Yu Jin gave some instructions to Jing Yi and then left without another look back. Soon enough, he vanished in the distance, leaving Jing Yi alone to depart on this long journey.
As for himself, he already had an idea how to go about his task of finding Qiu Ling. From what they had heard from the people in the city, the dragon had dived into the water and vanished.
Regardless of what exactly had really happened there, if he was hurt and had fallen into the water, he would be swept away by the currents. Sooner or later, that would lead to him being swept back onto land. Or in other words: He would appear somewhere on the coastline or on one of the islands. He just had to check these places one by one.
With Cen Fu not next to him anymore, Yu Jin sped up and flew at a much faster pace than before. When he was sure that he was out of Jing Yi’s sight, he returned to the coastline and then rushed toward the city where they had originally started to investigate, keeping his eyes on the ground.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t seen anything even when he finally hovered over the city again. Yu Jin furrowed his brows and then rushed in the other direction, once again keeping a lookout for Qiu Ling.
Once again, he didn’t have much luck.
When he arrived at the place where they had first found the footprints in the sand, he sighed. How was his luck so bad? He had actually rounded the whole sea but still hadn’t seen him. He looked up at the sky, feeling that he had to be particularly unlucky today.
“This wouldn’t be Heaven punishing me?”
He finally just sighed and then continued to rush around, this time looking out for the islands on the sea. Soon enough, he found the first one and circled around but his bad luck continued to persist. He sighed again and then moved on.
When he reached the eighth island, he finally spotted a figure on the beach. For a moment, he just hovered in the air, looking at that person as if he was wondering if he was having hallucinations. Then he descended quite a bit away from him. He continued to look and then lightly cleared his throat.
There was no reaction. Qiu Ling didn’t seem to have heard him.
Yu Jin furrowed his brows and stepped closer, keeping a wary eye on him. When Qiu Ling still didn’t react, he made the rest of the way over, peering into his face. His brows furrowed even further. “Unconscious?”
He knelt down next to him and grabbed his arm, taking his pulse. It was steady as if he was in perfect shape. His eyes were tightly closed though and there was no reaction at all even now that he had touched him.
“That isn’t normal. Maybe some internal injury?” He almost wanted to insert some spiritual energy to check whether that conjecture was true but then awkwardly took his hand back.
It probably wouldn’t be good to do that. What if their spiritual energy differed? He might do more harm than good. But he wasn’t sure what else it could be.
He continued to kneel next to him, his mind racing. He couldn’t just ignore this matter but he didn’t know enough to be able to figure out what the issue was by himself. He would need to find somebody who did. Unfortunately … he was on a nondescript island right now.
In the end, Yu Jin picked Qiu Ling up and then pushed off the ground, leaving the island. Anyway, he might as well go to the capital city first and figure the rest out there. If he could find somebody to deal with this, it would be much easier to have them go to the Long kingdom’s capital city than to some anonymous island as well. This way of doing things wouldn’t bring any disadvantage.
Thanks to Yu Jin’s flying speed, he actually arrived in the capital city before dusk fell. He glanced around and then went directly to the teahouse, stepping inside with a blank expression. He glanced at one of the servers that was currently tending to a table close by and lightly cleared his throat to get her attention.
The young woman turned around, her eyes turning wide when she saw him.
“I’m sorry. Might I know where Madam Zhong is?”
The girl didn’t answer, making Yu Jin furrow his brows. He didn’t bother about her any longer and instead try to draw the attention of another server. “I’m sorry. I’m searching for Madam Zhong. Could you please tell her to see me?”
The server looked from Yu Jin to the person whose arm was slung over his shoulder and that looked as if he would fall down any minute and then ran back to the kitchen, rushing to Madam Zhong’s side.
“Madam, there is a young man in a white robe who wants to meet with you. He brought somebody with him that looks a lot like … your son-in-law.”
Madam Zhong looked at the servant in confusion but then nodded. “Thank you.” She went out of the kitchen to take a look, her face instantly paling when she saw Qiu Ling in that condition. She rushed over and reached out, grasping his face. Seeing that his eyes were closed, he anxiously looked up at Yu Jin. “What happened to him? And where’s my son?” The two of them had left together not too long ago. How come Qiu Ling was suddenly like this while her son wasn’t here at all?!
Yu Jin nodded. “Greetings. I’m sorry for this situation. Your son-in-law had some sort of … accident, I’m afraid. Your son is currently still on his way to the capital city. I’m afraid he’ll only arrive in a few weeks as well. Now, I’d tell you the rest but it would be good if we could bring your son-in-law somewhere safe first.”
“Yes, yes, of course.” Madam Zhong looked at Qiu Ling in distress but nodded. “Just let me tell the servants to take over.”
Yu Jin nodded and then conscientiously waited for her to deal with matters before he followed her out of the teahouse and back to the house of the Zhongs.