OMF V2C4 Entering the Yun Zou Sect

Besides Jing Yi, another fifty children had shown to have some aptitude for cultivation. All of them would follow Wu Min Huan and his junior martial brothers and sisters to the Yun Zou sect. The sect wasn’t that far away but of course, the disciples wouldn’t walk there with a bunch of small children. Instead, Wu Min Huan, in proper style, procured a mystic artifact.
Since the whole of Yun Zou sect was associated with clouds the artifact was, of course, a carpet with a cloud pattern. Actually, one couldn’t really call it a carpet. It was more like a white ribbon made out of thin fabric and embroidered with the same pattern as the disciples’ sleeves. Had Wu Min Huan taken it out to change the crown on his head for it none of the children would have found it strange.
Wu Min Huan tossed the ribbon. It floated through the air, elongated and finally landed on the ground, now big enough to fit all the disciples and new recruits.
Wu Min Huan smiled his trademark smile and motioned at the ribbon. “Get on!”
His juniors made sure that all of the children had gotten onto the ribbon and finally settled down on the edges to make sure none of them would accidentally fall off. Finally, he, too, stepped onto the ribbon and with one gesture of his, the ribbon floated up until it reached the clouds and then moved toward the sect grounds.
Jing Yi curiously looked around. He hadn’t seen much of the world until now. Thus, he craned his neck and looked past the edge of the ribbon. They were floating over a carpet of clouds, but when the ribbon drifted further toward the sect grounds it opened up and he could finally see the ground below.
Jing Yi’s eyes grew wide. He could still see the edge of the capital but the buildings weren’t as big as he knew them from his time there. Instead, they didn’t even seem as big as his thumb. He tried looking for the teahouse where his mother was but, of course, they were already too far away.
The capital was soon left behind and vanished in the distance. Jing Yi didn’t mind, though. He observed the landscape drifting by below them. The paddies and forests didn’t look any different than the capital: Everything was extremely small. When the ribbon finally made a turn Jing Yi could even see the Long mountain range he had needed so many days to pass with his family even though they had only traveled through the foothills. Now, that fearsome place that had nearly cost all three of them their lives seemed small enough to hold it in both of his hands.
Before Jing Yi could fully comprehend what he was seeing the ribbon started to slow down and descended in a large spiral. Jing Yi looked to the side and finally saw the place he would call home for the next years: The sect grounds of the Yun Zou sect. It truly was a place not meant for the average human.
Taking in the wide expanse of land in the crook of the mountain range’s neck, trying to count all the buildings there in the valley and finally noticing the buildings that clung to the mountains themselves or had even managed to reach their tops, Jing Yi couldn’t help but feel that he had come to the right place.
If I really want to become a hero, this is certainly the best place!
The ribbon descended further and further until it finally came to a gentle stop right inside the gates of the Yun Zou sect.
Wu Min Huan and the other disciples led the bunch of other children to a square not far from the gates. Jing Yi curiously looked around and noticed another drawing on the ground.
Of course, this drawing, too, was a formation. Just that it was more sophisticated than the one Wu Min Huan’s junior martial sisters had set up on the capital’s market square in a short time.
This one had a hexagon as its base. Inside it were another, smaller hexagon in the middle and six elongated rhombi pointing from one corner of the smaller hexagon to the corresponding corner of the larger hexagon. There were some other lines, too, but Jing Yi couldn’t make out what they should present. They seemed just like random scribbles.
A middle-aged man was already waiting next to the formation. He nodded at Wu Min Huan, before turning around to the children.
“Welcome to the Yun Zou sect. All of you were found to have at least some aptitude for cultivation and as thus have the right to enter the outer sect. Now, we are going to test your spirit veins.
Those with heavenly or paired spirit veins will be taken into the inner sect from the beginning and even have the chance to get a master — though that will depend on if you have fate with any of the elders from our sect. Those found to have assorted spirit veins will be allocated to a suitable adviser in the outer sect.
To test for your spirit veins, please step into the middle of the formation and wait until the outer layer lights up.”
Since Jing Yi had come to the square in the capital together with Wu Min Huan he was standing right at the front. Before he could step forward, another boy pushed him to the side, though, shot him a condescending gaze and hurried over to the formation.
Jing Yi didn’t mind the provocative glance, though. He was still trying to understand what the uncle at the drawing was trying to say. What are those spirit veins? What does it mean if they are heavenly or paired or assorted? Since he didn’t know, he didn’t mind waiting a bit. Maybe he would even find out what all this was about!
He curiously looked on as the child stepped into the small hexagon. Both of them eyed the rest of the drawing. First, the hexagon in the middle lit up, indicating that this child indeed had spiritual veins. Then, the hexagon furthest from Jing Yi lit up. A short pause followed before the outer hexagon lit up, too.
As if it was somehow tied to the formation even the face of the man in charge lit up. “Heavenly spirit veins!”, he called out and waved a disciple waiting at the side over.
Jing Yi still didn’t understand, but thankfully, he had always been a patient and obedient child. He really just waited until all the other children had been tested and didn’t make a fuss. What did it matter anyway? It wasn’t like the sect would only test the first fifty children and sent the last one home.
Finally, it was Jing Yi’s turn. He curiously stepped into the small hexagon. It lit up after a spell, signifying that he indeed had spiritual veins. Jing Yi looked on. One after another all six rhombi lit up.
Jing Yi still couldn’t understand what that meant and looked at the uncle in charge with curious eyes. Do I have the right spirit veins to become a hero?
The man cleared his throat. “Full spirit veins”, he announced solemnly and waved at no direction at all.
Jing Yi tilted his head. He didn’t understand that gesture. Which group did he belong to?
“Mn, in this case … You might want to reconsider joining the sect.” Faced with those large doe eyes the man in charge couldn’t bring himself to say it more harshly.
Unfortunately for him — and even more so for Shun Tao — Jing Yi was a really simple-minded child. Reconsider joining the sect? But he needed to join the sect to become a hero like the handsome big brother in the white robe or his father or grandfather. Why would he reconsider?
And full spirit veins didn’t sound so bad. It was probably like a cup of tea: If you had a full one, you had more you could drink!
In the nine heavens, the fate’s scribe Shun Tao sat in his study and face-palmed. “Haish … This child! I really want to know what is going on inside his head.” Shun Tao sighed and dropped his hand. Alright. It wouldn’t lead to anything if he just sat there and grew furious again.
Shun Tao once again ground his ink and picked up his brush. “Seriously, this time it’s my own fault. I shouldn’t have written ‘advises him to reconsider joining the sect’ just because I thought every normal person would follow that advice. I should have made it more explicit. ‘Zhong Jing Yi follows the advice of the person in charge of the test and returns to the capital.’ That would have been a rock-solid way to put it!” Shun Tao hesitated. That … would have been a rock-solid way, wouldn’t it?
He sighed again. After all this time of battling against Longjun, he couldn’t even trust in his own skills anymore. How sad!
With a nervous feeling in his gut, Shun Tao started to write: Zhong Jing Yi moves into the outer sect with the other new recruits. After their tasks are divided the advisers don’t pay attention to the disciples with more than three spirit veins anymore. Zhong Jing Yi is left to his own devices. Soon, the other children who have fewer spirit veins than him start to let him do their chores so that they have more time to cultivate. With neither time nor guidance, Zhong Jing Yi isn’t able to start cultivating.
Shun Tao put down his brush and smiled, satisfied with his work. With this, nothing should go wrong, right? He had definitely stated that the crown prince’s mortal reincarnation wouldn’t be able to cultivate. There was no room for interpretation.
And even if there was, there was still Leng Jin Yu. This time, nothing would go wrong.

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