Because of this, Zhiting started asking her. Of course, Jiahui wouldn’t divulge this sensitive information to outsiders.
In the beginning, Jiahui remained prudent and skirted around the issue.
Recently, Zhiting has reached a bottleneck, resulting in stagnation. Her peers started surpassing her so this became a source of stress and vexation.
Jiahui worried about her since they were close. She finally chose to tell Zhiting her secrets because the latter used to be so kind to her. It was her turn now to help.
Zhiting didn’t believe it at all after listening to Jiahui’s secrets. She was also there during the herb-plucking expedition so she knew about Li Qiye’s situation. In fact, she even helped Jiahui carry the guy back.
So now, the sudden reversal of a crippled mortal turning into a hidden master was too much for her to accept.
If it didn’t come from Jiahui herself, Zhiting would never believe it, thinking that it was only a cruel joke.
However, Zhiting chose to believe due to their intimate relationship. Jiahui wouldn’t trick her and plus, her improvements were as clear as day. Their master praised her nonstop, saying that it was a miracle and that she had learned everything from him.
Finally, Jiahui came up with a plan for Zhiting to ask Li Qiye for help. The focus was on making a good meal for Li Qiye.
When he woke up the last time, he instantly berated her lack of skills in the kitchen. On the other hand, Zhiting was famous as a cook in the sect.
Zhiting loved cooking from a young age. This eventually earned her a nickname in the sect, “Beautiful Chef”.
She had no choice but to ask Li Qiye for help since her own master had tried to guide her several times to no avail. All of her hope was placed on Li Qiye now.
Zhiting visited each day to take care of Li Qiye. She racked her brains coming up with her best dishes, hoping to win Li Qiye’s grace.
Time passed and she earned nothing since Li Qiye continued to be unresponsive.
Zhiting started wavering after a while, wondering if Li Qiye actually had this ability. Maybe he wouldn’t wake up again since Jiahui wasn’t certain of a timeline either.
Nevertheless, she pressed onward and continued to serve Li Qiye with Jiahui. She treated it as a trial of determination and perseverance - no different than cultivation. The possibility of failure was present in both tasks but one still needed to do them.
The days went on. They have grown so accustomed to the task that even Zhiting started chatting with Li Qiye about her problems.
Just like any other day, Zhiting also put a lot of effort into making a table full of good meals for Li Qiye.
“Your food has been terrible recently.” A faint voice resounded next to her.
This naturally scared her but luckily, Jiahui has warned her before or she would have dropped her tray.
“Seni-, no, Young Noble…” She stammered and saw that his eyes were still closed.
She thought that maybe she was only hearing things and watched with bated breath.
“You’re not imagining it.” Li Qiye finally opened his eyes.
This scene completely won Zhiting over. She truly believed Jiahui now.
Why? Prior to this, she had doubts because of Li Qiye’s dormancy. She slowly became accustomed to this and thought that it no longer matters whether he wakes up or not. This was a test for herself, a period of reflection.
Now, his gaze alone made her feel insignificant like an ant. She had no choice to look up at him despite his current state and ordinary appearance. This gaze of his encompassed all living beings and everything else.
“Zhiting greets you, Young Noble.” She calmed down and respectfully bowed her head.
Li Qiye closed his eyes again.
Zhiting didn’t know what to do. She opened her mouth several times but nothing came out, worrying that Li Qiye has fallen asleep again.
“You wish for pointers from me, right?” Li Qiye broke her awkwardness while just sitting there, not bothering to open his eyes.
“Y-es, Young Noble.” She nodded her head repeatedly like a chicken pecking for grain.
“I already have.” Li Qiye said.
“You have?” She became frozen and carefully recalled her experience. Alas, this was his first time reacting to her.
“I’m afraid I’m too foolish to understand.” She eventually answered.
“Are you persevering right now? That’s the whole point of cultivation, riches after enough accumulation. Can’t you tell that your mentality has changed versus how it was in the beginning?” He said flatly.
She carefully thought it over and agreed. In the beginning, she came here for help with an urgent mindset wishing for success.
His lack of response truly made her question the process. Alas, as time went on, the sense of urgency and need for success gradually decreased. The process became a part of life instead.
Her mental state calmed down by quite a bit. Though she still couldn’t break through the cultivation bottleneck, she didn’t mind it as much and had enough determination and confidence to eventually make it.
“Right, but I still can’t find clues about reaching the next level.” She said.
“Then go stir-fry some more vegetables.” Li Qiye said.
“Stir-fry?” She didn’t know what this has to do with cultivation.
“What’s the most important thing to keep in mind while stir-frying vegetables?” He opened her eyes and asked.
“Fire and temperature.” She answered right away.
“Correct. As a cultivator, what can you use to control the fire so that the temperature is precise to the finest detail? Have you ever thought of this?” Li Qiye asked.
She stood there in a daze.
“Use your fire mastery for cooking. Your Encroaching Flame Scroll is exactly that. Why do you like cooking so much? It’s because you feel close to the flame yet you have never thought about incorporating cultivation into cooking.”
She started contemplating. Encroaching Flame was a great merit law of Mountguard. Using this technique for cooking seemed to be wasting it like appointing a talented person to a useless position. Her master might become infuriated thinking that she was besmirching the ancestors’ invincible merit law.
However, she also agreed with Li Qiye’s logic - something she had never considered before.
“Go feel the fire and understand its transformation and you will see where the bottleneck is.” Li Qiye said.
“Feel the fire…” His few words truly stirred her emotions and opened a door for her.
Guo Jiahui’s improvement surprised Zhao Zhiting. The two of them were close enough so Jiahui’s monumental transformation was very obvious.