Xiang Yu had nothing to say against this offer so he nodded and the two of them went off, strolling through the streets of the Long kingdom’s capital city. Of course, Jin Ling had put on a disguise for mortal eyes so they wouldn’t be bothered.
At the same time, Shen An De arrived at the Hei Dian Sect’s alchemy division. He directly made his way over to the estate in the far back where the Elder in charge should be taking care of the division’s matters. He suppressed his energy and quietly walked inside, not wanting to give his presence away and startle anyone.
Jing Yi didn’t have a reason to lie to him but he was still an outsider and even a so-called ‘spy’ sent from the Yun Zou Sect. Despite the fact that he had long ascended, it wouldn’t look good to simply rely on his word. Especially so since Jing Yi likely didn’t have complete insight into the matter. So, it was much more important to have a look around himself.
He made his way over to the study, finding a disciple hunched over a document on the desk. The brush in his hand was waving wildly, making some remarks before the scroll was pushed to the side where a dangerously high tower of other scrolls and books had been piled up. The disciple pulled another document over and continued but his head was already drooping.
Shen An De tilted his head and waited. Not even a quarter of an hour later, the disciple’s head finally fell forward, accurately landing on the document with the fresh ink. Shen An De waited for a moment longer and then walked in and around the desk, taking note of how there were ink stains not just on his forehead but also on his hands and the rest of his face. Clearly, this hadn’t happened for the first time.
Shen An De gave a hum and picked up a nearby document, glancing over it. Despite the obvious exhaustion of the disciple in question, the document had been handled very well. He couldn’t pick out any faults. He checked a few others to make sure it wasn’t simply a fluke and then nodded.
The Elder in charge or rather all the Elders in charge of that division that had been involved in this matter should be punished and then forced to do their duties from now on so this disciple could go back to doing what he was actually supposed to do. But at the same time, Shen An De didn’t think that that was enough.
No, who knew how long this had already been going on? Since he knew now, this disciple should get something out of all the work he had done previously. That was even more so the case when his work had been excellent. And surely, that was the case. Otherwise, why had nobody noticed that this was happening?
Shen An De put the document down and then went to look through the rest of the study. Everything he saw pointed to the fact that this disciple was indeed here more often than not.
Shen An De shook his head and stood to the side, looking through the ledgers that were lined up on a shelf at the back of the room. Right now, he really wanted to know just how far back this dated.
He picked up the latest ledger, checked the handwriting at the back, and then swapped to the front pages of the book. Sure enough, it was the same as on the documents. Each ledger held the information of a full year, so for at least this one year, the Elder hadn’t done his work. Shen An De huffed and put the ledger back, taking out the one standing next to it.
Halfway through his work, steps sounded from outside. He paused in his work but didn’t turn around. He simply listened, wondering who would come. Could it be the Elder? For a moment, he wanted to move out of sight to watch just how this Elder would deal with his disciple. But then, he noticed that the gait was a bit too crisp for this to be him. Instead, this might be the other disciple Jing Yi had mentioned?
A moment later, Niu Hai indeed stepped through the door, an excited expression on his face. “Ah Lin!” He wanted to start talking but then noticed the person standing in the back. He blinked his eyes in confusion, not having expected anyone else. “Eh?”
Shen An De turned around, giving him a winning smile. “I assume you must be Niu Hai, the disciple of the division of blades, then?”
Niu Hai’s eyes turned wide. Even if Grandmaster Shen didn’t appear often, he was still their sect’s Grandmaster at the end of the day. Naturally, he knew of him and was able to recognize him. Seeing him in the study while Yue Lin was very clearly asleep again and having the Grandmaster know who he was on top … it made his knees go weak.
Niu Hai gulped and then nodded with a heavy heart. “Yes, Grandmaster Shen. This one is Niu Hai. I hope I’m not disturbing you.” He hurriedly clasped his hands in salute and hoped that whatever the Grandmaster would say next wouldn’t completely seal his fate. Although, then again, the one he should worry about should be Yue Lin. After all, he was just coming to visit.
Shen An De lowered the ledger he had just been looking through and gave a hum. “Well, how about running an errand for me?”
Niu Hai hastily nodded. “Yes!”
“Alright. Then please go and get Elder Teng of the alchemy division for me.” He closed the book with a smile, an audible thud sounding. “Oh, yes, you don’t need to mention that I am the one who wants to see him. It’s okay to just make it sound urgent.”
Niu Hai nodded, completely dumbfounded. He had no idea what was going on but he still felt that he had stumbled into major trouble.