Qiu Ling blinked his eyes. This … wasn’t quite what he had expected. He still put Jing Yi down and instead grabbed his hand though. “Well, maybe they went to sleep very early. We should go and take a closer look.”
In fact, he was pretty sure that nobody was even in the houses. His senses were keener than that of a human and he couldn’t hear even a single sound from inside the buildings.
There might still be some food though so he wouldn’t disdain this opportunity and just give it a try. Anyway, they were just two people so they wouldn’t need much. If the people living here came back, they might not even notice that something had gone missing. And even if they did, they should be happy that they had been able to provide his beloved with something he desperately needed. That was a great honor, wasn’t it?
While Qiu Ling didn’t think much of it, Jing Yi shivered. He didn’t know if the people were inside the houses but it wasn’t that late yet that all of the daylight had vanished and with nobody out and about in the village, it gave him a strange impression.
If he thought back to the village where he had grown up, he just couldn’t reconcile the two of them. A place like this wouldn’t be as bustling as the capital city but at least there should be a few people outside that would come together to gossip or maybe finish up the work of the day that they hadn’t been able to do yet.
But here … Everything was silent. Nobody could be seen, nobody could be heard. There also wasn’t the smell of food or any other traces that somebody was living here. It was as if this place was indeed completely empty and might have been for a long time.
He couldn’t help but squeeze Qiu Ling’s hand and look up at him with worry. “Are you sure we should be here?”
Qiu Ling looked around unperturbed. “Why not? If they don’t want to see us, they can come out and tell us to our faces. If they don’t, then they obviously don’t have any problem with it. Come on, let’s go see what they have here.” He didn’t wait any longer and pulled his beloved with him, just going straight to the first building and opening the door as if he himself was the owner.
Jing Yi inched closer to him, uneasily glancing in all directions. This place was a little too scary for his liking. If he could, he’d rather return to the place where they had set up camp before and wait there until the next morning. Even if they couldn’t eat anything, it would still be better than getting into trouble because they entered a place they shouldn’t.
Even when they entered the house, nothing could be seen of any residents. Jing Yi furrowed his brows while Qiu Ling went ahead and scoured the place, searching for something to eat. He didn’t need long. There were several herbs and fruits lying on one of the shelves along the wall. Strangely enough, there weren’t many other ingredients stored. He found a bit of uncooked rice and some wild vegetables but that was it.
Qiu Ling looked at his spoils, wondering what he should do with this. The rice and vegetables weren’t the problem but as for the fruits and the herbs, they were filled with spiritual energy. Could he also use them to cook? Normally, a dragon would eat this kind of thing raw but he wasn’t sure if that would also be suitable for his beloved.
Qiu Ling turned to look at Jing Yi, wondering if he would be able to tell him anything about this. “Say, what do you normally eat in the sect?” Not that he hadn’t seen Jing Yi eat there but he wasn’t quite sure if these had been normal or spiritual ingredients. He had only ever cared about his beloved and not paid attention to this seemingly unimportant detail.
Now, he really regretted his choice. He should’ve paid closer attention! Even if it didn’t seem important at first glance, this was something that had to do with his beloved. And everything about his beloved was important! In the future, he’d have to be more prudent in his care.
Jing Yi only blinked his eyes in response. “What do you mean? Isn’t the food the same for everyone?”
Qiu Ling blinked his eyes as well. It seemed that really was the case. He didn’t know about the inner sect since he had never cared about that but in the outer sect, all the disciples would go to the same building to eat. “Then the ingredients … Are they normal ones or do they have spiritual energy?”
“There … shouldn’t be any spiritual energy?” Jing Yi wasn’t completely sure but he felt that it should be this way. After all, it wasn’t too safe to eat something containing spiritual energy if you didn’t know how to cultivate. At the very least, this was what Shao Hai had told him once. Apparently, your body wouldn’t know what to do with the energy so it could hurt you from inside.
Qiu Ling nodded slowly and then took the normal vegetables and searched around for a pan. Anyway, they did have both so it wasn’t a problem at all. He should find out more about this in the future though.
In a few minutes, Qiu Ling had prepared the ingredients. He ladled them into two bowls and then put them on the table, not caring at all that they were in another person’s house.
Jing Yi couldn’t help but glance around once again. “Do you really think this is alright?”
Qiu Ling nodded and handed him the chopsticks with an eager expression. “Of course! I mean they’re not here to use them anyway so what’s the harm? And aren’t you hungry at all? Just eat it. In the worst case, we’ll get something to replace the ingredients we used later on. It can’t be that bad.”
Jing Yi nodded hesitatingly but since Qiu Ling had already made the food it also wouldn’t be good not to eat it. It was too late now. Thus the two of them started to eat together. Just when they took the last bite, a door on the other side of the room opened and a group of people walked in, freezing as soon as Jing Yi and Qiu Ling turned around.
They looked at the two of them and took in the white robes of the Yun Zou Sect that they were wearing, then, one of them grabbed their sword and lunged himself at them.