Yun Bei Fen took a cautious peak but couldn’t see anything. Other than the vine that Mei Chao Bing had hacked off, everything still looked as enchanting as before. He looked back at Mei Chao Bing. “What do you mean?”
“You can’t see it?”
Yun Bei Fen glanced at the ground again and shook his head. “There’s just some grass and flowers and … and that’s it?”
Mei Chao Bing took a deep breath. How come Elder Baili had thought it was a good idea to bring this little bunny along on a mission that involved demonic cultivators? Never mind his low cultivation base, he couldn’t even see what was wrong! If he didn’t have a very special talent …
He leaned down and peered into Yun Bei Fen’s face. “Fen’er, be honest with me, could it be you have a rare talent for feigning death?”
“So that wasn’t it.” Mei Chao Bing raised his brows and straightened up again. In that case, he wouldn’t have a lot of time for romance with his little bunny. They’d need to train as much as they could if they wanted to make sure that Yun Bei Fen would be safe, more or less.
“Senior martial brother Mei, just what …”
Mei Chao Bing reached out and ruffled his hair. “Still calling me that? There’s nobody else around. And I was thinking about how to train you. I actually thought this task would be rather easy for you but … it seems I misjudged.”
“What task?” Yun Bei Fen pretended he hadn’t heard the first part. Surely, his senior martial brother Mei wouldn’t insist on it.
Mei Chao Bing gave him a lazy glance and raised his hand, gathering some spiritual energy at his fingertips. “Let me show you.” He flung the energy at the clearing.
The ground sizzled and everything from the grass and flowers to the bright spots of light pulled back into the earth, leaving only a gaping hole behind where white mist emerged. Some brown vines stubbornly clung to the edge of the hole, slithering across the ground as if they were hands groping for a way forward.
Yun Bei Fen gave a yelp and dashed behind Mei Chao Bing, grasping onto his robe with trembling hands. “What is that thing?!”
“Ah? What … What kind of nest?”
“A nest of plant spirits, obviously.” Mei Chao Bing motioned at the vines on the ground. “Actually, they’re low-grade demons but they aren’t too harmful so they’re mostly referred to as spirits. You don’t have to worry about them. They won’t dare attack you while I’m next to you.”
“Oh.” Yun Bei Fen nodded and returned to his spot beside Mei Chao Bing. As a precaution, he still held onto his sleeve though. It was still better to let these plant spirits or demons or whatever see that they were really close! They shouldn’t dare to get any thoughts!
Mei Chao Bing reached out again and ruffled Yun Bei Fen’s hair. “As a cultivator, you should be able to see them. I guess you didn’t train that either.”
Yun Bei Fen shook his head and inched closer to Mei Chao Bing. “So they’re dangerous?”
“No. Not to cultivators, normally. Even somebody of the Qi Refining stage should be able to sense them and take care of them.”
Yun Bei Fen’s eyes widened. He … he had lost to a … thing that even a Qi Refining stage disciple could defeat? And in front of senior martial brother Mei no less?! His eyes widened further and he looked up at Mei Chao Bing to see what he meant.
Mei Chao Bing raised his brows. Why … was he being looked at like this? Had he said something wrong?
“I … I was having a bad day.”
“I … I didn’t sleep well last night and … it’s kind of dark in the forest so … so I … I didn’t see well and missed … missed the demon.”
“Oh.” Mei Chao Bing nodded slowly. “And here I thought I remembered you told me this morning you had slept very well.”
Yun Bei Fen blinked. Oh. Right. He had said that.
Mei Chao Bing laughed at his expression and once again brushed his fingers through his hair. “You don’t have to make up excuses. You never left the sect. It’s only to be expected that you don’t know about this. It’s why I want to show you. Because I want to make sure that when we arrive in the border region, you’ll be able to sense dangers and even defend yourself a bit. So let’s get started.” He gently took Yun Bei Fen’s shoulders and turned him back to the middle of the clearing. “The first step is sensing the danger. You know how to sense spiritual energy already. This works the same. Just concentrate on your surroundings, spread out your spiritual sense and see what you notice.”
Yun Bei Fen blinked. He didn’t sense anything. In fact, he couldn’t even spread out his spiritual sense. The only thing he felt was Mei Chao Bing’s warmth in his back. He was still holding onto his shoulders and his chest pressed lightly against his back. He could even feel his breath brushing against the skin of his neck. He shuddered at the sensation.
Mei Chao Bing very helpfully rubbed his shoulder. “Are you alright? Can you feel it?”
Yun Bei Fen nodded eagerly. Mn. Of course, he could feel it. There was no way he wouldn’t feel senior martial brother Mei if he was so close by! He would always feel him. He happily turned around and hugged him, rubbing his cheek against Mei Chao Bing’s chest. “Mn, I do!”
Mei Chao Bing stared at the little bunny in his arms and his cheeks flushed red. “That … What exactly did you feel?” Ah, he could have sworn there was nothing improper that Yun Bei Fen could have felt …