"Ohoho~ Thank you young man, you are really kind."
"Think nothing of it, please have a good rest."
I closed the door to the room, taking a step back before inspecting the flower the old lady gave me.
She called it a 'Myriad Flower', something I have not seen nor heard of before, even in the other Planes. Her friend must have exceptionally green thumbs to grow such a beauty.
None of my business anyway, though it's rather suspicious that she would just give this away to someone she just met.
I stored the flower away in my storage ring before stepping out of the inn.
The inn was just a simple one within the Merchant's district. It was rather cheap too, a rather surprising fact since visitors would still pay extravagantly to stay in the city for the upcoming celebration.
Now I just need to know which inn my girls reserved for me.
They had initially wanted to help me reserve the best inn in the city, but I told them that I would rather have something simple. With how the big names will be arriving in the city to participate in the ceremony, no doubt they will be taking all the best ones for themselves.
I have no interest in rubbing shoulders with them since I most definitely do not want a repeat of what happened back at the Sect Showcase Festival. Dealing with Sect politics is annoying.
Just as I was about to connect telepathically to Manami, I heard the sound of footsteps running towards me.
"Papa! Papa!" A voice called out from my left.
I turned just in time to see Cai Hong rushing towards me with her hands outstretched, Diao Chan trailing behind her.
I bent down and picked Cai Hong up, lifting my little dragon up to my chest.
"Aww, did Cai Hong miss me?"
Cai Hong hugged my face, giggling, "Cai Hong missed Papa! Papa play?"
I patted her head, "Papa misses you too. Let's go back and meet your other sisters first, ok?"
I lifted Cai Hong higher to let her ride on my shoulders before turning towards Diao Chan, "What a coincidence to meet you two here. Did you girls have a good break?"
Diao Chan poked her fingers together, "Y Yes, Master It has been too long Could we Maybe?"
I flicked her on her head, "Such things shouldn't be talked about in broad daylight."
She rubbed her head while muttering something like "Ehehe~ Master punished me~~" but I think I just misheard her.
"Now, what was the name of the inn that you girls are staying at?"
"It's a 'bwiiig' 'howse' Papa! There were so many 'rwoooms'! There's a really nice lady and nice man there too!"
"Ahaha, I'm sure there is, why don't you lead the way, Diao Chan?"
Diao Chan curtsied, "It will be my pleasure, Master."
Following Diao Chan's lead, we soon left the Merchant's district for the alleys of the poorer Commons district, winding through pathways wide enough for only a single man through.
Cai Hong hummed a tune while munching on the candies I gave her, not at all concerned about the place we are walking through.
I, on the other hand, am a little bit concerned about why we are here.
"Diao Chan? Are we going the right way?"
"Yes Master, we made sure to choose a place where it is both safe and reputable enough."
I looked around us, though the pathways were rather dark and damp, it was still relatively clean for its location.
I also realised that there's a distinct lack of squatters around the place. Normally such areas of the city would have at least a few squatters hanging around, but it's rather suspiciously empty here. Unless they have relocated them somewhere else?
Oh, maybe they were invited elsewhere for the duration of the celebration? The country needs to keep its people happy after all, I won't be surprised if they had organised some sort of handout for the common people just to raise the Royal Family's popularity.
After a couple more twists and turns, we finally arrived in front of an unassuming building that looked to have been built recently.
"Here it is, Master! We spent quite a lot of time to find the perfect spot!" Diao Chan gestured proudly.
Well, I suppose I should give them credit. It's not a far walk to the city centre and there most likely won't be any outside traffic here. Which makes the fact that there is an inn here a little suspicious.
"Did you check with the background of the people here? They're not doing anything illegal right?"
"Kukuku~ Of course, Master! They are more of a local bar than an inn, but they have extra rooms for the poorer travellers. We met the proprietress on our first day here and befriended her. She then recommended us to stay with her and that's how we found this place~"
Huh. I guess I should be happy that my disciples are exhibiting such good social skills in my absence.
"Nice lady! She plays with Cai Hong too~"
I smiled at her, "Aww, let's go and meet the nice lady then. Will Cai Hong introduce us?"
Diao Chan opened the door for me and I ducked into the room, making sure Cai Hong remained safe on my shoulders when I entered.
Almost immediately, two figures rushed up and embraced me, their arms wrapping around my waist firmly.
"Master! We missed you!" Eris cried, trying to snuggle into my embrace.
On the other side, Lian Li said nothing but just focused on burying her head into my chest, as though she was trying to dig a hole and dive into it.
Manami and Kiyomi were standing a distance away, both of them bowing their heads respectfully.
"It's been awhile Master, I hope there were no problems on your way here?" Manami greeted.
Kiyomi glanced behind me, most likely noticing the distinct absence of someone, "Has Brendan recovered yet, Master?"
"Yes, it's all good. No need to worry."
Cai Hong perked up, "New bwig sister?"
I reached up to pat her head, "No, you will have a big brother soon."
"Bwig Bwother? Cai Hong play?"
"Hahaha, you will have to ask your new big brother for that. Maybe he might play with Cai Hong if you ask him."
"Cai Hong wants to play with Papa more!" She said while hugging my head.
Oh, my heart. Why does she have to be so cute!
"So what happened to the Brendan fellow?" Lian Li asked, looking up with half her face still buried in my shirt. I had not noticed that she had unbuttoned it...
"Oh, his family happened to be in Jin city as well, so I gave him time off to go visit them today."
"Ufufufu~ Master, you are benevolent as always~" Manami chuckled.
Really? That's a pretty normal thing to do right? What kind of teacher doesn't let their students visit their families if they ask to? That's just being unreasonable.
Diao Chan pulled at my sleeve softly, "Will we be meeting him today, Master?"
"Oh he'll be here later. I'll call him once I put my things in the room."
Just then, a rather petite woman appeared from the back room, her entire body freezing up the moment she saw me.
"God Er Eh? Master Lin?" She gasped.
Oh? I'm surprised she recognised me with just a glance. I thought my face wasn't that known outside of the Practitioner world so it wouldn't actually be weird for most people to ignore me..
"Nice lady!" Cai Hong shouted from above me.
I bowed slightly to her, "Thank you for taking care of my disciples for the past few days, miss. I hope they were no trouble?"
The girl sucked in a breath and took a step back, muttering some words under her breath. I could only hear "bow", "no way", "someone like me" though.
She quickly prostrated herself on the floor, "Please Master Lin! This lowly one is unworthy! More than that, it was I who have received your disciples' guidance! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!"
I turned to my girls, "Ok, fess up. What did you guys do?"
To my surprise, it was Cai Hong that answered, "Bad man was being mean to nice lady, so Cai Hong helped nice lady!"
Oh, such a good girl! Here, more head pats for you!
"Ehehehe~ Papa warm~"
I guess that's how they befriended her in the first place. I'm glad to see my method of teaching them to be compassionate is working out perfectly as intended.
Proudest moment of my life so far!
Now, I suppose I should give Brendan a heads up on our location, I believe the girls will be good role models for him to learn from!
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