Lin SuCi did not know what happened. He only knew that from the next day, when this extroverted Fifth Senior saw him, his eyes would be glued to the ground, and he did not dare to look at him at all.
Lin SuCi did not really understand why.
Before he could study what was going on, Qing Fou who seldom took the initiative to look for him sent him a paper crane, asking him to come to the main hall to discuss some important matters.
Comparing these two situations, Lin SuCi decisively tossed the matter of Fifth Senior’s strange behavior to the back of his head, and participated the sect’s important meeting for the first time.
It was supposed to be a discussion. Lin SuCi was sitting on a redwood round chair, munching on a plate of milk cakes in his arms that Huilian had given him. His seniors had a pile of roasted chestnuts each in their hands, including Qing Fou.
The entire hall of master and disciples, other than Yan Boshen, were all concentrating on peeling the chestnuts.
They were enjoying the sweetness and crispness of the chestnuts, and the entire place was filled with its aroma. Lin SuCi casually stuffed a piece of milk cake in Yan Boshen’s mouth, and he mumbled with his mouth full, “Are we gathering together to discuss the one hundred methods of eating sugar roasted chestnuts?”
Caught off guard and his mouth stuffed with a piece of milk cake, Yan Boshen’s face stiffened, with the little kitty’s snack in his mouth. His eyes swept past his juniors who were looking at him.
Xiao Lan was the first to calmly avert his gaze, lowering his head and shoving a bunch of peeled chestnuts into his mouth, chewing on them noisily.
Under the stare of Yan Boshen, Huilian, Ruan Linggu and Zhongli Haiming all turned their eyes away, pretending that they did not see a thing.
Qing Fou peeled a chestnut and tossed it at Lin SuCi, answering his question.
“Do you still remember our quota? There’s only a few more months left to the event, time will pass in the blink of an eye.”
“Master, I’ve done my preparation,” Ruan Linggu undid the sachet by her waist, opening it. “This is what I’ve been working on all day and night recently. If there’s any rare spiritual beasts in the place, I’ll be able to capture them all and put them inside. Inside is a spiritual space, and I can keep them there and bring them out.”
Ruan Linggu was afraid that words were not enough to describe it, and she smiled warmly at Lin SuCi. “Little Junior, come over. Change back, and we can try it.”
Lin SuCi was very cooperative, shoving his plate of milk cakes at Yan Boshen and turned into a palm-size kitten, entering Ruan Linggu’s silk pouch.
That silk pouch looked only as big as a sachet, but it was extremely spacious within. Different from other ordinary dimension bags, in it was a spiritual energy that was friendly towards living things. Lin SuCi turned a few circles in it, making sure it was safe, and climbed back out from the unsealed opening.
“There’s no problem.” Lin SuCi raised his paw, confirming it.
Huilian was not resigned to playing second fiddle. “Master, I’ve prepared quite a number of charms here. They will be able to search for treasures automatically, and we would definitely be able to get the spiritual materials ahead of others.”
“As for me, I can communicate with the dead, and avoid other people!” Zhongli Haiming counted on his fingers as he judged his ability, “Like this, we can save a lot of time, and avoid disasters.”
Xiao Lan looked up, glancing at Yan Boshen, then bowed his head and mumbled, “I can… keep a lookout.”
Lin SuCi was now in his cat form, and had already openly retreated into the arms of Yan Boshen. His eyes blinked innocently, listening to his seniors coming up with all sorts of ways to exchange their goods for money. He then felt guilty about how Yan Boshen spent so much money on him. Secretly tugging at Yan Boshen’s sleeve, he spoke guiltily, “I don’t want dried fish anymore, how much money do you think this can save?”
Yan Boshen’s palm was lightly stroking Lin SuCi’s fur on his back. He spoke indifferently, “There’s not a need to reduce your rations yet.”
“Oh, everyone is very earnest…” Qing Fou was touched. “Not bad, when you enter the secret location, I believe that you will all return with much results. However, before that, there’s something important that we need to discuss first.”
“This wasn’t the important matter?” Huilian was surprised.
Qing Fou had a look of innocence, “That was only just the beginning, it’s your fault for not listening all the way to the end.”
Qing Fou peeled another handful of chestnuts, eating as he spoke, “It’s like this, the Scatter of Flowers and Leaves this time, there will be many sects going. Every sect has only a few quotas, and but adding the sum up, it’s not a small number. It’s still unknown who’s friend and who’s foe, for now, we can only try our best to make friends.”
“Saying this, it seems that Master already has a plan?” Ruan Linggu asked.
Qing Fou nodded, “Let’s not talk about the far off ones. The head of Chongyun Sect is about to have a birthday celebration. We used to have a friendship with them, this time, we should go up and join in their celebration, showing our faces. Later on, when we go into the secret area, they won’t destroy their dignity by harming us.”
“As long as we can discourage one alliance, we’ll be able to relax…”
Lin SuCi listened halfway, and quietly asked Yan Boshen, “Do we have many enemies? Why is Master so wary?”
Yan Boshen replied through telepathy, his meaning profound, “You’ll know later.”
How strange, an insipid little sect, was there some hidden secret?
Lin SuCi rubbed his paws together excitedly, feeling that it was time to think of ways to dig out his family’s secrets.
“Master, who should go participate in the celebration?” Xiao Lan counted on his hand, “There’s no need to mention Third Senior, he’s a firecracker, anyone can light him up.”
Huilian glared resentfully at Xiao Lan, but did not object.
“Fourth Senior…” Xiao Lan only just started, and Ruan Linggu shook her hands until they almost blurred. “No no no no, this sort of things, don’t look for me!”
Ruan Linggu spoke firmly, “I’m only a weak and timid girl, no one better ask me to go out and entertain them!”
Xiao Lan tugged at his hair. “Then, what about Sixth Junior?”
“I can,” Zhongli Haiming nodded his head earnestly. “What gifts to give, how to hand them over, I’ve seen it before. I know what to do.”
Lin SuCi heard Xiao Lan and raised his paw, “What about Eldest Senior and me?”
Zhongli Haiming averted his eyes.
“Oh… Xiao-Ci and Boshen?” Qing Fou stroked his chin, as though deep in thought. “That seems like a good idea too.”
“Master, Eldest Senior never attends such occasions…” Huilian said. “Our Haiming and SuCi are very good looking, and they look similar in age. Why don’t we dress them up as twins and send them to the birthday celebration?”
Twins? Lin SuCi swept his eyes across Zhongli Haiming, only to see this senior frowning, and the only thing missing was disdain written across his forehead.
“I’m afraid twins won’t work.” Sitting in Yan Boshen’s arms, Lin SuCi’s little kitty face was young and innocent looking, but his childish voice sounded as though he was an elder, “If we say that Sixth Senior and me are twins, people would think we’re blind.”
“Stupid cat! What did you say?!” Zhongli Haiming stood up abruptly, fury on his face.
Lin SuCi watched him and spoke slowly, “After all, not only is Sixth Senior good looking, he’s very good at dealing with people too. At such a young age, his manners are perfect, and knows how to earn money and do housekeeping. Anyone who sees Sixth Senior will have to praise him.”
Zhongli Haiming had thought that Lin SuCi was planning on insulting him, and had already prepared a hundred lines to shoot back, his sleeves already rolled up ready for a fight. Instead, he heard Lin SuCi complimenting him without even a blink of his eyes.
“Uhh…” Zhongli Haiming could only keep silent. No matter how much he did not like the kitty, this time, he had to put away his previous anger. Awkward, he spoke, “Same goes for you.”
Placing his two furry little paws on his face, Lin SuCi was intoxicated with his act. “I’m different from Little Senior, I’m only a philistine with an unmatched beautiful appearance.”
Zhongli Haiming choked, a face of disgust yet unable to vomit. “…”
Carrying Lin SuCi, Yan Boshen had long been prepared. When Lin SuCi praised Zhongli Haiming, he had already expected things to go in this direction. Compared to his stunned juniors, Yan Boshen was very calm, and even could shove a piece of milk cake in the kitty’s mouth.
The two youngest disciples, one steady, the other… wishing he could fix a pair of wings and fly up to retrieve the sun. Qing Fou rubbed his forehead, resigned, and coughed, “… This? I think that this suggestion is good. Xiao-Hai and Xiao-Ci will go, then… Boshen, you go as well.” Qing Fou looked pleadingly at Yan Boshen.
Lin SuCi’s tail curled up. “Eldest Senior will definitely go if I go!”
Yan Boshen did not speak.
Zhongli Haiming mumbled, “Clingy lackey cat!”
Lin SuCi turned to look at him, posturing to leap down from Yan Boshen’s arms and spoke to Zhongli Haiming, “Little Senior, I know that you always liked me, and want to get closer but you’re unwilling to sacrifice your dignity. Why suffer? I’ll come and cling to you, and be your lackey cat.”
Zhongli Haiming’s face changed, and nervously shrank behind Xiao Lan. In a fluster, he shouted, “Don’t come over! Stay away from me! I don’t want to get close to you at all!”
Lin SuCi’s paw that was raised froze in mid air, and the kitten’s face fell. His eyes, seemingly watery, gazed sadly at Zhongli Haiming, then he slowly, gradually curled into a ball on Yan Boshen’s lap.
Zhonglli Haiming who was waving his hand stiffened, watching this rascal of a cat huddling into a ball. He swallowed a few times, and finally, racked his brain and clumsily spoke, “Do… do you want some spiritual gems?”
Lin SuCi buried himself in Yan Boshen’s arms and sighed dispiritedly, “… Even if there’s thousands of spiritual gems, how could they compare with a sincere heart?”
Taking out a huge pile of spiritual gems, Zhongli Haiming had stiltedly planned on using them to coax Lin SuCi, “…”
He was a little panicked. The youth who had never coaxed anyone before bit his lip, and drew closer for the first time to the little kitty he had always avoided.
“Well, I was wrong, don’t… don’t be sad.”
This was the first time in his life that Zhongli Haiming had overcome his dislike for cats. In his heart, he kept chanting, this is my junior, this is my junior, and hurriedly shoved a large handful of spiritual gems into the little kitty’s arms.
The little kitty was only palm-sized. With the pile of spiritual gems, he was almost buried in them.
Lin SuCi remained silent.
Yan Boshen looked down. The little kitty in his arm was trembling slightly. In Zhongli Haiming’s eyes, it made him anxious, and thought that his young junior had been bullied to tears by him.
Yan Boshen was the only one who knew that the little fellow in his arms was suppressing his laughter.
Lightly smacking him on the little kitty’s fleshy buttocks, he said lowly, “End the farce.”
Lin SuCi knew that he had to end his act. Looking up, his green eyes glistened, and in them were an unconcealed amusement.
He gathered up the spiritual gems that he got from Zhongli Haiming, raising his little paws in difficulty. In front of Zhongli Haiming whose eyes were about to fall out from staring, like a lackey, he took the initiative to offer them all to Yan Boshen.
“Give you give you I’ll give them all to you.”
Yan Boshen was startled. “… Hmm?”
Lin SuCi proudly shook his little head. “Thousands of spiritual gems in exchange for a sincere heart! Boshen Boshen, once you accept my money, you must treat me sincerely!”
Yan Boshen was struck dumb. A moment later, he lowered his eyes, picking up a spiritual gem from the paws of the little kitty. The corner of his mouth curved up indistinctly, his hand resting on Lin SuCi’s head, and their body temperatures mingled.