Chapter 161: Tragedy at the Death Gorge

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Du Yongxu had thought of robbing and killing Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen because the way they dressed had caught his eye.

They looked different from usual cultivators. Sect disciples from large and reputable sects were invariably extremely particular about the way they dressed. Some would don themselves with clothing and accessories that would boost their offensive or defensive abilities, while others would ensure their clothing and accessories would possess elemental affiliations that complemented their own.

Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen looked extremely haggard as a result of their earlier battles. Notwithstanding that, it was obvious that their clothing and accessories were not things that were commonly seen.

In particular, Jun Xiaomo was even wearing the earrings and the little jade ornament that were gifted to her by Rong Ruihan and old man Chi respectively. Both of these items had been imbued with a portion of their previous owner’s power, and the faint traces of energy seeping out each of these items were extremely tantalizing and alluring.

Naturally, Jun Xiaomo was unable to detect these faint traces of energy seeping out of her possessions because her cultivation level was still too low. She did not possess sufficient spiritual sensitivity yet. In fact, only Du Yongxu among everyone from the Du Clan present possessed sufficient sensitivity to notice this.

But it was precisely because he had sensed the energy emanating from these ornaments on Jun Xiaomo that the greed and avarice in his eyes were overflowing right now.

As he engaged with Ye Xiuwen in combat, a part of his mind was slightly distracted as he examined and analyzed the ornaments on Jun Xiaomo’s body. The more he looked at it, the more exquisite these items were –

That piece of jade ornament looks exactly like the rare and coveted Firescale Jade that had appeared in the Gozo Kingdom’s auction years ago. It possesses the ability to augment fire-based spells as well as directly increase the offensive abilities of cultivators with fire-affiliated spiritual roots.

And that ring looks exactly like something crafted by the grandmaster craftsman Yun Boyang. It even carries that grandmaster’s signature inscriptions on it. No wonder it looks so familiar…I’ve got one as well.

And then there’s that hairpin of hers. Even though it looks like it's not affiliated with any elements, but one look and you’ll know that it’s a high-quality artefact. I’m pretty sure there would be something special about that hairpin…

In fact, these items were all artefacts that Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei had obtained from their travels to the distant lands around the world. Furthermore, Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei had adorned Jun Xiaomo with these artefacts ever since the day she was born as a token of their blessings upon her. How could Jun Xiaomo have known that someone would covet these precious gifts one day?

It had to be said that the Du Clan disciples had never been taught the concept of values or principles. In their eyes, the means mattered not as long as the ends could be achieved. After all, they firmly believed that the strong ruled the world, and that everything was all about survival of the fittest. Those who were killed or hurt could only blame themselves for not being talented or gifted enough. If a person was weak, then he could only resign to his fate of compromise or death.

It was precisely because of such an upbringing that Du Yongxu did not think that there was anything wrong with coveting Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen’s possessions. As a result of such a mindset, they had even killed and robbed several cultivators on these travels of theirs.

These Du Clan disciples had been given the exact same mission of harvesting and collecting Basilisk Fruits by their sect as well. This was why they had immediately noticed and clung onto the notion of snatching the Basilisk Fruit from Ye Xiuwen’s hands from the outset.

Furthermore, this was even a mutated Basilisk Fruit. It was an incredibly rare occurrence.

Du Yongxu had initially thought that it was going to be incredibly easy to kill Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen. After all, he could tell that Ye Xiuwen’s cultivation level was exactly the same as his, at the peak twelfth level of Qi Mastery, while Jun Xiaomo’s cultivation level was only at the third level of Qi Mastery. She was at the level of trash among all trash.

That’s right. To cultivators, being at the third level of Qi Mastery at the age of sixteen years-old was a rarely seen “trash”.

Alas, I guess she can only accept what she can get. Du Yongxu mocked in his heart. He suspected that the only reason why Jun Xiaomo hung around that disfigured man was due to the fact that her cultivation level was simply too low.

But these were only his thoughts at the outset. As time wore on, Du Yongxu’s heart grew increasingly anxious – even though these two people looked extremely weak, and they were even injured to different extents, they had managed to hold their own against the Du Clan’s relentless attacks. At the very least, they were not on their backfoot.

Even if they ignored the cultivator at the peak twelfth level of Qi Mastery, the cultivator whom they thought to be nothing more than trash was calmly and nimbly dealing with their attacks without any slip ups right now.

That’s right. Calmly. In Du Yongxu’s eyes, Jun Xiaomo could even be considered too calm right now. If any other cultivator in their teens had locked in combat with people who possessed cultivation levels that were several tiers higher than him, it would already be a miracle if he could hang on in the fight, much less deal with the fight in such a calm and composed manner.

Therefore, it was an incredible feat that this female cultivator was completely calm and collected as she fought. Such a disposition was not something that was commensurate with a young lady of her age.

Furthermore, her use of talismans was unbelievably accurate. Every talisman she tossed out would accurately hit the spot she was aiming for and achieve her desired effects. She had on occasion even used several talismans together, creating a mid-tier offensive formation array in the midst of combat!

Could this lady be a talisman master and an array master?

Du Yongxu concluded that he must have roughly grasped the truth of the matter – No wonder her cultivation level is so low.

Generally speaking, the cultivation level of talisman masters and array masters were usually far lower than that of normal cultivators because they spent too much of their time delving into matters of formation arrays and talismans.

At this moment, Du Yongxu’s eyes gleamed brightly as he gestured to his other companions.

Since Ye Xiuwen’s cultivation level was higher, they had initially intended to deal with Ye Xiuwen first. However, after assessing the situation, Du Yongxu had now decided to change their approach and get rid of Jun Xiaomo first.

It was common knowledge that one should always deal with a talisman master first in combat. This was because the talisman master invariably played a supporting and augmenting role in any team of cultivators, and they would each possess far lower offensive abilities individually. If one got rid of the talisman master first, then the combat prowess of that talisman master’s team would naturally fall substantially.

As soon as the Du Clan’s target shifted from Ye Xiuwen to Jun Xiaomo, she instantly noticed the increase in combat pressure on her. Yet she remained as stoic as ever, while Ye Xiuwen was the one who couldn’t help but furrowed his brows in anxiety.

Ye Xiuwen knew what the Du Clan was thinking, and he was worried for Jun Xiaomo’s safety.

“Martial brother, I’m fine! You focus on those at hand…” Jun Xiaomo shouted at Ye Xiuwen amidst her battle.

Although he still worried for Jun Xiaomo in his heart, Ye Xiuwen nevertheless decided to shelf any thoughts of rushing over to her side for now. It was important to avoid getting distracted during a fight. He knew that there was no guarantee that he would be able to help Jun Xiaomo break free of the Du Clan’s encirclement even if he had rushed over. On the other hand, there was even a reasonable prospect of disrupting her combat rhythm if he appeared before her right now.

Ye Xiuwen believed in Jun Xiaomo just as Jun Xiaomo believed in him. This was the tacit understanding that they had developed over their countless battles together.

Just like that, Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen began to each fend off wave after wave of attacks from the Du Clan disciples.

Over time, the Du Clan disciples found that wounds and injuries began to appear on each of their bodies. All in all, the total number of wounds on their bodies right now were far more than the number sustained by Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen.

But this was to be expected. The Du Clan had always been the aggressors who possessed strength in numbers, and they always had the option of retreat available to them. On the other hand, Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen were the Du Clan’s “prey”, and they knew that failure would only mean death.

With the threat of death looming over their head, almost anyone caught in such a situation would find themselves able to draw out and tap on the hidden potentials within their bodies to extricate themselves from such danger. Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen were no exception to this.

However, Ye Xiuwen’s present condition was hardly optimistic at all. Before the battle began, his cultivation level had already been on the brink of breaking through to the Foundation Establishment level. This battle had served to push him beyond that tipping point, and the spiritual energy within his body was ready to breakthrough to the next level.

As the spiritual energy within his body became increasingly chaotic, the risks of him imploding and dying gradually increased.

Once the process of breakthrough to the Foundation Establishment level had begun, it could no longer be stopped. If one forcibly stopped it, he would almost certainly have his cultivation level crippled entirely. There was even a risk that the cultivator would implode and die.

“Ungh…” Ye Xiuwen groaned. The surge of energy within his body froze up his body for a moment, and Du Yongxu fully capitalized on this opportunity that presented itself. With one swift stab, Du Yongxu sent his sword straight through Ye Xiuwen, puncturing a large, gaping wound within his body.

Crimson-red blood began to flow out and stain Ye Xiuwen’s characteristically snow-white garbs. The sight was blood-curdling.

“Martial brother!” Jun Xiaomo wanted to rush over, but Du Lianqin’s whip lashed out and obstructed her movement.

“Your opponent is us right here!” Du Lianqin smirked. There was a diabolical expression plastered all over her face, ruining her originally pleasant disposition and appearance.

The calmness on Jun Xiaomo’s face finally shattered, and her expressions were now replaced by that of anxiety and indignation. She gritted her teeth as she yelled, “You’re courting death!”

“Hmph! I wonder who’s the one courting death right now!” Du Lianqin derided with a contemptuous gaze, “Open your eyes and take a look. We’re the ones who are going to have the last laugh! Your struggle is only going to be in vain! Besides, brother Xu’s stab was such a clean and excellent blow. That’s ugly monster is going to have another scar on his body right now!”

Du Lianqin’s boorish comments had thoroughly provoked Jun Xiaomo. Jun Xiaomo immediately retrieved and tossed out a purple coloured talisman towards Du Lianqin.

Du Lianqin had already witnessed the prowess of Jun Xiaomo’s talismans. She hurriedly dodged to the side, and that purple talisman slipped right past her.

A satisfied smile crept up the corner of her lips as she thought that she had managed to avoid the talisman. Unexpectedly, the talisman exploded behind her body in the very next moment –

Bang! An ear splitting tremor rang out, before several smaller crackles of electrical arcs filled the area.

This was the strongest Thunderbolt Talisman within Jun Xiaomo’s Interspatial Ring. It possessed the ability of striking everyone within a three-meter radius of its explosion. The closer someone was to the epicenter of the talisman’s explosion, the more severe the resultant injuries to that person.

Thus, by the time the Thunderbolt Talisman’s effects had thoroughly expired, Du Lianqin’s body had already been reduced to a bloody mess, and her face had even been charred to a crisp.

“Who’s the ugly one now, huh?” Jun Xiaomo mocked.

Du Lianqin could guess her present condition without the aid of a mirror. She could thoroughly feel the excruciating pain from her pulpy mess of skin and flesh. Thus, she discarded her whip, menacingly waved her fists in the air before pouncing towards Jun Xiaomo as she cried out, “I’m…I’m going to kill you!!!”

Being reduced to such a tragic state in front of her dear brother Xu was something completely unacceptable and unbearable to Du Lianqin.

The Thunderbolt Talisman’s explosion had also severely injured several other Du Clan disciples. At this moment, Du Yongxu was thoroughly anxious about the entire situation.

But what he did not know was that Jun Xiaomo had already used her last resort. That talisman that she had just used was the last powerful talisman within her Interspatial Ring.

Jun Xiaomo knew that these Du Clan disciples had already learnt their lesson by now, while the roiling, unstable energy emanating from martial brother Ye’s body was a reminder to her that it was time to leave this battleground.

Jun Xiaomo capitalized on the fact that the Du Clan disciples were still recoiling from the effects of her Thunderbolt Talisman and ran over to Ye Xiuwen’s side. She clutched onto his wrist as she began to unravel an Escape Scroll.

She intended to leave this place using an Escape Scroll.

Yet to their horror, there was no reaction from the Escape Scroll when they opened it!

Jun Xiaomo was stunned. She closed and opened it again, but there was still no reaction that she had been hoping for!

Du Yongxu finally noticed what they were trying to do. As he charged over at Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen once more, he laughed sardonically, “No wonder you had no qualms tarnishing the good name of the Du Clan. You had intended to use the Escape Scroll all along! Unfortunately for you, all Escape Scrolls lose their effects by the Death’s Gorge. Your miscalculations will be the cause of your demise!”

Jun Xiaomo’s heart constricted with anxiety. She was afraid that Ye Xiuwen would not be able to hold on any longer.

“I’m fine, Xiaomo. Don’t worry.” Ye Xiuwen hugged Jun Xiaomo tightly as he operated his Windwalk technique to avoid Du Yongxu’s attack. At the same time, he patted her back to reassure her.

But Jun Xiaomo was hardly reassured. She knew for a fact that her martial brother was barely hanging on right now.

Just then, Du Lianqin had finally made her way over again. She had once again joined hands with Du Yongxu.

The spiritual energy within Ye Xiuwen’s body surged again, and his body flinched. In this moment of stasis, he was struck squarely on his body by Du Lianqin’s whip.

Ye Xiuwen was located just a few steps away from the Death’s Gorge when this happened. As soon as Du Lianqin’s whip struck Ye Xiuwen’s body, he inadvertently took two steps back to stabilize himself. Unfortunately, the second step landed on nothing but air…

As he fell backwards, he should have been able to operate his Windwalk ability to extricate himself from the situation. However, Jun Xiaomo was still in his embrace, and the spiritual energy within his body could no longer support the weight of two people.

His instincts moved quicker than his mind. With the last of his strength, Ye Xiuwen pushed Jun Xiaomo back onto the edge of the cliff. Then, he fell straight down into Death’s Gorge helplessly!

“Martial brother!!!” Jun Xiaomo’s cry of anguish echoed through the deathly silence of the Death’s Gorge.

The depths of the abyss under the crevice was completely dark and devoid of light, and not a single trace of Ye Xiuwen could be seen any longer.

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