Baili Chao took a moment to process what Yun Bei Fen had said and suppressed another sigh. Ah, this boy! He might look like a young man now but he was obviously still a child at heart!
"You. Is that the only reason you delved into cultivation like that for the past years?"
Yun Bei Fen wanted to nod but reconsidered at the last moment and shook his head. "Of course not! I’ve taken all of Master’s teachings to heart. Cultivating earnestly is repaying all of Master’s kindness!"
Baili Chao looked at his disciple. He had the urge to rap him on the head but finally, he only reached out and patted him. "Don’t try to sweet-talk me. You’re doing it all because of that senior martial brother Mei of yours." He sighed. "Well, whatever your reason is if it makes you stronger so you’ll be able to survive in this world, then your Master doesn’t mind. As for that Mei Chao Bing, he shouldn’t be angry with you. Actually, he came by a few times to ask how you were doing."
"Really?" Yun Bei Fen perked up, happiness written all over his face.
Baili Chao smiled wryly. Ah, would his disciple also look so happy if someone told him that his Master had come by every day to take a look at how things stood? Well, never mind. He probably didn’t want to know the answer. Since the day his disciple had seen Mei Chao Bing for the first time he had only been able to occupy the second spot in his heart. Nothing would change about that anymore.
Baili Chao nodded. "Yes. So stop worrying already and let’s go to the Sect Master’s palace. The other Elders probably brought their disciples over already."
"Mn!" With his Master’s promise that Mei Chao Bing wasn’t angry at all, Yun Bei Fen had no reason to stay burrowed in this room. Ah, he really wanted to go! Maybe he would see his senior martial brother Mei at the Sect Master’s palace?!
Before Baili Chao knew what was happening his disciple had jumped to his feet and pulled him up while he was at it.
"Let’s go, Master! We shouldn’t let Sect Master Zhang and the other Elders wait!" Then he ran ahead to the door.
Baili Chao’s lips twitched. "You mean we can’t let Mei Chao Bing wait." He shook his head, sighed and followed his disciple over to the Sect Master’s palace.
Naturally, the other Elders and all their disciples had already arrived. There were even a lot of disciples from the inner sect that didn’t have a Master yet. And, of course, there was also that person.
Yun Bei Fen’s gaze zeroed in on Mei Chao Bing and he stopped right in the door. Baili Chao had to grab his little disciple by the shoulder and drag him to the side as inconspicuously as possible. Well, the dragging part went quite well but for the inconspicuousness … He might as well have come in playing the flute or beating a drum. Everyone standing close to the door turned around and started to whisper, their gazes lingering on Yun Bei Fen.
Baili Chao wanted to curse. The boy had already been a very cute child when he found him in the Xiao Xi Town back then. He had had a pair of big, dark eyes, a slightly upturned nose, and a round face even though you couldn’t call him chubby. Looking at him you just wanted to pinch his cheeks or rub his head and carry the child home.
And then when Yun Bei Fen had turned into a youth … Ugh. Don’t get him started on how much he had worried when those senior martial brothers turned their heads after him and walked into some obstacle because they were paying attention to the wrong thing.
And now look at what had happened after his seclusion! Everyone had come to listen to Sect Master Zhang’s orders but somehow half the people in the room were looking at his disciple instead. Well, at least a certain someone hadn’t noticed. He was completely absorbed in staring back at the person with the most intense gaze of them all.
Mei Chao Bing stood at the side of the hall, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed in front of his chest. Nobody stood closer than two meters to him giving him a very good view of the gates. Since the moment he had entered and found his spot he had looked over there to see if Yun Bei Fen would finally appear again today. It seemed his preparation had paid out. There he was.
Mei Chao Bing’s heart thumped. Yun Bei Fen … They hadn’t seen each other for a few years and that youth had turned into a beautiful young man. He wanted to go over and hug that supple waist, burrowing his hands in that silky hair that was falling down to his hips and press him up against his chest. He wanted to tell him that he had waited for him, that there hadn’t been a single day when he didn’t think of that hug and that kiss they had shared.
Unfortunately, there were too many people around. The Elders and disciples didn’t know yet that he had managed to form his Nascent Soul and the only thing they saw in him was the disciple of a traitor, the one that might betray their sect too. He shouldn’t go over now. It wasn’t the time yet.
He still continued to look at Yun Bei Fen. After all, everyone else was doing the same. Who could fault him for reacting like them?
Yun Bei Fen didn’t notice at all what the others were doing. He only had eyes for Mei Chao Bing. Ah, he’s looking over here! And he really doesn’t seem angry! So did he forgive me already?
Yun Bei Fen felt like he was melting under Mei Chao Bing’s gaze. Mn, just look at him! He was looking even more heroic than back then! Ah, he really wanted to see him fight!
Just when Yun Bei Fen was engrossed in watching his idol a person stepped into his line of sight with something he thought of as a pleasant smile on his lips.
"This should be junior martial brother Yun. You’ve been cultivating in seclusion for quite some time, haven’t you?"
Yun Bei Fen nodded mechanically and leaned to the side a bit to take another look at Mei Chao Bing. Unfortunately, his idol had turned away. Ah, had he really lost his opportunity again? Yun Bei Fen’s expression dimmed. He really wanted to go over but the person in front of him didn’t seem to intend to back off.
"We haven’t seen each other for a long time so I don’t know if you still remember me. I’m Yang Wu Huang, Elder Zuo’s head disciple."
Yun Bei Fen blinked. Yang Wu Huang? Elder Zuo? Had he ever heard of them?