Chapter 166: Imperative Rescission of the Marriage Arrangement

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

The Dawn Sect had suffered heavy casualties from their disciples’ last travels. Not only did they lose two distinguished disciples at the peak twelfth level of Qi Mastery, most of the other disciples who travelled out together with them had perished as well. The only consolation was the fact that two disciples managed to return to the Sect. The first was Qin Lingyu, and he had already successfully broken through to the Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation. The other was Yu Wanrou, and she was following closely on his heels.

Not only that, both disciples who returned from these travels had experienced a fairly substantial boost to their cultivation levels. Qin Lingyu had in one fell swoop leapt two qualitative levels, straight into the secondary-tier Foundation Establishment level, while Yu Wanrou had also managed to increase her cultivation level from the sixth to the eighth level of Qi Mastery.

Nobody knew exactly what happened in the Mystic Woods, or what these two disciples had been through. But as the only two disciples to return from the travels, they were undeniably in the limelight, and received all types of looks from the other disciples, ranging from curiosity, to admiration, to respect, and even to that of concern.

This was one of the reasons why Jun Xiaomo had in her heart viewed their return to the Sect as one that was filled with glory.

Right now, the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition [1]was soon about to begin. Given that they had lost two powerful disciples to these travels, the Dawn Sect had no choice but to place all of their hopes on Qin Lingyu’s back. This further augmented the glory and attention that was showered upon Qin Lingyu.

Most recently, the Sect had gathered most of its disciples to a central location in order to train them together and make full use of the remaining time before the competition. Gossip thrived where people gathered. Those who had usually hidden their thoughts at the bottom of their hearts would invariably find their tongues loosened and wagging as soon as they found someone with the same perspectives as them.

“I think that martial brother Qin’s really drew the short end of the stick here. His abilities and potential are practically limitless, yet he just had to be tied down to Jun Xiaomo from the Heavenly Peak.” A female cultivator complained with indignation.

“Isn’t that so? Furthermore, the Heavenly Peak is currently in the rut. They’ve not been able to produce a single expert from their Peak ever since Ye Xiuwen’s death. And Jun Xiaomo has even been reduced to nothing more than a cripple. She truly doesn’t deserve martial brother Qin.” Another female cultivator chimed in. Her heart would skip a beat whenever she thought about Qin Lingyu’s suave and charming appearance.

The first female cultivator was unaware that the second female cultivator had special feelings for Qin Lingyu. Thus, she continued ranting, “I think martial sister Yu Wanrou is a hundred or a thousand times better than that Jun Xiaomo. See, Yu Wanrou has already managed to breakthrough to the eighth level of Qi Mastery when she’s only sixteen years-old! Her potential is also limitless! Furthermore, she and martial brother Qin have even braved life and death and faced all kinds of trials and tribulations in the Mystic Woods together. I truly believe that they’re a match made in heaven!”

The second female cultivator’s appearance paled slightly when she heard her friend’s analysis of the matter, before she quickly acquiesced, “Haha…that’s right, that’s right…”

It took her only a moment’s assessment before the second female cultivator realized that there were no aspects in which she could hold a candle to Yu Wanrou at all. In terms of appearances, Yu Wanrou had been hailed as Dawn Sect’s top beauty at the tender age of sixteen years-old. This title was conferred upon her practically unanimously by all the male disciples in the Dawn Sect, with the exception of those disciples from the Heavenly Peak. Thus, nobody thought that such a title was any form of mere exaggeration.

In terms of abilities, Yu Wanrou had already attained the eighth level of Qi Mastery at the age of sixteen years-old. Her talent in cultivation was undeniable. Among all of the disciples within Dawn Sect right now, only the Heavenly Peak Peakmaster’s daughter, Jun Xiaomo, had ever done this before. That said, it was highly likely that Jun Xiaomo had already turned into nothing more than a cripple right now. Therefore, the limelight naturally fell onto Yu Wanrou.

In terms of personality and disposition, Qin Lingyu had personally testified that when all of the Dawn Sect disciples had been murdered by the demonic cultivators and he was on his final breaths, it had been Yu Wanrou who had painstakingly struggled to bring him away from that hellish place. If Yu Wanrou did not possess a good personality or disposition, there was no doubt that she would have simply left her martial brother Qin behind and departed on her own.

When she broke down the matter this way and analyzed it part by part, the second female cultivator found herself getting increasingly ashamed when she realized that there was absolutely nothing that she could outshine Yu Wanrou in. Thus, she reluctantly shelved her feelings towards Qin Lingyu.

Other similar exchanges could be heard frequently around different parts of the Dawn Sect. In the eyes of the Dawn Sect disciples, Qin Lingyu and Yu Wanrou were truly a match made in heaven. Furthermore, one was the ideal man in the eyes of most female disciples, while the other was the ideal woman in the eyes of most male disciples.

As for these rumours, Qin Lingyu had never thought about stemming them where they began. He knew that given the temperament of the Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei duo, they would most certainly consider rescinding the marriage arrangement as soon as they heard about these rumours. This was exactly what Qin Lingyu was aiming for.

He hated the fact that he was still tied and bound to that woman, Jun Xiaomo.

He had not once visited Jun Xiaomo ever since he had returned to the Sect. He could not find it within his heart to visit of his own volition that lady who had previously torn apart his pretenses and trampled on his pride.

Most importantly, he knew that Jun Xiaomo’s heart had already been completely stolen by Ye Xiuwen. Even though Qin Lingyu and Jun Xiaomo were still technically engaged to each other in name, there was no longer a single modicum of relationship between the two of them. Qin Lingyu was fully aware that he would not be able to extract any further benefit from Jun Xiaomo any longer.

Conversely, Yu Wanrou was of far greater benefit to him right now. In fact, the only reason why he had been able to breakthrough twice in one fell swoop and attain the secondary-tier Foundation Establishment was precisely because of those spirit waters within Yu Wanrou’s Interspatial Ring.

Yu Wanrou refused to tell Qin Lingyu where these spirit waters had come from, but she had assured Qin Lingyu that she still had plenty where it came from. However, her only condition to Qin Lingyu was that he had to abandon Jun Xiaomo entirely and allow them to be in an open relationship within the Sect.

Thus, the marriage arrangement that Qin Lingyu had earlier entered solely for profit had now become a form of burden that had shackled him, and he could hardly wait to rescind this marriage arrangement.

Yet no matter how anxious Qin Lingyu’s heart was, he knew he had to bide his time.

What he desired was for Jun Xiaomo to back out of the marriage arrangement on her end. This way, he would be able to maintain his appearances as the reasonable party, and at the same time steer clear from stirring Jun Linxuan’s ire. In turn, these rumours were in fact his greatest assets right now.

Nothing could hurt people more than rumours. Qin Lingyu felt that as long as there was some measure of self-respect within Jun Xiaomo’s heart, there was no doubt that she would initiate the rescission of the marriage arrangement when she got wind of these rumours.

Qin Lingyu considered this his way of being merciful to Jun Xiaomo and leaving her a fair option out of the marriage arrangement.

But how could Jun Xiaomo not understand Qin Lingyu’s thoughts right now? In fact, Qin Lingyu present actions could even be said to be a result of Jun Xiaomo’s calculations. After all, she was the one who had thought about rescinding the marriage arrangement to begin with.

However, she had recently been far too immersed in her own pain and sorrow and far too preoccupied with increasing her abilities. This meant that the rescission of the marriage arrangement had taken a backseat in her mind for now.

She was willing to let Qin Lingyu’s heart palpitate with anxiety. She was willing to let Qin Lingyu suffer the pain and anguish from having to wait for her response. In fact, she was happy to do all of these while watching Qin Lingyu scuttle about anxiously with his pretenses like a silly little clown.

That said, Jun Xiaomo had also adjudged that this farce was growing old, and it was about time to end it all.

“Gaolang, do you know when the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition is?” Jun Xiaomo tilted her head and asked her little martial brother.

“I think…I think it’s about a month later…” Wei Gaolang scratched his head.

His abilities were the weakest in all of Heavenly Peak. In fact, even Jun Xiaomo would be able to beat him in a fight. Therefore, he knew that he was never going to make an appearance in the upcoming Secondary Inter-Sect Competition.

And it was precisely because he was not going to participate in the upcoming competition that his response was no more than an estimate.

“That quick, huh?” Jun Xiaomo exclaimed, but her gaze remained stoic.

Then, a smile crept up the corner of her lips as she added, “It seems that it’s about time to dispose of some remaining shambles in my life.”

“Shambles? What shambles?” Wei Gaolang quipped curiously.

“None of your business. Little children should be good and go practice their cultivation. If you can’t break through to the next level of Qi Mastery by next year, I’m pretty sure your father is going to give you a good spanking!” Jun Xiaomo gently rapped Wei Gaolang’s head.

“Oh…” Wei Gaolang responded unwillingly. He rubbed his head as he grumbled softly, “Martial sister, you’re not much older than me, but you always nag at me like those old folks…Martial sister, you’re getting less fun these days, you know that?”

“Still complaining over here? Shall I take care of you on your father’s behalf, hmm?” Jun Xiaomo raised an eyebrow.

In order to increase her cultivation level, Jun Xiaomo had in the last few months actively sought out her martial brothers and sisters for spars and a few rounds of friendly exchanges. Wei Gaolang had often also joined in the fray to bask in the glory of the commotion. But in the end, he had always been thoroughly defeated by Jun Xiaomo.

Thus, as soon as Jun Xiaomo playfully threatened Wei Gaolang, he immediately slipped away in the blink of an eye after saying a quick “goodbye” to her martial sister.

Jun Xiaomo shook her head helplessly as she chuckled to herself. Then, her smile faded when she turned her attention back to the task at hand. An intense gleam of light flickered across her eyes.

Jun Xiaomo thought aloud as she got to her feet, “It’s about time to look for mother to resolve this outstanding issue.”

Some moments later, Jun Xiaomo hopped back to her parents’ abode and discovered that Liu Qingmei was currently boiling some soup in her kitchen. Liu Qingmei felt extremely sorry for Jun Xiaomo’s plight and all the hardship that she had been through. Thus, ever since Jun Xiaomo had awakened, Liu Qingmei had always found different ways and means of locating the delectable meats of certain spirit beasts to nourish her daughter’s body. Right now, Jun Xiaomo could smell the sweet fragrance of the Third-Grade Flowerleaf Koi before she had even entered the kitchen.

Jun Xiaomo’s eyes were filled with warmth as she suppressed the complicated emotions in her heart. Jun Xiaomo smiled radiantly as she minced her way over to her mother, hugged her mother at the waist and rubbed her head on her back gently. Then, she quipped, “Mother~ What are you cooking now? It smells so good…”

“You greedy little brat. Are you only hovering about the kitchen because you’ve smelled the aroma of what I’m preparing now? This is a pot of Third-Grade Flowerleaf Koi. Your dad has made time to go out and catch this for you.” Liu Qingmei glanced back at her daughter.

Jun Xiaomo’s smile grew wider, and a closer look would reveal that her eyes were quivering slightly.

Her parents’ love had touched her and filled her heart with warmth, and she knew that she should never do anything willfully that would hurt them.

“Mum, thank you.” Jun Xiaomo murmured.

“Sigh, don’t thank me. I would thank the heavens if you could just stay out of trouble.” Liu Qingmei rolled her eyes at Jun Xiaomo.

Jun Xiaomo chuckled lightheartedly.

Moments later, she thought about it and broached the main topic to Liu Qingmei, “Mum, I want to rescind the marriage arrangement with Qin Lingyu, is that alright?”

Liu Qingmei was midway through her tasting of the soup when she heard Jun Xiaomo’s suggestion. She paused momentarily, before setting her ladle back down as she furrowed her brows and responded, “Mo-Mo, is this something you’ve just come up with because you’ve been hearing some rumours?”

“It’s not because of the rumours.” Jun Xiaomo shook her head and walked beside Liu Qingmei. She picked up the ladle and began to stir the soup again as she added, “Mother, I’m pretty sure that you’re also aware of this, but Qin Lingyu isn’t a good person. I was young and ignorant back then, so I had always been fooled by Qin Lingyu’s appearances. But I’ve done a lot of thinking in the last year or so. Do you remember how I had wanted to rescind the marriage arrangement before I had left the Sect on the travels? But your conditions back than was that I had to attain the ninth level of Qi Mastery by next year before you would agree to my request to rescind the marriage arrangement.”

“But this time, after further consideration, I think there’s no reason to wait for next year anymore. There’s no difference whether we rescind the marriage arrangement earlier or later. Mum, I’d much rather not enter a Greater Sect [2]than be tied down to this marriage arrangement for my entire life.” Jun Xiaomo solemnly communicated her rationale to Liu Qingmei with eyes filled with determination.

Liu Qingmei grew sullen as she stared straight into Jun Xiaomo’s eyes. Moments later, she sighed briefly before responding, “If you had made this request last year, I would never have agreed to your request. But after all that has happened, your mother has also thought things through. Rather than rely on others to enter a Greater Sect, it might be much better to stay by your parents’ side and practice your cultivation safely. Therefore, no matter what decision Mo-Mo has come to, your mother will always support that decision of yours.”

“Thanks, mum.” Jun Xiaomo hugged Liu Qingmei as warmth filled her heart.

Liu Qingmei tousled her daughter’s hair, before she calmly patted Jun Xiaomo’s shoulder.

“That’s right, Mo-Mo, when are you thinking of rescinding the marriage arrangement? Your mum has to discuss this matter with your dad as well.” Liu Qingmei suddenly realized that she had not discussed this matter with Jun Linxuan either.

“Could we do it just before the commencement of the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition?” A smile crept up the corner of Jun Xiaomo’s lips, and a trace of mischief flickered across the depths of her eyes.

“Before the competition? Why then of all times?” Liu Qingmei couldn’t understand her daughter’s thought processes.

“Because things become much more interesting when you tie them together.” Jun Xiaomo slowly explicated, “Aren’t they very curious about how I am right now? Aren’t people saying that I can’t make it anymore, or that I’ve become nothing more than a cripple? Since these gossip mongers like a good show, then let’s give them a good show, shall we?”

As Jun Xiaomo spoke, the smile on her lips grew. Finally, she added the punchline –

“Mum, not only do I want to rescind the marriage arrangement, I also want to participate in the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition.”

1. Do note that Mid-Tier Inter-Sect Competition has been renamed to Secondary Inter-Sect Competition!

2. Please note that I’ll be using these terms of reference in future! They sound much better than what I had used before (previously, I’ve used mid-tier and upper-tier to describe Secondary Sects and Greater Sects respectively).

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