Yuchi Bing Xia blankly stared at him. Hong Ai? For a moment, he couldn’t remember who that was. The name faintly rang a bell but he couldn’t quite put it. On the other hand, he knew immediately where to place the Tian Yu Sect.
Well, how could he not? The Tian Yu Sect was one of the unranked sects that led the righteous cultivators. They usually kept to themselves and wouldn’t get involved in things if they were not approached directly about it and felt that it was a major issue. If put nicely, one could say that they weren’t one to flaunt their power. Being a bit blunter, one could likely call them a bunch of recluses and maybe make a guess if they were a bit conceited.
Yuchi Bing Xia had actually only ever had a single run-in with a group of the Tian Yu Sect and they had only been some outer sect disciples. As for any of their Elders or even their Sect Master, he had never seen them.
Thinking about the people of the Tian Yu Sect and things he had heard about them, there was one thing that stood out: Several hundred years ago, maybe even a millennium ago, one of their most promising disciples had vanished. That should be the young woman Sect Master Xian had talked about?
Hong Ai … Yes, that should have been her name. If he remembered correctly, she had raised a storm when she appeared in the cultivation world and had done so once more when she suddenly disappeared.
She had not been a cultivator but a practitioner instead. In fact, some had called her the most talented female practitioner of their era. It had certainly angered some people that one as young as her would gain such a title but rumor had it that Hong Ai had managed to subdue all that talking by demonstrating her sword skills. Even if she hadn’t been the most talented practitioner just yet, she definitely would have earned that title soon enough. It was a pity…
“Both sisters vanished just like that.” Yuchi Bing Xia frowned, feeling that this was a bit too much of a coincidence. In fact, it was quite suspicious. Hong Ai had been a talent that could not be easily subdued but at least there had been enough people looking at her enviously. There should have been some who wanted to harm her. Making her disappear … it was not impossible if one had a plan.
On the other hand, he had never heard of her sister’s name. Even if other sects were more informed, this sister did not seem to have made a name for herself. How many would bother about her? Most likely, there would not be a reason to do so. For her to vanish as well really made this quite mysterious.
Sect Master Xian nodded. “That is exactly what worries us. Furthermore, we found out through Hong Bao that her sister’s disappearance seemed connected to a man as well. I am afraid that the demonic sects might be at work here.”
Yuchi Bing Xia nodded. “That seems to be the most likely explanation.” The righteous sects might have had one for hurting Hong Ai but where it concerned her sister, the demonic sects were the only ones with such a motive as far as he could tell. “Was Liu Cheng able to tell you anything else about that man?”
“Well, he wasn’t dressed like a cultivator but instead like a rich merchant and he couldn’t feel any fluctuations of spiritual energy from him so Liu Cheng thought he was a mere mortal at first. But thinking about it I’m quite sure that that man’s cultivation base was just much higher than Liu Cheng’s.”
“Liu Cheng is talented though. That man can’t be a simple disciple.”
“I think so too. Most likely the demonic sects are planning something big. I just don’t know how to counter it. Our Chun Feng Sect has always specialized in hunting demons.”
“So you want my Yun Zou Sect to do something instead?” Yuchi Bing Xia sighed. He understood why Xian Xun had come to him for help. He felt a bit honored and, naturally, he understood that he couldn’t reject this task. If Sect Master Xian was right and the demonic sects indeed planned something, then it was imperative that they thought of some countermeasures. And anyway, hadn’t they already been investigating them previously? Who knew? Maybe there was something else they could uncover about that. Yu Jin would certainly be happy about that.
“Mn, Sect Master Xian, how about this? We’ll send someone over to the Hei Dian Sect to gather information. If the demonic faction really plans something big, then the Hei Dian Sect should be involved in it.”
“That sounds good. Do you have somebody in mind?”
Yuchi Bing Xia thought it over. There were a lot of disciples in the Yun Zou Sect. Naturally, he had a lot of people to choose from. But since they didn’t know if there were spies of the demonic faction in their sect they had to be cautious. It couldn’t be one of their inner sect disciples. It had to be someone from the outer sect that wasn’t well-known and wouldn’t have attracted their attention. Only that way could they infiltrate that sect unnoticed.
“Let me think it over for a while. I’ll notify you as soon as I’ve found a good candidate.”
“Alright. Then I’ll take my leave.” Sect Master Xian stood up and cupped his fists.
Yuchi Bing Xia bid him farewell and sat down again with a sigh. “It seems the peaceful time is over.” He sipped his tea and carefully thought over whom to send. Actually, there weren’t that many candidates that came to mind.