At 15 years of age your father joined the army and by the age of 20 he was a general. He was steeped in the blood of endless battles and was the brightest star of the younger generation. People said he could equal the country’s strongest cultivators within 40 years.Your father died when you were 5, leaving your family without a patriarch.After the wars ended, your father began building up a family clan. He and your mother came from a commoner’s background, but with his fame it didn’t matter. Several elders quickly agreed to join him and were his right-hand men. He gave birth to two sons, you and your older brother, before his untimely death while exploring a forbidden zone. Well, they say he died, but you always hoped he just went missing. Either way, your family held a funeral.Over the next few years, many elders who he’d convinced to join the clan as guests left and other families began scheming against you. Despite your family’s best efforts, other minor clans applied more and more pressure, threatening to doom you to a life of suffering, or maybe even an early death to nip the possibility of vengeance in the bud.When all hope was lost, a mysterious elder appeared. He was even more powerful than your father and killed those scheming against your family. He said that your father saved him from the jaws of death, and that he needed to pay him back in order to sever karma. He had other matters he had to attend to no matter what, but he was willing to wait until you turned 20 for your family to raise either you or your brother into a patriarch who was strong enough to strike fear into others. Either that, or he’d help your family flee with some riches intact.The elder, Zhu Chao, didn’t hesitate to offer all he could to help your clan. You were only eight when he arrived, so you spent two years studying academics and formalities. During this time you also were taught the basics of becoming...>an apothecary>a refiner (creates various treasures, think blacksmith, carpenter, etc. combined)>a painterMeanwhile your older brother, aged 11, was taught to cultivate. He was surprisingly talented, but was still far inferior to your father. Initially he cultivated diligently, but he was slowly corrupted and eventually cared more about chasing after women than becoming the next patriarch.At the age of 12, after a particularly egregious incident of your brother’s, you…>focused on your cultivation and ignored him. You were less talented and couldn’t afford to waste time and intervene. If he wouldn’t become the family’s next patriarch with talent, than you would with sheer determination.>tried to get him to snap out of it and return to his old ways, like you always did. The family needed him to inherit, and you wouldn’t let him go down the wrong path that easily.>asked Zhu Chao to punish your brother and make him focus on cultivation. With his power he had helped your family so much already, so couldn’t he get a weak junior like him to focus?
If anyone wants to know something about the setting I will tell you in-character what the MC knows, although it may be incorrect or biased. Otherwise you may just learn about some things in thinly veiled info-dumps, who knows. This may also be useful:https://immortalmountain.wordpress.com/glossary/wuxia-xianxia-xuanhuan-terms/Also, this is more Xuanhuan than Xianxia, but the latter is more well-known so it gets to be in the title.
>>3572888>a painter>tried to get him to snap out of it and return to his old ways, like you always did. The family needed him to inherit, and you wouldn’t let him go down the wrong path that easily.
>>3572888>a refiner>tried to get him to snap out of it and return to his old ways, like you always did. The family needed him to inherit, and you wouldn’t let him go down the wrong path that easily.Are either of us involved in some convoluted arranged marriage?
>>3572936You know some of the nearby family clans and are on decent terms with some of the juniors, but don't have any sort of marriage lined up. Your brother is a bit of a womanizer and probably has a long list of people he would like to marry, and for now the choice of who to marry is up to him.
>>3572888>a refiner>focused on your cultivation and ignored him. You were less talented and couldn’t afford to waste time and intervene. If he wouldn’t become the family’s next patriarch with talent, than you would with sheer determination.
>>3572888>a refiner>tried to get him to snap out of it and return to his old ways, like you always did. The family needed him to inherit, and you wouldn’t let him go down the wrong path that easily.
Refiner wins for the occupation, although it won't be directly mentioned here.At that time you went to your brother and told him how the family needed him to take the helm in the future, and how his behavior was harming the family as a whole, but he shrugged your concerns off and ignored you. While you respected his strength, his martial heart was, as always, extremely lacking. He continued going out constantly with other young masters, having fun and harassing women, while you could merely look on, disappointed. Now, at the age of 13, you’re still less talented than your brother. You’re lagging behind how powerful he was at this age, but due to your sheer determination you aren’t too far behind. You’re at the peak of Strength Rendering, the first stage of tempering your body, while your brother had already stepped into the second stage at 12. In an attempt to help you gain strength Zhu Chao has brought you to a cave as part for experiential training. Apparently some extremely weak vicious beasts had taken up residence in the cave as home for an unknown reason, and he determined that it was safe for you to fight with them.Zhu Chao leaves a mark on you, saying that he’ll know if you encounter danger, and then sends you into the cave. A torch in hand, you go inside, and as you venture further inwards you encounter a couple of weak beasts, but nothing that you aren’t able to handle. After exploring the cave for around 20 minutes you hear a cracking noise, and then suddenly have a feeling of weightlessness. You look around and realized that the rock beneath you has shattered under your weight, and that you are now falling. You look below you and see...>an ice-covered stalagmite surrounded by rocks colored in a deep blue and covered in frost.>a flaming stalagmite surrounded by bubbling lava.>a tree root in the shape of stalagmite, surrounded by flowers blooming through the nearby rocks.>a piece of metal in the shape of a stalagmite, surrounded by rocks with a glossy sheen.
>>3572978>a tree root in the shape of stalagmite, surrounded by flowers blooming through the nearby rocks.
>>3572978>a piece of metal in the shape of a stalagmite, surrounded by rocks with a glossy sheen.
I'll wait another hour for more votes.
>a tree root in the shape of stalagmite, surrounded by flowers blooming through the nearby rocks.
>>3572978>a flaming stalagmite surrounded by bubbling lavaFire in general is better for crafting.
You look downwards and see a massive root as thick as your torso. It's surrounded by a colorful field of flowers blooming through the cave's rocks. You fall towards the root and feel the lifeblood in your body begin stirring, and as you're trying to process what's happening you fall onto the root, impaling yourself. A burst of pain explodes through you as the root pierces your chest. Much to your surprise, however, you don't bleed at all.The pain in your chest quickly turns to a warm, tingling feeling. It spreads throughout your body, and you feel an inexplicable sense of overflowing vitality. This feeling grows stronger and stronger, but with it your body begins exploding in pain. It feels like a massive amount of energy is passing through you to the point where you might explode. A massive burst of pain several times worse than anything you've experienced explodes through you as your meridians tear open, creating a pathway for the energy to go through. You grit your teeth and hold on through the pain. Your fingernails dig into your hands, drawing a small amount of blood that feels almost like sap. The blood slowly drips onto the ground below you and you see one of the flowers instantly grow, turning from a few inches in size to nearly a foot tall.Your mind blanks as you continue pulling through the pain, and eventually it begins to subside as you feel the energy focusing onto one point in your body, just above your heart. Eventually the pain dissappears completely and you take a look around you. The flowers that were once blooming are now completely withered, and the root that was impaled to your body is now a bed of dry bark that's scattered around you. You examine your chest and see that the spot where you were impaled is now covered in new, tender skin. Well, at least you're not dead. After that you examine your meridians and see that they're still open, but that they're full of... wood? Hopefully that's not a trauma that stops you from breaking forward to Meridian Opening.
Before you can focus on anything else your mind begins slipping away from you and you pass out. The next time you open your eyes is several days later. You're in your room, and one of your family's maidservants is sitting next to you. You turn your head to look at her and she immediately stands up, excited, and tells you to wait before going into the hallway. She shouts something about you recovering and your brother, your mother, and Zhu Chao enter the room.Zhu Chao explains that you didn't appear for a long time after entering the cave and, worried about you, he went in. He found you passed out in a lower chamber of the cave and brought you back, figuring that you'd been knocked unconscious from the fall. Oddly enough, you had a terrible fever and had to lie in bed for nearly a week until you regained consciousness. You thank Zhu Chao for the help and apologize to your family for making them worry, and Zhu Chao asks the maidservant to get you some food. The three of them leave the room, but shorty after Zhu Chao returns, an odd look on his face.You get out of bed now that you're conscious, feeling that it's disrespectful to lie in bed while speaking to him, and he takes a seat. "Young Master Liu, you seem to have awoken some sort of innate constitution. I can sense an overflowing vitality within you that's related to wood, one of the five elements. In addition, you've broken through your Strength Rendering Bottleneck and are already at the second stage of Body Tempering, Flesh Tempering. Congraulations."You confusedly mutter "Grand Elder Zhu, that can't be..." as you examine your body and realize that he's right. You've broken through, you're overflowing with vitality, and there's a small seed that seems to have been formed out of pure energy above your heart. With this ridiculous vitality you should be able to live several times the average cultivator's lifespan. Zhu Chao leaves, letting you gather your thoughts, and as you're eating you decide to...>go cultivate, you need to adapt to the new condition of your body and consolidate your foundation now that you've broken through.>see how everyone else in the estate is doing, you must have worried everyone by passing out. Plus, you've just woken up, it's better to take it easy for now.>head into the city and chat with your closest friend, Dai He. Now that you've broken through you have to brag a bit, right?>head into the city and see how the family's properties are doing. This isn't your duty, but you feel the need to since if your brother succeeds he's defintely not going to put any effort into it.>Other
>>3573108First>go cultivate, you need to adapt to the new condition of your body and consolidate your foundation now that you've broken through.somewhat breifly, then go >head into the city and see how the family's properties are doing. This isn't your duty, but you feel the need to since if your brother succeeds he's defintely not going to put any effort into it.
>>3573108>Go cultivate, you need to adapt to the new condition of your body and consolidate your foundation now that you've broken through.
You finish eating and decide to cultivate. After what happened you need to explore your body's condition in more depth and see if any hidden traumas were left behind. At the very least you'll need to consolidate your foundation after such a sudden breakthrough. You dress yourself in a simple outfit before leaving your room and heading towards the cultivation grounds. You'd honestly prefer to live there, but it'd look a bit ridiculous if one of the family's most important juniors decided to live, eat, and sleep in one of the cultivation rooms. Anyways, the other juniors might give you the cold shoulder if you stayed in there 24/7. You and your brother have the highest priority to use the family's resources, but there are a few other juniors that the Liu Clan is raising. Mostly the children of your guest elders or exceptionally talented commoners from nearby. All in all it only adds up to about ten people.You enter the room and sit down, lighting some incense to help you focus. Your breath settles into a steady rhythm as you begin trying to taking in bits of energy from your surroundings. Meridian Opening cultivators can do this far more easily than someone at your stage, but before that stage you simply allow the energies to enter your body and refine them through exercise. As you focus you move your perception towards you meridians, remembering that something happened to them when you were in the cave. Upon examining them you find that they've closed again, the wood that was previously filling them completely gone. You let out a sigh of relief. Well, that's good. If they stayed like that you're not sure how that could have affected your future cultivation.You continue probing your body and after a close examination, find that your cultivation is stable and that you're safely into the Flesh Tempering stage. You hesitantly grab a knife from a weapons rack nearby and press it against your skin. Since you've entered Flesh Tempering it should be tougher, right? You press it towards your skin and it doesn't even leave a mark. Confused, you push it with more of your strength, and eventually you cut open a wound, but it begins immediately healing. That... that's not normal, right? Your skin is clearly a bit tougher than normal, and the wounds you do suffer heal? Is that the power of the vitality within your body? You probe the seed near your heart to see if it has anything to do with what just happened, but it merely sits in place, radiating energy throughout your body. You guess you can't figure out its mysteries that easily.
After a few hours you stop cultivating, having come to the conclusion that you're in great condition. You've undergone some sort of extreme body refinement, are brimming full of vitality, and will probably live longer than The Five Family's Soul Foundation patriarchs even if you don't make any more breakthroughs. You're overjoyed, but still slightly hesitant. Oh well, you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. You leave cultivation and are greeted by the grandson of one of the elders, who congratulates you on your breakthrough. You exchange small talk for a moment before getting your horse and heading towards town. You should check up on the family's properties while you get accustomed to your new strength.15 minutes later you're in the bustling stone streets of the city and heading towards your family's nearest shop. Your family isn't very wealthy compared to the other clans with a much longer history, but they've managed to get a foothold in Vermillion City nonetheless. Your family owns several shops and restaurants, but their most important holding is the Dozen Treasure Pavilion, a shop your father founded. It only serves cultivators, and it sells treasures the family acquires in addition to making trades and searching for valuable items others may need. Of course, all of this is set up in a way that your family profits. On the flip side, this does mean that most of your family's wealth isn't easily liquidated. It's mainly held in the resources held within the Dozen Treasure Pavilion. Still, it's most important shop in the city and it brings your family a great deal of wealth.You visit each shop and see how the sales are doing, checking the records and making sure that the managers and employees are doing well. Each shop you enter gives you a warm welcome, easily recognizing you since you do these visits at least once a month. You sort out a few small issues as you pass through them, but there are no major problems. As you approach the Dozen Treasure Pavilion the manager is out front to greet you, likely having heard that you were coming from another shop. As you approach him and he begins to show you around, he seems... off. Did something happen?As you look through the records and speak the manager, you figure out the issue. There's a blank spot in the books. A treasure sword at the Meridian Opening level is gone, but there's no record of sale. You glance towards the manager, who now looks nervous, and...>straightforwardly ask what happened to the sword. There's no need to play games here.>ask what happened to the sword here in a way that might allow him to keep some face. You don't mind beating around the bush if it keeps subordinates happy.>ask if you need to improve the security here, as it seems a sword was stolen under the manager's nose.>ignore the issue and leave. You can make sure his superior has heard about the issue and let him deal with it as he pleases. It's not your job to do every little thing.>Other
>>3573163>straightforwardly ask what happened to the sword. There's no need to play games here.
You sigh and turns towards the man. His cultivation is much higher than yours, but since your position in the family is only below your brother and Zhu Chao, he's acting like a nervous junior. The Acupoint Opening elders who are only below Zhu Chao in strength don't act like this, but you supposed it's normal below that level. If he's fired it'd be quite the loss for him, but if one of the guest elders was driven away, they'd simply find a new backer."What happened to the sword." The man's nervousness turns to a clear look of sadness as he scratches your neck. You wait for a few seconds as he gathers his composure and he says "Well... er...Young Master Liu Zhu, your older brother Young Master Liu Xuan took it." Your brother? He doesn't use a sword. Your look turns to a frown and you inquire further. "Did he mention switching to a sword technique along with it, or something else in that vein?" "No, he didn't. He... he mentioned that he was hoping to court the young missus Jin Zemin."Jin Zemin? You've heard that name before. As you try to recall who she is, your face turns to a scowl. Oh god. Jin Zemin plays the zither somewhere your brother frequents and is a minor figure of an even more minor family. To be blunt, she has a pretty face but there's not much else to her. You wouldn't mind horribly if it were "true love" as they put it, but... if this were true love, then your brother would be married to at least 20 women by this point. Anyways, you normally wouldn't care about this, but a treasure sword fit for a Meridian Opening cultivator? That's ridiculous for a gift. You...>tell the manager that he's on probation for the time being and to grow a spine next time your brother tries to steal from him, since he'll have your backing in saying no.>ignore the manager and leave. You're not in a good mood given this matter, but he can't stand up to your brother.>tell the manager to prepare for a punishment from his superior and leave. You can inform the elder in charge of the Dozen Treasure Pavilion and the appropriate punishment should be dished out.>Otherbefore...>tracking down your brother and asking him about the matter. He should be hanging out in the city drinking at this time of day, he won't be hard to find.>returning to the manor and informing Zhu Chao of the matter. You can deal with this incident later, but for now it's best to just leave it to him. At the very least your brother should have his resources limited for taking that sword.>silently returning to cultivation. Now that you've undergone such an increase in strength, maybe you can surpass your brother soon. Then you won't have to worry about this idiocy.>Other
>>3573231>tell the manager that he's on probation for the time being and to grow a spine next time your brother tries to steal from him, since he'll have your backing in saying no.>silently returning to cultivation. Now that you've undergone such an increase in strength, maybe you can surpass your brother soon. Then you won't have to worry about this idiocy.So Walrus gotta ask, this quest inspired by any particular Xianxia works?
>>3573236The occupations are partially lifted from Library Of Heaven's Path because they do that particularly well, although I'm not using the star system from that here because it steers this setting in a direction I don't want. In place of that there's stuff like "[Occupation] Sage" or whatever that other novels may mention in relation to someone's skill.The cultivation system is made after looking through about a bunch of novels and figuring out what the general trend of them is.Initial setting and the "cheat" you get aren't inspired by anything in particular, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were similar to some novel.
>>3573231also, I just found a hilarious typo>as he scratches your neckhis neck, whoopshe's not that much of a sycophantI'll wait at least an hour for votes, I'm breaking for dinner.
You glare towards the manager and he freezes up, realizing that he's not getting off scot-free. "For the time being, you are under probation. If there are any other mistakes like this, I will speak to Grand Elder Zhu and Elder Fan about replacing you. I'm sure there are quite a few qualified people who would love to manage the Dozen Treasure Pavilion." As the man's face pales, you continue. "I understand that you didn't take action against my brother because you feared retribution, but grow a spine. Next time my brother tries to steal from the Dozen Treasure Pavilion you will tell him no. If he tries to use his reputation against you, you will contact me. A Blood and Viscera Tempering cultivator like him won't be able to defeat a Dantian Creation cultivator like yourself, no matter how talented he is."The man nods his head and hesitantly replies. "Al-alright then young master. I'll make sure to stop him if he tries to do something like that again." You nod your head and say "Good. Hold down the fort here then, I may be cultivation for a while." The man continues nodding his head and says "Alright Young Master Liu, I won't let you down. Congratulations on your breakthrough." You leave the Dozen Treasure Pavilion without responding, as you can't be bothered to spare much more attention to someone like that. You've known him for years, and he's the type of man who will never account to much. Still, he can be useful as a subordinate.You return to the estate and go back to cultivating, practicing for much longer this time. Over the next couple of days you discover that whatever happened in the cave seems to have increased your strength and stamina along with your body's defenses. The more you learn the more you confirm that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the more you're determined to not let it go to waste.Zhu Chao approaches you upon exiting cultivation with a smile on his face. You respectfully greet him and exchange small talk about the estate and such. Eventually he gets around to the topic of you learning a weapon art and being given a decent weapon now that you've broken through to Flesh Tempering. You choose...>the sword. It's the most standard weapon and it matches with your unyielding personality.>the saber. It's similar to the sword, although it's a bit more inclined towards bloodlust.>the spear. It has the advantage of reach and it can be used to great effect on the battlefield. It's also what your father specialized in, so it'd be a homage to him.>the fist. You've practiced mainly your hands so far, so you don't mind learning fist arts in the future. Your newfound strength and defensive abilities could go along with it as well. You could get a knuckleduster or glove though.>the bow. It allows one to fight from a range and given good enough materials it can take however much force you're able to put into it.>Other
>>3573402>Guandao.It has the advantage of reach and it can be used to great effect on the battlefield. It's also close to the spear your father specialized in, so it'd be a homage to him while still creating our own legacy.
>>3573402>The saber. It's similar to the sword, although it's a bit more inclined towards bloodlust.
>>3573402I'd prefer any kind of polearm (like spear or guandao).
I think I'll leave this vote open until I head to bed (if only to give some other time zones time to vote on the last "char gen" choice for what will probably be a long time), update once then, and then resume again at 1 PM CST tomorrow. Thanks for playing.
>>3573402>>the saber. It's similar to the sword, although it's a bit more inclined towards bloodlust.
>>3573422I actually like this. cross out>>3573549
>>3573402>the spearIt's time to become a legend to honor our late father
>>3573613Wait fuck cross this out I really like the guandao choice
>>3573402>the spear. It has the advantage of reach and it can be used to great effect on the battlefield. It's also what your father specialized in, so it'd be a homage to him.
The vote seems pretty decided, I'll call it a little early."This... it's a bit obscure, but I'd like a guandao." You'd actually considered this beforehand, as your brother was also given a weapon after reaching Flesh Rendering, and decided on the guandao a long time ago. It's a homage to your father, but it leaves space for you to create your own legend. Zhu Chao nods and says "Well, it is a bit hard to find one, but we are in control of the Dozen Treasure Pavilion. Naturually we have a few, although the ones we have are higher grade treasures. Still, I don't mind giving one to you. To be honest, it's unlikely that anyone would buy one anyways. I'll have someone send for it later." You figure that you should take the chance to show your face around the Dozen Treasure Pavilion a bit more so that the manager remembers that you're watching him and tell Zhu Chao that you'll retrieve it yourself. He gives you a jade slip authorizing you to get the guandao and you leave, excited about finally getting a decent weapon.You walk into the Dozen Treasure Pavilion and see the manager rush towards you, a wide grin on his face. "Greetings Young Master Liu, why are you gracing us with your presence on this fine day?" He's a bit of suck up, but oh well, you're not going to make fun of him for no reason. Last time was just because he made a mistake, not because you're a sadist. "I was sent here by Grand Elder Zhu to retrieve my weapon. Here." You hand him the slip and the manager seems surprised but hurries up to the upper floors to get it for you.He returns in a moment with a guandao of superb craftsmanship. The handle is made out of a bronze-colored metal, and intricate designs go up the blueish-green shaft. It ends in an extremely sharp blade with some sort of red fabric hanging from it. You give it a tentative pull and it doesn't show any signs of tearing, so it's likely harvest from some vicious beast or spiritual plant. Clearly this weapon was made with appearance in mind along with functionality. You examine it closely as you try to determine the grade. "This is... Qi Refinement? No, I think it barely makes the mark for a Qi Emission treasure." You nod your head as you glance at it before exclaiming "Good guandao!"You leave, weapon in hand, and...>go to practice with your new weapon, you're excited to try it out.>visit Dai He while you're in the city, you haven't hung out in a while.>return to the estate to see how everything is going, you haven't paid it much attention recently.>Other
Anyways, I'm out until 1 PM CST, but if anyone is curious about the cultivation system here's a pastebin with what the character knows:https://pastebin.com/Dnc66S6LDISCLAIMERS: I may rewrite bits of this in the future (before we reach this stages of course, once we have it's pretty much set in stone), but the stages themselves are already set in stone. If I retcon anything blame it on the character not knowing, because that's a better excuse. I'm just providing it now since it will give a better framework for power levels than leaving you guys trying to piece together the cultivation stages I'm mentioning.of course, if you guys prefer a three post long info dump, I could always do that
>>3573825>>return to the estate to see how everything is going, you haven't paid it much attention recently.
>>3573825>return to the estate to see how everything is going, you haven't paid it much attention recently.Could we drop by and grab Dai He for a meal and some tea at the state before we head back?
>>3573886QM Did we ever choose a name?
>>3574430Nope, I did that myself. MC is named Liu Zhu.
You should probably look around the estate and make sure everything is fine, but you haven't seen Dai He in a while. You decide to do both of these things and go over to Dai He's home to invite him over the the estate. It's not as large as yours both because of his family's strength and because it's in the city, but it's still a sizable manor. As you approach a servant at the gate greets you and calls out Dai He.Within a few minutes Dai He is out and you're both heading running back to your estate while chatting. "Brother Liu, congratulations on the breakthrough. Were you locked up in cultivation again?" As he says this a smile covers his face, as if he already knows what the answer is. You shake your head and so "No, not completely. I was out for a week due to a fever." "Oh, a fever? That's rare for a cultivator." He doesn't say anything else, but he probably figures that the two are related. He's bright after all. The two of you exchange some more gossip and small talk before eventually reaching the estate.You get a servant to put together a meal and head to a dining room with Dai He. While you're at it you invite the other juniors in the estate since you want to make sure everything is alright. Conflict is natural, but if anyone hated one another too much, it would be inconvenient. Soon after nine more people are in the room, including your brother. Only one person is missing among the younger generation, but he's always missing. He was recruited from a small village and spends almost all his time either cultivating, training, or reading. He's a nice enough person when you do see him though.You survey the situation among your peers and see that things are as normal. A few people don't like each other, but no life and death grudges have formed while you weren't paying attention. The only major problem would be that they, as always, are separated into a camp supporting you and a camp supporting your brother. The sides are about equal despite your inferior talent because people like your brother less the more dedicated they are to cultivation and the pursuit of the martial path. Still, you like your brother. You just can't stand some of the things he does. He also likes you, but he thinks you're often an "insufferable hardass". Neither of you tried to split the other apprentices into sides, it just... happened. Although he does seem to enjoy being brown-nosed, so maybe he doesn't mind.The meal ends without any problems and you...>ask Dai He if he'd like to spar, he's at the peak of Flesh Tempering and you want to see how much your strength has grown.>go back into cultivation to practice your weapon, you're excited to try it out.>see what your brother is up to today, it's good to keep an eye on him occasionally.>Other
>>3574644>ask Dai He if he'd like to spar, he's at the peak of Flesh Tempering and you want to see how much your strength has grown.Are we doing this without our weapon or with? I would prefer without as we haven't trained with our weapon yet.
Now that you've made sure nothing is happening the estate, you can focus a bit more on what you want to do. "Brother Dai, I haven't fought anyone since I broke through, do you want to spar?" He laughs and says "I was hoping you'd ask. Don't worry, I'll hold back as to injure you. I'm older after all." You simply smile in response, figuring that it might not be necessary. You're not sure how powerful you are right now, but it should be beyond an ordinary Early Flesh Tempering cultivator.The two of you go to spar in a simple arena constructed on the edge of the estate. It's made out of tiles from some sort of alloy that should be able to resist the strength of anyone below Qi Refinement. Besides its resistance to damage not much else stands out about it, but it's where juniors usually spar. As for when the elders want to fight... they usually just go out into the middle of the wilderness.The two of you stand 50 feet away from each other before bowing and starting the match. You charge forwards, the distance between the two of you rapidly closing. You both throw a punch at around the same time, ready to exchange blows, but as your blow nears Dai He his eyes narrow and he quickly moves out of the way. He then pauses and says "Brother Zhu... I don't think I'll be holding my strength back. Get ready." Well, looks like the cat out of the bag. You nod and he charges towards you again. You move backwards but you're not as fast as him, so you have bring up your arms to block. He throws a punch against your guard and you move a couple steps back to mitigate the blow, but it doesn't actually damage you. His eyes widen and he launches a few more strikes at you, and you take them since you want to test your defensive power. None of them manage to break your guard though, and at the worst leave a bruise that disappears after moments.Dai He looks at you, confused, as you charge towards him. He's had his turn, so it's time for yours. He moves backward, and you're unable to catch up, but he has to move in if he wants to attack again, right? As he goes in for another attack, this time towards your back, you manage to hit him in the side with a punch. He's sent rolling backwards and comes to a stop about 20 feet away. He then stumbles up and pulls up his shirt, revealing a large, dark bruise underneath. He stares at you before saying "Are... are you sure you didn't break through to Bone and Marrow Tempering instead of Flesh Tempering? What's that attack strength?"You...>express your shared confusion and joy. He's your friend, and you trust him, but you feel like word of this getting out would be bad.>blame it on the awakening on an innate constitution. He can already make some guesses, so it's good to make up an excuse now.>describe what happened and ask if he can figure out what it was. He probably can't, but you feel fine sharing it with him.>Other
>>3574799How bro is our bro? Time to find out>describe what happenedBut tell him word of this can't get out, we don't want to cause unnescessary friction between the people siding with us and our brother
>>3574799>>describe what happened and ask if he can figure out what it was. He probably can't, but you feel fine sharing it with him.I'm assuming he's close.
You consider just brushing off his curiosity and leaving the answer vague, but you've known Dai He for a long time. You should be able to trust him. You approach him before whispering "Something did happen. Follow me." You don't think anyone would be eavesdropping, but you may as well be careful just in case. He follows you into the nearby woods and you find what looks to an area clear of people before taking a small metal plate with tiny inscriptions on it out of your pocket. It's an array disk, which harnesses the powers of an array without one having to be an array master. This would be extremely valuable, but it's just an extremely basic array to contain sound. On top of that, it's of a low quality. Still, it makes you feel more secure. You put a tiny piece of a qi crystal into the center of the array since you can't drive it with your own energy, and the array starts up.Dai He seems surprised by all the precautions you're taking, but it looking at you seriously since he knows you wouldn't make this much of a big deal out of nothing. You then describe, in detail, what happened in the cave and what happened afterward. Dai He is... confused to say the least, and can't make heads or tails of what the phenomena may be. He does, however, bring up a detail you didn't think twice about: your blood increasing the size of a flower. He hands you a dagger and make a small cut in your palm, letting a few drops of blood fall onto a patch of grass. The effects aren't as pronounced as before, likely because the "seed" of energy near your heart is storing most of the vitality, but the grass quickly grows, and goes from reaching just above your ankles to just below your knees over the next minute. Dai He clicks his tongue and mentions that an apothecary would kill for an ability like this and... you agree. Treasured herbs that take lifetimes to grow could be grown ridiculously quick if watered with your blood. As long as you didn't expend any blood essence you'd be able to do that indefinitely too. You store that thought in the back of your mind, realizing that it could be a quick way to earn money if you ever need it.The two of you return back to the estate shortly after, Dai He making a swear on his martial heart to not speak of this to anyone except you without you asking him to. You weren't going to go that far, but it does show that he takes this seriously. The two of you return to the estate and Dai He returns home to take care of some things. Now, having tested out your strength and learned something new, you...>go back into cultivation to practice with your weapon.>head into the city and buy some herbs and reference books. You're not an apothecary, but you should be able to identify the ages if you have to. You have some testing to do. >find a stronger sparring partner. You outclassed Dai He who was at the peak of Flesh Tempering in everything but speed, so if you fight someone who's a stage above you, you may still be able to win.>Other
>>3575402>go back into cultivation to practice with your weapon
>>3575402>C U L T I V A T EFor as much as I'd like to slap some fools let's do that after we get confident with our weapon.
>>3575567>>3575640You're tempted to test out your newfound power a bit more, but you're more excited to try out your weapon. Figuring out your exact abilities can come later - for now you just need to improve. You grab your new guandao and head back into cultivation. The next week is an endless cycle of cultivating, training, cultivating, training, with only sleeping and eating scattered throughout as breaks.At first you practice with the weapon yourself just to figure out how to handle it, but after a day of that you contact an elder from your family who uses a spear and get some held from him. He doesn't know the intricacies of your weapon, but his advice is useful from one polearm user to another. Your quickly get used to using the weapon, and while you're not amazing with it by any means, you're far beyond just flinging it around mindlessly. Before you go into cultivation again, Zhu Chao sends a servant to contact you and tells you to meet him in his lodgings.You head to his lodgings and knock on the door. He says "Come in." and you enter, bowing slightly and greeting him. Zhu Chao glances at you before saying "Show me a few strikes with your weapon. I heard you've been practicing." You nod and make a few moves. Zhu Chao grunts and says "Good, but based on what I know there's still a lot left to be desired. Variety, momentum, the waste in the moves, things like that. While I can point out some errors like this, I'm not someone who can fix them." After a moment of silence Zhu Chao continues. "Would you like to meet someone who can help you? I asked around and there happens to be a similarly sized family where the patriarch uses a guandao. We spoke a bit and they expressed interest in exchanging disciples. I'll teach one of theirs for a couple of months, and you learn there for a couple of months. Of course you won't be as respected there, but that's normal. How does that sound? If the deal falls through it doesn't matter, but it sounded like a good opportunity.">"Grand Elder Zhao, I'd be delighted to participate in an exchange. Tell me when they're ready and I'll depart.">"Grand Elder Zhao, I'd love to participate in an exchange but I have some things to take care of. Give me a few days to a week and I'll be ready to head out.">"I apologize, but I'm not interested. I'm still improving fine here and there are certain... things I need to keep my eye on. You know what I mean.">Other
>>3575664>"Grand Elder Zhao, I'd be delighted to participate in an exchange. Tell me when they're ready and I'll depart."It’s a big opportunity. Its also a big risk to ditch our brother to play celebrity disciple swap, but why not?
>>3575664>>"Grand Elder Zhao, I'd love to participate in an exchange but I have some things to take care of. Give me a few days to a week and I'll be ready to head out." Let's do a bit more training if we can get some more time why not.
>>3575772>>3575742I'll a wait maybe 20-30 minutes for a tiebreaker before going to RNG since the difference between the two choices isn't huge.
>>3575664>"Grand Elder Zhao, I'd love to participate in an exchange but I have some things to take care of. Give me a few days to a week and I'll be ready to head out."Gotta make sure our affairs are in order before heading out I suppose. Maybe use some of that time exploring our new abilities.
>>3575664>"Grand Elder Zhao, I'd love to participate in an exchange but I have some things to take care of. Give me a few days to a week and I'll be ready to head out."
>>3575772>>3575863>>3575885This sounds like a great opportunity, but you're a bit worried about something happening while you're gone. You should take a few days to prepare and then maybe cultivate some more or figure out your strength better before leaving. "Grand Elder Zhu, I'd love to participate in an exchange but I have some things to take care of. Give me a few days to a week and I'll be ready to head out." Zhu Chao [s](I accidentally turned that into Zhao for the choices last post, oops.)[/s] just tells you that's fine and to tell him when you're ready while he informs the other party.You leave the room and figure out what you should take care of before you go. You should visit the Dozen Treasure Pavilion again, maybe two or three times, just to make sure the manager doesn't let your brother pocket anything he shouldn't while you're gone. After that maybe a visit to Dai He before you leave for good, some cultivation, and getting a better gauge of your combat strength. Still, you might put off some of this for more cultivation. You do that a lot, don't you?As you think about this you...>decide to go into cultivation after making sure your brother isn't going to do anything stupid while you're gone, you need to be sharp when you arrive at your destination. The only way to win respect is through strength.>find a sparring partner who's stronger than Dai He. You need to figure out what your upper limit is before you leave.>research more into using your blood to age plants. Maybe you could even make some treasured herbs from herbs here and sell them at the other city to avoid suspicions. It'd make a good amount of money for personal use. You can't rely off the family completely after all.>Other
>>3575948>>research more into using your blood to age plants. Maybe you could even make some treasured herbs from herbs here and sell them at the other city to avoid suspicions. It'd make a good amount of money for personal use. You can't rely off the family completely after all.
>>3575948>decide to go into cultivation after making sure your brother isn't going to do anything stupid while you're gone, you need to be sharp when you arrive at your destination. The only way to win respect is through strength.And then do this as well>research more into using your blood to age plants. Maybe you could even make some treasured herbs from herbs here and sell them at the other city to avoid suspicions. It'd make a good amount of money for personal use. You can't rely off the family completely after all.
You should start researching into the effect your blood has on plants first before you do anything else. It will take longer to figure out the effects of and if you're lucky you might find a way to increase your battle strength from this. Still, it will take a lot of focus and likely some insight into whatever laws are operating inside your body to do that.You leave the estate and go to a shop that your family owns. It sells various plants, basic apothecary equipment, and reference books on plants and pill-forging. It's frequented not only by apothecaries, but by martial artists in general. While pills will naturally have better effects then raw plants, iterant cultivators without much backing will settle for cheaper plants and wring out all the essence they can out of them to help their cultivation and treat injuries. As you enter the clerk greets you and you get a litany of generic and low-valued herbs that you're familiar with (mostly through handling the stocks and previous use, you're not an apothecary after all) and a couple of more expensive ones. It shouldn't arouse much suspicion since you're going on a journey soon and it's normal that you'd want to stock up, even if they may provide you with some limited resources while you're there. After that you pick up a couple of reference books under the guise of wanting to recognize the store's stock more easily when looking at the records.Once you return to your estate you lock yourself up in your room and find the most promising specimens (or in better words, the ones where you can tell how much they've aged easily). You prick yourself with a dagger, filling a vial with blood, and drop a small amount of blood on each plant. They all change slightly, and over the course of five minutes you can feel the energy within them becoming stronger. This slows down, but as you write notes over the next hour you can tell that this increased growth is continuing, just at a slower rate. You drip a bit more blood on them and the rate of growth improves, but not as much as before. You guess there are diminishing returns, so you shouldn't shower a plant in blood unless you need it to grow quickly for some reason.The next couple of days you return into your seclusion and practice more in between conducting slightly masochistic research. You come to find that the effects of your blood wear off after half a day for these herbs with medicinal properties, and the slightly more valuable ones after a day. By looking at milestones of their growth you can see that the cheaper herbs are growing at a speed of 500 to 1 compared to normally, while the more expensive ones are probably growing at half of that or less. This means that you could make a newly blossomed herb into a 100 year-old treasure within two and a half months! Well, assuming the efficacy of the blood doesn't reduce as the plant's medicinal powers increase that is.
You finish adjusting your condition and bring your cultivation to a close soon after you figure out the details of this ability, and soon you tell Zhu Chao that you're ready to go. He tells you that it's good timing and you can leave the morning after. After that he hands you a long-distance sound talisman in case you need to inform of him of something important and a couple of life-saving items in case you run into danger along the way. He also brings up sending an elder to escort you and...>decline. The lands you're traveling through aren't known for being dangerous and you're a cultvator. The elder is better off keeping things running here.>accept. Even if the route is generally safe, if something happened to you then, besides the obvious consequences to you, the family would be doomed. You're fine with this arrangement.>Other
>>3576023>>accept. Even if the route is generally safe, if something happened to you then, besides the obvious consequences to you, the family would be doomed. You're fine with this arrangement.don't want any mistakes also wouldn't mind having either some one knowledgeable give us some tips along the way. Either on wild life on our way there or a pole arm user helping us improve on our way there.
>>3576069Sure.I'll take a bs time skip.
>>3576069>>3576101Well, naturally that matter would be brought up. It'd be horrible if something happened along the way, so you should naturally have someone come along. "Grand Elder Zhu, I appreciate the thought. If Elder Chu could come with me that would be a great help." Zhu Chao strokes his chin before muttering something to himself. He then looks towards you and says "Elder Chu actually has some business in that region, although were you probably interested because he uses a pole-arm as well and you'll have some downtime. I believe he'll be interested in accompanying you." You leave the room after a few more unimportant matters are sorted out and pack your things. The most important items you're bringing are these herbs you're raising, the sound transmission talisman in case you need to contact Zhu Chao, your guandao, a necklace Zhu Chao just gave you that should be able to resist blows under Dantian Creation, and a small bead that's supposed to explode and severely injure someone up to Qi Refinement, or kill them below that. Well, that and some spending money.The next morning you and Elder Chu both mount a couple of the family's finest horses and leave the estate at the crack of dawn. Elder Chu isn't the most talented among the elders, having reached a massive bottleneck after opening eight acupoints, but you trust him more than most of them. He was one of the only elder who remained after your father died, and he served with him in the army, although he never speaks about it. He remains impartial about who should become patriarch, but given his upbringing you think he'd prefer you. Maybe that's just your arrogance talking though. The two of you make small talk as you travel and you figure out more about your route. You'll reach Yu Mountain after a week which is the home of the Yu Family, the place you'll be training for the next few months. A few days before that you'll stop at Ki City so Elder Chu can take care of some business.
The next four days pass quickly as you ride the well-bred horses for most of the day, only taking short breaks to eat before settling down for the night. At night you practice with the guandao, Elder Chu giving you some pointers where he can. Eventually you reach Ki City, and the first order of business is to get some food, as what you've been eating on the road cannot compare to your usual meals. The two of you step into a restaurant and order a few dishes while talking about the city. As you do so, a commotion starts a few tables away.A woman in a decently expensive dress is standing up while a more fancily dressed young man is grabbing her arm. The food on the table is knocked over and the two seem to be arguing. The woman seems both angry and afraid, while the young man has a smug look on his face. "Fang Wu, you scoundrel! I told you that I'm not interested. If you let go of me now we can let bygones be bygones and I'll let you off, but if you continue then you'll have to deal with the wrath of my master." The young man chuckles and mockingly replies "Fairy Lin, why would you spurn me so? I just want to... know you better. Why don't you come to my family's manor? And speaking about your master like that... do you think my Fang family is afraid of her? That old bag is just skin and bones now, what could she do?" Well, this situation looks bad. Still, it could be messy to get involved. You don't know the local powers here, just the major ones, and it'd be a pain to make enemies while you're passing through.>"Elder Chu, could you take care of him? It seems he's taking advantage of that woman and interrupting our meal.">"Elder Chu, I'll be back in a moment, after I take care of him." His cultivation seems to be at Bone and Marrow Tempering, so you should be able to handle him. In the worst case Elder Chu can intervene, although you don't think that will be needed.>You ignore the situation and focus on your meal. It is unfortunate, but you're not willing to make enemies in this city just to help someone. It'd be different if you were some peerless figure, but your family isn't in the best of times as it is.>Other
>>3576208>>"Elder Chu, I'll be back in a moment, after I take care of him." His cultivation seems to be at Bone and Marrow Tempering, so you should be able to handle him. In the worst case Elder Chu can intervene, although you don't think that will be needed.fuck it lets play the part. Gotta earn some enemies some where.
>>3576208>>"Elder Chu, I'll be back in a moment, after I take care of him." His cultivation seems to be at Bone and Marrow Tempering, so you should be able to handle him. In the worst case Elder Chu can intervene, although you don't think that will be needed.I'd rather just ignore it. But in the spirit of moving forward.
You sigh and look towards Elder Chu. "Elder Chu, I'll be back in a moment. I just need to take care of him first." Elder Chu looks towards you hesitantly, likely worrying about the difference in cultivation, before reluctantly letting you go.You approach the young man, who's now almost dragging the woman out. You clear your throat to gain his attention before smiling. "I don't think Miss Lin wants to go along with you. You should stop."A smug smile fills his face as he looks at you before he laughs again. "Really? A kid like you wants to challenge me, Fang Wu, the young master of the Fang family? I'm already 17, and what are you, 12? Give it five years and you still couldn't challenge me. Scram." You shrug before replying "Well... don't say I didn't warn you. Take this as a lesson." Fang Wu's smug smile turns into a scowl as he lets out a roar and throws a punch towards you. You block it without moving backwards, but it takes most of your strength. You're probably stronger than him, but not by much."Oh? We have a young hero then? Well, I'm not sure what's behind you strength, but you can't jump an entire realm that easily. Let me show you the true power of a Bone and Marrow Cultivator before you anger someone you shouldn't. Take it as a lesson. It'll only cost you a few broken bones." Fang Wu then throws out several more punches, and while you aren't fast enough to properly counter them, you have a better method. You should just punch him back. If he punches you two or three times and you only get a hit in, that's fine. As long as your defense holds out you'll come out the winner.The two of you exchange blows and Fang Wu's face slowly turns from smugness to astonishment as you stand in place, leaving behind greater wounds on him then he can manage to leave on you. On top of that, the minor wounds he is leaving are quickly healing, meaning that the progress he makes in injuring you is frighteningly little. You probably couldn't withstand this for too long, but outlasting him? Easy! Eventually Fang Wu is in a miserable state, and while you're slightly exhausted, you look perfectly fine besides some bruises. He turns away and reluctantly walks away, telling you that you won't get away with it as long as you're in Ki City. It's a good thing you're just passing through then. The woman you helped turns to you and quickly thanks you before beginning to clean up the dishes that spilled on the ground and apologizing to the staff. You...>head back to your table and eat, it's best you get out of here after Elder Chu finishes whatever business he has in town. You're not afraid of some small family with him here, but it would be inconvenient to say the least.>invite the woman over to your table. You're not interested in her, but you are interested in the situation and wonder if she wouldn't be willing to give you a reward for your trouble. She's looks decently well off, and while money isn't the only reason to do good, you wouldn't mind some.>Other
>>3576279>>head back to your table and eat, it's best you get out of here after Elder Chu finishes whatever business he has in town. You're not afraid of some small family with him here, but it would be inconvenient to say the least.
>>3576279>>invite the woman over to your table. You're not interested in her, but you are interested in the situation and wonder if she wouldn't be willing to give you a reward for your trouble. She's looks decently well off, and while money isn't the only reason to do good, you wouldn't mind some.
>>3576279>>head back to your table and eat, it's best you get out of here after Elder Chu finishes whatever business he has in town. You're not afraid of some small family with him here, but it would be inconvenient to say the least.but give her our name
>>3576279>invite the woman over to your table. You're not interested in her, but you are interested in the situation and wonder if she wouldn't be willing to give you a reward for your trouble. She's looks decently well off, and while money isn't the only reason to do good, you wouldn't mind some.
>>3576279>head back to your table and eat, it's best you get out of here after Elder Chu finishes whatever business he has in town. You're not afraid of some small family with him here, but it would be inconvenient to say the least.
Maybe you should invite her back to your table if only to see if you'll be rewarded, but you shouldn't really do good deeds while hoping to be paid, should you? At least not when you weren't in any real danger and it didn't take much effort. You return to your table and Elder Chu nods approvingly at you. "You seem to have grown much stronger than I realized recently. Congratulations. You should improve your speed though."The two of you eat your meal without any further interruptions. You then follow Elder Chu towards the center of the city, where the two of you enter a large manor. Out front you see a plaque saying "Fang Manor", and you can't help but wonder if the man you just beat up is related to whoever Elder Chu needs to talk to. Before you can think about this too deeply the two of you have entered the building and Elder Chu heads towards the upper floors after speaking to the staff for a moment. Eventually the two of you enter a grand room that seems to be where the patriarch would normally take care of affairs. There's a massive, luxurious-looking chair at the end of the room where a wrinkled old man is sitting. In front of him seems to be... Fang Wu, the man you just beat up.Elder Chu approaches the old man and greets him as "Junior Brother Sun". The old man laughs out in joy after seeing him and waves for Fang Wu to leave the room. As he does, however, he notices you and makes a fuss about you being the one who beat him up and how you should suffer and have your cultivation crippled. He's then sent out of the room after being chewed out for insolence and so on and so forth before being told to reflect on his decisions for the next two months. Ah, that's satisfying to watch.Elder Chu and his junior, Fang Sun, talk for quite some time, and from what you can tell they both used to serve in the army under your father, although Fang Sun wasn't important enough to interact with him much. After finding out you're the second son of your father you're told that if you're ever in the area the Fang family will always have its doors open in respect of "Demon General Liu King".After Elder Chu finishes reminiscing both of you leave shortly after, and you reach Yu Mountain without issue. Elder Chu says he'll be staying in the town at the foot of the mountain for a couple of weeks while you get settled in, and you...>Explore the town for a bit, you're interested in what the locals are like and the Yu family's reputation.>Go up Yu Mountain, you'd hate to leave the Yu family waiting.>Other
>>3577069>>Explore the town for a bit, you're interested in what the locals are like and the Yu family's reputation.
>>3577069>>Explore the town for a bit, you're interested in what the locals are like and the Yu family's reputationMay as well look at prices for our plants and have a good idea for things.
Update took a while because my keyboard died and I had to dig an old one out of storageWell, now that you're here you think you'll look around the town. It's not huge, but it should still have a place to sell your herbs once they're done growing. You don't think it will have much of interest to you besides that, but who knows.Elder Chu leaves you to go find lodgings for yourself and you begin looking around the town. You ask some of the townsfolk what they think of the Yu family, and they seem rather ambivalent. The family owns most of the major businesses in the town and they effectively serve as the government in the area, so it may as well be asking them how they're governed. Besides a few normal complaints about taxes and such they don't say anything bad about the family, so that puts your worries to rest.As you look around the town you find that it relies heavily on mining and that it has quite a few blacksmiths, although few of them are cultivators. This is of interest to you as an aspiring refiner, but you'll have to wait to look into this, you have more important things to handle. You do manage to track down a shop that sells herbs and medicines within the city (which is also owned by the Yu family), and after confirming they buy as well as sell you leave. You're not done growing yet, so you don't have much to do there now.After examining the town you begin your journey up the mountain. Within a few hours you reach the Yu family manor and are allowed in by the guards after introducing yourself. After entering you're told to report to the patriarch since he'll be teaching you, but on the way you're confronted by someone about your age and with a similar level of cultivation. "You're the boy here for training after Yu Bai left, right? I'm Yu Shi, third son of patriarch Yu Qiang. Would you like to spar?" He looks towards you with a smile after finishing, but his motives don't seem friendly. He's probably looking to test you. Well, showing off your strength is the normal way to gain respect, but you should probably visit the patriarch first. Or maybe he gave his implicit agreement to this and that'd be seen as running away? God, this is difficult. You...>accept the offer, you can't refuse a pillar of the family immediately. You'll quickly beat him, showing off your strength, and then report to the patriarch.>postpone the offer and tell him you need to speak to his father first.>decline the offer and go to meet the patriarch. It's embarrassing to fight people weaker than you.>Other
>>3577280>>postpone the offer and tell him you need to speak to his father first.
Well, you'll have to deal with this eventually, but whether it's some sort of test or not you should meet their patriarch first and put this off for later. You bow slightly towards the boy and clasp your hands. "Ah, you're Young Master Yu Shi then? I'm Liu Zhu, second son of the Liu family. I'll take you up on that offer, but I'm supposed to meet with your father first. If you could wait?" He seems to accept the compromise, but as you mutter away you hear him mutter about how a few hours being taught by his father won't help you win.You meet with the head of the family, Yu Qiang, and he gives you the run down on what the next few months will be like. He'll teach you for a few hours each morning, and then you'll be left to practice as you like on your own. Your treatment will be the same as any ordinary disciple of the family while you're here, although it will vary based on the strength you display. If you reach a certain level of proficiency with the guandao he'll be willing to teach you some techniques he's proficient in because he's interested in seeing the use of the weapon continue, and he seems upset about his children refusing to learn it. You're told to report a certain training grounds at the crack of dawn tomorrow. After that you leave the main building and see the boy who challenged you before standing at the end of a simple stone arena, waiting for you. He's surrounded by about a dozen people, which you assume to be some of the family's juniors. You wave to him and walk to the other end of the arena, ready to get this over with. The boy unsheathes a sword from his belt and you sigh before grabbing your guandao off of your back. You're not skilled with it, but he's the same age as you, so he probably isn't either. Without asking if you're ready he charges towards you, likely aiming to finish you in a single blow. You can hear the people by the side of the arena cheering him on, but ignore it. You charge forwards and dodge under his thrust before hitting him with the shaft of your guandao. He's sent flying and tumbles across the stone floor before eventually being caught by another disciple. That was easy, but since his cultivation is the same as yours and he's not from a major family it's to be expected. Dai He was harder to beat.>You walk away and find somewhere to cultivate, that should be enough to make sure no one bothers you.>"Does anyone else want to spar?" You doubt anyone will take you up on the offer, but it's a good way to keep anyone out of your hair later.>"That's my win, right Young Master Yu Shi?" It might be rubbing it in a little, but it makes a point.>Other
>>3577411>Does anyone else want to spar?Let's be as friendly as possible while saying it.At worst they will just be scared of us, otherwise you might even find some sparring buddies.
>>3577411>"Does anyone else want to spar?" You doubt anyone will take you up on the offer, but it's a good way to keep anyone out of your hair later.
Well, now that you've shown your strength, there's no need to be too overbearing. "Does anyone else want to spar?" Most of the disciples seem to be hesitant, but another person who looks to be around your age walks up onto the arena after a few breaths. You look closely and he seems to be at Flesh Tempering as well? He bows slightly, introducing himself. "Tian Ru, only son of Elder Tian. 13, Peak of Flesh Tempering. Glad to make your acquaintance." "Liu Zhu, second son of General Liu King. 13, Early Flesh Tempering. Same to you.""Let's begin then?" You nod in response Tian Ru dashes forward, no weapon in hand. You put aside your guandao and approach him. You throw a punch towards him but he narrowly dodges, punching towards your chest with full force. You can withstand the blow without much trouble and return a punch to his side, forcing him to backwards a few feet. He seems surprised before his face splits into a grin. "You easily overcame my defense that I'm always so proud of. This will be interesting." The two of you then head into a punching match, although you feel like Tian Ru would be able to put up a better fight if he just tried to dodge. Still, he seems attached to his pride and is still standing after a few hits. At that point he voluntarily gives up and says that he'll be looking for you after he breaks through. You take him up on the offer and leave. You were willing to fight some more, but anyone at Blood and Marrow Tempering is probably too embarrassed to fight someone younger than them and risk losing.You find a space to cultivate in and no one bothers you, leaving you alone to practice until tomorrow. Eventually it's dawn you meet the patriarch to practice. On his back is an eight feet long guandao cast in golden metal. It's probably an Acupoint Opening level treasure, although you're not sure of the grade.Yu Qiang starts off by showing you the basic movements of the guandao and having you practice them in detail. The thrust, the sweep, the push, things like that. He gives you some pointers on how you can improve your movements, but that's all you get to for the day. It may be all you get to for a little while, but it makes sense since to master a weapon one must have a strong foundation.Weeks pass and your foundation begins building up, moving from the basic movements up to the basic of maintaining momentum in between attacks and how to avoid making extra, extraneous movements. Slowly you begin to get the hang of this, and one and eventually six weeks have passed. You've made rapid progress with the guandao, your herbs are beginning to reach the optimal time to sell, and you think you'll make a breakthrough from Early Flesh Tempering to Middle Flesh Tempering soon.Some of the other juniors will be going hunting soon, and you...>decide to go along with them, it sounds fun.>decide to go into town that day, it will be a good chance to sell these herbs while no is paying attention to you.>Other
>>3577667>>decide to go along with them, it sounds fun.
You make plans to go hunting with the others. You can sell the herbs any time after all, it's not like doing so will give away your secret that easily. You have a strong enough backing to avoid any problems over them too. Sure, they're valuable, but they're nowhere near valuable enough to make Acupoint Opening cultivators kill each other over. A few days pass you leave the estate on Yu Mountain and head into the forest. You're riding the horse you brought with you, while thirteen other juniors and a single elder are all on black horses bred by the Yu family. The group heads deeper into the forest and you're given the rundown on what animals to pay attention to. Apparently there are quite a few species of deer with the speed of a Flesh Tempering cultivator at minimum, all the way up to that of a Meridian Opening cultivator among the strongest breeds. There are also a few mutated bears and wolves on the mountain, although from what you've heard they're rather slow and shouldn't be of much danger unless you get surrounded. There's an elder around anyways, so you should be safe.After going many miles into the forest you've reached the hunting ground, and everyone will be competing over their catches, with the reward being bragging rights. Everyone begins breaking up into groups and you leave...>alone, you're eager to explore the forest and see what you can find.>with the largest group, it'd be nice to form a relationship with the more important figures of the family. If you're lucky Yu family could make for a possible ally once you become the family's patriarch.>with Tian Ru, you've spoken with him a bit while you're here and you get along with him well enough.>Other
>>3577812>>with Tian Ru, you've spoken with him a bit while you're here and you get along with him well enough.
>>3577812>>with the largest group, it'd be nice to form a relationship with the more important figures of the family. If you're lucky Yu family could make for a possible ally once you become the family's patriarch.
>>3577812>>with the largest group, it'd be nice to form a relationship with the more important figures of the family. If you're lucky Yu family could make for a possible ally once you become the family's patriarchWe've to become a leader and making friends would be nice.
>>3577812>with the largest group, it'd be nice to form a relationship with the more important figures of the family. If you're lucky Yu family could make for a possible ally once you become the family's patriarch.
You would like to hang out with Tian Ru, but this is a good chance to both show off a bit and make friends with some of the Yu family's younger generation. You join the largest group, consisting of five people, and the six of you begin setting off into the woods. The horses are left with the elder, who trails a ways behind your group. Of the five you're familiar with Yu Shi, the third son and Yu Fu, the second son. The other three you recognize but haven't spoken with much. After 15 minutes of searching Yu Fu faintly makes out a deer through the foliage. The group of you move forward as slowly, half of you taking out bows and the other half preparing to charge forward if you're spotted. Yu Fu lets loose an arrow after reaching about 100 feet away, and as it nears the deer it seems to have noticed something. It dashes away at a speed faster than your own, but it's too late! The deer is pierced by an arrow and stumbles. That gives you and two others the time to rush forward and begin closing in on it. It desperately shoots away, but as several more arrows fly towards it it's forced to try to run past one of you to escape. It charges past someone else who grabs its antlers with their bare hands, stopping it from moving. Then you thrust out with your guandao and manage to disembowel it with a single strike, ending its life.The six of you hide the body in a nearby bush, leaving it for the elder to load onto a horse when he comes past. In the meantime you smear a few plants on it to hide the scent of blood from predators. It's not a foolproof method, but the others seem to think it helps. You give Yu Fu a compliment on his archery, and gives on about how quickly your guandao technique has improved in return.Within the hour the group of you have killed three more deer and let two escape. Everyone else seems to be overjoyed with the haul, as the animals are far more active than usual. As you're chatting with the group, Yu Fu stops you all for a moment. In the distance he spots a mutated bear. From what you remember from the run-down you were given earlier, it's likely as strong as you, and in the worst case is as strong as your brother. Besides that, it's supposed to be pretty slow. As the group is discussing how to handle it, you...>offer to head forward and test it out yourself. If you slay it it'd look good for you, and even if it lands a hit on you you'll be fine, you recover quickly and there are plenty of people nearby. You would lose some face, but it's doubtful that it'll come to that.>ask Yu Fu to assist you in slaying the bear. You'll have a chance to fight against it and show off a bit, but with two people the risk is greatly reduced.>wait for the others to come up with a plan, you wouldn't want to seem arrogant in interjecting. Plus, you haven't seen one of these fight before.>Other
>>3578239>>ask Yu Fu to assist you in slaying the bear. You'll have a chance to fight against it and show off a bit, but with two people the risk is greatly reduced.
You're tempted to try and slay the beast yourself, but you'd lose some face if you failed and you're uncertain of its strength. But with Yu Fu's help, the risk will be gone. You interrupt the discussions and bring forward your idea. "I think I could slay the bear if Young Master Yu Fu was willing to help me. What do you say?" "Me? Sure. I've been looking to seeing you full strength since you sparred with my brother." The two of you work out the finer arrangements and you charge in from the right while he comes from the left. You strike at the same time, flanking the bear.Yu Fu's blow lands first as he chops through the bear's hide with a swipe of his sword. A moment later you thrust into the bear from an angle. The curved blade of your guandao makes it a bit harder to pull out, but it leaves a heavier wound. Within a couple of breaths both of you have withdrawn as the bear begins flailing around. As the two of you pull back into the trees you try to compare the damage the two of you left. Your strike should be comparable to Yu Fu's, meaning you possess strength roughly equal to a Middle Bone and Marrow Tempering cultivator at Early Flesh Tempering. Your combat ability is lacking to jump a realm since they can just dodge, but with your defense you should be able to hold out for a while.After several rounds of hit and run combat the bear is covered in wounds and is beginning to slow down. You did suffer a close call once, but the combined force of Yu Fu's sword and your guandao was able to weaken the bear's blow enough that you could avoid taking it head on. You were slammed backwards into a tree, but you didn't take any real damage. After the bear slows down the two of you go from hit and run attacks into more straightforward combat, the risk of being hit by a major blow going down drastically as it suffers from blood loss. After ten minutes the bear is almost dead and you finish it off by decapitating it."Ahaha, Brother Liu truly is a dragon among men, having such strength at a young age. You still have quite a ways to go, but I'm sure you'll rise in the future." "You flatter me Brother Yu. Your skill with the sword is far beyond me, and I really appreciated your help back there." The rest of the group hurries forward as the two of you get chummier. As the group continues hunting you act a bit more forward, having won some respect back there.
As the group continues hunting, you notice some butterflies lurking around but don't pay much attention to them, figuring they're just local to the area. Eventually though, you notice that it's... the exact same butterfly. And it seems to be following you. You're not traveling at your full speed, but still, can butterflies move that quickly? You point this out to Yu Fu, and as he pays a close look at the butterfly he seems surprised. "That... Brother Liu, I didn't notice before, but that should be a Gold Silk Butterfly. It's beneficial to a garden of spiritual herbs and as a caterpillar it produces valuable gold silk to spin its cocoon. It's not horribly rare because it spins many cocoons before deciding on one to use, but it's still a valuable material. Well, that's neat, but it's not horribly useful to you. Apparently the butterfly is rather expensive, but that's mostly in the context of mating them for the worms or for apothecaries to grow plants.Another hour passes and the butterfly gets closer and closer, eventually landing on your shoulder. As it does so, Yu Fu throws you a glance and seems both confused, but glad. "Brother Liu truly is lucky. We could catch the butterfly from here if you want, and my family would be willing to pay a decent price. We happen to know someone who was interested in purchasing one." You...>give him the go ahead, you're not sure why there are so many animals showing up today (the hunt has still gone amazingly well), but you could use the money.>tell him not to, apparently it trusts you enough to land on your shoulder and it'd be a shame to capture it for that.>Other
>>3578469>tell him not to, apparently it trusts you enough to land on your shoulder and it'd be a shame to capture it for that.
>>3578469>>tell him not to, apparently it trusts you enough to land on your shoulder and it'd be a shame to capture it for that.
Is this based in ISSTH? Will we have cultivation rankings from core formation to dao seeking? (immortal is kinda impossible but still doable) Unless we go apothecary.
As much as you like money, it's just a butterfly. It apparently trusted you enough to land on your shoulder for some reason, so you'd feel bad if you capture it for that. You tell Yu Fu to leave it be and he seems confused, but abides by your wishes. The butterfly just sits still on your shoulder despite your movement (sometimes you're even in combat, but the butterfly doesn't seem to care and just stays still) for around half an hour, sometimes hesitantly poking you with its proboscis, almost like it's looking for necter. ...Does it think you're a plant?After an hour of futile struggling to draw necter from you the butterfly flies away, although you feel like it wanted something. You wipe off the pollen left on your shoulder as it slowly flies away. You...>follow after it, it didn't seem to be scared of you so maybe you can figure something out. Of course you'll have to leave the hunt for a while, but you're really curious.>ignore it, it's just a butterfly. It's weird, but it really not worth leaving the hunt for.>Other
>>3578658No, this isn't in the same universe as ISSTH. This does have a core formation stage though because that's pretty standard for cultivation. I haven't thought of the stages behind that so I can't say.
>>3578949>follow after it, it didn't seem to be scared of you so maybe you can figure something out. Of course you'll have to leave the hunt for a while, but you're really curious.>Cut your finger try feding your blood to butterfly
It couldn't hurt to follow the butterfly for a while. Plus, you have a sneaking suspicion it might be trying to suck your blood, but you'd rather not test that theory out around the rest of the group. You depart from them, following it deeper into the woods, and once you're sure the others can't see you, you make a small cut in your palm. It quickly closes up, but leaves a few drops of blood on your palm. The butterfly stops moving before zipping towards you at a speed greater than your own. It slurps up the blood with its proboscis and begins zipping around, almost like you just gave it drugs.You stay still, watching the butterfly rapidly fly around, and it calms down after a minute. After that it heads into the forest at near its top speed, so you have to your best to keep up with it. After a couple of minutes it stops and you see that the trees around you have a bunch of golden protrusions on them. You look more closely and see that they're all cocoons. You guess this is the gold silk Yu Fu was talking about? You look around closely and see that there are a lot of cocoons separated into a few clumps, and you also see three more butterflies closing in on you. You guess they live in groups. You...>take this set of cocoons and leave, you'd count it as a fair trade.>leave behind a bit more blood for the other butterflies since they seem to want it so much and then collect all of the cocoons. They don't have a use for it, so it should be fine.>take the cocoons and then lure the butterflies in with your blood before capturing them. You can sell them for a good price since there should be a mating pair or two out of four butterflies. Some would say it's bad karma, but you say it's good business.>take the cocoons and then take the butterflies with you. You can bring them back to the estate and have them live in the garden. In exchange you don't mind leaving them a few drops of blood on occassion.>Other
>>3579053>>take the cocoons and then take the butterflies with you. You can bring them back to the estate and have them live in the garden. In exchange you don't mind leaving them a few drops of blood on occassion. Give a small cut to the group for the info and luck for being around and tagging along with em. Our point is to make more friends. But our profit from this will be our own.
>>3579053>>take the cocoons and then take the butterflies with you. You can bring them back to the estate and have them live in the garden. In exchange you don't mind leaving them a few drops of blood on occasion.between this and the plants sold we should make a hefty amount of money where we could buy some cultivation pills to boost our speed by a decent margin. And pay for some materials and see about gaining some kind of intern ship with one of the best blacksmiths around on a recommendation. we should see whats for sale in the area as well as what we could do with some of our money.
>>3579053>take the cocoons and then take the butterflies with you. You can bring them back to the estate and have them live in the garden. In exchange you don't mind leaving them a few drops of blood on occassion.
>>3579053>take the cocoons and then take the butterflies with you. You can bring them back to the estate and have them live in the garden. In exchange you don't mind leaving them a few drops of blood on occassion.I don't really see a reason to pick any of the others
Well, this is your good fortune. You could make better money from selling these butterflies, but maybe you can take them back and have them live in the garden at home. As long as you give them a little bit of blood on occasion you'd call it a fair trade. You cut yourself again, leaving some blood for the other butterflies, and you begin to collect their cocoons as they fly around you. You dump the cocoons into your pack, making sure none of them fall on the ground. Next you try to catch back up to the hunting group, butterflies in towAfter a short search you've tracked down the group and they're... surprised to say the least. You'd imagine watching the butterflies fly around you is similar to watching someone stand there while golden banknotes just hover around them. Yu Fu hesitantly asks you again if you want to sell any of them and you decline again, telling him that you'll bring them back to your estate and have them tend the garden. As you resume hunting, you turn to Yu Fu. "I figure I should thank you for the information and possibly a bit of luck from coming along with you, so here." You open up your backpack and take about 5% of the cocoons, handing them to Yu Fu. The next minute is spent listening to him decline the gift to maintain face until you eventually get him to accept. "Brother Liu, I suppose I'll take these then. I know a certain tailor who would be interested, so I'll probably sell it to them soon. I'd be willing to introduce you if you want." You nod in response, figuring that if they're looking for gold silk then they're decently skilled. From what you can tell your family could buy something made of gold silk if they wanted, it would just be a waste of money. You probably shouldn't tell your brother this material exists, or he might insist on a shirt made out of it. The buyers for these would probably be either extremely rich businessmen, the government, or a major clan. The hunt continues for a couple of hours until your group decides to head back. Yu Fu and a couple of older disciples did the best, but you're just below them, which is an honor given your age and cultivation. After the hunt ends you have a meal with the rest of the disciples and part on amicable terms.Another week passes as you practice with the guandao, and Yu Qiang says that at this rate you'll be able to start practicing a couple of his techniques before you leave. How far you get with them depends on your perception and talent, but he seems hopeful. One afternoon you're actually feeling the need to get out of cultivation for once, and...>go to the town to sell your herbs.>ask Yu Fu to introduce you to that tailor you mentioned.>hang out with Tian Ru, he seems to enjoy venturing into the wilds for cultivation and after last time you've been hoping there are more opportunities there.>Other
>>3579228One is admittedly filler in hindsight, the second option would be if anyone wanted to take a "leave nature be" approach and let them stay in their natural habitat, three would be if you didn't care how butterflies felt and wanted money, and four is if you're willing to take a lesser payoff in favor of long-term gains
>>3579289>Hang out with Tian Ru
>>3579289>hang out with Tian Ru, he seems to enjoy venturing into the wilds for cultivation and after last time you've been hoping there are more opportunities there.
Well, you guess you'll visit Tian Ru and see if he left already. You visit where he usually trains and see that he's currently beating a training dummy. It vibrates back and forth on a metal pole as he lays into it. You could exert that much strength without much trouble, but you're surprised he's able to. Is he getting close to a breakthrough?He notices you and dodges out of the way of the vibrating dummy. "Brother Liu, you're out of cultivation for once! What's the occasion?" "I was wondering if you wanted to go into the forest. You usually go there to train, right?" "I was actually going to head there in a moment, so sure, that sounds good to me. Just follow my lead." You nod and the both of you part ways and prepare your things. A few minutes later you meet up and begin traveling into the forest on foot. It's quite the journey, but eventually you're both deep into the forest and he's examining the scenery closely. He stops for a moment before muttering "Follow me, it's around here." You follow him and hear a roaring sound grow louder and louder before a waterfall comes into view."I train here pretty often. The water is as cold as ice and the pressure beneath the waterfall is pretty crushing." You nod and follow him into the pond beneath the waterfall, noting that it's at least 20 feet deep. Both of you find a rock underneath the waterfall and take a seat, resisting the pressure with your bodies. After a few minutes you realize that it won't be enough for you and take a deep breath before diving deeper. As you go deeper you realize the area beneath the waterfall is deeper than the rest, at least 60 feet. You dive to 30 feet before finding a stopping point. The pressure pushes against your body and the water is even colder down here. Occasional rays of light reach your location, but you can't see much. Every 10 minutes you come up for air before returning to your spot, tempering your body by fighting against the force of the water.After a couple of hours you hear a loud noise come from above you and surface to see what it is. Tian Ru's face is pale and he's staring into the distance. At the shore of the lake there's a massive bear standing right by your clothes. It's bigger than all the bears you saw while hunting, and probably stronger too. It's sniffing them intently, and you feel like if you stick around it's going to find the two of you. You...>suggest that you immediately get out of here. Returning to the estate naked after being seen by a bear isn't the proudest of moments, but your pride is less valuable than your life.>offer to wait until the bear moves and to get your clothes back. It looks pretty massive, but even if it manages to land a hit on you you should be able to run away.>wait nearby and see if it leaves. It will probably be a waste of several hours, but maybe you can get your clothes back.>Other
>>3579414>Coordinate with Tian ru to drown the bear, the both of us will drag it deep into the lake. We will take turns restraining it and regaining our breath once it's underwater in order to drown it. Alternatively we could roll or drop a boulder on it and let it sink to the bottom.
>>3579414>Animals and plants like our bloodwait a second, are we a non autistic chen changsheng?>>3579429I like this idea
You're scared, but maybe you can fight the bear? If you can't fight it head-on, you have an idea. "Brother Tian, I have an idea." "Shoot." "Well, maybe we can push it into the lake and try to take turns restraining it to drown it?" Tian Ru stares at you for a moment, considering it. "Isn't that bear too strong though? Maybe, and this is still doubtful, Yu Fu or another disciple at Bone and Marrow Tempering would be fine, but I don't think someone in Flesh Tempering could restrain it alone, even if they were as strong as you." "Well, we'll find out later, alright? It looks pretty slow anyways." "Alright then."The two of you move forwards and try to draw nearer to the bear through the trees. After you're a short distance away the bear perks up, as if it smelled something. As it turns its head upwards Tian Ru charges from the front to draw its attention and you move towards the back to drag it into the water. Tian Ru backs away, dodging one of the bear's strikes, while you drag it backwards a couple of feet. It glances at you and you barely get away as it kicks the ground where you were standing, creating a hole where its foot lands.The two of you jump forwards again, switching positions this time. Tian Ru pulls it towards the water but doesn't make much progress since it's so heavy, and you barely avoid a blow from the front. On your next turn on the back the bear manages to kick you backwards as you get it the water's edge, sending you flying backwards and crashing into a rock. The rock cracks in two as you land, and you're bleeding pretty badly. You're pretty sure you broke a couple of bones as well. Your focus fades for a moment, but after a couple of breaths you regain lucidity. Tian Ru is running towards you, two pairs of briefs in hand, and he slings you over his shoulder as he runs away. After what feels like ages of wandering aimlessly he stops, out of breath, and hands you your underwear. "That... was all I was able to get before I ran away... we shouldn't have fought it for that long. Ha... ha... ha..."After recovering he gives you a look over and is confused but happy to see that you aren't bleeding much. You were whenever you left, but apparently that's fixed now. You honestly wouldn't be surprised if your bones aren't broken when you wake up tomorrow. Tian Ru and you take a roundabout, and hopefully safer, route back to the Yu family and manage to reach it before sundown. Luckily no one spots you and you're able to get a change of clothes before someone makes up any rumors about you and Tian Ru streaking in the woods.The next morning you're fine and return to your normal practice. You now understand why an elder would be sent along with a bunch of juniors if they're going into the forest. A few days pass and you...>go to the town to sell your herbs.>ask Yu Fu to introduce you to that tailor you mentioned.>take a hunting party into the woods to get that bear. You will have your revenge.>Other
>>3579572I haven't read the novel he's from so I dunno, maybe. Is it good?
>>3579662>>go to the town to sell your herbs.
>>3579662Let's go sell those herbs, maybe we'll see the girl from the other day.>>3579670Go read Way of choices then, it's pretty fucking fun albeit it takes a bit of time to ramp up
>>3579662>ask Yu Fu to introduce you to that tailor you mentioned.
>>3579662>>go to the town to sell your herbs
You'll head down the mountain and sell your herbs. Some of the cheaper ones have reached an age of 80 or 90 years, while the more expensive herbs are 40 or 50 years old. An elder of your family may not pay much attention to them, but for a junior like you these are far more valuable than most of what you own. Still, the guandao on your back should stop anyone from asking questions about them since it's probably more expensive than all of them combined.You find the shop you'd taken note of before and enter. An employee respectfully greets you and ushers you in, and as he does so you sense his cultivation. Blood and Viscera Tempering? He's pretty powerful, so the shop should hopefully be able to identify and buy everything you have. You tell him you'd like to sell a few herbs and he leads you to the counter, where old woman at the Meridian Opening realm greets you. Her skin is wrinkled and her hair is gray, but she still seems health. She's probably in his 70s then?You take the herbs out of your pack one at a time, and the at first the woman looks normal, but after you finish her eyes are almost bulging out and she looks like she just watched a beggar take treasures out of his knapsack. She clears her throat and just starts appraising the plants one by one, not voicing any surprise. "43 year old Gi Flower, 3000 gold coins. 85 year old Flame Buds, 730 gold coins. 93 year old Healing Stalks, 320 gold coins each. 50 year old King's Sapling, 3400 gold coins." Eventually she finishes ringing everything up, and the total comes out to just over 16000 gold coins. That... you only spent at most a tenth of that to buy everything. Does this mean you can easily make 8000 gold coins a month? That's not enough to bring the family to new heights, but for you? That's plenty of resources! You finish the transaction and the woman brings out 16 golden bills, which you recognize to be currency of the Hi Empire. It's located far away, and from the stories you've heard that it's a ridiculously prosperous land where powerhouses here are weaklings. Despite not using gold to trade themselves (some people say they use qi crystals as currency there, although that sounds a bit outlandish), they issue a centralized currency to the surrounding regions to help maintain stability and facilitate trade. Of course they reap some benefits from this, but it's a pretty even deal from what you've heard. After you get your money you set aside two bills to reinvest into new, young, plants. You fill your pack with them and leave the store, overjoyed at your newfound wealth.Having finished your business in the town you're ready to return to the Yu family, but it does feel silly to spend hours going back and forth and to only stop here for a short time. You...>head back to the Yu family, you have cultivating to do.>look for something to do here, you haven't enjoyed mortal entertainment in a while.>look into the mining industry here, maybe they produce something worthwhile.>Other
>>3579746>look for something to do here, you haven't enjoyed mortal entertainment in a while.
>>3579746>look into the mining industry here, maybe they produce something worthwhile.
I'll wait another half an hour for a tiebreaker before using RNG.
>>3579746>look for minerals to invest intoWe dabble in refining after all, let's see if we can find some good ore to turn into our real first treasure.
You figure you'll ask around about the mining industry here for now. You're curious what exactly is being mined here and if any of it would be useful as a refiner.After asking around you figure out that there are three mines from town: South Slope, East Slope, and North Slope. You figure that you'll go to each of them one by one and see if who they're owned by and what's mined there differs. You go to South Slope first, and at the entrance to the mine is a small, clean building. Upon entering you see a gruff man sitting at a counter. He asks who you are and you simply state that you're from the Liu family of Vermilion City. He stares at you blankly for a few seconds, probably trying to figure out who the Liu family is, before he nods his head and leads you into an office to speak with his boss. The boss is happy to see you and tries to sell you into buying out a portion of the mine, but from what you can tell they just haul up iron. Lots and lots of iron. You leave, disappointed, and head to East Slope only to find out that there is also only iron there. You're almost ready to give up, but figure that checking out the last mine wouldn't hurt, and make your way there after a short walk.North Slope has a small village outside their mineshaft, with several dormitories, a general store, and a few other amenities nearby. That's promising. You find where the boss is located and he politely, but not subserviently, greets you. "So, Manager Qiu, what's brought up from the mine?" "Well, first of all, there's a lot of iron but that's not all. About 20 years ago we happened to stumble upon a large cave underground which contains mineral deposits of a lot of different metals. Zinc, tin, nickel, lead, and of course gold. Mostly the standard stuff. We have, however, managed to find some deposits of Watersteel." "Watersteel?" "Watersteel is a strong material found at the bottom of various bodies of water in certain caves. It's stronger than ordinary metals and is sometimes possesses a slight water attribute. The most ordinary watersteel, however, can just be said to be a durable metal with with anti-rusting properties. Due to how easy it is to maintain a weapon made of watersteel, it's popular among the army. It's in limited supply in this region however, or they would have outfitted as many soldiers as they could with it." "You say it's durable, but how durable?" "Yes, and before tempering. You can make a weapon out of watersteel that's fit for a Bone and Marrow Tempering cultivator before using other methods to purify it. Of course, one will need the strength to refine it." Having heard the mine's sale pitch, you...>buy some watersteel while you're here, it could be useful. (1 kg of material = 50 gold coins. Tell me how much you'd like.)>head back to the Yu family, this material is mostly local but isn't amazing, you think you'll pass.>find something else to do in the city.>Other
>>3580093>>buy some watersteel while you're here, it could be useful. (1 kg of material = 50 gold coins. Tell me how much you'd like.)4kg enough to experiment on and maybe refine into a weapon.
>>3580097>>3580109You don't want that much, but the material is interesting. It's more for mass production, but it could make a decent weapon. You ask for 4 kg. and the manager gets someone to bag it up to you. You feel like he was slightly disappointed, figuring that you were here to do some large deal since you used your family name, but oh well. You have much more important things to do with your money than invest them into a mine.You get your material and...>head back to the Yu family, you're done for the day.>find something else to do in the town.>Other
>>3580093Considering the need to smelt the ore, remove impurities, refine it and possible errors/side projects I'd say somewhere between 4 and 6 kg if we want to make a weapon. It's a VERY conservative estimate, as most swords tend to go from 1 to 2 kg hilt included. Only broadswords tend to reach 5 kg, and above that we get double headed meteor hammers or huge fantasy weapons.We may want to more than one thing tho, or maybe not a weapon. I'm not really versed on that kind of treasures tho.
>>3580114>>head back to the Yu family, you're done for the day.
>>3580114>Page didn't updateWhoops>find something to doLet's live a little, for once.
>>3580114>find something else to do in the townThere's gotta be something fun enough going on somewhere right?
You figure there's something entertaining to do in the town, you may as well look around. There's a good chance you'll never visit here again after leaving the Yu family, so it's a good opportunity to see what the place has to offer.What the town has to offer is apparently not much for you, but as you wander around you do stumble upon a restaurant offering "all day dinner theater". The next showing is in... two minutes. Alright then, you guess you know what you're doing. You wander into the restaurant and an old lady greets you before leading you to a table. You order a few dishes and are told that they'll arrive during the show. You look around and see that everyone else in the restaurant is quietly whispering among themselves, anticipating the show. Well, for everyone to be this excited this must be quite the story! Your table is pretty far away from the stage since you go here late, but with your eyesight that's not a problem.The lights dim and a young man in a stage costume comes onto the stage. "Here ye, here ye! I am the divine storyteller Asomodeus, and today I will tell you a story I happened to witness in the flesh, in a land far, far away! It was...">the touching story of two lovers struggling to be together.>about the history of a house, and how a lineage fought against the forces of evil>about four dashing young ladies who formed a band.>a young boy with a tail who become a martial artist>Other
Rolled 4 (1d4)>>3580314DICE TAKE THE WHEEL
>>3580314>about the history of a house, and how a lineage fought against the forces of evil
>>3580314>>about the history of a house, and how a lineage fought against the forces of evil
>>3580314So just to be clear we did not get new plants to resell?We fucked up not becoming an apothecary. We could still do it. Would have been nice not too. How would you guys feel about buying a bunch of plants we could take to increase our cultivation speed. Or just what plants offer which benefits. Or of course, since we have got the money to blow simply just buy the pills instead. which are stronger. Just saying we shouldn't carry around all this money and not do anything with it.also OP we get a decent allowance of some kind amounting to what every month?
>>3580368It was tucked away in the plant post, but you did buy some more plants to grow. >After you get your money you set aside two bills to reinvest into new, young, plants. As for the allowance, let's say 1000 gold coins a month and some material resources (some basic herbs/pills which you normally use over the course of a month. You occasionally trade the surplus for gold, but it's not much). So by selling the first batch of plants you made 15 months of allowance in profit.
>>3580378very helpful thanks for giving me the info.Do we have a general idea, what pills we can use and roughly how much they cost?Or would you say, we should visit the local apothecary, and ask what's in stock and how it benefits us? Along with if they produce any local specialties. ( I would understand if you just want to deal with that once we get there.)
It was a grand story about the lineage of a house and how it resisted the forces of evil. In a land far, far away there was the Jo Clan, a family of merchants. One day the Jo Clan's patriarch, Jo Ge, was attacked by a vicious beast while traveling. He barely managed to slay the beast after using all of his trump cards. During the battle his wife had fallen, burning all of her blood essence in order to protect their child, who was but a babe, Jo Jo. In the battle, however, Jo Ge was gravely injured and was at risk of dying after other vicious beasts closed in. He passed out, and then a weak cultivator who practiced devil arts, Braxio Da. Braxio thought that Jo Ge was died, and tried to steal his interspacial ring, but to his surprise Jo Ge was still alive. Braxio fed him some pills and saved him, leaving the rich and powerful Jo Ge in his debt.Many years later Braxio Da died, and he son, Braxio Di came to live with the Jo Clan. That's when a life or death struggle between Braxio Di and Jo Jo, who was now a young man, began... An hour later He was cornered by Jo Jo, Ar Eo, and the imperial guards, so Braxio Di took the ancient artifact and poured his blood essence into it! "I reject my humanity Jo Jo!" But not only that, he used an ancient dagger to suck the blood essence from Jo Ge! With the combined vitality of Jo Ge and himself, channeled through the artifact, he turned into an inhuman monster! The imperial guards shot their crossbows at him, but the arrows didn't even pierce his skin! Seconds later, a terrifying aura rose up as Braxio Di's cultivation broke though bottleneck after bottleneck, surpassing Jo Jo's! Even later "And so a great master, Ze Peli, took Jo Jo under his wing. He taught him of esoteric laws he had learned of in an ancient land, the laws of breath, and knew that they would be the perfect counter for Braxio Di. For breath is related to life, and within the deathly laws of the ancient artifact, there is only stillness. Death was its antithesis, and as a result could slay the demon." Even later "How many bowls of rice have you eaten!" After nightfall "...And so Baxio Di was sealed into the crystal, but Jo Jo had to burn all his blood essence to do so. This ends Part 1 of our story, and tomorrow we will speak of Jo Jo's grandson, Jo Jo."That was... an interesting story. You've never heard anything like it before! Maybe you'll come tomorrow to hear the second part... No, no, you have cultivation to do. You can't get too addicted. You return to the Yu family and seclude yourself into cultivation again, making more progress in your guandao skills. After another week you break through to Middle Flesh Tempering and Yu Qiang begins teaching you one of his signature techniques, a...>powerful strike that is used as an all-out finishing blow.>unexpected, and slightly underhanded, technique which can catch opponents by surprise.>barrage of blows which can deflect some projectiles.>Other
>>3580387You know of a few pills that would be useful for general cultivation, although you could speak to an expert if you were looking for pills for specific situations, like recovering blood essence or for cultivating certain techniques. These would likely cost more and not be particularly helpful for you right now though.
>>3580314>>a young boy with a tail who become a martial artist>>3580378Do you have a chart or something that mentions the cultivation levels? You mentioned some story, but per chance do you have the cultivation levels on hand? Or a link of some kind to find it?
>>3580421I posted a pastebin earlier, it has the cultivation levels the main character knows of. I'll put it at the top of the next thread.https://pastebin.com/Dnc66S6LSomeone mentioned ISSTH earlier but they're not lifted from that, I wrote them myself after referencing some Xianxia novels I've read to see the general trend for cultivation realms.
>>3580415>>barrage of blows which can deflect some projectiles.We were told to work on speed.>>3580424Thanks.
>>3580415>>powerful strike that is used as an all-out finishing blow.Seems nicer.
>>3580435I'll take that back and go with>barrage of blows which can deflect some projectiles.
>>3580415>barrage of blows which can deflect some projectiles.
"The technique I'm going to be showing you is called '72 Desires'. A great philosopher once said that humanity had 72 Desires, and inspired by this a master once created a move which allowed for 72 strikes with the guandao in a single movement. I'm afraid I only have the first half of the technique, and of that I've only masted 20 strikes, but maybe you'll be able to surpass me and reach the state of 36 strikes in a single movement." Yu Qiang readies his guandao. "Watch closely. Trying to execute all 20 strikes at full speed is draining, but it's the best example of the move's power. After that I'll slow it down so you can get a better look."You stare at Yu Qiang intently and suddenly his guandao strikes. You can't make out the movements, but the guandao inexplicably moves out in every direction all at once, causing the wind around him to shoot out at a high speed, cutting in every direction. None of the blades of wind hit you, but the attack leaves 20 distinct cuts on the floor, walls, and ceiling. Yu Qiang breathes in deeply and lowers his guandao. "That's the first 20 strikes of 72 Desires. With your level of cultivation it'd be impossible to reach that state, but if you're talented enough it wouldn't be impossible to reach 5 or 6 strikes. Now I'll slow it down and you can look again..."The next several hours you watch Yu Qiang's movements and then look though a jade slip he hands you. It contains the first half of 72 Desires, and you make a vow on your martial heart not to pass down the technique to anyone until you can reach the same level of mastery as Yu Qiang. You suppose that's his way of helping make sure the technique lives on? He leaves the Jade Slip with you for the time being and tells you that he can have someone send it back in a few years. Apparently he reached a bottleneck and has placed his focus elsewhere for now, so he doesn't mind letting you have it for now. It's not like you need to hold onto it after seeing it once, but it will be useful to reference while you'll learning. Especially the later parts that you can't properly comprehend yet.You seclude yourself to practice the technique, and Yu Fu ends up selling the gold silk cocoons on your behalf. The sale of them brings 24000 gold coins, which puts your finances at about 43500 gold coins after savings. That's... more money than you've had in your life actually. The money is all in denominations of 1000 besides the spare change, and you feel like it's burning a hole in your pocket. You should spend some of this after you get back. Preferably in one of your family's shops. After several weeks locked up in cultivation, you get a message that Tian Ru has reached Bone and Marrow Tempering and, as promised, he wants a rematch. You...>may as well, you haven't actually left this room for at least a week, have you?>decline, you have more important things to do. Like cultivating.>Other
>>3580622>may as well, you haven't actually left this room for at least a week, have you?
>>3580622>>may as well, you haven't actually left this room for at least a week, have you?
Tian Ru probably won't give up even if you decline, so there's nothing to do accept.At the arena you find Tian Ru and a few other juniors of the Yu family grouped together. You wave and take up a position at the other end of the arena before unsheathing your guandao. As you do so Tian Ru takes a pair of knuckledusters from his pocket and puts them on. After a few seconds someone begins counting down, and when the count hits 0 both of you charge towards each other. At one glance you can tell his speed is greater than yours, but maybe your new technique will be able to help with this. You naturally can't move faster with it, but it increases your strike speed, allowing you to block and attack more easily.The two of you reach striking distance and Tian Ru punches out towards you. You flick your guandao upwards and barely manage to deflect his hit. You weren't able to muster all of your force into your strike so you're both forced backwards, but your strength is definitely still above his. Tian Ru moves to your side and attacks from there and you're forced to take a hit as your weapon moves over. He blocks the shaft with an arm, only being forced back a foot or two before regaining his balance. You exchange blows a few more times and confirm that you're on the losing end. Still, it would be ridiculously difficult for him to leave any major wounds on you, so a battle between the two of you would naturally be a long and drawn out affair. Tian Ru's arm closes in on you and you bring your guandao up to dodge. This is a good opportunity to test something now that you know how you match up without it. As Tian Ru meets your strike you think "2 Desires!" The blade of your weapon immediately moves into a second position as you direct it with all your force. The second blow manages to escape the fate of being blocked like the rest of your blows, cutting Tian Ru along his arm. The outcome to this spar could lie in how quickly he gets used to it and how many times you can pull this off.After your third usage of 2 Desires, Tian Ru manages to dodge both strikes, although he's left completely open. He can't pull it off every time after this, but it does show that the element of surprise is gone. After eight usages your arms are beginning to get really sore, and while you're not worried about injuring them, if you use it much more you won't be able to fight. At this point Tian Ru has several long cuts on each of his arms, and as a result his striking force has gone down. Normally someone would declare their defeat by now, but he's incredibly stubborn and knows that he could win this if he outlasts you. You...>spend as long as you need to wait him out, he'll be forced to give up eventually.>put all your strength into it and try to pull off 3 Desires. If you manage to your combat strength will probably go down, but that should be a good enough show of strength to end this. Even if he doesn't admit defeat it should be recognized as victory for a spar.>Other
>>3581150>>put all your strength into it and try to pull off 3 Desires. If you manage to your combat strength will probably go down, but that should be a good enough show of strength to end this. Even if he doesn't admit defeat it should be recognized as victory for a spar.We have to keep pushing our selves. And at the of this we are one level under. We could also risk taking a hit to give out a good hit to potentially knock his ass out. Since we are suppose to be durable as fuck. And we would heal broken bones and such rather quickly. But again this is just a spare. So I leave It the next anon to look and chioces.
>>3581150>try to pull 3 desires
>>3581150>spend as long as you need to wait him out, he'll be forced to give up eventually.I don't want to use fresh learned technique in sparring match.
>>3581150>put all your strength into it and try to pull off 3 Desires. If you manage to your combat strength will probably go down, but that should be a good enough show of strength to end this. Even if he doesn't admit defeat it should be recognized as victory for a spar.The only problem I have with this option is the potential for a fatal blow. Which is a bad thing. But being reckless once and a while is important. Plus this is fun.
You could probably win this by drawing things out since he's already injured, but... you want to test out your strength to the fullest. You steady your guandao and exchange a few rounds as you wait for the perfect opportunity. Eventually you take a hit in the chest from Tian Ru, but at the same time you put forth all of your strength in a bid to execute 3 Desires. You let out a deep roar as your guandao flashes forward, moving rapidly as you feel an unbearable pain in your arm. Three strikes combined with the perfect timing send Tian Ru flying backwards. He tumbles against the ground before hesitantly getting up while your arms hang against your sides, limp. You can't feel any strength in them. Your hands unwillingly let go of your weapon, allowing it to clatter against the ground.Tian Ru stares at you before laughing and asking for someone to pass him some bandages. "I didn't think you'd improve that much while I was making my breakthrough. He glances down at his chest and traces the wounds as he lights out a whistle. "Damn, that hurts. I can still fight, but since it's just a spar it'd be ridiculous to call it my win. I may treat them more seriously than everyone else, but even I know that they're not a life and death battle." Tian Ru gets up and goes to shake your hand, but... uh, you can't control your hand very well. He laughs and helps you get to your bed, figuring that you might have trouble with any doors along the way.You fall asleep immediately after hitting the bed and wake up early the next morning. Your arms are still sore, but you can move them. Well, at least you know you can pull it off, just... you won't be able to do anything afterwards. You get out of bed and...>go fishing, you're clearly not a state to cultivate today.>cultivate, practicing right now is hard but needed. There is no improvement without suffering.>head to the family's library, maybe you can find something to read.>Other
>>3581300>train our legs>use spare time to look after our plants and butterfly budsSince our arms are probably burning, being faster, jumping higher, and kicking harder would be beneficial.
>>3581300>>head to the family's library, maybe you can find something to read.
Had to mess with some stuff, will call the vote in 30 minutes.
>>3581581sorry, don't know why but forgot I voted. ;-; lol
Rolled 2 (1d2)1: Leg day2: Reading
You guess you may as well check out the Yu family's collection of books while you're here. You don't study too often, but maybe they'll have something on the local area, or maybe refining. Of course forging techniques wouldn't be on display, but maybe there's some books on general knowledge.You enter the library and immediately struck by how cluttered it is. Endless shelves and piles of books spread throughout the dark room. Some are thick, dusty tomes, while others are thin pieces of paper that almost look like pamphlets. There's a glass case full of jade slips, but there's a handwritten sign on the front that simply says "Elders only". As you look around an old man approaches you. A long, gray beard covers most of his face, and he carries a satchel full of books with him.The man looks you up and down, seemingly evaluating you. Eventually he frowns and asks you what you're looking for. You're...>looking for books on refining, if they happen to have any. You're pretty adept already, but maybe they'll have something interesting.>are interested in books on local legends and lore. You don't know much about the area.>interested in any books about raising plants. Maybe you can find out more about your blood or possible plants to raise.>Other
>>3581662>>interested in any books about raising plants. Maybe you can find out more about your blood or possible plants to raise.
>>3581662>are interested in books on local legends and lore. You don't know much about the area.Treasure hunt!
>>3581662I'm all for trying to become more an apothecary instead of a refiner giving our natural talents
Hm. You are interested in the local lore and knowledge on refining treasures, but the former isn’t that important and the latter you’re already decent knowledgeable at. Maybe you can try to figure out more about raising plants? It is your main source of money right now. “Elder, I’m looking for books on the growth of medicinal plants.” The old man nods before silently leading you to a dusty corner of the library. A few lights stop it from being completely pitch black, and there are several plants scattered around. He leaves as you begin to examine the innumerable spines to find something that interests you.The first thing that jumps out to you is how old some of these books are. It’s normal for them to be 100 or 200 years old, and one of them had a publishing date that was more than 400 years ago. Clearly the Yu family, or someone who joined them, has been collecting books for a long time. You begin looking over a few old tomes with interesting titles and read about various plants, famous apothecaries, and other such things. You also read about various fertilizers, and as you’re reading you can’t help but wonder if you could mix a few drops of blood into a bag of soil and then just market it as one. You quickly discard the thought since your blood probably can’t speed up the growth of truly valuable plants, but it is worth keeping in mind.You slowly make your way through a pile of books until eventually the old man returns to where you are, tells you that it’s late, and leaves. As far as you can tell he’s not kicking you out, just... informing you. There isn’t any way to tell the time in here after all. You read a bit more and go back to bed, your arms feeling much better after not having to practice all day. The next morning you feel fine and return to cultivating, although you do set aside a small amount of time to read each day now that you have something to research.As your time in the Yu family begins to run out, you make great strides towards Late Flesh Tempering, gain control of the first three strikes of the three desires, and spend some time speaking to Tian Ru and Yu Fu.>Is there anything else you’d like to do here before your time here runs out?Yes, it's a "wat do" prompt, sue me. You'll get these sometimes when you change locations.
>>3581719experiment with the water steel we bought maybe go bear hunting again.
>>3581719Look for more Gold Silk Butterflies?Don't really have many ideas. We could find out what was deal with that girl at the start the only thing I could think of that we didn't really explore.
>>3581719I guess going hunting another time would be nice and maybe having a chat with the Yu family, as a way to cement a friendship between houses.
>>3581743I really don't think we should go down the route of being a refiner. considering the natural talents that we've unlocked. Let's be realistic how much could we have learned as a 10-year old that wasn't doing it every day.>>3581750The girl we ran into was at another town. So it would be pure luck if we run into her. And finding more butterflies would think again be more luck. I am not against it, just I would say if we're going to do that we should mix it with >>3581756 So it wouldn't be a complete loss if we're not lucky. We have to be realistic.
As the time left in the Yu family ticks down you do head into the forest several more times with Tian Ru in hopes of avenging your humiliating loss to that bear, but never end up coming across it. Tian Ru says it’s for the best, as he still seems to think you’d lose. At least you get to enjoy nature a bit and train at some of his favorite spots in the forest. You try to look for some further opportunities, but it seems you used up most of your luck already as you simply come across some local mushrooms (which admittedly taste great) and a few deer.As your last day in the Yu family nears you say your goodbyes and thank Yu Qiang for his assistance. Yu Qiang says he doesn’t mind, but that you better practice the guandao. You hear a few swears about how “there’s barely anyone else who’s even heard of my weapon in this godforsaken country” after that, and you get the point that he’s mostly interested in the lineage of his weapon. On your last day at the Yu family you meet up with the rest of the juniors for a meal and...>enjoy the revelry, it’s a special occasion after all.>refrain from drinking while hanging out, you are heading out tomorrow. You may look like a bit of a stiff, but oh well.>OtherMy excuse for why you can drink at 13 is that booze is no longer bad for you when you're a cultivator unless you manage to get some magical alcohol capable of killing an elephant.
>>3581812>>enjoy the revelry, it’s a special occasion after all.Party!
>>3581812>refrain from drinking while hanging out, you are heading out tomorrow. You may look like a bit of a stiff, but oh well.Liquid poison is degenerate and literal poison. The only thing that stops alcohol from being pointless is it's potability compared to mud and even worse poison. Even at high tiers it's just inferior, more expensive versions of juice.Say no to drugs.
>>3581812>>enjoy the revelry, it’s a special occasion after all.>>3581824stop being a kill joy. We want to make actual friendships. Its not all business.
>>3581812>refrain from drinking while hanging out, you are heading out tomorrow. You may look like a bit of a stiff, but oh well.We are stiff kinda guy
>>3581830>Implying that not drinking is an identifier of businessI think I'm retarded.Also making freinds *is* business in these kinds of worlds.And having degenerate freinds is not a good sign. Our brother is loathed for a good reason(s).
>>3581841drinking as a going away party is pretty acceptable. Even if we get wasted, considering they see that we mostly spent time cultivating and hunting with others. I think some funny/good memories would not hurt. Makes for friendships. But you are right, we can't let it become a constant thing. Special occasions barring.
>>3581847Fair. But I'm a no fun allowed kind of guy, so I still disagree.
>>3581847And we really committed to our sparring. Taking a lot of the things we do really seriously. As the 2nd young master of the house, do we own a space ring thing to carry our shit?
>>3581860Well, I am simply happy with an agreement of disagreement then. lol
>>3581865Nope, your older brother doesn't have one either. Zhu Chao owns an interspacial ring, Yu Qiang owns one, and you recall two pretty rich elders in your family owning one. The only juniors who own one in this country are probably members of the Five Families, part of a government's lineage (think the Royal Family but more of a meritocracy), or a similarly important figure.
>>3581812I say let's drink a bit and sing them a couple songs from our region.
Rolled 88 (1d100)You usually don’t drink but, what the hell. It’s your own going away party, if you don’t drink now then it’d just look dumb. You pour yourself a glass as you talk with the others about whatever comes to mind. Most of it’s banal topics, but it’s fun to talk about anyways.As the night goes on some of you tell stories and sing a bit, and you give a rendition of a ballad you heard once. The topics get slightly less practical and a bit more idiotic as the night goes on, but it’s all in good fun.
As the night wears on a few of you get a poker game going as you talk, and... you're really lucky tonight. Over the course of a couple of hours you easily earn nearly 600 gold coins. By the end of the night you've made good friends over good wine and hopefully have left an impression among the Yu family's younger generation.You go to bed around 1 AM and begin heading down the mountain at dawn. When you reach the town Elder Chu is waiting for you. You both ride your horses into the distance, ready to return to the estate. Hopefully your brother hasn't done anything too idiotic while you were gone.During the 10 days it takes to return the estate not much happens besides a breakthrough to Late Flesh Tempering. It will probably take at least a few more months to breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering, but it's still far beyond your previous speed. At this rate it won't be long before your talent is seen as equal to your brother's. As the two of you near the estate Zhu Chao greets you, and he ushers for you to follow him. Elder Chu stables the horses as you follow Zhu Chao into his office."Your older brother has gotten engaged." "Really?" "Yes, it turns out that years of his... activities have developed some sort of skill. Just not the ones you use in battle. Anyways, I'm telling you this immediately because it makes your position in the race as successor more precarious. You've always made up for your inferior talent with your attitude, and that has left the factions about equal. With your brother's engagement, however, he has taken the lead." "The lead? A simple marriage shouldn't be that important. Who is he engaged to?" Zhu Chao sighs before responding. "He's engaged to a young missus of the Ji Family." The Ji family? That's... they're bigger than you. "The successor?" "No, but she has a decent chance to be. Either way, she won't have a low position. Some of the elders want to push for your brother to be named the successor, but it but they've been blocked while his fianceé's position isn't confirmed. The Ji family's succession race will end within 2 years, so before then you need to either find some way to catch up with your brother, or accept that you're going to play second fiddle."Well, this speeds up your timeline. Still, you think you can do this. You've improved a lot recently, and you should be able to find some backing to rely on, whether that be your talent or something else. You...>find another junior above your level to spar against. You need to demonstrate your strength to get things under control for now.>call Dai He and your other supporters and see if they have any ideas. The factions haven't mattered until now, but this has turned into a real race for succession.>ask Zhu Chao if you should be looking for a fianceé. If they had a good position it could also serve to improve your chances to succeed.>Other
>>3582101>>ask Zhu Chao if you should be looking for a fianceé. If they had a good position it could also serve to improve your chances to succeed.then>find another junior above your level to spar against. You need to demonstrate your strength to get things under control for now.
>>3582101>>find another junior above your level to spar against. You need to demonstrate your strength to get things under control for now.>>call Dai He and your other supporters and see if they have any ideas. The factions haven't mattered until now, but this has turned into a real race for succession.I feel like we can get this shit together.Considering the amount of money we can make, we can do two things. 1. Pay for a cultivation tutor (some one with decent experience handling weapons to keeps us well trained with our weapon.)2. Pay for cultivation pills or just buy a shit ton of plants we could consume ourselves that will help our cultivation. The latter might be easier to do, considering we would be buying cheap ones and no one else will know we are getting really high quality stuff. Point is we need to prove our worth.Fighting some one above our cultivation would help prove that. And letting our faction know we are committed to making this happen also helps.
>>3582110I agree with this.
>>3582101>>ask Zhu Chao if you should be looking for a fianceé. If they had a good position it could also serve to improve your chances to succeed.then>find another junior above your level to spar against. You need to demonstrate your strength to get things under control for now.This seems pretty good.Though honestly I really don't personally care about the succession debacle. As long as our brother gets his shit together and papa is appeased in heaven, I don't see why we should care other than the challenge of rivalry.
>>3582163IC our father built something from his hard work. And with the information that we have, our brother is going to be a terrible leader. Who will destroy everything our father has built given time. Why would we not care? Just go off into the wild and forget about everything our father did for us?
>>3582163>As long as our brother gets his shit togetherhe very well may. But even if he does, a good amount of competition will only help. We do not intend to do any underhanded moves. And we could be very clear about that point. Where the only reason we are fighting for this position is that we fear he may destroy the foundations of our family and our dad's hard work.So it should be just fine to give him some competition and work at least a little harder. SO he isn't a lazy piece of shit. Who knows this new wife might be great for him. Or she fails and just see's our family as her way up and may be plotting to double cross our brother.Blood is thicker than water is all im getting at.
Well, you guess you should prove your strength at least. That will stabilize the situation for now and then you can figure out what to do from There. But first...“Grand Elder Zhu, should I get a fianceé?” He stares at you for a moment before chuckling. “It’s a bit early, but if you had a good offer it’d be fine. The only problem with that would be finding one. Sure, you could probably convince the daughter of some weaker, or maybe even an equal family, to marry you. Still, they’d be in a weaker position than his fianceé, Ji Quxin. If you’d really think it’d help I could look further into the matter, but unless you have a chance of convincing someone of equal standing to marry you then I’d put it aside. Keep in mind your brother had an advantage in this area due to his... pursuits.” Well, that makes sense. Still, you can keep it mind.After you leave the room you get a servant to gather the other juniors for you and go to the sparring grounds out back. A few minutes after your arrival most of the juniors are there besides your brother, who’s currently cultivating at the Ji family’s estate a couple days away. “Well, I called you all here before I hoped you would all help me test out my newfound strength. Who’s interested?” As you smile a friend of yours at Peak Flesh Tempering takes the stage. “If you need a helper I’ll assist. Alright then Young Master Liu, show me how much you’ve improved.” The two of you give a slight bow before you start moving. His speed is a bit faster than yours, but it’s not a terrible disparity due to your recent breakthroughs. He approaches you, sword in hand, and you counter it with your guandao. He attempts to block but is immediately sent flying away.You would’ve preferred holding back since he’s your friend, but that defeats the purpose. “Thank you Brother Shao, rest for a while. Brother Qian, if you could help me?” As you say this everyone’s focus turns to Qian Long, a 16 year-old at the Middle Bone and Marrow Tempering realm. “Me? Young Master Liu, I respect you, but isn’t that a bit too arrogant? Well, I suppose you are worried after the engagement. Still, I’ll show you not to get too ahead of yourself.” Qian Long enters the arena, a frown on his face. He seems offended, but oh well.
Qian Long charges towards you immediately after the fight starts. in one hand he holds a short sword, and in the other he holds a shield. As he approaches you you take your guandao and thrust it towards the shield. He pushes it forward to counter, but is pushed backwards after he does so. “Good blow Young Master Liu, but it’s still not enough to defeat me.” He jumps in with his sword after that, wanting to finish you off in a single strike to regain face after being pushed back by you. You ignore blocking the hit and instead thrust your guandao towards him. He moves to block with the shield, but at that moment you violently pull the guandao to the left, revealing that it was a feint!Qian Long grits his teeth and pulls away, moving his sword to try and block your blade. As he does so you use 3 Desires and your guandao flashes as you unleash three strikes at once. Qian Long’s eyes widen as his sword is sent flying and a small slash is left on his palm. Qian Long quickly goes to grab his sword, but as he turns around you unleash a parting blow towards him. He blocks it with his shield, but you unleash 3 Desires again, ignoring the slight burning in your arm. Your guandao embeds itself in Qian Long’s shield and you attack with another strike, slamming his own shield into his wrist before he can adjust. As you rush forward Qian Long concedes. He probably figured that he’d be stuck in running away for ages since you couldn’t catch up, or that he’d be struck down while trying to get his sword. At that point it maintains more face to just give up.Qian Long grits his teeth and bows. “Young Master Liu truly has improved! This is a joyous occasion for the Liu family.” You nod and...>go into town to purchase some items. (state what. If it’s pills for cultivation, just give me an amount of money to spend.)>gather Dai He and the people who were supporting you and discuss the changes within the family. You want to make sure nothing major happens while still guaranteeing that you become the patriarch.>return to cultivation.>Other
>>3582232>>go into town to purchase some items. (state what. If it’s pills for cultivation, just give me an amount of money to spend.)We have no basis on what items are for sale and how "good/strong they are" compared to the things our bother and we get. Point is to increase our speed much faster. But I guess 50% of our current funds as a starting point. And see exactly how that increases our cultivating speed. >gather Dai HeWe do need to do this soon anyway.
>>3582232>>3582232>Thank Qian Long for the Spar, we needed to let loose after our return and needed to be us. We need to work harder to catch up.>>gather Dai He and the people who were supporting you and discuss the changes within the family. You want to make sure nothing major happens while still guaranteeing that you become the patriarch.>Also keep it clean. We are STILL a family, but Iron sharpen Iron. If Brother truly wants the head position we will try everything not possible to deny him if only so he can overcome, or fail. To that end we've gotten a small stipend from some herbs and golden butterflies we helped cultivate up, we need to spend it to best effect.
>>3582238my first snippet was cut was supposed to be>Thank Qian Long for the Spar, we needed to let loose after our return and needed to make sure our skills were as we thought they were. He's a worth opponent and if he had foreseen three desires or had we missed he'd have defeated us easily. We need to work harder to catch up.
>>3582243>>3582238Sure. Gotta make friends.Though I do think he is part of our faction.>>3582236Mhm OPI personally prefer knowing exact number but if you would like to keep things like pills and money Vague I understand as well. Like x amount buys 1.5x speed of training for 6 monthsY costs 2 times and much for 1.8x training...And keep thing generally vague I would get it. As it doesnt contribute much to the story.
“Brother Qian, thanks for sparring with me.” In truth, that fight was closer than it looked. Still, you took advantage of the element of surprise and managed to win. You picked Qian Long knowing that with his personality you’d have a good chance of winning, or else you would’ve aimed for someone a bit weaker.You speak to a few of the people at your estate who have supported you the most firmly and tell them to follow you. After you pick up a few things you’ll be having a strategy meeting with Dai He. First you head to the shop you previously went to, the one that sells pills and herbs and such. After you arrive the shopkeeper politely greets you group, and after returning their greeting you quickly get into business. “I’m here to pick up a few things. First I’ll be purchasing three Blue Ebony pills, then a Rubber Flesh pill, and after that...” You list quite a few items that eventually total up to about 22,000 gold. The shopkeeper and your companions are looking at you in shock, and as they do you pull 22 golden bills out of your pocket and some change. The shopkeeper quickly goes to get the merchandise as you speak to the people behind you. The news of you buying so many pills would’ve gotten out anyways, so you may as well turn it to your advantage. Paint it as a way to turn things to your advantage rather than a “desperate last-ditch attempt that wastes all of my money” or whatever the opposition would paint it as. You don’t think your brother would bother to do something like that, but some of his cronies might.After collecting your pills you take the excited group to meet Dai He, who excitedly greets you after your time away. He’s surprised over your rapid growth in cultivation, and you assure him that it will only continue.You find a quiet spot and...>ask everyone to just keep to themselves and minimize the conflict while you deal with it. As long as you become strong enough this shouldn’t be a problem.>ask everyone to keep an eye on your brother but not to start anything. As long as you know what he’s up to you’ll be fine. You just want to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid or gets convinced to do something stupid.>canvas everyone for ideas, you won’t do anything untoward, but maybe someone can think of something that you’ve overlooked.>Other
>>3582294I'd prefer to keep things vague so it'll probably just be me noting that you're taking them and that they're helping and eventually that you need to refine out some pill toxins while you consolidate your cultivation. This of course goes out the window in the case that you come across any miracle pills with huge effects, in which case I'll be detailed and will probably end up writing a whole post about you taking it and describe the effects in a bit more detail.
>>3582300>>canvas everyone for ideas, you won’t do anything untoward, but maybe someone can think of something that you’ve overlooked.
>>3582300>>ask everyone to keep an eye on your brother but not to start anything. As long as you know what he’s up to you’ll be fine. You just want to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid or gets convinced to do something stupid.Nice and subtle
>>3582332I feel like the competition alone will force our brother to not be shit tier. And we should just focus on our cultivation and weapons handling. Who knows when someone bigger and badder might show up.
Side note, I might not be around tomorrow, I'm getting my wisdom teeth pulled and dunno how out of it'll I'll be afterwards.
>>3582300>>ask everyone to keep an eye on your brother but not to start anything. As long as you know what he’s up to you’ll be fine. You just want to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid or gets convinced to do something stupid.
>>3582300>>ask everyone to keep an eye on your brother but not to start anything. As long as you know what he’s up to you’ll be fine. You just want to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid or gets convinced to do something stupid.>>3582386my personal experience is that if you go to a good doctor and get all the anesthetics like a pansy, there should be 0 issues. if the soreness is too much just take a day off or so.
I can help with the cultivation rankings. The most easiest to make is to have the main and sub as.Main onesQi CondensationFoundation EstablishmentCore FormationQi Meridian OpeningNanscent SoulSpirit SeveringDao SeekingFalse ImmortalTrue ImmortalThe sub would be Low Medium High and Breakthrough. Although it is up to you if you want to use this as a cultivation rank.
>>3583340Here >>3580424 are the already established ones, how would you say they compare?
“Just keep an eye on my brother and see what he’s up to. Don’t start anything, just make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.” You feel like you’ll be fine as long as you know what he’s up to, and so you make sure you have a few people keeping an eye on him. They conversation after that is short, and not much comes of it besides someone asking if you’re going to visit the Ji family to keep an eye on your brother. That’s not the worst idea, especially if you want to meet your sister-in-law, but it would take some time away from practice. You’ll leave it on the back burner and decide later. After everyone but Dai He has left you hand Dai He a pill and leave. He tries to decline but you assure him that you have more than enough money right now and that it’s fine.After returning to the estate you...>return to cultivation, the sooner you make a breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering, the sooner things will turn in your favor.>prepare for a visit to the Ji family, you should see what your brother is up to.>ask Zhu Chao to look further into possible engagements, they could help your position.>Other
>>3583390>visitBreakthroughs are important, but information is powerful on its own
>>3583390>>return to cultivation, the sooner you make a breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering, the sooner things will turn in your favor.g a i n s
>>3583390>>return to cultivation, the sooner you make a breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering, the sooner things will turn in your favor.>>3583401idk how long it will take but our focus might as well be might makes right. We have others eyeing him. We should trust them.The sooner we get stronger the better. As well as gaining a potentially more powerful alliance. When others see us a hard working prodigy. Not worried of many worldly problems focusing on our selves.
>>3583436Networking is an important aspect of a lord: not meeting someone who may be part of your family soon could be seen as a slight, expecially when it's from a greater house. Hard work grants prestige, but a tarnished reputation may still cut your legs.And yes, we have eyes on him, but direct observation trumps second-hand reports.That said, we are not that pressed for time as the marriage is not THAT soon. So yes, we might as well cultivate.I still want a meeting, at least to gauge their motives and to exchange pleasantries (read: social-fu)
>>3583390>>prepare for a visit to the Ji family, you should see what your brother is up to.
>>3583451That said we could use some of the metal we bought to make a wedding gift, later on. A weapon, or maybe something for house use like an elaborate tea set. Or even something more artistic, as a small sculpture or a bell or even a calligraphy set.
>>3583451>>3583470I get you, and I do agree with you there. With the watersteel, we could make them something we made our selves. with some supervision. As a gift for their wedding. But you are right. We do have to make a point to go visit them the Ji family. common courtesy and all. Also OP how far away is the Ji family that "it would take some time away from practice"
>>3583571>your brother, who’s currently cultivating at the Ji family’s estate a couple days awayDunno if by horse or by foot.
Well, it’d be courteous of you to visit the Ji family. Plus, it will be advantageous to see what they’re like. You quickly draw up a route and prepare your horse before heading out the next day. Elder Chu accompanies you again, and within a couple days you’ve reached Blue Mount City, home of the Ji family.You head to the estate first and see that it’s a large plot of land on the edge of the city. It’s separated into a few large houses, and is a bit larger than the Liu family’s estate. After introducing yourself a guard escorts you inside, where your brother meets you. Despite the early time of day he’s a bit tipsy and seems to be in a good mood. “Little Brother Zhu, it’s good to see you! How did you excursion to the Yu family go!” “Good, I learned quite a bit. I heard you got engaged after I came back so I hurried here to give you my congratulations. You’re enjoying your time with the bride I assume?” Your brother’s mouth splits into a slightly lecherous grin and he looks at you. “Yes, yes, I’m enjoying my time here very much. Ji Ming is a very beautiful woman, and it’s my good luck to be engaged to her.”You speak to your brother a bit and...>find somewhere to cultivate while you keep your eye on him for a while. He’s made it clear you’re welcome here, so you don’t mind staying for a week or two while you observe him.>ask if you can get a chance to meet the bride. You can get an engagement gift ready and will have a chance to judge her character.>take up one of his offers to hang out. It probably won’t be anything you’d like to do, but it makes sense that he’d want to do something when he doesn’t know many people here. Then again, he has always been good at making new friends. Just not good ones.>Other
>>3583711>>ask if you can get a chance to meet the bride. You can get an engagement gift ready and will have a chance to judge her character.since we are already here.
>>3583711>>ask if you can get a chance to meet the bride. You can get an engagement gift ready and will have a chance to judge her character.god damnit bro, you have two heads, one makes bad decisions and the other terrible ones.
>>3583711>>ask if you can get a chance to meet the bride. You can get an engagement gift ready and will have a chance to judge her character.
>>3583711>Ji Ming>>3582231>Ji QuxinTypo or our brother is more depraved than we thought?>Ask to meet the brideThe very reason we're here, anything else can wait.
>>3583721>>3583716I also assume it has been a couple of weeks since we started raising our plants. We should get rid of what we have in this city even if its a bit less if we hold on to them a bit more. As we don't want to raise any suspicion as to where we are getting these rare plants.At least we can buy double or triple what we bought in the last city. And when we sell them to our own city we can say we found them when we did out little study abroad.
>>3583728As hilarious as that is, typo. I tried to see if I had given her a name but missed it.
>>3583728>>3583732don't get the difference. Is that the difference between a male and female name? ;-;>>3583731we can say we found a huge horde of plants. and sold some when away which is why we had so much money once we came back.
Well, one of your reasons to come here was to meet the bride and see if she was going to good for your brother of if she seemed to have other motives. You may as well take care of that immediately. “Big Brother Xuan, I’d love to meet Big Sis Quxin if the two of you have time and give my greetings.” “Of course, I’ll talk to her and we can have dinner tonight.” “Alright then, I’m going to go into the city then. I’ll be back in a bit, see you.” “Mmm, see you later.”After heading into the city you look around for a decent engagement gift. You don’t know what she’s interested in to be honest, so you should just go for something like a dress. It doesn't assume anything about her interests, it’s from what you know most women like beautiful clothing. Hell, your brother likes beautiful clothing. You find an expensive looking clothing shop and purchase one for 1500 gold coins. It should help you make a good impression. After that you look around for a bit and see that the city has a large shop related to a major clan you’ve heard of. You should make sure to never make trouble in there.After you finishing touring the city the sun is beginning to come down and you return to the manor. You wait a bit before being invited to eat with your brother, his fianceé, and a few other members of the Ji family. Ji Quxin isn’t a bad person, although she... reminds you of your brother. It’s just that all of her attention is focused on him, and not a variety of men. Maybe she was more like your brother before being engaged, but you’d never be dumb enough to bring up the subject. You give her the engagement present and compliments it and has a maidservant take it to her quarters. Well, she seems genuine enough. She’s probably not a hardworking martial artist type, but she’s not evil by any means. Just... misguided. This does reinforce your conviction to overtake your brother though - you really can’t trust them to run a family clan.The meal finishes up after a while and you return to a guest room they’ve prepared for you. Your brother comes after a little while and tries to convince you to engage into the Ji family as well, describing the various “beauties” who live here and how it could solidify the alliance between the two houses. You make it a point to turn him down and eventually he leaves. He probably doesn’t have bad intentions in mind (or in fact, many intentions at all), but you really can’t marry anyone from the Ji family. Wouldn’t you just be doomed if you voluntarily married someone under your brother’s fianceé? It’d be like announcing you’re willing to not succeed to the seat of patriarch.The next morning you...>prepare to return home, you think everything should be fine here.>find somewhere to cultivate. You may as well stay here a couple weeks while you get ready to sell your plants and keep an eye on your brother.>take up your brother’s offer to hang out, it may not end well, but he seems insistent on it.>Other
>>3583742I accidentally typed different names so if it weren't a typo it would mean our brother was engaged to two people.
>>3583765>prepare to return home, you think everything should be fine here.
>>3583765>>find somewhere to cultivate. You may as well stay here a couple weeks while you get ready to sell your plants and keep an eye on your brother.She may be putting on a front.
>>3583765>>find somewhere to cultivate. You may as well stay here a couple weeks while you get ready to sell your plants and keep an eye on your brother.Yeah. We still have our cultivation stuff. if not our butterflies. we can get rid of our shit on hand. and bring back plenty of spending money. And we now know even if she does become head of the Ji family. She may just be a puppet with a lot of power behind her. Or just born into the position and we learned she is not a real threat to us.Anyway lets do this.
>>3583768>implying he isn't
You figure you’ll stay here for two or three weeks, wait for your plants to mature a bit more, and then sell them for a decent profit. You’ll be selling them early, but it’s still good money. You just want to avoid selling them in Vermilion City where possible. You doubt it’d arise suspicion, but who knows.As you stay at the Ji family you get to observe your brother and Ji Quxin, and as far as you can tell, they’re pretty harmless. They’re both talented compared to how you were, there’s no denying that, but they spend most of their time drinking and having fun. As the days lump together, you do notice something odd though. Your brother gets to go out whenever he wants, but he always has someone accompanying him. Sometimes they stay in the shadows, and sometimes they walk alongside him. You would be suspicious, but since you don’t trust them, you should consider the Ji family’s position. They’re probably just afraid he’ll cause problems as well and made sure he’s being watched. You’re being watched as well, but it’s more of passive effect since you’re always at the estate. The couple of times you’ve gone out you’re able to go alone, although the do offer to have someone show you around.Eventually a couple weeks have passed and it’s about your time to depart and sell the plants. You leave the estate, put on a different set of clothes, and go to a shop to sell your items. It’s owned by a shop that isn’t related to the Ji family, so no one should get news of you selling the items here. It probably wouldn’t arouse the Ji family’s interest anyways, but better safe than sorry. You sell this batch for 12000 gold since it’s pretty premature, and then spend 4000 buying about four or five months worth of plants to grow. You’re not sure when the next time you’ll leave Vermilion City is, so you may as well stock up.Funds: 32500 gold coinsYou return to Vermilion City alone with an escort from the Ji family, as Elder Chu would rather not spend several weeks here. You return without much of incident happening, and...>return to cultivation, the sooner you make a breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering, the sooner things will turn in your favor.>look among the minor families in the cities for further allies. The ones hostile to you were already killed by Zhu Chao, and it could help a bit.>ask Zhu Chao to look further into possible engagements, they could help your position.>Other
>>3583912>return to cultivation, the sooner you make a breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering, the sooner things will turn in your favor.When our bro gets back we have to shoot the shit straight with him.
>>3583912>>look among the minor families in the cities for further allies. The ones hostile to you were already killed by Zhu Chao, and it could help a bit.
>>3583912>>return to cultivation, the sooner you make a breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering, the sooner things will turn in your favor.
You return to cultivating and begin taking your pills in earnest now that you won’t be moving around for a while and you have some privacy. Every few days you’ll take a pill and then slowly refine the medicinal essence within your body and use it to advance your cultivation. It leaves small amounts of pill toxins within your body, but they aren’t directly dangerous. They’d lead to an unstable foundation if you ignored them, but as long as you don’t overdo it you can get rid of them over time. You keep to yourself over the next few weeks, pushing your cultivating forward and practicing 72 Desires. Once you break through you think you’ll be able to pull off 4 Desires in battle. You’re not sure if you’ll have to save it for a finishing move or if you can use it multiple times, but you’ll figure it out in the future. One day when you’re taking a short break from cultivation, you’re hanging out with Dai He in the forest. After making deathly sure that no is watching you, you discuss the issue of your plants and selling them. As you’re talking Dai He interrupts you and suggests to you that you give him the money needed to buy a garden, have him liase it through one or two other parties in disguise, and then have them purchase a secluded space for you. Then you can grow the plants somewhere other than inside a leather pack and put the Gold Silk Butterflies you caught to better use. The plants themselves aren’t exceptional enough to catch the attention of major figures, it’s just the fact that a junior like you has so many of them. As long as you aren’t known to be the owner of the garden it won’t be a big deal. Well, the idea is tempting. For the time being you don’t have much to spend your money on anyways, if you buy too many pills it’d harm your foundation. You...>decline the idea, you’d keep having to go back and forth to water the plants, even if it was in a secluded place someone might notice your movements. It’s not worth the increased yield.>accept the idea, it would be useful to have a space of your own to keep them. If your bag ever got searched you wouldn’t have a way to explain it, and the plants would do better in an open space. If you didn’t want to go back and forth you could always save up a few days worth of blood and have Dai He water them.>OtherAlso, I predict that someone may complain about telling Dai He about this ability without a choice, but you already told him what happened to you in the second post, including your overflowing vitality. If he told anyone you could probably live longer than a Soul Foundation expert with a low cultivation you'd likely be murdered and refined into pills or something, so in comparison this is nothing.
>>3584078>accept the idea, it would be useful to have a space of your own to keep them. If your bag ever got searched you wouldn’t have a way to explain it, and the plants would do better in an open space. If you didn’t want to go back and forth you could always save up a few days worth of blood and have Dai He water them.
>>3584078>>accept the idea, it would be useful to have a space of your own to keep them. If your bag ever got searched you wouldn’t have a way to explain it, and the plants would do better in an open space. If you didn’t want to go back and forth you could always save up a few days worth of blood and have Dai He water them.
>>3584078Why not? >accept
The idea is a pretty good one, so you turn over a few thousand gold to Dai He to buy an unused building outside of the city. It’s hidden from prying eyes and you should be able to come and go from there without drawing much notice, so it should be perfect. You spend a few hours planting everything in the building and let the butterflies free in there. With luck they might get you a few plants for free, and if you’re unlucky it’s not any harm.Another month passes and you cultivation draws closer and closer to Bone and Marrow Tempering. At this point you think you have a chance of breaking through your bottleneck at any time now, and your days are mostly spent in waiting for that moment. One late night a familiar sensation begins overtaking your body and a burning feeling fills it. A terrible pain overcomes you as you feel the skin on your body completely shed, covering the ground around you. A new layer of skin quickly begins developing, turning from raw, pink skin which hurts to touch into a thick layer of toughened skin. As it does so you a layer of grey sweat begins covering you, indicating the purging of impurities from your skin. Before you can celebrate though, you realize that you can’t move. The seed above your heart is trembling, seemingly in excitement, and roots quickly begin shooting out of it. The roots fill your body, tearing open your meridians again, and an intense pain fills your body. For the rest of the night you sit there, trembling in pain, before the roots withdraw from your meridians.You pass out and wake up several hours later, finding that your meridians are once again sealed. The vitality within your body has grown slightly once again, but the increase is nothing near the first time. You exert your strength and find that its increased accordingly with your breakthrough, same as your defense. After your breakthrough you...>find someone to help you test out your strength, you need to use up some of the energy from your breakthrough.>report to Zhu Chao and see if he wants to organize a celebration or something of the like.>Other
>>3584230>test your strenghtI'm more interested in the effects of that Wood Qi than celebrating passing a stage. We can tell Zhu right after that.
>>3584230>>find someone to help you test out your strength, you need to use up some of the energy from your breakthrough. sounds good
Your first matter of business should be testing out your increase in strength. You were just barely able to prevail over someone at Middle Bone and Marrow Tempering before, so someone at Late Bone and Marrow Tempering sounds right. You a junior with that level of cultivation and she congratulates you on your breakthrough as you make your way to the arena.Once you start the battle you note that her speed far outstrips yours. Still, much better than if you hadn’t broken through. Your speed isn’t spectacular, but it naturally went up with your breakthrough. You both exchange a few blows and the result is that you're stronger. Not by that much, but after finishing Flesh Tempering it doesn’t matter. Without a weapon it will be difficult for someone in Bone and Marrow Tempering to injure you. Unless they’re a talented genius from a major family, you don’t know how powerful they are so you can’t make a comparison. You both pull out your weapons. Her saber clashes against your guandao, and with her superior speed she’s able to cut you several times while you’re trying to block her attacks. You use 2 Desires and it helps, but it only delays how long it takes for her to launch another attack. It doesn’t injure her.After your probing and tests, you figure that you won’t have a chance of winning unless you use 4 Desires. Still, you also won’t be able to lose. Your recovery, defense, and stamina are monstrous, so if you were in a fight to the death you could wear her down over a long enough time until she had to retreat or die. You exchange a few rounds of blows and eventually find an opening. You push your guandao forward and launch 4 Desires. As your guandao launches out several strikes she quickly reacts and two of them fail to hit her, but the other two leave a sizable wound on her side. You could probably use it again, but then you’d barely be able to fight. After your attack she manages to leave another cut, and the two of you agree to call it a draw for the time being. After evaluating your abilities, you think you could defeat anyone you know at Middle Bone and Marrow Tempering. Late Bone and Marrow Tempering would be luck of the draw, but you doubt you’d lose. After you finish fighting you go to find Zhu Chao, but find that he’s... standing about 10 feet away, watching you. You quickly approach him and inform him of your breakthrough. He nods in response before simply stating that you need to improve your speed. You tell him that you know, and in response he takes a jade slip out of his pocket. He throws it to you and it contains...>a technique on how to leverage brute force to improve one’s dashing speed. It’s rather physically demanding, but you could probably handle it. It’s much harder to use this on smaller movements though. >a technique on how to use more minute movements to dodge, reducing the need for speed.>a book of basic grappling techniques used for restraining enemies. If you just grab people then you don’t need to catch up.>Other
>>3584414>>a technique on how to use more minute movements to dodge, reducing the need for speed.I feel like this is more productive. We just can;t catch up to people above us in level. We could focus on this instead.
>>3584414Efficiency is great, but I want the big D A S H. I am fine with either, really. Grabs are iffy with a slashing polearm tho
>>3584414>>a technique on how to use more minute movements to dodge, reducing the need for speed.
You examine the jade slip with your perception and find that it contains a movement technique. The introduction describes the ability to dodge blows using minute movements, reducing the user's need for speed in dodging. This... it's perfect! You just needed something like this. Zhu Chao smiles as he looks at you. "I thought your speed was lacking, so I looked around to find something appropriate. There were a few candidates, but in the end this seemed like the best option. Practice hard." You promise to do so, and after that Zhu Chao hands you a familiar looking necklace and red bead the size of a marble. These are the life-saving items he gave you for your trip to the Yu family. "Grand Elder Zhu, am I going to be going somewhere?" Zhu Chao shakes his head. "No, but you should keep those on you. Now that you're rising to prominence it would be unfortunate if something bad were to happen to you. It wasn't something I had to worry about before, and I still doubt anything will happen now, but it's better to remain safe." You nod and put the necklace on before shoving the bead into your pocket. As Zhu Chao leaves he reminds you to do your best and states that if you advance enough, then he may have an opportunity for you soon. He also informs you that he'll be organizing a small celebration.The next day you arrive at the "small celebration" organized for you. Every family in the city has sent someone to congratulate you, and many of the juniors are here. It's a bit grand, but you guess it's to be expected. Your family is currently the strongest one in Vermilion City and you just broke through to Bone and Marrow Tempering just you turned 14, several months earlier than your brother. You're given many congratulations throughout the night, and many of the juniors engage in some spars. You also spar a bit, and show off your strength by solidly defeating a Middle Bone and Marrow Tempering junior from another family.The days move forward and you begin practicing your movement technique, adding it to your list of things to do.
Meanwhile, in the Ji family's estate... "Qu'er, I've received good news!" Liu Xuan bursts into the bedroom as his fianceé is drinking in the room. "Hm? Good news?" "Yes, from home." As Liu Xuan says this Ji Quxin excitedly stands up. "Xu'er, you've received good news form home?! Is your position as the successor to patriarch confirmed?!" "No, no, nothing like that. My little brother made a breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering!" Ji Quxin sits down, her smile disappearing. "Your brother? I thought he looked pretty young. How old is he to make a breakthrough, 15?" "No, he's turning 14 in a month." "Mmm. When did you breakthrough to Bone and Marrow Tempering?" "About a month after I turned 14 if I recall correctly." As Liu Xuan says this Ji Quxin's face turns to a grimace. She sighs and glances at Liu Xuan. "I'd ask you to diligently cultivate so you don't fall behind, but we both know you aren't going to do that. I wouldn't either, so I understand." Liu Xuan looks at Ji Quxin, confused. "Qu'er, are you upset?" "A bit, but it's not a big deal. Come here and have a drink, it's fine. I'll deal with my problems myself." Nearly a week later, at the Liu family estate. Your movement technique training has been going well, your cultivation is consolidating rapidly, and soon you'll have the ability to use 4 Desires twice and still fight. Your cultivation is going great and you're in a good mood. You...>go to water your plants. They'll die if you don't after all.>do your check of the shops. You haven't done that since you've been back actually, there's been a lot to do.>visit some of the minor families and see how they're doing, you should keep informed on their happenings.>Other
>>3585005>visit some of the minor families and see how they're doing, you should keep informed on their happenings.
>>3585005>>visit some of the minor families and see how they're doing, you should keep informed on their happenings.Welp here comes poison and assassins
>>3585065>Welp here comes poison and assassins>lad gets poisoned>doesn't realize it>the dosage was only enough to kill seven elephants, not nearly enough
>>3585295>lad gets poisoned>he has loose bowels that night>what the fuck, we gave him enough to kill a Flesh Tempering Cultivator
>>3585303>Lad gets stabbed in his sleep>The daggers break on his skin>They try to choke him>No avail, they only get tired>Lad wakes up with a funky feeling in the morning, but isn't sure what's all about
>>3585005>>visit some of the minor families and see how they're doing, you should keep informed on their happenings.Cant we do the watering in our spare time? In between visiting the minor families.
>>3585005>>visit some of the minor families and see how they're doing, you should keep informed on their happenings.Then>go to water your plants. They'll die if you don't after all.
You should take this time to visit the minor families, if any of them have something important going on then there could be an opportunity in the making. While you're doing that you can give Dai He some blood to water the plants.After you stop of at Dai He's home you begin making your rounds. First you stop at a couple of families inside the city, and next you'll be going outside the city. You make your first two stops and don't find much of interest, so you've effectively spent an hour or two chatting with people, some who you like and some who you hate. As you're about to make your way out of the city, you swear to yourself as you notice it's going to rain. Whatever, you just need to get to the next family faster then. You begin speed-walking out of the city, and as you do a man with an umbrella runs into you. The umbrella hits sharply against your leg, stabbing into you slightly. The man is in a raincoat and you can't make out his face because he's in a hurry. In addition, you can't make out his cultivation, so you drop the issue. He's at least at Meridian Opening if you can't tell how strong he is.As you walk to the next family, you're very itchy. First it was just your leg that was itchy, but now you're itchy all over. It even feels like you're itching on the inside, but you can't reach there. This isn't pleasant. Oh well. You make your way to the family without incident, not realizing that itching was from your insides recovering from countless small wounds. You visit a couple families before this itching subsides, much to your relief.The fifth family is the furthest from the city, with the walk from the last family taking half an hour. You take a slightly late lunch there since they offer. The family's head is rather weak but has always been pleasant enough. Even if nothing's going on you don't mind speaking and eating with him for a bit. The two of you discuss the major families, while in the kitchen a man dumps a container of powder into the soup when the cook isn't looking. The soup then has to be remade because the powder didn't all dissolve, causing the cook to think something went wrong with the recipe.You have lunch and leave, but about five minutes after you hear a zooming sound approach you before the necklace Zhu Chao gave you lights up and blocks something. To be more exact, it seems to have blocked the attack of a man in a black mask and robe. Well, it looks like you're either being robbed or assassinated. You...>make your way back to the last family while your necklace takes blows, it should be able to hold out for a couple of minutes. The only question is if the man in charge of that family is strong enough to beat this guy.>use a sound transmission talisman to contact Zhu Chao, he should be able to get here pretty fast.>use the beat Zhu Chao gave you and try to hit this man with it. He'll probably be severely injured if you can manage to hit them.>Other
>>3585483>>make your way back to the last family while your necklace takes blows, it should be able to hold out for a couple of minutes. The only question is if the man in charge of that family is strong enough to beat this guy.Let's see if there willing to kill even more peole. Also there assassination attempts in one day.
>>3585483>make your way back to the last family while your necklace takes blows, it should be able to hold out for a couple of minutes. The only question is if the man in charge of that family is strong enough to beat this guy.Also>Try our best to kill the guy regardless
>>3585483>the assassination meme is realLmao>use the bead
>>3585483>>3585483>>make your way back to the last family while your necklace takes blows, it should be able to hold out for a couple of minutes. The only question is if the man in charge of that family is strong enough to beat this guy.>>use a sound transmission talisman to contact Zhu Chao, he should be able to get here pretty fast.We need to catch the person trying to screw us over. The least we could do is try and get Zhu's to capture him and get that info.
>>3585500>>3585495>>3585491Either way it works out. Either run or fight I think we should contact zhu. So we have a chance of capturing the guy. So we can see who is behind it.
>>3585512Good idea>>3585500>>3585483Changing this to >use the beadAND>call Zhu Chao
First you'll contact Zhu Chao and then you can try returning to the last family to get to safety. You grab a short-distance sound transmitting talisman from your pocket and quickly use it. "I've been attacked by an assassin in between the Gao and Ren family's estates. I'm going to move towards the Ren family, I'll be waiting for you." The talisman quickly disappears in a flash of light as you send the message. The masked man attacks you several times with unmistakably massive force, but in response the necklace lights up again, blocking the hits. The attacker spares no effort in trying to injure you, but he simply can't get through your protection.After about a minute of this struggle to injure you, the assassin begins moving away at full speed. He disappears into the distance as you faintly see a figure approaching you. It's Zhu Chao, creating holes in the ground wherever he steps. As he passes by he grabs you, slings you over his shoulder, and begins continues running. "Some snot-nosed brat at Qi Refinement isn't going to escape me!" A few breaths after Zhu Chao grabs you the assassin is in view again. Zhu Chao catches up with the masked man in no time at all, and after reaching him he sends a kick flying at his chest, punting him into the soil.Zhu Chao grabs the now injured assassin from the ground and tears off his mask. The man has several scars and a pale, almost sickly looking face. Zhu Chao snorts and throws him to the ground again. "I don't recognize you. Were you hired?" You can faintly hear the man say "Yes.", but he's in pain. You don't feel bad for him, you just hope he doesn't pass out. "Who hired you?" "I can't tell you that. Customer privacy." "If you can't tell me then I'll send you to the gates of hell and then ask you. Now, who hired you." "I told you I can't tell you. I'd die. I can kill as many people as you want me to and call off the hit, what about it?" "Shut up kid. You're going to tell me who hired you or I'll kill you now." The man remains silent after that and Zhu Chao turns towards you. "I'll... reeducate this man for a while, for the time being you will stay on the estate. Someone has a grudge with you, and I'm not sure who it is."The two of you return to the estate and you go to cultivate. As you part from Zhu Chao you can faintly hear screaming coming from his room, but then it suddenly stops. He probably used something to stop the sound from leaking out. You return to cultivation the rest of the day and are informed a couple days later that the assassin was hired by a powerful intermediary and that it will be difficult to find out who hired him, but that he'll do his best.Over the next weeks you...>ignore the attempt, unless they go at you with someone much more powerful you'll be perfectly fine.>don't leave the estate at all and lock yourself up in cultivation. You're not leaving until something is figured out.>go about your normal business, but with an elder accompanying you at all times.>Other
>>3585931>>don't leave the estate at all and lock yourself up in cultivation. You're not leaving until something is figured out.No risks. Plus its an excuse for gains
>>3585931>>don't leave the estate at all and lock yourself up in cultivation. You're not leaving until something is figured out.This is the same place we were recently drugged I believe.. But if anything happens to our food now there will be big repercussions. If the minor family has anything to do with it.Its funny, we choose a pretty good element. seems like we are immune to many poisons, even before we should be.
>>3585931>>don't leave the estate at all and lock yourself up in cultivation. You're not leaving until something is figured out.Its basically what we do anyway, plus four assassins in one day is big money shit
So guys realistically speaking who do you think is behind it and why?POssibly some one that wants our brother in power so they can take his power slowly out from under him as he likely won't pay to much attention. Or possibly from the Ji family from his future wife's factions that wants to do the same but for "her"
>>3585954To be honest I was hoping metal would be chosen so that MC-chan could invent rock-and-roll on a guzheng.
>>3585954We're in our own estate. The attempt on our life was near the house of a minor family. >>3585931>Just cultivateIf people ask, let's just say we want to breakthrough asap
>>3586023See it this way: we'll be able to make the phattest joints the world has ever seen.
You stay in cultivation for a while Zhu Chao continues getting information, but he doesn't get much more information out of the assassin. Apparently he tried to poison you twice earlier that day, but he failed both times. You're reminded of that terrible itching and wonder if he actually failed or if he just used itching powder instead of actual poison, but you put the thought aside.You lock yourself onto the estate for some time, making sure that you're not in any imminent danger. Zhu Chao goes to confront the middleman who hired the assassin to see if he can get more information, but the middleman seems surprisingly unfazed in the face of an expert. He says he'd die if he gave up that information and, much like the assassin, ends up in a state worse than dying. All Zhu Chao manages to get out of him is that the person who hired him was a young woman wearing servant's clothes and that they were wearing a festival mask. The trail goes cold here, and Zhu Chao is forced to give up searching further.As the weeks pass there's no evidence of further assassins, nor is there evidence that whoever tried to kill you has given up. Your brother returns from the Ji family with the protection of an elder and is placed under the same protection as you. He's not particularly happy about this since he was enjoying his time over there, but he doesn't act out of anything. As the trail fades Zhu Chao requests a meeting with you. "Well, Young Master Liu, it seems that we can't get much further. For the time being we have no idea who's trying to kill and how far they're willing to go to do so. I was planning on sending you out on experiential training since you can't just cultivate on the estate and grow to your full potential, but this has... derailed my plans slightly. I'll ask you though. Would you prefer to be disguised and sent out for training, or stay here for the time being. We'll cover up the training and say that you're in seclusion for the time being, so the information shouldn't leak."You...>feel that it's worse to stagnate slightly here than suffer some risk outside. You'd like to be disguised and go out on training for a few months.>would rather not die and turn down the offer. A dead genius is no longer a genius.>Other
>>3586030That sounds like gout my friend. Might wanna get that checked out.>smoking leaf instead of shredding beats
>>3586023Yeah I mean, I would have chosen metal as well.Considering the options we choose apothecary = wood element. but we choose the random bag of things I guess. It happens when new players join with out consistency.
>>3586035>>feel that it's worse to stagnate slightly here than suffer some risk outside. You'd like to be disguised and go out on training for a few months.Yeah, but we should Sell our current supply of crap. And buy some extra supplies we may need.
>>3586035>>feel that it's worse to stagnate slightly here than suffer some risk outside. You'd like to be disguised and go out on training for a few months.
>>3586035>time for adventure, in DISGUISE
As for options it could be the assassin successfully poisoned us, and we will be extremely bed bound or some shit who knows.
Well, this is some risk involved, but Zhu Chao is right. Cultivation is good, but it's not everything. People need new experiences to gain strength. There's a reason people go out and get experience after all, it's not just for fun. "Alright Grand Elder Zhu, I see your point. I'd like to go out for some training. Will anyone be accompanying me?" "Well, I would send an elder but it would leave traces for others to investigate. At most it'd be prudent to send a servant at Qi Refinement, above that it'd become riskier. Plus, that partially defeats the point."Zhu Chao goes deeper into the matter and lists off several places where you could go for training. You think about it for a while before...>deciding to head to the south and to head out to sea. There are many smaller islands outside of the country of varying power and different societies. It'll be interesting.>choosing to go to the country to the west, Hiqiu Sect. The sect is the government of the country, and they control many smaller subsidiary sects in their nation. Back in your father's day your nation was at war with the Hiqiu Sect, but the violence ended some time ago.>heading to the north, where a decent portion of the country is covered in plains and forests. They aren't heavily inhabited and many vicious beasts live in the area, so sometimes people adventure there for good fortune.>to the east, where the country's capital lies. It's a large, bustling city where the government maintains the balance of the power between itself and the Five Families.>OtherAs for the proposition of sending a servant at Qi Refinement along with you, you...>throw out the idea, if you're going alone and disguising yourself to hide the matter you should do it all the way.>decide to go along with it, it defeats the purpose of training yourself slightly, but it will give you some extra backing in lands further away.>Other
>>3586225>>heading to the north, where a decent portion of the country is covered in plains and forests. They aren't heavily inhabited and many vicious beasts live in the area, so sometimes people adventure there for good fortune.>throw out the idea, if you're going alone and disguising yourself to hide the matter you should do it all the way..no risk no reward
>>3586225>heading to the north, where a decent portion of the country is covered in plains and forests. They aren't heavily inhabited and many vicious beasts live in the area, so sometimes people adventure there for good fortune.>throw out the idea, if you're going alone and disguising yourself to hide the matter you should do it all the way.
>>3586225>>to the east, where the country's capital lies. It's a large, bustling city where the government maintains the balance of the power between itself and the Five Families.Throw out the idea.Guys we should head to the capital. We should always have enough money so wandering around there shouldn't be an issue. Likly to meet people we will associate with too
>>3586317Or we get strong in the wilderness
>>3586225>>heading to the north, where a decent portion of the country is covered in plains and forests. They aren't heavily inhabited and many vicious beasts live in the area, so sometimes people adventure there for good fortune.>throw out the idea, if you're going alone and disguising yourself to hide the matter you should do it all the way.
You settle upon a destination: the Northern Wastes. They make up a large portion of the country, but despite their large size, barely anyone lives there. There are small towns and many villages scattered throughout the area, but most of them aren't even taxed due to the expense of conducting a large census and sending out capable people to collect them. In a sense the people there are independent, although they do have to hold out against vicious beasts. You'll likely have to spend most of your time in the wilderness, but who knows what good fortune has laid in that forest, undiscovered.You disguise yourself and under the cover of night a couple days after Zhu Chao spreads news of your seclusion. He says you'll be in seclusion for up to a year in order to make a great leap in battle strength and push for some breakthroughs. This means you'll have plenty of time before anyone gets suspicious. You've always been a diligent cultivator, so it helps serve as your cover. Once you make your way to a nearby town you sell part of your plants and purchase a new horse, one of a different breed than your family has. As you continue north you continue selling off your plants, eventually ending up a little over 20000 gold richer. Right now you have 55,000 gold, which isn't a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, but it's an amazing sum for a junior like yourself.15 days after you leave the estate you've almost made it to the boundary between the Northern Wastes and the nation as a whole. Along your travels you ran into a couple of bandits, but after a thorough beating you don't think they'll be troubling anyone for now. You stop for the night and check the route you've taken yet again on your map, confirming that you'll get to Border City tomorrow. You've gone from the southern portion of the country to the far north, and even further north, past the Northern Wastes, there's another country. They're supposedly far more powerful than any of the Five Families or the Hiqiu Sect to the west. From what you know they don't meddle in your affairs though. In the morning you board your horse again and head up an increasingly crowded road. In the distance a massive wall slowly becomes visible. To enter Border City one has to pay a small fee and pass through the wall. Due to several beast stampedes in the past and the importance of the city as a defensive position, it's not an open city like most of the cities scattered across the country. You eventually reach the wall and wait in line for around half an hour. The guards don't ask about your identity, they merely ask for their money and check that you aren't carrying any explosives or something of the like.
The city is bustling, with people rushing to and fro among the winding, confusing roads. Some of the roads are covered in stone while others are dirt, and the materials of the buildings are just as inconsistent. This is a city that grew as it developed, and then was constrained by the city wall. As a result the construction and layout of the city is odd and inconsistent, and many of the buildings are now several floors in order to use the space more efficiently. Now that you've arrived in the city you...>head to the market, this is a major trading town so maybe there's something interesting.>go into one of the larger taverns to gather information, you're not sure what to do.>find lodgings, you don't know how crowded it is here and it may take a while.>Other
>>3586670>>go into one of the larger taverns to gather information, you're not sure what to do.
>>3586670>tfw I wanted to go southDepending on whether we plan go use this city as a base of operations or not I'd say either>find lodgingsOr>visit tavernto get a lay of the land, local happenings, traveler's news and interesting rumors.The market can wait, as it's a question of how much we can carry and what we need: provisions for extended trips? More camping supplies? Or are we staying in the city?
>>3586670>>head to the market, this is a major trading town so maybe there's something interesting
>>3586670>go into the tavern
>>3586670>go into one of the larger taverns to gather information, you're not sure what to do.
You should head to a tavern first and get information. For someone who just arrived in a new city, a tavern is the best source of information you can think of. You make your way further into the city, and as you do the buildings slowly grow taller and everything is made of stone, marble, or something of the like. As you're walking you see a massive tavern called "Stick Of Incense" and you go inside.The inside of the tavern is crowded with men and women, and the first thing that comes to your attention is how many cultivators you can sense. Every other person in here is probably a cultivator. Most of them aren't particularly powerful, but still, it's a high concentration of people. You must've came to the right place. On the wall is a massive map of the Northern Wastes painted on the wall, but it's incredibly vague. There are a few ads for where to buy maps plastered on top of it. There's also a large wooden board plastered with job postings. Going out to hunt vicious beasts, caravan looking for escorts, cartographers trying to map out certain areas - suffice to say there's no lack of work for a cultivator in the area. You order some food and ask the bartender if anything odd has happened recently, and he shrugs and says no. People die or get eaten, caravans get lost, but it's not usual. Well, fair enough.You eat your food and listen to some of the gossip, and see that the draw seems to be in the goods in the forest and the steady employment harvesting those goods or protecting people who want to venture out into the wastes. Having heard this you...>head to the market, there could be something of interest.>look for work hunting animals or gathering herbs.>look for work escorting someone who wants to travel deeper into the wastes.>try to figure out what people are looking for so you can head out alone.>Other
>>3587087>>look for work hunting animals or gathering herbsNeed to get out into nature
>>3587087>>look for work escorting someone who wants to travel deeper into the wastes.
>>3587087>>look for work hunting animals or gathering herbs.
>>3587087>>look for work hunting animals or gathering herbsWe should pick up a book on local herds and a decent map of the area.
You figure you'll try to look for a mission hunting animals or gathering herbs, head out in a group, and get some experience in the area first before you head out alone. You ask a couple of patrons of the tavern where the best place to go for this would be (besides checking the job board), and the people who don't blow you off direct you to an organization who distributes most of these postings. They do take a small cut of the profits in exchange for making finding workers and buyers easier, but you have plenty of money right now and it makes the whole process smoother.You leave the tavern and only have to walk a few streets before reaching the organization's headquarters. You enter and see that the inside is clean and well-decorated, and several cultivators are waiting patiently in the lobby. The person at the counter is at Late Blood and Viscera Tempering. After a short wait you're able to speak with them, and they simply request your cultivation and "estimated battle strength", which you give as Late Bone and Marrow Tempering. The receptionist fills out a few forms before they hand you several job listings.You sort through the job listings and choose...>an expedition that goes into the plains around 100 miles away and which calls for the extermination of a pack of mutated wolves. The materials can be kept, the only requirement is that the majority of the wolves be killed. Most of the members of the group are at Flesh Tempering or below, and the leader is at Middle Blood and Viscera Tempering. The pay is modest, so most of the profits will depend on how much you can kill.>a small group that's venturing a couple hundred miles away into the forest. They'll be looking for a list of specific herbs for an licensed apprentice apothecary in the city, and he's sending a servant along to help identify them. Most of the group's cultivation is at Blood and Viscera Tempering or Bone and Marrow Tempering, and the leader is at Late Meridian Opening. The payment is pretty good.>a request for any and all cultivators to travel a couple hundred miles away in order to assist a tribe who's worried about a horde of beasts attacking. Payment will depend on the cultivator's strength and any merits in battle. The strongest person who accepted the request is at Early Qi Emission, and the weakest was a very buff man with an axe.>Other
>>3587678>>a request for any and all cultivators to travel a couple hundred miles away in order to assist a tribe who's worried about a horde of beasts attacking. Payment will depend on the cultivator's strength and any merits in battle. The strongest person who accepted the request is at Early Qi Emission, and the weakest was a very buff man with an axe.
>>3587678>a request for any and all cultivators to travel a couple hundred miles away in order to assist a tribe who's worried about a horde of beasts attacking. Payment will depend on the cultivator's strength and any merits in battle. The strongest person who accepted the request is at Early Qi Emission, and the weakest was a very buff man with an axe.
>>3587678>>a small group that's venturing a couple hundred miles away into the forest. They'll be looking for a list of specific herbs for an licensed apprentice apothecary in the city, and he's sending a servant along to help identify them. Most of the group's cultivation is at Blood and Viscera Tempering or Bone and Marrow Tempering, and the leader is at Late Meridian Opening. The payment is pretty good.While we search we can ask a couple questions to the servant. Things we would otherwise not know. And gain some useful herb knowledge.
>>3587678>>a small group that's venturing a couple hundred miles away into the forest. They'll be looking for a list of specific herbs for an licensed apprentice apothecary in the city, and he's sending a servant along to help identify them. Most of the group's cultivation is at Blood and Viscera Tempering or Bone and Marrow Tempering, and the leader is at Late Meridian Opening. The payment is pretty good.Small group is fine. We should focus on honing in our skills a our first time in the wild I would prefer it not be on a horse of monsters or straight battle field as "great" as that sounds.
You eventually settle on heading to a village under threat of a beast horde. There will be a lot of cultivators there so it shouldn't be too dangerous, and you think it's a good chance to train by fighting vicious beasts to the best of your abilities. You shouldn't die since you have people backing you up. You point out the listing the the receptionist gives you more exact information before informing you that the next group leaves for the village tomorrow afternoon, although you're free to travel alone.Having found a chance to train yourself in the Northern Wastes, your next stop is to pick up a decent map and some local reference books on herbs and beasts. You naturally can't be an apothecary and an expert hunter, but you can refer to a book and get decent effectiveness out of it. Besides that you'll just have to slowly learn anything you need to know over the next year. After your shopping you find somewhere to sleep and...>head to the market, there could be something interesting worth buying.>prepare to head out tomorrow afternoon with the next group.>prepare to leave by yourself tomorrow morning, it's just travelling, you'll be fine.>Other
>>3588337>>head to the market, there could be something interesting worth buying.
>>3588337>>head to the market, there could be something interesting worth buying
You'll head to the market before you head out, you have more than enough money if you want to purchase anything, and there's likely to be quite a few interesting things due to Border City's status as a trading hub. You head towards the eastern side of the city to find the market, which is a mess of crowded stalls. Some are made out of cheap wood, leaning on their foundation, while others are massive behemoths that create a clear space around them. The market has hordes of people moving back and forth, even more than the rest of the city. You keep your money close to you and begin looking around the stalls. Weapons, pills, cultivation techniques, anything is available for a price here besides people. There are also normal merchants selling normal goods, but a large amount of cultivators have set up shop here in order to sell their goods from expeditions into the wastes. Caged beasts, pelts, and various plants abound. There are also plenty of pieces of "art" from tribes who live in the Northern Wastes.After looking around for a couple of hours you find quite a few things you'd be interested in. Spare sound transmission talismans, armor, materials for refinement, and a few battle techniques of varying quality for the spear which could be adapted to fit your weapon. You...>leave without buying anything>buy some armor (min. amount 100 gold)>buy some materials for refinement (min. amount 500 gold)>look into buying a battle technique (min. amount 5000 gold)>OtherJust give me amounts for anything you want to purchase, it is once again easier than making a giant list. I'll change the quality (and quantity for materials) of items based on price spent.
>>3588456>>buy some armor (min. amount 100 gold)>look into buying a battle technique (min. amount 5000 gold)materials seems a bit too vague. even for my liking. Too many things to create a real list. while the other two, you could just make clear tier for. armor low medium high. and same with a battle technique.
>>3588456>>look into buying a battle technique (min. amount 5000 gold)High grade battle cloth that doesnt limit our movement with out being to heavy would be ideal.
>>3588456I wouldn't make to long a list.BTW generally speaking I am enjoying your story. But I've no real idea what 1 gold is worth. So it could be what the avg person makes in a week or 6 months. no real idea. or how much things generally go for. Other than as the 2nd young master we would get a stipend of 1000 gold a month and how much that could buy. But we were the family that ruled that city so no idea really how much that amount to. I just thought I would mention that.>>3588482mhm, sounds good. Something we could hide beneath our clothes. So no one really knows what we have on.
>>3588456>buy some armor (5000)>buy some materials for refinement (1000)>look into buying a battle technique (14000)
If numbers start getting complicated i've seen some OP's just use things like "Wealthy/poor" and so on. And I guess I would relate that to an avg adult. having the equivalent of 1 million dollars. Is a good amount of money everywhere in the world kind of thing? But I've never written a thing like this or as creative as this so do with that what you will.
You think you'll pick up some armor, some materials for practicing refining, and maybe a new battle technique to use. The closest things here are for spears or halberds, but they shouldn't be too hard to adapt to the guandao. You look around and go sorting though a massive stand of weapons and armor to look for an armor piece. You'd like something light and that you can hide under your clothing. The cheapest pieces of armor start at about 10 gold, but they're useless for your purposes. Even at 100 gold they wouldn't do much, so you move your pricepoint up.Eventually, as you're looking around, you find a piece of armor that catches your eye. It looks like it's made out of purple fabric, and upon a casual examination you can tell that it's strong yet light. You ask the shopkeeper how strong it is and he shrugs. "It shouldn't tear unless you get attacked by someone at Meridian Opening, or maybe Late Blood and Viscera Tempering. It doesn't block the full force of blows, but it dampens them a good amount." The shopkeeper turns to speak to someone else as you look it over. Mmm... yeah, you'll take it. The asking price is 5300 gold coins but you keep looking around and find some materials you can use for refining at a stand owned by the same group. You pick up a few pelts, a few types of wood, and some metal, totaling to about 1100 gold. You then buy them both together and manage to haggle the combined total to 6000 gold after a minute of back and forths.You look around the central booths more, but they seemed to be aimed at cultivators stronger than you. You head back towards the edge and see a wizened old man at a small stand. He has three jade slips in front of him. You glance at them and see that they're all supposed to be spear techniques, so you close in, intrigued. As you close in the man nods at you and lets you glance at the techniques for a few breaths to check their authenticity. They're not amazing, but they're good enough for you to use for a few years at least, maybe more. Eh, it's important to get your battle strength up. You purchase a jade slip for 14,000 gold and leave. It describes a rather painful method to dislocate one of your joints in the use of a finishing blow with longer reach than normal spear thrusts.You head back to your lodging, put on your armor under your shirt, and rest for the night. In the morning you grab a few buns from a street vendor and...>leave to head to your destination alone, breakfast in hand.>look around for something to do and head out with the group of people this afternoon. This is a busy town, there's bound to be entertainment for cultivators.>Other
>>3588749>>look around for something to do and head out with the group of people this afternoon. This is a busy town, there's bound to be entertainment for cultivators.
>>3588749>look around for something to do and head out with the group of people this afternoon. This is a busy town, there's bound to be entertainment for cultivators.
>>3588749>leave to head to your destination alone, breakfast in hand.
You figure you may as well head out with the other group going towards the tribe, partially because of safety reasons, partially because you don't want to get lost. That means you have the morning to find something to do within the city.You ask around for "tourism" opportunities, and there's... quite a bit. Apparently there's an arena in the center of the city that allows cultivators to fight people and vicious beasts for wealth and glory of all that. There's also a sizable betting pool on the competitors there. Besides that you hear about various places and their beauties, but you put those out of your head. That sounds more your brother's speed. There's also a "rodeo" where you get on a vicious beast and see how long you can last without being bucked off, but that sounds... stupid to be frank. After some meandering about you decide to head to the arena.You enter the arena after paying a few silver coins as a fee and strongarm your way to a seat near the front. The crowd is riled up and they're currently watching a scrawny man with a cultivation at Flesh Tempering fight what looks like a hippo with one eye. The beast lumbers towards him, but as it does the scrawny man grabs bunches of knives out of his pocket and throws them one at a time at the beast. After a long, drawn out battle the hippo bleeds out. This wouldn't be astonishing by itself, but the way he did it impresses you. It seems like he managed to figure out the weak points of the beast quickly and precisely aimed each knife to pierce them. After he did that he aimed for the major joints, stopping it from moving. He didn't demonstrate great strength, but he did show the ability to escape and amazing precision with his daggers.The next match is between a man with a massive hunk of metal on his back vaguely reminiscent of a sword versus a mutated lion. The man charges forward, sword in hand, and the lion jumps at him. The lion manages to get swatted away like a fly by the sword, sailing backwards before getting its footing. The two exchange blows and the ridiculous force behind the "sword" continues getting the better of the lion until eventually it's squashed against the arena's walls.After a couple more matches it's time to head out and you head towards the Northwest Gate, where your group should be. Eventually you find them and while you're above average in terms of cultivation, there are still some people whose cultivation is too profound for you to sense. The group of around 40 or 50 people leaves, meandering down the road. As you head towards the tribe you...>mostly keep to yourself and stay on alert incase your draw the attention of a hostile tribe or vicious beasts.>try to make conversation with some of the stronger members of the group, they could make good allies.>make some friends with people slightly weaker than you, when they organize the cultivators to go against the horde you might be told to take charge of group and it'd help to have an idea of who to get.>Other
>>3589158>make conversation with some of the strongest membersHaving points of reference is good. Having strong friends is also good.
>>3589158>>try to make conversation with some of the stronger members of the group, they could make good allies.>>3589177agreed.
>>3589158>>try to make conversation with some of the stronger members of the group, they could make good allies.
For the time being you'll focus on taking to the stronger people here. Maybe you can make a couple of friends who can help you out if needed. You begin evaluating the people who are either at Blood and Viscera Tempering or who have a cultivation you can't sense. There are quite a few old or middle-people among them who look angry, have various battle scars, and who don't seem interesting in talking. Eventually you spot someone at Late Blood and Viscera tempering in his early 20s and approach him. He looks friendly enough.You quickly come up with a fake name and introduce yourself as Zuo Shi. The person you chose to speak to is actually talkative and so you begin just speaking back and forth about whatever. He introduces himself as Feng Jun and says that hes been earning money in the Northern Wastes for almost 10 years now, so he knows the region well. He also introduces a few of the "veterans" of the group. Most of them are at Meridian Opening, although the group does have a hunchbacked old woman at Qi Refinement. Almost all of them aren't particuarly friendly, as you expected, but he tells you that a few of them are nice if you have drinks to loosen them up. Eventually the group stops moving for a day and everyone below Bone and Marrow Tempering are sent out to gather wood and food while the others stay at camp. You take this chance to buy a couple bottles of alcohol off of someone and try to get closer to a man in his 40s that's supposed to be at Middle Meridian Opening.You approach him, booze in hand, and offer it as a welcoming gift before introducing yourself. He nods his head and says "Good one kid, I always love some booze on the road. Name's Bai Kun." He then looks you up and down before squinting. "How old are you?" You consider lying, but there's no reason to for the time being- it's not like your talent is unparalleled. "13, going on 14 very soon." Bai Kun then nods his head and laughs. "You're a talented little shit aren't you? And you're fighting out here?" Bai Kun takes a swig of alcohol as the two of you continue talking. Eventually he calls a few people over and you're able to hang out with them. The group of you talk into the night as you eat and eventually you go to sleep several acquantences the better.The travel continues for several days before you see a massive group of huts in the distance. Around the huts is a wooden wall that looks like it's currently under construction. It's made out of massive amounts of logs piled one after the other. Your group quickly reaches the tribe's wall and a man at the gate takes down your name, cultivation, and age. After arriving you...>hang out with somebody you met on the road, they're bound to do something now that they're in an actual town. This is a pretty big tribe after all.>bother some of the other cultivators and try to get some more information about all of this. Preparation is important.>find somewhere secluded and practice. Nothing's better preparation than that.>Other
>>3591001>>hang out with somebody you met on the road, they're bound to do something now that they're in an actual town. This is a pretty big tribe after all.>>bother some of the other cultivators and try to get some more information about all of this. Preparation is important.
>>3591227>>3591191agreed. Doesn't seem like they would conflict.
>>3591191>>3591227How are these two incompatible exactly? Anyway voting for both too.
You were going to try to get some info out of the cultivators who were already here, but maybe you can drag someone along with you to help. Kill two birds with one stone. You find Feng Jun and ask if he wants to go gather some information and he says he doesn't have anything to do so he takes you up on the offer. The two of you head towards to a couple of taverns and other gathering places in a bid to gain information from the people here longer than you.Apparently the horde of beasts hasn't reached here in full force yet, and it shouldn't for at least a few more days. About a week ago some small waves of beasts were spotted and there were odd movements of animals in the woods, so the tribe's leader declared that a beast horde was coming and to send out for aid immediately. You're honestly not sure if that means a major horde is coming or not, but if the tribesmen say so it probably does - they've been here for hundreds of years after all.Feng Jun comes back with some information about the structure of the defenders, which he says is similar to the only other time he fought against a beast horde. The tribes have their own armies and leaders, and the cultivators are left to organize their own troops. There are recommended ranks by combat strength, but no one will be formally assigned troops. If someone is strong enough to be a leader, it's up to them to try to form a squad. If they don't want to or can't, they'll end up fighting on their own. This isn't a terrible outcome, so the most powerful cultivators here are split half and half between leading and fighting.You manage to piece together a decent view of the topography and and defenses after another hour collecting information with Feng Jun, and after that you find some lodgings and talk for a bit, trying to figure out how well the defenders chances should be. The probing waves of beasts weren't too strong, so ultimately you both determine it should be fine. Next you...>ask Feng Jun if he needs anyone to fight under him during the battle, you're recommended to lead the smallest level of squad while he's supposed to have two or three squads underneath him.>bid goodbye to him and find some lodgings, you think you'll be fighting alone or with a few people under you, you don't want to be commanded around.>Other>>3591304>>3591462The first option operates under the assumption that most of the people arriving with you are going to relax somewhere and not immediately go to gather information. They just got here, so you can't really get anything from them.
>>3591568This is a good questionOn one hand we have strength in numbers, showing our discipline and getting experience from stronger cultivators; on the other we have smaller numbers, but more freedom and a greater capacity to prove ourselves as leader or as a fighter.I'd say we>fight under Feng Junfor now, and gather some experience on group tactics and beasts. At the same time we try to show how strong we are and get respect in order to form our own squads afterwards.After all, we are still a kid and not an abnormal prodigy at that (even if we're better than most kids our age) so we probably wouldn't get many followers as it is. After a display of strength that may change.
>>3591568>ask Feng Jun if he needs anyone to fight under him during the battle, you're recommended to lead the smallest level of squad while he's supposed to have two or three squads underneath him.We are a filthy newbie in terms of leadership, renown, and experience. Best attach ourselves to someone whom we can learn from and can potentially save our ass if we get into trouble.
You're tempted to form a lone squad or fight by yourself simply for the freedom, but ultimately it'd be more beneficial to fight in a larger force. It's your first time on the battlefield, and ultimately you're an unknown. It'll be good experience to fight as part of a larger team. You wait a bit for the perfect chance before probing Feng Jun to see if he'd be willing to have you under him as a squad leader whenever the horde of beasts attacks."Hm... well, I had a few candidates, but they know other people. Yeah, that's fine. There will probably be enough guys at Flesh Tempering or lower under me in order to give you three, if you want a larger squad then you'll need to recruit more people on your own. I wouldn't recommend more than 6 or 7 men though, above that it's a bit bloated." It worked! Looks like it was beneficial to make friends on the trip over here. "Well then Senior Feng, I'll be in your care." "Ahaha, alright then. Anyways, it may be your first time out but don't be too nervous. It's just killing animals. Even if the tribe were to somehow fall most of the cultivators can get away in the ensuing chaos. Er, not that that's going to happen though. Anyways, I'm gonna head to the bar, meet up with a couple of guys. You coming with?" You...>accept, whoever he's meeting are probably other cultivators it's good to have connections with.>decline, you'd like to see if the tribe has any specialties on sale here.>decline, you'd like to look for a few cultivators who are willing to work under you.>decline, you want to check out the nearby forest and get a better idea of the battlefield.>decline, you're just going to go cultivate for the time being.>Other
>>3592098>>accept, whoever he's meeting are probably other cultivators it's good to have connections with.
>>3592098>accept, whoever he's meeting are probably other cultivators it's good to have connections with.Hopefully there are some weaker ones there we can try to recruit.
>>3592098Networking or checking the field? Decisions, decisions.>decline, you want to check out the nearby forest
You do have some stuff to take care of, but it couldn't hurt to go along with him. Maybe you can convince someone there to work under you for the coming battle. "Yeah, I'll come with." "Alright, come with me, I know just the place." Feng Jun leads you through the tribe's narrow streets until eventually entering into a small, wooden building. Inside there are a few tables and a bar, and basically nothing else. Behind the counter is an obese, tattooed man with a couple of piercings. He nods his head when the two of you enter but says nothing else. Feng Jun orders a couple of drinks and the tattooed man handles a variety of bottles and beakers deftly before handing both of you a glass. You nurse yours, not wanting to get drunk, and over the next hour a group of cultivators arrive. Most of them are in their 20s or 30s, and their cultivation ranges from Flesh Tempering to Late Blood and Viscera Tempering.Feng Jun introduces you to a young man around 18 or 19 years old and a woman in her early 20s. They're both in Bone and Marrow Tempering and they'll be working under Feng Jun during the battle, meaning they're essentially your coworkers for the time being. You introduce yourself and at the same time try to convince some of the others to join you. It's more difficult than you thought though, since most of them have already found a group to join, and those who haven't clearly don't like the idea of being ordered around by someone who's not even 14, even if your cultivation is higher than theirs.After a couple of hours you figure you've gotten everything out of this you can and leave Feng Jun and his friends behind. You then head into the city and...> see if the tribe has any specialties on sale here.>look for a few cultivators who are willing to work under you.>check out the nearby forest and get a better idea of the battlefield>go cultivate until the battle starts, as long as you have a few people you can show your abilities.>Other
>>3592464>>look for a few cultivators who are willing to work under you.
>>3592464>look for a few cultivators who are willing to work under you.I wanna go scouting with our squad once we are finished forming it. That way they also know what to expect.
Well, you want to form of a squad with more than three people under you so you're going to need to find some recruits. There are plenty of cultivators here, many of them weak, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Hopes high you head to a tavern and try to recruit a few people for your squad. Sadly your cultivation isn't enough to woo them, they already have squads, they're planning to fight alone, or they're lying and your age is the problem. Either way it's difficult for you to find members, and you're at your third location before someone agrees to join you.The first person to join your squad is a boy who's maybe 16 years old and at Early Flesh Tempering. The age gap probably doesn't bother him too much because it's just a couple years, and he seems rather cheerful anyways. Luck comes in twos, as right after he joins an old man who looks like a gentle scholar says that he'd like to join your squad. His cultivation is at Late Flesh Tempering and you agree. As you look around trying to find a last member (as Feng Jun said he'd give you a few), you speak with your two new squad members. Apparently the kid just came to the Northern Wastes a few months ago in search of opportunities, and the old man started cultivating in his 40s and wants to help his grandson's cultivation by bringing back resources from the Northern Wastes. He says he only joined you because you remind him of his grandson.After a short search you come across your last member, who is honestly rather unpleasant. He's at Early Flesh Tempering and doesn't hesitate to complain about having to work under a kid, even though it was his choice. Still, he can fight, so as long as he follows his orders it doesn't matter. Night falls and you find somewhere to rest, and in the morning you...>get the whole squad together to familiarize them with each other.>go to survey the battlefield yourself.>go to survey the battlefield with your squad.>see if the tribe has any specialties on sale here.>go to cultivate until the battle starts, bothering your newly gather squad members is just going to annoy them.
>>3594419>go to survey the battlefield with your squad.(those who wants )
>>3594419>go to survey the battlefield with your squad.
>>3594419>survey the battlefield with your squadTeam-building exercises (lol)
This is a good chance to survey the battlefield and get the people under you used to seeing you. It's going to be a pain day of if they barely recognize you. You head to the lodgings of the kid and the old man, and they agree to go along with you without any trouble. The last person you recruited yourself is available, but he complains and doesn't want to go along with you. Well, you guess you know why he wasn't in a squad already. You aren't going to grovel just to get him to follow you, so you leave him be and visit Feng Jun to see if he can get you in touch with whoever he was going to lend you.You find Feng Jun and tell him you're going out to survey the battlefield with your squad, so he tells you the other three who'll be joining you. It doesn't take long to find them, and to your pleasant surprise they're all pretty young. One is 19 or 20, and the other two are in their mid-20s. They're all at Early Flesh Tempering. Two of them agree to come along with you to check out the battlefield, while the other says he would but he had a prior engagement. Well, it can't be helped then, this isn't the army after all. You take the four with you and begin examining the forest beyond the walls.You bring writing utensils with you and slowly draw a rough map of the area as your group spreads out and gets a good view of it. As your group looks around you all run into a few vicious beasts, but they're all weak enough as to not pose a problem. The real horde should still be a couple days away. After a few hours you're all familiar with the nearby land and you have a map you drew yourself for reference. You're not a cartographer, but it will do. After examining the battlefield you head back to the city and the group parts ways, leaving you on your own. The rest of the night you cultivate, and the next morning you...>see if the tribe has anything interesting on sale.>try to familiarize yourself with your squad a bit more- it may be imposing on them, but you feel it's necessary.>go thin out some of the vicious beasts in the forest before the horde approaches, they were pretty weak yesterday.>go to cultivate, you need to be in top condition for the battle. >Other
>>3594955>>go thin out some of the vicious beasts in the forest before the horde approaches, they were pretty weak yesterday.Get some solid practice coordinating and making sure things mesh well together. No one likes a terrible leader.
>>3594955>go thin out some of the vicious beasts in the forest before the horde approaches, they were pretty weak yesterday.Remember to collect proof of killing them, maybe we earn some extra
>>3595263I'm not even sure how we would go about doing that even..we dont have a dimension ring or w.e
The beasts were pretty weak yesterday, so you may as well take the chance to kill some of them today and thin them out before the horde approaches. You grab your weapon and prepare to head out, but stop along the way to see if anyone else wants to come with you. You're not going to force any members of your squad to come along with you, but it'd be decent practice.In the end four of the six come with you. All three of the people you recruited are willing to (although the unpleasant bastard you recruited probably just wants to use you as insurance while he kills beasts), but two of Feng Jun's friends are busy doing things in the city. The four of you set out and slay some of the weaker beasts who are close to the tribe. None of their strength reaches past Early Flesh Tempering, so it's no problem for you to kill them. The day wears on and eventually it's the afternoon, and you notice that some of the beasts are stronger. The strongest so far has been at Late Flesh Tempering, but there's no need to test your luck.You get ready to leave with everyone as you're starting to get a bad feeling. As you're about to leave though, you hear a loud noise coming from behind you. You turn around and see beasts. Dozens of them. Most of them don't appear to be strong, but with their sheer numbers... You don't think this is the beast horde, but it could be a small group traveling ahead of it. You...>get everyone to gather around you and prepare to fight through the group. There are maybe 50 at most and they look pretty weak, so you can fight your way through them and return to camp.>call for an immediate retreat, you don't know how fast those beasts can travel but you should all be able to escape in time.>tell everyone to retreat while you hold the line behind them for a minute. You're stronger so you can hold a few beasts off and then leave after them.>tell everyone to climb into the trees and wait to see if these beasts leave. Better safe then sorry.>Other
>>3588500I keep forgetting to reply to this even thought I mean to. he gist of it is that I've gone more indepth into economics before but it was a massive pain. In the end I'll probably be slightly more specific but balance money around various milestones.
>>3595587>>get everyone to gather around you and prepare to fight through the group. There are maybe 50 at most and they look pretty weak, so you can fight your way through them and return to camp.
You'll get everyone to stand together and fight. The group of beasts isn't huge, and if you all stand together you should be able to kill them and retreat. You don't want to have a scenario where you try to retreat and one of the beasts kills someone because they're too slow. Plus, this is a good chance to gain some merits!"Gather around me! We'll fight this group and then head back!" The old man and the young boy quickly gather around you, the martial artist Feng Jun left under you joining a second later. You glance at the other person you recruited, and much to your surprise they're ignoring you and running away while laughing. "Thanks for covering my retreat! I'm not going to risk my skin right now with some snot-nosed brat like you!" Fuck. If you see him again you're going to consider punching him. You ignore the man after that and turn forwards, facing the several dozen beasts racing towards you.You strike out with the first blow of the battle, sending your guandao slashing out against the waves of beasts. You split a beast in two with a single slash, but several more quickly replace it as they rush towards you. Your group of four holds them off for a short time, but within 30 breaths of fighting they're threatening to overwhelm you. You strike out with 3 Desires, killing a few of the nearby beasts and trying to lessen the pressure on the others, but you're not sure what's going to run out first- your group's strength or the beasts.After a couple minutes of violent combat about half the group of beasts are dead. In exchange you've taken many minor injuries. You heal quickly, but you're not sure if this will be of use if the entire group manages to swarm over you. If they came at you one at a time this would be trivial, but they're surrounding your group. On top of that, the few people at your side are at risk of being heavily injured if this continues. You've been trying to bear the brunt of the pressure, but you're not sure if it will continue working. You...>continue fighting, you're halfway there. It's harder to pull out now and you'll be able to finish this. Your stamina should be enough to hold out, so you'll just keep fighting. You might just be overthinking this.>tell everyone to retreat and cover them for a few seconds. You could be injured taking all the pressure, but it's what you're going to have to do for in exchange for making a bad decision.>tell everyone to retreat and move along with them. Whether they're injured in the retreat is up to their own luck.>Other
>>3596603>tell everyone to retreat and cover them for a few seconds. You could be injured taking all the pressure, but it's what you're going to have to do for in exchange for making a bad decision.Hoo boy.We're going to throw that guy to the beasts afterward.
>>3596603>>tell everyone to retreat and cover them for a few seconds. You could be injured taking all the pressure, but it's what you're going to have to do for in exchange for making a bad decision.
>>3596603>tell everyone to retreat and cover them for a few seconds. You could be injured taking all the pressure, but it's what you're going to have to do for in exchange for making a bad decision.
You can't risk any of these guys dying and there are too many beasts for you to guarantee that in a prolonged battle. That leaves only one option left. "Retreat and meet back at the wall! I'll hold the line while you run." A couple breaths after saying that the three of them attack the back of the encirclement all at once and then charge out of the opening. You buy them time by going all out. Even if you can't use your arms well until tomorrow, that won't stop you. "4 Desires!" As the encirclement closes in on you several beasts die at once. Your killing continues as you watch the group head into the distance, and after a couple of desperate attacks you think you've bought enough time.You push down with as much force in your legs as you can muster and jump into the air and away from the beasts. As you try to get away a beast at the back of the group suddenly charges forward and tries to follow you. You spend most of your escape trying to lose it, but it keeps onto your heals while gaining slightly. Eventually you're forced to launch 4 Desires in order to severely injure it and in exchange you get a deep scratch across your chest. It quickly starts healing, although this will probably take a few hours to heal completely. You return back to the wall with your arms barely working and looking like you've gone through hell due to the myriad scratches on your clothes.You get back to the wall and after a short search find your group, who look to be in a better condition than you. After confirming they're all alright you...>tell them that you're going to rest. You need to.>tell them that you'll be heading to Feng Jun to given him info about the group that attacked and they're free to go.>ask them to tell you if they ever see that man that ran away. You're going to give that bastard a piece of your mind if you ever see him again.>Other
>>3597819>>tell them that you'll be heading to Feng Jun to given him info about the group that attacked and they're free to go.That sucked but this is why we're here to have tough fights.
>>3597819>>tell them that you'll be heading to Feng Jun to given him info about the group that attacked and they're free to go.>>ask them to tell you if they ever see that man that ran away. You're going to give that bastard a piece of your mind if you ever see him again the 2nd thing is really just a extra sentence.
>>3597819>>tell them that you'll be heading to Feng Jun to given him info about the group that attacked and they're free to go.>>ask them to tell you if they ever see that man that ran away. You're going to give that bastard a piece of your mind if you ever see him again
"I'm going to tell Feng Jun about this and then go rest. You're all free to go." As the group begins leaving, you add one on more thing. "If you see that prick that ran away, tell me." You're not sure what exactly you're going to do to him yet, but you don't want to let him get away with that completely unscathed. Running away without even trying to fight is ridiculous. Maybe picking a bone with him for running will scare the others a bit, but there are some advantages to that too.You find Feng Jun at one of the bars he showed you and quickly give him the rundown on what happened, arms hanging at your side as you do so. Over the next 15 minutes he gets a descriptive rundown of the strength, numbers, and location of the beasts. After he gets everything he can out of you he leaves and goes to report it to a tribesman he knows and the person he's working under. You quickly drag your weary body to your lodgings after that and rest.You wake up a bit before dawn and see that there are quite a few tribesmen and cultivators milling around near the walls. There were a few people keeping watching yesterday, but not nearly this many. You guess the appearance of small groups like the one you ran into would put them on guard. You check your wounds and see that they're all healed, although the deepest attack left a scar for the time being. It should be gone by the afternoon though. After getting up you...>help keep watch on the walls, you have nothing better to do. At least you'll be one of the first to know if something happens.>seclude yourself in your room and cultivate, you want to be in top condition when the beasts arrive.>go out to search for that bastard who ran yesterday, you're not fine leaving whether you track him down up to chance.>Other>>3597934Pretty much, and I probably should've just made it a second choice to ask or not.
>>3598122>>seclude yourself in your room and cultivate, you want to be in top condition when the beasts arrive.
>>3598122>seclude yourself in your room and cultivate, you want to be in top condition when the beasts arrive.
The beast horde could attack soon, so you think you'll stay in your lodgings for now and do some light cultivation so you're at peak condition. You return to your room and grab your guandao, striking everywhere and practicing 72 Desires and the technique you purchased in Border City. After that you take a short break, reading one of the books about the Northern Wastes you purchased while burning incense. After that you return to cultivate. This cycle repeats for a while until the sun is high in the sky.In the afternoon you hear a loud horn. That means beasts have appeared. One horn if there's a wave, two horns if there's a horde, and three horns if you need to evacuate. This means the horde hasn't arrived yet, but the strength of a smaller wave still shouldn't be underestimated. You learned that yesterday.You exit your lodgings and head to the tribe's wall. On top of it you can faintly see a wave of beasts approaching in the distance. You're not sure of their exact strength, but there are probably at least half a thousand. You wouldn't be surprised if more will arrive shortly after. You move around the walls as you look for your squad, preparing to group up and wait for combat. Eventually you spot Feng Jun and half your squad, and a few minutes after the rest of them arrive. Your group of six (including you) finds a position on the wall and waits as the beasts near. As this is happening, you spot the turncoat who ran away yesterday standing about 50 feet away. You...>ignore him, this isn't the time to pick a fight with him.>go up and ask for compensation for yesterday, you have the strength and justification to strongarm him for his money. He doesn't look wealthy, you just want him to be punished.>deck him with a punch and then return. He's an asshole and he deserves it.>take note of him and keep an eye on him. If there's an opportunity you'd like to severely injure him or kill him during the battle (preferably through indirect means). He left you figuring you may die, so you should pay him back with interest.>Other
>>3598207>>go up and ask for compensation for yesterday, you have the strength and justification to strongarm him for his money. He doesn't look wealthy, you just want him to be punished.>take note of him and keep an eye on him. If there's an opportunity you'd like to severely injure him or kill him during the battle (preferably through indirect means). He left you figuring you may die, so you should pay him back with interest.
>>3598207>>take note of him and keep an eye on him. If there's an opportunity you'd like to severely injure him or kill him during the battle (preferably through indirect means). He left you figuring you may die, so you should pay him back with interest.
>>3598207>take note of himRevenge is best served untraceable
You're going to deal with him, but... you're not going to deal with it publicly to gain face or anything. You're just going to keep an eye on him during the fighting and find a chance to at least severely injure him. If he's willing to fuck you over, then he shouldn't be surprised when it comes back to bite him.The wave of beasts approaches and Feng Jun speaks with an old man with a scar over one eye. You can't sense his cultivation, but it's probably at Meridian Opening. The old man waves Feng Jun away and Feng Jun orders you and the other squad leaders to wait for his order and then to charge. You're given the left side while the other two squads are given their own positions. Feng Jun will be moving around to put out any emergencies before they become life-threatening.The beasts enter within 1000 feet of the wall and you here someone loudly yell "FIRE!". A swarm of arrows causes a shadow to drape over part of the battlefield as a large troop of tribal archers fire. At that range most of them can't aim, but it doesn't matter. The arrows fall within the swarm of beasts and dozens of them fall. The archers continue, the groups of arrows growing larger and larger as the beasts get closer.As the beasts get within a few hundred feet the man leading Feng Jun yells for you to jump off the wall, and you charge forward around Feng Jun. The volleys of arrows die down and tattooed warriors with shortswords and shields come out from the tribe. Dozens of orders are being yelled from many different groups, and you simply take up your place at the front. The pressure on you is better than yesterday and you hold the front of your group, killing beasts without much trouble. As you do so you...>maintain position, nobody should get injured here. It won't be an outstanding performance by any means, but it's good enough.>push forward slightly, you may be able to reduce the pressure on the rest of your squad further and show off your strength. Even if some beasts slip past you and your squad is put under pressure, Feng Jun is around.>slowly make your way over to where the turncoat is fighting mostly alone. It won't take much to push him into the horde by "accident" as you try to "help" him. Feng Jun might not look kindly on you for moving right now, but the wave of beasts is the weakest it'll be right now so it's a good chance.>Other
>>3598654>>maintain position, nobody should get injured here. It won't be an outstanding performance by any means, but it's good enough.
>>3598654>maintain position, nobody should get injured here. It won't be an outstanding performance by any means, but it's good enough.No need to go and try to prove we're better,also even if I want revenge agains't the other guy I'm not really on board to kill him.
Parts of you want to rush forward and gain merits for yourself or get revenge for yesterday, but there's something more important. Holding the line properly and hacking away at the beasts dutifully. Sure, it may turn out for the better if you charge forward, and that's not a lot of risk. Still, risks are risks, and it's best just to show that you can do your job without showing off for now. No one needs someone who's liable to charge into a dangerous situation and endanger the group. You already messed up once, so you'll hold back for now.You hold your position and the violent battle ends within half an hour. In that time the first wave is reinforced by another, and the defenders become more organized. At this point the whole horde may as well come, but after a second wave, and a small third one, no more beasts approach. You're satisfied with your group- no one did anything stupid, nor did they get injured. The old man and you both had pretty good showings. Yours is to be expected, but the old man is surprisingly strong for someone at Late Flesh Tempering. You're pretty lucky for having recruited him.After the battle everyone heads out to the field of beasts to gather materials from dead beasts. The beasts weren't particularly strong, meaning anything left behind shouldn't be worth much. Still, for an unaffiliated cultivator trying to earn money on their own, anything helps. Your group leaves to find some useful beast bits and you...>go into the killing fields and look, you don't need the money but the materials could be used in some refining tests if you have the chance. They won't make anything great, but oh well.>get on the walls and keep a look out. You don't want to let your guard down searching for stuff you don't need when a horde could approach at any time.>find some meat that looks fine and start cooking. This will probably go on for a while and you'd all benefit from a meal. Admittedly your cooking probably tastes like shit, but food is food.>Other
>>3599221>>go into the killing fields and look, you don't need the money but the materials could be used in some refining tests if you have the chance. They won't make anything great, but oh well.
>>3599221>>find some meat that looks fine and start cooking. This will probably go on for a while and you'd all benefit from a meal. Admittedly your cooking probably tastes like shit, but food is food.
>>3599221>find some meat that looks fine and start cooking. This will probably go on for a while and you'd all benefit from a meal. Admittedly your cooking probably tastes like shit, but food is food.Can we eat on the wall ?
You don't need to head out to gather loot and you're kind of hungry, so you guess you'll make a meal. Not that you have much experience, but there's plenty of meat lying around so you can always try again if you fail. You find a corpse of a wolf and cut a haunch of meat from it. You throw the meat over your shoulder and carry it as you walk around looking for firewood. Eventually you have enough and start cooking it over the fire. Once the meat is cooked that's done, right? You clumsily hold the meat over the fire, lopsidedly cooking it. You tentatively take a bite once you think it's edible and... wow, this is horrible! Just as you're thinking maybe it was better not to even try, the 16 year-old from your squad walks up to you. He has a pack stuffed full of materials from the battlefield and is surprised to see meat greeting him on his trip back. He seems happy enough about the food that you almost feel guilty, but it's not like you're trying to cook badly. You let him try a bite since he's so excited and all his excitement disappears, replaced only by amazement and a vague sadness. "Boss Zuo, uh... have you ever cooked before?" That... that's a good question. After some deep thought you remember that you have in fact cooked once before. When you were 3. You were chased out of the kitchens after that.The boy quickly attempts to fix your mistake and gets some meat for himself. As he carefully cooks it over the fire he puts pinches of items from his pouch on it. You recognize salt and pepper, but the rest are beyond your grasp. He finishes by the time the rest of the squad returns, and when you dig in you have to admit that he's a much, much better cook than you. Your group gulps down the meat as they warily stare into the distance and chat. Nothing happens before your meal finishes however and you head back up to the walls to wait.Another couple waves arrive that night, being dispatched pretty easily, but nothing comes after that. You keep watch until midnight, but at this point it's pretty dark and you can't see much. Still, you could probably hear the beasts coming if you were going to charge. You...>stay on the wall until morning, if they arrive during the night you don't want to lose time by being asleep and let them get the jump on you.>get some sleep, even if they do charge the loss of time isn't horrible. This isn't the military and you're not obligated to stand here.>Other
>>3599963>>get some sleep, even if they do charge the loss of time isn't horrible. This isn't the military and you're not obligated to stand here.Are we still with our squad? Even if we all cant get great sleep. We dont know for how many days we will be here for.We can set up a sleep rotations. 2 people per night. 4 hours per person. We can take the first shift.
You need some sleep. Still, you want someone from the squad watching the wall. You find one of your squad members and tell him to grab someone else and keep watch for the rest of the night. If someone is on rotation then you can organize a bit faster if the beasts come. You quickly fall asleep and wake up around dawn. There were only a few stray beasts wandering in during the night so the intensity around the wall has lowered a bit. Still, there are plenty of people looking out into the distance and patiently waiting for an attack.Hours pass, and in the afternoon you hear the familiar sound of a horn. You head towards the wall and see that another wave has appeared, and that it's larger than the last ones. You charge forward under Feng Jun's orders and fight, but after 10 minutes you hear another horn. Two at once. The beast horde is coming then?! Feng Jun tells you to hold position while he gets a better look, and after a moment he confirms that the horde will be arriving soon. The plan for now is to hold the line, but eventually he may pull back everyone below a certain level if the beasts get too strong. The fighting continues for half an hour, 45 minutes, an hour, as the beasts rush forward endlessly. They're slowly getting stronger, turning from something that's ridiculously easy to fight against to beasts which could kill someone at Strength Rendering. Eventually your squad is under pressure and you spot a powerful beast ahead of you. It's probably only slightly weaker than you. If it approaches without someone intercepting it there's a risk of injury to your team, but at the same time it might be correct to stay here and make sure they don't get injured fighting weaker beasts. You make a deicision and...>move forward to fight the beast, you can't let it approach your weaker squad members.>stay where you are and let it come to you, you can't leave your squad right now, even with the old man holding things down.>try to convince Feng Jun to kill it, he seems like he's busy right now, but this is important.>Other
>>3599963>get some sleep, even if they do charge the loss of time isn't horrible. This isn't the military and you're not obligated to stand here.Sleep when you can. Fight when you must. Any veteran knows this.
>>3599231Should've answered this earlier but yes, you just can't build a fire to cook anything on the wall. It is made out of wood after all.
>>3600467>move forward to fight the beast, you can't let it approach your weaker squad members.
>>3600467>>move forward to fight the beast, you can't let it approach your weaker squad members.We've to protect our own. Even at the risk of some small injuries to the team. But one person lost is one person less on our squad. Being attentive.
>>3600467>>move forward to fight the beast, you can't let it approach your weaker squad members.
You should move further in and take care of the beast before it can heavily injure someone. There's some risk, but your squad should be able to take care of themselves without you. You bid goodbye quickly and begin swinging your guandao as you carve your way into the crowd. Behind you corpses of beasts become covered by more beasts, and in front of you there's just more. You manage to keep yourself safe though and reach the creature you were worried about quickly.The beast is a four foot tall monkey with fur tinted red. The oddest feature, however, is that instead of having two hands, it has one hand and one lobster claw. You have no idea what abomination of bloodlines created this abomination, but it seems pretty strong. You swing your guandao towards it, aiming to decapitate it, but it dodges and scurries backwards. As your guandao kills several other animals it sends its claw swinging towards you. You use a small movement and the lobster claw whizzes past you, piercing the chest of a beast behind you. You begin exchanging blows with the beast, holding back power so you don't wear yourself out. A circle around your fight quickly opens up as any beast that gets too close is killed by either you or the monkey missing. Several rounds later the beast is getting impatient and launches a sloppy blow towards your head. This is your chance! You slip under the hit and push your guandao forward with all of your force. Unable to dodge, the monkey braces itself for the attacks and prepares to injure you in exchange for being injured. Suddenly though your guandao moves in multiple directions at once as you launch 2 Desires. The monkey gets two heavy injuries across its chest and is sent flying backwards. You finish it off midair, and the other beasts keep their distance from you for the time being. As you finish the creature off, you notice that two more are closing in. On top of that, you can see a larger one in the distance, rushing towards you. Shit, this isn't good. You could probably kill two of them if you went all out, but a bigger one on top of that? That's a no. Still, if you ignore them completely then they could attack you while retreating. You need Feng Jun, but it will take him a while to get here. You...>retreat and inform Feng Jun of the situation. You may risk minor wounds running, but that's fine.>try to hold off the two monkey creatures and call for Feng Jun from here. Hopefully he can get here by the time the big one arrives and turn the tide. >hold them off and ask the old man to help you. He might get injured waiting for Feng Jun to arrive, but it would help your chances.>Other
>>3601382>>hold them off and ask the old man to help you. He might get injured waiting for Feng Jun to arrive, but it would help your chances. Our other option would just be this but with out help.. we would still be around our squad and hopefully we could take the two down a peg enough or outright kill em by the time fang gets to help us with the third.We have to be a leader first.
>>3601382>>hold them off and ask the old man to help you. He might get injured waiting for Feng Jun to arrive, but it would help your chances.
>>3601382>hold them off and ask the old man to help you. He might get injured waiting for Feng Jun to arrive, but it would help your chances.
You're not sure if you can handle this alone until Feng Jun arrives. Well, at least not without being injured. It's probably riskier for him, but you're going to call the old man over and have him share the burden with you while Feng Jun rushes over. You yell to the two of them and the old man begins carving his way through the horde while Feng Jun tries to quickly finish off what he's fighting.The two smaller ones arrive in front of you, delivering two strikes at once. You dodge one and get grazed by the other, leaving a thin scratch along your side. The two attack again and you barely hold them off with your guandao. At this point the old man arrives and you let him try to hold off one while you get the other. He's struggling to constantly dodge attacks from the monkey, but if you can finish this thing off then you'll be able to easily get rid of the other one. If it's one and one then you'd be able to beat these things up for an hour.As you're trying to quickly disable the one you're fighting you hear a scream come from behind you. You turn around and see that the old man has a wound gushing blood from his right shoulder, disabling his arm. It doesn't look like anything permanent, but it'd be suicide for him to keep fighting alone. Pressured, you unleash 4 Desires against your opponent, sending it flying away covered in wounds. You then jump away and block the other one's next strike, protecting the old man from another wound. You engage in combat for a few rounds before you see both the big monkey and Feng Jun closing in. You're forced to move away to dodge a casual blow from the big one, and as you do Feng Jun charges in, forcing it backwards and giving you room to retreat.You carry the old man back and send him back to the wall to have his wound bandaged. It doesn't look horrible, but he'll probably need to refrain from fighting for at least a couple weeks. You return to holding the line, and after another 20 minutes you hear an order to have everyone below Early Bone and Marrow Tempering in strength to fall back. You report to Feng Jun, who now has those two other squad commanders he introduced you to following behind him.Feng Jun turns to the three of you and gives detailed instructions on what positions to take, when to attack, and when to retreat. The four of you head forward, holding the line against a thinner horde of stronger creatures.Eventually Feng Jun stops moving and stares into the distance. Following his vision you see that someone seems to be fighting with a massive serpent in that direction. "It looks like boss is struggling over there. I'd be able to help, but I'm not sure how you guys would fare without me. Opinions?" You say that...>it'd be best with the four of you together. >if he leaves to help you'll be fine. Worst case scenario you take some wounds and they recover by tomorrow.>you can come along to help, you might not do much but you can try.>Other
>>3602358>>if he leaves to help you'll be fine. Worst case scenario you take some wounds and they recover by tomorrow.
>>3602358>if he leaves to help you'll be fine. Worst case scenario you take some wounds and they recover by tomorrow.
"It's fine if you leave, we should be fine." The other two echo your sentiments and Feng Jun leaves, heading towards the battle in the distance. Meanwhile the three of you remaining move around more carefully, attacking when possible and escaping when needed. As you cut down beasts you can tell that the other two are becoming pretty tired, although you could continue fighting for at least a few more hours at this rate. As long as you aren't forced to use 4 Desires in combat there's no risk of exhaustion.The two end up resting for a moment while you cover them, and as you do you hear a loud noise in the distance. You look towards it and see that the serpent from earlier now has several holes bored through it. One is as thick as a head, and there are a few as large as an arm. Looking more closely you can see that five or six people are moving around it as it thrashes about. You wonder how many of them are at Meridian Opening to fight that thing. Your group resumes combat as the sounds of the serpent dying continue. There are a few close calls, but 90% of the beasts are weak enough for you to kill without risk. Most of the other 10% can be seen in the distance, so your group desperately avoids them as much as possible. There are a couple of close calls, but all of you are able to escape without major injury. After half an hour on your own Feng Jun returns, his clothes torn and a bloody gash in his side. He's breathing heavily and lets the three of you move as you wish, conserving his strength.At some point Feng Jun looks towards the horde and clicks his tongue. "Looks like these will be too powerful for you guys soon. I'll probably be pulling out then too, I'm exhausted from fighting that thing. You're free to kill more or gather loot, your choice. It's not like we live here, so if a few more beasts survive because you're looting it's no skin off my back." After Feng Jun says this you...>go to loot a bit, you have permission.>find some more beasts to kill, the experience is more valuable for you.>head back to the wall, you're not interested in loot so you may as well check on the others.>Other
>>3602658>>find some more beasts to kill, the experience is more valuable for you
>>3602658>go to loot a bit, you have permission.With our regeneration gives us time to heal up and recover.
>>3602658>>find some more beasts to kill, the experience is more valuable for you.
The hides and bones scattered around the battlefield aren't worth much to you, so you may as well just kill some more beasts for the time being. You leave the rest of the group and stay a couple hundred feet away, killing beasts where you see them. If you're going to be forced to pull back soon, you should try to push yourself to your limits first. You ignore stamina and kill beasts as quickly as possible, tearing through whatever is left around you.Your body grows heavier and your arms sore as you push yourself to your limits, killing beasts like the monkey from before casually. You unleash your full strength, using 3 Desires and 4 Desires without restraint. After 10 minutes of this you can barely hold your guandao and are sweating heavily, forcing you to stop and follow the rest of the group around. A few minutes later you're told to retreat to the wall, and Feng Jun makes sure everyone makes it back without trouble.As you sit on the wall you watch large amounts of cultivators at Blood and Viscera Tempering and above slay giant beasts scattered about the killing fields. Massive amounts of weaker beasts coat the ground below them, although some are still wandering around. As the fighting continues you...>watch, it's a good opportunity to see real combat.>find your squad, you want to make sure everyone is fine. Hopefully the old man's wound is alright.>thank Feng Jun for helping you out and make some small talk with him. He's been very helpful.>Other
>>3603283>thank Feng Jun for helping you out and make some small talk with him. He's been very helpful.
>>3603283>>thank Feng Jun for helping you out and make some small talk with him. He's been very helpful.Then check up in the old man.
You should thank Feng Jun first, he's been a big help since you arrived. After that you can make sure the old man is ok, it is partially your fault he's injured. You flag down Feng Jun and thank him for the help. "No problem Junior Brother Zuo, it's always nice meeting others taking on work in the wastes. I may not become equal to the great masters in power, but at least I'll never lack friends. Are you planning on staying in the wastes for long?" "Mm...yeah, I'll be here for as long as a year. I'm not leaving here for a few months at minimum." "Alright then, I guess I'll see you around. After this I'll be heading into the woods to investigate what caused the horde to stampede. It could be risky, but do you want to come along? The more the merrier and all that."Investigating the origins of the horde? You'd be lying if you said you weren't interested, but that would take a while. There's also the risk, but there's risk in everything. You don't mind that much since it should be minimal. "Senior Brother Feng, why are you going to investigate. I assume there are more powerful people there, so even if you go there any opportunities would be taken by them, right?" Feng Jun shrugs in response. "Sure, but luck matters just as much as strength sometimes. Even though it's not likely, there could be benefits they couldn't monopolize, or possibly ones I find myself that they've missed. Of course on the other hand there could be nothing, but that's the nature of being an independent cultivator. Chances come once in a blue moon, so we have to strive for them. Throwing away a chance to get ahead for the easy, guaranteed route will only doom us to failure. No matter the results we need to put our lives on the line to seize every chance we get - it's not like we're born with the resources to cultivate. If I just settled making some money doing work in the wastes and scraping what resources together I would likely reach Meridian Opening before I die, but I'd never go beyond that. That's why I try to build all the connections I can and seek all the opportunities possible while I'm here. I may not be able to become a powerful master, but I have faith that I'll be able to reach Qi Refinement or Qi Emission some day far in the future."Feng Jun sighs before repeating his question. "So, are you interested in coming? It'll probably be a week there and back, but the benefits could be pretty good." You...>accept, whatever caused the beasts to swarm could be a good opportunity.>decline, the likelihood of an opportunity is low and you can finish another job in that amount of time. Gaining experience here is the first priority.>Other
>>3603733>>accept, whatever caused the beasts to swarm could be a good opportunity.This is still experience and we could get a first-hand account of what it is like in the area. OP how much would you say it would cost to obtain a dimension ring? And would it be too flashy? At our current level that people would notice? or could we get away with it for the most part by pretending to take and pull things out of our bag?
>>3603733>accept, whatever caused the beasts to swarm could be a good opportunity.
>>3603733>accept, whatever caused the beasts to swarm could be a good opportunity.Hopefully we can keep him around even after our one year trip.
You may as well head with the group investigating the source of the horde. Sure, it probably won't pan out, but it's only a week. Maybe something good will come out of it. A couple minutes of small talk later you leave Feng Jun and head back to your squad to see if anyone got injured too badly. After you track them down you see that all five of them are still alive at least. On a closer examination, one of the men Feng Jun gave you has a pretty heavy wound on his leg and the old man has his shoulder wound, but most of the wounds are minor. After checking up on your group you go to watch some of the fighting. You may not be able to intervene in any of the fight's currently happening, but this is a good chance to watch experts fight. Well, none of them are on the level of your family's elders, but still, they're experts compared to you. Everyone remaining is at Blood and Viscera Tempering or above, and the Meridian Opening cultivators seem to be leading battles against giant beasts while the rest of their groups either support them or kill anything weaker than gets too close to the fighting. The horde has thinned out greatly, but everything left could easily murder you in a fight. No matter how quickly you can heal, it probably wouldn't matter against something that could crush you into meat paste and eat you.The flashy battles of man versus beast continue for quite a while until the Blood and Viscera Tempering cultivators leave, only a few groups led by Qi Refinement cultivators wandering the killing fields. Half a dozen groups are fighting right now as monsters the height of this (admittedly puny) wall try to kill them. You involuntarily gulp watching this as barrages of rocks are sent shooting outwards after every stringle strike of the beasts. If those claws and paws hit any of the cultivators they'd definitely be crushed. At some point you see a blow land on one of the Qi Refinement cultivators, but instead of being crushed they brace themselves and slowly push it off of them, defying your expectations.At the end of the right a small, dark red wolf appears. It growls at the cultivators threateningly, and when a Meridian Opening cultivator goes to kill it, he gets his innards torn out by a claw to his gut. He stumbles back, confused and heavily bleeding, as the leader of the tribe and the leader of the cultivators both rush towards it. The wolf moves unimaginably fast and parries blows from the two Qi Emission cultivators in charge of either group. As the three exchange blows faster than you can see, trees nearby are torn down in the process. Blood flashes occasionally, and only the Qi Refinement cultivators are willing to charge in to temporarily support the two Qi Emission cultivators leading the armies. After a prolonged battle the fighting begins to slow down and the wolf, covered in blood, tries to retreat. The tribe's leader cuts it off, however, and the wolf is killed after the tribal leader suffers a heavy wound.
The tribe's leader raises some sort of ceremonial staff strapped to his back and you hear all of the tribe's soldiers loudly scream and roar. They're hugging each other's tattooed bodies and a few are crying. Well, the beast horde was an actual risk to them, so it's understandable. The cultivator's army only had maybe a 5% rate of death, but the tribe members probably had three or four times that. The hired cultivators are just getting paid, but the tribesman are trying to protect this place with their lives.After the battle ends most of the people head into the killing fields to gather hides, meat, and all sorts of other materials. You...>head with them, maybe you'll be lucky and find something good. You're pretty strong so you do get better loot than the average soldier.>head back to your lodgings, you're dead tired and need to rest.>take your squad out for a drink, you're not a big drinker yourself but they'd appreciate it.>hang out with Feng Jun after this, you should make arrangements for leaving now that the fighting is over.>Other
>>3603763You're not sure on the exact price of an interdimensional ring, but it's not cheap. At least a few hundred thousand gold coins. It would definitely stand out if you kept it in the open. Anyone who saw someone your age with an interdimensional ring (if they could recognize it), would assume you're a talented youth from the one of the Five Families, the government, or the successor to a major clan. You could hide it in a bag though and no one would notice if you weren't too obvious.
>>3604837>head with them, maybe you'll be lucky and find something good. You're pretty strong so you do get better loot than the average soldier.
>>3604837>>head with them, maybe you'll be lucky and find something good. You're pretty strong so you do get better loot than the average soldier.May as well try and get some things from this. Aside from the regular pay.
>>3604837>>head with them, maybe you'll be lucky and find something good. You're pretty strong so you do get better loot than the average soldier.
Rolled 43 (1d100)Loot
You may as well look around the battlefield, you won't get much but it's something. At least you can use it as some spare materials if you get a chance to practice refining while you're in the Northern Wastes. You head out to the battlefield and track down some of the stronger corpses before taking some hides, fangs, claws, and whatever else seems valuable. The meat is too much to carry, so you leave it for someone else. You avoid the weakest beasts, leaving those to the bulk of the army. What you're allowed to loot varies on strength, and while you don't think someone would die for trying to grab something they aren't able to kill, if someone saw them they'd probably get their ass kicked.After half an hour your pack is full, mostly with hides, and you head back to the wall. The materials in your pack may be worth a few hundred gold coins in total, you're not sure. You guess you could try making some light armor out of this for practice eventually. It mostly just saves you the trouble of going shopping for materials. After collecting your loot you head to a large tent to collect your wages.Long, winding lines stand in front of several members of the tribe. These tribesmen are in front of massive chests filled with endless gold coins. Tough looking guards surround each chest, guarding it from aspiring thieves. You enter into one of the lines, waiting as it slowly advances forward. 20 minutes later you reach the front and tell them your cultivation, show your battle strength, and give them a few bits from stronger beasts you killed. After they talk to you they speak to someone else who was watching the battle and confirm a few things. In the end you're given over 700 gold coins. This... doesn't this mean by working in the Northern Wastes you might make less then your family's stipend? You've received 1000 gold coins per month even when you were at Strength Rendering, and now that you have battle strength equal to someone at Late Bone and Marrow Tempering you still might not be able to earn that much? Cultivating without backing is harder than you expected.After collecting your loot and wages you...>head back to your lodgings, you're dead tired and need to rest.>take your squad out for a drink, you're not a big drinker yourself but they'd appreciate it.>hang out with Feng Jun after this, you should make arrangements for leaving now that the fighting is over.>Other
>>3605219>>take your squad out for a drink, you're not a big drinker yourself but they'd appreciate it.
>>3605219>take your squad out for a drink, you're not a big drinker yourself but they'd appreciate it.
Now that you've gotten paid you may as well take your squad members out for drinks, you wouldn't have been able to do as much without them. You can talk with Feng Jun about leaving tomorrow. You ignore your aching body and slowly find your squad members as they return to the walls and collect their wages.It takes an hour to find all of them, and after you offer to take them out for drinks you get a cheerful yes from most of them. The old man doesn't seem particuarly enthusiastic, but he comes anyways. Maybe he doesn't drink. You follow the squad members into a bar one of them recomends and hand the bartender a small handful of gold coins, telling him to cover whatever they order with it. The three squad members Feng Jun gave you and the young man enthusiastically drink and chat while the old man sips some sort of hard liquor. The young man's face turns red pretty quickly and he switches to water, although he's already pretty sloshed. That's almost impressive considering he's a cultivator. The three squad members from Feng Jun continue on, seeming used to after battle celebrations.The night wears on as the group chats, sings, and gambles a bit. You excuse yourself eventually, tiring of putting up with few increasing buzzed men, and return to your lodgings. Once you enter you flop yourself onto the bed and immediately fall asleep. You wake up pretty late the next morning and meet with Feng Jun to discuss when you're leaving. To your surprise he's already packed and says that he's ready to go whenever a couple of people are ready. You...>go to pack your stuff up and wait, you guess you're leaving now then.>see if the tribe has anything special on sale and then grab your stuff. If he's waiting on people already you can afford an hour to look around before you go.>tell him you'll be back after you take care of some business and look around to find that guy that screwed you over. You were looking for a chance for your revenge during the battle, but didn't get one. Now that it's over you should at least give him a couple good punches.>Other
>>3605840>tell him you'll be back after you take care of some business and look around to find that guy that screwed you over. You were looking for a chance for your revenge during the battle, but didn't get one. Now that it's over you should at least give him a couple good punches.Time.
>>3605840>>tell him you'll be back after you take care of some business and look around to find that guy that screwed you over. You were looking for a chance for your revenge during the battle, but didn't get one. Now that it's over you should at least give him a couple good punches.
>>3605840>>see if the tribe has anything special on sale and then grab your stuff. If he's waiting on people already you can afford an hour to look around before you go.
"I'll be back in a bit then. I have some business to take care of." "Mm, alright. Meet me at the northern exit." You nod in response and go to find that prick that wronged you. You have to get some revenge or your name isn't Liu Zhu. You're not going to let someone weaker than you wrong you without getting back at them.You check the tavern you found the man in, his lodgings, and a couple of other places. After each visit a mild frustration brews within you as he isn't anywhere. Did he already collect his wages and leave?! Dammit, dammit. As you're complaining in your mind you suddenly snap to attention, noticing him a couple hundred feet down the road. Finally! You found him when you weren't even looking!You approach him from a distance, briskly walking through the street and closing the gap between the two of you. You approach and...>pull him into an alley before giving him a decent beating. Some pain is enough payback.>tell him that he'll be turning over all the money on him, including eveything he earned fighting the beast horde. He thought he was leaving you to die, so the least you can do is get some money to compansate the people who suffered.>find a chance to get him alone and then crush one of his hands. If he becomes a cripple from all of this and loses his hand, then he'll have a constant reminder of what happens when he messes with the wrong person.>find a chance to get him alone and then kill him. He's trash who would betray others at the drop of the hat. Who's to know if he'll try getting back at you in the future if you leave him alive.>Other
>>3606832>tell him that he'll be turning over all the money on him, including eveything he earned fighting the beast horde. He thought he was leaving you to die, so the least you can do is get some money to compansate the people who suffered.Punishment in proportion to the crime.
>>3606832>tell him that he'll be turning over all the money on him, including eveything he earned fighting the beast horde. He thought he was leaving you to die, so the least you can do is get some money to compansate the people who suffered.
>>3606832>pull him into an alley before giving him a decent beating. Some pain is enough payback.
You'll take his gold. He does deserve a punch of two to the face, but the most practical course of action is to get some compensation and give it to your squad. While kicking his ass would vent some anger, it wouldn't accomplish much. You approach the man and notice that he clothes are dirty and he smells distinctly of alcohol. He must have drank himself silly last night. Once you're next to him you grab his shoulder, forcefully turning him so that he's facing you. One he sees you his eyes widen, but then he laughs. "Heh heh, you survived, did you? Thanks for keeping me safe." In response you smile. "Yep, not a scratch on you. It sure would be terrible if you got inured, wouldn't it? You wouldn't be able to work and might have to stop cultivating if it was bad enough." You let the implicit threat hang in the air for a moment, although you don't want to go that far. "So as thanks for making sure that didn't happen, you should give me your money! I'll make sure to give some to the other squad members to be fair, they did their share of work defending you too."The man frowns at you and slurs out a response. "Whatcha think yur doing? Why should ay pay you? I'll just keep mah gold an' you can scurry off." He tries to shake off your hand after that, but you tighten your grip and force him to stay. He continues trying to escape, but your grip only continues tightening, digging into his skin. The man's face turns to one of terror as he stares at you, eyes wide open. "Stahp, stahp, you'll break it! I'll give yah the money, the money, ok?" His other arm shakes as he pulls a coinpurse from his pocket. Inside are at least 500 gold coins. Looks like he hasn't spent his wages yet. "Well, now that this is over with I'll be leaving. Don't get into any trouble!" You smile at the man and head off as he nurses the bruise on his shoulder.You split the money among your squad members before you leave, taking some of the change to make division easier. After that you meet up with Feng Jun. He's with a group of 20-some people who you assume are all headed to investigate the disturbance. Once you wait for another half hour, finally leaving when the group reaches 30 in size.The group leaves the tribe as a few people excitedly chat about what will be awaiting all of you deeper into the forest. Whether it's a lucky chance, more vicious beasts, or nothing at all, you'll make the best out of it. You just need to give it your all and get stronger while you're at it.
A second thread will be up on the 29th, thanks for participating. Feel free to shitpost/leave feedback below.Here's a twitter if you want info on when I make new threads: https://twitter.com/QmWalrus