As for who Zhi Guan finally went to grab … naturally, they were some old acquaintances. The first one was Taishu Min, the disciple from the Zhen Yan Sect. He knew that the risk was higher with somebody from another sect being involved but then, she had already known about Luo Lin likely having an ability. He also had to admit that he trusted her. At this point in time, it might be too early to make that decision but he simply had a feeling that he didn’t need to worry that she would make trouble for them.
The other disciples he asked to help were from their own sect though: Xi Ju Hai as Mu Qing’s fiance was an obvious choice and Liu Bao Ru who had been patrolling together with her was whisked away as well. Then, he also grabbed Song Mu and Yuan Lei, seeing as they had a good relationship with Yun Bei Fen and Mei Chao Bing.
With these five people together, he was finally satisfied. Of course, he would have liked to have Shen Lei with them as well but since he was busy helping Luo Lin, there was nothing that could be done. For the time being, their team would have to do without him.
Seeing as the guardians would return to their courtyard in the evening, Zhi Guan instead led everyone to Elder Xing’s place and asked to borrow a copy of all the materials they had gathered so far. Then, he sat down in the courtyard with everyone.
His gaze traveled from one face to the other and finally, he sighed deeply. He had thought about how to explain the matter without giving too much away while he was looking for everyone but, even now, he still wasn’t sure. “You will wonder why I asked you to come.” He furrowed his brows, feeling that it might have been better to figure this part out first. But anyway, he didn’t have another choice now. He could only go forward and hope for the best.
“Well, these past weeks, we have investigated as much as we can here in the border region. Unfortunately, while we have some guesses, there are no certainties yet. After the other side has injured and even killed several of our disciples, we have become more careful. While this isn’t wrong, I believe that we won’t be able to win this war if we simply continue like this. No, if we want to win, we need to take the initiative and we need to do it soon.
“I have thought about it and I think that the solution might be somewhere in here.” He put his hand atop the copies of the information Elder Xing had given them, his expression still serious. “There is something we have overlooked so far, something that might be more obvious than we think. I could imagine that we have stumbled over something at the beginning that we could not interpret at the time. But by now, we know more. So I suggest going through everything again and looking at each clue with new eyes. Maybe we will be able to figure something out.”
The others weren’t sure if they shared his optimism but they still nodded and everyone grabbed a piece of information, looking through it carefully.
Zhi Guan sat back down and grabbed a piece as well, his brows still furrowed. He hadn’t mentioned the guardians or the ability yet because he still wasn’t sure what he could and couldn’t say. Maybe it would be best to bring these things up later if there really was no result otherwise.
Next to him, Yun Bei Fen was surprised as well by what had happened but he simply picked something up as well and bowed his head to try and think. This might not be his strong suit but sometimes, luck could be on your side even if you weren’t as smart as the others. He strongly believed in that.
Time quietly passed. As soon as a disciple finished with a piece of information, they handed it to the next person, starting to look through something else.
When the first hour had passed, Taishu Min lowered the scroll of paper in her hand, her eyes narrowing. “In the beginning, your sect discovered signs alluding to the four sects. When we checked, we found this to be true. But so far, nobody knows why the demonic sects would have hidden those signs.”
The others turned to her and nodded. Their only guess was that this was a conspiracy supposed to make them turn on each other or simply confuse them so that they would waste time on something unimportant.
Taishu Min put the scroll with the mural of the symbol of the Jian Chu Sect and the map of the Teng Yong Sect from the stone desert in front of her so the others could see. “In the end, nobody found anything pointing toward our Zhen Yan Sect and the Li Ren Sect yet, right?”
The others shook their heads but Yun Bei Fen actually looked thoughtful. The Zhen Yan Sect … he didn’t know what might be related to them but they had found one other thing, hadn’t they?
He pursed his lips and glanced at his first senior martial brother. “What about the murals in the underground palace?”
Zhi Guan glanced at him and then thought back to that place. They had explored it in detail later on so, naturally, he had also seen the murals. He didn’t know how they might relate to the four big righteous sects though.
Yun Bei Fen saw that Zhi Guan also didn’t know and turned back to the others to make sure that everyone was on the same page and knew what he was talking about. “In the underground palace we found, there was a hall with murals on the walls. There were several of them that depicted different scenes. I didn’t look too closely but one of them was like this.” He got to his feet and put his hands together in front of his chest. “Well, there were some circles around the hands. I guess that was spiritual energy?” He still didn’t know what it meant though.
While Yun Bei Fen was lost, Taishu Min furrowed her brows though. “Actually, that reminds me of one of the healing spells our sect uses.” It was just … that was only one mural out of many. Who could tell her what the others showed? Clearly, Yun Bei Fen hadn’t paid enough attention to that.