While Jing Yi and Qiu Ling had this heart-to-heart talk at the side of the lake, a person stood behind one of the windows in the pagoda of talisman crafting and observed their interaction. Seeing Jing Yi’s hands in Qiu Ling’s he snorted. “Hmph. Some people are really too lucky, enticing the Grandmaster’s disciple with their looks.”
Behind him in the room, another man looked up to him from the half-finished painting on the desk, his gaze unreadable. “You mean Zhong Jing Yi.”
“Zhong Jing Yi. Yes, indeed.” The man at the window furrowed his brow. If he had known that things would come this far … Maybe he would have dealt with him more harshly back then. If that boy talked about this so-called ‘cultivation method’ he had taught him with the Grandmaster’s disciple now, wouldn’t his plan be exposed? What then? He might be thrown out of the sect because of that!
Yes, this person was none other than Qiguan Cheng Da and even though he had already made Jing Yi’s life difficult for the last five years, he wasn’t reassured yet. On the contrary. The current situation made him feel that this boy was his bane even more. If he could, he would make sure that he left the sect, preferably without the opportunity without ever starting to cultivate again.
Behind him, the other person picked up his brush again, held onto his long sleeve with the other and continued to paint. “Mn. You must be happy for him.”
Qiguan Cheng Da glanced over his shoulder. “Senior martial brother Yu’s meaning is …?”
Yu Jin glanced up but continued to paint. “Don’t you know him well? I heard you were from the same region.”
“The same region?” Qiguan Cheng Da’s gaze flickered. How had that information spread to Yu Jin? Just who had talked about this?! He turned back to the window, his expression twisting. It had to be the boy himself. Nobody else had known where he came from. So he had to be the one who spread the information. Why? Did he want to discredit him?
Yu Jin’s motion stopped and he stared at the painting for a moment as if trying to make sure that there was no mistake. “Well, maybe you don’t know him that well. He should be quite a few years younger than you.” He put down the brush and looked up again, his gaze seemingly turning inward as if he was remembering what had happened the previous day at the Gathering. “He should be around fifteen years of age now while you’ve already been here for twenty years. I seem to have heard that you returned home only once in that time? It’s to be expected that you don’t know him well.”
Qiguan Cheng Da gritted his teeth. So even that was known to senior martial brother Yu. This Zhong Jing Yi really hadn’t spared any effort to let everyone know where he came from, had he? Then if he really married the Grandmaster’s disciple …
Qiguan Cheng Da turned around and hurried to the table, sitting down beside Yu Jin with an ingratiating smile. Even if there was the Grandmaster’s disciple on Jing Yi’s side, there was still the Sect Master’s disciple on his. If he used that to his advantage … “Senior martial brother Yu, say, do you believe that Zhong Jing Yi will accept the proposal?”
“Who knows? There are certain benefits for cultivators to get together with a practitioner. And he is young. It wouldn’t be strange if he actually fell in love with him.”
“Then … do you believe Grandmaster Zhangsun’s disciple loves him?”
Yu Jin paused and lightly wrinkled his brows. “There is no doubt about that, is there? There might be benefits to a practitioner as well in that kind of relationship but as far as I know, Zhong Jing Yi has full spirit veins and hasn’t been able to draw in spiritual energy even after five years of being in the sect. If this was only about benefits, this senior martial brother Qiu would look for somebody else.”
“Senior martial brother Yu said it right. I wonder what he likes about him though. He’s quite young, not really talented …”
Yu Jin kept quiet for a moment and just looked at the painting in front of him, his gaze growing complicated. “Sometimes, people are just fated to be together.”
“Mn.” Qiguan Cheng Da paused as well. It was his luck that he had been able to meet Yu Jin early on when he hadn’t had the time to integrate into the sect yet. Only because of that had he been able to further his cultivation by such a large margin. He had almost managed to attain the next stage thanks to his help. Thus, he couldn’t risk to anger him. The problem was that this senior martial brother Yu’s thoughts were extremely hard to gauge. What did he actually think about the relationship between Zhong Jing Yi and that Qiu Ling? Did he really have to ask directly?
Qiguan Cheng Da hesitated but finally cleared his throat and covered his interest with worry. “As the Grandmaster’s disciple, senior martial brother Qiu will still have to consider his image. Being with someone from the outer sect, especially someone who still can’t cultivate … Wouldn’t that implicate him?”
“He’ll find a way to help him.”
“Mn. I also think that’s quite likely. I just don’t know how he would do that. He himself is a practitioner, the Grandmaster as well. How could they help a cultivator?” He tried to observe the other man’s face but there wasn’t anything he could see. Like most of the time, Yu Jin had a calm expression. It was as if nothing could move him. Those mortal worries that weighed others down were nothing to him.
“Does one need to be a cultivator to help one? The easiest way would be to fix his aptitude. With full spirit veins, his path to ascension would be hard. They might find some pill for him to remodel his spirit veins.”
Qiguan Cheng Da’s eyes glinted. There were a few pills that could remodel spirit veins. Considering the ones helping Zhong Jing Yi would be the Grandmaster and his disciple, it should be one of the best pills available.
He pursed his lips. The best pill for remodeling spirit veins was called the Amethyst Lightning Pill. Just as the name suggested it was an amethyst-colored pill with a pattern like dark violet lightning running over its surface and just like a strike of lightning it enlightened everything in its surrounding and set things ablaze. Even someone with trash spirit veins like Zhong Jing Yi could be turned into a genius with heavenly spirit veins if he consumed such a pill. And there wouldn’t even be any backlash. Getting such a pill … Was he worthy?
“Ah, senior martial brother Yu, I just remembered I still have something to do. Please, excuse me.”
“Mn.” Yu Jin nodded not even looking up as if he didn’t care what the other person did.
Well, Qiguan Cheng Da didn’t care either. That senior martial brother Yu was always like that. He had already found out what he wanted anyway. For the following things that senior martial brother wouldn’t be of any help. He had to do it alone.