Inside the Medicine Hall, Lan Liqing calmly walked down the stairs with her usual nonchalant expression.
When the disciples saw her, their face radiated brightly.
"Master! You are finally out of your room!"
One of her disciples ran up to her and handed her a jade slip. "Master, the Patriarch visited yesterday, but he quickly left when we told him that you were in closed cultivation. He also left behind this jade slip for you before leaving," said the disciple as she handed Lan Liqing the jade slip.
"The Patriarch?" Lan Liqing wondered what he wanted from her.
"Thank you, I will head to the Yin Yang Pavilion to see the Patriarch now." Lan Liqing suddenly stopped by the exit and turned to ask: "By the way, have you heard anything about Su Yang as of lately?"
The disciples shook their heads.
"Su Yang left the sect for a mission a week ago and we haven't heard anything about him since then."
"He left the sect?" Lan Liqing has been cultivating alone in her room ever since Su Yang plucked her flower, so it wasn't weird that she didn't know about it.
After leaving the Medicine Hall, Lan Liqing went directly to the Yin Yang Pavilion, where the current Patriarch and Matriarch lived.
Unlike normal sects, the Profound Blossom Sect had two sect masters instead of one - one male and one female. This way, if any of the males or females had a problem with each other, they would have their own representative without being afraid of being treated unjustly simply because of their gender.
"Disciple Lan greets the Patriarch." Lan Liqing bowed to the handsome middle-aged man with long black hair, who was calmly sat on his bed before her.
While she was a sect elder, she was also considered a disciple of the sect, and under the sect master's presence, all elders are still disciples.
"Relax." The Patriarch casually waved his hand and continued: "Do you know why I called you here?" he asked.
"No, this disciple doesn't know."
"It has been over 25 years since you joined the Profound Blossom Sect as a disciple, all the way back when I was a mere elder, and as far as I am aware... you are the only elder within the sect that has yet to truly experience dual cultivation..." The Patriarch then sighed.
"You were an excellent disciple with a bright future when you first joined and everybody was charmed by your appearances, but because of your stubbornness that refused to dual cultivate, your talents never really sprouted. Although the sect does not force the disciples to dual cultivate against their will, you are now over 40 years old, yet you are still a pure maiden... Tell me, Disciple Lan... for what reason did you join the Profound Blossom Sect when you do not wish to dual cultivate?" he continued with an expression of pity.
When Lan Liqing was still in her prime years, she was one of the most promising disciples within the Profound Blossom Sect with superior looks and great talent that captivated countless disciples. Her charm was so great that it had even caught the attention of a few core disciples.
However, despite so many people courting her, Lan Liqing coldly refused to cultivate with anyone, even the core disciples, which had caused the previous sect masters endless headaches.
"The previous Sect Masters may have allowed you to do whatever you wanted because of their kindness, but I am not as lenient as them. Disciple Lan, you are a disciple of the Profound Blossom Sect, so you have an obligation to follow its teachings and dual cultivate."
Lan Liqing, who had been standing there silently, finally opened her mouth and said: "What if I refuse?"
"Then you will either be forced to cultivate or forced to leave the sect," said the Patriarch in a cold tone. "But it would be a waste to throw you away after spending so much resource on you, especially when you still have your Yin Essence..."
"The sect rules forbids forced dual cultivation, even if it is ordered by the Patriarch," Lan Liqing calmly replied without revealing the fact that her Yin Essence was already stolen by a mere disciple, as she has been through many similar situations.
"You are right, but being a disciple of my Profound Blossom Sect, you are obligated to serve me, as that is one of the many privileges being the sect master," said the Patriarch, his narrowed gaze filled with lust as he scanned Lan Liqing's refined figure.
Lan Liqing frowned at his words. He was right. As long as she was a disciple of the Profound Blossom Sect, she was obligated to serve the sect master if demanded.
"However, out of respect for the previous sect master who doted you as if you were his own grandchild, I will give you one last chance - you have until the end of the month to find yourself a partner among the current elders before I call you to my room again, and it will not end with just a few words like today. Do not force my hands, Disciple Lan."
Lan Liqing left the Yin Yang Pavilion immediately after the Patriarch's last words. When she returned to the Medicine Hall, her complexion was pale, causing the disciples there to look at her with worry.
"Master! Are you alright? You look awful!"
"I am fine... I just need to rest in my room for a bit..."
The disciples there silently watched as Lan Liqing slowly walked upstairs, looking as though she was in despair.
"What happened to her? Did she get scolded at by the Patriarch?"
Lan Liqing was a disciple at this Profound Blossom Sect only because of the previous patriarch, who brought her in and raised her as his own after he saved her moments before being kidnapped by bandits that had brutally killed her parents.
If she wasn't attached to this Profound Blossom Sect that she saw as her home, she would've long left the place when the previous patriarch died.
Insider her room, Lan Liqing silently sat on her bed, her muddled gaze staring at a small piece of cloth in her hands that was stained by a few blood spots. "Su Yang..." she mumbled, feeling perplexed by the situation.