The next few days had basically been a routine for the group. Go to lessons, train, into the locket, sleep and then the gravity rooms. They had taken the time to sleep after all their classes and training had finished which was during the evening. Ye Xiu was the one to go get the food for their training in the Locket dimension and the gravity rooms. They weren't going to eat dinner because they would be sleeping at that time but they would be able to sate their hunger during their training breaks.
Some of the teachers that had spotted them running around during midnight to go to the gravity room building definitely found it weird to see them do it for several days in a row. One of the teachers was extremely impressed with one of the students that he had seen running around at night. He had started to observe him in several lessons that the student partook in to see what the student's performance was like.
He knew that this was inappropriate but he didn't think the teachers of those classes would mine because of his status. Nobody in the academy really dared to offend him besides those of equal status or higher.
The teacher prowled around his office thinking of whether he should take in an apprentice or not. He looked out of the window before deciding what he wanted to do. He decided that it would be better to try and teach all of the students accompanying the one he had been watching to make it look like it wasn't favouritism.
He walked out of his office and headed towards the gravity room building where he had last seen the group of students run to.
- Gravity Room -
Ye Xiu and Shi Die were at each other's face whilst they were sparring. This time Ye Xiu was using his whip to fight against Shi Die. He had a bigger advantage than Shi Die because of the gravity affecting both their speeds greatly. Even though it slowed down the speed he could lash out his whip, it was much faster than the speed that Shi Die could react to at this point in time.
"Come on Shi Die. Your reaction has to be faster even with the weights on you! If you can't react to my whip flying at your face then try to predict the pathways at least. I'm not even doing any irregular movements with my whip. If you can do this, you'll be able to at least have a chance against arrows flying at your face." Ye Xiu was trying to motivate Shi Die who was getting more and more irritated by the second.
"How about you try to get something lashed at your face multiple times?" Shi Die snarked at Ye Xiu.
"I wouldn't mind it if it helps me improve now, wouldn't it? " He lashed back at Shi Die with his own snarkiness.
Xiao Tu and Shang Yang pulled the two away from each other. With Shang Yang acting as the mediator she managed to defuse the situation from escalating any further. "How about we just stop training for a while and eat something? We'll feel better after we eat. A good meal always releases the stress."
The food was laid out on the floor with Ye Xiu and Shi Die eating it with a glum expression and Shang Yang was just about to sit down when a knocking noise could be heard from the door. "Could you please open up? I'd like to speak to a few of you about something important."
When the group heard it was an adult, they didn't relax their guard but instead cautiously unlocked the door. As the man speaking outside turned the handle of the door and pushed it open, he was greeted with four weapons to the face. "Well, that's an interesting welcome you kids have for me. Lower down your weapons now, I'm a teacher from the academy so you don't have to worry about me ruining your innocence."
The kids continued to stare at him with suspicion, sighing, he decided to take out his teacher's badge. "Here does this prove that I'm a teacher at the academy now?"
Shang Yang snatched the badge out of the man's hand and was under scrutiny by the sharp eyes of Ye Xiu and Shang Yang. "It looks real enough to me." She tossed the badge back to the teacher who caught easily.
The teacher quickly placed the badge back into his bosom before clearing his throat. "I'm Jin Yuan, I am a spirit cook and I'd like to talk to the four of you. I'm willing to teach you four the methods of cooking. If you manage to at least manage to pass my course then I want to see if I can pass on my spirit cooking skills to at least one of you."
Xiao Tu narrowed his eyes at the teacher. "I see what we get from it but what would be the benefit for you? Nobody just randomly hands out such good deals for random people they've never even met."
Jin Yuan smiled at Xiao Tu's scepticism. "Very good young man. At least you are still questioning my motives but alas I have no motives besides wanting to pass my skills down to somebody."
Xiao Tu continued his questioning. "Why us? We haven't shown any aptitude for cooking or any interest in it as a matter of fact. The only person I could say that would possibly take to your training would be Shi Die because he's been entranced with cooking manuals recently."
"It's simple, you kids seem like hardworking students. Much more than everybody else that I've seen in the academy. You kids train for what 18hours a day with six hours of rest? You don't see many people at such a young age willing to dedicate most of their time to training. Just because of that I've watched the four of you for days to see what your personalities were like. I'd say that it'd be a pretty decent offer don't you think?"
Xiao Tu looked at Jin Yuan for a second. "Give me a moment to discuss this with my friends."
Xiao Tu started whispering with his group. "What do you guys think of his offer?"
Ye Xiu replied to Xiao Tu's question. "Shi Die and I don't mind taking the lessons, I'm not quite sure about Shang Yang though. She's still deciding whether shaving off some time off her training time would be worth it for the lessons."
Shang Yang joined in on the conversation after thinking about the pros and cons of the offer. "I'll take the offer, it'd be handy to learn how to cook some delicious food with benefits. You only learn the bare essentials in the survival lessons which isn't too helpful when it comes to satisfying my palate."
Xiao Tu rolled his eyes at Shang Yang's comment but addressed Jin Yuan anyway. "We'll accept your offer to teach us. How often are these lessons? How long are these lessons?"
Xiao Tu bombarded the teacher with questions. "The lessons can be on any day you find convenient/ I don't have any other students and I only cook for mealtimes. How many times a week you want the lesson is up to you. The duration of the lesson is also up to you but I'd recommend having the lesson time to be at least two hours long otherwise you wouldn't even have enough time to prepare most of your ingredients."
"I'll get back to you in a minute." Xiao Tu returned back to the group to ask them what times would be best.
Shang Yang took charge of the times. "We have five hours free on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Two of those free hours on each of those days can be our breaks. So it'd be a three-hour lesson with the old geezer."
Jin Yuan huffed. "You know, I can hear you calling me an old geezer from here! I'm only 47 years old this year. Absolutely not old!"
Shang Yang blinked her wide eyes at Jin Yuan. "You're practically thrice our age and you have the nerve to say you aren't old?"
"Tch, you kids are just young. When you get older you'll know how I feel when people call me old then."
"Your immaturity isn't really helping your case you know." Shang Yang spoke in an impertinent manner.
One of Jin Yuan's veins bulged on his head in irritation. "Bah! Whatever, I won't argue with a child. I'll see you kids on the days you have specified. What time should I be expecting you?"
"6 o'clock in the evening. Tell us where we have to find you!" Shang Yang shouted at the fading figure.
"Just go to the mess hall, I'll be there and finished with my cooking by that time." He waved goodbye to the group before disappearing off into the distance.
Shi Die released his breath when Jin Yuan left. He had a very excited expression on his face. "I can't believe that we're lucky enough to be offered to be taught in the art of Spirit Cooking!"
Ye Xiu tried to calm down the excited Shi Die. "Don't get too excited, you still have to pass his basic cooking courses before you can even start to learn Spirit Cooking."
Xiao Tu asked a question that had been on his mind for the past few days. "Why are you so interested in cooking anyway?"
Shi Die looked shy when he heard the question. "I never really got to enjoy the taste of my food in the wild and when I came to this academy and ate the Qi infused foods... well, I can only say that I was entranced with it. I mean it also gives you benefits from eating it!" Shi Die spoke his last sentence in an even quieter voice that they could barely hear, "I-I also wanted to support you guys and not be totally useless."
"I know what you guys said about me not being a dead-weight but I feel like I have to do something to get rid of the guilt. I mean I also get to learn something that I enjoy so that's a bonus. It means I can start to have my own hobby whilst learning a trade to support you guys in the future."
Shang Yang stroked Shi Die's silky black hair as she held him. "That's so nice of you. I really appreciate the effort and thought that you put into this matter. Now you get to do what you want the most."
Shi Die melted into Shang Yang's embrace as she continued stroking him. "Okay, now let's get back to training. Just because we were offered something else to learn doesn't mean we should slack off on our training. If nothing else, this opportunity is more likely to have us working harder in our training because we have less time."
Ye Xiu nodded. "Get up Shi Die, let's continue your reflex training. You shouldn't slack on it now!"
Groaning, he got up from Shang Yang's embrace and readied himself for Ye Xiu's onslaught of attacks. "Bring it on. I'll master this training eventually."
"You do realise that every time you do get used to it, it's either we increase the weight or that the speed of my strikes gets faster."
Shi Die just waved him off. "Don't try to demoralise me. I'm already trying my best."
Shi Die was energised from Shang Yang's stroking and was alert for Ye Xiu's speedy whip lashes.
Their training continued for the next few hours. Xiao Tu and Shang Yang were sparring each other bare-handed and were evenly matched even though Shang Yang was much weaker than Xiao Tu. Due to the slower striking speed, Shang Yang could accurately predict and use Xiao Tu's striking force against him.
This went on and on and on. Until they were tired.