Ch.12: Talking past each other
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There was also that issue of the bloody sea lodged in his mind, which might be a sign of the boy having been influenced by whomever he had met during his terrible childhood. It would be bad if he went down a crooked path, especially if he was so talented. The more extreme a person, the easier tempted. It would be a terrible situation if the child couldn't determine right from wrong.

Alas, Xie Yi had said so himself - he didn’t understand what was bad and what wasn’t, so he wanted Shi Yue to teach him, which was a good start to becoming an upright person.

“Xie Yi”, Shi Yue sternly said, staring at the boy with lowered eyes. “I will get someone to bring you over your schedule with my lessons later. Remember to not cut yourself off from your groupmates because of that; you are not above them. Also, I expect you to keep your mouth shut about anything that happens during our lessons.”

...God, that sounded wrong. He should have worded it in a way that didn’t imply they were doing unspeakable things.

“Will do.” Xie Yi tilted his head. “Uhm, I know it’s not part of the lesson, but since I did good, can you answer me a question?”

Shi Yue thought about it. Indeed, they were much faster than expected, and that kind of warranted a reward. Rewards and punishments were necessary for teaching. He motioned with his hand to show his agreement.

“How do I earn money?”

The question surprised Shi Yue. Normally, children wouldn’t be too interested in money right after joining a sect, but maybe it was the boy’s habit to hoard savings for bad times.

“If there is something you need, you can usually ask the attendants for help”, he offered. Xie Yi rejected it with a violent shake of his head.

“No can do! I need lots!”

For example for all the interesting materials he couldn’t harvest himself yet. He definitely couldn’t ask an attendant for those, but the ones selling it would keep their mouths shut. They certainly wouldn’t reject an honest source of money, even if the reason for said source appearing was dubious.

He had plans for the future, and it would end badly if he didn’t prepare as soon as possible. There was nothing worse than thinking you still had time, only to realize it had run out.

His heart stung painfully. 

When time did run out, there was nothing you could do to rewind it. He wasn’t so naive as to believe that a miracle would conveniently happen again.

As he thought so, Shi Yue’s mind conjured up the image of the poor little boy who didn’t dare rely on anyone, intent on making a living on his own. The suspicion of needing to lean on another person. A bit, he could understand.

That was a bit hard to say no to. And there were ways for someone young as him to earn money, so why not tell the boy? It would make for good practice and coddling children wouldn’t help them grow.

Shi Yue placed his hand against his lips and hummed in thought.

“Do you have anything in mind? Things you are good at and believe would be helpful?”, he asked. The best thing was for the disciples to have jobs corresponding to what they wished to learn and since Xie Yi was very young, he wouldn’t be hired for any of the more complicated jobs, so he could just say what he liked to do.

“I like spiritual weapons.” Xie Yi relaxed when he saw his master agree to his plan after all. The most awesome thing would be if he could forge his own weapons, but the last time he had tried that with Feng Yan, he had gotten a really bad scolding for trying to forge something without permission. (...He never got permission, for some reason, but Feng Yan said that you weren’t allowed to use the furnace of another person without their permission, so that was that.)

“Ah, your guardian is a smith who also creates low-level spiritual weapons, correct?”

“Yes.” Not sure what that had to do with anything, though.

“I’ll see what we can do about that. Am I right in believing that this is also the division you want to be in later?”

Xie Yi felt a bit stumped. “Uhm, what is your division?”

Shi Yue stared blankly on the table.

According to the sect leader, it was food. He really didn’t like that joke. He was just a tad bit picky about what he ate, that was all. As a being that didn’t need to eat to survive anymore, wasn’t it fine to be picky? 1(A/N: Foodie.)

“My division shouldn’t affect your likes and dislikes.”

That was a rather unsatisfying answer.

“I guess, maybe that division then”, Xie Yi answered a bit hesitantly and with a pout. In his last life, he had never reached the point of his weapon birthing a spirit, to his dismay. He didn’t understand why, but his weapon - the one that he forged all on his own, with materials he had gathered fully himself - had always been quiet. Maybe, this life he could have a sword spirit?

At that thought, he tugged at Shi Yue’s sleeve.

“Shi Yue-”

“Master Li. Also, don’t tug at my robes.”

“-Does your weapon have a spirit?”

He stared at the sword at Shi Yue’s waist. It looked different from what he remembered, but maybe his memory was just being faulty.

Shi Yue touched the hilt unconsciously, then looked down and tapped at it. “This one? No, it’s not my main weapon. My main sword does indeed have a spirit, so I don’t take it out too often. My spirit dislikes it.”

Seeing as Xie Yi was interested in spiritual weapons and forging, Shi Yue answered his questions freely.

“Can I see it sometime?”

With a twitch of his fingers, Shi Yue resisted the urge to place his hand on his face and bury it inside it.

“Xie Yi”, he started, only continuing when the boy gave a questioning ‘Yes’. “You shouldn’t ask people details about their sword spirits. Asking whether they have one is fine, but anything above that is quite rude, depending on the question even downright outrageous.”

Xie Yi looked at him with a face that screamed ‘I have no idea what you are talking about so please explain it’.

“Are you aware of how sword spirits are formed?”

The boy shook his head. He hadn't heard about that from his elders. He only knew that people had sword spirits, and it happened more often when the person was good with a sword and forged it themselves.

“There are a lot of factors, and I won’t go into depth for now as it would take more than one lesson and is rather complicated. What you should be aware of, however, is that sword spirit and cultivator are closely linked. The sword spirit can be almost considered a part of the cultivator. They’re our greatest trump card and greatest treasure. No one would want to just parade them in front of others.”

Xie Yi chewed on his lip, frowning deeply. He couldn’t understand at all. His elders had just said that his sword spirit would form one day and hadn’t given him any more information than that. The concept of the sword spirit being a part of yourself and that being something you wouldn’t randomly show to others - it didn’t make much sense to him. 

His lack of understanding was showing, but Shi Yue didn’t try to explain farther. It really was a complicated topic that would take more time.

“We will stop for today. The lessons of your groupmates should be finished, as well, so you can go to eat lunch together. After that, make sure to go to the other lessons as well. And remember to not talk about this lesson… and the fact that you managed to move the energy particles.”

“Okay”, the child sadly mumbled, scratching the tip of his shoe over the floorboard. He would rather stay with Shi Yue, but the man was surely busy.

Shi Yue waved him away and Xie Yi left for outside.

His current schedule was only including Shi Yue’s lessons for this week, meaning he’d get the full one later. It also mentioned the lessons with the others. For this first day, that would be training already, which would strain his body badly, but was necessary.

“Oh, I wonder what my reward will be?”, he whispered to himself as he walked around the building. He still had to get his reward for finishing the copying of the rules.

The canteen was overflowing, but only with lower-levelled disciples. Everyone else had different schedules and contrary to breakfast or dinner, lunch was easier to eat in the canteen rather than wherever. It was a large room with several separated areas - probably for the different levels - and tables of all kinds of sizes. At the side, you could go fetch your meal from a large variety of sets.

Xie Yi looked around. You couldn’t tell the exact levels of people, but at least their status. Secondary disciples had a white emblem on their robes, the primary ones a golden one and the succeeding disciples as well as teachers purple. The attendants had completely different clothes, so it wasn’t hard to differentiate. 

Inside the canteen were mostly secondary disciples, only a smaller group of primary ones sat in a separate corner.

As nervous newcomers, Xie Yi had no troubles finding his groupmates and Xu Yan, who frantically waved at him.

“There you are! Sheesh, it’s so mean that I don’t have all lessons with you. Hey, show me your schedule later, so that I know what we have together.” The excited boy pulled Xie Yi at his arm, dragging him to get food and then throwing another portion on top of what Xie Yi had taken.

Shi Yue is good at filling in information that he isn't sure about. Usually, he'd be right, but he couldn't expect for Xie Yi to be rather special

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