“Still no progress?” Shao Hai couldn’t help but furrow his brows while he asked and watch for Jing Yi’s reaction. He didn’t want to pour salt onto his wounds but so much time had already gone by and he had never heard him say that there had even been a little bit of progress. So every once in a while he would still ask and then try to make him ask his senior martial brother again to get some tips. Wasn’t that how the other disciples learned to cultivate? It couldn’t be that his Xiao Yi wouldn’t be able to do what they did, could it?
Jing Yi gave a wry smile and shook his head. “No, nothing yet.”
Shao Hai reached out and patted his shoulder. “Don’t take it to heart. I’m sure you’ll still be able to become a hero. Who knows? Maybe it’s more likely for people to become heroes when they are older? Nobody ever said they had to be really young.”
Jing Yi just continued to smile. Considering all the stories that Shao Hai and Xiao Dong or even their seniors had told him, he was pretty sure that most heroes were, in fact, young. It was because they were peerless talents that they were able to save people.
To be honest, after several years in the sect and, well, maybe just growing up for another few years he was slowly thinking differently about things anyway. How could he not? He had only been ten years old when he came to the Yun Zou Sect and he had originally lived in a backwater place where people would believe in any rumor they heard and spread their gossip until the original story became unrecognizable. Back then he had been nothing but an ignorant child. But by now, he had turned fifteen and even though his experiences were still shallow, a few things had still accumulated so he couldn’t help but develop another perspective.
Back when that man had told him that story about the dragons and demons, he had thought that his father definitely wanted him to be a hero and save people. After all, the dragon king in that story had been a great hero. But actually, there had been a lot of things about this that didn’t make any sense. He understood that now.
Still, there was one thing that was true and that was that his father was somebody who would often help people. If somebody asked him to do something, he wouldn’t hesitate and just go and do it. Just like how he had gone to the capital when his cousin whom he hadn’t seen in years sent that letter. Some people had called his father stupid for that but that was just how he was. A kindhearted person, maybe too kind, who would do what he thought to be right.
He certainly would have wanted his son to become a person like that too. So helping people as he had done in the last few years wasn’t wrong. He probably wouldn’t have needed to come here for that since he didn’t need to be a cultivator to help people but … thinking back to how his grandfather had saved him and his family back when they had been attacked by the bandits in the Long mountain range, he couldn’t help but feel that becoming a cultivator was still a very good thing.
After all, there were lots of people that could help others with simple things. Cultivators could do that too but they were the only ones who could help when something life-threatening happened. And in such a moment, people really need help. They might be able to find ways to help themselves in other situations but when their life was on the line, then there would be nothing they could do. Just like he and his family back then.
So if he managed to become a cultivator, that would be very good. Then maybe he could be like his grandfather back then and help when it mattered the most. That was why he still hadn’t given up on the dream of becoming a ‘hero’. But what a hero was had already changed for him. Maybe calling it a hero was even wrong but he hadn’t bothered to correct Shao Hai on that. He just didn’t know how but it wasn’t important anyway. He wanted to become a cultivator. He wanted to be able to fight so good people could keep their lives. Then things like his father’s death might not need to happen anymore. If there were good cultivators around that would lend a helping hand in such a moment, then things might turn out differently for others. Wouldn’t that be good?
Seeing Jing Yi’s expression, Shao Hai couldn’t help but feel flustered. “Don’t worry too much, Xiao Yi! I’m sure there’s a way to learn it.” He couldn’t help but feel despondent though. With each year they spend here, they were getting older. By now, Jing Yi was probably already past the prime age for cultivation. Even if he somehow managed to learn it now, things might get difficult for him. He didn’t dare to say that though. Jing Yi was already sad as it was. Saying something this harsh to him … He really couldn’t bring himself to do that.
He searched for something he could say to cheer him up but he couldn’t think of anything. He himself didn’t have spirit veins so he didn’t know about cultivation and had only been able to stay in the sect because he learned sword arts. And even in that, he wasn’t very good. Looking at Xiao Dong …
Shao Hai’s worried expression turned blank and he looked over at Xiao Dong who was casually going through the motions of the advanced manual that Elder Suo had given him. Right. They didn’t have spirit veins but that didn’t mean that they were useless. His own talent might not be as high as Xiao Dong’s and he always felt like a fool in comparison but he still wasn’t too bad. At the very least, he had made some progress and finished the first stage and was already halfway through the second. That wasn’t very good but it was still decent.
Shao Hai grabbed Jing Yi’s other shoulder and looked into his eyes. “Xiao Yi, actually, if you’re struggling with cultivation, then maybe you should just try to be like us and become a practitioner. I mean if having full spirit veins makes cultivation so difficult, then maybe it would be better to just pretend you’re a normal person. Xiao Dong and I could even help you with learning the simple moves from the first manual.”
Jing Yi blinked his eyes and straightened up. Right! Why hadn’t he thought of that? He should’ve asked them about that much earlier! “Would you really do that?”
Seeing that Jing Yi was happy at his suggestion, Shao Hai couldn’t help but straighten up too. “Of course! As your future husband, I should naturally help you out in such a situation.” He smiled brightly, not noticing that Xiao Dong had tensed up on the other side of the courtyard and completely unaware of the dark gaze that seemed as if it wanted to drill into the back of his head from the roof of the building behind them.