Chapter 196: Yet Another Change of Group Battle Participants

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

After several rounds of incredible and arduous battles, Jun Xiaomo had managed to etch herself into the annals of history among the world of Secondary Sects. Wherever she went, disciples from many sects would drop what they were doing and cast looks of admiration on her as though she were their idol.

Yet all of this was quite understandable. After all, it was already rare to find cultivators who were able to make up for their cultivation level deficiencies and defeat opponents of a stronger cultivation base. And what Jun Xiaomo had done was far more incredible than this, because she had defeated several opponents in a row to take the title of champion. This signified the emergence of a talent that could only be seen once every few hundred years.

At the very least, the last time this had happened was four hundred years ago, when a spiritual cultivator had overcome all odds against his cultivation level deficiency and come out victorious in the competition. This spiritual cultivator later established himself as a sect elder of a Greater Sect.

Thus, Jun Xiaomo’s actions had spoken far louder than any words. Who would still dare to label Jun Xiaomo as the trash among all spiritual cultivators and the disgrace of the Dawn Sect? In fact, the public had already turned their attention towards mocking the people within the Dawn Sect who had failed to realize Jun Xiaomo’s abilities and treated that hidden pearl as nothing more than the glistening eye of a fish.

In the last few days, Jun Xiaomo had been relentlessly receiving letters from the disciples from other sects confessing their fondness for her and asking for the opportunity to pursue and woo her. These confessions came in all forms and styles, each of which seemed more sincere than the other, and each of which was more…sappy than the other.

Jun Xiaomo didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry at the fact that she was receiving all of these confessions. In the end, she simply stored these letters into a designated corner of her Interspatial Ring. She simply couldn’t bring herself to burn them up.

After all, that these letters were a physical manifestation of a person’s heartfelt affection towards her. There was no reason for her to simply toss them to the ground and trample on their sincere gesture like that. That said, there was also no need for her to respond to these confessions. Thus, she decided to shelve these letters and ignore them.

As to those who had even presented her with gifts, Jun Xiaomo had rejected every single one of them.

“I’d thought that you would become incredibly frustrated at all these confessions.” As he witnessed Jun Xiaomo store a letter of confession in her Interspatial Ring for the fifty-third time, Rong Ruihan remarked with a tinge of sourness in his heart.

That said, even he was unaware of the fact that his tone had carried that tinge of jealousy.

Jun Xiaomo was slightly taken aback. She shook her head as she responded lightheartedly, “They’re only sending me some Messenger Paper Cranes, and it’s not like they’re doing anything overboard. Why should I be too bothered by them?”

Rong Ruihan took a sip of tea. He found this mouthful of tea slightly bitter and astringent.

In order to avoid placing Jun Xiaomo in a difficult spot, he had consciously suppressed the feelings on his heart and continued to interact with her as any other normal friend would.

However, when the still of the night washed over the lands, his suppressed feeling would burst uncontrollably out of his heart. Rong Ruihan longed for more.

In fact, Rong Ruihan understood that Jun Xiaomo was able to calmly and indifferently deal with their confessions precisely because her heart did not have any room for these strangers.

Even if she rejected them, Jun Xiaomo was hardly concerned that such a rejection would affect her relationship with these people.

But Rong Ruihan was different. It was precisely because Jun Xiaomo deeply cherished the friendship with Rong Ruihan that she would feel troubled by Rong Ruihan’s display of affection towards her that exceeded the bounds of normal friendship.

Jun Xiaomo did not want to strain their existing relationship at all.

It’s this damned friendship that we have!

Rong Ruihan cursed in his heart, before he continued to forcibly suppress these emotions and shelve his thoughts.

Jun Xiaomo did not discover Rong Ruihan’s peculiar behaviour. She gently tapped the rims of the cup with her index finger, and she lowered her eyes and smiled faintly as she continued “Furthermore, I think that these confessions only stem from a shallow admiration and appreciation for something pleasant. This can hardly be considered true love in any event. Let’s wait and see. I’m pretty sure that their attention on me would be replaced by something else very quickly.”

Rong Ruihan was taken slightly aback, before he began to shake his head and laugh aloud –

Xiaomo is right. I’ve let my mind wander too far this time. Am I not demeaning my own value if I compared myself with those other cultivators?

After all, those cultivators had set their sights on Jun Xiaomo’s beauty and abilities. But what about Rong Ruihan? Rong Ruihan was certain that he already had Jun Xiaomo in his sights even when Jun Xiaomo was an immature young lady at only the third level of Qi Mastery.

Rong Ruihan chuckled lightheartedly as he took another sip of the tea. This time, he found that he could appreciate the tea’s pleasant aroma once more.

Just as Jun Xiaomo had expected, everyone’s attention on Jun Xiaomo dwindled as soon as the Middle Category and the Open Category battles commenced.

Regardless of how astonishing her abilities during the Lower Category battles had been, she was still a cultivator at the sixth level of Qi Mastery. Her display of abilities was far from the dazzling display put up by the other cultivators participating in the Middle Category and the Open Category battles.

Furthermore, there were also several beautiful ladies who displayed far stronger abilities throughout the course of the Middle Category and the Open Category battles. As soon as the limelight began to shine on these other female cultivators as well, Jun Xiaomo no longer stood out as much as she did before.

However, Jun Xiaomo didn’t mind this at all. She was not an attention-seeker like Yu Wanrou. In fact, she could hardly be more pleased by the fact that things had substantially quietened down for her.

“Martial sister, martial sister, that Crescentfell Sect’s female cultivator was incredible! She only needed ten moves to defeat her opponent!” Wei Gaolang couldn’t contain his excitement and ran over to Jun Xiaomo’s side to engage in banal banter.

“That’s right. And she even looks quite beautiful too, doesn’t she?” Jun Xiaomo chuckled lightly as she glanced at Wei Gaolang. Jun Xiaomo did not bother to watch every single battle that took place, so Wei Gaolang took it upon himself to report the highlights of each day to her.

“Eh? Martial sister got that spot on as well~ Everyone in the audience was discussing all about that female cultivator today…they even said that her beauty is otherworldly and captivates even the birds and the beasts…” Wei Gaolang exclaimed. Then, almost as though he was reminded about something important, he chuckled to himself before adding, “Of course, if you ask me, I still think the most beautiful female cultivator is none other than martial sister. Once your cultivation level goes up again, you’ll definitely be stronger than her!”

“Alright, your martial sister doesn’t take offence at what you’ve said. There’s no need to engage in such flattery, you little bootlicker!” Jun Xiaomo rapped his head gently with some measure of exasperation.

“Ah~ I just knew that such methods don’t work on martial sister!” Wei Gaolang clenched his fists.

Jun Xiaomo shook her head helplessly, before turning away and ignoring this little martial brother of hers.

Just then, a group of people surrounding a beautiful female cultivator walked into the dining hall, and Jun Xiaomo incidentally locked eyes with her.

It was only a fleeting moment, but that female cultivator unmistakably sneered disdainfully at Jun Xiaomo, before turning the corner with the bunch of people walking around her and headed into a different part of the hall.

Jun Xiaomo furrowed her brows – What a strange encounter. Have I ever offended her before?

“Eh?! It’s her?! She’s also eating here…” Wei Gaolang’s eyes gleamed brightly as he remarked.

“Her?” Jun Xiaomo was unaware of where Wei Gaolang was referring to.

“It’s that lady who’s just walked into the dining hall…look over there!” Wei Gaolang discreetly pointed towards that beautiful female cultivator still surrounded by the group of people around her, “She’s that formidable martial sister I’d been telling you about earlier…I think her name was…Luo Tianyi. Her name sounds really nice~”

Wei Gaolang rested his cheeks on his palms and displayed a mesmerized look at he stared vacantly towards where Luo Tianyi was seated.

Jun Xiaomo had the urge to burst this bubble of his – it was obvious that Wei Gaolang had not discovered the confrontational look that his dream lady had given to Jun Xiaomo earlier.

Forget it. I won’t shatter his dreams for now. Jun Xiaomo thought helplessly.

No matter what kind of attitude that Luo Tianyi had just displayed to her, Jun Xiaomo was certain that they had never encountered each other prior to this.

Additionally, Jun Xiaomo knew that she would not be participating in any other competitions apart from the Lower Category battles which had already ended.

That said, Jun Xiaomo was completely unaware of the fact that the bunch of schemers within the Dawn Sect had already prepared another huge “surprise” that was soon going to be revealed to her.

“Master, I’ve just taken a look at the list of participants for the group battles. Why is it all disciples from the Heavenly Peak?” Qin Lingyu furrowed his brows as he queried.

The end of the Open Category battles would also mark the commencement of the group battles. The group battles were hardly any less important than the Open Category battles. After all, they tested a sect’s solidarity and unity, and they also offered each team’s leader the opportunity to display their leadership skills.

Qin Lingyu was presently in the secondary-tier Foundation Establishment stage of cultivation, and he even possessed recovery pills tempered with Yu Wanrou’s spirit spring waters. Thus, taking the title of champion in the Open Category battles was an incredibly easy thing to him.

It was precisely because of this that he viewed the group battles as far more important and significant than the Open Category battles.

This was because it was his opportunity to shine and show everyone that he possessed the ability to take charge of the sect in future. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.

He Zhang remained seated in front of Qin Lingyu as he continued to write steadily on a piece of paper.

“Lingyu, how confident are you of taking the title of champion in these group battles?”

Qin Lingyu paused for a moment as he considered the abilities of the other formidable sects around, before he gave a conservative estimate, “It should be around fifty-fifty.”

He took the view that the only other sect that could hold its own against the Dawn Sect was the Eternal Summit Sect. He did not view any of the other sects as rivals at all.

It was for this reason that he had conveyed his conservative estimate of “fifty-fifty” to He Zhang. That said, Qin Lingyu was personally of the view that this was an underestimate of their odds of taking the title of champions.

Qin Lingyu had been He Zhang’s disciple for a long time now – how could He Zhang not know what was running through his mind right this moment? He Zhang shook his head and his eyes darkened as he offered his perspective, “I don’t think we’ve even got a thirty percent chance of taking the title as champions in these group battles.”

“How can that be…”

“Lingyu, you can’t simply determine a sect’s abilities with only their historical results. You have to be aware that every sect is susceptible to change and variations. Take for example the Dawn Sect. We’ve lost so many outstanding disciples in our last travels outside. Do you think our odds of success will still be as high as it would be historically?” He Zhang explicated.

A trace of gloominess and unwillingness surfaced in Qin Lingyu’s eyes, and he clenched his fists as he remarked, “Master, please forgive disciple for his inability to take care of the other disciples entrusted to him.”

“Alright, the reason why I’m raising this issue is not because I’m looking to pin the blame on anyone.” He Zhang waved his hands as he added, “I simply wanted to drive across the point that our odds of success aren’t that high. Furthermore, you’ve also seen with your own eyes how other sects have groomed their own fair shares of strong disciples. Several of these participating sects are most certainly stronger than they have been historically.”

“But there’s no need to change the entire list of participants to the Heavenly Peak disciples just for this reason, right?” Qin Lingyu continued to furrow his brows as he retorted.

Qin Lingyu’s tone of voice grew impatient because he felt as though something that he had eagerly anticipated had just been taken away from him.

“This is indeed not the only reason.” He Zhang was not incensed by Qin Lingyu’s attitude towards him. He Zhang finished the final brushstroke on the piece of paper he had been writing on with a glint in his eyes, before he warmly added, “What if the Du Clan has decided to intervene in this matter as well?”

“The Du Clan?!” Qin Lingyu’s eyes squinted slightly, before he thoughtfully added, “Could master be referring to…one of the Hidden Sects, the Du Clan?”

“That’s right.” He Zhang set his brush down, blew gently on the ink before chuckling lightheartedly, “I’m not sure what went wrong with Jun Linxuan’s brain, but he’s actually managed to cross and offend the Du Clan, and they’ve come knocking on our doors seeking revenge.”

He Zhang chuckled coldly as he continued, “The Du Clan Head said that he was going to make sure that every single one of the Heavenly Peak disciples are going to die during these group battles, so that Jun Linxuan can personally experience what despondence and grief feels like. Since that’s the case, there’s no need for us to take part in these battles anymore.”

“We’ll only need to sit back, relax, and watch the show.”

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