? Can there be a truly safe place within these woods?” Jun Xiaomo solemnly rebuffed Ye Xiuwen.

“But…” Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows in disagreement.

“Besides, how will you guarantee that I would obediently wait at the safe place for you?” Jun Xiaomo added as she blinked at Ye Xiuwen with a mischievous look on her face.

Ye Xiuwen: ……

Sigh. It had truly slipped his mind how this mischievous little martial sister was. After all, she had applied an Alteration Talisman on herself and followed him all the way to the Mystic Woods. Even if he brought Jun Xiaomo to a safe haven in the Mystic Woods, there was no way he could guarantee that she would obediently stay there and not simply run off after him anyway.

Forget it. Keeping her in my sights might still be the safer option.

Ye Xiuwen sighed again in his heart as he patted Jun Xiaomo’s head and conceded, “You’re such a handful. Let’s go.”

Jun Xiaomo stuck out her tongue playfully at Ye Xiuwen, before quickly skipping alongside him.


Rong Ruihan was located exactly where Jun Xiaomo’s formation array had revealed him to be. However, even if others were present right now, they would have no way of detecting his presence anyway.

This was because Rong Ruihan was still trapped in the endless repetitions of the Mistlands’ illusions. In fact, he had already been trapped for over two hours now.

Rong Ruihan’s willpower and capabilities were undoubtedly the strongest among the trio that had been on the run. Otherwise, there was no way that Rong Ruihan would have been able to establish an empire of his own in Jun Xiaomo’s previous life, despite the oppression of the Grand Vizier and the second prince.

Perhaps it was also precisely because of this that the Mistlands’ illusion faced by Rong Ruihan was especially intense and impenetrable.

Rong Ruihan’s physical body lay in the midst of the flowerbed, but his soul was still deeply entrenched in the mire of the illusion.

“Hahahahaha…who would’ve thought, who would’ve thought. The fearsome, nefarious Lady Demoness – persecuted by the world. Who would’ve thought that someone would actually give up his life for her?!” An unknown man stood before Rong Ruihan as he laughed heartily. Blood dripped rhythmically from his hand and stained the soil below.

This blood did not belong to that man. It belonged to the lady who had been help captive by that man, and this captive lady looked like she was in her final breaths. Her abdomen had been split open by a deep, gruesome gash, and the barely formed fetus had been ripped from her body and tossed aside.

The lady was clothed in a striking red colour, and a stench of blood diffused from her clothing into the surrounding air. It was no longer possible to distinguish the colour of the material and the blood that had soaked through her clothing.

“My child…my child…” The lady’s voice was incredibly hoarse and shrill, just like a broken wind instrument – each and every spoken word was airy and guttural.

She was barely hanging on to her life.

Rong Ruihan’s eyes were bloodshot. His pupils looked cold and soulless, while a deep red crept towards his pupils from the corner of his irises. As soon as his eyes were fully consumed by the encroaching red, he would completely lose his senses and become demonized.

Although Rong Ruihan had not become completely demonized yet, there was already barely any trace of rationality left in his mind. In his eyes, the silhouettes of the people around seemed to blend into the blurry background. The only thing that he could see with pristine clarity was the lady in red that was held captive in the unknown assailant’s hands.

Am I still…too late…

These were the only words that flashed across Rong Ruihan’s mind. These words acted like a trigger. As soon as they crossed his mind, the oppressive aura released by his body instantly intensified greatly, while the crimson-red colour in his irises visibly crept closer towards his pupils.

Anybody would immediately recoil in fear and retreat when faced with such an incredible surge in aura. However, the “person” before Rong Ruihan’s eyes were nothing more than an illusion. He did not know fear. Therefore, he continued to laugh heartily with a discordant and raucous voice.

Rong Ruihan slowly stretched out his arm. Then, he made a grabbing motion in mid-air, followed by a twisting motion. Instantly, that man’s laughter stopped.

He collapsed to the ground, and his eyes were still filled with disbelief at what had just happened.

Rong Ruihan walked towards the lady in red. Without the assailant’s hands supporting her, the lady in red had already fallen face forward into the ground.

Rong Ruihan walked to her side, but he did nothing to help her up.

He simply looked silently at the lady in red. Nobody knew what he was thinking in his heart. Perhaps he was no longer even thinking by now.

This had already been the twelfth time that Rong Ruihan had seen Jun Xiaomo die before his very eyes. Of the previous eleven times, only one time had been an exact replica of what he had seen in his dreams. The other ten different scenarios had been a construct of the illusory world.

That’s right. Rong Ruihan’s deepest despair and despondence was to see the lady in red die over and over again in his dreams. No matter how he struggled against it, he could not find a way of these recurring nightmares. With every instance of this nightmare, he would find himself getting so close to saving the lady in red. Yet each time, the illusory world would allow Jun Xiaomo to die in a different, unexpected fashion.

In the last twelve instances, he had been just shy of saving her each and every time.

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