She Fen heaved a sigh of relief when the five disciples appeared. He had been getting more anxious the longer they were gone, wondering what he should do if they didn’t come back by the evening. He would need to care for the other disciples first but he didn’t want for anything to happen to his little junior. Well, and there were the other four disciples as well. Xiao Li still might be able to save himself but what about the other three? No, he didn’t want to deal with such a situation.
Now, they were finally back and he felt like the boulder that had been squishing his heart finally dropped. He stepped forward, pulling Hua Lin Yu into his arms while looking at Yan Chang over his head. “You’re finally back! How were things on the other side?”
The other disciples that had been waiting with him gathered around, looking at her curiously as well.
Yan Chang gave a quick summary of what they had seen and also mentioned their thoughts on the reason behind the other side and the array, as well as their idea of how to go about this matter from here.
She Fen nodded slowly, feeling that what she was saying wasn’t too bad. “That suggestion is a good one. Right now, your level isn’t high enough to deal with unexpected surprises. Going to explore alone definitely wouldn’t have been a good idea since you didn’t know what was going on there. It’s better to get some help.
“In fact, this matter, I don’t think we should rush into it head-first and instead explore slowly.” He thought for a moment and then motioned toward the entrance of the realm. “We’re not too far from the entrance. How about you guys stay here while I go and leave the realm for a moment to inform my Master? Since we didn’t know about this mirrored realm before, she should make the decisions.”
Yan Chang nodded but then couldn’t help but shake her head. “Wait, senior martial brother She. You’re not supposed to leave us alone even on this side. I’d assume there’s a reason for that. Could somebody else send the message to the sect?”
She Fen looked at her and then glanced at his junior martial brother in his arms who was still hugging him tightly. Actually, he also didn’t want to leave him alone. And it indeed was his task to stay with the younger disciples to protect them. Leaving one half when they split up was one thing — especially with Xiao Li as a senior being in the other group — but completely leaving all of them …
He glanced at the small black fox on the boulder, feeling that maybe it really wouldn’t be such a good idea. “Well, you’re not wrong with that. Alright, then I’ll send a message to the other seniors first like you suggested. Whoever leaves the realm first with their group can bring the message back to the sect.”
Saying so, he pulled out some paper from his spatial bag, hastily writing the same message a few times, and then folding them into paper cranes to inform the others. “Alright, it’ll take some time to reach everyone depending on where they currently are. For the ones that have already left, the paper cranes will come back since they can’t get through the array. So I guess we can slowly continue to explore the realm in the meantime. As soon as we have a response from everyone, we can plan our next steps.”
Yan Chang nodded and since this matter was done, she took over the lead of the group again. She looked around first, making sure that everyone was there before she motioned for them to speak up. “Alright, I’d assume you looked around the meadow further. Did you find any further herbs from our list?”
One of the disciples raised her hand and then took out a small jade container. “I’ve found this one, senior martial sister Yan. Senior martial brother She said it was the right on.”
Yan Chang nodded, not troubled by the fact that they had asked She Fen, considering that half the disciples had been missing at that time. “Very well. In that case, let’s continue. Since we need to wait for everyone’s responses anyway, we can take our time. No need to hurry.”
The disciples nodded, and then indeed slowly went on their way.
She Fen couldn’t help but look over his shoulder, his eyes narrowing while he looked at that little black fox. He couldn’t help but wonder if it was really a good idea to leave it there. If it had anything to do with whatever was on the other side … he didn’t think it was smart to give it the opportunity to inform anyone. Who knew what would be awaiting them otherwise?
Even though they weren’t necessarily on bad terms with a lot of demonic sects, that didn’t mean that things would be the same if they stumbled upon a secret stronghold or something. No, there was some risk involved. But then, he couldn’t leave the disciples alone and also couldn’t leave one of them here to keep an eye on the beast, considering that they couldn’t quite be sure of its level.
He sighed, feeling that it really was vexing. There were so many disciples there, but in the end, it still didn’t seem to be enough. And once again, he couldn’t help but think back to the time when Xin Lan had still been around to take care of his junior.
With Xin Lan at Hua Lin Yu’s side, he definitely wouldn’t have bothered about this. Staying back on his own wouldn’t have meant much if there was an ancient dragon there looking after the disciples. Although, then again, Xin Lan probably wouldn’t have cared about the others and just abandoned them if there was any danger to help Hua Lin Yu. So maybe it was better that he wasn’t there.