The time it took from the cave with the arrays to the Zhen Yan Sect wasn’t that short. Since the disciples were flying there themselves, it naturally couldn’t be done in a short time. But the same was true for the disciples investigating the places the arrays led to. After all, they needed to be careful over there so as to not run into too much trouble. Also, if they only look a casual look around, it wouldn’t really help the sect so they would naturally be more diligent. The more information they could bring back, the better it would be for their side after all.
It took a few hours until the next group of disciples returned, adding the information they had gotten to what was already known by now. Then, everybody once again sat to the side, waiting for the rest to appear. The groups returned one by one, oftentimes several hours between their arrivals.
Zhi Guan wasn’t in a hurry. Even though the appearance of this cave system with the arrays made things seem direr, this place had been here for a rather long time already so much was for sure. In that case, any undue haste wouldn’t help. What hadn’t been taken care of until now would still have another day before they needed to deal with it.
Another half a day went by until the last disciples finally returned. Compared to the others, this group seemed to be the one that had gotten it worst. Their clothes were in disarray and some of them had scratches although there weren’t any injuries bad enough to make anyone believe that they had directly gotten into a fight.
Zhi Guan still went over to inquire immediately. As it turned out, while they hadn’t gotten into a fight, they had indeed almost run into demonic practitioners which was much worse than what most of the others had experienced.
“What exactly happened?”
The disciple in the lead of the group grimaced and everyone sat down to discuss. “Well, the place we landed at seemed to be some kind of gathering place of theirs. There were all kinds of disciples that seemed to be part of different sects. The whole place was swarming with them. Once we got there, it was a constant struggle to stay hidden. That’s why we are in this condition. We didn’t fight and stayed out of sight but it wasn’t always that easy.”
Zhi Guan nodded, feeling that this was to be expected. In their own territory, the demonic practitioners naturally had an advantage since they knew what was what. On the other hand, their disciples not only needed to find out about this place but also evade the people around them. It couldn’t have been easy. Compared to that, the other groups like them who only needed to investigate a place but hadn’t actually encountered anyone definitely had had it much easier.
Zhi Guan pondered for a moment, thinking back to his own experience when he went to rescue Kui Min. “Was there anything special that you noticed? About their behavior I mean?”
The leading disciple shook his head. “Not as far as I noticed, no.” He turned to look at the other disciples but they also shook their heads in the same fashion.
“Well, the only thing is that there were quite a lot of patrols but I think that is not that strange if it is something akin to a headquarters, right? It’s just that I felt that with every five steps, we would happen upon another group. It seemed a little … over the top.”
Zhi Guan narrowed his eyes. That was a completely different experience from the one he had had. Back then, there had hardly been any disciples around. And those that had been there had also shown off these openings. He had already thought back then that it was deliberate and this matter just seemed to prove that he had been right.
But then again, he also couldn’t help but feel that maybe this was also just a show for them. Like Mei Chao Bing had said before things were a little too easy so far. Maybe the demonic practitioners really were trying to lure them into some kind of trap. He always needed to keep that possibility at the back of his head. “Were able to find anything despite that? Something about their headquarters?”
The disciples looked a little embarrassed. “Well, it’s not that we didn’t find anything but I’m afraid it’s not much. And we’ll need to a moment to put everything down in writing.”
Zhi Guan nodded and motioned for them to go ahead. In any case, consolidating what they had found was currently the most important. Each detail that they could still remember might be of help later on. If they spoke any longer and the disciples forgot something, that would really be too bad.
The leading disciple nodded and the lot of them started to quietly discuss what they remembered from the layout, as well as made notes of what else they could think of.
While they were discussing, Shen Lei went to Zhi Guan’s side, lowering his voice. “They had pretty much the complete opposite experience of what happened on our side.”
Zhi Guan nodded. “I can’t help but feel that this is also just something that the demonic practitioners want us to know. They were likely not far away keeping an eye on what we were doing.”
Shen Lei nodded but he also didn’t know what exactly to make of this. In any case, without knowing at least something of their plans, it was hard to find out anything. Unfortunately, to find out their plans they needed to find information and distinguish what was real and what was just a show for them.
This was putting them in a conundrum. He was afraid that the more they tried, the more difficult it would get. At the very least, it currently looked like that. And he really didn’t know what they could do to change that.