Song Mu was naturally right. As soon as he was out of sight, Mei Chao Bing turned around and knocked on the door again.
“Come on in.” Elder Baili looked up and motioned for Mei Chao Bing to come over and sit down. “I already thought that you would probably come here to speak with me. So, what is it that you want to say?”
“Elder Fa said that she would send people to the Zhen Yan Sect to ask for more people. I was wondering if we should also do so. But now, Elder Xing is gone. Will it be difficult to contact the sect?”
Elder Baili leaned back and looked at him pensively. “You already told me before that she asked for this. Naturally, I will make some accommodations. I guess that isn’t really what you are worrying about.”
Mei Chao Bing furrowed his brows and then lowered his head. To be honest, he wasn’t completely sure how to frame his thoughts. “Well, I also think that we need more people. But I’m afraid that this alone might not be enough. I think that Elder Fa also felt that we are being targeted deliberately.”
Baili Chao looked at him, not averting his gaze at all. “With us you probably mean yourself. You think your Master is after you somehow.”
Mei Chao Bing hesitated but then nodded. “I can’t say what exactly it is that makes me think this but I believe that there is a certain chance that it is true. Elder Baili will certainly remember that back when the whole incident was investigated, I admitted that my Master had asked me to join him at the Wu Yun Sect. So I think that maybe this was his plan all along.
“He thought that I would be ostracized to the degree where I would not be able to stand being in the Teng Yong Sect any longer. He thought I would betray our sect and follow him there. But I didn’t. So his plan did not work out as he had imagined. Now, we are in a situation where he will need to come up with something else if he still needs me as part of this plan.”
Baili Chao nodded slowly but kept quiet.
Mei Chao Bing waited for a moment but finally couldn’t help but speak up again. “I know that this might sound far-fetched. I’m just one person. What could he gain from this? And to be honest, I don’t know it either. But I still think that it is the case.
“Back then, my Master picked me up from outside the sect. This is not necessarily his usual style. And yes, while I showed talent, I think that he also paid more attention to me than to some others that weren’t necessarily worse. The expectations he had of me … maybe he was just strict in general but I believe that he had a goal in mind at that point in time already.
“I think that rather than betraying us, he might’ve been a spy all along. And maybe he was training disciples like me to follow the same path. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the disciples that vanished before and after he killed Elder Wu have either changed sides as well or have been killed off. I’m the only one that is left on the side of the Teng Yong Sect.”
Baili Chao nodded. “In fact, I don’t think that what you are saying can be considered far-fetched at all. I can’t say for sure what he is currently aiming for but it would make sense. Just think of the current situation: We could say that your problem is that Yang Wu Huang dislikes you and has an eye on Yun Bei Fen. But at the same time, it could also be that somebody is targeting you from the outside.
“Isn’t it strange that Yang Wu Huang’s group of all the others actually came to find that array and were attacked as soon as they did? And that one of the disciples was not only taken captive but also led to see your Master? I think they deliberately let Kui Min glean some information in the hope that it would be spread around back in our camp so people would doubt you.
“You said quite right that you were ostracized and that this might have driven you out of the Teng Yong Sect. Maybe your Master is turning up the heat. It’s just a pity for him that with how things went in the past few weeks, you were actually able to pull some people to your side. Now, he will have a much harder time to actually make others stop believing in you.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded. “I guess it is true. On the other hand, there’s still no guarantee. I’m afraid we can’t say for sure if they would still believe me if there was talk about how I was in league with the demonic practitioners and that this was heard on the other side directly where it could be counted as first-hand information.”
“Let’s leave aside for now whether he could manage to somehow drive you out of the Teng Yong Sect. What is the end goal? Putting in so much effort for a single person … Why is he doing it? His other disciples could be used for whatever he needs. So why you? Why doesn’t he get a new disciple? Is there anything special about you that he could be interested in?”
Mei Chao Bing furrowed his brows. “To be honest, I’ve never thought about it that way. If you ask me like this, I do have to say that I don’t think there is anything. My talent isn’t low but that can be said for quite a few people. And quite a few of my senior martial brothers weren’t any worse than me. I also don’t have any special constitution as far as I’m aware. So why me? It doesn’t make sense.”
Baili Chao nodded but he was a little absent-minded. Why him? That was a good question. And he was afraid that he might slowly be realizing where this was going. Maybe Elder Feng actually knew about what the Sect Master had told him about. Maybe he knew that Mei Chao Bing would be the key to whether the Teng Yong Sect would rise or fall. In that case, he was trying to make use of the fate that was attached to him. He was trying to make him leave and then gain his help and strength. It would make sense.
The question would be: How did he want to make use of Mei Chao Bing? Did he even know anything more than them? He probably should if he had been able to come up with a plan to use Mei Chao Bing for this.