OMF V2C12 An Incident at the Gathering

The dull thud broke the connection between Jing Yi and Qiu Ling. Jing Yi turned around and lifted his brows. There was actually a martial sister from their sect lying on the ground.
“What happened?” One of the Elders made his way over and frowned.
“She fainted.”
“How come she fainted even before the gathering?” The Elder hurriedly waved at two other disciples to carry her away. Really, these disciples! Losing their sect so much face in front of everyone!
“It’s not our fault!”
“He … he … he looked right at us!”, stammered one of the other disciples. Her cheeks were completely flushed. She still felt like Qiu Ling’s gaze was burning her to ashes.
Actually, those martial sisters had no reason to be like this. As practitioners or cultivators did they really need a husband? But, well, they were all humans at the end of the day. Just like the men in the sect would turn around when a pretty martial sister walked past them, the martial sisters would get excited whenever they saw a handsome martial brother. Especially if it was one like Qiu Ling.
“Eh, did Grandmaster Zhangsun say he was his disciple just now?”, asked another one, perfectly displaying what all these martial sisters thought.
Being handsome was great but you had to have status, too! This was even more important to those on the path to becoming an immortal as it was to normal humans. After all, a long life might bring trouble with a lot of people and this world wasn’t peaceful anyway. Having a strong backer was always welcome.
The other martial sisters nodded. Even though the stage was a bit farther away and elevated, one could still hear loud and clear what the people above were saying if they spoke normally. After all, those were the honored guests of the Yun Zou sect. If they wanted to praise someone, they should have the opportunity, no?
“You’re right! Ah, he’s not just drop-dead gorgeous, he also has such a high status! I feel like I’m falling in love!”
“Hmph. Get in line! I’ve already fallen in love with him when he flew over!”
Jing Yi’s gaze darted from one martial sister to another. It seemed, being a hero also wasn’t easy. That man would have to deal with so many women. Jing Yi pitied him.
Indeed. One could only pity Qiu Ling. Though his beloved had noticed his heated gaze, he hadn’t understood and even worse those martial sisters of his had thought it was meant for them.
Hmph. He wasn’t happy with this result. But, oh well, it was a start. He would slowly work toward their joint happiness. In fact, today was a brilliant day for that. Since he had to join in this gathering anyway he would just use the opportunity to show off his awesomeness. At the end of the day, Jing He would certainly recognize how incredibly skilled and handsome he was! By then, he would definitely sink into his arms and let himself be carried off!
Qiu Ling smiled, garnering even more attention. Somehow, this smile seemed a little evil but oh so seductive. The female disciples clamored even louder. Thankfully, not all of them were from the Yun Zou sect. Quite a few of the martial sisters from other sects had also clustered together and were excitedly whispering with each other, all the while looking over at Qiu Ling.
Elder Suo was dismayed. He remembered that boy and the fact that he had become Grandmaster Zhangsun’s disciple said a lot about his talent. But why did he have to have such a face? What would happen to this gathering?
Jing Yi, too, looked at him and couldn’t help but be attracted by that smile. This really was how a hero should be! What the martial sisters had perceived as seductive and a little evil somehow seemed dignified and righteous to him. He even wondered if he could smile like that. Had Elder Suo known that something like that might happen, too, he probably wouldn’t have been so salty about Qiu Ling’s looks.
The uproar was growing a little out of hand, though. It weren’t just the martial sisters. The representatives from the other sects also discussed with each other. Of course, this had less to do with Qiu Ling’s looks and was rather due to the fact that Grandmaster Zhangsun had taken in a disciple so suddenly.
Nobody had anticipated this. But even if they had, this would still have them on their toes. Someone like Zhangsun Xun Yi would never take in a mediocre disciple. That had to mean that the young man in front of them was a rare talent. They couldn’t help but wonder what this would entail for them.
Especially the other first-tier sects were getting nervous. What if the Yun Zou sect managed to cultivate that disciple into someone as outstanding as their Sect master or — even more troublesome — as Grandmaster Zhangsun himself! If they had three such heavyweights around then they would most certainly attain a higher ranking in the first tier. What would become of the other sects then? Some of them would certainly lose out on talents and resources because of that.
The Elders motioned to their eldest disciples to inform their respective sects. Thus, an assortment of paper cranes of every possible color soon left the Yun Zou sect with the message that Grandmaster Zhangsun had taken in a disciple.
Yuchi Bing Xia, the Sect master of the Yun Zou sect, looked at all that with resignation. Did they really have to react like headless chicken? They were from the same faction, for heaven’s sake! It wasn’t like they had been informed that Grandmaster Shen An De from the demonic faction had taken in a disciple. That would have been a real reason to worry!
He didn’t say anything though and just let them be. After all the disciples had run off to send the messages, he finally stood up again, smoothed out his long sleeves and cleared his throat.
“I once again thank all our esteemed guests that they have taken the long way to our humble Yun Zou sect upon them to take part in this year’s gathering of practitioners. I won’t bore you with a long-winded speech. Let’s just begin with the first round. Please.” He motioned at the elder in charge of announcing the fights.
The man nodded and procured a cauldron. Yes, this was one of the cauldrons like alchemists used them but this time, of course, the Elder wasn’t going to refine pills. Instead, the cauldron was used to pair the disciples that would be fighting against each other. The elder put in different colored spheres but halted before doing anything else.
He turned to Grandmaster Zhangsun and bowed. “Grandmaster, this one didn’t know you would bring your disciple here. Is he going to participate in the fights, too?”
The Grandmaster nodded without a word.
The Elder turned toward Qiu Ling next and smiled at him. “May I trouble you to give me a drop of your blood then?”
Qiu Ling lifted his brows. A drop of his blood? Why that? Well, it shouldn’t be a problem, right? He stepped down from the stage and went over. He was even as forthcoming as extending his hand and letting his blood drop on the strange sphere the Elder was putting forth before even being asked.
His blood made contact with the sphere. The surface sizzled and it went up in flames. Qiu Ling and the Elder both looked at the burning sphere, dumbstruck, then looked up at each other. What had just happened?
An Elder from one of the other sects leaped to his feet, hardly being able to contain his satisfied grin. This was just what they needed to make sure the Yun Zou sect wouldn’t take over their place in the ranking of the first tier sects. He pointed at Qiu Ling with a trembling finger, his eyes wide as if he had just been shocked deeply. “Demon!”
The dragon king’s brows twitched. Had somebody just called him a demon? Excuse me, but please repeat that so that I can pinpoint exactly who the one speaking was. I wouldn’t want to rip the wrong person apart!

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