OMF V3C25 The Life Of A Fringe Disciple

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It turned out, one division of the Hei Dian Sect was just as large as the outer sect of the Yun Zou Sect. There were at least fifty different buildings that housed a subdivision or at least part of it. And then there were all the administrative buildings like the one where Yue Lin worked and those the disciples and elders lived in.
Most of the buildings had more complicated names than what Niu Hai had told Jing Yi on the way to registering yesterday.
“This is the subdivision of the water of the yellow springs”, Yue Lin explained just now while pointing at the building that Niu Hai had called deadly poisons.
Jing Yi wrinkled his brow. He could see where the name was coming from. It wasn’t strange that the disciples would call it something like that. Looking at the many buildings in front of him Jing Yi was glad that they wouldn’t have to leave in a few days already. This was only one division and there were several in the whole Hei Dian Sect. It would be impossible to find two disciples in such a large sect just by looking for them. He really was lucky to have heard news of Hong Ai by coincidence yesterday.
“Alright, we’re here.” Yue Lin halted in front of a two-story building in the back half of the estate. “This is where we are keeping all the Stuff the disciples need on a regular basis like the robes or our cauldrons. The herbs and other materials are kept in a different building near the gardens. I’ll show that to you later.”
Jing Yi nodded and took another glance around. He had seen these buildings already when he had a look around with Qiu Ling yesterday. It seemed like the front half of the estate was used for the different subdivisions while the back half was used for everything that pertained to the whole alchemy division.
He followed Yue Lin inside. There was a big entrance hall but nobody could be seen inside. Yue Lin waved Jing Yi with him and went down one of the silent corridors. Finally, he halted in front of a door to a small storage room.
“This is where we are storing our robes.” He led him inside and went over to a stack on the right. Then, he took three of them down and handed them to Jing Yi.
They were dark like all the robes Jing Yi had seen in the Hei Dian Sect so far but upon a closer look, there seemed to be something different about them. Jing Yi frowned. The robes in his hands weren’t black like he had thought but instead of a dark red. There was some embroidery on the lapels as well as on the shoulders.
Looking over at the other two stacks it seemed like they were a little different. The stack in the middle held robes that were of the same dark red color but in addition to the embroidery, the hem of the sleeves was set off in a lighter color. The robes on the left stack were so dark that they seemed black in the dim lighting of the storage room. The only thing noticeable about them was that the embroidery was done with silver threads that seemed to glow in the dark.
Jing Yi looked up at Yue Lin. There was no doubt that these different robes corresponded to the three types of disciples. This was probably the best opportunity he’d get to ask what differences were between them. “Senior Martial Brother Yue, there is one thing I haven’t completely understood yet. Senior Martial Brother Niu told me that there are three types of disciples. The fringe disciple’s like me, the official disciples and the direct disciples. But I don’t know … What is the difference between them?”
Yue Lin folded his hands behind his back and straightened his shoulders. He was content with having a junior who asked the right questions. It wasn’t a problem not to know about some things but it was a problem to not know and pretend to know. He’d much rather have such a Junior Martial Brother like Jing He who would admit to not knowing. Thus, he’d naturally explain to him.
“It’s good that you’re asking. Actually, it’s quite simple. Depending on what type of disciple you are, you’ll have different rights and benefits.” He waved Jing Yi with him and continued to explain on the way.
“A fringe disciple like you will be entitled to be taught by the Senior Disciples once a week and by the Elder of his subdivision once per month. For you, that’ll be Elder Han. The Senior Martial Brothers you’ll most likely have as a tutor are his direct disciples but you’ll see that when it’s time for your first lesson.
The other days of the week you’ll be on your own. For now, you’ll have limited access to the library of the House Of Healing to further your knowledge and you’ll get a few materials for practicing. I’d recommend not using them for now, though. Since you don’t know anything about alchemy yet it would most likely go wrong, so it’s still better to wait.”
“I see.” Jing Yi bit his lower lip. This wasn’t good. He could only read ten words! How was he supposed to study by himself? He certainly couldn’t ask Qiu Ling to read everything to him. His fiance certainly wouldn’t mind but it would take up way too much time. They weren’t here to learn. They still had to work on the mission and find out what the Hei Dian Sect was planning.
With Qiu Ling’s talent, he might be able to do what he wanted in the sect but Jing Yi knew that he himself was different. Now that he was a disciple of the House Of Healing he’d have to put in some effort or they would soon notice that something was off. As a spy, he had to conceal that he wasn’t an actual disciple. And, in all honesty, he just wanted to learn so badly! If he didn’t, wouldn’t Qiu Ling suffer with him? If not for his low status, they could already be married. They also wouldn’t have needed to come here where he had been confronted with his past once more. He definitely had to get stronger!
Yue Lin stopped in front of another room and got a small cauldron. “Here. This is for you, too. You can use it in your own room for refining some simple pills. You won’t be able to refine anything better with it, though.”
“Thank you. That should be enough for me.”
“Mn.” Yue Lin smiled contentedly. Ah, it really was great having such an understanding Junior Martial Brother. It really was a pity that that child couldn’t …
Yue Lin suddenly stopped on the way to the next room and turned around, silently examining Jing Yi.
“Senior … Senior Martial Brother Yue, is something the matter?” Jing Yi couldn’t help but shudder under that gaze.
“You’d also get a simple manual as something like a welcome gift to get you started but I just remembered you can’t read.”
“Mn. That’s true.” Jing Yi lowered his head. It was obvious that he himself thought it was a disgrace.
Yue Lin’s eyes sparkled. He gripped Jing Yi by the shoulders. “You know the moment I saw you yesterday I knew there was fate between us. Let’s get the book and settle you down. After that, I’ll personally teach you how to read!” He patted his chest and smiled for the first time since Jing Yi saw him.
The smile on that emaciated face looked gruesome and Jing Yi forgot to answer. Before he knew what had happened he was already being pulled along by a suddenly very energetic Senior Martial Brother.


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