Fu Min cleared his throat and glanced at the female guests around them. “How about we go to a room on the upper floor to discuss this? I’m sure it wouldn’t be good if somebody overheard any secret information pertaining to your beloved, Your Majesty.” He gave Qiu Ling a knowing smile, prompting him to get up from the seat he had just taken.
“Yes! Let’s go upstairs!” He didn’t wait for an answer and just turned around.
The other dragons silently followed him. Ah, this part had been rather easy. Just bringing up the crown prince was enough to make their king become reasonable. Well, it was for the best. After all, they’d need to be even more careful from now on.
Fu Min and Ai Hua entered the room on the upper floor of the teahouse, closed the door behind them and sat down opposite of their king. They shared a look and cautiously evaluated their king’s expression. It was looking alright. He was in a good mood.
Fu Min cleared his throat and sat up straight. Even if their king seemed happy right now, it was still better not to start off with bad news. No, they should better slowly ease him into this.
Qiu Ling waved at him. “Don’t try to make this more suspenseful. Just go ahead. What did you find out?”
Fu Min took a deep breath. “As I said, I did some research on those mortal sects so that you’ll be able to help your beloved in the best possible way. As far as I’ve found out, there are two factions of mortal sects: A good faction the humans call ‘deity sects’ and a bad faction called ‘demonic sects’ or ‘heretic sects’. The Yun Zou sect where your beloved went is part of the good faction.”
“Naturally.” Qiu Ling couldn’t believe that Fu Min had needed to investigate this. His beloved was such an outstanding, gentle and benevolent person. How could he be part of some demonic sect? That was unimaginable!
Fu Min nodded. “Of course! How could His Highness be part of the demonic faction? Well, I’ve searched for more information on the good faction and found out that there are over a hundred different sects. They are classified into ten different tiers.”
“Ah, you don’t have to say it.” Qiu Ling lifted his hand to interrupt him. “My beloved’s sect has to be part of the first tier. Most likely it’s even the best sect in this mortal realm.”
“Uh … Well …” Fu Min looked at Ai Hua again.
“You could say it like that.” She said so but she didn’t meet his eyes.
Qiu Ling frowned. “Why are you looking like that? What’s wrong?”
Fu Min sighed. “The Yun Zou Sect is indeed a first tier sect. It’s just that it’s not the best. This ranking is for the normal sects and there are some transcending it. Those would be the best ones. Well, disregarding them … I’m afraid even within the first tier the Yun Zou Sect isn’t the most outstanding sect. Actually, they’re more … in the last place.”
“How can that be?!” Qiu Ling stood up and paced around the room. Jing He was a god. Naturally, his reincarnation should have a high aptitude for cultivation and be able to dominate in the mortal world. Why wasn’t he part of the best sect but had instead gone to some second-rate power?
“Ah.” Qiu Ling halted and looked out the window. Of course, this should have something to do with that trial! Being part of such a bad sect was torment too. Mn, it seemed he couldn’t do anything about this. Ah, what a pity! He’d have to console Jing He after he woke up in the Nine Heavens again.
Qiu Ling sighed and sat down again. “Fine. It’s already like that. Let’s forget about it. What else is there?”
Fu Min raised his brows and looked at Ai Hua. Unfortunately, she couldn’t explain what had happened either. How come their king had given up this easily? Had he suddenly mended his ways and turned into a reasonable person? It was hard to believe … Well, if he had, it was also good. Maybe that meant that now was a good time to get to the point that worried them the most.
Fu Min cleared his throat again and slid further away from the table. Ai Hua inconspicuously followed his example.
“There is one more thing, Your Majesty. Mn, you might know that the mortal sects follow a certain hierarchy.”
“Mn, I’ve heard of it.” There were some stories about that even in the dragon realm. He remembered …
Qiu Ling stared ahead blankly. Yes, he remembered. Back then, it had been his father who told him one or two of those stories. Qiu Ling sighed. He couldn’t remember what exactly those stories had been about. He only knew how they had sat there side by side behind that hut, making everything seem … normal for a short, precious moment, even though it wasn’t. Not by far.
That memory … Had it really happened? Or was this merely an illusion? Something his brain had come up with so he could pretend that there had been times like that too? Or maybe this was just his age getting to him?
Qiu Ling shook his head. Ah, no, that couldn’t be. He was still very young. He hadn’t even married yet! It was just that this had really happened very long ago. How come he still remembered that? He really should have forgotten by now. He should have forgotten all of it by now. Maybe then, he would also be able to forget about the rest. There really was no need to let it haunt him any longer.
Qiu Ling closed his eyes and took a deep breath, pushing the memory away. When he opened them again, it was as if nothing had happened. He looked at Fu Min and raised his eyebrows. “What about it? I don’t remember much about the hierarchy they use. What does it have to do with Jing He?”