At that time, back at the Teng Yong Sect, Ao Jing had had his wounds healed, getting somewhat back to normal. Or at least, it would be right to say that his body was back to normal. When it came to himself and how he was feeling, he couldn’t say the same.
No, what had happened had left a shadow on his soul. He just couldn’t forget those moments. And even more than that, he couldn’t forget what they had done in the border region leading up to the time of that ambush.
After dwelling on it for some time, he didn’t go back to his own place and instead waited in front of his Master’s house. There was something he had to do and he’d rather do it as soon as possible. There was no use in waiting.
By the time the other Elders had been informed by the Sect Master, Ao Jing’s Master, Elder Huyan, hastened back to see how he was doing, only to find his disciple’s place deserted. He couldn’t help but worry if maybe his wounds had been even worse than expected and he was still being treated so he rushed over to the medicine hall to find out, only to be told that Ao Jing had long left.
Elder Huyan was quite confused. This wasn’t what he had expected to hear. If his disciple had been treated, then why hadn’t he gone back to his place to rest? He didn’t know where else to look so he could only return to his own place, his brows still tightly furrowed.
When his house finally came back into view, so did his disciple. Elder Huyan’s eyes widened and he rushed over, grabbing his disciple by the shoulders and looking him over. “Ah Jing, what’s the matter with you? Why didn’t you go right back home? You should be lying down and resting!” Heaven knew how worried he had been when he was informed that his disciple had returned heavily injured.
Ao Jing lowered his head when he realized just how worried his Master had been about him. With his behavior, he had led so many people down. If his Master knew, he’d probably look at him differently. Well, if he kept it back, that would be even worse. No matter whether it came out or not, his behavior was shameful. He might as well do one thing right in his life and admit to it instead of pretending even longer that there was nothing wrong.
Making up his mind, he looked up at his Master with determination. “Master, there is a matter I need to report. Would you accompany me to the Sect Master? Also, we should probably have Elder Ji there as well.”
Elder Huyan looked at his disciple in confusion but hearing him mention Elder Ji, he had a rough guess that he wouldn’t like what this was about. Elder Ji was the Elder in charge of doling out the punishments for disciples and Elders of the sect if somebody broke the rules. If Ao Jing asked to have him there, didn’t that mean that his disciple felt that he had done something wrong?
Elder Huyan wasn’t sure what to make of this but he felt that this was something he really didn’t want to deal with. “Well, of course, I can do that. Let’s not do so now though. You’ve just come back and you were badly injured. You should rest up first. Everything else can wait for a few more days.”
Usually, Ao Jing would’ve listened to his Master, but this time, he shook his head. “Master, please let us do so now.” Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t be this stubborn but he had the courage to do this today, he wasn’t sure if he would still have it tomorrow or the day after.
In any case, he had been a coward before, going with the person he thought would gain him the best advantages, only wanting to get out of that when he realized that it might not be as beneficial to him as he had thought and might instead get him into serious trouble.
Yes, his conduct really wasn’t befitting of a disciple of the Teng Yong Sect. If they threw him out, he wouldn’t be surprised. But if that was what happened, he would also accept it. At the very least, he had managed to keep his life. That was more than his senior martial brothers were able to say and they had definitely not done anything to deserve that end.
Really, among that group of theirs, the three who had originally conducted themselves in such a way that they needed to be brought back to the sect, giving the other side the opportunity to ambush them in the first place, should have been the ones to lose their lives.
Not that he thought that the others would have survived. No, most likely, he was the only one that made it out. And maybe he had only made it out of there because somehow, Heaven had a way to make things right.
Maybe he was supposed to live so that he could confess to what they had done before. Maybe he had been given a chance because contrary to Yang Wu Huang and maybe even Di Huan Bo, he was willing to turn over a new page. If this was the case, then how could he dare not to uncover everything?
Now, that he had been given the chance, he needed to do better and today was the day to start with that. Whatever was in the future … he would graciously accept it. Any hand that was dealt him couldn’t be worse than what the others had suffered.
Seeing that his disciple was being stubborn, Elder Huyan could only sigh. “I really don’t think this is a good idea but if you insist, then I won’t force you to wait. Let’s go then. Although I guess the Sect Master might have other things to do right now.”
He waved for his disciple to follow him, keeping a close eye on him to make sure that he was well enough to go over there himself. At the side, he motioned to another disciple and told them to get Elder Ji. He might be willing to do this, but he wasn’t willing to wait too long to start. Even though Ao Jing’s injuries had been healed, the damage had been done. His disciple deserved rest, no matter what else was going on.
The two of them soon enough arrived at the Sect Master’s palace.
Zhang Guan Yu looked at them in confusion, not quite sure why these two were back already. He was even more puzzled when suddenly, Elder Ji walked in behind them. “This … What reason do I owe this visit to?” To be honest, he really couldn’t guess. Ao Jing might have wanted to come to give some more details after he had been healed, but he really wasn’t sure what Elder Ji was doing here.
The Elder looked just as confused as him, so at least that made two of them.
Elder Ji sighed and then grabbed a chair for his disciples to sit in, sitting down next to him. “I believe my disciple has something to say. I told him to wait but since he insisted, then I hope the Sect Master and Elder Ji will be so kind as to take the time for us.”