Chapter 169: The Astonishing Appearance

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

This year’s Secondary Inter-Sect Competition was held at the Heavenly Crane Mountain one hundred miles away from the Dawn Sect. Early at dawn, all disciples who were participating or keen to observe the competition had gathered on the large plains within the Dawn Sect’s grounds. In just a few moments, the Sect Elders would personally escort them in batches as they made their way towards the Heavenly Crane Mountain.

The Heavenly Peak disciples had also gathered by now. Apart from a few disciples that had already entered some Greater Sects for training, there were a total of twenty-three disciples who were following behind Jun Linxuan right now. Each of the Heavenly Peak disciples carried themselves with a stern and dignified disposition. This was in complete contrast with the rowdy shenanigans and clowning around that disciples of other Peaks had engaged themselves with as they gathered themselves into groups of twos and threes.

“These disciples truly take after their master, martial uncle Jun. Each one of them is just as stern as the other, and they’re all acting like ancient old fogeys right now.” A disciple from the Pill Cauldron Peak commented to a fellow disciple beside him.

“Hmph, so what if they look noble and virtuous? Didn’t that First-Seat Disciple Ye Xiuwen die before he even completed the Sect’s mission? If you ask me, a person should know how to navigate the intricacies of human relations and curry favour with the right people. Otherwise, no matter how strong you are, you’ll still meet your own doom in the end.” The fellow disciple mocked contemptuously as he cast a disgusted look at the Heavenly Peak disciples some distance away.

Worst of all, these disciples had not even bothered to lower their voices when they spoke. Thus, the Heavenly Peak disciples clenched their fists tightly and the bulging veins on their foreheads throbbed ferociously as they repressed the urge to tear these Pill Cauldron Peak disciples’ lips to shreds!

The Heavenly Peak disciples were extremely fond of their martial brother Ye Xiuwen. Whenever Jun Linxuan was too busy with his administrative duties, Ye Xiuwen had always taken the initiative to oversee their cultivation progress and give them some instructions from time to time.

Thus, Ye Xiuwen was an existence that could practically be described as half a master and half a brother to them. How could they not be upset that others had now turned him into a laughingstock?!

“Don’t be rash.” Jun Linxuan cautioned with a placid, peremptory tone of voice.

“Master!” A slightly more short-tempered disciple was just about to protest when Jun Linxuan glared at him languidly, causing him to shrink back to his place as he continued to glare at the two disciples from Pill Cauldron Peak with indignation.

“If you really wish to take revenge for your martial brother, then force these people to their knees on the arena later!” Jun Linxuan sternly ordered as he swept his gaze at the loose-lipped disciples form Pill Cauldron Peak.

Jun Linxuan powerful disposition was not something that normal disciples at the Qi Mastery stage of cultivation could withstand. Thus, when Jun Linxuan’s gaze fell upon their bodies, the Pill Cauldron Disciples involuntarily trembled, and they immediately shut their traps and turned their gaze away sheepishly.

“Yes, master.” Twenty-three disciples bowed slightly behind Jun Linxuan as a desire for battle ignited in their hearts.

Among all of these disciples, Wei Gaolang’s age was the smallest, and he was incidentally also the most hyperactive. Within moments, he could no longer bear with the oppressive atmosphere, so he ran up to Jun Linxuan’s side and tugged at his clothes as he asked, “Master, where’s martial sister Xiaomo? Didn’t she say that she was coming today?”

Jun Linxuan furrowed his brows. The time for departure was quickly arriving, but his daughter was still nowhere to be found. Just what’s going on?

Just as Jun Linxuan was about to send out a Messenger Paper Crane to inquire what was going on with his daughter, the silhouette of Liu Qingmei appeared in the distance on the road leading to their gathering point. There was also a red-garbed lady strutting alongside Liu Qingmei – who else could this be if not his daughter?

Since all of the other Dawn Sect disciples had already more or less gathered at the plains by now, Jun Xiaomo and Liu Qingmei’s tardy appearance was well apparent to everyone. At the beginning, no one apart from the Heavenly Peak disciples could tell exactly who these people were because Jun Xiaomo and Liu Qingmei were still far away in the distance. At that moment, they began to whisper among themselves –

“Eh? Someone’s only just arriving now?”

“Aren’t they afraid of being punished by their master if they’re late like this…”

“Is there anyone in our sect who likes to wear red? She looks rather bright-eyed too.”

Then, as Jun Xiaomo and Liu Qingmei drew closer, the stirring and chattering among the disciples dwindled until it dissipated completely. The entire surroundings were engulfed with pin-drop silence, as though someone had just cast a hex on this location.

“Father, sorry for my tardiness. I’d been held up with some last-minute preparations.” Jun Xiaomo walked up to Jun Linxuan and apologized sincerely to him.

Although she was Jun Linxuan’s daughter, she had never had a special “privilege” of being late. Thus, she had apologized to Jun Linxuan.

“Mm. Be more careful next time. You should be arriving slightly before the gathering time instead.” Jun Linxuan sternly chided her.

“Yes, father.” Jun Xiaomo acknowledged.

This was only a minor episode between a father and a daughter, but the surroundings immediately exploded into incessant chatter within moments –

“This is Jun Xiaomo?!”

“What a stark change from before…”

“Didn’t they say that she was bedridden and ill? Didn’t they say that her cultivation had fallen, and she had become nothing more than a cripple? How come her disposition and vitality seems so much better than when we last saw her?”

“She looks like she’s already in the fifth level of Qi Mastery, doesn’t she? My goodness! Her cultivation level had just fallen to the first level of Qi Mastery just last year. Had she actually scaled four levels of Qi Mastery within one years’ time? How did she do this? That’s just heaven-defying…”

The disciples who had never interacted much with Jun Xiaomo to begin with were filled with astonishment and admiration, while those who had delighted in what they perceived to be Jun Xiaomo’s misery found themselves at a complete loss for words right now. At this moment, everybody found themselves staring at Jun Xiaomo with their jaws drooping involuntarily as they revealed incredulous looks on their faces.

“Hmph, so what if she’s attained the fifth level of Qi Mastery? Sister Wanrou is already at the eighth level of Qi Mastery right now!” Qin Shanshan chuckled coldly as she remarked loudly so that everyone around her could hear what she was saying.

Jun Xiaomo dares to rescind the marriage arrangement with my brother?! Just wait till the day my brother marries Yu Wanrou. This woman can go cry all to herself when that finally happens! Qin Shanshan thought to herself with indignation.

Qin Shanshan was not privy to Qin Lingyu’s considerations. She only felt that given how outstanding her brother was, Jun Xiaomo should be crying and begging her brother not to abandon her, rather than rescind her marriage arrangement with her brother. Qin Shanshan felt that Jun Xiaomo’s actions were a disgrace to her brother, and she was incredibly aggrieved for her brother.

Who does this Jun Xiaomo think she is! Does she think that she can do anything she wants just because her father’s the Peakmaster of Heavenly Peak?! Qin Shanshan thought jealously to herself.

Jun Xiaomo heard Qin Shanshan and glanced nonchalantly at her. Even though Jun Xiaomo’s eyes were practically expressionless and emotionless when she did so, Qin Shanshan was nevertheless incredibly frightened when she saw it.

Why’s Jun Xiaomo’s disposition so strong? This must be an illusion! She’s just a filthy piece of trash at the fifth level of Qi Mastery…

Qin Shanshan hurriedly shifted her attention elsewhere as she repressed the panic and anxiety that was surging in her heart.

Several male disciples standing in front of Qin Shanshan had the exact opposite thoughts when they saw Jun Xiaomo. They had never interacted much with Jun Xiaomo to begin with. Thus, from their memory, Jun Xiaomo was a willful little princess who enjoyed hanging around Qin Lingyu. Regardless, they could tell that there had been a tremendous change to Jun Xiaomo within the short span of a single year!

Her bright, round eyes had elongated and deepened slightly and become a perfect almond shape. They now glistened with emotions and were filled with a slight trace of melancholy. Her tender cheeks that were full of baby fats had now sharpened and become much more defined, revealing a beautifully sharp chin. And that lovely, dainty nose of hers and her luscious pink lips could only be described by the word “exquisite”. Finally, her now-devilish, curvaceous figure was further accentuated by her red garments, while her milky, lustrous skin stood out brilliantly.

Jun Xiaomo had matured, and she had become incredibly beautiful. This was their first impression of Jun Xiaomo when these male disciples had just seen her again. In fact, the present image of Jun Xiaomo was so strong and striking that their previous memories of her were very quickly overridden by what they saw right now.

When Jun Xiaomo had turned her attention towards Qin Shanshan earlier, she had inadvertently swept her gaze across the few male disciples beside Qin Shanshan. This was normally an incredibly normal thing to do, especially given the fact that her gaze had not even paused on each of these disciples. Yet for some reason, the male disciples found themselves blushing slightly and grinning from ear to ear.

Frigid yet enchanting – she was almost like a demon or a temptress of sorts. The few disciples silently suppressed their assessment of Jun Xiaomo as they shifted their gaze away from her body…before they accidently locked eyes with each other.

Instantly, they could see a fleeting, mesmerized look within the depths of each other’s dazzled eyes.

That mesmerized look passed extremely quickly, and the disciples quickly collected themselves and coughed dryly in embarrassment.

Jun Xiaomo remained absolutely cool and composed despite the baptism of various, meaningful glances that she was receiving right now. She walked straight over towards the Heavenly Peak martial brothers and sisters as she retrieved a stack of talismans from her Interspatial Ring. Each sheet of talisman had someone’s names written on it, each of which corresponding to a martial brother or sister of hers.

As she distributed these talismans, she softly said to them, “I’ve spent three weeks preparing these talismans for you, and I hope that they will be able to help you all in your moments of crises.”

“I presume martial sister Xiaomo was late today because she was rushing out the last of these talismans, right?” One of the martial brothers surnamed Chen tapped on the small wad of talismans in his hand as he mused.

Jun Xiaomo smiled back at him without saying a word. It was a form of tacit agreement.

“Martial sister, you’re the best!” Wei Gaolang hugged Jun Xiaomo. Just as he was about to rub his head tenderly on Jun Xiaomo’s shoulder, someone else pulled him away by his collar.

“How old are you now? Are you still acting like a spoiled child before your martial sister right now?” Martial brother Chen spoke sternly to Wei Gaolang as he smacked Wei Gaolang’s head lightly.

Wei Gaolang immediately shrunk his head towards his body. He did not dare to act rashly in front of this stern and solemn martial brother of his.

Jun Linxuan furrowed his brows as he remarked, “The competition disallows the use of talisman on the arena. Xiaomo, you should be aware of this.”

In other words, his daughter’s painstaking preparation of all these talismans might well have been a waste.

“Father, I know that.” Jun Xiaomo chuckled, but a sense of determination and resolve filled her eyes as she added, “But I hope that my dear martial brothers and sisters would be able to return from the arena safe and sound with life and limb intact. Even though the use of talismans would immediately disqualify them from the rest of the competition, this would still be far better than being irreversibly wounded, is it not?

The Heavenly Peak disciples were all instantly taken aback at Jun Xiaomo’s response, and they all couldn’t help but be reminded of Ye Xiuwen who had fallen down to the depths of Death’s Gorge.

Perhaps martial sister Jun Xiaomo had been thinking of martial brother Ye when she thought to prepare all of these talismans for us. She doesn’t want to lose anyone else from the Heavenly Peak.

After all, they knew that everyone within the Heavenly Peak treated each other as family.

“Martial sister Jun, thank you.” Martial brother Chen walked to Jun Xiaomo and patted her shoulder.

Jun Xiaomo smiled radiantly back at him.

As they watched the joyous and harmonious atmosphere among the Heavenly Peak disciples, the disciples of the other Peaks found their hearts swelling with thoughts of admiration and jealousy.

Their own Peaks were very different from the Heavenly Peak. The members of each Peak had invariably sub-divided themselves into several alliances and coalitions. Even though the members of each of these alliances and coalitions presented themselves to be harmonious on the surface, there was nevertheless powerful undercurrents of tension and strife beneath the appearance of peace and calm. After all, resources were limited. Those who were table to earn the approval or favour of their master or elders would receive showers of blessings in resources, while the other who had been neglected could only attempt to live off the scraps of these “blessed” few.

This was something that the Heavenly Peak was fundamentally different from the others. Jun Linxuan had always picked his disciples based on their character, not their talent. Furthermore, Jun Linxuan had always viewed disciples as equals regardless of their talents. Therefore, under Jun Linxuan’s leadership, the disciples within Heavenly Peak had always been able to get along perfectly harmoniously with each other, without any form of internal strife and tension.

Such peace and sincerity among martial brothers were things that were completely unfathomable to the disciples of other Peaks. Yet the Heavenly Peak disciples had somehow done it.

The Heavenly Peak possessed a sense of solidarity that other Peaks could not even begin to compare with.

Qin Lingyu was located not too far away from the Heavenly Peak disciples, and he witnessed this entire scene as well.

“Martial brother Lingyu, what are you looking at?” Yu Wanrou walked over to Qin Lingyu’s side as she softly asked.

Yu Wanrou’s query had jolted Qin Lingyu back to his senses, and he immediately shifted his gaze away from Jun Xiaomo. He turned back to Yu Wanrou and replied her warmly, “I’m not looking at anything. I’m just thinking about the competition later.”

Liar! You were clearly staring at Jun Xiaomo earlier! Yu Wanrou bellowed in her heart with indignation and jealousy. She was almost unable to maintain that smile on her face any longer.

That’s right. Ever since Jun Xiaomo had made her appearance again, Qin Lingyu’s gaze had always been on her body. It was a gaze filled with complicated emotions, and it was a gaze that Yu Wanrou hardly wanted to see.

Therefore, Yu Wanrou had walked over to Qin Lingyu with the sole intention of tearing away his rapt attention from Jun Xiaomo. She even had the urge to hook her arms around Qin Lingyu’s arms and announce to the world that this man was hers!

Since he was hers, then Qin Lingyu’s attention should naturally not be landing on the bodies of other ladies, much less Jun Xiaomo’s.

Qin Lingyu could see the possessive gaze in Yu Wanrou’s eyes, and he began to grow even more loathsome of this lady in front of him. Nevertheless, he plastered a warm and pleasant smile on his face as he placated her, “Alright, I had only unintentionally glanced over there. She’s not any threat to you anyway. Her cultivation is only at the fifth level of Qi Mastery.”

In other words, a cultivator at the fifth level of Qi Mastery was not worth Qin Lingyu’s consideration at all.

When Yu Wanrou heard this, she began to relax once more.

That’s right. She’s only at the fifth level of Qi Mastery. How could martial brother Qin have eyes for her? Furthermore, so what if Jun Xiaomo is beautiful? I’m just as beautiful as her, if not more!

Just like that, Yu Wanrou immersed herself along this line of thought and appeased the tension in her heart.

Hmph, I wonder if Jun Xiaomo will be making an appearance at this competition? If so, I sincerely hope that she gets so thoroughly destroyed that there’s nothing left of her corpse! A vicious smile crept up the corner of Yu Wanrou’s lips.

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