Qiu Ling might have promised to return to the Yun Zou Sect immediately but there was no way he wouldn’t try to stall for time along the way even a little. And with all those little bits and pieces of things that suddenly happened and needed to be taken care of, the two of them finally only reached the gates of the Yun Zou Sect after two weeks.
Jing Yi gave Qiu Ling a long look when the gates came into view. He knew that they wouldn’t genuinely have taken this long. He also didn’t feel like scolding him though. Qiu Ling was doing this for his own good after all. And it wasn’t like they would arrive any sooner just because he told his fiance what he thought about his behavior.
Well, despite Qiu Ling’s sneaky behavior, things hadn’t turned out in his favor: While Jing Yi had managed to promote his wood spirit vein to the root stage, the earth spirit vein was still at the seed stage. In fact, despite focusing on cultivating that spirit vein almost exclusively for the past two weeks, Jing Yi might still need quite some time to have a breakthrough.
Actually, when thinking about it, Qiu Ling couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt and regret. He could imagine why it was that Jing Yi had such trouble with cultivating his earth spirit vein: Most likely, it had to do with what he had done when Jing Yi was young. Even though he long understood that all of what his so-called ‘grandfather’ had said back then was bogus, that didn’t mean that it didn’t influence him on a subconscious level anymore.
Ah, this was probably what one would call digging your own grave. It was too late to change anything about that now though. He could only hope that his Master hadn’t called them over because of the marriage and that they would still get some time to fix this.
Qiu Ling led Jing Yi over to Grandmaster Zhangsun’s palace, being a bit worried. “Master?” Qiu Ling called out from the door before pulling his beloved inside. He felt like he should be prepared to flee just in case his Master really wanted to prevent their marriage.
Zhangsun Xun Yi looked up and nodded. He didn’t waste his time with explanations. Instead, he stood up and waved at the two of them. “Come with me.”
“Uh … Why?”
Zhangsun Xun Yi turned around. He didn’t know what to say to the doubtful expression in his disciple’s eyes. Even though it was just a fake disciple he had never taught, it was bitter seeing him like this. He sighed but didn’t bother to say anything about it. “Sect Master Yuchi wants to see him. He’ll tell you everything else.”
Qiu Ling didn’t feel one bit reassured but what could he do? He hugged Jing Yi and flew after Grandmaster Zhangsun to the Sect Master’s palace on the second highest peak in the Yun Zou Sect. Then, he entered with a grim expression, Jing Yi directly behind him.
Sect Master Yuchi was sitting on an elevated seat on the other side of the hall. He held a cup of tea in his hand as if he would take a sip the next moment. He wasn’t actually drinking. He seemed to have completely forgotten about it and just stared off into space. Who knew where his thoughts were headed right now?
“Sect Master.” Zhangsun Xun Yi sat down next to him and made his presence known.
Yuchi Bing Xia jerked and nearly spilled the tea. “Grandmaster Zhangsun!” He hurriedly placed the cup down and turned toward him with a tensed expression. “Your disciple …?”
Grandmaster Zhangsun indicated his head toward Qiu Ling who had stopped in the middle of the hall with Jing Yi.
Qiu Ling felt like he was just being cautious. He was faster than the humans anyway but he still wanted to make sure that he could get out of the hall if they tried to do something fishy. After all, he shouldn’t just think of protecting his beloved from physical harm. What if they said something they shouldn’t? He could also try to outrun any unreasonable demands.
Sect Master Yuchi only took a quick glance at Qiu Ling. The Grandmaster’s disciple still looked the same as back then. The youth next to him, however … Yuchi Bing Xia could still remember the young boy from last year. He had been a little short and quite thin as if one breeze might be enough to blow him away. His face had been cute though, the dark eyes probably the most appealing part. He couldn’t have been called a beauty but at least he wasn’t ugly.
Now, that boy’s face had opened up a little and he had grown slightly taller. He hadn’t suddenly turned into a beauty either but he was still decent-looking. This kind of person was actually quite well-suited for going to an evil sect to spy. He wasn’t so eye-catching that he would draw too much attention but also not revolting so that he would be pushed away. He should have an easy time gaining people’s trust.
Qiu Ling frowned. Don’t talk about someone preventing his marriage, this guy was looking at his beloved as if he wanted to marry him himself! “Heh!” He grabbed Jing Yi’s hand and pulled him behind him. With his chin raised, he looked at Yuchi Bing Xia and narrowed his eyes. “That is my fiance. Find somebody else if you want to get married!”
Zhangsun Xun Yi took a cup of tea for himself and pretended to hear nothing. He had brought the person over. Everything else had nothing to do with him.
The Sect Master coughed. “Uh … I know that. Come over here, you two.”
“No, thanks. We’re good here.” Qiu Ling wasn’t dumb. He certainly wouldn’t go over there if that guy had already lusted after his beloved at such a distance! Wouldn’t it get even worse if his Jing He came closer? Maybe that guy would even try to touch him!
Jing Yi slapped his shoulder though. “Qiu Ling!” His tone of voice told Qiu Ling that his beloved once again thought that he was shameless.
Begrudgingly, he stepped aside but he still took Jing Yi’s hand and led him forward. Under no circumstances would he separate from him and give that guy any chances!
Sect Master Yuchi tried to ignore the obvious distrust and motioned at the chairs next to him. “Please, take a seat. There’s something I’d like to discuss with you.”
Qiu Ling’s distrust wasn’t waning. He took the seat that was closer to Yuchi Bing Xia and had Jing Yi sit down in the other. “What is this about?”
“Actually, this concerns Zhong Jing Yi.” He faced him and smiled lightly. “You might ask yourself why I’ve called you here. Actually, there is a mission of utmost importance that was entrusted to our sect and I would like you to undertake this mission.”
Jing Yi was stunned. He never would have thought that the Sect Master would personally issue a mission for him. It seemed like his dream of becoming a cultivator that was able to help people wasn’t unattainable anymore.
He smiled back at him and nodded. “Please do tell, Sect Master. As long as I can be of help to the sect I’ll gladly do it.”
Qiu Ling felt a sudden sense of crisis at these words.