Liu Cheng did indeed help Hong Bao by taking a look at her performing that sword art and giving some pointers on what she could do better in the future. He had trouble appraising the Blood Gems though. Halfway through the load that the disciples had harvested on their last mission, he sighed and put the gem in his hand down.
Ah, he just couldn’t concentrate. It had happened quite a few times before and more often than not, it was precisely this little junior martial sister of his that was the cause of that problem. It really was high time he made up his mind.
Liu Cheng looked at the rest of the blood gems and shook his head. Even if he continued to appraise them right now, he wouldn’t be able to guarantee that he wouldn’t make mistakes. No, it was better to solve the problem with Hong Bao first.
Liu Cheng got up and walked over to his Master’s study, knocking on the door.
Sect Master Xian raised his head and looked at the door in surprise. He wasn’t expecting anybody to come by today. “Yes?”
Liu Cheng opened the door and cupped his fists, bowing to his Master. “Master, I hope I’m not disturbing you.”
Xian Xun shook his head and waved for Liu Cheng to come in and sit down in front of him. “Was there a problem with the Blood Gems or what brought you here?”
Liu Cheng shook his head. “So far, there hasn’t been a problem with the gems. It’s just …”
Xian Xun examined his disciple’s troubled expression and leaned back, his eyes narrowing slightly. For a demon hunter, it was always important to have their emotions under control. If they hadn’t, that would just give those vile things an opportunity to slip through the cracks in the demon hunter’s mental defense and pull them into a trap.
Seeing his disciple in this state, Xian Xun couldn’t help but fear that Liu Cheng really wasn’t in a good state of mind right now. Obviously, something was troubling him and was doing so to a degree that shouldn’t be ignored. “Just get out with it. What is the matter? Maybe there’s something I can do to help.”
Liu Cheng nodded but he still felt awkward about it. The person they were talking about was his junior martial sister, his Master’s other disciple. Wouldn’t his Master feel that he was making things troublesome? After all, what could be done about this?
Xian Xun’s expression darkened even more when Liu Cheng still didn’t explain. Just what could leave his oldest disciple this stumped? Normally, Liu Cheng wasn’t like this. “Liu Cheng, do you feel that you can’t trust your Master? Is that it?”
Liu Cheng furrowed his brows. “Of course not. It’s just that … It’s about little junior martial sister.”
Xian Xun looked at this disciple of his and the corner of his lips twitched. It couldn’t be that Hong Bao had made trouble again, could it? His voice turned flat at the thought. “What happened?” Regardless of what it was, he’d rather hear about it upfront from Liu Cheng, than to have to deal with it after everything was too late.
Liu Cheng shook his head. “That’s not it.” He lowered his head, neither able to explain nor to paddle back. It was too late to pretend that nothing was the matter now.
Xian Xun sighed. “Liu Cheng, what is it? Just get it out with.”
Liu Cheng gritted his teeth. Well, there was no way to turn back so he should just get out with it. His Master was right. “Recently, I feel that junior martial sister and I … Well, I feel that we’ve gotten closer.” He looked away, feeling awkward. There really was no way he could call things by their name. He actually had allowed such shameful behavior!
“Closer?” Xian Xun raised his brows. As far as he remembered, these two had always been very close. After all, it had been Liu Cheng who brought Hong Bao to the Chun Feng Sect and since then, she had always relied on him the most.
Seeing his Master’s doubtful gaze, Liu Cheng lowered his head even further but it couldn’t hide his embarrassed expression.
The Sect Master’s own expression returned to normal. Ah, it seemed he knew what the matter was now. “You like her.”
Liu Cheng instinctively shook his head. “No! I mean … she’s my junior martial sister.”
Xian Xun nodded his head. “She is. Which is probably what makes you feel uncomfortable about this. But on the other hand, I’ve always told you that having a partner that couldn’t fully understand the graveness of our work wouldn’t be anything good.
“Hong Bao — even though she hasn’t been with us for as long as many others — she’s a decent demon hunter by now. She understands the dangers that are involved in our calling and she would be able to provide for herself if something happened to you. Never mind that she would always have a home in the Chun Feng Sect.
“I really see no reason why you should be holding back in this matter. Since you like her, you should be honest about it. Just ask her what her thoughts are and then matters will naturally progress.”
Liu Cheng hesitated on how to answer. He trusted his Master and now that his own feelings had been put this openly in front of him, he could hardly pretend it wasn’t the case but he still wasn’t sure if it would be a good idea to bring it up. Did Hong Bao like him? He honestly didn’t know. Well, then again, he wouldn’t find out if he didn’t try. So asking her was still preferable over keeping quiet. Even if she said no, he would at least know the position he was in and could then see on how to continue in this matter.
Liu Cheng got up and cupped his fists, bowing again. “Thank you, Master. You shed on some light on this matter for me. Then I’ll see how to bring this up with her in the best way.”
Sect Master Xian nodded. “You do that. I’m sure that the occasion and the place won’t matter to her though. Hong Bao isn’t that superficial.”
Liu Cheng nodded and then left his Master’s study, feeling clearer in his thoughts. He still wanted to make sure that this was a special moment for both of them though. Just because he had figured out what he wanted to do, he shouldn’t rush anything.