Chapter 288: Uninvited Guests at Qin Shanshan’s Abode

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

The news of Qin Shanshan bringing a handsome, charming man back with her from her travels spread like wildfire across the entire Sect. Over the next few days, whenever and wherever “Qin Shanshan” walked around within the Sect, she could feel countless looks of all sorts landing on her, some of which were investigative, while others were filled with admiration and jealousy.

In fact, the ones jealous of Qin Shanshan even comprised some of her martial sisters-cum-friends who were generally on closer terms with Qin Shanshan. Even though they hadn’t seen the physical appearances of the man that Qin Shanshan had brought back, they could tell from the other martial brothers who had travelled out of the Sect together with Qin Shanshan that this man was even more handsome and charming than Qin Shanshan’s brother, Qin Lingyu. Furthermore, they had even described the depth of his strength and potential to be immeasurable – he was a person that none of the disciples could afford to offend.

With this, Qin Shanshan could be said to be at the heart and core of everyone’s envy right now. To begin with, she had already possessed a formidable biological brother who might very well be the successor of the entire Dawn Sect in future. And now, she had even been able to win the heart of a man even more powerful than her brother. With Qin Shanshan’s rotten personality and character, just how many stars had to be aligned for such an incredibly fortuitous turn of events to occur to her?

Thus, having heard all about the mysterious man, Qin Shanshan’s friends grew increasingly curious about just what this man looked like. After restraining themselves for several days, they could no longer hold back their curiosity any longer, and they gathered together and began to make their way towards Qin Shanshan’s abode.

They had also learnt that Qin Shanshan’s lover was cohabiting with Qin Shanshan at her abode.

After successfully entering the Dawn Sect, Ye Xiuwen had laid low over the next few days. He was not in any hurry to learn more about the situation within the Sect’s forbidden grounds. After all, he knew that the Dawn Sect’s upper echelons were incredibly vigilant against him, and they were probably scrutinizing his every move. Therefore, a single slip up on his part could very well expose his identity and foil his plans – everything he had done to date would have been completely in vain.

Thus, he had temporarily chosen to remain within Qin Shanshan’s abode, cultivating and honing his skills while he bided his time and devised a strategy to slip into the Sect’s forbidden grounds without being noticed.

As for “Qin Shanshan”, Ye Xiuwen had noticed that this lady had been incredibly elusive ever since returning to the Sect. Every day, she would leave her abode early in the morning, only to return late at night, bringing back a faint and musky scent of dirt with her.

Truth be told, his interaction with “Qin Shanshan” over the last few days had been far scarcer than those days while he was travelling out in the wilderness with her. After all, they each had their own agendas after successfully returning to the Dawn Sect.

Despite living under one roof with “Qin Shanshan” now, they had always been under the tacit understanding that they would never interfere nor stand in the way of the other’s objectives and goals. This was because there was a mutual understanding between them that neither of them was able to fully trust the other with the full details to their plans yet, even after working with each other for some time now. At best, they were but friends with a common goal in certain respects. That said, neither of them was ready to disclose the extent of their responsibilities or any of their personal secrets to each other just yet.

“Is this the place? It’s been so long since I’ve last been here, that I’ve even begun to forget where Qin Shanshan’s abode is.” A sweet and delicate voice resounded in front of Qin Shanshan’s abode. Another female disciple with a slightly more curt and candid tone of voice responded, “This is unmistakably her abode.”

Shortly after their exchange, the group of female disciples dressed in pink stepped through Qin Shanshan’s gate and strode brazenly into her abode.

They were on pretty good terms with Qin Shanshan in the past; and inviting themselves into her abode was something that they had regularly done in the past. Unfortunately, ever since Qin Shanshan’s return from her expedition outside the Sect, she had neither sought out nor caught up with her friends. Thus, these friends of hers had only learnt the news of these juicy developments with Qin Shanshan’s life from the other martial brothers who had travelled together with Qin Shanshan on the expedition.

“Where’s Shanshan?” The female disciple with the sweet and delicate voice quipped.

“Who knows? Perhaps she’s too busy exchanging sweet nothings with her lover in their room right now.” Another voice that was filled with strong undertones of jealousy chimed in.

“That can’t be it. Their room’s door is still open. They should be outside.”

“Perhaps they’re in the backyard? Let’s go there and take a look.” This final statement was made by the tallest female disciple among the group of martial sisters that had just entered Qin Shanshan’s abode. She also appeared to be the most cool-headed and rational one among all of them.

Everyone found her conjectures reasonable. Thus, they began to make their way around Qin Shanshan’s abode and to her backyard. None of them felt that their act of trespassing and entering Qin Shanshan’s abode uninvited was impolite at all.

Ye Xiuwen was busy practicing his sword arts in the backyard of Qin Shanshan’s abode. His habit of waking up early every morning to practice his sword harts was already deeply etched into his bones. This was something that he had done every day, without fail – even after he had fallen into the depths of the Death’s Gorge.

As the group of female disciples drew close to the forest in Qin Shanshan’s backyard, their keen ears immediately began to pick up the swooshing sounds of a blade slicing through the air – it was the sound of someone practicing his sword arts.

After making another turn, their eyes brightened – a figure dressed in green instantly entered their sights.

“How graceful and handsome…” The female disciple with the sweet and delicate voice couldn’t help but exclaim aloud. Even though they were still unable to see the man’s appearances, they were mesmerized by the sight of the man’s clothes fluttering coolly behind his body as he darted about with a sharp, incisive aura, almost as though he were a complete manifestation of the sword.

At this point in time, they wanted more than ever to see what this man’s appearance looked like.

Shk! Shk! Without any warning, several blades congealed by the man’s sword intent came flying directly towards the female disciple with the sweet and delicate voice. As she screamed in fear, she felt her body move as a result of someone tugging at her clothes behind her, and she barely managed to avoid the man’s attack.

If not for the quick reflexes of the tallest female disciple in the group, the female disciple with the sweet, delicate voice would no longer have her right arm at this moment.

“Who are you? Why did you enter this place uninvited?” Ye Xiuwen sheathed his sword as he demanded an explanation.

The man was dressed in green, and his appearances were handsome and suave. The man wearing his sword behind him bore a cool, dignified disposition as he gazed straight at the group of female disciples with his deep, abstruse eyes. In that moment, all of the female disciples found themselves completely dazzled by this man’s perfection.

In fact, these female disciples had each painted in their hearts a picture of what they thought this man which Qin Shanshan brought back with her would look like. However, it was only after they personally saw the man’s appearances that they began to realize how much their imagination was lacking. If this man stood silently and motionless where he was right now, the entire sight before their very eyes would be no different from an exquisite ink painting that brilliantly illustrated the man’s cool disposition in perfect harmony with the nature surrounding him. At the same time, the man would undoubtedly be the focal point of this painting as well.

“That…that…you must be Qin Shanshan’s friend, right?” The female disciple with the sweet, delicate voice looked at Ye Xiuwen bashfully with flushed cheeks.

She knew full well Qin Shanshan’s relationship with this man. However, she still couldn’t bring herself to ask whether he was Qin Shanshan’s cultivation companion. This was because she sincerely believed that a man as outstanding as the one standing in front of her right now could not possibly have fallen for Qin Shanshan, given her willful and untamable behaviour – there must be a mistake or a misunderstanding somewhere.

Ye Xiuwen was no fool, and he knew exactly why this female disciple had reacted in the way she did.

However, he found her shallow behaviour completely laughable. Back when he habitually donned his veiled conical hat, everyone apart from the Heavenly Peak disciples had avoided him like the plague. Back then, he did not even have a single friend outside of the Heavenly Peak, much less any suitors.

Then, after he managed to restore his appearances and rid himself of the scar on his face, he instantly received the advances of suitors who were lining up one after the other just to get close to him. These suitors were undoubtedly only attracted to his looks and appearances.

Truth be told, if not for his little martial sister, he would not even harbour any thoughts of restoring his appearances to begin with. After all, if a person had made advances towards him just because of his external appearances, how much sincerity could that person possibly have?

Thus, no matter how beautiful these potential suitors were, and no matter what they did, they were unable to generate even the slightest ripples of response within Ye Xiuwen’s heart.

He loathed the prospects of a shallow relationship built on external appearances. After all, if his appearances were ruined again in future, he was almost certain that these shallow people would immediately leave and abandon him.

“Shanshan isn’t around. If you’re looking to discuss anything with her, please come back another day.” Ye Xiuwen could hardly be bothered to chat any further with these female disciples. Thus, he flicked his sleeves and turned around, intending to take a stroll elsewhere.

As for this abode, it was Qin Shanshan’s abode to begin with, and it had nothing to do with either him or “Miss Tong”. Thus, he could hardly be bothered if these female disciples were to stay on and make themselves at home completely uninvited. After all, there was nothing secretive for them to discover to begin with.

“Hey, hold on a minute.” The female disciple with a sweet, delicate voice had not expected Ye Xiuwen to be so cold and distant. Filled with disappointment, she quickly called out to Ye Xiuwen once more.

Ye Xiuwen paused in his steps and looked back at the female disciple. There was only nonchalance in his eyes.

“That…Could I at least know your name?” The female disciple was still flushed with embarrassment as she asked.

“Jun Ziwen.”

“So your name is Jun Ziwen. This name suits you well…Then, my name is Du Zhulan, and these others around me are my martial sisters. We’re all very close to Shanshan. It must be fate that we’ve encountered each other today. Why don’t we make an acquaintance?” Du Zhulan blurted out in one breath. Her watery eyes were ostensibly filled with passion and desire. Anyone unaware of the fact that this was their first encounter with each other would undoubtedly be under the impression that she had already been secretly fond of this man for a long time.

Regrettably, Ye Xiuwen swept a placid glance across at the female disciple as he responded curtly, “I don’t think there’s such a need.”

“Wha--…why?” Du Zhulan’s face immediately became drained of colour, as though her blood had flowed away from her face in a concerted fashion.

Although this female disciple was not as adept with navigating and manipulating human relationships as Yu Wanrou was, she was still considered relatively good in terms of her way with people. After all, she was a young and beautiful female disciple who possessed an exquisite and dainty body, and she even spoke with a soft and sincere tone of voice. Unfortunately, her soft words had met their match when it landed on the wooden block, Ye Xiuwen.

Her eyes immediately reddened around the rims as she murmured with some measure of humiliation, “Why…I only wanted to make an acquaintance with you…”

Du Zhulan’s friends were not used to Ye Xiuwen’s cold and arrogant attitude. Even though Ye Xiuwen’s appearances were suave and handsome, his disposition was far too cold and distant – Who does this man think he is? He’s nothing more than a rogue cultivator with no Sect to call his home. What does he have to be proud or arrogant about?! Thus, one of the female disciples couldn’t take it anymore –

“Hey! I’m talking to you! Do you not even know how to be ‘polite’? All sister Zhulan wanted was to make an acquaintance with you, not demand a pound of flesh from your body. There’s no need to look all haughty, high and mighty with us, as though we’re undeserving of even being acquaintances with you, huh?!”

Ye Xiuwen’s eyes were immediately filled with a frigid intent. To begin with, he was already filled with displeasure against the rest of the Dawn Sect disciples as a result of what had happened to the Heavenly Peak over the last few years. Now, he had even encountered some willful and unruly female disciples who could not be reasoned with. Thus, he coldly rebutted, “In the first place, you were the ones who had trespassed this place without its owner’s approval. Do you think you’ve got the rights to be preaching to me about ‘politeness’, huh?!”

“You…why are you being like this?!”

“What about it? Was anything I said wrong?” Even though Ye Xiuwen was now arguing with the female disciples, his tone of voice was still placid and calm. In fact, his cool and unperturbed disposition seemed to somehow add fuel to the raging fire in the hearts of the female disciples.

“You! We’re good friends with Shanshan, and it’s always been like this! Who do you think you are? Don’t you think for one moment that you’re the owner of this place just because you’re living here!” The female disciple grew anxious and began to ramble irresponsibly.

“Oh? So you’ve always been like this, huh? Coming in whenever I’m not around?”

A clear, crisp voice that was pleasant to the ears resounded from behind where the group of female disciples were located.

The female disciples were all slightly taken aback, and the looked behind them with disbelief, only to see “Qin Shanshan” slowly make her way towards them. The sun was shining directly behind “Qin Shanshan”, and none of the female disciples could see the expression on her face. That said, their intuition told them that something about “Qin Shanshan” seemed completely different from the last time they saw her.

Then, as soon as “Qin Shanshan” drew closer, they were finally able to make out the expressions on her face. However, before they could examine her appearances more closely, “Qin Shanshan” walked straight past them and made her way before Ye Xiuwen, before glancing at him as she remarked, “Womanizer.”

Ye Xiuwen smiled and patted “Qin Shanshan’s” head without any further response. However, everyone could tell from the depths of his eyes that this smile was laced with sincere, genuine intentions. It was so sincere and genuine that it dazzled Du Zhulan’s eyes.

She had thought that it was simply in this man’s nature to treat everyone around him with such a cold and distant attitude. How could she have expected him to reveal such a completely different, warm side to him in front of Qin Shanshan?

What does Qin Shanshan have that deserves such a different treatment from the rest of us?! Is it only on the basis that they’ve known each other for a longer time?!

Du Zhulan scrunched up her lips and stared at this sight with reddened rims around her eyes. Her heart was filled with resentment, contempt, and other roiling emotions.

Just then, Jun Xiaomo turned around and smiled grimly as she glared at Qin Shanshan’s dear friends as she quipped, “What a bunch of friends you are. First, you show yourself into my abode from time to time when I’m out; and now, you attempt to undermine me and seduce my man while I’m out. Dear ‘good’ friends, I, Qin Shanshan, don’t deserve such friends like you.”

Jun Xiaomo had deliberately paced out her spiel and articulated each and every word clearly, causing the group of indignant female disciples who were attempting to paint themselves as the victims to turn red in anger. Even though their minds spun desperately as they sought the words to refute Jun Xiaomo’s allegations, they simply couldn’t find any basis for any refutation. After all, there was nothing that they could pick on within Jun Xiaomo’s spiel.

At the same time, it was precisely because there were no flaws in Jun Xiaomo’s arguments that the group of female disciples felt even more stifled and frustrated – there was simply no outlet for their vexation.

“Shanshan, are you going to cast aside our friendship for so many years over a man you’ve just met?!” One of the more hot-tempered female disciples barked in the heat of the moment.

“Oh? I don’t think anyone who would seduce my man can be considered a good friend of mine.” Jun Xiaomo mocked contemptuously as she glared straight at Du Zhulan.

As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. These people were evidently all eggs from the same basket as Qin Shanshan and Yu Wanrou, and they were all just as selfish as the other. What was “friendship” to these people was nothing more than a pretext for mutual benefits and gains to others.

If one looked at Du Zhulan’s soulless, indignant gaze in her eyes, anyone unaware of the matters that had just transpired might even conclude on a whim that she was the victim in the present incident.

Jun Xiaomo’s contemptuous spiel and derisory gaze made the entire group of female disciples feel as though their pride had been stripped away and trampled upon. One of the female disciples glared madly at Jun Xiaomo as she retorted, “What do you mean seduce anyway?! That’s all your conjecture. Sister Zhulan has never said anything of the sort. But since you’re so adamant about your perspective, there’s no reason for us to continue sticking around and take this kind of abuse. You can spend the rest of your day with your little lover! Let’s go!”

Just like that, the group of female disciples left in a manner as flamboyant and pompous as when they first arrived.

Just before they left, Du Zhulan couldn’t help but turn back and give Ye Xiuwen a parting gaze, only to notice him lowering his head as though he were discussing something with “Qin Shanshan” in hushed tones. However, the earlier frigid gaze in his eyes had seemed to have melted into a gaze that was filled with warmth and a sparkle of light.

Her heart constricted in fury. She stomped her feet ferociously on the ground, before picking up her pace and running back to join up with the rest of her group.

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