Mei Chao Bing took a shaky breath and called out again. “Fen’er?” Usually, Yun Bei Fen listened to him closely. If he told him to stay in the courtyard and practice, he wouldn’t take even half a step outside under normal circumstances. If he was now gone …
He rushed to the door of their room and pulled it open, his hands trembling. “Fen’er!” His eyes darted around the room but nothing could be seen of Yun Bei Fen. There weren’t even traces that somebody had been here since last night.
Song Mu and Da Hei exchanged a glance and followed him but Mei Chao Bing rushed past them and went to knock on the other doors, opening one room after the other. The result stayed the same though. Yun Bei Fen was nowhere to be found, the whole courtyard was empty.
Song Mu furrowed his brows. “Elder Baili isn’t here either. Maybe he took him along to do something. I’m sure nothing bad happened.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded but his heart was still racing as he rushed out of the courtyard to find the Elder. Where could they be? His mind moved and he thought of how he had seen Elder Xing earlier and heard about the traces close to the edge of the town. Yes, most likely, they had gone to investigate those. And considering that Yun Bei Fen was the person most likely targeted by the demonic sects, it was only natural that the two Elders wouldn’t leave him behind by himself. Surely, they would have taken him along.
Mei Chao Bing tried to reassure himself and hurriedly grabbed the next disciple he could find, asking about the place where the Elders had gone. This time, he was lucky and the person in question could actually answer his question so he didn’t have to randomly guess.
With Song Mu and Da Hei directly behind, he rushed to the spot where Elder Baili and Elder Xing were currently investigating what the disciples had found earlier and placing a protective array to ensure the demonic practitioners couldn’t easily enter the city and cause chaos. As soon as the three of them got closer, Mei Chao Bing slowed down, feeling as if his heart would stop beating.
He wasn’t there. Yun Bei Fen wasn’t with the Elders. There was no sign of him at all.
The two Elders naturally noticed the new arrivals. They looked up and Elder Xing who had met them earlier raised his brows. “What’s the matter? Did anything happen?”
Mei Chao Bing couldn’t respond. He looked around, hoping against his better judgment that he would spot Yun Bei Fen’s figure somewhere close by.
Song Mu furrowed his brows. By now, there was hardly any doubt left about what had happened. Still, seeing his friend’s current state, he took the lead and asked about the situation. “Did the two Elders see junior martial brother Yun when they left?”
Elder Baili who had still been working on the array raised his head, his gaze turning tense. “Why? Is he not in the courtyard?”
Song Mu nodded gravely. “It was empty when we came back just now. There was nobody in the rooms either. We had hoped …” He didn’t finish the sentence. It was obvious why they were here but clearly, it was too late.
Baili Chao slowly got to his feet. He had wanted to take Yun Bei Fen along but his little disciple had wanted to continue practicing and he had thought it wouldn’t be much of an issue. Anyway, Mei Chao Bing should soon return and it wasn’t like he would be far away. He didn’t believe the demonic practitioners could easily sneak past him.
Now, it was clear that he had been wrong. He should have insisted. If necessary, he should have dragged his disciple here kicking and screaming. Or maybe he at least should have left somebody with him. Even if it was just a slightly stronger disciple to keep an eye on him, it might have made the difference.
Elder Xing sighed. “So they already made their move.” He shook his head and furrowed his brows. “Well, we knew this would happen. It’s a bit earlier than expected but … I suppose this is officially the beginning now.”
Mei Chao Bing furrowed his brows and the hands hanging at his side clenched tightly. If it had been an hour ago, he might have been able to keep somewhat calm as well. He would have worried about Yun Bei Fen, sure, but he would have thought he’d be able to solve the situation as long as he planned well, played along for some time, and then used the right opportunity to thwart his Master’s plan.
But that had been before he realized that his Master might be the one who had misunderstood all along. Now, he knew that there was a good chance that he simply wouldn’t be able to fulfill what his Master expected of him, no matter how hard he tried. Since this was the case … how could he counteract what his Master was doing? How could he save Yun Bei Fen? It seemed like … there would be no way to handle this.
“No …” His voice was barely audible. He wildly shook his head and then repeated himself. “No. We have to get him back! We absolutely can’t let them take him to their side!”
Da Hei glanced at Mei Chao Bing’s expression. He could imagine what he was thinking. It was indeed too risky to let Yun Bei Fen fall into the hands of the demonic practitioners with what they had discovered. If they hadn’t taken him too long ago, there might be enough time to chase after them and take him back. Then, they could come up with a new plan.
His eyes narrowed. “Wasn’t the collar on that little bunny bound to you? You can use that to locate him. If it’s not too far, there is still a chance to catch them.”