Chapter 170: Two Ladies in Red!

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Dawn Sect’s arrival at the Heavenly Crane Mountain created a little uproar among all who were present. As the long-term fixture among the top three places in the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition, Dawn Sect naturally drew the attention of all other sects around.

When they arrived, the Dawn Sect attracted all types of looks, ranging from admiration, to astonishment, to resignation, and others. As a result, several disciples within the Sect found themselves unwittingly puffing up their chests proudly as they revealed a prideful and smug look on their faces.

They counted themselves lucky that they hailed from the Dawn Sect. After all, it was only with the Dawn Sect’s reputation that they were able to feel like such an important person or guest in this event.

However, they forgot one important detail – the Sect’s strength was not necessarily commensurate with their own strength. In fact, it was generally those who were most prideful and puffed up that fell the hardest in the end. This was a painful lesson that these disciples were going to learn through this iteration of the quinquennial Secondary Inter-Sect Competition.

At the beginning, Jun Xiaomo was hardly conspicuous when she entered with the rest of the Dawn Sect. This was because the disciples from each Peak formed each a contingent as they marched into the competition venue. In the same fashion, Jun Xiaomo had walked among her martial brothers, and their tall and large bodies obscured the small frame that she possessed.

But as soon as the Dawn Sect disciples dispersed from formation and took their respective seats, Jun Xiaomo’s figure immediately became strikingly apparent for all to see.

It didn’t matter that the Dawn Sect was a sect with both male and female disciples. This was because Jun Xiaomo dressed herself in a striking red colour, and she stood out conspicuously among her martial brothers and sisters from Heavenly Peak who were all donned in green.

Everyone’s attention immediately turned to her.

“Who’s that lady in red?” A male cultivator from a small sect some distance away discreetly whispered to the companion beside him.

“I don’t know. I don’t think we’ve seen her around at the last iteration of the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition. This must be her first time here.” The companion responded, but his eyes remained transfixed on Jun Xiaomo’s body.

“I think she’s really beautiful. Do you think I’ve got any chance of succeeding at chasing her?” The first male disciple couldn’t control the ripples in his heart as he remarked.

“Don’t even think about it. That’s Dawn Sect over there. The talented and distinguished male cultivators there are dime a dozen. You don’t stand a chance at all. You best shelf these thoughts, friend.” His companion bluntly dropped the bombshell on him.

“Sss…so they’re from Dawn Sect! No wonder they feel so much more distinguished than most of the other sects here.”

“Didn’t you know?! It’s obvious from the emblem on their uniform. That’s the emblem that is worn only by the Dawn Sect disciples.”

“No wonder. Actually, if that’s the case, do you think this lady in red would be the fabled female disciple who’s enraptured the hearts of so many male disciples and even stole the heart of the First-Seat Disciple of their Sect Leader? Do you think that that’s the Yu Wanrou?”

“I think it’s very possible! She’s the most beautiful one among all of the Dawn Sect’s female cultivators. The rumours also say that she’s on rather intimate terms with Qin Lingyu…But it doesn’t seem to be the case. Look, they’re seated so far away from each other.”

…The conversations and discussions between these two disciples continued as they completely mistook the identity of this beauty.

Similar speculations played out at different parts of the audience as well. After all, gossip thrived where people gathered. Even though everyone was primarily here to observe the friendly competition between sects, gossip was something that was practically unavoidable between matches.

Furthermore, the inspiring and moving tales about Yu Wanrou and Qin Lingyu had already spread like wildfire well beyond the borders of the Dawn Sect. To begin with, people had already viewed Qin Lingyu with close scrutiny given his identity as the First-Seat Disciple of the Dawn Sect’s Sect Leader. Now that Yu Wanrou was inextricably tied to Qin Lingyu, people naturally began to talk about her in the same breath as Qin Lingyu as well.

Just like that, these rumours spread from person to person, eventually reaching the four corners of each and every sect out there. As these rumours spread, there were invariably details that were either left out or changed, or embellishments added. In the end, Yu Wanrou had eventually become synonymous with the most beautiful female cultivators in the hearts of these male cultivators within the other sects.

Soft and warm; kind and powerful; and most of all, looks that could kill. This was their understanding of who Yu Wanrou was.

And all of this was based solely from rumours and hearsay. None of them had ever seen Yu Wanrou before. However, this did not mean that they hadn’t paused to imagine how brilliantly beautiful this fairy-like existence, Yu Wanrou, must be. After all, everyone had previously already learnt of the marriage arrangement between Qin Lingyu and Jun Xiaomo. If Qin Lingyu were willing to abandon the daughter of the Heavenly Peak’s Peakmaster just for Yu Wanrou, how beautiful must she be!

In their eyes, the daughter of the Heavenly Peak Peakmaster was synonymous with access to insurmountable treasures and resources, while Yu Wanrou was a fairy-like beauty.

Given their understanding of the situation, as much as they were astonished that Qin Lingyu had forsaken his prospective access to insurmountable resources, their impression of Yu Wanrou’s beauty also grew that much better as a result.

Thus, when everyone from the Dawn Sect had finally taken their seats, everyone began to sweep their gazes across the faces of the female disciples as they sought to identify this fairy-like existence – the most beautiful female cultivator within Dawn Sect.

Then, when they spotted Jun Xiaomo, several male disciples exclaimed in their hearts – they thought that they had finally realized why Qin Lingyu had been willing to abandon his access to the insurmountable resources and choose Yu Wanrou instead. Her beauty was truly breathtaking.

Regrettably, they had missed out on one tiny but important detail. Jun Xiaomo’s aura and disposition could hardly be described as “soft and warm”, like what they understood the fabled Yu Wanrou to be.

If Yu Wanrou’s pretentious warm and soft disposition were likened to the soft, flowing waters from a stream, then Jun Xiaomo’s disposition would no doubt be like a gleaming, unsheathed sword that flourished its aggressive and threatening intent. Although she was calmly seated where she was, the existence of this powerful, overflowing aura was unmistakable.

Despite that, most of the ignorant audience continued to mistake Jun Xiaomo as Yu Wanrou because of her looks, and the audience continued to gaze at her beauty.

Naturally, there were some other bold busybodies who attempted to get the news straight from the horse’s mouth. One of these disciples even minced his way over towards one of the Heavenly Peak’s disciple that was seated farthest on the outside of the group, Wei Gaolang.

“Hey, brother, could I ask you something? That lady wearing red in the same row as you – is she the fabled disciple Yu Wanrou from your sect?”

That disciple found his way to Wei Gaolang’s side as he discreetly asked.

Wei Gaolang’s body stiffened in shock. Moments later, he finally realized who this male cultivator was pointing to.

Wei Gaolang snorted disdainfully, before responding in a huff, “Don’t you dare mention that lady’s name in the same breath as my martial sister Xiaomo! She’s not worthy of it!”

In Wei Gaolang’s eyes, Yu Wanrou was the third wheel who had disrupted the relationship between Jun Xiaomo and Qin Lingyu. No matter what kind of trials and tribulations Yu Wanrou and Qin Lingyu had been through, it did not for one bit change the fact that Qin Lingyu had betrayed his martial sister Xiaomo!

Thus, he hated Yu Wanrou.

“You…you…you’re saying that the lady in red is actually Jun Xiaomo?!” This time, it was the male cultivator who was shocked instead.

“Hey, hey. What are you implying here? Is it very hard to believe that she’s my martial sister Xiaomo?” Wei Gaolang grew annoyed. He thought that this male disciple was either too daft to understand what he was saying, or he bore ulterior motives for his actions.

“Ah…haha…no-…nothing, I’m just asking.” That male disciple chuckled awkwardly, before the turned tail and slipped back to where he was originally seated.

“Pah! What a ridiculous fella!” Wei Gaolang spat on the ground where he was and glared at the male disciples back, before turning his attention back elsewhere. This was his first time witnessing the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition, and he was going to make sure that he would have a good time.

Shelving Wei Gaolang’s boyish temper for a minute, it had to be said that as soon as that male disciple returned to his sect, he immediately began to relay the shocking news to the rest of his martial brothers and sisters.

“What?! She’s Jun Xiaomo?! She’s the one who had been abandoned?!” The other martial brothers and sisters revealed looks of amazement and astonishment.

Although Jun Xiaomo was the one who had requested that the marriage arrangement be rescinded, yet by the time the other sects got wind of this news, for some strange reason, Jun Xiaomo had instead become the one who had been abandoned by Qin Lingyu.

Furthermore, they had got wind of the “rescission by Qin Lingyu” before Jun Xiaomo had in fact requested the rescission of marriage.

Several female disciples sympathized deeply with Jun Xiaomo. After all, being abandoned by one’s fiancée was tantamount to a harsh slap to the face. As a fellow lady, they were naturally well aware of what kind of heartache and despair would accompany being abandoned by the person one loved. Nevertheless, most of the others who heard the news contented themselves as mere observers of this unfolding drama. More importantly, most disciples were curious how beautiful Yu Wanrou must be if one could abandon the access to treasures and resources just for her.

Thus, when they finally got wind that the lady in red was in fact Jun Xiaomo, they found themselves dismayed that they had got things wrong right from the very beginning…

And if Jun Xiaomo’s looks were already this good, then just how high did Qin Lingyu set his sights? They had heard that Yu Wanrou would be present today as well, but nobody could find anyone within the Dawn Sect prettier than Jun Xiaomo…

An unavoidable question therefore surfaced in their hearts – were they blind, or was Qin Lingyu the blind one?

Regardless, the news continued to spread like wildfire throughout the rest of the sects. As soon as they learnt that the lady in red was Jun Xiaomo and not Yu Wanrou, they would immediately reveal expressions of shock and disbelief.

Naturally, there were some self-proclaimed “truth-seekers” who attempted to explain the situation, “I heard that last year, the Heavenly Peak Peakmaster’s daughter had received punishment for trespassing their sect’s forbidden grounds and thus had her cultivation level fall to the first level of Qi Mastery. At that time, she was already sixteen years-old. If one had to start from scratch then, it would be impossible to breach the Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation by the time she is thirty-five years of age. As long as Qin Lingyu isn’t dumb, he would never agree to marry such a burden like Jun Xiaomo, right? Furthermore, Yu Wanrou and Qin Lingyu had already been through thick and thin together. Their tacit feelings for each other is something that a beautiful flower vase like Jun Xiaomo would never be able to match up to.”

Having her cultivation level fall to the first level of Qi Mastery was tantamount to crippling her entire being and her life. This was what everyone thought.

Thus, when they heard the explanations of these “truth-seekers”, several people felt like they had finally understood the situation, and fewer people began to glance over at Jun Xiaomo.

In the cultivation world, no matter how beautiful a “piece of trash” was, that person could never attract any looks of admiration or respect if he or she did not possess power and abilities.

Some of the remaining disciples who loved appreciating things of beauty couldn’t help but sigh to themselves, “Such a waste, such a waste. Bringing her home as a trophy wife might not be a bad thing either.”

The exclamations of such disciples naturally drew the laughter of those around. But this sardonic laughter was hardly filled with good intentions.

In their eyes, losing her cultivation levels meant that Jun Xiaomo was nothing more than a beautiful flower vase that could only be used for “display”.

Just as everyone were intently discussing matters about Jun Xiaomo, the disciples from the Eternal Summit Sect finally arrived slightly late. They had their noses in the air as they strutted into the competition grounds disdainfully, hardly bothering to greet any of the other sects around.

All, with the exception of a single sect – the Dawn Sect.

In the eyes of the Eternal Summit Sect, the only sects that could match up to them right now was the Dawn Sect. Therefore, they did not see any need to greet any of the other sects around.

However, even their greeting of the Dawn Sect was laced with provocative intent. It was like a declaration of war prior to the commencement of the competition.

“Ah, even though you’ve lost some pretty strong disciples, the Dawn Sect still looks pretty strong, doesn’t it?” The Eternal Summit Sect’s Grand Elder looked at the Dawn Sect’s Sect Elders as he mocked contemptuously.

“Same to you, same to you. You Eternal Summit Sect disciples have all grown strong only as a result of medicinal pills and herbs, but their auras and dispositions are still fairly good. Keep up the good work.” One of the Sect Elders from Dawn Sect returned the favour.

The Eternal Summit Sect’s Grand Elder laughed sardonically, before curtly replying, “Then, let’s see everyone’s performance on the competition grounds. Let’s go.”

As he said that, the Eternal Summit Sect’s Grand Elder led the rest of his entourage to their designated waiting spot.

Just then, some other onlookers with keen senses discovered that there was yet another lady wearing red among the Eternal Summit Sect. She equally stood out among the Eternal Summit Sect disciples as Jun Xiaomo had.

“Brother Rong, what are you looking at?” That lady in red asked the male disciple walking beside her.

“Nothing.” The male disciple replied nonchalantly as he gently tugged his sleeve back. He disliked it when others drew too close to her.

The lady in red bit down on her lower lips indignantly, but the male cultivator continued to ignore her.

Then, the lady in red stomped her foot in anger, before running back to join up with the rest of her sect.

On the other side, Jun Xiaomo was completely frozen stiff. Her gaze had been trained on that male cultivator’s back –

Rong Ruihan! Brother Rong! What’s he doing here?

And if I’m not mistaken, the lady beside brother Rong is none other than the lady with whom I’ve got an outstanding bet with – the daughter of the Eternal Summit Sect’s Grand Elder, Dai Yue! Jun Xiaomo thought in bewilderment as she furrowed her brows tightly.

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