Chapter 193: He Zhang’s Unwillingness, Du Clan Head’s Ploy

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

There was a sea of people applauding Jun Xiaomo in the audience. On the arena, Jun Xiaomo was unable to distinguish the exact people applauding for her right now, but she could tell from their applause that these people were truly and sincerely celebrating her victory. It was an undoubted affirmation of her abilities.

Jun Xiaomo coiled up her whip and stored it within her Interspatial Ring as she smiled genially at the audience as a display of her appreciation. Even though her beauty had been diluted by a layer of dirt and streaks of blood stain all over her body, Jun Xiaomo continued to gaze at the audience with her glistening, dazzling eyes that were filled with determination and confidence.

Their applause grew wilder. There was even a cultivator in the audience who nudged his friend with a flushed face as he remarked abashedly, “I think I’m beginning to grow even fonder of Jun Xiaomo. What do I do now? Do you think there’s any hope for me to woo her?”

His friend rolled his eyes and derided mischievously, “Do you think you’re the only one who thinks this way? I’m afraid that countless male cultivators would’ve fallen for her after such a remarkable showing at this battle. You can consider your prospects after you’ve defeated these bucketloads of love rivals. Besides, doesn’t she already have someone she likes? Look over there –”

His friend pointed at Rong Ruihan; a man presently seated at the Heavenly Peak’s seating area. The first cultivator was taken aback when he saw Rong Ruihan. After comparing his abilities and his appearances with Rong Ruihan, he gulped in dismay, before wholeheartedly extinguishing the budding affection for Jun Xiaomo in his heart.

Jun Xiaomo had undoubtedly earned every bit of her victory in this battle. As soon as the referee announced the final results of the competition, Jun Xiaomo politely bowed towards the panel of referees before she walked down the arena, back to the Heavenly Peak’s seating area.

Jun Xiaomo’s return was met with a warm celebration from her martial brothers and sisters from the Heavenly Peak. They surrounded Jun Xiaomo joyously and extended their palms to pat her head and shoulders with affirmation as they lauded her victory with “well done”, “good showing, martial sister” or “incredible”, and other praises alike. Jun Xiaomo was practically showered with laudations and congratulations.

Jun Xiaomo smiled blissfully. The people in front of her eyes were her kin from the Heavenly Peak after all. A sense of warmth gushed straight through her heart.

In the arena, Dai Yue lay alone on the ground in a tragic state. She had earlier expended far too much spiritual energy, and that had resulted in a situation where she was left with little spiritual energy to protect her body towards the end of the battle. Her meridians and Dantian were completely drained right now, and she was no different from a mere mortal. It was no wonder that Jun Xiaomo was able to deal such grievous injuries and wounds to her.

Dai Yue heard the adulation for Jun Xiaomo from the audience, and she also felt a variety of looks land on her body as well, including pity, sympathy, as well as some which delighted in her misery. She felt incredibly humiliated and aggrieved, and a swathe of frustration filled her heart. However, she knew that there was no way she could resist any further.

After all, she no longer possessed even the strength to stand on her own right now.

Just as much as she had been incredibly arrogant on the arena earlier, she was equally in an incredibly tragic state right now. It was as though she had shot herself in the foot. She had earlier thought that killing Jun Xiaomo was going to be as easy as squashing an ant, but it turned out that she was the one who had lost this battle!

Dai Yue began to fade in and out of consciousness. In fact, she hoped that she would faint sooner rather than later. She hoped that when she woke up, she would discover that this had been nothing more than a terrible nightmare, and the fight with Jun Xiaomo had not taken place yet.

Dai Yanfeng and Qiu Laifeng were incensed and exasperated. But over and above all that, they were heartbroken to see their daughter reduced to such a tragic state. As soon as the results were announced, they immediately rushed onto the arena to examine their daughter’s condition. Then, when they drew closer, they staggered involuntarily when they saw the macabre sight in front of their eyes.

Earlier, they had been unable to see the exact condition of Dai Yue’s body when they had been off the stage. It was only when they ascended the platform where the battle took place that they finally discovered the true extent of Dai Yue’s injuries. Dai Yue had been completely beaten to a bloody pulp and she lay in a pool of her own blood – she hardly even looked like a human right now.

“Yue-Yue!” Qiu Laifeng cried out with a trembling voice.

Dai Yue stirred slightly, and she painstakingly tried to move her head. She wanted to complain to her mother, but she no longer possessed the use of her lips and tongue as a result of the injuries caused by Jun Xiaomo.

Dai Yanfeng gingerly embraced his daughter. On the other hand, Qiu Laifeng’s gaze grew frosty as she glared viciously at the Heavenly Peak’s seating area and berated, “Jun Xiaomo! How dare you beat my daughter to this state! I’ll definitely settle the score with you in future – replete with interest!”

Qiu Laifeng’s vilification silenced the entire audience momentarily, before everyone around began to whisper to each other, denouncing her conduct – What’s up with this couple from the Eternal Summit Sect? Are they really such sore losers? I mean, none of the others who had suffered far worse injuries than Dai Yue had even thought about seeking revenge like this.

This was because such injuries were permissible under the rules and regulations of this competition after all.

Furthermore, if not for the fact that Dai Yue had forced Jun Xiaomo into a corner to begin with, she would never have ended up like that.

Jun Xiaomo heard Qiu Laifeng’s provocation. She patted Wei Gaolang’s shoulder, appeasing his growing indignation, as she retrieved a Voice-Amplification Talisman from her Interspatial Ring, stuck it on her body and responded to Qiu Laifeng, “Senior Qiu, I’m sure you’re fully aware why Dai Yue ended up the way she did. I, Jun Xiaomo, have always lived by the principle that if others don’t step on my toes, I won’t offend them either; but if others intentionally take advantage of my goodwill, then I will undoubtedly repay their transgressions tenfold. That said, I’ve only just done to Dai Yue what she has done to me. In fact, I didn’t even take her life. How can this be considered overstepping my boundaries compared with what Dai Yue has done? Or are you saying that Dai Yue’s life is worth more than others’ lives now?”

Qiu Laifeng was completely taken aback by Jun Xiaomo’s refutations, and her face immediately turned sickly green.

Jun Xiaomo smiled faintly as she continued, “If senior Qiu still insists on looking to me for revenge, then this junior has nothing more to say to you besides this – bring it on.”

Jun Linxuan had never been on good terms with the people from the Eternal Summit Sect. Seeing that Qiu Laifeng had actually dared to threaten his daughter, the rage in his heart burgeoned into a roaring inferno. A wave of oppressive aura accompanying his cultivation at the secondary-tier Immortal Ascension stage swept across the arena towards Qiu Laifeng. Jun Linxuan’s eyes darkened as he bellowed, “If you want to look to my daughter for revenge, you’ll have to step over my dead body first!”

“That’s right! How dare you look to our martial sister Xiaomo for vengeance – you haven’t even sought our approval yet!”

“You’re going too far! Don’t you dare think that us members of the Heavenly Peak can be bullied like that!”

“Martial sister, I’ll stand up for you!”

Just like that, everyone from the Heavenly Peak began to chime in, publicly displaying their indignation towards Qiu Laifeng and Dai Yanfeng, and signifying their intention to protect Jun Xiaomo. Jun Xiaomo’s heart immediately grew warm and fuzzy at their support.

“I’ll protect you as well.” Another voice chimed in beside Jun Xiaomo.

Jun Xiaomo was slightly taken aback. She turned her attention to where the voice came from, and she saw Rong Ruihan wearing a faint smile on his face.

“I know you will.” Jun Xiaomo returned a smile. Then, as though she had just remembered something important, she turned back to the arena and remarked firmly, “That’s right. There’s still the matter of our bet. Since Dai Yue has lost, I hope she will adhere to the conditions that we had earlier set, and refrain from ever showing up before brother Rong again.”

As though Jun Xiaomo and the members of Heavenly Peak had given her a tight slap on the face, Qiu Laifeng’s expression grew even uglier.

That said, Qiu Laifeng and Dai Yanfeng knew that nothing good would come to them if they pressed the issue any further. After all, given how the situation had developed, they knew that nobody would stand on their side anymore. They would only amplify their image as a laughingstock if they continued to bark at Jun Xiaomo and scold her.

In any event, revenge was a dish best served cold.

Thus, they collected their roiling emotions with indignation, lifted Dai Yue up gingerly and hurried off the arena with her.

As soon as Dai Yanfeng and Qiu Laifeng returned to the Eternal Summit Sect’s seating area, several disciples ran up to check on Dai Yue’s condition as well as echo their frustrations towards their common enemies.

Only Liang Yulong remained completely calm and collected where he stood. After a few moments, he chuckled sardonically to himself before turning to leave.

You reap what you sow after all. It was just like what Jun Xiaomo had said – Dai Yue had only herself to blame for the extent of her injuries this time. But given how master and his wife spoil their daughter, I’m afraid Dai Yue will never be able to understand this universal truth.

Furthermore, he could tell that none of the other martial brothers and sisters who had run up to check on Dai Yue’s condition actually cared about her condition at all. In fact, their eyes were filled with a gaze that declared, “serves you right”.

Forget it. Show’s over. They can do what they want.

Sometimes, I truly admire the bunch of people from Heavenly Peak…

As the idiom goes, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. While the members of the Heavenly Peak were celebrating the fact that Jun Xiaomo had barely come out victorious in an arduous and difficult battle; He Zhang was completely incensed by the turn of events.

He had never expected Jun Xiaomo to come out completely unscathed despite the fact that he had already mixed the rest of the Bedeviled Grass into the medicinal pill.

Jun Xiaomo had walked off the stage with a pale face after the first battle. Yet after this battle, Jun Xiaomo’s spirits simply couldn’t be any better!

Just what in the world is going on?!

He Zhang returned to the inn with a heavy heart. Then, as soon as he lifted his downcast gaze, he immediately noticed that the Du Clan Head was already waiting for him in his room.

“I think you’ve got some explaining to do.” The Du Clan Head stated with a frigid gaze, “I’m pretty sure I’d made myself clear that the Bedeviled Grass isn’t for the purposes of increasing her combat ability. Yet in the span of a few days, not only has Jun Xiaomo advanced to the sixth level of Qi Mastery, she’s even won two battles in the competition. Are you trying to pull a fast one on me, huh?!”

The Du Clan Head slammed the table in fury.

He Zhang hurriedly bowed as he anxiously attempted to appease the Du Clan Head, “Do you think I’d dare to even try pulling a fast one on you? I’ve done as you’d instructed and made sure that Jun Xiaomo had consumed the Bedeviled Grass. But the demonic energy within her body hasn’t erupted or gone out of control yet. This…I don’t understand what’s going on either.”

“Hmph. Idiot.” The Du Clan Head glanced at He Zhang disdainfully as he mocked, “I just knew you Secondary Sect pieces of trash can never be relied upon. If not for the fact that there are established conventions within the spiritual cultivation world which prevents us Hidden Sects from interfering from the matters between smaller sects, I’d have made my move and wiped the Heavenly Peak off the face of this world a long time ago!”

The Dawn Sect was not considered a small sect among the Secondary Sects. That said, the Dawn Sect was no more than an insignificant speck when compared to the insurmountable strengths of Hidden Sects and Clans like the Du Clan.

He Zhang dared not refute the Du Clan Head’s spiel, and he obsequiously nodded his head in affirmation.

The Du Clan Head deliberated in silence for a moment, before clarifying, “Are you certain that Jun Linxuan’s daughter possesses and acquired demonic body?”

“This should be the case. I had personally checked the condition of her body when she was injured some time ago. Her body already had the presence of demonic energy, and I could even sense that her body was automatically absorbing demonic energy from the surroundings.”

“Ah, that’s hard to say.” The Du Clan Head chuckled coldly, “If there’s truly demonic energy within her body, there’s no way she would be immune to the effects of the Bedeviled Grass. You’ve made her consume the Bedeviled Grass twice. If the demonic energy within her body was to erupt, it should have erupted a long time ago.”

“This…then shall this junior think of a way to verify the condition of her body once more?”

“Forget it. I don’t trust your ability to handle things. Sometimes, I even wonder whether you’re able to distinguish spiritual energy from demonic energy to begin with.” The Du Clan Head mocked contemptuously.

Anyone would be incensed if they received such harsh criticisms and sarcastic remarks, much less a prideful man like He Zhang.

However, He Zhang knew that he could only bottle up his frustrations and exasperations in his heart, and not display it on his face.

That said, and despite He Zhang’s efforts at concealing his expressions, the Du Clan Head knew what He Zhang was thinking with just one glance. Yet the Du Clan Head did not mind this one bit. After all, He Zhang was nothing more than a tool to him.

Since He Zhang was only a tool, then his value only extended insofar as he remained useful to the Du Clan Head. As for whether the tool was glad or upset, this was completely outside the scope of the Du Clan Head’s considerations.

The Du Clan Head thought about it for a while before he added, “I only need you to do one simple thing for me right now.”

He Zhang obsequiously responded, “Junior awaits the Du Clan Head’s instructions.”

“In the upcoming group battles, ensure that every single participant is from the Heavenly Peak.”

“This…” He Zhang hesitated. The group battles concerned a sect’s prestige and reputation. Even though the Heavenly Peak disciples possessed reasonable strength on average, he would nevertheless be hard pressed as a Sect Leader to justify selecting only the Heavenly Peak disciples rather than the strongest disciples within the Sect to participate in the group battles.

Picking only the disciples from a single Peak? What kind of a request is this?!

He may as well be telling others that the Dawn Sect could only afford to send the disciples from Heavenly Peak!

Besides, He Zhang had his own selfish reasons as well. It was widely known that any outstanding leaders of the group battles would invariably earn the attention of others, including the sect elders from Greater Sects. Thus, he intended to have his own First-Seat Disciple Qin Lingyu lead the group battle on behalf of the Dawn Sect.

That said, would the Du Clan Head really be unaware of what He Zhang’s reservations were right now? He chuckled coldly as he added, “If you don’t want the disciples you’re well-pleased with to perish in this competition, then you’d better not let them participate in this iteration of the group battles.”

He Zhang’s pupils constricted as he clarified, “Could it be that you intend to…intervene with the group battles?”

“Ah, you’ll know when the time come. You just need to do as I’ve instructed. Jun Linxuan has hurt my Du Clan’s disciples, and I’m going to let him have a taste of his own medicine! Let’s see how he reacts when his beloved daughter and all of his disciples perish before his very eyes…hahahaha…”

He Zhang contemplated silently for a moment, before he made his resolve as well.

We’ve lost far too many young sprouts in the last travels, and it’s going to be an incredibly uphill task if we intend to win this upcoming group battles.

Going with the flow instead might not be a bad thing. If we end up losing, our disciples won’t have to take the blame. Not only that, we can even push the blame entirely onto the Heavenly Peak disciples under Jun Linxuan’s lead.

That would be a far better plan.

He Zhang’s expressions revealed a glimmer of joy as he bowed humbly, signifying his intentions to comply.

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