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Previous Chapters: https://lws.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20Quest
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You are the Resplendent Demonic Beast, Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed/ Happy to Shed Blood), and the heir to the forgotten legacy and imperial majesty of magical beasts, A Wild Princess (野生 格格, Yěshēng Gége) who holds dominion over all graves and commands grudges. Seeking to add the raw spiritual energy of Blood, a form of Qi reviled as the tool of blasphemous witches and warped sages, you journeyed into the Primordial Wilderness untouched by the civilization of man or gods in search of a source of uncorrupted Blood Qi.

Joined the Lonely and unfortunately hideous blacksmith Feiqing, the mute and mysterious monk, Lei, and the self righteous novices cultivator Ping, you met unborn dragons and battled and devoured the Toad Monster that preyed upon those divine children as ironic retribution. Traveling forward, you came upon two younger Magical Beasts consumed by rivalry and waging war against one another.

Meeting with both, you quickly came to realize both of your juniors seething hatred for one another was born from childish pride and misunderstanding. Feeling a whimsical desire to reunite the two friends turned deadly enemies, you decided to ask both the Princess of the Bees, Jiǒnghuāgége (炅花格格, Shining Flower Princess) and the Princess of the Ants, Tiěxīngége (铁心格格, Iron heart Princess), of their pasts to better understand the circumstances that lead to their feud and see if their former friendship could even be healed to begin with.

As you were presently in the territory of Tiexingege, you decided to ask the roughly natured Ant Queen first. She had grown used to your presence, and seemed to respect you because of the violence implied by your name, scarlet dyed fur and the aura of death and gloom that your meridians exuded. She watched her witless children march in formation, raising and lowering her antenna while clicking her mandibles to create a crude marching song. You almost wanted to play your Guqin to accompany her harsh song, but thought better of it.

"So, Tiexingege, may I ask you of your past? Too often our kind forget their origins and are thusly forgotten themselves, and I will admit" You say, marching up to her side, and finding to your pride that you stand taller than her "I am curious of yours in particular, your thuggish character has entranced me. Call it, a warrior's affection"

She turns to you, waving her antenna. But you cannot tell if it is in excitement or irritation.

"The first thing I remember was a storm" She says after a moment of silence "I was smaller then, much smaller and the first thing I recall is feeling fear. Not for myself of course! But for the rest of my hive as they were being washed away. I realized something had changed, and understood just how stupid my sisters were after I saved them by damming up the stream that was washing them away but was and still am fond of them"
Cont
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>>5133540

"Though the last of them died seasons ago" She somberly noted

She clacked her mandibles

"But, I realized that if I had changed the others could to, and after some trial and error realized the cause of my ascension was the sap and dew of these mighty flowers!" She explains proudly, clearly thinking that achievement is remarkable in someway "But they only grew in size, not smarts and still only cared about food, protecting me or the eggs. I...was a little discouraged I will admit, and I suppose that is how I fell for that bitches deceit! She was so pathetic when I found her, being bullied by that toad, I couldn't just leave her to die, and she never once thanked me for taking time out of my day to train her. To think I considered her my sister once!"

She stomps her feet around kicking up dust

"But we were for a time, we fought together, ate together, laughed together, but that's all in the past. After how she has betrayed and tried to humiliate me, all I want to do is stomp her face in the dirt!" Tiexingege proclaims angrily "the ungrateful sow! After all I've done for her she spits in my face, I saved her life from the Tyrant Hare you know"

The miasma of her grudges surrounds her like dark mist, but it is not the most potent you have encountered. You could take it into yourself, and swallow it, but that won't do anything for Tiexingege besides briefly sooth her resentful rage.

"Tch, should've let her get squashed" She boasts, holding her head 'What about your, Huanliuxue? How'd you turn from a normal cat into the great monster you are now?"

You turn to her and narrow your eyes, and tell the story of your own second birth. Tiexingege seems close to crying as you detail to her exactly how you lost your first "family" and she outright cheers when you describe your murder of Ling Meng and how you devoured his heart and lesser organs.

"hah! I knew your name was a strong one!" Tiexingege shouts, to hide her lingering sadness of hearing the tragedy of your past life "Tell me, was your revenge as sweet as his meat? That's how our kind should live! By strength and force of will! Take and do what we will, and not care about pointless, dainty things! Like tough and mighty warriors! Not pampered princesses!"

"I've tasted sweeter things than Ling Meng" You admit plainly "Do you find the taste of violence sweeter than honey?"

"Bah, not without a point. Fighting is good, shows whose strong enough to survive and who needs to be whipped into shape. I'm not like the bitch queen who caused this war for no reason but cruelty. It isn't like I'm a sadist or anything" Tiexingege blusters, thinking you might see her in a negative like from her comments "What about you, Half of your name is bloodshed"

"I'm was born from a grudge, as you were born from fearing for you kinsfolk, I am Huanliuxue because I witnessed a bloodbath and had no power to stop it" You explain as you turn your tail and walk away from the Ant Queen
Cont
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>>5133543

"But I'd be lying if I claimed to not enjoy killing those who deserve to die, but like you I am not a monstrous sadist who delights in tormenting the weak. Until we next meet Black Iron" You add as you walk down the hill the two of you stood atop

"Heh, I see. I wish it was you I met, rather than the bee, Red Fur!" Tiexingege calls out as you leave her court of busy workers and marching soldiers "Until we meet again"

And with that conversation finished, you calmly stroll to the Jionghuagege's side of the flower forest and find her fretting over a very on edge Ping, a nervous Feiqing and a very demure and polite Lei, as her children surround the three men, carrying globs of Divine Blood Honey and nuzzling closer to the men's legs as they are seated around a crude table of stone.

"Ah! I see you've found my servants! I must express my gratitude for you collecting them and watching over them in my stead!" You shout to make the Bee Queen notice you as you sway towards the table and lay down across from Ping, who looks rather outraged that you've called him your servant.

"Servant" Ping snarled, eyes narrowed to squints. You flash him a smug grin and look back to Jionghuagege as she bumbles through the air towards you

"Oh I was so worried about them" you cackle "Worried they blunder into danger or become lost. Humans are so fragile, you see"

"They are, they are! The fuzzy faced one got bruised just because I nudged him with my head" Jionghuagege exclaims, guilt sneaking into her excited tone "I'd like to apologize again for that, oh noble sir"

"its fine... I already accepted your first three apologies. And see Ping, I told you these bees meant us no harm, They were just trying to show us hospitality" Feiqing mutters, turning to the now red faced Ping

"They're demons all the same, no matter how cutely and maiden like they act" Ping whispers, thinking you can't hear him. Jionghuagege can't. She may cry if she could.

"But your servants have told me of your battle with that terrible toad! I though he died ages ago" Jiongjuagege says, sounding quietly awed by your accomplishments "And you didn't even boast and brag about it, how humble! Truly you are the epitome of what it means to be a well bred lady!"

"Oh you had a history with that wretch? His foul taste is still stuck on my tongue" You say, knowing exactly what her history was with the brute, as her former friend told you enough for you paint a vivid enough picture of her past in her mind.

"Yes! Its part of my dark history! When I was young, after I became smart after realizing how fun it was to fly through flower petals with my sisters I was bullied by that ill mannered thug! He forced me to give him honey!" Jionghuagege wails, her drones noticing her distress and rushing to hug her, clearly a behavior the spritely girl has trained into them
Cont
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>>5133544

"And even tried to force me into feeding him my...my children! He was a terrible bully, and though it is rude of me to say, I am glad he got eaten by someone to strong for him to push around. He deserved nothing less, for threatening to swallow me when I was so young!" She rages, buzzing loudly and sharply to enunciate every word she speaks

Ping looks guilty for a moment, as you feel a flicker of black fury grip your heart and suddenly you wish you tortured the dragon eater more than you did.

"Oh how did you get rid of him? And I'm not glad I've eaten him, even if its made me stronger" You say, sticking your tongue out to show your distaste for the deceased's flavor

Jionghuagege goes silent. For a long while, about the time it takes to eat a meal, the only sound around the stone table is buzzing and sound of Feiqing trying to sneakily slurp down a handful of Divine Blood Honey without anyone noticing his gluttony.

"I traded one bully for another. I thought she was nice and kind despite her aggressive character, rough demeanor like yourself, Lady Huanliuxue, She was rude and brash, but she acted like she cared about me. But now I realize she just wanted to brow beat me into her underling! That all she wanted was my honey! Like the Toad before her!" She says bitterly, and impressive venom in her words and the grudges that spills from her is several shades darker than Tiexingege's! "She treated me harshly, even though she called me her sister, and revealed her true colors when she went around boasting about slaying the Tyrant hare when I struck the final blow! Then she had the nerve to steal from me and hurt my children"

You stare blankly behind an expression of fake shock. You cannot believe this. You knew it was a misunderstanding and childish pride that drove these two princess apart, but you didn't realize just how petty the cause of their rivalry and the war it sparked actually was! Neither of them spoke the truth of their hearts to the other, and so have constructed false images of the other in their minds.

Tiexingege, who despite her rough demeanor and thuggish character, believes the strong should protect and guide the weak and because Jionghuagege, who leads a much more carefree life and is gentle by nature didn't realize or understand her harsh treatment was a training regime and now looks back on their relationship as one between bully and victim. Neither of them explained themselves, because, like the children they didn't think their friend thought differently and saw the world through different eyes. They don't realize everyone's three views are different and can be vastly so!
Cont
>>
>>5133546

Both feel they have been lied to and betrayed, because one thinks the other used her as a stepping stone and looks down on her despite her being both her friend and teacher, and the other thinks she was being used and pushed around because she didn't grasp that the "harsh treatment" was her friend trying to toughen her up because was fearful of her safety, when all she wants to do is life a quiet and slow life!

And now both are at eachother's throats because their territorial, bestial children started fighting over food and territory

And you understand exactly why these two girls could have such a disastrous communication error. They're both bugs! They communicate through pheromones! Any subtly is lost on them because they haven't realized the gap left by pheromones and haven't realized the world they now live in is both more complexes and simplistic than they realize.

You almost cough up blood the realization is so striking!

"I to, know the pain of being stabbed in the back by those I thought were my friend" Feiqing says, venturing to place a hand upon Jionghuagege's head. Ping bows his head, brow furrowed and expression grave

What do you decide to do, Huanliuxue?

>Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them (Martial Trial. DC 45)

>Enraged by the idiocy of your juniors, beat both of them black and blue and forcefully drag them to each other while fending off their soldiers and scold them as is your duty as their elder! (Martial trial DC 65)

>Drug both of them with tampered honey and while they're intoxicated, cast an illusion with Ghost Empress Melody to remind them of their friendship and show them the other's perspective (Mischief Trial. DC 30)

>That they're too set in their ways and stubborn to return to being friends and nothing can be done besides helping one overcome the other

>Write in
>>
>>5133548
>Drug both of them with tampered honey and while they're intoxicated, cast an illusion with Ghost Empress Melody to remind them of their friendship and show them the other's perspective (Mischief Trial. DC 30)
Mostly because I don't trust the dices.
>>
>>5133548
>Drug both of them with tampered honey and while they're intoxicated, cast an illusion with Ghost Empress Melody to remind them of their friendship and show them the other's perspective (Mischief Trial. DC 30)
This one seem the most entertaining.
>>
>>5133548
>>Enraged by the idiocy of your juniors, beat both of them black and blue and forcefully drag them to each other while fending off their soldiers and scold them as is your duty as their elder! (Martial trial DC 65)
>>
>>5133548
>Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them (Martial Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5133548
>>Drug both of them with tampered honey and while they're intoxicated, cast an illusion with Ghost Empress Melody to remind them of their friendship and show them the other's perspective (Mischief Trial. DC 30)
>>
>>5133548
>Drug both of them with tampered honey and while they're intoxicated, cast an illusion with Ghost Empress Melody to remind them of their friendship and show them the other's perspective (Mischief Trial. DC 30)

Seems the most in character for us. We're not here to fluff our ego after all, at least not only that anyway.
>>
>>5133548
>>Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them (Martial Trial. DC 45)
tiexin would hate the drugging/lying, and prefer the beating
jionghua would understand the drugging, and see Huanliuxue as another bully for beating her.
so both of those options are not stable results, because they are only understandable to one of the pair
>>
>>5133548
>Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them (Martial Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5133548
>Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them (Martial Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5133548
>Write in
>Regale the princessess with fake stories from our past
>One to make them realize what the other felt
>Another to make them long for the companionsfip of a friend
>And the third to give them an example of how to properly take the first step and make peace
They're kids, they need proper parenting.
>>
>>5133548
>Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them (Martial Trial. DC 45)
They might take offense to being drugged, even if for a good purpose.
And while a beating could be a good correction from elder to junior, the DC is scarring me a little.
Though talking it out peacefully would be a good way to introduce them to the basic tenants of civilized behaviour.
>>
>>5134224
I'll support.

They need to respect our strength as their leader.
>>
>>5133548
>Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them (Martial Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5133548
>Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them (Martial Trial. DC 45)
Might as well get some parenting training in early
>>
>>5134008
support, this anon makes sense.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result.

Drug both of them with tampered honey and while they're intoxicated, cast an illusion with Ghost Empress Melody to remind them of their friendship and show them the other's perspective:4

Enraged by the idiocy of your juniors, beat both of them black and blue and forcefully drag them to each other while fending off their soldiers and scold them as is your duty as their elder!:1

Arrange both of the princesses to meet you outside of their forest home, and keep them from fighting long enough for them to realize their mistakes by parrying their strikes and standing between them:9

So You'll arrange for both of the princesses to meet outside of their territory and when they start fighting, prevent them from hurting eachother by parrying their strikes long enough for them to naturally realize their mistakes.

Update will arrive shortly

Regale the princessess with fake stories from our past, One to make them realize what the other felt, Another to make them long for the companionship of a friend, And the third to give them an example of how to properly take the first step and make peace:1
>>
Your students and Ping speak their sympathy of Jionghuagege's plight and tragic past, though Ping only does so by offering condolences that she had the misfortune of befriending a heartless demon which is perhaps the only way he can show the compassion he so clearly harbors for her without reneging or comprising his belief that magical beasts are cruel and monstrous beings. But while they shower the young princess in affection, openly or not, you sit silently plotting a means to allow her eyes and Tiexingege's eyes to at last see mount tai and remedy their mutual ignorance of the others true affections and intentions. They're both children, so it shouldn't be diffcult for them to forget the bruises they've given each other if you can quench the resentment that grows in their hearts before it takes root and strangles them. You've watched them battle once before as an unseen spirit. They spend the entirety of their matches exchanging insults and cursing the other for their imagined crimes and betrayal until their verbal brawl enrages them so greatly they abandon all caution and sense of reason and knock themselves out by recklessly assaulting eachother. At which point they are carried back to the safety of their homes by their children, who are more concerned with the safety of their mothers and queens than they are the presence of their enemies.

Licking the back of your paw, you watch Feiqing and Lei fawn over the sulking Jionghuagege as she continues mournfully complaining about the harshness of her past, not understanding the true meaning of suffering like you do but she is young and Naïve so you cannot hold her ignorance of the cruelty of life and fate against her. She is carefree and trusting, after all she consider you, who reeks of death and freshly spilt blood, a friend simply because you told her your name! And while you may still be young yourself, you've experienced hardship and tragedy enough to be wiser than other cats your age and thus know that such unwariness could be a death sentence while Jionghuagege does not! Holding your head up, basking in pride, you are struck by a realization that instantly solves the dilemma you were facing!

'I know how to rekindle their friendship!' You nearly gasp outloud, but clench your jaw and take in a sharp breath to mask the shock of finding the answer you sought so suddenly 'how could I not have realize it sooner! The childish ignorance that broke their bond can also repair it'

Jionghuagege is Gullible.
Tiexingege is Daring.

And neither of them are canny enough to suspect duplicity from someone they consider a friend or admire, respectively. In their own way, both remain trusting despite the scorn they hold for eachother for the imagined betrayal of that same trust. They see the world in black and white, they do not realize the multitude of colors and hues that fill the world.
Cont
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>>5135073

When they believe something to be good, it is good, and when they believe something in the world to be bad, it is bad. This simple, youthful perception of life is what lead to their strife and it is also what will allow you to end it.

Because Jionghuagege trusts you, she will listen to whatever you say with complete confidence. Leading her away from her watchful and violently protective children will be as easy as telling her there is a game you want to teach her that can only be played somewhere else. And Because Tiexingege admires you for your strength and the battles you have won, she will jump at the opportunity to be your sparring partner and will leave her protective daughters to follow you wherever you lead her!

Thus the two rivals will meet without their armies and away from their homes, doubtlessly with swords drawn and bows bent. And they will not suspect you of any manipulation and may even believe the other to be intending to harm you, their new friend, Which will certainly add oil to the fire. So they'll fight ferociously, exchanging insults more passionately than ever before. But, unlike their prior bouts, you will be there, parrying and redirecting their every blow with your gentle style of feline martial arts, moving like a ghost between them as they expend all of their usual abuse and retorts as they grow more and more enraged. Until their words reveal their perspective of the events that lead to their deadly feud to the other and make them both realize their mistakes. It may take sometime for them to vent all of their contempt and fury towards one another for them to reach the point of emotional exhaustion required for them to do such a thing all the while trying to murder the other, but you'd stake it all on one throw. After all, you're their elder and superior in both cultivation, wits, and martial and magical prowess!

Keeping these two brats from tearing each other apart will be as easy for you as crushing dry weeds and smashing rotten wood.

"Jionghuagege! Your sadness pierces my heart like a hunter's arrow! As your friend, allow me, the humble Huanliuxue to return you to good cheer and bring joy back to your life" You purr, standing as the bee stops sniffling and looks to you excitedly "I know a great place for us to play"

"Oh you do? You do? Where is it? Where is it?" She says happily, buzzing around you as you turn to Lei and narrow your eyes, trying to communicate to him your plan without speaking a word

"Oh its not far from here! Where the jade colored streams meet" You say "My servants can lead you there. I'm feeling tired so I'll take a nap first before I join you there. Wait for me, will you"

"That sounds fun, thank you for offering to take my mind off the past. Just don't take too long, Huanliuxue or we may have all the fun without you!" She says, almost cheering she's so excited.
Cont
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>>5135077

Of course you're not tired at all, and instead of sleeping for a few hours, you instead return to Tiexingege's half of the forest of flowers.

As expected, she is still drilling and trying to train her witless daughters, switching from being frustrated with their lack of intelligence and progress to coddling them and fretting that she has hurt feelings they do not have.

"Black Iron, my blood has started boiling we shared our pasts. How about we spar for awhile? So we can both test our mettle" You call out, challenging the princess of ants. Her antenna stand up, straight as shoots of bamboo

"Red Fur! I wasn't expecting you to return so soon! But I was hoping you'd challenge me! Ever since I felt your aura I've been aching for a bout with you!" Tiexingege shouts back, leaving her children without even asking where you intend to hold your friendly duel.

As you expected, setting the board was all too easy. All that remained to do, was to wait for The two rivals to meet and intervene when they inevitably come to blows.

Telling Tiexingege the false location of your spar, you use your specter lightness skill to float through the air like a drifting leaf, surveying the homes of both of the young queens to make certain none of their guards are following after them before heading for the place were you've arranged for both of them to meet. To get their fast, you simply lay atop your Enchanted Guqin as if it were a flying sword, and use both your spiritual sense and Yōulíng-Qīnggōng to control it.

"TIEXINGEGE!" You hear Jionghuagege yell as you approach the site of their fateful second meeting "HOW DARE YOU SHOW YOUR FACE HERE!"

"JIONGHUAGEGE! I SHOULD BE SAYING THE SAME TO YOU!" Tiexingege snarls as you leap from your magic instrument and float on the air, watching the two youngster square off, as Lei holds Feiqing and Ping back from standing beside Jionghuagege "WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE! HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING ME OR SOMETHING! Or did you..."

"HOW DID YOU LEARN I'D BE HERE...did you dare!" Jionghuagege spits back as both her and her rival come to the same conclusion, that the other has attacked you. Tilting your head, you can't help but to snicker as they shout in unison "DID YOU HURT HER"

Feiqing's eyes widen as he realizes your gambit. Ping how, enraged by the sight of the bully of the one magical beast he deems to be pure of heart, steps to join the battle that is about to commence as Jionghuagege and Tiexingege square off against one another, clacking their mandibles and making threatening gestures towards one another. Then he spots you, and almost shouts your name in confusion

BUT LEI! The loyal student that he is, tackles him and muffles his mouth as you decended to the earth just as the two princess charge one another, shouting the same phrase as the clouds of the grudge they hold for one another

"How dare you! I'll never forgive you! She had nothing to do with this!"

Roll 1d100. DC 45. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 80 (1d100)

>>5135082
>>
Rolled 5 (1d100)

>>5135082
>>
Rolled 17 (1d100)

>>5135082
>>
>>5135082
How cute.

But Damn Lei, mah boi, he be doing the work
>>
>>5135100
35 over the dc! Nice! Update will arrive shortly
>>
You land between them as they come within a mere tail's length apart from clashing together. A cloud of dust is thrown up from the force of your impact, a small crater forming where you stand as a shockwave ripples out through the air. Feiqing is knocked from his feet, Lei holds Ping down to keep both of them from being bowelled over by the wave of air created from your arrival. Rearing up to stand on your hind legs, you find a certain inner peace as you breath out and empty your mind of all earthly concerns and fears. Becoming like a ghost in thought, you mimic their ethereal movements as you twist your body so one of your forepaws are facing both of the rivals as they rush to avenge she who stands between them, believing wholeheartedly the other has wounded and humiliated you for only being their friend.

With one paw pressing down on Tiexingege's bladed leg and the other pushing against Jionghuagege's stinger, you twist your self completely around, rotating in place as you begin to fall back to the ground to stand on all four of your feet. Gathering all of the momentum and power the two girls put into their strikes, you transfer the energy through your limbs and back into them, making them throw themselves away from the other as you elegantly return to your natural, quadrupedal stance. The dust filling the air falls, as you bow your head and close your eyes. Tiexingege's iron blade splits a nearby bolder, while Jionghuagege becomes stuck by her stinger in the stalk of a nearby heavens reaching flower. Breathing out, you open your eyes again.

"Huanliuxue?!" Both of them shout, the moment they recover from being thrown threw the air

"What are you doing here, get out of here! This is dangerous! The one I've warned you about has ambushed us!" Jionghuagege cries

"Eh! Why did you throw me as well! has she put a spell on your mind or something!" Tiexingege drawls as the two circle you, clearly trying to get the other to back away from you as you calmly sit between them and clean the dust out of your beautiful fur. It clings to your tongue and makes it feel unpleasantly dry

"Don't talk to her like you know her! Huanliuxue is too refined a lady to ever speak with a brutish thing like you!" Jionghuagege buzzes furiously

"What are you talking about! Has your ego finally burned out what little brains you had! She isn't a fragile flower like you are!" Tiexingege yells back

You glance between them, wondering if either of them will realize your trick. Tension fills the air, the dark clouds of their shared resentment shrouds the valley like morning fog. Lei struggles with Ping, whose still trying to join the fight, fully believing Tiexingege to be a malicious demon. And you remain sitting serenely between the two fighters, waiting to see if one of them will catch onto your deception and ruin your ploy to renew their bond.

"You're trying to trick her!" Both of them shout at eachother "Like you did with me!"
Cont
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>>5135370

Its incredible how closely synced their thoughts and feelings remain, despite their falling out. A sign of how strong their friendship was, you suppose. Also a sign of their youthful naivety that they still cannot figure out you've set both of them despite falling from the heavens to block both of their strikes. Its almost amusing how innocent both of them are, but it is certainly impressive that despite all of the darkness they harbor in their hearts, all of that hatred, they still remain pure and trusting of those they consider their allies. Its endearing.

"Filling her head with lies, telling her I'm a mindless brute who delights in bloodshed no doubt!" Tiexinggege hisses angrily, clacking her mandibles "if you didn't just resort to witchcraft!"

"You must've acted like you were the victim, or hit her over the head so she can't think clearly!" Jionghuagege wails sorrowfully as you watch both of them closely as they circle eachother and you, waiting for the first sign of them renewing their attack "Get away from her!"

"I'll free her from your enchantment!" Tiexingege proclaims wrathfully

"You aren't fooling anyone, so stop trying to paint me as the villain" Jionghuagege "When you were the one at fault"

A twitch of the thorax. A flexing over the legs. The battle truly begins. However, you retain the calm of the grave and do not lose your composure. Serenely, you turn your paws, and get ready to deflect the two princess' next exchange of blows.

Pressing your paw against Jionghuagege's brow, you send her flipping through the hair as you stop her diving charge with a gentle push. Catching Tiexingege's slashing blades with your claws you throw her to the ground and send her rolling down the hill. Sitting back down, you place yourself between the two of them and wait for them to come back.

"You scheming bitch!" Tiexingege bellows "You crossed a line"
"You lying brute!" Jionghuagege seethes "Isn't tormenting me alone enough for you!"
"I'll TEAR YOU APART!" The two of them shout as they clash, this time with Qi.

Tiexingege's leg blades grow and crackle with white lightning, as Jionghuagege's antenna brighten as the dust on her fur glows green and falls to the ground, where vines soon erupt out and shoot towards Tiexingege. The ant scythes through the wave of choking roots and thorned veins, helped by the fact you scythe several down, coating your claws in Destructive Yin Qi. Jionghuagege dives with her stinger aimed for Tiexingege's throat.

You catch both of their blows with your Dying Grudge shield, creating two on either side of you. And then before they can reflect their blows you turn them towards eachother. The energy produced by two barriers unleashing the force of the attacks they caught into eachother is stronger than any you have yet encountered, as a single cycle of each collecting, storing and strengthing the "attack" is enough to complete shatter the barrier spells and create a small explosion of Raw Yin Energy.
cont
>>
>>5135372

The crater you sat within has deepened into a pit, that is rapidly filling with the jade waters of the valley's streams. A titanic flower collapses and falls into the large crater You accidentally created.

Tiexingege stands first, emerging from the loamy earth that buried her, still more than willing to fight. Jionghuagege comes to her senses a moment later, having been thrown back through the air from the devastating burst of Qi created through their clash being caught between two dying grudge shields. You can see Ping floating on the waters, knocked unconscious from just being caught by its shock wave. Lei sits upon the head of the broken flower, spear in hand and you can't tell if he's awake or not. Feiqing clings to the edge of the crater, grinding his teeth in fretful anticipation.

You remain where you sit, and continue to parry and redirect their strikes as they shout increasingly colorful insults at eachother as the waters rise around you.

"Arrogant bitch!"
"Mindless animal"
"Pampered idiot!"
"Greedy thug!"
"When was I ever greedy!"
"The nerve! This all began because you stole honey from my children"
"I couldn't care less about your putrid honey! And my daughters were attacked"
"Do you have no shame! Your children invaded my territory first, and hurt my babies, following your orders "
"Hah!? Have you gotten so prideful that its made you blind and dumber than you already were? I never told them to do anything"
"Prideful! You were the one who tried to take all of the glory of defeating the tyrant hare for herself! And you must've why else would they do it!?"
"Hah! You're bringing that up, when you boasted how you saved my life when it was the other way around, trying to humiliate me and make me small! And If I wanted your stupid Honey I'd have taken it myself!"
"But I did save your life! It was my poison that ended that ogre's life before he could step on you! And if that's true then why didn't you? Why did you send your daughters in your place"
"Horseshit! My sting was what killed him! He would've squashed you otherwise! And I didn't, don't claim I'd do something so cowardly! My daughters can back to me battered and bruised!"

You resist the urge to slam both of them in the ground as you redirect their latest charge. Was all of this started because they couldn't figure out that their poisons combined to kill the enemy they both claimed to have slain!? How enraging! But you resist the temptation and instead toss them over your back and under your legs as you jump between the two of them.

"So you'd claim my daughters would attack them for no reason? Yours are violent brutes like your mother!"
"Tch then yours must have inherited your ego, if they claimed they were attacked first! Crying after they threw the first punch!"
"You don't understand anything besides violence! Your head is empty! Your children took my honey!"
Cont
>>
>>5135376

"My head is empty!? Your head is empty! Why would I want Honey when I can have meat! I never told them to take it. Get that through your thick head!"
"That may be true, but they're bullies like they're mother. Ruffians! Like you?"
"Eh? Ruffian? Bully? When have I ever been one! Maybe they just got tired of being looked down upon by smug bees!"
"Oh don't act ignorant! I know you're smarter than that. All you've done is push me around! Like your daughters do to mine!"
"Tch! Trying to play the victim I see! Are you truly so conceited. You've never thanked me for all I've done for you! All of the tears and blood I've shed!"
"What have you ever done for me? Besides saving me from the toad to take his place! You always treated me harshly and tormented me, took advantage of me!"
"Huh?! I was just trying to train you! Toughen you up! You couldn't survive on your own! You were being kicked around by everything and everyone before you met me! I was trying to make you stronger you idiot! You took advantage of me!"
"I never asked to be strong! I just wanted to be your friend and spend my carefree days with you! But you only thought about fighting! Never anything else! You never though about me"
"I just wanted to protect you! Seeing you get pushed around pissed me off! You didn't realize how dangerous the world was! I didn't want to lose you! You only ever cared about having fun and indulging in your carefree life! You never thought about my feelings!"

You hold them both in place, to let their words sink in. They struggle for a bit, fighting against your might as they squirm and try to hit the other. But slowly, they realize what the other said and calm down and slump to the ground.

"You were trying to train me?" Jionghuagege asks quietly "Why didn't you say so? I thought you were just roughhousing and hitting too hard"

"You didn't know?" Tiexingege asks after sucking in a breath of cold air "I thought it was obvious! You thought I was bullying you all this time?"

"What else would I think! You never did anything else and would yell at me for having fun without you!" Jionghuagege says lifting her head beneath your paw, as you were holding both of them down by their heads

"I yelled at you for slacking! You'd wander off all the time and interrupted my training for trivial reasons!" Tiexingege shouts

"I just wanted to play another game!" Jionghuagege yells back. Both of them stare at eachother as they connect the dots and realize all of their reasons for fighting were the results of one, extended misunderstanding

"Oh" They both chirp, sounding both ashamed and humilated

"If you wanted to play you should've just asked" Tiexingege mutters looking away

"You should've told me you wanted to make me stronger" Jionghuagege mutters as she looks in the other direction.

Glancing back into the other's eyes, and then locking gazes they bow their heads and accept they were both in the wrong
Cont
>>
>>5135380

"Sorry for being too harsh with you" Tiexingege pouts "and not explaining myself

"I'm sorry for not understanding your intentions" Jionghuagege "And for trying to force you to be like myself"

You smile proudly, and move your paws from their heads.

Double Vote

What do you say to the two princesses

>"The world is more than just black and white, it is painted in a thousand colors. Remember this lesson, that everyone sees the world and all within it in a different light, or else I'm going to have to scold both of you seriously"

>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."

>"Now thank me for helping you two idiots see the truth! Praise me! Prostrate yourselves and shower me in gratitude! Heh-Heh-Heh"

>"I knew the grudge between you was a weak one. You two princesses are more adjusted to living a carefree life than you are stewing in hatred. Even though you said you wanted to kill eachother, I could tell you still held affection by the taste of your resentment"

>write in

And then what will you do, now that they are friends once more, Huanliuxue

>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them

>Offer to take both of them as your pupils, explaining to them your ambitions and dreams and the world outside of their valley

>Leave to the two to reconcile alone, and continue on your quest to find the power the unborn dragon promised you

>Wake up Ping and rub your good deed in his face, mockingly asking him if it was in someway the action of a demon

>Write in

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-ue6D4LJFM
Some music to accompany the update
>>
>>5135382
>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."
>Offer to take both of them as your pupils, explaining to them your ambitions and dreams and the world outside of their valley
The valley is a place cultivators come to hunt, and Ping is hoing to tatle about the adventure. They and theri children will be safer with us.
Also it's a start of our court and sect.
>>
>>5135382
>"The world is more than just black and white, it is painted in a thousand colors. Remember this lesson, that everyone sees the world and all within it in a different light, or else I'm going to have to scold both of you seriously"
>Offer to take both of them as your pupils, explaining to them your ambitions and dreams and the world outside of their valley
They sound like good vassals.
>>
>>5135382
>Your resentments were faint and dripping in the pain of a lost friend. You two couldnt kill one another save by accident, and the act would have haunted you as my subjects would. I could not permit this tragedy to pass between you and not act, for there are so few of us left that we cannot lose noble beasts over misunderstandings and foolishness. Do you understand my, peers of this woodland realm?

>Delay time to play with them and truly call them friends. And explain our scheme.
>Explain our ambitions and the world outside

I don't want to take them as pupils. Not yet, but I feel it immensely prudent to explain that the world outside is dangerious and the attitude to beasts, as well as our intention to become empress of the magical beasts.

With this understanding, we can extend the paw to them as a leader, mediator and peer.
Ping can be tormented later.
>>
>>5135398
There is not many good places in the human world for pur court to appear unnoticed.
Much better for them to hide here until we are strong enoguh to deter others.
>>
>>5135412
We have an entire mountain to hide in.
>>
>>5135414
For a cat, yeah.

For a swarm of super bees and mega ants, which need to forage and prowl the mega fauna no. They are adapted for this place, not a cold and dank tomb.
Especially not if it involves taking their kids with them.
>>
>>5135382
>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."

>Delay time to play with them and truly call them friends. And explain our scheme.
>Explain our ambitions and the world outside
>>
>>5135382

>"I knew the grudge between you was a weak one. You two princesses are more adjusted to living a carefree life than you are stewing in hatred. Even though you said you wanted to kill eachother, I could tell you still held affection by the taste of your resentment"
>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them
>>
>>5135382
>>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."
>>"Now thank me for helping you two idiots see the truth! Praise me! Prostrate yourselves and shower me in gratitude! Heh-Heh-Heh"

>Wake up Ping and rub your good deed in his face, mockingly asking him if it was in someway the action of a demon
>>
>>5135408
Supporting.

Besides as long as they're here they're less likely to be attacked by any cultivators. Provided of course we make sure Ping can open his stupid mouth like a fucking idiot.
>>
>>5135382
>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."
>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them

I would love to take them as apprentices, but I feel its a little early.
Biggest problem being that we have nowhere to hide them. Both the princesses come with colonies attached, and while the ants could maybe hide underground, I don't trust the giant fuck off bees to be discreet. Or to find enough food outside this strange place for that matter.

I'm sure that some time to figure it out on their own will be good for them, and we can always come back for them later. maybe they will figure out how to make their children intelligent enough to hide, after which we could take them with us if they wanted to.
Or we get strong/respected enough that we won't need to hide anymore.
>>
>>5135472
The main issue is the food, in my head.

Strength to deter others can be gained. Issues of training can be taught, issues of Qi can be circumvented but you cannot grow a pine tree in the middle of Antarctica.

So to bring them out of the area, we would need either tools or lots of levanstrum.
>>
>>5135382
>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."
>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them
>>
>>5135408
+1
>>
>>5135382
>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."

>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them
>>
>>5135382
>You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."
>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them
>>
>>5135382
>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."

>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them
>>
>>5135382
>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."
>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them
>>
>>5135382
>"You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."
>"Now thank me for helping you two idiots see the truth! Praise me! Prostrate yourselves and shower me in gratitude! Heh-Heh-Heh"

>Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result.

You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life...:10

The world is more than just black and white, it is painted in a thousand colors...:1

Your resentments were faint and dripping in the pain of a lost friend...:3

I knew the grudge between you was a weak one...:1

Now thank me for helping you two idiots see the truth...:1

_

Explain our ambitions and the world outside:6
-Offer to take both as your pupils:2

Delay your journey, to spend some time playing and bonding with them, so you may truly call them your friends. And explain your scheme to them:12

Wake up Ping and rub your good deed in his face, mockingly asking him if it was in someway the action of a demon:1


So you'll tell the two princesses "You're both young. Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart. But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend. We magical beasts...kill one another too often."

And delay your journey to spend time bonding and playing with them, and to reveal your manipulation to them

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Kneeling down to eye level, you set yourself between the two exhausted young queens and smile, tail curled around your side.

"You're both young" You state sternly yet with a gentle and kind tone, your notched ear twitches in the wind as you turn to Jionghuagege and then to Tiexingege, as you gift them with your sagely wisdom and advise them as a elder sister would, rather than a distant teacher "Mistakes like this are a natural part of life, even the closest of friends may drift apart"

Lifting yourself from the ground, you sit on your haunches and bow your head, smiling sadly at the two girls who are still too tired from their ferocious battle where not even a single drop of blood was shed. You close your eyes as you feel them start to fill with tears, not wanting to lose the image of cool and serene beauty your juniors must hold for you as you reflect upon the tragedy that almost transpired between the two of them. And the era of solitude and murderous rivalries that has consumed your people for ten generations. How often creatures who could have, in another life been friends or comrades, slaughtered each other in pursuit of basic, animal necessities such as food or territory. How many hidden prodigies, geniuses and innovators have been lost or wasted their lives living meager, bestial existences. How all of your people have been forced to die like dogs, ignorant of the eminence of their ancestors. Sighing, you release the anger building within you upon your cold breath and smile.

You will end this era of pointless bloodshed and devouring and usher in a new era of prosperity and unity, even if you must war against the heavens to do so you will lead your people back to their rightful stations in the world. Even if you must kill gods to achieve your dream and begin your benevolent reign. You will fulfill your grand destiny. Opening your eyes, you glare towards the sky defiantly.

"But I couldn't stand by and allow two of my juniors to experience a tragedy as painful as killing a friend" Your voice rumbles with the power of your conviction, like a storm rolling in over the valley as you speak "We magical beasts..."

You pause, seeing the innocent sorrow in the eyes of the two youngsters resting before you, they do not fully grasp the severity of your lesson but they understand at least that they were prevented from committing a grave folly and sin. Immediately, you know the words that will allow them to truly comprehend the weight of their actions and the pitiful truth of your degenerated and forlorn people.

Mist rolls over your fangs and past your lips, partly made of the grudges you store within yourself and the Ghostly Qi you cultivate. Shuddering with restrained fury and outrage, you condense all of the hatred, sorrow, pity and humiliation you have felt since you had learned what had been stolen from you before your birth and what has still been denied to not only you, but all heirs of the primordial legacy of beasts living or dead
>>
>>5137187

The emotions you have harbored since you learned of the glorious history and noble legacy of Beasts that was sealed and hidden by the same heavens who commanded the wholesale slaughter of its inheritors rages within you like a thousand hungry ghosts clawing from their graves. And this maelstrom of emotion is refined, boiled away and poured over your tongue where it fills your words with its raw power.

"Kill one another to often" You speak sharply, a strange clarity spreading through the crater as if following the trail of the truth you had spoken, resounding across the valleys and to the skies to burn the ears of the heavens who scorn you with the biting chill of the grave itself. The silence of a tomb settles between you and the two younger princesses laid out beneath you, only broken by the splashing of the jade waters falling to fill the crater you sit within.

"Do you understand?" You ask, dulling your vicious snarl to a gentle whisper as you cast aside the pure and negative emotions that burst forth from your heart

"I do, Lady Huanliuxue" Tiexingege squeaks, intimidated by a mere glimpse of the resentment you hold towards the world that abhors you and denies your rightful place within it "I, realize now just how much of an idiot I was. I was too busy Gnashing my teeth to stop and think about what I was intending to do to my friend"

"Yes. I acted like a brute and never considered the value of my life or hers. I am ashamed of how willing I was to throw either away over such a vain and petty disagreement" Jionghuagege sniffles "I'm...I'm glad we were able to reconcile!"

Tiexingege looks at you, the dimness of her eyes fading away as a spark of realization lights within them. Smiling smugly, you look down at her

"You planned this didn't you? That's why we met here, because you arranged for it" She gasps

"She did?" Jionghuagege asks, completely lost and not seeing the same evidence as her friend turned rival turned friend has

"Of course, I knew you two were both too prideful to listen to me if I told you were fighting for childish reasons, that the other was not at fault and all of it was just a misunderstanding born of youthful miscommunication, Heh-Heh-Heh" You sneer and cackle "The only way either of you would learn to see through the other's eyes was to tell her yourself how you truly felt, which would never happen naturally, considering how evenly matched both of you were and the loyalty of your soldiers. However"

You grin and laugh joyously as you revel in your own cunning.

"I realized that if you could be kept fighting long enough, expend all of that rage and energy that drove you to fight to begin with, that eventually you would realize your mistake and return to being friends" You explain happily as Jionghuagege and Tiexingege listen in terrified awe.
cont
>>
>>5137188

"You're a trickster!" Tiexingege shouts "An incredible, brilliant and selfless trickster! You endangered yourself for our benefit. Just so we would be friends again! You're amazing! Incredible! Cool!"

"You're kind of scary, Huanliuxue, to be able to lie so easily" Jionghuagege says, clearly shaken by your supreme brilliance and the stylishness of your scheme "And to so elegantly defend both of us from our own blind, childish rage! I cannot help but to idolize you! To act and hold yourself so serenely not only in the midst of our battle, but while carrying out your benevolent suggestion is just so"

"JUST SO COOL!" Jionghuagege shouts as she flaps her wings and buzzes around you

Grinning ear to notched ear you laugh

"See? Isn't it better to be friends rather than enemies!" You purr "and there's no need to praise me, but I wouldn't reject such glowing compliments from my adorable juniors!"

"I'll be forever in your debt, Elder sister! could you teach me some of those moves you used during the fight! They seemed strong! Take me on as your pupil!" Tiexingege shouts, sounding much more relaxed and happier than she did before

"Your kindness can never be repayed, I only wish you could stay with us longer" Jionghuagege shouts "And I don't think her way of fighting you would fit, it is too graceful and soft and subtle! You need a hard, aggressive style I think Tie-Tie"

"But she looked so cool Jiong-jiong!" Tiexingege whined "And you're not leaving so soon, are you, big sis?"

"Heh-Heh-Heh, I might be convinced to stay awhile longer if you can catch me!" You shout, sprinting away from the two young princesses, clambering up the wall of the crater with your specter lightness style

"Don't think you can beat me so easily!" Tiexingege roars, before laughing merrily as she gave chase after your

"Wait up! Don't leave me behind!" Jionghuagege wailed

"Mrrrn HRRRN!" Lie groaned as he too joined the chase

"I hope Ping wakes up soon" Feiqing muttered nervously to himself "The water is getting rather high and I was never taught how to swim, oh I hope he wakes up soon, I'd rather not be forced to learn how to swim to save a friend"

Laughing, you enjoy the bliss of playing, forgetting for a time about all of your earthly worries and troubles. The simple joy of carefreely playing heals your soul and heart.
_
<Meanwhile elsewhere>

"We are humbled that our friends from the austere, peerless and ever ascendant sect of the Guardians of the celestial sunlight would honor us by sending the five victors of the Five elements tournament to our humble retreat, Elder Xie Xiu spoke highly of your generosity and entertained us all with tales of your sects matchless hospitality and the grandeur of your temple" A bald, mustached man wearing snow white and pale blue robes, exclaimed as he wrung his hands together as he lead his five guests towards the sole temple of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect
Cont
>>
>>5137191

"Hearing that such a high ranked sect would reach out and offer friendship to a low ranking Sect as humble and destitute as ourselves, that they would greet us as fellow daoists brought great pride to even the most junior of our members"

The five young masters that the brown nosing cultivator lead along the mountain path remained silent, their faces hidden by the hoods they wore as they walked beneath the blue light cast by the magic, lotus shaped lanterns that surrounded the temple and its surrounding gardens.

"Why were we not met by the sect master himself?" the leader of the five asked, lifting his head to reveal to his guide a glimpse of his handsome, almost dragon like features, his eyes smoldering with his inner fire "If we are so respected and beloved by your sect, surely he should have honored us by personally leading us to the retreat"

The guide tugged on the ends of his long mustache, acting as if he were grooming a few stray hairs into place with his ringer covered fingers while he was obviously trying to calm himself after being so sternly reprimanded by his honored guest

"Ah...ah Young master, I did not wish to bore you with our internal politics and troubles, but the grandmaster...he is gravely ill and hovering between death and life. Trust me when I tell you he was overjoyed to hear of your visit and as you know signed the edict allowing you to harvest from our orchards pf spirit fruit as if they were your own but...he cannot leave his meditation chambers!" The man said, wringing his hands harder as he spoke fretfully, exposing the weakness of his sect to try and keep from offending his guests and thus cost himself and the temple a greater loss of face "If he ceases his internal reformation for even the span of a breath his remaining life span will be cut in half! He must tirelessly meditate and heal himself or he will be lost to us sooner"

"I was unaware that you, our juniors, were suffering such hardship. If you had asked I am certain our elders would have permitted to lend you our most refined and high quality medicines to heal the grandmaster" One of the five, following behind the other four spoke, revealing herself to be a young woman and from the glimpses of her face the guide could catch, a jade like beauty who could tempt even the most chaste of men to court her in pursuit of her affection

"Oooh ours is a winter without end! The sect master was poisoned by a traitor within our own ranks, who was beguiled and seduced by a fox demon to abandon the dao and live as her thrall forevermore!" The guide wailed mournfully, spitting and cursing as he walked higher along the path, as the five young masters stopped and listened closely "And one of our inner disciples vanished, just before an unnatural blizzard struck our northern most holdings! Several of our disciples have gone missing in search of her, our beloved and most prized student. I fear they may be lost to us"
cont
>>
>>5137193

"Such tragedy" The largest of the five spoke in a deep, growling bear like voice "To think our fellow daoists have suffered so greatly beneath our notice, How have you endured such sorrows"

"Do you believe the cold to have taken them?" The fiery eyed leader asked

"I..do not tell our junior members, but I fear they may have been devoured by a demonic beast" The man, now pale faced as a corpse hissed under his breath "We have heard rumors of a great beast emerging to devour men at night, and some of our students have even reported encountering the terrifying beast, wailing murderously at night"

"Do you know what this beast looks like?" the young master asked sharply

"I have not seen it myself, thank the gods for that small mercy, but all report it appears to be a monsterous, hideous ape thing!" The man spoke hurriedly "Do not tell me you intend to brave the storm in search of it"

The five huddled together, hoods hiding the movements of their lips before their leader broke away and flicked his wrist.

"We may. If you would be so generous as to tell us everything you know of the Demon Huanliuxue!" He roared, casting off his hood to reveal his chestnut colored hair tied into a high bun, sharp and imperial features "Me and my fellows may choose to help lead your sect through the wind and rain that batters it"

The burly man and Jade Beauty also threw back their hoods, revealing a face framed by a wild beard, as thick as a bear's fur and marred by a fresh scar running from his chin to his brow and a soft and unblemished face upon which two blue eyes as clear and pure as Limpid Autumn Water sat like gems. Though it was not obvious, the rugged man and the beauttiful girl were brother and sister, though only the color of their black hair and eyes could reveal their relation. The two other disciples of the Guardians of the celestial sunlight sect, kept their faces hidden behind the shadows cast by their hoods.
_

"Oh what fun! Oh what fun!" You laugh and cheer, as you continue your game of tag with Jionghuagege and Tiexingege, even though the sun has long since set and Lei has collasped...somewhere in the valley, unable to keep up with the stamina and haste of three magical beasts "I've forgotten how fun it was to run, chase and pounce! I'd thought such joys were lost to me, when my playmates were taken from me!"

You try and tackle Jionghuagege to the ground, but get barreled over by a headbutt from Tiexingege

"Run princess! I'll hold the rampaging beast off! Flee and do not look back!" She says, acting like she's sacrificing her own life for her friends, You cackle

"NO! if we must die let us die together!" Jionghuagege says dramatically, getting in on the act with her friend, as they decided to turn the game of tag into a unexpected theatric performance "The red string of fate tied us together from birth, let it bind us in death"
Cont
>>
>>5137194

Sneering, you reveal you fangs and adopt a menacing, villainous posture as you laugh an exaggeratedly threatening and villainous laugh

"WAHHAHAHA! Young heroes! I shall bury you upon this hill and doom the world to eternal night! Your court death, facing me your better! You're a hundred years to early to threaten my evil ambitions! But I, the great demon empress, shall respect your courage and loyalty and grant your wish of a shared death!" You bellow in the same tone "You court death, standing against me! So allow me to deliver it to you!"

"I'll kick your ass and knock you off your throne, empress of darkness! You underestimate the strength of our friendship, motherless cur!" Tiexingege snorts, clacking her mandibles

"Evil can not triumph over the virtuous, the heavens are on our side! We will subjugate you and purify your corrupted soul, so you may be raised better on your next life!" Jionghuagege proclaims. And for mentioning the heavens you do not pull you first punch as much as you would have as you begin play fighting.

You pause when you hear Feiqing smugly chuckle, having pinned Tiexingege with a single paw. You turn and see the ape like man standing upon a hill with Lei and Ping, his arms crossed and an incredibly smug expression on his face. Ping glowers and storms away, and though you can't hear what he's saying, you cannot hear his usual conviction and confidence in his voice.

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Finish playing with your younger friends, and continue on your Journey in search of Blood Qi and the power you were promised. The dragon said it lies in the heart of the mountain range in the center of the Primordial Wilderness. Your prize is within your reach!

>Confront Ping and test the strength of his belief in the innate evil nature of magical beasts

>Ask Tiexingege and Jiongege if they would like to join you on the last leg of your adventure and see you complete your quest.

>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)

>Write in
>>
>>5137195
>>Finish playing with your younger friends, and continue on your Journey in search of Blood Qi and the power you were promised. The dragon said it lies in the heart of the mountain range in the center of the Primordial Wilderness. Your prize is within your reach!
>>
>>5137195
>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
We may as well do that.
>>
>>5137195
>>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
Charge them to act as Huanliuxue their martial teacher did, gathering beasts together under common cause and friendship! And give them the tools to survive in the Wilds, no matter what obstacles they encounter. Who knows what terror would subjugate them otherwise...
>>
>>5137195
>>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)

Can't leave the poor dears undefended in case Ping opens his snitch hole.
>>
>>5137195
>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
>>
>>5137195
>Set them down the path of cultivation
>>
>>5137195
>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
Next time we come through these woods there better be a proper insect kingdom going on here!
>>
>>5137195
>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
>>
>>5137195
This update was extremely adorable.
>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
>>
>>5137195
>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
Gotta give the younglings something to pass the time with.
>>
>>5137195
>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
They will need it, cultivators are foing to come for them.
>>
>>5137195
>Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you (Teaching trial. DC 65)
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results.

Finish playing with your younger friends, and continue on your Journey in search of Blood Qi and the power you were promised. The dragon said it lies in the heart of the mountain range in the center of the Primordial Wilderness. Your prize is within your reach!: 1

Give the two young Princess a parting gift in the form of proper training and tutoring and set them down on the path of their own cultivation, as Monu did for you:11


A near landslide victory for Training Jionghuagege and Tiexingege as a parting gift before continuing on your quest

Update will arrive shortly
>>
But you decide to ignore Ping, as you usually do when he's grumbling to himself or accusing you of plotting the corruption of all that is good in the world. There's more far more important matters to concern yourself with than the paranoid ramblings of a man blinded by lies. Namely retrieving the power you have been promised by the unborn dragon, that will surely bring you one step closer to realizing your grand destiny and imperial ambitions. An empress to be shouldn't worry about the superstitious babbling of the peasantry when upon her back, the fate of her future kingdom and her people rests upon her back. And the embodiments of the future, the heralds of the era you wish to usher in against the edicts and will of the heavens stand before you know, carefree and unaware of the role they may one day play in returning Magical Beasts as a whole to their rightful and honored place in the world. The destiny that was stolen from you by fools in the clouds!

While experiencing their carefree way of life, if for only a day, was revitalizing and soothing beyond any description you can't stay by their side forever nor abandon your quest and cultivation to enjoy their company in the idyllic fields in which they scamper and play. You have an austere purpose to fulfill and your exalted fate to pursue, as a Cultivation prodigy and heir to the legacy of primordial beasts. And you cannot bring them back home with you, as much as you wish you could, as the logistics of moving their hives, feeding them and protecting them from those who surely must be after your head is too great and even your somewhat whimsical nature can't find an argument for risking these two lives so selfishly just to keep them close by your side. It'd be a tragic waste of potential if their blood soaked your fur as well.

You watch them rest by the new pond formed by their clash, staring at their reflections, blissfully unaware of the contempt the heavens and world of cultivation hold for them, and the terror they'd inspire in the mortal realm should they wonder into it.

'its not just that they need to be stronger to survive the cruel world' You reflect in your thoughts, silently watching Jionhuagege and Tiexingege as they marvel at their own reflections, perhaps never having a chance to see themselves before with such clarity. Their innocence is healing and seeing two of your kinsfolk be able to act their age without worrying of survival or their place in the world fills you with such an abundance of joy it makes you want to cry. And you nearly do as your thoughts turn bitter

'and how easily their peaceful life could be snatched away"

Glancing towards the stars in the sky, you imagine you can hear Granny Monu whispering your name on the wind. Idly, you pluck Ghost Empress Melody's strings, playing a song for your teacher as you promised even though you're separated by many leagues.
Cont
>>
>>5138500

In your music and the connection you feel it maintains between you and the toad witch, you find your resolve.

'But I must also become stronger as well, to protect these innocent souls and others who may one day join my court of ghosts and beasts' You think as you play a somber melody that may be played as a eulogy for the dead and lost 'A ruler must be strong, its the law of nature after all but their supporters must also be strong. A kingdom of weaklings will fall if it is only held up by its founder's might'

It is then you decide to leave the two young princesses with a parting gift, if they cannot yet safely accompany you into the wider world, than the least you can do is guide them to become proper daoists and cultivators. Give them an advantage over any beasts who may try to bully or browbeat them, and protect them against any fools who would dare to hunt your friends.

Stalking behind the two of them, you smirk, excited to once again play the role of a teacher. But unlike the indolent students you disciplined before, you'd be much more gentle handed with the two princesses of the flower fields.

"Tiexingege, Jionghuagege, your elder sister has a gift to give to you" You purr, tail flicking back and forth as you stood over the two girls watching the ripples in the water muddle their reflections

roll 1d100. DC 65. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 43 (1d100)

>>5138503
I wish to honour our teacher.
>>
Rolled 75 (1d100)

>>5138503
May the dice gods favor us.
>>
Rolled 17 (1d100)

>>5138503
>>
>>5138521
10 over the DC. Nice. Update will arrive shortly
>>
Though Tiexingege almost seemed to have been injected with chicken blood when she heard you speak the word "Training" to her and Jionghuagege, and was rather disappointed to learn that it would begin with meditation and a lesson of breathing exercises and the groundwork of the cultivation but she along with Jionghuagege listened closely and dutifully as you explained to them the concept of Qi, the spiritual energy of heaven and earth and how to cultivate, purify and refine it within their meridians. Lei had volunteered to keep Ping from suffering an aneurysm seeing you breaking laws you do not respect or believe in by teaching other magical beasts how to properly cultivate, and lead him away. Feiqing joined the lesson as well, as it'd be a waste of time and his potential to neglect his development as well.

Sitting upon the flat surface of a rock you split in two with the cutting wind of your enchanted Guqin, you lead your three students through the lesson joyfully

"Qi can be found within all things beneath the heavens, for it is the vital energy that exists in all things. It is within the grass, soil, water, stones and air around you. It is within your flesh and within your breath. It is all around us. Even in this lovely Guqin my own esteemed teacher made for me"

Your meeting with Monu flickers in your Mind's eye, a shadow theater of memories. When you were smaller and wholely ignorant of the Dao and Cultivation.

"Some poets have even gone so far as to name it the "Breath of the universe" You say, repeating Monu's own words to you "but for me, Qi is resplendent of a term for it. Qi is power. Qi is Life. Qi is all things. That was what was said to me when I became a daoist and began my cultivation under my adoptive mother's guidance"

You look over to Jionghuagege as she buzzes to draw your attention, but realizes that speaking and interrupting your lecture would be unforgivably rude. Tiexingege was wilting beside her, clearly struggling to remain patiently listening but not wanting to make a fool out of herself by complaining about her obvious boredom.

"And to answer the question I am certain you are dying to ask, it is called Cultivation because it is centered around the gathering, cultivation and refinement of your internal Qi" You explain with a smile "And through cultivation you refine your own existence, spiritually and physically, and come closer to the dao itself. It is a life long pursuit of power, longevity, and health. Few among men or beast possess the innate talent to cultivate, and all but a handful of cultivators posses the potential to one day achieve immortality or even divinity, if legends are to be believed"

"I myself am a prodigy! Blessed from birth with magnificent spiritual roots" You say, revealing your ghostly aura in demonstration and only because Ping isn't here to spy and learn the truth of your cultivation method
Cont
>>
>>5138963

"Spiritual roots, are the very foundation of one's body and soul. Unfortunately, unlike my respected teacher, I am not knowledgeable or trained in the reading of spiritual roots so I cannot tell the quality or nature of yours. However, I know enough to know that all three of you possess the potential to cultivate"

Feiqing Nods as Tiexingege sighs and Jionghuagege flutters her wings excitedly.

"As I have studied Feiqing veins before, and know that all Magical Beasts posses the inborn talent of cultivation Qi is one of the catalysts for our awakening and evolution from baser creatures" You explain with a nod of your head "So we don't need to perform a test of your worthiness, instead I shall instruct you of the same basic exercises and training techniques I followed to break through into first and least stage of cultivation, that of Qi Condensation"

You stand up and hold your head high and push your chest out proudly.

"And since I am a once in ten generations' genius, you should feel privilege to receive my instruction and follow in my footsteps...at least to begin with! While only true prodigies can pioneer and innovate their own unique Cultivation Law, my methods would most certainly not align with any of your natures, so I'll leave you to discover what elements, concepts and practices align best with you on your own. I will give you the tools to begin your cultivation, but I shall not decide what form it shall take"

After giving your speech explaining the basics of cultivation, you lead the three on the first, clumsy steps of cultivation. The very same steps you took yourself when you began cultivating. You teach them the location and purpose of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians, the Twelve Principles Meridians. You, like Monu before you, focus on the two most important of extraordinary meridians. The Governing and Conception vessels, and how they connect together to form a complete circuit that runs the length of their bodies.

It only takes them two days of tireless meditation and training to be able to perceive the flow of Qi through their key meridians, the first and pettiest bottleneck of cultivation. Your heart once again swells with pride witnessing the progress of your pupils and find yourself Wishing Young Fu could've been a part of this first class. You spend a week and a half methodically guiding the three into mapping out their meridians and opening their gates, which as expected requires more effort and time than you needed to fully awaken your meridians.

Nonetheless they can now perform Qi Circulation to strengthen and train their meridians, purify and refine Qi to add to their cultivation base and of course replenish their stamina. You give a few lessons of how to use Internal energy as well, to appease the increasingly restless Tiexingege, who'd rather be learning martial arts, so you allow her and Jionghuagege some leisure time.
Cont
>>
>>5138965

You excuse your delay and rest at the flower forest to Ping as a simple whimsical desire to laze around in relative comfort for awhile before once more venturing into the dangerous unknown. And all the while you act as though you're slacking, you do continue your own daily exercises and meditations and closely observe the two princesses

As closely bonded as they are, you aren't surprised that they awaken their spiritual sense simultaneously. And its amusing to watch others go through the same clearing, deepening and sharpening of their material senses and perceptions as you did, and only slightly embarrassing to remember that you acted with similar amazement when you found the colors of the world to become more vivid, the scents and tastes on the air more vibrant and discovered you could perceive new textures and sensations with your paws. If a chronicler every records your life, you'll make sure they leave that particular chapter out of it on threat of a grisly death.

You only realize Feiqing has obtained the Divine Sense when he helps Lei and Ping cook their nightly meal and spends a few lingering moments brushing his hand over the pan he was cooking with, feeling not only the iron within it, but beneath his feet.

And with that you take the three aside at the darkest hour of night and ask them what lessons they'd prefer to recieve as the last portion of their gift.

"Martial arts! Body strengthen techniques! I may be evolved but I want to become even stronger than before!" Tiexingege demands, so you help her begin developing her own ant style of martial arts and show her how to reinforce her muscles and exoskeleton with Qi

"Sorcery seems like it'd be fun! Its so much more stylish and refined than fighting" Jionghuagege cheerfully told you, so you show her how to perform simple spells, hexes and draw talismans, and teach her how to adjust them to her body's form and replace handsigns with movements of her wings and antenna and alter them with different types of Qi and adjustments to their diagrams as you learned how to

"Forgive me, Lady Huanliuxue, but I don't think you can teach what I desire to learn" Feiqing humbly explained "Perhaps your teacher could help me find the path I am looking for?"

Tiexingege has achieved Qi Condensation stage, Rank 1 (Focus Martial). Jionghuagege has achieved Qi Condensation stage, Rank 1 (Focus Spells), Feiqing has achieved Qi Condensation Stage, Rank 2 (Focus Crafting)

Teaching comes with its own insights. +10 to your next training or cultivation roll

And with that, you have set your adorable juniors and Feiqing on the path of cultivation and can now truly refer to them as such. Though you would never call Feiqing anything approaching Cute, considering his...unfortunate appearance

You leave Jionghuagege and Tiexingege's home, as they say their tearful goodbyes as you depart and gift you with a earthen jar of Divine blood Honey, and a few pieces of shed iron infused Chitin
>>
>>5138971

They watch you leave and as you look back over your shoulder, after hours of walking towards the towering mountains that cast a shadow even into the Mortal Realm, you can see the two of them watching you, shouting you well wishes and thanks.

A warm, fuzzy feeling settles in your heart and you make a promise to yourself to come back to visit the two insect princesses from time to time.

But as you near the mountains that pierce the heavens, your fortune turns and not for the better. A raging storm begins, and black clouds blot out the sun the moment you step beneath its shadow. Howling winds and sleets of rain impede your progres, and a few lightning strikes come uncomfortably close to hitting you as you scale up its side. On the fourth night of your journey through the storm wracked peaks, you find a cave to take shelter in.

And while Feiqing and Lei brave the storm in search of dry wood, Ping confronts you. With light only coming from the bolts of lighting striking outside of the cavern's mouth, he stands before you as you lay on the ground, soaked and miserable.

"Huanliuxue, I had my suspicions before, but now I am certain you have breached divine law and broken the edict of the heavens forbidding the ascension and cultivation of beasts" He says brazenly, a steeled conviction in his voice as he tightly grips his prayer beads and for once, looks almost like a proper cultivator or exorcist "You practice a true cultivation Law do you not? Rather than ambiently gathering power from the world or stealing the spiritual energy from the corpses of your victims, you have committed the most grave sin of all, and aspire to achieve immortality"

you narrow your eyes and glance towards him, not even bothering to lift your head as the now short haired monk looks down at you, legs quaking as he knows if he drew your ire you could end his life with a flick of your wrist. But, he remains firm and clenches his jaw instead of turning away and boldly chooses to continue his accusation

"I had grown suspicious when I had sensed a greater quantity of Qi within Brother Feiqing, but assumed at first it was because of the density of the spiritual energy here. But, after witnessing your interaction with the two Magical beasts, and reflecting upon your capabilities, I became certain that you have discovered an art of Demonic cultivation" He says, fearful tears streaming down his face "Did you believe me to be so blind that I would not have noticed the signs, Cat Devil"

You sigh. Your disdain for the man made you underestimate his wit. Standing, you look into his eyes, shadow falling upon him as the cavern was lit by two bolts of lightning striking the sand outside of the cavern. But you say nothing, and allow your silence to menace ping.

"I realized you are not without morals, by watching how you treated my brothers and the two younger beasts" He says, managing to look you dead in the eye
Cont
>>
>>5138977

"And the outrage you felt when faced by the toad demon, and the words of the Dragon spirit made me consider that, perhaps you were not a threat to humanity despite my conscience telling me otherwise. But, now I am certain, however you have lived, as a demon or saint, you have crossed a barrier that you can step back over."

"What are you getting at?" You ask angrily, flexing your claws

Ping turned away, sweating as he held his prayer beads so tightly it seemed he may tear them from their string.

"You must not return to the mortal realm. If you do, you will be hunted tirelessly by all. While I do not trust or believe you to be benevolent, you clearly are no heartless beast" Ping squeaked "Remain here, in the primordial wilderness, where no man or god wanders. I owe you my life, though admitting such shames me greatly, I was taught to repay kindness in kind. So even though we are, by nature and ideals, enemies, heed my warning and abandon the world of men. You will find hardship and death should you return, for you have committed a crime that cannot be ignored or forgiven. More terrible than even devouring men."

Lighting crashes, and darkness falls once more. A giggle escapes your lips, and it grows into a manic cackle before exploding into a raucous fit of laughter. Your body shakes as you howl and roar with laughter, tears filling your eyes as saliva spatters across Ping's face.

How do you reply, Huanliuxue?

>"Because I have gone against the "natural order of things?" Horseshit! I don't give a damn about the mandates made by foolish gods. Magical beasts naturally cultivate, Men must be taught how to. Tell me Ping, which species is going against the natural order to aspire for immortality?"

>"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore. If we had been born ten generations prior, you'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, rat"

>"Do you think I fear death? Do you think the stagnant world of cultivation could produce my equal? I did not DISCOVER a demonic art, I created my own law! While your KIND follows the teachings of dead men, I have found powers beyond your imagining in heresy"

>"Tch, quit farting at me, you fool. You're in the presence of royalty, so quit speaking nonsense. I have already resolved myself to challenge the heavens and all the gods in them if they get in the way of my ambitions. Trying to threaten me to back down is courting death, Worm"

>Slash his face open with your claws, blinding him

>Write in
>>
>>5138980
>"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore. If we had been born ten generations prior, you'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, rat"
He's annoying but he doesn't really deserve that.
>>
>>5138980
>>"Because I have gone against the "natural order of things?" Horseshit! I don't give a damn about the mandates made by foolish gods. Magical beasts naturally cultivate, Men must be taught how to. Tell me Ping, which species is going against the natural order to aspire for immortality?"
>>
>>5138980
>"Because I have gone against the "natural order of things?" Horseshit! I don't give a damn about the mandates made by foolish gods. Magical beasts naturally cultivate, Men must be taught how to. Tell me Ping, which species is going against the natural order to aspire for immortality?"
>>
>>5138980
>"Because I have gone against the "natural order of things?" Horseshit! I don't give a damn about the mandates made by foolish gods. Magical beasts naturally cultivate, Men must be taught how to. Tell me Ping, which species is going against the natural order to aspire for immortality?"
>>
>>5138980
>"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore. If we had been born ten generations prior, you'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, rat"
>>
>>5138980
>Because I have gone against the natural law of things?
>And if I told you why that is wrong, you would be struck blind.

These two options fit eachother well. We cannot afford to permit him to snitch, killing him really needs to be done before we return to the mortal world.
>>
>>5139110
What he deserves is a slit throat for planning to report us and our adventure to his teachers.
>>
>>5138980
>"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore. If we had been born ten generations prior, you'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, rat"
For what it's worth, Ping has shown to be an alright dude.

I mean, he wholeheartedly believes that we are a demonic beast that in intrinsically evil, knows that we eat people and have no regrets (we confirmed this ourselves) AND just figured out that we committed what he considered a grievous, unforgivable crime of reaching for immortality.
And despite all this, he advises us to hide away, which would effectively save us from getting hunted down like a common beast, which is probably what would be appropriate for a magical beast in his circles.
And he offers us this way out personally, face to face, despite knowing that we could rip him to shreds in a heartbeat if we wanted.
This is a heartfelt, if misguided, attempt at saving us from a fate he does not think we deserve.
He is irritating and not too bright, but he's got courage, and a strong moral compass.

What he needs is someone to open his eyes, not rip them out of his sockets. Preferably before we part ways, since we really don't need cultivators to be on our ass even more then they already are.
>>
>>5138980
>"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore. If we had been born ten generations prior, you'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, rat"
>>
>>5138980
>"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore. If we had been born ten generations prior, you'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, rat"
>>
>>5139462
This anon is right. How we deal with Ping is very much a test of character for how we deal with the world of cultuvation (and maybe humanity) as a whole: burn and kill or try to educate?
>>
>>5138980
>"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore. If we had been born ten generations prior, you'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, rat"
>>
>>5138980
>>"Because I have gone against the "natural order of things?" Horseshit! I don't give a damn about the mandates made by foolish gods. Magical beasts naturally cultivate, Men must be taught how to. Tell me Ping, which species is going against the natural order to aspire for immortality?"
>>
>>5138980
>"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore. If we had been born ten generations prior, you'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, rat"
>>
>>5139462
He is a horrifying threat, but his moral compass is barely worth our respect.

Cutting his throat is however the most prudent action if he cannot keep his gob shut.
>>
>>5138980
>Slash his face open with your claws, blinding him
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result

"And if I told you why that's wrong, you'd be be branded an apostate...":8

"Because I have gone against the "natural order of things?"...:5

Slash his face open with your claws, blinding him:1

So you'll reply by telling Ping if you told him why he's wrong he'd be harshly punished and that ten generations ago he would have revered you.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Thunder rumbled, Wind wailed as the storm grew in intensity and power, as if the heavens themselves were outraged by your nearness to them. Spears of lightning splintered through the sky, cracking it and filling it with an almost unbearable light as the already black and impenetrable storm clouds grew denser and larger yet. When darkness fell again, as you exhausted yourself with laughter and found yourself silently giggling as the winds whipped and lashed the storm wracked peak you and the fool before you stood alone upon. When darkness returned in the lull of the thunderstorm's fury, you stepped forward and began to circle Ping, as the shadows within the cave grew deeper and blacker than the depths of gods scorned catacombs. With eyes narrowed into slits, you prowled around Ping, as he blindly stared into the abyss that had swallowed the both of you. He could hear your breath, feel the cold radiating from you but remained standing were he had spoken his brazen ultimatum. With tremors in his hands and a quiver in his legs, he stood as as still as a corpse propped up with rods, eyes wide open and prayer beads held by his stark white hands. A drop of blood dripped to his wrist, as the tightness of his grip tore his flesh with his own nails.

When the light returned, heralded by a thunderclap so loud it it carried down to the earth and vibrated through the very stone beneath your feet, Ping found you sitting by his side, staring at the same cavern wall as he had been.

"And if I told you why that's wrong" You purred with admonishing cadence to your voice, eyes still narrowed with a venomous irritation as you flicked your tail and lifted your chin arrogantly "You'd be branded an apostate and have one of your eyes gouged out and have your dreams crushed by the same teachers you adore."

Ping turned towards you, eyes wide not with fright or mortal dread or even offence by surprise, confusion. A recognition of the warning you speak to him, a familiarity of the threat you revealed to him in return for the impulsive warning he spoke unto you. He shudders, coughing and hiding his mouth, looking at his palm and checking it for blood as you show him a relaxed smile and reveal your fangs as your lips part. In the grey light cast by the storms wrath, your resplendent, beautiful coat of fur dyed in blood almost seems to sheen as it had drank and absorbed a fresher coat of lifeblood. Ping struggled to find his breath, as panic took him and his composure crumbled like a tower of dry sand.

He knows the punishment of which you speak and the mere mention of it has inspired within him more fear than you have ever inspired by baring your fangs and brandishing your claws towards him. And you know exactly why he reacted so intensely, he hails from the same sect that brutalized and betrayed Monu.
Cont
>>
>>5140577

Even if he was only a member of its outermost ring, rumors spread like weeds in an unkept garden and it is doubtful that the newer generation of that criminal sect had a change of heart and forbid such extreme and cruel punishment. Though Monu had never spoken the name of her former comrades, from the stories she told and what little Ping had revealed about his school, you recognized similarities too strong to be mere coincidence and so gambled that you were right and that the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect were the very same as the nameless traitors that destroyed Monu's life and stole away her daughter and your elder sister. And Ping's terror has proven to you that you were right in your belief.

"How do you know of..." Ping gasps sharply, finally managing to compose himself enough to string together words and not choke on his tongue. You snort dismissively, and look away, turning your face towards the mouth of the cave, watching another spear of lightning splitting a tree whose endured the hardship of the mountain only to be struck down by the fury of the heavens. How fitting, considering the subject of this confrontation.

"If we had been born ten generations prior" You huff, stepping away from ping as he shivers like a runt abandoned by its mother, eyes wide as plates and hands as pale as snow "You'd have worshipped the ground I walk on, Rat"

"How do you know what the elders of my temple did to Jingyu?" Ping spoke through his teeth, jaw so tightly clenched his teeth were threatening to shatter. His chest, exposed from the damage his scholar robes have suffered through the journey, rises and falls as he gulps down air, trying to sooth his frayed nerves and control the conflicting feelings raging within him much like the storm outside of the cave.

He flicked his sleeve, and with prayer beads still in hand, turned his palm toward you

"And what madness of the mind has afflicted you, Huanliuxue! To speak of men venerating beasts! Have you become deranged through the conflict of your few virtues and inherent wickedness?" Ping shouts, loud enough to be heard over the crashing of thunder and lightning against stone and sand "Or is that only your incomparable pride speaking? Or...or have you read forbidden tomes recording a false history, penned by the hands of true devils"

You rock your head back and forth, wearing a smug smirk as you look away from the now outraged Ping.

"Jingwho?" You mockingly answer, sneering as you look back towards Ping "and I already told you what fate would befall you should I tell you what I know, though I doubt you'd listen if I was so cruel to try and lead to such an ignominious punishment as you were raised and taught to hear no evil"

You cackle, eyes glowing in the dark as you approach Ping in a single bound and lean close, bringing to tip of your snout to his nose. He reels back as your breath washes over his face.
Cont
>>
>>5140579

"But I, who was born outside of the rule of the heavens and lead a heretics life, have no such handicap. Unlike you, I am no frog in a well" You proclaim proudly, stepping back as the man nearly falls to his knees, but his legs refuse to give out even when so closely met by a demonic beast "And I have not forgotten what you have never known"

"Enough riddles!" Ping yells, curling his prayer beads around his fingers "Tell me how you..."

And as if by divine intervention, Ping is interrupted. You do not know if he was going to demand how you know of the most serious punishment carried out by the elder's of his temple or to damn himself to the very same out of sense of gnawing curiosity towards your mention of the era of ten generations prior and the history that has been purposefully hidden. As Feiqing stumbles into the cavern, soaked through and with two arrows lodged in his arm and three in his back.

A wound that scarcely seems to affect the ape like man, when it would have felled lesser humans. In fact, judging from the small diameter of the bloodstains in his robes, he has healed himself with internal energy and performed some basic treatment on himself. His beneath his beard, his hideous features are contorted with panic and rage.

"Savages! Savages have kidnapped Lei!" He roars, hollering in a very bestial manner as he leans himself against the mouth of the cave "We were ambushed by men dressed in furs, as we were returning with firewood. They appeared from nowhere! Emerging from the cliffs as if they had been hiding in the rock itself! They overran us! There must've been two dozen of them! Lei fought them off, but they caught him in a net and would've captured me as well had I not remembered your training , Lady Huanliuxue!"

Your eyes widen, as both you and Ping stare at the exhausted, rain and blood soaked Feiqing as he all but collapses against the cave's wall. Immediately, all thoughts of further scolding or tormenting Ping flee from your mind and judging from the harrowed expression on the man's own face, all thoughts of obtaining answers or arguing with you have fled from his.

"We must rescue him! Not even the god knows what those barbarians intend to do with Poor brother Lei!" Feiqing gasps, wincing as he snapped the shafts of one of the arrows protruding from his arm.

What do you do, Huanliuxue? Two actions can be taken

>Brave the storm and immediately rush to Lei's rescue alone in spite of the dangers and risks of doing so while such a ferocious thunderstorm rages

>Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life

>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors

>Wait until the storm relents to venture out to search for Lei. It will do him no good if you get struck by lightning while looking for him

>Write in
>>
>>5140580
>>Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life
>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors
>>
>>5140580
>>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors
This is a cool narrative beat
>>
>>5140580
>Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life
>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors
>>
>>5140580
>Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life
>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors
>>
>>5140580
>Brave the storm and immediately rush to Lei's rescue alone in spite of the dangers and risks of doing so while such a ferocious thunderstorm rages

>Leave Ping to tend to Feiquing
>>
>>5140739
This. Afraid of a little rain? Sure we'll be pissed that we get our fur wet, and those assholes will feel our wrath for it.
>>
>>5140584
I will support on the condition we run swift and fast through the rain.
The storm will not harry us.
>>
>>5140580
>Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life
>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captor
>>
>>5140580

>Brave the storm and immediately rush to Lei's rescue alone in spite of the dangers and risks of doing so while such a ferocious thunderstorm rages
>Wait until the storm relents to venture out to search for Lei. It will do him no good if you get struck by lightning while looking for him
>>
It just occured to me, does this mean that by teaming up, He has to hitch a ride on our back to keep up?

Because that'd be funny as shit
>>
>>5140580
>Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life
>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors
>>
>>5140580
>Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life
>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors
>>
>>5140580
>Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life
>Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors
>>
Ending the vote. Tallying the result. Sorry for being late, got caught up watching Record of Ragnarok. The second fight was incredible.

Tend to Feiqing's injuries and compliment him for maintain a cool enough head to heal himself while under attack and fleeing for his life:8

Put aside your mutual contempt with Ping momentarily, and while Feiqing rests, ally with him to save Lei from his captors:9

Brave the storm and immediately rush to Lei's rescue alone in spite of the dangers and risks of doing so while such a ferocious thunderstorm rages:3

Leave Ping to tend to Feiquing: 2

Wait until the storm relents to venture out to search for Lei. It will do him no good if you get struck by lightning while looking for him: 1

So You will tend to Feiqing's wounds and then put aside your and Ping's mutual disdain for one another, allying with him to save Lei from his strange captors while Feiqing rests

Update will arrive shortly
>>
But, as you watch the injured smith drag himself closer to you, stumbling with every step he takes from the weight of his exhaustion and the pain he had endured to deliver this most urgent message unto you, your rage is quelled momentarily as the scent of freshly spilt blood and the sight of the arrows stuck in his back evokes a memory you formed on the day you awoke to the world and gained a true sense of self.

For the briefest of moments, lasting only as long as the cavern is lit by the latest bolt of lighting to fall to the earth, you do not see Feiqing standing before you. You do not even see the cavern. Instead both are replaced, along with the aroma of ozone and wetted stone, with the horrific scene that proceeded your second birth and ascension as a magical beast. The aroma of Blood beneath the stench of smoke, a sickening combination. Clamor, chaos. And a little girl with a pinwheel in her hair, wasting her last breath to reach out to you. The life fading from her eyes as her hand fell upon your white fur, and bloodied it. Tears smuged your vision, and when you blink, Feiqing is once more standing before you, desperation in his black eyes and panic contorting his features. He's place his hand exactly where the sweet pinwheel girl placed her own, when she was murdered before your dim eyes. Seeing Feiqing hurt, has inspired the same powerful and terrible worry the simple cat you were felt when her world was set on fire and noises and sights she couldn't comprehend surrounded her.

Gritting your fangs, the rage you feel for seeing one you consider your underling and friend hurt rises within you, born from the worry that aches within your heart.

"Fool! You are injured! It is admirable to concern yourself with the wellbeing of your comrade before your own, but one cannot return from the dead! Consider your own life as well, Feiqing!" You hiss and snarl, hoping the tears you shed will soak into your fur before either of the men can see them "Sit, rest"

Your force him to the ground, pressing your paw against his stomach and shoving him down, making his legs bow as you stand before him. He narrows his eyes, in agony or outrage, as he grabs hold of another arrow and tries to wiggle it out from the flesh that has caught it. Ping remains stiff as a corpse, his eyes distance as they catch glimpses of Feiqing's injuries in the brief flashes of light accompanying the storm.

"I cannot rest idle while my friend and brother is in peril! There's no time to worry about myself, I am underserving of such concern! I am a laborer! Nothing more! Lei's life holds more value to me than my own!" Feiqing rages, as you realize just how strong he is as he tries to fight back against you and resist your own strength to stand back to his feet and march right back into the catastrophic storm outside of your shared shelter!
Cont
>>
"He was the first to see me as a man, rather than a beast! I cannot repay such a debt. I cannot! And I will not abandon him to the savages who took him" he exclaims with tears flowing down his face

"Brother calm yourself" Ping said quietly, kneeling beside you, grabbing hold of Feiqing's shoulders to help hold him down and prevent him from aggravating his wounds "You're in no shape to fight, or even walk unassisted. The arrows are stuck deep in your stubborn hide. If you thrash around, they'll tear more than just skin!"

"We have to rescue him! We can't leave Lei behind! We can't abandon him!" Feiqing wails, sobbing and seething as he gnashed his teeth

"You'll bleed to death if the arrows sink into your organs!" Ping yells back

"Who said anything about abandoning Lei, it is touching that you are willing to speak when his unable to, but he would be heartbroken to learn you killed yourself trying to save him!" You scold, snapping your jaws in the air above Feiqing's head "Allow me to treat your wounds. As much as I abhor to agree with Ping, you're in no condition to fight for Lei's life! Rest and if you must, pray for the gods to be merciful"

Feiqing falls still, shocked by your advise to petition the gods, knowing fully just exactly how deeply and why you disdain the heavens and their inhabitants. He lays back and close his eyes, sniffling and clenching his teeth. Sighing you bow your head.

"And while it makes me want to chew off my own tongue, a lion uses its full strength even when hunting rabbits" You speak solemnly as you turn to Ping "There is much we disagree with, and even more we do not understand or despise of one another, but we share one thing in common, Novice, and that is our closeness with poor Lei, who has been taken from us to be cooked into stew for all we know!"

"I couldn't agree more, though agreeing with a demon is akin to swallowing hot embers and coals" Ping growls, eyes narrowed "But you speak sensibly, you may be powerful but we do not know if among our foes crouch tigers and hide dragons. It may be the first step on the road of damnation, but as a Man I cannot forsake the oath I made that day with Lei and Feiqing! Making us brothers!"

Feiqing grimace softened into a content smile as you and Ping swallowed the bitter pill of setting aside your mutual contempt to ally together for the benefit of the man you both considered your friend.

"Then there's no need to discuss it further, an alliance between a self righteous monk and a demon born of grudges! Hah! How amusing, surely none would believe such a union was struck between such opposing forces and would mock it as the fantasy of a playwright!" You chuckle as you use a claw to dig the arrowheads out of Feiqing's arm and back and struggle with your mouth to open your pouch of medical supplies.

Ping reaches and undoes the pouches string, and holds his hand open for you to give him the healing elixir so he may apply it with his more dexterous and able hands.
>>
>>5142021

Growling, you set the snuff box holding the miracle salve into his palm. He opens it and sucks in a breath of cold air.

"How did you come to own such high quality spirit medicine?" He mutters, as he admires its viscosity and purity as he spreads it to coat his fingers, before rubbing it into Feiqing's open wounds, after you tear his robes open with a flick of your claws

"If you're excusing me of stealing it, you are greatly mistaken. Despite not having thumbs I am knowledgeable and trained in the art of alchemy" You sneer, before placing a paw on his wrist to keep him from taking more of the medicine from the box "That is enough, make bandages out of Feiqing's robes, soak them in this herbal liquor in which viper headed scorpions were fermented and wrap them tightly around his injuries"

"You certainly are, a master of the art must've taught you. Its unlikely you were able to discover the properties of..." Ping begins to theorize before you silence him with a glare

"Focus on healing Feiqing, not on the mysteries surrounding my education" You snap, before turning back to Feiqing "I'll brew you a medicinal tea made from Ginseng and Young Nettles that will help you heal naturally, you've already expended most of your inner energy, relying on it anymore will shorten your life span"

Ping keeps his mouth shut, but the look in his eyes tell you that he wonders how you know such things still.

"I may look the brute, but I can at least make my own tea. Not like I ever had the privilege of being allowed into a teahouse" Feiqing says with an irritated Huff "my injuries are minor compared to the danger Lei faces, Bind my wounds and leave me without delay, the both of you!"

You reel back, feeling as if you had just been slapped across the cheek from hearing the usually demure and submissive Feiqing command. Admiring his audacity, you nod and gather the medicinal herbs where he can reach.

"Then we shall make haste" You answer solemnly, lowering your chin as your notched ear twitches "But don't you dare follow after us, the storm has grown more violent since you've returned and until the medicine takes affect, you're as weak as a newborn kitten"

"I am uncertain even I, uninjured and healthier than I've ever been, will be able to walk through that storm. It is almost as if the god's themselves seek to trap us here!" Ping proclaims, before clenching his hand to a fist and bringing it to his lips "But I shall try, even if I am swept away by the gales"

"Tch, you'd just slow me down if you tried to struggle against the storm, Foolish man!" You bark back, Ping turns to you furiously

"I thought we agree to look beyond our shared hatred to work together, for Lei's benefit!" Ping barks as Feiqing's serene expression once more sours into a grimace
cont
>>
>>5142023

"Who said I was leaving you behind! My body is stronger than yours! And what's more, I am a true cultivator though the mere act a magical beast cultivating is heretical and outlawed by the laws you hold yourself to! However, the power I have accumulated may be the one thing that can allow us to venture out into such hostile weather!" You shout back, offended by Ping's lack of trust, but you turn your back to him nonetheless and swallow your pride and ready yourself to endure the shame you must now inflict upon yourself "So, I must endure this humilation"


"What are you?" Ping asks as lightning illuminates the cave, and you glower and grimace, fighting an internal battle with your pride to resist the strong urge to reconsider the choice you have made to let Ping ride upon your back. But its the only way both of you can make it through the storm! Humans are so sluggish, weak and ungraceful! If he was not thrown off the cliffs, he'd walks so slowly, buffeted by the storm's winds that by time you find Lei, he'd almost certainly be already dead!

"Hop on my back" You speak, growling lowly as you glare back to him "We'll move much faster if I'm the only one who has to fight against the wind"

Ping's jaw drops open.

"You must have cast a spell over me, it is impossible for a demon to be as selfless as you are. Cats are proud creatures by nature, you despise me, and yet, to save our friend you would even endure the humiliation of allowing an enemy to ride upon your back" Ping tearfully exclaims, irritating you enough that your fur would stand on end.

"It is only out of pragmatism I endure such great shame, but you should hurry and get on my back before I change my mind, Ping" You hiss angrily, stamping your paws on the muddy cave floor "Don't think this means I've forgiven your transgressions against me"

"And don't think me accepting this offer means I trust you, Huanliuxue" Ping answers as he sits just behind your shoulders, crossing his arms as he wisely assume gripping your fur would cause him to lose whichever hand he use to grab ahold of your beautiful fur with! "I do this because I have no other choice, even if it may seem like a kindness, Demons are known for their treachery and I shall not lower my guard!"

"You should feel honored, rather than wary, I'm the one bearing the shame of carrying an Fool on my back!" You shout, glancing over your shoulder to look at him as you step towards the cave's exist, acclimating to his weight and finding your balance as you walk "Don't fall off, cause I won't stop to catch you"

"Trust eachother" Feiqing scolds, drawling out his speech as the narcotic effect of the bark you hid beneath the ginseng and nettles you offered him takes effect and lulls him to sleep

"This may be what condemns me to Jingyu's fate. Working with a demon" Ping mutters ruefully, bracing himself against your neck as you step into the storm and are immediately nearly thrown over by the sheer power of the winds.
Cont
>>
>>5142026

Rain pelts you like a hail of arrows, every drop stinging as it hits your hide. You can hear nothing, and see little else through the sheets of rain and the gloom created by the dark clouds in the sky.

"But I cannot forsake my friends!" Ping screams to be heard over the storm "And I..."

The thunderous roar of the storm, the howling of its winds muffles whatever Ping was trying to tell you as you are once more deafened by the cacophony of the unrestrained fury of the heaven. He speaks for sometime, as you push through the winds. You cannot use the Yōulíng-Qīnggōng to lighten your body by rendering it partially ethereal, or else you may be swept up by the winds. However you can use it briefly, in a similar manner to the Phantom Cat Step, utilizing its alerted sphere of time to dodge falling rocks or.

You side step, Ping yelping and digging his hands into your fur as you dodge a bolt of lightning that nearly struck you both.

"Or lighting!" You spit, nearly drowning from the amount of rain that fills your mouth as soon as you open it to speak.

Every step you take is a struggle, but with the size and strength of your ox sized body, you are able to make steady and rapid progress through the storm. Lei's scent is faint, but you were able to pick it up even as it was washed away. He smells like ash and wet soil, the latter note being useless but the first allows you to retrace his and Feiqing's steps, a task which is made easier by the scent of the blacksmith's blood.

Following the path they used by smell alone, the only way you are able to since the rain has long since washed away their footprints, you find the location of the ambushes.

New smells assault your senses, many mingling and fading into the background of aromas, buried completely by the scent of wet clay, stone and burning ozone. But beneath it, even as you lose Lei's scent to the winds, you are able to trace a familiar odor. Acrid, foul, it lingers in the nose and drips slowly to coat the tongue and throat.

It is the sap of a plant that should only be able to grow in the wastelands of hell. You know it, because you harvest bundles of it to create the marvelous medicines you invented with the Divine blood Honey. A mutation of arrowroot, a pest species, that sprouts where demon blood seeps into the soil of the underworld. You know it only by the name of Infernal Arrowroot and it spreads just as rapidly as its mundane cousin. But it also possess a vampiric thirst and seeks out living prey by crawling like a hellish bed of roses.

Buts its sap and seeds can impart a demon's strength, even in their unrefined forms, which is why you used it to create the Ox's strength drug. But its unrefined, uncooked sap and seeds will fever the mind and render any living creature who eats it

The slave of the first demon to shout a command at them.
Cont
>>
>>5142027

Burying the unpleasant thought in the back of your mind, you pick up your pace and sprint through the storm, dodging bolts of lighting that seemed to be aimed directly at you. Rocks shower down on you and ping, as lighting forks and shatters the cliffsides above you. But with the Youling Qinggong, you easily evade the landslide and chase of the scent of Infernal Arrowroot

And soon confirms your fears, as you find a path leading higher into the mountains that is covered and almost swallowed by the blood red stalks of the hell grown weed. Tightly wound in its roots, or grasped in its the black, thorny leaves of the Arrowroot, are bleach bones of its victims, dressed in simple, archaic attire. Some even hold weapons. Stone and Bronze spears and axes that have been burned black in places by the blood that had fell upon them. A true demon's blood.

A chill crawls down your spine as the storm calms momentarily

"What...what are those plants! There's bones beneath them" Ping gasps, sitting up straight as you march up the ramp like path leading straight ahead. Now that the wind has calmed and the storm turned to nothing but a light shower, smoke rises from the plateau ahead and you can see fires light.

Closing your eyes, reaching out with your spiritual sense, you detect well over several dozen humans, many dogs, and one accursed owl! Breathing out, you pick Lei out from the mass of life energy generated by the tribe.

And in the middle of it, sense a familiar presence. A demon. As you expected.

"Ping, do not concern yourself with plants however monstrous they may appear, for something much more terrible waits for us at the end of this path" You whisper harshly, looking over your shoulder "And get off my back. Now!"

Ping obeys and clutches his prayer beads tightly in his fist

"What?" He asks simply

"A true Demon" You say cheerily, causing ping to suck in a breath of cold air "Thankfully Lei yet lives!"

"How is a demon..." Ping nearly hisses as he whispers, as the two of you creep closer to the barbarian's camp

"In The Mortal realm?" You complete his sentence before answering his question in the negative "I do not know. I know its possible for them to emerge from the netherworld, perhaps it was able to do so here because gods and men alike do not turn their gazes in the direction of the wild place. You can run if you'd like, not like I can't think any less of you"

"Lei is in the clutches of a demon" Ping states sternly "And I couldn't care less what you think of me, Beast! I am no coward"

"I know you aren't, its your only admirable quality" You cackle as you peek over the edge of the path where it flattens out and meets the plateau and confirm your suspicions.

The savages are meandering about in a daze, drooling over themselves as they stare out with empty eyes, their wills entirely sealed away by the Sap and seeds of the Infernal Arrowroot, that clings to there lips like fresh blood.
Cont
>>
>>5142029
Their hide and bamboo tents stand disheveled, filth covers the floor of their camp and the dogs they keep have all gotten mange and look half starved. Human bones circle the camp, all bearing teeth and claw marks. Some of the bones are small. Too small.

Ping notices this as well, and notices your righteous indignation upon comprehending what the size of the bones mean. A look of horror flashes across his face before a look of grief or shame replaces it.

"How monstrous" He weeps "To think such evil could be allowed to exist beneath the heavens"

"The heavens do not turn their gaze here, Ping" You reply furiously "You know that, that is why you tried to convince me to stay here the rest of my life"

"Out of gratitude" He whispered

"Out of misguided gratitude" You correct him as you rise to your feet and crane your neck to get a better look.

And spot, in the center of the camp a black sinned ogre wearing a bear's pelt around its waist, and a necklace of skulls over its neck. Its obese and piggish in appearance, perhaps having once been a pig spirit before it was corrupted by its own sin. With yellow, browning nails it scratches it stomach as it gnaws on the roasted leg of a man.

You can see Lei, in a cage, alongside other humans who must have been taken from other tribes. And upon peering closer, you realize the demon is sitting upon a throne, that has been obscured beneath his bulging frame and bent from his prodigious weight. rotten flesh clings to his wiry beard of fur and bones are pushed through his arms like piercings.

Snorting and grunting, the pig reaches out, and plucks one of his slaves prostrating before him, before opening his jaws wide before sticking the docile man into his mouth, wrapping his pink lips around them before stripping them clean of skin and flesh by sucking on them like a stewed chicken's foot, an act that is accompanied by a truly disgusting slurping sound.

"This is what you see me as?" You ask without thinking, turning to Ping, feeling gravely offended. Ping shakes his head, as he remains laid out on the ground, face pale as a ghosts.

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Confront the demon directly, and condemn it for eating children, your rage reaching a breaking point as you challenge the Boar devil (Begin combat)

>Knowing that there are poisons that can even harm demons, create one you know, mixing the sap of the Infernal Arrowroot and the blood of a holy man (Ping) together, and the dust of the bones of its victims together hastily (Alchemy Trial. DC 70)

>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)

>Offer the demon a trade, Ping for Lei. (Bad Karma)

>write in
>>
>>5142031
>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
>>
>>5142031
>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
Bring burning vengeance upon these fools and see them suffer.
>>
>>5142031
>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
>>
>>5142031
>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
As much as I want to crush the child eater, we need to free Lei.
>>
>>5142031
>>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
>>
>>5142031
>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
>>
>>5142031
>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
Save friend first, murder demon later.

Also what is it with all the child eaters lately? Are they tasty or something?
don't answer that
>>
>>5142031
>>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
>>5142352
Same reason we eat pizza rolls apparently. Not as filling but quicker to munch.
>>
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>>5142352
>Are they tasty or something?
>>
>>5142031
>Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon (Magic trial. DC 35)
>>
>>5142352
Meat from infant animals is often treated as a delicacy, so maybe it is.
Or maybe they just revel in the evilness of the act, or killing a child is easier.
>>
Ending the vote. Tallying the result.

Rouse the spirits of the dead with ghost empress melody, and use them to create a distraction so Ping may free Lei unnoticed by strengthening their connection to the living world enough for them to attack the boar demon: 9

Unanimous decision!

Update will arrive shortly. Apologies for my lateness, I over indulged in liquor.
>>
"Find that courage of yours again boy" You say after formulating a plan in a matter of seconds "The role you will play in saving Lei from that gluttonous swine is more treacherous than mine. But know I do not give this duty to you out of spite or an effort born of vanity to fashion your grisly demise. There's a lock on that cage, and with these paws of mine I cannot pick it nor do I possess the knowledge how to"

Whistling, you pull Ghost Empress Melody in front of you and sit on the boundary where the path meets the Plateau, just on the border of the Boar Demon's camp of slaves and living meals. Drums begin to be beaten, more fires are lit, and one of the cage's besides Lei is thrown open. An old man with a paunch belly is dragged out, his age and weather worn face struck dumb by the horror of his demise. Ping looks away as his limp body is dragged before the Pig King. You however watch as he is butchered by the enchanted tribesmen, who set upon him with axes as if he were game dragged back after a successful hunt. Seeing any race treat their own as mere prey is so unnatural as to be unsettling. But you maintain your composure, and tally the number of abled tribesmen, those who could threaten the success of your strategy by spotting Ping or noticing Lei is missing from his cell of bamboo before you can flee from this place of unholy gluttony. You count a total of one hundred and twenty seven of them, even the weakest of them are armed with stone axes or clutch arrows tightly to their chests as if they were warming furs. That complicates matter, but you can see their are gaps in their defenses, and their altered state of mind render them number to anything besides their master's command and their prey.

Alone they pose no threat, but together and beneath the command of their black chieftain, they'd be a deadly adversary. If you had a means of prying open that lock, you would have not hesitated to sneak towards it, knowing that you would not be spotted and pass into and out of the camps like a shadow cast by the setting sun. But alas, your claws while deadly are not dexterous. And merely crushing the cage open would draw the attention of the entire camp. And while you could butcher the whole of the tribe, or duel the Demon Boar alone, But while the Fat Bastard is accompanied by his witless lackies the chances of you emerging from such a fight unscathed or even alive are far too slim for you to chance such a confrontation while other options remain open to you.

"And what part will you play, Huanliuxue? Tell me your plan and I shall follow it, for I have been struck with terror so great my mind refuses to think for itself. When I turn my intellect to forming a strategy of my own, my survival instincts drown out all other thoughts, screaming that if I take a single step forward I shall die, and die horrifically" He mutters, hands trembling and sweat beading on his brow as a dark fire burns in his eyes.
Cont
>>
>>5143584

His loyalty to his comrades and his resolve are powerful enough to subjugate even the most powerful and primal of fears. The fear of death. If he was not such an arrogant fool, you might have found yourself admiring the man's courage. Smiling, you bow your head

"This Guqin of mine is quite the treasure. Already you have seen one of its abilities, but it is much more than a weapon. It's melody is so beautiful it can rouse their dead from their eternal repose and give them the strength to avenge themselves upon their killer. A demonic tool to your eyes, no doubt." You say quietly as a third victim is dragged, this one fighting every step of the way, biting, clawing and snarling as she is taken to the Pig god of the savage tribe, and stripped.

"Necromancy?" Ping asks, hostility tinging his voice, as his eyes sharpen

"Do you have any other choice? This is no time to be picky. Besides it is not necromany!, it doesn't control the dead, merely energizes them by reminding them they were once alive" You say, stopping yourself from saying more lest you reveal you secrets to the man who is still your enemy in many ways "Follow my lead, There are only a few cages left besides Lei's!"

"Can we not save them as well?" Ping asks as he creeps forward

You do not answer. Focusing only on playing your enchanted Guqin, you close your eyes and summon the dead from their sun bleach bones picked clean of flesh and skin. And then with another song, you strengthen their hold to the mortal realm so greatly they appear as living men and women.

The tribesmen do not respond, for their minds and wills have been completely sealed away by the infernal sap of the Infernal arrowroot. The Demon Boar however, recognizes the threat immediately, and squeals, struggling to rise from his throne as his victims converge

And you play wildly, flourishing as you endeavor to give the ghosts enough strength to harm the Child eating bastard as Ping scurries past the army you have roused from the final rest.

1d100. DC 35. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 59 (1d100)

>>5143585
>>
Rolled 96 (1d100)

>>5143585
>>
Rolled 16 (1d100)

>>5143585
>>
>>5143600
20 over double the DC, and 61 Over in total!!! Enough to topple mountains and overturn seas! Things aren't looking good for the boar demon

Update will arrive shortly
>>
And what an army they are! Marching from the next life fierce and ready for battle, they surround the boar demon, ignoring the flailing attempts of their enslaved kinsmen to impede or halt their advance. Indeed they walk straight through the still living slaves of the Boar Demon who they ; in their state of mindlessness offer little support too as they try to carry out his order to "Stop them" even though it is utterly impossible to stop the dead! They grab at the air, wrap their arms around nothing, and throw themselves to the ground trying to tackle the vengeful spirits of their evil god's victims. The demon, panicked and stuck firmly into his throne by his girth, squeals and squirms, scratching at his too small seat's arm rests desperately to try and pry it apart to free himself as the hellish apparitions of his past meals circle around them.

Oh how nightmarish their dying grudges have made them! Their eyes have become voids, windows into the abyssal sky of hell itself! You know it well! Tinged red and grey! Their faces distort monstrously, black veins crawling and bulging under their cheeks. Their hair rises as if they were submerged in the bottomless lakes of the underworld. Bite marks appear in their flesh as their appearance becomes pallid and so corpse like they appear to be walking, rotting corpses. Black nails! Black teeth filed into fangs, fog rolls in and shrouds their legs, hanging over them like a heavy winter fog or the miasma of a mass grave. The Boar demon's pin prink eyes, black and glassy glance around as it squeals, crying "Save me! Save me!" with all the desperation of a babe crying swaddled in its crib. The devil is scared of his prey! The monster is frightened by the shades. You play madly! Passionately! The melody becomes disjointed, chaotic as you pour your disgust and disdain for the Boar into every note you strike. Feverish, you feel possessed! Your tongues hangs over your fangs, as your claws and tail move to play the Guqin as if they were controlling themselves and working their own wills upon the mystical refrain you perform for the Glutton King's execution party!

And caught up in the fervor of righteous retribution you begin to sing.

"Let's dance to the corpse march!" You yowl, throwing your head back as the storm returns, rain splashing against your face as the whole world is swallowed by the shadows cast by the inky black storm clouds. Darkness reigns once more but the winds remain calm, quiet as if they were listening to your song with baited breath "Follow its path along to the underworld! Become drunk on lingering malice, guzzling it like wine and blood! Cheerfully the dead invite you onto a wonderous journey! Eagerly I accept! You who wish to die, we invite you to part from the painful and fleeting light! And embrace the bliss and paradise of"

You slouch over, shivering as you're overcome by the powers you've beckoned and reigned.
Cont
>>
>>5143647
"OBLIVION!" You shout, as through the mist a familiar figure steps and charges, screaming his rage to the heavens.

"DEVIL! DEVIL! A DEVIL HAS COME TO EAT ME!" The Boar demon wails, Now struck dumb by fear as he kicks his stubby legs and moves his clawed hands to cover his head "SOMEONE! SAVE ME! I'LL REFORM! BECOME A VEGITARIAN MONK! TURN BUDDHIST! DAOIST! HINDU! JAAAAAIN! ANYTHING! I'LL EVEN LICK THE FEET OF THE GODS AND ROLL OVER LIKE A BITCH IN HEAT! SAVE ME! SAVE ME

"Huh? is that fresh air?" Xiongji asks, scratching his chin as he looks over the camp, eyes widening as he realizes he's been let out of the crypt that has been his prison for centuries. He freezes, before he looks back over his shoulder, and sees the army gathered there of spirits that, while more enraged than any mortal could be, are merry compared to the Rooster General himself. But...but how did he get here!? That should be impossible! The catacombs are warded and sealed! Unless the grudge you took from him counts as a part of his body! And the wrath of the dead and your feverish music, must've created a path for Xiongji to...to escape! He needs to be put back! He may be your ally but he is a madman! Who knows what havoc he'll sow across the mortal realms if he's freed.

"Hey. Little sister. Play the melody again" Xiongji snarls as he raises up his dull axe "Don't know where I am, don't know how I got here, but I can feel that bastard's curse pulling me back already . Obviously you need my help, so allow me to repay your kindness by..."

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHK!" The devil shrieks, his throne collapsing as he is completely surrounded by his victims. Like a worm, he crawls away, tears and snot covering his face as he sobs and continues begging to be saved


"FUCKER! I WASN'T DONE SPEAKING! HOW DARE YOU INTERUPT ME! I'LL TEAR YOU APART YOU DOG WHELP!" Xiongji roars as he stomps after the fleeing demon, followed by a legion of monstrous hungry ghosts. You blink, watching the spectacle as the camp is thrown into chaos as the mad general chases after the pig.

Well, at least he'll be pulled back to the tomb before he can cause too much trouble. Figuring its no longer an issue, you begin playing again as the demon's petty court is complete trashed By Xiongji's rampage.

Ping and Lei sprint towards you, narrowly avoiding the General's axe as he hurls it through the air.

"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!" Ping yells

"I HAVE NO IDEA!" You laugh blithely as Lei stops to watch the generals pursuit of the boar
cont
>>
>>5143651

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Tell Ping "But we should get out of here before the ghost decides you're his enemy as well!" and feign ignorance if he asks you about Xiongji and return to the cave to continue on your journey once Feiqing recovers

>Rush into the fray and help the general gut the pig! (Martial trial DC 55)

>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]

>Tell Ping "But that ghost is a friend of a mine, so we have nothing to fear. Well I don't at least. He hates almost everything the gods have made, so you may want to run, whelp!". Watch Xiongji rampage

>Write in
>>
>>5143653
>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]
>>
>>5143653
>Free the prisoners and tribesmen [Good Karma]
>"I suggest both of you to get back, He seems quite insane" Cackle

Hehehehehe, Xiongji's here BITCHEEEEEEEEEEEES
>>
>>5143653
>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]
We may have gone slightly overboard. But at least the demon is... in good hands. (read: fucked)

>"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!"
>"I HAVE NO IDEA!"
My fucking sides
>>
>>5143653
>>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]

>"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!" Ping yells
Around these parts we call that a little trollin' my boy.
>>
>>5143653
>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]
Karma farming
>>
>>5143653
>>Tell Ping "But that ghost is a friend of a mine, so we have nothing to fear. Well I don't at least. He hates almost everything the gods have made, so you may want to run, whelp!". Watch Xiongji rampage
>>
>>5143653
>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]
>>
>>5143653
>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]
>>
>>5143653
>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]
>>
>>5143653
>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]
>>
>>5143653
>Rush into the fray and help the general gut the pig! (Martial trial DC 55)
>Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen (Agility trial. DC 65) [Good karma]
>>
>>5143653
>Tell Ping "But that ghost is a friend of a mine, so we have nothing to fear. Well I don't at least. He hates almost everything the gods have made, so you may want to run, whelp!". Watch Xiongji rampage
bunch of goody two shoes, can't we have some fun with our boy Xiongji anymore?
>>
>>5143966
Nobody would survive the mad mans fun, save us
>>
Finally got time to sit down and write so, ending the vote and tallying the result. Apologies for the wait

Free the other prisoners and try to save the tribesmen:10

"I suggest both of you to get back, He seems quite insane" Cackle: 1

Tell Ping "But that ghost is a friend of a mine, so we have nothing to fear. Well I don't at least. He hates almost everything the gods have made, so you may want to run, whelp!". Watch Xiongji rampage:2

Rush into the fray and help the general gut the pig!: 1

So You will valiantly try to save the remaining prisoners and the Demon controlled tribesmen, While Xiongji rages around

Update will arrive shortly
>>5143662

https://youtu.be/XpDUPZfqKxI
>>
But the excited smile you wear is all but torn from your face, the general's rampage suddenly seeming a lot less amusing when he is trampling over living bodies rather than bones, or hewing mortal men in half with a single contemptuous swing of his axe by flicking his wrist as if following some all destroying instinct. Something inside of you screams out in offense, even as you tell yourself the death Xiongji is sowing doesn't really matter because the different between a soul still living and a ghost are minor at best. For some reason, watching Xiongji commit his usual, almost habitual acts of extreme violence against living creatures awakens what you can only describe as a new, alien instinct. Something like maternal instinct. It isn't powered by rage, but pity? No! Empathy! concern!. Without even realizing it, before you smile was fully wiped away, you have stepped into the camp. And to your surprise Ping has followed you as well, drawing talismans rapidly with mud he has smeared on his left hand, using his pointed finger like a brush while holding his crude pigment in the palm of his Hand. Lei is there as well

Why have you just rushed into the way of Xiongji's rampage?! Why did you to step into the line of the Ghost General's all consuming rage? The answer is rather simple. It would be the moral thing to do! Though you may be scorned as a demon and maneater, you're not blind to justice! Though you follow no laws written by man or god, you follow what your own heart names as lawful and righteous. The edicts of a beast's heart, the commands of her whims! That is why you have stepped forward into the way of Xiongji's dancing axe! Not for the thrill of it, or to appear more benevolent than you are, but because you can't walk away when innocent victims are being terroized by the mad ghost's rampage alongside the devil who enslaved and meant to devour them! Sure, you may have made a meal out of them if you were hungry enough or they gad slighted you, but that doesn't mean you'll simply stand aside and watch them be slaughtered! Then you'd be no different than the men who encouraged and allowed Ling Meng to Rampage through your village!

They're too weary with hunger or addled by the drugs they have been forced to consume to defend themselves or even attempt to escape from the mayhem Xiongji embodies! And while they may be men, they still live in these wildlands! And as the rightful ruler of all graves and wild things, acting as their guardian is your duty! Certainly not because the guilt of leaving them to their fate would eat away at your mind like a corrosive poison, certainly not! Certainly not.

"Stay here and keep your heads down. That Hungry ghost will as happily behead you as he will that demon" You command, lifting your head high as your tail fluffs up as you march forward
Cont
>>
>>5146116

"Herd the freed captives I lead to you down the path and out of danger, and do the same for the tribes men bewitched by the boar demon, they can still be saved and made whole once more with the proper antidote" You bark the remainder of your orders, looking back towards Ping and Lei as Xiongji leaps over you, the tide of vengeful spirits following after him like the rapids of a flooded river.

Ping opens his mouth, you glare.

"Only a cat is agile enough to avoid being trampled beneath the dead horde's feet, Only I can avoid the bite of their leader's axe" You hiss, instantly cowing the man into silence "I refuse to fail to achieve what I came here to accomplish. I will not endure the shame and humiliation of failure! Obey me, and save those I release or else join the corpses' march yourselves and force me to be humbled. If you try and refuse my command, I will throw you back myself!"

And with that said, you charge headlong into the mountain of blades and the sea of fire. A feeling of bliss and certainty envelops you. Warm and fuzzy, like your birth mother's fur.

Xiongji swings his axe, lifting it just enough to avoid your head and grins.

When the shock passes, you realize he sees this as a game, and has challenged you to test your mettle.

He will rampage and you will try to preserve what he tries to destroy. A deadly game, but not for either of you. Alongside the soothing feeling of acting in benevolence, the lightning sensation of competition shives through you along your spine.

"Then let us dance rooster, the Empress of the dead protecting the living from your wrathful axe" You cackle, sneering as Xiongji lets his tongue fall out of his mouth

"Let us see if the bloodshed can stop the slaughter!" He roars as he sprints after the Pig, and you give chase after him,

roll 1d100. DC 65. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 89 (1d100)

>>5146117
>>
Rolled 31 (1d100)

>>5146117

>>5146122
got it in one
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>5146117
>>
>>5146122
24 over DC. Nice

Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5146137
>Our adorable cat empress' mind: I'm not a good person, I'm not a good person, I'm not a good person, Why am I saving these people?!

>Also our adorable cat emperess: Oh, being a good person is great.
>>
However, for all of Xiongji's strength he lacks subtly and grace. He wields his deadly power like a living man may a hammer, and attacking everything around him indiscriminately. He tantrums and rages, rampages everywhere he goes. And you have spent enough time in his company to understand and anticipate the tempo of his wrath and the destruction it unleashes. He is nothing if not predictable, obviously he is, He spent centuries repeating the same actions, over and over again without once pausing or trying a different approach.

You weave around him easily outmatching his speed, for even as a monstrously powerful ghost he still only has two legs. Overcoming him, you catch him in the radius of your Specter Lightness skill. The altered flow of time surprise him so greatly, you're able to easily snatch away his next victim from beneath his axe. One of the Tribesmen. Xiongji face contorts into a grimace of hellish rage as he watches you flicker and blink and take the target of his rage away like a toy from a disobedient child. Shaking his head as time resumes its natural flow, he rejoins the pursuit of the fleeing demon, which has left a trail of boiling, hissing blood over the rain drenched ground of the barbarians camp.

Your game with Xiongji continues, with similar results. Elegantly, you best him at every turn, batting witless savages out of his way, snatching the captives from the cages he tries to crush beneath his axe before carrying to safety by biting into their clothing and carrying them like kittens. Xiongji's rage is his greatest asset, but it is also his greatest weakness. And you know how to handle and control it masterfully. He can't escape the palm of your open hand, for you hold his collar. The hardest part of winning this fateful game and besting the rooster general's challenges is avoiding being stepped on or caught by his axe's backswing, rather than saving the innocent victims of the boar of his universal wrath. But even that is easy to accomplish when with a breath you can sooth his fury or heighten it to the point he can no longer control himself...well less so than his usual state of unrestrained, murderous fury. Leaping, dodging, weaving, and ducking, you move the uncivilized men out of Xiongji's way, as he splits his focus between trying to chop them to pieces and doing the same with the Boar demon. Whether they be the bewitched servants of the cowardly ball of lard or those they kidnapped, you protect them all and guide them through the chaotic scene of the ghostly hunting party chasing after the wild pig that abused them all the same as you now save them. Trilling and purring, you mock Xiongji playfully as you take the last potential and still surviving victim's out of his axes reach and sit on the boundary of the path, sneering at him as his shoulders fall and he slouches, exhausted and utterly defeated.
Cont
>>
>>5146166

"No fair!" he whines, crossing his arms as he half jokingly pouts; having lodged his axe into the skull of the Boar Demon after it was crippled by the other hungry ghosts ripping its legs off of it in a gruesome game of tug of war "You used techniques and daoist magic to win, little sister!"

"You just said you wanted to play a game, using these people's lives as a wager" You cackle "Don't complain when you didn't state any rules, and don't sulk, its an honor to be beaten by my magnificent, majestic, and resplendently beautiful self!"

"Don't gloat" He snarls, bowing his head as his body is slowly pulled away, piece by piece as he is returned to his prison "it isn't the manner befitting a princess like yourself. It was fun! and though I didn't kill as much as I wanted to, at least I got to remind myself what freshly spilt blood smelled like. I'll just have to remember not to underestimate you again, Huanliuxue, that is why I lost. See you in the catacombs, if its still left standing after I return to it bearing the humiliation of this defeat!"

Gnashing his teeth, the mad general's ghost looks to you and as his head begins to fade away and vanish into the gloom of the storm, as his mouth and chin are all that remains he says, through gritted teeth and half growled, "Goodbye, my princess". And with that he is gone, returned to his cage beneath the earth. And you cannot help but to feel relieved your game didn't damage your relationship with him, nor did it cost anymore lives than those he had already ended before you challenged him to save the innocents caught up in his rampage.

Sighing. You watch the Demon Boar's corpse burn to cinders, the spirits who tore him apart fading away as they return to a less monstrous mien. Frowning, you look at the dismembered and crushed corpses littering the ruined camp site. Split skulls spilling out brains, entrails tossed over the ground between legs severed from torsos. Severed arms and heads sitting in puddles of blood diluted by the rain, mangled beyond belief with a few mauled beyond recognition as human. Some have their eyes popped out, hanging only by the nerves connecting them to their skulls, others are missing their lower jaws or have been cut in half. All of these corpses were made before you intervened.

'Xiongji is scary when his victims leave behind corpses' you idly think to yourself as you walk through the carnage, checking to make sure none of the ones you saved are among the dead. But to your delight and pride, none of them are. It was as you believed, you saved all of those still alive! They owe their lives to your expertise and natural talent. As well as your whimsical act of benevolence. With head held high and a smugly satisfied smirk on your lips, you swagger out of the barbarian's camp as sunlight breaks through the storm clouds.
cont
>>
>>5146168

Almost as if the heavens themselves have realized you're no demon by nature! The thought of the conceited gods realizing their sense compassion is lesser than your own amuses you greatly. Mayhaps they'll decree all cultivators should each offer one limb to you as recompensation for condemning your people, or prostrate and humble themselves before you while declaring themselves fools among fools, perhaps even while you eat the offerings of their lap dogs! Oh Ping would choke on his own tongue if he saw such a sight.

Cackling, you walk down the path, and meet Lei and Ping at the bottom of it, keeping the captives from murdering the defenseless victims of the boar demon. The struggle ends when you appear, and cow the captives with a burning glare. Ping looks away from you, unable to meet your eyes after witnessing your latest good deed.

"Don't hold a grudge against them, you'd be wasting your enmity on your fellow victims. They were bewitched" You spit and snarl at them, shaming the would be killers into dropping the axes and stones they had picked up to butcher their captors. You could've eaten their grudge and grown strong, but you have no patience for such foolishness.

"Divine Cat Goddess of Mercy, forgive us!" One of the older tribesmen cries out, throwing themselves to their knees. Ping covers his mouth, coughing and judging from the scent in the air, coughed up blood into his hands

"We had not known they were unwilling servants of the gluttonous one" He weeps "We almost committed a grave sin upon those who have suffered in silence before you stayed our vengeful hands"

Being complimented and praised in such a manner and so sincerely makes you feel like a giddy drunk.

What do you do Huanliuxue? [two actions can be taken]

>Embrace the gratitude of the tribes whose members you have saved and enjoy their hospitality as you travel deeper into the mountains, in search of your prize

>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]

>Explain to the barbarians you are no goddess, just a cat who decided to on a whim save their lives

>Demand tribute from the tribes and that they worship you instead of their ancestors or whatever spirit they pay homage to forevermore! [Bad karma]

>Write in
>>
>>5146170
>Embrace the gratitude of the tribes whose members you have saved and enjoy their hospitality as you travel deeper into the mountains, in search of your prize

>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
>>
>>5146175
I'll support.

But while I am not demanding tribute, demanding milk and to have our fur brushed is COMPLETELY acceptable! We are a hero after all, why should we not be pampered? It's not like we enjoyed doing good deeds.
>>
>>5146170
>Embrace the gratitude of the tribes whose members you have saved and enjoy their hospitality as you travel deeper into the mountains, in search of your prize
>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
>>
>>5146170
>Embrace the gratitude of the tribes whose members you have saved and enjoy their hospitality as you travel deeper into the mountains, in search of your prize
>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
Bot the first time we have been called a goddess, and it won't be the last.
>>
>>5146170
>>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
Demand tribute from the tribes and that they worship you instead of their ancestors or whatever spirit they pay homage to forevermore! [Bad karma]
>>
>>5146170
>Embrace the gratitude of the tribes whose members you have saved and enjoy their hospitality as you travel deeper into the mountains, in search of your prize
>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
>>
>>5146170
>>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
>>Explain to the barbarians you are no goddess, just a cat who decided to on a whim save their lives
Huanliuxue is no Goddess, she is better. and accepting that Gods and Goddesses should be praised would be hypocritical, given that she has rejected the rule of the heavens and their laws
>>
>>5146170
>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
>Explain to the barbarians you are no goddess, just a cat who decided to on a whim save their lives
>>
>>5146170
>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
>Explain to the barbarians you are no goddess, just a cat who decided to on a whim save their lives
>>
>>5146700
I disagree on that. We hate these 'gods' which sent our race into a nise dive out of a sense of self rightious infallibility and would see us dead if they noticed us.

The actual concept of godhood and being praised arent anathema to us, on the contrary they are our direct goals. It is the endpoint of cultivation.
>>
>>5146170
>>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
>>Demand tribute from the tribes and that they worship you instead of their ancestors or whatever spirit they pay homage to forevermore! [Bad karma]

We can afford to do some naughty things since we banked on a lot of good karma
>>
I think that accepting the gratitude of the tribals is fine, we let the villagers revere us but we didn't really claim to be a god.
Asking them to worship us, and instead of their gods even would be pure hubris though.
>>
>>5146170
>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]

>Demand tribute from the tribes and that they worship you instead of their ancestors or whatever spirit they pay homage to forevermore! [Bad karma]
>>
>>5146700
It's Xianxia, gods, demons and powerful cultivators of are all the samething, but calles by different name, and sometimes not even that. Huan is going to become a goddess eventually in the cultivation powercreep.
Only the Dao or the Heavens themselves can really be considered separate, eternal, divine entities and they are more like the law and will of the universe rather than actual beings.
>>
>>5146170
>produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for [Alchemy trial. DC 50]
>>
Ending the vote, and tallying the result.

Embrace the gratitude of the tribes whose members you have saved and enjoy their hospitality as you travel deeper into the mountains, in search of your prize:5

produce the antidote to free the tribesmen from their bewitchment, which luckily you already have all the ingredients for :12

Explain to the barbarians you are no goddess, just a cat who decided to on a whim save their lives:3

Demand tribute from the tribes and that they worship you instead of their ancestors or whatever spirit they pay homage to forevermore!: 3

So You will produce the antidote for the tribesmen immediately, and as it is one vote under half of both the total and winning vote, you'll take the second action of embracing the hospitality of the tribes while you travel deeper into the mountains in search of your prize, the source of pure, uncorrupted blood Qi

Update will arrive shortly
>>
However, basking in the praises of the grateful and worshipping can wait. The bewitched tribe will be unlikely to survive even a night longer if they are not cured immediately. The Boar Demon may be dead, but if he could enter into the mortal realm, others of his kind could surely do the same. And devils that have escaped the underworld are not the only threats, natural predators and man eating monsters surely populate this mountain as well. So, after enjoying the praise of the still thinking and free willed tribesmen for a few minutes longer, you depart with Lei and Ping back to the cavern where you took shelter from the storm and Left Feiqing but not before first learning of the location of the main camps of the supremely thankfully and truly gracious barbarians who promise their kinsmen will meet you with open arms and larders. Ping remains as silent as a stone, clearly sickened by the sight of you being referred to as a goddess and met with compliments, praise and reverence. Clearly your words earlier in the cave are haunting him, but he does not pester you or try to force you to condemn him with the knowledge you hold of the past. But he also does not accuse you of misguiding or cast a bewitching hex upon the men and women you saved or having a ulterior and sinister motive behind saving them from the fate of being a pig's meal. Instead he busy himself helping Lei keeping the witless humans from wandering off, falling from the cliffside trails or stumbling into the territory of dangerous animals or plants. But it is clear he is in deep, almost meditative contemplation. Though what of, if it concerns your nature or his beliefs, you do not know.

Corralling the Pig's pawns into the cavern, you find Feiqing still asleep in the embrace of the sedatives you tricked him into drinking. Lei pokes the bewitched savages with the blunt end of his spear, crowding them together like livestock in the back of the cave. At once you busy yourself creating the antidote for the spiritual poison they had been forced to swallow. Luckily all of its ingredients, while unheard of amongst orthodox Alchemists, were among the Netherworld herbs you gathered for your experiments with the miraculous Divine Blood Honey. Of which you add but three drops of to the dented pot that will have to suffice as you cauldron, to hopefully increase the antidote spirit drug's potency. Then, pressing the thick blood like sap from a handful of stems of freshly cut Infernal Arrowroot that you gathered before you left the demon haunted camp, you begin the process of brewing the antidote. Crushing the seeds of the Hellish Kuzu, mingling it with the sap and a drop of purest mercury before adding the shells and wings of corpse beetles, powdered cinnabar, Sulphur, Dried Lotus blossoms and an extract of aged Ginseng flowers to the pot as well.
cont
>>
>>5147445

Lighting the fire, you hurriedly stir and scrape the side of the pots, to keep the more fragile ingredients from scorching and sticking to it. You'd need to turn the mixture into a fine paste before it could be formed into pills The tribesmen would wither without a master, and caring the entire clan would slow your journey to a halt and would be all but impossible.

Roll 1d100. DC 50. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 88 (1d100)

>>5147448
>>
Rolled 91 (1d100)

>>5147448
We got this.
>>
Rolled 99 (1d100)

>>5147448
>>
>>5147467
What an auspicious roll. 40 over the dc, nearly over 50 and double the dc!

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Fortunately for them, they're being treated by the student of the Toad witch herself! And in all of your mercy and generosity, you have chosen to save them despite the Sins they committed while under the thrall of the boar demon! They should be even more grateful than the tribesmen they took captive while under the spell of devil's witchcraft and be honored to be given a cure made by your paws. The process would be a challenge for any novice alchemist, producing a bulk medicinal pills with dangerous materials that need to be raised to a precise temperature or else they'll retain their "poisonous" attributes or else burn and become entirely useless. And all of this using a pot Feiqing had found abandoned in a gutter in his travels in place of a true cauldron or proper pill furnace. It has an uneven bottom, so you have to move and rotate it constantly to prevent it from overheating in small patches while heating slower in others. Not to mention your fuel, rather than being high quality charcoal or mystical fires produced from the feathers of phoenixes or Celestial Embers or other more exotic materials, is instead water logged wood that snaps and sparks constantly.

But these hurdles mean nothing to you, who has already overcome the great obstacle of lacking fingers or thumbs entirely. They are mere annoyances, rather than a true challenge or obstacle. Working without rest, you form and shape the medicinal pills while Ping meditates, Lei watches the flock of witless thralls and Feiqing rouses and watches you work, not daring to speak or break your concentration by offering his help or interfering in your alchemy.

Using ash as a binder, the pills you produce are a dark, greyish red color possessing a rough texture and a sour, sweet aroma like rotten milk. With little tools or means to refine them you simply roll them around the now cooled pot to smooth them into faultless spheres and to give them a slight sheen while allowing the various materials to fully soak and combine together. The Divine Blood Honey alone will remove the need to further purify and temper the pills. Breathing out, you collapse to your side, panting as the heat and smoke that had clouded burdened for the hours you labored gradually dissipates and is replaced with the pleasant coolness of the cavern. The stench of burnt wood and ashes remain, but they are drowned by the scent of the medicine which tickles the noses and burns the throat.

"It's finished" You proudly proclaim as you rest and cool down on the stone floor of the cavern "Give each of the bewitched half a pill, split and diluted in warmed water. This medicine is meant for the refined and strengthened bodies of cultivators, if it is given to them at its full strength it could have unforeseen side effects"

Your three companions follow your instructions exactly, stirring the medicine into boiled rain water inside of the unglazed clay cups and bowls they drink and eat out of.
Cont
>>
>>5147543

With their dirtied, callused hands, they bring the elixir to the pale lips of the first tribesmen, Ping holding the saucer, Lei pinching his nose, and Feiqing massaging his throat to force him to drink it down. You can all but see the medicine surge down his throat and settle in his starved belly, as the man's unhealthy parlor vanishes away as the elixir travels to its final destination. The man's dull and distant eyes slowly fill with new light and life as an expression of great shame and horror appears on the man's scarred face. Tears fill his eyes and he grips his head with both hands, holding it as he screams, his voice hoarse and weak from disuse and malnutrition.

"I was trapped in my own head! A prisoner of my body! forced to watch helplessly as I offered my own son to that monster! As I murdered and kill men like wild game!" He screams, on the verge of madness as he collapses into Lei's ready arms, weeping and crying "You should've killed me, Crimson Cat Goddess, so I could have atoned with my death! My hands are sullied! They will never be cleansed of the sins they have committed, the blood they have shed will never be washed away! The monstrousness of what I have done will haunt me to my death"

"I am aware, but it was not you who committed those crimes, it was not you who offered your child to the Boar demon" You sharply reprimand, trying to sooth the man's lunatic self loathing and despair with a light scolding so he'll see the foolishness of hating oneself for actions they were forced to commit against their will "Your hands may have performed such villainous things, and your body may have killed for and served a monstrous will, but it was not your own. There's nothing for you to atone for, the vengeful ghosts of your kin were wise enough, even consumed by their enmity, to not blame you for what you were made to do. Hold your head high, those your hands have betrayed would prefer to see you live a good life rather than end it in a wayward attempt to appease their spirits! Even if it is painful, Even if it is hard, live in the stead of those who have died"

The man, shamed by your words but realizing their wisdom, does little more than sob and weep into his hands, overwhelmed with grief and guilt. At least he has been kept from killing himself, but it is likely he will never recover from the mental damage of what he has done. It is unlikely any of them will.

As the rest of the tribe's survivors are cured, they react similarly but do not speak their desire to end themselves to redeem themselves. For even while bewitched, they heard your words. Those with powerful wills, who are not completely consumed by their sorrow and guilt, thank you by swearing oaths and promising to thank you for your mercy and heroism by immortalizing it in their legends and adding you to their totem of divine guardians.
Cont
>>
>>5147546

One young woman goes so far as to wipe the faded war paint on her face and replace it with blotches of red clay and charcoal that mimics the patterns of your own fur to declare the debt she owes to you and admiration she feels towards you for saving not only her but the whole of her people from a fate far worse than any death. Several more, her peers in age or station, soon follow her example and replace the assumedly traditional and symbolic painted masks they wore with ones that mimic the colors and appearance of your resplendent coat of blood red fur.

And you soon recognize an unexpected side effect of the medicinal pills you made. Despite having been mistreated and abused, denied food and water and rest, the tribesmen you have treated are healthier and stronger than they were before!

They offer to give you what little they have left, but you refuse since you do not want stinking furs and hides and whatever dried rations they had squirreled and hid away from their former master. They take this as an act of further generosity, and all fall to their knees to prostrate themselves before you and shout praises even greater than those they have already spoken.

Resisting the urge to roll your eyes, you sit before them to hear their second offer, since they refuse to part without showing their gratitude through gifts even though they have already shown it through adopting you as one of their primitive gods and revering you with song and the paint they wear on their faces.

"Perhaps then, Noble spirit, we can escort you and your adherents to your destination. You are strong, we mean no offense and do not offer protection but rather guidance" Their new elder, a man around the age of Feiqing swears earnestly and humbly.

And that offer is far more pleasing than being given an unneeded and unwanted gift of filthy leather and unpalatable food.

This has an unforeseen consequence, as your destination is in the heart of the mountains and you must pass through the territory of other wild clans and tribes, the very same whose members you had saved and prevented from enacting misplaced vengeance upon the tribe that now leads you through their lands. Somehow, with all of these savages seeing you not only as their savior, but as a guardian and merciful goddess, they begin to unify as those who were not captured or present your act of benevolence hear the story of how you came leading the souls of the slain and how you cured those made the devil's thrall with but a touch of your paw. This mutation of the actual events, acts as a pillar that ties these similar but separate tribes to come together and replace their various patron spirits and deities with crude idols of you made out of mud, wood and hides painted red.

Of course, despite being caught off guard by this development, you do not refuse their hospitality and gratitude and instead enjoy it as fully as you're able to.
Cont
>>
>>5147548

Being met with festivals and celebrations at every camp you rest at, as more and more tribes convert to the worship of Huanliuxue and hearing you're traveling, decide to do all they can to make the journey comfortable for you and your "divine servants". Though you refuse some of their more extreme shows of thanks and appreciation, such as the tribe of the White antlers, who offer to sacrifice their aging chief to you, or the Clans of the Butterfly maidens who offer you and your companions wives, husbands and concubines. Or the gift of liquor another tribe produces by chewing and spitting out berries and nuts into a pot washed with the wastes of a certain species of bear.

Feiqing enjoys being treated respectfully and kindly, being driven to tears every time you are welcomed into a new village or camp. Lei you are certain is also touched by the many shows of gratitude despite hiding his reactions behind that mask of his. Ping however, seems to progressively wither with every party thrown and feast held in your honor that he is forced to attend, and several times you have caught him starring mutely at the idols of you the tribes build and surround with offerings. But, he doesn't raise his voice or reprimand the barbarians for worshipping you. In fact, he hasn't called you demon since you saved the Tribals from the Boar Demon's belly now that you think about it.

Odd.

But, all good things come to an end and eventually you cross over a boundary where even the boldest tribal warrior refuses to crosses. The Spiritual energy of heaven and earth is thicker, denser and purer than the rest of the primordial wilderness and the ambient Qi is so potent and rich that it can be physically felt in the air, which it charges like static or heat.

Its almost oppressive just walking through lands of the heart of the true wilderness, and just from your first day traveling through the heart of the mountain, you can tell it is home to several powerful Magical Beasts and Monsters! You have even seen Dragons flying freely through the air and phoenixes gathered like common sparrows! Instead of deer, there are herds of Qilin! Feiqing and Lei are brought to tears at the beautiful sight of this seemingly heavenly paradise upon earth, but you are more warry.

Something about this place feels wrong, like you are walking over countless graves and intruding into the inner most shrine of a temple. That you have entered into the domain of the gods and ancient heroes. Ping and Feiqing notice it as well, as the sunsets. You decide to ask them to describe how this beautiful landscape feels wrong as you rest by a lake of water so pure it is almost invisible to the naked eye.

A dragon turtle basks on a rock nearby as Ping and Feiqing contemplate their answers.
Cont
>>
>>5147551

"It feels as though, despite its beauty, this place is a temple of evil gods" Ping hisses "but, many of the inhabitants are clearly divine beasts and creatures! Servants and companions of the gods! Good omens! I do not understand why my spiritual sense screams to me that this place is in someway....wrong"

"It feels like those abandoned battlefields I stumbled upon while fleeing from the capital. Like this is more of a tomb than a garden. Something terrible happened here, of that I am certain" Feiqing explains, before being splashed seconds later as Lei tries to spear fish on the shore, seemingly unconcerned by the sense of foreboding that has afflicted you and the two other men

"Gah!" Feiqing gasps after his impromptu bath "But as i was saying, lady Huanliuxue, I am also overwhelmed by my sixth sense, The spiritual energy here is so potent it is almost blinding"

"Think of the treasures to be found" Ping sighs, scratching at his cheek "Even a handful of dirt from here could make my sect wealthy and respect. Everything here is a divine treasure! From the stones of the shore, to the sticks on the ground, to the spider webs between them! It is incredible!"

What do you, Huanliuxue?

>Continue on through the heavenly paradise, not camping or resting out of fear of what it may be hiding, and search for your prize!

>Once more unfortunately agreeing with Ping, realize the wealth of this place and take its treasures to serve as cultivation and alchemical materials

>Something about this place feels oddly familiar...(Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 80)

>Ping calls it an evil temple, Feiqing a battlefield and tomb, you feel it is a holy place, relying entirely on your sense of smell and sense of Consciousness, follow the smell of old graves and blood (Perception trial. DC 65)

>Write in
>>
>>5147556
>>Ping calls it an evil temple, Feiqing a battlefield and tomb, you feel it is a holy place, relying entirely on your sense of smell and sense of Consciousness, follow the smell of old graves and blood (Perception trial. DC 65)
Perhaps this is where the demon king fell, or some such? The site of the final battle
>>
>>5147556
>Ping calls it an evil temple, Feiqing a battlefield and tomb, you feel it is a holy place, relying entirely on your sense of smell and sense of Consciousness, follow the smell of old graves and blood (Perception trial. DC 65)
Better to be careful than to stumble into some horrible fate.
>>
>>5147556
>Something about this place feels oddly familiar...(Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 80)
>>
>>5147556
>Ping calls it an evil temple, Feiqing a battlefield and tomb, you feel it is a holy place, relying entirely on your sense of smell and sense of Consciousness, follow the smell of old graves and blood (Perception trial. DC 65)
I'm scared of the high DCs, but too curious to pass up.
>>
>>5147556
>Something about this place feels oddly familiar...(Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 80)
>>
>>5147556
>Something about this place feels oddly familiar...(Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 80)
If this place is truly as nefarious as it feels, it would not be wise to just keep going in blindly.
>>
>>5147556
>Ping calls it an evil temple, Feiqing a battlefield and tomb, you feel it is a holy place, relying entirely on your sense of smell and sense of Consciousness, follow the smell of old graves and blood (Perception trial. DC 65)
More likely to work than the other one.
>>
>>5147556
>Ping calls it evil

This is what we wanted. Bloodshed, carnage. A source of heavenly Blood Qi. The sort found in battlefields.
>>
>>5147556
>Something about this place feels oddly familiar...(Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 80)
>>
>>5147556
>Something about this place feels oddly familiar...(Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 80)
>>
>>5147556
>Something about this place feels oddly familiar...(Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 80)
>>
>>5147551
>No big titty tribal gf
>>
>>5149259
Fenqinq must have extreme discipline for him to decline an amazon wife who would think he is holy, after he spent all his life searching for companionship because he was born ugly.
>>
>>5149351
He's dedicated to the glory of his teacher, no two words about it.
>>
>>5149358
Besides, nothing says he can't come back after all this and grab a harem of whatever flavor of booty catches his fancy. To quote Vegeta "First the immortality, then the bitches."
>>
>>5147556
>Ping calls it an evil temple, Feiqing a battlefield and tomb, you feel it is a holy place, relying entirely on your sense of smell and sense of Consciousness, follow the smell of old graves and blood (Perception trial. DC 65)
>>
Ending the vote now.

Ping calls it an evil temple, Feiqing a battlefield and tomb, you feel it is a holy place, relying entirely on your sense of smell and sense of Consciousness, follow the smell of old graves and blood: 6

Something about this place feels oddly familiar...: 6

So we have a perfect tie. Rather than tie breaking since I feel that would be unfair in this circumstance
Both will win, since they can be easily combined, as one of them is just Huanliuxue shifting through her memory/instinct

So you will try and pin down why this place feels so oddly familiar and then will rely on your Spiritual sense and sense of smell to follow the scent of blood and old graves,


Update will arrive shortly, and the first intermediate one will end calling for the Instinct Trial roll, and the second will call for the Perception trial roll.
>>
Yet the more and deeper you ponder the oddly unnerving ambience of this place of divine beasts and wise ancients; and how it seems to adapt to almost attack each individual by taking on an unnatural air personalized and uniquely crafted to unsettle them, the more it feels to be wholly artifical. Ping feels it is a place of potent evil despite its thus far benign and unhostile inhabitants and sublime natural beauty, Feiqing despite being seduced by the same sublime beauty of unaltered wilderness, believes he is walking upon fresh graves a site of atrocity when he is not blinded by the sheer amount of Natural, primordial Spiritual Energy that fills this inner most valley of the forgotten wilds. And you, when you sample the Heavenly Qi and sights around you, cannot help but to think you are trespassing in the domain of the very same heavens that seek to unravel you imperial destiny and end your life brutally. It is almost as if this ambient dread, that takes on a different form for each who possess an active and open spiritual sense, is a façade of a sorts. A mask. And that connection allows you to realize that beneath the fear of being struck by a bolt of divine retribution or squashed beneath the heel of a great stone idol or simply burned from this earth beneath a ray of radiant sunlight, that this paradise feels familiar to you.

But not in one way, like a half forgotten memory of childhood or similar form of vague familiarity and unreachable recollection. Sitting down, the dragon turtle resting in the sun turns its tired eyes towards you as Lei continues to splash water on Feiqing and the shore as he tries to spear that fat carp swimming in the crystal waters of the lake. Meditating on the strange sensation of familiarity that now dominates your mind you look upon your reflection and the ripples on the waters surface, and the jade scaled carp darting beneath it out of the path of Lei's spear. Soon your ruminations bear fruit, as you come to understand the forms of this odd sense of recollection takes and that there are two different reasons why this place of serene, unrivaled and heavenly beauty seems as familiar to you as your own tail.

Inborn instinct and a memory of a song you once heard when you were a dull minded kitten.

Frowning, you furrow your brow and deepen your meditation to try and reveal the mysteries your animal instincts hide and has faded from your memory. A burning, dull pain echoes from the center of your brow as the grueling mental excursion of chasing fleeting and long buried memories begins to wear upon you. The pain sharpens and spreads, heated nails driven through the flesh and bone of your head. The effort is exhausting, but you continue the painful contemplation nonetheless

roll 1d100. DC 80. Best out of three. First roll of two trials
>>
Rolled 84 (1d100)

>>5149741
>>
Rolled 90 (1d100)

>>5149741
>>
Rolled 25 (1d100)

>>5149741
>>
>>5149745
>>5149747
Man, our luck in rolls has really turned around, huh?
>>
>>5149750
Yeah, I was scared when I rolled, I was expecting a 1 to ruin everything.
>>
>>5149747
Ten over DC exactly!

Update will arrive shortly.

>>5149750
Its kind of spooky, since it started happening around the time you performed your 5th [Good Karma] action

>>5149752
>Huanliuxue loses her focus cause Lei splashes her
>>
The deep sea of your memory reaches towards an endless, blood red horizon. Sitting in the theater of your mind, surround by every thought you ever had, you shift through and consider each of them, measuring their worth and relevancy to the answers you seek like a master teamaker picking through countless leaves and buds in search of the best material to age, preserve and one day refine into a treasure. Every moment of your life, appearing as paintings floating in the bloody waters of memory, float by you, stained with the emotions that cemented each and preserved them in your mind. The petty and forgettable echoes of your past are mere doodles, looking more like your handiwork than the pieces of a master painter as your more treasured and stronger memories appear. Eventually, your attempts are forcing recollection leads you to a shore of skulls and unmarked grave markers. Though Nine of them, upon the crest of the single hill of the island of bones, are the same nine piles of stone you placed over the graves of the nine children who cared for you in your first life, with wooden plaques carved with the names you knew them by.

Pinwheel girl, Wart nose, The fat one, Too clingy, little soldier, The swimmer, Toy maker, Terrible singer and Ear puller. Pinwheel girl's pinwheel sits, turning in the grave winds of your mind that also lift little soldier's scarf into the air. Bowing your head to pay respects to your deceased caretakers, you step over the hill and enter the portion of your mind devoted to the simplistic, animal thoughts and half understood insights of your existence as a mere, stupid animal.

The painted memories in this grey, half formed plane are plain. Cruder than any in your intelligent mind, even the most faded of thoughts and unremembered experiences. Most of them are easily understood, even though you have long since risen above such simplicity. The ones concerning the trauma and grudge that awakened your sense of self and awakened you to the world, its cruelties, injustices and mysteries sit upon the hill of bones, so for awhile you're able to reminisce of the happy, carefree days of your youth. Of playing by the river's edge, lazing upon porches and laps, being fed fatty pieces of fish, chicken and pork, chasing mice and sparrows and countless other mundane, daily experiences that then felt like the height of existence and bliss. But even while your white furred self's daily life and its petty fears and joys seem pointless and droll to you now, they remain treasured memories. Just seeing the nine childrens' and the other villagers faces again is euphoric.

But you cannot linger in the memories of the trouble free past, and so deeper you search until at last you find a memory, depicting you as a kitten seeking shelter under a house and hearing a song. The very same song that you remember, and now that you can understand it, you realize why it was one of the two reasons the serene valley seemed oh so familiar to you.

Cont
>>
>>5149799
It was a fairytale story in verse, meant to lull children to sleep with a heroic tale so they would dream of virtuous sword saints and valiant warriors of the heavens rather than suffer nightmares. Specifically a bowdlerized variation of the story of the final battle of the demon lord Zhìzūn-Móxīn and the Five Colors Celestial Emperor referred to in this song; sanitized of all the more unpleasant truths of the reign of Zhizun Moxin, the harsh realities of war and combat, and any mention of Magical beasts besides as "Wild Demons", as simply Five Colors.

How they met atop a peak that grew from the depths of Hell and Reached to pierce through the heavens, and as their swords clashed to create thunder and lighting as their movements whipped the winds into a storm and the maidens of heaven wept and prayed for Five colors victory, all of the creatures and men of the world watched the battle with baited breath. How the sun rose to encourage five colors as he was thrown to the ground, how he fought with the strength of a thousand, how felt pity for his bested foe as he severed his head and for the damage their duel caused to the world which has been rendered into little more than a wasteland of sand and barren rock, chose to renew it with his own flesh and blood, starting upon the very peak where that world shattering duel took place, and spread the five colors across the land.

You are nearly driven from your rumination as you realize why all of your feel unsettled by this place for a different reason. It is a place of evil, it is a graveyard and it is a holy temple! For this is where The Demon Lord ruled, where he and his armies fell and were buried alongside countless virtuous immortals and even more mortal heroes. Xianxia and Wuxia buried alongside demons and devils alike! The temple of purest evil, the mass grave of heroes and villains alike, and the most holy site of all! This sensation is no ward or hex to scare away trespassers, it is an instinctual reaction that is perhaps why Gods and Men avoid this place to begin with! and why perhaps, besides the sheer density of Qi which is incredible even in the borderlands of this primordial wilderness, Magical Beasts are so common place and why the few tribes of primitive men who live here do not fear or abhor them as vile demons!

And that, allows you to step beyond the line separating the memory of the moment of your birth, into the innate knowledge of your sole.

And you realize why you see the heavenly valley in the light you do. Because it was here were your people were betrayed, and a genetic memory of dread arose to try and, as the survivors of the war did, flee into the wilds and hide away from those who now hunted and scorned them! And you realize the reason such a memory exists within you.
cont
>>
>>5149800

Because, one of the first to be cut down by the same cultivators who once called them comrade, friend and family, used their last breath to cast a spell upon every animal to awaken after the edict was made.

And you can see them now, in the furthest reaches of your memory, alongside your most basic and primal of instincts. They appear as a shadow so vague you cannot tell what species they were originally or even if they were a man or woman, all you can tell is they had taken a human form like the first Ascended beast, Niú Bingwen, the founder of the Mountain Shattering Hammer Law! The Stone Bull!.

They reach out to you, as a spear tasseled with stars pierces their noble heart and burns away their very soul. And you recognize the spear itself, for it is a legend of its own. The Celestial Lance of the Five Colored stars! The personal artifact, treasure and weapon of the Five Colors Celestial Emperor. But it is not his hands that plunged it into the Magical beast who sacrificed themselves to protect the future generations, to protect you and preserve the legacy of Primordial beasts by casting a dim light of hope into the future with the last of their energy! The shadow flickers, and then fades away, leaving you alone in the darkness of primal instinct.

Opening your eyes, the pain inflicted by the sheer mental labor of remembering what you had long forgotten and knew by instinct alone vanishes immediately.

"Thank you" You utter to the wind, hoping vainly it will one day reach the ears of the destroyed spirit of the martyr who gave their lives to try and protect the rest of their race, even those who truly had become demons in nature as well as name.

Standing up, tall and proud with new found respect and renewed sense of responsibility , you take this new found comprehension, understanding and the new insight you have revealed of the legacy you carry, and expand your consciousness while shutting off your sense of hearing, sight, touch and taste to empower both your spiritual sense and sense of smell beyond their natural limits.

Roll 1d100+25. DC 65. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 33 + 25 (1d100 + 25)

>>5149803
Lets go
>>
Rolled 11 + 25 (1d100 + 25)

>>5149803
>>
>>5149804
>>5149815
We literally need a 40. Fuck sake, who jinxed us. Was it ping? That asshole.
>>
Rolled 44 + 25 (1d100 + 25)

>>5149803
>>
>>5149824

SUCCESS!
44, how fitting considering Huanliuxue's connection to ghosts and death. Not so fitting is that the result is 69, but eh.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5149804
33
>>5149815
11
>>5149824
44. . .

What in tarnation
>>
To the three men who followed the Demon Cat Huanliuxue far beyond the reach of civilization, mankind and even the gods, the red furred, ox sized house cat suddenly rose, rather solemnly to her feet and closed her eyes. Lei, quickly ignore the strange action of his master, and turned once more to the delicious looking fish swimming just below the surface of the clear, jade pure waters of the lake they were resting at, while Feiqing grew concerned and Ping grew curious. The former rushed to her side, asked her if something was wrong or if she had reached a new insight concerning the Dao while Ping remained silent. When Huanliuxue did not react to being soaked with water, and continues to step slowly north in the direction of the very center of the primordial wilderness they had been exploring and journeying through, Feiqing grew more worried while Ping grew more curious. Trusting that Lei could defend himself, as he was the only of the three with a weapon and fighting experience, the ape faced smith and the disciple of winter's wisdom, followed behind the apparently bewitched Huanliuxue, who had seemingly been possessed by some desire or comprehension neither man could understand nor realize themselves.

Blind and deaf, the Cat Demon wandered far from the lake, guided as if by a leash away from dangers such as furious flood dragons wailing about lost loves or the temptations offered by strange men, who though they appeared human were so unsettling in manner and speech that they could be nothing else than demons in disguise. Ping chanted mantras, hands trembling as he held his prayer beads which themselves were wrapped and pasted with mystical and holy talismans, Feiqing merely shouted and called out to Huanliuxue as she traversed further and into more dangerous and frightening places. Such as charred fields lit only by ever burning flames, or canyons that were populated by monstrously large serpents, scorpions and pale hands of ethereal hands. This was where Ping and Feiqing turned away and left Huanliuxue, knowing that they could not survive the journey she now undertook in a meditative trance.

Further, yet further, The Happy Bloodshed walked, wandering and lead by the vaguest of senses, following a trail that had been left behind ten generations prior.

Through an open courtyard of gemstones, coins and treasures beyond mortal imagining, across a field of beautiful flowers and more beautiful yet, through a manor where a feast of heavenly delicacies was prepared and left to be claimed, a tournament ground soaked with blood, a field of flowers lit by every warming sunlight where the winds sang whispered lullabies, and past a palace where a statue of herself stood before its opened gates. Huanliuxue passed through chambers representing all one hundred and forty five sins daoism and then passed through twenty two more representing Sins only to those who sought to pursue the highest and most primordial Dao.
Cont
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>>5149867

By shutting off her senses completely, and not being tempted by the smells that would tempt even the most austere daoist because cats delight and are attracted to other scents than men are, Huanliuxue bested the trials without ever knowing she had walked into a vast temple empty save for the one hundred sixty seven trials that were placed within it, which shall not be described for they are unimportant to Huanliuxue's Journey to the center of the True Wilderness. For, surrounded by the vast gold and marble temple as if ringed nine times, sat a peak of black stone shorn and shattered to be a mere fraction of its former height.

its guardians, puppets made purely of the five elements, did not assail her as she passed them by, for they sensed no earthly desire or ambition within her empty mind. For she did not know to where she wandered or what awaited her. By trusting her Spiritual sense completely and emptying her mind of all thought to keep herself from reconsidering her choice out of caution or paranoia, Huanliuxue accidentally passed the final test of a travelers morality by sheer coincidence, as she did all trials before.

Perhaps it is true that the humble housecat is an incarnation of good fortune, for Huanliuxue's good luck was at this moment peerless beneath the heavens and could only in theory be surpassed by true divine intervention and providence! Marching up the stepped path carved from the black stone spire, Huanliuxue walked up to the lowest reaches of the heavens without realizing it.

Walking past pools of golden water and jade grass, she passed by two lanterns lit with seeds of the Celestial sun and moon, and passed over a bridge made from the broken blades of heroes whose names had been forgotten and legends that had passed from myth and into the subconscious mind of all of mankind.

And, a lonely and old god, who had lived the isolated and austere life of a ascetic hermit away from all three realms for ten generation, glanced up as he sensed her approach and then saw her.

Sitting down beneath a peach tree, he set his cane down and smile, pulling a Gong Fu Tea Ceremony set from the pocket dimension he kept in his Spatial robes.

"Hoh!" He huffed, to draw his guest from her trance
_

You open your eyes to find yourself in a divine garden of beautiful flowers, with living jade carved into its grass and gold light flowing through its dainty streams feeding towering trees with marble white bark bearing fruits that glowed like stars. It felt as though you were in the most pleasant dream, one you wished you could experience forever .But, you were drawn from your reverie admiring the garden immediately, by a sight that was so out of place it immediatly shook you from it.

An ordinary old human, sitting beneath a tree in dingy brown robes patched with straw and patches of cotton fabric that did not match the robe's color or the other squares of cotton!
Cont
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>>5149869

He had a bald head and a long white beard that coiled around him like a constricting snake.

"Hoh-hoh" He chuckled as he bid you to come closer, with a bamboo table in front of him, set with cups and a small silver tea pot "I was not expecting a visitor so soon after I retired to this humble temple, let alone one so young! My my! You must be a prodigy without equal to have arrived here at the foundation establishment stage! And the first Rank at that! Or the most lucky of all children born since I washed my hands in the golden basin! Come, sit and have tea with me, child, we have much to discuss!"

"Eh?" You grunt, tilting your head as the old man produces a fan made of phoenix and Luan bird tail feathers

"What's the matter child? You must have come here with a purpose? Come and share a cup of tea with me while we discuss what that is. You must be weary after traveling so far to arrive here, so lay your weary legs to rest and tell me what brings you to my retreat" He says, as it slowly dawns on you the smell of blood and old graves is centered upon this old man and you realize that he isn't an ordinary senior. He is a god.

And he doesn't hate you. There is no aggression is his mannerism, expression or tone. But still, you take an involuntary step backwards

"Are you afraid of me?" He asks sadly, pouting as he poured tea into the pitcher and then into the two cups upon the board, all of which had been carved from mutton fat jade "I assure you, I am nothing to be afraid of. I have not raised a spear in ten generations, nor have I left this garden or felt a single violent thought"

You can't say a word, and merely look at him in silent disbelief as a breeze pass through the garden, rustling the branches of the celestial trees and causing the jade grass to sway before it parts through your fur.

"Why do you distrust me so child? Have you passed through the wilds, the battleground and the temple? Surely you must have known what waited for you at the end of your journey!" He laughs before suddenly falling deathly silent, before raising his voice far sterner than before "Something...someone has scared you, abused you, I can sense it in the turmoil of your soul. What's happened outside of these walls"

He sighed and recomposed himself

"Sit, child, your reward takes precedence over the happenings of the three realms and the worlds I have left behind" He said softly, gently, like a doting grandparent.

A tone no cat can resist! No matter how far they have risen beyond being a pampered pet!

Begrudgingly, you accept the old garden god's hospitality, and take a seat opposite of him, sitting on your haunches

"Now, drink your tea before it gets cold, it is Big Red Robe oolong! Grown in the the plantation of the fair harvest sister goddesses! A treasure of tea!" He said merrily, nodding his head, and motioning with an upturned, open hand towards the cup. He blinked thrice, looking at you expectingly for a moment longer
Cont
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>>5149871

"Has no one taught you how to take a human form? are you an orphaned Divine beast? Or has your parent forsaken you?" He asked sadly, almost pityingly, with unshed tears shimmering in his eyes.

that is when you fully comprehend he is entirely ignorant of the events of the last ten generations.

"Forgive me, I've become distracted again child, your circumstances do not matter, besides that you have traveled far and succeeded where many of your betters would fail. What matters is the prize your fortune or virtue has awarded you" He mutters, angry at himself "Allow me to, accommodate you better"

glancing down, you found the cup replaced with a saucer, and in shocked looked back to the old man to find him meekly scratching his head, with an embarrassed smile beneath his snow white beard.

"So, tell me child, what have you come here seeking?" He asks, pressing you as he pulls a meatbun from his sleeve and bites into it.

How do you answer the Grandfatherly God's question, Huanliuxue?

>"Power! That is what I seek! Power! I need more power!"

>"Uncorrupted Blood Qi. Insight into the Dao of blood! That is what I seek to possess "

>"My destiny! I am heir to the primordial beasts! Give me my crown, Old man!"

>"To further my personal development and the development of my self taught law!"

>"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens" [Unlocked through having 5+ good Karma]

>Write in
>>
well now, should we go to the GK vote?
>>
>>5149875
>>
>>5149875
>>"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens" [Unlocked through having 5+ good Karma]
>>
>>5149875
>The truth? I have come here to find a source of pure Blood Qi, so I could meditate upon it a learn more, and hopefully attain more power. Power and knowledge that I need to be able to be a worthy ruler, teacher, daughter and student. And if I can right wrongs on the way, specially those forsaken by the heavens as my kind was, then it's all the better.
I think this touches on our goal, our reason and our karma
>>
>>5149875
>"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens" [Unlocked through having 5+ good Karma]
If we unlocked something then that's probably better than the others.
>>
>>5149894
Maybe replace the second power to strength, to make it a duality of needing both strength and knoweldge to be a good cultivator.
>>
Hope our boys are okay or at least had the good sense to turn back. I don't think they could have survived this otherwise.

>>5149894
Supporting
>>
>>5149894
I'll back this.
>>
>>5149875
I don't like long write-ins that try to combine options, so I'll go with the default option that makes the most sense
>>"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens" [Unlocked through having 5+ good Karma]
ultimately that's what the Blood qi was for, after all. our MC wanted it, but it wasn't her actual goal of itself, she just needed to be stronger than any other cultivator in order to survive long enough to found her sect to right the natural order of the world
>>
>>5149894
Supporting this but with >>5149897 addition.
>>
>>5149804
>>5149815
>>5149824
Triple dubs? What strange fortune.
>>
>>5149875
>"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens" [Unlocked through having 5+ good Karma]
>>
>>5149875
>"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens" [Unlocked through having 5+ good Karma]
>>
>>5149875
>"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens" [Unlocked through having 5+ good Karma]
>>
>>5149894
This seems sensible. Supporting.
>>
>>5149875
>Something to right the injustices of the world (Good karma)

Maybe we should mention that our original goal was Blood Qi. Just as our first thought of how we would solve this issue.
>>
>>5150124
And I suddenly desire to tell him our story, completely and totally.

Seems like five colours is a cool dude.
>>
>>5150127
Well I certainly don't trust him.
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>>5150131
Perhaps it isnt wise to immediately trust strange daoist gods we meet.

But he gave us tea in a saucer.
>>
>>5149894
Supporting
>>
>>5149896
supporting this solid reasoning over the fence-sitting write in
>>
>>5150144
also, grandfatherly god? This guy is OPs self-insert!
>>
I just finished catching up on archive and I'm loving this! Don't wanna single post tho
>>
>>5149894
Supporting this
>>
>>5150364
>>5150364
He must be exceptionally powerful! Surely if we were to ask him, he would know of a way to reverse the shattering of ones cultivation.

He is perhaps the biggest source of possibility that we could have hoped to encounter.

>>5150363
I wouldnt call it fence sitting. If we look at this vote as a genuine question, the write in is a bit more comprehensive rather than reductive.
If we look at it as "what boon do you want" then it is hedging its bets.
>>
>>5149955
>>5150363
You can not like the qrite-in, but calling it the fence sitting, or wanting to do everything is wrong, it's simply the truth write-in.
Whatever else we say wpuld not really be the truth, because we came here looki g for the Blood Qi to adf to our Death qi, and we wanted to do it to become more powerful, and we wanted powwr to survive and have our sect.
We help people along do way because we do the right thing, not once did we make our mission to be a hero, we simply did it. Unless this option is meant to be Huan's revelation and she stops being tsundere about being a good person, in which case I would switch to it, running gags stop being funny eventually.
>>
>>5150485
Actually, screw it, I will change to
>"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens" [Unlocked through having 5+ good Karma]
Just because it might lead to some mystery reward.
>>
...Why do I get the feeling this God is about to go: "THEY DID WHAT!?"
>>
>>5150549
Because he looks to be a kindly old man who had friendly relations with magical beasts.
>>
>>5150549
Probably because that is exactly what it will happen.
Even worse that it wasn't even five colours that betrayed our kind, but someone wielding his spear, so the old gods may even be innocent of this.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

"Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens": 9

The truth? I have come here to find a source of pure Blood Qi, so I could meditate upon it a learn more, and hopefully attain more power. Power and knowledge that I need to be able to be a worthy ruler, teacher, daughter and student. And if I can right wrongs on the way, specially those forsaken by the heavens as my kind was, then it's all the better.:6
- replace second power with strength: 1

So you'll tell the aged god "Hmm, I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens"

Update will arrive shortly

>>5150364
I do own a silver teapot.

>>5150386
Glad you're enjoying it! I'm having a blast writing it
>>
You stare at your reflection, dyed by the reddish gold color of the tea's liquor, a sweet and fruity aroma wafting up from its surface carried by steam. You can feel heat peeling from it, radiating from the saucer. Cautiously you lapped at its surface, shivering as the heat met your tongue and splashed over your snout, catching on your whiskers to drip down on your upper lip in a most unpleasant way. You imagine it would be tastier, if you could actually taste its sweetness. It feels like you're drinking hot, scalding water steeped with cinnamon bark and Pine needles and tar, upon which orchid petals fell. Your lips part, as the unwelcome addition of citrus of some sort joins the rest of the flavors on your tongue that is accustomed to raw meats. Other nameless tastes ripple through your mouth. Something sour, like wolfberries. Something nutty buried beneath the spice. Sesame seeds?!

The old god beneath the peach tree, laughs as he sees your disgusted reaction, not out of cruel mockery, laughing like he's seen a child pucker their lips and whimper after being tricked into sucking on the rind of a freshly cut lemon. Despite the explosion of flavor, it feels like you've just sucked on a rock or toasted grains, and the heat! The heat is unpleasant! How can humans drink something so hot! Your eyes open nearly as wider as the saucer the heat is gradually replaced by a cooling sensation that trickles down your throat. The hermit grins a merrily relaxed smile, as his eyes twinkle as if they have been filled with stars.

"Is it to your tastes, my young visitor?" He asks quietly, endearingly humble as he waves his hand over his own cup and takes a long, slurping gulp from it, flecks of the golden red tea sticking to and discoloring his mutton fat white beard

You shake your head. He bows his head, and when you look back to the tea table, the saucer and its tea are gone.

"Fine tea is something that a tongue must be taught to understand, to comprehend all of its flavors and appreciate its texture" He says, almost sounding guilty, to the point his explanation sounds less like scolding and more of an admission of his own folly "And the natural sweetness of it is lost to a cat's tongue, I should've offered a more fitting choice of beverage to my guest, that would not upset your tongue and that you could appreciate fully"

He glances at you expectantly as he fills his little silver teapot, which has been hammered in the shape of an open Lotus blossom, with fresh, steaming water. You know what he's expecting you to tell him, as he has asked you to answer his question of what you have come to his garden seeking. A garden that you did not know existed let alone waited for you at the end of your journey, a journey that you never imagined would bring you to the outer reaches of the heavens themselves. He smiles grandfatherly, a soothing warmth radiating from him as he waits for his answer, after he distracted you by asking if you enjoyed his tea.

Cont
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>>5150942
In truth you had been considering his response since he first asked your intent and purpose in traveling so far. Its a dangerous question to answer, for words can reveal much about their speaker. But, this god is strange and seems ignorant of the happenings outside of his humble parcel of land, as he treats you more like a distant relative than a monster to be exterminated and seems to almost view you as an equal despite the incomprehensible distance between your cultivation and his own. Even though he is cordial and kind, you feel crushed under the weight of his aura and can easily envision him plucking the sun out of the sky as easily as he turns over his hand. Yet your survival instincts remain asleep, despite being somewhat overreactive, they do not sense any danger from this old man. In fact you feel completely at ease in his company, comfortable almost.

Thousands of the potential replies and answers roil in your head as you weigh each of them against the others by the risks and potential repercussions of speaking them out loud. But none of them feel honest, and you refuse them before you even consider speaking them. A hollow answer without conviction would only serve to insult the kindly old god. Instead, you abandon your quarreling thoughts and turn instead to your heart for answers, thinking exactly as you did when Monu asked you of your ambitions. Blood Qi? Power? Progress? All of those were mere stepping stones for your true goal. You need to be strong so you can achieve your ambitions, not for yourself. And your ambition was certainly not a selfish pursuit of glory or power. Nor was it to find a source of Qi no one else cultivates to gain an edge against those who would hunt you down like a flea ridden mutt. No no. The Spiritual energy of blood and the power it would allow you to grasp, were nothing more than stepping stones, glorified spring boards. They were meaningless except to achieve your goal.

Your dream.
Your destiny!

Confident, with a coy smile, you flicked your tail and sighed, feeling quite foolish for struggling to provide an answer when it was so apparent what you came seeking! All you had to do was be honest with yourself, seek answers from your heart rather than your brain. Reason, logic, it was worthless compared to one's true feelings. And yours, while simple, were anything but humble or meek.

"Hmm" you snort, tapping your paw on the tea table as the Old god's eyes widen and glow with a solar intensity that feels as though it is searing through your very being, but it is not painful or unpleasant, merely unsettling

"I suppose I came hear seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world" You admit, to both yourself and the old man, who bows his head, sipping quietly from his tea cup as he listens closely to every word you speak, nearly hanging on them "And protect those unloved by the heavens"
Cont
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>>5150944
You look into the god's eyes without fear or doubt. A breezes passes through the garden, and an eternity seems to pass with the two of you staring into the others eyes. He cups his steaming cup of team in the crook between his palm and wrist, a curious smirk on his lips and stars once more filling his eyes. His smirk becomes a smile, and then a grin. Raising his chin, he looks to the sky and the heavens above his little, isolated garden. And craning his neck back, places a hand upon his knee before bringing his head back down to nod once. A simple gesture, that feels heavens shaking! The breeze quiets, as the gale force of his movement cuts through it like a thrown spear piercing through hide!

"My my! What a laudable ambition! So few in the world of cultivation pause to think of the little people, those not blessed with the potential to even approach divinity. And fewer yet concern themselves with those who live their lives in the gutter" He praises clapping his hand on his knee, pausing only to take another noisy slurp of his steaming tea "Even when I left it seemed even the wisest of the sects were growing overly concerned with the acquisition and stockpiling of power, wealth and prestige! I suppose that is a side effect of the world we were born into, ravaged by war and villainy! But how tiresome it was! To see men, who just won peace, speak of swords, Sabers and spears! To speak of the strength to fight rather than to rebuild! It is"

He pauses, glancing down at his own reflection and sucking in a breath of cold air as if he was shocked to see how old he had become

"It was as if they had forgotten how to be proper daoists!" He shouts, his tea cup vanishing into smoke as he clenches his fist "So it is greatly reassuring and pleasing to see that pure hearts and inborn nobility yet exist in the ranks of my lesser. I was afraid they'd find another war to wage, after tasting the thrill of combat. It comforts this old man's heart to know, that amongst the nascent gods, a child as kindly as you, who would be guardian and friend to worms and scum alike, exists. Injustice sprouts and spreads its strangling vines, because men and gods grow prideful. Those unloved by the heavens"

The old god wags his finger, closing his eyes as he ponders the wording of his lesson. They shoot open suddenly

"Those unloved by the heavens, forgotten by fortune, abandoned by fate, overlooked and scorned by gods, immortals and mortal men alike have done nothing to deserve such a sorry, pitiful existence! To be forsaken because of one's birth is an injustice itself! To realize they are worth protecting, to realize the world is greatly flawed shows you are far wiser than your years! Perhaps I shall see you in the Celestial court before another generation passes, eh?" He shouts passionately, clapping his hands together and leaping into the air.
Cont
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>>5150946

He vanishes for several seconds as he rockets into the clouds, shooting through them like an arrow. Your jaw drops as you look on the accidental show of strength with unrestrained awe.

He lands back down, as if he had only taken a step down a flight of stares, hands tucked into the sleeves of his dingy robe.

"That is if I dare break my solitude to return to the heavens" He chuckles as you stare at him in amazement and confusion "Undo what is unjust in the world....and protect those unloved by the heavens, truly an admirable ambition. Selfless. Pure. So many others would ask for power or knowledge of the dao. Treasures, divine artifacts. A bow to slay a thousand dragons, armor to block any spear. Materialistic desires, earthly rewards"

He places a hand upon your forehead, and you can sense his unfathomably pure and dense Qi circulating through his meridians like all of the waves of the ocean pressed against your brow.

"But you spoke from your heart, and asked for something to benefit others. You posses a sagely and principled mind, though I am uncertain if those principles would align with the common sense of any of the three worlds! But what use is common sense when it blinds men to the faults of reality and life?' He asks, petting and patting your head gingerly, careful to not injure you or even make you uncomfortable "Come, Young Mistress I shall lead you to the reward the purity of your mind has earned you. So many have eyes but cannot see mount tai! To think one who has only just reached the foundation establishment stage could realize what her elders could not, the gravest flaw of men and the world they inhabit! That even those born unblessed deserve concern, and that simply because Injustice has existed since life began does not mean it should be unopposed!"

"You...you are truly wise grandfather!" You gasp, his insights illuminating your mind like the sun does the day "Too often the underserving and innocent are trampled by the ambitions of the proud and greedy!"

"Such is the way of the world" He says ruefully, as he leads you through his garden, the grass carved of jade parting to reveal a path paved with slabs of pearl and colorful, candy like agate polished to an nearly mirror finish "The weak are prey to the strong, regrettably"

He pauses in the center of the bridge leading to a small but well kept shrine and the lonely stoney island it sat upon, bare of grass and trees. But, it was packed with graves, each with a single silk sash tied around their centers, protecting the names carved upon them from the passing of time and weather.

"But, before I gift you what you deserve, Young mistress, Tell me your name and why you are so skittish and afraid?" He asks quietly, turning to you with a sorrowful expression. His eyes shimmer, not with stars but with tears yet to fall.
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>>5150949

What do you tell him, Huanliuxue

>The truth. Furiously.

>try and fool him into believing that nothing has changed in the world since he left it

>"My name is unimportant, though it is spoken with fear and reverence alike. And no matter how long you wait, you will never meet me in the heavens, unless I right a great wrong. That is all I shall say, for it would be unforgiveable to upset your peace after you treated me so kindly and fairly"

>Just tell him your name, and nothing more.

>Write in
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>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
I don't see why we should be lying, he wouldn't be angry at us for saying it.
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
>>
>>5150949
>So many have eyes but cannot see mount tai!
he said the line!
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
Huanliuxue has never been one to mask her true feelings!
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
>>
>The truth. Furiously, but first, apologize for what we’re about to tell him.
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
You know, this dude seems pretty cool, and has been very hospitable and polite. Maybe we should leave him be in peace and not harrow him with the future his peers brought about?

YEAH RIGHT
LISTEN UP OLD MAN
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
>>
>>5150950
>The truth. Furiously.
>>
>>5151079
Supporting this
>>
>>5151079
+1
>>
>>5151079
Supporting
>>
>>5151079
I support the apology.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the results

The truth. Furiously.:15
- but first, apologize for what we’re about to tell him:5

Unanimous vote for telling the Old caretaker of the garden the truth, furiously

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Okay update is done. Its a long one. But I need to delay posting it since I need to run some errands...in the middle of the night, right as I was ready to post the update.

Won't be too long of a delay. Just figured I'd explain why the update was taking so long
>>
You look into the old man's eyes and turn away, facing the graves and the humble shrine they surround. Hanging your head at an angle where your notched ear is turned towards the ground, you let out a long, ponderous sigh. A sigh that gradually deepens into a hissing snarl, as you unsheathe your claws and raise your tail. Closing your eyes, you silently seethe, clenching your jaw and barring your fangs as you lift your head back up and recompose yourself, But you can still feel the venom of indignation and generational vengeance coursing through your veins. It feels so cold it almost burns as it flows through you, soaking into and infecting every part of you as you collect your thoughts to at last answer and confirm the Old God of the Celestial Garden's fears. He believes that you have been abused, abandoned, beaten. Mistreated by those who should be your comrades and peers. He recognized your smoldering inner turmoil the moment he laid his star filled eyes upon you. But despite his advance age and vast wisdom, he remained naïve of the cruelty of the world and the hearts of men and could only imagine that you alone were oppressed and frightened by cruel elders and teachers.

His perceptions of the wider world had dimmed, clearly, from the time he has spent in solitude tending to the graves and trees here. He retired from the Heavens and the World of Cultivation before the five heavenly foolish immortal sages spoke their black, heartless edicts and cast your people into savagery and darkness. He can sense, beneath the grudges you have sealed within yourself, the resentment of being denied your rightful position in the world, of being denied your court and respect. And he can sense the dread and caution you feel, knowing you are and will always be hunted no matter how strong and powerful you become. Because of what was decreed ten generations prior. Wrath builds within you, wrapping around your heart, constricting it as you struggle to keep from shouting out and cursing all of the heavens and the gods while you stand at their doorstep. Your fury cannot be quelled, and why should it be!?

It is an atrocity that has been committed! A tragedy that has been forgotten and brushed aside! And Injustice that has become tradition! If you were born ten generations prior you would've been rightfully praised and beloved by the world of cultivation! Treated as royalty as you deserve and tutored in prestigious temples and schools rather than lurking in graveyards and stalking in the shadows! Instead of being named a monster and a demon! A practitioner of heretical arts you may have be, but you would have still been treated with respect and honor rather than contempt and disgust! And you are only one of countless awakened beasts who have been denied their rightful place in the world and had their destinies stolen away to live and die as dogs!
Cont
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>>5151901

Opening your eyes, you see that you have clouded the air above the bridge with the miasma of grudges, and the Old god is busy fanning them away, covering his mouth and nose with his sleeve to keep from breathing in the clouds of enmity you've produced just by reflecting on the pathetic existence all magical beasts have been forced to lead, because of the unreasonable commands of his fellow divinities!

"Haaah" You breath out, the ink black clouds of resentment curling and coiling at your lips as your breath parts through them "My name is Huanliuxue. That is what men named me, after my intelligence awoke and I became aware of myself, the world and the spiritual energy within it. I was born of the grudge that formed in my heart as I fed upon the blood and fat of the soldiers who ransacked the village of my birth"

The aged god does not interrupt your story, not even when he hears your monstrous name or how you came to become a magical beasts. He just fans himself, to keep the thick plumes of resentment from filling his nose or getting in his eyes, and listens as intently as he did when you told him what you were seeking in his garden.

"You asked if I was an orphan, or if my creators abandoned me in a fit of pique or disgust" You drawl, watching ghostly faces and skeletal forms crawl within the curls and tongues of the grudge miasma surrounding you "My awakening came about naturally, because no good, law abiding Daoist raises magical beasts anymore! The knowledge of the practice and its art was named forbidden long before I was born into this world!"

He sucks in a breath of cold air, gasping sharply and you can hear him pulling on the rough fabric of his dirt caked robes, but still he does not interrupt your explanation of your predicament, not even to ask why such a widespread and harmless practice was outlawed. Instead, with growing dread in his eyes, he simply listens on in stalwart silence.

"Instead, we are hunted for our beast cores and forced to live like the wild animals we once were, denied our proper place in the world of cultivation" You hiss and spit, eyes open wide and burning with furious indignation, as you claws dig into the stone bridge, shearing themselves against it "Disallowed from cultivating properly, exterminated if we achieve any significant power despite being outcast and labeled as heretical and unnatural beings, and worse yet they call us monsters! Evil spirits! Demons and devils! Even those Awakened beasts who do not pose a threat to mankind, will eventually cease being seen as "harmless" magical Beasts and become known as Demonic Beasts, fit only for slaughter. Even if they have lead peaceful lives and had shed not a single drop of human blood!"

The clear sky is blotted and hidden beneath dark clouds as the old man listening to your tale of woe clenches his fan tightly, his eyes ablaze with quiet, unspoken despair and outrage.

Cont
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>>5151904

"And what has caused this unjustified persecution? This generational slaughter of us fair divine beasts?! We were named evil, ten generations ago! The very act of raising and nurturing us being named a malicious, evil sorcerer, the practice of madmen and demon cultivators" You rage, raving as flecks of spit stick to your lower jaw as it froths over your lips "Countless prodigies and geniuses have been lost, condemned to live and die as dogs in the wilderness, to serve only as spring boards for those cultivators who should be their comrades and peers! We are hunted and scorned, and have all but faded from the world into myth, only existing still to serve as cattle for our fellow Daoists!"

You begin gnashing your teeth, tail flicking back and forth furiously as your fur fluffs up and your back arches.

"All because ten generations ago, the gods convened and gathered all of the practices and traditions of the Cultivation world, and named all magical beasts to be an unorthodox existence, the creation of black rites and so categorized us and labeled us as a form of Demonic cultivation" You frantically scream, eyes bulging and fangs bared "And, worse yet, they erased our glorious history! Stole away our achievements, accomplishments and all our deeds good or ill! Even the greatest of us, who were living legends and the pride of their sects and clans, were purposefully forgotten by history and had their accolades stripped from them and given to others. The hypocrites still practices methods and techniques that they have stolen from my ancestors!"

Filling your lungs with fresh air, you realize you've been drooling the entire time you were ranting feverishly against the debasement of your people, so passionate you had become in denouncing the crimes of the heavens and the cultivators beneath them! Glancing to your audience of one, you are shocked to see the old man's gentle and soft face has become that of a raging demon! Veins bulge beneath his wrinkled skin and his eyes have darkened into pits of great fury! His anger radiates off of him, creating a crushing aura that wilts the Lotuses floating in the waters beneath the bridge. But still he remains silent, even as he gnashes his teeth so furiously you almost believe lighting and thunder will spark out of his mouth! Shaken, but undaunted, you hiss and stomp your paws on the ground in a fitful show of justified outrage and deep anguish.

"Such much potential has been wasted, for no just cause! The current generation, and their predecessors and their predecessors alike do not even question this criminal status quo!" You cry out, weeping as collapse to the ground dramatically and yowl and wail out mournfully "The World of Cultivation stagnates beneath the oppressive law of orthodoxy!"

Cont
>>
>>5151906

Pushing yourself from the ground, you sniffle and hang your head

"My people, the heirs of the primordial wilds, languish and suffer, unaware of what has been stolen from them, forced to subsist and live like the monsters they have been vilified as for ten generations simply to survive!" You yowl and howl, consumed by grief and pain "My own teacher, whose only crime was wishing to raise a daughter, had he killed before her eyes and her cultivation base shattered and her meridians destroyed! Because she ascended a snow fox out of gratitude for it sharing her warmth! As thousands before her had done before the Orthodoxy of cultivation was established!"

"Hrrrrrr" The elder god growls, eyes sparking and flaring with his inner fire as sparks fly from his teeth and blood spurts from his palms, as he has dug his nails into their flesh so roughly he has cut through his jade-like skin. The Bridge shudders and quakes beneath his feet, as his rage ripples out of him, now joined by his own vital energies that have been uncaged and now lash through the air like whips of light. His aura becomes visible, golden arms appear and clench into fists behind his back as a corona of rainbow light flares around him like fire

"That is the injustice I seek to right! I am unloved by the heavens! My mother and murdered sister were unloved by the heavens! The kind children's whose blood stained my fur were unloved by the heavens!" You shout as you rise to your feet and stand to your fill height, holding your head high as you whip it around, snarling and spitting out every word with an relentless conviction "And yet mere monkeys are showered with blessings! Just because I was born a house cat, just because Xuebai was born a fox, just because we were not blessed to be born as humans, we have been denied what is rightfully ours! Our place in the world! Our destinies!"

Silence falls. You have exhausted yourself in your impassioned speech and wheeze and huff, feeling your lungs burn and plead for rest. The old god shudders, shaking as he flicks his fan close and moves his sleeve away from his face. No longer hidden, you can see the whole of his furious grimace, which makes him appear to be more a demon lord than kindly old grandfather. His hands, flecked with blood and sweat tremble as he takes an unsteady step forward, slouching forward as another growl escapes his throat.

Slowly, as if it is a great struggle, he brings his hand to cover his face, wheezing and gasping as his rage begins to overcome his composure and consume him. From his thin back, waves of unseen power ripple through the air, lifting the stones of the bridge and the soil of his heavenly garden with every shuddering, rage filled breath he takes. Coughing, blood spurts from his mouth and into his open bleeding palm.
Cont
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>>5151909

Then in a blur of movement more rapid that striking lighting, the god rise, gripping his face tightly and smearing it with blood as he throws his shoulders and back at such a sharp angle his spine forms a crescent as he leans back as far as he's able to. And then he screams. A scream unlike any cry you have heard before. It shakes the mountain and breaks through the heaven. A cry of potent despair and anger so great to have never before been felt upon heaven or earth. The sky becomes the abyss, streak with lighting as fire of all colors flies from his tongue as he tears his hand away from his face and falls forward. The sky brightens briefly as the old god hyperventilates and slams his fist into the bridge, breaking it apart as if it were made of wet sand.

He rises again, faster than your eyes can track

"Orthodoxy? Demonic Cultivation!? What madness is this! What foolishness! What hubris!?" he rages, flicking his sleeves with every word he speaks, Calling the winds and summoning the rain with each lash of his arm. Lighting falls where every he turns his hands, as he stomps and throws himself around, long beard whipping through the air and even snapping like a whip!

He steps back into his garden, leaving your quivering and shaking on the one portion of the bridge that remains standing, tail curled beneath your body. Raising his leg above his head, he stomps down, vaporizing his shoes and the field of jade grass as sheets of blinding light burst out from the crater that visibly forms and expands around him, destroying the garden he tended for centuries in the blink of an eye.

"THE DAO ENCOMPASSES ALL THINGS! IT IS THE ORIGIN AND THE SOURCE OF EXISTENCE! THE ABSOLUTE PRINCIPLE OF THE UNIVERSE!" He screams, flicking his sleeves as the wind he calls and rain he summons becomes a terrifying exhibition of his vast, incomprehensible power. His fury feeds into his magical power, as his peerless divine Qi shoots and flies out of him, taking the form of countless bolts of divine fury that destroy what remains of his mountain top retreat. Every step he takes quakes the earth, every motion of his arm churns the winds and birth storms, his breath whips up the seas and his glare scorches all that falls in his sight. You cower, curling up into as tight of a ball as your ox sized body is able to as you witness the wrath of a god firsthand and far too close for your comfort!


"WHO ARE THEY TO NAME ASPECTS OF IT FORBIDDEN!? SIMPLY BECAUSE IT GOES AGAINST THEIR BLIND, CHILDISH BELIEFS!? BECAUSE THEY ARE UNFLATTERING AND UNPLEASANT?! THEY GO AGAINST THE NATURAL ORDER! DENOUNCE NATURE ITSELF!" He shrieks, eyes becoming blazing stars as he tears the peak apart by simply whipping his arms upwards. Advance diagrams, comprised of thousands of spells form in the air around him, drawn from his own rampaging spirit. A gust of wind wipes away the dust of his garden, rushing down the mountain to obliterate everything in its path.

Cont
>>
>>5151912


"THEY HAVE CREATED PERVERSION AND NAMED IT JUSTICE! THEY HAVE BIRTHED SIN AND NAMED IT RIGHTEOUSNESS! WHO ARE THEY TO TRY AND SEAL ASPECTS OF THE DAO! WHO ARE THEY TO DECIDE WHAT IS PERMICIBLE AND WHAT IS FORBIDDEN! WHO ARE THEY TO CONDEMN THEIR EQUALS AND NAME THEM AS DEMONS! WHO ARE THEY TO STEAL THEIR WORK AND CLAIM IT AS THEIR OWN! THE IMPUDENT BRAAAAAAAAAAAAATS!!" The elder god roars. Lighting strikes him, he throws it back into the sky as if it were a child's ball. Void falls instead of the rain from the dark clouds above, and as he has banished the mists surrounding his mountaintop home, you can see the devastation he has wrought upon heaven and earth alike.

Cracks fills the the sky, revealing the cosmic sea of stars and planets beyond it and typhoons and whirlwinds rip across the mortal realm.

Stomping his foot repeatedly, he drives the mountain into the earth, forcing you to cling to what little solid ground is left our else be thrown into the air and off the mountain as he continues his disaster creating rant.

Clenching his hands into fists he glares furiously into the heavens, snarling as white smoke curls and swirls around him as he stands in the epicenter of a natural disaster that dwarfs all others that have fell upon the mortal realm a hundred years prior.

"BY TRYING TO CONTAIN AND REDUCE THE DAO! THEY HAVE GRASPED NOTHING! NOT THE POWER THEY SOUGHT! NOT THE INFLUENCE THEY CRAVED! THEY HAVE CREATED ONLY STAGNANCY AND IMPEDED THE PROGRESS AND DEVELEPMENT OF CULTIVATION AS A WHOLE! REDUCED IT! WEAKNED IT!" He bellows, his voice peeling across the sky in lances of light colored White, black, red, yellow, and Blue! "TO BELIEVE THEY POSSESS THE ENTILTMENT TO DEFINE HERESY AND WICKEDNESS! TO BELIEVE THEY CAN CHOOSE WHAT IS PERMITTED AND ORTHODOX AND WHAT IS ABHORED AS VILLANY AND DEMONIC ARTS! THE SHEER HUBRIS! THE STUPIDITY! THE CRUELTY!"

He freezes, and breathes in. The cracks in the sky mend, and the whirlwinds, typhoons and earthquakes he caused cease instantaneously as he sucks the winds and lighting and claps his hands together. And then sits down and cross his legs.

"To think my juniors could become so conceited! To think they could become so vainglorious!" He weeps, glittering tears falling from his cheeks as he cries silently "I have been a frog in a well, blind to the affairs of the three realms and the great misdeeds performed in the name of righteousness. Beyond my temple, atrocity became tradition. How saddening. How enraging. Forgive this old man for his outburst, Huanliuxue"

He rose and strode to your side, turning to the shrine and graves which were the only parts of the garden to survive the tantrum that turned heaven and earth upside down.

"I thank you for your honesty, though it is a painful truth to face" He said quietly, gentle once more as he prodded you to try and to encourage you to unfurl from the ball you've curled yourself into
Cont
>>
>>5151913

"More painful yet, as I can no longer interfere and undo this grave injustice, for I have retired from the three realms and can no longer descend to them. The height I've reached is too distant to step back down from"

He frowned, a look of guilt spreading over his features and weighing upon his back as he stood before you, tears still falling from his fate

"I can only hope your generation is wiser than the last" He says as you stand on unsteady, shivering legs "And that these damages can be yet undone. Come, Huanliuxue, to receive your promised reward"

You cannot speak, and like a shadow, follow after the man, feeling like a phantom who had just witnessed her own demise. Following him as he hops over the dried stream leading to his shrine, you watch as he pauses to cup his fists to every grave he passes, before stopping to stand before the entrance of the shrine itself.

"You may be named a heretic, a demonic witch, or even a monstrous beast of hell. But I remember the days when you would've been hailed and praised deservedly as the remarkable prodigy you are" He says, producing a saber from his sleeve and raising it to cut the cord holding the doors of the meager temple shut "Perhaps, as before, the spiritual roots you have inherited will bring like to a world shrouded by ignorance and darkness. I can only pray they shall, and that the world of cultivation will turn from the path it has set for itself"

He scrunched his nose and furrowed his brow, glancing to the heavens as he placed the edge of his blade upon the rope

"I wonder if any immortals have ascended to divinity since this "Orthodoxy" was created and upheld" He ruefully spat, as he lifted the saber up once more, a great sadness in his eyes as he continues to reflect on the degeneration of the world he once new "No matter, all that matters is that your receive your just reward"

With a flick of his wrist, the shrine door is opened and something you cannot understand is revealed. It is a sea of colors, stars and darkness. A whirlpool of nothing and everything.

"This is the astral void, the origin of the world, where all of creation was spun. The void that became everything" He explains calmly as your mind struggles to even comprehend what you are seeing "Within it, you will find what you seek even if it no longer exists"

"What does that mean?" You ask numbly

"It connects to both the past and the future and alternate worlds, realms above and beyond our own" He explains, and you still have no idea what he is talking about "By stepping into it, you will be taken to the means to realize your ambitions. However, you will only survive the journey by my protection, so clearly materialize your goal in your mind before you step into my shrine"

You take an uncertain step forward and feel a weight upon your tale.

Looking back, you see two paper talismans wrapped around the midsection of your tail, holding two bells in place.
Cont
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>>5151915

"That is your shield against the energies of the void" The old god explains, adopting the lotus position "When you have found what you seek, I shall guide you home"

He winked and smile queerly as you look at him and then back into the swirling chaos he had exposed.

Unaware that the sly god had given you protection enough to claim two prizes, out of respect for your selfless ambition.

What do you take from the astral void , Huanliuxue? Choose two

>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi

>A rare Magical material/ treasure that has been lost to the world, and can be found nowhere in the present

>A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind

>A historical relic, belonging to one of the great Beastly Cultivators of the distant past.

>Write in

Sorry to keep you waiting
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
What we came for and
>A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind
Something we cannot make
>>
>>5151916
>>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind

the blood is what we came here for , the second is extra but not unwelcome.
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind
What we wanted and something that we couldn't find anywhere else.
>>
>>5151916
That was moving qm
>>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>>A historical relic, belonging to one of the great Beastly Cultivators of the distant past.
Huanliuxue's lost heritage, revived
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind
>>
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
>>
>>5151916
>Blood Qi
>Learned master
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind
>>
>>5152031
Supporting. I want our Mom to be there when we tear this world a new asshole, and she deserves the right to get her pound of flesh in. Also she might be able to talk down the ghost of her daughter so we don't have to eat her or something.
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
>>
>>5151916
>>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
I really really like this Idea, Mom deserves somethin nice
>>
>>5152014
I'll replace the meeting with a master for

>A method to repair cultivation
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
As much as I would like to vote for meeting a learned master, I can't not vote for this.
We've got something of a selfless streak going on, might as well continue.
I just hope the method we find is not ridiculously implausible to achieve.
>>
>>5151916
Replaceing my vote here >>5151935
with
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
>>
>>5152119
If it's an item, we're golden.
If it's a method, we're mostly fucked. Probably.
>>
>>5151916
>>5152107

You accidentally linked to my vote >>5152014 but I agree.

I was hoping the master could teach us how to do it among other things to be honest, but a guarantee is better
>>
>>5152137
Sorry mate, Unless I write something beyond the vote, I can't really tell what mine is.

using the ID function, >>5152033 this one is mine.
>>
>>5152139
Don't worry, I've done the same thing in other quests
>>
>>5151916
Changing my vote (>>5151955) to
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
At first I thought that Monu being old meant that doing that would mostly be useless but I remembered that we made a special pill of longevity (>>5131209) so restoring her youth or at least giving her a good lifespan again is probably doable.
>And the forth and perhaps most remarkable, what you believe to be a longevity potion. It still needs to form and mature within the pot of honey you placed it within, but by combining all of the basic Divine Blood Honey medicines, the organ strengthening drugs alongside aged Gingseng root, grave soil taken from the underworld, the bones of a drowned spirit the corrosive blood of a devil, and Pure Mercury inside of a Fetus Peach, you are certain that the energies of death and Life will ferment together and create, if not an elixir of life than something else truly marvelous. But until you have results you cannot give this last pill a name, for you are entirely uncertain what it will do when its finished. All you know is it will possess a great power, you're certain of that!
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind
>>
>>5152179
Actually, I will change the master to
>A way to repair Manu's cultivation/youth, be it a skill, potion, artifact or something else
>>
>>5152181
Just hope that the QM counts it as
>A method to repair your mother’s cultivation
Even though I wrote it differently. Of not, please diaregard it and count this one instead
>>
>>5151916
>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi

>A rare Magical material/ treasure that has been lost to the world, and can be found nowhere in the present
>>
>>5151916
>A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind

>A historical relic, belonging to one of the great Beastly Cultivators of the distant past.
>>
The fifial piety of this cat is intense.
>>
>>5151916
>>Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi
>>A historical relic, belonging to one of the great Beastly Cultivators of the distant past.
>>
Here's my attempt to count it all
>Votes
18
>Blood Qi
18
>Lost treasure
1
>Learned master
3
>Beast relic
3
>Heal mother
11
- longevity potion
1
- any way possible
1
>>
>>5153169
I dont think people are picky about HOW to fix her cultivation.
>>
>>5153197
That's why both the methods are marked with a - instead of a > , I counted them as part of the heal one as suboptions.
>>
Ending the vote now tallying the result.

Pure, Uncorrupted Blood Qi to add to your spiritual roots alongside your Ghostly/ Death Qi:17

A meeting with a learned master from ages past, and wisdom they did not leave behind:3

A historical relic, belonging to one of the great Beastly Cultivators of the distant past.:3

A method to repair your mother’s cultivation:12

A rare Magical material/ treasure that has been lost to the world, and can be found nowhere in the present: 1

Pure Blood Qi and a way to fix Monu win.

Update will arrive shortly

>>5153169
Thanks for the assist,
>>
Steeling yourself, you gaze into the center of the whirlwind abyss of primordial nothing. Your heart hammers away in your chest as the dust that remains of the heavenly garden wafts through the air carried by gentle breezes and whispering winds. Winds that are sucked into the Astral void, creating a vortex of howling and tearing winds. It is almost like it is shrieking, cry out in unimaginable pain. Your courage does not falter, even as you feel your throat dry and the chill of your presence wrap around you tightly, as if your Qi was, through its own will, trying to hold you in place and keep you from taking even a single step closer to the swirling void. Despite your fear, your resolve does not fare and you do not fail at this final hurdle, this final test of courage. Bowing your head, you take in a deep breath of the ash filled and electrified air left by the old god's outburst and feel it singe its way into your lungs. With a taste of burning glass and ozone on your tongue you take hold of the reins of your destiny and fling yourself into the mouth of the astral void.

The world is gone, gravity is gone. Sights of things that were, are not yet and never will be flicker and dance before your eyes as if you were staring at shadows behind a screen. You can feel the primordial chaos of the void trying in vain to rip you apart from the molecules of your body, atom by atom. You are pulled in all directions, upwards and downwards, forward and back in time. You feel the biting frost of winter, the warmth of spring, the heat of summer and the cool of autumn wash over you in breaths of time, disorienting you further as you witness the evolution of birds alongside a bloody war fought with metal poles that spit fire and death. Your lips raise, pulled away from your teeth as you are stretched out flat, legs and tail splayed out as the maddening theater of past, future and present sears itself into your eyes like thousands of branding needles. The groan that escapes your throat is stolen from your lips, and carried away to some distant eon. Schools of shadowy fish gather around you, as you bear witness to the burial of an emperor dressed in the fashion of three generations prior and the forging of a magnificent blade that reverberates so beautifully when struck by the smithing hammer it almost seems to sing! You fall, or rather are thrown through a forest of towering trees that slowly petrify into stone and become the mesas of a seemingly endless windswept dessert. Stars blink out and flare into existence before your eyes, nebulas are painted across the abyss of night as rivers cut their way through a once barren world. You blink, and see temples! Temples of all sorts! Built from Mud, Wood, Stone or Wrought Iron, your vision is filled by shrines of gods unmade and yet born. Red threads wrap around you like a fishing net, pulling tight and constricting you in their crushing embrace.

Cont
>>
>>5154118

Gasping, you move to free yourself from the seemingly hostile strings, and instead find yourself flounder on cool earth, wet grass, and pale moonlight. Panting, you struggle to breath in fresh air, expelling the strange atmosphere of the astral void, spitting out glittering and glowing pink dust that sparks and flickers before it blinks out of existence. Your legs feel like blocks of grass jelly and your head is filled with memories of what you had witnessed in the void that birthed the world. It feels like your body is a sack filled with sloshing water.

Laying down to recover your sense and rediscover your sense of balance, you study your surroundings as your vision returns to you and your mind clears of the detritus of the void. You're sat upon a hill, overlooking a valley of carmine blossoms. The air is sweet, and dense with spiritual energy. Taking in a drop of the native Qi into your meridians, you begin to circulate your Qi and mend your weary muscles and shivering bones with internal energy. And as you perform breathing exercises, you notice can taste blood on the air. Freshly spilt and bled. Lifting your head and sniffing the air, you follow the scent. It leads you to a pathway of moss covered marble that leads deeper into the valley of blood red flowers. Cautiously, you continue onward, warily eyeing the strange veins that crawl along the nearby trees and pierce into their trunks. They bulge and pulsate disgustingly, like exposed veins. The heady aroma of blood grows thicker and sweeter as you walk along the white road, and pass by pillars of polished stone wrapped in prayer flags, paper talismans and the same vein like vines. Passing beneath an archway formed of the quivering plants, you are astonished to see that they are strong enough to even burrow through solid rock. And that they ooze a dark red sap that gathers upon the palms of their leaves and specks their pink flowers like dew. You hear voices, the voices of men, and lower yourself to to the ground as fire light falls upon you.

Two men, dressed in crimson and Chestnut colored robes, walk onto the path from one of its branches. They're telling jokes and laughing together. But that is not what is shocking. One of the two has a raven's wings emerging from the crook of his back that flap and stretch as he howls with laughter as his entirely human companion tells him jokes and bawdy riddles. The two of them glance down at you as they near you. The one with wings sighs, and crosses his arms.

"How long have you been a disciple of the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine?" He asks, looking down at you past his beak like nose "Its past curfew! if I were not busy patrolling the school grounds, I, your grandfather, would scold you severely! Come to think of it..."

He crouches down, pressing his knuckles beneath his chin as he looks at your face more closely
Cont
>>
"Your face is unfamiliar to me" He declares haughtily, leaning closer as you sense he is in the middle stage of core formation but you cannot guess his exact rank, his technique and law are entirely unfamiliar to you! "Are you perhaps..."

His companion claps him on the shoulder, roughly enough to nearly throw him to the ground

"A recent admittee!" He shouts, loud enough to be heard quite a distance "Clearly she has not yet memorized the rules of living here in the Temple of Carmine orchids!"

Is he trying to cover for you? Out of kindness?! You stare up at the man, who appears to be around Fu's age and just as far along in his cultivation as his companion.

"Such a newcomer that they haven't even clothed her properly" the winged man snorts "I shall be forgiving and leniant once, return to the dormitories, lurking around at night makes it appear you're up to something nefarious, like spying!"

He strides over you, skipping on the air, carrying away the light of the lantern, leaving his companion behind. Whose mood turns from carefree to severe, as he grounds his knuckles into your brow

"Foolish girl!" He hisses through his teeth "You could've been killed! You cannot simply wonder in a sect's temple and expect to be welcomed! If you wish to petition for membership, do so by approaching the sect gates in the morning. You're lucky to have met me rather than any of the more stringent of my peers"

"I...I" You stammer, too confused to properly form a sentence and struggling to understand what's happening and where you are! Particularly why this man isn't treating your like a rabid dog to be put down

The man sighs and rolls his neck, pressing his hand against it as he looks down at you annoyed

"Were so excited to tour your prospective sect's temple that you chose to court death and sneak past its walls?" He assumes, looking down at you as you remember the old god's words and realize you must've been sent into the past

"Yes! Exactly! For give this foolish girl! I was so feverish with delight at finally arriving at the Peerlessly resplendent retreat of the Peerless Sanguine Jade shrine sect!' You hurriedly lie, speaking with childish giddiness and wonder like Jionghuagege would "But alas! I arrived too late to approach the gate! And I became so restless waiting for dawn to arrive that I couldn't sleep!"

"Hmm" the man says, tapping his foot as he glances around "Well, you've done nothing wrong and throwing you out into the cold of the night would be cruel"

He pats your head

"Elder brother will vouch for you if you're found, explore to your heart's content, little sister" he says with a wink, scratching between your ears before he skips over you to catch up with his fellow. And though he didn't say it, he already saw you as a comrade even though you had not yet and would not be joining this Sect. Since you cannot remain or linger in the past. You've been sent here to claim the prize promised to you by the god who destroyed his own temple!
Cont
>>
>>5154120

And the moment you took it, he'd return you to the present

And not wanting to be killed or imprisoned for trespassing, you hurriedly make your way down the path, silently running as you followed the scent of freshly spilled blood deeper into the temple's grounds, passing by other cultivators dressed in Crimson and Chestnut robes who paid no attention to you as they carried on with their nightly duties or moonlit recreations. The scent of blood grew stronger, and as you came near you could detect the presence of the Qi you've traveled across many leagues and even through time to find.

Behind a stone garden wall, sat a single tree with pale white bark and wilted branches, that was constricted by the vein like vines that had burrowed beneath the sect ground. It is clearly a spirit fruit tree, one that has been parasitized by the disgusting plants. Sitting on the top of the wall, you scan the orchard for sentries, and see the only one stationed within it is in a deep slumber, with a bottle of wine grasped firmly in his hands. You frown, a feeling of intense disappointment washing over you as the drunk cultivator cradles his wine as if he were embracing lover.

But, not being one to let opportunity pass by, you leap from the wall and bound towards the tree, which has born a single fruit that grows from the vines that have drained it of its Qi and Magic. Shaped like a heart, it throbs and clenches, glowing with a dim scarlet light as it sways gently in the wind.


Running up the trunk of the withered tree, you crawl along the branch bearing the fruit and lower your head to bite it from its stem and grab hold of it. Thick, oily, blood tasting fluid fills your mouth as you free the fruit from its vine. And the moment you do, you hear a gasp of horror and look down to the see the drunk sentry, now awake and gripping his face in despair. Your tail flicks, and you cannot resist to flash a smug smile, as you leap away into the dark of the night as the cultivator yells and screams for you to stop and to return to the fruit.

But he can't catch you, as no sooner than your feet touch the ground, the maw of the astral void returns and you're sent falling back into the chaos of nothing. However, now aware of what's awaits you, you close your eyes firmly shut so as not to be exposed to the maddening play of past and future events.

But instead of falling back out of the Shrine and onto the hill of stones it is built on, your back hits something hard. You fall to the ground, clenching your jaw to keep from losing your prize as you hit the floor. Shooting your eyes open, you blink rapidly, glancing around and arching your back with a growl as you try and determine if you have been caught in a trapped or tricked. But, you are not beset by spears and arrows, and instead find yourself sitting infront of a stele. In the underworld.
Cont
>>
>>5154121

A man dressed a black tang suit, stands in front of you, taking notes as he observes the passages of parades of phantoms and the departure of droves of demons marching to war. He's muttering to himself, tapping the chewed end of his calligraphy brush against his thigh as he tosses papers and scrolls to the ground in irritation. You blink. you recognize the formula and recipes he's speaking but its wrong. He's forgotten the Corpse Hair Bush.

He pivots around, turning on his heels as you recognize his face from the self portrait in the front of one of your three treasured and forbidden manuals! The Occult treasures of the fields of the underworld, and the alchemy of the dead!. You nearly drop your Blood Qi fruit in shock, as the man marches up to you, falls to his knees and prostrates himself, shouting manic thanks and praises for your "genius" as you stare at him, feeling your mind crumble apart as the implications of this meeting slowly, and dreadfully dawn on you.

The grand alchemist of the underworld continues debasing himself to show his gratitude for your accidental assistance in completing his "First Ghost drug". Your eyes widen. He's referring to the Dead Ghost Mask Pellet. Frozen in fear that you have just destroyed history, you do not speak as the alchemist who wrote the manual you so treasure continues to shower you with gratitude and praise.

And your eyes nearly fall from your head when he pulls a small pearl from the pouch tied to his side, and immediately sense the potency it possesses as a spirit medicine. He places it before you in a small silk pouch, before he swipes his brush through the air, creating a doorway that he then steps and vanishes through.

You don't know what the pearl he gave you is, but it is clearly valuable! So you tie the pouch around your paw, and look around to find another Portal into the Astral void to return to your own time. Hopefully before you find out you're the cause for the Fall of Grace for all magical beasts.

You blink

And find yourself back at the shrine, the old god calmly sweeping up the dust from the barren rock that he now calls home.

"Welcome back, Noble Huanliuxue? I hope your journey through astral chaos was not too disorienting" He says happily as you collapse, legs turning once more into Grass Jelly.

But you have claimed your prize! and an additional treasure in the shape of the strange pearl..that you can only hope you didn't come to possess through upsetting and perverting history!
Cont
>>
>>5154122

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians! [Cultivation Trial. +10. Higher number = More progress/ results]

>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]

>Panic and ask if you've altered the flow of time through your thievery and accidental instruction!

>Offer to help the God clean up his "garden" in thanks for his generosity and kindness.

>Write in
>>
>>5154123
>>Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians! [Cultivation Trial. +10. Higher number = More progress/ results]
>>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]
>>
>>5154123
>Panic and ask if you've altered the flow of time through your thievery and accidental instruction!
>>
>>5154123
>Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians! [Cultivation Trial. +10. Higher number = More progress/ results]
>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]
>>
>>5154123
>Ask the god what the pearl is (if it doesnt take a full action)
>Add blood Qi to our danians now
>Return to ping and the others.
>>
>>5154123
>>Panic and ask if you've altered the flow of time through your thievery and accidental instruction!
>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxL9dl1zR0o
>>
>>5154123
>Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians! [Cultivation Trial. +10. Higher number = More progress/ results]

>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]

>Panic and ask if you've altered the flow of time through your thievery and accidental instruction!

>Offer to help the God clean up his "garden" in thanks for his generosity and kindness.
>>
>>5154216
Only one option mate, plus the [can be taken with other options]
>>
>>5154123
>Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians! [Cultivation Trial. +10. Higher number = More progress/ results]
>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]
>>
>>5154123
>Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians! [Cultivation Trial. +10. Higher number = More progress/ results]
>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]
>Ask the god what the pearl is (if it doesnt take a full action)
>Ask his name and title, he gave us so much, honouring him is the least you can do
>>
>>5154223
He's obviously the Five Colors Celestial Emperor.
>>
>>5154228
Ping is gonna be so pissed off with us.
"Yeah, I just met the greatest god you revere."

he's gonna throw up blood.
>>
>>5154229
"Yeah, I just met the greatest god you revere and MADE HIM COUGH BLOOD."
>>
>>5154228
I also suspect he is, but it's better to have confirmation.
>>5154248
And he gave me tea! And said I was a good girl!
>>
>>5154123
>>Panic and ask if you've altered the flow of time through your thievery and accidental instruction!
>>
>>5154248
Technically, the current Cultivation community made him cough blood. We were just the messenger.
>>
>>5154123
>Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians! [Cultivation Trial. +10. Higher number = More progress/ results]
>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]
>>
>>5154123
>Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians! [Cultivation Trial. +10. Higher number = More progress/ results]
>Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home [Can be taken with other options]
>>
>>5154123

>>Offer to help the God clean up his "garden" in thanks for his generosity and kindness.
>>
>>5154873
+1. We can also male a Smoothie of blood fruit and frog monster core. Yummy!
>>
Ending the vote now and tallying the result, sorry for the delay, had some technical difficulties on my end

Devour the Blood Qi Fruit immediately , Adding The potent Qi within it to your spirit roots AND your Dantians!:9

Thank the god for allowing you such a peerless boon and then return to Feiqing, Ping and Lei and begin the trek back home:10

Panic and ask if you've altered the flow of time through your thievery and accidental instruction!:4

Ask the god what the pearl is: 2

Offer to help the God clean up his "garden" in thanks for his generosity and kindness.:2

Ask his name and title, he gave us so much, honouring him is the least you can do:1

So you will devour the spirit fruit, adding the potent blood Qi within to your spirit roots and your dantians

And then thank the good for allowing such a peerless boon and return to your companions and begin the trek back home

Update will arrive shortly
>>
"And what a reward you have earned" He says, leaning against his bamboo broom, eyes twinkling as he looks admiringly towards the fruit between your jaws, dripping its scarlet juices down your chin where they soak into your fur there. The flesh is leathery and tough, but the flesh inside is soft and almost gelatinous. The aroma and taste of blood fills your mouth as you instinctively bite down on your edible prize to keep it from being snatched and stolen away from you.

The old god tilts his head quizzically, and smirks as he recognizes the treasured fruit slowly being crushed between your fangs.

"Ah the pride and joy of the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine Sect, and their greatest loss. It took over a thousand years for them to cultivate a single Sanguine Divine Spirit Peach, but the night it grew ripe it vanished" He chuckles, warmth radiating from his laughter as it turns into a deep, gregarious belly laugh "A mystery that consumed those cultivators in mind and soul, and lead them down paths of study that many would name "Inhuman" and "monstrous", and resulted in the creation of Blood Sorcery and the founding of the schools of Carmine mysticism. They became isolationists, distrustful of outsiders, as they believed their divine treasure was stolen from them:

The god's smirk cracks and curls into a coy, mirthful grin as he motions to you with a slow wave of his hand

"At last, the thief has been found! It would seem your destiny was more closely tied with that peach upon your tongue than it was with its own growers" He says, laughing deeply once more as he throws his head back and places a hand on his belly "I cannot help but wonder, if it is mere coincidence that the true owner of the Sanguine Divine Spirit Peach, also practiced a law closely tied with death as the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine Sect came to follow themselves. What a ghoulish fate they met, in reaching for their perfection, by alchemically altering and tampering with the very blood that flowed through their veins. I wonder if any of their number still exist in the world, if even Magical Beasts have been persecuted by the dogs of dogma"

"Am I supposed to feel guilt for this crime I've committed? If destiny lead me to take this peach, then surely it was no crime to steal it from those who predestined to lose it...wait" You say, realizing that by stealing this fruit you may have orchestrated the fall of the Sect you visited in the past but if it had already been lost then was it you who had always stolen it or had another taken it from the branch themselves and you've merely taken their place in history as the mysterious thief who came and vanished in the night or did it only happen because you traveled through the river of time to take their sanguine treasure as your own but if it was the past, and the supreme god before you recalls it then surely it must have happened but that must mean you were preordained to reach this peak and travel back in.
Cont
>>
>>5156186

"Aaaaah!" You shout as the struggle to comprehend the events that just transpired across and between time and space wears on your mind, bringing upon you such mental exhaustion it feels as though your skull has become a kettle filled with steam

"Hah, you've stumbled upon the concept of temporal paradox, Young Huanliuxue! Do not stress you thoughts pondering what happens when future and past intermingle. What is, was. and What was, is! History is written when it is written" The god says blithely unconcerned with the potential ramification of your jaunt into history itself "Upon the records of fate, the Sanguine Divine Spirit Peach was lost, and your threads of destiny lead you through the astral void of chaos to claim it. Thus, it was meant to be, see?"

"No" you mewl as the old god laughs and shakes his head

"Perhaps in time you will" He says with a wink, as he holds up a palm and with his presence alone, commands the shrine's doors to shut and bind themselves with the cord he had cut "The Astral void brings about more confusion than it does illumination"

And with that the god returned to his sweeping, whistling a tune that sounded like it was mimicking the song of cranes in flight.

You watched him work, peach still in your jaws, for a few moments more before he noticed you staring and glanced back at you.

"You have a divine treasure in your mouth, it is what you sought and what the universe has awarded to you. Are you truly going to save it for later? Life should be devoured wholeheartedly! Enjoyed passionately! Take the leap, novice, and see how far you can soar!" The old god teasingly advises, pointing his thumb towards you, before he once more busies himself with the seemingly pointless labor of cleaning his destroyed heavenly garden

Heading his advice, you bite down into the peach, tearing through its leathery exterior and piercing through its flesh until your fangs meet its stone. The dim scarlet light radiating through it flickers as your mouth is filled with its Sanguineous juices and energy! Lighting courses through your veins and meridians, as your black spiritual roots are shocked carmine! IT FEELS AS THOUGH YOUR BLOOD IS FLOWING IN REVERSE! THE POWER THIS FRUIT HELD IS OVERWHELMING!

roll 1d100+10. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 47 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5156187
Paradoooooooooox!
I like how someone who can outdebate the wisest philosophers still hurts her head on paradoxes
>>
Rolled 19 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5156187
>>
Rolled 62 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5156187
>>
>>5156196
72, not overwhelming but nobody can sniff against that.
>>
>>5156196
72! Considerable Progress! You have advance substantially!

Update will arrive shortly
>>
You can hear and feel popping beneath your skin! Your veins are filling to the point of bursting, of popping! Your veins are exploding! A electric cascade of pan needles through your hide as the Blood Qi's destructive path traverses the entirety of your body, from the tip of your nose to the end of your tail. Blood dribbles out of your nostrils, ears and gums. Your vision turns red, the whole world turning vivid shades of crimson and scarlet. And you've only taken a single bite out of the fruit. Then, a feeling of prideful wrath rises above the mire of confusion and fear and roars for you to devour more! To eat the Sanguine Divine spirit peach down to its pit and then swallow that as well! You're Huanliuxue! Bloodshed is in your name, it is your inheritance and fate! You've tamed the vital breath of hungry ghosts and the very essence of enmity! You won't be overcome by a fruit! You'll conquer it, as you've conquered graves and beasts alike! Snarling, you gather your internal energy in your heart, reinforcing it and strengthening its muscles and sinew before surrounding it with as much Ghostly Qi as can flow through the Meridians near your heart, forming a protective formation around your most vital of organ to keep it from bursting when the Potent Blood Qi reaches it. Hopefully it shall be sturdy enough to endure the assault of carmine energies long enough for you to fully absorb and acclimate your body and spirit to them, and make the untainted sanguineous spiritual energies so closely entwined with your spirit roots they become part of them. Like the parasitic roots that bore this fruit that is wrecking havoc on your body while simultaneously imbuing you with great and mysterious power!

Another bite of leathery skin and gelatinous flesh swallowed down, another wave of agony as your body struggles to contain the forces forcefully contained within it. You've become a vessel of clay holding an acid potent enough to eat through the finest, most refined steel. The grudges within you wage a war against the blood soaked history introduced into every fiber of your being. You can feel the inner war raging between the Qi of graves and ghosts and the Qi of Blood and life. Fighting back against the torturous pain of your muscles rending themselves apart and your veins tearing and your marrow crawling through the bones that contains it, you force another mouthful of peach flesh down your flesh, every inch it crawls down feeling like it has been stuffed with serrated and barbed needles.

"Yes, endure! Cowardice and weakness are impurities that must be expunged! And pain and the terror of death are the crucible that shall purify them away!" The old god voice rings in you ears, much more vicious than before, praising you as you face this trial of agony so intense it feels as though it might stop your heart if it doesn't burst first!
Cont
>>
>>5156350

Your tail whips and curls tightly, your ears flatten against your skull, and your snarl turns into a defiant and threatening yowl. Your ghostly aura surrounds you, the chill of the grave filling the air as the wails and weeping of the damned carries into the heavens held aloft by the gale winds summoned by sheer effort of fusing the peach's divine sanguine energies with your own phantom essence. Blood and grudges fill your mouth, escaping to dribble down your lips as black smoke and crimson streams. Another bite taken, swallowed with your own blood, mingling with it as it travels down your throat and into your stomach.

Your eyes, squinting with pain shoot open wide, veins bulge and break, dyeing the white pools surrounding your Irises red, making their yellow hue so vivid it must appear to be a mystical, supernatural pigment. Your fur and the skin beneath it ripples, as your muscles tense and contract with each thunderous beat of your heart, that pounds so mightily in your chest it bulges outwards. A groan of pain becomes a growl of perseverance and unparalleled stubbornness, as you force your body to endure and remaining standing, powering more of you inner energy and cultivation base towards your exhausted heart. Your intact veins, that survived the onslaught have been strengthened and now surge with life force. It feels as though you have cords of iron buried beneath your skin and nestled within your flesh. Greedily, you devour the peach, the waves of pain growing number as your body and meridians adapt to the foreign Qi and consume it as readily as you do its prior earthly vessel. Each beat of your heart is stronger than the last, the winds surround you as you gnaw through the peach, pulling away its skin, lapping up its juices and swallowing its meat in a frenzy of consumption.

The only thought in your head, as all others have been erased from the pain you endured to reach this stage, is 'More! I need more! More power! Give me more! All of the power and Spiritual energy you hold!'

Ripples and veins of carmine light burn beneath your fur, as your spirit roots reveal themselves, as Black is joined by carmine. A euphoric wave of pleasure and relief radiates from your three dantians, as the Qi of Death and the Qi of life reach a balance and harmony returns to your eternal spirit and mortal vessel. Yin and Yang, at peace. Opposite yet inseparable. The breath of Ghosts and the breath of blood has found a home within your body. You have conquered and claimed the Raw spiritual energy of life, the Forbidden essence, the Qi of blood as your own! Have stolen it from the past, and returned it to the present.

Sucking the last of the flesh and juices from Sanguine Divine Spirit Peach's stone, you swallow it down to absorb the last of its Qi and essence.

Standing still, you ruminate on and savor the delectable flavor the divine fruit, as its now calmed energies finish cleansing your marrow and replacing your tendons.
Cont
>>
>>5156352

But, the impurities they expunge have to come out, and soon you lose your composure as you retch and double over. A foul, stinking black substance boils out of your gullet, erupting out your mouth and pores as you expel out the impurities of your body produced through purifying itself. Shivering in disgust, you gasp for air, feeling like these are the first breaths you have taken in your life. The air is clean, pure, and refreshing.

"You've risen from the first rank of the foundation establishment stage to the third" The old god says, as he pours a pitcher of water over your head to help wash the impurities away from your skin and fur "You could have reached further, if you did not choose to imbue a portion of the Qi into your spirit roots. And you were wise not to, your foundations shall be all the stronger for your patience. Death and life, ghosts and blood, Yin and Yang, sharing one vessel together as floating clouds and flowing water. Without strife or turmoil."

"Thank you, grandfather, for both your praise and allowing me such a peerless boon" You pant, head bowed as you let the god wash your fur and gently dry it with a silk cloth "and for sharing my grief for the injustice and cruelty of the world I was born into"

"There is no need to thank me, Huanliuxue, I have remained in this garden to help guide youngster like yourself into achieving their potential, to reward them for finding me and resisting the allure of" He says, pausing before he looks over my temple "I will need to repair my temple"

You resist the urging of your curiosity to ask what temple, as far as you recall, you entered a meditative trance by the lake's edge and wound up here in the god's garden when you opened your eyes. You vaguely remember some strange and unpleasant scents, but beyond that you recall nothing of your journey from the clear waters and dragon turtles to this peak where the old man's garden used to be.

"Forgive me, but I need to rebuild my home, and that will take great time and effort on my part" The old god says, stroking his beard as he tries to hide his embarrassment for accidentally destroying his one abode "So I fear our meeting will soon come to an end, princess of ghosts and blood. I do wish we could talk longer and more intimately, but I do not wish to sleep in the mud and rain, you understand"

"Neither would I! And I have to see if my three companions are still alive, hopefully we will meet again someday" You say, trying not to giggle as bow and then turn away from the god "You're were a wonderful host and mentor, for what its worth, old man"

"Hah! And you were a pleasant visitor! A shame I was the first to greet you with the respect and kindness you deserve as a generational prodigy!" The god calls out, cupping a hand around his mouth so his voice will carry "Hopefully our fellow daoist are not so blind to never realize your true character and worthiness, oh child of grudges"
Cont
>>
>>5156353

Your heart pangs and a pleasing sensation of warmth fills your chest as a girlish smile spreads over your lips and your head becomes muddled with joy and comfort. Purring, you walk down the mountain path and leave the god to his work.

"Perhaps we shall meet again, as equals rather than senior and junior"

You look back, swearing you heard his voice on the wind, but see nothing besides clouds and greystone. Frowning, you continue on, wondering how long you will have to walk until you meet Feiqing, Lei and Ping again.

To occupy yourself in the meantime, you play a few songs on ghost empress melody whenever your legs get tired and you choose to float through the air via rendering yourself partially ethereal through the Yōulíng-Qīnggōng.

You don't know how much of the flat, desolate wasteland surrounding the lonely peak was a temple prior to the aged god's fit of earth shaking fury, but it is certainly expansive. Traveling for several days and nights, you walk across the bleak and lifeless landscape without any sign of the passage of time or familiar terrain.

Until eventually, you return to the valley of paradise. Then, it is a simple task of following your nose to find the three men you left behind.

They've made camp next to the lake of jade waters. Lei drops a roasted fish he was eating as you approach, while Feiqing begins to openly wheep. Ping merely stares, mouth agape in shock as you casually enter their camp and sit down.

"My lady! My lady! You're alive! When the storm fell we feared the worst! That you were lost to us!" Feiqing Cries as Ping's head rolls to his shoulder, his eyes growing even wider as you calmly, and peacefully clean yourself, beginning by licking your paws to brush your head with

Feiqing, so overcome with emotions he cannot stand, crawls in front of you, tears leaving streaks across his dirty face.

"Even the dragons fled when the skies split open and the ground shook, I thought the world was ending! Where have you wandered, what have you seen!" He asks excitedly, overjoyed to see that you're alive

"Yrrrn! Wrrrr, Yrrrn!?" Lei cries out, hoping around you energetically and shaking his fists to show his joy since he cannot voice it

Ping blinks and rubs his throat, before a wry smile crosses his features

Crossing his arm he clicks his tongue and makes a snort as he bows and shakes his head

"One as proud as you cannot be killed by wind and rain alone" He says, narrowing his eyes "Have you found the power you sought"

You glance to the novice cultivator, and without saying a word smile smugly before busying yourself with your grooming.

"So we can return to the world of men, now?" Ping asks solemly, putting emphasis on return that means nothing to Lei or Feiqing, but to your ears is a plea to reconsider leaving this land of primordial and mystical wonders and beasts alike.

You nod, and Ping's eyes fall to the ground
cont
>>
>>5156356

"I see" He says quietly, as Feiqing and Lei crowd around you, asking questions and showing their overwhelming relief and joy that you're still alive

As if a mere storm could kill you. They're naivety is endearing to you.

On the Journey out of the Ancient wilderness and back home, what will you do, Huanliuxue? two actions can be taken

>Become accustomed with the Life/ Blood Qi inside of you now, and train in its usage (General training. DC 60. if taken alone, gain a +5 to the roll)

>Tell your companions about your meeting with the Old Man on the mountain and your travel through the past, but, make sure Ping isn't around to hear WHY he was thrown into rage

>Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest

>Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl

>write in
>>
>>5156358
>>Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest
>>Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl
The other two things can be done anytime! these are what depends on being here, now
>>
>>5156358
>Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest
>Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl
As >>5156375 said gather what we can and secure our future peers.
>>
>>5156358
>Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest
>Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl
>>
>>5156358
>Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest
>Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl
>>
>>5156358
>Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest
>Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl
>>
>>5156375
I will support.
>>
>>5156358
>Become accustomed with the Life/ Blood Qi inside of you now, and train in its usage (General training. DC 60. if taken alone, gain a +5 to the roll)
>>5156358
>Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl
>>
>>5156358
>Become accustomed with the Life/ Blood Qi inside of you now, and train in its usage (General training. DC 60. if taken alone, gain a +5 to the roll)
>Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest
>>
>>5156358
>Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest
>Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl
As others have said, we can do the rest later.
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

Stop to Visit the Two young princesses and the unborn dragon and tell them you've succeeded in your quest:8

Explore the wilderness and search for more treasures to bring back home, besides the beast core, Honey, Chitin and strange pearl:8

Become accustomed with the Life/ Blood Qi inside of you now, and train in its usage: 2

So you'll explore in search of more treasure and stop to visit Jionghuagege and Tiexingege and the unborn dragon before leaving the Valley of the ancient wilderness

Update will arrive shortly
>>
However, you do not make haste to return to the comforting coolness of your graveside sanctuary and Monu's side, as you sense a golden opportunity to be found through exploring these wild and ancient lands more observantly than you did when you first traveled through them. For surely the disasters born from the old god on the mountain's rage will have revealed treasures that were before buried, hidden away or guarded by beings to powerful for you to challenge. So by walking back more leisurely, following a scenic route through the various parcels of the primordial wilderness, you are confident that you will find even more treasures to add to your collection and horde away in your temple! Valuable cultivation materials! Divine artifacts! Lost scriptures and Manuals! Shiny Gems and glittering baubles! Ancient and potent spirituals herbs and fruit! Parts of Mystical Creatures slain in the conflagration of deadly weather! Lumber from millennium old trees felled by whirlwinds or upended by earthquakes! Heirlooms and relics of the tribes of wild men indebted to you, offerings to the newest and most magnificent god of their primitive pantheons of nature spirits! This hidden valley has become a treasure trove of mystical treasures and spiritual artifacts! By time you leave it, you'll no longer be a pauper cultivator but rather a wealth Daoist surrounded by many resplendent treasures!

Surely, some would name you greedy, to search for wealth and magical artifacts after receiving so many peerless boons as the Blood Qi now surging within Your Spiritual Roots and Meridians, the strange pearl given to you by the Grandmaster of underworld alchemy, The Divine blood honey and Black Iron Chitin, but is it truly so? Is it not common sense, like pocketing a piece of Jade rather than allowing it to sink into mud? You see nothing wrong with pilfering this wilderness of its relics and treasures, its not stealing since they're own by no one! It'd be a waste to leave them to gather rust and dust, unappreciated and unadmired and lost forever! Really its act of generosity, searching for and taking these treasures from these uncivilized and barbaric lands! In your possession, they'll be treasured and can be admired by your disciples and followers rather than buried in dung, left to rot beneath the sun or stomped flat in the mud!

When you explain your plan and reasoning to your three companions, you are met with mixed reactions. Feiqing, who wants to leave the dangers of this barbaric yet beautiful wilderness behind him, reluctantly agrees to assist his Young Mistress in finding the treasures she seeks for. Lei immediatly agrees, nodding his head and grunting in a manner that you have come to learn means something close to "of course, of course! As you wish my magnificent mistress! I am humbled to be allowed to aid you in this endeavor as I am your loyal and loving servant".
Cont
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>>5157624

Ping refuses outright, but you can tell by the gleam in his eye and smile on his face, his refusal is towards helping you collect the wealth and boons of the mystic wilds and not for leaving the revealed heavenly relics where they lie in filth and muck, as he will surely try to take as many as he can carry for himself. If he wasn't so frightened by the Jionghuagege's children, you would suspect he would have filled his shoes with Divine Blood Honey and walked barefoot through the rest of the journey. Even a blade of grass will win him great respect and honor within his sect. He's aiming to leave the outer ring of its disciples, from what you understand from his fireside conversations with Feiqing and Lei, so he can be allowed to truly begin his cultivation

Which seems foolish to you. If he wants to cultivate Qi, he should just leave his sect if it refuses to teach him how to until he's spent years of his life toiling in their fields and gardens or bribed them with a bauble from lands his elders are frightened of. But you don't tell Ping any of this, as he has been less annoying of late and you see no reason to torment or pester him when there are treasures to be unearthed and prizes to be taken all around you!

So you set about exploring the untamed expanse in search of the divine and heavenly treasures scattered by the Gardening God's fit of despairing wrath! How exciting~! How Fun~! Of course Feiqing and Lei do most of the work retrieving and collecting the various treasures, as you don't want to dirty your fur or chip your claws crawling into burrows or wading through marshes. You do personally collect those earthly treasures that neither men can reach without risking their lives, such as those stuck on ledge high up on cliffs or dangling from trees growing upon orphaned spires of rock. And your search is made all the more easy as, the various tribes indebted to you, such as the White antlers, Butterfly Maidens and those yokels that drink liquor fermented in bear shit join the hunt, seeking to earn your favor in a friendly competition!

Oh what wealth do you find! Oh what treasures you now hold! How Magnificent they are! How Resplendent! Befittingly Imperial! Truly Alluring! A touch bewitching! Each one reflects but a fraction of your peerless beauty! A glamorous collection sure to draw envious stares from any you allow to gaze upon and admire it!

Rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns!

Sitting upon the pile of all of your newly found and earned treasures, you take inventory of your new sea of wealth as you languish atop it. Feiqing and Lei lay collapsed beneath it, red in the face, with hands blackened with grime and dirt and sweat pouring from their brows. The various tribesmen who helped in the hunt for your now beloved treasures look up at you with hopeful eyes, expecting praise you will be all to willing to give.

Once you have finished tallying up your gains and measuring your new wealth.
Cont
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>>5157627

Ping sits away from the gathering of treasure hunts, cheeks puffed out and looking scornfully your way. You aren't certain if he found anything worthwhile, but if he did it was less and lesser than you! Because you're better than he is and worked harder! Looking smugly in his direction, you snort dismissively and raise your head high as Feiqing and Lei pant exhaustedly beneath you, stinking of sweat and mud!
_
Tally of Treasures: Four hundred and Forty Four Spirit Stones (Currency in the cultivation world, contain spiritual energy. Can be consumed to cultivate, forge magical items or power spell formations) One uncarved block of Star Jade (Rare/ High quality cultivation Material, fell out of the rifts torn in the sky) Seven undamaged/ whole thousand year old ginseng plants. Three spirit fruits (one water aligned, one earth aligned, One Metal aligned). One polished dragon turtle shell. Five Phoenix feathers. One set of Qilin antlers. One Flood Dragon scale. Two abnormally large snake fangs taken from a similarly gigantic skull. Five unidentified Spiritual herbs (Orange/yellow sunburst poppy, Black Orchids, Humming vine, Silver berries, Red thorned nettle). One Red Agate Idol of Huanliuxue, White Fur Awakened Bear hide (Water aligned, pleasantly cool), various mundane Gemstones and Crystals
_

"I need to rest Lady Huanliuxue, I've grown too weary too walk any further. It feels as though my back is beginning to crack" Feiqing huffs and puffs, sitting down and setting down the hide bundle carrying half of your treasure. You nod and offer him a saucer of water with three drops of diluted blood honey as he pants and wipes sweat from his brow with the same cloth he uses to handle his pots and pans.

"Rest, you've earned it. Besides, constantly straining your body does little good if you don't allow it to recover" You say, as the blacksmith sprawls out his legs and greedily slurps the sweetened water you gave him. His and Lei's legs have become noticeably more muscular and defined since they began carrying your luggage. Which, despite what Ping would say, they offered! You didn't browbeat or force them to do anything! They just knew it'd be unbecoming for a princess to carry her own belongings, is all!

"At least its good training brother" Ping chuckles, checking through his much more meager and smaller bag of treasures, holding it close to his chest as if you'd steal it away. Like you'd want his garbage! "By time we leave this heavenly valley, you may be strong enough to lift Huanliuxue over your shoulders"

Your whiskers twitch, warning you of something approaching from behind. You turn and see Lei, arms bent and clearly intending to try and lift you up by your arms. A glare sends your mute disciple scurrying away, back to his parcel of treasures. He claps his hands and bows, to try and earn your forgiveness for the mischief he attempted.
cont
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>>5157630

The sweet scent of honey fills the air, and you can hear the tell tale sound of Bursts of Qi being fired. Which means you've entered the territory of the insect princesses! Your two adorable juniors! Humming, you march off to visit the two youngsters and tell them of the success of your quest before continuing onwards towards home.

It doesn't take long to find them, with how loud they're being. It seems they're training together, or perhaps playing roughly. Jionghuagege is zipping through the air, while Tiexingege is trying to hit her with chunks of hardened soil she pulls from the earth. They've improved since the last you've met them, they actually fight with a practiced confidence now, using martial arts rather than instinct alone. Jionghuagege breaks the balls of earth with her stinger, which, sheathed with Qi, bursts through them with ease! While Tiexingege, focusing metal and earth Qi into her legs, stabilizes her stance with the strength of the earth. Or so it would seem, as she instead uses the Qi she's collected in her bladed limbs to take to the skies by throwing herself upwards with a pillar of stone. And judging from how far she is flunged, she has learned qīnggōng, Lightness skill!

You watch the two spar or play fight for a few moments longer before alerting them to your presence with a yawn.

Immediately the two stop what they are doing, breaking away from each other just as Tiexingege swings her bladed arms and Jionghuagege thrusts her stinger

"Elder sister! Elder sister! You've returned! I've missed you so much! I've been practicing my breathing technique and meditation, just like you taught me to!" Jionghuagege excitedly exclaims as she buzzes and bumbles through the air around you, her antenna glowing brightly as her fur sparkled beneath the midday Son

"Stop bothering the boss!" Tiexingege teasingly scolds, marching up to you, with all of the swagger of a career criminal "But I've been making sure Jiong-Jiong was keeping up her practice"

"And I've been making sure Tie-Tie doesn't train her body into an early grave" Jionghuagege giggles as the metal ant looks at your, curiously swishing her antenna in your direction

"Hey big sis, you've changed haven't you? Gotten stronger! I can sense it! Part of your aura is red like your fur now!" Tiexingege exclaims, prompting Jionghuagege to nearly collide into your trying to get a closer look, clumsily righting herself by fluttering her wings rapidly

"You're right! You're right! Her glowy stuff is all red now! Not just black!" Jionghuagege gasps "How beautiful! Like rose petals floating on a black lake. What's happened Elder sister?"

"Have you reached a new state? Eaten a demon's soul? soaked your fur in so much blood it became a power of itself?" Tiexingege guesses, stamping her feet with every theory she puts forth.

"Supped the nectar of a divine blossom? Slept in a circle of enchanted orchids? Eaten too much honey?" Jionghuagege energetically guesses in turn

Cont
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>>5157632

"Oh Nothing so boring, Geges" You cackle, grinning ear to ear joyously, almost feeling healed by the presence of these carefree children "I went on quite a fantastic journey since I left your company! Lead ghosts into butchering a fat pig of a demon who wanted to eat Lei! enjoyed the hospitality and generosity of wild mountain tribes! Walked through a valley where Phoenixes were as common as doves and Dragons ruled the skies! I even met a kindly old god"

"You fought a devil! Oh I wish I could've been there to join the brawl, big sis!" Tiexingege chuckles, eager to hear the details of your grand adventure,


"Phoenixes? Dragons! Kindly old gods? What a romantic adventure you must've had Elder sister, you must tell me more" Jionghuagege exuberantly exclaims, bobbing up and down around the air as Tiexingege groans

"Why do you want to hear the boring stuff! I wanna hear how she saved Black mask for becoming a meal!" Tiexingege barks

"Battles are interesting, their terrifying! Meeting a god on the road is a much more pleasing story to tell, and hear!" Jionghuagege huffs dismissively .

You can't help but to laugh boisterously at the sight of the two girl's petty and childish argument.

"Tiexingege, Jionghuagege! I will tell both stories, there's no need to fight" You say between bursting fits of cackling "We have all the time in the world for me to amaze you with the tales of my adventures and the glories I've won! Besides my servants need to rest for the time being, so I am truly in no rush"

"Fine by me!" Tiexingege snorts, clacking her mandibles together

"Please don't tell the grisly details about how the pig devil ate, I know i'll suffer nightmares if you do" Jionghuagege whimpers

"Hah! I'll chase those bad dreams out of your head, sis!" Tiexingege boldly proclaims, bumping her head to Jionghuagege as she lands to listen to your story.

You smile warmly and sigh lovingly

"My my, How sweet" You purr, overjoyed to see that the two's friendship has become even stronger than it was before "But, since asked so nicely, their will be no need for Tiexingege to chase away your bad dreams, I won't disgust you with the abhorrent manners and gluttony of the pig devil, all you need to know is he sent his bewitched servants to capture Lei to have him as part of his next meal..."

You spend the rest of the day regaling the young princesses of the Divine blood Honey meadow with tales of your adventure, slightly exaggerating some details to make the stories more exciting for them, like that the pig devil actually tried to fight back, rather than immediately crawl away crying and pleading for the ghosts and Xiongji to spare his life. And you included what Feiqing and Ping told you you passed by while in your trance, since it didn't sound like they were lying and its better than saying "I close my eyes and opened them to find that I had traveled through a vast temple without realizing it to end up in front of a hermit god's cottage!"

Cont
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>>5157633

Of course both Jionghuagege and Tiexingege are amazed and greatly entertained by the stories you tell them! How couldn't they be? They're about the magnificent you, after all! Of course they'd enjoy hearing about your glorious travels and heroic deeds! So, feeling generous, you tell them stories of your past! How you fought the dreaded tyrant of the mountain village, the eater of children Jiùqūliáoyá! or how you outsmarted those stone statues in the catacombs of the forgotten crypt and plundered the forbidden manuals they guarded! Or how you hunted down Ling Meng! Your favorite story to tell.

But, you cannot stay and tell them stories forever, and when they grow tired and weary as the moon claims the sky, you say your goodbye and promise to return to visit at a later date, before returning to Feiqing, Lei and Ping to see if they're ready to continue the journey home

To your disappointment, they're all asleep, and to your greater displeasure they don't wake until midafternoon the next day! Which leaves you in a foul mood as you return to the tunnels of the toad King. Though you do cheer up a little after you bat his beast core around through the tunnels a few times! And when you emerge back onto the face of the White stone mountain, you are once more in high spirits. And they do not fall as you travel back towards the edge of the Primordial wilderness

And your spirits raise even higher as you approach the lake that sits beneath the sheer cliffs cutting off the rest of the world from this place of uncorrupted, wild beauty.

"Little dragon, little dragon" You coo as you prance along the shore, as Feiqing and Lei sleep lazily a few steps from it, under the luggage they have been carrying "I've returned successfully from my quest! What sights I have seen! What wonderous beings I have met. All thanks to you"

The waters bubble, and a pair of antlers emerge, followed soon by turquoise and grey scales as a familiarly innocent and soft face greets you, eyes still firmly shut.

"I knew you would, Elder Red sister" The unborn dragon spirt chimes, singing happily "I am glad you did, For now you can claim yourself the Lady of the Wilds, Graves, and Life itself. I am happy for you, elder sister! Many of my siblings told me you would not return or would become lost, but I knew you were to shrewd to be so foolish"

You smile and open you mouth to speak

"Also you smell of honey" She adds, reminding you that she is even younger than Tiexingege and Jionghuagege and was not even yet an infant.

Her dark blue mane of hair shifts and sways as if she were still underwater as she coils around you

"Well, I thank you for keeping your confidence in me despite the naysaying, and I smell like Honey because I spent a day or so in the company of An awakened Bee and Ant, who are friends of mine" You happily explain to the young spirit
Cont
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>>5157636

"Hmm, when I am born, I hope I can meet this bee and ant as well, I sense they aided you in your journey as well" She sings, rolling through the air lazily "And thank you for bringing justice to the toad who ate my elders"

"I cannot abide villains who prey upon children" You answer sharply, eyes narrowed "I would have killed him even if I had never met you"

"Hmm" The dragon purrs as she returns to swim in the surface of the lakes water "You have become his grave, a fitting end for him, who knew not love, to be devoured by she who became because she was loved"

"You mean the village children?" You ask

The dragon nods

"The grandfather on the mountain told me you visited" She says "I am glad you met him, he is a kindly old soul. It is a shame his peace was disturbed, but a bitter truth is better than sweet ignorance. I thank you once more, for opening his eyes, Elder Sister of Ghosts and Blood, though the world wept and bled because of it"

"Was his fury truly so great?" You ask curiously

"You shall see when you return to the world of men" The dragon says, before she returns to the depths of the lake. Or so it seemed, as she poked her head out to state "You are still very fluffy" Before she truly departed for the company of her fellow unborn spirits

Sighing, you can't help but so smile endearingly, until you remember you have to wait for Feiqing and Lei to recover before you can scale the cliff and return to the mortal realm.

Groaning, you give a yowl as you flop down on your side.

"Why must humans be so fragile!" You complain loudly, causing Ping to look down at you

"I suppose it is the will of the gods?" He suggests mockingly

You kick sand in his face

What do you do when You return to the Mortal Realm, Huanliuxue?

>Return home with your treasures as quickly as your able to, alongside Feiqing and Lei, and show them off to Monu

>Realize Ping may snitch, and Escort him back to his sect's temple to ensure he keeps his silence

>Introduce Feiqing and Lei to Young Fu, and offer to Begin Fu's own training if he is willing, delaying your return to your sanctuary briefly

>Give each of the three men a gift as a show of thanks and graitude for their assistance and company

>write in
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>>5157639
>Either convince Ping to come with us or kidnap him, even if he keeps silent about this, his elders may notice any lies and investigate further.
>>
>>5157639
>Introduce Feiqing and Lei to Young Fu, and offer to Begin Fu's own training if he is willing, delaying your return to your sanctuary briefly
We should finally train Fu.
>>
>>5157639
>>Give each of the three men a gift as a show of thanks and graitude for their assistance and company
>>Realize Ping may snitch, and Escort him back to his sect's temple to ensure he keeps his silence
>>
>>5157639
>Give each of the three men a gift as a show of thanks and graitude for their assistance and company
This will also go towards keeping Ping from snitching
>>
>>5157639
>Introduce Feiqing and Lei to Young Fu, and offer to Begin Fu's own training if he is willing, delaying your return to your sanctuary briefly
>>
>>5157639
>Realize Ping may snitch, and Escort him back to his sect's temple to ensure he keeps his silence
Or If we can't convince to keep silent.
>>5157815
>Either convince Ping to come with us or kidnap him, even if he keeps silent about this, his elders may notice any lies and investigate further.
This is a talk we must have to keep our safety, and it would be a shame to see one of our companions, who went with us on this journey worthy of legends, just end up dying in such a sad way. like being burned as a heretic.
>>
>>5158134
Support.
We have to keep this idiot quiet. Which is only slightly worrying that we will go so close to his sect.
>>
>>5157815
Hey Grandfather, could you consider this as different form/suboption of this vote?
>Realize Ping may snitch, and Escort him back to his sect's temple to ensure he keeps his silence
In didn't want to escort him nor for him to go back to his sect, but I worry I'm splitting the votes to shut Ping up.
>>
>>5157639
>Introduce Feiqing and Lei to Young Fu, and offer to Begin Fu's own training if he is willing, delaying your return to your sanctuary briefly
>>
>>5157639
>>Realize Ping may snitch, and Escort him back to his sect's temple to ensure he keeps his silence
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result. Sorry for my lateness, Woke up with an aching shoulder

Introduce Feiqing and Lei to Young Fu, and offer to Begin Fu's own training if he is willing, delaying your return to your sanctuary briefly:3

Give each of the three men a gift as a show of thanks and graitude for their assistance and company:2

Realize Ping may snitch, and Escort him back to his sect's temple to ensure he keeps his silence:5
-: Either convince Ping to come with us or kidnap him, even if he keeps silent about this, his elders may notice any lies and investigate further.:3

So you'll try to pressure Ping into keeping his silence about your adventure, and try to convince him to leave his sect behind/ kidnap him if you can't

Update will arrive shortly
>>
The Unnatural blizzard still raged in the heart of the Primordial Forest of the tragic lovers, perhaps whatever spell summoned it to begin with was strengthened by the god of the Mountains fury for it had grown much fiercer than when you first passed through. That must be why it remains, tearing through this ancient forest of tragedy as otherwise the curse would have faded and left the snowstorm to abate naturally. The Air reeks of the same old dire grudge you sensed before, air that has become so frigidly cold even you are feeling chilled by it beneath the protection of the Ghostly Qi and the fur on your hide. Feiqing, Lei and Ping march behind you, huddled together and bundled in furs of boars and deer you slaughtered for the sole purpose of keeping your companions from freezing to death as you passed through the boundary of the accursed devil blizzard! Their teeth chattered together almost musically as you trudged and struggled through the snow, gale winds tearing at your face and ears, carrying shards of ice and hardened snow that batter and cut you like hammers and knives!

The warning of the unborn dragon spirit repeats in your mind, of the cataclysm and destruction wrecked by one god's justified anger. A pit forms in your stomach, a ball of guilt weighing down your thoughts as you are buffeted by wind and frost. Ice forms and clings to the fur of your chin and your whiskers and a dusting of fresh snow hardens in clumps on your back.

'How greatly have the lands of mortal men and beasts been wounded by his rage' you ponder to yourself, clenching your jaw and gnashing your teeth as you search for familiar terrain and landmarks. This forest has become a white hell! And only your tolerance to cold and quick thinking allowed you and your companions to endure the Curse born snowstorm. The three men pause for a moment, shivering as they press themselves more tightly together, as Ping exchanges the protection Charm he had around his wrist with Lei, who then passes it to Feiqing. They say no words, but carry out a silent argument beneath the chattering of their teeth and labored breathing, as the blacksmith tries to force the Mute to keep the protection Talisman. You sat down, waiting for them to solve the dispute as you ruefully glared out at the white haze of snow filling the air, churned up by the whirlwinds that whipped and carved their way through the forest, battering against the older and more sturdy trees and snapping the younger outright.

'Damn this storm! It should have calmed while I traveled through the deeper wilderness!' You think, snarling and clacking your fangs together to keep your jaw from freezing shut 'Shouldn't I be repaid for my good deeds with good fortune?! this is unforgiveable! And here I was, being kindly and merciful once more, leading Ping back to the edge of his contemptible Sect of hardline zealots, the very same who crippled my mother and killed my sister!'
Cont
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>>5159397

Seething, your unsheathe and stretch your claws, allowing your impudent rage to flow through your so as to vent it from your mind

'Only to be be forced to walk through the very same blizzard that haunted my first trip through this realm of perpetual twilight and...' You ramble on in your thoughts, shaking your head back and forth to try and dislodge the clods of snow that have adhered to your neck and face

A realization interrupts the ranting and complaining of your inner thoughts as you remember, what you feared before. Ping's manner had been subdued and almost tamed as of late, he had referred to you by your name rather than as "Demon", "Devil" Or insultingly calling you "Beast". He hadn't accused you of deception or scheming to corrupt the souls of his brothers and your disciples for so long that you had almost begun to forget. That he is the member of an orthodox sect, and had been raised to believe their lies. He is convinced of the righteousness of their doctrine. And though he has softened his demeanor towards you and may even be beginning to look past his perceptions of you as a wicked, villainous creature of sin and savagery, can you be so certain he won't tattle and tell of your adventures together in detail? He knows what fate awaits him if his sect believes he has been bewitched by a Demonic Beast like yourself, and while he may be an annoying fool, he isn't so much of a lackwit that he'd offer up his neck by complete accident while trying to connive his way to a higher station with gifts and a story painting himself as the heroic leader of the trek of three men through the uncharted wilderness and home of demons.

But, Cultivators, even if they have eyes but cannot see mount tai, are shrewd and cunning by nature. How easily will his elders see through the lies he will surely tell, how noticeable will the discrepancies between his tale and the truth be? Will they investigate further? Persuade him to forsake his sense of honor and personal morality to reveal your passing and existence? Or will they interrogate and torture him, subjecting him to the same pitiful fate as Monu and Jing...Jingwhateverhisnamewas. Or maybe even burn him alive to purify his spirit "Corrupted by the demon's spell". You cannot be certain what will happen to Ping when he leaves your company, and while the man has insulted you and drawn your ire, leaving him to such a fate is simply unfair. Besides! If he doesn't keep his mouth shut, he'll endanger you, Monu and everyone else who realizes your benevolence!

You turn on your heels, and march rapidly over to the three Men as Feiqing starts to cry in his hideous and thunderous way, almost howling as Lei shoves the Protection Charm back into his hands, his tears freezing to his face as Ping looks down at you.

"How ironic" He says with a foxish smirk, already knowing your intentions at a glance "I confronted you beneath a storm, and now you do the same, Huanliuxue"
Cont
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>>5159398

"If you're so perceptive, you must already know what I have to say to you" You reply sharply, snapping your jaws as Feiqing continues sobbing loudly and grossly, wiping snot from his face as he completely loses his composure in the face of Lei's silent selflessness. The man is truly weak to kindness and comradery, you're amazed he was able to resist the temptation to sow wild seeds when the Butterfly maidens offered theirs.

Ping nods, as he pulls himself away from the other two men, arms stowed away in the sleeves of his robes, which themselves are buried beneath ragged, untanned and still bloody furs.

"A warning" you say anyways "Or perhaps a threat, I'm uncertain which it is myself, to not tell a soul of the adventures you had with Feiqing, Lei and my glorious self"

"Hrnn?" Lei grunts, shocked as Feiqing keeps blubbering and wailing his gratitude for all the land to hear, praising Lei's character and generosity while sounding as much like an Ape as he looks

Ping's eyes narrow and his smirk widens into a smile

"Huanliuxue, I may be a stubborn fool, but even I can see you are no demon. I also know I am not charismatic enough to convince others of the truth I have seen with my own eyes" He says solemnly, bowing his head and pulling his arms out from beneath his sleeves, allowing the furs on his back to slough and fall off, all to cup his hands politely "You saved my life and others, without ulterior motives or villainous intent. I do not know what secret you keep from me concerning the past of beasts and men, but I cannot condemn you to death after witnessing your selfless deeds. We are not allies, but I refuse to sentence the undeserving to execution"

"So your eyes have opened after all, I was suspecting you were beginning to look past your prejudice and bias but I wasn't confident enough to trust that you'd keep your silence" You say, speaking more softly and lowering your voice, no longer approaching the man aggressively as a potential threat "But I'm urging you to keep your silence concerning the whole of the journey, not just my presence"

"I am aware, but I must explain my absence somehow, or I may be expelled from my sect. You may see them as villains, but I have spent my life climbing to become an inner disciple and fulfill my potential. I am chasing my destiny, as you chase yours" Ping says, speaking earnestly and unwavering in his convictions "I will concoct a lie, say the winds picked me up and carried me into that remnant of the primordial past and I struggled to escape and pray to all gods I know by name that it will be sufficent to keep me from being thrown out of the temple gates"

"Why go back!" you snap, a sudden fury welling inside of you "You know what they do to those they deem traitors! How cruel they can be! Why return at all! If they suspect you of falsehood, you will suffer a fate far worse than the death I'd court in their company! "
Cont
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>>5159401

"We may not see eye to eye, but we can live beneath the same sky. Stay in my service! I'll lead you to far greater heights than those old fools ever will!" Your proclaim as you take a step closer to Ping, sneering a grin that radiates boldness and pride.

"You've become fond of me" Ping teases, shaking his head "But, it isn't so simple. I am indebted to the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect and besides I cannot follow the life you lead. Whatever heresy you practice I know I cannot stomach. We are of two different worlds, and while we may no longer feel naught but contempt for one another, we must part ways if we are both to continue on living. Huanliuxue, I..."

Your notched ear twitches. You hear a whistling sound, rapidly approaching from at least a league away, growing louder and louder. Instinctively, you active your specter lightness skill, its sphere of altered time surrounding you as your body lightens by becoming partially intangible and ghostlike. Without thinking, you dodge to the side, kicking off the ground to drift through the air weightlessly.

Only after you perform this purely instinct driven action, do you realize what you have done and what was flying towards you.

You just dodged an arrow, imbued with Qi. An arrow, that, missing its target, has now struck Ping in his shoulder and lifted him from the ground, throwing him back through the air several feet. You drop back to the ground, as Feiqing's now horrified wails are joined by Ping's cries of agony.

A glance tells you that the shot was intended to be a killing blow, as dense, thorny roots crawl from the wound and burrow into the the flesh of Ping's arm, digging into his veins and tearing through his now bulging flesh. You can hear his bones snapping as the roots tighten around them

Encounter!
"Five Hunters in the snow"


as the storm's winds briefly calm a tense silence falls upon the field of snow and broken trees. Your mind races, your worst fears realized as you understand what is happening.

Cultivators are ambushing you, and they're close, only a mile or two away.

What do you do, Huanliuxue? time is of the essence

>Save Ping from a horrifying death by tearing his arm off with your fangs and staunching the flow of blood by freezing the stump.

>Command Feiqing and Lei to grab Ping and run, whoever shot that arrow are only after your head, you won't endanger your friends in this quarrel

>Leave Ping to die in the snow and lead a retreat as fast and as far away from the source of the attack as you can!

>Furious, face the hunters who've haunted your thoughts. You're the Princess of Ghosts and Grudges, Blood and Life!, the heir of the legacy of Primordial beasts! YOU'RE THE GREAT HUANLIUXUE DAMMIT! You won't cower like a hare! Show these fools the weight of their folly and CHARGE!

>Write in
>>
>>5159402
>Freeze time around you and make the roots growing inside Ping wither with your death and metal Qi!
If we don't do anything about Ping quickly then he will probably die but he would be devastated if he lose his arm and we don't know if it's possible to regrow limbs (seems pretty difficult even for Cultivators, at the least)
Death and metal Qi because wood and life are weak against these.
>>
>>5159430
I'm not sure we should be injecting qi iside his body at all, I'm not sure that'll go well.
As far as I can see it's either his arm or his life.
>>
>>5159433
We probably have enough finesse with our own law of ghosts and our dominant element to be able to do it, that will probably require a roll but it's doable with our skills in my opinion.
>>
>>5159402
>Save Ping from a horrifying death by tearing his arm off with your fangs and staunching the flow of blood by freezing the stump.
>>
>>5159402
>Freeze time around you and make the roots growing inside Ping wither with your death and metal Qi!
>>
>>5159402
I support >>5159430
The sphere of altered time should give us the required breathing room to lance the issue.
>>
>>5159402
>Save Ping from a horrifying death by tearing his arm off with your fangs and staunching the flow of blood by freezing the stump.
I don't know if messing with his arm is a smart idea.
The roots are inside his arm, making them wither won't make them disappear, his arm will still be completely fucked, I doubt we can save it either way.
I'd rather go with a sure way to save him then taking gambles.
Especially when we are in combat.
>>
>>5159564
I'm sure that it's a bit of a gamble because a roll will be needed but I think that an arm with wood inside is more likely to be salvageable than an amputated one, some alchemy and maybe our new blood magic may be able to dissolve the remains of the roots and heal it but we have no idea whether or not regrowing limbs is even doable or merely out of our reach for a long time.
>>
>>5159568
Like you said, it's a gamble. I don't want to risk his life just to *maybe* save his arm.
If Our-Grandfather told us what the DC would be like then I could consider it more seriously but off hand like this is doesn't strike me as a great idea. I don't think its stupid either mind you, but personally I'm not buying it.
>>
>>5159402
>Save Ping from a horrifying death by tearing his arm off with your fangs and staunching the flow of blood by freezing the stump.
>>
>>5159402
>Save Ping from a horrifying death by tearing his arm off with your fangs and staunching the flow of blood by freezing the stump.
>>
>>5159402
>Freeze time around you and make the roots growing inside Ping wither with your death and metal Qi!
>>
>>5159402
>Save Ping from a horrifying death by tearing his arm off with your fangs and staunching the flow of blood by freezing the stump.
>Furious, face the hunters who've haunted your thoughts. You're the Princess of Ghosts and Grudges, Blood and Life!, the heir of the legacy of Primordial beasts! YOU'RE THE GREAT HUANLIUXUE DAMMIT! You won't cower like a hare! Show these fools the weight of their folly and CHARGE!
>>
>>5159402
>Save Ping from a horrifying death by tearing his arm off with your fangs and staunching the flow of blood by freezing the stump.
>>
>>5159430
It’s worth a shot, supporting
>>
>>5159430
Supporting
>>
>>5159402
>Freeze time around you and make the roots growing inside Ping wither with your death and metal Qi!
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the results

Freeze time around you and make the roots growing inside Ping wither with your death and metal Qi!: 7

Save Ping from a horrifying death by tearing his arm off with your fangs and staunching the flow of blood by freezing the stump.:6

Furious, face the hunters who've haunted your thoughts. You're the Princess of Ghosts and Grudges, Blood and Life!, the heir of the legacy of Primordial beasts! YOU'RE THE GREAT HUANLIUXUE DAMMIT! You won't cower like a hare! Show these fools the weight of their folly and CHARGE!:1

So You will use the slowing effect of the Specter Lightness skill/Yōulíng-Qīnggōng to slow the progress of the Killing roots through Ping's arm and attempt to save his life and his limb by making the roots growing inside of him wither with death and Metal Qi

DC will be revealed at the end of the intermediate update.

Also just wanna say, love the creativity

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Your mind races, countless thoughts flowing through the stream of your conscious forming into rapids and whirlpools of discordant ideas and opposed plans. But, one stands out, as if it clawed and scrambled its way out of the previously empty riverbed of your mind before all the other half born suggestions and plan of action even emerged from the soil of your intellect. A thought you never thought you would seriously consider until today. Save Ping. Immediately, the most obvious means to prevent his gruesome demise is clear to you. Bite into the joint connecting his arm to the socket of his shoulder, slice your fangs through the sinew connecting the limb to his body and hope the bitterly cold air will freeze the stump quick enough to prevent Ping from bleeding to death or dying from the shock of you ripping his already mangled arm from him so violently.

But, you've sharpened your mind, to know that brute force is not always the answer. You didn't debate with some of the finest minds, renowned scholars and storied philosophers of the Chuan Region to remain a dull minded brute. Not that you ever were! But, you did train your already vast intellect and thus made your wit as razor sharp as your deadly claws! And your studies have taught you much about the formation of spells and the malleability of Qi! The torrent of thoughts is dammed, and sealed behind a wall of conscious, directed thought. Diagrams and arrays fill your mind, as you delve into your mystical knowledge like sorting through a warehouse of records and scrolls. In your mind's eye, your draw calligraphy, imbuing it with the spiritual energies of ghosts and the Qi of death and Metal as you watch Ping flail and claw at his arm. His legs stiffen, half bent as veins bulge across his face, neck and chest. Some burst, as blood red lilies bloom out of the mangled flesh of his arm, sprouting from his ruined veins. Its an agonizingly slow process, as he, as well as Feiqing and Lei have fallen within the boundary of your Specter lightness skill and its altered field of time. Ping's nails dig into his skin, as he tries to tear our the arrow, pulling and tugging at the roots as shards of bone are carried from his mangled limb by the roots that dig through its surface tightly entwined with not only each other by torn chunks of his skin and flesh. However, you remain calm, serenely but hastily devising a spell that could save Ping's life and his root filled arm.

It's a simple spell, requiring only an injection of foreign Qi to overcome and counteract the wood aligned spiritual energy that has caused the arrow to sprout the roots now burrowing through Ping's flesh. A pulse of Metal and Death aligned Qi to wither the roots and render them to dust. However, the nature of the forces you must introduce into his body, is the sole obstacle you face.
cont
>>
>>5160385

One of the aspects of Yin is destruction, the spiritual energy of phantoms is inimical to life, and Metal Qi unless altered takes the form of lightning. All of these would make the experience very unpleasant for Qi, even if the transfer spell works as intended. The mystical procedure will require expert precision with forces that are at their calmest completely untamed! But you are a prodigy, and watching the bundles of roots twist and push their way through his veins inspires you.

You haven't had time to practice with your newly obtained wellspring of Blood Qi, but you have noticed that you are much more aware of the flow of your blood and veins since you've introduced it to your Dantians and added it to your Cultivation base.

Tensing your arm, you find that, as you theorized, you can now control and alter the flow of blood in your veins similar to the currents of spiritual energy in your meridians.

DC lowered for possessing blood/ Life spiritual roots

Pouncing down from the air, your partially ethereal body reducing the force of your impact greatly as you blink on top of Ping's chest. If it were not for the Queer effect of the specter lightness skill, you would have surely cracked if not broken several of his ribs. Pressing a paw down next to the arrow, Ping's grimace of pain is twisted with the delayed reaction of shock from you leaping atop him.

Narrowing your eyes, you focus on your veins, and command them to move. Wincing in pain, four veins burst through the skin just above your paw's carpal pad, and burrow into Ping's skin surrounding the enchanted arrow.

Then, you manifest both Metal aligned and Ghostly Qi into your paw, transferring the energy into your bloodstream as it pumps into Ping's own veins. Immediately, the blood within blackens and roils with miniscule arcs of lightning as the temperature around you suddenly plummets

Precision trial! Roll 1d100. DC 44. Best out of three.
>>
Rolled 39 (1d100)

>>5160387
>>
Rolled 30 (1d100)

>>5160387
>>
Rolled 73 (1d100)

>>5160387
The Ping is dead.
>>
>>5160394
you just saved him
>>
>>5160394
Long live the Ping.
>>
>>5160394
Success! The Ping is a alive!. Just 1 under going 30 over the DC. Still 20 over.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
The noises and screams he makes the moment your Metal and Death charged blood enters his flesh are more inhuman and horrifying than any of the shrieks or squeals of Hungry Ghosts and demons you have heard in your travels through the kingdom of graves and Hell itself! The slowing of his cries and wails of unparalleled agony, distorted further by the altered and slowed flow of time and the constricting of the muscles around his throat caused by the electric shock of the metal Qi surging through his root infested veins causes Ping's usually light and reserved voice to turn into a ragged, animalistic roar of pain and terror. It sounds like he's tearing his throat with his screams. He doesn't struggle or resist, his body is paralyzed by the pain inflicted by both the arrow's magical affliction and your treatment, which would surely be defined as witchcraft, blood magic or even demonic sorcery. A heresy of the most repugnant kind.

But no matter how wicked and vile it may appear, this heretical healing, though performed with powers condemned as founts of evil and corruption, it is saving Ping's life. His bulging veins blacken, his skin turns as pale as a corpse, but by controlling the flow of your blood as it mingles with his own and preventing it from spreading to the rest of his body you are able to seal the Qi you transfer into him to wither the flowers draining away his lifeforce and rending his arm apart down to its bones into the affected limb, trapping them from wrecking worse devastation upon Ping's body. If this admixture of the vital breathes of Metal and Death reached his heart, he would surely expire in a manner even more horrific than he would be condemned to experience if you let the spell carried by the arrow complete its grisly work. Blood flows down Ping's chin, as every breath becomes a ragged, chest shaking cough. His blood must be flowing in reverse! If you hadn't acted swiftly, he would have surely been consumed by the lilies planted beneath his skin and watered by his veins.

Pressing your other forepaw down, you Pin Ping to the ground to keep him from thrashing as you send a second pulse of Qi through his arms veins. There's a burst of ink black light, as the spiritual energy carried in your blood reaches the core of the arrow's root ball which had nestled itself like a cancerous tumor between the joint of Ping's arm and the socket of his shoulder. The infested Limb shoots up into the air rapid enough that even in the ponderously slow time it is a streak of sudden motion. Ping's mangled arm stiffens, arcs of lightning and ghostly mist coiling down to his shoulder as his snow white skin tightens and from his pours, impurities ooze out. The stench of the expelled black substance causes you to curl your lips in disgust involuntarily causing you to smells its reeking odor more deeply.
cont
>>
>>5160426

Your heart pounds in your chest as Ping continues screaming, his arm stiff as a corpse's as black veins crawl down his flesh and the flowers that dotted his arms wither and crumble to a grey powder that's carried away by the sluggish winds blowing through the domain of your specter lightness skill. Ping's hair has turned white from the shock of your healing, and his eyes have rolled upwards. Pink foam froths out of his mouth, saliva mixed with blood. He's unconscious.

His arm falls down, great tears visible in not only its skin but the muscle beneath. You can see bone in some place, fractured and shattered into needle sized chips. But the arm still twitches. It still lives! You did it! You healed with death! Tempered flesh with steel. Retracting your for veins, you return them to your own flesh.


"My genius is peerless beneath the heavens" You boast, as you allow time's natural flow to resume as you step off from Ping's chest, which weakly rises as your body becomes fully tangible once more

"Did..is he dead Lady Huanliuexue? What happened? What threw him!?" Feiqing weeps, kneeling besides his unconscious brother, voice ragged with his earlier crying and his now barely contained rage. His eyes, already pin prick small, have become black voids of wrath "He...He was talking just a moment ago! Then time seemed to slow and was screaming...screaming like he wasn't even human"

Lei maintains his cool composure and looks to the horizon. Reaching up to his black mask, he pulls it away, revealing his rugged features and piercing eyes. Snow dusts his lips, covering the thin mustache he left after shaving his face with a burning piece of wood the day earlier. He holds his mask in front of you, holding his arm away from his body.

"Ah" he gasps, as his mask is pierced through by another arrow, that pins it to the crookedly broken stump of a nearby tree. Which immediately sprouts with new growth.

"Lei! I was wrong, your genius is close to challenging my own!" you gasp as you realize what the mute is trying to tell you "The archer is targeting strong auras, using their spiritual sense rather than their eye sight! Following the presence of Refined or condensed Qi since they can't spot us beneath the cover of the snowstorm!

"Dnrr' He groans through his teeth, shrugging his shoulders as he takes a long step away from you

He turns to Feiqing and then back at you.

"Oh" Feiqing says, his dread evident in his tone and expression "That means I'm a target as well"

You leap backwards, kicking up snow as you dodge another arrow, which your own spiritual sense warned you off.

This is getting very dangerous, very quickly.
Cont
>>
>>5160428

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.

>Continue dodging the arrows, and try to measure the worth of your opponents with your spiritual sense (Agility trial. DC 35, cat's are quick on their feet, even if they are the size of an ox)

>spread spirit stones and your valuable treasures throughout the snow field, creating "Decoys" to distract and fool the cultivators, so you and Feiqing can ambush them!

>Utilize the phantom cat step to confront the attackers directly, leaving Feiqing and Lei to protect the currently unconscious ping.

>Write in
>>
>>5160429
>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.
>>
>>5160429
>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.
DGS seems the most logical here
>>
>>5160429
>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.
>>
>>5160429
>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.
>>
>>5160429
>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.
Good to see that we could save Ping's arm.
>>
>>5160429
>>Continue dodging the arrows, and try to measure the worth of your opponents with your spiritual sense (Agility trial. DC 35, cat's are quick on their feet, even if they are the size of an ox)
>>
>>5160429
>Apply dying grudge shield
>>
>>5160429
>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.
>>
>>5160429
>spread spirit stones and your valuable treasures throughout the snow field, creating "Decoys" to distract and fool the cultivators, so you and Feiqing can ambush them!
Good to see that that worked out well, at least.
>>
>>5160429
>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.
Well, looks like Ping can't return now even if he wants to.
Hopefully Manu stills remembers enough of the sect's teachings to teach him tge winter techniques, after we restore her with the pearl.
>>
>>5160732
Meh, he probably can. Once his arm is fixed, it's not like we are letting the 5 hunters live to report back.

They also cant see him, since they were targetting aura.
>>
>>5161030
There is pure bone in part of his arms, and I bet someone could sense the chi fuckery he had to go through, because cultuvators are bullshit.
Soo it means that either we let him tey to heal on his own which is a problem since he is an outer disciple and most likely doesn't know how to, bunker down somewhere else to treat him and delay going back, or bring him to our hideout and let him have even more critical information we can't let escape.
>>
>>5161175
I will be honest, a bag over his head will stop most of these issues about information and I genuinely doubt that he would betray us under anything but soul searching.

He's earned that much trust, he doesn't strike me as a liar.
>>
>>5161196
That could actually work, but we would need to either keep him bagged during his entire stay, or keep him in abousd outside the actual sect.
And my worry is not him betraying us, but other ones getting it out of him thorugh some means, like a paranoid elder or a jealous rival.
>>
>>5161239
Keeping him inside a random room in the tombs where we live and not letting him know his location isn't a bad idea at all.

We just have to make sure he finds no incriminating or revealing information on where this place is.
>>
>>5160429
>Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result

Catch the next arrow in a dying grudge shield barrier spell and send it back at the archer. Since they can't see you, they'll be unable to dodge it, and you've already figured out the timing between their shots from the three they have fired.:9

Continue dodging the arrows, and try to measure the worth of your opponents with your spiritual sense:1

spread spirit stones and your valuable treasures throughout the snow field, creating "Decoys" to distract and fool the cultivators, so you and Feiqing can ambush them!: 1

So You'll reflect the next Qi infused Arrow back at the archer, having measured the time it takes for the arrows to reach its target after being loosed from the bow

Update will arrive shortly
>>
However you were never one one to turn and flee with your tail between your legs simply because the course of the wind changed! No matter how dangerous the situation becomes, not only your life is at stake but your honor and pride! These orthodox dogs have injured a companion of yours while making an attempt on your life! Do they expect you to blindly panic like an animal? To be an easy, frightened prey!? You've already figured out the trick they used to spot you beneath the roaring winds and cover of snow, and by measuring the delay between the three arrows they have loosed against you, you have come to know something the bowman themselves is most likely unaware of. The exact span of time between them notching an arrow, loosing it from their bow's string and it reaching it target. Only to miss and hit something else, like Ping or Lei's mask. By calculating the time it takes to accomplish each of these actions, you can surmise their position in the Forest so accurately the only way you could be more certain of where this foolhardy hunter stands is by seeing them with your own two eyes!

Turning to face in the direction you know where the Cultivator firing the arrows must be, you frown as the wind causes your whiskers to twitch as the wind batters against you, lifting your blood red fur up as you adjust you stance, freeing your paws from the snow so you can be ready to dodge or lean out of the way if by some ill fortune you've miscalculated the timing and trajectory of the next shot. The wind wails, the branches of the ancient trees creak and groan as if they were jeering and laughing at you. Ice cracks, leaves rustle, your tail flicks back and forth, acting as a sort of metronome to count the moments before the archer's next and final shot enters into the reach of your wonderous invention, the Dying Grudge Shield variation of the humble Barrier spell. Doubtlessly, these curs know nothing about you, save that you are a beast that has dyed her fur in the blood of men and drank deeply of their dying fears and last breaths. A Demonic beast knowing how to raise a protection spell, no matter how novice, will surely surprise this impudent hunter after your head and Beast core. However the Dying Grudge Shield is no mere barrier. It is unique, in that it will not only nullify attacks but steal their power and return it back, reflecting any aggression with a vengeance and multiplying the power of the deflected attack! No cultivator, who studies and practices only the techniques that have been sanctioned and permitted by the heavens could possibly anticipate such a cunning technique or a power as esoteric as the Chuísǐyuànduìfá (垂死怨怼㕹, Dying Grudge Shield)

Lifting your ears and whiskers you stare into the white abyss of snow and wind, unable to hear the whistling sound produced by the arrow's fletching, but knowing it is flying towards you, aimed directly for your heart.
cont
>>
>>5161576

The obsidian black barrier forms in front of you, stretching itself into a rectangular shape as you move your ears and whiskers to adjust the shield's dimensions. Clouds of manifested resentment, the energy of grudges billow around the barrier's spells edges, obscuring its boundary's limits like a mass of smoke.

No sooner than the Shield was erected, standing just a step before yourself, the arrow impacts against it, exactly when you predicted it would. The Barrier's surface ripples, crackling as the raw Yin energy used to form it and the grudges that have been woven inside of it absorbs the force of the shot landing and the momentum of the arrow's doomed flight. For the time it takes you to breath in, the arrow hangs in the air, caught in the Spell, wrapped with dark tendrils of Qi as its own imbuement spiritual energy tries to implant the Vein invading roots into your shield. Blinking, you hear a loud crack like a whip being snapped in the air as the forces within the shield, strengthened by the destructive energies used to form it, shoots the arrow back along the exact path it took to reach you! The shroud of falling snow and fierce winds is pierced through, a tunnel of clarity forming through it as the root covered shaft of wood rockets through the forest with all the fury of a falling star.

You sit on your haunches, narrowing your eyes to squint and peer through the transient line of visibility leading directly to the naïve cultivator who believed killing you would be as simple as skipping stones! Vaguely, you can make out several figures, clearly dressed in a similar style of Daoist robes as Ping. One, down on one knee with one arm outstretched to steady and aim a curved bow, with the other pulled back to draw back its string, with a fifth arrow already notched and ready to be let loose. The four other figures raise their own barrier spells, anticipating an unseen attack whose form they cannot imagine. But the bowman, whose hands are occupied and thus cannot perform the hand signs required to form a protection spell, is left with two choices. Throw themselves to the ground or court death and try to fire the arrow they have already notched.

They choose the later, rotating this chest and shoulders to face the rapidly approaching arrow before transferring Qi into the arrow held between two of their fingers and firing it with enough force it causes their body to reel backwards and the bow string to audibly snap back into place. But, the strength of men cannot hope to match the power of grudges.

The arrows meet, and the fifth is split by the forth as it sheers through its head and shaft, sending one half upwards into the sky and the other down to the earth. The archer is struck, the arrow slicing through the edge of their eye socket and face.
Cont
>>
>>5161577

A feminine shriek of pain carries through the storm, piercing through its howl as the bowwoman falls backwards, dropping their bow and clutching at their face as the arrow continues on its path, which only ends when it hits the trunk of an old tree with a solid, satisfying thunk!

"Hah!" You shout triumphantly, emotionless frown turning into a victorious sneer

"MY EYE! MY EYE! MY EYE!" The girl one the ground cries out, the last thing you see of her as the snow heavy winds fill the tunnel cut through the blizzard almost instantaneously, is her withering on the ground legs buckled and hands blindly pawing at her face as she cried out once more, panicked to the point of raving "My eye is gone! Its gone! Its gone! I can't see it! I can't see anything! "

The girl cries and wails join the song of the winds as you take a step forward and are met with an out of place wave of heat.

A fire aspected technique?

The winds halt and calm, as the half blind girl's comrades charge through the blizzard, cutting through it as they bear their fangs and flash their claws. The snow melts as they grow nearer to you, and your three companions. The only sound in this soon to be battlefield are the pitiful cries of pain and terror of the fifth they left behind with only one eye.

"HUANLIUXUE!" One of them yells as you call Ghost Empress Melody to your side with a thought "WE HAVE COME FOR YOU AS THE EXECUTIONERS OF DIVINE RETRIBUTION! TO END YOUR DIABLOIC WAYS AND WICKED, MONSTEROUS LIFE! CUR! YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS AGAINST THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE OF THE GUARDIANS OF THE CELESTIAL SUNLIGHT SHALL BE AVENGED WITH BLOOD!"

You furrow your brow, searching your memories for any one you've offended or killed who claimed member ship with a sect by that name. And soon realize this is the first time you've heard of it. You'd remember if you did something to draw the Ire of an established Sect, and this is beyond the territory of the pathetic one whose springs you used to breakthrough into the foundation Establishment stage of your cultivation. What are they talking about?

"Ling Meng will be avenged! All those lives you devoured will be avenged! Yingnu's (鹰女, Falcon Daughter) precious Hunter Deity Eye (猎人神-眼睛, Lièrénshén-yǎnjing) Will be avenged!" The same man shouts, revealing your apparent transgressions. And awakening your long buried grudge that was put to rest when you ate Ling Meng! These are Ling men! Dogs of the Ling! Oh its been too long since you had the chance to taste Ling blood! How dare they believe Ling Meng was a life worth avenging! That killing that monster was a crime when he trampled children to fulfill his ambitions and satisfy his own lust for power and glory!
Cont
>>
>>5161579

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Shout back your own declaration that you won't even leave behind their bones for their families to mourn over and that Ling Meng is waiting for them in hell, before boldly marching to meet the four remaining hunters

>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)

>Try to explain that you have no Quarrel with their sect, now that Ling Meng is dead, and that all they'll find in pursuing you is death and bloodshed

>"Lei, guard me". Leave behind your body and possess the one eyed girl, pick up her bow and fire an arrow into the back of the one who dared to Speak Ling Meng's name (Martial Trial. DC 45)

>Write in
>>
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290 KB PNG
>>5161579
>"Ling Meng will be avenged!
Oh for real?

>>5161581
>>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)

I would pick the girl but with her good eye being fucked I expect the shot will be poorly aimed.
>>
>>5161581
>"Lei, guard me". Leave behind your body and possess the one eyed girl, pick up her bow and fire an arrow into the back of the one who dared to Speak Ling Meng's name (Martial Trial. DC 45)
>>
>>5161581
>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)
>>
>>5161581
>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)
>>
>>5161581
>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)
>>
>>5161581
>Try to explain that you have no Quarrel with their sect, now that Ling Meng is dead, and that all they'll find in pursuing you is death and bloodshed
we should try to do this first before going murderhobo on these assholes.
>>
>>5161581
>>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)
>>
>>5161581
>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)
>Invent metal just for this occasion.
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>>5161581
>Shout back your own declaration that you won't even leave behind their bones for their families to mourn over and that Ling Meng is waiting for them in hell, before boldly marching to meet the four remaining hunters
>>
>>5161581
>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)
The time for words ended a little while back, and leaving Lei to guard us against 4 cultivators does not strike me as the smartest idea.
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>>5161581
>I dont have quarrel with you, striking at me shall lead only to your deaths!
>Play a melody (dc 58)
We can tell them the mistake they are making, but I have no intention of letting them go.
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>>5161581
>Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you (Magic Trial. DC 58, DC raised because multiple targets)
>>
Surprise early update! Ending the vote now, tallying the results

Play a violent and aggressive song with Ghost empress Melody, manifesting its melody as cutting winds and ghost blades, to assail your foes as they charge towards you:9

"Lei, guard me". Leave behind your body and possess the one eyed girl, pick up her bow and fire an arrow into the back of the one who dared to Speak Ling Meng's name:1

Try to explain that you have no Quarrel with their sect, now that Ling Meng is dead, and that all they'll find in pursuing you is death and bloodshed:1

"I dont have quarrel with you, striking at me shall lead only to your deaths!": 1

Shout back your own declaration that you won't even leave behind their bones for their families to mourn over and that Ling Meng is waiting for them in hell, before boldly marching to meet the four remaining hunters: 1

So you'll attack the four, golden robed cultivators charging you with the deadly strings of the Enchanted Guqin, Ghost Empress melody.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Breathing out your rage with the vapors that rise from your parted lips in the chill air, you shake your head and begin to cackle most wickedly. The old grudge that birthed you bubbles and boils within you as you look upon the four hunting dogs of Ling. Its a surprise, to be certain, that the Ling family possessed a connection or descendance from the world of cultivation and immortals so strong that they'd rally a force to hunt you down, but it is not unwelcome. Hearing that wretch's black name has reignited the early, pure rage that drove you to kill, slaughter and devour and earn the name Huanliuxue to begin with! The game of cutting down and ending the lives of those fools who pledge themselves to the Ling, was a joy that you had thought you had outgrown when you become a daoist, however heretical and unconventional of one you may be. But Look! Fate has smiled upon you once again and showered you with miraculous providence once more! What fortune, for a cat to be met with blind mice wandering into her jaws!

Your snarl of reawakened wroth transforms into a grin of murderous glee, the same you felt when you crushed the dog general's skull between your fangs. Tapping your outstretched, unsheathed claws on the blood red surface of your magical Guqin, its inlay of black and white pearl shine in the few rays of sunlight strong enough to pierce through the wild winds of the curse born storm. The tarnished silver strings vibrate from your excited tapping, the queer crimson light glowing within them as Ghost Empress Melody seems to sing of her own accord. Like the wail of the ghost of a widow searching for the souls of her lost children. A tantalizing, soothing melody for those who lurk and live amongst the graves. The sickly sweet aroma of decay and wilted flours rises from your instrument, as the four hooded cultivators rush down the hill and reveal their weapons.

Twin Swords, A indigo tasseled spear, A studded iron staff and a barbed whip. All weapons deadly in their own right, but made several magnitudes more treacherous in the expert and skillful hands of cultivators, who will doubtlessly know dozens if not hundreds of killing techniques and be able to channel spiritual energy through them with as much ease as turning over their hand.

However, while you were born with weapons that have served you well, Granny Monu has given you a treasure beyond any other. The very same enchanted Guqin beneath your paws, with two of your claws hooked around its crimson lit silver strings.

The four fools killing tools may be well made, master crafts all that would be a prize worth killing for a mortal collector. But they are not artifacts, and their power comes from their wielder.

The Ghost Empress Melody possess magic of its own.

And so you begin to play, channeling all of the bitter, smoldering hatred you have kept locked away in the darkest places of your heart and soul into the melody.
Cont
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>>5161933

Snow flies as the cultivators sprint through the storm like floating clouds and flowing waters. But even their dull ears hear the shrieking cry of your Guqin as you drag a claw down the length of its center most string, and increase the viciousness of sound and violent intent of the music you play for them.

Calling for the phantom blades, you begin the battle with a killing refrain that embodies all of the Pain the man they seek to avenged inflicted upon you, and the very grudge that awakened you!

Roll 1d100. DC 58. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 91 (1d100)

>>5161934
>>
Rolled 19 (1d100)

>>5161934
>>
Rolled 77 (1d100)

>>5161934
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>>5161937
Nice SUCCESS! 30 Over DC!

Update will arrive shortly

>>5161937
>>5161939
What are the odds?
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>>5161937
>>5161939
>>5161942
>>5161943
Inverse rolls, a divine dub on a post ending in 42, and a consecutive jumber reply.
'Erry Noice
>>
|https://youtu.be/yvFgNP9iqd4|

And with that grudge that ushered you into the world, so to does the hatred that grew in its place when you learned of the injustices of life and the villainous cruelty of the heavens and its gods. Your eyes flash, glowing brightly as they reflect the crimson light of the Ghost Empress Melody's strings. Pouring and filling your song with all of the disgrace and anger you feel for what has been denied and taken from you, you knock the Enchanted Guqin upwards, Lifting its notched side while its gently curled end gets pressed into the hardened, packed ice that blankets the ground. Strumming it furiously, the killing winds it summons become a wall of swords that, drawing upon your Ghostly Yin Qi, become black blades shaped by the miasma of grudges itself as the white winds around them take the appearance of spectral warriors forming a shield wall around you.

The shrieking, discordant cries of your resentful, murderous melody would be enough on its own to shatter the confidence of your four opponents, but the appearance of phantom defenders has truly shaken them down to the very marrow of their bones! But the twin swords wielder and the broad shouldered man with a beard and scar do not pause their charge out of fright and level the weapons, ready to attack and break through the wall of false spirits! The specters made of snow vanish as they rush forward, shields held forward and black blades aimed towards the azure sky. Pulling right paw back and your left paw forward, you release them and so send the black blades of killing wind scattering through the air between you and the four cultivators. The two that were struck with dread as you unveiled your treasure, raise their staff and twirl their whip defensively, pressing their backs together as they use their free hand to try and raise barrier spells as the killing winds lash and spin towards them shrieking as they cut through the blizzard's own winds.

With a few plucks and strums, you send the black phantom blades falling like rain upon them. A storm of spears and swords! Cackling loudly, you play in this manner gleefully for several seconds as the four fools who court death facing you struggle to close the distance between you without being torn to bloody, pitiful shreds! No more self righteous declarations or condemnations are made, as the four men fight for their lives.

The two cowards find their barrier spells broken. The staff wielders arms are cut and sliced, blood spurting and staining his spotless robes woven of gold, his hood cut down the middle as a disfiguring slash splits open his face just an inch to the left of its exact center, a blow that would have been fatal if it wasn't slowed by cutting through his iron staff. The Whip wielder manages to deflect the first four phantom blades that fall upon him, by whipping them out of the air with precise strikes as his whip moves like an serpent coiling through water.
Cont
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>>5161964

But his defense fails when a cutting wind strikes his back and sends him down to his knees as his robes to, are dyed the same beautiful shade of red as your fur. The staff wielder turns, and spins his weakened staff, trying to defend his comrade as the winds, by your command, twist and turn themselves into drilling spear heads. On hits the staff fighter's leg, tearing the cloth that covered it and ripping the flesh beneath, while a second impacts on the whip holder's shoulder and lifts him from the ground for five paces before he drops, with a hole bored through his flesh.

The Spear and Twin Sword cultivators fare only slightly better, as they realize they cannot defend against such relentless aggression and so struggle to close the gap you've made of ghostly blades and slicing gales while their more cautious and gutless compatriots are battered into the snow by the very same wall of melodic death!

Rotating and twisting his spear, the larger of the two tries to create an opening through the ever increasing flock of spectral swords, his arms suffering greatly as first the sleeves of his robes are torn away, followed by strips of flesh and skin. Two gashes appear on his chest as he is knocked back by a particularly resonating tune, that once more manifest an illusion of a phantom warrior behind the cutting winds as they struck. The snow specter is carried away by the wind as the bearded man flips off his back, moments before you could strike the decisive killing blow. But you manage to separate him from the twin sword fighter, whose steps evaporate the snow and stall the winds!

He strikes the edges of his blades together, and manifesting his spiritual energy, coats them in fueless flames! You knew it! One of the is a practitioner of a fire aligned law! He dances, twirling and surrounding himself with tongues and ribbons of flames as he parries and catches most of the phantom blades you send him way.

You realize instantly, this brazen advance is a distraction to draw your attentions away from his fellow hunters but you see it as more of a challenge. A challenge to see how long that dance of his can keep him intact and uninjured. The answer is not long, as you slice the meat of his legs and nearly take one of his eyes and even manage to knock one of his swords from his hands by forcing him to drop it by directing a spear head shaped of wind directly for the fingers that held it!

His tongue flicks from his mouth, as he twirls his now singular burning Jian to his side, and raise his now free hand in the air, first two fingers pressed tightly together. He catches his steaming blood on his tongue as his eyes quite literally blaze with the intensity of his fury.

"A necromancer as well as a demon? how contemptible" He says as you leap backward, pulling Ghost Empress Melody with you by its strings as the man thrusts his blade forward, trying to incinerate you with a concentrated blast of fire.
Cont
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>>5161967

It seems he mistook the materialized music of your enchanted Guqin as the presence of actual spirits. Is he a novice? or does his the law he practice merely not touch upon duties and skills such as exorcism and the detection of ghosts?

"I will burn your filth from this world!" He roars, very unwisely choosing to once again rush towards the ox sized cat. You narrow your eyes

"Oh I see" You purr out loud, tittering and giggling as you understand why he's so confident. He's a young master, a prodigy among the orthodox world of cultivation, a rare genius. Perhaps all of them are considered to be such, the rising stars of this generations, the prized pupils of The Guardians of the Celestial Sunlight sect.

Fat frogs in a little well, who don't realize they've been dropped in a pond where a ravenous catfish lurks! Your malicious sneer turns into a darkly amused grin. Now that you've had time to study and observe them closely, you realize none of them have left the Qi Condensation stage! They're your juniors in every way! Skill, Talent, Potential! And certainly common sense!

Feiqing and Lei lift the unconscious Ping from the snow, carrying him on their shoulders as they try to flee the battlefield.

The spear wielder's eyes flash as he spots them, and rises up from his knees. The sword wielder swings again, but you catch his blade by raising a paw. It bounces off of the surface of Ghost Empress Melody, Ringing and vibrating as he reels back before bellowing and with fire coating his fists pivots his grip and brings his sword back around through the air, aimed for your neck.

How tiresome.

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Send the brat flying with a Dying Grudge Shield (Magic Trial 50)

>Show him his sword is duller than your claws, and using your soft, feline martial arts throw him to the ground so he'll be easier to maul (Martial Trial DC 30)

>Use your superior size and strength to barrel over him and pounce of the spear wielder targeting your companions (Strength Trial. DC 62)

>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)

>write in
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>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
Takes care of two at once.
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>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
Looks like the most likeky to protect our companions.
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>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
>>
>>5161969
>Smack the youth in the jaw (dc 45)
>Cackle at them "You imbeciles, you injure innocents and offend the heir of the wilds? If you had a hundred more guts, I would still not believe your stupidity."

Try and rile them further.
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>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
Gotta cover our bros.

You know I was getting worried about fighting these people, what with all the build up they've been getting. I am quite relieved to see that they are small fry.
I guess our insistence on laying low has payed off, they have no idea how dangerous we are. They will, once these 5 go missing, but that was bound to happen eventually.
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>>5161969
>Use your superior size and strength to barrel over him and pounce of the spear wielder targeting your companions (Strength Trial. DC 62)
>>
>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
>>
>>5161969
>>Use your superior size and strength to barrel over him and pounce of the spear wielder targeting your companions (Strength Trial. DC 62)
if they are juniors, then they should be treated like such. and cats like playing with their food
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>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
>>
>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
>>
>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
hmm if they're not dead by the time we're done, what should we do with them/
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>>5161969
>Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet (Martial/ Magic trial DC 45)
>>
>>5161969
>Send the brat flying with a Dying Grudge Shield (Magic Trial 50)
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

Smack the Fiery Young master in the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and then launch it at the spear wielding cultivator to knock him back off his feet:10

Cackle at them "You imbeciles, you injure innocents and offend the heir of the wilds? If you had a hundred more guts, I would still not believe your stupidity.": 1

So You'll use the Guqin like a floating club, attempting to smack the sense out of the fiery Young master before launching it to Slap the spear wielder back to the ground on his back

Update will arrive shortly

Use your superior size and strength to barrel over him and pounce of the spear wielder targeting your companions: 2

Send the brat flying with a Dying Grudge Shield : 1
>>
Visualizing your connection with Ghost Empress Melody as red strings of cloth wrapped around its middle, you swing it in front of yourself and in the path of the novice's flaming sword by simply controlling the Qi in the air. The edge of the well polished and honed blade bounces off of the enchanted surface of the Guqin, but despite the recoil of having his powerful strike blocked and reverberations th