The two disciples at the entrance eyed them with suspicion.
“Who are you?”
Jing Yi looked up at Qiu Ling before he turned to the two men. What was he supposed to say now? He had thought of changing their robes but he hadn’t considered that their names might be a problem. His name shouldn’t give them away but Qiu Ling was Grandmaster Zhangsun’s disciple. What if they had heard of his name before?
Qiu Ling took a glance at Jing Yi and smiled. Ah, his beloved didn’t want to say it? Then he’d help him!
He took a step forward and pulled Jing Yi behind him. “Who wants to know that?”
The two disciples frowned and tightened their grip on their weapons. “It seems you haven’t noticed what situation you’re in. These are the gates of the Hei Dian Sect! And we’re the ones asking the questions here!”
“Tch, now even such small fry like you dares to lecture someone of my caliber?” Qiu Ling straightened his shoulders and cracked his knuckles. He’d use these guys to show-off! Ah, no … He’d show these guys that they shouldn’t try to humiliate someone who peacefully came to their doors! This kind of behavior, how could a good-natured dragon like him accept it?
He lifted his hands and a gust swept those two off their feet. They wanted to leap up but next thing they knew their arms and legs were already cuffed to the ground by an earthen ring.
Qiu Ling smiled and dusted off his hands. “Come on, let’s go inside, my love.” Qiu Ling took Jing Yi’s hand and led him inside.
Jing Yi couldn’t help but take another look at the disciples. They had seemed quite formidable. He hadn’t even been able to sense their cultivation level.
“Qiu Ling!” Jing Yi walked as close to him as possible. “What names should we give when we’re asked again? We can’t always keep quiet about that, can we?”
“Mn …” Qiu Ling deliberated. “The let’s just go with Jing He and Longjun.”
“Long Jun?”, Jing Yi cluelessly repeated.
Qiu Ling stopped in his tracks and coughed. Ah … His poor heart couldn’t take it! This was just like back then when Jing He had still insisted on calling him Longjun instead of using his name. Just that … with this kind of intonation it was even more lethal.
“My love … don’t call me that in the future, alright?”
“Huh? Why that?” Jing Yi didn’t understand. Hadn’t Qiu Ling proposed that name himself?
Qiu Ling turned around, cupped Jing Yi’s cheeks and examined his face. “It’s because … if you say it like that, I might not be able to hold back and just pounce on you.” He bent down and gave him a peck before pulling him along again.
Jing Yi was stunned. He really couldn’t understand what made Qiu Ling react like this. He felt like he had uttered that name normally? Then again …
He came up with these names nearly instantly. It’s obvious where he got Jing He from so maybe Long Jun has something to do with that? Jing Yi clenched his fist. Maybe that is how that man called him back then. He couldn’t imagine why but he felt like that was the only explanation. And since Qiu Ling still felt a lot for that person he reacted so strongly.
Once again, Jing Yi asked himself if Qiu Ling might just be projecting his feelings for that Jing He onto him. After they left his inner self back then he had never dared to bring it up again. Those scars were just too deep to casually mention it. But he couldn’t help but worry. It would be nice if he could get Qiu Ling to clearly separate that matter and this from each other. Maybe he should propose another name?
When he finally arrived at that conclusion it was too late, though. They had passed through a long tunnel and stepped into a cave. Jing Yi needed a while to figure out that it was a cave, though. It was humongous and the fact that there were some simple huts and even some trees growing at the sides didn’t help with identifying this as the inside of a mountain. If he hadn’t walked into the opening in the wall of that chasm by himself, he might have thought he was approaching a normal village outside. He actually looked up to check if he could see the night sky above them.
On this side of the tunnel stood another two disciples. They frowned when they saw Qiu Ling and Jing Yi.
“Who are you?”, one of them asked, just like the man on the other side.
Qiu Ling smiled wryly. “Yo, it seems you all went through the same training.”
Jing Yi averted his face. His cheeks were red from embarrassment. Who knew his fiance could act the part of a hoodlum so well?
The two disciples frowned and grabbed their weapons. In contrast to those two on the other side they had only worn them at their side but now that Qiu Ling had started to infuriate them, they didn’t think of waiting before unsheathing them.
Qiu Ling just waved. “Enough, you two. You can’t win anyway. We just arrived here. Get us to someone who has the authority to take us in.” He looked utterly bored when he said this as if it was a no-brainer that they would definitely be accepted.
The two disciples of the Hei Dian Sect frowned even more but they at least exchanged a glance. The one on the right came over and leaned closer to the one on the left. “The small one is only at the fifth level of the seed stage but I can’t perceive the taller ones. He’s probably at a higher level.”
“Mn.” The other nodded and sheathed his weapon again. “Alright. You should have said so from the beginning. I’ll take you there.” He waved at another disciple to take his place and led Qiu Ling and Jing Yi further into the cave. In the end, they halted in front of one of the few buildings built from stone.
The disciple turned around to them and measured them with a quick glance again. “This is where Elder Shan resides. You better behave inside. In front of the Elder, you definitely can’t behave like you did before.”
“Sure.” Qiu Ling said so but he elongated the word and smiled in a way that said ‘Keep this nonsense to yourself and don’t bother this master’.
Jing Yi hid behind him. He really wanted to find a rock that was big enough to crawl under it so that he wouldn’t be associated with this shameless person! Before he could even look around the disciple had already knocked on the door, though, and the raspy voice of an old man sounded out.
The two disciples at the entrance eyed them with suspicion.