“Careful.” Yuchi Bing Xia held onto Yu Jin and helped him to sit down again. “I’m afraid you’re in no condition to go search for him. How about this? You wait here and focus on treating your injury while we go and have a look around the vicinity. If you were attacked here, your Master should still be close by. He wouldn’t have abandoned you, would he?”
Yu Jin kept quiet, his brows furrowed in a mixture of pain and worry. In the end, he shook his head.
Yuchi Bing Xia patted his shoulder with satisfaction. Mn, this type of obedient disciple really was the best. If he and his Master were wandering cultivators, then maybe he could convince them to join the Yun Zou Sect together. Nobody said that he himself had to take in Yu Jin as his disciple. He would also welcome a Master with a talented disciple. Having more Elders wasn’t a bad thing and with Yu Jin’s achievements at such a young age, his Master shouldn’t be too shabby either. Ah, helping those two in times of need might just be a lucky coincidence for their Yun Zou Sect.
Yuchi Bing Xia got up and waved at Wu Min Huan. His disciple nodded and followed him further down the path. They had come from the other direction and not noticed anything so Yu Jin’s Master shouldn’t be there. The only question was how close was he by? It was possible that he had tried to lure the demonic practitioners away to save his disciple. So he might be in another part of the forest. Even the other side of the Long mountain range wouldn’t be unimaginable. It depended on his level and that of the demonic practitioners.
Wu Min Huan glanced over his shoulder at Yu Jin who was sitting on the ground with a pale face. “Can we really leave him alone? What if the demonic practitioners come back? He wouldn’t stand a chance against them in his current condition.”
Yuchi Bing Xia nodded with a grave expression. “I’m worried about the same thing. He can’t accompany us though and it wouldn’t be safe either to leave you with him. Let’s just look around close by and see if we can find any traces. Then we can decide whether to follow them or bring him back to safety first.”
The two of them walked further away from Yu Jin, keeping their gazes trained on the sides of the road. Either they would find Yu Jin’s Master there or they would find the bodies of the demonic practitioners. In the latter case, Yu Jin’s Master should return on his own to look for his disciple.
They didn’t need to go far to find the traces of the fight. Deep furrows lined the ground, trees had snapped off and barred the way deeper into the forest. The dust that had been stirred up by the fight covered the entire area, making the shrubs look dull and gray. It seemed as if all life had been sucked out of this part of the forest.
Yuchi Bing Xia sighed. It seemed Yu Jin had been lucky that only his spirit veins had been blocked and that he had received only one injury. If he had gotten mixed up in this fight, then even if they had found him sooner, they might not have been able to save him.
“Alright, let’s see if his Master is here. If you see one of the demonic practitioners … If it is somebody you can handle, then you can apprehend them so we can question them later. If not, then make sure you’re alright first of all.”
Wu Min Huan nodded and the two of them split up, each going in another direction to see if there was anyone left from the fight.
It had barely been a few minutes when Wu Min Huan stopped in his tracks. In front of him was the stump of a tree that had snapped in half. There were still splinters protruding into the air like a collection of natural weapons. Behind the stump, a corner of a white robe could be seen. It seemed he had found Yu Jin’s Master and their worst imaginations had come true.
Wu Min Huan took a deep breath and stepped around the stump. The rest of the trunk had fallen into this direction and the person wearing the white robe was trapped beneath it. Wu Min Huan’s brows drew together. The person still held a sword in one hand and with the way the sleeves were ripped in several spots, it was likely they had already fought for a while.
Wu Min Huan turned around and lightly called out. “Master. I think I found him.”
Yuchi Bing Xia got up from where he had been examining the body of a demonic practitioner and joined Wu Min Huan on the other side. Looking at the righteous cultivator on the ground he sighed. This would be hard to explain to Yu Jin. Never mind losing his Master, losing him this way was even worse. This kind of death was unbecoming of a person that had held onto their sword until the very last moment.
Yuchi Bing Xia unsheathed his own sword and cut through the trunk with a swift motion. He blasted that the treetop away with his spiritual energy and carefully lifted the lower part of the trunk, rolling it to the side to free Yu Jin’s Master.
Taking a closer look at his body a number of cuts across his back were exposed.
Wu Min Huan furrowed his brows. “These despicable bastards! They actually attacked him from the back.” He shook his head in disgust but it wouldn’t change anything about the fact that Yu Jin’s Master was long dead.
Yuchi Bing Xia sighed and crouched down, gently closing the man’s eyes that were staring into the distance full of unwillingness. Who knew what had gone through his head in his last moments? Maybe he had cursed those demonic practitioners or maybe he had worried about his disciple that was now without protection. Maybe he had even left behind family somewhere. Who could say for sure? “We should go and tell Yu Jin. Let him decide what we should do with his Master’s body.”