Back at the camp, nobody had even an inkling of what had just happened. They still assumed that Shen Lei and the others were on their way back to the sect and that maybe in a day or two, they would hear back from them. Thus, the Elders quietly sat together, looking at the list of names of the disciples currently in the border region, trying to figure out how to group them up now that another three of the disciples couldn’t be sent any longer.
Making this decision wasn’t that easy. There was no problem letting Yuan Lei lead a group. He had proven that he was worthy of doing that at the very latest when he was out with Yang Wu Huang and opposed the way he went about things. The problem was that there simply weren’t enough people.
Since they already knew now that the demonic practitioners were able to switch between places rather fast, they couldn’t take any chances. And it seemed like a pretty big risk to let the other disciples out in smaller groups. In fact, they felt like they should have them form even bigger groups.
After a while, Elder Xing rubbed his forehead. “To be honest, maybe we shouldn’t let them move out at all. With how things stand, I’m afraid that the danger is too big. We still haven’t figured out their plan and we might not even have found everything. I mean they have one cave full of transportation arrays that we previously did not know of even though we had a lookout here for years. Who is to say that there won’t be another one somewhere else? I don’t think we should rest easy just because we have discovered something.”
Baili Chao sighed at that. “I can’t disagree with that. In the current circumstances, it might indeed be better not to do this. In fact, it might be best to send the younger disciples home and leave this to the older ones.
“Maybe we could have a few of them remain here to get some support. For example, while Yuan Lei’s level isn’t quite as high as that of some of the others, I think he is still a valuable addition.
“It’s mostly those younger disciples like Fen’er, Kui Min, or Yi Ju that are the problem. They can’t keep up. Even if they have other skills that they can make use of here, just their level alone is a problem.”
Elder Xing nodded as well. “True. Although on the other hand, there is strength in numbers as well. With more of them there, they can support each other and every skill is valuable here.”
The two of them fell silent and finally figured that most likely, they should leave it up to the disciples. Things were getting rough. That was a matter of fact. It wouldn’t be strange if the younger disciples were afraid. And in this situation, this mission wasn’t a learning opportunity anymore but a real danger. So maybe it would indeed be better to let those go back that were worried about their safety.
Having decided on that, Elder Baili left Elder Xing’s courtyard and instead returned to his own where Yun Bei Fen and Mei Chao Bing were once again training. Looking at the two of them, Elder Baili sighed deeply. He could already imagine how this would play out. If he told Yun Bei Fen that they wanted to send the younger disciples home, he definitely wouldn’t be happy. And he would insist on staying with Mei Chao Bing.
Well, he did have to admit that Yun Bei Fen had learned quite a lot. It had only been a few weeks here but had already made more progress than he had in the last few years in the sect. Or, well, at the very least, that was the case skill-wise. He definitely couldn’t complain about his disciple’s speed of cultivation. It was just that he wasn’t well-rounded enough.
Thinking of that, Baili Chao couldn’t help but look at Mei Chao Bing.
The disciple had been cultivating but when he realized that the Elder was looking at him, he opened his eyes and then got up, walking over. “Elder Baili.”
Baili Chao sighed and patted his arm. “You’re doing well, Mei Chao Bing. You also taught him quite a lot.”
Mei Chao Bing raised his brows in response. “I assume the Elder means to say that there is something going on?”
Elder Baili smiled wryly. “Is it that obvious? Ah, I can’t deny it. I just talked to Elder Xing. Things are changing here and they are changing fast. Or maybe rather than that, they changed long ago but we are only now getting privy to that information. It makes us feel that it wouldn’t be a good idea to keep the younger disciples around for much longer. Since we’ve already ordered the older disciples here, it would probably be best to send the younger ones back home and then focus on the investigation of the transportation arrays. I’m a bit worried about Fen’er.” He motioned over to his disciple, distress showing in his eyes.
Mei Chao Bing also looked over. He could imagine why the Elder was worried. Yun Bei Fen really wasn’t well-suited to be in the border region. He didn’t think that he would want to leave though.
Elder Baili sighed yet again and turned back to Mei Chao Bing. “I’m afraid he’ll refuse when we tell them to go back. He wants to stay with you which I can understand. You’ve always been the most important to him.”
Mei Chao Bing couldn’t help but give a faint smile. “Well, maybe there is some kind of compromise that could be found.”
“I don’t think there is in this situation. In any case, I don’t think it is safe to send them out any longer.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded at that. “It certainly isn’t but that isn’t the only thing that can be done in the border region. I think that there are also things that could be done here at the camp where the younger disciples might be able to play a valuable role. Maybe there’s even one that Yun Bei Fen could take.” In fact, he might be able to already think of something.