Mei Chao Bing turned to look at the Sect Master and faintly raised his brows. “Then, what should I do now?”
Zhang Guan Yu reached over without looking and patted his shoulder. “For now, you should do what I told you to do this morning: Go and lie down for a bit, get some rest, and regain your full strength. You’ll need it. The next few days and weeks won’t be easy.”
Mei Chao Bing sighed, not quite sure if he would actually be able to rest. After everything they had found out, he couldn’t help but be anxious. He would be much happier if he was able to do something to slowly get rid of all of their disadvantages and close the gap between their side and his Master’s.
Hearing that sigh, the Sect Master finally looked over after all and then pulled him closer, his gaze turning serious. “There’s nothing you can do right now, Chao Bing. You’re far from the border region, we don’t have enough information yet, and the device isn’t finished. You can’t change either of those things right this instant. So the best course of action is to not force yourself any longer and just take a bit of a break.
“A few hours won’t make a difference in our situation. Right now, we need time to work on all fronts. By tomorrow evening, Yan Hong Min will have finished that prototype and we can do another test to see if it is working as intended. The Elders also will have sent over the rest of their reports and there will have been enough time to go through everything. By then, you can return to the border region. Right now, you can’t yet.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded with a heavy heart. “I know. I just … I feel useless like this.”
Zhang Guan Yu gave him a deep look but his expression softened bit by bit. He understood why this meant so much to Mei Chao Bing. But the problem was that no matter how responsible he felt and how much his own life would change depending on the outcome, it didn’t change the current situation.
He sighed himself and then patted Mei Chao Bing’s shoulder again, trying to reassure him a bit. “You need to wait until tomorrow, that can’t be changed. But, well, if you want to, you can help me go through the reports. The Elders should start sending them over in the morning so there’ll be a lot to do. I could use the help. And after we’re done, it might already be time for you to return to the border region.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded, feeling that this was better than nothing. “Thank you, Sect Master Zhang. If there are any other tasks, please tell me.”
Zhang Guan Yu gave a hum and then motioned to the door. “I will. Now, don’t delay any longer. The earlier you get some rest, the better. That way, you will be more productive tomorrow.”
Mei Chao Bing inclined his head before bidding farewell and went back to his own place.
Stepping into the courtyard of the house where he had lived almost all of his life, he couldn’t help but feel a bit odd. It hadn’t been that long since he spent time here, and yet, he had the feeling that it had been a different life. Really, these days in the border region, as hard as they were and as much as he worried, they had changed so much.
He shook his head at himself, closed the door behind him, and went into the house, once again looking around.
The last few years had mostly been spent in isolation, always cultivating and rushing to the next level. He had really only gone out to inquire about Yun Bei Fen and to go and see the Sect Master to report on his progress. The actual meaning this place held … he was afraid that there was none.
He sighed and then went to bed, not even bothering to cultivate and just straight-up lying down to get some sleep just like Sect Master Zhang had told him to. In any case, it was true: He would need his energy.
If he wanted to go back to the border region and confront Mu Qing, he needed to keep in mind that there was a certain chance that he wouldn’t be willing to cooperate. Instead, he might attack him. Then, he would need all his strength to make sure that he kept his life.
After all, even though he was talented, even though he had made it to the nascent soul stage, he still wasn’t as good as his senior martial brothers just based on age and experience. Whether it was to Qu Yijun or Mu Qing … without help from outside, he wouldn’t be able to win over them. And while senior martial brother Yan’s device could help him check out the situation and make sure there wouldn’t be even more obstacles, just winning over that one person would be difficult enough.
Mei Chao Bing furrowed his brows when he realized that his thoughts were once again circling around the same problem, and he finally pushed it away, evening out his breathing until he finally fell asleep.
But just when he thought that he would get a few hours of rest, it turned out that he had thought too beautifully. Because suddenly, the silence around him was broken by the sound of the wind and the darkness turned into a forest, the ground beneath covered with leaves from the previous year while he was surrounded by trees on all sides, no direction discernible.
Mei Chao Bing raised his brows, a bad premonition in his heart. This place … it wouldn’t be one created by those special abilities instead of a simple dream, would it? And if it was, who was the one who had pulled him into this? Somebody from their side … or somebody from the other?