Chapter 283: Ye Xiuwen Throws Himself into the Fray

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

The Dawn Sect’s protective formation array was first established by a well-renown array master many years back. Back then, the array master had left with his remuneration as soon as he was done setting up the entire protective formation array he had been commissioned to, leaving the Dawn Sect’s Sect Leader and Sect Elders with only the method for deactivating and reactivating the formation array

Several hundred years have passed since then, and the Dawn Sect had continued to use the same protective formation array to date. Whenever the Sect Leaders or Sect Elders handed the mantle of authority to their successors, they would in a similar fashion also hand over the know-how to deactivating and reactivating the formation array. This was to enable their successors to prevent or mitigate incidents like the one that had occurred today, when Dawn Sect disciples unwittingly stumbled into and get trapped within its protective formation array.

Since it was a massive formation array, the method to deactivate and reactivate the formation array was naturally not simple. He Zhang and the other Sect Elders each retrieved a scroll from their own Interspatial Rings, opened them up and began to piece them together.

Then, He Zhang placed his palm on the center of the opened scrolls and began to recite an ancient mnemonic. An intense, bright light shone, and the scrolls melded into each other, forming a massive diagram. It was only at this moment that everyone realized what the scrolls had just become.

As it turns out, it was only when the individual scrolls were combined together would it become a massive formation diagram that was filled with complex inscriptions and lines drawn all over it.

In fact, the formation diagram was so complex that it dazzled the eye! How could an array master possibly think about and process all these details?! The Dawn Sect disciples couldn’t help but exclaim in their hearts.

As soon as the formation diagram was complete, He Zhang turned once again to Qin Lingyu and asked, “Lingyu, do you have anything with you belonging to Shanshan? It’s fine as long as it carries Shanshan’s lingering aura on it.”

Qin Lingyu was slightly taken aback by the sudden question. As soon as he came to his senses, he began to rummage through his Interspatial Ring.

In the end, apart from the Origin Locket, he could not locate a single other object that bore Qin Shanshan’s aura. It couldn’t be helped – he did not consider Qin Shanshan a dear sister of his to begin with.

After a moment’s hesitation, he retrieved the Origin Locket and handed it to He Zhang.

“Origin Locket?” After receiving it, He Zhang reflexively weighed it in his hands.

“That’s right. It’s an Origin Locket. This was something that our parents had left to us. Shanshan has one, and I’ve got one as well. My Origin Locket is with Shanshan, while Shanshan’s Origin Locket is with me. Our parents had intended for us to support and help each other in our path of cultivation.” Qin Lingyu explained to He Zhang.

He Zhang nodded his head, acknowledging Qin Lingyu’s explanation. The Origin Locket were not a spectacular treasure in any event, and he was hardly interested in learning any more about it.

That said, he did notice some slight cracks on the surface of the Origin Locket that he had just been handed, and a strange thought flickered across his mind.

After deliberating for a moment, He Zhang shelved his thoughts and placed the Origin Locket at the heart of the formation diagram anyway. Then, together with the other Sect Elders, they each took their position at five different spots around the formation diagram.

It had to be mentioned that this formation diagram did not represent the entire protective formation array. After all, the Dawn Sect’s protective formation array was set up across the entire forest surrounding the Dawn Sect, while the formation diagram merely represented the key to deactivating and reactivating the entire formation array.

In fact, He Zhang did not intend to completely deactivate the entire protective formation array. With Jun Linxuan and the other members of the Heavenly Peak prowling about in the dark and scrutinizing the Dawn Sect’s movements with their watchful eyes, it was imprudent, to say the least, to deactivate the entire protective formation array just so that they could rescue a single disciple of the Sect. They could not risk presenting Jun Linxuan and the members of the Heavenly Peak such a prime opportunity for them to slip into the Dawn Sect just like that.

That said, there was another way that could allow them to rescue Qin Shanshan apart from shutting down the entire protective formation array – with this formation diagram, they were empowered to open a path between the formation array’s domain and the outside world, and make that path available to a specific, select person. This was also why they needed an artefact with Qin Shanshan’s aura on it.

Thus, He Zhang and the other Sect Elders began to circulate their spiritual energy and send it straight into the formation diagram. They even began to mutter in unison some ancient mnemonic as they continued to do so.

One incense stick of time passed…two incense sticks of time passed…three incense sticks of time passed…gradually, large beads of sweat began to form on the foreheads of He Zhang and the other Sect Elders. Yet despite all of that, the formation diagram remained completely still and showed no signs of change.

The Dawn Sect disciples who were standing some distance away began to exchange nervous glances as they thought to themselves – Is this really working?

Approximately one hour later, He Zhang and the other Sect Elders opened their eyes ferociously and furrowed their brows as they adjusted their spiritual energies once more.

“Master, how was it?” Qin Lingyu ran over and inquired for updates.

“Something’s not right.” He Zhang furrowed his brows.

“What do you mean?” Qin Lingyu’s heart began to roil with intense emotions as a grave premonition surfaced in his mind.

“Earlier, your master and the other Sect Elders had attempted to open a path in the heart of the formation array so that your sister could leave the domain of the formation array and return to the outside world. However, despite searching for an hour, we’d not been able to locate a single trace of your sister in the formation array. Are you certain that this Origin Locket belongs to your sister?”

“How could this be…this is indeed Shanshan’s Origin Locket. I’ve got one, while Shanshan’s got one as well. There’s no mistake about it.” Qin Lingyu spoke affirmatively.

After hesitating for a moment, a thought struck him, and Qin Lingyu supplemented his earlier response, “Master, Shanshan did encounter a strange incident during her earlier travels, and there were some peculiar changes to her Origin Locket as a result. I wonder if that’s got anything to do with this?”

“Are you talking about the cracks on your sister’s Origin Locket?” He Zhang picked up the Origin Locket and took a closer examination on it.

“It’s exactly that. There’s also the Origin Locket’s luster, which has also faded substantially. Master, do you know what might have caused all these changes to the Origin Locket?”

“Your master doesn’t have a very deep understanding of the way Origin Lockets work. However, I do vaguely recall hearing that these symptoms will surface on an Origin Locket if its owner suffers grievous injuries or gets embroiled in a scheme.”

“Embroiled in a scheme?! Does this mean that back when Shanshan was trapped in the peculiar part of the wilderness without any means of leaving that place, she might well have been plotted against there and then?!” Qin Lingyu gritted his teeth as he exclaimed, “It could very well have something to do with the man who has been travelling together with her!” As he finished speaking, he turned around, intending to demand an answer from Ye Xiuwen. In the end…

“Where’s he?! Where has Jun Ziwen gone?!” Qin Lingyu bellowed at the rest of the Dawn Sect disciples. However, after exchanging sheepish glances, the Dawn Sect disciples all lowered their heads as they grew taciturn.

They had earlier been so entranced by the formation diagram that none of them even realized that Jun Ziwen had already disappeared.

“I knew that this man had ulterior motives for following us back to the Dawn Sect! That’s just great! He might have made use of the fact that everyone was distracted earlier to slip into the innermost part of the Sect right now!” Qin Lingyu exploded with fury. He wanted nothing more than to ventilate all of his anger and frustrations on Jun Ziwen right now.

If not for Jun Ziwen, his stupid sister would not have been trapped within the Dawn Sect’s protective formation array right now.

“Lingyu, calm yourself down. So what if he’s slipped into the innermost part of the Sect? He’s just a single person. Do you think he’d be able to cause any chaos on his own?” He Zhang calmly explained, “Ah Cheng.”

“Yes, Sect Leader.” One of the Dawn Sect disciples immediately ran over and bowed obsequiously to He Zhang.

“Take the other Dawn Sect disciples and head back to the Sect first. There, I want you to relay my instructions to everyone to comb through every part of the Sect and see if there are any suspicious persons who had infiltrated the Sect. Give particular attention to the innermost parts of the Sect.”

“Yes, Sect Leader.” The disciple who had just received his instructions immediately led the rest of the disciples as they hurried on their way back to the Sect.

As soon as the other disciples left, He Zhang once again turned his attention to Qin Lingyu. As soon as he noticed Qin Lingyu’s tightly knit brows, he patted Qin Lingyu’s shoulder.

“Don’t worry. Your sister’s Origin Locket appears to be fine. This proves that she’s not encountered any life-threatening situation within the protective formation array just yet. Your master still has other methods of bringing her out. Don’t be too anxious.”

“Master has other methods?!” Qin Lingyu’s heart instantly leapt with joy as his spirits perked up once more.

“To be exact, master has one other method, but this method would require disciple’s cooperation.”

“That’s not an issue. What does master need disciple to do?”

“Master can create a safe passage and send you into the formation array. Once you locate your sister, you’ll bring her out from the same way which you had come from.”

Qin Lingyu was slightly taken aback by the suggestion, and some measure of hesitation surfaced in his heart – even if He Zhang had given his assurance that the passage would be safe, he was still going to enter the formation array. Furthermore, none of the Sect Elders present were experts in the discipline of formation arrays, so how would he have any assurances that there would not be any unforeseen circumstances or incidents occurring within the formation array?

After all, weren’t they unable to locate Qin Shanshan earlier? What would happen if he entered the formation array, an unforeseen circumstance or incident occurs, and it turns out that he could no longer leave the formation array?

The hesitance in Qin Lingyu’s eyes did not escape He Zhang’s keen gaze. However, He Zhang was hardly anxious at all. After all, he could hardly care less whether Qin Shanshan lived or died. He had only been pretending to be concerned because she was his disciple’s sister.

After deliberating for some time, Qin Lingyu steeled his resolve and made up his mind – High risk, high reward. Compared with the potential risks and dangers within the protective formation array, the prospects of securing the key to the Arcane Realm is far more important. If Qin Shanshan perishes within the formation array right now, all of my plans would have gone to waste.

After thinking things through, Qin Lingyu turned to He Zhang and nodded his head resolutely, “Master, I’ve thought about it. Let’s do as you’ve suggested. Shanshan is my sister after all. I can’t sit idly by and allow her to die like that.”

As Qin Lingyu spoke, he made certain to reveal a sorrowful and pained expression on his face, as though he were incredibly concerned about Qin Shanshan’s safety.

He Zhang sighed as he patted Qin Lingyu’s shoulder once more, “Sigh, disciple. I’ve always said that you possess far too much emotional baggage. Since you’ve already made up my mind, then let master do all he can to lend you a hand.”

As He Zhang spoke, he made a grabbing motion in the air, and Qin Lingyu felt a strong wind rush past his head. In the next moment, several strands of his hair landed on He Zhang’s hand.

“Since I’m going to open a path for disciple, it’s important to hang onto something with your aura on it. This is why master has taken a few strands of your hair. If disciple thinks that this amount of insurance isn’t sufficient, you can leave something else behind for master’s safekeeping.”

Qin Lingyu treasured his own life more than anything, and he was more than willing to go out of his way to preserve his own life and safety.

Thus, he immediately retrieved his identity token from his Interspatial Ring and handed it to He Zhang as he queried, “Master, would this be enough?”

“This is the best, since it possesses a drop of your blood over and above its strong retention of your aura.” He Zhang nodded his head, before setting Qin Lingyu’s identity token, together with his hair, onto the heart of the formation array.

Then, He Zhang and the other Sect Elders began to circulate their spiritual energy and direct it into the formation diagram once more. As they increased the amount of spiritual energy suffused through the formation diagram, it began to float into the air and spin slowly.

Moments later, a rift suddenly opened up in front of Qin Lingyu. The domain within the rift comprised of scenery that seemed to stretch on endlessly into the horizon that was completely different from the surroundings within the forest.

Qin Lingyu clenched his fists and drew a deep breath. Then, with immense indignation and frustration directed at Qin Shanshan, he walked straight into the rift.

As soon as I locate this disobedient sister of mine, I’m most certainly going to give her a good fixing up!

After Qin Lingyu stepped into the rift, it immediately closed up. However, the formation diagram continued to hover in mid-air as it spun slowly…

On the other side, mistaken by everyone to have entered the innermost part of the Sect, Ye Xiuwen had just found his way back into the heart of the forest. There, he scrambled to search for any traces of “Qin Shanshan” who had vanished just like that.

As he released his divine sense, Ye Xiuwen discovered that “Qin Shanshan’s” aura seemed to have vanished in a particular location.

After searching about its vicinity for a bit to no avail, Ye Xiuwen deliberated for a moment, before retrieving Qin Shanshan’s identity token.

It was this token that enabled him to avoid the snare of the Dawn Sect’s protective formation array, allowing him to enter these forests to begin with.

He knew that if he continued to hold onto Qin Shanshan’s identity token, he would never be able to ascertain “Qin Shanshan’s” whereabouts. After all, “Qin Shanshan” was holding onto an identity token that had been tampered with, and it was more likely than not that she was already trapped within the Sect’s protective formation array by now.

Having thought about these things, he opened up his palm and flipped it around, and the identity token on his palm fell onto the ground.

As soon as he dropped the identity token, Ye Xiuwen saw a thick, roiling fog begin to rise and enter his field of vision. Slowly but surely, the fog grew thicker and thicker…

Ye Xiuwen knew that the protective formation array had already begun to draw him into its domain.

He knew that this was an incredibly risky and potentially even dangerous move to make. However, he simply couldn’t stand by idly as “Qin Shanshan” remained trapped within the protective formation array.

After all, his abilities were slightly stronger than “Qin Shanshan’s” abilities. If they cooperated, they should have a better chance against the formation array, right?

With such thoughts in mind, Ye Xiuwen found his way into the Sect’s protective formation array.

Having spent the better part of the last hour or two on her “refurbishments” to the Sect’s protective formation array, Jun Xiaomo sat, resting on the ground within the domain of the formation array. She intended to stay there for a little while longer before returning to the physical world.

During this time, she knew that she would have to come up with a reasonable explanation why she managed to escape the protective formation array’s entrapment so that she could quell any suspicions from the Dawn Sect disciples. Otherwise, they might begin to point fingers at her.

Jun Xiaomo sat cross-legged on the ground and began to play a tune on a blade of grass. If the others who had been searching high and low for Qin Shanshan saw her idle and relaxed expression right now, they might very possibly spit out a mouthful of blood in rage.

Jun Xiaomo was seated on the heart of the formation array right now.

Even though Jun Xiaomo appeared to be idling about, the truth of the matter was that she was observing everything that was happening within the formation array’s domain through the heart of the formation array right now.

She had already modified the formation array to serve her own purposes. In other words, as long as she remained at the heart of the formation array, the entire protective formation array would be under her control. Thus, she had not spared any expenses when she sacrificed a considerable amount of valuable resources within her Interspatial Ring to make modifications to the protective formation array.

She firmly believed that it would all be worth it. After all, the sly old foxes within the Dawn Sect had always held the firm belief that the Sect’s protective formation array was an impregnable fortress keeping out any dangers. If they wake up one day and discover to their horror that all of the disciples of the Dawn Sect had been trapped within the Sect’s protective formation array…

Jun Xiaomo’s lips curled up with a wicked smile. She eagerly anticipated the arrival of that day.

Just then, she discovered that another person had just entered the formation array. In fact, it was not just a single person!

Jun Xiaomo squinted her eyes and as she wondered – I wonder if the intruders are friend or foe?

As she mulled over her question, Jun Xiaomo began to release her divine sense. Under the amplification of the heart of the formation array, she could very clearly “see” the two figures that had just entered the formation array –

One was Jun Ziwen, while the other was Qin Lingyu.

Interesting…interesting… Jun Xiaomo raised an eyebrow as she mischievously rubbed her chin. Who would have expected both of them to enter the formation array at the same time? From the looks on their faces, it was evident that they had both come looking for her.

In fact, she had somewhat expected Jun Ziwen to come chasing after her like that. After all, she could tell that Jun Ziwen was a virtuous man of principle, and he was most certainly not the sort to live on while others sacrificed their lives for him.

As for Qin Lingyu…Jun Xiaomo found it slightly puzzling why he would do this. After all, she could tell that there was hardly any care or concern for Qin Shanshan within Qin Lingyu’s heart. However, Qin Lingyu’s actions had time and again suggested otherwise.

Thus, Jun Xiaomo found Qin Lingyu’s uncharacteristic actions extremely puzzling and bewildering.

Forget it. I should make my appearance known for now. At the very least, I can’t let Jun Ziwen continue to worry over my safety.

Jun Xiaomo stood up and dusted the dirt and grass off her palms before leaving the heart of the formation array as she slowly made her way towards where Ye Xiuwen was located.

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