The group followed the paths from Xi Ju Hai’s map, realizing that she really hadn’t been off about any of the lines. Well, even though it was bad that this was the case in general, it was good in so far that they had at least reported back the right information. It also allowed them to get to the middle of the array in a short amount of time.
When they reached the spot that Xi Ju Hai had marked, they found themselves in a bigger than usual cave. There was still a group of disciples on the other side that was apparently quietly discussing their own findings. They couldn’t quite hear what they were saying but the murmur of the voices drifted over, faintly echoing from the walls.
Zhi Guan and the others glanced over but they didn’t go over immediately. If the others had found something, it was best to let them investigate a little more. That way, they might be able to find some additional clues. As for them, they could already have a look around to find what they were searching for.
Zhi Guan waved for them to spread out and start searching in groups of two.
Xi Ju Hai and the disciple of the Zhen Yan Sect exchanged a glance and then went off together, while the other two disciples of the Zhen Yan Sect formed their own group and only their leader turned to look at Zhi Guan instead. Shen Lei glanced at her but since Elder Xing had brought the Zhen Yan Sect disciples over and they were supposed to help them, he finally teamed up with Liu Bao Ru despite not knowing her as well.
Mei Chao Bing found himself together with Song Mu again. He gave him a slightly longer look but didn’t say anything. They just picked a direction and then went to investigate. In any case, they had gotten along so far. While he still had a few misgivings about him, they were able to work together. That was all that counted for the time being. As for anything else … well, they didn’t need to be best friends. That time was long gone.
Song Mu didn’t say anything either and the two of them just quietly worked together.
This time, things weren’t as straightforward though. At least at the place they had chosen to investigate, they couldn’t really find any further clues. Either they had just picked the wrong spot or there wasn’t anything to find here. Everywhere was just the raw, untouched stone. There was no trace of spiritual energy, no array, no tunnel that they were able to find without taking anything apart. And since there was currently no clue as to a specific direction or place, they didn’t dare to give that a try.
In the end, Song Mu gave a sigh. “Looks like there’s nothing here. Should we move on?”
They had moved a little further to the side but not diverged too much from the position where they had originally been. Mei Chao Bing looked around and then nodded. “How about checking the walls first and then going further inside? That way, we will at least have something to orient ourselves with.”
Song Mu nodded. Since they weren’t familiar with this place it was indeed better to go about this in an organized way. Otherwise, this might really lead to major trouble. If they missed even just one spot and it happened to be the one they were searching for, then what were they supposed to do? No, they’d rather not risk that.
The two of them continued along the walls but there was no change at all. They just weren’t able to find any clues at all.
Soon enough, they came close to the other group of disciples that had been standing on the other side and discussing. Mei Chao Bing couldn’t help but glance over. He also recognized a few of these disciples but there was no one that he had any particular relationship with in any direction whether it was a good one or a bad one. Thus, he retracted his gaze and then just continued to search but their voices still drifted over.
The other disciples seemed to be looking for clues themselves. From what they could hear from where they stood, they had also noticed that there were small tunnels underground but hadn’t figured out what they were for. Other than that, they had also drawn a map. Most importantly, they had tried to figure out where exactly the arrays were leading. Unfortunately, while they had two disciples among them that were a little more knowledgeable in regard to arrays, it seemed that they couldn’t compare to Xi Ju Hai. They had only managed to get a rough estimate of where these arrays would lead. And even seemed to be unsure in regard to some of them.
Song Mu and Mei Chao Bing exchanged a glance and finally didn’t go over. Zhi Guan hadn’t told them to share their findings with the other group, so that was what they should do. If Zhi Guan wanted to change that, he would either do so himself or tell them to go ahead. Since he had kept quiet, they just continued to work until they reached the place where they had originally started.
They once again looked at each other and then turned around to see what the others of their group were doing. Looking around, they found them spread throughout the cave, checking either the ground or ceiling. Xi Ju Hai and the disciples from the Zhen Yan Sect were looking at something in the middle of the cave.
“They said that the middle was the place we were most likely looking for. The precise middle might be what it finally turns out to be.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded. “Yes, that could very well be the case. Should we go over?” In any case, Xi Ju Hai had originally been working with them. And even if there was nothing they could do to help with, they could just stay to the side silently so as to not disturb them.
Song Mu nodded and the two of them went over. As soon as they got closer, they saw that there were some faint lines on the ground that Xi Ju Hai and that disciple were studying. Most likely, this was exactly what they had been looking for.
Xi Ju Hai glanced up when they came closer and raised her brows. “Any luck?”
Mei Chao Bing shook his head. “We searched all the walls but there was nothing to be seen there. We didn’t dare to damage anything though so it could be that we overlooked something.”
She nodded and then motioned at the spot on the ground. “To be honest, I think that what we have here is already the solution. We are not exactly sure how it works yet though. We’ll need a bit longer for that.”
Mei Chao Bing and Song Mu nodded and then just stood to the side as they had intended. Soon enough, the other disciples also came over and Song Mu updated them about what Xi Ju Hai had said.