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Shun Tao wanted to protest but one look from the Heavenly Emperor made him shut up again. Alright, he could also see that he wasn’t allowed to discuss this.
Thus, half an hour later, all the scribes in the scribe’s palace were gathered and got their new task and soon enough each of them sat down in the study hall and went through the heap of scrolls of fate that had been assigned to them. Bit by bit all clues regarding Huan Yin and her child were tallied up and brought to Shun Tao.
Unfortunately, even with the help of all the scribes, this process took several days and thus the years in the mortal realm went by without the secret realm opening. As for the changes that came with these years … some were happy and some were saddened by them.
To the great delight of the other sects, the Yun Zou Sect’s position took a turn for the worse. They had already had trouble hanging on as one of the first-grade sects before, now, with several of their geniuses heavily injured or even dead because of the explosion of spiritual energy in the Leyuan region, they had plummeted even further in the ranking. The fact that the prodigy their Grandmaster had taken in had vanished and that Sect Master Yuchi’s newest and most talented disciple had also disappeared didn’t help their case either.
They lost miserably in both the Gathering of Practitioners and the Assembly of Cultivators and thus cemented their fate of only being a second-grade sect from now on. Yuchi Bing Xia could only sigh when he thought of this. He really had let his predecessors down. But, well, there was nothing he could do right now.
The only chance their sect had was that the gate to the secret realm in the Leyuan region would suddenly open, thus allowing Yu Jin and Zhong Jing Yi to return to their sect. With Yu Jin there and the Grandmaster’s disciple returning for his beloved, their sect might be able to rise again. As for attracting any other talents … Ah, don’t joke with him! They already were a second-grade sect. Which talent would want to become their disciple?
Naturally, the Sect Master wasn’t the only one worrying about the decline of their sect. In one of the houses of the inner sect, Qiguan Cheng Da paced up and down.
“Why should I stay here in this damned place and wait for its demise? I should just go and become part of a first-grade sect!”
“You really are an idiot.” A languid voice sounded from behind him, the words acting not unlike oil that was poured into a fire.
Qiguan Cheng Da’s face scrunched up and he turned around, scowling at the person. “I’m an idiot? I’m a peerless genius! I’m the first talent of the Yun Zou Sect! I —”
“Exactly. With all those other people gone, you are the first one here. The Yun Zou Sect will pour all their resources on you so that you can help them save some face. After all, they need at least one genius, don’t they?” The man’s eyes narrowed and his lips hooked up into a charming smile. “But what would you be in a first-grade sect? Wouldn’t it be just like it was in the Yun Zou Sect before this … accident? You’d be one among many, someone who still needs to prove his worth. Especially so since you’d be someone who came from another sect. The resources you need to grow … Do you honestly believe you’d be able to get them easier at any other place than here? Please! Don’t make me laugh!”
Qiguan Cheng Da tightened his lips but still nodded in the end. What that guy said wasn’t without merit. “But this sect is still dying. I don’t want to go down with it.”
“You won’t. Just wait for a while more. I’m sure that Qiu Ling will soon manage to open the secret realm and then he will return to the Yun Zou Sect. It will just be a matter of time until the sect revives then. After all, how could that bastard allow his beloved to stay at a place that isn’t the best? When that time comes you will already have a firm position in the sect. When it soars you will do the same.”
The man on the bed sat up and his smile widened. “Then I’ll naturally fulfill my promise. You only have to cling to that bastard’s beloved and I will provide you with all resources and opportunities you need.”
Qiguan Cheng Da examined the man in front of him again. With that fancy robe and the copper-colored hair, he didn’t look like much, but he would never dare to underestimate him. He had already proven what he was capable of when he gave him that Jade Gathering Best back then and the few things he had pointed out for Qiguan Cheng Da to advance his cultivation had all been spot on. It was obvious that relying on this man would yield great results.
Qiguan Cheng Da’s eyes narrowed and he smiled back at the demon. “In that case, I’m happy to oblige. I’ll make him entrust everything that weighs on his mind to me.”
Jin Ling nodded. “Then I’ll leave this task in your capable hands.” He gracefully stood up and left the house, returning to the demon realm once more.
On another peak, Jinde gave a relieved sigh. “Ah, finally, he left. I really don’t know what it is with this boy, running over here every few weeks. People who don’t know might think he actually fell in love with that mortal.”
Xin Lan looked up at his master, marveling at that gentle smile on his lips for a bit. Mn, if that Jin Ling had actually fallen in love with somebody else, it would be great news. Unfortunately … Xin Lan lowered his head again and continued to tend to his master’s hands. Never mind, as long as he was here that troublesome person wouldn’t find his master. He would make sure of that.
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