Chapter 200: Dispute Before the Group Battles

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

With low spirits and heavy hearts among the Heavenly Peak disciples, the day of the group battles had finally arrived.

Early this morning, Jun Linxuan had summoned all of his disciples who were participating in the group battles and gathered them together in a room within the inn so that he could check if they had prepared everything they needed within their Interspatial Rings. Jun Xiaomo was among the disciples who had gathered.

The Interspatial Ring in Jun Xiaomo’s palm was not the one she usually carried. Rather, it was an Interspatial Ring distributed by the competition organizers for the purposes of these battles. These competition Interspatial Rings were marked with the organizing committee’s emblems, and they had to be returned once the group battles ended.

These competition Interspatial Rings possessed far less space in them when compared with their own personal Interspatial Rings. This also meant that participants would have to be circumspect about the items that they were going to bring into battle. At the very least, they would not be able to bring everything that they usually would in their own personal travels.

As such, the stacks of talismans that Jun Xiaomo had earlier prepared for her martial brothers had now come in handy, and each disciple had consequently also stored them within the competition Interspatial Rings as well.

But over and above all that, Jun Xiaomo had retrieved every single talisman in her personal Interspatial Ring and stuffed all of them into her competition Interspatial Ring, just in case she needed to use them during the group battles.

Placing well in the group battles were secondary to Jun Xiaomo. What was most important was for these martial brothers and sisters from Heavenly Peak to return safely from the marshlands. She could not and did not wish to lose a single person!

Apart from her talismans, Jun Xiaomo had even prepared several spirit stones, her talisman brush, some scarlet sand, some clay, and the like. These items very quickly filled up four-fifths of the total space in her competition Interspatial Ring, and she was left with no more than one-fifth of the remaining space to store some recovery pills and food for sustenance, as well as her weapon of choice – her whip.

When Jun Linxuan noticed the items chosen and prioritized by Jun Xiaomo, the veins on his forehead bulged and throbbed uncontrollably. He pointed towards the pile of items selected by his daughter as barked, “What are you doing bringing those things? Sand, and clay and pen, and even some spirit stones? Do you think there will be shops in the competition grounds for you to buy stuff with during the competition, huh?!”

Jun Xiaomo knew that her father had mistaken her intentions, so she stuck her tongue out and smiled mischievously as she explained, “Father, I’m just bringing along some necessities that I would need to prepare formation arrays with here.”

“Absurd!” Jun Linxuan furrowed his brows, “Do you think this competition is something for you to play and mess around with? Where do you think you’ll have the time to slowly draw up and prepare your formation arrays during battles? Furthermore, you’ve only scratched the surface with your formation arrays – how much of it do you think you’ll actually be able to use during a battle? I want these things removed at once! Have them replaced with some recovery pills and more food and sustenance.”

Jun Xiaomo remained resolute as she stood her ground, “Father, I’ve never treated these group battles as a playground or with a mischievous attitude. I appreciate the fact that these competitions are going to be fraught with dangers. It’s precisely because of this that I find it necessary to bring along these items for the preparation of formation arrays.”

“Insolence! I’ve already said it earlier – where are you going to have the time to draw up your formation arrays during battle? Besides, how long have you learnt formation arrays for? Most people would only dare claim to have stepped onto the path of being a talisman master after decades of practice. You can’t even begin to be considered a dabbler in these arts, yet you insist on setting up these formation arrays during battle – what else are you trying to do but cause trouble and inconvenience for everyone here?! I’m not going to allow this!”

“Father!” Jun Xiaomo grew maddened and frustrated, yet she found herself at a complete loss at how she was going to convince her father.

Was she going to say that she had been reborn, and she had already spent several hundred years’ learning the discipline of formation arrays? Would her father not say that she was just making things up that way?

“Master, I think…if martial sister Xiaomo truly finds these formation arrays so important, we can just let her be? I’ll be bringing quite a fair bit of recovery medicine along anyway, and it should be sufficient to share it among the two of us.” Chen Feiyu persuaded.

“That’s right, master. I’ve also brought quite a bit of recovery medicine and sustenance along with me. I can share it with martial sister.”

“Me too.”

“Me too…”

As more and more of her martial brothers chimed in, offering to share their recovery pills and medicines with her, Jun Xiaomo’s heart was touched and filled with exasperation at the same time. She found herself not knowing whether to laugh or to cry – could all of her martial brothers be thinking that she was bringing all of these things for her own amusement as well?

But one couldn’t fault them for thinking this way either. After all, none of these disciples had ever traveled out of the sect with Jun Xiaomo, and they naturally were unaware of Jun Xiaomo’s proficiency with formation arrays.

If only martial brother Ye were around. He would undoubtedly be the first one to stand up in support of my actions right now, because he’s seen how I’ve been able to use formation arrays during combat…

Several thoughts along that thread surfaced in her mind. Jun Xiaomo’s heart constricted, and pangs of bitter astringency began to emanate from her heart.

Jun Linxuan’s eyebrows were still tightly knitted together. He was still ill at ease because this problem concerned the safety of everyone around, not just his own daughter.

If his disciples did as they said and shared some of their own recovery pills with his daughter, then there would be the possibility that when a critical situation arises, there would not be sufficient recovery pills to go around.

If that happens, then a single mistake might cost the entire group of disciples their lives.

Jun Linxuan was not only a stern father right now – he was also a Peakmaster. The last thing he wanted was to risk jeopardizing the lives of his disciples just because of his own daughter’s willfulness.

Just as Jun Xiaomo and Jun Linxuan had reached an impasse, two knocks rang out on the door to their room. Everyone thought that it might be the waiter, so they thoughtlessly responded, “Come in.”

Unexpectedly, it was Rong Ruihan.

Rong Ruihan had initially intended to look for Jun Xiaomo to give her his blessings. What he did not expect to see upon entering the room was an entire room full of people.

Not only that, he noticed how Jun Linxuan was seated in a position of power right as he glared indignantly at Jun Xiaomo, as though she had just committed an atrocity.

Rong Ruihan patted Wei Gaolang’s shoulder as he softly asked, “What happened here?”

“Martial sister Xiaomo wants to use formation arrays during the group battles, so she had prepared to bring along some items necessary for the preparation of these formation arrays within the competition Interspatial Ring. But master disagrees because he thinks that martial sister Xiaomo is being completely ridiculous bringing these things. Thus, the two of them began to argue. Um…maybe it’s not right to call it ‘argue’, when master has been the one castigating martial sister all this while without letting up.”

Rong Ruihan lifted his head and looked at Jun Xiaomo. It was only at this moment that he noticed her facial expressions were incredibly tense, but at the same time her eyes were filled with an unbending and resolute gaze.

Both father and daughter felt that they were right, and both refused to give in at all.

An exasperated smile crept up the corner of Rong Ruihan’s lips before he walked over to Jun Xiaomo’s side and patted her shoulder.

Jun Xiaomo was slightly taken aback, “Brother Rong?”

She had earlier been so fixated with her confrontation with her father that she was completely oblivious to the fact that another person had entered the room.

Rong Ruihan patted her head, before turning towards Jun Linxuan and respectfully addressing him, “Senior Jun, you are also aware of the fact that Xiaomo and brother Ye had encountered me on their travels outside of the Sect, and we had been on the run for our lives for a period of time. At that time, it was truly our fortune to have Xiaomo’s formation arrays with us which enabled us to escape with our lives intact time and again. Thus, I’m personally of the view that allowing Xiaomo to use formation arrays during these group battles might even give the group an edge over other groups.”

Having heard Rong Ruihan’s testimony of Jun Xiaomo’s abilities, Jun Linxuan’s tightly knitted brows relaxed substantially.

His attitude had finally begun to shift.

Jun Xiaomo finally saw hope that her father would change his mind. Her eyes glistened, before she supplemented Rong Ruihan’s earlier spiel, “That’s right, father, I’m only at the sixth level of Qi Mastery now, so even if I meet my opponents head on, I’m not likely to be able to defeat them. This isn’t a competition where participants are separated into different categories after all. There are going to be several cultivators at the eleventh level of Qi Mastery or higher – how am I going to compete with them? Even if I have the aid of several talismans within my Interspatial Ring, will these be able to last me three whole days?”

Jun Linxuan thought for a moment, before he realized that Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan do sound somewhat reasonable after all, and he was almost fully convinced of their point of view.

Then, it was Chen Feiyu who finally tipped the scales in their favour, “Don’t worry, master. There’s still going to be the recovery medicines in our Interspatial Rings no matter what. There won’t be any issues with this arrangement.”

Seeing that his disciples were all standing on the side of his daughter, Jun Linxuan sighed with resignation, and he no longer forced the issue. Nevertheless, he turned his stern gaze back to Jun Xiaomo as he cautioned, “Xiaomo, I’m only indulging in your antics because of your repeated assurances to me. I hope you don’t disappoint me this time. This matter doesn’t only implicate you – it affects the safety of all of your martial brothers as well. We can’t afford to mess this up.”

“Yes, Xiaomo understands father’s reminders.” Jun Xiaomo acknowledged obsequiously.

Wei Gaolang minced up to Chen Feiyu’s side as he quipped, “Isn’t master being a little bit too harsh on martial sister Xiaomo now?”

Chen Feiyu shook his head as he explained, “It can’t be helped. Master’s bearing the responsibility and burden of the entire Heavenly Peak on his back, and he naturally can’t be sloppy when dealing with this matter. Besides, martial sister Xiaomo is his daughter. As a father, he naturally doesn’t want to see his own daughter willfully messing around, especially when it comes to a competition that might potentially implicate lives. This is also for martial sister Xiaomo’s own good. Otherwise, it will be too late to remedy the situation if everyone ends up blaming martial sister Xiaomo later on.” Then, Chen Feiyu patted Wei Gaolang’s shoulders as he added, “You’re still young. You’ll understand this in future.”

Wei Gaolang scratched his head with some measure of confusion before he grew taciturn.

After ascertaining that everyone had packed the necessities into their competition Interspatial Rings, Jun Linxuan instructed everyone to have a quick breakfast before they all made their way towards the competition grounds once more.

The competition grounds were packed full of people. Everyone was eagerly awaiting the processing of participants’ identities and the commencement of the group battles.

In order to prevent sects from discreetly substituting or swapping out participants, every iteration of these group battles would always be preceded with an incredibly strict verification process.

“Eternal Summit Sect’s participants, please step forward.” One of the referees announced through the Voice Amplification Array so that the entire competition grounds could hear what he was saying.

Dai Yanfeng and the other sect elders from the Eternal Summit Sect led a pack of disciples with a steady gait towards the referees where they would have their identities verified.

The Eternal Summit Sect’s disciples gave off an incredibly dignified air about them, so much so that when they walked through the crowd, everyone unwittingly parted and gave way to them as they watched them make their way towards the referees.

As they passed by Jun Xiaomo, one of the disciples even glanced over towards Jun Xiaomo. His gaze was most certainly not filled with any form of kindness at all – there was only disdain.

As they walked past, Wei Gaolang clenched his fists in fury and waved it threateningly at their backs as he remarked, “Tch! What gives them the right to be so haughty?! Do they think they’re so great just because they’re still leading in terms of points right now?! No matter what, they’re no more than a bunch of Secondary Sect disciples only. We disciples from the Heavenly Peak are certainly no worse than them!”

On the other hand, Jun Xiaomo furrowed her brows, and a peculiar sense of unease swelled up from the depths of her heart – Are these really disciples from the Eternal Summit Sect? How come they give off such a different vibe from when we last saw them?

People would often remark that “a person possesses a remarkable disposition”, or “that fella’s aura is formidable”.

Disposition and aura were illusory concepts that were difficult to grasp, but they were undeniable existences in each and every person.

They were things that formed and matured over time under the influences of a person’s environment and the contemplations of his heart. It was somewhat related to a person’s cultivation level, yet at the same time there was no direct correlation there either.

That said, one thing was for sure – a person’s aura and disposition could not be changed that easily.

A person’s appearance could be changed through medicinal pills, talismans, formation arrays, and the like, but things such as a person’s aura and disposition were much harder to change.

This was why Jun Xiaomo sensed there to be a peculiarity with the disciples that had just walked past her. She had encountered the Eternal Summit Sect disciples at the commencement of the Secondary Inter-Sect Competitions, yet she had not sensed the same air of disposition and aura from those disciples as she did now.

At the very least, her last encounter with the Eternal Summit Sect disciples did not leave her with the impression that they were so “dignified”.

Jun Xiaomo watched on as the Eternal Summit Sect disciples walked towards the referees and, in accordance with the referee’s instructions, each of them dripped a drop of their blood onto the formation diagram at the feet of the referee.

This formation array possessed the ability to assess and verify a cultivator’s identity and cultivation strength. A blue glow would mean a successful verification of identity; while a red glow would mean that these cultivators were not one and the same as those who had been registered in the list of participants submitted earlier.

It might have been no more than an illusion, but time seemed to slow down slightly during the Eternal Summit Sect’s verification process. It felt as though this process took an unusually long time for them.

Everyone dropped what they were doing and turned their attention expectantly towards the Eternal Summit Sect’s disciples.

Some distance away, a drop of sweat rolled off the foreheads of one of the Eternal Summit Sect’s sect elder. His eyes were filled with a guilty conscience.

That sect elder was hoping and praying that they would not be exposed…otherwise the good name and reputation that the Eternal Summit Sect had built up over the last hundred years would be finished.

Approximately half an incense stick of time later, the heart of the formation array finally glowed brightly –

“The Eternal Summit Sect’s verification process has been successful. Would the next sect, the Crescentfell Sect, please get ready.” The referee declared. Even though the faces of several Eternal Summit Sect’s sect elders remained completely expressionless, they nevertheless heaved a huge sigh of relief in their hearts.


They looked at each other sheepishly, before they all glanced back at their grand elder, Dai Yanfeng.

When Dai Yanfeng had first sought to convince them of the Du Clan Head’s suggestion, these other sect elders had struggled with the idea for a long time. At the end, they had only reluctantly accepted the idea of a “substitute team” for fear that they would invoke the wrath of the Du Clan should they refuse to comply. That said, they were still extremely unsettled by their decision.

After all, nobody had heard of anyone successfully substituting a team of participants ever since the inception of these quinquennial Secondary Inter-Sect Competitions. The sects that had previously attempted to cheat with such substitutions had invariably met with a tragic end.

These sects had invariably found themselves undermined by all other sects later on, before finally fading away and becoming nothing more than a record on the annals of history.

This was why the arrogant Dai Yanfeng had taken the time to consider and deliberate the Du Clan Head’s suggestion when it was first broached to him as well.

Dai Yanfeng liked to gamble, but he hated to lose.

But in the end, his gamble had paid off. Even the panel of referees had been unable to discern the truth behind the identity of the “Eternal Summit Sect disciples” that had just had their identities verified.

Who would have thought that the Du Clan would actually render the Eternal Summit Sect such massive help this time?

Satisfied, Dai Yanfeng smiled discreetly to himself…

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