Missing Sacred Maiden
“Tian Ran is Secular World Sect’s sacred maiden?”
“You can stop with the facade. For what reason did you kidnap her?!”
Mu Yu supposed Cai Lie was close to Tian Ran to some degree for him to react so defensively, so he said, “You know her? That helps. Help me diagnose her. She’s been unconscious for a long time. I have no clue what to do.”
Mu Yu pushed aside Cai Lie’s sword and sat down on the bed. As soon as he touched her forehead, Cai Lie sternly warned, “Don’t touch her! What did you do to her? Do you know Secular World Sect has been searching for her? If they find out she was in an unidentified man’s room, they’ll mince you.”
The eight great sects consisted of Jade Sect, Secular World Sect, Celestial Star Sect, Lonewolf Sect, Life and Death Sect, Ghost Gate, Earth Sovereign Sect and Mystic Spirit Sect.
A sacred maiden was comparable to a princess. It was easy to see why her one-year disappearance would cause a stir. Secular World Sect offered anyone who could find her a year’s time in their sect’s celestial reservoir to cultivate and anything else within reason. To put the value into perspective, the reservoir was a sacred and secret place only core disciples were permitted entry into.
Their celestial reservoir was where they stored their treasured magic items and manuals. As Secular World Sect had been around for millenniums, they had plenty of time to collect some of the rarest manuals around.
Mu Yu couldn’t care less what significance a sacred maiden held; all he cared about was Tian Ran regaining conscious and being healthy. Frustrated, he got up and walked away. “I never did anything to her. Check on her already. Can’t you wait for her to wake up before you interrogate me?”
Cai Lie decided to check Tian Ran’s pulse, but he kept his guard up against Mu Yu. He looked back at Mu Yu with his brows contracted before he took out an aesthetic box. The flower design on the box flashed – signs of a formation. The inside was essentially a grid, each slot holding a finger-sized pill. He fed Tian Ran a brown pill and then transferred his spiritual qi from his hand to her as a means of helping her digest the contents.
“Tian Ran suffered heavy trauma, inhibiting her body’s ability to collect spiritual energy. It usually takes several days to recover from the condition, but the speedy recovery pill I fed her will hasten the process. She should come to soon,” informed Cai Lie, keeping his watchful gaze on Mu Yu as he stored his box away.
It took around two hours before Tian Ran started moving and opening her eyes.
“You’re finally awake,” Mu Yu enthused as he helped Tian Ran up.
“Hey, back off.”
“Brother Mu Yu, what happened to me? Where are we? Oh, Brother Cai Lie, why are you also here?” asked Tian Ran, rubbing her swollen head.
“Where have you been the past year? Secular World Sect went bonkers searching for you. You dropped by before you went missing, resulting in your seniors starting with me at my door daily.”
Sects were granted permission to learn from Pill Cauldron Sect after passing Pill Cauldron Sect’s tests. As one of the disciples who learnt from them, Tian Ran got to know Cai Lie.
“I had Brother Mu Yu with me; I was fine,” replied Tian Ran, shaking her head.
“Yet that’s the state you ended up in, while he doesn’t have a blemish.”
“We ran into some trouble… Anyway, Brother Mu Yu is trustworthy. He’s helped me on more than one occasion,” clarified Tian Ran, forcing a smile.
“I’ll believe him this time. With that said, don’t run off again. You told your sect you were visiting our set, yet you didn’t. Since you’re Shifu’s outer disciple, you can’t imagine the grief they gave him. You better explain it to my shifu,” complained Cai Lie, pulling out a seat and returning to his lazy self.
Tian Ran was stunned when she learnt from Mu Yu they instantly travelled to Third heaven Continent. They left out the formation’s details because of Cai Lie’s presence.
“Cai Lie,” Xiaohua called from outside.
Cai Lie headed out. Alchemist Yao briskly entered Mu Yu’s room under Cai Lie’s direction. Alchemist Yao went over to the bed and grabbed Tian Ran’s wrist. “Tian Ran, Lie’er said your spiritual energy is unstable. How are you feeling?”
“Sorry for worrying you, Mr. Yao.”
“You told Secular World Sect you were coming to my place to study and then vanished. Secular Sect almost tore my walls down. Worried sick, they hassled me constantly.” Alchemist Yao heaved a breath of relief and ended his lecture there. He inquired, “Where have you been the past year?”
“I went to play around and ended up trapped in a valley. Luckily, Brother Mu Yu came to my rescue.”
“A valley? What valley could trap you? Don’t tell me you went to Deadwood Valley.”
“I did not; I would not dare to venture there, hehehe.”
“Anyway, I’m glad you’re back. Once the pill examinations are over, you are to come back with me. I will hand you over to Secular World Sect so that they can get off my tail.”
I want to go with Brother Mu Yu to Two and a Half Kilometre Garden in the south…
“No buts. Cai Lie will watch over you,” Alchemist Yao glanced over to Cai Lie and stated.
“Why me, Shifu?”
“You want to be the shifu, and I be the sentry?”
Cai Lie mumbled under his breath, “Do I have to watch over her even when she’s sleeping? It violates etiquette for a man and woman to be alone together. I don’t have a problem, but Tian Ran probably doesn’t th-”
“It’s cool. Sister Tian Ran, Mu Yu and I slept together last night,” Xiaoshuai suddenly declared.
Piercing gazes found their way to Mu Yu. He kicked Xiaoshuai and clarified, “Don’t make up nonsense! I slept on the floor last night. You were the one who slept in her embrace.”
“It’s fine. I trust Brother Mu Yu.”
“The pill examination will be held in three days’ time. I am the conductor. I need Xiaohua’s help with arranging some components. Cai Lie, if you fail to graduate to Level Four, I’ll lock you up,” warned Alchemist Yao, refusing to let his disciple use under-the-table means to climb his way up.
“I know,” weakly replied Cai Lie.
Alchemist Yao turned to Mu Yu and gave him a smile, “Since you are acquainted with Tian Ran, this old one won’t find fault with you. You seem to have respectful cultivation despite your young age. May this old one ask which sect you hail from?”
Mu Yu gave Alchemist Yao a palm-fist salute. “You flatter me, Elder. I am from Dustfallen Sect, a sect not worth mentioning.”
Mu Yu mentioned Dustfallen Sect under the assumption that knowledge of its existence at Third Heaven Continent was sparse, at best.
Alchemist Yao nodded in approval. “To cultivate talent of your level at a small sect is no easy feat. Would we be able to have a word? This old one is very interested in what you mentioned yesterday.”
People wouldn’t hesitate to ingratiate themselves with Alchemist Yao if he invited them. Therefore, it would be impolite if Mu Yu refused. Thus, he nodded, deciding to take it one step at a time.