Mei Chao Bing continued to nod, showing that he understood so far even though he had no idea where they were going with this.
Yan Hong Min looked up at him, staying quiet for yet another moment. “If it is the blood and the … spiritual mark if we want to call it that for the moment is attached to the blood, then a cultivator’s blood could maybe be used to gain an ability.”
Mei Chao Bing blinked his eyes. For a moment, he wondered if this was how Yun Bei Fen felt when everyone was discussing cultivation techniques or strategies around him. Then, he simply shook his head. “I can’t quite follow.”
Yan Hong Min furrowed his brows, not sure how else to explain. He rubbed his temple and then continue drawing a couple of stick figures with a mark attached. “Imagine that these are all disciples of our sect. They have all cultivated the same technique so they all have the same spiritual mark.”
Mei Chao Bing inclined his head. “Yes. This should be the case for all the great righteous sects.”
“Indeed. And for all demonic sects as well. Any sect, really. As long as they have a certain technique that all of their disciples learn but nobody else, then those disciples would all share the same spiritual mark.
“Now, the technique strengthens an ability.” He circled the first stick figure he had drawn and then tapped the mark above its head. “Or maybe it’s not the technique but the mark it leaves. I don’t know.” He shrugged his shoulders.
Mei Chao Bing nodded but his brows had already drawn together. This was the place where he had gotten lost previously. He simply couldn’t see a way to acquire anything even if the blood or the mark or the technique or maybe all of them together had a strengthening effect. After all, it wasn’t like they were the source of the ability. If they were, then things would be different.
Yan Hong Min looked at him and realized that Mei Chao Bing was roughly at the same place of understanding as he had been before. He gave a sigh and then shook his head. “Look: Let’s just say for simplicity’s sake that it’s the marked blood that strengthens the ability.”
“Okay.” Mei Chao Bing wasn’t sure what difference it would make for the explanation but he was willing to try anything if it could help him understand.
“The question is why is that the case? The answer would be that the ability likely comes from the blood as well. You are born with it. It’s tied to your body and because the blood receives the mark, the two of them interact with each other.”
Mei Chao Bing slowly nodded. “I do get that part. But how could you acquire an ability through that?”
“By using the blood of somebody who had the mark and …” He turned his head around, looking for the right word as if it was written down somewhere. “Processing it I guess. I don’t know how exactly it’s done either but if the blood is the link, then they could use it to make this possible.”
Mei Chao Bing tilted his head. “How so if an ability has to be there at birth?”
Yan Hong Min shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe that’s just wrong. Maybe abilities are actually more like cultivation: Not everyone can have them but there is still a large enough amount of several sects. Might be fewer than those who have the option to become cultivators but among a sect like the Wu Yun Sect or even all the demonic sects, there should be enough of them to do whatever they are trying to do.
“In any case, we don’t know much about abilities that is certain, right? So just because the guardians know that they were born with it and nobody else developed any high-profile abilities, that might just mean that others weren’t able to figure it out. After all, people usually don’t become great cultivators without a Master either.” He shrugged his shoulders and then grimaced. “No offense, by the way. You clearly did well enough without one.”
Mei Chao Bing raised his brows and then leaned back with a faint laugh. “You know, I think I just understand. You need somebody to explain the basics of cultivation to you but if you have them, you can go the rest of the way on your own like I had to when my Master betrayed the sect.
“In the same vein, the other three guardians received the help of the black warrior which made recognizing their ability for what it was and developing it much easier. Others might have had abilities but they either never figured that out or they did but didn’t know how to go forward. Meanwhile, because the four guardians stuck together, each discovery that one of them had was guidance for the other three, allowing them to slowly accumulate knowledge even if they couldn’t figure out everything.”
“Right. So the number of people with abilities might have been understated before and those that do have one … Maybe it’s less that they have one specific ability but rather the potential to develop one and based on their personality, their other skills, and their cultivation technique, they finally develop it. Maybe it’s like … a cultivation technique or a sword art they develop for themselves. Those usually vary from person to person as well.”
Mei Chao Bing nodded slowly. “They do. But they could be taught to others afterward even though they naturally suit the original person most. That would explain why the demonic practitioners that … copied the ability were able to use it but not in the same vein the white jade would.” He continued to nod, suddenly feeling that all of this made sense.
Yan Hong Min shrugged his shoulders. “That would be my understanding at least. Checking the documents can’t hurt though. Oh, also, you might want to ask the Li Ren Sect whether a bunch of their disciples went missing. If that’s the case, then you definitely have your answer.”