He hesitated for a moment about how to react to this. Naturally, having this knowledge and being able to pass it on to his people later would be great. The risk of exposure was too high though. Especially in the current situation. Thus, it was more important to keep up the act for now.
An actual disciple of the demonic sects … would they accept hearing about this from Song Yu Zheng? Doing so would allow them to know something others didn’t which might give them advantages if they played their cards right in the future.
That was highly speculative though. After all, Song Yu Zheng had indicated that he and his friends didn’t know much about the situation. He could at most share some general info that might not be worth much on its own. In that case, what was the use of accepting?
On the other hand, if he didn’t accept … he could use that to gain the trust of the disciples from the Wu Yun Sect. Considering the hierarchy of the demonic faction, that seemed to be worth much more. Instead of being indebted to Song Yu Zheng for his help, he’d be somebody he looked highly upon and felt he could trust so he might want to work with him in the future. The benefits of that … even if they were just as hypothetical, they should be much more interesting to a true disciple of the demonic faction.
Thinking the situation through, Zhi Guan gave a hum and then hurriedly shook his head before Song Yu Zheng could make the decision for him. “I feel honored that senior martial brother Song is willing to tell me.
“But I’m sure the Elders have their reasons for keeping this hidden even up until now. Maybe they are aware that the other side has a special method to get information out of us to sabotage the plan or something. In that case, the more people know, the more difficult it’ll be to keep this under wraps.
“If they catch me and I leak something, only for the Elders to find out that you were the one who told me, you’d get in trouble. Since senior martial brother Song is willing to put his trust in me, I can’t do that to you. Knowing won’t benefit me too much but the associated risk is high. It’s better you keep this information to yourself. If you need help with anything, just say it. Since I know you’re aware, I’ll trust your decisions no matter how they sound.”
He looked straight at Song Yu Zheng, hoping that this sounded sufficiently convincing. If he was infiltrating a sect on the righteous side, he wouldn’t think about it twice. But in the demonic faction … Who knew how these guys thought? Maybe such a measured approach was actually a reason to doubt him?
Song Yu Zheng looked at him in surprise. He didn’t necessarily think that Zhi Guan’s behavior was suspicious but … it sure was odd. He hadn’t expected it.
Wen Xiang next to him turned to give Lu Wei a complicated look. He indeed felt that something was fishy here but he wasn’t thinking of Zhi Guan’s identity. Instead, he wondered why exactly this guy was behaving like this toward their friend. Saying stuff like how he didn’t want him to get into trouble … wasn’t this the kind of nonsense some of the martial brothers spouted to woo those little junior martial sisters who just entered the sect? How could he dare to try the same tactic on Song Yu Zheng?!
Lu Wei caught his gaze but didn’t get what he meant. Save for that one time when that disciple from the Yu She Sect had asked about Song Yu Zheng’s relationship status, it wasn’t like he had been pestering him. Thus, he didn’t think that Zhi Guan had any interest in their friend. At most, he felt that those two should appreciate each other as talents. After all, why else would Song Yu Zheng volunteer classified information to him?
The two friends didn’t manage to communicate their ideas clearly and just stared at each other oddly. Finally, Wen Xiang was fed up and turned back to intently watch the situation between Song Yu Zheng and Zhi Guan, intent not to let the smallest detail slip his attention. If this guy was really trying something, he’d definitely realize!
Zhi Guan noticed his gaze and felt even surer that the offer just now had been a test. Thankfully, he had reacted fast and rejected it! Otherwise, he might now have to fight off these three at once and would then be besieged by the disciples outside, certainly losing his life before he could exchange information with the others back in the border town.
Song Yu Zheng wasn’t paying attention to his friends and instead focused on Zhi Guan. After getting over his initial surprise, he also managed to make up a reason for him: Anyway, the Yu She Sect was small and far below the Wu Yun Sect. As such, wasn’t it normal to be more cautious when interacting with disciples that could dare to call themselves ‘high-ranking’ in the sect? This just spoke to Zhi Lin’s common sense!
He smiled beneath the veil, feeling more and more that they had picked up a treasure back in the headquarters. He absolutely couldn’t let this guy return to the Yu She Sect and waste his potential!
Making up his mind, he completely ignored Zhi Guan’s previous explanation. “Ah, don’t think too much! The Elders are just afraid of some traitors on our side passing on information. It’s alright here though. Everyone that was sent on this mission is a disciple that is highly trusted by the Elders. Of course, none of us would let this information get out. As long as you don’t tell anyone else, it’ll be alright.”
Zhi Guan hesitated but finally nodded. “Naturally, I wouldn’t do that.” Anyway, it was still good to find out, and refusing too much would also be suspicious. It seemed that this might be a pie falling from the sky after all, no matter how suspicious it had looked before.