Hei turned his attention back to his storage space, but to his surprise, Onyx was nowhere to be found.
‘Is it possible? Side quest avoided?’
Hei was excited for a split second, but he quickly realised that his life wasn’t so easy.
He would surely be seeing that fellow again.
Ruminating on his ‘tragic’ fate, Hei fell asleep.
After a full night’s sleep, he was woken by the natural Qi, who had informed him that Jingfei had entered his room.
Before he could even open his eyes, she had taken his hand and pulled him out of bed.
During the night, Jingfei had a lot of time to think, and the best way to repair their relationship she had found was to forcefully spend quality time with Hei.
Since he was only 10 years old, she would wipe away his sadness with a whole lot of fun.
“Wake up, Young Master Hei. Today, I will be taking you on an adventure.”
Hei was shocked by Jingfei’s actions. What exactly had happened to her overnight?
Before he could get out any more words, Jingfei was already pulling him along.
“First, we will be going to the cinema. I will show you my favourite movie.”
Hei was surprised to hear these words. He had never read of cinemas in these kinds of stories.
“Ah, right. You come from Spring Leaf City, so it is not strange that you don’t know about them. A cinema is a place where you can watch scenes that have been recorded into jade slips. Depending on the people involved, they can create some compelling stories, like the one I am going to show you.”
“Jade slips containing visual information?”
Hei was excited to hear this. If he could incorporate this into his long-distance communication system, he could possibly achieve wireless file transfer. Even live video streaming wasn’t out of the question.
Jingfei smiled when she saw that Hei was excited.
“Mm. But instead of telling you, you can see for yourself.”
Hei didn’t ask any more and waited until they got to the cinema. In his past life, he wasn’t one to go to the movies, after all, they were outside.
As they walked into the main sect, a lot of heads turned to them.
Hei realised that Jingfei was still holding his hand, so he tried to pull it away.
When he did, he could feel Jingfei’s grip tightening.
This caused him to feel a little uncomfortable.
“Um… My hand.”
Jingfei turned to Hei, who was visibly uncomfortable. She bit her lower lip feeling guilty.
“I’m sorry, Young Master Hei, but I have to do this.”
She decided that she wouldn’t release his hand until she was sure he had enjoyed himself.
Hearing this, Hei let it go. So, what if he was getting strange looks? It’s not like it was anything new.
Besides, he could see that Jingfei was trying to push through her mental struggles.
If she was trying so hard to shake her fear, why would he insist on a minor improvement in comfort?
Soon, they arrived at the cinema.
It didn’t look too different from the other buildings of the sect. A large, Chinese style building, with big double doors at the front.
They entered, and Jingfei spoke to the receptionist.
“I would like to purchase two tickets for The Phoenix And The Vermillion Bird.”
The receptionist was surprised.
She looked at Jingfei, who was holding Hei’s hand.
“Is the other ticket for him?”
“Then… That will be 110 merit points.”
“No, I want a private booth.”
“A private booth? Are you sure?”
The receptionist was now shocked. What did it mean for Jingfei to be taking this boy into a private booth?
Jingfei handed over her jade slip.
“Then that will be 210 merit points.”
It was now Hei’s turn to be shocked.
“But that amount of merit points…”
Hei tried to dissuade Jingfei.
He knew her exact situation. After purchasing the ingredients yesterday, she should have been left with no merit points at all.
Even if she exchanged the pills she had refined the previous day, this expense would take a large portion of the merit points she would have received.
Jingfei just smiled and placed her finger over her lips.
The truth of the matter was, Jingfei had woken up early in the morning and quickly exchanged the refined pills for more ingredients, which she refined into pills, finally exchanging them for merit points.
Luckily, she was able to recover her mental energy to a comfortable condition by the time she woke Hei, but she was currently very tired.
She was hiding it as best as she could so as not to cause Hei any worry.
Her actions would negatively affect the plan to rob Elder Ping, but as far as she was concerned, that was nowhere near as important as mending her relationship with Hei.
Seeing that Jingfei was determined, Hei decided to let it go.
Whatever she was doing seemed to be important to her.
The receptionist took the payment and handed Jingfei two jade slips with a blank face. She watched as the two headed to the booth Jingfei had purchased.
As they were walking, Hei noticed that his ticket seemed to have cost 100 merit points.
Evidently, his presence had caused the price of this trip to almost double.
Jingfei noticed that Hei seemed to be guilty, so she distracted him by telling him what she loved about the movie.
“The Phoenix And The Vermillion Bird actually stars two sisters as the heroine and the villainess. They were both very talented in the sect and went on to…”
When they had reached the booth, they both sat down.
There were 10 large seats in the booth and the two were, of course, next to each other.
Jingfei was not about to release Hei’s hand any time soon.
“This is the illusion formation, which can be used to extract information from the jades and display it to the audience.”
Jingfei took both jade slips and placed them on the formation, before activating it with some of her Qi.
Hei was interested in how it worked.
There was a jade slip in the centre of the formation which contained the visual information, which was fed into the circulation paths, reacting differently to different earth nodes, to produce light and sound.
Other than that, there seemed to be some auxiliary formations meant to trick the senses.
As the movie started, Hei was immediately intrigued.
The formations meant that all of the walls in the room displayed visual data.
If one wanted to, one could turn around to see what was off in the mountains at the time of the recording.
As the movie played out, Jingfei would turn to Hei every now and then, making sure that he was enjoying himself.
The time for the climactic battle came, and this was where the formations were used to their fullest.
One could feel the force of the blows between the heroine and the villainess.
Even the hot and cold effects could be felt vividly, and the tension was tangible.
‘This is exactly what I’m looking for.’
Hei was very impressed at the fidelity of the reproduction.
He couldn’t help exclaiming at the realistic feeling of the wind and the smells.
His eyes shined as he examined the formations, trying to figure out as much of it as he could.
Jingfei mistakenly took this to be Hei enjoying the movie.
In truth, Hei didn’t particularly enjoy the movie.
All of the roles were played by women, for obvious reasons. The story was lacklustre, and the fighting ability was lower than the sparring matches he had with his siblings.
It felt like a home movie that the sect juniors whipped up for fun.
But the formations that made it possible were a different matter altogether.
After the movie was over, Jingfei took Hei on a walk.
The movie was extremely long, so the day was already getting late.
“What was your favourite part of the movie, Young Master Hei?”
“The final battle of course.”
Hei responded without a second thought. The formations really displayed what they were capable of during that part of the movie.
“I should have guessed it by your reaction. But what about the tragic romance between the heroine and the villainess?”
“Eh? There was such a thing?”
“It was hinted throughout the movie…”
“Oh? I didn’t notice it.”
Jingfei was surprised at how clueless Hei was. All of the young ladies noticed it within the first hour, yet Hei had failed to see it even after watching the entire movie.
It seemed it was true that men weren’t very sensitive to the emotions of others.
Jingfei led Hei to her favourite dessert place and purchased two ice creams.
Hers cost 1 merit point, and Hei’s cost 10.
She then walked with Hei to a place where they could watch the sunset.
As they were walking, Hei noticed how this was similar to events in his past.
His mother would take him by the hand every time they went outside in his younger days. She brought colour to the otherwise grey world.
Hei remembered how Jingfei had said he was like a father.
“You said I was like a little father? I think you are like a mother.”
“Eh? Mother? Me?”
Hei could see that Jingfei was flustered. He wanted to get her back for the other day.
“Since you are quite young, we could call you Baby Momma Jingfei.”
“B-Baby Momma? Let’s not.”
“Peak Leader Jingfei it is then.”
The two laughed and continued walking.
Hei didn’t know that Jingfei was ruminating over his words.
For some reason, being called ‘Peak Leader Jingfei’ by Hei bothered her.
Had it been two days ago, there wouldn’t be a problem, but she now felt that it was quite distant.
The sun was setting at this point, and Jingfei turned to look Hei in the eyes.
“Listen, Young Master Hei. From now on, it’s just Jingfei. I don’t want to hear Peak Leader Jingfei from you ever again.”
“But I only did that-”
“I know why you did it, but right now, I am your maid before I am the peak leader.”
Hei was surprised.
It wasn’t just him, Jingfei was also surprised by her own words, but they came straight from her heart.
With a bright smile on his face, Hei spoke:
“That’s right. You are my maid, Jingfei.”
After watching the sunset. the two walked off, heading back to their home.
Little did they know, a few meters away, just outside of Hei’s radius, Bai and Mei were watching them from the shadows.
Mei was visibly agitated as her irises bled into her sclerae.
“What is that woman doing holding Darling’s hand?”
She started to step forward and had already clad herself in her Berserk Aura.
As Bai looked at her sister, who seemed to be ready to pounce, she sighed.
“Calm down, Sister Mei. We both know that to Brother, this Peak Leader Jingfei is merely a maid and nothing more.”
Hearing these words, Mei worked to regain her composure.
She realised that instead of looking after Bai like Hei had asked, it was instead Bai, who was looking after her.
“Peak Leader Jingfei, is it? Hmph.”
Mei glared at Jingfei with the eyes of a predator.
Even though Bai seemed to be the voice of reason, she also narrowed her eyes as she looked at Jingfei.
It was one thing when the one going after her brother was someone he had recognised as his family.
It was an entirely different matter, however, when any random woman thought she could do the same.
On their way home, Hei and Jingfei stopped by the alchemy hall to use Jingfei’s remaining merit points to purchase ingredients and books.
Jingfei refused to release Hei’s hand, even during these proceedings, which caused rumours to start spreading.
As they walked back to their residence, Hei gave the new books a quick once-over.
“Mm. With these, we should be able to tackle a better pill. I will spend the rest of today modifying the manual.”
“This time, since your success rate has improved, you can refine all of the pills.”
Jingfei had already tried refining a whole batch of pills, so she knew that she could handle it.
Once the two reached their residence, they both headed to the alchemy room.
As Hei sat down to begin his work, he noticed something.
Hei raised his arm up, and there seemed to be a hand attached to his own.
Jingfei released Hei’s hand, and they could both feel the loss of each other’s heat.
It was actually a bittersweet moment, but a moment and no more.
The two got on with their respective tasks.
Jingfei was refining pills, and Hei was correcting her mistakes while simultaneously working on the alchemy manual.
Keeping a close eye on her technique allowed him to tailor it specifically to Jingfei’s habits.
Jingfei’s success rate had now reached over 90 per cent. Only a sliver away from perfection.
In the information they had purchased this time, Hei discovered that there were several grades of pills.
Simply refining a pill successfully was the lowest grade, but this was exactly where Hei wanted to be right now.
Turning in so many pills was already strange. Imagine if Jingfei were to suddenly start producing high-grade pills consistently.
It would most likely cause more trouble than it was worth.
“Good, you have shown tremendous improvement over the past few days.”
Hei could see that Jingfei was quite tired. And he was correct.
After Jingfei had spent the early morning refining pills to fund their outing, she hadn’t fully recovered her mental energy.
Now that she had gone through another round of practice, she was almost as tired as the first day.
Hei instinctively reached his hand out to help her up, but he held himself back.
It wouldn’t do any good to have a repeat of the events of two nights ago.
Noticing this, Jingfei reached out and grabbed Hei’s retreating hand.
She still had some apprehension, but as she looked into his calm eyes, she couldn’t feel anything negative at all and her anxiety faded away.
“Please help me to my room, Young Master Hei.”
Hei smiled and pulled Jingfei by the arm.
As she got to her feet, he placed her arm over his shoulder and supported her by the waist.
The two walked slowly to Jingfei’s room, where Hei helped her into her bed.
“Good night, Jingfei.”
“Good night, Young Master Hei.”
With that, Hei left Jingfei’s room and started walking back to his own.
‘I guess Jingfei moves on from things pretty fast.’
Hei was surprised that Jingfei had already gotten over her fear. If not her fear of men, then at least her fear of him was gone, which was all he cared about anyway.
If her fear of men cropped up again, he would consider solving it for her.
After all, something like that would likely affect her interactions with his future butlers.
[Nicely done there, Boy. Though, I would have gone for the piggyback if I were you. You could feel the twin peaks pressing on your back that way.]
[I knew it was too good to be true. Why have you returned?]
[I went to take a look at those other envoys you mentioned, but none of them was a king, so we’re incompatible.]
[It is a classification of envoy. I am what would be called a King’s Armament, and as such, only a king can wield me. Those two little girls and the boy over yonder aren’t kings.]
[Then go look for another king then.]
[That’s not so easy. I have been looking for a while now, and you’re the first one I stumbled upon. It’s surprising that there are three more titled envoys in close proximity.]
[Why do you think I care about your struggle? Jog on!]
At this point, Hei was just trying to get Onyx to leave him alone.
He failed to realise that Onyx seemed to know an awful lot about the envoys, the very people he wanted to take in as subordinates.
[That isn’t going to be possible. Besides, why are you so negative? All you need do is place one drop of blood onto the shield and you shall unlock your destiny. You will rise above the world and take your rightful place as king.]
Hei had now reached his room.
[What is there to not be interested about? Are you not an Envoy of the Heavens?]
[No, I’m not.]