The two of them leisurely walked over to the courtyard where the Yang Huo Sect had been accommodated, only to be met with the not-so-happy face of the disciple that had greeted them yesterday.
The young man fumed, even his shoulders shaking in anger while he tried to hide his clenched fists under his sleeves. “The Yun Zou Sect sure is sincere challenging us to a duel and then not turning up!”
Jing Yi’s face showed a hint of embarrassment while Qiu Ling just lazily raised his brows at the other man. “What do you mean not showing up? Aren’t we here now? If I remember correctly, I just said tomorrow morning. Which is now. How can you say I didn’t show up for the duel?”
The disciple gritted his teeth and seemed to be just one step away from pulling out his sword and attacking him right away without waiting for the duel to commence. He took a deep breath and remembered what Elder Gongxi had said. They couldn’t let their emotions get the better of them in front of these two. They had to keep calm so the Yun Zou Sect wouldn’t get any handle on them. Otherwise, they’d be jeopardizing their mission. No, they had to stall these two for as long as possible so they could find out more about that recent stroke of luck the Yun Zou Sect had had.
The Yang Huo Sect’s disciple forced a smile and then motioned at the house behind him. “Well, as long as you’ve turned up, everything is alright. Why don’t we head in first?”
Jing Yi already wanted to nod but Qiu Ling squeezed his hand, signaling him not to promise anything. He narrowed his eyes at the disciple and gave a cold smile. “Aiya, since the Yang Huo Sect already felt that we were late, we shouldn’t delay things even further. How about you call out the other disciples so we can start with the duels right now? I wouldn’t mind at all.”
The disciple froze, alerting Jing Yi to the fact that he had indeed missed something before. Ah, thankfully, Qiu Ling was with him! Otherwise, he really would’ve let Sect Master Yuchi down. Well, not that the Sect Master had given the task to him. Most likely, it was just Qiu Ling they wanted to do it. After all, what kind of status did he have in the sect? Even though he had become an inner sect disciple, that had mostly relied on Qiu Ling and he didn’t have a Master. With that being the case, he was just one among many. That was hardly the status needed to deal with important guests and even though the Yun Zou Sect wanted to make the Yang Huo Sect leave as soon as possible, they still counted as important guests for as long as they were here.
The Yang Huo Sect’s disciple gave a strained smile. “Ah, don’t take my previous comment to heart. It’s just that … I was very eager to fight. But we should still sit down and discuss everything beforehand.”
Qiu Ling raised his brows. “What’s there to discuss? Wasn’t there an agreement drafted? Since nobody will be held accountable for anything that happens, there is no need to wait any longer. Especially since you’re so eager to fight.”
The disciple’s lips parted but he didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t like Elder Gongxi who had years dealing with such matters. And even the Elder had had his fair share of trouble when dealing with Qiu Ling. It wasn’t strange that a young disciple would fare even worse.
The disciple cleared his throat and gave a wry smile. “Then … I should go and tell the Elder.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Sure, go and tell the Elder. Don’t forget to call over the other disciples as well. I’m sure they are all inside, eagerly waiting for our duel.”
The disciple’s lips twitched. What was he supposed to say to that? ‘Yes, sure they are?’ He was still trying to find a way to let one of them slip away! In the end, he could only try to skirt around the topic. “Don’t worry. I certainly won’t forget to call them out.” That should be vague enough, shouldn’t it? He took a doubtful look at Qiu Ling and then went inside, silently cursing himself.
Ah, he had stepped right into that guy’s trap, hadn’t he? But he really didn’t know what he should’ve done differently. It seemed that whatever he said, there would always be a way for that guy to somehow get the outcome he wanted. Ah, he should just tell the Elder about what had happened and hope that he would have an idea about what to do.
Outside of the house, Jing Yi looked at Qiu Ling and gave a bright smile. “The Sect Master really asked the right person it seems. You’ve dealt with that really well. Yesterday already and today as well. If it was just me, I wouldn’t have been able to do that.”
Qiu Ling hummed happily. Being praised by his beloved certainly was the best feeling in the world. Ah, he really wanted to experience this more often! Unfortunately, he couldn’t bask in the moment right now.
He squeezed Jing Yi’s hand once again and smiled back at him. “Ah, I’m sure you’ll learn how to do that as well. You just haven’t had to deal with as many troublesome people as me. Wait a few years more and you’ll be able to take care of them even better.”
He really didn’t think that Jing Yi would have trouble with this. While he was able to annoy people to death with a few words, Jing He had been able to use the right words so that everyone would happen to agree with him whether they wanted to or not. And the best thing about it was that nobody was able to fault him for it. After all, he had been so thoughtful and considerate toward them that it really made them feel reluctant to blame him. Nobody would ever consider that he would deliberately do something against their interests. He just gave off that kind of feeling.