Jing Yi stared at Nian Hong Fang in a daze. “That … What do you mean? Shao Hai and Xiao Dong …”
Nian Hong Fang sighed. He knew that those three were friends so he wished he could tell Jing Yi everything about the current situation. In fact, it might be good if he knew. Maybe his fiance would be able to help them out somehow. But unfortunately, Shen Qiang was currently there so he could only pretend to know nothing.
“Their Master sent them on a mission. They were long scheduled to return but … there was not a word from them. At first, Elder Wu just thought that maybe they had run into some difficulties and would need some more time but when there was still nothing after a few weeks, he realized that they might have run into the same situation as Zhi Wu — whatever that situation might be.”
Jing Yi turned to Qiu Ling in a panic. He had felt pity when he heard what had happened to Nian Hong Fang’s fiance but it hadn’t been something that had to do with himself so he hadn’t felt any more than that. Now, the people that had vanished were his best friends from his childhood days though. In fact, they were his first friends after being alone safe for his family for the first few years of his life. He would be lying if he said that they didn’t have a very special place in his heart. To think that something had happened to these two people … Naturally, that worried him.
Nian Hong Fang was happy when he saw this reaction. Even though he didn’t want anybody else to have to go through what he had needed to go through, he still wanted more people to be concerned about this. That way, more would be done to find Ma Zhi Wu.
Well, right now, he couldn’t complain. Since Shao Hai and Xiao Dong had gone missing as well, they had been doing something. It was already much better than the situation had been back when it had only been Ma Zhi Wu. And if he really thought about it, then he also knew that they couldn’t have done much before that anyway. After all, they had not had the slightest clue back then.
Now, things were different though. At the very least, there was Shen Qiang. It was just a pity that he still hadn’t opened up even after so much time. Whoever he was working for, they must have a good grasp on him. Either they had somehow ascertained his loyalty by pressuring him or had some kind of cause he truly believed in. Whatever it was, it would be hard to get around that.
With Jing Yi being distraught by the fact that his friends had gone missing, Qiu Ling was also very concerned about this. Even though he wanted that brat Shao Hai to stay far away from his beloved at least until they were married, that didn’t mean that he wanted him to get into trouble at some unknown place either. No, it was still much better to have him be at a place where he wouldn’t bother them but was also safe and sound. That way, his beloved would be relaxed and could focus on his future husband.
Thinking that way, Qiu Ling was eager to solve this mystery. “So is there anything we know about? I mean any clue as to where they could be?”
Nian Hong Fang shook his head. “Nothing. Well, nothing that I would know of. Maybe Wu Min Huan could know something. I don’t know if you heard but the Sect Master is currently in closed-door cultivation, as is senior martial brother Yu. So Wu Min Huan is taking care of everything. If there is any news, he should be the one to know. You could go and ask.” He gave Qiu Ling a look, hoping that he would understand.
Qiu Ling tilted his head and then glanced at the person next to Nian Hong Fang. It seemed things weren’t as simple as he had thought. “Well, I guess you two were busy anyway.” He looked back at Nian Hong Fang and then turned to Jing Yi as if he hadn’t noticed anything at all. “You know that Wu Min Huan anyway, don’t you? So we might as well go and see how he’s doing and ask about it while we’re at it.”
Jing Yi nodded. “Yes, that might be for the best. If we can help somehow …” He turned to Nian Hong Fang and nodded. “I’m sorry. I said I wanted to catch up but now we’re already leaving again. I hope you’re not angry.”
Nian Hong Fang shook his head with a wry smile. “One of the people that went missing is my own lover. How could I be angry if somebody wants to find out? In fact, if you’re really able to find out something, I would probably be the happiest. After all, Zhi Wu has already been missing for a few years longer than Shao Hai and Xiao Dong. Who knows how he is doing right now?”
Jing Yi nodded. “If we find out anything, I’ll come and tell you immediately. Don’t worry. I’m sure he’s alright. I’m sure all three of them are alright.”
“Let’s hope so.” Nian Hong Fang turned back to the table and picked up the herb again, indicating to them that it would be better to go.
Jing Yi wanted to say some more but Qiu Ling gripped his arm and lightly shook his head, pulling him to the door. Jing Yi didn’t quite understand but he kept quiet and just followed Qiu Ling outside. As soon as they were through the door, he couldn’t help but turn around to him and tug at his arm to make him stop though. “What’s going on?”
Qiu Ling looked behind them and shook his head. He grabbed Jing Yi around the waist and pushed off the ground, rushing over to the Sect Master’s peak where Wu Min Huan was living. When they were out of earshot, he turned to explain. “That Shen Qiang that was with him just now, probably has something to do with their disappearance. Maybe Nian Hong Fang investigated on his own and found out something or maybe Wu Min Huan is also in on it and it’s a mission that the Yun Zou Sect is currently attempting. We’ll have to ask him about that when we get there.”
Jing Yi stared at him in stunned silence. That Shen Qiang was actually connected to this matter? And then he had still gone and asked if this was Ma Zhi Wu who had returned. He really had managed to say the worst thing possible, hadn’t he?