Chapter 286: Qin Lingyu Gets Frightened and Faints

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Qin Lingyu was truly on the brink of going mad. Anyone would go mad if he had craved something for an immeasurably long time before finally obtaining it, yet only to witness it vanish in smoke in the very next instant.

Where was Qin Lingyu’s suave and dignified appearance right now? His eyes were bloodshot, akin to a wild beast thrashing about after discovering that it had been trapped. He was scrambling about, looking for the formation diagram that had disappeared just like that. If there was anyone else who did not know the cause for his rage around right now, they might even suggest that he was experiencing a demonic upheaval.

In fact, the demons in his heart were indeed on the brink of tipping Qin Lingyu over the precipice and into the abyss of a demonic upheaval.

Jun Xiaomo chuckled coldly, and she flicked her sleeves from the tree. Instantly, some gold-coloured powder gently drifted down and landed on Qin Lingyu’s body.

Under the effects of the gold-coloured powder, Qin Lingyu began to calm down and compose himself once more.

That said, Jun Xiaomo had not done this for Qin Lingyu’s good. The only reason why she had lent Qin Lingyu a helping hand to compose himself and pull himself back from the abyss of a demonic upheaval was only so that he could retain his clarity of mind to relish the far more fearsome and dreadful incidents to come.

Once he managed to recompose himself, Qin Lingyu discovered that the white fog around him had once again thickened substantially, and he immediately discovered that something was wrong. However, before he could put a finger on it, an earsplitting beast’s roar rang out just beside his ear - ROAR!!!

In the instant that the cry rang out, the surroundings trembled. Qin Lingyu’s head throbbed and his eyes spun. He felt as though something had hammered directly on his brain several times, and his eardrums began to ring. It was as though a wave of stupefaction had swept over and suffused through his entire being.

Just then, a sharp wind seemed to sweep straight towards him, and Qin Lingyu reflexively twisted his body and dodged a potentially fatal strike from this mysterious force.

As soon as he regained his footing, he immediately shook his head vigorously as he attempted to shake off the stupor. Then, as soon as he lifted his head, he saw an incredible astonishing and dreadful sight – a spirit beast that was eight-storeys high, almost akin to a small mountain, stood squarely in front of him, staring at him with an intent look to devour as saliva dribbled from the orifice where its mouth seemed to be.

Each of its clear, yellow eyes were larger than Qin Lingyu’s entire body. When they gazed transfixed at Qin Lingyu’s body, it sent chills down his spine – particularly when he did not know what kind of creature this was to begin with. His knees buckled, and he collapsed onto the floor like a coward.

ROAR!! The monster bellowed again. Then, it opened its mouth wide as though it was about to swallow Qin Lingyu’s entire being with one massive gulp in the very next moment.

Qin Lingyu’s pupils constricted. He could no longer care less about the key to his Arcane Realm right now. He turned around and scrambled for a retreat desperately, while the strange-looking spirit beast continued to pursue him relentlessly, swiping at him from time to time, sending a shower of dust and dirt over his body. Even his hair had been swept and tussled about into an incredibly disheveled state.

However, if anyone else were present right now, they would quickly discover a strange phenomenon – despite the fact that Qin Lingyu appeared to be running furiously, and the spirit beast appeared to be chasing fervently, they were nevertheless unable to leave the domain of the Pentastar Array hovering overhead.

From the look of things right now, both Qin Lingyu and the spirit beast appeared to be bound within the domain of the Pentastar Array, and the resultant sight was incredibly peculiar from the perspective of onlookers – slightly tragic, but mostly comical.

Jun Xiaomo laughed so much that she was practically in tears and rolling over. If not for the fact that Ye Xiuwen had supported her by her shoulders, she might very well have fallen off the tall tree!

Although Ye Xiuwen was much calmer and steadfast than Jun Xiaomo was right now, he was unable to suppress a little smile from creeping up the corner of his lips either.

“What kind of a creature is that? Why does it look so peculiar?”

Ye Xiuwen had seen innumerable several spirit and demonic beasts during his time in the Death’s Gorge. That said, after taking a closer and more thorough examination of the spirit beast chasing Qin Lingyu, he ascertained that this was a spirit beast which he had never seen before.

“This spirit beast? Its name is ‘Illusory Fiend’, and it’s a spirit beast that can only live within an illusion created by a formation array. It will die as soon as it leaves the formation array.” Jun Xiaomo smiled as she explained.

“There’s such a thing?” Ye Xiuwen had just learnt something new.

Jun Xiaomo floated a glance towards Qin Lingyu as she smirked proudly, “But of course. There are so many strange and peculiar things in this vast world out there; it’s quite a normal thing not to have heard about these creatures. Have you heard of the Night Mare? It’s a spirit beast that latches onto a cultivator through his dreams to absorb his spiritual energy and vitality. Those who find themselves haunted and entrapped by Night Mares would invariably find themselves lethargic and weary throughout the entire day. If the problem is allowed to persist, the cultivator might experience a drop in his cultivation level, or even die.”

Ye Xiuwen found it remarkable that “Qin Shanshan” was so knowledgeable, and he couldn’t help but remark, “It’s amazing just how much Miss Tong knows; even your grasp of formation arrays and talismans are incredible. I imagine it mustn’t have been an easy road learning about these things, right?”

“But of course. This lady has trained in her master’s formation array for well over three hundred years. Wouldn’t I naturally be formidable after such a long, arduous training?” Jun Xiaomo lifted her chin as she boasted of her achievements proudly.

Ye Xiuwen: ……

Three hundred years… He had thought that this lady before him was but a young lady. Who would have thought that their respective age differed by one entire digit?

For some strange reason, Jun Xiaomo understood what Ye Xiuwen’s peculiar expression meant. She coughed dryly and pointed back at Qin Lingyu sheepishly, “Let’s continue watching the show instead. He’s putting on a good showing, huh? Hahaha…”

Jun Xiaomo continued to chuckle in a rather contrived manner. That said, she managed to shift Ye Xiuwen’s attention away from his astonishment at the revelation of her age.

On the other side, a little while after He Zhang and the Sect Elders sent Qin Lingyu into the Sect’s protective formation array, they also began to discover that something was wrong.

Logically speaking, once Qin Lingyu enters the Sect’s protective formation array, his location in the formation array would show up via an indicator on the formation diagram in front of the Sect Leader and all of the Sect Elders. However, no matter how hard they looked, they could not locate a single trace of this indicator at all.

In fact, when He Zhang attempted to use his special Transmittance Talisman to communicate with Qin Lingyu several times, his efforts were entirely in vain, and all of his messages elicited no response at all.

It was as though Qin Lingyu had just vanished within the Sect’s protective formation array. Put differently, Qin Lingyu might very well have become trapped within the formation array.

He Zhang furrowed his brows. Qin Lingyu was his First-Seat Disciple that he had so painstakingly groomed and nurtured, and he possessed the potential to succeed He Zhang as the next Sect Leader. How could he afford to allow Qin Lingyu to encounter such a tragic incident like that? It would be too much of a waste if Qin Lingyu perished here and now.

The Dawn Sect’s Grand Elder looked at the formation diagram meaningfully, before he finally spoke up and made his conjectures known, “I’m afraid that…our Sect’s protective formation array has been altered by someone.”

“What?! How is that possible? Who would possess such abilities to alter our Sect’s protective formation array?!” The Fifth Elder was the most hot-tempered one among all of them, and his eyes instantly widened with disbelief.

“I can’t be sure of that…but I’d only made such a conjecture because I can’t think of any other possibility apart from that.” The Grand Elder spoke with an enigmatic look on his face.

“This…then shall we contact and consult the array master who set up this formation array for us right from the onset?” The Fifth Elder scratched his head and furrowed his brows as he suggested.

“It’s already been several hundred years; how can we possibly locate him anymore?” The Second Elder replied with a somber expression on his face.

“Then, what do we do?”

“The only thing we can do right now is to see if there’s any array master in the vicinity that we can get in touch with, and let’s hope that they’re willing to make the trip down to have a look.” The Grand Elder sighed in resignation.

Just as the Dawn Sect’s Sect Leader and Sect Elders were discussing which array master they could potentially call upon, Jun Xiaomo was also just about done with teasing Qin Lingyu.

That’s right – teasing. Jun Xiaomo had never intended to kill Qin Lingyu to begin with. After all, if He Zhang’s First-Seat Disciple were to perish within the Sect’s protective formation array, he would most certainly seek out and investigate any suspicious persons in his rage. In turn, she would find it far more difficult to move about in the dark and carry out her plans.

Thus, from the onset, she had only intended to let Qin Lingyu experience some hardship and “savour” the feeling of being at his wits’ end.

That said, it would be quite uncharacteristic of Jun Xiaomo to simply allow Qin Lingyu to return completely unharmed. So, she clapped her hands, and the spirit beast that had been chasing and toying with Qin Lingyu immediately pounced onto him, opened its mouth and bit down ferociously upon Qin Lingyu’s shoulder.

“Arrgghhhh!” Qin Lingyu cried out in pain, and his neck stiffened. Under the confluence of his intense fear, anxiety and excruciating pain, Qin Lingyu finally passed out.

Roar! The spirit beast released Qin Lingyu, tilted its head and blinked its eyes as though it was curious why Qin Lingyu was suddenly rendered completely motionless.

As Ye Xiuwen observed the actions of the Illusory Fiend, it suddenly dawned upon him that the ferocious and vicious looking spirit beast appeared to…possess some human-like features as well?

Jun Xiaomo chuckled. With one leap, she hopped off the tallest branch of the tree. Ye Xiuwen looked at her in horror. Just as he was about to reach out and attempt to grab hold of her, he realized that she had already landed safely on the floor.

With a skip in her step, Jun Xiaomo made her way over to where Qin Lingyu was. Seeing this, Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows and followed her as well.

Roar! As soon as it noticed Jun Xiaomo’s approach, the Illusory Fiend roared and pounced straight towards her. Ye Xiuwen’s spirits immediately tensed up. Just as he was about to step in front of Jun Xiaomo to protect her, Jun Xiaomo calmly patted his shoulder and shook her head, tacitly assuring him that there was no need to be so anxious.

In the next moment, the Illusory Fiend leapt onto Jun Xiaomo and both of them collapsed onto the floor. Then, it used its massive, furry head and began to nuzzle against Jun Xiaomo’s body as it purred.

“Good boy, good boy!” Jun Xiaomo stroked its head in response, causing the Illusory Fiend to become even more excited.

“This is…” Ye Xiuwen walked towards the peculiar sight in shock. On the other hand, Jun Xiaomo turned around and smiled radiantly as she explained, “This Illusory Fiend is something that I had personally brought up! I call him ‘Little Illu’.”

Ye Xiuwen once again sized up the towering creature that was almost eight-storeys tall as he echoed with some measure of exasperation, “Little Illu?”

He had particularly emphasized the word “little”.

Jun Xiaomo coughed twice dryly as she retorted, “It likes to be called that anyhow! Isn’t that right, Little Illu?” Jun Xiaomo rubbed the Illusory Fiend’s ears, causing it to purr in delight. Then, as though it were responding to Jun Xiaomo’s earlier question, it roared obsequiously – Roar!

“Good boy~~” Jun Xiaomo patted its head once more.

“Oh yes, didn’t Miss Tong say that the Illusory Fiend can only survive within an illusion?” Ye Xiuwen looked at the Illusory Fiend on Jun Xiaomo’s body that was behaving like a large dog as he asked curiously.

“Uh-huh. That’s why I’d created a cage using an illusion-generating formation array before calling him out.” Jun Xiaomo stroked Little Illu’s head as she responded placidly.

“Illusion-generating formation arrays can be used as cages as well?” Ye Xiuwen had begun to realize the extent of his ignorance in front of “Qin Shanshan” right now.

However, “Qin Shanshan’s” age and experience were a form of consolation to him – they were almost three hundred years of age apart after all.

Jun Xiaomo lifted her head and looked at Jun Ziwen once more as she quipped, “What’s so strange about that? There are countless other creative ways that formation arrays can be used. Learn well, young man.”

As Jun Xiaomo exclaimed, she stood up, extended an arm and patted Ye Xiuwen’s arm as a senior would to a junior.

In fact, she had intended to pat Ye Xiuwen’s shoulder. Unfortunately, given how tall Ye Xiuwen was, she was unable to reach it, and she could thus only settle for the arm.

Ye Xiuwen was slightly taken aback by her serious attitude. Moments later, he lowered his head, not knowing whether to laugh or cry in response as he uttered, “Alright, alright. Thanks for the enlightenment.”

“Tch. This child is worth teaching.” Jun Xiaomo nodded her head before clapping her hands, adding, “Alright, it’s about time to clean up the mess. We can’t leave such a large man lying here, blocking the way.” As she finished speaking, she began to make a series of hand seals as she mouthed some mnemonics on her lips.

The Illusory Fiend stood up and howled again before rubbing its face on Jun Xiaomo’s arms in an endearing manner. Moments later, a bright blue light flashed intensely, and the five talismans that were floating overhead in mid-air once again returned to Jun Xiaomo’s hands. At the same time, the Illusory Fiend vanished into thin air.

“Could it be that the Illusory Fiend is living within those five talismans?” Ye Xiuwen questioned out of curiosity.

Jun Xiaomo lifted a finger and wagged it in response, “No-no. Those talismans only serve to provide it with some nutrients. It’s currently living within my Interspatial Ring.”

“Living within your Interspatial Ring?!”

“That’s right. It’s simple. You can do it as long as you draw an illusion-generating formation array within the Interspatial Ring.” Jun Xiaomo responded placidly with a matter-of-factly voice, making it sound like something as simple and ubiquitous like having a meal.

Ye Xiuwen was momentarily rendered speechless. The extent of his ignorance was growing ever more stark right now, and he couldn’t help but wonder whether everyone who had lived for over three hundred years would possess the same level of insights and experience that “Qin Shanshan” possessed, or whether this was something particular to array masters of her age.

If he learns that the age of “Qin Shanshan’s” soul were far more than just three-hundred years-old, perhaps his reaction might be quite different from what it was now.

Just then, Jun Xiaomo squatted down, stretched out her finger and began to poke and prod at Qin Lingyu.

“Ungh…” Qin Lingyu groaned. He was still lying on the ground when he finally awakened to waves after waves of excruciating pain.

Jun Xiaomo was currently prodding the wound on his shoulder.

As soon as Qin Lingyu began to stir, Jun Xiaomo immediately retracted her finger and plastered an innocent look on her face as she stared at Qin Lingyu.

The first thing that entered Qin Lingyu’s field of vision was a blurry pink figure. Then, after some time, his eyes gradually began to regain some focus, and he finally noticed the identity of the person standing in front of him.

“Qin Shanshan?” Qin Lingyu was momentarily taken aback. His gaze suddenly grew sharp and frigid as he exclaimed, “You’re Qin Shanshan?!”

Anyone who had just witnessed a person “die” before his very eyes would most certainly get chills down his back if he sees that same person alive and kicking in front of him in the very next moment. This was exactly what Qin Lingyu was experiencing right now.

Jun Xiaomo tilted her head as she responded in a perplexed fashion, “Brother, don’t you recognize me anymore?”

Qin Lingyu’s entire body was aching, while the wound on his shoulder was sending the most excruciating pain echoing throughout his entire body. At the same time, it was this very wound which was testament to the fact that he had not been in a dream earlier.

What in the world is going on? If the earlier monster were real, then what about Qin Shanshan? Haven’t I already killed her? Qin Lingyu’s thoughts were a complete mess right now.

“Brother, what’s the matter? You were already lying here when I discovered you earlier.” Jun Xiaomo lied through her teeth.

“You were the one who found me?”

“More accurately speaking, ‘we’ were the ones who had found you.” Jun Xiaomo sincerely nodded her head.

Qin Lingyu had just realized that “Qin Shanshan” was completely unharmed right now.

“You…you’re alright?” Qin Lingyu reflected once again on how the identity token which was meant to be handed over to Jun Ziwen had been tampered with. If Qin Shanshan had indeed been trapped within the Sect’s protective formation array for such a long time, it didn’t make sense that she was completely unharmed.

Is this person really Qin Shanshan? It wouldn’t be another illusion, would it?

Jun Xiaomo had already noticed the suspicion and hesitance in Qin Lingyu’s eyes. Thus, she lifted her chin and glanced proudly at Ye Xiuwen as she quipped, “Your sister has a knight in shining armor protecting her. Of course she would be alright!”

Qin Lingyu followed “Qin Shanshan’s” line of sight and turned his attention to Jun Ziwen as he stood silently beside “Qin Shanshan”. Instantly, his gaze turned even frostier as he barked, “What are you doing here?!”

Jun Xiaomo immediately stood up and grabbed Ye Xiuwen’s arm as she glared straight back into Qin Lingyu’s eyes, “Brother, why are you being so fierce?! If not for brother Jun, we’d both be dead right now!”

Ye Xiuwen glanced discreetly at “Qin Shanshan” with a peculiar expression in his eyes. He had never expected her to give him all the credit for their “safety” right now.

Jun Xiaomo turned towards Ye Xiuwen and blinked meaningfully at him.

However, Qin Lingyu simply turned a blind eye to their open exchange of meaningful gazes. After all, his heart was filled with inexplicable frustrations and resentment right now. After all, he had come all this way to rescue Qin Shanshan, only to discover that his sister was completely fine, while he, on the other hand, had tarnished his own reputation by fainting in the middle of nowhere.

Qin Lingyu had selectively forgotten his original intention for rescuing Qin Shanshan entirely.

He glared coldly at Ye Xiuwen as he derided, “Hmph. Ridiculous! He’s helped us? Without him, we wouldn’t even be trapped in this formation array to begin with. Everything that has happened today had been caused by this person!”

Qin Lingyu unleashed all of his anxiety and frustrations from the earlier events on Ye Xiuwen. He didn’t find his behaviour unreasonable at all; and he hardly believed that making such allegations would only cause others to lower their assessment of a First-Seat Disciple like him.

Right now, rather than conceding that Jun Ziwen was innocent, he would sincerely rather insist on his perspective, even if that perspective were as unreasonable as insisting that the sun was going to rise from the west tomorrow!

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