Relief flooded Yuchi Bing Xia’s face. Great! Now, he wouldn’t have to worry about this any longer. Although … he glanced at the Grandmaster’s disciple again whose expression had become even uglier.
When Jing Yi noticed his reaction, he took a quick glance at Qiu Ling as well. His fiance was frowning deeply. Well, that was expected. He had known from the moment the Sect Master mentioned this task that Qiu Ling wouldn’t like it but he felt like it was the right choice. He would just have to try and coax Qiu Ling later on. With that thought, Jing Yi turned back to Yuchi Bing Xia. “Then, when should I depart, Sect Master?”
Yuchi Bing Xia was pulled out of his thoughts. “It is 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. This could obviously not be done in a few days. Their wedding … it would likely need to be postponed.
Yuchi Bing Xia saw that Jing Yi didn’t want to answer the question and hurried to his aid. The guilty conscience was obvious in his face though. “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. He knew he couldn’t actually keep Qiu Ling from marrying Jing Yi. But having him wait a bit shouldn’t be asking too much. “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 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 that easily.
“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 why the Grandmaster was like this in front of his disciple. “Like Zhong Jing Yi, you are 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 Zhong 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. This wouldn’t be a gift 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 methods of our faction. 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 method at your disposal. Naturally, you can’t learn those they use and will need something else.
“Even though I am 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 safekeeping. 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. 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. 😏