RMN C98 The Key and the Ribbon

“You know him better than I. Do you believe what he says?”

Elder Baili sighed. “I definitely believe that this is what Mei Chao Bing thinks. And just looking at it from a logical standpoint, he is not wrong. It is indeed much more likely for one of our disciples to be the perpetrator behind this. That or our disciples didn’t do a good job.”

Elder Xing nodded. “That would also be one option. Well, you did say he warned you about that. So it wouldn’t be impossible either.”

“It wouldn’t and it would certainly be a better alternative for us. I don’t really want to report this kind of thing back to the Sect Master. Unfortunately, none of this is something that is good to report. Either the demonic practitioners are stronger than we think or there is a traitor among us or our disciples just aren’t fit for this mission yet. Who wants to hear that? Even if Sect Master Zhang looks like he doesn’t care on the surface, I believe he isn’t like that deep down.

“Anyway, I would like to think that we don’t have a traitor among us. Mei Chao Bing’s explanation for why Yang Wu Huang might’ve wanted to do something like this was a good one.

That Yang Wu Huang is an ambitious person. He likely wouldn’t want to see it if Mei Chao Bing was able to regain his previous splendor. He was always hailed as the best disciple of the current generation. After his Master betrayed us, that collapsed from one day to the other. He went into closed-door cultivation and not just for a short while. Since then, none of the original trust has been regained.

“But if he does manage to do that, then the position that Yang Wu Huang achieved over the years might be destroyed. After all, the old rivalry would certainly be brought up again and they would be compared. That is a comparison that isn’t very beneficial to Yang Wu Huang. It’s one he’ll most likely lose. I mean we can’t deny that his current status is also thanks to the absence of Mei Chao Bing.”

Elder Xing nodded. “It seems we’ll have to pay some more attention to him.”

“I would say the same but we should also look at other possibilities. Mei Chao Bing has been in closed-door cultivation for almost as long as Yun Bei Fen. The two of them don’t know too many people in the sect right now. And even those that they know might have changed in the past years. They aren’t really close enough to anyone to make a judgment based on their character.”

“You’re talking about Xi Ju Hai?”

Elder Baili nodded. “I doubt Mei Chao Bing even knows who she is. Otherwise, he would’ve mentioned it. Her cultivation base is also high and … well.”

Elder Xing leaned back, his fingers tapping on the edge of the table. “I don’t want to suspect her either but she would be a likely suspect. We never knew if she still had contact with Mu Qing after he left the sect. If she did … The consequences would be unimaginable. We should keep an eye on her. If this does have to do with her …”

Baili Chao rubbed his forehead. “I’m afraid if it has, Mei Chao Bing will also be in a tight spot once again. He was his senior martial brother, after all. Although that has even less to do with him than his Master’s betrayal, it will still make people talk about it again. I’m afraid that regardless of how we think and how righteous he himself is, he still won’t be able to wash his hands off this. People will talk. People will suspect things. It’s in our nature.”

Elder Xing sighed as well. “How he went about things these days was very good. There isn’t anything to nitpick. I also feel that it isn’t him. Even if there’s a traitor, it shouldn’t be him. In fact, I think that with his Master’s betrayal, Mei Chao Bing might be even more strict with himself and others. He would never betray the Teng Yong Sect.”

Baili Chao nodded but he couldn’t help but think of what the Sect Master had told him. This person would be able to either bring their Teng Yong Sect to new heights or make the sect crumble to dust.

He couldn’t quite see it when he looked at him but he couldn’t deny that Mei Chao Bing was very talented, very thorough in his approach and his thoughts. He had the mental, physical, and spiritual strength to reach the apex of the world. What to use that for … That was a big question.

If not for his relationship with Yun Bei Fen, things might have actually been different. After all, what would hold him in a sect where all he got was derision and mocking? If people treated him like this, why should he treat them as family?

He might try in the beginning but someday, his patience would run out. What had once been fond feelings for a place would turn to coldness and then indifference. Even if he didn’t work actively against them, he at least wouldn’t have tried to help anymore. Or in other words: Sooner or later, the Teng Yong Sect and Mei Chao Bing would’ve gone different paths and wouldn’t have had anything to do with each other anymore.

And in that case, maybe there would have been a threat that couldn’t be overcome without Mei Chao Bing. Maybe it would actually have to do with this plan of the demonic practitioners. Maybe the Teng Yong Sect would have to rely on Mei Chao Bing to get past this. Baili Chao couldn’t imagine how exactly that should play out but he also couldn’t deny that there might be such a possibility.

Anyway, it was a good thing that there was this youngest disciple. Maybe that was what he had felt when he found him in the town that year. Maybe he had unconsciously felt this sliver of fate that bound Yun Bei Fen and the Teng Yong Sect together.

If Mei Chao Bing was the key to the future, then Yun Bei Fen was the ribbon with which they could tie that key to their belt. Without that ribbon, the key would be lost. That was probably the most appropriate way to put.

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