Thanks to the new knowledge he gained, Jing Yi was motivated to help his senior martial brothers even more. They had actually given him such useful hints but he had been unable to understand them. Wasn’t that wasting their good intentions? He couldn’t let them down in the future! Thus he needed to make sure that he followed all of their instructions to the tee! Yes, he definitely couldn’t slack off. Every opportunity that they gave him to help somebody — he had to take it!
Thus, Jing Yi threw himself into the work that the older disciples assigned to him. Soon enough, a year had gone by and the next disciples were admitted to the Yun Zou Sect. This time the disciples had been recruited in another large town instead of the Long kingdom’s capital so there was nobody among them that Jing Yi and his friends new and nothing changed for them.
Once again, some children were sent to the inner sect while the rest moved into another one of the buildings in the outer sect. Soon, they started on the road of cultivation just like the disciples that had come in last year. Making connections with the older disciples, trying to find out what cultivation was all about from them, learning how to take in spiritual energy and finally managing to do so by themselves …
In that way, they slowly made their way to the first stage of cultivation while Jing Yi still didn’t know anything more about cultivation than he had after the first few days when that senior martial sister had explained the different spirit veins to him. No, Jing Yi was still rushing about, running errands and trying his best to help everyone around him so that he would finally become the hero his father had wanted him to be.
Jing Yi thought he was on the right way but Shao Hai watched with worry what was happening. He wanted to convince him to stop doing these things somehow but he didn’t know how. He just knew that it couldn’t go on like this and that he had to do something to wake his friend up. After all, it had been him who made Jing Yi believe that this was part of the way that all heroes had to take. So to a certain degree, this was his fault. He had to make up for it.
Maybe he should just tell him the truth? But he didn’t know how Jing Yi would take that. Maybe he would hate him for it? He didn’t want that! After all, he hadn’t given up on marrying Jing Yi. And even if he had, he didn’t want to lose him as a friend either.
In the end, Shao Hai didn’t dare to speak up. He could only try and come up with a way to distract Jing Yi from the work the senior martial brothers gave him. It would have to be a way that would let him make actually progress though.
He tried to talk to Xiao Dong about it but the other boy wasn’t helpful at all. Shao Hai had no idea what it was. When they were alone, he felt that Xiao Dong was actually quite decent. You could talk to him and have fun with him and everything was alright. But as soon as Jing Yi was with them, he started to become troublesome, always nagging him to do this and that and it really got onto his nerves. Even when he tried to tell him off, Xiao Dong wouldn’t listen to him. On the contrary, he seemed to be even more troublesome afterward. It was maddening!
So even though Shao Hai would’ve liked some help, he couldn’t depend on Xiao Dong. Instead, he had to try and come up with an idea of his own. That was easier said than done though. After all, he didn’t really know how a person would become a hero. Normally, shouldn’t they learn how to fight? He pondered that further and finally came up with what he would deem a good idea.
In that way, Jing Yi was dragged over to practice him again but this time, Shao Hai didn’t wait for him to finish his tasks first and instead insisted that he had to come and watch immediately.
Jing Yi might have been stubbornly insisting on doing his tasks but he felt that helping a friend was also something that a hero should do so he nodded and followed Shao Hai over to the courtyard behind the building where Shao Hai and Xiao Dong normally trained. He sat down on the stone bench where he normally sat and watched intently, not letting anything slip his attention. After all, Shao Hai often asked him later if he had gotten better. If he couldn’t spot any difference, how would he be helpful to Shao Hai?
Meanwhile, Shao Hai made sure to train for a longer time than usual. If he had Jing Yi watch the whole time and only let him go back in the evening, then there wouldn’t be any more time for his tasks, right? Then Jing Yi would stop doing them and realize that nothing bad had happened at all. After a few times, he should have understood that he wasn’t doing anything wrong and could still become a hero without doing these chores. This plan was sure to work!
Shao Hai proudly showed off his sword arts that had indeed improved over the past year to Jing Yi and made sure to only stop when the sun was going down. By now, he could hardly move his arms and legs anymore and only wanted to fall into bed but looking at Jing Yi and imagining how he wouldn’t need to do these chores anymore in the future and could concentrate on his cultivation, he felt invigorated.
Thus he skipped over and sat down next to Jing Yi. “So how was I?”
“You did great, Ah Hai! You only tripped twice when you did that turn and your sword didn’t get stuck in anything either today. You’ve gotten really good!”
Somewhere close by, laughter sounded.
The two of them looked over. Xiao Dong was sitting over there, looking around with wide eyes. Finally, he held his stomach and gave a laugh before stopping just as suddenly.
Jing Yi blinked his eyes not really understanding what Xiao Dong was trying to get at.
Shao Hai thought that he understood really well. His face turned red and despite the pain in his limbs, he jumped to his feet and rushed over. “You wait for me to get you!”
Xiao Dong also leaped to his feet and ran off, much more nimble than Shao Hai, leading the person away.
On top of the tree, Qiu Ling smoothed out his sleeves and raised his chin. It seemed now was his time to shine! He only had to get down and demonstrate to his beloved just how actual sword arts were supposed to look like. Honestly, that brat had given him such a good backdrop if he still wasn’t —
Uh? Qiu Ling blinked and watched in a daze as Jing Yi got up and ran back to the building where he lived. How come he still hadn’t gotten the chance he had been waiting for?
Ah, my love, it’s already been a year! Can’t you come back and look at my performance just once? Your future husband is very sad …