Back in the border town, Yun Bei Fen opened his eyes again after the red priest finished his demonstration. His eyes looked a bit bigger than usual while he stared at the man in front of him in a daze.
Yan Jian Hong smiled. “So, how is it? Did you sense the energy entering your body this time?”
Yun Bei Fen nodded, still amazed. The energy felt just as smooth as it had looked before. When he took in spiritual energy, it had never felt like that. It was so … gentle and caring. He could really imagine this healing somebody.
Of course, this feeling should be thanks to the red priest’s incredible skill in handling this technique and probably spiritual energy in general. If it was switched to him … he was afraid the result would be much different. That was something he couldn’t help but worry about again.
Yan Jian Hong gave him a moment to think about the feeling and then took back his hands. “Alright. Since you’ve seen and felt how it works, I would say we should give it a practical try.”
Yun Bei Fen’s expression immediately collapsed. “Then what if I can’t do it? Or can’t do it well? Won’t I hurt somebody?”
Yan Jian Hong reached out and patted the top of his head. “Don’t worry, we’ll go slow. Every skill is learned one step at a time. This one isn’t any different. Now, the groundwork has been laid and we’re simply going to build on that foundation.
“You know that you have to go slow and steady so that is what we will work on first. It doesn’t necessarily need to be on a person though. Although doing this with somebody who can give you direct feedback has its advantages, it’s not necessary the first few times. After all, we just want you to get a grasp on it for now.”
Saying this, he picked up the spatial bag hanging from his belt. He looked through it for a moment and finally pulled out a small bead. It was only about as big as a fingernail and had a smooth surface that seemed to reflect even the faintest trace of light.
Yan Jian Hong held the bead up and smiled. “This is a small tool that we often use in our Zhen Yan Sect. The beads can store spiritual energy but they are fragile. So, for this technique, you can imbue the energy you would otherwise imbue into another person’s body into the bead instead. If you are too rough, the surface will fracture and the whole bead might even crack.” He reached out and held the bead in front of him, waiting for the youth to accept it.
Yun Bei Fen looked at the shiny bead and hesitated. This was definitely better than trying it out on a living person but … “Are these beads expensive?” It looked so small and delicate, making it had to be difficult.
The red priest shook his head though. “No. In fact, they are really cheap.” He didn’t go into detail about it but these beads were actually made by the disciples of their sect themselves.
The technique he was trying to teach Yun Bei Fen right now, as well as most others their sect’s disciples learned, needed a lot of patience. Cultivating that patience was one of the biggest tasks in the early stage of training their disciples. Of course, there was a lot of meditation involved, as well as repeating the skills they learned over and over again until they got it just right.
Creating these beads was another way to teach patience. After all, they had high standards for these beads. They needed to have a perfectly round shape and the surface needed to be smooth enough to reflect the light. Creating such a bead was not easy at all.
Many disciples struggled for weeks or even months before they managed to create a bead that could be called even slightly passable. As for one that would be accepted without reservation? The majority needed a year or two for that. Those who managed in less than a year were usually those disciples who would be able to go on to become pillars of their Zhen Yan Sect.
If the disciples knew that their sect’s guardian dared to call these fruits of their labor ‘cheap’, they might all be crying. Not that their hearts weren’t already bleeding whenever they took one of these beads to practice and accidentally cracked them.
To be honest, Yan Jian Hong was right though: Since all the disciples had to go through the process, the sect ended up with many, many, many of these beads. Throughout the centuries, they had ended up with more than they could ever use up. Giving a few to Yun Bei Fen was no problem at all.
After being reassured, Yun Bei Fen naturally had no problem accepting this bead either. He still picked it up very carefully and looked at it more closely. He hadn’t noticed it before but the bead wasn’t of an even color. There seemed to be specks of another color mixed into it. This one was dark blue but he could see a trace of violet as well. It really was beautiful.
He lowered his hand and then looked at the red priest again with some worry. “So, how exactly am I to do this?” He did understand the general idea but still wasn’t certain how to imbue his spiritual energy into something this small.
The red priest smiled and raised a hand, extending only one finger. “The skill is all about control. To succeed, what you need to do is to learn to control the output of your energy. For some disciples, it is easiest to learn by reducing the surface area that you discharge the spiritual energy from.” With that, some spiritual energy seeped out of his fingertip and entered the bead. Of course, with his control, not a single crack could be found on the surface afterward.
Yan Jian Hong smiled and then motioned ahead. “You give it a try. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. This is all just practice after all and nobody will get hurt if it goes wrong.”