After handing the copy of the map to the other group, the three of them also left, following the path on one side of the array and telling all the groups they found to return to the place where they had originally set off as soon as they finished with whatever it was that they were currently investigating. The group leaders all acknowledged and finally, Mei Chao Bing and the other two returned to that first cave themselves.
When they arrived, Zhi Guan and the others were already there, standing around the array with grim expressions. Mei Chao Bing glanced at the disciples, trying to see whether any of the other groups had already returned.
Just when Mei Chao Bing looked over, Shen Lei had also turned towards them and slightly raised his brows, his gaze pensive. Wasn’t this the attitude of somebody checking out a love rival? It would be best if he could sort this out immediately instead of waiting before they returned to the Teng Yong Sect. Otherwise, the conflict might escalate. Thinking of that, he patted Zhi Guan’s shoulder and then strode over with a smile that definitely didn’t reach his eyes.
Mei Chao Bing couldn’t help but be a little startled. At his level, he naturally had a certain intuition in regard to the people around him. And this person … while he wasn’t radiating any killing intent, there was definitely a hint of hostility in the way he carried himself.
Mei Chao Bing didn’t quite understand where this was coming from but he still trusted his subconscious. If he felt that there was some dislike, there probably was. In that case, it was best to tread cautiously. Maybe he could find out what this was about and find a way to deal with it.
Thus, when Shen Lei arrived in front of him, Mei Chao Bing cupped his fists and inclined his head. “Senior martial brother Shen.”
Shen Lei raised his brows. “Oh? So you do know who I am.” Well, if he wanted to go after somebody’s lover, he should have a good grasp on the identity of the people involved so this wasn’t that strange. He just wouldn’t have thought that Mei Chao Bing would be this forthright to immediately admit to it.
Mei Chao Bing didn’t quite know what to make of that. “Well, senior martial brother Shen might not remember but I accompanied you and senior martial brother Zhi on several missions when I was younger.”
Shen Lei slowly nodded but his gaze didn’t warm at all. “So it was like that.”
Mei Chao Bing could still hear a faint dislike in his voice. He couldn’t help but wonder just how he deserved this. Had he done anything that might have upset this senior? Thinking back, he really couldn’t remember. Back then, he had been pretty young. Even if he did something wrong, he didn’t think that somebody would hold a grudge against him for such a long time. And then they had only met again today and had not even exchanged a single word. What could’ve gone wrong?
Finally, Mei Chao Bing’s expression turned a little subtle. Maybe that was it? Maybe Shen Lei was angry because he actually hadn’t come to talk with him? He wouldn’t have thought that in the beginning but it was the only explanation that somewhat made sense. After all, from what he knew, Shen Lei cherished his lover very much and that lover was Yun Bei Fen’s senior martial brother. Maybe it was expected for him to go out of his way to come and greet him considering how close these two martial brothers were?
Since he couldn’t find another explanation, Mei Chao Bing could only give it a shot. He tried to smile a little apologetic and cleared his throat. “I hope that senior martial brother Shen isn’t angry that I did not come to greet you. I know that considering our relationship, that might have been the right thing to do but I did not want to delay the mission. Right now, I thought that it should take precedence.”
Shen Lei slightly raised his brows. He had no idea what this guy was talking about. “The relationship between us?”
Mei Chao Bing’s lips parted but he didn’t quite know how to explain this. Apparently, he had gotten this wrong. But that made the whole thing only more difficult to deal with. In the end, he could only grit his teeth and still explain no matter how strange it might sound. “Well, considering that your lover is my fiance’s senior martial brother … but maybe senior martial brother Shen doesn’t care about that.”
Shen Lei blinked his eyes, dumbfounded. “Your … fiance?” Luo Lin was Elder Baili’s third disciple. After him, there was only one junior so if Luo Lin was supposed to be this guy’s fiance’s senior martial brother … that only left one person. “You mean Yun Bei Fen?”
Mei Chao Bing nodded. “Yes. Elder Baili’s youngest disciple.”
“Huh.” Who would’ve known. It seemed that he had gotten this wrong. This Mei Chao Bing wasn’t after his lover. Instead, he had probably just been looking over because he considered him to be … family? He wasn’t quite sure what to count this as but that term probably came closest. Well, in that case, he wouldn’t mind humoring him a bit. He reached out and patted his shoulder, actually giving a smile. “Ah, you don’t have to worry about it. Of course, I wouldn’t be angry because of that.”
Mei Chao Bing slightly raised his brows. That sense of hostility he had felt before had completely dissipated as if it had never existed in the first place. He didn’t really understand but he was still happy about the outcome. Thus, he just lowered his head and gave a faint smile. “If that is so, then I’m glad.”
Shen Lei just laughed, feeling a little embarrassed that he immediately thought of the worst. But then again, it really was difficult imagining anything else considering everything he had already experienced in the past. Being the lover of such an outstanding beauty definitely wasn’t easy.