Now that the sword was back in its scabbard, Shi Yue was less hesitant in closely inspecting it. He appreciatively noted its cage-like design.
His disciple had been struggling with keeping his temper down and maybe the wish to regain control had given birth to this sword. It was certainly a good thing.
“What is its name?”, he asked smilingly. Were it anyone else he would not be so discourteous in inspecting and asking, but because he knew Xie Yi well enough, he did not have too much worry that the other had any problem with it.
“Juxian”, Xie Yi mumbled, fidgeting. The name was very direct.
The Grandmaster gave him an amused glance. Obviously, Xie Yi had noticed the function of his sword, as well. It wasn't the most delicate naming sense, but it was very direct and exactly like his disciple.
“In that case, welcome to the Virtuous Sect, Juxian. Pleased to meet you”, Shi Yue addressed the sword spirit. It might be able to understand him or not, but this much felt like it was needed. Xie Yi had directly introduced him, after all.
He brushed a fingertip against the scabbard and the sword hummed in response. The light vibration was surprisingly painful in his finger - like a human trying to touch an ant and accidentally breaking one of its legs. ...With Shi Yue being the ant, in this case.
The man pulled his hand back slowly and rubbed his numb finger once it was hidden within his sleeve again. He did not want his disciple - who was watching him with wide eyes - to notice the pain he was feeling in his hand. Unexpectedly, Xie Yi’s spirit might be stronger than any he had ever met before.
“How do you feel now?”, Shi Yue asked curiously. His disciple’s sword was focused on calming his mind, so it would be very interesting to see its effect.
Xie Yi cocked his head and rolled his shoulders. He looked relaxed like after a good fight. “A bit like I’m about to fall asleep. I’m not as constantly annoyed anymore. My mind feels a bit empty now? I think it's just the tension being gone for once.”
“It would be very interesting to how it works during a fight”, Shi Yue nodded. “If you want, I’ll activate Xiao Jin for you and you can use Juxian to fight against him. Although you can also continue to fight with another sword, the effect should still be visible.”
“I want to use him”, Xie Yi rejected hurriedly. “For now, I want to fight with him.”
“Then let’s go right away”, Shi Yue hurried. Truth be told, he was both nervous and excited to see the result. He almost felt like a little child again.
Obviously, Xie Yi did not reject his enthusiasm.
He hugged his sword all the way to the training room and even carried it into the changing room. It was obvious that he was very happy with his creation. The broad grin never left his face as he got into position.
Standing in front of the tall and stern Xiao Jin, who was the only one of them to have facial features, Xie Yi found himself somewhat squeaky and momentarily distracted from his sword.
Why wasn’t Xiao Jin a human! He’d be so cool!
He’d be such an amazing trainer! He’d probably be working for the king, right?
Or maybe he wouldn’t work for anyone at all? Travelling the world by himself, helping wherever he could.
The youth twitched and turned his face to Shi Yue in surprise. For some reason, his master had a slightly ugly expression.
“Are we starting now?”, the Grandmaster unhappily asked.
Stressed, Xie Yi stood straight and nodded. “Yes, sorry for being distracted!”
Shi Yue shut his mouth before he could ask what exactly Xie Yi was getting distracted by when there was only a paper-man standing in front of him. Paper-men weren't interesting in any way.
He merely sighed and gave Xiao Jin the order to move.
Xie Yi instantly pulled Juxian, keeping the sheath fixed on his waist.
Shi Yue watched him and soon fell into a daze.
His disciple did not fight like a young man. Right now, he was not even fighting like he usually did.
He fought calmly and calculative, without his usual risky moves. He was focused on his opponent and minimized the damage on himself despite being overwhelmed by the other.
More than once, he moved unexpectedly - as if he misjudged the reach of his arms and legs, making him unsteady for a split second before he caught himself. Every time it happened, he managed to turn his own miscalculations into unpredictable moves that caused Xiao Jin to stagger.
He was still moving aggressively. It had the charm of his usual fighting style, indeed, but much more matured.
He could hardly remember that the person before him was not even an adult yet.
Shi Yue’s hands tightened in his sleeves. He felt jealous. Jealous of Xiao Jin, who was the sparring partner.
With a Xie Yi like this, he really wanted to spar, as well.
However, he forced the wish down. He was supposed to be the master, he couldn’t allow himself to be swept away bis his disciple. No matter how amazing he was.
For the time of the fight, Shi Yue almost stopped blinking and breathing.
As usual, Xie Yi could not win against Xiao Jin yet, but he held out for much longer. Moreover, he was quite relaxed at loosing and did not cut as sorry a figure as on other days.
Xiao Jin lowered the sword he was holding against Xie Yi’s neck and gave him a deep bow in salute.
A soft smile appeared on Xie Yi’s face. “Victory or defeat aside, it really is enjoyable to fight against you.”
Shi Yue, who was walking forward, almost tripped. Huh? Was that still his disciple? Why was his tone so relaxed and even, like it was really a game? Normally, his voice would jump up and down with his emotions.
Xie Yi pushed Juxian back into its sheath and went forward to hug Xiao Jin. The figure was taller so he was standing on his tiptoes and dragging him down, squashing his cheek against the helmet.
“Hey, hey, Shi Yue! Can’t you lend him to me for a while? Please?”
...Maybe it had been an illusion.
“I’ll repeat it again and again: No. I also spar against him. He’s not for sale.” Shi Yue’s face twitched.
Xiao Jin was like an obedient large dog. He allowed himself to be snuggled against Xie Yi’s chest and twisted his body in ways humans wouldn’t like.
“Can I buy him from you?”, Xie Yi mumbled. He hadn’t given up on Xiao Jin yet.
“Never”, Shi Yue grumpily replied.
Actually he had planned on giving Xiao Jin to his succeeding disciple one day, but now he was reconsidering it.
“Well I understand”, Xie Yi lamented. “He’s great. Of course you wouldn’t be giving him away easily…”
Shi Yue waved the thought of wanting to scrap Xiao Jin out of his brain. Xiao Jin had been expensive and was based on a lot of work from his master and master's master. He could not waste such a precious thing.
“You fight well with Juxian”, Shi Yue switched topics abruptly. “He truly does have a calming effect on you.”
“Un”, Xie Yi nodded happily. “I could fully focus on the fight. I didn’t feel angry or annoyed or anything!”
“That’s one worry off my chest”, Shi Yue said out loud to himself. “Now you can relax. Even if you meet someone of the Demonic Sect, you can stay calm.”
Xie Yi replied with only a smile.
Shi Yue felt a shudder of discomfort at the sight, but the smile was gone before he could say anything. Xie Yi was already running around everywhere again.
“Should we continue with training? I’m kinda full of energy right now!”
Xie Yi avoided turning to Shi Yue.
Yes, he could stay calm. But that meant the opposite of what Shi Yue wanted.
He would not stay away from the Demonic Sect.
From now on, he would begin to hunt them.