Walking up onto the stage, the storyteller gave the audience in the teahouse a bright smile while the woman who had played the guzheng before carried another teapot over to a small table next to him. Clearly, he was getting ready to tell a long story.
Looking around the teahouse, the man’s gaze brushed over the customers. He recognized some familiar faces but also noticed that there were some he had never seen before. Needless to say, part of the latter group were Qiu Ling and Jing Yi. Those two were quite noticeable in the crowd, especially with how they were currently dressed.
The storyteller’s eyes lit up when he saw them, and he motioned toward the two of them. “I see that we have some new guests with us here today. May I ask where the two of you have come from?”
Qiu Ling raised his gaze to him and wondered how to say ‘the dragon realm’ in a place where they weren’t even sure if cultivators were welcome, much less the immortal races. He thought for a moment and then gave a hum. “The north.” Anyway, that was probably as good as it got.
The storyteller was a bit startled at that kind of unspecific answer but then, looking at their clothes, he felt like this was the kind of person who would disdain to have to talk to somebody beneath their status and even answer questions about themselves. It only seemed natural if you thought about it like that.
He didn’t mind too much and just gave an even brighter smile, not even thinking of giving up yet. “Oh, then is that the north of our Long kingdom or even further than that?” Could you get into trouble for insisting on asking personal questions of a high-ranking person? Certainly! But then, if you told a story that was interesting to them based on the answers you got, you could call yourself lucky. And considering how rare it was that he had somebody that had high status so he had to use the opportunity. And them being from outside the city might be the key to telling the most interesting story he could.
Qiu Ling looked at him, wondering how this was any of this guy’s business. If it had been any other situation, he probably would have made trouble by now but considering that they wanted some answers from this guy, he reined in his annoyance and patiently responded. “That would be from even further north for me. But my fiance was originally from the Long kingdom.” Actually, it was good to know that this place was still called the Long kingdom. If they had asked about it later on and the name had changed because the dynasty had, that would really be too embarrassing. They could really count themselves lucky.
The storyteller happily nodded. “So it was like that. In this case, how much do you know about our Long kingdom?”
Qiu Ling tilted his head. Was this guy offering up information on a silver plate for him? He hesitated for a moment but then figured that he might as well give it a try. “Not much, to be honest. I did hear that there was a cultivation sect in the Long kingdom that was pretty famous.”
Jing Yi looked up at him in surprise. He knew that Qiu Ling was a straightforward person but in the current situation, he had expected that he would be more careful. But then, maybe it didn’t matter as long as people didn’t associate them with the cultivators or the immortal races.
The storyteller happily nodded, already thinking of all the different stories he could tell. “That is indeed true. The sect you speak of should be the Yun Zou Sect. It indeed has a mighty reputation. Legend even has it that a thousand years ago, a dragon appeared in that sect and it wasn’t just any dragon but the king of the dragon race himself!”
The storyteller looked as if he was waiting for praise but Qiu Ling could barely muster a hum.
“Well, I heard of that. Seems like they went up against the demon-hunting sects together with a bunch of other cultivation sects?” By now, he was pretty sure that the Long kingdom had no problem with cultivators. Otherwise, the storyteller and the other guests around them would have reacted differently to him bringing up a cultivation sect. Not to mention that the storyteller surely wouldn’t have brought up such a story. In this case, he could relax. Even if people knew who they were, it shouldn’t matter.
The storyteller was shocked when Qiu Ling hardly reacted and for a moment, he actually fell silent. For a man that was from outside, how did he know that? But then, this was a rather well-known story and if his fiance hailed from the Long kingdom … He sighed to himself, feeling that his luck was bad. If not for that fiance, the man likely wouldn’t have known.
Well, he couldn’t be discouraged just because of that. Since he had found an in, he just had to continue in this direction. Sooner or later, he would find something this man hadn’t heard of. Even if he couldn’t, he just had to make the story interesting. “That is indeed the case. It just proves what kind of institution the Yun Zou Sect of our Long kingdom is. They truly are a pillar of righteousness. Either way, when it comes to the matter of the dragon king’s visit, it is not too astounding. Do you know why our kingdom is named the Long kingdom?”
Qiu Ling tilted his head. He faintly remembered that this had come up when Jing Yi was young. “Because some dragon helped the first emperor found it? And then supposedly, he fell asleep somewhere and turned into a mountain. What nonsense.” Not even a regular dragon would believe that kind of bullshit, not to mention he as the dragon king.
Unfortunately for him, the storyteller’s eyes immediately lit up. Surely, he believed to have found the perfect story to tell.