The three of them finally reached the middle of the desert. Even Kui Min felt that something was strange by now and couldn’t help but look around uncomfortably. The waves of spiritual energy rolled past them, gathering at an inconspicuous stone.
Mei Chao Bing narrowed his eyes. This stone didn’t look any different from the others. The surface was rugged with pieces broken off at the sides and holes drilled into its depths. There was no sign of human interference, making him even more sure that it wasn’t the stones themselves that formed the array. No, it had to be somewhere below.
Mei Chao Bing grabbed Yun Bei Fen’s hand, pulling him closer just in case. “This should be the middle of the desert?”
Kui Min nodded and turned around to the two of them. “Mn. It probably is. Let’s wait for senior martial brother Gongsun and Yuan here.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded and then pulled Yun Bei Fen to the side, brushing through his hair with his fingers. “You’ve trained a lot today. How about taking a break?”
Yun Bei Fen nodded and the two of them sat down.
Mei Chao Bing couldn’t help but brush some of the sand away with his foot. Nothing could be seen below it but that didn’t have to mean anything. The desert was big. Who knew where the lines of the array would be? He held Yun Bei Fen and inconspicuously brushed some more sand away with his fingers. Once again, he couldn’t see anything.
Mei Chao Bing narrowed his eyes and brushed the sand back, trying yet another spot. This time, a faint line could be seen shimmering below. He followed it with his fingers and continued to brush the sand away, making sure that he was right.
Indeed. The line continued on and there were even some small symbols etched into the ground. It seemed he had found the real array. The stones were just a smokescreen to divert the attention of the disciples that would be sent to check.
Mei Chao Bing brushed the sand back over the lines and looked back at the stone in the middle of the array. He didn’t need to think long to understand who they owed this to.
His Master had lived in the Teng Yong Sect for a long time. He knew the Sect master, the Elders, their head disciples, and the other disciples. He knew how everybody trained and what kind of experiences they had. He had also been in charge of many missions so he knew exactly what kind of skills most of the disciples had.
Such a simple smokescreen, it wouldn’t be useful against the Elders or their head disciples but these people likely wouldn’t come to check in the beginning stages of this mission. No, to a large degree, the ones that would be sent out first would be the regular disciples under the guise of letting them gain experience. But what experience could they gain with nobody guiding them? Just look at how casually Kui Min had looked for clues! They wouldn’t learn and they wouldn’t detect what the demonic sects were doing. His Master had really planned this well.
Mei Chao Bing clenched his fists. He had known that if he went to the border region, he would sooner or later stand opposite of his Master. He just wouldn’t have thought that it was so soon. But even if he wanted to, he couldn’t deny that this plan carried his Master’s handwriting. Simple but effective. That was the way his Master had liked things to be. It seemed that despite changing sides, his habits hadn’t changed.
Mei Chao Bing took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. His Master was behind this, alright. He had long known that he was a traitor and it wasn’t surprising to find him involved in these matters. To be honest, it was quite probably to even meet face-to-face if he stayed here for a longer time. He didn’t look forward to it.
If he could, he just wanted to forget that there had ever been a person like ‘Elder Feng’. He just wanted to be a disciple without a Master, a senior martial brother of the Teng Yong Sect, Yun Bei Fen’s fiance. That was more than enough of an identity for him.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible. But since he couldn’t escape this fate of being a traitor’s disciple, he would make use of it. In the whole Teng Yong Sect, there was nobody that knew his Master better than him. Not even these Elders that had lived with him for many years knew him as well because as a fellow disciple, there were always things you could hide about yourself. But as a Master, your habits would be well known to the disciple you taught. After all, they were what you were passing on.
Now, he would use this knowledge to take his Master down. He didn’t believe that he wouldn’t be able to do that. Back then, he might have been just a disciple but now, he was a disciple in name only. His cultivation base was as high as that of many of the Elders, his experience and practical knowledge higher than that of most of the disciples thanks to his Master’s relentless effort in forming him into the perfect pawn. And after being betrayed once, he was careful and skeptical enough to see through every bit of falsehood.
That should be enough. He would use these things to his advantage. He would figure out what his Master and the demonic sects were planning and he would thwart their plans. That way, he could atone for his Master’s sins.