Chapter 165: Jun Xiaomo’s Growth

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Winter and spring, summer and autumn. The ebb and flow of time swept across the lands. In the blink of an eye, one full year had passed since Jun Xiaomo had returned to the Dawn Sect.

The commotion that day was deeply etched and ingrained in the hearts of every member of the Dawn Sect – Jun Linxuan had carried his bloodied daughter as he rushed back to the Sect. A teary-eyed Liu Qingmei followed closely behind him, evidently fraught with worries and concerns for her daughter’s safety.

But all that stood to reason. After all, their only daughter had been reduced to such a tragic state! As parents, how could Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei not be upset and worried for her?

Nevertheless, this was the first time that anyone within the Dawn Sect had seen Jun Xiaomo in such a tragic state. She did not even suffer injuries remotely close to this when she had received punishment for trespassing the Sect’s forbidden grounds!

The Dawn Sect disciples could vaguely see Jun Xiaomo’s limbs and face through her clothes that were completely soaked through with blood.

Deep lacerations covered her entire skin, and some were so deep that even her bones could be seen. Half-curdled blood stained her wounds as trace amounts of blood continued to drain out from her body. It was a bloodcurdling sight.

Jun Xiaomo’s breath was incredibly weak, and the lack of vigor made her look as good as dead.

Everyone knew that Jun Xiaomo was the daughter of Heavenly Peak’s Peakmaster. Everyone knew that Jun Xiaomo had been pampered and spoilt growing up. How could she withstand such immense suffering and such punishing, grievous injuries?

Perhaps Jun Xiaomo might not make it through this time? Those who saw the extent of her injuries found their thoughts drifting to the same place as they silently parted ways for Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei.

Nobody could tell whether the hearts of these onlookers were filled with pity, or calmness, or delight in the Heavenly Peak’s misery at this moment.

Everyone had thought that Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei would immediately bring Jun Xiaomo to the Sect Elders to have them examine Jun Xiaomo’s condition. Unexpectedly, the Heavenly Peak duo brought Jun Xiaomo straight back into their own abode.

And that was the last time that anyone within the Dawn Sect had seen Jun Xiaomo. Of course, this was with the exception of the Heavenly Peak disciples.

Some guessed that Jun Xiaomo was dead; while others guessed that Jun Xiaomo had already been crippled. There were even others who guessed that Jun Xiaomo remained in a vegetative state on her bed… Whenever the Heavenly Peak disciples heard of such speculations, they would always wave their fists at these busybodies with indignation. Thus, as time wore on, the disciples of other peaks learnt to refrain from discussing about Jun Xiaomo in the presence of these Heavenly Peak disciples.

They were afraid of provoking the bunch of “madmen” from Heavenly Peak.

As such, a rift gradually began to form, sequestering the Heavenly Peak disciples from the disciples of other Peaks. One camp was formed solely by the “madmen” from Heavenly Peak, while the other camp was anyone from the other Peaks who were affiliated to He Zhang, the Sect Elders, and their respective lackeys.

As time passed by, Jun Xiaomo’s body experienced several changes as well.

The first change was the fact that she regained her consciousness. This happened without any warning on the day that she turned seventeen years-old. In fact, Jun Linxuan had since some time ago already suppressed the demonic upheaval within her body and cured all the injuries caused by the clashing, chaotic energy within her body. Despite her physical body experiencing a full recovery, Jun Xiaomo’s mind remained unconscious. At that time, Liu Qingmei concluded that this must have been because Ye Xiuwen’s sacrifice had dealt Jun Xiaomo such a heavy mental blow that she refused to wake up and accept reality.

Thus, Liu Qingmei could only time and again call Jun Xiaomo in an attempt to draw her out of her mental stupor. She had hoped that Jun Xiaomo would not give up on life just like that.

In reality, the period of time that Jun Xiaomo had remained unconscious had only been less than three months’ time. Yet these three months felt no less than three hundred years to Liu Qingmei.

“Mo-Mo, mother knows that Little Wen’s death must have dealt a heavy blow to you, but your father and your mother needs you, hmm? Don’t scare your mother like that anymore, alright?” Liu Qingmei touched Jun Xiaomo’s head gingerly as tears fell uncontrollably from her eyes and she choked and sputtered.

“Sorry…” Jun Xiaomo said softly, before she placed her palm reassuringly on Liu Qingmei’s hand and added, “Mother, how are you so certain that martial brother is dead?”

Liu Qingmei’s tears continued to fall, leaving streaks of tear stains on her eyes.

“When you were unconscious, your father had on numerous occasions combed the perimeter of the Death’s Gorge and discovered that on top of all the thick spiritual energies emanating from the crevice, there were even several auras emanating from vicious, powerful spirit beasts within the Death’s Gorge. Mo-Mo, do you know that the thicker the spiritual energy of a specific location, the more fearsome the spirit beasts that live there. One of the reasons why the Death’s Gorge had earned its name is precisely because of the powerful spirit beasts that reside there.” Liu Qingmei wiped her tears as she explained with a guilt-ridden voice, “Your father had initially wanted to dive down into the depths of the Death’s Gorge to investigate further. However, I stopped him. I stopped him because no one has ever returned from the Death’s Gorge alive. I can’t bear to see your father…sorry.”

Liu Qingmei’s heartfelt apology was not only spoken to Jun Xiaomo – it was spoken to Ye Xiuwen who had fallen into the depths of the Death’s Gorge as well.

Ye Xiuwen had clearly saved their daughter, Xiaomo, in his final breaths. Despite that, Liu Qingmei still couldn’t bear to let her husband take such a risk.

The guilt in Liu Qingmei’s heart swelled up day by day, suppressing and stifling her heart so much that her breath had even grown shallow.

Jun Xiaomo could tell that her mother was getting increasingly emotional, and she could roughly guess the contemplations of her mother’s heart. Thus, she patted the back of Liu Qingmei’s hand as she consoled her, “Mother, don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m sure martial brother would understand your decision. Since no one has even come back alive from the Death’s Gorge, then even if father goes down, he’s likely to end up being trapped within the Death’s Gorge. The Heavenly Peak can’t do without father. Mother can’t do without father. This family can’t do without father. So, don’t worry, I understand. And I’m sure martial brother understands as well.”

“Besides…” Jun Xiaomo gazed into the distance outside the window. The haziness in her eye had already disappeared, and it was now filled with limitless resolve as she added, “I believe that martial brother won’t leave us that easily. I’m sure that he’s still alive and living well within the Death’s Gorge…”

“Mo-Mo…” Liu Qingmei gripped onto Jun Xiaomo’s hand, fearing that she might do something silly again.

From Liu Qingmei’s assessment of things, the odds of Ye Xiuwen’s survival were extremely slim. Furthermore, there was no reason that Ye Xiuwen had not reached out to the Sect with any messages if he was still alive.

“Mother, this is my intuition, and I trust in my intuition. Martial brother is definitely still alive!” Jun Xiaomo turned her head around and articulated each word with immense resolve.

“Alright, alright. Little Wen is still alive. But Mo-Mo, don’t go do anything silly, please…”

Liu Qingmei thought that her daughter’s denial was the only way she could begin to live with such hurts, so she consciously refrained from refuting Jun Xiaomo’s words as she reminded Jun Xiaomo not to be rash.

“Mother, don’t worry. I won’t do anything rash.” Jun Xiaomo smiled with her pale face as she added, “I’m sorry, I must have caused mother and father to worry for me.”

Liu Qingmei could see the remorse within Jun Xiaomo’s eyes as she spoke. Liu Qingmei sighed helplessly, rubbed Jun Xiaomo’s head and grew taciturn.

Jun Xiaomo closed her eyes once again as she grimaced.

The Heavenly Peak’s enemies were still around, and she could not afford to be willful and headstrong any longer… But at the same time, she was never going to abandon hope and cease her search for her martial brother.

She firmly believed that her martial brother must be alive! He must be!

Ever since she had regained her consciousness, Jun Xiaomo had actively reduced her area of activity to only places within the Heavenly Peak. Apart from cultivating and meditating, she would only walk around within the Heavenly Peak. She was intentionally cautious not to take a single step out of the Heavenly Peak.

This was also why the rest of the world outside the Heavenly Peak had speculated that she had died, or that she was bedridden or crippled.

Jun Xiaomo had breached her cultivation bottlenecks and attained the fifth level of Qi Mastery through the baptism of her countless battles while she was outside the Sect. Over the last half a year that she had remained within the Heavenly Peak, she had worked hard on stabilizing this foundation of the fifth level of Qi Mastery. She could even vaguely feel that the next breakthrough to the sixth level of Qi Mastery would soon be within reach.

During this period of time, she had time and again reminded herself that she could not be anxious. That nightmare that was filled with bloodshed was still some time away, and she had to remain extremely patient…

That said, her eyes would sting with pain and agony whenever she looked at Ye Xiuwen’s abode in the distance.

She did not dare to take a step into that place at all, because she was afraid that going in would only remind her of all the memories that she had shared with Ye Xiuwen. She was afraid that the tender and sensitive heartstring that had healed slightly over time would snap again, and she would willfully rush straight into the Death’s Gorge once more.

She knew that doing so would only hurt her parents. She simply cannot afford to be willful anymore.

“Martial sister Xiaomo, I knew you would be here.” The clear, crisp voice of a young man rang out some distance away. Moments later, she heard a rustling sound coming from the shrubs beside her, before a tender, doll-like face of a young boy peeked out from the shrubbery. His head was even covered with a bunch of dried grass and leaves.

Jun Xiaomo smiled lightheartedly as she softly remarked, “Little Lang, your parents are going to punish you if they see you like this.”

Practically everyone within the Heavenly Peak were cultivation fanatics. There was only one exception, and that was the young man before Jun Xiaomo’s eyes right now.

This young man much preferred play and gossip, rather than matters pertaining to his own cultivation. Thus, he would always be gallivant about the entire Dawn Sect, picking up the latest news and gossip and relaying the same to Jun Xiaomo.

Jun Xiaomo looked genially at the young man as he scratched his head and pouted slightly. Seeing that he remained taciturn for some time, Jun Xiaomo couldn’t help but chuckle lightly as she added, “What’s the matter? Are you really afraid that your father would punish you? Don’t worry, your martial sister knows how to keep a secret. But playing aside, you absolutely shouldn’t neglect your cultivation, understand?”

Jun Xiaomo was incredibly fond of her martial brothers and sisters within the Heavenly Peak, and this included the young man before her. Her thoughts involuntarily drifted to that last moment when she had left the Heavenly Peak in her previous life. Back then, she had seen this younger martial brother of hers laying motionless in a pool of his own blood…

Jun Xiaomo’s eyes drooped listlessly as she fervently suppressed the thoughts of her previous life.

This young man named Wei Gaolang had been slightly stunned by Jun Xiaomo’s remarks. When he finally came back to his senses, he scratched his head in embarrassment as he stammered, “Martial…martial sister is becoming better-looking as the days go by. I’d been staring at you in a daze…”

Jun Xiaomo was tickled by her little martial brother’s comments, and her originally sullen mood dissipated substantially. She burst out laughing as she helplessly responded, “Since when have I grown better-looking? Aren’t my looks just as they had always been? Aren’t I still the same as before?”

“I don’t think I’m wrong here…” Wei Gaolang continued to rub his head as he murmured softly.

Truth be told, he was not the only one who had thought that Jun Xiaomo had gotten more good-looking over the last few months. In fact, the martial brothers from Heavenly Peak had recently been discreetly discussing with each other how their martial sister seemed to have gotten more good-looking as the days went by.

It was understandable why they would think this way. The period of time from sixteen years-old to twenty years-old was precisely when a lady would gradually mature. Jun Xiaomo had grown slightly taller and more svelte, and her flat, washboard body had become much more curvaceous than before. Even the tenderness in her face had dwindled and matured in turn. Her large round eyes had elongated and deepened slightly to become a beautiful almond shape. When she gazed into a person’s eyes, her clear-black pupils, replete with the rest of her maturing features, would give off an electrifying sensation, causing that person to be drawn into the depths of her gaze.

Furthermore, the red coloured garment that Jun Xiaomo loved to wear accentuated her jade-white skin and her jet-black hair. Even though she was only seventeen years-old, her elegant movements carried a particularly special and electrifying charm to it that would draw in the gaze of any onlookers.

Jun Xiaomo’s present looks had grown that much closer to her looks in her previous life. The only thing that was different was that her pupils in her previous life were filled with a vile, vicious gaze, while her present pupils were slightly melancholic as a result of the incidents that happened in this life. As a result, her present looks were hardly repulsive at all. In fact, the slight melancholy in her eyes only served to trigger an impulsive urge in others to calm and console her.

Jun Xiaomo hardly noticed anything different about herself, but this didn’t mean that her martial brothers from the Heavenly Peak couldn’t appreciate her looks when they encountered her within the Peak.

That said, Jun Xiaomo and Qin Lingyu already had a marriage arrangement. Furthermore, the sense of community and fraternity within the hearts of these Heavenly Peak disciples far outweighed their appreciation for Jun Xiaomo’s beauty. Thus, none of them harboured any illicit or untoward thoughts towards Jun Xiaomo at any point in time.

They were simply sincerely appreciating the fact that she was gorgeous.

“What is it, then? Aren’t you looking for martial sister here because you’ve got something you want to talk about?” Jun Xiaomo rapped Wei Gaolang’s head gently.

The young teenager clutched at his forehead where Jun Xiaomo had just rapped as he complained in a huff, “Martial sister, I’m here to report some important news to you! How can you treat me like this?!”

“Pfft!” Jun Xiaomo burst out laughing, before she rubbed his head gently and cajoled, “Alright, now, can you tell me?”

“Hmph!” Wei Gaolang snorted, before adjusting himself and donning his gossip mongering persona as he proudly reported, “It’s about that Qin Lingyu and Yu Wanrou. Today, I’ve heard others remark that they’re a couple made in heaven again. I keep hearing news like this over the last few days, and I really can’t help but wonder if they’re really tangled with each other right now!”

Wei Gaolang indignantly reported. He was truly angered at the situation. He felt incredibly aggrieved for his martial sister.

Truth be told, he did not like Qin Lingyu one bit. After all, Qin Lingyu was always surrounded with flocks of his suitors despite the fact that Qin Lingyu had consciously maintained the appearance of a true gentleman. Who knows what went on behind these appearances of his?

After all, flies don’t hover about a seemingly good egg for no reason. If Qin Lingyu had used his words and actions to tell these female cultivators to stay away from him, then why was it that these female cultivators still flocked to him incessantly like flies around a rotten egg?!

There was clearly something fishy going on!

When she heard the news about Qin Lingyu and Yu Wanrou, Jun Xiaomo’s smile faded substantially. Nevertheless, she patted Wei Gaolang’s head as she remarked, “Don’t get angry over these kinds of people. It’s not worth it.”

“But how could I not be furious! Furthermore, the other disciples always say that Yu Wanrou looks beautiful and compassionate, while Qin Lingyu has suffered substantially being locked in this marriage arrangement with you. I have the urge to tell them that if martial sister takes a walk around in the rest of Dawn Sect, every single one of them would immediately eat their words! Hmph! Beautiful? I still think that no one can hold a candle to martial sister!” This was naturally slightly exaggerated. However, the Heavenly Peak disciples had always been inculcated with the values of protecting their own numbers, and Wei Gaolang was understandably slightly biased in this regard.

Wei Gaolang was clearly upset at the situation. Perhaps he might even have just come back from a quarrel with the disciples from other Peaks.

“Alright, alright, I’m not even angry. What are you doing being upset on my behalf?” Jun Xiaomo patted his head.

“But, martial sister…”

“Don’t worry, your martial sister has her own plans in this regard.” Jun Xiaomo revealed a cold smile as she added. Whenever she thought about how Qin Lingyu and Yu Wanrou had returned to the Sect in glory a few months ago, her eyes would be filled with a frosty gaze.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter