It turned out, even one division of the Hei Dian Sect was just as large as the outer sect of the Yun Zou Sect. There were at least fifty different buildings that housed a subdivision or at least part of it. And then there were all the administrative buildings like the one where Yue Lin worked and those the disciples and Elders lived in.
Looking at this, it really became apparent why there was a ranking of sects on the righteous side. If the Hei Dian Sect hadn’t been a demonic sect, they would have had a place among the unranked sects that were far above sects like the Yun Zou Sect that might be counted as a first-tier sect but had had trouble keeping the spot on that tier several times already.
Jing Yi was in awe but at the same time also worried. They might already have a lead as to where Hong Ai was but finding out anything else would be difficult in such a massive sect. He didn’t even know where they should begin. Not to mention the other divisions, just searching the alchemy division for clues would take forever. And he really didn’t believe that they would have so much luck that they would just coincidentally stumble upon news of Hong Bao or the demonic faction’s plan.
“This is the subdivision of the water of the yellow springs.” Yue Lin motioned to a building next to them and threw in an explanation.
He had done so repeatedly since the moment they left his study. Thanks to that, Jing Yi had found out that most of the buildings had more complicated names than what Nian Hai had told him yesterday. For example, the building Yue Lin had just mentioned had been called deadly poisons by Nian Hai. If Jing Yi had believed in that, he might have gotten into trouble later on.
Well, on the other hand, maybe he wouldn’t have been able to understand what the subdivisions were about if Nian Hai hadn’t done that. Although … Jing Yi wrinkled his brow. He could see where the name was coming from. It wasn’t strange that the disciples would call it something like that.
“Alright, we’re here.” Yue Lin halted in front of a two-story building in the latter half of the alchemy division’s compound. “This is where we are keeping all the basic commodities for the disciples like the robes or the cauldrons for the refining process. The herbs and other materials are kept in a different building near the gardens. I’ll show you that one later.”
Jing Yi nodded and took another glance around. He had seen these buildings already when he had a look around with Qiu Ling yesterday. It seemed like the front half of the estate was used for the different subdivisions while the back half was used for everything that pertained to the whole alchemy division.
If there was any information on all the disciples of the division, it should either be in Yue Lin’s study if it was something recent or in one of these buildings at the back if they were older already. Maybe it would be the same for the other divisions? Then they could try their luck there first.
Jing Yi followed Yue Lin into the building. There was a big entrance hall but nobody could be seen inside. Yue Lin waved him along and went down one of the silent corridors. Finally, he halted in front of a door to a storage room.
“This is where we are storing the robes.” He opened the door and inside, Jing Yi right behind him.
Looking around, Jing Yi couldn’t help but be surprised again at just how big the sect had to be. The whole room was filled with shelves upon shelves of robes. All of them were neatly folded, just waiting to be taken out, and given to their new owners. The Hei Dian Sect was really well-prepared.
While Jing Yi looked around, Yue Lin gave him a measuring look, and then walked over to one of the shelves close by, taking three of the robes down and handing them to Jing Yi.
They were dark like all the robes Jing Yi had seen in the Hei Dian Sect so far but upon closer inspection, there seemed to be something different about them. Jing Yi frowned. The robes in his hands weren’t black like he had thought but instead of a dark red. There was some embroidery on the lapels as well as on the shoulders.
Looking over at the other two stacks it seemed like they were a little different. The stack in the middle held robes that were of the same dark red color but in addition to the embroidery, the hem of the sleeves was set off in a lighter color. The robes on the left stack were so dark that they seemed black in the dim lighting of the storage room. The only thing noticeable about them was that the embroidery was done with silver threads that seemed to glow in the dark.
Jing Yi looked up at Yue Lin. There was no doubt that these different robes corresponded to the three types of disciples. This was probably the best opportunity he’d get to ask what differences there were between them. “Senior martial brother Yue, there is one thing I haven’t completely understood yet. Senior martial brother Nian told me that there are three types of disciples. The fringe disciple’s like me, the official disciples, and the direct disciples. But I don’t know … what is the difference between them?”
Yue Lin folded his hands behind his back and straightened his shoulders. He was content with having a junior who asked the right questions. It wasn’t a problem not to know about some things but it was a problem to not know and pretend to know. He’d much rather have such a junior martial brother like Jing He who would admit to not knowing. Thus, he’d naturally explain to him.