“Basically only things I have to do. We need to subtly gather everything needed to survive in the sect for a time and contact the other sects already. Once we have what we need, we will have to act quickly.” The man looked at the black-haired youth next to him. “I’d like for you to go to Zhi Ci and Xiao Zai to see if they’ve got anything already, and to note down everything you remember about the Demonic Sect.”
“Who will take care of the other two children? They’ll get bored”, Xie Yi wondered out loud.
Qiang Ren sat up straight on his chair and spoke with his childish high voice. “I… I will watch over Su Liang. We won’t get in your way, don’t worry!”
The boy got numerous headpats.
“I’m taking that seriously. He was a street rat, he knows how to take care of himself”, Xie Yi said simply. “We will be relying on you, Qiang Ren. Call us if you need help.”
“I will do that. Uhm, please tell Xiao Zai we are looking forward to her playing with us again.”
Everyone ate their breakfast and went into separate directions.
Shi Yue had a headache before even entering the room. The sect leader looked no better at the thought of what they had to do. It was going to be a number of long, exhausting tasks.
“I’ve already contacted some reliable information agencies”, the sect leader said and stretched uncomfortably. His body was still stiff. “I’ve also started talking to the teachers to see if any of them have family that we need to get up here. The students will come a bit later.”
“Do we have a list of all sects and families we need to contact?”
The sect leaders raised a rolled up paper. It unfurled… and unfurled…
Shi Yue pulled a face.
There were a lot of families willing to fight and they had to talk with all of them. In some cases, they even needed to contact several people in one area simply because a single family or sect might be split into groups that for stupid reasons would refuse to communicate.
“Hooray”, he muttered under his breath and sat down on the second table in the room.
Only very few sects could be contacted directly, most would be needed to be sent a letter. That meant the very first letter had to be as convincing as possible, which was different for each person.
“I have already drafted a letter for the Li family. Not yours, the other one in the south.”
“Oh?” Shi Yue looked up. The Lis were pure-blood warriors, a very hotheaded group. What did the sect leader write?
The old man handed over a piece of paper and Shi Yue read the content out loud.
“We are going to raid the Demonic Sect. Please contact us.”
Shi Yue broke out into laughter - alas, this was indeed the only thing they’d need to know to agree to join.
“I wish everyone was that easy.” Shi Yue bluntly tore the list in half and kept the latter one for himself. After a deep breath, he began to write.
To know every single of the families and sects personally, that was the kind of task a sect leader had to deal with. He was thankful for his good, improved memory.
Hours passed by with nothing but writing. In between, Xie Yi popped in to eat lunch with him and left again. Towards the evening, the two leaders of the sect started discussions about some of the more complicated families and how to convince them.
One by one, names were crossed off and letters stacked.
“I need a break”, Shi Yue loudly declared at sundown. “Not even a break. Just something else to do.”
“How about you go eat dinner and check whether Xie Yi has something for you already?” The sect leader rubbed his tired eyes and folded the next letter shut.
“I will do that”, Shi Yue thankfully sighed. He hurried home to find a meal on the stove already - likely made by Xue Hua - and Xie Yi sitting at the table with paper spread out everywhere.
Shi Yue walked over to him, kissed him on the cheek and rested a hand on his shoulder. “Anything from Xiao Zai yet?”
“No, they were mostly playing today. She’s relaxing, though”, Xie Yi absent-mindedly said. The youth tilted his head to lean it against Shi Yue’s hand and nuzzled it softly.
“This is… information?”
“Everything I can remember, as you said. Outposts. Maps. High-ranking people that might or might not be around yet. Skill sets…” Xie Yi pursed his lips. “Bad trip down the memory lane, but I remember more than I thought. Just that a lot of it is based on the future. I don’t know how accurate it is at this time.”
Shi Yue clenched his hands into fists. “The elders… Could you remember anything about them?”
He held his breath as he waited for the answer. Xie Yi looked at him for a long time before handing over several pages of densely written information.
He had been their dog. Not even their servant or slave. He was their pet. How could he not know their every habits? He knew not only what they looked like, he even knew their preferred disguises and their habits during talking.
There would be differences, sure, but with these people, whom he had been around already at this time in his life, he was sure he knew more than enough.
“God”, Shi Yue mumbled. He wasn’t sure whether he should be delighted at having this treasure in his hands or devastated at the thought of Xie Yi’s life to know about all of this. it wasn’t even a solace that there was no mention of sexual abuse - that had been mostly an issue of Xie Yi’s gender. Who knows whether the situation had been different if he was a woman.
“I’m trying to remember the map of the main sect. It’s just super large and has so many rooms”, Xie Yi complained softly. “I remember the dungeon well, but that’s more of a trauma.”
Shi Yue shuddered at the blurry memory of how he had died. That was indeed a bit of a trauma, if possible he’d not like entering that place. Or seeing a hook of that kind ever again. 1If you don’t remember, Shi Yue’s body was hung up on butcher hooks to bleed out slowly
“Say, what would you suggest how we proceed?”, Shi Yue asked carefully. He wanted to know his lover’s opinion as well. “In general, I mean. How to attack.”
Xie Yi closed his eyes. “Burn down the canyon.”
“The canyon? You mean where you fell down?”
“Yes. Burn down the whole goddamn canyon and destroy the flowers. Send everyone there to do it - the whole Demonic Sect will come running to stop you.”
“Why would they?”
“Because they can’t just cultivate them anywhere else as they please. Those things don’t just grow”, Xie Yi explained, uncomfortably twisting at Juxian’s comment on the parasite he had had. “And in the meantime, let me and you go directly to their main place. Sneak in. Cause as much havoc as possible and run.”
“Why do you suggest doing it like that?”
Xie Yi raised a finger.
“One. The canyon has priority and a good place for an all-out war, so it’s best to send the main forces there.”
“Two. The more people we send to the canyon, the emptier the main sect is going to be.”
“Three. If only we move, there will be no issue explaining all my knowledge about my former living space.”
“Four. We are less noticeable in small numbers.”
“Five. If things go awry, we can run quickly. All we will do is try and see whether we get lucky to cause them an additional hit, nothing more. It’s worth a try, if you ask me.”