No matter what, Mei Chao Bing spread his spiritual sense as far as he could. Unfortunately, there was no sign of the others. Cursing to himself again, he rushed over to the room where they had discovered the staircase up to the next story and rushed up the steps.
It might’ve been safer to travel around on the first floor where he somewhat knew the layout but right now, he couldn’t take such things into consideration. It was likely that the others would be on one of the floors that they hadn’t looked at before. After all, they would first need to get an overview of the whole building before it would make sense to work out the details. So he would likely find them faster if he went up there.
He rushed ahead, periodically stopping in his tracks to check his surroundings with his spiritual sense again. Almost a quarter of an hour had passed by and he finally picked up a faint but clear sound through his spiritual sense, indicating that there was someone or something ahead that was of high level. That should be the others!
He didn’t stop to think and just rushed ahead further. Finally, he slipped around a corner and indeed found somebody in front of him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t either of the people he had expected.
Mei Chao Bing and the person looked at each other and the other man slowly curled up his lips. “What a surprise, junior martial brother. You’re all alone? That’s not quite like you here in the border region. I would’ve thought you would be smarter. Or could it be that you have rethought our Master’s proposal and are finally intending to join us?”
Mei Chao Bing forced himself not to react to those words even though anger reared its head in his heart.
The person in front of him was naturally Qu Yijun. That senior martial brother of his who had once vanished because he had secretly joined the other side and most likely also the person who had almost killed Shen Lei. To say that he was disgusted seeing him couldn’t even begin to describe his feelings right now.
Qu Yijun tilted his head. “Am I wrong? In any case, seeing each other today can also be regarded as some kind of fate. Don’t you think so?”
Mei Chao Bing really would’ve liked to use his spiritual sense to check whether the others were anywhere close by so that there might be help available if he needed it but he was afraid to give his true level away to Qu Yijun.
He was able to hide it usually but that relied on being smart for the most part. As long as he didn’t use his spiritual energy or his spiritual sense, even somebody of a higher level wouldn’t be able to realize thanks to an artifact that he had been given by Sect Master Zhang after he told him about his promotion. But as soon as he used his energy, a discerning person would be able to realize that the level he projected was fake.
He himself couldn’t say exactly how strong Qu Yijun was but he was older than him by quite a few years. And from what he knew, his Master had only ever taken in disciples that were especially talented from the very beginning and then only those that showed that they would be able to live up to their prospects.
So if he had Qu Yijun change sides that long ago, that could only mean that he was one of his best disciples. It was safe to say that he should at least be at the late nascent soul stage. In fact, he might even be of a higher level. That was entirely possible.
Mei Chao Bing lowered his gaze a little, kind of regretting that he didn’t have Da Hei with him right now. With a spiritual beast at the nascent soul stage, his chances of winning would have been much better. But, well, there was no way to change it anymore. Now, he could only find another way to deal with this.
He looked up, holding Qu Yijun’s gaze for a moment. Most likely, he wouldn’t be killed immediately. Somehow, the other side still seemed to want him alive. They probably had some kind of plan. He had no idea what those might be but this might save his life in the current situation. He just needed to be careful.
“Do you really think I would join your side?”
Qu Yijun raised his hands and then motioned toward Mei Chao Bing. “Look at yourself. You’re alone here. In fact, aren’t you alone everywhere? Since Master left the Teng Yong Sect, what do you have left there?
Qu Yijun just chuckled. “Friends? You mean like the ones who went on to evade you after the matter came out? The ones who took shelter with somebody else and pretended to never have known you? Like that good friend Song Mu of yours who wouldn’t even look at you afterward? Those friends?”
Mei Chao Bing pressed his lips together and forced himself to smile. “Well, things were difficult in the beginning but I can’t really fault them. Wasn’t that all because of what you and Master did? So if anything, I should be angry at you.”
Qu Yijun gave a hum and then took a step closer but immediately stopped again, crossing his arms in front of his chest. “Should you though? At that time, did Master not offer you to follow him to the Wu Yun Sect? And also, at that time, I believe he left you something to come by whenever you wanted to, right? Our doors were always open for you.”
Mei Chao Bing also gave a hum while he took a closer look at Qu Yijun’s stance. That guy might seem casual but it was clear that at a moment’s notice, he would be able to attack. He was definitely not in a position to try and sneak attack him.
“That thing … I handed it over to the Sect Master as it should be done. I am a disciple of the Teng Yong Sect, more so than I am my Master’s disciple. I was astounded to find out that the same couldn’t be said about you. I would’ve thought better of you.”
Qu Yujin shook his head. “You’re so naive. Staying with the Teng Yong Sect won’t get you anywhere. I’m sure that if you joined us, you would have a far better future. Also, you should consider whether you can have any kind of future at the Teng Yong Sect.
“There are still people there that loathe you and that would like to see you leave or maybe crushed to dust beneath their heel. And maybe they will be able to find a reason in the border region to not have you stay. Wouldn’t that be tragic?”