Chapter 60: Shadow in the Night

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Ye Xiuwen did not mind how the other disciples were talking behind his back. Dawn Sect was essentially filled with complicated factions and allegiances vying for power within the Sect. Of all these factions, He Zhang’s was the strongest. It was under these circumstances that Jun Linxuan’s focus on cultivation seemed more of an anomaly than the norm, as he maintained cordiality with all factions and groups and preferred none over the other. 

Under Jun Linxuan’s direction, Heavenly Peak and its disciples had developed a similar personality with an absolute focus on cultivation and a disinterest in all other matters. Even though Ye Xiuwen could sense disciples from other Peaks giving derisory looks at Heavenly Peak and its disciples, he knew that people who walked different paths should stay separate and not force the issue. There was no reason for him to change his personality just so that he could curry favour with others.

After following Ye Xiuwen back to his room, Jun Xiaomo was about to remove her Invisibility Talisman when Ye Xiuwen stopped her.

“Little Mo, don’t remove your Invisibility Talisman yet. It’s still early now, and they might still return and come find me after they’re done with their shopping.”

Hearing this, Jun Xiaomo immediately retracted her hand that was already reaching out for her Invisibility Talisman. Then, she laughed and said with embarrassment, “Brother Ye’s clearly more meticulous. I was just about to remove the talisman!”

Even though the odds of the others looking for Ye Xiuwen were low, it was better to be safe than sorry. Once the others discovered Yao Mo’s presence in Ye Xiuwen’s room, then all of Jun Xiaomo’s earlier preparations would have gone to waste.

Ye Xiuwen could guess the look and expressions on Jun Xiaomo’s face right now even though he was unable to see her. He smiled wryly as he responded, “It’s fine, as long as you’re aware of it. Oh yes, that little fella in your clothes must be too stifled by now. Let’s let him out then.”

“Ah! That’s right! I almost forgot!” Jun Xiaomo hurriedly retrieved her little packrat and removed the Noise-Cancelling Talisman on its back.

Squeak squeak squeak! Squeak squeak squeak! Once the Noise-Cancelling Talisman had been removed, the little packrat squeaked madly at Jun Xiaomo. It felt humiliated and aggrieved because Jun Xiaomo had placed a Noise-Cancelling Talisman on it before it had given its approval!

This was the first time that the little packrat blew its top at Jun Xiaomo as well. After all, it had always been very protective and loving of Jun Xiaomo. This only went to show how angry it was right this moment.

Seeing the furry in the little packrat’s eyes, Jun Xiaomo’s heart swelled with remorse.

She knew that her little packrat was filled with spiritual awareness. But in Jun Xiaomo’s eyes, that little bit of spiritual awareness did not change the fact that it was a small creature. Therefore, she did not think too much when she placed the Noise-Cancelling Talisman on it for insurance.

“Alright, I’m sorry. I’ll seek your approval first next time, right?” Jun Xiaomo used her index finger to stroke and tenderly tousle her little packrat’s snow-white fur.

Squeak squeak! The little packrat angrily squeaked two more times, as if to say – There’s still a next time?!

However, Jun Xiaomo could not understand the hidden meaning behind these two squeaks, and she even thought that her little packrat felt pacified by her cajoling. Therefore, she only continued to stroke its fur in silence.

The little packrat also knew that Jun Xiaomo had not understood the real reason why it was angry, and in a fit of its frustration it angrily bit down on Jun Xiaomo’s finger. This time, it really bit down hard.

Jun Xiaomo felt a sharp pain surge from her finger before she immediately felt some dampness on it – the little packrat had drawn blood.

The little packrat also tasted the stench of blood in its mouth. It gradually reduced its biting strength until finally it licked Jun Xiaomo’s finger as it gently bit down on it. Once there was no longer any stench of blood, it turned its little body around and ignored Jun Xiaomo.

Seeing this, Jun Xiaomo could not help but realize how tender and caring her little packrat was towards her. After all, despite being so infuriated, it had nevertheless been extremely reluctant to hurt her.

Jun Xiaomo once again scratched her little packrat’s head with her index finger. The little packrat also wiggled its ears in response, but it continued to look away from Jun Xiaomo.

She knew at this moment that the little packrat’s anger wouldn’t dissipate so quickly, so she resigned to continue stroking its fur as she drank tea and chatted with Ye Xiuwen.

“Cough… Brother Ye, seems like I’ve made a fool of myself in front of you. This little fella’s temper is something to behold, eh?” Jun Xiaomo said slightly abashedly.

“It’s fine. I actually think that that’s a rather good thing.” Ye Xiuwen sincerely responded.

Ye Xiuwen sat opposite Jun Xiaomo as he drank his tea leisurely while observing the little scuffle between the pet and its owner. For some reason, he subconsciously smiled to himself.

He suddenly felt encountering this young man Yao Mo on his travels was not such a bad thing after all. At the very least, Yao Mo brought some excitement and joy to him, and that would beat having to face the cold, scheming duo Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen all on his own.

Jun Xiaomo could not see Ye Xiuwen’s expressions, but she could feel that he was in a good mood, and this made her heart lighten up considerably as well.

Jun Xiaomo tousled the little packrat’s fur a little more, before she was suddenly reminded of something –

“Oh yes, brother Ye, do you still remember the Blackwind Sabretooth Tiger and the swarm of Vampire Demonrats we encountered in those woods?”

“Of course. What about it?” Ye Xiuwen lifted his head and looked curiously in Jun Xiaomo’s direction.

Even though he couldn’t see anyone around, Ye Xiuwen knew that Yao Mo was sitting right there.

“When we were on our way back earlier, we guessed that someone had a part to play in these encounters because encountering two frenzied spirit beasts in quick succession is just too much to be a coincidence. Brother Ye, who do you think the culprit is?”

Ye Xiuwen took a sip of tea, before saying with coldness in his voice, “I have someone that I’m suspicious of, but I can’t be certain.”

“You must be talking about Ke Xinwen, right?” Jun Xiaomo immediately exposed the identity of Ye Xiuwen’s prime suspect. Back then, when she and Ye Xiuwen had returned to the inn early and were waiting for the rest at the Great Hall, Ke Xinwen had made a peculiar expression when he returned and noticed Ye Xiuwen sitting there. Both Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen had picked up on this before Ke Xinwen managed to adjust his expressions.

“Indeed, my suspicions are on him. But I wouldn’t draw any conclusions before I find any hard evidence on this.” Ye Xiuwen calmly responded.

He naturally wouldn’t let off anyone who wanted to harm him easily. But at the same time, he would not make bare assertions against others without substantiating these allegations with hard evidence either.

Jun Xiaomo nodded her head, acknowledging her understanding.

The truth of the matter was that both Ke Xinwen and Qin Lingyu had the motive for harming Ye Xiuwen. It would soon time for the annual Sect Ranking Competition. If they successfully broke through to the Foundation Establishment stage during their travels, then they would naturally become rivals in the Foundation Establishment category in the upcoming competition. Historically, Ye Xiuwen had always outshone his competition. Despite being the Sect Leader’s disciple, Qin Lingyu had never once been able to defeat Ye Xiuwen.

The competition in the Foundation Establishment category had a completely different level of significance from the competition in the Qi Mastery category. The ranking competition in the Qi Mastery category would only be watched by a few small sects. But from the Foundation Establishment category and beyond, large, reputable sects would attend in the audience and watch the competition closely. Therefore, Qin Lingyu did not want to lose out to Ye Xiuwen again.

In the Foundation Establishment category Sect Ranking Competition in Jun Xiaomo’s previous life, Qin Lingyu had indeed surpassed Ye Xiuwen. Back then, Jun Xiaomo had been wholeheartedly rooting for Qin Lingyu, whom she thought excelled in every single discipline in life. Therefore, she did not discover any issues with Qin Lingyu’s victory over Ye Xiuwen. But now, having gained a whole lifetime of experience, she naturally could see the vast difference in strength between Ye Xiuwen and Qin Lingyu.

But as things stood right now, Jun Xiaomo knew that it was practically impossible for Qin Lingyu to defeat Ye Xiuwen unless he encountered an immense amount of good luck during these travels.

Jun Xiaomo was now deep in her own thoughts, while Ye Xiuwen casually drank tea as he relaxed.

Squeak squeak! The little packrat realized that the finger stroking its head had stopped, and it immediately called out, jolting Jun Xiaomo back to her senses.

“Eh? What’s up, little fella? Are you hungry?” Jun Xiaomo tickled its ears before retrieving a bag of pine nuts from her Interspatial Ring and taking out the biggest pine nut she could find, placed it before the little packrat and said, “Good boy. Have a bite!”

The little packrat looked at the pine nut in despondence, before it suddenly lay flat on the table, playing dead.

“If you’re not hungry…don’t tell me you’re still mad at me?” Jun Xiaomo suddenly felt that it was getting harder and harder to understand this little packrat.

Ye Xiuwen chuckled lightly because this little packrat was looking directly at Ye Xiuwen with its beady eyes, and Ye Xiuwen could see its “expressions” very clearly.

“It’s not hungry at all. It’s because it thoroughly enjoyed your scratching, and it’s upset that you’ve now stopped.”

“Oh, that’s how it is!” Jun Xiaomo exclaimed in astonishment as she thought to hop over to take a peek at the little packrat’s expressions to see if it were true. 

Squeak squeak! The little packrat felt rather upset having had its thoughts exposed by Ye Xiuwen, and it squeaked fiercely at Ye Xiuwen.

But, given its small stature, its ferocity did not amount to any form of threat at all.

Therefore, Ye Xiuwen simply shrugged it off and maintained a calm expression as he continued to sip tea from his cup.

Jun Xiaomo grew amused by her little packrat. “Pfft!” She chuckled as she stroked her packrat’s head, saying, “Alright, I know you’re very capable. Come on, you’ve not eaten anything today. Be good and eat the pine nut. Brother Ye and I have some matters to discuss.”

The little packrat felt dismayed and exasperated. In Jun Xiaomo’s eyes, it would forever be that little packrat hiding in her clothes, unable to assist with any important matters.

At least, it was unable to assist with any important matters in its current state.

Resigned to its fate, the little packrat finally stopped squeaking and pulled the pine nut to its face. Then, it started gnawing on the pine nut unhappily.

Just like that, the afternoon passed by calmly and peacefully.

It was night. A black shadow slipped out from the inn they were staying at and sped towards the other large inn.

This was a small town, and there were not many places that offered entertainment at night. Therefore, most people had gone home early, and there were only a few stragglers left wandering on the roads. As the black shadow sped by these wanderers at night, most of them felt as though it were a cool, natural breeze that blew past them, and they did not notice anything strange at all.

The black shadow finally arrived at the inn that Jun Xiaomo was supposed to be residing in. Then, it immediately shot up to the corridor on the second floor. The cloud cover momentarily separated, and a dim beam of moonlight shone on the black shadow and revealed his identity –

Ke Xinwen was here to confront Yao Mo.

Second floor, room number five…

Once Ke Xinwen checked the room number and ascertained that this was the room that Yao Mo was residing in, he circled over to the window at the side, attempting to break in through the windows. Unfortunately, he discovered that both the window and the room door was shut tightly, and it could not be opened.

“Ah, it seems this Yao Mo fella is rather cautious.” Ke Xinwen mocked in his heart. In the next moment, a Wind Blade flew out and sliced the door’s locking mechanism in half.

But right in that moment when the lock was cut, the door suddenly glowed with a bright light, and that bright light immediately shot strongly into Ke Xinwen, knocking him back a few steps. Ke Xinwen was knocked so hard that he even almost fell over the second-floor railing.

“Cough…” Ke Xinwen coughed up a mouthful of blood. He had received that sudden blow without putting up any form of guard at all, and he obviously sustained some injuries from it.

But, to Ke Xinwen, these injuries were only minor at best.

“Not bad, you certainly have some tricks up your sleeves. But you’re an array master at the first level of Qi Mastery after all, and this is your limit. Pfft.” Ke Xinwen spat out a spittoon of blood, took out a medicinal pill and swallowed it.

Within moments, Ke Xinwen’s chest ceased hurting, and he looked straight at the closed door as his eyes flashed with a macabre intent – he had never intended to take this array master’s life; and he only wanted to show him his place so that this array master would not be able to join their entourage tomorrow.

But now that this array master had hurt him, how could Ke Xinwen let him off so easily?!

Ke Xinwen thought about this as he kicked down the doors with murderous intent.

Earlier, he had used a Wind Blade to cleave the door’s lock, and Ke Xinwen was naturally able to open the door easily.

With a vicious grin on his face, he was just about to step through the door when the room suddenly glowed again with another light. This time, Ke Xinwen was prepared, and he quickly stepped to the side, hoping to avoid any burst of force.

However, the glow of light this time was not a force of repulsion, but a force of attraction. Only Ke Xinwen’s sleeve was caught by this light, but his entire body immediately began to be sucked into the room…

Bang! The room’s doors slammed shut and startled a bird on a tree outside. But apart from that, no one else found anything amiss.

Outside the door, things were serene, and the moon hung high. No one was aware of what had just happened here, and what was about to happen shortly.

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