Everyone in the courtyard froze instantly.
They thought their ears had played a trick on them. Lacey stood rooted to the spot, stunned for a long moment.
The words that Liam had just said reverberated in her head. What had he meant?
Whom had he addressed those words to?
Was it Ethan?
That was impossible!
He didn’t know who Ethan was. Why would he say something like that to him?
“So I am.”
Before Lacey could voice her confusion, Ethan nodded calmly and replied this way.
Silence descended upon them anew.
Lacey gaped as she stared stupidly at Ethan. She whipped her head and stared at Liam, then turned and stared at Ethan again. Her head was buzzing. She had no idea what was going on.
Had Liam’s words been directed at Ethan?
Did they…know each other?
Fergus was stupefied. He stood there stupidly rooted to his spot. Life seemed to have drained out of him. His face felt numb and a sudden, stinging heat spread across his cheek.
It was as if someone had just slapped him hard on his face!
Did Ethan…and the sect leader know each other?
From the sect leader’s tone, they seemed to be old friends. In fact…they appeared to be talking to each other as equals.
This must be a joke.
Ethan had remained seated while he had spoken to the sect leader. He had not risen to his feet.
Fergus was utterly dumbfounded. The few disciples who had come with him were sweating buckets.
What was going on?
How did Ethan know the sect leader? What worried them the most was the tone that Ethan had used when speaking to the sect leader.
He had sounded calm and unfazed, as if he were chatting with an old friend whom he had known for years. He hadn’t tried to be polite. He had sounded mild, as if he had been talking about the weather.
Liam was unperturbed.
He didn’t say anything else. He disregarded the looks of stupor on everyone else’s faces and nodded lightly. Then, he turned away and looked at Fergus. Fergus’s body had been overtaken by cold and numbness.
“You said that you have something urgent to report to me. Let’s hear it then.”
He didn’t look very happy.
Bypassing one’s direct superiors was a taboo that was heavily frowned upon in Clearheart Sect.
Liam wasn’t the only one who was displeased. If the principal of the Inner Court were to hear about what Fergus and his gang had done, he would be livid.
Their actions showed a complete lack of respect for his authority.
Fergus stammered. His lips were trembling. He couldn’t piece together a full sentence at all.
His face was pale and his throat felt parched. His legs felt like jelly.
What was he to say?
What could he say?
Should he tell the sect leader that Ethan wasn’t a member of Clearheart Sect? That he had infiltrated the sect and harbored unwholesome intentions towards Third Miss? Was he supposed to tell the sect leader that Ethan was trying to harm Clearheart Sect?
He couldn’t possibly tell the sect leader that!
Ethan and the sect leader knew each other and they appeared to be old friends. What could he tell the sect leader? He would be risking his life!
Liam’s voice boomed, terrifying Fergus and sending tremors coursing through his body. With a loud thud, he fell to his knees.
The other disciples were petrified. They fell to their knees and lowered their heads. No one dared to utter a single word.
“You barged into the courtyard brazenly because you had something urgent to report to me, didn’t you? Why aren’t you talking?”
Liam smiled mirthlessly.
“You Inner Court disciples think quite highly of yourselves, don’t you? You think you are not bound by the rules of Clearheart Sect. Did the principal of the Inner Court fail to instruct you properly? Have I failed in instilling respect in my disciples?”
His voice boomed like thunder, reverberating loudly in the ears of Fergus and the other disciples and nearly deafening them.
“Do you not know the rules of Clearheart Sect?”
He stared at Fergus. His voice sounded cold and was turning increasingly frostier. It threatened to freeze Fergus alive.
Fergus dared not say a single word. He kept his head down and felt exposed. Waves of cold invaded his body. He couldn’t tell if he was alive or if he had died.
“Summon the principal of the Inner Court.”
Liam eyed Fergus. “Summon the Disciplinary Master as well. Someone seems to have forgotten the rules of Clearheart Sect.”