Chapter 52: The Speechless Jun Xiaomo

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

After encountering two battles, Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo’s bodies were full of bloodstains and the pungent smell that belonged on the bodies of the Vampire Demonrats. Ye Xiuwen had always been obsessed with his cleanliness, and as a girl Jun Xiaomo naturally regarded her personal cleanliness of utmost importance. Therefore, both walked over to the nearby stream in agreement.

This stream was located at the border of the woods. Its waters were so clear that one could see the bottom of the stream, as well as all the fish within that were darting about here and there. Under the warm glow of the sunlight, the colouful pebbles at the bottom of the river shimmered radiantly.

“Who would’ve thought that this place would be so scenic.” The unexpected, resplendent view caused Jun Xiaomo to smile widely in surprise as she exclaimed. Even though her smile looked funny with the streaks of white and black plastered all over her face from the battles, her relaxed and content disposition nevertheless spread to Ye Xiuwen as well.

“It’s truly not bad.” Ye Xiuwen nodded in agreement. But in the next moment, he calmly inquired, “Didn’t brother Yao come from within the woods earlier? How come you didn’t notice this small stream?”

That astonishment on Jun Xiaomo’s face gave away the fact that this was the first time she had seen this stream.

Jun Xiaomo bit down hard on the tip of her tongue. She thought to herself – Can you give me a break? How can martial brother be so sharp to pick up all these loopholes in my story? Oh man…what am I going to say now? Is my cover going to be blown in the first day? Am I going to be sent back to the Sect immediately?

Jun Xiaomo had racked her brains and carefully planned for these travels for weeks. If she succumbed to her martial brother’s analytical prowess at this very moment, she was going to be so upset that she could almost cry.

Seeing the young man in front of him bite down on his lower lips and scrunch his face up like a Chinese dumpling, Ye Xiuwen knew that this young man did not have the answer to his question. Even so, he decided not to press the issue anymore.

This young man clearly wore his heart on his sleeve, and anyone could tell what he was thinking. Faced with this, Ye Xiuwen could not bear to abandon him here and ignore him.

Besides, this young man’s demeanor was practically the spitting image of his little martial sister. All the more, Ye Xiuwen found it difficult to harden his heart against him.

At the same time, Ye Xiuwen did not connect the dots – this young man seemed like Jun Xiaomo’s spitting image because “he” was in fact Jun Xiaomo!

Ye Xiuwen still thought that Jun Xiaomo was obediently cultivating and practicing her sword arts in the Sect right this moment.

“Alright, since it’s hard for you to speak about it, let’s shelve it for the time being.” Ye Xiuwen felt that there would always be things that people did not like to talk about, and sometimes there was no need to uncover everything. As for the origin of this young man, Ye Xiuwen had an inkling that one day everything will be made clear to him.

Hearing that Ye Xiuwen was willing to let Jun Xiaomo off the hook and not press the issue any further, her eyes lit up and she immediately grinned cheerfully at Ye Xiuwen, saying, “Thank you, brother! I will definitely tell you the truth when the time is right!”

That’s right. Jun Xiaomo did not intend to deceive Ye Xiuwen his entire life. Once she felt that Ye Xiuwen had sufficiently witnessed the extent of her abilities and would no longer send her back to the Sect immediately, she would of her own volition reveal her true identity to him.

The “young man’s” voice was still crisp and tender, as though he had not reached puberty. This word of “thanks” was similarly crisp and resonant, as though responding to a call from afar.

Under the veiled conical hat, Ye Xiuwen could not help but hook his lips in amusement as he warmed up to the young man in front of him. Ye Xiuwen spoke, “It’s not getting any earlier. Let’s tidy up in this little stream and wash off all the bloodstains before leaving.”

“Alright!” Jun Xiaomo responded enthusiastically. But very shortly after, she realized a problem –

“That…that…brother, do you mean that…”

“My name is Ye Xiuwen.” Ye Xiuwen interrupted the young man’s utterances, “Since I’m older than you, you may call me brother Ye or big brother Ye.”

Since he was already prepared to take this young man, Yao Mo, into his team, Ye Xiuwen naturally would not want him to keep referring to himself as “brother”. Therefore, Ye Xiuwen introduced himself formally to Yao Mo.

“Cough…” Jun Xiaomo coughed once dryly. It was a good thing to be able to refer to her martial brother as “brother Ye” – after all, this term of endearment was much better and more affectionate than “Mr Ye” or “Mr Xiuwen”. However…

“That…that, brother Ye, do you mean that, we…we will be ba-- bathing together?”

This time not only was Jun Xiaomo tongue-tied, even her brain was soon going to be tied together in knots. What kind of joke is this?! How could I bathe together with martial brother?! It’s not like I’m still an unaware young sprout – this is going to make things so awkward between us!!

Ye Xiuwen looked at Jun Xiaomo quizzically, asking, “Is there going to be a problem bathing together? This place isn’t the shower room in the inn. With such a big stream, certainly there’s no need for us to be taking turns, right?”

Jun Xiaomo was almost in tears at this moment. Her concern was not about the size of the river after all – the most important point was that she was a girl…

But of course, because Jun Xiaomo’s appearances had now been altered by the Alteration Talisman, she was now a young man in Ye Xiuwen’s eyes.

Jun Xiaomo felt as though she had fallen into her own trap at this moment. If she had known this was going to happen, she would have adopted the appearance of a female cultivator instead.

On the other hand, Ye Xiuwen could not understand what this young man was thinking right now. Even if he were not used to bathing or showering with others, time was still ticking by very quickly. Besides, both of them were men, so there should be nothing much to be concerned about.

“Let’s just wash ourselves at the same time. It’s going to be noontime soon. My other teammates are still waiting for me at the inn – we can’t let them wait for us.” Ye Xiuwen said plainly.

Ye Xiuwen was well aware that even if the others discovered him to be missing, they might not come searching for him. But at the same time, he was still one of the team leaders, and he could not disappear without a trace without properly accounting to the others. This was a matter of principles to him.

“Alright.” Jun Xiaomo knew that once Ye Xiuwen had said it like that, he would have pretty much made up his mind and there was no room left for any further negotiations.

She mulled over this for a moment, and finally managed to come to terms with it – there would not be any problems as long as she made it a point to have her back facing Ye Xiuwen.

After all, even if she stripped off all her clothes right this instant, Ye Xiuwen would still see her as a man – under the effects of the Alteration Talisman, the parts that guys should have would be there; while the parts that guys should not have would not appear on her body either.

But when Ye Xiuwen discovers my true identity later, things might just become extremely awkward between us…

Jun Xiaomo sobbed silently in her heart as she turned her back towards Ye Xiuwen before slowly but surely removing all of her blood-stained clothing.

Ye Xiuwen also noticed that Yao Mo was no longer resisting his suggestions. Therefore, he also began to take off his clothes – he truly wished to set these horrific blood-stained, smelly clothing that he had on fire.

His movements were faster than Jun Xiaomo. Even before Jun Xiaomo had removed her outer wear, he had already taken off all his clothes and walked straight into the stream.

Ye Xiuwen enjoyed wearing white; and he possessed a long and slim body type. However, once he took off his clothes, his well-defined muscles that were revealed were certainly something that many male disciples could only dream of having.

No matter what, Ye Xiuwen was still a martial arts cultivator specializing in the way of the sword. Having been put through long, arduous and difficult training, there was no chance that he would be skinny and scrawny under those white garbs of his.

Yet Jun Xiaomo who had her back facing Ye Xiuwen saw none of these things.

Instead, it was the splashing sound coming from the stream behind her that told her Ye Xiuwen had already entered the waters.

Instantly, she heaved a sigh of relief. Truth be told, even though she had no unhealthy thoughts or intentions for her martial brother, this was still a highly embarrassing and awkward situation for her.

Then, Jun Xiaomo numbed herself to her surroundings, speedily removed all the remaining clothing on her and then ran into the stream so quickly as though a wild beast were chasing after her.

On the other side, as he focused on cleaning himself, Ye Xiuwen suddenly stopped mid-motion as a complicated thought arose in his heart.

He really could not understand what this young man Yao Mo was thinking…

But at this moment, Jun Xiaomo who had rushed headlong into the water met with yet another tragedy. She had underestimated the depth and the temperature of the stream waters. An icy cold sensation spread across all four of her limbs, and any exposed skin she had felt as though it had been frozen solid. Her limbs momentarily seized in place; her legs slipped on the smooth pebbles on the bottom of the stream, and she instantly sank into the waters.

Splash…splash… “He--…Help…” If Jun Xiaomo had just calmed down for a single moment, she would have discovered that even though the stream waters ran rather deep, her head would still be above the waters if she simply stood still.

However, the stream’s waters were truly too cold, and it practically froze Jun Xiaomo’s body together with her brain and her rationality. Who would have time to investigate the water’s true depths?

Ye Xiuwen: ……

He suddenly wondered whether it would be a mistake bringing this young man back to join his team. Even though this young man were a rarely seen array master, his clumsy and blunderous attitude was absolutely worrying.

Regardless, Ye Xiuwen could not just watch Yao Mo drown in the stream. He waded over to Yao Mo’s side and yanked him out of the waters easily.

“Cough…cough cough…” Jun Xiaomo clung onto Ye Xiuwen tightly as she sputtered out all the waters that she was choking on. By this time, Jun Xiaomo had choked on so much water that her airways were burning with a suffocating and painful sensation.

The present Jun Xiaomo could not care less about her proximity with Ye Xiuwen anymore – she only hoped that she would not fall back into the depths of the waters.

Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows at this moment. The helpless Jun Xiaomo was clenching onto Ye Xiuwen’s arm so tightly that even his veins were starting to bulge. 

Once Jun Xiaomo had gradually calmed down, Ye Xiuwen spoke to her solemnly and calmly, “Actually, the waters aren’t too deep. You should be able to breathe if you just tiptoe.”

The moment Jun Xiaomo heard this, she immediately stared vacantly at Ye Xiuwen. How would she be able to face her martial brother in future? Why is it that she always makes these stupid, silly mistakes in front of Ye Xiuwen? She was not ordinarily a foolish person after all…

Seeing how the young man was now almost in tears, Ye Xiuwen patted his head gingerly as he cautioned, “Just be more careful next time. Don’t rush headlong into the waters. Get yourself used to the water’s temperature and depth first.”

“Al--…Alright.” Jun Xiaomo lowered her head and she mumbled in response. It suddenly crossed her mind whether her previous lifetime of experience had all been in vain.

Truth be told, Jun Xiaomo was not entirely at fault. Under normal circumstances, she might not have been so clumsy. It was only because Ye Xiuwen had suggested to bathe together did she get flustered and overlook these important details.

Once Jun Xiaomo came back to her senses, it immediately occurred to her that she and Ye Xiuwen were standing in an extremely compromising position at this moment! It was embarrassing! She was clinging onto Ye Xiuwen’s arms, and her whole body was practically leaning on Ye Xiuwen’s body!

Worst of all, they were completely naked in a small stream at this moment!

As though she had just been scalded, Jun Xiaomo immediately let go of Ye Xiuwen’s arm and took a few steps back, stuttering as she spoke, “I…I’m fine now. Let’s…let’s continue ba-…bathing…”

Jun Xiaomo’s face was so flushed with embarrassment that smoke could almost be seen coming out of her ears. She was so flustered that she did not know where to look, and her eyes darted here and there – anywhere was fine, as long as it was not on Ye Xiuwen’s body.

She wanted to cry. How could things have turned out this way? How was she going to face Ye Xiuwen in the future when she finally revealed her true identity to him?

Ye Xiuwen raised his eyebrows curiously. He did not expect that despite both of them being men, this young man would actually be so embarrassed about their proximity.

Alright, since the other person were not comfortable with their proximity, Ye Xiuwen would not move any closer to him either. Anyhow, Ye Xiuwen had always been rather particular with his personal space and did not like people getting too close to him either. If not for the fact that it was an “emergency” earlier, he would not have allowed the young man to cling onto him like that.

“Have a good bath. Don’t fall back in again.” Ye Xiuwen instructed before he waded further away from Jun Xiaomo and continued with his own bath some distance away. 

“Alright…” Jun Xiaomo finally managed to heave a sigh of relief. She lifted her head and looked towards where Ye Xiuwen had walked over to, and she discovered that Ye Xiuwen had consciously turned his back against her.

Martial brother must have noticed that I was embarrassed earlier, and therefore he considerately turned his back so that I would feel more comfortable bathing. Jun Xiaomo was both relieved and moved at this moment, and the earlier embarrassment and flustered feeling in her heart also dissipated slightly.

After this incident, nothing much happened between Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen as they concluded their respective baths. They each tidied themselves up silently, returned to shore and put on a new set of clothing at their own time. 

“Let’s be on our way then. It’s not getting any earlier. We’ll be just on time for lunch if we rush back to the inn quickly.” Ye Xiuwen told Jun Xiaomo as Jun Xiaomo hastily nodded and trotted alongside Ye Xiuwen.

I hope we won’t encounter any further embarrassing incidents from now on. Jun Xiaomo lamented to herself in her heart; yet for some strange reason, her premonition told her otherwise.

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