Baili Chao looked at what was clearly one of his second disciple’s inventions and his lips twitched. “How is that supposed to help?”
Honestly, he didn’t mind Zhi Guan’s fervor for the sword arts. It was out of the norm but it had made him an excellent sword cultivator. While he did mind his third disciple’s penchant for couple cultivation a bit, he could still accept it because it had helped him improve his level by leaps and bounds and he usually picked up a skill from each of those men and could get them to protect him as well. It might not be very orthodox but it sure helped with keeping Luo Lin safe. His second disciple though … he had always had some doubts about him.
When he picked Yan Hong Min up, he had known that this child was a troublemaker. The frequent pranks he played on the other disciples in the sect had proven that time and time again. Thankfully, he was also smart so his chances of cultivating successfully actually weren’t all that bad. It was just … how come he never used those smarts to actually learn skills or improve his cultivation base?
It was as if he had taken in two opposites with Yan Hong Min and Yun Bei Fen. One was so smart that cultivation should be easy for him but yet, he still hardly made any progress. The other really lacked in the brains department but he was uniquely motivated and put in enough effort to at least acquire a stable cultivation base throughout the years even though his skill level was despairingly low. What had he done to deserve these disciples?
Either way, his hopes for his second disciple weren’t high so seeing one of his inventions in Mei Chao Bing’s hands right now, he really didn’t know how it was supposed to help. He couldn’t imagine that it would be useful.
Mei Chao Bing smiled faintly and handed the paper duck over to Zhi Guan. “Elder Baili might remember that I brought several of these back from my visit to the Teng Yong Sect. They can be used to transmit the voice of a cultivator to another person also holding a duck like this.
“The distance they can cover is almost as far as the sect grounds of the Teng Yong Sect are big. So I was thinking … Senior martial brother Zhi could take a female disciple back to play the part of his ‘sister’ as the disciples of the demonic sect urged him to. He could bring her to see senior martial brother Mu and then hand him one of these paper ducks. Meanwhile, senior martial sister Xi could wait outside and speak to him like this without being found.
“We’ve investigated the underground palace before and senior martial brother Zhi just went on patrol. I’m sure he could think of a place where she could wait safely. Even if there isn’t any truly secure place, she could wait at the edge of the distance the duck can cover and turn to flee if she is spotted. It should give her enough time to talk to my senior martial brother.
“Even if he can’t see her, just her voice might be enough to convince him. After all, since he left the sect back then, they haven’t had any direct contact. Knowing him … I don’t think he could harden his heart if he was really confronted with her.”
Yes, he actually had no doubts about this. Mu Qing wasn’t like Qu Yijun. He was an emotional person. He had followed their Master because he owed him his life or at least that was what he thought. At the same time, their Master had never succeeded in making him stay unconcerned with the other disciples in the sect.
Mu Qing had had good friends, his fiancee, and he had also loved him who was his youngest junior. He had been well-adjusted in the sect. Such a person … could he really stay indifferent when he suddenly heard the voice of his fiancee and knew that she was close by?
Baili Chao looked at the paper duck in his first disciple’s hands and had to admit that this might not be such a bad idea. “It might work. Although I’m not sure if we should really let Ah Guan take another disciple along. It’s difficult enough for one person to survive over there. If he really takes somebody else along, it’ll only bring danger to two people.”
Truth be told, he didn’t want Zhi Guan to go either but he knew that they needed this information. Mei Chao Bing’s guesses were incredibly likely to be true but with stakes as high as this, he didn’t dare to gamble. They needed Mu Qing to confirm this.
Zhi Guan also nodded. “The plan should work. Taking somebody along might indeed be dangerous but … maybe it’s also an opportunity.” He glanced at his third junior martial brother and thought of how he was usually treated when the disciples of the four great righteous sects came together.
Even though Luo Lin had a certain reputation already, the others would still constantly underestimate him, allowing him to win the competitions almost easily up to a certain point. If he took somebody along who looked as nonthreatening as him but who was actually a considerably strong cultivator, then that could be used for surprise attacks in certain moments or to gather information more easily from other sources.
Since he had said that he had a younger sister, he needed a female disciple for this. Oftentimes, they were even more underestimated than disciples like his third junior martial brother so it shouldn’t be difficult to pick one out that fulfilled this criterion. As for somebody who was strong enough to make a difference though …
Zhi Guan tried to think of all the female disciples currently in the small town. Xi Ju Hai couldn’t be taken along for obvious reasons even though she was the strongest one among them. After her, the best bet should be … “How about Liu Bao Ru?”