I was reading pursuit of truth, and just realized something. The bald crane is obviously meng hao from issth. Maybe just some clone of his he made and forgot about, but they are definitely the same character. Meng Hao is hecka greedy, like the bald crane. Also, the runes in Pursuit of the Truth seem a lot like seals in other books. Meng Hao is a demon sealer, which would explain his familiarity with and skill at breaking runes/seals. Plus we know that Er Gen likes to show overlap between novels.