Your name is Zhu Zexian and you live in a village of around 1500 people. You’re 15 years old and are currently self-studying to pass the Imperial Examinations. You’re in it for the money rather than the glory or prestige of the position, as you need it dearly. You only have a small sum left from when your parents passed away, and if you don’t pass the examinations in two months you’ll either have to find some work or go into debt paying for essentials while studying for next year’s examinations.Studying for the Imperial Examinations and finding a comfy spot at the bottom of the government’s food chain to indulge yourself in what carnal pleasures you could was what you had decided on, but a godly chance has just fallen upon you!While taking a break from studying in a nearby ruin, you saw the corner of a book poking out of the dirt. Curious, you dug the book out, and then you passed out. When you awoke the book was in great condition, with not a speck of dirt on it. You looked at the cover and saw that the words “Empty Sky Technique” had appeared on the previously empty cover. Confused, you glanced through the book and find that it’s more than you ever expected - a cultivation technique! If you played your cards right, you could become a cultivator!Becoming a cultivator isn’t just a dream of yours. It’s the dream of everyone. Cultivators are referred to as “Immortals”, possessing inhuman strength and abilities which confound the masses. Cultivation goes beyond simple exercise and has something to due with the energy of the world and great truths and so on and so forth… to be honest, you don’t know much more than what you’ve heard in stories. If this book really is what you think it is, you need to bring it home now. If you lost it you’d never forgive yourself.You hurried back to the hovel you bought two years ago, shortly after your parents passing. Inside are merely the bare essentials, a small pile of books you use to study, and…>A sword, a remnant of your parents’ position as the village’s blacksmiths.>Some herbs and a mortar and pestle, what remain of your parents’ life as the village’s doctors and apothecaries.>A painting of your father and a painting of your mother, the only pieces of art left behind when your parents’ paintings were sold off after their death.Speaking of your parents, they were killed by...>A passing plague.>An invasion from a neighboring kingdom.>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.>A corrupt noble who had a grudge against your father.
>>3118614>Some herbs and a mortar and pestle, what remain of your parents’ life as the village’s doctors and apothecaries.>A corrupt noble who had a grudge against your father.I prefer fisting things rather than poking them with pointy bits
To save on massive amounts of exposition and just because it’s convenient, if you want to know anything about the setting ask me and I’ll tell you what the main character knows, although if they’re mistaken then you’ll be given inaccurate information. Also, this is way more Xuanhuan than Xianxia, but the difference between the two genres doesn’t matter too much and more people have heard of the latter than the former.
>>3118614>A painting of your father and a painting of your mother, the only pieces of art left behind when your parents’ paintings were sold off after their death>A corrupt noble who had a grudge against your father.
>>3118614>Some herbs and a mortar and pestle, what remain of your parents’ life as the village’s doctors and apothecaries.>A corrupt noble who had a grudge against your father.
>>3118614>A painting of your father and a painting of your mother, the only pieces of art left behind when your parents’ paintings were sold off after their death.>A corrupt noble who had a grudge against your father.Let's be a warrior artist!
For the benefit of the readers, a glossary: https://immortalmountain.wordpress.com/glossary/wuxia-xianxia-xuanhuan-terms/
>>3118614>>A painting of your father and a painting of your mother, the only pieces of art left behind when your parents’ paintings were sold off after their death.>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.I'd much rather have the character have a plotpoint that gives him reason to be grateful towards someone over one that gives him reason to be a typical xianxia/xuanhuan murderhobo
>>3118614>>Some herbs and a mortar and pestle, what remain of your parents’ life as the village’s doctors and apothecaries.>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.
>Some herbs and a mortar and pestle, what remain of your parents’ life as the village’s doctors and apothecaries.>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.
>>3118677>Some herbs and a mortar and pestle, what remain of your parents’ life as the village’s doctors and apothecaries.>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.I'm with being a painter but there are plenty of mystical plants and ingredients in settings like these that can usually boost our power. Having a herbalism background could allow us to pursue that route to power easier in the future.
>>3118690I'd like to switch my choice of noble to>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.
Votes are pretty close, I'll leave them open for around another 30-60 minutes.Currently at:5 apothecary/physician3 painterand5 passing savage beast3 corrupt noble
Come on, anons! Defy the mainstream! Embrace the world of combat painting!
>>3118614>A painting of your father and a painting of your mother, the only pieces of art left behind when your parents’ paintings were sold off after their death.>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.
>>3118614>Some herbs and a mortar and pestle, what remain of your parents’ life as the village’s doctors and apothecaries.>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.
Alright>>3118618>>3118664>>3118681>>3118685>>3118690>Some herbs and a mortar and pestle, what remain of your parents’ life as the village’s doctors and apothecaries.and>>3118677>>3118681>>3118685>>3118690>>3118698>>3118729>A passing savage beast which was slain by an elder from the nearest cultivator clan.win, next post in a moment.have won, next post in a moment.
You open the book again and notice a single line at the very start. It says “To whoever finds this, the remnants of my spiritual will has deemed you capable. Avenge me once you’re able. - She Zhu, 8-star Demon Slayer”. They’re probably the creator of this technique. You don’t know what a demon slayer is, and you’ve only actually heard of demons in fantastical stories, but the “8-star” title on the end indicates that he was more influential than anyone you’ve ever heard of. You’re not sure why you’d be chosen to take this book though. You…>Will avenge him in time, he did give you this opportunity after all.>Feel no need to put yourself in danger to help out someone who’s now a rotting corpse.Looking through the book, you’re amazed by how complex and simple it seems to be at the same time. While you can’t understand the inner workings of the technique, it looks simple enough for you to practice with ease. Oddly enough, the book only has one section. It’s titled “Earthly and Heavenly Mortal Stages”. The rest of the pages are completely blank. You’re a bit disappointed, but oh well, you did find the book in a ruin. You can find another technique once you need it. The immediate problem is that cultivators are supposed to be physically strong to start with. Since you’ve spent all of your life studying, first under your parents to learn about herbs and illnesses, and now to pass the Imperial Exams, you’re rather weak.This means you’ll have to spend more time than a physically fit person in the initial stages of training to be a cultivator, the Earthly Mortal and Heavenly Mortal stages. This will need time, and more importantly, good nutrition. While cultivators past these stages can use energy from the environment to help power their training, people in the Earthly Mortal and Heavenly Mortal stages need to gather energy from other sources such as food, herbs, or very basic pills.You think about this, and realize that for now training is impractical. You may live in a village where no one starves, but you’re not sure you’d have enough money to supply your food needs while you begin cultivating. It’d be ridiculous to starve to death trying to become a cultivator. You could wait until you pass the Imperial Exams and then spend your salary mainly buying food, but that won’t be for another two months. You...>Study for the Imperial Examinations. Once you’re a government official it won’t be a problem to buy lots of meat and some herbs.>Sell most of your possessions and your hovel here and go to the town a couple days away. You can study better for the Imperial Examinations at the library there, and there’s no point in hedging your bets and keeping your home here. You’ll have to find a place to stay for a couple of months, but your parents had a friend there who may be able to help you out.>Give up studying for the examinations and get a job doing manual labor. You’ll start making some money now and can start training immediately.>Other
>Will avenge him in time, he did give you this opportunity after all.>Study for the Imperial Examinations. Once you’re a government official it won’t be a problem to buy lots of meat and some herbs.
>>3118754>Will avenge him in time, he did give you this opportunity after all.>Abandon civilization your parents taught you how recognize edible food in wild. You can live from land and with little cultivation you shouldn't have trouble hunting
>>3118754>>Will avenge him in time, he did give you this opportunity after all.>Study for the Imperial Examinations. Once you’re a government official it won’t be a problem to buy lots of meat and some herbs.
>>3118754>Will avenge him in time, he did give you this opportunity after all.>Study for the Imperial Examinations. Once you’re a government official it won’t be a problem to buy lots of meat and some herbs.Become Judge Zhu.
>>3118759>>3118771>>3118780>>3118794You decide to continue as you have been and study for the Imperial Examinations for the next seven weeks or so at your home. You've more or less memorized the few books you have from front to back, but learning how to apply that knowledge and where is a much harder task. Hopefully whatever is inside these is enough, as you're not exactly sure what's on the test.One nice morning you wake up, a pack with your money, food for a few days, mortar and pestle, and herbs on your back. The Imperial Examinations will be beginning in about a week. By then you need to be at Lion's Ridge, a relatively small town that's the seat of the county magistrate. The testing place would normally be larger, but this particular part of the kingdom is a small county mostly based on agriculture. You...>Begin walking along the relatively well-traveled path between Lion's Ridge and your village. The journey should be around two days at your speed.>Buy a seat on a cart traveling to Lion's Ridge. It will cost money, but it will only take and a day and it will be marginally safer, although you're not particularly concerned about getting robbed or anything. [You spend 5 silver coins from a total of 12 gold coins. The conversion is the typical 10 bronze = 1 silver = .1 gold here.]
>>3118820>Begin walking along the relatively well-traveled path between Lion's Ridge and your village. The journey should be around two days at your speed.
>Begin walking along the relatively well-traveled path between Lion's Ridge and your village. The journey should be around two days at your speed.
>>3118820Walk. Build up those leg muscles.
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>3118829>>3118840>>3118843You begin walking along the path to the town, admiring the beautiful scenery along the way. You've gone out here to collect herbs and just play before, but its been a while since you've been this far from the village. You used to visit Lion's Ridge with your parents as a child, but they always took you by cart. It seemed like they were a bit sickly as a child, although you've never thought to closely about it. Maybe that was why they took up the career they had.After a day spent walking along the moderately traveled path's gentle foothills, gazing at the scenery and taking occasional breaks to eat, you...
>>3118862...go to sleep for the night after collecting some wood and starting a fire, not having seen much of interest besides the scenery and a couple of extremely cheap herbs on the way to town.The next morning you wake up bright and early, ready for another day of... well, mostly walking. You continue your march again, relieved that it hasn't rained or anything on your way there. It's also spring, so it wasn't particularly cold last night, but the fire was nice anyways.Around 5 or 6 PM you reach the relatively small town. The buildings of wood, brick, and stone are arranged haphazardly, and well-groomed dirt roads extend through most of the town besides the center. Towards the center of the town is the library, the county magistrate's manor, the local officials lodging house, a small military outpost, and various other important buildings. The roads are paved with stone there and the richer members of the town such as merchants or people who are skilled in a trade live near there.You're left wanting for a decent meal since your cooking skills are less than satisfactory and what you've been subsisting off of for a long time, but you could also head to the library to start studying. As for lodging, there's an herbalist here who used to be a friend of your parents', you may be able to stay with him until the examinations starts. You could also rent out a cheap room at an inn for around a silver a night. You...>Go to a restaurant to have a good meal.>Head to the library to continue studying.>Go to an inn to book a room for your time in town. [-6 silver coins]>Find your parents' friend and see if you can stay with him.>Other
>Find your parents' friend and see if you can stay with him.
>>3118877>Head to the library to continue studying.
>>3118877Find your parents friend.
>>3118877>Find your parents' friend and see if you can stay with him.Hey if asian in-laws that I barely know can stay over at my place rent free every summer, then we can do the same.
>>3118881>>3118887>>3118889You begin making your way to the workshop slash home of your parents' friend, using your hazy memories of the town to slowly find your way there. After about 15 minutes you're in front of a well-maintained, albeit small, building that's at the edges of the central area of town. A small sign that says "Apothecary" is nailed to the front of the building, along with a drawing of a pill. You knock on the door and hear some shuffling around from inside before a gruff voice says "We're open, come on in." You push the door open and enter before looking around the place. There's a small area in front of the counter for customer's to consult the apothecary or get prescriptions for herbal mixtures filled, but most of the place is cordoned off by way of a counter with a small door in it. Behind the counter is a messy assortment of herbs, tools, boxes, and various books and slips of paper. At the counter is a large, stout man with a short beard and long, black hair wearing a robe over linen clothes.The man looks you over for a moment before he mumbles to himself and approaches you. You stay silent as his face slowly begins to light up. After a bit he lets out a deep, boisterous laugh and loudly says "Little Zexian! It's really you! I haven't seen you in a couple of years, what are you in town for?" He doesn't mention your parents' deaths, but you're not sure if it's because he doesn't know or because he doesn't want to open up old wounds.You explain the situation and ask if you can stay with him until after the exams are over. He merrily says "Sure, sure, stay with as long as you want Little Zexian! Your parents treated me well, it's the least I can do to pay them back. You can even help me out here if you fail, I can pay decently! Anyways, I was just about to eat, do you want to eat with me?" You reply...>"Sure Uncle Zhang, I'm starved, I'd love a meal.">"I'd like to gather some information after a meal outside, sorry about that Uncle Zhang. Let's eat together some other time." You recall that his cooking isn't any better than yours, and you do want to gather some info.>"I'm not really hungry, I need to head to the library to study.">Other
>"Sure Uncle Zhang, I'm starved, I'd love a meal."
>>3118914>"Sure Uncle Zhang, I'm starved, I'd love a meal."
>>3118914>"Sure Uncle Zhang, I'm starved, I'd love a meal."What can uncle tell/teach us?
>>3118917>>3118922>>3118925You eat a meal of meaty porridge and some greens with Uncle Zhang, staying relatively quiet while he continues telling various stories about collecting herbs and the townsfolk. Just as you're about finish eating, and while he's finishing a story about a customer who needed something that could give him some extra "vigor" at night, he cuts himself off for a moment. He says "I know you need to study, but would you mind looking over some of my new prescriptions for common problems tomorrow. Medicinal powders and the like. I used to have your parents do it when they visited, but, well, that's not an option now." You say...>"I've only learned a bit from my parents, I'm not really qualified to help you out." It's the truth, and you didn't even get the impression that his parents were more skilled than him in the first place. Why he thinks you'd be able to find flaws in his recipes is odd.>"Sure, it's the least I can do for your hospitality." You're not sure you're qualified for this, but you do need to repay him for the food and lodging.>"I need to study until the exams are over, can it wait for a week or so?" This probably won't take that long, whether you can accomplish it or not, but you should get all the time you can to study before the Imperial Examinations.>Other>>3118925To your knowledge Uncle Zhang is around the same skill level as your parents, so if you wanted he could tell you a bit about herbs and the various powders you can make out of them. Your parents were more accomplished physicians than him though, so you would know more about actual diseases, while he just knows how to make some powders to fix them. You could also ask him about local going-ons since he lives here and is a bit of a gossip.
>>3118947>"I've only learned a bit from my parents, I'm not really qualified to help you out." It's the truth, and you didn't even get the impression that his parents were more skilled than him in the first place. Why he thinks you'd be able to find flaws in his recipes is odd.Ask him to teach you what he can.
>>3118947>"I've only learned a bit from my parents, I'm not really qualified to help you out." It's the truth, and you didn't even get the impression that his parents were more skilled than him in the first place. Why he thinks you'd be able to find flaws in his recipes is odd.
>>3118958>>3118969>>3118977You turn Uncle Zhang down as humbly as he can, and he seems a bit disappointed, saying "Well, I suppose it was a bit hopeful for me to assume that you were as skilled as your parents." After that you ask if he could teach you a bit about herbs, and he cheerfully says "Well, sure, I don't have much to do tonight. We can start right now."Uncle Zhang starts talking about various herbs, their properties, and how to tell the difference between them. After about five minutes you've come to the clear realization that you already know everything he has mentioned up to now. You can also tell that there are some errors in his lecture, such as the method of telling apart the Bluemoon Grass and the Whipthorn Grass, as well as some of their properties. Is this some sort of test? He couldn't be less knowledgeable than you, could he? You...>Let him go on, this is odd, but you'll see the point eventually.>Tell him politely that you know all of this already and that if he's testing you it's fine and he can move onto harder content.>Correct his mistakes, he's probably waiting for it anyways.>Other
>>3118989>Tell him politely that you know all of this already and that if he's testing you it's fine and he can move onto harder content.
>"After thinking for a bit, I've changed my mind. I can probably help you with what I know."
>>3118989>OtherOh uncle, my parents told me such and such about his and that. This is somewhat confusing for me.Be indirect and refer to our parents.
>>3119005and explain what and why they told us in the past.
>>3119003I will change my vote to that
>>3119003>>3119014You wait until there's a lull in his lecture and interrupt him and say "After thinking for a bit, I've changed my mind. I can probably help you with what I know." Uncle Zhang seems a bit confused, but goes "Alright then, I'll sort out which recipes I'd like you to look at and you can check them in the morning. Don't be discouraged if you can't find any flaws, a licensed Apprentice Apothecary from the guild taught me for a few months back in the day. I may not be able to pass that test myself, but for a local apothecary I'm pretty good." Uncle Zhang then goes off to prepare the recipes for tomorrow. You spend the night...>Studying at the local library.>Looking through the storage of Uncle Zhang's shop and see what herbs he has on hand. You can probably base your recipes off of that, although you don't think most of the herbs you know are that uncommon.>Seeing if there's anything currently going on in town. Maybe you can find something going on at a tavern. It's good to unwind before something major.>Other
>>3119030>Looking through the storage of Uncle Zhang's shop and see what herbs he has on hand. You can probably base your recipes off of that, although you don't think most of the herbs you know are that uncommon.
>>3119033>>3119035You decide to start looking through the storage of Uncle Zhang's shop for the night in order to prepare for tomorrow morning. The only problem is that this place is far messier than you expected. In fact, you're not exactly sure how he managed to get it this disorganized. It's almost like he was purposely trying.You spend your night moving around boxes, sorting herbs and documents, and arranging tools. Eventually you find a small book that records the current stock of herbs and what needs to be stocked up on. You feel slightly defeated by the whole endeavor, but at least you found what you were looking for. Uncle Zhang thanks you for the help too, apologizing for the mess.You wake up in the morning and a decent breakfast before Uncle Zhang shows you a small notebook of around 20 recipes for medicinal powers, all to cure common ailments such as the cold, headaches, a lack of "vigor", and so on and so forth. You have a good grasp of what Uncle Zhang has on hand (although it seems a bit limited), and are ready to work on this recipes for him. Taking a glance at the first few, you see that there are quite a few places you can improve on, although it will take some thinking to do so, and you'll have to reference the book of ingredients quite a bit. You think you'll be done by around lunchtime. You...>Lean towards optimizing the price of the recipes.>Lean towards optimizing the efficiency of the recipes.>Make versions for both price and efficiency, although it will probably take you until 3 or 4 in the afternoon.>Other
>>3119055>>Lean towards optimizing the price of the recipes.
>>3119060You spend your morning altering Uncle Zhang's recipes for medicinal powders based on which herbs are cost-effective. You're constantly referencing the little book of ingredients next to you, since you don't actually know the price of herbs off hand, but you get done by lunchtime.After a modest lunch, Uncle Zhang takes the book of revised recipes and says that he'll look over it in a little bit. You...>Ask him to tell you about local going-ons in the town.>Leave him be and go to the library to study.>Other
>>3119080>Leave him be and go to the library to study.We do have exams soon.
>>3119080>Leave him be and go to the library to study.We can gossip over dinner
>>3119108>>3119121You make your way to the library, which is a relatively large building made out of stone, and which clearly has better craftsmanship than most of the other buildings in the town besides the county magistrate's home. You open the large, wooden doors and peek inside. The library is a single floor building with a relatively wide floor space. There are various wooden tables surrounded by chairs, and you can see about 30-40 people sitting at them, looking over books and quietly talking. Most of them are split into a few large groups, but some of them are reading by themselves. Their ages vary from people as young, or maybe even slightly younger, than yourself, all the way up to people in their 40s.After looking around you spot a bespectacled old man behind a counter and approach him. You get ready to pay the marginal entrance fee for using the library, but before you can he asks you if you're planning to take the Imperial Examinations. You confirm that yes, you are planning to take the exams, and the elderly man smiles and says "Feel free to look at whatever you wish until the examinations begin then, in the week leading up to them the library is reserved for test takers and government officials." You thank him for the help and begin walking around the library.You look through the many bookshelves, scrolls and books of various sorts filling them. Most of the writings only cover general knowledge, geography, history, and those sorts of things, but it's still amazing. You've never seen this many books in person before- you simply knew that a library was a place where many books were kept, far more than your parents had in the home. If you had only known about this place earlier.After further examining the place, you take a look at the crowd of scholars. About 10 of them are studying by themselves, while the remaining 30ish are in various groups. The groups seem to be roughly divided based on their way of dress. A group of around 15 people seem to be dressed humbly, much like yourself, while another 10 are in clothes that the child of a merchant or more well-off person might wear. The remaining 5 or so are dressed in fine clothes, like one of the more important sons of a major merchant in the county, or possibly the offspring of a minor government official. You...>Study by yourself. You might gain from exchanging knowledge with these people, but it's better to just focus for now.>Join the group of humbly dressed people. You may fit in with them best, and while they look humble it's said that hidden dragons and crouching tigers can be found anywhere. It's best not to underestimate them.>Join the group of decently dressed people. It won't be too much of a stretch to fit in with them, especially not if you can show off your strengths while talking with them.>Join the group of well-dressed people. They're the most likely to pass the examinations, so there's no reason not to. They shouldn't turn you away immediately, right?>Other
I thought we're gonna be a loose cultivator looking for a sect to enter. Since we aren't from a lineage of any prominent clans, cultivating to immortal emperor will be a hard road. Heck I would be surprised if we hit nascent or self severing rank.
>>3119131>Join the group of humbly dressed people. You may fit in with them best, and while they look humble it's said that hidden dragons and crouching tigers can be found anywhere. It's best not to underestimate them.
>>3119131>Join the group of decently dressed people. It won't be too much of a stretch to fit in with them, especially not if you can show off your strengths while talking with them.
>>3119131>>Join the group of humbly dressed people. You may fit in with them best, and while they look humble it's said that hidden dragons and crouching tigers can be found anywhere. It's best not to underestimate them.
>>3119160>>3119203>>3119352>>3119356You grab a few books off of the shelves and then approach the group of more humbly dressed people, preparing to exchange knowledge with them. When you sit down the group greets you amiably enough, and you're asked how old you are and whether it's your first time taking the exams and so on and so forth. After a minute you figure out that group seems to be orbiting around one man in his early 20s. Apparently he's taking the exam for the 3rd time and might pass this year. Everyone also thinks he's very well-cultured since he knows a bit of poetry and the shamisen. He introduces himself as Wang Xuan.You hunker down and begin studying while intermittently exchanging thoughts about passages with the people around you. Apparently your interpretations of the books' passages and ability to apply the basic knowledge very well instead of just memorize it impresses most of the group. You don't really know some of the more obscure things because you didn't own the books about them, but you can study up now. You get some polite praise from a few people who tell you that you may even pass the exam this year or the next.As the day marches on the sun begins to set, and many of the scholars leave to have a break for dinner. The library is open 24 hours a day until the examinations, so some of them are more or less living in here. As you're about to go back and eat with Uncle Zhang, Wang Xuan from earlier approaches you. He says in a polite, cheerful tone "Hey, Little Brother Zhu, I'm going to head to dinner with Elder Brother Fang, would you like to join us?" The Elder Brother Fang he's referring to appears to be one of the more knowledgeable people from the group you were with, aged 35. You...>Decline, telling them that you have someone you're staying with in town and that you're supposed to be eating with them.>Accept, there's no harm in it and they seem to be the most knowledgeable among the group from earlier, you could gain from it. If Wang Xuan passes, you could even have another official as a friend.>Decline, telling them that you have someone you're staying with in town and that you're supposed to be eating with them, but that you'd like to have a meal tomorrow.>Other
>>3119646>Decline, telling them that you have someone you're staying with in town and that you're supposed to be eating with them, but that you'd like to have a meal tomorrow.
>>3119650You decline their invitation to a meal but tell them that you'd be happy to eat with them tomorrow. Wang Xuan smiles at you before saying "Alright then, we can get together tomorrow."You make your way back to Uncle Zhang's house, eager to eat before the food gets cold. There you see Uncle Zhang with a very confusing expression on his face. It looks like he's seen something unbelievable. You ask him what exactly he's doing before he turns to you, having just noticed you. He mutters "This...how...uh...how do Green Interlaced Flower and finely ground Orange Ginseng react when placed in a medicinal powder together." You recognize the combination of ingredients from one of the recipes you made for him, but are still slightly confused. You answer him, telling that finely ground Orange Ginseng root helps bring out the properties of Green Interlaced Flower to suppress a fever, and it allows you to stop using the more expensive Red Wilkin Flower for the same purpose. The effectiveness should also be raised slightly.Uncle Zhang is looking at you, now with his eyes widened, and says "I've read through these recipes, and I half to say, I don't understand the logic of half of them even though they're all pretty common ingredients. The ones I do understand, however, are amazing. The amount of profit I'll be able to make with these, even if I lowered the prices... it's nothing to sneeze at. I feel like I should be paying this for you, so here." Uncle Zhang then walks up to you and hands you a sack of money that feels heavier than you expected. Looking inside you see around 30 gold coins, which isn't a small sum for you or Uncle Zhang. Uncle Zhang then says "If you don't need to spend it on anything, I'd save up for the Apprentice Apothecary examination. I heard it had a fee of around 100 gold coins, and as far as I can tell you're qualified." You do need the money, but can you really take it from him? You don't feel like you've really done that much.Anyways, how could you be comparable to an Apprentice Apothecary in knowledge of herbs and medicinal powders? Wouldn't that make your parents people on the level of licensed apothecaries?! From what you know the number of licensed 1-star apothecaries in Zhaotian Kingdom can be counted on your hands. You...>Try to decline the money, you don't deserve this.>Take the money, you do need the gift and you'll have a lot of expenses coming up. He wouldn't give it to you if he couldn't afford it.>Slip 10 gold pieces back into Uncle Zhang's things later. Even if you should be paid, it isn't this much.>Other
>>3119693>Take the money, you do need the gift and you'll have a lot of expenses coming up. He wouldn't give it to you if he couldn't afford it.
>>3119693>Try to decline the money, you don't deserve this.>Slip 10 gold pieces back into Uncle Zhang's things later. Even if you should be paid, it isn't this much.I've seen this before, is the bag red by any chance?
>>3119693Can we do a combo of>Try to decline the money, you don't deserve this.+>Take the money, you do need the gift and you'll have a lot of expenses coming up. He wouldn't give it to you if he couldn't afford it.
>>3119999Declining the gift and then accepting if he refuses? Yeah, that's fine. Was just waiting for a tiebreaker, but I'll write the update in a bit if there isn't one using the power of rng.
>>3120011Well what happens is sometimes you need to put up a face of refusing but reluctantly accepting after much fussing and refusal.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3120032As is polite depending on the situation, aye.RNG away.
>>3119999You decline the money for a bit but after a short back in forth you put it in with the rest of your things. That'll be very useful considering you're low on money. A dinner follows in which Uncle Zhang barrages you with various questions over herbology and medicinal powders. You manage to escape after his questions start dying down and make your way to the library again.You study through most of the night, talking to Wang Xuan quite a bit. He helps you with some things that you wouldn't have thought were on the exam, and you show him some of the ways more basic concepts can be applied. You're both gaining from the exchange, although he may be getting the better end of the deal. Not that you mind, ideally you'll both pass. He seems like a good guy at the very least.Late in the night you head back to Uncle Zhang's place and sleep. The next morning you head back to the library, joining the same group as yesterday. As people trickle in you notice that the crowd has grown slightly, and now there are around 45 people. You ask Wang Xuan and he says that there around 50 to 60 examinees at the county examinations every year.Eventually lunch comes by, and you go to a restaurant that would've sworn was just a home if Wang Xuan and his friend hadn't shown you here. The three of you take a seat in the corner and order a decent meal. Shortly after ordering and a bit of small talk Wang Xuan turns to you and says "So, we should chat something besides what's on the Imperial Examinations for a bit or our minds will go numb. I know a bit about poetry and playing the shamisen, and Elder Brother Fang here used to be an accountant. You're pretty young Little Brother Zhu, but do you have any other skills? Maybe an agricultural background, many of us poorer examinees were originally farmers after all." You respond by...>Telling him that your parents used to be apothecaries and physicians for you village, and you've a bit from them.>Holding back the information, your parents seem to have known far more than you thought previously and you're still trying to figure out how that could be.>Other
>>3120078>OtherMy family ran a shop selling herbs that we collected in the wild.
>>3120011If your waiting for a tiebreaker it might be good to mention it since some anons will just wait around forever, days even before someone comes along and posts.
>>3120078>>3120093>My family ran a shop selling herbs that we collected in the wild.
>>3120093>>3120164>>3120185>>3120187You lie slightly, telling the two that your parents used to run a shop selling herbs that you collected in the wild. You're not sure if they had some sort of background before you were born that they were hiding, so it seems like the best option for now. Wang Xuan says "Ah, herbology! That's a rather complex field, you're quite the talent for being one of us. As for me, I grew up in a small village as well, but my mother used to be one of the lesser daughters of a well-to-do family. She was taught poetry and how to play the shamisen back then, and at some point she ran away to marry my father. She then taught me how to read and everything else she knew as a child, while my father took care of the farm. Now I'd just like to pass the exams and send some money back to them."You chat for a while about your childhoods, and the weather, and all sorts of mundane things. Apparently Fang Wei works as the accountant for his village's general store. His father has already passed on and he'd like to earn some more money as an official to support his widowed mother.Towards the end of the conversation, Wang Xuan looks around, like he's checking to see if anyone is listening in, before putting a hand each on you and Fang Wei's shoulders. He then leans in and quietly says "Also, I know a bit of martial arts. Ten months ago, a wandering master visited our village and showed me some advanced physical exercises and a few fist techniques. If any of those fancy, richer examinees messes with you guys, you can come to me." You're surprised, Wang Xuan seems to be pretty capable. You're also surprised that he told you this if he's trying to keep it secret, but you suppose he thinks you and Fang Wei are the only other capable people among the poorer examinees. A massive smile comes over Fang Wei's face as he whispers "Hah hah, my Little Brother Wang, you're truly a dragon among men! Those merchant's sons will have to look up to you soon!"You haven't noticed any conflict between the poorer examinees and the more well-off ones, but you do notice a general disdain, so you wonder if this conflict is something that originated from previous years. Most of the examinees have taken the test multiple times, so it would make sense. You...>Ask the other poor examinees if anything happened in previous years.>Ask the librarian if there was a conflict in the past few exams.>Approach the most well-off group and try to exchange knowledge with them for a bit. The only way to tell if there is something more than a bit of jealously among your peers and a superiority complex among the rich is to check it out firsthand.>Keep studying normally, you don't need to care about this.>Other
>>3120219>>Ask the librarian if there was a conflict in the past few exams.
>>3120219>Ask the librarian if there was a conflict in the past few exams.
>>3120235>>3120254You ask the librarian whether there was a conflict during one of the past exams and he says "Oh? Well, I suppose it's not odd of you to ask. Yes, there was, I believe it was three years ago when it started. This county's magistrate is friends with the one who's in charge of the next county over, as they used to work together as scribes in their younger years. The two decided to have their second-born sons go to each other's county as a bit of a countermeasure against favoritism and to see a bit more of the world. The second son of the neighboring county's magistrate passed on his first try, but while doing so he had antagonized more or less all of the poorer participants. He mocked them relentlessly, calling them bumpkins and so forth, and at one point forced them out of the library as part of a bet. I would have done something, but I'm merely a retired government official, I don't want to get fired."The librarian explains about how this incident led to the attitude continuing the next year, although the appearance of Wang Xuan and a bit of intervention from the librarian was able to settle it down to the point where nobody was willing to cause massive incidents in public. Well, you guess you know why the rest of the poor examinees respect him so much, it seemed slightly odd for them to care so much just because he was well-learned.You go back to studying for the rest of the day, and until the day before the exam nothing major seems to come up. When you arrive to the library that morning, however, you see that several groups of people are standing out front. The same group of six well-dressed youths and the people you've been studying with are out front. You see Wang Xuan and Fang Wei at the front facing someone who's maybe 20 years old. Wang Xuan yells "You bastards! Are you shameless?! You were the only ones who could've taken my mother's shamisen from my inn room and then left the broken remnants by the library steps for me to see!" You see Wang Xuan slowly approaching the youth in front, looking like he's about to punch him. You...>Try to stop him, you're not sure what the punishment is for attacking other examinee, but it can't be good.>Closely examine the faces of everyone and see if you can tell who did this. [1d100]>Prepare to join in, you haven't know him for long but you don't enjoy being mocked.>Propose a bet of some sort. Maybe it could be based off of how many people from each group pass the exam, or maybe off of some sort of competition of knowledge. [State what]>Other
>>3120286>Closely examine the faces of everyone and see if you can tell who did this. [1d100]
Rolled 28 (1d100)>>3120302When I put dice after the options then the players can roll, my bad, should've pointed that out. I generally just roll myself for random encounters and such.
>>3120342You take a close look at everyone there and you can tell that all of the people you've been studying with are rather angry and indignant, particularly Wang Xuan and Fang Wei. The people they're facing all seem to have a smug look on their faces. You can't really pinpoint much from this, but the situation seems about what you expected. At this point Wang Xuan is nearly in the other youth's face. You...>Try to stop him, you're not sure what the punishment is for attacking other examinee, but it can't be good.>Prepare to join in, you haven't known him for long but you don't enjoy being mocked.>Propose a bet of some sort. Maybe it could be based off of how many people from each group pass the exam, or maybe off of some sort of competition of knowledge. [State what]>Other
>>3120348>Try to stop him, you're not sure what the punishment is for attacking other examinee, but it can't be good.Get him away from them for now. We can help get revenge without us getting in trouble.
Got an idea to find out who the guy who took it is responsible.
>>3120403You quickly approach Wang Xuan and try to stop him. The boy he's staring at stays silent, almost like he's waiting to be hit. You say "Elder Brother Wang, it's not worth punching him. You can get back at them best just by passing the exam." as Wang Xuan seems to calm down a bit you see Fang Wei whisper something about martial arts to Wang Xuan. You then hear Wang Xuan quietly say "Ah, you're right!" as an evil sort of smile spreads over his face. God, Fang Wei is an idiot, why did he have to rile Wang Xuan up again. You...>Suggest another solution to the problem to everyone. [State what]>Try to grab Wang Xuan and pull him back. You're not that strong, but maybe he'll listen if you try to pull him back.>Remind him that if he hits him he may not be able to become an official.>Other
>>3120472>OtherWisper into his ear, we will swap out their clothes at night and replace them with rags!Also tell him we will help him find who is responsible, we have an idea.
>>3120558You grab Wang Xuan's shoulder to stop him before leaning in and whispering "Elder Brother Wang, we can just swap out their clothes at night for rags to get back at them, right? Besides, I have an idea to find out who's responsible." He stops for a moment before he says "Alright, I got it." and backing off. Fang Wei quietly says "Are we just going to let them mess with us like this?" before Wang Xuan replies "Don't worry, we can deal with this in another way."A short while passes before you, Wang Xuan, and Fang Wei are alone. Wang Xuan then says "Alright, what was your idea?" You...>Propose some sort of idea [state what]>Tell him that you need Fang Wei to leave before you tell him. It might be disrespectful, but best to stay cautious and then propose an idea. [Say what]>Other
>>3120631>Tell him that you need Fang Wei to leave before you tell him. It might be disrespectful, but best to stay cautious and then propose an idea.Let us go speak to the inn keeper and ask who he may have seen coming or going into the inn, anyone carrying the shamisen away. and maybe the neighbors if they tried climbing the window.Offer to bribe the people in the inn with a drink to loosen their lips.
Rolled 100 (1d100)>>3120705You tell Wang Xuan that you need Elder Brother Fang to leave before you can tell him your idea. He hesitates for a moment before saying "Elder Brother Fang, go back to studying, if none of us are there they won't be able to study as effectively. Sure, none of them will pass this year, but it's not often they get to use the library for this long. It could help them in the future." Fang Wei seems slightly annoyed, as if he understands the meaning behind this, but goes "Alright, tell me if you need my help." before disappearing around the corner.You suggest to Wang Xuan that you just properly investigate the incident and ask the innkeeper and he thinks for a moment before saying "Well, I did want to study, but dealing with this will take time either way. Sure, let's go."Wang Xuan asks the innkeeper who went in and out of the inn last night, and the old man at the counter describes quite a few people, but only ten of them are scholars taking the examinations, including Wang Xuan. Besides Wang Xuan there are five of the poorer students, Fang Wei, and three students from the group who seemed to be better-off than you, but who weren't in fine clothes. Apparently all of them were staying here except one of the more decently dressed examinees, who was here to chat with their friends and down a drink.You talk to the neighbors and they tell you that they didn't see anybody lurking outside the inn last night. Wang Xuan's room is on the first floor so someone could've entered through the window, but if they did there was no trace left behind. Whoever did it either got the key to the room, or was able to enter and exit through the window without leaving a trace. This would be pretty plausible the child of a major merchant, as they or someone serving their house might be cultivators of the very lowest level. They could have also hired someone who was adept at hiding their traces, or bribed the inn-keeper.You ask Wang Xuan when the shamisen was destroyed and he seems embarrassed before he says "Er, well I was sleeping. I'm a relatively heavy sleeper and they must have taken it out of my room then." Now you...>Continue your investigation [State how]>Go back to studying, there's not much else we can find out for now.>OtherI'll be calling it quits for the night, I'll resume sometime tomorrow afternoon. My twitter is here https://twitter.com/QmWalrus and I'll post a bit before I resume running.
>>3120791>Continue your investigation [State how]Well we can narrow it down to the comings and goings of people at night time, and people who were at the inn at night....Was the window closed? We can ask the Librarian when the shamisen was found there.Also ask him about previous conflicts with other people that are currently here.
>>3120791Thanks for running, Can you give an rough time when you will be back?
>>3120810The window of the inn room was closed both when he went to sleep and when we woke up, but there isn't any sort of lock on it so it could be opened from the outside.As for previous conflicts, there have been various minor conflicts with the richer examinees as a whole, but in particular there's a "Young Master Bai" who's the son of a prominent merchant in the area and the brother of an official in the next county over. They've been getting into various arguments and minor incidents in the past two years. There's also a butcher he accidentally annoyed the other day, but he's pretty sure that's unrelated.I'll leave the last question for tomorrow because I'm just dealing with stuff you can ask Wang Xuan immediately before I close this tab.>>3120812I'll probably be running in roughly 12-15 hours depending on when I wake up.
it's a good quest QM. pity not much audienceI don't think we have very many clues, but maybe our herbalist background can help—lunar caustic is a common and cheap alchemical ingredient which is nowadays known as silver nitrate. its uses include finding fingerprints left on wood and paper. spread as a powder, it blackens oils left behind from skin. (it also destroys warts)if QM okays it, Zexian could take fingerprints off of the fragments of the shamisen. after that, the main task is taking fingerprints of suspects without their knowing. this can be done by nabbing library books that we see them using after they're done, which can just be disguised as exam jealousy or something. studying what they study, "since they're better off they must have a better idea of what to study, right?" is our excuse.also why did Wang Xuan think that that group is the only possibility? kind of weird
>>3121444I'm fine with that, but from what I can dig up quickly it seems to be in this weird space where an apothecary specifically devoted to the interactions between various plants wouldn't know where it is, but an alchemist would. Zhu Zexian has never heard of anything like an alchemist, so at the very least the occupation probably doesn't exist in any of the surrounding kingdoms. I was trying to find if it was refined from a plant, but couldn't figure it out. Either way I could probably do a 1d100 general knowledge check, although if there's some sort of common plant that can achieve the same effect (assumedly after some sort of refinement) I'll just say he knows about it. If there isn't in real life, then you can try a knowledge check and see if there are any fictional ones with that property.As for Wang Xuan assuming that it was that group, they dislike him, he dislikes them, and they've gotten into various disagreements for the past few years. You could ask him yourself, but he'd probably just tell you that and ask who else could have done it. It's not like he angered anyone else who would want to break his shamisen.Real update will still be a couple of hours, not feeling too hot right now, partially because I almost choked to death earlier. on water Also, thanks for the compliment.
>>3121467Also, for the sake of convenience, I've cropped out part of the map containing the nearest kingdoms. I'm not going to label all of them because it's a bit cluttery and not relevant yet, but if you want the name to one of them then feel free to ask. And as you can tell by the map, yes, Zhaotian Kingdom's national power is significantly below that of the surrounding countries. Also, the weird borders are because you don't know what's outside of them, not due to some magical fog. Anyways, see you in about two hours.There's more than just grassland but I'm bad at this and can't change the color properly without making it look terrible. Just imagine there are mountains marked and some more barren zones and stuff, it won't hurt.
>>3120810>>3121467You make your way back to the library in order to ask the librarian when the shamisen's broken pieces were placed outside the library. As you make your way there Wang Xuan seems to come to a realization and says "I just thought of something, we should ask Fang Wei if he lost the key to my room." You look at Elder Brother Wang, confused and slightly angry that they didn't mention this before when you've both been walking around trying to figure this out. You just say "Why is there another key to your inn room?" before Wang Xuan explains that the inn has relatively large rooms, and whole families usually stay there during the rest of the year. Because of this the innkeeper gives two keys to everybody who checks in, so Wang Xuan and Fang Wei exchanged spare keys.After you arrive at the library, you check to see if Fang Wei still has their key to the room or if he left it sitting out at some point. Fang Wei confirms that he's had it with him all night, and neither of you see a reason why somebody would try to get the key from him, especially when they shouldn't know that he has it.After this you check with the librarian, and he simply tells you that the pieces of the shamisen were left broken, outside the library, when he first arrived at 5 AM. The library is technically open all night, but nobody, including the librarian, was there until then. You're not sure if he's allowed to leave during the middle of the night or if he just wants to be able to sleep at home, but you don't bother to ask.As you're trying to think of a way to solve this, the concept of fingerprints comes to mind and you try to remember if you know any way to reveal them on the broken fragments of the shamisen...>Roll a 1d100 general knowledge check, DC 50.Now you...>Continue your investigation [State how]>Go back to studying, there's not much else we can find out for now.>Other
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>3121569
>>3121597You sit down and begin to think for a moment regarding your fingerprints idea from earlier, and after a few minutes you remember a plant, Smiling Woodpecker Grass, that when ground and combined with a few common ingredients, can be used to check for fingerprints. You quickly head back to Uncle Zhang's workshop before asking if you can borrow the materials to make some of the solution. He doesn't object, and shortly after you have a small bottle of it made.Afterwards you head back to the library and explain your plan to Wang Xuan. He compliments you for the idea before you both go to check the shamisen fragments with it. After a once over you see that there are mainly two sets of fingerprints there, and one set that only appears a couple of times. You're not sure who touched it, but it has been lying here for ages, it's probably not important. Having a strong lead now, you...>Take the fingerprints of every person possible in the library. It might make you seem slightly crazy, and it will take quite a while, but it's the only proper way to go about this.>Take the fingerprints of the richest group of kids and the few people who were spotted at the inn yesterday be checking books after they use them. You can pass it off with the sentiment of wanting to study what people better off than you have confirmed as a useful text.>Other
>>3121613>First take Wang Xuan's and Wang Fei's prints to isolate them>Buy everyone some kind of a snack in a wrapper. Mark each wrapper and collect them afterwards to lift the fingerprints off them.
>>3121617You think about it and there are some wrapped nuts at the general store that you can buy pretty cheaply to carry out this plan, but the only ones who will accept them will probably be the people you've been studying with, and maybe half of the people who aren't in the richest group. As for the others, you don't think you could force a snack onto most of the loners, but you might be able to make the group Wang Xuan suspects of doing this to take them as a sort of olive branch.You explain the plan to Wang Xuan and Fang Wei before you get their fingerprints. You compare them to the ones on the shamisen's remains and find that they match up with the ones that had touched it a lot. Only the single pair of fingerprints is left.The three of you head to the general store before buying 40 bags of nuts. The shopkeeper is ecstatic and gives you a slight discount. You split the cost, spending two silver and five copper each. The other two grimace slightly at the price, but you aren't particularly bothered about it for now due to your recent windfall.You beginn adding small marks with the first characters of people's name, or in cases where you don't know their names, a character that's shorthand for some defining characteristic. You don't think anyone would notice them, and even if they did they wouldn't think much of it. After that you begin passing them out the nuts out, and they reach half of the examinees before you need to approach the main suspects.Their leader, the "Young Master Bai" who Wang Xuan mentioned earlier, approaches the three of you as you walk up to them, snacks in hand. You can see the smug look on his face turn to slight confusion, as he didn't expect to see you ferrying around free snacks at this point in time. Especially not after what happened this morning.Wang Xuan approaches the youth he almost punched this morning before taking out the snacks and saying "Here, I got you guys some nuts. It may not be as good as what you have at home, but you're not there and it's a peace offering from me. I'd like us to just calm down for the time being and focus on passing the exams. Even if you don't agree with me, the least you can do is give me some face and take them." he doesn't give them much of a chance to respond before he starts handing them out and leaves.After this you have seven bags left, and you give one to the librarian before eating the rest yourselves.An hour or so later you collect up the bags, saying that since you brought in the trash you should take care of it. The three of you excitedly reconvene and beginning checking for fingerprints. Most of the way through the pile there aren't any matches, but eventually you find a bag with fingerprints that match the third set on the shamisen. It's... the librarian's? He wouldn't have any reason to do it, would he? Maybe he just examined the broken pieces in the morning out of curiousity? Does that mean the suspect was wearing gloves when they did this?
>>3121638It's getting relatively in late in the day after this, and you're still not sure who exactly did this. You do have a few ideas though. You feel like you're close to solving this mystery, although you didn't think you'd be doing something like this when you woke up this morning. The three of you have dinner, and you tell them that that...>You're not really sure who did this. For the time being the three of you can't do much about it.>You have another idea for the investigation. [State what]>You've figured out who the culprit is! Well, you haven't really, but you do have a good hunch, so it's worth stating. [State who, provide reasoning to convince them]>Other
>>3121645What? Did Wang forget his shamisen and the librarian accidentally stepped onto it while going home at night?>You have another idea for the investigation. [State what]Confirm its the librarian, ask him if anyone had moved or touched the broken instrument at all, even little bit when it was found.Look for anyone in the group wearing gloves.>ChokingHard achievement unlocked! -5G
>>3121847You don't have a suitable solution while eating, but you do have an idea. After eating you ask the librarian whether anyone touched or found the instrument at all after it was found, and he tells you that while he hasn't been paying too much attention, he thinks he's the only one that touched it. He only looked through the pieces for a moment though.As for people wearing gloves, there's only one person, and they've been wearing gloves every single day since you began coming to the library. They're one of the loners and you're not really sure why they do this.As night approaches, Wang Xuan asks which of the richer examinees you want to replace the clothes of with rags with tonight. Of the six of them, Bai Li and three of his friends are staying at a small manor about half an hour's walk from the town. The other two examinees are currently staying as guests at the best looking inn at town. He thinks you should keep the stakes low and go for those two, while Fang Wei is acting oddly compared to this morning and is just saying it's not worth it to mess with either party. You're inclined to agree with him, but you thought he'd be more fired up. Guess he had time to calm down. You...>You agree with Wang Xuan, you should go after the easiest group.>You agree with Fang Wei, there's no reason to blow the situation up again when you're so close to finding the truth out.>Other
>>3121467silver nitrate is a silver salt, so it occurs near silver mines as a mineral. there's ninhydrin, though, that's organic and can be refined from just about anything if you know the procedurebut I see we have a fictional equivalent >>3121613 so I'll cease my forensics autism>>3121972>You agree with Fang Wei, there's no reason to blow the situation up again when you're so close to finding the truth out.
Rolled 9 (1d100)>>3122227You tell Wang Xuan that you agree with Fang Wei and that there's no reason to blow the situation up when you're all so close to figuring it out. Wang Xuan begrudgingly agrees and you go back to your home for the night.The next morning you head to the library far before the starting time of the exam and see a line of examinees going up the librarian in order to officially register. After you enter the line you notice that everyone is paying a fee to register. A fee of 10 gold coins. You wish you had been told of this earlier, but oh well, it's not a problem. After talking a bit with others, you figure out that you get it back if you pass, and you get a scaling portion of it up to 5 gold back if you fail but score well enough.After you register you get a wooden slip with your name and a number engraved into it which you can wear around your neck. You then see Fang Wei and Wang Xuan enter the room, looking extremely panicked. Wang Xuan walks up to you before saying "Those bastards! They stole my entrance fee! Last night I stayed up later than I usually do to make sure they couldn't do anything, but they entered in the middle of the night anyways! There wasn't any sign of forced entry, and I couldn't find any major clues. Goddammit."You take fingerprints on Wang Xuan's coin pouch and see that there's only the fingerprints of Wang Xuan and Fang Wei on it. You...
>>3122398...can't glean anything else. There are six hours until registration closes. You...>Offer to pay Wang Xuan's entrance fee as long as he gives it back afterwards. You have just short of 32 gold coins left, and Wang Xuan probably has an 80 to 90 percent chance of passing, so it's an acceptable risk.>Confront the group of people Wang Xuan suspects.>Other
>>3122398Fang Wei?Maybe he stepped on it by mistake? Did we take his fingerprints?Now the money thing is strange....>Offer to pay Wang Xuan's entrance fee as long as he gives it back afterwards. You have just short of 32 gold coins left, and Wang Xuan probably has an 80 to 90 percent chance of passing, so it's an acceptable risk.
Rolled 79 (1d100)>>3122451You offer to pay Wang Xuan's entrance fees. While he's ecstatic, he begins with some polite rejections. As he does so, Fang Wei joins in with some oddly worried sounding statements such as "10 gold coins is a sizable sum, while Little Brother Wang can always take the exam next year, losing that much money could ruin you and stop you from taking next year's exam. Think about this more carefully. You can't afford to simply loan that much money out." He almost seems aggressive about wanting you to not pay for Wang Xuan's exam fees. This is suspicious. You're starting to think that Fang Wei could be involved somehow. You...
>>3122451>fingerprints of Wang Xuan and Fang WeiDerpDid both Fang and Wang get robbed?
>>3122466...now notice, with a healthy dose of skepticism, that Wang Fei's coin purse looks far fuller than it did a few days ago. This couldn't just be a coincidence. You...>Demand to see the contents of the coin purse.>Say that he stole the money and demand to know why.>Tell Wang Xuan that his friend seems to be behind this, and point at his coin purse.>Other
>>3122476>Other: ask him why his coin purse is so full.
>>3122629You hold back your urge to be more aggressive and calmly ask Fang Wei why his coin purse is so full. Wang Xuan, confused, takes a look at the coin purse you mentioned, and his eyes widen before he says "Yes, Elder Brother Fang... why is it so full?" Fang Wei, taken off guard, says "Err... well... the night before last I found an ore I didn't recognize that sparkled like the stars. I was able to sell it to a travelling merchant. They paid me 20 gold coins for it, it must've been rather valuable." You and Wang look at him with rather doubtful expressions before you...>Mention that if he did earn money that way, then there shouldn't be Wang Xuan's fingerprints on any of the gold coins inside the bag, right? You may have happened to touch each other's coin purses while hanging out, but you wouldn't handle their money.>Begin putting pressure onto him with Wang Xuan and see if he reveals anything.>Let him off the hook even if it's far-fetched it's no good to suspect your comrades.>Other
>>3122476While the shamisen and the coins make Fang a convenient suspect, it doesn't make sense that there are no finger prints on the shamisen... But he also knew of our plan
>>3122689>Begin putting pressure onto him with Wang Xuan and see if he reveals anything.>Mention that if he did earn money that way, then there shouldn't be Wang Xuan's fingerprints on any of the gold coins inside the bag, right? You may have happened to touch each other's coin purses while hanging out, but you wouldn't handle their money.
>>3122700>no fingerprints on the shamisenThere are Wang's, Fang's, and the librarians fingerprints on the shamisen as far as you know. You didn't note the fact that Fang had touched it at the time because the two hung out a lot and it didn't seem odd. Unless you're referring to the fingerprints of a fourth party.>>3122712You and Wang Xuan close in on Fang Wei slightly before you say "Well, Elder Brother Wang, we shouldn't suspect Elder Brother Fang just yet. If he really got the money that way, then it won't have any of your fingerprints on it. You haven't handled each other's coin, have you?" Wang Xuan nods his head and says "Yes, good observation Younger Brother Zhu, we shouldn't condemn him yet, I'm sure this is a misunderstanding. Take out your money so that we can check it for fingerprints and we can get this over with now Elder Brother Fang."As you both say this a grimace forms on Fang Wei's face as he says "This... alright, you've got me, but I have an important reason, I wouldn't steal my friend's coin for no reason. Can we talk about this outside?" You and Wang Xuan acquiesce to the request, following Fang Wei outside.
>>3122768He then says "This... brothers, I was offered 20 golden coins by Young Master Bai if I could make it so that Wang Xuan couldn't take the Imperial Examinations. I thought that if I broke your shamisen you'd be angry enough to punch him and get yourself banned, and then I could give you half of the reward so that you could buy a new shamisen and even make a profit. After Brother Zhu calmed you down, that plan went out the window, so I had to come up with another plan. Making sure you didn't have enough money for the time being seemed to be the easiest. I was going to return it to you afterwards anonymously, I promise."As Fang continues nervously explaining, Wang Xuan walks towards him, saying "You sold me out like that for only 20 gold coins?! That may be almost two years worth of our family scrimping and saving for someone like us, but I thought you had more integrity." You then see Wang Xuan deliver a heavy punch to Fang Wei's face before slapping him a few times. Fang Wei simply wipes some blood from his face before saying "I deserved that, let's just call ourselves even, ok?" After a moment you see Fang Wei's face turn as happy as a child at a festival. He exclaims "Wait a minute! Bai only paid me half ahead of time, but if I tell him that you punched me and that you don't even have the money to register for the examinations, then he should give up the other 10 coins even if you haven't missed the exam yet, right? Brother Wang, you can have the money, I'd just like to put this behind us. I sincerely apologize, I was tempted by the thought of material wealth and didn't think about how missing an examination would affect your future." Fang Wei then kowtows before handing 20 gold coins to Wang Xuan, which should be what he was paid beforehand by Bai and what he took from Wang Xuan. You...>Think he can't be trusted.>Am willing to forgive him, people will do worse things for money.>Other
>>3122770>Think he can't be trusted.Nativity kills in cultivation. That and arrogance.
How seperated is the mortal world from the world of cultivation? Are cultivators running states, state officials or exist in sects nominally seperate.Has our character knowingly ever seen a cultivator and does know cultivation peak at low levels: mortals are able to hurt a cultivator past the first few stages or at mountains are destroyed in battles beween top figures?
>>3122770I dunno, this one is up to Wang. Your call bro.
>>3122768Yeah, I don't recall reading about Fangs fingerprints on the shamisen, I may have just missed it tho.
>OtherI dunno, this one is up to Wang.
>Think he can't be trusted.
>>3122908The world of mortals and cultivators isn't exactly separate so much as the world of peasants and cultivators is. You hear that in major cities, such as the kingdom's capital, most of the powerful figures are also cultivators. You hear that the king is supposed to be on par with some of the most powerful experts in the kingdom, and that he's at the peak of the early stage of the Qi Foundation Realm, although you have no idea how powerful that is. You remember there was a big fuss over him turning 200 a couple of years ago and the previous king died at 253, so at the very least their lifespans are far longer than yours. There are various stories about cultivators destroying mountains, ruining countries, living tens of thousands of years, and so on and so forth, but you aren't sure if they're true or not since you have nothing to base them on.There are sects and family clans, and you know that some of them cooperate with the government, but they're pretty autonomous. The smaller clans generally protect whatever area they're in charge of in exchange for being allowed to exist there, but you don't know much about the larger ones.You have seen a couple of wandering cultivators in your youth. One of them claimed to be in the Meridian Opening Stage of being a Heavenly Mortal, while the other said he was at the Thunderous Warrior Stage of being an Earthly Mortal. Both of these men seemed strong enough to fight wild beasts and punch rocks into dust, but you're not sure if they showed their full power or if you're remembering the situation exactly correctly. From what you know, being an Earthly Mortal and Heavenly Mortal are the first stages of cultivation, and the general population won't refer to these people as "immortals". (Funnily enough, most villages have a strongman or two who claim to be at the very first stage of being an Earthly Mortal, 'Mighty Warrior'. Due to the blurry line between weak cultivators and normal people, this usually isn't questioned.) After this comes the Qi Emission Stage, and you have no idea what follows that.Sorry for the delay, my internet was shitting itself.
>>3122873>>3122938>>3122974>>3123007You personally don't think that Fang Wei can't be trusted, but you leave it up to Wang to make the decision, he's been friends with him longer than you have. Wang simply sighs before going "I'll cooperate with you to get the other 10 gold pieces, and you'll split the gains with me. You'll profit 5 gold pieces from this entire thing, and I'll profit 15 minus whatever it costs to replace my shamisen. We will not be friends and we will not be enemies. You can continue taking the examinations on your own in the future and I won't try to get in your way." They come to this agreement, and later in the day Wang Xuan comes back to you, seeming exhausted on the inside.He says "To think one of my brothers would betray me right before the exam. What a twist of fate. I suppose I should just focus on passing for now, but I can't help but feel like I've lost something. Well, something more than my shamisen. At least I've met a new brother this year, right?" The next hours passed in a more subdued atmosphere before 61 examinees are rounded up to participate in the examination.The librarian says that he'll be serving as the head invigilator, and various minor officials and people sent from the provincial capital will be assisting in invigilating the examination. The exam will last for three days, the first being about general knowledge, the second being on practical application of this knowledge and ethics, and the third being various essays.The examinees are split into several groups at random, and you're led forward with 14 other examinees to a relatively large home about 15 minutes outside of the town. Each examinee is given a small room with ample inksticks and an inkstone, paper, a chamber pot, and other necessities. Meals will be given three times a day, and the examinations will be starting tomorrow. You're carefully strip searched for any sort of notes or unauthorized items, and everything besides the clothes on your back is kept by an official and held somewhere secret. You pass the night away reviewing knowledge in your mind and prepare to go to bed early in order to be ready for the first portion of the examinations tomorrow.On the exams, you...>Roll 3d100s. Your performance on the exam will be decided based on how many times the rolls pass a hidden DC.
Rolled 52, 41, 35 = 128 (3d100)>>3123118
Rolled 40, 57, 78 = 175 (3d100)>>3123118
Rolled 40, 87, 45 = 172 (3d100)>>3123118
>>3123161You take the exam and feel that the content is harder than people were telling you about. Maybe this year whoever made the questions was particularly harsh, you're not sure. You heard that about 4-6 people pass this county's examination every year, but it seems like it might be lower this year. You're still sure you passed it though. Wang Xuan probably did as well, although it would be by a narrow margin.After the examinations end you see about half of the examinees left depressed, knowing that they once again haven't passed the examination. You meet back up with Wang Xuan, and he agrees that the examination was especially hard this year, but is confident in passing. The results will be released in the afternoon two days from now thanks to the diligence of the invigilators, so until then you can just relax.I'm gonna call the session here, I was forced to pull an all-nighter last night and this is a pretty good stopping point. I should be able to resume sometime between 13 hours and 17 hours from now depending on how long I sleep. I'll be busy between 2 and 3:30 PM CST because I thing to attend, just a heads-up.Also, I was split between taking the first 3d100s and the first roll of each 3d100 because I'm dumb and didn't say "3 1d00s" like I should have, but luckily the results were the exact same since the hidden DC was 51.
>>3123263big rip, barely pass if at allthanks for running QM
>>3123263Ah okay, took a bit of re-reading for me to get that.
>>3123263get some sleep lol
>>3123263The next 36 hours pass quickly as you spend time unwinding and trying to mitigate the fact that you just studied for most of a week straight and then took a three day exam. You do some light exercise to unwind, as you have been for the past couple of months, but it hasn't caused much of a difference in your physique. Hopefully you pass so that you have the money flow to begin cultivating.You show up the library for the announcement of the results and see the librarian standing next to what looks to be a man in his 40s. This man is flanked by a couple of soldiers. You're not sure who he is, but he appears to be relatively important.As the final examinees begin to flow in you hear the librarian begin talking. "Thank you, scholars, for aspiring to be a government official. Those of you worthy will be accepted into the ranks of the government and will be expected to serve and protect this country through your actions as best as you can. Those who fail may find another course in life, or could pass later. It's all up to you. I'll be announcing most of the results, while Sir County Magistrate Meng Hao will be announcing who passed the examination." The librarian then points to the important looking man from earlier. So he's the county magistrate. You suppose he'll be your superior if you pass the examination then.The librarian clears his throat before beginning to announce the results. The first twenty or so are all read out in the format of name, age, failed with no compensation. You assume the compensation being referred to is the portion of the examination's fees you receive back for your score. At 38th place you finally hear "Gi Lao, Age 36, compensated with 3 bronze coins." The amount of compensation slowly climbs up to around 3 gold until they reach 15th place.The numbers begin to jump more steeply after that, and you guess that these are the people who have a decent chance to pass in the future. You haven't heard your name or Wang Xuan's name yet, so that's good. At 9th place you hear the librarian say "Fang Wei, Age 35, compensated with 4 gold and 3 silver." Well, you guess you won't have to deal with him if you pass. The librarian counts everyone except the top five before you hear him say "I will now be handing the results over to the County Magistrate. The top five examinees have passed."You passed! Wang Xuan passed! That's good. Now you need to start worrying about how much you passed by. If you did better than the other candidates it'll be easier to be appreciated by the county magistrate, but if you barely pass, you can be put into a menial position such as scribe for many years depending on whether you display any talent after the examinations.You hear the county magistrate slowly say "Wang Xuan, Age 23, passed with no honors." after the scroll containing the results is handed to him. Well, at least Wang passed. This is followed by someone else's name before he says "Zhu Zhexian, Age 15, passed with no honors."
>>3124927You may have not passed with flying colors, but oh well, most people don't. You still have a decent chance of getting appreciated by the county magistrate, you'll just need to show practical ability. The fact that you're only 15 and have taken the exam for the first time is a big upside too. Naturally people appreciate young talent more than older people passing, even if it seems rude to say out loud.After your name you hear the county magistrate say "Bai Li, Age 20, passed with a 2nd-roll score." This is followed by "Cao Yan, Age 17, passed with a 2nd-roll score," before a final statement of "There are no examinees who have qualified for the provincial exam." The county magistrate then closes the scroll before saying "Everyone who passed, please gather in front of my home. I'll brief you on what your positions will be."You gather with the rest of the examinees who passed, and take a look at them. There's you, Wang Xuan, and that "Young Master Bai" from before, but you haven't really spoken with the other two. The one who got fourth was one of Bai Li's followers, although he did seem notably less rude than the rest at the very least. In first is one of the people who was studying alone, a girl of 17 years old. It's a bit notable since men tend to score better on the Imperial Examinations, but it's not a surprise. Cultivation and talent aren't limited by sex and neither is taking the exam, so why should it surprise you?The county magistrate walks up to the five of you before saying "As you heard earlier, my name is Meng Hao. You can call me Sir Magistrate Meng Hao for the time being. Follow me into my office before we continue. It would be unprofessional of me to do it out here, and you'll need to know where it is in the future anyways." You follow the county magistrate into his modestly decorated manor before arriving in his office.The county magistrate sits down at a desk made of a noticeably good wood. Various baubles, office supplies, and stacks of paper dominate the room. The five of you line up in front of his desk before he says "I'll start with you, Cao Yan. You almost qualified for the provincial examinations with your score, and you're a young talent. I'm very impressed. You'll be assigned as my assistant for the time being." He then turns and points to Bai Li before rubbing his chin thoughtfully. You hear him mutter "What senior positions are open..." before he snaps his fingers and says "Ah, that's it. We recently lost our county judge, you can take that position. Remember to be ethical in your judgments, or so face a fate worse than death. Also, say hello to your father on my behalf."only one more post left, sorry
>>3124969The county magistrate then looks at you and says "You didn't pass with outstanding results, but you are only 15 years old after all. This... I have a few positions for you to gain experience that aren't at the very bottom, you can choose from one of them. Feel free to ask me about salaries and responsibilities and all that if I don't explain them completely, it's important to consider these things beforehand.""The first position I have available for you is as the village chief of Green Maw village. The village is supposed to be around 1400 to 1500 people in size, and it's a decent place to gain accomplishments at depending on how you manage it. You'll be allowed to leave the village for two weeks every two months, but if this results in any dereliction of your duties your salary and the privilege will be revoked. The wage is 15 gold coins a month in addition to your cut of the taxes twice annually." You recall that taking a cut of the taxes is illegal, but your village has always had a tax rate slightly higher than the one found in books, and even then it wasn't extremely harsh, so you feel like this is probably accounted for in the tax system."The second position is an envoy. You'll deliver messages on my behalf, and as part of the position you'll be lent a horse and taught how to ride it. Depending on how you perform it may be given to you as a bonus of sorts. You'll deliver messages, documents, people of interest, that sort of thing. If I don't need you back urgently you'll get a chance to spend a bit of time in wherever you're to deliver the message to. There are lodges for civil officials in each decently sized town, so inns won't be a problem. The wage is 17 gold coins a month.""Finally, I have a position as a tax collector open. Twice annually you'll spend a couple of months helping to collect taxes around the county. This will mostly be at places that don't have enough manpower, or smaller villages who have no officials there to do it. You may deal with a few angry villagers, but you get about 2/3rds of the year where you do very little, which you can honestly take as vacation time, and you're paid 13 gold coins a month." Having heard about the positions, you...>Have more questions.>Want to be a village chief.>Want to be an envoy.>Want to be a tax collector.>Other
>>3124998>Want to be an envoy.While delivering messages we'll surely encounter bandits and monsters on which we could train our physical prowess. When the time comes for more advanced cultivation stages we will have proved our competence and received a position with more free time.And an important consideration, anons: do not waifu Cao Yan.If we become immortal and she grows old and dies, it would be very unpleasant. We have to find ourselves a qt demon or someone of that sort.
>>3124998>Have more questions.How often will I be on the road as an envoy? What will I do in the mean time when not traveling?What is the name of the village we came from?With managing a village, do we get an income for building projects or is that only through taxes?Will we have any men or guards assigned to us a a village leader?Can we raise a militia for defense and patrolling the roads for bandits?I want the first two options, and I think we can probably do the top two.
>>3124998>Want to be an envoy.We get easy access to information from a lot of different places. Knowledge is power.
>>3125032If nothing major happens then you'll have between 3 and 6 months of the year (in total, not all at once) where you won't be on the road. You can spend this doing whatever you wish, training to ride your horse, and exploring the places you're delivering messages to.The name of the village you live in is Ironpit Village, as there used to be a mine there.If you manage a village you get a surplus from the taxes (a certain amount is handed over to be paid to the magistrate, who then pays a certain amount of the provincial governor) that is put towards building projects, paying additional militia members, and so on and so forth.If you're a village chief then you generally have one or two members of the militia guard you, but you'll have to select them yourself.There's already a small militia, but you can expand it using village funds if you wish. The area is generally safe from bandits, but they do patrol for them intermittently.
>>3124998>Want to be a village chief.>Want to be an envoy.I want to do both, But more towards village chief so we can build our own dojo or monastery. Fill it with young martial artists and low level cultivator aspirants.
I'll close the vote in around an hour (unless it's tied) because it's relatively major.
>>3125066>As a chef we're allowed to leave the village for two weeks every two months>As an envoy we're required to always be ready to depart and are expected to be on the road 6-9 months in a year.How are you imagining combining these, anon?
Can we do both tax collector and envoy?
>>3125182You get one official position due to bureaucracy. You could help out the tax collectors with their assignments on your free time if you really want to, but you will receive zero pay for it so there's no point.
>>3124998>>Want to be an envoy.I like riding around as a job. see things, meet peopletax collecting gives the most time to cultivate btw but it's also boring
>>3125186Envoy it is. No point in doing a thankless job like tax collector if we aren't getting paid.
>>3125020>>3125039>>3125187>>3125193"Sir Magistrate Meng Hao, I'd like to take the envoy position." The magistrate says "Alright, I'll put you down for the position." he then goes down the line and Wang Xuan and a man in his mid-20s, He Ming, are made scribes. It's the official position, but it still pays 10 gold coins a month. It may not seem too much better than the six gold coins a month a self-employed peasant might make, but the fact that they don't have to pay for board or for running a business means that they have far more income that they can save.After all of the positions are handed out, the county magistrate smiles and says "Now, you're all officials of our mighty Zhaotian kingdom! I'll brief you more on your work later, but for now, there's something more important." The county magistrate grabs a couple of boxes out from under his desk, and opens them both up. One of them is overflowing with gold coins, and the other has a set of badges. The county magistrate then says "As a new official, you'll receive a bonus equal to one month of your wage. In addition, you'll get a badge for your position. You'll be issued a seal in a week or two, but they'll have your names and positions on them so they'll take time to construct." The county magistrate personally hands some gold coins to each of you before placing a badge on top of the pile of coins. All of you continue to stay in the position you had before, not sure of the procedure, before the county magistrate laughs and says "You can put the money away and the badge on now, no need to stand there like idiots for that long." The five of you follow his advice, and shortly later are back to staring at him.The county magistrate then talks about less important things for a little bit, probably partially to entertain himself and partially as a service to his new juniors. At one point he says "Y'know, I may be older than all of you, but I could still beat any of you in a fight. My cultivation isn't lacking, I've reached the Meridian Opening Stage of being a Heavenly Mortal. Give it another six months and I may make it to the peak of Heavenly Mortal, the Qi Gathering Stage."The new officials, including yourself, seem awed, although Bai Li and Cao Yan seem less impressed than the rest. The magistrate then chuckles and says "Ah, you flatter me. Do any of you have a level of cultivation?" Bai Li eagerly answers before saying "I've reached the Lasting Warrior Stage of being an Earthly Mortal!" Next Cao Yan rather flatly says "I'm a Thunderous Warrior." before Wang Xuan says "I've reached the first stage of being an Earthly Mortal, Mighty Warrior." The county magistrate compliments them and talks some more before you're dismissed. Now you...>Make arrangements to sell your home in Ironpit Village, you won't need it and more money never hurts.>Try to arrange a bit of a party among the officials, it's best to make up now.>Check out your lodgings.>Hang out with Wang Xuan for the night.>Other
>>3125238*it's the lowest official positionI feel like the typo referring to the position of scribes is relatively important to fix. I also should have said lodging instead of board because board implies room and board (which includes food), but oh well, that's minor.
>>3125238>Check out your lodgings.>Hang out with Wang Xuan for the night.>Tell uncle the good news.
>>3125238>Make arrangements to sell your home in Ironpit Village, you won't need it and more money never hurts.DON'T do this. We don't want to carry too much money on us if we're travelling, and we need a place to stay for the remainder of the year that's our own. A better idea would be to rent it out to people and make money that way. Or get someone to renovate it into a store where they pay rent.Other than that...>Try to arrange a bit of a party among the officials, it's best to make up now.
>>3125362A sidenote, you can stay at the official's lodgings year-round anywhere in the kingdom that has one. As long as you're employed by the kingdom as an official, there's pretty much somewhere for you stay in every single town of 8,000+ people. The quality varies between cities, and if you aren't a local official then you'll have to settle for whatever they have left for you (often just a warm bed), but you never have to pay for an inn unless you're at a village. (or you can afford it and want better lodgings)Also, I'll roll for hanging out with Wang Xuan vs. trying to arrange a party with all of the new officals if I don't get a tiebreaker on that.
>>3125402>Hang out with Wang Xuan for the night.>Try to arrange a bit of a party among the officials, it's best to make up now.Like we'd invite him wouldn't we?
>>3125440You would invite him, yes, it's just trying to hang out with all five versus only Wang Xuan.
>>3125448Lets party then.
>>3125356>>3125362Upon exiting the county magistrate's manor, you look at your fellow new officials and, before they can start scattering, ask them if they'd like to have a party. Wang Xuan glances at Bai Li for a moment before saying "Sure, it would help us out to form bonds with our fellow officials." He Ming, the other scribe, follows up with a similar sentiment. You expect Bai Li to refuse, but to your surprise he says "I'll need to inform my family of my new role and prepare, but for tonight at least I'm free." You guess even if he does seem a bit stuck up, he has the sense to cooperate when you're on more even ground. Cao Yan notices that attention has been drawn to her after everyone else has already accepted and just says "Sure, I'll attend." The five of you then work out who will bring what food and drink and go your separate ways.After managing to arrange a bit of a party among the new officials, you go to take a look at your lodgings. There's a lobby that probably should be manned by someone so that non-officials can't enter, but in a town as small as this the position doesn't really matter. You look around, finding a fairly large room where people can eat, although there isn't any food provided. There's also a very large room with various records and books provided. Even after someone is already an official it makes sense to study, since the examination isn't just for show.You go to the second floor and see that there are personal rooms for local officials, and a few guest rooms for visiting officials of a high enough rank. The personal rooms are divided by rank, and you look inside an empty one of your rank. There's a bed with an oil lamp on a nightstand sitting next to it, a wardrobe, a cupboard, and a bookshelf with a few books on it. There's also a decent looking desk with a wooden chair in front of it. On and inside the desk are various office supplies. There's spare room in here if you were interested in acquiring more furniture, but you don't see the point.Now that you know what your lodgings look like, you head back to Uncle Zhang's workshop. He turns his head towards you and is about to ask you something before his eyes are drawn towards the badge on your chest. His face then lights up with a smile and says "Ah, you made it!" before he gives you a pat on the back. "An envoy too! A lot of people end up starting out as scribes!" The two of you talk for a bit before you take your things back to the lodge. He seemed rather ecstatic to see you succeed, and it's nice to see that.You buy some food for the party for a couple of silvers before taking stock of your funds. You have 58 gold and 7 silver, which is quite the impressive amount of funds. It's almost odd to think that you only had 12 gold when you arrived here. Now you begin taking stock of your financial situation.be prepared for a very awkward dump about your money, I thought way too much about this
>>3123035>Qi foundationThat is pretty low at best it would be either self-severing/soul severing or dao peak
>>3125512You make 17 gold coins per month, which equals 204 gold coins per year. Even though you're an official you'll still end up paying taxes of 28 gold coins a year. You'll also end up spending about 2 gold a month on living before you take into account food. This leaves 152 gold coins per year, which would probably turn into a bit over 100 gold coins in profit after considering various random expenses and food. This... you can see why the position of an official is coveted. The ability to not pay for lodgings is really profitable. You're pretty sure Uncle Zhang should only be making 40 gold coins a year at most, and a peasant would only save somewhere between 10 and 13, and this would usually be frittered away on what little pleasures and splurges they can get. The only unknown variable here is how much you're going to end up eating once you start cultivating. If you assume that you eat maybe twice as much, the amount of profit becomes closer to 70 gold coins, and three times would make it more like 45. You...>Will eat until you're full while cultivating as long as it doesn't seem like it's going to make you broke.>Budget a specific amount of money for food. You'll probably spend around 35-40 gold coins per year on it eating like a normal official. [State how much]As you work this out, the time for the party draws near. You go downstairs to the and begin setting out the food you bought. It seems like Bai Li and He Ming, the ones in charge of the drink, both brought some pretty good alcohol. You've only drunk once before, shortly after your parents, died, but...>Will drink your fill here. It's a party!>Drink just enough to seem polite.>Won't be drinking. It might be a disrespectful, but you don't really have an alcohol tolerance built up.>Other>>3125521the cultivation system from this is a mishmash of things, but if you're curious and want to spoil yourself slightly you can check out True Marital World's, as it's close to that, and Qi Foundation would be similar to their Yuan Qi Foundation.
>>3125557>Will eat until you're full while cultivating as long as it doesn't seem like it's going to make you broke.We don't really need to worry about money in the long run.>Won't be drinking. It might be a disrespectful, but you don't really have an alcohol tolerance built up.Let's be safe. Maybe pretend to drink if necessary.
>>3125557>Will eat until you're full while cultivating as long as it doesn't seem like it's going to make you brokCultivation is literally the most important thing in every single aspect.>Drink just enough to seem polite.Face is important.
>>3125557>Drink just enough to seem polite.Just get a small cup and take tiny sips, nurse it.
>>3125598>>3125593You wait for Cao Yan and Wang Xuan to arrive for a few minutes while making smalltalk with Bai Li and He Ming. Apparently Bai Li is the second son of a fairly major merchant in the county. He Ming's father is part of some rich family and manages a few minor businesses, while his mother is a physician. As you talk about these sorts of things, Wang Xuan walks in, and Cao Yan enters shortly after. The party starts off relatively subdued, and you all more or less just talk while you nurse a drink to seem polite, but after a while a couple of minor officials who were staying in the lodgings come to join you. They bring more food and drink with them, and things start to pick up. Eventually you all start showing off various skills, Wang Xuan borrowing a shamisen (while slightly drunkenly glaring at Bai Li) to play a song. Your skills aren't exactly flashy but you talk a bit about basic herbs and where to find them when it's your turn.A few times throughout the night you have to talk Wang Xuan down from finding trouble with Bai Li, but it's not exactly challenging since you're only buzzed. At least he isn't trying to punch Bai Li, which is an improvement.Later in the night Bai Li, He Ming, and the two officials who aren't new begin playing poker. Wang Xuan and Cao Yan, both rather full of food and drink, head to bed. You...>Join the poker game. You haven't played much, but they're all pretty drunk, you should be even. [1d100]>Decline and head to bed.>Other
>>3125557>>Drink just enough to seem polite.Keeping up appearances is a must.
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>3125630>>Join the poker game. You haven't played much, but they're all pretty drunk, you should be even. [1d100]Rolling
>>3125636You join in on the poker game, and it seems like one of the other officials who's also an envoy is a card shark. Everyone at the table besides him loses a bit of money, although you're able to minimize your losses through a relatively large amount of sobriety. You lose nine silver and eight bronze, leaving you with 57 gold and seven silver. You go to bed after the poker game, ready for whatever duties start tomorrow.The next day you wake up pretty early with a slight headache. You head over to the more senior envoy's room since he said he was in charge of briefing you today, but he still appears to be sleeping. Well, you suppose now's as good a time as ever to get breakfast and start training. The training motions inside the manual for the "Empty Sky Technique" honestly don't look like anything much, although the fact that it's somehow related to whatever an "8-star Demon Slayer" is makes it feel like it might be better to keep it under wraps. You...>Practice in the wilderness slightly outside of town.>Don't bother and practice openly in the backyard. It's not like the technique could be stolen without combining it with the book anyways.>Other
>>3125690>Practice in the wilderness slightly outside of town.Don't want to draw too much attention to ourselves, just in case. We'll be doing this out on the road in the wilderness as we travel anyway.
>>3125690>>Practice in the wilderness slightly outside of town.
>>3125690>Practice in the wilderness slightly outside of town.
>>3125705>>3125709>>3125727You decide that you'll practice in the wilderness in order to minimize the chances of drawing attention to yourself. You don't know what exactly the origins of this technique are after all. You eat a rather huge breakfast, unsure of whether cultivators are supposed to stuff themselves beforehand or just eat when they're hungry, and walk slightly outside of town.You find a nice clearing in the woods, and stop there to begin going through the motions of the technique. You're a bit lethargic after eating that much, but oh well.As you begin going through the movements, you instinctively feel like there's supposed to be a specific rhythm to it, and you begin moving to it. Your movements become more... correct in a way, and you feel the lethargy begin to give way to a hot energy that flows throughout your body as you begin digesting the food at an extremely fast pace. Maybe this innate understanding is why She Zhu's 'spiritual will' "deemed you capable". After about 15 minutes you feel hungry once more, and make your way out of the wilderness. You haven't really noticed any great growth in strength yet, so you guess it'll take a while.You head back to the lodgings after another meal, and find that your senior has awoken. He stares at you, rubbing his head and says "Ah, Junior Envoy Zhu, you're back. That was quite the party last night. I suppose I should formally introduce myself now that we're both in a clear state of mind. I'm Quan Tao. I'll show you the ropes." After that Quan Tao explains the specifics of the job for a while. He ends by saying that you'll be assigned to practice horse riding for long periods of time for the next two weeks, and then you'll be sent off to take some documents to the capital of the province. You'll be allowed three days of leave once you're there since the trip is two weeks, and then you'll head back unless they have any orders for you there.Over the next two weeks, as you begin to learn how to ride a horse and start your journey down the road of cultivation, you...>Don't do anything else in particular.>Spend the rest of your spare time studying.>Try to make friends among the local officials.>Search for edible plants and small game to save on money.>Other
>>3125810>>Spend the rest of your spare time studying.
>>3125869You spend the majority of your spare time in either the library, as they allow government officials to enter for free, or inside the library of the official's lodgings. The former has more books over a wider variety of things, while the latter has more useful information.After a week of training, you feel the hot energy you usually feel throughout your body surging to a maximum. Your body feels like it's beginning to heat up, and instead of that feeling going away, it just becomes stronger and stronger as you practice.After about half an hour, this reaches a peak and you throw a punch towards a tree to try to let the feeling out. The imprint of your fist is left in the tree, but instead of calming down, your body stays in the same state. You continue throwing punches towards it, chipping into the wood. Your hands are a bit bruised, but it's nothing major. Eventually you feel something change within your body and the heat seems to slowly dissipate. Unsure of what happened, you begin walking back towards town, but then you vomit out what appears to be a sticky black blood. For a moment you wonder if something went wrong, but you now notice that a similar substance seems to be appearing on your skin. You feel exceptionally sweaty and uncomfortable due to it, but your body itself is stronger than it was before. Your senses are sharper, and it seems like a veil has been lifted from over your eyes. It takes you a moment before you mind catches up with what's happening. Your body just underwent refinement. You're in the first stage of being an Earthly Mortal, the Mighty Warrior Stage. That is... wasn't that a bit fast? You thought it took longer to cultivate than that. Well, at the very least you've found out that this technique wasn't some sort of trick. Now that you're a cultivator, you're determined to reach the top of the world. More specifically, you want to be...>The most powerful person in the world.>The richest person in the world.>The wisest person in the world.>The most respected person in the world.>OtherNote: This is actually a major choice, not just flavor. Yes, these choices overlap, one will just be the main goal.
>>3125933>>The wisest person in the world.
This is a decent stopping point, I'm gonna head out for the night, I'll return at about the same time as usual, 15~ hours from now give or take a couple.
>>3125933>The wisest person in the world.>OtherBenevolent "leader"
>>3125933>>The most powerful person in the world.hermits, no matter how wise, do nothing.
>>3125933>The most powerful person in the world.
>>3125933>The most powerful person in the world.I don't trust anons (myself included) to RP wisdom.
>>3125933>>The wisest person in the world.>>3126181Tbf, sometimes the wisest thing to do in a situation is to do nothing and watch it all burn.
>>3125933>>The most powerful person in the world.
>>3125933>The wisest person in the world.
>>3125933Excluding one post idsThat's four for wisdom and three for power. It's not that I mind battle junkies, they just tend to die early and doesn't seem to fit this character considering the exams and all. You *should* get both wiser and more powerful the more you cultivate, especially past the first major realm, so it isn't like they are mutually exclusive in practice.
>>3127058>>3125933Actually including them at this point makes no difference since there are two one each side. Just after my vote if another two one post battle pop votes pop up...
Out of curiosity, what Chinese fiction is everyone reading at the moment?Right now I'm only keeping up with A Will Eternal.
...the wisest person. By living as long as possible and learning about many different things, you should be able to make sure no one can wrong you. You wash yourself off in a nearby river before heading back to town.The day after breaking through you think about sparring with Wang Xuan. He seems trustworthy enough, and he's also a Mighty Warrior, so it should make for good practice. You...>Start sparring with him to practice.>Think it's better to keep things a secret.>Other
>>3127122>>Think it's better to keep things a secret.Let's train a bit more first.
>>3127060I mostly just binge things intermittently, but I keep up with releases for Library of Heaven's Path and I Really Am A Superstar. The latter gets better after the author stops the odd semirape fanservice chapters that Chinese webnovels seem to occasionally have a thing for. Outside of Chinese WNs, I try to keep up with the English LNs for Overlord, Monogatari, Youjo Senki, and the vending machine novel. Also, A Will Eternal is Er Gen's currently publishing Xianxia, right?
>>3127122>Think it's better to keep things a secret.
>>3127060>Out of curiosity, what Chinese fiction is everyone reading at the moment?I was introduced to xianxia by Forge of Destiny over on SVI've read some others, like condor heroes, chat group and my disciple died again. and translations of water margin and journey to the west, since I'm a literature student
Rolled 40, 74, 46, 89, 19, 11, 93, 28, 42, 74, 39, 39, 56, 32 = 682 (14d100)>>3127132>>3127145You figure that you should keep your cultivation underwraps from everyone for the time being and decide against sparring with Wang Xuan. It may be helpful, but it's not really worth the risk.The days pass, until eventually you're ready to leave Lion's Ridge for the capital of the province, Blue Ridge City. You pack up your things and mount your horse before beginning your two week long journey. massive dump of dice for two weeks worth of random encounters. You'll probably get 4 or 5 in total
>>3127154The first few days of your journey go without much of interest happening. The scenery is mostly small villages, and you spend your spare time while your horse is resting gathering additional food.On your fifth day of travelling you cross another envoy on the road. He's riding a rather valiant looking horse, and his equipment appears to be significantly better than yours. You both stop after nearing each other, pleased to find a friend along the road, and talk a bit. You find out that he's originally from the capital, but that's he's supposed to send a few provincial-level documents on his way to one of the border towns. You...>Ask him about the capital.>Ask about his horse.>Ask if he's been to the provincal capital, and if there's anything you should do while you're there.>End your conversation quickly, you'd feel bad holding him up.>Other
>>3127160>>Ask about his horse.
>>3127160>>Ask if he's been to the provincal capital, and if there's anything you should do while you're there.
>>3127134AWE is finished now, Deathblade has a couple hundred chapters left to translate. If he doesn't do a mass release like he did for ISSTH then 100> days till finished.
>>3127160>Ask if he's been to the provincal capital, and if there's anything you should do while you're there.
Rolled 65 (1d100)>>3127161You ask the envoy about his horse and find out that it's a special breed that is bred in areas near the capital. There are a limited number and the horses bond to their owner for life once trained, so the capital generally only gives them out to important officials and envoys who are supposed to send important documents. The man seems rather proud as he tells you this.After this you ask the man if he's been to the provincial capital and if there's anything you should do while you're there. The envoy says "Aye, I have been, but as for things to do there, I only know some of the major attractions. I didn't stay long when I went through. Well, there are a few well known teahouses and a large gambling hall. There's also a shrine on one of the nearby mountains that people say brings good luck, and a sort of large flea market where they sell all sorts of things."You and the other envoy part ways, and you begin travelling once more. The next day you make especially good time and end up saving a day on your journey. The night after that, while training at your camp, you feel a similar feeling to the time you broke through to the Mighty Warrior stage. The feeling of a burning heat flows through your muscles as your movements continue to intensify. Eventually it subsides into a dull throbbing throughout your body, and you don't feel a massive increase in strength, but your exhaustion seems to be gone. This is the hallmark of the second stage of being an Earthly Mortal, Lasting Warrior. You're also once again covered in that odd, blackish blood, and have to wash yourself.Two days later you pass a couple of mounted soldiers on the road, and they approach you before showing you a wanted poster with a man you don't recognize on it. They tell you that he...
>>3127173Committed an act of arson against a bakery. Apparently he was a baker as well, and since they don't know why they did it, their only guess is that he was trying to cut down on competition. You tell them that you'll keep an eye out for him and they go on their way.After that the scenery turns more rugged as the hilly forests give way to more rugged terrain. You also notice that the small villages are transforming into towns, a good portion of them larger than Lion's Ridge.The day you're about to enter Blue Ridge City, you come across a blind woman with several intricately carved wooden charms. She's loudly saying "Charms, five gold coins each! They'll protect your life! Guaranteed to help in a fight against a heavenly mortal!" The woman doesn't seem particularly special, but the charms seem interesting, and at the very least they sound helpful. You have the money too. You...>Buy a charm. [-5 gold]>Buy all three of her charms, if they can help in a fight then you may as well just wear all of them. [-15 gold]>Decide against buying one.>Other
>>3127179>>Decide against buying one.
>>3127179>Buy all three of her charms, if they can help in a fight then you may as well just wear all of them. [-15 gold]Good things happened to us recently lets have positive carma. But treat this like a form of charity
>>3127179>Buy a charm. [-5 gold]We certainly are progressing fast. Guess the method in our book is especially good.We'll need to avenge its author af a sign of gratitude.
>>3127179>Buy a charm. [-5 gold]
>>3127179>OtherHow do they do that? Do they make me stronger? Do they bring a heavenly mortal down to a normal person's level? Do they eat qi? What do they actually do?if you want to be wise then always question
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>3127205You do know that the Earthly Mortal and Heavenly Mortal stages are supposed to take less time to break through than the rest, but you still feel like this speed is exaggerated, yes.>>3127205>>3127209You buy a single charm from the woman before entering the provincial capital. Massive walls surround the city, with guards standing outside each entrance, but you show them your badge and are let through without much trouble.You look around the main street and find that there are a steady stream of people walking in both directions. The buildings are larger than what you've ever seen before, and the entire atmosphere is boisterous. You're pretty hungry and there are quite a few tea houses that serve food that you could sit down at here, but you should turn in your documents as soon as possible. You don't really know where you're supposed to do that though. You...>Grab a bite to eat.>Try to get directions to wherever the officials live, that seems like a safe enough bet on where you're supposed to go.>Other
>>3127219>>Try to get directions to wherever the officials live, that seems like a safe enough bet on where you're supposed to go.
>>3127219>Try to get directions to wherever the officials live, that seems like a safe enough bet on where you're supposed to go.
>>3127222>>3127224You ask a few people who don't seem too busy for directions, and they help you make your way towards the official's lodgings. The lodgings here are a complex of several large buildings, and you're impressed by the number of people going back and forth inside. There are a couple of guards and a receptionist at a small gate to enter the area, and after flashing you badge and explaining your purpose you're let through without trouble.You ask a couple of local officials where to deliver the documents to and their directions lead you to a jolly looking man in a room full of documents. He looks at you before saying "More results of the Imperial Examinations I suppose?" You nod your head and say "Most likely sir." before handing several sealed documents over to the man. You're dismissed, and now have four days to spend in the city since you made it here in good time. First you...>Want to get a good meal, you've been on the road for weeks.>Want to see if you can either find someone here to help you around the city or hire some sort of guide.>Find the flea market that envoy mentioned.>Find the gambling hall the envoy mentioned.>Would like to see where the most skilled apothecaries in the city are, if there's a gathering place then maybe you could learn something.>Other
>>3127235>>Want to get a good meal, you've been on the road for weeks.
>>3127235>Want to get a good meal, you've been on the road for weeks.
>>3127237>>3127239>>3127241You decide that you really need to grab a good meal, you've been stuck on the road for weeks. You walk down a few streets without much of an idea of which place to eat at before you see a small restaurant called "The Boiling Kettle". You walk inside and see that it's pretty quiet, and the place seems nice enough, so you decide to eat there.You order a sizable meal and get some sort of signature drink there that's similar to tea. You can't say that you love it, but it's not bad. As you finish your meal, you see that there's only one other customer eating, an older gentleman with a small dog, and most of the employees aren't very busy. You should be able to get some more information while you're here. You...>Ask the employees about the city. [State what]>Ask the older man who's eating about the city. [State what]>Other
>>3127245>>Ask the employees about the city. [State what]Ask about what's there to do here; also the flea market the other courier mentioned.
Real life came up, be back in an hour or two.
>>3127245>Ask the employees about the city. [State what]Ask them who are the most famous or generally well know cultivators that have been in or live in the city. Also ask if there's a pharmacy or alchemist in the city.
Finished what I needed to do, will start writing in about half an hour.
>>3127248>>3127266You start talking with the employees, hoping to get more information about the city. You ask what there's to do in the city and they talk about a festival that a village about an hours way outside the city is currently hosting, the flea market, the gambling hall, a few tourist attractions, and the shrine outside of the city.You ask more about the flea market and the employee you're talking to calls over another, saying "Hey, Zeng Tai, you go to the flea market a lot, don't you? Could you explain it to this guy, he's curious." Apparently the flea market is a place where anyone can set up a shop for a small amount of money, and most of the people simply man small stands or place their goods out on mats. There are quite a few hustlers there, but there's also a good chance to get a deal if you look around carefully.You ask if there are any pharmacies or apothecaries in the city, and get told that there are quite a few. The ordinary ones rely on reputation, while the top ones are run by Apothecary Apprentices who have passed the Apothecary Guild's examination. There's actually a big fuss among all of the city's apothecaries right now, as it's said that a 1-star apothecary from the capital will be visiting the city in a couple of days to search for an herb, and that he'll hold a lecture for some of the local apothecaries while he's here. To prepare for this the local apothecaries have planned a meet up tomorrow in order to determine who can go to the lecture.Finally, you ask about the most famous cultivators in the city. Apparently there are quite a few that the locals know about. The provincial governor and the general stationed here are both said to be only a realm less powerful than the king, and it's said that there's an old, reclusive expert in the city in the early stages of the Qi Foundation Realm who has holed himself up for the past 30 years in an attempt to make a breakthrough. At this point it might be just a legend, they're not sure. They mention a few other local heroes, but none of them are as well-known or as powerful as the three previously mentioned.Now that you've eaten, you...>Want to get information on the apothecaries' meetup tomorrow.>Find the flea market.>Find the gambling hall.>Want to check out the village's festival.>Want to head to the shrine for good luck.>Want to visit a few tourist attractions.>Other
>>3127547>Want to get information on the apothecaries' meetup tomorrow.This one is most time sensitive so i would start with it.
>>3127629You try to get more information on the apothecaries' meetup tomorrow, but the gist of everything you hear is more or less that you'll need to talk to one of the apothecaries involved. Eventually you find your way to one of the best apothecary workshops in the city, run by an Apprentice Apothecary. The workshop is a relatively large, clean building, and there are at least five apothecaries going back and forth. Only the owner is an Apprentice Apothecary, so you guess these are either his students or apothecaries who self-study that he employed. As you approach the counter one of the people working there looks at you and says "How can we help you Sir Official?" after glancing at the badge on your chest for a moment.You ask if you can see the owner of the shop, saying that you just got into town and were hoping to get information to attend the apothecaries' meeting tomorrow. The man at the counter frowns before saying "That... the boss is rather busy preparing for tomorrow." You...>Try to offer a small bribe to the man.>Tell him that you can wait until after they close for the day if needed.>Look around the shop for a chance to show off your skills as an apothecary. Once they know that you're able they won't have a reason to refuse you.>Other
>>3127665>Tell him that you can wait until after they close for the day if needed.If it works In the meantime check flea market. If not do this.>Look around the shop for a chance to show off your skills as an apothecary. Once they know that you're able they won't have a reason to refuse you.
>>3127665>>Tell him that you can wait until after they close for the day if needed.showing off won't go well, it'll be a good way to start a feud by taking away face, no matter how skilled Zetian is
>>3127675>>3127717You tell the worker that you can wait until after they close for the day if needed, but the man simply frowns before saying "Well... I appreciate the thought, but I apologize, the boss said that he doesn't want to be bothered until after tomorrow unless it's important. I would tell you about the meeting myself, but we're not skilled enough to go, so we don't know where it'll be held. I'm afraid you'll have to ask somewhere else."After the man says this, you think for a moment before asking "If someone on the level of, let's say, another Apprentice Apothecary, came, would that count as being important?" The man seems surprised before saying "Well, yes, I suppose that would be important enough for them to see the boss." You...>Look for someone else for information. Most of them are probably busy getting ready for the meeting, but some of them have to be willing to see you.>Show off your skills, you've just confirmed that if you can prove yourself as a peer of the boss that he'll see you.>Go do something else. [State what]>Other
>>3127725>Show off your skills, you've just confirmed that if you can prove yourself as a peer of the boss that he'll see you.
>>3127785>>3127787You say "Well then, I guess I'll have to prove myself to be on the level of an Apprentice Apothecary." before you begin wandering around the workshop. The man seems slightly flustered, but he doesn't stop you. You start wandering around, observing the movements of the workers until you find a chance.You look at one of the workers and point at her before saying "She's not applying enough pressure to grind the Flaming Peony over there, she'll lose at least a third of the potency like that." You make sure to say it quietly enough that any customers can't here, and say it to the man you were talking towards earlier. He takes a look before saying "Tao Jie, you need to apply more pressure when grinding Flaming Peony than with other herbs. You made this mistake a few weeks ago as well."The man comes back to where he was and gives you an appreciative nod before starting to work on something himself. You take a look at the ingredients and he appears to be working on some sort of remedy for a deadly fever you've heard of. He spends about five minutes gathering the ingredients and getting ready to prepare the remedy, and just before he begins you get a chance to say "To make a remedy for Blue Mountain Fever it'd be more potent and cost-effective to use the bark of a Red Russell Tree and to use a lower maturity of Hydra Ginseng in exchange. You could also remove the mediator between the ingredients, Sea Powder, in that case." The man seems shocked as he stares at you before saying "That's... I think that would work better, wouldn't it. The boss was saying that he wasn't happy with this recipe the other day and that he wanted to alter it. I'll tell the boss what you just told me, wait a moment."About a minute later the man you were talking to earlier comes back with a well-dressed man in his late 30s following behind him. You hear the man say "Who's the one who was able to improve my remedy for Blue Mountain Fever in five minutes? I would need to look at reference books for an hour or two to do so." Before you can point yourself out the man sees a wizened old man in the corner buying some medicinal powder and says "Is it him?" with a gleeful smile on his face. The person you were talking to before coughs nervously before saying "Er, it's that youth over there" before pointing to you. The Apprentice Apothecary seems shocked looking at you and you can hear him say "He couldn't be older than 16, could he?"The Apprentice Apothecary approaches you before saying "Hello, I'm Apprentice Apothecary Yu Zhen. You are?" You introduce yourself as Envoy Zhu Zexian, and he seems even more surprised. He takes a glance at the badge on your chest before saying "You're... not an Apprentice Apothecary?" You shake your head and you can just tell that Yu Zhen is getting more confused and shocked as this goes on. He says "Um... do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?" You reply that you don't mind, and Yu Zhen asks a couple of questions about herbs.
>>3127725>Show off your skills, you've just confirmed that if you can prove yourself as a peer of the boss that he'll see you.This is a nice quest
>>3127866You answer them as correctly as you can and Yu Zhen is back to looking excited. He says "Who taught you?! Are you a direct disciple of 1-star Apothecary Yu Zhen who will be visiting the city in a couple of days?! Maybe a student of one of the other 1-star Apothecaries who are staying in the capital?" You reply that...>You aren't allowed to tell him who your teacher is.>That you're self-taught.>That your parents were village apothecaries and that they taught you everything you know.>Other>>3127872thanks
>>3127876>That your parents were village apothecaries and that they taught you everything you know
>>3127876>>That your parents were village apothecaries and that they taught you everything you know.
Why are we talking to this dude again?
>>3127876I made a typo here, I'm retarded. The Apprentice Apothecary is Yu Zhen, the 1-star Apothecary is supposed to be Gu Xinyi. As much as I'd get a laugh out of naming them both the same thing, that'd be dumb.>>3127898so that you can get information on where a group of apothecaries are meeting up to exchange knowledge and decide who gets to attend a lecture by a visiting 1-star Apothecary. There are maybe five or six of these in the kingdom.
How many stars are there available, and what is below a 1 star that's still ranked?
>>3127878>>3127885You nervously go "Er, no, no, I'm not from that illustrious of a background. My parents were the apothecaries and physicians for my village, and they taught my everything that I knew." Yu Zhen stares at you blankly before he just says "Village apothecaries?" he then laughs after a moment before you just blankly stare back at him. He confusedly mutters "Are you serious?" You nod your head and he seems to go into deep contemplation before sighing and saying "Forget it, comparison will be the death of you. So you wanted to know about the meeting tomorrow? We've booked the Flying Rosemary teahouse, tell them that you know me and I'll get you in."Before you leave Yu Zhen turns to you and says "Wait a moment, would you like to prepare for the meeting tomorrow morning together? I'm sure we could both benefit from an exchange of knowledge, yes?" You're not sure if you would benefit or not, but at the least it would get you some good will from Yu Zhen. You...>Accept the offer, you can afford to take a night out of your stay here.>Tell him that you're sorry but that you only have a short leave as an envoy and that you'd like to see the city.>Other
>>3127921>>Accept the offer, you can afford to take a night out of your stay here.Having friends around the provincial capital is never a bad thing
>>3127921>Accept the offer, you can afford to take a night out of your stay here.
>>3127912Below a 1-star Apothecary there are Apprentice Apothecaries who are licensed by taking the Apprentice Apothecary Examination at any guild hall of the Apothecary Guild. In the Zhaotian Kingdom the only location is in the capital. You've heard that most occupations have 9-stars worth of ranks, but that those at the highest level are the most knowledgeable within all of the lands, and are geniuses unparalleled by anyone besides other 9-stars. Within the kingdom and the surrounding kingdoms, anyone with a 1-star certification in most occupations is treated respectfully by pretty much everyone, as you never know when you'll need their help. You're aware that Zhaotian Kingdom's national power is rather weak and that the Apothecary Guild is the most well-developed occupation in the kingdom. A couple other occupations may be large enough here to have guild halls in the capital, but you're not sure.
>>3127921So were are parents dank ass apothecaries or what? Because I'm seeing a trend of us being retardedly better then trained professionals
>>3127940You don't know for sure because they never mentioned anything of the sort to you, but you're getting the feeling that they were and for some reason they decided to hide the fact from you. Breaking for dinner
>>3127921>>Accept the offer, you can afford to take a night out of your stay here.May as well, it's a potential social link and even if they profit a lot from it, we get a good name to ourselves and might add Apprentice apothecary to our list of achievements when we feel like sitting the exam.>>3127938interesting, so while 1 star isn't particularly great in its field it stands above the sea of trash?
>>3127927>>3127932>>3127960You accept Yu Zhen's offer to 'exchange knowledge' and he turns to the man next to him and says "Prepare tea and some refreshments for the two of us, we'll be in my quarters." You follow Yu Zhen to a rather large bedroom with several filled bookshelves and he tells you to make yourself at home.You grab a couple of books before sitting down at a table in the center of the room, and begin looking through them. The quality of them seems to be higher than those in the Official's Library back at Lion's Ridge. You know most of the content in these books, but there are some tidbits that you don't know about. As the refreshments arrive and Yu Zhen gets settled in with books of his own, you ask him about the books themselves, and whether he needs to eventually memorize everything in them. He says "Well, I'd like to memorize everything, but that's unattainable for me. That amount of knowledge about herbology would probably be at the level of a 1-star Intermediate or 1-star Pinnacle Apothecary. I think that if I could remember 80% then I'd be more than able to pass the 1-star Apothecary Examination. I'd also need to be able to forge a Tier-1 pill though, and gods know how long that will take me. I'm not particularly talented as an apprentice, otherwise I'd be in the capital being taught by a licensed 1-star Apothecary. At least I meet the cultivation requirement, as I broke through to the Qi Emission Stage several years ago."You ask more about the cultivation requirement and Yu Zhen goes "Ah? You don't know? To properly control the energies within the cauldron and to control the flames when forging pills you'll need to be able to send qi outside of your body. To do this you need to reach the Qi Emission Stage, so naturally there's a cultivation requirement for being a 1-star Apothecary. It's not like with medicinal powders where you can just use your body to grind ingredients and such."Your questions answered for the most part, you spend the rest of the night helping Yu Zhen study while finding bits of information you didn't know about in some of his books. As it gets late into the night you go back to your lodgings and are provided with a small room. You go to sleep and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. There are a few hours until the exchange of knowledge among the apothecaries begin. You...>Eat breakfast and find a place to train outside the city, you should just wait for the apothecaries to meet.>Head to the flea market, you were very interesting in checking that out.>Go to the gambling hall to test your luck.>Visit a few tourist attractions.>Other
>>3128054>>Eat breakfast and find a place to train outside the city, you should just wait for the apothecaries to meet.Take advantage of our crazy rate of advancement. I'm starting to wonder if it's really out style or if it's our parentage that's special
>>3128054>Head to the flea market, you were very interesting in checking that out.
>>3128054>>Eat breakfast and find a place to train outside the city, you should just wait for the apothecaries to meet.Every time we don't cultivate is a moment we are not getting stronger. Our cultivation technique is rather good so we should try and get out of mortal rank asap.
I'll break the tie with rng in maybe half an hour if there isn't any tiebreaker vote.
>>3128106>>3128068do you think one of you guys could switch to more cultivation practice? after all, once we get more powerful nothing at the flee market will be useful for us.
>>3128200I would prefer not to fuck with our inner energy before we met a guy that is train to manipulate it and probably recognize it. And also maybe we will find something rare in the market and its relaxing time we already moving to fast and we don't know what kind of effect on our health.
>>3128068>>3128106>>3128247You make your way to the flea market and find that it's a sprawling complex with large amounts of thoroughfare. The entrance is crowded with tiny stands, but they turn closer to small shops are you get deeper in the area. There's lot of handmade art and trinkets near the front, and as you go further you find that the flea market is divided into various sections. You want to go to look at the...>Weapons>Clothes>Trinkets>Other (state what)May be the last update for the night, I got shanghaied to play vidya by a scanlation group I'm in.
>>3128264>>Weaponsmay as well be armed to make it easier to defend ourselves, and our Arts might be helped by having a weapon.
>>3128264>WeaponsQM do you have item lists prepared or will you need to write them?
If we want to make a pill we should be either Core Foundation or Foundation Establishmen i mean with how low cultivation here no wonder this country is weak. Probably if i have to guess the highest cultivator here is Nascent Soul Core Early stage or Middle stage.
>>3128264>Other: herbs, medicinals and anything else related to pharmacy, alchemy or the like.
>>3128264>>Other: herbs, medicinals and anything else related to pharmacy, alchemy or the like.
>>3128287I'm basically just going to divide the weapons by how good or bad they are and assign a price by quality instead of going "X Sword - Y Gold, etc.", so it shouldn't take too long. The update shall tomorrow.
>>Other: herbs, medicinals and anything else related to pharmacy, alchemy or the like.
>>3128264>A proper cutting sword>12 kinds of herbs and cheese.
>>3130301literally just woke up five minutes ago, but now that i'm awake it'll be relatively soon.on the flip side I should be going later than usual
>>3130306fuck yeah sounds good
You decide to look at the weapons and make your way to that section of the market. Looking at the weapons you can see that things such as swords and hammers are the most common, but there are most common weapon types such as halberds, spears, bows, throwing javelins, and so on and so forth. Most normal weapons are about 5 gold, but you have sneaking suspicion that you'd break them really fast if you used them, especially the bows. There are better quality weapons at around 20 and 40 gold coins, but since you only really have 42 gold that you've set aside for "spending money" aside from food, you're a bit hesitant about spending that much on a weapon.You take a look for anything medicinal and find that there is a section of the market related to herbs and apothecaries. You recognize all of the herbs laid out, but aren't particularly sure if the prices are accurate since that's one of the few things you were never really taught. There are some cauldrons, but they seem to be made out of normal iron and are more like cooking cauldrons than anything else. You could be mistaken and these are fine for pill forging, but you feel like it'd be safer to drag Yu Zhen here to confirm it for you. That, and while you could possibly transport a cauldron back home, it's not feasible since you have two weeks to get there and might kill your horse trying. There are quite a few nice mortar and pestles laid out, although you're fine with the one you have. You do find some equipment that all fits into one briefcase for 12 gold that's meant for making medicinal powder on the road. It would help all the time though, since you don't really have most of it. You...>Buy something.>Leave>Other
>>3130337>Buy something.throwing javelinsMaybe a decent short sword?
>>3130337buy a short sword. We don't need it to be very good, just enough to be used for a few minutes if needed.
>>3130337throwing javelins 5G, short sword 20G
>>3130337are there any brass knuckles? what about switchblades or other retractable/concealable knives? or any other small weapon that is relatively easy to conceal, a dagger at the very least.
>>3130414There are brass knuckles, daggers, and switchblades. They're only a couple of gold coins to boot.
>>3130417alright, let's take one of the best of each of those; so a pair of brass knuckles, a switchblade, a normal dagger (that has a bigger and sturdier blade than the switchblade); plus a shortsword
>>3130350>>3130378>>3130391You get some cheap throwing javelins and a pretty decent looking short sword for 25 gold in total. You also get some hidden weapons for 6 gold. You then head over to your lodgings to store the weapons since you're pretty sure that you won't be welcome to the apothecaries' meetup heavily armed.One pretty quick breakfast later and you find yourself at the Flying Rosemary teahouse. You talk to the couple of guards out front and tell them you're with Yu Zhen, and so they wave you in. Once you're inside you see that there are about 60 apothecaries sitting at various tables, enjoying a few snacks and some tea. You're not sure how they're determining who gets to go to tomorrow's lecture, but it couldn't just be through conversation like this, could it?The tables seemed to be arrange in a near-circular fashion, with a few layers of tables, each layer decreasing in size. Yu Zhen is at a table directly next to the center, while at the center table you see see five people seated. There are more free seats there, but it seems that nobody wants to sit down next to them. You...>Sit down with them, they seem like amiable enough folk, and as long as you have the knowledge to match it won't be a problem.>Sit down next to Yu Zhen, it would probably be a bit objectionable to sit down there immediately.>Other
>>3130337Throwing javelins and a simple knife.And the medical briefcase.I reason that the javelins + our current strength should work well in close or far combat. The medical supplies I reckon we can make some money along the road for herbs we find mix then sell them in towns. Plus we have no idea how to use a sword.
>>3130436>Sit down next to Yu Zhen, it would probably be a bit objectionable to sit down there immediately.Don't want to take someone else's seat.
>>3130436>>Sit down next to Yu Zhen, it would probably be a bit objectionable to sit down there immediately.seems decent choice
>>3130443Oof, too late>>3130436Also, could you give us a basic breakdown of what we currently have, equipment wise? we have some weapons now (although we don't have them on ourselves at the moment) and a herbology kit and money and the book. Anything else?
>>3130436>Sit down next to Yu Zhen, it would probably be a bit objectionable to sit down there immediately.Sounds fair.
>>3130444>>3130446>>3130452You sit down next to Yu Zhen and begin chatting with him and the rest of the people at the table. Of the other people at the table, Yu Zhen and one other are Apprentice Apothecaries, while the other five are studying to take the exam. After talking you figure out that there are nine Apprentice Apothecaries in the city, and that the five seated at the center table are those who people think may be able to make a breakthrough to 1-star Apothecary eventually.Over the next half hour or so the number of people inside the teahouse swells to 80, and at that point you see that someone at the main table has stood up. They clink a spoon against their glass before saying "Alright, now that it seems everyone is here, it's time to decide who gets to attend the lecture tomorrow. There are over 80 of us here, but there only 20 seats. We'll determine who gets seats through a competition, and to be unbiased the five of us will be the judges. Does anyone object?" No one does object, and you don't mind, so it goes ahead normally.The man who was speaking before begins once again, and says "Next to me I have the twenty-volume 'Guide to Herbs Within Zhaotian Kingdom' written by the very 1-star Apothecary Gu Xinyi who will be visiting tomorrow. You will be given five herbs from the most obscure sections of the book at random, and your task will be to identify as many traits of them as possible. The top 21 will pass this round, and the person in first will be given a seat for the lecture immediately."The apothecaries are given their five herbs one at a time, and they tell what they know about them to the five at the center table. Eventually, after several hours, it's your turn. You're given five herbs which you know, and begin talking about them. As the first herb comes and goes, the five only seem slightly surprised, while after the second herb you can see a bit of confusion. After the third herb, you see that they're whispering among themselves and giving you odd looks. You finish up the five herbs like this, and you took noticeably longer than the others not because you had to think extremely hard about the task, but because you knew all five of the herbs well, while most of the other people competing only knew a couple.After you finish the five talk for a bit before they tell you "You definitely in first, although there were two errors in what you said. The Soothing Dragon Algae doesn't have a yang property, only properties of fire. In addition to this, the plant is found only in lakes, not moving bodies of water. Even though, you're still rather far ahead in first for the time being. If you're more careful in the future you could definitely be a great Apothecary." You frown slightly since you're almost certain you're correct. You've actually seen your parents collect it from under a rock in a river once. You...>Object, you don't like the feeling of being called wrong when you're correct.>Stay quiet, it doesn't matter.>Other
>>3130517>Object, you don't like the feeling of being called wrong when you're correct.>Also give examples of other more obscure knowledge that someone of your rank shouldn't know about, to show that you're equally if not more knowledgeable than them.
>>3130451You have what you just bought, a mortar and pestle, some basic herbs, 11 gold for spending money, 17 gold that you have earmarked for food (I meant to shove this in at one point but forgot so it ended up happening off-screen and I was going to mention it relatively soon, you got your first month's wages here. You were also able to pay your taxes by the month instead of bi-annually since you're an official and they have something set up for this), some rations, a horse, and the "Empty Sky Technique". If I forgot anything feel free to correct me.
>>3130517>>Stay quiet, it doesn't matter.We are already in first place and they aren't going to accept our reasoning whereas the 1 star probably would and we can discuss with them.
>>3130517>Stay quiet, it doesn't matter.Hold your REEEing for later.What about >doesn't have a yang property, only properties of fire?
>>3130517>>OtherAsk if you can show your skill with the plant to bring out the yang property. And explain afterward why people might mistake the plant for not having yang properties. I don't think we can say you can or cannot find the algae in flowing rivers so you can relent that.
Our parents must have been secretly 3 star apothecaries or something if we are probably at least 1 star so young once we get through the exam.
>>3130570Are you ask what that means or going with disputing only that? In this case it's referring to the fact that yang can related to the sun, as a result extreme heat and things like magma. Meanwhile fire would just be fire.
>>3130590I mean, are we wrong about the soothing dragon algae about its yang properties, since we had one example correcting the apothecary on where it is found but not of the fire properties?
>>3130597You don't know, you've only seen your parents use Soothing Dragon Algae in one recipe and it wouldn't make use of the yang properties within that recipe.
>>3130599Okay, that's all I was wondering.
So we're at>>3130520one objection>>3130574one partial objection>>3130560>>3130570two stay quieti'll rng between partial objection and stay quiet in a bit if one side doesn't get more votes
>>3130574Then switch my vote to this>>3130560
>>3130560>>3130570>>3130623You're pretty sure that they're wrong but decide that it's not worth pursuing and watch as the rest of the apothecaries go through the first test. Eventually you're decided as the first place winner for the test, and given a seat for tomorrow's lecture, and Yu Zhen is qualified as 3rd place and will be go onto the next round.The next round gives the apothecaries a list of herbs and a desired effect, and gives them three hours to construct the best recipe possible. You could stay, but you're almost certain that Yu Zhen is going to pass and there's not going to be much point. You...>Stay out of politeness and talk with the five Apprentice Apothecaries who are judging for the next few hours.>Stay for the next few hours and look through that set of books that the tested herbs from earlier were in, you're curious.>Leave and do something else. [State what]>Other
>>3130630>Stay for the next few hours and look through that set of books that the tested herbs from earlier were in, you're curious.
>>3130630>>Stay for the next few hours and look through that set of books that the tested herbs from earlier were in, you're curious.research!Who would have thought exploring a crafting system would be funner that fighting stuff?
>>3130635>>3130640You decide to stay through the second round and take the chance to look through the massive pile of books all titled 'Guide to Herbs Within Zhaotian Kingdom'. You go over to the table where the five Apprentice Apothecaries are and ask if you can see the book, and they say it's fine. Looking through it, you find that various, more obscure, herbs have properties that you didn't know about, but that they don't seem incorrect, and that a roughly equal amount are also missing obscure properties you know about. There are also some herbs that you've never heard of listed. You guess that the author of this book is roughly equal to you in their knowledge of different herbs, but you can't compare the two of you in any other areas of ability since this is simply a reference book.Eventually the three hours are up and you close the book. That was pretty interesting and you'd enjoy the chance to talk with this person tomorrow, although you feel like a lecture would be less optimal than a give and take for both sides. The book does say it was printed eight years ago though, maybe the author has learned more since then.Yu Zhen ends up passing in 2nd place in the second round and easily secures a seat. The three other Apprentice Apothecaries also get a seat rather easily, leaving 10 seats to various apothecaries who haven't qualified as apprentices yet.Now that you have some free time again, you...>Want to go to the gambling hall to test your luck.>Want to check out the village's festival.>Want to head to the shrine for good luck.>Want to visit a few tourist attractions.>Get some dinner with some of the Apprentice Apothecaries, maybe you can find a chance to make some money off of them while you're at it.>Other
>>3130667>Want to check out the village's festival.>Want to head to the shrine for good luck.
>OtherAsk the Apprentice Apothecaries what's the best way to learn the pricing of potions and herbs.Then >>3130741
>>3130741>>3130782Before they disperse you ask the other Apprentice Apothecaries what exactly the best way to figure out the pricing of various herbs, medicinal powders, and elixers is. They tell you that besides looking at local markets, there are pricing guides for herbs that list price based off of maturity. The price of medicinal powders is harder to calculate, but it's usually twice the cost of the ingredients. Tier-1 Pills and higher have standard prices that vary based on what grade of pill they are, although they also vary slightly from apothecary to apothecary.You decide that you want to head the nearby village to see their festival first. You skip getting your horse and make to the village by running off of the road. You're not too much slower than your horse when running long distances now, you just can't carry as much. The terrain outside of the road does slow you down further though.After an hour and a half you make it to the village. You see lots of villagers dressed in odd, colorful outfits. There are lots of stands selling handmade goods and foods, and there are a few local performances going on. There are also some people engaging in tests of strength. You...>Get some food.>Watch a couple performances.>Ask around about the lore of the festival.>Engage in a test of strength [state how well you want to do]>Head to the shrine, you're not really interested in most of this.>Other
>>3130791>Engage in a test of strength [state how well you want to do]Go all out.
>>3130791>Engage in a test of strength [state how well you want to do]I have a question if there is any betting going on and to see how strong the group is.If he can bet on himself and they're not stronger then him, he should win a few rounds then quit. Also, put on a performance showing some struggle to make him look weak to stack the bets against him. This should work with how long he's been training.
>>3130809There's only betting going on at a single event where there's a buff villager in a mask engaging in a sport that you vaguely recall was called "boxing". He appears to be in the Mighty Warrior stage, but he actually knows some basic fist techniques. There are various people who are challenging a lineup of five people there, and you are allowed to bet on yourself. If you dropout you can keep part of what you've won, but if you lose a match then you lose your bet. The man in the Mighty Warrior stage is the last of these five people.The rest of the events are solely for glory and appreciation.
>>3130816Thank you for the information QM.Then switching to support >>3130794
>>3130794>>3130824You head over to the tests of strength. You put your badge in your pocket and decide that since nobody here recognizes you, it's fine to go all out and see how strong you are. You first walk up to a game where someone tries to pull a rope towards them while opposing the strength of a rather buff man. After a few minutes it's your turn and you begin pulling as hard as you can on the rope. The man quickly falls over, looking surprised, as the rope slips out of his hand and into yours. You're greeted by a round of applause by the villagers and then head over to a game where you have to pound a log that's partially-embedded into the soil in with a hammer.You grab the wooden hammer next to the log and hit the log with it. The first blow sends it a foot downwards, and the next two blows see it completely embedded in the soil. You are once again greeted with a round of applause, and are feeling pretty good about yourself. You look over the rest of the tests of strength and see that they're more of the same. There are a few people are are engaging in what you vaguely recall to be "boxing" though. There's a villager wearing a mask who claims to be an undefeated champion. In terms of pure strength he seems to be weaker than you, but you're not really sure how to fight. You can probably beat everyone except him though. You...>Try out the boxing. [Min bet 3 silver, max bet 3 gold] [Payout: .5x, 1x, 2x, 3x, 5x depending on how many people you beat]>Get some food.>Watch a couple performances.>Ask around about the lore of the festival.>Head to the shrine, you're not really interested in most of this.>Other
>>3130829>Try out the Boxing. Bet 1 Gold.Focus on the weaker opponents, try to knock out as many peolple as possible.
>>3130837SupportIf we lose we just lose some money but gain some fighting experience. If we win then we get money and fighting experience.
>>3130837>>3130845You place one gold on yourself at the boxing ring and wait for the current man fighting to finish. After a moment he's done, having went even after winning against two opponents, and it's your turn. You walk into the arena and see that you're facing a pretty muscular youth around your age. You're handed some cloth bandages to wrap your knuckles in and after you're done he begins walking towards you. As he does you aim a light punch at his chest. The punch lands as you see the youth begin coughing violently. You follow this up with another light punch to his chest and he's knocked down. He doesn't get up until after the count is over, allowing you to move onto the next match.The next two matches go easily as you begin to get a sense of how much strength you need to use against a normal, but athletic, person. This is until the fourth match when you throw the same sort of punch, but see it easily dodged. The man then throws a punch towards you, but you're also easily able to dodge it. You ratchet your strength up, using about 2/3rds, and the man is barely able to dodge. You slowly increase your strength, and at around 80% of your strength he isn't able to dodge anymore and is knocked into the ground with one hit. He starts coughing up blood and exits the ring. It seems like your strength is more than enough to handle him, but your lack of technique made it harder. He probably recently became a Mighty Warrior.The last man gets up onto the ring, still wearing a mask (it appears to be part of the festivities) and compliments you on your strength, but says that you won't be able to beat him with your technique. He then charges towards you, and you use your full strength to oppose him. Your speed should be good enough to both dodge and hit him, but you aren't able to land a solid blow on him and he begins to corner you by leading you into a corner with your dodging. Eventually he lands a hit, and it feels a bit like a hammer knocking into your chest. Well, it hurts, but it doesn't leave too much damage, only a bad bruise. You guess that's the advantage of being a stage above him. He hits you a few more times before you decide that you're going to have to try to end this in an exchange, before he can wear you down. As he throws a punch at you, you rush towards him. The punch hits you in the face before his fist is fully extended, and along with it your fist comes. The masked man twists his body, attempting to dodge, but you graze his side with your fist. The man stumbles down after the hit, and you can see a large, nasty looking bruise where you hit him. He gets up within four seconds but forfeits afterwards since he doesn't think he'll be able to dodge at the same speed as before. You're given 5 gold for your bet of 1 gold, profiting 4 gold for your struggles. You do look less than stellar though.congratulations on fighting, I initially didn't think there would be any in this thread
>>3130863Now that you've tested your strength, you...>Get some food.>Watch a couple performances.>Ask around about the lore of the festival.>Head to the shrine, you're not really interested in most of this.>Other
>>3130863Yey, we won!>Head to the shrine, you're not really interested in most of this.
>>3130863>Head to the shrine, you're not really interested in most of this.
>>3130875>>3130878You decide that you're not really interested in what's left of the festival and prepare to make your way to the shrine located on a mountain near town. The lecture is later in the day tomorrow, so you should have time to make your way up the short mountain, visit the shrine, and then make your way back to the city. You begin your journey and are reminded why the place is named Blue Ridge City. The mountains near the town have lots of areas that abruptly end in cliffs, revealing beautiful swirls of blue rock within the cliff faces. On top of that, Blue Lilies, a normal flower, are blooming around this time of year, creating another layer of blue across the mountains.As night falls you're most of the way up the mountain and the foot traffic begins to dwindle. You...>Push on towards the shrine.>Stop at the next inn, there are quite a few along the footpath.>Other
>>3130884>Push on towards the shrine.
>>3130884I'm getting some Xuanhuan vibes from this. Maybe, in hindsight, we should have asked about the lore of the festival.
>>3130898Hmm perhaps. Maybe there is someone still making a treck up the mountain we can strike up a conversation about the subject?
>>3130885>>3130889You decide that you want to see the shrine tonight and push on towards it. It's a bit hard to navigate at night, but your eyesight is pretty good now so it's not a problem. As you begin to near the shrine you see that lanterns with the character for "Warrior" written on them begin to light up the path. Eventually the climb stops and you see a small complex with a shrine at the center.You go over to a nearby cart with a rather sleepy man manning it and buy incense to offer up. A plaque next to the shrine says that it's dedicated to a warrior who once managed to protect Blue Ridge City from an attack by an enemy kingdom. Apparently when the enemy approached the city there still 12 hours left until reinforcements could arrive, so the warrior valiantly charged out of the gates and bought time. He managed to stall the entire army until reinforcements arrived and died together with the commanding general. The battle was a major victory for the ruling dynasty at the time, and a shrine dedicated to the warrior was left here in his honor. In addition, it's said that blue lilies were his favorite flower, and they were planted across the nearby mountains, adding a second meaning to the name "Blue Ridge City".After you're finished offering up something and leaving a non-denominational prayer in his honor, you don't really feel lucky, but you do notice that the shrine itself gives off the vibe of strength. It feels almost like it's an impenetrable wall protecting what's behind it. You...>Stay up here and meditate for the night, you won't really get much rest, but this shrine interests you. You're a cultivator, one night without sleep should be fine.>Head back down the mountain.>Other>>3130898>>3118619sorry for the misleading title, way more people know what Xianxia is than Xuanhuan, I freely admit that this falls under Xuanhuan
>>3130910It's all good QM I love the idea of Xuanhuan since I wrote a little story on it.>Stay up here and meditate for the night, you won't really get much rest, but this shrine interests you. You're a cultivator, one night without sleep should be fine.
>>3130910>Stay up here and meditate for the night, you won't really get much rest, but this shrine interests you. You're a cultivator, one night without sleep should be fine.Eh, its fine. Xianxia often feels too high fantasy in vibe for me. Ironically, the myths and lore of Xuanhuan help give the story a bit more grounding.
>>3130910>>Stay up here and meditate for the night, you won't really get much rest, but this shrine interests you. You're a cultivator, one night without sleep should be fine.
>>3130918>>3130923>>3130936You spend the night meditating in front of the shrine. Throughout the night the feeling of an odd strength coming from the shrine increases, peaking at about 3 AM. At the same time you feel like something is staring at you for about 20 minutes. You open your eyes and don't see anything odd, so you just keep meditating. The feeling goes away, and slowly the feeling of strength from the shrine disappears as well.In the morning you get food from an inn on the mountain slope and cultivate for a bit off of the trail. Eventually you get back into town. You...>See if you can make some money helping out one of the Apprentice Apothecaries.>Go to the gambling hall to test your luck. You did just spend the entire night at a lucky shrine after all.>Visit a few tourist attractions.>Take a nap and then go to the lecture.>Other
>>3130940>Take a nap and then go to the lecture.
>>3130940>Take a nap and then go to the lecture
>>3130940>Visit a few tourist attractions.
>>3130948>>3130961You take a nap at the official's lodgings before making your way to a villa outside of town which belongs to 1-star Apothecary Gu Xinyi. Apparently he'll be lecturing in a small meeting hall that he built away from the main house. You walk up to the door of the hall and give it a solid knock. Shortly after a butler who's standing up as straight as a board and giving off an odd sort of pressure opens up the door. He asks for your name and you tell him. He mutters "Zhu Zhexian" a few times under his breath before you see him scratch a line off on a piece of paper and say "Alright, you're on the list, Master Gu Xinyi will be lecturing in an hour. Until then feel free to enjoy the refreshments provided."You walk inside and see that most of the other apothecaries are here already. The room has been arranged to have 20 cushions in four rows of five facing a stage. You suppose the cushions are there for kneeling since it could be considered rude to sit down when the person lecturing doesn't have a chance to.You try some of the food there and it tastes better than anything you've ever had. There's very light alcohol as well, as you have a shot and can tell that it's far better than whatever Bai Li brought before even though you're not an expert. This Gu Xinyi sure is rich. You suppose he's also pretty amiable as well, lecturing some of the promising juniors in the city while he's on personal business. You...>Ask around the hall to figure out what position Gu Xinyi has among the 1-star Apothecaries in the kingdom.>Participate in the small talk until Gu Xinyi begins lecturing.>Get some snacks while you wait the lecture to start, these are great.>Othergonna head out for the night, will be back in about 12-16 hours. I'll shill this again since if I wake up early then I'll tweet beforehand. https://twitter.com/QmWalrus
>>3130982Actually, wait, tomorrow is Christmas Eve, most people won't be online. Scratch that, I guess I'll resume on the 27th.
>>3130982>Ask around the hall to figure out what position Gu Xinyi has among the 1-star Apothecaries in the kingdom.>Also pick up a few small snacks, mostly to nibble on in between mingling.
>>3130985Support>>3130982Sounds good. Thank you for the run QM!
>>3130985sounds goodenjoy your christmas my nigga
>>3130982>>Participate in the small talk until Gu Xinyi begins lecturing.you never know what you'll pick up
You begin to mingle among the spectators and try to find out more about Gu Xinyi's standing among the apothecaries of the kingdom. It doesn't take you long to figure out that the exact number of 1-star Apothecaries in the kingdom is six. Two of them are considered the most important since they're considered to have a possibility of eventually breaking through to a 2-star Apothecary. One is Huang Zhen, a nearly 200 year-old man and a 1-star Pinnacle Apothecary who has been a licensed since he was in his early 50s. The other is a woman who became a 1-star Apothecary around 5 years ago and who is only about 40 now.Among the other four there are two apothecaries who are considered to be "1-star Intermediate". The first is Xian Jin, an old man who has been an apothecary for 80 years and who locked himself up to research and concoct pills. Gu Xinyi is the second, and he enjoys finding and cataloging rare plants and searching for young talent. Its said that he has quite a few apprentices across the kingdom, although only two of them are direct disciples. The rest are either normal disciples who he lectures on occasion in the capital or in-name disciples who aren't treated too much better than helpers, but who still benefit greatly from his scattered teachings. The other two apothecaries in the kingdom are considered to be "1-star Low". One has been an apothecary for many years and isn't particularly exceptional, while the other is Yi Zhihao, a man in his 60s who got his license less than 10 years ago. He's also an exceptional carpenter slash painter and enjoys long discussions about home decor, carpentry, and painting. Apparently he's mainly an apothecary because it makes more money than his other hobbies.While talking around the hall you also hear a couple of rumors about recent going-ons. Apparently at the yearly Royal Tournament in the capital, the 18 and under division was once again dominated by a unparalleled genius who showed up two years ago, Zhuan Tai. Despite only being 18, he's at the peak of the Middle stage of the Body Refinement realm. It's said that by next year he'll have broken through to the Late stage of the Body Refinement realm and dominate the under-30 tournament.You also get told about an odd character on the roads near here who has been attacking caravans and... stealing nothing. He simply attacks the guards to test out his strength, runs away if they're too strong, and then goes on his merry way. It's rather odd.just updating one or two times before I head to bed, not a full session until I wake up again (or if I can't fall asleep since I took a nap earlier and woke up kinda late)
>>3135611Gu Xinyi begins lecturing and you take a seat. He lectures for a couple hours on various herbs and herbal interactions, and you already know most of what he's saying. There are few errors, relative to other people, and as you thought, he seems roughly equal to you in knowledge of that area.After two hours however, he stops lecturing on herbs. He says "Well, I'll move onto the other subject I had prepared, the Qi Pill. It can be used by someone whose cultivation is as low as the Qi Gathering Stage of Heavenly Mortal or the Qi Emission stage for cultivation, or for slightly more powerful cultivators to recover energy. It's one of the most common pills and one of the very few pills to be considered a 'Tier-0 Pill', something that even an Apprentice Apothecary may be able to craft, although the success rate would be rather low." he begins lecturing on common mistakes in crafting the pill, slight alterations on the recipe, common pill-forging techniques in the kingdom used to craft the pill, and how to control qi while crafting the pill depending on these factors. You're completely lost as he begins talking for the next three or four hours and you know practically nothing about pills.Eventually, after the hellish, confusing lecture is over, Gu Xinyi stops speaking. He clears his throat and says "Well, that's all for now. Now I'll open up some time for questions, both over what I lectured and over apothecary-related topics in general." Now you have a chance to get his attention, although you're not sure what sorts of benefits you'd get out of this when you have a job as an envoy already. Even if you'd like to be his apprentice, once someone quits a job as an official they're banned for life with few exceptions. Maybe you could convince him to give you some funding or something if he appreciates you. You...>Ask about various properties of herbs that he missed in his books and/or lecture as politely as you can. This could be your only chance to draw his attention, even if it does seem slightly disrespectful.>Ask him a few questions about things you're unsure of. You probably won't be able to show your level of skill through this, but you are curious.>Ask for a reccomendation for a beginner's pill-forging cauldron.>Wait until the questioning session is over and try to draw his attention so that you can ask him questions about things in his books/lecture he missed in private. It'd couldn't be seen as an attempt to make him look dumb in front of a crowd of juniors that way, although it could be harder to do.>Other
>>3135614>>Ask for a reccomendation for a beginner's pill-forging cauldron.welcome back senpai
>>3135614>Ask for a reccomendation for a beginner's pill-forging cauldron.>Wait until the questioning session is over and try to draw his attention so that you can ask him questions about things in his books/lecture he missed in private. It'd couldn't be seen as an attempt to make him look dumb in front of a crowd of juniors that way, although it could be harder to do.
>QM will you post your cultivation rank?
>>3135614>>Ask for a reccomendation for a beginner's pill-forging cauldron.>>Wait until the questioning session is over and try to draw his attention so that you can ask him questions about things in his books/lecture he missed in private. It'd couldn't be seen as an attempt to make him look dumb in front of a crowd of juniors that way, although it could be harder to do.
>>3135634>>3135651>>3135658You ask for a recommendation on a beginner's pill cauldron and get a slightly confused look from Gu Xinyi, but a polite enough response. He explains that as is obvious, normal cauldrons from for forging weapons or cooking won't work, as the composition is different. He recommends a few popular designs that work well. He also recommends that the craftsman be an Apprentice Blacksmith, or someone near the level of an Apprentice Blacksmith, and that it'll probably be suspicious if the cost is less than 500 gold coins for the cheapest model he mentioned, and one or two thousand for most of them. This reminds you of a few nonsensical mentions of "buying a cauldron on lease" you'd heard the apothecaries from yesterday mention, and you're finally getting why someone would have to pay in installments. These prices are so high! You couldn't afford one on several years of your wage! The fee for the Apprentice Apothecary examination of 100 gold coins seems trivial in comparison.The questions go on for around an hour before Gu Xinyi takes his leave. The butler begins ushering the group of chatting apothecaries out of the room as well. As this is happening you...>Approach Gu Xinyi.>Attempt to talk to his butler, telling him that you have something important to speak with 1-star Apothecary Gu Xinyi about. You will very conspicuously wear your envoy badge while doing this, misunderstandings don't mean you lied!>Attempt to talk to his butler and tell him that you have some new findings which contradict some details in Gu Xinyi's books, and that you'd like to go over them in detail with him so that they don't remain in any future editions. >Other
>>3135655I'm at the Shitpost Severing realm
>>3135671>Attempt to talk to his butler, telling him that you have something important to speak with 1-star Apothecary Gu Xinyi about. You will very conspicuously wear your envoy badge while doing this, misunderstandings don't mean you lied!
>>3135671>>Attempt to talk to his butler, telling him that you have something important to speak with 1-star Apothecary Gu Xinyi about. You will very conspicuously wear your envoy badge while doing this, misunderstandings don't mean you lied!may as well!and wowwww only 6 One star apothecaries? we really are in a backwater.
>>3135678>>3135687>>3135694You position your envoy badge on your chest as conspicuously as possible and approach Gu Xinyi's butler. He stares at you warily before you bow slightly and tell him that you have something important to speak with 1-star Gu Xinyi about. He stares at you for a moment before he says "I'll speak with the master about it. Wait here."A few minutes later the butler comes back and says "The master has agreed to meet you. I'll lead you to the drawing room." You follow the butler into the main manor and through a couple simply but nicely decorated rooms until you're led to a large room near the entrance. There are several couches and chairs, a fireplace, a piano, and various other pieces of decor. Gu Xinyi stares at you for a moment, drinking tea, before he says "Take a seat. Did the governor or some local figure send you here after he learned I was coming? If he wants me to concoct some sort of pill or lecture a relative, sure, I can do it, as long as I get proper compensation." You take the seat offered before saying "Well, I'm actually not here on official business as an envoy, I'm here in my capacity as an apothecary. I had something important to talk to you about regarding your books, the 'Guide to Herbs Within Zhaotian Kingdom'."Gu Xinyi raises an eyebrow before you can feel the atmosphere turn slightly heavier in the room. He says "My books? If a local publisher wanted you to talk to me then they should know that I produce each edition from a printing shop that I own in the capital. If you're for some reason inquiring about the next edition, it will be released after the revisions are finished in three years." You respond "Actually, I'm here to tell you about some errors and exclusions from the...I believe it was the 2nd edition I read, that I thought I should bring to your attention." you then list off about four errors and ten exclusions before he stops you.The atmosphere in the room lightens slightly as Gu Xinyi says "The error about the Soothing Dragon Algae and the exclusion about its Yang Properties were added in the 3rd edition, as were four of the other exclusions. One of the other errors and two of the other exclusions were slated to be fixed in the 4th edition. The other two errors and four exclusions I don't know about but I can easily test. Give me half an hour."Gu Xinyi then leaves you alone in the room as he leaves. Guess he'll be back in about half an hour. You...>Read something, there are a few books lying around.>Look at paintings and vases scattered around, you're not artist but maybe you'll see something interesting.>Sit quietly and wait for him to return.>Other
>>3135724>Read something, there are a few books lying around.
>>3135724>Look at paintings and vases scattered around, you're not artist but maybe you'll see something interesting.The guy is a hobbyist, lets see if we can get into his hobbies and have something common to discuss.
Look at some of his things then when Gu Xinyi takes forever we get bored and look at his books?>>3135728>>3135736Basically do both.
>>3135673Not your shitpost cultivation but the in-world cultivation progression I mean are we following the xianxia cultivating progression?
>>3135724>Look at paintings and vases scattered around, you're not artist but maybe you'll see something interesting.
>>3135795No, we're not following the system of something like ISSTH with Qi Gathering/Foundation Establishment/Core Formation/Nascent Soul/Spirit Servering/Dao Seeking/...Just woke up, I'll update in a bit.
You look around and see that the room is mostly decorated with things like paintings, vases, and a few arrangements of flowers. The art seems exceptional to you, although you're not sure how well they're made in the grand scheme of things. Eventually you notice that small placards are beneath some of the paintings and vases, with brief notes such as "Made by Su Yazhu on behalf of the Su family" or "Purchased from Mo Zan, Apprentice Painter". Most of the art seems to be of plants or scenes of nature, although there's a rather large portrait of Gu Xinyi drinking tea that says "Purchased from Luo Song, 1-star Painter" beneath it. Even with your lack of art knowledge it seems to be the best piece in the room.After about 15 or 20 minutes you get bored and flip open a book lying on a table. It seems to be a fictional story about a man who wanders the roads of Zhaotian Kingdom, slaying bandits and ne'er do wells before eventually marrying a lady from an influential family and living happily ever after. Just as you're getting to the good part Gu Xinyi returns. Its probably been slightly longer than half an hour, but he's back.He looks at you before saying "I confirmed that the errors and exclusions you mentioned were correct. I assume your master is also a 1-star Apothecary? I'd like to meet him in person and have an exchange of knowledge and discuss our research." You slightly awkwardly move in your seat before saying "Sir, I'm not an official apothecary. I don't have a master. I'm just an envoy who was taught by my parents. They were village apothecaries." Gu Xinyi seems surprised and says "That's...alright then. I assume you didn't try to get a hold of me just in hopes of fixing my book then, what do you want from me?" You...>Tell him that you're really only here to help him revise his book.>Tell him that you were hoping you could catch his eye and receive funding.>Tell him that you were hoping you could come under his tutelage, although you currently have a job as an official and would rather not lose it.>Tell him that you were hoping you could come under his tutelage, and that your job isn't really that important to keep. You're just an envoy.>Other
>>3135926>Tell him that you were hoping you could catch his eye and receive funding.Idk what we wanted from him but money sounds nice. Maybe we could afford caldron or he could gift us his old one
>>3135926>Tell him that you were hoping you could come under his tutelage, although you currently have a job as an official and would rather not lose it.Pillforging training!
>>3135926>Tell him that you were hoping you could catch his eye and receive funding.>Tell him that you were hoping you could come under his tutelage, although you currently have a job as an official and would rather not lose it.
>>3135926>Tell him that you were hoping you could come under his tutelage, although you currently have a job as an official and would rather not lose it.Alchemy is critical to cultivation and we have inroads and natural talent.
>>3135964>>3135985You say "I was hoping to come under your tutelage so that I could become an apothecary like you. Er, I currently have a job an envoy and would rather not lose it, but if that's alright then..." As you begin to trail off for a moment you see Gu Xinyi grab a bag nearby and begin sorting through some large stacks of papers. Eventually he pulls out about 10 pages of paper that's stapled together before asking you to follow him.You follow Gu Xinyi as you hear him mutter "What room would work for this... ah, that's not furnished yet." before you arrive at a room that's pretty much empty. The walls seem recently painted and there's only a chair and a table inside. Gu Xinyi tells you to sit down before putting the stack of papers on the table along with some inksticks and an inkstone. After that he grabs an hourglass. He says "The hourglass will run down in an hour, you have until then to finish this examination." He then leaves you alone with the papers.Over the next hour your mind is taxed to the limit as you're forced to answer an ungodly amount of questions about herbs, their properties, how they react, and various types of medicinal powder. The time limit is an hour?! Why an hour?! Even if you had three hours you could use more to fully think about it. You finish the questions with seconds left and shortly after hear the door opening.Gu Xinyi enters before taking the papers from you. He looks at them for a moment, confused, before you hear him mutter "Oh, he finished." A minute passes as he looks over the first sheet of paper and gives some appreciative grunts. Gu Xinyi says "Well, I'll need some time to look over this fully, but it looks promising based on the first questions. I also have an appointment to attend and some letters to finish drafting, I'll have to leave you alone for a few hours. My butler, Wei Meng, will show you around. Your name is...?" You quickly say "Zhu Zhexian." before you hear Gu Xinyi repeat your name a few times and say "Alright, I've remembered it. I'll see you later in the day then."Wei Meng then shows you around Gu Xinyi's villa for a bit. There's a small herbal garden and reference library on the property (at least compared to his main residence in the capital), as well as most of the other necessities a villa needs. There's also a training room for cultivation. Wei Meng apologizes for not having food available, but notes that the chef is currently sightseeing since the master was planning to go out for dinner. You guess that's what his appointment is. You spend the time until Gu Xinyi can meet you again...>Getting a meal back in the city, you haven't eaten for a while. You won't die, but it's definitely uncomfortable.>Examining his herb garden.>Checking out his library.>Examining his training room.>Other
>>3136035>Examining his training room.
>>3136035>Examining his herb garden.>Examining his training room.Just a quick look.
>>3136035>Getting a meal back in the city, you haven't eaten for a while. You won't die, but it's definitely uncomfortable.
>>3136041>>3136054>>3136060You head to the garden and look around for a moment. There are various small ponds and groups of rocks and other odd features that seem designed to help whatever herbs are there. Most of the garden is rather well irrigated and you can see that while there are some common herbs, most of them appear to be rare.You then take a quick look at the training room. A good portion of it isn't open to you, but there is one that seems to be meant for his students and maybe guests that you take a look at. There are several sealed off rooms marked "Closed door cultivation" that all have signs saying "not in use" on them. Besides that you see a lot of traditional training equipment such as body weights, some sort of arena for sparring, some dummies, a few training weapons, and other things of that sort. The only thing that seems out of place is the fact that the room is positioned specifically to be next to a large waterfall. You would assume it's just because Gu Xinyi thought the scenery was nice, but why would it need to be immediately outside the training room in that case? Why is there a sign to indicate whether it's in use or not next to it? How do you 'use' a waterfall?Slightly confused, you decide to head back into town for a meal since you only took about half an hour to take a quick look at the rooms. You don't spot anyone you know and simply have a filling steak dinner at a restaurant you find. You make your way back to the villa after that and wait a short while for Gu Xinyi to be free again.Eventually Gu Xinyi re-enters the room, and he now seems to be a visible split between confused and happy. He asks you a few questions from the papers again, which you answer once more, and after you're done he says "Well... first of all, if you're insistent on remaining an official, does it have to be as an envoy?" You reply...>Yes>No>Why?>Other
>>3136081>OtherWell I was only given three options and the other was village chief, or tax collector. Since I did not want to be a tax collector and I wanted more free time than a village chief, I choose to ride horse!>Why?
>>3136090>>3136096You tell Gu Xinyi that you only had a couple of other options so you ended up choosing envoy because it was the best available. You then ask why he's asking. He says "If I'm going to take you on as a disciple then I won't really be able to do anything if you're an envoy. If you constantly have to move around then it's futile to try even if I appreciate you as a talent. I have my own affairs to tend to after all. I have some connections in the government and was thinking about getting you some sort of position as a 'Senior Scribe' or something else that's essentially made for semi-retired officials or ones who have other business to attend to. That way you can still be an official and move up the food chain at a later date, but you'll effectively be excused from actually doing anything for the time being." This...>Sounds fine, it's more important to become an apothecary for now.>Puts a bad taste in your mouth, if you're an official you should be working as one.>Other
>>3136119>Sounds fine, it's more important to become an apothecary for now.
>>3136119>Puts a bad taste in your mouth, if you're an official you should be working as one.>OtherI would like to see more of the country and meet more interesting people before leaving my post so soon, I have only been working as it for less than a week! What would people say about me if I quit so soon?Perhaps after some time I may re-approach you after I am assigned a more sedimentary posting in a year or two?we picked horse rider for the experience and skills we can develop from it, lets learn those first before moving on.
>>3136119Going to support this: >>3136131
>>3136131>>3136137Dudes this is ticket to high society. Also isn't that 1 star from capital or big city? Where do you meet more interesting people? He offering us super job that we don't need to do and tutoring. Good payment plus acces to pills what more would we wanted to have?
>>3136156We would have never met this 1 star if we never traveled or went adventuring. We could try and meet hidden 2 or 3 stars out there. Also we can get good at horse riding, as per the original plan when horse riding was chosen.
>>3136131>>3136137This offer does sound attractive, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You just took up your position, what would they think of you if you left it just because there was a better offer out there? You reply to Gu Xinyi by saying "This... thank you for the offer, but I'm afraid I'm unable to take it. How can I earn the kingdom's money and respect without doing something in return? Can I ask you again in a year or two?"Gu Xinyi sighs and says "Yes, that's fine, although this is an important period of growth and I'm afraid that it'll affect you to spend several years doing less important things. I suppose it's not the end of the world though, you'll probably live a couple hundred of years after all. When do you leave town?" You tell him that you leave town after tomorrow and he gestures to his butler. He says "Clear out my unimportant appointments for tomorrow and take one of the spare student cauldrons out of storage. Something like that red cauldron that 1-star Blacksmith Du Ah's apprentice, Gao Wen, made should work. Break this into the smallest bills as well." Gu Xinyi then hands a golden, rectangular piece of paper that seems to have intricate drawings on it to his butler.Gu Xinyi then takes something out of his pocket before stamping a piece of paper and says "I'll send you back with some money, a cauldron, and a cart to help carry it. It'll slow down your horse so you'll probably end up being around five days late. Show this piece of paper with my seal on it to your superior so that you don't end up in trouble.""Alright then, now onto some other business. You'll need to be in the Qi Emission stage to become an official apothecary, are you a cultivator?" Of course you are, but you still aren't sure whether you should admit to it. As far as you know nobody can tell you're a cultivator unless you show your strength since you haven't even opened your meridians yet, but you could be wrong. You reply that...>Yes, you are.>Yes, you're currently in the Earthly Mortal stage.>No, you aren't.>Other
>>3136189>Yes, you are
>>3136189>Yes, you are.
Rolled 93, 61, 21, 49, 13, 9, 47, 34, 3, 58, 40, 80, 39, 44, 21, 21, 64, 30, 9 = 736 (19d100)>>3136195>>3136197You tell Gu Xinyi that you are a cultivator and he says "Ah, good, if you were limited in that regard it would've been a shame. Well, I can lecture you for a day on the very basics of forging pills, but to be honest you won't be able to do it until you're in the Qi Emission stage, and it will take lots of practice beyond that. I'm sending you back with a cauldron since I don't know when we'll meet again. Maybe you'll break through before then, maybe you won't. Either way you may as well have one."The next day goes by in a bit of a flash as Gu Xinyi teaches you the very-most basics of making pills and explains the difference between a few of the most fundamental pill forging techniques in the kingdom. Before you part he concocts a batch of Qi Pills in front of you, giving you two to take with you. He also leaves you with 30 pieces of paper marked "100" on them. Apparently these are gold bills, the currency used by the rich. They can be exchanged at banks located in major cities for the number of gold coins printed on them, and they contain various intricately made designs to avoid forgery. Last but not least, you receive a leather-bound book marked "The Whisking Hand Method". As far as you understand it isn't particularly valuable and even people who aren't Apprentice Apothecaries yet will likely have a copy. It details the most basic pill forging technique in the kingdom, The Whisking Hand. It's basically only used for Tier-0 pills and some basic Tier-1 pills, but it's a good foundation to build off of.Ultimately, you feel rather shocked by all of this, and have confirmed for yourself that the people saying that Gu Xinyi appreciates talent were correct. Still, he must appreciate you quite a bit to give you so much. Even a 1-star Apothecary doesn't give so many benefits to everyone he comes across. He must think highly of you and decided that he should at least give you some benefits if he can't teach you for the time being. You very sincerely thank Gu Xinyi for his help before departing the provincial capital the next morning. On your way back...
>>3136189>Yes, you are(Oh no, I got here late. Dang also guys think we should get another horse for the cart? How much would another horse cost?)
>>3136217Not much happens for the first couple of days. You resume cultivating properly, and after two days of travelling you feel the same burning feeling from your previous breakthroughs begin welling up during your training. It takes longer than the previous times, but after several hours, you feel something within your body change when you're nearing exhaustion. A sound like the string of an arrow being released sounds out as you hear the muscles and tendons stretch out completely during a movement. As you go through a few more movements the sounds continue, and you can tell that this is the trademark behavior of a Thunderous Warrior, the last portion of being an Earthly Mortal. You're once again covered in a rather gross substance that you need to wash off of your skin.The next day you come across a strange box in the middle of the road. It's made out of metal and is closed, but it doesn't seem to be locked, so you could open it if you wanted. You...>Open it. (1d100, first roll is taken. It's a table, low isn't bad and high isn't good, it's just what it is.)>Go around it and continue travelling.>>3136233I should've given you a chance to get another horse, I'm stupid. I guess I'll just handwave it by saying that you were a bit too busy to spend the time looking for a new one. It would probably only cost 15 gold coins or so to get a cheap one. If you wanted a decent riding horse it'd still be well-within your means given the fact that you just got given a handsome sum.
Rolled 10, 79 = 89 (2d100)>>3136217Wow, you guys got some fun events on the table, this is gonna take way longer than the ride here depending on whether you want to speed past them or not. Rerolling because I'm not making this box appear three times.
Rolled 75 (1d100)>>3136240>Open it.We already move nearly as fast as our horse so meh
>>3136247A box in the middle of the road...I smell bandits...But we just ranked up.But all the cash we have...My mind is telling me we should run.But my body, my body is telling me yes, yes, YES.(It's fine QM we can get another one in the next town.)Well first can't we check the surrounding? See if we can't see anything?
>>3136262You check your surroundings, rather suspicious of a random box in the middle of the road, and don't see anything. There aren't any obvious spots for an ambush, and the box just looks like it was abandoned there for some reason.
>>3136266>Open it.I mean what could possibly go wrong?
>>3136250>>3136273You open the box and as you're pulling it open, you see that while it isn't locked from the outside, it's... locked from the inside? Huh?Before you can really process this you see a small shadow move through the gap you've opened up in the box, and a tiny bird is now buzzing around you faster than you could possibly move. It pecks at you once in your side and you feel like you've just been stabbed, and then it just flies away. What kind of creature was that?! Was that a savage beast?! You thought savage beasts were supposed to be big and scary and... what even?!You check your wound afterwards and see that it isn't very large, but you apply a couple of herbs to it just in case. While it isn't large, it appears to have very cleanly and easily pierced through your skin and what's beneath it, leaving a nasty-looking wound. Luckily it wasn't in a bad spot, that thing could've pierced into your heart if it wanted.You continue your travel along the road, swearing that you'll eat the damn thing if you come across it again. Well... that's if you're able to catch it, for now you'd just need to run away from it.Two days later, while checking your compass, it starts veering towards a different direction. As you continue along the road it keeps in this direction, almost as if its found a new magnetic north. You can navigate without it, but you are curious as to why it's doing this. You...>Find the nearest village and ask about it.>Head towards where it's pointing.>Continue on your way, you don't have time for this.>Other
>>3136294>Find the nearest village and ask about it.
>>3136299>Find the nearest village and ask about it.
>>3136294>Find the nearest village and ask about itDid we took the box with us?
>>3136299>>3136314>>3136331You follow a road for half an hour until you reach the nearest village. You ask the villagers there what exactly is going on with your compass and they tell you of a tale of a massive sword, as large as a building, that's embedded in the ground next to a nearby town. Apparently its been there for at least 1000 years but still hasn't rusted. It's protected by the government now and is a tourist spot. They claim that whatever it's made out of is highly magnetic and messes with the compasses of travelers. You...>Continue on your way now that you know what caused it, that's neat.>Visit the town, it's only a couple of hours away and that sounds really cool.>Other>>3136331Sure, why not, you have a metal box that's locked from the inside now.
>>3136339>Visit the town, it's only a couple of hours away and that sounds really cool.>OtherSee if they don't have an ok horse you can buy off them.
>>3136339>Visit the town, it's only a couple of hours away and that sounds really cool.
>>3136339>Visit the town, it's only a couple of hours away and that sounds really cool.May as well. We got the excuse when we got another chance to sightseeing.>Sure, why not, you have a metal box that's locked from the inside now.Darkest being from the realm of "go fuck yourself" stab us.It stab us we took it homePlus WHAT'S IN THE BOX!
>>3136346>>3136347>>3136363You decide to take a look at the town since you have the time and head towards it. As you approach you see a massive hunk of metal in the distance above the tree line. Eventually you reach the town and see it. About half of it is buried in the ground, and the metal is forged rather crudely, but it's still clearly a sword. You have no idea who used this, but it's almost just a hulking mass of metal with a hilt.Around the sword are positioned various stands, and you notice that they're all positioned a good ways away from the sword. Around the sword is a cordoned off area with lots of large signs saying "NO METAL OBJECTS BEYOND THIS POINT. YES, THIS INCLUDES COINS." you ask someone and find out that bills don't count, so you leave your things and approach it. There are lots of people feeling the sword, and you touch it yourself. It's rough to the touch, and from here it reminds you of a massive cliff. Various metal objects are randomly attached to the sword here and there, assumedly due to people accidentally taking their weapons or coins past the cordon.You go to see the stands around the sword and see that they sell a few trinkets shaped like the massive sword, some books about its history, and small stuffed swords, among other things. You're sucked in by the atmosphere and buy some things since it's not much for you. While doing this you're told some random tidbits about it, such as how the kingdom dispatches a cultivator twice a year to spend time retrieving random pieces of metal from the sword, or about how a rebelling noble tried to steal the sword while leaving to another kingdom once, moving it about 100 feet before he decided it was a bad idea.After checking out the sword you inquire about buying a horse and are told that you can get a draft horse for about 15 gold pieces, and a decent riding horse for 40-something gold pieces. There's also a prize breed that a man on the outskirts of town breeds for a little over 100 gold pieces a head.>Buy a draft horse.>Buy a riding horse.>Buy a prize horse.>Other>>3136363The box is completely empty besides some rocks and twisted pieces of metal formed into what look to be a bird's nest. You check as much as you can, but there's nothing that looks valuable or like an egg. Looks like somebody was keeping the bird in there but left it behind for some reason.
>>3136392>Buy a draft horse.We need it for pulling the wagon, after all.
>>3136396>>3136403You buy a draft horse while you're in town as well as a few gold worth of cheap gear for it and have it help pull the wagon. You'll arrive a few days earlier now that the weight from the cauldron is being offset.The next day, before you're about to stop travelling for the day, you see some buildings on top of a small mountain. There's a trail leading up there, but it's rather rugged. There's no signage to indicate that it's a village, so you're not sure what it is. You...>Head up the trail.>Set up camp, it looks like trouble getting up there so you would probably have to leave your cart down here. It's not worth risking that.>Other
>>3136392>Buy a draft horse.Question, is there something i could read to know more about the universe? Any recommendations?
>>3136430>Head up the trail
>>3136430>Note the location and move on
>>3136452Change to this
>>3136452>>3136457>>3136464You note the location of the trail and decide to move on and set up camp for the night.A couple days later you're travelling along the road and see an arrow embedded into a nearby tree with a letter on it. You take the letter off and see that it's some rather... straightforward prose making up a love letter. It's not addressed to anyone in particular, but the stated meeting time is in an hour at a hill about 30 minutes from here. You...>Check out the meeting place, whoever this is will probably be stood up, the letter didn't even seem like it was opened.>Continue on your way, it's none of your business.>Other>>3136432A lot of stuff regarding occupations and some of the kingdom rankings are lifted from Library of Heaven's Path because I really liked the idea (yes, teachers will still be an occupation, no, they won't be as important, although they'll still be ranked with the best of them), and the cultivation is partially from True Martial World, so that's the closest you could come to reading about the universe. If you actually want to know more then you can just ask a lot of questions and get a lot of exposition of what your character knows, but there's no actual book that takes place in this specific universe.
>>3136472>Put the letter back>Continue on your way, it's none of your business.
>>3136472>>Check out the meeting place, whoever this is will probably be stood up, the letter didn't even seem like it was opened.
>>3136472>Check out the meeting place, whoever this is will probably be stood up, the letter didn't even seem like it was opened.
>>3136502>>3136511You go to the meeting place and see a man who seems a few years older than you standing there. He has flowing blond hair and is holding a bow with a quiver of arrows. He's dressed pretty nicely, but doesn't appear to be rich. You notice that there's a pouch full of letters next to the quiver of arrows.You wait a bit to see if whoever he's waiting for will show up, but they don't seem to be coming and he seems to be growing rather depressed. You...>Ask him why his love letter was embedded in a tree, unopened.>Try to cheer him up.>Leave.>Other
>>3136530>Try to cheer him up.
>>3136530>Ask him why his love letter was embedded in a tree, unopened.Those this mutherfucker shoots at random to find his love?
>>3136540>>3136547You approach the man and he looks at you warily for a moment but doesn't move away. You mention the letter in passing but don't ask too much about it and try to cheer him up a bit. After talking for a while it seems to be working, and the young man, Kang Li, starts talking about the situation himself."I woo her for months and against all odds secure her love despite her father's lofty position as a merchant, but her father then gets in our way! I haven't been able to see her for a couple of weeks but recently heard that she would be on the road to visit a nearby town. I decided to send her a love letter along the way so that we could see each other. It would have worked, but those damn pigs working for her father sped the carriage up after they saw the arrow and didn't take a single glance at the letter! They're so determined to get in the way of our love! They even sent a couple of arrows back at me!" You try to process this and... did this man just shoot a love letter at a moving carriage? This... could it be considered missing the forest for the trees? You...>Take your leave, you can't really help here.>Try to explain in as simple terms as possible why someone would be afraid of an arrow on the road.>Suggest some other method for his love letter to reach his lover.>Other
>>3136567>Try to explain in as simple terms as possible why someone would be afraid of an arrow on the road.You dense... Listen here
>>3136567>Try to explain in as simple terms as possible why someone would be afraid of an arrow on the road.>Suggest some other method for his love letter to reach his lover. Idk maybe I can give you a ride to this nearby town if it isn't so far out of the way. Just... Don't shoot more arrows at the carriage and better yet don't say anything about you shooting the arrows.
>>3136567>>Try to explain in as simple terms as possible why someone would be afraid of an arrow on the road.YOU DENSE MOTHERFUCKER
>>3136571+Tell it would be wise to collect evidence of who was shooting at the carriage
>>3136571>>3136583>>3136590You spend the next ten minutes explaining to him in the simplest terms possible what people think of when random arrows are shot at them on the road and why this was a bad idea. By the time you're finished he seems to have gotten it and says "Ah... I see, it was a bad idea. This... maybe I should have felled a tree so that they would stop and I could talk to her?" You then have to spend time explaining that this too is a bad idea that makes him seem like a bandit, and that he should just try talking to her in town and maybe the guards won't recognize him as the person her father doesn't want her to see. You also tell him that he's lucky that the guards didn't take the letter as a piece of evidence to find out who was shooting the carriage.You rather exasperatedly ask him where the girl he's in love with is going. He states the name of a town a couple of days in the direction you're going, and you figure that you could give him a lift. It's a bit dangerous to pick strangers off the road, but he seems harmless if only a bit dumb. You...>Help him out and give him a lift.>Wish him the best and leave.>Other
>>3136614kill him to put him out of his misery
>>3136614>Help him out and give him a lift.>Take the time to teach him how to think and use his brain
>>3136614>Help him out and give him a lift.>Ask where he's from and does he do along the way.>>3136616(Come on now you can't just kill this poor dumb sap. We could turn him into a guard if things go south or if it works out it'll get us a merchant contact.)
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>3136637>>3136647You give the guy the lift and talk to him as you ride down the road. He seems rather dense, but not unintelligent. He knows quite a bit about the local area, is literate, and is pretty well read. Apparently he runs a small shop his father owned before he retired and makes furniture in his spare time. The librarian in the town he lives in likes him and so he can come and go as he pleases, which is part of the reason he knows so much random trivia. He's considering taking the Imperial Examinations next year if only to have a position that will allow him to marry this woman more easily.The next morning you continue travelling along the road until you come across a tree felled across the road. Your horses begin to come to a stop when...
>>3136658...four men in dirty clothes carrying chipped weapons come out from the side of the road. They all seem to be normal, besides one whose movements remind you of the man you boxed back at the festival. He's probably a Mighty Warrior. He smiles, revealing a mouth full of yellow teeth, and tells you to leave everything here and scram. You see that Kang Li has his hands on his bow already and is nocking an arrow out of view of the bandits. You...>Grab your sword and charge at their leader.>Calmly walk over to the tree and start moving it out of the way. That should be enough to show your strength.>Grab one of the weaker bandits and use them as a weapon to attack their leader.>Other
>>3136663>Grab your sword and charge at their leader.
>>3136663YUS WE CAN KILL SOME PEOPLE!Fuck yessss>Grab your sword and charge at their leader.chop the motherfuckers up
>>3136663>OtherGrab javelin throw at the leader and impale.
>>3136665>>3136668You grab the sword and dash towards the leader of the bandits at full speed, your muscles letting out a quiet noise as you charge. The bandit seems surprised and before he can raise his sword you begin to split his body in two. He dies without being able to retaliate. If he was prepared he could've lasted for longer, but like you, he probably lacks any sort of fighting technique, and he wasn't on guard. The other bandits, appalled, begin running away. Kang Li shoots an arrow at one of them, hitting them in the leg and immobilizing them, and you...>Get rid of them, there's no reason to leave people who could harm hard-working folk alive.>Leave them, they're not worth dealing with.>Capture them to interrogate, they might have some sort of treasure horde.>Other
>>3136688>Capture them to interrogate, they might have some sort of treasure horde.Or base of operation
>>3136688>>Capture them to interrogate, they might have some sort of treasure horde.then after we find whatever they have...>eliminate them
>Capture them to interrogate, they might have some sort of treasure horde.Seeing how they are dressed I doubt they have any treasure but meh might as well. Also, we could maybe turn them in for a reward and make our friend Kanf Li look better for his lady friend.
>>3136694>>3136697>>3136698You interrogate them for a bit, and while you don't really know how to do this, they aren't really willing to hold anything back after watching you split their leader in half. They tell you that they don't have that much money, but that their leader had about 20 gold saved up in a chest back at their lair. They also tell you that they came across quite the haul yesterday, but that the boss hasn't told them how much it was yet.You have them lead you through the woods for about 15 minutes before you're led to a well-hidden cave with a badly made wall to keep the cold out. The door is just a hole in the wall. You have one of them enter first and nothing happens, so you follow them. Shortly after you're led to boss's room and find the 20 gold they spoke about. You also find a young woman lying on a straw mattress. She seems to have been roughly treated but otherwise fine, and is dressed in fine clothes that are now covered in dirt. Her hands are cuffed behind her back and she's blindfolded.As you enter the room and take stock of everything in there, Kang Li enters as well and you hear him yell "Xing Ru?! What happened to you?!" as he worriedly goes over to her and takes off her blindfold. You ask "Xing Ru?" in a quizzical tone before Kang Li says "The girl I told you about." The girl begins explaining and you find out that apparently none of the guards protecting her were cultivators, and they were easily slain when the bandits' attacked by surprise.You finish going through the room and find two well-hidden 100 gold bills which probably belong to Xing Ru from what you can surmise. You...>Take the credit for saving Xing Ru, maybe you can be rewarded by her father.>Give the credit to Kang Li, his father should be fine with him if he saved his daughter.>Otherand...>Take the bandits outside and kill them, they've caused enough pain.>Tie the bandits up and prepare to take them for town. It'll take more effort and their deaths aren't completely certain, but you'll get a small reward.>Other
>>3136757>Give the credit to Kang Li, his father should be fine with him if he saved his daughterTie the bandits up and prepare to take them for town. It'll take more effort and their deaths aren't completely certain, but you'll get a small reward.
>>3136757>Give the credit to Kang Li, his father should be fine with him if he saved his daughter.>Tie the bandits up and prepare to take them for town. It'll take more effort and their deaths aren't completely certain, but you'll get a small reward.
>>3136761If we play it this way it'll give us a long-term reward of having contact with a merchant and a perhaps an in with the merchant guild. And maybe a place to sell our products and pick up information. Depending on how many shops the merchant has.
>>3136761>>3136769You quietly tell Kang Li that he can take the credit on this one to get the father of his lover to stop bothering him and he thanks you. The two of you then tie up the bandits from before and have them walk alongside the three of you while Xing Ru gets to stay in the cart with your cauldron. This would be inconvenient, but it's only a day to the town Kang Li and Xing Ru are going to.The next day goes without incident and you wish Kang Li goodbye after turning in the bandits with him. They reward the both of you 5 gold in total and you split it with him. The sum doesn't really matter, but you may as well be fair about it. You also split the 20 gold evenly with him. The bills however... they're a pretty big sum of money. They technically belong to Xing Ru in the first place, and it's easy enough to say the bandits' leader just hid them somewhere. On the road you decided to...>Give them back to Xing Ru.>Give half to Kang Li, he can keep it for himself or give it Xing Ru.>Keep the money for yourself, you may have a lot of cash now, but who knows when that'll run out.why has 4chan decided to make me click tractors nowthis is new
>>3136791>Give them back to Xing Ru.
>>3136823>>3136816You give the money to Xing Ru, deciding that it's not really worth it to keep it, and she seems surprised. She asks if you're really just giving the money back like this and you confirm several times that yes, it's fine. You didn't give back the exact same bills since you have so many 100 gold bills mixed together, and she seems to notice this after a moment, and once again she confirms this with you, even more confused than before. You confirm that, yes, those are different bills, and she gives you the name of her father, probably assuming you're the son of some other merchant or noble who is more influential than her father.You continue along the road and after a couple of days pass are stopped along your way by a man who appears to be in his early 20s. He has a sword at his hip, but he doesn't unsheathe it. He simply takes his place on the road and yells "Fight me!" You...>Tell him that you're really not a fighter and try to go around him.>Oblige and attack him.>Ask why.>Other
>Ask why."Wait aren't you the guy who keeps attacking guards? Why not fight in an arena?"
>>3136843>>3136848You ask the man why exactly he wants you to fight you, before saying "Wait, aren't you the guy who keeps attacking the guards of various caravans? Why don't you just fight in an arena?"The man gives out a loud laugh before he says "An arena? The only true place to grow stronger is the battlefield! The only problem is that we're not at war right now and I'm not confident enough in my abilities to become a bounty hunter. Thus the option left to me is to hone my strength by fighting whoever I see along the road! If they're too strong I run, if they're too weak I leave them with some bruises and pointers and take my leave, and if they're just right I hone my strength in righteous combat!" This... what is wrong with this man. At least Kang Li understood things after you explained him, this man... you just don't get his logic. You...>Tell him that you're really not a fighter and try to go around him.>Oblige and attack him.>Other
>>3136865>Oblige and attack him.Chance to hone our skills
>>3136865>Other"You say pointers? I just started cultivating so how about we spar a bit and you show me some moves in hand to hand combat. And afterwards, I treat you to a meal. How does that sound uh, I'm sorry what is your name brother?"
>>3136865>>Oblige and attack him.may as well beat him up
>>3136791Tractor farm simulator quest in the making. I too just got a tractor just now.....>>3136901Support, we can build rapport with this guy.
>>3136875>>3136940You decide that you may as well oblige if he wants to fight that much and charge towards him. As you're throwing a punch at him he says "Too slow!" and grabs your hands out of mid-air. He then delivers a punch to your face, sending you rolling back, before he waits for you to get up again. A similar routine of you attacking and getting hit happens a few more times, until eventually the man says "Alright, alright, you're too weak, we can stop." He then spends about an hour talking to you about how you need to improve your technique and about how you need to learn how to actually dodge. This seems a bit pretentious coming from him when he almost seems to be picking on you, but whatever.A couple days later you come across him on the road again (the rng from before actually decided on this funnily enough) and are once again left bruised all over and lectured. As you get up to leave again, you hear the man say "Ha ha, it must be fate that we've met twice. I'm Tan Wuhan, hopefully we'll meet again sparring partner!" You feel a deep foreboding as he says this, as you really don't want to fight him again.That night you feel the heat you normally feel before breakthroughs begin coursing through your body, but it simply plateaus out for the time being. You're confused but leave it be. The next afternoon, while doing another round of cultivation, the heat spreads throughout your body again and you feel a horrible pain begin coursing through you. It's almost like the energy is forcing something within your body to tear against your will. After about half an hour of this horrible pain you can sense an odd energy in the environment. Is this qi? You can't control it or take it into your body, but you can feel that it's there at least. You guess this means that you're a Heavenly Mortal, someone who has opened their meridians.After another day in a half or so you've made it back to the Lion's Ridge, the official seat of your position. You go to report to the county magistrate and unload your things, but find that the streets are rather empty on your way there.You stable the horses and place your cart to the side before knocking on the door to Meng Hao's office. You hear him sullenly say "Come in." and you enter. He stares at you for a moment before he says "Er, Zhu Zhexian, right? Why are you late?" You show him the sheet of paper with Gu Xinyi's seal on it and he hands it back after muttering something to himself. Meng Hao sighs and says "Alright, head back to the official's lodgings. I don't have anything for you right now, I already sent all of the other envoys out." You...>Ask around to see if something's going on, this seems kinda odd.>Go get something to drink with Wang Xuan, its been a while.>Check up on Uncle Zhang.>Move your cauldron up to your room and separate your horse from the others.>Other
>>3136979>Ask around to see if something's going on, this seems kinda odd.>Check up on Uncle Zhang.We can leave the cauldron with our uncle, he can use it when we are not in town on the condition he keeps it clean and safe. We won't be using it most of the time we are on the road anyways.
>>3136979>Go get something to drink with Wang Xuan, its been a while.We can ask him what's going on
>>3136998I wouldn't trust our uncle with cauldron. Actuly it shuld be more of a secter then cultivation. When people find out we can make pills they ask as only for that. And our uncle isnt even apprentice if i remeber correctly so not like he knows how to use it.
>>3137005Just say we won it as a prize for our herbal knowledge.... We haven;t tried making pills yet so we can give that excuse and have him misinterpret it as we don't know how.I mean, we leave it all alone unattended in our officials lodge so....If he wants to learn how to make pills, he'd have to learn with us maybe?
>>3137005Like the other 1 apothecary apprentices had underlings making level 0 pills right?
>>3137016I mean without cultivation he wouldn't have the energy to make the pills. We would need to get him a cultivation book. And he would need to study a lot more about herbs and the like.
>>3136865>Attack him with our brass knuckles, break some of his bones (maybe just his arm) but don't kill him.
>>3136979>Check up on Uncle Zhang.>Move your cauldron up to your room and separate your horse from the others.
>>3137026But he has all the material at hand at his shop, and we won't have to work in such a small room... plus we can test it out by selling specials at discount pills at his shop.Either way its no t a huge deal were the caldron ends up, we can always move it later.
>>3136979>>Check up on Uncle Zhang.>>Move your cauldron up to your room and separate your horse from the others.A bit sad we didn't make ourselves look good to our immediate boss, but not the worst.We should see about reading our Secret Text again and figure out how to do Qi manipulation.
>>3137053Fair. We could always ask him if he would be interested in learning how to make pills. I'll switch support to.>>3137045
Fell asleep by accident, whoops. Update in a sec.>>3137016They were making medicinal powder, you have to be at at least in the Qi Emission stage to concoct any sort of pills. Without emitting qi you can't control the cauldron fires properly. Due to this people would find the cauldron odd, but nobody would actually think you're able to concoct pills. They would think it's just for food unless they're an apothecary or tested it. (and you're very, very, very certain you cannot concoct pills. About as certain as you are that you're male and your name is Zhu Zhexian)
>>3137370But I thought we were Who Meinzan and dress as a little girl?
You move the cauldron to Uncle Zhang's shop after finding a place to put your horse and see that he's packing up. You look at him, confused, and say "Uncle Zhang? Are you traveling?" He looks back at you, surprised, and says "Little Zexian, it's you! Didn't you hear about what's happening?! They say a horde of beasts led by some savage beasts wiped out a nearby village and is approaching here! We have no idea what made them rise up, but all of the working professionals are packing up what they can and making the journey to another town."You look at him, surprised, and ask for more information. He tells you that the message was brought a week ago by a very scared looking village chief who looked more like a beggar than an official. The beasts simply came down from the nearby hills one day and began slaughtering the innocents. The militia was incapable of stopping them, and so the man left with what he could save of the village's funds.Apparently the beasts will reach here in another 10 days or so at the rate they're traveling (namely, very slow), and their numbers should be smaller than when they initially attacked the village. There's no consensus as to why they've actually formed a horde now, and the governor has sent out all the envoys to gather reinforcements from other villages and any nearby cities or clans of cultivators.You're rather alarmed by this news, especially since it reminds you of how your parents died. It was horrific then, a single savage beast killing dozens of peasants on a whim. How much damage would a group of them cause?You ask if you can still leave the cauldron here and Uncle Zhang is fine with it, giving you his spare key. He wishes you the best of luck and says that since you're a non-combatant the county magistrate will probably allow you to leave. Now that you know what's going on you...>Go get some drinks- no, a lot of drinks, with Wang Xuan. You need to be happy. And drunk.>Look around the city again, you're curious if they're building fortifications or something.>Go back to the officials lodgings and drink a bit there.>Other
>>3137395damn, you figured out the alt universe fanfiction sequel, spoilers man
>>3137408>>Look around the city again, you're curious if they're building fortifications or something.
>>3137408>>Look around the city again, you're curious if they're building fortifications or something.Damn a beast hoard? We should figure out how strong they are.
>>3137408>>Other>CULTIVATE >practice a combat Art if possible
I'll leave it here for tonight, I'll resume in 10-14 hours. I will end up disappearing for a few hours tomorrow though because I have something to do, so heads-up on that.
>>3137408>Look around the city again, you're curious if they're building fortifications or something.
>Other>Focus on furthering your cultivation
>>3137419>>3137424>>3137449>>3137599You begin to look around the city. As you continue going through the center of the city you see that it's rather devoid of life, but on the edges of city it's as active as ever. Losing all their assets to a beast horde and trying to flee would be almost as bad as dying for the average citizen, so most of them are still here.As you near the edges of the city you see a bunch of activity slightly west of the city. Moving towards the people, you see see that they're trying to build some fortifications along a pass around 200 feet in length. There was already something here, but it wasn't much more than a fence. You can see that the amount of people working on it is larger than the amount of people who are normally here. The rest must be refugees from nearby villages who are in the beast horde's path.Now you...>Head back to the official's lodge.>Go get some drinks- no, a lot of drinks, with Wang Xuan. You need to be happy. And drunk.>Talk to the refugees.>Otherbe back in a few hours, didn't have a chance to post before now
>>3138207>Other>Go shopping see if you can't find books on how to actually fight and evade.>Then focus on furthering your cultivation
>>3138207>Talk to the refugees.
>>3138246>>3138248You talk to the refugees for a moment and figure out that they've come here rather recently and that they don't really know much. Apparently they did notice a couple groups of tough-looking people entering the town recently though.After that you go to the library and the library in the officer's lodgings to look for books on how to fight, and all you can really find are a few books over how to properly brawl. There's no sort of combat techniques or anything. You check them out anyways though, maybe they'll be helpful. You then perform a couple rounds of cultivation, As night approaches you're told to come to Meng Hao's office. You comply and see that all of the officials who work in the town have been called there. Meng Hao simply begins reading names off of a list before saying "These are the officials who have either military training or who are cultivators. They'll stay in Lion's Ridge. The rest of you are allowed to leave. Head to Griffon's Bend and you'll receive new assignments." You...>Accept the arrangement, you're rather scared and a free ticket out of here isn't a bad deal.>Admit that you're a cultivator and ask to stay here. You can't simply leave this many people to die from a horde of beasts. You won't be able to make a huge impact, but at least you can help.>Other
On one hand, it's in our background to fight the beasts.On the other, it's foolish to fight a beast swarm we know nothing about.
>>3138648Some random guy on the road kick our ass twice. When it comes to character confidence i'm not sure we would be ready to face beasts. I dont know really. Would we know some kind of drug that could make beast go mental?
>>3138682You're aware of various herbs that specific animals don't like, but don't really know much about savage beasts that are as powerful as cultivators. You've heard that their intelligence increases slowly with their strength, so even if they were based off of some normal animal species, they might not have the same dislikes. If you knew a beast tamer they could probably figure out something, but you don't.>>3138655This decision will also influence whether this character trait is more locked down as being afraid of savage beasts because of what happened in his childhood versus wanting to kill those that might harm civilians. Flight vs. fight response.
>>3138705>Admit that you're a cultivator and ask to stay here.I was thinking something that would make best crazy and attack anything even other beast but i guess that would be to OP or to convenient
>>3138648>OtherAdmit that your an apprecentice apothecary and ask to stay here.
>>3138648>Admit that you're a cultivator and ask to stay here. You can't simply leave this many people to die from a horde of beasts. You won't be able to make a huge impact, but at least you can help.We can't be cowards. We have time to prepare I suggest we train on learn how to throw javelins and cultivate. We also have Wang Xuan take and look over our cauldron in case we need to flee the battle. Also, we have money and should stock up on items to help us in the upcoming fight.
>>3138648Say we're an apothecary and can help treat the people fighting if they're injured, and that we're a cultivator so we can defend our self if we need too. Put emphasis on that the fact that we're a relatively new cultivator.
You speak up, saying "County Magistrate Meng Hao, I'd like to stay. I'm both an apothecary and a cultivator, so I'd be of use." Meng Hao raises his eyebrows and says "A cultivator? Throw a punch for me." You then throw a punch with all of your strength and you see Meng Hao's eyes widen before he mutters "You've... opened your meridians? You're nearly on par with me? You didn't mention you were a cultivator when I asked the new officials. This... why didn't you mention it?" You...>Tell him you weren't a cultivator then.>Tell him that you wanted to make a breakthrough to the next stage and surprise him before you mentioned it.>Tell him that you didn't think it would be important so you kept quiet when he asked.>Other
>Tell him that you wanted to make a breakthrough to the next stage and surprise him before you mentioned it.
>>3138918>Tell him that you didn't think it would be important so you kept quiet when he asked.We didn't get a chance to answer.
>>3138940That was a thing? If so support. I mean it's not our fault if they don't ask.
>>3138940Oh, I see what you mean, you didn't get a choice to answer in character. At first I thought you meant adding the second statement on, nevermind.Well, you hadn't starting cultivating then so I didn't give the character a chance to answer, yeah.>>3138958He did ask >>3125238, you just didn't get a choice to answer since you hadn't started cultivating yet. Do you still support that or nah, I'm not sure if you misunderstood that like I did at first.
>>3138940>>3138991You say "Well, I didn't really think it was important so I kept quiet when you asked." Meng Hao looks at you slightly confused and like he's trying to figure out something before deciding not to inquire further and just says "Alright, you'll stay as well. I'll you give you an official position as the battle draws closer. Your strength is good, doubly so given your age, so I'll have you attend a few meetings with me. Uh... Cao Yan, you come as well, all the two of you need to do is stand behind me and help me brag a little."Everyone is dismissed besides you and Cao Yan, and then the two of you are told to come back tomorrow at 1 PM. Now you...>Go to bed early.>Hang out in the officials' lodgings, you should get to know some of these people better if you're going to fight with them.>Hang out with Wang Xuan, he's a reliable enough source to tell you about whats been going on since you left.>Other
>Hang out with Wang Xuan, he's a reliable enough source to tell you about whats been going on since you left.
>>3139000>Hang out with Wang Xuan, he's a reliable enough source to tell you about whats been going on since you left.
>>3139009>>3139029You find Wang Xuan in the officials' lodgings afterwards and ask him if he wants to hang out. He agrees and you make your way to eat at one of the cheaper restaurants that are still open.You begin eating and Wang Xuan tells you about his boring duties as a scribe and about how the squabbles between him and Bai Li have simply devolved into petty, occasionally drunk, arguing at this point. He also tells you how various village militias have made their home in the town and that several smaller cultivator clans from the county and nearby counties have begun migrating here to help. Apparently they're all weak, but one of them had a single expert in the Body Refinement Realm to help hold down the fort, so everything should be alright.As you finish eating, you notice that Wang Xuan hasn't asked about you being a cultivator. You find it a bit odd that he's not curious, but he's probably just astute enough to know not to ask about it.You wake up the next morning, eat breakfast, and cultivate. At 1 PM you make your way to Meng Hao's office and he takes you to talk with several chiefs of villages, mayors of towns, and so on and so forth about the usage of their men. At one point he says that he needs to go alone to talk to the elder of a clan of cultivators. This entire time you've been curious about the mention of clans of cultivators, as an elder from the nearest clan killed the savage beast which killed your parents two years ago. They should be here, right? If they are then you need to meet them and thank them. You...>Ask if you can go with him, expressing the need to show off the county's strength.>Explain the situation and ask if you can get a chance to meet the elder of nearest clan.>Ask where the clans are staying.>Other
>Explain the situation and ask if you can get a chance to meet the elder of nearest clan.
>>3139055>>Explain the situation and ask if you can get a chance to meet the elder of nearest clan.
>>3139064>>3139097You explain the situation and ask if you can meet the elder from the nearest clan who slayed the savage beast that killed your parents. Meng Hao replies and says "Well... if it's the nearest clan, they only have a single elder in the Qi Emission Stage, the other one died about four years ago. I'll see him later today and ask if you can meet him. He may have wanted to meet you anyways given your cultivation level and age."Well, you might be able to meet him later, that's good. As you're returning back to your lodgings though, you see someone eating food at a stall along the street. It's... it's the man who beat you up twice along the road before giving you pointers, Tan Wuhan. You shudder slightly, remembering the pain he brought you, but another side of you is wondering if it would be beneficial to fight with him again. You have a little more than a week, so it might be helpful to continue getting beaten up by him and get advice. But... it hurts so much. And the evil grin he wears on his face while forcing you to fight him... ugh. Why is he here anyways?! You...>Approach him.>Go back to the lodgings and then find a chance to cultivate, you'll not be bothered with this maniac.>Other
>Approach him.>Other>Ask him if he can give you some training.
>>3139103>Approach him.>Other>Ask him if he can give you some training
>>3139117You approach Tan Wuhan and ask if he can help you with your training. A wide grin covers his face before he says "Of course I can help you with your training sparring partner! But first sit down and eat with me, I'm famished." You make some small talk as you eat, and eventually ask Tan Wuhan why he came here. In between gulps of food he tells you that he came here because he heard there was a beast horde approaching and he figured it would be a good training opportunity and that there would be lots of strong people here. You're not really surprised at this point, and this man just seems like a bit of a battle junkie. If he really wants to get stronger why doesn't he just sit down and cultivate.After eating you find a clear space and fight Tan Wuhan again. At first you had hoped you'd be able to hit him now that you'd made another breakthrough, but your hopes are let down as he dodges again. He smiles and says "You broke through? Good job, but you can't just rely on your strength. I'll move at the same speed as you, try to hit me." The next few minutes follow with you trying to hit him, but each time you do he dodges.Eventually he says "Stop, stop, you're not getting it. You need to dodge with the least amount of movement needed and attack in the same way. Wasting movement is the same as purposely slowing yourself down. You should focus on this in your spare time, given long enough you'll be able to fix it. The key is the minute movements that you normally don't think about. You need to compress them into the shortest time possible and remove those which don't matter. Tan Wuhan then walks away after telling you where you can find him. He seems... far more helpful than before. Maybe he's in a good mood.The rest of the day passes normally, and next afternoon Meng Hao tells you that the elder who killed the savage beast would be willing to meet you the day after next. The rest of the day is spent accompanying Meng Hao to a few meetings, training with Tan Wuhan, and practicing a bit with your weapons.Eventually your meeting with the elder from the cultivator clan comes, and you go dressed as well as you can. He's a wrinkled but healthy looking old man, and he wears a blue robe. He talks with you for a couple minutes and you get a couple compliments on your cultivation at such a young age. You sincerely thank him and...>Kowtow before taking your leave.>Offer him 100 gold coins for his help. Your village would have suffered greatly without him.>Let him take a look at your cultivation technique so that he can use it for his direct disciples or something.>Others
>>3139225>Kowtow before taking your leave.
>>3139225>Ask him if these beasts have any weakness.>Kowtow before taking your leave.
>>3139231>>3139235>>3139242You ask him whether the beasts have any weaknesses and he says "It depends on the beast. To recognize the weaknesses of one on sight would require me to be a beast tamer or possibly a hunter, but in general the eyes, mouth, and abdomen are where they're the most lightly armored. The mouth and eyes are rather hard to hit, and while it's easy to hit the abdomen, there's a risk of trapping yourself under the beast. I'd recommend just fighting it normally unless an opportunity presents itself. Some of the savage beasts will likely be as powerful as me and the other clan's elders, so it won't be completely safe. Keep your guard up Little Friend Zhu Zhexian." You then kowtow before taking your leave.The next few days are spent training, and eventually it's two days before the horde is set to arrive. The citizens of the town now seem more depressed than before, but that afternoon you see a relatively large, well-equipped group of people enter town. They're led by a man in his 40s wearing rather ornate armor and wearing a saber on his belt. Meng Hao tells you later that day that they'll be taking over the commanding rights and that they're a group of soldiers brought over from the lord of a city to the east of Lion's Ridge. He seems rather displeased as he tells you this, likely because this was his chance to show his competence to his superiors. Apparently the city's lord is in the late stages of the Body Refinement Realm and is the strongest person here. If the battle turns into an extended fight reinforcements from the provincial capital will come and easily end this, but that the battle should end in a single day. Meng Hao tells you that your official position for the battle will be given to you tomorrow afternoon. You decide to...>Look around the city lord's camp, you're curious to see what his troops look like if he's so powerful.>Continue training, there's no time to be lost.>Other
>>3139259>>Look around the city lord's camp, you're curious to see what his troops look like if he's so powerful.
>>3139259>Continue training, there's no time to be lost.>OtherWe should buy some armor and a nice shield. Since we still suck at evading.
>>3139259>Continue training, there's no time to be lost.man I overslept like 17 hours.Won't armour slow us down unless we get really light armour?
>>3139324Tbf, armor doesn't slow you down that much. At least, once you get used to it. And we have all of two days. Though, don't expect full plate armor in fantasy china. Lamellar is more likely.
>>3139324Armor will slow you down marginally, but it's more how easy it is to move around in rather then the weight, since with your current strength you could wear armor without much of a problem.
>>3139329>>3139331Kay, so long as the armour looks good and not raggity.
>>3139324That's why I was thinking he gets armor since he has improved strength. He knows nothing of body refinement meaning he's basically a glass cannon right now.
>>3139259>>Continue training, there's no time to be lost.
You're tempted to check out the city lord's camp, but you should just train by yourself. It'll only be a couple of days until the horde reaches Lion's Ridge after all. You decide that you want to go shopping for armor and a shield.You get a relatively heavy but easy to move around in set of armor that protects your chest, crotch, and the upper portions of your arms, as well as a helmet and a small, circular shield. You end up spending 25 gold in all. All of it is simple in design, but it's polished up and looks ready for battle.You continue your training and that night you feel the heat begin to rise up in your body before it settles down again. You'll probably break through to the Qi Gathering Stage of being a Heavenly Mortal tomorrow night, shortly before the beast horde arrives.In the afternoon you receive your assignment. Based solely off your cultivation you receive a temporary position as a first lieutenant which will be revoked after the battle is over. You'll be in charge of making sure the five squads of ten soldiers under you don't die if possible, and, obviously, killing some beasts. If you see anything that's clearly a savage beast you're to order your men to fall back and then fall back yourself.You're in between rounds of cultivation and should visit the various militiamen under you. You go in...>Projecting a front of strength and getting their confidence up for tomorrow.>With a stern attitude, making sure that they're ready to move as a unit tomorrow and not as a rabble.>And introduce yourself, talk a bit, and then leave. That's all that should be needed.>Other
>>3139353>>With a stern attitude, making sure that they're ready to move as a unit tomorrow and not as a rabble.formation fighting will keep them alive far better than anything else
>>3139363You walk into a military camp on the outskirts of town and go to the portion of the camp where your units are located. You see five large tents arranged around a fire, so it's probably one tent to a unit. You go to the fire and yell "Your first lieutenant Zhu Zhexian is here, gather up, gather up!" After you yell you see the men begin to trickle out of their tents. You begin counting in your head and see that all of them are here. Well, that's good at least.You sort the five second lieutenants out of the lot and then start speaking to the group. "Alright, I'm your first lieutenant, Zhu Zexian, and I'll be in charge of ordering you all around tomorrow. If I say charge, you charge, and if I tell you to fall back, you fall back. If we don't move as a proper group then a good portion of you will probably die. Got it? Any breach of orders will be met with appropriate punishment."After you finish talking you hear some muttering which you can easily make out given your improved sense of hearing. All of it seems to be questioning whether you're really their leader and your strength given that you're 15. A few of them have suspicions that you're the son of some influential figure trying to gain merits, but given that these seem to be mostly villagers, that's not a plus. You...>Tell them that you can hear them, and that you're not a kid. You're 19 and just have a bit of a babyface. Also, the next time you hear any talk like that you'll be taking it personally.>Ask for the strongest one among the lot to come up so that you can show that you're stronger than him.>Throw a punch at full power at the nearest tree. That should settle everything.>Leave, this much can't be helped. Strutting around trying to get them to recognize your strength won't work, they'll see how strong you are tomorrow.>Other
>>3139402"Oh? You lot think I got this position without reason? Then understand that I got it because of this!">Throw a punch at full power at the nearest tree. That should settle everything."This is the reason I got the position. Now I expect every one of you to make it back alive. So you can tell your children and your childrens children that you fought back against a hoard of beasts and protected this land. Do I make myself clear!"
>>3139402>Throw a punch at full power at the nearest tree. That should settle everything.
>>3139402>>Throw a punch at full power at the nearest tree. That should settle everything.
>>3139410>>3139411>>3139429You smile at the crowd of miltiamen before you and say "Oh? You lot think I got this position without reason? Then understand that I got it because of this!" before walking over to the nearest tree. The group of men stare at you, confused, before you let out a punch at full force at the tree. A satisfying cracking noise sounds out as the tree begins tilting to one side before falling down. The trunk wasn't very thick, but hey, it gives the right impression. You then look over at the rather confused and astonished lot of militiamen and say "This is the reason I got the position. Now I expect every one of you to make it back alive. So you can tell your children and your childrens' children that you fought back against a horde of beasts and protected your homes and the lands beyond them. Do I make myself clear!"There's a short silence before you get a chorus of "Yes sir first lieutenant!" You feel a bit nervous after showing off like that and take your leave before going back to practicing. That night you're introduced to the person above you and are surprised to find that it's... Tan Wuhan?! He grins at you and says "Ah, it's you! Big Bro Tan Wuhan will protect you from the scary savage beasts, eh?" He then ruffles your hair against your will with force that would probably kill a normal person. You ask why he's serving as an officer and not just charging into the horde, since you kinda expected him to, and he smiles at you and says "They're paying me! Also, they both wouldn't let me and I don't want to die." Both? Who's he referring to? Before you can ask he sends a punch towards your face and you're immediately forced to train with him some more.That night, while cultivating, you go through another breakthrough, expelling yet another round of the gross, sticky substance out of your body. As you do you can feel that energy in the environment, qi, begin to be attracted towards you. You can't manipulate it, but it naturally enters your body, flowing through your meridians. Apparently that's the last time this happens until the Body Refinement Realm, so at least you'll stop having to change your clothes every time you make a breakthrough.The next morning you eat breakfast before meeting up with your troops. You then take your place at the walls and begin staring into the distance. Around noon you see a few scattered beasts appear, apparently ahead of the horde. You...>Go out and kill a few, may as well test your strength and raise morale at the same time.>Stay behind the wall, you can wait until the main horde shows up.>Otheredited slightly because I forgot to include flavor text
>>3139435well, I'm dumb, but I don't want to delete the post again so whatever. The sentence >Apparently that's the last time this happens... is supposed to come after>out of your body.and not after the rest of the description. Oh well, not a big deal.
>>3139435>>Go out and kill a few, may as well test your strength and raise morale at the same time.
>>3139435>Go ahead and study the beasts from a distance. Look for any vulnerabilities.
>>3139440>>3139445You look at the beasts and see that they're various beasts such as bears, tigers, boars, and other traditionally aggressive large animals. You can't really discern anything in particular about them. As they near you see that some of them are being killed by various cultivators. Most of them just attack wherever, although attacks through the throat are relatively popular. The small trickle of beasts continue. You...>Go out and kill a few, may as well test your strength and raise morale at the same time.>Stay behind the wall, you can wait until the main horde shows up.>Other
>>3139435>Stay behind the wall, you can wait until the main horde shows up.>Othertry and spear the closest one with a javelin.
>>3139446>Throw a javelin at the nearest one while aiming for the heart
>>3139447Support throw the javelins. I wish we bought more ;w;
>>3139447>>3139456>>3139463You stay behind the wall, but as you see a bear draw close you attempt to throw a javelin through its heart. You can't hit the heart specifically but you do hit the bear itself through the chest. You then go down and retrieve your javelin, now impaled in the ground, before finishing the bear off and heading back up onto the walls. Your men seem pretty impressed, so at least that worked.Another hour or so passes until you see the trickle start to turn into a flood. Your men are told to officially come down from the walls and fight, and you head out. You watch your men as they fight and make sure that none of them die. There are about eight or nine cultivators among them, all but two of them Mighty Warriors, and they help hold the line. Most of the men are armed with spears and large shields, taking down the beasts in groups. Eventually, while killing a few beasts with your sword (which is now heavily covered in gore), you see a few that you don't recognize in the distance. They're lobster or crab-like things the size of a tiger and they're at the edge of your eyesight. If it was a savage beast you would've been told to fall back already, but maybe no one noticed it? Plus, there are more than one of them. You...>Wait for one to come a bit closer and then attack it.>Tell your men to fall back, there are savage beasts in the distance!>Wait for someone else to make the call.>Other
>>3139464>Tell your men to fall back, there are savage beasts in the distance!
>>3139464>Other Throw a test javelin. If it doesn't get impaled consider it a savage beast. >Tell your men to fall back, there are savage beasts in the distance!
>>3139464>Fall back slightly and make a defensive formation while we stand ahead of them and shout to make others aware of the approaching beasts
>>3139471>>3139484>>3139485You fall back, warning your men and the surrounding groups of the approaching beasts.As your men are nearing the walls you see Tan Wuhan move towards you and say "Where were those savage beasts?" You point towards where you saw them and he goes "Oh. Those are a rare breed of animal found in the area that was initially attacked, the Banchian. It's related to crustaceans. If you can get one of them it'll make for some good food afterwards."Tan Wuhan stops the retreat and your men go forwards once more. He tells you not to worry about it since only locals would know what they look like, but you still feel a bit silly. As the battle continues more of them continue appearing, and now you're just curious what they taste like. Eventually the swarm of beasts intensifies and you see a couple of your men begin to suffer injuries. You send them back and help the group that lost manpower. This seems to be happening among the other groups as well.As your group begins to lose members, the tide of beasts also begins to slow down. Eventually you're left with 35 healthy or lightly injured, but exhausted, men, 12 heavily injured men, and three dead. You're called back shortly after you make this count, as you see larger, more vicious versions of the beasts begin to charge towards you. An order saying "All soldiers who are not cultivators withdraw and get ranged weapons!" It looks like it's your chance.You take a look at the scenery in front of you, and besides countless corpses of animals, you can see some waves of normal animals and a few larger ones. Near you there's an even larger version of the Banchians from before that's occasionally going up onto its hind legs like a bear, a massive snake, and a bear with two heads. You and your cultivators go to...>Clear out the weaker beasts.>Attack the mutated Banchian.>Attack the massive snake.>Attack the two-headed bear.
>>3139487accidentally missed a vote while counting, probably was initially trying to remember that the javelin could not be thrown because you can't take aim from that far awayyou were in fact counted
>>3139487>Clear out the weaker beasts.
>>3139487>Attack the bearFlank it from both sides to distract the two heads while we attack the abdomen from the front while it's distracted.
>>3139487>Attack the two-headed bear.
>>3139487It's all good.>Attack the mutated Banchain.It sounds like good eating and it's a little bit of revenge for being embarrassed about the creatures.
>>3139487Oh question are we rolling for combat on this one?
>>3139490>>3139491You decide that the bear looks like the best target and head towards it. You have the group of cultivators supporting you split into two groups to your side and you stay in the middle of both of them. This way you'll be able to flank the bear.After about a minute you've reached it and it angrily roars at you after catching sight of you. It charges towards the group to your left and they manage to barely dodge. Your men begin to take up their positions while you keep the bear at bay. It seems to be a bit weaker than you and also possesses no real technique, so you're able to fight it without a problem. You can probably fight it yourself, but it'd be riskier. You could avoid risking an injury to any of your men that way though. You...>Carry out the original plan.>Tell your men to leave it to you and kill the thing yourself. (1d100)>Other>>3139495not on that choice, but on this one, possibly
>>3139496>Carry out the original plan.
>>3139496>Tell your men to leave it to you and kill the thing yourself
>>3139496>Tell your men to leave it to you and kill the thing yourself. (1d100)
Rolled 84 (1d100)I'll be back after I shower and do a couple of other things, gonna just keep this roll right here in case the second decision wins.
>>3139498>>3139499You decide to kill the beast yourself and tell your men to leave it to you. Your sword begins facing off against the bear's claws, and chips of iron are sent flying from each strike. You realize that your weapon won't be able to stand off against the claws of a savage beast for long and grab one of your javelins. You then thrust it towards its heart, aiming for a decisive strike. The creature dodges slightly, but you still hit it in its side.A loud roar reverberates through the area before the two-headed bear aims for your head. You put your sword over your head, allowing it to break, before grabbing another javelin and piercing it through the savage beast's throat. An angry gurgle sounds out as you drive the javelin deeper into its fur. You then feel its body grow limp as it begins to fall towards you. You pull out your javelins and let it fall before...>Having a couple of your men carry it back to the wall as spoils.>Cutting off the paws and the heart of the beast (you're aware that some savage beasts have 'cores', but they're formed from the heart and this one isn't strong enough to have one) and go on your way.>Leave the beast and fight another one.You then grab another cheap-looking sword off the ground after a bit of looking and..>Clear out some of the weaker beasts, that was enough excitement for now.>Attack the mutated Banchian>Attack the massive snake.>Look for more savage beasts.>Other
>>3139507>Leave the beast and fight another one.>Clear out some of the weaker beasts, that was enough excitement for now.
>>3139507>Attack the mutated BanchianTime for taking the revenge for scaring us earlier.
>>3139509>>3139510You leave the beast for now and decide to go back to fighting. There's good loot to be had, but hopefully it'll still be in a presentable state after the fighting is done.You then grab the next sword you find off of the ground and go back to fighting beasts. You've had enough excitement for now and go back to fighting the normal beasts. Even though they're the same ones as before, you can feel that they're getting slightly stronger. It probably won't be too long before the Mighty Warriors are called back and you have to group up with Tan Wuhan at this rate. You clear out a small area and eventually most of the normal fierce beasts are gone. The rest are being fought at a range or scattered intermittently about, and you can see that the beasts appearing in the distance now seem to be savage beasts that are slightly larger than the ones near you now. Before you lose your commanding rights and have to team up with Tan Wuhan you...>Decide to get rid of another savage beast. [Same two choices + look for another from before]>Attack some of the beasts left at the foot of the wall. It'll look cowardly at this point, but no one will get injured that way. Well, unless you get hit by arrows.>Other
>>3139519>Attack the mutated Banchian
>>3139528You move your group towards the mutated Banchian, and as you near it goes up onto its hind legs and angrily makes some confusing noises at you. You're going to kill this thing for having its friends make a fool of you earlier and you're going to have a good meal of it later. You throw a javelin towards it to test it out and see it grab it within its claws before snapping it. Well, that didn't accomplish much. You...>Charge in and then have your men attack the joints on the limbs. It should be the same as an actual crab, right? You had crab once back in the provincial capital, you're pretty sure that's where you break the outside. (2d100)>Charge in alone. (1d100)>Have your men push forward to distract it, your strongest taking the lead, and then attack it while it isn't paying attention to you.>Retreat, you can't get a grasp on its strength.>Other
>>3139532>Charge in and then have your men attack the joints on the limbs. It should be the same as an actual crab, right? You had crab once back in the provincial capital, you're pretty sure that's where you break the outside. (2d100)
Rolled 81, 7 = 88 (2d100)>>3139537>>3139538
>>3139540You charge towards the Banchian as your men attack the savage beast on the joints of its claws. The mutated Banchian grabs for you as you charge in, but it's a wide miss. You counter by moving your sword into the joint between the claw and the rest of the limb, and you hear your sword begin to slice through the thick flesh inside.As this is happening your men attack the Banchian from both sides. They're fine at first, but after you begin cutting off one of its claws, the Banchian begins flailing. You're able to keep chopping through the creature without trouble, but your men aren't able to react in time and end up getting slammed into by the arm moving at full speed. You can hear an unpleasant cracking and squishing nose as they're sent flying. You're not sure if they'll be able to survive, but either way, they won't be able to protect themselves from the beasts for now. You involuntarily swear as your sword finally cuts through the flesh, leaving one of the savage beast's claws on the ground.You send one of your men to retrieve the two who were sent flying and take them back to the wall, and then go back into combat with the Banchian. You might be able to handle it alone now that there's only one claw, but you're not sure. You...>Aim for the now injured limb. (1d100)>Try to remove the other claw. (1d100)>Have your men charge in to help you finish the beast as you protect them from its other claw. (2d100)>Other
>>3139544>Try to remove the other claw. (1d100)
>>3139544>Try to remove the other claw.(Is afraid)
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>3139548>>3139552
>>3139553You decide to attack the creature yourself and move towards the other claw, sword in hand. You're able to dodge the first disjointed blow it throws towards you, but the second clips you, sending you rolling a few times and cutting through most of the armor over your chest. You move back towards it and after a few more exchanges of blows you're left with a large cut on your left arm, and in exchange you've cut off its other claw. At this point the Banchian is trying to scuttle away from you, but you won't let this red bastard get away that easily. Your men charge in with you, chipping it down, and eventually you manage to hit something vital and it stops moving. At this point you hear the sound of horn before Tan Wuhan yells "FALL BACK AND ASSEMBLE!" in a voice that's inhumanly loud. At the same time you hear other, similarly loud voices yell the same thing. Since you're heading back anyways you grab the Banchian and pull it back to the wall before handing it off to a few of your men to store.You grab a bandage and a few herbs to put on your arm and begin to apply them as you hear Tan Wuhan say "All Thunderous Warrior and above cultivators under the 3rd Captain's Command, come to my position!" You move over to where Tan Wuhan is and see that there's just you and nine other men. Most of them are rather roughed up, and he immediately dismisses one of them for being too heavily wounded. Tan Wuhan then takes a look at your arm before seemingly thinking for a moment. He then says "You can come with us or stay here, it's your choice." You then hear his voice undergo an odd change, almost like it's being whispered directly into your ear, before he says "You're still probably more useful than most of these guys with just one arm since you're at the Qi Gathering stage. You might die in battle, but you want be dead weight doing it." You expect the others to get angry from his comment, but they don't seem to have heard him.You want to help destroy the savage beasts and get some glory in battle, but it would be safer to help manage the siege weapons and clear out some of the weak beasts who get too close to the walls. You...>Tell Tan Wuhan that you'll stay with your men and help fight from the walls.>Tell Tan Wuhan that you want to go with him.>Other
>>3139556Like what's next on the list to fight?I mean I'm game to have him fight just wondering the odds.
>>3139561In the distance you see various savage beasts that look pretty similar to what you were fighting before, if slightly bigger. There is something that's making you feel vaguely uncomfortable in that direction, and you think it's some sort of energy like qi, but aren't sure. Tan Wuhan can probably sense it since he seems to be at the Qi Emission Stage at the very least, and that's why he called everybody back.
Gonna end the session here for now, the session will either resume when I wake up or in 7-8 hours if I'm awake then. I might make the new thread partway through tomorrow's session assuming we get through the beast horde completely since that seems like a good place to make a new thread. Either that or after the aftermath. Gotta leave the guys reading through the archive off on cliffhangers, right?
>>3139556>Tell Tan Wuhan that you want to go with him.Can we ask for mercy and get a best of three rolls for combat?
>>3139566Sounds good. Thanks for the run QM!
>>3139568If you guys want, sure, I was initially intending for you guys to roll yourself so that you can blame your luck and not my luck, but if I'm rolling then the number doesn't really matter. So yeah, tell me which format you guys prefer and I'll take note of it next session.
>>3139570I like rolling it's pretty nice. I feel pretty ok with my luck. *Sweats*See ya tomorrow have a good sleep!
>>3139570Yeah, a best of 3 would be merciful.
good fight sequence, I reckon we should fall back
>>3139556>OtherExamine the beasts at the wall, see if its anything too much for the remaining to handle. If so we stay, if not we go. Also go looking for some better weaponry.Hope there are 9 star weapon smiths cuz our shit keeps breaking.
>>3139556>Tell Tan Wuhan that you want to go with him.
>>3139570as long as you keep in mind that the average for bo3 is, like, 79 or something IIRC>>3139556>>Tell Tan Wuhan that you want to go with him.