Chapter 340: Rong Ruihan’s Bitterness, Jun Xiaomo’s Misery

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Jun Xiaomo glared at Rong Ruihan with her fists tightly clenched. As the indignation burgeoned in her heart, her chest began to undulate in tandem with her heavy breath. Her eyes began to grow red and puffy.

A slight reservation began to surface on his heart when Rong Ruihan first noticed the redness around the rims of Jun Xiaomo’s eyes. However, he forcibly suppressed those feelings of his – he needed an answer, right here, right now.

Jun Xiaomo drew a deep breath, and with an incredibly placid tone of voice, she muttered disdainfully, “Brother Rong, I never knew that I was such a cold-blooded person in your heart.”

Even though she had successfully repressed the urge to explode on Rong Ruihan, the multitude of ferociously clashing emotions in Jun Xiaomo’s heart was evident through Jun Xiaomo’s slightly trembling voice.

Truth be told, such a sight was incredibly heart-wrenching.

This was not the response that Rong Ruihan had been looking for. He knew full well that his life meant something to Jun Xiaomo. What he truly wanted to know was just how much his life meant to her. After all, when Ye Xiuwen vanished, he could see with his own two eyes the extent of the despondence and hurt in Jun Xiaomo’s eyes.

Therefore, the question that had been plaguing his heart and his mind was whether Jun Xiaomo would react in the very same way had he been the one to vanish instead? Or was he simply no more than a sojourner in Jun Xiaomo’s life, forever relegated to playing second fiddle after Ye Xiuwen?

However, he would never intentionally falsify a disappearing act just to ascertain the weight of his existence in Jun Xiaomo’s heart. After all, he had even contemplated the possibility that he might one day earn himself a place at the center of Jun Xiaomo’s heart if Ye Xiuwen remained missing forever.

Unfortunately, Jun Xiaomo “perished” from the world before he could get any form of response from her. Then, years later, he learnt that both Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen had returned to the world at approximately the same time. To make matters worse, he learnt that Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen only appeared to have grown closer to each other despite having been apart for such a long time. At that point in time, Rong Ruihan suddenly began to question whether he had been nothing more than a supporting cast in Jun Xiaomo’s life.

In his series of dreams, Jun Xiaomo’s heart had always belonged to Qin Lingyu, and there was no room for his existence at all. No matter how much he did for her, and no matter how much he sacrificed in order to get vengeance against the world for Jun Xiaomo and their child, he was no more than a sojourner in her life. At that point in time, Jun Xiaomo didn’t even know of his existence at all.

Then, in this life, he finally had the chance to meet and interact with Jun Xiaomo, and he had even managed to establish a reasonably cordial relationship with her. Unfortunately, it seemed that Ye Xiuwen was already in the center of her heart – Rong Ruihan had still been a step too late.

Since the outcome had already been decided, what use was there running into Jun Xiaomo time and again? Was it merely so that he could see Jun Xiaomo get together with someone else other than himself over and over again? Was he truly fated to stand at the side and give her his blessings from the shadows?

Rong Ruihan was not Ye Xiuwen – he could never repress the deepest feelings in his heart. He was unable to deny himself and sacrifice everything he had and did in order to be that responsible “older martial brother” to Jun Xiaomo like Ye Xiuwen could. In Rong Ruihan’s eyes, as long as the outcome was already decided, he would much prefer if everything ended here and now, so that he could start afresh with someone else.

All in all, he was tired. Thus, he wanted Jun Xiaomo to give him her response right now – a response that would determine whether he should completely give up on her or continue to pursue her.

However, he could tell from Jun Xiaomo’s expressions that she might not even be aware of the answer he was seeking right now. After all, Jun Xiaomo was indeed somewhat slow to catch onto the matters pertaining to the heart.

Rong Ruihan grimaced, and a sense of bitterness began to fill his mouth. However, his gaze remained completely placid. He continued to gaze upon Jun Xiaomo’s reddened rims, pretending to be completely unfazed and unaffected by everything she had just said.

Ye Xiuwen could be considered both an outsider and an insider to the situation. He could be considered an outsider because he was completely out of the loop as to the interactions between Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan while he was missing in the Death’s Gorge.

However, he was Jun Xiaomo’s main suitor right now. In fact, Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen had unmistakably already confessed their feelings for each other. Therefore, it was natural for him to feel aggrieved seeing Rong Ruihan’s present interaction with Jun Xiaomo. In these regards, he could be considered an insider.

No man could ever tolerate the sight of their better halves getting their lives inextricably intertwined with another man. Ye Xiuwen was no exception to this either. That said, Jun Xiaomo was also more than just a lady whom Ye Xiuwen was fond of – she was also his dear martial sister.

Thus, Ye Xiuwen was already used to giving Jun Xiaomo a wide berth of indulgence, almost to a fault.

Ye Xiuwen’s instincts told him that a compromise was necessary if they were to derive a temporal resolution to the tense situation at hand. In this regard, Ye Xiuwen knew that he was in the best position to do so.

Sighing in his heart, he walked to Jun Xiaomo’s side and covered her eyes with his hands, “Alright, don’t be mad. Brother Rong had said all those things in a fit of muddle-headedness. After all, nobody likes to see their own friends get into a dangerous predicament, right?”

Even though Ye Xiuwen’s words were directed at Jun Xiaomo, his gaze had been completely fixated on Rong Ruihan.

Ye Xiuwen’s gaze was even laced with a trace of threatening intent – Don’t you dare push your luck too far.

Rong Ruihan found the term of reference, “friends”, used by Ye Xiuwen incredibly harsh to his ears. Even though this was a factual statement, it sounded especially distasteful when it came right out of Ye Xiuwen’s lips.

After all, if he were merely a friend to Jun Xiaomo, then what about Ye Xiuwen? Was he merely a martial brother as well?

Rong Ruihan did all he could to repress the turbulent feelings within his heart. After a moment of silence, he shifted his attention back to Jun Xiaomo.

Ye Xiuwen’s hands were still covering Jun Xiaomo’s eyes, and she did nothing to resist or struggle either. Thus, Rong Ruihan was neither able to see the expression hidden in the depths of her eyes, nor read the expression on her face.

That said, Rong Ruihan could vividly feel the hurt in Jun Xiaomo’s heart for some strange reason.

His tightly clenched fists finally loosened up, and the fortress that he had built around his heart crumbled to the ground in just an instant. Alas, he still had a soft spot for her…

Reluctantly, Rong Ruihan sighed and announced his compromise, “Alright, we can talk about these things next time. I’ll leave this place with you for now. It’s not going to be an easy task for you to resist Xiang Guqing and the other assailants with just your strength alone anyway.”

Rong Ruihan had finally found a passable excuse for staying behind, and Ye Xiuwen also removed his hands from Jun Xiaomo’s eyes at about the same time.

Unfortunately, Ye Xiuwen had done so without warning at all, and Jun Xiaomo involuntarily drew a deep breath in surprise. She had wanted him to keep his palms over her eyes for a little while longer. Unfortunately, his movements were far too quick, and her surroundings revealed itself in the very next moment.

That said, her surroundings appeared somewhat hazy – everyone around could immediately see the tear-stains strewn all over Jun Xiaomo’s red, puffy eyes.

“Xiaomo, you…you’re crying?” It suddenly dawned on Rong Ruihan that he might very well have gone overboard earlier. Otherwise, he knew, given Jun Xiaomo’s resilient personality, that there was no way she would shed tears so easily.

From what Rong Ruihan knew, the last time that Jun Xiaomo cried like that was when Ye Xiuwen had disappeared into the Death’s Gorge.

“None of your business!” Jun Xiaomo glared indignantly at Rong Ruihan as she bellowed. At the same time, her tears began to flow uncontrollably from the rims of her eyes, rolling off her cheeks and into the soil below her feet.

Jun Xiaomo had never been a person who exposed her vulnerabilities to people so easily. Yet for some strange reason, when Ye Xiuwen put his soft, tender hands around her eyes, her tears began to flow uncontrollably, like waters bursting out of an overflowing dam.

She had never wanted others to see her crying as a result of such trivial matters, much less that damned perpetrator, Rong Ruihan!

However, Ye Xiuwen had removed his hands without warning, causing her to be unable to react to the situation in time.

Rong Ruihan took a large step forward and pulled Jun Xiaomo into an embrace. Then, patting her back, he began to coax her, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Brother Rong had gone overboard earlier. I’m sorry…”

A multitude of complex emotions washed across the depths of Ye Xiuwen’s eyes. Then, grimacing, he forcibly repressed the urge to stretch out his arm to break up their interaction.

Jun Xiaomo remained completely taciturn all this while. As soon as Rong Ruihan began to console her, more tears began to flow from her eyes.

Truth be told, she had never desired to weep like that in front of so many onlookers. Unfortunately, she was unable to control her tear. After all, she couldn’t help but feel incredibly aggrieved in her heart, as though something unknown were stifling and frustrating her.

Rong Ruihan soon began to feel the dampness in his clothing. At this moment, his heart was filled with a confluence of exasperation, tenderness, and bitterness.

Perhaps his fate was so inextricably intertwined with Jun Xiaomo in these lifetimes because he owed a great debt of gratitude to Jun Xiaomo two lives ago.

Forget it. We’ll take things one step at a time. Rong Ruihan thought to himself.

Then, when Jun Xiaomo’s tears began to dry up, Rong Ruihan gently released her from his embrace. Then, placing his hand on her shoulder, he looked into her eyes and told her in all seriousness, “Xiaomo, brother Rong won’t force an answer out of you now, and I’ll give you my word that we’ll leave this place together. Once we manage to find a safe place, I’ll let you have a good think about it. At that time, I’ll decide once more whether to stay or to leave, alright?”

Jun Xiaomo looked at him in bewilderment, wondering what exactly Rong Ruihan wanted her to give a “good think about”. Nevertheless, she still nodded her head.

Rong Ruihan smiled with some measure of helplessness. Then, he patted her head, “Didn’t you mention that you’re going to bring us out of this place safely? I’m sure you’ve still got some work to do on the formation array, don’t you? What are you waiting for? Let’s get going, then.”

“Oh! That’s right!” Jun Xiaomo rubbed her eyes hastily, before scrambling back towards the heart of the master formation array.

Once Jun Xiaomo began to immerse herself with the intricacies of breaching the master formation array’s defenses once more, Rong Ruihan turned his attention back towards Ye Xiuwen, and they locked eyes with each other.

Ye Xiuwen’s gaze was hardly a friendly one. After all, both saw each other as a rival in love, and neither could stand the other’s existence. If not for the fact that their present circumstances were rather peculiar and delicate, and if not for the fact that both knew the importance of the other in Jun Xiaomo’s heart, they might well already have exchanged blows with each other.

Just you wait and see. I’m going to make sure that you pay for making Jun Xiaomo cry this time. These were the words spoken through Ye Xiuwen’s intense gaze.

Bring it on. When Jun Xiaomo abandons you and chooses me, you’d do well not to continue pestering her like an annoying little fly. Rong Ruihan raised an eyebrow, accepting Ye Xiuwen’s “declaration of war”.

As the other Heavenly Peak disciples watching the tense drama unfurl wiped off the sweat on their foreheads, they couldn’t help but exclaim in their hearts – What intense, overbearing pressure! Just what is it with Martial Sister Xiaomo’s luck with men? Why is it that every single man she attracts seems to be stronger than the other?

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