Chapter 61: Vigilance
Translator: YH Editor: Pranav
Mingxiu was unaware of the wistful feeling in Ai Hui's heart. Her beautiful eyes swept towards the youth standing upright with a sword in his hand as her flowing sleeves danced in the breeze, shimmering like ripples of water. The needles moved back and forth like a shuttle as the spindle whirled in the air, steadily increasing the length of the cloth.
What a strange posture......
Mingxu couldn't help but wonder how the sword would be of assistance to him. Ai Hui was as still as a statue, without a single sound or movement. During that graceful glance of hers, she saw his eyes flash like a sword being drawn out of its sheath. His eyes gave the 'statue' its only spark of life, appearing much like a star twinkling against the dark night.
The imposing sight inevitably reminded Mingxiu of the ancient swordsmen, leaving her full of admiration.
Her sleeves danced smoothly through the air, the tip of the needle constantly moving with an incessant hissing sound.
Old Wang observed Ai Hui attentively, feeling both vexed and concerned. He began to think that coming to the embroidery workshop today was a mistake after seeing the old lady acting so eccentric. There were many ways to develop elemental energy besides embroidery. Considering how overconfidently Ai Hui had spoken, Teacher Wang was afraid that Ai Hui might suffer a huge setback should he fail to complete the training.
Ai Hui approached all tasks in an excessively systematic manner, thoroughly planning his every move before taking any action. He behaved in a manner that was akin to a veteran hunter cautiously harvesting his catch-highly mature and very unlike most youths. Old Wang was afraid that Ai Hui was overly reserved and lacked the aggressive drive of the young.
In the prime of his youth, he had been so full of pride and vigor.
He had seen all kinds of gifted individuals during his many years of teaching in the Induction Ground. All of them were full of mettle, each one more passionate than the last.
This was what youths should be like. Although they lacked experience, youths were highly creative, less restrained, dared to challenge authority, and had amazingly bold and imaginative ideas.
Among other young people, Ai Hui's focus on practicality would seem weird and garish. Ai Hui was so mellow that people would find him rather insipid; sometimes, they would even forget his age. Whatever pride he had was hidden deep in the recesses of his soul. Compared to others of the same age, someone so taciturn would likely be more deeply affected by failure.
This was what the old man was more worried about.
Moreover, he knew that the old lady was very petty and may end up disliking something.
It hadn't been easy for him to get this precious disciple of his and he could not bear to see Ai Hui suffer any grievances.
The old man snorted to himself-this practice could have been done anywhere else. Mingxiu's excellent demonstration put him into an even worse mood. Old man Wang was definitely not an open-minded person; he may be amiable when in a good mood, but when in a bad mood, well, hehehe...
His disciple had actually practiced swordplay before?
The old man was pleasantly surprised; Ai Hui was always giving him new surprises. Although Ai Hui's posture looked a bit strange, it somehow seemed to be not awkward at all. In fact, his stance could be said to be aesthetically pleasing in an indescribable way. The old man had an eye for such things, and he knew from Ai Hui's posture that the boy had previously practiced swordplay to quite an extent.
It looked like Ai Hui's attention was much more focused when he held the sword.
One could observe all types of strange training habits in the Induction Ground. Staying in the Induction Ground for an extended time allowed one to become habituated to many odd sights. For instance, some people required absolute silence before they could enter a meditative state while others had better focus in noisy and crowded areas.
Seeing Ai Hui so deeply invested in the training made the old man feel even more worried. After all, in the event of failure, higher expectations would lead to greater disappointment.
Failure, moreover, was inevitable. No one could possibly weave an entire piece of cloth in a week on their first try. Even Mingxiu, who had been chosen by the old lady as her successor, had not been able to do it.
The old man's brain must have been malfunctioning when he had this idea. Why did he let Ai Hui learn embroidery of all things? He was filled with regret.
"How is it?" Mingxiu asked warmly after finishing her demonstration. "Do you have any doubts, junior?"
Mingxiu had asked the question before her master could say anything. Although she knew there wasn't much use in asking, she still hoped to be able to help her junior in some way.
The old lady glanced at Mingxiu without uttering a single word.
If learning to weave was so easy, then there wouldn't be a need for the embroidery workshop.
Seeing her favorite disciple secretly try to help Ai Hui made the old woman dislike him even more. She felt that he was a pretentious person, trying to attract attention by holding on to his sword while watching the demonstration. Pretentious!
"I don't really have any questions."
Ai Hui's reply gave Mingxiu a bit of a shock, but she quickly felt relieved. It seemed like Ai Hui had already realized the futility of the task before him. Despite being older than Ai Hui, Mingxiu didn't underestimate him and even admired him. Backing out of an impossible situation wasn't something to be ashamed of. Rather, putting on a false show of bravery wasn't something a wise person would do.
Ai Hui loosened his grip on the hilt.
At this moment, Mingxiu turned her eyes onto Ai Hui and had a strange feeling. The person in front of her was still Ai Hui, but for some reason, he now gave her an entirely different feeling, as if he had become another person. She couldn't quite explain what she was experiencing. Ai Hui had previously exuded the imposing and elegant aura of a powerful swordsman, but the current Ai Hui, however, completely lacked that aura.
What a strange occurrence!
This was the first time she had experienced such an odd feeling, two times in the same day to boot. She involuntarily sniggered to herself-could these irrational feelings be because she was exhausted? After all, how could she possibly know what a swordsman's aura felt like if she had never even met one before?
No one else had noticed Ai Hui's transformation.
Everyone took Ai Hui's "no questions" to mean that he had understood the nature of his task.
The instant his hand left the hilt, the world before him returned to its original state. That feeling of absolute control was now gone. His thoughts became more sluggish, and his sixth sense had instantaneously returned to its normal state.
An intense longing for that state of power welled up inside him, causing Ai Hui to unconsciously reach over for his sword.
Right before he touched the hilt, however, Ai Hui became aware of his actions.
He quickly retracted his hand away from the handle, as if it was highly toxic.
Ai Hui forcefully suppressed the strong urge, as he quietly reminded himself.
From the moment he had planted the seed of the sword embryo, Ai Hui was practically glued to his sword. The sword embryo had given him an especially keen sixth sense with which he soon became infatuated with-it was as if he had become addicted to this enhanced perception and his hand had refused to part with the sword hilt.
It wasn't long before he eventually ran into a dangerous situation. Although he could sense the danger, his body wasn't able to react to it in time. He had watched the dire beast's fangs pierce into his flesh, and because he wasn't able to let go of his sword, the keen sixth sense bestowed by the sword embryo amplified the pain many times over.
The experience had become one of his most painful memories.
That experience helped Ai Hui realize that the sword embryo was not all-powerful. An over-reliance on the sword embryo would give rise to the illusion of omnipotence, leading to the neglect of physical training as well as the development of elemental energy.
Without a strong, nimble body and well-developed elemental energy, the heightened sixth sense cannot be used to its fullest extent.
"Now, Senior, how long is one piece of cloth? How much yarn would I need to take with me? Could you maybe give me a little more in case I damage the cloth?"
Ai Hui asked shyly.
No one could believe what they just heard; the entire embroidery workshop had momentarily fallen completely silent.