The person that had supposedly been waiting just for Qiu Ling was currently carrying a big basket. Inside the basket …
Qiu Ling tilted his head. That looked like something made out of fabric. It was supposedly white although it looked more like a washed-out gray. Why was his beloved carrying something like this?
Qiu Ling hid behind a tree and observed. If this was some kind of trial, then he shouldn’t get involved. He’d have to let his beloved suffer through it first as much as it pained him. Ah, but as a reliable and dutiful lover, he had to make some sacrifices. It was all so that they could be happy in the future!
While Qiu Ling was busy feeling torn between being devastated and glorious, Jing Yi carried the basket over to a well. He put the basket down next to it and fetched some water. Then … he looked around. He had already been taken in as a disciple several days ago and with the help of Qiguan Cheng Da, he had managed to get a lot of tasks that would help him to become a hero. On the first day, he had gotten the honorable task to rake the leaves around the disciples’ dwellings. On the second day, he had gotten the important task to sweep the floors of the dwellings’ main halls. On the third day, he had gotten the meaningful task to clean the windows. On the fourth day …
Anyway, today was the seventeenth day and Jing Yi had been given a basket so he could collect the clothes of all the disciples living in the building. Those among the common people that believed cultivators always had clean clothes because their robes were made of special fabric and because they could make any dirt magically disappear anyway should probably take a trip to the Yun Zou Sect.
The bitter truth was: They couldn’t just use magic. At least not when they had just begun cultivating. And as for special fabric … Damn, the sect couldn’t even pay for a decent hut for one of their most trusted Elders! Did anyone really expect them to give every disciple special clothes?! Those disciples could thank their stars that they at least got to wear white robes! If Sect Master Yuchi could do as he wanted to and wasn’t bound by old customs, they would all be wearing gray! The cheapest gray he could find!
Since there wasn’t a shortcut to having clean and neat robes for the outer sect disciples they had to wash them by themselves. And just like the task of sweeping the floor, this chore had been heaped upon Jing Yi.
This kind of thing … it made the Fate’s Scribe Shun Tao in the Nine Heavens weep with joy. Jing Yi had been so occupied with all these ‘important’ tasks that he hadn’t had the time to try to cultivate for even a single minute. He hadn’t been able to talk about cultivation with anyone either. Each day, the boy got up in high spirits, approached some senior martial brother and asked for a task like a good child. Then something he had absolutely nothing to do with would be dumped on his head and he would run to fulfill this task to the best of his ability even more happily.
For Shun Tao, this was a dream come true. For the senior martial brothers, this was also a dream come true. All these miscellaneous tasks they had had to take care of every day and that kept them from cultivating, were suddenly taken off their shoulders! They wanted to leap with joy!
In the beginning, they had only given Jing Yi tasks because Qiguan Cheng Da had asked them to do so. Apparently, this was an insufferable brat that had irked him so as those who had started out in the sect together with him, they should help him vent a bit, shouldn’t they? After two weeks of enjoying the benefits, they felt that they were bullying an exceedingly honest child though and couldn’t help but feel guilty. Then again they didn’t want to have to do all this themselves again and pass up on their additional cultivation time. Anyway, the child looked happy doing these tasks and he had waste spirit veins either so … it should be alright.
In the end, they just opted to give him some treats so he could grow stronger and do the tasks more easily. And wouldn’t there be a new round of recruitment next year? He could just pass his tasks onto somebody else by them. Nobody had said he would have to do them for his whole life.
Jing Yi didn’t think of not doing the tasks. After all, this was what would enable him to become a hero just like his father and his grandfather and big brother Wu. Why wouldn’t he want to do them?
Today, he found himself faced with a problem though. A difficult problem that made him question his resolve. On the other days, he had had tools to help him. For example, the big broom he could use to sweep the leaves. That broom was so big that he could hold it and be far away from all the dirt! But today …
He looked at the basket with the dirty robes, then at the bucket with water standing on the dirty ground and finally, at the big stretch of nothing next to it. Where should he sit? And how should he wash these dirty robes without getting dirty himself? Not that his mother would see but still! He couldn’t just get himself dirty. So what … should he do now?
Jing Yi bit his lower lips and his big doe eyes filled with tears. He didn’t want to get dirty! But he didn’t want to do a bad task either! Just what should he do?! This was a nightmare!