Chapter 350: The Shifting Tides of War

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Outnumbered three to one, Rong Ruihan’s clansmen gritted their teeth and fought hard for their lives.

They knew that Jun Xiaomo and the others were waiting for the prime opportunity to strike, and none of them could afford to let the cat out of the bag if they wanted the operation tonight to succeed.

Approximately one hour into the battle, one of the clansmen collapsed onto the ground. He was not dead yet, but he was practically on the verge of death.

Almost like a contagion, the other clansmen began to collapse to the ground soon after, and the clansmen still standing grew fewer and fewer in number.

Seems like the battle is coming to an end soon. Xiang Guqing and Dai Yanfeng could almost smell their victory.

The lead clansman wearing Ye Xiuwen’s appearances was one of the few who were still standing. However, the number of wounds on his body was increasing at an alarming rate. Zhang Shuyue was no longer yelling or pleading with him anymore. Instead, she now had a cold smirk on her face as she stood idly by the side, watching her master and the others surround and attack “Ye Xiuwen”.

From what she could tell, Ye Xiuwen was inextricably and hopelessly in love with Jun Xiaomo, and her heart would no longer be plagued by remorse if Ye Xiuwen were to perish right here, right now.

The clansmen wearing Jun Xiaomo’s appearances had already collapsed onto the ground, losing all ability to resist the assailants. From the looks of things, “Jun Xiaomo” was nothing more than a lamb to the slaughter right now, and she was no longer a variable that could influence the tides of battle or pull another trick out of the bag.

Then, at the tail end of the battle, Dai Yanfeng finally made his appearance and stepped out of the shadows, and he slowly walked towards “Jun Xiaomo” with a vicious, macabre smile on his face.

“Jun Xiaomo, back when you crippled my daughter’s cultivation, did you ever think that you were going to perish this way, hmm?!”

He could already taste the joy of revenge. He gazed intently at “Jun Xiaomo” as she lay weakly and feebly on the ground, and his mind began to churn with the innumerable ways he was going to torment Jun Xiaomo in order to repay everything she had done to him and his daughter.

At the very least, he was not going to let Jun Xiaomo have a simple and easy death!

However, just as he arrived beside “Jun Xiaomo”, their surroundings suddenly trembled slightly, and a powerful force suddenly appeared overhead and weighed heavily on their bodies!

Dai Yanfeng reflexively summoned every bit of spiritual energy within his body to resist the overbearing energy weighing down heavily on him. Unfortunately, it was apparent that everyone else who possessed a lower cultivation level found themselves in a far more tragic situation. In particular, almost every one of the Eternal Summit Sect disciples suddenly found themselves crushed by the force and crumbling to the ground as mouthful after mouthful of blood sprayed from their mouths.

“What’s going on?!” Dai Yanfeng’s eyes widened as he barked viciously.

This was something that Xiang Guqing demanded to know as well. Unfortunately, she had expended far too much spiritual energy in the earlier battle, and the spiritual energy remaining within her body was a far cry from what Dai Yanfeng had. Thus, when the overbearing pressure appeared overhead, she almost collapsed to the ground like a broken doll as well.

Right now, even speaking a single word had become an incredibly difficult task to Xiang Guqing.

Just then, one of Xiang Guqing’s disciples lifted her hand weakly and pointed to the sky as she exclaimed, “Look…look up! A formation array!”

Looking up, Xiang Guqing and Dai Yanfeng immediately noticed that a massive formation array looming overhead in the ink-black night sky. This formation array appeared to be formed by over thirty pieces of talismans, each of which were connected to the other by a single golden thread. With the pitch-black night sky as a backdrop, the complicated patterns formed by the golden thread appeared to be immaculately beautiful, possessing an almost godly luster to it.

Unfortunately, none of the ones looking up at the formation array had the heart to appreciate its beauty. In fact, none of the persons carrying the weight of the overbearing pressure could even tell where or when this massive formation array had appeared overhead.

Soon after, Xiang Guqing and Dai Yanfeng discovered to their horror that spiritual energy was beginning to pour out of their bodies, almost as though it was being absorbed by something.

Just as their bewilderment had come to a head, something else which left them completely stupefied occurred in the next moment –

Approximately twenty familiar figures suddenly emerged from the shadows of the woods some distance away and begun to make their way over.

After all, Xiang Guqing and the rest had just defeated the very same people just moments ago! How could they possibly have appeared completely unharmed from the shadows of the woods in the very next moment?!

“What in the world is going on?!” Dai Yanfeng was almost on the brink of insanity.

He swept his gaze across the people lying on the floor right now – There’s no mistake! It’s Ye Xiuwen, Jun Xiaomo and the rest. How could there possibly be another group of the same people?!

Jun Xiaomo looked at Dai Yanfeng placidly as a mischievous smile crept up the corner of her lips, “Elder Dai, I’m pretty sure you already have the answer to all your questions, don’t you? After all, it’s not like you’ve never heard of a Masquerade Talisman. Those people whom you battled with earlier were combatants who had simply assumed the identity of us Heavenly Peak disciples using Masquerade Talismans. Our battle is only just beginning.”

“Hmph! Do you think that a single formation array is sufficient to derail our plans? Insolence. Let me show you the vast difference in the levels of our abilities right now!”

As Dai Yanfeng spoke, he retrieved a dark-green, pagoda-shaped spirit tool and threw it straight towards Jun Xiaomo with all his might. At the same time, he began to mutter a series of mnemonics under his breath as he suffused the spirit tool with his own spiritual energy.

Jun Xiaomo remained rooted to the ground as she looked at the spirit tool flying towards her. Then, in the instant right before the spirit tool struck her, she made a hand seal, causing the formation diagram hovering above them to tremble slightly. Just like that, the spirit tool collided heavily with what appeared to be an invisible barrier. Unable to fly out of the domain of the formation array and strike its target, the spiritual energy within the spirit tool began to leak out profusely as well.

As the spiritual energy flowed out of the spirit tool, the formation array hovering above them also began to glow with an even brighter luster.

Pfft! Dai Yanfeng spat out a fresh mouthful of blood. He was the owner of the spirit tool. Naturally, he would suffer from a massive backlash when the spiritual energy within the spirit tool was forcibly extricated by the oppressive formation array hovering above them.

“Would you like to give other spirit tools a try?” A mischievous smile crept up the corner of Jun Xiaomo’s lips again, “Don’t say that I didn’t warn you, Elder Dai. The higher the grade of spirit tool used, the more spiritual energy this formation array will absorb from it, and the more intense the backlash suffered on your end. You can give it another shot if you don’t believe me. We can see whether you manage to use a spirit tool successfully first, or whether you perish as a result of all the backlashes first.”

“You! Jun Xiaomo! You did this on purpose!” Dai Yanfeng lambasted Jun Xiaomo, “You’d used others to lure us out just so that you could deal with all of us using the formation array in one fell swoop!”

“You’re spot on, Elder Dai. The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind. Haven’t you heard of such tactics before?” Jun Xiaomo chuckled.

“So what, Jun Xiaomo? Do you think you’ll be able to keep us trapped and bound here with your formation array forever? Dream on! I know that the effects of these formation arrays built on talismans won’t last for more than a few hours. Once the formation array loses its effects, I’ll show you how we’re going to take care of you!” Dai Yanfeng continued to berate Jun Xiaomo furiously.

“You’re on a roll! It is indeed true that the effects of formation arrays built on talismans don’t last for more than a few hours. I’d never expected Elder Dai to be so well-informed in this regard… Unfortunately, did you really think that I’d be giving you the opportunity to walk away from the formation array with your lives intact?!”

“What?!” Dai Yanfeng’s eyes widened.

As soon as Jun Xiaomo finished speaking, she immediately retrieved a ferocious looking whip and charged headlong towards Dai Yanfeng. At the same time, Ye Xiuwen and the other Heavenly Peak disciples took cue from Jun Xiaomo and also charged into the domain of the formation array, attacking Xiang Guqing and the rest as well.

Ye Xiuwen and the other Heavenly Peak disciples had already applied on themselves a talisman provided by Jun Xiaomo beforehand. Thus, they remained completely unaffected by the powerful formation array hovering above them. On the other hand, Xiang Guqing and Dai Yanfeng were much less fortunate. Not only were they unable to escape the domain of the formation array, the oppressive effect of the formation array even meant that both their offensive and defensive abilities were massively suppressed, while the amount of spiritual energy within their bodies were constantly being drained away as well.

Xiang Guqing and the rest had already expended a substantial amount of the spiritual energy within their bodies through their earlier arduous and long battle. Thus, under the draining and suppressive effects of the formation array, they discovered that their overall combat abilities were greatly reduced and muted – those who originally possessed combat abilities at the advanced-tier Golden Core stage of cultivation had now found themselves possibly weaker than the average cultivator at the elementary-tier Golden Core stage of cultivation.

Under such circumstances, it was obvious that the tides had turned, and the goddess of victory was shining favorably on Jun Xiaomo and the rest right now.

In the blink of an eye, Xiang Guqing’s disciple was felled, and he was no longer able to stand up.

Moments later, another disciple from the Eternal Summit Sect was also felled by a powerful whiplash, and his arms and legs were twisted into a mangled mess. He, too, was unable to stand up again.

After Ye Xiuwen plunged his sword straight through Xiang Guqing’s shoulders, he joined hands with Jun Xiaomo and beat Dai Yanfeng back until he collapsed on the ground.

As Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen worked hand in hand to suppress, defeat and incapacitate all their enemies, Zhang Shuyue began to boil with hatred and jealousy.

“Jun Xiaomo! Do you really not care about your lover Rong Ruihan anymore?!” Dai Yanfeng could no longer suppress the hatred in his heart, and he bellowed at the top of his voice in a manic fashion when he saw yet another Eternal Summit Sect disciple sent flying by Jun Xiaomo, slamming heavily into the ground.

Jun Xiaomo paused momentarily and turned back around, gazing languidly at Dai Yanfeng as he lay on the ground in a sorry state. Coldly, she quipped, “I’ll spare your life if you’re willing to let Rong Ruihan out. How about that?”

Dai Yanfeng was naturally opposed to that idea. After all, he had done so much just to trap Rong Ruihan within the spirit tool, and he was eagerly anticipating the time when Rong Ruihan would be reduced to no more than a pool of blood. How could he possibly entertain the idea of releasing Rong Ruihan?

Furthermore, the spirit tool could only be used once every one-hundred years, and there was no reason to release Rong Ruihan and render that single use completely wasted.

As she observed the hesitation creeping into the depths of Dai Yanfeng’s eyes, Jun Xiaomo snorted coldly, “Elder Dai, you would be wise to recognize that things aren’t really going in your favor right now. If you hesitate any longer, I’m just going to end up crippling each and every single one of you. You’d better believe it!”

Dai Yanfeng was unsure of whether Jun Xiaomo possessed the ability to cripple everyone present right now. That said, he knew that Jun Xiaomo was resourceful, and she might very well still have tricks up her sleeves.

Dai Yanfeng was a prideful man. He was a person who would very much rather choose death than to be rendered a crippled person.

As his heart and mind began to churn with his thoughts and deliberations, Dai Yanfeng squinted to conceal his eyes that were intensely filled with hatred.

Finally, he looked back up at Jun Xiaomo. Coughing weakly, he addressed Jun Xiaomo once more, “Hah, it’s not that I don’t want to release him either. It’s just that the spirit tool I have is rather unique, and it only allows entries, not exits. If you think that you can save him yourself, you’re welcome to give it a shot.”

“What do you mean?” Jun Xiaomo asked coldly.

“You’ll know when you see it.”

As Dai Yanfeng finished speaking, he retrieved the spirit tool from his Interspatial Ring and tossed it straight towards Jun Xiaomo!

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