The message that the demonic practitioners had finally made a move spread in just a few minutes. All the disciples of the Teng Yong Sect did as they were told and returned to the town as fast as they could.
Unfortunately, even though they hurried, not all of them were of a very high level and they were in the border region, after all. Even though they hadn’t happened upon any so far, this was still the realm of the demonic practitioners. Thus several of the groups met with a mishap along the way.
Half a dozen disciples were hurt and one of them didn’t manage to make it back at all. So far, they didn’t know if this disciple was just lagging behind or if they hadn’t made it out of the fight alive. They could only wait and hope that the disciple would turn up after all.
This hope wasn’t very big though. After all, the rest of the disciple’s group had managed to make it back already and even though they had been separated on the way, their starting point had been the same. It was strange to think that one of them would lag this far behind.
With this gruesome truth in front of them, all of the disciples were in a gloomy mood. Whether it was the one that had likely died or the ones that had been injured, they had known them for years. In fact, quite a few of them had grown up together. Nobody wanted to see this kind of ending.
Elder Baili and Elder Xing also didn’t show a good expression. Just yesterday there had been the first piece of news that came back from the disciples. Mei Chao Bing had also warned them that the disciples weren’t well-equipped for this kind of task. And now, just one day later, it seemed that his words had been proven true.
The disciples really hadn’t been equipped with enough knowledge and experience to deal with this on their own. Now, the Teng Yong Sect had to pay the price. Not only had they lost a disciple, but the investigation had also been given away. If they notified the other sects later on, this would likely lead to a lot of trouble. Nobody wanted to be the cause of this matter.
Elder Xing cleared his throat and addressed the disciples. “What happened today was a tragedy. We underestimated the strength of the demonic practitioners and one of our disciples had to pay with their life for that. Now, our future investigation will become even more difficult. From now on, you must work even more closely together to ensure each other’s safety. This kind of tragedy can’t repeat itself.”
Most of the disciples nodded and looked at the ones they had been sorted into a group with, searching for a sense of security. There were some that didn’t want to let matters go that easily though. “How could something like this happen just a day after we found out about those arrays? Could it be that we walked into some kind of trap?”
Yang Wu Huang barely managed to repress a smile. Indeed, did they walk into a trap? He glanced at the disciple next to him, urging him to speak up.
The disciple grinned but then put on a worried expression just a moment later. “That’s true, ah! I can’t believe that this is a coincidence. We should investigate this. Who was the one who found that array? Maybe there’s some kind of hint they could provide?”
The other disciples looked over in astonishment. “What do you mean who was it? Wasn’t it your group that found that array?”
The disciple raised his brows as if in surprise. “How could it be us? We’ve also been here for two weeks with you. Wouldn’t it be strange to suddenly be able to find something this big?”
When the disciple emphasized the two weeks, the others couldn’t help but glance in the direction of Mei Chao Bing and Yun Bei Fen. Two weeks … Indeed. All of them had been here for two weeks but they hadn’t found anything as if there was no clue to be had. But then, these two appeared in the camp and the very next day, there was suddenly an array before things went downhill another day later. Could it be that all of this was part of a plan?
In the front, Elder Baili closed his eyes and sighed. He had thought that with what he had said the other day, the disciples would be a little slower in accusing Mei Chao Bing. But it seemed that he had hoped for too much. The prejudice of many years couldn’t be undone by just a single speech. If nothing had happened, then maybe this kind of impression could be kept up and slowly reinforced over time. But now that only a day had gone by and something this terrible had happened, there was no way that would work.
Before he could think of anything to say to calm the disciple down, the others already joined in, demanding an explanation, some even outright accusing Mei Chao Bing of being the person behind this.
Mei Chao Bing didn’t say anything and didn’t look at any of them either. Anyway, whatever he said, they wouldn’t believe him anyway. Right now, he had gone back to being the disciple of a traitor. No, he had rather turned into a traitor himself. What would his word count for?
Mei Chao Bing didn’t speak, but somebody else did. Gongsun Chen furrowed his brows and then stared the person that had brought the two weeks up. “So after being here for two weeks, you weren’t able to find anything even though Yang Wu Huang’s level was the highest among all of us. Then I really wonder how you could think that this might be a trap.
“Anyway, if it was a trap, nobody among us would’ve been able to notice if it was. It clearly has to have been laid down by somebody with a much higher level. Who knows if the person wasn’t somebody at the peak of the core formation stage or maybe even one of the demonic faction’s nascent soul stage Elders?”
Mei Chao Bing glanced over, a sliver of hope appearing in his eyes. It had only been two days but Gongsun Chen actually spoke up for him. Sure, his name hadn’t been said yet and he couldn’t say for sure whether this would still be the case if the accusations became harsher but it was sure nice to see that somebody was at least willing to try.
Even if Yang Wu Huang continued to make trouble, just seeing this was worth it. It was just a pity that somebody had lost their life for this kind of matter.