Yuchi Bing Xia stopped in his tracks and motioned for his disciple to do the same. The shrubs at the side of the road rustled and the faint sound of shallow, labored breathing could be heard. Yuchi Bing Xia furrowed his brows. This wasn’t how an animal sounded so most likely …
He signaled for Wu Min Huan to continue waiting and approached the shrubs. He raised his hand, ready to attack if necessary. Nothing leaped at him though and there wasn’t an attack either, only the leaves continued to sway in the breeze. Yuchi Bing Xia wasn’t in a hurry to leave though. Something was there. There was no doubt about that.
He reached out further and parted the shrubs, exposing a pale hand. His brows furrowed further. This wasn’t the hand of a child but it was human nonetheless. He couldn’t see any injuries but the skin’s complexion showed that something was wrong with this person for sure. It was so pale that a mortal might have mistaken it for a patch of light from afar.
Yuchi Bing Xia let go of the branches and instead walked around the shrub, kneeling down on the other side. He gazed at the person lying on the ground and sighed. It was a young man and the reason for the pale complexion was a grievous injury to his stomach. He had pressed his other hand against it as if to stop the rest of his blood from flowing it but the ground around him had already turned red. If they didn’t help him, he would bleed to death for sure.
The Sect Master waved at his disciple to come over. “Help me get him out of there. And careful, he’s gravely injured. We can’t let him lose any more blood.”
Wu Min Huan nodded and together they moved the person out from under the shrubs. Yuchi Bing Xia took a closer look at his face. The youth might have been in his mid- or maybe late twenties with slightly arched brows that were drawn together in pain and a pair of thin lips that had almost lost all color. They had really come just in time if they still wanted to save him.
Yuchi Bing Xia cut the youth’s belt open and took off his outer robe before he carefully lifted the fabric of the inner robe, trying not to aggravate the wound. The injury below was a clean cut as if somebody had just plunged a dagger into his body. Yuchi Bing Xia frowned. Judging from the robe this youth should be a cultivator. It wasn’t that rare for one of them to get injured but it was indeed rare to see somebody with just one grave wound and no other injuries. It was as if he hadn’t put up a fight at all.
Yuchi Bing Xia took his wrist and felt for his pulse. His brows drew together further. He could faintly feel the youth’s spiritual energy but it seemed like it couldn’t move unrestricted in his body. Most likely, somebody had sealed off his spirit veins before he was attacked. That would also explain why he hadn’t been able to defend himself. With his spirit veins damaged, he was nothing more than a mortal. Winning against a cultivator, even if it was just a disciple of the first stage, was completely impossible.
Yuchi Bing Xia took out a small vial from his robe, opened the lid and carefully sprinkled a white powder onto the wound. He glanced at the youth’s face and reached for his chest, gently placing his hand on it. He closed his eyes and imbued some of his spiritual energy, breaking through the restriction and allowing the youth’s own energy to flow freely again.
Wu Min Huan looked up at his Master. “Will he be alright?”
Yuchi Bing Xia nodded. “The powder will ensure that he doesn’t lose any more blood in the next hour. Until then, his own spiritual energy should be able to heal some of the damage.” He couldn’t help but take another look at the youth’s face.
Considering that he was a cultivator himself he shouldn’t be one of the missing children. Well, he was slightly too old for that anyway even though they hadn’t asked how old exactly they were. That had been an error of judgment on his part. He had originally assumed that the missing people should be small children but then again the old woman’s daughter-in-law had said that young people liked to explore the world. Didn’t that make it much more likely for the missing boy to be at least a teenager or maybe even a young man such as this one?
Maybe this was actually one of the demonic sects recruiting. Normal children that had a bit of aptitude with cultivation might be taken away from their villages or lured to the demonic sect through some other means. Somebody like this youth might be given the option: Either he followed the demonic practitioners back to the sect or he would be killed. Of course, no upstanding, righteous cultivator would ever agree to become part of the demonic sect. Thus he had been battered like this.
Yuchi Bing Xia sighed. Thankfully, they had come in time to save him. He truly didn’t deserve to die like this. Somebody who stood up for his beliefs even in the face of death was admirable. If their own disciples were like this …
Yuchi Bing Xia tensed and glanced at Wu Min Huan who was examining the youth’s face, waiting for him to wake up. With a slightly guilty conscience, the Sect Master reached to the side and turned the sleeve of the youth’s outer robe over. There was no embroidery and he hadn’t seen any kind of jade pendant hanging on his belt either. Most likely, this youth was a wandering cultivator. Maybe … they could take him back to the Yun Zou Sect.