Chapter 281: Exchange of Identity Tokens, Qin Lingyu’s Ploy

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Given Qin Lingyu’s unrelenting personality, Jun Xiaomo had initially expected him to incessantly come up with different ways and means of obstructing Jun Ziwen’s entry into the Dawn Sect. Unexpectedly, over the next few days, Qin Lingyu appeared to have completely forgotten about this entire incident. He neither sought Jun Xiaomo for a “heart-to-heart” discussion, nor did he insist that Ye Xiuwen leaves the entourage of Dawn Sect disciples. Apart from casting frigid, incisive glances at Ye Xiuwen from time to time, he did not appear to show any signs of making any other moves.

Jun Xiaomo rubbed her chin as she exclaimed in her heart – Something’s wrong. I’ve got to expect the unexpected. Just what in the world is Qin Lingyu scheming this time?

With a mind full of suspicion, Jun Xiaomo followed the entourage as they finally arrived at the foot of the mountain where the Dawn Sect was located.

As she looked at the dense and thick forest ahead of them, Jun Xiaomo’s eyes suddenly gleamed, and she finally though of what Qin Lingyu was planning. How could she have forgotten the fact that the Dawn Sect’s grounds were sequestered by a protective formation array?

In the cultivation world, every single sect, whether large or small, would invariably be sequestered from the rest of the world by a protective formation array. The Dawn Sect was no exception to this either.

The Dawn Sect’s protective formation array was set up within the forest surrounding its grounds. As long as an outsider without the Dawn Sect’s identity token enters the forest, they would find themselves trapped and lost within the domain of the protective formation array. In serious cases, they might even get attacked and lose their lives.

Jun Xiaomo had always carried with her an identity token whenever she came and went from the Dawn Sect in the past. Thus, she had overlooked the fact that the forest outside the Dawn Sect’s grounds was none other than the protective formation array sequestering its grounds from the outside world. Additionally, she had spent the last three hundred and thirty years in the Proving Grounds, and her recollection of the Dawn Sect’s protective formation array had naturally become even fainter.

That said, even though she was no different from a mere mortal in the disciplines of crafting spiritual tools or refining medicines, formation arrays and talismans were two fields of disciples which she was extremely confident with. After all, she would not be standing here if she had not thoroughly mastered all that her master and her great grandmaster had to teach her within the Proving Grounds over the last three hundred and thirty years.

Besides, Jun Xiaomo had good reason to believe that the formation arrays within the Proving Grounds were far more formidable and fearsome than the meagre protective formation array of the Dawn Sect. At the same time, it was a fortunate thing that nobody knew of the Proving Ground’s whereabouts. Otherwise, the mere prospects of being able to examine the peculiar, ancient formation arrays set up by her great grandmaster would be sufficient to entice throngs of ambitious cultivators to lead a crusade through the Proving Grounds, trampling it underfoot and tearing it apart.

As Jun Xiaomo thought about these things, she began to sieve through the contents of Qin Shanshan’s Interspatial Ring… What?! There’s none?!

She had initially thought that Qin Shanshan would carry a few spare identity tokens with her, given that she was travelling out of the Sect on an expedition. However, after searching through Qin Shanshan’s Interspatial Ring for some time, she only managed to find a single identity token.

Jun Xiaomo thought to herself in frustration – Qin Shanshan’s far too careless! Only one identity token? Isn’t she afraid of the prospects of losing that single identity token and not being able to return to the Dawn Sect?

After all, it was not like there was no precedent for such incidents. Some time ago, one of the disciples going out on the expedition had carelessly lost his identity token, and he ended up being trapped in the forest outside the Dawn Sect’s grounds for days on end. Then, when the Sect finally managed to locate him, he had already been so weary and worn out by the formation array that he was already on his final breaths.

But how would Jun Xiaomo have known that the reasons for which Qin Shanshan had not brought spare identity tokens along with her? Apart from Qin Shanshan’s firm belief that she would never lose her identity token, she did not think much of losing her identity token because she knew that her martial brothers travelling together with her would most certainly be carrying a few spare tokens with them as well. When that time comes, all she had to do was to seize one of these tokens from her martial brothers, and everything would be alright.

In any event, this was in line with Qin Shanshan’s life principles of seizing things from others, and it was also the cause of her earlier downfall. If a person relentlessly seizes things from others, to the point where he starts to even take it for granted, there will most certainly come a time when everyone, including family, begins to turn their back on him, leaving him to fend for himself in the lurch.

Qin Lingyu noticed how “Qin Shanshan” had been furrowing her brows as she searched through the contents of her Interspatial Ring. His eyes gleamed brightly, and he made his way over to Jun Xiaomo’s side, lowered his head and slowly asked, “What’s the matter, Shanshan? Did you lose something? Do you need your brother’s help to look for it, hmm?”

Jun Xiaomo squinted her eyes. Then, in the next moment as she lifted her head, she plastered a perfect, hesitant expression on her face as she met Qin Lingyu’s gaze and murmured, “Brother…I…I didn’t bring my identity token.”

Qin Lingyu furrowed his brows as he responded meaningfully, “Did you not bring your identity token, or did you not bring a spare for your lover? You’d only prepared one set of identity token for yourself, didn’t you?”

Qin Lingyu knew his sister very well. With her headstrong and reckless personality, it would be considered peculiar if she remembered to prepare two additional identity tokens before travelling out of the Sect. This was one of the main reasons why he was content setting up Jun Ziwen’s demise in the forest outside the Sect.

That’s right. He sincerely believed that it was insufficient to merely trap Jun Ziwen within the formation array. His goal was to thoroughly vanquish Jun Ziwen whilst putting the blame on the Sect’s protective formation array.

As for Qin Shanshan, Qin Lingyu knew, given her personality, that Qin Shanshan’s infatuation for Jun Ziwen could very easily replaced by another cultivator in no time. All that she needed was for the next cultivator to look decent and possess formidable strength. It just so happened that Jun Ziwen had fulfilled both of these criteria. That said, Jun Ziwen would be quite sorely mistaken if he expected Qin Shanshan to extend any form of sacrificial love to him.

Qin Lingyu thought about all these things in his mind as a contemptuous smile crept up the corner of his lips.

At the same time, Jun Xiaomo keenly picked up on all of Qin Lingyu’s wicked expressions. She thought to herself – Damn! This person is a sly, scheming fox! What should I do?

Jun Xiaomo thought about the training that she had received in the Proving Grounds, before turning her attention to assess Jun Ziwen’s ability to deal with formation arrays. There was undoubtedly a very low possibility that Jun Ziwen would be able to escape from the trappings of the Sect’s protective formation array all on his own.

Thus, having thought about these things, Jun Xiaomo made her resolve.

She lowered her head and gripped her sleeves tightly as she plastered a “look of unease” on her face. Then, she mumbled to Qin Lingyu, “Brother…you…do you have an identity token to spare brother Jun? I know you definitely carry some spares with you…”

“Hah. I knew you didn’t bring any extra identity tokens. But why should I give that little lover of yours my spare identity token? I’ve never accepted or considered him as my brother-in-law.” Qin Lingyu coldly retorted.

“You can’t do this! We’re already here at the foot of the mountain. Is brother still unwilling to approve of our relationship?!” Jun Xiaomo looked up at Qin Lingyu with some measure of indignation. Her eyes were glistening with tears, and the rims of her eyes were red and puffy. She presented herself with an expression of humiliation, as though she were being wronged.

“Approval? Why should I approve of him? I don’t know where he comes from; and I don’t know why he wants to enter the Sect. Yet despite all of that, he had even dragged my sister into bed with him without even making any form of promise or vow. Do you think he deserves any benefit of the doubt, hmm?!” Qin Lingyu presented himself as a good brother being protective of his sister.

Jun Xiaomo couldn’t understand why Qin Lingyu seemed to be so adamant about standing in the way of “Qin Shanshan” and Jun Ziwen’s relationship when he did not even appear to possess any deep feelings of protectiveness for Qin Shanshan to begin with.

Forget it. I shouldn’t think about things I won’t ever understand. Shelving these thoughts, Jun Xiaomo stiffened her neck and retorted with adamance, “I don’t care! If you don’t allow him to enter the Sect, then I’m going to stay right here with him. I’ll never return to the Dawn Sect again!”

Qin Lingyu glared at “Qin Shanshan” with an outraged look. Moments later, he feigned disappointment as he sighed, saying, “Forget it, forget it. I’m partially to blame for your current unruly personality. Had I known this was going to happen, I would never have spoilt you with so many things and given in to you all the time.”

As Qin Lingyu spoke, he took out an identity token from his Interspatial Ring and tossed it to Jun Xiaomo.

After receiving the identity token, Jun Xiaomo flipped it in her palm as she examined it. On a cursory glance, nothing was peculiar about it.

After tossing the identity token to Jun Xiaomo, Qin Lingyu put on an expression of “the heart isn’t moved by what the eye doesn’t see”, leading the rest of the Dawn Sect disciples back to the Sect and leaving Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen behind.

Jun Xiaomo raised her eyebrows, glancing at the stiff, blockhead-like Ye Xiuwen standing in the distance as she pouted, “Why didn’t you say anything earlier? You don’t have any spirit of cooperation at all.”

Ye Xiuwen chuckled, “Your acting was already on point and perfect. There was no reason for me to step in, was there?”

Jun Xiaomo rolled her eyes, withholding any further comment on Ye Xiuwen’s earlier passiveness.

“Oh yes, this is for you.” Jun Xiaomo retrieved another identity token from Qin Shanshan’s Interspatial Ring and tossed it to Ye Xiuwen.

As soon as Ye Xiuwen received it, he flipped the token to its back, “Is this Qin Shanshan’s identity token?”

“That’s right. That’s Qin Shanshan’s identity token.” Jun Xiaomo nodded her head.

Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows, asking, “If I take Qin Shanshan’s token, then what about you?”

Jun Xiaomo looked at the remaining identity token in her hands as she responded, “See? I’ve got the identity token given by Qin Lingyu.”

Ye Xiuwen retorted with disapproval, “Qin Lingyu’s identity token might very well have been tampered with. Why are you holding on to that?”

“I’ve got to hold onto it precisely because it’s been tampered with.” Jun Xiaomo responded matter-of-factly, “I’ve got a strong foundation in formation arrays and talismans – do you have the same? Can you guarantee that you won’t perish here in this forest if you hold onto Qin Lingyu’s identity token?”

Ye Xiuwen’s expressions darkened, “Even if that’s the case, you shouldn’t be holding on to that identity token. Hurry and change it with me!”

“Why are you being so obstinate about this, you blockhead?!” Jun Xiaomo glared at Ye Xiuwen, “I’ve already told you that this is the best arrangement! If you hang onto Qin Shanshan’s personal identity token, you’ll be able to pass through the forest safely. On the other hand, even though holding onto this identity token that has been tampered with means that it would take slightly more for me to pass through the forest, I will still be able to leave this place alive! Do you understand what I’m saying?!”

“I don’t! I only know that you should take Qin Shanshan’s identity token because you’re wearing Qin Shanshan’s identity right now!” Ye Xiuwen insisted with a tone of voice that was growing cold and harsh.

Jun Xiaomo was getting increasingly infuriated by Jun Ziwen’s obstinacy. She suddenly had the urge of splitting open Jun Ziwen’s head so that she could get her reasoning through that thick skull of his.

As she glared at Ye Xiuwen amidst their impasse, Jun Xiaomo’s heart suddenly skipped a beat, and a bright gleam flickered across her eyes.

Having known “Qin Shanshan” for such a long time, Ye Xiuwen could roughly already tell from her impish expressions the thoughts on her mind, just like right now –

What is this little, crafty imp scheming right now?!

As expected, in the next moment, Jun Xiaomo simply stuck out her tongue at Ye Xiuwen as she quipped, “I’ll give this to you if you can catch me.” As she finished speaking, Jun Xiaomo immediately slapped a Windsail Talisman on her body and shot straight into the forest.

This fella!!

The veins on Ye Xiuwen’s forehead immediately bulged out and throbbed. Then, in the very next moment, he picked up Qin Shanshan’s identity token and followed her straight into the forest.

On the other side, as the Dawn Sect disciples walked on, they began to realize that Qin Shanshan and Jun Ziwen were not following them. They turned back and looked behind them a few times, only to find out that the path behind them appeared completely empty; and not a single person could be seen, even in the distance.

“That…martial brother Qin, martial sister Qin seems to be lagging behind. Should we wait a little while for them?” One of the other disciples asked Qin Lingyu.

Qin Lingyu paused in his steps and deliberated for a moment, before responding, “Alright then. Let’s wait for a moment. I wonder why they’re dallying about behind.”

Even though he spoke with a slightly impatient tone of voice, his face had a concerned expression plastered all over it.

The Dawn Sect disciples couldn’t help but sigh in resignation – Martial brother Qin is always treating his sister Qin Shanshan so well. It’s amazing that he hasn’t complained about her attitude and behaviour a single time. If anyone of us here had been given such a willful and spoilt little sister, our heart would have been overwhelmed with frustration by now.

Over the last few days, their admiration for Qin Lingyu’s patience and personality had only continued to grow, and they felt that Qin Lingyu was a caring and protective brother, concerned for his younger sister. On the other hand, they sincerely viewed Qin Shanshan as a martial sister that was far too willful and headstrong, and she was simply unappreciative of the treasure of a brother she possessed.

A bright gleam flashed across the depths of Qin Lingyu’s eyes, and he quickly shut his eyes, concealing it from the rest of the disciples.

Heh. It’s not going to be too long before we hear news that Jun Ziwen has been trapped in the Sect’s protective formation array…

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