Chapter 82: Jun Xiaomo’s Unique Auditory Abilities

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Qin Lingyu looked cautiously around at his surroundings, and even sent a thread of divine sense probing about the camp site below. Then, when he finally ascertained that everyone had remained seated around the bonfire and there were presently only him and Ke Xinwen around, he finally felt more at ease. He turned back towards Ke Xinwen and asked plainly, “Have you managed to come up with any ideas to deal with Ye Xiuwen and Yao Mo?”

“Haa--?!” Ke Xinwen did not expect Qin Lingyu’s questions to be along these lines.

Given how Qin Lingyu held his fate in the center of his palms, he was naturally resigned to obeying Qin Lingyu’s every beck and call right now. Since that was the case, he had every intention to obey Qin Lingyu’s instructions and directions when it came to the matters pertaining to Ye Xiuwen and Yao Mo, and he certainly did not dare to act out of line.

Therefore, he had never expected Qin Lingyu to ask him whether he had come up with any ideas to deal with Ye Xiuwen and Yao Mo. Isn’t this something for you to think about instead? Ke Xinwen thought to himself as he stared blankly at Qin Lingyu, completely lost for words.

As expected… Qin Lingyu’s eyes immediately turned frosty and his voice grew colder as he rebuked Ke Xinwen, “Do you expect me to do everything around here? Are you a three years-old child? Do I have to hold your hand and teach you everything? I’ve already said that the things I want are within Yao Mo’s Interspatial Ring. As for Ye Xiuwen, he’s never truly displayed the full extent of his abilities before us. Even though we are all at the twelfth level of Qi Mastery right now, do you know what would happen if he breaks through to the Foundation Establishment stage before either of us? I’m sure even you would be able to guess the answer, right?”

Hearing this, Ke Xinwen’s face immediately flushed with embarrassment. Qin Lingyu’s breakdown of the situation left him absolutely no room to hide his shame. But at the same time, he knew that Qin Lingyu was right – Ye Xiuwen was their greatest rival right now. Being of similar cultivation levels, everyone naturally compared Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen with Ye Xiuwen. Even though Ke Xinwen was better with people; and Qin Lingyu held a better position in the Sect, none of them could hold a candle to Ye Xiuwen when it came to their actual abilities.

In the cultivation world, when a person of a low cultivation level could still muddy the waters and get by with their interpersonal skills or the position which they occupied within the sect. But as the person’s cultivation level increases, so does the emphasis on one’s true abilities; while on the other hand the importance of these peripheral skills would gradually fade into the background.

Therefore, whether it was Ke Xinwen or Qin Lingyu, neither of them wished to see Ye Xiuwen return to the Sect alive.

“I understand what you mean.” Ke Xinwen suppressed the humiliation he experienced from Qin Lingyu’s lashing as he clenched his fists tightly and added, “I also wish to find a way to deal with the two of them. But as you can see, I’ve plotted against them three times now. But somehow, I end up losing out each time. Especially when it comes to that damn array master Yao Mo who claims to be only at the first level of Qi Mastery – I wonder if he’s hiding his true abilities? Otherwise, how could he end up rescuing Ye Xiuwen time and time again?”

Furthermore, whenever Ke Xinwen was reminded of how Yao Mo had severely tripped him up with his Nightmare Array, thereby causing him to divulge his deepest secrets about killing his fellow martial brother, his heart would swell up with both hatred and fear for Yao Mo.

“That’s cause you’re a fool. They won’t know you’re scheming against them if you just change things up once in a while. Why do you think they would immediately point their finger at you the moment they return?”

“So what if they suspect me? Do they have any proof, huh?” Ke Xinwen sheepishly refuted.

“Idiot! Once they suspect you, they will naturally put up their guard against you. Right now, they might even be aware of the exact methods you’re employing against them each time. Believe me – your foolishness has and will make every future attempt at scheming against them more and more difficult.” Qin Lingyu spoke bluntly and without any reservations, causing Ye Xiuwen’s face to turn a sickly green.

“Then what can we do? There’s no way we can duke it out with them openly either. Even if we could, there’s no guarantee that we would be able to defeat them either. Just Ye Xiuwen alone would be difficult enough to deal with. If we add that mysterious array master Yao Mo to the mix, then things really don’t look good for us right now.” Ke Xinwen retorted with a mild despondence.

“Can’t you use your brains and think from a different perspective? Sometimes, I really wonder whether it was a good idea to keep you by my side. I don’t want to be implicated when you go down in your stupidity.” Qin Lingyu once again rebuffed Ke Xinwen harshly. Hearing this, Ke Xinwen’s body froze in shock, and he clenched his fists even more tightly in frustration.

“Then tell me! How do you intend to deal with the two of them!” Ke Xinwen replied indignantly.

Even though he did not want to admit it, he knew that Qin Lingyu was far more cunning than him when it came to scheming against others. This was why Ke Xinwen had decided to leave things to Qin Lingyu right at the outset –

He knew that there was no way he would be able to deal with both Ye Xiuwen and Yao Mo with just his own abilities.

Then, Qin Lingyu’s eyes gleamed viciously as he gravely articulated each word, “Divide. And. Conquer.”

Ke Xinwen’s eyes immediately lit up, and he quickly understood what Qin Lingyu meant.

“Are you saying that we should find a way to separate the two of them, and then pick them off one by one…” As he said this, Ke Xinwen put a finger to his neck and drew a line across viciously.

Qin Lingyu laughed wickedly, “No matter how formidable Ye Xiuwen might be, he’s still nevertheless only a cultivator at the twelfth level of Qi Mastery – we stand a good chance if we join hands against him. And Yao Mo is even less of an issue. He’s just a measly array master who’s not suited for combat to begin with. His fate is sealed once Ye Xiuwen is no longer there to protect him.”

“This…” Ke Xinwen hesitated, “I think that his formation arrays are too formidable. Last time, I was practically locked in that inn by his formation arrays. I’m afraid we cannot be complacent against Yao Mo.”

“Aha, and you were even beaten to a pulp by him.” Qin Lingyu mocked. Ke Xinwen looked pale at this moment. He truly did not want to admit his inadequacies, but he knew that there was no way he could deny that fact.

Qin Lingyu glanced indifferently at Ke Xinwen, a man clearly ambitious but lacking the brains to achieve his goals. Then, he casually queried, “Do you know what the greatest weakness of an array master is?”

Ke Xinwen stared blankly at Qin Lingyu as he contemplated for a moment, before responding with uncertainty, “They are weak in their offensive abilities.”

Qin Lingyu revealed a sardonic smile on his face as he commented, “I really wonder how martial brother Ke had managed to come back alive the last two times you traveled out of the Sect.”

Ke Xinwen had grown used to Qin Lingyu’s sarcastic comments by now, and he seemed relatively unfazed by his comments. Therefore, Ke Xinwen ignored Qin Lingyu’s comments and anxiously pressed the issue, “Hurry up and tell me.”

“An array master’s greatest weakness is the time required to set up his formation arrays.” Qin Lingyu explained cautiously, “Have you thought about it before? If you had not waited till dusk to make your move last time, Yao Mo would not have had the time to set up his formation arrays, and you would not have lost the ability to make the first move. You might even have come out on top of that conflict.”

Ke Xinwen immediately froze in place, and his lips slowly stretched into a vicious smile as realization dawned upon him.

Qin Lingyu had earlier probed about his surroundings with his divine sense, so he was confident that no one was listening in on his discussion with Ke Xinwen right now. However, what he did not notice was how a small leaf was peculiarly stuck on Ke Xinwen’s body. When they finished their discussions and decided to return to the camp site, this leaf silently fell off Ke Xinwen’s clothing and floated to the ground. After a few moments, it spontaneously combusted and turned into ashes.

On the other side, Jun Xiaomo sat atop a round, smooth rock beside the river. As she gingerly slipped the fish into a pot of boiling water, her hands stopped momentarily, and she smiled discreetly before she finally released her grip on the pieces of fish meat.

As the water boiled gently, the fish’s meat quickly turned a pearlescent, milky-white colour as it bobbed about in the pot – the fish stew was coming together nicely.

Jun Xiaomo stirred the pot of fish stew gently as she slowly contemplated how she was going to deal with the two bungling schemers who had now joined hands, Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen.

Qin Lingyu had not expected Yao Mo to be able to draw a formation diagram on a fallen leaf. Over and above that, he had never expected Yao Mo to have thus been able to listen in on their conversation in its entirety.

At the same time, how was Jun Xiaomo going to let them succeed in their schemes so easily now that she had learnt of their plans?

Right now, the only thought running through Jun Xiaomo’s mind was of how she was going to beat them at their own game – she was going to teach them the taste of how one could be too smart for his own good.

However, while Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen had already hammered out their plans, they did not discuss when they would implement it. Therefore, Jun Xiaomo was still unsure of when exactly they planned to make their move.

They might intend to make their move midway through their travels, or they might intend to make their move only when they had arrived at the Mystic Woods. Regardless, she had to be prepared when they finally did so.

It even crossed Jun Xiaomo’s mind to make many more similar talismans with fallen leaves to secretly listen in on Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen’s secret conversations. However, these “fallen leaf talismans” were highly unreliable. Not only was their period of effectiveness extremely low, the success rate of making such talismans was extremely low as well – Jun Xiaomo had expended almost half of her Dantian’s true energy working on fifty over dried leaves before she managed to make a passable “fallen leaf talisman”.

Furthermore, her sole intention today was to test the effectiveness of this fallen leaf talisman on Ke Xinwen’s body. What she did not expect was to inadvertently learn of their infuriating schemes against her and Ye Xiuwen.

However, this was not necessarily a bad thing. After all, this certainly beats being caught completely unaware and falling prey to their schemes.

These fallen leaf talismans require too much effort for too little. It’s just not worth my time. After Jun Xiaomo objectively assessed the situation again, she dispelled any intentions of making any more of these talismans.

Forget it. I’ll just deal with the situation and adapt accordingly. As long as I keep my guard up, these two bungling schemers are bound to let the cat out of the bag in time.

Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen pretended that they had gone for a walk, and thus they returned with one walking ahead of the other. The other disciples also knew that it was not their place to question where Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen had been and what they had been up to. Therefore, they continued to sit by the bonfire, munching away at the dry rations in their hands.

“I’ve just done some calculations with martial brother Ke on the side. We should be arriving at the next town in about another day and a half. Hang in there, everyone.” Qin Lingyu stated coldly, and his facial expressions were extremely sincere and genuine.

The disciples seated around the bonfire naturally took Qin Lingyu’s words at face value. By now, these disciples had grown weary of the fragrance emanating from Jun Xiaomo’s cooking on the one hand; and that bland, tasteless dry rations in their hands. Therefore, Qin Lingyu’s words were like a breath of fresh air to them.

Once they arrived at town, they would be able to indulge in all the delectable cuisines to their heart’s content; sleep on soft, comfortable beds; and even soak off all their weariness in their personal, hot, steaming bathtubs. It was as though heaven were right around the corner!

Oh, and of course they would also have to stock up on a stash of seasonings like Yao Mo kept in her Interspatial Ring. Otherwise, they were sure to face such a gustation torment once they left that town and started travelling through the wilderness again.

That’s right - several disciples had attributed the difference between the food they prepared and Yao Mo’s food solely to the lack of seasoning.

On the other hand, Jun Xiaomo couldn’t care less about what these foolish disciples were thinking at this moment. What she was most concerned about right now was whether Ke Xinwen and Qin Lingyu were going to find some way to trip her and Ye Xiuwen up within the next day and a half.

One and a half days… Jun Xiaomo mulled over this period of time as she smacked her lips.

Somehow, she had a feeling that something was going to happen within the next day and a half…

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