Inside the brightly lit manor, a man and a woman sat across from each other.
Two cups of newly brewed tea were before them, emitting a refreshing fragrance. It cleared everyone’s mind and made them feel lightheaded.
Yan Ning Zhi held the cup with one hand and supported the bottom of the cup with her other hand. She sipped on the tea, and instantly, her tongue and her teeth felt the enjoyment of the tea.
If this were under a regular circumstance, she would be indulging herself in this surreal enlightened state. But now, she was not even thinking about that. She was waiting for Ling Xian’s answer.
"I’m sorry. I cannot solve your troubles." Ling Xian shook his head. He didn’t think that issues Jiang Cheng Zi cannot solve was something he could figure out.
Even though he knew that many people were treating him as an array grandmaster, he was self-aware enough to know that he was only able to achieve Instantaneous Formation due to the inheritance he received.
He was miles away from being a grandmaster.
"Do you not want to help me?" Yan Ning Zhi’s facial expression dimmed, full of disappointment.
This question had been troubling her for a long time, and her Master simply cannot give her an answer. After meeting Ling Xin and believing him to be a grandmaster, she waited hard in hope for an answer.
Whether or not there was another reason for her doing so was unknown even to her.
"Not that I don’t want to, it’s that I can’t." Ling Xian shook his head softly.
Yan Ning Zhi was startled as she could not understand what Ling Xian meant. She didn’t think too much about it and only continued to believe that he didn’t want to help her.
This disappointed her. Her face turned dark.
She never even considered the possibility that Ling Xian was not yet a grandmaster. To her, to everyone in this world, to be able to achieve Instantaneous Formation meant he was in the grandmaster realm.
That was a commonly known fact and has been deeply rooted in everyone’s head.
Through the history of Taoism, there have been shocking talented apprentices who could use Instantaneous Formation but were not yet grandmasters. However, those occurrences have been far too rare. Rare enough that everyone forgot about this possibility.
Ling Xian was simply far too amazing of a cultivator and should not be measured by the normalized societal standards.
"Aye… I am being too blunt," Yan Ning Zhi exhaled deeply, thinking that Ling Xian was getting more and more difficult to read.
As a noble’s daughter, nobody has ever rejected her requests. No matter how ridiculous her wishes were, those older than her always did their best to fulfill her desires. Nobody has ever said no to her. The continuous rejections from Ling Xian have impacted her greatly.
Luckily, she was not an unreasonable woman. Or else she would’ve left a long time ago and sent someone from her Clan to hang this hateful man before her.
Seeing Yan Ning Zhi’s grim expression, Ling Xian frowned, feeling a little bad about it. However, he was determined. Since he had no ability to help her, agreeing now will only lose his own face and make her more crestfallen.
He answered her with silence.
However, in that instant, Feng Qing Ming’s voice suddenly entered his mind.
[Ling Xian, accept her request.]
Ling Xian frowned and silently said, [Immortal, I have only been studying arrays for three to four months. How do I help her?]
[You can’t, but I can. Have you forgotten about my identity?] A series of chuckles appeared from the other end.
[Oh right. How did I forget about you?] Ling Xian laughed at himself. He didn’t answer right away because he found the entire situation a little strange. Though he hasn’t known the Immortal of Arrays for long, he could tell that this was not a man who enjoyed sticking his nose in other people’s business.
Therefore, he asked out of curiosity, [Have you been bored? Why are you willing to help out this woman?]
[I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide anything from you.] Feng Qing Ming sighed, [I am doing this for the jade plate she’s wearing.]
Ling Xian frowned and shifted his gaze to Yan Ning Zhi’s chest and saw the green jade she was wearing as a necklace.
[I can explain everything later. Just tell her you are able to answer any questions she has about arrays under the agreement that she gives you the jade plate.] Feng Qing Ming continued to instruct Ling Xian with a sliver of sadness in his voice.
[You truly are the Pioneer of Ancient Arrays. You are the only person who would promise to answer any problems she has without her even speaking of it first.] Ling Xian complimented.
The art of ancient arrays was as proud and unknown as the deep sea. Other than the Pioneer of Ancient Arrays, nobody would make the claim that he could answer any questions regarding arrays.
[Stop flattering me. Just get the jade plate.] Feng Qing Ming sighed.
[Don’t worry, I will give my all.] Ling Xian accepted the responsibility. Feng Qing Ming has been more than kind and nice to him. To ensure Ling Xian could take his inheritance without guilt, he even let go of his own face. This was something Ling Xian will always remember.
Now that Feng Qing Ming has assigned him a mission, he had to accomplish it beautifully and make sure the Immortal of Arrays is satisfied.
Ling Xian’s silence dragged Yan Ning Zhi’s heart into an abyss. She somehow managed to stretch her lips into a smile and said, "If that’s the case then I will stop bothering you. I shall leave."
She then slowly stood up and walked towards the door.
As soon as she turned around, Ling Xian called out to her.
"Wait a minute."
Yan Ning Zhi’s eyes glistened as she suppressed the happiness she felt. Turning around, she played it coy, "What is it? Mister Ling?"
"I can help you. But I will need something in return. If you agree, then I can help you solve any problems you are having with ancient arrays." Ling Xian faintly grinned and sipped on his tea.
Yan Ning Zhi’s eyes widened in joy. Without thinking, she agreed, "Of course! If you can help me with my problems, I can agree to any request you have."
"Very good." Ling Xian nodded in satisfaction. Not thinking that the jade plate was something of importance, very casually and naturally, he spoke of his request.
"I want the jade plate you are wearing."
Yan Ning Zhi froze instantly. Staring at Ling Xian, she wondered if her ears have gone deaf.
He wanted her jade plate?
How was that possible?!
Seeing that Yan Ning Zhi froze, Ling Xian frowned, "What is it? Is there a problem?"
"I…" Yan Ning Zhi slowly recollected herself. Staring at the handsome young man, her face flushed and she felt a thousand different emotions.
She never thought, in a million years, that Ling Xian would want her jade plate.
She was 30 percent angry, 60 percent shy, and 10 percent happy.
Of course, she would never admit to that 10 percent happiness.
"Could it be… could it be that this jade plate holds some kind of meaning?" Ling Xian tentatively guessed.
"I…" Yan Ning Zhi hesitated. Clenching her teeth, she chose not to tell Ling Xian about all the details. Instead, she took off the jade plate and whispered in a low voice, "Ling Xian… I… I accept."
Then, the red in her cheeks deepened as the look in her eyes turned even more delicate and moving. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2020 So Far