Zhang Guan Yu looked at Mei Chao Bing, his gaze turning soft. Really, that was precisely why he felt at ease asking Mei Chao Bing something like this. Others probably would’ve tried to be vindictive and get revenge on the ones who had done them dirty. But he, he would indeed think about it and give him an honest response, not clouded by his own emotions.
“You know, you aren’t wrong. But even though they might have more of a right to judge this, you’re still one of the victims. After all, they tried to paint you as the perpetrator behind all of this happening. So I think it is only right to hear your opinion.
“In any case, I won’t force you to say whatever you believe is right. It is just something that I would like to take into consideration. At the end of the day, I will make my own judgment. But just like I asked you, I will also ask the others. But you’re right in that right now is not the best time for that. There’s still much else to do.”
He fell silent for a moment and his gaze slipped back to the door, wondering how long the Elders would need. When he still couldn’t see anyone, he turned back to Mei Chao Bing. “Ao Jing’s punishment notwithstanding and whatever might have happened to Yang Wu Huang, there is also your own matter. If this gets solved, it definitely aid in the rehabilitation of your reputation in the sect. By then, I really don’t see any reason to hide yourself any longer. So when you come back, I want to announce your status as an Elder.”
Mei Chao Bing raised his brows, surprised at how fast Zhang Guan Yu was actually moving with that. “Is that you trying to make up for what has happened in the past five years? If that is the case, then you don’t need to.
“I … I will admit that my treatment in the sect and also outside while in the border region wasn’t always fair. But that doesn’t mean that after we come back, that should be turned around completely, meaning I would get advantages I shouldn’t have. Right now, I don’t even have a single disciple and I don’t intend to take one in anytime soon. So really, making me an Elder … it seems a bit wrong.”
Zhang Guan Yu leaned back and crossed his legs, smiling happily. “Oh, on this matter, I wasn’t asking for your opinion. I asked about the punishment of Ao Jing because that is something you yourself were a victim in and I think that you should at least be able to say your piece. As for making you an Elder, that wasn’t a question. As the Sect Master of this sect, I am telling you that by the time you get back, I will announce that your new status as an Elder whether you like it or not.”
Mei Chao Bing was taken aback but finally, he only shrugged his shoulders. “Well, if that is what Sect Master Zhang thinks to be right.” For a moment there, he had really forgotten that this person was the Sect Master.
It couldn’t be helped. Zhang Guan Yu didn’t look that much older than himself and he had always had that joking attitude. Sometimes, he felt like he was just one of the disciples in the generation above, much like Zhi Guan or Shen Lei. The ones who would prank you every now and then, but that would ultimately always be there for you.
Yes, Zhang Guan Yu was a lot like that. So sometimes over these years, he hadn’t actually taken his position into consideration. But Zhang Guan Yu was right: He was the Sect Master. Whatever he said would go. He couldn’t argue with him.
Zhang Guan Yu was happy when Mei Chao Bing gave in that easily. His expression that had just turned on slightly more serious slipped back into that usual charming smile. “Well, seeing how you’re being a good disciple, I will at least dispel your worries a bit: There are different types of Elders.
“You don’t need to take charge of a peak, or take in a bunch of disciples next time the open gate ceremony is due, or do anything else really. I won’t even give you an official task.
“Rather than that, the status is only in the title that you get. It isn’t much. But it is an admission of your strength and also the help that you’ve rendered the other disciples. So far, from the reports that the Elders have sent, it can be seen that you have played a vital role in solving the crisis in the border region.
“Yes, we don’t know how everything will turn out in the end, but if they turn out well, then that will also be thanks to you to a large degree. And that is something that should be rewarded.
“At first, you keeping things a little quiet because there were still too many people who didn’t trust you was understandable. But after this is solved and after your Master has been taken care of, I will not accept that that continues any longer. No, rather than that, it is time we are being more open.
“I will have this announced in front of the whole sect. Just so you’re forewarned. I will do the same for all the other disciples who were part of this mission, whether they survive or not. Those who have been doing this, no matter how big or small their role, they will be rewarded. And I don’t see any reason the sect shouldn’t know about that.
“For you, that would mostly be this title. That probably isn’t much but it ties into what your reputation will be in the future. I think that that is something that is more important to you than any physical reward I could bestow on you. Although I guess I shouldn’t shortchange you in that regard either. But then, you will be an Elder by then so you shouldn’t worry about that. The best thing about being an Elder is that you get an allowance, did you know?”
Mei Chao Bing smiled, feeling that this Zhang Guan Yu was a lot more familiar to him. Really, the last couple of years, this was mostly how he had experienced him: giving advice one moment and then starting to joke the next. Sometimes, it really was hard to say whether this man was actually being serious or not. But for this, no matter how he smiled and laughed at the side, it seemed that he was.