Song Mu waited for the disciple to leave them alone and then turned to Mei Chao Bing. “What are your thoughts?”
Mei Chao Bing slightly furrowed his brows, his expression pensive. “I’m not sure if Elder Cai will find something but I’m sure that somebody will. There’s no way that only the Teng Yong Sect will find clues.”
Well, that was unless his Master was targeting only them which also wouldn’t be that bad of an idea looking at it from the perspective of the demonic practitioners. After all, if they managed to discredit the Teng Yong Sect, then an imbalance would soon be reached on the righteous side. That way, the demonic practitioners could probably benefit the most.
Song Mu slightly narrowed his eyes at Mei Chao Bing’s expression. “Did you think of something else?”
Mei Chao Bing hesitated for a moment but finally sighed and explained. “We have been here for several weeks. So far, it seems like no clues other than the map of our Teng Yong Sect and the symbol of the Jian Chu Sect were found. Both are clues that were discovered by disciples of our sect. If the others can’t find anything else, then who will that make look suspicious?
“It could be that this was a ploy to make the other righteous sects question us so that working together in the future will be more difficult. That way, the demonic practitioners might be able to isolate our Teng Yong Sect while also weakening the other sects that will have lost one ally. It would be an evil but smart plan.”
The other disciples’ faces all darkened. The one to finally speak up was Liu Bao Ru. “To be honest, something like this would fit the demonic practitioners. But I’m afraid that if this is really the case, then there’s nothing that we can do. We already would’ve stepped right into that trap.”
Song Mu nodded slowly. “I’m afraid junior martial sister Liu is right with that. I guess that our Elders might have also been worried about something like this happening but then again, what are they supposed to do? Finding something like this, they also can’t keep it to themselves. So whether this is a trap or not, we did have to inform everyone. We can only take it one step at a time and see what we can do to counter them when we find out what exactly is going on.”
Tan Xin looked from Song Mu to Mei Chao Bing and finally Liu Bao Ru and couldn’t help but question. “But … this is just a conjecture, right? We can’t be sure that this really is their plan. Maybe … Maybe they didn’t think of this.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded. “That is right. Right now, we can’t be sure of anything. I’m just thinking that maybe this would be the worst-case scenario. Even if it isn’t the case and these things we found are somehow related to all the righteous sects, it might not be as bad. After all, we always knew that they were targeting us. It isn’t something that’s any news to us so we would be prepared for that. We’re not prepared to doubt each other though.”
The other disciples fell silent, feeling a bit like they were being called out.
Tan Xin lowered her head before she looked back up at Mei Chao Bing. “I’m sorry, senior martial brother Mei.”
Mei Chao Bing raised his brows, not quite understanding what was going on. “I’m afraid I don’t understand. You didn’t say anything wrong.”
Tan Xin’s cheeks flushed red and she lowered her head again. “It’s not about that. I meant about before. To be honest, I was a little scared of being in the same group with you before. But after getting to know you, I realized that it was just my own prejudice that made me be like this. I … I really shouldn’t have thought like that. And I’m sorry about that.”
Mei Chao Bing looked at her, not quite sure what to say. “That …” He fell silent and his expression was a complicated one. This was something that he really needed to hear. But finally being given the opportunity, that was a little strange as well. It made him feel a bit apprehensive as if … Now that this dream had come true, now that people were once again seeing him for who he was and not for what his Master had done, that things would only get worse again from now on. It was probably a worry without reason but he still couldn’t help himself but feel this way. “It’s alright. I guess you had your reasons for that.”
Tan Xin nodded. “I had my reasons but … they were the wrong ones. And I feel that I apologize for that is also important. I know that this can’t make up for what happened before. But in the future, if something happens again and people speak out against you, then I will be there to help you. I promise you that. That’s the least I can do.”
Yun Bei Fen’s expression lit up and he excitedly turned to Mei Chao Bing. This was awesome! Now, Mei Chao Bing finally wouldn’t be rejected anymore. He reached over, excitedly grabbing onto Mei Chao Bing’s sleeve.
Mei Chao Bing had already given a faint smile when Tan Xin said so and his expression turned even softer when he saw Yun Bei Fen’s excitement. He reached over and patted his head before turning back to Tan Xin. “Thank you, junior martial sister Tan. I really appreciate this.”
She gave a smile in return. “It’s the least I can do.” She really felt this way. Thinking back now, while she hadn’t talked about it and had just kept her fears to herself, she also hadn’t done anything to help him.
If she was somebody who trusted in the people on their side, then she should have at least stepped out when others were doubting him and should have told them that if there was no evidence, they couldn’t just suspect somebody.
It was the same whether the one in question was Mei Chao Bing or anybody else. Otherwise, the righteous sects’ side … really couldn’t call itself righteous at all. Not any more than the evil side could at least.