While Jing Yi wasn’t able to reach the capital city of the Long kingdom sooner without finding another way to get there or find out how Qiu Ling was doing, there was one thing that he could do: Since he didn’t need to walk, he could close his eyes while sitting on the cart and continue to try to sense spiritual energy.
It was a pity that he wasn’t yet able to take it in but he felt that if he at least became more used to sensing it, it would also do some good. Anyway, this was also what Qiu Ling had suggested to him before so he would keep at it. Even if it didn’t work out, at the very least, he would have tried. That was the least he could do. He didn’t want to seem completely useless anymore when they met again.
For the first few days, Jing Yi didn’t notice any changes at all despite spending most of his day trying to sense the spiritual energy of the air. He was able to do it but that was it. He couldn’t take it in, he couldn’t sense anything else and, to be honest, the scope at which he could feel it was quite small as well.
This time around, there also wasn’t Qiu Ling to help him so the energy wasn’t as ordered as before and he had a bit more trouble sensing it in the first place. He needed more time to find back into that feeling after a break even though he was able to keep it up for a long time afterward, sometimes only stopping when they stopped at the next town.
Jing Yi could only sigh when he came to these realizations. It seemed that while he had made progress the other day on the mountain, it hadn’t been as much as he had thought it was. There was still a lot he needed to learn. He could only hope that this journey would enable him to make at least some progress in that regard.
Even though Jing Yi wasn’t too hopeful after his initial realization, he still continued to try. After another two weeks, he at least felt that starting to sense the spiritual energy was becoming easier. Despite not being at a place with a lot of it and even without Qiu Ling’s help in mobilizing it first, he seemed to be back to being able to sense the energy in the same amount of time. This should count as some progress, right?
Unfortunately, Jing Yi couldn’t be complacent for long. While the time wasn’t as much of an issue anymore, the scope was. He could feel the spiritual energy around his body and for a few feet around him but that was it. Even trying to sense it on the other side of the cart was difficult to accomplish even if he fully concentrated on it.
Jing Yi sat on the cart silently, staring ahead. Being able to sense the spiritual energy in a bigger space … He felt that it might be helpful but he wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Should he once again just … practice again and again? It had worked with getting faster but this time around, he wasn’t so sure. If that was enough, shouldn’t he already be able to do it right now since he had practiced so much? Or had his previous training not had any impact since he hadn’t focused on this factor?
He thought and thought but in the end, he couldn’t be sure without trying. After all, there was nobody to ask.
At that time, Si Fen called for everyone to stop and set up camp for the night. The group slowed down. As soon as the carts stopped, Jing Yi jumped down from the cart and started to help with setting everything up.
Si Fen walked over to him after checking on everybody else and couldn’t help but smile. “You’re doing that really well.” The boy had tried to learn and help out wherever he could but this was something she had noticed him doing quite well from the very beginning and she couldn’t help but be a little curious. “Were you often traveling like this before?”
Jing Yi shook his head. “No, not really. It’s just that …” He hesitated, not quite sure how to proceed.
Si Fen sat down next to him and just waited. He didn’t have to tell her but if he was willing to, she would naturally listen.
Jing Yi gave an embarrassed smile. “Well, for the past few months, I had been traveling with … a senior martial brother from my sect. He taught me a few things.”
“I see.” Si Fen couldn’t help but wonder why his expression was like that though. “Are you … feeling that you should have known before?”
Jing Yi looked at her in confusion. “No, not really. My family was from a small village. We never really traveled. We only did once when we moved to the capital city later on to help out my father’s family. This was the first time I was traveling for such a long stretch of time. Before that, I couldn’t have used that knowledge even if I had it.”
“Then … why do you look like it’s embarrassing to bring up?” This time, it was on Si Fen to be confused. Especially since Jing Yi’s cheeks turned red when she asked that question. “Is there something more to it?”
Jing Yi looked away and then scratched his neck. “Well …” There was probably no reason to feel like this but he couldn’t help it.
Si Fen just laughed and patted his shoulder. “You don’t have to say it if you don’t want to. I was just curious.” She already wanted to get up but Jing Yi finally convinced himself to speak out.
“He … He asked me to marry him.”