Mei Chao Bing stood in front of Yun Bei Fen’s house in a daze. Keep his distance from him? But … he had just found out about Yun Bei Fen’s feelings. He had just found out … about his own feelings.
He furrowed his brows. He didn’t want to. Everything inside of him screamed for him to just ignore what the Elder had said. But deep down there was also a rational voice whispering that Elder Baili wasn’t wrong.
Mei Chao Bing turned away from the house and looked into the distance. This Teng Yong Sect, he had always seen it as his home. He could hardly remember where he had lived before or who his parents were. They were just names to him. His Master, the other Elders, and the disciples were much more real to him.
But now his Master had betrayed the sect and as such also betrayed what Mei Chao Bing had always believed in. The other Elders … when the Sect Master interrogated him after he sounded the gong, most of them had looked at him as if he was a nuisance, someone better off dead. As for the other disciples there wasn’t much to say. There was only Yun Bei Fen he felt a little closer to and even they had hardly exchanged a few sentences.
And now even that shouldn’t be allowed?
Mei Chao Bing sighed. He had thought he would be alright with it but now that Elder Baili had told him not to see Yun Bei Fen any longer he suddenly felt the full impact of his Master’s treason. He had turned into a stranded man right at the place where he had thought he belonged. He didn’t know how to go forward and the only feeling remaining inside him was utter helplessness. So it seemed he wasn’t as immune to this as he had thought.
Mei Chao Bing shook his head and walked away. As much as he hated it he also knew that Elder Baili was only doing this for Yun Bei Fen’s sake. He was really too young to be able to face this.
"Well, it’s not like that won’t change. Who knows how long he’ll be in secluded cultivation? When he comes out he might already be more mature. If he can handle the reactions of the other people inside and outside of the sect, then it won’t be a problem any longer. And then … then I won’t hold back."
He smiled and entered his own courtyard, going back to the room where he had been meditating before. His Master had disgraced himself and the sect with his actions. If Mei Chao Bing ever wanted to find his own place, then he would need to become so strong that he could be counted as a pillar of the sect. When he reached a stage where the Teng Yong Sect couldn’t do without him then he wouldn’t have to fear. Not for himself and certainly not for Yun Bei Fen.
Mei Chao Bing sat down in the lotus position and took a last look at the window. "Let’s cultivate together, little bunny. I promise you, in a few years, I’ll be strong enough that we won’t have to hide. If you still like me, we’ll be able to boldly proclaim our love to everyone. I’ll make sure of that."
He closed his eyes but this time a small smile lifted the corners of his mouth. Yes, he would become so strong that nobody would dare to say anything. They wouldn’t bother them. Even if the whole world stood against him, he would make sure that this person could stay at his side without worry. Forever if he wished to do so.
Mei Chao Bing took a deep breath and pushed every thought away. He had to concentrate on his cultivation to make the future he dreamed of possible.
From that day forth Mei Chao Bing stayed in his own courtyard and cultivated in seclusion. Only once every three months did he leave his courtyard to go and take a look whether Yun Bei Fen had ended his own seclusion already. Unfortunately, nothing changed and Yun Bei Fen remained in his house as if this one short kiss had shocked him so much that he didn’t dare to ever come out again. Mei Chao Bing could only return and once again immerse himself in cultivation.
Years went by. The Yun Bei Fen that had been a timid little bunny before turned into a gentle young man without none in the sect the wiser and he who had been in the peak of Qi Refining finally established his foundation and charged straight to the middle of his stage.
And Mei Chao Bing, one of the foremost prodigies of the Teng Yong Sect, showed himself to be even more aberrant and formed his Nascent Soul at only twenty-eight years of age. He kept it a secret though and only reported to the Sect Master so as to not draw any unnecessary attention.
It needn’t be said that Sect Master Zhang was pleased with this. Not only was it beneficial to the sect to have someone of such high aptitude, the way Mei Chao Bing had dealt with this also showed that he was someone the sect would be able to count on in the future. Especially since all investigations in the past years had shown that he had nothing to do with his Master’s treason.
The only worrying thing was the look in Mei Chao Bing’s eyes. Looking at them was like looking into the void. It was there and you could see it but there was no response from inside. Mei Chao Bing’s gaze was hollow as if nothing in this world could move him.
Zhang Guan Yu sighed when he bid him farewell. Every other youth would have shown at least a hint of pride or even conceit but this Mei Chao Bing … He kept so calm it was shocking.
The Sect Master looked at his hands that he had used to calculate the future many years ago. He had thought that maybe things would turn for the better with the steps he had taken but now it seemed that nothing could change what had been set in stone in the Heavens.
"Your destiny … The destiny of our Teng Yong Sect … What will it be in the end?"