“Come in”, he called without inquiring who it was. The spiritual energy hovering around the door was enough to notify him of the identity of his visitor.
“Greetings, Grandmaster”, the rumbly voice said and a stern-looking, large man stepped in.
One of the teachers for sword fighting in the more advanced courses that also used spiritual energy. He was one of the more sceptical teachers concerning Shi Yue’s desire to stand against the Zhu family.
“Sit down”, Shi Yue greeted back, his voice friendly but a bit tired.
The man sat down - barely fitting into the chair - and crossed his arms. His beard was trimmed to perfection, moving as he spoke.
“You’re still determined to go against them”, he said with a dark look on his face.
He looked older than Shi Yue, but when the Grandmaster straightened his back, his aura was no less.
“It’s not a good option to let them believe that we will back down no matter what they do, including having one of their youngest members attempt to kill a Grandmaster’s disciple for no reason.”
“I’ve talked to the rest of us who haven’t agreed yet. Think of me as their proxy”, the man said, moving a hand up to rub over his beard. “We do agree with your words. What we don’t like is that we feel you have changed since you have taken in that disciple.”
Shi Yue lowered his eyebrows.
“How should I say it? You feel younger. More impulsive. Not necessarily bad - you were always a bit too calm. We are simply worried that such a young child can have a large impact on you”, he warned. “We will agree with your plans, under one condition. We all have a right to veto in case you are overdoing it. Only if most of us agree, of course - but we want a say in those matters.”
Shi Yue violet and the man’s golden eyes met for a long time, silence falling over the room. Finally, Shi Yue nodded.
“I understand. It is not my intention to make the other teachers nervous. If you all perceive me as going overboard, please feel free to intervene. But I promise you, you won’t need to go that far.”
The man was right. He needed to get his calm back.
“In that case”, the man chuckled lowly. “Go ahead. Show that family that we aren’t to be taken lightly. If they think we have no teeth, they are thinking wrongly.”
He smirked broadly, a hostile aura flickering around him.
Truth be told, they were all more than upset that Yao Ming had dared to try such a thing. If that family was getting cocky, they had to be shown their place.
Shi Yue responded with a grim face. “Thank you.”
The other man placed a fist on his chest. “When will you make your move?”
“This is something that needs to be declared on a larger level. I will announce that there is something I intend to declare and set the date in two weeks. That should be enough to gather attention”, Shi Yue hummed thoughtfully, leaning on his arm.
“We should be meeting up soon to discuss the details then.”
“Yes. I will send an attendant around soon.”
The man didn’t waste any more words but just stood up, giving half a bow before leaving. Shi Yue stayed behind, turning on his chair to look at the clouds covering the sun outside with an overcast face.
“So, everything is fine there. I’ll collect your payment soon”, Mingtian summarized, lying on Xie Yi’s lap. There were also some weird people hovering around the store, but he didn’t mention that.
“Did you check up on Feng Yan, too?”, Xie Yi asked without moving his mouth too much. He was still sitting at the side of the training grounds and was just waiting for the group to finish jogging before he’d resume helping with the lesson.
“He’s alright, no need to worry about him.”
“That’s good to hear”, Xie Yi hummed.
He had started feeling considerably better these days. The pain from the poison was ever constant, as they continuously raised the dosage, but the backlash from his rage had healed up well. He was still not allowed to participate in the usual lessons, but he did increase the amount of time he spent with his own training.
“Alright. Back to work”, he humpfed, placing Mingtian onto the ground and then standing up to stretch. Even if it wasn’t the whole group, most of them were indeed starting to see him as some kind of second teacher and he took it quite seriously.
They were too talkative and touchy-feely for his taste, but it usually worked to just make his discomfort clear and they’d stop.
Otherwise, it was kind of interesting to see their progress.
Mostly, it was a nice distraction. Without his lessons, he was wasting a lot of time following Xu Yan to his and watching or drawing the patterns. These moments were the most active ones he had.
“Senior, am I doing it right?”, a girl asked as he passed her by and he stopped to watch.
She slowly crouched down, then began to go through a series of slow movements; punches and kicks.
It would take a while until she could fluidly go through them, even more so until she could actually put strength into the movements. For now, she just needed to execute them cleanly.
“You tilt”, Xie Yi commented, scrutinizing her movements. “You lean to the right. Make sure your body is straight.”
He reached out, bluntly grabbing her shoulders and correcting her.
She smiled a bit wryly. Were it another boy she’d be suspicious, but Xie Yi was so blatantly ignoring her identity as a woman, he might as well be a doctor.
“Senior, how are you so good at this?”
“But everyone that started with you has the same physical lessons, right? Master Li doesn’t teach you extra? How are you so much better?”, she wondered.
She pulled her face into a pout. “I got it. Secret lessons, hm?”
“...” No, seriously. A whole life of practice.
Xie Yi found it a bit awkward whenever scenes like these happened, but he was getting used to them just a bit more.
It was too bad that he was still in rehabilitation - now, as a third level, he could be challenged and could challenge to official matches. He was actually really looking forward to that!
Spars were great!
He had even watched a lot of battles already to get used to the sort of moves and amount of strength the disciples here used. The spars between young disciples and Masters were definitely different, so he didn’t want to overdo it.
The spars in his last life ended a good lot more bloody than the ones he was seeing here. He already knew he’d have to hold back on hurting the others.1*Looks at the first scene after the timeskip and laughs
“Hey, Senior”, someone else called and Xie Yi stopped helping the girl to walk over to the next one.
The disciples found it funny how his face usually didn’t move at all but then became so expressive whenever Xu Yan came by. Xie Yi was just as everyone described.
They had started to make a game out of trying to cause an expression to appear on his face, but so far no one had succeeded.
Ah, mentioning Master Li didn’t count. It would be too easy to win the bet if they did that.
Sadly it was just as hard to surprise him - he always appeared to know where everyone was -, as to make him laugh - he… usually didn’t understand the jokes. Or just didn’t think of them as funny.
“Say, did we hear it right that Master Li is going to announce something soon? I heard that it’s so important that even some people from the capital are invited and there will be attendants and disciples from other sects visiting just to hear the news and pass them over to their masters.”
The usual talkative group asked what everyone wanted to know, causing their ears to perk up.
Xie Yi tilted his head. Shi Yue hadn’t explained it fully, but it probably had to do with what they had talked about. That he wanted to warn Yao Ming’s family about hurting him again.
“Probably”, he replied honestly.
On that note, Yao Ming was still not back. He had no doubt that he’d return soon, but it was disconcerting that he wasn’t around.
People liked fearing the things they saw, but most people knew that the unknown was much scarier.
Not knowing what Yao Ming was up to and where he was felt much more annoying.
Anyway, he now had Mingtian at his side. Yao Ming wouldn’t be able to catch him off guard again that easily.
Aah, somehow, he almost wished that Yao Ming would try to attack him anyway. That way he could retaliate while still being lawful and maybe just accidentally make sure that the bastard wouldn’t annoy him again.
The crystal in his pocket warmed up, burning against his chest and causing him to blink.
Xie Yi looked over the disciple, then reached out his hands to place the disciple’s arms into the right position before watching him continue to move through the motions.