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Previous chapters: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20Quest
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You are the exquisite magical beast, Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed/ Happy to Shed Blood), a follower of the heretical Daos of Ghosts and Grudges, the sole surviving wielder of the forbidden blood Qi, sworn daughter to the now revitalized Toad Witch Monu and head of a nascent court of cultivators and outcasts. Having nearly caused a catastrophe while training to master all aspects of the Dao of Blood and Life, and innovating many new techniques and abilities with it, your traveled to check on the progress of the once shameful and pitiful sect of the Five colors and Five purities (五彩和与五純度, Wǔcǎihéyǔwǔchúndù) to see if they had return to their old indolent and sinful ways. Having possessed the body of a local girl, Yuyi, to observe and hasten to recovery of those afflicted by the demonic art you accidentally created. Blood Rain, Chaos Mist (血液雨, 乱象雾, Xuèyèyǔ, Luànxiàngwù), a blood bound curse that turns those infected by it into maddened, feral berserkers. You continued using her body as a disguise to visit the sect, pretending to be interested in joining its ranks to be allowed entrance to observe and judge the worth of its members and if they had returned to their previously hedonistic life styles.

However, your mischievous side could not be contained, and so, acting as the spritely and ever curious and talkative Yuyi would, you annoyed and bedeviled your guide, Fa Tang, who had reached the foundation establishment and was pushed to the limit of his tolerance and self control by your impish behavior.

Now, as your chaotic tour of the temple drew to a close and you were lead through the Manual Repository by a very irritated Fa Tang, you decided against stealing from the sect that had struggled and managed to become proper and respectable cultivators and instead partake in only the knowledge presented by scrolls left unfurled and Manuals left open, rather than stealing the records themselves and depriving the nascent cultivators here of vital knowledge.

Held in place atop Fa Tang's shoulder, he listed of dozens of basic, amateur cultivation methods. All orthodox in nature and designed for novices and half-wits to practice. The aspects of the Dao they teach are the most mundane and simplistic of Daos. But from a glance, you can tell that this record hall holds so much more than such banal training wheels that only serve as the first stepping stone for any cultivator with actual talent and hold no deeper mysteries or insights in the universal truths.

While Fa Tang drolled on, making sure to avoid stepping too close to rack and shelves lest you sully the mystical pages stored there with your careless touch, your eyes danced across the room, darting and peering at every page of every manual and every inch of every scroll left unattended.
Cont
>>
>>5188067

While it would be cruel to take these treasures as your own, inscribing their knowledge to your memory was certainly no crime. But, as you swiftly studied all of the information left open and bare for your eyes, a curiosity sprouted in your busy mind and pushed away all of the knowledge you sought to record and seal within your memory. Like an invasive arrowroot, this thought strangled your thoughts. Though it was a simple, petty and almost wholly meaningless thought itself. What exactly made Fa Tang take caution when he stood between you and his sect master, what about you made him afraid? You didn't store any Qi within Yuyi or your spiritual body, having left all of your collected and purified Qi in your sleeping body while you wandered as a ghost.

And Yuyi had no potential to cultivate herself, or looked anything close to intimidating or frightening, unlike your unfortunate disciple Feiqing. So what caused the proud young master to back down and look at you with dread in his eyes.

You snapped your eyes shut, crossed your arms and shook your head. You'd ask the man himself, no reason pondering a question when the answer was right next to you! You needed to focus, to draw in and preserve all of the knowledge revealed around you, these manuals are like unfurled Lotus blossoms! You cannot allow yourself to be distracted and forgot or misremember every a fragment of the sea of information through which you are lead.

Narrowing your eyes, you clear you mind of all whimsy, desire and curiosity and turn it to cold, methodical study of the texts surrounding you. And once you were finished, you could ask your escort what about you so frightened him!

roll 1d100. DC 35. Best out of three.

And I will work on making a list of all of Huanliuxue's named techniques/ abilities

Also, out of curiosity, Which technique/ power (including the two unique arts, Severing of the Eternal soul and Mortal vessel [刌 永恒魂会死㿾, Cǔn-Yǒnghénghún-Huìsǐzhù] and Enmity Incarnation, Devil of Grudges! (敌意具人形, 魔鬼的恩怨, Díyì jù rénxíng, Móguǐdeēnyuàn) ) is your favorite thus far?
>>
Rolled 82 (1d100)

>>5188069
Roll
>>
Rolled 40 (1d100)

>>5188069
Severing of the Eternal soul and Mortal vessel
>>
Rolled 3 (1d100)

>>5188069
Migrated like steppe nomad
>>
>>5188079
Way too close
And for the answer, I think the shield is the best one, it has carried us in every fight since we got it.
Looking foward to see the upgrades we got for it in action.
>>
>>5188071
Great success! 40 over DC and nearly 50 over! Knowledge fills you like tea in a cup!

Update will arrive shortly

>>5188079
https://youtu.be/jV4ASCadZ4s
>>
>>5188069
Devil of grudges isn't really living up to my expectations. It's good, don't get me wrong but it's like expecting a dramatic farari and getting a muscle car. Bit of a let down.

While grudge shield is great, Our unique Lightness skill is the OP OG skill and it's only rivalled in my heart by the sheer expanse of potential that blood Qi posesses.
>>
>>5188069
Hard to say, but I'll go with the Specter lightness skill, since it has been very useful. It has confounded pretty much every opponent we have fought since Jiuquliaoya.
Though the grudge shield is a close runner up for being very cool.

That being said, I am nearly certain that the new skills we just learned with blood Qi will quickly become my favourites after we see them in action.
I mean, between the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step, the Vein Hunting Eye, the Vein Draining Fang, the Red Death Scythe and Whispering Death Claw, we just learned some seriously good shit. I have no doubts one of those will quickly make it to the top of the list.
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>>5188108
I just feel like Devil of Grudges hasn't shown it's true potential yet as we've only Xiongji's grudge. I'm hoping it's one of those "bad early game, but gets better over time" type of skills, but at worst it's a yet another trick of ours that makes us hard to counter due to our flexibility.
>>
Rolled 31 (1d100)

rollin for best skill being grudge shield.
>>
>>5188116
I assume it is because it isn't as flashy as a similar skill, like Lieren's Mein of the companion where your body and powerset rapidly changes.

We got the strength of the beserking rooster general, and in supping on the grudges of Monu we could probably get her super poision or ice breath with her acting fanciful. Which is great.

But when it's not a visible/very subtle change, it's easy to discount it as barely worth knowing.
>>
>>5188116
I think it's just very situational. The skill is at it's strongest if we channelled the grudge of someone who has a personal stake in the fight we are engaged in.
For example, I'm sure that if we ever fought the head of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect, channelling Monu would be a huge powerup.
We just haven't really been in a situation where a grudge was similarly appropriate, which left us with channelling Xiongji's grudge, since he hates fucking everything.
But yeah even with just that, it adds to our wide repertoire of never before seen skills, which at this point is getting pretty ridiculous. I'm pretty sure we have enough arts to fight for like half a day and not run our of brand new, fresh off the press shit to pull on unsuspecting young masters.
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>>5188126
Our martial name, if we had one, would so be something like "Single Trick princess".

Our dead sister and her Frankenstein slave is going to have SEVERAL bad days if they dare to be evil to us.
Or children. Even if Monu loves her, hurting kids is still a death sentence.
>>
I think the devil of grudges is weird because people seem to have been expecting a buff ability, and instead we got a mid battle loadout switch, so it's less something that you use, and more a trick card to pull if we face someone that counters our abilities, either by nature or preparation.
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>>5188146
That's an accurate assessment of he situation.
>>
Something truly curious occurs the moment you choose to focus completely on studying the mystical scrolls and daoist texts lining the shelves and filling the cabinet and chests around you. Before your eyes, its as if the text on the open pages and hanging scrolls realigns itself. Rather than each holding a piece of fragmented knowledge and incomplete lessons, the shifting characters, diagrams and illustrations combine together to form complete teachings and whole treatises concerning the techniques, practices arts and cultivation methods harnessed by this humble sect of spring guardians. Your eyes widen and then glaze over, as you, like a mechanical doll, read over each essay and page as they are rewritten to continue the teachings and finish the lessons of the last. Is this some kind of spell? A ward in place to assist the most intellectual of this sect's disciples? Or a clever trick of the arrangement of the manuals and scripture to hide away the secrets of the sects cultivation and strength from the prying eyes of infiltrators, like yourself, or the kind of prideless scum who would steal from those less fortunate and wealth than themselves?

Perhaps, just perhaps, you are being encouraged by an unseen sponsor amongst the ranks of these cultivators? But why? Yuyi has no potential, and unless one of the students has gone against the wishes of their teacher, they are trying to keep her wasting her life pursuing a goal she could never reach. But...still, this strange surely magical occurrence must have been designed, it cannot be a fluke or a result of Qi fluctuations, and it was concocted to reveal these once hidden insights to you, either because the enchantment sensed your devotion to study or to specifically allow YOU to completely memorize the lessons and knowledge now presented. Voiding your mind of such troublesome thoughts, you decide not to look a gift equal to jade over twice, as the reason for this act of conscious or accidental generosity matters not to you. What matters, is the secrets of this repository have been presented to you on a porcelain platter and you'd be a blind fool to not indulge to your full satisfaction and delight!
Cont
>>
>>5188188

Rolled high enough to gather complete knowledge of several manuals, rather than portions and fragments of many. They are Pine Tree Warden Record (Wood aligned Law and Hard Martial art. combat/longevity focused.) (青松舍监档案, Qīngsōngshèjiāndàng'àn), the Night Lantern Sutra (Fire aligned Law spell/exorcism focused) (夜灯笼真经, Yèdēnglóngzhēnjīng), the Mountain Shattering Hammer (Earth aligned law and Hard martial art. Strength/Endurance focused (㟑震裂榔头, Bózhènlièlángtou), The Lightning Messenger Technique (Metal aligned Law and soft martial art, Combat redirection/ counter spell focused) (列缺 信差技术, Lièquēxìnchāijìshù), The Spring Fairy Blossom Art (Female only water aligned law, Healing/ sealing/ support spell focus) (泉天仙 花技艺, Quántiānxiān huājìyì) and A history of imperial tea ceremony
>>
>>5188189

"You've been suspiciously well behaved" Fa Tang suddenly admits, drawing you out of your reading stupor as he sets you back down on your feet, for the first time allowing you to walk on your own, a great show of trust considering the blistering annoyance you have been for the duration of your visit, at least towards him.

He crouches down and wags a finger, and you resist the instinctual urge to bite down on or grab hold of it, following it with your eyes as your head swims with new, divine knowledge and insights. The elegant movements of martial arts play like a shadow theater through your, joined by painted hand signs and seals placed over the arrays for dozens of spells, sealing and excorcism techniques. A grandfatherly voices repeats the lessons you read, allowing them to echo and travel to the furthest reaches of your mind as you slowly awaken from your studious trance and realize that Fa Tang is warning you not to misbehave again.

"My head feels like its going to burst! I think you branded my eyes with all you've read, spirit. My eyes are stinging! Please blink or else I might cry!" Yuyi cries in the back of your head, as you remember her presence after she had spent the past couple of minutes sulking over Fa Tang's growing contempt for her, or rather for you though he has no way of knowing the real Yuyi's character. You blink several times to relieve your passenger of her irritation, smiling innocently as you look up to the taller man as he takes a deep breath and slaps his hands upon his knees

"I have to wonder if you are not a cat who was mistakenly reincarnated as a young girl" He sighs out, brow heavy over his eyes as he glowers down at you, more like an elder brother would instead of the stern near maddened glare he had turned towards you earlier "But, as you have, for reasons I cannot contemplate, decided to behave and act the demure guest instead of the rambunctious, overly curious hellion you were before, I will trust you to walk on your own, but know this Yuyi"

And like a passing breeze in summer his nearly gentle expression is replaced with a seething, furious snarl as he leans closer to you, eyes narrowed into slits.

"If you humiliate or disobey me once again, I swear by all the gods in the heavens I shall repay the shame you have inflicted upon me ten fold" He says, his grimace slowly turning into an unsettling smile, as the restrained fury you have awoken in him remains within his eyes as the rest of his face softens and becomes kind once more "Now, before we continue your tour, do you have any questions of this portion of the temple or the meaning of the terminology I used to explain the basic concepts and frameworks of our martial arts and cultivation methods?"

"Could you ask what perfume he wears? It smells so sweet it is almost intoxicating" Yuyi sighs, content to be glared at by the object of her youthful attractions. You resist the urge to scold her for acting like she's in heat.
Cont
>>
>>5188191

"I do have a question, but it isn't about your practices or the magnificent, peerless collection of heavenly texts and divine scriptures you keep" You purr, rocking from the tips of your toes to your heels as you clasp your hands behind your back "But rather yourself, and no, it isn't what perfume you where or if you've fallen for my good lucks, but rather"

Your lips curl, revealing your teeth as a passing breeze blows out the lanterns lighting the room. Fa Tang stiffens, as the air grows chill and still.

"Why were you afraid of someone as little and harmless as myself?" You cackle, eyes aglow with curiosity and amusement narrowed and squinting, you lean as far forward as you can without falling onto Fa tang, looking deeply into his eyes as a look of outrage briefly flashes across his shadowed features, before its replace with earnest and solemn contemplation. He moves his hand away from his hip and cups his chin as his brow furrows with thought.

He closes his eyes, reaching out with his spiritual sense as he calms himself and washes away the irritiation that would otherwise blind him to the answer he seeks. His eyes peel open, just enough for the gold of his eyes to be revealed.

"Something is odd about you, Yuyi. I am not learned enough to put to words what exactly is off about you, or describe the strange sensation you radiate, but despite your plain, mundane appearance there's a presence about you" He explains slowly, looking as if he were trying to pierce you through with his gaze "When our eyes met, before the sect gate and the grandmaster, for a moment, it felt as though I stood on the boundary of an endless graveyard with bloodsoaked soil"

He pats your head and stood, flicking his sleeve and reigniting the lanterns with a dart of Qi he produced from his wrist.

"I'd suggest you seek the services trained exorcist, just in case my intuition proves even slightly accurate" He says darkly, choosing his words carefully so as not to truly frighten you, as he shows you to the artifact vault. But you do not pay attention as he lists and names each of the sect's treasure passionately and lovingly, for your thoughts have become muddled with near paranoid caution. The fact that Fa Tang sensed the lingering presence of your cultivation, even if it was only a brief glimpse that he witnessed and realized, is foreboding. For, in the moment, you were also under the scrutiny of the Grandmaster of the Sect, Su Zhe'xínglǚ, a master of the core formation stage. Equal or above Monu in terms of power, and danger. You do your best to maintain a façade of excited curiosity and boundless gleeful amazement, but now you are troubled. Yuyi continues yammering on, asking if you've heard of any of the divine, legendary treasures of The Five colors and Five Purity sect, but you only able to answer her bluntly, as your thoughts spiral and darken your mood with dread and caution.
cont
>>
>>5188192

Does the Sect leader know of your true nature? As Fa Tang gently leads you buy your hand, believing you to be frozen with awe at the sight of the treasures he had just displayed to you, a single, brief memory plays over and over in your mind, burning itself into your psyche.

Su Zhe'xínglǚ winked at you when you when you met him outside of this temple. Could it be that he did so, because he realized your deception at a glance and was trying to show you he was playing along with and humoring you. A cold pit forms in your bowels, like an open grave. Your legs shiver and you feel a chill of trepidation crawl along your back as suddenly every shadow becomes a potential assassin and every smiling face a hidden threat.

Why would the old man allow you to wander freely in his temple, if he knew what you were? It made no sense! Was this a trap? What was he plotting. You teeth chattered, your eyes darted, and you held your hands close to your chest, anticipating an ambush at every corner you turned and in every hallway Fa Tang lead you.

By time you're knelt before the actual shrine of the sect's temple, you're trembling and jumping at every little sound of a cricket chirping or a branch snapping that is carried into the quiet chamber while Fa Tang prays silently at your side, and Yuyi fumbles in repeating the few mantras she knows and pesters you pleading for assistance in praying properly. You ignore her, since you are almost certain you've walked into a Dragon's pool. Unless this apparently benign and harmless sect is actually a cover for a den of heretics and you've been worrying about nothing while the acolytes of demonic arts laugh at the terror you've afflicted yourself? Why else would the head of an orthodox sect allow what must've appeared as a demonic spirit to wander and frolic through his domain?! No other explanation besides it being a trap or grand deception that you fell for made sense!

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Give your thanks to Master Su and Fa Tang, and hastily return Yuyi to her home and flee back to your sanctuary, certain that you narrowly escaped a cunning trap.

>Linger for a few days longer, so you can have an opportunity to confront the sect master when he's alone and demand an explanation to ease your growing paranoia

>Pray to the gods and goddess of the shrine, either to seek their blessing or to insult them with the fact that their scorned enemy defiled one of their temples with her presence

>Leave the sect, and offer Yuyi a chance to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training beneath your guidance

>Write in
>>
>>5188193
>Give your thanks to Master Su and Fa Tang, and hastily return Yuyi to her home and flee back to your sanctuary, certain that you narrowly escaped a cunning trap.
>Leave the sect, and offer Yuyi a chance to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training beneath your guidance.

We need to get the fuck out, right now.

>Captcha:4VVVN
>>
>>5188193
>Linger a few days longer.

We can flee her body swiftly. She shouldnt be harmed from it.
>>
>>5188193
>Give your thanks to Master Su and Fa Tang, and hastily return Yuyi to her home and flee back to your sanctuary, certain that you narrowly escaped a cunning trap.
>Leave the sect, and offer Yuyi a chance to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training beneath your guidance
We know that the sect master probably recognized us, and is most likely not outright hostile, but as far as Huanliuxue is concerned, there was no indication he noticed us the first time, and she has every reason to freak out.
With that in mind, we need to get out of dodge.
>>
>>5188193
>Leave the sect, and offer Yuyi a chance to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training beneath your guidance
She would probably be happier there and somewhat useful.
>>
>>5188193
>Leave the sect, and offer Yuyi a chance to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training beneath your guidance
I like collecting underlings, sue me.
>>
>>5188235
Actually, I think I will add this too
>Linger for a few days longer, so you can have an opportunity to confront the sect master when he's alone and demand an explanation to ease your growing paranoia
The offer can be for when we are ready to return
>>
>>5188193
>Linger for a few days longer, so you can have an opportunity to confront the sect master when he's alone and demand an explanation to ease your growing paranoia
>>
>>5188193
>>Leave the sect, and offer Yuyi a chance to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training beneath your guidance
>>
>>5188189
Pine tree warden record and Mountain Shattering Hammer could be useful for Fu, The Lightning Messenger Technique for Feiqing,Night Lantern Sutra is perfect for Ping and Spring Fairy Blossom Art could help both Monu and Huānliúxuè herself grow. In other other words this is an amazing bounty.

>>5188193
>Leave the sect, and offer Yuyi a chance to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training beneath your guidance
>>
>>5188604
You forget the most important find.

>A history of imperial tea ceremonies
We can now hold ACTUAL tea parties befitting royalty!

But yeah, Ping can get the Night Lantern Sutra. . or we could try modifying the techniques. By which I mean write down all this knowledge into a tome so we can put it in our library, but then take the principles of the art and begin to alter/the elemental bases to be more suitable for the individuals. Yin energy isn't fire, so that would conflict with Ping.

Now let me pull this up;

Monu has returned to the Core Formation stage Rank 2. Focuses (Poisons, Spells, Curses)

Feiqing has achieved Qi Condensation stage Rank 4, and has began to follow the orthodox cultivation Law of The Ancient Deity Furnace (古神熔炉, Gǔshénrónglú) a metal aspected law focused on the creation and use of divine artifacts.

Ping has achieved the Qi condensation stage Rank 3 and has began experimenting with a heretical, self made cultivation method (Focus: Exorcism)

Fu has achieved Qi Condensation stage Rank 2 (Focus Martial: Ferocity)

Hong has achieved Qi Condensation Stage rank 2 (Focus Perception)

Qiang has Achieved Qi Condensation stage rank 2 (Focus Stealth/Assassination)

Lanfen and Liu have achieved Qi condensation stage rank 1 (No focus)

Tiexingege has achieved Qi Condensation stage, Rank 1 (Focus Martial)

Jionghuagege has achieved Qi Condensation stage, Rank 1 (Focus Spells).

-----

With this in mind, Monu can straight up take the Spring fairy Blossom. Ice and Water are similar, and what can heal and cure can also poison and curse. So that art we can just give her.

Ping may need some help, but adapting the Night Lantern Sutra would be fantastic for him and his law. Yin based exorcism based on the idea of sympathetic and anti-sympathetic principle?

Some of the arts of The lightning messanger technique could be good for Feiquing. It's metal aligned and a soft art, so with his artifact crafting he can use them to create his offence while he learns defence. But that doesn't really stick with his style of beating the shit out of people with a big rock. so. . Maybe adapt Mountain shattering hammer. Earth produces metal, so it could enhance his primary law.

Fu he's all about that furious assault. By temperment, he is either fire or metal on the cycle, so I'm unsure how to guide him. If we can figure out the difference between longevity and endurance focuses, we can modify the respective art to allow him to go utterly ham for as long as possible. With the new grudge axes we want to make for him, He will truly be a terrifying defender of our sect, even if he isn't one of our shining talents.

Nothing here for Hong, nor do I care about the rest of them at present.
The only other benefit I think we could toss down would be giving Spring fairy blossom to Jionghuagege. She's almost perfect for it.
>>
>>5188707
Continued, for our glorious cat overlord herself, Pine tree warden and Mountain shattering hammer are worthless to us.
Their speciality is wrong, their alignments are wrong and the only possible benefit I see, beyond expanding our knowledge of the daoist principles, is to use them with grudge incarnation to utterly switch up our style. Learning Fu's moves and then adopting his grudge is sure to power up the technique immensely.

Night Sutra and Lightning messanger have ideas that we can plunder and adapt or adopt. I think we possess some Metal Qi already so we could straight up use the messanger techniques but I'm not sure.

The spring blossom art is damn good for us, and we should learn it completely, but we also have a vital tool in the Blood Qi, which we should try adapting it too as well. Blood is thicker than water and all that, so we couild produce a counterpart to the art or an enhanced version all together.
>>
>>5188712
And cultivation levels.

>Starts With Qi Condensation/ Gathering/ refinement stage

>Which heads into Foundation Establishment

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

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

But I have no idea at what stage we are.
>>
>>5188193
>Linger for a few days longer, so you can have an opportunity to confront the sect master when he's alone and demand an explanation to ease your growing paranoia
I remember he detected us last time because he started going on about blood, so I'm willing to risk it.
>>5188757
According to the old god we met last thread, Huan is Foundation stage 3 after acquiring Blood Qi
>>
>>5188707
Monu probably has her own cultivation method and she knows at least a few from her old sect (we had the option to follow one of the methods she knew back then).
>>
>>5188757
We are not at core stage, but we already done the first one, so we must be somewhere within foudation.
We also skipped one entire stage inside that level because of a breakthrough.
>>
Give your thanks to Master Su and Fa Tang, and hastily return Yuyi to her home and flee back to your sanctuary, certain that you narrowly escaped a cunning trap.:2

Leave the sect, and offer Yuyi a chance to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training beneath your guidance.: 6

Linger for a few days longer, so you can have an opportunity to confront the sect master when he's alone and demand an explanation to ease your growing paranoia: 4

So you will leave the sect and offer a chance for Yuyi to relocate to Fu's village and continue her medical training as your student there

Update will arrive shortly

>>5188760
That is correct, Huanliuxue is currently at the 3rd rank/ level of the foundation establishment stage

>>5188800
That is also correct.
>>
>>5189126
Damn. We will meet master Su eventually!
>>
>>5188707
The issue with using orthodoxy methods and switching out is it takes away from the MC's greatest strength. Sure it helps keep a low profile but keep in mind how stagnant everything is because of them. We also have to consider the level of talent and plot armor other characters have. As well as our specialties and resources. So far taking care of the most common resources and talents isn't a bad idea but it shouldn't be our focus because it's not our specialty. It's just the odds of us finding those who better fit us are not great so we need to consider the masses and what uses they do have.

I think we are overlooking an extremely powerful advantage the MC has over others. Symbiotic undead synergy and blood mutated resources. Everyone has a body and everyone has a bloodline no matter how weak or diluted. Even the MC herself was just a lowly housecat literally. Spiritual roots are harder to consider but resources and improving the body are perfectly in consideration especially given our unique ability to solve them. Imagine if we created a symbiotic corpse based body cultivation art gradually improves the physique through stressing it with the friendly undead who know when to hold themselves back and best of all upon death of its user ensure they can automatically revive as an undead cultivator giving them a second life? Due to corpse and symbiotic nature it won't consume nearly as many resources as other body cultivation arts as well as improving relations with the undead and reducing the side effects which can be further taken care of through a bloodline cultivation art we create thanks to our understanding our blood and genius that will gradually improve its owner and help tamper any side effects. The two when used together by others would improve the body and blood. Improving one's chances of returning upon death and evolving their own bloodline. Helping one compensate for otherwise lacking talents or other weaknesses. If they die anyway...well those corpses and blood of theirs would be quite valuable given how uniquely processed it has been through careful training.

Sure they don't have our talents but everyone has a body and bloodline they can improve upon.

>>5188712
Actually the more knowledge Huanluaxue knows the better she becomes because due to her genius she is able to infer and modify them to an extreme extent to better suit herself or her own followers. The only one who can match her in that regard is the frankenstein thief but he technically steals it while she recreates it herself.

We should be careful about teaching grudge arts to others. The QM specifically warned anons about how dangerous her grudge and undead arts are and can easily be misused. So far we have gotten away with it largely due to the MC being a genius and ignoring the dark temptations they offer. We have yet to be warned specifically of what would happen if we shared our blood arts with others but we can make a few guesses considering our experiments.
>>
>>5189154
I was mostly suggesting that our heretics would benefit most from arts that suit them most, which we can alter to be perfect.
I dont recommend anyone learn the arts straight out, but the spells and some moves could easily be adopted into their repertoire

I'm not fond of the body strengthening method you speak of, but our ability to buff people certainly needs to be considered.
>>
>>5189150
The cat is paranoid, maybe once she get so powerful she could body the entire sect she would have a talk.
Even tough I wnated to have fun tea time too
>>
If this hospitality is a trap, then the best move would be to retreat before it can be sprung and take your leave of this place, so as not to risk your amiable host's well-being. And if it is not a trap, and the knowledge that seemingly eagerly leapt to reveal the insights and mysterious to your eyes was intentional rather than merely being the product of a fooled enchantment or sudden shift in the Qi of heaven and earth, then the only reason why this sect would be so welcoming would be because they were in fact secret heretics and were welcoming you as a fellow apostate who has strayed from the righteous path. For surely they could not have noticed your dabbling and interference when you first visited their school and a sect so small and weak as their own wouldn't dare to show kindness or mercy to Magical Beast even if they knew she had lent them aid in the past selflessly and without any ulterior motive guiding her actions.

Surely they wouldn't, so if this hospitality was genuine, then they must be fellow, but secret, outcasts. But that could be more dangerous than them planning to cage and slaughter you! While you are a proud outsider and practitioner of heretical arts and techniques, you cannot be certain of the character of other followers of forbidden Dao. And despite declaring yourself a demon, you certainly are not one in either manner or personality and so taking the risk that these cultivators could be trusted and entreated as fellow daoist would present a danger greater than mortal peril. For all you know, they could be the wicked, immoral and dishonorable breed of heretic that would do anything and stoop to any despicable low to acquire more power. This is unlikely, as you are certain you'd have sensed malevolent intent if they were indeed villains disguising themselves as saintly sages, but Cultivators were nothing if not canny and even if the possibility of them obscuring the signs of their misdeeds was slim, especially compared to the alternatives that they were simply naïve or planning to trick and kill you, it was still a possibility.

And you neither wished to condemn Yuyi to a painful death in your flight back to your true body or take part in demonic rites. It was simply so improbable that any of the sect's members would both recognize the presence of a demonic beast and realize its benevolence even for the seemingly kindly Grandmaster Su, that you deemed it an impossibility. And so, as you went through the motions of prayer without actually petitioning the heavenly powers for any boon or mercy or giving them your respect and worship, you decided you'd leave the sect without any further snooping and as little interaction with its members as possible. You'd be wary of them until you had a chance to observe the practices of its higher members or watch them deal with another, lesser magical beast, to determine if they are fellow heretics or blind followers of the heavenly edicts.

Cont
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>>5189181

'I'll eat my own tail if they're actually so naïve to give a passing magical beast the Cultivation methods they inherited' you thought as you stood up from your knees and brushed away the dust that clung to the persimmon dress wrapped around snugly around them 'and I'll chew off my full ear if they are so tolerant and genial to treat one as an honored guest'

Your self amused smirk turned to a gloomy frown. Such kindness, if exposed, would surely condemn all of the members of the sect and its adherents to the life of the outcast and heretic even though they have done no wrong. That is, if they are not canny renegades already. You doubted, now that you have calmed and realized you did not have a sword pressed against your back, that if they were heretics, they were most probably not of the villainous, cruel breed that the self righteous and foolish believed all dissenters to be.

'If they practice demonic cultivation, I'll bite off my right front paw' You thought, turning your thoughts away from the idea that your good deed could, if they noticed it, herald the doom of these humble daoists rather than your own demise 'and if they truly did welcome me with open arms and understanding, I'll prostrate myself before them and beg forgiveness for misjudging their nature"

"Oh, so you're not a human spirit then? If you have a paw and tail? What kind of spirit are you then, spirit?" Yuyi asks curiously, finally ending her own prayers just in time to avoid being driven mad with fear by the paranoia that had moments ago so tightly gripped your heart

'You may find out' You coyly teased as you made a show of clapping your hands and bowing your head

"I would be honored to, oh noble spirit!" Yuyi chirps like a song bird as you lift your head and sigh

"Your life must be fraught with many troubles, if all your prayers so long" Fa Tang said solemnly, either not noticing or caring about the suspicious glance you shot in his direction, searching for any sign that would allow you to know if you were surrounded by would be murderers, fellow outcasts, or truly virtuous and kindly souls. But, you saw nothing that would so obviously reveal his or his sect's intentions and you dared not court death by investigating the Sect Head. He was far beyond your current self, even if you were within your own body, a single misunderstanding between you and that old man could spell the end for your journey.

So you avoided him, and only spoke to Fa Tang once more before you left the sect's territories and that was as you left him at the sect gate.

"Thank you" You say sweetly, cupping your fist and bowing "For allowing me the supreme honor of trespassing through the heavenly gardens of your temple and witnessing the lives lead by immortal sages. But, I believe Grandfather Su was right, and I must find my own path before I ever consider stepping over the boundary of the mundane and divine a second time"
Cont
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>>5189184

Fa tang's shoulders visibly slacked with relief, but he managed to not show it in his expression as you turned away and left him with the silent Grandmaster, who gentle eyes now filled you with...not fear, but a gnawing curiosity and burning caution. He was dangerous, even if he imagined himself your ally. You'd give all the treasures and wealth of the world to know what hid behind his grandfatherly smile, to know if it was a cruel façade or a genuine show of warmth.

Sighing, you felt the tension building in your mind wash away as you joined the throng of pilgrims, relief flowing to lift the weight of dread from your shoulders. If nothing else, you were certain no attempt on your life would be made, at least for now, since if they were intending to hunt you down, they would've started by exorcising your from Yuyi's body. Unless they intended to track you back to your body. Senses sharpening and dread returning, you decided you'd relinquish control over Yuyi and return to your own body before meeting her at a crossroads, just to be cautious and certain you were not followed. Better to be safe than sorry.

Seeing Yuyi in her own body was an odd sight, especially after you had spent several days inside of it. Her brown eyes which you thought would be dull, glimmer with an inner radiance, an illumination of happiness and contentment and beneath the morning light the freckles that in the gloom look like specks of mud are near unnoticeable. She had undid the grooming and styling you had spent hours perfecting, and let her hair fall back into a scruffy almost woolen mess of chestnut curls and locks. Her eyes widened with first fear and then awe as you emerge from the tall grasses and presented your magnificent, beautiful true form to her. She reached a trembling hand out to touch your blood red fur, marveling at its sheen and soft texture as the two of you stood on a lonely road.

"Oh Spirit, this is reward enough for me to forgive your...uh..rather forceful taking of my body" She meekly squeaked, eyes twinkling with amazement as she test the boundaries and traced her fingers over the fur of your shoulder "I could live two hundred years, and still your splendor and supernatural, feline grace would remain as clear in my memories as it is before my eyes"

"I need not become only a memory to you" You purred as you walked around her "I intend to offer you a place at my side, you have a knack for medicine and I enjoy being a teacher, and I'd like to think you've become as fond of me as I have of you over our short time together"

Yuyi's expression rose with joy and then fell with deep contemplation

"Despite you possessing me and giving me a reputation as a bold and fierce woman, as well as making that handsome sage think I'm a little girl who didn't mature with my body" She muttered, pouting as she recounted the numerous slights against her you've committed while being her
Cont
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>>5189186

You stopped where you stood, watching her ruminate as she considered your offer against the experience of being your unwilling host. at least at first. The wind blew gently, making the dry grass sing as it rustled together and the distant cries of swans and songbirds carried on the air as the sun began to set and cast to peaceful valley in a soothing red orange glow. Yuyi thought for as long as it takes an incense stick to bur, eyes narrowed, squinting and then closed as she tapped her foot on the ground and turned her head. Clouds drifted over the sky, died shades of gentle pink and purple as the sky darkened and red sunlight slowly gave way to pale blue moonlight.

"Yes, the time we spent was some of the most fun I've had all my life, but I'm not certain I can leave my village and life behind, its all I have"

"What do you have here? Besides bitter memories and a reputation built upon a foundation of bitter medicine?" You asked coldly, yellow eyes narrowed as the began to glow in the soft light of the moon. Yuyi's expression fell, as your words bit deeply into her. But she did not argue against your claim

"You were considered an urchin and now thought of as a swamp witch, you want to be loved, they don't love you here, but I know a place where you can have a fresh start and truly enjoy the spring of your youth" You tempted, leaning against her "You may have heard of a prosperous village, by a river that flows just south of the great city Suiqi [雟栖, Sparrow's rest], The chief of that thriving village is one of my disciples and after the day of a thousand disasters...it could well use a doctor of your natural talent"

"But...but that talent is yours, I'm just a useless girl who talks too much" Yuyi gloomily answer "I don't deserve this generosity, I should just be happy being a swamp witch"

"What a bold lie to tell a demon" You cackle causing Yuyi to wince "Yuyi, I taught you all of the cures and treatments you used to help hasten and ensure the recovery of the men and women of your village, after they had the misfortune of falling victim to a passing cloud of...bad air, and you understood everything I told you, without a proper education. You're too humble, you have an innate talent for medicine and healing. And I am offering to help you blossom into the miraculous doctor you can become, if you would only accept my generous offer of taking you on as my student"

"This isn't a cruel joke?" Yuyi asked hesitantly, bringing her hands close to her neck and clasping them just above her bossom

"We cats may like to play with our prey, but you are not my prey, I'm being earnest. Let me take you from here, so you may truly flourish" You honestly state, lifting your head as Yuyi's eyes once more shined with hope

"How can I refuse" were the gracious words that left her lips "Master Spirit"

"My name is Huanliuxue" You laugh, shaking your head as the two of you walked together down the road, destinies now intertwined "Not spirit!"
Cont
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>>5189190

"The divine guardian of the Chuan family? Why did you come here? Shouldn't you be protecting their palace?' Yuyi gasped

What kind of fanciful stories were being told about you in the mortal realm?

"That's just a story isn't it?" Yuyi asked, noticing your great confusion

"Yes, yes it is. But enough talk of fairytales, let me guide you to your new home. Also may I suggest that you change how your write your name? I have an idea that could help you attract customer's more easily, once you begin your practice" You say cheerfully

"What's wrong with my name?" Yuyi squeaks, walking as close as she can to you as night fell, and you lead her away from the only home she has ever known.

What do you do when you return to your own sect temple, Huanliuxue? [Two actions can be taken]

>Enter the catacombs to cultivate and search for treasures/ useful materials, as well as too soothe the spirits trapped inside of it (Cultivation or treasure hunting roll)

>Enlists Monu's aid in putting the insights you gained from your visit to the temple of the Five colors and Five purities sects, recreating the Manuals you read so your disciples may study them and claiming the laws you "Stole" as property of your sect

>Check on and Interfere with your disciples development, teaching them new techniques, spells and disciplines, as well as allocating spare resources, medicines and adjusting their schedules to improve their progress (Teaching trial. DC 55)

>Investigate the stories you heard of a cult operating outside of a cave that sprung up near Fu's village after it was flooded [Event]

>Noticing Monu is leaving the sanctuary on trips to the three nearby cities, tail her and see what she's doing [Event]

>write in
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>>5189192
>Enter the catacombs to cultivate and search for treasures/ useful materials, as well as too soothe the spirits trapped inside of it (Cultivation or treasure hunting roll)
>Enlists Monu's aid in putting the insights you gained from your visit to the temple of the Five colors and Five purities sects, recreating the Manuals you read so your disciples may study them and claiming the laws you "Stole" as property of your sect
One action to progress ourselves (our skillset is now pretty wide but we probably need to advance a bit cultivation-wise) and another to help our disciples find a suitable cultivation method.
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>>5189192
>>Enter the catacombs to cultivate and search for treasures/ useful materials, as well as too soothe the spirits trapped inside of it (Cultivation or treasure hunting roll)
>Investigate the stories you heard of a cult operating outside of a cave that sprung up near Fu's village after it was flooded [Event]
>>
>>5189192
>Enlists Monu's aid in putting the insights you gained from your visit to the temple of the Five colors and Five purities sects, recreating the Manuals you read so your disciples may study them and claiming the laws you "Stole" as property of your sect
>Check on and Interfere with your disciples development, teaching them new techniques, spells and disciplines, as well as allocating spare resources, medicines and adjusting their schedules to improve their progress (Teaching trial. DC 55)

Training Montage time.

We can deal with the cult later.
>>
Oh, forgot to mention, I am loving all of this discussion and planning.
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>>5189251
Discussion is one of the best parts of quests, and the main reason I prefer it to to most fiction as well.
>>
>>5189150
>>5189175
Very excited to write that meeting actually, when/if it occurs

>>5189253
It also keeps the fire of my motivation burning
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>>5189192
>Enter the catacombs to cultivate and search for treasures/ useful materials, as well as too soothe the spirits trapped inside of it (Cultivation or treasure hunting roll)
>Enlists Monu's aid in putting the insights you gained from your visit to the temple of the Five colors and Five purities sects, recreating the Manuals you read so your disciples may study them and claiming the laws you "Stole" as property of your sect
All of these treasures, knowledge and abilities are nice, but we really need to progress on our cultivation, unless extreme circustances happen, a higher level cultivator can easily defeat multiple lower ones.
>>5189253
Completly agree, I love talking and planning, and tend to zone out during combat.
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>>5189276
>a higher level cultivator can easily defeat multiple lower ones.

As seen with your encounter with the five young beast hunters
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>>5189192
>Enter the catacombs to cultivate and search for treasures/ useful materials, as well as too soothe the spirits trapped inside of it (Cultivation or treasure hunting roll)
>Enlists Monu's aid in putting the insights you gained from your visit to the temple of the Five colors and Five purities sects, recreating the Manuals you read so your disciples may study them and claiming the laws you "Stole" as property of your sect


This has probably been suggested before and I just can't remember but I think that once our mastery of blood qi improves even more we should look into modifying our body to maximize our qi circulation
>>
>>5189192
I support.
>>5189200

We can train them after we have perfected their new arts to be gifted. And our own advance is respectable.
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>>5189200
I will also support this, although I really want to pick the "event" option and see what Monu is up to. Also QM can we progress with the magic blood axes idea?
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>>5189192
>Enter the catacombs to cultivate and search for treasures/ useful materials, as well as too soothe the spirits trapped inside of it (Cultivation or treasure hunting roll)
Techniques are important, but we just learned a bunch, advancing our cultivation should come next.
>Enlists Monu's aid in putting the insights you gained from your visit to the temple of the Five colors and Five purities sects, recreating the Manuals you read so your disciples may study them and claiming the laws you "Stole" as property of your sect
Giving our disciples the opportunity to study actual laws could help them greatly in progressing.

I look forwards to us meeting unliving statues again.
They are still kind of our hard counter, since ghosts and grudges have little in common with unliving stone and they have no blood flowing in their veins either. The cultivator who figures this out one day is going to be the biggest pain in the neck imaginable.
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>>5189463
I think that the Red Scynthe would still hurt them pretty badly because they still have a spiritual and physical self, and Lightness/Shield/Devil grudge/physical reinforcemebt still make us stronger against everyone
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>>5189465
I'm not sure how constructs are made, so I don't know about that for sure. If they have lifeforce in them then Red Death Scythe should work, if they don't then not really. I assume it might depend on their method of creation?
Though as you said it's not like we are defenceless either way, the grudge shield/spectre lightness and basic strengthening would help us. But they are still naturally immune to the majority of our techniques.
Funnily enough some more orthodox techniques like the Mountain Shattering Hammer would help us a lot in deal with moving statues.
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>>5189463
Where they have no counter in our possession, we canjust soup ourselves up and beat their asses with our soft style.

Smashing the shit out of people doesn't require perfect counters. Just power.
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>>5189463
I think that would be the exact kind of situation that devil of grudges would really shine. Someone hard counters our fighting style? Just use another one
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>>5189192
>Enter the catacombs to cultivate and search for treasures/ useful materials, as well as too soothe the spirits trapped inside of it (Cultivation or treasure hunting roll)
>Enlists Monu's aid in putting the insights you gained from your visit to the temple of the Five colors and Five purities sects, recreating the Manuals you read so your disciples may study them and claiming the laws you "Stole" as property of your sect
Been a while since we've gone down into the depths
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>>5189553
I know.

Another thing on our too do list, is impose our dominion on the lower levels.
It will increase the potency of the Yin qi we can sup on, as well as their grudges.

When we have usurped the emperor, and made him our underlings, we will know that we are ready to strike the world.
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>>5189563
I wonder if we will face the god that put the mountain here later in the quest.
If we do, we are going to have plenty of grudges to power us up through the fight.
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>>5189563
yeah we still have a king to bitchslap and a few statues to grind to dust.
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>>5189470
Blood QI gave us stronger body strenghtening too
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>>5189664
Something to do after our cultivation is done.
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>>5189171
Honestly, I only seriously considered it was when I realized the insane cross-compatibility it inherently had. Literally, everything dies and has a bloodline. So it offers by far the biggest possible range of potential buffs for the effort we can put into it no matter who or what we recruit. That is downright impossible to beat if we wanna cover as many bases as possible.

The fact that it's stupidly cheap to do is a bonus.

I'll admit the idea of improved bodies, raw materials, harder to kill, and potential to revive as stronger undead cultivators upon death also intrigued me. Huanluaxue is pretty macabre when it comes to her views of death and corpses but that fits her being a beast and law of nature beliefs. For me, the main benefit is being able to gradually and forcefully upgrade all our followers physically and bloodlines for cheap and easy. Shame we haven't stumbled upon any way to boost mentally or soul much less talent. Hopefully we find something lest soul or mind techniques become the bane of our followers. Maybe let them get the living daylights scared out of them by the dead for mind or possession and release training for soul...hm. Need to think on it more.

Talent will probably be the hardest but considering what Frankenstein is doing apparently there are some really freaky heretic techniques for that stuff.
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the result. Also, early warning, not gonna be able to post on Thursday or Friday this week, since I'm going on a short trip, which I should be back from on Saturday.

Enter the catacombs to cultivate and search for treasures/ useful materials, as well as too soothe the spirits trapped inside of it: 8

Enlists Monu's aid in putting the insights you gained from your visit to the temple of the Five colors and Five purities sects, recreating the Manuals you read so your disciples may study them and claiming the laws you "Stole" as property of your sect:8

Investigate the stories you heard of a cult operating outside of a cave that sprung up near Fu's village after it was flooded: 1

Check on and Interfere with your disciples development, teaching them new techniques, spells and disciplines, as well as allocating spare resources, medicines and adjusting their schedules to improve their progress: 1

So you will record the mysteries you "stole" from the Five colors and Five purities sect with Monu's assistance and create replica Manuals, thus claiming the Laws as your own

And venture once more into the Catacombs to sooth the cursed souls trapped within it and to either cultivate amongst the old bones and hungry ghost once more, soothing their anguish while also drinking deep their resentment or to look for valuables to pilfer.

Update will arrive shortly
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>>5189463
The statues have developed their own soul making them more vulnerable to our ghost techniques which target the soul. The moment we encounter a puppetmaster though we are gonna be bitchslapped so hard unless they use corpse puppets.

>>5189372
I think we should look into a cloning technique so we can work on more extreme modifications and mutations with our bodies without the risk of killing ourselves in the process. Blood Qi has a lot of potentials it turns out the kind we got is mutagenic and infectious. So caution is advised. If we do it right we can even customize our clones and create different modes depending on what we wanna maximize or focus on.

So long as we are limited to a single body for our blood qi experiments there is only so much we can do. We also need a better lab considering it's literally infectious and mutagenic. Likely a place full of death since you can't infect and mutate that which is already dead. So our blood lab will need to be built deep in a crypt somewhere so we don't accidentally create another plague disaster or something.

Personally, I'm more curious about what kind of mutated materials and lifeforms we could create from it. Why compete with others for unique treasures and followers when we can just make our own? Admittedly only particularly viable since we also have the crafter MC to actually use the materials in question. Yes, I totally wanna take advantage of the other protag and milk him for all he's worth. A shame we aren't humanoid otherwise he would be so much more useful...stupid thumbs.
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>>5189968
Well if we start manipulating bone, then we could do that.

Spiritual roots are literally your bones being of higher quality.
>>
After preparing suitable accommodations for Yuyi with the assistance of Fu and the very grateful villagers who are overjoyed to learn they'll have the patronage of a well trained physician, as the flood that struck the riverside village injured many and the stagnant waters it left behind have sicked many and attracted all forms of fever carrying vermin. This includes a small herb garden and a two story house, the bottom floor being renovated to serve as both a hospital for the deathly ill and gravely wounded and as an apothecary shop. But you do not stay to help Yuyi settle into her new home and teach her how to run a business, as you are needed back at your graveside temple. For you will not become known as a lackadaisical teacher who ignores their students to go wandering the world and chasing every whimsical desire that flits through her mind. Also, because you don't want to be around when Yuyi realizes you changed the spelling of her name on her shop's sign. But that act of mischief was for her own benefit! So surely, after she's had sometime to rage and sulk about the petty trick you played, she'll understand that the changing of her name was for her own good. Hopefully.

The soothing atmosphere of walking amongst graves, instantly sooths all of your worries and does away with the stress that had been building inside of you since you left the territory of Five Colors and Five purities sect. Now, when the feeling of being watched strikes you suddenly, you will be comforted knowing that over your shoulder lingers only a wandering soul or tormented spirit, nothing for you to fear. Being back in your element, in your territory and in your den, relaxes you so greatly that for the first day after you return, you merely bask in the air chilled by the breath of those long dead and buried. Truly, there is no place so comfortable as the soil heaped over a grave. The earthy scent of grave soul, moldering bones and blood long dried and turned to dust is a fragrance you found yourself missing in your travels through the mortal realm. The sanctity and protection offered by the sealed tomb and the casket within is like a spiritual balm.

So, you merely observe your disciples as they train, study, meditate or work to finish the construction of your sanctuary's renovations. The dust the tunneling and stone carving has thrown up into the air, when it is caught in the rays of sunlight that can pierce through the mountain or the swinging paper lanterns lit to mark the now numerous tunnels, look to your eyes like dancing ghost lights which brings a smile to your face and a learning to your hear to enter the catacombs once again and truly revel in the company of the dead and damned.

This strong desire causes your ghostly aura to swell until your presence makes the whole of the temple grounds feel like, as Hong describes "an ancient gravesite" or a "Haunted palace" as Feiqing calls it as he entertains himself with song as he works at his forge.

Cont
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>>5190182

the second day however, you are very busy and spend many hours working with Monu and Lei to transcribe the knowledge you took from the scrolls of kept by the Five Colors and Five Purities. The insights they had found are now yours to keep and now the laws they teach are yours to command. Surely this will prove to be a great boon for every generation disciples who call this subterranean retreat their home, and not only your initial batch of students. As the genius required to successfully form and shape a cultivation method from nothing but one's own insights and diligence is quite rare indeed, and even then your students cannot be expected to follow your bone strewn path in pursuit of the twin daos of ghosts and of grudges. So you sit, upon a cushion stuffed with goose down and warmed by one of the five Phoenix feathers owned by your sect, which is tied to the ceiling to keep its heat from turning the room into a furnace, dictating and recounting every page you read of those marvelous texts and splendid manuals.

"Truly, my daughter, your memory is the envy of even the scholars of the imperial city, to be able to so accurately recall what you had seen for but a glance" Monu cackles, pipe clenching between her teeth as her eyes glowed "And what high quality knowledge you stole away! I cannot find a single fault in any of these techniques, all of them are worthwhile in their own way. Perhaps, if we have the ink and paper, I'll give a final insult to those who betrayed me and entrust what they taught me to you"

"Hrrrm" Lei grunted, chewing on the back of his brush as you tried to figure out what he was trying to say. Feiqing and Ping had a curious ability to understand his grunts and moans as clearly as if the mute could still speak and hold polite conversation.

"And, it'd only be right" Monu continued, ignoring Lei as he lifted his Cat faced masked to glare at the page he was writing, scratching his head and sighing in apparent annoyance "For you to inherit the arts I created myself...when I can find the drive to write them down, as this is truly a most exhausting form of labor! Copying texts and redrawing the accompany illustrations and diagrams is more taxing on the mind than breaking through a bottleneck!"

"Forgive me for subjecting you to such torturous drudgery, honored mother" You say from your comfortable cushion "But your and Lei's literacy was needed for this work, since I could not trust Junior Lanfen to with so vital a task and Feiqing and Ping were occupied with their own cultivation"

"And you do not have thumbs to do it yourself" Monu cackles, shaking her head before pouting and resting her chin between her hands "But this is so mind numbingly boring!"

You do not admit that, even if you could lift a brush, you'd consider such toil far beneath your station. Since not only would that be a grave insult to speak to your mother, but this work was beneath her as well.
Cont
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>>5190185

Even if Manuals were valuable, the prideful nature of most cultivators made actually creating and filling them to be considered, paradoxically, Busywork that created and bolstered legacies and immortalized tradition, repositories of the achievements and accomplishments of prior generations and inspirations for their descendants by blood or by practice. But, Copying and recreating a manual, did not create the same sense of "Eternity" and "Purpose" as recording one's own wisdom and experience. Which is why Monu looked closer to death than she ever did as an old woman

But, you kept that observation to yourself, as she would be well in her right as both your martial and adopted mother to punish you for having a sharp tongue.

"Grandson Lei! Fetch me some kaoliang wine so I can endure this most testing trial!" Monu barked, cause Lei to shoot up to his feet, cup his fist and rush off to fulfill Monu's request from strong liquor

"I thought you were immune to poisons such as alcohol" You teased, lifting your head from the cushion "Junior Lei! Bringing our strongest incense so I don't have to smell the paint thinner my mother swills"

"With a bit of venom I can make it strong enough to have an effect, at least enough to dull the mind so I am no so blindingly aware of this tediousness!" Monu cackled, setting down her opium pipe and soaking the tip of her treasured brush, made from her first daughter's tail fur, into the ink "Besides its the only thing I can taste after I've had my fourth pipe to smoke in a day"

You nod, a curiosity you were not aware you had satisfied.

"Interesting, but I would entreat you, my honored mother, to keep the bottle closed when your not pouring from it, so this room does not fill with its eye watering fumes" You requested humbly, laying back down before continuing to list of the contents of the Manuals you looked over during your visit to the other sect, who you now had taken Seven treasures from without stripping them from the hands of their owners.

"Oh I am not so foolish, that feather above our heads would set them alight, its why I'll wrap the bottle in a wet cloth when I pour it, Huanliuxue" Monu said as she worked, eyes focused on the open book laid out before her

And that is how your infantile sect came to possess the laws of the Pine Warden Records, Night Lantern Sutra, Mountain shattering hammer, Lightning messenger technique, and the Spring fairy blossom art!

When Night fell, you snuck through the hole in the Demon's Head gate, and entered into the familiar territory of the catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war. Marching past the familiar sarcophagi and piles of old bones and rusted tools, you were soon surrounded by desperate spirits, who, in your absence had come to learn learn for your soothing presence like an addict would a drug. They fell on their knees, crowding around you as they pleaded and begged for relief from their own undying spite and sorrow.

Cont
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>>5190187

You listened to their begging for a time, as the mob of desperate, learning souls grew and grew, some offering the skulls of their own corpses to you and others swearing eternal fealty and loyalty to you and your descendants as you searched for your favorite hungry ghosts. The Elderly, nameless general and Xiongji. The first you find, observing the beetle generals usual game of prodding beetles and shouting commands at them, while the once always brawling regiment looks on and places bets in the form of slivers of bones shaped like coins. You keep looking for the ever rampaging rooster enlisting the aid of the feral and monstrous spirits that hunger for warm blood and squirmy flesh. The ghoulish hunting party does not find a trace of Xiongji in the upper most levels that you unofficially hold dominion over.

And even if the lowest floor you've dared to tread, shows no sign of the brute. The ghosts of the lady soldier and old scholar are similarly useless, but join the throng of your incomplete ghost court as you continue your search for the ever furious, vengeful specter.

And then, desperate and worried for the well-being of Xiongji, you enter the wretched court of the silver clawed governor. The twisted, malformed and inhuman spirits their sneer at you as you enter. The Governor himself, still sat upon his throne. His blackened, bone thin arms resting on its arms. His green molted gray flesh was stretched thin and taught as he looked down at you with a mixture of scorn and admiration.

And them, raising one hand, he began to dig, drill and tap his sharpened finger guards upon his hollow cheeks. His black grey swirled eyes narrowed with suspiscion and the contempt of a noble looking upon a usurper.

"I knew I smell your corpse breath on the stagnant air, interloper. How abhorrent you've become, to insult me and those still loyal to the rightful king of these crypts, by radiating such powerful lifeforce while still mimicking us ghosts. I had wondered if you had truly joined the legions of the dead or had realized the folly of a living being, even a demon like yourself, attempting to forge a kingdom amongst the graves. But now I realize you were merely bloating yourself with energies of the living world, how shameless for one who styles herself a princess of ghosts"

You yawn and return his glare but do not react to his insults or allow your temper to flare. His eyes glance over the crowd behind you, his loyal guards and trusted servants flashing yellowed, monstrous fangs as they stood like ogres at his side. You could scarcely tell any of those hideous beings were ever living men, the grudges that surrounded them having so twisted them that they would be mistaken for devils. One whose head has been half turned into a ugly crow head caws, stretching its serrated talons as tensions rise in the dust covered court of tombs
Cont
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>>5190190

"And look at all of these wretched simpering traitors you have tempted and lured to your side, weaklings who cannot endure the curse we share with our righteous, merciful king and so pledge themselves to the child who offers them repose." He sighs, shaking his head, eyes narrowed into cold chips of ice as you wait for him to cease his blathering so you can ask him where Xiongji has gone "Oh? perhaps this is not an attempt to oust me from the lands bequeathed to me, but merely a show you have learned the proper etiquette whilst dwelling amongst the dead? Has your bloodlust grown so faint? Or has the peace of death tempered it so greatly you now realize your proper place in this land of the dead, my proud curiosity? Or must we still dull that sharp tongue of yours"

"I haven't come here to argue with a talkative, egotistical corpse with rotten fingers" You bluntly reply "Your insults and attempts to infuriate me, bore me. And as I said when we last met, to invite a cat into your home is to become a guess in your own house"

One of his silver talons pierce through his cheek, causing clotted streams of black blood to flow down his fingers to settle in the center of his palm.

"Oh, so you remain the audacious and ambitious brat I met before" He sighs, leaning back in his thrown as he snapped his fingers, causing his monstrous menagerie of guards to return to ghost lights and gather back into their open graves "So, if you have no come to kowtow or foolishly try to remove me from my seat, why have you come to bother me now, "Princess", surely even you have enough brains to know I have no interest in Betraying my lord and joining your herd of dependents"

"Have you seen Xiongji?" You simply ask, after rolling your eyes. You forgot how much this egotistical snake loved the sound of his own voice

"Ah, your rabid dog who has been trampling my gardens and attacking my servants viciously? I see that fool is not in your retinue? Have you lost him" He mocks, sneering as he rises and adjusts his posture to lean from his throne, black eyes twinkling with mirth

"Answer my question" You hiss, fur standing on end as you unsheathe your claws "I have little patience and all to much desire to claw that smug smirk from your rotting lips, Pigfucker"

"Ah! That's what I was expecting!" He laughed, clapping his hands together as he stood "And if you want to know where your pet is, press your ear to the ground. I am certain you can hear his screaming even through the layers of rock. His latest rampage has taken him into my rivals court, which is why I haven't had you thrown out. I thought he did so on your bidding"

"Oh" You bitterly sigh, turning away and sardonically stating "And here I thought you reburied his bones"
Cont
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>>5190194

"I may be dead, but I am not suicidal. You may think yourself my better, but Xiongj for all his madness is truly too dangerous to oppose" The governor ruefully spat, grinding his silver finger guards into his throne, creating a shower of sparks and a truly irritating noise "And while I have no respect for you, who aspires to and pretends to be a ghost, and do not fear you, I am not so blinded by contempt to not realize the threat that most troublesome of underlings poses to me and everything I own"

"Well, perhaps I can convince you otherwise, and that it should be me you truly fear. Maybe over some tea? If you can even stand from that throne of yours and back all of your bluster and bravado without calling for your lapdogs" You tease as you prance away, leaving the governor to shout his rebuttal as you depart from his court.

Relieved that Xiongji was not in danger or...gone, you were now ready to hold court and begin cultivating from the breath of your willingly servants and courtiers. But, while you were in the silver clawed churls domain, it couldn't heart to strip away a portion of his undeserved wealth. And the ghosts around you would be all to happy to help in your thievery, if they thought you would only grant them the peace they so craved, even though you walked into this tomb intending to drinking deeply of their ethereal essence.

"So" The old grandfather asks, leaning closer to you after frantically looking over his shoulder "Now that Xiongji is not here, could you answer that question I had sometime ago, concerning your research of our cursed existence and your attempts to mimic it? Since that mad specter believes that to be a "Womanly" secret for some indiscernible reason"


Roll 2d100. best out of three First number= Cultivation. Second number= Treasure hunting. The higher the number the better the results
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Rolled 33, 12 = 45 (2d100)

>>5190196
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>>5190204
Holy shit.
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Rolled 65, 48 = 113 (2d100)

>>5190196
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Rolled 26, 36 = 62 (2d100)

>>5190196
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>>5190216
Cultivation: 65. Decent progress. You have not stalled or advance by leaps and bounds, but you have advanced noticeably

Treasure hunting: 48. You've found something valuable and useful but not a divine artifact or priceless magical tool. A worthy trinket.

Update will arrive shortly
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>>5189999
Spiritual roots, veins, and diantian are their own weird metaphysical thing. Yet considering how the initial stages of cultivation prioritize preparing and purifying the body for cultivation it must have something to do with. Although only body cultivators never give up the practice unlike the rest.

In terms of blood qi for normal cultivators only of particular use during the early stages or all stages for body cultivators. Instead of just manipulating bone, flesh, and blood though why not manipulate the body to amplify the spiritual root? Say if someone has fire roots then adjust their body to amplify and best fit fire greatly improving their power and 'upgrading' talent. It's something we could totally do...albeit will no doubt be very bloody to figure out. Hence my desire for clone techniques so we can do so safely.

Basically I think we are thinking too small in terms of blood arts. So what if you have a shitty spiritual root when your body is specifically upgraded to amplify it directly. So what if your bloodline is terrible if you can improve upon it. The stuff involving plagues and mutations does worry me though I'll admit. Creating our own T Virus is terrifying especially once it has access to cultivation I mean holy shit. Can you imagine infected mortals being able to kill cultivators and pursue immortality for themselves? The horror.
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With your search for Xiongji spreading word that you would soon hold court to even the most rabid and anti social of spirits, you lead your retinue to the chamber you use for closed room meditation. The Tomb feels strangely empty without Xiongju standing before your altar like a noble guardian, axe in hand and eyes focused ahead watching for any who would threaten you, his lady and the one thing beneath the heavens and under the earth that he did not murderously despise. Frowning, you pull yourself up atop the stone coffin that serves as your meditation platform. The Aged Scholar and Old, carefree general wipe away the incense ash that has been left upon the grave since your year long meditation. The Lady soldier lights a spark by striking her twin axes, which is caught in the hair of a partially mummified head. Clattering skulls bit and chewed at the dried locks of hair, stocking the fire until it grew large enough to light the longer burning incense sticks you stored in this quiet chamber. The air grows colder and colder as more fierce phantoms and hungry ghosts file into the room, some inhabiting bones that have yet to rot to dust, some controlling clouds of their ashes and many are little more than dancing orbs of ghostly light or balls of corpse fires. They fill the air, illuminating the lightless room as they flow through the air like lanterns floating down a river or into the sky to join the stars.

The boldest of them, seek an audience directly with you, prostrating themselves before you and begging almost ceremoniously for you to give them the tranquility and peace of death they deserve and desire. A temporary release from their accursed, pitiful lives. Like this chamber were a hallowed shrine, and you were its goddess. A wall of specters surrounds you, taking the place of Xiongji, pressing and locking their shields together while they stand as stiff as the long spears in their hands. The air darkens with the miasma of their grudges, and it flows over you like a morning mist carried down a mountainside. In the black fog, you can hear a thousand curses and maledictions whispered through clenched teeth.

The moment you begin to absorb the potent Yin Qi that forms your ghostly courtiers, and cultivate upon it, circulating it through your meridians as you slow your breath and practice a ponderous form of breathing exercise, the Ghostfires that fill the tomb and light it, darken and swarm around you. As they circle around your still form, they form into increasingly complex arrays, carrying away the thickened and stagnant Qi you expel further away so it does not sully the purity of the vital breath of the dead. Breathing in deeper, you can feel the cold, soothing embrace of death, the serenity of its finality spread through your body like a cold breeze washed against you. The dying curses of your gathered court, the lingering energy of their mortal remains fill and empower you.

Cont
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>>5190398

The heavy stone doors are pulled shut and sealed as more incorporeal and long dead petitioners enter your renegade court amongst the gravestones to seek an audience with you, the feline Queen of the lost and damned atop her throne of bones, grave soil beneath a gentle rain of blood. New life sprouted between the old, weather warn markers of your palace of the dead as you closed your eyes, and commenced your closed door training.

Time lost its meaning as you meditated and cultivated, instinctually and thoughtlessly absorbing, circulating, refining, and expelling Qi as it saturated your being. Once more, you became as a corpse, another wandering soul in the kingdom within the crypt. You loses sensation, your body seeming to fade away, leaving you truly ethereal as your sense of self dulls and you enter into the comforting abyss of demise.

Grudges flare, flicker, wither and are silenced in the crucible of your mind, as you guide them through your body and refine their resentful essence into the very core of your being. And so you reign, in your silent retreat amongst the dead, sitting in your garden of anguished souls who gather to have their excess Yin energy drawn away. You scarcely even notice the rising chill and stillness of your body, so accustomed you are to the energies of the grave of the vital breath of enmity and death and it certainly no longer troubles you. Indeed, it feels revitalizing, nurturing. Good.

The tranquility of death surrounds and becomes one with you.

Your only interruption is, when the a familiar grinding sound draws you from your deep meditation and you are pleased to see Xiongji enter the chamber, dragging a time worn skeleton dressed in scholar robes, which he tosses atop the pile of offerings presented to you buy the other petitioners. A large, black dyed gourd, wrapped with pink tassels and binding ropes, and sealed with cork and white wax, its sole decoration besides a jade pendant the characters for Storage and Space.

Dimensional Gourd of the [Deceased] foolish young master obtained

He then takes his honored position at your side, and silently allows you to return to contemplating the numerous aspects of Yin and the countless sensations of death. And, for a time, you become a fixture of the catacombs, another spirit forgotten by history and abandoned by time.

A frustration builds within you as days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months. Once, before you broke your bottleneck, the ghost court cultivation method was supremely effective and swift, the torrents of Yin and ghostly spiritual energy rushing through you like flooded rivers. But this great sea has become a puddle to you now, and as you sit, in quiet contemplation and stubborn meditation, the swells of Deathly Qi that once flooded your meridians trickle into your Dantians like rain through a leaky roof! Its frustrating! Its tiring! Its arduous and exhausting!
Cont
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>>5190399

The same effort that would have once shot you through several levels and send you flying over dozens of dragon gates, now was more akin to wading through a mire of rotting corpses and their spilled bowels. If you were not possessed by the calm stillness of the graves you meditate upon, you would have been driven into a frenzy of exasperation and discouragement. But then, Monu's complaints when she was recreating the Manuals you have read, echoed in your mind, and you remained stalwart and of harmonious mind. For her complaints, were much more than that. They were a hidden lesson, for a student who had not yet realized the increased difficulty of the stage they had entered

And so with your pride as a genius prodigy and master of the Qi of Ghosts and Blood, you remained firm and steadfast and continued your cultivation and internal refinement. And you kept meditating, absorbing the Qi of the graves and their inhabitants and breathing in their breath and potent grudges, until, drop by drop, you neared the next rank of the foundation establishment stage.

Even in the deep, deathlike trance that had fallen over you, you realized subconsciously you needed to find a richer and more powerful source of Death aligned Yin Qi.

And then, in the black, lifeless and motionless expanse that had become your world, a figure appeared, made of shadows even darker than the surrounding gloom and nothingness. It crouched behind you, and with a skeletal hand gripped your back as it leaned over it, pressing itself against you tightly, to whisper into your notched ear

A familiar presence fills your body with a cold that it cannot ignore or resist. A harsh, lifeless voice cooed and crawled into your skull

"Aaah, my apprentice, my sole disciple and inheritor of my will" It sang sweetly, lovingly, but there was no warmth in its words, only cold "You have realized the weakness of principled cultivation, as I once did. How seas turned to puddles and rivers shrink and dry. Bountiful Qi, becomes a pittance. How long has passed? As you have sat, in the company of ghosts and corpses, alone and isolated from the world? Is it not frustrating? Is it not maddening, to realize even with your boundless, unheard of potential, you must sit and wait and acquire power like a pot left in the rain, rather than guzzling it down without restraint or remorse?"

An arm wrapped around your neck, embracing you as cold breath rushed into your ear

"Why not take all these lost souls have? They're already dead, so what's the harm in it! Cultivation is a pursuit of power! For all you know, you've been down here for a year again! Or longer! An empress should be youthful! Not withered and old" The voice tempted and cried mournfully "Take it all, devour these phantoms, consume them completely. They're but fuel, raw material and nothing more."
Cont
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>>5190401

"If devouring them is appalling, why not take a handful of them and turn them into Cultivation material, to increase the flow and density of the Qi in this chamber? And if you do that? What not eat them up! You crave power, desire power? If its to protect and safeguard the living, what's the harm in abusing the dead?" The formless voice merrily exclaims

How do you respond to these temptations, Huanliuxue

>Halting your efforts, having achieved the fourth level of Foundation establishment, and then leave the tombs to seal away the Diary of the soul eater and see how much time has passed since you entered the tombs

>Realize that you need a proper cultivation chamber, and find or create relics to amplify the level and quality of Qi, or else artificially produce Ghostly spiritual energy, starting by having Feiqing and Monu turn the Block of Starjade into an altar

>Well, you have enemies in the catacomb, subjugate and take a few to use in the forging of proper ghostly decorations and tools to help hasten your cultivation, trapping them in a more terrible prison for your own benefit, without harming your own followers amongst the dead [bad karma]

>The weak are prey to the strong, and these weaklings are useless to you now. Hold a terrible, feast, hunting the ghosts that have resisted your rule and culling the ranks of your own "court" to increase your own power rapidly [Extreme bad Karma]

>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]

>write in
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]

Fuck this dude. Fucking demonic asshole, thinking we're some kind of minion, following in his failed footsteps.
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
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>>5190462
Hey man he's just really excited that he may get a buddy who can do alchemy as dank as him, don't hate him for his misguided encouragement.

Hate him cause he thinks he can boss one as auspicious and resplendent as us around.
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>>5190402
>>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
I think consuming souls shoulnt be completely off the table, but be preserved for the worst of the worst enemies. Maybe the leader of Monu's former sect would qualify.
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>>5190402
>Take over the next level from the governor.

>"You are no princess of death and beasts, so it is obvious that you do not understand that these spirits are MINE. Not food."
Some peasants will just never understand.
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
Following this man's advice would set a bad precedent. We care for and protect those under our rule, after all. Still, he is right that we could use a better place to chill. (heh)

As much as this dude screams "bad news", he clearly has some interesting techniques, between soul eating and how he bound himself to the pages of his book. I think he could be worth carefully interacting with, as long as he doesn't try to pull anything funky.
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
What a jackass who purposefully ignored the symbiotic cultivation method we have going for us. Plus the correct answer is MOAR ghosts and undead to feed off of passively. Our symbiotic cultivation speed is directly tied to the number and power of undead we can gather under our banner. Not less. If we wanna feed off hostile undead we can just imprison them and siphon off them directly. If we eat them we only get a single short term boost and it will destroy our symbiotic bonds and corrupt our dao.

Strictly speaking, if we wanna further speed up our cultivation speed we would need to gather ghosts from outside and recruit them as well. As this place has only so many undead trapped within. The MC's symbiotic undead cultivation method is such that moar is always better and makes it grow ever stronger the greater the number of undead that are gathered. It even soothes them and aids them as well. Helping to entice them and ensure their loyalty. Betraying the dead by devouring them will backfire on us big time.
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>>5190653
Come to think of it we should consider having our mortal minions gather and hoard corpses for us to establish a gigantic graveyard. Imagine how much we would benefit if the remains of butchered beasts and ill cared for graves like those on old battlefields were taken and hoarded together in a single massive graveyard and necropolis?

What if secretly arranged for a gigantic founding of a huge graveyard and necropolis that gathers all the dead it can find? What if we create lures to attract ghosts and undead deeper into that necropolis nearby haunted land? Let the dead and corpses come to us and establish graves for us as a hidden cultivation ground and recruitment source for us.
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>>5190626
The punishment for child eating is eradication.
Whenever we ask "is there someone worthy of this" the answer is always child predators.

>>5190642
>>5190653
Yeah, the guy is experienced and knows a bit but I still feel that we need to put him in his place about shit he is wrong about. Like you two have said, that doing as he suggests would ruin more than it would enhance.
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
Taking a shortcut suggested by some weirdo isn’t our style.
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
This asshole has irked us long enough!
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>>5190402
>If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court [Attempt to usurp power over the next layer of the catacombs from the silver clawed governor and his toadies]
Normally I would go for the cultivation chamber, but the catacombs do the job well enough, and we help the ghost when we take their grudges as fuel.
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>>5190710
When we reach the bottom, we'll make a cultivation chamber that can house every ghost in this place AND is designed for peak Qi flow.
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>>5190715
Transform the throne room of the ghost emperor, so huan can be a princess even while she cultivates.
She already treats the ghost as a court and petitioners, might as well go the whole way.
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>>5190654
Not a bad idea, that said I might suggest devouring ghosts like the governor who clearly have no intention of following us, after having created to lure more to the crypts
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>>5190462
>>5190608
I wonder if he realized that we are the one that gave him the tip in the past.
And that we learned it from his own book, creating a timeloop.
>>5190654
We need a source of blood qi in our chamber, although it's opposite of death qi, we could find a way to harmonize it.
Maybe if we arrange the chamber using positions of meridians, make the blood qi flow as if it as circulating, place the bones in places around it and abuse the symbolism of the number 4, we could make they work together.
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>>5190775
Blood Qi is some rare shit. We literally had to travel back in time to find a source for it. Though there was an option to convert our temple to some spooky blood temple so maybe it is possible to do something like this on a smaller scale here in the dark?
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>>5190775
>I wonder if he realized that we are the one that gave him the tip in the past.
The one we gave a tip to was the author of the "Occult Treasures of the fields of the underworld, and the Alchemy of the dead", not the devourer of souls.
Assuming that this is him, and not the alchemist, at least. Though I don't see why the alchemist would be going around telling people to eat ghosts.

>>5190825
There are still places where we could look for more blood Qi if we wanted, like battlefields, old heretical temples or the underworld. I think it's just that the god portal was really good at it's job, not that blood Qi is THAT rare. It could be, of course, but we can't know that until we look
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>>5190825
We had the option to add a blood qi tree to our temple during the upgrade didn't we? I think it might be possible.
Our journey was to find a primal blood qi source, being rare because it's a heretical art, so most of the source would be tainted by something else. Now that huan has unlocked it, she might be able to get those easier to find and purify them.
>>5190846
It seems I have confused the magic books then.
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the result

If the shallows of the catacombs can no longer provide you with a satisfactory flow of Qi, than just start conquering the lower levels and make the more powerful ghosts a part of your court :11

"You are no princess of death and beasts, so it is obvious that you do not understand that these spirits are MINE. Not food.": 1

Landslide victory for starting a ghost war

Update will arrive shortly
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"When an empire's fields turn barren, they seek out new lands to conquer rather than turning their citizenry into cattle" You answers coldly, whipping around to face the source of the lifeless whisper, but find nothing more than an endless expanse of night and a quiet greater than the silence of death. The void expands before your eyes endlessly, the horizon unseen as a freezing wind circled around you and a harsh laugh like a crow's cry echoes through the vast emptiness.

"My my, how ambitious, but will this greed by seen as a noble liberation or a avaricious scheme?" The voice giggles, as you can hear the all too familiar sound of bones rattling together as all of your instincts scream that something terrible and dangerous is just behind the tip of your tail, a predator who kills with kindness rather than claws and fangs. This...thing, wants to lead you down the road of villainy, but it does not feel like a devil from hell. Even a demon's presence isn't so unnatural, so unnerving. The fur on your back and marrows at your bone feels like its trying to run away from it. The presence surrounding the voice can only be describe as "Nothing" but not in the same way as void or emptiness. It is an utter lack of a presence, like a hole in reality through which all else pours out. No. Not a hole. A mouth that seeks to devour all other things

"What does it matter, gullet?" You ask sharply, a hiss following close behind your words as you turn to coldness of your tone against the hungering emptiness that stands just behind you "Royalty need not concern themselves with the opinions of uneducated swine, if I desire a spring in my neighbors land, I shall have it"

"Oh so you'll turn to cultivate upon more monstrous, deranged and degenerated spirits, the hungry ghosts that have forsaken the memories of life and turned fiercer than any beast" The maw in the dark replies, sounding as though they're struggling to hold themselves back from a fit of laughter "Surely, such fiends would better serve as a feast for appetites you have yet to realized, no"

"You do not understand me, oh bodyless wretch" You snap as all the worlds colors begin to fill the void you have entered in your meditation, the colors of life and of death, vibrant and dull "These spirits are not merely a source of power to me, they are my courtiers, my loyal underlings, my deathless servants. I aim to become an empress who rules over the dead, the living and the wild, not a gluttonous demon who greedily devours her faithful"

"Is that not the privilege of all nobility? To grow fat upon the toil of others? Why not cut out the middle step and instead swell your power with the essence of you unliving foes? Surely, you will have no moral obligations to treat the populace whose lands you intend to steal away, justly and fairly" The voice whispers as you begin to rouse yourself from your meditations, turning away and ignoring the presence in the dark to leave it alone in the nothingness
Cont
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>>5191030

"Swallow the river, rather than bathing in it" Is the last temptation you lower yourself to hear, as your eyes open and you find your fur covered with dust and spiderwebs. And stand instead in dry, lifeless riverbed? How foolish.

"Is something wrong, were these arrangements not to your liking, honored guest?" Xiongji asks sweetly, kneeling as the wound that crushed his skull flows with fresh blood, visible beneath his dented helmet "Shall we seek out more dignified quarters more worthy of your rising rank in this stagnant world of graves and tombs?"

"If something troubles you, Huanliuxue, you need only speak the source of your irritation and we shall remove it from your sight" The old carefree general coos, hands hidden in his spectral sleeves as he floats just above and before your head

"And remove its head!" The lady soldier happily exclaims, eyes filled with such murderous intent they began to glow with a baleful green light

"Chase it to the ends of the earth" The general who once served alongside Xiongji proclaims, hand laid over the hole that reals his rent and torn heart

"Something so obvious doesn't need stating, fools!" Xiongji roars, swinging his axe towards the other high ranking officials of your court and makes the tomb an even less suitable for cultivation because the wayward blow of his axe has broken a great hole in its floor

"The Qi here is no longer sufficient for my needs, even though the ranks of my court of have greatly swelled" You sigh, standing from your altar, washing yourself with your tongue and grimacing as the bitter taste of dust clung to your tongue "It is no longer dense or pure enough to satisfy me, as I have no wish to spend all my life in quiet contemplation with little results to show for it"

Hopping from your dais, you march out of the chamber, the seal opening as the lowliest of the ghosts expend their energy to move the heavy stone slabs that locked you and your court inside.

"I need a stronger source of ghostly spiritual energy, I need a chamber further away from the world of the living, I need to expand my holdings here" You explain, turning back to see a most unsettling sight. A happy Xiongji, overjoyed to hear you intend to extend your reach knowing what such an ambition entails. The only way he knows how to vent his maddening frustrations and scorn for all things. Violence.

"And take the servants of others into my court, already there are a number of hungry ghosts and beastial phantoms" You continue, the warrior spirits who flock under your banner surrounding you, their bloodlust almost visible in the air as your words act as a bridge to their mortal lives, energizing and exciting them all, though no so greatly as Xiongji, who is all but leaping with joy "But I need truly monstrous underlings, to siphon the Yin energies that have so condensed within their beings, to offer them salvation from their suffering. Unfortunately"
Cont
>>
>>5191034

"That bag of bones fool will not allow his followers to attend your court" Xiongji sneers, eyes twinkling with a murderous glee "And they are too loyal to their master to seek the peace you offer, conflict is inevitable, that ghoul thinks you a usurper and has insulted you in everyway"

"Its only natural I seek to avenge myself upon him and take from him what is mine by right, his underlings will fall into line when the lord they serve is ousted from his seat" You cheerfully proclaim, eyes shining with ambition as your dead soldiers shout their approval and cheer "Let there be war! Him and I cannot exist beneath the same sky and I've grown exhausted with his demeaning sneer and prideful attitude! Let us take all that he has, and replace his rule with mine! His followers will join my court, they have no say in the matter, and if the silver clawed simpleton were wise to offer me his badge of office and throne outright, but alas, he is a true fool"

And the moment you declare your conquest of the lower levels, Xiongji charges towards them, barreling through the crowd of ethereal warriors, axe raised and howling vitriol and crude curses.

How do you perform your conquest, Huanliuxue?

>Follow Xiongji and use his path of destruction as a cover to enter the court of the silver fingered governor unmolested. Aim to Cut the head off the snake

>Let Xiongji sow chaos and weaken your enemy, and prepare pots and jars to seal away the strongest phantoms supporting the governor to take them out of the fight and try to force them to betray their master (Magic trial. DC 65)

>Ping intends to become an exorcist, introduce him to the catacombs and let him test the strength of that cursed arm of his against your enemies. Hands on training is often the most effective. (Underling Magic trial DC 80)

>Remembering the stone puppets you fought, have Feiqing equip your ghost army with freshly forged swords, that you will cover with banishing talismans from the Night Lantern Sutra

>Write in

See you guys Saturday
>>
>>5191035
>Prepare the pots to seal away the stronger phantoms while Xiongjj wreaks havoc. [dc 65]
>Summon Ping to test himself amongst the weaker spirits

I see no reason not to bring Ping in and he can learn from our sealing arts as well as direct combat.
It will be less effective than having him go at it directly but training is still training.
>>
>>5191041
Support
>>
>>5191035
>Remembering the stone puppets you fought, have Feiqing equip your ghost army with freshly forged swords, that you will cover with banishing talismans from the Night Lantern Sutra
Only saturday grandfather? Seen you then.
>>
>>5191044
Going on a trip Thursday and Friday. So this voting period will be a little longer than usual
>>
>>5191035
>>5191041
+1
>>
>>5191048
Hope you have a good trip!
>>
>>5191035
>Follow Xiongji and use his path of destruction as a cover to enter the court of the silver fingered governor unmolested. Aim to Cut the head off the snake
With the lord taken care of, the other phantoms will have little reason to resist us for very long.

Ping is probably a little new as an exorcist to throw right into a ghostly civil war against crazed phantom warriors. Maybe he can visit later though.
>>
>>5191078
The reason cultivation takes so long is because people dont take risks. We can protect him if need be, but even a learning experience will be had if they fail.
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>>5191084
Biggest reason that people tend to avoid risks is because you can seriously fuck up. Well, that and the whole heresy thing.
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>>5191090
We should still risk it. The leap in benefits he gets is worth it, since he knows he is going to die if he doesnt do it right, and we know he wont since we can protect his ass.
>>
Here's a question that I figured I'd ask before I left for my trip.

What name ideas do you have for Huanliuxue's untitled Cultivation law/ method?

Also art names, since those are always fun

>>5191068
Thanks.
>>
>>5191360
>What name ideas do you have for Huanliuxue's untitled Cultivation law

Huanliuxue's mastery of both pure life Qi (Blood) and pure death Qi, as well as personality as an incredibly selfish person with ridiculous Good Karma makes me think that her Law's name should have something to do with duality.
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>>5191035
>>5191041 +1
>>
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>>5191035
>Ping intends to become an exorcist, introduce him to the catacombs and let him test the strength of that cursed arm of his against your enemies. Hands on training is often the most effective. (Underling Magic trial DC 80)
>>
>>5191367
I vote
>The law of the wild
because that's what it really boils down to. Life and death, blood, pride, taking what you desire, protecting your legacy and clan.
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>>5191417
You know maybe we should see if Xiongji would be willing to train Fu, the general is a pretty ferocious fighter after all
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>>5191483
But anon, Xiongji is a homicidal raving madman. Not really getting sensei vibes from him lol
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>>5191360
The law of the restless dead.
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>>5191041
This.

If they refuse to comply we can just shove them into our future prison/cultivation fuel chamber. We don't even have to worry about keeping them alive...or remembering their even there!
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>>5191367
I would argue Huanliuxue is just ridiculously tsundere. Plus to be honest I'm not sure how her good karma comes into play in comparison to her belief in natural law vs heavenly law and human views of morality. She maintains good karma yet maintains bestial views on the natural order of things which is why she is so hostile to the heavens which in her view is opposing the Natural Law and order of world.

Its why I think she doesn't see anything wrong with eating people as a beast just as humans eat animals. At the same time not see much difference between heresy and orthodoxy so long as it doesn't oppose nature. This makes Huanliuxue very unique in that she differentiates Heaven's wrath and judgment from Nature's Wrath. Not seeing them as the same thing at all.

>>5190825
What's rare is PURE Blood qi. Apparently modern blood qi is polluted as shit which is why we had to go on such a pain in the ass journey to source the good stuff. Huanliuxue didn't want any tainted or polluted sources. All modern sources of blood qi are impure apparently. Trying to reacquire a steady supply of pure blood qi is going to be a huge deal for us.

>>5190775
I'm thinking of burying a massive graveyard and constructing a huge crypt underground that is endlessly expanded underground to store freshly harvested corpses and lured undead. This followed by creating a huge jungle/garden on the surface of mutated flora and fauna. The decay and rot will feed the life on the surface. While the surface will conceal what's underneath. Both will cancel each other out and feed off each other. The tricky part is figuring out how to turn it into a living breathing formation that will conceal their mutual nature and that the same enhance one another.

I'm thinking of starting with mushrooms their decomposers for the blood qi stuff and go from there for terraforming. Turn the entire goddamn mountains into a forbidden zone of life mutated life on the surface and death underground.
>>
>>5191360
I don't have many ideas for the blood qi since I don't have a good idea on what exactly we can do with it yet.

So far for blood I got

Law of Primal Survival
Law of Surviving Legacy
Law of Wild Mutation
Law of Natural Life

For death I got
Law of Restless Dead
Lawful Court of Living Dead
Law of Death's Respite
Law of Reaping Grudges
Law of Dead Reaping
Law of the Dead Never Forget
Law of Death Unforgiving
Law of Death Forgotten

Honestly I'm not very good with names...
>>
>>5191516
Well, karma is from budism, and cultivation is originally a daoist concept, but it got quite a few of the chinese folklore added into it too, so it makes sense if we could add confucian concepts like the Heaven/Earth/Man or even a bit of Legalism.
But yeahz she's tsundere as fuck about being a good peraon, she always feels like justifying going out of her way to help people that it's actually for selfish reasons.
>>5191360
>Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law
In this the wheel being life and death, I think that the concept of reincarmation might become a key part of it, since it's the other bridge between life and the afterlife, the reverse but equal to death, symbolic representing the yin and yang chi we have.
Also ruler because Huan is a princess, queen and empress.
>>
>>5191360
>What name ideas do you have for Huanliuxue's untitled Cultivation law/ method?
Like for the whole thing? That is pretty hard, because of the number of themes we've got going on.
I really like this anon's >>5191457 answer, if you wanted to be brief. Law of the Wild loosely encapsulates everything we've got going on.
For something more wordy...
>Law of the Crimson Vengeful Ghost
>Law of the Bloody Vengeance of the Revenant
>Law of the Ghost's Gory Grudge
>Law of the Resentful Dead and Weeping Veins
I'm not good at these.
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>>5191557
Oh, and mixing them up would fit with the concept of the three teachings, that the three philosophies are equals in importance.
Huan being a beast and princess of the wild ties into nature and therefore Earth, meaning she has the power to defy Heaven
Being sapient being, capable of introspection, tool use and society means we are capable to molding the Earth as we will, therfeore fitting Man even though we are a beast.
Progessing through our cultivation and our good karma grants us the right of Heaven to rule over mankind
For legalism, we could tie that we believe we should rule everything, the cabal that banned parts of cultivation being wrong under heaevn and the chaos of the dynasty end's bringing pointless bloodshed.
To tie the good karma to a system that expects complete obedience: of course the emperor must have good karma, a selfish ruler makes for a weak nation.
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>>5191557
I personally really like the idea for the
>Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law
for it seems to be the one grand enough to oppose haven itself.
but it is up to Our-Grandfather on what he thinks is most fitting for this self made law, and which name has the most room to grow along side our own growth.
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>>5191035
>>Follow Xiongji and use his path of destruction as a cover to enter the court of the silver fingered governor unmolested. Aim to Cut the head off the snake
>>
>>5191035
>>Let Xiongji sow chaos and weaken your enemy, and prepare pots and jars to seal away the strongest phantoms supporting the governor to take them out of the fight and try to force them to betray their master (Magic trial. DC 65)
>>
Finally home from my trip, ending the vote now and tallying the result. Got back a lot later than I expected to be

Let Xiongji sow chaos and weaken your enemy, and prepare pots and jars to seal away the strongest phantoms supporting the governor to take them out of the fight and try to force them to betray their master:6
-Summon Ping to test himself amongst the weaker spirits:5

Remembering the stone puppets you fought, have Feiqing equip your ghost army with freshly forged swords, that you will cover with banishing talismans from the Night Lantern Sutra:1

Follow Xiongji and use his path of destruction as a cover to enter the court of the silver fingered governor unmolested. Aim to Cut the head off the snake:2

Ping intends to become an exorcist, introduce him to the catacombs and let him test the strength of that cursed arm of his against your enemies. Hands on training is often the most effective.:1

So You will summon Ping to test himself amongst the weaker spirits, while you prepare pots to seal away the stronger phantoms while Xiongji wreaks havoc

Update will arrive shortly.

Glad to be back. Had some fun in a tea garden, got kicked out of an art gallery and tricked some friends into trying supremely sour candy.
>>
A cackle escapes your lips, carrying through the now silent rows of graves and bone filled chambers, as the echoed roars and curses of Xiongji were drowned out by the Din of his axe striking against stone and hewing through old bones like rotten logs. Rather crude drums of war with which to announce what shall surely be but the first of a glorious series of conquests throughout your most assuredly storied life. The sneer under your nose grows and twists, growing into a fang bearing grin as you lift your snout proudly and then hope and turn in the air, facing your back and tail towards the warpath the maddened rooster general now carves, shouting and insulting all other spirits who have sworn their afterlives to you and named themselves your loyal soldiers and ethereal spears.

"Well, a strong fool is a useful tool in of itself, I suppose" You muse merrily, giggling with excitement as you tail begins to flick and wave to and fro, faster and faster "While the fools beneath our feet may believe Xiongji to be the most deadly amongst my vassals and court, they forget the sly cunning of a cat. And are ignorant"

"ignorant?" The old nameless general asks, following you as you march for the boundary of the catacombs deep, seemingly endless and lightless expanse beneath the world of men and the sky of the gods "Oh they most assuredly are! From my understanding, those who dwell within the lower levels still serve the king who lead us to this most unfortunate and pitiful of fates! Instead of raging against him, they make the same folly as their lives and serve the very monarch who doomed them to this accursed, transient existence locked beneath stone and trapped within their own graves! Truly they are most ignorant, my lady of the graves"

"If he's strong enough to command such respect and fealty even after failure and death, it would not foolish to still pledge themselves to him after their own demise" You counter, shaking your head as you struggle to squeeze your larger body through the hole in the demon's head gate through which you used to fit so easily through "Though, I believe it to be a grave mistake and waste of time and energy to serve a lord with no ambitions or concerns beyond maintain their power and control"

The stronger spirits step back, turning more translucent and vague in shape and appearance as they near the sacred charms plastered across every surface of the great doorway separating the colorful world of the living and the grey world of the dead.

"Then what makes them ignorant, in those feline eyes of yours, mistress of beating hearts and still bones?" The general asks sweetly as if he were your own grandfather, as his peers shriek, whine and hiss, covering their faces and recoiling away from the talismans protecting the world from their now tamed wrath
Cont
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>>5194010

"The spoilt rodent sitting upon the pile of wealth and prestige gifted to him by a king who picked a fight he could not win and got his kingdom buried in sand and his army crushed beneath a mountain, never considered me a rival, merely a pest, a wandering brat causing mischief" You explain, kicking your legs and trying to find purchase enough to squeeze your frame through the gap in the gates boards "Though he thinks himself witty and shrewd, he forgot the age old wisdom that a weak ruler should always be on alert for the approach of the strong"

Huffing and puffing, you managed to shove your ox sized body through the hole, widening it slightly and tearing some of the sealing papers from it. The crack of the boards attracted the attention of one of Fu's friends, who, as an inner disciple, was carrying out his daily chores near the gate, sweeping the floor of dust and the beetles and worms that crawl out of the catacombs. He stands frozen, watching his leader speak to no one as she grumbled and shook wooden splinters from her fur

"And so certain he was of that my ambition was too great for me to achieve and so sure of my simple mindedness, that he never though to ask in what manner I sought to imitate ghosts or the abilities i possessed" You explained, looking through the hole to look at the curious faces of your retainers, while your mortal underling scurried away, scared of the consequence if you caught him slacking or perhaps worried he'd be humiliated if he asked why you were talking to yourself.

"Now!" You proclaim, standing proudly "leave my sight! I must seek my student Ping and summon him to the realm of stillness and weeping ghosts, so he may test himself against the weaker spirits yet loyal to the silver taloned ghoul, and prepare special, magical pots, so I may personally seal away the stronger phantoms who waste their talents and death enduring potential to serve such a drooling cretin as he! Their pitiful excuses for an afterlife would better be spent serving a true monarch of the lost souls, one who takes care to tend their graves and offer them relief from the agony beyond their death!"

And so, you trot off to find Ping by his scent and the Qi leaking from his "Cursed" arm. It only takes a matter of moments to track him down, as the sound of him practicing and his cries of pain draw you to him. He's strengthening his hands, by using them to split logs, and unlike Feiqing or Fu, who perform such painful exercises without so much as whimpering, Ping cries out with every strike. And leaves his hands coated with blood down to the wrist.

Watching this, you smile, as you know he'll accept any kind of training, even if it must take place in hell, to avoid continuing his bone breaking practice.

Roll 1d100. DC 65. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 57 (1d100)

>>5194011
>>
Rolled 23 (1d100)

>>5194015
>>
Rolled 96 (1d100)

>>5194011
>>
>>5194032
Thirty over DC! Amazing success. Update will arrive shortly
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>>5194032
This is the highest, and most clutch, I've ever rolled in a quest.
>>
>>5194041
Thanks for that
>>
It is easy enough to prepare a supply of clay pots for the purpose of sealing rebellious and bothersome ghosts within their depths, especially now that you have servants to perform the work that requires dexterous hands and nimble fingers. The ingredients for the mystical salve that will coat the insides of the pots, gourds, vases and boxes is also very easily acquired, without even having to leave the safety and comfort of your subterranean temple. Bone ash can be gathered by tossing animal bones into the cooking fires and the furnace of Feiqing's forge, Blood let from the beasts hunted on the mountainside by the families of your disciples seeking to give tribute in the form of fresh game meat, and grave soil is so abundant as the entire mountain is technically a massive grave that it is meaningless to even describe the method of its harvest.

Ping, tired and sweat covered, approaches you as you instruct your lesser disciples the means of mixing together the ash, blood and soil, a task that Lanfen and Hong perform as without spiritual energy imbued within the reagents, the process will fail and instead of a spirit trapping salve, you'll only create an copper scented soil made fertile by the ashes mixed in.

"What are you doing, Huanliuxue?" He asks rather bluntly, exhaustion clearly dulling his usually well honed and trained etiquette

"We're preparing spirit trapping pots" Hong exclaims excitedly, as one of his sworn brothers dumps another wheelbarrel of bones into the roaring fire the three of you sit upon "Mistress Huanliuxue gave us this duty! And we are proud to fulfill it!"

"Its so filthy!" Lanfen whines, tears forming in her eyes as she stirs the pot containing the mixture with her bare hands, her flawless, delicate skin reeking of blood as she lifts her head as far from the bowl as she can "Can't we use a ladle or whisk! This is more disgusting than a man's dying gasp"

"I asked the sect-head, not you, my juniors' Ping heavily sighs as he pinches the bridge of his nose with his normal arm "But I suppose I should then ask, what need do you have with such enchanted tools, Huanliuxue?"

"A find the last breathes to leave a living creature's lungs to be beautiful, their final song to the world as their spirit is freed from its vessel and flies away on their last lungful of air. Like a songbird taking flight? How is that disgusting, Junior Lanfen? Perhaps you were so coddled in your old life, you never had a chance to ponder the beautiful finality of death" You say sweetly, causing Lanfen to shudder and bow her head, working more diligently now that you have vaguely reprimanded and shamed her, before turning to Ping with a wicked glint in your eye "And to answer your question, Junior Ping, I need to punish some idiots who thought it'd be a good idea to pull my tail! Past that gate, lies the kingdom of the ghosts"

"I can see where this is going already" Ping mutters under his breath
Cont
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>>5194078

Your slight smirk turns into a fang filled snarl as you hiss "And I've been insulted, mistreated and humiliated by one of the lackies of its ruler, the forgotten king whose grave this mountain became. Cat's hold grudges stronger than any man can bear, and I, who was awoken and made powerful on resentment, refuse to swallow my pride and entreat with pig faced bastards who don't recognize my brilliance and obvious royal birth with a glance! So what if when he first met me, I was much less refined and powerful than I am now! An eye for an eye, the weakling who insults their better will"

Well he can't die, you realize the moment before you say that, so you pause for a second to consider a suitable replacement since the only means you know to truly "Kill" a ghost is devouring or banishing it. And that latter would be far too kind a fate for the smug bastard, as it'd return him to the wheel of reincarnation, and deprive you of the satisfaction of making him suffer for every mockery he's made and insult he has spoken to you

"Suffer greatly" You cackle, stalking around Ping "Besides, the deeper into the catacombs you go, the more powerful and terrifying the ghosts trapped their become. Holding court in the upper-most levels of the tomb no longer supplies me with Qi of suitable purity and density, so I must go into the dark and conqueror those lifeless lands so I can continue my cultivation without issue and sup of the potent enmity and deathly cold breath that fills those levels"

A familiar shine of greed flickers through Ping's eyes, though his expression remains solemn and quietly professional

"Perhaps this accursed arm of mine could prove useful?" Ping says with a beaming grin, cheeks raised with the joy of being presented an opportunity for personal advancement, making the white haired man look a little like a pig...pig, you'd have to ask Fu to bring you some suckling piglets from his village the next time he visits his family.

"Of course, I was planning on asking you anyways, you, after all are thus far the only one of my students to step under my ghostly shadow" You cackle and sneer, tapping your paw on the ground next to you, inviting Ping to sit at your side.

A great honor, that Lanfen and the outer disciples do not miss, though if they feel any envy, they hide it well.

"Come, my junior, and help me complete the finishing touches on these prisons" You invite, as Ping rushes to seat himself, forgetting his decorum

"I am humbled I'd be presented with such privilege as great as directly aiding the head of our resplendent sect with her cultivation, and being allowed to act as her assistant" Ping coos happily, as you guide him in creating the talismans bearing the characters of death, prison and eternity. And you soon share his joy, as you don't have to dirty your beautiful tail with ink to complete your sealing jars!
Cont
>>
>>5194079

After verifying that Ping can see or at least sense ghosts, which through you are surprised to learn that he can see vague outlines of their silhouettes and perceive their presence beyond a chill in the air, when most cultivators cannot see spirits at such a low level. Of course, unlike you, he is no prodigy who can spot them fully and clearly from their first day of cultivation!

But that is enough for him to begin his exorcist training and learn how to use that pale arm of his. Leashing the feral ghosts who wish to gnaw his bones and suck out their marrow, you lead Ping deeper into the catacombs. He insists upon wrapping several Cold protection charms around his arms and legs, as he finds the hallways and chambers of the tomb to be almost too cold to tolerate and, as you do not want to risk losing a disciple because he froze to death because of the cold produced by ghostly/ deathly Yin spiritual energy, you allow him to prepare these defenses even though it delays your spectral armies' advance into the dark.

You light the way for Ping with Mock ghost lights and eerie blood red spheres of luminescence. Oh how intimidating you must appear, cast in pale and crimson red light, with a cursed monk at your side chanting mantras and an army of ghosts at your back carrying all manner of Spirit sealing tools, from white glazed clay pots to jade jewelry boxes that Monu found for you.

And what fortune! What Luck! Xiongji's rampage has allowed you to catch the Silver clawed governor's lackies completely off guard. As the cowards were too busy hiding from the broken headed generals wrath, Ping is able to expertly ambush scores of the weaker troops, who are useless to you as their Yin Qi is weak and thin. You fell no guilt or shame as you watch their ethereal bodies break away, fading like pale blue embers in the air as their soul is forced to ascended to the afterlife. For if they were sinful, they're suffering in hell and if they were not the lowest scums of villains, they have now reincarnated and been freed from this hell of stagnancy and endless madness and suffering.

Ping's now innate technique of exorcism is curious and fascinating. It would seem the veins in his arm have been rerouted to form Magic symbols. And, when combined with prayers and incantations he learned during his time as a proper and well behaved monk of a "righteous" Sect, a natural banishing tool is created in the palm of his hand. A black sphere formed of pure Yin energy. The fact that some of the mantras Ping chants are originally Buddhist, just allows him to practice the technique and refine it more quickly than he otherwise would, as the chants enrage these wretched souls who have lurked and remained in the mortal realm for so long, they are half way to becoming devils!
Cont
>>
>>5194081

The ghosts loyal to your cause trap any spirit too fierce or monstrous for Ping to contend or hope to overcome, while the truly strong amongst the governor's forces vainly struggled to impede and redivert Xiongji's latest rampage. Wholly unaware that, for the first time in centuries, the rooster general marches with a purpose beyond mindless destruction to vent his rage. No, though he may not know it himself, Xiongji is performing a noble, heroic mission of sowing confusion and chaos in enemy lines!

Screaming, pleading and crying out for mercy, dozens of mighty ghosts and powerful phantoms are consigned to dwell within snuff boxes, cheap vases, dirtied cooking bots, and other humiliating prisons as you casually saunter through your rival's territory, allowing Ping to Train under your watchful eye and the protection of the wrathful dead who know if they harm him they will be refused admittance to your court! Quickly, the weak, meek, cowardly and ambitious serfs of Silver Claws prostrate themselves before you, Ping and your gleeful party of prison wardens who haven taken to shaking and dancing around the pots holding the comrades of their lives to mock and insult them as they impotently wail for forgiveness, mercy or otherwise curse your name and spit ferocious and crude insults to try and trick you into letting them out to flee to their master's side like the bitches they are.

Ping, having exhausted his reserves of Qi and stamina nearly thrice over, retires from the campaign to rest and recover before he beings burning away his essence and internal energy, looking almost as corpselike as the comrades he cannot fully as he retreats for the relative safety of your sect's temple.

This leaves you, outside the gate of your enemy's last bastion, with a treasure trove of shaking, rattling pots, and an army of the dead at your back in high spirits and morale. Being allowed to wage war again, has truly shaken these long dead souls from the malaise of their imprisonment and even shook a few from their insanity.

You can hear Xiongji fighting, somewhere deeper in the crypt. Judging from how you have only caught two of the silver clawed official's bodyguards, the rest of his personal guard force are either past the entrance to the chamber he has made into his throne-room, or are recovering from being mauled by your one ghost vanguard. The stone gate is locked, guarded by two silent and thankfully lifeless lion dog statues, and locked by heavy chains and several age worn paper talismans. You can hear metal claws tapping frantically on both wood and stone.

"YIN ZHAO (银 爪, Silver Claw) You debased coward! We have served you loyally in life and death for over a thousand years! We fought the madman and the cat demon! And you leave us to rot! Sealed in snuff boxes and wine bottles!" the pot you commanded to be brought and set against the gate, as an intimidation tactic, roars bitterly sounding on the verge of tears

Cont
>>
>>5194082

There is no response from within Yin Zhao's palace, as dozens of his most faithful and powerful servants cry out to him, begging him to help them, or else curse his name and denounce his rule and their faith in it, black hearts broken by his betrayal of leaving them to their fate beneath your paws, abandoning them to suffer in prisons fall smaller than the expansive network of tombs and crypts they were once free to roam.

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Decide Yin zhao and his remaining dogs are no use to you, and just leave his trapped courtiers, vassals, soldiers and generals outside of his palace, so he will remain locked within it until the end of the time, believing you are still at his door waiting for him to peek his neck out

>"Yin zhao, if you surrender now and Kow-tow four times before me nude, I'll spare you and your remaining servants further humiliation. In fact, I'll offer you an even more prestigious position in my court than you'd ever hope to reach in the forgotten king's employ! For even a footstool or comedian in my service is greater than the most applauded of his servants!"

>Break the door down with a Yin Qi blast. The fool has apparently forgotten you aren't actually a ghost. Let your army stream in, and then saunter in yourself

>Demand tribute, an apology and many other things as you wait for Ping to recover so he can banish this waste of Yin Qi from the world.

>write in

Also, the suckling pigs Huanliuxue wants Fu to get, she intends to keep at the temple to establish a breeding population and to eat them when they're adults.

Also, you know, to aid in corpse disposal
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>>5194085
>Demand tribute, an apology and many other things as you wait for Ping to recover so he can banish this waste of Yin Qi from the world.


I wonder if bones from a pig that has eaten countless human corpses might be useful for us
>>
>>5194085
>Break the door down with a Yin Qi blast. The fool has apparently forgotten you aren't actually a ghost. Let your army stream in, and then saunter in yourself
Not fighting him would be a bit lame, and personally I would rather eat him to get stronger than banishing or enslaving him.
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>>5194085
>Break down the door with a Yin blast.

We could, actually, devour this guy couodnt we? Like. . Would that still be really bad karma?
>>
>>5194093
You're right not fighting him would be lame but I was thinking that it would be good training for Ping and if we taunt the captured ghosts that their leader is free it should produce some quality grudges.

Still I can see why most will go for fighting the governor ourselves
>>
>>5194085
First
>Demand tribute, an apology and many other things as you wait for Ping to recover so he can banish this waste of Yin Qi from the world.
Once Ping is back,
>Break the door down with a Yin Qi blast. The fool has apparently forgotten you aren't actually a ghost. Let your army stream in, and then saunter in yourself

We do battle with Yin Zhao, but allow Ping to land the "killing blow".
>>
>>5194106
Eating souls could be inherently evil but it's probably fine if we eat only a very few bad ones and keep good karma overall.
We're at 4 or 5 to 0, so one would probably not make us demonic.
>>
>>5194120
I think that could be a plan. If its so, then I'm not sure we should spend the attempt on this.
But we will see. If it isnt inherently evil, let's do it. If it is, let's save it for the super potent ghosts with massive crimes.
>>
>>5194085
>Break the door down with a Yin Qi blast. The fool has apparently forgotten you aren't actually a ghost. Let your army stream in, and then saunter in yourself
>>
>>5194085
>Demand tribute, an apology and many other things as you wait for Ping to recover so he can banish this waste of Yin Qi from the world.
I'm in a contrarian mood today
>>
>>5194229
You truly are like a cat.
>>
>>5194085
>Break the door down with a Yin Qi blast. The fool has apparently forgotten you aren't actually a ghost. Let your army stream in, and then saunter in yourself
>>
>>5194085

>Demand tribute, an apology and many other things as you wait for Ping to recover so he can banish this waste of Yin Qi from the world.
initiate cat behaviour
>>
>>5194085
>Demand tribute, an apology and many other things as you wait for Ping to recover so he can banish this waste of Yin Qi from the world.
>Break down the door
Talk shit then fuck up his shit
>>
>>5194807
I will support this.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the vote now

Demand tribute, an apology and many other things as you wait for Ping to recover so he can banish this waste of Yin Qi from the world.:6
-Demand Tribute then break down the door: 3

Break the door down with a Yin Qi blast. The fool has apparently forgotten you aren't actually a ghost. Let your army stream in, and then saunter in yourself:7
-Demand Tribute then break down the door: 3

So you will simply break down the door with a blast of Yin Qi

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Staring up at the great, talisman covered gates of stone, you briefly consider mocking the spirit cowering behind them by demanding tribute from them, as a cruel joke. Playing with the sharp tongued ghost like a crippled mouse or rat, tormenting him gleefully until you grow bored with his squirming and cries and snuff out his "Life". Oh you could even extend that game of mockery and mean teasing by also commanding the proud soul to apologize to you and kiss the ground you walk on! That'd be a truly fitting punishment for the fool, who for all his bluster and all of his guards and soldiers couldn't keep his lands from falling into your hands. What little defense he was able to muster, what little resistance he offered was so pitiful you almost felt like sleeping. A smirk curls under your whiskers as a purr rumbles in your throat. Oh how many delightful and petty ways you could torment and torture Yin Zhao without so much as extending a claw, driving him mad with brazen demands and edicts spoken just outside his door as his fallen servants and trusted warriors and guard dogs cry out and curse him for their own misfortune of being so foolish as to not only serve him but stand in the way of your imperial procession.

But, as fun of a distraction as that sounds, it is a distraction. You came to take his lands, his wealth and his court because you needed grounds fertile and resplendent with high quality Yin Qi to cultivate within. His petty fief overflows with the energies of death, the air itself is so charged with ghostly essence just walking through this place reinvigorates you like a pleasant nap would! The air here is cleaner, cold and more saturated with grudges. It must be yours, to be made in a den of gravestones, bones and curses. Delaying your acquisition of such a prize of abundant Qi and servants, would be childishly foolish! You can have your fun with the silver clawed rat when he is crawling at your paws, pleading for mercy and forgiveness with his will to resist your rightful rule utterly and permanently crushed.

Why torment a mouse, when you can subjugate it completely...and then torment it when you're bored! Work comes before play! Its common sense.

And while waiting for Ping to recover from the exertion of banishing as many ghosts as he did, and dodging attacks and cursed energy who could not would allow you to get some use out of the cretin Yin Zhao, by using him as a test to measure Ping's talent as an exorcist and allow him to hone his craft on a somewhat powerful, vengeful ghost, you can always just force him to fight your disciple later. Preferably in an arena of your choosing, so you can prepare it so Yin Zhao has no chance of emerging victorious against your student who once scorned you as a heartless beast.
Cont
>>
Purring louder, you decide that watching Yin Zhao futilely struggle like a fish trying to breath air would be MUCH more entertaining than sneering and prodding him with demands and insulting him outside of his door like the haunting ghost of his widow. So, flicking your tail, you manifest a great sphere of destructive Yin energy on its tip, and wrap it in metal Qi for a little flare and show for your already excited troops and then sheathing it with a thin layer of blood Qi, solely to draw the ire of Yin Zhao and to create a destabilizing element that will turn the already explosive result of the Qi burst into a truly destructive show of force.

Then, flicking your tail forward, you fling the sphere into the stone gate.

It rotates and twists, the stone deforming beneath it as the heavy, wrought iron chain snaps in an instant. The Talismans pressed flat against the stone, burn away and are ripped apart to fill the air with embers and ash as a cracking sound resounds through the many chambers of the catacombs. A crevice forms in the stone, which rapidly expands as the Qi ball begins to collapse and crackle.

Cladding yourself in Scarlet Healing armor, you lift your head and pridefully choose to endure the blast and shower of stone shards. The lion dog statues are destroyed by the shockwave, as large slabs and chunks fall through the air like a rain of rocks, arcs of blood red lightning dancing between them as a mist as black as the coldest winter's night surrounds you, grudges flowing from the corners of your mouth as the temperature lowers sharply and begins to reek heavily of blood.

An obscuring cloud of grey white dust fills the entrance ways as the most eager of your troops, the recent converts and recruits press ganged or volunteering their service charge forward to prove their worth and loyalty to their new mistress!

"FOR HUANLIUXUE! FOR ETERNAL PEACE AND RELEASE FROM THIS HELL!" They shout, desperation creeping into their voices as they raise their arms against the governor who would deny them the tranquility, clarity of mind and relief you offer them as their benevolent princess.

You leap back, and reform your scarlet healing armor into a dying grudge shield. The moment the spectral warriors charged over the boundary, your instincts warned you of a hidden danger, and so you reacted. And sure enough, if you had been a moment slower, you would've been caught in the trap as well.

The ghosts fall suddenly, frozen as their ethereal forms begins to fade like a morning mist, reduced to the merest of ghost lights as their essence is siphoned away, leaving them with little energy to express and recreate their mortal forms as all of the Ghostly Yin Energy that made up their bodies is drained out of them and captured.

"Ah, clever, clever, you've learned from my tricks" You admire, as the dust clears and arrows covered in paper charms are revealed, the talismans now darkening to a sheer black like they had been soaked through with squid ink
>>
>>5195363

"I suppose even old, weary dogs can learn something new, if they're backed into a corner" You then muse, sniffing at the air curiously

You retract the dying grudge shield, to see Yin Zhao, dressed in the regalia of a general from his era, the uniform of the desert tribes from which the Forgotten King hailed from. His expression his fierce and his eyes are ablaze with resolve. With an iron scepter in one hand, he stands from his thrown, revealing that his legs have become great, silver taloned bird feet.

"I knew you could only prepare so many sealing jars, usurper" He sneered, eyes twinkling "And this only way to suppress a revolt of the dead and the only way to punish them for their transgression of betraying our glorious kingdom of the dead, do not dare to imply I've found inspiration from one as insipidly minded as you, I had these countermeasure in place long before you were even spat out of your mother's womb, mewling with your brothers and sisters in some refuse heap"

Your whisker twitch and your tail sways more furiously

"Charge" You command calmly, stepping aside as the rest of your army pours forward, a sea of raging, raving and howling lost souls

"MEN! SPEARS READY! ANY MAN WHO FALTERS OR TAKES A STEP BACK WILL BE BRANDED A TRAITOR" Yin Zhao cries as you casually saunter after your men.

While the governor may have prepared to be overthrown, he sacrificed most of his supporters to ready these preparations. This brawl will be brief and vicious, but it will result in no causalities as it is fought entirely amongst the dead.

You sit at the edge of the court of tombs, watching the fighting and sending arrows back at the bowmen who fired them with your trusted barrier spell, the dying grudge shield.

The grotesque ghosts, hideous shades and abnormal phantoms that manage to break away from the scuffle to try and take your head are easily dealt with, as you absorb their excess Yin energy and devour the grudges and pacify them and render them as harmless as newborn kittens. They lay about on the floor, dazed and confused by the sensation of peace and lack of agony.

Yin Zhao bravely challenges you to an honor duel, when it is clear his side has no chance of winning as your forces now vastly out number his own as most of his best warriors now lay trapped in clay pots.

You just smack him to the ground with a single paw, and drain his Deathly Yin Qi directly away from him, causing his grey gangrenous flesh to wither and wrinkle as you revel in the potency of the spiritual energy.

"Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!" He cries out bitterly, teeth clenched and chattering after you so easily crushed him and his kingdom.

Once more, your instincts drive you to react, as, in your exultations you were almost blinded by the sudden surge of Qi, as the sniveling governor begins to grow, his grey skin darkening to black as his muscle bulged and his hair grew and his teeth turned to fangs
Cont
>>
>>5195365

"BUT NOT FOR ME!" He cried out, as you noticed all of his guards have been reduced to flickering ghost lights, as he drew in all of the Yin energy he had stolen from your men with the charmed arrows and all of the energy of his own soldiers to bolster his own power.

And, your realize that this was the exact outcome he was hoping for. He thinks to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, allowing himself to be defeated so easily only to humiliate you by reversing who wins and who loses.. A brilliant and foolishly risky gambit. If you were defeated now, that would be a grave loss of face and respect

but of course you will not lose, since Yin Zhao has failed to realize that even at his most brilliant compared to your intellect he will always be a drooling moron.

Growing almost too large to fit in his throne room, he begins smashing his palms on the floor, trying to catch you with his claws. But with the size of his hands and how slow he moves now, dodging the strikes is almost boringly easy for you. Barely even a challenge.

What do you do, Huanliuxue

>Combine the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step and Enmity incarnation, Devil of the grudges, to overwhelm The bloated and giant Yin Zhao with the unmatched ferocity of Xiongji and feline rapidity! (Martial Trial. DC 40)

>Use the healing quality of Blood Qi as a weapon, wrap The giant ghoul in the strings of Ghost empress Melody, and then surround him with the Scarlet Healing Armor. Ghost are strongly Yin in nature, so perhaps their bodies react to strong Yang like living beings do to strong Yin. (Magic Trial. DC 50)

>Throw the dimensional gourd at him, and hope whatever spills out of it will end this fight (Luck trial. DC 88)

>Bluff and claim you practice the art of Húntōulěi, Soul Stealing, and will devour Yin Zhao if he doesn't cease this pointless resistance

>"SUBJUGATE THIS FOOL OF A GHASTLY GHOUL ALREADY YOU SIMPLETONS!" [Command your forces to interupt your "Duel" and swarm The huge Yin Zhao]

>Write in
>>
>>5195366
>Use the healing quality of Blood Qi as a weapon, wrap The giant ghoul in the strings of Ghost empress Melody, and then surround him with the Scarlet Healing Armor. Ghost are strongly Yin in nature, so perhaps their bodies react to strong Yang like living beings do to strong Yin. (Magic Trial. DC 50)

Succes or failure we'll learn something from it
>>
>>5195366
>Use the healing quality of Blood Qi as a weapon, wrap The giant ghoul in the strings of Ghost empress Melody, and then surround him with the Scarlet Healing Armor. Ghost are strongly Yin in nature, so perhaps their bodies react to strong Yang like living beings do to strong Yin. (Magic Trial. DC 50)
I'm curious.
>>
>>5195366
>Use the healing quality of Blood Qi as a weapon, wrap The giant ghoul in the strings of Ghost empress Melody, and then surround him with the Scarlet Healing Armor. Ghost are strongly Yin in nature, so perhaps their bodies react to strong Yang like living beings do to strong Yin. (Magic Trial. DC 50)
>>
>>5195366
>Use the healing qualities of blood.

The old pistol gambit only works if you actually possess a weapon that can hurt us.
>>
>>5195366
>Use the healing quality of Blood Qi as a weapon, wrap The giant ghoul in the strings of Ghost empress Melody, and then surround him with the Scarlet Healing Armor. Ghost are strongly Yin in nature, so perhaps their bodies react to strong Yang like living beings do to strong Yin. (Magic Trial. DC 50)
Zhao has balls, I'll give him that. He could be a valuable asset, if we go full ruler of the dead.
I doubt he would ever accept serving us, but oh well.

>"Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!"
>"BUT NOT FOR ME!"
This cheeky fucker.
My sides
>>
>>5195366
>Use the healing quality of Blood Qi as a weapon, wrap The giant ghoul in the strings of Ghost empress Melody, and then surround him with the Scarlet Healing Armor. Ghost are strongly Yin in nature, so perhaps their bodies react to strong Yang like living beings do to strong Yin. (Magic Trial. DC 50)
>>
>>5195366
>Combine the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step and Enmity incarnation, Devil of the grudges, to overwhelm The bloated and giant Yin Zhao with the unmatched ferocity of Xiongji and feline rapidity! (Martial Trial. DC 40)
it's a good thing we skipped the trash talk, that guy is a pro shit talker, if this was Epic rap battles of history he would shred us!
>>
>>5195366
>>Combine the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step and Enmity incarnation, Devil of the grudges, to overwhelm The bloated and giant Yin Zhao with the unmatched ferocity of Xiongji and feline rapidity! (Martial Trial. DC 40)
Also use the speed-enhancing blood honey derivative we can create from our blood
>>
wait a minute, can we use devil of grudges to use HIS grudge against him and become swole as well? Oh the sweet irony!
>>
>>5195366
>Use the healing quality of Blood Qi as a weapon, wrap The giant ghoul in the strings of Ghost empress Melody, and then surround him with the Scarlet Healing Armor. Ghost are strongly Yin in nature, so perhaps their bodies react to strong Yang like living beings do to strong Yin. (Magic Trial. DC 50)
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

Use the healing quality of Blood Qi as a weapon, wrap The giant ghoul in the strings of Ghost empress Melody, and then surround him with the Scarlet Healing Armor. Ghost are strongly Yin in nature, so perhaps their bodies react to strong Yang like living beings do to strong Yin.:7

Combine the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step and Enmity incarnation, Devil of the grudges, to overwhelm The bloated and giant Yin Zhao with the unmatched ferocity of Xiongji and feline rapidity! : 2
- Also use a Divine Blood Honey Medicine: 1

So You will try to bind Yin Zhao with ethereal strings and surround him with a Scarlet Healing Armor in an attempt to poison/ overwhelm him with strong Yang energies.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
However, the effort to avoid being smashed against the floor and crushed beneath the giant ghoul's palm becomes minutely more difficult when you call Ghost Empress melody by your side and attempt to try to play it while running from the shadows cast by Yin Zhao's now giant hands. That his palm strikes have began to break the floor, scattering broken, razor edge tiles and unbalance slabs of stone across it only increases the, still minor, challenge of avoiding being squished beneath the ghosts oversized and bloated fingers. His silver claws gouge deep grooves through the floor, batting aside marble pillars and caskets alike as you weave and bolt from beneath them the moment before they strike the ground. The sound of his slaps and strikes causes the whole of the throne room to tremble and shake from the sound of his palms impacting against the stone. It sounds like the drum beat of a thunder god summoning a storm! But, trying to catch a cat by its tail is no easy feet, even for a giant, so Yin Zhao continues to tantrum and flail without so much as striking you.

'But his fortunes may change once I begin playing' You admit to yourself, as you leap from a pillar as it tilts forward, kick off a half collapsed pillar and run between the ghoul's legs as he gets down on his hands and knees, trying to grab hold of and squish you before tumbling and rolling onto his back in an effort to crush you beneath it! And he might just have succeeded, if you did not possess the Specter Lightness skill. Rushing forward, you retreat up the stairs leading to his thrown as the ghosts aligned to your cause shower you with cheers and exclamations of praise and confidence, while sneering and pestering the now prone Yin Zhao with scathing insults, jeers and boos. He kicks his legs, rolling over onto his side as you sit down and hurriedly play a familiar, jaunty tune. Working quickly with your claws, you strum and pluck Ghost Empress Melody's strings, summoning forth its ghostly strings as your foe rises to his knees, pressing one hand to the roof of the chamber before turning to face you.

His eyes have become completely black. He bares his yellowed teeth at you and balls his hand into a fist as he is surrounded by a flock of ethereal strings as you play your guqin even faster, rushing to reach the end of the song before the ghoul can recover. Catching a string in your claw, you run your paw down its length, lifting the instrument into the air as the strings surround Yin Zhao and begin to coil around his arms and legs.

Slamming it down, you lead into the final notes of your song, as with your whiskers and ears you begin to cast a protection spell. But rather than using it as a shield, as it was intended, you decide to turn the Scarlet Healing armor into a spear.

Excess Yin energy can weaken and even kill living creatures, especially if the Qi comes from corpses or ghosts. Ghosts are strongly aligned to and made of Yin.
Cont
>>
>>5196036

So, you reason, that perhaps Yang and the spiritual energy of life itself will have a similar effect. And if the Qi is drawn from the embodiment of life itself, blood, than perhaps it will be as potent as the Yin from phantoms and rotting corpses!


Roll 1d100. DC 50. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 99 (1d100)

>>5196036
>>
Rolled 18 (1d100)

>>5196037

>>5196039
oh. Well watch this hundo
>>
Rolled 28 (1d100)

>>5196037
>>
>>5196039
40 over DC and just under being 50 and twice the DC. Incredible Success

Update will arrive shortly
>>
The ghostly strings tighten around not only Yin Zhao's limbs but his neck and torso. Then they burrow under his black skin, working into him like hooks and needles as, like snakes, they wrap and coil around the entirerty of his body. In instant, his fist that was rocketing towards you with all the fury of a falling comet and all the speed of one as well, stops, trembling in the air as black blood spills from his wounds as Ghost Empress Melody dig's its claws deeper into his flesh and constricts his bones, spreading through him like a network of roots. But, he does not react to the agonizing pain he must be feeling, rather, he merely turns his pits of eyes towards you, the swirling shadows within them looking through you as he narrows them and gnashes his fangs. The muscles in his rail thin arm twitch, his back tenses and he struggles, pulling his arm back against the tethers holding it aloft and snaking through it to latch firmly to the joints of his bone.

His defiant glare slacks, as he loses his composure and reveals just how deep the pain he feels truly is. His eyes water, his long mustache and lip under it twitches, his nose sniffles and his brow slacks as he slaps his other hand to the ground, snapping a few strings as he tries to muster the will and fortitude to continue his resistance. Inch by inch, he pulls his massive fist back, racing against your playing to land a decisive blow before you fully entrap him in your melodic web. He can't move quick enough, he lost his chance when he allowed you to transfix the strings to his bones and weave them under his skin. If he gave up trying to hit you with his fist, he could tear away the strings or break them through struggling. They are after all, rather fragile.

Which is why you have wrapped him with hundreds of them, to ensure he cannot escape them all or loosen their combined grip around him. You begin to puppet him, lifting him up and forcing him to splay out his arms and legs, stretch out his fingers and make a very silly smile as you slowly, ever so ponderously manifest the Scarlet Healing armor, scale by scale, over his body.

Piece by piece, the blood red barriers link together, slithering under his armor and his robes, shining as bright as the setting sun as tears drip down from Yin Zhao's cheeks, as his jaw his wired shut and all he can do to show his resistance is snort and growl at you.

The scales of the barrier spell form tightly and snugly against him, and then with a wickedly sadistic smile, you begin to pour more Blood Qi through them, creating "Healing Pulses" of Pure Lifeforce. The air fills with the scent of blood, and the throne room is lit with carmine light.

Yin Zhao gasps, eyes bulging, as a healthy pallor returns to his withered, black skin, before he begins to shriek. His screams of pain are muffled by his tightly clenched maw, which makes him sound like a cow bellowing rather than a man.
Cont
>>
>>5196063

He begins to shrink, the strings tying him up slacking as the Ghostly Qi he gorged himself up is counteracted by the Blood Qi now forced into his Ethereal body. His limbs recede, his skin turns from black to grey, with splotches of red joining the green gangrenous molting covering his rotting hide. His fangs narrowed and dulled into fangs, and his long flowing hair began to fall out and float through the air like whisps of smoke.

He fell to the ground, collapsing into a heap as you deprived him of his stolen strength and sickened him with life. One of his hands shout out, and found an arrow wrapped with Qi absorbing talismans. He rose before you could react, charging you holding the arrow like a dagger. A dagger aimed directly at your throat.

But he had no chance of landing a blow, you simply create a dying grudge shield, and watch him struggle against it. His legs shake and buckle, the arms on his skin hangs and sags. He somehow looks more corpse-like than before. You wait for the moment he'll be sent flying back, as the energy of his lunge is multiplied and turned back against him.

He lets go of the arrow the moment it happens, and throws himself to the ground as it is launched back out of the throne room. The momentary shock is just long enough for him to scurry under the Barrier spell, silver fingerguards lifted like claws as he tries to continue his assault. However, the moment the sense of surprise fades, you whack him across the jaw with Ghost Empress Melody, and send him sprawling on the floor.

And as you saunter up to his prone body, he is still trying to struggle to get back onto his feet and attack you! Like a rabid dog! You underestimated Yin Zhao's force of will! He's been beaten at every turn, yet he refuses to relent and admit defeat.

Its almost admirable.

What do you do Huanliuxue?

>Impressed by his resolved and ferocity, offer him a place in your court

>Reprimand him, and tell him that he should've used the Qi he stole from his underlings more cleverly, rather than using it to grow stronger and larger.

>Mock him, immitating his own manner, before sealing him in a pot and sitting on his throne and demanding his remaining soldiers to stand down. Claim his domain as your own, and interview each of his trapped servants and ask if they'd like to serve you

>Press a paw on his chest, and threaten to devour him if he doesn't prostrate himself before you and publicly hand over his lands and office to you

>write in
>>
>>5196064
>Sealing him in a pot, so you can decide to either have Ping banish him or personally drag him to the underworld once you know more of his character other than his hubris. Than sit on his throne and demand his remaining soldiers to stand down. Claim his domain as your own, and interview each of his trapped servants and ask if they'd like to serve you
Huan will not degrade herself to childishly imitate a lesser for no reason other than insult.
>>
>>5196064
>Mock him, immitating his own manner, before sealing him in a pot and sitting on his throne and demanding his remaining soldiers to stand down. Claim his domain as your own, and interview each of his trapped servants and ask if they'd like to serve you
We probably can use him to train Ping later if we want to.
>>
>>5196064
>Impressed by his resolved and ferocity, offer him a place in your court
I doubt he will accept, but subordinates with a spine that stiff are rare.
I suspect absorbing his grudges will go a long way to pacifying him, and if he tries to pull something later we can always seal/exorcise him.
>>
>>5196064
>>5196065 +1
>>
>>5196065
>Support.
Then when he is done.

>Praise his resolve and will to serve his master as an example to our followers. But make his fate an example to his followers.
>>
>>5196064
>Mock him, immitating his own manner, before sealing him in a pot and sitting on his throne and demanding his remaining soldiers to stand down. Claim his domain as your own, and interview each of his trapped servants and ask if they'd like to serve you
>>
>>5196064
>>Reprimand him, and tell him that he should've used the Qi he stole from his underlings more cleverly, rather than using it to grow stronger and larger.
He is a singleminded brute, and moreover a wasteful one
>>
>>5196064
>>Mock him, immitating his own manner, before sealing him in a pot and sitting on his throne and demanding his remaining soldiers to stand down. Claim his domain as your own, and interview each of his trapped servants and ask if they'd like to serve you
He ewould be a capable servant, but we shouldnt trust this trickster. Sealing him is the next best use of him.
>>
>>5196065
+1
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the result. Late cause I wasn't feeling well today

Sealing him in a pot, so you can decide to either have Ping banish him or personally drag him to the underworld once you know more of his character other than his hubris. Than sit on his throne and demand his remaining soldiers to stand down. Claim his domain as your own, and interview each of his trapped servants and ask if they'd like to serve you:7
-Also mock Yin Zhao by imitating his mannerisms: 3

Impressed by his resolved and ferocity, offer him a place in your court:1

Praise his resolve and will to serve his master as an example to our followers. But make his fate an example to his followers.:1

Reprimand him, and tell him that he should've used the Qi he stole from his underlings more cleverly, rather than using it to grow stronger and larger.: 1

Alright, so you will seal Yin zhao in a pot so you can decide what to do with him later

Then take his throne and domain as you own and interview each of his trapped servants and offer them a chance to enter into your service

Update will arrive shortly, sorry for the delay
>>
Lifting your head, you motion for the last container you prepared to be brought forward. It looks no different than any of the other clay pots or lacquered boxes or rusty pieces of cookware you wrapped with string. Bought from a river side merchant, with white glaze dripping from its lip and coating its inside, the crazing and crackles of which is now filled with the mystical ointment composed of grave dirt, bone ash and blood. The makers mark is proudly stamped on its face, which is why you were able to buy so many of them so cheaply. The pride he took in his work, which is off admittedly middling quality, vastly lowered its worth! And when one is in need of many pots, one should look for any discounts they can find. Your disciples only have so much money after all.

Yin Zhao's grey black eyes lock on the pot, as it is rocked into the wrecked throne room. His weakened guarded, drained of their essence and power, flee into the corners of the room as the wails of their defeated compatriots raise to fill the chamber like thunder. But, their master, though similarly diminished and pressed under your paw and its claws, does not quietly bow his head and admit defeat or surrender with dignity in grace. No, he does something you must regrettably admire. With one withered, bone thin hand, he grabs hold of your paw, gripping it just under your carpal pad. Then, he sneers, eyes glinting with malice and a grim resolve as his blocked dotted teeth peek from his thin, decay worn lips. His long, thin mustache lifts as he begins to cackle and laugh, as if you were the one beneath his heel. You tilt your head, confused Xiongji bodily kicks and throws the pot bearers away, to grab hold of it by its lid and carry it with one hand, gently setting it just before Zhao's head. And it is obvious he wished to do nothing more than to smash it upon the ghoul's brow and crush his skull.

"Savor your victory parade, brat" Zhao sneered, grinning wickedly ear to ear "For your rule shall not last, when word of my subjugation reaches the depths of this tomb, and spreads through its courts, my lord shall avenge me and free me from this prison. Then it shall be Zhao who looks down upon you! as you are dragged to the cage you deserve! Beast! Animal! Wretch! Usurper! Fake! Pale imitation of the true dead! Your mockery of us will end in you joining us here, in the realm you sought to conquer, not as its ruler but as a fellow prisoner in this accursed grave!"

"If only your skill matched the intensity of your inner fire, Zhao" you coldly reply, squinting and smiling as you hop off the defeated spirit and unsheathe your claws "But alas, it seems all who challenge me are either Willful or Talented, but never both. Xiongji, step back please"

"A trinket like this could not hold me, honored guest" The mad general boasts, so you let him test his mettle. Breaking the seal on the pot, a whirlwind escapes it and begins to pull in Zhao.
Cont
>>
>>5197858

And like Xiongji so boldly proclaimed, the gale is not strong enough to pull him in with your once rival. He stands, arms crossed, one hand gripped around the iron lid of the pot, waiting for Zhao to cease his struggling and be pulled completely into his cage.

As the ghoulish silver clawed governor is dragged into his prison snarling and snapping, you trot elegantly up to his thrown and pull yourself atop it. After some adjustments and circling, you find a way to fit yourself on it comfortably and look over the destroyed court-room serenely as the remaining servants and soldiers of Zhao's reign slowly begin to regain their form and manifest between the wrecked pillars and braziers.

"What a dump this is!" You bark, shaking your head before laughing uproariously, relishing in your triumph as you turn your gaze over to the soldiers who still possess enough energy to fight in the name of their bested leader "My first command will be to repair these needless damages and refurbish the whole palace! Now, if you would drop your spears and your swords and bow before your new princess"

They oblige your demand without issue or complaint, probably because you just made turning over their trump card seem as easy as flicking your tail! With a smug smirk painted on your face, you watch the ghosts in whatever shape they take file before you and kneel before you. Well those with knees kneel down, most just make a show of prostrating themselves or bobbing down to try and appear like the floating lights they've been forced to become are bowing. But that does not lessen your satisfaction.

Those with voices and power enough to raise them, speak your praises and compliment your battle prowess and cunning. A few, most sniveling souls, mutter that had they been given the time they would have turned their coats and opened the door for you and your forces.

Already a number of them are vying for positions in the court left empty by the subjugation of their betters, and it brings you a strange sense of joy watching these ambitious men's expression fall and fill with despair as you have the prisons containing the ghosts who hold the positions they aimed for brought before you. Interviewing them personally, one by one, you offer each of the trapped ghosts a chance to be freed so they can serve you directly rather than as fuel for your cultivation or to serve as a material for the creation of artifacts and magical tools.

Most, furious that Yin Zhao hid away rather than rally to rescue them from your clutches, accept the offer of subservience and so return to the positions they once held, returned to their stations while the lord who forsook them remains in the gutter.

But a few are more stubborn or loyal to the king who Zhao ruled beneath and refuse the request utterly and without remorse. So you have them set in the corner, propped up against the wall and surrounding the pot in which Zhao is trapped.
Cont
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>>5197859

Then, you send messengers to run to the furthest reaches of your new domain to spread the word of the fall of Zhao and that a new power ruled in his stead

Xiongji generously offered to carry the message himself, but despite the rooster general's enthusiasm, you turned down his offer as it would poorly reflect on the new regime if the messenger they sent cut off the heads of those he was sent to speak to.

What do you do now that you have taken Zhao's realm as your own, Huanliuxue? two actions can be taken

>Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources

>Return to your temple to check on the progress of your disciples and the construction of your sect's first school and learn both long you've been in the catacombs and if anything interesting is happening the mortal realm

>In an effort to gain legitimacy in the kingdom of the accursed dead, reach out to the ruler of the next lower level and send a request all the way to the bottom that you be officialy instated and accepted as Zhao's replacement.

>Look over all of your treasures, earthly wealth and wealth and decide that something must be done with some portions of it, rather than leaving them to gather dust [Choice of crafting, trading or refining resources]

>write in

Sorry again for my lateness

Also still trying to find the time to sit down and make that pastebin/ google doc for Huanliuxue's techniques.

Also like a week ago, one of you asked what the difference was between longevity and endurance and I just now realized I forgot to answer that.

Longevity is lifespan, Endurance is Defense/ Stamina.

So practitioners of the Pine Warden Records would live longer than other cultivators, while those who follow the Mountain shattering hammer would be harder to kill.
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>>5197862
>Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources
>Return to your temple to check on the progress of your disciples and the construction of your sect's first school and learn both long you've been in the catacombs and if anything interesting is happening the mortal realm
We wanted a new better cultivation chamber to progress past our current bottleneck and checking on our disciples would be good.
Personally I don't really care about legitimancy because we will probably conquer the rest of the catatombs to grow stronger and I don't feel like crafting something unless we specifically need something right now.
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>>5197862
>Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources
>Return to your temple to check on the progress of your disciples and the construction of your sect's first school and learn both long you've been in the catacombs and if anything interesting is happening the mortal realm
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>>5197862
>Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources
>In an effort to gain legitimacy in the kingdom of the accursed dead, reach out to the ruler of the next lower level and send a request all the way to the bottom that you be officialy instated and accepted as Zhao's replacement.
You know what I feel like we should trust our mom to keep a lid on things while we are gone and try not to be TOO obvious about wanting to usurp their throne...you know take things one step at a time. Lull them into a false sense of security. Maybe find some potential allies and turncoats.
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>>5197862

>Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources

>Look over all of your treasures, earthly wealth and wealth and decide that something must be done with some portions of it, rather than leaving them to gather dust [Choice of crafting, trading or refining resources]
>>
>>5197862
>Remain within to organise repairs
>Return to our temple for a report.
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>>5197862
>Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources
If we are going to rule over the dead down here, we might as well take it seriously. We will go back to the surface eventually, better get it out of the way now.
>Return to your temple to check on the progress of your disciples and the construction of your sect's first school and learn both long you've been in the catacombs and if anything interesting is happening the mortal realm
Keeping an eye on the surface is a good idea. Besides, I'm not sure the rulers below us will care much for our request to replace Zhao.
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>>5197862
>Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources
>Look over all of your treasures, earthly wealth and wealth and decide that something must be done with some portions of it, rather than leaving them to gather dust [Choice of crafting, trading or refining resources]
>>
>>5197862
>Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources
>In an effort to gain legitimacy in the kingdom of the accursed dead, reach out to the ruler of the next lower level and send a request all the way to the bottom that you be officialy instated and accepted as Zhao's replacement.
I just think Huanliuxue getting into the kingdom of the dead's internal politics will be a fun arc and a good contrast to her adventures outside among the living sects
>>
Apologizes for being as slow as fucking molasse the last few days. Been sick as a dog. But I seem to have slept it off now.

Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

Remain within it, overseeing the repairs of the throne room and preparation of a proper cultivation chamber. Explore the lands you rule and take a censuses of its population and resources: 8

Return to your temple to check on the progress of your disciples and the construction of your sect's first school and learn both long you've been in the catacombs and if anything interesting is happening the mortal realm:4

In an effort to gain legitimacy in the kingdom of the accursed dead, reach out to the ruler of the next lower level and send a request all the way to the bottom that you be officially instated and accepted as Zhao's replacement.:2

Look over all of your treasures, earthly wealth and wealth and decide that something must be done with some portions of it, rather than leaving them to gather dust: 2

So you will oversee the repairs to your new throne room and the preparations for a proper cultivation chamber while also exploring the graves you control and taking a censuses of its population and resources

Before returning to your temple to check on the progress of your disciples and your school's numerous constructions, and learn how long you've been amongst the dead and if anything interesting has happened since you've been gone

Update will arrive shortly
>>
You remain in your new palace, listening to the songs of your "Caged birds" as you allow time for word to spread across all corners of your kingdom of stone and memories that it is now your property and its inhabitants are now required to pay homage and tithes to you rather than the idle ghoul that once ruled over them. As the dead have no need to rest, the task of informing your new subjects of the change of the status quo and the intent of their new, far more fair ruler takes no time at all. And there was no resistance met by any of your spectral heralds or phantom messengers. Seems all of the supporters of the old regime are locked tightly and securely in the pots, serving as a grim and gloomy choir to fill your throne room with their cries and curses. A terrifying band of musicians to be sure, but their solemn notes and sorrowful melodies seem to soothe your courtier's gnawing sense of madness and wrath. You only wish Yin Zhao would join their song, rather than languishing in stubborn silence. His despairing voice was after all, the one you wished to hear the most.

After being forced to have audience with the various lackies, officials, and vassals of your new domain, a tiring process that mostly consists of the monstrous and fierce ghosts vying for your favor or repeating oaths of loyalty before stomping off to return to their tombs. Indeed many of them greet you as a friend having already experienced the tranquility and comforts of your court. Most of Zhao's petty kingdom seems rather pleased that you have taken his position, power and responsibility, if only because they had experienced the euphoria of your "Predation" before or hope you can control Xiongji's endless rampages and tantrums. So, gathering the scholars of the lands, you give them the task of rebuilding your throne room and expanding your palace and its defense. You oversee their efforts, and correct their assumptions when they present you with plans for the construction itself. Denying them the glory of designing their new lieges palace, you make them follow the sketches and schematics you have scratched into the largest slab of the rubble left in your throne room and then linger close behind them, judging and guiding their every action to ensure they meet your expectations and create the grand palace you desire.

The work for the cultivation chamber is more taxing and tiresome, as while the dead foreman and laborers understand the concept of a throne room, only the most learned of the scholars truly comprehend what you're asking of them.

You quickly tire of supervising and managing such grueling work, and leave the old scholar who lead you to the library guarded by the divinely imbued stone puppets to direct the creation of your first proper cultivation chamber and leave to learn of the realm you now control, administer and most importantly protect from those ghosts whose minds have faded to naught but dust and hunger.
cont
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>>5199797

Your innate curiosity leads you to explore the chambers, tunnels, and wild, disrepaired expanses of your kingdom of the lost and damned. You meet many a spirit who have forgotten nearly all of their mortal existences, living an existence close to rice farmers picking through old bones to gather teeth and excavating and burying chambers seemingly at random. Their ignorance has made them far more peaceful than those who seethe and stew in the grudges born of their life and sudden death, like Xiongji. You meet maddened spirits and feral ghouls, chained to their skulls to act as guard dogs for vaults, private estates and gambling dens. It is strange to see how the kingdom of cursed ghosts in someway reflects the cities of their living counterparts, truly mankind are queer creatures to be able to so easily shrug their shoulders and continue on as if nothing had happened after they had died. Among the moldering bones, gathering dust and the lunatic spirits, you find hidden in the unlit tombs and buried beneath the unmarked graves genial and polite souls. The ignorant and innocent few, who have lost so much of themselves as to be released from the burdens of resentment while also not losing so much of their memories to degenerate into snarling, man eating beasts.

And they're all to happy to learn of you, just like their much more common, half maddened and grudge consumed counterparts. Their ghostly bodies lack Qi, and you fear if you draw what little they have within themselves, they will pass on as they lose what little enmity keeps them bound in this realm of old bones and older grudges. Despite being useless for their cultivation, they do prove worthy subjects as they inform you of hermit spirits and hidden chambers keeping more potent and powerful ghosts within them who, for some reason or another, refused to bow to Yin Zhao or simply sought solitude in an attempt to relieve the sorrow and pain of their demise and cursed existence in this timeless prison.

You decide to have a censuses taken, so you can know exactly how many ghosts live under your most benevolent rule and if there exists any wealth of resources you can exploit. The currency of the dead of the forgotten king's army seems to either taken the form of coins carved from their own bones or teeth plucked from their old skulls, but you are certain there is more to be found than bleached bones and rotten teeth. After all, Yin Zhao and his favored underlings wore finery and dressed themselves in sparkling jewels. You make sure Xiongji is out of your palace, when you ask this of your officials, knowing that anything they say will lead to the mad general destroying all of your hardwork, wrecking your palace worse than your "battle' against Yin Zhao did.

They blither and make excuses, trying to dissuade you from devoting manpower to such a "Petty trifle".
Cont
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>>5199799

But they soon understand you won't budge or listen to their foolish council to ignore some of your subjects because they are "Worthless" "half mad" "Simpletons" or "Lady Huanliuxue, you conquered this land for more powerful subjects, surely instead of counting each soul trapped within your domain by the will of the heavens it would be more shrewd to secure the favor and eternal loyalty of the powerful so you may freely feed from their breath". Realizing you are a very different breed of ruler than Yin Zhao, they beg forgiveness and bang their heads on the floor as they scurry away to carry out your commands and begin the long process of counting every ghost of your court and beyond it, as well as mapping out the dangerous "Wilderness" of your kingdom. Which, unless they find more contemptible stone puppets, shouldn't be all that dangerous, as your daily meditation and breathing exercises have already rendered even the most quarrelsome of phantoms languid and peaceable!

And it is then, sitting on your new throne, a cushion threaded with bone needles and long strings of black hair, you realize there is little else you can do at the moment besides watch the reconstruction of your palace and observe the erection of your cultivation chamber. You've already earned the loyalty of your subjects, ensured their would be no revolts or attempts to free your conquered foes, and with your power and support base already strong and fortified from your history generosity and kindness, there is little else for you to do besides sit around and listen to prattling and complaints of spoilt spirits and annoying, lesser nobility.

So informing your advisors, the carefree general and old scholar, that you would be returning to the living world and to gather a list of complaints and requests from your peasantry and higher subjects, particularly the generals, tacticians and officials that hold high positions within your court and the surprisingly vast bureaucracy of the confined kingdoms of the victims of the bloodless war, so they would not become restless or insulted by your absence and you could solve any issues or quanderies they had when you returned from the surface.

But first, your departure was met with a ceremony and parade of skeletons who had replaced their incisors with fangs of stone and iron. And so, with much pomp and admiration, you were escorted to the demon's head gate. It was an awkward experience, having the ghosts you scarcely knew and who were not long ago your enemy, making a show of weeping and clinging to your legs, begging you not to go and swearing they would not allow any brigands or villains with greedy hearts to despoil your kingdom or her people.

You endured this mock grieving, knowing it was only proper etiquette and a means to show their submission and loyalty to you. What a hellish sight it must've been.
Cont
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>>5199800

Hungry ghosts kissing the ground a demonic cat walked upon as the ghoulish entourage, each more inhuman and monstrous looking than the last, wailed and cried like she were a beloved princess leaving on a years long voyage. And while it was awkward at first, by time you left through the hole in the gate, you felt the warmth of their adoration and respect flow into you, easing and washing out the chill of the graves as you returned to your temple.

"Lady Huanliuxue!" Fu cries out, bearing a few new scars as he spots you cleaning the cobwebs and dust from your lustrous fur "You've returned from your closed door cultivation at last! I can only imagine the insights you have reached in the still gloom of the catacombs"

There was a loud bang from behind you, causing Fu's once peers to scatter, which made you realize that the number of your outer disciples had swelled somewhat or that someone had brought guests to your sanctuary. You glanced over your shoulder and frowned. Fu didn't budge, and remained kneeling before you, eyes sharp and focused on the gate as dust fell from it and the wood cracked.

"Fear not, that is not the footstep of an approaching demon but rather a disagreement between two of my ghostly servants" You cheerfully proclaim, allowing young Fu to relax knowing he would not need to fight some terrifying undead opponent. A second, louder bang then resounded through the mystically sealed gate, followed shortly by a wail of pain.

Fu lifted his eyes suspiciously, as Ping, still looking haggard from his battles in the catacombs proper, Feiqing, Qiang and Hong approached you, after hearing Fu shout your name. Monu pushed them aside, dressed in a long ruffled dress of silk dyed in many shades of purple, a foreign style you've seen in a few pictures. But, it was decorated with all manners of flowers and insects, all of them deadly poisonous.

Your mother embraced you tightly

"Oh Huanliuxue! Your beautiful fur has been sullied with dust again" She cried out dramatically, grinning as the scent of opium mingled with the grave fragrances that had deeply soaked into your fur "You! Run your sect master a bath! Heat the special spring water and if I catch you sneaking a sip, I'll have your tongue! Oooh but I'm so glad you've returned to us safely once more!"

She kneeled down, her toxic green eyes gleaming

"And what is this I hear of ghostly servants? Have the dead recognized your splendor as the living have?" She coos, and that is when you smell the liquor on her breath, beneath the smoke and familiar aroma of toxic elixirs

"How long have I begin gone? Exactly?" You ask, amused by your honored, wise and deeply admired mother's drunken antics

Feiqing snorts.

"Its spring again" He says simply as you feel a familiar sense of dread
Cont
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>>5199801

"Another year?! Another year spent in the comforting grasps of death and the peace of the deceased!? that cannot be" You gasp, causing every gathered cultivator to turn away, lips tightly pursed and closed, trying to avoid giving you bad news

"Try two or was it three?" Monu giggles, hanging on you and playing with your fur "Remember what I told you? A year of cultivation will seem short one day, but look on the bright side! While you were closed off from the world, we've almost finished constructing our temple!"

"Guuuh" you groans, eyes bulging before you compose yourself "And yes, I remember when you did"

"It isn't surprising you wouldn't notice, I don't look to have aged a day since I began my training!" Lanfen happily chirps, bouncing between her feet

"Even we haven't felt ourselves grow much older!" One of the martial artists cry out happily "And our wounds heal faster to"

"The blessings of Qi!" Monu cackles happily, cheeks bright red "I might not look it, but I'm centuries old!"

You frown, and try to carry your drunk mother to her chamber, so you can care for her while also seeing how your temple has changed. And indeed you were amazed by how quickly the refinement of your sect's grounds were carried out, it was truly a worthy seat of power. But not only that, it was luxurious in its comforts and beauty. Realizing that a year, or two or three was not enough time to turn your fur grey worrying over, you instead decided to bask in the cold, graveside air of your grotto, as your disciples excitedly told you of their progress and development, while Monu drunkenly played with your ears, pressing them down and and stretching them as you tried to listen to the news brought to you by your students.

Feiqing has achieved rank 6 of the Qi Condensation stage after drinking a portion of the cup of miraculous spring water and has reached a bottleneck before the late stage of Qi Condensation, Ping has achieved rank 5 of Qi condensation after drinking a portion of his cup of miraculous spring water and has fully acclimated to his "Cursed arm" and is half a step to rank 6, Fu, Hong, and Qiang have reached rank 3 condensation and can progress no further without following a proper cultivation method/ law. Liu has achieved rank 2 of Qi condensation.

Lanfen remains at rank 1, Monu has made no progress further in core formation, Lei's spritual roots remain shrouded.

Feiqing has made an artifact out of Old Crooked Fang's core. Ping still possess the Beast core of the toad king and has established solid foundations for his own self taught art of exorcism, due to the practice you allowed him in the catacombs just prior to your return


With Monu in her bed, loudly snoring, you bless your students by sharing a meal with them and listen to what they've been up to for their two or three years of training while you remained in the company of ghosts.
Cont
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It would seem that the mortal realm is in chaos. That the war between the Chuan and Ling has continued and expanded to the provinces surrounding the Ling lands as they seek allies to save them from their just retribution and that the rest of the empire is in similar turmoil and has been for...well longer than you've been alive! You were aware there were wars, but you were not aware there has been a single, civil war raging for nearly five years now! And that word had spread that certain sages had foretold these wars would last two generations and drown the kingdom in blood! But only now had it become obvious to even the ignorant peasants that gossip in the bars of Fu's village, that the Celestial Empire will not regain control and will only descend into further anarchy.

That the wars that have consumed the land since you were a kitten has worsened and spread like wildfire, concerns you little, as the Ling are, at least, still being beaten soundly by the Chuan and none of the factions aiming for the imperial throne have dared trespass in the lands protected by a "Divine spirit beast".

More concerning is the more locale happenings

"A cult has been troubling my people for sometime, and has began to spread. They terrorize the country side and have depopulated whole villages" Fu angrily explains, when you question him of the new scars he wears "Worse yet, Our honored grandmother refuses to let us interfere"

"Why would Monu do such a thing?' You asks suspiciously "You have the power to protect the people from such wicked villains, so why keep you at bay? Why forbid you for acting righteously and heroically"

"Our old sect and another, stronger sect have entered into a conflict after a misunderstanding" Ping explained sourly "The five young masters you slew deaths were blamed on the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect, and so the Guardians of the celestial sunlight have been calling on their toadies and underlings to bully and harass them, while they blame the Guardians of celestial sunlight for the disappearances of many of their students. Add in the emergence of several monsters and calamities, and now the sects of the Chuan and Ling are at each other's throats like their mortal counterparts are, alliances and oaths are being called upon and so"

"Monu fears a heavenly war is on the horizon, and it is doubtless their are agents and cultivators lurking on the roads, temples and inns looking for signs of infiltrators" You exasperatedly explain, realizing exactly why Fu, Hong, Qiang, Liu and Lanfen have been kept from pulling out the troublesome, murderous cult by its roots "And a pack of unknown cultivators would seem like the enemy making the first move. My my, when I sleep it seems the world is consumed by discord and madness"

"So it does, Lady Huanliuxue" Feiqing solemnly states, keeping his forehead to the ground "And I have heard rumors of a magical beast, or several, entering into the chuan region! And I am certain I was not mistaken for one"
Cont
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>>5199804

"Like you were by the idiots of my old sect?' Ping cackles "But yes, there have been festivals in Suiqi and other cities begging for divine intervention against the "Haunting" of the Demonic beasts"

"Oh and Yuyi has become a renowned doctor and found herself a handsome man!" Lanfen airily adds, perhaps not understanding the severity of the discussion you were having with her betters. You sigh and smile

"Good for her" You chirp "I may need to visit her soon, I am rather fond of the girl"

"Oh she's very happy she hasn't been made to act as your coat again, whatever that means!" Lanfen cheerfully, and nonchalantly exclaims

Ping winces, and grips her shoulder tightly as you look at her sternly, wondering how she could be born so dense.

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>You have more important things to focus on, take the hunk of Star jade and your other valuable materials into the catacombs and use them in your cultivation chamber

>Decide the cult is too dangerous to leave alone, and declare that you and your disciples shall deal with it and free the lands from their reign of terror! Against Monu's cautions [Good Karma]

>Feeling your grudge against the heavens growing, decide to interfere in and take advantage of the conflict between the sects of Winter blossoming Wisdom and Guardians of Celestial sunlight.

>Investigate the stories of new Demonic/ Magical beasts moving into the Chuan region. Perhaps they could be your disciples? Or else serve as stepping stones for your first disciples?


>write in
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>>5199806
>Investigate the stories of new Demonic/ Magical beasts moving into the Chuan region. Perhaps they could be your disciples? Or else serve as stepping stones for your first disciples?


I also think we should looking into that Gu idea with some the captured spirits, to see if it results ins in a stronger spirit/grudge. Better not use it on all them but maybe try it with the two weakest.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gu_(poison)
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>>5199806
>Investigate the stories of new Demonic/ Magical beasts moving into the Chuan region. Perhaps they could be your disciples? Or else serve as stepping stones for your first disciples?
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>>5199806
>Investigate these tails of magical beasts, pun intended.

We must ever and always secure our people. And if they refuse to join us, then their scores shall prove most useful.

We will also need to instruct our students in their next laws. And I believe Fu could make use of one focused around grudges.
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>>5199806
>Investigate the stories of new Demonic/ Magical beasts moving into the Chuan region. Perhaps they could be your disciples? Or else serve as stepping stones for your first disciples?
Best to nip it in the bud and traditional cultivators are bound to investigate the cults soon enough. Especially those of the loose and heroic variety.
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>>5199806
>Investigate the stories of new Demonic/ Magical beasts moving into the Chuan region. Perhaps they could be your disciples? Or else serve as stepping stones for your first disciples?
Time to look for our people. Lei’s roots will have to be dealt with eventually too
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>>5199806
>Investigate the stories of new Demonic/ Magical beasts moving into the Chuan region. Perhaps they could be your disciples? Or else serve as stepping stones for your first disciples?
Other then Jiǒnghuāgége and Tiěxīngége, we have no actual magical beast apprentices, which is a shame. Finding a few would be nice.
Worst case scenario, we get a few new cores.

It's good to hear that no one suspect that we killed the five cultivators, that means the world at large is still ignorant of our cultivation. And the two sects being hostile towards each other will only give us opportunities to undermine both, which is more good news.
This whole situation will need to be watched though, it could easily spiral into some serious shit we don't want to be caught in.
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>>5199933
Yeah if that cults get too close then we'll have to take care of it, maybe with the devil of grudges or that blood mist to ensure no sect will easily find evidence that we're active here
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>>5199806
>Investigate the stories of new Demonic/ Magical beasts moving into the Chuan region. Perhaps they could be your disciples? Or else serve as stepping stones for your first disciples?
As much as I want to deal with the cult, it would be wiser to deal with them once the sects start the war proper and are distracted, and our own disciples ftows strong enough to hold their own ground.
Also we need to take our place as ruler of the wilds, and that means either get new subjects or executing villains.
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>>5199933
>>5199942
We could order that pair of Fu's companion that are capable of cultivation to keep an out out, and give the villagers a few cheap talismans of protection.
Won't do much, but it's better than nothing.
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>>5199806
>You have more important things to focus on, take the hunk of Star jade and your other valuable materials into the catacombs and use them in your cultivation chamber

the world being what it is now, it might be most prudent to stay hidden under the mountain and gather our strength before we venture out again. By the way, can Monu use our cultivation chamber or is Yin/Death Qi bad for her? Anyway we should try to get mum back into a proper cultivation habit instead of living like a degenerate junkie, she's setting a bad example for the kids.
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>>5199806
>>You have more important things to focus on, take the hunk of Star jade and your other valuable materials into the catacombs and use them in your cultivation chamber
No use amassing materials we wont use! We should also regularly use our blood alchemical longevity medicine.

A question on a different matter: can we use any of the techniques from the five non-heretical ways of cultivation? Would it take much time to learn some basics?

It might help us pass as a non-heretic while possessing someone and maybe also allow for some magical interactions we cannot yet participate in.
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Ending the vote, tallying the result.

Investigate the stories of new Demonic/ Magical beasts moving into the Chuan region. Perhaps they could be your disciples? Or else serve as stepping stones for your first disciples?: 7

You have more important things to focus on, take the hunk of Star jade and your other valuable materials into the catacombs and use them in your cultivation chamber: 2

So you will investigate the rumors of the wild demonic beasts and calamities, seeking to take them on as your disciples/ subjects or to harvest their cores yourself should they prove...unamiable

Update will arrive shortly

>>5199863
heh

>>5200703
Of course you could. Though your Transient spiritual roots are currently pretty specialized towards rare/ forbidden varieties of Qi, though you are a prodigy, so it wouldn't be too difficult to dabble in the techniques of other laws.

>>5200427
Her spiritual roots are aligned to water and Pure Yin, and are of high quality. Which means she is naturally able to learn and use spells/ techniques aligned with water easier, though she prefers her poisons and the law constructed around them to her other laws, like the ice one

So she could, but she does have her own cultivation methods she follows.
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>>5200766
Yeah we should look at those scrolls some time and cherrypick stuff that seems useful to us/ our disciples
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Resting your chin upon your paws, you contemplate and ruminate all of the new knowledge and fascinating news brought to your attention. 'Monsters and calamities?' you think, cocking your head to the side as your gathered acolytes wait for you to speak, knowing from your expression and manners you're planning something, which shows how perceptive they've become to their teachers nature, which does bring a smile to your face.

Your lift your head and right your posture, closing your eyes as your tail flicks up into the air and you decide to light the dinning hall with a few blood red orbs of light and flickering false ghost lights, as you open your eyes and bask in the cold radiance of your own Qi, your ponderings deepen. 'And hauntings of Demonic beasts? Could these sightings be of a new generation? Children lost in a confused world that despises and fear them? Were they born yesterday or are they of "my generation" you wonder silently "Though if they are my peers by age, they would surely remain my juniors in terms of experience, expertise, etiquette and wisdom'

A purr rises in your throat as you stand from the table, and push aside the bowl of raw hare and mountain trout you had been eating, making up your mind to seek out these wayward magical beasts to take them beneath your wings and raise them properly or teach them how to live in a manner that wouldn't offend their honored ancestors. And if they prove rabid, like the Toad King or Jiùqūliáoyá, you could easily subjugate and slaughter the feral wretches with your training and well honed and practiced techniques.

"There's a fire in your cold eyes, grandmaster" Qiang muses as she swirls a stoneware tea cup in her palm "A certain intensity that tells me you've made up your mind and found a new ambition to chase"

"Hmm, her ghostly presence has strengthen, the air has chilled and all has fallen silent" Hong states, blindly grasping for his own glass, which Feiqing guides his hands toward "I believe you are correct, Sister Qiang"

"Has one of the weird happenings in the world caught your interest, my lady of ghosts and blood?" Feiqing asks, eyes squinted with a cheerful curiosity "If you would only command us, we, your indebted and loyal disciples would investigate it on your behalf, so you could focus your attention on more urgent matters, such as your own peerless cultivation"

"You don't need to act the lickspittle, Elder Brother Feiqing" Fu chuckled as Ping watched silently, cursed hand clutching prayer beads he seemed to have made from "trophies" he had taken from the catacombs, finger joints and polished teeth "Though I share your position, I'd be happy to repay a fraction of the debt I owe Lady Huanliuxue by venturing forth to travel where she cannot"

"Maybe she just wants a fresh coat of "Dye" for her fur?" Qiang dully remarks, before hiding her mouth behind her hands as she took a drink of her steaming tea
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>>5200836

"That would be your area of expertise, elder sister Qiang" Liu mutters teasingly as he and Lanfen continue eating their meal of pork congee and Roasted trout that had been marinated in a mixture of onions sauce, pine seeds and crushed bayberries

You giggle and walk past each of your students one by one, eyes gleaming with joy.

"Oh, I am ever so thankful for your offer of assistance, my disciples, but this is something I wish to see to personally for it is a very uniquely personal matter" You say, noticing that Ping looks rather smug as you tell them you wish to see to personally satisfy your curiosity "For none of you could hope to accomplish what I set out to achieve, for you were all born as men"

Stopping at the end of the table, you glance over your back to watch the reactions of your juniors. Lanfen, Hong, and Liu seemed baffled by your statement, while Feiqing, Fu, and Ping look to at least understand your reasoning even if they do not know for certain if what they imagine your words to mean and what they have deduced you intend to do are at all accurate. You cannot read Qiang's expression, as it is dull and sullen, like she was carved of marble. Flashes of the triangular heads of those damnable stone puppets fill your minds eye and you shake your head to chase away that...shameful memory.

"Ping, you mentioned hauntings and demonic beasts" You say sternly, glancing in his directions as he thumbs over his prayer beads "of the rumors and stories you've heard, do you recall any specific details? Such as the locations these beasts supposedly frequent? What species they are and any peculiarities of that set them apart from their lesser relatives?"

Ping's eyes flicker up, as his brow furrows and his expression turns morose and he searches his memories for the answers you requested. While he tries to recollect, you decide to keep pestering him for further details

"Anything you can tell me would be worthwhile, even if it sounds like peasant superstition, such as the powers and magic the demonic beasts are said to wield, their eating habits and preferred prey, their intelligence and if they can speak, even if its believed they are the cause for some storm, famine or drought" You continue on, licking the back of your paw idly as Ping grunts and sighs

"Well I've only heard such tales from Junior Brother Fu and Brother Feiqing" Ping humbly admits, bowing his head and raising his prayer beads up as if pleading forgiveness, you turn your eyes towards the ape looking man and the scarred youth. Feiqing scratches his beard and Fu pushes up his lips as he tilts his cup on the table.

"We'd be overjoyed to tell you all we have heard on the subject!" Feiqing exclaims, causing Fu to jump and making him glower as he had been in deep thought trying to remember the stories he had heard. He raised a fist, than lowered it with a frustrated look, slouching over the table in defeat
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>>5200837

"Tales travel wherever men wander, and many men wander through my village" Fu awkwardly answers before sighing and resting his head on the table "and since they don't chase Feiqing away anymore, he's heard about as much as I have"

"And anything I haven't heard, young fu will be certain to know!" Feiqing answers cheerfully, bowing respectfully

"Perhaps I should fetch wine, so your throats are not parched while you recount the legends to the sectmaster?" Lanfen chirps, hopping from her seat, and you can tell she is extending the offer to Fu rather than both him and Feiqing.

"Thank you, I need a drink" Fu groans, and it is then you notice the dark rings under his eye. The countryside cult must be troubling him

"Oh that would be..." Feiqing begins, but Lanfen has already skipped away, ignoring him entirely, and so his blithe smile turned into a drooping frown. And so both of your storytellers became gloomy and despondent, making the tales they told rather dull. But even though they were lacking in flavor, they were most informative

"The one I am certain exists as I have met those who survived it, old boat merchants and fishmen who lived on the river who were so terrified they renounced Chuan's many streams and vowed to travel as far into the northern deserts as they could to avoid any large body of water" Fu growls, eyes dark "Ju tells me some whisper it was summoned by those zealots in the fields and forests, They call it the Great swallower [ 大吞咽者, Dài tūnyàn zhě], for it appears as a vast whirlpool that drags down any shoal of fish or ship unlucky enough to be near when it emerges, Others speak of the cursed Violent Violet Waters [ 暴力 紫色 漑, Bàolìzǐsègài] supernatural shadows that appear and herald storms and rough waves. However"

He sits up straight and smiles confidently, flashing his teeth as he grins

"I alone know that the riverways are only haunted by one demon, and what those uninitiated in the mysteries of magical beasts, have mistaken it as a great, formless maw or a shapeless curse. In fact, it is a giant turtle with a dark, violet hued shell" Fu brags, pausing to sip from his glass of bitter wine before continuing "And the folks of the waters name it the ship breaker [船打破, Chuándǎpò], which has a double meaning, as it disrupts trade through the region and may break the Chuan! but it doesn't seem to be a vicious beast just...clumsy, from all the tales I've heard told of it"

"Hmm, curious, most curious, a giant turtle that sinks ships and brings rain? I'm surprised shrines to it haven't been built next to my own!" You laugh, before looking over to Feiqing "Feiqing? What story do you have to tell me?"

"Unlike the terrifying specter I had the misfortune of hearing of while I enjoyed the hospitality of Fu's friends!" Feiqing cries out, gnawing on his overgrown nails.
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>>5200838

"A terrifying beast! A man eater who haunts the roads and lurks just beneath the protection of lantern light! Appearing like a sudden gale! Vanishing like the morning mist! A great mountain wolf that has entered the valley and has devoured every hunting party sent to take its hide, leaving not but burnt bones in its wake" He chatters, raising up a finger as he then exclaims "The Huili [Ash Gale, 灰 䬅] they call it, a name that inspires fear in the hearts of even the bravest of men! I hear it came from the forge devil's furnace on a hot wind one day!"

"So long as it doesn't leave behind the cooked bones of children, I see a little of myself in this Huili character" You remark, nodding your head before you turn to Fu and watch him set aside his glass, only for the ever eager Lanfen to fill into the point of spilling "Fu?"

"A great horned serpent has been seen on the northern border, terrorizing caravans through the desert" Fu yawned, blinking his eyes once or twice "Some priests and wild eyed monks have named it a harbinger of plagues, I've heard it proclaims itself a dragon and demands tribute from the nomadic tribes past the viper pass and cliffs of despair, while it sits in an oasis and denies any who have not praised it from drinking its waters. I'm not certain it has a name for itself, but songs name it the Jade Horn [ 玉 犄角, Yùjījiǎo"

"Sounds like a truly conceited creature" You muse, plucking at your whiskers as suddenly all the whole dining hall falls silent "Feiqing? You said the two of you were certain four of these "terrible" beasts existed, so tell me of the last"

Feiqing pouts, pressing the knuckles of his fists against both sides of his cheeks.

"Well, I am uncertain why it is spoken in the same breath as the others, as a monster to be banished" Feiqing admits "It seems a benevolent beast, preying upon villains, be they bandits, killers, thieves or even greedy tax collectors or landlords. It seems to be an ally of justice, a virtuous being. And yet they gave it the most terrifying of epithets, the Silent Death [无声死亡, Wúshēngsǐwáng]"

"And what breed of beast it" You inquire, curiosity peaked. Feiqing purses his lips and furrows his brow

"Ah! A Eurasian Eagle owl!" He exclaims, eyes brightening as a great, big grin spreads over his face, as your smile fades and then begins to invert as trauma of your kittenhood reawakens and makes itself known through flashes of great shadows cast by silent wings and the death yowls of your litter mates as they were carried away into the sky never to be seen again. A tremble finds its way to your powers

"Truly ferocious creatures, they prey upon nigh anything so long as it is made of meat, from lowly beetles to even the Roe Deer fawn! It takes a certain humility to be content in eating anything, as a predator" Feiqing continues as you struggle to maintain your composure and cool manner as you are assaulted by the terror of your kittenhood.
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>>5200839

Of all the creatures to ascended and awaken their intellects, an owl had to be among them! Why would one of those monstrous birds be allowed to cultivate Qi! Another sign of the unfairness of the rules of the heavens!

"Huanliuxue?" Feiqing asks as you grimace and glower "Is something that matter?"

"Nothing, nothing" You hurriedly excuse "Forgive me, but I shall be retiring early and taking my leave now!"

And with that, you marched out of the room and found a nice cool and dark chamber deeper and further away from the primary passages and tunnels of your sect, to consider your next move in the soothing, comforting silence of the grave

Which Magical beast will you seek out first, Huanliuxue?

>The ship wrecking turtle, who is causing havoc in the many water ways of the Chuan province and scaring the fishermen away

>The bone burning wolf that is already being hunted by men and hunts them in turn upon a scorching wind

>The prideful Horned serpent who has taken over the trade routes through the northern desert and expects praise and adoration!

>The dreadful, terrible man eating owl that is supposedly hunting the wicked and evil men of the world.

>Search for a different magical beast, after listening to the stories of other villagers, primarily Yuyi and Fu's little sister Ju (Write in)
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>>5200840
We will be seeking them ALL, but I believe that our order of priority should be

>Owl
>Turtle
>Wolf
>Snake

Now my reasoning is so forth. The Owl is trauma personified for us, so overcoming our terror is a good chance for personal refinement. Furthermore, it is a being with an inherently "good" moral compass, and to lose it to the world of cultivators would be most unfortunate.

The turtle is next, because he is clumsy but also visible. The poor bastard probably doesn't have any conception of what he is doing, so he needs our guidence ASAP to save him from being hunted down and murdered.

The wolf IS being hunted, so his vanishing will cause a stir. Better to remove the others from the board before being attatched to this one. He's also a wolf who's going rampaging, so he may need to be put down.

And the serpent is prideful and entrenched in a single place distrupting trade. He'll be dead before we get there, and if he isn't, he's going to have his pride battle against ours. His death isn't a massive loss to us but his recovery could be difficult. It's best to leave him for last.
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>>5200840
>The dreadful, terrible man eating owl that is supposedly hunting the wicked and evil men of the world.
If this owl's moral compass is as strong as it seems, they are probably the least likely to necessitate being put down. A good start, in other words. Hell, maybe they would even agree to come along and help hunt down the other beasts, should they prove to be unvirtuous.
Plus, getting over our trauma first sounds like a good idea.

On a side note, we should help Lei clear his spiritual roots ASAP, I didn't expect us to meditate for 3 years, the poor man was unable to cultivate during that whole time. Better not let something similar happen again.
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>>5200840
>>5200849's reasoning makes sense to me +1
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>>5200840
>The dreadful, terrible man eating owl that is supposedly hunting the wicked and evil men of the world.
Sorry Huanliuxue but one that seems to be a good guy is probably our best bet.
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>>5200840
>>The bone burning wolf that is already being hunted by men and hunts them in turn upon a scorching wind
Finna stop this dude before he snacks on some kids or summin
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>>5200840
>The ship wrecking turtle, who is causing havoc in the many water ways of the Chuan province and scaring the fishermen away
Seek the single wise beast
And then
>The bone burning wolf that is already being hunted by men and hunts them in turn upon a scorching wind
We got to get to him before he does something bad, like eat children or get the attention of a sect.
>The dreadful, terrible man eating owl that is supposedly hunting the wicked and evil men of the world.
Time for Huan to face her fears, and make a friend through [Good Karma]
And finally
>The prideful Horned serpent who has taken over the trade routes through the northern desert and expects praise and adoration!
Once we have built a courr around ourself, we can prove we have a superiority over the serpent. There is no shame for a king to serve an emperor afterall.
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>>5200859
Yeah, 2 years isnt much to us but Lei needs that time.
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>>5200840
>The dreadful, terrible man eating owl that is supposedly hunting the wicked and evil men of the world.
Maybe the enemy of our enemy will be our friend? Also a good way to face our primal fears
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>>5200840
>>The bone burning wolf that is already being hunted by men and hunts them in turn upon a scorching wind
Since that one is being hunted already by humans it shall be saught after first.
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>>5200840
>The bone burning wolf that is already being hunted by men and hunts them in turn upon a scorching wind
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>>5200840
>The bone burning wolf that is already being hunted by men and hunts them in turn upon a scorching wind
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Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

The dreadful, terrible man eating owl that is supposedly hunting the wicked and evil men of the world.: 5
- Pursue the rest in the following order Turtle, Wolf, Snake: 2

The bone burning wolf that is already being hunted by men and hunts them in turn upon a scorching wind: 4

The ship wrecking turtle, who is causing havoc in the many water ways of the Chuan province and scaring the fishermen away: 1
-Pursue the rest in the following order Wolf, Owl, Snake: 1

So you will first seek out the Dreadful Owl, known by those who fear its talons as the Silent Death.

Update will arrive shortly
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Huge update incoming.
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With darkness as your sole council, you meditate for awhile, pondering what little you know of the four ruckus causing beasts haunting the lands to decide which you will seek out first. The horned Serpent is the furthest away from your den and most luxurious temple's grounds and you have no desire to deal with a prideful brat with an inflated ego and view of their ability so soon after you have emerged from the courtyard of bones and whispering ghosts, so meeting the self proclaimed dragon of the vast sands can wait even though they are likely to draw the attention of righteous exorcists and rightminded daoists, but your intestines will not turn green with regret should they fall to their blades and spells. You praise yourself for this most shrewdly pragmatic decisions and turn your thoughts away from visions of lifeless sands and the sound of haughty laughter. The Turtle, though it attracts even more attention than the serpent, can also be left for the time being as the reports surrounding it will confuse and baffle the novices they name young master and overconfident frogs in a well they send to investigate the rumors of the many calamities that have come to settle in the waterways of the Chuan. So that graceless beast shouldn't be threatened by spears and arrows immediately, which means leaving it be for now leaves you with a conscious as clear as white jade!

That leaves the wolf and that terrible owl. Both will be more difficult to find, and both will surely have been declared demonic beasts for their habits and hunts. For when Magical beasts eat the flesh of man, they are named by those blinded by orthodoxy and the rigid of authority of heavens as demons! Though all four will be hunted all the same, The wolf and the Owl will surely be the first pursued. Why, the Bone burning wolf is already being hunted by Men who do not understand the monster they chase is too powerful to be felled by sharpened bamboo stalks and crude stone arrows. But the more repugnant of the two, the silent death, the contemptible owl who you must, pulling yourself free from the mire of your prejudice, admit is a benevolent and virtuous creature.

The effort of forcing yourself to see a member of the winged devils you hate and fear still despite having grown far too large and far too powerful to be plucked from the snow and carried off into the vast sea of stars, is such a struggle you feel as though you may spit up blood. And it once more reawakens the trauma buried in the feral parts of your heart.

The air chills as you breath out, fur bristling and tail flicking rapidly as once more your mind's eye is assailed with the haunting memories of your distant youth and mindless beastdom. It is shameful, for you who is the patron and master of dead, vengeful spirits to still be frightened by the boogieman of your kittenhood! To be frightened by anything is to humiliate yourself and take a step from your grand destiny to thrive and rule!
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>>5202321

The cold chill of fear unearthed, crawling from your minds like worms from a grave, is replaced at first with a burning, seething outrage that nearly causes you to crack your fangs as you clench your jaw. But then, it is slowly, gradually like water dripping into a tomb from the rain above, replaced with a sense of realization that washes through your thoughts like a cool summer rain. But, then the hail of dread trickles once more through your mind as you fully grasp exactly what you have realized. That to shed the fear that dominated your old life, you must face it head on, and by wading through the lake of aged dread you will undergo a personal refinement.

You fear nothing of the Ash Gale, its simply hunting and being hunted, that is natural and that is good even if it is named a monster for daring to hunt men and thus hurting their oh so fragile pride as the "top of the food chain" by showing to them the obvious truth that man is still well from being an apex predator. While you are curious what has caused it to choose the prey it has and glut its self so greedily upon their flesh and bones, meeting it will not refine you in anyway and if it becomes prey then there is no reasons to shed tears, for you would have made its acquaintances yet and it is the just for prey to resist the jaws of their predators.

And while you are loath to admit it, facing the death upon silent wings that still brings trembles of fear to your mighty and peerless self, will surely prove worthwhile. Overcoming mortal fears refines the mind and spirit. And, though you try to avoid admitting it twice, the Owl seems to have awakened not only to the wider world and Qi, but to benevolence and justice and deep down in the crevices of your mind a little quite voice mutters "Are we not the same as it?".

So you make up your mind, and end your meditation and leave behind the empty chamber now filled with cold, ghostly mist. The bone burning wolf, will be easy to track if it yet survives after your daunting encounter with the owl, and the Turtle and Serpent will, by their natures be unlikely to remove themselves from their homes, the turtle because they are ponderous creatures and the serpent because its delusions of grandeur will not allow it to flee from the petty throne it has made for itself in the desert.

But the Owl, you really only have one chance to meet it, bury your fears and offer it your friendship despite the crimes its kin have committed against your own.

For if there is one thing you have learned in life, it is that nothing riles up and drives those who name themselves righteous madder than executions being carried out beyond their control, even if those killed are the scum and villains who they so loudly and proudly proclaim to oppose.

So, when Monu wakes, you inform her that you will be traveling in search of the Silent Death.
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>>5202323

"My my" She says after you regale her with the story of the delinquent hunting owl "A kindred spirit is a rare thing to find! I am glad you may have been so lucky as to find one, My courageous daughter, and to be so wise as to overlook your trauma to reach out your hand..er paw to offer your friendship to it, most wise indeed, Heh-Heh-Heh"

"Don't tell any of our disciples of that minor and soon to be erased flaw" You mutter, as Monu Cackles and nods, patting your head "And hopefully I shall return with more than just the owl in tow"

"I am certain you will! You are a wild princess! All beasts should instinctively bow before you! Certainly all felines should, from what little I have learned of your kind" Monu snorts, crossing her arms as she sits up on her bed "Which is much more than any storied or respect sage could claim"

"Because you seek the truth, not the lie" You purr in reply, shaking your head "I trust you will keep our sanctuary well while I am gone"

"As I have when I was an old crone, though I will admit I've been spending much of my time learning how to adapt my cultivation methods to the freedom a heretics life grants me" She cackles, shrugging her shoulders as you pace around her room, smelling the scents of unknown men and women, you glance at your mother suspiciously. She sighs and pouts childishly

"And sampling the beauty of the world that once fled from my gnarled hands" She admits through her teeth as you smirk and shake your head "I deserve to indulge a little in all the pleasures of the world after what I've been through, but I have not been idle even if I have been indulgent, I am certain Lei's strange affliction is wholly spiritual in nature now, and that if Ping keeps up his practice and doesn't turn tail and flee back to the safety of Orthodoxy, I am certain we won't have to spend a penny hiring an exorcist to free him of the devil wrapped around his spiritual roots"

"I was not scolding you, honored mother, merely make an observance" You excuse, bowing your head "And I certain Ping has abandoned his old ways entirely, despite his strict demeanor, he replaced his wooden beads with ones made of bones and teeth for Buddah's sake, which I can say freely as I am no buddhist"

"Yes, yes, you are an ardent and genius daoist" Monu cackles as you lift your head to wordlessly request permission to leave her room "And I was shocked when he did, but he was to do so, even if such macabre trappings would be seen as gruesome signs of his new heathen ways, for they do produce a steady flow of that deathly Yin Qi both of you drink so freely"

"I figured that was the reason" You say with a cheerful smile "I hope you find new insights for your cultivation while I'm gone"
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>>5202325

"Tch, I won't if I can't find strong enough poisons or fierce enough colds" Monu hisses as you take your leave of her after bowing and cupping a paw, which she replies with her own cupped fist "And if you see any of my and Junior Ping's old sect while you wander, devour them for your kindly old mother, will you?"

You do not give an answer to your beloved and honored mother's request. Meeting the bright morning sky and pleasantly warm air of the spring morning, you watch as bright blossoms and colorful petals drift lazily through the air as songbirds sing and mountains streams bubble.

Finding the Silent Death should be as easy as finding your own tail. It hunts the wicked and black hearted, those villains who are more monstrous than even beasts like yourself. You could probably laze in the city of Suqi and after a nap, wake up to find a trail leading directly to its nest. But taking such a lackadaisical approach would be a folly as time is of the essence.

With the sects already in an uproar, it is likely they are grasping for any wisps of power they can find, however meager they may be. So it would be prudent to carry out these introductions and finish this chore before you fail your prospective disciples and arrive only to find their bones grinning beneath the uncaring sun.
_

"Chop chop chop, the belly splits and the guts spill, and the red treasures leap up" Jingyǔ sang in his hut, his reforged body much more dexterous and aesthetically pleasing than its original incarnation, though he remained a patchwork of scars and misplaced and too numerous limbs. With the expertise of a trained surgeon or butcher, he hacked apart his latest prize, seeking out the lungs and gallbladder as his ethereal teacher could sense they were of higher quality and grade than the ones his mother and father had gifted him at his conception. The eye he planted upon his brow to forcefully awaken his spiritual sense, that he took from the graves of those foreign cultivators who had the good manners to die at his doorstep, blinked as his mismatched face was splattered with blood. His burnt hands trembled with the scars of replacing portions of bones with one of the unfortunate maiden's companions, the flesh was pallid and plum with bruising, but the ointment the four tails shadow showed him, it was beginning to live again. The marrow had rejected him at first, and made him feel such pain he was inspired to wail a song more mournful than the one he had sang when he learned how to summon the snow storm.

"Must you sing such a gruesome song" the most beautiful and comforting voice of his teacher whispered in his ear "Just butcher the ginseng hunter and be done with it, you ugly pile of scars and stitches"

"Oooh, I must work harder, must work harder, so you can fall for me again" The monk whimpered half teasingly, lips peeling to reveal the fangs of beasts had shoved into his own jaws "So you can feel the pain of being seduced and then forsaken"
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>>5202327

"I do admire the fortitude of your pride, so strong that it can endure even in the disgusting state you have lowered yourself to. Though I know my mother, were she living, would not approve of it" The shadow giggled "And I will never fall for a wretch like you"

"Woe! Woe, though spring has come and I have taken what was owed to me from the undeserving, my life remains a winter without end!" Jingyu wailed before his eyes flashed and once more he began to chant "Chop, Chop, Chop, Chop..."
_

"Stop!"

Ling Yaonan was thrown threw the air, the sweet scent of blood being taken from her as, as if lifted by a great unseen hand, she was lifted from the sparring arena. Her hand tightened around her sword, and she surprised the furious growl of rage and disappointment rising within her throat. The crimson masked old man stepped forward, her great, great grand uncle if the pedigree of ancestry he bored her to tears with was accurate. His eyes burned back as she glared down at him, blood dripping from her knuckles and from the small knife she had hidden in the silk bandages covering her arms.

Her so called "opponent" remained on their back, wheezing through a mouth filled with blood and teeth. Their broken hands twitched, struggling to reach for the gouge she carved through their cheek. Yaonan frowned, just half an inch from cutting the eye. How annoying, she was so close to having some real fun in this boring and spartan life of an ascetic she had been tricked into living. She knew power lived in blood, not the flowers and singing birds she was forced to court and cultivate, the fourth law her moron of a "teacher" had tried to force her to follow. Did he think her a demure maiden who enjoyed prancing through meadows, who'd blush when a handsome man looked in her direction. Healing with powders and song was not her style, not her style at all

She wanted to bury her hands in warm guts and dance beneath rains of blood, slashing and swinging with her sword wherever she pleased! They even took her sword from her, her dearest friend and companion.

"This barbarity is unbecoming of a student of the guardians of the celestial sunlight" Her masked elder wailed as she ignored him, wondering if that cute boy she battered two years back was still breathing. He was a fun fight

She caught fragments of the crimson masked old gramps, like "Disgrace of your venerated ancestors" "Afront to all the beauty of heaven and earth" and "Unforgiveable, unnecessary and unseemly brutality against your juniors". Oh how he ranted and raved about "Refining yourself, cleansing yourself of the taint of your murderous urges" "Purging the martial artist you were from your heart" and "Undoing the corruption of your travels and contests". Oh his warnings must've been grave and touching, but Yaonan could not force herself to care about them any more than a pile of dogshit.
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>>5202328

She wanted to cut and kill, not write poetry, watch orchids grow and blossom without moving an inch, or scald her hands making medicinal pills that smelled like horse piss, the stench of which still clung to her scarred and callused hands.

"Impudent pup, are you even listening to me!" The crimson masked old fool roared as she watched her prey get carted away

"No, you bore me as always" She admitted audaciously, with a mocking sneer. Moments later she was flung into a nearby duck pond, and she only laughed as she dredged herself from it, not feeling shamed as her elder intended.

He gnashed his teeth as she crawled to the shore.

"If you want your scolding to stick, maybe break my arms or legs next time" She mocked, sticking her hands in the hem of her dress as she marched like a delinquent thug to her uncle "Maybe then my ears would listen to all that farting, old maaan <3"

"You behavior towards your juniors AND elders is unacceptable, our family ties shall only protect you so long and your punishment will be much more severe than a mere broken arm" the old bastard warned, wagging his finger

"Didn't you feed five of my juniors to a demon? Am I not doing a favor weeding out the trash before they can be wasted filling a tiger's belly" She laughed, and found a palm pressed into her stomach before the world went black and she awoke in the rubble of on of the temple's walls, coughing up blood and with a twisted, spiraling palm mark torn through her robes and pressed into her deeply bruised skin

"Ah, that's more like it!" She laughed, as blood trickled down her chin and the weaklings she was forced to call peers scurried away from her like the frightened rats they were "See! This kind of teaching I can respect"

"Drag her to the sunless, voiceless reflection chamber. When she has learned to act her station, she will be allowed to test her confidence against those beasts who slew those she should see as sadly lost comrades, rather than mock as weaklings and fools" Her uncle snarled, trying to be intimidating, but Yaonan just cackled

"And you'll send bodyguards with me, I'm too valuable to toss away to the wolves like you should have done if you had any sense, old man" She sneered, as the crimson masked elder visibly seethed, knowing he could not boast or lie that she meant nothing to him.

After all, she was their prized student, the rising star of this generation, despite her...unseemly character.
_

Tracking the Silent death was an easy task. Few things kill like an owl, and fewer yet kill men like an owl would. All you had to do was follow the stories and you found the path the feathered terror cut through the Chuan region. And as you expected, it was bold enough in its predations to center itself around Suqi and its sister cities. Which made sense, considering how sinful cityfolk tended to be, the excesses of their lives made their hearts rot and brains fill with holes.
Cont
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>>5202331

Mostly due to wine you imagined but living apart from nature for so long surely had a part to play in making them turn to crime and villainy so readily when they had so much others did not.

Why else would they? When they had safety behind walls and could find food anywhere. It made no sense that they'd feel desperate enough to turn to wickedness due to not being able to eat extravagantly every day or some other, similarly foolish reason, like being unable to find mates or feeling they deserved a higher and more respectable and respected position in society.

But that is when difficulty rose its ugly head. You did not know where the Silent death roosted, or if it even had a nest. You knew its hunting grounds, but not where it flew.

This was an obstacle, as you couldn't just expect it too approach you because you were also a magical beast, as if it had lived long enough to make a reputation for hunting and eating criminals alive, it would be wise and canny enough to know that meeting its own kind would be a risky endeavor at the best of times and outright suicide at worse.

You need to bait it, draw it out, show it that you meant know harm unless it chose to insult or harm you first. And this was a problem you had to solve, since you never thought about how Owl's thought in their cold, alien minds or did anything besides curse them for being born. Though you had realized, even before you met Monu, that their predations were not cruel or evil as they needed to eat and fill their bellies like any other creature and only a fool would scorn a beast for pursuing its survival and satiating its hunger, you still felt that shameful tremble of fear when you thought about Owls and their habits. This was a flaw you sought to soon be rid of. And by meeting this owl, you knew you would cut it from yourself and reach a higher state, whether it became your friend or you cut it down with your claws.

After all, there was nothing to fear of it, and no reason to feel spite towards it. All of your siblings who got eaten, were merely prey to those stronger than them, and while you still grieve for them, you cannot in good conscious name their deaths as murder and accuse their killers of any crime. It was simply the way of things, as unpleasant as it was.

And, finishing your reflection, you began to plot how to drive the Owl you sought into the open, so you could meet it and tell it about the world it scarcely knew.
cont
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>>5202333

How do you attempt to lure the Silent Death out from its hiding place and to at last rid yourself of your most unnecessary prejudice and unwarrented fear, Huanliuxue?

>Simply shadow nerdowells, blackguards and petty criminals like thieves, and hope one of them is the Owl's latest quarry

>Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun

>Appear to government officials, priests and local sheriffs and convince them the heavens wish to cleanse their land of impurity and impiety, and have them drive out the criminals into one specific stretch of mountains to attract the Silent death by offering it a feast without compare.

>Possess Yuyi, and walk through the most crime ridden and dangerous parts of the city with your body nearby, hoping to attract the Silent death to the plight of a defenseless woman. And if they don't appear, just kill the thugs and brutes who assail you

>write in
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>>5202335
>Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun


If it is smart a huge feast would have it suspect a trap, shadowing criminals carries too much risk of us being seen by sect members and endangering Yuyi isn't necessary at this point
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>>5202335
>Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun
Shadowing criminal would probably be the easiest way, but where is the fun in that? We have a perfect cover too, everyone will assume it's just the Silent Death cleaning town.

Dibs on child abusers.
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>>5202335
>Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun
>>
>>5202335
>Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun
>>
>>5202372
Support.

Fuck child abusers.
>>
>>5202335
>>Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun

so when we get the chance we are getting the girl whom got the taste for blood ?
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>>5202479
She is a Ling, is going to hunt us down, is part of the sect that hate us, hurt Fu, is a murderous battle junkie and has no respect for those that are more powerful, it's going to be hard to justify Huan not just killing her ither than her potential.
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>>5202479
If by getting you mean gutting then sure.
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>>5202335
>Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun
>>
>>5202479
She is a ling and hurt our litter.

Gotta kill her. No two ways about it. Like. . I can sort of see a very very specific set of circumstances where she comes to us with an intent to tear her old sect/mortal family apart as a peace offering.

But I genuinely dont see that happening.
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>>5202479
I’m pretty certain the only protagonist besides us to live will be Feiqing. Yaonao is a Ling and has gone out of her way to mess with our people and is probably going to be sent after us by her sect, meanwhile Jingyu is so hungry to have power that he’ll ultimately destroy himself or come after one of us for parts (Xuebai is the only thing that might get in the way of us putting him down personally)
>>
>>5202335
>>Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun
>>
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Ending the vote now, and tallying the result because I have the time free and its a pretty clear landslide victory

Nothing draws the attention of a predator more than competition. Join the Silent death's hunt and draw it out by depriving it of its prey. Besides, hearing about the Ash Gale has made you reminisce of your time hunting the Ling army, killing some deserving men would be fun:8
-Especially the child abusers:: 2

So you will seek an audience with the silent death by slaughtering its prey, knowing that the one thing a predator cannot resist confronting is competition.

And because it'll be fun to kill scum of the earth

Update will arrive shortly.

And here's a Xianxia meme I found
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>>5202877
Amazing.
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>>5202877
I know that the young master being an asshole in a restaurant is a common cliche, but my mind jumped straight to this masterpiece.
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>>5202929
This hurt me on a spiritual level and I don't know why.
>>
And you realize, as you sit hidden from the gaze of weak human eyes, that there is not complicated ritual or extravagant courtship you must perform to look upon the face of the beast the superstitious and fearful name the silent death. It, whatever else it may be, is first and foremost a predator, like yourself. And no matter how wise or intelligent predators become they still require prey. And its just common sense that, even if a predator hates their prey and devours them to spite them and their memory as you once did with the abhorrent toad king, they will still feel insulted or even outraged if a rival begins to steal away the meals right away from their plate. Its simple instincts, the logic of the wilds. Without food you will die, and if you choose to be picky about what you eat, then having someone else picking off your sole and favored prey will sure to grab your attention. If not out of curiosity considering this Owl is of an illuminated mind and may be prone to flights of whimsy like yourself, than from an animalistic urge to defend its turf and ensure its own survival. After all, you cannot be certain the Silent Death has already become wise and aware of the change of its nature and being. After all, when you had just awoken your mind was often clouded by confusion as your new found clarity of mind and thought struggled against the lingering simplicity of your prior state.

It could, potentially, be a grand and darkly humorous coincidence that the Silent Death only eats Villains and cutthroats screaming and alive, or it could be, as most who tell tales of it assume, that it has wisdom enough to understand crime, sin and mortal transgression. Who can say until you meet it snout to beak? Which is why this utterly simple, truly crude and wonderfully primitive plan is so brilliant! It does not assume anything of your target, beyond that which all creatures are born with and die by! Basic survival instinct! Oh sometimes your cunning is so great it almost terrifies you. All that has to be done for the Happy Bloodshed and Silent Death to have a fateful encounter with one another, is that the old phantom of the Ling Army must unsheathe her claws and soak her fur once again in a festival of slaughter and bloodshed.

The joy of meting out just deaths with your fangs and claws, has been lost to you since you satiated the grudge that birthed you and glutted yourself on the meat of the cruelly ambitious dog Ling Meng. The stories of the Ash gale, have reawakened the memories of your first days as Huanliuxue, the time you spent hunting the invading Ling army, the dark, sadistic pleasure you felt as you devoured them. While your heart has softened once more, it still remembers the joys of chasing down screaming prey and feeling their still steaming blood soak into your fur.
Cont
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>>5202976

And while you have no quarrel with the common criminals and petty crooks of the three sister cities, you know delivering death to those most deserving to die like dogs will certainly be entertaining. A fun little distraction to ease the accumulated stress of living a life scorned by the heavens and all their gods and all their lackies and toadies.

A smug smirk crossed your lips and spread over your snout as your ears twitched in the wind and you pressed yourself against the rooftop you had taken to needlessly ponder your plan when the answer to your quandary was as obvious as the whiskers on your cheeks.

Killing can be righteous, and often is in your experience, and this merciless slaughter, this culling of villains will surely be understood as benevolent by those who understand the ways of the wide world.

Pattering down the side of the tall palace you had chosen to rest and bask in the cold moonlight atop, you join the hunt with all the ease of a master returning to their craft after having long forsaken it for other pursuits.

Of course you know when a crime is deserving of death, though you doubt any human would understand your logic in meting out justice and death. Their laws are not your own, and by your measure what is unforgiveable may very well be a minor inconvenience or barely even an annoyance. Perhaps there are some who could see the same reason as you yourself realized, who possessed natural insights that aligned their minds to the laws you followed, obeyed and understood. But, you weren't hunting those you would deem worthy of death be it swift and merciful or torturous and prolonged. You were pursuing the owls prey.

And from what Fu has told you, they had a very "Folksy" and "Common" understanding of evil. Thankfully, most of their preferred meals aligned with your own understanding of "Evil" and "Wickedness", but some of their choices in meals baffled you. If a thief stole from you, of course you'd kill them but you don't see a reason to bother hunting them down if they had only burgled others. But that may have just been because thieves were often, nonsensically, compared to your kind. After all, it was common sense for all cats that anything they desired should be theirs, from comfy cushions to freshly caught fish.

So, that is why, as you stalked through the streets, hidden by a cloak of shadowy Yin Qi, you chose not to give chase and cut down the cut purse who took a few copper cash from a fat merchant peddling chipped pots and old dolls to the poor mothers of the city. You figured that it was no crime to take from the so obviously wealthy and clearly dishonest. But, you also realized that no heroic hunter of villains would notice if one greedy pig died and that he was no villain, just a common miser like the pig spirit Yi Zhu. So you left both the victim and the criminal alone and continued wandering the streets of fair Suiqi.
Cont
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>>5202977

You stopped beside the bones of the cruel, guard captain who once whipped and clubbed children. Seems they had been tossed into the street after his shameful "Suicide" and his ribs were now the home to fat tailed rats.

"Not the gilded tomb you imagined you'd rest within, is it?" You taunted the silent bones as you pondered how to begin your hunt. You've hunted and eaten tax collectors before and thought the concept of Land lords were as silly as they were contemptible. Territory should be earned and fought for, not bought and handed out on lease. You could kill a few of those parasites if you found them, but that would that draw the attention of the Silent Death? it killed thieves of all stripes and kinds, but its expected for cutpurses to have their throats slit, Tax collectors to be lynched and Landlords to mysteriously fall down a well and have their head crushed by the first rock their renters threw down for them to grab ahold of. Just an odd expression of the circle of life, and the dao of civilization as far as you were concerned.

But bandits and killers, murders, rapists. The stench of their sinful ways would be sure to attract a predator much quicker than bait made from the corpses of the greedy. Since, it was an unfortunate truth, that the world had far more murderers than it did thieves for it was very easy for one to become the other, and while a thief may change their ways, a murderers crime follows them to death. You knew it did, for you could see their victims gathering behind them in their shadows, muttering curses and bemoaning their untimely and unjust deaths. Just as when you hunted for hearts in this city split in two, the dead would once again lead you to your quarry by the cries and maledictions whispered behind the backs of their killers.

Trotting happily after the first of your prey for this night, you smiled happily, knowing you would free souls from the earthly chains that bound them and they would return to the wheel of reincarnation once more. The brute you chose, missing the top of one of his ears like you yourself did, and covered in markings of ink like your own fur was marked, pushed his way past the other lowlives of the slums of Suiqi. Clearly this specimen of the lowest birth felt brave with that long, gleaming dagger on his belt.

But, the artificial confidence of that needle soon faded when you caught him threatening a rail thin man with red cheeks and a red tipped nose. Both froze, but the rabbit looking fellow fled when you drew the life out of the thug that threatened to gut him like a fish with the gentle touch of the Whispering Death Claw. With a series of scratches, performed in singular a blur of motion, you tore out the life force of the murderous bully and left behind only scratches that your lesser brethren could make. All before he could turn the blade that gave him such bravado towards you.
Cont
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>>5202978

You watched the weakling he threatened stumble upon a pile of rotten fruit as he ran from you and shook your head. If his babblings weren't mistaken for the ramblings of a drunk, he'd have quite a story to share of his encounter with the "Divine Guardian of the Chuan". Smirking, you purred as you stalked away in search of other prey.

And so it continued for four days and four nights. Suiqi's streets ran red with the blood of filth and devilish men. You strung up a landlord who buried his own wife under his garden by his entrails outside of his personal property, you chased a rapist protected by his birth and wealth into the river where he drowned and his body still rested at its bottom, you drove a gang mad with the grudges in your lungs and watched them tear each other apart as you bathed, you butchered a lunatic with an axe and escorted the children he had taken back to their mothers before vanishing in the night, and with the power of the Vein Hunting eye and Vein draining fang, you left several wannabe serial killers seeking to emulate your previous visit to the streets of Suiqi as little more than withered, abandon husks of skin floating along the night's breeze. It amazed you, how many ways you had to kill people now, especially if you got creative. Oh how you wished you could relive one hunt in particular, just to see the fear in the eyes of the urban predator who suddenly found his demure and trembling prey turn as meek from a mouse to as ferocious as a tiger. And with the more cunning of human predators, you found grudges potent enough within their entourage of ghostly victims to use with Enmity Incarnation, Devil of Grudges.

A little poetic justice, using the resentment they had earned for this wicked deeds to brutally cut their lives short. Of course, these villains you had to study to learn the manner of their victims so you could properly take on their role to take their revenge in their place.

But, on the fourth day, you began to find corpses you were all be certain you had not made. And it was clear to you that the Silent death had come to roost once more in the Sparrow's rest. So you redoubled and then tripled your efforts, so your performance could not possibly be overlooked or ignored. Excitedly, you carried out the slaughter, Happily you shed blood, passionately you spread death.

A miser of an inn keeper who sold traveler meat stew fell into his own pot, clutching his throat as the poison of the Viper headed Scorpion reached his heart and hardened his blood, killing him in the same method you dealt with the mad poisoner Pan Da. The Vengeful father of the Fairy with a taste for human flesh who had began to take his grief out upon the world and those he imagined killed her "innocent" daughter , was disemboweled by the same claws that ended his precious daughter's life. Corrupt guards who followed their former captain's example were found in twisted pieces and torn chunks, their lanterns burned out.
Cont
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>>5202981

And as you chased down a man who liked to strangle the girls he ordered at one of Suiqi's many brothels, you saw the cutpurse you met four days before impaled upon a tree branch. Then, the hunt almost became a game of hide and seek, where both you and the Silent Death left the other signs of your passing, coyly leading a trail back to yourself for the other to study and follow if their wits were sharp enough.

A Conman struck by "Lightning" as he hawked his snake oil and false medicines to a gawking crowd. A feared gang member stumbled into the street without eyes or most of his stomach, just before your eyes. A noble who had a brave father put to death for striking him after he ordered his son whipped from falling in front of his path suddenly disrobed, climbed atop the nearest spire and then flung himself to his messy death on the streets below. Common thugs riddled with feathers that pierced them through like arrows, gangs torn apart by their own rabid members or the risen corpses or manifested spirits of their many victims. You and the Silent Death spent so many worthless lives in your playful game of cat and mouse, that the dense ever roiling miasma of grudges that completely swallowed the lower half of Suiqi, the fog of old grudges that hung so close to the soil and whispered about the hidden darkness of the beautiful but dirty city, began to thin and blow away!

Yet there were always more cutthroats and villainous types to chase and massacre. You even found the time to visit the noble brats turned monks to give them a passing fright for your own amusement where you looked for the Silent death's latest trail marker.

Prancing gayly across one of the fine, jade set marble walls of the rich, well to do district of the city where only those of fine graces and high standing walked and dwelt, you paused.

Your whiskers twitched, and a long buried instinct woke up screaming in your gut. There was no sound in the air, but you could feel great wings flap and soar above you through the still wind. A shadow that once filled your younger self's heart with dread passed over you, and your veins filled with ice and your bowels curdled as that dreadful, death heralding cry rang out through the moonlit canals and streets of fair, yet diseased Suiqi.

"Who. Who. Who. Who" It whispered on the wind, each utterance bringing a new tremble to your legs as you relived the terrifying nights of your first winter in this world. And immediately you resisted the fear that you no longer needed or wanted, the pointless, childish fear of a kitten that was ignorant of the world and it many wonders, terrors and terrible wonders! Who should be afraid of an owl! Certainly not the future empress of all beasts and ghosts, the Wild princess of life and death and the grudges that define both! Huanliuxue will never again be prey! So there is nothing to fear of an owl. They're just birds like any other, just another kind of beast.
Cont
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>>5202982

Clenching your jaw tightly, you chased away your wayward fear and huffed, turning your gaze skyward just in time to see the Silent Death make its landing upon the archway leading to the palace you stalked around.

It's wingers were leather brown, orange tan and spotted and flecked with black coloration. The plumage on their breast revealed fluffier, white feathers. The ear or horn like feathers rising from its brow lifted high into the air as it folded its far spread wings tightly.

It was only when it cocked its head curiously, that you noticed the feature that set it apart from its mundane brethren. Its eyes. Rather than a piercing, amber red, they were white tinged blue, almost like clouds in the morning sky. And the pupils were shaped as stars.

In its talons, it held the skull and spine of its latest victim. You cocked your head in the opposite direction it had, still feeling uneasy in its presence, unsettled by how its stare pierced through you. It was like you were encounter an alien, unknown lifeform, but you remained unyielding.

"Who are you?" It asked innocently, with the voice of a boy who was unaware of the cruelty and evils of the world, though he hunted them every night "Surely you must know me, but I do not know you. You challenged me to a hunting competition, did you not? Playfully leaving your kills for me to find. You wanted to find me, and I wanted to find you to know why you wanted to find me. So who are you? And how do you know me?"

Your heart melted. They sounded younger than Tiexingege and Jiǒnghuāgége! You couldn't be certain of their age, but with how silk soft and pleasantly light it was, they had to be a little kid! Or had the innocence of one at least, even though they were a vicious killer.

"Are you a cat or a tiger?" They asked peacefully, tilting the head in the other direction, so you responded in kind "...are you mocking me? Can you talk?"
Cont
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>>5202983

What do you say Huanliuxue?

>I am Huanliuxue! The exiled princess of the lost kingdom of Primordial beasts, and its fated restorer. I'm a kindly, trustworthy elder sister, who knows you by the corpses you leave in the wake of your wings. Men tell of a demon named Silent Death, whom I wanted to meet. And now I've found you. Tell me, Owl, why do you kill so many? Surely you aren't that hungry

>An elder wanting to save her junior from being turned into a fine feather cloak. Humans may be, in general, a bunch of overconfident weaklings whose only strength is in numbers, but they can become much something much more terrible. You need to be taught if you are to survive, and I am hear to offer discipline and wisdom that will surely aid you in life

>Yes I can talk, I'm a housecat grown large on grudges and the meat and blood of killers of children and larger yet on the breath of ghosts, and now I am your teacher. It upsets me how ignorant the youth of today are, so I came to reveal to you the forbidden, sealed history of us Magical beasts.

>Elder sister has come to stop you from getting yourself killed pointlessly, and to offer you a chance to ascend further and reach heights you cannot even imagine. In a civilized world, ruled by the whims of heaven, us beasts should stick together. Rather than eat one another

>It was certainly a fun game, was it not? I'm surprised even a city as rotten as Suiqi had so many criminals, though it has far less now. The grave diggers must've made a fortune off of us, Silent Death.

>Write in

>>5202929
Hilarious
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>>5202987
>An Elder sister that has come to stop you from getting yourself killed pointlessly, and to offer you a chance to ascend further and reach heights you cannot even imagine.
>It was certainly a fun game, was it not? I'm surprised even a city as rotten as Suiqi had so many criminals, though it has far less now. The grave diggers must've made a fortune off of us, Silent Death.
>I am, also, in fact a house cat and not a tiger.

Ash Gale is a good kid who possibly heard stories of folk heroes and set to Emulate them in his own (brutal) way. We should play into that.
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>>5202987
>You do not know of me? Surely you must have heard the humans speak of Huanliuxue, the divine cat spirit that protects the Chuan region from the wicked? I even had hunted down the greatest evil men of this very city a couple of years ago. Although stories do have a tendency to get out of porportion with time. I'm no goddess yet, but I walk the path to achieve it. I have come here looking for you, junior brother, who have caused a great comotion in the realm of men, to offer to teach how to properly wield your powers, before those who would brand us demons for being born with claws and talons instead of hands and feet can slay another of our kind.
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>>5202987

>An elder wanting to save her junior from being turned into a fine feather cloak. Humans may be, in general, a bunch of overconfident weaklings whose only strength is in numbers, but they can become much something much more terrible. You need to be taught if you are to survive, and I am hear to offer discipline and wisdom that will surely aid you in life

>>5202972

Really hit you in the meridians, huh?
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>>5202987
>An elder wanting to save her junior from being turned into a fine feather cloak. Humans may be, in general, a bunch of overconfident weaklings whose only strength is in numbers, but they can become much something much more terrible. You need to be taught if you are to survive, and I am hear to offer discipline and wisdom that will surely aid you in life
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>>5202996
Or this owl emulates his own image and is wise beyond his years. He's killing the villainous not out of a sense of morals but because no one cares if scum dies. A pragmatic beast.

I wonder which it will be. Or straight up the owl is just super fucking lucky and really is killing bad guys entirely by accident

>>5203043
All the way to the core.
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>>5202987
I support >>5202996

I honestly didnt expect a child owl. But I will take it, because we love children.
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>>5202987
>>5202996 +1
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>>5203031
supporting
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>>5202996
Supporting.
Though I will also add asking:
>Tell me, Owl, why do you kill so many? Surely you aren't that hungry
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>>5202996
+1
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>>5203108
Given how he has some fluffly feathers that are different colour from the slicker ones, I think he is a barely juvenile owl.
I don't know much about owls, but I do know that chicks often change colour when they mature, and their plumage becomes less fluffy.
So whether or not he is being pragmatic or wants to be a hero, he definatly has natural talent to awaken so early.
>>
Ending the vote now, Tallying the result

An Elder sister that has come to stop you from getting yourself killed pointlessly, and to offer you a chance to ascend further and reach heights you cannot even imagine + It was certainly a fun game, was it not? I'm surprised even a city as rotten as Suiqi had so many criminals, though it has far less now. The grave diggers must've made a fortune off of us, Silent Death + I am, also, in fact a house cat and not a tiger.: 5

An elder wanting to save her junior from being turned into a fine feather cloak. Humans may be, in general, a bunch of overconfident weaklings whose only strength is in numbers, but they can become much something much more terrible. You need to be taught if you are to survive, and I am hear to offer discipline and wisdom that will surely aid you in life: 2


You do not know of me? Surely you must have heard the humans speak of Huanliuxue, the divine cat spirit that protects the Chuan region from the wicked? I even had hunted down the greatest evil men of this very city a couple of years ago. Although stories do have a tendency to get out of porportion with time. I'm no goddess yet, but I walk the path to achieve it. I have come here looking for you, junior brother, who have caused a great comotion in the realm of men, to offer to teach how to properly wield your powers, before those who would brand us demons for being born with claws and talons instead of hands and feet can slay another of our kind: 2

Tell me, Owl, why do you kill so many? Surely you aren't that hungry: 1

So you will reply to Silent Death's questioning with " An Elder sister that has come to stop you from getting yourself killed pointlessly, and to offer you a chance to ascend further and reach heights you cannot even imagine. It was certainly a fun game, was it not? I'm surprised even a city as rotten as Suiqi had so many criminals, though it has far less now. The grave diggers must've made a fortune off of us, Silent Death. I am, also, in fact a house cat and not a tiger."

Update will arrive shortly

>>5203031
Also just wanted to say, I really liked this write in
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>>5203581
Thanks QM, I like making write-ins even if they don't get picked.
>>
"An Elder sister that has come to stop you from getting yourself killed pointlessly" You answered at last, causing the youthful sounding owl to crane its neck up towards the heavens in surprise at being met with another talking beast, perhaps the only other of its kind in its conceptualization of the world "And to offer you a chance to ascend further and reach heights you cannot even imagine"

"You can talk!" They nearly screeched, so great was their shock "I have never known that there existed cats that could talk, or even other birds. Truly, this meeting must be fated though one must wonder, if it was preordained or designed by you, who believes I risk death hunting men? What heights have you seen, that I with wings cannot imagine, She who speaks with the voice of empty graves?"

You smiled and purred, curling your tail and remembering how impudent and brash you had been when you first met Monu, demanding answers for the simplest of things that could not even be called secrets. His boldness was innocence, born of a lack of understanding of the worlds beyond the mortal realm and the mortal dangers dangers that existed within the world of cultivation. How he was unaware his existence was one reviled and abhorred, that if he continued as he was, he would be hunted and the flame of his potential snuffed out by the fools who believed the orthodox lies spread down from the heavens. You decided, to act coy and play with him, to fan the sparks of his curiosity into the flames of attention and all consuming interest.

Glancing down into the garden of the palace whose grounds you both trespass upon, unseen and unheard, you watch an old man whose weight beard is longer than he is tall contemplating the minnows swimming through the stream circling and spiraling spiraling through the beds of flowers and isles of willows and apple trees.

"It was certainly a fun game, was it not?" You muse with a cheerful air to your voice as you squint your eyes and pretend to titter like a harmless maiden "I'm surprised even a city as rotten as Suiqi had so many criminals, though it has far less now"

"You're avoiding the question, for what reason, I wonder, I wonder. What do you know me as, and why have you not told me why you believe me to be courting death" Silent Death cooed, hiding their growing irritation well as they hopped towards you, flapping their wings to steady their balance as they perched beside you upon the palace's jade set marble walls "And what heights have you climbed, to claim I who was wandered the skies to be ignorant of their true heights?"

Your fake giggle turns into a real, witch like cackle, causing the young Magical beast to reel away, wings spread in surprise from your sudden outburst. You turn to face them, sneering and exposing your fangs to the moonlight as your yellow eyes glowed in the very same light. On a whim, you decided to satiate one of the boy's swelling curiosities.
cont
>>
>>5203676

"The Grave diggers must've made a fortune off of us, Silent Death" You purr, stalking closer to the feathered child, who now fully understood the differences between you. Not only in size, shape and breed, but also power, experience and yes, knowledge.

"Who, Who, Who are you?" They ask, voice wavering as you can see their mind racing behind their white eyes, gauging the threat you posed from signs they could not see, from the whispered and hissed warnings of their wild instincts. But then, as if the stars in those eyes flashed, they remembered your words. You sought to prevent their death, not cause it, and offered them something that only now they understood. The revelation the owl found, the insight that danced before his eyes like a ribbon and bell tied to a string, was that your claim of being able to lead him to further heights was no idle boast.

And that you had already reached those heights, even though he could scarcely comprehend what that made you or the power it implied, he could sense it. As you sensed Monu's old power when you met her as a crone by the graves of the children you so dearly loved and treasured. Silent Death, realized you were offering him a chance to grow stronger, to reach for power beyond his childish, simple and ultimately hollow understanding of the word. Seeing his shock upon grasping this oh so obvious knowledge, a second fancy crossed your mind, and you chose to answer another of his questions.

"I am, also, in fact a house cat and not a tiger" You cackled eyes shining with mirth and whimsy "And as men call you Silent Death, they call me Huanliuxue, though I have taken that epithet as my own name and now bear it proudly"

"I was unaware my killings had attracted such attention that I'd be given such a terrifying title" Silent Death muttered, softly clacking their beak together as they folded their wings down once more "Though not so terrifying as yours, Happy Bloodshed. I now see I was impertinent, believing myself to have seen more from the skies than you have from the ground"

"What a verbose kid" You snort, shaking your head "So, are you interested in my offer? If you continue your slaughter of the sinful, alone and unaware of the world you were born into, you will be snuffed out, all the power you have taken from the flesh, blood and bones of your victims stolen away to serve another's ambition"

Silent Death rotated their neck, nearly turning their head completely around, which caused you to step back in shock. You didn't know Owls could do that! But he remained silent. Your sighed and looked to the full, bright moon.

"All I wish, is to keep you, my junior and little brother, from dying a dog's death. You have potential, obviously you do to awaken and ascended to become a Magical Beast at such an an early stage in your life" You continue on, your tone urging but not forcefully so
Cont
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"And I have shed and grieved too much already, over all the potential that has already been wasted and lost, the prodigies who never realized their true talents, all the geniuses hunted down and snuffed out. Losing another, would be a grave tragedy for our kind, who have already suffered for centuries" You yowl and wail.

"Why, why, why would I be killed? I have only eaten those who harm and prey upon others? I have done no wrong, I have committed no crime!" He cries out, flapping his wings in panicked outrage "The world cannot be so unjust! So unfair! It cannot be! I refuse to believe it"

"Ah the innocence of youth. The reason, is that is tradition. What we are, is outlawed, what we can become, is feared" You explain gently, seeing tears in Silent Death's eyes "I offer a chance to escape this world of injustice and hypocrisy, to remake it and return it to how it is supposed to be"

"Truly, truly, truly you would do as you say?" He asked

"Of course, I am a kindly elder sister, who does not wish to see her adorable junior be plucked and fried" You cackle, tapping your paw on the wall "I promise, I shall reveal all of the secrets of cultivation and the truth of the ages long gone, if you would only except me, the resplendent and rightful princess of the wild graves, as your teacher. If you do, I will guide you down the path of Cultivation and teach you of the Dao"

"Cultivating what? I do not understand? Are you a farmer of sorts?" Silent Death naively asked, outrage and fear calmed by his own curiosity

"Qi, the Vital Spiritual Energy of all things, Qi is life, Qi is power, Qi is so much more" You explain with a purr "But come, I can explain it in greater detail, away from this slaughterhouse we have made, and the eyes that are no doubt watching for us to continue our bloody game"

"Of course, Teacher" The owl replies quietly "Just hearing the simplest of explanations has enflamed my mind, it begs for illumination, but where shall we go"

That, you had to think on.

What do you do now that you have easily recruited the magical beast known as Silent Death, Huanliuxue?

>Introduce him to Daoism, the basic and foundational knowledge of cultivation and a brief history of magical beasts, and begin his training in the wilderness, away from civilzation. Also ask if he'd like to choose a name besides Silent Death [Teaching Trial. DC 45]

>Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruit one of the other three magical beast, besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student [Which magical beast]

>Send the young owl to your temple, were he can be safe while you track down one of the three other magical beasts alone [Which magical beast]

>Give Wúshēng sǐwáng a series of tests, so you can measure his ability and also check the quality of his spiritual roots, and if they possess any special attributes. And ask him what caused him to become a magical beast

>Write in
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>>5203680
>Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruit one of the other three magical beast, besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student [Which magical beast]
Let's go for the wolf, before he fucks up and gets the attention of a cultivator.
I thought of sending him back, but owls are very sneaky.
>>
>>5203680
>Delay his training proper and enlist his aid in finding the wolf.
>On the way, ask why he became a magical beast.

Sure, lets save the wolf. But we can talk as we run/fly
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>>5203694
Asking him while we travel is a good idea, I support it
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>>5203680
>Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruit one of the other three magical beast, besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student [Which magical beast]
>>Ash Gale
Better hurry and track them before they get into deep shit. The wolf is the most likely to get into trouble.
In theory I would not want to put a new disciple into danger, but owls are sneaky, and I doubt any of these beasts are dangerous enough that we can't stop them from harming someone.

Also owls can fly.
Hard to kill them when they do that.

>On the way, ask why he became a magical beast.
I like this option, supporting
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>>5203680
>>Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruit one of the other three magical beast, besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student [Which magical beast]
The Wolf. We can teach Silent Death some of the basics on the way. We should also get him a less Chuuni-ass name, too.
>>
>>5203680
>Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruit one of the other three magical beast, besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student [Which magical beast]
Wolf, he’s the one most likely to be killed soon and if we run into trouble then we can teach Wusheng/ SD about the cruelty of the world.
>On the way, ask why he became a magical beast.
>>5203744
>he says when our own name is Chuuni
>>
>>5203680
>Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruit one of the other three magical beast, besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student [Which magical beast]
>Wolf
>>
>>5203744
>We should also get him a less Chuuni-ass name, too.
Chuuni names are like our whole thing dude.
In fact, I think every disciple we have should be assigned a chuuni name.
>>
>>5203792
>>5203744
>Our name is super Chuuni
I know that, but we're not introducing ourself as "Happy Bloodshed", even though that's the translation of our name. We should at least be calling him Wusheng, or something.
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>>5203680
>Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruit one of the other three magical beast, besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student
wolf
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>>5203792
All our cool disciples already have chunni names.

Two axe fu.
Toad witch Monu.
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>>5203935
And of course, PING. Too bad they're going to ruin his fearsome and impressive name by tacking on something significantly less frightening like "corpse arm" or "death grasp".
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>>5203935
We need to get Feiqing a cool name
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>>5203945
Probably something about being really good at making artifacts.
He served as the emperor's smith, and now he is a cultivator under the future empress of of all under and in heaven.
>>
>>5203943
>Half-Ghoul Ping

>>5203945
>Steelfist Feiqing
>>
>>5203744
supporting
>>
>>5203680
>Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruiting Huili , besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student
>>
>>5203943
Ping already has a chuuni arm, he's the chuuniest of us all.
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>>5203949
"Half-Ghoul Ping" would be a good one if we manage to teach him our Law.
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>>5204581
>if we manage to teach him our Law.

Even if we don't, he'll still end up fairly ghoulish from his arm fundamentally changing his body and soul (and therefore his cultivation abilities).
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>>5204370
I'm not sure that's how chuuni works but I'm also not a weeb so I'll take your word on it.
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>>5204621
A special arm or especially eye is very chuuni in anime/manga.
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>>5204633
I always thought chuuni was when people act super hard to be edgy. Shows what I know I guess.
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>>5204621
Chuuni is ahort for chunibyo, meaning second-year syndrome. It basically means that a teeanger in start having delusions of grandeour, like having hidden powers, being fated to become something great, or believing that young adult nobles are real, etc
So that cringe shit we do in high school and then we remember years later out of nowhere. Normally it's edgy because most teenagers are, and influenced by anime.
>>
>>5204581
>>5204606
To be honest a symbiotic undead law exorcist would be cool and metal as fuck. Especially with his arm. Admittedly also chuuni and edgy as hell but honestly our entire gimmick is being incredibly chuuni and extremely tsundere.

The only reason we haven't gone full on Edgelord despite how incredibly chuuni we are is due to the whole focus on Natural Order which keeps us down to earth.

We really need to sit Ping down and tell him about our Symbiotic Undead Cultivation Laws. It may be extremely useful to him. Imagine being able to exorcise the dead peacefully without them resisting and having them actively work with him and instead of against him. The only thing he would need to worry about are going to be the actively demonically evil mofos which Ping and even the MC already despise.
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>>5205150
Let's not. The benefit of heretical cultivation is the weird and wonderful way in which it can spawn anyway and anywhere at the whims of the practitioner.

Let's wait until he hits a dead block before sharing our insights into ghosts, we will get a higher chance of interesting insights that way.
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result. Sorry for the missed day/ delay, was unexpectedly kept from my PC yesterday

Delay the proper beginning of his cultivation, and enlist his aid in seeking out and recruit one of the other three magical beast, besides traveling together will help strengthen the bond between teacher and student:9
- the wolf/ ash gale: 9
-On the way, ask why he became a magical beast.:4
-Figure out another name to call Wusheng Siwang: 2

So you will travel to recruit the Demon Wolf Known as Huli, the Ash gale, whose been causing a ruckus in the region, slaughtering all the brave men who have gone hunting for him.

And I'll throw in asking The Silent Death how he became a magical beast, since just one under half of the votes called for it.

Update will arrive shortly,

>>5203935
Monu was also known as the Poison Fairy, Toad Princess and The Serpent whose venom could slay a dragon.

Also when/ if you make Fu those axes formed from the blood rage pearl, he could call himself Fu of the Vengeful axes

>>5203949
Those are pretty cool Epithets, not gonna lie.
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>>5205618
Well, I prefer Two axe Fu. But really, when he gets those axes he will be two furious two axes Fu.

>Please forgive the tortured joke
>>
But, you did not have to think for long, as once you began contemplating your next course of action, the unpleasant reality of your existence reared its ugly head to remind you of the risks Magical beasts such as yourself faced everyday of their existence, cursed by the edict of the gods and haunted by the presence of their influence and even the clouds in the sky. To be a magical beast, meant you were hunted for all your life, until one day beneath a rain of arrows and hail of blades you would die so others may grow stronger off of your bones. Frowning, you remembered that this recruitment drive across the lands of men, had a time limit. The duration of which you were wholly unaware but you knew that each second that past brought your quest seeking new students closer to its conclusion. A vague deadline, hanging over your horizon like the miasma risen from thousands of rotting corpses. When the sun next rose, those who you sought to adopt as your disciple may be nothing more than corpses cooling beneath its light.

This bright, starry eyed youngster perched before you would need training, but you could not halt your search and endanger the lives of those who may one day be both your students and subjects. He was an eager student already, but you could not devout all of your energy to teaching him when the lives of those who may become his brothers and sisters, his honored peers, were at risk of being snuffed out and stolen away by greedy men.

You sighed

"I will admit, my young disciple, that you are not the only student I have sought out to offer the eminent privilege of being taught by one possess by such great wisdom and shrewd genius as myself" You explain, watching curiosity grow in the white eyes of the young owl

"I figured as much, for one whose talon and beak have been soaked so deeply in blood and ended so many lives, I did not expect to be so blessed with a wiseone's sole attention" The kid chirped, narrowing their eyes as they began to preen their feathers "So I must assume, then, that our next destination is not your roost, but a journey in search of those who shall be my brothers and sisters beneath your august wings, Master Huanliuxue?"

"Precisely, precisely" You happily reply as you lead the youngster that still has downy feathers upon his chest down from the palace wall, as its old owner begins to snore loudly breaking his meditation with sleep "Unfortunately this journey means we must delay the proper beginning of your training, but that does not mean I cannot teach you the basics of cultivation as we travel together. It would after all, reflect on my poorly as your teacher if I allowed you gnawing curiosity to grow to ravenous hunger, so fear not, I shall grant you the deeper wisdom that yet alludes your mind, beginning of course with the most important lesson, the nature of Qi, the very foundation of our ancient and otherworldly practice of cultivating the spiritual energy of heaven and earth within ourselves"

Cont
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>>5205702

"That alone is a blessing greater than any other" Your newest student, who you shall now refer to as Wusheng Siwang unless he decides to take a name different from the one given to him by the superstitious peasantry "I am sure, through the days and nights of our journey, our discussion of such divine mysteries will more than satiate my appetite for knowledge"

You pause, looking down over the wall separating the rich quarter of the city from its poorest slums and a strange sense of pride rises up within you to warm and lighten your chest. The same sensation as when you assisted the pitiful and indolent disciples of the sect of the Five colors and Five purities in shaping up and reforming themselves into proper daoists and respectable cultivators. No longer is the lower city buried beneath a black fog, of age old resentment and festering grudges. Through the killing game you played with Young Siwang, you have purified the ancient Enmity that had long afflicted Suiqi and, like lancing boils from a back, cleansed it of the disease of villainy and selfish thugs and psychotic monsters dressed in the hide and cloths of men. You've done good here, even if it took the form of dozens, hundreds of gruesome, bloody and painful murders.

Sighing out in contentment with your good if brutal deed, you turn to face Siwang again

"Yet I can still sense the subtle bristle of curiosity yearning within your words" You titter as he hops to your side and tilts his head

"Who, Who, or What What, are we seeking?" He asked plainly as you lifted up your chin and turned away, padding down the empty, moonlit street towards the nearest exist of the now much fairer city of Suiqi "My desire to be educated in the way of cultivation, can be contained as you have given your word you shall train me in the foundational skills of the practice, less I misunderstood your words, Master Huanliuxue, so now my curiosity has sought another avenue of expression"

"Tell me, my student, have you ever heard of the monster terrorizing the countryside, who men call the Huli, the Ash gale?" You ask as you begin to float up into the air using the specter lightness skill, placing your back towards the moon as your flip around and regard Siwang, who is still on the ground, white star eyes now glowing with the moon's light as he lifts his neck to watch you ascend, clearly amazed and nearly driven to the floor by your sudden demonstration of one of your simplest of techniques. Which to his novice eyes must appear to be the pinnacle of supernatural power

"I have not, for I have not spoken to any before you, my master" He states, spreading and flapping his wings to join you in the sky as you begin to drift on the wind and call Ghost Empress Melody from the hidden lair in the city where you once stored the four hearts of the contemptible, maddened and monstrous slayers of men
Cont
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>>5205703


"So I must admit a complete ignorance of the happenings of the world and its common sense, is this Ash gale a well known figure?" they continue, speaking louder as their voice turns part way into an owl screech, as they spread their wings and guide beside you in the great black sea of stars

"They rose to prominence and the realm of folk legend around the same time you yourself had, Wusheng Siwang" You say, bowing your head as you acrobatically twist and roll through the air, showing off your natural feline flexibility as your student struggled to keep the pace you set "For much the same reason you became renowned, though Huli's hunger does not discriminate between the villainous and deserving and the innocent and unfortunate in it hunt across the kingdom. It is feared, as it has left nothing of those brave souls who left their homes in pursuit of it, besides bones burnt black and ashes drifting on the wind"

"Could such a killer truly become my brother or sister?" Siwang asked curiously "My heart weeps for the abused and oppressed, if this beast hunts without remorse, are they truly worthy of being your student as well?"

"Is it so unnatural? Is it so immoral? For a wolf that eats men, to continue its diet of their flesh after its mind has awoken to its self and the wider world?" You question, flipping around to hang upside down as you present this question to your well meaning disciple "Do the beasts of the world cry out in grief, when a hunter fells a deer? When a guardsman spears a wolf? Is it not hypocritical of men to proclaim themselves the lord of the worlds as they become offended and outraged that beasts pay back their predations in kind? No creature is beyond the circle of life nor is there a creature that is not prey to a greater power, though men would like to believe they were the pinnacle of all creation. Tell me, my student? is it thus evil for a beast to eat men, when men eat beasts and raise them for the slaughter"

The deathly silence of the silent death is telling of how deeply your scolding has struck into the boy's heart and mind. For the time it takes to drink a cup of tea, he remains silent, before he, meekly raises his softly, innocent voice

"No, I cannot say that it is" The whisper on the wind, your keen ears picking up their admittance and thus their submission to your world view "Forgive this humble disciple of yours of his grave foolishness, I was blinded by the common sense of a race besides my own"

"You are forgiven" You state with a snort, before a sudden curiosity crosses your mind "Tell me, my now slightly more wise disciple, what was the catalyst of your rebirth"

"My what?" He gawked as you passed over a crowd, giving a flock of late flying geese the shock of their lives
Cont
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>>5205704

"When you ceased being an unthinking beast and became the you before me now, what emotion triggered that awakening, what experience acted as the spark of your new stage of existence?" You explained snappily as Siwang once more went silent for a long time, only speaking after a span when both of you could've finished a share meal within.

"Indignation, horror and sorrow at witnessing injustice. A father was hanged, for beating his wife and child to death, but my mother had made her nest above his house, and I saw the man was not guilty of the monstrosity of which he was accused, though I did not understand it at the time" He said sadly, star filled eyes watching the darkening horizon "I recall how he wept over the bodies of his young, and his mate, eyes reddened by the tears he shed. He had left them after an argument, I do not know why or what was said, but he stormed out and went to a bar. And it was then a thief snuck into his abode and did..."

The empty look of horror in his eyes, reacting to the terrible crime he had witnessed, is all to familiar to you. For when you were a white cat, your eyes widened in the very same way when you watched the sacking and murder of your village, hidden away before your anger usurped your terror.

"Unspeakable things to the mother, after throttling the children. And, by morning, the man had been hung and his body left out for the crows" Siwang continues on, voice quite and distant "That was when I experienced my first conscious thought, "How could they be so blind, he committed no crime" "

You clench your jaw, feeling guilty for forcing a child so young to remember something so traumatizing.

"But I knew who did, and as I flew, my wings grew and my perceptions sharpened, I felt my intellect grow and grow, until my talons buried into the wretch's shoulder and I carried him away" He continue on quietly "I left my mother and nestmates, though my mother tried to care for me despite my changes. I knew I had a greater purpose, than merely observing"

"Forgive this foolish elder sister for forcing you to reawaken such dark memories" You whisper

"There is no reason to seek forgiveness, this contemplation has brought me insight into my existence" Siwang cheerfully chirped, but your eyes did not miss the sparkling tears falling from his eyes "Besides, it has brought us closer together as student and teacher, as the foundation of such a bond is built on understanding"

You chose not to point out Siwang's obvious lie and turned away

"And growing closer is half the reason I chose to allow you to accompany me on this mission" You say warmly and happily, hoping to keep anymore tears from falling from his brilliant white eyes "If you wish, I could tell you what sight lead me to ascension"

"If your heart is willing, my teacher" Was his only reply
Cont
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>>5205705

And so, you regaled Wusheng Siwang with the tragic tale of a white furred catt and the Nine children who loved her, as you soared through the night sky together. And you told him of the ambitious dog that invaded their idyllic, burned their homes and trampled their lives, leaving the cat alone to mourn, covered in the blood of those who loved her and those who butchered them before her eyes. And the dark rage that lead her to kill...and kill...and kill, in the pursuit of revenge. As dawn approached, Siwang's eyes glowed with admiration and awe, as you described your gruesome devouring of the Dog Ling Meng.

After Siwang's morning lesson concerning the existence of Qi, inner energy and the other cornerstones of cultivation such as Meridians, Spiritual roots and the absorption and refinement of Qi, and your shared morning meal and set off in search of burning bones
_

"Ling Yaonan, your behavior has become acceptable, and your temper has calmed enough for your uncle to entrust you a grave responsibility" The old crimson mask spoke, as the ogress sat, hands still chained together at the wrist and eyes narrowed to resist the light of the day after she had been released from her cell, after she chose not to lash out at the junior they sent to feed her or the elder they had recite lessons and poetry to her "Should your prove successful, you will be allowed to practice to Eighth hidden law of our illustrious order, in the hopes it shall temper your temperament better than the prior methods of cultivation you have been made to practice"

Ling Yaonan forced herself to not gnash her teeth, and through them she spoke with false respect and cordiality

"I am grateful you have given me another chance to prove my worth to the sect and the world it protect" She said, eyes glittering with barely restrained contempt "For I am but a foolish child who, like a chained dog, must learn not to bite that hand that feeds her. Tell me, of the duty you have so graciously offered to me, oh honored grandfather"

She could see his smug smile in his eyes, and controlled herself by day dreaming of burying a sword through his gut to the hilt.

"I am pleased you remembered the etiquette we taught you" He purred, pressing a thumb beneath her chin "My sweet granddaughter, you must seek out one of the magical beasts bedeviling the Chuan region, so we may present their beast core and right the mistake of our...over zealous sect head, war may consumed the mortal realm and its greatest nation, but we heavenly sages cannot lower ourselves to carry out such petty, meaningless strife. Highest Celestial Master, Ling Yongzheng, will surely reward you for your cunning politicking, and allow you more freedom than even your elder disciples, you will regain the face you have lost and more, if you will only submit and obey"
Cont
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Ling Yaonan's eyes softened, and she felt her bloodthirst abate as the clever monster in the dark of her crooked mind whispered "Listen, listen, so you may dance in the festival of blood and steel once again"

"Tell me the names of these demons, So Yaonan may cut them to bits and chew on their bones <3" The ogress purred, revealing her killing intent

"The patriarch may not understand, and I may scold you for acting the beast towards our own, but a murderous killer is a tool with many uses" The crimson masked old geezer cackled as the lanterns lighting the room blew out
_

It took you two weeks of tracking to come close enough to Ash Gale to catch a tail. With Siwang scouting the skies, his piercing eyes found a trail of fresh bones and scorched grass, that lead you to a lonely village nestled in a valley, nearer to the Primordial Forest of the Tragic lovers.

There, you came across a funeral procession and as the sunset, watched as the villages scurried away and hid in their homes, as a mournful wolf's howl traveled down the hills and across the streams to reach their near deaf ears.

You had just began lecturing Siwang, on the etiquette and manner he must uphold and the caution he must keep when you approach the wolf of the burning gale, knowing all to well he may turn his fangs towards your throats or consider you a threat even if his mind was sharp enough to realize neither of you were prey.

But then, the sound of bells filled the air, and your recognized the procession emerging from the wilderness by the cloaks they wore, sewn from crow feathers. And their head of this pack of martial artists, you recognized by his description! The Old "master" who Fu, Hong and Qiang once fought against due to the old fool mistaking Qiang for the damn ogress who stomped about your turf

"THE CROW CLOAK CLAN!" You hissed, causing Siwang to flap his wings in confusion

"Do you know those men?" He gasped "Are they allies or foes"

"Hell no I don't!" You admitted with a laugh "But this is bad, this bad! Those who hunt our kind, have taken notice of our cousin's rampage, and have sent their underlings to try and take his coat! We must act swiftly"

"Are we to kill these men?" Siwang asked quietly

How do you deal with this unexpected obstacle, Huanliuxue?

>Rush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indept him to yourself

>merely observe, and measure The wolf's killing skill as he battles against the Crow Cloak Clan and only intervene if it becomes obvious he is outmatched

>Possess one of the martial artist, having Siwang guard your body, and interfere with the hunt by turning your unwilling host's blade against his comrades

>Against your better judgement, approach the martial artists as they leave the village and try to appease their sense of justice to turn them back and keep them from attacking Ash Gale

>Just ambush and kill them all Bring their heads to Ash gale to curry his favor

>Write in
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>>5205707
>Rush to Ash Gale to warn him.

We dont want to be seen, so if they see us, we have to kill them all.
But if we can convince him to vanish quickly, we need no more blood on our paws.
>>
>>5205723
If we actually want his favour, we should bring them his heads.

But I still believe we should just warn him since it will get him in the mindset that what we tell him is the truth.
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>>5205707
>Rush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indept him to yourself
The less we are seem, the better.
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>>5205707
>Rush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indept him to yourself
I don't know if Ash Gale will heed our warning or not, but ideal he would and then we can escape before attracting more attention.
Worst case scenario, he doesn't listen and attacks his hunters, in which case we just have to grab some popcorn, wait until his ass gets handed to him and give him the old "I told you so" after saving him.
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>>5205757
>>5205759
Support
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>>5205707
>Rush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indept him to yourself
>>
>>5205707
I believe we could just infiltrate their group by possession and turn against the cultivators once they find the wolf so as to show we are on his side but also see how he fights.
A plan most cunning and mischievous which won't reveal our hand if some do escape.
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>>5205907
None should escape. Even if we have to hunt them down ourselves.
>>
I wonder if QM has a big document of lore, or if he's doing all of this by the seat of his pants.
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>>5205707
>Rush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indept him to yourself
>>
>>5205707
>Rush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indebt him to yourself
>>
>>5205707
>Rush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indept him to yourself
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result. Sorry I'm a little late.

Rush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indept him to yourself"ush to find Ash gale and warn him of the attempt on his life to try and earn his favor and preemptively indept him to yourself: 8

Infiltrate the hunting party of martial artists, by infiltrating one of them as a spirit, but only tyrn against them when they find Ash Gale, to both show you're on his side and see how the wolf fights: 1

So You will rush to Ash Gale to warn him of the attempt on his life in an attempt to earn his favor quickly, writing down

Update will arrive shortly

>>5205907
Oh they're not cultivators, they're underlings/ mortal agents of a sect thou

>>5206041
Well I don't have it written down, I do have the lore set in stone in my head. I have a very good memory when it comes to Fictional settings

Helps to keep cultivation novels separated in my memory when I take a break from reading a few
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>>5206974
I hope you do eventually write down some setting notes. I'd love to run a tabletop campaign or something in this world.
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>>5207064
What system could simulate cultivator novels, Exalted?
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>>5207072
Any system, if you break it enough.
>>
"Of course not! They may be lapdogs of our enemies, but even their masters are misguided. Until they bare their fangs in our direction, we have no just cause to bully and butcher such weaklings" You blithely reply, tail lifting up high as you turn away from the old geezer and his pack of dabbling martial artists as they ring their bells and bang their gongs and call out to the villagers promising them safety and salvation "Besides with master at you side, they pose no threat to you for they certainly pose no threat to me. However, a lone wolf, emboldened by the ease of which he kills and the failures of his prior challengers, would find himself easy prey to such men"

"Are they cultivators? Weak cultivators? Untalented trash?" Siwang asks curiously, hopping after you as you slip beneath the reads by the river side, following the scent of ashes and boiled blood along its waters, pausing to admire the water lilies in bloom "How how how do you recognize but not know these men dressed in such strange garb and of such bizarre manner?"

"They're the toadies beneath the heels of the dogs of the orthodoxy" You explain bitterly through your teeth "Martial artists of a school that approached three of my other disciples a few years ago, They're heroic, self righteous sorts. Proud heroes of the people, one and all. And most assuredly as ignorant as their masters are. Like all who believe the lies of the heavens and pluck out their own eyes concerning the proper and natural order of the world, which they oppose without understanding why"

"I see, I see, but should we not waylay them, if they are our enemies, even if they are weaklings? If not to kill, than to distract and scare them off from the recruit we seek?" He questions as the two of you travel along the quiet, peaceful stream as the multicolored sky began to darken as night succeeded sunset

"And draw attention to ourselves? They have already made their presence known. To get away with their murder, we'd have to kill the whole village or else buy their silence, when they have committed no wrong or insult towards either of us" You explain, shaking your head "and to do that would be simply too much work, and entirely pointless when we can avoid being detected by simply leaving them alone and carrying about our business here"

"Business that leads us to the wolf they hunt" Siwang reminded you, stopping to scrutinize his own reflection "What if my prospective brother or sister choses to slaughter them all"

"Then their masters will not know that Huanliuxue and Wusheng Siwang were present to witness their most bloody end" You cackle, appreciating that Siwang is bold enough to raise his voice and question your reasoning, it helps that he's polite and inoffensive about it which makes his questioning appear as a sign of wisdom beyond his age rather than an brazen challenge to your authority
Cont
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>>5207100
"We will remain as unseen specters, our presence hidden from our enemies as we acquire the power necessary to survive in the world that abhors us all" You explain, as Siwang begins to hop after you as you travel towards the mountains whose cliffs the Ash gale must certainly call his home, from the great stench of ashes and burnt meat rising from their peaks "Wrongfully and without just cause or sensical reason, I must add. But I shall explain why those who should see us as fellow daoists and friends believe us to only be deserving of living like the animals we once were, serving as cattle rather than rivals or peers, when we have finished collecting the second generation of our sect's disciples"

"A new, more powerful curiosity is awakened within me every time we talk together, Master Huanliuxue, every answer you give or lead me to, sows the seeds for a thousand new curiosities to bloom!" Siwang cheerfully coos as the two of you approach the territory of the Wolf known only as The Huili "Also, is Wusheng Siwang my proper name now?"

"Tch, only if you accept it as such, Teacher doesn't have anything else to call you" You tease smiling amusedly as you look forward towards the , hearing Siwang ruffle his feathers and flap his wings "Maybe as we walk to meet our wild cousin, you can think up a better name".

Finding Ash Gale was as easy as finding your own snout. Clearly, the wolf had kept the pack they ran with in their previous life around, since the moment you began scaling the mountainside you were met by glowing eyes, bristling fur and barred fangs. Many gray wolves, well over two dozen, growled and snapped at you as you entered their territory. Judging from their size, they were maneaters one and all. And they must clearly be successful, if they could face an intruder as terrifying as yourself without fear or hesitation. They clearly believed themselves superior to the strange creatures who had entered their wild domain.

And that ticked you off! How dare these base born, mindless animals show their fangs to their princess.

Without breaking your stride, you unveiled your ghostly aura, the essence of graves radiating from you and filling the spring air with the chill with the presence of a thousand ghosts and their seething grudges. Animals driven by instinct, sensed that you embodied death, like a sick pack mate or weeping wound upon their side. Soon, the stench of blood roiled around you, like a hundred murderous tendrils of killing intent, as a bone white mist formed around your paws. The ambient Yin in the air rose sharply, as your Cultivation base manifested around you fully in a proud show of force.

Siwang had to take to the skies, as your deathly aura began to wither and sap away the life of all around you before the bloody air flowing from your lungs revitalized what was withered.
Cont
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>>5207105


With whimpers and howls, the literal lap dogs of the Huili turned with their tales between their legs and fled in bling, animal panic as they realized you were no prey or rival, but rather a kind of predator they had never seen before and that even their own inborn instincts could not recognize.

And so, The Ash Gale itself emerged from the shadows cast over the mountainside. He was a great beast, almost as tall as a full grown ox, but with your aura fully revealed, he seemed as small as a kitten to you. Through devouring men, he had clearly accumulated some pitiful measure of Qi, but it was wholly unrefined. His fur was ash gray, but the tips of paws and the bristles on his back and snout ran black, like he had been burned. His ambers eyes where flecked with red and yellows, as if sparks were trapped within and his front most fangs had grown like sabers. He made a show of confidence, of strength, summoning a pitiful amount of smoke and flames from his jaws and wrapped it round his ankles and along his tail in three rings.

You, amused, decided to respond in kind by cloaking yourself in a veil of both of your favored types of Qi, The breath of ghosts and the essence of blood. The two conflicting spiritual energies manifested and found a balance as you wove them in a far grander sphere of energy that carved a small crater in the ground you sat upon before it dissipated and faded away, leaving only few drops of blood and mysterious chill spots to remind the bold novice of his place.

He hid his shock and fear well, and snarled, bearing his fangs as you casually and idly licked the back of your paw and began to groom yourself.

"What dares to intrude in my territory" Ash Gale growls, stepping forward with a trembling paw "Frightening my brothers and sisters half to death and reeking like a fresh corpse! Do you intend to steal away this valley of plenty from m"

"A princess has no need or desire to live in a backwater like this, even if it were offered to her as a second home. My territory is far grander and my den much more comfortable than this patch of wilderness you have claimed for yourself, Boy!" You laugh back, showing you were no in anyway intimidated by them "So hide your teeth, I mean you no harm, I am merely passing through and decided to act virtuously and aid my fellow beast"

The scorched fur wolf tilts its head in confusion, completely disarmed by your utterly non aggressive and flippant approach

"What's given you such a big head to talk down to me, the great hunter of the two legs? Why would I need any help besides that given by my family! Let alone from a creature as strange as you!" Ash gale boasts, trying once more to impress his imagined might upon you. You narrow your eyes, and briefly consider wearing the grudge of Fu to impress upon this brat how truly unmatched he is, since he's seemed to have ignored your first display
Cont
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>>5207111

" The "Great" hunter starved farmers, and frightened peasants. I have eaten generals and hunted soldiers and you should instead ask yourself, what has given you the ego to think you stand even as an equal to I, the empress of the death and life" You say softly, voice ethereal like a passing phantom whose lips bear a deadly curse "Ash gale, I am your elder, and I have taken time out of my day to warn you of a threat you, even with all of your clan, cannot survive"

Stepping forward, Ash Gale stepped back

"Stay away!" He barked "How dare you say me and mine are weak! We've never been bested! Not by spears, axes, blades or arrows! No pack of man could match us! Let alone best us! We are mighty, we are strong! And we only eat the strong! And we need no help to hunt them! Let the threat you say will kill us come, it shall falter and die like the rest! Perhaps your power has blinded you to the strength of others, "Princess" "

"Why why are you so stubborn?" Siwang asks plainly as he lands besides you "Master Huanliuxue speaks the truth, you are outmatched, why why, can you not see that?"

"Another one?" Ash gale mutters under his breath "What strange winds bring so many odd creatures to the door of my den?"

You feel a headache forming in your temple. This brat is overconfident and certain in his own invincibility.

What do you do Huanliuxue?

>Impose yourself into the upper reaches of Ash Gales territory, and allow him to see for himself how truly weak he is when the martial artists come for his head. That should deflate his ego enough that he'll beg for your assistance

>"No, I'm just not delusional like you are. My pride is well earned, yours is not. But you've annoyed me, so I'll have to demonstrate this, and show you just how small of a pond you live in" *Beat the pride out of ash gale*

>"Ohohoho? Is that so child? Well Elder sister has met a god that tore the land apart with rage alone. I know what strength looks like, and you don't possess it. I see no worth in you, that stubbornness of yours will be the death of you sooner or later, Come Siwang, we have other prospects to find" *Leave Ash gale to whatever fate awaits him and his pack*

>Offer the proud wolf a wager. If he can overcome his foes alone, you will teach him all you know and leave him alone, but should he fail and call out for help, he'll become your subordinate and student forevermore

>Write in

>>5207072
Godbound could also work

>>5207064
I might actually. Been toying with the idea of writing a webnovel set in it. Not sure if it be an adaptation/ different imagining of Huanliuxue's story or not.
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>>5207082
Path of War and Spheres of might Gestalts in Pathfinder would work for it to. Hell I made a cultivator tradition once for spheres of might once
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>>5207113
>Offer the proud wolf a wager. If he can overcome his foes alone, you will teach him all you know and leave him alone, but should he fail and call out for help, he'll become your subordinate and student forevermore.
>If he refuses, still hang around outside his territory. If he dies, take his Beast Core.
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>>5207113
>True you are strong and your family is strong. But that is compared to a mortal. You don't know how to cultivate Qi which is power you don't have.
Such as an example I will provide. (Cut down a tree or rock with Qi)

Now lets consider what you will face. Humans who can cultavate such Qi I just displayed. Say you fight them as you and your pack as you are. Say you win, you will occur losses no doubt. Then stronger foes will come seeking to kill your pack. And stronger and stronger unrelenting until your pack and yourself is wiped out.
As a leader of your pack you should consider the wellbeing of your pack. As hoards of cultivators descend day and night to hunt you. You might be able to flee but what about your pack? Your family?
>>
write in

>Witness true strength and pride that is earned. Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer. Challenge him to a duel and let him wail on us. He will not even break our shield. Just smile and talk shit. You are but a frog in a well.
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>>5207179

Is also good.
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>>5207113
>Offer the proud wolf a wager. If he can overcome his foes alone, you will teach him all you know and leave him alone, but should he fail and call out for help, he'll become your subordinate and student forevermore
>>
>>5207113
>Offer the proud wolf a wager. If he can overcome his foes alone, you will teach him all you know and leave him alone, but should he fail and call out for help, he'll become your subordinate and student forevermore

he needs to bow and accept us as Alpha.
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>>5207113
>Offer the proud wolf a wager. If he can overcome his foes alone, you will teach him all you know and leave him alone, but should he fail and call out for help, he'll become your subordinate and student forevermore
When the option says "overcome his foes alone", that means Ash Gale alone, not him and his packmates alone, right? If his packmates are added into the equation, that would make it awkward.

If it was just a question of reigning in his pride, we could crush him ourselves. But Ash Gale HAS to learn that humans are dangerous and that discretion is key, otherwise he will eventually attract a bunch of attention our way by hunting someone he should not have. Making him see it with his own eyes is the best way. We know some healing too, so there should be no problem.

It would be kinda awkward if he were to win, but with any luck he will come back to us to learn more later. Or after he gets the snot beaten our of him by an actually dangerous cultivator.
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>>5207113
>I propose a wager.

If he wins, then we still aid a fellow.
If he loses, we have our student.
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>>5207113
>You only need to be beaten once to no longer matter, wolf, because the humans will kill you and your family just like you have killed them. You see, their packs are made of other packs, and they do not send their stronger first to hunt, so far you have fought against their weakest. Now, they have finally send those that are stronger, who know how to use the metal they replace with claws.
>You must have noticed the difference of power and knowlesge that you have now compared to before. That is something that is not unique to you, wolf, these new hunters serve the humans who have unlocked that power. And when this group fall, they will the two legs whose power gap is a big as what you are now to what you were before. And they will know how to yeild their power, instead of relying on instinct alone.
This write-in is way too big, but fuck it.
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>>5207473
>>5207518
I'll add this write in to my support for the wager.

He will be told the truth, and left to learn the hard way.
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>>5207113
>Offer the proud wolf a wager. If he can overcome his foes alone, you will teach him all you know and leave him alone, but should he fail and call out for help, he'll become your subordinate and student forevermore
>>
>>5207113
>>Offer the proud wolf a wager. If he can overcome his foes alone, you will teach him all you know and leave him alone, but should he fail and call out for help, he'll become your subordinate and student forevermore
How old does Huili sound in comparison to ourselves? Is he an adult, or just a kid with a big head
>>
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Sorry I went missing for two days, had a real rough weekend. But I'm back!

Offer the proud wolf a wager. If he can overcome his foes alone, you will teach him all you know and leave him alone, but should he fail and call out for help, he'll become your subordinate and student forevermore.:7
-If he refuses, still hang around outside his territory. If he dies, take his Beast Core.:1


True you are strong and your family is strong. But that is compared to a mortal. You don't know how to cultivate Qi which is power you don't have.:2

Witness true strength and pride that is earned. Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer. Challenge him to a duel and let him wail on us. He will not even break our shield. Just smile and talk shit. You are but a frog in a well.:1

You only need to be beaten once to no longer matter, wolf, because the humans will kill you and your family just like you have killed them...etc:2

So You will offer the proud wolf a wager, if he can defeat his foes alone, you will give him all the knowledge you've attained without any strings attached. But if he fails and calls out for help, he'll swear fealty to you as your subordinate and student forevermore

Update will arrive shortly.

>>5207783
Fully/ nearly fully matured, older than Siwang and the geges, maybe even yourself! BUT judging from his manner and way of speaking, he is probably around Siwang's age in terms of Magical beasts, having likely only recently awakened and transformed. So, more towards the latter.

>>5207518
>>5207182
>>5207179
Nice write ins btw.
>>
"I see you will not see reason through words alone, some wisdom can only be found through a demonstration" You say, despite already having had made a grand display of your power to the brattish alpha of this pack of maneaters "So, this Junior must learn, not from tender guidance, but harsh lesson. However, merely crushing you beneath my paw, will not impart the lesson you need to learn"

Siwang bows back, head lowered and wings wrapped around himself as you confidently stride close to Huili and then march around him, all but prancing like a peacock to show just how little of a threat he poses to you with all of his snarling, snapping, growling and shifty glances. That, if all of his pack descended upon you at once, you alone would be standing atop the mountain their corpses were make. He thinks he is strong, that he is mighty and terrifying, when he is but a frog in a well that is about to be released into the vast sea. The only way to get it throw his thick, bullish skull, is to completely ignore his attempts to intimidate you and make you back down, the flaunt your nonconcern as if it were the finest silk robe gifted to you by an emperor.
'Though', you think yourself, 'the coat you were born with is finer than any silk'

"So, as your elder, I shall instead offer you a wager, a gamble like a game of dice where the prize is the most lustrous bead jade of jade ever mined from the earth" You snicker, leaning close, revealing your fangs as the Ash Gale's lips twitch and struggle to lift to bare his own, your yellow eyes meet his amber and the sparks that fly from his are overshadowed by the cold confidence that exude from not only your eyes but your entire been. The sheer smugness of your posture and imperial dignity is clearly overwhelming the poor boy.

"I am listening, for, my victory will knock you down from the golden pedestal you have pranced atop of far further than any insult or shaming" Huili mutters, trying so desperately to maintain his composure and not be cowed by even remaining in your most cordial and harmless of presences "Tell me the game you wish to play, princess, and I will best you at every turn"

You cackles, eyes glowing with mirth and mischief, as you hop up and fold your legs under yourself as you float. Cocking your head, you sneer down at the Huili, as his packmates whimper and howl, wordlessly begging their leader to retreat from beneath the shadow of the great phantom who smells of blood and bone ash.

"Hohohohoooh, but it won't be I who you'll roll dice against. Here's my wager, proud wolf" You exult as you look down upon the prideful young beast from above, framed by the light of the rising moon "If you can overcome this latest group of hunters alone, I shall relinquish all of the secrets I've obtained and kept close to my heart and leave you be, to use them as you deem fit. However"
Cont
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>>5210030

Greedy and ambition flare in the spark flecked eyes of the Ash Gale, whose defiant snarl turns into an almost tamed, gentle smirk as he clearly believes the challenge you present will be as easy to him as wagging his tail.

"But should you fail and call out for help, you will bind yourself to me for all eternity, as both my student and servant" You purr, narrowing your eyes to serpent like slits "So, Ash Gale, do you accept the parameters of this "Game"?"

"Master Huanliuxue, surely you can wager something of lesser value than your divine wisdom!" Siwang cries out, and you are uncertain if the boy is being sincere or is merely trying to add a voice to your offer to urge the Ash gale to blindly accept your bargain without a thought.

"Hah! Me and my pack have bested dozens of such parties before! Our strength is not so easily matched, and it certainly has not yet been overcome by the two legs!" He boasts confidently

"Alone" You venomously state, the single word burrowing into the proud wolf's heart, mind and sole as he realizes he will not have the strength of numbers on his side "Your personal power, against theirs. No packs. No underlings. Just you against the world, alone, as you shall be should you succeed. Prove to me, your elder sister, that you can survive in this world without my protection, or learn that you cannot and need my guidance"

The wolf sat on his flanks and closed his eyes for a long time. So long, that dawn began to approach and you could hear the sound of gongs, chimes and prayers crawling up the mountainside alongside the morning mist.

"I accept this wager, Huanliuxue!" He shouts boisterously "For a pack is only as strong as its alpha"

And a kingdom only as strong as its ruler

"Come, my disciple, let us depart to observe this youngsters trial by fire" You command, turning away and walking through the air as Siwang bows and silently joins you in the sky.

The sun has not yet peeked over the hills on the horizon, when, alone, the Ash Gale walks down the single path cut through the mountainside to meet those who hunt him.

You sit upon a high rock, hidden in the gloom besides your young student, having expanded a field of shadows through manifesting Yin Qi to serve as a screen to lurk behind, unseen in the darkness from both the eyes of man and the sense of wolves.

Immediately, Huili shows he is a greater magical beast that old crooked fang, rather than using what little Qi unknowingly and instinctively, he cloaks himself in a roaring blaze. A crude technique that he only survives because of his bolstered tolerance to heat. A intimidating display to those blind to Qi and the greater truths of the world. But he faces a clan of martial artists, who pledge themselves to a well established sect of cultivators. Folding your paws, one over the other, you watch as the brat wastes time by howling to the sky, throwing back his head as the flames spread across his fur.
Cont
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>>5210032

"I use a similar technique when I wish to cloak myself in shadows" You explain to Siwang "But this is clearly the technique of a novice, see how much Qi he expends for what is ultimately an intimidation tactic. He'll exhaust his reserves and be forced to burn his internal energy if he wishes to maintain the technique for the duration of this battle"

You do not look away as Ash Gale bounds forward, striking the most novice and unskilled of his opponents first, before they can draw their swords and drop their chimes. Attack the weakest first, fiercely and aggressively. A tactic that would sow confusion and terror amongst ordinary hunters. However, the more experienced and veteran of the Crow Cloak Clan, merely drop their priestly adornments and holy relics to draw the swords at their side and somehow expose spears from their hanging sleeves. Ash gale kills the three youngest of them. But they still number twenty'

"Ohooo, they brought alone bait! How coldly cunning!" you exclaim as Siwang snaps hiso beak to get your attention, You do not look away from the battle and instead lift your ears to show your disciple that you are listening

"What then, may I ask, would be a more efficient technique to use in this scenario?" He asks quietly, so as not to disturb you overly much while you admire the fight beneath your shared perch.

"He clearly does not possess any knowledge of spells, or any use of Qi besides the most overt and crude manifestations. If he had practiced beyond turning himself into a walking pyre, he could have innovated spells or more skillful techniques, such as focusing his fire cloak to imbue his fangs with the Qi he otherwise wastes" You explain, as you watch ash gale continue his struggle, bounding and leaping quickly between the road, each jump creating a snap as he tries to overwhelm and confuse his opponents with his speed and the threat of his jaws tearing out their throats.

"Thus, turning his bite even more deadly than before" Siwang correctly surmise

"That technique would still be garbage, used only be beginners and recently initiate cultivators" You explain "Fire can only be contained by materials that can resist it, and the more Qi you use to create a flame, the larger and hotter it will burn. Even if his natural, gradual cultivation has brought him some resistance to flames, he would, without tempering and preparing his body"

You pause, smiling as Ash gale, as you expected, begins to exhaust himself from his overly flamboyant movements and needless display of power. Exactly as you predicted. And, having been touched by the blades of his opponents, he has began to draw on more of his pitiful Cultivation base to bolster his fire to dissuade them from approaching him any closer. Already, blood drips from his jaws and clings to his fur. One of the martial artists lays on the ground, writhing as he holds the stump that used to be his wrist and another bleeds out, with his throat gruesomely torn out.
Cont
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>>5210033

A third approach Ash gale with spear raised

"Become its fuel rather than master" You continue as Ash gale lunges forward, as whisps of smoke rise from his back as he begins burning himself up inside. A rookie mistake, that even the overconfident fool who called himself Bleeding Star or something like that, knew to avoid. Ash gale, in his desperation to maintain his advantage of fear and blistering heat, was beginning to cook himself from the inside out.

"A mistake few make twice" You explain, as the spear wielder burst into flames, as Ash Gale barrels over him and charges into the middle of half of the hunting party. Four more robes are set alight by his mere presence.

"Protection charms. Bows" The old man says with a click of his tongue. The four that have already caught fire, struggle to remove their clothes, and are thus brought down by Ash gales jaws and flames. But their three comrades, with cool detachment to their horrifying fates of their fellows, step back and press paper talismans hidden in their sleeves onto their wrists, while the ten that stayed back pull bows from their strangely spacious sleeves. All except for the old man, who begins to circle the wolf and the three fighting monks surrounding him.

Arrows begin to fly, in a practiced rhythm, as Huili whips around, snapping and biting at anything that approaches him. The three spear wielding warriors, stab their weapons under him, holding on as the metal poles begin to glow red with heat. Ash Gale now is stuck in place, tangled in spears as arrows fall around him. If he had strengthened and refined his body, if he had trained at all, he could easily break free from this trap. If he wasn't panicking, he could use his beastial strength to overwhelm the three men holding him in place. If he knew even the most beginner of cultivation body tempering techniques, or even the foundational training shared by both martial arts and cultivation, he could free himself, if he knew to keep a calm mind, he could break out of this pin.

But he had done none of those things, so with a whine, he was filled with arrows. But his monstrous resilience kept him standing and alive. It took more than that to fell a demonic beast.

Decapitation would work. Your eyes narrowed as you saw mortal terror and desperation burning in Huili's eyes, as the old man who fought Fu, Hong and Qiang approaches him, the protection charms entrusted to him protecting him from the roaring flames that had already began to consume the Ash gale alive, so readily its tongues lashed across the wolf's body it appeared to be possessed by a gluttonous will of its own.

The sword he drew, shone in the fire light. And it was at that precise moment, when the old geezer lined up his blade, that Huili realized he had been bested, when he refused to admit it when he had began to burn himself alive or began trapped between spears and arrows
Cont
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>>5210035

"HELP ME! HELP ME!" He cries out, like a scarred child, flailing his lips and drooling as tears fill his eyes "ANYONE! SOMEONE! SAVE ME! SAVE ME! SAAAAVE MEEEEE!".

"Ah, Dice is a fun game, is it not my adorable student?" You ask with a coo, as you stand and shake your head pityingly as the thirteen remaining martial artists dressed as pious priests, surround the over confident brat

Siwang looked at you expectantly, knowing the promise you made, wondering if you were going to keep it and rush into rescue the wolf who had been overcome by his own wild pride.

How would you interfere, Huanliuxue?

>Raise the burning corpses, taking control of them with both your Qi and Ghost Empress Melodies and use them to scare away the martial artists. (Magic Trial. DC 40)

>Throw a destructive ball of Yin Qi down from your hiding place, and retrieve Ash Gale after his would be killers are all blown away

>Turn into a ghost and possess the old man, and drive his blade through his belly.

>March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion (Martial Trial DC 45. Failure means there's survivors who escape)

>Don't [Bad Karma]

>write in
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>>5210036
>Raise the burning corpses, taking control of them with both your Qi and Ghost Empress Melodies and use them to scare away the martial artists.
>>
>>5210036

>March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion (Martial Trial DC 45. Failure means there's survivors who escape)
>>
>>5210036
>March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion (Martial Trial DC 45. Failure means there's survivors who escape)
Better to show off to the wolf.
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>>5210036
>Slaughter them all (Martial trial 45)
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>>5210036
>March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion (Martial Trial DC 45. Failure means there's survivors who escape)
Any survivors means news getting out. We can't have that.
They will undoubtedly look for Ash Gale again, assuming he killed the first hunting party, but with any luck they won't find him again.
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>>5210036
>March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion (Martial Trial DC 45. Failure means there's survivors who escape)
>>
>>5210074
Aye. Though killing 7 out of 20 martial artists isnt a bad score for a complete novice.
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>>5210099
>Though killing 7 out of 20 martial artists isnt a bad score for a complete novice.
He's definitely shown that he is not stupid, just inexperienced and prideful. He only committed the mistakes he did because he is not familiar with the how to best wield his powers, or what limitations they have. Understandable given that what he has demonstrated so far was enough to take out common farmers and hunters, but he never considered that there might be stronger humans out there. And in the game of hunter and beast, that is a mistake you only make once.
But yeah he clearly has what it takes to improve, it just never occurred to him that he would need to seriously train. I imagine he will take to cultivation quickly.
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>>5210035
>March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion (Martial Trial DC 45. Failure means there's survivors who escape)
Well that’s two down, hopefully the turtle is easier (no bets on the snake with an ego problem)
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>>5210036
>Raise the burning corpses, taking control of them with both your Qi and Ghost Empress Melodies and use them to scare away the martial artists. (Magic Trial. DC 40)
>>
>>5210036
>March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion (Martial Trial DC 45. Failure means there's survivors who escape)
never miss a chance to show off a bit
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>>5210123
Depending on how arrogant and ambitious the snake is, we may be able to convince them by stroking their ego, showing our own pedigree and the opportunity be a ruler of more than just an oasis.
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>>5210169
I don't even want that asshole on our team. We don't have to recruit every beast, just like we don't have to recruit every human being.
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>>5210173
We should atleast take a look to see how they are, if they really are a complete asshole and a lost cause, we can leave them alone.
We would miss out on a beast core by not killing them, but it can serve as a distraction for cultivators, since they don't try to hide their presence.
>>
>>5210036
>>March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion (Martial Trial DC 45. Failure means there's survivors who escape)
>>
>>5210173
Let's not be put off by rumours so far.

We are princess of all beasts, those who are talented and willing to follow should be recruited.
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>>5210173
While this is true, he may also be of extraordinary talent as well. It's better to investigate ourselves before coming to conclusions.

For all we know he's not telling people that they cannot pass without paying or making threats he could just be an autistic snake with no social skills telling people to get off of his property and warning those that are nice about how shitty it is outside of his oasis.

We have one side of the story. And while it's likely got plenty of truth in it there is no way of knowing for sure from the outside.

It's probably just a dickbag snake. We can still make him into a purse.
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>>5210422
A poison core would be a good gift for Monu.
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>>5210462
Do we still have the chode toad's core? We could have given that to her. Even though it's probably pretty meh quality.
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>>5210507
We gave both of the cores ro Ping and Feiqing, Ping is holding on to the toad's core, but Feiqing made an artifact out of the tigers'.
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>>5210526
I see. Thank you.
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the result.

Raise the burning corpses, taking control of them with both your Qi and Ghost Empress Melodies and use them to scare away the martial artists.:2

March down the hill and slaughter all of his attackers with the utmost ease, showing off your techniques and martial arts to the trapped Huili in a most elegant fashion: 8

So you will most elegantly slaughter the martial artists preparing to execute Ash Gale, taking the chance to show off your techniques while you do so

Update will arrive shortly

>>5210526
That is correct.
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>>5211152
Of course you were, it'd be shameful to not keep your word and how could you name yourself the rightful ruler of all the world you have beheld if you stood by and watched as one of your subjects was executed as his tears fell to the earth and his cries rose to the heavens. It was a monarchs duty to protect their subjects, and by the wager you made with the Ash Gale, he was now one of your underlings. And more importantly, he was one of your students from the moment he raised his voice in fear to cry out and beg the whole world to save him, from the gods in the heavens to the ants on the ground. Only the trashiest of teachers would sit down and watch in amusement as one of their own students was butchered. The ash gale has already learned the lesson you sought to teach him, that the world is a far vaster and crueler place than he thought it to be, and that you looked down upon him not out of a sense of scornful smugness and towering pride but rather because you knew how truly weak he was and the awful fate he would've lead not only himself but his entire bloodline to!

So, you cease hiding yourself behind shadows and banish the gloom, revealing yourself and Siwang to the light of the dawn as you serenely swagger down the hillside, with a smug smile on your lips and a glimmer of good humor in your eyes. Despite that you were marching towards your most recently recruited disciple intent on murdering the martial artists bullying and intending to cut him up into as many pieces as they can before the edges of their blades become as dull as smooth stone, you consciously chose to act as a cat sauntering into its own home would. Calm, gentle mannered and exuding more confidence than most gods when they descend into their temples!

But, as your footsteps were more quiet than the silence of a mute corpse, you needed another method of drawing the attention of the Crow Cloak Clan away from their would be victim to their soon to be killer. So, instead of raising your voice abruptly and souring your tongue with the boorish insults of delinquents and drunk louts to draw the ire and command the attention of the thirteen still breathing corpses,

You chose to regally reveal yourself, as if you were stepping from behind a screen to present yourself to the newest ministers and governors of your court. For, if they were to become ghosts before the sun fully rose, then these men would, in a fashion, join your court of bones and enmity.

So, you exposed your cultivation fully, allowing your ghostly presence to expand like the miasma of a rotting corpse from an open coffin, the foreboding bone chilling presence of Deathly Yin Energy flows down the mountainside like the rushing waters of a spring storm.

The old geezer whips around, blade held above his head, as his juniors watch in terrified awe as Huanliuxue walks through the mists, surrounded by the lifeless atmosphere of a long forgotten tomb.
Cont
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>>5211164

Like a vengeful spirit, you emerge from the fog, wreathing yourself in Grudge Clouds and mock ghost lights.

"A giant house cat, with fur that runs red as blood" One of the younger of the monks whispers, as his courage drips down his thighs and wets his robes as it escapes hip "Heralded by the chill of the grave, and the unearthly aroma of blood shed pointlessly. With yellow eyes that burn with the thousand grudges of hell"

"Oh" The old man says, stepping back, covering his face with an arm as if he is physically assailed by your frightful presence "The Happy Bloodshed, is no mere myth, it would seem. Men, we must take flight at once!"

"Haaaah" You sigh, pressing a paw down as you activate your specter lightness skill, catching the old man within the edge of its boundaries "as if a fossil like you is agile enough to outpace me, who has dodged lightning and caught ghosts as they fled upon their corpses' last breath!"

And so, unsheathing your claws, you perform the Blood Torrent Rush and then, releasing your specter lightness skill for a single moment, show Huili your Blood Red Lightning Cat step. The old man wasn't able to turn or blink, before to his eyes and the eyes of his underlings, you suddenly appeared before him jaws bared. The shrieking winds carried on your back sounded like the agonized wailing of tortured soul.

"There is no flight, there is no escape, once you've fallen into the Huanliuxue's gaze" You mock in singsong as pounce the old man, crushing him beneath yourself and, through his bruises and tears in his wrinkled old flesh, draw out his blood with the Vein Draining Fang.

Sitting atop his withered husk of a corpse, you look to the other twelve, who have become as motionless as statues as their leaders blood forms into spheres that float in the air. Ash Gale whines as you cackle and begin the slaughter in earnest.

roll 1d100. DC 45 Best out of three
>>
Rolled 50 (1d100)

>>5211165
>>
Rolled 62 (1d100)

>>5211165
>>
Rolled 94 (1d100)

>>5211165
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>>5211185
Well none of them are getting away that's for damn sure. 40 over DC.

Update will arrive shortly
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>>5211186
Brutal.
>>
Knowing that not a single one of these men would still be alive by the time the blood torrent rush's nearly self destructive speed could exhaust or begin to wear on your muscles and bones, you kept it active as you leapt from the shriveled corpse of the old man, his sunken eyes staring in bewilderment towards the heavens as the final drops of blood in his veins dripped out of the wounds you made in his chest with his claws and began to fall upwards towards the sky. The bowmen, broke free of your spell of terror first, emboldened perhaps by the distance between you and them. But, their panicked minds did not allow them to realize that it'd be impossible to hit a target moving as fast as you were. You were upon the spear wielding monks before they could even pull their spears from underneath Ash gale to protect themselves, you were beside them before they could yell in mind numbing horror and cry out for their fallen master. With a few scratches, their life force bleeds out of them like water from a cracked jug, clinging to your claws like cotton fiber as you end them elegantly with the Whispering Death Claw.

They collapses like dolls, falling over the panicked wolf, who tries to scramble and run away. With a twitch of your ears and whiskers, you cover Huili's wounds with the Scarlet Healing armor, the clots of that strange variation of the barrier spell locking and weaving over his wounds like a second coat of fur that clung almost as closely to him as the hide he was born with. The red, glowing armor began to mend his wounds as you sauntered past him.

He didn't rise, and merely watched with eyes locked upon your back. You didn't bother to use the Dying Grudge shield, and instead, slowing your pace and allowing your body to relax from the durace of the Blood Torrent Rush, you simply strode beneath the arrows fired towards you. Avoiding them was a child's game, with ethereal grace, you leaned and curled away from them moments before they would have struck you. Not once did you expression change from bored amusement, as six of the nine remaining martial artists turned tail and ran.

Leaving behind three who were slower notching their arrows than the others. One of them manages to look over his shoulder and open his mouth to call out to them, before you rise on your back legs and cast your shadow over him. Instinctively, he lashes out, and thus falls right into the trap you had prepared for him. With your feline martial arts, you use the force of his shove to send him crashing to the ground where his lands on the exact center of his neck. The snapping of bone awakens the two other from this stupor, and as you stand atop the folded body of their fellow archer, you open your mouth and breath out a thick fog of grudge clouds.

The black essence of resentment flows around you and down the hill. It wraps around the eight men, shackling them with the weight of hatred so potent it endured death itself.
Cont
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>>5211242

Already weak, they were now as helpless as newborn kits. What little strength and endurance they had, sapped away by the black clouds swallowing them up. The two men at your side stumble as they try to flee, and pressing your front paws down on their chests, you send a current of metal Qi through your meridians, picking up a charge and mixing it with Pure Yin and Blood Qi as it circulates and finally arrives at the ends of your paws. Manifesting this combination of two yin aligned Qi as a single pulse separated between your paws, you witness its extraordinary effects on the men beneath you.

Their Chests explode when the altered Qi shocks into their hearts, mingled together intimately, the metal's lightning empowered by the Raw Yin's destruction, in a process similar to the Dying Grudge Shield's reflection! Showered in gore, you slink under the clouds of grudges, and begin dispatching the other six in a theatric display for Siwang and Huili's eyes alone, so they can truly understand the strength and experience of their teacher and the power of cultivators in general.

Commanding your own veins to move and burst from beneath your skin, the two closest to you, who chose to look behind them when they heard the thunder crack of your three Qi pulse are caught by them. Like burrowing maggots, your veins burry into their chests, allowing you to perform the same operation that saved Ping's life. Except without caution or care, this treatment is lethal.

The Yin Qi of Death flows into them, carried by your blood into their veins. They begin to pale, and fall to their knees, the life and Yang within them devoured greedily by the ghostly spiritual energy that dyes your cultivation black as night. They simply fall still, and pulling your veins back into yourself, you stride past them and catch the remaining for in your specter Lightness skill.

Turned as slow as slugs, the drained, weakened, and terrified men can only watch in horror as you casually circle the around them, flicking your tail and flinging destructive darts of Yin Qi around them, along with a few scythes of Blood Qi drawn upon the air with your claws. Since they cannot imagine the true form of the Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, you control the numerous spells you cast so they match the illusion of slowed time they have found themselves caught in.

And, the moment you release them from your grip by walking away, you yet all of the Qi bursts loose at once. So, in an instant, four grown men are reduced to scattered limbs and geysers of blood as they are first rent asunder either by the raw forces of destruction, or their own blood rushing to escape their bodies.

Huffing you blink and step away from the shower of meat and bones you created, and look back to see Ash Gale, cowering with his tail between his legs on his back with his belly exposed.
Cont
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>>5211186
RIP Old Man, you weren't a complete asshole, something that few people in Xianxia can claim
Unfortunaly, you had to die for our secrecy and sect.
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>>5211245

Siwang stands upon the perch you shared with him a moment ago, his starry eyes seeming much wider than before as he looks upon the carnage you created in moments, with all the dignity and poise expected of a lady of your station.

Smiling, you turn your gaze to Ash Gale whose quivering in fright.

"Forgive this pup for his impudence!" He whinges, pressing his forepaws together as he prostrates himself on his back "He was blind as a frog in a well! Ignorant of the world! He did not know who he was mocking! Youthful ignorance and pride kept him for realizing he was met by a..a empress who could with but a topple mountains and overturn seas! Forgive me for my arrogance! Forgive me for my mockery! I shall serve you till my last breath, I will pledge all I am to any cause you lead! I am privileged to be humbleyour disciple, mighty Huanliuxue!"

"Hohohohoh! Seems this dog had some manners after all! at last, I am treated with the proper respect and reverence the magnificent me deserves" You gloat, before Siwang's judging glance ruins the fun of it "Stand, Huili, gather your family, we leave this place before the masters of these dogs realize their mutts have been turned into minced meat"

"Who...who...who could even recognize them after such a gruesome butchering?' Siwang asked, as he hoped next to his new martial brother and bowed his head "I have no name, but master Huanliuxue calls me the Silent Death, as men do, so it will suffice for now. I greet you, humble brother Huili"

"Don't tell me a kid like you can do what that..." Huili says, catching himself as he realized you were still listening and so corrected himself from saying monster "Peerless Beauty just did"

Smirking you turn away and watch the sun rise.

What is your next move, Huanliuxue?

>Decide gathering any more disciples is too risky, and take both Siwang and Huili back to your underground temple to begin their Cultivation and training. And ask Siwang if he's come up with a better name (Teaching Trial. DC 50)

>Enlist the now much more affable, pleasant and submissive Huili in tracking down and recruiting one of the two remaining magical beasts, so he can bond with Siwang as a fellow disciple as the three of you travel together [Which one]

>Realize that now would be the perfect chance to bring Jionghuagege and Tiěxīngége into your sect, so travel to the fantastical meadow they both live in and ask if they wish to see the wider world

>Fake Huili's death so there's less of a trail left behind, have him wait at the village with Siwang while you get Qiang to play the part of a wandering exorcist and make a show for the peasants of the nearby village so they'll tell the world the Ash gale wolf is dead

>Write in

>>5211189
Yes.
>>
>>5211246
https://youtu.be/vo56Qkpzqw0

May he court a dozen jade like beauties in his next life and humiliate a hundred prideful Young masters
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>>5211247
>Fake Huili's death so there's less of a trail left behind, have him wait at the village with Siwang while you get Qiang to play the part of a wandering exorcist and make a show for the peasants of the nearby village so they'll tell the world the Ash gale wolf is dead
>>
>>5211247
>Fake Huili's death so there's less of a trail left behind, have him wait at the village with Siwang while you get Qiang to play the part of a wandering exorcist and make a show for the peasants of the nearby village so they'll tell the world the Ash gale wolf is dead
Them we go after the turtle.
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>>5211247
>Fake their death

The turtle is in danger, but it is best that we clean up our messes.
There is an anonymity in death. We also want to drain the area of our Qi traces.

>Clean up the Qi that saturated the area that we unleashed.

Make sure that a cultivator investigator doesnt find a trace of heresy
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>>5211335
+1
>>
>>5211335
+1
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>>5211247
>Fake Huili's death so there's less of a trail left behind, have him wait at the village with Siwang while you get Qiang to play the part of a wandering exorcist and make a show for the peasants of the nearby village so they'll tell the world the Ash gale wolf is dead
The dead might tell no tales, but a bunch of mutilated bodies and a heavy stench of death can give some pretty good clues. Can't have that.

I get the feeling that Huili is going to be scared shitless of us for the foreseeable future, but with how hierarchy centred wolves tend to be, this might be for the best.

I know we went out of our way to get the most edgy powers possible, but damn we are scary as hell.
Good
>>
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>>5211571
Hoepfully the turtle is some kind of lovable, clumsy idiot to balance the edgyness of our sect.
A bit like how Feiqing is, make them a comedic relief duo.
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>>5211578
>tfw Feiqing can't forge his greatest hits because his anvil keeps shattering under the stress
>tfw tortle's shell is tough enough to take the heat
>tfw it feels like a deep tissue massage to the big aquatic oaf
Fun fact for anyone who didn't know, turtles do feel when things touch their shells.
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>>5211578
Ah yes the real heroes of Power Rangers
>>5211585
Isn't the shell technically part of their skeleton
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>>5212224
Yeah. I think it's part of their ribs or something. With some hoof-like material that grows on it. I forget what it's called off the top of my head.
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>>5211335
+1
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result. Got delayed by RL again.

Fake Huili's death so there's less of a trail left behind, have him wait at the village with Siwang while you get Qiang to play the part of a wandering exorcist and make a show for the peasants of the nearby village so they'll tell the world the Ash gale wolf is dead:7
- and Clean up the Qi that saturated the area that we unleashed.:4

Landslide victory for faking Huili's death, and I'll include cleaning up the Qi left behind by your attacks to completely erase your "Tracks" here, free of charge

Update will arrive shortly.
>>
"For you to freely enter my employ and accept me as your teacher, the world must believe you have past over into the other world" You state calmly, as a few of Huili's mindless packmates cautiously approach the scene of the slaughter, sniffing the air and creeping around their pack leader to lick his wounds and whine as they lay around him, uncertain and frightened by his near dear experience "But worry not, Junior, for I have a cunning scheme to make your defeat and death seem as real as the corpses surrounding us and the sun rising in the sky, consider this a preparatory gift, from mentor to disciple"

The ash gale remained silent, settling into a state of silent disquiet as you look over you back at him, smiling and purring.

"Siwang, you will watch over and keep your martial brother company, while I fetch one of your elders so I can carry out this most cunning of deceptions" You explain, walking away from the gathered wolves and star eyed owl "For, surely the masters of these dead dogs will come looking for them eventually, and if the locals tell stories of a demon's banishment and no more bones are found blackened and burned, our foes will believe that the Ash gale will have perished and no longer troubles the world"

"But I won't actually be killed, right?" Huili asks dully, clearly in a state of shock even after the men threatening his life have been dealt with in a spectacular and final manner "I'll accept any humiliation so long as it does not end in my beheading"

"I've already accepted you as my student, what good would there be in teaching a corpse?" You ask bluntly, looking down at Ash gale as his mind catches up and he realize just how stupid of a question he's asked

"Forget that this dog has said anything" He whimpered, as you turn away and flicked your tail up into the air as you approached Siwang, who had been preening at his feather's awaiting further instruction as you spoke to his new peer who still laid with his back on the dirt.

"Siwang, I'll return shortly. You will know I have returned when a wandering exorcist that reeks of blood and death arrives at the village in the valley" You say calmly, patting a paw on the youngster's head "You will give Huili acting lessons in preparation for this, as this exorcist will in fact be your elder, the only one who I am certain will not draw over attention because of their appearance or manner?"

"Who who who, may this be? May I know the name of my honored elder, Master Huanliuxue?" Siwang asked with blithe curiosity

You thought for a moment, and quickly narrowed down the list of potential mock exorcists down to three candidates. Feiqing would be mistaken for a demon, since humans couldn't smell that he was one of them and over reacted when they saw the man's hideous and ape like face. Even without his cursed arm and recently whitened hair, Ping stood out as he was a former member of a local sect.
Cont
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>>5213909

Your mother, while she'd delight in tricking mortals and sowing mischief you are certain, she was well known in her youth and any description of her will surely draw much more fire than Ping and Feiqing. You didn't trust Lanfen to be able to keep up the act of a traveling ascetic exorcist monk. Fu's scars and renown also made him a poor actor for the role you intended. This left Liu, Hong and Qiang to serve as your nameless wandering excorcist, who would surely be immortalized in local legends as the slayer of the great beast of ash and fire.

Liu wouldn't make for a convincing battle, considering his less than impressive, reed like frame. Hong, even with his blindness, would defiantly make the Huili's dramatic "death" seem more plausible, but he's still learning how to see the world with his burgeoning spiritual sense and his remaining four mundane senses.

That left Qiang, whose naturally brooding manner and dour countenance would sell the image of an experienced world weary exorcist, even if her short stature weakened it. Making up your mind, you spent the remainder of the morning cleaning up your mess with Siwang's assistance, cleansing the mountainside battlefield of lingering Qi. The heavy presence of Yin Qi, especially the faint "clouds" of Ghostly Yin Qi, and the droplets of Blood Qi soaking deeply in the earth, cannot be left behind lest your presence here today be revealed and your squatting in these lands be uncovered by those most unkind and unsympathetic to your existence.

Once you were certain that no sign or track could lead back to you or your own, you left, and only when you did, did Ash Gale and his packmates begin eating the corpses you left behind.

You returned to the mountainside a few days later, and met Siwang by Huili's den, giving a clumsy lesson to the wolf on the nature of Qi while the canine struggled to maintain the meditation stance you had taught Siwang. Which was specialized for his avian physique. You listened in, along with Qiang, who was tired and rather grumpy from your journey to such a remote village. A few brave wolves ventured close to her, and were quickly scared away when she demonstrated her well trained Quick draw and unleashed a fraction of her killing intent. Which drew your two students attention from their patchwork lesson.

"Ah! Honored teacher! Honored Elder!" Siwang cried out, flying towards you as Huili tilted his head in surprise

"They're human?" He spat, earning a dismissively cold glance from his elder martial sister "I thought that..."

"What? That lady Huanliuxue would ignore talent just because I was born with thumbs?" Qiang drawled snappily "Trust me, Junior, I'm as surprised as you are. Never thought that she'd pick up a dog as a disciple. And an Owl, I thought you were..."

A wide eyed glare silenced Qiang as you did all but hiss "Who told you!" at her as she looked away, a light blush on her face.
Cont
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>>5213910

"Sorry for running my mouth" She muttered through her lips "Still, I uh, greet you my youngers. I was told I'd have to pretend to kill one of you, shouldn't be too much of a hassle, considering how many times I've actually performed such an act"

Could she not at least act enthused?

"...is she some how your daughter?" Huili asks suddenly "You two smell very similar to one another and her attitude reminds me of a cat"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Qiang asked "And I'm guessing you, pup, are the one I have to play with? And I've been told my presence is very much different from Lady Huanliuxue's. Something about the difference of a bloody sword and field of graves"

"As have I, Liu chose to read me that piece of poetry when we were trying to leave, as well, remember?" You sighed "But yes, the wolf is the one whose death we're faking"

"You're not a good person, are you, elder sister?" Siwang directly asked Qiang

"Killing is an inherently sinful act even if it is done righteously, at least in my opinion" Qiang said with a smile "But, unlike your furred brother, I am certain I've only cut down the deserving unlike a certain giant sized bitch. And, junior, if you meet the Ogre of the Ling, tear her eyes out for your elder sister"

"So you are not a bad person, if you feel guilt and pity for even the villains of this world" Siwang cheerfully and innocently declared, bringing a new flush of blush to Qiang's cheeks

"She must be your child, for how else could so terrifying a human be born into this world" Huili whined as you exchanged glances with Qiang

"Will this dog be able to play the part of a terrifying demon? I know he is to most of the world, but if the dreaded Ash gale trembles and shakes as they approach a handsome woman exorcist, it will look a little suspicious, don't ya think, Master?" Qiang whispered

"He'll be fine, all you have to do is insult him a few times to get him back into character" You quietly explain, looking over at Huili "and don't hit him, just chant some gibberish and shake some prayer beads and incense sticks like Ping does and I'll provide the effects for your two man play"

Qiang sighed and threw back her head

"Why could you get Ping for this? He's the one training to be an exorcist" Qiang complained "I'm not even certain of which method I'll practice, surely he'd have been a better choice"

"Master has her reason" You assured "Now, get to know your juniors and prepare yourself for tonights performance"

"I'll trust your peerless wisdom" Qiang stated after a moment of thought "So, I'm guessing the bird is Wusheng Siwang and the wolf is Huili?"

"Correct!" Siwang chirped "Though I am not certain I shall keep that name"

"Yes, child of the bloodshed" Huili barked obediently as you resisted the urge to smack your paw into your own face in exasperation with the wolf's now strongly held belief that you had somehow mothered a human child.
Cont
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>>5213911

How strong were dogs' noses? Surely duller than a cat's sense of smell, if he mistook your scent for anything close to Qiang's. She smelled of blood. You had the presence of a field of graves whose air had been chilled and turned bitter by the poison of grudges seeping into its soil. And sometimes smelt like grave dirt and dust if you spent too long meditating. Maybe all of his fire had filled his nose with stinking smoke?

You pondered this as you watched Huili and Qiang practiced their parts in the play you had devised, with a very enthusiastic Siwang drilling them throughout their performance.

Thankfully, the deception was carried out near flawlessly. Qiang's cold demeanor and blunt manners, convinced the villagers she knew more than the kindly old monks who had come some days prior to their village to fill the bellies of the demonic wolves plaguing them and denied their attempts of handing her a payment for her "exorcism" was met with slaps and snarling denials of such gifts as she marched, grouchily to the outskirts of the village.

You rolled your eyes as Qiang's natural menace broke down into bad acting, worse than the most poor street actors of Suiqi! Stilted, halting and poorly delivered, your disciple declared

"Hah! I sense the presence of a great malevolence! Stand back! The demon will soon appear before our eyes!"

As she whipped her hair around and held an open palm in the air. You and Siwang exchanged glances, and looked back to see Huili missing his cue, playing with some of his younger siblings further in the valley. Qiang's dull eyes squinted and her face visibly contorted with annoyance

The villagers looked around, as Qiang glared at the spot her Qi sharpened senses could see Huili playing around.

"I said" She repeated, throwing an arm out to stop the inquisitive village chief from stepping over the boundary of the village and onto the stage you had prepared with talismans to provide the necessary flare and effects for Qiang and Huili's "spiritual batttle" "A demon is about to appear! Stay back for your own safety"

Huili was still distracted by his family's antics. So you drew a claw down Ghost Empress Melody, creating a screeching tone to high for human's to hear. That got his attention, and at last the villain stepped up onto the stage, snarling and snapping his jaws as he acted like a stupid rabid beast.

Thankfully, the villagers once terrorized by your student, were all uneducated morons who probably couldn't spot a difference between a Buddhist and a Daoist, and the poor acting of your students went unnoticed as Qiang and Huili continued their game

And suddenly, you remembered the game you played with the Geges! Huili was acting just like you had when you were playing the role of the Demon empress! and Qiang was sounding like an older sister forced to play along with her young siblings fantasies.
Cont
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>>5213915

And so you started laughing, and nearly missed your own cue to begin providing the "battle" with dazzling explosions and strange lights. Siwang, helpfully, reminded you of your own role by flapping his wings, and so you activated the first of the talismans you had scattered across the field, creating loud bangs and filling the air with mock ghost lights and patches of ice as Qiang and Huili "Exchanged blows in the astral realm"

The mock fight only lasted a few breathes, but required incredibly complex coregraphy and timing. It ended when, with a shouted "Hah!" Qiang threw out her palm and the Ash gale was "Destroyed" in a massive explosion of dust and red flashes.

You had to wait till night to retrieve Qiang, as she was carried away by her adoring crowd and forced to celebrate with them while you, Siwang and Huili laughed at how easily those same villagers were fooled.

What do you do now, Huanliuxue?

>Have Qiang escort Siwang and Huili back to your temple, while you recruit another one of the beasts

>Missing the two Geges now, after recalling the games you played with them, go and visit them.

>Rouse the spirits of the slain martial artists with Ghost Empress Melody and interrogate them to learn who sent them

>Take the skulls of the Crow Cloak Clan, and them into magical alarms by trapping their souls inside of them

>write in
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>>5213918
>Take the skulls of the Crow Cloak Clan, and them into magical alarms by trapping their souls inside of them
>>
>>5213918
>Have Qiang escort Siwang and Huili back to your temple, while you recruit another one of the beasts
We need to atleast get the turtle. I have the feeling that the ogress will go after one of them soon
>>
>>5213918
>>Have Qiang escort Siwang and Huili back to your temple, while you recruit another one of the beasts
We need to gather the others, that is our top priority.
>>
>>5213918
>>Have Qiang escort Siwang and Huili back to your temple, while you recruit another one of the beasts
Qiang is surprisingly a cute.
>>
>>5213918
>Have Qiang escort the others while we get another
Lets go turtle.

Afterwards. . Guys, bad thought. We killed those 5 hunters in the snow storm didn't we? And that would, therefore, be the place in which they would send Ling's cousin right?

So do you think she would be sent to kill our younger sisters?
>>
>>5213996
I think she night have left that cave to search for mother, since she noticed when Monu got younger and was hurrying her frankenstein simp apprentice along in the last PoV change.
But I not so sure that they are nomadic instead of having that cave be a home base, ao there is still a chance.
>>
>>5213918
>Rouse the spirits of the slain martial artists with Ghost Empress Melody and interrogate them to learn who sent them

Gotta say I love all these minor characters. Hope we get to see more of Hong soon!
>>
>>5214008
Wait sorry, you definatly meant the geges, since our ghost sister would be the older and we have only one.
We killed the hunters when we hot close to Ping's old sect, not in the wild valley, that's why the Ling sect blamed them for their deaths and are starting a war in heaven.
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>>5214012
I hope so.
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>>5213918
>Have Qiang escort Siwang and Huili back to your temple, while you recruit another one of the beasts
Getting the turtle would be nice.

Sent from my samsung - SM-T580
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>>5213918
>Have Qiang escort Siwang and Huili back to your temple, while you recruit another one of the beasts
Turtle still be okay. If not for Huli, we’d be somewhat on target for recruiting the four guardian beasts due to having a bird, turtle, and a snake that thinks it’s a dragon
>>
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result. Happy April Fools.

Take the skulls of the Crow Cloak Clan, and them into magical alarms by trapping their souls inside of them:1

Have Qiang escort Siwang and Huili back to your temple, while you recruit another one of the beasts:6
-turtle:4

So you will part ways with your newest students, having Qiang escort them back to your hidden temple, while you attempt to recruit the turtle causing trouble in the many rivers of the lands owned by the Chuan.

Update will arrive shortly

Rouse the spirits of the slain martial artists with Ghost Empress Melody and interrogate them to learn who sent them: 1

>>5213985
A cute! A cute!

>>5214009
Very happy to hear that. and You will, don't worry.

>>5213996
Don't fear, literally no one knows of the geges or their connection to Huanliuxue and are unlikely to, since the place they live in is rarely visted/ explored.
>>
"I swear I shall be diligent in my training, practice and studies while we are apart, my most sagacious teacher!" Siwang says, sounding on the verge of the tears as you say your goodbyes to your students at the crossroads, the great owl spreading his wings to show his distress at being separated from you in a most dramatic manner. Qiang merely sits upon a nearby stone, sharpening her sword and oiling it as Huili and some of his packmates sit around her

"So these cultists you warned me about, these are the humans my kin are allowed to eat?" The wolf asks meekly, clearly seeing the often quiet woman his superior in the "pack" he's been strong armed into joining "Or will we have to wet out appetites on the beasts of the world"

"Tch, I don't care. They're bastards. the world would better off without them. Ask Huanliuxue or her mother" Qiang practically barks, clearly annoyed at being interrupted whilst she performs her own kind of meditation in the maintaining of her weapons, her dull eyes flaring with irritating and opening wider with anger as her red hair is lifted as she suddenly whips around to face to the source of her irritation.

"But shouldn't one ask a man if they can eat a man?" Huili asks, tittering and clearly enjoying annoying Qiang, knowing he was safe from any retribution so long as you were near, not realizing that you would allow her to grab him by the tail and carry him like that all the way back to your temple if she asked politely enough. Which judging from the fury in her expression, she might just do exactly that.

"Oh don't blubber and don't cry! Hold your head high! We'll meet again shortly my disciple, so save your tears and harden your resolve" You say sweetly, circling around Siwang as Qiang glares daggers at Huili as he laughs himself sick, apparently finding some kind of primitive humor in his rebuttal for some reason or another "And keep your promise well! I expect you to have near closed the distance by time I've returned"

Siwang chuckles, noticing the sweet sarcasm in your tone, as he fluffs up his feathers and lifts his chests

"Teacher" He says in a silly, clearly joking way "I shall surpass you by time you return"

Halting your laughter, you turn to Huili and pat a paw on his head, roughly

"Junior, remember Qiang is your elder and superior, and thus is allowed to punish you if you offend her or step beyond your station" You say, sternly scolding the laughing wolf "also, what was so funny about "Asking a man if you can eat a man?"

"Humans care so much about the strange laws they call manners and etiquette, you see, that is why its funny to me" Huili meekly explains, looking panickedly in the direction of the clearly furious Qiang "And I know, but I was not laughing at her, I am sure Elder sister was aware"

"You're still as annoying as a rock in a shoe" She growls back, causing the once alpha wolf to bow, alongside several of his brothers and sisters
Cont
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>>5214979

"Oh forgive this child! He wasn't aware of how his foolery was seen by his wise elders! Do not take his tongue! Do not nail his paws!" He wails, pleading forgiveness as you shake your head, trying not to laugh at his antics as you turn away from Siwang, who is dramatically wailing and sobbing, pretending like he would never see you again and acting like he were crying over your grave

"Qiang, take these young fools back to our hidden temple" You cackle warmly, losing your composure entirely as you walk away from them "I'll return shortly with our sect's newest disciple"

"Do hurry, Before your mother or Brother Feiqing or Hong give your sect a name in your stead" Qiang said with a few huffs you recognized as her dry attempts at laughter "And we should hurry before Two Axe Fu starts trouble with that Cult"

"So my siblings can help dispose of their corpses?" Huili asks meekly and hungrily

"So we may bring them to justice and prove ourselves to our elders?" Siwang asks as their voices begin to fade into the distance

"No! So I don't miss out on the fun!" you hear Qiang laugh as you look back, and see the threes silhouettes vanishing on the horizon. Smiling, you turn back around and continue on your journey in search of the Shipbreaker with your spirits raised and heart warmed.

You do so enjoy having disciples of your own. And the already great joy of being a teacher will surely only grow as more disciples are added to the list of your sect's students.

Following the nearest stream to the closest river, you begin your search for Chuándǎpò. Like Siwang and Huili, the difficulty in recruiting the Ship breaker lies in the fact it is nomadic and seems to appear wherever there are fish in the water. Which in a land as verdant as those owned by the Chuan, that is known for its many streams, rivers and lakes, that means the violet shelled turtle can be almost anywhere. So quickly, you decide you will have to narrow down your search or else you may spend years chasing after the dark shadow in the waters.
Cont
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>>5214980

How will you search for the ship Breaker, Huanliuxue?

>Follow the rumors that the cult that has taken up residence around Fu's village had somehow summoned it, and spy on their riverside rituals, confident in your ability to remain unseen

>Go to where the fish in the rivers are most plentiful, and follow the sightings of the numerous "Curses" associated with the beast up and down the river until you spot them in the waters

>Call upon the outer disciples of your sect, and have them dig out a pond that you will, with blood Qi and a few other materials (Flood dragon scale, Magical Beast fur *water aligned* and the water aligned spirit fruit, the last of which will be consumed, along with forty spirit stones *Lowering the sects total wealth of Spirit stones to 404 and leaving only the earth and metal aligned spirit fruits in your possession*) to create a paradisical pond that will surely attract Chuándǎpò (Magic trial DC 65. Failure, depending on the severity, will create...something besides an idyllic pool of Qi rich water)

>Just pour a virulently strong poison into the rivers to kill all the fish excepting a single stretch of river, that will surely drive the turtle swiftly into your paws (Alchemical trial. DC 70) [Bad Karma]

>write in
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>>5214981
>Call upon the outer disciples of your sect, and have them dig out a pond that you will, with blood Qi and a few other materials (Flood dragon scale, Magical Beast fur *water aligned* and the water aligned spirit fruit, the last of which will be consumed, along with forty spirit stones *Lowering the sects total wealth of Spirit stones to 404 and leaving only the earth and metal aligned spirit fruits in your possession*) to create a paradisical pond that will surely attract Chuándǎpò (Magic trial DC 65. Failure, depending on the severity, will create...something besides an idyllic pool of Qi rich water
>>
>>5214981
>Follow the rumors that the cult that has taken up residence around Fu's village had somehow summoned it, and spy on their riverside rituals, confident in your ability to remain unseen
>Go to where the fish in the rivers are most plentiful, and follow the sightings of the numerous "Curses" associated with the beast up and down the river until you spot them in the waters
Search around the places that are abundant in fish that are also close to the cult.
>>
>>5214981
>Follow the rumors that the cult that has taken up residence around Fu's village had somehow summoned it, and spy on their riverside rituals, confident in your ability to remain unseen
If they DO have him, that could be annoying, so check them out first.

>*Lowering the sects total wealth of Spirit stones to 404
If we did that, we would never find our fucking stones again.
>>
>>5214981
>Follow the rumours

Give us an excuse, wretches.
>>
>>5214981
>Follow the rumors that the cult that has taken up residence around Fu's village, and spy on their riverside rituals
We need to deal with these people *eventually* (if not for Fu and the village's sake, for the general well-being of our sect), and gathering information on it is a good way to get on that while still advancing our general goal of recruiting turtle-bro(?). Rumors probably only have a grain of truth to them, but we can't discount the chance that there may be someone with real talent within the ranks of the cult.
Creating a suitable habitat for Ship-Breaker should come second, lest we put the cart before the horse. It's still something we can do once he's recruited, but it still seems like a potentially big expenditure of our resources (with a significant chance of backfiring in a bad way) otherwise.
>>
>>5214981
>Follow the rumors that the cult that has taken up residence around Fu's village had somehow summoned it, and spy on their riverside rituals, confident in your ability to remain unseen

we should check out these assholes anyway. Also, Huili is bringing his pack? A fucking pack of hungry wolves is of course a scenic addition to our whole temple of doom shtick, but better make sure the village is off limits.
>>
>>5214981
>Follow the rumors that the cult that has taken up residence around Fu's village had somehow summoned it, and spy on their riverside rituals, confident in your ability to remain unseen
>>


>>
>>5214981
>Follow the rumors
>>
>>5215248
At least they are not a swarm of ravenous giant insects. So upkeep for them is in fact doable. We may need to bump up the timetable for increasing the biomass availability of our turf though. I mean sure the pack is maneaters but they will need other prey too.
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the results. Sorry for the delay, haven't been feeling well and slept for like, an entire day.

Call upon the outer disciples of your sect, and have them dig out a pond that you will, with blood Qi and a few other materials to create a paradisical pond that will surely attract Chuándǎpò: 1

Follow the rumors that the cult that has taken up residence around Fu's village had somehow summoned it, and spy on their riverside rituals, confident in your ability to remain unseen:7

Go to where the fish in the rivers are most plentiful, and follow the sightings of the numerous "Curses" associated with the beast up and down the river until you spot them in the waters: 1

So you will follow to rumors that the cult that has been set up shop near Fu's village had summoned the Ship breaker and spy on their river side rituals

Update will arrive shortly

>>5215117
Heh
>>
You remember hearing from someone, probably one of your disciples, that rumors abound that the cult that cropped up after the village flooded after the old god on the mountain threw a tantrum that spawned a hundred calamities and a spawned a thousands storms across the mortal realm. Last you heard, or at least last you were paying attention, you heard that those apostates and dark sages had taken up residence and established a temple within a cave that had emerged after the flooding had subsided. While you don't know how a cult of dabblers and fools who think cutting open the bellies and dismembering peasants will keep flood waters back or give them power over them, or what ever it is those fools are doing had learned to summon a magical beast or if even such a thing is possible. But its a better lead than simply paddling up and down the river or digging a hole in the ground in the hopes it will attract the Ship Breaker into it so you can have a polite chat with it.

Of course, investigating and spying on this cult means you'll be heading the same Direction as Qiang and your two newest disciples, but they don't have to know that. In fact, the sudden arrival of ravenous wolves who will certainly be given permission to make a feast out of the members of the cult, who have, according to the stories you've heard, mostly spoken by Fu, Feiqing or Hong, have made a habit of wearing queer hoods and assailing travelers in the wilderness or, more boldly attacking riverboats as they pass up stream, should be driven into further desperations and greater heights of further seeking protection to whatever power they worship. Though, once again you are not certain how prayer would defend their members from being eaten alive by wolves any more than it would keep them from getting sweat away during a flood or stop the quaking of the earth.

Buuut, you've encountered stranger religious sects in the world, like those odd sun worshipping zealots who thought burning Poor Ping, Feiging and Lei alive would've ended a mystical storm and called the Sun back from its slumber. Humans do come up with some rather strange beliefs, apropos of nothing.

But, who knows, maybe these fools found a manual or hidden scripture that fell from the heavens when the kindly old man nearly tore the earth apart in his rage and actually possess some mystical power or forgotten ritual that could call and bind a magical beast to their will. If they have, then you need to kill them and take it from them before they grow so bold as to try and enthrall the magnificent Huanliuxue to serve their ambitions. Whatever that may be.

You really don't know anything about these lunatics, besides the fact they've taken to human sacrifice and have been swelling in number since you claimed Yin Zhao's portion of the catacombs so you could actually make progress on your cultivation. Why, no one has told you.
Cont
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>>5218636

Hell you don't even know what, if anything they're worshipping or exactly how they sacrifice their victims. If you knew anything beyond the fact they cause trouble and are the murderous kind of zealots, you'd be more certain if the rumors of them calling the violet shelled turtle to cause trouble had any weight to them. For all you know, spying on their riverside rites may prove to be nothing but a waste of time, they might just be drowning people to appease the goddesses of the water or trying to soothe some long sleeping dragon or some other misguided attempt to calm the waters and winds. You just don't know.

"Ah well!" You declare, deciding the chance of this all being for nothing is meaningless, since you can always vent your frustrations by butchering any cultist you get your claws on if they turn out to be entirely divorced from the appearance of your hopeful third student. And who knows, maybe these riverside, marsh dwelling zealots will have a use besides leading you to your next disciple or serving as scratching posts.

So, with a bounce in your steps, you travel nearly the same path as Qiang and the younger magical beasts now under your wing, but split from them to search for signs of the cult along the riverside.

Finding them is as easy as finding your own tail, since these zealots have left behind a legion of vengeful spirits that are all to willing to give you directions to their various humble temples and sites of worship and blood sacrifice. In fact, you don't even need to explain your reason for seeking out the cult, before well over a hundred earthbound souls offer to lead you directly to them.

And judging from the horrific, half mauled appearance of these specters, many of them missing tongues, eyes or even several of their bowels and organs, there's little wonder that they possess a grudge strong enough to keep them bound to the mortal realm. You of course, graciously accept their offers of guidance and follow the parade of grisly phantoms as they lead you to a particular stretch of river between Fu's village and Suiqi. Of course, so many fierce and grudge filled spirits causes the ambient levels of Yin Qi to sky rocket, and attracts some stranger, older and more inhuman ghosts to your sudden parade of the dead.

So you have to explain to the various monstrous hungry ghosts that you aren't planning on cursing the region or creating a haven for wicked souls. One particularly stretched out and tall spirit pouts when you explain you are not gathering life energy, and a man with sickle like claws grumbles and stomps off into the forest when you tell him, with utmost certainty, that you do not plan to haunt the temples further north or have any ambition to possess the wandering pilgrims walking to them. Strangely, most of these malformed, inhuman souls decide to stick around out of curiosity as you approach the great temple of the riverside cult.
cont
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>>5218637

So many of them gather upon the hill overlooking the cavern, that a frigid white mist forms around them and begins to spread and flow down to the riverside.

You can only hope that accidentally entourage hasn't attracted the attention of a real wandering exorcist, since it has probably caused its fair shares of strange occurrences and petty hauntings as it traveled to the cult's headquarters. The spirits with a grudge against the zealots below follow you down, while the various ghosts that you picked up along the way who have no connection to the cult or their misdeeds, watch from upon the hill.

Creeping through the mist, you see that you've arrived just in time for their gruesome festival. From boats, figures dressed in pale white robes with hoods marked with teardrops painted in black and green ink step to the shore, meeting figures dressed in robes of a similar style, but with the colors reversed. Their symbol seems to be seven tears arrayed in a circle, two of which serve as eye holes for the strange acolytes.

Watching from under the mist, you watch them in silence as they bring large clay jugs and open wooden casks to the mouth of the cave. And that's when you realize that only a handful of the several dozen cultists had walked out of the cavern rather than from the boats. Intrigued, you crawl closer and smell the familar stench of rotting entrails and coagulated blood.

"MY BODY! MY BODY!" several of the vengeful ghosts at your side cry out "They've defiled my body!"

And indeed, it does appear that the contents of their clay jugs and wooden casks are a slurry of limbs, bloated organs and unraveled guts swimming in blood and fat. And judging from the pomp and extravagance of this wretched ceremony, you can guess that this is a sacrifice greater than their usual worship and adherence to whatever strange faith they follow . Most the offerings smell old, either preserved or rotting. Telling you that they had kept their victim's in case they believed they required a greater sacrifice.

And one by one, you watched as, lead by the man wearing what appeared to be an empty wine gourd on his head, poured the bloody contents of their jars and casks into the cave mouth.

"Oh great mother of the lakes!" The apparent head priest cried out "We, your faithful children, who tend to the waters you birth and keep away those heretics who would abuse and mistreat the rivers and lakes, casting their nets over your thousands maiden daughters to steal away their blessings, offer you a rich bounty of wine made from the flesh of those who have forgotten your kindness and abuse the gifts you gave to this land"

Oh! So they're worshipping the drunk goddess who fell to the earth and dropped her bottomless wine cask in the center of the chuan lands! Monu told you about this, though you never cared to remember the deity's name.
Cont
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>>5218638

Apparently she used to be one of the favored gods of the region, but fell out of favor when she, in a drunken stupor, caused it to rain for nearly a decade when she answered nearly a generations worth of prayers for rain after, according to legend, she had slept for nearly fifty years. So did these cultists think the flood was her anger over being forgotten in favor of more respectable and dependable deities?

You frown, watching as the cultists pour jar after jar of liquidized corpses down into the cave's mouth, sloshing and tossing them into the dark as your ghostly companions wail, curse and beg you to kill them or give them the energy to do it yourself. But instead of giving into their demands, you simply listen. The gentle waters of the river, the sloshing of blood and organs falling into the earth. And further beneath, you reach out with your spiritual sense, following the faint connection the slurries of corpses still hold to the souls that once inhabited them.

And find that the river and tunnel do not connect. In fact, if your sixth sense is right, the cave leads nowhere, but you can't be certain that's right since it does reach for several miles underground at a straight incline.

Unless the Ship breaker was a yet undocumented breed of subterranean turtle, you doubt this cult had anything to do with their appearance in the river. If anything, the Ship breakers emergence and the accidental devastation they have wrought on the waterways is what has kept this cult a live. Since, to the ignorant and superstitious masses, Whirlpools that devour ships, dark waters that herald storms, and a giant turtle crashing into ships would appear to be the work of an angry god, carrying out divine retribution against those people who have abandoned her and yet still abuse her gifts.

Combine that with the flood that caused the cult to form to begin with, and you have a perfect recipe for a sect of evil, murderous bastards who think they're righteous in killing innocents to feed to a cave in the belief it will prevent further catastrophe by appearing the deity they believe to be offended.

What a bunch of morons! And what a waste of time! Or is it?

"Oh we beg you, we beg you! ease you anger, allow us to sail across your daughters fair backs once more! Call off your hounds! Have we not been faithful? Have we not been generous?" The headpriest cries out sorrowfully "How can you, our great mother, laze beneath the earth, as those few who remember your kindness and majesty are hunted by man and beast alike! What must we do to make right with you! How can we appease you? No one listens to us! No one believes us! Give us a sign! Oh goddess of the great basin! Show your loyal followers the righteous path back to your good graces, so the land will no longer suffer, so it may return to worshipping you, our true patron!"

Perhaps these idiots yet have a use besides throwing them to Fu and Qiang...
Cont
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>>5218639

What do you do with the cult, Huanliuxue?

>Sneak nearer to the cave, and pretend to be the goddess they worship and trick them into finding the Ship breaker for you. And have them kill whoever came up with the human sacrifice

>Just kill them all, they're misguided commoners, just cut them down and throw them into the cave and rid the world of their filth

>Tell Qiang and Fu you found where the cult that has been troubling them meets. And then let nature takes its course.

>Possess their head priest, and declare that a god that remains silent is no god worth following, and convert the whole murderous sect to the worship of Huanliuxue! Hohoho!

>Write in

Apologies for being slow as ass/ patchy as fuck lately. Life has been finding new and exciting ways to fuck me, but hopefully its done doing so
>>
>>5218641
>Possess their head priest, and declare that a god that remains silent is no god worth following, and convert the whole murderous sect to the worship of Huanliuxue! Hohoho!
>Sneak nearer to the cave, and pretend to be the goddess they worship and trick them into finding the Ship breaker for you. And have them kill whoever came up with the human sacrifice
I want a mixture of both of these, for them to worship us, to search for the shipbreaker, to punish the human sacrifice and to not reveal ourselves, but's it's way too late and I can't think of a write-in.
>>
>>5218641
>Sneak nearer to the cave, and pretend to be the goddess they worship and trick them into finding the Ship breaker for you. And have them kill whoever came up with the human sacrifice
After the find the turtle
>Tell Qiang and Fu you found where the cult that has been troubling them meets. And then let nature takes its course.

Fuck these guys. We may be a horrible man-eating nightmare cat, but at least we're not retarded.
>>
>>5218641
>Just kill them all, they're misguided commoners, just cut them down and throw them into the cave and rid the world of their filth

honestly I don't think these assholes have any use for us. Why would they be better at finding the turtle than we are?
>>
>>5218721
I will support.

The training potential of slaughter is worth it.
>>
>>5218641
>Sneak nearer to the cave, and pretend to be the goddess they worship and trick them into finding the Ship breaker for you. And have them kill whoever came up with the human sacrifice
We would be closer to find the turtle and they would stop the sacrifices, sounds like a win-win situation to me.
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>>5218641
>Sneak nearer to the cave, and pretend to be the goddess they worship and trick them into finding the Ship breaker for you. And have them kill whoever came up with the human sacrifice
>Tell Qiang and Fu you found where the cult that has been troubling them meets. And then let nature takes its course.
>>
OP were there any children among the ghosts/corpses?
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>>5218641
>Sneak nearer to the cave, and pretend to be the goddess they worship and trick them into finding the Ship breaker for you. And have them kill whoever came up with the human sacrifice
Finding the Ship breaker is what we came here for, but this would kill two birds with one stone. Well, as long as they permanently stop killing people.
>>
>>5218666
Just woke up, changing my vote to
>Just kill them all, they're misguided commoners, just cut them down and throw them into the cave and rid the world of their filth
>Tell Qiang and Fu you found where the cult that has been troubling them meets. And then let nature takes its course.
Let's get some training with our disciples.
>>
>>5218641
>Sneak nearer to the cave, and pretend to be the goddess they worship and trick them into finding the Ship breaker for you. And have them kill whoever came up with the human sacrifice
>Tell Qiang and Fu you found where the cult that has been troubling them meets. And then let nature takes its course.
>>
>>5218641
As you may remember from this update (>>5199804), the reason why Monu stopped our disciples from resolving the cult situation by themselves is that two sects of cultivators had started fighting nearby, and would be looking for rogues, monsters, and infiltrators of all kinds. The bigger of a spectacle we make in dealing with these people, the more likely we are to draw the attention of these dangerous, well-established cultivators toward ourselves and our nascent sect, which isn't something that would be good for anyone. All of this in mind, I propose that we take a more subtle approach, and make it look like an accident:

>Lure them deep into the cave, making all of them confront the reality of what they've done in murdering hundreds of people for a goddess that wasn't there to begin with.
>Use Ghost Empress Melody to allow the dead to rise and crawl up out of the corpse-pit-- to kill the person who came up with the idea of human sacrifice along with any particular murderous assholes that stick out from the crowd of terrified peasants.
>Find Ship-Breaker on our own

Much as I'd like to give them the same treatment as the assholes that were planning to burn Lei and Feiqing, they are a decently sized cult, and their sudden disappearance, or conversion to worshiping us would be super bad in either case. Giving our actions the appearance of karmic justice, or a natural phenomenon is a good idea for a cover story. Those who live to tell the tale will certainly stop their human-sacrifice bullshit, and either a) not tell anyone, because doing so is tantamount to an admission of murder... Or b) under threat, admit that the vengeful spirits of the dead rose up and punished the murderers, allowing us to dissolve the cult while (hopefully) not tipping any cultivators off. Given that we were born from grudges, and large concentrations of Yin/Death Qi can do exactly this sort of shit, it might work in our favor.
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>>5218948
You have convinced me, I will change my vote one last time to support you.
Hopefully enough people does as well, it's difficult for a late write-in to win.
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>>5218948
We only really risk attracting attention if we:
>kill them
>make them worship us
Trick them into believe we are the goddess and nobody will suspect us. Nobody is gonna hear rumours of what happens and go "ah yes drunk goddess = bloody murder cat". Even if anyone suspects monkey business, nobody will have any idea it was us, and they will just conclude it was the opposing sect.
Hell, if we actually get whoever came up with sacrificing executed, then we even cured the cult of it's asshole affliction.
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