Chapter 83: The Sudden Appearance of the Demonvine

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Jun Xiaomo’s intuition was rarely ever wrong. Therefore, she consciously maintained vigilant of her surroundings as she journeyed along with the rest.

One could never be too cautious. If Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen wished to make a move against Ye Xiuwen within the next one and a half days, then she had to do all she could to ensure that they were not going to get their way.

Jun Xiaomo had thought that her uneasiness came from Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen’s ploys. However, in the afternoon of the second day, as the entire entourage hurried along on their journey towards the Mystic Woods, the uneasiness in Jun Xiaomo’s heart slowly escalated, until it finally reached its limits and triggered a response from Jun Xiaomo.

“Brother Ye, hang on a minute. Something’s not right with this place!” Jun Xiaomo immediately grabbed Ye Xiuwen’s hand, preventing him from moving forward any further.

Ye Xiuwen was immediately taken by surprise. But he nevertheless took Jun Xiaomo’s opinion seriously. He stopped moving forward, and slowly released his divine senses to probe around at his surroundings.

In fact, Ye Xiuwen had constantly probed about their surroundings with his divine sense as they trudged along on their journey, but he did not discover anything peculiar. Now that Jun Xiaomo had made her suspicions known, he decided to expand the range of his divine sense and check his surroundings more thoroughly.

Moments later, Ye Xiuwen retracted his divine sense and shook his head at Jun Xiaomo, saying, “I didn’t discover anything strange in our surroundings.”

Jun Xiaomo bit down on her lips, as she knitted her brows in perplexity.

“But I’m getting this strange sense that something is not right…and I just can’t place a finger on where this uneasiness comes from.”

Ye Xiuwen furrowed his brows, before he decided to check his surroundings even more thoroughly, leaving no stone left unturned.

Moments later, Ye Xiuwen finally discovered what the abnormality was – this place was simply too quiet! In fact, the surroundings were enshrouded by such a deathly stillness that it could be likened to the land of the dead.

It was not an uncommon thing for them to encounter spirit beasts in the deepest parts of the woods. Therefore, encountering periods of unnatural stillness and quietness in the woods were not too uncommon. Whenever the entourage realized this, they would release their divine senses to probe about their surroundings so that they could avoid crossing paths with strong spirit beasts.

After all, the combined combat prowess of this entourage was still rather limited; and locking in combat with spirit beasts too frequently was not a good thing. If that happened, there was a real possibility that the weaker disciples might end up overdrawing their spirit energy reserves.

However, this was the situation in the deepest parts of the woods. Right now, they were only a day’s journey away from the edge of the woods. Logically speaking, they should not be encountering such an unnatural stillness in the woods where they are.

“I don’t hear any crickets chirping or birds calling – this is highly unusual. Didn’t Qin Lingyu say we are about to leave these woods very soon?” Jun Xiaomo rubbed her chin as she thought aloud, “Logically speaking, predators rarely traversed the edge of the woods, and there would usually be many more small creatures around these parts. Right now, I don’t even see a single bug in sight.”

Ye Xiuwen stretch out his hand and tugged Jun Xiaomo’s right hand as he instructed, “Follow me closely. Be careful.”

Jun Xiaomo relished in the warmth transmitted by Ye Xiuwen’s palm which was wrapped around her hand. Despite the potential dangers ahead, she smiled blissfully as she inched towards Ye Xiuwen and followed closely behind him.

Ye Xiuwen hesitated for a moment, before he went along with the flow as well.

As they walked on, the beams of sunray shone which through the canopy warmly illuminated their bodies, turning them into a hazy silhouette of two persons holding hands as they walked towards the light. It was as though they would on and on, forever……

Qin Lingyu and the rest of their entourage walked on ahead, and they similarly released their divine senses to probe about their surroundings to check for potential dangers.

However, it had been several days since they came close to encountering any dangerous situations. Furthermore, they knew that they were already nearing the next small town. Therefore, these disciples had long since grown complacent – even those that did release their divine senses to probe at their surroundings did so halfheartedly at best.

“Sigh, once we leave these damned woods and arrive at the next small town, I’m going to find some place to indulge in some good food and drinks, and then treat myself to a nice long nap.” One of the disciples waved his fist in the air as he commented.

They had lived off dry rations for well over ten days now. To make matters worse, Jun Xiaomo had always been cooking all kinds of delectable delights at the side, whetting their appetites and testing their self-restraint.

In fact, the temptation was so great that this disciple felt as though he had not eaten his fill ever since Yao Mo first prepared his grilled reindeer meat.

But he didn’t have any choice. There was a great disjunct between the scents and aromas that assaulted their olfactory senses and the dry rations in their hands. This juxtaposition was so great that the dry rations even started to look completely inedible to these disciples. Therefore, notwithstanding their growling stomachs, they ate less and less over the last few days because they simply could not bring themselves to swallow that detestable, grainy food any longer.

Another one of the disciples looked at him empathically as he nodded his head, before he turned around and glanced at Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen who were following them some distance behind. Then, he turned back and lamented with some measure of indignance, “I still think that bringing that Yao Mo fella along with us was a bad decision. Even though our original intention was for him to follow us until we returned to the Sect so that he can aid with the Sect’s investigations, his actions right now are simply tormenting us.”

“Isn’t that so! Furthermore, I don’t think Yao Mo has much substance to offer to the group. At best, I reckon he only knows one or two formation arrays that are only useful for tripping people up. Look, just the other day when we encountered some danger, he simply hid behind martial brother Ye with no intention to help out. He’s clearly freeloading off us here. If he’s really so powerful, then why didn’t he lend a helping hand at all? I just can’t see how he could have rescued martial brother Ye, and twice at that. He’s clearly lying through his teeth!”

Jun Xiaomo had indeed been rather passive in the last few days, and she had always allowed Ye Xiuwen to protect her –

The first reason was that her cultivation level was still too low, and she might end up being more of a hassle if she tried to help out Ye Xiuwen. Furthermore, their recent encounters had been small spirit beasts, and Ye Xiuwen alone was more than sufficient to deal with these minor threats. After all, he was a sword cultivator at the twelfth level of Qi Mastery. The second reason was that she had an extremely limited number of talismans in her Interspatial Ring. The more she used, the less she would have for a rainy day. Naturally, it would be wise to err on the side of caution so that she would not find herself lacking talismans in the event of a true emergency.

And besides, she had not been wasting her time. She would find time to practice her sword arts with Ye Xiuwen every day, spar for a little bit, and then use any of her remaining true energy to make more talismans.

With such an organized and rigorous training schedule, Jun Xiaomo even discovered that she was starting to show signs of breaking through the bottleneck of the first level of Qi Mastery.

Regardless, these were not things that she had to account to the entire entourage that she was travelling with. Therefore, in the ignorance of these disciples’ eyes, Yao Mo was simply a coward who would hide behind Ye Xiuwen in times of danger!

“What I’m most baffled by is how martial brother Ye could condone this fella’s display of cowardice by hiding behind his back. He doesn’t even protect Yi Hong and Di Yue with this kind of conscientiousness! Eh?” As this disciple exclaimed, he patted Yi Hong and Di Yue’s shoulders with compassion.

Yi Hong and Di Yue were both team members of Ye Xiuwen’s teams, but they were clearly more willing to follow Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen. This was evident by the fact that they would always follow Qin Lingyu or Ke Xinwen’s lead and listen to Qin Lingyu’s instructions. On the other hand. they consciously distanced themselves from their appointed team leader, Ye Xiuwen.

Yi Hong looked at his fellow martial brother and smiled helplessly as he shook his head and said, “What choice do I have? When I first applied to travel out of the Sect, I also wanted to choose martial brother Qin or martial brother Ke as my team leaders. Unfortunately, my abilities can’t match up to yours. Then, given how martial brother Qin and martial brother Ke’s teams had already filled up, I could only end up picking martial brother Ye as my team leader. I never expected him to treat an outsider better than he treats us either. Sigh…”

Di Yue was walking ahead of them. When he heard Yi Hong’s words, he immediately turned around and added sarcastically, “I couldn’t care less if he doesn’t want to protect us. He and that young man Yao Mo can go be lovey-dov—Ahh—!” Before Di Yue finished, a thick vine suddenly appeared in everyone’s sights and wrapped itself around Di Yue’s body, lifting him up high in the air.

Then, more and more vines started to appear and wrap around Di Yue’s body that had already been hoisted into the air.

Di Yue was so frightened that he immediately started screaming at the top of his lungs. He wanted to break free of these vines’ constriction around his body so that he could get back down on the ground. However, the more he struggled, the tighter these vines constricted around him, and it eventually got to the point that he found it increasingly difficult to breathe – the constriction was getting so tight that air was being forcefully squeezed out of his lungs.

The most frightening thing about these vines was how they seemed to have something hidden within them which pierced straight through his skin and ferociously drained away at his energies.

At this moment, Di Yue had been constricted so tightly that even his eyeballs began to bulge out. His mouth hung loosely as he looked at his fellow martial brothers and sisters standing some distance away. Then, with a quivering voice, he pleaded, “Help…me…quick…help…me…”

The other disciples were all caught unaware by this sudden ambush, and they did not know how to react. Yet in that instant, and despite Di Yue’s pleading, not a single person went forward to rescue Di Yue, including those two senior martial brothers which Di Yue adored so much – Qin Lingyu and Ke Xinwen.

Qin Lingyu did not appear frazzled by this sudden development, but he was not willing to make the first move to rescue Di Yue – he did not have any intentions to help out before he could properly ascertain what exactly these vines were.

In Qin Lingyu’s eyes, his life was far more valuable than the lives of anyone else around him right now.

Pfft--! Di Yue suddenly spurted out a mouthful of blood, and some of this blood dribbled all over the surface of the vine. However, this blood disappeared astonishingly quickly, as though they had been absorbed by the vines. Then, in the next moment, the vines instantly erupted into a frenzy.

“Retreat!” Qin Lingyu’s eyes quivered as he immediately signaled for a retreat. The other disciples were slower to react. But seeing Qin Lingyu run away, they quickly followed suit. As the disciples ran, they even started casting all sorts of spells to cover their retreat – they had no choice because the vines had started to close in on them. Right now, the vines were thrashing about with such hysteria that sent shudders down the spines of several disciples.

What kind of a thing is this?!

At this moment, Di Yue saw each and every single one of the martial brothers and sisters whom he trusted start to leave him, and he knew in his heart that they were all abandoning him. His anger swelled up to his throat, and this sudden agitation caused him to spit out another mouthful of blood.

Instantly, the vines thrashed about more hysterically, and it even began to glow with a dim red light at this point.

Further behind, Ye Xiuwen had reacted immediately the moment the vines attacked Di Yue, and he had already retreated some distance together with Jun Xiaomo. Since they were at the back of the entourage to begin with, there was no way the vine would be able to reach their bodies anytime soon.

In truth, Jun Xiaomo had immediately recognized the true identity of those vines the moment she saw the vines appear. And, she also finally understood the origins of her uneasiness at the outset.

Demonvine, an existence that consumed all living beings in its surroundings for sustenance and nutrition. The higher the grade of the Demonvine, the greater the range of its domain of dominance.

This naturally also explained why this entire region of the woods had been so quiet to begin with. It was a very real possibility that all the spirit beasts and creatures in this region had already been consumed by the Demonvine and become nothing more than nutrients coursing through the stem of the Demonvine right now!

Jun Xiaomo smiled wryly. Even though the Demonvine was vicious and cruel, it was not difficult to deal with the Demonvine as long as one had the requisite know-how.

The vines drew closer and closer, and the efforts of Qin Lingyu and the others to delay the approach of the vines looked to be in vain. Therefore, Qin Lingyu led the disciples to dash directly over in the direction where Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo was standing at this moment, luring the vines directly towards them!

Jun Xiaomo’s eyes flashed with a frigid gleam as she chuckled coldly.

Then, she retrieved two talismans from her Interspatial Ring and slapped them onto Ye Xiuwen and her body.



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