“Qingqing is our family’s only daughter. Not only does she have to worry about her own happiness, but the entire fate of our family, our rise or our decline, all lies on her shoulders. The futures of several thousand people will be defined by her alone. So because of this reason, no matter how much her father and I love her and dote on her, there are some matters in which we cannot allow her to do as she wants.
“Leon, I didn’t oppose you in the beginning, nor did I look down upon you. But, from the moment you were born, you haven’t lived in the same world. For instance, everything that I spoke to you about as we ate here, that is something very normal for Qingqing, but it is something you have never experienced. You and I share no common topics to speak of, and the same is true with Qingqing. Even if you really managed to come together in the end, that might not bring you two happiness.
“So, the reason that I came looking for you today is because I hope you will accept these spirit stones and leave Qingqing. Because although she might be puzzled and hurt at the start, believe me, she will soon recover, and she will have a glorious future awaiting her.”
Leon lowered his head. From the moment that Madame Qing first started speaking, his complexion began to turn increasingly pale, and now there wasn’t the least bit of red. “Madame, you’ve misunderstood, me and Qingqing…miss is only a friend to me, there is nothing else between us.”
Madame Qing sincerely said, “Perhaps I misread the situation, but you can just consider me as a mother who spoils her child too much and has overreacted. Leon, can you promise aunty? That you will leave Qingqing?”
Leon was silent for a long time. He slowly stood up. “Madame, I will disappear, but I cannot receive this card.”
Madame Qing frowned. She thought that he still hadn’t given up and her gentle voice took on a bit more indifference. “Leon, do you know how much it cost to eat this meal? The card I gave you is only enough for three of these meals. With three meals a day, do you really think Qingqing and you will be able to last a long time? Take it. It might be able to help you with your troubles and help those you need to help. After all, you need to live not just for your sake, but also the sake of your family.”
Leon stiffened. His eyes were red and his body trembled. He picked up the card.
Madame Qing warmly smiled. “Come, let’s return to Sea Spirit Pavilion. As a good friend, you should bid your farewells before you leave. Of course, Leon, I believe you are a smart boy and won’t hurt Qingqing, right?”
Leon’s ears buzzed. He subconsciously nodded and followed behind Madame Qing like someone who had lost their soul. By the time he finally regained his senses, he could already see Sea Spirit Pavilion’s Nine Layer Building in the distance. A beautiful figure was pacing back and forth in front of the building, occasionally kicking at the ground.
Madame Qing reclined in her seat. “Go, tell Qingqing that you must leave, and that once you become an outstanding person in the future, you will come back to look for her…consider this as leaving her one final beautiful memory.”
Sometime before –
When Madame Qing brought Leon away with her, Grindstone returned to his workshop. Leon was driven away and several sea race youths chuckled to each other, but in the next moment they revealed a bit of sorrow. Because they had lost their free cleaner, from now on they would have to divvy up the cleaning assignments.
Several people had just finished their current task and were crowding together, arguing about who would work with Qingqing. But suddenly, the doors to the workshop opened and a young man with meticulously combed hair appeared.
“Where is Grindstone? I cannot connect to his spirit shell. There is something important I must speak to him about.” The youth’s tone was calm and carried with it the standard haughtiness of the capital city. Although they didn’t know his status, the high tier identity card on his front and his powerful aura was more than enough to shock the several low level sea spirit teachers here.
“Please wait here a moment. We will immediately inform teacher.”
There was a knock on the door. Grindstone frowned and put on an appearance as if he were busy and couldn’t be bothered right now. He growled, “What is it?”
A young man nodded. “Grindstone, I am looking for you.”
As Grindstone saw who it was, a brilliant smile lit up his face. He never thought that today would be his lucky day. Not only had he managed to curry favor with Noble Court Avenue’s powerful Qing Family, but in the blink of an eye he now welcomed Chief Manager Wu’s first confidential secretary, the first director. If there was something so important that he would personally arrive, was it to announce that his application from last month to be a high level sea spirit teacher was approved?
Thinking of this, Grindstone’s fingers shivered!
“Director Jin, please enter, please enter. I just managed to obtain some good tea, so I ask Director Jin to try some with me.”
Director Jin remained expressionless. “There is no need to drink tea. I came here today on official business. In your workshop there is a sea spirit teacher named Leon. He’s been reassigned to work somewhere else. Tell him to come with me.” He swept his eyes around. As he saw their stunned faces, he frowned. “Did he not come to work today? Then, can you tell me where Leon’s registered address is?”
It seemed he wanted to go and search for him!
Grindstone began to sweat. “Director Jin, can I ask about Leon’s work reassignment…?”
Director Jin furrowed his eyebrows. “You don’t need to know the specifics. But, this reassignment was personally signed by the chief manager. You had best hurry up, because I need to go back to report.”
The chief manager personally signed an order? One didn’t need to be a genius to know that this was extremely unusual. Grindstone’s complexion paled and he squeezed out a smile. “Leon is my most favored assistant, but since this is the chief manager’s order, I will definitely release him. But, he was sent by me on a task. I ask that Director Jin first return, and once he returns, I will personally bring him over.”
Director Jin’s eyes flashed. He clearly realized that something was off. But, this other party was a middle level sea spirit teacher who had high chances of being promoted to a high level sea spirit teacher in the future, so he should still give him some degree of face. “I see. Then, I’ll have to bother Lord Grindstone with this. Please find him as soon as possible and don’t delay too long.”
Grindstone nodded again and again. It was only when Director Jin’s figure disappeared that his smile instantly vanished. He grabbed onto the closest assistant and roared in panic, “Where is Leon!?”
“Who said he could leave!? You piece of trash, go out and look for him, all of you go and look for him! You have to find him no matter what!”
Five assistants immediately ran out.
Grindstone’s complexion was grim and uncertain. After a moment, he stamped his feet and rushed out himself. But no matter how much he searched, he couldn’t find Leon. Lord Grindstone personally raced towards the address that Leon was registered at, and while the address wasn’t wrong, he wasn’t there.
After scurrying about for an hour in a profuse sweat, Grindstone found Director Jin and shook as he told him the truth.
Director Jin coldly said, “You can personally explain this to the chief manager.” He rose up and quickly walked several steps to the chief manager’s studio, where he gently knocked on the door.
Director Jin lowered his head. He said in a soft voice, “Chief manager, Leon was dismissed this morning.”
Chief Manager Wu’s eyebrows leapt up. He glanced at a black-robed figure.
Qin Yu frowned. He thought for a moment and then slowly asked, “Do you know why he was dismissed?”
Director Jin replied, “I don’t know the exact reasons, but Grindstone is waiting just outside the door. Do you want him to come in?”
Chief Manager Wu nodded. “Bring him in.”
Director Jin turned and left. Soon, Grindstone entered. He was a bit startled to see another person in the studio. He respectfully bowed and said, “Greetings, chief manager.”
Chief Manager Wu said, “Grindstone, what is the reason you dismissed Leon for?”
Grindstone was already prepared for this. “Reporting to chief manager, Leon is half-hearted, his work is sloppy, and on his best days he makes numerous confused mistakes. This morning, he asked me to pay him half a year’s salary ahead of time. I refused him and his reply was extremely rude, so I dismissed him.”
“You lie.” A sharp gaze shot out from beneath the black robe.
Grindstone froze. He clenched his teeth. “Who are you? How dare you slander me like this!?”
Qin Yu didn’t even glance at him. He said, “Chief manager, the personality of a person is something his colleagues would know best. Perhaps you might want to investigate this.”
Grindstone was shocked and angered at the same time. Just who was this person that they dared to speak so casually to the chief manager!? And, just what sort of status did the chief manager possess that he would care so much for a low level sea spirit teacher? But in the next moment, Chief Manager Wu’s words left him falling into an icy lake. “Grindstone, you should be aware that as long as I issue an order to investigate the situation, I will absolutely discover the truth.”
Grindstone struggled inwardly, but he immediately breathed out a dejected breath. He knew that arguing obstinately would only make things worse for him. “It was Madame Qing’s intent. She wanted me to look for a chance to drive out Leon…” Then, he stated the current circumstances around Leon, Qingqing, and Noble Court Avenue’s Qing Family.
Chief Manager Wu had an ugly complexion. Of course, he tried to disguise it as indifference. If it weren’t for Qin Yu, he simply wouldn’t care about a low level sea spirit teacher.
“Leave. Concerning this matter, I will order others to continue investigating. You can wait for the final result!”
Grindstone opened his mouth but in the end he didn’t say anything. He put on a long face and left.
Director Jin entered the studio. “Chief manager, Leon has been found.”
“Where is he?”
Director Jing pushed open the window. The view from the ninth floor was amazing, and one could clearly see the entire Double Yang Main Street and even a corner of the distant royal palace.
Qin Yu rose up and walked to the window. He saw a young man and woman standing in front of Nine Layer Building. The girl was excitedly speaking, and Leon was slowly shaking his head, a bitter smile on his face. Qin Yu’s eyes shifted. He could see a luxurious carriage close by.
He had just wanted to help Leon out, but he never thought he would come across such a sappy dog-blood and realistic story about star-crossed lovers.
Chief Manager Wu walked nearby. He looked down, a thoughtful look on his face.
Qin Yu helplessly muttered, “This kid Leon, I have no idea what sort of shock he’s received that he would just bid his farewells like this. What a stupid boy.”
Chief Manager Wu’s eyes flashed. “From such a distance, mister can hear what they are saying?”
Qin Yu said, “It’s not much. My senses are just a bit sharper than normal.” His words were light and casual. Chief Manager Wu smiled and didn’t press the matter, but his thoughts were racing.
Nine Layer Building was an extremely tall structure. If someone could hear two people whispering from such a distance, then one’s senses couldn’t be described as ‘a bit sharper than normal’. Amongst the sea races, those that possessed heightened senses were all powerful bloodline clans. While he still didn’t know Ning Qin’s origins, this vastly narrowed the possibilities.
As for the surname Ning, this was rare in the sea region. It should be part of a disguise.
This Ning Qin was incomparably mysterious and unfathomably deep. But, this boy Leon should be a crack in his disguise. Perhaps he would be able to look up Ning Qin’s background through this boy. Of course, this was something that had to be carried on in absolute secrecy so that no one would find out. Unconsciously, Chief Manager Wu became much more cautious in his heart.
Qin Yu suddenly said, “I just arrived in the capital city so I’m not too clear about how things work here. Chief manager, is there any way you can help him a little?”
Chief Manager Wu’s thoughts changed. He laughed, “Mister Ning, please rest assured. Although Sea Spirit Pavilion doesn’t dare say it’s at the pinnacle of the capital, it isn’t a problem to move several residences from Noble Court Avenue.”