Hong Bao blinked her eyes, clearly surprised that he knew her. She tilted her head and took a closer look at him. This man … She had obviously never seen him. If she did, she would definitely remember. He was handsome, after all! “You are?”
Qiang Yan shut his mouth and gave an embarrassed smile. Right, she couldn’t remember him. Her memory of the time in the Nine Heavens had been erased after she was found guilty in the matter regarding his nephew. Well, even if that wasn’t the case, she might not remember him anyway considering that they had only met once and she had always been completely focused on the Fate’s Scribe.
Hong Bao pursed her lips when he didn’t answer. “Don’t tell me we did and I did something bad so you don’t like me. Is that why you attacked senior martial brother Liu? You shouldn’t do that! It has nothing to do with him! You can fight with me instead.”
Qiang Yan glanced from her to the man behind her who had furrowed his brows and was staring at him with an even darker expression than before. He could imagine what was going through his mind: His opponent was not only stronger than him and had a completely different opinion about matters, he was also acquainted with one of his martial sisters. That couldn’t be good.
Qiang Yan wasn’t too far off with that judgment. He wasn’t quite spot on though. Liu Cheng was especially troubled because the martial sister this was about was Hong Bao. After all, this was the woman he loved. Even though he still hadn’t managed to ask her if she wanted to marry him since his proposal went so horribly wrong six years ago, his feelings hadn’t changed. Her missing memories had always been a concern for him and their Master because they never knew if she had offended somebody or gotten herself into some other unsavory situation. It was worrying.
Now, seeing that there was once again a situation where somebody turned up that knew her but that she couldn’t remember, he couldn’t help but become even more vigilant. Especially considering that this person had just spoken out in favor of the demons and attacked them while they were trying to apprehend two suspects. This kind of person shouldn’t have to do with Hong Bao but if they did … the implications of that weren’t good.
Liu Cheng pulled Hong Bao behind him, facing Qiang Yan again. “How do you know her?”
Qiang Yan glared at him. “I wouldn’t know how that concerns you.”
“I’m her senior martial brother, we study under the same Master. Naturally, I should take care of her. So what do you have to do with her? Did you come here because of her?”
Qiang Yan glanced at Hong Bao again and sighed. This girl … After chasing Shun Tao with such fervor and being thrown out of the Nine Heavens, she had actually become a demon hunter and seemed to be embroiled with another man now. Ah, this was somewhat worrying.
Qiang Yan sheathed his weapon and shook his head. “I have nothing to say to you about that. Some matters are better left untouched. Anyway, the two of you know each other, I’ll give you a word of advice: Stay away from the people inside that realm. Otherwise, you will come to bitterly regret it in the future.”
“Why?” Liu Cheng furrowed his brows, tensing up. Was this a threat?
Qiang Yan didn’t pay him any attention though. He turned to the people of the Yun Zou Sect and nodded at them. “I’m sorry for the disturbance. This was a private matter I had to take care of. Anyway, since things have turned out slightly different from what I expected, I’ll let it end here and leave now.”
“Uh … Sure.” Yuchi Bing Xia didn’t quite know what to say. He didn’t know this man and he couldn’t imagine what type of conflict he might have with the Chun Feng Sect.
Qiang Yan pushed off the ground and rose into the air, disappearing toward the Nine Heavens.
Behind him, Liu Cheng clenched his fingers around his sword and looked at Yuchi Bing Xia. “Sect Master, are you really just letting him get away like this? He is acquainted with those demons!”
Yuchi Bing Xia’s brows furrowed at that and he glared at Liu Cheng. “You should better stay silent! I haven’t even asked you to give me an explanation for your previous behavior yet and you’re already making such demands? You still haven’t shown even the slightest proof that Grandmaster Zhangsun’s disciple is a demon! So stop making these baseless accusations!”
Liu Cheng furrowed his brows as well. “They aren’t baseless. You know very well that the people of our sect have keen senses in regard to this. Somebody who isn’t human can be detected.”
“They can. But you can also err. Qiu Ling has always been special. In case you didn’t know, he has a special body constitution. Naturally, he would feel somewhat different from other people.”
Liu Cheng’s gaze became hesitant but he soon straightened up again. “Even if he isn’t, what about that other man? The one who first pretended to be a disciple of the Yun Zou Sect but then turned around and pretended to be a disciple of the Liu He Alliance instead? Not even mentioning his lies, just his appearance is obvious proof of his non-human heritage! Do you really want to ignore this?!”
Yuchi Bing Xia had no idea how to deflect these words. Jinde’s appearance really wasn’t human.
Zhangsun Xun Yi glanced at the Sect Master and shook his head. Then, he turned to Liu Cheng. “Whether he is or whether he isn’t shouldn’t be the issue here. Liu Cheng, our sects have been deeply entwined for several generations. When your junior sister got into trouble, we sent our disciples to investigate, putting them into danger on your behalf. We also helped with other missions in the past. This camaraderie … How come it is suddenly worth nothing? Shouldn’t you explain that before you demand explanations from us?”
Liu Cheng’s lips parted but no sound came out and a trace of guilt flashed past his eyes. Still, he tightened his lips again and shook his head. “It isn’t that I don’t trust the Yun Zou Sect. It’s just that the demons can’t be trusted. I’ve seen enough of that happen over the years. I don’t want to see another person suffering from their schemes.”