Mei Chao Bing nodded and followed the two Elders to the study, Zhi Guan following behind. There really were many things that they needed to talk about. In fact, he didn’t even know where he should start. He could imagine that the others would have quite a few questions. And he was afraid that maybe what had happened with Qu Yijun would cause problems.
Even though he didn’t want to, he couldn’t help but think of what Qu Yijun had told him: That no matter what, he would always stay suspicious, that as long as anything happened in the border region while he was here, everyone would assume that it was him.
It shouldn’t be like that. In any case, in these years, he had hardly ventured outside of his house. No, now was the first time that he was outside the sect and there were always other people around. How would he stay in contact with the demonic side if he really was a spy for them? There was no possibility. But then, he also didn’t know how to prove that.
When the four of them reached the study, the Elders sat down and then motioned for Mei Chao Bing and Zhi Guan to do the same. Their gazes were resting on Mei Chao Bing, making him feel even worse.
Elder Baili sighed, feeling worried when he realized this. Knowing what the Sect Master told him, he knew that they needed to be careful in regard to Mei Chao Bing. Not because they couldn’t trust him but because if something happened, then the consequences would be disastrous.
He didn’t think that Mei Chao Bing was actually likely to betray their side but if they gave him enough of a reason, maybe he would. It was hard to say. Mei Chao Bing was clearly strong but there came a time when even that strength would fail you. If everyone seemed against you, then did you have a reason to hold on?
Clearly, the Teng Yong Sect hadn’t given him much of one. In fact, he was afraid that save for his little disciple, nobody there had. Not the ones who had been badgering him to teach them before his Master’s betrayal, nor those who had called themselves his friends. He had been left with no one. That had to be incredibly lonely.
And honestly, if it had been him at this stage in his life, in that kind of situation, even Baili Chao wouldn’t have been able to say if he would’ve made the right decision.
But Mei Chao Bing had. Maybe because there was the faintest ray of light in the darkness of at least one person waiting for him. Maybe it was also just because he was that righteous. He didn’t know. But he knew that right now was probably one of the moments where a decision had to be made.
Elder Baili folded his hands on the desk and then raised his brows at Mei Chao Bing. “You really don’t need to mince your words. This matter, it’s not on you. Your Master and your senior martial brother planned this, not you. So you don’t need to feel guilty about it.
“And in any case, even though we lost Yu Min and Di Huan Bo, at least Ao Jing and Shen Lei made it through alive. Maybe even Yang Wu Huang is still alright and somewhere out there, waiting for a chance to return. We will see about that as soon as we are finished here.
“But in any case, if you want a chance to better the situation, then you need to tell us everything that you know. I don’t care what exactly happened with Qu Yijun, I just want to know what you know so that we can hopefully save another person and make sure that something like this will not happen again.”
Mei Chao Bing looked at him, his gaze flickering for a moment. He … To be honest, he hadn’t expected this. He did know that Elder Baili was alright with him. Even back then, he hadn’t rejected him because of what his Master had done but because of what the influence on his younger disciple would be.
That had been the right decision. One that he could understand because he also knew what was ahead of him and he didn’t want Yun Bei Fen to have to go through the same. He had been too young to do that.
Even now, years later, he still felt the same. So, maybe he shouldn’t be surprised. Maybe there was no need at all to even think about this. Yes, most likely, it was just that Qu Yijun had somehow gotten under his skin. Most likely, that was even what he had wanted to do: To weaken his belief that he could have a good life with the righteous faction. But clearly, that had been stupid.
Mei Chao Bing closed his eyes for a moment and then leaned back, getting more comfortable. “I rushed over to the array but there was only one group at the cavern at that time. I gave them a short rundown of the situation and told them to inform the other groups when they came back.
“Then, I went to the underground palace where they had told me senior martial brother Zhi and his group were. I didn’t know where exactly they were but I chose to go to one of the higher floors since I figured they might be trying to get a sense of the layout there. Then, he was suddenly in front of me.”
Elder Baili and Elder Xing exchanged a glance, both furrowing their brows at the same time. Qu Yijun had clearly been there while the other disciples had been searching the underground palace. This wasn’t good news. There might have been another ambush lying in wait for them somewhere.
Mei Chao Bing didn’t let himself be bothered by their expressions and just continued on. “He mentioned that ambush on the disciples in the north. He also mentioned that senior martial brother Zhi’s group was up ahead and even told me the exact way there. So he knew their specific location at the time.”