Mei Chao Bing didn’t get an answer. A certain little bunny was completely immersed in cuddling with him. In the end, he could only sigh, grab him by the shoulders and gently pry him off. He turned him back to the hole in the ground and stepped to the side.
“Alright. Let’s try again. You have to focus and try to sense the danger. With a bit of time and practice, you’ll be able to do so from a larger distance. That way, the risk of running into something you can’t handle will be reduced by a lot.”
Yun Bei Fen looked at him with wide eyes. Why was senior martial brother Mei suddenly distancing himself? Had he done something wrong?
Mei Chao Bing looked at the little bunny whose eyes were saying that he was feeling wronged. Ah, being in a relationship … wasn’t easy. “Fen’er …” Mei Chao Bing sighed. “I just want to make sure that nothing happens to you.”
“Do you need to be so far away for that?”
“I …” Mei Chao Bing cleared his throat and forced himself to smile. “Well, you’re trying to sense spiritual energy. I’m afraid I’ll distract you if I’m close.”
“You’d never distract me.”
“Mn, not on purpose but … I might interfere with your ability to sense so … It’s better if I stand a little bit further away. Don’t let it bother you.”
“Oh.” Yun Bei Fen nodded. At the very least, it wasn’t because he had done anything wrong yet. It was just that senior martial brother Mei thought he might do something wrong in the future. So … he had to show him that he could solve all the tasks he gave him! Then senior martial brother Mei would surely come back!
He straightened up and turned to the hole, widening his eyes. Sensing … He focused on the spiritual energy in the surrounding. In the end … he did feel something but he couldn’t make any sense of it. Everything seemed to flicker with energy.
He reached out and patted around. “Senior martial brother Mei?”
Mei Chao Bing stared at the little bunny that was slowly crouching down and patting the air around him as if he was searching for something. Uh … What was happening here? “Fen’er? Is everything alright?”
“Everything’s really bright …”
“Oh.” Mei Chao Bing hurried over and grabbed Yun Bei Fen’s hand, gently pulling him back into his arms.
Yun Bei Fen froze and then slowly turned around, his eyes wide. “Senior martial brother Mei?”
“Mn. I’m here.”
“You … You’re especially bright!” His big doe-eyes blinked rapidly, making Mei Chao Bing chuckle.
“Oh? Thank you for the compliment.”
“I … I mean …”
“It’s alright. I know.” Mei Chao Bing carefully suppressed his cultivation realm, making less of the spiritual energy he circulated noticeable. Well, Yun Bei Fen didn’t have the level to sense all of it anyway but it was better to make this easier for him. He couldn’t overburden him.
Yun Bei Fen continued to blink. “Huh? You’re less bright now.”
“Mn. I adjusted the spiritual energy in my body.” Mei Chao Bing pulled the little bunny back into his arms and knelt down on the ground. “Sensing spiritual energy can work in many different ways. Some people … will see them as light or as colors, some will be able to hear them like sounds, and others might have yet a different approach. In the beginning, it can be a little overwhelming since … spiritual energy is in everything around us.”
Yun Bei Fen nodded. “I know. Master explained that when I learned to take in spiritual energy.”
“That’s good.” Mei Chao Bing brushed his hair back. “Then you already have a general grasp on things. With a bit more time, you’ll be able to differentiate between the things you sense. There are some that you don’t have to pay too much attention to since they’re just your surroundings. For example …” He grabbed Yun Bei Fen’s hand and gently pressed it against the ground. “You should be able to feel the spiritual energy of the earth here. It shouldn’t be too strong or … too bright in your case.”
“That’s true. It just … glimmers a little. I guess that’s the kind of spiritual energy I always took in to cultivate.”
“Mn, that’s true. All energy in nature can be used for cultivation. So if you want to cultivate, that is the energy you should focus on. But right now, that’s not what we’re trying to do. Spiritual energy of that strength isn’t dangerous for you. It isn’t even for a mortal. So for now, try to ignore that bit of light and focus on the rest. Can you do that?”
“Mn!” Yun Bei Fen nodded. He had never tried this before but if senior martial brother Mei had such high hopes for him, then he couldn’t disappoint him!
Yun Bei Fen finally closed his eyes, making the light from the energy flood his mind. Everything still stayed as bright as before and he involuntarily pressed his eyes shut even closer and hid in Mei Chao Bing’s embrace.
Mei Chao Bing didn’t rush him. It had been years since he learned to do these things but he still remembered very well how it felt to suddenly be exposed to this. Back then, he had still been a child and at the beginning, it had frightened him to suddenly be confronted with a world that drowned him in an ocean of sounds, as if he would turn deaf the very next moment.
His Master had always been strict. Would such a man take the time to comfort a child? No, he had only been interested in what heights these children could attain in their cultivation. Thus Mei Chao Bing had been left to his own devices, forced to come to terms with this new situation all on his own. He had managed to make his way through that period but he couldn’t help but wonder if he would have taken it better if there had been somebody there for him. Somebody who comforted him and carefully guided him. That type of thing … in his mind, this was how a good Master should be.
Well, his Master hadn’t been and instead remained strict until the day he betrayed the sect. But it seemed that Elder Baili wasn’t the type of Master he had imagined either. He was … probably too soft on Yun Bei Fen, sparing him from even the slightest struggle. These two … maybe they should have sat down and talked things through. That way, their disciples might have had it better in the end.
But whatever their Masters had done or hadn’t done … he wanted to be there for Yun Bei Fen while he went through this. He didn’t want him to go through this alone.