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“Absolutely not! Mei Yue, are you trying to sabotage the Morning Star Temple!?”
“Negotiations have already broken down, so what if we push from a different angle? The Soul-Binding Contract has already been formed, he can’t possibly reject it.”
Two women argued at the base of the Mourning Peak, the sleeves of their robes billowed and tousled by a fierce gale. Xi Lingxin smoothed the creases formed near her shoulders, and tossed an angered glance towards the withered woman. The combination of the frail countenance and hair lashed by Bei Tang’s curse of forced aging, and her irascible temperament, caused the celestial maiden to repeatedly sigh.
“It has been formed, and the two of us have placed our soul imprint, but the envoy has not! He could still tear apart the agreement after your deed is complete, and leave without leaving the sect a single inch!”
“Would he dare!? Is the Violet Jade Pavilion that frivolous with their face?” Mei Yue erupted, and shook a quivering finger in rage.
“You, Xi Lingxin, you – listen to me. All cultivators are under the heavens’ scrutiny. Do you think the deceit and lies of a Core Formation Realm cultivator will be ignored by the heavens – are the heavens that willful? I know of your plans, and do not try to pull wool over my eyes – you dare protect that girl after having pushed her into the fire yourself!?”
“We have only made an agreement. You, old hag, we are in Bei Tang. Bei Tang! The land of savage sinners!”
How could she, that Mei Yue, not understand!? That Bei Tang, the land that was cursed by the heavens for its ancestors’ sin of attempting to defy its will, how could the people raised within its confines respect the mere soliloquy that was a Soul-Binding Contract!?
Xi Lingxin resisted the urge to draw the flexible sword coiled around her waist, and stomped through the winding paths leading to the peak of the mountain. The celestial maiden crudely discarded the fuming Mei Yue with a sweep of her hand, and yet when the thin silhouette of a small wooden cottage graced her eyes, her steps slowed to an unsteady stumble. The dashing figure of He Xin slapping An Fei to the ground caused her brows to sink, and the presence of a secondary building constructed near the fringe of the Mourning Forest forced her mood to plummet to the abyss.
“He Xin, enough. Don’t leave any lasting marks on Lingxue’s body. Not in sight of the envoy.”
The maiden girl relinquished her grip at the order, and gingerly raised herself off An Fei’s body. While she reached for the supplies that been cast to the side, He Xin couldn’t resist the urge to spit at the ground in disdain.
“Every day, she attempts to flee the mountain. Master, at some point, I won’t be able to hold back anymore.”
“Lingxue is a mere mortal girl, and you are a cultivator on the cusp of the Foundation Establishment Realm. How could you not have a good grasp of your strength?”
Xi Lingxin sighed, and threw herself at the reclining chair at the base of the cottage. The celestial maiden averted her gaze from alighting on the young girl’s battered body, and accepted the proffered cup of tea from He Xin with an appreciative nod. The light breath of the soothing tea allowed her mood to soar, but only slightly.
“I say, this Little Sister here, are you that intent on causing trouble? You can’t just wait until everything is completed?” she drained the cup, and squeezed her eyelids shut with force.
“Elder Sister promised you at the start, and even swore to the heavens to uphold my vow. Why is it that you cannot muster the slightest of patience?”
“Who on earth takes two months and still can’t get past the first round of negotiations? Are the people you brought out that inept – ouch!”
“Master herself is responsible for negotiating with the Violet Jade Pavilion’s envoy! You damned mortal girl, know your place and stay silent!”
He Xin spared no ounce of strength as she delivered a harsh hand chop onto the young girl’s head, slamming her body back onto the ground. As An Fei grumbled how the maiden had constantly become increasingly irascible over the past two months, she dragged herself onto her feet while rubbing her arms. In a rare bout of foolishness, she stretched to relive her sore muscles and poke the bristling fire.
“Such a violent girl, no wonder why you’re confined to the peak of a mountain… also, why are you so heavy?”
The petty remark was meant to be witnessed by none but herself, yet He Xin seemed as though to have received a pair of divine ears seeking for an excuse to fester a grudge. The maiden hotly shot to her feet, knocking the cooking cauldron over in the process.
“Did you just call me heavy!?” He Xin ignored the steaming remains of the extinguished fire, and jabbed at An Fei.
“I’m only a hundred jin in weight – easily the lightest amongst the Inner Disciples within the Body Tempering Realm. You dare call me heavy – take that back! Apologize!”
An Fei quickly stepped back to avoid the maiden’s rushed grab. When her eyes had fully captured the arm’s trajectory, the young girl dashed in to grasp He Xin by the wrist and flipped the latter over her shoulder. Arms flailing, He Xin found herself swung and flattened onto the ground with a sore nose, albeit a pained groan escaped the other’s lips.
“Little Sister, ah… you’ve certainly improved your martial arts. Incredible, incredible!” Xi Lingxin whistled in appreciated, then directed her gaze towards the secondary cottage nestled in the fringe of her vision.
“Although it’s good to exercise your body often, not exposing your unruly side before the Violet Jade Pavilion’s envoy is the better choice. You do want to leave early, ah?”
Both He Xin and An Fei gradually quietened at the celestial maiden’s remark, although the latter’s countenance immediately blossomed with a faint shade of green. The young girl suppressed a sigh to reach for the emptied pail, and threw behind an offhand remark as she dragged herself over to the pond.
“That great and dignified envoy, at a time like this, how could he not enjoy the body of his wife at the corner of the forest? As they’ve done every morning, afternoon, and night?”
“Little Sister doesn’t like listening to the melody of a heavenly fairy’s whispers, pants, and moans? I have to say, it really does sooth the soul and mind – a good lullaby. What, are you jealous?”
Xi Lingxin’s smirk reached across the clearing to slap An Fei across the cheeks, and she nearly dropped the now-full pail into the cold and unforgiving pond. The young girl ground her teeth together and contemplated whether throwing a mix of deadly poison into the collected water, and the nausea swelled within her throat once more.
“…what did you… Elder Sister, say?”
“I asked if you were jealous. After all, Little Sister, compared to Elder Sister who fully qualifies as an aunt, and He Xin who has a fiancée in the Inner Sect, you are no more than a little sapling that hasn’t bloomed,” the celestial maiden grinned and carefully enunciated each word.
“Not only that, you are sooner or later bound to be united with the dignified male breeder – oh, envoy, yet he is enjoying the embrace of another woman before your eyes. Feeling a little prickle in the heart?”
Each mention of the Violet Jade Pavilion’s envoy forced a certain memory to poke its head into her mind and raise itself onto its hind legs. The dazzling figure bathed in moonlight, writhing with a woman that had her body, her face, and moaned and trembled with her own voice… the young girl stumbled onto the ground and suffered a bout of dry retching. An Fei clutched at her stomach and gingerly shoved the rampant thoughts into the back of her mind.
The worst of that matter was that the envoy was rather licentious… so she would stumble onto the pair anywhere, any time of the day. And when her eyes fixated onto that ruinous, utterly familiar beauty engaging in such depraved acts without a shred of shame –
“– no more! That damned woman, I promise…”
An Fei snarled, and shoved her hand into her clothes at her bosom. Pulling out several, tightly sealed vials that lined the inside of her clothes, the young girl popped the cork and poured the contents into the filled pail at her feet. The water immediately flushed and transformed into a vibrant shade of violet, and she spared no time in emptying the bucket into the now straightened cauldron.
This amount of poison, when diluted in such a large cauldron, served little harm to a mortal, much less a cultivator as dignified as He Xin or Xi Lingxin. Alas… she had lost her reason. Every night, having to seal her ears shut just to evade the moans and cries her own voice echoing through the forest… she was losing her mind.
Synopsis: The online game <