The Elder of one of the other first-tier sects turned to Yuchi Bing Xia and raised his brows. “I didn’t know the Yun Zou Sect gained such a formidable talent. My congratulations.”
The Sect Master could only smile. How could this guy know? Even he hadn’t known! Why would an outsider be informed about this if nobody had bothered to tell even the Sect Master! Ah, but what was he supposed to say now? He couldn’t just stay silent, could he? He glanced at Zhangsun Xun Yi, hoping that he would help him out.
Thankfully, the Grandmaster had never been one to spend time wastefully. He landed on the stand and nodded at the Sect Master. With his higher seniority, Yuchi Bing Xia was naturally expected to greet him first before answering any questions.
Yuchi Bing Xia stood up. “Grandmaster Zhangsun.” He nodded and then shifted his gaze toward the young man behind the Grandmaster. “Maybe you want to introduce him to our esteemed guests yourself?” His question was vague enough to give everyone present the illusion that he knew exactly who that young man was. Making sure that he wouldn’t lose any of his prestige.
Indeed, the guests felt that this behavior was to be expected. After all, even if Yuchi Bing Xia was the Sect Master of the Yun Zou Sect, that position was nothing in front of true power and Grandmaster Zhangsun Xun Yi was one of the most powerful people in their good faction. People should naturally give way to him and since he had brought the person …
Zhangsun Xun Yi nodded. “This is Qiu Ling. My disciple.” He fell silent, not knowing what else to say.
Hardly restrained exclamations sounded all around. Grandmaster Zhangsun had taken in a disciple? Why hadn’t they heard of that before?! When had this happened? Yuchi Bing Xia was wondering the same thing and eyed this disciple from the side. It wasn’t like the Grandmaster had to report to him if he wanted to take one in but … couldn’t he have told him before?
Qiu Ling didn’t notice the commotion next to him and he didn’t even think of greeting the Sect Master or those so-called ‘esteemed guests’. No, his whole attention was on the audience that had gathered below the stage to wait for the start of the gathering.
There he was. His Jing He stood in their midst, clad in a white robe like the other disciples of the Yun Zou Sect, although it lacked the blue clouds embroidered on the hems to show that he wasn’t an inner sect disciple yet.
Normally, Qiu Ling would have started to rage because of the fact that his poor beloved hadn’t received the appropriate status but this time it was different. His mind was preoccupied.
He’s looking at me! He’s directly looking at me! I cannot be mistaken about it!
His heart pounded heavily like it hadn’t done for a long time. In fact, it hadn’t happened since Jing He left for his trial. Sure, he had been happy to see him but it had never been like this. Not this … intense. He actually felt his soul shaking.
Qiu Ling’s gaze accurately pinned down Jing He. Seeing an unfamiliar face surprised him but his heart settled down after just a moment. Right, Jing He was attempting his trial right now. This was just his mortal reincarnation. Even though they finally officially met for the first time, it wasn’t like his real beloved had already returned to him. No, he still needed to wait for that.
Mn, still, it was quite sweet that the boy actually felt attracted to him without the memories of his past life. Well, it was no wonder considering how handsome and charming he looked but still. This had to be more. After all, his beloved wasn’t that shallow. He was a very deep person. So could he take this as their innate bond? The connection between their souls? Did his beloved’s heart thump as loudly as him and did he feel his heart cry out for him?
Qiu Ling examined his face, searching for any indication of Jing Yi’s feelings. Ah, this was too great! It was as if he was standing right in front of his beloved, being able to look into those dark eyes and smelling the flowery fragrance that lingered around him thanks to spending so much time in his garden. If he wanted to, he could reach out and touch his hands, intertwine their fingers and raise those slender hands to place a kiss on them to reassure his beloved after all the time they had needed to stay apart.
Down below where the audience stood, Jing Yi gulped. Those dark eyes … he felt like they were looking directly at him, not letting go for a single moment, drilling right into his innermost part. Being subjected to this gaze, his heart leaped, his throat felt dry and his cheeks flushed pink. He had to fold his hands in front of his body to make sure they wouldn’t tremble and he wouldn’t embarrass himself.
Ah, this man, he really looked like the heroes from the stories: A pristine, white robe, flowing black hair that reached down to his hips, sharp brows above a pair of almost black eyes … He seemed like the personification of a heroic warrior, ready to save the world from all evil.
Only … what was with this smoldering gaze?