The woman laughed and nodded. “Yes, yes, they are. Now, listen carefully! I’ll explain this to you just once. You better remember it well. If you don’t understand something, ask right away.”
“Oh.” Jing Yi nodded and looked at her expectantly.
The disciple brandished her stick and wrote a character down next to one of the lines.
Jing Yi’s eyes widened. “What’s that?”
“It’s …” The woman tilted her head. “Wait. Little boy, do you know how to read?”
“Yes. Like … can you write things that you say down so other people could read them? Like writing a letter?”
Jing Yi shook his head. “Grandfather can read letters.” He didn’t know whether he could write them too though. He should probably ask him when grandfather wasn’t busy anymore.
“Uh … That’s great for your grandfather.” She smeared the character on the ground and traced one half of the line. If writing things down didn’t help, she’d need to improvise! It couldn’t be that hard to explain spirit veins to a child, could it? “Look at this. It’s what we call the fire spirit vein.”
Jing Yi looked up at her. “That uncle from the drawing didn’t say anything about that. He told the first person that went up that they had a heavenly fire spirit vein though. Is that the same?”
The disciple nodded happily. “Yes. It means that the person has a fire spirit vein and just this fire spirit vein. Likewise, if the person had a wood spirit vein and only that one, then they would have a heavenly wood spirit vein. A vein being heavenly just means that there is only one.”
“So it’s something bad?”
“Uh …” The woman smiled wryly. That wasn’t bad at all and the child would find out about that soon so there wasn’t really a point in not telling him. But … he wanted to become a cultivator very much and he only had full spirit veins. Wouldn’t he be severely disappointed if he found out? Uh, well, if she phrased it carefully, he might be able to accept it. “Well … You see what kind of spirit vein we have depends on fate. So … everyone will have to find a way to live with their spirit veins. Anyway.” She cleared her throat and traced one half of the line next to the first one. “If somebody has two spirit veins, then we call that ‘paired spirit veins’. There are different kinds depending on how the two spirit veins are related but that’s not too important right now. It’s enough if you know that they can be paired.”
“Oh, I see.” Jing Yi nodded and didn’t ask further. If this big sister thought he didn’t need to know, then that should be right.
The disciple nodded in satisfaction and traced the first half of the third line. “If somebody has three spirit veins, then they’ll have assorted spirit veins. There can also be different types of assorted spirit veins but it’s enough to know the general one for now. After the assorted spirit veins come the earthly spirit veins.”
Jing Yi blinked. “Do they have something to do with the heavenly spirit veins?”
The disciple’s lips twitched. She couldn’t very well say that they were named thus because the difference between them was like Heaven and earth, could she? “That’s … a little difficult to explain.”
“Oh, then never mind. What do you have if you have five spirit veins?”
“Minor spirit veins.”
“Minor?” Jing Yi blinked and examined the drawing. He didn’t understand. There were a lot of thick lines now. Why was it called minor spirit veins? Could it be … He tilted his head and continued to look at the drawing. Maybe … it was called that way because there was only a minor bit missing before the person would have had full spirit veins like him? That had to be it!
Jing Yi looked back up at the female disciple and smiled brightly. “So it’s like that! And then six spirit veins are full spirit veins and after that, there shouldn’t be more because you only have three lines, right?”
“Mn. That’s true.” She put down the twig and brushed her hands against each other to get the dirt off. “Now that you know about the spirit veins, there is one important thing that you have to remember: When you learn how to take in spiritual energy you need the type of energy that corresponds to your veins. So somebody with a heavenly fire spirit vein would need fire spiritual energy, somebody with a heavenly wood spirit vein would need wood spiritual energy and somebody with paired fire and wood spirit veins would need fire and wood spiritual energy. Do you understand?”
Jing Yi pondered and finally nodded. “I do! So that means I need … full spiritual energy.”
The disciple laughed and patted his head. “Almost, yes. You need fire spiritual energy, wood spiritual energy, water spiritual energy, air spiritual energy, earth spiritual energy, and metal spiritual energy.”
“That’s a lot.”
“Mn, it is. And the most important is that you need to take in about the same amount for all of them.”
“Because …” She scratched her head and looked around for anything she could use to explain. In the end, she poked Jing Yi’s arm. “The veins are part of your body. Now, imagine if each of them was like one of your limbs and that your limbs would grow when you took in the spiritual energy of that particular vein. You wouldn’t want just your arm to grow, would you?”
Jing Yi hurriedly shook his head. That would be too strange! “Then I need to be really careful. Otherwise, who knows how I’ll look in the end?”
The woman laughed. “Well, that’s just a comparison. Your limbs won’t really grow but it’s still not good to only train one of your spirit veins. It won’t work out that way.”
“Oh.” Jing Yi heaved a sigh of relief. He had really been afraid when she said his arm would suddenly grow!
“Is there anything you didn’t understand?”
Jing Yi shook his head. “No. It’s all very clear!”
“Great! Then you should go back to your room now. You only arrived today so take it easy. Tomorrow, you’ll start your life as a disciple of the Yun Zou Sect. You won’t have much time to rest then.”
“And the tasks?”
“Don’t worry about that either. After you’ve become a real disciple, they’ll naturally tell you about that. But there’s definitely no need to worry. They’re not that hard so you’ll manage.”
“Oh, that’s great!”
“Mn, isn’t it? Now, elder sister has to go. I need to talk to Elder Chu because I’m going into closed-door cultivation. I’m sure I’ll be able to advance this time!”
Jing Yi blinked. He had no idea what ‘closed-door cultivation’ was or what she wanted to advance with but it sounded as if she was really eager to do it. He smiled brightly and nodded. “You can do it, elder sister!”
The woman laughed, ruffled his hair again and walked away. Jing Yi also turned around and went back to his own room, feeling much better already after he had found out this much about the basis of becoming a hero.