Chapter 188: The Much-Anticipated Battle

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Given that He Zhang had been unable to spike her food, Jun Xiaomo had initially expected He Zhang to send Qin Lingyu to personally see that Jun Xiaomo somehow consumes the Bedeviled Grass. Yet all Qin Lingyu did was to greet her from afar before slipping over to a table some distance away. There were over ten tables separating Jun Xiaomo’s seat and where Qin Lingyu had plonked down at, and there was practically no way he would be able to make a move in the circumstances.

Thus, Jun Xiaomo continued to tap her lower lip with her index finger as she contemplated how He Zhang was going to make his next move.

Sigh. It’s really terrible that my opponents are moving in the dark while their schemes are looming over my head. How great would it be if we could just separate ourselves from these troublesome people! Jun Xiaomo exclaimed in her heart.

Just then, a young man’s crisp voice shattered the tranquility of the great hall –

“Martial sister Xiaomo--!” His voice preceded his physical appearance. The young man who had just appeared was none other than the youngest and most mischievous of the Heavenly Peak disciples, Wei Gaolang. He ran down the stairs three steps at a time and sped over to Jun Xiaomo’s side like a little whirlwind.

As a result of his boisterous attitude, Jun Xiaomo’s table attracted even more attention from the rest of the great hall. Most of this attention landed directly on Rong Ruihan’s body.

Naturally, there were other looks that landed directly on the source of the commotion, Wei Gaolang. But in contrast with Rong Ruihan, these people looked at Wei Gaolang only with contempt or with derision.

Jun Xiaomo flicked Wei Gaolang’s forehead as she rebuked him, “You little monkey. Can’t you behave yourself when you’re travelling outside the Sect?”

“Aiyah, a leopard can’t change its spots on short notice.” Wei Gaolang minced his way over to Jun Xiaomo’s side as he retorted with a mischievous smile on his face.

“Oh yes, martial sister, this is a recovery pill that I happened to come across. It’s extremely good stuff! I’ve only got one pill left, and I’d like you to have it so that you won’t be disadvantaged against the Eternal Summit Sect’s Dai Yue.” As Wei Gaolang finished his introduction of the pill, he presented the little jade bottle to Jun Xiaomo.

A sense of warmth swept over Jun Xiaomo’s heart as she chuckled heartily, “It’s that good? Why not keep it for your own use then? Martial sister doesn’t lack recovery pills at all.”

“Aiyah, this pill can’t be compared with those normal recovery medicine of yours. Besides, I’m not entering the competition anyway, so there’s no danger to life and limb on my part. I think martial sister needs this more than I do.” Wei Gaolang casually picked up a leftover bun lying on the table and stuffed it into his mouth as he spoke lackadaisically.

Jun Xiaomo raised her eyebrows curiously as she received the jade bottle from Wei Gaolang’s hands. As she opened the bottle cap, she remarked, “Alright. I want to see for myself just how special this recovery pill is.”

Then, as soon as she opened that bottle cap, a thick waft of medicinal fragrance diffused into the surrounding air. However, Jun Xiaomo’s pupils constricted immediately.

Great medicine. It was a high-quality pill indeed. One could immediately tell from the waft of thick medicinal fragrance that the quality of this medicinal pill was at least of the fourth-grade, superior tier. However, the reason why Jun Xiaomo had frozen in shock was because there was another type of aroma that was mixed with the medicinal fragrance that had wafted out earlier.

It was faint, but it was unmistakably the aroma of the Bedeviled Grass.

If Jun Xiaomo were only a seventeen years-old cultivator through and through, she might be completely unaware of what the Bedeviled Grass was, much less pick up on the faint scent of it within the medicinal fragrance of this pill.

But having lived for an entire lifetime as a demonic cultivator, she was incredibly familiar with the unmistakable fragrance of the Bedeviled Grass. This was particularly because she had on several occasions in her previous life fallen prey to schemes involving the Bedeviled Grass. From then on, she learnt to be vigilant about the Bedeviled Grass and committed its unique aroma to her memory.

Thus, no matter how faint it was, she would be able to distinguish the fragrance of the Bedeviled Grass even if it was mixed into the strongest smelling of foods.

Given her body’s current condition, the Bedeviled Grass was of no threat to her. However, what she was more concerned about was how her little martial brother came to possession of this medicinal pill that had Bedeviled Grass mixed into it.

Could martial brother Wei be…

Jun Xiaomo’s heart began to thump ferociously as she shut her eyes in dismay.

No. Little Lang would never betray the Heavenly Peak. In my previous life, Little Lang had fended off the assailants to the bitter end, and I saw him fall to the ground lifelessly with my very own eyes. How could he have possibly betrayed the Heavenly Peak?

Rong Ruihan had also picked up on Jun Xiaomo’s peculiar behaviour. He furrowed his brows and prompted with concern, “Xiaomo?”

Jun Xiaomo opened her eyes once more and fervently suppressed her roiling emotions as she shook her head at Rong Ruihan and chuckled, “It’s nothing. Brother Rong doesn’t have to be too worried.”

“Your face looks a little bit pale. Are you feeling uncomfortable somewhere?” Rong Ruihan still did not feel at ease with Jun Xiaomo’s response.

“It’s nothing…I’m only…just a little bit dazed.” Jun Xiaomo hesitated before responding.

“Eh? Martial sister, are you feeling uncomfortable?” Wei Gaolang had been heartily gobbling down the food at the table, and it was only when Rong Ruihan pointed it out that he began to notice the peculiar expression on Jun Xiaomo’s face.

Jun Xiaomo turned around and looked straight into Wei Gaolang’s eyes. In his eyes, she could not see any traces of scheming nor guilty conscience.

His eyes were as clear as pristine waters. His innermost thoughts were clear for all to see.

Something must have gone wrong somewhere. A suspicion arose from the bottom of her heart as she began to clarify with Wei Gaolang, “Little Lang, you mentioned earlier that you’ve ‘happened to come across this medicine’. Do you remember the exact circumstances under which you came across this medicinal pill?”

“Ah? This…” Wei Gaolang froze for a moment as he thought extremely hard about it. Then, he scratched his head in confusion, “Eh? That’s strange. I really can’t recall how I’ve managed to come across and obtain this medicinal pill…”

“Then do you remember when you’ve used the other medicinal pills in this bottle of pills?” Jun Xiaomo pressed the issue further.

Wei Gaolang continued to scratch his head, before he began to mumble to himself, “I really can’t remember. My memory’s all hazy. It’s strange…where have I used these pills before…”

At this moment, a sense of realization washed over Jun Xiaomo. At the same time, her fingers tightened around the jade bottle in her hands in fury –

He…Zhang! How dare you use the Heavenly Peak’s disciples to execute your nefarious schemes! If not for the fact that my body’s demonic energy had already been transformed into true energy; and if not for the fact that I’ve got at least eighty percent confidence in Wei Gaolang’s pure personality, wouldn’t you have succeeded in creating an irreparable rift within the Heavenly Peak?! 

After all, once her body’s demonic energy erupts uncontrollably, her father Jun Linxuan would naturally come under close scrutiny and even persecution of all spiritual cultivators, particularly when the person who had caused her body’s demonic energy to erupt was none other than the little martial brother of the Heavenly Peak, Wei Gaolang.

With such a plan, He Zhang could completely dissociate himself from the entire matter and not arouse anyone’s suspicions at all. Conversely, others might even begin to allege that the Heavenly Peak was filled with internal strife. At that time, Jun Linxuan might even explode his fury and direct his rage towards the innocent Wei Gaolang for triggering the entire debacle.

What a plan. What a schemer, He Zhang!

And even though Jun Xiaomo had not witnessed with her own eyes how He Zhang had deceived Wei Gaolang into doing his bidding, she could nevertheless roughly guess what he had done. After all, her knowledge of the discipline of talismans was hardly any lower than He Zhang’s.

“Xiaomo, what’s the matter? Something wrong with the medicinal pill?” Rong Ruihan inferred from the expressions on Jun Xiaomo’s face.

“No, there’s nothing wrong with the medicine.” Jun Xiaomo collected her thoughts and smiled at Rong Ruihan and Wei Gaolang as she added, “This medicinal pill is of a high quality indeed! Little Lang has been of a big help this time.”

“Eh? Is that right? I’m glad that I was able to help out then!” Wei Gaolang chuckled heartily, completely oblivious to the fact that he had almost severely tripped up his dear martial sister.

A helpless smile crept up the corner of Jun Xiaomo’s lips as she continued to watch Wei Gaolang’s carefree and boisterous laughter. She shook her head, and she heaved a sigh of relief in her heart – It’s a good thing that my little martial brother hasn’t changed at all.

Rong Ruihan’s eyebrows were still tightly knitted together. After all, he could tell from Wei Gaolang’s description of the medicinal pill that its origins were absolutely unclear and unknown.

He sincerely cautioned Jun Xiaomo, “Don’t consume this medicine unless it’s absolutely necessary. It would be wise to remain vigilant.”

Jun Xiaomo smiled with appreciation, “Don’t worry, brother Rong. I understand.”

She had resolved in her heart that she would find the most appropriate time to consume this medicinal pill so as to take full advantage of its effects.

Subsequently, several other Heavenly Peak disciples also went down to the great hall one after the other. They sat together, ate together, and then made their way to the arena together.

It was still the Lower Category competitions today. Having watched cultivators from the first to the eighth levels of Qi Mastery duke it out against each other for well over ten days, a good part of the audience had already grown bored of it. After all, the Lower Category was the lowest category in the entire competition, and the display of skills was somewhat limited.

However, as soon as the referee announced the names of the participants today, Jun Xiaomo and Dai Yue, the entire audience in attendance began to buzz with excitement and anticipation once more.

Several members of the audience who were drifting off into slumber immediately perked up as they stared with a fiery intensity at the arena.

Jun Xiaomo and Dai Yue had practically made their way to the stage at the same time, and they both ascended the steps of the arena together.

Everyone’s gazes were transfixed on these two female combatants. Everyone’s eyes followed their movements until finally both of them stood still, squaring off against each other on stage.

Whether it was Jun Xiaomo or Dai Yue, both of them had left an indelible impression on the hearts of the audience from their performance in the first round of the competition.

This was a natural result of Jun Xiaomo’s performance. After all, she had defeated a cultivator from the Eternal Summit Sect at the eighth level of Qi Mastery despite being only at the fifth level of Qi Mastery. Her victory could almost be described as a miracle. At the very least, not a single person in the audience had ever expected Jun Xiaomo to win.

In the end, not only did she defeat her opponent, she did so with style and a brilliant display of skills.

As for Dai Yue, her vicious use of the whip had etched its way into the hearts of the audience –

Everyone saw her as a vicious and ferocious beast who attacked relentlessly without giving her opponent any opportunity to take a breath. From the moment she ascended the stage to the point where she had obtained victory, Dai Yue had used only one incense stick of time. In other words, she had within one incense stick of time thoroughly crippled her opponent’s meridians.

Truth be told, if not for the fact that the referee had ordered her to stay her hands, Dai Yue might very well have killed her opponent. In Dai Yue’s mind, murdering her opponent was hardly an issue to be concerned about.

After all, the competition’s rules tacitly allowed instances of death on the arena.

At that time, when the referee announced that Dai Yue had come out victorious in this battle, there were only a few people in the audience who applauded for her. Most of the others simply shuddered in their hearts as they gazed at her with astonishment – This young lady is too dreadful. She’s going all out to take her opponent’s life!

They had been two complete strangers to each other before each of them took to the stage, much less possess any grievances against the other. Was there really a need for Dai Yue to have been so aggressive to her opponent?

It was precisely because of all these things that the battle between Dai Yue and Jun Xiaomo attracted so much attention and excitement. Everyone was curious whether the dark horse Jun Xiaomo or the vicious Dai Yue was going to come out on top of this battle.

However, just like in the previous round of battles, most people were absolutely certain that Jun Xiaomo was going to lose this battle, while anyone who thought otherwise merely gave Jun Xiaomo a slim chance at overcoming her opponent.

The audience’s only hope was that Dai Yue would not mutilate Jun Xiaomo or beat her up too viciously. Otherwise, crippling such a beauty like Jun Xiaomo would be too much of a waste.

Then, it was only when both Jun Xiaomo and Dai Yue ascended the stage that the entire audience noticed how both ladies were quite good-looking, both clothed themselves in red, and both weapons of choice were the whip.

“Seems like this competition is going to be rather exciting, huh…” The audience members began to turn to each other and discuss their observations.

Without waiting for their exclamations to subside, Dai Yue lashed out at the floor with her whip, before pointing her whip straight to Jun Xiaomo as she barked, “Jun Xiaomo, do you still remember our bet from one year ago?”

Bet? Everyone in the audience immediately perked up their ears.

Jun Xiaomo’s lips curled into a smile as she lackadaisically replied, “Of course I remember.”

“Hmph. Good that you remember.” Dai Yue snorted. With a vicious gaze and gritted teeth, she continued –

“Since you remember, then let me make my condition known to you now…If I win this battle, you’ll have to return brother Rong to me, and you can never show yourself in front of him again!”

Dai Yue’s voice was picked up by the arena’s Voice Amplification Array and projected throughout the audience. At that instant, the entire audience grew completely silent.

Then in the next moment, the audience burst out into an uproar.

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