The morning sun felt warm and comforting.
Jiang Le was delighted as he shouted excitedly, “We are out of the valley at long last! Woohoo, finally!”
He had no idea how long they had been traveling through the winding passages of the desolate valley but when they had finally ascended to the top, he was joyous.
Qingshuang, Xue Ji and Xia Ji looked at him and were amused.
Jiang Le shouted excitedly, “This is freedom!”
Xia Ji hummed coldly and threw her bundle to him, “Hey junior protégé, carry this.”
Jiang Le blinked and said, “This isn’t mine…”
But before he could finish what was in his mind, Xue Ji and Qingshuang had both thrown their bundles at him, forcing him to catch it. “What…does this mean…”
Qingshuang smiled gently, “That means that you are to be our carrier, junior protégé.”
Xue Ji gave him a little nudge and laughed merrily, “Great hero Jiang Le, this will be your first major heroic task in the martial fraternity. So, do it well.”
Jiang Le muttered as he gathered the three bundles in his arms, “Whatever.”
He sniffed at Qingshuang’s bundle and thought, “It is so fragrant. I wonder what her undergarment look like?”
Xue Ji interrupted his thoughts and chuckled, “What are you doing? Don’t just stand there. Are you unwilling to help me to carry my little bundle?”
Jiang Le reacted quickly and laughed jovially, “For my senior protégé sister Xue Ji, I am the most willing of course!”
Xue Ji clapped her hands as she smiled enchantingly, “My good protégé junior brother! It is so good to have a protégé junior brother. I feel so bad for troubling you!”
“Not at all, not at all!” Jiang Le laughed awkwardly, feeling a little shy that the mesmerizing Xue Ji was showering him with affectionate attention.
Xia Ji giggled, “Thank you my good protégé junior brother!”
Jiang Le laughed jovially, “We are all from the same protégé clan. This is really nothing at all. I am a strong man and I am glad to be of some services.”
Qingshuang muttered sarcastically, “Maybe that is the only service that he can be of good use. When troubles come, we may even have to protect him. I hope he stays out of trouble.”
Jiang Le was abashed as he replied almost incoherently, “I am not that useless you know and you can depend on me to protect you. So just sit back and relax while I do the job.”
Xue Ji grabbed his arm and nodded delightfully, “Brother Jiang Le, you’re so great. Your protégé sister Xue’Er is not afraid anymore.”
Xia Ji grabbed his other arm and nodded eagerly, “Same here, Brother Jiang Le! With you around, Xia’Er is not scared as well!”
Jiang Le quickly patted his chest, “Count on me, protégé sisters!”
Qingshuang flashed her displeasure, “At this rate, it’ll take us forever to get to our destination. Stop flattering him and don’t get to close to him.”
Jiang Le smiled weakly, “You sound like I am some monster.”
Qingshuang hummed coldly, “Not some monster but a demon, a lecherous demon.”
Jiang Le grinned and cast a wry look at her, “If I am a demon then you’re a demoness. A demon and a demoness, we are so compatible!”
Qingshuang gave him an annoyed look but she was soon smiling, “Very soon you will know what a demoness I am.”
She turned to Xue Ji and Xia JI, saying. “We are outside now and we should veil ourselves accordingly lest we would attract unwanted attention.”
Xue Ji and Xia Ji were suddenly quiet and obediently veiled their faces!
This was not a request but a command!
Jiang Le mused and said coolly, “With three such enticing maidens here, it is really hard not to attract any attention. But rest assures that I will be here to protect all of you in our travels.”
Qingshuang hummed coldly, “You only have to look out for yourself. I don’t want to be the one saving you.”
But she quickly softened her eyes and said, “Jiang Le.”
Jiang Le was a little startled by her expressions and answered, “Yes?”
She said softly, “This is the time of troubles and the Heavens Calamity will soon befall upon us. Do you have any idea how perilous our situation is? The dark celestial practitioners are not what your level of competency is able to deal with. They are ruthless and vicious…”
Jiang Le muttered, “Oh?…”
She looked at him and said sternly, “They will rip your heart from your beating body, eat your heart and drink your blood. They have red eyes and may be easy to identify. But once they have reached the Crisis Level, their red eyes will vanish and you will no longer be able to discern their true self. So be on your guard at all times. The dark celestial practitioners have eyes and ears everywhere, do you understand and is aware of the dangers that we will be in?”
Jiang Le smiled weakly, “You are just trying to scare me.”
She answered coolly, “Our enemies are all super exponents and some are even supernatural exponents. At your present level it is too unfathomable for you to even comprehend until it is too late. Our mission is to quickly investigate the place that you have mentioned and retreated back to the safe haven of the Tranquil Palace. In the case when we are really discovered by the dark celestial practitioners and cannot defeat them, we shouldn’t go back to the Tranquil Palace anymore. When needed, we will take our own lives to safeguard the Tranquil Palace!”
Jiang Le was slightly disturbed by her solemn words because it did not sound like she was kidding with him.
Then she turned around and said softly, almost inaudibly. “Even if I would to perish, I will not let you perish. That’s because you may represent the last hope of the Eternal Virtue Sect. You do not need to question why because many years later, you will be able to understand that our sacrifices are a necessary.”
Jiang Le stole a look at Xue Ji and Xia Ji; they too, were deadly solemn and their smiles had already vanished from their countenances.
All of a sudden Jiang Le roared with laughter and broke the deadly atmosphere, “I don’t need protection. I am good enough on my own. I can protect myself better than you think. Dark celestial practitioners or not, I am not afraid. What is most important now is to find some great wines and bottoms up!”
Then he took several strides to the east as he beats his chest, “What are you all waiting for? Come, let’s us be on our way and appreciate the scenery!”
Qingshuang replied coolly as she walked to another direction, “That is the wrong way. We should go in this direction.”
Jiang Le turned around and said, “I recognized the surrounding hills and the position of the sun. I can’t be wrong for sure…”
Qingshuang smiled mysteriously, “Except that we have something to do first before we’re headed to the place that you’ve mentioned.”
Jiang Le groaned softly as he walked to her, “Whatever you say. But don’t blame me for not warning you first that that is the wrong way.”
Xue Ji tapped Jiang Le and smiled, “Brother Jiang Le, we do have a little business to attend first.”
Just as Jiang Le was about to ask what the business was, Xia Ji tugged him on his sleeve and laughed softly. “Soon you will know. Brother Jiang Le, why don’t you tell us more about the martial fraternity and your adventures first? Which are the most prominent sects at the moment and what are most earthshaking things that had happened in the past 20 years?”
Jiang Le laughed aloud as he said, “There is no one that knows more about the martial fraternity than me. Oh well, where should we start?…”