Chapter 175: My Heart Belongs to You

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

After dinner, Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan took a stroll towards the adjoining, busier street where a mid-autumn-like lantern festivity was being celebrated.

Back in the Dawn Sect, Jun Xiaomo was practically faced with the threat of danger to life and limb at all times, and there was hardly a moment where she could let her guard down. Right now, as she walked along the bustling street at night and took in the loud chatter and commotion, her thoughts drifted further and further away from her burdens and duties, and Jun Xiaomo suddenly realized that she could once again let loose and be in the present for once.

“There seems to be a crowd over there. Do you know what they’re doing?” Jun Xiaomo had always been on the run in her previous life – she hardly came across any such bustling festivities, and she barely knew anything about the festivities of the mortal world.

“They should be guessing lantern riddles.”

Rong Ruihan had grown up as a royalty, and he had slipped out of the palace on countless occasions in the past to experience what life outside the palace was like. Thus, he was reasonably familiar with these festivities.

“Lantern riddles?” Jun Xiaomo’s curiosity was piqued.

A smile crept up the corner of Rong Ruihan’s lips as he patted Jun Xiaomo’s shoulders and told her, “Wait here for a moment. I’ll be back shortly.”

As soon as he said that, Rong Ruihan began to make his way into the large crowd of people.

“Hey!” Jun Xiaomo wanted to grab a hold of his arm and tell him not to bother himself too much, but Rong Ruihan’s movements were just too quick. Within the blink of an eye, he disappeared into the crowd of people.

Jun Xiaomo shook her head helplessly, while a faint smile crept up the corner of her lips.

In a beautiful autumn evening, amidst a multitude of brilliant, exquisite lanterns, a lady in red stared vacantly into the distant as smiled faintly to herself. The warm illumination of these lanterns brushed a hazy sheen over her fair and pristine cheeks, softening the harsh and incisive disposition from her cruel life experiences. It was as though this timeless beauty had completely transcended the gentle ebb and flow of time.

Several people couldn’t help but steal glances at Jun Xiaomo, while some other had even brazenly stared at Jun Xiaomo with gaping mouths. Among these people, some were even fellow cultivators who were also participants in the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition.

“She must be Jun Xiaomo, right? Everyone in the arena has been talking about her all day. The lady in red from Dawn Sect is none other than Jun Xiaomo, and she’s incredibly beautiful.” One of the male cultivators around discreetly whispered to his companion.

“I think it’s her as well. I’d earlier been seated too far away, so I didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of her. Truth be told, I’d thought that the rumours must be a little bit exaggerated. But now that I’ve seen the extent of her beauty in person, I can only say that if I were Qin Lingyu, I would never rescind the marriage arrangement with here even if her cultivation had been crippled.” As the second male cultivator said this, his mind began to wander and imagine how Jun Xiaomo must look on the day of her wedding, especially when she smiled faintly and stared straight towards himself. His nose twitched slightly, and he almost lost his composure.

The first male cultivator slapped his friend awake from his stupor and barked at him, “Don’t even bother thinking about it. Even if her cultivation had been crippled, she’s still the daughter of the Heavenly Peak’s Peakmaster. Didn’t you see the male cultivator standing beside her earlier? I imagine that his cultivation must be incredibly strong.”

The second male disciple resentfully rubbed his nose as he returned to his senses.

Just like Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan, several other cultivators had also decided to take a walk along the bustling street after dinner to immerse themselves in the excitement of the lantern festivities. Qin Lingyu and Yu Wanrou were no exception to the norm. Now that Qin Lingyu was no longer tied down to a marriage arrangement, Yu Wanrou could naturally be around him openly.

Yet as fate would have it, they had happened to walk by the very same spot where Jun Xiaomo was located at the same time as her. They noticed Jun Xiaomo smiling faintly as she gazed into the distance, and they also overheard the discreet conversation between the other two male disciples.

Qin Lingyu paused in his steps.

“Lingyu?” Yu Wanrou tugged at Qin Lingyu’s sleeves, and a sense of danger arose in her heart.

Qin Lingyu’s gaze swept towards Jun Xiaomo, pausing for a moment on her body before he looked away. Then, he spoke in a low voice to Yu Wanrou, “Let’s go. There’s nothing much to see over here.”

As soon as he said that, he turned his body back in the direction that they had come from and began to walk back, completely ignoring the indignation swelling up from the depths of Yu Wanrou’s eyes.

“Lingyu!” Yu Wanrou looked at Qin Lingyu’s back as she stomped her foot in anger. She cocked her head back and cast a hateful gaze back at Jun Xiaomo, before resentfully making her way back to Qin Lingyu’s side.

Jun Xiaomo was completely unaware of what had just happened. In order to minimize the effects of sect rivalries on the participants, there was a standing rule that once the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition commenced, none of the participants were allowed to clash with each other outside the arena. Those who flouted such a rule would immediately be disqualified from the competition.

Under such circumstances, Jun Xiaomo realized that it was fairly safe for her to let her guard down for the moment. Thus, she temporarily lowered her vigilance and ceased looking over her shoulders for any potential attempts at her life.

Since she longer constantly probed at her surroundings with her divine sense, Jun Xiaomo was naturally also unaware about how she had somehow become the focal point of onlookers right now.

It didn’t take too long before Rong Ruihan returned to where Jun Xiaomo was. Although his clothes had become slightly disorderly, it barely affected his dignified and royal disposition.

Rong Ruihan carried a particularly large and eye-catching lantern. Several ladies even covered their mouths and tittered as they looked at Rong Ruihan with an expectant gaze.

“Xiaomo, this is for you.” Rong Ruihan handed the large lantern to Jun Xiaomo. As soon as the other ladies around saw this, they swished their scarves in disappointment and left listlessly.

“For me?” Jun Xiaomo looked pleasantly surprised as she received the lantern from Rong Ruihan. After taking a closer look at the lantern, she smiled radiantly at him and quipped, “It’s beautiful. Thanks, brother Rong.”

In the next moment, she discovered that there was a little note stuck to the bottom of the lantern, and the note had some words scribbled on it.

“What’s this?” She picked up the note and discovered that a single line of poetry was written on it. That said, Jun Xiaomo had never understood things like the literature of the mortal world. Naturally, the romance of poetry was also something distant and foreign to her.

“This is a line of poetry, and it’s also a riddle. Would Xiaomo like to guess the answer to this riddle?”

Jun Xiaomo knitted her brows and deliberated for some moments, but in the end she let out a helpless chuckle as she remarked, “Seems like I’m still pretty inept when it comes to things like riddles.”

Rong Ruihan patted Jun Xiaomo’s head as he quipped, “It’s alright. You can think about it slowly since the lantern is yours to keep anyway.”

“Huh? Doesn’t brother Rong intend to tell me the answer?” Jun Xiaomo’s eyes widened.

A bemused look filled the depths of Rong Ruihan’s eyes as he bantered, “It’s only when you guess the answer of your own accord that you get that sense of achievement, isn’t it?”

Jun Xiaomo grew exasperated, “But I might not be able to guess the answer even if you give me an entire lifetime!”

“Then I’ll tell you the answer next time.” As he said that, he turned around and motioned to leave.

“Brother Rong, you…!” Jun Xiaomo found herself both upset and bemused at the same time as she hurried on after Rong Ruihan.

Thus, the two silhouettes vanished among the crowd amidst the bustling street.


Just like that, Rong Ruihan and Jun Xiaomo spent the better part of the evening and night walking along the street and immersing themselves with the festivities. It was only when the moon hung high in the sky that they parted ways at a fork in the road.

Jun Xiaomo was about to return to where the Dawn Sect’s inn was located, while Rong Ruihan was about to return to where the Eternal Summit Sect’s inn was located.

“Thank you, brother Rong. I’ve been very happy tonight.” Jun Xiaomo looked up at Rong Ruihan as she beamed. Then, she flaunted the lantern in her hand as she added, “I’ll definitely take good care of this lantern. After all, this was something that brother Rong had won from guessing riddles.”

Rong Ruihan smiled pleasantly. Such riddles requiring him to guess a single word from a line of poetry was hardly considered difficult to him. After all, he had grown up in an environment where double-entendres, nuances and implied meanings were dime a dozen among those scheming and plotting palatial residents. He was already used to such guessing games.

What Rong Ruihan had omitted to inform Jun Xiaomo was the fact that he had won the largest and most beautiful lantern available by guessing the hardest riddle from the gamemaster.

After all, some things are better left unsaid.

“I’m glad that you like it.” Rong Ruihan tousled Jun Xiaomo’s hair, “Hurry on back, then. If you dally any longer outside, your parents might become worried.”

“Mm, alright. See you tomorrow!” Jun Xiaomo waved at Rong Ruihan.

“See you tomorrow.”

Jun Xiaomo toted her lantern chirpily as she disappeared down a path along the forked road. Rong Ruihan stood where he was and continued to stare at Jun Xiaomo’s back for a while, before he finally turned around and took the other fork leading back to his inn.

After bidding Jun Xiaomo farewell, the warmth and softness in Rong Ruihan’s eyes gradually disappeared. By the time he returned to the Eternal Summit Sect’s inn, his expressions had completely reverted to that usually cold and distant look of his.

“Brother Rong, where have you been?” A figure walked out from the inn. The gentle illumination of the moonlight revealed a face filled with immense indignation.

“Don’t you already know? Haven’t you been following us the entire night?” Rong Ruihan retorted with disinterest. Not a single ripple of anxiety could be seen in the depths of his eyes.

“You! Brother Rong, are you fond of that slut?!” Dai Yue harshly pressed the issue.

She had indeed been following Rong Ruihan and Jun Xiaomo for the entire night. This was exactly why the jealousy and hatred for Jun Xiaomo had now burgeoned to an unprecedented level.

Jun Xiaomo was unaware of the superfluous things of the mortal world, and she had accepted Rong Ruihan’s gift of a lantern, thinking that it was nothing more than a gift from a friend.

But what Dai Yue had heard on the grapevine was that in the mortal world, a man’s act of giving a lantern to a lady meant “my heart belongs to you”; and if the lady accepted the man’s gift, it also meant that she accepted and welcomed his advances and courtship.

Furthermore, Dai Yue heard the onlookers discussing the answer to the riddle on that largest lantern won by Rong Ruihan – it was “two hearts beating as one!”

Who does she think she is?! I was the one who had encountered Brother Rong first! What basis does Jun Xiaomo have to seduce him the very moment that they had met?! Apart from that face of hers, what else does she have? She’s no more than a crippled piece of trash!

Jealousy engulfed Dai Yue’s heart, while her emotions stirred uncontrollably. She had been waiting at the entrance of their inn all this while so that she could confront Rong Ruihan and hear it from the horse’s mouth.

She refused to believe that Rong Ruihan had fallen in love with Jun Xiaomo. But the truth of the matter was quite the converse – Rong Ruihan had never had any feelings of romance for anyone apart from Jun Xiaomo.

The warmth and tenderness with which Rong Ruihan treated Jun Xiaomo was something that Dai Yue could only dream of. She had initially thought that with Rong Ruihan’s cold and distant personality and disposition, nobody would be able to elicit any form of warmth or tenderness from Rong Ruihan at all. How could she accept the fact that someone had in fact managed to elicit such a response from Rong Ruihan, and without much effort on her part to boot?

Furthermore, that “someone” was none other than Jun Xiaomo!

As soon as he heard Dai Yue’s manner of addressing Jun Xiaomo, Rong Ruihan’s eyes grew incredibly frosty.

“Who I like is my own business. Since when did I have to report to you such matters?” Rong Ruihan’s booming voice carried clear undertones of indignation, “Dai Yue, remember this. I’m the one who had saved your life, not the other way around. I’ve never owed anything to the Eternal Summit Sect. Even the lodging fees are borne out of my own expenses.”

Rong Ruihan had already roughly verified the extent of the Eternal Summit Sect’s role in the persecution of his mother. Therefore, he no longer had any need to keep up with his present pretenses and feign civility with the members of the Eternal Summit Sect.

The rims of Dai Yue’s eyes instantly reddened as she decried in denial, “Impossible! You must’ve been mesmerized by that slut! Otherwise how could you possibly be saying these things?!”

Rong Ruihan took a single step forward, and an immense wave of oppressive aura burst out from his body, frightening Dai Yue so much that she took a step back in retreat.

“Since you want an answer so badly, then I’ll tell you. I am fond of Jun Xiaomo. Furthermore, I’ve never liked anyone apart from her. Thus, don’t let me hear you calling her a ‘slut’ ever again. Know this – I can save you, and I can also kill you.”

Rong Ruihan articulated each word extremely clearly, as though he were etching each and every word into the depths of Dai Yue’s frenetic heart.

That’s right. Frenetic and manic. In Rong Ruihan’s eyes, Dai Yue was nothing more than a megalomaniac who had been spoiled by her parents so much that she now willfully dictated how everyone around her had to live their lives. If anyone disobeyed her bidding or displeased her, she would do anything she could to ruin that person and make his life miserable.

Dai Yue’s behaviour reminded Rong Ruihan of his “dear” old brother, Rong Yebin. Therefore, there was no way he would ever be moved by someone like Dai Yue, even if Jun Xiaomo had not been in the picture.

By the time Rong Ruihan finished speaking, Dai Yue’s face had already been completely drained of colour. This was because Rong Ruihan’s cultivation was already in the advanced-tier Foundation Establishment stage, and the aura that he released was not something that a cultivator in the Qi Mastery stage of cultivation could withstand.

After he finished speaking, Rong Ruihan glanced coldly at Dai Yue before he strutted back into the inn.

Dai Yue no longer dared to obstruct Rong Ruihan because she had earlier detected a trace amount of killing intent emanating from Rong Ruihan’s body.

“Rong Ruihan, you’ll regret this.” Dai Yue lifted her head and looked in the direction where Rong Ruihan had disappeared to. She clenched her fists and furiously barked, “I’ll not gonna let Jun Xiaomo off! Just you wait!”

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