Seeing Xiao Yan stunned as well as astonished manner, Ling Ying smiled and nodded. He bowed slightly toward Xun Er. “Young Lady (Young Lady)!”
Xiao Yan gradually recovered from his dumbfoundedness. When he heard the manner in which Ling Ying addressed Xun Er, his gaze involuntarily turned toward the latter. There was some relief in his eyes as he frowned slightly and said, “The both of you…”
“Ke ke, Young Master Xiao Yan. Around less than half a year after you have left Wu Tan City, I obeyed Young Lady’s dispatch and arrived at the Jia Ma Empire. I went to search for your traces and to quietly protect you along the way.” Ling Ying smiled and explained, “You should not blame Young Lady for making her own decision to intervene in your matter. It is just that the you then was alone and weak. It was extremely dangerous to venture out into the Jia Ma Empire alone. After arriving at the Jia Nan Academy,Young Lady was really worried. Hence, she got me to quietly go and protect you.”
“Originally, I was the final protection that the Clan Head arranged for Young Lady. During that period of time that I was not around her was perhaps the period of time when Young Lady’s protection was at its weakest. Now, you may perhaps vaguely know how enormous the faction behind Young Lady is. Hence, there are quite a number of people who have intentions toward Young Lady . Fortunately, this Jia Nan Academy is indeed worthy of being an ancient academy renown throughout the continent and did not allow any trouble to befall Young Lady . Otherwise, I’m afraid that I will have to receive an extremely strict dressing down by the Clan Head.” Ling Ying smiled as he spoke. The hidden meaning behind these words was to allow Xiao Yan to understand clearly just how much of a risk Xun Er took to ensure his safety and not form any resentful emotions toward Xun Er because of this. After having been with Xiao Yan for a period of time, he clearly knew that this fellow had a great discrimination against monitoring him in secret.
Xiao Yan was naturally able hear the meaning behind Ling Ying’s words. Immediately he sighed softly, patted Xun Er’s head with his hand and laughed bitterly, “You this girl… what problems will I have? You have really underestimated me?”
Seeing that there was no blaming look on Xiao Yan’s expression, Xun Er quietly sighed in relief. She suddenly smiled but did not open her mouth to explain herself.
“Old Ling, the last time, we parted in a hurry. Now that we have meet, Xiao Yan will once again say thank you for lending a hand last time.” Xiao Yan stood straight and bowed slightly toward Ling Ying while speaking in a deep voice.
“Ke ke, why does Young Master Xiao Yan need to be so courteous? I merely did as I was ordered.” Ling Ying hurriedly waved his hand and replied.
“Xiao Yan ge-ge. This time around, the main reason for me letting you meet with Old Ling is because I have got him to carefully investigate the movement of the experts within our clan during this period of time. He did not discover any elite Dou Huangs entering the Jia Ma Empire during these few years…” Xun Er softly said.
Xiao Yan was startled when he heard this. Originally, he merely suspected that there was some relationship between his father’s disappearance and the faction behind Xun Er. However, after he had discussed it with her, his doubt had become fainter. However, he did not expect that this girl had actually gone to the trouble of sending people to investigate.
“Young Master Xiao Yan, the matter of your father’s disappearance is indeed not related to us. The Xiao clan or perhaps I should say the Xiao clan from a long time ago has some deep relations to us. There are far too many favors and grudges within this relationship… there have indeed been some strong people within the clan who suggested we bring all the members of your Xiao clan back. However, they chose to give up due to the enormous dispute.” Ling Ying mused for a moment before he slowly spoke, “In the recent few years, there has seldom been anyone who brought up this matter. Hence, your father’s disappearance should be done by someone else.”
Xiao Yan frowned intently and sighed. His voice was low and deep as he said, “Our Xiao clan is but a second rate faction within an empire. How can it bother a strong Dou Huang such that he would act against it? If this is the case, it is likely that the greatest suspicion still lies with the Misty Cloud Sect. Ah. That damn First Elder…”
Xiao Zhan went missing while being chased by that First Elder of the Misty Cloud Sect. Moreover, there was no one else present at that time. Therefore… whether the person went missing or was secretly kidnapped by him was likely something that no one else would know other than him. However, the party involved was already dead now. The traces of Xiao Zhan had become even more bewildering. However, no matter how one looked at this matter, it has some relation with the Misty Cloud Sect.
Back then Xiao Yan had lost his reasoning and killed the First Elder on the spot in his anger. After which, he was chased by the Misty Cloud Sect with great effort and he had to flee. Finally, he had escaped out of the Jia Ma Empire. He did not have even a little time during this period to give any deep thoughts to some of the strangeness regarding this matter. Now that he had once again mentioned the Misty Cloud Sect, Xiao Yan, who had calmed down, began to have some doubts in his heart… however, from the looks of the expression of the First Elder just before he died, it did not appear that he was lying…
Xiao Yan used all his strength to shake his head as he sighed. No matter how one put it, the Misty Cloud Sect did have some hidden foggy implication with regards to the disappearance of his father. He might perhaps obtain some clues regarding this matter when he returned to the Jia Ma Empire in the future…
Now, however, the him who was chased after with the intention to kill, still did not possess the kind of strength to contend with the entire Misty Cloud Sect. Hence, the only thing that Xiao Yan could do now was to quietly undergo bitter training and prepare to obtain the ‘Fallen Heart Flame’ at any point in time. He clearly knew that if he were to train in a normal fashion, it would likely be impossible for him to possess the strength to return and take revenge on the Misty Cloud Sect without five years worth of time. Therefore… his hope entirely lay with the ‘Fallen Heart Flame.’ As long as he possessed this second type of ‘Heavenly Flame,’ the him who practices the mysterious ‘Flame Mantra’ would possess a strength that could truly contend with the Misty Cloud Sect.
“Misty Cloud Sect…” Ling Ying’s mouth also repeated this faction which he did not think much of back then. A strange expression suddenly flashed in his turbid eyes. However, it completely disappeared an instant later.
“Misty Cloud Sect… it is related to them once again. Back then, when I was chased out of the Jia Ma Empire by them, I had said that I would sooner or later return! At that time, I will definitely get to the bottom of this matter!” Xiao Yan violently held his fist. His voice contained a suppressed violent anger and killing intent.
Xun Er nodded slightly and softly said, “I will let someone observe the Misty Cloud Sect… Xiao Yan ge-ge also need not be too anxious. Training with a mind at ease is the correct path.”
Xiao Yan’s expression was slightly dark and solemn. A moment later, he nodded and rubbed his head with his hand. He once again conversed with Ling Ying for awhile before he, who was not too interested, frowned and left Xun Er’s room by himself.
Xun Er watched Xiao Yan’s back as he left. She waved her delicate hand and a wind shut the door tightly. Immediately, she was afraid that it was not secure and she shot out a golden glow from her palm which finally covered the entire room.
“Old Ling, you seem to know something related to the Misty Cloud Sect?” Xun Er suddenly spoke after laying the soundproofing properly.
Ling Ying was startled when he heard this. He hesitated for a moment before nodding. His low soft voice said, “This time, when I went back, I specially checked some of the information regarding the Misty Cloud Sect, only to discover some things that I did not know in the past…”
“Speak.” Xun Er’s pupils narrowed. A shocking faint golden glow flashed passed as she waved her hand and spoke.
“This faction which has been holed up within the Jia Ma Empire appears to have some hidden and extremely obscure contact with ‘those fellows’…” Ling Ying slowly said.
“Those fellows?” Xun Er was slightly startled. Her pretty face immediately changed a little. “You are talking about them?”
“Yes.” Ling Ying nodded.
“Why would the Misty Cloud Sect be involved with them? No matter how one put it, the Misty Cloud Sect once had some strong people at the peak who possessed quite a reputation within the continent. Why would they get involved with them?” Xun Er spoke doubtfully.
“I am not certain… however, it appears that they were involved for only a short period of time. Perhaps they were only involved with the last Misty Cloud Sect leader, who is also the current elite Dou Zong Yun Shan. I’m afraid that not many people within the Misty Cloud Sect knows about this. I think that even the current Misty Cloud Sect Leader Yun Yun is also unaware of the connection between Yun Shan and them… otherwise…” Ling Ying hesitated for a moment when he revealed information up to this point. He eyed Xun Er’s tranquil face and softly said, “Otherwise, it would be impossible for her not to display things due to the little relationship between her and Young Master Xiao Yan…”
Xun Er nodded slightly. Her expression was still calm and did not have any change because of these words. Her voice only appeared a little colder. “If they are really involved with the Misty Cloud Sect… then Uncle Xiao Zhan’s disappearance may well have some relationship with them. After all… they also know that the Xiao clan had a portion of the key related to ‘that thing’. However, these fellows clearly know of our relationship with the Xiao clan. Yet they still dare act in such a reckless manner. They are really becoming increasingly wild.”
Ling Ying nodded his head. He stared at Xun Er before speaking somewhat hesitantly, “Young Lady, you have been in the Xiao clan for over a decade… back then the clan allowed you to come to the Xiao clan with the intention of letting you secretly obtain that key from the Xiao clan. However, you have come to the Jia Nan Academy. Now, after so many years, you still do not have any news related to the key. This time when I went back, I heard that some dissatisfaction had appeared in the clan… if it was not because the ancestors of the Xiao clan having once had a blood oath with the clan, I’m afraid that there are some people who intend to use force.”
Xun Er raised her eyes slightly. A golden-colored flame leaped within her intelligent eyes as she said in a calm voice, “Just ignore them.”
Ling Ying could only smile bitterly and nod when he heard this.
“You should temporarily not tell Xiao Yan ge-ge about the matter of the Misty Cloud Sect’s involvement with ‘them.’ It will not be too late to tell him about it once he has the strength to contend with the Misty Cloud Sect. If we tell him about it now, I’m afraid that it would be detrimental for him.” Xun Er reminded.
“Yes.” Ling Ying nodded and replied respectfully.
“Ah… you should leave the Inner Academy first. There are too many strong people around here. If they were to discover traces of you, there would definitely be some trouble.” Xun Er waved her hand and ordered.
“Yes.” Ling Ying once again nodded as he said, “I will stay deep in the mountains. If Young Lady has any problems, you can send out the special signal of the clan.”
Once Ling Ying said this, his body trembled and began to twist strangely. Finally, it turned into a dark shadow, and quietly merged into the darkness of the room…
Not long after Ling Ying disappeared, Xun Er let out a soft sigh. The strange golden-colored flames in her eyes was slowly withdrawn. Her delicate hand rubbed her face, causing an additional gentleness to appear on her indifferent face. After which, she turned around and walked out of the room.
After Xun Er left the room, her gaze swept in all directions. Finally, it stopped at the peak of the pavilion house before she slowly walked up.
The sky had already gradually turned dark when Xun Er walked to the highest floor. There were a few stars which occasionally flickered, and a pale moon hung in the sky, emitting faint moonlight.
Xiao Yan sat on the northern corner. His hand was playing with an ancient jade piece which emitted a strange glow. Under the shine of the moonlight, the strange lines on the surface of the ancient jade appeared to be breathing. It was bright at times and dim at other times. However, this did not attract Xiao Yan’s attention. His gaze was staring intently at an agile light spot which was repeatedly swimming within the ancient jade. This light spot represented the life and death of his father. At such a time, only this light spot that was still emitting a vitality was able to cause Xiao Yan to truly devote himself to training.
“Xiao Yan ge-ge.”
The clear voice of a young lady suddenly sounded not far away. Xiao Yan raised his head to take a look and eyed Xun Er who was walking over with a smile. He also stood up.
Xun Er smiled as she walked toward Xiao Yan. However, when her moving gaze paused onto the ancient jade in Xiao Yan’s hand due to the light, her walking footsteps suddenly stopped. Shock slowly surfaced on her elegant and pretty face.
“This… this, this is Tou She Ancient Emperor’s Jade?”