Nian Hong Fang wasn’t wrong with the things he thought. Shen Qiang was indeed not very valued in the Chun Feng Sect. The reason for that was that he was too emotional. For a demon hunter, it was important that they were able to ignore their own feelings in any given situation to make the best decision for all of mankind. If that meant to sacrifice a few lives, then that was what had to be done. It was a pity but couldn’t be changed.
Unfortunately, Shen Qiang was unable to do that. In fact, he had been in a situation where he would have needed to make such a decision several times but had failed to do so every single one. It had made him question whether he was made for this life or should have rather joined a normal sect. Unfortunately, it was too late now so he could only go forward and try his best.
It was hard though. Right now, he was once again in a situation he’d rather have avoided. Being faced with a person that he had good feelings for and that showed him his vulnerable side, he just couldn’t help but feel compassionate. There was also a pang of guilt mixed in. After all, he knew very well where the person was that Nian Hong Fang dearly missed. He also knew the exact reason why this person hadn’t returned in five years. Knowing but not telling … He had a hard time telling himself that this was the right thing to do.
If not because he had lived most of his life in the Chun Feng Sect and always been told that the people that got involved with demons could never be allowed to get close to them ever again, he already might have caved and told Nian Hong Fang the whole truth. But as things stood, he gulped and buried the truth inside.
He couldn’t betray the Chun Feng Sect and their teachings. He had to find out about the plan of the demons to save more lives. Afterward … Afterward, he would still be able to tell Nian Hong Fang. He would be able to clear everything up and make sure that he wouldn’t be hurt too much. Yes, it was just a matter of time.
Shen Qiang calmed himself down and gave Nian Hong Fang a small smile. “That must’ve been very hard. I’m afraid I can’t help you much but if it makes you feel better, then I can come by more often in the future. Then you’ll have at least one person you can share your thoughts with.”
Nian Hong Fang felt helpless at that response. On the one hand, it didn’t answer anything. On the other hand, this was in line with what they had planned. It was just that … With the information he needed so close at hand, he felt quite impatient. “Thank you. It means a lot to me that you’re willing to do this for me. I really don’t know how I deserve such goodwill.”
“Ah, that …” Shen Qiang didn’t know how to explain this. He could hardly say the truth, could he? He looked away, taking another deep breath to calm down before he looked back at him. “I guess you just left me with a very good expression when I came here the last time.”
Nian Hong Fang smiled as if he accepted that explanation and continued to sip his tea. “Then I can only sincerely thank you … and my lucky stars. It’s good that the one who came by was you. Somebody else might not think the same.”
“I’m sure that you would have left everyone with that kind of impression.” Shen Qiang looked at him, keeping his hands busy with the cup. Why was it that the longer he looked at him, the less he knew what to say? If only there was something to do in this place … Ah, come to think of it …
Shen Qiang lowered his head, clearing his throat. “I haven’t been to the Yun Zou Sect in the past. Maybe you’d like to show me around a bit? Always being cooped up inside probably also isn’t very nice for you.”
Nian Hong Fang’s gaze turned subtle but he still nodded and got up. “Of course. If you’d like to have a look around, then I don’t see any reason not to show you. Is there anything special you’d like to see?”
Shen Qiang shook his head. He didn’t know what exactly his senior martial brother Liu and the Sect Master had found out so far so he didn’t know what to look out for. Anyway, even if he knew, it might be a problem if he said it directly. So it was still much better if he just pretended to be casual. “Anywhere is fine. I’d just like to spend some time with you and take your mind off things. That’s enough.”
Nian Hong Fang gave him a deep look and then smiled, motioning at the door. “Let’s go then.” Inwardly, he couldn’t help but think that if this person wasn’t involved in this matter with Ma Zhi Wu and if he could be sure that he wasn’t doing all this for some other motif, then he might be quite nice to have around. It was a pity … Things weren’t very good. So all he could do was lie to this person and pretend to be on his side outwardly while he thought different inwardly. It was not that easy but it also wasn’t like he had never done that before.
Stepping outside, Nian Hong Fang couldn’t help but think back to the time when he had met Ma Zhi Wu in quite a similar situation. Unfortunately, while things had cleared themselves up after a while back then, there was no way for that to happen now.
No, this time, he and this person were indeed on different sides. Regardless of what kind of feelings they privately held, there was no way to part on amicable terms in the end. That just wasn’t possible.