Chapter 275: Clash Between Ye Xiuwen and Qin Lingyu

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Ye Xiuwen caught every moment of the frigid and vigilant gaze in Qin Lingyu’s eyes. In fact, Ye Xiuwen received Qin Lingyu’s lingering gaze with a cool stoicism, causing Qin Lingyu’s hatred to only burgeon and roil.

Just like how He Zhang had always despised Jun Linxuan’s existence, Qin Lingyu, as He Zhang’s First-Seat Disciple, had always hated and despised Ye Xiuwen’s existence as well.

Qin Lingyu was the Sect Leader’s First-Seat Disciple, and he was also the person most likely to become He Zhang’s successor as the next Sect Leader of the Dawn Sect. That said, he saw Ye Xiuwen as a threat because he knew that Ye Xiuwen was rather well-regarded by the rest of the members of the Dawn Sect. After all, Ye Xiuwen’s abilities exceeded even that of Qin Lingyu’s.

Thus, despite the fact that Ye Xiuwen hardly harboured any thoughts of usurping Qin Lingyu’s position as the successor, Qin Lingyu nevertheless considered Ye Xiuwen as his strongest rival and the greatest threat to him.

Furthermore, after the incident involving Jun Xiaomo during their travels, Qin Lingyu’s hatred for Ye Xiuwen had only continued to burgeon and fester.

Back then, Qin Lingyu had already been thinking of various ways and means of rescinding the marriage arrangement with Jun Xiaomo. That said, he loathed the thought that he might have been made into a cuckold by Jun Xiaomo before the rescission of their marriage arrangement. To make matters even worse, the target of her affection was his greatest rival for succession to boot!

Truth be told, news of Ye Xiuwen’s “death” had been like a passing shower on a hot day – it was much-needed good news.

He did not believe that a person who had fallen into the depths of the Death’s Gorge would ever be able to make it out alive again. However, the person standing right before him possessed a disposition that was uncannily similar to Ye Xiuwen. Thus, Qin Lingyu immediately thought the worst of him, and Qin Lingyu couldn’t wait to chase this person out from within the entourage of Dawn Sect disciples.

At the same time, the Dawn Sect disciples also noticed the tense atmosphere between Qin Lingyu and Ye Xiuwen, but they did not think too much of it. After all, they thought that the tense atmosphere and Qin Lingyu’s evident hatred for Jun Ziwen had all arisen as a result of Qin Lingyu’s realization that his little sister had been “abducted” by an unknown man.

Then, having recalled the fact that Jun Ziwen had once saved their lives, the leader of the Dawn Sect disciples stepped out to the foreground and made his way between Qin Lingyu and Ye Xiuwen, before bowing slightly to Qin Lingyu as he smiled, “That…martial brother Qin, this must be your first time meeting brother Jun, right? We were lucky enough to have encountered brother Jun; he was the one who had saved us from our earlier predicament. Shall I make introductions for everyone to get to know each other?”

Ye Xiuwen remained taciturn, while Qin Lingyu glanced coldly at the Dawn Sect disciple who had taken the initiative to make introductions.

As he resisted the overbearing pressure of Qin Lingyu’s deadly gaze, the Dawn Sect disciple wiped off the sweat on his forehead, eked out another smile, before addressing Ye Xiuwen, “Brother Jun, this is our Sect Leader’s First-Seat Disciple, martial brother Qin Lingyu. He also happens to be martial sister Shanshan’s biological brother, and he is presently one of the core disciples within the Limitless Sect. He has made the trip back this time just so that he could check on martial sister Shanshan.”

Ye Xiuwen nodded his head placidly, acknowledging the introductions made by the Dawn Sect disciple.

The Dawn Sect disciple wiped off the profuse sweat on his forehead once more, before turning to address Qin Lingyu, “That…martial brother Qin, brother Jun is a man whom we had the fortune of encountering on our journey. When we were on our way back to the Sect, we entered a rather strange part of the wilderness where we ended up being trapped for several days on end. No matter how and where we walked, we always ended up back where we started. Fortunately, with brother Jun’s help, we were able to break out of that ghastly place. Otherwise, perhaps all of us, including martial sister Shanshan, might have become nothing more than a pile of bones by now.”

The reason why the Dawn Sect disciple particularly emphasized the fact that Jun Ziwen had also rescued Qin Shanshan was because he had hoped that that would earn Jun Ziwen some favor in Qin Lingyu’s eyes. He did not want Qin Lingyu to clash directly with Jun Ziwen right now.

A burgeoning hostility might be a small matter between two people, but what the disciple was more concerned about was if Jun Ziwen would draw the rest of the Dawn Sect disciple into the fray. Even though the Dawn Sect disciples couldn’t tell exactly what level Jun Ziwen’s cultivation was in, they knew that it could not be very low. After all, this man had completely incapacitated Qin Shanshan’s Hellfire Lion in two or three swift strikes. This was something that even their martial brother Qin might not be able to do.

Unfortunately, the disciple’s efforts fell on deaf ears, and they were completely in vain. When Ye Xiuwen collected and suppressed his sharp, incisive aura, he appeared no more than a gentle, dignified and harmless scholar-like cultivator. Even though his expressions were hardly filled with any warmth, it still sufficed to give others a misimpression of the true extent and depth of his abilities.

The truth of the matter was that Qin Lingyu did underestimate his opponent, and this turned out to be one of his greatest stumbling blocks in the end.

At this moment, Qin Lingyu hardly bothered to even keep his hostility against Ye Xiuwen under wraps. In fact, he intentionally allowed it to flourish and burst out from his body, making it stark and evident as he interrogated Ye Xiuwen coldly, “Since you’re mere acquaintances with my sister and the other Dawn Sect disciples, why do you insist on travelling together with them? What purpose do you have for drawing close to them?”

The Dawn Sect disciples immediately exchanged tense glances. They had never expected Qin Lingyu to interrogate Jun Ziwen like this right from the outset.

However, Ye Xiuwen merely chuckled lightly as he retorted, “I believe it was Miss Qin who had invited me to tag along. What ulterior motive are you suggesting I could have?”

Qin Lingyu’s cold and incisive gaze immediately crawled all over Ye Xiuwen’s body as he quipped back, “Invited? Do you like my sister?”

Not only was this a query, it was also a probe into his real intentions. Having dangled an easy explanation out of the situation, Qin Lingyu believed that any person attempting to conceal his ulterior motive would readily admit to this.

Unfortunately for Qin Lingyu, Ye Xiuwen was far more truthful than Qin Lingyu had expected him to be.

Ye Xiuwen simply shook his head as he plainly responded, “We’ve only known each other for slightly over a month. How could I know whether I like your sister or not?”

To begin with, Ye Xiuwen was not a person who enjoyed treating matters of feelings as bargaining chips to be exchanged for his own personal gains. This was one of the areas where he differed largely from Qin Lingyu.

Even if he did not like Qin Shanshan, he would not intentionally pretend to like her just so that he could gain access to the Dawn Sect. If Qin Shanshan grows frustrated by the fact that her feelings were not being reciprocated and thus denies him access to the Dawn Sect, he would simply accept the rescission of the invitation and find another route into the Dawn Sect.

Naturally, that would make things a little bit more troublesome for him, but it was far better than compromising on his personal principles. This was one of Jun Linxuan’s greatest requirements in his disciples.

Ye Xiuwen’s response was clearly outside of Qin Lingyu’s expectations, and Qin Lingyu was slightly taken aback. Yet moments later, his tone of voice grew even more frigid and aggressive as he barked, “Since that’s the case, then there’s no reason for you to accept my sister’s invitation, right? You had agreed to my sister’s invitation for no good reason whatsoever – if this isn’t a sign of your ulterior motive, what else could it be?!”

Ye Xiuwen was hardly fazed by Qin Lingyu’s incessant questioning. He smiled placidly, before slowly but certainly explaining his position with clear and concise articulation, “I’ve always been a rogue cultivator, and I don’t belong to any particular Sect – the four corners of the lands are both my teachers and my home. Truth be told, I’ve always been rather curious as to what a Sect’s grounds would look like. That said, a rogue cultivator like me never had any means of gaining entry to a Sect without risking injury to life and limb. In this regard, you can say that I’m curious about what the Dawn Sect looks like. At the same time, this curiosity most certainly does not justify me attempting to break through the defensive formation arrays of sects and offending the high powers within the Sect. That said, now that I’m presented with a prime opportunity to take a looksee around the internal workings of a Sect, why wouldn’t I take it? Am I not right, brother Qin?”

Ye Xiuwen’s response was logical and reasonable. Furthermore, there were precedents for such behaviour – this was not the first time a Dawn Sect disciple had invited their friends from outside the Sect as guests to the Sect.

That said, perhaps as a result of the confluence of factors including Jun Ziwen’s disposition that was uncannily similar to Ye Xiuwen’s, as well as Qin Lingyu’s bad impression of Jun Ziwen, Qin Lingyu found himself unable to believe what Jun Ziwen had said regardless of how cogent his explanation had been.

On the other hand, the Dawn Sect disciples standing around unanimously felt that Jun Ziwen’s reasons were sufficiently logical and reasonable, and they began to feel that their martial brother Qin appeared to be nit-picking at this point in time.

Actually, given Qin Shanshan’s temperament, he should thank the gods that someone would even take a fancy to her. Why does Qin Lingyu have to be so overprotective of his little sister? Some of the Dawn Sect disciples couldn’t help but wonder to themselves. Naturally, they did not dare to reveal any form of quizzical expression before Qin Lingyu.

Qin Lingyu was still thinking of nit-picking on Ye Xiuwen’s explanation when, out of nowhere, Jun Xiaomo groaned. Instantly, all eyes shifted from the tense atmosphere between Qin Lingyu and Ye Xiuwen to her body.

It suddenly dawned on everyone around that Jun Ziwen had carried Qin Shanshan all the way back to the inn. In other words, a single man and a single woman had spent an entire night outside, and one was even brought back to the inn on another’s back…

The thoughts in everyone’s hearts began to run wild.

A bright gleam flashed across the depths of Ye Xiuwen’s eyes – he had finally found the perfect excuse to extricate himself from his present predicament.

“Miss Qin’s heart was a mess last night, so I had accompanied her for a walk outside the town, before sitting down and having some wine. She’s still fast asleep at this point in time. I personally think that this place isn’t too conducive for Miss Qin to awaken from her drunken stupor. Rather than standing around and chatting, why not let me put Miss Qin down in her room upstairs first before resuming our discussions? What do you say?”

Ye Xiuwen’s suggestions seemed to have “Qin Shanshan’s” best interests at heart, and this meant that Qin Lingyu could not find a single reason not to agree to his requests.

Furthermore, Qin Lingyu also wanted to learn from the horse’s mouth just what had happened. He wanted to know the real reason why Qin Shanshan’s Origin Locket would suddenly lose its luster and even reveal faint cracks on it.

Thus, after deliberating for a while, Qin Lingyu agreed to Ye Xiuwen’s suggestions. With the leader of the Dawn Sect disciples taking the lead, all of them made their way upstairs towards Qin Shanshan’s room.

Jun Xiaomo’s body was limp and slack like a pile of mud when she was drunk. When Ye Xiuwen carried her, all he experienced was a deadweight hanging heavily from his back. Earlier, Ye Xiuwen had completely overlooked the weight on his back during his confrontation with Qin Lingyu. But now that he had finally set this deadweight back down on the bed, Ye Xiuwen suddenly felt a refreshing lightness on his back. It was as though he could breathe properly once more.

However, just as he attempted to set Jun Xiaomo down on the bed, her arms tightened themselves, and her legs shifted slightly and clamped down heavily around his waist. Just like that, she refused to let go of Ye Xiuwen, like how a koala refused to let go of its tree.

The veins on Ye Xiuwen’s forehead bulged and throbbed as he spoke sternly to the person behind him, “Let go!”

Unfortunately, this statement had fallen on deaf ears. Jun Xiaomo was so intoxicated and deep in her slumber that she did not register anything that Ye Xiuwen had said. Thus, she continued to cling tightly to Ye Xiuwen’s body.

Qin Lingyu’s lips twitched as well. Even though the Dawn Sect disciples had already apprised him of the fact that Qin Shanshan had taken a fancy to this man, seeing it for himself was quite something else.

She’s not letting go of this man even in her sleep?! Just how much does she fancy this man?

Left without any other choice, Ye Xiuwen wrested Jun Xiaomo’s arms off his body, before twisting his own body slightly. Finally, he managed to extricate himself from her vice-like grasp. And, having lost her grip on Ye Xiuwen, Jun Xiaomo naturally slumped down and collapsed onto the bed below her.

Despite the rough actions she had just been put through, Jun Xiaomo was so intoxicated that she still did not wake up from her slumber.

Ye Xiuwen was just about to remove Jun Xiaomo’s shoes, place a blanket over her body before taking his leave, when he suddenly recalled that he had just expressed to Qin Lingyu that he was not fond of Qin Shanshan. Thus, he dispelled any thoughts of these considerate actions.

After all, her “brother” was here with her, and there was no need for him to go out of his way and arouse his suspicions.

“Brother Qin, the matters that we were talking about earlier – do you still want to continue the discussion right now, or do you wish to take a closer look at your sister before we continue our discussion?” Ye Xiuwen calmly looked at Qin Lingyu as he provided him with two options.

Qin Lingyu was displeased with the fact that Ye Xiuwen had somehow cleverly retained the control of the conversation within his grasp.

“Let’s continue our discussions later. I’ve not seen Shanshan in a long time, and I want to see what kind of mess she’d got herself into this time.” Qin Lingyu made his decision.

He intended to check the condition of her body at the same time to better understand why the strange symptoms had shown up on her Origin Locket.

“That’s fine with me. Then, I’ll take my leave.” As Ye Xiuwen finished speaking, he turned around and motioned to leave without glancing even once at “Qin Shanshan”.

Just then, almost as though Jun Xiaomo sensed something strange, she immediately made a grab at Ye Xiuwen’s sleeve and muttered with a quivering voice, “Don’t go…I was wrong…please don’t leave me…please don’t leave me all alone…”

Her words were filled with intense fear and dread, as though she were afraid that Ye Xiuwen would leave her for good.

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