Mei Chao Bing thought of Liu Bao Ru’s usual expression while he looked at Zhi Guan and couldn’t help but feel … maybe this could work.
Just like Zhi Guan thought, it was indeed often the case that female cultivators weren’t taken as seriously in the sects. This was a remnant of how many of the sects’ disciples had grown up in the world of the common people. They were used to men having the advantage and subconsciously felt that it should be the same among cultivators.
In actual fact, there was no difference in the ability to cultivate between men and women. Both could have the same aptitude, the same comprehension level, and attain the same heights. The only difference was in how they were treated by the people around them and this indeed led to some differences.
In short, there was prejudice among many cultivators and save for some female Elders that exclusively took in female disciples, male disciples were often favored over female ones. This, in turn, gave them an edge over their counterparts and continued to perpetuate the myth that male cultivators were somehow naturally more skilled.
Many cultivators never took a moment to examine this status quo so it had long since gone unchallenged. The ones who did were often considered oddities. And yet, there were always female disciples who wouldn’t just accept things as they were. Xi Ju Hai was one of them and so was Liu Bao Ru. In fact, while the former’s name was more well-known it could be said that the latter was even more invested in this.
Liu Bao Ru was similar to Zhi Guan in that she focused on martial arts over spiritual cultivation. Her level of spiritual techniques was still high but she preferred using her physical constitution to gain results. Maybe this was also done out of principle. Either way, her skills were nothing to scoff at.
Similarly to Zhi Guan, she also had decent sword skills. She had definitely mastered the sword technique of the Teng Yong Sect and while she hadn’t gone out of her way to research different techniques in the way Zhi Guan had, she had definitely studied the ones from the other three great righteous sects with a few disciples she was on friendly terms with. If she was the one to play Zhi Guan’s sister … well, it might just be believable to the demonic practitioners.
No matter what Mei Chao Bing thought, the final arrangement had to be made by the Elder so they all turned to look at Elder Baili.
Baili Chao had his brows furrowed deeply. This matter … he knew how important it was and that there wasn’t much of a choice. Liu Bao Ru was also a disciple that should be able to defend herself and she might be able to work well with his oldest disciple. Since they had to do this and she seemed like an appropriate choice, what else was there to say?
He sighed deeply and shook his head. “Well, you go and tell Liu Bao Ru to come over. Also, someone go and get Elder Xing. I can’t make a decision this big on my own.” While this might mostly concern his own disciples, the matter was still bigger in the end. They needed to get everyone up to date if they wanted to make this work. Especially since they also had to prepare more on this front while Zhi Guan, Xi Ju Hai, and Liu Bao Ru went to get confirmation from Mu Qing.
Shen Lei who had been leaning against the wall with his arms around Luo Lin straightened up. “I’ll go and get junior martial sister Liu. Also, junior martial sister Xi should be with her. I guess we’ll need her as well.”
Elder Baili nodded and then watched as Shen Lei left, his third disciple immediately trailing behind.
The next one to get to his feet was Mei Chao Bing. “Then we’ll go and tell Elder Xing.” He directly pulled Yun Bei Fen to his feet as well, pulling him along. Even though Zhi Guan had said what needed to be said, he figured that he and his Master might want to discuss a few other things. It would be best to give them some space.
Back inside, Baili Chao indeed turned to look at his first disciple as soon as the door was closed. “How certain are you that Mu Qing will talk?”
Zhi Guan sat down opposite his Master and pondered. “Very certain. He feels conflicted about where his loyalty lies. He doesn’t believe his Master is right and doesn’t want to help but feels that he owes him. Still, in a direct confrontation, he can’t go against our side either. Right now, he seems to operate with the idea that as long as he doesn’t interact with us, it’s alright but when he gets in contact with junior martial sister Xi, I don’t think he’ll be able to keep that idea up any longer. He already has his doubts.”
Baili Chao nodded. This also answered his next question already: It seemed that his first disciple would be safe even if he went back there. “It would be for the best if you’re right and he really tells us the truth. Otherwise, I’m afraid we might be unable to bear the consequences.”
Zhi Guan nodded. “I’m even surer of it after what Mei Chao Bing said. Since Mu Qing feels conflicted, then the lower the threshold, the easier it’ll be to convince him. If what Mei Chao Bing has guessed is mostly right, he just needs to nod his head. I don’t think he’d have much of a problem with that. If I’m wrong about that … junior martial sister Xi might be able to think of something. She should know him best.”
Elder Baili nodded and finally leaned back with a sigh. “Well, you try your best but also pay attention to your safety. We’ll prepare the best we can no matter what is happening in the end. This might be selfish but I just hope that the four of you can survive this. As your Master, I’ll already be gratified if that’s the case.”