Chapter 245: Departure from the Dawn Sect, Onwards to the Zephyr Sect

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Since Xiaomo was not willing to divulge any more that what had already been said, the Heavenly Peak disciples were content to drop their line of questioning as well. After all, everyone had some secrets within their hearts that they were not willing to disclose to anyone, and Jun Xiaomo’s faint smile had told them everything that they needed to know.

It was night, and the lands were still and silent. Jun Xiaomo sat at her table, and her surroundings illuminated by a Nightgleam Pearl. She circulated the true energy within her body and sent it towards her hand, and she muttered the mnemonic for transforming true energy into spiritual energy as she continued to draw up fresh talismans on her table.

Each stroke, each brush and each dot had to be drawn up perfectly with no mistakes in an unhurried and orderly manner. The preparation of talismans required an incredible amount of patience and focus. Otherwise, a simple mistake meant that the talisman’s prowess would take a huge discount, or potentially even be rendered completely useless.

Another dot, and one last stroke. Jun Xiaomo finally finished the last step for this talisman.

She set her brush down and heaved a sigh of relief.

In just three days’ time, she would be leaving the Dawn Sect for the Zephyr Sect with the Fifth Elder, Tong Ruizhen. Right now, she wanted to make the best use of time to prepare a few more talismans just to err on the side of caution. These were not meant for herself, but the members of the Heavenly Peak, especially the youngest and most naïve cultivator, Wei Gaolang. In Jun Xiaomo’s eyes, her little martial brother was the person that worried her the most.

Compared with what had happened in her previous life, her present course of life had already changed completely. As a result, Jun Xiaomo was unaware of what He Zhang and his lackeys would do to scheme against the Heavenly Peak as soon as she left the Dawn Sect.

That said, she knew that it was practically impossible to expect He Zhang to cease fire against the Heavenly Peak. The seed of hatred against Jun Linxuan had already been sown in He Zhang’s heart when Liu Qingmei chose Jun Linxuan over He Zhang. Their enmity was not something that had been developed over just a day or a single standalone incident. The seed of hatred had over time sprouted and flourished into a vile creature that was deeply rooted in He Zhang’s heart. The odds of He Zhang letting go of it all was as low as if the sun were to rise from the west.

Besides, ever since the commencement of the Secondary Inter-Sect Competition, Jun Linxuan and the Heavenly Peak had time and again come out head and shoulders above He Zhang and the rest of the Dawn Sect disciples. In turn, He Zhang had found his pride and ego repeated trampled on the ground. How could he possibly swallow this bitter pill and take things lying down? There was no doubt that he would come up with something to get back at Jun Linxuan and the Heavenly Peak.

The only silver lining was that Jun Linxuan and Liu Qingmei had already developed some measure of vigilance against He Zhang and his lackeys. They no longer blindly trusted He Zhang and his lackeys as their band of brothers, and there was a much lower possibility that they would walk straight into He Zhang’s trap without even realizing that their most trusted martial brother had stabbed them in the back for his own personal gains.

Since that’s the case, the Heavenly Peak shouldn’t be as susceptible to He Zhang’s ploys even if I leave right now, right? Jun Xiaomo sighed as she thought to herself.

Even though she worried for the safety of her parents, the Heavenly Peak and her martial brothers, Jun Xiaomo knew that she couldn’t afford to remain at the Heavenly Peak and pass up on the opportunity to further her cultivation at the Zephyr Sect.

She was reminded of the words that Jun Linxuan had left her with during the day –

“Xiaomo, what are you thinking? Why aren’t you willing to become a disciple of the Zephyr Sect?” Jun Linxuan’s tone of voice was calm and dispassionate, yet Jun Xiaomo knew that Jun Linxuan was considerably displeased.

“Father…” Jun Xiaomo didn’t know how to begin. After all, she had planned to take her experiences from her previous life to the grave with her. That said, how was she to come up with a convincing excuse to her father just like that?

“I only want to know the truth.” Jun Linxuan looked at Jun Xiaomo as he spoke with earnestness.

As Jun Xiaomo’s father, Jun Linxuan understood the contemplations of his daughter no less than Liu Qingmei did. Even though Jun Xiaomo was trying her best to put on a false front right now, he could very clearly see the struggle and hesitance in the depths of Jun Xiaomo’s heart.

That single statement from Jun Linxuan had immediately stifled the excuses that Jun Xiaomo was fervently trying to come up with.

Finally, Jun Xiaomo sighed with resignation as she answered with another question, “Father, can I keep my reasons to myself?” She lifted her head and looked earnestly back at Jun Linxuan, “Father, I know you and mother sincerely hope that I can pursue my cultivation path in a Greater Sect. But have you ever considered whether the environment within a Greater Sect would most definitely suit my development?”

Jun Linxuan began to furrow his brows, “How would you know it doesn’t suit you if you haven’t gone there to begin with?”

Jun Xiaomo lowered her head, gritted her teeth and grew taciturn.

Jun Linxuan noticed how his daughter was evidently struggling against herself. He deliberated for a moment, before speaking once more, “Xiaomo, have you considered what would happen if you rejected the invitation from the Zephyr Sect’s sect elder? How would others view us? And what kind of consequences would arise out of it?”

Jun Xiaomo eyelashes quivered momentarily. She lifted her head, and ripples could be seen in the depths of her eyes.

That’s right. She knew that she had the choice of rejecting the olive branch extended by Tong Ruizhen. Given his character, perhaps he might hold it against her after a little bit of a tantrum. However, what about the other sect elders within the Zephyr Sect? What about the other members of the Dawn Sect? More importantly, if word gets out, how would the members of all other Greater Sects view the Heavenly Peak?

In this cultivation world, everyone had their boundaries and limits depending on both their individual cultivation level as well as the grade and classification of their respective sects. If Jun Xiaomo rejected the Zephyr Sect’s invitation to accept her as a Chosen Disciple or even make her a formal disciple, such an action might indirectly invoke the wrath and ire of the other sect elders from the Zephyr Sect.

Some people might even begin to flap their lips and say that Jun Xiaomo had only rejected the Zephyr Sect’s invitation because she despised the Zephyr Sect’s abilities. Not every sect elder from the Greater Sects possessed a heart as large as Tong Ruizhen. Her rejection might be a small gesture, but the potential repercussions from the rejection was certainly something to be considered seriously. After all, it might even strain relations and make an enemy of a Greater Sect.

Jun Xiaomo knew that it was important to consider these worst-case scenarios, no matter how low the odds of them becoming an eventuality.

“Furthermore, Xiaomo, there’s growing unrest within the Dawn Sect. Father and mother both believe that it might not be a bad thing if you left the Sect for some time.”

Jun Linxuan’s final words were spoken with some measure of frigidity.

Jun Xiaomo’s heart shuddered as she looked straight at Jun Linxuan. Her father’s deep and profound love for her made pangs of sourness emanate from the depths of her heart.

Ever since she had been young, Jun Linxuan had always been incredibly strict with the way he brought her up. Thus, she possessed few memories of Jun Linxuan smiling at her – most time, he would simply have a stern and somber expression on his face.

Truth be told, there were times when Jun Xiaomo would feel as though her father treated her no differently than the other Heavenly Peak disciples. Rather than a “father”, Jun Xiaomo felt that Jun Linxuan was at times more similar to a strict and stern master to her.

But now, Jun Linxuan’s words and the grave and concerned expression on his face made her realize that it was not that her father didn’t love her. Rather, it was simply because her father was used to burying his emotions deep within his heart, and he rarely ever revealed such expressions to others at all.

It was just like how things were right now – Jun Linxuan had a hunch that things were going to escalate into a huge mess in the near future, so he sincerely hoped that he could send her away to avert such a crisis.

Jun Xiaomo found a lump swell up in her throat. It suddenly dawned on her that she should not betray her parents’ hopes for her. Furthermore, she knew from this discussion that both off her parents were already alert and vigilant against He Zhang’s schemes. Thus, she might not be able to help too much more even if she remained at the Sect.

Since that was the case, what was the harm in following the sect elder of the Zephyr Sect and learning a thing or two that could be used to protect the Heavenly Peak, such as formation arrays and talismans?

Thus, Jun Xiaomo made up her mind, returned to the Discussion Hall and paid her respects to her new master, Tong Ruizhen. Then, when she turned back and saw the satisfied look on Jun Linxuan’s face, Jun Xiaomo realized that this was enough for her.

At the very least, her parents would no longer have to worry and be concerned about her unruly and willful behaviour anymore.

As she returned to her senses from her recollection of what had happened throughout the day, Jun Xiaomo discovered that the Transmittance Talisman within her Interspatial Ring was glowing with a faint blue light.

She retrieved the Transmittance Talisman and knocked on it. Immediately, a deep and bemused voice called out from the talisman, “I heard you’d successfully paid respects to your new master today?”

Jun Xiaomo raised her eyebrow quizzically, “I didn’t expect brother Rong to hear about it so quickly! Let me guess…did Little Lang apprise you of this development?”

“Haha, that’s right. Shortly after congratulating you earlier, he immediately called and spread the good news to me.”

“I wouldn’t have expected anything less. I knew that this little brat can’t keep a secret.” Jun Xiaomo shook her head with some measure of exasperation.

However, she would not blame Wei Gaolang for this. After all, this was hardly a secret to begin with. That said, her only gripe was with the fact that Wei Gaolang’s efficacy was far too formidable.

“How’s the feeling of paying respect to a new master?” Rong Ruihan quipped calmly, yet this simple question made Jun Xiaomo feel like pouring out her emotions to him.

“So-so, I guess. It feels…surreal, and unsettling.” Jun Xiaomo chuckled bitterly.

“Oh? How come?”

“The truth of the matter was that I’d never thought of entering the Zephyr Sect to learn more about formation arrays and talismans to begin with. But my father insisted. And what he said was right – if I’d insisted on my position and rejected the sect elders from the Zephyr Sect, the consequences might be incommensurably harsher than the act of rejection itself.”

Rong Ruihan grew sullen for a moment, before he queried, “Were you unwilling to enter the Greater Sect because you were worried about the strife within your sect?”

Jun Xiaomo was slightly taken aback, before she shook her head in resignation and chuckled, “That’s right…there’s nothing I can keep from brother Rong, huh?”

“That’s because Xiaomo makes things far too easy. Everything is written all over your face.”

“But brother Rong hasn’t even seen my face.”

“I can imagine what it looks like now.”

“Something makes me think that this isn’t a compliment.” An exasperated smile crept up the corner of Jun Xiaomo’s lips. That said, Jun Xiaomo’s mood had evidently improved from Rong Ruihan’s teasing.

On the other side of the talisman, Rong Ruihan chuckled in a low voice, “Alright, I’ll stop teasing you. Back to the topic at hand, I do think that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of Xiaomo furthering her cultivation at the Greater Sect.”

Jun Xiaomo was slightly taken aback, “Why do you say that?”

“Xiaomo, have you thought about this – senior Jun is presently caught between a rock and a hard place, and he’s surrounded on all four sides. It’s practically impossible for the Heavenly Peak to come out on top of its present predicament all on its own. The Heavenly Peak has far too many enemies – apart from those within the Dawn Sect, they still have to face the Eternal Summit Sect and the Du Clan that you’d offended. If the Heavenly Peak is to stand up against the incursion of such powerful forces, it needs a far stronger backing behind it as well.”

“A stronger backing?” Jun Xiaomo repeated the crux of what Rong Ruihan was getting at as she ruminated about it.

“That’s right. Now that you’d become a formal disciple of the Zephyr Sect, and if Chen Feiyu also becomes the formal disciple of the Frozen Sword Sect, it would then be undeniable that the Heavenly Peak is inextricably tied to those Greater Sects. If He Zhang is to make a move, he would have to seriously consider the balance of powers at that time. Conversely, if you had rejected the Zephyr Sect’s invitation there and then, He Zhang might ride on the fact that you had also offended the Zephyr Sect by your actions, and he might make his move with far less considerations on his part.”

“Brother Rong, you’re right.” Jun Xiaomo responded sincerely, before she laughed heartily, “Now that brother Rong has broken down the issue like that, I’m really glad that I didn’t end up rejecting the Zephyr Sect’s invitation earlier.”

Rong Ruihan smiled to himself at the other end of the Transmittance Talisman. However, Jun Xiaomo was unable to see the smile on his face at this moment.

“It’s good that you understand. Furthermore, the most important thing is that Sect Elder Tong’s character is not too bad. Having such a person as one’s master is a pretty good thing.”

“Brother Rong, did you call me in the middle of the night to talk about these things because you’d known that I would be brooding over these matters that occurred today?” Jun Xiaomo queried with a half-serious expression on her face.

“What if I did?” Rong Ruihan responded with yet another serious question.

Jun Xiaomo was slightly taken aback, and a swathe of complicated feelings immediately began to roil in her heart – the amount that she owed to Rong Ruihan had increased yet again.

Moments later, she finally responded in all sincerity, “Then I’ll have to sincerely thank brother Rong for that.”

“Don’t mention it.” Rong Ruihan shrugged.

Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan both looked at the Transmittance Talisman before them and revealed an earnest smile on their faces. Then, neither of them spoke about this incident any further.


Three days passed in the blink of an eye. Soon, it was time for Jun Xiaomo to depart from the Dawn Sect.

On this day, several Heavenly Peak disciples made it a point to send Jun Xiaomo off. Liu Qingmei came as well, and she even presented herself with reddened rims as though she had spent the entire sleepless night crying.

This was the first time her daughter would be leaving her for such a long time, and it was natural that Liu Qingmei would feel worried and unwilling to see her daughter leave just like that.

“Mother, don’t worry. I’m only going there to further my cultivation. Once I’ve arrived at the Zephyr Sect, I’ll continue to send letters to you from time to time.” Jun Xiaomo hugged her mother and consoled her.

By now, Jun Xiaomo was almost of the same height as Liu Qingmei.

“Alright, you don’t have to concern yourself with sending letters back too frequently as well. Focus on learning well from your master.” Liu Qingmei patted Jun Xiaomo’s head as she nagged.

Jun Xiaomo nodded her head and released Liu Qingmei from their embrace. Then, she climbed onto Tong Ruizhen’s mount – a Heavenly Crane.

After bidding farewell to all who were around once more, she turned to face Tong Ruizhen, “Master, let’s go.”

Tong Ruizhen bellowed once, and the Heavenly Crane immediately soared into the air.

As she saw how the Heavenly Peak grew smaller and smaller below her, Jun Xiaomo’s eyes grew slightly red and puffy. Her lips stretched out into a thin grimace as she thought to herself –

Please await for my return…

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