Yuchi Bing Xia took another look at the person on the ground and finally picked up the jade pendant hanging from his waist. He had first wanted to take the sword but then he felt that it wouldn’t be right. A man that had held onto his weapon until he took his last breath should be allowed to hold onto it after his death as well. And even though it might have given Yu Jin a sense of security to see and maybe hold his Master’s sword, there would be other ways to achieve that. Seeing his Master’s pendant was enough to confirm that he had passed on. For now, that would need to suffice.
“Let’s go back then.” Yuchi Bing Xia turned away and went back to where they had left Yu Jin, his disciple silently following behind him.
Wu Min Huan couldn’t help but be worried about how Yu Jin would take the news. He himself had always admired his Master very much. Just imagining that something might happen to him made him feel desolate. Just how much worse would it have to be for Yu Jin when he saw his Master’s jade pendant? Never being able to see the person that had painstakingly taught him all these years ever again … It might hurt even more than the physical injury he had received. And with this one, there was no way to heal fast and nobody would be able to help him either.
Yu Jin looked up once they got closer. His eyes didn’t hold much hope from the beginning and when he saw the jade pendant, they dimmed even further. He lowered his gaze, his expression unreadable.
Yuchi Bing Xia accelerated his steps, arriving in front of the youth in a mere moment. He knelt down and reached over, gently taking his hand and putting the jade pendant inside. “This should have been your Master’s?”
Yu Jin didn’t answer and just looked at the pendant.
Yuchi Bing Xia sighed. It was no wonder that he couldn’t react immediately. It must be a huge shock to be confronted with the fact that the person he had looked up to for years was suddenly dead. From now on, he would be alone and without guidance, much more vulnerable in front of threats like the demonic sects.
Yuchi Bing Xia patted his arm to console him. “He fought valiantly. It’s just that there were too many of them and that they never play fair. You can be proud of him.”
Yu Jin still kept quiet, making Yuchi Bing Xia sigh yet again. Ah, maybe he wasn’t good at coaxing disciples anymore. It had been too long since he took one in. He could only turn to Wu Min Huan with a hopeful look. Maybe his disciple would have an idea?
Wu Min Huan knelt down on Yu Jin’s other side. He had never been in this type of situation and didn’t know how to comfort him either. Thinking about how he would feel if he was suddenly left alone and couldn’t go to ask his Master for advice anymore, he felt that it would be best to give Yu Jin something to look forward to. With a goal in mind, he would at least have a direction again, wouldn’t he? “This seems to have been a fierce fight but we didn’t find all the demonic practitioners yet. How about we bring you to the Yun Zou Sect first? You can recuperate for a while more while we investigate the situation of the demonic practitioners. Afterward, you could go with some of our disciples and avenge your Master.”
Yu Jin still kept quiet but his hands clutched the jade pendant tightly. His brows drew together and finally, his lips parted. “Avenge? I’m afraid I won’t be of much help.”
Yuchi Bing Xia and Wu Min Huan glanced at the injury to Yu Jin’s stomach. Well, thinking of it like this he might be right. He had been injured badly and his Master had tried to lure those demonic practitioners away for all they knew. Even if Yu Jin recuperated until he was at full health again, he wouldn’t be able to win against them in a fair fight.
Wu Min Huan inwardly chastised himself. He hadn’t thought this through well enough. Now, Yu Jin was feeling even worse. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to …” In the end, he only shook his head. Whatever he said now would be wrong.
Yuchi Bing Xia sighed. “Alright, let’s not talk about that for now. Do you want us to bury your Master here or should we send his body back to his family?”
Yu Jin looked up at that and his gaze roamed through the forest as if he was trying to decide whether this was a good resting place for his Master. “Let’s bury him.” He made to get up again but Yuchi Bing Xia pushed him down once more.
“You wait here with Wu Min Huan. I’ll go and get his body. There’s no need for you to strain yourself.”
Yu Jin hesitated but finally nodded and stayed behind with Wu Min Huan while Yuchi Bing Xia went to fetch the cultivator’s body. Standing in front of him and imagining what Yu Jin would feel when he saw that his Master had been attacked from the back and finally killed not because of the fight but because of an evil trick, he felt indignant. He started to tidy up the body, making sure that there was no blood left on his face and rearranging his robe so that the cuts weren’t obvious at first glance. Only then did he carry him back to the place where the other two were waiting.
He carefully put him down next to Yu Jin and waved at Wu Min Huan to help him dig a grave a little further down the path to give Yu Jin some time to bid his farewell. The two of them worked hand-in-hand. Not even half an hour later the grave had already been completed.
Yuchi Bing Xia glanced back and found Yu Jin staring at the ground in front of his Master’s body. He couldn’t help but sigh. It seemed this child blamed himself for what had happened and, well, if not for him, then maybe his Master would have had the chance to escape. But as a Master himself, Yuchi Bing Xia knew that keeping your disciple safe was much more important than saving your own life. At the very least, that was what he believed and he was sure that Yu Jin’s Master wouldn’t have thought any different. Otherwise, things would have turned out different.
He went over and lightly touched Yu Jin’s shoulder. “Let’s start?”
Yu Jin nodded and got up. This time Yuchi Bing Xia didn’t try to hold him back either. He carefully picked the body of his Master up again and carried it over to the grave, quietly burying him with Wu Min Huan’s help. Then the two of them stepped to the side, giving Yu Jin another moment.
The youth looked at the grave with a blank expression before he finally knelt down and bowed. “I’m sorry.” He didn’t say anything more and just got up again, turning to Yuchi Bing Xia.
The Sect Master nodded at him and the three of them left the forest together, returning to the Yun Zou Sect.