The other disciples looked at each other and shifted uncomfortably. Apparently, even though the Elders had just said that he had nothing to do with the previous issue, they still weren’t quite happy that they had to work with him. One of the martial brothers even looked over to another group as if he would like to change with one of their people.
Mei Chao Bing didn’t say anything. The Elders had thought of this plan. If it didn’t work out at all, they were the ones who would need to take the order back. He couldn’t do that on his own. Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do to make the situation better. After all, would the disciples really trust what he had to say?
Just when he was wondering if he should call Elder Baili or Elder Xing over to tell them that this wasn’t working out, Yuan Lei cleared his throat.
“Well, then maybe I should just go next if nobody else wants to be the first after senior martial brother Mei?” He looked at the other disciples as if everybody had just waited to determine the sequence of who should go first and who should follow. “Then how about we just go in a circle?” Thankfully, he stood next to Mei Chao Bing so it didn’t seem too strange to make that proposition. Even if the others knew, they shouldn’t call him out on it. Yuan Lei turned to Mei Chao Bing and raised his brows to ask for his approval.
“That’s a good idea. Thank you.”
Yuan Lei gave him an understanding smile but didn’t say anything else. He also knew that Mei Chao Bing wasn’t just thanking him for that idea. More than that, he was probably happy that he was able to get out of this awkward situation.
It really was a difficult situation for him. He had made a good suggestion on how to go about all this but he was ignored because the others didn’t trust him. It seemed they could only hope that the others would be able to warm up to him fast because otherwise, this mission would actually become dangerous. After all, nothing was worse than being with a group that couldn’t work together.
If everybody wondered all the time if Mei Chao Bing would stab them in the back as soon as they turned, then they wouldn’t execute his commands or at least wouldn’t do so before questioning his motives. That would lose them time and sometimes, even a split second could decide between life and death. Especially when the demonic practitioners were close by that would definitely try to take advantage of this.
Yuan Lei quietly thought to himself that he needed to make sure he tried his best to make these disciples change their minds. That was the only way to guarantee everybody’s best chances to return from this mission alive. Thankfully, there was not only him but Yun Bei Fen too. That was already two people who trusted in Mei Chao Bing and his abilities. As for the other seven …
He glanced at all of them and nodded at everyone as if to greet them. In actual fact, he was just trying to get a feeling for them. Those martial brothers looked as if they were disgusted at having to work with Mei Chao Bing. One of them was even Song Mu, one of Yang Wu Huang’s followers. That guy might work actively against them so he should keep an eye on him.
As for the martial sisters … The oldest one seemed a little stand-offish so he didn’t have high hopes that she would be easily convinced. The younger ones reminded him of Kui Min. He couldn’t be sure but they might already start to feel better about Mei Chao Bing if they saw him interact with Yun Bei Fen and lead them without troubles for a few days.
If that was true, it would mean that there were another two people in the team that were on their side. Five people among nine wasn’t great but it was at least a small group. That was something that could be worked with. And maybe they’d even be able to somehow convince that older martial sister. It was worth a try. Anyway, they couldn’t just give up. No, they had to try everything they could. Otherwise, they’d be dead in no time.
For now, it would be best to follow along with what Mei Chao Bing had proposed. If he could make them understand through that, that his decision had been right and would indeed benefit them, then that would be the first hurdle taken.
He pondered and then tried to give the best points he could think of on the spot. “I’m Yuan Lei. I’d say my martial arts aren’t bad and I’m quite good at finding tracks and tracking them over a period of time. Of course, there are some limits to that but if we get closer to the territory where the demonic practitioners actually live, I can check if any groups of them have recently passed by. That should give us an extra measure of security. We could either move around them or make a plan to confront them without bringing danger to ourselves.
“Also, if we have to follow them to pursue some leads, this might also come in handy. We could keep away from them and just follow based on their tracks. Other than that, I’m afraid I also don’t know anything about herbs so somebody else will have to take over there.”
He nodded again to indicate that he had finished and then turned to the martial sister that was standing next to him. He made sure to listen intently to what she said. Maybe there would be a clue as to what they could use to make her and the others believe in Mei Chao Bing.