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Published at 1st of July 2020 09:58:45 AM
Chapter 251
Zi Yuan's Faith
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Zi Yuan dragged her feet into Hongling's apartment . Ambivalent feelings had prevailed over her usual poise, over cold logic, but Zi Yuan was too tired to care . She just wanted some time alone to lick her wounds .

It was the right thing to do . . . . I did the right thing .

Everything was falling to place now: Master's abstruse words all those years ago; the fact that Master had left the Purple Gold Jade Plate and the Great Mirror in her care instead of giving them to shībó' .

Zi Yuan's knees bumped into the edge of the dining table . She paused in front of the table and loosened her grip, feeling the strength leave the lengths of her fingers . A series of clinks and two loud clacks followed the sudden lightening of her hands . Zi Yuan sank into the chair and rested her elbows on the table .

Shards of the Great Mirror stared back at her from the table . Amidst the broken shards, lay the two broken halves of the Purple Gold Jade Plate .

The Purple Gold Jade Plate, once a vibrant and glorious shade of purple, was now no different from an ordinary piece of rock .

Two pieces of rock .

Green light flared .

Zi Yuan looked towards the balcony . Hongling leaped down from the railing and landed on the balcony . TAP! TAP! TAP! The sliding door shook, but didn't open; Zi Yuan had locked it due to her desire to be alone tonight .

With a sigh, Zi Yuan rose from the chair and padded towards the sliding door .

The taps turned into insistent bangs .

"Zi Yuan jiějie! Zi Yuan jiějie!"

Patience had never been Hongling's strong suit .

Zi Yuan unlocked the door with Qi Kinesis and leaned her hips against the couch . She was so, so tired tonight . She didn't think she had been this tired before . A loud crash sounded when the sliding door flung open .

Hongling came charging into the apartment .

Zi Yuan nearly had the wind knocked out of her when Hongling barreled into her and enveloped her in a tight hug . The poor girl was in tears .

Alarm coursed through Zi Yuan .

"Hongling, what—"

"I was so worried!" Hongling wailed . "I came back as quickly as I could after I felt the Heavenly Thunder's presence! And you weren't picking up your phone! And . . . And I . . . "

A tide of affection flushed the feeling of dread from Zi Yuan's system . Hongling was just worried about her .  

"Hey . . . It's okay . . . " Zi Yuan stroked Hongling's head . "It's alright . We both made it out alive . "

Hongling sniffed and glanced up at Zi Yuan tentatively . Zi Yuan smiled at the girl . "He survived . The divine punishment is over . "

Hongling's eyes widened comically . The fact that her face was tear-stained made her dumbfounded expression even funnier . A chuckle escaped Zi Yuan's lips, easing some of the heaviness in her heart .

"H- He pulled it off? B- But… but," Hongling stammered . "That's amazing . . . "

"Mm . " Zi Yuan smiled . "You should've seen all the clever ideas he came up with . "

Hongling sniffed and wiped the tears from her face . "Where is he now?"

"His apartment . Recovering . "

Hongling nodded a few times . "I was so worried . " Hongling wiped her cheeks again . "You weren't picking up your phone . And I thought . . . I thought that you . . . " Hongling's face crumpled again . "I thought you were gone, Zi Yuan jiějie . "

Zi Yuan pulled her protégé into her arms . "You didn't have to worry, you know . I knew what I was doing . I had a plan . "

"How could I not worry!" Hongling cried . "I… I really don't know what I would if something happened to—"

Hongling cut off her own sentence with a loud gasp .

Surprised by the girl's reaction, Zi Yuan pulled away slightly and glanced down at Hongling .

Hongling was staring past Zi Yuan's shoulders .

Before Zi Yuan could even get a word out, Hongling was pushing away from her . Hongling stormed towards the dining table .

"Oh my God . . . " Hongling whispered . "T- These . . . These are . . . " Hongling glanced at Zi Yuan .

Zi Yuan's heart sank to her toes . She knew it . She knew Hongling would react like this the moment she found out .

Hongling picked up one of the jade plate's broken pieces .

"This is… This is the jade plate . . . isn't it?"

Zi Yuan nodded weakly .

"And this . . . " Hongling's hand trembled when she picked up one of the shards . "The Great Mirror . . . "

Zi Yuan sighed . "Yes . . . It had to be done—"

"No!!!!!!" The shard and the broken jade scattered across the floor when Hongling crumbled to her knees . The girl burst into tears, screaming and yelling . "No!!!! No!!!!"

Zi Yuan stepped forward . "Hongling . . . "

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"This . . . This can't be happening!" Hongling cried, her shoulders trembling wildly as she sobbed . "They're both gone . . . Oh, God . . . No . . . "

"Please, listen…" Zi Yuan crouched down beside Hongling . "It had to be done, Hongling . " Zi Yuan reached out to pull Hongling into her arms . "There was no other way—"

Hongling smacked her hands away .

"No other way?!" Hongling screamed at Zi Yuan's face, her eyes flashing in anger . "According to what? Some fancy poem?!"

Zi Yuan wouldn't lie . That had hurt . "Hongling—"

Hongling sprang to her feet . "I can't believe this," she mumbled . "You chose him above everything else . You chose him . . . "

Hongling stormed past Zi Yuan .

"Hongling . . . Please . . . " Zi Yuan rose slowly .

"You chose him!" Hongling bellowed, spinning around to face her . "You chose him over the sect, shījiě! You . . . You even sacrificed two precious magical objects to save him! You betrayed us!"

Zi Yuan flinched at the last accusation . She had honestly never seen Hongling this angry before .

"Our sect has been oppressed for nearly a decade, shījiě! A decade!" Hongling screamed . "And now we just lost two of our most powerful magical objects!" Hongling let out a few sobs . "We're done for, shījiě . . . The Linggong Sect is done for . . . "

Hongling wept some more after that, and Zi Yuan let her . The girl needed to let it all out .

"No, we're not," Zi Yuan said after a while . "We're not done for . There's—"

"Yes we are!" Hongling roared, stunning Zi Yuan once again . "God! Can't you see?! The main sect will shut us down for good the moment they realize how weak we've become . And it's all your fault, shījiě! It's all your fault! You let Master down . "

The hurt in Zi Yuan's heart had become impossible to bear . Tonight's events had already left her feeling raw, forcing her to make two of the most difficult choices in her life . She had already lost two precious things tonight . Her heart couldn't bear it if she lost Hongling's trust too .

"Don't you think I know that?!" Zi Yuan screamed until her voice cracked . She thought she heard Hongling's gasped, but she didn't care . Her knees buckled and she sank down to the floor . "Did you really think it was easy for me?! Have you never considered how I . . . " A sob tore past Zi Yuan's lips . "Have you never considered how those choices might have hurt me too?" And it did hurt . It still hurt . Everything hurt so much that Zi Yuan just couldn't take it anymore . Zi Yuan clamped a hand over her mouth and let her tears flow . "It pains me to think that you have so little faith in me, Hongling . . . " Even to her own ears, her voice sounded weak . "Did you actually think that my decisions were based on some frivolous whim? That I would sacrifice the mirror and the jade plate without good reasons? I . . . "

Warmth enveloped Zi Yuan's torso .

"Say no more, shījiě . . . Say no more . . . "

And Zi Yuan said no more . She closed her eyes and leaned into the comfort that Hongling was offering . For a long while, Zi Yuan allowed herself to be held . She might have even drifted off a few times, but she didn't care . She was just so tired .

"Forgive me, Zi Yuan jiějie," Hongling said in a small voice . "I shouldn't have lashed out at you . I… I shouldn't have said those hurtful things to you . . . . I'm an awful sister, a horrible person . " There was a few seconds' pause . "I hate myself . "

Zi Yuan shook her head without opening her eyes . "I don't blame you for being angry, Hongling . " She let out a soft sigh . "I haven't been forthcoming with you . There are . . . There are some things that you don't yet understand . "

A comfortable silence spread between them, and Zi Yuan wasn't in a hurry to break it . She needed this, this brief moment of comfort .

"I'm sorry, shījiě," Hongling mumbled . "Will you forgive me?"

Zi Yuan opened her eyes and withdrew from the warmth of Hongling's embrace . "There is nothing to forgive, Hongling . " She shook her head . "I was… I was too emotional earlier . I'm sorry too . "

"So was I," Hongling mumbled guiltily .

Zi Yuan grabbed Hongling's arm to get her attention . "It's alright, Hongling . " She looked deep into her protégé's eyes . "But I can explain everything . Will you listen?"

Hongling nodded .

They both moved towards the living room after that . Near the couch, Hongling pulled up short . Zi Yuan followed Hongling's gaze and realized that her protégé was staring at the main body of the Great Mirror whose surface was now covered in cracks . Between those cracks lay several missing pieces, the shape of which corresponded to the broken shards she had left on the dining table .

"Come . " Zi Yuan pulled Hongling towards the armchair . "Sit . "

Hongling complied and sat down . Zi Yuan grabbed what was left of the Great Mirror and placed it on the coffee table .

"The mirror shall sunder, for the mortal hath sinned," Zi Yuan said as she took a seat on the couch . Once seated, Zi Yuan stared at the Great Mirror's cracked surface for a moment . "That's what Master's prophecy says . "

"I know . . . "

"I figured out its meaning a while back . " Zi Yuan paused . "But I . . . " She sighed . "I didn't want it to be true . "

And she had been trying so hard to deny the prophecy's fulfillment . The amount of hours she had poured into the simulation's design was proof of that .


Zi Yuan looked towards Hongling .

"I mean . . . When did you figure out?" Hongling clarified .

"When Wushuang-qiánbèi told me about the contingencies, I—"

"Contingencies?" Hongling frowned .

"The Heir successfully dodging all 81 bolts was only the best case scenario," Zi Yuan said . "There have to be contingencies in place in case something goes wrong . " Zi Yuan shook her head . "The forces of the Heavens are too unpredictable . Too volatile . Anything could happen . " Zi Yuan paused in thought . "Wushuang-qiánbèi suggested two last resorts if all else failed . " Zi Yuan looked into Hongling's eyes . "The Great Mirror repels all forms of magic . That's what she said . " Zi Yuan sighed . "And I knew right away what she was hinting at . That verse from Master's poem suddenly made sense as well . "

"The mirror shall sunder, for the mortal has sinned," Hongling whispered .

"Yes . " Zi Yuan nodded . "The mortal refers to the Heir . By killing Hé Shao, the Heir has sinned . And . . . And because he has sinned, the mirror needs to break . "

"But that's got nothing to do with the jade plate," Hongling said, frowning . "Why did the jade plate has to be destroyed too?"

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"I don't think it's a coincidence that Master left both the jade plate and the mirror to me, Hongling," Zi Yuan said, then paused to shake her head . "Knowing Master, I think he left those two items to me because he knew I would need them . And . . . And then there's also something else that Wushuang-qiánbèi said that night . She told me that the last resort would require me to sacrifice the two items that Master gave me before he passed . "

"But—" Hongling stared at Zi Yuan for a moment, looking thoroughly baffled . "How on earth did Ao Wushuang know what Master left you before he passed?"

Zi Yuan smiled wryly . "They must have had some sort of dealing with each other in the past . How else do you think Wushuang-qiánbèi ended up wielding Bahuang?" Zi Yuan paused in thought . "And I suspect . . . "


"It's nothing . " Zi Yuan shook her head and sighed . The idea that Wushuang-qiánbèi and Master were past lovers had been brewing inside Zi Yuan's mind for a while now . Of course, it could be that they were just close friends, but that wasn't the point .

The point was that Zi Yuan had no idea that Master and Wushuang-qiánbèi even knew each other . When did they meet? Where did they meet? If Master had been to the Fox Zen School in the past, Zi Yuan didn't know about it .

Zi Yuan did notice something, though: Wushuang-qiánbèi was expelled from the Fox Zen School around the same time Master transcended .

"So you're saying that… that Master gave Bahuang to Ao Wushuang?"

Zi Yuan looked towards Hongling, who seemed aghast at the notion that Master would do such a thing . Zi Yuan wouldn't blame Hongling for feeling that way . She herself had felt that way when the idea crossed her mind for the first time . In fact, it was what had led Zi Yuan to believe that Master and Wushuang-qiánbèi were lovers .

"Yes . I believe so, yes," Zi Yuan answered frankly . "I think… I think he gave her the sword knowing that she would need it at some point . "

Just like how Master had left the jade plate and the mirror to Zi Yuan .

"Why would Ao Wushuang need the sword?" Hongling said . "For what purpose?"

Zi Yuan shook her head . "I don't know . "

Hongling stared at Zi Yuan for a long while .

Zi Yuan sighed . "You know how Master was, Hongling . "

"What's with all this mystery," Hongling grumbled . "Why not just be upfront from the start?"

Zi Yuan contemplated Hongling's words . Indeed, she herself had wondered about this .

"I'm not sure, Hongling," Zi Yuan said in a tone of resignation . "But there has to be a reason he chose secrecy . I think…" Zi Yuan glanced at Hongling . "I think he knew something about the future . " Zi Yuan sighed . "It feels like we're all part of some kind of grand plan . "

"Yeah," Hongling mumbled . "You said it yourself just now . The prophecy's fulfillment is inevitable . "

Zi Yuan chuckled humorlessly . "Believe it or not, I actually refused to accept the prophecy's inevitability back then . "

Hongling looked up in surprise .

Zi Yuan nodded . "Oh yes, I did . " Zi Yuan chuckled darkly . "I actually tried to prevent the prophecy from coming true . I didn't want the Great Mirror to break . And I was willing to do everything in my power to make sure it didn't happen . " Zi Yuan looked towards Hongling . "I poured everything into making Wushuang-qiánbèi's first solution work . "

"The simulation . "

"Yes," Zi Yuan said with a nod . "Nothing would have to be sacrificed if the Heir could dodge all 81 bolts, at least not in the context of the divine punishment . " Zi Yuan shook her head . "The mirror could still break for reasons other than the divine punishment . "

"I see," Hongling said .

Zi Yuan looked at Hongling tiredly . "And I tried, Hongling . I really did . The Heir did too . We tried so hard . " She sighed . "And it nearly worked . We were so, so close to succeeding . "

"How many bolts did he manage to . . . ?"

"He failed at the 60th . It wasn't a direct hit, but a graze instead . But he was still hurt pretty badly . I had to step in after that . " Zi Yuan paused in thought . "But he did manage to dodge 80 bolts inside the simulation . We didn't have enough time to figure out how to dodge the last one . " Zi Yuan chuckled sadly . "He actually confronted the real thing without having a single clue how to survive the final bolt . "

"That's why you went after him," Hongling said in a small voice . "With the mirror and the jade plate and all . . . "

Zi Yuan shook her head . "I would've gone after him even if he managed to dodge all bolts inside the simulation . " Zi Yuan paused in thought . "I guess . . . I guess deep down I already suspected the prophecy's inevitability, and I was afraid . I was afraid that the prophecy would come true . " Zi Yuan chuckled self-deprecatingly . "Which it did . "

"I never knew you doubted the prophecy, Zi Yuan jiějie . You were always so . . . " Hongling's face scrunched up . "So . . . "

"Obsessed with it?"

Hongling blushed slightly . "Y- Yeah . . . "

"Of course I had my doubts, Hongling," Zi Yuan said with a smile . "I doubt it all the time . "

Hongling frowned, confusion spreading across her face . "Why?"

"Well . One of the verses implies that the Heir is my soulmate," Zi Yuan said . "And yet . . . "

The look of confusion on Hongling's face deepened . "Do you… Do you feel anything for him, Zi Yuan jiějie?"

Zi Yuan shook her head .

Hongling's confused expression turned into a look of surprise . "Nothing? Not even a little?"

"Well . He's a close friend, if that's what you're saying . "

"Oh . " Hongling paused in thought . "I just thought… Well… since you were always trying so hard to help him and all . . . I thought…" Hongling shrugged . "You know . "

"I knew that's how it must look like to you," Zi Yuan said in resigned tone . "After all, you were always complaining to be about how I was constantly taking his side . But things aren't that simple, Hongling . " She sighed . "Believe me when I say that I'm helping him for far more important reasons than some mindless infatuation . " Zi Yuan's eyes darted to Hongling's face . "You know me better than that, Hongling . I always have my reasons . "

"Reasons that compelled you to sacrifice the jade plate and the mirror?"

Zi Yuan looked into Hongling's eyes . "Yes . "

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They stared at each other for a moment until Hongling suddenly looked away .

"And those same reasons led you to believe that there's still hope for the Linggong Sect?" Hongling asked .

"Yes . "

Hongling stared at her in mild surprise . "Will you explain it to me, then?"

"Will you listen?"

"Of course . " Hongling frowned . "That's why I asked—"

"Will you really listen?" Zi Yuan quirked her brow . "With an open mind?"

Hongling blushed . "Yes . . . "

Zi Yuan scooted sideways on the couch . Then, keeping her eyes on Hongling, Zi Yuan patted the space she had just vacated . "Come here . "

Hongling complied instantly and took the seat beside her .

Zi Yuan wrapped her protégé's hands in her own . "Yes . It's true that we lost two magical objects tonight . But we gained something else . "

Hongling looked utterly puzzled .

"An ally, Hongling," Zi Yuan said with a pause . "We gained a powerful ally . "

For a long while, Hongling sat there wordlessly, staring off into space .

Zi Yuan took that as a sign that the girl wasn't convinced .

"What if I tell you that the amount of talent the Heir possesses surpasses even Master's?"

Hongling's eyes snapped to Zi Yuan's face . "W- What?"

Zi Yuan held Hongling's gaze for a moment . "What about me? Do you think I'm talented?"

Hongling nodded fervently .

"The Heir will far surpass me," Zi Yuan said in a serious tone . "That's how much talent he possesses . "

"What makes you so sure?" Hongling said . "It could just be the Jindan, you know?"

Zi Yuan shook her head . "You haven't seen the stuff he did, Hongling . " Zi Yuan eyed Hongling seriously . "He mastered all the techniques in the Mahamudra Tantra in just hours . "

"What!" Hongling gaped . "Y- Y- You mean . . . t-the E- Esoteric Sect's . . . "

Zi Yuan nodded . "In Tibet, he sliced through the Ophidian Whip with Acalanatha's 12th mudra like it was nothing, and then with Acalanatha's 2nd mudra, he managed to hold back two Beads of Gore simultaneously . " Zi Yuan paused emphatically . "And he hadn't even begun his training in the Shentong phase yet at the time . "

"W- Wow . . . "

Zi Yuan smiled, but said nothing .

"Wow . . . Zi Yuan jiějie . . . That's just . . . " Hongling looked at her with wide eyes . "Wow . "

Zi Yuan's expression sobered . "He would've died if I hadn't sacrificed the jade plate and the Great Mirror tonight . And it would be such a waste . His death, I mean . " Zi Yuan ran a hand through her hair . "A waste of talent . A waste of potential . A waste of everything . "

Zi Yuan felt Hongling gripping her hands tighter . The gesture was soothing, so Zi Yuan smiled at the girl in appreciation .

"Consider, Hongling," Zi Yuan continued, "what would happen if he died tonight . The Jindan would be lost . His talents would be lost . " Zi Yuan paused and turned to Hongling . "The Fan of Seven Treasures would be lost too . " Zi Yuan smiled at Hongling's slack-jawed expression . "Oh, don't look so surprised, Hongling . You and I both know that only a man can wield the Fan of Seven Treasures to its fullest potential . "

After a moment of silence, Hongling lowered her gaze .

"Mm," Hongling mumbled, staring down at her lap .

"And by helping him survive, we have gained his allegiance . " Zi Yuan lifted the younger girl's chin . "And along with it, the Renyuan Jindan, his talents, and the Fan of Seven Treasures . "

"You're that sure?"

Zi Yuan raised her brow questioningly .

"You're that sure that we have his allegiance?" Hongling asked . "You have that much faith in him?"

Zi Yuan continued to stare at Hongling until the poor girl started squirming in her seat .

"W- What?"

Zi Yuan arched her brow higher . "Have you not noticed one of his most striking qualities?"

"You mean his okay-ish cooking skills?" Hongling mumbled .

Zi Yuan smiled at the comment . "No . I meant his loyalty, Hongling . " Zi Yuan gave Hongling a few moments to chew over her words . "He's loyal to his friends, loyal to his lover . "

Hongling snorted .

Zi Yuan turned and gave Hongling a strange look .

"Loyal to his lover?" Hongling said . "Seriously?"

Zi Yuan's brows rose to her hairline . "Are you saying that he isn't?"

"But he's constantly surrounded by women!" Hongling protested . "Back on campus, I saw—"

Zi Yuan chuckled . "You saw what you wanted to see, Hongling . "

Hongling pouted adorably . "I know what I saw," she grumbled . "He was with those women . . . "

"And what, may I ask, was he doing with those women? Chatting? Sharing a meal?" Zi Yuan rolled her eyes . "Come on, Hongling . Over the months we've spent with him, has he made a pass at you? At me?" Zi Yuan quirked a brow . "And what about Zhou Qin? The girl was practically throwing herself at him . Did you see him reciprocate?"

Hongling stared wordlessly at her lap, fiddling with some invisible lint on her sleeve .

"You said that he was constantly surrounded by women . But doesn't that just prove my point?" Zi Yuan paused . "He has so many opportunities, you see? So many women are ready to jump his bones the moment he says the word . And yet we saw him going crazy over a slip of paper left to him by Su Chan . " Zi Yuan hadn't even told Hongling yet about the heartfelt voice message that Li Yundong recorded for Su Chan before he left to face the divine punishment .

Hongling hummed noncommittally .

"All that proves just how much he loves Su Chan," Zi Yuan said, pausing in thought . Seconds later, she chuckled . "He even gave me a lecture on love the other day . He said something about how love can, I quote, inspire greatness . " Zi Yuan paused upon noticing Hongling's confusion . "That was . . . " Zi Yuan sighed and waved a few times . "You weren't there . "

"So um… The prophecy . . . "

Hongling sounded so tentative right then that Zi Yuan found herself doing a double take .


Hongling looked away and went back to fiddling her sleeve . "The verses are really coming true . . . "

"Yes," Zi Yuan said . "As far as I know, yes . " Zi Yuan let out a wistful sigh . "I've told you several times already, Hongling . There are forces beyond our control at play here . . . "

Indeed, Zi Yuan did not think for a second that Acalanatha's appearance on the balcony that night was a mere coincidence . As a matter of fact, Zi Yuan was pretty sure that the term coincidence wasn't even applicable to the Heir .

"But Zi Yuan jiějie . . . " Hongling shot her a tentative glance . "Wouldn't that mean . . . That you're destined to . . . " Another tentative glance . "You know, fall in love with him?"

Zi Yuan sighed inwardly . Admittedly, that was a distinct possibility . She wouldn't lie, not to herself, anyway . "Perhaps . . . " She cleared her throat . "Perhaps completing my soul was meant as some kind of metaphor? Perhaps . . . " Zi Yuan shrugged . "Perhaps the prophecy was referring to the Heir's soul, not mine?"

"But you told me Master said—"

"I know what Master said," Zi Yuan said a bit too quickly .

Silence spread between them .

"I just . . . I… I don't want you to get hurt," Hongling said weakly .

Zi Yuan reached over and patted Hongling's head . "Thank you for your concern, Hongling . " Zi Yuan gave Hongling a smile . "But it doesn't matter . " Zi Yuan shrugged . "Some things are just meant to happen . We just have to accept them . "

"Let me guess?" Hongling mumbled . "Because there are forces beyond our control?"

Zi Yuan pinched Hongling's cheek . "That doesn't apply to all cases, so don't use that as an excuse to start slacking off, okay?"

"Fine . . . "

"But in the Heir's case? Yes . I'm convinced that there are unknown powers at play . " Zi Yuan paused in thought . "Don't you find it odd that these things keep happening to him? That everything just sort off . . . "

Zi Yuan frowned and searched for the right words .

"Fell into place?" Hongling supplied .

"Exactly . " Zi Yuan nodded, satisfied with Hongling's choice of words .

A comfortable silence passed between them .

"The other night, I came face to face with Lord Acala," Zi Yuan remarked .

Hongling whipped her head around so quickly that Zi Yuan wondered if the girl had twisted her neck . "Wha— Budong Mingwang?! How?!"

"Long story short? Lord Acala is the Fan of Seven Treasure's guardian deity . " Zi Yuan paused to relive the memory of that night . After a while, she shook her head . "None of these occurrences are coincidences . It's like everything is leading up to something . . . " Zi Yuan stared off into space for a moment . "Some sort of greater purpose . . . "

"Maybe it's in the prophecy?" Hongling said . "Have you figured out what the other verses mean?"

"No . . . " Zi Yuan shook her head, then gave Hongling a smile . "It has been proven again and again that the meaning of those verses will only be revealed when the time is right . "

Hongling sighed . "So you have faith in him, then? The Heir . " Hongling gave her a look . "You really think he will help us?"

Zi Yuan sighed . "I have no doubt that he would if we ask . " Zi Yuan waved her hand . "Putting aside the affairs about the Linggong Sect, I still think it's good to ally ourselves with him . " She looked at Hongling . "In many ways, I think he'll make us better Cultivators . "

"Um, Zi Yuan jiějie . . . About the Linggong Sect . . . "

Zi Yuan frowned . "Yes?"

"There's . . . " Hongling gave her a grave look, then sighed . "We're facing a serious crisis . And . . . I'm afraid we're going to have to pick sides here . "

"Pick sides?" Zi Yuan frowned and shifted on the couch . "What do you mean?"

"The Fox Zen School is under attack, Zi Yuan jiějie . And the main sect wants us to join the attack . " Hongling gave her a pointed look . "Well, to be exact, they want you to join them . "

Zi Yuan stared at Hongling for a few seconds .

"Tell me everything . "

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