OMF V2C79 A Secret Message

Quite a distance away from the capital, in an old palace with black lacquered wooden beams and equally dark tiles on its roof, a man sat on a throne-like seat and pensively looked down at his subordinates.
„Are you sure she’s with the demon hunters of that Chun Feng Sect?“
The two men kneeling below him on the ground nodded hurriedly. „Yes, Grandmaster. There’s no possibility that we’ve mistaken her. They called her Junior Martial Sister Hong and she closely resembles the girl in the painting. She’s looking a little older, though.“
„Ah, right.“ The second man took something out from his pocket and held it up while his head still remained bowed. „We were able to get this pouch. It has her name sewed onto it, Hong Bao.“
„Let me see.“ The Grandmaster waved and his subordinate brought the pouch over. The Grandmaster turned it over in his hand. That was indeed the right name. And considering how his wife had described her little sister he was inclined to believe that she would indeed like this type of pouch.
The Grandmaster frowned at it. Honestly, why was it pink? And why were there little hearts sewn on it? And what, in heavens name, was in there? It smelled like flowers, especially sweet-scented flowers.
He sighed and waved the two men away before standing up and withdrawing into his private chambers. Hong Ai was once again training in the courtyard. He observed her through the window for a while and smiled.
Whatever had led to Hong Bao being with the demon hunters now, his wife would still be happy to hear some news regarding her. The fact that she had abandoned her little sister had always weighed on her mind. If he could entice that little girl to come over to their side … Wouldn’t Hong Ai be especially happy?
He smiled and put the pouch away. He’d tell her when he was sure or maybe he could even bring that girl back and surprise his wife. He silently withdrew and left the sect grounds, hurrying right for the Chun Feng Sect. He stopped in the air when he was close enough to take everything in with the naked eye. Now, where was his sister-in-law?
His men had said that she had become an inner sect disciple by now. It was no wonder. Hong Ai was especially talented so it stood to reason that her sister’s aptitude shouldn’t be too shabby either. Spirit veins might depend on luck to a certain margin but your family played a big role, too.
The inner sect disciples … He spotted some buildings that seemed to house them. There weren’t many women with the demon hunters so they would most likely all stay in the same building. He continued to wait and observe until he saw a woman entering one of the houses. It wasn’t Hong Bao but it was alright as long as he had the right vicinity.
After all, he couldn’t enter the sect grounds anyway. The Sect Master of the Chun Feng Sect certainly wouldn’t be able to defeat him in a fight but he was here to peacefully invite his sister-in-law. He didn’t want to attract trouble.
He took a piece of paper out of his spatial ring and wrote a short message onto it before furling it and stuffing it halfway into his sister-in-law’s pouch. He lifted his hand and threw the thing down, while he sent his energy to accompany it. The pouch accurately landed just one step away from the door of the building he had observed.
Once again, he continued to wait. Soon enough the door opened. A young woman stepped outside but stopped when she saw the pouch. She bent down and picked it up. The woman was indeed one of Hong Bao’s Senior Martial Sisters and one look was enough for her to understand that this had to be Hong Bao’s pouch.
She shook her head and sighed and then put the pouch into her pocket.
The Grandmaster’s eyes bulged. What was with that?! Shouldn’t she hurry and bring the pouch back to its owner? What was she doing keeping it to herself?! As angry as he was, he couldn’t do anything about it. Thus, he could only leave and hope that the pouch would land within Hong Bao’s hands in due time.
He flew to the town down the mountain path and changed his clothes into something that seemed more like those of a rich heir than those of a demonic practitioner. Then, he went to the inn he had mentioned in his message to Hong Bao and got a room.
„Ah, please do me a favor“, he said to the owner before going to his room. „I’m waiting for someone. That person is from the Chun Feng Sect and should arrive in this town by tomorrow. Please show her to my room when she comes asking for me.“
„Sure, sure.“ The man hurriedly nodded and thankfully took the money the Grandmaster gave him.
Meanwhile, Hong Bao’s Senior Martial Sister had bumped into her on her way to her training. „Hong Bao!“ She hurried over and nodded at her before giving Liu Cheng a smile. „Senior Martial Brother Liu.“
„Mn.“ Liu Cheng only nodded. Even though Hong Bao had got to know him as an amicable person, he actually wasn’t that sociable. He liked to keep to himself whenever possible. Hong Bao was the only person he had tolerated at his side for a long period of time.
There wasn’t any other reason than the feeling of having some fate with her. Bumping into her in the capital, bumping into her once again in the forest … Could that really be a coincidence? He couldn’t believe that. Thus, he had always treated her differently than anybody else.
Hong Bao’s Senior Martial Sister was disappointed. She didn’t dare to show it in front of him, though. „Hong Bao, you lost your pouch.“ She took the pouch out of her pocket and handed it over.
„Ah! Thank you! I was searching everywhere for it!“ Hong Bao smiled brightly before turning toward Liu Cheng. „Senior Martial Brother Liu, actually, I made this pouch for you! Didn’t you say you could need one? I never would have thought it would disappear just like that.“ She pouted but at least didn’t forget to hand it over.
Liu Cheng looked at the pink pouch with the hearts and smiled slightly. The Martial Sister next to him felt like her eyes might fall out. Had she actually seen him smile just now? And at such an ugly pouch?! She felt like she should reconsider her own attempts at getting a good husband.
„I … I will go. Take care. Senior Martial Brother Liu.“ She nodded and hurriedly left. She certainly didn’t want to hear them whispering sweet nothings anymore.
Liu Cheng looked up at Hong Bao and smiled. „Thank you very much, Junior Martial Sister Hong. I’ll definitely pay close attention to it, lest it vanishes again.“
„It certainly wouldn’t!“ Hong Bao grinned but suddenly jumped to her feet with a yelp. „Oh no! I totally forgot! Master wanted to see me!“ She didn’t even say goodbye before she hurried away.
Liu Cheng laughed and shook his head. She had gotten more mature but not that much. She was still a bit of an air-head. But, if he was honest with himself, he liked that about her.
He looked down at the pouch with a gentle gaze but suddenly paused and lifted his brows. It seemed … the pouch wasn’t the important thing. There was actually a secret message inside.
He took the small paper out and had a look: ‚Meet me at the Phoenix Inn tomorrow at noon.‘
Liu Cheng’s heart beat faster and he pressed his lips into a tight line. Could it be … his Junior Martial Sister finally wanted to confess to him? He couldn’t deny that he felt a bit of anticipation.

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