With Yi Ju’s bronze mirror, they managed to ascertain what they had already guessed: The lines were indeed part of some kind of mural.
Mei Chao Bing called the other disciples over to discuss. After everybody had taken a look at it, he immediately got to the point that worried him the most: “This place isn’t very noticeable, the mural even less so since it’s on the underside. If not because Yuan Lei and Yi Ju had looked very closely, they certainly wouldn’t have found it.
“On the other hand, the demonic practitioners are sure to know where it is. Or at the very least, where they would have to look for it. That does beg the question just what this is for. I don’t think we should assume that there isn’t any reason behind this. It’s way too elaborate for that.”
The others nodded but nobody seemed to have an idea on how to proceed from here. Why would anybody hide something like this at such a place?
Mei Chao Bing pondered on his own. There had to be a reason behind this. And it was most likely tied to whatever the demonic practitioners were up to in general right now. So figuring this out might actually help with finding out the bigger plans behind all this. Without any further clues, it was difficult though.
Were there other parts like this? If yes, where were they located? Was there some kind of rule to their distribution? Would they get a whole mural if they found them? Would that explain what the demonic practitioners were up to?
Right now, the only thing they had was this one spot though. Mei Chao Bing furrowed his brows. “Did any of you see similar spots around here or in your previous areas?” He doubted it but if at least one of them had seen something, they could go from there.
Just as expected, the others shook their heads though.
Yuan Lei looked at the stone chest as well. “I think it’s unlikely that there is more than one in one place. They should be spread out over the border region if there are more of them. But even if there are others like this around, it’s unlikely anyone found them so far. I honestly wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t asked about our strengths before and would just have looked for arrays or something of the like. Furthermore, we don’t know if anybody from the other teams is able to find traces. If not, that would make it unlikely for them to have found anything.”
“True. But we should try to get behind this. I would assume that this might be some kind of sign for the demonic practitioners, some kind of marking. If each place in the border region had something like this, they could be connected. The question is what kind of other places there are that could hold one of these. Maybe if we found all the murals in the border region, we might be able to figure out what they are planning.”
Yuan Lei nodded. He couldn’t help but feel happy that Mei Chao Bing was willing to share his thoughts on the matter. It meant that Gongsun Chen’s words the other time should have changed his attitude toward this a little. Unfortunately, he couldn’t just agree. “I’m afraid that’ll prove difficult. After all, everybody has their own area to scout. We can’t just leave ours. And even if a part of a site was in our area, we still might not be able to have a look at the whole thing. Who knows if we would miss out on a clue on the other side then?”
Liu Bao Ru shook her head, interrupting their conversation. “You’re thinking too simple, senior martial brother Yuan. Why would we need to investigate everything on our own? Let’s just make a painting we can hand over to the Elders. Then we can explain the situation and they can have the others look out for similar signs in their areas tomorrow. We can also ask for their instructions on how to go about this if we don’t have access to the other sites.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded. “That is a good idea. Then I guess we should paint it? It is rather detailed though.”
Yi Ju turned to the other junior martial sister with an excited expression. “Haven’t you often drawn some herbs and stuff like that when you were on those missions before? You should be able to do this, shouldn’t you?”
The girl nodded and Mei Chao Bing handed the paper and brush to her, while Yu Ju took back the mirror and sat down next to her so that she would be able to see the mural without trouble.
After a few minutes, everybody gathered around to take a look at the painting. Without having to look at a reflection, it was much easier to study the mural. That didn’t mean it was easy to make sense of it though.
“That is …” Yi Ju looked up at Mei Chao Bing as if she was sure that he would know.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. This was, after all, only a part of the whole.
Before Mei Chao Bing could give it a try, Song Mu narrowed his eyes and stepped closer. With a thoughtful expression, he finally tapped at a part on the right side of the painting. “Doesn’t this look an awful lot like the symbol of the Jian Chu Sect?”
Mei Chao Bing tilted his head to look more closely. There was indeed some resemblance between the small symbol in the mural and that of the sect. “So this might be related to the Jian Chu Sect?” If that was true, it wouldn’t be good. It might either mean that the Jian Chu Sect was in danger or that they were somehow involved in this. “I think that we should go back to the town and report to the Elders at once. This matter is too grave to wait any longer.”
The others nodded and the group made their way back to the town, their expressions serious. Sometimes no news would be good news. Now, even though they had found something, the implications weren’t good. They would’ve preferred it if they were wrong about this.