Chapter 167: Rescinding the Marriage Arrangement

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Every sect in the cultivation world was separated and classified by different grades, namely, Elementary Sects, Secondary Sects, Greater Sects, Supreme Sects and Hidden Sects.[1]

Dawn Sect was classified as a Secondary Sect, while the eight great sects as well as Little Chi’s sect were all considered Hidden Sects.

Hidden Sects generally refrained from participating in the Inter-Sect Competitions. That said, they were still not to be looked upon with contempt or derision. In fact, even members of the Supreme Sects would think twice before challenging the members of Hidden Sects.

This was because Hidden Sects were largely formed by the bloodlines of a single clan. In turn, these clans generally possessed incredible, heaven-defying talents for cultivation, or certain special abilities.

How Jun Xiaomo had stirred the wrath of the eight great sects in the past was something that she would rather not think about for now. At present, what was most important to her was how she could obtain the rights to participate in the upcoming Secondary Inter-Sect Competition.[2]

Every five years, the Secondary Sects would congregate and organize a massive competition where they would pit their disciples against each other, and the top three Sects would be granted the opportunity to participate in the Greater Inter-Sect Competition.

If they were able to come out victorious in these Greater Inter-Sect Competitions, then the Secondary Sects that had participated would naturally earn for themselves a chance to be considered a Greater Sect as well.

However, this was something easier said than done. To put things into perspective, Dawn Sect had already ranked among the top three in the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition in the last fifty years. Even then, they would invariably be wiped out and eliminated from the competition by their opponents in the very first round of battles when they participated in the Greater Inter-Sect Competitions.

Thus, Dawn Sect had maintained its status as a Secondary Sect to date. Their rivals, the Eternal Summit Sect, were in the same predicament as well.

In these last travels, Dawn Sect had managed to groom and send out three disciples in the twelfth level of Qi Mastery. This was the first time that the Dawn Sect were hopeful of placing first in the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition. Yet tragedy struck, and Dawn Sect lost two of the three disciples in the twelfth level of Qi Mastery. To make matters worse, over ten other talented disciples had lost their lives during these travels as well. The losses sustained by the Dawn Sect this time was unimaginable.

As such, the Sect had no choice but to place all of their hopes onto Qin Lingyu, who had managed to successfully breakthrough into the Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation.

“Mo-Mo, are you sure that you want to participate in the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition?” Liu Qingmei furrowed her brows as she asked.

“Mum, I’m absolutely certain that I want to participate.” Jun Xiaomo nodded affirmatively.

“But you must understand that the fights during the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition are quite different from your usual sparring with your martial brothers. Each of the sects would send out their strongest disciples to compete. Mother doesn’t want to see you get hurt.”

Even though Jun Xiaomo’s cultivation level was not high enough, she could gain special participation rights to these competitions as the daughter of the Heavenly Peak’s Peakmaster.

This was the so-called “backdoor access”.

However, what Liu Qingmei was concerned about was quite something else – whenever these Secondary Inter-Sect Competition took place, there would invariably be disciples who sustained grievous injuries, and every competition would even see a few deaths. This was something permissible during the competitions.

Liu Qingmei was worried that her daughter would be taken advantage of. After all, her daughter’s cultivation level was not high enough.

“Mum, it’s fine. I won’t force the issue if I really can’t defeat my opponent. I just hope to have this opportunity to prove myself.” Jun Xiaomo’s eyes glistened as she spoke. “Furthermore…” She lowered her head, “I’ve already made a bet with the daughter of the Eternal Summit Sect’s Grand Elder. We’ve even sworn an oath on the bet, so…”

“You little brat!” Liu Qingmei glared at Jun Xiaomo as she exclaimed, “Every time I begin to think you’ve grown up, you throw caution to the wind and do something reckless like this.”

Jun Xiaomo chuckled and hugged Liu Qingmei around the shoulders and shook her gently as she replied, “Mother, let me be willful one last time, please?”

Liu Qingmei rapped her forehead in exasperation, “Do I have any other choice, you little brat?”

Jun Xiaomo knew that this meant that Liu Qingmei had tacitly agreed to her request.

“Thanks, mum.” Jun Xiaomo smiled cheekily.

Just like that, the Dawn Sect disciples hunkered down and worked diligently as they made full use of any remaining time to prepare for the upcoming Secondary Inter-Sect Competition. Then, out of nowhere, a shocking rumour began to spread about within the Sect – Jun Xiaomo had finally decided to rescind the marriage arrangement between her and martial brother Qin Lingyu!!

This news had seemed to sprout up out of nowhere. At the beginning, everyone waited with bated breath in a hope that an exciting drama would unfurl. Yet nobody dared to believe that this news was true.

This was a joke! Qin Lingyu had already attained the secondary-tier Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation at the tender age of twenty-three years-old. His talent was apparent, and his potential was limitless. Furthermore, he was even the Chosen Disciple of the Limitless Sect. Practically every single female cultivator within the Dawn Sect wanted to throw themselves at Qin Lingyu. Everyone was jealous of the existence of this marriage arrangement between Jun Xiaomo and Qin Lingyu.

On the other hand, what was Jun Xiaomo? Quite apart from the fact that her cultivation level had fallen from heights to the depths of despair, she had in recent times become nothing more than a hermit that hid from the rest of the Sect as well. When one put two and two together, Jun Xiaomo was nothing more than a trash hermit!

If not for the fact that her father was the Peakmaster of Heavenly Peak, this type of trash was one that would already have been excommunicated from the Dawn Sect a long time ago. How else could she have remained safely within the borders of this Sect?!

Yet what was most unexpected about this was that the trash of the Sect was now looking to rescind the marriage arrangement between her and martial brother Qin? This was tantamount to the greatest joke in the world! It would have made more sense if Qin Lingyu had been the one rescinding the marriage arrangement with her!

Regardless, it took no time for Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei to dispel all of these speculations. Their actions told these busybodies that this news was no laughing matter.

Just one day before the commencement of the competitions, Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei strode proudly towards the Sect’s discussion hall. They walked straight into the center and greeted the Sect Leader He Zhang and all other Sect Elders that had congregated there as they announced, “We hope that everyone here can be a witness. Today, my daughter intends to nullify the marriage arrangement with Qin Lingyu and henceforth have nothing to do with him.”

Jun Linxuan’s announcement came out of nowhere. He Zhang and the other Sect Elders had been discussing the matters pertaining to the order of battles in the upcoming competition, and they were already at the tail end of their discussions. They had never expected Jun Linxuan to suddenly make an appearance and drop such a bombshell announcement on them.

Truth be told, the Sect Elders had already heard of the rumours spreading about within the Sect, but they had never believed its veracity.

Qin Lingyu was already the Chosen Disciple of a Greater Sect, the Limitless Sect. As Qin Lingyu’s fiancée, Jun Xiaomo would have unrestricted access to enter the Limitless Sect. The prospects of that was a hundred times better than remaining in the Dawn Sect.

If Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei were rational and logical about the costs and benefits, they would never have broached the issue of rescinding the marriage arrangement.

But they did. Perhaps they could no longer think straight after the death of their beloved First-Seat Disciple, or perhaps they were spoiling their daughter far too much. But whatever the reason was, they had unmistakably just made the request to rescind the marriage arrangement.

He Zhang’s sullen gaze swept across Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei’s bodies as he discreetly suppressed the vile, nauseating thoughts swelling from the depths of his heart.

It won’t be long now… He Zhang thought to himself. Jun Linxuan’s First-Seat Disciple was already dead, and the net that he had cast out a long time ago was slowly being reeled back in. The Heavenly Peak was soon going to be their prized catch of the day.

And there’s still Liu Qingmei…

He Zhang collected the nefarious thoughts on his mind and turned his attention back to the present. Then, he pretended to sigh as he queried, “Linxuan, Qingmei, have you already thought things through? I hope this isn’t because you’ve heard some baseless rumours spreading within the Sect, is it? Don’t worry, as Lingyu’s master, I’m very clear of his personality, and I’m quite certain that he had never done anything that would hurt Xiaomo.”

He Zhang was referring to the rumours of the relationship between Qin Lingyu and Yu Wanrou.

Liu Qingmei chuckled sardonically in her heart. She derided the fact that He Zhang could lie through his teeth like that.

As a lady, she was naturally far more sensitive as to whether Qin Lingyu had even loved her own daughter. If not for the fact that her daughter had been so infatuated and obsessed with Qin Lingyu in the past, she would never have agreed to their marriage arrangement!

Ever since they had brought Jun Xiaomo back from her travels, Liu Qingmei no longer looked upon He Zhang with the same level of trust as she had before. One of Jun Xiaomo’s phrases had resonated particularly clearly in her mind – “Mum, like master, like disciple. One begets the other. Given how Qin Lingyu’s character is so fraught with issues, do you really think that He Zhang could be an angel himself?

This statement had sunk into Liu Qingmei’s mind like a nuclear explosion – it instantly cleared the roiling smoke and mirrors within her mind and brought clarity to everything that had happened to date.

That’s right. Even though the Heavenly Peak disciples all possessed their own unique characteristics, there were nevertheless some matters of principles and values that were non-negotiable. This is largely a result of Linxuan’s influence on them. If that’s the case, then what about Qin Lingyu? His scheming and opportunistic behaviour must come from somewhere. Is this really entirely unrelated to He Zhang?

Then, when Liu Qingmei turned her mind to the events of the past, she could not help but find things more than simply suspicious.

Take for example the matter with the rumours that had been spreading within the Sect. As Dawn Sect’s Sect Leader, it was an extremely simple task if He Zhang wanted to stem the flow of these rumours. But why did he refrain from doing so? Why did he simply allow these rumours to spread and grow like wildfire?

If he truly cared for Jun Xiaomo as much as he presented himself to, then would he not be aware that such rumours could be incredibly damaging and scathing to a young lady’s heart?

Thus, the more Liu Qingmei thought about matters, the colder her heart grew.

She was quite different from her husband, Jun Linxuan. Compared with Jun Linxuan, Liu Qingmei was far more meticulous and sensitive when it came to personal relationships.

But she naturally revealed none of her indignation towards He Zhang on her face. She wanted to see how He Zhang was going to maintain these false pretenses of his.

“Xiaomo’s decision wasn’t based off the rumours at all. Rather, she felt that they were young and reckless at the time the marriage arrangement was entered into. She doesn’t want to unduly restrain him from pursuing the lady of his dreams. Likewise, she doesn’t want to be shackled to this marriage arrangement either.” Liu Qingmei calmly observed He Zhang’s reaction as she explained.

“This…” He Zhang appeared to be caught in a pickle, as though he needed further persuasion.

“Sect Leader, I think it would be best to let our juniors decide for themselves the matter pertaining to their eternal bliss. I don’t think there’s a need for us to overstep our boundaries in this regard, don’t you agree? Ah, that’s right. This is the formation scroll for the rescission of the marriage arrangement. Jun Xiaomo has already signed on it and dripped a drop of her blood in the formation array. If martial nephew Qin Lingyu finds this proposal to be acceptable to him, he can do the same as well, and the formation array will thus be activated. What do you think?”

The marriage arrangement between Jun Xiaomo and Qin Lingyu had been formally sworn. Thus, the rescission of the same would require a similar level of formality with a formation array as well.

He Zhang sighed as he responded, “Since martial sister Qingmei is so determined…then so be it.”

As he said that, he retrieved a Messenger Paper Crane, wrote a few words on it and released it.

Liu Qingmei grimaced discreetly, and a trace of disgust flashed across her eyes.

Having finally recognized He Zhang’s true character, she had begun to find that He Zhang’s manner of addressing her was getting increasingly more loathsome.

1. 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).

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

Previous Chapter Next Chapter