To be honest, these experiences were making them wait quite a bit. For the whole first round, they didn’t happen upon a single beast that was any kind of threat to them. No, instead, if there was one, then it rarely had any awareness and might just be munching on some herbs, making their task a bit more difficult because it was not that easy to tell what kind of spiritual herb you had in front of you if half the leaves had been bitten off. But other than that, there really was nothing.
“I guess there aren’t any traps around here at all.” The disciple that had already complained before couldn’t help but speak up again when they had finally finished the first round and were on their way slightly deeper into the realm.
Yan Chang glanced at him and then seriously pondered the question. “If there are traps, they will likely be further into the realm. Still, stay on the lookout. It could be that we got lucky and didn’t trigger anything yet.
“Also, don’t forget: This realm can be entered by anyone. Someone of our level might not even register as a threat to the demonic ancestor who created this realm. It is very well possible that some of the traps that are in here would only react to somebody of a higher cultivation level.” Saying so, she turned to look at the three people following at the back of the group.
She didn’t need to say anything to She Fen who was supposed to accompany them just in case something bad happened, but Hua Lin Yu and Xiao Li counted as members of the group even if they were a bit older. “Senior martial brother Hua, senior martial brother Xiao, this means that the two of you should be especially careful. Better keep your eyes peeled.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded, already having done so the whole time. This experience, it wasn’t quite as exciting as he had imagined it to be compared to his travels with Xin Lan before, but he was happy that he could look out for himself. In fact, he would’ve liked it even more if there wasn’t his second senior martial brother directly walking behind him. It might not be as bad as traveling with Xin Lan in terms of the help he would get, but it still meant that he had a safety net that other cultivators didn’t.
Meanwhile, Xiao Li glanced at Hua Lin Yu and figured that he should use the opportunity to build some more goodwill to stabilize the situation. “Don’t worry about it, junior martial sister Yan. You probably know that I was a part of the Hei Dian Sect before. At that time, I learned quite a bit. Especially when it comes to traps made by somebody of the demonic sects, I am probably the one who would notice them first. In fact, if you do happen upon one, I might be able to disarm them.”
Yan Chang inclined her head, even though she wasn’t quite sure if this was how the mission was intended to go. Thinking of that, she turned to She Fen. “Senior martial brother She, in regard to this, I do understand that senior martial brother Hua is a part of our group, but does the same go for senior martial brother Xiao? He definitely has more experience than we do.”
She Fen pondered, not quite sure what to say either. In fact, his Master hadn’t really given many instructions. “Well, I’d say don’t rely on him too much but since the Sect Master sent him along, I guess she will have had her reasons.”
Yan Chang nodded and then turned back to the front, motioning for the disciples to follow again.
They moved forward at the same pace, not too slow but also not hurrying along like some of the other groups.
This time, it didn’t take a long time before things changed. They found some traces on the ground that indicated that some creature had moved past here, but it was hard to say in which direction it had gone.
When it came to beasts, they were actually something that was difficult to deal with. Not just in terms of fighting them but also in regard to whether you could bring yourself to do so.
There were spiritual and demonic beasts, and all of them had the chance to one day turn into another form that couldn’t be distinguished from human cultivators at first glance. Even apart from their appearance, they were similar to humans, really, just that instead of ascending to the immortal realms, they would gain their other form by doing this.
Knowing that, it really was difficult to fight them because it was almost like having to fight another human and that was something that young disciples already had trouble with. It was alright when demonic cultivators attacked them first because then, they could say that they were evil and they were mostly defending themselves. It meant that the other side had had a choice.
But with a beast, it was different because you didn’t know how much awareness they already had. They might just be acting out of instinct. Unfortunately, many of them were ferocious and would attack you on sight so oftentimes, the disciples wouldn’t have another choice no matter how hard it was for them.
As such, especially young disciples weren’t always sure how to go about it when they encountered the first one. Sometimes, the answer to that question was made in just a split second because they did not have another choice. And many of them had a guilty conscience for a long time afterward.
The group stopped when they found the traces, all of them thinking about maybe needing to make such a choice soon. The Jian Yi Sect put a lot of effort into not just teaching the disciples how to cultivate and fight, but also into educating them on the history of cultivation, the different creatures one could find in the mortal realm, as well as the little that was known about the immortal realms and races.
As such, the disciples all had some awareness about these matters and were somewhat prepared for what was to come. It was just that no amount of theoretical preparation could prepare you for everything.