I teleported myself to the outskirts of Heaven Sect, whistling to myself as I strolled towards the gates.
I'm really just doing this to complete the ruse that I strolled all the way here. Not that it really matters but I'll be setting a bad example for my disciples if they found out I've been doing things behind their back.
Looking back, I really should have thought things through before coming here.
There were two Outer Core Practitioners standing guard at the gates, both of them looking quite bored.
But when I came into view, both of them immediately went on alert.
One of them stepped forward with his palm raised, "Woah there, are you lost? This isn't a place you can just come in."
Oh I've been so used to people overlooking my current body that I've neglected on considering what the Heaven Sect people would think when they see me.
Speaking of which, after absorbing quite a bit from my Monster Crystal farm, my body seemed to have aged up a little. Now I could probably pass myself off as a thirteen or fourteen year old instead of a ten year old.
Not sure why that happened but I think I should be getting my old body back soon, just need some time for the increase in my Cultivation Point to settle first.
In the meantime I guess I should start getting used to people questioning my presence around here.
"Hey, it's me, Master Lin." I gave them a wave and a smile. "I know it's hard to believe but I got involved in something that regressed my body's age. My disciples should have already gone inside ahead of me."
The two of them looked at each other before turning back to me again.
"May we see your seal then?" The one in front asked.
I took it out from my storage ring and held it up to show them.
"Ah, apologies for the disrespect Master Lin, please go on through."
The two of them stepped aside from the gate, gesturing for me to enter.
Wait That's a bit too trusting isn't it?
"Are you sure?" I asked. "I kind of half expected you to not believe me and call me a hoax with a fake seal."
The one closer to me chuckled, "Master Lin, I highly doubt there's anyone else in existence that can steal or forge your personal seal. Even if there is, neither of us would be able to stop such a person anyway."
Well Makes sense I suppose. This guy is quite the smart one.
Honestly, with all the events that had been happening around me, I wouldn't have been surprised if both of them just kicked me to the curb even with whatever proof I could show. Then I'll have to face slap them somehow later on when they realise I was telling the truth.
Oh well, at least I can skip past the unnecessary drama I suppose.
"So any updates while I was gone?" I chanced asking them.
The one near me thought for a moment, "Well Nothing much actually. Got a number of Requests from the Adventurer Guilds about a new dungeon popping up in Jin city, a few other Sects came by to make courtesy visits for the new year, our Sect Master disappeared and I think there were reports on increased monster activities in a village nearby."
Nononono Go back a few seconds.
"Did you just say our Sect Master disappeared? Why the hell are we not panicking about this?" I pointed out incredulously.
He shrugged, "Eh, he'll be fine. He's the Sect Master after all."
"No, that's definitely not fine, what the hell is wrong with you?"
He squinted his eyes at me, "I don't understand why you're making it to be such a big deal? He just went missing, not dead."
"Well he could probably be dead and missing, couldn't it?"
He shrugged again, "That's too bad then."
What the hell? This isn't the kind of mentality a Sect member should adopt when their Sect Master goes missing!
"Forget it, I'll go ask Elder Qing. Where is he?"
"Probably sleeping at this point of time, I dunno."
Something isn't right here I can feel it.
They didn't even give me a second glance as I walked past them, going back to their previous guard post of leaning against the gate.
The moment I stepped past the gate however, I realised why they seem so nonchalant about it.
There was some kind of mental Technique in place that tried to implant a suggestion nonchalance inside me, repeating over and over again that "there's nothing wrong, it's fine, just continue."
That means they probably let me through because of the Technique in place, not because the guy actually believed my case.
But the way they stopped me from entering the Sect doesn't look to be under influence either, so to what extent does this Technique affect everyone?
I immediately rushed inside to look for my disciples, finding them inside Grand Hall.
"And this is the Grand Hall," Manami gestured around her. "We don't really know what this place is for since we don't use this place ourselves."
As usual, Cai Hong is the first to spot me and rushed to hug me.
It goes without saying that after training them in their mental prowess, they're already resistant to these kinds of mental Techniques. So it shouldn't be affecting them at least.
The other girls turned back to see the dragon loli hugging my waist and purring while I patted her.
"Mas Master?" Lian Li gasped. "Your body?"
I nodded at her query, "Yeah, I grew slightly on my way here. I think it'll just be a week or two before I finally return back to normal."
"Ara? So soo-- I mean That's quite fortunate..." Manami whispered almost inaudibly.
"Anyway, did you girls feel that there's anything strange going on? Like the people around here seem rather Disconnected?"
Eris tilted her head at me, "We haven't really talked to anyone else yet Is something wrong, Master?"
"Well for one, our Sect Master is missing and no one is raising any queries about it. The guards also let me in without much thought despite my current body."
The girls looked at each other.
Kiyomi clucked her tongue, "While I disagree that the last one is a problem Ah, I see It's a mental Technique that has affected the entire Sect isn't it?"
I nodded, "Impressive that you managed to be unaffected by this. I've taught them how to defend themselves against mental attacks but it seems you were already aware of how to."
She let a small smile materialise on her face, "I have been alone for longer than you think. I need to take certain preventive measures to protect myself."
"Ufufufu~ As diligent as always, Kiyomi," Manami giggled, patting her head.
Diao Chan hid her smile behind her sleeve, "To do such a sinister thing in Master's absence... Huhuhu They must really like to be punished~"
"Might they have specifically targeted the Sect precisely because Master isn't here?" Lian Li wondered aloud. "If that's the case, they might be someone who is familiar with the Sect to know when Master is absent in order to do this Someone in the upper echelon perhaps?"
I shook my head, "That just puts everyone on the list since it was announced to everyone that I will be away for a long while. Everyone's a suspect here."
"Should we split up and look for clues?" Diao Chan suggested.
I flicked her forehead, causing her to yelp out in pain and surprise, "That is literally the worst thing to do in this situation, what if the perpetrator takes you out one by one and brainwashes you to be used against me?"
"I'd rather bite off my own tongue," Lian Li declared vehemently, the other girls nodding in agreement.
"No need for that," I consoled her while patting her head. "Let's go back to my courtyard first. Since we got a message that told us to return, they must have already been expecting us."
Kiyomi frowned, "Wouldn't that be walking straight into their trap?"
I grinned at her while motioning everyone to come closer, "Well, I got an idea just for that"
But seriously though What happened to coming back here to relax?