Shout-out to Hanson Tran for supporting me on patron!!
"Good work, everyone."
Nik smiled and offered his praise to the sweat-soaked girls as they wheezed with their waists bent and their knees clutched. Korra was dandy, however. Sweat made her alluring as a woman to Nik, but to others, she was a monster. Even to Ryu'er.
When a spiritual beast forsook their bodies to become humans, their previous monstrous incarnation becomes their martial spirit, and they also give up on their superior body and bloodline. Ryu'er was the same. Even if her body was naturally strengthened by her mother's nurturing, she admitted that Korra was a 'monster' on a different level.
The sharpness, flexibility, and sheer stamina made others feel numb.
Ning'er did not feel depressed, unlike Ryu'er and Ye Ziyun, who barely reached the third phase of Nik's routine, Ning'er was on a higher level. Even though her body felt the strain, it was nowhere near comparable to the pain she felt during her strange condition where she cried during the lonely nights.
Korra, meanwhile, extended her arms and interlocked them to stretch her upper body as she gazed at the slightly tired Shen Xiu with surprise, "Ho? I thought that it would take weeks for you to complete the routine. Color me surprised."
Shen Xiu tilted her head to match Korra's gaze and let out a derisive smirk. She could barely speak, but her ego made it impossible for her to remain quiet, "Just you wait, *Haah*, I'll crush you."
"Anticipating the moment, teach," Korra grinned and then extended her hand towards the kneeling Shen Xiu, "But you gotta stand, the other teach can't get enough of 'ya."
Nik turned his head sideways wordlessly while a crimson tinge touched Shen Xiu's cheeks as she hastily grabbed onto Korra's arm and stood up. Strangely, Ryu'er's body slumped down further while her butt seemed to be slightly raised.
"Are you alright?"
Ning'er asked with concern. Before replying to the orange-haired girl, Ryu'er looked towards Nik and finding that his gaze was now attracted to Korra, she sighed and shook her head, "You wouldn't understand."
Ning'er looked at Ryu'er strangely before nodding and then looked at the bitter Ye Ziyun before pondering for a moment and giving her a hand, "I- your moves are getting better."
Ning'er opened up with a stutter as Ye Ziyun felt pleasantly surprised, and she instantly took Ning'er's hand and nodded, "Th-thank you."
While the three kids slowly helped each other up, Shen Xiu regained her bearings shortly and inquired, "Why didn't Huyan Lanrou come today?"
Nik smiled, "She had prior commitments."
Nik then looked at the five of them and thought for a moment. He wanted to make a trip into the Star Dou forest and collect the items whose spirit rings are needed by the trio within his spiritual world and cultivate them in the city.
"Anyway, I think that from tomorrow, we all would only be able to practice in the morning since I will be meeting with an Inscription Master to teach me the basics of inscriptions."
At Nik's words, Korra couldn't help but take another look at Nik. Burly physique and a devilish face with an equally wicked talent in fighting, so, "Why would a monkey need to learn how to write?"
Shen Xiu turned her face while Nik's expression turned bleak. He refused to comment further.
"Also, I was planning to make a trip to the Star Dou forest to collect a few things. Now, I don't think I need a bear for a company."
Nik spoke calmly, and Korra's expression changed significantly, "No, no! I wanna join in, Teach!"
"Ho? So I am still your teacher?"
Nik smiled mockingly as Korra nodded and then rubbed her palms together with a sly smirk, "Teach, we all know about 'ya. Don't you want a babe like me alongside you in a desolate forest?"
This time, Korra's words made Ning'er and Ye Ziyun look away while Ryu'er seemed to have realized how big of an opportunity she missed after becoming a human. Shen Xiu, meanwhile, floundered as she felt sour all over again. The worst part, she wanted to resort to violence once again, even without knowing why she felt the way she did.
"Sigh," Nik sighed deeply while rubbing the space in between his eyebrows. Korra got that right. He wanted a girl like Korra alongside him in a desolate forest. No point in denying the fact.
"I can't stop such an eager student now, can I?"
Korra's smile broadened while the other four showed various signs of depression.
"So, Nik did not do anything wrong with Yun'er?"
A purple-haired middle-aged man with his shoulder-length hair tied back scratched his beard riddled chin as an old man stood in front of him. Ye Shou, the fourth elder of the Snow Wind Family, nodded.
"Yes, City Lord," Ye Shou replied to Ye Zong, Ye Ziyun's father, and the City Lord of the Glory City.
"And? What is this?" Ye Zong inquired while gazing at the envelope placed on his desk. He had already tasked Ye Shou with the surveillance of Nik, and if he hadn't done anything to Yun'er, there is no point in contacting him personally.
"This letter contains an invitation by Nik Faran himself. The parents of all the students in the apprentice classes are called by Nik to have a chat with him three days later."
Ye Zong nodded and then picked the letter, "I won't be having the time to entertain Yun'er's teacher. Be sure to make Nik understand that I cannot waste my time for such uneventful meetings."
"Actually," Ye Shou smiled bitterly, "The Principal also insists that each parent show up on time."
Ye Zong finally frowned as Ye Shou placed another luxurious envelope. Ye Zong did not need to read the contents to identify the sender. Only he would use the hide of a 1000-year-old spirit beast as an envelope.
Ye Zong picked the letter and sighed.
"I understand," He replied shortly, and Ye Shou took his leave with an understanding nod.
After Ye Shou returned to his courtyard within the City Lord's mansion, he waited for a few minutes before another guest showed up at his doors. It was a woman with grace surpassing Shen Xiu's and curves reaching the level of Shigure.
"Xue Yin, you are here."
Ye Shou greeted the ravishing woman as the dark-haired lady took her seat.
"Uncle Ye, it's been a long time since we met. I am happy to see you," Xue Yin smiled and greeted Ye Shou.
"I am already aware of Nik and his troubles," Xue Yin ignored the snacks placed in front of her. She knew Ye Shou since a little girl. There was no need to engage in formalities.
"But, he needs to be equally talented in the art of inscription, or I don't see the point of appointing me as his tutor."
Ye Shou sighed and shook his head, "He will just learn the basics. Is there a need to be so stringent."
Xue Yin pursed her lips. She did not like half-assing anything.
Ye Shou knew it well and decided against persuading her and then continued to the other topic, "Anyway, when you teach him... be sure to take caution. I take it that you must already be aware of his boldness, right?"
Xue Yin nodded and then smiled bitterly, "I am not a teenager, uncle. You already know that I have lost the love of my life, why would I seek another one."
Ye Shou refrained from commenting. Though an unusual inscription master, Xue Yin failed to produce an equal talent in regards to her cultivation. This made the elders of the Snow Wind Family consider another woman for Ye Zong's marriage, and in a sense, they were fortunate not to allow Ye Zong's and Xue Yin's marriage. They got a younger generation with an innate full power body.
"Anyway, I don't expect anything from the Snow Wind Family any longer. The institution is compensating me well, and I don't think that Nik's personality would affect his learning and my teachings if his talents are to my satisfaction.