Behind them, a sound of steps appeared and the door was opened. A figure walked through, then kneeled before Xie Yi.
Xie Yi made a squeaky noise, his eyes widening and jumping around between Shi Yue and the sect leader. He looked ready to flip out like a little girl.
“You can’t hog him, though. He will still be in the training hall - he’s my sparring partner, as well. But you’re part owner now”, Shi Yue commented and pulled back his spiritual energy.
Xie Yi jumped at the chance and tried to pour his own spiritual energy into Xiao Jin. The paper-man didn’t resist and moved back to life, obediently standing up straight.
Paper-men with a quality as high as Xiao Jin couldn’t be used by everyone. For their spiritual energy to be accepted, the person had to be part of a special contract set up for the paper-man. These contracts were obviously valuable and thus well-guarded, since the person owning it could decide to add or cross out people at their will.
If that hadn’t been the case, Xie Yi would have long snuck out to play with Xiao Jin even without Shi Yue’s agreement...
“He’s mine now?!” Xie Yi reached up, dragging the huge figure down into a hug. Xiao Jin bent at the waist a bit to accommodate the movement. “I can activate him whenever?!”
“Not yours only”, Shi Yue repeated. “But yes, you can use him whenever. I’ve decided that this makes sense after talking to my master. Besides, I don’t think I can spar with you for another month or two.”
This would also allow Xie Yi to secretly try out upgrades without having to explain them. That was another thing Shi Yue had taken into consideration.
Xie Yi made more excited noises and half climbed up Xiao Jin, whose body didn’t even sway under the weight. Through the vague connection, Xie Yi could feel that Xiao Jin accepted him as a third master. With less power than the other two, though.
With that, Xie Yi already decided that he wanted to find a way to enhance Xiao Jin’s consciousness. Without having to sacrifice countless people, of course.
Normally, you did something like pull out about a thousand people’s souls and mash them up. Due to this, in the merging procedure only the common aspects would be left over.
This would result in you having a pure assortment of common habits - language, movement, the concept of orders, for example - without a will.
You could assimilate that with an object, as long as that object had its own strand of a soul already. The result would be a more intelligent object that could react on its own within high limitations.
Excluding the fact that the need of maintenance of that was very high and complicated, Xie Yi kind of didn’t think he’d get the permission for that.
Maybe he could do the whole process by copying and not merging…?
Either way, he would have to try, but this wasn’t something done quickly. Actually, thinking clearly, it was more likely to take a few dozen years.
Good thing he hadn’t tried to use this as a present!
Still… He wanted to see just how intelligent this paper-man could become.
Xiao Jin, without much of a choice, steadied the person that had begun to fully climb on him.
Looking at his disciple giggling happily while being carried like a princess by a (faceless) man, Shi Yue felt a hint of irritation. “Enough of that. Get down.”
The sect leader on the side wondered if his disciple would react the same way if it was him getting jumped by his disciple. (He was doubting it.)
“Okay, okay, now my present! I’ve got something for you too!”
“Wait, I’m an old man. Let me sit down first.” The sect leader pulled a chair to the front and sat down in a steady pose. Shi Yue joined him on another chair after a moment of contemplation.
Xie Yi missed the point of doing that but brought out his present in delight anyway.
It had been one hell of a piece of work considering how late he had gotten the idea. He had needed every free minute and total concentration to finish it in time.
Honestly, he was prone to starting last-minute things.
On the floor between them, he rolled out the piece of fabric.
It was quite thin and slightly translucent, so the wooden floor shone through the white material, making the most visible parts what looked like a large mandala of easily two on two meters.
It wasn’t coloured in and only was drawn in soft, black lines.
Shi Yue stifled a groan and leaned his face into his hand. The sect leader merely stared with a blank face. Xie Yi was waiting for a reaction.
“Has anyone else seen this. Other than Xu Yan.” Shi Yue tried to keep a calm voice.
“Nah.” The young man tilted his head in confusion and slight disappointment. A bad present?
Shi Yue wondered how in the world Xie Yi was going to survive. To tell the truth, he needed to be locked away from sight until he was at least a hundred or two years old, so you’d have any kind of excuse for the things he was randomly pulling up from his last life’s memory.
The shift in spiritual energy inside the room wasn’t large, but the effect was massive if you considered its use over time. They weren’t only drawn towards the fabric, they were even being cleansed to make cultivation easier.
Just sitting on the array that was disguised as a mandala would be very useful for cultivating.
It was also a type of mixed-use array that wouldn’t exist until in a few decades, when someone would be able to figure out the runes from a leftover array from over a thousand years ago, when the knowledge had been lost.
Cleansing spiritual energy was no joke.
The array Xie Yi had known was probably for the opposite use - getting rid of the spiritual energy and leaving only the demonic energy - but he was able to turn it around, although with much weaker strength.
Shi Yue pressed down the desire to shout at his disciple to please remember what kind of things would only be uncovered in the future.
The sect leader looked over to his disciple who, despite looking like he wanted to curse, wasn’t overly surprised at the situation.
The old man trusted his disciple with his life. If Shi Yue knew where the heck Xie Yi had gotten that array from, the sect leader wouldn’t need to question it.
“It’s a lovely present”, Shi Yue laughed in resignation. “Still, I hope you won’t show this to anyone else. I don’t think I’ve seen something like this ever before.”
The young man froze for a second.
Oh yeah… Maybe there was something like this array shocking a lot of people when it first came out...
“Beautiful work. I would have taken it even without a use other than ornamental. Thank you.” The Grandmaster lowered his voice to speak a bit more kindly.
Hearing that, Xie Yi relaxed his tense shoulders and smiled in satisfaction.
As long as Shi Yue was content, he was, too.
“Good thing I was sitting. I think I’ll take a break”, the sect leader commented as Shi Yue rolled up the fabric and hid it quickly.
“Thank you for watching over the ceremony, Master.”
“Don’t worry too much about it. I’ll leave the most annoying part to you.”
The old man chuckled and rubbed his beard. His disciple knew what he was talking about.
“Yes. Now…” Shi Yue turned towards the door and pulled a face. The sect leader joined him at his side and patted his shoulder, even though he wasn’t planning on going outside along with them.
Xie Yi was a step back, hugging Xiao Jin again before giving the paper-man the command to retreat and following the white-haired man with a lowered head.
All the people who had joined the conference were basically camping in front of the building, everyone staring right at Xie Yi when he came out with fake smiles.
“Master Li, you have not yet introduced your disciple to us”, one of them said, determinedly stepping forward and giving a tilt of his body instead of a full bow.
Xie Yi breathed in, and began the arduous task of greeting everyone once again.