Chapter 276: Qin Lingyu’s Suspicions

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Jun Xiaomo felt as though she had fallen into a deep and long dream. In her dream, she had returned to her childhood years and turned back to a little toddler that was still stumbling around as she played with her dolls. She was dressed completely in pink as she played with an older brother whose appearances she could not see clearly.

This intoxicated dream was not a rational or logical one by any means. As she dreamt, she knew that she was extremely happy and chirpy – it had been an incredibly long time since she had experienced such contentment and bliss.

The brother playing with her was clearly extremely good-natured. She was evidently playing with things that only little children would be fascinated by, yet this older brother had played along with her, accompanying her as she sang nursery rhymes at the top of her voice, playing hide-and-seek together, and even catching fireflies with her. In this moment of bliss, Jun Xiaomo felt as though she was the luckiest little child on the planet.

Then, she noticed that her brother was drinking something from his cup in sips. He was so concentrated on the drink in his hands that he seemed to almost have neglected her existence entirely.

Is the drink very tasty? Why does brother seem so obsessed with drinking it?

In her curiosity, she snatched her brother’s cup and took a huge gulp from the cup. Within moments, she began to choke and sputter.

A burning sensation immediately washed over her entire throat, as though she had just swallowed a ball of fire. She coughed and hacked with all her might in the hope that she might be able to expel the blazing heat from her throat. For some strange reason, she began to feel a strong sourness in her heart, as though she had just been humiliated or wronged. In turn, this feeling caused large drops of tears to begin to roll from her eyes.

She immediately clutched at her brother’s clothes, hugging onto her brother tightly and burying her entire being into his bosom. In her discomfort as she wept and whimpered, she began to wipe her tears on the clothes of her brother.

Jun Xiaomo didn’t know what overcame her and made her do all these things. Yet for some strange reason, she felt compelled to clarify an inkling of hers – an inkling that no matter how willful she acted, her brother would always continue to pamper her and not grow angry at her.

The clean and dignified fragrance of the person in her bosom did bring some clarity back to her mind for an instant. However, in the discombobulation caused by her intoxication, she found that she was completely unable to wrangle herself free from her entanglement of thoughts. The only thing she knew was that the clean, dignified fragrance wafting into her nose from time to time was incredibly familiar.

It feels…it feels like someone I know…a person…a person who makes my heart cringe with pain every time I think of him.

Ye…martial brother Ye…

Jun Xiaomo opened her mouth, thinking to call out this name that was buried deep in her heart. However, even though the words were already at her lips, she found herself completely speechless, and the only thing that continued to flow out from within her were the tears that continued to gush like a broken dam. Silently, but surely, her tears continued to flow out from her reddened eyes as they dripped onto her brother’s clothes. Amidst her discombobulation and intoxication, Jun Xiaomo could no longer distinguish between dream and reality. Thus, Jun Xiaomo thought that she was still dreaming at this point in time.

In her dreams, her martial brother Ye had returned to her, and he was seated silently and still before her. The sense of familiarity filled her heart with an aching sensation, yet at the same time it enveloped her heart with a sense of security.

“…I miss you…will you never be returning again? …” Jun Xiaomo choked and sputtered as she cried aloud. Yet Ye Xiuwen did not give her any response in her “dreams”.

After crying for the better part of the night, Jun Xiaomo’s consciousness finally faded into a deep slumber. She knew that she was in a deep slumber, and she would only from time to time hear some buzzing sound around her.

She was no longer aware of where she was, and she was unaware of where or what the buzzing noises around her came from. She only felt that she was being carried about by a person on his back, and she knew that the cool air about this person had set her heart completely at ease.

In her stupor, Jun Xiaomo couldn’t help but think about the dreams she had last night, and she thought that this were but a mere continuation of that dream – The one carrying me right now should be Ye Xiuwen, who had appeared in my dreams, right?

With some measure of intoxication lingering in her body, Jun Xiaomo was unable to distinguish her dreams from her reality. She simply felt as though she were trapped in an immeasurably long dream right now.

It even occurred to her that she might have dreamt about the matters of her previous life. After all, back when she was at her lowest and most vulnerable point in her previous life, she had in a similar fashion been carried by Ye Xiuwen on his back.

Thus, when she discovered how Ye Xiuwen was about to set her down, Jun Xiaomo reflexively grabbed onto his sleeves. Even though this were but a dream of her past, she could not bring herself to let him go just like that.

Jun Xiaomo’s desperation at that time was something that nobody had ever come close to experiencing – it was the kind of desperation from a person drowning in rapid rivers when he suddenly realizes that he had managed to grab onto a stalk of straw growing out of the riverbank.

In her previous life, after witnessing Ye Xiuwen’s death in front of her very own eyes, she had lived the next three hundred years or so all alone as she ran for her life. Then, she encountered Qin Lingyu and was soon afterwards set-up, captured and thrown into the dank, dark dungeon.

In this life, having retained the memories of her previous life, she was now equipped with the ability of “clairvoyance”, and she was able to nudge her loved ones in the right direction before they were framed and set up. Thus, she thought that her fate would change completely. Then, she encountered a series of unfortunate events – not only did Ye Xiuwen fall into the Death’s Gorge, she even offended Princess Linglong of the Greenwich Kingdom, and ended up being sent into the Proving Grounds by her master.

Over the next three hundred and thirty years, Jun Xiaomo thoroughly experienced the true meaning of solitude. There was nobody around to chat with her and nobody around to share her joys and pains. Every single day, and every single moment, apart from immersing herself in learning and her cultivation, she would be spending the rest of her time in combat, combat and more combat.

It was a desolation no different from death, arguably even worse than the solitude and tension she experienced in her previous life. If not for the fact that she was now equipped with strong principles and a foundation of hope in her heart that kept her going, she might well have gone insane from the alienation of her heart and mind.

Then, when she finally managed to overcome the Proving Grounds and thereby leave its premises, she discovered that the mere passage of eleven years in the outside world had made everything completely different.

Her master from the Zephyr Sect had vanished into thin air. Rong Ruihan had sought revenge on her behalf and ended up being pushed back by the joint forces of the Zephyr Sect and the Greenwich Kingdom. As things were, she had no news whatsoever of Rong Ruihan’s whereabouts. To make matters worse, her parents and her martial brothers from the Heavenly Peak were unable to escape from He Zhang’s scheming clutches, and they had now become the prime target of all spiritual cultivators out there.

And then, there was her martial brother Ye. She had learnt from various sources that there was not a single person who had ever returned alive from the Death’s Gorge, ever.

Thus, wave after wave of tragic news struck her, and she felt like she was sinking into the mires of despondence. Her mind was in tatters, and she almost broke down.

Was she really that helpless? Why couldn’t she change her fate even with all the experience from her previous life?

Fortunately, her trials and tribulations over the years had refined and forged Jun Xiaomo’s soul into a fortress of determination. After the initial outburst of her emotions, Jun Xiaomo managed to collect and compose herself and gird her mind on her goals at hand – save her martial brothers from the Heavenly Peak first, before searching for the rest of her missing family and friends.

Thus, she cast her panic and anxiety into the deepest part of her being and trudged along slowly towards her goal, one step at a time. That said, it was only when she grew intoxicated with this incident that these emotions that were locked up in the deepest parts of her being burst out into the forefront once again and manifested themselves strongly.

Jun Xiaomo clutched tightly at Ye Xiuwen’s sleeve, begging him not to leave her behind.

She could not see Ye Xiuwen’s appearances because her eyelids felt so heavy that she could not open her eyes. However, the clear, dignified fragrance emanating from his body was unmistakable – it was Ye Xiuwen.

As the intoxication continued to toy with her heart, Jun Xiaomo sincerely thought that she was still stuck in the dreams of her previous life. It was as though she had been transported back in time to the day when Ye Xiuwen flicked his sleeves in anger and left her behind – by this time, she could no longer recall just how many times she had stirred Ye Xiuwen’s anger as a result of her willfulness. The only thing she knew was that she did not want Ye Xiuwen to leave her and forsake her.

“Don’t go…I was wrong…please don’t leave me…please don’t leave me all alone…”

“Qin Shanshan’s” repeated pleas made Ye Xiuwen find it difficult to leave just like that. For some strange reason, “Qin Shanshan” always reminded him of his late little martial sister. Under such circumstances, he found it incredibly difficult to turn a blind eye to her pleas and leave her alone. Thus, for a protracted moment, Ye Xiuwen stood there motionless as “Qin Shanshan” continued to grab onto his sleeves.

Qin Lingyu’s eyes flickered. As long as Jun Ziwen remained here in the room, he would be unable to carry out his plans. After all, he could not afford to let Jun Ziwen see Qin Shanshan’s Origin Locket.

Thus, Qin Lingyu walked up to Ye Xiuwen and addressed him once more, “Brother Jun, it seems that this little sister of mine is completely messed up by her intoxication, and she’s even begun to talk a bunch of gibberish in her drunken stupor. How about this – let me think of a plan to expel the alcohol in her body. Perhaps you can wait outside in the meantime?”

Ye Xiuwen looked back at Qin Lingyu with a slight look of curiosity in his eyes, but he remained motionless.

“What’s the matter, brother Jun? Are you worried? Do you think that I will harm my own little sister?” Qin Lingyu chuckled sardonically.

If this were the real Qin Shanshan, she naturally wouldn’t be in any form of danger whatsoever. However, Ye Xiuwen knew that the “Qin Shanshan” lying on the bed were a mere imposter. If Qin Lingyu discovered this fact as well, “Qin Shanshan” would not be able to do anything to resist any of Qin Lingyu’s actions in her state of intoxication.

Forget it. If I stayed here any longer, the suspicion on “Qin Shanshan” would be even greater, and her life would naturally also be in more danger.

As he thought about this, Ye Xiuwen twisted his arm and wrested free of “Qin Shanshan’s” grip on his sleeve.

“I’ll head out first.” Ye Xiuwen nodded at Qin Lingyu before walking out of the room.

Qin Lingyu chuckled coldly as he stared at Ye Xiuwen’s back. Then, he turned his head back and sized up his “sister” as she laid in bed.

He couldn’t tell in the least bit that there was anything wrong with his sister. That said, Qin Lingyu’s cursory examination of Qin Shanshan only caused his disdain for her to burgeon. After all, she had not shown any signs of growth despite the experience of her present expedition out of the Sect. Instead, she had somehow grown attached to a troublesome character – Qin Lingyu was fully convinced that Jun Ziwen was more than meets the eye, and he still could not figure out Jun Ziwen’s true motives for travelling together with the other Dawn Sect disciples.

With disdain and frustration in his heart, Qin Lingyu walked towards “Qin Shanshan”. He looked at the person curled up in bed with some measure of discomfort, and a cold gleam flickered across the depths of his eyes.

He retrieved Qin Shanshan’s Origin Locket from his Interspatial Ring and placed it on Jun Xiaomo’s body.

After some time, the Origin Locket remained just as lackluster as it had been, and the cracks on its surface remained just as pronounced.

What happened to this Origin Locket? Why doesn’t it have any form of reaction or resonance?

As Qin Lingyu pondered over these details, he sat down beside the bed, stretched out his fingers and placed them on Jun Xiaomo’s wrist. Then, Qin Lingyu began to send a thread of spiritual energy probing about Jun Xiaomo’s meridians and Dantian. Despite that, he did not find any traces of peculiarities at all.

Qin Lingyu had initially expected to discover something wrong with “Qin Shanshan’s” body – perhaps traces of schemes and plots, or a serious malady of sorts. This would in turn explain the peculiar change on the Origin Locket. However, his assessment of her body revealed none of these things. Apart from her state of intoxication, “Qin Shanshan’s” body was completely fine.

That’s really strange…

Qin Lingyu squinted his eyes, and a sullen gaze crept up the bottom of his eyes.

As soon as Jun Xiaomo discovered that the familiar fragrance had departed, her heart began to swell with a sense of frustration and unease.

Additionally, she could sense that there was an aura in the room that was not unfamiliar to her, and yet it was clearly something that she found hateful and disgusting. It was absolutely repulsive.

In turn, this sensation gave rise to a reflexive and intuitive manifestation of a sense of crisis.

Thus, as the sense of crisis grew stronger, it suppressed the remaining intoxication in Jun Xiaomo’s body, and she finally aroused from her drunken stupor.

Even though her eyes were still shut, her mind was already alert enough to distinguish between dreams and reality. Furthermore, she could sense that there was a person in this room whose existence thoroughly displeased her.

As she fervently suppressed the throbbing sensation on her temples, Jun Xiaomo suddenly opened her eyes.

Her eyes were as deep and abstruse as a bottomless abyss. In that instant, and without any warning, her penetrating gaze stared straight into Qin Lingyu’s eyes.

Qin Lingyu’s pupils instantly constricted, and his body immediately tensed up.

This sister of mine seems slightly different from before…

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