„My love, you shouldn’t hastily promise anything.“ Qiu Ling looked at Jing Yi imploringly, his thoughts clearly written on his face: My love, we wanted to marry when we return! What if that stupid mission takes a lot of time? Let’s just turn them down and enjoy our blissful life as a couple!
Jing Yi observed the minute changes in Qiu Ling’s expression before he hastily turned back to Sect Master Yuchi. The longer he looked at that man, the more he would start to waver. But this wasn’t something he could waver on. The sect was important. Especially now that he had finally started cultivating he should do his part.
Sect Master Yuchi was a little hesitant to bring it up when Qiu Ling was obviously this much against it. The Grandmaster’s disciple was an important person, especially if he had a special constitution. That was someone even he as the Sect Master had to humor a bit. Since he didn’t want his fiance to go it might be better to find another candidate for this.
Then again … He thought of what Yu Jin had said. It was true that the Elders might have something to say if Jing Yi was just raised to the status of an inner sect disciple like that. And a marriage without him being an inner sect disciple would make them a laughingstock in the good faction. How could he allow that?
Yuchi Bing Xia made up his mind but he still decided to explain his reasons first. „Actually, it’s not like you’re the only person who could do this. But you are one of the most suitable candidates and considering your circumstances, I’d like to give you the chance to take this mission.
The situation is as follows: A while back I was informed by the Sect Master of the Chun Feng Sect that one of their disciples went missing. This is quite the peculiar case because the same happened to her sister a long time ago. Both were talented cultivators and they both vanished seemingly overnight. We don’t know anything about it despite the fact that both times a man seemed to be involved.“
„Oh“, Qiu Ling injected with a deadpan expression. „So you want us to find out who their secret lover is. That shouldn’t be too hard.“
Yuchi Bing Xia blinked and took a look at Grandmaster Zhangsun. That man didn’t seem to have heard, though. The Sect Master coughed and turned back to Jing Yi. He felt like this boy was the only normal person there.
„It’s highly likely that this has to do with the demonic faction and is only part of a larger plan. We decided to send somebody over to find out more and inform us of their intent.“
„So you’re sending over a spy.“ Qiu Ling looked less than thrilled. This guy couldn’t be serious! His beloved, the good-natured son of heaven, was supposed to infiltrate a demonic sect and spy on those guys?! How could that be possible?
Unfortunately, Sect Master Yuchi nodded. „That is indeed true. I know this is a difficult mission. After all, you’ll have to hide your true identity and try to adjust to their style of life. It definitely won’t be easy. But it is also the only feasible approach.
If you decide to do this, then you’ll have several tasks: First, locate the missing disciples and find out if there are more. Second, find the reason behind the kidnappings and all the details of how it was done. Third, uncover all the demonic sects partaking in the operation and reveal their larger plan.“
„I understand.“ Jing Yi nodded. He didn’t understand why he of all people had been chosen for this mission but he would gladly take it. This was his chance to prove himself, his chance to do something for the sect, his chance to become a powerful cultivator and someone that could stand equally next to Qiu Ling.
Jing Yi took a quick glance at Qiu Ling who was frowning deeply. He knew Qiu Ling wouldn’t like it but he felt like it was the right choice. „Then, when should I depart, Sect Master?“
„It’s better if it is as soon as possible. I have already organized everything in the hope that you’d agree. If you want to, you can leave today.“
„One moment!“ Qiu Ling finally couldn’t take it any longer. „What about our wedding?“
Jing Yi lowered his gaze. He had dreaded that question the moment he heard what the mission was about. It would obviously not been done in a few days.
Yuchi Bing Xia saw that Jing Yi didn’t want to answer the question and hurried to his aid. „Disciple Qiu, you see … It’s not really appropriate for someone of your status to marry someone from the outer sect.“
„Screw that!“ Qiu Ling leaped to his feet, clenched his fists and faced Zhangsun Xun Yi. „You said it would be alright as long as he reached the root stage in a year!“
The Grandmaster unhurriedly sipped his tea, infuriating his disciple even further.
„What is this supposed to mean? He’s nearly there! Have a look! He only needs a week or two to get there. You can’t seriously prevent our wedding just because of that, can you?!“
Zhangsun Xun Yi lowered his hand and sighed. „That was under the assumption that he would take the Amethyst Lightning Pill and remodel his full spirit veins into a heavenly spirit vein. Someone like that would naturally be taken into the inner sect and find a good master.
But that has obviously not happened. He still has full spirit veins. That limits his aptitude gravely. Even if he had managed to reach the root stage half a year ago, he still couldn’t be raised to the status of an inner sect disciple. Nobody knows how far someone with his aptitude will be able to advance in the end. A high stage is quite unlikely. And people would credit his achievement in cultivation to you and your status in the sect, not to Jing Yi himself. With the kind of aptitude he has now, he’ll need to achieve great merit for the sect to be eligible for a place in the inner sect.“
Qiu Ling frowned. He wasn’t reconciled! He had already waited for so long. How could they ask him to still be patient and wait even longer?
Jing Yi stood up, went over and lightly touched his shoulder. „Qiu Ling, there’s nothing we can do. But it’s not so bad. I’m still young and with this mission, I could certainly achieve a bit of merit. Wouldn’t completing it take us one step closer to our marriage?“
„But it should already be enough. You did so much this year. You were constantly cultivating. We didn’t have much time together. And now we can’t even marry!“
Sect Master Yuchi took a look at Qiu Ling’s face. It was obvious how disappointed he was. This was probably natural. He had wanted to marry as soon as he saw that boy and now the sect had thwarted his plans.
The Sect Master stood up and cleared his throat. „Mn, Disciple Qiu, how about this? If your Master doesn’t mind, you could accompany Jing Yi.“
„You don’t say! Naturally, I’ll accompany him! Did you honestly believe I’d just stay behind here?“
The Sect Master coughed and just continued to talk as if he had heard nothing. He suddenly felt like he understood the Grandmaster. „Like Jing Yi, you’re also not that well-known since you only showed your face for a while at the Gathering of Practitioners and then left the sect very soon. They shouldn’t recognize you. That way the two of you could spend some more time and when you get back … I don’t believe that somebody would still raise doubts about Jing Yi’s qualification for the inner sect after he managed to uncover one of the schemes of the demonic faction. Then you can marry instantly.“
Qiu Ling stared at the Sect Master. He didn’t trust these words. Hadn’t his Master said the same thing last year? Why did it feel like everyone wanted to stall him? He took a suspicious glance at the piece of sky he could see from inside the hall. That couldn’t be a present from his father-in-law, could it?
„Qiu Ling?“ Jing Yi grabbed his hands and lightly caressed them. „This mission means a lot to me. Please, let me go there, alright?“
Qiu Ling took a moment but finally nodded. „Alright. Let’s go there.“ He hugged Jing Yi to his chest but didn’t forget to throw an angry glare at his Master. This bastard! He hadn’t helped at all!
Zhangsun Xun Yi reciprocated with a deadpan expression. He felt like he should do something for his disciple, though, so he pulled out a worn-out book. „Zhong Jing Yi … Considering you’re my disciple’s future spouse I think I, as his Master, should help you a bit.
When you are in the Hei Dian Sect you won’t be able to use the cultivation arts our faction uses. It’s not much of a problem since you haven’t learned any until now but as you progress it’ll become important that you have a decent cultivation art to your proposal. Naturally, you can’t learn those they use and will need something else.
Though I’m a practitioner I’ve lived a long life and once came about something that might be of use to you in this situation. It’ll be on you to figure it out on your own, though.“ He handed over the book and turned to go as soon as Jing Yi had grabbed it.
„Ah … Thank you, Grandmaster.“ Jing Yi cupped his fists and bowed before giving the book to Qiu Ling for keeping. Then, he turned to the Sect Master. „Then, we’ll be going. The less time we waste the better.“
„Indeed. Be cautious. If you’re about to be exposed, you should return instead of endangering your life.“
„Mn. Thank you for the reminder.“ Jing Yi cupped his fists once more and then left with Qiu Ling.
Thinking back on the six years since he came to the Yun Zou Sect he nearly couldn’t believe all the things that had happened. He had managed to start cultivating, he had gotten himself a fiance and now he was about to become a spy in a demonic sect. It didn’t sound like much but Jing Yi felt like Qiu Ling’s appearance had turned his whole life upside down. He really wondered what would happen in the future.
Finally, we’ve reached the last chapter of Volume 2, Outer Sect Disciple! That means, from now on there won’t be bulk uploads anymore. Instead, I’ll upload the two daily chapters each day. Well, I’ve already done that for the first chapters of Volume 3 I uploaded anyway, so you’ll probably adapt really quickly. 😉
Next chapter, we’re going to have a look at another cultivation sect, this time from the so-called „evil faction“. There will also be a bit more of the backstory and you’ll finally meet the true villain of this series. 😏