Huizhong looked up at Daiyu in surprise. The name had slipped out between her lips so smoothly, it almost sounded like she had spoken it many times before.
"Senior sister, you know of him?" Huizhong questioned.
Daiyu looked ahead, her hazel eyes were like bottomless holes, "No. I don't."
As a moment passed in quiet, her voice sounded out again. This time, it was stated a lot more persistently.
Descending in the sect's courtyard stairs, traveling toward the direction of the sect tower, the sect master could be seen taking massive strides toward his room. An elder could be seen bustling after him. The other man displayed a dark face that could not be concealed, and he promptly called out.
"Sect Master, please wait."
The old man stopped short in his tracks, his back facing the speaker. His gray eyes were focused in the direction of the medicine room, and his hand was still holding tightly to the written note. Turning his body just a bit, his voice appeared weary, "What is it?"
The elder stopped as well, his eyes filled with frustration, "Sect Master, why have you put out the new orders like that? We've never had the need to question so in depth about the past origins of the newcomers."
That was true.
TianHua sect had the meaning of Heaven's flower. Tian (sky) and Hua (flower), it was well-known for accepting people no matter when they came from. The main rules the sect followed was harmony and peace. Nonetheless, recent years had produced conflicts with other factions and demonic battles. As time grew, so did the cultivation techniques along with its treasures. What once was just a peaceful sect slowly grew in strength, and this brought unease to other fractions.
It's just the sect master never imagined the other sects would be this despicable.
The old man turned his head back, his gray eyes set on the elder, "It's merely for safety."
"For safety?! For thirty years, we've always provided our open doors to others and accepted without questions. Why are you suddenly changing for safety?" The elder was troubled with the answer he heard.
TianHua was known for its open doors, and it was the first sect that accepted any orphans the other fractions turned away. Now to say that the sect would no longer do so without checking all the origins—this, this, what was to be done? Many of these children's hearts were closed up from the past traumas, how could the checking be done?
However, only a soft-spoken line reached to the elder's ears. It didn't answer the question, nor did it comfort him.
It was very hard to swallow.
"To not raise any questions, is that not just blinding yourself?"
"But we have never done such a thing before. We cannot question a person's past. There are things people are running from, hiding from, and in this sect, they want to find a new life. What you are doing is against our beliefs!"
The sect master turned, his gray eyes were cold, "Thirty years ago, this sect was created out of my personal hands. Out of all the founders, my heart was the one that grieved the most. Tell me, why is it that I can't make a new rule without the backlash of your expectations."
The elder stopped in place. What was wrong with the sect master? The old man had never been so determined before. Did something happen?
"It's not that, I-"
"If it's not that, then can I safely assume that you will carry out my orders?"
With his head lowered, the elder quickly acknowledged, "As you wish."
Without another word, the elder left, but the heart of the sect master remained complicated. He was growing old. He slowly ran his fingers over his wrinkled hand.
It wasn't that he was unfeeling. Of course, he knew about the other children. But what about the children that were already in his sect. What were they to do?
From the years, he had seen signs of increasing brewing conflicts.
Small trickles of greed and pride had long slipped in.
Small fights here and there.
Elders taking bribes. Disciples fighting amongst themselves.
The eyes of the pure that were no longer the same within a day.
And people that came and left.
Even if he wanted to, the truth was the sect required to make precise adjustments along with time.
Thirty years ago, he had established the sect with two other masters. With them, he shared the burden, pain, and many years of laughter. He lowered his head. What values that were held important back then have changed within time. As each year passed, he could only be reminded of how much he was left behind. His hands that were once agile and sound were no longer how they used to be. The movements of his attack could no longer claim the spot of the once-revered master.
Times have changed.
The once care-free trust he had could no longer be used to apply to the present.
"Daiyu, my little child, please grow soon. Master can't stay forever. "
His plea was carried off by the passing wind. The breeze was sluggish as if it was listening to every word he put out.
Oh, so very heavy.