The Elder’s lips twitched when he noticed Qiu Ling’s gaze. It was good if their disciples wanted to do well in the Gathering but … wasn’t he a little too eager?! He was looking as if he’d jump him the next moment! Well, there was nothing he could do.
The Elder turned back to the cauldron and pushed all these extraneous thoughts away. He couldn’t make any mistake or their Yun Zou Sect would become the laughing stock of the first-tier sect.
He took a deep breath and then imbued his spiritual energy into the cauldron, making the spheres with the blood of the disciples sway and finally erupt into chaos. The cauldron rattled and finally gave a high-pitched whistle before two spheres rushed out of a hole at the side.
The Elder caught the spheres and then threw them into the air again. The spheres flew out and headed to two of the disciples. The Elder looked over and gave a nod. “Qing Yu Sect’s She Min against the Pang Yan Order’s Mo Tai. Proceed to the wooden ring.”
The disciples nodded and then rushed to one of the wooden rings while the Elder turned back to the cauldron, once again imbuing his energy and catching the spheres that flew out. The lot drawing proceeded in this way and Qiu Ling grew anxious. Almost all of the disciples had been paired up already. Don’t tell him he wouldn’t get an opponent?!
Finally, only three disciples were left standing in front of the stands where the guests were seated. Qiu Ling stared at them, wondering just who his opponent would be. The next one that old man called up should be him, shouldn’t it?
The cauldron rumbled and whistled and two spheres flew out. The Elder caught them and Qiu Ling perked up. They were thrown into the air and Qiu Ling’s expression lit up. One of them was flying over to him!
The Elder’s lips twitched again when he saw Qiu Ling’s expression. Was this really the disciple of Grandmaster Zhangsun? Well … maybe it was also good that the disciple didn’t have the same perpetual frown as his Master. Otherwise, the whole sect might be on tenterhooks all day.
He sighed and then announced them. “The Yun Zou Sect’s Qiu Ling against the Jing Ming Temple’s Quan Shi. Please proceed to the jade ring.”
Qiu Ling jumped back onto the ring, eagerly staring at his opponent. Finally! It was about time they started the fight. These guys had really made him wait long enough.
The other disciple gulped and glanced at his Master before proceeding to the ring as well at his Master’s nod. He didn’t want to fight this maniac but this was the Gathering of Practitioners and only the first round. If he forfeited, that would truly be too shameful!
He had just set foot onto the stage when a migration happened in the audience. The disciples that had originally been spread through the whole venue parted into two and a tight ring of female disciples formed around the jade platform, looking up with sparkling eyes.
Qiu Ling furrowed his brow and looked for Jing Yi. The boy had hurried over too but seeing the wall of girls in front of him, he hesitated. He looked up at the ring and once again met with Qiu Ling’s gaze. He felt compelled to step closer but finally stayed where he was. He really didn’t like to get close to those girls. Most of them were fierce beyond compare, even more appalling than his cousin Zhong Guanyu in the capital or those muddy girls back in the village. He didn’t want to get close!
Qiu Ling sighed. That was probably his own fault. Ah, but he just had to wait a bit. He would finish these fights as fast as possible and then hurry over to him!
With that thought, he looked at Jing Yi for another moment before he turned around to his opponent. He narrowed his eyes and stormed forward as soon as the gong sounded.
Quan Shi was kicked and flew out of the ring in a less-than-graceful arc.
Qiu Ling blinked. Uh … That hadn’t been his intention! Haish, humans were too weak. He’d have to hold back if he wanted to impress Jing Yi.
Sect Master Yuchi looked at Grandmaster Zhangsun. “You’ve gotten yourself a fine disciple. If it goes on like this, our Yun Zou Sect might win the Gathering this time.”
Zhangsun Xun Yi nodded but he was somewhere else with his thoughts. In fact, he didn’t doubt that Qiu Ling would win. He was only wondering just why Qiu Ling had wanted to take part in the first place. This really didn’t seem like him.
Qiu Ling knew nothing of his Master’s thoughts. He was preoccupied with watching Jing Yi and showing off to Jing Yi whenever the gong sounded. After the first three or four fights, he finally found the right amount of strength so as to not kick his opponents right off the stage and had the opportunity to display one or two of his other skills.
His plan seemed to work. Jing Yi’s eyes were practically glued to him. He hadn’t even taken a peek at any other fights, much to the dismay of Shao Hai. In fact, he didn’t even remember them until Shao Hai finally had enough and complained.
“Xiao Yi! What are you doing? There are so many other fights. Why are you only looking at that guy? You wouldn’t think he’s good-looking, would you?” He stared accusingly at him, hoping that Jing Yi would say some soothing words or maybe even take his hands to calm him down.
Jing Yi was startled out of his reverie. He wanted to look at the other fights but when Qiu Ling noticed that somebody was trying to draw his beloved’s attention away from him, he upped his game.
A shimmering sword appeared in his hands and twirled through the air. The blade glinted in the sunlight and the graceful moves showcased Qiu Ling’s well-built body. He regretted not wearing black because that would probably help with his image but white seemed to be alright too. At the very least, his beloved hadn’t looked elsewhere after all. Ah, no wonder. He really was too handsome! Naturally, his beloved couldn’t resist!
“What’s so good about him?” Shao Hai couldn’t help but stare at Qiu Ling too but refused to acknowledge his skills. He only felt that this guy was especially hateful. “It’s just flashy moves!”
“Mn.” Jing Yi made a noise of agreement but he hadn’t really heard. All of his thoughts were still concentrated on that figure clad in white. This had to be a true hero. He had everything: The looks, the skills, the charisma. If he could become even as great as one-tenth of this man, then he would have reached his life goal!
The blade flashed once again and the opponent’s weapon clattered to the ground. With a flourish of his sleeves, Qiu Ling sheathed his sword and turned to look at his beloved. Mn, he seemed reasonably impressed. It was probably time to go over.
He jumped down from the ring but found himself in front of a wall of women. He couldn’t even see his beloved anymore.
Qiu Ling pressed his lips together. This wasn’t right. He shouldn’t come out of a crowd of women when he went to officially meet his beloved’s reincarnation for the first time. What would Jing He think if he saw that? No, it would be better if they were alone. He didn’t want to have a crowd around.
Then again, when he had met Jing He for the first time back in the Nine Heavens, there had been quite a lot of people around as well. Ah, it seemed he couldn’t have everything.