The Sect Master felt that this suggestion was very good. It would make the most use of their disciples’ talents and also gave the outer sect disciples something to look forward to again. This wasn’t bad. In the best case, they would be able to take care of these demonic practitioners that had made trouble for them before and even in the worst case, they would at least have enough information to deal with them later on.
With that in mind, Yuchi Bing Xia thanked Grandmaster Zhangsun and then turned to leave. Halfway out of the study, he couldn’t help but turn back once again though. “Grandmaster …”
Zhangsun Xun Yi looked up from the table and raised his brows. “Is there another matter?”
Yuchi Bing Xia hemmed and hawed for a while before he finally brought up what had been bothering him before. “Well, you have also taken in a disciple so you can probably imagine some things better now. You see, I’m worried about what I should do with Yu Jin.”
Zhangsun Xun Yi hesitated. Even though he had thought before that he didn’t want to get involved and just let Yuchi Bing Xia deal with matters on his own, if the Sect Master asked him, that was still another thing altogether. “Why are you asking? Did something happen?”
Yuchi Bing Xia came back to the table and sat down again, sighing deeply. “It’s not that something has happened. In fact, it’s more that nothing is happening. You see, this matter with Min Huan is just one of the things. He doesn’t just not interact with him. I’ve never seen him interact with anyone else either. Even today, when I went to see him in the outer sect, there was somebody with him but he hardly acknowledged him. They weren’t talking when I came in. Yu Jin was just painting while that person sat next to him. He’s also not talking to me.
“I just think that … I should do something about this. As his Master, isn’t that my responsibility? I can’t let him suffer in silence, can I? So … What would you do if this was your disciple? I’m pretty sure you don’t have many problems with him but maybe you’ve run into some issues as well, especially in the beginning?”
Zhangsun Xun Yi looked away and poured himself a cup of tea. To be honest, that so-called disciple of his was one big problem all by himself. He had taken somebody in that he couldn’t even teach. It was even somebody of another race. How was he supposed to give Yuchi Bing Xia advice based on that?
Still, some things could be plainly seen by somebody who wasn’t involved in the matter, regardless of whether that person had been in a similar situation before or not. “Have you ever talked to him about whether he or not he is actually suffering?”
Yuchi Bing Xia looked at him confused. “What do you mean? He lost his previous Master. And in such a cruel way as well. Naturally, he will suffer from that. Isn’t the fact that he can’t get along with anybody proof of that?”
Zhangsun Xun Yi took a short moment to collect his thoughts before he looked back up and shook his head. “I wouldn’t be so sure about that. To be honest, I almost doubt it.
“Wu Min Huan has always been somebody who is very outgoing. He likes to spend time with the other disciples, teaching others and in general just getting close to people. But Yu Jin is a person of his own. He might not be like that. Maybe being this closed-off is more because of his original personality than what he went through. Have you ever considered this?”
Yuchi Bing Xia didn’t know what to say in response. “If it was just a bit, I wouldn’t be worried. But isn’t this too much? In this world, nobody will be able to live on their own. If he is unable to make any friends, then what will happen to him later on? I won’t always be there to help him along. What then? What if he gets into trouble?”
“Then that will be an experience for him to learn. Just like it is for every other person as well. Maybe it will prompt him to be more open with others. Maybe he will persist in his current ways. But you won’t be able to force him to do something that he doesn’t want to. You shouldn’t try either.
“If he is to open up, then it will be on his own terms. That is nothing you can change. Neither you nor anybody else. Otherwise, the consequences might not be what you imagine. In fact, what if by trying to force him onto a path that isn’t his, you make him even more estranged from you? Wouldn’t that be worse?”
“But how could he be even more estranged? He never talks to me. I don’t know if he has any problems or not.”
“Then maybe that is because he doesn’t have any.” Zhangsun Xun Yi put down his cup and pushed it aside, folding his hands on the table. “I don’t know him well. You do. In these five years that he spent here, has he ever encountered any problems with his cultivation or in his sword practice that you’ve seen? Have you ever witnessed anything like that?”
The Sect Master’s expression turned awkward. “No …”
“Then what kind of problem do you want him to come talk to you about? There isn’t anything. He is doing well. Don’t try to create problems where there are none. I’m sure that if there’s something he wants to talk about it, he will approach you. But if there isn’t, that there’s no point in him opening his mouth, is there?”
Yuchi Bing Xia nodded slowly, quietly thinking back to the previous situation. Today was probably the day he had heard Yu Jin say the most in five years. But it was also the first time that Yu Jin had had a valid reason.
He had been worried about the others. Maybe even about his own life. So he hadn’t held back in stating his opinion even though it contradicted what his own Master said.
Thinking of it that way, it truly was just as the Grandmaster had said. There was nothing wrong with the way Yu Jin behaved. It was just that he was expecting him to be like Wu Min Huan when he clearly wasn’t. It was his own fault for making such assumptions.
Yuchi Bing Xia rubbed his forehead. “I see. It seems I’ve really been worried over nothing. I’m sorry for bothering you with this.”
Zhangsun Xun Yi shook his head. “It’s nothing. We are one sect. We should take care of each other. Now, I guess it would be best for you to go and prepare for that mission. There’s still a lot of decisions you’ll have to make yourself. I can only give you some input on this.”
Yuchi Bing Xia nodded and got up again, this time really leaving the Grandmaster’s palace and returning to his own.
Yes, he should take his time preparing everything. Then, he could have another talk with Yu Jin. If he was right, then maybe Yu Jin would indeed speak up if he had some thoughts on this. That would also be a good opportunity to get closer as Master and disciple.