The message that there was going to be a fight three days later spread like wildfire. Even though it was officially supposed to only include disciples of the division of blades, there was no way to contain this information in just one division.
For one, the disciples that had been there when Niu Hai challenged Qiu Ling to the rematch just couldn’t keep their mouth shut, and then, there were also other disciples that later heard about it and wanted to share the information with their friends who happened to be of other divisions every so often. And needless to say, those friends once again talked with others, making this latest gossip spread through the whole Hei Dian Sect.
Even though there hadn’t been an official announcement and not everybody had gotten all the details, it stood to reason that the audience the fight between Qiu Ling and Niu Hai would gather would not be much smaller than the last time around. After all, the older disciples had seen their last fight and wanted to see this rematch to find out if the outcome would change while the younger disciples were excited about any fight and especially so for one that involved one of the most prominent disciples of the blade division.
While all of this was going on, Qiu Ling and Jing Yi had long returned to the hut and were spending their time leisurely. Or, well, one of them was spending it leisurely. Jing Yi was reading in the manual to refresh his knowledge of the basics of refinement while Qiu Ling was sitting at the side, watching him intently.
Jing Yi didn’t bother about him and just continued to read on. Anyway, he’d like to see just how long Qiu Ling would be able to keep this up. To his surprise, Qiu Ling didn’t seem to have any limit on how long he was able to stare at somebody.
It seemed that from morning till evening, he would be content doing nothing but this. As long as he focused on reading, Qiu Ling would start staring at him. Only when he put the manual down, would Qiu Ling rush over and pull him into his arms, insisting on at least holding his hands or better hugging his whole person to his chest.
While he could probably count himself lucky that Qiu Ling had resolved to not disturb him while he was working, Jing Yi felt that he was slowly but surely driven to madness. If he could, he would turn back time and tell Qiu Ling that he should indeed become part of a division. At the very least, he would’ve had something to do with himself then and wouldn’t need to bother him. Now, it was too late though. He could only grit his teeth and continue reading. Anyway, the fight would be very soon, giving him a break, and then that person from the Nine Heavens should arrive as well. Afterward, everything would once again change anyway. He just had to wait until then.
When there were only a few hours left until the time for the duel, something happened in Grandmaster Shen’s palace.
One of the servants rushed into the inner chambers, looking for Shen An De. Unfortunately, nothing could be seen of the Grandmaster. The servant didn’t quite know what to do for a moment. Neither the Grandmaster nor his wife was in and nobody was around to tell him where they went. He thought and finally, his expression lit up. He didn’t know where the Grandmaster might be but his wife often trained in the adjacent courtyard. He just had to go look for her!
The servant ran outside and indeed, Hong Ai was currently practicing her swordsmanship not far from the door.
“Madam! Please excuse the disturbance but there’s a person at the door, saying that he wants to see some Longjun? I wanted to send him away but he insisted that this person was staying in the Grandmaster’s palace. We couldn’t find anyone though. Should we send the person away after all?”
Hong Ai sheathed the sword, wondering for a moment what this could be about. Then, it dawned on her: This should be the person from the Nine Heavens that had come to help them out! The one that her sister had originally fallen in love with. “No, I know what this is about. Send the person in and treat him like a guest.”
“Yes, Madam!” When the servant rushed away, Hong Ai turned around and went over to the pavilion that was standing not far away.
Her husband was sitting at the table, drinking a cup of tea. He raised his gaze to her and smiled. “Seems like he’s finally here.”
“Mn.” Hong Ai sat down next to him, taking the teacup that he pushed over. She was curious to see just who this person was that her sister had fallen so deeply in love with that she would even kill somebody for him. Thus, the two of them sat with their gazes trained on the door, waiting anxiously for Shun Tao’s entrance.
A moment later, Shun Tao walked in behind the servant, his brows furrowing when he saw the two people in the pavilion but no trace of Qiu Ling. This … certainly wasn’t what he had expected.
The servant bowed and then pulled back, leaving the three people alone.
Shun Tao looked from Shen An De to Hong Ai, his brows furrowing even further when he saw her. Somehow, he felt that this woman looked slightly familiar. He couldn’t quite remember where he might have seen her though. Anyway, it was better to be straightforward with matters in this situation. Most likely, he wouldn’t have been called to this place if these two didn’t have anything to do with this. “Please excuse me but I am looking for Longjun.”
Hong Ai looked back at him, her eyes widening slightly. This … How come the incredibly handsome man her sister had fallen for so deeply that she was willing to kill somebody turned out to be a middle-aged uncle?!