Qiu Ling immediately rejected that idea. No! He couldn’t let that happen! Jing He was still waiting for him. They still hadn’t married. He certainly wouldn’t die before that. He had waited so long, far too long to give up now that he was only a few days short of attaining his goal. And even after that, he wouldn’t give up without a fight. How could he let his beloved become a widower right after their wedding? That was completely unacceptable!
Shen An De frowned and gripped his own weapon. This disciple had attacked his wife without warning and obviously still harbored ill-intent. He couldn’t give him a chance to try anew.
Hong Ai just smiled, not as worried as her husband even though she had been the one who had been on the receiving end of Qiu Ling’s attack. “Shouldn’t we be the ones asking that? What were you trying to achieve by attacking me?”
“Hmph.” Qiu Ling averted his face. “You —” His eyes bulged and he stopped talking, instead staring at the woman who was sitting at the table just a few steps away and chewing on the remains of a stuffed bun. Heavens! Why was there another servant girl?! Wasn’t one of them enough? This was basically double the trouble! Together, they might be able to kill off the whole Nine Heavens!
Hong Ai smiled even brighter and crouched down next to him, cupping one cheek. “That’s Hong Bao, my younger sister.” Even though this man had attacked her, she didn’t actually feel threatened by him. A guy who fantasized about his wedding on their roof couldn’t be a bad person. He might be a weird one but most likely not that dangerous.
“Younger … sister?” Qiu Ling frowned at Hong Bao, then turned back to Hong Ai. Shit. He had no idea which one was which. Even though there was a difference between them — mainly in that one looked slightly older — they were still looking really similar and he hadn’t taken a good look at the girl back then. Why should he have? At that time, the only important thing had been his beloved and whether he would be able to survive. While she had been at fault, she had still only been worth a cursory glance.
Finally, he could only narrow his eyes and ask tentatively for some more information. “So … which one of you was the one who tried to kill Jing He?” It would be for the best to be careful of both of them but it couldn’t hurt to pay special attention to the actual perpetrator. Just in case.
Hong Ai blinked. “Jing He?” She had never heard of that person. “Could it be you’re mistaken? I don’t know anyone with that name.”
Qiu Ling turned back to Hong Bao. “Then it has to be you.”
Hong Bao gulped the remainder of the bun down and shook her head. “I also don’t know anyone with that name.”
“You’re lying.” His expression fell. This was definitely the same servant girl. That manner of speaking … hadn’t the woman who had rattled on next to him when he had gotten drunk sounded the same way? Yes, he was completely sure that it was her now. Her looks might have changed a little but the rest had obviously stayed the same.
“My sister lost her memory. Even if she had known that Jing He before, she wouldn’t be able to tell you.”
Qiu Ling sat up. Right. She was supposed to have lost her memory as a punishment for her involvement in this matter. He had just thought she still remembered because she was in league with the demons.
He pressed down on his arm, got up, and then scooted over, sitting down next to her. “You really don’t remember? The teahouse in the capital. Does that ring any bell?”
Hong Bao pursed her lips and looked up at the ceiling as if the answer was written up there somewhere. There was indeed something that came to mind … “I don’t know about any teahouse and I’ve never been to the capital but Liu Cheng asked the same.”
“Who’s Liu Cheng?”
“My one true love, obviously!” Hong Bao turned around to him and grabbed his hand. “Brother-in-law said you were planning your wedding. When is it going to be?”
Normally, Qiu Ling would have loved to talk about his wedding but this time the reason why he couldn’t marry sat right in front of him. How depressing! Mn, he should probably try to get something out of her. It could count as her trying to make up for her past transgressions a little. “Your one true love? I thought that was Shun Tao.”
Hong Bao blinked. “Who’s Shun Tao? I’ve never heard of that person either.”
Hong Ai also hadn’t heard of him but she was intrigued. This had to be something that had happened before Hong Bao became a disciple of the Chun Feng Sect. Maybe they could finally find out what had happened in those years! She hurriedly sat down on Hong Bao’s other side and looked at Qiu Ling expectantly.
Shen An De sighed, sheathed his weapon, and sat down next to his wife. It would really be for the best if they could finally shed some light on all this.
Including this new disciple’s identity. Because no matter how you looked at it, he definitely wasn’t just some wandering cultivator who suddenly knocked on their door because he was bored. No, this guy had to have some kind of objective for coming here. The question was just: What objective could that be?