When Qiu Ling and the others reached the Grandmaster’s palace, Hong Ai went inside first, loudly announcing their arrival. “I’m sorry it took so long! Something else came up in between and it also took me some time to find him. I hope you didn’t have to wait too long.” She stepped into the courtyard, giving the two men sitting in the pavilion a bright smile. Then, she rushed back to her seat, giving Shen An De a kiss on the cheek before she looked back to see just what Hong Bao’s reaction at seeing Shun Tao would be.
Next, Qiu Ling leisurely strolled inside with Jing Yi, giving Shun Tao a bright smile. “So you’re finally here. I already thought that you didn’t want to come at all. It’s really a bother having to ask somebody else to ask you just so you would come over. If I didn’t know any better, I would really think that you had something against me.”
Shun Tao’s brows twitched but he didn’t dare to talk back at the dragon king just like that. He still wanted to give him a piece of his mind when he noticed the person that came in behind Qiu Ling out of the corner of his eye. He felt startled and took another look, making sure his mind hadn’t played tricks on him. Seeing it really was her, he immediately leaped to his feet and wanted to hide behind one of the pillars of the pavilion.
Immediately, all eyes went toward him.
Shun Tao awkwardly stood there in a fleeing pose, looking at every one of the people gathered there before his gaze darted back to Hong Bao. This girl … He suddenly had figured out why this other woman had seemed familiar. She looked a bit like Hong Bao, just that she seemed slightly older and much more mature. This should be her older sister, Hong Ai, who had been supposed to go to the Nine Heavens in the first place and had been substituted by her Hong Bao because she wanted to stay with her newfound lover.
As for why Hong Bao was here in the Hei Dian Sect … He had a very bad intuition about that but he didn’t dare to think too deeply. Right now, he only wanted to make sure that nothing bad would happen because of him meeting her. Anyway, she wouldn’t fall in love with him again, would she?
He carefully looked at her, wondering if there was anything strange about her expression like back in the day that he hadn’t originally noticed. To his surprise, there was nothing like that.
Hong Bao narrowed her eyes though and fixed Shun Tao with a gaze. “You …” She pondered for a moment and then motioned at his nose. “You could have position nine!”
Shun Tao was weirded out even more. “Position nine?” What position nine? Was this some weird code for something that he didn’t understand? Did she mean that she was in love with him after all?
Hong Bao smiled happily and walked over, sitting down next to where Shun Tao had just sat and cheerfully explained: “Well, that is the ninth position on the list of handsome men that I’m keeping. As easy as that.”
She looked especially proud when she said that, making her sister and brother-in-law pick up their teacups simultaneously and hiding whatever reaction they might have had behind them.
Qiu Ling and Jing Yi didn’t look bothered at all. Well, they had already found out about this list a decade ago. Naturally, they weren’t astonished that she was still keeping it. At most, Qiu Ling was astonished that this servant girl had only eight positions filled so far. He would have expected her to have gotten to a hundred already. Maybe she was actually more selective than he gave her credit for?
Meanwhile, Shun Tao glanced at the people to both sides of him, wondering just how he was the only person who thought this was strange. Could it be that having this type of list was actually normal?
He turned back to Hong Bao, a questioning look in his eyes. “This … list. Who are the other eight people on it? And are there others after the ninth position?”
Hong Bao gave him a happy smile when she noticed that he was actually interested in knowing more about this list. She held a finger up in the air, her expression getting even happier. “Naturally, the most handsome man in the world is Liu Cheng. Do you know who Liu Cheng is?”
Shun Tao furrowed his brows. He had seen that name several times in both Zhong Jing Yi’s and Hong Bao’s scroll of fate. “The demon hunter?”
“Oh, wow! You actually know him. Well, I guess it’s no wonder. Liu Cheng is really great. It’s expected that he is famous and lots of people know him. Want to know something else?”
Shun Tao really wasn’t sure if he wanted to but Hong Bao wasn’t giving him any chance. Before he could answer or even shake his head, she was already continuing to chatter.
“Actually, Liu Cheng is my senior martial brother! We’re both disciples of the Chun Feng Sect. In fact, we even have the same Master. It’s Sect Master Xian. Did you hear of him?”
Shun Tao nodded in a daze. Yes, he had also seen that name in Hong Bao’s scroll of fate back then. He didn’t quite understand where she was going with this though.
“Well, now you see just how close we are. Actually, I’ll let you in on a secret.”
Hong Bao leaned over the table, making Shun Tao lean back in a hurry. He really didn’t want to get close to this girl! She always spelled trouble. If he could, he’d love to be somewhere far, far away!
Hong Bao didn’t pick up on his discomfort though and just continued chattering happily. “Actually, I’m going to marry Liu Cheng!”