Chapter 332: Zhang Shuyue’s Apology, Jun Xiaomo’s Suspicion

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

On the second day, Jun Xiaomo woke up and left her room only when it was time for lunch, and she yawned as she lazily made her way towards the great hall.

Last night, both she and Ye Xiuwen spent the better part of the night combing through the entire valley, roughly identifying and grasping the nature and effects of all of the formation arrays around them. Unfortunately, even though eliciting a cursory understanding these formation arrays was an easy task, grasping a deeper understanding of the detailed aspects of these formation arrays was far more difficult. At the very least, it was not a process that could be completed in the span of a couple of days. Thus, she decided after gleaning a cursory understanding of the formation arrays that it would be wise to return to her room to make up for the loss of sleep.

With that, she slept straight through breakfast and only awakened at noontime.

Since it was time for lunch, all of the other Heavenly Peak disciples had already gathered in the great hall, and the great hall was also abuzz with chatter and conversations. Then, as soon as Jun Xiaomo appeared, the atmosphere in the great hall seemed to pause for a little bit, before everyone began nudging each other in the ribs as they cast mischievous glances at Jun Xiaomo.

Jun Xiaomo raised her eyebrows, wondering what exactly these mischievous glances meant.

One of the livelier martial brothers coughed dryly as he poked fun at Jun Xiaomo, “Little Martial Sister, seems like your escapade with Martial Brother Ye last night was rather fruitful, wasn’t it?”

Jun Xiaomo was slightly taken aback. How were her martial brothers aware of where she had gone with Martial Brother Ye last night? Were they secretly stalking her and Martial Brother Ye?

Just then, Ye Xiuwen also found his way to the great hall, and he shook his head with some measure of exasperation as he dispelled their wild conjectures, “Don’t talk nonsense. Xiaomo was sleeping in her own room last night.”

“Ohh—So that’s how it is now…” The disciples dragged out their exclamation meaningfully, and the mischievous grin on their face grew even more apparent.

It was only at this moment in time which Jun Xiaomo finally understood what all of her martial brother were getting at. Her face instantly flushed as red as a tomato, and she gritted her teeth as she glared at them, “Why don’t you focus your efforts in your cultivation instead of letting your minds wander in the gutter like that?!”

“Will do, Martial Sister-in-Law~” Another Heavenly Peak disciple suddenly blurted out a different manner of addressing Jun Xiaomo. Within moments, the term of reference began to spread like wildfire, and the Heavenly Peak disciples began to start referring to Jun Xiaomo as “Martial Sister-in-Law”.

Jun Xiaomo’s face turned purple from all the teasing. Unfortunately, given that these were her martial brothers, there was hardly any threat or incisiveness to her gaze. Thus, she stomped her feet on the ground in rage, took her seat and chose to ignore their teasing altogether.

On the other hand, a faint smile crept up the corner of Ye Xiuwen’s lips. However, he did nothing to deny the new term of reference that his other martial brothers had just coined for Jun Xiaomo.

Martial Sister-in-Law? That’s got a pretty good ring to it.

Just as the Heavenly Peak disciples gradually took their seats, the three disciples who had been rostered to prepare their meal for the day began to bring in the dishes that they had prepared. Zhang Shuyue and Zhou Zilong followed shortly behind them.

Jun Xiaomo raised her eyebrows curiously as her gaze landed directly on Zhang Shuyue’s body – Zhang Shuyue wasn’t lying when she said that injuries tend to recover more quickly in this valley. Zhang Shuyue’s injuries had recovered incredibly quickly. At the very least, there was no way Zhang Shuyue would have recovered from her injuries overnight under ordinary circumstances.

That said, what was Zhang Shuyue doing coming out of the kitchen with the other Heavenly Peak disciples? Was this just a mere coincidence?

After everything that happened in her previous life, Jun Xiaomo couldn’t help but feel suspicious for everything which Zhang Shuyue did which seemed out of the blue. There was no way she was letting her guard down around her so easily

As soon as the Heavenly Peak disciples took their seat, Zhang Shuyue smiled warmly to everyone, “I’d made a fool of myself yesterday when I’d presented myself in such an improper manner in front of everyone. Thus, I’d thought to prepare some soup and dishes as a way of making amends. This is particularly so for Sister Xiaomo. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding yesterday. If I could turn back time, I would never have done something so uncharacteristic.”

One of the disciples who had been rostered to prepare food chimed in as well, “That’s right. Miss Zhang here has personally prepared five of the dishes served today. She’s really spent a considerable amount of effort here. And I think we can all count it a blessing that we’ve got Miss Zhang’s help in this regard. Otherwise, with just the three of us here, I’m afraid everyone would have to go hungry again today.”

The Heavenly Peak disciples had already decided on the roster for preparing their meals ever since they had made their escape from their prison cell within the Dawn Sect’s forbidden grounds. Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen have already attained the Nascent Soul stage of cultivation, and they could survive for a few days without food or sustenance with no issues at all. However, the rest of the Heavenly Peak disciples were not the same. At the level of intensity with which they were escaping from any potential persecutors, there was no way the Heavenly Peak disciples would be able to go a single day without any food or sustenance.

In turn, these three Heavenly Peak disciples were well-reputed to be horrendous at preparing food. Unfortunately, they had coincidentally been rostered to prepare food on the same day. Thus, everyone’s appetites would invariably fall whenever it was their turn to prepare food for the rest of the disciples. That said, none of the other martial brothers were willing to put them down and complain about the food, and they were content burying their grievances with the food in the depths of their hearts.

Unexpectedly, it was evident from the apologetic manner that the rostered disciples had spoken that they too were conscious of the lack of their culinary skills.

“Sigh, is there really a need for pleasantries between us martial brothers? We can already count ourselves lucky that we’ve got sufficient food and sustenance every day while we’re on the run for our lives. Who cares about the flavour of the food that we consume?”

Another Heavenly Peak disciple consoled the rostered disciple as others nodded in agreement.

“That said, these dishes do look sumptuous and tempting. Miss Zhang, you’ve really outdone yourself this time.” Chen Feiyu scanned the feast that was displayed across the table as he praised Zhang Shuyue.

“Brother Chen flatters me. These are nothing more than simple, humble dishes that I’ve prepared, and I would be most satisfied as long as everyone enjoys it. It’s also a form of my penance for my transgressions against Sister Xiaomo and Brother Ye.”

Zhang Shuyue had intentionally labelled these dishes as a form of “atonement” repeatedly in order to present herself as the lowest among all who were present. Yet at the same time, this was designed specifically to achieve the effects that she had desired.

After all, anyone who had witnessed the incident yesterday would be well aware of the fact that Jun Xiaomo had undoubtedly been the one who had injured Zhang Shuyue. Now that Zhang Shuyue had wholeheartedly entreated Jun Xiaomo with an ostensibly apology, there was no reason for Jun Xiaomo to continue pressing the issue. Otherwise, Jun Xiaomo would end up looking like a petty person.

This would be the logical thought process of an ordinary person. Unfortunately, Jun Xiaomo was obviously not just any other “ordinary person”, and she obviously treated Zhang Shuyue differently as well. Thus, she curled her lips into a slight grimace as she quipped, “Miss Zhang didn’t do anything wrong. You’d only wanted to draw close to a person you like; drugging is just a natural extension of that. Is there really a need for you to prepare all these dishes for an apology? I don’t think so.”

Jun Xiaomo had particularly emphasized the word “drugging”, implicitly revealing her suspicions that Zhang Shuyue might have drugged the food that she had prepared.

Unfortunately for Zhang Shuyue, Jun Xiaomo had never seen a need to be magnanimous to a hypocritical nemesis of hers.

Zhang Shuyue cursed with some measure of exasperation in her heart – I knew it. Jun Xiaomo is the hardest one to deal with.

Thus, Zhang Shuyue began to force tears to her eyes as she began to respond to Jun Xiaomo in a slightly choking manner, “Sister Xiaomo, I’m sorry. I’d truly been acting out of character when I’d drugged Brother Ye, but I’m determined to change for the better. Besides, I’ve found someone who can provide me with true happiness now…”

As Zhang Shuyue finished speaking, she looked up bashfully at Zhou Zilong. Instantly, Zhou Zilong’s heart fluttered and flourished with passion. In the spur of the moment, he stretched out his hand and gingerly held Zhang Shuyue’s right hand. His gesture of affection was tacitly accepted by Zhang Shuyue.

Zhang Shuyue turned back and looked straight into Jun Xiaomo’s eyes as she continued to speak with reddened rims, “Therefore, I hope that Sister Xiaomo can forgive me for the things I’ve done that day and treat these dishes as the mark of a new beginning between us, please?”

“No way. I’m not going to eat it.” Jun Xiaomo articulated her simple, curt response one word at a time, putting the nail in the coffin in this discussion.

Zhou Zilong’s heart had completely been taken by Zhang Shuyue. As soon as he noticed the aggrieved expression on Zhang Shuyue’s face in response to Jun Xiaomo’s reply, an overwhelming desire to protect his loved one began to swell from the depths of his heart.

He furrowed his brows and began to chide Jun Xiaomo, “Martial Sister Xiaomo, it’s not right to be so calculative. Even though Shuyue’s actions yesterday did cross the line, she’s nevertheless recognized you and Martial Brother Ye as an item now, hasn’t she? Besides, I can personally vouch that Shuyue is sincerely remorseful and repentant. I’d witnessed her boiling the soup and preparing the dishes for everyone tonight. Look, she’d even accidentally burnt her hand in the process. How could you just gloss over her efforts like this?”

Jun Xiaomo’s rage burgeoned, and she finally hit her boiling point. She shot to her feet and barked back, “Martial Brother Zhou, I don’t understand you at all. Are you willing to put the lives of your martial brothers in danger just because of your infatuation with one person? From the onset, every single one of your statements have been borne out of your own personal belief. You believed that Zhang Shuyue was a pitiful lady who stood in the way of harm in the name of love, so you willingly lured Martial Brother Ye to her trap, completely ignoring my feelings. You believed that Zhang Shuyue was a person of principles, so you stood in my way, preventing me from chasing after Martial Brother Ye just so that you could buy Zhang Shuyue some more time to ‘interact’ with him. And now, you believe that she’s a kindhearted, repentant and remorseful person, so you’re forcing me to accept her apology without even giving any consideration to the possibility that the food might have been spiked with poison. Don’t you think you’re the one going overboard now? Are you still the same Martial Brother Zhou that I know?!”

Jun Xiaomo’s spiel left Zhou Zilong completely speechless. To begin with, he was never a person who had been good with rebutting others in a verbal tussle. Thus, he found himself tongue-tied when faced with Jun Xiaomo’s impeccable rhetoric and arguments.

But this stood to reason as well. After all, if even schemers like Qin Shanshan and Yu Wanrou would find themselves completely stumped by Jun Xiaomo’s incisive and sharp tongue, how much more would Zhou Zilong find himself at the mercy of Jun Xiaomo’s arguments?

Jun Xiaomo’s heart was infuriated. She glanced disdainfully at the table filled with dishes as she declared to everyone present, “Whatever the case is, I’m not eating this. Martial brothers, you do so at your own risk.”

As she finished speaking, she stormed off in a huff, brushing past Zhou Zilong’s shoulder as she left him behind without even casting a second glance back at him.

Ye Xiuwen stared blankly as though deep in thought as Jun Xiaomo took her leave.

Moments later, he stood up as well, and he addressed the rest of the Heavenly Peak disciples, “I’m going to check on her. Go ahead without me.”

Since Martial Brother Ye had given the go ahead, the rest of the disciples no longer stood on ceremony. After expressing their apologies to Zhang Shuyue for the altercation, everyone picked up their chopsticks and started on the sumptuous spread that had left them salivating for a long time now.

Zhang Shuyue lowered her head as well. Discreetly, a bright gleam flickered across the depths of her eyes –

Have more…have more. The more you eat, the better for me.

Even though it was a pity that Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen did not eat the food which she had prepared, plying such a large group of disciples with the medicinal powder was still quite a desirable result in any event.

Jun Xiaomo walked on aimlessly as she stormed off away from the great hall. After some time, she began to slow her footsteps, and she could vaguely make out the sound of light footsteps that were coming after her.

As she turned around, she saw Ye Xiuwen standing right behind her, just as she had expected.

“I knew that Martial Brother Ye would follow after me.” Delighted, Jun Xiaomo smiled as she remarked aloud. The rims of her eyes were still red and puffy. It was evident that her earlier outburst of emotions had been real.

Ye Xiuwen patted her on the head, “You’ve done this on purpose, haven’t you?”

Jun Xiaomo sighed and smiled bitterly, “Nothing eludes your keen eyes, does it?”

Then, collecting her spirits, she added, “Martial Brother Ye, do you believe me?”

Ye Xiuwen responded with some measure of exasperation, “I wouldn’t have come after you like that if I didn’t believe you.

Jun Xiaomo smiled, “That’s good…”

After a brief period of silence, she added, “Truth be told, I know Zhang Shuyue’s character better than anyone else. Quite apart from whether her apology was even sincere to begin with, there’s really no reason for her to have prepared such a feast for us, even if it were to be used as an apology…I can only say that she’s been too anxious to carry out her plans to stumble us. Something tells me that something big is going to happen soon.”

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