Chapter 354: Ye Xiuwen’s Change, Rong Ruihan’s Decision
If not for Martial Brother Ye, would she like Brother Rong? Jun Xiaomo sincerely didn’t know the answer to this question .
More accurately speaking, she wasn’t even sure of the extent of her present feelings towards Rong Ruihan right now . Everything that Rong Ruihan had done for her in her previous life had left her touched and remorseful . In this life, for the protracted period of time that Ye Xiuwen had gone missing, Rong Ruihan had been the one who had come calling upon her time and again, keeping her company when she felt most alone . Then, when the news of her death spread far and wide throughout the cultivation world, Rong Ruihan had even tapped on the very last bits of his strengths and resources to exact vengeance on her behalf .
Truth be told, even Jun Xiaomo couldn’t understand why Rong Ruihan would do so much for her . All things considered, they had hardly interacted much with each other, right?
It was as though she were a demon residing within Rong Ruihan’s heart – something that seized his heart and was difficult to rid the body of .
If this were a few days ago, Jun Xiaomo would undoubtedly have responded that there was only gratitude towards Rong Ruihan in her heart, not love . However, she was completely flustered and out of her wits as soon as she learnt that Rong Ruihan were trapped within the spirit tool’s domain, and a burning desire to rescue Rong Ruihan instantly arose in her heart . In fact, her heart was even plagued by a sense of bitter astringency during this period of time . Jun Xiaomo was dumbfounded by how she had reacted to the news .
At this point in time, she could no longer responsibly say that there was nothing more than gratitude in her heart towards Rong Ruihan .
Truth be told, this was somewhat to be expected . After all, women were easily moved by men who treated them well and made them feel special . It was just like what Ye Xiuwen did in Jun Xiaomo’s previous life – perhaps the seed of love had already been sown in her previous life when Ye Xiuwen extended a great measure of unconditional, sacrificial love to her . Perhaps she had already lost her heart to Ye Xiuwen at that point in time .
This would also have explained why her reaction was so extreme when Ye Xiuwen fell in love with Zhang Shuyue . After all, she did not want to see her source of warmth and comfort stolen away by another woman .
That said, she was already an item with Ye Xiuwen in this life . Jun Xiaomo had always despised and hated people who were fickle minded and quick to switch allegiances . If she reciprocated Rong Ruihan’s feelings here and now, where would that leave her relationship with her Martial Brother Ye?
If she did that, how would she be any different from people like Qin Lingyu and Yu Wanrou?
Thus, Jun Xiaomo gritted her teeth and silently drew a line in her heart so that she would no longer be swayed by the battering of emotions .
Rong Ruihan felt Jun Xiaomo’s petite frame tense up slightly, before he found himself pushed away by Jun Xiaomo . In that very instant, his heart began to throb with pangs of bitter astringency and pain .
“I’m sorry…” Jun Xiaomo shut her eyes, furiously suppressing the painful emotions stirring in her heart, “Brother Rong, there’s no meaning in pursuing this line of inquiry because Martial Brother Ye and I are already an item . The only person I have ever loved is Martial Brother Ye . ”
The only person she’s ever loved is Ye Xiuwen…
It was as though her words were like a sharp awl that had stabbed straight through his heart . Even though his heart was still physically beating, it felt as though it had already died in essence .
If Jun Xiaomo had ever loved him, even if just for a fraction of a moment, he would do everything he could to chase his dreams and pursue her . Unfortunately, Jun Xiaomo had just revealed to him that she had only ever loved Ye Xiuwen .
In other words, he had been the sole actor in his love story, and no other person cast in this play of his . His had been an unrequited love from the onset .
If that were the case, what was he pursuing right now? What was all of this anticipation and expectancy leading to?
“I understand . ” Rong Ruihan stated with a deep, low voice as he patted Jun Xiaomo’s shoulder . He no longer thought to embrace her, “Once you’re done resting, we’ll continue on our way . ”
Even though it was unclear whether their feeble struggle within the spirit tool’s domain would give rise to any results, they knew that they still had to give it a shot .
No matter how much Jun Xiaomo’s words had hurt him, he still couldn’t bear to see her perish in such a place like this .
Jun Xiaomo’s heart was incredibly forlorn right now . However, she suppressed her feelings and nodded her head, responding with a simple, “Mm . ”
Meanwhile, Ye Xiuwen continued to hold up the spirit tool with his arm with a grimace on his face . At the same time, his eyes were cold and vacant, as though staring into the distance .
It was also evident that there were neither clarity nor focus in his eyes right now .
Chen Feiyu and the other Heavenly Peak disciples come up to Ye Xiuwen would from time to time and prompt him to release Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan before they become reduced to nothing more than a pool of blood .
However, Ye Xiuwen would simply ignore them . His frigidity thoroughly anguished Chen Feiyu .
What’s going on?! What happened to Martial Brother Ye?!
If Chen Feiyu had paused to take a closer examination of Ye Xiuwen’s eyes, he would discover a peculiar wisp of dark, vile energy swirling in the depths of his eyes .
This was a corporeal manifestation of the vile emotions from the spirit tool . In the very same instant that Ye Xiuwen succeeded in his refinement of the spirit tool, that clump of vile energy also shot straight through Ye Xiuwen’s body, penetrating into the depths of his mind and usurping the place of Ye Xiuwen’s consciousness .
Ye Xiuwen had neither forgotten who Jun Xiaomo was nor their objectives in returning to the valley .
However, the usurpation of the vile energy sought to amplify the deepest, darkest emotions hidden in the corner of his heart, consuming his mind and rationality like it did now . In other words, Ye Xiuwen’s originally warm and calm disposition had now been consumed by the amplification of his irrational, ruthless and ill-tempered self that would otherwise have been repressed to the depths of his mind .
His mind was currently filled with recollection of the scenes of Jun Xiaomo’s interactions with Rong Ruihan . Right now, what was otherwise an inconsequential and harmless interaction to Ye Xiuwen was presently “evidence” of Jun Xiaomo’s cheating in Ye Xiuwen’s eyes!
In particular, Ye Xiuwen saw this present incident as particularly strong evidence of Jun Xiaomo’s transgressions against him . After all, they were already an item, yet she still chose to disregard her own safety and return to the valley just to rescue an inconsequential man – what could this possibly mean?! Dare she say that there is no intimacy nor feelings between her and that man?
Since Jun Xiaomo enjoys being with Rong Ruihan so much, they can remain within the spirit tool for all I care . That pair of lovey turtledoves can consider this a form my blessings to them .
Ye Xiuwen cursed them in his heart . At this point in time, his heart was so consumed by the feelings of jealousy that he was completely inert and unaffected by the possibility that Jun Xiaomo was suffering in pain .
Jun Xiaomo was unaware of the major setback happening outside the spirit tool right now . She simply thought that Ye Xiuwen and the rest were unable to discover a way to release them as yet .
Very soon, yet another four hours passed . As time trickled by, the despondence in Jun Xiaomo’s heart only continued to burgeon and intensify .
She had managed to uncover a portion of the spirit tool’s formation array during this period of time . Yet, to her dismay, she discovered that she had absolutely no clue as to how she was going to go about disabling the spirit tool’s formation array . After all, spirit tools were a whole other discipline, completely different from that of talismans or formation arrays . Thus, even though she had now discovered a formation diagram, she was completely at a loss as to what needed to be done to disable it .
Besides, she was still unable to locate the heart of the spirit tool’s formation diagram . Thus, even if she managed to identify the purpose of the formation diagram, there was nothing she could do about it until she found the heart of the formation diagram .
It was difficult for Jun Xiaomo to estimate the passage of time within the spirit tool, and the only thing that gave her an inkling as to the time that had passed was the expiration of her Invisibility Talismans .
Right now, she had only two more Invisibility Talismans in her Interspatial Ring . In other words, once everything was expended, both she and Rong Ruihan would once again be at the mercy of the relentless waves of fireballs once more .
When that time comes, how long could they possibly hold out for?
Rong Ruihan was unable to see Jun Xiaomo’s sullen expression . However, he could roughly guess the extent of her emotions from her increasingly despondent behaviour and disposition .
At this moment, Rong Ruihan’s emotions started to roil once more, and his initial plans once again took root in his heart .
“Xiaomo . ” Rong Ruihan suddenly paused and addressed Jun Xiaomo, “Do you want to leave this place?”
Jun Xiaomo paused momentarily and turned towards the source of Rong Ruihan’s voice . Then, chuckling bitterly, she responded, “Of course I do . Why wouldn’t I want to leave this place? It’s just that I’d never thought that this place would be so peculiar and difficult to deal with . ”
“Back when you’d come to rescue me, I’ll bet that you’d never contemplated the possibility of being trapped in here as well, right?” Rong Ruihan’s voice was lighthearted and candid, as though he were making small talk with an old friend .
Jun Xiaomo found Rong Ruihan’s casual talk rather peculiar in the circumstances . However, she chose not to press the issue, and she simply chuckled with some measure of exasperation, “That’s right . I’d then thought that rescuing Brother Rong was going to be an easy task . Who would’ve known that the wily old fox Dai Yanfeng would have so many tricks up his sleeves?”
“Sorry for implicating you, Xiaomo . ” Rong Ruihan apologized .
“What are you talking about? We might not even have been able to escape the valley the first time if not for Brother Rong!”
“Hah, that’s not the case . Xiaomo’s a clever person . You’ll most certainly have thought of something . ” Rong Ruihan smiled, “Since that’s the case, I wonder whether Xiaomo had anticipated running into any dangers before making the decision to come back for me?”
“Of course! I would never be so complacent as to undermine Xiang Guqing, Dai Yanfeng and their lackeys . ” Jun Xiaomo responded affirmatively . That said, she began to find it increasingly suspicious – Why does Rong Ruihan want to talk about these things?
“In other words, despite knowing that you might be running into danger, you’d still decided to come back for me?” Rong Ruihan softly queried .
“That’s right . ” Jun Xiaomo responded matter-of-factly . This was the truth of the matter after all, and she did not think anything strange about it . After all, hadn’t she done the same for her Heavenly Peak martial brothers when they were all trapped within the Dawn Sect’s forbidden grounds as well?
Back then, the road was possibly fraught with even more dangers than it was now, since she had planned to infiltrate the Dawn Sect and rescue her Heavenly Peak martial brothers all on her own . At the very least, she had never expected to encounter an ally, Ye Xiuwen, in the process of doing so .
“That’s good, then . ” Rong Ruihan echoed . Even though his voice was still and soft, the silence all around ensured that Jun Xiaomo heard every single word he said .
“That’s enough for me . ” Rong Ruihan added – his heart was full and at peace . Jun Xiaomo’s heart instantly constricted with a deep sense of unease, and a bad premonition washed over her mind immediately .
However, before she could address her mind to this hunch, a peculiar fragrance whiffed into her olfactory senses, nauseating stench of blood in an instant .
Unfortunately, the fragrance also instantly sent her mind spinning, and her knees buckled in the very next moment .
Just as she was about to collapse onto the ground, she found herself wrapped in an embrace that she was all too familiar with . This was an embrace that she had consciously rejected just some time ago because she couldn’t bring herself to do something that would hurt Ye Xiuwen .
“Xiaomo, I’m sorry that I won’t be able to accompany you to the very end . ” Rong Ruihan’s voice echoed softly beside Jun Xiaomo’s ear, “I give you and Ye Xiuwen my eternal blessings…”