Chapter 331: Jun Xiaomo’s Insomnia, Xiang Guqing’s Ploy

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

That very night, a vexatious feeling constantly plagued Jun Xiaomo’s heart and mind, keeping her awake and tossing and turning in bed. Thus, she got up, left her room, and leapt up to the tallest building in the region nearby.

Jun Xiaomo lay on her back on the building’s roof. Placing her hands below her head as a pillow, she stared vacantly at the full moon hanging high in the sky. At this moment, she felt as though she had become but one of the wisps of clouds floating in the sky under the moon, drifting about aimlessly.

The full moon represented unity or reunion in the mortal world. Jun Xiaomo’s mind had been consumed by the incidents occurring over the last few days, and it was only on this night that she finally found the time to slow down and process everything that had happened in the blink of an eye. At the same time, it was only when she slowed down and assessed her goals and targets that she realized just how much more she had to do.

“Sigh, I wonder where Father and Mother are right now? And I wonder where Brother Rong and Master have gone to as well…” Jun Xiaomo sighed as she thought aloud.

It was reasonable to expect the news of how she and Martial Brother Ye had rescued the previously captured Heavenly Peak disciples to already have spread far and wide throughout the entire cultivation world. Unfortunately, she still hadn’t heard anything from Jun Linxuan or Liu Qingmei. It was as though the Heavenly Peak, together with its Peakmaster, had simply vaporized into thin air.

Then, there was Rong Ruihan and Tong Ruizhen. In a similar fashion, nobody seemed to know of their whereabouts either ever since news of Jun Xiaomo’s “death” spread throughout the cultivation world. These were two people which Jun Xiaomo owed a great debt of gratitude to – she had an immense amount of remorse in her heart for what happened to Rong Ruihan after all he had done; and she also possessed a hefty amount of respect for her master, Tong Ruizhen. Thus, she knew full well that as long as she remained unable to locate them, their existences would always be a stumbling block of regret in her heart.

Her intuition told her that her master’s disappearance might well have had something to do with her. Unfortunately, she had to date been unable to learn anything of her master’s whereabouts.

Just this moment, a long and lanky shadow suddenly leapt up to the roof just beside Jun Xiaomo. Shocked, Jun Xiaomo was jolted back to her senses and she immediately sat up and adopted a defensive posture when she heard a cool, calm voice call out.

“It’s me.”

Jun Xiaomo immediately recognized the owner of this voice – who else could it be apart from Ye Xiuwen?

She heaved a sigh of relief, loosened her tense spirits and pouted slightly as she muttered, “Martial Brother Ye, why’d you sneak up on me like that?”

Ye Xiuwen sat down and rubbed Jun Xiaomo’s head, responding, “It wasn’t that Martial Brother Ye was sneaking up on you. Rather, you’d just been so deep in thought that you failed to notice even my approach. What’s the matter? Can’t sleep at night?”

Jun Xiaomo hugged her knees and rested her chin on her kneecaps as she muttered in frustration, “Mm.”

“Why? Do you want to talk about it?”

Ye Xiuwen’s voice was soft and harmonious, and it immediately set Jun Xiaomo’s spirit at ease. The earlier frustration on her heart had also dissipated substantially from his cool coaxing.

“I was thinking about Father and Mother, as well as Brother Rong and Master. I’ve not managed to hear even a peep of news about them, and I can’t help but feel incredibly worried.” Jun Xiaomo furrowed her brows as she quipped with a grave expression on her face.

“Don’t be too worried. Sometimes, no news might be good news instead. After all, this also means that none of their enemies are able to locate them either.” Ye Xiuwen consoled. Jun Xiaomo lowered her head and muttered under her breath, “Perhaps that might be the case…”

The baggage from her previous life was weighing down heavily on her shoulders, and she knew that she could only truly set her heart at ease when all of her loved ones were safely by her side.

“Is that all? That can’t be the only thing that’s keeping you up at night, right?” Ye Xiuwen chuckled slightly as he quipped.

“Indeed, that’s not all.” Jun Xiaomo continued with some measure of frustration. She glanced at Ye Xiuwen as she added, “I’m starting to regret letting Zhang Shuyue off the hook as well.”

Earlier this evening, she had relented and reluctantly peeled off the two talismans from Zhang Shuyue’s body in light of Zhou Zilong’s repeated pleas for mercy. In doing so, she had essentially let Zhang Shuyue off the hook. After all, her physical injuries would recover after a short period of rest and recuperation.

That said, Jun Xiaomo’s heart would sour and feel stifled whenever she thought about what Zhang Shuyue did in Jun Xiaomo’s previous life. It was a niggling feeling in her heart that told her something terrible would happen if she simply lets Zhang Shuyue off just like that.

Ye Xiuwen didn’t have a good impression of Zhang Shuyue either. Furthermore, he knew that Jun Xiaomo had made the compromise on account for her relationship with Zhou Zilong, and not Zhang Shuyue. If not for the fact that Zhou Zilong had fallen prey to Zhang Shuyue’s charms and repeatedly begged Jun Xiaomo for mercy, Jun Xiaomo would never have allowed this matter to slide just like that.

“Don’t worry so much about it. We’ll deal with any trouble when it comes along later. After all, there’s no way we can prevent her from scheming against us unless we kill her. Rather than doing that, wouldn’t it be better to let her off the hook and lull her into a false sense of security? This way, there’s a greater likelihood that she will let slip her plans, and we can naturally control and restrict her movements more easily.” Ye Xiuwen calmly broke down the situation.

Jun Xiaomo’s eyes immediately brightened and she snapped her fingers, “Martial Brother is right! We’ll do things that way!”

Ye Xiuwen chuckled with some measure of exasperation, “Then will you finally be able to sleep tonight?”

“Mm, mm, I’ll be able to sleep soundly now.” Jun Xiaomo smiled radiantly back at Ye Xiuwen.

“Then, would you like me to carry you down the roof, or do you prefer to make your way down on your own?” Ye Xiuwen raised an eyebrow mischievously.

Jun Xiaomo immediately coughed dryly, “That…I think I’ll make my way down on my own…Eh! Hang on a minute!”

Jun Xiaomo was just about to leap off the building when she paused in her steps.

“I can’t go back to bed just yet. Even though we’ve decided not to torment Zhang Shuyue anymore, I think it would still be prudent to take precautions against her. I’m going to check out the formation arrays within the valley and see if I can unlock and dispel their effects.”

Ye Xiuwen rubbed his temples with some measure of vexation, “Is this really so urgent? Do you really need to sacrifice your sleep for it?”

“Of course!” Jun Xiaomo glared at Ye Xiuwen, “Zhang Shuyue is like a poisonous snake that’s poised to strike right now. Who knows when she’ll be pouncing at us to deliver her deadly poison? It would be imprudent if we didn’t do anything right now.”

Ye Xiuwen sighed slightly as he patted Jun Xiaomo’s head, “Alright, then Martial Brother will tag along with you for your little stroll.”

Jun Xiaomo smiled brightly, “Martial Brother Ye’s the best! Let’s go!”


Meanwhile, just as Jun Xiaomo began to traverse, observe and identify the various formation arrays within the valley under the cover of night, Zhang Shuyue once again made contact with her master Xiang Guqing. Her master was still some distance outside of the valley right now.

Despite having consumed various recovery pills, Zhang Shuyue could still feel pain echoing throughout her entire body, especially her meridians and Dantian. After all, the incursion of demonic energy had destroyed several vital meridians within her body, and she was beginning to show symptoms of a decline in her cultivation level.

“Jun Xiaomo, I’m going to tear you to shreds!” Zhang Shuyue gritted her teeth as she barked aloud.

“Disciple, what happened to you?” Xiang Guqing furrowed her brows as she asked with concern. She could tell that Zhang Shuyue appeared extremely pale, as though she were ailing from a chronic disease. Zhang Shuyue was her most beloved disciple, and Xiang Guqing naturally extended an additional measure of care and concern towards her.

“Master…” With the imminent arrival of her bulwark that was her master, the feelings of humiliation and grief bottled up within Zhang Shuyue’s heart finally burst out like waters flowing out of a broken dam, and she began to choke and sputter uncontrollably, “It’s Jun Xiaomo! Jun Xiaomo has grievously wounded your disciple! I truly regret bringing them into the valley. Disciple has invited a band of bandits into our home!”

Zhang Shuyue’s tragic and sorry disposition caused a swathe of fury to rise from the depths of Xiang Guqing’s heart immediately.

“What happened? Tell Master!”

“Disciple had been so taken by Ye Xiuwen that she had thought to invite him to the peach blossom woods to have a private little chat. Unfortunately, Jun Xiaomo managed to follow us into the woods, and she even ended up injuring disciple grievously, wu-wu-wuu…”

“Peach blossom woods? How could she possibly enter the peach blossom woods just like that? Isn’t that an area protected by formation arrays?” Xiang Guqing furrowed her brows as she asked curiously.

“Disciple isn’t sure either. It could just be pure dumb luck that she might have managed to slip through the trappings of the formation arrays around the peach blossom woods.” Zhang Shuyue gritted her teeth with displeasure.

“That’s not possible. The formation arrays around the peach blossom woods can’t be broken through so easily like that.” Xiang Guqing shrugged off Zhang Shuyue’s postulations, and her expressions grew grim and serious, “She must know a thing or two about formation arrays. Otherwise, there’s no way she could possibly slip through the formation arrays around the peach blossom woods in such a short span of time.”

“Now that Master has mentioned it, disciple recalls that Jun Xiaomo had once threatened to even alter and change the formation arrays within the valley.” Zhang Shuyue hurriedly alerted her master to the possible threat.

“Hmph. What insolence! Does she really think that the valley’s formation arrays are on the same level as the formation arrays outside the peach blossom woods? If she even attempts to make any alterations to the valley’s formation arrays, she’ll most certainly be trapped by its defenses. At that time, Master will most certainly allow her to perish within the formation array. She won’t even have her body intact when we’re done with her!” Xiang Guqing snorted with disdain lacing her eyes.

After all, the valley’s formation arrays had been built on by generation after generation of its owners. Even though their Sect was not one that specialized solely in formation arrays, they could hardly be said to be mere infants in the disciplines of formation arrays either. How could a young sprout like Jun Xiaomo possibly hold a candle to the culmination of generations of efforts?

Perhaps the fact that Jun Xiaomo was handpicked by the Zephyr Sect’s Sect Elder Tong to be his disciple lent credence to the talent Jun Xiaomo possessed in the discipline of formation arrays. But, so what? The process to becoming a fully fledged array master was a long and arduous journey, and it necessitated an investment of time. How old was Jun Xiaomo right now? Not even thirty years-old? Does she really think she can breach and unlock the secrets of the valley’s formation arrays? Preposterous!

“Disciple, you don’t have to worry so much about this empty threat of hers. Focus on your recovery. Tomorrow, master will arrive in the valley at approximately dusk. Remember to keep the Heavenly Peak disciples where they are and don’t let slip that anything is amiss. Once night falls, we will begin our approach and nab them in one fell swoop.” Xiang Guqing sincerely instructed Zhang Shuyue.

Zhang Shuyue nodded her head. A glimmer of joy could be seen in the depths of her eyes, “Everything will be done in accordance with master’s instructions.”

“Oh yes, there’s something else.” Just as Zhang Shuyue was prepared to break the transmission with her master, Xiang Guqing spoke up once more, “Master’s got a packet of medicinal powder in her room. It’s located within master’s hidden chest, at the third compartment from the left. The powder is colourless and odorless. If you can, do your best to spike the food of the Heavenly Peak disciples with the powder. If you can do this, it will guarantee that the operation tomorrow will go on even more smoothly.”

Zhang Shuyue’s eyes gleamed brightly as she bowed slightly towards Xiang Guqing, “Disciple will definitely adhere to Master’s instructions.”

Xiang Guqing nodded her head with approval before finally breaking contact with Zhang Shuyue.

Then, acting in accordance with Xiang Guqing’s instructions, Zhang Shuyue left her room and found her way to her master’s room. There, she began combing through the room.

Zhang Shuyue took some time to sieve through the contents of her master’s room because she was unsure of where her master’s hidden chest was located.

“Found it!” Zhang Shuyue finally retrieved the medicinal powder from the third compartment of her master’s hidden chest. On the surface, the powder looked completely unassuming, plain and simple. However, there was a small slip of yellow coloured paper attached to the bag of medicinal powder with some words written on it – “Roots of the Spirit Devouring Grass”.

“Hahahahaha…so this is actually the powdered form of the roots of the Spirit Devouring Grass! That’s amazing!” Zhang Shuyue immediately exclaimed in delight.

The powdered form of the roots of the Spirit Devouring Grass could be used to refine Spirit Devouring Pills which can be used to whittle away at the spiritual energy within a person’s body.

Xiang Guqing had initially procured this bag of medicinal powder with the intention to refine Spirit Devouring Pills. The fact that she changed her plans and instructed Zhang Shuyue to use this in her schemes against the Heavenly Peak disciples spoke volumes about just how much she was determined to incapacitate and round up Jun Xiaomo and the rest.

The Spirit Devouring Grass could maintain its effects for a maximum period of four hours, and it was hardly as strong as the Spirit Devouring Pills. Thus, Zhang Shuyue had to properly time the Heavenly Peak disciples’ consumption of the medicinal powder.

In this regard, Zhang Shuyue knew that Jun Xiaomo had already begun to grow suspicious of her, and making her move was hardly going to be an easy thing. However, she remained completely calm. After all, she had a trump card up her sleeves right now –

“Hmph. It seems that I’ll have to use the fool Zhou Zilong again.” Zhang Shuyue curled her lips into a wicked smile, completely obviating from her mind the fact that Zhou Zilong had been the one pleading for mercy on her behalf just moments ago.

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