Cen Fu looked at the boy in Yu Jin’s arms and then up at his senior martial brother’s face. “This is …?”
“A disciple of our sect.”
“Ah?” Cen Fu’s eyes widened. “How … How do you know? Do you know him?”
Yu Jin glanced at him before he motioned at Jing Yi. “He’s wearing the sect robes, isn’t he?”
Cen Fu leaned down and his expression turned subtle. “It … looks like it?”
It was a bit hard to tell though. The sect robe of the outer sect disciples was rather nondescript since it lacked the cloud pattern that the robes of the inner sect disciples had. Furthermore, Jing Yi’s robe was slightly dirty.
Originally, when he had been traveling with Qiu Ling, he would take the time to wash his robs regularly, making sure that they always were in a pristine state just as he had always done it in the sect.
After all, while he had realized long ago that his grandfather had told him nothing but lies and there was no need to be afraid, he just couldn’t help but still instinctively feel disgusted when seeing dirt. He felt that it already was an accomplishment that he was able to gather branches or stones from the ground for their fire pit. If he didn’t have to, he wouldn’t do that either.
Now, Qiu Ling wasn’t with him though. There were neither additional robes that he could change into nor any opportunity to wash the one he was wearing. He didn’t have the time for these things either and had felt that he should hurry as much as possible. Thus, after hurrying for one evening and one morning, as well as sleeping on the ground thanks to the fact that Qiu Ling had been the one carrying their blankets, his robe had turned a dusty gray, making it hard to associate it with the white robes of the Yun Zou Sect.
Cen Fu looked at Jing Yi’s face a little more closely, now that he had realized that he was one of their people. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him. Have you?”
Yu Jin looked at Jing Yi as well but kept quiet for a while. In the end, he put him down on the ground. “He doesn’t have anything with him. I’d guess he’s out of energy from walking this distance and not eating or drinking anything.”
“Oh!” Cen Fu rummaged through his bag and took out a water gourd. He carefully grabbed Jing Yi’s neck and tilted his head back before opening the gourd and trying to make him drink.
Meanwhile, Yu Jin looked around as if looking for something.
“What’s the matter, senior martial brother Yu?”
“We’ll know for sure when he wakes up but I’d guess the other person should also have been a disciple of our sect.”
“So no wandering practitioners. Maybe they were on a mission?”
The two of them fell silent. Finally, Cen Fu couldn’t take it any longer. He put Jing Yi down, closed the gourd again and then got up, inching closer to Yu Jin. “Senior martial brother … What do you think we should do now? Just wait until he wakes up? If he collapsed from exhaustion, then maybe we should bring him somewhere else.”
“Then what about the other disciple? If things are as we suspect, then the other one will be hurt and need our help. But we’ll need his help,” he motioned at Jing Yi on the ground, “to figure out what exactly went on and where the other one could be. If we bring him somewhere else, he might not be able to point us in the right direction.”
“I guess that’s also true.” Cen Fu looked at Jing Yi with a worried expression. “When do you think he’ll wake up?”
Yu Jin gave him a look.
“Uh … I’m sorry. I shouldn’t ask so much.” Cen Fu embarrassedly rubbed his neck and looked away. He had also come to realize that Yu Jin liked it quiet. He was probably annoyed with his chattering.
Yu Jin looked around and then motioned to the water. “Maybe we should douse him with water?”
Cen Fu hesitated but finally went over to scoop some up. When he turned around to bring it over … he looked at the drops falling to the ground, leaving almost none in his hands. He looked up at Yu Jin with an embarrassed expression.
Yu Jin looked at him for a moment before he turned to Jing Yi. He used his spiritual energy and a few drops of sparkling water materialized at his fingertips. He flicked them gently and they landed on Jing Yi’s face, washing a bit of the dust away and making his eyelids twitch. Yu Jin waited for a moment and then did the same again.
Jing Yi’s eyelids twitched once again and finally, he opened his eyes, looking up in confusion.
Cen Fu hurried back to them and picked up the water gourd, offering it to Jing Yi. “Junior martial brother, you should drink a bit first. You probably didn’t have anything in a while, right?”
Jing Yi stared at him in a daze and only then noticed that Cen Fu was wearing the white robe with the cloud pattern he knew from the Yun Zou Sect. “You —” He wanted to speak but his voice cracked on the first word.
He awkwardly looked at Cen Fu and then gingerly took the gourd, taking a big gulp. He had indeed not had a sip of water in a long time. After all, he had traveled to the sea with Qiu Ling right after their lunch when their moods had been low. After that, they had practiced the whole time so he didn’t think of it. His mind was even more preoccupied when that disaster happened. And after that, he had been alone with nothing but the sand below his feet and the sea to his side. There was no drinkable water close by and he carried none with him since Qiu Ling had always been able to conjure some up and felt that it was inconvenient to bring some around with them.
Yu Jin barely waited for him to finish before he spoke up. “Can you tell us what happened on the other side of the sea? And where the other disciple went?”
Jing Yi looked up at him with shock. They had been on the other side of the sea but didn’t know where Qiu Ling was? Then … that meant that something had indeed happened to him!