“ Wen Ruohan has violated the treaty. ”
An ornate room covered in rich red draperies and surrounded by pillars of red oak with red jade carvings hanging in the wide windows echoes with the statement.
Sitting on a throne hewn from a 1000 year-old red oak tree and carved into the shape of a nine tailed fox, the Sect Leader turns her blood-red eyes to the speaker.
“We should have acted long before Wen Ruohan violated the treaty.”
A couple of agreeing murmurs surround the throne room.
“We should have acted when Wen Mao found the Yin Iron.”
The Sect Leader sighs, agreeing with the speaker.
“Yes, we should have. I am sorry, YingHua. Forgive this one’s mistake.”
YingHua, of the Jade Sect established by the slumbering Jade Dragon, smiles in assurance, “No need for apologies. I, for one, knew how you have been for these past few centuries.”
YingHua nods, the jade ornaments pinned to her hair ringing like a melodious chime. The Sect Leader turns to the others and sighs, again.
“The Zhong Sect will take responsibility for collecting and purifying the Yin Iron.”
“And what of the consequences that have already appeared?”
“My first daughter, XiaoLu, will take care of it, if YuLan jie would permit it.”
YuLan, of a long gone sect that bore the ancestor of the QingheNie Sect, nods her assent. The room is silent for a moment, until soft but sure steps interrupt it.
A man, not of the Zhong Sect for he was dressed in robes that appeared to be flowing water in one moment then a silver of the moonlight the next, steps forward. He salutes the Zhong Sect Leader whose throne sits between YuLan and of Jade Sect’s Matriarch, YingHua.
“JuHua jie, YingHua jie, YuLan jie, could this one humbly accompany XiaoLu to her task?”
“Zhou Mi. Ah, no, Lan Mi. You plan to go to Gusu?”
Lan Mi nods and bows, his robes gracefully following his every move.
“Have you asked Zhou Li?”
Zhou Li, steps forward and bows to the three seated in front. She salutes the three but bows deeper when she faced Zhong JuHua, the Zhong Sect Leader. The deity, for Zhou Li was one, glowed bright in the crimson red of the Zhong Sect’s throne room.
YuLan chuckles, “If you have, Lan Mi, then you may do so.”
JuHua agrees with YuLan and adds, “You may assist XiaoLu if she plans to interfere. Which she will.”
Lan Mi and Zhou Li bow in tandem.
“As for Wen Ruohan…”
“YingHua jie, it is the responsibility of the Zhong Sect. You need not trouble yourself with it.”
YingHua turns to JuHua, “Are you sure?”
“I will let ShiZi handle it. A-Dao will help him.”