“He looked so gorgeous!” This was the voice of one of the martial sisters of the Yun Zou Sect’s inner sect and her expression told any interested onlooker that she was not exaggerating.
Jin Ling narrowed his eyes. If there was one person that could be described as gorgeous, it was definitely Jinde. Nobody could rival his beauty. So maybe this was about him?
He inched closer, peering around the corner. There wasn’t just that martial sister who had spoken but a bunch of disciples. Most likely, they had originally come together for some other purpose but now, it seemed they were just gossiping.
“True but isn’t he a bit too young?”
Jin Ling gave that martial sister a doubtful look. It’s alright to be into older men but Jinde’s beauty transcended both gender and age. He could never be too young or too old for anyone. Who wouldn’t fall for him at first sight?
He pursed his lips and looked around, wondering when and where this group had seen him. Ah, if only he could go over and ask a couple of questions himself! He was tried to do it but then if he did and something went wrong, it would be too much of a setback. He had already come this far. He couldn’t let anything go wrong now. No, he needed to be patient.
Jin Ling stayed in his hiding spot, continuing to listen to the conversation. Even though most of it was simple swooning over Jinde’s good looks, it seemed that there was at least some valuable information to be found.
“Is it true that they moved into that bamboo hut together?”
“Yes, I was surprised myself. I heard nobody got that spot since the last person who cultivated there ascended.”
“I heard that too! Isn’t that such a waste though? I mean, if that place can really promote cultivation to that degree, then shouldn’t the Elders give it to some promising talents? Why keep it empty all the time? I mean, it’s not like he’d come back, right?”
The group laughed and continued to discuss what the sect’s plans might be but Jin Ling didn’t care anymore. A ‘bamboo hut’ was a rather specific clue. There shouldn’t be too many of those around judging from the way they had talked about it. As long as he had a look at all of them, he should be able to find Jinde.
Seeing as those disciples likely wouldn’t be able to provide him with any further information, Jin Ling rushed off to have a look around the sect grounds and find whatever bamboo huts there might be.
He didn’t need to look for long. The Yun Zou Sect was a first-tier sect. Even though they had been on the decline for a long time before the trouble surrounding Jing He’s trial had led several strong figures to their doorstep and gotten them newfound fame among youngsters interested in becoming cultivators or practitioners, they still had hundreds of disciples. Naturally, they needed to be smart in housing them.
In the outer sect, save for the Elders and their direct disciples, there were only shared buildings for a large number of disciples. In the inner sect, things were a bit better. While some disciples would still share the same building, as long as they reached a certain level, they could also have their own place. Of course, the direct disciples of the Elder and the Elders themselves were naturally assigned to such lodgings.
With this, the number of houses for only one person actually wasn’t all that high. And only a select few of those buildings were built with bamboo. In fact, there were only two or three spots in the sect where one could find such huts.
Jin Ling didn’t get it right the first time around because he had originally gone in the other direction but the second time around, he had more luck.
Looking at the handful of bamboo huts that were spread out in the valley nesting between two of the peaks, Jin Ling’s lips curled up. He wasn’t sure yet if this was the right place but he knew it couldn’t take much longer until he saw him again.
He walked up to the first hut and slowly walked around it. He couldn’t use his spiritual sense or he would give himself away so he could only observe from there first. Not seeing anything, he inched closer and peered inside.
There was a flash of gold and his heartbeat sped up. Had he … actually found him? He tilted his head, trying to get a better look through the window without giving his presence away. He didn’t want to just appear in front of Jinde. Them meeting again had to be … special. He didn’t want to be accidentally spotted, he wanted to put himself in his way purposefully, to prove his worth to him at that time.
His gaze brushed over that figure and his eyes narrowed. That hair … why was it so short? Had something happened to Jinde? Was this because of his soul? But no, that couldn’t be. Hadn’t he caught a glance at him one time a while ago? At that time, his hair had still been just as he remembered it from his youth.
The two people inside were too preoccupied with their own thoughts to notice him, giving him the opportunity to sneak further and glance through the other window. Once again, peeking inside, Jin Ling’s face fell.
Blue eyes, not golden ones. This wasn’t Jinde. It was that boy from the dragon race he had once before seen in the Yun Zou Sect when he originally came to search for Jinde.
For a moment, doubt filled his mind. Was Jinde actually here? But then, he shook his head at himself. No, of course, he was. There had been so many hints and he had even laid his eyes on him once even if it had only been for a short moment.
Jinde was out there and he still had a chance to find him. After all … the person next to that boy was Qiu Ling’s lover and where he was, his so-called brother surely wasn’t far. Surely, when he came back, he could lead him right to Jinde. He just needed to be even more careful to not tip him off when it happened.