What exactly was happening?
This was all Qiuyue could think as she looked at Bai and Mei, who viewed her as an idiot.
Since when had she been anything other than Qiuyue, who was talented at formations? Had anyone ever looked at her with pity?
Hei could see Qiuyue wasn’t taking Bai’s and Mei’s words very well, but he decided to move on with his plans.
He turned to Bai.
“It’s good that we’re here like this.”
Then he turned to Qiuyue.
“The reason I wanted to speak with you, is because I hope you will be my little sister’s friend.”
“After hearing the story of the sect from you, I thought you and Little Bai would get along well.”
“I would like for you to be her friend.”
Qiuyue felt that Hei’s delivery was incredibly strange. Just because he thought she would be a good friend for his sister, he asked so openly.
She didn’t have any particular reason to refuse, but there was something that had to be settled.
“What’s in it for me?”
This was her primary concern. No matter how nice Bai was, or how talented the Sisters Shao were, she would need an incentive to spend her time on them.
Hearing Qiuyue’s words, Hei smiled and turned to Bai.
“You see, Little Bai? This is what I told you about. Instead of agreeing out of the kindness of her heart, Senior Sister Qiuyue first sought benefits. Personal gain. Obviously, she also knows that being a hero is needless trouble.”
Bai could see where Hei was coming from.
He had been telling her for a while now that extending a helping hand should only come after ascertaining the benefits.
But she was inclined to help those in need, as her brother had immediately helped her when she was in need. What did he have to personally gain when he bravely confronted their half-siblings and was beaten badly so he could retrieve her doll?
Qiuyue was impacted by Hei’s words.
Every time she spoke to him, she could see how she was more and more similar to the portrayal of men that the sect had given.
She was emotionally detached when telling the story of the Radiant Jade Sect. She had taken advantage of an opportunity, even at the expense of her acquaintance, who she never had any problems with. And she even charged a fee for simply becoming a new disciple’s friend.
“What do you know? I will be her friend without expecting anything in return.”
Hearing this, Hei’s smile faded.
He turned to Qiuyue.
“Eh? What happened?”
“Nothing happened. I just decided that it would be interesting to be friends with one of the Sisters Shao.”
Hei had a slight frown. Was Qiuyue fickle? He hadn’t known this about her.
But before he could say anything, Bai had already nodded her head.
She wanted to know more about this person her brother had said would be a good friend for her.
Mei was just wondering where her friend was. How come only Bai had been the object of Hei’s thoughts?
She pulled at Hei’s sleeve.
“… Anyway, where is my friend? Did you only choose one for Sister Bai?”
“I didn’t find any friends for you.”
Hei had answered her question without turning to look at her, but when he did and saw the look on her face, his emotions fluctuated.
To resolve the situation, he came up with an excuse.
“Instead, I thought you could practice your baking with Jingfei. As my maid, she’s going to have to be good at baking.”
Mei didn’t seem to be fully satisfied, but her expression returned to normal.
Hei turned back to Qiuyue.
“So, it’s settled then?”
Having achieved his goal, kind of, Hei turned to Bai.
“Do you want to see the residence I have built for us? It is the foundation of the Shao Clan.”
Bai’s eyes sparkled. She had wondered how her brother was living in this sect that seemed to reject his presence.
Hei felt a tugging at his other sleeve.
“I also want to see it.”
Hei turned to her and smiled.
“Then, let’s go.”
He then turned to Qiuyue.
“Will you be coming along, Senior Sister Qiuyue?”
Qiuyue wanted to see if Hei had done anything special with Bai’s and Mei’s rooms.
If his maids’ rooms were so nice, then surely, he would go a step further for his sisters.
Hei also checked with Fang Ren, who decided to tag along.
The six started walking to the Man Peak.
Along the way, Bai remembered something.
“That’s right, Brother. The other day, I saw someone who reminded me of you.”
Hearing this, Hei’s eyes narrowed.
“Was it a little punk?”
He turned to Qiuyue.
“Didn’t you say I was the only male disciple?”
Qiuyue was surprised by Hei’s sudden seriousness.
Before she could answer, Bai spoke.
“I don’t think it was a disciple, Brother. Besides, I don’t know if they were male or female.”
Hei turned back to Bai with a raised brow.
“Hm? Then how did they remind you of me?”
“Innate Shadow Physique.”
Hearing this, Hei became even more serious.
He grabbed Onyx’s hilt and brought him in front of him.
“It was that fellow you were with. What does he want with Little Bai?”
The others were surprised to see Hei speaking to a sword.
But he couldn’t be bothered by something like that now.
He could tell that that person was too strong.
The fact that he had said ‘no use in angering that bird’ was a big signal. Hei was sure that this was referring to the eastern guardian, and those who had reason to avoid the eastern guardian were powerful experts from outside of the lower continent.
[There’s no need to worry about him. He is annoyingly passive in everything he does. He usually doesn’t even show himself in front of others. The only thing I’ve seen him do is search for whatever he lost.]
“Then why Little Bai?”
The others watched as Hei seemingly responded to something the sword had said.
[I don’t know. Maybe she reminded him of something. Why don’t you ask her what happened?]
Hei turned to Bai.
“Tell me everything that happened from the moment you saw that fellow until you parted ways.”
Bai was surprised that Hei was so serious about this. She just saw it as an interesting coincidence.
“Nothing much happened, Brother. Sister Mei and I were coming from one of the challenges and I saw that person walking down the road. He turned to me and stared for a while before disappearing. I haven’t seen him since.”
“Did he say anything?”
Hei then turned to Mei.
“Did you see him as well?”
Mei shook her head in response.
“Then it has nothing to do with the envoys…”
Hei placed his hand on his chin in thought.
[It was likely he was surprised that she noticed him. Most people can’t see him when he’s hiding.]
“… If that’s the case.”
[Just forget about it. I’ve known that fellow for a thousand years. If he left, then he won’t come back. He’ll continue wandering aimlessly, searching for something he’ll never find. That pitiful fellow.]
Hei was prepared to go into the wilderness and cultivate seriously so that he could take care of that individual at next sight, but Onyx’s information seemed reliable.
He would rather avoid divination techniques and the like, so being low key was best, but certain measures had to be taken.
He turned to Bai.
“If you see that fellow again, let me know. I won’t let him harm a hair on your head.”
“But I don’t think he would do that, Brother.”
“Oh? What makes you think so?”
“I don’t know.”
Hei’s eyes opened wide.
“It’s not possible, right? You didn’t feel a connection with that fellow, did you? Do you think he was your soul mate?”
Hei didn’t want this to be the case. Bai was too young for things like this. Besides, that fellow was over a thousand years old.
“No, Brother. If you have seen him as well, then you know that he lacks the white aura.”
Hei was so flustered that he forgot about this detail.
At this point, they had arrived at the Man Peak.
Hei decided to forget about that fellow for the time being. Both Bai and Onyx were basically saying he wasn’t an issue.
As they approached the mountain, Hei deactivated the defence so that they could all enter.
Bai, Mei and Fang Ren were impressed by the residence.
“I made the walls white because of Little Bai’s hair, and the roofs and floor are red for Mei’s eyes. What do you think?”
Mei puffed out her chest.
“I see. The red is above the white. I like it.”
Bai added on.
“I like that red is below my feet.”
“That makes red the foundation.”
“The foundation is useless without the white structures.”
Hei could tell that they weren’t appreciating his design properly.
“… Alright. Why don’t I show you your rooms?”
Hei pulled them along without waiting for a response.
They would surely be amazed by the rooms he had created.
He led everyone to the two rooms which were opposite each other.
When he disengaged the formations that made up the walls, the rooms were revealed.
Hei looked around and saw Qiuyue, Jingfei and Fang Ren staring with wide eyes, as they turned their heads between the rooms.
Excited, Hei turned to his sisters.
“Ay? Ay? They’re amazing, right?”
He was nudging them with his elbows as he spoke, but his excitement was wiped away when he saw the neutral expressions on both of their faces.
“This… You don’t like them?”
He had really pulled out all the stops this time. He even created custom formations just for them, yet they looked at his masterpieces without emotion.
Bai turned to Hei.
“Can I see your room, Brother?”
Mei also spoke.
“I also want to see it.”
Hei was speechless, and so were the others.
“You… you want to see my room? It’s nothing compared to these.”
Both nodded their heads, and Hei led them to his room with a blank expression. What had he put all of that effort in for? Would Tianlan, Xiulan and Shao Chen react the same way to their rooms?
When he opened the door, Ban and Mei walked in.
Jingfei had already seen Hei’s room, so she wasn’t surprised, but Qiuyue and Fang Ren were drawn into its atmosphere.
Hei looked on as his sisters examined every inch of the room.
They both turned to Hei and spoke at the same time.
“I like this one better.”
“But it needs some work.”
Hei was speechless. Not only had they taken his room, but they were also going to change it. What about his hand-scraped hardwood floors? The simple table? The atmosphere?
It would all be lost.
“Then, I’ll take one of the other rooms.”
Hei was sad to leave his room, but this time he had created a model of it in his mind, so he would be able to reproduce it.
Both girls spoke at the same time.
“I wanted to keep sharing a room with you like always.”
Mei added on.
“That’s right. It’s better if we share.”
Hei was confused.
“But we have more room now. We don’t need to-”
His words were stopped by Jingfei and Qiuyue, who had seen things like this before.
They told Hei their experience and Hei began to understand.
In his original life, he was an only child and never had to share a room, so when he was able to have his own, he naturally defaulted to that, but Bai and Mei both had reason to prefer sharing a room.
Bai had known nothing else, and Mei had been utterly alone until she joined the Shao Clan, where she shared a room with all five other members.
It wouldn’t be for a while that they would start to want their privacy.
And so, Hei let Bai and Mei have their way.
“Okay, we can share this room, but you can only stay here once a week. Other than that, you will live in the sect’s accommodation.”
Hei wanted his sisters to get involved in the activities and make friends. He would be there during the education to see what the young ladies were being taught, but other than that, Hei wanted Bai and Mei to have normal social lives.
Bai and Mei weren’t too happy about the once-a-week rule, but Hei was inflexible on it.
It didn’t take long for Bai and Mei to begin their redecorations.
Hei had nothing to do, so he turned to leave.
“Jingfei, come with me.”
Jingfei wanted to participate in the redecoration, but she could tell that Hei wasn’t making a suggestion.
“Yes, Young Master Hei.”
Hei led the way, Jingfei following behind until they reached the reception room.
“Take a seat, Jingfei.”
Hei pointed to a couch, and Jingfei did as he said.
Hei then walked over to an empty spot in the room, opposite Jingfei, turned around and took a seat.
Well, he bent his knees, and as he did, a chair appeared behind him, which he proceeded to sit on.
He then raised his arms in front of his chest, as if he were going to cup his fist to Jingfei, but he interlaced his fingers instead.
As he leaned forward, a desk appeared in the empty space in front of him.
Having rested his chin on his thumbs, he released a slight suppressive aura and spoke.
“So, Jingfei. Why exactly did you invite me to the Radiant Jade Sect?”