[a / b / c / d / e / f / g / gif / h / hr / k / m / o / p / r / s / t / u / v / vg / w / wg] [i / ic] [r9k] [cm / hm / y] [3 / adv / an / cgl / ck / co / diy / fa / fit / hc / int / jp / lit / mlp / mu / n / po / pol / sci / soc / sp / tg / toy / trv / tv / vp / x] [rs] [status / ? / @] [Settings] [Home]
Board:  
Settings   Home
4chan
/qst/ - Quests


File: Heretic Cultivator.jpg (476 KB, 1920x1080)
476 KB
476 KB JPG
For ten generations, the three realms have enjoyed an Era of Harmony, Peace and Prosperity. With the slaying of the Demon Lord Zhìzūn-Móxīn (至尊-魔心, Supreme Devil Mind), tranquility spread down from heaven across the mortal realm. The once discordant traditions, laws and practices of cultivation were gathered in their entirety by the Five Wise Immortal Sages (五哲仙哲, Wǔzhéxiānzhé) and judged. Every School, Style, Technique, or teaching deemed to invite wickedness into the hearts of men and spread evil through the world was named forbidden, unorthodox, and was outlawed from both the Martial World and the Cultivation world for the good of all men living or dead. Black arts such as necromancy, blood magic, curses, Dual cultivation, the devouring of souls, the ascension of beasts and many others that were once widely practiced were branded as "Demonic Cultivation". And to ensure no evil sect would again rise to a position of prominence in any of the three realms, the Five Wise Immortal Sages declared any innovation upon the various Dao of Cultivation to be similarly seen as Unorthodox and thus forbidden by threat of death and spirit severing unless it was created by a trusted and renowned elder known for their moral character and skill in both martial and mystical arts.

Thus, for ten generations an era of peace that would go on to become known as the Radiant Dawn Era amongst both mortal and immortal scholars began. And thus the seeds were sown for an even greater era of darkness beneath the radiant dawn. Orthodoxy became oppression, genius cultivators and odd talents were executed for stepping beyond the path set by the edict of the Five Wise Immortal Sages. The Laws of Heaven and Men became smothering. Where once they protected against the ambitions of villains and schemes of devils, they now only served to cultivate a world of stagnancy.

Gods, Devils, Cultivators, and Mortals alike grew restless with harmony. Inevitably, the unrelenting light of the sun began to wither the hearts and minds of those who had been born beneath it and did not know the terrors of an endless, unremitting night. Youthful arrogance, grudges held for centuries began, and human curiosity began to sprout like weeds in hearts, minds and spirits across the three realms.

The end of the Radiant Dawn Era, began with a war that was foretold to last two generations and soak the the world in blood, corpses and the stench of death. The spark of this first war to break the long held peace of the realms of mortals and cultivators alike? An attempt up the the divinely appointed patriarch of the imperial family, a thoughtless scheme carried out to avenge the pride of a lord whose wife he had taken as his lover, alongside three of his daughters and his elderly aunt. The Celestial Empire crumbled in a night, allegiances made by blood, oath or debt were called and four factions emerged from its ashes.
Cont
>>
>>5040335

Ambitious men, seeking bloody revenge against their longtime rivals or to claim the mandate of heaven from a weak and unworthy lecher of an emperor marched to war. And so the lands and their people wept and suffered as all was thrown into turmoil.

The Martial world and World of Cultivation remained Content in the serenity of their lives, unaware that soon they would suffer the same plight as the ordinary and mundane folk they had risen above. A storm of discord and spite was soon to swallow all three realms, born from the misguided efforts of benevolent and wise men.

Righteousness was soon to be challenged by "Evil" as it had been centuries ago. Bold and wildly ambitious men gather to form the first of many "Wicked sects", unearthing and rediscovery the Unorthodox and Forbidden Dao. And so in away, the natural state of the world returns, carried upon the backs of those unloved by the heavens.

For is it not in the nature of cultivation, in seeking immortality, to go against the will of the heavens? Is it not in the nature of men to desire what is forbidden, what is outlawed? Is it not the nature of order and balance, to create disorder and chaos?

Hubris is a poison more potent than any produced by the ritual of Gu. Virtue ferments easily into villainy.

In the shadows, beneath the notice of the Cultivators and gods alike, newly formed Sects, Clans and Cults practicing the Heaven's Scorned Traditions of the Past or pioneering a new road towards immortality and the very heavens that sneered at their plight and suffering, sought worthy acolytes. Those rare individuals with the innate potential and conviction to endure the rigors of cultivation to grasp for immortality. Those with the ambition to take godhood from the heavens themselves.

Remarkable men and women, with strange destinies ahead of them. Those who are unloved by heaven, those who were scorned by society, those who were cursed from the day of their birth!

Those, who shall become Cultivators of Heretical Laws!
Cont
>>
>>5040337

https://youtu.be/yvFgNP9iqd4
_
Which Remarkable Mortal will begin their Unorthodox path to immortality?

>"The Ogre's Daughter" Líng Yāonān (妖囡, Devil's Daughter). -Feared and Reviled from birth as the child of an Ogre due to her unusual height, pale skin and hair, and blood red eyes, Yāonān is the heir of the minor noble family Ling (陵, Tomb), Born to its Patriarch Ling Li and his unfortunate & addled wife, Yun Ehuang who was the only one to show affection to her odd daughter, Ling Yāonān's life has been one of neglect and abuse. Upon the death of her mother, she grows tired of being treated as a monster, steals a heirloom sword and escapes into the night to find her own destiny by the strength of her arm and character!

>"The Bewitched Monk" Jingyǔ (静雨,Quiet Rain, Art/adopted name).- A man whose life has known no end of misfortune, abandoned by his promised bride as a young man, Jingyǔ abandoned his old life as a Poet to live the Austere life of a monk, seeking solace and enlightenment in the forest temple of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect (冬䓵智, Dōngfūzhì), though over the years he learned he lacked the innate talent and potential to cultivate. Heartbroken once again, Jingyǔ was seduced by a fox demon and tricked by it into sabotaging a Sect Elder's breakthrough! Outcast and branded a traitor, Jingyǔ yearns for death.

>"The Newborn Cat demon". Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed), was once an ordinary stray cat, an unintelligent beast fed by the children of the riverside hamlet she and five generations of her lineage had been born into. When war ravaged the countryside, between the rival families of Ling and Chuān, the cat was instead fed by the bodies of the dead and as she grew fat on the blood and fat of men, a grudge formed in her heart as her body grew. Seeking revenge against the soldiers who killed her "friends", she carried out a bloody slaughter against them and thus became a demonic beast. Prowling the countryside, Huānliúxuè searches for new prey.

>"The Lonely Blacksmith". Fèiqīng (㔗青, Vigorous Youth). Cursed with a hideous face, Fèiqīng was blessed with a connection to metal, and quickly surpassed his father's skill in smithing Fèiqīng toiled in quiet isolation until he grew to be a young man, where upon his talents were recognized by a passing tax collector and the "Ape like" young man was brought the imperial court to serve the Young Emperor. However, his desire for companionship led him to join a wicked cult in search of a method to bring life to the weapons he forged. Caught up in a plot against the imperial family, Fèiqīng fled into the wilds, fearing execution.

The three that are not picked will still exist in the world. In fact, all four are within the same region currently! But that does not mean they will be comrades or friends.
>>
>>5040338
>"The Bewitched Monk" Jingyǔ (静雨,Quiet Rain, Art/adopted name).- A man whose life has known no end of misfortune, abandoned by his promised bride as a young man, Jingyǔ abandoned his old life as a Poet to live the Austere life of a monk, seeking solace and enlightenment in the forest temple of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect (冬䓵智, Dōngfūzhì), though over the years he learned he lacked the innate talent and potential to cultivate. Heartbroken once again, Jingyǔ was seduced by a fox demon and tricked by it into sabotaging a Sect Elder's breakthrough! Outcast and branded a traitor, Jingyǔ yearns for death.
Our's is a winter without end.
>>
>>5040338
>>"The Ogre's Daughter"
I don't like cringey female MCs, but this one seems cool as you don't see a lot of monsterous cultivators. Plus our "heirloom sword" might end up being an artifact weapon.
>>
>>5040338
>"The Newborn Cat demon". Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed), was once an ordinary stray cat, an unintelligent beast fed by the children of the riverside hamlet she and five generations of her lineage had been born into. When war ravaged the countryside, between the rival families of Ling and Chuān, the cat was instead fed by the bodies of the dead and as she grew fat on the blood and fat of men, a grudge formed in her heart as her body grew. Seeking revenge against the soldiers who killed her "friends", she carried out a bloody slaughter against them and thus became a demonic beast. Prowling the countryside, Huānliúxuè searches for new prey
Come on guys, let's eat some cultivators!
>>
coomers and prototrannies begone
>>
didnt read
>>
>>5040338
>"The Bewitched Monk" Jingyǔ (静雨,Quiet Rain, Art/adopted name).- A man whose life has known no end of misfortune, abandoned by his promised bride as a young man, Jingyǔ abandoned his old life as a Poet to live the Austere life of a monk, seeking solace and enlightenment in the forest temple of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect (冬䓵智, Dōngfūzhì), though over the years he learned he lacked the innate talent and potential to cultivate. Heartbroken once again, Jingyǔ was seduced by a fox demon and tricked by it into sabotaging a Sect Elder's breakthrough! Outcast and branded a traitor, Jingyǔ yearns for death.
he roams the land eliminating roasties in penitence
>>
>>5040338
>"The Newborn Cat demon". Huānliúxuè
>>
>>5040338
>>"The Newborn Cat demon". Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed), was once an ordinary stray cat, an unintelligent beast fed by the children of the riverside hamlet she and five generations of her lineage had been born into. When war ravaged the countryside, between the rival families of Ling and Chuān, the cat was instead fed by the bodies of the dead and as she grew fat on the blood and fat of men, a grudge formed in her heart as her body grew. Seeking revenge against the soldiers who killed her "friends", she carried out a bloody slaughter against them and thus became a demonic beast. Prowling the countryside, Huānliúxuè searches for new prey.

As the kind of faggot who reads Beware of Chicken, I am amused by this option.
I care not for your laws. I'm a cat. Even the heavens are below me. Now bring me fish or die.
>>
>>5040338
>"The Bewitched Monk" Jingyǔ (静雨,Quiet Rain, Art/adopted name).- A man whose life has known no end of misfortune, abandoned by his promised bride as a young man, Jingyǔ abandoned his old life as a Poet to live the Austere life of a monk, seeking solace and enlightenment in the forest temple of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect (冬䓵智, Dōngfūzhì), though over the years he learned he lacked the innate talent and potential to cultivate. Heartbroken once again, Jingyǔ was seduced by a fox demon and tricked by it into sabotaging a Sect Elder's breakthrough! Outcast and branded a traitor, Jingyǔ yearns for death.
>>
>>5040338
>"The Bewitched Monk" Jingyǔ (静雨,Quiet Rain, Art/adopted name).- A man whose life has known no end of misfortune, abandoned by his promised bride as a young man, Jingyǔ abandoned his old life as a Poet to live the Austere life of a monk, seeking solace and enlightenment in the forest temple of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect (冬䓵智, Dōngfūzhì), though over the years he learned he lacked the innate talent and potential to cultivate. Heartbroken once again, Jingyǔ was seduced by a fox demon and tricked by it into sabotaging a Sect Elder's breakthrough! Outcast and branded a traitor, Jingyǔ yearns for death
>>
>>5040338
>"The Newborn Cat demon". Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed), was once an ordinary stray cat, an unintelligent beast fed by the children of the riverside hamlet she and five generations of her lineage had been born into. When war ravaged the countryside, between the rival families of Ling and Chuān, the cat was instead fed by the bodies of the dead and as she grew fat on the blood and fat of men, a grudge formed in her heart as her body grew. Seeking revenge against the soldiers who killed her "friends", she carried out a bloody slaughter against them and thus became a demonic beast. Prowling the countryside, Huānliúxuè searches for new prey.
>>
>>5040338
>"The Newborn Cat demon". Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed), was once an ordinary stray cat, an unintelligent beast fed by the children of the riverside hamlet she and five generations of her lineage had been born into. When war ravaged the countryside, between the rival families of Ling and Chuān, the cat was instead fed by the bodies of the dead and as she grew fat on the blood and fat of men, a grudge formed in her heart as her body grew. Seeking revenge against the soldiers who killed her "friends", she carried out a bloody slaughter against them and thus became a demonic beast. Prowling the countryside, Huānliúxuè searches for new prey.
>>
>>5040350
Catchads are voting for the cat because she's a cat, not because she's female.
>>
Voting for the cat.
>>
>>5040338
>"The Newborn Cat demon". Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed)
But male.
>>
>>5040337
>"The Newborn Cat demon". Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed), was once an ordinary stray cat, an unintelligent beast fed by the children of the riverside hamlet she and five generations of her lineage had been born into. When war ravaged the countryside, between the rival families of Ling and Chuān, the cat was instead fed by the bodies of the dead and as she grew fat on the blood and fat of men, a grudge formed in her heart as her body grew. Seeking revenge against the soldiers who killed her "friends", she carried out a bloody slaughter against them and thus became a demonic beast. Prowling the countryside, Huānliúxuè searches for new prey.
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the results

The Newborn Cat demon wins with a total of 8 votes

The Bewitched Monk comes in second place with 4, and so will probably have a bigger part to play than the other two going forward. Particularly the Lonely Blacksmith, who in this world and the fictional one, is loved by no one.


Update will arrive shortly, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them. Wasn't expecting this many votes, so I am ecstatic rn
>>
>>5040460
booooo, when faced with a cool male character that would be interesting to play as vs kawaii female waifu, /qst/ will always pick the weaker option.

lame
>>
>>5040468
seethe
>>
As the Ling army continued its march into Chuān controlled territory, rumors began to spread amidst the ranks of the invading force, originating from panicked deserters from their own number and the peasantry that tended the lands they had taken from their long time rival across the river that acted as the border of their lands. Ghost stories of a cat like beast, larger than any farm mouser nearly the size of a wolf with a coat as red as the shades of a summer sunset or freshly spilled blood, except for an undercoat of red hued white that was nearer to pink and a notch in one of its ears. From the terrified accounts give by the treasonous deserters before their heads were loped from their shoulders at the behest of the general spearheading the invasion, the Demonic beast had massacred entire regiments of forward scouts, emerging from the smoke of a village razed in the opening days of their relentless assault. Some wept, begging to be executed before the bloodthirsty cat emerged from the night's mists to tear them limb from limb, devouring them to the very marrow of their bones.

Ling Meng, was not a superstitious or fearful man and knew these stories for what they were! The tricks of a coward terrified to meet his army in honorable battle, degrading themselves by stooping to sowing wife's tales and rumors to weaken the morale of his men. Doubtlessly, the worms of Chaun hope this crooked tactic would send him fleeing back to his uncle's court, babbling about monsters, ghosts and devils! So the Ling army continued its march, leaving behind graves filled with the survivors of the horrible cat's predations and entire villages made lame from the lashing of their whips!
-

The morning sun rises, illuminating the forest where you have sought shelter for the night. Your once white coat glows in the radiance of dawn as you lick dried blood and fat from your paws. Before you, the half eaten corpse of your latest victim, dressed in the same colors as the brutes who hurt and defiled and murdered your friends and caretakers stares at the clear blue skies with empty eyes. An expression of horror contorts his pale face, upon which verminous things like beetles and ants crawl and march along. A scraggly black beard hangs down to his chest, soaked with blood and the mud you dragged him through the prior night, when you took him from his post for supper.

Just looking at the human fills you with a deep revulsion, a rage that burns at the edges of your mind, urging you to mutilate his body and scatter its limbs and remaining organs to the four winds. Plodding across his spilt entrails, you leave your former meal behind, its blood congeal beneath the heat of morning while you follow a stream to the lake it flows from.

The still cold water cools your mind and revitalizes your body. You meet your reflection in the water, and for the first time since you've began your quest of revenge you have the sense of self to wonder.
Cont
>>
>>5040475

Why are you red now? Why are your thoughts so much clearer? Why can you speak the tongue of men? How do you know that they are "Human" rather than just an odd, hairless breed of cats? And why does their meat fill your belly better than any other?

Sitting on your haunches, you preen yourself, starting with the fat and blood soaked fur around your face. You pause midlick, realizing that those questions don't matter in the grand scheme of things. All thinking on these mysteries that surround this new existence will achieve is impeding your revenge! Phantom images of the children who used to play with and feed you being butchered like animals flash through your imagination, a nightmarish theater play of the days before your rebirth.

'No...no, I cannot rest until I've avenged them, and devoured the men who took them away from me', you think as you resume your grooming. Until they have been killed to the man, you will know no peace, of mind or soul.

Satisfied and cleanse from yesterday's hunting, you settle upon the lakeshore, serenaded by bird's song and the wind's soothing whisper as you consider your next move. The man you ate wasn't one of the brutes who took your home and family from you. But he was the same breed.

A face surfaced from the mire of your thoughts. A man dressed in finer, more resplendent regalia than the rest. The alpha of the marauding pack. He needed to die, only his death could satisfy your hunger for revenge and meat.

'The General of the invading army...he's my target'. You realized as a ray of sunlight fell upon the centermost spot on your forehead.

'But, how do I find him? And am I strong enough to kill him like the others?'

Well Huānliúxuè? What do you do?

>Practice your killing technique, upon both the creatures of the forest and the soldiers of the nearby fort. You must be ready, you cannot die while your friends remain unavenged!

>HE MUST DIE! No waiting, no planning! Follow the soldiers, Track the General and take his head and devour his heart!

>A voice inside of you is warning you that soon you'll become the hunted rather than the hunter. You need a home, a sanctuary, a lair. Seek one out before continuing your revenge.

>Lonely...Lonely! SO LONELY! You need companionship! You need praise! Or perhaps you want underlings instead of friends?

>Write in
>>
>>5040476
>A voice inside of you is warning you that soon you'll become the hunted rather than the hunter. You need a home, a sanctuary, a lair. Seek one out before continuing your revenge.
We should be careful.
>>
>>5040475
>a notch in one of its ears.
Our girl's had her shots, good, good.
>>
>>5040476
>A voice inside of you is warning you that soon you'll become the hunted rather than the hunter. You need a home, a sanctuary, a lair. Seek one out before continuing your revenge.
>>
>>5040476
>>Lonely...Lonely! SO LONELY! You need companionship! You need praise! Or perhaps you want underlings instead of friends?
>>5040468
Shut up or I'll eat your vote's face.
>>
>>5040476
>HE MUST DIE! No waiting, no planning! Follow the soldiers, Track the General and take his head and devour his heart!
>>
>>5040476
>HE MUST DIE! No waiting, no planning! Follow the soldiers, Track the General and take his head and devour his heart!
We should do this while the general still doesn't believe we exist. The longer we wait, the more likely we'll become the hunted.
>>
>>5040476
>HE MUST DIE! No waiting, no planning! Follow the soldiers, Track the General and take his head and devour his heart!

I think this is the best course of action, but we must be swift in our execution. And, if possible, stealthily take out as many soldiers on the way and devour their flesh so we can power up as much as possible before our confrontation/ambush with the general.
>>
>>5040476
>Practice your killing technique, upon both the creatures of the forest and the soldiers of the nearby fort. You must be ready, you cannot die while your friends remain unavenged!
>>
>>5040476
>>Lonely...Lonely! SO LONELY! You need companionship! You need praise! Or perhaps you want underlings instead of friends?
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the results now.

Hunting the general, Ling Meng and soothing your smoldering grudge: 3
Find/ make a lair somewhere safe: 2
Search for companionship/ Underlings: 2
Practice techniques: 1

The Cat Demon Huānliúxuè will continue indulging her hunger for revenge and manflesh

Update will arrive shortly
>>
'It doesn't matter, hesitating is akin to inviting death to your home' You decide, after considering the multitude of choices you can feasibly take considering your current intellect, knowledge and power. There's a gnawing in the dark corner of your skull, an instinct a warning born from the blood given to you by your mother. It isn't unknown to you. It is the same sensation as is felt when, as a kitten, you were shadowed by hungering slavering hounds or owls! Accursed beasts, may every owl that is born experience a thousand lifetimes of suffering matched only by the torments of hell itself.

Composing your thoughts and regaining focus and clarity of mind, you flick your now fluffed up tail across the lake's surface, sending ripples cascading across it. Every idea that crosses through your head is marred by anger, a hatred so potent and virile it pollutes every other sensation or thought that you experience. Living, flourishing, growing, all is impossible while this grudge that made you as you are now dominates your soul. It may be the center of your new being, but it must be tamed lest you return to the simplistic, feral form of life you once led! You enjoy being able to think and understand the world around you, pondering the questions life brings to you and the mysteries of existence. The flesh of men is tasty but without the wine of victory to wash it down there's little enjoyment to be had.

"Might as well be eating ash and drinking mud" You spit, growling in your throat as you saunter back to the corpse of yesterday's dinner, and ponder the meaning of the colors he wore and the symbols upon them. In the lulls of fury at seeing them, and between session of mauling the already fermenting and rotting meat, you come to understand that they must be a signifier of allegiance. The colors, the Crow winged skull gracing the chest plate your claws tore through. It's white...was it painted in bird droppings or bone ash? How disgusting. Peering closer, upon the shoulder you tore and crushed between your jaws, you make a character carved in the painted surface of his cheap armor.

You've seen it before! Upon the banner flown by his general! The Alpha! the Bastard who took your idealistic life of comfort and plenty from you! It must be the name of his clan or breed! Upon Comprehending this, you realize how easy it will be to track your quarry! His kind is prideful and smear their territory with all sorts of signs and symbols! All you have to do, is follow the soldiers wearing this character, dressed in the same pale yellow and eventually they'll return to their masters like the loyal dogs they are!

Its so simple! Having a sharper mind truly has its benefits! Were you your old self, or the you from yesterday ever, you would have been unable to comprehend the meaning or purpose of any of these markings! Thinking! Comprehending! Its all becomes easier with every second that passes by! Incredible! Truly incredible!
Cont
>>
>>5040640

Thoughts come to your attention with increasing intricacy and clarity. It feels as if you've awoken from a long slumber, refreshed and revitalized. Why, you cannot say or know. But what is clear is that you're becoming smarter, wiser with every moment that passes.

But there's still a lingering, annoying dullness to your mind. A throbbing irritation that returns to cloud and impede every thought you have. A haze, not unlike intoxication. It is both terrible and wonderful. A slide back towards living as an Animal and A blissful return to ignorance simultaneously. Awful, Awful.

Perhaps as you were awoken to true awareness of self and the reality beyond self by the burning grudge that now controls and guides every component of your being, leading your reasoning as though it held your mind's leash, if you do not fulfill the grudge and end it by having your revenge and sipping from the veins the lifeblood of your nameless nemesis, you will return to the mindless bliss of ignorance that all beasts enjoy.

That cannot be allowed to transpire! You must remain as you are! You cannot turn back into a base animal!

He must die! There is no time to plan or scheme or plot! The General cannot be allowed to live, otherwise you may lose all sense of purpose and self! His very life is a poison to you! A poison you will swallow and refine into energy and life in your gullet! Yes yes!

Leaving the forest, unbothered by the trembling lesser beasts that populate it, you return to the trodden earth paths that snake through the vast forest. Lurking within the shadows cast by the ancient arms of towering trees and meandering clouds, you return to your current hunting ground.

The fort built upon the hill, surrounded by a ring of sharpened logs lashed together with bands of irons set in place with nails longer than your tail. Creeping through the undergrowth, you near the gate and watch the prey hiding behind its walls.

"Hu is still missing? You say that when you searched for him at dawn, you saw drag marks leading into the woods that were washed away by a morning shower?" A man, grey around the cheeks and scalp, old, weak, tired and gamey looking states with fearing sweetening his words "Were it not for the tales I've heard whispered throughout the ranks, even as far back as our staging ground, I would think you were covering for his dereliction of duty and that he'd be found in the arms of some village whore rather than the belly of a monster"

He ran his fingers through his beard, as his shivering underlings looked at him with familiar eyes. Eyes widened and drowning with the fear of death. It brings you great joy to see your foes shake and quiver like newborn kits at the mere thought of your presence.

Smiling triumphantly, you lift your ears to hear the now hushed and quiet words of the aged officer.
Cont
>>
>>5040642

"Gen, Dong. Take a party of seven men and return to the main encampment with haste. Tell Ling Meng we require reinforcements, DO NOT, mention the reason. Allude to guerilla fighters in the forests, pockets of resistance dug in like ticks" He whines and hisses, eyes watering as he glances towards the tree lined horizon, unaware the beast he dreads is right outside of his door "If you speak a word of the Demonic Cat, Huānliúxuè, he will have you killed and then he will have ME publicly shamed and stripped of my prestigious titles. If necessary, present my seal. I'll concoct a more detailed story for when our new troops arrive, now go!"

You resist the urge to drag one of the three men beneath the trees, to eat their most delectable pieces of meat and organs. You, after all, haven't eaten since last night. Instead, licking your chops, you return to the base of the hill and conceal yourself in the tall grasses growing inside of the trench dug around it.

Folding your paws one over the other, you watch as a carriage the soldiers commanded to lead you to your prey march from the fort, astride two jittery horses.

In their own, primitives way the beasts of burden seek your approval as a higher beast to pass by, halting and whining as they reach the trench you've been lounging in for the past few minutes. With a nod of your head, you give them permission, as they wordlessly continue on

'Stupid animals' you think to yourself as they carry their confused riders down the westward road, joined by the seven soldiers their commander assigned as their escort. One carrying the same banner as the General.

Humans are such noisy creatures, bumbling their way through life and the world they inhabit. It makes them easy to follow, and so you keep your distance to avoid spooking their horses or sending them into a panic if they prove perceptive or fortunate enough to spot you as you trail them away from the forest.

Across smoking fields, and empty villages. You follow the party for a week, subsisting on the flesh of lower animals despite its taste and lack of "Energy". It just doesn't satisfy you like human meat! Less nutritious, but why would it be. Another mystery to seek an answer for once you have dealt with Ling Meng and can at last be certain you will not lose your newly gained intelligence and cunning.

At last, after a seemingly endless journey, you arrive at the Main Encampment of the invading army, where your prey, The General Ling Meng, waits to be introduced to your fangs and claws.

But there's one problem

There must be hundreds, thousands of soldiers here. All armed with sharpened spears and swords. And there are fires burning, as many as their are stars in the sky, between every tent hoisted throughout the flat plain. Yet, instead of feeling hesitant, your skull throbs with the urge to kill. Like a mantra, beating itself against the walls of your mind.
Cont
>>
>>5040643

Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill Ling Meng! Kill them all! Kill! Kill! Keep Killing! Bathe in blood, feast on their entrails! Swallow their hearts!

So close to your quarry, the grudge that gave birth to you has grown thrice as strong as it was before.

Drool wets the fur below your lips and chin.

What's your plan of attack, Huānliúxuè?

>Wait patiently until the camp goes to sleep, and then sneak inside of it and DEVOUR LING MENG [Stealth trial, as a demon cat, this trial is trivial and you automatically succeed)

>Make a corpse into your puppet and use it to infiltrate the camp and the general's tent...wait how do you know how to do this? [Magic trial, roll 1d100 Bo3 DC 75]

>KILL! *Butcher your way to the general without any regard for your life or subtlety* [Martial test, 1d100+10 *the soldiers are terrified of you already* DC 50]

>Cause a little chaos, and lure the general into the open before pouncing and ripping his neck out! [Mischief trial, 1d100 DC 40]

>Write in?
>>
>>5040646
>>Cause a little chaos, and lure the general into the open before pouncing and ripping his neck out! [Mischief trial, 1d100 DC 40]
Cut the head off the snake, but don't let ourself get surrounded
>>
>>5040646
>Make a corpse into your puppet and use it to infiltrate the camp and the general's tent...wait how do you know how to do this? [Magic trial, roll 1d100 Bo3 DC 75]
>>
>>5040646
>>KILL! *Butcher your way to the general without any regard for your life or subtlety* [Martial test, 1d100+10 *the soldiers are terrified of you already* DC 50]
>>
>>5040646
>Make a corpse into your puppet and use it to infiltrate the camp and the general's tent...wait how do you know how to do this? [Magic trial, roll 1d100 Bo3 DC 75]
>>
>>5040646
>Wait patiently until the camp goes to sleep, and then sneak inside of it and DEVOUR LING MENG [Stealth trial, as a demon cat, this trial is trivial and you automatically succeed)
>>
>>5040646
>>Wait patiently until the camp goes to sleep, and then sneak inside of it and DEVOUR LING MENG [Stealth trial, as a demon cat, this trial is trivial and you automatically succeed)
>>
>>5040646
>Set fire to their food using their own lights.
>Let them them starve and search for food while you choose a moment to eat your fill of general
>>
>>5040646
>Wait patiently until the camp goes to sleep, and then sneak inside of it and DEVOUR LING MENG [Stealth trial, as a demon cat, this trial is trivial and you automatically succeed]
>>
>>5040646
Supporting >>5040918
>>
>>5040646

>Wait patiently until the camp goes to sleep, and then sneak inside of it and DEVOUR LING MENG [Stealth trial, as a demon cat, this trial is trivial and you automatically succeed)
>>
>>5040646
>>Wait patiently until the camp goes to sleep, and then sneak inside of it and DEVOUR LING MENG [Stealth trial, as a demon cat, this trial is trivial and you automatically succeed)
>>
>>5040646
>Wait patiently until the camp goes to sleep, and then sneak inside of it and DEVOUR LING MENG [Stealth trial, as a demon cat, this trial is trivial and you automatically succeed)
I fail to see why we'd pick anything except the autosuccess option, unless the others carry some unmentioned benefits?
>>
>>5040646
>KILL! *Butcher your way to the general without any regard for your life or subtlety* [Martial test, 1d100+10 *the soldiers are terrified of you already* DC 50]
>>5041124
Being rad as fuck
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

Cause a little chaos:1
Make a corpse into your puppet:2
KILL!:2
Wait patiently until the camp goes to sleep, and then sneak inside of it: 6
Set fire to their food using their own lights.:2

So You'll take the stealthy approach, the ghost they imagine you to be

Update will arrive shortly.
>>
Through the haze of grudge born rage, motes of wisdom float to the surface of the boiling pond within your thoughts. Surely to challenge an entire army merely to remove its head, would be courting death! Before you, lies a force that together is a mountain of blades and a sea of fire! Humans are easy prey when alone or grouped together in small packs but you have only recently been born into this world! Can you truly be certain of your body's strength, and your ability in wielding it to pridefully assume you could butcher an army as easily as you would crush dry weeds and smash rotten wood? You recall a littermate of yours, who was devoured by a swarm of rats after becoming certain of his prowess and might. What terrible noises he made, the poor animal.

Nightmare visions flash through your minds' eye, depicting the scenes that may follow if you allow you pride and hatred to fully consume you and cast aside all reason and logic from your thoughts. Shuddering, you lower yourself to the ground, hidden beyond the distance men's eyes can see. Your skull throbs like a band of drum players has taken residence within it, but you control the murderous and wrathful desire that lead you here. It feels like betraying one's own father, or striking one's own mother with the back of their hand but it must be done.

Your friends, the cheerful little children, they would weep bitterly in the afterlife if they knew you had died. Avenging them is but one half of your purpose! The other is to live in their stead! Or maybe it is. You are not yet certain. Everything is still so confusing. All you know now is to fear death! Even while pursuing blood-soaked satisfaction.

Reluctantly, you remain patient and as calm as your able to while lingering so close to your quarry, so hungry. Drool flows freely from your gnashing fangs, turning the dry soil beneath you into mud as you struggle to keep your eyes averted from the tent in the center of a forest of them.

After hours of quietly going mad, the sun begins to mercifully set upon the warcamp and the wider plains it is sat in like a bloated tick. As the sky is painted by the strokes of evening, a beautiful array of reds, oranges, golds, and purples, you can hear the rabble begin to quiet. As the moon rises over the hills and casts the dried grasses in its veil of silver light, the fires between the tents become the only source of light beneath the night. The sky is clouded, overcast, even the light of the moon is smothered and dimmed.

The perfect opportunity to slink in, sneak beneath notice AND DEVOUR LING MENG! Unable to resist the pull of vengeance and hunger, you creep upon your belly to the boundary separating the army from the wilderness outside of their encampment.

Strangely, salt has been scattered in a thin line, circling the tents like the trench dug around the forest fort. What a peculiar thing to do! Truly mankind is mad!

Cont
>>
Gracefully leaping over the line drawn in salt, you pause to watch a camp follower entice two watchmen to mate with her and resist the urge to be a little mischievous and scare the very souls out of the three's body by appearing before them and giving a yowl while baring your fangs and claws. Flicking your tail, you wait a breath of time until the lustful three have left to find somewhere more private to mingle their flesh and warmth and then continue on your way, deep into the encampment, closer to Ling Meng.

Ignoring the rumblings of your stomach as you pass by spits of roasting meat and bubbling, black stews, a task made all the easier by the abhorrently overwhelming aroma of alcohol being imbibed by the cooks, you make haste to your quarry and the origin of your new existence. The man in the center of the black sea of your hatred, The general who took your people from you.

Accursed Ling Meng!
-

Ling Meng sat, considering a golden edged feather he had been gifted before his march into the Chuān family's territory. Through the tips of his fingers he could sense a great, sealed power within it. Like a stone warmed by a fire. When he held it like he did now, the feather would glow with a light not too dissimilar from that of the morning sun. It was a curious trinket, but not as curious as the man who gave it to him, who seemed so familiar for reason the general could not place. He had been told by the old, yet youthful seeming man to prove himself, to make a legacy that would endure for generations and pass into legend. The dull anger of a sceptic confronted with the supernatural, rose in the dark corner of Meng's mind. The man had vanished in a cloud of feathers and leaves, after promising him a position much more respectable than the seat the Ogre's spawn was set to inherit.

"Foolish" Ling Meng Chided himself, stowing the queer feather in a small chest he kept hidden in his dresser "To believe in fairytales like immortals and gods, I must be going mad. The lunacy of my men is infecting me"

And so, the Butcher of Ling decided to sleep earlier than he was accustomed to, to give his mind time to relieve itself of stress in the realm of dreams and whimsy.

He paused as he opened his personal lantern, to snuff out the flame within. A sudden gust of wind had sent shivers down his spine and gooseflesh across his sturdy, powerful arms. His heart raced, pounding in his chest as if it sought to flee some unseen danger. With wide eyes, he gazed into the darkness, squinting in search of.

In search of what!? Ghosts? Laughing at the ridiculousness of his fear, Ling Meng blew at the light guarding him against the night, and marched to his bed's sheets as if he were heading into battle.

Had the skeptical man looked for a breath longer, or a cat whisker's length closer, he may have seen a ghost. Or a wolf sized house cat with fur as vividly red as freshly spilt blood upon a blade's edge.

For, despite his potential, Ling Meng could not see mount tai.
>>
>>5041175

And his disbelief would be his death.
-

The stench roiling from the general's tent is all too familiar to you. An miasmic air of reeking polishing oils, sweat masked by perfume, and hands soaked in blood that have never been cleansed of it. It is the scent of Ling Meng. Boldly, you saunter past the guards station before the front of your nemesis' den, and instead use your claws to cut a hole into its side. Striding past a table covered in scattered maps and records of past wars and the generals who fought them, you follow the invaders scent to his personal quarters.

Smoke from an oil lantern flows from it, carried by a breeze and to your nose. A man would be blind in such darkness, but you are not a man. You are a cat that has surpassed all others of its kind. Savoring the steps remaining between you and your prey, you stalk into his room, flicking your tail to scatter the maps and plans he has drawn into the air.

The embers of hatred smoldering in your heart ignite! Growing into a storm of fire and contemp. Instinctively, you draw your claws and bare your fangs as a truly wicked smile spreads across your lips. A feeling of unmatched joy begins to cloud your senses, dulling the hammering beating of your heart and the heat of your blood as you enter into the General's room.

He shifts in his bed, beneath silken covers. A child of plenty who imagines himself austere. It makes your stomach twist in on itself, but it will not sour the taste of his FLESH!

Coiling the muscles in your haunches, you compress yourself like a spring. But before you can pounce, a snarl escapes your lips. But the blunder will not save the general. Like falling lightning, you pounce upon him. From his collar bone to his belly, you rake your claws, soaking the silks of his blanket as red as your fur as he struggles and flails. His arm shoots from beneath his coverings, reaching for the resplendent and well maintained saber propped against his bed, still in its sheath. Pressing a paw upon his wrist, you trap his arm beneath your weight.

He only thinks to scream as you place your jaws around his head and begin to bite down, slowly crushing it in your mouth like an overripe peach.

Swallowing his eyes, you lap up the brains leaking from his shattered skull, and open up his ribcage with a few tugs of your jaws and feast merrily upon his five Viscera, starting with his killer's heart. Soaked in blood and fouler fluids, you do not stop to clean your fur and preen yourself, and start to sample his six bowels, starting with his stomach.

'How Generous of you General! You've spiced your meat for me' You think, exulting in the death and devouring of Ling Meng, tasting the stew he had eaten for dinner before clarity returns to your mind from the haze of bliss brought upon by his killing

He screamed.

There is an army outside of his tent and even the deaf would be aware of his horrid demise once word spread.
Cont
>>
>>5041177

How long can men panic while surrounded on all sides by their brothers, fathers and uncles. How long do you have before they rally and charge to their general's defense.

Chewing a mouthful of stew soaked offal, you ponder these quandaries, while slashing your claws across Ling Meng's pale neck to sever what remains of his head

What is Huānliúxuè's plan?

>Finish your meal, trusting that the men are too cowardly to immediately interrupt it

>Flee into the night! Make haste for the wilds! Spears, swords and fire are leveled at your back! you must flee!

>Utilize the fear born from the stories men tell of you, and intimidate the soldiers into scattering themselves on the four winds by showing yourself to them, bathed in their general's blood and viscera

>Oh to hell with it! All of them are guilty of the same crime as Ling Meng! And his flesh has energized you! SLAUGHTER THEM (Martial Test, +20 *Panic* DC 60)

>Write in
>>
>>5040335
Haven't read this yet, but good shit qm. Been looking for cultivator content. Keep it up.
>>
>Oh to hell with it! All of them are guilty of the same crime as Ling Meng! And his flesh has energized you! SLAUGHTER THEM (Martial Test, +20 *Panic* DC 60)
We can do it!
>>
>>5041180
I like to imagine that despite being a demonic hellspawn we still retain the mannerisms of a housecat, and did that cute butt wiggle before pouncing on the general.

>Utilize the fear born from the stories men tell of you, and intimidate the soldiers into scattering themselves on the four winds by showing yourself to them, bathed in their general's blood and viscera
And carrying the remains of his head in our teeth for additional effect.
>>
>>5041180
>Cut off his head, and carry it with you to strike fear in their hearts
>Topple fires as you run, then speak of your vengeance and if they wish to join their master
>>
>>5041180
>>5041205
Support. Sounds fun.
>>
>>5041205
+1
>>
>>5041180
>>5041195
+1
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

Attempt to Slaughter the army: 1
Scare the army away: 5
- Use Ling Meng's head to strengthen your already intimidating presence: 5
-Topple Fires as you go: 3


So the intimidating the Ling Men into running from rather than fighting you wins! As does carrying What's left of Ling Meng's head for additional effect

I'll also include starting some fires into Huānliúxuè's plan, since the majority of the votes for scaring the men include it and it has half the total as well.

Not certain if that'll be a rule when multiple actions can be taken across one update. Works for some quests. If I do include it, I'll signify the votes when it's in effect. That makes sense to me

If you don't like it, tell me and I'll drop it as a rule. In fact if you have any critique/ suggestions, tell me and I'll listen. Quests are supposed to be fun for their players and QM, after all.

Anyways.
Update will arrive shortly. Just figured I'd explain my reasoning/ stance here.
>>
>>5041180
>Flee into the night! Make haste for the wilds! Spears, swords and fire are leveled at your back! you must flee!
We have revenge, now we need to survive. Eyes forward, Huānliúxuè will not be denied!
>>
>>5041328
Little late there, sorry
>>
>>5041331
Took too long copying the name down, curses.
>>
>>5041335
Happy Bloodshed is a blight in reality as well, it would seem lol.

>>5041182
Thanks! Hope you enjoy it going forward
>>
Sniffing the air, you can smell the fear radiating across the camp like a fire spreading across a field of dried straw. The men here are already terrified of you, they see you as some undefeatable beast, a demon from hell itself and instead of rushing to their general's defense despite holding every advantage of you, both in terms of number and experience, they fled away to the safety of their firepits and fellows. The fear that has rooted itself in their hearts, from the stories they tell of you, of the man eating ghost cat Huānliúxuè has provided you more than your name. It's given you the perfect path of escape! Fear is a tool like any other, and in the hearts of men there are few forces as effective in weakening their morale and washing away any courage they may possess!

You'll utterly break their spirits, shattering their morale and driving them to scatter themselves on the four winds to escape the unstoppable force they imagine you to be! Rather than the sharpness of your claws and strength of your jaws, you'll overcome this trial with cunning and wit alone! Hopefully. Cornered mice are more willing to bite and fight back, when they lose all hope of escape and can only envision their survival by boldly throwing themselves at their attacker. The fear of death can make even the most cowardly of beings as courageous as lion. You'll have to be careful and find a balance between Panic and hopeless fear. They must believe that escape is possible, that there is more hope in survival in running away rather than standing their ground and fighting for their lives.

Glancing down, your gaze falls up the crushed, split open head of Ling Meng, with bloody sockets staring at nothing while a look of agony and breath stealing terror has set itself across his horrible, distorted expression. Strange pale liquid mingles with the dark scarlet blood dripping from the cleft in his temple, down to his beardless chin.

"Perfect" You purr, before sinking your fangs into the flesh still fastening the mauled face to the shoulders below it. With a few hard snaps of your haw, you sever his spine from his back, leaving its vertebra to dangle freely, dripping blood like a soaked paint brush. Maneuvering the head, turning and rotating it with you palms, you take it into your mouth by biting into the back of its scalp like you were carrying a kitten by its scruff and hop from the bed. Wearing a very a stratified grin, you mentally praise yourself for you cleverness and sharp wit as you fearlessly walk out of the tent.

And find that the men Ling Meng had trusted to protect his life and watch him as he slept, were the first to run away. Cackling wickedly, you lift your nose to the air, following the signs of fear you can perceive beneath the heady aroma of Ling Meng's blood, still fresh beneath your nose and soaking into your fur.

Is that why your beautiful fur turned red?
Cont
>>
>>5041364

You chase the wayward thought from your head, and follow your nose to the largest gathering of men, who have packed themselves into a tight ring around the largest of the lit bonfires. Along the way, you terrorize the smaller pockets of soldiers by leaping from the darkness and knocking over the braziers they huddle around as if they were the skirts of their mothers. By sheer happenstance, this leads to the half of the camp behind you being set ablaze! Thus preventing you from harboring second thoughts or retreating! Fire is scary, after all! Careful to not singe your tail or whiskers, you follow the mob of fleeing, babbling men as they sow fear by shouting they're being chased by the Mighty and fearsome Huānliúxuè !

You'd laugh uproariously if you didn't need to keep hold of Ling Meng's head. Leaping from tent top to tent top, you collapse the smaller one's beneath your weight and take the time to tip or otherwise knock over any lanterns or charcoal pans you pass by in your flight through the camp.

OH THE WIND HOWLS! THE NIGHT DARKENS! SCREAMS FILL THE NIGHT AS THE FIRES OF HELL BURST FORTH FROM THE GROUND WHEREVER THE DEMON CAT STEPS! HOW TERRIFYING IT MUST BE FOR THE PREY RUNNING BEFORE YOU.

Perching yourself on a sturdy pole, you remain just beyond their vision, shrouded by smoke and the natural gloom of a moonless night.

One of the men has stepped before the bonfire, with his back towards the flame. It seems he's trying to encourage the other men, which must be the majority of the men who have not already fled from the mere idea of your presence. His armor is more finely made and maintained than the others, not as gaudy and expensive looking as Ling Meng's, but it is clear he is an office of not insignificant rank.

The respect and admiration the men feel for him may be the only force capable of matching the fear your name and appearance spreads. Glowering you listen to the rousing speech he's giving, to raise his men's morale and end their panic so they may find the courage they lost on their flight away from you and the inferno you've accidentally created!

"You call yourselves men! You call yourselves soldiers! What would your father's think were they present to see you fleeing from rumors and hearsay! This is another of Lord Chuān's tricks! Can you not see! He's planted the seeds of a man eating monster in your minds" The man roars, raising a tasseled spear towards the heavens to give emphasis to his words "So when all of you were jumping at the sight of your own shadows and the sound of the wind, he could strike at our heart! At noble General Ling Meng! You've abandoned your lord in the flames! Abandoned him to the enemy's merciless blade! And why?! Because you believed in the outrageous story of a HOUSE CAT! TURNING! INTO A DEMON! How foolish you all are, how cowardly! Come, march with me or be known throughout the lands as craven trai..."
Cont
>>
A flash passes across your golden eyes as you lean forward, shifting your grip of the severed head to hold it by its long hair.

A young, freckled faced soldier with jutting teeth spots it and then you through the smoke and gloom. He raises a hand, stuttering and crying as Urine seeps through his trousers and flows down his leg.

The officer turns to see what he's pointing at, valor replaced with confusion.

And then you drop Ling Meng's head onto the head of his spear.

For a breath of time, the two of you lock gazes. The officer staring dumbfounded at you, as if his brain has been burned out trying to understand what is sitting above him, perched like a hawk. A drop of blood falls between his eyes, and slowly, with dread replacing confusion, he looks to his spear.

And into the empty eyes of his beloved general!

The spear clatters to the ground, revealing the severed head to all the men who have gathered here for the safety of numbers or the guidance of their commanding officer.

An officer who is now shrieking like a maiden bride on the day of her wedding night, hands pressed against his cheeks and shaking legs crossed.

Fall to his ass, the man scrambles away from his spear and the head stuck to it, mindless with panic!

"Runaway! Runaway!" He cries as he struggles to stand and slips upon and falls into the mud below "The demon cat is here! Huānliúxuè has come to devour our souls! Retreat! Retreat for the border! Ling Meng is dead! Hope is lost! We'll die if we fight it!"

To deepen their terror, you give chase for a few seconds, biting at their legs, snapping at their cloaks and pouncing just near enough to miss them as their screams of raw, animalistic panic carry into the night and send the rest of the camp into a blind flight away from the fires and smoke where you "hide"

In truth, you escape from the flames by running for the south, while they flee westward. The mere specter of your presence should keep them running until their legs give out. Some may keep running until they kill themselves with exhaustion.

Providing you ample time to feast upon those trampled by the others and enjoy the delicacy that is Fire Roasted General.

Flicking your tail, you walk into the night, leaving behind a chorus of screams and the crackling of fire.

For some reason, you feel much fuller eating General Ling than you have after any other meal. Perhaps you'll leave the bodies to the ravens and vultures instead. Perhaps you ate your grudge alongside his heart? Hmm, no. You still feel enraged at the thought of men wearing the colors of the Ling, or the character used to spell the surname itself.

But, that seething hatred no longer dominates your thoughts. You can rest, peacefully, without being driven to a frenzy by the whispered urge to maim and kill those bastards.

In away, it feels like you've put the caretakers and friends you had in your old life to rest. But now that you have, what is there to life? What purpose do you have in living?
Cnt
>>
>>5041366

Before you had revenge, the desire to kill and devour Ling Meng to his bones. But with the clarity of mind his death brings, so to comes the realization that you have no goal, no drive left now that he's gone. Before, when you were a simple cat, all you desired was affection, fish, and a warm lap or fire to nap besides.

Now that you are able to think, and perceive and comprehend more than basic urges, a question that irritates you thoughts like a thorn stuck into your paw keeps rising to the surface of your mind.

What now. You need to do SOMETHING to occupy your time, living like an animal is no longer a satisfying existence. You need MORE! More out of life! Just eating and sleeping are no longer enough to satisfy and make you content now that you're wise and intelligent. You need something to fill the void of purpose and ennui filling your mind.

What will you do now that you've had your revenge, Huānliúxuè'? (Two actions can be taken this vote!)

>Make a lair, find a home. Somewhere safe you can ponder the many questions you have pertaining to your existence. But where? (You will be presented a choice of locations and their benefits)

>Train your body, exercising to ward away the thoughts that are troubling your mind. (You will choose the method of your exercise)

>Make a point in asking the humans you devour the purpose of life while you hunt down any Ling Stragglers you come across.

>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead

>write in
>>
>>5041367
>Make a point of asking the humans we devour for the meaning of life.

Sphinx cat who plays with her food.
>>
>>5041367
>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead
>Make a point in asking the humans you devour the purpose of life while you hunt down any Ling Stragglers you come across.
>>
>>5041370
I'll add going home. We can eat the stragglers on our way home.

Though being a cat, I think it's rather obvious that the true purpose of her existance is Threefold. To be worshipped, To be fed, and to enjoy herself.
Such is the mantra of Catdom.

So this means that we should probably find a young Master or young Lady who kills at will and cuddle up to them. They may feed us, and life will be good as we knock over anything ever put on top of a table.
>>
>>5041367
>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead
>Learn about society. What drives men to give you care, and yet moves them to slay one another? In this moment, you have ruled through fear, but a single cat demon will not be able to grow to fill that fear forever.
>Also it's going to be damn hard to find conversation partners if you only work with lesser beasts.
>>
>>5041367
>Make a point in asking the humans you devour the purpose of life while you hunt down any Ling Stragglers you come across.
>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead
>>
>>5041367
>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead
>>
>>5041367
>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead
>>
>>5041367
>>Make a point in asking the humans you devour the purpose of life while you hunt down any Ling Stragglers you come across.
>>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead
>>
>>5041367
>Make a lair, find a home. Somewhere safe you can ponder the many questions you have pertaining to your existence. But where? (You will be presented a choice of locations and their benefits)
>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead
>>
>>5041367
>Make a point in asking the humans you devour the purpose of life while you hunt down any Ling Stragglers you come across.
>Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Make a point in asking the humans you devour the purpose of life: 5

Return to your home village and ponder this new found lack of purpose/ drive, as you tell the graves of the children who loved you Ling Meng is dead:9

Learn about society. What drives men to give you care, and yet moves them to slay one another?...etc:1

Make a lair, find a home. Somewhere safe you can ponder the many questions you have pertaining to your existence.:1

So you will return to the ruins of your birthplace, to ponder this new found lack of purpose and to tell the graves there that Ling Meng is dead, while hunting down any Ling Stragglers you come across and asking those humans you devour the meaning of life

Update will arrive shortly

Having a blast writing this, hope you're enjoying reading it as much.
>>
The advance of the Ling army was unstoppable. The unprepared Chuān were unready for war, and reeled in surprise when struck by their long time rivals in the imperial court. While The Ling Family had retained their martial and military traditions through the long peace, the Chuān had allowed themselves to be completely tamed by prosperity and plenty received without strife or bloodshed. The Lord's hid behind their walls as the lands of their ancestors was razed and ruined, but they were not idle. The common folk named them cowards, but in truth the fleeing nobility had hid away for a singular purpose.

Learning the method and art of warfare anew. Expending His treasuries, his inherited fortunes, and even no small amount of face, Chuān Jianjun purchased the patronage and support of scores of renowned scholars and old generals, training his sons and nephews to match the talents and cunning of the ambitious Ling Meng, A natural genius when it came to tactics and battle, a man born for an age ten generations past.

However, as he gathered the men from what remained of his untouched, undefiled lands into levies to support his more professional though similarly hastily trained soldiers, Lord Chuān was shocked to find the enemy fleeing before he had a chance to march, abandoning their hard fought gains over the course of a few nights. The difficulty then became finding answers for his foe's sudden outburst of madness, which proved more difficult than learning how to be a general himself!

The only reason he could gleam, came from yarns of the humble laborers, fishermen's wives and orphaned children. If their fantastical tales were to be believed, a spirit of vengeance heard the cries and prayers of his people and emerged from the rivers that dominated his domain to slaughtered the villainous Ling Invaders! And this avenging spirit had gone and devoured Ling Men whole before turning into a sea of fire and devastating what remained of his army! Jianjun was a superstitious man, and had long studied the occult arts to impress his peers and juniors in society. Amazed and relived he would not have to enter into battle personally, Lord Chuān announced this "Huānliúxuè" Spirit to be a friend of the Chuān and all who pledged their allegiance to them.

For, Jianju was adept at social manipulation and influencing the opinions of others and saw in this sudden windfall a chance to earn back the trust of the masses and bolster their spirits. Now the peasantry sang that the Chuān were favored by the heavens rather than being a clan of cowards and simpletons. And all it took was proclaiming a miracle by way of divine intervention and decreeing all cats were to be allowed refuge in temples and shrines, and treated with the utmost respect. How simple the strings of the hearts of men are pulled!

The tide of the war turned, and not in the Ling's favor...but that is story yet to unfold.
Cont
>>
>>5042150
-

"Tell me, wretch, what is the meaning of life?" You coo as you press a paw down upon the neck of the man who had not the good sense to toss away his Ling Uniform. He reeks of sweat and mud, blood pains his lips, pushed from his insides when you landed upon him like a heavy stone.

"Children! Children! The meaning of life is to be fruitful and continue your bloodline!" He cries out, wincing as he sees your eyes narrow with disappointment. Another cynic. He has no nothing to give you besides his meat! No wisdom! No knowledge! No worthwhile conversation

"As insipid an answer as wealth!" you snarl, unsheathing your claws directly into the flesh of his throat, piercing the artery and showering yourself in a geyser of his lifeforce. Blood drips from your ears and whiskers as you pause to clean yourself and lick your vivid red fur clean of the filth of a fool's life.

'Though' you consider as you tear a strip of skin and fat from his face 'I suppose having children was a better answer than screaming and begging for your life, and it at least had more merit than "I don't know" '

This exchange repeats itself again and again as you travel back to the village of your first birth. And none of the men you devour can give you a worthwhile answer! Be they the remnants of the scattered Ling invaders, bandits preying upon the defenseless and poor. Unfortunate wanderers who had the supreme misfortune of meeting you when you were hungry and the odd tax collector or two. You had a dim view on tax collectors since one trod upon your tail when you were still nothing but a simple animal.

"What is the meaning of life?"
"Art! Art! Creating beauty from the ugliness of life!"
"What is the meaning of life?"
"Devotion! Piety! Worshipping and thanking the gods who watch over us!"
"What is the meaning of life?"
"Pleasure! Good food! Beautiful girls! Plentiful wine!"
"What is the meaning of life?
"Itself!"

The last one gave you pause. But the man was dressed in Ling yellow, so you ate him anyways even though he answered with actual wisdom. It was a shame his intellect was wasted upon a worm of Ling such as himself! And while eating him down to the marrow of his bones and the gristle behind his ears, you noticed something peculiar.

Or rather, his death gives to you a greater understanding to a mystery that had been lurking in the further recesses of your thoughts.

When you ate human flesh, still warm on the bone and oozing delicious blood, a surge of energy would rush through you, empowering you in body, mind and spirit for a time before it began to fade away. You knew this mysterious energy made you stronger and was desirable almost innately. It was why you preferred to prey upon men rather than beasts. They had more of it inside of them. What is was, you were not certain. Their essence? Their souls? You never considered what it was you were seeking out, until it became hard to find.
Cont
>>
>>5042152

Before you had devoured Ling Meng, every life you claimed was like a cup full of this energy. Ling Meng was like an overflowing bowl of it, himself! But ever meal you've had since has only contained a tear's drop amount of this energy. Their meat was still filling, but it was unsatisfying, like it lacked nutrition entirely.

But your wise victim. He was like a cup again! The energy he gave was only slightly less than Ling Meng! But just as quickly it faded away, like the sand of a river's shore.

This questioned widened the void in your heart, joining the quandaries of purpose and meaning that had afflicted your thoughts since you satiated your desire for revenge.

Flicking your tail in irritation, you chase the mysteries of life and the "energy" you crave from your mind, emptying it to regain clarity and a sense of peace.

Trotting along through the burned ruins of your home village, you step over piles of bones and rotted cloth as you begin your solemn and respectful approach to the holy site positioned at the other end of the small fishing hamlet.

Simple, meager graves made of piles of stones and the treasures the deceased held dear in life, sit in a field of flowers that has sprung and flourished over the mounds of dirt and rocks you had piled over those who loved and cared for you in your prior life.

Kind children, whose names you did not know, who loved you as their own sibling, showering you with praise, attention and treats they played games with you since you were a kitten and let you into their houses at night and even protected you from predators or bullies.

You felt ashamed you did not know their names. You had heard them spoken countless times but did not have the intelligence to understand their words, nor the comprehension to realize what a name was at the time. The only legacy they had, was the features that separated them from each other in your memories.

Sitting on your haunches, you look over the nine graves, the last beds of Pinwheel girl, wart nose, The Fat one, Too clingy, Little soldier, The swimmer, Toy maker, Terrible singer, and Ear puller. Kneeling down to pray for them as best as a cat can, you raise your head from your paws, with tears wetting your fur.

For a single moment, you feel as if you were the small, helpless white cat and swear you can see the nine of them gathered together, laughing and praying in the flowers above their remains. They pause as they notice you, as substantial as steam. Gentle smiles grace their innocent faces as a westward wind blows, turning Pinwheel girl's pinwheel and making Little soldier's scarf dance in the air.

Giggling, laughing, they approach you and bow, one after the other before they surround you, patting and petting you as they did before the Ling came and butchered them like animals. Tears fall, simmering like distant stars as you close your eyes and look up to them.
Cont
>>
>>5042158

"I've avenged your deaths! Ling Meng is dead! He died a dog's death at my hands! I've punished your killer!" You cry out, yowling in pain as your heart aches and wilts at sight of the cruel trick your eyes are playing upon you "Our revenge is complete, you have been avenged! The oath I swore before your corpses has been fulfilled! I've repaid your kindness and love but I only wish you were still here with me"

"Notched ear is still the same kitten as she was, beneath all the blood" Pinwheel girl giggles "I hope we can meet again in the next life"

The nine ghostly figures suddenly transform into balls of golden light, like drops of sunlight, before they fly away off to the heavens! Shooting towards the clouds like arrows from an archer's bow. Dumbfounded, you realize that they were no trick of the light or delusion! They were here! They had waited for you before passing on! they had waited for you!

You yowl, crying after the friends who have left you behind as more tears fall to soak into your fur. They had waited for you! All this time!

Grieving, you bow your head in reverence to their graves, knowing you will never see their ghosts again. But, something is odd, the graves have changed! There are offerings laid out upon them! Toys, sweets wrapped in lotus leaf, babbles of all kinds. Each grave has a single stick of incense lit beside it, and prayer beads wrapped around it held in place by paper talismans.

And behind them sits a wooden statue of a house cat with a notch in one of its ears! You! Its a statue of you yourself! How did you not notice it as you sat before the graves! A Shrine! their graves have been made into a shrine!

"Heh-Heh-Heh" Toad like laughter breaks you reverie, intruding upon your private mourning

"Now this is a surprise! Who could have imagined that the stories would be true, that it was indeed cat rather than a father who sought to avenge these innocent souls. Who buried them here" the voice croaks, as you glance, and find a.

A giant toad wearing a dress? A toad woman? No just an old, withered human woman with a toad like face, covered in wrinkles and liverspots. She has six moles under her eyes, three beneath the right, three beneath the left in two perfect lines. She wears prayer beads around her neck and wrists, a shawl hiding her stringy white hair and protecting her against the wind's chill.

"I though the malevolence I sensed here was the grudge of the dead and those who mourned them, but it would seem it was the child of that grudge instead" She says, tapping an opium pipe upon her knee as she laughs like a croaking toad once more "What a marvelous, beautiful thing you are! A magical beast born from a pampered kitten. Oh little one, just looking at you brings back memories of my youth!"

"Who are you! What are you doing here! What right do you have to stand by their graves!" You snarl, angered by the crone's intrusion
cont
>>
She places her pipe between her weathered, fat lips and takes a ponderously long draw of its smoke into her lungs.

"Oh, forgive me" She says, cupping her hands together in greeting as she holds her smoking pipe in her teeth "I forgot to introduce myself I was so awed by your magnificence! The quality of your spiritual roots alone is worthy of praise! Why, I am certain if my eyes were better they'd appear even more impressive! To think a magical beast of such splendor could be found in civilized lands! Incredible! Truly Incredible!"

'what on earth is she babbling about' You wonder as you look at the toad woman, confused and unable to follow anything she's saying

"Oh right, my name, forgive this old woman, her senses fled her long ago" She croaks, laughing that terrible ugly laugh once again "I suppose you could call me Mónǚ (魔女, witch), for everyone I meet calls me as such, though it is not my name"

She throws back her shawl to reveal her face, and you recoil in disgust as you see one of her eyes has been torn from its sockets, and a brand with the characters for witch has been branded upon her forehead, and as she adjusts the pipe with her left hand you see she's only has three fingers upon it.

Tapping her pipe on her knee, ignoring the effect her mutilations have upon you, she spits out a ring of smoke

"As for why I am here. I heard tragedy had befallen an old acquaintance of mine and he was nearing death" The Toad witch says as a malicious mirth spreads across her withered feature "And though returning would mean my own demise, the desire to dance upon his grave was too strong. I've come to rest in this village, out of the goodness of my old heart. I sensed the ghosts of the innocent ones here would become vengeful spirits if they were not appeased, so I tended their graves. Thankfully, it would seem the grudge that kept them bound here had birthed a remarkable existence into this boring world, and you carried their hatred upon your back and"

She laughs again, croaking as she throws her head back.

"Avenged their deaths, thus severing the last remaining tie these youngsters had to the material world, allowing them to pass on and be reborn" She says, clapping her hands together in prayer, still puffing clouds of opium smoke as she does so "You truly are outstanding. Why, if left alone to hunt as you pleased, I am certain you'd reach Qi Condensation stage in a few years, though your method of demi-cultivation is quite ineffective and leaves much to be desired in efficiency and effectiveness. Have you absorbed a portion of refined Qi perhaps? But how? You are not strong enough to threaten a cultivator of any level...but a prospective one? Perhaps...perhaps"

'Spiritual roots? Qi? Cultivation? Magical beasts? What is this addled crone rambling about. none of this is making any senses!' Your thoughts complain as you stare, befuddled and utterly lost trying to follow the conversation the toad witch is having mostly with herself
Cont
>>
>>5042167

"Oh, such vast potential in one so young! Were you human you'd be a prize for sects and schools from the barbaric north to the mysterious southern seas!" She cries out, slapping her three fingered hand to her forehead, covering the brand upon it "But alas! Because you are a beast who devours men you will be labeled a demonic beast a hunted the moment you achieve any power! Like my poor daughter, Ooooh my poor daughter Xuěbái!" (雪白, Snow white)

And then the toad witch begins to weep and sob into her hands, wailing as if she is witnessing the death of her daughter for a second time

What do you say to the toad witch, Huānliúxuè?

>"Cultivation? Qi? Demonic beasts? Spiritual Roots!? you're speaking nonsense! Explain the meaning of these things at once! You've intrigued me, Toad witch! You're the first interesting human I've met!"

>"What happened to your daughter! Who killed her! Who will hunt me! Tell me! Tell me! I can't die yet! There's so much left in life for me to achieve!"

>"You said I'm magnificent did you not? Explain how amazing I am! What makes me beautiful to your old, tired eyes, Mónǚ?"

>"You're clearly mad. To speak with you, or to eat you is to risk being infected by your insanity. but you have my thanks for caring for the graves of my friends"

>"Tell me, what is the meaning of life"

>write in

Sorry the update took longer than usual.
>>
>>5042168
>"Tell me, what is the meaning of life for you! Tell me, what was the meaning of life for you daughter!"
>"I lived life with inner harmony as a cat but now if I am a demonic beast I desire to achieve inner harmony once again!"
>>
>>5042168
>Explain these terms.
>Why am I beautiful.

I dont want to ask her the meaning of life. To do so is to court death
>>
>>5042168
>"Tell me, what is the meaning of life"
>"Think carefully, before you answer."
>>
>>5042168
>"Cultivation? Qi? Demonic beasts? Spiritual Roots!? you're speaking nonsense! Explain the meaning of these things at once! You've intrigued me, Toad witch! You're the first interesting human I've met!"
>>
>>5042168
>"Cultivation? Qi? Demonic beasts? Spiritual Roots!? you're speaking nonsense! Explain the meaning of these things at once! You've intrigued me, Toad witch! You're the first interesting human I've met!"
>>
>>5042168
>"Cultivation? Qi? Demonic beasts? Spiritual Roots!? you're speaking nonsense! Explain the meaning of these things at once! You've intrigued me, Toad witch! You're the first interesting human I've met!"
just caught up, very promising so far!
>>
>>5042168
>"Cultivation? Qi? Demonic beasts? Spiritual Roots!? you're speaking nonsense! Explain the meaning of these things at once! You've intrigued me, Toad witch! You're the first interesting human I've met!"
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the results now.

Tell me, what is the meaning of life:2
-What was the meaning of your daughter's life: 1
-Think carefully before you answer: 1

I lived life with inner harmony as a cat but now if I am a demonic beast I desire to achieve inner harmony once again!: 1

"Cultivation? Qi? Demonic beasts? Spiritual Roots!? you're speaking nonsense! Explain the meaning of these things at once! You've intrigued me, Toad witch! You're the first interesting human I've met!: 5

You said I'm magnificent did you not? Explain how amazing I am! What makes me beautiful to your old, tired eyes, Mónǚ?: 1

So you'll ask the old witch to explain what she's babbling to herself about

Update will arrive shortly

>>5042231
Merely a frog in a well

>>5042276
Thanks
>>
It takes you a few moments to regain your composure in the face of the strange antics and pitiful appearance of the old self named witch. Cautiously, you take a step closer to the wailing woman sitting besides the graves of your friends upon a large, flat topped boulder. You inborn instincts warn you that any creature that acts as bizarrely as she does should be avoided, to avoid catching whatever sickness has addled them so terribly. But you cannot help but to feel, if not pity for the old crone, curious of her. Why would an old woman seeking her death stop to tend the graves of children she never knew, and then proceed to all but throw herself to the ground in praising your magnificence. Such an oddity deserves further study and the terms she throws around like rice grains have greatly intrigued you, as you have never heard of them before though they sound like the nonsense of a lonely old woman turned mad through the tragedies of her long life.

"Cultivation?" You question, realizing how unintimidating your voice sounds, as if you were cowed by the toad crone's mere presence. Standing your ground, you strengthen your will and bolster your spirit, and dare to look her in her single eye.

The sensation that immediately strikes you is that you are stood before a predator, like an owl, that has for some reason or another decided you were not fit to be its meal. But how could that be? She is elderly and weak! You sense no hidden power or strength within her, yet the aura that surrounds her is one far older than her already withered appearance! One far more dangerous than her present state. It is as if the Old Witch is but a shadow cast by a greater existence that has been lost to time, a mere echo of her past's glory and power.

"Qi?" You question after weathering the storm of emotions brought upon by merely meeting her gaze "Demonic Beasts? Spiritual roots?! You're speaking nonsense"

"Yes I do believe I mentioned all of those things. And none of them are nonsensical, at least by nature" Mónǚ says with a wry, amused grin, sensing your momentary trepidation in approaching her and find it humor in it "What does a Youngster like you know of nonsense! I have lived a life fool of it Heh-Heh-Heh!"

Her croaking laugh echoes across the riverside valley, carried by winds through the ruins at your back.

"Like the nonsense of a creature not knowing what she is" She cackles, inverting and tapping her pipe clean of ash before wiping it with a filthy rag. You narrow your eyes, and she smiles genially. The urge to strike and kill her for that insult is overpowered by the desire you hold for the knowledge you KNOW her to hold. What an odd human. Most would have taken flight the moment they spotted you in the distance.

"Explain the meanings of these things at once!" You hiss as the old woman nods thoughtfully, running her tongue across her polished pipe's head,
Cont
>>
leaving it hanging past the few teeth she still has before reaching into a pouch at her side to pour a fine, azure powder inside of it.

"Heh-Heh-Heh, the boldness of youth! I adore boisterous children" She says merely, pulling the pipe past her teeth with just her tongue wrapping around it, making her look all the more toad like "Cultivation, is a life long pursuit of power, health and longevity. The first step on that painful road, requires an innate talent that you can only be born with. Few men possess this gift, and fewer beasts. It is called cultivation because it is accomplished by the cultivation, gathering and refining of Qi"

"And what is Qi?" You ask, sitting peacefully before her and tilting your head to turn your notched ear closer to her

"Oh it is all around us! It exists in all things! From the flowers around us, to the pipe in my hands, to the stone I sit upon, and it is inside all of us! It is the vital energy of all life!" She exuberantly explains, dramatically waving her arms around to motion towards everything that exists around the two of you "Some poets have even gone so far as to name it the "Breath of the universe", but for me, Qi is resplendent of a term for it. Qi is power. Qi is Life. Qi is all things. And in cultivating it inside of yourself, you refine your existence and surpass the limits of your birth"

A bell chimes in your head! Realization dawns!

"So it is spiritual energy?" You cheerfully asks

"And you have tasted the meager amounts of it that exist in the flesh and blood of men! Unrefined Qi. The Qi of blood and the Qi of death. Why, it could hardly be called cultivation but with a little guidance a demonic beast like you could surpass even the most gifted of cultivators" Mónǚ explains merrily, leaning closer and politely moving her pipe away from your nose as she does so "given enough time. Which is a commodity Demonic beasts such as yourself have in short supply!"

"That term is no insult. Is that what I truly am? A demon like men fear me to be?" You ask, she adjusts her posture and leans back, closing her single eye.

"Is it righteous for a man to scorn wolves for eating sheep? Is the act of predation evil? To denounce the cycle of life because it inconveniences or terrifies you is to become blind to reality" She says, blowing three rings of off blue smoke from each of her nostrils "Demonic Beasts, are merely Magical Beasts, animals who can cultivate as men do. But the distinction made by mortal men and cultivators is"

She looks down at you, not changing her posture or even craning her neck to do so

"Is that Demonic Beasts devour men. But it makes little difference, though the elders name all demonic beasts as malevolent, evil beings, they will hunt all magical beasts to claim their core once they have begun on the path of cultivation" She says, pouting as she pulls her pipes from her lips, her eye glistening with fresh tears "Like my poor Xuěbái! The smiling bastards! The ignorant devils!"
>>
>>5042567

"They call it heresy for animals to reach for the same power they so jealously guard and keep to themselves! They rip out their cores to fuel their own progress and cultivation but then are aghast when others do the same to them! to men! Arrogant, self righteous fools all of them!" She rages, veins popping and cheeks reddening before her chest shuddered and she suddenly coughed up blood.

Lurching, you wonder if she's about to keel over dead from the shock of such strong emotions and if you should help or at least comfort her in her passing! She sighs, and wipes her face clean with her whole hand.

"Count yourself fortunate, youngster, that your grudge was so easily satiated" She says bitterly shaking her head "Seeing you reminds me of my tragic history, and reignites the embers of this old crone's hatred! But, to answer your final question"

She sets her pipe down, and press a sharpened, claw like nail to he wrist. A flicker of light crawls down her arm before she winces in pain and it fades away.

"Spiritual roots are the very foundation of a living beings body and soul, through them, their qualities can be divined and their potential for cultivation can be discovered. Mine were once nearly as magnificent as yours, aligned to Water and Pure Yin" She says sorrowfully shaking her head "But now they are withered, one of the many punishments carried out against me for the "Crimes" that have seen my name stripped away from me"

Blinking twice, you ponder all that she has taught you and find yourself hungering for more! She's not as mad as you thought her to be at first glance. Rather, she is both wise and knowledgeable and has already answered some of the questions that have been plaguing you since Ling Meng died by your jaws! You must know more!

"You've intrigued me, Toad witch! You're the first interesting human I've met!" You exclaim, feeling an odd sort of kinship with the old crone.

Her eye narrows to a slit, and she smiles as warmly as your mother's fur.

"Thank you, you are quiet the interesting specimen yourself. It is rare to receive such a compliment" She cackles before glowering and shaking her head "Sadly, my days of cultivation are done, so if you're seeking a mentor to begin your own journey all I can do is tutor you. The Sect I had served for over a hundred years has robbed me of my power, crushed my meridians and poisoned my spiritual roots and stripped me of my potential. And left me alive, to linger with the little knowledge of the Dao I was able to grasp. They plucked out my eye! Chopped off my fingers! Branded me and killed my daughter for being born a fox!"

"Is the soon to be filled grave you wish to dance upon destined to belong to one of those cruel cultivators" You ask slyly

"Yes, an old lover of mine who betrayed me and exposed my efforts to raise Xuěbái" She states, a sick sort of triumph filling the dark corners of her eye
Cont
>>
>>5042570

"Word spread through the heavenly realm he had failed to breakthrough to a higher state, and was doomed to die a most inglorious death. First, his meridians will fill with frost, freezing the veins that carry his blood. His limbs will lock in place, slowly transmuting into ice. And at last his heart will shatter and he will die after perhaps years of agony, if he clings to life ferociously enough' She explains with the same gusto with which you devoured Ling Meng "I dream the last thing he will see is my victorious smile"

She cackles, howling with laughter and nearly falling from the rock before she regains her composure.

"Say, Youngster, they call you Huānliúxuè, the happy bloodshed, correct?" Mónǚ asks with a truly wicked grin, and the light of madness in her only eye "My foundation may be ruined and destroyed, but I still know all of the lessons of Cultivation and insights into the Dao I gleamed in my youth. I said I could only help as your tutor, but for a rarely blessed existence such as yourself that would be more than enough, don't ya think?"

You narrow your eyes, searching for deciet and trickery in her movements

"Come on, youngster, we share an enemy. Do we not?" She purrs, trying to sway your answer for her own benefit. For revenge. Revenge against the world and those who've wronged her. A motive you both understand and deeply emphasize with

What do you do, Huānliúxuè?

>Accept her offer of teaching and guidance. if even a fraction of what she says is true, you'll need to be prepared. Besides Power and Longevity are too tempting to resist.

>Ask why she would offer such a boon so freely. Make it clear you will not be her attack dog or puppet.

>Notice she feels affection for Magical Beasts such as yourself, and will thus provide the Praise and Love you yearn for! Accept her, but as your underling rather than teacher!

>Pridefully spurn the offer and state you'll find your own way. A sentimental old crone would be a poor mentor anyways!

>Write in
>>
>>5042572
>I will not be an attack cat nor puppet, but in revenge and loss of those we love, we have a kinship.

I think that she is an adequate replacement for the little children. She did help them.
>>
>>5042572
>>Accept her offer of teaching and guidance. if even a fraction of what she says is true, you'll need to be prepared. Besides Power and Longevity are too tempting to resist.
>>
>>5042572
>Set some conditions
>You have no name, for your vengeance is complete. If she is to teach you, first she must create a new one for you.
>By the end of your training, her vengeance shall also be complete. At that time, you will choose a new name for her. Whether it is given casually, or carved upon her grave, it will be the name that lives on.
>>
>>5042572
>Accept her offer of teaching and guidance. if even a fraction of what she says is true, you'll need to be prepared. Besides Power and Longevity are too tempting to resist.
>>
>>5042591
support
>>
>>5042572
>Ask why she would offer such a boon so freely. Make it clear you will not be her attack dog or puppet.
>>
>>5042572
>Ask why she would offer such a boon so freely. Make it clear you will not be her attack dog or puppet.
>>
>>5042572
>Ask why she would offer such a boon so freely. Make it clear you will not be her attack dog or puppet.
>>
>>5042572
>Ask why she would offer such a boon so freely. Make it clear you will not be her attack dog or puppet.
I get kinda intimidated by such long multipost updates lol. The writing itself is top notch though.
>>
>>5042572
>>5042591
Support.
>>
>>5042572
>Accept her offer of teaching and guidance. if even a fraction of what she says is true, you'll need to be prepared. Besides Power and Longevity are too tempting to resist.
>>
Ending the vote. Tallying the Results
Happy Halloween!

I will not be an attack cat nor puppet, but in revenge and loss of those we love, we have a kinship.: 3

Accept her offer of teaching and guidance. if even a fraction of what she says is true, you'll need to be prepared.: 3

Set some conditions: 1

Ask why she would offer such a boon so freely. Make it clear you will not be her attack dog or puppet.: 4

So you will ask her why she would offer such a boon, while making it clear you will not be a tool/ underling to her

Update will arrive shortly

>>5043016
Thanks, and yeah I do get a little carried away, but that's cause writing this is so much fun!
>>
However, despite the connection you feel for the old toad witch, knowing she to has suffered the tragedy of losing the one she loved the most and even worse abuse at the hands of those she considered her friends or even lovers, you remain wary of the old woman and her intentions. She says she is prepared to die, to merely dance upon the bones of the man who betrayed her and had her cast from the world of cultivation so roughly and cruelly. However the darkness that shadows her eyes is one all too familiar to you! for it once inhabited your own, and still does whenever you think or hear the name Ling or see the peculiar shade of pale yellow they wear. It is the kind of black conviction and spite that only a grudge that has taken root deeply in one's own living heart could summon forth.

Murderous intent, seething rage, destructive gloom! The loss of her daughter has driven Mónǚ mad, if she was not mad before her death. It is the madness of vengeance, the lunacy of pure hatred that can not be quenched by anything but the death of those who have so gravely wounded her. The same madness that still lies hidden in the darkest corner of your mind, satiated by the slaughter of Ling Meng. Despite her weakness, she is dangerous. She has lived many of your lifetimes and has spent most of them stewing in her own rage.

It is clear her offer is genuine, but you cannot help but feel that it is driven less by generosity or kindness and lead almost entirely by her yearning to see her old sect torn down, ripped apart from its peak to its roots before being scattered to the wind as ashes. And in you, she has found the perfect weapon to carry out such bloody revenge. You will not throw yourself into the net and risk your own existence for another's benefit, let alone a strange like Mónǚ. But if her offer is indeed made out of genuine sense of comradery and kinship rather than from her personal vendetta, then there is nothing to fear.

The Toad Witch's true intentions must be revealed before you can give an answer to her offer of becoming your teacher in Cultivation and a guide to its world and the societies within it.

"That is truly a priceless boon, to be educated by one as knowledgeable and wise as yourself, Grandmother Mónǚ" You purr, talking sweetly and softly as you pace and stalk around the flat bolder she is seated upon, still puffing on her pipe and spewing pale blue smoke towards the heavens "To be trained by one so skilled, so talented without paying a price of wealth or loyalty. Such guidance would be truly invaluable, for if I am as innately talented and magnificent as you praise me to be, with you as my teach I need not fear any hunter"

She rolls her pipe with her lips, single eye narrowed as she immediately catches onto your hesitation and its source with a mere glance.

"But, you do not wish to be bound by oath or mislead to fight my battles in my place. Like a loyal attack dog. You fear" Mónǚ says,
Cont
>>
>>5043421

Sticking her ash coated tongue out before plucking her pipe from it with two fingers "That I'll make you my puppet, lower a rare prodigy like yourself to nothing more than a tool to be used in my quest for retribution"

"You are as perceptive as you are intriguing, Granny Mónǚ" You giggle, narrowing your eyes as you lock your eyes with hers. She grins ears to ear, looking exactly like a fat toad sticking its head above a pond's surface

"But yes, that is why I hesitate. Us cats are independent creatures! We do not fetch like dogs, or come when called! The idea of serving another like a dog would, or being made a stepping stone to their ambitions is abhorrent to prideful creatures such as I!" You proclaim, puffing your chest out and flicking your tail dramatically as the Witch curls her tongue back into her mouth, ponderously "We have a kinship of sorts, but I recognize that you may have ulterior motives in seeking such a student with as much potential as I possess"

"Wise, wiser than most disciples who come clawing for immortality or power to shake the heavens" She cackles "You have the sense to understand the conditions of your tutelage and the character of your prospective teacher. But know, Young Huānliúxuè! My kindness is no façade! My praise is no lie! In you I see"

She pauses and grins like a grandmother would, warmth and love radiating from every pore of her being, polluting the air like smoke as you feel as if you've just been struck by her kindness. She wields it like an iron rod!

"I see no tool, or servant. I do not see a beast to unleash against my foes. Nor do I see a weapon to sharpen and wield against the world. I see no demon, I see no spirit" She explains gingerly, eye filling with tears "I see a young girl without a guardian or guidance, who will grow to be harried and hunted by those who would name her monster. In you I..."

"You see your daughter" You interrupt, bowing your head "That is why you've approached me with such a selfless, generous offer"

"Precisely! She was much like you! When I sought to break through a bottleneck in my cultivation in the ice capped peaks my sect called home, She, still a mere snow fox, came and gave me warmth and companionship and allowed me to climb to a higher rank!" She proclaims energetically, eye opening fully to reveal a manic excitement "As you took the bodies of these poor, unfortunate children and gave them warm beds in the earth! And honored them with gravestones to immortalize their memory! You appeased their spirits, out of a sense of duty to those who cared for you in your simpler life! As I sought to show my gratitude to Xuěbái by making her into a magical beast and adopting her as my own daughter"

The old witch frowned deeply and bowed her head

"We are both woman whose lives have been dictated by tragedy. Even with what longevity I retained after the shattering of my cultivation, my life is nearing its end" She sorrowfully continues,
Cont
>>
>>5043422

tears flowing across her withered face from both her eye and the socket of its missing twin "I failed in raising a daughter once before, but in seeing you, I see a chance at redemption. A chance to achieve something and leave a lasting legacy in the three realms. Huānliúxuè, I swear upon my ancestors of five generations and the memory of my daughter, I have no hidden agenda or ill intent in offering to be your teacher"

She places her whole hand above her heart

"But, if to earn your trust and confidence, I am willing to part with my dearest treasure to prove the honesty of my words and oath" She says mournfully quiet, as she fishes around her neck "A tuft of Xuěbái's tail fur, taken when she achieved her first breakthrough. Would this token be enough to earn you trust, Young Mistress?"

What is your reply, Huānliúxuè?

>Deny the gift and accept her as her teacher, her words alone proved her trustworthy in your eyes. Begin your training with the Toad witch without delay! [Good Karma]

>Accept the treasure given as a bribe, and apologize for taking such a prized possession in return for your trust. Ask about the fox demon Xuěbái

>NO! The witch can not be trusted! Scorn her both of her offers and chase her away before searching for your own path in cultivation!

>Strike her down! Mock her for trusting a demon and eat her flesh! She revealed her weakness before a predator! The utter fool! [Bad Karma]

>Write in
>>
>>5043423
>Deny the gift and accept her as her teacher, her words alone proved her trustworthy in your eyes. Begin your training with the Toad witch without delay! [Good Karma]
>>
>>5043423
>>Deny the gift and accept her as her teacher, her words alone proved her trustworthy in your eyes. Begin your training with the Toad witch without delay! [Good Karma]
Let her know that if she was lying she's getting ate
>>
>>5043423
>Deny the gift and accept her as her teacher, her words alone proved her trustworthy in your eyes. Begin your training with the Toad witch without delay! [Good Karma]
>>
>>5043423
>Deny the gift and accept her as her teacher, her words alone proved her trustworthy in your eyes. Begin your training with the Toad witch without delay! [Good Karma]
>>
>>5043423
>Deny the gift and accept her as her teacher, her words alone proved her trustworthy in your eyes. Begin your training with the Toad witch without delay! [Good Karma]
I like her so far.
>>
Ending the vote. It's unanimous, so no reason to tally it. All five votes are in agreement.

Huānliúxuè will deny the treasure/ petty magical tool Mónǚ offered in return of her trust and faith, as her words alone already won her over

And thus you will begin your training with the toad witch without delay!

Update will arrive shortly, as I am not on trick or treater duty, so I am free to drink Tea, Shiraz and write this quest!
>>
With her maimed hand, she presents to you a small calligraphy brush. Delicate and loving carved from an odd white wood you have never seen before, covered in miniscule engravings of poems speaking of love, great destiny and devotion that are filled with an unmelting ice. A ring of blue agate, polished to be as reflective as a silver backed mirror, sits between the handle and the fur affixed to its end. Fur which is luxuriously soft and fluffy, like a miniature fox tail growing from the snow white wood. It is most peculiar object, for two reasons. The fox fur used to form the brush's bristles is, rather than white flecked grey or black as one would expect the hide of a snow fox to be colored, is instead interwoven with a azure that matches a spring sky in its vividness. The second odd trait of this brush, is that it radiates cold and is surrounded as if by a cloud of frigid air. How Mónǚ can tolerate keeping it so close to her chest at all times is a mystery to you.

Focusing and looking closer at the brush, you can see it glows with an unearthly light. It must be Qi, radiating from within the core of the brush and from every strand of fur at its end. It looks similar to the few motes of Qi Monu was able to show to you in her short explanation of the energy itself.

Suddenly, you are struck with an intense sorrow and guilt. Your conscious asks you, are you willing to steal away an old woman's only treasure and sole record of her dearly departed daughter's existence? Is that truly the price you'll ask for in exchange for your trust. Is your apprenticeship worth such a high price? Pride whispers that, if you truly are as astounding a student as she claims you will be, that if you existence is something to revered and worshiped that a babble like the brush is barely enough for you consider the offer. But Pride can poison and mislead the heart, Kindness and empathy warn at once. Has she not suffered enough in her life? What has she done to deserve having her daughter's sole keepsake and prized memento of happier days taken from her?

In taking it, would you not be degrading yourself? Lowering yourself to an existence not dissimilar from a common thief or bandit, stealing away something that, while valuable, is far more precious in the possession of its current owner? In accepting such a gift, even if freely offered, would be stooping to the level of trash and scum! You are a prodigy! You possess an innate talent! A rare potential! Why should you demean yourself to torment an old, grief haunted woman! The mere idea of accepting the brush now sickens and enrages you! She's groveling before you, wetting the ground with her tears, and presenting you the last sign of her daughter's life to you to just earn your trust, to be privledge to raise you as her student! If the children saw your momentary consideration of taking the brush from her gnarled hands they would be disgusted by you!

Cont
>>
>>5043722

Surely even Ling Meng would be disgusted if you accept the token as a bribe! The bond between a student and teacher must be made from honest trust and strong faith! Real emotions to serve as the foundations for a earnest relationship, rather than one built upon bribery and pleading! She offers you power! Guidance! Wisdom! Knowledge! and all she asks for in return is companionship and a chance to impart her legacy unto you.

Pawing at your face to brush away the tears you now shed as well, you use the same wetted paw to push away the hand held before you as gently as you can.

"No, there is no need to buy my trust. Your words alone were enough to prove to me the sincerity of your proposal, enough that I feel ashamed to have ever doubted the benevolence of your intentions" You say, struggling to maintain your composure in the face of such a supremely selfless gesture "I may be a demonic beast, but to commit such a sin as stealing a mother's last keepsake of her child would be unforgiveable in the laws of both the heavens and hell! I will not steal away such a treasure!"

You bow your head, and struggle to mimic the respectful way she clasped her hands in greeting you as Monu holds her keepsake tightly to her breast.

"And certainly not from one who I would accept as my teacher! Forgive me grandmother, for this cat's impudence!" You proclaim shouting your words as the witch bows her head, to show to all beneath the heavens the conviction behind the statement!

"See? Just because you're a man eater, does not mean you're a being of sheer wickedness and unremitting evil! The world is wrong in naming you monster, Huanliuxue! I am honored to take you on as my last disciple, oh Child of the bloodstained grudge!" Monu proclaims with as much earnestness as yourself if not more so "Without delay, we'll begin your tutelage and hand in hand, take the first step on the road of your cultivation against the will of the heavens and all their gods!"

A long silence follows as you look expectingly up at your teacher, awaiting to be imparted profound wisdom and secrets alike, before she awkwardly cleans her pipe and with a sheepish smile stands upon her shaking legs

"After dinner, of course. And not here, amongst the dead and rubble. The Qi here is thin and while my meridians have been sealed , I still retain my spiritual sense. We will begin your cultivation in earnest after traveling to a locale where the Qi is denser and we are lest likely to be stumbled upon" She meekly explains, tapping a finger to her lips in a childish fashion "Forgive this old hag for her absent mind. But for training to be effective, the environment must be suitable and pristine!"

Your ears flop in disappointment and you look away with a mulish expression. Fretting, Monu slides from her rock, waving her bead heavy arms in the air in a panic.
cont
>>
>>5043724

"But that does not mean we will be idle! I'm sure in our travels together, we can fit in some basic foundational training and exercises, so when we arrive at our sanctuary you will already be prepared for the trials ahead, my student!" She says with great haste and worry "I do not want you to believe me to be a lazy toad of a teacher, after all"

Your ears perk up and you smile radiantly, excitement burning in your yellow eyes.

"I would never think of my treasured teacher in such an insulting term" You teasingly state to the toad witch as you flick your tail in the air playfully.

The two of you laugh together, like old friends meeting at crossroads.

[Double vote]
What is the focus of your training during your journey to the "Sanctuary"?

>Body strengthening exercises and martial arts adapted to a cat's form and movements! Improve your stamina and physique!

>Mystical studies, drawing talismans, practicing the simplest of spells and hexes! Learn how to wield your innately supernatural existence

>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation

>Alchemy, learning how to make medicines and poisons alike. Start attempting to craft the weakest of spirit medicines and pills

>Write in

And where does Monu take you, Huānliúxuè? (Remember, you can always relocate)

>The Primordial Forest of the Tragic Lovers: An ancient woodland, populated only by lonely monasteries of monks and priests and Magical beasts like yourself! Monu says it is rumored to hold many rare Spiritual herbs (Dominant Qi type: Wood)

>The Basin of a Thousand Rivers and lakes: The center of the Chuan lands, a vast lake made by the decent of a drunken goddess. Said to reach the upper layers of hell, and be fed by a bottomless wine cask! Your Teacher says its deeper waters are rich in Qi. (Dominant Qi type: Water)

>Catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war: A vast subterranean tomb hidden from prying eyes and filled with vengeful spirits and hungry ghosts! Monu speaks of treasures and secrets in its lower depths (Dominant Qi Type: Metal)

>Viper Pass Canyon, Cliffs of Despair: A inhospitable wasteland, populated by nomads, bandit clans, magical beasts and the odd oasis town. Monu claims to know the location of mines still rich with veins of spirit stones (Dominant Qi Type: Earth)

>The Forge Devil's Furnace: And even more inhospitable wasteland! Said to have been lair of favored servant of the demon lord Zhìzūn-Móxīn, this accursed place is only inhabited by roving packs of cultists and the most devilish of spirits and Demonic beasts! Your teacher advises against this destination (Dominant Qi Type: Fire)

>Write in

Had an amusing typo I caught. Wrote Dominate rather than Dominant lol.
>>
>>5043726
>Alchemy, learning how to make medicines and poisons alike. Start attempting to craft the weakest of spirit medicines and pills
She is called a witch and a toad. This is likely where her expertise lies.

>Viper Pass Canyon, Cliffs of Despair: A inhospitable wasteland, populated by nomads, bandit clans, magical beasts and the odd oasis town. Monu claims to know the location of mines still rich with veins of spirit stones (Dominate Qi Type: Earth)
>>
>>5043730
>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation
>Viper Pass Canyon, Cliffs of Despair: A inhospitable wasteland, populated by nomads, bandit clans, magical beasts and the odd oasis town. Monu claims to know the location of mines still rich with veins of spirit stones (Dominant Qi Type: Earth)
>>
>>5043730
>Mystical studies, drawing talismans, practicing the simplest of spells and hexes! Learn how to wield your innately supernatural existence
>The Basin of a Thousand Rivers and lakes: The center of the Chuan lands, a vast lake made by the decent of a drunken goddess. Said to reach the upper layers of hell, and be fed by a bottomless wine cask! Your Teacher says its deeper waters are rich in Qi. (Dominant Qi type: Water)
>>
>>5043730
>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation
>Catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war: A vast subterranean tomb hidden from prying eyes and filled with vengeful spirits and hungry ghosts! Monu speaks of treasures and secrets in its lower depths (Dominant Qi Type: Metal)
Metal is associated with grief and courage, sounds like us.
>>
>>5043730
>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation
>Catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war: A vast subterranean tomb hidden from prying eyes and filled with vengeful spirits and hungry ghosts! Monu speaks of treasures and secrets in its lower depths (Dominant Qi Type: Metal)
>>
>>5043730

>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation.
>Catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war: A vast subterranean tomb hidden from prying eyes and filled with vengeful spirits and hungry ghosts! Monu speaks of treasures and secrets in its lower depths (Dominant Qi Type: Metal)
>>
>>5043730
>Mystical studies, drawing talismans, practicing the simplest of spells and hexes! Learn how to wield your innately supernatural existence
>Catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war: A vast subterranean tomb hidden from prying eyes and filled with vengeful spirits and hungry ghosts! Monu speaks of treasures and secrets in its lower depths(Dominant Element:Metal)
>Ask the Dead what the meaning of life is/was.
>>
>>5043730
>>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation
Devour Qi from living targets, remove their ability to resist before they even see you

>>5043730
>Catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war: A vast subterranean tomb hidden from prying eyes and filled with vengeful spirits and hungry ghosts! Monu speaks of treasures and secrets in its lower depths (Dominant Qi Type: Metal)
>>
>>5043730
>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation
>The Primordial Forest of the Tragic Lovers
>>
>>5043730
>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation

>Viper Pass Canyon, Cliffs of Despair: A inhospitable wasteland, populated by nomads, bandit clans, magical beasts and the odd oasis town. Monu claims to know the location of mines still rich with veins of spirit stones (Dominant Qi Type: Earth)

Either earth or wood should be attractive to a cat. Quick feedback OP: Post length is fine but it would be nice if you could throw in the odd picture for illustration. This is an image board after all.
>>
>>5043730
>Body strengthening exercises and martial arts adapted to a cat's form and movements! Improve your stamina and physique!
>Viper Pass Canyon, Cliffs of Despair: A inhospitable wasteland, populated by nomads, bandit clans, magical beasts and the odd oasis town. Monu claims to know the location of mines still rich with veins of spirit stones (Dominant Qi Type: Earth)
>>
>>5043730
>Meditation

I'm really bad at this Wuxing thing, but we are aligned with blood, which is Water I THINK, so we should go to
>Catacombs
because metal collects water? thus empowering us?
>>
>>5043730
>Meditation, breathing exercises.
>The Primordial Forest of the Tragic Lovers
>>
>>5043730
>>Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world! The very foundation of cultivation

>The Basin of a Thousand Rivers and lakes: The center of the Chuan lands, a vast lake made by the decent of a drunken goddess. Said to reach the upper layers of hell, and be fed by a bottomless wine cask! Your Teacher says its deeper waters are rich in Qi. (Dominant Qi type: Water)
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Training vote

Alchemy, learning how to make medicines and poisons alike:1

Meditation, breathing exercises. Learning how to circulate your Qi through your meridians, refine it and draw it from the natural world:10

Mystical studies, drawing talismans, practicing the simplest of spells and hexes!:2

Body strengthening exercises and martial arts adapted to a cat's form and movements!:1

Sanctuary Location Vote

Viper Pass:4
The Basin:2
The Catacombs: 6
Primordial forest: 2

Extra votes
Ask the dead what the meaning of life is/was: 1
Learn how Devour Qi from living targets, remove their ability to resist before they even see you: 1

Alright, so Meditation Focus and the Metal aligned Catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war Win!

Update will arrive shortl

>>5043922
Alright! I'll try to do so when I feel its fitting. . May commission some pieces for characters or landscapes if I find a nice artist for that XIANXIA feel. Hard to find pictures I like, you see.

Luckily, found a nice picture for this update, among a few others
>>
File: xx.png (560 KB, 1000x1600)
560 KB
560 KB PNG
>>5044334
>>
>>5044373
Nice edit! Good work, anon.
>>
Far from the shrine erected before nine graves in the ruins of a nameless, worthless fishing village, and far from the witch and demon cat laughing together by the spray of the rive and fragrant smoke of incense. Across the border drawn at the river's center, away from the regions controlled by the noble Chuān family and into the provinces and lands held for ten generations by Lords named Ling A temple shrouded by clouds and mists, hidden from the eyes of mortals and those uninitiated into the world of cultivation and the mystical arts, cast in the golden radiance of the summer sun's light. In the garden courtyard of the resplendent mountaintop retreat, elders of the ascendant Sect of the Guardians of the Celestial Sunlight (监护人-天日光, jiānhù rén-tiānrìguāng) met to debate amongst the lily pads and cranes.

All wore the shimmering, golden silk woven robes as befitting their station and in accordance to the traditions of the ruling Clan, wore masks of jade styled in to mimic the appearance of ogres. Each elder's mask was made from a different color of jade, to denote their favored type of Qi as well as the law they had earned their esteemed titles through their peerless mastery of its techniques.

"The Prodigal son of the mortal Ling family, Ling Meng, a once in three lifetimes genius in the arts of war and combat has been slain" The Elder wearing a black masked stated to his peers, who all bowed their heads in a show of mourning, keeping their hands hidden in the sleeves of their resplendent robes "And the inheritor of the ancestral blood, Ling Yāonān, has gone missing, fleeing from her simpleton of a father"

"So we have lost two prospective disciples! So soon after the ascendance of the grandmaster and the naming of his heir!" The scarlet masked woman snarled, stomping her foot in irritation before flicking her sleeve "Such misfortune! The lesser disiplces will surely begin to gossip our sect has entered a inauspicious period! The Young Master's leadership will be fraught with peril!"

"Calm yourself, my sister" The man wearing the jeering purple mask cheerfully laughed "Young Yaonan still lives, our subordinate schools in the rivers and lakes speak rumors of a pale swordswoman butchering bandit clans! The Inheritor of the ancestral blood is still amongst the living!"

"But that is not what troubles me, brother" The Scarlet mask hissed "All five of us gathered here know the circumstances of Ling Meng's death! He was devoured to the bones! Before his fool of an uncle executed half of the earthbound line's army for treason, they spoke a giant cat wreathed in the fires of hell! We all know what these tales imply!"

"A Demonic beast" The sullen white mask exhaled sorrowfully "A most dire omen, for such an existence to spring forth from so civilized a land! We are lucky the beast did not steal away the token we entrusted to the young general or else it may have grown into a catastrophe"
Cont
>>
>>5044457

"It still will" The scarlet masked elder spat "The beast has been glutting itself on the essence and blood of mankind, if it continues it feast it will..."

"Cultivate to a level worthy of being hunted and harvested" The purple masked laughed "no reason to trouble ourselves with earthly affairs just yet, besides the Demonic beast is in the territory of another sect! Even if we decided to subjugate it we'd"

The until then silent Crimson mask, the most senior of the gathered elder flicked his sleeve

"We'll invite an influential inner disciple to our most extravagant retreats, secure their favor and have them pention their sect's head to grant our sect permission to interfere in this domain" The head spoke sternly, red eyes burning behind his emotionless mask "This impudent beast has insulted both our sect and the Ling Clan greatly in its murder of Ling Meng, who we had groomed since birth to join the Heavenly line of the Ling. The Demonic Beast cannot be allowed to begin its cultivation in earnest"

"I will organize a martial tournament for the outer ring of our disciples to participate in. The victors of each bracket will be offered the chance to be made an inner disciple, by bringing us the head of this "Huanliuxue" and being permitted to consume its beast core" The black mask meekly suggested, falling to prostrate himself before the furious Ling Clan Patriarch "So we may at once execute the impudent beast and nullify the loss of such a prodigious student"

"Your cunning reveals itself yet again my junior" The Crimson mask sneered, storing his hands once more in the sleeves of his robe "I permit this course of action, the rest of you, leave at once! Return to your duties! and have our connections amongst the masses alerted to watch for any rumor of Ling Yaonan's passing!"

As one, the four junior elders exclaimed with one voice "As you command, grandfather"
-

The Journey to the locale you decided to make your sanctuary alongside with Granny Monu is long and ponderous. For a former cultivator, the old witch has weak stamina and often has to rest. However you are more than willingly than to march at her pace and tend to her needs, treating her with the respect and care as Student should give to their teacher, especially one as elderly as the Toad witch. Besides, the early rests and stops along the road to your new, shared home are welcome for they offer an opportunity to focus on your training and infantile cultivation.

While Granny warms herself by the campfire, she instructs you on the most basic exercises and training techniques to begin your breakthrough into the first and least layer of cultivation. That of Qi Condensation, which you had naturally neared through your consumption of the flesh of Ling Meng and the Rank and file deserter who also possessed the potential to cultivate. However as you have learned, the Qi you absorbed from the unrefined blood and meat of your victims was of the poorest quality.
Cont
>>
>>5044460

Thus it added almost nothing to the cultivation base you had started to form. What Qi the flesh of men yielded could be measured only as a drop of rain, and imparted little if any power. If you had been left to your own devices, your cultivation would be sedated and trash. But with Monu's guidance you will be able to achieve a far higher level than you would be able to naturally reach!

Knowing you already possess a greater than average quantity of natural Qi, you devout the majority of your training in learning how to refine the Qi already absorbed and flowing through your body within its meridians. Meridians that before your training, went unused and are thus need to be trained and strengthened.

In your initial lessons and clumsy attempts at refining Qi, Granny Monu teaches you of the location and purpose of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians and Twelve Principles Meridians. Her lessons focus at first upon what she calls the two most important of the Extraordinary Meridians, The Governing Vessel which runs from the lower of the three Dantian along the spine and up to the head and The Conception Vessel which runs opposite of the Governing vessel up the front of the body to meet it at the head, thus forming a complete circuit in front of the upper Dantain!

With this new knowledge, you are able to perceive the movement of Qi through your key meridians more clearly, overcoming your first and pettiest bottleneck on the path of cultivation. Oh how your heart swells with pride to be praised by your teacher. You hold your head high in the days that follow, becoming more aware of and accustomed to the improved flow of Qi through your body's meridians as you methodically open their gates and map out their direction.

Slowly, you gain an intimate understanding and knowledge of meridians and the flow of Qi. Your body feels lighter, every step more graceful and elegant, and your five senses become clearer! As if a fog was lifted from the world, colors have become more vibrant, the scents and tastes upon the air have become more vivid and you can feel deeper textures and sensations upon every material you set your paws upon

When you have tired against rubbing your face against stones, testing their new feeling, you realize you have unlocked a sixth sense! That of consciousness! Spiritual sense! The ability to scan and know your surroundings that all cultivators possess!'

Overjoyed, you tell Granny Monu of your progress as she returns from acting as a beggar in a nearby city, bringing with her the supplies you'll both need for the rest of the journey and your stay at the Sanctuary you have chosen to take as your own! With a grandmotherly smile, she sets down her groceries and prepares a space to guide you in your first, true refinement of Qi.

It is a divine sensation! Power surges and grows within you like flood waters roaring down a river, washing through your meridians and bolstering your body, mind and spirit alike!
Cont
>>
>>5044463

But, the exultant sensation is quick to fade, and you realize just how meager of a reserve of Qi you had gathered truly was. If you were a cup and Qi was water, The Qi you had gathered, refined and condensed within yourself would scarcely wet the bottom of the cup. Disappointed, Monu's assurances that that is more Qi than most living creatures possess naturally do little to lift your spirits.

Gloomily you return to your training. Having to make do with what little Qi is present in the vast plains leading to the tomb that will become your home, as you begin practicing your meditation and breathing exercises in preparation for your arrival there. The Qi present within the Catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war is several magnitudes more rich and dense than the thin, pitiful Qi elsewhere.

There is just enough for you to make noticeable progress, while obtaining a more serene state of mind through your daily meditation and exercises. It becomes easier to control your emotions, desires and thoughts, but until you enter the Catacombs your cultivation might as well be stalled as you will get no closer to the next rank or stage of cultivation until you reach a more suitable environment for it.

Realizing this, you devout the last steps of the journey to other forms of training. Doing what you can to strengthen your body to accommodate its new bounty of Qi, and to learn how to identify the most common of spiritual herbs and grasses while studying the simplest applications of magic and alchemy. Luckily, Granny Monu is particularly skilled at making poisons and the art of using them.

And through her tutelage, a fraction of her knowledge becomes yours. Just enough to learn how to refine a natural irritant found in Poison Ivy into a maddingly painful oil, but it is more progress than you've made in the fields of sorcery or martial arts! You decide to keep a small quantity of it in a vial tied around your neck, just in case you need to dip your claws into it to ward of a opponent you can overcome through might and guile alone.

Though it is useless against ghosts or other forms of undead or spirits! So, the Stinging oil has little use or purpose for the time being.

"So an immortal burried a ill mannered and evil natured king beneath this mountain?" You ask Monu as you walk the treacherous path down into the Catacombs of the forgotten king, which is only revealed in the transient period of twilight between night and dawn "Alongside his entire army as it marched to war? Sealing their souls in the stone tombs he crafted with but a flick of his wrist? Such incredible power! Truly even the gods must've been awed by such a show of force!"

"He became a god, and is now worshiped by the grateful locals here in the seven generations that have passed since then" Monu explains further, holding onto your scruff to keep from falling down the ravine below the rough hewn road leading down into the roots of the mountain.
Cont
>>
>>5044465

"Aren't you afraid we'll draw his attention? Squatting in the tomb he made to punish mortal pride?" You ask cautiously as the path suddenly moves ends at a small hole in the cliffside, that itself leads to a pit with four stairways leading into its stygian depths

"Why would the heavens be concerned with the affairs of mortals?" Monu sneers as she raises her torch, lighting the ancient sconces surrounding the small chamber before descending down one of the stairways. You fearlessly follow after her into the green, bone numbing fog that spills forth from the pit's mouth.

You cannot hide you awe as you emerge into the catacombs themselves, and look upon their entrance. Marble statues of guardian lion dogs line the walls, as a hole through the mountain allows sunlight to stream in from many miles above. The floor of the subterranean temple has fallen through, revealing an open system of caverns and stalactites connected to by bridges, all shrouded by the same grave fog that flowed up and out of the entrance

Monu lights a crooked temple lantern, as you step to the edge of the stone outcropping and marvel at the vast gate that leads into the catacombs proper. It is styled like a temple's door and bares a time weathered statue of a demon's face snarling down at any trespassers. In the far end of the temple's boundaries, before it gives way to the open and seemingly endless cavernous tombs of the forgotten king and his soldiers, you see a golden lotus pedestal. A shrine of sorts you imagine! And the perfect place to meditate.

"Welcome to your new home, Huanliuxue!" Granny Monu exclaims as she sits down to rest and indulge in her vice of smoking various narcotics she's refined into drugs so potent they could knock out a dragon "We'll make our dwelling in this upper level, a safe sanctuary from the crypts other inhabitants"

"I can feel the grudges of the dead in the air! It's so soothing here! There must be nowhere else on heaven or earth as comfortable as this god's scorned tomb" You purr contentedly, curling up beneath the lantern to take a nap.

When you awake up, what do you do Huānliúxuè? Two actions can be taken this vote

>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]

>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]

>Explore the deeper reaches of the catacombs [Chance to find a treasure or a hidden feature of this location, or encounter a ghost]

>Leave the catacomb to search the surrounding villages for underlings or victims [Chance to recruit mortals as servants or slaughter them for cultivation materials]

>write in
>>
>>5044467
>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]
>>
>>5044467
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]
>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
A prudent start is best, probably
>>
>>5044467
>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]
>>
>>5044483
Support.

There is really no sense in making our home easy to find and enter.
>>
>>5044467
>>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]
>>
>>5044467
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]

>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>>
>>5044467
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]
>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>>
>>5044467
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]
>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>>
>>5044467

>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]

Do as cats do, make sure our new abode is comfy and safe before we start exploring our territory in earnest.
>>
>>5044467
>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]
>>
Ending the vote now. No need to tally the votes, since the result is unanimous!

When you wake from your catnap, you will create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying your new home and hiding it from prying eyes before starting your true cultivation and training early and without your teacher's aid, at least until she wakes up as well
>>
Your sleep is fitful, and you are harried from the beginning of your catnap to its end by visions of death and suffering, nightmares drawn from the final moments of a hundred snuffed out lives. A bone gnawing chill cuts through your fur, rousing your from your sleep as you wake to see the temple lit by the fires of hanging lanterns and what little moonlight flows down from the heavens through the mountain that seals the catacomb beneath the earth. Stetching and yawning at once, you blink, feeling oddly refreshed and at ease despite the harrowing experience of reliving the destruction and cataclysmic punishment that befell the souls that still linger just beyond the gate across the gorge from the lantern your curled around in your sleep.

But as your senses return to you, and the fog of tiredness give way to the clarity of wakefulness, you are struck by a dread born from an entirely different source! You and your teacher are entirely exposed here! Though the temple is safe, and judging from the talismans stuck on the gate, Granny Monu has warded against invasion from any wandering vengeful spirits or hungry ghosts that smell warm blood above their graves, from more material dangers you are wholely unprotected! Though the path to the catacombs can only be found in twilight, all it takes is one fortunate peasant or wandering cultivator for your location to be discovered by those who wish to kill you for simply being born a cat.

Clenching your jaw, you brave the bone chilling miasma, shivering all the way as you walk the stairs leading out of the pit and walk the path back up the cliffside to its entrance at the mouth of the vast ravine it runs along. Methodically, you fell younger trees and push stones in front of the gateway to the catacombs, shrouding the already obscured path with debris and plant life. Stepping back to admire your handiwork, you realize the deception would be discovered with a little scrutiny and frown. Carefully, you reposition the larger stones and logs, setting them up to appear to have fallen from landslides or during earth shaking storms.

Inspecting the façade you have made to hideaway the road leading to your Sanctuary, you are pleased to see it is much harder to spot the false barrier and see the trail behind it. If only you knew had to weave illusionary landscapes or encourage the growth of living plant life, or even shape the stone and soil to your will! But alas, you have not progressed far enough to possess such abilities or learn the mystical tricks to enact them. Flicking your tail, you brush it across the ground to wipe away your and Granny Monu's tracks, before returning to the wilderness to gather the materials you require to build a crude but serviceable defense to fortify your sanctuary proper.

And build a more comfortable abode for both you and your teacher. You may be content sleeping on tiles and stone, but Monu is elderly and such a lifestyle would be detrimental to the old witch's health.
Cont
>>
>>5044917

Even though she bundles herself in three layers of fur before going to sleep. Usually it is the teacher's responsibility to provide logging for their disciples, but it'd be most unbecoming to ask an old woman to build herself a house. So it falls to the student to ensure the comfort and well being of her mentor.

The work is tiresome at first, but with the new perspective given to you by your Qi sharpened and Spiritual senses, it quickly becomes as enjoyable as any game or hunt. Before dawn approach, you have gathered a suitable supply of stone, resin sap, lumber, and fresh animal furs to carry back to the catacombs upper lay to begin making your sanctuary a home worthy keeping!

First, you make a door to block off the cave entrance leading into the pit, but binding a few thin logs together with a rope you took from the supplies Granny Monu purchased for the journey. This proves to be the most difficult labor of all, as it is very hard to tie nots without opposable thumbs, but you manage to tighten and bind the wood together with your teeth and a clever system of running the length of rope between rocks to hold it in place while you work and tie it.

The door is sturdy enough, and is fitted to the width of the cave's mouth. It can be opened on either side by pulling on the length of rope left unwrapped around the last log in either direction. With a sore and aching jaw, continue on your work, by creating a wall of stones around the pit, gluing them in place with sap resin and wet clay so they will not tumble down upon your heads while you climb the stairs. Making it tall as a man from his toes to his brow, you leave the stones to set and return back to the catacombs to build something that resembles a functional shelter.

Thankfully, the temple is sturdy, so all you have to do is build three walls of stone, lumber and furs for installation. Its an ugly hovel, that looks like a fairy tale witch's hut, with a roof of straw and fur, and without much of a defined shape. More a collection of stones, logs, clay and soil stacked together to vaguely resemble a man made cave or half collapsed hermit's cottage. It is only large enough to hold around ten people, not including yourself and doesn't have any comforts or amenities besides a thick layer of furs laid out on the temple floor for warmth and softness.

Gazing upon your work, it is times like these you wish you had hands. Pouting angrily, you prod Granny Monu, to move her from the corner of the temple she has made her bed and into the Witch's hut you have made. But she just rolls over, and continues snoring sounding like a toad in search of a mate.

Shaking your head, you add a few more bundles of dried grass and split logs to her fire and leave her to her sleep. Knowing how she lives, she'll wake up no sooner than the later half of morning and more probably only stir in the afternoon, considering the exhaustive hike the two of you made to reach the catacombs to begin with.

Cont
>>
>>5044919

Gazing down into the open caverns beyond the temple's half collasped floor, you consider your options. The Sanctuary among grave is secured. A wall has been built before the easiest to hold choke point, A door that can be locked shut with a few stones that is already difficult to open from the approaching side, and you have even taken the time to line the already treacherous, dew slicked path with spears at its thinnest and most unstable portions to slow any would be intruders should they happen upon the gateway revealed only at twilight which is now hidden behind a diorama of fallen mud, stones and timber

While you do not feel completely defended, you at least feel safer and more sheltered than before. And having a house, even if it is a shapeless hut made of stones, clay, and old logs and still drying furs is better than trusting the temple's nonexistent walls to keep your warm and protect you from the inhabitants of the lower catacombs.

There is much you can do to improve either the defenses or your shelter as, you only have paws, a tail and a fangs to work with. And you have most of the day to yourself, before your teacher wakes up and can return to a more acceptable schedule after the long and arduous journey to your shared home.

Almost reflexively, you begin to train. First by testing your knowledge of the native flora that grows in the subterranean expanse and the ravine above it, and taking a the leaves, roots and seeds of a few plants to practice making mundane medicine and poisons in the manner Monu taught you to. And then you take to wandering the temple, drawing mystical diagrams and caligraphy in the dust with your tail as you recite mantras and prayers, memorizing the simple, petty magics you were practicing before sampling your now finished medicines and attempting to refine the poisons by boiling them

Repeating this cycle some twelve times, you change your methods when you can stomach no more bitter herb and you have brushed the entire temple clean with the fur of your tail.

After a quick, and disgusting grooming session that ends with you search for fresh water to lap up to remove the taste of bone dust and centuries old dust from your tongue and sinuses, you spend the following hours exhausting your body.

Clambering, climbing, leaping, pouncing, you exercise your body in ways only a cat can, running through every nook and cranny of the temple complex, darting between the four stair ways leading out of the graveyard, and precariously balancing yourself upon stalagmites and the frayed ropes hanging above the temples, wrapped in bells and talisman papers turned yellow with age and dampness.

When your muscles ache, and your stomach growls, you stop your physical training, panting and feeling as though you've been beaten by ten iron rods. Resting just long enough to be able to walk straight again, you eat the raw meat of the animals you skinned and struggle to grab incense sticks in your mouth.
Cont
>>
>>5044920

Granny Monu rolls over in her sleep as you dig through her belongings to find them.

The heady fragrance of incense dulls your mind.

Sitting in the center of the golden lotus dais, you find its centered to be made of polished steel lined with silver. The air is heavy with Qi! Static runs along your fur, puffing it up as if you had just narrowly avoided being struck by lightning. Your fangs vibrate as you hastily light the sticks of incense and set them to burn around you as you sit on your hind knees and hold your front paws directly in front of you, stiff as boards.

Straightening your tail, you emptying your mind of all conscious thought and earthly desires. Slowly, cautiously, you begin to circulate your meager supply of Qi throughout your meridians, moving it from one channel to another and running it through the entirety of each. Starting, of course with the Governing vessel and then the Conception Vessel before branching outwards. Then, you circulate through all meridians simultaneously, never slowly or pausing the flow of qi as it passes through your form like water down a stream.

You can feel your stamina replenishing, Internal energy strengthening as the what little Qi you gathered on the Journey here is refined and purified before being added to your cultivation base. Breathing out, you steel yourself and harden your will, hesitating as you wonder if your meridians have been strengthened enough to draw in and absorb the potent Qi that suffices this house of the dead and forgotten.

It is thick with Yin Qi, and the Qi of Metal.

Pausing to draw another breath to your lungs chilled by the grave air surrounding you, you clench your jaw and furrow your brow.

And pull the dense Qi surrounding you into your body.

At first, it is agony. Blades splitting flesh, spears piercing muscle. Maces shattering bone. Lightning coursing through your veins. The chill of death crawls into your marrow as your perceptions slow to a crawl. You become nauseous. It feels as if your brain is softening while your body is destroyed by some vast cosmic forces.

And then, something within your clicks into place and all pain fades away, leaving the chill of metal to flow into your meridians and settle into your Dantian as you find it remarkably easy to refine and integrate into your cultivation base. Of course! Granny Monu taught you that every existence is natural aligned to one of the five elements! Either you are like granny herself, and naturally inclined towards water. Or you are instead of a metal nature!

The toad witch did say your spiritual roots appeared to have a special, unusual quality to them she was unable to ascertain with her weak eyes. Perhaps this is what she meant?

Or perhaps you are wrong and this is just the sensation of denser and purer Qi! Whichever theory is correct, the sensation is incredibly empowering! You are so energized you feel you could run the length of the world twice before Monu wakes up!.
Cont
>>
>>5044922

And then you stop. Content with the Qi you have gathered, which has more than doubled your current reserves but has not yet come close to filling your cup.

You remember Grandmother Monu's warnings of building a poor foundation, and though you are still merely in the beginning of your Qi Condensation stage, your cultivation remains crude and unrefined. You have no guiding principle. Every cultivator follows one or more Laws, that embody aspects of the universal Dao, and from these divine the path and guidelines of their cultivation. Without a concrete method, a binding concept to coalesce your cultivation around, you would be as a blind, limbless infant.

Presently, your technique was colorless, undefined. And would only become trash and a pitiful shadow of its true potential. Like most other magical and demonic beasts. Wasted potential leads only to a pitiful death and early grave. No, you would be different

You would follow a proper law, train and perfect its technique and grow the seeds of potential the toad witch saw within you into a mighty tree of power and might!

But there's one problem. You can't join a sect, and even if they were willing to sell their mysteries, you doubt you could afford even the most pathetic of manuals.

This is a troublesome impasse you have met in your cultivation.

Ending your meditation, you see Granny Monu observing your progress with a stern look in her eye, which softens as a beaming smile filled with pride graces her age worn features. She must have been watching you, testing to see if you hastily chased after empty progress and hollow power or if you would make the realization you did and pause.

How will you find a law/ technique to cultivate with, Huānliúxuè?

>Humbly approach your teacher, and request to be taught one of the laws of her old sect. An effortless solution for your self imposed bottleneck

>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!

>Court death, and find a foolish low level cultivator or unguarded Sect nearby and steal their manuals! Bold, and probably not the soundest of strategies.

>Decide to approach this obstacle in the way of further cultivation later, and devout your energy and attention to other training

>Write in
>>
>>5044923
>You will study the ways of the ghosts! Though their power pales to what they could do in life, their methods remain the same. Though they lost to the gods, still can you use them to disguise your identity as a beast.
>Should that be lacking, you can explore deeper in search of manuals among the dead, or supplement with your teacher's advice.
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!
Might as well try, worst case scenario we can try something else.
>>
>>5044467
>Begin your real training and cultivation in earnest and early, using all you've been taught to perform the various exercises alone [Bonus to your next training or cultivation roll]

>Create a more proper shelter for yourself and Granny Monu, fortifying the entrance and path to the catacombs [Improves your sanctuary's defenses and lessens the chances of it being found]
>>
>>5044955
An update late friend.
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!

ignore earlier slowpoke vote lol. I'm not sure the ways of the sects are even fitting to us, what with us being a cat and everything.
>>
>>5044923

>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!

>>5044927 isn't a bad idea though, if we can figure out how to strike a rapport with the local ghosts.
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!


>>5044962
agreed, laws designed for humans are surely incompatible with us, ask granny for inspiration but do not blindly follow. She knows about teaching magical beasts cultivation after all.
Clearly we need an opposable thumbs technique which no human would ever conceive of needing, just as we have no need for a "see in the dark like a cat" technique.
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!
>>
>>5044923
>Court death, and find a foolish low level cultivator or unguarded Sect nearby and steal their manuals! Bold, and probably not the soundest of strategies.
>>
>>5044923
>Ask granny how she set about teaching her daughter
Additionally is granny actually a toad who has achieved humanity or just looks toad like?
>>5044979
I mean, it is not as though we can court death anymore by making up a Law than we already are by being a cat
>>
>>5045116
>Additionally is granny actually a toad who has achieved humanity or just looks toad like?
She's probably human, she was a member of a sect before being crippled for raising an awakened fox as her daugher.
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!
>>
>>5045128
Yeah, though the way she spoke of how humans eating beast cores I thought she was implying that she was not entirely human, though maybe I read too much into it
>>
>>5045177
She's just bitter because they are hypocrites that killed her adopted daughter.
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!
>>
>>5044923
>Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend
In hushed tones shall they sing of the way of Huānliúxuè, a law into herself and a life that makes its own meaning! She shall not be denied!
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

You will study the ways of the ghosts!: 1

Undertake the difficult task of pioneering a law! If you are the prodigy Monu claims you are, establishing your own path of cultivation should be simple! And should you complete and perfect it, your name is surely to become as legend!: 10

Court death, and find a foolish low level cultivator or unguarded Sect nearby and steal their manuals! Bold, and probably not the soundest of strategies.: 1

Ask granny how she set about teaching her daughter: 1

So You will make your own technique/ Law of cultivation! Stepping outside the boundaries of the orthodox to find your own, unique path!

Meaning that your opponents will have no idea what to expect! But having no resources besides your own intuition and instincts.

Update will arrive shortly!
>>
"Wisdom beyond your age is a blessing greater than all of the treasures of heaven" Monu cackles, smoking rising from her lips as she taps her pipe upon her knee as you step from the lotus pedestal and pace closer to her "Self control and discipline are virtues every cultivator should seek to both embody and master, otherwise they invite tragedy into their lives and catastrophe into their future! To begin a journey without a map, one is certain to become lost. The first real trial you have faced, you have passed magnificently"

"The praise of my teacher is a greater treasure yet" You answer cheekily, smiling joyfully as you return the witch's grin in kind "But my decision is one even a fool could make. It would be more difficult to see my nose than it was to realize the folly of cultivating without technique. Talent is useless if one does not train their skill, like painting without passion. I'd be unworthy of being your student if I was simple minded enough to proceed without focusing my efforts and refining them upon some sliver of comprehension of the Dao"

You flick your tail and bow your head, eyes narrowed like a viper's. Incense smoke clings to your fur, its aroma muddling your sense of smell as you sit before your mentor, who nods in approval of your words after seeing the wisdom within them.

"I'd be unworthy of being your teacher if I allowed you to make such a terrible folly" She replies simply, replacing the end of her pipe in her lips, wrapping her bloated tongue around it as she presses her knuckles to her chin in deep thought "However, I doubt the fading memories of the techniques I achieved would be worthwhile for you, nor would the unfinished practice I had designed for my daughter align with your character, ambitions or body. The way of life of a fox and cat, while similar at first glance, are as different as heaven and earth, after all"

"I already realized that the techniques used by men would be worthless to a cat!" You say, lifting your head up high as you curl your tail around your hind quarters "And would not be so pitiful as to accept a gift intended for another! Besides I'm a prodigy aren't I? Even if I was a young fox or human girl, there'd be little reason for me to follow the footsteps of those who came before me! I, Huanliuxue, have a greater destiny than mimicking others and attempting to take their glory as my own"

Haughty laughter passes your lips, as you flick your tail back and forth like a reed in the wind, snickering as Granny Monu grins with a mixture of delight and boundless pride.

"Oh if my snow white was alive to meet you, I am sure she would have accepted you as her little sister! Such bravado! Such conviction! it reminds me of my youth!" Granny Monu exclaims, sticking her oversized tongue out until it falls past her chin as her eye narrows and practically begins to glow with excitement "Damn orthodoxy! Damn the laws of the heavens! Dictate your own path!"
Cont
>>
>>5045529

"Follow only the commands of your heart, the laws of your spirit! To make one's own way in the world is a far more respectable choice than listening to what old coots and stagnant schools have to teach! The cultivation is meant to break the boundaries between heaven and earth! Yet its adherents have bound themselves in codes and laws" She sneers, before rolling her tongue back into her mouth

"Precisely! From your words they fear true progress and dread the power that could be achieved beyond the walls of rules and edicts they have erected around themselves!" You proclaim confidently, puffing your chest out and tapping a paw on the temple's floor "and if I am to be their prey, it would be shrewd of me to grasp for techniques unknown to them! Power they cannot or will not comprehend! To become a beast whose movements and tactics cannot be anticipated!"

"A prudent strategy, the unexpected cannot be easily countered or maneuvered around, let alone circumvented as many orthodox laws of cultivation easily are" Your teacher cackles, as if she's become intoxicated by the sheer wild ambition of your decision to pioneer your own, unique law.

"And so, should I find success in this endeavor beyond the accepted boundaries of cultivation, my name will become a legend not only in the mortal realm, but in the world of cultivation and even the heavens as well!" You exclaim, caught up in the witch's excitement "Though I have no delusions that this will be a labor easily finished, the road I have chosen will be frought with difficult and peril. Hoooowever"

You flick your tail

"That just makes it all the more exciting doesn't it" You cackle, closing your eyes as your teacher adds her laughter to your own.

When the two of you regain your composure and tranquility, there is little more to be said. You've made up your mind and decided your stance. All that is left to be down, is to find the beginning of the technique born from your own heart.

"I will only interfere if requested to, take as much time as you need searching for enlightenment and inspiration" Granny Monu says sweetly, patting your head as she totters back to the hut you built to prepare herself breakfast, Congee with preserved fish and dried pork judging from the smell lingering in the catacombs entrance "I will not judge the answers you find, nor the path you choose to follow. For, what would an old fool like myself know of a prodigy's judgement"

"You are no fool, grandmother, you are simply the victim of fools" You answer solemnly, eliciting a honest smile from the crone.

She enters the hut, and leaves you alone outside of it to ponder your options and consider what may produce worthwhile results. You must approach the basis of your yet unformed law methodically and carefully, seeking to hastily complete its foundation or carelessly choosing its dominant concept and inspiration would only lead you towards disaster.
Cont
>>
>>5045532

And having some brat take your beast core to fuel their own cultivation.

A fate you utterly refuse to even consider accepting.

So, you meditate on these thoughts for awhile, separating useful ideas from the worthless ones and organizing them before repeating the process again until the only avenues left for you to pick between are far more likely to achieve actual results than the vast collection of half baked and meek concepts, ideas and inspirations that had filled your mind before.

And all of them come from the depths of your soul, born of your natural wisdom, lifestyle and instincts. Whispers of illuminated knowledge and enlightenment, hints of deeper mysteries of the world. Mysteries that draw you to them like a moth to the flame, that entice and mystify you at a primal, instinctual level.

What will you construct your self trained techniques around, Huānliúxuè?

>Ghosts and Grudges. The catacombs are overflowing with Yin Qi! And the spirits of the dead are the source! Through studying and exploiting them, your law will find its roots and begin to flourish!

>Blood and Slaughter! The freshly spilt blood of your victims was the beginning of your cultivation. By gathering and refining the life essence of others, the foundation of your law will be laid!

>Breath and Fortune! Cats are often said to steal the breath of infants or the dying, yet are often said to bring good fortune! upon this contradiction, your law will be built!

>Control and Lesser beasts! You are royalty of the wilds! All lesser creatures should bow in your presence! Make your law based upon this imagined nobility and privledge!

>Write in
>>
>>5045534
>Breath and Fortune! Cats are often said to steal the breath of infants or the dying, yet are often said to bring good fortune! upon this contradiction, your law will be built!
>>
>>5045534
No contest
>Ghosts and Grudges. The catacombs are overflowing with Yin Qi! And the spirits of the dead are the source! Through studying and exploiting them, your law will find its roots and begin to flourish!
>>
>>5045534

>Ghosts and Grudges. The catacombs are overflowing with Yin Qi! And the spirits of the dead are the source! Through studying and exploiting them, your law will find its roots and begin to flourish!

Not gonna lie, Breath and Fortune is also a very tempting option, but I think this works the best with our location and origin.
>>
>>5045534
>Ghosts and grudges.

We can work in stealing the last gasp of our foes, but it is ultimately grudges and the spirits of our friends that guides us.
>>
>>5045534
>Ghosts and Grudges. The catacombs are overflowing with Yin Qi! And the spirits of the dead are the source! Through studying and exploiting them, your law will find its roots and begin to flourish!
I am tempted to vote for blood & slaughter, but Grudges are our real wheelhouse.
>>
>>5045534
>Ghosts and Grudges. The catacombs are overflowing with Yin Qi! And the spirits of the dead are the source! Through studying and exploiting them, your law will find its roots and begin to flourish!
Breath and Fortune are ultimately constructions of human culture, and would restrict the cat to human perception.

>Find the differences between Grudges sated and unfulfilled
We might have to check out peaceful graves as well
>>
>>5045534
>Ghosts and Grudges. The catacombs are overflowing with Yin Qi! And the spirits of the dead are the source! Through studying and exploiting them, your law will find its roots and begin to flourish!
>>
>>5045560
Seconded for the write in, if only because I very much like how this wise senior thinks
>>
>>5045560
I'd argue a normal cat has more of a concept of "Breath" than it has of "Grudge" or "Ghost". It's only because we were imparted with grudges that a cat would otherwise never have, that we have awakened. Still justifies a vote for grudges best though, especially considering the locale.
>>
>>5045560
I will back this. If we in a different location I would choose Breath and Fortune instead. Alas we are ultimately a creature born from grudges of the dead innocence in a graveyard full of ghosts and grudges. Not to mention cultivators are notorious assholes who will slaughter entire clans for the most petty of reasons just because someone pissed them off one time. Being able to tap into the grudges of the dead that they slaughtered is no joke against their perpetrators and would fit.
>>
>>5045560
Also supporting the write in.
>>
>>5045571
>I'd argue a normal cat has more of a concept of "Breath" than it has of "Grudge" or "Ghost"
Cats are one of the few living animals that hold grudges. And are prone to staring at seemingly nothing, which less enlightened societies have taken to be staring at ghosts. Hence
>>5045534
>>Ghosts and Grudges. The catacombs are overflowing with Yin Qi! And the spirits of the dead are the source! Through studying and exploiting them, your law will find its roots and begin to flourish!
Also supporting
>>5045560
>Find the differences between Grudges sated and unfulfilled
This may amount to talking to a wall; but people have done more for far less.
>>
>>5045692
>people have done more for far less.
uhh what? I'm just maintaining the separation between the grudge of ghosts to the cat's own grudges, which will go a long way to staying sane.
>>
>>5045534
>>5045560
+1
>>
>>5045534
>Blood and Slaughter! The freshly spilt blood of your victims was the beginning of your cultivation. By gathering and refining the life essence of others, the foundation of your law will be laid!
>>
>>5045534
Supporting >>5045560
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Breath and Fortune:1

Ghosts and Grudges:10
-Find the differences between Grudges sated and unfulfilled: 6

Blood and Slaughter: 1

So, Your self made law will focus/ be built around ghosts and grudges.

And you will also find the difference between grudges sated and those unfulfilled.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
And, through the shroud of your mind's night, you spot an ember still smoldering though the fire it had once was has burned away and left little more than ash in its wake, to fertilize the new found clarity and purpose of your life. Yet the ember still burns, despite having fulfilled its purpose of fire and being usurped by a new, much grander conviction.

The grudge that gave to you your knew life and intelligence, the hatred that turned the notched eared cat into Huanliuxue. Your origin, your original purpose. The seed of your existence. It still remains by your side like an old friend, whose own road in life has parted from your own. By devouring Ling Meng, ending the murderer's life, it has served its purpose and retired to the darkest corner of your soul. Yet you cannot abandon it without abandoning yourself. Returning to the force, the emotion of your birth reveals to you your path. Through a single revelation that gently enters your mind as if it were returning home.

Currently, you are among peers. Granny Monu, and the ancient ghosts lurking just beyond the demon's head gate, are like you were the days, weeks and months after your rebirth! Their existence in life and death are dominated by their grudges. They hang in the air and in their eyes like the blackest of curses. And yet, is it not natural to scorn those who wrong you? to seek to harm those who harm you? Resentment is as natural as any other feeling. But when the embers of ill will burn brightly enough to form an honest, deadly grudge one can surpasses their limits in their pursuit of revenge and justice. Those who fear such things would name such energy malevolent, but you know it to be a source of great power and terrible resolve. So mighty is the force of a properly cultivated grudge, that its subject could only believe it to be the manifestation of a thousand curses. The ember within you flickers, as the taste of Ling Meng's entrails fills your mouth.

And then, a second revelation strikes you! This one like a bolt of lightning crashing to earth! So sudden it pulls you from your meditation to gasp in shock as your eyes open, a little wiser than before. Ghosts! That's it! Ghosts and Grudges! The two concepts are so closely intertwined it is as if they were lovers! Ghosts often linger in the world of the living due to unfulfilled grudges seeking to see them done, and successful or failed grudges both often create more ghosts! Its a cycle! A self fueling cycle! Like a fire that feeds upon itself, or water that turns to ice without depleting!

And there are thousands upon thousands of ghosts just beyond the gate across the chasm in the temple! Your tail flicks, as your fangs peak beneath a most wicked smile. To harness the power of grudges and spirits, that shall be the basis of your self taught technique! One aligned innately with your existence. Drawn from the very core of your being!
Cont
>>
>>5045956

The road of cultivation is riddled with corpses, if one could only tap into the dreadful potency of their dying curses , they would become unrivaled under the heaven. Like with your caretakers, the grudges of the departed and living alike shall become your spear and shield. And ghosts, wicked spirits, Hah! they will become a source and inspiration of your power as well. If cultivators can bind magical beasts to their wills as familiars, then a demonic beast shall leash the souls of men to themselves or else take from them their Yin!

You shake your head, driving away such idle, worthless fantasies. To envision techniques which have left to be formed is foolish! While you are certain you can harness grudges and ghosts alike, you have no idea how effective such methods will prove to be or the abilities they will allow you to cultivate. However, you are certain of one thing.

You feel both kinship and pity for the ranks of the forgotten king's legions. Unlike you, they were unable to carry out their dying wishes of vengeance and curses of retribution. Unlike you, they were unable to free themselves from their grudges nor release their compatriots from their cruel fate beneath the grave dug for them by a god.

And it is there, a third revelation strikes you, like a knife sliding between your ribs. It is more subtle than the first two, a warning rather than wisdom gleamed through self reflection. The empathy and bond you feel for these ghostly soldiers is dangerous, your nature as a grudge born demon will leave your mind open to being influenced by the grudges of others, be they held by the living or the dead. While a yearning for vengeance or justice can lead a mouse to slay a lion, it also invites madness. If you are not careful, you may be driven back to an existence dominated by a hunger for retribution, carrying out the grudges of others.

A grudge sated is very different from one that still burns brightly. A sated grudge brings peace and clarity to the mind, while one unfulfilled brings turmoil and madness. Perhaps, should your studies and trainings upon ghosts and grudges prove fruitful, you can poison your enemies with the corroding turmoil a grudge inflicts upon it's hosts mind?

You shake your head again. More idle fantasy, keeping your mind from wandering away in its excitement is proving difficult. Taking a long, ponderous breath, you practice your breathing exercises to achieve a serene state of mind and clear it of all distractions.

An unguarded mind is a grievous weakness, especially when dealing with ghosts. And you intend to study and learn how to exploit scores of them and the grudges they hold.

"Granny, my training will take me into the lower tombs. I will return by morning each day, while I test my yet unrealized technique amongst the dead" You state with a wave of your paw
Cont
>>
>>5045959

"A graveyard dwelling cultivator? How wicked the world will see you now. However, has it not already condemned you for being born of the grudges of innocent lives unfairly ended?" Granny Monu muses as she peeks her head out of the door of your witch's hut "what do you hope to find among the dead?"

"Graves, crypts and tombs are all rich in the resources required for my imagined law" You reply coyly and with smirk "Why, I hope to find the dead and the grudges they still hold"

"How wicked, how truly wicked a student I have taken under my wing" Your teacher teases, waving a ladle through the air "But, a clever one as well. From a grudge you came, and so from the grudges of others you will refine yourself. Shall I prepare a portion for you for dinner, or do you intend to eat the ghosts beneath"

You frown. They are rich in Yin Energy. Drawing or siphoning it from them would be prudent, but would refining them into Raw Yin Qi entirely be more effective? Surely the world would name you a villain more nefarious than any other if you began to eat the souls of men as well as their flesh.

"I intend to study and find ways to exploit them" You answer, avoiding the question "Perhaps I shall make them my underlings, perhaps I shall seek to emulate them. Perhaps, I will find a balance upon the boundary between life and death, cats have peerless balance after all"

Granny Monu twirls her ladle, before nodding once.

"I see, I see" She mutters "Well, a prodigy is sure to find the answers they seek. I am certain you will discover a method worthy of being immortalized in manuals and praised by all who have eyes to see mount tai!"

And with that, she returns to her cooking, humming a lullaby as you race away from the hut and toward the demon's head gate. With an elegant leap, you clear the chasm cutting it off from the rest of the temple and slip through the hole in the sealed door.

Some of the talismans have been torn away or soaked through, and the air is frigid. A shudder races down your back as you glance up and see the back of the gate is covered in deep gouges and grooves. The dead have been trying to escape for centuries. Just thinking about it is unsettling. Clenching your jaw, you step forward, seeing a pile of moldering bones still dressed in their armor.

You freeze, as a pale blue flame flickers to life in their empty sockets. A few of them rattle as if struggling to rise.

"Free us. Free us. Release us" They moan as you watch the most complete of them grasp out to touch you before falling apart.

"Curse the gods, curse the king" The now decapitated skull wails "Curse life itself, and the heavens"

You trot away, heart racing as you keep your head down to avoid drawing unnecessary attention and almost immediatly stumble upon the phantom of a ghost swinging its axe into a pillar, chipping the marbled stone with its dull axe
Cont
>>
>>5045961

"SHIT! SHIT!" He screams "I'll take their heads! I'll butcher their families! How dare they condemn me to such an existence! I will be free! I will have justice"

Unlike the corpse bound spirits nearer at the threshold of the gate, this spirit could actually pose a thread. His head turns at an unnatural angle, snapping his neck as you see the wound that ended his life. His head and the helmet upon it was caved in by a falling stone.

"A demon? A spirit?" He hisses, before a grim smile curls across his pale blue lips "How curious! I sense a killer in you! A malevolent air surrounds you! though you are living, you and I are the same! hah! As a general of the great northern army, I welcome you as a guest! For you can be no friend of heaven, with a body like that Hrrrk!"

He howls with laughter before suddenly his neck snaps into place and his face contorts with an all to familiar rage.

"FUCKERS! The gods can lick my ass!" He screams as he returns to pointlessly hacking away at the stone pillar "I was destined for great things dammit! Now my lines is ended! Ended by the whims of a shit eating god!"

Is this what you were like before? How scary. You tilt your head and watch the Broken Skull general tantrum and rampage around the tomb, kicking the bones of his compatriots and slamming his fists into their tombs while screaming like a wild animal.

"Will avenge myself!' He bellows, raising his axe into the air "I will have justice for my death!"

"haaah? How'd a cat end up here?" A elderly ghosts asks, pulling at the mists of its beards "How straaange"

Another, snarling leaps to tear at your throat. You flee deeper into the tombs to escape the feral spirits, as dozens others rises from their tombs and stand at attention. Luckily, a regiment blaming each other for their demise begins to brawl, rip and tearing at each other and distract the mindless wraith long enough for you to slip away.

Sighing, you peek out, and see a group of officers drawing a map in the dust, giggling madly as they direct beetles like soldiers.

"This is going to be more troublesome than anticipated" You hiss, flicking your tail to clean it of grave dust.

The first night you familiarize yourself with the layout of the initial layers of tombs and passageways, mapping them out to find your way through and out of them. You meet with a few familiar phantoms in the days that follow, as you watch and study the "Lives" of the ghosts.

The Broken Skull General, the unconcerned geezer, the beetle officers, the wild regiment, and of course the feral specter, who you avoid by tossing animal bones near its haunting places. Watching the dead, you begin to understand them, and through your spiritual senses find that you can vaguely see their grudges manifest as clouds of black miasma when you focus intently upon them.
cont
>>
>>5045963

The rampaging general, who you have learned calls himself Xióngjī (雄鸡, Rooster) as he has forgotten his name and thinks the blood on his head resembles a rooster's comb.

Of course, it takes you several meetings to learn this, as he has little thoughts besides his seething grudge for seemingly everything beneath the sky. Particularly the gods, their followers and the king he served.

Who you learn still holds court in the lowest depths of the catacombs. And is no longer human in any sense. A chilling description of the man struck down by the heavens themselves. The Unconcerned General doesn't have a name for himself, the beetle officers are senseless drooling simpletons, and the regiment will not cease brawling long enough to hold a conversation with you.

After the first few, initial days of observing the ghosts and wandering the graves nearest to the demon's head gate, you travel lower into the catacombs, following the grudges of the dead as you go.

It is a week after that, that in the dark, you dare to try and absorb the Yin Qi heavy within the tombs. And to your surprise find that doing so soothes the ghosts you draw it from momentarily, bringing them a sense of transient peace while you absorb their spiritual energy.

A curious discovery, and a useful one. Using this knowledge, you are able to study the maddened spirits more intimately while cultivating upon the energies of death festering in the halls beyond the gate. And through this diligent study and the conversations you have with the dead soldiers, you knowledge of death increases. Turns out, speaking to ghosts of their tortured state of existence is an excellent way to learn of one of the most mysterious forces in life!

By time you've become comfortable and confident in traveling to the third layer of tombs, and take to meditating and refining your Qi amongst the dead and their graves, you find you are able to draw on not only on the Yin of the ghosts but their grudges as well.

Breathing in and swallowing the miasma reignites the grudge within you, but you subdue it once more with meditation.

These two discoveries prove to you that making a law based on grudges and ghosts, can be achieved. And so, you can begin forming it in earnest.

Now that you are certain this method has merit, what is your first step in forming your technique, Huānliúxuè?

>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results )

>Form your own martial style, inspired by the ethereal, floating movements of the ghosts (Martial trial. +10 from practice DC 60)

>Learn how to control grudge energy and use it to curse and bewitch living victims (Magic trial. +10 from practice. DC 60)

>Devour the weakest ghosts! [Extreme bad karma]

>Write in
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results )
Then we can get ourselves checked by granny for lingering side effects
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results )
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results )

While I'm not a proponent of active hunting and eating, I don't think we should flee the ghosts either. Next time this feral bitch comes at us, we should eat it to establish dominance.
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results)
Foundation before technique
>>
>>5045964
>Form your own martial style, inspired by the ethereal, floating movements of the ghosts (Martial trial. +10 from practice DC 60)
>>5045997
What are the martial arts, if not the foundation of comprehension in both mind and body? I feel a meditation on the ghostliness of ghosts is warranted to determine their, spirit, if you will
>>
>>5045964
>Form your own martial style, inspired by the ethereal, floating movements of the ghosts (Martial trial. +10 from practice DC 60)
>>
>>5045964
>Form your own martial style, inspired by the ethereal, floating movements of the ghosts (Martial trial. +10 from practice DC 60)
Can't very well fend off a cultivator by breathing on him. Or can we?
>>
>>5046034
Way I see it, we're different from human cultivators who start of weak and flimsy. We already are a killing machine by mortal standards, what we are lacking is cultivation. I agree though that martial arts should remain high on our agenda as soon as we have a solid base to build on.
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits

I prefer this first, so we can get the most use out of that +10
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results )
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results )
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results )
>>
>>5045964
>Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way (Cultivation trial. +10 from practice. Higher number = More progress/ results )
Why do we need a martial style if we can't even enter a tavern to meet a rude young master to teach humility?
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Calm the spirits by taking their excess Yin energy and devouring their grudges, cultivating in your own strange new way: 10

Form your own martial style, inspired by the ethereal, floating movements of the ghosts (DC 60): 3

So you will begin the formation of your law with its cultivation method, practicing it to see its effects and of course start cultivating your yet unformed/ named law to see the shape it will begin to take by constructing its most basic and important pillar.

Roll will be after the update, which will arrive shortly

>>5046421
As is the primary purpose for martial arts.
>>
Of course you begin by laying the foundations of your yet formless technique, by seeking to both improve and refine its method of cultivation. As your sanctuary and the catacombs further beneath it are replete with dense Qi of both Raw Yin and Metal, as well as other resources you believe will be necessary to the formation of the unformed law's cultivation practices, it is prudent to begin with this first step before devising martial arts, spells, and other skills to accompany the infantile law. Once you have progressed enough to be confident in the framework of your self taught technique, you can begin experimenting with ways with which to express and utilize the unique forces it draws its power from.

After all, you have yet to advance beyond the initial stage of cultivation, the beginning of Qi Condensation, though you have progressed through your daily rituals and experimentation with the ghosts and miasma of their grudges. Ghosts who have no become used to your presence and the mysterious comfort it brings to their otherwise tortured existence. When you walks admits the grave's beyond the demon's head gate, most of the trapped souls greet you cordially or otherwise ignore your presence. However the moment you begin to cultivate upon the potent Yin from which they are all formed, they flock and gather around you almost instinctively. As if they were pensioners at a temple's shrine, begging its resident god to answer their prayers and ease the suffering of their lives. A few, like Xiongji, stand at attention by your sides almost as if they have become your personal guards, while others prostrate and kneel before you. The weakest appears as balls of ghostfire, hanging and circling you in increasingly complex arrays as you expand your knowledge of this new and strange method of cultivation.

You must appear as the queen of the damned and lost, sat upon her thrown of bones and grave markers, surrounded by burnt out incense and offerings of relics taken from the hands of the dead. Adopting the Lotus position as well as any feline body can, you ponder the road you now follow that has been walked by no other. In a way, this method of cultivation is similar to Closed door training as besides the company of ghosts its practioner would find themselves alone among the graves and corpses. And when they begin refining the Qi they absorb from the local flock of ghosts and their earthly remains, they become attuned to death itself. And when they breath in, drinking deep of the spiteful miasma that hangs around the vengeful spirits they herd, they dye their cultivation base and Internal energy with the potent force derived from their dying curses.

In your secluded, graveside meditation, you lose all perception of time and the material world. At times it feels as though you to have become an incorporeal spirit, at times your sense of identity muddles with that of the dead before you reclaim your sense of self and individuality.
Cont
>>
>>5046537

Their grudges flare, grow, wither and are quieted within the crucible of your mind as you shepherd them through your body to refine them in the core of your being. The catacombs become both your spiritual retreat and garden, as you sooth the agonies of the ghosts by siphoning away their excess Yin energy, while breathing their grudges as if it were air. In this silent audience between the living and dead, you begin to sup upon the vital breath of death and enmity alike.

And you refine it within your meridians, enduring the stillness and chill of the grave as it begins to radiate from and crawl into you from every pore. As the essence of death and despair fills your three dantians, you achieve the tranquility of death while still living.

For days, you sit in a state of ceaseless meditation and cultivation, surrounded by the souls of the dead and the dark clouds of the grudges they carried from life into death. Stillness, negativity, darkness, destruction, softness and a thousand other sensations.

You can feel your essence transfigure as it becomes dominate by and aligned to Yin. The end of the first week of your seclusion in the catacombs comes to a close, while to your perceptions only enough time has passed for an incense stick to burn....

Roll 1d100. Best out of three. Add 10 to the final result
>>
Rolled 3 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5046538
>>
Rolled 27 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5046550
good job retard, here's how a real heaven chosen prodigy does it
>>
Rolled 33 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5046538


>>5046550
DAMNIT ANON!
>>
End result, 43. Moderate progress. Not stalled but you have also not advanced by Leaps and Bounds.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Rolled 56 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5046538
>>
>>5046563
fuck
>>
You open your eyes, and stretch out yawning as you consider your gains and progress of this inital period of cultivation and internal refinement! You've made noticeable progress and improvements in your form and technique. The Qi of Death suffices your body and fills your meridian. The ghosts, in a gaze, begin to depart from your company to return to their territories to continue their centuries long interment beneath the god forged mountain. Xiongji and the Nameless old man remain at your side, basking in the tranquility your cultivation brings to their otherwise pitiful and meaningless afterlives, if their haunting of this crypt could even be called as such.

Leaping from the tomb you've taken as your altar, you take the time to more intimately examine the results of your cultivation. Your body feels lighter, more graceful and ethereal seeming than any ordinary cat. The cold no longer bothers you and lingers in your flesh or within your bones. It would seem you've achieved a variation of the Lightness skill, Qinggong! one of the basic fundamentals of martial arts and cultivation alike! However the variation you have acquired through a week of meditation is different from how Granny Monu described Qinggong. When you utilize it, it does not feel as though your body is becoming lighter, but rather is becoming less corporeal and substantial, as if you are turning somewhat ghostly while remaining flesh and blood. With a little practice, you find you can, with great concentration, clumsily plod through the air like a feather in the wind. With a little more practice, you are certain you can move as agilely in the air as you do on the ground, or as naturally as a spirit would. What an incredible skill! Who can be certain how it will develop as your cultivation progresses and your talent improves! For now, you will refer to this unique variation of Qinggong as the "Specter Lightness skill" [幽灵-轻工, Yōulíng-Qīnggōng]

While you are intrigued by the alteration of your internal energy, you are more curious and excited to find the other skills and innate improvements your progress may produced. With a little concentration and focused effort, you find that manifest spiritual energy is now much easier than it was before. And that the unaltered essence of the forces you summon forth from the Qi circulating in your meridians has been transformed! Rather than an undefined ball or veil of pale, uncolored light, it is now manifests as a shroud of shadows or a sphere of condensed darkness surrounding pale silver moonlight. It's top trails with smoke like the feeblest of ghost do while in the shape of free floating fire. How curious, it would seem that cultivating upon Yin Qi and Death has altered the simplest expression of your own internal energy! With a little more concentration and expenditure of Qi, you are able to alter the spiritual energy to align it with Metal, crackling arcs of lightning emerging from within its core of moonlight.

Cont
>>
>>5046624

Testing the destructive potential of this transmuted energy, you throw it from your paw at the nearest wall and watch it erupt into a swirling storm of inky blackness, that is soon washed away by silver light as it collapses inwards and cracks the marble wall, breaking a hole through into another chamber. The ghost resting inside said chamber turns to a ball of fire and flies away with a shriek. Sighing, you realize just how exhausting such magic is in your current state. But, from what you have already learned from Granny Monu, you can use this energy to augment and empower your strikes as well, but that is but one of its many potential uses.

As you catch you breath, you find you are able to unleash the grudges you have gathered within yourself with your breath, creating a a thick cloud of materialized resentment. Another useful ability, once you figure out how to best use it and further refine it. Yawning again, you stretch the soreness out of your back and pause as you notice you're able to more clearly perceive the ghosts and their grudges without first focusing your spiritual sense. A great boon, considering how closely tied both are to your cultivation.

Satisfied with the results of your initial cultivation, you are certain you've achieved the next rank of the Qi Condensation stage. And, decide that as it is the first step take for your self made law, it deserves a epithet to signify this prestigious if minor milestone. While the technique itself will remain nameless, its first stage will be called "Entering the Ghost Courtyard" [入鬼院, Rùguǐyuàn]. A fitting name considering the practices of the forming law. Thus, the earliest foundations of your cultivation technique have been laid!

What is your next course of action, Huānliúxuè?

>Search the catacombs for cultivation materials, braving lower graves for rare resources and treasure and risking being assaulted by more "inhuman" hungry ghosts

>Practice your newly obtained skills and search for a worthy opponent to test them upon. A wandering martial artist or exorcist should provide a worthwhile challenge.

>Befriend the Ghost Xiongji, and claim the uppermost levels of the catacomb as your property, expanding your sanctuary into the land of the dead

>Ask Granny Monu for advice on how to progress further and refine your practice. It is natural for a student to seek the wisdom of their teacher, after all

>Write in
>>
>>5046626
>Ask Granny Monu for advice on how to progress further and refine your practice. It is natural for a student to seek the wisdom of their teacher, after all
It's important to check on her, she could kick the bucket after all
>>
>>5046626
>Ask Granny Monu for advice on how to progress further and refine your practice. It is natural for a student to seek the wisdom of their teacher, after all
Grandma is always helpful.
>>
>>5046626
>Advice first
When we have free time after
>Befriend a ghost and claim the upper.

Wait, wont granny become a ghost if she dies with the grudge unfulfilled?
>>
>>5046626
>Befriend the Ghost Xiongji, and claim the uppermost levels of the catacomb as your property, expanding your sanctuary into the land of the dead
>>
>>5046653
Probably

>>5046629
reading this makes me imagine Huanliuxue and Granny Monu recreating this scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DscJ5PFkZxQ
>>
Oh! just realized, that before I hit the hay I should explain that Qinggong and Energy materialization are basic cultivator abilities.

However, The variation of Qinggong Huanliuxue acquired, and the specialized Yin+Death Aligned Qi she possesses certainly are not and are unique to her (currently). As is her ability to absorb, store and release grudges.

The improved cold tolerance and "Ghost/ spirit sight" are more uncommon at the level of Qi Condensation.

Just figured I should explain that, since I realized it might be a little confusing.
>>
>>5046626
>Befriend the Ghost Xiongji, and claim the uppermost levels of the catacomb as your property, expanding your sanctuary into the land of the dead
>>
>>5046626
>Ask Granny Monu for advice on how to progress further and refine your practice. It is natural for a student to seek the wisdom of their teacher, after all

and also

>Form your own martial style, inspired by the ethereal, floating movements of the ghosts (Martial trial. +10 from practice DC 60)
>>
>>5046626
>Search the catacombs for cultivation materials, braving lower graves for rare resources and treasure and risking being assaulted by more "inhuman" hungry ghosts
>>
>>5046626
>Befriend the Ghost Xiongji, and claim the uppermost levels of the catacomb as your property, expanding your sanctuary into the land of the dead
>>
>>5046626
>Ask Granny Monu for advice on how to progress further and refine your practice. It is natural for a student to seek the wisdom of their teacher, after all
>Also, Show off.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

Ask Granny Monu for advice on how to progress further and refine your practice. It is natural for a student to seek the wisdom of their teacher, after all: 5

Befriend the Ghost Xiongji, and claim the uppermost levels of the catacomb as your property, expanding your sanctuary into the land of the dead: 4

Form your own martial style, inspired by the ethereal, floating movements of the ghosts (Martial trial): 1

Search the catacombs for cultivation materials, braving lower graves for rare resources and treasure and risking being assaulted by more "inhuman" hungry ghosts: 1

Show off: 1

So You will ask the toad witch for advice concerning the further development of your law.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
I think we also need a new name and appearance, 欢流血 and blood red fur don't really match our gig anymore. I'm thinking fur either pitch black or pale white and for the name maybe something like Si Ling 死灵 (death spirit)
>>
>>5047457
yeah, but consider: red on graveyard colors is much more striking
>>
how do you guys do the chinese names? did you consoom so much wuxia that you can just come up with these terms with the help of google or can you guys actually speak ching chong to some degree?
>>
>>5047484
Imagine the most elaborate and poetic way to describe someone. Then put it into a chinese translator.

Then we are all good.
>>
With the groundwork laid for your technique, you can truly begin to shape it now that there's a proper foundation that has thus far proved itself to be both effective and fruitful. And that is a more daunting undertaking than anything else you have endeavored to accomplish in this second short life. A single misstep, a series of follies, an error born from arrogance. There are many ways for the promising beginnings of your self taught law to become worthless trash unworthy of consideration, let alone respect. Hastily forming the arts, movements, skills and practices of this graveborn technique would cripple it. You need to have a solid grasp of the techniques final, completed form and your aspirations for both its capabilities and your own.

Flicking a trail of ghostly Qi on the tip of your tail, you trace the characters that spell the initial stage you have reached and named in the air, leaving a trail of grey fire and smoke that chills rather than warms. You sit amongst the bones and curses for sometime, pondering the various, near innumerable structures and configurations your infantile law could be molded into. The basics formations and insights you've achieved thus far appear to your perceptions to be rather mutable, showing that your technique could become anything from narrowly specialized and greatly focused upon one skill or attribute of itself, or well rounded and expansive to counter any obstacle in your way or the way of any future practioners of it.

Such deeply grave thoughts starts to ache your head, leaving a throbbing just behind your temple in the darkness of your skull. A drum beat urging you to choose a path and walk it. But, perhaps because you have become sufficed with Metal Qi as well as the energies of the deceased, rationality and intuition win out over the childish urge to throw all caution and consideration to the four winds and see what fortune the future holds without seeking to influence by your own hands...er paws.

Opening your eyes, you see Xiongji's axe embedded in a nearby statue's shoulder blade, and can hear the always rampaging spirit deeper in the catacombs, shaking its foundations with his roared curses and spiteful insults now that his rage his no longer quelled by your gentle exploitation of his essence. Flicking your tail again, you bow your head and tilt your ears.

"When a student is lost, they trust their teacher to find them" You muse as you pad through the hallways of tombs and crowds of phantoms, passing beneath the Demon's Head gate and returning to your sanctuary. It has changed slightly since you spent a week or so in isolated meditaiton and cultivation.

'Granny Monu had to keep herself busy somehow' You reflect, as you hop across the chasm with greater ease than before but more ponderously as you accidentally begin to float away when you only meant to slightly lighten your body.
cont
>>
>>5047547

When your feet touch the ground again, your tail has fluffed itself up from the harrowing experience of hanging above a cleft in the earth that may as well be so deep as to reach hell.

Monu, now dressed in the robes of a temple priestess, looks over to you and takes a break from her daily chore of sweeping the temple's grounds. Using her broom as a walking stick, she totters to you, taking small steps to maintain her balance.

"Ah, my disciple! I take it your return from the crypts means you've achieved a higher level of cultivation? Your aura certainly has grown and changed. It feels like I'm standing before a field of graves when I look towards you, the air around you is chilled by the breath of death" She praises, holding herself against her broom as you circle her, checking her health and well being with a few quick glances and gentle prods of your paw "Oh don't concern yourself with my health, I may be old, but the day I join your court as a new wellspring of Qi is still faraway"

"Don't be so grim, I would never treat my teacher so roughly" You say with an exaggerated pout "Though, the relationship I share with the ghosts is mutually beneficial rather than purely exploitative, I ease their suffering and they supply me with a wealth of Yin Qi and their delectable resentment"

"I thought it was odd you've looked fatter, though you should've become rail thin with how little you've been eating" Monu teases, pinching your cheek "Is that why your presence feels so familiarly bitter"

"I could eat your lifelong grudge, hag, see if that dulls your sharp tongue" You plainly reply with a swaying flick of your tail and hindquarters "I jest of course, I jest"

"It's too old to give away, It can only ferment or at last be sated" Granny replies to your joking offer, sorrowfully "But, I am certain you've returned from your meditation for a reason beyond exchanging jokes like blows with me while we tease each other like little girls"

"Perceptive as ever my revered teacher!" You shout merrily "I've reached an impasse in the development of my cultivation method and technique, and as you are my elder and far more experienced in both cultivation and life, I figured it prudent to seek your advice"

"Oh?" She grunts, scratching behind her ear with her mangled hand "An old witch such as myself is underserving of such high praise and respect from one as talented as yourself, my student. However it is wise for you to seek my guidance, Too many prodigies ruin their foundations trusting in their own natural capabilities more than they do the wisdom of their elders"

"Hah! I would never make such a folly! I am a different breed entirely than those naïve and scummy young masters!" You boast, puffing out your chest.

"In more ways than one" Monu cackles, tapping her broom's handle upon the ground five times "But let us join our intellects in overcoming this obstacle in the way of your progress. How can your practice be refined?"
Cont
>>
"I can think of many ways you can build upon the solid foundation you have already built for your cultivation, how to both improve upon the base itself and expand its repertoire of techniques, skills and arts". A grin spreads across her age worn face, making new wrinkles and deepening the ones that were already present

"The enlighten me with the peerless wisdom of age, my peerless teacher" You say eagerly, returning her grin with your own "How do you suggest I hone my technique, How do you advise I approach its development? Your comprehension of the Dao is far greater than my own, I hold your knowledge and counsel with complete confidence, and cherish it more than any jade"

Monu's cheeks flush a pink similar in hue to the fur that runs along your belly. She turns away bashfully as if she were a maiden a mere faction of her age.

"You've centered your incomplete law around Ghosts and Grudges, have you not, Huanliuxue?" She says, wagging a finger before her empty eye socket "You've obtained a greater comprehension of death and resentment then? A broader understanding of the shared fate that awaits all things that live, and the strongest and perhaps darkest emotion that can grow in the hearts of men. These are the fragments Dao you will follow and grasp for"

You nod, though you already knew what she tells you intuitively, as you can sense she is merely preparing your mind to receive the revelation she believes will inspire you to reach further heights in both cultivation and the development of your self taught method.

"And thus, they become your path" She says, clapping her whole hand and her mangled hand together "Focus on the attributes of ghosts and grudges, and how they can be applied to not only cultivation, but your everyday life!. Embody death and resentment! Become as the ghosts who attend you. From instinct to ambition, engrave enlightenment into yourself, down to the very marrow of your bones! This law will become your life, you cannot passively practice it, or meekly approach it! You must embody it! Become of its earthly incarnation."

You are stunned to silence, as you process Granny Monu's lesson and come to comprehend its truth! Your mind is filled with wisdom and divine insights, revealing the answers you sought, the once muddy waters made pure as you are able to more clearly perceive the potential advancement and maturation of your technique as instantly as a flash of lightning. You move to bow to Monu and thank her for illuminating your path.

But she shrugs her shoulders and laughs before you can even begin the motion.

"Though what that means, only you can know! A worm cannot teach a sparrow how to fly, This method is unique to you, so all I can give is broad advice" She cackles, shaking her head as she returns to her cleaning "What embodying the nature of phantoms and grudges alike means, is for you alone to comprehend. The revelation of resentment, the insights of death, are for you alone to conceptualize and grasp"
Cont
>>
>>5047552


"Your humility is as boundless as your genius, Granny Monu" You state solemnly, bowing your head in respect "You act as though such invaluable wisdom is as valueless as dung! Yet it has revealed to me the answers I sought! I could ask for no better mentor than you, old witch"

She just smiled

"And that is why you are a prodigy, beyond innate talent, the wisdom you possess would make even the shrewdest of sages sick with envy" She sneers, sticking out her bloated toad like tongue "I am privledge to play a role, however small, in your development into a magnificent cultivator"

A flutter of joy radiates in you chest, as though a bell hand been rung inside of it.

With nothing left to say, you leave your teacher to perform the steps you now realize are necessary for the development of your law and your own cultivation.

How do you progress your technique, Huānliúxuè?

>Form a deeper connection and understanding of ghosts, seeking to mimic both their existence and abilities by befriending a couple and "Living" as they do.

>One cannot understand death by sleeping with corpses. To know death, one must witness the end of life. Leave the sanctuary to research the transition between life and death.

>Leave the sanctuary to observe the various forms of grudges, from the petty to the extreme, learning all the flavors of resentment and their effects on the world and their hosts.

>Adapt the spells you have learned, altering them to be more fitting for your law, and train yourself to utilize softer and more passive movements in combat and life.

>Write in

>>5047457
It wouldn't be out of place to do so. Art names and pseudonyms are a mainstay of Xianxia and Wuxia

>>5047488
Pretty much lol, though reading cultivation novels does help as well
>>
>>5047554
>Adapt the spells you have learned, altering them to be more fitting for your law, and train yourself to utilize softer and more passive movements in combat and life.
So more stealthy fighting, ignoring terrain, and possibly switching to numbing poisons
>>
>>5047554
>Form a deeper connection and understanding from ghosts, walk as they do, live as they do, feed as they do, Learn how they hate and how individual ghosts grudges is different. Become as a ghost.

Our next step will be to learn about grudges. While we are focusing on these ghosts, we should note how their grudges taste and if similar grudges taste similar or if it's unique to each person.
My hypothesis is that the intensity and the actual root of the grudge changes it's taste.
>>
>>5047554
>Adapt the spells you have learned, altering them to be more fitting for your law, and train yourself to utilize softer and more passive movements in combat and life.
Much as I like hanging around this graveyard like a 90's goth, we're in danger of becoming the most perilous thing in a Xianxia story: A frog in the well.
Some time among the living will do us good.
>>
>>5047554
>Form a deeper connection and understanding of ghosts, seeking to mimic both their existence and abilities by befriending a couple and "Living" as they do.
>>
>>5047554
>Adapt the spells you have learned, altering them to be more fitting for your law, and train yourself to utilize softer and more passive movements in combat and life.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Adapt the spells you have learned, altering them to be more fitting for your law, and train yourself to utilize softer and more passive movements in combat and life.:3

Form a deeper connection and understanding of ghosts, seeking to mimic both their existence and abilities by befriending a couple and "Living" as they do.: 2


So You will adapt the basic novice spells you have learned thus far, and train yourself to use softer/ more passive movements in both life and combat/ hunting to align with your Yin Heavy nature

Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5047484
I actually speak ching chong
>>
>>5047484
Make a metaphor for the technique, then translate it literally into 2-4 words. String them together and you have your name.

Trust me, I wrote a hundred characters on a piece of xiaokai
>>
Basics. While a sturdy foundation is the beginning of any castle, one cannot forget to build trustworthy walls around the keep before filling it with treasures and wonders. Yes, while Granny Monu's encouragement has given you plenty of ideas for the further evolution of your technique, from the peculiar to the strong, it has also made you realize that your knowledge beyond meditation and breathing techniques is, in the most polite terms, rather lacking!. From having her as a teacher, you've learned much of the brewing and use of poisons but as you've removed yourself from the company of ghosts you've realized a grave weakness in your law and self! A near complete lack of martial and magical skill! Oh you've trained your body, exercised tirelessly and practiced for many hours to learn how to cast spells and paint talismans with the fingers to make the proper signs or hands with which to hold a calligraphy brush but, well you've focused primarily on cultivation itself, absorbing and refining Qi, rather than martial arts or sorcery.

While you may be a cat, a natural killer and predator, it would be foolish to ignore such talents because you're naturally gifted! And magic, well your ability to breath resentment and swallow grudges will be useless if you're a novice sorcerer! Currently, if you met a human cultivator of similar power and competence, you would have a great advantage due to your natural talent and the mysteriousness of your unique law. But, that is a temporary advantage at best! One that is easily lost as a fish from a torn net! Relying on raw might and natural talent is a sure way to meet your death at the hands of one who has diligently trained and honed their skill. Genius will only take you so far, you need to shore up your weaknesses and train your deficiencies. Unique abilities will falter if they're the only weapon and defense you have!

However, there is one glaring problem that presents itself like a lantern blazing in the night! You are a cat! There is no martial art that is made with the form of a feline in mind! And spells are written by men and witches alone! You suffer a serious handicap in learning any technique or movement from an established school of combat! What a pain in the ass! And Granny Monu was more of a spiritualist and poisoner in her youth than a fighter, so you're left entirely without guidance in this moment. Even if your teacher was a martial god, she wouldn't be able to train a cat how to wield a spear or dance with a blade! You have to build your own practices to accompany your cultivation technique! Another trail to overcome that cannot be approached carelessly or failed.

You stalk near the demon's head gate, stewing in your thoughts and frustration, when the Qi that circulates through your meridians inspires you and solves your dilemma almost as soon as it had appeared. Yin! You have an overabundance of Yin due to your chosen practice, so much so it has altered your essence and nature.
Cont
>>
>>5047793

Any martial art that is not designed from its inception to align with the qualities of Yin and the elements aligned to it, is worthless to you. Metal, Water. There must be a great many of styles centered on both of those elements, soft styles, hard styles.

A smirks reveals your fangs.

But none have been designed around the Dao of death! And spells! Hah! Your tail will serve as your brush and paint the signs in the air! All you have to do is adapt and adjust the simple spells you know to become closer to your nature and cultivation and it will fill the gap in your defenses and abilities alike! Clever! Clever! How clever you are! However, ghosts make poor targets and sparring partners, and you wouldn't want to risk injuring your teacher.

You will need to find other methods of practicing, which means you will have to leave your sanctuary to train and form your Feline style. Which is risky, for if you meet a cultivator you will surely be marked for death and be hunted, and only have your instincts and natural talent of killing to defend yourself.

But it is also necessary. Since preparations in preparing targets that can be dodge, parried and countered will take sometime even with Monu's help, you'll begin with altering the few simple, novice level spells you've learned, if only as practice for adapting more complicated magics for your law or making your own wholesale. Thankfully, the task of learning how to move more softly and passively will be an easy one. You are a cat after all, so you won't have to alter your usual pace or rhythm of movement, but it will still serve as good practice for creating your own, unique martial art to support your self taught technique.

Magic and martial arts. Once they're in place to support your nameless unorthodox law, you can consider more esoteric and strange abilities, techniques and skills. Art, you realize, requires a lot of work!

Immediately, you set out to realize and train these necessary skills! Beginning with using your Yōulíng-Qīnggōng in ever day life and practice, to become accustomed to it and skilled in its use. You find some entertainment in drifting through the air, or being picked up by the gales blowing through the ravine outside of your sanctuaries gate, but notice that your variation of Qinggong is more complicated than simply become ghostlike rather than light. Namely, when you use it to become swifter than any lesser cat, your perception of time slows to a crawl and when you demonstrated it to your teacher, she informs you that the effect goes beyond your own sight. From what you can gather, rather than making yourself faster, you create a sphere of slowed time or rather the illusion of such while retaining your own natural rapidity. From an outside perspective beyond the range of the techniques influence, you appear to flicker and "skip", like a shadow in the corner of one's eye while all else moves at a fraction of its usual speed.
cont
>>
>>5047794

A truly strange ability, but one that makes sense. Ghosts are ponderous things, but when insulted are quick in seeking retribution. Strange but useful. Once you've become accustomed to your bizarre kind of Qinggong, you begin adapting spells to be cast by your tail, altering their nature to utilize the uniquely specialized Qi you refine within your meridians, rather than pure unaligned Qi. Creating a variation of these most elementary of spells. You quickly noticed the changes, which are so extreme you consider renaming the petty sorceries as entirely new spells!

When you try to make a floating mote of light, you instead create the opposite your first few attempts, a sphere of darkness that absorbs light cast upon it. And the final result bobs and sways like ghost lights do, and radiates with a gentle cold like them as well, in fact it looks so much like ghost light it even fools a few of the spirits in the catacombs! You also quickly learn not to try and heal wounds with the Qi of ghosts and death, after you knock a song bird from its nest to serve as a test subject and found that it only aggravated and worsened the wounds you caused. However, this does teach you that you can puppet corpses if you plant a seed of your spiritual energy into them. Granny Monu adopts the skeletal song bird as a pet and decoration, its mournful cries filling the ruined temple you both live in.

While you may not know many spells, and the handful you do know could be taught to children, these experiments are worthwhile as the end results are more useful than the standard form of these petty spells. And it shows you effects and capabilities to expect from any sorceries you design or adapt in the future.

Leaving the Sanctuary lit with mock ghost lights rather than torches, you begin the final stage of your practice. Having trained yourself to move softly, and adapted what spells you know for future use and reference, all that remains is making a martial art worthy of you! One intended to be practiced by a housecat, and sympathetic of your law of ghosts and grudges.

And, like your week or so of isolated cultivation, it is an exhaustive effort.

You test a thousand strikes and techniques against swinging, rotating dummies armed with wooden limbs that leave bruises beneath your fur and if struck hard enough can easily return the force in kind. The first four sessions end with you unconscious from your own strikes, before you discover the right forms and motions to truly utilize the softness of your blows and gentleness of your techniques. Then you can begin your true training, by practicing against moving targets rather than stationary wood. To accomplish this, besides hunting wild game with your forming martial art instead of your instinctual methods, you have Monu move the practice dummies, making them rotate and swing their limbs at you as an actual if very unskilled opponent may. This proves slightly more difficult than your previous training
>>
>>5047795

But you overcome it in short order, once you adapt and refine your technique and the movement behind your strikes. After Monu spins the wooden puppets with all her might, you passively wait for their wooden arms to almost strike you before slinking beneath them, or using their own momentum against them with a well placed slash of your claws, a sudden pounce or headbutt, or even grabbing hold of them to kick at them as you would as a kitten when you caught a cattail in play. You also learn how to use your Specter Lightness Skill to avoid attack and retaliate safety, or to strike from unexpected angles by drifting through the air like a plume of smoke!

Its a defensive style, a stealthy style, a subtle style. Like the presence of a ghost, or the passing of a cat. And like a grudge, it turns your opponents aggression against themselves! You cannot help but to feel proud for your accomplishment, even if you've paid a hefty price for it in the form of bruises and aching paws and jaws.

In fact, this training has been so effective and fruitful, you've managed to refine one of its basic techniques to such a degree you are confident it could be used against a trained martial artist, magical beast or even a cultivator! However, wooden puppets are a poor opponent

Double Vote

Which technique have you refined/ achieved.

>Whispering Death Claw. By combining gentle claw swipes and the "Anti Healing" you've discovered, you've found you could tear away lifeforce with your claws, with the proper timing while leaving behind only scratches. A very dangerous technique if properly utilized

>Phantom Cat Step. An expression Yōulíng-Qīnggōng and its "Slowing" effect, by quickly activating and deactivating it, you've discovered you could "blink" forward suddenly. Useful for evading and attacking. Allows you to build up and maintain speed without expending too much energy

>Spectral Body Defense. Your variation of Qinggong makes you slightly ethereal. by using it when you are struck you are able to mitigate damage and pain, leaving your opponent caught unaware and open for a counter attack while you are left almost unharmed

>Corpse March. Not a martial technique, but an improvement of the corpse puppet trick you've learned. By expending more Qi, you can make sturdier "puppets", or even make weak ghosts inhabit them.

>Write in

And how will you test the technique, Huānliúxuè?

>Against the "king of the beasts". Hunt down a tiger to measure your power

>Test it against a wandering martial artist. You will fight men more than beasts, attack a swordsmen to test the sharpness of your claws

>You've been physically superior to humans since you awoke, But in terms of magical power, you have no advantage. Find a local monk or exorcist and challenge them to see if you can over come their sorcery

>HAH! The only prey worthy of your claws is a fellow cultivator! Hunt down a fellow initiate into the world of cultivation and duel them!

>Write in
>>
Also, just noticed I forgot to mention last update that seeking advice basically gave a "Free" success. Which is why you guys didn't have to roll anything for any of the options to achieve results.

No idea how that slipped my mind.
>>
>>5047797
>Whispering Death Claw. By combining gentle claw swipes and the "Anti Healing" you've discovered, you've found you could tear away lifeforce with your claws, with the proper timing while leaving behind only scratches. A very dangerous technique if properly utilized
>Against the "king of the beasts". Hunt down a tiger to measure your power
>>
>>5047797
>>Spectral Body Defense. Your variation of Qinggong makes you slightly ethereal. by using it when you are struck you are able to mitigate damage and pain, leaving your opponent caught unaware and open for a counter attack while you are left almost unharmed
Given cultivation novel tropes, getting hit and coming out unharmed will be useful for any frogs in wells.

>Against the "king of the beasts". Hunt down a tiger to measure your power
>Why just the king, though? Fight king, mate, even their children if they so please. Let them come at you all at once!
>>
>>5047797
>Phantom Cat Step. An expression Yōulíng-Qīnggōng and its "Slowing" effect, by quickly activating and deactivating it, you've discovered you could "blink" forward suddenly. Useful for evading and attacking. Allows you to build up and maintain speed without expending too much energy
Man, all of these are tempting... but blinking could be used both to fight and get away, so it seems like the best technique to choose.

>Against the "king of the beasts". Hunt down a tiger to measure your power
The cat hunting the tiger, there is something poetic here, I know it.
>>
>>5047797
>Spectral Body Defense.
>Test it against a wandering martial artist.
>>
>>5047797
>Whispering Death Claw
>Find a local monk or exorcist and challenge them to see if you can over come their sorcery
>>
>>5047797
>>5047808
I'm swapping the first part of my vote from:
>Whispering Death Claw. By combining gentle claw swipes and the "Anti Healing" you've discovered, you've found you could tear away lifeforce with your claws, with the proper timing while leaving behind only scratches. A very dangerous technique if properly utilized
to:
>Spectral Body Defense. Your variation of Qinggong makes you slightly ethereal. by using it when you are struck you are able to mitigate damage and pain, leaving your opponent caught unaware and open for a counter attack while you are left almost unharmed
>>
>>5047797
>Whispering Death Claw. By combining gentle claw swipes and the "Anti Healing" you've discovered, you've found you could tear away lifeforce with your claws, with the proper timing while leaving behind only scratches. A very dangerous technique if properly utilized
>Against the "king of the beasts". Hunt down a tiger to measure your power
>>
>>5047797
>Spectral Body Defense. Your variation of Qinggong makes you slightly ethereal. by using it when you are struck you are able to mitigate damage and pain, leaving your opponent caught unaware and open for a counter attack while you are left almost unharmed

>HAH! The only prey worthy of your claws is a fellow cultivator! Hunt down a fellow initiate into the world of cultivation and duel them!
We have killed like 100 soldiers already when we were much weaker, it's time to stop with child's play and play with the big kids.
>>
>>5047941
I would have picked one of those options if it wouldn't leak our location out, I don't think we're strong enough to deal with an active hunting party just yet.
>>
>>5047963
There won't be a leak if there are no witnesses. Or even remains.
>>
>>5047965
You never know who's watching, or whether those people had others counting on them that will question their disappearance.
>>
>>5047797
>Cat step
>Fellow cultivator

We must feeeeeeeeeeeeeast.
>>
>>5048037
Sword cultivator ideally.

Still, I'd prefer that once we consume them, we head back down to the tomb and try and become a ghost again.
>>
>>5047797
>Phantom Cat Step. An expression Yōulíng-Qīnggōng and its "Slowing" effect, by quickly activating and deactivating it, you've discovered you could "blink" forward suddenly. Useful for evading and attacking. Allows you to build up and maintain speed without expending too much energy

>Test it against a wandering martial artist. You will fight men more than beasts, attack a swordsmen to test the sharpness of your claws
>>
>>5047797
>Whispering Death Claw
>Against the "king of the beasts". Hunt down a tiger to measure your power
>>
>>5047797
>Phantom Cat Step. An expression Yōulíng-Qīnggōng and its "Slowing" effect, by quickly activating and deactivating it, you've discovered you could "blink" forward suddenly. Useful for evading and attacking. Allows you to build up and maintain speed without expending too much energy

>Test it against a wandering martial artist. You will fight men more than beasts, attack a swordsmen to test the sharpness of your claws
>>
Just popping in to say I'm going to let the vote run a little longer
>>
File: Huānliúxuè1.jpg (334 KB, 1500x1125)
334 KB
334 KB JPG
>>5047797
>Phantom Cat Step. An expression Yōulíng-Qīnggōng and its "Slowing" effect, by quickly activating and deactivating it, you've discovered you could "blink" forward suddenly. Useful for evading and attacking. Allows you to build up and maintain speed without expending too much energy
>You've been physically superior to humans since you awoke, But in terms of magical power, you have no advantage. Find a local monk or exorcist and challenge them to see if you can over come their sorcery
Against a giant, man eating alley cat, they won't send Martial Artists or Cultivators. First, they'll send exorcists.
I really had to think about this; there's something harder about going after a stranger than an invading army that calls for a lot of introspection. Much easier to settle a grudge, even one on behalf of a third party. Initiating the violence feels a bit Ling-ish.
>>
>>5048698
Raises a good point, maybe we can find a ghost with a grudge that aligns with our current goal, so we settle a score instead of just offing some poor nonce for stepping in the wrong quarter of the woods. If cultivator wins we can even try to settle one of Granny's grudges.
>>
>>5048706
Indeed. Settle the grudges of those who have them.
>>
Apologies for the wait. Was sick as a dog yesterday, think it was a stomach bug or food poisoning.. But I've sweat it out now, whatever it was
SO
Ending the vote, tallying the results

Whispering death claw:3

Spectral Body Defense:4

Phantom cat step: 5

Test your mettle against a tiger:5
-ALL THE TIGERS:1

Challenge a martial artist:3

Fight a monk/ Exorcist: 2

Duel a low level cultivator, like yourself: 2

So Phantom Cat step and fighting a tiger win.

Update will arrive shortly

And don't worry, the techniques that didn't win aren't sealed/ lost forever, in fact, you'll have an easier time learning them in the future

>>5048698
Cute cat and good point
>>
When they are not stationary, the practice dummies can only move in one or two directions and serve as poor substitutes for actual flesh and blood opponents. Their blows may hurt just as much as any pummeling or closed fist strike, but when they're so predictable they're only useful for measuring the strength of one's blows, which is anathema to your soft style. Your wooden hewn sparing partners are worthless to you now, as you have refined your natural agility and trained yourself to move within the illusionary slowed time produced by your Specter Lightness skill. Early on in the formation of your martial style, you discovered that by quickly activating and deactivating the skill's esoteric ability you could suddenly "blink" several paces or bounds to the perceptions of those snared in its net or even beyond its sphere of influence.

An invaluable skill, as it is useful in both defense and offense, as it is hard to anticipate strikes that flicker like an open flame and harder yet to land blows against a target that moves like a shadow at the edge of sight. The ponderous time created by the Yōulíng-Qīnggōng allows you to move as swiftly as death without any additional tricks or techniques. However, while it is effective on its own it has its drawbacks. Returning to the normal flow of time can be disorienting, and a skilled enough opponent could anticipate your movements even if caught in its area of effect of staggered time. And if overused, it quickly becomes exhausting to maintain the speed of your movement while keeping the flow of time distorted.

Hence, the solution of using the skill for a fraction of a second to evade, dodge or strike beneath openings in your opponent's defenses you would otherwise be unable to even in the staggered time. This technique improves the utility and combat effectiveness of an already useful, if strange, ability. Especially considering its unexpected advantage, as momentum is preserved between "Blinks" allowing you to achieve a celerity your variation of Qinggong otherwise is unable to! Effectively, this allows you to sprint without expending your stamina, and even go faster than your natural limit, while still maintaining control over your movements.

To differentiate it from the broader capabilities and uses of Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, you've decided to name this refinement as its own technique and separate it from its progenitor. It is called the "Phantom Cat Step" [幽灵猫步, Yōulíngmāobù], a versatile technique that can adapt to any situation, much like its "Mother skill", and indeed, serves to fills the holes of the original technique's weaknesses. When used in conjunction, The Specter Lightness skill and the Phantom Cat step make you all but untouchable. And the development of the latter has allowed you to realize the more mundane uses of Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, like catching fish or birds or winning at dice games!

However, a technique is useless without an actual opponent to test it on
>>
>>5048797


You've practiced the many uses of Yōulíng-Qīnggōng's variety of abilities in your ever day life, not just the field of distorted time it can create or its levitation. However, you've only practiced the Phantom Cat Step against wooden dummies and in expediting travel! You need to wield it in actual combat, against a real opponent that's worthy of your time.

However, attacking or seeking out a human opponent could reveal your sanctuary and expose you to a world you are not yet ready to face! So you must look to the natural world for your sparring partner, and what better a rival to challenge than the so called "King of Beasts", a tiger. There's many of them on the mountain above your temple, and the surrounding peaks, forests and ravines, but not just any tiger is worthy of being your opponent and the first victim of the Phantom Cat Step! No, you need a man eater, a beast that could or already has awakened to an existence similar to your own. A wily predator lord who has survived for years, despite being hunted and harried by spears and arrows. A beast that men would call a monster, and speak cautionary tales of warning to avoid its territory and hunting grounds.

You, after all, are adept at hunting humans, and is it not fitting for a cat who has surpassed and ascended beyond the rest of their kind to challenge the so called "Greater feline"? It is rather poetic, for a house cat to fight a tiger! It will symbolize your advancement from your first life and test the effectiveness of your cat style simultaneously. After all, the techniques and movements of your martial art are specialized for the body of a cat, so it would be prudent to test them against another cat first before bringing them to bare against any other foe.

Granny Monu, proving her worth as your teacher once more, listens to your plan and volunteers to find a tiger worthy of meeting your claws and fangs with your own. So, she spends some time posing as a beggar in the nearby villages, listening to wives tales and the babblings of drunkards and panicked woodsmen. It is not long before she learns of an old lord of the forests, grey around the whiskers who has terrorized the countryside for at least two generations and has slaughtered every hunting party that enters his territory and dragged away charcoal makers and vagabonds alike into his den for decades. The peasants call him Jiùqūliáoyá [旧曲獠牙, Old Crooked Fang], and from the stories they tell Monu, he lives on the side of a mountain two day's travel away from your sanctuary, and is according to the popular legend your "Father". Monu cackles as she relays this "Information" to you, as you roll your eyes in annoyance. Apparently, The lord of Chuan has named you a divine beast of sorts, a heavenly emissary, after your devoured Ling Meng, and all manner of rumors and stories have sprouted like weeds in a garden surrounding your origins and "Exploits".
Cont
>>
>>5048798

Granny laughs herself into her bed, as she hurts her hip while howling with mirth after regaling you with the story of how you "stole a dragon's scale and blood, to paint yourself red and grow strong enough to face the Ogre of Ling".

Humans can be truly stupid creatures. You can still hear your teacher giggling to herself, laughing about another story how a monk apparently summoned you into the flesh by offering his hand and arm to a clay figurine, as you leave the catacombs to travel to meet this Jiuquliaoya in person, cat to cat.

Traveling in the wilderness, to avoid being spotted by any curious strangers who believe you to be a benevolent spirit or demi god, you make quick cross from one peak to the next. Along the way, you steal a pig from a small hamlet to fill your belly, and sleep in a shrine that has placed a statue of your likeness outside of it. The Monks tending to the temple don't notice your presence, and by time they've awoken, you've already left to continue your journey to the Lair of Old Crooked Fang.

And find that despite the fear the old tiger holds in the hearts of men, a mountainside village intrudes upon his territory. Its surrounded by high wooden walls, sharpened like giant spears and lined with Braziers and warning bells. You spend a night watching the villagers in the darkness, perched atop their wall. It's useless for defense, any cat great or small could leap or clamber over it.

The village is poor, ramshackle, yet lively. It would seem, judging from the density of the grudges in the air, Juiquliaoya has recently claimed a new victim and the families here are holding a funeral for him under the cover of the night.

You tap your paw on the wall below you and flick your tail. If the funeral is being held now, the victim's spirit has most likely not passed on to the next world. Narrowing your eyes, you look through the dark clouds of the grudges held for the old tiger, and find that most of them come from a single young man. A child really, with a bandaged and claw mangled face, his eyes filled with the same dark fire that once dominated your own and still burn in Granny Monu's eye. The kid is going to seek revenge, sooner or later and he may be able to carry it out considering the raw potency of his resentment.

Both the father and the son present opportunities. You could learn of the tiger's weaknesses and if he has awoken from the ghost, and be lead directly to him. You could also gain this villages trust if you, were to say, save one of their children from walking to his grave or defending them the next time the beast comes searching for a meal.

Granny Monu could use some assistance in tending to the sanctuary, after all. And the people of this province already believe you to be a blessing from heaven.

Cont
>>
>>5048799
What do you do, Huānliúxuè?

>Just track down the tiger yourself. You know the scent of the blood of men, the beast should be covered in it. You'll find him faster without help

>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself

>Wait until the bandaged covered boy goes to avenge his father, and approach him to offer your assistance in his quest. He has potential, it'd be a waste to let him feed himself to a tiger or live as a miner or whatever it is the people here do to make a living!

>Sneak into the village chief's house, and offer assistance in slaying Juiquliaoya in return for them becoming your underlings and praising you

>Write in

Sorry again for the wait
>>
>>5048802
>Approach first the fathers ghost for information on old fang, and his son.
>Then approach the son as he leaves for revenge. His grudge would serve as potent food, and we can taste again of him when it is sated.

The use of a debt, the opposite of a grudge, is many.
>>
>>5048802
>>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
>>
>>5048802
>Sneak into the village chief's house, and offer assistance in slaying Juiquliaoya in return for them becoming your underlings and praising you

Many small grudges add up to a greater whole, also by being seen as a benevolent saviour, the orthodox sects will not be able to claim our beastcore without enraging those who believe we are divine. Or atleast we may shield ourselves with the moral conundrum.
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
Bind him to this plane more firmly, that he way watch vengeance taken personally, and greet his son with a proper farewell.
>>
>>5048803
>Just track down the tiger yourself. You know the scent of the blood of men, the beast should be covered in it. You'll find him faster without help

let's not mingle for now.
>>
>>5048807
Becoming a local guardian spirit is tempting, but I don't think the immortals really give a fuck about the beliefs of mortals. I mean they had Ling Meng pecked for ascension despite the guy being reviled.
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
Talking to people may not be a good idea, but the ghost should be safe enough. Info is always good.
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
Don’t know why I took so long to look into this quest, this is good stuff. wish I was around to show that there was at least one person interested in the blacksmith
>>
>>5048803
support
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
>>
>>5048802
>>Wait until the bandaged covered boy goes to avenge his father, and approach him to offer your assistance in his quest. He has potential, it'd be a waste to let him feed himself to a tiger or live as a miner or whatever it is the people here do to make a living!
Doing otherwise will lead to a grudge left unsated, that sits poorly with me.
>>
>>5049026
Sated grudes, Unsated grudges, one can't exist without the other.
Why does leaving a grudge unsated not agree with you? It's just one part of an ever turning cycle.
>>
>>5048802
>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
>>
>>5049107
I just think it'd drive us crazy to come upon Ling Meng dead and unable to do anything to him in spirit or body, and don't want that for anyone. True, we can't settle every grudge or debt that exists; but this is one we can so I feel we should at least try. Besides, if the Boy is the one who kills the tiger, it keeps attention off us.
>>
>>5048802
>>Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the results. Sorry for the wait.

Approach the ghost of the tiger's last victim and gather information and learn if you're fighting a dumb animal or an intellegent one like yourself:13
-Bind him to the material world: 1

wait until the bandaged covered boy goes to avenge his father, and approach him to offer your assistance in his quest. He has potential, it'd be a waste to let him feed himself to a tiger or live as a miner or whatever it is the people here do to make a living!:3

Sneak into the village chief's house, and offer assistance in slaying Juiquliaoya in return for them becoming your underlings and praising you:1

Just track down the tiger yourself. You know the scent of the blood of men, the beast should be covered in it. You'll find him faster without help: 1

Alright, so you'll gather information about Jiuquliaoya, particularly if the old "King" of the mountain is an awoken beast or not

Update will arrive shortly
>>
However, that is no reason to become foolhardy and abandon caution. Just because the ruling power has declared you a friend of his family and their serfs, ignoring your predations and hungers, does not mean the peasantry will revere you and welcome you as a goddess incarnated on earth. Indeed, if word spread of you descending to this village to others, any hunters seeking to steal your beast core for themselves or subjugate you to their will or just to kill your for being born a cat would find it much easier to narrow down the boundaries of your territory. Praise, offerings, and respected would be a welcome indulgence, but you cannot allow your pride and desire for affection and reverence to endanger your life of Granny Monu's. So you linger in the shadows beyond the lantern light cast by the procession of mourners.

The funeral fills you with rage, rage that the nine children were not given such a ceremony, that they were only honored and remembered by you in death. It felt criminal, unfair. Glowering, you watched the grieving widow cling to the casket of boiled wood, wailing as her sisters held her and kept her from collapsing. Grown men cried, sniffling as they lost all composure and grace, their tears falling to the trodden mud bellow. They all look like ghosts, dressed in white, black, blue and green shambling along as if they were dead. . You flick your tail, turning your attention to the curious and incredibly bold mouser who noticed you as he emerged from his nest, and now sat awestruck or terrified of your presence. Holding your head high, you smirk at the scruffy furred beast, who turns tail and takes flight out of fear, yowling as it struggles to fit its fat body through the hole it crawled out of.

Cackling, you stalk closer to the funerary march, and watch them carry the corpse down to the graveyard beneath their cliffside village. A single ghost light dances above the casket they cart down. As they were unable to hold a vigil for the dead man, considering the sudden and violent nature of his demise, his soul has not yet passed on to the world beyond. In fact, judging from the movements of the ball of spectral fire, he's still rather confused and probably isn't even aware he's dead.

The son, with his face still red and raw from the tiger's claws, helps his uncles in digging the grave. A chorus of sobs accompanies a storm of tears, as a little girl watches the box containing her father's earthly remains slowly descend into the earth. Her cries pierce your heart deeper than the other's. She's pulled away before the coffin is fully buried. The man must've been one of the oldest in the village, judging from the youthfulness of the crying faces above his gravestone and the quantity of mourners. Few if any were his elder, and thus most of the village was obligated to pay their respects but for most of them they came out of love rather than obligation.
Cont
>>
>>5049744

The son lingers the longest, staring with darkened eyes at the mound of dirt before his father's grave. Terrible oaths of vengence and hatred pass by his lips, whispered to the cold stone and uncaring soil. He remains for several hours, bitter tears weeping as he snarls and spits his curses towards the beast who took his father from him. Dawn arrives before he exhausts himself and shambles back to his village a walking corpse, eyes starring ahead apathetic to the world except for the grudge that has nestled and rooted itself into his heart and soul.

Only then do you greet the ghost that had been sitting upon the stone set above his remains, listening to his son's promises made out of love and fury.

"Uncle, uncle" You purr, sitting above where his feet must be, rocking your head back and forth in the rhythm to a child's playing song "I've come to visit your abode, to welcome you home"

He turns to you, dazed and still disoriented from the divorce of his self and his mortal vessel.

"What a large cat you are! More fearsome than the beast himself! Are you his bride? I have not seen him since I drove him away from my first born son" The man replies, speaking as if he were heavily intoxicated and filled with wine fumes "Did I wound Old Crooked Fang?"

You smile, leaning your head to one side. The ghost looks down, following your eyes and finds his arm. Or rather the stump and bone where his arm used to be. A look of dread, fearful realization washes across his features, his jaw drooping as his eyes became hollow with despair.

"Ah, so the father dies for the son to live" He states sadly "I suppose that means I caught the tiger's tail and reaped the whirlwind I sowed"

"So it would seem, uncle. A whirlwind that has stoked the flames of a truly magnificent grudge. Your son has become numb to everything but avenging your death" You say with a nod of your head and flick of your tail "He is the host of a truly delectable resentment"

"Ah, so you're a spirit of sorts then? And knowing now the depths of his filial piety fills me with pride. I raised a good man before I passed" The ghost says, returning your nod as his mind begins to clear and his eyes widen with recognition as he studies your appearance more closely "Wait a moment, you're the...!"

"Huanliuxue" You finish for him "and I've come to learn of the beast that has slain you. Did it speak? Did it laugh? Did it exult in your agony ? Was it like a man incarnated in the hide of a tiger? Was he large and oddly colored? Or was he a slavering beast with a bad jaw, forced to lower himself to prey upon men? Answer me these things, uncle, so I may know my enemy"

"Hmm" He scratches his chin in thought, his form blowing away on the northern wind "Yes, I do remember! The Old beast king spoke to me! Commended me for my bravery as he snapped my arm and tore it from my shoulder with a single bite! He looked at me with intelligent eyes! Eyes like those of a scholar or sage!"
Cont
>>
>>5049746

"And he was far larger than any tiger I have seen or heard of outside of fables! I do not believe he wore stripes that were any different from his lesser, however. Why must you know these things, spirit?"

You click your tongue! Damn! Jiuquliaoya is a magical beast like yourself! Which only makes him all the more worthy of being your opponent! How exciting! The cat will meet the tiger, as its equal rather than its better! Now You can truly measure the power of the Phantom Cat Step, without drawing unnecessary attention or scorn.

"Do you intend to lead me to the next life? Or is the old tiger a rival of yours?" The ghost pondered, tapping at his chin with two fingers "Is this for the villages benefit? or simply your own"

"What does it matter. You're already dead. Whatever my reasons, whatever my intent, they matter not to you, though I shall pay my respects once I've achieved my goal" You say with a flick of your tail "If only because I have seen what becomes of Ghosts who do no sever their earthly desires and ties to life, as I have seen what becomes of grudges that cannot be soothed"

The ghost blinks, his baffled confusion returning as you leave him and stop siphoning away the Yin Energies of his spectral form.

All that remains to be done, is to track down the Tiger to its lair. An easy task considering how richly soaked the corpse was with his scent.

How will you approach Jiùqūliáoyá, Huānliúxuè?

>March around the mountainside, proclaiming yourself its new ruler and insulting its old lord, drawing the ire and attention of the old predator while amusing yourself.

>Bring the boy he mangled along, if only to devour his grudge to gain an advantage over your opponent and to act as bait to lure him out of his den

>Just wait outside his den, and issue a challenge respectfully and have a conversation with the old man, hoping he'll lower his guard and reveal his weaknesses

>Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow [Martial test, DC 50]

>Write in
>>
>>5049747
>Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow [Martial test, DC 50]
>>
>>5049752
this + remember to use our poison, and whatever other dirty tricks we can scrounge up. I don't like how risky this is.
>>
>>5049747
>Just wait outside his den, and issue a challenge respectfully and have a conversation with the old man, hoping he'll lower his guard and reveal his weaknesses
>>
>>5049747
>Bring the boy he mangled along, if only to devour his grudge to gain an advantage over your opponent and to act as bait to lure him out of his den
>>
>>5049747
>Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow [Martial test, DC 50]
As much as I would like to go to him honourably, it would be foolish to assume we can best him that easily upfront, he has probably been doing this for longer then we have. All predators know to strike from the shadows, if possible.
>>
>>5049747
>Just wait outside his den, and issue a challenge respectfully and have a conversation with the old man, hoping he'll lower his guard and reveal his weaknesses
let's do this like gentlemen.
>>
>>5049747
>Ambush him

It is not the nature of cats to take unncercery risk.
>>
>>5049747
>Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow [Martial test, DC 50]
>>
>>5049747
>Bring the boy he mangled along, if only to devour his grudge to gain an advantage over your opponent and to act as bait to lure him out of his den
>>
>>5049747
>Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow
>>
>>5049747
>Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow [Martial test, DC 50]
>>
>>5049747
>>Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow [Martial test, DC 50]

But tell the boy that we'll take care of it. Is he too not a kindred spirit, if in another way?
>>
My reason for why we should take the boy along is simple. Who knows what we can learn by seeing the moment a grudge becomes fulfilled
>>
>>5049747
>Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow [Martial test, DC 50]
>>
Ending the vote now that I'm awake, tallying the results

Wait for the Jiuquliaoya to become hungry again and ambush him with the Phantom cat step, claiming the first blow:9
-Use your poison: 1

Just wait outside his den, and issue a challenge respectfully and have a conversation with the old man, hoping he'll lower his guard and reveal his weaknesses:2

Bring the boy he mangled along, if only to devour his grudge to gain an advantage over your opponent and to act as bait to lure him out of his den:2

Alright, so you will ambush Jiùqūliáoyá with the Phantom Cat Step when he returns to the village for his next meal

Update will arrive shortly, roll will be after it.

No idea why I slept all day
>>
>>5049937
Sorry, forgot to count the "tell the boy" as an additional/ sub vote of the ambush one.
>>
Tracking the tiger to his den would be as easy as dipping your tail into a river, but it would be as foolish as expecting to catch a fish with it. Your fighting style is not made for direct confrontation, it is built upon trickery, guile and subterfuge. It is a soft martial art, meeting might with might is against its principles. And a tiger, especially one that has grown beyond his station on the meat, fat, and blood of humans would be both more powerful and larger than yourself. Jiuquliaoya holds every advantage over you in a direct fight, if you it was waged with claws and fangs alone. His age, also means he is more experienced in the killing arts as well and has lived to an old age while following a dangerous lifestyle.

He is, without a doubt, the most dangerous opponent you've ever decided to face. The only disadvantage the old king of the mountain has, is the simple fact that his cultivation could not have progressed far without guidance or instruction, and any foundation he has built will be weak and shoddily built compared to your own. Your cultivation base will outmatch his, as will your techniques, the few you have trained and mastered at least. But compared to the difference between your physical strength and his, and the larger limbs and body of a tiger, such an advantage is flimsy at best and will only just manage to bridge the gap between your body and his own. And if he has, through some miracle or benefactor, cultivated beyond guzzling the unrefined Qi to be found in freshly spilt blood or has trained his body and martial prowess to be equivalent to your own training, then the bridge will collapse and the divide between you and him will become as vast as the heavens themselves.

You sigh, and rest beneath an old, crooked tree. How troublesome this all has become, now that you realize Jiuquliaoya is like yourself. However, a predator who attacks his prey head on is soon to starve. A cat that hunts when it knows it is to be fed will grow thin rather than fat. All you have to do is be more cunning than the tiger, more intelligent. You clean yourself as you plan your attack and scheme beneath the warming light of dawn and the pleasant cool mists flowing down the mountainside. With the right stratagem, any foe can be overcome and bested, no matter the difference in ability or skill, strength or grace. With the proper mindset, any obstacle or risk can be sidestepped.

You turn your eyes towards the village higher up the cliffside, pausing as you lick the pack of your paw, before brushing it over your head to clean it. The old lord's subjects and prey will serve as an effective distraction, like baiting a trap. He didn't eat much of his last victim, he'll soon become hungry again and return here his next meal. Instincts and hunger will make any beast blind to the world, no matter how intelligent they've become, unless they've become as wise and clever as yourself! of course!

Cont
>>
>>5050385

All you will have to do then, is to lie in wait and ambush Jiuquliaoya as he emerges from his cave to stalk and choose his next meal, and then strike as his attention is focused on choose the fattiest, most delectable of his subjects to feast upon. With the Phantom Cat Step, his chances of evading your blow or countering with his own are next to nothing. At worst, his instincts honed through decades of life and hunting will allow him to react and dodge your attack, but you will still be able to retreat or strike again without risking retaliation. For, no matter how skilled he has become in slaying men or rivals, he's never faced a housecat before! Much less one who has become as kin of ghosts and specters! He will bat and snap at mist and after images!

At least, that is what you tell yourself to keep your confidence. Admitting weakness or defeat will only worsen your chances of success, as believing you have already lost means you will anticipate defeat and not fight as fiercely or courageously. Licking the back of your other paw, you glance back toward the graveyard, and decide that while you wait it will serve as your home. If nothing else, it will keep you hidden from the townsfolk, as it is unsuitable for cultivation, with little natural Qi and fewer ghosts. But, it will suffice as a bed until your opponent returns from his own abode and descends to the village once again.

Until then, you can observe the brat he mauled, see if he's a fool who'll throw away his life, and scrutinize his obvious potential. Who knows, perhaps you may find Granny Monu a second student or at least a servant to keep her from overexerting her old and frail body. Besides! The young boy's grudge is very tasty and filling, and adding even a few breaths of it to your reserves of internal miasma may prove to be the deciding factor in your battle against Old Crooked Fang!
-

Something was different about the mountain air, Jiuquiliaoya thought as he descended from his cave, following the same path he had followed for years. The air was cold, even though it was not yet autumn or winter. And the air was also static with a force unknown to him, as though a storm was approaching even though the sky was clear. Beneath his resplendent golden fur, his muscles tensed and shivered as the oddly frigid air bit and locked itself to his bones, seeping deep. Deeper than his flesh, deeper than his marrow, in his very essence.

Something had changed, become strange. The mountain was no longer as he remembered it when he was a cub, when he was a frail old beast who could no longer bite through the hides of deer and oxen. It felt...it felt as though he had awoken to a tomb filled with the vengeful shades of his victims, glaring at his back as shadows in the night, their eyes glowing red with a hatred only the dead could tolerate to experience. Something was wrong, he did not know what was wrong but he was certain something was.
Cont
>>
>>5050386

His instincts hissed in the back of his mind, snarling and commanding him to check every shadow and jolt at every branch that snapped beneath his powerful paws.

Stretching his claws out, he paused for a moment, rolling his whiskered lips over his fangs as he checked his surroundings. Was he being hunted? Stalked? The lack of the tell tale stench of humanity would otherwise have assuaged his fears and lessened his paranoia, but the feeling he was being watched, being hunted did not abet.

Every step Jiuquliaoya took, felt as though he was wandering deeper into his own grave. The trees became as tombs as he neared his hunting ground. The air grew ever colder, and he began to wonder if the temperature had increased or if the chill was merely the manifestation of his instinct's warning him of the doom he felt awaited for him ahead. But his hunger led him onward, as he cast aside such notions and ignored the cold. There did not exist a beast or man upon this mountain that could challenge him

Yet, why did his paw shake as he lifted it to take another step, and swore he smelled freshly spilled blood upon the night's air?
-

You lifted your tail into the air, lurking in the undergrowth just before the village's northern gates. With your back arched, and your forepaws and pressed to the ground, you watched the shimmering coated tiger emerge from the shadows, his golden coat appearing as if it was soaked with the very essence of the sun. He paused for a breath of time, worry flashing through his proud eyes before he shook his head and bared his fangs, plodding onwards towards the lantern lit village below.

Wiggling your hindquarters by habit, you readied yourself to attack and pounce your unaware opponent. Jiuquliaoya passed by your hiding spot, unaware of your presence.

Time slowed, and your tensed muscles snapped as you charged forward

Roll 1d100. Best out of three. DC 50

https://youtu.be/XqG9DC6ajFg so music to set the mood/ accompany the fight
>>
Rolled 75 (1d100)

>>5050389
>>
Rolled 47 (1d100)

>>5050389
>>
Rolled 16 (1d100)

>>5050389
>>
>>5050392
based
>>
>>5050392
Alright, Over the DC by half of its total! NIiiiiice

Update will arrive shortly

The Cat challengers the Tiger
>>
The wind picked up instantly, the branches swayed and danced as their leaves were torn and carried along the gale. A wailing howl whistled through the forest, between the outcroppings and pillars of rocks rising from the mountain side. Like a chorus of dammed souls or a mourning daughter weeping over her father's corpse. Time halted, slowing so greatly it was nearly frozen in place almost as if it was watching with baited breath as you raced towards golden coated Jiùqūliáoyá, anticipating the outcome of this fateful battle between cat and tiger. Your heart pounded, like a orchestra of war drums. Your mind achieved a clarity equal to a polished mirror. Rapidity returned, time began to flow again, as you performed the Phantom Cat Step. Like a sequence of paintings, you watched as the confused tiger turned to face you, each movement immortalized in the moment between each blink! The howling wind died, replaced with the arrow like whistling of you piercing through the air like a bolt of lightning. Colors blurred, the forest became a pool of intermingling. green and black ink. The stars flared, and flicked in the night sky. A wind of deathly cold, razor tipped wind rushed alongside you.

Four blinks, and you're upon Jiuquliaoya. He bares his teeth and fangs, his lip slowly curling back as his back arches. You've already extended your claws. Leaping to the side, you leave the tiger staring at the shadows beneath the woods. Outstretching your claws, you bury them into his hindleg, raking them through fur and flesh, soiling his shining golden coat crimson as you weave beneath his legs and tail. His distorted roar, shakes the trees, as you blink forward twice, use a tree trunk as a springboard, and shoot back beneath him, raking your claws over his leg as his pain and the shock of being wounded by what must appear to his eyes as a phantom leaves him open and undefended. His rightmost back leg, now slowly turning scarlet, is marked with eight horizontal slashes exposing muscle and tendons. Not enough to cripple the murderous lord of the mountain, but enough to slow and weaken him.

A shadow falls upon you, and you blink sideways, pulling yourself onto a smoothed rock as you allow time to resume its natural flow. Glancing back, you see Jiuquliaoya snarling, head bowed and vapors rising from his jaws giving him the appearance of a raging demon. One of his fangs is broken in half, revealing the inspiration of his moniker. His strips ripple as his muscle tense and relax.

He had swung his paw down at you, after he felt your second blow, and had shattered the hardened, stony ground beneath where you had stood a moment ago. Chunk of cold, black and purple clay, jut from the center of the impact and fall over as he slowly raises his leg and adopts a tall and proud stance. His breath coils and curls around his tongue, washing over his white almost pearlescent fangs almost like smoke. A low growl rumbles in his throat.

Cont
>>
>>5050508

"So, it was no vengeful spirit that stalked me, but rather a tamed cat that imagines itself to be a lion" He chuckled threateningly, his blood red eyes narrowed hatefully "What manner of trick was that? That allowed one as small as yourself to spill my blood?"

You arch your back, all of your fur standing on end and fluffing up, its blood red hue caught in beams of moonlight as your yellow eyes glow in the dark. Your chosen opponent's snarl turns to a smile as his tail flicks and he takes a single step forward.

"Your scent is foreign, so you could not have been the pet of one of my victims. In fact, you reek of death" He says as your eyes dart, searching for an opening in his confident stride and sturdy posture "Like a field of corpses left after a battle, blood buried beneath the aroma of death itself, frozen and bitter. You're a magical beast, clearly, but are you my junior or my elder?"

You blinked away, leaping to a branch above him just as he sent a quake through the earth with a single strike of his paw, splitting the stone you had been sitting upon.

His cultivation is weak, he has absorbed less qi than yourself. But that doesn't matter when his natural strength is already monstrous on its own! He may not have any skills or mystical arts, but his raw power is something to be both feared and respected.

"Your power is beyond the normal limits of a pampered pet, even one that has awoken and began to gather Qi. And that technique.." The tiger pondered out loud as he stretched his paw and its claws, limping on his injured back leg as he stepped forward "But to be so foolish as to believe yourself capable of killing me, whether you have come to claim my throne or steal my power, could only mean you are younger!"

He turns, swinging his claws to fell the tree you've leapt to rather than climbing it himself. And leaves himself wide open as he puts all of his strength behind the scything blow of a single leg.

What is your next move in this battle, Huānliúxuè?

>Use the Phantom Cat Step to fly down the tree's trunk, and use its speed to headbutt Jiuquliaoya! [Martial trial! DC 40. Daze both yourself and Jiuquliaoya on success]

>Let him knock the tree down, and float through the air to another and try to trick him into tiring himself out by continuously cutting down trees [Mischief Trial. DC 70]

>Slow time with Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, run down the tree, cut his paw, and slip beneath him before he can retaliate or react [Martial trial. DC 50]

>Breath a cloud of grudges into Jiuquliaoya face to see what will happen, if it will drive him rapid or weaken him [???]

>Write in
>>
>>5050509
>Slow time with Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, run down the tree, cut his paw, and slip beneath him before he can retaliate or react [Martial trial. DC 50]
>>
>>5050509
>Slow time with Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, run down the tree, cut his paw, and slip beneath him before he can retaliate or react [Martial trial. DC 50]
Cut up his legs before trying any grudges.
>Send down orbs of darkness to take away his sight.
If he can only smell death, there's a lot to toy with there. Or maybe we just break his spirit.
>>
>>5050509
Our objective is to test the Phantom Cat Step, so just use it to step away from him. What's he gonna do? pursue us, the ocelot sized cat with teleportation and ethereality, whilst having his hindleg rended? attack the village and thus face both us and the entire village, wounded? There is no need to engage in a battle of brute force.
>>
>>5050509

>Slow time with Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, run down the tree, cut his paw, and slip beneath him before he can retaliate or react [Martial trial. DC 50]
>>
>>5050509
>Let him knock the tree down, and float through the air to another and try to trick him into tiring himself out by continuously cutting down trees [Mischief Trial. DC 70]
>>
>>5050509
>Slow time with Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, run down the tree, cut his paw, and slip beneath him before he can retaliate or react
>>
>>5050516
He knows our scent. If we don't kill him here he could go dark for a while then follow us home, just as we did to Ling Meng.
And one strike with our new power can hardly be called a stringent test of our newfound techniques. On that note.
>Use the Phantom Cat Step to fly down the tree's trunk, and use its speed to headbutt Jiuquliaoya! [Martial trial! DC 40. Daze both yourself and Jiuquliaoya on success]
>>
>>5050509
>Write in: use the Phantom Cat Step to jump onto Jiuquliaoya's back where he cannot reach us, and target his neck and head.
>>
>>5050509
>Slow time with Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, run down the tree, cut his paw, and slip beneath him before he can retaliate or react [Martial trial. DC 50]
Slowly whittling him down seems like a good approach.
>>
>>5050509
>Slow time with Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, run down the tree, cut his paw, and slip beneath him before he can retaliate or react
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Slow time with Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, run down the tree, cut his paw, and slip beneath him before he can retaliate or react: 6
-Send orbs of darkness to blind him: 1

Take flight and retreat from the battle: 1

Let him knock the tree down, and float through the air to another and try to trick him into tiring himself out by continuously cutting down trees: 1

Use the Phantom Cat Step to fly down the tree's trunk, and use its speed to headbutt Jiuquliaoya! : 1

se the Phantom Cat Step to jump onto Jiuquliaoya's back where he cannot reach us, and target his neck and head.:1

Alright, so Using Distorted time to cut the Tiger's paw wins and escaped without feeling the force put behind it wins!

Rolling will be done now this time, cause I can't figure out a good way to write a "intermediate" update this time

Roll 1d100. Best of three. DC 50

>>5050558
And that cat is still adorable
>>
Rolled 19 (1d100)

>>5050681
>>
Rolled 26 (1d100)

>>5050681
>>
Rolled 33 (1d100)

>>5050681
>>
>>5050693
Damn, a failure. Update will arrive shortly
>>
whats the fucking chance to fail 3 50% rolls in a row? we have had literally one roll over 50 in this thread, bad fortune
>>
Leaping the moment the opportunity presents itself, you distort time, utilizing the basic form of Yōulíng-Qīnggōng. Jiuquliaoya has only witnessed the skill briefly, in the form of the phantom cat step. That the effect does not immediately end and you flicker rather than blink should throw off any guard he may be able to take. Gracefully, you meet the tree's trunk with your paws and run down it, almost bounding towards your larger and fiercer foe. The world slows, his movements become ponderous as you retain your own speed even if your perceptions are distorted by the altering of time's passage as well. His eyes crawl to look up at you, instantly recognizing the difference between the two techniques. But rather than lowering his guard, he moves to step back, while still carrying out the blow he had initiated to fell the tree you had leapt to.

Sensing the opening in his defenses quickly closing, you pick up your pace, practically flying down the tree trunk to struke him before he steps outside of your range completely. Kicking off and leaping from just a few feet above the base of the tree and its roots, you stretch out your claws, and flick your foreleg, trying to slip it under his own paw to cut into its pad or better yet the wrist below it. If you can strike a vein or block of a meridian, the brute of a tiger will be greatly weakened and the path to your victory will become much easier to walk. Your thinner claws pierce his hide, digging into his flesh. And then rather than continuing his swing or trying to bat you to the ground as he did before, he flexes his claws, clenching them into as much of a fist as a cat is able to. But its enough for them to dig into your own fur and hide, giving him a solid grip on your paw and the foreleg its connected to.

Your eyes meet his gaze, for a moment that drags on for several.

"Caught you" He slurs, as you reflexively try to blink away with the Phantom Cat Step, and the near imperceptible delay between the time first returning to its normal pace before once more staggering is all he needs to overcome the sphere of the distortion and take advantage of the position you put yourself in.

"Dogfucker!" You spit defiantly in the second before your slammed face first into the ground by your paw. A jolt of agony shoots from your wrist to your neck, but before you're even able to yowl in pain, Jiuquliaoya bats you away, against another tree. Its bark cracks and falls away as you leave an indent into it.

Dazed, you open your eyes just in time to see the tiger's claws and barred fangs. Acting quickly, you blink beneath his legs and retreat to the sturdiest looking tree in the arena of your duel. Hissing, you spit and snarl, testing your weight against you pain and feeling twinges of pain with each push against its wrist. Your head is still swimming, but your mind is clear enough to think, plan and react.

"Dogfucker" You snarl again, cursing the tiger as he smirks and bends his paw.

Cont
>>
>>5050719

"Your neck should have snapped. I did not feel your bones toughen or your flesh harden. You became as light as air, as insubstantial. If only you had became as such the moment I threw you" The golden furred lord laughs "What a curious foe you are! Pet of man."

You hiss, trails and plumes of the miasma formed from materialized grudges flowing past your fangs and parted lips as you bristle your fur and arch your back.

"Can you even tell if you're bleeding with fur that shade?" He asks, as he charges you, but you duck and evade his blow at the last moment, blinking as he slams into the tree, shaking it but not snapping its trunk. Still, his strength was enough to leave three deep gouges where is claws rent through its trunk.

"You certainly smell like so much spilt and wasted blood" He snarls as you sway, testing to see which angle of attack would be the most effective and less likely to lead to you being punched into another tree. The tiger pauses, and the two of you are left in a stalemate, looking into the other's eyes. His paw shakes for a moment.

"And death. Death in winter. Death by cold and by ice and by hunger" He whispers, narrowing his eyes as looks upon your own "What are you? What has made you the way you are? You've feasted upon the flesh of men, clearly, but the scent around you! You've subsumed vital energy from something far more dreadful than blood. Tell me what it was and I will be..."

"Stop talking you fool, this is a fight, not a sparring match. I've come to test my claws against your own, not gossip with an old man ignorant of his own nature" You scolding snarl

"Then let us battle, I'll just beat the answer out of you then, prideful kitten" He states dully, wincing as he steps with his torn leg. He begins to rush you, teeth bared and head bowed. He is either going to bite onto your neck, or ring your skull with a earthshattering headbutt.

What is your third move in this battle, Huānliúxuè?

>Feint a bite yourself, and then conjure a Qi ball upon the tip of your barbed tongue and for lack of a better term, spit the Yin aligned sphere at your foe [Magic trial. DC 40]

>Coat yourself in Yin Qi, wearing a shroud of shadows as you imbue your claws with Metal Qi, hiding them in the darkness that surrounds you before making a shallow cut into the tiger's hide and shocking him with as much QI as you can channel before he retaliates (Martial trial. DC 45)

>Overemphasis the pain in your paw, to embolden Jiuquliaoya to act rashly, and when he nears bite into his neck and "Anti Heal" him, pumping the Qi of Death into his Meridians (Deception Trial, DC 50)

>Turn tail and run away! retreat and prepare a counter attack or trap for the crazily strong brute!

>Write in

>>5050710
The heaven's clearly do not love Huanliuxue. All the more reason to rebel against them
>>
>>5050720
>Blind him with orbs of darkness, then project a sphere of Yin behind to feint an attack
>Slice open his neck from the front with Metal Qi claws
>>
>>5050720
>Overemphasis the pain in your paw, to embolden Jiuquliaoya to act rashly, and when he nears bite into his neck and "Anti Heal" him, pumping the Qi of Death into his Meridians (Deception Trial, DC 50)
>>
>>5050720
>>Coat yourself in Yin Qi, wearing a shroud of shadows as you imbue your claws with Metal Qi, hiding them in the darkness that surrounds you before making a shallow cut into the tiger's hide and shocking him with as much QI as you can channel before he retaliates (Martial trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5050720
Supporting >>5050729
>>
>>5050720
>Coat yourself in Yin Qi, wearing a shroud of shadows as you imbue your claws with Metal Qi, hiding them in the darkness that surrounds you before making a shallow cut into the tiger's hide and shocking him with as much QI as you can channel before he retaliates
>>
>>5050720
>>Overemphasis the pain in your paw, to embolden Jiuquliaoya to act rashly, and when he nears bite into his neck and "Anti Heal" him, pumping the Qi of Death into his Meridians (Deception Trial, DC 50)
There is no way we fail a DC 50 twice in a row right?
please
>>
>>5050720
>Coat yourself in Yin Qi, wearing a shroud of shadows as you imbue your claws with Metal Qi, hiding them in the darkness that surrounds you before making a shallow cut into the tiger's hide and shocking him with as much QI as you can channel before he retaliates (Martial trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5050720
>>Coat yourself in Yin Qi, wearing a shroud of shadows as you imbue your claws with Metal Qi, hiding them in the darkness that surrounds you before making a shallow cut into the tiger's hide and shocking him with as much QI as you can channel before he retaliates (Martial trial. DC 45)
our first opponent is going to kill us with luck like this
>>
>>5050720
>Overemphasis the pain in your paw, to embolden Jiuquliaoya to act rashly, and when he nears bite into his neck and "Anti Heal" him, pumping the Qi of Death into his Meridians (Deception Trial, DC 50)
>>
>>5050720
>Overemphasis the pain in your paw, to embolden Jiuquliaoya to act rashly, and when he nears bite into his neck and "Anti Heal" him, pumping the Qi of Death into his Meridians (Deception Trial, DC 50)
>>
>>5050720
>Feint a bite yourself, and then conjure a Qi ball upon the tip of your barbed tongue and for lack of a better term, spit the Yin aligned sphere at your foe
>>
>>5050720
>Coat yourself in Yin Qi, wearing a shroud of shadows as you imbue your claws with Metal Qi, hiding them in the darkness that surrounds you before making a shallow cut into the tiger's hide and shocking him with as much QI as you can channel before he retaliates (Martial trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5050720
>Coat yourself.

He is very Yang aspected, likely fire. So Metal may be ineffective.
>>
>>5050887
He's physically stronger and a better fighter than we are but he seems to be completely ignorant of cultivation so I'm not sure if he is really aligned to anything.
>>
>>5050917
You are aligned to things naturally. Cultivators just have a "purer" alignment.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

Blind him with orbs of darkness, then project a sphere of Yin behind to feint an attack+Slice open his neck from the front with Metal Qi claws: 2

Overemphasize to embolden Jiuquliaoya to act rashly, and when he nears bite into his neck and "Anti Heal" him, pumping the Qi of Death into his Meridians:4

Coat yourself in Yin Qi, wearing a shroud of shadows as you imbue your claws with Metal Qi, hiding them in the darkness that surrounds you before making a shallow cut into the tiger's hide and shocking him with as much QI as you can channel before he retaliates: 6

Feint a bite yourself, and then conjure a Qi ball upon the tip of your barbed tongue and for lack of a better term, spit the Yin aligned sphere at your foe:1

So, you will wear a shroud of darkness, using it to hide both your position and the fact you've coated your claws in Metal Qi before making a shallow cut into the tigers hide to channel as much of the qi as you can before he can retaliate

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Rolled 18 (1d100)

>>5051488
Don't you need rolls?
>>
>>5051489
Evidently we have to wait for the post to be up. Intermediary as it is
>>
>>5051490
My bad, I'm retarded.
>>
already starting with the absolute trash rolls I see, very based
>>
So you allow yourself to become with the night, subsumed by the shadows. Coating the whole of your body in Yin Qi, you dress yourself in a second coat, one woven of darkness and cold. It flows from your fur, like tongues of smoke and plumes of ash, flowing and swaying like ink spilled into a bowl of water. Your opponent may be an absolute novice in cultivation, but from his description of your scent you know he is able to on some level perceive your Qi. Not a true spiritual sense, but the beginnings of a sixth sense though he does not realize it himself. Instinct honed so finely it is able to warn him not only of material threats, but those spiritual and supernatural as well.

Jiùqūliáoyá's eyes narrow, as he loses sight of you but can still follow your scent. Wearing shadows like a robe in a night as dark can make you invisible even to the eyes of beasts, and while the old tiger may be able to track your location by scent alone, it is not as accurate as he would be able to be if he were still able to see you and study your movements. The hesitation in his assault, allows you to circle around him. His delay in turning to face you, stomping both his front legs on the ground in an effort to make you stumble and trip over cracks his raw power create through the earth or be knocked over from the sheer force of the quakes rippling through the soil as though it had become water. But you are a cat, and keeping your balance comes as naturally as breathing or eating does if not with even greater ease!

Stalking around him, you weave and blink beneath his wide, scything slashes and hammer like stomps and headbutts. Manifesting Metal aligned Qi through your paws and into your claws, they briefly shimmer like polished metal but the change is hidden from your opponent's perceptions by the aura of night you've cast over yourself. Despite his age, and near blindness of your presence, Jiuquilaoya does not relent or fail to match you step for step. His mastery of combat and killing reveals itself in the ease of which he adapts to what must be the strangest foe he has ever met in battle. And, he does not allow his own doubt or worry to show itself in either his expression or glare. He's learned you strike when he is weak, beneath his strikes and guards. He is trying to keep you from finding an opening, through an unrelenting, tireless assault.

However, he doesn't have eyes to see, that he is playing in the palm of your hand! That you've intended him to become more aggressive and wild! You cannot face him head on, that much both of you know, however he is entirely unaware of the breadth of your technique and the number of abilities with which you've become skillful. He's testing your limits, trying to both exhaust you and keep you on the defensive, trusting his greater stamina and larger body to outlast your own despite your greater cultivation and volume of qi.

Cont
>>
>>5051502

And that tactic, while sound and logical for one at his level to use against a higher rank opponent, shall be his downfall. Cats of all stripes and sizes, are ambush predators. He has forgotten this, become prideful because of his strength and fortitude. But, you still remember when you lurked by the river's edge or stalked bird's in a field for hours. Sparks fly from your claws, as they coil with tails of lightning that emerge from the tip of your claws like vipers.

Old Crooked Fang pounces forward, trying to crush you beneath his bulk. You blink to meet him with a single claw outstretched. Redirecting your Qi through your meridians, you turn that singular blade into a conduit of the storm's fury.

One wrong step, and you'll be crushed beneath several hundred pounds of tiger. But all you need is a scratch, no matter how shallow, to fill Jiuquilaoya with enough lightning to make his golden fur glow!

Roll 1d100. Best out of three. DC 45

>>5051489
To be clear, I am not counting this roll as it came early
>>
Rolled 80 (1d100)

>>5051503
>>
Rolled 64 (1d100)

>>5051503
we can do it, we can win with a 90% success chance
>>
Rolled 46 (1d100)

>>5051503
>>
Rolled 34 (1d100)

>>5051503
>>
oh now we're doing this huh?
>>
>>5051505
Nearly twice over! Update will arrive shortly.

>>5051510
The heavens truly are fickle
>>
As you shoot forward, with speed to rival lightning itself, your realize something about Jiuquliaoya's crude fighting style. When he leaps, pounces or otherwise tries to overpower his opponent with raw strength over any technique, he pushes both of his forepaws forward the moment before he slams them to the ground or into his foe. That is an easily exploitable habit. Leaping just high enough to rise just below the tiger in midpounce, you throw your claw out like you were trying to catch a bird and slash it across the length of his leg before it catches just beneath his shoulder. The cut is shallow, so shallow it would otherwise be little more than a nuisance that's forgotten about even before it heals fully. However, your claw was filled with enough metal Qi to glow like thunder in the night's sky! There's a loud cracking sound, followed by an indescribable hiss as you channel your energy into Jiuquliaoya's flesh and blood! A loud hum accompanies the attack, as the tiger begins to first stiffen and then fall to the earth, his fur bristling as his hide began to vibrate and tremble.

Clinging to his belly, you ride him to the earth, still forcing more Qi into his muscles and bones, as smoke roses from the blackening fur around the limb your claw had been buried in through his own momentum more than any effort of your part. You see his crimson eyes, widened with shock and confusion as his legs cycle between stiffening and spasming wildly, his fur puffed up like a kitten startled by a falling pot, his tail stuck straight in the air as drool flows past his fangs. Through the agonized haze of electrocution, the old tiger realizes you're the cause of his sudden affliction and paralysis. A fury as deep as the sea fills his blood red eyes, which begin to glow either through the fires of his rage or the electric current still rippling through his body.

Through sheer force of will and stubbornness, he snaps his jaws. Where your head was a moment ago, before you blinked away and faded into the shadows. Pressing yourself flat to the ground, you watch the tiger stagger back to his feet, one paw tucked to his broad chest, and one trembling as he forced himself to stand upon it. One black leg, and one red leg. What a monstrous creature he is! to endure such pain and still stand so proudly

'That trick isn't going to work a second time' you warn yourself as you circle around the tiger, lurking in the dark beyond his vision 'A human would've been fried like a fish! That must've weakened him enough to make him less dangerous to fight'

And as if answering your thoughts, the tiger roars in a rage that illuminates the night with its brilliance. And flattens all the trees in a large, several meters radius from the power of his voice alone. Without the tree's branches to block it, moonlight flows readily into the gap in the forest Jiuquliaoya had created, your cloak of shadows now reveals your presence rather than hiding it.

Cont
>>
>>5051548

"Gryaaaaaaaaaaaah" The tiger snarls, glaring down at you as you tail flicks twice, once to the north and once to the south. Smoke billows from the old lord's throat, as he staggers forward on three legs "I will admit, I underestimated you, young queen. Clearly, you've achieved a new state of being beyond merely awakening to the world. I know the valor of retreating, living to fight another day however"

The air begins to grow heavy as a wave of killing intent washes over you.

"I cannot forgive the wounding of my pride. Either I beat you until you reveal to me the source of your power, and I leave you broken beneath the moon, or you decide if I live for another day" He hisses as you stand and adopt your ethereal stance once again "There can be no other outcome, besides further bloodshed"

His eyes glow golden, his fur bristles, and his back and limbs bulge with muscles. Steam rises and curls from the corner of his mouth. He's burning his internal energy, forcing his body to its physical limits to increase his strength and speed, while tightening and hardening his hide.

His injuries and stumbling gait will lessen the threat he poses, but to underestimate him now would be to court death. He has one forepaw and one back leg uninjured, but he still bares his claws and fangs.

You need to end this fight quickly, else you receive an injury you cannot easily walk off or are overcome by the sheer endurance of your opponent! That he still stands is awe inspiring. But, as haggard as he is, as injured as he is, he cannot fight for much longer. His incredible strength and durability will fail him, after just a few more blows. The difficulty is landing those strikes without being pummeled by him!

If he continues overexerting himself, he will fall unconscious, however you can't simply wait for him to exhaust himself. He's in a murderous rage after your latest attack! You need to beat him down, or he'll beat you down!

How will you attempt to end this duel of felines, Huānliúxuè?

>Breath a cloud of grudges in a circular motion, swallow them back down and allow yourself to be enraged by them. Match aggression with aggression and try to beat the tiger quickly [Martial trial. DC 60. Will be injured, even on success]

>Your style and body cannot overcome Jiuquliaoya directly, he is wounded, injured. Try to defeat him with a thousand cuts, rather than a singular strike [Martial trial DC 55]

>He only has one paw to stand on! Bait him into striking with it, and use a combination of The Phantom Cat Step and redirection through combining your own momentum with his strength through a strike to his paw mid-swipe, making him break his own arm [Martial trial. 70]

>Yin is also cold. His increased strength and speed relies on his muscles overworking, producing excessive heat in the process. Chilling him to the bone will both seal his technique and shock his already wounded body, hopefully making him faint! [Magic Trial: DC 55]

>Write in
>>
>>5051549
>He only has one paw to stand on! Bait him into striking with it, and use a combination of The Phantom Cat Step and redirection through combining your own momentum with his strength through a strike to his paw mid-swipe, making him break his own arm [Martial trial. 70]
>>
>>5051549
>Yin is also cold. His increased strength and speed relies on his muscles overworking, producing excessive heat in the process. Chilling him to the bone will both seal his technique and shock his already wounded body, hopefully making him faint! [Magic Trial: DC 55]
>>
>>5051549
Failure with freezing him will just give his muscles reprieve.

>Bait him back into the shadows with a fiendish smirk and then strike from above using our claws caked in poision

If we can bait him into attacking us ar the edge fo the clearing, it will provide us the opportunity to flicker up a tree and then strike as a dart from the heavens.
Done quickly and from behind the tree, he wont be able to see us reposition.
>>
>>5051549
We can breath grudges on him, but I guess he's too resolute now for that. Still, projectiles are to our advantage.
>Send orbs of darkness to his eyes. Lead him around with your voice, but feint with a mass of Yin from another direction.
Then we'll be able to chill him
>>
>>5051564
That's better than mine.

Mimic our scent or mask it in the scent of Yin so his senses are confused.
>>
Also, just wanna say, I love how clever you guys are getting with your write ins.
>>
>>5051549
>Yin is also cold. His increased strength and speed relies on his muscles overworking, producing excessive heat in the process. Chilling him to the bone will both seal his technique and shock his already wounded body, hopefully making him faint!
A piece of feedback about the quest so far, I still don't see why we'd go for anything other than the lowest DC option. Perhaps make them provide benefits for higher DCs and drawbacks for lower ones? That'd give incentive to pick alternative prompts.
>>
>>5051585
Or you can just pick them if they seem cool and be happy if there's a bonus for succeeding.
>>
>>5051585
I mean the martial one was obviously a self-destructive idea.

On the other hand, it would teach MC one of the more directly powerful skills related to grudges, and it might even be rather low on risk compared to other living targets we'd need to try this on.

Also, you know, there have been write-ins hoping to improve our chances/rewards for a while now.
>>
>>5051549
>>5051564
Support.
>>
>>5051585
I have done that a few times already, actually.

I plan on continuing to list effects/ debuffs/ risks, when I think its prudent/ necessary to do . And each choice does have different effects which is one of the factors I use to set the DCs in the first place.

In the end somethings will be easier to do, and some will be harder depending on the situation. In one vote, taking the easy choice may result in twice the results for half the effort, in others taking the more difficult option may prove decisive.

But, unless it becomes an issue, I won't list every detail of what a choice/success/failure will result in, in combat or otherwise, just what's important or necessary

Thanks for the feed back, by the way!

>>5051590
>>5051595
Exactly!
>>
>>5051549
>Breath a cloud of grudges in a circular motion, swallow them back down and allow yourself to be enraged by them. Match aggression with aggression and try to beat the tiger quickly [Martial trial. DC 60. Will be injured, even on success]
>>
>>5051549
>Yin is also cold. His increased strength and speed relies on his muscles overworking, producing excessive heat in the process. Chilling him to the bone will both seal his technique and shock his already wounded body, hopefully making him faint! [Magic Trial: DC 55]
>>
>>5051549
>Yin is also cold. His increased strength and speed relies on his muscles overworking, producing excessive heat in the process. Chilling him to the bone will both seal his technique and shock his already wounded body, hopefully making him faint! [Magic Trial: DC 55]
>>
>Yin is also cold. His increased strength and speed relies on his muscles overworking, producing excessive heat in the process. Chilling him to the bone will both seal his technique and shock his already wounded body, hopefully making him faint! [Magic Trial: DC 55]
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results. Sorry for the wait, was kept from my computer

He only has one paw to stand on! Bait him into striking with it, and use a combination of The Phantom Cat Step and redirection through combining your own momentum with his strength through a strike to his paw mid-swipe, making him break his own arm :1

Yin is also cold. His increased strength and speed relies on his muscles overworking, producing excessive heat in the process. Chilling him to the bone will both seal his technique and shock his already wounded body, hopefully making him faint!: 5

Bait him back into the shadows with a fiendish smirk and then strike from above using our claws caked in poison: 1

Send orbs of darkness to his eyes. Lead him around with your voice, but feint with a mass of Yin from another direction.: 2

Breath a cloud of grudges in a circular motion, swallow them back down and allow yourself to be enraged by them. Match aggression with aggression and try to beat the tiger quickly: 1

So you will try to freeze the tiger, sealing his body altering technique and hopefully making him feint from the sheer shock of it

Roll 1d100. Best out of three. DC 55
>>
Rolled 59 (1d100)

>>5052532
>>
Rolled 95 (1d100)

>>5052532
>>
Rolled 86 (1d100)

>>5052532
>>
>>5052536
Alright! just five below the highest possible roll.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
However, such a brutish approach is unbecoming of you! And your style, skills, capabilities and magic are all directly opposed to such a brutish method of attack. And trying to outmatch Jiuquliaoya in a contest of brutality and strength will only lead to you being smacked into another tree or mauled like his victims. Your advantage lies in your greater knowledge, cunning and cultivation! To overcome this stubborn obstacle, now that he has served his purpose in testing the effectiveness of the Phantom Cat Step as both a shield and spear, without suffering an injury worse than a ringing skull or risking a crippling wound because you decided to play around with him or get cocky you'll need to be clever rather than strong. Guile over might, and you realize just the means to claim your victory over the old lord of the mountain.

His body strengthening technique is effective despite his lack of proper training, as a last ditch effort at least. You could let him tire himself out, waste his stamina chasing you through the woods and the shadows they cast but you are certain with his heightened speed powered by his overworked muscles he would eventually catch you like you would a mouse or human who has wandered too far into the wilds. And considering that this strangely refined technique of his also boosts his strength, getting caught is close enough to a death sentence for you to utterly refuse to risk the chance of it! However, though the trick may be terrifying and crudely effective in the hands of one who has achieved master in fighting so brutishly yet skillfully, it has a grave weakness you are uniquely equipped to exploit!

The technique produces excess heat, and is powered an increased and finer use of the user's musculature, forcefully pushing their body to its utter most limits by mimicking the effects of extreme physical exertion, by tricking the mind and body both that the user is fighting for their lives. Relying on rage and adrenaline, they push themselves past their natural limits while expending a minuscule amount of Qi to augment and alter their flesh to endure such arduous physical burden. In the hands of a lesser beast or practioner, they would burn themselves out and die from exhaustion. That is one weakness, however, one that Jiuquliaoya is aware of. The one you shall exploit, is unknown to him, and is much more simple.

Muscles weaken when exposed to cold and sudden shifts of temperature cause a great deal shock, breaking clay pots and bringing such stress to living men it can even stop their hearts. Or make them faint. And the amount of shock and stress inflicted is proportional to the drasticness of the change in temperature, from hot to cold or the reverse.

One of the attributes of Yin is cold. And your body, from your meridians to the soul inhabiting it, is overflowing with Pure Yin Qi, taken from ghosts and metal alike. Jiuquliaoya is clearly more aligned to Yang, judging from his demeanor alone.
Cont
>>
>>5052591
Yin and Yang, while supportive of each other, are also opposed to each other. Such there is balance between all concepts that have an opposite. A balance that is easy to abuse or cast aside to create discord.

'Jiuquliaoya is stronger than me physically,' you muse as the tiger throws himself at you in a feral, barbaric rage, an assualt which you endure by blinking beneath his wild blows, only avoiding them before of the injuries to his legs slowing him enough to make it even possible to evade the swipes and slashes of his claws 'He is larger too. However, in terms of cultivation'

You slow time, turning on your heels to face him directly as he stumbles toward you, struggling to adjust to walking with three paws only, and on one that is threatening to give out from pain alone.

'I am his superior in every regard' you sneer in your thoughts, as you gather as much of your Qi as your body can endure, concentrating it greatly enough that you feel ice begin to trickle through your veins. You cannot manifest it or summon it through your paws or head, or you'd risk a potentially deadly blow back of the raw force of cold you command and call from within yourself. Instead you gather the spiritual energy into the tip of your tail, channeling it through your governing vessel meridian before halting it partway through its journey to your head. The tip of your tail glows blue and radiates with the essence of the cruelest of winter, ice clings to your scarlet fur as Jiuquliaoya opens his jaws to thrash you between them and.

They freeze in place as you brush your tail against his chin, heart hammering as you maintain the appearance of being coolly composed, while you resist the urge to collapse from the fear that just faded from your heart or the sheer rush of your impending victory. Jiuquliaoya's jaws chatter as you turn your back to him, and flick your tail down his chin and across his neck, releasing all of the gathered, frigid Yin Qi, directly into his body.

Instantly, his technique is sealed, as his muscles tighten up and focus on keeping his core temperature from falling to a dangerous low. Confusion fills the tiger's crimson eyes, as frost crawls from his fangs down, following the path you drew with your tail.

A path which forms the characters to spell "I win" across his chest.

It was the most risky action you have ever taken in your life, a moment to move your tail before you'd be pummeled and mauled. But you had succeed at it! And how sweet the wine of victory did taste.

Smiling smugly, you prance forward a few steps and nearly fly away into the sky as you leap five feet into the air out of surprise as Jiuquliaoya slams his paw down one last time, shattering the earth a mere step behind you. Rocks rain upon you.

Arching your back, and fully fluffed up, you look back to see agony written over his face, twinges of pain passing through like bursts of laughter across the tiger's grimace.
>>
>>5052594

The shock of being nearly frozen, was enough to afflict and damage his heart!

But Jiuquliaoya endures the attack on his heart and remains concious. He takes a step forward, and then another, steam rising from his fangs as he raises up his paw, its shadow falling over your face as you find yourself suddenly unable to move from sheer panic. If he can endure such a blow! What hope do you have in besting him

And then he collapses with a drawn out sight, whimpering as his grimace turns to an expression of pain alone, anger fading as he focus all his effort on keeping his heart from simply stopping in place, frozen like his jaws. You gawk at him for a moment, jaw dropped open and eyes widen before you regain you senses and puff your chest out proudly, flicking your tail back and forth to manage the stress of witnessing the Old Tiger's unmatched stubbornness firsthand.

Raising a paw to your chin, you titter "What a terrifying beast you are! Jiuquliaoya!"

He gazes up at you, drooling as his body succumbs to the pain of being electrocuted and half frozen within the span of a few seconds, unable to move or even stand.

"I should be saying that to you, housecat" He mutters "What creature can wield thunder like the skies, or call forth the breath of a winter so harsh!"

What do you do now that you have won through cunning and superior technique, Huānliúxuè?

>Mock your fallen foe and boast freely of your talent and skill, playfully batting and pawing at his head as you get drunk off victory, prancing about him like a song bird.

>Tell Jiuquliaoya exactly what creature can "Only a cultivator, as far as I know. If you had refined the Qi you devoured instead of allowing it to spill away, you may have become a demonic beast as mighty as I!"

>Explain that your law revolves around the dead, and grudges both fulfilled and unfulfilled. Ask the tiger if he remembers his last meal and his son

>Shrug your shoulders, yawn, Warn Jiuquliaoya he will need to leave the mountain come morning if he wishes to survive, and teasingly tell him you hope to fight him again sometime and that He was an exciting opponent, it'd be disappointing if he died.

>write in


And yes, you won by giving Jiuquliaoya a heart attack, caused from the stress you put on his heart by zapping and then chilling him while he overexerted his then already stressed body.
>>
>>5052599
>Tell Jiuquliaoya exactly what creature can "Only a cultivator, as far as I know. If you had refined the Qi you devoured instead of allowing it to spill away, you may have become a demonic beast as mighty as I!"
>Explain that your law revolves around the dead, and grudges both fulfilled and unfulfilled. Ask the tiger if he remembers his last meal and his son
>>
>>5052599
>>Tell Jiuquliaoya exactly what creature can "Only a cultivator, as far as I know. If you had refined the Qi you devoured instead of allowing it to spill away, you may have become a demonic beast as mighty as I!"
>Shrug your shoulders, yawn, Warn Jiuquliaoya he will need to leave the mountain come morning if he wishes to survive, and teasingly tell him you hope to fight him again sometime and that He was an exciting opponent, it'd be disappointing if he died.

>"Train in the ways of cultivation, and you may reach heights of strength greater than even the height of an eagle."
>>
>>5052599
>Explain that your law revolves around the dead. Ask if he remembers his last meal?

>"Rest, You will need to sleep if you are to stave off the cold."
>Go get the boy, I want to observe what happens the instant a grudge is sated and death comes.
>>
>>5052599
>write in
Attempt to drain the power from the grudge that he has no doubt formed against one who defeated him so. Kill him first if necessary - we know the power that he might draw from this moment if he lives, it is better to ensure that we shall never meet a second time.
>>
>>5052599
>>5052616
+1
>>
>>5052599
>Explain that your law revolves around the dead, and grudges both fulfilled and unfulfilled. Ask the tiger if he remembers his last meal and his son
>>
>>5052599
>>Tell Jiuquliaoya exactly what creature can "Only a cultivator, as far as I know. If you had refined the Qi you devoured instead of allowing it to spill away, you may have become a demonic beast as mighty as I!"
>>
>>5052599
support>>5052619

why the hell would we tell him how to cultivate?
>>
>>5052599
this happened in the precipice of the village yes? we have a grudge to settle, bring the ghost and the boy(with a weapon or whatever) and let them pass their judgement
basically supporting, bring the old ghost too if we can though >>5052619
>>
>>5052742
it's a good question.
Perhaps some goku type shit of wanting his beast core to empower slightly more before harvesting him
>>
>>5052599
>Shrug your shoulders, yawn, Warn Jiuquliaoya he will need to leave the mountain come morning if he wishes to survive, and teasingly tell him you hope to fight him again sometime and that He was an exciting opponent, it'd be disappointing if he died.
>>
>>5052599
>Explain that your law revolves around the dead, and grudges both fulfilled and unfulfilled. Ask the tiger if he remembers his last meal and his son

>And yes, you won by giving Jiuquliaoya a heart attack, caused from the stress you put on his heart by zapping and then chilling him while he overexerted his then already stressed body.
And he can still talk. How annoying, impressive and fucking terrifying.
>>
File: Heart_attack_cropped.png (156 KB, 276x403)
156 KB
156 KB PNG
>>5052599
>Explain that your law revolves around the dead, and grudges both fulfilled and unfulfilled. Ask the tiger if he remembers his last meal and his son.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

Tell Jiuquliaoya exactly what creature can "Only a cultivator, as far as I know. If you had refined the Qi you devoured instead of allowing it to spill away, you may have become a demonic beast as mighty as I!": 4

Explain that your law revolves around the dead, and grudges both fulfilled and unfulfilled. Ask the tiger if he remembers his last meal and his son:8

Shrug your shoulders, yawn, Warn Jiuquliaoya he will need to leave the mountain come morning if he wishes to survive, and teasingly tell him you hope to fight him again sometime and that He was an exciting opponent, it'd be disappointing if he died.: 2
-Train in the ways of cultivation..: 1

"Rest, You will need to sleep if you are to stave off the cold."+ get the boy and observe the instant a grudge is sated and death comes: 3
-+ the ghost:1

Attempt to drain the power from the grudge that he has no doubt formed against one who defeated him so: 1

So you'll explain your law revolves around the dead and grudges, and ask Jiuquliaoya if he remembers his last

Update will arrive shortly
>>5052997
He's just built different
>>
Licking the back of your paw to wet it and then clean the dirt and blood from your forehead, that you realize is your own, spilt from the one blow the old tiger landed on you. Your head swims and you find it difficult to maintain your balance even while just sitting in place. It was fortunate that the Phantom Cat Performed well as an evasive maneuver, or else you'd have suffered and endured far worse than this ultimately minor concussion and aching in your back and paw. Testing your wrist, you press it into the hard soil with its twin, both to look more imposing and to keep yourself from swaying so much you'll topple over before your defeated opponent.

"One that has studied death and the dead, lived amongst ghosts and drank deeply of their breath" You purr, eyes narrowed as you flick your tail back and forth in rhythm with your speech "An existence born from grudges and made strong on them as if they were her mother's milk. One who has found power in ghosts and the very essence of resentment and revenge, and formed a heavenly or perhaps demonic technique around both"

The tiger's agony filled eyes weaken, softening as he listens to your explanation of the strange power and abilities you possess, either succumbing to his body's failing strength or the realization that you were his better all along and that it was he who was struggling like a fattened fish in the net or an eel in the cooking pot.

"Aaaah" he exhales, his age showing on his face, as he lays upon a bed of rocks and hardened purple clay "I see, I see. You've realized a secret of our bodies that I was unable to comprehend, and pursued it despite your young age. What magnificent power! to allow a housecat to defeat a tiger. No wonder you were so confident, it was not the brashness of youth, but rather the bearing of a warrior who had sharpened their talents as if they were blades. I should've realized I was outmatched when your presence alone filled me with dread"

He chuckles, whining and whimpering as the weakness and aching of his heart soaks into him and clings tightly to every part of him.

"So, what shall the victor claim from the vanquished?" He asks hoarsely "I know a well of power resides within me, filled with all of the vital energy I have taken from my victims. Is that what you're after? Is it the reason you've challenged me this night?"

You grin, as much as a cat can, revealing your fangs fully. You notched ear twitches as you cackle, very much like Granny Monu

"Tell me, Old Crooked Fang, do you remember your last meal and his son?" You coo, swaying side to side now by your own decision rather than any sense of vertigo or rocking in your head.

The tiger expression hardens and becomes grim. His lips part in a snarl that shows his own fang.

"How could I forget? The whelp who leapt upon my back as I dragged his younger sibling by the hem of her dress, and the Man who charged me when he heard their screams" He sighs,

Cont
>>
>>5053232

reminiscing the encounter as if they were old friends he had met for a midday meal or celebratory round of drinking "Dull wood cutting axe in hand, with the fury of an demon burning in his eyes. His meat was leathery, tough with age. But he wounded me before I tore his arm from his shoulder and left his body to his children. I could not help but to respect his courage and valor, so I took only what I needed rather than devouring him to the marrow of his bones. Men like that deserved to be remembered"

A flicker of rage shoots through your chest, as you picture the scene. Jiuquliaoya dragging a helpless little girl away to be his supper, mauling her brave older brother without a second thought, but then becoming enamored by their father's sacrifice and believing leaving a mangled corpse and crippled son was a sign of respect to his victim. It curdled your stomach, twisted your guts, and brought visions of the children you loved, in life and in death. Your expression must have soured, as the tiger's eyes narrows.

"Oh, I see. You gain power from grudges through some esoteric method, That whelp must truly despise me. Have you answered his prayers? Come as divine retribution, or do you intend to become drunk on witnessing his vengeance fulfilled?" Jiuquliaoya snarls, a fire reigniting in his eyes "Revenge he did not earn, nor suffer for, justice delivered into his hands by the deeds of another. Or perhaps do you intend to threaten me with such an inglorious end, to make me your servant or force me to mend my ways to follow the morality of men"

You tilt your head, notched ear pointing towards the heavens.

"Witnessing the moment death comes to take you, seeing the exact moment a grudge is sated from an outside perspective, would serve me wonderfully in my studies as invaluable research" You mockingly ponder, brushing your paw over your whiskers as if in consideration or deep thought "But I can witness the living turn to ghosts anywhere, death is common, and the world of men is drowning in resentment, witnessing a grudge be fulfilled would be a rather easy task...."

"You're mocking me" the tiger snarls, you giggle and stand.

"Your victims were unaware of what fate awaited them as they awoke the day you devoured them, why should you be granted such a boon. It may be hypocritical of me to judge you, considering I to have a taste for human flesh but" You say with a wicked sneer and glint of killing intent in your eyes "But I cannot abide a beast that harms children, let alone drags them from their homes to make a meal out of them. You had strength enough to hunt any creature born upon earth, yet you degraded yourself by stalking defenseless children. It's disgraceful, when you left the weakness of old age behind, to continue the habits of an infirm predator."

"So that's how you were reborn and awakened, not from rage and shame as myself, but from the grudge formed from a pet losing its playmates" The tiger chuckles
cont
>>
>>5053234

"I see, I see. That would explain the offended expression you wore after I regaled you with the tale of my last hunt. My way of life disgusts you for it goes against your existence. I die, you live, eh?"

You do not honor him with a reply, the grudge that's accompanied you from your birth smoldering in your belly.

"Ah, such resentment! I can see how you've gained such power through the grudges of the dead alone" Jiuquliaoya laughs "The look of one whose life has been pampered and blessed, who never had to survive a winter without guardians and caretakers to fill their belly!"

His laughter howls through the night, between fits of coughing and roars of pain.

What fate do you give to the old tiger, Huānliúxuè?

>Kill him yourself, and take his beast core for later use, for your own cultivation or to trade away for something else. As he had never learned how to refine his Qi, his core would be low quality.

>Find the mauled boy, who possess the potential to be a cultivator and lead him to the tiger, and allow nature to take its course, while you observe the end of life and the fulfillment of a powerful grudge.

>Drag the weakened tiger to the village, and use his death to gain the loyalty of the few families who live there! take them as your underlings!

>Just leave him to whatever fate will find him. He wasted his strength and potential to live as a mere beast, and lacked the ambition to become anything greater. Unlike like yourself!

>Write in
>>
>>5053235
>Find the mauled Boy who possesses the potential
>"My pampered days have long lay dead Old Crooked Tooth. Just as you shall."
>>
>>5053235
>Kill him yourself, and take his beast core for later use, for your own cultivation or to trade away for something else. As he had never learned how to refine his Qi, his core would be low quality.
>>
>>5053235
>>5053242
Support.
>>
>>5053242
+1
>>
>>5053242
Or, if people wanted a better retort.

"Justice is are not earned. It is dispensed upon the transgressor."

Still, getting the boy to kill him is going to be invaluable research. And hey, he may even elect to become a cultivator, though his sister is a consideration.
>>
>>5053235
>Find the mauled boy, who possess the potential to be a cultivator and lead him to the tiger, and allow nature to take its course, while you observe the end of life and the fulfillment of a powerful grudge.
>>
>>5053235
>>5053242
Support.
>>
>>5053257
Oh I didn't even think about that, she shouldn't have passed just yet right?
Should we look for her ghost?
>>
>>5053242
support
>>
>>5053242
+1
>>
>>5053235
support >>5053242

Finding the sister's ghost/bones might also be helpful.
>>
>>5053242
+1 for both
>>
>>5053269
>>5053479
The sister's alive, we've seen her at the funeral.

>>5053235
Kill him yourself, and take his beast core for later use, for your own cultivation or to trade away for something else. As he had never learned how to refine his Qi, his core would be low quality.
>>
>>5053235
>Just leave him to whatever fate will find him. He wasted his strength and potential to live as a mere beast, and lacked the ambition to become anything greater. Unlike like yourself!
>>
>>5053242
+1
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

>Find the mauled boy, who possess the potential to be a cultivator and lead him to the tiger, and allow nature to take its course, while you observe the end of life and the fulfillment of a powerful grudge.: 10
-"My pampered days have long lay dead Old Crooked Tooth. Just as you shall.":9
-"Justice is are not earned. It is dispensed upon the transgressor.": 1

Kill him yourself, and take his beast core for later use, for your own cultivation or to trade away for something else. As he had never learned how to refine his Qi, his core would be low quality.:2

Just leave him to whatever fate will find him. He wasted his strength and potential to live as a mere beast, and lacked the ambition to become anything greater. Unlike like yourself!:1

So Huanliuxue will tell Jiuquliaoya "My pampered days have long lay dead Old Crooked Tooth. Just as you shall." and then find the boy he disfigured and allow nature to take its course, and meditate on the moment a life ends and a grudge is fulfilled

Update will arrive shortly.

>>5053701
Yep!
>>
Your offense shows itself in the restless movement of your tail and the subtle parting of your lips and narrowing of your golden yellow eyes. However, you stand victorious having only suffered a headache and pulled paw, while Jiuquliaoya insults you in the mud, wheezing, whimpering and struggling to breath as his own heart kills him! The words he speaks to you are those of a sore loser, trying to goad you into killing him yourself so he doesn't suffer the gravest shame a warrior born can be made to bear! That of being killed, not by their better or overconfidence, but being given to another to be executed like a rabid dog. There's desperation in his red eyes. He does not see the boy whose life he has ruined as worthy of stealing his last breath and ending his life. He respects strength even if he claims to respect valor and bravery. Who is braver? The boy who throws himself at the tiger's back to save his younger sibling or the father who protects both his children? Tigers are solitary creatures, and cannot measure the strength of kinship and familial bonds.

The fool thinks insulting the dead, who have been laid to rest and guided to their next life, will drive you to bury your claws or fangs into his throat. However, all he has accomplished is cementing your decision to offer him up to the Boy consumed by such delectable fury and intoxicating spite!. However, your pride demands repayment for being sullied by this dog in a cat's coats insult, so you decide to leave a few parting words to the tiger who had proven himself to be the deadliest adversary you've yet faced.

Lifting your chin, you raise your injured paw and bring it to your muzzle to hide your lips, mimicking the motions of a proper human beauty to mock the old man at your feet.

"My pampered days have long lay dead, Old Crooked Tooth" You whisper sweetly and serenely, maintaining your composure in every way except the look of your eyes, with radiate with a cold disdain.

Patting the tiger on his stripped brow, you reveal a tender, delicate smile as you purr "Just as you shall"

And with that, you turn away from him and begin to trot and swagger your way to the village further day the mountainside. Jiuquliaoya says nothing, but you can feel his glare burning on your back and his hateful visage fills your mind's eye like a haunting specter. Little does he know, you bask in such emotions as if they were the lulling rays of the sun itself! Scorn! Hatred! Anger! Jealously! Resentment! They fuel you as well as any meat or freshly spilt blood. Purring to hum the tune to a song Granny Monu likes to sing to herself as she works you approach the village's shoddy walls. And easily float over them like a passing breeze. Lanterns have been lit, and strong armed and broad shouldered men patrol the alleys and streets of the small community.

The tiger's roar must've roused them from their sleep and put them on high alert.
Cont
>>
>>5054071


How courageous of them, but the air reeks of their fear, it hangs about them like the stench of sweat or alcohol! Its almost enough to ruin one's appetite. Almost. They carry picks and they carry hammers with heads heavy enough to require to hands to lift from the ground, some wield sickles, and a few hold hastily cobbled together spears made of hoes and knives strapped together with twine and sticky resin. And they would all have died if they tried to face Jiuquliaoya, one by one or all together. However, the slaughter of a whole village spreads quickly, even if it is insignificant, so to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and killing, you keep to the shadows and sneak past the patrols of fathers, brothers and uncles waiting for the tiger to appear to claim another victim. It is a valiant effort, offering one's own life to protect the lives of their loved ones. Respectable even if that is not their intent. The fools truly believe, emboldened by grief and rage, that they could pose a challenge to a magical beast.

If you wanted to, you could kill them without using even the simplest of skills taught to you by Granny Monu or of your own invention. And you're half of Jiuquliaoya's size.

Snorting in amusement, you leap from roof to roof, following the aroma of the most vivid grudge that hangs in the mountain air and are lead to a shack at the edge of the village, surrounded by moldering lumber sprouting with mushrooms, waterlogged and covered in moss. Smoke rises from its glassless windows.

"Ah, the blood red cat!" The ghost of Jiuquliaoya's last victim greets you merrily, resting on the edge of his old house's roof. He waves the stump of his arm at you "I didn't expect to see you return so soon! Have you come to lead me to the afterlife now?"

"I've come to give your son the justice he yearns for, Uncle, though I am glad to see you in good spirits and with a clearer mind, even if it means you're now useless to me" You happily reply as you hope on the roof yourself

"Ah, when can I expect to reincarnate then?" The rather dimwitted ghost asks plainly, not catching on that you are a demonic beast rather than the guiding, benevolent spirit he has come to believe you are

You stare at him blankly and walk through him to the back of the hovel, from which the grudge arises and the sound of chopping wood can be heard.

Peering over the rooftop, you spot the boy, covered in bandages, swinging his father's axe, newly sharpened and imbued with the youth's rage, over and over again into the logs gathered around them. Training his swing and trying to strengthen his blood soaked arms, showing he's reopened the wounds left by Jiuquliaoya's claws. Crimson rivers flow down the bandages wrapped around his hands, as he hefts the axe up again, the dark miasma of his grudge surrounding him like a titanic serpent constricting him and ready to swallow him whole.
Cont
>>
Through the fog of his hatred, you can see clearly the fantasy that drives him to worsen his wounds and spill the precious blood given to him by his father and mother onto the cold soil below. Every swing, he envisions his woodcutting axe splitting through Jiuquliaoya's gold coated neck. Every chop, he dreams is cutting through the bones of his spine and the meat of his throat. Through his eyes, you can see, with as much clarity as the lunatic desire for revenge has gifted him, the old tiger's blood flowing from the stump of his neck with empty eyes gazing into the night with fear and dread

A grin that could bring a chill to the backs of the dead and send ghosts fleeing for their graves, the boy swings and swings, the muscles in his arms tensing and bulging with every chop of his chosen weapon. He has torn the skin from his hands, degloving them completely. His eyes blaze with a rage brighter than any you have seen before, besides that which you felt as you met Ling Meng and devoured his viscera and bowels.

A smile parts your lips. You were correct. this boy is a kindred spirit of yours. Just like your teacher

Panting and wheezing, he falls forward, still tightly clutching to his axe as he struggles to stand. And that is when you greet him, with a mournful yowl. He turns, chest covered in mud and red scars. beneath his bandages you can see the ruin of his face. A ghoulish mask that reveals he would've been handsome as far as human judged, but now that blessing has been stolen from him along with his father

Wheezing he glares at you, eyes narrowed. He can sense you are a similar creature to the target of his grudge

"Oh who is this boy who looks at me with such furious hatred? Who is this human cub who destroys himself training for a foe beyond any mortal man" You coo as you hop from the roof and begin to circle him, have draped in shadows "You and I are much alike, though I was born a cat, we have both suffered the tragedy of losing those we love"

His axe falls to his side, and he holds onto it for support, eyes widening with intrigue and surprise. Not that you can talk but you haven't leapt to tear his belly open and drink the blood that would spill out

"Oh I am not like the brute who you dream of decapitating, boy" You state, circling around his back with a cackle "I'm a kindly aunt whose learned how sweet the wine of vengeance tastes, tastier than any meat to be found beneath heaven"

"What are you?" He slurs, one eyelid refusing to rise with the other, drooping low as he watches you warily

"Men call me Huanliuxue, though I was once named Notched ear" You cheerfully answer, sitting on your haunches in front of him "And you, my grudge filled child? What may I call you"

"Fu" he says quietly "Why have you come here? and what are you"

"Eh, I've been referred to as a demon by some, guardian spirit by others" You muses, tapping a paw on the hardened clay below "And I've come here, to bring you a gift, from one resentful soul to another"
>>
>>5054073

"For what price" Fu snarls

"Only the privledge of witnessing the moment your grudge is sated, and Jiuquliaoya dies" You answers wistfully, flicking your tail against his bleeding chest as you step to his side "That is all, though that alone is more valuable to me than jade"

"That's all? You haven't come here to bewitch me?" He asks, suspiciously, managing to reign in his joy of being offered his enemy on a gilded platter

"Tch, I'm not my grandmother" You joke, to reassure him with a blithe demeanor "If you don't want this gift of revenge, I'll just go back and tell Jiuquliaoya he's been pardoned and is free to"

"Take me to him, if you've bested him and kept him for me to bring to justice, I would walk into the furthest reaches of hell if you asked me to" He snarls in response, eyes bulging with an inhuman rage.

You smile

"Well then young Fu! sneak out of the village, bring your axe, and it will soon taste the blood of its previous wielder's killer" You cackle as you leap and to the boy's eyes, become with the night. In reality however, you simply float away, prancing through the air excitedly.

The trek to the tiger is quiet, Fu does not speak and you see no reason to talk yourself. Your fellow magical beast barely stirs as you approach with the boy he mauled, his eyes flickering open and filling with a pitiful acceptance of his fate. He doesn't speak, besides to mutter "Get it over with, whelp"

Fu, however screams so violently and thunderously, you for a moment believe he'll match the power of the tiger's own roar. Chopping, chopping, chopping, he butchers Jiuquliaoya, first taking several swings to slowly sever his neck and then several more to mangle his body. The tiger, terrifyingly enough, remains calm even as his head is severed

"I curse you" His disembodied head hisses as Fu howls between laughing and crying "I curse you Huanliuxue, I will have my revenge against you, even if it takes me a dozen lifetimes to achieve it. I will return and see you grovel before..."

Fu buries his axe in his head then as you tilt your head, shivering from the sheer potency of the grudges oozing forth from both of the victims before you

But, having witnessed death while closely studying the transition between it and life, and seen the moment Fu's grudge was smothered and lift from his shoulders, a great insight has come to you! A piece of enlightenment! A revelation! The Dao of Death and the Dao of grudges, have been briefly revealed to you.

+20 to your next cultivation/ training roll

Having achieved his goal, and lost the unnatural stamina his force of will had afforded to him. Fu collapses besides his enemy, glaring into his empty eyes

"For a thousand years, you'll be reborn as a slug in dung, bastard" He hisses, much like a cat would!

Wheezing, he then begins to sob, curling up into a ball as the weight of his father's death replaces the fire that had once burned inside of him

Cont
>>
>>5054074

What do you do before returning to your sanctuary, Huānliúxuè?

>Tell Fu he has the innate potential to cultivate, and possibly one day ascend to the heavens. Tell the boy how to attract the attention of a sect with the tiger's core, and leave him to crawl back to his village.

>Offer Fu and his family the chance to find a new life, in serving you and Granny Monu. And offer to, maybe, one day take him as your disciple

>Harvest Jiuquliaoya's beast core and shatter it between your teeth to absorb it into yourself, taking the Tiger's pitiful cultivation for yourself!

>Help the youth back to his village, by letting him ride your back as you carry the tiger's head between your teeth [Good karma]

>Write in
>>
>>5054075
>Take the core, but keep it for later.
>Help Fu back to the village with the tigers head between your teeth. [good karma]
>When he rouses, offer him the chance to cultivate. His answer doesn't really matter, but it'd be nice.

He's a kindred soul, so we should aid him.
>>
>>5054081
Also. . We just created a HELL of a grudge with that tiger. His ghost will be a potent one to feast upon.
>>
>>5054075
>Offer Fu and his family the chance to find a new life, in serving you and Granny Monu. And offer to, maybe, one day take him as your disciple
Harvest Jiuquliaoya's beast core and shatter it between your teeth to absorb it into yourself, taking the Tiger's pitiful cultivation for yourself!
>>
>>5054075
>Offer Fu and his family the chance to find a new life, in serving you and Granny Monu. And offer to, maybe, one day take him as your disciple

If he joins a sect he'll end up leaving his sister behind, and Monu may like some more company since we'll be cultivating more as we move forward.
>>
>>5054092
Lets not be hasty. It can serve as a jumpstart to Fu's cultivation if he joins us, or possibly serve as a potent ingredient to a potion or poision.

And the reason I suggest the good karma option, besides being in character, is so that he doesn't die of infecting his wounds out here in the cold, because the boy fucked his body up.
>>
>>5054075
Supporting >>5054081
>>
>>5054102
I'm somewhat wary of being too good or bad karma heavy, I don't want to get absolutely destroyed if we face someone that cultivates karmic dao.
>>
>>5054075
>Write in
>Instruct Fu in the use of the core, that he might find the strength to make it back to the village himself.
>>
>>5054075
>Tell Fu he has the innate potential to cultivate, and possibly one day ascend to the heavens. Tell the boy how to attract the attention of a sect with the tiger's core, and leave him to crawl back to his village.
>>
>>5054075
>Harvest Jiuquliaoya's beast core and shatter it between your teeth to absorb it into yourself, taking the Tiger's pitiful cultivation for yourself!
>Offer Fu and his family the chance to find a new life, in serving you and Granny Monu. And offer to, maybe, one day take him as your disciple
>>
>>5054081
+1
>>
>>5054075
support >>5054081
If he still has a sister to care for, then he'll need time either way.

Wait, we can puppet corpses right? If we raise the tiger, can we study how much of his grudge remained in his body?
>>
>>5054081
support, we aren't a charity, let's not give our rightful spoils away. But kindness is free.
>>
>>5054075
>Offer Fu and his family the chance to find a new life, in serving you and Granny Monu. And offer to, maybe, one day take him as your disciple
>>
>>5054075
>Offer Fu and his family the chance to find a new life, in serving you and Granny Monu. And offer to, maybe, one day take him as your disciple
The Core seems like it'd be better for the boy than us, and he's already given us so much with that execution.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

Take the core but do not use it immediately: 5

Help Fu back to the village:5

Instruct Fu in the use of the core, that he might find the strength to make it back to the village himself.:1

Harvest Jiuquliaoya's beast core and shatter it between your teeth to absorb it into yourself, taking the Tiger's pitiful cultivation for yourself!:2

Offer Fu and his family the chance to find a new life, in serving you and Granny Monu. And offer to, maybe, one day take him as your disciple:10

Tell Fu he has the innate potential to cultivate, and possibly one day ascend to the heavens. Tell the boy how to attract the attention of a sect with the tiger's core, and leave him to crawl back to his village.: 1

So you'll offer Fu the chance to cultivate, and give his family a new life, and I'll include taking the core and helping Fu back since the majority of the winning vote included those to and they're just one under half the total anyways.

Though keep in mind multiple choices usually only only occur when you can take more than one action in a vote or when it makes sense. Really still figuring out the rules on that front.

Anyways

Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5054759
Well yeah, but the actions didn't conflict, so great!
>>
Bowing your head, you step around the weeping youth, the fur on your paws soaking up the blood spilt from both the wounds he reopened in his frenzy, and that still flowing from the many pieces of Jiuquliaoya's mangled corpse. It doesn't take more than a glance to find his beast core, as it glows with a similar radiance to dawn, a golden ember blazing in the dark of the night. It is naturally carved and shaped into the image of a snarling tiger curled around a smooth sphere of ember glass that radiates with heat and the scent of fresh blood.

It's stuck beneath the tiger's still beat heart and his lower ribs, almost parallel with the body's middle dantian. An amber jewel plucked from the crimson palace of a great and mighty beast, sounds like a poem waiting to be written. Careful not to puncture the precious object with your fangs, you pull it from beneath Jiuquliaoya's shattered ribs, muzzle dripping with viscera, blood and melted fat as you retrieve it and claim it as your own. Pausing to hastily clean your fur, starting around your face before progressing down to your muddy paws, you take a few moments more to clean both the core and the fetid tastes of soil and boiled fat from your palate. Jiuquliaoya's blood tastes like numbing peppers and ginger. Like the cuisine popular in the Ling provinces. Rolling your paw to try and get some of the pain out from your wrist, you roll the core towards the crying Fu.

His mangled face is streaked with tears, the bandages wrapping his body soaked in sweat, blood and mud. For a moment, he isn't aware of your approach, rocking slowly back and forth as he tightly presses and holds his legs to his chest, wheezing between half whimpered sobs. Jiuquliaoya stares blankly, with an axe's head stuck between his eyes and his barbed tongue hanging from his bloody jaws.

"A void of purpose, loss of drive, conviction wilts and dies. The air cools, the world dulls and darkens" You muse as you lay in front of Fu, your ears twitching as the wind changes its course to wash against your back "The moment a grudge dies, its host becomes wayward and lost, uncertain of how to continue living without the clouds of resentment and miasma of spite clouding their thoughts and leading them forward, like a dog let from its leash without a command"

The crying youth looks up to you, unable to rise from the puddle of blood and mud he had collapsed into the moment his body was no longer supported by a maddening desire for revenge. Without hatred surging through his veins, he had no energy left to stand much less walk.

"I know that chilling sensation all to well. A greyness washes out all color from the world, all five senses become muffled and all thoughts become muddled" you continue, seeing by the look in his tear filled eyes that Fu is experience the same disconnect your felt in the days after you devoured Ling Meng "To live without a purpose, is to become a living ghost, separated from the living world yet unable to move on"
Cont
>>
>>5054870

"Its a terrible illness, is it not? you feel as though you've become a directionless corpse, do you not? Fu?" You say, as lean your head closer to his

"So, you had reasons beyond a cat's curiosity in seeking me out to allow me my just retribution" He slurs, one eye narrowing as he struggles to life himself from the mire of his foe's execution and his own sorrow "We, despite one of us being a demon, are very much a like. In the reflection of your eyes, I see myself"

"You would see yourself in every eye if you looked closely enough, but yes, those I loved were taken from me, and I to avenged them by ending the contemptible life of their murderer" You answer, sitting up and restraining a shudder as Fu places a hand on your back to support his wait as he struggles to lift himself into a more dignified position "And Jiuquliaoya's habits disgusted me! I could've left him to die or live by his own power, or snuff out his pointless existence with my own fangs however"

"You would feel guilty if you stole away the vengeance that was rightfully mine" Fu answers, his voice cracking as he is overcome with gratitude "Forgive me for my suspicion, Huanliuxue, I was blind to your benevolence and generosity! I'd offer to indebt myself to you, but I am poor, half crippled and"

He grabs his axe's handle, jostling it to try and free it from the grip of the tiger's skull and brains.

"I have already repaid you, by killing this bastard, haven't I?" He states, his nose crinkling as he realizes how odd it was for you to ask to watch the death of an enemy you've already defeated "Surely this monster couldn't have so sickened you, you would be satisfied with witnessing his end. There was another reason for the price you asked, isn't there, noble beast Huanliuxue?"

"How observant! And yes, it was the moment of his death when your vengeance was complete and your grudge burned away I sought" You answer praisingly, as Fu's expression becomes wrinkled with confusion "The late Jiuquliaoya and myself are the way we are, because we have awoken to Qi! The vital spiritual energy of all things! The child eating fool was unaware of this, but a rare few individuals are born with the potential to cultivate Qi. Taking it from the world around them, breathing it in to refine it within their meridians for countless benefits, of both physical and spiritual nature"

"Huh" Fu snorts, rubbing his nose "Is that so? So, you and the son of a whore scattered around us just, woke up one day and found you could think and speak like men do, and started searching for this "Qi?". I figured you and him were born the way you are"

He cups his chin in his hand, tilting his head

"Wait! You're a house cat!" He gasps, as you realize he was not aware you were one before

"I told you I was born a cat, you dense brat" You snappily reply, eyes narrowed "But that is more or less correct"
Cont
>>
>>5054872

"In my case, the grudges of my loved ones and the blood of their killers turned me into the resplendent magical beast standing before you"

"Huh, is that so" Fu says again, still rubbing his nose "And I'm guessing, you knew how to use and refine Qi better than Jiuquliaoya did? Was that taught to you, or did it just come naturally? Forgive me for ignorance, I am just awestruck! This all feels like its come straight from the fairy tales my mother used to tell me! What can you use the Qi you've gathered for?"

"Correct, and it was taught to me! I was as ignorant as you were not long ago before I found a teacher who taught me of all I am telling you now and more. She was a cultivator once, before she met with tragedy. With her guidance I was able to become, well not stronger than Jiuquliaoya" You answer with a smirk "But more powerful. I favor Yin aligned Qi, particularly that found in ghosts, for my method of cultivation, you see. I have also developed a taste for grudges, yours was particularly delectable, Fu


"Huh is that so" He begins, before you smack his head with your paw, gently with only enough force to scold him

"Stop saying is that so, its irritating" you growl "But yes, that is so. Yours was one of the sweetest I've supped on!"

"Okay okay, sorry, I found your reaction amusing, forgive me" Fu pouts, rubbing his head and wiping tears from his eyes "So why are you telling me all this, this sound like a secret you'd keep close to your chest, a mystery to be kept from mortal hands, like a scroll written by the gods or grandmother's liquor"

"Oh, we're alike in more ways than our tragic pasts, Fu. You too, have the rare talent to cultivate. I'm telling you this, because, I feel an obligation to offer you same chance my teacher gave to me, and to give a grieving family a chance at a new and hopefully better life" You purr as Fu brings his down to his nose and clearly stops himself from saying "Huh is that so" a forth time before he meets your glare and wisely decides against it

"Is that why I survived?" He asks mournfully

You avert your gaze, suddenly unable to look into his sorrowful eyes.

"Perhaps, Your body might've gathered a miniscule amount of Qi, just enough to make your body healthier and hardier, but I cannot say for certain" You say, staring at Jiuquliaoya's head as you speak "But, while you may not be able to directly fallow the path I follow for cultivation, you have potential and It'd be wasteful to leave you to languish here in this"

"Shithole?" He interrupts "I'll go with you, Huanliuxue, wherever you intend to go. I owe you a debt that cannot be repaid and I have no connection to this village. Not like my family leads a life of luxury here. Who knows, once they know Jiuquliaoya is dead the other families may feel the same and abandon this poor village for greener pastures"
Cont
>>
>>5054874

"Well first, we will need to get you down the mountain before your wounds are infected or you catch your death from the cold" You say, gently placing a paw upon his shoulder "Don't move too much or over exert yourself, you've already opened nearly all of your wounds. Lean against me, I'll escort you back home so you can bring the good news back with you. Your mother and sister must be worrying themselves sick in your absence"

Guilt flush down the boy's expression, filling his eyes

"But, when they see you carrying Jiuquliaoya's head, they are certain to forgive you for your "recklessness" You merilly proclaim "Come on, set our pace, rest when you need to, I am in no rush"

Relief replaces guilt in his eyes.

"You're too kind, Huanliuxue" Fu mutters as you help him stand "But I won't weigh you down, just keep me from falling. I would not ask my benefactor to degrade herself in serving as my crutch"

And with that, the two of you return the poor logging village, with Fu using his axe as a walking stick.

You wait in front of the gate, as Fu approaches it and calls out to the guards. Judging from the voices you hear, some of them try to keep the gate closed out of cowardice and misplaced fear when they see you bathing yourself as you wait for Fu to gather his kin, even though the boy is holding the bloody head of the beast that has terrorized their families for years.

The argument ends when Fu buries his Axe in the gate and glares at the leader of the cravens, who judging from his finer clothes, is the chief. Or the former chief, as through the snippets of conversation you care to listen to, the more sensible elders and guards have forcefully removed the fat man from his position and given it to Fu instead, against the boys will.

And, suddenly, you hear shouts and calls to abandon the village and their obligations to repay the "Debt" they owe to you. Which, was spurned on by Fu himself.

Suddenly you're surrounded by about forty or so humans, the bravest coming within five feet of you as they shower you with praises and more than a few prayers.

You're dumbstruck, but enjoy their affection none the less for it. And, when Fu brings out his family, consisting of his surprisingly young mother and his sister with a mole on her cheek and hair tied into two looping braids, they greet you politely if nervously.

But after meeting them, your distracted by the ghost of the family's patriarch, who has followed them.

"Guess I'm bound to them rather than my grave" He says, when he notices your stare, which none of the excited villages notice, besides Fu.

And so, you return to your sanctuary from the journey you undertook alone with close to fifty companions, including Fu, his Sister Ju, and his mother Shu, and the ghost of his father Ru. You cannot help but wonder if this family is not a little deranged, but can't ponder the thought since Ju won't stop pulling on your ears after she found out how to climb onto your back.

How irksome!

Cont
>>
>>5054875

"Lady Huanliuxue! this place is cursed" The former chief, Zhu, who is Fu's third eldest uncle "Have you not heard the tales told of this mountain! Of the devils that lurk beneath the surface! All of The heavens scorn this place, listen to my warning before we are all struck down by their wrath!"

You give the fat man on long, quiet stare as you wait for him to process exactly what he is speaking to

"I'm a demonic beast!" You hiss, shaking your head "And my sanctuary is beneath the mountains roots, bloated fool! Now shut your mouth"

"Besides, Fu the axe is second in command" Zhu's similarly portly pig like wife says, pulling the cowardly swine's drooping ear as Fu sits on a nearby stone, applying the medicinal salve you made to help his wounds heal

"I am?" The boy calls out

"Can I be second in command, Huan Liuxue?" Ju asks blithely

Double vote

What do you have the villagers who've indebted themselves to you do

>Have them build a village nearby your sanctuary, to serve as a front/ early warning system for any curious travelers/wandering martial artists/ cultivators

>Put them to work refurbishing and rebuilding your temple, improving its defenses and making it feel more comfortable

>Order them to gather medicinal plants and spirit herbs from higher upon the mountain, and search for other useful resources

>BAH! Fu is their chief! They're annoying already! He can decide what they do! You have to focus on your cultivation and the development of your law! [+5 to your next cultivation/ training roll, total +25. Fu chooses a random action for the villagers to carry out]

>write in

And what do you focus on, now that you've return to Monu and your sanctuary, Huānliúxuè? [Two actions can be taken]

>Ask Granny Monu what uses a beast core has besides increasing ones own power/ cultivation.

>Take Fu as your sparring partner/ practice dummy as you further refine your soft style, devising new techniques for it, while training the boy as well [Train to improve your martial art. DC 65]

>Practice your spells, and apply what you learned in fight Jiuquliaoya to learn more advance magic or devise your own while giving Fu some pointers in drawing talismans [Train to improve your magic. DC 65]

>Cultivate and meditate in the catacombs, using your newly gained insight into the twin Dao of your technique, to expand and refine its native abilities. [1d100, higher result= more progress/ results]

>Write in

If two training or one training and a cultivation focus on taken, you can decide how the bonus is divided between them
>>
>>5054878
>Fu is their chief!
The boy knows that his people need ot form a new village. They need the shelter. And I am fine with them making a new village or inhabiting our temple.

>Cultivate
+25 to our rolls, beat of 3? We are likely not going to get such a benefit again.

>What else can beast cores be used for?
>>
>>5054878
>>5054893+1
>>
>>5054878
Supporting >>5054893

By the way, I wonder how the villagers will earn their living at the new place. I believe if they could live anywhere else than near a man-eating tiger's lair, they would already.
>>
>>5054878
>BAH! Fu is their chief! They're annoying already! He can decide what they do! You have to focus on your cultivation and the development of your law! [+5 to your next cultivation/ training roll, total +25. Fu chooses a random action for the villagers to carry out]

>Cultivate and meditate in the catacombs, using your newly gained insight into the twin Dao of your technique, to expand and refine its native abilities. [1d100, higher result= more progress/ results]

>Take Fu as your sparring partner/ practice dummy as you further refine your soft style, devising new techniques for it, while training the boy as well [Train to improve your martial art. DC 65]

I think we can learn about beast core uses another time, but getting in more training on both fronts could end up crucial.
>>
>>5054878
Wait, they all just left their village? I'm guessing they don't want to wait around for whoever will replace the tiger. They really could've stayed though, at least for a year or two.
>Refurbish the temples
>Restrict their visits to the temple to one at a time, with the offerings to the dead as the cover story

>Practice your spells, and apply what you learned in fight Jiuquliaoya to learn more advance magic or devise your own while giving Fu some pointers in drawing talismans [Train to improve your magic. DC 65]
Cultivation won't help with raw strength at this point
>>
>>5054878
>>5055168
Oh, and

>Investigate the Tiger's Home, check if he left any treasures or living kin
>>
>>5055168
Like Fu said, their village was poor and well, a shithole in the middle of a tiger infested forest and all they had to look forward to was tax collectors asking why they weren't being productive and a growing graveyard
>>
>>5054893
+1
>>
File: Huānliúxuè2.jpg (740 KB, 3097x1470)
740 KB
740 KB JPG
>>5054878
>BAH! Fu is their chief! They're annoying already! He can decide what they do! You have to focus on your cultivation and the development of your law! [+5 to your next cultivation/ training roll, total +25. Fu chooses a random action for the villagers to carry out]
"Congratulations, Chief Fu."
>>5054878
>Ask Granny Monu what uses a beast core has besides increasing ones own power/ cultivation.
>Practice your spells, and apply what you learned in fight Jiuquliaoya to learn more advance magic or devise your own while giving Fu some pointers in drawing talismans [Train to improve your magic. DC 65]
>>
>>5054893
+1
>>
>>5054878
>BAH! Fu is their chief! They're annoying already! He can decide what they do! You have to focus on your cultivation and the development of your law! [+5 to your next cultivation/ training roll, total +25. Fu chooses a random action for the villagers to carry out]
I don't really see us be a leader of men, cats are solitary creatures after all. Plus all the choices are actually OK.

>Practice your spells, and apply what you learned in fight Jiuquliaoya to learn more advance magic or devise your own while giving Fu some pointers in drawing talismans [Train to improve your magic. DC 65]

>Cultivate and meditate in the catacombs, using your newly gained insight into the twin Dao of your technique, to expand and refine its native abilities. [1d100, higher result= more progress/ results]
>>
>>5054878
>>BAH! Fu is their chief! They're annoying already! He can decide what they do! You have to focus on your cultivation and the development of your law! [+5 to your next cultivation/ training roll, total +25. Fu chooses a random action for the villagers to carry out]
>Ask Granny Monu what uses a beast core has besides increasing ones own power/ cultivation.
>Cultivate and meditate in the catacombs, using your newly gained insight into the twin Dao of your technique, to expand and refine its native abilities. [1d100, higher result= more progress/ results]
>>
>>5054878
>Fu is their chief
>Ask Granny
>Cultivate
>>
>>5054878
>BAH! Fu is their chief! They're annoying already! He can decide what they do! You have to focus on your cultivation and the development of your law! [+5 to your next cultivation/ training roll, total +25. Fu chooses a random action for the villagers to carry out]

>Take Fu as your sparring partner/ practice dummy as you further refine your soft style, devising new techniques for it, while training the boy as well [Train to improve your martial art. DC 65]
>Cultivate and meditate in the catacombs, using your newly gained insight into the twin Dao of your technique, to expand and refine its native abilities. [1d100, higher result= more progress/ results]
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

BAH! Fu is their chief! They're annoying already! He can decide what they do! You have to focus on your cultivation and the development of your law!:11

Put them to work refurbishing and rebuilding your temple, improving its defenses and making it feel more comfortable:1
-Restrict their visits to the temple to one at a time, with the offerings to the dead as the cover story: 1
___

Cultivate and meditate in the catacombs, using your newly gained insight into the twin Dao of your technique, to expand and refine its native abilities.:10

Take Fu as your sparring partner/ practice dummy as you further refine your soft style, devising new techniques for it, while training the boy as well:2

Practice your spells, and apply what you learned in fight Jiuquliaoya to learn more advance magic or devise your own while giving Fu some pointers in drawing talismans:3

Investigate the Tiger's Home, check if he left any treasures or living kin: 1

Ask Granny Monu what uses a beast core has besides increasing ones own power/ cultivation.: 8

So, you will, deciding the villagers are truly troublesome and annoying, leave Fu to guide them as he is their chief anyways and you must focus on your cultivation and further development of your law.

And will do so by meditating on the new insights you have gained on ghosts/ death and grudges/ resentment in the catacombs AFTER asking Granny Monu what uses a beast core has beyond simply increasing ones own power

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Bah! You had forgotten how annoying humans could be, after only keeping company with yourself and later Granny Monu. So loud and ponderous, and both of those most irritating qualities are only bolstered when they are in groups. A few or one make for good companions or entertainment, but when a village is together and following behind your every step like a march of ducklings, their combined presence very quickly becomes nothing but bothersome. Its smothering, like when you were still a lesser beast and would be plucked up from your sunbathing or meanderings to be brushed or held for reasons you still can not comprehend. Though you cannot be mad at the children, simply because it is the nature of youth to be energetic and playful.

But the constant throng grown men and mature women treating you as divine emissary and constantly barraging you with questions, please for guidance or prayers is almost maddening. While the small shrines you've seen raised in your honor have tickled your pride and pleased you greatly, the effects of unwillingly being declared a friend of all people living beneath the Chuan Family's rule and a divine being sours the sweetness of the praise and worship.

Nearing your sanctuary, you decide, that you will have no part in leading the village or solving their day to day petty problems and complaints. It is against the solitary nature of a cat to lead a flock or pack, let alone a village. Besides! They named Fu their chief.

"Is something wrong, Noble Demon?" Fu asks as he sharpens his axe's head besides a stream, while his mother and sister wash clothes and the men of the village group together like a flock of birds waiting to see if he'll deliver their messages and prayers to you, as they took you offense as a sign of only Fu being worthy to hold an audience with you as your "priest". The minds of men are strange, you cannot begin to understand how they reach the conclusion you do! You just groaned and disdainfully turned away from them the last time they gathered to ask you to grant their wives or future crops fertility or make their first born sons strong and masculine!

Why would an acolyte of ghosts, death, and grudges be able to seed new life and turn "fields" that are unfruitful verdant and ripe!? Its maddening! Its annoying! You twitch your head, feeling as though you're about to cough up blood as you look at your potential future disciples bandaged face. His pallor is healthier, and he no longer wheezes and shudders as he breathes. Your medicine and advice has pulled him from the brink of death

"Yes, the villagers are annoying and their constant badgering and groveling is starting to draw my ire. You're their chief, tell them I will have nothing to do with the petty affairs of their mundane lives" You half hiss, eyes narrowed, as you extend and sheath your claws

Fu nods, testing the sharpness of his axe

"I was wondering what would come first, a death or you commanding them to leave you be" He sighs in relief
>>
>>5055898

Before setting down his aze "And, I share your annoyance. Grown men and women shouldn't debase themselves, but I suppose that's the sad truth of life. You have to disgrace yourself for wealth, favor or respect"

"Humans are truly a strange race" You mutter, before yawning as you stretch out your back and forelimbs "Word my demand as you will, and find something to keep them occupied until they stop thinking to ask me to produce miracles or to gain my favor with sacrifices and rituals or whatever nonsense next enters their minds that they believe will please me"

"It is the least I can to, to the one I owe my life to" Fu says with a smile, glancing around the wilds as he lifts up his axe "I think, this stream is a nice place to build our new home, near the river, beneath the mountain. Always liked fish"

You plod away towards the hidden entrance of your temple, leaving Fu behind to idly swing his axe in thought

"Maybe trade will travel to us down the river or from the roads" He pondered, his tone hopeful and lively. When he turns around, you have already left to finish your journey to your underground home, leaving your unwanted entourage a few days travel away from your sanctuary. Close, but not to close to risk exposing your den to unwanted attentions.

You find Granny Monu, brewing some elixir or particularly foul smelling stew floating with bones and offal, whatever it is, she has some how made it violet in color.

Your teacher lifts up her opium pipe as she notice you leaping down to the temple proper, which you find she has cleaned and lit with candles alongside the false ghostlights you left behind, which have greatly dimmed in you absence but now glow with renewed vigor.

"Ah, my prized pupil! I was wandering if you had gotten lost and forgotten me with the dead" She cackles as you inspect her cauldron and find her to be cooking human bones, old bones

You glance up at her

"Oh, don't worry about that. I was picking special herbs, to help you recover from any injury or illnesses you caught in the wild, when a foolish brute of a bandit tried to rob me! The nerve!" Granny says, her eyes darkening as she stirs her stew, a skull bubbling to the surface as she sneers and reveals what teeth still sit between her lips "He tried to take my pipe, and my treasure. But touching an old toad like me is as dangerous as being bitten by a Fallen Star Viper!"

She cackles, as she smacks the skull with her ladle.

"A less torturous death than the fate I would have delivered to him" You plainly state as you sit before the cauldron "So did not fear for my safety"

"Tch, a prodigy will weather any storm and endure any battle so long as they keep their wits away from their pride" She mutters, tossing a handful of glowing sand into the stew she's tending "I busied myself with improving our temple and home, and keeping the curious spirits from breaking the seal upon your meditation chambers"
Cont
>>
>>5055899

"Your confidence is more filling than any meal, Grandmother" You cheerfully state "So, is this soup your meal? or is this merely an exercise of spite, old hag?"

Monu cackles tapping the edge of her cauldron with her ladle

"It is for you, with a few more ingredients, maybe another foolish man with little sense and too much greed in his eyes, and I'll have made an elixir that I believe you will find, most helpful considering the essence of your cultivation technique" She says, wafting her mangled hand to sample the smell "Perhaps with a pinch of a holy man's ashes or the tongue of a harlot would improve this medicine"

You sigh, you had half expected her to slurp the broth herself rather than just smell it.

"So thoughtful, so kind!" You proclaim, as you roll Jiquliaoya's beat core towards her "But, enough gossip and talk of potions and elixirs"

"Ah! A beast core! So your opponent was no ordinary tiger" She says, snatching it up with an instinctive haste, old greed and desire flaring in her narrowed, wrinkled ringed eyes.

In the amber core, her liver spotted reflection breaks into a grin

"Weaker than yourself, at least in terms of cultivation and progress, just nearing the true beginning of cultivation, the first step of Qi Gathering. Only a few drops of refined Qi, but more than one would expect from a young magical beast" She coos, licking the amber orb, smacking her lips before leaving her bloated tongue to hang above it "Heavy Yang, Fire aligned, Qi of blood swirling in a sea of pride, and just a hint of Primordial Beast Essence~!. A proud spirit, befitting a mighty beast. We are fortunate he will pose no threat to us now"

She sets the core down and rolls her tongue back into her mouth

"He would've become a terrible demonic beast if allowed to mature, even to the foundation stage" Monu says, tapping a finger on the carved figure of a tiger curled around the core "Not as mighty as yourself! But a tiger is a deadly adversary naturally!"

"So what uses does his legacy retain?" You ask, rolling it to amuse yourself as you await the answer to your question

"I could, though I am unskilled in the method, make an artifact of it. Better yet, a poison that could fell even a cultivator!" Monu says with a smile "The beast's essence was a wrathful one, it could be turned into a most murderous tool. Or we could, find some means of selling it, those who would find it worthless would not allow us to approach their abodes alive but...the world is not empty of heretics and apostates like us"

"So, magical tools, deadly poison, or trade goods?" You ask, moving the core beneath your paw "Or power"

"I'd say its worthless to your cultivation, considering its contents and energies are opposed to your own. And, curiously there is a curse floating within it. It might upset your stomach if you ate it" Monu sagely commented, as she returned her attention to stirring her human stew "nothing serious, of course, but you should be aware of the risks"
>>
>>5055900

"Jiuquliaoya still insults me even beyond his death" You groan, leaning your head back "Well, I will decide what to do with it later. If its worth poisoning myself on his spite..."

Granny Monu smiles

"Oh!" You shout, before returning her smirk with your own wicked grin "I understand now! The curse would not poison me! It'd strengthen me! The fool of a tiger wasted his dying breath speaking his grudge, not realizing I have gained something of a tolerance to them! Like cursing a flower by giving it fertilizer!"

"Exactly, exactly. But, a magical tool or poison are as worthwhile to take as any Treasure or wellspring of Qi" She replies with pride flowing with every word she speaks "Though, selling it to a desperate rogue cultivator may also prove wise. But, it is your property, and thus yours to expend or keep"

"I'll figure out what to do with it later, I've been delaying my cultivation and development for to long, this excursion has impede my progress!" You state confidently "I will return, perhaps in a week, perhaps in four, perhaps in more"

"Tell the ghost with the axe to stop making a racket at night, people my age get little sleep as it is without constant howling and curses screamed at the heavens!" Granny monu shouts after you as you float over to the demon's head gate to begin your "Closed Crypt Training"

Roll 1d100. Best out of three, add 25 to the finale result

And to be clear, Fu chose to establish a village, that will allow you to have a workforce of laborers/ Mortal devotees
>>
Rolled 90 (1d100)

>>5055903
POWER
>>
Rolled 64 + 25 (1d100 + 25)

>>5055903
>>