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Chapter 353: Deviant Ye Xiuwen, Pounding Hearts
Jun Xiaomo had muttered her thoughts under her breath . Unfortunately, Rong Ruihan had heard everything she said .
His eyes darkened . Just as much as the excruciating pain perfused throughout his entire physical body, an electrifying sensation shot straight through his heart, causing his heart to constrict with pangs of acute pain .
He knew that the relationship between Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo was not something that was built up overnight, and it was naturally not something that could be torn apart easily either . However, Rong Ruihan had never thought himself to possess less feelings for Jun Xiaomo than Ye Xiuwen did . He could do anything for Jun Xiaomo that Ye Xiuwen could as well .
Since that was the case, why was the person standing beside Jun Xiaomo always Ye Xiuwen, not him?
Right now, despite being physically beside him, Jun Xiaomo still continued to “sense Martial Brother Ye’s aura” . Where did that leave him? What did this mean for him?
Rong Ruihan wasn’t aware that Jun Xiaomo’s exclamation was not a mere figment of her imagination .
Ye Xiuwen had earlier suffused his own spiritual energy into the spirit tool, and it was a natural phenomenon that the spirit tool would begin to be filled with Ye Xiuwen’s spiritual energy .
One could only say that this was simply a byproduct of the amount of time that Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen had spent together . After all, she could still keenly pick up on the faintest traces of Ye Xiuwen’s aura despite the dank and vile environment that they were in right now .
“Xiaomo, do you have any inkling where the spirit tool’s formation array is located?” Rong Ruihan no longer wished to think or talk about Ye Xiuwen, and he actively interrupted Jun Xiaomo’s train of thought .
“I’ve not located it yet . The stench of blood in this place is far too overwhelming . Furthermore, my understanding of spirit tools isn’t too great, so I’m not sure where these formation arrays would usually be located within a spirit tool . ” Jun Xiaomo muttered with some measure of exasperation .
Rong Ruihan stretched out his arm and placed it around Jun Xiaomo’s shoulders as he cajoled, “Don’t worry . No matter what happens, it’s fine as long as we give it our best . ”
Jun Xiaomo smiled bitterly, “I guess that’s all we can hope to do given the circumstances right now . ”
That’s right . There was nothing more they could do to extricate themselves from their current predicament . They were living on borrowed time now, and they knew full well that the depletion of their Invisibility Talismans would also spell the end of their road .
On the other side, the Heavenly Peak disciples laid Ye Xiuwen down onto the ground gingerly and stuffed several recovery pills into his mouth, hoping that these pills would restore his mental fortitude .
Ye Xiuwen’s face was completely drained of the colour of blood . The spirit tool which had trapped Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan rested just by his side . If one looked closely enough, one would be able to make out wisps of black corporeal energies seeping out from the spirit tool itself, enough to send chills down a person’s spine .
The Heavenly Peak disciples had previously attempted to separate the peculiar spirit tool from Ye Xiuwen as well . Unfortunately, it seemed to have recognized Ye Xiuwen as its master, and no matter what they did, none of them were able to shift it outside a half-meter radius from where Ye Xiuwen was .
Did this mean that the refinement was successful? Or did this mean that the refinement was still ongoing right now? None of the Heavenly Peak disciples had a definitive answer to these questions .
They knew that only Ye Xiuwen had the answer to these questions, and everything would have to wait until he awakened .
Ye Xiuwen remained unconscious for a full two hours . After a full two hours, he suddenly snapped out of his stupor without any warning .
In fact, he had suddenly snapped his eyes wide open, giving a rude shock to some Heavenly Peak disciples just as they were about to attempt to arouse him from his stupor once more .
“Ye…Martial Brother Ye?”
Ye Xiuwen’s reawakening should have been an immensely joyous development to the Heavenly Peak disciples . However, as soon as they noticed Ye Xiuwen’s present appearances, none of them could be sure anymore .
Ye Xiuwen’s gaze was transfixed at the sky above him, and there was not a single ripple of emotion in the depths of his eyes . It was almost as though his stoicism had reached new heights, and he had shed off every last bit of emotion within his body .
Chen Feiyu’s heart sank slightly, and he immediately noticed something amiss with Ye Xiuwen’s disposition right now .
“Martial Brother Ye?” Chen Feiyu lifted his hand and waved it in front of Ye Xiuwen’s face, attempting to catch his attention .
Moments later, Ye Xiuwen’s pupils shifted slightly, before turning to Chen Feiyu’s hand .
Still expressionless, Ye Xiuwen lifted his arm and pushed away Chen Feiyu’s hand before sitting up slowly .
Every single one of the Heavenly Peak disciples had their gazes fixed on Ye Xiuwen right now, hoping that his change of disposition was temporary and praying that he would at least say something about their martial sister’s situation within the spirit tool .
Slowly, Ye Xiuwen’s gaze shifted over towards the spirit tool laying by his side . Then, he picked up the spirit tool and held it gingerly in his hands . Despite the lapse of a long pause, Ye Xiuwen showed no signs of making any other moves .
“Martial Brother Ye, you’ve been refining this spirit tool earlier . Were you successful?” Chen Feiyu asked somewhat cautiously .
Ye Xiuwen glanced at him dispassionately and responded, “Yes, I’d succeeded . ”
“That’s good . ” Chen Feiyu heaved a sigh of relief and smiled, “Since that’s the case, does this mean that you’ll be able to release Little Martial Sister and Brother Rong very soon?”
At this moment, a peculiar, contemptuous smile crept up the corner of Ye Xiuwen’s lips . This expression was something that none of the Heavenly Peak disciples had ever seen on Ye Xiuwen’s face before –
“Let Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan out? Why would I do that?” Ye Xiuwen retorted languidly, as though his heart had completely iced over, “Isn’t it better if I let that dog couple perish within the spirit tool? That way, I can send them straight to hell with my blessings, where they can continue to be a pair of lovey turtledoves for the rest of eternity . ”
The Heavenly Peak disciples were dumbstruck by Ye Xiuwen’s response, and they immediately stared at him with disbelief – Is Martial Brother Ye even capable of saying such things?!
Doesn’t Martial Brother Ye dote on Little Martial Sister the most? Why would he wish death and hell upon her?!
Nobody knew just what happened to Ye Xiuwen to cause such earthshattering changes to him . However, when they turned their attention to Ye Xiuwen’s cold, expressionless gaze once more, they finally managed to grasp the nub of the situation .
That’s right . Something must have happened when Martial Brother Ye was refining that peculiar spirit tool . Otherwise, there’s no way that Martial Brother Ye would be capable of such cold, heartless speech .
Unfortunately, given the current circumstances they were in, was there anyone else who could save their little martial sister?
The Heavenly Peak disciples exchanged troubled glances, only to discover the immeasurable anxiety and despondence in the depths of each other’s eyes .
It was evident that Ye Xiuwen did not intend to unlock the spirit tool and release Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen anytime soon . In the meantime, Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan had no choice but to continue flailing about in the vast ocean of despondence as they attempted to rescue themselves .
The Invisibility Talismans used by Jun Xiaomo and Rong Ruihan lasted for a period of four hours each . As soon as four hours lapsed, they would have to change for a new set of Invisibility Talismans in a timeous fashion . Otherwise, they would immediately be targeted by the spirit tool’s fireballs once more .
Ever since she discovered Ye Xiuwen’s aura in the spirit tool, Jun Xiaomo would release her divine sense from time to time to probe at her surroundings, checking if she could detect any more signs of Ye Xiuwen’s aura .
Unfortunately, Ye Xiuwen’s aura was incredibly faint after the very first wave that Jun Xiaomo detected . Furthermore, Jun Xiaomo could sense a stark change in Ye Xiuwen’s aura . In the past, Ye Xiuwen’s aura would always have a soothing and warm disposition . But now, it seemed to possess a bloodcurdling, marrow-chilling intent .
It was as though all the warmth within his aura had been sieved and filtered away, leaving only a frozen, icy whirlwind that only knew destruction .
After walking for what felt like an eternity, Jun Xiaomo discovered that her body was gradually nearing its limits . She had already been through an arduous battle before being suddenly trapped within the domain of this spirit tool . To make matters worse, the spirit tool’s domain was pitch-black and littered with mounds of corpses, and the nauseating scent of blood constantly and ceaselessly assaulted her senses .
Under the overwhelming stress on both mind and body, it was natural that Jun Xiaomo was finally at her limits .
Rong Ruihan and Jun Xiaomo were unable to see each other, and they were only able to sense each other’s presence from their breaths and their speech .
In fact, their breaths were particularly perceptible given the eerie silence in their surroundings .
It didn’t take long for Rong Ruihan to discovered Jun Xiaomo’s increasingly ragged breath, and he knew that she was already nearing her limits .
“Xiaomo, let’s take a break for now . Going on aimlessly like this isn’t a solution . ” Rong Ruihan suggested, “Rather than to walk about without a goal in mind, it might be better to take a break and rally our minds before deciding what to do next . ”
“But we don’t have much time left . ” Jun Xiaomo made a bitter expression, “I’ve only got six Invisibility Talismans left in my Interspatial Ring . In other words, we’ll only be able to hold out for another twelve hours . If we can’t find a way out of this place within the next twelve hours, we’ll have to face the fury of the spirit tool’s fireballs again . Brother Rong, you’re personally aware of how incredibly destructive those fireballs are . We won’t be able to avoid them forever . ”
“But the more anxious our hearts are, the less likely we are to be able to find a solution, isn’t it? Xiaomo, given the gravity of the situation, we need to pull ourselves together and stay calm . ” Rong Ruihan continued to coax Jun Xiaomo .
Rong Ruihan’s persuasion was successful . Jun Xiaomo lowered her head and responded obsequiously, “Mm . ”
Even though Jun Xiaomo had already died once before, it did not mean that she was now unafraid of death . She was willing to put her life on the line and duke it out with her nemeses for the sake of her family and loved ones . However, Jun Xiaomo found the prospects of being slowly tormented to death within the domain of a mere spirit tool far too humiliating and aggravating .
Truth be told, she would much rather perish together with Dai Yanfeng in a full-on confrontation than perish in such a humiliating, anticlimactic fashion .
Rong Ruihan clambered about until he found his way before Jun Xiaomo . There, he lifted his hands and gently pulled Jun Xiaomo into an embrace, resting his chin softly on Jun Xiaomo’s head .
“Brother Rong?” Jun Xiaomo’s breath paused momentarily, wondering why Rong Ruihan was hugging her so tightly .
Rong Ruihan remained silent and simply continued to embrace Jun Xiaomo tightly . Even though the raw wounds on his body were screaming in agony and pain, he continued to hold her tightly to his heart .
Jun Xiaomo clenched her fists tightly . For some reason, she began to pick up traces of sorrow and grief exuding from Rong Ruihan’s body .
And it was precisely because of these traces of sorrow and grief that Jun Xiaomo couldn’t bring herself to push Rong Ruihan away either .
“Sometimes, I wonder if perishing together in this place like this might be the best outcome that I can ever hope for . ” Rong Ruihan whispered softly into Jun Xiaomo’s ears .
As a result of the Invisibility Talisman, Jun Xiaomo was unable to see Rong Ruihan’s physical appearances right now .
That said, she could hear the powerful thumping of Rong Ruihan’s heartbeats, and she could feel the soothing warmth emanating from Rong Ruihan’s body .
His heartbeats and his warmth were indubitably real . In this cold, desolate and vile place, Rong Ruihan’s existence was like a beacon of hope in a vast ocean of despondence, soothing Jun Xiaomo’s anxious heart and calming her mind .
Ever since she first knew Rong Ruihan, he had always managed to show up when she needed him most, calming her heart and mind when she was the most distressed .
“Unfortunately, after thinking about this for an extremely long time, I’ve discovered that I still can’t bear to see you perish . ” Rong Ruihan sighed softly .
After pausing for a protracted period of time, Rong Ruihan suddenly quipped, “Xiaomo, if Ye Xiuwen weren’t real, would the person in your heart right now be me?”
“What?!” Jun Xiaomo was taken aback . She had not expected Rong Ruihan to suddenly pose such a difficult question to her .