Zhangsun Xun Yi’s brows twitched, furrowing even further together in the process. He raised his gaze to the person squatting in front of his desk with an excited expression. Never mind that this disciple had run from the special dimension and that person’s care and then didn’t return for five years, how could he just casually ask for something like this?
The Grandmaster sighed and shook his head. “The list of participants was already finalized weeks ago.”
Qiu Ling didn’t answer and just looked at him. What finalized weeks ago? He had only heard about it two weeks ago. It couldn’t be that that had already been too late, could it? No, that was impossible! He had prepared so much just so he could impress his beloved today. He definitely wouldn’t let go of this opportunity!
Seeing that his disciple wasn’t willing to back down, Zhangsun Xun Yi sighed again. Well, turning in the list of participants wasn’t mandatory so even if they updated it, it shouldn’t be a problem. It was only that the number of participants was fixed.
If he wanted Qiu Ling to enter, then somebody else would need to give up their spot. It wasn’t easy to make somebody give up on that but it wasn’t impossible if they gave the person some privileges or rare cultivation resources. He should discuss this with the Sect Master later on.
In regard to the other sects, it shouldn’t be a problem. They could just say that his disciple had been in closed-door cultivation and only came out in the nick of time to take part in the gathering so that they had decided that he would take somebody else’s place. The guests shouldn’t have anything against that.
Anyway, this person should be pretty strong. And the Yun Zou Sect could need such a disciple to fight for them. After all, it wasn’t one of the best sects among the first-tier sects. In fact, it currently relied on the Sect Master and him to stay as part of them. They had to get at least decent results to not lose that right. With Qiu Ling entering the fight, their chances would be pretty good. After all, what could go wrong with a dragon?
With that in mind, Zhangsun Xun Yi finally nodded. “Alright, if you are so eager to take part, then your Master will make this possible.” He got up from his seat but didn’t bring him over right away. “I haven’t minded much what you did the last five years but since you’ve decided to take part in a matter of the sect, you also have to follow the rules of the sect.”
Qiu Ling blinked his eyes. The rules of the sect? He had no idea what those were but as long as following them could make him go to that gathering and win his beloved back, it should be alright to follow them. Thus he nodded.
“Very well. Then you should first wear the sect robes.” Zhangsun Xun Yi waved him along and led him back to the room that he had originally given him five years ago. “I’ve put a few sets of robes in your room for when you return. Go change into one of them. Then we can leave for the venue.” He stepped to the side and Qiu Ling entered the room.
The robes … They were lying in a neatly-folded stack on the meditation platform. Seeing them, Qiu Ling’s brows furrowed though. It shouldn’t come as a surprise since he had already seen several disciples wear these robes but … they were white.
He sighed. He had always preferred dark clothes because … well, it displayed his creamy skin and his dark eyes exceptionally well, no? Just once had he worn a white robe and that had been the result of An Bai advising him to match his clothes to Jing He’s to get his attention.
Mn, thinking about it now, it had been quite difficult. Jing He was quite particular about his clothing. He would spend a substantial amount of time every day to choose a suitable outfit with matching accessories. He even took the weather into consideration so how would Qiu Ling know what he wore beforehand?
Thus he had been in the difficult situation of having to send someone to spy on his beloved to find what he was wearing that day but still making sure that that person would see nothing that shouldn’t be seen. In the end, he had decided that he trusted none of them enough so he just went and spied on Jing He himself.
Had he seen something that shouldn’t be seen? Ahem. Even if he had, that wouldn’t be a problem! After all, they would marry in the future. It wasn’t a question of if he saw these things it was a question of when.
Mn, considering he had quite the fond memories of his one day of wearing a white robe, Qiu Ling hastily changed into the robe on top of the stack. Who knew? Maybe it would do him good if Jing He saw him in a white robe again? Good things might happen if he did.
Thus, Qiu Ling happily walked out, his expectations for this day rising even higher.
Zhangsun Xun Yi glanced at his disciple when he walked out and nodded. It seemed he didn’t have to worry too much. Well, what could go wrong when he just wanted him to wear a different robe?
“Come on then.” He turned around and then left the palace, flying over to the formation that had transported Jing Yi and the others to the other realm just now. He motioned at it and then turned to Qiu Ling to explain. “This is an array leading to a dimension that the righteous sect is using for this kind of event. The anchor of the array is portable so it will be given to whoever is hosting the gathering at the time. That is to make sure that the demonic sects won’t be able to seize this dimension.”
Qiu Ling nodded even though he didn’t care at all. Ah, could they step into it already? His beloved was probably in there! He wanted to see him again already!
Seeing that his disciple didn’t have any questions, Zhangsun Xun Yi was satisfied. Even though he couldn’t teach this person anything about sword arts anymore, it was still better to be able to teach him at least something. That way, their relationship as Master and disciple wouldn’t be completely fake.
He nodded and then stepped into the array, motioning for Qiu Ling to follow him. When his disciple’s feet touched the lines, he imbued his spiritual energy and they were transported over to the venue of the gathering.
By now, all the disciples of the sects that were attending this year’s Gathering of Practitioners had arrived. The Sect Master of the Yun Zou Sect, Yuchi Bing Xia, was already there too, sitting on an elevated stage they had set up for their Elders and the important guests to watch the fights from. Wu Min Huan and Yu Jin were standing behind him, the latter’s hands folded in front of his body while his gaze was trained on the ground as if he didn’t care about anything around him.
The seats around them were all taken save for one chair that was left empty for the Grandmaster since he had made it his duty to at least attend these important events even though he normally didn’t like to leave his palace. Right now, they had only been waiting for him to begin the event so the Elders and guests had been looking out for that figure.
They had expected to see him. What they didn’t expect was the person behind him. Dressed in the white robe Grandmaster Zhangsun had forced on him, with his long black hair fluttering in the breeze and his dark eyes scanning the crowd in a condescending manner he was definitely the role-model of a mighty practitioner!
Thankfully, nobody was able to read this so-called role-model’s thoughts.