Chapter 337: Jun Xiaomo’s Disappearance, Xiang Guqing Sustains an Injury

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

A cold gleam flickered across the depths of Rong Ruihan’s eyes as he retrieved a weapon from his Interspatial Ring and adopted a defensive posture in front of “Jun Xiaomo”.

Although Rong Ruihan remained silent to Xiang Guqing’s questions, it was evident from his posture that he was a foe, not a friend.

“Aren’t you a disciple of the Eternal Summit Sect? Does Elder Dai know that you’ve turned traitor for the sake of the Lady Demoness?” Xiang Guqing barked coldly with a contemptuous tone of voice.

Rong Ruihan continued to remain silent to Xiang Guqing’s questions. Right now, he was fully focused on sizing up Xiang Guqing and assessing his odds of defeating her in a full-on confrontation.

Unfortunately, his assessment told him that he was only barely able to match her abilities. Furthermore, this was contingent on him laying everything on the line and not making a single mistake at all.

After all, his cultivation level was one qualitative level lower than Xiang Guqing’s cultivation level. This single level of difference should never be underestimated – the further on a person was in his path of cultivation, the more significant the difference in cultivation level, and the less such a difference can be made up with by pills, medicines or spirit tools.

That said, Rong Ruihan was a demonic cultivator, and the combat abilities of demonic cultivators were naturally stronger than that of a spiritual cultivator. It was for this reason that he had assessed that he would barely be able to stand up to Xiang Guqing if he put everything on the line.

By this time, Xiang Guqing had already realized Rong Ruihan’s adamance in refusing to answer any of her questions. Thus, she could no longer be bothered to flap her lips, and she immediately charged straight towards Rong Ruihan. Her target? Undoubtedly the “person” Rong Ruihan was shielding!

Rong Ruihan’s heart constricted, and he swung his weapon at Xiang Guqing.

Xiang Guqing snorted contemptuously, “Young sprout. Insolence!”

Rong Ruihan remained taciturn as he focused all of his energy on the duel against Xiang Guqing. He consciously placed himself directly between Xiang Guqing and “Jun Xiaomo”, not giving Xiang Guqing a single change to get anywhere close to her.

As their battle drew them to the side of the room, the dim moonlight shone through the window to reveal a glimmer of the blood-red hues in the depths of Rong Ruihan’s eyes.

“Demonic cultivator! You’re a demonic cultivator?!” Xiang Guqing exclaimed in a shrill voice as her battle intent flourished in an instant, “Was it you?! Was it you who killed my dear disciple?!”

Xiang Guqing never trusted men to begin with. On the other hand, she loved and cherished each and every single one of her disciples as she would her own daughter, and she could hardly tolerate the possibility that Rong Ruihan might well have been her disciple’s murderer.

In Xiang Guqing’s eyes, Rong Ruihan’s silence was a tacit admission to his atrocities.

“I’m going to kill you! I’m going to send you to the grave on behalf of my dear disciple!!!” Xiang Guqing charged towards Rong Ruihan with a crazed vigor. Rong Ruihan’s eyes gleamed brightly. As he continued to avoid Xiang Guqing’s relentless attacks, he also began to gradually draw her further and further away from Jun Xiaomo’s bed.

That’s right. His goal was not to kill Xiang Guqing, because that was nigh an impossible task. Therefore, he chose to adjust his objectives to lure Xiang Guqing’s attention away from Jun Xiaomo instead, hoping that as long as Jun Xiaomo was out of sight, she would also be out of mind.

That said, why was Jun Xiaomo still sound asleep despite the increasingly heated battle?

Rong Ruihan furrowed his brows. When he considered how Jun Xiaomo didn’t show any signs of breathing earlier, a lump formed in his throat once more – Could Jun Xiaomo truly be…

Just then, another one of Xiang Guqing’s disciples came running into the room. After recovering from the initial shock from the duel unfolding between Xiang Guqing and Rong Ruihan, she quickly reported, “Master! It’s terrible! Martial Sister Zhang says that something’s gone wrong!”

“Wrong? What’s gone wrong?” Xiang Guqing paused for a moment and furrowed her brows solemnly.

Rong Ruihan eyes gleamed. When Xiang Guqing turned her attention away from him, he quickly stole a glance at “Jun Xiaomo”. His intention was to bring Jun Xiaomo safely away from this valley.

Xiang Guqing had initially thought to deal with Rong Ruihan after listening to what her disciple had to say. Unfortunately, Rong Ruihan had capitalized on her distractedness to dart across the room towards where Jun Xiaomo was. The rage in Xiang Guqing’s heart immediately burgeoned, and she no longer cared about what her disciple had to report as she bellowed, “Thinking of running? Dream on!” As she finished speaking, she flicked her sleeves and sent countless icicles flying towards Rong Ruihan.

Rong Ruihan twisted his body and swiftly avoided the wave of icicles that had shot straight towards him.

Xiang Guqing snorted as she waved her hand again. This time, a massive ball of congealed energy shot straight towards the mattress that “Jun Xiaomo” was lying on. Her target? It was precisely the Humanoid Puppet lying on Jun Xiaomo’s bed.

Naturally, Xiang Guqing was unaware of this. In her eyes, the person lying on the bed was none other than Jun Xiaomo.

“No!!!” Rong Ruihan wailed hoarsely. He immediately motioned to rescue Jun Xiaomo, but he knew it was too late. In the blink of an eye, Xiang Guqing’s powerful attack connected with “Jun Xiaomo” right in front of his own eyes.

Rong Ruihan’s heart stopped in that instant; while Xiang Guqing revealed a macabre, victorious smile.

A loud explosion ensued, and Jun Xiaomo’s bed was instantly shattered to pieces and reduced to sawdust. Everyone expected to see blood and gore spatter everywhere as a result of the carnage from Xiang Guqing’s powerful strike. However, everyone found themselves completely flabbergasted by what they saw.

Where’s she?! The three pairs of eyes in the room stared blankly at the pile of sawdust that remained. Yet despite darting their eyes around and about the pile of sawdust, none of them found what they were looking for.

Then, in the very next moment, a powerful ball of energy suddenly shot back out from the sawdust, straight towards Xiang Guqing, taking her by complete surprise. Just like that, the ball of energy struck her squarely on her body and sent her flying.

Pfft--! A large mouthful of blood sprayed from Xiang Guqing’s mouth as she slammed onto the ground.

“Master!” Her disciple ran over to her side and tried to help her up.

“Damn! Looked like we’ve been set up!” Xiang Guqing glared at the pile of sawdust with a vicious expression plastered all over her face. It was evident that she could hardly wait to tear Jun Xiaomo to bits and pieces no larger than each speck of sawdust.

Her mind had drawn a complete blank earlier when she was struck by the powerful blast of energy. That said, how could she possibly still be unaware of what was going on now that the rationality and judgment had returned to her mind?

Quite apart from the strange, unexplained disappearance of Jun Xiaomo’s “corpse” from the bed, the ball of energy that had struck her was evidently one and the same as the one she had attacked earlier attacked Jun Xiaomo with! The problem obviously lay with “Jun Xiaomo” on the bed earlier!

“Mas-…Master, Disciple had earlier wanted to relay Martial Sister Zhang’s message to you. Something big is going on. She has received a Messenger Paper Crane that was sent to her by a Heavenly Peak disciple saying that there are assailants who have infiltrated the valley, asking her to leave this place and head towards…”

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?!” Xiang Guqing berated her disciple, cutting her off mid-sentence.

If her disciple had reported this matter earlier, she would not have wasted her energy on her earlier attack, and she would not have been injured in turn.

Xiang Guqing’s disciple lowered her head sheepishly and grew taciturn.

When Rong Ruihan saw Xiang Guqing’s ball of energy strike “Jun Xiaomo”, causing everything around to explode, blasting everything into smithereens, he nearly lost control of the powerful demonic energy in his body to a demonic upheaval there and then.

Fortunately, he managed to hang in there until the dust finally settled. Then, when he discovered that there were no traces of a person seen among the scattered sawdust, he managed to scramble together a postulation of what was going on.

His conjectures were then further affirmed by the report given by Xiang Guqing’s disciple.

It seems that Xiaomo and the other Heavenly Peak disciples have already left the vicinity a while ago. Rong Ruihan couldn’t help but chuckle lightheartedly when he considered the peculiar expression that would be plastered all over Jun Xiaomo’s face right now.

It’s a good thing…It’s a good thing she’s still alive… But I wonder just where they’ve gone to?

Xiang Guqing also asked the question that was pressing on Rong Ruihan’s heart, “Where did Jun Xiaomo and the rest go to? Why have you stopped your report mid-way?”

Xiang Guqing’s tone of voice was extremely stern and harsh, causing her disciple to feel somewhat aggrieved – Master, wasn’t it you who had interjected and cut me off earlier? Why are you blaming me now?

However, her disciple naturally kept these thoughts to herself and dared not reveal a single trace of her displeasure outwardly.

After collecting her thoughts, the disciple continued with her report, “Earlier, Martial Sister Zhang mentioned that the Heavenly Peak disciples have made their way towards the depths of the valley. The male disciple who’s fond of Martial Sister Zhang has left her a lifeline, and Martial Sister Zhang says that she’ll be able to locate the group of Heavenly Peak disciples as long as she follows its trace.”

“What?! To the depths of the valley?!” Xiang Guqing’s eyes widened in horror. She quickly swallowed the recovery pill she had earlier prepared, sat upright and instructed, “Quick! Help me up! Things are going south very quickly. Do they already know of the secrets of the valley? Are they trying to breach the valley’s master formation array?”

“Breach the valley’s master formation array?” Xiang Guqing’s disciple was slightly taken aback. After all, she knew just how important the valley’s master formation array was to all of them.

Is it even possible to breach the valley’s master formation array to begin with?

Regardless, the disciple quickly helped her master to her feet.

Then, as Xiang Guqing took two steps towards the door to Jun Xiaomo’s room, she suddenly recalled the existence of the demonic cultivator who was wearing the Eternal Summit Sect’s uniform.

Immediately, she whipped her head around and glanced back at where the man had been just moments ago. Unfortunately, the room was completely empty, and not a single trace of any other person could be seen within the room.

“Hmph! At least he’s quick at running. No matter. He can run from me now, but he’ll never be able to escape the valley and its formation arrays. It’s only going to be a matter of time before I capture him. At that time, I’m going to slowly pluck his nerves and flay his skin and repay everything he has done to my disciple replete with interest!” Xiang Guqing swore under her breath. Then, flicking her sleeves, she left hurriedly with her disciple.

Moments later, Xiang Guqing and her disciple returned to their initial rendezvous point. When they arrived, Xiang Guqing discovered to her surprise that the disciples from the Eternal Summit Sect had all sustained injuries of varying degrees. Dai Yanfeng immediately strode furiously towards Xiang Guqing. His face was completely ashen, as though he had already reached his boiling point.

Truth be told, Dai Yanfeng’s rage was hardly surprising. After all, Xiang Guqing had previously given him her word that all of the Heavenly Peak disciples had already consumed the powdered root of the Spirit Devouring Grass, and tonight would be the best night to act, since all they had to do was to slay the lamb to the slaughter. None of the Heavenly Peak disciples should have been able to escape from their grasp to begin with.

But what was the result? Not only did they fail to harm even a single strand of hair on the Heavenly Peak disciples, the Eternal Summit Sect’s disciples even sustained injuries to varying degrees. How could Dai Yanfeng not be mad at all of this?!

Most importantly, given that the operation was personally led by the Grand Elder of the entire Eternal Summit Sect, it was an absolute disgrace to fail so miserably.

“Sect Leader Xiang, don’t you think you’ve got some explaining to do? What exactly is going on?!” Dai Yanfeng could no longer repress his outburst of question as he glared furiously at Xiang Guqing.

“You can consider this an oversight on my part. I sincerely apologize to Elder Dai.” Xiang Guqing was well aware that relations between their sects break down irretrievably if she did nothing to salvage the situation, “I’d never expected Jun Xiaomo and the rest to anticipate our arrival. They’ve gone deeper into the valley, and they should be at the very heart of it right now.”

“The heart of the valley? Sect Leader Xiang, you must be kidding me! The members of the Eternal Summit Sect have already sustained some serious injuries; how can you expect us to follow you to the depths of the valley right now?! There’s another thing – we’ve done all we could to keep our movements tonight under wraps, so how did the Heavenly Peak disciples possibly anticipate our arrival like that? I can’t help but wonder if there’s a mole among us right now!” As Dai Yanfeng barked, he landed a vicious, accusatory gaze directly on Zhang Shuyue’s body.

“Elder Dai, just what do you mean by that?!” Xiang Guqing has always had a short fuse, and she naturally blew her top when Dai Yanfeng began casting aspersions on her dearest disciple.

“Sect Elder Xiang is well aware of what exactly I mean.” Dai Yanfeng snorted, “I hear this disciple of yours has taken a fancy to the Heavenly Peak disciple named Ye Xiuwen, isn’t she? Who knows whether she’s disclosed our movements to them in order to curry favor with the object of her affection, hmm?”


“Are you certain that this is impossible? Then, can Sect Leader Xiang prove that your disciple is truly innocent?” Dai Yanfeng continued to press the issue.

“Elder Dai, I can also make the allegation that there are traitors among your midst. Earlier, when I went to Jun Xiaomo’s room, my efforts were stymied by a man who was wearing the Eternal Summit Sect’s uniform. Heck, this man even killed my third disciple! I’ve still got that score to settle with you!” Xiang Guqing barked back in an unyielding fashion.

Just like that, the alliance that had quickly been scrambled together looked like it was about to fall apart even before they could locate Jun Xiaomo and the rest of the Heavenly Peak disciples.

“Master, Elder Dai, I beseech you to take a step back and listen to what junior has to say.” Zhang Shuyue hurriedly interjected, breaking the tense confrontation between the two leaders, “One of the Heavenly Peak disciples has left me a ‘lifeline’, and I can capitalize on this ‘lifeline’ to locate their exact whereabouts. If we set off now, we might still have a chance of locating and capturing them before they manage to make their escape. Disciple fears the worst if we dally for too long.”

“The Heavenly Peak disciples have always stood with a united front, so how could they possibly leave you with a lifeline as you’ve alleged?” Dai Yanfeng queried with some measure of disbelief in his voice.

“Hah, that fool has been completely mesmerized by my charms, and he’s still of the opinion that I’m merely a victim in this entire incident. He’s thinking of bringing me away from the ‘assailants’ to safety, so he naturally left me with a means of contacting and linking up with them.” Zhang Shuyue mocked disdainfully without a single ripple of emotion in her eyes.

A bright gleam flickered in the depths of Dai Yanfeng’s eyes –

“If that’s really the case, I do happen to have an idea to delay their movements and buy us a little bit more time.”

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