Mei Chao Bing rushed to the caverns at the fastest speed possible. He didn’t even take the time to check the surroundings and just rushed ahead blankly.
He knew he shouldn’t do this. If the demonic practitioners had prepared an ambush of that scale and killed several disciples, then it was likely they were taking the gloves off. He might get into a similar situation. But right now, he couldn’t care less. If there was one person that he could save from his Master’s schemes, then he would do anything necessary to do this.
To this day, he still thought back to that moment when he had found Elder Wu dead in his Master’s house, and wondered if there had been anything he could have done. If he had been there just a bit earlier, maybe he could’ve warned the Elder of what was to come. If he had been just a bit faster, maybe he could have sounded the alarm early enough so that Sect Master Zhang and the other Elders could have stopped his Master. Then, things would be completely different.
He couldn’t change the past. He knew. No matter how often he thought about it, Elder Wu would stay dead, his Master would have fled the Teng Yong Sect and joined — or rejoined rather — the Wu Yun Sect, and they would still be here in the border region with several dead and a gravely injured disciple.
He knew all that. But he also knew that he could still change the future. Senior martial brother Shen could still be saved. The demonic practitioners and his Master could still be stopped. And if he had to forgo his own safety to do either of those, he wouldn’t hesitate to go ahead. He didn’t care if he got hurt while doing so, he just wouldn’t be able to take it if he didn’t do his utmost. And right now, saving time was what he needed to do to help the most.
He reached the cavern in less time than he had ever needed and barged right in. He immediately spread out his spiritual sense and then rushed to where he could sense people ahead. Thankfully, he had remembered the layout so he didn’t run into any dead ends.
When he stepped into the cave, Zhi Guan wasn’t among the disciples though. Mei Chao Bing cursed but still rushed over, recounting what had happened in a couple of sentences. “Where is senior martial brother Zhi? We need all the resources that can currently be spared.”
The disciples exchanged a distraught look. Shen Lei was well-known in the sect. If there was a way to help him, they all wanted to do so. But at the same time, they were currently at the most dangerous place in the border region. And who knew if the demonic practitioners hadn’t planned exactly something like this?
Maybe leaving somebody alive so that all of them needed to gather their resources and hand them to Mei Chao Bing was precisely what they wanted. Mei Chao Bing might be ambushed on the way back so that neither would help arrive for Shen Lei nor would they have something to fall back on if they were hurt. Even if the demonic practitioners used that opportunity to attack them, wouldn’t they still be without help for themselves?
Mei Chao Bing saw them hesitating and clenched his fists. To be honest, he couldn’t fault them for this. Contrary to those disciples back at the camp and him and Elder Baili at the time when they found Shen Lei, these disciples currently had a need for those resources. Wanting them to give that up was asking a lot.
If it was him, he probably still would’ve done it but he had been trained to get out of situations without needing to rely on pills or potions. He had a completely different confidence in himself than most disciples.
He closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. “Senior martial brother Zhi?” He couldn’t argue with them right now. And he couldn’t rely on just whatever they would be able to give him in the end. No, right now, he needed to find a person who would be willing to help out.
He was sure that Zhi Guan would do so. For one, he was friends with Shen Lei so wanting to save him would be more of a priority to him. Then, there was also the fact that he had been given resources by Elder Baili both privately and for the mission so he definitely would have some to spare. It shouldn’t be a problem. This also meant that this was his best chance.
“He should be at that underground palace again with the disciples of the Zhen Yan Sect.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded and then already wanted to rush over to the array in question when he turned back around. “If any of the other groups come back or if you do have the people to send a message, please ask them if somebody is able to spare some resources. Even if every person just gives one thing, it might be able to save Shen Lei’s life. Please, think about it.” He didn’t wait for a response and just rushed to the array, arriving at the underground palace after just a moment.
Looking around the huge hall, he cursed again. He still remembered the places they had looked at the last time but he didn’t know where the others were now. Since a lot of time had passed and they were here for the second time, they might be looking at the other floors but it would be hard to tell which one just based on his guesses alone. And while the spiritual sense could cover quite some distance at the nascent soul stage, it wouldn’t be the whole palace.
Both meant that he would have to waste time searching for them. Time that he didn’t have. This whole matter, it was more getting more complicated than he had hoped it would.