Your name is Zhu Zhexian, you're 15 years old, and you're currently studying at the Royal Academy of Zhaotian Kingdom. In the past six months you've passed the Imperial Exams to become a government official, performed meritorious deeds in a beast horde, and completed several tasks as a bounty hunter before being sent to the Royal Academy for training. Now you've begun training in order to compete with the other young elites of the kingdom.Today you're attending the 18th birthday of Tan Xun, one of the foremost geniuses of the Tan family. You're a bit wary about what a battle maniac like him is planning, inviting this many people at once, but maybe he IS just going to host a nice party. Or so you can only hope.Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/u/LostTomeTwitter: https://twitter.com/QmWalrusArchived Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Lost%20Tome
Rolled 1 (1d2)Breaking the tie from last thread.1 = gregarious man, 2 = smoking woman
You approach the very gregarious looking man who's speaking at a rapid pace to a large man who's maybe 20 and he turns towards you. Before you can interject he says "Hello, I'm Du Qing! Yep, of the Du family, the one and only! What's your name!" You introduce yourself and immediately after he goes "Huh, an apothecary, huh? Cool, cool, cool, I've met a few of those. One time I was..."And so the man continues going on, although you do get a few chances to speak. Even more interesting is the fact that Du Qing seems to be holding two conversations at once, one with you and one with the man from before. You're... impressed by this to say the least. As he continues talking you try to steer the conversation towards...>Himself>The other people here.>What Tan Xun might be up to gathering this many young geniuses in one place.>Other
>>3322631>What Tan Xun might be up to gathering this many young geniuses in one place.
>>3322631>>What Tan Xun might be up to gathering this many young geniuses in one place.
>>3322671>>3322731>>3323094You make an attempt to steer the conversation towards what Tan Xun is up to inviting so many young geniuses here. Mo Jian mentioned it a couple of times and you agree that is odd, especially given what little you know of Tan Xun's personality.Du Qing shrugs in response and says "Who knows. He could be bringing everyone here to fight, but he IS a major figure in the Tan family's younger generation. He can't completely throw out any sense of formality. If he was planning to there would have to be a strong reason behind it. Maybe he's just trying to build some more connections, his personality has isolated him from a few people in the past."A few minutes later you hear a loud noise as the gate begins being slowly pushed open. After it does so a servant with a cultivation that dwarfs your own appears and leads the group towards a large building a ways away. You follow behind him, making sure not to wander off since you imagine that would not have any good consequences.Once the group arrives at the building the doors swing open and inside you see a large room lavishly decorated with tables of fancy food. The servant bows towards you and says "The rest of the guests and Young Master Xun will be arriving in the next half hour, until then feel free to engage in festivities."Now that you're given free reign everyone begins to enjoy themselves and you...>Try to track down Mo Jian.>Get some food, this is the most important priority when in fancy parties.>Scope out the room for other entrances and terrain. It may be overly suspicious but you want to be ready for a fight to break out.>Join a group of people discussing history in some comfortable looking chairs in the corner.>Join a group of people loudly yelling while arm wrestling on a cleared-off banquet table.>Find an unimportant figure you can make friends with.>Approach one of the more popular looking people and see if you can strike up a connection.>OtherSession scheduled for tomorrow
>>3323471>>Scope out the room for other entrances and terrain. It may be overly suspicious but you want to be ready for a fight to break out.
>>3323471>Get some food, this is the most important priority when in fancy parties.We've seen plenty of people with higher cultivation than us working as servants and bouncers instead of being immortal and shit. I don't like what it speaks of our chances.
>>3323471>Find an unimportant figure you can make friends with.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3324589>>3324672>>3325032Gonna roll the dice between eating fancy food and scoping out the room versus trying to make friends with someone.
>>3324589>>3324672You decide to attend to what's by far the most important first- getting food. You quickly walk over one of the tables covered in food and begin trying a bit of each snack. Ooh, this dumpling is spicy. Ah, and that fried thing is savory. And so it goes for the next ten or so minutes until you notice that a couple of people are giving you some... interesting looks. You decide to leave the food alone for the time being and begin examining the room. As you you notice how exquisitely made some of the pieces of furniture in here are, but more importantly, the number of windows surprises and scares you. If Tan Xun is planning something he could jump through any of these! As time goes on you find the ideal position to stay in case any act of violence breaks out, and you position yourself there.Proud of your expert... room examining, you keep your position for the next few minutes before you notice a commotion at the room's door. Tan Xun is there, formally dressed, and he doesn't seem to be wielding a weapon. Maybe you were overly suspicious. You...>Approach him and try to say hello, although there are quite a few people crowding the area.>Stay where you are, you don't know him well and you're wary.>Other
>>3326029>Approach him and try to say hello, although there are quite a few people crowding the area.Ask him of Tan Wuhan is going to be here.
>>3326052You approach him and begin making your way through the crowd around him before saying "Tan Xun, hello, it's me, Zhu Zexian." once your manage to get close enough. He throws you a glance and seems confused for a moment before he snaps his fingers and says "Ah, the wea-person who knew my brother, right! Hello, it's nice to see you again." before turning away. You ask him if Tan Wuhan is going to be here before he can leave and he just says "He's supposed to still be training in isolation right now, so hopefully not. If he did that would be... inconvenient given my plans."After about 10 minutes of Tan Xun greeting various people he reaches the center of the room and grabs everyone's' attention. At that point he clears his throat before saying "Thank you for coming to my 18th birthday everyone, you may have noticed that there are a lot of people here today. Don't worry, that won't be the case for long. For now, enjoy yourselves. We'll get to the meat of the festivities later. There will be a poetry reading in a bit, if any of you are so inclined you can participate."Now that Tan Xun has arrived and you know that you won't be plunged into chaos (for now) you...>Try to track down Mo Jian.>Join a group of people discussing history in some comfortable looking chairs in the corner.>Try to quickly make something up for the poetry reading, you're pretty well educated so you shouldn't do horribly. Maybe you can win some face for yourself. [1d100]>Join a group of people loudly yelling while arm wrestling on a cleared-off banquet table. Tan Xun seems to be cheering them on.>Find an unimportant figure you can make friends with.>Approach one of the more popular looking people and see if you can strike up a connection.>Other
>>3326177>Try to quickly make something up for the poetry reading, you're pretty well educated so you shouldn't do horribly. Maybe you can win some face for yourself. [1d100]If we roll under 60 we crumple up the paper and go eat some food.
>>3326177>Find an unimportant figure you can make friends with.>Approach one of the more popular looking people and see if you can strike up a connection.Either
>>3326177>Try to quickly make something up for the poetry reading, you're pretty well educated so you shouldn't do horribly. Maybe you can win some face for yourself
Rolled 18 (1d100)>>3326247>>3327331You quickly begin brainstorming a poem which can wow all of the people here and show how cultured you are to the other party guests and...
>>3327646...come up with a... subpar poem."Fighter, fighter, where are youWe have things for you to doFight some things, would you notand then with my daughter you can tie the knot"That is merely the first stanza of your brainstorming, but the later ones aren't any better. You bitterly glance at the piece of paper before crumpling it up, throwing it into the nearest bin, and going back to angrily eating food for a moment. For the time being everything is still normal so you...>Try to track down Mo Jian.>Join a group of people discussing history in some comfortable looking chairs in the corner.>Listen to the poetry reading>Join a group of people loudly yelling while arm wrestling on a cleared-off banquet table. Tan Xun has now left but the group seems to have cleared way for two very muscular men.>Find an unimportant figure you can make friends with.>Approach one of the more popular looking people and see if you can strike up a connection.>Other
>>3327651>Join a group of people discussing history in some comfortable looking chairs in the corner.Maybe they know something about that old kingdom
>>3327651>Join a group of people discussing history in some comfortable looking chairs in the corner.
>>3327667>>3327770You approach the group of people discussing history in the corner. The current topic seems to be some king whose name you recognize but don't know much about. You recall that he ruled this kingdom around 1000 years ago. Either way, it's at least five or six generations of cultivators before you. The group doesn't take much notice of you and...>You inquire into whether any of them know about the Kingdom of Unbar and the Iron City and offer what information you know about it.>Try to interject into the conversation with an interesting historical tidbit when a good opportunity shows itself. [1d100]>Listen to their conversation, you could learn a lot.>Other
>>3329207>You inquire into whether any of them know about the Kingdom of Unbar and the Iron City and offer what information you know about it.
Rolled 5 (1d100)>>3329207>Try to interject into the conversation with an interesting historical tidbit when a good opportunity shows itself. [1d100]Best way to introduce yourself into a history conversation than rudely interrupt with a question like that.
>>3329389Welp I failed. We end up talking about a made up fantasy kingdom we mistakenly read as historical.
Meant to update earlier in the evening but got sidetracked by life, whoops. If there's not a tiebreaker soon I can probably parse both of these, it fits.
>>3330770Go with the one that won't fail miserably. not mine
>>3329309>>3329389You decide to interject into the conversation with an interesting historical tidbit when a good opportunity shows up, but... it never really appears. At one point you think you have a chance, but you realize that the king you were going to mention is actually a queen and that you were thinking of the wrong time period. You quickly stop yourself from talking and bide your time until there's a chance to ask your question.Eventually the group stops talking about their current topic and you hear one of them say "So, what shall we discuss next? Maybe the trade wars that happened around the confederation a few thousand years ago?" Finally finding a chance you interject and say "What about the Kingdom of Unbar? I've found very little out about it in my studies, just that it existed in this area around 30,000 years ago and that the capital was called The Iron City. I was wondering if anyone could provide more information."The group seems surprised that you spoke, but most of them are intrigued as they've never heard of the kingdom before. A few of them mutter than they haven't heard of it, but one of them in the corner, the oldest of the group, who appears to be a little over 20 years old, scratches his chin and says "The Kingdom of Unbar... this... I believe I've heard it mentioned once by my master. He said he found a ruin related to it at one point that helped him piece together a few historical records. He didn't go into detail about it, but I'll ask about it once I get the chance. I'll contact you later, what's your name?"You introduce yourself to the man and find out that he's Shi Lan, the student of a man who wanders around the kingdom researching history and exploring ruins. Apparently there's supposed to be a guild related to the occupation, but it doesn't have a branch in Zhaotian Kingdom or the surrounding kingdoms.As you finish up your conversation you hear a loud voice clear its throat. You turn towards the sound and see Tan Xun, standing at the top of a flight stairs at the end of the room. He says "Well, I said there would be a lot less of you soon. Now that's time. Before I explain further you can choose to stay if you're willing to compete for the greatest prize I can offer, or leave if you're afraid of whatever I'm planning. Just know that you may get injured if you do well enough."Having heard Tan Xun's speech you...>Stay>Leave>Other
>>3330893Welp, We're outta here, he gonna attack every as per his familty tradition.Just kidding, we stay. Should have scouted this place out man.
>>3331111>>3331467>>3331588>>3331812You stay, as do the vast majority of the guests. You see a small group leave, but they're maybe a tenth of the guests in total. After a minute or so passes you see a man in his early 20s and wearing magnificent clothes yell "I think you've weeded out the worst of the weaklings already Brother Xun, it's time you explained further."Tan Xun smiles in response to the yell and says "Alright 5th Prince Zhaotian Heng, I'll elaborate further then. You'll all be competing against each other in order to be the last one standing. The people here range from 15 or 16 to their early 20s, so to avoid the competition being too biased I'm trying to do this based on talent, not pure strength.That's why I'm not just going to have you fight against each other. Your first task will be past the doors behind me, and it should weed out a good portion of you. My family recently recruited an Apprentice Formation Master who left a neighboring kingdom at great cost, and so he's been setting up basic Tier-0 formations for our family in order to make up for that price. Past the door behind me are three basic 'Alarm Formations'. You'll all be divided into three groups based on your cultivation, blindfolded, and made to navigate through them without setting the formations off. So in essence, it's a test of your ability to sense qi. Those who fail will be weeded out and those who succeed within 4 hours will be qualified to continue. You don't need to be a formation master to understand the flow of qi inside a Tier-0 formation once you've entered it, so it should be self explanatory. Well then... you can proceed when you're ready, you have at most an hour to prepare and you have four hours from the time you enter the formation to exit it. I'll be going through the formation for the High Qi Emission Stage now to make sure everyone knows it's possible." You then see Tan Xun blindfold himself and walk off a servant showing him the way to the formation.Now that you've had the rules of the competition explained for you, you...>Immediately go to do the task, it's not like you're going to gain anything by waiting.>Try to track down Mo Jian and see what he thinks about this.>Other
>>3332480>Try to track down Mo Jian and see what he thinks about this.
>>3332480>Immediately go to do the task, it's not like you're going to gain anything by waiting.We did train Qi Sense al lthis time
I'll go for RNG in about an hour if there isn't a tiebreaker. Tomorrow's first update will be a bit earlier than usual so that I can sneak one in before a meeting.
>>3334612Just roll one now.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3334641Sure
>>3334653You look around the room and attempt to find Mo Jian in a bid to see whether you can either help each other or get more information by talking to him. Eventually you find him standing before the doors to the formations quietly talking to himself. "Shit, I didn't expect anything like this to happen. I just wanted to rub arms with celebrities and make friends with some influential figures, not embarrass myself in front of them. What am I going to do if I fail this, shit."As you approach he notices you and immediately stops talking. He says "Hello, sorry about what happened earlier, I haven't been able to find you since then. So, we'll probably both fail this, but we have about an hour until we have to go. There aren't going to be any Apprentice Formation Masters here we can milk for knowledge and even if there was one we only have an hour. I suggest we go now and just try to get as far as possible, ignoring the time limit. We might be able to impress someone if we only fail from running out of time, right?" You...>Reassure him that it should be fine, you're both students at the Royal Academy, you have some level of talent before heading to the trial.>Accept the plan and go towards the trial.>Take the opportunity to ask what was going on earlier with his 'Senior Dong'.>Ask him for all the information he has about formations because you've only heard the word a few times and don't know what it really means.>Other
>>3334692>Ask him for all the information he has about formations because you've only heard the word a few times and don't know what it really means.
>>3334692>Reassure him that it should be fine, you're both students at the Royal Academy, you have some level of talent before heading to the trial.>Ask him for all the information he has about formations because you've only heard the word a few times and don't know what it really means.
>>3334736>>3335395Sorry for the late update. I thought I'd have time before I did what I had to do today, but I didn't. And then it just went on and on once I got there.Update once I shower and deal with the stuff I have to turn in before midnight. Just got home for the first time today.
>>3338934You try and reassure Mo Jian for a moment, noting that you're both students at the Royal Academy and that you aren't entirely without talent. He frowns in response and says "Yes, yes, I know that, but who here is without talent? Tan Xun wouldn't propose a task we can all pass, and neither of us are among the most talented here. Well, whatever. If we pass we're lucky, and if we fail it's not unexpected."After Mo Jian finishes you ask him for all the information he knows about formations, noting that you know almost nothing about it. Mo Jian responds saying that he doesn't know much either, but does explain that formations harness energy from the both the environment and oftentimes outside energy sources in order to produce various effects. These formations take a significant amount of effort by a formation master to set up as they must use their ability to sense qi, a formation compass, and flags in order to create it. He doesn't know the specifics beyond that. Having gained some additional information the two of you approach the trial and are blindfold before being led into the formation for your cultivation level. As you're told that you've entered the formation you attempt to feel the qi around you and shortly after are in a good position to sense it. You large amounts of qi pulsing back and forth, and after a few minutes you realize that they remind you of something akin walls. Your guess is that you need to avoid touching them while moving forward in order to not trigger the array.You start by...>Waiting a bit and seeing if you can confirm your suspicions.>Moving forward slowly.>Trying to make up for lost time now that you've started, you don't want to lose due to time pressure at the end.>Say your findings out loud and see if anyone responds to confirm them.>Other
>>3339157>Moving forward slowly.
>>3339157>Waiting a bit and seeing if you can confirm your suspicions.slow and stead said the turtle to the hare.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3339383>>3339392
Rolled 2, 2, 2 = 6 (3d2)>>3340767You begin moving forward at a slow pace, making sure to avoid the "walls" of qi which you can only precisely tell the location of for a short distance around you. As you move further in you hear piercing noises fill your ears a few times followed by one of the Tan family's servants yelling a name and telling them that they've failed.After about 10 minutes you make it a bit in and realize that there are two directions you can go. This means that the path only grows more complicated further ahead and that this is going to be a massive pain.You advance forward and...
>>3340781...take a right turn, which leads to a dead end. You sigh and turn around before eventually making your way back to the other path. As the path you're following twists and turns it becomes more difficult to sense the qi around you, but it's still within your level of capability.As you approach a second choice between two directions you hear someone behind you yell "Why don't we all cooperate, not having to run into dead ends could buy us the time needed to finish navigating our way through! Just yell out the correct choice!"Whoever that is, he is... shameless. A few seconds after he yells this he gets heckled by a few people who yell similar remarks to what you thinking, but more pointed. After that you hear someone a short ways behind you yell "It's the right turn! That's the correct one! Good luck brother!" Oh, they lied. Well, you suppose that's what you get. You...>Stay out of it>Back up the person who yelled that it's the right turn, you may be able to thin out the competition.>Tell them that they're being lied too. They'll probably just end up being confused, but oh well.>Other
>>3340803*lied towhoops, used an extra 'o'that 'to' must've cultivated to and ascended to the 'too' stageor at least that's my excuse
>>3340803>Stay out of itFocus, we waste time going slow and steady already, no need to get distracted by this drama. But if anyone passes us on that way maybe give them a small hint that its the wrong way. Such as make it so they notice us passing them.
>>3340803>Tell them that they're being lied too. They'll probably just end up being confused, but oh well.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3340860>>3341982
>>3342521You figure that you might gain some benefits later if you tell the truth now and say "That's a lie, the left is the correct turn." before continuing on your way. This statement sparks off some heated arguing, and in the end it seems like neither side is prevailing. Ultimately you're not sure whether anyone would be able to tell without even seeing people's faces to check if they're lying.You continue on your way and make a wrong turn twice out of two turns but eventually find the correct path. Hopefully you're near the exit, as it feels like in the process you've spent several hours. As you're walking you feel someone a short ways behind you and...>Hurry up to reach the exit before them.>Ignore them and keep going.>When they get near try to punch them into a wall of qi to disqualify them.>Other
>>3342526>Ignore them and keep going.Haste will lead to mistakes.
>>3342526>>Ignore them and keep going.
>>3342550>>3342872You ignore the person behind you and keep going forward. You feel the qi around you become less cluttered and it becomes a bit easier to sense the path to take. Soon you sense the exit and grin before slowly making your way towards it. As you do so you faintly feel a large burst of qi coming from behind you. You don't think it's from the array, so it must be the person behind you doing... something. Probably attacking you. You...>Dive for the exit. (1d100)>Dodge. (3d100)>Block. (3d100)>Throw a kick towards them first, you don't believe that they'll be able to hit you before you hit them. (3d100)>Other
>>3343429Is there a ceiling? Can we jump over him?
>>3343601There is a ceiling but based on the construction of this building and the sound you've been hearing it should be pretty high up. The major risk in jumping over him would be landing somewhere where you'd set off the formation. If you just mean a small jump to dodge then it isn't particularly unwise.
>>3343721If we can toss something up into the air and see if it hits the the wall in from or behind him we can gauge the distance. It might just be better to jump straight up then.
>>3343737This could also be used to gauge the height to the ceiling which I failed to add.
>>3343737You don't really have time to throw something up and wait until it hits the ceiling unless you're trying to do it at the same time you jump, you think they're going to attack right now. Do you want to jump straight up or do throw something upwards to check how much room there is while you do some other action.
>>3343825Throw a coin above us and shout at him to stop or we will defend ourselves!Up or Qi and start punching and kicking air.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZSoJDUD_bU
>>3343825What if we tried expelling Qi into the area, won't that confuse and blurr their ability to sense the room?
>>3343892If you tried releasing a large amount of qi all at once it could confuse them and would make it harder to aim at you and make it so they risk touching one of the 'walls' of qi. The only problem is that they probably already know where you are. You could do this and dodge at the same time to increase the chance of success while using up a bit of energy and to make it harder for them to figure out where you are for a few moments.
>>3343907Okay try to jump over and behind them since we are in a bit of a long hallway. jump up to 7 feet should be safe and when we are in the air we release a ton of Qi.Willing to bet the "exit" at the end of the hall is a Qi illusion and its like a wall but with a big window with window panels to catch people foolish enough to rush at the exit.Let the guy blow past us and run into the wall.
Rolled 89, 86, 93 = 268 (3d100)>>3343933rolling for jump
>>3343947Woot they run into a wall.
>>3343947You jump into the air to avoid the incoming strike while throwing up a coin and releasing a large burst of qi to confuse your attacker. You manage to barely keep track of your enemy through your own burst of qi and can tell that they're just... standing still now after trying to attack you. They're also immediately next to one of the walls of qi, meaning that it'll be almost impossible for them to dodge if you attack them. Apparently they're too afraid to move now that they can't tell where you or the 'qi walls' of the formation are. You brace yourself for landing and manage to land safely, avoiding setting the formation off by accident and keeping your balance perfectly. You then hear your coin hit the ceiling, indicating that it's probably 15 to 20 feet above you.Now that you have the upper hand you...>Stay still and suppress your energy as much as possible, if they can't tell where you are they can't attack you.>Lightly kick them into the "qi wall" and let them get disqualified.>Take the chance to punch them now that they're confused and vulnerable.>Take the chance to slash them with your saber now that they're confused and vulnerable.>Tell them that if they attack again you're not going to be as nice and continue on towards the exit from the formation.>Loudly yell towards the exit and ask if that's allowed. Attacking others seems against the spirit of this trial.>Other
>>3343979>Lightly kick them into the "qi wall" and let them get disqualified.THIS IS WUXIA!
>>3343996You throw a fast kick without much force behind it towards their side. You feel them try to block, but they do so too late and their body gives way after your leg connects. You stop your leg shortly after hitting them, but sadly for them they aren't able to stop their body from tumbling downwards. You hear a man hoarsely yell profanities before a piercing alarm fills your ears and you hear the man struggle on the ground. You then hear someone say "Du An is disqualified."The man who attacked you stomps away while cursing as you reach the exit. After you do so you hear someone say "Zhu Zhexian has passed after two hours, fifty-eight minutes, and twelve seconds. You may now take off your blindfold." You take off your blindfold and look behind you to see a large amount of blindfolded men and women just walking around within a completely empty spot of the room that's surrounded by expensive looking flags planted into the ground. There are three spots like this, one for each cultivation level. You didn't think the 'qi walls' would be obvious, but still, you thought they'd at least be slightly visible to you. The blindfold must have been to stop everyone from following each other through the formation. You suppose you shouldn't mess with formation masters in the future.You look around and see that about 30 people have made their way through the formations already. This is about 10% of the people invited to the party. You glance back at the one you were in and see that Mo Jian is currently struggling, although it's not impossible for him to succeed. You're just lucky that this was a task you're well suited for, Mo Jian would do likely do much better than you if it was a straight-up fight. You then look at the people around you and see that they seem to be chatting with each other. The only ones you recognize are that irritating bastard from earlier, Dong Cheng, Tan Xun, and the man who spoke up during Tan Xun's speech before, "5th Prince Zhaotian Heng". You...>Stay here and watch the groups advance through the formations.>Try and chat with Tan Xun who's currently surrounded by a small group of people flattering him.>Approach Zhaotian Heng and see if you can build rapport with him. You don't want to offend him, but it'd be valuable to make him like you.>Talk to Dong Cheng. He's extremely irritating but he doesn't seem to be without talent and he's associated with the Thousand-Mountain Hall.>Approach someone you don't recognize, Tan Xun and Zhaotian Heng are too important and Dong Cheng is annoying.>Other
>>3344053How busy or surrounded is the Prince guy.
>>3344074He's scribbling something on a piece of paper while chatting with one man and one woman who you vaguely recognize as people who were standing near him earlier.
>>3344053>Approach Zhaotian Heng and see if you can build rapport with him. You don't want to offend him, but it'd be valuable to make him like you.
>>3344053>Approach someone you don't recognize, Tan Xun and Zhaotian Heng are too important and Dong Cheng is annoying.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3344145>>3344588
>>3345853You approach Zhaotian Heng and as you do so note that both of the people sitting with him give you a rather emotionless glance before ignoring you. Both of them seem to be in the Body Refinement Realm despite only being in their early 20s since you can't sense the level of their cultivation. When you reach Zhaotian Heng he glances up at you and you quickly introduce yourself. He then greets you back before glancing at the woman next to him, as if asking for more information. She scratches her head and stares at you for a few seconds before saying "Err... I believe he goes to the Royal Academy in one of the younger age groups? I don't recognize him so he shouldn't be ranked highly."After the woman finished speaking Zhaotian Heng looks back at you before saying "Nice to make your acquaintance. Do you have any business with me?" You...>Respond that you don't, you just came over to chat.>Ask him if he'd like to cooperate further into the competition.>Respond that you don't and that now that you've introduced yourself you'll be on your way.>Other
>>3345891>Respond that you don't, you just came over to chat.Ask him how long it took him to complete the maze, and if he has any pointers to help people who have knowledge gap on Qi Foundation and sensing.>OtherAsk him if he may have Heard of The Iron city or the Kingdom of Unbar. Someone of your prestige and privilege may have more privileged knowledge of such thing since asking most of the historians we've come across seem to not have heard of it.
Haven't had a chance to do anything today, sorry, I'll update within a couple hours.I will have a lot of free time until Sunday because a short break came upon me, if there are enough voters around to merit it then I'll essentially be running the whole time while I code in the background.Early warnings that my updates could also be a little off on Sunday and that I may be out of commission for a few days in a couple weeks because I have a wisdom tooth and may need to get rid of it.
>>3346623You start off by asking Zhaotian Heng what his time was navigating through the formation, mentioning that you took nearly three hours and that you'd like to know how fast someone far more skilled than yourself could complete it. Zhaotian Heng turns to the person next to him and says "It was... what, 113 minutes? The only one who beat me was Tan Xun, He's rather talented for his cultivation level." They then nod and add "And 13 seconds." You then compliment Zhaotian Heng on his time and ask if he has any pointers on sensing qi. He says he does and then stops talking. Er... you guess that means he doesn't want to tell you.After that you explain your search for information about Unbar Kingdom to Zhaotian Heng and ask whether he's heard anything about it, as he's more prestigious and privy to exclusive knowledge than you. He respond that he has seen it mentioned in passing in a couple of books in the palace's library, but that he doesn't know much about it. He recalls some historian stumbling upon a ruin related to it a few decades ago but doesn't know the details.Having figured out most of what you wanted you...>Try to strike up some small-talk about the other contestants, he seems to be fine with your company.>Ask another question. [State what]>Ask him if he'd like to cooperate further into the competition.>Try and chat with Tan Xun who's currently surrounded by a small group of people flattering him.>Talk to Dong Cheng. He's extremely irritating but he doesn't seem to be without talent and he's associated with the Thousand-Mountain Hall.>Approach someone you don't recognize, Tan Xun and Zhaotian Heng are too important and Dong Cheng is annoying.>Other
>>3350048>Approach someone you don't recognize, Tan Xun and Zhaotian Heng are too important and Dong Cheng is annoying.
>>3350085You bid Zhaotian Heng farewell and look around for someone else to approach, figuring that you shouldn't be testing your luck at something like this. After looking for a few moments you see two men speaking off in a corner and approach them. The two notice you as you approach and stop speaking. You introduce yourself and they return your greetings. One of them is Lian Xun, the leading genius of some clan near the capital and the other Qiao Guo, one of your seniors at the Royal Academy.After introductions you...>Try to get an understanding of the most important figures here and what powers they come from while you speak with these two.>Make small talk and try to build rapport with Lian Xun and Qiao Guo before the next trial.>Ask if they'd like to cooperate in the later trials.>Ask a question [state what]>Other
>>3350676>Try to get an understanding of the most important figures here and what powers they come from while you speak with these two.
>>3350676>Try to get an understanding of the most important figures here and what powers they come from while you speak with these two.>Ask if they'd like to cooperate in the later trials.
>>3350764>>3350983You converse with them, trying to get some understanding of the most important figures here. The two get the hints you're dropping and feed you some information without having to explicitly state it.The most important person here in terms of social standing here is Zhaotian Heng, the youngest of the kingdom's princes at only 21 years old. Apparently he's supposed to be good friends with Tan Xun and it's doubtful he would come otherwise. Directly below him would be Tan Xun, the leading genius of the younger generation of the Tan family. Around the same level of prestige are notable geniuses from the Qian, Yi, and Du families in attendance, as well as a couple major figures from the Thousand-Mountain Hall. Below this are the rest of the "geniuses" who are from smaller family clans or sects or who aren't ranked as highly within their families. There are of course distinctions within this group, but you don't have the time to look into them. Lian Xun and Qiao Guo would fall here. Below them are people such as yourself and Mo Jian, although you believe you'll catch up with those above you given some time.After conversing for around half an hour you ask the two if they'd like to cooperate in the later trials. Lian Xun doesn't respond, apparently thinking, while Qiao Guo says "I'm not opposed, but what can you offer? Your cultivation is lower than mine and while that's probably not everything in what's coming up, it's still important enough."You respond that you...>Bring numbers at the very least, which they may need later on. It's not like it could hurt to cooperate.>Are stronger than you seem and don't fall behind other geniuses of your age group.>Are attuned with the spiritual world, and you can sense when something related to that is off. It probably won't be relevant, but if it matters then it could be a major advantage.>Tell them that it'd be worth their while to acquaint themselves with a future 1-star Apothecary. It's not like you can find them like vegetables at a market.>Other
>>3351065>Are attuned with the spiritual world, and you can sense when something related to that is off. It probably won't be relevant, but if it matters then it could be a major advantage.
>>3351065>Bring numbers at the very least, which they may need later on. It's not like it could hurt to cooperate.>Are stronger than you seem and don't fall behind other geniuses of your age group.>Are attuned with the spiritual world, and you can sense when something related to that is off. It probably won't be relevant, but if it matters then it could be a major advantage.
>>3351079>>3351083You tell Qiao Guo that while you may have a lower level of cultivation, you're a bit "attuned" with the spiritual world and can sense if anything odd happens with it. It probably won't be relevant, but if it is it'll be a major advantage. Qiao Guo and Lian Xun seem shocked and confused hearing this, and the two of them tell you to wait for a moment after hearing this, not giving you a chance to continue promoting yourself. They come back after a minute and Qiao Guo says "Alright, we can help each other out, but do you have any proof of what you claim. For all we know you could just be lying to gain an advantage here."You...>Tell them that you have none.>Respond that even if you have proof that there was a ghost or something here you couldn't verify it to them.>Respond that unless they murder someone right now you have no real way to prove it.>Tell them that if you're lying than eventually they'll find out and it'd turn out badly for you. That isn't a risk you want to take, so you're telling the truth.>Other
>>3351140>Respond that unless they murder someone right now you have no real way to prove it.>Tell them that if you're lying than eventually they'll find out and it'd turn out badly for you. That isn't a risk you want to take, so you're telling the truth.Also try to mention we are among the top in our age group....
>>3351140>Respond that even if you have proof that there was a ghost or something here you couldn't verify it to them.
>>3351146You are high in terms of cultivation among your age group, but your actual combat ability is probably average for your age (among students at the Royal Academy and other major groups, if you were to fight someone from a small clan or sect that would be another matter). Considering everyone who would pass the first trial is at least on par in terms of cultivation with you here, you don't think your cultivation would matter to them, and they may just think you're being a braggart if they see you in combat later. Do you want to leave the "top of your age group" thing purposely vague so as to make them assume you're talking about fighting ability or drop it to avoid any later conflicts?(Yes, the option earlier to say that you're stronger than you seem was basically the "not a lie but not the truth" option to try to convince them.)
>>3351187Oh. I thought we were better in terms of combat ability since most people at the academy outside of training don't seem to have real combat experience....change to.>Respond that even if you have proof that there was a ghost or something here you couldn't verify it to them.>Respond that unless they murder someone right now you have no real way to prove it.
Rolled 2, 2 = 4 (2d2)>>3351158>>3351214You respond "Even if I did see a ghost or something here, I couldn't really prove it to you. Do you think you could verify that? Unless you want to murder someone and have me get their last words from beyond their grave to you there's really nothing we can do." Qiao Guo smiles and responds "Fair enough. If you said you could prove it I'd probably be more suspicious. I guess we'll see you after the next trial then to exchange information and see if there's a chance to work together."The two of them leave and you see that the trial is coming to a close. There are now about 45 people who have succeeded and maybe 15 minutes left for the rest to try to make a final push. Mo Jian is...>>3351214You're ranked 70th out of 100 students in our age group, realistically you're probably higher than that but not so high that you could call yourself one of the strongest in your age group. That would be something people around the top 10 might claim. Just give it some time skips.
Rolled 31 (1d57)>>3351249...just as unlucky as you and has taken several wrong turns in the formation. It seems that it'll be impossible for him to get to the exit without extra time. You turn back to the crowd of people who successfully finished and chat a bit as the trial finishes. Eventually time is up and Tan Xun declares that 57 people have proceeded to the next trial. Tan Xun then frowns and says "That... I expected less people. Hm. Alright then, I've decided on the next trial since there are too many of you. You go fight my family's assistant over there and if you can take three hits from him with his cultivation suppressed you're allowed to move on. If not you go. We can draw lots to decide who goes in what order." Everyone seems... confused and slightly exasperated over this turn of events, but quickly get ready to take lots. You...
>>3351266Are going 31st, which will give you ample opportunity to observe the people fighting before you. You...>Observe the combat yourself, it's easiest to glean info while alone.>Hang near Qiao Guo and Lian Xuo, you just agreed to cooperate with them so they're most likely to share information with you if they find out something.>Lurk near people like Tan Xun and Zhaotian Heng in hopes that they'll say something insightful. They're not particularly inclined to help you but they're the most talented people here, so they have the best chance of figuring something out.>Other
>>3351280>Hang near Qiao Guo and Lian Xuo, you just agreed to cooperate with them so they're most likely to share information with you if they find out something.
>>3351297>>3351426You make your way to where Qiao Guo and Lian Xuo are standing and see that they're both intently staring at the grey-haired cultivator who Tan Xun identified as the "assistant" you're supposed to take three blows from. Qiao Guo glances at you and says "I'm 22nd and Brother Lian is 45th, what position are you in?" You mutter "31st." before you begin examining the man with the two of them. You hear Qiao Guo sigh before he says "His cultivation is at the Pinnacle Body Refinement Realm. Whether he'll ever breakthrough or not is unknown since he seems so old, but either way he's beyond our strength and has a lot of experience. The former will be mostly mitigated through him suppressing his cultivation, but the latter is a bit... harder to work around. I suppose we just need to observe him and see if he shows any apparent weaknesses. Any other ideas?" You...>Agree, that's the best course of action.>Suggest that the three of you divide your attention among him and Tan Xun. This man has likely been working with the Tan family since before Tan Xun was born, so maybe Tan Xun's reactions could give away some of his weaknesses. The only risk will be that Tan Xun has too good of a poker face and you end up giving up some of your attention on the old man for no reason.>Other
>>3351540What if we observed the Prince instead? I'm certain he'd be more reveling and has probably fought the servant before.
>>3351565That seems like a feasible option as well, do you want to suggest this to them or just do it yourself and leave them to pay attention to the old man?
>>3351540Well there are 3 of us, 1 can watch the duel. One can Watch Tan, and one can watch the prince?
Rolled 13, 87, 57 = 157 (3d100)>>3351615You propose that the three of you split your attention between Tan Xun, Zhaotian Heng, and the old man in an attempt to gather more information about any possible weaknesses. Qiao Guo says "I agree with looking out for Tan Xun, although I'm not sure about the prince. I suppose it wouldn't hurt, you can keep an eye on him. Me and Lian Xuo will split our attention between the other two."The trial begins and the first person to walk out seems to be Dong Cheng, who is as confident as ever. He postures a bit after stretching and says "Come at me!" to the Tan family's servant. The servant then obliges and you see that Dong Cheng is struck by a heavy blow in the chest which sends him tumbling backwards. A kick follows up after that which sends him flying out of the cleared area and back towards the formations, which give off a loud blaring sound as he rolls through them. You feel a certain schadenfreude from seeing Dong Cheng suffer like this, but you didn't see anything odd on Zhaotian Heng's face during all of this. The three of you continue watching and...
>>3351686...you find that Zhaotian Heng has an unshakable poker face besides a sort a smile that seems a mix of pity and amusement whenever someone gets beaten particularly badly.Eventually, around the 20th fight, Qiao Guo says "I saw Tan Xun show a bit of worry that last fight. Brother Lian, Junior Zhu, did either of you see anything peculiar?" You note that you didn't see anything odd and Lian Xuo says "Something seemed off but I couldn't put my finger on what. Hopefully I can figure it out during the next duel. Apprentice Apothecary Zhu, help me here, I feel like I missed something important last time."You oblige and begin watching the Tan family's servant but can't figure out anything during the next match. Qiao Guo then sighs and says "We couldn't figure out anything before my turn but I still have a decent chance of succeeding. At the very least I'll try to help the two of you figure out what Tan Xun was worried about."Qiao Guo approaches the man, gives a courteous bow, and then positions himself to begin fighting. You then feel qi burst out from him as the Tan family's servant charges towards him with his bare hands. Qiao Guo counters by pulling out a staff, but his guard is slipped past with the first blow, sending him sliding backwards with a bloody nose. A second blow is sent towards his chest but it turns out to be a simple feint, and instead Qiao Guo is swept off his feet and falls to the ground. This makes it so that he can't dodge the third blow which simply knocks him unconscious. Err... so much for revealing what Tan Xun worried about. You suppose it's not his fault though, he was fighting against decades of experience.About five battles later you see some odd behavior from the servant that you can't discern, but Lian Xuo seems excited when he sees it. He says "I figured it out! I think he's partially blind in his right eye! I've noticed that he reacts slower when people enter a certain area relative to him. This can be mitigated for by the ability to sense qi and inference, but it still makes one slightly worse. If you stick far on his right side you should have an advantage."You thank Lian Xuo for the help and shortly after your turn is up. Not many people have succeeded before now, but it's not an impossible task and you've caught onto his weakness, so you have a decent chance.>Drawing your saber and trying to fend off his first attack with it. [3d100]>Raising your arms and aiming to mitigate the force from the first attack.>Waiting until he moves and then throwing your saber at him. [1d100]>Waiting for him to move towards you and then immediately dodging to his right. It may make it obvious what you're doing and hurt you advantage later, but you can't afford to take a heavy first hit.>Other
>>3351739>OtherDraw our saber, but use it to spoil his attacks, first use it to swing at the last moment to faint a thrust to force him to change the angle of his attack.Then after after taking a blow, we swing at his left foot, forcing him to attack from his right side from either a right kick or right punch, hopefully it will make any follow up hits relatively lighter.Finally we brace for the third hit using our saber to deflect or take the brunt of the hit, and sacrificing our saber from our grip to cushion the final blow.The point isn't to beat him, its to more or less survive being hit 3 times.
>>3351739>Use our Qi sense to the max to predict his movements
>>3351772>Drawing your saber and trying to fend off his first attack with it. [3d100]
Rolled 7, 69, 72 = 148 (3d100)>>3351772>>3352803You grab your saber in an attempt to entirely fend off or at the least reduce the strength of the first attack. As the old man charges forward you...
>>3354200...swing the saber forward at the last minute, forcing the man to maneuver his body at the last moment. Despite the change in movement, however, the attack hits you like a sledgehammer, and you feel like just crumpling up and vomiting. You hold back your desire, however, and...>Move into his blind spot and try to attack him to get some maneuvering room. [3d100]>Move into his blind spot and brace for another blow. [3d100]>Thrust your saber forward from his blind spot while feinting from the other side, you might be able to injure him. [3d100]>Move backwards and save the blind spot to try and mitigate the last attack. [3d100]>Other
>>3354216>Move into his blind spot and try to attack him to get some maneuvering room
>>3354216>Move backwards and save the blind spot to try and mitigate the last attack. [3d100]If we reveal we know his secret before the last moment he might get mad and hit a lot harder on the last hit.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3354283>>3354293tiebreaker
Rolled 81, 52, 69 = 202 (3d100)>>3354839You decide to move into his blindspot and attack in an attempt to get some room to maneuver. You move to the right and...
>>3354849...slash towards him in an attempt to force him backwards and buy some space. He does move away, but at the same time sends a fist flying towards your face. You tense up and take it, but the blow is lighter than before due to the fact that he's off balance and didn't have much time to react due to you being on his bad side.Despite the blow being lighter, it doesn't mean that much against an opponent like this and you feel a heat coming from your face as blood begins dripping down from it. The wound isn't serious, but you'll look bad for a while.You only need to withstand one more blow, but you feel out of it at this point and your body hurts. Your opponent charges towards you for the last time and you...>Dive for his legs to try to dodge the blow. You don't feel well but at the least you should be able to do this. [3d100]>Hold up your saber in front of you in an attempt to guard. [3d100]>Hold up your arms in order to mitigate the damage from the last attack. [3d100]>Dash towards his right side again and try to take the blow from there. [3d100]>Throw your saber at him. [1d100]>Other
>>3354876Hold on>mitigate the damage from the last attackWouldn't this mean blocking our face and leaving our body exposed?
>>3354975You think if you positioned it in the middle of your chest and head you'd be able to move your arms in time if he aimed for your body. Ultimately it would probably result in blocking wherever he hits with your arms as long as he doesn't attack you in either your legs or crotch. The former seems unlikely if he intends to knock you out or send you flying across the room, and the latter would probably work, but seems rather...dishonorable. Whether this block stops enough force to save you is the main factor.
>>3354998Can we faint guarding with our saber and dash to his right side at the last moment?
>>3355034You can try to feint an attack and then dodge if you want, yes.
>>3355054Not an attack, a faint guarding.
>>3355065Read that wrong, yes, you can do that as well.
>>3354876>faint guarding with our saber and move to his right side when he starts attacking.Wish us luck brothers Lian and Qiao.
>>3354876>Feint guard then dodge right
Rolled 73, 72, 81 = 226 (3d100)>>3356396>>3355092You decide to feint a guard and then dodge to the right with all your strength, ignoring your saber and what position you'll be in after that. If you can avoid most of the blow you should be fine, while if you can't, you're probably going to be knocked out. The old man closes in on you and you feint a guard before dodging and...
>>3358789...manage to dodge out of the way just in time to feel his fist scraping against your hair and passing by your head. You fall onto the ground after dodging, unable to keep your balance, and while it does hurt, you're more exhilarated about your success than the pain you're feeling. The man you're fighting seems confused about how you managed to sustain three blows, but your success is declared and you leave the arena. You hear a few mutters about luck and while you suppose they aren't completely wrong, you are proud of yourself for managing to get this far.The trials continue about the same as before until the last group of people start going up. You notice that suddenly instead of struggling to withstand three blows you're seeing people go up there and trade blows with the Tan family's servant relatively evenly. After this group you see Tan Xun go up and fight the man at a slight advantage, followed up by Zhaotian Heng managing to suppress him completely. You feel like having all these people at the end is probably orchestrated ahead of time despite the "random" drawing of lots, but you can see why Tan Xun would do it and can't really complain. If the people who just went up were to accidentally injure the servant while his cultivation was suppressed, how would the rest of the contestants participate?At the end of the trial out of the 57 of you 20 winners are declared. Tan Xun then takes center stage again and says "Alright then, time to announce the third portion of the competition. For the 37 of you who failed, you're not out quite yet. From 5 AM tomorrow until 5 AM of the next day we'll be competing within the city and the surrounding area. I'll be giving one special jade token which I'll call a 'winners token' to the 20 of you who passed. The losers will each receive one 'loser's token'. Once per hour the losers token will allow you to sense the rough location of the nearest winner's token, and vice versa with the winner's token. Your goal is to finish with at least one winner's token and two loser's tokens. You're free to do whatever you need to in order to achieve this as long as you don't kill anyone. Also, if you break the tokens you buy them. Any questions?" You...>Don't have any questions and will just listen.>Ask if there will be any privileges given to cultivator's with a lower cultivation, earlier Tan Xun said that this wouldn't be all about cultivation but this seems to contradict that. This question may make it look like you're just trying to get an advantage, but... well, you are you suppose. You're doomed without one.>Ask for the exact limits of the playing field.>Other
>>3358830>Ask for the exact limits of the playing field.
>>3358830>Ask if there will be any privileges given to cultivator's with a lower cultivation, earlier Tan Xun said that this wouldn't be all about cultivation but this seems to contradict that. This question may make it look like you're just trying to get an advantage, but... well, you are you suppose. You're doomed without one.>Ask for the exact limits of the playing field.