Lu Shengs five senses far surpassed that of the average man. He easily heard the guards wordsthat young lady turned out to be Bai Zhenmings biological daughter.
He cast a few glances in the direction of the lady involuntarily. Lu Sheng instantly detected an entirely different aura emanating off this lady.
It was a refreshing, very normal aura, completely different from that of the others.
Lu Shengs eyes narrowed to slits. Silently, he committed her to memory, then focused his attention back on the match.
The matches continued for four hours. After several matches, Crimson Whale Sect ended the martial arts exchange with a score of 3-1. The next round of martial arts exchange would have to wait.
It was getting late in the day and Bai Zhenmings expression was ugly, though he maintained his sportsmanship. He bid farewell to Lu Sheng and the two of them left Rising Eagle Hall.
Lu Sheng led his men out of the hall. As they were passing through the corridor near the fringe of the White River Sect headquarters, he met the young lady dressed in white hunting dress from earlier, walking in his direction with a horse whip in her hand.
"A very adorable young lady," Lu Sheng suddenly paused in his steps and grinned.
Beside him, Xu Chui stared at the young lady, baffled. He had no idea why Sect Master would be interested in this lady.
"Shes the daughter of Sect Master BaiYoung Miss Bai Qiuling," he whispered.
By then, Bai Qiuling had noticed Lu Shengs company. She curtsied towards them and stood aside, letting Lu Sheng and his company pass first.
After all, Lu Sheng was of the same generation and standing as her father. Both his identity and status were things that a small fry like her could not compare to.
Moreover, Crimson Whale Sect was the Number One Sect in all the Northern Lands. In terms of reputation and territory, it was much stronger than White River Sect.
Surprisingly, however, as Lu Sheng and his followers were about to pass her by, he paused for some unknown reason.
"Youre Brother Bais daughter Bai Qiuling?" a deep manly voice rang out before her.
Caught by surprise, Bai Qiuling quickly raised her head, only to see the Crimson Whale Sect Sect Master Lu Sheng, who was just about to walk past her, staring at her with interest.
Involuntarily, she shuddered. Lu Shengs gaze was the gaze of a predator at the top of the food chain staring at a small weak worm. It was as if he was staring at some interesting plaything. An extremely deep tyrannical aura and irresistible power was hidden within his gaze.
A ferocious, menacing aura, completely different from her fathers, enveloped Bai Qiuling, causing the already timid her to retreat a step, her face turning pale.
"Yes, I am. Qiu Ling greets Uncle Lu," she greeted Lu Sheng politely out of her strict upbringing, enduring her discomfort.
Lu Sheng sized her up. His instincts told him that something was different about this girl that set her apart from the rest. But he couldnt quite put a finger on it.
"Youre very good" he deliberated. "If you meet with trouble, you can come and find me."
Ever since coming to Twin Eagle City, he could sense the atmosphere here turning more and more bizarre and dangerous with each passing day. Since this girl carried something extraordinary with her, perhaps it might be a good idea to sow a seed of karma.
"Er thank you, thank you very much, Uncle Lu." Stunned, Bai Qiuling almost did not know how to react. She could not understand the reason behind Lu Shengs kind intentions, but they were at least better than malicious ones. Hence, she hurriedly thanked him.
As the princess of White River Sect, she would go to her father if she met with trouble. There shouldnt be an occasion to trouble this man. Thus, she felt somewhat puzzled.
Yet, out of her manners, she thanked Lu Sheng sincerely.
Lu Sheng smiled at her gently, then led his men away.
Bai Qiuling stood in the corridor, leaning against a thick round pillar as she watched Lu Sheng leave. She was perplexed.
Trouble? Apart from daddy meeting that two black-robed men secretly a few days ago, nothing much of note has happened lately. What trouble might happen in Twin Eagle City?
Bai Qiuling thought hard, but to no avail. Finally, she gave up wondering and continued on to find her daddy. She had a problem about martial arts to consult him.
Leaving the corridor, she sat on a sedan, about to head in the direction of her fathers study.
"Eldest Young Miss, that man who claims to be your friend is here again," a bodyguard came and reported.
"Eh? Havent I asked him to leave? A con-man at such a young age why doesnt he find a proper job and live a peaceful life?" Bai Qiuling exclaimed helplessly. Her kind heart was known throughout Twin Eagle City.
If she saw a cat or dog on the verge of death on the street, she would try to save it. Not to mention a human.
Those who had benefited from her grace numbered in the thousands. Her kind reputation was unsurpassed even by her father Bai Zhenming.
"He said he doesnt want your money. He just needs to speak a few words with you in private," the bodyguard replied.
"Speak a few words with me in private?" Bai Qiuling recalled the scene earlier today.
A handsome young man dressed in tattered robes was begging by the street where she exited from the Manor. Seeing how pitiful he was, she gave him some silver coins. Unexpectedly, this man started pestering her to no end.
"Whats the meaning of that?" Bai Qiuling sighed helplessly. "Could it be that he thinks Im a pushover?"
"Would you like this subordinate to teach him a lesson?" the bodyguard whispered.
Bai Qiuling deliberated. But that man had not really done anything bad to her, so there was no need for such drastic actions. "Forget it, forget it. Its getting late and I still need to soak in medicinal bath tonight. Tell him that if he really needs to see me, come again tomorrow morning. Im really tied up today."
"Youre always too kind, Young Miss. Others will walk all over you," the guard smiled helplessly.
"That doesnt matter. Dont I have you and daddy?" Bai Qiuling grinned playfully.
This bodyguard had watched her grow up. Apart from her own parents, he was her closest kin and they were like siblings. Hence, they often spoke freely.
Having obtained Bai Qiulings reply, the guard relayed some instructions to the sect disciples around him. One of them ran towards the side gate of the headquarters.
Outside the side gate, Li Shunxi sat against the wall casually, waiting for news silently. Upon sight of a disciple heading towards him after coming out of the gates, he quickly rose to his feet.
"How did it go? Is Young Miss Qiuling going to see me?"
"Eldest Young Miss is occupied. You better stop wasting your time. You dont look like a bad person to me. You should understand that although Eldest Young Miss Qiuling is approachable, shes not at your beck and call," the sect disciple said. Perhaps it was due to Li Shunxis handsome face, mild manners, and respectful attitude, but the sect disciple did not try to chase him away even though he was dressed like a beggar.
Having heard the relayed message, Li Shunxi smiled helplessly. Of course, although the calamity would befall Twin Eagle City these few days, he could not be certain that it was going to be today.
He attempted to notify Bailing in advance so that he could win her trust and find an opportunity to salvage the situation. After all, there were tens of thousands of lives involved in Twin Eagle City.
But how he could win her trust was a difficult problem.
"Alright then Ill come back tomorrow," in his mind, however, he had already decided to steal into White River Sect tonight. Entering officially was no longer possible. Without any proof, nobody would believe in his nonsense. Even if he were to mention the evil jade, he would be treated as a mad man; nobody was going to believe him.
"Hurry and leave. Youll be in trouble if you are discovered by the patrol team," the kind-hearted disciple urged.
"Many thanks!" Li Shunxi bowed towards him earnestly, then turned around and left decisively.
After a slight distance, he felt a sudden stirring in his heart and turned his head back to gaze at the headquarters of White River Sect.
This gaze, however, made his heart sink.
Faint traces of gray Qi encircled the air above White River Sect. It was extremely thin. Had it not been for his Jade of Secrets, there was no way he could have spotted it.
The gray Qi floated and encircled in the air; the wind was unable to blow it away. An inauspicious aura emanated from it.
"Ive got to hurry" Li Shunxis heart was almost at his mouth. "If I dont succeed tonight, I can only flee with Bai Qiuling immediately."
Having made up his mind, he swiftly turned around and left.
"Dong dong dong."
Bai Qiuling knocked on the wooden doors of the study.
Sunset hues dyed the deserted surroundings of the study. Even the sect disciples originally on sentry duty were nowhere to be found.
"These men all they know is to slack off. When daddy comes back, Im going to complain for sure," Bai Qiuling might be kind, but she was not indulgent in an unprincipled manner.
Such matters violated the sects rules. The study was an extremely important place to her father and had always been guarded by the elite White Robe Guards. But now, none of them were to be found.
Mumbling to herself, she knocked again.
"Dong dong dong."
It remained deathly still inside; it seemed like her daddy wasnt in.
Maybe hes gone to meet his two friends, Bai Qiuling thought. Since her father wasnt around, she glanced left and right, then took out a string of keys from her belt furtively. She aimed one of the keys at the wooden door lock and inserted it, then turned it lightly.
She pushed hard against the door.
Heheh, since daddy isnt in now, I can take a peek at the secret chamber Ive always wanted to see. A sly look appeared on Bai Qiulings face. Quickly, she scuttled into the room, spun round and shut the door.
The study was a picture of quiet serenity. Rows of shelves stood nearly. Very faintly, the sunset rays spilled into the room through the white paper windows, dyeing the interior of the study a faint red hue.
Bai Qiuling looked left and right, then quickly ran to a shelf against the wall deep in the study with great familiarity.
She found a book on the shelf and pulled it out. Then, she reached into the gap left by the book with her hand and pressed on something.
A light thud rang out from some machinery in the wall. Slowly, a blank white wall beside the shelf began moving aside, revealing a hidden square door.
This supposed secret chamber wasnt strictly speaking a secret chamber. Bai Qiuling had known the method of opening it for a long time. What was hidden inside were the beloved antiques and treasures that her daddy, Bai Zhenming, cherished and collected.
Ancient paintings, ancient books, some rare burial treasures excavated from graves, and odd rarities were all somehow fixed to the wall by Bai Zhenming.
Bai Qiuling stalked into the secret chamber and began touring the place excitedly.
Time trickled by. Unbeknownst to her, the light rays shining in from outside grew dimmer and dimmer, leaving the secret chamber darker and darker.
Bai Qiuling lost track of her time. By the time she got to the rarities collection, dusk had descended. Yet, she only had time to view half of the items in the chamber. The oil torch hung on the wall in the secret chamber had also been burning for a long time.
Bai Zhenmings collection was too vast. A large part of it comprised of paintings and antiques, which happened to be Bai Qiulings interest.
She had been too engrossed in finding items to her own liking amidst the collection that she forgot the time.
"Its too late I should get going" the sky outside had already turned completely dark. Bai Qiuling had no idea how long she had spent in the secret chamber.
But she knew that if daddy discovered that she had snuck into the secret chamber, he would absolutely fly into a rage.
She stuck her tongue out.
"Last one, last one. Just one more item"
She surveyed the entire secret chamber, reluctant to part with the place. Before long, her gaze fell on an enormous painted scroll.