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Previous Chapter: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20Quest
_

You are the magnificent Magical Beast Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy to shed blood), born as a pampered house pet, turned into an eater of men by anger and now pursuing immortality through your self taught and still nameless cultivation technique centered around ghosts and the same grudges that birthed you. Having evolved from a humble Demon Cat into the royalty of all beasts a primordial beast and having honed your mind, you decided you were ready to attempt a breakthrough into the foundation establishment stage after being caught behind a bottleneck in your cultivation for sometime.

You left your underground sanctuary with the Spirit medicine you believed would allow you to breakthrough, which was none other than the Dead Ghost Mask Pellet (幽魂假面 丹, Yōuhúnjiǎmiàn Dān) a medicine that would turn the body of whoever swallowed it ethereal and ghost like enough to hide amongst the dead. Theorizing that when combined with the Unique art of the nameless and heretical law you practice, the Severing of the Eternal soul and Mortal vessel! [刌 永恒魂会死㿾, Cǔn-Yǒnghénghún-Huìsǐzhù] which allows one to sever the binding ties between spirit and flesh and wander as a living ghost, that it would allow you to Shatter the Void and truly enter the world of cultivation.

However before you took your leave of the temple you had built before the catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war, your teacher, the failed and crippled cultivator who was branded as and named herself Mónǚ (魔女, witch), tearfully requested to be allowed to take a small part of you to refine into a treasure, a magical item to immortalize and mark your ascension past the initial step taken on the path of cultivation. As she did when her own adoptive daughter, the long dead Awakened Snow Fox Xuěbái (雪白, Snow white), entered the Foundation Establishment Stage years before.

Realizing at once the meaning and graveness of the gesture and the bond it signified between not only student and teacher, but mother and daughter, you permitted the toad witch to pluck a single whisker from your crimson furred face. The hair was then carefully and lovingly wrapped in a square of black silk, and with that Monu bid you farewell. In her single eye, you could see the confidence she held that you would return alive and stronger than before turn into a light so fierce it was almost like wildfire!

And your own conviction to see through this trial you now faced to the end, whether that meant failure or success burned twice as bright! With all the elegance of an imperial princess, you began your journey to find a location suitable for your first breakthrough! With bright eyes and a bushy tail, you looked towards the future and the glories that awaited you beyond the horizon!
_
Cont
>>
>>5085259

And where did you decided to undertake such a challenge, Huanliuxue?

>In the deep untamed depths of the catacombs beneath your temple! Where even the dead fear to wander. Enter the darkest grave!

>The Site of a fresh and bloody battle between the warring Ling and Chuan armies, such an environment will be rich in both ghosts and their grudges!

>The Largest of the shrines built by the Chuan Patriarch, Chuān Jianjun, in reverence of your killing of the bastard General Ling Meng!

>A wild place, where the Qi is heavy and dense and the five elements are in harmony. It is claimed as the territory a weak, nearly infantile Sect of cultivators. But you are still a cat despite now being the size of an Ox! They will never know you of your trespass! (Stealth Trial. DC 45)

>write in
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>>5085260
>A wild place, where the Qi is heavy and dense and the five elements are in harmony. It is claimed as the territory a weak, nearly infantile Sect of cultivators. But you are still a cat despite now being the size of an Ox! They will never know you of your trespass! (Stealth Trial. DC 45)
Sounds like the most interresting as a Cultivator.
>>
>>5085260
>>The Site of a fresh and bloody battle between the warring Ling and Chuan armies, such an environment will be rich in both ghosts and their grudges!

sound like a fun place
>>
>>5085260
>A wild place, where the Qi is heavy and dense and the five elements are in harmony. It is claimed as the territory a weak, nearly infantile Sect of cultivators. But you are still a cat despite now being the size of an Ox! They will never know you of your trespass! (Stealth Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5085260
>In the deep untamed depths of the catacombs beneath your temple! Where even the dead fear to wander. Enter the darkest grave!
Seems like the most fitting place to try and become a ghost.
>>
>>5085260
>A wild place, where the Qi is heavy and dense and the five elements are in harmony. It is claimed as the territory a weak, nearly infantile Sect of cultivators. But you are still a cat despite now being the size of an Ox! They will never know you of your trespass! (Stealth Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5085260
>The Site of a fresh and bloody battle between the warring Ling and Chuan armies, such an environment will be rich in both ghosts and their grudges!
>>
>>5085260
>>The Site of a fresh and bloody battle between the warring Ling and Chuan armies, such an environment will be rich in both ghosts and their grudges!
>>
>>5085260
>The Largest of the shrines built by the Chuan Patriarch, Chuān Jianjun, in reverence of your killing of the bastard General Ling Meng!
>>
>>5085260
>In the deep untamed depths of the catacombs beneath your temple! Where even the dead fear to wander. Enter the darkest grave!
>>
>>5085260
>write in
>Where you had your first taste of Human Flesh
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>>5085260
>In the deep untamed depths of the catacombs beneath your temple! Where even the dead fear to wander. Enter the darkest grave!
>>
>>5085260
>The Site of a fresh and bloody battle between the warring Ling and Chuan armies, such an environment will be rich in both ghosts and their grudges!
>>
>>5085260
>Qi is thick amidst the cultivators. Dc:45
>>
>>5085260
>A wild place, where the Qi is heavy and dense and the five elements are in harmony. It is claimed as the territory a weak, nearly infantile Sect of cultivators. But you are still a cat despite now being the size of an Ox! They will never know you of your trespass! (Stealth Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5085259

>A wild place, where the Qi is heavy and dense and the five elements are in harmony. It is claimed as the territory a weak, nearly infantile Sect of cultivators. But you are still a cat despite now being the size of an Ox! They will never know you of your trespass! (Stealth Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5085260
>>A wild place, where the Qi is heavy and dense and the five elements are in harmony. It is claimed as the territory a weak, nearly infantile Sect of cultivators. But you are still a cat despite now being the size of an Ox! They will never know you of your trespass! (Stealth Trial. DC 45)
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

A wild place, where the Qi is heavy and dense and the five elements are in harmony. It is claimed as the territory a weak, nearly infantile Sect of cultivators. But you are still a cat despite now being the size of an Ox! They will never know you of your trespass!: 7

The Site of a fresh and bloody battle between the warring Ling and Chuan armies, such an environment will be rich in both ghosts and their grudges!:4

In the deep untamed depths of the catacombs beneath your temple! Where even the dead fear to wander. Enter the darkest grave!:3

The Largest of the shrines built by the Chuan Patriarch, Chuān Jianjun, in reverence of your killing of the bastard General Ling Meng!:1

Where you had your first taste of Human Flesh:1

So you will intrude into the territory of other cultivators, to utilize the naturally harmonious and dense Qi in your breakthrough

Update will arrive shortly
>>
The change in the atmosphere was so noticeable as to be almost stunning, the increased density of the Qi compared to the surrounding peaks and forests was remarkable! Indeed, it was even greater in weight than the heavens' scorned catacombs you have taken as your personal meditation chamber! On the air, you could all but taste the harmonious energies of the natural world, the vital breath of all five elements synchronized and balanced. The soil was loamy and black, but dotted with red and purple clay. Great spires of stone rose from the banks of the nearby streams, which through man made trenches, crossed through verdant farmlands like the most interact of spiderwebs. You gawked and watched as tired laborers joined wild monkeys in hotsprings that bubbled from the salt rich caverns below the beautiful cliff sides! And, as you crested the first of many pine and maple covered peaks, you were awed by a lake of crystal clear water as pure and beautiful as jade!

Five rivers fed it, and they in turn were born from countless waterfalls and streams that crept from the depths of expansive but open woodlands. As the sun rose, the uncovered stone of the mountaintops and spires revealed its glittering jewelry. Ores of all kinds, even those considered rare or entirely unknown in the provinces controlled by Chuan clan, shined beneath the rays of the golden morning son. You could swear you even spotted a vein of spirit stone down the side of the cliff you rested upon. The wild whispered past your ears, creeping through your furs like the brush of ghostly fingertips, your whiskers shuddered as the chill morning air washing down from the heavens was joined by an odd warmth. A scent of mineral smoke, tinged with sulfur and iron, washed through your nostrils and down into your lungs.

From sinkholes, distant peaks and clefts in the earth, great plumes of white and black smoke arose as if from great furnaces within the earth. Frozen, stunned in amazement, you marveled at the small patch of land where all five elements met and immingled serenely. There was not conflict here, all was in balance. From the land to its inhabitants, peace reigned. Even amongst predators and prey! The only humans you've seen here were more virtuous than the monks of the other regions! The entire area seemed plucked from a painting of a dream, a dream where all were in harmony and lived in solidarity with not only the natural world, but the spiritual as well.

As the dawn approached, and the valley of jewels and pure streams where mist and smoke intermingled awoke, you heard several gongs and bells be sounded, as distant ant sized figures began their daily toil and labors. On the gentle wind, the sound of martial artists training, monks chanting the mantras of their faith, and farmers and miners singing as they toiled reached your ears. But what you sought here, could not be seen from the ground.
Cont
>>
>>5086299

A large plateau of stone, rising towards the heavens stood in the center of this wonderous locale and dominated much of its space. Its top was shrouded in mist, clouds and smoke. But, even from where you sat, you could just make out thin pathways, snaking from its bottom surrounded by villages and to shrines both inhabited and abandoned along its many jutting cliffs and subordinate mesas. That was your destination.

For while the inhabitants of the valley beneath it could not see what lay beneath the fog shrouded peak, they knew it was a holy place, a spiritual treasure! And the reason why was all too apparent to your eyes and spiritual sense. The Dense Qi that filled this valley, originated from the center of that great plateau. And not from the peaks that jutted from its back like infant mountains sprouting from the trunk of one that was shorn in half.

But rather a spring, that sat in the exact center of this wild place of harmony. A place of rich, primordial Qi. A seat worthy for a celestial court! If you hadn't already grown accustomed to your own sanctuary, you'd have half a mind to try and claim such a prize as your own. However, the other half of your mind would quickly subdue the foolish half, as it was clear such a prize has already been taken. The sect must be newly formed, an off shoot of a greater sect or a gathering of cultivators who found they shared more in common than they did with the juniors and elders of their prior organizations. Or, perhaps it was a clan formed away a single prodigy like yourself, who needed no guidance or assistance in his cultivation.

However they came to be, they were weak and had scarcely extended their influence through the valuable land they had claimed. That showed they were cautious, and focused inwards. Perfecting themselves, gathering their resources and hiding away to prepare for their true introduction to the world of cultivation. A wise strategy, for if a larger sect had the mind to, they could easily bully this young school from its seat or absorb it entirely. You do not know why, but war is rare in both the mortal realm and the realm of immortals. Even in the Martial world, outright conflict is seemingly avoided.

Which is why it is so strange to hear from Fu that several schools have been completely wiped out in recent months. Which is what drove you to this beautiful, wild place. If Martial artists are killing each other , now, and the heavens' endorsed kingdom is splintered, it is only a matter of time before the ripples of conflict reaches the cultivation world.

And then you'll have no chance to exploit the treasure of these humble cultivators! The waters they guard will surely assist in your breakthrough! An opportunity like this cannot be allowed to slip past your claws!

Leaping from the ledge you were resting on, to admire the grandeur of the valley of five elements, you utilize a rather cunning trick.
Cont
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>>5086300

It'd be exhausting to travel across the valley and up the plateaus side, and you are certain even a small sect wouldn't be naïve enough to leave such a jewel unguarded. Cats may be naturally gifted at moving unseen and unheard, but sentries are trained to find what is unheard and unseen, and they are only the first line of defense! You'd rather not be surrounded by a sect, however small, of cultivators insulted and enraged by your trespass. So you've come up with a way to bypass any guards or traps they may have placed.

First, you Phantom Cat Step the moment you leap from the peak, and then, by casting the barrier spell you created, transfer the force of your momentum and weight into the Dying Grudge Shield. The next part is trick, because if you miss the timing, you're legs will be broken by the force of the returned energy. On the precise moment the force is reflected back, you hop again and Phantom Cat Step. If it was not for your variation of Qinggong, the Specter Lightness Skill [幽灵-轻工, Yōulíng-Qīnggōng], this movement be all but impossible to accomplish. However, the altered flow of time within its area of effect and the partial incorporeality of your body while you utilize it, makes it just achievable. And if you mess up the timing, rather than falling to the earth like a tragic star, you'll remain floating as long as you can maintain the Youling Qinggong~!

While you may not have a flying sword or wings, you've found a way to join those who do in the skies! With much more grace, elegance and rapidity!

Like a crimson tailed comet, you streak through the sky and the trip that would've taken at least a day is cleared in the time it takes an incense stick to burn! Landing upon a crooked pine tree, you catch your breath and calm yourself. Shooting through the sky was truly exciting! You can see why birds spend most of their time flying now!

But, there's little time to relax or bask in the fun of your flight. You can see the walls of the sect's retreat and are...rather disappointed. You've seen temple walls more ornate! What are they made of? is that Maple wood!? It isn't even polished or painted! There's no decoration! And only a single, sorry banner bearing a circle of five colored lotus flowers can be seen! Just stuck on a stand near their gate. Which is left open! And doesn't even have a lock! No statues! No roads paved in fine marble. There's even a donation box in front of the sect gate!

YOU ALMOST FEEL SORRY FOR THEM! HOW DESTITUE CAN A SECT BE!? DON'T THEY HAVE ANY PRIDE!?

This is going to be too easy! You might just be able to walk in and ask for ten barrels of their spring water and leave with twice as many! They're so pitiful, it makes you want to cry!

Roll 1d100. DC 45. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 63 (1d100)

>>5086303
Praise the elements and all shadow.
>>
Rolled 34 (1d100)

>>5086303
It would have been embarrassing to fail here.
pls no 1
>>
Rolled 38 (1d100)

>>5086303
>>
>>5086307
SUCCESS! Update will arrive shortly
>>
Sighing, you gracefully climb up their pathetic walls of untreated and unsmoothed wood. You clench your jaw tightly when the section your chose wobbles and shakes under your paws, and nearly tips over from your weight when you lean over to check out their surroundings and find them to be almost as pitiful as the sect gate! The only paths they have are made of heavily trodden dirt packed with dry straw and the occasional board of maple held in place by two large and flat stones. They have an Orchard of spirit fruit and medicinal leaf trees, but they're too young to be of any use! And the one old enough the bear a single, undersized fruit is wrapped in talismans and a red cord, as if it was on display for any guests who had the misfortune of wandering into such a depressing retreat! Their herb garden consists of earthenware pots filled with loamy soil set near the smaller streams flowing from the spring around which the entire, meager grounds of the temple is constructed. They are healthy and flourishing, but have years to go before any of the plants will be worth harvesting let alone potent enough to process into pills! At least they know what spirit herbs are valuable and exquisitely rare, enough that they are kept in jars of off color jade! The more you look, the more pity you feel for the cultivators who live and train here!

Leaping off the wall, you nearly knock the panel you were crouched on out of the ground. You land next to a field of mundane cotton and wheat, that is larger than the orchard of mystical trees! A scarecrow made of discarded robes and a straw hat with a half a dozen holes in it stands with a goofy smile painted across the dried gourd that serves as its head. Plodding forward, you cannot help but to stare at the lifeless guardian of cotton and grain. Slinking lower, you crawl across the ground as you manifest a cloak of shadows to wear and hide beneath, knowing that the small burst of Qi will go unnoticed beneath the sea of the five elements and the aura it gives off will be entirely hidden. Hopefully the "Ghostly Presence" you give of will be as well. Inching closer to the spring, you stop as a gaggle of laborers hustle past you, dressed sloppily and holding dented and rusted tools as they hurry to the field of cotton you left behind. You jaw droops open as you match them pass by, and then see another half asleep disciple wearing poorly dyed robes shuffle towards a small, roofless hut.

The smell of cooking rice, lotus root and preserved meat fills the air, without any spices added to it. Or oil. Frowning, you consider if this is beneath you for a few moments as you wait for the late waking serfs to pass by, not wanting to risk one of them blindly stepping on your tail and exposing you by sheer bad luck. As they must truly be unfortunate if they chose to join this sect rather than any other.
Cont
>>
>>5086421

Blinking forward, the exhausted workers don't even notice the brief change in the flow of time as you reach the bridge the crosses over the river that separates the spring from the entrance of sect's grounds and its farmlands. And find to your disgust, a few or maybe all of the inner disciples of the school, lounging beneath a crooked, wind bent plum blossom tree that has just begin to bud. Empty bottles of wine and poetry scrolls lay before them, as they snack on fruits or nap in the cool morning air, limbs splayed out without any sense of caution or danger. One, a fat cheeked man is even drooling on himself. You swear a vein pops on your brow as you struggle to restrain your anger for their lackadaisical, carefree lifestyle. Your head is clouding with contempt and disdain for these idiots!

They're so lazy, shiftless and blithe you're fairly certain two of them were in the process of making love before they passed out drunk in the mud. Seething, you restrain your indignant rage at seeing the disregard for morals, ethics and diligence before you. An effort so titanic you feel as though it will make you spit up blood! You're only able to tear yourself away from the sorry, sinful state of these virtueless and utterly negligent cultivators when, an old man carrying a broom who you can only assume is the sect master, begins swatting and smacking them harshly on their asses, thighs and exposed bellies. You stifle a cackle, as he lifts on by the wrist and bodily throws them into the river. The shocked disciple flounders like a fish, while his fellows scurry away with blushing faces to hopefully return to their meditations or training. Or maybe they're still struggling to master the most basic of breathing exercises, it wouldn't be a surprise if some of them were judging by their utterly unforgiveable and abhorrent behavior! If you were a part of the sect these slovenly bastards would be strung up by their thumbs and whipped until they cry blood!

To your relief, they aren't the only disciples this sorry sect has, and their betters look down at them with disappointed and ashamed looks in their eyes, their faces contorted with the pain of seeing your peers or family making fools of themselves. Huffing, the sect master chases the two who were in each other's arms, his face turning so red you wonder if he might be turning into an ogre when he pauses.

Looks in your direction

And sneezes! Sneezes so hard his long grey mustache flutters like a swallow's tail in flight. Stifling a burst of laughter that threatens to escape your throat, you watch as the old man wipes his nose and continues his pursuit of his indolent students. However, you know not to take him lightly, despite his position as head of a school of idiots. He's managed to reach the Golden Core Formation Stage, and two of the men who follow him who seem to be twins, have already reached the foundation establishment stage!
Cont
>>
>>5086425

Either of the three would be dangerous to face, and the Sect head would surely be able kill you if he were so inclined to do so. So you wait for them to leave and begin tutoring and teaching their hungover juniors in a sand garden that's surprisingly well kept and deserves to be transplanted into the grounds of better kept and wealthier sect's temple.

Darting across the bridge, you rush to the waters of the spring and sit on its shore. A group of disciples, carrying scrolls and scriptures bound in wax, hop across stones in the water, too focused on their precious cargo to notice you. Glancing around, you make certain no one is looking your way, who isn't an obvious idiot or so hung over they wish they were dead. And when you are confident no one will interrupt your attempted breakthrough and the meditation necessary to begin it, you unfasten the string hanging around your neck and open the silk that was tied to it.

The Dead Ghost Mask Pellet swallows the light that falls upon it, and the dried herbs and bones that were packed with it clatter to the sand of the shore. Picking the silk square and its contents back up with your jaw, you float to the exact center of the spring and nearly collapse and fall into the water from the sheer weight of the conflux of elements! It is immeasurably potent! But, not enough to force a primal beast to kneel!

Lifting your shoulders, you sit up straight, and enter your meditative position. Allowing the silk and its unnecessary contents to fall into the waters, you snatch the pill between your fangs and hold it in place, nearly breaking it apart from the pressure of your bite.

Breathing through your nose, you begin to circulate your Qi through your meridians, drawing it from your three Dantians. First, you focus on the Governing and Conception Vessels, and when they meet, you spread your attention to the other eight extrodinary meridians. And once they are prepared and your Dantians are open completely, you send your Internal Qi through a complex circuit through your meridians, performing multiple and simultaneous circulations that intersect but to do not intermingle or impede the flow of the others.

Focusing, you make the separate portions of Qi pass through your twelve principle meridians, and circle your internal organs, before you complete the circulation by returning each flow to the Dantian it originate from. And thus, with your Meridians open, prepared and strengthened, you begin to absorb the native Qi of this place of divine power.

The spiritual energy is magnificent and potent, just the first drop that comes into you feels like a bolt of lightning it is so energizing and revitalizing! And when you begin to refine it, the sensation of powerful purity only deepens. You have to force your eyes shut and clench your jaws even tighter to keep from gasping!

The Qi here is remarkable! and almost overwhelming!
Cont
>>
>>5086427

The feeling of all five elements, pure and unaltered, flowing within you, is incredible! And almost painful. The Qi of Death within you refuses to be dyed, and so a conflict emerges from the balanced essence of the unsullied elements. Death meets the primordial expression of the natural world, and does not turn away! Grudges boil in your belly, and rise to your head! Wincing, you struggle to circulate the Qi to achieve harmony between your cultivation base and the Qi you add to it.

It is a fierce, internal battle. And twice it feels as though your blood was beginning to flow in reverse. But you remember the lessons you've learned, of ghosts and phantoms, the insights of death. One aspect of the dao, one of the two you follow. The struggle eases, the energies within your begin to calm. But they are not tamed until you draw upon the resentment and curses that fester and ferment in your stomach. The second Dao your law is built upon. The two roads, one of the dead and one of grudges they and the living both hold.

Sighing out through your nose, you achieve balance between the grave and the living world. How long the effort took, you cannot be certain. But you were not interrupted or ambushed as you struggled, so it must not have been a great span of time.

Steeling your will and emptying your mind of doubt, drawing the powerful spiritual energy of the spring of the five elements , and refining The natural and supremely potent Qi, you prepare to break your bottleneck.

Casting aside all hesitation and worry, you tilt your head up and back. Swallowing the Dead Ghost Mask Pellet in a single gulp, you trace its passage down your throat and into your stomach. The moment it reaches it and begins to fall you step away from your mortal vessel as it becomes ethereal.

There is loud snap. Like a bone being cracked open. Agony burns through both your body and soul. It is lit aflame, it is crushed, it is drowned, it is strangled, it is cut apart! You feel as if you are being struck from five different angles by five different warriors. But you persevere and refuse to step back from your destiny!. It feels as if your burning to ash, being ground to powered, freezing alive, being pierced through by roots and thorny veins and minced by a thousand razor edged swords! Your soul and ghostly body swirl together, passing through and mixing until your uncertain which was your spirit and which was your flesh! Heaven and earth overturn inside of you. Your sense of self begins to fade and fail. The world drifts away

And then there is nothing but the void.

Until you refuse to vanish and subjugate the nothingness that has consumed you whole and make it yourself! With an imperial aura, you surmount the mountain of blades and sea of fire you threw yourself into and with a will powerful enough to topple mountains and overturn seas, you reclaim your existence and sense of self in a single bound!
Cont
>>
>>5086429

For one who follows the law of ghosts and grudges, to hover between life and death is a mundanity!

The void that had so foolishly tried to swallow and consume you, is shattered by your refusal to fade and break apart before the paradox you created between soul and body, life and death.

BALANCE IS CREATED! AND IT DOES NOT BREAK!

There is a rush of energy, like a dam has burst within you! It fills your meridians, your blood vessels, your muscles and your bones! Your furs stands on end, you trail stiffens. A great emptiness fills you, both soothing and aggravating your body and soul.

With a yowl, your eyes shoot open. And you are sitting upon a block of ice in the center of the spring. The cup inside of you has become a bucket. Though the volume, density and purity of your Qi has only increased, it feels as though you have returned to the beginning of your cultivation! The overflowing cup has scarcely wetted the bottom of the bucker that has replaced it!

You've done it! You've done it! You've entered the Foundation Establishment stage! And right under the nose of a sect of cultivators!

Double vote!

But something has changed about you, what is it?

>The color of your fur! It has turned from scarlet to the Black and white! Dyed by the Qi of Death and life!

>You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!

>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]

>Your tail has become more flexible, and not only that its become prehensile and Fully controllable!

>write in

And what do you do, now that've your broke your bottleneck, Huanliuxue?

>Leave quickly and return to your sanctuary before the Sect notices your presence, and enjoy the bliss of acomplishing your first breakthrough with Granny Monu

>Find something or someone to test your new limits, a challenge worthy of a cultivator!

>Thank the pitiful sect, by weeding out their useless and garbage students! And because knowing that such idiots are alive pisses you off! (Martial trial, DC 55) [Bad Karma]

>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]

>Write in
>>
>You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!

>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]

>Leave quickly and return to your sanctuary before the Sect notices your presence, and enjoy the bliss of acomplishing your first breakthrough with Granny Monu

Ilike ours fur color , it how we got ours name and it a reminder of ours beginnings
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>>5086433
>Your tail has become more flexible, and not only that its become prehensile and Fully controllable!
Sounds like the most useful, spells are probably going to be easier to use and we may be able to use tools like the instrument Granny Monu made.
>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
They could eventually become allies.
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>>5086433
>Emnity Incarnation
It's high time we got this now.

>Help them improve.
It's actually painful to watch this. Something has to be done.
>>
>>5086433
>You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!
>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]
>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
>>
>>5086433
>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]
>Thank the pitiful sect, by weeding out their useless and garbage students! And because knowing that such idiots are alive pisses you off! (Martial trial, DC 55) [Bad Karma]
>>
>>5086433
>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]
>Find something or someone to test your new limits, a challenge worthy of a cultivator!
I feel that it is a bit early to make ourselves too know in the world of cultivation. And who knows how loose their lips are...
>>
>>5086456
Supporting. I wanna see us bitchslap someone with our tail.
>>
>>5086433
>You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!

>Leave quickly and return to your sanctuary before the Sect notices your presence, and enjoy the bliss of acomplishing your first breakthrough with Granny Monu
>>
>>5086433
>>You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!
>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
Lets infiltrate them while getting cuddled
>>
>>5086433
>Your tail has become more flexible, and not only that its become prehensile and Fully controllable!
>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
>>
>>5086576
>>5086477
I dont think this is overt help.
I think it is doing background things to make them better.
>>
>>5086667
>>>5086666
>>
>>5086683
I cant tell if you linked the wrong post by accident or if you are just trying to divert traffic. But either way, can we return to topic 1 ID.
>>
>>5086667
Fair enough.
But the vote it pretty vague about what "helping" means, and I don't want to vote for it purely because of the assumption that we will do so without leaving any clue as to who did the helping. We have other shit to do, and besides, the head of the sect seems alright, he will figure it out eventually.
Though for what its worth I don't think its a bad option, just not my preference.
>>
>>5086696
I'm just interested in how the Karma will help us out when we get to higher plains of cultivation.

Little Haliuxiue, seems to be petty, fickle, doting and caring depending on her prideful mood, as befitting a cat. So I would like to see her be pampered a little more by random strangers.
>>
>>5086703
I see where you are coming from.
The way I see it though, the world of cultivators is very dangerous for a lone, heretic cultivator to get involved in, especially when we are as low on the pyramid as we are. Recall Monu's tale and how her fellow cultivators were the ones who killed her daughter and stripped her of her cultivation. These men would no doubt do the same, I would stay away from them while we are too weak to face them openly.
Of course, I doubt anything that dramatic would happen because of this vote... but again its really vague on what "helping" means, the negatives are clear, and the positives do not move me.
And honestly, we just entered a new stage, I wanna go and do cool shit and learn new spells, not babysit a bunch of louts because their incompetence is painful to behold.

Though, again, its just my preference. I would be okay with it either way. Something interesting is bound to happen no matter what wins, probably.
>>
>>5086749
Interesting times abound.

My motivations are the positive Karma and the pain with which she observes this sect's existence. If I didn't want the good, I'd pick to kill them.
Letting this fester is just wrong
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>>5086760
>Letting this fester is just wrong
Do you mean the sect, or our feelings on the matter?
Either way, it's not worth getting too riled up over, what does it matter if some backwater sect is badly amateurish? It's certainly unsightly, but it's no skin off our back. Let them sink or swim.
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>>5086790
The sect.

And while there is no skin off our back, and there is no real import to the event, I'm sitll of the opinion that the princess of cats is one who would take action over such an obviously painful eyesore.
>>
>>5086760
>>5086790
Personally, I would mostly like to make some allies in the cultivation world.
>>
>>5086433
>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]
I really want to choose the black and white option but this is just far more useful
>Leave quickly and return to your sanctuary before the Sect notices your presence, and enjoy the bliss of acomplishing your first breakthrough with Granny Monu
>>
>>5086807
I don't know anon, why would a princess lower herself to help some random newbies who don't even have an ounce of discipline in their body? At that point, we might as well someone who is worth our time, like Fu.

>>5086812
I'm not sure we are gonna be making many friends here. If we act covertly, they will have no idea we were the one who helped, and if we act overtly... I expect a lot of "oh god its a giant fucking cat holy shit help me" before the sect head chases us away. Either way, we don't end up with many friends at the end of the day. The only real gain here is the karma.
>>
>>5086869
She does things because she is a cat, and cats are mercurial beings who favour and scorn people over the slightest whimsy.
That's the characterisation that I've read anyway.
>>
>>5086922
Fair enough.
Though the characterisation I've seen is also that of a thoughtful student who carefully examines the consequences their actions might have, and has yet to let their pride or emotions guide them into doing foolish things. except with the statues but even there she swallowed her pride in the end
It wouldn't be out of character for her to deem interacting with the sect a risk, and retreat to safety.

Though ultimately deciding what Huanliuxue does based on characterisation is besides the point when we are the ones who decide how she acts in the first place.
Our voting decides whether she gives in to her whimsy, heeds her caution or even murders them. At that point, its more a matter of preference, or what we deem to be the smarter choice.
>>
>>5086963
You are completely correct, and to say otherwise would be to try and shield my bias behind the writing of the text.

All the same, I enjoy her being playful and pampered by plebs.
Against actual threats like cultivators and golems, I'll flip my switch.
>>
>>5086433
>Your tail has become more flexible, and not only that its become prehensile and Fully controllable!
>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
Do our best to be helpful from the shadows.
>>
>>5086433
>You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!
>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]
>Leave quickly and return to your sanctuary before the Sect notices your presence, and enjoy the bliss of acomplishing your first breakthrough with Granny Monu
I can see all the options waging a war in her mind as possibilities, but she'd want to show off to monu asap I think
>>
>>5086433
>You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!

>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
>>
>>5086433
>Change size
A tail can be trained as body control, and if we stop to actually focus on the technique we should pick it up with ease.

>Help them improve
In character, she's disgusted by what she's seen and would want to change it one way or another while she's there. Out of character, the more good karma we accumulate, the easier our path will be, and the more likely we'll be to survive sticky situations. That's just how things work in cultivation novels.
>>
I for one can't wait for the day we get thumbs. Not human hands. Not human arms. Literally just thumbs sticking outta the paws. Peak goddamn performance.
>>
>>5086440
>>5086460
>>5087068
When he said double vote, I dont think he meant pick two adaptations.
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>>5086440
>>5086433
>>5087725
If so then keep
>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]
And
>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
>>
>>5086433
>>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]
>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
I'd also like to take Devil of Grudges out for a test drive while we're here, see how it all works.
>>
>>5087424
Would they be people looking thumbs or some kind of weirdly flexible polydactyl claws?
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>>5087850
Making our claw into a perodactyle claw would be awesome. Not sure how we can get an articulated multi stage bone claw but I want it.
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>>5086433
>>You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!

>Thank the pitiful sect, by weeding out their useless and garbage students! And because knowing that such idiots are alive pisses you off! (Martial trial, DC 55) [Bad Karma]
>>
>>5087850
People thumbs. Nail polish is optional.
>>
Why not just go full Bakeneko and grow a second tail?
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>>5086433
>You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]
>Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result.

And a reminder. Double vote means there's two choices to vote on. When multiple options can win a singular vote, I just put "2 actions can be taken" next to the vote.
_
You can change size! From your original size as a simple housecat, to your current magnificent stature as a Wild Princess!:7

You've reached a revelation! The secret of resentment that was just out of your reach has fallen into your lap like a divine inspiration! [Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges]: 9

Your tail has become more flexible, and not only that its become prehensile and Fully controllable!:4
_
Leave quickly and return to your sanctuary before the Sect notices your presence, and enjoy the bliss of accomplishing your first breakthrough with Granny Monu:4

Linger around the sect's territory and try to help them improve. You just can't stand seeing fellow cultivators in such a sorry state, even if they'd kill you on sight! [Good Karma]:10

Thank the pitiful sect, by weeding out their useless and garbage students! And because knowing that such idiots are alive pisses you off! (Martial trial, DC 55) [Bad Karma]: 2

Find something or someone to test your new limits, a challenge worthy of a cultivator!:1

Alright

So gaining a second Unique/ secret art in the form Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges

And taking pity on the loutish fools and sticking around to try and help them improve because you can't stand the sight of such a sorry state wins

Update will arrive shortly

And of course, the runner up of size shifting will be easier to grasp later!
>>
...Man, if we the man eating spirit beast have way better Karma than the "heroic" cultivators that come to take our core later I am gonna laugh. Like they try to use a technique that damages things with Evil karma, it does nothing, and we pull some Young Mistress BS and reverse engineer it hit them with it and they die.
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>>5088031
It's the natural place of things. We make everything better because it reflects better on us. Being good is the objectively correct choice in life, especially when dealing with demon hunter arts.

Also, can you IMAGINE the snark?
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>>5088048
>laughs in reaching enlightenment through having perfectly balanced karma
One may argue that doing things solely to tip the scales of karma is an inherently selfish act. But that's for philosophers with too much time and opium on their hands to debate.
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>>5088068
I mean if you selfishly plant a fruit tree but in turn let others partake then is it truly selfish or have you turned your vice on it's head?

It's like Tiffany aching in Discworld said, "Then turn selfishness into a weapon! Make all things yours! Make other lives and dreams and hopes yours! Protect them! Save them! Bring them into the sheepfold! Walk the gale for them! Keep away the wolf! My dreams! My brother! My family! My land! My world! How dare you try to take these things, because they are mine!

I have a duty!”
>>
And not only that! You've been enlightened to the true nature of grudges, spite, contempt, resentment and enmity! When your body and soul passed through each other, and both subconsciously tried to draw on the energy of the other driven by predatory instinct, the grudges you've swallowed and absorbed truly become one with you for a fraction of a second. And in that moment, the insight and knowledge you already had was completed. The screen was cast aside, and you realized that you yourself, an existence born of grudges and hatred was herself something of a living grudge! The only thing separating the grudge that birthed you, that was mostly sated when you devoured Ling Meng, and those you added to yourself in search of power and understanding. Was that you embodied the grudge you held for Ling Meng and his pointless slaughter of children and innocents in the pursuit of his glory! That the potent anger you felt for that man and his ilk was what gave you purpose and life and so dyed you existence, even deeper than the stunning and gorgeous hue of your blood soaked fur!.

You were Huanliuxue, because you acted like Huanliuxue! Like an actor placing a mask over their face or painting it to take the position of the character they depict! All of the grudges churning in your belly, leaking into your veins and at time clouding your mind, represent a greater source of power than you ever imagined them to be! A grudge that is so powerful it paints its holders existence and thoughts, is much more valuable than being poured out or expended as fuel or poison to cripple your enemies! It is a mask! It is existence itself! An alter ego that sleeps within you!

How could you have been so blind~! By playing the part of the previous hosts of your strongest grudges, acting as them and taking their mannerisms and character as your own, pretending to be an idealized and exaggerated version of them you can instead embody them instead of yourself! And become an incarnation of their enmity! And thus be blessed by it! And steal away and mimic powers, abilities and attributes from them! If you acted as, say Xiongji, you could harness the hungry ghosts boundless rage and hatred of the heavens and control his tireless madness! Ferocity that could make the gods quake in your paws, without controlling you! His fiery temper manifested as a reality! By mockery and praise, that berserk strength and bottomless stamina would be your own as the ground burns beneath your every step!

And that is but a single grudge! Imagine the power you'd obtain if you collected a great quantity of grudges just as potent as the heaven hating ghost's?! What opponent could anticipate your next move, when you wear a thousand hateful, snarling masks! When you are the very incarnation of Earthly Enmity! When you ARE a Devil of Grudges.

And that is the perfect name for this technique, this powerful and secret style! This art unique to your practice and you alone!
Cont
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>>5088098

Enmity Incarnation, Devil of Grudges! (敌意具人形, 魔鬼的恩怨, Díyì jù rénxíng, Móguǐdeēnyuàn) And name as peerless and daunting as the art itself! and as the transitory period between the end of the Qi Condensation stage and Foundation Establishment was named after your other Unique and unmatched art, so to shall the entrance of the Foundation Establishment stage for your still nameless cultivation method shall share the name as its title!

After all, how many cultivators, let alone those self taught, have passed the first test of cultivation and entered their foundation stage in under two years! Truly, you live up to the noble, primal blood surging through your veins and the thick Qi flowing through your meridians.

But your peerless ability and innate talent, that you take much pride in possessing, and your regale bearing as the founder of daoist law and princess of the ancient wilds, contrasts rather starkly with your surroundings and the site of your ascension into the ranks of true cultivators!

This sect sits upon a divine treasure, yet its ranks even down to its uninitiated outer disciple are filled with trash. Indolent students who have not yet forsaken earthly pleasures or vices, who wallow in hedonism and the stations they earned through talent rather than ability! They be mercilessly crushed if they were challenged by another sect for the rights to exploit the spring of the five elements! And they will achieve nothing! Most of them, if they continue on their current path, will be killed when they eventually crawl to try and reach a higher level of cultivation if they have the ambition to try to at all! There's a handful of worthwhile cultivators among them, and they have to bear their shame for them! How painful it must be, for your fellow disciples junior or elder to be a bunch of louts who'd rather drink and write poetry all day rather than meditate on the dao or train their bodies! What are they refining besides their alcohol tolerance or lovemaking techniques!

Its disgusting! Pitiful! You cannot bear to look upon the sorry state of this sect and its members! They have no conviction! No pride! No self respect or value! You cannot allow them to persist in such poverty and torpor! It is unforgiveable! it reflects badly on all other cultivators!

Even if they'd attack you on sight and try to kill you, you cannot stand idle by while they idly languish and waste their potential! It is the duty of prodigies like yourself and royalty to guide their lessers! To teach them proper conduct and inspire them to better themselves and improve their decorum! If only so they may one day rival the radiance of their betters. More specifically yourself!

its foolish desire, a whim that will most likely invite trouble into your life. But you refuse to share the vaunted title of cultivator, let alone immortal or goddess with slothful, gluttonous and lustful idiots like this sects majority of disciples!
Cont
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>>5088078
Man, Terry had the best protagonists.
>>
>>5088078
>I mean if you selfishly plant a fruit tree but in turn let others partake then is it truly selfish
Yes. A changing mind does not erase the actions of the past.
>>
>>5088100

Even if they will pay you back with arrows and spears, your pride will not let you leave them like they are now. So pitiful and indolent that they can be scarcely be called proper cultivators! If they want to possess the waters of the divine spring they guard, they will have to shape up and be worthy of it as a whole!
And you, despite being an existence reviled and hated by the world of cultivation, will be the catalyst for their transformation

BESIDES! Its good practice! Refining an entire sect! Someday you might take Fu or some other youth as your disciple and it'd be prudent to hone your teaching method before then.

Cackling, you begin to scheme of how to help this sect and its membership improve, so they can be worthy of being a part of your world...no! So they can be respected through the world of cultivation rather than scorned and mocked by it!

And how do you plan to do that, Huanliuxue?

>Follow them as they go about their days, as a ghost and shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the objects of their vices and punishing them when they indulge or slack in their duties and training!

>Possess a girl from the valley, and pose as a wandering cultivator seeking asylum in their temple. And then humble all of them with your greater prowess and talent, while awing them with your power and grace and show them the rewards of diligence

>Nothing can push a man or beast past the limits of their mind or body than the fear of death! Wreck a little havoc and terrify the lazy disciples, but kill none of them, before fleeing away before the diligent members of the sect can retaliate. Put on a show of fearing their master, so they'll respect the poor old man more, as well.

>Just openly appear before them in their morning practices and begin furiously scolding and reprimanding all of them for their behavior and lack of drive. Do not allow any of them to argue, and thoroughly shame them while hoping the sheer audacity of your approach keeps them from trying to kill you!

>Write in

>>5088101
He really did.
>>
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>>5088103
>>Just openly appear before them in their morning practices and begin furiously scolding and reprimanding all of them for their behavior and lack of drive. Do not allow any of them to argue, and thoroughly shame them while hoping the sheer audacity of your approach keeps them from trying to kill you!

>tf of a spirit beast literally walking up to your temple and saying how much you suck because it's not even scared of you trying to kill it.
>>
>>5088103
>>Follow them as they go about their days, as a ghost and shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the objects of their vices and punishing them when they indulge or slack in their duties and training!
Just call it divine intervention.
>>
>>5088103
>Follow them as they go about their days, as a ghost and shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the objects of their vices and punishing them when they indulge or slack in their duties and training!
This one leaves the least loose ends afterwards. Though possessing a girl is tempting.
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>>5088103
>Possess a girl to act as a wandering cultivator, then appear before them during morning practices and begin to furiously scolding them.

This is too funny to not do it. But I don't want to leave a trail.
>>
>>5088103
>Possess a girl from the valley, and pose as a wandering cultivator seeking asylum in their temple. And then humble all of them with your greater prowess and talent, while awing them with your power and grace and show them the rewards of diligence
>>
Oh, and by the way QM.
We never actually got an outline of the progression of a cultivator.

we've had names thrown around, but no actual trackable progression. So can we have that overview?
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>>5088103
>Nothing can push a man or beast past the limits of their mind or body than the fear of death! Wreck a little havoc and terrify the lazy disciples, but kill none of them, before fleeing away before the diligent members of the sect can retaliate. Put on a show of fearing their master, so they'll respect the poor old man more, as well.

We do a lil spookin
>>
>>5088169
Oh its pretty basic.

Starts With Qi Condensation/ Gathering/ refinement stage

Which heads into Foundation Establishment

And The into Core Formation, which of course leads into Nascent soul.

Then comes immortal ascension at the end, which is the real fun begins and things will begin to branch out and the progression becomes more varied from cultivator to cultivator.


Each level has a number of levels/ ranks within them, but the exact number depends heavily on the Law the cultivator practices and the cultivator themselves, as seen with Huanliuxue as she rapidly passed through the Qi Condensation stage and didn't have a need to quantify her positon/ progress in that stage besides early, middle or late

I'd be happy to go into further detail for individual stage and what they mean or the entire progression line, if you'd want me to.

But at the moment, Huanliuxue is at the beginning of the Foundation Establishment stage, Rank 1.
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>>5088187
I suppose the "Core formation stage" can use some elaboration since this Sect master is one.
A golden core specifically.
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>>5088103
>Possess a girl from the valley, and pose as a wandering cultivator seeking asylum in their temple. And then humble all of them with your greater prowess and talent, while awing them with your power and grace and show them the rewards of diligence
Wanna see if cultivation "sticks" with bodies of if it's a purely mental/spiritual thing.
>>
>>5088192
Ah, its one of my favorites as the stage serves as a gate to weed at poor or otherwise unworthy cultivators. Like how Monu's nemesis and former lover is slowly turning to ice because he failed a breakthrough in the late stage of his core formation .

The golden core or Jindan is vital for the later stages of cultivation, like Nascent soul or Apotheosis into a daoist immortal. Easiest way to explain, is it is similar to the philosopher stone.

But, as cultivation is basically simplified chinese internal alchemy, the Golden core serves a similar but different purpose. Basically think of it as a power source/ elixir of life combo, it becomes the center of a cultivator's power when its finished forming. which is done by using the lower Dantian as a crucible and your cultivation base as the material to refine.

It takes a long time, and is very, very difficult to do. So only a small minority of blessed or supremely talented cultivators can succeed in the formation of the core. Most either fail like Monu's lover turned enemy did, or just run out of time and die of old age before they can complete it and extend their lifespan massively.

Also, a note. Last thread mentioned how it was rare for cultivators to enter the foundation establishment stage in under a decade, and only prodigies could achieve it in half of that time.

That is not natural and is more just a symptom of the ten generations of peace and the stagnancy that encourages. Which is why Huanliuxue's progress was much faster, as besides being a prodigy, she is innovating and taking risks no orthodox cultivator would

I can go into more detail of golden cores and explain their particulars if you want me to. I do like explaining this sort of thing
>>
>>5088205
Are cores different depending on the cultivation? Like ours would be cold and yin/metal aspected?
What are beast cores? Completely unrelated?
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>>5088211
Golden cores are made of condensed and crystalized Qi, like all of the Qi you've gathered and refined throughout your cultivation. So yeah, kinda.

Yes, Beast cores are an entirely different thing to Golden Cores. And contain the magical energy and lifeforce of magical beast like Huanliuxue.

And cultivators like to use them as crafting materials or XP boosts!
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>>5088217
So when the core is made, you are proven as a genius or a talented man.

What occurs after the core is formed? The transitory step between core and immortal?
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>>5088225
Precisely.

In this setting and quite a few other cultivation works what comes next is the nascent soul, or Yuanying, stage. The Nascent soul forms/ exists in your golden core. It has quite a few benefits/functions. Much like the foundation you build in foundation establishment and especially like a golden core if you managed to forge one, especially a high quality one
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>>5088230
So the soul then breaks out of the core like an egg, and you become an immortal?,
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>>5088236
Yep! Pretty much. Though how exactly one achieves apotheosis and the form it takes depends on the law/method (Or laws and methods) a cultivator practices. Like one method might have the cultivator pull a phoenix and be reborn from the cinders of his own body, Another might endure a challenge from the heavens and more or less force themselves to be immortal.

You can imagine what Huanliuxue will have to do, and what it will look like if she survives to that stage
>>
>>5088103
>Possess a girl
I would prefer possessing a cat, but see no majority for that
>>
>>5088242
Well, luckily, we have an Ascension-worthy grudge in the form of Granny. We just have to put off fulfilling it until we're ready.
>>
>>5088103

>Follow them as they go about their days, as a ghost and shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the objects of their vices and punishing them when they indulge or slack in their duties and training!
>>
>>5088205
>Follow them as they go about their days, as a ghost and shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the objects of their vices and punishing them when they indulge or slack in their duties and training!
>>
>>5088103
>Follow them as they go about their days, as a ghost and shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the objects of their vices and punishing them when they indulge or slack in their duties and training!
>>
>>5088103
>Follow them as they go about their days, as a ghost and shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the objects of their vices and punishing them when they indulge or slack in their duties and training!
Pee in their wine, shit on their poetry, bite their asses when they try to makel ove!
>>
>>5088103
>Follow them
>Openly appear
I like both of these. One is safer, if our enemies should check here, and the other is hilariously in character. Also a reminder that possession is inherently a not good thing to do, so if that wins I expect us to do something amazing for that girl.

As an aside, are we now able to pretend we're human, or is incarnation less literal here and we only think and act like them? Because walking around as uncountable people instead of as a fuck off giant cat would be all kinds of useful.
>>
>>5088103
>Just openly appear before them in their morning practices and begin furiously scolding and reprimanding all of them for their behavior and lack of drive. Do not allow any of them to argue, and thoroughly shame them while hoping the sheer audacity of your approach keeps them from trying to kill you!
>>
>>5088103
>Possess a girl from the valley, and pose as a wandering cultivator seeking asylum in their temple. And then humble all of them with your greater prowess and talent, while awing them with your power and grace and show them the rewards of diligence
>>
>>5088103
>Just openly appear before them in their morning practices and begin furiously scolding and reprimanding all of them for their behavior and lack of drive. Do not allow any of them to argue, and thoroughly shame them while hoping the sheer audacity of your approach keeps them from trying to kill you!
>>
>Cats sleep an average of 15 hours per day
You'd think we'd understand the worldview of this sect.
>>
>>5088747
Cats are naturally both royal, noble and beautiful.

These humans need to do work to justify laziness, while our natural brilliance justifies only using 9 hours of wakefulness.
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>>5088747
Cats also tend to really pop off when they are being active. These guys present more as indolent than naturally sleepy.

Besides, we're a cat born of grudges and grudges not your average lap kitty.
>>
>>5088103
>Possess a girl from the valley, and pose as a wandering cultivator seeking asylum in their temple. And then humble all of them with your greater prowess and talent, while awing them with your power and grace and show them the rewards of diligence
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

Just openly appear before them in their morning practices and begin furiously scolding and reprimanding all of them for their behavior and lack of drive. Do not allow any of them to argue, and thoroughly shame them while hoping the sheer audacity of your approach keeps them from trying to kill you!:4

Follow them as they go about their days, as a ghost and shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the objects of their vices and punishing them when they indulge or slack in their duties and training!:7

Possess a girl to act as a wandering cultivator, then appear before them during morning practices and begin to furiously scolding them.:1

Possess a girl from the valley, and pose as a wandering cultivator seeking asylum in their temple. And then humble all of them with your greater prowess and talent, while awing them with your power and grace and show them the rewards of diligence:5

Nothing can push a man or beast past the limits of their mind or body than the fear of death! Wreck a little havoc and terrify the lazy disciples, but kill none of them, before fleeing away before the diligent members of the sect can retaliate. Put on a show of fearing their master, so they'll respect the poor old man more, as well.:1

So You'll just follow them as they go about their day, either as a ghost or by hiding in shadow, and subtly push them to better themselves and lose their bad habits by taking away the sources of their vices and punishing them when the overindulge or slack in their training

Update will arrive shortly

>>5088621
the latter, and it comes with other powers/ benefits based on the nature of the grudge.

Though you can possess humans while wandering as a ghost.
>>
_
It was another beautiful, peaceful day upon the celestial peak of the five elemental waters. The song birds were chirping and flittering gayly through the wind, the cool air was gently warmed by the rising sun. The Old man was busy instructing Ye's juniors, and mending the bruised and broken knuckles when they failed to grasp how to correctly perform the bone hardening technique. And better yet, all of the stuffy students who acted more like celibate monks or enforcers of high imperial etiquette were all busy carrying the precious water of the springs down to the villages below their mountaintop abode. Which meant that Ye was free to relax his tired muscles and ease the aching of his bones. The Old man had been working them so hard this morning, a little reprieve and indulgence was deserved! After all, Ye had reached the forth layer of the Qi Condensation stage in only three years! He was a prodigy! A little slacking here and there wouldn't hurt his development, and he needed fond, happy memories to look back on when his cultivation grew harder!

Besides he could always claim to have reached a bottleneck or is meditating in his own, peculiar way. What will the others be able to say to that? Just the threat of losing his innate talent because they rushed him at a key point of his cultivation would keep them from pestering him as he enjoyed a bottle of last year's plum wine while he read the his favorite poetry beneath the shade of the oldest tree on the plateau.

Humming a tune to himself, the lazy cultivator swaggered his way to his personal quarters, pausing to admire a different sort of beauty than he was seeking. 'How generous of Peng Jiao to leave her door open as she performed her morning dances, Ah! still only wearing her nightwear, as she is accustomed, what a sight, what a sight!' The lout thought to himself, his cheeks flushing as red as the wine he lusted for, which quickly returned to dominate his mind.

Entering his room, Ye was at first confused, then panicked then enraged as he searched for his precious wine and poetry, and found neither! not in the compartments he hid away, or in the cubby holes he found beneath the floor! They were gone, and in their place talismans were plastered and stuck. Upon them, were messages and proverbs like "Work hard" or "wine tastes sweeter when sipped after one finishes their work" or "Weakness of the mind pollutes both the body and soul" "The songbird that spends all of its time admiring the vibrancy of its own feathers, will be caught and caged before any other"

Gnashing his teeth, Ye, who had been the son of a farming family so poor they did not even have a name and thus felt greatly insulted, tried to tear the offending papers from the wood they were glued to. He had scratched his nails bloody, when finally his sense returned to him and he realized that this was left by the grandmaster! That old man took away his treasures! And...and he could do nothing!
Cont
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>>5089109

He'd be cast out if he voiced his complaint openly! And deep down, he knew the old man was right! How could he bleed over an honest attempt to help him improve, but not his training? It was shameful, and if the rest of the sect knew he was so consumed by his own ego, he'd no longer be its prized pupil! He'd be an outcast and be forced to train! B..but maybe if he worked hard now, he'd get his wine back later? to celebrate his progress perhaps? And then Ye realized how pathetic he had become, drowning in luxury and idleness after a life of toil, that his first thought would be of being allowed to drink again. He had forsaken himself. And it took the sect master's intervention for him to clearly see himself.

Meekly, Ye tidied his room, and sulked back to the training yard to hide the injury of his fingers by tempering his hands with spear strike exercises, to preserve some measure of his pride after being humbled by writing! Truly the grandmaster was beyond him if he could teach a lesson without speaking a single word!
_
Peng Jiao paused her exercise, feeling a dull throbbing behind her forehead. Stretching her arms one last time as she basked in the morning sun like a pampered kitten, and allowing any of the mentally exhausted disciples passing by her quarters to be revitalized by her radiant beauty. The beauty yawned, and shuffled to her mirror, to put on her makeup and relax her nerves with a little bit of the intoxicating seed paste she kept in the snuff box depicting herself on it, so kindly painted by young Ye, who she had seen pass her room not long ago, with a pitiful look on his face. She couldn't understand how the farm boy could be upset with his lot here, considering his talent and natural skill. Maybe his wine had turned to vinegar or he read a sorrowful piece of poetry. Who could know? Didn't matter to Jiao in the slightest, if he couldn't cheer up while in her presence he must've just wanted to be sorrowful like the poets he admired.

Peng Jiao's cool, distant demeanor crumbled in an instant, as the throbbing in her head increased to a stabbing pain. She had just opened her snuff box, and instead of finding her beloved seed paste, she found the entire box completely empty except for a bamboo slip.

"Meditation expands the mind and eases all earthly suffering" She hissed, hands shaking as she felt a chill crawl up her spine and drool trickle down her chin as her body realized it wasn't going to be relieve the ever rising irritation that only the seed paste could control. Chattering her teeth, she scratched at her wrists as she began to itch all over, her head clouding as her high began to fade and she was returning to a terrible sense of soberness. Sniffling, Jiao tried to maintain her composure and get dressed, to see if perhaps her Junior Ye would share some wine to at least keep the withdrawal at bay until she could smash up a few more poppies.
Cont
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>>5089112

But her expression failed as she saw that all of her beautifying products were also taken from her! Her scented oils! Face powders! Wrist, lip and face balms! Even her small vial of Divine spring water mixed with poppy petals was gone and replaced with another bamboo slip.

"Natural beauty needs no refinement, focus elsewhere to become more beautiful"


"You bastard!' She said with a fake grin, as she turned away to dress herself with trembling hands, struggling to maintain her composure as her head began to vibrate and her teeth chattered! The sun was too bright! Everything was too loud, and she was so itchy! She stepped into the corridor outside of her room, marched hurriedly past the despondent Ye and maneuvered her way through the temple to try and follow the elder's command, to at least show the old man that he was wrong to think she was dependent on her drug or overly vain!

She spent five minutes in mediation before she was lifted from the ground by her juniors, having broken down weeping as the pain in her head and the itching sensation covering became unbearable. Even before she lost her internal battle, she could not concentrate with her powerful desire to return to a pleasant high and her worrying that her despair and withdrawal symptoms were noticeable to all.

The look of shame in her fellow disciples eyes as she was carried, half conscious to recover next to the spring, was more painful than any withdrawal. A little voice in the back of her addled mind swore she'd never again be looked as if she were garbage, having managed to see that the sect master was right about her. That she was addicted and vain, and now she had embarrassed herself in front of her admirers. And without admiration, what did she have even with her natural beauty.

"Tomorrow" She mumbled, promising herself she'd do better tomorrow.
_

"I heard the drunkard Ye broke nine of his fingers in practice today"
"Peng Jiao broke down weeping while meditating this morning, and was found to be suffering a near lethal withdrawal!"
"Oh how terrible, but it is better that she realized she was poisoning herself, but she should've sought help rather than face her addiction alone"
"I think Ye is still training, his eyes look so distant though? What does he have to be ashamed of?"
"You think that's surprising, I saw the temple's two resident lovebirds flee from the baths, it looked like they had been left in the snow for hours"
"The Pig ate a single bite of his second bowl of rice, and began to vomit out everything in his stomach"
"Oh that boy? You think that he's finally noticed how wide he's become lately? I saw him running up and down the mountain"
"All I wanted was to take a short nap before returning to my exercises, but I was beset by nightmarish visions and felt like the specter of death itself was on by back"
"Something scratched my leg when I laid down by the flowers, I can barely walk on it now!"
Cont
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>>5089114

"I think the Old Man went too far! My entire collection of paintings was burned to ash!"
"You mean your collection of filth, you lecher? At least you got off easier than I did! I tried to charm that lively sprite who joined recently, Shuang, and a little pebble hit my eye! The Sect head is really swift for a man of his age! Didn't even see him"

"Grandmaster Su?"

The old master of the Elemental springs turned away from the gossiping students that had gathered for their midday meal, and looked instead to his retainer and second in command, Fa Tang, who he recognized by his brilliant red hair. Unlike his twin, Fa Jin, whose hair was a lustrous gold color. He found it somewhat amusing that the twins were named for the color of their hair, when their surname was written with the character for hair. He couldn't help but feel their parents were rather unimaginative.

"Yes my pupil" Su Zhe'xínglǚ [哲' 行旅, Wise Vagabond, Art name] "I was distracted by the excitement that has possessed our sect, and the numerous curious events that have taken place just this morning"

"They seem to believe you are the culprit who enacted such mischief" Fa Tang whispered, glancing around "But, I was by your side from dawn to midday, and you have done nothing but instruct students and bless them with your wisdom"

"Yes, I was there as well" Zhe'xinglu chuckled before his expression turned dour "and I while I was planning on scolding the troublemakers of our sect, I'd have not done so so bluntly. Though, perhaps I should have considered the state Peng Jiao had reached in her addiction and acted to prevent her from worsening"

"So you planned none of this?" Tang asked, shocked

"No! I'd have taken them aside and spoke with them, not take away their pleasures and leave notes, But I cannot claim that as my pride as a teacher. I have been as blind as they have all been" Zhe'xinglu "And allowed them to fall as far as they have by my gentle, forgiving approach to their vices and indolent ways"

"Are you not concerned that, then, someone else has caused such chaos in our sect?" Tang said, anger filling his golden eyes as Old Zhexinglu plucked at his beard "In just a day whoever has decided to take action has sickened ten of our members, forced three more to go through withdrawals by denying them the medicines they've grown dependent on, and injured six more! If they are a member of the sect they must be punished for how harshly they've acted to help and improve their fellows, and if not then...""

"Injured? A scratched ankle and black eye are not injuries. And those three would have killed themselves if they continued as they were, their health will only improve. And those sickened were poisoned by a mild stomach irritant that could only have the effects it did when consumed by the cup full" Zhe'xinglu answered after a moment of silent contemplation, flicking his sleeve as he turned to walk through the humble garden he kept with Fa Tang
Cont
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>>5089117

"Whoever it is, whether they are a stranger or a familiar to us, they are no enemy. If they had wished harm, they could have easily afflicted it, but instead they have acted...subtly I suppose and made my pupils believe I have finally roused and tired of treating them like children and have taken action to force them to adopt a more serious stance towards cultivation and become more diligent in their training"

"Your wisdom astounds me, grandfather" Tang quietly replied "I had blindly assumed this was an attack against us"

Zhe'xinglu's eyes grew distant, clouding over with thought as he brushed his wrinkled hand over the petals of a beautiful poppy growing so tall it nearly reached his torso.

"It is nothing of the sort, as I have stated. This scolding was nothing more than our mysterious actor striking just hard enough to impart the wisdom of their message, like a father smacking a disobedient son. They did not wish to harm anyone gravely or kill them" The old master stated as he plucked a single petal that had been eaten by beetles "I believe, more so than anything else, this was a display of how a teacher should properly act, to urge me to be more proactive and help my students cast aside their worst and most damaging habits. Beneath my gaze, Jiao nearly drugged herself to death, I have failed as a teacher, I must do better"

Fa tang remained silent

"But, what of the presence we have sensed, you, I and my brother? The cold air of approaching death?" The red haired youth asked nervously "Is that not the sign of a powerful, earthbound ghost?"

Zhe'xinglu laughed

"If that and this are connected, we should leave offerings for our friend who has not passed on! I have not seen my students train so tirelessly or so diligently since I began this sect!" The old master laughed "Those who were already hardworking, now work even harder out of fear they will be targeted by the "Willy old man" and those who passed their days drinking or indulging in transient things have already began to improve and strive to do away with their bad habits"

"Grandfather! Are you suggesting we allow this ghost or intruder or renegade disciple to continue their actions?!" Fa Tang gasped

"Precisely, where is the harm in it?" The old man laughed as he crumpled the poppy petal between his fingers and turned to continue his walk through his garden "In fact, you and I, and your brother should follow this mysterious teachers example and be harder on our students, so they don't realize the discrepancy between my "actions""

Fa Tang, humbled, cupped his fists, and hurried after his master, and did not notice the crimson fur tailed rising through the rows of flowers, as its owner approached the poppy flowers to take away their seeds to prevent them from being taken by cunning disciples who knew enough alchemy to refine them into opium.
_

It has been several days since you've began your efforts to subtly push the members of the pitiful sect to improve themselves
Cont
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>>5089119

and end their bad habits and sinful ways. And already you have began to see improvement. The outer disciples wake up early to tend the fields and prepare the morning meal for the sect, some have even taken it upon themselves to start raising life stock or reinforce or decorate the outer walls of the temple. And the inner disciples, those just beginning their cultivation no longer sleep away the day or wile away their time gambling, drinking, playing music or fornicating as if they were in a constant state of heat. Now they join their betters, and have started to act as daoists should! They don't mock their teacher or ignore his lessons, they hang on his every word and follow him around like kittens. The girl whose withdrawal you expedited, has lost weight but her skin has turned to a much healthier hue. The drunkard eyes are sharp and perceptive, and the glutton who you fed Emetic has lost several pounds already and no longer trundles and wobbles across the temple grounds like an overweight pig. The lovers keep their hands off each other except when their schedules allow a brief period of free time, and the various poets and painters now practice their arts as more of a meditative tool than anything else.

Smiling content and proud, you admire how the sect has improved in just two weeks time. It no longer looks like a ramshackle collection of straw roofed huts, but more like a proper temple! With stone paved paths and painted walls! Its spirit herb gardens are still rather sad, but at least they're being cared for more often than before.

The sect master watches his students drill their martial arts, looking much prouder than he did when he was smacking them with a broom. Bringing a tea cup to his lips, he glances up to the sky, bows his head and takes a single sip before he walks down the hill where his disciples once slept and drank atop, to join them beneath it and lead them in their practice.

As a whole, they've become much more respectable and you no longer are pained when you look at them. And you have realized how much fun it is to scold and punish disobedient students!

What do you do now that the sect is on the path of improvement, Huanliuxue? Two actions can be taken

>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher

>Remain a few days longer to ensure they don't return to their old habits, and hold a final "Test" for the formerly pathetic disciples before leaving

>Approach the Sect master in the guise of a Petitioner (by possessing one of the mortal monks who live lower on the plateaus side) and have a conversation with him

>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory

>Write in

I had a lot of fun writing this update, and the results of Huanliuxue's manipulation
>>
>>5089122
>Take a pot filled with the waters to figure out it's usages.
>Remain a few days longer to ensure they don't return to their bad habits.

And a small thing that doesn't really need a vote, since it's so minor but
>Leave a note for the sect master "Your sect is no longer indolent. Keep it so. -Huanliuxue."
>>
>>5089122
>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher
>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
>>
>>5089122
>Approach the Sect master in the guise of a Petitioner (by possessing one of the mortal monks who live lower on the plateaus side) and have a conversation with him
>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
The sect master looks friendly enough, he's not going to kill us even if he thinks that we are a ghost possessing someone.
>>
>>5089122
>>5089163
+1
>>
>>5089122
>>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher
Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory

it time to go home lads

and if this is allow

>Leave a note for the sect master "Your sect is no longer indolent. Keep it so. -Huanliuxue."
>>
>>5089122
>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher
>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
Our work here is done.
Maybe one day, we will find our way back here?
>>
>>5089201
>>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory

sorry my second got a little mess up
>>
>>5089203
>>5089163
Any reason to not leave him the note with our name?

I just figure it could be useful if we return in the future, when the name has had time for him to strongly associate with good deeds.
>>
>>5089302
I assume that it counts for one action and I already voted for two.
>>
>>5089122
>>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher
>>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory

We have ninj'd, so now it's time to get the fuck out while the getting's good.

We aren't here to play jiminy cricket after all.
>>
>>5089302
I think the cold feeling of death upon the wind was enough of a signature frankly. Not everyone can pull something like that off after all.
>>
>>5089302
I see no reason to do so.
Like what, they are gonna be that grateful because we gave their students a few metaphorical smacks? Especially after they learn we are the same beast who viciously hunted down the Ling across the land? They will be more on guard if anything. Now we can't know for sure what baggage our name carries, but to assume it carries none is foolish.
Besides, this anon >>5089311 has the right idea.
>>
>>5089305
Given that the other options are day long prospects that require our active attention and skills, I dont think that writing a note to leave on his desk while he is away is worthy of taking up an entire vote.
If it does then fuck that option. But i dont see why it should.

>>5089311
It's not really a signiture, because it is a presence rather than a name.
The point is to give him an identity to attribute the act to, rather than a faceless presence which we cannot gain further use out of down the line.
>>
>>5089329
I don't think our name has any baggage.
I thought that the only game we garnered was as a hellish beast who protects the chaun rather than a proper name.

But if we have an actual infamy/fame attached to the name, based upon this old mans character, it seems likely he is going to either reconcile that we are not some vile monster like he has been taught that magical beasts are.
Or he will be on guard but nonetheless have some small (or perhaps not so small) favour for us. And it is custom to repay slights and favours sevenfold, no?
>>
>>5089339
>I don't think our name has any baggage.
>I thought that the only game we garnered was as a hellish beast who protects the chaun rather than a proper name.
Our name has plenty of baggage. You said it here yourself, a hellish beast. The only "protection" we gave the chuan was murdering their enemies. Anyone with half a brain would be weary of such a beast.
Now, to be fair, you are correct that the old man would probably be able to and/or willing to look past such a reputation and maybe conclude that we may not be that bad.
But these are all assumptions, and he might just as well suspect our intentions. He might think we are trying to "fatten" his sect for a more entertaining hunt, he has no info that would contradict such a conclusion.
Not to mention that we don't know who would see such a note later. They might spread the news that we visited them, even if it is to praise us, and attract unwanted attention.
And finally, wouldn't the purpose of this letter be to attach an identity to their anonymous helper, so we can later reap the rewards of our good deed? We don't need to leave a letter for that, I'm sure we could easily prove to the sect head that it was us if we show up again. He already faintly sensed our presence, he will recognize it. There is no need to reveal that we are also the blood thirst cat demon terrorizing the Ling in any part of this equation.
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>>5089366
I mean I didnt know that the province knew our name.

I thought they knew us as a cat spirit. Like. . The cat spirit of the Chuan. Not Huanuxialiu, so the two wouldnt have any overlap.

But eh, fair enough. Though them spreading word that we were there would be more good than bad, a false trail to obfuscate our den.
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>>5089403
The problem is being that there is a stigma on magic beasts. And we're feline, arguably the most capricious and unpredictable type of animal outside of filthy birds which paints a suspicious light on anything we do.

SOMEONE is bound to really not like the idea of us being anywhere near a sect and going unspotted. That in and of itself is a very worrying detail sure to set people on edge. That a monster could be stalking you even in the safety of your monasteries. Yeah. Bad vibes will be had.
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>>5089122
>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher
>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
>>
>>5089122
>Return
>Remain a few days
>Leave a note

I think people are being a bit alarmist here. First, basically everyone thinks we're a benevolent spirit, if vengeful. Literally the only people we ever attacked were the Ling, who waged war and decimated innocent villages. The worst act we've ever committed aside from that is accidentally breaking that one guy's spirit with our enthusiastic debate, everything else we've done has been good karma. Leaving our name here is a decent idea, the old man doesn't seem like the kind of person to betray his sect's benefactor. He might even be an ally when we get outed in the future, not to mention the disciples whose lives and futures we saved. If anything, being such a good person despite being a beast might provoke memories of our predecessors, of a time when magical beasts were perfectly acceptable.
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>>5089640
Never underestimate what a thousand years of tradition can do to people's thinking. Also it's just better to err on the side of caution when you can.
>>
>>5089122
>>Approach the Sect master in the guise of a Petitioner (by possessing one of the mortal monks who live lower on the plateaus side) and have a conversation with him
>>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
>>
>>5089122

>Approach the Sect master in the guise of a Petitioner (by possessing one of the mortal monks who live lower on the plateaus side) and have a conversation with him

>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
>>
>>5089122
>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher

>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
>>
>>5089122
>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher

>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
>>
>>5089403
>I mean I didnt know that the province knew our name.
I wasn't actually certain myself now that you mention it, but I went back and checked the previous thread and at the beginning both Ling soldiers and the Chuan lord knows us by name, so our name is clearly out there.
>a false trail to obfuscate our den
That is fair enough. I'm not sure it's really worth the fuss our name might kick up though.
>>
>>5089640
For what it's worth I agree that it is unlikely they will kick up that much of a fuss... But we just can't really predict how they might act. They could take it well, or they could take it badly. It's really just a matter of wanting to take the risk or not, but I agree with this anon >>5089645 that it is best to be cautious, we are still too early in our cultivation to gather too much attention.
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>>5089122
>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
>Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher
>>
>>5089122
>>>Remain a few days longer to ensure they don't return to their old habits, and hold a final "Test" for the formerly pathetic disciples before leaving
>>Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory
>>
>>5089764
thanks for checking it out.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Take a single pot filled with the waters of the Harmonious Elemental Spring and try to figure out what to do with it on the edge of the once pitiful sect's territory:14

Remain a few days longer to ensure they don't return to their old habits, and hold a final "Test" for the formerly pathetic disciples before leaving:3

Leave a note for the sect master "Your sect is no longer indolent. Keep it so. -Huanliuxue.":3

Return to your sanctuary and Monu, explain the reason for your delay and discuss the future with your own teacher:9

Approach the Sect master in the guise of a Petitioner (by possessing one of the mortal monks who live lower on the plateaus side) and have a conversation with him:4

So you'll take a single pot filled with the miraculous spring water and ponder what to do with it, before returning to your sanctuary and explain to your teacher where you've been before discussing the future with her.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
But you cannot dally and continue your fun. You've played with this sect's disciples for long enough and the only reason you'd linger here any longer would be to gleefully indulge in making mischief in the temple and subjugating its now reformed inhabitants to minor torment. You could lie and say it was to keep them from returning to their old habits or keeping them on their toes, but in truth it'd just be a game for you at that point. A risky game that could easily lead to you courting death if you grew overly bold and comfortable.

These cultivators have returned to the proper path, and their future is no longer your concern now that they aren't a blight upon the cultivation world or your senses. Sure, you feel somewhat like a prideful mother watching them tirelessly drill and train their martial art when they would have once drank themselves into a dreamless stupor, and practice breathing exercises and meditation rather than flirt or play games with each other. But they are not your sect, your only connection with these humans is the fact their home was the sight of your ascension to the next stage of your cultivation and the enlightenment of grudges that accompanied it. And that you felt pity for their sorry state, and paid your own time and effort to better them altruistically which felt.

You pause and furrow your brow as you contemplate the sensation that rises up within your chest. Beneath the pride that has replaced the pity and disdain you had previously felt for this sect and its collection of trash. Its a pleasant, a fulfilling warmth. Close to satisfaction, cousin to joy. It is familiar, you've felt it before. It radiates outwards, washing like a wave of fulfilling and comforting warmth from your heart to the rest of your body. It even reaches the shore of your soul. You've become comfortable with the coldness of death, but this familiarly pleasant sensation is just as soothing. Briefly meditating on why it is so familiar, the faces of Granny Monu and Young Fu emerge within your mind's eye and you realize when and with whom you've experienced this blissful sensation with before!

Purring, you laugh at yourself for being so blind! How ironic! That a beast born of murder and wrath derives pleasure from performing good deeds! You like to call yourself a demon and certainly enjoying the savory taste of human meat, but considering how you have treated others, are you not closer to a buddha? Cackling, you prance merrily to the spring that you came here to exploit, happily reflecting on all the good you've done despite being a man eating beast and the virtuous deeds you've preformed without realizing. It is amusing to you. If a cultivator heard of your benevolence, would they cough up blood? Fall upon their sword? Offer the meat of their belly to you with a jug of wine?

Clenching your jaw, you stifle your laughter to a snicker, before it vanishes entirely.
Cont
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>>5090681

Taking a empty clay pot, that once contained preserved and salted pork and had been left by the spring to be cleaned of the lingering stench, you fill it with aromatic petals and blossoms to purify it of the rather mouthwatering odor that is for some reason repugnant to the noses' of humans. And then, biting onto its lip, you dip it into the Harmonious Waters of the elementally attuned spring. Lifting it carefully, you set it up right with out spilling a drop of the precious waters filling it. Rolling your jaw and neck to ease the aching lifting such a heavy weight caused you find its lid nearby, and after reliving your aches place it atop the pot. Fastening it tightly, you secure the lid further with a few talismans and two ropes that you wrap around the clay pot from its base to its top.

The pot of sacred water is just small enough to carry on your pack, and just heavy enough to not be a burden. Except if you lift it by its lip with your teeth. With a few swipes of your paw, you put the pot into a position that will allow you to wrap it around your trunk. Tightening the rope you've lashed around its middle and your own, you march away from the spring, hiding both yourself and your precious cargo beneath an cloak of Yin Qi. Like a living shadow, you slink away from the temple.

Looking back once as you pass through its gate, you bow your head once and leave a scratch in the donation box as you pass it by. Judging by the smells surrounding the wooden chest, the faithful of the valley have noticed the change in the temple's demeanor and have make the pilgrimage up the plateau to pay their respects much more frequently than they did before.

You feel proud to have been the start of this small Sect's revitalization, even if the part you played will never be known by its members or their followers you are content. Such is the obligation of nobility, at least in a perfect world. There's no need for payment or respect, if you can obtain peace and satisfaction by your actions alone.

Humming the lullaby Monu taught you, you walk down the mountainside paths and leave the territory of the spiritually reborn sect.

And stop just at the border, beneath a hawthorn tree marked with the circle of five Lotus blossoms the sect uses as its sigil. You sit before the pot of water you took from their spring.

And realize you had no plan of what to do with it. The miraculous water has many uses. It could increase health, longevity, and heal both injuries and sickness. And if used to brew a tisane of various spirit grasses, could be used to increase ones cultivation, elemental affinity or even awaken a magical beast like yourself! It could be made into an antidote for many poisons if refine and concentrated, or it could be used to make deadly poison itself! Washing a blade in it would preserve the metal and keep it from rusting, and using it to water a field would make the plants there into giants!
Cont
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>>5090683

It is valuable but, much like Jiùqūliáoyá's beast core, you simply have no idea what to do with it. It would turn you from a pauper to a wealthy cat if you could sell it. But that feels extremely wasteful. If Cultivators were not so opposed to your existence, you could give it to a sect as a gift and become their friend.

You could also ration it out, give it to the ailing and frail, or perhaps scatter it as an offering to the ghosts you have befriended in the catacombs. Monu has also told you stories of ancient cultivators who could use such miraculous waters as a "Seed" to create entirely new springs!

The uses of this sacred waters are near endless. Placing a paw on the pot, you decide to ask Monu about it when you return to you sanctuary. She would know what it is capable of, and what would be squandering the water's near divine potency!
_

Su Zhe'xinglu watched the valley with an odd smile, joined by his two eldest pupils, the Fa twins. He watched the Sunset, as if he was contemplating the transition of day and night or the constant chase of the sun and moon. He closed his eyes, as a smirk lifted itself on his lips.

"When dawn next approaches, it will greet our temple and see it has been transformed. When morning next comes, our sect will have emerged from its chrysalis and spread its wings" He mused, stroking his beard thoughtfully as his strongest pupils looked on, anticipating they would soon be humbled by a koan or be blessed by the Grandmaster's wisdom.

But, all the old sage said before he began to hobble back to their temple was something that would confuse the two brothers in both blood and cultivation for some time, for they could not comprehend his wisdom as they were then.

"Is it not amusing? How Blood is oft associated with death and violence, yet without it there would be no life? I find it curious how the embodiment of life itself has gained such a poor reputation" He pondered with a sly grin on his lips and a humored look in his youthful eyes "Perhaps it is because it is followed so closely by pain they do not realize that spilt blood weeps for those it flows out of? That it is what carries our passions as well as our sorrows?"

He stopped before the gate of his temple, placing a hand on the donation box he himself built and placed.

"Is it not apparent that a drop of blood resembles a tear?" He asks the sky, the trees and the birds. Curling his fingers, he dug one of his nails through the donation box and left a scratch in its surface.
_

Monu sheds no tears when you reunite with her. In fact, she wears the smug smile of the winner of a gamble, and holding her pipe between her teeth greets you kindly and without a word. She motions for you to sit next to her on the cliffside path that leads to your sanctuary. You do so, saying nothing as she admires the view of the ravine beneath her feet.
cont
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>>5090684

"Oh how you have grown, Huanliuxue, How you have changed. Your presence no longer resembles the passing haunting of a vengeful spirit" She muses as she takes a long drag from her pipe, which she catches with her fat, toad like tongue as she releases the lungful smoke she swallowed by opening her mouth widely. Her six moles divided equally between two perfect lines on her face directly beneath her eyes, press tightly together as her face gains a few more wrinkles as she grins jubilantly. She is happier than you have ever seen her before, almost as if she has obtained some kind of peace.

"But rather, now you possess the imperial aura of a princess, a heir of not only the wilds, but of the grave and hate as well" She cackles, as she pulls her pipe back between her lips and taps her mangled hand on the pot of water on your back "The field of graves I envision when I look upon you has grown, filled with new bodies beneath stacks of stones and memorials. How greatly the cold breath of death that surrounds you reminds me of the icy embrace of my past. Heh-heh-heh"

You say nothing, listening to your teacher's complements and basking in her praises as she closes her single eye.

"Truly I am blessed to have met you, my student, being your teacher has reminded me of the glory I have lost and the pride I forsake in my decades of mourning" She confides in you, as she places her whole hand between your ears and curls her fingers into your silken fur "The bitter taste of grief does linger upon the tongue, but it can be masked by the other flavors of life"

it is then you decided to speak

"Forgive my lateness, Grandmother, I found cultivators in need of guidance and could not help but to push them to act more becoming of cultivators, less they squander their talents. I know helping those who would hunt me if they knew me is foolish, but I could not bear to see them so low" You whisper, scared that if you speak too loudly you may disrupt the reverent air between pupil and teacher.

"How bold, the aid your enemy" Monu sneers, eyes narrowing "Though I suppose it is natural for a prideful creature to be insulted to meet those who entirely lack ambition. But, does the fact you felt empathy for those wastrels not show that they are wrong to name you demon?"

"Perhaps, and I would like you to know I am honored that you consider me you second daughter, Teacher" You say with a smirk, Monu cackles

"I see my snow white in your eyes, though you two could not be more different, as I said when we first met, you are my redemption Huanliuxue" She says humbly, eyes misting with tears "And as the saying goes "A teacher for a day, a mother for a life"

"Isn't it "a father for a life?" " you ask

"Bah, the specifics don't matter" Monu snorts "The meaning remains the same. A good teacher treats their students as their own children. Xuebai saved me and so did you, Huanliuxue. You've reminded me life can be enjoyed"
cont
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>>5090686

"That's why your resentment has lost some of its flavor" You mutter before sighing and purring "I don't mind it"

"Neither do I, though I still intend to see my grudge sated before this body fails me" She cackles, blowing two streams of blue smoke from her nostrils "So what do you plan to do with that treasure upon your back"

"I do not know, I figured you'd know what it could be used for and I could decide after seeking your wisdom" You bluntly admit, staring out towards the horizon "But now I can't turn my thoughts away from the future, what will become of us. The roads life will lead me down"

"I will die eventually" Monu half cackles and half snorts "Unless I don't. Now that my world has brightened, I cannot help but to look in the opposite direction, towards my past. A shame my looks weren't preserved alongside my wit. But, I'd suggest you come up with a goal. Centering one's life around cultivation and nothing else will lead to a dull existence, a grey life devoid of colors"

"You were young once?" You tease with a sneer

"Oh, I was. I picked flowers and trampled grasses, sampled the flesh of handsome men and beautiful women. Shared their warmth and broke their hearts. As my own heart was broken by the man who I truly loved" Monu says, her good cheer fading with every word she spoke, as she looks down at her reflection cast in the silver surface of her pipe "My wrinkled skin used to be as clear as ice and as clean as jade, I was a peerless beauty. I was known as the Poison Fairy, The Toad Princess, and The Serpent whose venom could slay a dragon. But, along with your elder sister, that beauty and renown I so cherished was taken from me by those closest to me. And I was made a crippled old hag, whose age is finally catching up with her"

Monu sniffles, tears falling from her cheeks as she begins to weep openly and bitterly

"Just as she found a new reason to live, how cruel fate can be!" She wails, lamenting her impending death and ages when she usually makes light about it. You remain silent, because you do not know what to say to comfort her.

"But, you want to talk of the future? Why don't you set a goal in mind as I suggested?" She says somberly, quietly, urging you as a mother rather than teacher "Something to strive for besides power?"
cont
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>>5090687

What goal will you set yourself besides completing your self taught and still Nameless Law, Huanliuxue?

>Find a way to "Fix" Monu and return her to her youth, so you do not have to lose her to the same death you all but worship.

>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.

>Destroy the Ling Family and wipe their name from history, so they will not birth another Ling Meng and as punishment for allowing his pointless war to begin with.

>Prove to the Cultivation world and the heavens above it that Magical Beasts are not demons, even if you must die to do so. It is an injustice that they have forsaken your people and forgotten their deeds.

>Write in
>>
>>5090689
>Create a sect, for magical beasts and those outcast.
>Remind the world of cultivators that Magical beasts are not demons nor monsters.

We will slay our own students if they should scorn us with wickedness. But Granny Monu will become a ghost, and that's natural. It's okay. She can be forever with us as a ghost by our side.
>>
>>5090689
>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
A Queen of Beasts needs vassals.
Also the pot of sacred water would be useful to make a source of the five elements because it's unlikely that all magical beasts would have an affinity for Yin Metal like us.
>>
>>5090689
>Find a way to "Fix" Monu and return her to her youth, so you do not have to lose her to the same death you all but worship.

>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.

You would think that the water we found would be able to help her, or at the very least could be used as a step one of sorts.

Something to keep in mind perhaps? Also I don't find these two choices to be mutually exclusive. Finding those worthy of our teachings means we're going to have to go abroad anyway, and there's no reason why we shouldn't keep an eye out for opportunities to help our dear old Granny.
>>
>>5090689
>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
>>
>>5090689
>Find a way to "Fix" Monu and return her to her youth, so you do not have to lose her to the same death you all but worship.
Monu is already probably one of the best allies we could ask for. I feel like we're already on the right track to being able to solve her issue, with magic and our art
>>
>>5090689
>>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
>>
>>5090689
>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
>>
>>5090689
>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
>Prove to the Cultivation world and the heavens above it that Magical Beasts are not demons, even if you must die to do so. It is an injustice that they have forsaken your people and forgotten their deeds.
>>
>>5090689
>Find a way to "Fix" Monu and return her to her youth, so you do not have to lose her to the same death you all but worship.
>Prove to the Cultivation world and the heavens above it that Magical Beasts are not demons, even if you must die to do so. It is an injustice that they have forsaken your people and forgotten their deeds.
>>
>>5090689
>Find a way to "Fix" Monu and return her to her youth, so you do not have to lose her to the same death you all but worship.
>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
>Prove to the Cultivation world and the heavens above it that Magical Beasts are not demons, even if you must die to do so. It is an injustice that they have forsaken your people and forgotten their deeds.
>>
>>5090689
>>Prove to the Cultivation world and the heavens above it that Magical Beasts are not demons, even if you must die to do so. It is an injustice that they have forsaken your people and forgotten their deeds.
>>
>>5090689
>Ascend along the Dao of Grudges and Ghosts, specifically the grudges of the innocent and the ghosts of children, until Karma itself becomes the tool with which you ensure the sort of tragedy that made you can never happen again. You would be happy to spend eternity avenging children taken far too soon by fools far too cruel or callous to care about who they step on.
>>
>>5091046
This answer is based less on 'what single thing do we want to accomplish' and more 'what is something I could see huan working on with the same passion a thousand years from now?'
>>
>>5090689
>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
>>
>>5090689
>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
>Prove to the Cultivation world and the heavens above it that Magical Beasts are not demons, even if you must die to do so. It is an injustice that they have forsaken your people and forgotten their deeds.
I’d argue these two are close to each other that doing the former would most likely lead to the latter
>>
>>5090689
>>Find a way to "Fix" Monu and return her to her youth, so you do not have to lose her to the same death you all but worship.
>>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
Didn't we read something about rebirth in one of the books? Chances are she might be reborn as a non-human ready to start the sect with us.
>>
Honestly, I have no interest whatsoever in all this sect business, but I know it's pointless to bother voting against it. Instead, I'll point out a thing that people seem to have glossed over.

Xuebai isn't dead. She's the icy kitsune possessing monk MC. Of course, it could just be a wild coincidence.
>>
>>5091567
If that's true it'd still be meta information so kind of useless to us right now.
>>
>>5091567
What use is a princess without a court.

And whaaaaaaa?!
>>
>>5091567
I've mostly chosen that one because while I like Monu, dedicating our life to curing her is a bit much, Ling Meng is dead and I think that this chapter of our life is over and proving that magical beasts are not evil sounds similar to creating a sect for them but less fun with awakening beasts and more doing random good deeds and that's kind of meh to me. (I like doing good stuff but that's not exactly a life goal).
>>
>>5091596
Her foundation is now utter trash. She is not long for the realm of the dead, where she will join our court anew.
>>
>>5091567
What?
>>
>>5090689
>>Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.
>>
>>5091567
Checking the archive showed it's not a coincidence.
>Elsewhere, beneath a raging blizzard, a monk with one eye and traitor branded upon his brow played a Pipa carved from old wood buried beneath ice and snow. The air around him had become blue with the sorrow of his heart, and surged with the pain of a broken heart. Behind his back, three spectral foxes tails, colored white and blue flicked through the air as the bringer of his despair and ruin watched his progress and the waited with baited breath for the results of his grand experiment.
>The fox spirit, Xuěbái grinned predatorily, as a forth tail joined her other three.
We best make plans for this inevitable conflict
>>
>>5091787
I read that, noted it as kitsune and then washed it from memory. Holy shit.

I want to have our sister close, before Monu passes but . . . I feel like she is so. . So vengeful and that she cannot reconcile this with ours.
>>
>>5091817
I mean, we are a cultivator of Grudges, if there's anyone who can pull her back from the proverbial brink it's us. Might not work but we're the best shot she's got.
>>
>>5091906
>if there's anyone who can pull her back from the proverbial brink it's us
I dunno, maybe a guy who exists solely to heal would work. But ain't nobody care about that healslut life when you can do a triple backflipping knife kicks and sweat acid and stuff.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

Create a sect, a sanctuary for magical beasts like yourself in defiance of the edicts of heaven, and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai in a way.:12

Prove to the Cultivation world and the heavens above it that Magical Beasts are not demons, even if you must die to do so. It is an injustice that they have forsaken your people and forgotten their deeds.:6

Find a way to "Fix" Monu and return her to her youth, so you do not have to lose her to the same death you all but worship.:5

Ascend along the Dao of Grudges and Ghosts, specifically the grudges of the innocent and the ghosts of children, until Karma itself becomes the tool with which you ensure the sort of tragedy that made you can never happen again. You would be happy to spend eternity avenging children taken far too soon by fools far too cruel or callous to care about who they step on.:1

So your primary goal going forward will be to found a sect, to both serve as a sanctuary for magical beasts and to immortalize Monu and Xuebai's memory.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
"Something to strive for..." You repeat as you eyes lift from the horizon to gaze upon the field of cotton white clouds in the heavens. Narrowing your eyes, a sense of irritation nestles itself in your heart from merely looking at the sky above your head. By the command of the gods, your existence is reviled and scorned. By the mandate of heaven, Ascended beasts have been cast out of society and named monsters and devils. The same society they helped build. And all of their great accomplishments and glorious history was stolen and locked away, and made forbidden. It is an injustice that you, the Young Princess of the Primordial wilds should live as a fugitive, and accept that she and any who would flock to her banner to pledge their allegiance and undying loyalty would be hunted like mere animals when you are so much more than beasts. You are royalty! A wild Princess! And it infuriates you that those who should be your subjects, who should thrive in your court of ghosts and grudges, are instead forced to live barbaric and solitary lives! Subsisting like the animals they once were, until a cultivator blessed to be born human decides they have ripened and plucks out their beast core and heart and leaves the rest of them to rot and be devoured by vermin!

Its enraging! Insulting! And it cannot stand! You were fortunate to find Monu and realize your magnificent destiny and inheritance! Fortunate to learn the truth of how the cultivation used to be! When men and magical beast coexisted and your kind was rightfully respected and were allowed to hold the same stations as any cultivator born with out fur, feathers or scales! How it sickens you! How it disgusts you! It is abhorrent! Who decided your people were not worthy of the heavens! Who decided they should live as prey, subsisting on beetles and moss in the wilds! Who decided to lock away their history and deeds! Who decided to steal the destiny of your lineage and make you have to lurk in the shadows like a common thud? That your mere existence was heretical, that living was an insult to the gods! It makes you sick! SICK! You should've been raised as any princess born without a tail! Without whiskers! Pampered and adored by her subjects! Revered and loved by all! Instead, instead they're hunting you! Calling you Beast! Calling you Demon! CALLING YOU ANIMAL!

And your subjects! Those who should've known your name and face from birth are unaware of their past and ancestors, living without culture or even the barest sense of pride! Like you, they are treated like livestock! like fruit to be plucked and devoured on a whim! They suffer and hated for it! They are not allowed a chance to live or prove themselves to the world, and are painted as monsters and wretched things born of hell's womb! But they do not even have the advantage of having a teacher or knowledge of the world that pursuits them! They are ignorant of internal alchemy, of the cultivation of Qi, of the dao itself!

Cont
>>
>>5092123

Tears stain the fur on your cheeks as you envisage the plight of all other magical beasts, who live empty lives barely separated from the creatures they were before they woke up and were reborn! Oh how terrible! Oh how sorrowful! They are not even aware of the tragedy of their lives! Of what they have lost and been denied! As their princess, you cannot help but to weep for your scattered subjects! How dare the heavens make them suffer! How dare they reduce your once proud and mighty race to savage beasts! How dare they decree they exist only to be culled! Only to serve as stepping stones for those who had once been their peers!

Well! If the heavens can make such a blind and ignorant decree and allow for generations of quiet suffering, then you can as well! Your royalty! a primordial beast! The blood and Qi flowing through you is both older and more legitimate than whatever legacy has allowed the gods the authority to command to oppression and slaughter of your people!

Damn their rules! Damn their laws! The Law of Huanliuxue states that a sect that shall last forever shall be founded by her one day! It may take a decade, it may take a century, it may take a thousand years! But even if it takes eternity and a dozen lives for you to achieve your dream, you will create a sanctuary for your subjects, for your people, for all magical beasts who have the ambition to be something more than savage animals! And this school will not only be the foundation of a civilization of all things wild and inhuman, it will serve as the legacy of Granny Monu and her first daughter, the sister you never knew.! The tragic story of the Toad witch and Snow white will be preserved for future generations and never forgotten!

Smiling smugly, you flick your tail across the ground, your notched ear twitching as you cement the goal you've set for yourself in your mind and are satisfied with the grandeur of it.

Besides you've come to realize teaching can rather entertaining, especially when it comes to punishing misbehaving students!

Granny Monu immediately notices that you've come to a conclusion and now lived for something else besides cultivation, training or study.

"Well judging from the smug look on your face, you've found a purpose in mere moments. As expected of a young girl as willful and proud as yourself" She says, snuffing out the embers glowing in her silver pipe with a soot covered thumb "May this old witch be blessed to know of your grand designs, Princess?"

Looking to the sun you close your eyes and chuckle.

"I'll create a school for magical beasts. A sanctuary for my kind, and the beginnings of our second start, the seed for a new civilization both wild and magnificent" You state humbly "it shall be both my palace and my temple, and it remind all other beasts of the glories of past and the history we have lost. In defiance of the mandate of the heavens I will return ascended beasts to their proper station in the world of cultivation"
cont
>>
>>5092124

"Even if its other inhabitants refuse to accept our rightful place within it"

"What an Austere yet humble ambition, well you will have to grow stronger if you wish to establish a proper sect but I am certain that will pose no challenge to you, oh prodigy of graves and spite" Monu cackles happily, looking away to hide the single tear she shed upon hearing you speak your ambition "But, we've spoken enough of the past and of the future and the day is not without end. We should busy ourselves with a more worthwhile labor than than exercising our jaws and tongues."

She struggles to lift herself from the ground and stand, so you offer your back for support.

"Thank you Huanliuxue, but let us craft the treasure I promised you! I though long and hard about what a whisker can be made into, when it struck me suddenly one night!" Monu exclaims excitedly "A musical instrument! Enchanted and magical! But what instrument can a cat play, I wondered, and I realized the answer myself! A Guqin! The instrument of sages! I am excited to see what power your whisker will bless it with!"
_

What will you do once Monu is done using your Qi to craft your gift, Huanliuxue? Two actions can be taken

>Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.

>Increase your training and extend your daily mediation to take advantage of your new and higher state!

>Create a puppet so you can masquerade as a human and travel amongst them and not attract attention doing so.

>Check on Fu's progress and tell the boy of the tragedy of Xuebai's death and convince him of the cruelty of the heavens, which should be hard considering the life he has lived.

>Study one of your three manuals, hoping that your knew perspective of the world will allow you to achieve a greater understanding of their lessons

>Write in
>>
>>5092126
>Check on Fu's progress and tell the boy of the tragedy of Xuebai's death and convince him of the cruelty of the heavens, which should be hard considering the life he has lived.
>Study one of your three manuals, hoping that your knew perspective of the world will allow you to achieve a greater understanding of their lessons
>>Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts
We should probably study how to make magical beasts and more stuff about them, and we've not checked on Fu for a while and it's about time we begin to train him.
>>
>>5092126
>Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.
Though I thought we've agreed on a ribbon, not an instrument? Do I misremember?

>Check on Fu's progress and tell the boy of the tragedy of Xuebai's death and convince him of the cruelty of the heavens, which should be hard considering the life he has lived.
>>
>>5092150
Whisker vote won.
>>
>>5092126
>Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.
>Check on Fu's progress and tell the boy of the tragedy of Xuebai's death and convince him of the cruelty of the heavens, which should be hard considering the life he has lived.
>>
>>5092126
>Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.

>Check on Fu's progress and tell the boy of the tragedy of Xuebai's death and convince him of the cruelty of the heavens, which should be hard considering the life he has lived.
>>
>>5092147
Support.
>>
>>5092126
>Check on Fu
>Figure out the Enchanted Guqin
gonna be fun to see how we can play this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0AAFhx3RmA
>>
>>5092126
>>Create a puppet so you can masquerade as a human and travel amongst them and not attract attention doing so
>>Check on Fu's progress and tell the boy of the tragedy of Xuebai's death and convince him of the cruelty of the heavens, which should be hard considering the life he has lived
>>
>>5092126
>>>Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.

>>Increase your training and extend your daily mediation to take advantage of your new and higher state!
>>
>>5092126
>Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.

>Check on Fu's progress and tell the boy of the tragedy of Xuebai's death and convince him of the cruelty of the heavens, which should be hard considering the life he has lived.
If we want to start a sect, we should start with the potential student we already have.
>>
>>5092147
+1
>>
>>5092150
>>5092151
Unfortunately. My argument for the ribbon came in too late, right at the end of last thread. It's really a shame, because the whole instrument thing is incredibly overdone.

I think I'll abstain on voting this time. I'm good with everything but the puppet vote, though I don't really like any part of the Fu vote except checking on him in general. It's not like we need to hammer the point in to get him to do literally anything, he respects us so much that our word is basically law, and using the story of our sister's "death" reads as distasteful coercion. He's not an enemy, we have no need to whisper poison in his ear for him to side with us.
>>
>>5092126
>>Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.
>>Increase your training and extend your daily mediation to take advantage of your new and higher state!
>>
>>5092126
>Increase your training and extend your daily mediation to take advantage of your new and higher state!
>Study one of your three manuals, hoping that your knew perspective of the world will allow you to achieve a greater understanding of their lessons
>>
>>5092126
>>Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.
>Study one of your three manuals, hoping that your knew perspective of the world will allow you to achieve a greater understanding of their lessons
Lets look into reincarnation without loss of memory. There was one note on it in one of the books. We need this for Monu.
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>>5092716
Yeah, was a bit peculiar.

The guy follows us out of his own will anyway, offering him cultivation training doesn't require any special coercion.
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>>5092716
I kinda agree but that mostly looks like an excuse for a Fu social and/or training action.
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>>5092788
Why not just call it that, then? The wording of votes is important, there's a reason write-ins that are basically just differently worded choices are acceptable. Context matters, and the context of the Fu vote is incredibly unpleasant, but people are voting it because it's a Fu vote. It just doesn't really seem like something we'd do out of the blue, ya know? That kind of vengeful, bitter conversation should have some impetus behind it.
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>>5092859
Write-ins generally don't win.
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>>5092863
They actually win a fair amount in my experience. The problem is getting them in early enough to counter the people who vote without reading discussion after updates.
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>>5092906
>tfw people just pump and dump their votes instead of coming back to autistically argue and thus nurture it
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>>5092859
Well, our existence is closesly tied to vengeance and such negative feelings, they're simply a natural part of ourselves.
And we're also trying to establish a sect that directly goes against Heaven's Mandate, so if we're going to recruit Fu, we're going to need to convince him to oppose the Heavens, so the vote makes sense to me.
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>>5092915
False. Our existence is closely tied to Vengeance, which isn't even an action, let alone a feeling. It's a context in which actions and feelings can take place, good, bad, and ugly. A grudge satisfied is a heady feeling that, and I'm talking from personal experience here, can be better than sex if the grudge is big enough. There's good feelings associated with vengeance, and bad ones, and downright ugly ones. There's healthy and unhealthy methods to it, as well as productive and unproductive ways to achieve it.

So no, a grudge isn't an emotion, or a single event. It's a context in which events can take place, no different than romance, war, or scholarship.
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>>5092909
I admit I speak up more when I really like one option over the other, but sometimes all the options presented I'm more than happy with the story going. I think other people might feel the same way sometime
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>>5092909
I'm a wage slave so I gotta pump and dump cause this updates at like 2 am for me.
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Ending the vote now. Tallying the result. Sorry my lateness

Check on Fu's progress and tell the boy of the tragedy of Xuebai's death and convince him of the cruelty of the heavens, which should no be difficult considering the life he has lived.:9

Study one of your three manuals, hoping that your knew perspective of the world will allow you to achieve a greater understanding of their lessons:5
-Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts: 3
- Search for the secret of past life memories: 1

Figure out what the Enchanted Guqin is capable of, give it a name, and practice using it as both a magical tool and a musical instrument.: 7

Increase your training and extend your daily mediation to take advantage of your new and higher state!:3

Create a puppet so you can masquerade as a human and travel amongst them and not attract attention doing so: 1

So You'll practice using the treasure Monu made with your whisker and deathly Qi, learn how to play it and what magic it holds before giving it a name

And then checking of Fu's progress and wellbeing, and tell him of the tragedy of Snow White's death to convince him of the cruelty of the gods.

Update will arrive shortly
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You can not help but to sit silent in awe as you watch your aged teacher work. The power and magic she cultivated may be forever sealed away, but her expertise remains as sharp as the day of her betrayal. With graceful movements, she rotates her wrists and arms in a practiced rhythm before the materials she has collected to combine into the treasure she intends to present to you, crafted out of love, pride and reverence. A block of Rosewood, Hei suanzhi judging from its hue and sour scent, laid out before pearls and strips of rolled silver. A bowl of blood drained from the bandits you slew, takes the place of varnish. A pair of tools sits before Monu's crossed legs. Burning incense sticks provide the only light for this ritual between mentor and student. With a nod of her head, Monu signals that must now manifest and release your Qi, allowing it to wash over the materials gathered on the floor between the two of you and condense above and within them.

Breathing in and out, you follow the practiced and ponderous pace of meditative breathing as you are accustomed to, as from your summon forth the energies of the grave and the breath of ghosts that roils in your Dantians and meridians. It flows out, like black water, collecting in a pool as it swallows up the materials.

Grabbing her tools, Monu winces, as a truly pitiful amount of Qi trickles from her palms and into the hammer and chisel she holds in them. This is just enough to activate both. Tracing two wide circles through the pool of your dark Qi, she paints a symbol of Yin and Yang, before she begins to trace and pattern advance diagrams and alchemical formulae across the surface of clouds and waters of undying resentment and lingering souls. With a look of supreme concentration on her withered face, the Toad witch moves with a vigor of a woman a quarter her age, her eyes intensely focused as blazing with all of the love she felt for both of her daughters.

Inspired, she writes poem after poem, centering each on the death, ghosts, grudges and anger as she uses the vital essences you gathered in your cultivation to dye the wood, whisker and metal with the power of your law! The material rise, covered in an shroud as black as freshly wetted ink, that drips and flows from their ends like a gentle rain. Monu's face reddens with exertion as the effort of crafting the artifact begins to expend the last of her stamina. A orb of black, dotted with faint tears of snow white and rivulets of fresh blood surrounds the now enchanted materials and forces them together.

Monu slams her tools down, wheezing as she struggled to breath. You stand to rush to her side, but she raises a hand to stop you. The orb of shadows, blood and tears vanishes, and in its place sits a glowing Guqin! Its wood is as brilliantly red as your fur, its sour sent covered by the aroma of an unearthed grave's soil.
Cont
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>>5093380

Streaks of white and black pearl race along it sides, like billowing clouds and mists. Its strings are made of tarnished silver, yet shine with a strange crimson light. The instrument is gently curled, almost like a cat's tail and one of its ends is notched like your ear.

Monu, huffing and puffing as she managed to lift herself, scurries to catch the magnificent treasure as it fell. And then kneeling, presented it to you like a crown. Graciously, you took it from her and marveled at the quality of its craftsmanship and beauty.

But, you do not play it or test its timber immediately. First, you carry Monu to her bed, and bring her a bucket of cold water scented with Ginseng to help recover the energy she expended in crafting your treasure. It is only when you are certain she will not fall ill or expire, that you return to your Guqin.

And attempt to play it.

Its music is heavenly! With few plucks of your claws, a resounding song rises from the instrument, a mournful dirge that could make even statues weep. Or, at least that is what it sounds to your ears, and you soon realize you'll need to practice much to make the music you make appealing to others. So you do just that, practice and train and research music as you spend some time relaxing in your temple, improving your new and artful hobby with Monu.

It is only on the forth day of practicing your Guqin, that you discover its magical properties.

Firstly, that it can levitate and become Ethereal when you perform your specter lightness skill, and that as if possessed by a mind of its own, it will follow you if you tug on the Qi in the air between you and it, which can allow you to ride atop it or use it as a flying cudgel of sorts.

Secondly, if you play it angrily, violently, its music with manifest as a cutting, slicing wind! like Phantom blades and ghostly claws! These unseen forces can travel some distance, and take different forms depending on the tempo of the music you play.

Thirdly, after showing the instrument to your ghostly friends in the crypt behind the Demon's head gate, you are pleasantly surprised that the Guqin's music can also soothe, summon and rouse the dead, weakening or strengthening their hold on the mortal realm as you desire. And that by playing somberly, you can create an illusionary field of scenes drawn from your thoughts, memories and dreams. A vision that radiates cold and if you will it, mortal terror! You also find that if the scenes continue for long enough, they begin to sap and drain the warmth and life of those enchanted by them if you allow them to.

And not long after, you discover that this Magical Tool possess a forth hidden ability! When a jaunty, merry song is played on its strings, they send out ethereal strings that can puppet corpses and bones and make them dance or perform any movement you desire. It also works on living victims, but the strings are fragile and more of them are required to control a struggling puppet.
cont
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>>5093381

Truly it is worthy of being named a treasure!

You play a song for Monu, combining all four of its aspects that you have discovered.

It begins sorrowful, then becomes aggressive, before it becomes a carefree and jovial piece! It is a piece that embodies both her life and your own. And it is then that you give the wonderous instrument a name.

Ghost Empress Melody (鬼皇后旋律, Guǐhuánghòuxuánlǜ)
_

"You've grown" You say, as you intrude onto Fu's training, nearly giving the poor boy his death through frieght as you emerge from beneath the fog that has fallen before his manor's courtyard. He still hides his face with bandages, but his shoulders have grown even broader and his arms even stronger since you've last seen him.

Resting on one of his twin axes, he rests the other on his shoulder and blink thrice as he looks you over and realizes that you two have grown and that the patterns of your fur have changed.

"I can say the same of you, Lady Huanliuxue" He respectfully replies, cupping his hands as you approach him and flick your tail, your tail. Guihuanghouxuanlu follows close behind, levitating across the barren field of earth where Fu and his fellow martial artists train and bleed

"You're the size of an ox!" The young exclaims excitedly "And you've changed your coat, its even more regal than before, softer than silk and more radiant than the sunset. And your aura! You've grown stronger! Much stronger! I thought I was going to look back and see the ghosts of an entire army"

You giggle, basking in the boy's praise and compliments as he sits himself before you.

"My my, I am unused to being welcomed so warmly and kindly. Such a gracious, respectful host you are. You'd be the darling of any court if they could look past your...past" You say, pausing only to be certain your words would not insult Fu, by mentioning his ghastly and mangled appearance "I know I would love to have you as one of my courtiers, for your joy upon seeing me again revitalizes me like the approach of night"

"This humble warrior deserve no such praise, especially not from a creature as magnificent as yourself" He says, before a worried look crosses his hidden face "You haven't come here to practice with me again, have you?"

"The Dying Grudge Shield needs no further refinement" You assure him as you dip you head in a shallow bow "Be at ease, Fu, I've just come to have a conversation with one of the few people who will show me the respect I deserve"

"Oh" Fu sighs, nodding his head a few times as he looks around "Good, I am grateful I don't have to...throw rocks at you again"

His nervous smile tells you that he is much more thankful to not have those same rocks launched back at him

"So, my benefactor and guardian, may I ask what you wish to speak to me of?" He asks curiously and naively, unaware of the true cruelty of the world and those who rule above it.
Cont
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>>5093383
"Tell me Fu, are you a godly man? Religious? Beholden to the gods and their commandments?" You question sharply

"Never had a shrine near our old village, my father would leave offerings to our ancestors, as would my mother and sister, I saw little point in it" He says

"Because you're a cynical boy, blind to the true wonder of the world, you only see the material. Or rather you did before Huanliuxue found you. And still you remain skeptical! Despite speaking with a magical beast like any other maiden!" His father ghosts complains and insults "Also, you need to relight the incense for my own shrine, you impudent boy!"

"I've never given such matters much consideration myself, and have never revered any spirit or god as my master, or anything for that matter" You laugh "its foolish is it not? How people will prostrate and lower themselves to earn the favor of distant deities and unknowable powers?

"I just think time praying is better spent working" Fu answers with a shake of his head "let them worship and beg for miracles, I've seen enough to know they won't come"

"Why is that?" You ask

"Because the gods don't exist?" Fu asks, making his father's spirit grimace and you cackle. Fu tilts his head like a confused puppy

"Oh Fu! Oh Fu! You're still so young! and still so ignorant of the workings of the world and heavens!" You laugh, not mockingly of course "Gods are very real, and have shaped the world we live in now. And you know why they do not help those who plead for their intervention? Why they punish those who act irreverently and rudely in their shrines and temples?"

Fu shakes his head, looking uneasy now as his father pouts and meanders away mumbling to himself.

"It is because they are cruel! Self absorbed! and above all else petty!" You snarl, causing the boy to wince as he fights his instincts to run away from you "They do not care about mortal lives, unless they're spent adoring and praising their glory! Benevolent? Sublime?! Wise? Loving? HAH! Lies spoken by the fools who've devoted themselves to masters who see them as ants"

"And how do you know this?" Fu asks warrily "From personal experience?"

"From the tragedy suffered by my grandmother and her child, the sister who I have never met. The tragic life of a mother and daughter, a witch and a fox. A story that has troubled me, lingering in my mind unspoken" You say as Fu casts his eyes downwards, understanding the pain that has lead you to scorn the gods as they scorn you "A tragedy that may one day repeat before your eyes, for the heavens despise creatures like me and without reason! Tell me, boy, would you like to know how Monu became the hag she is now? And who she lost? How she was betrayed in accordance to the mandate of heaven, and how an innocent life was snuffed out for no reason besides the pride of the gods?"

Fu simply nods, knowing that speaking would be disrespectful.
Cont
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>>5093384

And so you begin you tale passionately, allowing the anger, frustration, sorrow and grief you feel to paint your words.
Tears mist your eyes, as Fu reverently listens to the story you have to tell, his neutral expression twisting with sadness in empathy of your own pain as he hears the bond and love Xuebai and Monu shared.

By the end of it, the boy is weeping, his face red with anger yet contorted with confusion. All he can ask is why, why did Xuebai have to die, why Monu had to be punished for repaying a debt and raising a daughter. You have no answers, and remain at his side as he weeps for Xuebai. And once more you can taste his most delectably bitter resentment, as a new grudge forms in the voice left behind the hatred he felt for the Jiuquliaoya! A grudge against the heavens and gods themselves!

What will you do now, Huanliuxue?

>Question Fu of his life, training and recent adventures, to ease the youth's sorrow and anger, and determine through his answers if he is ready to cultivate. And tell him to tend to his father's shrine before you leave

>Exercise your body, mind and soul and prepare to return to your difficult training regime and begin earnestly cultivating again (Gain a +10 bonus to next training/ cultivation roll)

>Make a little mischief in Fu's village, but cause no harm, just have a little fun and make fools out of a few travelers and townsfolk.

>Whisper into Fu's ear that you fear you are being pursued, tracked, and hunted. As him, as a friend, to be on guard and watch for stranger wanderers [Can be taken with other choices]

>Write in
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>>5093385
>Question Fu of his life, training and recent adventures, to ease the youth's sorrow and anger, and determine through his answers if he is ready to cultivate. And tell him to tend to his father's shrine before you leave
>Whisper into Fu's ear that you fear you are being pursued, tracked, and hunted. As him, as a friend, to be on guard and watch for stranger wanderers [Can be taken with other choices]
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>>5093385
>Question Fu of his life, training and recent adventures, to ease the youth's sorrow and anger, and determine through his answers if he is ready to cultivate. And tell him to tend to his father's shrine before you leave
>Whisper into Fu's ear that you fear you are being pursued, tracked, and hunted. As him, as a friend, to be on guard and watch for stranger wanderers [Can be taken with other choices]
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>>5093394
Supported.
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>>5093385
>>5093394
+1
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>>5093385
>Question Fu of his life, training and recent adventures, to ease the youth's sorrow and anger, and determine through his answers if he is ready to cultivate. And tell him to tend to his father's shrine before you leave
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>>5093394
This
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>>5093385
>Question Fu of his life, training and recent adventures, to ease the youth's sorrow and anger, and determine through his answers if he is ready to cultivate. And tell him to tend to his father's shrine before you leave
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>>5093385
>Question Fu of his life, training and recent adventures, to ease the youth's sorrow and anger, and determine through his answers if he is ready to cultivate. And tell him to tend to his father's shrine before you leave
>Whisper into Fu's ear that you fear you are being pursued, tracked, and hunted. As him, as a friend, to be on guard and watch for stranger wanderers [Can be taken with other choices]
I wonder how chocked Huanliuxue, Monu and now Fu will be when they find out Xuebai isn't dead
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>>5093384
>Question Fu of his life, training and recent adventures, to ease the youth's sorrow and anger, and determine through his answers if he is ready to cultivate. And tell him to tend to his father's shrine before you leave
>Exercise your body, mind and soul and prepare to return to your difficult training regime and begin earnestly cultivating again (Gain a +10 bonus to next training/ cultivation roll)
On the off chance that the next roll will involve Fu's cultivation, and because I don't want to sew paranoia in the boy we're grooming to be a demigod.
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Update will be delayed for around about half or a full day depending on when I wake up, since IRL stuff kept me from my PC and I'm too tired to write RN
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>>5093385
>Exercise your body, mind and soul and prepare to return to your difficult training regime and begin earnestly cultivating again (Gain a +10 bonus to next training/ cultivation roll)
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Just popping in to deliver some bad news. Delay is going to be longer than expected due to technical issues on my end that I don't expect to be able to fix until the holidays end. If the situation worsens I'll post an update Here, and when I've sorted this shit out I'll tally the vote and post the update.
Sorry for the wait again, I hope to get this sorted as soon as possible
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>>5095293
Oh damn, the curse must really hate cultivators, this the second quest delayed until the holidays are over because of technical problems in the same day.
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>>5093385
>>Exercise your body, mind and soul and prepare to return to your difficult training regime and begin earnestly cultivating again (Gain a +10 bonus to next training/ cultivation roll)

>>5095293
Good luck and enjoy your Holidays man
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>>5093394
Supporting

>>5095293
Happy holidays QM! Hopefully the new year brings better luck.
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Fucking finally managed to find the parts I needed to fix my issue, so we back at it boys!

Ending the vote now and tallying the results.

Question Fu of his life, training and recent adventures, to ease the youth's sorrow and anger, and determine through his answers if he is ready to cultivate. And tell him to tend to his father's shrine before you leave:10

Whisper into Fu's ear that you fear you are being pursued, tracked, and hunted. As him, as a friend, to be on guard and watch for stranger wanderers:7

Exercise your body, mind and soul and prepare to return to your difficult training regime and begin earnestly cultivating again:3

So you'll question Fu of the recent events of his life, his training and his adventures and try to ease his sorrow and anger and attempt to discern if he's ready to begin his own cultivation

And before you leave, whisper to the young warrior that you fear you're being hunted and, as a friend, he should be on guard and watch for strange wanderers.

AND tell him to tend to his father's shrine as well.
>>5096570
>>5099059
Thank you, and despite the technical issues I had an amazing holiday. Got a book on chinese myths/ folklore, a calligraphy pen and some scotch
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>>5102676
What book did you get grandfather? Happy everything went well for you!
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"I did not expect my tale to affect you so deeply, Young man" You guiltily state as you watch the bandages tightly wrapped around the once handsome boy's face slowly wet as they soak up his bitter, resentful tears, trying not to smile or purr from the wonderful flavors of the new and potent grudge forming in his heart. Sprouting like a lotus seed. Fu remains silent, jaw clenched and face red with anger as you lay by his side

"As for your question as to why the sister I never knew was so cruelly executed and our mother punished for her benevolence" You quietly and somberly continue on "It was the will of the heaven, for the laws that have endured for ten generations and guided both the realm of mortals and the heavens were penned by men who could not see mount tai and were upheld by men without strong morals nor plentiful virtues. Men who believe an edict given by men held as wise should be upheld before common sense and have allowed the traditions of old to substitute the innate virtues of man and god"

"That isn't right, it isn't fair! If the old laws would tear apart a mother and daughter with no cause or reason, then the old laws are unjust! How could men who follow the path of the wise not see the folly of a mandate decreeing magical beasts to be vermin when" Fu said, huffing and puffing like an enraged boar as his eyes narrow behind his bandages "When they can be so noble and kind! More generous than any king! More compassionate than any distant god!"

"Because, the actions of a few bad seeds have tarnished our reputation, once we were respected and beloved, now we are feared and abhorred" You spit, turning your head away from the youth to face the countless stars in the night's sky "All because a few fools chose to act and live as demons, why even I thought myself one before I began to study the past"

"Don't you think humans are tasty? I heard you devoured that worm Ling Meng?" Fu curiously, innocently asked as he paused wiping away his tears

"That and this are two different things! Is it wicked for a beast to eat a man? If so why can men eat beasts without being scorned for it?" You state, mimicking Granny Monu's habitual smile as best as your face is able to "But if you wish to talk of the present and of life rather than the tragedies of the past and death, I would be happy to leave the sorrow of my grandmother and her first pupil behind us for the time so we may speak of happier things"

Fu frowned, brow furrowing as he pondered your words and the statement that eating people wasn't inherently evil if you were not human and that doing so was not by its nature demonic. His eyes widened, as he perhaps realized the wisdom of his statement or accepted that even if he did not agree with your logic, he couldn't fault your choices of victims and meals.

"I would appreciate if we did, Lady Huanliuxue"
Cont
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"Speaking any further of the corruption of the heavens and the wrong doings of sages and saints will only serve to blacken my mood and drive me to frenzy" The boy quietly replied "But I shall remember the story of Xuebai and Grandmother Monu, and reflect on its lessons and the truths it has revealed to my eyes"

"How wise, so instead of dwelling in the sorrowful past let me selfishly pry and snoop in your life, from rumors that have reached my ears you've had no end of excitement and your life has become rather eventful of late!" You chirp as you stand and walk around Fu, circling him "So let us wash away the bitterness of the unfairness of the world with stories of your adventures! For surely they will be more cheerful and less depressing"

Fu's expression twists with confusion as he is caught by surprise that one as magnificent as yourself would like to hear about his life rather than amaze him with stories of your own awe inspiring feats and wild experiences. Then, his eyes widen and his hands jitter as if he's been injected with chicken's blood

Cupping his fists he bows

"I am honored you would take an interest in this humble axe man's life and deeds!" He exclaims excitedly, as he tries to keep facing you as you continue to circle him and flick your tail, only barely keeping its tip from brushing against his bandage covered cheeks "Where to begin? Where to begin?"

He contemplates the question only he can answer for some time, pressing his fist to his chin as he slouches forward and closes his eyes. When he opens them again, having decided what stories of his life to regale, he finds you sitting directly in front of him, head bowed and forehead nearly pressed against his

You can't help but to cackle as the boy lurches back, sucking in a breath of cold air as he almost falls and throws himself to the ground in surprise

"Lady Huanliuxue! You startled me" He laughs, finding the humor of your mischievousness "Haha, let me tell you of my spar with a traveling swordsman, who mistook our own lovely Qiang"

Qiang? You scour your memory for a face to match to the name. You think you've heard it before, tapping a paw on the ground you search through all of the names you've heard spoken and who they belonged to, before you recall one of Fu's closest companions! One of the young martial artists who traveled to his side after he began to make a name for himself butchering bandits, thieves, cut throats and other ne'er-do-wells! A pretty little thing, with oddly red hued hair. Like some god had taken her from her mother's womb and woven polished agates through it. She had a strangely curved sword...or was that the larger man with the scar on his chin? You don't know, all of Fu's band of merry martial artists blend together in your mind as a collective mass of oddly dressed figures all wearing naïve and blithe smiles

Though now that you think about it, Qiang does stand out more than the others, if only with how closely she clings to Fu and how tightly
>>
>>5102809

OH! Now you remember why she stands out! The first time you met her, you couldn't help but to think "How shameless, for her to be courting outside of mating season!"

"I don't know how a veteran of a hundred battles could mistake a short, lithe woman for a towering, pale skinned ogre but apparently it was her scent?" Fu continues on as you briefly manage to tear your mind away from its own thoughts and cease contemplating who his story concerns before his off handed comment about her scent makes you uncertain if you're thinking of the right person.

Burrowing back into your memories, you close your eyes and flick through every face you can remember and then you realize the mistake you almost overlooked. You got the face right, but not the personality. Qiang does have the red hair but she wasn't the one who hung of Fu like she wanted to birth his kits. That was another of his growing pack of martial artists, one of the ones from the second wave of members, when his group swelled from four to nine, not including Fu himself. Did you get them confused because she always wears red? Thinking about it now, you feel rather foolish for making such a mistake because Qiang reeks of blood.

She's probably killed more man than the rest of the nine put together. Fu may have her beat, those axes of his have cut more limbs and necks than they have trunks now.

"Now Qiang couldn't perform her usual quick draw trick, as the swing she favored and trained was to broad and would've cut more than her opponent since the boneheaded fool ambushed her in the market" Fu continues as you furrow your brow and check your memories a second time to be certain you aren't conflating Qiang with the lustful girl or some other, third warrior maiden whose faded into the collective identity that all of Fu's comrades share in your mind.

"So instead she led him to our training grounds, and was fortunate to find Hong" Fu continues throwing his arms out, you know who Hong is, he's the large fellow with the scar on his chin and the curved sword "Who was clearing the ground with his Monk's spade"

You smile to hide your irritation that you guessed wrong, mind filling with all of the curses you wish you could utter, if only you could without interrupting Fu's rambling story. It takes most of your concentration to keep your composure.

"Hong was of course, shocked and terrified and held off the swordsman long enough for his and Qiang's cries to reach my ears!" Fu continues, leaping up to his feet and pounding his fist to his chest "So, leaping from my seat and the local noodle restraunt, I rushed to their aid, grabbing two axes along the way so I'd be ready to face whatever blackguard threatened my dear friends! Oh how they sparked against the edge of the traveling Xia's well kept blade! How brilliantly it shined beneath the morning sun! We clashed like titans! The ground shook beneath the force of my swings and the air whipped as he dodged and parried my every blow!"
Cont
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>>5102810

Painting the scene in your mind's eye, you quickly decided that Fu is right to speak so excitedly of the fight he had and so highly of the prowess of both his opponent and self. He vividly describes every motion, every exchange, every parry, ever feint, every move taken in the bout he explains lovingly as if he were talking of his home.

"Despite his age and many scars, he leapt like a cricket into the air, landed on the head of my right axe, and swung for my neck! I leaned far back, curling backwards and using the momentum to fling him from my axe. I was trying to throw him to the ground but he skipped through the air!" He shouts, eyes blazing with exhilaration as he only recalls his match against the other martial artist and you freeze.

"Skipped?" You ask as Fu nods

"Yes! He took four steps through the air as though he was light as a feather!" He exclaims, slamming his fist into his open palm for emphasis "I have never seen anything like it! It was incredible! I threw one of the axes at his back, as Hong tried to reach up and pull him down and Qiang notched another arrow and"

Oh dear. That's both amazing and incredible. What Fu just described sounds exactly like Qingqong, Lightness skill! Well the standard form of it at least, Fu would've been caught flat footed and lost his head if the Blind martial artist possessed your Yōulíng-Qīnggōng

"Well the swordsman was fast, really fast, even though he was dressed in heavy looking armor and dense black robes, but even though he out paced all three of us, I had no issue matching him blow for blow. It was like I could see his strikes before they happened, like the edge of his blade would glint before he swung and cast a phantom image of light before itself" Fu struggles to explain , unknowingly revealing he possessed quite the blessing.

Foresight. Which he must have accidentally achieved through his tireless training in chopping logs...or when you had him help you test the Dying Grudge Shield's effectiveness which makes much more sense than him learning to anticipate the moves of his enemy through chopping stationary logs!

"But, eventually the man slipped and fell into barrel of fish! He was blind all along! He was terrifyingly skilled to be able to fight off all three of us so easily despite being able to see" Fu laughs "But when I didn't bury my axe into his chest, he realized his mistake and we laughed it off or...well I did, Qiang and Hong wanted to tear off his balls for making the mistake in the first place, but Hong was won over when he bought us a pitcher of wine and lunch, Qiang didn't but she is a brooding type anyways and that was when I realized just how incredible an sparring partner I had found!"

You cock your head, lifting your notched ear to listen more carefully

"He was a member of the Crow Cloak Clan! Those storied defenders of justice and the common man!" Fu excitedly exclaims.
cont
>>
>>5102811

You have no idea who he's talking about, but nod sagely to make it seem as though you are informed of the "legend" He apparently idolizes

"A senior member, one who had managed to learn the basics of the legendary lightness skill" Fu continues, and that explanation puts you at ease. So he wasn't fighting a novice cultivator! Just an extremely talented martial artist! That is reassuring! "And ashamed that he mistook Sweet Qiang as a bloodthirsty ogress, he offered to teach us the secret as well! Is that not generous of him? I know such a thing is a pittance to a cultivator like yourself, especially when you can float through the air and all the world to slow at your command"

It is a incredible act of charity. Only Martial Art schools subservient to a cultivation Sect are allowed to learn and practice such things, after the Qingqong was named as one of the foundations of martial arts and cultivation and was thus forbidden to any practitioners of unorthodox or illegal styles. It is also amusing to see how Fu views your own, much more impressive variation of Qingqong. The boy believes you could command the heavens and earth to invert themselves if you so desired!

"So we practiced with our former foe for days, weeks, nearly a month" Fu continued on, his brow furrowing as he recalled the pain of his training beneath the old blind swordmaster "It was so grueling, many of us couldn't endure it and had to quit or give up just to regain their stamina and rest their bodies, but..."

You look into Fu's eyes. Being able to grasp even the basics of Qingqong without years of practice or a great talent is unheard of outside of those who have the potential to cultivate. You know Fu possess that potential, you can sense it in his spirit roots.

"I managed to walk twelve steps on that river" He mutters, eyes filled with wonder and pride "Qiang managed to do six, and Hong stumbled after two!"

Oh that's a surprise. But just because his innate potential is awakening doesn't mean he is ready to cultivate. A strong body is not enough, it must be joined by a strong mind and will! But, does Fu not possess that already? He was ready to face a man eating tiger the size of a horse with a dull axe and practiced swinging it until his hands had been skinned and his arms refused to raise.

What's truly surprising is that his two companions managed to have results in their training. None of the three seem to have grasped the entirety of Qingqong yet, only its most basic expression. But even then, that they were able to walk on water proves they have potential as well.

"And before he left, he gave each of us a trinket to remember him by" Fu says happily, showing the gift around his neck and chilling you to your bone as you realize why the old man did. Sects mark their prospective recruits by gifting them enchanted babbles.

And Fu is presenting on to you now. A Pearl wrapped in the blossom of a snow rose.

Cont
>>
>>5102812

"Is it not beautiful. A pure white pearl, jade like in its perfection!" Fu laughs as he thoughtless tucks the treasure back into his shirt "But I am sorry if my story bored you, Lady Huanliuxue"

"Oh it didn't" You say cheerfully, to mask your growing concern "I just found myself thinking of your family, your mother and young sister, have they been well? I haven't seen and usually that br...fairy Ju would come rushing to ride on my back and brush my fur"

"Oh wonderfully! My mother has recovered from the trauma of my father's passing and even runs her own store in the village" Fu happily answers "And Ju is popular, she's made many friends and has more than a few young admirers, though I think they get scared off when they see me for the first time. I must've ended a dozen of the local boys' first crushes just by greeting them, HAHAHAHA!"

"Its good your family is doing well" You say, standing and bowing your head closer to his ear "But you should be alert, even though life is good and plentiful now. I fear I am being hunted and you know by who"

Fu's joyous expression is replaced by a grave and furious one

"You are my friend, so I trust you to keep an eye open for strange wanderers and be on guard for any chasing after my tail" You coo "and, to respect your father a little more and remember to tend to his shrine more often. I'm glad you're prospering and have healed from the wounds of the past, and that your family has as well. I'll take my leave of you for now, I truly enjoyed your account of your meeting with the blind swordsman, it was quite entertaining! Perhaps I will regale you with a battle of my own when we next meet"

"Will that be soon?" Fu asks wistfully

You nod

"Sooner than you expect, your company is pleasant and" You say a little louder as you grin ear to ear "I believe you're beginning to ripen..and not as a fruit meant to be eaten but a flower ready to blossom"

"Oh you don't need to specify, I know you wouldn't eat me. I can tell. You might have eaten the dog Ling Meng, but you are no demon or are even remotely wicked" Fu laughs as he stands and bows, cupping his hands respectfully "You're kind and good, better than many pe...humans"

You smirk

"Well, you may be able to become my official student soon Fu" You laugh as you float into the air and blink over to the wall of his manor with a single leap, amazing Fu by showing him your Specter Lightness skill in action. You don't tell him that his friends might become your disciples as well and leave him in the courtyard of his house as you drift away into the night sky.

Beneath the moon, you play a sorrowful melody with your enchanted Guqin, Ghost Empress Melody.
cont
>>
>>5102813

What will you do now?

>Prepare Fu so he will be ready to start his cultivation when the time is right, and meet Qiang and Hong personally to gauge if they have any potential to become cultivators.

>Track down this blind swordsman and see if you can convince him to reveal to you the identity of his clan's masters without violence.

>Retreat into your training and meditation. Now that you've entered a new stage, its the perfect time to refine your abilities and expand them!

>Research the process of the creation/ awakening/ ascension of magical beasts from ordinary animals. If you're a wild princess, you're going to need similarly wild subjects!

>Write in

>>5102798
Barnes and Noble Collectible editions' Chinese myths and folktales.

Gorgeous book. Bound in black leather with gold and red accents. The spine has a detailed dragon's head on it. It also has over 200 stories in it, so its not just pretty but BIG
>>
>>5102815
>Return to training

Now is the time to develop and experiment. New stage, new possibilities. Perhaps some magic or an addition to our martial art?

After that, I think we can prep Fu get the basics of our cultivation partners going.
Awakening magical beasts. . Hmm. I'm torn between doing it before Fu, so he can have some animal students and doing it later so we can perfect who shall become our cultivators and who shall be but spies.
>>
>>5102815
>Retreat into your training and meditation. Now that you've entered a new stage, its the perfect time to refine your abilities and expand them!
>>
>>5102815
I just looked that book in the web, it really does look nice. And very thick.
>>
>>5102815
>Prepare Fu so he will be ready to start his cultivation when the time is right, and meet Qiang and Hong personally to gauge if they have any potential to become cultivators.
>>
>>5102815
>Retreat into your training and meditation. Now that you've entered a new stage, its the perfect time to refine your abilities and expand them!
>>
>>5102824
+1
>>
>>5102815
>Retreat into your training and meditation. Now that you've entered a new stage, its the perfect time to refine your abilities and expand them!
>>
>>5102815
>Prepare Fu so he will be ready to start his cultivation when the time is right, and meet Qiang and Hong personally to gauge if they have any potential to become cultivators.
We can't let another sect steal them.
>>
>>5102815
>>Prepare Fu so he will be ready to start his cultivation when the time is right, and meet Qiang and Hong personally to gauge if they have any potential to become cultivators.
>>
>>5102815
>>5103227
Changing my vote to this
>Prepare Fu so he will be ready to start his cultivation when the time is right, and meet Qiang and Hong personally to gauge if they have any potential to become cultivators.
>>
>>5102824
+1
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

Retreat into your training and meditation. Now that you've entered a new stage, its the perfect time to refine your abilities and expand them!:5

Prepare Fu so he will be ready to start his cultivation when the time is right, and meet Qiang and Hong personally to gauge if they have any potential to become cultivators.: 4

So You'll focus on your own training rather than Interfere with Fu and Company's development

Update will arrive shortly
>>
You wake from sleep, rising from the well kept floor of your tombside temple, the light of the rising morning sun gently falling through one of the cracks that reaches through the whole of the mountain above your head. Seems you chose one of the few spots on the ground where the light of morning would fall directly on your eyes. Monu is already awake and hard at work, performing her daily labors. Currently the old toad witch is tending to her medicinal and spirit herb gardens, smoking pipe stuck between her lips as she prunes leaves and ties branches to help encourage good growth in her floral charges. Judging from the lack of earthy and sour aromas in the air, she isn't spreading fertilizer today. You choose not to interrupt her work, since she's clearly in a trance of sorts, judging from the light smoldering in her one eye and the tightening of her expression. Maybe some vermin have infected your precious garden and she's battling against them now by cutting away the branches and leaves they have fed upon and infested? Or some blight has appeared and threatens even the valuable spirit herbs! Or perhaps she is simply carrying out routine maintenance to keep the herbs potent and from growing in to too wild of shapes.

You wash the pointless thoughts theorizing the exact reason for your mentors intense focus and serious expression, and make a mental note to check on her later in the day and ask her directly then. The best time would be during your morning meal. A whimsical thought passes through your still half sleeping mind, that maybe you could try your paw at cooking. But as you fully awake you discard the thought, since you don't have thumbs to even lift a pot let alone grip a knife and your claws are far too valuable to use to cut vegetables and meat. And trying to carry a pot of boiling stew in your mouth is sure to be a disaster.

Pausing before the Golden Lotus Altar at the back of temple, you stretched out your back, legs and tail and wag your head back and forth to get your blood flowing properly and sharpen your reflexes and wits. Then, satisfied and limber, you leap to the center of the metallic Lotus and enter your favorite meditation position, the closest to the Lotus Position your body can adopt.

Settling your forepaws in front of yourself, one over the other, and stiffening them and your back legs you curl your often fickle and energetic tail around your rump and straighten your ears. Bowing your head slightly, you start your breathing exercises to expel the turbid Qi in your body and begin absorbing the ambient Qi of the temple. It buzzes through your meridians, like miniature bolts of lightening. Your fur stands on end and crackles with static as your fangs vibrate with the energy of metal.

Following the pace of your breathing, you begin to circulate your Qi. Purifying the newly absorbed and added portion to your Qi base. This is the end of your waking up routine,
Cont
>>
>>5103771

a brief gathering of ambient Qi to strengthen your meridians and keep your deathly cold Qi circulating and flowing efficiently. Now that all parts of your have fully woken up, you can contend with the problem that troubled you after you left Fu. You figured the boy wasn't foolish enough to be stolen away by strange cultivators, and after hearing the tragedy of your sister Xuebai would not dare to speak your name to any traveler he met upon the road. But hearing of his progress and training made you notice a grave matter concerning your own progress and develepment.

Namely that your previous methods of training are now insufficient, considering your recent growth spurt and evolutions as both a magical beast and heretical cultivator. The Qi in the Catacombs is still rich with death, and the hungry ghosts remain as consumed by their grudges as ever. But you have reached the foundation establishment stage! A crucial point of your development! All of your hardwork, efforts and innate talent and imperial destiny will be wasted if you fail to build a strong, sturdy and regal foundation for your cultivation! It would all be wasted! Everything! Even your name and the stories humans tell of you!

Qi alone cannot make a cultivator peerless. They must train their body and intellects and refine more than Qi in themselves! Internal alchemy can only take one so far if they do not strengthen their other talents or work to increase their natural attributes. Raw power is worthless without technique, a mystical existence is worthless without knowledge of spells and rituals, a garden of herbs is useless without knowledge to refine them into medicines or toxins! And your previous methods of training can no longer help your progress.

Sure you could search for warriors, beasts or cultivators to fight to improve your martial arts, but wooden dummies and sacks filled with grain now burst when they meet your paws! Without extending claws or wreathing them in Qi to increase the destructive force of your strikes.

And now that you have a greater amount of Qi to draw upon, your spells break your stone targets with too much ease for you to observe the effects of changing the variables and motions of them. And you've learned that adapting or just inventing your own magic is much more useful than studying the basics of Orthodoxy, even if doing so can create interesting effects, like the veil of darkness or mock ghost lights!

And last but not least, the mundane ways of testing your cunning and wits just fail to satisfy you now! The man who was lauded as the most brilliant mind in the Chuan region gave into despair and abandoned the joys of life and his esteemed position in the Chuan family's court all because he couldn't keep up in your with a philosophical argument. You could expand your knowledge with your three treasured manuals, certainly but as a cat and princess you desire variety in your training as you do in all aspects of your life.
Cont
>>
>>5103773

You need to find new methods of sharpening your skills and strengthening your body, mind and spirit. You don't have to worry over too much of a lack of ambient Qi or thinness of it consider the location you chose to settle with Monum but your current training regime and exercises are lacking. You are no longer a complete novice dammit! You're the heir of the primordial world and realm of ghosts! Your Huanliuxue! The devourer of Ling Meng and Smasher of stupid stone statues! You cannot be content smashing wooden planks and logs, or testing your mettle against your lesser. Why should you lower yourself to practice the mysticism of your enemies and prideful fools who forsook your people and stole away their history! Why should you have to debate and study insipid philosophies that crumple and fall apart when asked what is the meaning of life!

Dammit you got so angry you were starting to take on the role of the rampaging ghost general Xiongji! Smoke is curling up from your paw pads and rolling past your fangs. And that appearance of your second Unique and secret art gives you an idea, the beginnings of a cunning plan.

As you've truly left behind the mundane world now, and have fully entered the world of cultivation, you cannot rely on mundane methods of training or exercise! It is unbecoming of any cultivator, let alone the founder of a law and a magical beast as magnificent as yourself! You're a prodigy after all, so you should find work outs that are worthy of your talents and ever increasing ability!

What new form of training with your pursue first and focus your intial efforts on, Huanliuxue?

>Using your enchanted Guqin and your experience fighting the stone sentinels, creating sparring partners for yourself out of corpses and hardened clay puppets, and test your martial arts against them! [Martial training DC 45]

>Seek out powerful ghosts and nature spirits, both within the catacombs and beyond and ask to be taken as their student, hoping to learn either the mystical arts of the dead or a primordial form of magic [Mental/ Magic training. DC 55.]

>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]

>You've learned a thing or two about hidden alchemy researching the Dead Ghost Mask Pellet. You believe you know enough about underworld herbs to create a drug that will greatly increase your ghost forms abilities! [Alchemy training DC 70. Failure will result in you poisoning yourself]

>Write in
>>
>>5103774
>Seek out powerful ghosts and nature spirits, both within the catacombs and beyond and ask to be taken as their student, hoping to learn either the mystical arts of the dead or a primordial form of magic [Mental/ Magic training. DC 55.]
>>
>>5103774
>Seek out powerful ghosts and nature spirits, both within the catacombs and beyond and ask to be taken as their student, hoping to learn either the mystical arts of the dead or a primordial form of magic [Mental/ Magic training. DC 55.]
>>
>>5103774
>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
>>
>>5103774
>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
That's our special trait and we already absorbed the qi from that balanced sect and still have a pot with their water, we may be able to add a generalist qi for the four other elements in our meridians.
>>
>>5103805
I was thinking maybe something along the lines of life Qi.
Being able to use forces that would naturally become contradictory cultivation paths could become an enormous asset.
>>
>>5103811
I like that idea too, a queen of life and death would be cool.
>>
>>5103774
>>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
We should focus on our previous talents, when we mainly played with children. Our focus should be playing or even gambling.
>>
>>5103774
>>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
Adventure!
>>
>>5103774
>Seek out the ghosts and nature spirits

I don't fancy adventure, so I'll go with this.
>>
>>5103774
>>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
>>
>>5103774
>>>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
>>
>>5103774
>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
>>
>>5103774
>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
>>
>>5103774
>You've learned a thing or two about hidden alchemy researching the Dead Ghost Mask Pellet. You believe you know enough about underworld herbs to create a drug that will greatly increase your ghost forms abilities! [Alchemy training DC 70. Failure will result in you poisoning yourself]
>>
>>5103774
>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]


how could I not vote for the choice that reads [adventure!]
>>
>>5103774
>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
Our adaptability is one of our big strengths, apparently, so we might as well try to make something of it.
>>
>>5103774
>>Using your enchanted Guqin and your experience fighting the stone sentinels, creating sparring partners for yourself out of corpses and hardened clay puppets, and test your martial arts against them! [Martial training DC 45]
>>
>>5103774
>>Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi? [Adventure!]
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

Seek out powerful ghosts and nature spirits, both within the catacombs and beyond and ask to be taken as their student, hoping to learn either the mystical arts of the dead or a primordial form of magic:3

Your Spiritual Roots possess the rare quality of being extremely adaptative and transient in nature. A divine treasure to be born with! Perhaps you should seek to add a second type of Qi to your meridians? perhaps one as specialized as your Yin/ Death Qi?:11

Using your enchanted Guqin and your experience fighting the stone sentinels, creating sparring partners for yourself out of corpses and hardened clay puppets, and test your martial arts against them: 1

You've learned a thing or two about hidden alchemy researching the Dead Ghost Mask Pellet. You believe you know enough about underworld herbs to create a drug that will greatly increase your ghost forms abilities!: 1

So you'll attempt to add a second affinity/ Specialization to your Spiritual roots, beginning a journey to find a suitable source of Qi to cordon off/ dye your spiritual roots with to exist in harmony with you Death/ Ghost Yin Qi.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
However a saying comes to mind. One you often heard spoken by the humble fishmen and farmers of the village of your birth and rebirth. A vague memory, of when you were but a mewling kitten hiding in fear of dogs and owls, of an aged angler who's face you have long since forgotten though his fishy scent and rumbling voice remain strong in your memories. After the old man tossed a bowl of reeking, half rotten fish guts you were pawing at into the river to serve as bait, he lazily pushed his net into the scarlet died waters and moments later lifted up a massive, fat catfish! That phrase he half laughed to the heavens stuck in your mind, burried until now by your grief and murderous desire for revenge.

"Twice the results for half the effort!"

And from what you know now of yourself and the supremely rare quality of your spiritual roots, you know how to take that humble saying and turn it to your advantage. Taking jade from muck, as it were. You are the forth holder of the nameless roots that can adapt to the Qi they're fed with, and color themselves to reflect the foundation their posser builds for themselves. All other cultivators must, if they wish to succeed and blossom into magnificent daoists, follow the element they were born with an affinity to if they were fortunate enough to be blessed with any affinity at all. Those born with two affinities, no matter their nature, are valued beyond as gifts from the gods and said to possess a providential, sublime fate.

But, you possess an imperial privilege! It is not you who must obey your spiritual roots and follow the path they set before you to flourish and grow.

NO! Rather you decide what colors dye the essence of your body and soul and force the roots that grow from within to take whatever shape you desire them! Like shaping sand into glass or mud into pearls! Already your aura and the air around you is saturate with the pure black of Yin, of the breath and presence of ghosts. Your roots must be as black as pitch, reflecting the specialized Qi you cultivate! An this self chosen affinity is one reason, besides your natural talent and wisdom, why you've had such ease creating your self taught law from nothing but moldering bones and empty graves. However

A cultivator is more than the Qi they refine and purify. An affinity to a force, energy, concept or ideal reveals itself in every aspect of its holder. From their most mundane mannerism and subtle quirks of personality to their practices martial or mystical or ordinary. It is easy to master skills and study fields that align with one's own innate nature. The ebbing and flowing of one's life is easy to follow than it is to march against.

And you, and you alone in this era possess the authority, entitlement and ambition to command the every flowing stream of your existence to divert its course and flow as you wish!
cont
>>
>>5105563

You can make your training much easier for yourself, as well as expanded your abilities and talents by adding a second affinity to your spiritual roots! Dying the black cloth with a other, more vibrant colors! The arts, aptitudes, powers, and techniques aligned with ghosts, death and grudges come as naturally to you as breathing.

So wearing a new raiment, of another kind of element or concept will now only expand your repertoire of abilities naturally but also bring your closer to the primordial dao!

What princess is content with a single dress? with one crown!

However, as cunning as this plan is. You can't acquire a new affinity by remaining amongst graves and hateful corpses. You must journey into the world and adventure in search of a source of Qi worthy of entering your Spiritual roots as your second affinity! You are confident separating it from the essence of ghosts and grudges won't be difficult. After all, you already know two unique arts! Separating your spiritual roots to keep them from interfering with one another will be as easy as catch a fish from a stream.

"You look exceptionally proud today" Monu remarks as you march past her "Have you received another revelation concerning your development? There's a cold fire in your eyes, Huanliuxue, like ghostlight. You've chosen to pursue another treasure or ambition haven't you"

The toad witch smiles smugly, her one eye twinkling as you return her almost toothless grin with a smirk.

"Of course, I only now realized the true value of my spiritual roots and have decided to fully exploit it to my advantage" You sneer

"Perhaps you should take the beast core with you, if not to absorb the lifeforce within it than to barter it away for access to the treasures you seek?" Monu suggests

You pout, having almost forgotten you still possessed the core of the shameless child eater.

"Tch, I'm sure I'll find a use for that trash's core someday, but I doubt I'll need to bribe anyone in my quest . Let alone someone who'd find value in such a trinket" You chuckle dismissively, flicking your tail to emphasize the lack of respect you have for the creature it came from "Besides, I'd sooner slit my belly than take any part of that brute into myself. He was a pretender to the thrown of beasts, a tyrant without a court or vassals. He was pathetic and a princess shouldn't sup from the same cup as a villain as petty as that beast was"

Monu furrows her brow and lifts her lip.

"Oh, well it makes for a good fermentation weight at least" she jokes, pulling her pipe from her lips "So at least the tiger did not die in vain"

"I earned Fu's friendship, of course the golden hided moron's death served a purpose!" You cheerfully exclaim "But, I must leave on a journey to find a source of Qi that's actually worthy of being made a part of my being"
cont
>>
>>5105564

"Well, may your adventure be pleasant and without hardship...perhaps that elixir I have been brewing will be finish when you return" Monu happily says as she nods and shuffles away "I will look to the night sky, listening for your sorrowful songs until you return to me"

"And I shall play for you ever night until I return, Grandmother" You purr, flicking your tail and turning your back to your teacher and adoptive mother.

What affinity will you seek to claim, take and own, Huanliuxue?

>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.

>Fortune. Cats are often said to possess good luck in the form of nine lives. It would be auspicious to hold the power to control chance itself.

>One of the five elements. Basic and boring but there is a reason the orthodox laws are all centered on one of the Wuxing! The elements are the very fabric of reality! (Which one?)

>Poison! Your teacher is a toad but you've had some difficulty mastering her art! How pleased Monu will be that you choose to follow in her footsteps!

>Another specialty/ Affinity (Write in. Creativity encouraged! You are after all a very unconventional cultivator )
>>
>>5105567
>Fortune. Cats are often said to possess good luck in the form of nine lives. It would be auspicious to hold the power to control chance itself.
Maybe we will get something to deal with bad rolls.
>>
>>5105567
>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.
>>
>>5105567
>>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.

we made ours name in the blood of others, I find it fitting.
>>
>>5105567
>>One of the five elements. Basic and boring but there is a reason the orthodox laws are all centered on one of the Wuxing! The elements are the very fabric of reality! (Which one?)
The element fire wouldnt be boring at all. It is associated with Yang, the color red (the color of our fur), and luck.
In the counteracting cycle, fire can be used to refine metal, which we should have an abundant amount of qi of.
>>
>>5105567
>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.
Queen of Life and Death!
>>
>>5105567
>Fortune. Cats are often said to possess good luck in the form of nine lives. It would be auspicious to hold the power to control chance itself.
>>
>>5105567
>Fortune. Cats are often said to possess good luck in the form of nine lives. It would be auspicious to hold the power to control chance itself.
>>
>>5105567
>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.
>>
>>5105567
>Life/blood

Is there any place or beasts which reside in a lava area? Molten blood is a unique tinge of fire and life which should give us much benefit as >>5105667 says
>>
>>5105567
>>5105938 here. Changing to support >>5105667 , which I missed when I read through the thread before.
>>
Blood is thematically good and probably give us some physical boost / offensive stuff but "Beasts" would also be good if we can get a third one someday.
>>
>>5105567
>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.
>>
>>5105567
>>Fortune. Cats are often said to possess good luck in the form of nine lives. It would be auspicious to hold the power to control chance itself.
>>
>>5105567
>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.
>>
>>5105567
>Fortune. Cats are often said to possess good luck in the form of nine lives. It would be auspicious to hold the power to control chance itself.
>>
>>5105567
>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.
>>
>>5105567
>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.
>>
>>5105567
>Fortune. Cats are often said to possess good luck in the form of nine lives. It would be auspicious to hold the power to control chance itself.


>>5088205
I have a question since beast cultivators tend to pass their methods according to bloodline will this not make Huanlixue a Proginator of a new Beast bloodline? What of the consequences should she choose to take an apprentice especially given her incredibly fucked up and strange methods? I can only imagine the horrors her disciples could get to whether or not they belong to the living or the dead much less their species. As Huanlixue is one of those innovative mad genius types whose peculiar methods you REALLY do not want to be allowed to spread.

I mean fuck just imagine a ghost cultivator retrained under her or a demonic cultivator who takes up her ways. Not to mention whatever fuckery her new bloodline will unleash once it begins to spread.
>>
>>5107210
>Not to mention whatever fuckery her new bloodline will unleash once it begins to spread
Cute catgirl cultivators, your argument is invalid.
>>
>>5107210
The bloodline wont spread quickly. We would have to find the PUUUURRRRRFECT mate for such a spoiled queen of the wilds. That should take a while since finding the perfect spiritual roots and complimentary aspects and work ethic and personality is a tall order.
>>
>>5107210
Primordial Beast was the most "normal" bloodline for an Awakened Beast, new bloodlines created by our Dao would probably have been the weirder options like demon, metal predator, spirit guardian,ect...that we didn't pick.
>>
>>5105567
>Life, or rather is earthly embodiment, Blood! Your fur is dyed in it, and seeing it shed pointless is what awoke your intellect! and it carries both passion and sorrow.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result.

Fortune:6

Life/ Blood:9

Fire:2

So you'll search for a source of The Qi of Blood and thus life.

Update will arrive shortly

>>5107210
You'll see, I have lots plans for the future. You guys could form a dynasty if you want, and what consequence there are for taking students will be entirely based on their character/ morality.

Because as you noted, Your self taught law is pretty messed up and weird, even though Huanliuxue herself has been rather virtuous and hasn't started eating souls or sowing grudges in the mortal world like seeds..etc. Like her practices are fucked up but they could be worse, much worse and much more wicked.

The moment the fact she is actually practicing a daoist law, especially one as spooky and villainous looking as the one she's creating, is known...

Well suffice to say, she's being hunted because she's a demonic beast who seems to have a taste for human flesh and insulted a sect by killing one of their prospects.

Not because she is cultivating off of hungry ghosts, gathering grudges, stealing forbidden knowledge and tearing hearts out to make into mystical medicines. All while being tutored by a somewhat infamous apostate.

>>5107217
Until they eat you and play with your intestines.

>>5107288
Sounds like a fun arc
>>
>>5107654
Shame we won't get dice rolling magic, but blood could allow us to heal when we get beaten up, so it's ok with me.
>>
>>5107658
I had the idea too late for it to have a chance but Wood element could have been fun, imagine always having the terrain advantage because we basically have Naruto Wood Release lol.
>>
>>5107665
Could work well with our alchemy, to help us cultivate the rarer herbs.
weed magic lmao
>>
>>5107654
It COULD be fun, but it requires a lot of dangerous topics. Like arr we after a partner/husbando or a breeding stud.

Are we looking for the one or simply a viable eugenics subject harem.

What actually is good for breeding Cultivators? Opposing roots? Similar affinity? Complimentary? Fortune?

Are we doting or cold? Do we care about his personality? If so then what does the cat queen find pleasing?

It's all so much WORK with so much thread destroying capacity.
>>
Somehow the wind feels colder as you leave your sanctuary and walk the lonely and winding path up the cliffside, as morning turns to day and the winter winds blow and howl against the rocks and through the ravines they form. You plod along slowly, reflecting upon the cool yet crisp air of a winter day and comparing it to the still, aged yet colder air of graves. There is movement, there is life in these icy winds. They whisper a promise of new beginnings and growth come spring. But a catacomb has no wind, a court of ghosts will see no change unless one breathes and blesses the land of the dead with the warmth of life. Unless a wind blows through the graveyard and scatters the dust of mortal remains across the lands. But wind does not have life of its own, it merely encourages its spread by carrying seeds and inspiring wanderlust in the hearts of men and beast alike.

Life is blood. And that is what you seek. The vital breath of ghosts has bequeathed you a multitude of esoteric and potent abilities and has shaped your law and its practices more than anything else, even the grudges you keep sealed within your own belly. The gifts of the tomb are many and they are all magnificent and grander than mortal treasures or knowledge. But death cannot exist without there first being life though fools often believe and teach that life and death are opposites, you have found there to be little difference between the two. Death is the shadow cast by life, its constant companion. And without death, there can be no new life. Corpses become dirt, dirt becomes grass. And only the blind cannot see that. And many men are blind, and do not realize death is just a new beginning.

You pause outside of the hidden entrance to your temple, flakes of snow sticking to your whiskers and fur and making it look like your old color was breaking through the beautiful scarlet robes you now wore. As snow falls around you, you slip deeper into contemplation and close your eyes.

Blood is associated with death, but in actuality is the earthly embodiment of life. Breath is often mistaken as such, but is not every breath taken a step closer to death? Blood dyed your fur, the shedding of blood awoke your intellect, it carries both the passions and sorrows of life. Blood is Life. And that is how you will find a source of Life to harmonize and add to your foundation of bones and hungry, wrathful spirits.

You had been quietly agonizing over how you could find "Life Qi" in the world to compliment your "Ghostly Qi", considering Qi is within all things, living, dead or inanimate. But after reflecting upon the nature of life and death, the answer proved as easily found and caught as your own tail!

Blood! Blood Qi! How blind have scholars been, naming blood Qi a wicked, evil energy! They have spat in the face of life itself and named its herald vile! All because they fear the site of it! Blood is the form of life, its incarnation!

Cont
>>
>>5107706

The fear of men and their blind adherence to traditions and laws have hidden away one of the gentlest sources of might! For it is handed down from mother to child and carries the past into the future! Without blood, there can be no life! It is the vital essence of the world. And are cultivators not thought to imagine their meridians as veins? It seems so simple, you cannot help but to wonder what caused men to abhor the sight of blood.

As a predator you know it to be a good omen! A sign you'll soon be able to fill your hungry belly or win a territorial dispute. Humans are an odd race. They act strangely at times and fear the oddest things. Like night. Well you suppose you can understand why they fear the night, owls come out at night.

The unpleasant memory of the silent wings of death rouses you from your contemplation and reflection and you find yourself covered in powdery snow. But it doesn't bother you, and in fact you barely notice the cold. It is nothing compared to the air of the underworld and this snowy winter day is as pleasant and comfortable to you as a warm spring morning.

Standing on all of your legs, you begin to walk through the snow dusted forest and begin to plan your Journey in search of Blood Qi. Knowing the fools who rule over the cultivation world, any natural source of the Carmine dyed Spiritual energy would be sealed and locked away or even destroyed. Which means you will either have to once again intrude into the territory of those who'd sooner make you into a fur rug than speak with you cordially or travel into the wildest places of the world. You frown. The underworld is also an option, but you'd have to find away to transport the Qi through your spirit or simply bring your body alongside your soul. Wouldn't be too hard to learn, considering you already know how to implant a measure of Qi outside of your body and carry it in your spiritual body. But the underworld has its own breed of dangers and risks.

Risks...the Ling dogs are still being punished by the Chuan armies. You don't need to find a great bounty of Blood soaked Qi, you just need to absorb the ambient Qi in the air of a site of a great slaughter, where the loss of thousands of life have made the spiritual energy dense and rich and the blood soaking into the ground has altered the state of the world. But it'd be a brief change, lasting only until the blood dries. Which means you'd have to trail the Chuan army as they chase down the Ling bastards in their own home.

You have four options, ironic considering you're chasing the source and embodiment of life while being closer to death than most, like a ghost sapping the vitality of the victims they haunt almost.

One. You could seek out an old site of cultivators who practiced blood magic or used blood itself in their cultivation.
Two. You could look for a lost relic in the heart of the wilds, sealed and cast away to hide it from ambitious heretics like yourself
Cont
>>
>>5107707

Three. You could travel to the underworld and bargain with spirits or devils to gain access to a source of Raw Blood Qi or steal it.
Four. You just follow the march of mortal bloodshed and reap your prize from the dead or create a slaughter of your own.

The first option risks leaving a sign of your passing or alerting the wardens of such a place. The second risks the unknown of the unsettled and uncharted lands and whatever may inhabit them. The third risks being tortured by demons and wicked souls and the treacherous landscape of the lands of the dead. The forth like the first would risk making yourself known to the world, but in a more obvious manner.

"Hmmmph' You grunt as you argue with yourself over which options to take

Where will you adventure to find your source of life/ Blood Qi, Huanliuxue?

>In the ruins of an old sect of heretical cultivators and mystics. Abandoned except for the dead and those who watch over their graves [Medium danger, Medium exposure risk, Likely to encounter cultists, the undead, and exorcists]

>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]

>The courts and cities of the world of spirits and hell. Demons, devils, spirts and ghosts are your kin and their lands hold many secrets forbidden in the world of the living [High danger, Null exposure risk, Likely to encounter devils, deadly landscapes and inhuman ghosts]

>War! Stalk the battlefield and drink the last motes of life and final breaths of the slain soldiers and maybe indulge in eating a few Ling men [Low Risk, High exposure risk, Likely to encounter Bandits, Friendly Chuan soldiers, and Carrion eaters]

>Somewhere else! [write in]
>>
>>5107711
>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
Exposure sounds like the greatest danger we could face and a wild place may have some useful primal secrets too.
>>
>>5107711
>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
ADVENTURE!
>>
>>5107711
>The wild places

It's really more benefits than not.
>>
>>5107711
>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
>>
>>5107288
>>5107678
Normally I would agree but this is a Xianxa setting meaning you just know there are going to be dumbass horndogs who get the brilliant idea to waifu Huanlixue due to her unique bloodline, cultivation methods, and most importantly being a catgirl. So it's not so much the MC I'm worried about than the potential husbandos who will be crawling out of the woodwork to hit on her. Which is only a matter of time cause cultivators are greedy, power hungry, and pair cultivating perverts.

Getting into bed with Huanlixue is a god awful idea though especially given her tastes in company(aka undead and demons) and grudge holding. Alas there are too many horny idiots who won't be able to resist catgirl. If it was up to her she would probably take her time to find someone 'purrfect' only to forget he exists until she is in the mood for affection mixed with yandere crazy murder presents and threatening gifts cause kitties love showing off their ability to hunt/provide.

I would rate the MC as a very high class villainess one should never waifu...but who can resist the genius catgirl with her own unique powers?

>>5107654
Good to know they haven't figured out the unique quirks of her cultivation and are still very badly underestimating how big of a ticking time bomb she is. I'm just pointing out all things considered Huanlixue contrary to her capability is still massively holding herself back compared to the devastating amount of havoc she could easily unleash.

>>5107711
>In the ruins of an old sect of heretical cultivators and mystics. Abandoned except for the dead and those who watch over their graves [Medium danger, Medium exposure risk, Likely to encounter cultists, the undead, and exorcists]
>>
>>5107711
>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
>>
>>5107711
>>>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
>>
>>5107711
>The courts and cities of the world of spirits and hell. Demons, devils, spirts and ghosts are your kin and their lands hold many secrets forbidden in the world of the living [High danger, Null exposure risk, Likely to encounter devils, deadly landscapes and inhuman ghosts]
>>
>>5108058
The amount of people who desire the kitty is immaterial to the actual amount who will not be cut apart for displeasing her.
So finding a perfect, singular, partner with a personality that doesnt mind the mannerisms of a cat. An awoken beast is the clearest choice, but I dont think it should be another small cat who is awoken. Tomcats have a reputation and as mentioned, Huanlixue may end up bringing him the heads of every other wild bitch they get intimate with.

Now. . Roots. What to do with roots.
>>
>>5107711
>>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
>>
>>5108553
Don't forget special constitutions like physique, soul, mind, and bloodlines. Eugenics in xianza is fucking complicated mess. Not to mention the ability to steal and upgrade them. The MC apparently has very high quality roots and is creating her own special bloodline. Since unlike other awakened beasts she chose to develop her own unique bloodline and cultivation methods instead of using ancestral methods. So she is a pioneer. If she keeps on screwing around with the undead, demons, and life stealing she may very well accidentally develop her own unique constitutions as well.

In terms of mates an awoken beast is not a very good idea. Awoken beasts are as an overwhelming majority rely upon bloodline and ancestral cultivation methods. Which is directly opposed to Huanlixue pioneering methods. This means as a general rule of thumb unless they have a special bloodline they are garbage since they never innovate and rely far too heavily upon their heritage to get anyway. Something that Huanlixue is deeply opposed to. Unless of course, the awoken beast is another freak like Huanlixue who went against their traditional means.
>>
>>5107711
>>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
Still hoping for some fire- related qi, which should have the strongest Yang association
>>5108929
We shouldnt start reproducing any time soon. We are still trying to keep a relatively low profile.
>>
>>5108929
>In terms of mates an awoken beast is not a very good idea. Awoken beasts are as an overwhelming majority rely upon bloodline and ancestral cultivation methods. Which is directly opposed to Huanlixue pioneering methods.
Depends on the setting, so far awakened beasts seem to cultivate the same way as human ones here.
>>
>>5107711
>In the ruins of an old sect of heretical cultivators and mystics. Abandoned except for the dead and those who watch over their graves [Medium danger, Medium exposure risk, Likely to encounter cultists, the undead, and exorcists]
>>
>>5107711
>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
>>
>>5107711
>>The wild places where men and cultivators alike fear to tread. Only beasts and wild men live in such places, so you're unlikely to be scene [??? Danger, Low Exposure risks, Likely to encounter monsters, strange tribes and unknown threats]
Adventure time!! Yay!
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

The wild places:10

In the ruins:2

The courts and cities of the world of spirits and hell:1

Alright, so you'll travel to the wild places where mortals and cultivator fear to tread.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
I only hope no sect steals our prospective cultivators while we['re away.
>>
Turning your gaze towards the horizon, you watch the sun gradually climb into the cloud filled sky, like a maiden wading into the foamy waters of a stream. Blinking once, before you are blinded by your radiance, you catch a glimpse of towering trees. Titans made of bark, wood, vine and leaf. The boundary of the Primordial Forest of the tragic Lovers, an ancient and wild place where only holy and sagely men dwell. The last bastion of freedom and safety for magical beasts like yourself. Or so they say. In truth you have learned from Monu it is closer to a hunting ground than a sanctuary. But, in the brief moment before the sun's rays blinds you, you looked beyond the horizon and the seemingly endless, pillar like trees rising into the depths of heavens like spears raised against it.

Beyond the Primordial forest, the home of hermit sages, lonely monks and magical beasts lies a stranger land. One you can only vaguely make out as a shadow cast over the primordial forest itself. Beyond the reaches of the Chuan or the emperor they serve, beyond the reaches of ordinary men and beasts and even the grasp of cultivators and gods lies the true wilderness. The last vestiges of the primordial world, when all was wild, untamed, free and untainted by the sinful ways of men, unmolested by the interference of gods or devils. Opening your eyes, you look at the vast blue sea above your head and the dark figures of the trees in your way to the last true bastion of wildness in the world. A nameless place, where Mortals and cultivators alike fear to tread. A place of untampered, unweakened life. A place where the concepts of comfort and ease never had chance to sprout and spread. A place of beasts. Where old blood has been shed.

Surely there you'll find the untainted source of Qi aligned and saturated with the carmine energies of life, the divine and mystical shadow cast by lifeforce itself! Blood Qi! Abhorred and feared and named the tool of wicked sorcerers and demons alike!

Turning around, you begin your march towards the Primordial forest so you may pierce through it into the unknown places yonder, beyond the horizon where perhaps even the sun will refuse to wander! Tail flicking in the air and head held high you begin your adventure alone, leaving only large paw prints to mark your passing from the safety of your temple and into the wild unknown.

Your enchanted Guqin follows close behind, caught on the edge of your Specter Lightness skill and drawn by unseen strings of your breath to float through the air like a falling leaf trailing after the shadow your cast.
_

The Primordial Forest of The Tragic Lovers was truly peaceful as you traveled through it, without a care or worry. The magical beast that dwelled within were all small fry, unevolved slobs who didn't know how to be human let along ascended beasts. They had no knowledge of their past or their future and lived like they did before they fully awoke to the world and Dao,
Cont
>>
>>5109697

though you somehow doubted they had any worthwhile insights to share with you their princess!. The beasts avoided you, sensing like the old tiger the aura of quick approaching and moldering death that surrounded you and chilled the winter air until it could even freeze the marrow in their bones. So you walked alone, leaving no trail in the snow with your partially ethereal paws as you marched boldly through the territory of ascended beasts who dared not to meet you face to face let alone impede your trail. They could innately sense, not through any form of spiritual sense or wisdom but rather instinct that you were their better and dangerous to encounter. They may not know what you were or even recognize you as their kin, but they could smell the stench of death and grave dirt that flowed out from your spiritual aura from miles away and notice your approach sooner than any man could. Even if they walked the road to immortality as you did.

Human senses were so terrible impotent after all. Snowflakes fell upon rays of sun that dripped through the old, crooked trees that bent as if in mourning. It was a place of permanent twilight and shade, and in the middle of winter it was a place of harsh cold, frost and crawling ice.

But as you neared its center and one of the mountains that tore through it like an arrow from flesh you began to wonder if the cold was indeed natural at all. It became so bitter you actually began to feel cold, through your fur and the protection offered to you by the Qi that charged your being. It wasn't life threatening or numbing, but it was unusual. You doubt any mortal without magical protection could survive in the storm you wandered beneath and indeed found signs of cultivators trying to pierce through the veil of snow and flying shards of ice.

"A curse must've been uttered, the air reeks of a grudge old and dire" You mutter, as you hide beneath the snow, watching a set of prayer beads dangle from the hands of a statue, a sure sign of the presence of a cultivator within the Unusually powerful snowstorm you crept through.

You sighed and wracked your memory to try and discern how long the curse would linger.

"Not long, but it is a powerful curse" You decided, judging its potency by the fact you were able to endure it and cultivators not blessed to be born with fur were also able to trudge through the devil storm without becoming snowmen!

Some rival sect must've decided to play a harmless prank or impede the work of the sect that claimed the Primordial Forest of the Tragic Lover's as their property. In fact, if you had enough talismans and a strong enough desire to, you could probably conjure a similar storm by creating a formation of cooling spells. You smirked as you began to wonder what imbuing those spells with the essence of death would bring about!

Marching through the snow that had fallen and frozen up to your neck, you passed through the storm,
Cont
>>
>>5109698

only as bothered by it as any other creature would be by a cool autumn breeze.
_
Encounter!
"Strange snowbound rites"

The smell of cooking meat attracted you to one of the many isolated monasteries nestled within the depths of the Primordial forest. It was dilapidated and ill kept, Its wooden pillars and walls covered discolored and covered in moss dried by the curse called storm . The walls were assaulted by great piles of snow and the entrance to the lonely temple was blocked off and pressed by such a weight of snow that it was beginning to buckle and bend. Unlit lanterns danced wildly in the gales, pierced through by shards of ice or burnt to cinders by the fires they held before they were snuffed out by the howling winds.

Curious and a little hungry you float over the wall and rest on the roof of the temple's gate, laying down on the ice slicked tiles. And what you saw inside the courtyard surprised you. Judging from the iconography and idols jutting through the field of snow within the temple's grounds, these monks so far from civilization worshipped a sun god. You did not recognize them, but you weren't a godly creature and had very little interest in matters of religion and worship, especially towards the beings that condemned your people as mindless beasts and demons worthy only of slaughter.

But, you have seen quite a few shrines around the Chuan regions, slept in a few, and you have never seen such iconography or idols before. The monks you could see were dressed in heavy furs and matts of straw and wore odd, mishappen masks colored in searing yellows, golds, oranges and vivid red. Red so rich it looked like it had just spilled out of living veins.

At least three dozen monks were gathered, all buried beneath hides and straw, in the courtyard under the light of torches and bonfires. The eldest of this strange temple wore bronze medallions, polished to a mirror sheen, shaped like the crude sun that seemed to denote their strange god's power.

Many of them seemed nervous or fearful, the air was rich and stinking with dread and unease. Like a graveyard. And when that connection formed in your mind, you squinted.

And saw black specters. Hungry ghosts, vengeful spirits. There were bones beneath the snow. And now you understood the reason for the monk's worries. They were desperate. Caught in a storm with seemingly no end, so they turned to old rituals and occult knowledge to attempt to appease the god they devoted their lives to worship. And judging from the number of ghosts, have been offering tithes of blood and life to their idols, burning the flesh to send the smoke into the skies in the hope it would reach heaven. All for the hope of warmth and sunlight. It'd be amusing if it wasn't depressingly pathetic.

You only hoped that the sacrifices they caught were not also destined to be dinner. It seemed they had three now. A monk wearing a black painted mask, hands chained behind his back.
Cont
>>
>>5109700

What appeared to be some kind of clothed and sobbing ape. And....

Your eyes narrow, your fur bristles and you nearly let out a hiss before you realize the third is not a cultivator, at least not yet. They are wearing the robes of one at least, Pale blue and snow white. But you sensed no Qi within them. An outer disciple perhaps? Judging from the talisman clutched tightly to their chest and secured around their wrist they weren't fodder. That was a protection charm, against cold specifically. A shame it wouldn't protect against the heat of the pyre.

One of the elders approached the three living offerings and began to babble and shout as if in exultation in a dialect that was both harsh and unpleasant to the ears and nearly incomprehensible. It sounded like he was choking to death on a thick rice porridge.

You watched the old man covered in fur and hiding his face in a malformed mask theatrically gesticulate and wave his arms around like a witless drunkard for a few moments before deciding you should do something besides watch three people get butchered like pigs and or burned alive like they were incense sticks.

What do you decided to do, Huanliuxue?

>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]

>Feeling mischievous, play a melody with Ghost Empress Melody, casting an illusion of spring returning over the temple, before leading the monks to their doom by rousing the spirits of their past victims to tear them apart in the snow away from their fire an charms.

>Exploit the dark powers the priests are unknowingly calling upon and take it for yourself before leaving them to eventually starve or freeze in their own monastery surrounded by the bones of their victims [Bad Karma]

>Leave. You're close to the edge of the Primordial forest and will soon breach into the Wilderness you believe holds your prize. And you don't want to become caught up in the affairs of strange, sun worshiping and possibly cannibalistic cultists

>Write in
>>
>>5109701
>Feeling mischievous, play a melody with Ghost Empress Melody, casting an illusion of spring returning over the temple, before leading the monks to their doom by rousing the spirits of their past victims to tear them apart in the snow away from their fire and charms.
>>
>>5109701
>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]
>>
>>5109701
>Feeling mischievous, play a melody with Ghost Empress Melody, casting an illusion of spring returning over the temple, before leading the monks to their doom by rousing the spirits of their past victims to tear them apart in the snow away from their fire an charms
This seems like it would be a laugh
>>
>>5109701
>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]
>>
>>5109701
>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]
>>
>>5109701
>Exploit the dark powers the priests are unknowingly calling upon and take it for yourself before leaving them to eventually starve or freeze in their own monastery surrounded by the bones of their victims [Bad Karma]
>>
>>5109701
>Mischievously construct an illusion.

Let's not let them be killed. I dont like the notion of dark magic.
>>
>>5109701
>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]
They will die either way, might as well laugh at them and get some good karma.
>>
>>5109701
>Feeling mischievous, play a melody with Ghost Empress Melody, casting an illusion of spring returning over the temple, before leading the monks to their doom by rousing the spirits of their past victims to tear them apart in the snow away from their fire an charms.
>>
>>5109701
>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]
>>
>>5109809
If this doesnt actually save the sacrifices, then

I'd have to change to
>Interrupt the wicked ritual
>>
>>5109701
>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]
>>
>>5109701
>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]
>>
>>5109701
>>Feeling mischievous, play a melody with Ghost Empress Melody, casting an illusion of spring returning over the temple, before leading the monks to their doom by rousing the spirits of their past victims to tear them apart in the snow away from their fire an charms.
>>
>>5109701
>Feeling mischievous, play a melody with Ghost Empress Melody, casting an illusion of spring returning over the temple, before leading the monks to their doom by rousing the spirits of their past victims to tear them apart in the snow away from their fire an charms.
>>
>Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result.

Feeling mischievous, play a melody with Ghost Empress Melody, casting an illusion of spring returning over the temple, before leading the monks to their doom by rousing the spirits of their past victims to tear them apart in the snow away from their fire and charms.:5

Interrupt the wicked ritual, and mockingly tell the monks they have summoned a demon rather than their god and then add their bones to the piles beneath the snow. And then free their captives [Good Karma]:9

Exploit the dark powers the priests are unknowingly calling upon and take it for yourself before leaving them to eventually starve or freeze in their own monastery surrounded by the bones of their victims [Bad Karma]:1
>>
>>5110676
Interrupting the ritual won, update will arive soon. Forgot to write that before I hit post
>>
And that of course was to live up to the name given to you by terrified soldiers and prey, the great and terrible spirit of vengeance, Huanliuxue! The happy bloodshed! These priests may have been fellow heretics but that weak kinship wouldn't let you overlook their wickedness or sheer stupidity! The fact they were followers of an unorthodox doctrine was not enough to stay your claws when they were burning travelers lost in the storm in offering to their strange god! A worthless waste of life and blood! The vengeful glares of their victims unfortunate enough to be caught before your arrival made it clear what must be done here. These monks were evil~! Crazed! They wouldn't stop sacrificing the rare visitor who dared travel to their crumbling temple if they believed their dark rites worked! And how could you stand idle by when the hideous ape creature was crying and so many lost souls wept and joined in his wailing! It struck you like a dagger through the heart! Those sounds and the sight of the sacrifice grounds and all the earthbound ghosts of the prior offerings, burnt and half ashen, swayed you to immediate and violent action.

A part of you meekly tried to excuse the decision to turn the unholy ritual into a festival of slaughter by pretending that it was a action spurned by pragmatism, that if it was allowed to continue on you would eventually be made the scapegoat for the treacherous actions of these very impious monks. But the rest of your thoughts immediately spoke out and denounced the excuse for what it was, a flagrant falsehood and unnecessary self assurance! Killing these men would be not only just but righteous and you needed no excuse to carry out their punishment. Especially when doing so would save the innocent travelers from a horrific and undeserved death! It enraged you to see holy men descend so willingly to barbarity and evil out of selfish and foolish desperation! To offer the weary and frightened as a meal to their malignant, and probably nonexistent sun god!

You needed no cause or reason to kill these idiots and save their captives. It was the just, moral thing to do and if you left now you'd be haunted by their fate. Your weeping heart would not allow you to look away or remain a passive observer. Once more you'd don the mask of a heavenly punisher and prey upon the sinners and devils posing as men.

Striking a violent cord with your enchanted Guqin, you summon from its silver strings a cutting wind. It whips through the air like a ghostly sword, unseen but deadlier than any steel. Catching the string you plucked with your claw, you run your paw down its length, causing it to vibrate and turn already screeching tone into a metallic hiss. The killing wind altered its shape, the unseen blade flattened horizontally and dived downwards as if swung.

The temple elder, the patriarch of this clan of morons turned, burning torch raised above his head.

Cont
>>
>>5110745

Behind his mask decorated with spirals like the shells of snails or the curling tails of smoke, you could see his tired, grey eyes widen with fear as he searched for the source of the discordant, ear splitting melody that ripped through the courtyard turned into an open burial mound more violently than the storm that still raged around the temple. Through the snowfall, the blade cut, visible only through the path it cut through the falling snowflakes.

As the tune you played faded into the howling winds, the head priest's head fell from his shoulders, eyes widened with horror as he saw his death approaching too late to avoid or run away from it. His body remains standing, muscles tensed and veins bulging as his severed head bounces three times off the ground and then rolls to rest at the base of a pile of charred bones and ash.

The mask he wore fell after the second bound, and now the terror written deeply upon his aged face is exposed to the world. His acolytes look upon the horror stricken expression of their master, as his mouth wordlessly gapes and ponderously moves up and down as if he was asking what happened or trying to scream. But he had no breath to speak. His white beard, stained with blood and cut in half fluttered on the wind like a girl's silk ribbon, his slate grey eyes starred in a blind panic as the life slowly faded from them.

Only when one of his fellow elders struck dumb by the shock of seeing his superior struck down stepped towards his headless body, hands shaking from the cold or fear, that a spray of blood errupted from his neck and the body crumpled down. The sight of the wicked priest numbly stepping over his master's head to reach towards his body, wordlessly asking the corpse if it were alright before being showered in blood and falling with it as its legs finally gave out and crumpled was so outlandish you can't help laughing, cackling as you flew over the courtyard surrounded by mock ghost lights.

The monks scattered, some fell to their kneels, prostrating themselves or praying to their faceless god while others fled as far into the snow as they could without freezing away from the warmth of the pyres they had lit.

"Foolish, wicked monks. You've been mislead! Gods abhor the stench of burning hair and the snapping of cracking bones! The ashes of mortal remains sickens them! How blind can you be to the tastes of your heavenly lords!" You mocked, mimicking a noble laugh Monu had shown you when she reminisced about her days as renowned, jade like beauty and temptress as you decended to the courtyard and landed besides the headless corpses. Red snow clung to your paws as you laughed deeper, losing the façade of dignity as it became a manic, sadistic cackle

"To offer them putrid meals and the dying screams of the innocent, night after night, to praise their name as you murder and betray! Your god is sickened by your actions, oh impious priests who've turned to heathen traditions" You sneer,
Cont
>>
>>5110746

as you cut down the scrambling elder with a flick of your paw. With a little metal aligned Qi condensed in the center of your paw's pad , a bolt of lighting strikes him down taking the place of the bolt of divine retribution he deserved. A hole burned through his back and smoke curling from his melted eyes and gaping mouth, he falls to the feet of the disciples he had been pleading to save him, dying as pathetic as he lived, asking another to protect him when they have no power to do so.

Grinning ear to ear, you bound into the air and roll through it as the monks panic and realize at last their god cannot hear their prayers. The ape thing cries louder.

"The heavens look away from those who'd offer them plates of human flesh and ash, but do you know what is attracted by the vile aroma of burning hair, bubbling fat, charred skin and cooking meat?" You ask, as you fall back to the ground, and pin one of the monk's to the ground beneath your paw, and look into his eyes behind his crude mask as he squirms and squeals like a slaughtered pig "Do I even need to announce what I am? Surely you all cannot be so blind to not realize the consequence of your wicked deeds! To not understand what you have summoned in your desperation to attract the attention of your disgusted and ashamed lord of sunlight

"De...De" The monk under your paw stutters, tears freezing to his neck as he meekly presses his hands together as if praying will help him now.

"Demon!" You snarl, a snap of your jaws tearing his head half from his neck and soaking your snout with a crimson frost. The world sends the already panicked monks for the snows, choosing death by cold rather than the punishment you've come to deliver. But you can't allow that! Did any of their victims get to choose how they die!?

"A DEMON COME TO CARRY OUT THE EXECUTION DEMANDED BY THE LAWS OF THE HEAVENS AND MAN!" You exclaim as you cut them off, crushing another's head with a hard swipe of your paw "ENTICED BY THE FEAST OF FLESH YOU SO PROUDLY OFFERED IN EXCHANGE FOR RESPITE! WHY DO YOU RUN FROM ME THE MESSENGER! THIS IS THE REWARD YOU'VE EARNED! AN ESCORT TO THE BLEAK PIT OF HELL YOU DESERVE!"

"Please! Please! We were only trying to.."One tries to plead for forgiveness and mercy, but you silence his whimpering with a breath. His mind breaks as he's exposed to the miasma of grudges, and begins to howl and scream as he claws at his own mask, peeling away his finger nails as he is infested with a hatred that has endured centuries.

"Quit your whimpering" You purr "its only death I deliver, not oblivion, your souls are too putrid for me to even consider eating. All of you will be punished for your crimes, in this life and the next, and the next and the next until the cycle of reincarnation wipes away the karmic stain of your blind obedience and great selfishness! I won't even eat your flesh you dogs! Your blood is just as rancid!"
Cont
>>
Your ghostly aura extends, some of the monks falling dead from fright alone as the rest freeze in place and helplessly cry. You extend your claws, bare your fangs and treat them like the vermin they are, killing them like rats, disembowling and beheading them with only the weapons you were born with. You can't help but to play with their corpses and spread the bowels and viscera through the snow. Now the fields of white match the beautiful scarlet of your own hide! And the monks are dragged to hell by their past victims, that cackle and sneer as they pull and tear them to pieces as they all vanish with the last white snow carried by the winds

The three prisoners stand, the only living things left in the temple's grounds. The outer disciple stares at you, eyes wide and shivering with fright. Judging from the frost on the legs of their robes, they have become so afraid of your display of just brutality they have voided their bladder. The ape creature, which you realize now is just a horrifically ugly, deformed and dirty human cries and closes his eyes, clearly expecting to be your next victim. The monk with the black mask, to your astonishment, remains still except for glancing over the scene of carnage you have painted in front of him.

"Tch, do you not have ears!" You tease as you circle the three captives and the stakes they're tied to, with ropes and nails "I'm your savior! I just couldn't help but to terrorize those villains before I ended their lives. We cats are sadists to our prey, but only to our prey"

"You're a demonic beast" The not cultivator whispers "you admitted it"

"I have a flair for the dramatics" You say as you circle around to the front of the captives and keep walking

"You're a maneater, your kind delights in the suffering of your victims, cat or not, even herbivores of your deplorable breed delight in the slaughtering of men!" They cry out "You intend to devour us! Once we've been flavored with hope and lowered our guard"

"My name may be happy to shed blood but I assure you I'm not driven by any thirst for blood" You say gently, all but scolding the poor child. Its not his fault his teachers were idiots who believe the gospel of lies "My deeds to day were born of a desire to be noble and good, this is generosity honest and true"

"Hrrr" The black masked cultist grunts, raising his head "Hrrm,hrrm?"

"Oh you don't have a tongue" You observe as the monk nods his head twice in confirmation "How sad"

"Don't ignore me devil! I'll give you a bellyache! I will not be eaten without a fight!" The fool rages as the ugly man winces and looks to you pitifully "Don't listen to her lies my brothers! She means to deceive us! To devour us whole!"

"Happy to shed blood, happy bloodshed. Huan Liuxue" The ape like man mutters "You're the cat spirit that devoured Ling Meng and halted his advance into these fair lands, are you not? The divine beast who wept tears of blood when she saw the atrocities committed in the name of his pride"
>>
>>5110748

"Oh my how articulate! That's unexpected!" you praise, genuinely surprised by the ape cr..man's verbosity

"You recognize this demon?" The wannabe cultivator who is really beginning to test the limits of your generosity and kindness asks

"Hmmm, vaguely. I fled from the capital to here before the wars started, only left the wilds for food" The ugly man explains "She's worshiped by the commoners of the Chuan province, revered for halting the advance and predating upon the invaders who had rampaged through the land while the kingdom descended into anarchy"

Okay who the hell is this hideous man who is so eloquent and possess great worldly knowledge. You narrow your eyes and frown as the monk in the black mask nods in agreement and slurs a reply that sounds like the grunting of a pig. The hopeful cultivator to be looks dumbstruck and stammers as his world view is turned upside down by neither of his fellow captives fearing you as he does or understanding the gravity of the situation. Namely that being saved rather than eaten by a demonic beast was incredibly bizarre. Really the only thing that kept you from impulsively striking down the fool was that if you did lash out in anger you'd only prove him right.

"AHA! See she eats human flesh! She masquerades as a god to steal worship and cultivate a flock of naïve worshippers to offer themselves and their kin to her as willing sacrifices!" The cultivator raves and you can't help but wonder if his brain has frozen.

"Tch, I never asked to be praised. I just hated Ling Meng" you snort as you swipe your paw through the air and cut the three men down and break the tall wooden stakes they were tied to "And is it wicked for a beast to hunt? My kind are hunted without cause, not even for hunger"

And with that, you begin to walk away. And find yourself joined by the three captives.

You sigh, you were planning on leading them back to civilization, maybe the outer disciple after he begged and pleaded for forgiveness for insulting you. But you weren't expecting them to follow your tail like they were kittens.

Looking back, you glower and shake your head.

"I'm heading somewhere more dangerous than this temple, if you follow me your chances of survival will diminish faster than if I left you tied in the snow" You say "I'd be happy to escort you back in the other direction, out of the storm and too safety"

"No, that's closer to the capital, and you are clearly adapt in the art of maiming deadly foes, it is safer by your side no matter where you travel" The hideous man states plainly

"Hrrrm" the mute monk groans

"I have a duty to protect these poor naive fools from your treachery, Huanliuxue!" The annoying disciple boasts with a smug smirk on his lips that you'd like to smear off alongside the lower half of his jaw

"And he doesn't remember in which direction his temple lays" The hideous man chuckles

"DO NOT EXPOSE MY SECRETS TO THE BEAST!"

Cont
>>
>>5110749

-
The Lonely Blacksmith Fèiqīng , Disciple Ping, and Mute monk Lei have joined your party. Somewhat against your will
_

The storm soon passes, but the accusations thrown in your direction by Ping do not. He suspects every gesture you make, down to the slightest twitch of your whiskers to be a sign of your deception and desire to make a meal out of him and your other unwanted companions. So you journey on, deeper into the forest and to the boundary separating it from the true primordial wilderness more ancient than itself.

The Boundary is a vast waterfall, pouring into the basin that holds the bastion of the old world. Mists and fog obscure what lays beyond the crashing waters and the heat and humidity makes you miserable. Buzzing flies and biting beetles swarm you as you search for a path down the treacherous and water sprayed cliff side, by hoping down the rocks that jut through the raging torrents of water.

Feqing and Lei follow the path you lay easily, and unfortunately so does Ping. And soon you reach the bottom of the waterfalls. The three humans collapse, their faces red, their chests heaving and coated in sweat

"It was only two miles high" You snicker as they rest together in a heap on the loamy ground. You sit down and take in a breath, and admire the natural and strange beauty of the ancient, untouched wilderness. The Qi here is marvelously thick, heavy and pure. Smiling ear to ear, you think to yourself this is exactly what you were looking for! Surely a source of Blood Qi can be found in such a magnificent place!

What do you do, Huanliuxue

>Search for locals, if you can communicate with them you'll be able to find the prize you seek much easier.

>While your companions recover, ask them how exactly all three of them were caught by a crazed cultists in the middle of a magical storm

>Terrorize Ping

>Somethings in the lake the falls feed into. You can sense its Qi. Pure Water. Not human, nor beast. Some kind of spirit. INVESTIGATE!

>Write in
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>>5110751
>Somethings in the lake the falls feed into. You can sense its Qi. Pure Water. Not human, nor beast. Some kind of spirit. INVESTIGATE!
>>
>>5110751
>Somethings in the lake the falls feed into. You can sense its Qi. Pure Water. Not human, nor beast. Some kind of spirit. INVESTIGATE!
>>
>>5110751
>While your companions recover, ask them how exactly all three of them were caught by a crazed cultists in the middle of a magical storm
We found another of the MC candidates boys! This lad probably has as much potential as we do, he will make an excellent member for our sect.
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>>5110751
>Somethings in the lake the falls feed into. You can sense its Qi. Pure Water. Not human, nor beast. Some kind of spirit. INVESTIGATE!
>>
>>5110774
Support.

I'm willing to investigate the Qi source, but I really do want to know more about the blacksmith. Ping, I wish to terrorise, but I am not wasting a vote on the man. The disciple. . . Well he has no tongue.
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>>5110751
>Terrorize Ping
>>
>>5110751
>>Terrorize Ping
>>
>>5110745
I'm not really convinced on the Moral leanings here, Our Moral standing notwithstanding, I always took it to be a decidedly particular thing which made us do as we do.
The harming of children, or the spurning of hospitality rather than just. . ya know, killing innocent people. call it a misgiving

Anyway, it amuses me greatly that the demon cat of vengence, the happy bloodshed, is roused to this much anger by a burning.

for other news, this blacksmith is the guy who tried making his weapons sentient. So hey. could be cool.
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>>5110751
>Somethings in the lake the falls feed into. You can sense its Qi. Pure Water. Not human, nor beast. Some kind of spirit. INVESTIGATE!
>>
>>5110751
>>Terrorize Ping
>>
>>5110751
>Somethings in the lake the falls feed into. You can sense its Qi. Pure Water. Not human, nor beast. Some kind of spirit. INVESTIGATE!
>>
>>5110751
>Somethings in the lake the falls feed into. You can sense its Qi. Pure Water. Not human, nor beast. Some kind of spirit. INVESTIGATE!
Funny how the least popular protagonist was the one we encountered first. Speaking of which, I wonder how the Oni lady is doing how long until our inevitable conflict with the man possessed by our “sister”
>>
>>5111218
She is currently being summoned to the sect we insulted to be instituted in its mysteries.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Somethings in the lake the falls feed into. You can sense its Qi. Pure Water. Not human, nor beast. Some kind of spirit. INVESTIGATE!:6

While your companions recover, ask them how exactly all three of them were caught by a crazed cultists in the middle of a magical storm:2

Terrorize Ping:3

So you will investigate the presence in the lake

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Your whiskers twitch, followed quickly by your nose. Your ears stand up straight as you pause in your admiration of the natural beauty of this wild and ancient land. The Qi here is thick, pure, primordial, untainted by the red dust of the mortal world. The waters falling through the sky and into the lake whose shore you're companions are resting beside, red faced and panting, are nearly as wonderous as the waters of the five elemental springs. Clear, unsullied by mud or filth, they reflect the heavens like a well polished mirror. The dominant element here is water, but beneath the overwhelming rich and plentiful source of the waterfalls and the bottomless lake they pour into, beneath the mists and fogs and cattails, there is a presence. A living being or beings, blessed from birth or creation with a bountiful supply of Qi, purely water aligned and untainted by any element or rarer form of vital essence. A novice or being cursed with a dulled spiritual sense would be unable to distinguish the lake's inhabitants energy from that of the surrounding waters.

But you can sense it, perceive it. A lighter shade of black in the abyss of the vast lake's pure waters. Motes of fading shadow drifting just beneath its surface, swimming towards the shore but never reaching it. Watching, observing but never daring to approach. Your fur bristles, and you arch your back and pretend to stretch out your body and yawn to not startle whatever is watching you into scattering back into the depths like so many shoals of frightened fish. Taking a slow step forward, you stare into the shallows of the mist shrouded lake, hoping to spot your curious spectators without having to wade or leap into the cold looking water.

You can see their Qi take shape from formlessness, growing and stretching to match the movements of their body. This is no living creature, you can tell because it lacks meridians. It's flesh is woven from Spiritual energy alone. A being of no bones, no blood, and no meat or hide, only Qi shaped into those things. It must be, or they must be a spirit! Different than a ghost! How exciting! How Exciting. Like a curious kitten you raise a paw to bat at the water.

But you pause just before it strikes the surface. Instead you signal to the seemingly benign locales of these pure waters by manifesting four bursts of Qi. First, flashing with Metal like a falling spear of lightning, before instantly darkening the area by producing a sphere of Ghostly Qi in its place. The sudden transition from blinding light to all consuming darkness causes a few of the spirits to scatter in fear. The circle and dance, and you can hear the most melodic singing ripple through the waters and carrying into the air, held aloft by bubbles and silken streams of mist.

You blink and watch the song as it floats, and barely notice Feiqing and Lei struggling to hold back a bewitched Ping from sprinting into the waters in pursuit of the singers.

Cont
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>>5111783

A pair of antlers emerges from the lake, and scales rippled turquoise and grey, grey like a sharpened knife's edge, break the water as a serpentine form swims towards the shore in waving, rising dance. A mane of dark blue hair rises from the water, soaked through and running down the length of the creatures body before fanning out as a tuft of fur on its tail.

"A Dragon!" Feiqing gasps, mouth agape like a hollering monkey

"No. Not yet" You correct him as you realize what it is you're looking at as its head breeches the surface of the water, and you're met by a soft, innocent face untroubled by the troubles of life and the passing of time "Correct me if I am wrong, oh master of the lake, but you are the spirit of a dragon that is yet to be born"

"That is correct, oh young lady of the wilds and graves" The creature replies, speaking directly to your soul rather than deign the use of its tongue. Despite sounding as youthful and childish as a mewling kitten, there is a great dignity reverberating through every syllable the unborn child speaks "We are those seeds who have not yet been planted, but one day we shall grow into pearls. Your pearl is curious, it shines with the dark glimmer of the last fading motes of life fleeing from a corpse's eyes"

She must be talking about your Beast Core.

"You are also very fluffy" The Dragon spirit chirps, its façade of maturity and grace instantly falling away as it clumsily floats around you in a lazy circle "And red, like the sunset! What a beautiful creature you are, oh blood reeking one"

Ping's expression falls, as his enchantment is broken by the unborn dragon's well placed adoration of your beauty.

"Oh this elder sister is humbled by your words! The honesty of the young is truly flattering, for you speak your opinions without fear of ridicule or shame" You boast prideful, smiling incredibly smugly as you flick your tail and lick the back of your paw "You will truly grow to be a wise creature, if you can recognize my magnificence before even being born"

"Thank you fluffy sister" The spirit chirps as it tightens its circle in the air above your head "I cannot wait to be alive, so I may see more sights as beautiful as your fur and pearl, you are a very handsome beast"

"Huehuehue" You giggle, feeling almost drunk on the youngsters praise "My my, you certainly have a honeyed tongue, child of the lake"

Ping looks like he's about to weep, mourning the death of his sheltered worldview, disbelieving that a creature as noble as a dragon would find a Demonic Beast beautiful

"Politeness costs nothing but returns great wealth, in the form of friendship and admiration" The unborn dragon whistles, and you nodded solemnly, agreeing with the wisdom of her words "Why have you come to the spawning pools, oh elder sister of the grave? My eyes may have yet to open, but I can see you have come here with purpose. You have not wandered into the Wilderness without cause. So why have you come here, Red cat?"
>>
>>5111784

How do you answer, Huanliuxue?

>"I have come on a quest, little dragon, for a source of undiluted and uncorrupted Blood Qi. I figured a place of primordial beauty such as this may possess such a treasure, would you know where I may find what I seek?"

>"Oh I had heard stories of this wildernesses' untamed beauty and decided to rewarded my human servants by traveling here! We were just looking for a guide who may lead us to the most gorgeous and breathtaking vistas and landmarks of this place"

>"Hrrm, if I am being honest? it is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here. I seek to bolster my own power so I may better rule the wilds when the time comes for me to claim my stolen inheritance. For you see, in the world beyond the cliffs my people have been ousted from their rightful station! Can you believe such a tragedy! Oh woe! Oh shame!"

>"None of your business, brat" *Grin and walk away*

>write in
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>>5111785
>"I have come on a quest, little dragon, for a source of undiluted and uncorrupted Blood Qi. I figured a place of primordial beauty such as this may possess such a treasure, would you know where I may find what I seek?"
>>
>>5111785
>"I have come on a quest, little dragon, for a source of undiluted and uncorrupted Blood Qi. I figured a place of primordial beauty such as this may possess such a treasure, would you know where I may find what I seek?"
Get ready for Ping to start ranting about how evil we are and how wicked Blood Qi is.
>>
>>5111785
>"Hrrm, if I am being honest? it is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here. I seek to bolster my own power so I may better rule the wilds when the time comes for me to claim my stolen inheritance. For you see, in the world beyond the cliffs my people have been ousted from their rightful station! Can you believe such a tragedy! Oh woe! Oh shame!"
We don't really need his help to find a font of Blood Qi but if we tell him that we want to get stronger then he may tell us a way to do it that we wouldn't discover otherwise.
>>
>>5111785
>"Hrrm, if I am being honest? it is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here. I seek to bolster my own power so I may better rule the wilds when the time comes for me to claim my stolen inheritance. For you see, in the world beyond the cliffs my people have been ousted from their rightful station! Can you believe such a tragedy! Oh woe! Oh shame!"
>>
>>5111785
>If I may be honest.

No reason not too.
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>>5111785
>"Hrrm, if I am being honest? it is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here. I seek to bolster my own power so I may better rule the wilds when the time comes for me to claim my stolen inheritance. For you see, in the world beyond the cliffs my people have been ousted from their rightful station! Can you believe such a tragedy! Oh woe! Oh shame!"
Don't know how much these dragon babies would know, but telling them the injustice of our kind is good.
>>
>>5111785
>"Hrrm, if I am being honest? it is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here. I seek to bolster my own power so I may better rule the wilds when the time comes for me to claim my stolen inheritance. For you see, in the world beyond the cliffs my people have been ousted from their rightful station! Can you believe such a tragedy! Oh woe! Oh shame!"
>>
>>5111785
>>"Hrrm, if I am being honest? it is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here. I seek to bolster my own power so I may better rule the wilds when the time comes for me to claim my stolen inheritance. For you see, in the world beyond the cliffs my people have been ousted from their rightful station! Can you believe such a tragedy! Oh woe! Oh shame!"
>>
>>5111785
>"Oh I had heard stories of this wildernesses' untamed beauty and decided to rewarded my human servants by traveling here! We were just looking for a guide who may lead us to the most gorgeous and breathtaking vistas and landmarks of this place"
I just want to see where this takes us.
>>
If that dragon is going to be born any time soon then I think that he could make a good suitor, they are already kind of flirting and dragon & tiger is thematic.
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>>5112194
at least wait until they are born you horny bastard. You know their roots ardn't developed yet!
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>>5112194
Please do not try to groom the water dragon.
>>
>>5112219
>literally thirsting over negative years old of indeterminate gender
Ya boy needs some fucking water.

Also it may be a she. I'm not sure how magical beasties and elemental manifestations have babies but I would assume you still need the right equipment for it.
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>>5111785
>"I have come on a quest, little dragon, for a source of undiluted and uncorrupted Blood Qi. I figured a place of primordial beauty such as this may possess such a treasure, would you know where I may find what I seek?"

>>5112194
>>5112219
To be fair dragons are notoriously horny bastards and despite not being born yet the dragon did a surprisingly good job at coaxing the MC. Well, that and I wanna see the cultivators squirm by seeing such a noble dragon continue to flirt with a nasty demonic kitty who stinks of the grave. I find the dynamic between them hilarious.
>>
>>5111785
>>"Hrrm, if I am being honest? it is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here. I seek to bolster my own power so I may better rule the wilds when the time comes for me to claim my stolen inheritance. For you see, in the world beyond the cliffs my people have been ousted from their rightful station! Can you believe such a tragedy! Oh woe! Oh shame!"
>>
>>5111785
>"I have come on a quest, little dragon, for a source of undiluted and uncorrupted Blood Qi. I figured a place of primordial beauty such as this may possess such a treasure, would you know where I may find what I seek?"
>>
>>5112255
Not horny myself. I just dont see it as a worthwhile investment yet.
>>
>>5112437
I thought I clicked the other guy. My b, G.
>>
>>5112461
No problem my guy, still I'm not going to encourage anyone to think about suitors until we have done some eugenics testing on what compliments our own radiance.

Our children must be perfect, because we dont have the heart to kill kittens.
>>
>>5112486
Monu certainly wouldn't let us settle for anything less than the best.
>>
>>5112486
Man figuring out xianxa eugenics is going to be a nightmare. Especially in terms of suitors that compliments Huanliuxue odd specialties. We still have no idea what kind of weird constitutions we are developing and what our bloodline is like. The only thing that is 'normal' about is our spiritual roots which are apparently of very high quality according to Monu that is literally the only thing 'normal' about us and it is very rare. We are a mixture of a hybrid demonic beast and ghost cultivator. Except for the dead actually adore us and we don't really behave in a particularly vile demonic manner despite how terrifying our abilities actually are. Our demonization more stems from the fact we respect natural law over cultivator ethos and Heavenly law which means we will prey upon humans for example but will not harm the young. Our cultivation method is also unique and self invented. So if we want to have proper suitors and benefit from it then we would need to look into figuring out our own version of pair cultivation which will likely be a necessity anyway given how odd our cultivation is.

I mean Huanliuxue's entire cultivation method is entirely shooting in the dark that she created herself because she is just that much of a 'genius' and has great quality spiritual roots. The issue is we have no idea what kind of mutations this will result in or how to find those that will complement it since we have literally nothing to go on. Even her undead and demonic arts are clearly aberrations of the more traditional variety which will no doubt give cultivators no small amounts of grief when they realize how exotic is.

Ergo finding a 'complimentary suitor' is extremely problematic and unlikely given Huanliuxue's odd specializations and hybridization in exotic methods. We would actually be better off simply finding a 'worthy' mate and creating a new cultivation method for both parties. Instead of forcefully trying to find a needle that just happens to perfectly compliments Huanliuxue's current cultivation method. Let's be honest here Huanliuxue is easily intelligent enough to create multiple cultivation methods and techniques. Which will be far better suited when establishing her own faction and dynasty including bonding with a mate. In terms of eugenics, we simply need to find one that won't clash with Huanliuxue's increasingly messed up ghost soul, beast bloodline, and demonic physique. This will be a huge pain in the ass but at least we can fix a lot of problems if we are simply willing to create a new supplementary cultivation method.

>>5112492
Knowing her she would probably try to drug them with aphrodisiac to ensure they don't change their mind and cannot escape with some careful usage of poisons.
>>
>>5111785
>>"I have come on a quest, little dragon, for a source of undiluted and uncorrupted Blood Qi. I figured a place of primordial beauty such as this may possess such a treasure, would you know where I may find what I seek?"
>>
>>5112524
Maybe the blood qi that we're looking to develop could be the simpler cultivation method? It's a keystone for being alive, so it shouldn't be too difficult to spread around right?
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result.

"I have come on a quest, little dragon...":5

"Hrrm, if I am being honest? it is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here...":7

"Oh I had heard stories of this wildernesses' untamed beauty and decided to rewarded my human servants by traveling here!...":1

The "if I am being honest?" choice won, update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5112798
Fell for the oldest trick in the book. Being honest with someone just for some compliments. Truly this protodragon is a fearsome mind.
>>
Cocking your head to the side, you flash a smug smirk and reveal your fangs as a cackle lifts from your lips on its own.

"Hrrm" You sigh through your nose as you adjust your posture and lift your head high and proud "If I am being honest? It is an entirely selfish goal that has brought me here"

The closed eyes of the unhatched dragon look down into your wide open eyes, blazing with ambition and certainty. They do not speak, nor does their scaly face adopt any expression you can read or understand. The yet to be born spirit simply hovers in front of you, and you find yourself uncertain if it is judging you for or is simply confused by the honest and rather blunt answer you gave to their question. So you decide to continue speaking, if only to break the droll silence that has fallen over the misty lakeshore. Perhaps explaining your intent in detail will allow this youngster to understand it and grasp why you've named your ambition selfish.

Your smirk turns into a wide, fang filled grin, your yellow eyes gleaming in the morning light as you bow your head and find a few more cackles escaping your mouth before you start talking again.

"I seek to bolster my own power!" You proclaim, with a confidence that could cause the heavens themselves to shudder, the air around you turning frigid and tinged by the aroma of grave soil and moldering bones and decaying flesh "So I may better rule the wilds when the time comes for me to claim my stolen inheritance"

The noise Ping makes sounds similar to the sounds of a dying mouse trying to drag itself from out beneath your paw. You turn to make sure the man hasn't been struck dead by the majesty of your aura and find him as pale white as his sweat soaked robes, shivering in fright like a cornered rodent. Feiqing is unaffected by your bold proclamation and his companions' reaction to it, and is only gazing at the wise youngster in awe, perhaps struck deaf by their sibling's melodies? Why else would he not react to your speech with admiration rather than staring dumbfounded at the spirit you told them to! . Lei...Lei you aren't certain cause he's still wearing that black mask of his but you are certain he approves of your ambitions!

The dragon spirit brings their snout closer to your own, their whiskers floating on the wind as if they were still beneath the water, their mane flows elegantly as their tail flicks and follows the rolling, waving dance of their long, snake like body.

But still they say nothing, and sensing you have more to say, bow their head to listen. Puffing out your chest, you raise your tail and stomp a paw on the ground.

"For you see, in the world beyond the cliffs my people have been ousted from their rightful station!" You roar, and hear the last breathes of air in Ping's lungs rush out of his mouth as he squeals and looks like he may turn as thing as a sheet and float away on the next breeze "Can you believe such a tragedy! Oh Woe! Oh Shame!"
cont
>>
>>5112854

"You intend to...you intend to..your ambitions are to... oh heavens! This is terrible!" Ping sputters, eyes wide and bulging as Lei nods and Feiqing mouths the words "That's a dragon" without speaking them

"How is that a selfish dream?" The dragon asks quietly

"Mweh?" You meow as the dragon cocks their head in the same direction as your own, as you look at the unborn child in confusion "As I said I seek to increase my own power to..."

"Be a better ruler for your people. You seek might not out of pride or greed, but to protect and guard others" They whisper, a humming song vibrating from their nostrils and filling the air around you "A kingdom without a strong, willful ruler is a house without foundations. Your ambitions are not selfish but rather selfless and wise. For, what beast can forge a kingdom in the world of man without strength, cunning or bravery? You may not realize it yet, fluffy creature, but you have come here to begin your ascent to nobility. This is merely the first step towards your palace in the heavens, Elder Red Sister"

"She speaks the truth, a weak ruler brings nothing but suffering and pain to their people" Feiqing says solemnly as if he is speaking from experience

"HRrrrnn" Lei groans in agreement as Ping falls to his knees, clapping his hands to his fate

"You intend to forge a kingdom of blood and bones! To reignite the wars of ten generations past~! to return to the world to demonic rule and turn humanity into cattle!" He wails

"When did she mention anything of that sort, you panicky idiot?" Feiqing asks bluntly, restraining himself from smacking Ping in irritation "all she said is she seeks power. Don't your kind do that?"

"Well I suppose that's accurate" You say, stunned by the infant's sharp wit and insights despite the fact she has not lived a single night beyond her lake "it is the way of nature, the strong lead and the strong rule"

"But do you believe the weak are prey to the strong?" The dragons interrupts. Images of huts burning, pale faced children and lonely graves flashes through your thoughts. Your first memories remerge and the hatred and rage that made you Huanliuxue rises to the surface once more, digging itself free of the grave you dug for it when you killed Ling Meng. The screams of the pinwheel girl ring in your ear, louder than any thunder or drum beat. You bare your fangs, your fur stands on end and your vision becomes red as the blood that was spilt on you that terrible, tragic night of your second birth. Of your traumatic awakening.

And the killings that followed it. And then, like the wind washing away the scent of smoke, ash and dried blood, the visions of your first days are replaced by more recent, pleasant memories. Fu's smile as you take him under your wing and allow him to complete his vengeance. Monu's pride and tender care, as she watched you blossom as a cultivator. The useless sect improving from your harsh and distant lessons.
Cont
>>
>>5112857

You open your eyes and look over to the three, unwanted companions who have joined you in your quest.

"Of course, its the law of the wild, Might makes right" You answer

"But your right is not to bully, terrorize or subjugate, is it elder sister?" The dragon asks innocently "By might, you would rule virtuously rather than tyrannically"

"I'm a creature of whimsy and desire, how I'd rule is not set in stone. We cats are beings of fleeting emotions and brief attentions" You say, feeling a little warry of the oddly astute youngster you have met now.

"But are your three views as fleeting as you claim the feelings of your hearts to be, elder sister?" They quietly ask, the question shooting through you like a jolt of lightning as they uncurl their body and fly back over the lake.

"So you believe your eyes can see beyond my beauty to reveal the contents of my heart? How prideful" You ask as Ping continues ranting and raving about the age of darkness he believes you'll usher in, slurring his words as Feiqing slapped him about a minute ago.

"I can only see what lies beneath, for my eyes have yet to open" They coyly answer "But I am convinced you are of pure enough heart to lend my aid in your quest, Elder Red Sister, though your path is buried beneath bones and dyed in blood"

So that was why they were so tender in her approach and praising in their words. They were testing you, complimenting you and appealing to your pride so you'd lower your guard and open up your heart to them. Clever little spirit.

"Even if my siblings are not. However I must warn you, the road to reach your prize is treacherous and fraught with dangers many and dire" They chirp worriedly "There would be no shame in turning back..."

You snort

"If Gods block, kill the gods. If buddahs block, kill the buddahs" You boast and you are certain the dragon spirit smiles for a moment "such is the way of the resolute. Would I be a proper empress if I turned tail at the first sign of difficulty? Of danger?!"

"Stop grimacing, that is a common phrase" Feiqing scolds Ping "Do you know nothing of the world but ghost stories?"

"Of course! I did not expect you to be cowed, elder red sister" The dragon spirit chirps happily as they begin to sink back into the waters of the lake "But be aware, every path that leads to your treasure is perilous and you must face the trials of one road or another. I cannot see far beyond these waters, but I can see far enough to warn you of the dangers you'll face at the edge of the jungle and that the power you seek lies within its ancient heart"

Raising your ears, you listen as the dragon spirit describes the threats that await you ahead.
-
Cont
>>
>>5112858

Which path and danger will you choose take/ meet as you continue your Quest, Huanliuxue?

>Follow the river and enter the territory of the cannibalistic tribes, who pose more of a threat to your companions than they do to you.

>Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!

>Climb the tallest trees and walk across their interwoven branches, intruding into the kingdom of the bird clan who fled here ten generations ago.

>The ruins that were once one of the first cities of man, and the stubborn ghosts that still haunt its overgrown, mud buried streets

>Write in
>>
It's probably a good thing that our karma was good.
>>5112859
>Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!
The toad probably has an amazing beast core and Monu may appreciate some of its body parts.
>>
>>5112859
Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!
>>
>>5112859
>The ruins that were once one of the first cities of man, and the stubborn ghosts that still haunt its overgrown, mud buried streets
Ghosts are one of the few things we don't have to worry about and chances are they still remember ancient secrets and knowledge long forgetton by everyone else.
>>
>>5112859
>The ruins that were once one of the first cities of man, and the stubborn ghosts that still haunt its overgrown, mud buried streets
>>
>>5112859
I would be tempted by the trees, if it was not for our companions. Taking them into account however
>The ruins that were once one of the first cities of man, and the stubborn ghosts that still haunt its overgrown, mud buried streets
>>
>>5112859
>The ruins that were once one of the first cities of man, and the stubborn ghosts that still haunt its overgrown, mud buried streets
>>
>>5112859
>Ruins of the first cities.

Come to bloodshed, all you tasty tasty grudges
>>
>>5112859
>The ruins that were once one of the first cities of man, and the stubborn ghosts that still haunt its overgrown, mud buried streets
Ghosts are kinda our specialty
>>
>>5112859
>Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!
>>
>>5112859
>Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!
While the ruins are easier, it'd be more of what we've already been doing.
>>
>>5112859
>The ruins that were once one of the first cities of man, and the stubborn ghosts that still haunt its overgrown, mud buried streets
Time to do some ghost busting.
Seems good karma has payed off, and Huan desperately trying to deny she is a good person amuses me.
>>
>>5112859
>Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!
The ghosts are tempting, but the toad looks like it would put up a good fight, which we have not really had for a while.
And I'm sure there is some sort of symbolism behind us fighting a toad when we are Monu's apprentice too.
>>
>>5112859
>>Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!
>>
>>5112859
>>Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!
>>
>>5112859
>>Climb the tallest trees and walk across their interwoven branches, intruding into the kingdom of the bird clan who fled here ten generations ago.
Ornithology and other boring hobbies ftw!
>>
>>5113440
But anon, if we go after the bird clan means we are going to find giant owls
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>>5113453
>tfw you're getting screee'd to death by a monster owl
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>>5112859
>>Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!
Huanliuxue is trying to branch out away from ghosts, it doesn't make much thematic sense if she's tested by ghosts when seeking life
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

Scale the mountainside and cut under the jungle through the lair of an old and gluttonous Toad, who has even eaten dragons!:8

The ruins that were once one of the first cities of man, and the stubborn ghosts that still haunt its overgrown, mud buried streets:7

Climb the tallest trees and walk across their interwoven branches, intruding into the kingdom of the bird clan who fled here ten generations ago.:1

Close vote.
So You'll scale the mountain side and enter the lair of the Gluttonous toad

Update will arrive shortly
>>
The mountains of white stone that rise from above the jungle's titanic and ancient trees, and may in well be the bones of some long bygone and dead beast of the primordial infancy of the mortal realm, present little challenge for you as you ascends it's near perfectly vertical side. Your companions however, being blundering and clumsy humans, have a much harder time matching your pace, but you wait for them when they lag behind if only because you have a desire to shame Ping by proving you are not what he thinks, even if you have thought about simply eating him once or twice when his accusations have become to scathing or irritating. No trees grow upon their parched sides, and sand of crushed pearls and incandescent scales flows down its side. Only hardy flowers and shrub can find purchase in the sandy soil upon, and it appears that no creature besides yourself is bold enough to dare to walk its heights.

And you know well why that is, why these sand covered hills and rib like spires are avoided by all but the meekest and smallest forms of life. A great predator has made the caverns that snake withing and beneath the bleached stone its lair, much like you yourself did, it has made its home in the gloom of lightless, sunless caves. But unlike your temple, its den is beneath the boneyard that serves as the grave for those who have been foolish enough to intrude or challenge the great toad king's claim of the mountain as its sole domain. And as the wind blow, half digested bones of all manner of beasts are revealed and beneath the rising sun's glare, they gleam almost as if they were polished. Feiqing hurries his pace, in an effort to stay close beside you while Lei picks through the bones with his foot. Perhaps the mute is curious? or maybe he just has a fascination with odd bones. You cannot tell, but he spends some time ruffling through them and grunts with much more enthusiasm than he has before.

Ping looks over the mounds of revealed bones and pales as he notices abandoned weapons and weather worn robes sticking through the shimmering, multicolored sands. There is a lot of Qi in those bones, and though the fool is a novice who has yet been permitted to begin his cultivation in earnest, you can tell he senses the presence of the spiritual energy of the long dead magical beasts and the adventuring cultivators who joined them in this refuse pit of a mass grave.

"I know this is not your lair, Huanliuxue, and I know that you have not come here before, so you cannot have yet struck a bargain with the devil that dwells here" Ping uneasily ventures as he tucks his hands in the sleeves of his dirtied, off white robes "But do you mean to offer our flesh to the demon? To earn yourself passage"

'No, but I may still eat you', you think but do not speak. You sigh and hang your head, flicking your tail once as you pause and look back to the ever suspicious fool.

Cont
>>
>>5114102

"Why would I tell you if I was? Do you believe me to be as stupid as yourself, Ping?" You ask cheekily, feeling a dull throbbing just behind your temple "You should be grateful you're one of three to witness sights unseen by human eyes for centuries...no! Millennium! Or well"

You cackle and sneer as you place a paw on a half melted skull of some unfortunate and overconfident cultivator, applying just enough pressure to shatter it to join its dust to the sands it was buried beneath.

"One of three who may live to tell about what they've seen upon this grand adventure, the quest they have joined the great Huanliuxue upon!" You laugh, which Lei joins with his own barking laughter as Ping and Feiqing grimace "Be grateful worm! What a story you'll have to tell, if you survive"

"Do you see why I am still suspicious of her? Why I do not trust the man eating demon you follow like a duckling" Ping whispered to Feiqing, thinking your hearing wasn't sharp enough to over hear the poison he spoke

"A dragon named her its elder sister, and saw some purity in her heart and believed her ambitions to be ultimately altruistic" Feiqing said after a long, ponderous sigh "I do not know the world of cultivation you two hail from, but I do know that Huanliuxue is held as a guardian spirit in the Chuan region and saved both your life and mine"

Lei grunted

"And Sir Lei's as well" Feiqing adds, bowing his head towards the mute "From what I have seen and heard, all evidence points to your belief of her being a cack...a sneering, wicked demon being nothing more than slanderous hearsay you spread because it came from your elder's mouth, decrying all Magical Beasts as Demonic in nature and character, or worse, formed from true prejudice on your part because she is not human rather than any poisonous lessons taught to you by blind men"

Ping chokes on his words and tongue, turning even redder beneath his sun burn, eyes narrowing as his expression twisted into one of supreme offense but he could not compose himself or muster the audacity to speak an argument against Feiqing's brilliant rebuttal to his sternly held belief of your "Evilness"

"Show our lady respect rather than scorn, for she has not only saved your life but she is royalty" Feiqing says proudly "A Princess of the wilderness and all its beasts! Even a dragon spoke in defense of her good character! How can you remain blind to her virtues, even if they are different from those praised by men and the heavens?"

"A..even a dragon can be mislead and fooled" Ping meekly states "I'm certain she's plotting a cruel fate for us, why else would a demonic beast..."

Ping goes silent, closes his eyes and shudders as he tries to fight back the thought that perhaps you were entirely honest that you saved him and the other two with no ulterior motives. Its to be expected, all he's been taught goes against the belief that a magical beast could never be anything but monstrous, cruel and evil minded.
cont
>>
>>5114105

Snorting in amusement you look in Feiqing's eyes and smile

"Thank you for defending my honor, Feiqing" You earnestly state, bowing your head once before turning away "If you survive long enough, I may make you my court artisan"

Feiqing simply cups his hands, bows his head, and says nothing in reply, but you can tell your words have deeply touched him. A tumbleweed bounces down the mountainside, as you lead Him, Ping and Lei to the entrance of a vast cave, that yawns like an open mouth towards the heavens.

"Look at all the bones, how can you believe her intentions to be..." Ping mutters to himself, clearly still in the midst of a great internal crisis caused by Feiqing's conviction of your good intentions and kindness "but why feed us to another demon...:

"Hrrrrn" Lei groans, shrugging his shoulders as you see he has found a spear from admits the piles of bones and dried skins and has taken it as his own. The patina on the head showing that the toad within the cave had spat it up after swallowing it alongside its previous owner.

Feiqing grabs a pair of antlers from the ground, and a horrified expression passes over his face

"The young master of the lake was no exaggerating, Lady Huanliuxue" He says quietly

"An eater of dragons" Ping mumbles, eyes filled with dread "Is it more dangerous to venture into such a beast's home or depart from the devil's company"

"Hrn hrrrn hrrrrn!" Lei seemingly mocks

"It is still safer than braving the wilds alone! Even if she is a demon who intends to devour us to our bones or tempt us from the righteous path" Ping shouts back, incensed by the mute man's mockery "I... am just weighing my options"

"You are welcome to leave" You cruelly jest as you have already began to venture into the Dragon Eater's lair "and see if the natives are more welcoming than I am kind"

Without a word, Ping follows you into the dark, after Feiqing and Lei.
_

Strange, glowing mushrooms light the tunnels and caverns. Slime oozes out from the porous rock and water drips from the ceiling and flows like tears on the muddy ground. Blind caver fish swim through the shallow streams beneath your paws, hunted by razor toothed tadpoles. Moldering silks and putrid strips of meat pollute the waters, and judging from the burnt down incense sticks, these are befouled offerings given to the lord of this damp manse of filth and moss. And you can also see the half eaten remains of those who were unfortunate enough to present such offerings to the king under the mountain directly.

The tears of stone and the streams they feed flow downwards, deeper and deeper beneath the mountain and into its roots deep beneath the earth. You follow the path given to you by the dragon following the sprouting stalks and caps of mushrooms that glow red, rather than those that glow blue, yellow, green or pink, and make your way through the twisting labyrinth that the gluttonous toad calls its home,
Cont
>>
>>5114106

followed closely behind by your three human companions who strain their eyes to see in the dim light cast by the array of four mock ghost fires you have created, that float and bob in the air in just in front of your snout.

The tunnel opens into a vast cavern, an underground lake lit red by titanic mushrooms and glowing patches off moss. The waters are black and oily, covered by a film of filth and grease. Crawling slimes and oozes send ripples through the lake as they hunt the blind fish and eels that live within it. And in the center of the lake, barely visible upon a island made of the skulls of magical beasts and dragons, just barely visible in the light cast by the radiant fungi, sits an obese, white skinned tusked toad. Most of the skulls are smaller than your own, only a few are similarly sized to your head and they are from Magical beasts ascended from animals who already approach your stature without awakening to the natural Qi of the world.

Which means all of the dragon's the toad has swallowed had been children. And that the glutton would have a hard time eating an opponent that could actually fight back. And a little voice in the back of your head, regal and dignified, reminds you that this toad could become a pretender to your throne. A rival.

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Let the toad sleep, and sneak past it to continue into the tunnels that will emerge on the surface closer to your goal (Stealth Trial. DC 60. Failure will awaken the beast)

>Sit down, and begin playing a lullaby on your enchanted Guqin to lull the toad king into a deeper slumber so your three companions can pass safely through his lair, before heading through it yourself

>You cannot allow a rival to the throne to acquire power beyond your own! Nor can you forgive a wretch that preys upon the young of any species! The pretender must die! (Challenge the Toad King to a duel)

>Approach the Toad King, swallow your pride and fury, and try to bargain with the gluttonous thing to allow you to pass through its home without conflict

>Write in
>>
>>5114108
Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?
>>
>>5114108
>Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?
I want his core, if even the tiger had some primordial beast essence then that toad must have much more.
>>
>>5114108
>Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?
>>
>>5114108
>Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?
>>
>>5114108
>Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?

QM, why do you split your posts mid-sentence when they have natural split points that you even mark with a dash?
>>
>>5114108
I support >>5114129

We'll rip it's fucking throat out and take it's core for this.
>>
>>5114108
>Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?
You know, maybe it would be better to just bypass th
>kills children
hahahahahahahaha this thing is fucking dead it just doesn't know it.
Poor bastard is literally surrounded by the bones of its victims, we have more grudges around then we could ask for.

I would vote for challenging it, but we ambushed Jiùqūliáoyá as well, no reason to waste this opportunity, especially if it is strong enough to survive that.
>>
>>5114108
>Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?
This isn't about dealing with a rival, getting a new core or trying to obtain power anymore.
The moment it hurt children it lost it's rights for honour, mercy or parley.
>>
>>5114238
>>5114202
And if anyone asks about this, it's because it was that ugly that the very sight was an insult to us.
>>
>>5114244
Of course, Huan being so tsundere about being virtuous is hilarious.
>>
>>5114108
>Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?


Why settle for just this toad's core? After dealing with it we should look for anything we can use in these bones
>>
>>5114293
This might be a case where we not need to have the moral qualms we had before and consume it completely: body, beast core and spirit
>>
>>5114481
Good point but I meant looking through the dragon bones
>>
>>5114108
>>Let the toad sleep, and sneak past it to continue into the tunnels that will emerge on the surface closer to your goal (Stealth Trial. DC 60. Failure will awaken the beast)
>>
>>5114481
Did we actually learn how to eat souls?
>>
>>5114108
>>Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a goog opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result.

Lull the killer of children into a deeper sleep with your enchanted Guqin before carefully attacking it while sleeping. Why waste such a good opportunity for a thing that shows no sign of sentience and clearly has no morale?: 10

Let the toad sleep, and sneak past it to continue into the tunnels that will emerge on the surface closer to your goal (Stealth Trial. DC 60. Failure will awaken the beast): 1

LANDSLIDE VICTORY for Lulling the Gluttonous Toad to sleep before carefully attacking it

Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5114620
I think we have been given the option before. MC refuses because unlike other demonic cultivators she cares about the dead souls and having a destroyed soul means no afterlife or becoming an undead. Which goes against how her own powers operate. Plus starting to eat souls will also enrage the dead which is currently her greatest boon in terms of allies. After all, she maintains a symbiotic relationship with the undead and dead alike. Ensuring they can be neither run directly against it. In theory though if someone manages to piss off the dead to such an extent they wouldn't care about the state of the enemy's soul they might be willing to let it get eaten instead of dragged off to the underworld by them. Basically it's very convoluted to enable a soul to get eaten by her. Now their corpses possibly still breathing and qi on the other hand...
>>
>>5115416
Absolutely nothing goes against how our powers operate. We are universally talented!
Forever taking out the worst of the worst will of course not make different persons (dead or alive) sad. If we run around eating souls of random innocents this would of course change, but this thing should have absolutely no friends it has not yet eaten.
>>
But the concern towards the threat this rotund oaf could pose to your future, predestine rule is overwhelmed hastily by the outrage and seething contempt you first felt upon looking at the fat toad sleeping upon its bed of bones. Bones that were all that remained of young dragons! All that remained of children the tusked monster had eaten out of sheer laziness! The remains of a feast of innocents. Ping was right to call this brute a devil! Standing just before the lake, you snarled and clenched your jaw tightly to keep from spitting and yowling in rage at the sight of the skulls of the youngsters the fat thug had devoured alive, at the sight of the toad lounging on them like a sofa, disrespecting them in death. It was as if he were gloating and exulting into the horrid, contemptible crimes he had committed all his life! A villain fouler than Ling Meng! A blackguard without a heart! A beast that does not deserve to live comfortably and grow fat off the flesh of innocent and defenseless children. You may be a demonic beast, but the toad king is a monster.

But, then your angers cools and becomes as cold as old ice. The disgust and outrage you've felt towards the abhorrent sight of the toad king throne of bones in the center of its befouled lake had driven you to experience fury so potent it returned your mind to clarity. Horrid, murderous clarity. The taste of blood filled your mouth as the scent of impending death filled your lungs. You could hear weeping in the lapping of the lake's waters against its shore. Bowing your head, you called Ghost Empress Melody to your side and sat the enchanted, bewitching Guqin upon the rocks in front of your paws. Your companions, crept away towards the back of the cave, having sensed the overwhelming killing intent roiling from you like static in the air warning of an approaching storm. Feiqing and Ping looked back, as Lei stopped and hid in the shadows, grunting and motioning for the two defenseless men to continue on towards the deeper caverns.

Feiqing grabbed a rock, and stalwartly stood besides the mute. But Ping, Ping merely stared at you, brow furrowed and jaw clenched as he struggled to understand why you had chosen to fight the other demon, as even one as blind and ignorant as him could realize you did so not out of a lust for power or desire to show a rival your superiority. But he could not understand that you did so to offend the little ones who were never given the chance to grow strong enough to have a fighting chance against the gluttonous lord of slime and worms! How could he! You were a demon in his eyes, but even eyes as blind as his could realize the murderous rage in your eyes had grown from a purer soil than a wounded ego or wild bloodlust. Wrapping his prayer beads tightly around his right palm and wrist, he nodded to Lei and Feiqing and with shaking legs, stood at their side in the shadows behind your back.
Cont
>>
>>5115475

"Either way, a devil will die" Ping assured himself, voice wavering but convictions strong as he held out is bead wrapped palm and closed his eyes "May as well stand by the devil we know"

"There is one demon in this chamber, blind monk" Feiqing snorted, huffing like an enraged monkey as his ape like face was steeled with a serious expression smoldering with resolve

Lei of course said nothing, and just adjusted his mask and adopted a fighting stance that to your eyes seemed to mimic the posture of a scorpion readying itself to strike. The mute monk must be a practitioner of a formal martial art! The same could not be said of the luckless blacksmith, who held his rock above his head very much like the primate he resembled. For some reason, a smile graces your lips as a purr rumbles in your throat before you turn your focus to the pale, tusked toad croaking and snoring on the mortal remains of its victims.

Narrowing your eyes, the imperial aura of the crypt surrounds you as the air becomes charged with the chill of the grave. A sphere of impenetrable darkness surrounds you and expands out, extending your domain as bolts of black lightning and streaks of ghostly mist roil and circle throughout your aura of manifested Qi. Frost gathers on the water, crawling towards the contemptuous toad cretin. Ghost lights fill the air and dance like actors playing the roles of dueling warriors, taking form within the miasma of grudges spilling out of your mouth as you catch a single claw on your Guqin's strings and absorb and seal your aura back within yourself.

Plucking, you play the first note of your deadly, mournful lullaby. The somber, sorrowful music paints a scene in over the lakes waters like a painting. Of laughing, careless children frolicking in flowering fields beneath a gentle midday sun, as a whispering wind plays through the petals of the flowers they trample and their hair. The illusion deepens as you continue to play, filling each string with your grief as the music echoes and returns to your ears as if you were joined by a partner musician, creating an odd but soothing effect as the music is accompanied by itself. As if it cast a shadow or, more fittingly, was followed by its own ghost.

The Gluttonous Toad shifts, its mouth drops open, revealing rows of yellowed and moss covered fangs as it spreads out its legs and collapses upon its beds of bones, drooling grey spit as it snores louder loud enough to cause the cavern's walls to shake and the lake around it to first ripple and then wave!

Redirecting your ghostly Qi down to the claws of your forepaws, you cease playing a lullaby for the monster, and heighten the effects of your Specter Lightness skill. Now partially ethereal, you're light enough to run across the water, but even in your sphere of slowed time the waves created by the toad's snoring are an obstacle.
Cont
>>
>>5115477

So you use the phantom cat step to blink and flash past the waves before they can grow large enough to wash over and drown you. It is unnecessary, as just walking across the waters until the toad is caught in the radius of the Yōulíng-Qīnggōng's altered flow of time would leave the sleeping brute unable to protect itself. But the disgust you feel for the beast is too potent for you too approach it calmly! You can't wait a single second to sink your claws deep into its blubbery hide.

Kicking off the skull of a bear, you flip through the air and unsheathe your claws, wearing a cloak of shadows as you shoot into the air like an arrow. Then, turning around, you create a Dying Grudge Shield barrier behind your back legs and look down as the sleeping glutton beneath you. You've hunted and eaten toads before, when you were an ordinary, dimwitted cat. You know where their vitals lie.

With the destructive force of Yin soaking your claws, you will have no difficulty slicing through its fat, wart covered hide. Utilizing the same trick you used to fly to the mountain of the five elements spring, you kick off the barrier constructed from the energies of spite and destruction. The black barrier wreathed in the miasma of resentment flickers white as the force of your blow is caught and multiplied, and in the fraction of a second before it is lashed out and into your legs, you phantom cat step away. The result is the same before, Utilizing the multiplied momentum of the leap reflected back just beneath your paws, you launch yourself through the air. Like a vengeful star falling to the earth, you charge down at the toad turning into a streak of crimson and black.

Stretching your claws out as far as they can reach, you strike. Two swipes, leaving a trail of ink black smoke in the path of your twin strike cast like the shadows of your claws as they cut into the back of the massive toad. Splitting its skin and its flesh with eight slashes, its bone white back is painted red. Blood flows from the eight deep wounds, falling over the bed of skulls the brute had made. It's green eyes shoot open as it croaks in agony, as the raw power of your Qi empowered strike pushes it down into the pile of bones as it crumbles and collapses. The island of bones widens as the Toad kicks its legs and cries out in a mix of confusion and pain.

Landing on the now flattened island, you lower yourself and hiss at your hated foe, as it wakes enough to become aware of your presence. You can see its spine sticking out of its back.

"Yooou" It grumbles, its flesh rippling as it speaks "Are not like the others. You are no weakling, your claws and presence makes that obvious. It is like the god of death stands at your back, and holds you and I in its pale palm! You are not prey. Too powerful to swallow. A true challenger has approached me at last!"

The toad rises to its legs, struggling to stand with the wound you inflicted on its back

Cont
>>
>>5115480

"No, just an executioner" You reply as you lower yourself, and act as if you're preparing to pounce. The first blow may have all but crippled the toad, but you were expecting it to kill him. He's evolved like you are, but follows a natural form of cultivation. You hold a great advantage over him, but that does not mean you should be overly confident. The toad has devoured dozens of other magical beasts and is clearly aware of Qi and cultivation unlike Jiùqūliáoyá. He may be brutish, and practice an inelegant method of cultivation but he is still strong! Strong enough to still pose a threat while bearing a wound that would cripple or kill any other beast.

"The weak are prey to the strong. We are both strong. When two predators meet, only one will survive!" It proclaims as you study its movements, looking for an opening in its defenses as it lowers itself and prepares to hop into the air "The other will be Me-"

His eyes widen as you step forward and catch him in the area of slowed time, catching him completely by surprise and creating an opening through his momentary confusion. He'll learn the secret of the Specter Lightness skill soon enough, that it alters the flow of time, and find a way to counter it. That you are certain of, but you are also certain he won't figure it out before you can strike him a second time!

"Aaaat" The toad croaks slowly, panic shifting quickly to calm as his mind works to study your strange ability and figure out a way to overcome it.

You won't give him the chance to

What is your next move, Huanliuxue?

>Using the Phantom Cat step, release the Toad from the grip of altered time and leap above him to catch him midleap, and turning his momentum against him force him back to the ground with a pat of your paw (Martial trial DC 45.)

>Play a merry melody with Ghost Empress Melody and swarm the toad with the bones of its victims, as a distraction. Strike a violent cord and slice him up with cutting winds! (Magic trial. DC 45)

>Breath out a deep cloud of grudges, weakening the toad and strengthen yourself before you blink in front of it, Pin its head by holding its tusks to the ground and then manifest the grudge of Xiongji, and acting as the rampaging general, repeatedly slam your head into the toad's in an effort to crack open its skull (Martial trial. DC 60)

>Cast a temperature lowering spell, and freeze the water under your feet. And then with a ball of Yin aligned Qi wrapped around a core of concentrated Metal Qi, break the ice beneath the toad and electrocute it (Magic trial DC: 50)

>Write in
>>
>>5115481
>Cast a temperature lowering spell, and freeze the water under your feet. And then with a ball of Yin aligned Qi wrapped around a core of concentrated Metal Qi, break the ice beneath the toad and electrocute it (Magic trial DC: 50)
He looks like he's mainly water aspected, maybe with a bit of wood or earth because of the tusks.
Electrocuting him will do some damage and the DC isn't too high.
>>
>>5115481
>Using the Phantom Cat step, release the Toad from the grip of altered time and leap above him to catch him midleap, and turning his momentum against him force him back to the ground with a pat of your paw (Martial trial DC 45.)
>>
>>5115481
>Absorb the grudges of the children dragons, add it to our own newly fermenting grudge.
>use phantom cat step to catch him mid air.

The grudge will be important later.
>>
>>5115481
>>Using the Phantom Cat step, release the Toad from the grip of altered time and leap above him to catch him midleap, and turning his momentum against him force him back to the ground with a pat of your paw (Martial trial DC 45.)
>>
>>5115448
but the whole point of the wheel of reincarnation is that no matter who you are in your current life, your last or your next you may be a great devil or a great saint. it's not up to Huanliuxue to judge souls for their worthiness, not while she's still among the living.
>>5115481
>Breath out a deep cloud of grudges, weakening the toad and strengthen yourself before you blink in front of it, Pin its head by holding its tusks to the ground and then manifest the grudge of Xiongji, and acting as the rampaging general, repeatedly slam your head into the toad's in an effort to crack open its skull (Martial trial. DC 60)
this option will put our cat in a better position afterwards than the other options, which are all short-term and squander the opening from the slowed time
>>
Wonder how hampered the toad would be after losing a leg. Then again with its spine exposed it would probably be smarter to target it with the intent of crippling it from the midsection down than to try and remove a leg wholesale.

That opening assault was fucking brutal.
>>
>>5115481
>>Breath out a deep cloud of grudges, weakening the toad and strengthen yourself before you blink in front of it, Pin its head by holding its tusks to the ground and then manifest the grudge of Xiongji, and acting as the rampaging general, repeatedly slam your head into the toad's in an effort to crack open its skull (Martial trial. DC 60)
>>
>>5115481
>Using the Phantom Cat step, release the Toad from the grip of altered time and leap above him to catch him midleap, and turning his momentum against him force him back to the ground with a pat of your paw (Martial trial DC 45.)
>>
>>5115481
>Cast a temperature lowering spell, and freeze the water under your feet. And then with a ball of Yin aligned Qi wrapped around a core of concentrated Metal Qi, break the ice beneath the toad and electrocute it (Magic trial DC: 50)
>>
>>5115481
>Breath out a deep cloud of grudges, weakening the toad and strengthen yourself before you blink in front of it, Pin its head by holding its tusks to the ground and then manifest the grudge of Xiongji, and acting as the rampaging general, repeatedly slam your head into the toad's in an effort to crack open its skull (Martial trial. DC 60)
>>
>>5115495
>support
>>
>>5115481
>Cast a temperature lowering spell, and freeze the water under your feet. And then with a ball of Yin aligned Qi wrapped around a core of concentrated Metal Qi, break the ice beneath the toad and electrocute it (Magic trial DC: 50)
>>
>>5115481
>Breath out a deep cloud of grudges, weakening the toad and strengthen yourself before you blink in front of it, Pin its head by holding its tusks to the ground and then manifest the grudge of Xiongji, and acting as the rampaging general, repeatedly slam your head into the toad's in an effort to crack open its skull (Martial trial. DC 60)
>>
>>5115481
>Breath out a deep cloud of grudges, weakening the toad and strengthen yourself before you blink in front of it, Pin its head by holding its tusks to the ground and then manifest the grudge of Xiongji, and acting as the rampaging general, repeatedly slam your head into the toad's in an effort to crack open its skull (Martial trial. DC 60)
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

Cast a temperature lowering spell, and freeze the water under your feet. And then with a ball of Yin aligned Qi wrapped around a core of concentrated Metal Qi, break the ice beneath the toad and electrocute it :3

Using the Phantom Cat step, release the Toad from the grip of altered time and leap above him to catch him midleap, and turning his momentum against him force him back to the ground with a pat of your paw: 5

Absorb the grudges of the children dragons, add it to our own newly fermenting grudge.: 2

Breath out a deep cloud of grudges, weakening the toad and strengthen yourself before you blink in front of it, Pin its head by holding its tusks to the ground and then manifest the grudge of Xiongji, and acting as the rampaging general, repeatedly slam your head into the toad's in an effort to crack open its skull:5

So there's a tie. So I will tie break

1= Phantom Cat Step
2= Grudge Cloud
>>
>>5116555
SO You'll use the Enmity incarnation, Devil of Grudges to try and lay an apocalyptic smack down on the bastard, update will arrive shortly
>>
Snarling, you open your mouth and take a deep breath. Following the stagnant air of the bone lake on its journey to your lungs, you feel it curl and sink to the bottom of them and taste the familiar, incredibly bitter flavor of all the grudges that remain boiling away in your gullet. Tongues of smoke blacker than a winter's night curl over your fangs, as the miasma of concentrated resentment and spite boils over and scours your throat. The wisps of burning, stygian smoke turn into stinging clouds of manifested grudges. Breathing out, you spread the collected resentment throughout the damp air of the cavern, blotting out the dim red light of the glowing mushrooms as the gathered grudges expand and grow to cover the entire permitter of the island of old bones. The Old fat toad's eyes widen with returned shock and fresh horror as his dull mind realizes that you have more tricks than simply slowing a portion of the world's time. You step into the cloud, bowing your head as if you were entering a temple. The familiar chilling sensation of raw, undiluted hatred fills your veins. Your muscles tense and become as hard as forged steel beneath your hide. Your perceptions sharpen, your reflexes quicken as every wayward twitch and subconscious movement of your body becomes controlled and calculated. You can feel yourself growing stronger, quicker and tougher. Baring your fangs and brandishing your claws, you look through the dark miasma of grudges and see the Toad struggle to keep standing, and see the understanding in his eyes. He knows your grudge breath should be avoided now, that being under its shroud weakens him physically. But he doesn't know if he allows the manifested grudges to soak into his skin, the weight of hatred will fall over his mind as well.

Not allowing him the chance to leap away, you march up to him, appearing to blink forward and flicker with every step to his eyes and the eyes of the three men on watching on shore. Closing your eyes, you bow your head and summon the spirit of The Rampaging General, Xiongji's Undying hatred towards...well everything beneath the heavens, really! Your fur bristlers, steam coils off of your back and smoke pours over your fangs and out of your nose as fire blossoms from every step you take. Turning your head to the side, you do your best to mimic the wrathful ghost's constantly aggressive posture that threatens to throttle or chop anything or anyone that is foolhardy enough to step within reach of his hands or the dull axe they hold. With your notched ear acting as the dent in his helmet and the crack in his skull, you begin to think the thoughts that you imagine fill Xiongji's broken head! Curses, insults, declaration of hatred and oaths of revenge fill your mind, each shouted more furiously and loudly than the last. The clarity brought upon by anger is overcome by a hatred more potent than any other beneath the sun.
Cont
>>
>>5116588

Wisps of flame curl around your paws and tuft the tip of your tail as all of the anger, rage and fury begins to overwhelm YOU. And over the face of Huanliuxue, the mask of Xiongji falls. Smiling wickedly as the hungry ghost does, you look down at the toad and snarl with malicious laughter, narrowing one eye but not the other. Lifting your head up right, by whipping your neck hard enough to snap it, you look into the confused by resolute eyes of the fat worm who has dared to step into your sight and fall into the path of your rampage against the heavens and all their creation.

Slamming your paws down onto the toad's tusks, you realize why he did not try and flee or attack. He was hopping you'd try this, so he could headbutt you. What a clever idiot! A shame your skull is stronger than his and your rage deeper and purer!

"FUCK YOU!" You roar, as you lift your head and push his down into the floor of bones, as his legs curl and get ready to kick to launch his horned, warty forehead into your jaw "FUCK EVERYTHING! THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD JUST BURN TO ASH AND SMOKE AND BLIND THE EYES OF THE GODS! FUCK THEM AND FUCK YOU, TO!"

Acting like Xiongji is fun!

Roll 1d100. DC 60. Best out of three.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>5116590
>>
Rolled 13 (1d100)

>>5116590
Ultimate technique, REEEEEEEE
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>5116590
>>
>>5116597
>>5116609
>>5116640
This is an incredibly inauspicious set of rolls. However, with the Grudge cloud buffing you and debuffing the toad, and the fact you're the avatar of Xiongji's grudge...well you'll see
Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5116645
Does losing only make the rooster general even angrier? Dumb question, just about everything makes him angrier, huh?

Note to self, don't try to headbutt a toad. Or get near their mouth. Or touch them.
>>
You bring your head down, like a swinging hammer. The air whistles past your ears, as the Toad kicks his back legs and leaps through both the clouds of miasma and slowed time. His green eyes glare into your own hatefully, and meet two seas of boundless and manic glee as the two of you headbutt each other. His tusks slip free of your paws, helped by the unsteadiness of the bones beneath the two of you and the waves of the waters slowly swallowing the island into their dark depths. Lunging forward, you put all of your weight and strength into slamming your forehead into his. And if you were a second quicker you would have split his skull in twain, you're certain!. Instead his horned head catches your jaw as he pounces into the air. There's a loud snap as you jaws are forced shut, followed shortly by a unpleasant snapping sound as your head and neck lurches back from the force of the Toad King's skull shaking head but. He leaps into the air, past and over you. His shadow falls as he escapes the boundary of the altered time surrounding you, and shoots towards the cavern's ceiling like a shooting star. Your head swims, but you quickly find your footing again and regain control of your feet, leaving only a dull throbbing of pain in your neck, throat and head. And find that your head is stuck, Snarling and cursing up a storm as the fires of fury and miasma of contempt surrounding you flare up and grow twice as intense, you swing your head down again and make it loose and limber once more. There's a popping sound and a crack, accompanied by a stabbing pain. But you determine that the minor crack in the bones of your neck won't affect your performance, let alone cripple you and that it will be easily healed by your internal energy. You have also determined that it has greatly pissed you off and you're going to repay this pain a thousand fold in return!

Side stepping, you avoid the toad's bellyflop attack, the punches a hole through the bone island and allows the brackish water of his lake to spill in and fill it. You stand before the hole, rolling your neck and rocking it side by side to ease out the lingering stiffness and needles of pain. If it wasn't for the increased strength and resilience bathing in your grudges have imparted, you're certain that blow would've been crippling if not fatal, but having bolstered your body and taken the role of Xiongji, its little more than a sucker punch to the jaw. Green eyes peer out of the water, as you hiss and spit smoke and sparks into the toad's flabby face.

And, for a moment the deathly battle halts and stops completely as the two of you once more meet and match gazes. A period of long, awkward silence follows with you not daring to leap into the frigid and stinking water and the toad too flabbergasted that you're still alive and standing to continue his assault.
Cont
>>
>>5116685
"Wh..wha..What manner of monster are you!" He croaks, clearly distressed by your durability and the scathing glare you're shooting towards him "That blow should've snapped your neck into! Broken your skull! Scattered your brains to the floor!"

"Such a frail strike couldn't bruise my cheek, Dogfucker!" You shout, mimicking both Xiongji's accent and unique manner of speech "Now get out of your puddle and fight me like the man you aren't! Or kneel and lick my ass!"

A look of excitement quickly replaces his distress. Has he figured out the secrets of your second unique art and the foundation of your cultivation!?

"I see! Strengthening your bones and flesh with your own internal energies and hiding the technique's activation behind a façade of bravado and churlish behavior! Marvelous martial deception! A shrewd trick, to be sure!" He gasps, proving that he is still an idiot "I'll just have to put more force behind my next blow!"

He's going to try another headbutt. Normally you'd dodge the blow gracefully perhaps even use your feline martial arts to get the fat toad to throw himself into a rock, but that isn't how Xiongji would act. And you'll lose the powers given by his grudge if you cease being a suitable receptacle for it.

"You wouldn't know shit from dirt moron!" You spit back, throwing yourself completely into the role of the rampaging general "
Fuck you and fuck your mother, Pig head!"

The bones under your paws begin to blacken and catch fire, as smoke rises from the edges of your lips and the air around you begins to haze with heat.

What is your next move, Huanliuxue?

>Form a Dying Grudge Shield just in front of you, and move like you're going to try and headbutt the Toad again and trick him into slamming right into it (Mischief trial. DC 30)

>Actually try to headbutt the toad again, charging forward to meet him, and then try to hammer a crack into his skull with your own (Martial Trial. DC 60. Success will stun the toad but not you)

>Pounce and tear at the toad's back, dodging his attack to land your own! A loophole in Xiongji's relentless violence! (Martial Trial. DC 50)

>Rampage around and throw around the burning bones, filling the air with cinders. Than catching it on your fur, turn back around and tackle the Toad as hard as you can (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 55.)

>write in
>>
>>5116688
>Form a Dying Grudge Shield just in front of you, and move like you're going to try and headbutt the Toad again and trick him into slamming right into it (Mischief trial. DC 30)
>>
>>5116692
>Form a Dying Grudge Shield just in front of you, and move like you're going to try and headbutt the Toad again and trick him into slamming right into it (Mischief trial. DC 30)
Yeah, let's be careful with the DCs.
>>
>>5116692
>Form a Dying Grudge Shield just in front of you, and move like you're going to try and headbutt the Toad again and trick him into slamming right into it (Mischief trial. DC 30)

>>5116729
I wonder what the dice want from us this time.
>>
We're not doing too badly, we probably hurt ourselves less than we hurted him and we began the fight with a big blow.
The best strategy is probably to play it safe and win a war of attrition.
>>
>>5116692
>>Rampage around and throw around the burning bones, filling the air with cinders. Than catching it on your fur, turn back around and tackle the Toad as hard as you can (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 55.)
I don't think the dying grudge shield is appropriately Xiongji-like. if we want to keep using his power then Huanliuxue has to do as he does, the DC isn't everything
>>
>>5116692
>Dying grudge shield
>>
>>5116692
>Pounce and tear at the toad's back, dodging his attack to land your own! A loophole in Xiongji's relentless violence! (Martial Trial. DC 50)
>>
>>5116692
>Pounce and tear at the toad's back, dodging his attack to land your own! A loophole in Xiongji's relentless violence! (Martial Trial. DC 50)
>>
>>5116692
Changing my vote (>>5116729) because getting more than 50 once is not that unlikely and some people have made a good point that breaking character may be a bad idea.
>Pounce and tear at the toad's back, dodging his attack to land your own! A loophole in Xiongji's relentless violence! (Martial Trial. DC 50)
>>
>>5116692
I'll change my vote >>5116735
To this:
>Rampage around and throw around the burning bones, filling the air with cinders. Than catching it on your fur, turn back around and tackle the Toad as hard as you can (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 55.)

Though with our luck we'll probably get 3 1s.
>>
>>5116692
>Rampage around and throw around the burning bones, filling the air with cinders. Than catching it on your fur, turn back around and tackle the Toad as hard as you can (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 55.)
>>
>>5116692
>Rampage around and throw around the burning bones, filling the air with cinders. Than catching it on your fur, turn back around and tackle the Toad as hard as you can (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 55.)
So we have to take into account staying in character too. Something important to remember as we collect more masks
>>
>>5116692
>Form a Dying Grudge Shield just in front of you, and move like you're going to try and headbutt the Toad again and trick him into slamming right into it (Mischief trial. DC 30)
I'm not sure why we should focus on being in character so much, it allowed us to shrug off that last blow, but we don't necessarily need it anymore.
Especially if it forces us to act like a dumbass and forgo finesse, which has always been our go to.
Hell, he literally announced he will put more force into the next blow, this opportunity is too perfect.

Besides, couldn't we just put the mask of Xiongji back on later if we wanted?
>>
>>5116888
Why not create a dying grudge shield. . . Then headbutt the toad with it?

The magic is a force multiplication rebound, so we dont need to hit him hard with our own.
Unless it's only one way in its power multiplication, in which case our headbutting increases the power the toad hits with. . .
>>
>>5116692
>>Actually try to headbutt the toad again, charging forward to meet him, and then try to hammer a crack into his skull with your own (Martial Trial. DC 60. Success will stun the toad but not you)
>>
>>5116694
Changing my vote to
>Pounce and tear at the toad's back, dodging his attack to land your own! A loophole in Xiongji's relentless violence! (Martial Trial. DC 50)
Shield is losing, so I must tactically redeploy.
>>
>>5117515
coward, but I'll have to follow suit.

>>5116892
change to
>Launch a counter attack to dodge his attack
>>
>>5117528
Not a coward, just an idiot that miscounted the votes, the shield was the one winning not losing.
>>5117515
Am I allowed to change to back?
>>
>>5117610
I think that shield is losing because of other vote changes.
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>>5117614
Well, in that case no need for a back and forth, I will stay with my vote change and hope we manage to roll above 50.
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>>5116692
>Pounce and tear at the toad's back, dodging his attack to land your own! A loophole in Xiongji's relentless violence! (Martial Trial. DC 50)
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Ending the vote now. Tallying the result. Meant to do so much earlier, but I was out of commission with a blinding headache!

Form a Dying Grudge Shield just in front of you, and move like you're going to try and headbutt the Toad again and trick him into slamming right into it:1

Rampage around and throw around the burning bones, filling the air with cinders. Than catching it on your fur, turn back around and tackle the Toad as hard as you can :4

Pounce and tear at the toad's back, dodging his attack to land your own! A loophole in Xiongji's relentless violence! :6

Actually try to headbutt the toad again, charging forward to meet him, and then try to hammer a crack into his skull with your own: 1

So You will try and pounce on the toad's back to both dodge its attack and land your own, without losing the powerful rage and stamina of the mad general

Update will arrive shortly
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But through the haze of heat and the artificial rage smothering your thoughts, even the natural fury you feel towards your disgusting opponent, a realization strikes you. Xiongji is so consumed by his deathless outrage and certain of his strength that he does not avoid or dodge any attack, even from the most terrifying of foes. In part because his skull has been cracked open which has obviously dulled the hungry ghost's intellect as much as his bottomless reserves of all consuming hatred have, but also because his confidence is not miss place and he sees the act of avoiding any blow to be a sign of dishonor and weakness. Or you assume that's one reason why The Rooster General barrels through any offense of those unfortunate wandering souls that aren't quick enough to get out of the path of destruction he carves wherever he goes. It could be that he simply no longer has the sense of reason to feel anything approaching a self preservation instinct. However, that does not mean the mad ghost is defenses. No, you've been in his company for too long to believe that his endless aggression means he is lacking defense.

His defense takes the form of a relentless offense. He just barrels through any attack and endures it, sometimes avoiding it by charging beneath or past the blows that would otherwise slow or even halt the advance of his misanthropic rampage. Despite being the size of an ox, you're fighting style resolves around subterfuge, stealth and agility. It is a soft style. A Yin style. A style for ghosts and cats. Ethereal in movements, and graceful in all aspects. Passive in nature and techniques. Xiongji's "style" of combat is the exact opposite, hard rather than soft, active rather than reactive, aggressive rather than patient. But, having drank of the general's potent, world shaking grudge for so long, you know how to combine the lunatic's approach to violence with your more refined martial arts.

And that is to use its ghost like movements to carry out the general's aggression! The general would never flee, duck, dodge or otherwise avoid the blows of his unfortunate opponents, but he would charge through their strikes to brutalize them quicker. Aggression turned into defense. You don't need to sidestep the Toad's next leaping headbutt, but rather step so close to him he cannot hit you. Which, as you are both beasts and are not exchanging blows with blades, means you have to jump onto him before he hits you!

Running through your memories of the general near constant rampages through the catacombs of the bloodless war, you recall that Xiongji has "jumped" onto his victim's backs before. Well, he more crushed them beneath his weight and stomped on them while shouting enough curses to unhallow a shrine, but its close enough. Close enough that doing so would not break your "act" of pretending to be the general, thus the strength and endurance of his burning madness against all things beneath the heavens would not leave you!
Cont
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>>5118105

Which is very bad for the toad leaping towards you right now. Snarling, you crouch down and then lunge forward with fire covering your paws and tail as you kick off the crackling bones and leap into the air, your path intersecting with the toad's. Speed and ferocity alone with decided the outcome of your dodging charge, whether you'll land upon the toad's bleeding back to claw and bite into it or if his rock hard forehead will knock the air out of your lungs and send you flying into the gross, muck covered waters below.

"I'LL TEAR YOU APART DAMMIT!" You roar furiously "BLEED YOU DRY!"

"AHA YES! SUCH FEROCITY" The Toad shouts merrily in reply, clearly enjoying the challenge you present to him

Roll 1d100. DC 50. Best out of three
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Rolled 96 (1d100)

>>5118106
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Rolled 20 (1d100)

>>5118106
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Rolled 75 (1d100)

>>5118110
Can we do better?
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>>5118110
Awesome. Just 4 under double the DC.

Update will arrive shortly
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Through the fires and the flames rising from your paws and the burning bones thrown into the air from the force of your leap, you can see the toad's malignant green eyes, narrowed as sharply as your own. He hesitated a second, fearing he would be caught in the radius of your specter lightness skill, but now he's realized you have stopped using it entirely. And that his fear of being caught and slowed by its snare has cost him dearly. Having been blinded by the dark waters he submerged himself in, he only realized the moment he leapt from him that your movements were no longer so fast to flicker and blink like a shadow out of the corner of the eye. And judging from the look of dread in his eyes, he only truly realized he had needlessly adjusted his timing when he crossed the threshold of what he "knew" to be boundary of the Yōulíng-Qīnggōng! He waited to leap a second, hoping to counter the slowing of his movements, but all he had accomplished was leaping a moment after yourself. And you knew he realized his folly, from the look of despair that past over his flabby face as you soared towards him, fire covering your paws and smoke curling out from your malicious smile.

Stomping down with your back paws, you kick his face into the floor and dig your claws into the folds of fat weighing down his head. Rising up on two legs you slam your body down, using your weight and grudge heighted strength to push the rest of his wide frame to the ground pouncing on him. Snarling, spitting and yowling with a demonic fury, you tear into the flesh of his back with your claws and fangs. The fires of Xiongji's rage burning the wounds you open shut, allowing you to open them again more raggedly than before. A agonizing assault to endure, you pull and cut away chunks of his meat, crisscrossing his hide with a web of slashes pitted with bite marks so deep they become blood filled pools on his back, like a macabre blanket of frog eggs! The toad groans, and tries to rise as you unleash a flurry of clawed kicks to his face, cutting grooves through the skins there and even tearing open one of his eye sockets as he tries to throw you off of his back. But you remain as tightly latched to it as a tick, and bury your upper body into the ruin you've wrought upon his flesh. Coated in blood, you shovel and claw at the meat surrounding his spine, enough for you to grip it between your jaws.

Pulling it with all your strength, you arch your back and lean as far back as your aching neck will allow you, holding your foe's bones beneath your sharpened fangs. Sneering wickedly, you bite down and crunch and hear a crack. And then your teeth stop. The bones have changed, and the muscles still clinging to them have changed. They've become as solid as unhewn stone and refuse to budge any further. Veins snake through the torn flesh, but they are not red. They look rotten, green like mildew. Your eyes widen as you realize exactly what the toad is doing.

Cont
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>>5118143

He's turning his flesh toxic and reinforcing it as well as his bones, turning his blood into a weapon. A physical technique? Or a unique attribute of his physique? Toads ooze toxins when threatened. You are not certain if this is the result of his barbaric, beastly cultivation or his natural body. Is this an evolution created by primordial beast essence? Or a metamorphosis of Qi spurned on by desperation? Has he altered his body through trial or habits? A thousand questions fill your burning mind, but one thought dominates and crushes them all too powder.

it is spoken by a masculine voice. By the vestige of Xiongji in your memories.

"WHO CARES! IT WILL BE DEAD SOON ANYWAYS! SO KILL IT!" It roars, and you can hear your own voice buried within the command, for the thought is not Xiongji's but your own!

The Toad rises stubbornly, blood and toxins pouring out of its wounded eyes as he croaks mournfully, beset by unimaginable agony.

What will you do, Huanliuxue

>Disengage before the blood on your fur and in your mouth turns poisonous

>Strengthen your jaws and coat your fangs in Destructive Energy/ Yin Qi, and bite down as hard as possible (Strength Trial. DC 65)

>Let go of the spine, float into the air, and smack the near crippled with your Guqin, using it like a cudgel to try and beat the bastard into submission (Martial trial. DC 45)

>Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury (Magic Trial. DC 50.)

>Write in
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>>5118145
>Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury (Magic Trial. DC 50.)
>>
>>5118145
>Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury (Magic Trial. DC 50.)
>>
>>5118145
>Let go of the spine, float into the air, and smack the near crippled with your Guqin, using it like a cudgel to try and beat the bastard into submission (Martial trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5118145
>Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury (Magic Trial. DC 50.)
>>
>>5118145
>Let go of the spine, float into the air, and smack the near crippled with your Guqin, using it like a cudgel to try and beat the bastard into submission (Martial trial. DC 45)
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>>5118145
>Burb away the poision

Glow like a star.
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>>5118145
>Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury (Magic Trial. DC 50.)
>>
>>5118145
>Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury (Magic Trial. DC 50.)
>>
>>5118145
>>Strengthen your jaws and coat your fangs in Destructive Energy/ Yin Qi, and bite down as hard as possible (Strength Trial. DC 65)
>>
>>5118145

>Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury (Magic Trial. DC 50.)

let's just stay in character for this. I am looking forward to our companions remarks after this battle.
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>>5118145
>Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury (Magic Trial. DC 50.)
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>>5118807
Ping is definatly going to be terrified, and possibly feeling justified.
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>>5118847
We will make the blacksmith feel at home. He should enjoy living in the court of the queen of beasts, and we can always have use of a skilled smith.
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Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

Summon all of the rage of the Rooster General, and channel it into the flames of manifesting from his rage and and burn the poison away with your mimicked fury:8

Let go of the spine, float into the air, and smack the near crippled with your Guqin, using it like a cudgel to try and beat the bastard into submission:2

Strengthen your jaws and coat your fangs in Destructive Energy/ Yin Qi, and bite down as hard as possible :1

So you'll to burn away the poison with your imitation of Xiongji's all consuming Wrath

Update will arrive shortly
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The fires wreathing your limbs and tail are born from the burning wrath of Xiongji, and as long as you embody the Ghost's potent grudge they will remain. However you have noticed they have responded to your own rage, whether it is truly yours or a mimicry of the general's does not matter. But when you anger heightens the flames grow alongside it and become a blazing halo of destruction. Even now they scorch the toad's back and boil the violet hued blood pouring from beneath his torn skin and ruined flesh. This of course gives you an idea. You've only been drawing on a fraction of Xiongji's true fury, manifesting only its merest reflection. The fragment of rage had been enough to be imbued with the symbolic power of his seething hatred for all things beneath the shadow cast by the heavens, without being blinded completely by it. The deepest rage you could muster naturally paled in comparison to this meager shard of spite.

But what if you drew upon the full power of Xiongji's fiery, passionate contempt and wrath against all that flourishes beneath the light of the sun? You hesitated to draw on the entirety of his grudge, fearful that it may overwhelm you and take control. But it is in the end nothing more than a mask you, the Great Huanliuxue, wear. The hungry ghosts resentment cannot overcome the grudge that birthed your intellect and awoke you to your second life, no matter how powerful his deathless hatred is. You are born of grudges, being controlled by one would be like an empress being made the puppet of her regalia! A shadow cannot overcome the brightness of a rising star! Nor can it swallow the night sky! The embers of your satiated grudge burn brighter for they are what made you ascended above mindless beastdom, thus the general's wrath shall remain a mask, no matter how much your draw upon his rage or dress up your mannerisms and manner after his own. So, throwing caution to the wind, you secure your fangs more tightly around the spine half torn from its owners back and close your eyes and furrow your brow. Focusing on the center of your forehead, you delve deeply into memories you wish to avoid and combine them with what you imagine to be Xiongji's last moments. The tears of the village children fall alongside dust and rocks as the "fake" Xiongji in your head is roused to an incandescent state of rage as your own anger flares up and rises to allow you to truly act as the always rampaging spirit.

The beginnings of two grudges, one that has been satiated and the other that remains blazing, the former holding the latter to its face as you truly wear the mask of the rooster general. The fire surrounding your paws crawls up past your shoulders, and connects together over your back, growing stronger and stronger until it rises from you like a lantern's flame.
Cont
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>>5119497

"BASTARD!" You snarl through your teeth as the tongue of the great ball of fire takes the vague appearance of Xiongji's own specter! "TRAITOUROUS DOG! YOU BETRAYED US ALL! I SWEAR EVEN IF IT TAKES ME A THOUSAND YEARS I WILL FIND YOU AND TAKE YOUR HEAD"

And at last you understand the general's past, the source of his rage that even he had forgotten in the centuries since your death. Of course, no one but yourself can hear the words you roar, because your mouth is full of the bones your jaw is tightly clenched to! And the growling noises you make are lost beneath the blistering heat and roaring of the flames on your back. Take a deep breath, you breath and truly allow Xiongji's rage to flow through you, directing the fire it manifests in a wave of destruction.

You can only hope it will burn hot enough to boil away the poison that will soon soak your fur and fill your mouth.

Roll 1d100. DC 50. Best out of three
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