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Previous chapters:https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20Quest
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Huanliuxue (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed/ Happy to Shed Blood) ! That is the name you wear with pride! As the wisest of all demonic beasts and greatest Wild Princess to grace the mortal realms with their presence in at least ten generations. In the palace of the failure of an emperor Long Tiantunri, you had done what no magical beast has done since the mere existence of beasts with intellect to match that of mankind was outlawed by the nine heaven's themselves, reaching the "True" awakening as detailed with the treasured relic left behind by the long dead Niu Bingwen, the divine manual, the Bestial Edict to Attain- Human Form (兽诏书为高达-人类形式, Shòuzhàoshūwèigāodá-Rénlèixíngshì.), by reaching a true and intimate understanding of human nature and wisdom and realizing you have held it in your paws for sometime, as well as in your own passionate imperial heart.

And if you were not in the den of a dog who needed culling and quick, you would have began the trial and faced the mandate of the heavens by attempting to undergo the tribulation traditionally faced by Awakened Beast such as yourself. Attaining a human form of your own, so you could stand as equal of those demonic beasts that came before and renounce the claim that your existences was wrong or the result of demonic cultivation. Performing such an affront against the heavens, gods, and laws that hated you would be wholly irresistible to not do so immediately. However several unaccounted for circumstances, besides the fact Long Tiantunri dared to live in your world, prevented you from undertaking this vital test.

One, was that your loyal student in medicine and assistant in doctoring, Yuyi and Yongzheng were still in the palace, and the latter was determined to, despite his station as a zealous Buddhist monk, to take part in the exectution of the worthless monarch. Another was that there were many questions your natural feline curiosity demanded to be answered. Like, why did the former emperor's departed soul speak on your behalf, why was there a cult attacking the second imperial palace the same night as the three dian brother's attempted to take the emperor's fat head, aided of course by well crafted pills and spirit medicines made by your magnificent self.

But the most present obstacle preventing you from undergoing the tribulation of transformation, was the Ling Ogress herself! Who had appeared in the palace suddenly and threatened Yongzheng as she had threatened Fu, Hong and Qiang a few years prior, as well as that worm Mao Weixiao,

Luckily, however, out of all of the pressing matters you needed to see to before you could finish your journey and take on a human form, The ogress was the easiest to contend with, since she was battle junky through and through.

Cont
>>
>>5454402

Having already convinced her to duel you, instead of slaughtering Yongzheng on a murderous whim, hoping that this would give him and the Dian Brothers time to finish their grisly work, as well as allow Qiang to whisk Yuyi and her maids away from the dangers of the palace before your disciple could come across or draw the attention of the ogress herself. Since if either Qiang or Fu caught a single glimpse of Ling Yaonan, they would most assuredly throw themselves at her to avenge their prior humilation and beating at her hands.

However, considering how much of an interest she had taken in you, it might be possible to make this bloodthirsty maniac wait until you've had the satisfaction of watchin Lord Long be shuffled off this mortal coil and dragged down to hell as the cowardly mutt deserved for forsaking his duty as a father and male.

"Well then, we shall meet in the gardens then, underneath the swaying shadows of persimmon tree and bamboo stalks to bare our fangs and unsheathe our claws and tear into each other with wild abandoned. The possessed corpse of an old man and the wild and untamned daughter of the Ling clan. We'll duel beneath the full moon of this night, alone" You answer, smirking as you press your forehead to the taller woman's own, feeling the beard on the face you wear bristle like whiskers

"Except for each other, oh I can't wait. It's been so long since I've fought something fun. Hope you can be a challenge worth of my steel, Old man <3" She purred, grabbing ahold of the collar of your bloodstained tunic, her eyes wild and crazed with excitement

"Ah ah ah, you'll spoil your appetite if your so greedy a monster" You purred back, making a point to match her vicious stare with one of your own "I have business here myself"

"Fuck you" She spat , eyes narrowing and sparking with the unmistakable carmine light of Blood Qi

"What are you going to do to punish me for making you wait? Kill me? I can always take control of another corpse in this palace, there are plenty here after all" You say back with mock kindness as she tightened her grip on your collar "It won't take long, my only concern is ensuring the emperor doesn't breath past midnight. He's escaped death once before, and it'd be unfortunate to see him slither away to live another day. All I ask, is you all me to do my duty, and confirm his death without a shred of doubt"

"Want me to kill him?" She snarled, loosening her grip "This sword of mine could have him dead at your feet before you could blink"

"Oh I wouldn't want to tarnish your good name. How about, you take this body, wait in the courtyard for a few minutes at most. I'll return, and we can battle to your hearts content. See if I am the challenge you seek. Is that a reasonable compromise? All I ask is for bit of patience. Do you think I mean to run away from this confrontation, Ling girl?" You cackled, wearing a devious grin "It is not like a corpse can die"
Cont
>>
>>5454403

"It can be butchered" She grumbled, pouting as she let you go, turning away with a hup and turning up of her nose "Fine! Watch the waste of a man die! But don't think to renege on your offer to let me cut you up, Grandpa ~"

"And don't you go looking for my actual body bitch, you won't find it" You boast as you left the dead man's skin and allowed him to collapse

"Where's the fun in only killing you once, huh?" The Ogress laughed, crouching down in front of the motionless body and poking its forehead "Fighting a corpse puppet will be much more entertaining, I think, so come back soon, okay, Mysterious one?"

Without waiting a moment, you bounded after Yongzheng in your spectral cat demon form, ignoring the number of palace cats looking up at you and the spirits of the recently slain gathering in confused, beffuddled mobs. Following the wispy tails of the grudge clouds produced by both the monk and the three brother's dian, you soon find the former, slamming his shoulder against a barred door.

"Ah, Yongzheng, how pleasant to meet you here" You cooed as you curled in the air above him, floating above his head and knowing he can see you "Are the three Dian brothers past this door"

"A guard slammed it shut and locked it" He huffed, red in the face and soaked in sweat that reeked of fear "I can still hear their fighting! I'm thankful they hadn't used their full power when I had met them on the road as their enemy! They fight like wild beasts! With the strength of ten men and the speed of whirlwinds! It is an incredible sight to see them in motion"

"What a bad buddhist you are" You tease "Being entertained by killing and murder, maybe my tastes have rubbed off on you a little during the time we've spent, side by side, eh?"

"I pity the men they have killed, and will pray for them later, but even a virtuous man such as myself can be forgiven for feeling joy at knowing a demon in human guise will soon meet their demise" He answered angriy back, clearly annoyed by your pointed jab "I need to help them, even if I'm a weakling compared to them, I can't in good concious let them fight alone, no matter how strong and swift they are"

"Well, its just your luck, I was planning on watching this play out with my own eyes, so please, allow me to get the door for you" You laugh happily as you walk through the door, and lift the wooden bar on the other side up, allowing Yongzheng to smash the door open with his next charge

"You have my thanks, I'll be sure to leave an offering in one of your many shrines" Yongzheng sardonically thanked you, hastily cupping his fist before sprinting after the trail of the dead left by the Three Brother's Dian. You lazily followed after him.

And soon, you come across the exhausted form of Dian Bo, who you thought for a moment was dead from the several arrows stuck in him, and the broken spear stabbed in his leg until you saw his chest rise weakly as Yongzheng stepped past him
Cont
>>
>>5454404

"You're that monk! The one that was accompanying the party stealing Saintess Yuyi to this awful place!" He roared angrily, lifting up his dull and pitted edged dao as, through the extra strength and stamina granted to him by your pills, he stood back up

"You're alive! I was just about to pray for your soul. Do not worry, we are on the same side friend" the young monk answered quickly as Bo eyed him warily

"Realized your mistake huh" Bo said woozily, obviously suffering from blood loss "Well, I wasn't gonna fight you, even if you were an evil monk like we thought, I'll trust you since that's easy"

"What are you doing here alone?" Yongzheng asked as he helped Dian Bo walk by allowing him to lean on him

"Bunch of mask wearing maniacs and guards surrounded us! I told my older brothers to go on ahead, meant to catch up to them, but I got so tired" He yawned, as if he was unaware of the arrow sticking out of his neck, a few feet away from his carotid or the spear still lodged in his leg

"Do you need to rest?" Yongzheng asked, shooting you a concerned look as Bo yawned again and shook his head

"No, I think I just had too much to eat at supper, I'll be ready to fight once I've walked a bit more!' He declared blithly unaware of his grievous injuries.

Bao, you find still fighting a handful of elite guards, blinded by his own blood. You watch Yongzheng and Bo intervene, and smile as the two brother's tearfully reunite and embrace one another. It would seem, from what little of half cried conversation you hear over the horrible clamor of shouting voices, clashing blades and crackling fire, that you had just missed the eldest and most chivalrous of the three Dian brothers. Dian Gang.

Who, judging from the fact Dian Bo is alive, and you just saw Dian Bao lift a man up by his neck, they have taken the weakened divine blood honey medicines you had given them, along with the cheaper pills. And Dian Gang had taken the flickering wind pellet upon realizing he and Bao were about to be surrounded again, and, like his younger brother, Bao bravely sacrificed himself to allow his elder brother to continue forward

Now thoroughly excited to see what came next, you followed Yongzheng, who marched ahead, and Bo and Bao, the latter of which was being caught up and told that Yongzheng was actually a proper Buddhist and no wicked or greedy monk taking advantage of innocent and naïve Yuyi. You couldn't help but to wonder how their brief meeting with you had been twisted in their minds during their trek to the palace, corrupting and distorting their mental image of you as they encouraged themselves with what they imagined had happened and what they had envisioned they'd do to the emperor and his soldiers in retribution.
Cont
>>
>>5454406

Shaking that pointless thought out of your head, you devoted all the rest of your thoughts to the anticipation of watching the scumbag emperor meet his end, and so rushed ahead of the two wounded brothers and the winded Yongzheng. And because you picked up your pace and shot like a bolt of lightning through the palace, that you were able to catch up with Dian Gang, right as he finally got within spitting distance of the emperor.

He had cornered him in the throne room, which was now filled with severed limbs and a thick pool of blood. Long Tiantunri, even reinvigorated and muscular once more, was cowering, trying to hide behind his women and push them forward as if he thought they'd fight on his behalf. Especially the one smiling, who judging by her beauty, was the lover whom had replaced the stolen Lady Bao.

Gang, wasn't looking well. The skin on his feet and hands had been degloved and torn away, and blood vessels were popping along his bulging arms and his eyes and turned a beautiful shade of crimson from internal bleeding. His armor was broken and his chest was bared. You could hear his heart hammering, everyone could

"LONG TIANTUNRI!" He bellowed, frothing at the mouth, not from pill overdoes, but from sheer maddening anger "I have come to take recompense for the thousands of corpses you have left in your wake, the lives you have trampled in your hubris! I shall see your every sin repaid and Lord Bao avenged! And Lady Yuyi freed from her confinement here!"

You had never seen a man who had less dignity facing his death than the last emperor of the Long Dynasty. He couldn't even speak he was so terrified, despite being in a health and strong body once more. His tears flowed like wild rivers down his cheeks, his hanging earlobes danced to and fro as he shook his head, silently pleading for just a few more moments of life. His wispy beard and mustache were soaked with snot and his handsome, draconic features were gnarled into a whimpering look of terror and panic.

Even Gang himself seemed disappointed

"A waste of a man, you shame your ancestors. May this bring an end to the chaos consuming the kingdom, and allow peace to return at last" He muttered, as he stepped forward, and stepping past the women, drove his blade through the emperor's back

and that was that.

The end of an ancient dynasty, the destruction of the imperial family and the final page of their history. That was their legacy, he who was equal to heaven, the son of heaven himself, squealing like an infant and hiding behind women he had taken from their husbands, brothers or fathers by force. Unable to defend himself, without the will or resolve to stand as he died.
Cont
>>
>>5454409

He died a dog's death. And the moment he did. The air lightened, as a thousand grudges were satisfied at once, and you felt a feeling of enlightenment upon witnessing this once in a lifetime even of a man hated by so many getting what he deserved, and dying pathetically. Like swarms of butterflies, ghosts and grudges fulfilled, gathered around the still body of Tiantunri, flocking around him as Dian Gang fell to one knee, panting and wheezing as his face turned a ghastly pale.

What do you do now, Huanliuxue?

>See if Dian Gang is alright and if he needs help surviving the burden of all the drugs he took, then fight the ling bitch

>Mediate on the emperor's death and the gathered storm of enmity released upon it, and the great comfort and light that has taken its place, Then fight the ogress

>Check if Yuyi and Qiang are safely away from the ogress, and then go fight Ling Yaonan as you had promised

>Grab the emperor's soul, and mock him that, his misrule gave birth to a much more deserving ruler. HUANLIUXUE!. Personally escort the bastard to hell, to relish in his fear, before returning to duel the crazed battle junky

>Decide you have no reason to uphold promises given to a Ling, and gather Yuyi, Fu, and Qiang and just leave before the Ogress realize you lied about fighting her.

>Write in
>>
>>5454414
>Grab the emperor's soul, trapping it into one of the soul sealing jars to bring it back to your sect.
>See if Dian Gang is alright and if he needs help surviving the burden of all the drugs he took, then fight the ling bitch
His blackened soul would make for a great cultivation tool for Siwang, and a source of grudges for us. I'm not letting the bastard go that easily after all that effort to kill him.
And I trust Qiang's ability to protect Yuyi
>>
>>5454414
>>Mediate on the emperor's death and the gathered storm of enmity released upon it, and the great comfort and light that has taken its place, Then fight the ogress
>>
>>5454414
Supporting >>5454419
>>
>>5454419
Oh, and if it's not possible to get his soul since we are on ghost form and may need to return to Yuyi to get the pearl with the jars, than just help Gang I guess.
>>
>>5454454
Actually, even if it's possible, prioritize Gang over getting the soul, since we are on a time limit and we might not be able to do both.
I'm sure some demon with a grudge will get his hand on him to torture for eternity, there were plenty of those in hell when we visited, so it might not be gone forever. Gang's live on the other hand is quite final.
>>
>>5454414
>See if Dian Gang is alright and if he needs help surviving the burden of all the drugs he took, then fight the ling bitch
>>
>>5454409
>The end of an ancient dynasty
excepting the son of a dead concubine who was given to a maid that has raised him as their own until they're ready to take hold their destiny He's finally dead. Good riddance.

>>5454414
>Grab the emperor's soul
>See if Dian Gang is alright and if he needs help surviving the burden of all the drugs he took, then fight the ling bitch
I mean, why give him up at all? Just keep him as long as we can. Consider it training in how to hold onto a soul while we ourselves remain a soul. We've shaped our soul thoroughly, and have an even degree of physical/spiritual force, so by mouth or paw his shouldn't be impossible to transport.

Hell, if it works out well, we can just keep his soul with us while we repossess the corpse and fight Yaonan. Or better yet, zip it back to our body and drop it into something secure, considering how fast we move as souls.
>>
>>5454414
>Check if Yuyi and Qiang are safely away from the ogress, and then go fight Ling Yaonan as you had promised
>>
>>5454414
>>Grab the emperor's soul, and mock him that, his misrule gave birth to a much more deserving ruler. HUANLIUXUE!. Personally escort the bastard to hell, to relish in his fear, before returning to duel the crazed battle junky
>>
>>5454464
Support
>>
>>5454414
>Get soul
>Meditate
>Go fight Ling bitch
>>
>>5454414
>Grab the emperor's soul, and mock him that, his misrule gave birth to a much more deserving ruler. HUANLIUXUE!. Personally escort the bastard to hell, to relish in his fear, before returning to duel the crazed battle junky
>>
>>5454414
>Grab the emperor's soul
>Ckeck on Dian Gang
No need to go to hell right now, we’ve got a brat to correct
>>
>>5454414
>Check on Dian Gang
>Grab the emperor's soul
>>
>>5454414
>>See if Dian Gang is alright and if he needs help surviving the burden of all the drugs he took, then fight the ling bitch
>>Grab the emperor's soul, and mock him that, his misrule gave birth to a much more deserving ruler. HUANLIUXUE!. Personally escort the bastard to hell, to relish in his fear, before returning to duel the crazed battle junky
>>
I'll point out that the death of this man is a once in a lifetime oppertunity, and if we don't meditate on it now, we're going to lose the shot.

It won't be irreparable damage to us, but I'd still greatly suggest that we take this chance to further our Dao of Grudges, because I can think of fewer mass quantity killings that can be indulged in.
>>
>>5455135
>if we don't meditate on it now, we're going to lose the shot.
Why though? It's not like we'll forget everything in the next minute.
>>
>>5455138
We're not observing the fine details of the event, not absorbing energy to test the 'taste' or glimpsing some very rare principle which is engaged through these unusual circumstances. Like this "comfort and light" which is the first time we've ever seen occur at a death.

The option is to study this phenomenon, which we won't do passively because we will be engaged in other things, namely catching a soul then trying to tend the wounds of Dian Gang [who frankly has served his purpose and can die content] before going to fight the Ling bitch.

No time to deeply examine the sating of so many symultanious grudges, and the event will dissipate rather quickly if we are not exceedingly lucky and it remains due to the energies involved. Which itself, we will miss out on observing how it is formed.

it's not an issue of "forgetting" it's an issue of not learning at all.
>>
>>5455152
My only worry is if it’ll use up our big bonus that we’ll want to save for human form attainment.
>>
>>5455135
Problem is that we are on a time limit until the bitch starts throwing a tantrum, so we have to ration what we do, and I would rather meditate on it later when we can stop and think on the bigger implications. It's going to be a less fresh memory and feeling, but we can take our sweet time doing it in compensation.
Honestly, the only thing that is truly once in a lifetime in this choice is Gang's survival. You know, because if he ides his lifetime ended
>>
>>5455158
I'm honestly content throwing his soul to the dogs and Gang to his fate when faced with the opportunity to advance our Dao.

Dao is our path, our power, our strength and the way forwards in the path of cultivation. It's well worth missing out on one artifact or one mortal life. Especially given our dominion over ghosts.

Still, I'm willing to compromise and get rid of my vote for the soul and switch to Gang if it would increase the amount of votes towards meditation. Because Huan is a good moral girl, rather than my pragmatic ass.

>>5455157
We've the ability to divide up and partition the bonus as we wish.
Out of +135, we can put it all on the roll or none of it or +100 or +22 or whatever else, if precedent is followed. We've done it before.
>>
>>5455166
Well, I still want to meditate on it, just not now, we shouldn't rush any advancement or enlightenment, otherwise we could have picked the chance to get our human form instead of getting even more bonuses. Although I admit some part of it was because we got sidetracked with other opportunities and helping people.
Also, I kind of want to save that bonus to use it all at once. I'm really curious what would happen if we got something like 90 over the DC, since Grandfather always mentions the difference, and I have a feeling it has an effect.
>>5454419
>Because Huan is a good moral girl, rather than my pragmatic ass.
You are right, I'm officially changing my vote to just
>See if Dian Gang is alright and if he needs help surviving the burden of all the drugs he took, then fight the ling bitch
>>
>>5455175
I get that you want to meditate later, I'm saying that we cannot do it later without losing most of the benefits.

the difference between a science experiment about gravity and thinking about how an apple would fall
>>
Also it's a bit early, but I'm counting the votes to check the progress

Votes
13

>Get soul - 6 (9?)
MKWdP0ea
nYynoVXb
SpxoLFBF
dJlLexm2
cmEwTU9T (?)
jv6l+axS (?)
IUtWYDY
NyKA6ZKm
VAKtHXl3 (?)

>Go to hell - 3
cmEwTU9T
jv6l+axS
VAKtHXl3

>Help Gang - 8 (?)
1shEj/mN
MKWdP0ea
Yviz7gkE
nYynoVXb
SpxoLFBF
fIUtWYDY
NyKA6ZKm
VAKtHXl3

>Meditate - 2 (?)
5P1NovTy
dJlLexm2

>Check Yuyi - 1 (?)
epvA7rFa

I don't know if the anons wanting to go the hell are more interested in just grabbing the soul than mocking him, so I put into a question mark.
So depending on how Grandfather counts this, we either only heal Gang or heal Gang and get the soul, but in neither case follow him to hell.
>>
>>5455187
>but in neither case follow him to hell.
Unless these anons that just said Get soul and Check on Dian Gang meant to shorten the vote instead of purposefully removing the follow him to hell part, it still wouldn't be one less than half, but makes the tally more confusing.
>>5454800
>>5455089
But not this one since he specified
>>5455018
And this one, since he cut part of the grab soul, but made the entire of Gang, so I believe it was on purpose
>>5454497

If I missed anyone or counted wrong, please tell me
>>
>>5455187
Go to hell is a rather large waste of time, if we are being honest with ourselves.

Sure, hate him and all that but he's not really worth our attention. His soul is a trophy, if that.
>>
>>5455191
I think that confirms that you just want the soul without mocking him to hell, so we just need the other anon to mention something to be sure there is no misunderstanding.
>>
>>5455199
I was only thinking of action order desu.

>>5454800
I'm gonna switch my vote to supporting this, I still think holding onto the emperors soul will be worthwhile in the future, and perhaps even for Siweng, and doing so while meditating on this event kind of just makes sense.

I fully expect Yaonan will be enraged by our lateness, they may even start clearing the palace. But we can trust Yuyi to Qiang and Yongzheng is near us, and we can tell him to hook up with them to flee.
>>
>>5454414
>dirdct yongzheng to lead the brothers to safety.
>ask some friendly ghost to hold the emperor soul in place so we can grab him later on.
>Meditate on the emperor's death and the gathered storm of enmity released upon it, and the great comfort and light that has taken its place

I feel meditating is actually the most important thing, ok getting the soul and save the brothers would be good..
But like this anon explained
>>5455152
the dao is most important.

(i think this meditation will add to the bonus instead of using it since it's an opportunity to observe not a breakthrough.)

As for the brothers they had their shot at immortal glory and the revenge, i would direct them to join yuyi so that she can at least try to stabilize them while we deal with the ogress.
Or leave the ogress for last, bitch doesn't really deserve that much consideration.
>>
>>5455282
>direct them to join yuyi so that she can at least try to stabilize them
That's really smart. +1 that. Babysitter Qiang is a go!
>>
>>5455282
I'll switch to supporting this one.
>>
>>5454414
>>5455282
I honestly forget if I voted already and don’t recognize my own vote. If I did, switching to support this.
>>
>>5455282
If it works, then sure.

Switching from >>5454800
>>
Fuck it, switching my vote >>5455089
to >>5455282

We could even ask for the soul of Mao's brother to grab the emperor soul for us, him and maybe his dead wife
>>
Updated tally

>Votes
13 (14?)

>Get soul - 4 (8?)
SpxoLFBF
dJlLexm2
cmEwTU9T (?)
jv6l+axS (?)
IUtWYDY
NyKA6ZKm (?)
VAKtHXl3 (?)
nYynoVXb

>Go to hell - 3 (4?)
cmEwTU9T
jv6l+axS
VAKtHXl3
NyKA6ZKm (?)

>Help Gang - 6
1shEj/mN
Yviz7gkE
SpxoLFBF
fIUtWYDY
NyKA6ZKm
VAKtHXl3

>Meditate - 5
5P1NovTy
dJlLexm2
nYynoVXb
x9XCxJDQ
oyqS2U6h

>Check Yuyi - 1
epvA7rFa

>Ask ghosts - 3 (4?)
x9XCxJDQ
nYynoVXb (?)
MKWdP0ea
oyqS2U6h

>Babysitter Qiang - 4
x9XCxJDQ
nYynoVXb
MKWdP0ea
oyqS2U6h

Well, if this new development, the votes are now split and only getting the soul will win, unless more people change their votes. I'm not changing though
Put a question mark on nYynoVXb vote because I'm not sure if >>5455291 this mean he only supports the directing Yong part of the asking ghosts too.
I don't think asking the ghost will work, we helped all of them except Mao's brother and the old-empress move on, so the only ghost right now would be the ones killed in this attack, and they were the emperor's guards.
>>
>>5455310
>>5455323
Fuck, I should have hit update before posting

>Votes
13 (14?)

>Get soul - 2 (6?)
SpxoLFBF
cmEwTU9T (?)
jv6l+axS (?)
IUtWYDY
VAKtHXl3 (?)
nYynoVXb (?)

>Go to hell - 3 (4?)
cmEwTU9T
jv6l+axS
VAKtHXl3

>Help Gang - 5
1shEj/mN
Yviz7gkE
SpxoLFBF
fIUtWYDY
VAKtHXl3

>Meditate - 5
5P1NovTy
dJlLexm2
nYynoVXb
x9XCxJDQ
oyqS2U6h

>Check Yuyi - 1
epvA7rFa

>Ask ghosts - 5 (6?)
x9XCxJDQ
nYynoVXb (?)
MKWdP0ea
oyqS2U6h
dJlLexm2
NyKA6ZKm

>Babysitter Qiang - 6
x9XCxJDQ
nYynoVXb
MKWdP0ea
oyqS2U6h
dJlLexm2
NyKA6ZKm

Now the new plan and getting the soul are tied, if we count. Gang will most likely die, since I doubt Yuyi know how to stop the flickering pellet from killing a person, but the other two may live.
>>
Also, I'm not going to tally this vote anymore, I already posted three times and it's making the thread messy.
I should probably have waited some days first.
>>
>>5455324
You are actually right that asking ghosts to restrain him may not work
(Or a real grim reaper/demon shows up)

If we're alone though we can actually lie to him as being the envoy of heaven that will bring them to paradise just to keep him quiet.
(That or dian gang may be amenable to pummel him some more after death which would be comically hilarious)

I wonder if somebody dies can we grab the soul and resuscitate them that way?
Or does that just make them jiangshi?

Anyway you're doing a sterling job counting anon!
>>
>>5454414
>Mediate on the emperor's death and the gathered storm of enmity released upon it, and the great comfort and light that has taken its place, Then fight the ogress
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Ending the vote now, tallying now. Meant to do so earlier, but the ants had returned and needed to be eradicated

Grab the emperor's soul: 5
-trapping it into one of the soul sealing jars to bring it back to your sect.:1
-and mock him that, his misrule gave birth to a much more deserving ruler. HUANLIUXUE!. Personally escort the bastard to hell, to relish in his fear, before returning to duel the crazed battle junky:3

See if Dian Gang is alright and if he needs help surviving the burden of all the drugs he took, then fight the ling bitch:5

Mediate on the emperor's death and the gathered storm of enmity released upon it, and the great comfort and light that has taken its place, Then fight the ogress:8

Check if Yuyi and Qiang are safely away from the ogress, and then go fight Ling Yaonan as you had promised:1

direct yongzheng to lead the brothers to safety And to yuyi (and thus Qiang):6


ask some friendly ghost to hold the emperor soul in place so we can grab him later on.:5

So by my count there were 16 votes

There are ten votes to nab the emperor's soul, so I'll say Huan will capture it and leave it in the hands of some cordial spirits for safe keeping for the time being.

And with 8 votes to meditate on his death to further your Dao of Grudges, exactly half, She will also meditate on the emperor's death.

So to summarize, you'll ensure the emperor's soul can't escape your clutches, and then meditate on his death.

Update will arrive shortly
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You watched, concern flaring in your heart as you watched the brave rebel warrior turned chivalrous and principled assassin clutch at his chest, his face twisting into a gruesome mask of agonized pain, the kind of hurt that is so powerful it wipes away all thoughts and brings about a clarity of mind. A clarity that allows one to, as easily as they see the back of their hands, to realize and comprehend just how closely death follows behind the footsteps of all living things. His brow furrows and his nose scrunches, deep wrinkles carve through his expression like the crawling fingers of mold or the reaching roots of a tree burrowing through the rich soil of a grave. Beads of sweat condense and fall down his pale skin as his hand spasms and clutches his chest again, as worry rises within your own, spectral heart. But not guilt. Qiang had warned him of the risks of taking the stronger medicinal drugs she offered to them, Dian Gang knew what he was gambling when he pressed the flickering wind pellet, the most potent of the spirit medicine pills you had donated to their cause, upon his tongue and swallowed it. But still, you watch, darkly entranced by the brave man's struggle against the side effects of the drugs he had taken into his own body. Macabrely curious and grimly intrigued, you studied him in agony and watched to see if his body could endure the recoil of the sudden hastening of his heart, as the watered Ghost Princess's heart poison was purged from his body via the strengthened physique granted unto it by the diluted Divine blood honey medicines.

While the other components of the flickering wind pellet were still active. Ogre's blood and the hare's fleetness medicine. Soon the side effect of the Imperial cat's eye pill would take hold, and Dian Gang would be struck blind. Temporarily if his now unrestrained heart wasn't overwhelmed by the renewed and much hastened flow of blood. It could simply burst, or stall fatally and stop. Grossly overfilled veins bulged over the white face of the eldest of the three Dian brothers, as the last paramours of the emperor noticed his killer was in great pain, through some internal turmoil. They gathered around him, trying to help him stand or see what was wrong with him as his eyes bulged and his breathing become course, fast and stifled. But the lives these ladies lead, were so pampered and isolated, they had no clue how to help him or that offering him kind words and gently pressing their hands on his back and awkwardly rubbing it was doing absolutely nothing to impede the sudden attack his virtuous heart was experiecening.

You watched, as the man who toppled a dynasty that had endured the passage of centuries, wheeze, gasp and cough, unable to do anything but claw and scratch at his chest, as it lifted and fell further than it should, sweat soaking into his robes and pooling around him, as his pale face began to fluster and turn so deep a shade of red it almost look violet!
Cont
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>>5457709

Meanwhile, the emperor expired, ignored by those he had taken as lovers by force in favor of his killing. He had curled into a pool of his own blood, steaming and fresh, having moronically pulled the sword in his back out, hastening his demise. And only just now did he dirty the air of the world with his final breath. Gang tried to stand, unsteadily, having lasted longer than you anticipated, but at that moment, your attention was torn away from him, as, with a great golden light, the emperor's soul was wrenched from its body. Very much unlike any death you had seen before.

And acting immediately, you pounced on it as it rose up into the eye of the storm of malice that was beginning to crash down upon the throne room in great, stygian waves. With a single paw, you pinned Long Tiantunri's now bodyless spirit to the ground and purred in delight as the failure of an emperor and man looked up at your true face with a terror so deep it could even strike the dead. At your side, His empress appeared in all her mangled glory.

"You could have at least died as a man should, you dog in dragon's hide" She spat venomously, her words colder than any ice "You have my thanks, Huanliuxue, for allowing my soul to rest in peace at last by showing me the pitiful death of this pitiful worm"

She smiled, her burned and melted face mending and repairing as her own grudge fell from her shoulders like water down a duck's back, and took the form of great, grey butterfly wings that fluttered and flew to join the rest of the storm's darkness and all consuming enmity

"Huanliuwho?" The emperor gasped, wide, horrified eyes flicking between two empresses "I..I'm the son of heaven! How can they allow a demon to pounce on me! How have I died! Who could be so insolent to not only harm the imperial body, but drive from it its holy life! This..this can't be happening"

"You..You don't even know who I am?" You squeak, suddenly feeling all of the excitement and dark joy in your heart rushing out of you, as the high of power and victory was wrenched from your paws immediately, as that mangling of your name struck a hard and decisive blow against your ego. But, almost as soon as the exultant feeling of this triumph died, was its place taken instead by a truly vicious, sadistic fury

"No matter" You laughed, throwing up your chin and head imperiously, refusing to even look down at the dog beneath your paw "My peer, the great and beneficent Empress Long, whose wisdom and beauty shall be spoken of long after your death. May this Wild princess and future Empress of all make a humble request of you?"
Cont
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>>5457713

"Hmm?" The female shade hummed, tapping a nailed finger on her chin "And may I ask you, Huanliuxue, who would have been far worthier an emperor than this pile of filth, if the two of you had switched fates and births, what it is you would ask of me, after having done so much without a single question of recompensation or reward for your selfless services and the peerless generosity you showed to all of us wandering souls left behind in this trash's passing?"

"You're making a deal with the demon!?" Tiantunri raged, or rather, tantrum. You shut him up with a solid bat from your forepaw

"Could you hold onto him until I return? I have business elsewhere in the palace, and would hate to allow him to sliver out of my claws, when he is worth much more caught by them" You answer chipperly and merrily, eyes glittering and glowing with feline delight "Surely such a request is not insulting to your imperial self"

"Of course it isn't, it would in fact, be a great honor to be privileged to carry out such a favor for one as magnificent as yourself, Queen of cats" She answered back, just as happily, suddenly shifting from her beautiful, purified self into a terrifying dragoness spirit! Complete with scales and horns and replete with claws and fangs. With a shriek, she wrapped her ethereal coils around the emperor's own soul, and began to bind and constrict it, laughing like a true demon as you watched, entertained and pleased with the show.

A sudden rush of liquid drew your attention back behind your head, and to Dian Gang. Half expecting to see a geyser of blood shooting out of his chest, you instead saw him, in the arms of the stolen ladies of the dog who thought it was a dragon's court, his mouth, chin, chest, legs and the ground below him coated in a black oily mess.

He had survived the immediate backlash of the spirit medicines you gave him! But just barely, and he looked like half a corpse, but it'd seem his force of will and resolve to actually deliver the emperor's head to his master was strong enough to survive the disastrous heart attack he had suffered, and the expulsion of the impurities in his own body, brought about by how much Qi he had taken into his body through the drugs that had caused that heart attack. Miraculous! Incredible! However, that in no way guaranteed he'd survive the night, just that your gifts hadn't killed him. The damage done to his body, could still very well be lethal, but he'd at least last long enough to bask in his success and see his brothers one last time, if nothing else. And if he had enough willpower to come this far and endure so much, then he could very well survive the injuries he's sustained to his heart and veins. His future was uncertain, he might live with a weak and faulty heart or he might die, but no one could lay the blame for his death on your head. He made his choice, and was suffering the consequences.
Cont
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>>5457715

But it was still a relief to you, that even though he was hovering between life and death, that he had the good manner not to die while in your sight. Witnessing the death of a man so chivalrous and respectful would've soured your evening and polluted your mind with whispers of regret and guilt. Now, you could meditate on and observe the great conflagration of a thousand grudges caused by the emperor's death, and gain new insights on the Dao of Grudges even if he did succumb to his internal injuries.

Which will certainly advance your cultivation and understanding of the Dao and one of the strongest energies that saturate your meridians!

Turning into a ball of free floating ghost fire, you zip to the center of the vortex of hatred and resentment, and begin to mediate on it, as it twists around you and begins to soak into your spiritual form freely. At first there is a searing, unfamiliar pain. That of your own soul being scorched and scaled by the sheer potency of the enmity with the grudges surrounding you as their weighted bore down all around you, crushing and smothering you like a current of mud and stone. But you endured, and focused your mind on the emperor's death, the releasing of the countless grudges focused upon him, meditating on the moment of his passing and contemplating what immediately followed his well deserved demise. For, what the storm of hate gave way to, was a strong sense of comfort, shared by both the living and dead. So many hearts and mind's had focused their anger, fury, rage and disgust towards one man, that, subconsciously, universally, all who held a grudge towards him felt the moment he had been cut down and killed.

A wave of relief and serenity washed forth from the yawning maw of the vortex of resentment you sat in, as it calmed and the black clouds that formed it began to weaken and gradually fade away into the heavy air of the night. Like the retreating of thunder clouds, or the ending of night. The Darkness of the Reign of Long dissipated, and was replaced by a warm, comforting light. As if, centered from the eye you sat within, a sun untarnished by his rule rose and showered the world with resplendence and mirth. You still much prefer the gloom of closed crypts and the chill of gravestones, but, the ushering in of a new era, clean of so many grudges, was enjoyable in its own way. While you delighted in swimming in grudges, strong and weak, petty and mortal, feeling them be satisfied and fulfilled and vanish to leave a void of emotion, a canvas to be painted by other, more colorful emotions than the black of enmity and hate, was just as gratifying as wallowing and stewing in resentment and rage.
Cont
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Witnessing the storm of spite wash over you and fade into nothing, and then the comforting emptiness brought upon by the sudden fulfillment of countless grudges pour out from the throne room and across the whole of the now leaderless empire, was enlightening and left your mind and soul feeling truly illuminated. As if you were sunbathing beneath a light radiating from the Dao itself!
Pursuit of one's Dao only brings further benefit. +45 to next cultivation or Training roll. Total bonus +180! You have procured a great wealth of experiences and insights, as befitting a prodigy

When you end your meditation, you are alone in the throne room. Dian Gang and the maidens who held him are gone.

'His brothers and Yongzheng must've carried him off' you think to yourself as you gracefully but lazily plod along the blood and impurity coated floor, pausing to wonder if he's still alive, before deciding you can ask someone about it later. After all, the names Dian Gang, Dian Bao, and Dian Bo shall surely be immortalized for their brazen, three man assault on the stronghold of imperial power and their incredible success in their attempt at ending the life of the son of heaven, who had once been the most powerful man in the mortal realm. It didn't matter much if he, or his younger brothers, survived their injuries now.

'Why, if they have died and there is any justice in this world, they'll have acquired so much good karma, surely they'll reborn into greater forms and better lives. Perhaps they'll even become cats' You smugly thought as you trotted down the empty, corpse strewn hallways, stepping over cultist and palace guard alike, as you headed to find the Ling Ogress.

To your surprise, even though you had taken longer than a few minutes, a couple of hours, judging by how low the moon was in the sky, she was still waiting in the gardens, as you had asked her to.

The gardens were certainly more corpse filled than they were before, but, eh, what is a garden by a grave plot yet to be filled? She held the corpse you possessed when you first confronted her, and if it wasn't for how much blood she was covered, practically dripping in and the fact the man was obviously dead, the corpse and her would've looked like a pretty couple.

What do you do, after returning to the corpse ,Huanliuxue?

>Immediately begin fighting her, starting with a sucker punch! Don't give her time to prepare herself! (Martial/ Strength Trial. DC 80. DC reduced by surprise attack)

>Thank her for her patience, and ask if she gathered the bodies of those she killed here so the two of you can fight for longer

>Find a weapon, and tell her before you fight that you bare a grudge towards her, then begin your duel, no matter her response (Martial trial. DC 72)

>Decide to mess with and tease her by saying "The moon sure is beautiful, tonight. What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh?"

>Write in
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>>5457723
>>Decide to mess with and tease her by saying "The moon sure is beautiful, tonight. What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh?"
>Find a weapon, and tell her before you fight that you bare a grudge towards her, then begin your duel, no matter her response (Martial trial. DC 72)
Tease her back for funsies!
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>>5457729
I support.

Also
>+180
Fuuuuuuuuuck.
What can we NOT do with this? Cultivation roll of a 2, we will still pass in leaps and bounds.

Human form of plus +80, we should pass on a 5, given how the DC keeps lowering.
Legitimately. . what the hell
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>>5457723
>Total bonus +180
Immense! We could potentially save a lot of it for going past foundation stage. It's also a cultivation or training roll, which means ridiculous techniques we can think of we may be able to make possible. The time perception alteration of ghostly Qi in particular might have some fun expansions. And a lot of this bonus we can retain even after attaining human form, too.

There was an idea of creating a Blood Qi cultivation area, and meditating there on our heritage. Or we could deep dive learning something new entirely. Maybe cultivate/search for another rare/underutilized source of Qi. I'm struggling to think of something more usefully interesting than what we've put forth. Root rewriting experiments was a fun idea. After we attain human form and do some student-sect stuff hopefully we'll get the time to be truly creative.

>>5457729
Support. Also, holy crap, of course fighting outside of our body through a corpse has high DCs. Hopefully we don't embarrass ourselves.
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>>5457723
>Thank her for her patience, and ask if she gathered the bodies of those she killed here so the two of you can fight for longer
>Decide to mess with and tease her by saying "The moon sure is beautiful, tonight. What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh?"
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>>5457723
>Thank her for her patience, and ask if she gathered the bodies of those she killed here so the two of you can fight for longer

>Decide to mess with and tease her by saying "The moon sure is beautiful, tonight. What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh?"
She doesn't need to know we have a grudge towards her.
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Also, I'm sad for Gang. He knew what he was in for by taking that pellet, but he doesn't deserve so much pain.
I hope he survives.
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>>5457818
I'm in favour of saving at least 100 for Surpassing Golden core.

Because Golden core, to quote grandfather, is where the wheat is separated from the chaff. Surpassing that roll would be. . . significant.

still, we can spare 60 or so for our human form. Just have to see what the DC is for human for attainment.
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>>5457826
Support. Later in the fight we should use enmity incarnation and channel Fu. Not only will it be poetic, it will also completely mislead her regarding our fighting style, so when we square off in earnest, we can surprise her with our soft style.
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>>5457723
>Thank her for her patience, and ask if she gathered the bodies of those she killed here so the two of you can fight for longer
I feel no shame in admitting we’ll get beaten in all likelihood. We’ve never done this before. May as well see how far we can push this!

Fly through the bodies, see if we can leave a piece of ourselves in them so we can puppet multiple bodies!

Perform moves that break or destroy our current body knowing that we’ll just hop in another!

See if we can possess body parts and merge them together, almost like a certain patchwork monster we haven’t met…

Experiment, and don’t feel bad since it’s against a Ling dog that attacked our village!
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>>5457723
>Thank her for her patience, and ask if she gathered the bodies of those she killed here so the two of you can fight for longer
>Decide to mess with and tease her by saying "The moon sure is beautiful, tonight. What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh?"
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>>5457723
>Decide to mess with and tease her by saying "The moon sure is beautiful, tonight. What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh?"

I like this awkward tease, it lets her believe we're as she sees us and obfuscate what we truly are.

>>5457828
You're right, there will come a time when we reveal it was us all along but it will have to be when she fights our disciple in a grudge setting match.
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>>5457968
Support. This is probably more a learning exercise than an earnest attempt at victory, might as well have some fun with it.
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>>5457723
>Find a weapon, and tell her before you fight that you bare a grudge towards her, then begin your duel, no matter her response (Martial trial. DC 72)
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>>5457723
>Get a weapon (as she also has one) and offer cultivation secrets if she beats us.
> If she does beat us, tell her of the secrets of corrupted blood which turns humans into ghouls without giving specific warnings. Just vaguely state that it is risky. Cats are fickle! (dont explicitly state that we are a cat)
I need more Heretic Cultivation in this well written Heretic Cultivator Quest. Less "Good Karma" choices, more grey stuff.
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>>5458804
Man that sounds like fun but also potentially risky.
Good chance it'll make her fight harder, and she'll wonder how we know about her forbidden techniques.
..+1
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>>5458804
Just say you want to teach her something. Cause we're not beating her with these extremely subpar meat puppets. No chance bro.
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>>5458804
If she weren’t Ling, I’d be willing to back something like this. As it stands though, I can’t bring myself to support making her stronger unless we can turn her against Ling, ensure we can kill her if she gets too shitty towards us or people we care about, or she mellows out.

If you want to test the waters about flipping her against Ling in exchange for blood cultivation secrets after this battle… I’ll join you with write-ins and we’ll see if others support it. Hatred aside, we’re a better mentor for her than her current sect.
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>>5458841
He's trying to trick her with the demonic blood cultivation not give her actually useful advice. Though I still prefer to have Huan kill/capture her herself rather than have her turn into a ghoul. It's more personal that way, just how I like it.
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>>5458841
This type of ghoulification was described as utterly destroying any cultivation base and replacing it with a different path of growing stronger. It should drastically weaken her (at first).
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>>5458849
I agree, we must have our serpent beat her fair and square and then after establishing how good of a teacher we are tempt her with our techniques.
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>>5459116
You just reminded me of a huge brain blast I had!

What if we had Yujijiao possess Yaonan?

As we have found out through Yuyi, foreign beatly spirits can metamorphosize the human body and if we combine that with a theoretical reversal of the Bestial Edict to Attain- Human Form technique then our serpent student would attain new flesh from the very body of her killer!

The biggest unknown element is if the body will accept the new soul if the old one is removed. Still, it is both a fitting and deliciously ironic end for the Ling barbarian with great potential for learning in the event of failure so I am confident that it would be absolutely worth the effort.

I can just imagine the absolute smugness of Huan if it all works.
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>>5459146
I think the fact she is genuinely a dead soul as opposed to our merely dispossessed one in Yuyi may change things up. But I am not a soul expert.
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>>5459146
Possessing a cultivator for an extended period of time compared to a normal person might cause different results. Still worth experimenting with someday, especially if we can find a way to accelerate the changes
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>>5459146
Poetic surely, but i can't see it work for long anon.
Even yuyi could blurt out a sound if we were surprised enough, i think even if our pupil was two realms higher in cultivation it may not work that smoothly.
Besides being a serpent spirit in a human body would just limit her cultivation growth and in the end just be a pointless pettyness.
Better to work towards giving her a body back and humiliate her with her own ..hands? ..Coils?
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>>5458804
That's devious as fuck.

changing my support to this from >>5457748 with the obvious addition of then beating the shit out of her with the 72 dc.

>>5459146
Hmmm. Returning from the dead is usually the feats of those past the golden core. And the body isn't her original one, so it's not perfectly attuned.

In general this is all just a bit of a shit thing, that we have to be sure is an upgrade.
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I also switch my vote from this
>>5457877
to support the chaotic neutral write-in here
>>5458804
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>>5459457
I just want to say this for the record now. I am going to piss myself laughing if the ogress outsmarts the outsmarting and winds up gleaning alternate insight without going tits first into ruining her roots.

Which honestly for her probably isn't as big a problem as it is for most. Her body is pretty stupid strong even without cultivation. Big bitch is just built different.
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>>5459466
I honestly think she will, to be frank with you.
Like, we mock her for being a battle hungry moron, but she IS a potential MC and a virtuoso in the art of killing.

I would genuinely be unsurprised if she took our advice, thought on it and applied some gleamed principles without ruining her roots. Which Huan would be very annoyed about.

Instead, I'm hoping that by encouraging this, she slips up and the taint of her blood dao finally gets sniffed by her family, which would then cut out her support network.
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>>5459473
Yes this. If she practices carmine mysticism there is no way to cover that shit up
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>>5459466
You should probably buy a diaper, just in case
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>>5457723
>>5458804
Since I misunderstood and it still has potential upsides, I’ll back this as part of my vote here. Including the grab a weapon vote it includes since why not? >>5457960

I’m pretty sure she’ll turn it into a net positive for her, we may just drag the while family into being heretics, and she’ll be even crazier as a result. But curses are part of our domain and “live in interesting times” is a powerful one. It’s thematically appropriate.
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>>5458804
You don't get it, do you? Our heresy is acting as kind and just as we are, as most individuals within Xianxia genre are at best, uncaring and at worst vile to an extent that they would consider creating something like Auschwitz as something banal in nature. What is more heretical than being more just and moral than the gods themselves?
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>>5459750
>What is more heretical than being more just and moral than the gods themselves?
Probably putting water in your cereal instead of milk.
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>>5459750
>>5459790
>What is more heretical than being more just and moral than the gods themselves?
Admitting dogs are better than cats.
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>>5459750
Anons forget that "Good Karma" is rare among the orthodox, the heretical part is following new types of cultivation, otherwise the emperor and the god wouldn't have complimented us for it.
But if they are getting tired of Huan being too good or selfless I don't mind, as long as things don't go too far and break character by murdering innocent to eat their souls or something like that
Because in that case I might as well read a normal cultivator story.
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>>5459834
I like Huan as she is, haughty but ultimately kind. Moral grayness can go fuck itself.
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>>5459848
I don't even know why anons want to change it. Huan's good karma has been nothing but benefit so far.
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>>5459858
Honestly I kinda like how things are going with our good Karma. Idk, it's nice that the Old God really went and was so kind and considerated with us, showing how people treated magical beast before.

Also, the council with the past Emperor Ling was also nice, that one of the Divine Lineage from Heavens himself called us virtuous and such.
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>>5459848
I’m not quite sure this is really morally grey. Our hatred for the Ling is the reason for our enlightenment, so sabotaging one with a gift doesn’t seem like a stretch to me. Especially since we know that it could benefit her (to the detriment of others) later since she’s a prodigy as well.

Now, we could show her something serious instead, like the Carmine Shield. She won’t be able to use it like we do though since her blood qi is tainted like everyone else. We could then prove ourselves a better mentor and steer her towards us (as the ghost) or Huan to continue her education. Though that’s dangerous in itself since she’s clearly evil.

Ooooor we could promise her secrets and ditch her anyway. What is honor to a Ling dog? I know I’m here mostly to test our skills since corpse fighting is novel to us, not because we promised her this fight.

No matter what, we’ll have a vote at the end of the duel with some of these options. No harm in talking it out early since it isn’t binding now.
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>>5459885
It's because of the comment that the anon made together with that plan, that he wanted to be more morally gray.
Also there's a chance that willing trying to corrupt the soul of someone can be considered an evil action, even if a bitch like her, since saving the emperor was a good option, even though he was a horrible person.
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I don't want her to go demonic or soul-eating or some shit, but I also don't want her turning into a living Buddha (which would frankly be boring). Basically retain a certain whimsical factor and sometimes do horrible things just to play around or to satisfy our curiosity.
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>>5459903
It's not really corruption when she is already this far gone.
It's tricky/subversive, if anything. But not evil.
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>>5459934
She is already a murderer using corrupt blood qi, but she is using self taught abilities or changed forms of her sect. The plan is to spread actual demonic techniques to try and turn her into a Jianshi without her knowledge.
The demons were also tricky and subversive with the carmine mystics by twisting their corruption after they lost the blood fruit. If copying the action of demons isn't a bad karma option, than I don't know what else it would be.
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>>5459885
If you’re really trying to commit, the shield would be my last choice. A berserker like Yaonan would be far more interested in one of the buffing techniques in my opinion. Speaking of techniques, anyone have the pastebin of Huan’s?
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You know, in the end Karma is a bitch works in mysterious ways, we would only really know if Grandfather weights in on the discussion since he is the one writing the story, son no reason to get worried about things.
I wonder if the ants are still sieging his house.
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>>5459946
I'd rather not teach her anything. She'll have more novel ideas which we can steal if she stays completely free of outside influence.
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>>5459968
This is also a good point to reverse to our advantage, we can perhaps taunt her on her blood cultivation to have her show her hand at that and possibly gleam some insight from her techniques instead.

This fight isn't serious for us so long as huan's soul isn't damaged, so the one that fights to win only reveal their hands in the end.
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I like the option because we're offering a reward to encourage her to show her stuff. Which she'll clue in on quickly enough, after that is putting on a good enough show without giving up too much ourselves. Provided we "win" we don't need to give her anything, but that's okay because we'll still have planted a seed. I think the idea of incarnating a grudge to change our fighting style would do well. Fu would be the stoic grudge, and fit for her, and Xiongji would permit fooling her with a fiery fighting style entirely unlike our own.

I also think it's a good option because she was sent here to deal with us because someone higher in her sect detected either our activity or the activity of whatever the cultists are doing. Anything we can set up to encourage distance between her and her sect we can, hopefully/eventually, use against her.

And in the context of the duel we've set up, there is potential for us to fool her into just wanting more, it's like half her character weakness. Whether that more is a better battle thrill, or skin deep blood qi cultivation secrets, we can lean her along specific developments, not dropping carmine mysticism whole hog on her. I would prefer something less damaging to the world in potential; recall that the carmine mystics became terrifyingly strong and annihilated cities in order to gain strength by gaining more blood.

The ideal thing to me would be encouraging a range of potential that would make the nature of her cultivation more obvious, and therefore more likely for her sect/family to sever ties.

As well, if she's disowned she might just become stronger afterwards anyways. Being openly branded as a heretic is a free pass to no longer hold back, as we know. There's a mild risk of tempting ancient power to someone with brute smarts and it being pearls before swine, of course.

But really, what could go wrong? She learns 雨血海笛 or traps our soul with a talisman she hid on the corpse? Naaaah.

>>5459950
I'm not sure where karma would place it either. A mentor can give knowledge that may be inherently violent and dangerous, and can manipulate its presentation for an evil cause, but ultimately it's Yaonan's soul making the choice of what to do with what she's given. What I'd see affecting us most would be our choice to teach for the purpose of baiting and a scheme.

She's already attacked us and our students, and though she doesn't know it she is an enemy who we (I assume thus far) intend to destroy. If she does evil to the world, and we stop that, I don't see our karma being majorly hurt for this little trick. HOWEVER, if she reignites the strengths of carmine mysticism and goes insane with bloodlust I can see Karma wagging its finger at us in disappointment while a suped up Yaonan becomes the #1 enemy of the cultivation world and cycles into becoming our responsibility to stop after they drain Fu.

So... we probably shouldn't bait Blood Qi CM to the barbarian queen, ya. But other things maybe.
>>
>>5460282
If you want to bait her with blood stuff why would you want to do grudge stuff?
>>
>>5460375
Good point. We don't need to use an incarnation if we're set on fighting atypical to our style as a corpse, so we don't necessarily need to play that card.
>>
>>5460375
I also don't know if we even can do that in a corpse.
>>
>>5460282
Yeah, that's my biggest worry. Teaching someone forbidden knowledge with the specific intend for them to become even more twisted, even if they are your enemy, seems like crossing the line. Also good points on how powerful Carmine Mysticism can get, and the mass killing necessary to fuel it, that would become indirectly our fault.

I have no problem of teaching her some flashy blood technique to try and either get her greed going or make the sect cut her loose though. It's a delightfully devious scheme, but not actually evil or irresponsible.
>>
>>5460615
But I'm not changing my vote by the way, it still feels like it could backfire.
I'm not going to underestimate potential MC options.
>>
Also I admit I'm a moralfag that likes collecting characters, I would feel bad throwing her away or speeding up her descent into evil without even trying to stop it first.
I would rather just kill her eventually instead, if other anons hate her, don't think she's salvageable or would rather lean on Huan's grudge against the Ling.
>>
Might as well do a bit of public service since I already posted too much

Votes
11

>Tease - 5 (6?)
5P1NovTy
nYynoVXb (?)
1shEj/mN
BtQPHOs+
fIUtWYDY
XDzoqI4V

>Grudge - 2 (3?)
5P1NovTy
nYynoVXb (?)
jv6l+axS

>Thank and ask - 4
1shEj/mN
BtQPHOs+
oyqS2U6h
fIUtWYDY

>Corrupt/Teach - 5
newQd2Ci
nYynoVXb
dJlLexm2
Nkq6YrBE / xKLGxyNb
oyqS2U6h

Put a question mark on nYynoVXb's vote because he didn't specify if he was changing or was just adding to the previous one >>5458808
>>
>>5460626
The way I see it, she has already descended into evil.
>>
>>5460652
>she practices blood qi
>we have source of uncorrupted blood qi in the world (had to get back in time for it)
>ergo she is practicing demonic arts.
>>
>>5460665
More the fact she can't, or won't stop killing people. And is aroused only by thought of murder is the actions of evil.
>>
>>5460652
She reached the bottom of the barrel, but hasn't started digging. She has killed innocent martial artists and is full of bloodlust, but I don't remember anything about her sacrificing unarmed villagers. For now.
When she attacked Fu's town, she was searching for then, because the group were famous and could be a challenge, right? Does anyone remember if she slaughtered the regular people? It's been quite a while.
>>5460665
The corrupted carmine mysticism is also a lost practice, and was the demonic one. Her blood qi is probably just self taught heretical one. Unless she found a demonic mentor, but it feels like it's stepping on the other potential MC, so I think gramps isn't going to go for that.

Anyway, if redemption is of the table, just kill her
>>
>>5460674
I think she is more attracted to the battle and bloodshed than murder, otherwise she wouldn't have spared Fu and the others because they gave her a proper fight, right? Or did they manage to fight her off at great cost?
Although she probably gotten even worse since then, with the whole killing the guards here in the palace and wanting Mao and Yong to fight
>>
Ok, just checked, she destroyed part of the village and villagers died because of it, fuck trying to redeem her.
>>
>>5460691
I agree, she has no respect and too much bloodlust.
She's not disciple material, she's either a good challenge to pit our disciples against to develop their dao and sate their revenge or she'll become a dangerous enemy/rival.
>>
And here's a list of everytime she was mentioned. I just marked the first post of each update. Seems her characterization is consistently battle junky, but she still murdered people, either willingly or collateral damage. I also got the impression she seems to have been slowly becoming more sadistic as time goes on.

Thread 1
5057457

Thread 2
5102810

Thread 3
5169628
5175536

Thread 4
5205706
5226161

Thread 5
5254741
5284149
5287854

Thread 7.5
5369322

Thread 8
5447374
>>
I'm gonna let this idea here again:

Let's snitch those mf

We get human form (if we don't meditate and get lost for a bunch of years), talk to that one Nice Elder with the 5 Qi Spring, we give him the info and make his cultist that are into spy work and shit to look at the places where the Ogress went and investigate.
>>
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ending the vote, tallying the result now. Sorry for the three day wait, love how much discussion there was, thou.

Decide to mess with and tease her by saying "The moon sure is beautiful, tonight. What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh?":7

Find a weapon:7
- and Offer her cultivation secrets if she beats you:5
- and tell her before you fight that you bare a grudge towards her, then begin your duel, no matter her response:2

Thank her for her patience, and ask if she gathered the bodies of those she killed here so the two of you can fight for longer:5

If she does beat us, tell her of the secrets of corrupted blood which turns humans into ghouls without giving specific warnings. Just vaguely state that it is risky. Cats are fickle!:5

So there were 12 votes, by my count.

So You'll decide to tease and mess with her by saying "The moon sure is beautiful, tonight. What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh?" before finding a weapon suitable for use in the duel

If you want to entice her to fight harder/ distract her by wagering cultivation secrets, I'll leave that up to a future vote.
since though most people who voted to pick up a weapon included it in their votes, others were against it and the votes themselves didn't reach half or more of the total votes, so for fairness sake, I won't include it in the update but as I said, will include the offer of betting cultivation techniques in a future vote.


ANYWAYS update will arrive shortly
>>
The odd sight inspired and simultaneously awoke a certain, mischievous whimsy in your heart. Sinking into the cold, petrifying flesh of the corpse the ogress cradled like a sleeping lover, you spread your souls energies to fill its bloodless muscles and rigid bones, bringing to it a mockery of true life as you animated it with your spiritual essence and wove together that which had been broken and rendered useless through tears or stiffness inside of the motionless, breathless husk. Donning it like a coat, and wondering idly if its owner was glaring up at you from the yellow springs for partaking in the desecration of the vessel he had lived all of his long life inside, you tested the effectiveness of your hold of the corpse as you would with a puppet, by tugging on the strings of the still nerves with half a thought, clenching the hand of the corpse into a tight fist. Then, raising its limply hanging neck, you raised your head and looked into the Ogress eyes, seeing in them the same annoyance and anger of a child who has been scolded and had her toys taken away.

From your one conversation with her, and what your disciples recalled about their own unfortunate encounter with this blood starved maniac, you know she habitually and flippantly teases and flirts when talks. You aren't certain if she does it out of a real but twisted sense of romance with her soon to be victims, or if she just enjoys unnerving her opponents with a casual and playful attitude contrasting the violent intent that pours out of her every movement and mannerism, down to even the slight ticks and twitching of her expressions. Though you could be overthinking all this, and she could just be a not so innocent tease who is just a flirt by nature, but you doubt that is the case. Even if she were in perpetual heat, its clear her only lust is for battle and the blood shed by it. You try not to think how you share the name of one of her desires, as you clear the dry throat of your temporary body, and decide to follow the playful whim you had when you first looked at her sitting beside the body you spoke to her with.

The whim to pay back her teasing with teasing of your own in return, to mess with her a bit before beginning the bloody struggle. But, it wasn't like this mischievousness was only for your personal entertainment, by seeing how the ogress would react to being teased and played around with like herself like she does to seemingly everyone else she runs into, a deeper insight into her character and personality could be had and that in turn would reveal vital information about this spawn of Ling that would make beating her down to the ground and rubbing her face in the mud somewhat easier.

Somewhat because you weren't in your true, powerful and beautiful body, and because all you had to work with to fight her were the bodies of bunch of recently slaughtered men.
cont
>>
>>5462656

Though you'd be lying if you claimed you first thought to tease her for any reason besides your own amusement

Stroking the grey flecked beard sprouting from your face, like great, twisted and curled whiskers, you chuckled low and actually caused Ling to start a bit, surprised by the sudden chortle you made as you looked deep into her glowering eyes and grinned ear to ear.

"The moon sure is beautiful, tonight" You whispered, trying your best to mimic and match the teasing way she spoke before, while pulling on the end of your beard with one hand, and propping yourself up with the other before pushing yourself from the bench with some effort. A warm shade of pink filled her cheeks and ears as she starred at you, clearly hearing the meaning behind those words, a term your mother had taught you one night while she read from her, surprisingly, vast collection of poetry she stilled deemed too "adult" for your eyes.

"Eh? What's an old boar like you saying such a thing to a young doe like me <3" She snapped back, slowly slipping into her usual manner of speech after an initial burst of open scandal and disquiet. Your grin only grew as you looked up to the falling moon, as a mummering breeze whipped through the garden, carrying the enticing aroma of drying blood and cold meat up from the ground, brushing the pleasing scents under your nose as they whispered away and vanished under the rustling of leaves.

"What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh? <3" You mocked back, grinning an audacious and manic smile back at her, the milky eyes of the corpse twinkling and sparkling with the mirth you feel. That made her composure crack, and her smile twitch as she stood to her full, staggering height and lifted her arms above her head, locking her fingers together as she stretched even taller. She closed her eyes, made a cute sound as she swayed back and forth with a look of frustration on her face. Feeling Satisfied and smug, partially due to mimicking the ogress' tone perfectly and mostly because you had made her react to the same kind of teasing she preferred in a way you only dreamt she would, the most amusing way, you walked away from her with your back turned to her, and began to pick through the corpses looking for a weapon to wield. Many of them were broken, or simply of too poor quality for you to even think of picking up without gloves, even while wearing a corpse, but as you moved through the corpses like a bed of flowers, gracefully and gently, careful not to disturb the twisted bodies in their bloody repose, you found enough weapons worthy of both being held by you and shedding the Ling Bitches blood.
Cont
>>
>>5462658

"Old man, I have to admit, you piss me off. But at least you're not as uptight as most. It gets boring to deal day in and day out with stone faced busy buddies who can't take a joke. And those who can cast aside their face to make light of life and insult themselves and others without a care. Why, they're worth more than jade in my eyes. Shame those same words that brought me such relief and joy, also drove a nail into my heart. Though I'd still pummel you anyways, a few of the things you said to me have truly drawn my ire, grandpa <3"

"You certainly are an odd child, are you not?" You reply unamused and uncowed, as you kick the handle of a splintered spear away, blood soaking into your shoes as you stride back down the garden of corpses, memorizing where each worthwhile weapon lays, undisturbed in the every expanding pool of cold blood "Though, perhaps that is fitting, considering, as you pointed out just now, I myself am rather odd, am I not?"

"Certainly don't act like most geezers I've met" She said back, unperturbed, watching you carefully as you casually meandered past her gathered victims. She stuck one hand under the belt of her daoist robes, and rested her unsheated sword on her shoulder, standing in a very thuggish way, like a delinquent or common tough, as she analyzed your eye step with bored eyes

"I can say that" She sighed, clearly getting impatient with how long it was taking for the fighting to start "And there is that little detail of you hiding inside corpses, that is certainly strange, though not as bizarre as having a sense of humor however terrible it is. You must be an apostate, then, or a demon. a "proper" Daoist would never waste their breath on joking around"

"You've gotten serious yourself" You point out, as you step where all of your chosen weapons are well within your reach and adopt a wide, sturdy stance with your legs far apart and your hands stuck to your sides "All of the lusciousness of your voice has been bled dry"

"Well, a love confession changes that atmosphere, doesn't it~" She purred, eyes narrowing "There's no place between us for playful teasing and hollow flirting, and as I said, you pissed me off earlier. Can you blame me for getting focused? An outlet for my rage is pacing right in front of me, back and forth, and I am dying to wipe that smirk of your face"

"Hm, funny, our desires have aligned" You purr back "We both want to beat the crap out of the other, how amusing"

"It is, isn't it" Yaonan laughed, throwing her head back "Really, I'm glad you're using intermediaries for this fight, it'd be a shame to lose someone as fun as you are, Grandpa, even if you have insulted me and what little honor I care about"
Cont
>>
>>5462662

"Eh, I'd have thought you'd have forsaken all dignity and face! Now I'm curious what I said to get under your skin. Was it the confession? I assure you, young girl, it wasn't serious" You cackle, mocking her some more to see her face twitch and eyes narrow further "Oh don't tell me I've hurt your pride, did you think it was honest? Poor thing?

"Shut your mouth, grab a blade, and lets get to killing each other, old man <3" She hissed through her tightly clenched teeth "before I lose my patience"

double vote

What weapon do you grab

>A Simple sword.

>A three Section Staff

> A Rope Dart

>A Meteor Hammer

>Something else

And what do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Continue mocking and teasing Ling Yaonan, in the hope she'll get so angry she'll make mistakes in battle,

>make a wager, offering her "valuable" cultivation secrets if she wins the fight, while actually plotting to deceive her into practicing accursed Carmine mysticism

>Invite her to make the first strike, and attempt to use your feline/ ghostly martial arts to dodge/ counter her attack (Martial trial. DC 72)

>Strike first, and strike fast! You'll need every advantage you can if you want to succeed and teach this bitch a lesson in humility! (Martial trial. DC 72)

>Infuse the corpses with the Yin energy radiating from your soul, and through that ghostly energy, make them rise as zombies, to swarm and distract The ogress (Magic trial. DC 40)

>Write in
>>
>>5462665
>A Meteor Hammer
>Infuse the corpses with the Yin energy radiating from your soul, and through that ghostly energy, make them rise as zombies, to swarm and distract The ogress (Magic trial. DC 40)
I have a feeling that if the carmine plan backfires, it would backfire hard.
>>
>>5462670
Actually, let me add this too
>Continue mocking and teasing Ling Yaonan, in the hope she'll get so angry she'll make mistakes in battle,
It probably will end badly, but it's just a corpse, not our real body
>>
>>5462665
> A Rope Dart
We need to be either outside the range of her sword swings or so deep inside she has a hard time hitting us.
And I don't see any short range weapons on this list so we going extra long.

>Invite her to make the first strike, and attempt to use your feline/ ghostly martial arts to dodge/ counter her attack (Martial trial. DC 72)
Sending a zombie swarm after her is the easiest option, but that seems like putting a lot of bodies we can swap to into the trash.
Besides, best to use this opportunity to get the hang of battling in a human body.
>>
>>5462709
Couldn't she cut the rope though? It's why I went for meteor hammer, if her sword can cut through metal chains we are fucked either way.
>>
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Dropped my pic
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>>5462724
The rope might be easier to cut but it moves faster through the air and can attack from odd angles with slight adjustments from a longer range.
Meteor Hammers are valid, but I think the Rope Dart will be better in the long run.
>>
>>5462665
>>A Simple sword.
A classic.
>Invite her to make the first strike, and attempt to use your feline/ ghostly martial arts to dodge/ counter her attack (Martial trial. DC 72)

>>5462724
I'm fairly certain she can easily cut through a metal chain. The only reason she may not want to is because it could damage/dull her sword.
>>
>>5462665
>A simple sword
Classic

>Strike hard and fast
Lets not cede initative.
>>
>>5462865

Support
>>
>>5462665
>A Rope Dart
make a wager, offering her "valuable" cultivation secrets if she wins the fight, while actually plotting to deceive her into practicing accursed Carmine mysticism
>>
>>5462665
>A Simple sword
>make a wager, offering her "valuable" cultivation secrets if she wins the fight, while actually plotting to deceive her into practicing accursed Carmine mysticism
>>
>>5462665
And for the fight
>Invite her to make the first strike, and attempt to use your feline/ ghostly martial arts to dodge/ counter her attack (Martial trial. DC 72)
>>
>>5462665
>A Simple sword.
>Invite her to make the first strike, and attempt to use your feline/ ghostly martial arts to dodge/ counter her attack (Martial trial. DC 72)
>>
>>5462665
>A Meteor Hammer
>Continue mocking and teasing Ling Yaonan, in the hope she'll get so angry she'll make mistakes in battle,
>>
>>5462665
>A Meteor Hammer
>Strike first, and strike fast! You'll need every advantage you can if you want to succeed and teach this bitch a lesson in humility! (Martial trial. DC 72)


Who are the madmen using these kinds of fancy weapons inside a palace? XD
No wonder they all got killed easily..

Also like this anon said:
>>5462709
No need to lose viable bodies to swarm tactics.
>>
>>5462665
>A Meteor Hammer

>Continue mocking and teasing Ling Yaonan, in the hope she'll get so angry she'll make mistakes in battle
>>
>>5462665
>A Rope Dart
>Invite her to make the first strike, and attempt to use your feline/ ghostly martial arts to dodge/ counter her attack (Martial trial. DC 72)
>>
>>5462665
>A rope dart
The arguments here are reasonable enough.
>Infuse the corpses with the Yin energy radiating from your soul, and through that ghostly energy, make them rise as zombies, to swarm and distract The ogress (Magic trial. DC 40)
>Freely admit you only mostly know what you’re doing. You don’t have much opportunity to practice against opponents who would be worth such tricks!
>Ask why she bothers staying with her sect. She doesn’t seem to care much for them.
I’m willing to get regular conversation going. Not like we need to breathe, so we can yammer away while fighting.
>>
>>5462665
>A Simple sword.

>Strike first, and strike fast! You'll need every advantage you can if you want to succeed and teach this bitch a lesson in humility! (Martial trial. DC 72)
>>
>>5462670
Changing my vote from corpses to
>Strike first, and strike fast! You'll need every advantage you can if you want to succeed and teach this bitch a lesson in humility! (Martial trial. DC 72)
But I'm keeping the meteor and the mocking.
>>
>>5462665
>A Meteor Hammer
>Strike first, and strike fast! You'll need every advantage you can if you want to succeed and teach this bitch a lesson in humility! (Martial trial. DC 72)
These sure are some flashy weapons for guards
>>
>>5464012
That's the strangeness isn't it?
I think they were martial artists recruited to deal with other martial artists.
Or like one piece and kingdom where the higher the rank the more strong and quirky the officers are.

Sadly they met the ogress and she wasn't in the mood to spare people, or nobody was worth her time.
>>
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Welp!
After a bit of waiting and some very slight edits by myself, we have an interpretation of my interpretation of our darling and peerless, Huanliuxue.

I know the idea of preparing art for a form of a character we haven't seen and could look drastically different from what I propose is a risk some might see as wasteful, but it's my hard-earned wagey bucks getting spent on this and it'll be my wagey bucks being spent on any future images I get made as a sorta corrective follow up afterward. And it's all worth it in the end if you ask me!

In the end, If Huanliuxue's human form does not take this shape, then let this stand as a foolish but enthusiastic gesture of my love for the character and this quest that has come to become one of my favorites this year and for which we are quickly approaching the one year anniversary for.

Would also like to personally apologize if Our-Grandfather was planning to do a big reveal with commissioned art himself and I accidentally steal any of that future thunder with this. Big huge gomenasorry in advance.
>>
>>5464097
I want to pet the cat she is holding.
Also her face is perfectly smug, and I love the pink robes and the symbols.
>>
>>5464097
holy shit that's cool

As well, I never thought to ask whether Huanliuxue was a longhair cat or a shorthair cat until now. It's interesting that the hair + smug tilt makes her face look rounder than its total definition.

catgirl I would leave offerings for/10
>>
>>5464097
You know, maybe it would have been better of she was holding Ghost Empress Melody than a very cute cat
>>
>>5464097
She's cute

CUTE I SAY, CUTE!1!!!1
>>
>>5464114
A good idea, but one I had no control over, unfortunately.

See, the small cat in the image as it is now is a holdover from my original concept for the image, which I won't share because
A) It's a bad drawing.
B) I may or may not get someone to do it in its entirety at some point.

The very cute cat in question is supposed to be little Huanliuxue, back when she was just a dumb kitten, only half covered in blood.
The original image idea was supposed to have a pokemon evolution sorta feel, with small kitten Huanliuxue, just awakened getting revenge on the Ling Huanliuxue, Huanliuxue in her current form, and then finally her human form.

I suppose the artist wasn't keen on drawing so many cats, so he opted for just the human form and the kitten form, which works well too, even if it doesn't capture the sense of progress and grandeur of my original concept.
But frankly, I wasn't even sure I would be getting this image until it was sent my way via DMs, so I'm happy to have it and share it.
Like with everything while working with this particular artist, from how the actual image comes out, to when you get it or even confirmation of if they've decided to work on it, it's all a pleasant surprise.

Regardless, it was wagey bucks well spent if you ask me.
>>
>>5464129
Now that you said that the cat is Huan, I noticed the notched ear.
It was the first thing that I thought, but then I saw the eye colour were different I had changed my mind.
I hope our human form doesn't have the cat legs/arms though. It would make going undercover harder. Also hands are too useful to pass up. Maybe it could be some sort of halfway form?
>>
>>5464134
>Maybe it could be some sort of halfway form?
I don't remember in what thread it was, but someone suggested that we could maybe develop a "combat form" where there's an in-between in our cat form and human form.

Maybe even something more monstruous ala Bloody Roar.
>>
>>5464136
Yeah that was a great idea. Irrc it so we could have monsterish five digit hands and a tail for spellcasting. Something iterative to the human form to develop either afterwards or with its meditation.

It's terrifying enough we've learned to cast spells wit just a tail as one of the first things we did, by necessity. 3x that and every other daoist enemy may give us a parting compliment as they become a disintegrated yin-heavy paintstain.
>>
>>5464143
>It's terrifying enough we've learned to cast spells wit just a tail as one of the first things we did, by necessity.
Oh yeah! That was absolutely one of the highlights in the Quest when we learned that, especially the reaction of the Toad King when he figured out.

Huan's already packed with the physical advantage a Cat has over a Human, and that mixed with the sole fact that we're a cultivator and the physical enhancement that brings is terrifying. Now if you mix all that with the hability of casting spells without restricting our paw or legs, shit gets wild
>>
>>5464134
>I hope our human form doesn't have the cat legs/arms though.
In my head, the idea is that while her hands and feet are discolored from the rest of her human skin and would have a thin layer of fur and other cat traits, they would still be human in nature complete with the all-important human thumbs.
Just one of the little details lost in translation.

>>5464136
That's a very long-winded way of saying you want full furry Huan lol.
I do approve of the idea of having her have clearly monstrous traits along with the cute human girl. It's the only proper way to do things.
Having the right mix is more important than having all one or the other.

>>5464143
>Irrc it so we could have monsterish five digit hands and a tail for spellcasting
That was my idea yeah. Again, lost in translation.
>>
>>5464154
>That's a very long-winded way of saying you want full furry Huan lol.
Honestly, from the fanart Huan already look like a Bloody Roar character, or at least is really close from the other catgirl character of the firsts games
>>
>>5464097
Super cute and smug! Gramps is definitely going to be happy to see this. Though the anniversary of the quest was October 28th
>>
>>5464097
I imagine her to be a lot taller and more shapely than this as a human, a form that oozes an aristocratic femininity. As it is now, this interpretation looks too much like a brat imo.

Though even if it's not how I imagine Huan looks like it's still very cool.
>>
>>5464343
Oh god. What if Huan really did look like a brat?
>Everyone, I’ve achieved a feat long forgotten by both men and beasts, the art of transformation between them! Quick, move out of the way so I may see my beautiful, regal form in the spring’s waters!
>*Sees a snot-nosed brat*
>*Huan faints from shock at how she looks*

I want to see it even more now. Having her transformation not match up to her ideal bearing, or watching her attempt to rationalize it while the other people try not to laugh, would be beautiful. Maybe even humbling, but I don’t know if Huan really understands the meaning of the word.
>>
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>>5464368
>I want to see it even more now. Having her transformation not match up to her ideal bearing, or watching her attempt to rationalize it while the other people try not to laugh, would be beautiful. Maybe even humbling, but I don’t know if Huan really understands the meaning of the word.
God no, it's fun to think about as a joke but having her look like the antithesis to the icon of Empress of Beasts and the Dead would not be humbling but humiliating and degrading. It reminds me of how Luke Skywalker was treated in The Last Jedi...
>>
>>5464343
Huan spend a lot of time trying to justify her being a good person as a cat's fickle whim. She is also smug and like's to tease people.
What I'm trying to say is that she was always a brat. Sometimes a very polite brat that cares for both her elders and youngsters, but a brat at heart.
>>
>>5464389
Being smug, a tease and rationalizing being a good person is not being a "brat". It is being "a child, typically a badly behaved one." or in other words, imature, impudent, spoiled but most importantly: not worthy of respect, admiration or fear.
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>>5464368
>What if Huan really did look like a brat?
>wanting a smaller, weaker form simply for a meme
oy m8 u got a loicense foh dat schtewpid?
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>>5464097
VERY good cat. Also very good Huanliuxue. Though I agree with many of the stylistic and design choices here, so I may be biased.

The tail is very funny in such an unfinished state
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>>5464368
Maybe if she had an oujoo-sama level of smug i could see her attain a child sized form, but she's not as vapid nor so directly antagonistic, she doesn't truly looks others from above rather she walks circles around them like a stalking tiger.

She is terrifying and i can see her very similar to (yae miko) a cold beauty.

>>5464097
Cool drawing!
That is how i would have seen huan if she attained human form when she met Monu, unrefined yet confident.


(With all this talk of human form i imagine scenarios in which if we use all our gigantic cultivarion bonus for that and we end up unlocking the power to turn other people into animals and viceversa)
>>
Personally, I'll always err on the side of Huanliuxue having a short and slim build similar to Yuyi.

I want her to look properly elegant and imperious of course, but also petite and athletic.
After all, Huanliuxue is still a maiden, at least in terms of lived experience, and I'd want her human form to reflect that instead of her looking like Monu or some sorta amazon.
In my head, she would be small but loaded with hidden wiry muscle, like an actual house cat.
Able to bound around, and do all the whimsical stuff she does while in Yuyi's flesh without the strain.

If she was too tall and grand, it would be weird to not have her act more restrained to match her new utterly aristocratic appearance.
You can't have a jade beauty or amazon babe climb all over people and slip out of the grasp of annoyed monks like Huanliuxue is want to do while in a human form.
And such whimsy is key to Huanliuxue as we know her.
Her having the body of a femme fatale or a combat-focused amazon just doesn't seem to go along with her current personality.

All that said maybe this whole thing with the human body will be another growth experience like it was when she first transformed into her Wild Princess form where we'll be allowed to pick a path that best suits Huanliuxue's future development.
Her human form being reflective of the type of princess, if not queen, she wants to be for her people as opposed to the noble young woman she is now.
That's the only way her ending up as a traditional jade beauty or an amazon queen would make sense in my mind's eye, but that's just me.

We'll see how it goes in the end.
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

A Meteor Hammer:5

A Rope Dart:4

A Simple sword.:6
_

Infuse the corpses with the Yin energy radiating from your soul, and through that ghostly energy, make them rise as zombies, to swarm and distract The ogress:1
-Freely admit you only mostly know what you’re doing. You don’t have much opportunity to practice against opponents who would be worth such tricks!:1

Continue mocking and teasing Ling Yaonan, in the hope she'll get so angry she'll make mistakes in battle,:3

Invite her to make the first strike, and attempt to use your feline/ ghostly martial arts to dodge/ counter her attack :6

make a wager, offering her "valuable" cultivation secrets if she wins the fight, while actually plotting to deceive her into practicing accursed Carmine mysticism:2

Strike first, and strike fast! You'll need every advantage you can if you want to succeed and teach this bitch a lesson in humility!:4

Ask why she bothers staying with her sect. She doesn’t seem to care much for them.:1

So You'll pick up a humble sword and invite her to make the first strike, trusting that your soft style will be able to counter or deflect it

Update will arrive shortly

>>5463016
>>5464012
>>5464082
Both of those guess are true, and also some of them were brought by the cultists. The ogress wasn't decerning in who she cut down, if they were able to at least issue a challenge to her
>>
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>>5464097
Seeing this made me, Your grandfather, suck in a breath of cold air! From the moment I put it in my eyes, I was astonished and knew this piece to be jade-like and as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns, as still I feel as if I've been injected with chicken's blood just by looking at it!

But, chopping nails and severing iron, I have to say that I am over the moon overjoyed to see this, and am very grateful you commissioned the art, which I think looks phenomenal

I especially like how the hair is drawn, the style that was chosen for it (which I'd say is wildl yet elegant) and its color. The big eyebrows are also a nice choice and the expression in the eyes is enchanting with the pride and confident dignity that issues forth from them. The fangs are also a good detail and that smug cat smile are what really dot the eyes of the picture.

The amount of details in the robe is breathtaking, and every time I look back I see more depth in their design. Is the blue and blue white under clothes a reference to Monu and Ping's old sect, I wonder The black, white and red sash is attention grabbing, and the symbol of the Palace of Natural Laws Sect on the sleeve and how it bends with the movement of the fabric is just great! The green, gold gilded purse is also a cute detail.

And both Human and kitten Huanliuxue have her trademarked notched ear, and i appreciate the half and half look of her kitty form, showing the moment she became Huanliuxue, its a very nice touch.

Also a nice touch is the cat feet and paws, which add a sort of, otherworldly/ supernatural feel to the picture, which does help to separate that Huan isn't just an anime cat girl, but something out of old myth and folklore, and feels like something she'd do to express her nature to the world if, perchance, she broke the illusion of her "humanity".

Seeing this interpretation of Human form Huanliuxue really brightened my night

All in all, I feel deeply humbled and greatly you commissioned and edited this for my quest, and could not be happier with the result. I'd promote you to inner disciple if this were a sect.

Had to post this by itself, since it became so long!

>>5464728
Also, replying to this to say, that I really enjoyed seeing everyone's thoughts of what Human Huan will look like, and how much thought you've all been putting into it!
>>
"Then, without further ado, let us begin this blood red dance beneath the moon, eh, Maiden Ogress~" You say in a manner as if you were lightly, gently mocking a child, without intending to insult them, which makes the insult in your words all the more deeply cutting and effective to rouse the dark ire of the Ling Girl, who responds to your attempt to incite her rage to grow and blossom into a brilliant, feral conflagration of emotion not with words or spoken curses, but just a playful little smile. That looks gross on her face with how innocent it looks! It doesn't match her face at all! You wanna wipe it off! Tear it off! Claw it off! Its disgusting! An ogress should be snarling and grimacing, not cutely smirking like a fragile flower or harmless jade beauty! Dammit! Now you're getting pissed off just looking at the Ling Bitch and her smug smile. So, to temper your rising anger and compose yourself, you flash her a smile of your own, haughty and cat like, as you, lifting up the blood soaked and dripping hem of your host body's lower robes, bend down and gingerly, almost like as if you were daintly plucking a flower, lift up a simple sword. Humble in design and purpose, but well balanced and almost as sharp as your fangs and claws.

The Ogress' powerful, tightly bound muscles bulge and reveal themselves as her whole body tenses and readies to launch itself into battle with a sudden burst of violent motion. Her eyes glittering, watching you like a kitten watches a cattail, and she becomes rigidly set, lowered to the sight of merely an average man, with her uncovered sword gripped in both hands and held at an angle, pointing at the ground. The cool moonlight catches on its edge, making it glow with an ethereal, dreamlike radiance that dances like a reflection upon water as her face becomes shrouded in shadow as her bone white hair falls loose over her eyes and shoulders. All that can be seen of her expression is a truly wicked smile, the sort that would be best compared to the snarl of a rabid dog, and indeed, you sense her aura raising and prickle like fur on her back as the air grows heavy and tense with just the ambient flow of the Qi in her meridians. It is a myriad of colors and types, all muddled and mixed together. Seems, from a glance, she is something of woman of many talents. A cultivator who has practiced many methods and techniques. The kind of martial artist who gathers moves and tricks from everywhere they wander and everyone they battle.

But, you'd be foolish to assume that meant she was a master of none! No! That'd be a novice's first and last mistake in facing her! While it is clear she has dallianced and pursued several True and Orthodox Cultivation law, you can tell from how she holds herself and stands and the air surrounding her, that those brief and incomplete educations were undertaken solely to bolster and support her true path! The Dao she follows in her heart, secret from the world.

Cont
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>>5464769

"Those eyes, so fierce and scary! <3! Grandpa, your eyes are so focused and intense, it feels like your trying to imagine what's beneath my skin! How perverse!" She gasps and moans teasingly, licking her lips luridly and hungrily as you feel a chill deeper than death trickle down your back. If this body could still sweat, it would be. She, unlike most of the current generation of Cultivators, is the same sort of beast as yourself, at least in terms of practice, and is far more dangerous in that, unlike you, you can't imagine she would have standards and limits in what she'd do to gain power and experience. You would not devour souls or practice true Demonic cultivation. But the Ogress?

From her scent alone, from the feeling of her aura and the sheer weight of her killing intent, already practices at least one of the reviled arts that you are unjustly associated with. There is polluted Blood Qi in her meridians, you can feel it like you feel your own whiskers.

"My my, what lengths have you gone to stand amongst the strong? True ambition, without morals and unbound by dogma and tradition! A cultivator of a prior age! You are as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns in this era of trembling children and blind masters" You remark, impressed by the brazenness of the ogress' heresy and her willingness to reveal her true self to you this night.

"And I could say the same to you. Even if you're inhabiting a weakling's body, it is only natural for me to recognize at least the shadow cast by the true height of your cultivation. The strong know the strong. You must follow a curious Dao, though, of course, a heretic like you who hides in corpses and wears the dead like formal robes, wouldn't restrict themselves to the insipid and boring Cultivation Methods and their tiresome and restrictive laws. Perhaps, you'll actually be a challenge" She said, far more serious now, her eyes filled with a cold gleam that matches that of the moonlight caught by her blade's edge "Though, I warn you, old timer, your facing a true prodigy! A once in ten generations existence!"

You can't help but laugh, never having adopted a fighting stance, a grave insult to one who follows the path of sword so closely and devoutly as Ling Yaonan. Standing casually, arms hanging and sword only barely held in your hand, you stood relaxed and at ease as The ogress became as tightly pressed as a spring.

"What's so funny!' She bellowed, the coldness in her eye replaced with true fire "If you have time to laugh, you have time to strike! Get to it! Begin the match! Strike the gong! Start the battle!"

"Is that some kind of joke?" You ask derisively, Lifting your arms up and holding them straight in the air, inviting the ogress' rage and hostility, and leaving yourself seemingly entirely defenseless "And I was waiting for you to make the first move, girl, come! I'll allow you one free strike before I begin to test your mettle properly as your grandfather!"
Cont
>>
>>5464772

That was a lie. You fully intended to dodge or reflect her first blow, with your subtle, phantom esc style. Brutes like her often struggle with hard styles like...Wait! She's vanished!

The pressure in the air changes, a rush of wind pushes against you as the place where the ogress stood becomes empty! Immediately you realize, she simply kicked off the ground with such force and speed in her excitement to draw your blood, that to the dull of eyes of man, she has vanished from view! But your animal and fighting instincts warn you, that she is approaching you, charging forward with great tenacity and lethal intentions! As fast as her body will allow her to!

How EXCITING!

Adopting a proper stance, you lift her blade, just as she reappears in front of you, her shadow completely eclipsing you as she swings her blade upward, having already split cleanly through the flagstones of the garden path.

Roll 1d100. DC 72. best out of three

BOSS THEME: https://youtu.be/WTuYKvrlwyo
>>
Rolled 33 (1d100)

>>5464775
PARRY
>>
Rolled 95 (1d100)

>>5464775
Oh boy, c'mon big money big money...
>>
Rolled 38 (1d100)

>>5464775

>>5464787
Very nice.
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>>5464787
That is some mighty big money indeed.
>>
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>>5464787
And on that note... I can finally fall asleep.
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>>5464787
Nice Success! 20 over DC! Update will arrive shortly
>>
Shuffling your feet, one behind the other, you create just enough distance from the blade that it won't immediately and literally disarm you. It cuts your sleeve, from wrist to shoulder. Without pausing for even the time it takes to blink, the ogress shifts her grip and turns the sword from the skies back down to the earth and with a subtle curve in movement, brings down her oversized blade while still preserving the immense momentum and force of her first swing. You, step back again, at the very last possible moment to avoid being split from crown to groin, leaning back and arcing the stiff back of the corpse. A few grey and black hairs fall through the air like autumn leaves, and you feel the dull sensation of the very tip of your chin being split open, cut just enough to pierce the skin and bleed. Following through with your lean, you roll yourself back, cartwheeling as your press one hand on the blood soaked ground. Moving swiftly, Ling follows you, stepping once and closing the distance immediately. A downward thrust his her next move. You push off the ground, nearly losing a few of your fingers as she slams her sword that is as tall as some men straight through stone and into the earth below. Catching yourself, faking a stumble to entice your opponent to keep up her assault, as you analyze and figure out the exact pace and rhyme of her movements and style. And she bites down on the bait you set, harder than you expected.

A flurry of strikes performed with blistering and blinding speed. You can hear them more than you can see them, as the edge of her blade sings as it slices through the air with a speed equal to lightning splitting the heavens. A piercing howl that no animal born beneath the heavens can make wails through the garden. The stone path under your feet is cut apart, as are the leaves and petals of every bush or tree you pass by. She moves without thought or rest, cutting and hacking the places where you stood less than a second ago, matching your speed and at times nearly surpassing it as you duck, lean, weave and sway just out of her and her sword's reach. In fact, she's moving so quickly, the passing of her sword can be traced through the lines it leaves in the air! It's like she's tracing a stick through sand or wading through a river! Its ridiculous! Yet, you can never stop smiling despite how closely that razor edge shaves across your arms, neck and face. And the ogress seems to be having just as much fun, tossing her sword between her hands with each swing, only needing one hand to swing it around so gracefully and swiftly despite its length and wait.
Cont
>>
>>5464829

The duel has already reached a stalemate, with you constantly shuffling backwards, dodging and leaping just far enough away to not be dismembered by the terrifying speed and strength of the Ling Girl, and her unable to catch even the tip of your tail as the two of you dance ever further into the gardens, the only sound the scuffing of your shoes, the splashing of the blood on the ground and the howling of her blade.

Then, opportunity raises its head. An opening in her otherwise tireless and faultless assault. A breath in, to compose herself or steady her hand. Just a little longer than those that came before. But it is difference great enough for you to anticipate her next move perfectly, a blink quicker than you had all the others. A span of time even the most skilled of swordsman wouldn't be able to react to or take advance of. But you and her, inhabit a world of power and ability far beyond even the most storied of martial heroes. A wide swing, from one of her hips to the other, forming a curved arc through the air that will meet both of your arms and your neck. A truly strange technique, especially when performed with a sword as long as hers, rather than with something more flexible, but one that is inescapably crippling even if one blocks or avoids it before it lops of their head.

There's only a small opening, between when she swings her arms, and her blade connects. A small hole in her defense of ceaseless aggression. Even many cultivators on your level would struggle to exploit this very brief faltering of her guard and assault. But, Cats excel at squeezing into places they shouldn't be able to go. And you are the greatest specimen of feline kin, great or small! No matter what body you inhabit. Shifting one foot in front of the other, lifting it a hair from the ground, you adopt a two handed grip and tilt your sword at a slight angle, seeing exactly where the edge of your opponent's own blade will pass and taking the necessity of parrying that otherwise felling blow before you can carry out your counterattack.

Bowing your head, and pressing your shoulders and arms inward, you rush forward. With a turn of your wrists, your humble blade meets her priceless steel and glides over its honed edge with an almost musical whistle. Sparks fly from where the two weapons touch together, as you turn the tall girl's own monstrous strength against her, redirecting her sword just over your head as you lower yourself further towards the ground, almost kneeling to it. Pulling your left hand from the hilt of your sword, you press two of its fingers against the ground, as you press down hard with the tips of your feet.

Jumping upwards, you rotate your shoulders and twist your whole body around to put as much strength as this corpse vessel can muster into your swing. You shoot between the Ling Bitches' arm, as her sword fells a tree older than either of you in a single, accidental chop.
Cont
>>
>>5464831

Curving your back, you roll over you shoulder, steel kissing her cheek as you pass it by, cutting through skin, past flesh and against bone.

You had meant to go for her throat.

Blood pools down the edge of your sword, and you fall on your heels. Or, you would have. For some reason, your feet are dangling in the air. You lift your eyes, and see, even though you have sliced cleanly through her cheek, Ling Yaonan had bitten down hard on the edge of your blade and stopped it and you by the corner of her now torn open mouth. And by sheer stubbornness and nerve alone, held you in the air. She clenched her jaw, biting down harder on the blade. You could see cracks in the steel.

Kicking both of your legs, you tore it from her jaw, and found it came back a bit shorter than before it was bitten. Quickly, you rolled onto your back and leaped to your feet, narrowly avoiding the ogress' own retaliatory strike and the tree trunk it brought smashing down with it.

And before the cloud of wooden debris and scattered can fall, she sends the part of the sword she BIT OFF back at you, spitting it out of her mouth! It moves like an arrow, and its only because you're amazing that you're able to bash it aside and into a stone statue of Tiantunri, where it strikes his throat and pulverize his head! It seems her killing prowess is so great, it even extends to statues!

"Ow" She sighed, standing still and brushing the back of her hand across her split open cheek, coating her hand in her own blood "Thaaaat huuuuurt~"

You did not lower your guard or move the new end of your blade from her as she threw her head back, running her bloody hand through her white hair, painting locks of it vividly scarlet as she let out second, relaxed sigh. A shudder traveled through her.

"Oh its been too long since I've been cut. I was starting to think there wasn't anyone left in the world who could make me bleed <3" She moaned, as her tongue stuck out of the hole in her face, cleaning the blood from her cheek "At least in a pure match of skill and technique with the sword. Guess I'll have to get serious and use more than just my raw expertise with the blade...Hey, Old man!"

She points at you, suddenly whipping her hand through the air as her grin returned, wider on one side than the other.

You froze.
Cont
>>
>>5464833

"Your movements are strange! In the martial world or world of cultivation, I've never met a person who moves like you do! You really are nimble for your age. Not to mention flexible! Didn't know people could bend like that without breaking, you move like a reed in wind! Incredible ~" She giggled, tilting her head to the side as she moved her hands, one still holding her extravagantly large sword, to the sides of her head and curls them, mimicking cat ears as she bounces around between her feat playfully "It reminds me of when I used to chase cat's in my family's manor! All that rolling, twisting, leaping, stretching. Why even the way you attacked felt like a pounce. Surprised there exists martial artists who take inspiration from the lesser cats, rather than the great...Eh, then again, I've killed some who mimicked the movements of praying mantises and partridges. The world is truly a vast place, isn't it, grandpa"

You bite your tongue to not shout in outrage at her calling house cats "lesser".

"Die" She said cutely, attacking the moment your guard dropped from her seemingly inane rambling.

Her sword is glowing brightly, and not through reflected light alone. Is that a technique or spell!? You've never seen anything like THAT before, the light is jagged, irregular, jabbing and stabbing outward like a bolt of lightning, barely contained and held to the edge of the sword.

Oh dear. So this is how it feels to fight a heretic like yourself.

Roll 1d100. Defense/haste trial. DC 70
>>
Rolled 71 (1d100)

>>5464835
>>
>>5464862
Jesus Christ clutch! Her rambling gave me an idea for our next move though. Since we are puppeting a dead body we should actually be able to move in ways impossible for a living organism. Dislocate our shoulder for a wide swing, or bend our elbow the other way for a surprise stab. It's not like we can hurt this oldtimer anymore.
>>
forgot to put the best out of three part
>>
Rolled 59 (1d100)

>>5464835

>>5464876
Honestly it wouldn't have surprised me if we only got one die because this old geezer's body really is just regular meat at the end of the day and now she's entering full hype mode. But hey, I'll hundo this.
>>
Rolled 29 (1d100)

>>5464835
>>
>>5464862
Success! What a clutch! Update will arrive shortly.
>>
Time slows, as you forcefully heighten your sluggish perception through the corpses milky eyes with a clever bit of blood Qi Manipulation, willing dead nerves and still veins into a semblance of life. That energy isn't Qi. It isn't magical in nature, at least as far as you understand Daoist sorcery, which is a deeper understand than most could dream of reaching. It is not an inherent attribute of the materials used in the sword, though they are high quality. Is that...internal energy? Its coming from withing Ling Yaonan, rather than her blades, but it isn't issuing forth from her Cultivation base or meridians. But you've never heard of inner energy being used in such a fashion, so that is unlikely. Tasting the air, feeling it, you can sense a shifting in the atmosphere, the weight produced by the ogress' aura and presence alone. You swallow hard, finding the corpses throat dry as your eyes widen as you find the answer through process of elimination of what that sword light couldn't possibly be, and that its exactly that.

Sword-Light. An ability or technique that requires peerless mastery of the sword as well as profound and expert cultivation. It is a rarity nowadays, like most profound mysteries of the Dao, Qi and its cultivation, restricted to those trusted and expert few. Apparently, it was labeled a dangerous art and sealed technique for the wider world of cultivation, due to the process one would have to undergo to be just be capable of creating it, which in times of peace could only be performed by a select few individuals due to the nature of the training. Killing. One couldn't produce true sword light without standing atop a mountain of corpses, all of which served as whetstones and material to refine not only their swordsmanship, but their body as well. And the two would, at the point Sword-Light could be unleashed, would be indistinguishable from one another, at least spiritually. The danger the orthodox world of cultivation and heavens saw of course, was that one would go mad from so much killing or be driven insane by the sheer, raw bloodthirst required to kill so many to achieve their goal of connecting their spirit with the soul of their blade and achieving absolute harmony between them. And even before the codification of cultivation techniques and the sealing of the "Demonic Cultivation" arts, only high level cultivators could produce Sword-Light, the lowest possible level that could create it being at the peak of Core-Formation and following the Dao of the Sword. Of course, a similar technique could be produced with elementary Qi Manipulation, and you had done so many at time, creating scythes with your claws even at your earliest stages of cultivation.

Which you had refined into more complex and worthwhile abilities, such as the Whispering Death Claw (呢喃死亡爪子, Nínánsǐwáng zhuǎzi) and its evolution, the Red Death Scythe (红色死亡 镰, Hóngsèsǐwánglián).
Cont
>>
>>5464910

But sword-light, to your understanding, was different than Qi infused strikes or attacks. Any novice could make a rough blade out of Qi, or create an explosion with it, or rain arrows of spiritual energy down on their foes with a wave of their hand. But few could produce Sword-Light and if half of what is rumored about it is true, it is a great power worthy of only those few.

Ling Yaonan, if you would venture a guess, is in the foundation establishment stage. Same as yourself, though what layer she has climbed to, that you cannot say. Closing your eyes, you come to an unpleasant conclusion.

Ling Yaonan can create sword-light. She is only at the foundation establishment stage. This means, she has either been tutored by one of the rare few allowed to even attempt to wield Sword-Light. Or, she had innovated or rediscovered a method that allowed for the rapid attainment of Sword-Light. Or worse, she had simply killed so many that it came to her as naturally as breathing.

Guess she didn't have a big head when she called herself a prodigy. Breathing out, you open your eyes, painfully aware you have no idea what Sword-Light can do, and what shape it will take. Facing down an unknown threat, you decide to wing it, and trust your gut instincts.

After all, you're a prodigy, a rare existence the likes of which haven't been seen until this generation. And if The ogress has tricks hidden up her sleeve, you'll just have to show her what a real follow of a heretical path is capable of doing. Sword-Light? Pah! You possess Ghostly Yin Qi and Blood Qi, and have transformed your spiritual roots to align to both rare forms of Qi! She may have re-trodden an old path! But Huanliuxue creates one never traveled before by simply walking forward, against any adversity and obstacle in her way.

"Try me" You spit, as she begins swinging her sword. The Sword-Light crackles and rises from the edge of her blade, forming waves as great, blindingly white blades of pure light fly from it, cutting through the air and forming into exact copies of the sword itself, spiraling and rotating through the air, tearing up the ground and splintering the trees and statues they pass by. They lose their shape, become vaguer and less defined, and forming into a single, dazzling ray of destruction.

Staring down the blast of sword energy, you bow your head and frown, working with the dirty blood Qi in the corpse and the little Yin Qi of Death it has produced since it died. You lack your true bodies reserves of highly refined and pure Qi, and thus your ability to perform most of your techniques or all but the simplest of your spells. But struggle is the crucible through which one achieves great feats and through its fire, chance means as much as dust on the wind.
cont
>>
>>5464911

The Phantom Cat Step [幽灵猫步, Yōulíngmāobù], step wouldn't be fast enough in your current form. This body is sluggish and heavy so even with the aid of the illusionary bubble of slowed time that your Specter Lightness skill [幽灵-轻工, Yōulíng-Qīnggōng] produces around you, you'd still get caught in the sword-energy beam.

The Blood Torrent Rush (衁急流奔,Huāngjíliúbēn) on the other hand....Well, you'd prefer to use them together, as the the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step (血紅色列缺猫步, Xuè hóngsèlièquēmāobù), but this body only contains so much Qi to perform The Phantom Cat step or the Blood Torrent Rush because of your presence and the vast amounts of blood surrounding it.

And it'll be easier and more useful to you now, you figure, to use a body strengthening technique, rather than one that creates a field of altered perception of slowed time. That's the only way you can be fast enough to avoid this attack

And while all this decision required a lot of thought and consideration on your part, it all happened in an instant as the Sword-Ray got close enough to lift your sleeves and cause your hair to raise up as night became, for but a moment, day.

Wrapping the corpse's unmoving heart and lungs, and sheathing its rigid muscles and sinew with Blood Qi, you activate the blood torrent rush, at least as much as this body is able to and hop to the side.

Half of your armor and the clothing underneath, is torn away immediately, along with your right arm, all the way to your shoulder. A necessary sacrifice, even in your real body with all the Qi you've cultivated, you'd have struggled to completely dodge that beam of light. You blink, and see, just beside you, continuing on unimpeded by anything in its way, is the Sword-Ray, cutting a deep path through the gardens, erasing several of the corpse and creating a hole through the walls surrounding the garden.

And you see Ling Yaonan, winded from the exertion of summoning her Sword-Light, replenishing her stamina with internal energy.

Her eyes meet yours, going wide as she sees you managed to escape her Sword-Ray mostly intact and for a second, it seems she is struck by panic! You don't give any thought to it, as you're busy charging her to begin your own assault!
Cont
>>
>>5464912

How do you attack Ling Yaonan, Huanliuxue?

>Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised (Martial/ Magic Trial. DC 66. DC lowered by opponent's shock)

>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)

>Push the body to its limits with the blood torrent rush, damaging it further and ruining it, to tackle The ogress to the ground and pin her arms to her side as you take hold of another corpse to attack her while she's pinned (Strength Trial. DC 90. DC lowered by blood torrent rush's buff)

>Try to disarm her while she's gawking! It'll be a fatal mistake (Martial Trial. DC 100)

>Write in
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>>5464914
>Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised (Martial/ Magic Trial. DC 66. DC lowered by opponent's shock)

why do we get a DC 100 option?
>>
>>5464914
>Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised (Martial/ Magic Trial. DC 66. DC lowered by opponent's shock)

>>5464923
Because anything is possible, just not probable.
Maybe using both blood torrent and yin qi would lower it, but i suspect grampa already counted all advantages we can bring to bear in his calculation.
>>
>>5464914
>Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised (Martial/ Magic Trial. DC 66. DC lowered by opponent's shock)
Guys, maybe... Just maybe, we're gonna be the one that humble this bitch. And I don't like that because we still need to help our cute serpent daughter to get over the trauma and give her a new body.
>>
>>5464914
>>Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised (Martial/ Magic Trial. DC 66. DC lowered by opponent's shock)
>>
>>5464914
>Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised (Martial/ Magic Trial. DC 66. DC lowered by opponent's shock)
This will probably spark our first true rivalry
>>
>>5464914
>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)
>>
>>5464747
Thank you thank you, you're much too kind.
Frankly, many of the small details are creative liberties taken by the artist. So things that you've praised such as the blue in the design and the purse can be placed at the feet of the artist proper, which I shall do in your regard.
As for the overall design and look of it, I'm glad you enjoy it so much!
Details like her notched ear, her expression, her hair, her eyebrows, the colors of her main robes, and making sure that the Palace of Natural Law Sect's symbol was included, as well as making sure to portray her inhumanity and the look of the kitten form are elements I made sure to put in the draft image of the piece an am glad are so deeply appreciated!

I am also relieved that you haven't become annoyed with how often our fervent discussions of Huanliuxue's human body come up. I can see us constantly clamoring for it getting bothersome, so it's a weight off my mind that you aren't troubled by all your rowdy disciples talking about their favorite girl.

>>5464914
>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)
I know we've already taken risks fighting as we have....but this move here is too cool not to vote for.
>>
>>5464914
>Use what Yin Qi we can harness and sheath our sword in destructive Qi then thrust forwards while she is surprised.
>Write in: After the charge, fade away from the body to take another one, ideally while she is still reeling from our current attack

Gives her time to breathe again, but we will have both our arms again.
>>
>>5464914
>Throw your sword as a distraction, then tackle her and ruin you body using blood qi to toss her as high in the air as possible. Her monstrous strength will be far more meaningless in the air than pinned on the ground, and you’ll have time to get a new body and strike.
Juggling is a feature of spectacle fighters for a reason. As long as we don’t jump up with her, she can’t kick off our dead body either.

She might have more tricks to counter it, but that goes for any option we pick. Aerial combat is also something she’s probably weak in because who would get close enough to toss her anyway?
>>
Baoli would have searched out Yaonan if we'd left him alive..

>>5465106
>>5464914
+1
>>
>>5464914
>Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised (Martial/ Magic Trial. DC 66. DC lowered by opponent's shock)
>>
>>5464914
>Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised (Martial/ Magic Trial. DC 66. DC lowered by opponent's shock)
>>
>>5464914
>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)
It's true, it is just too cool. And we mustn't get invested in fighting traditionally while we're at a disadvantage like using these bodies, that would just be dulling Huanliuxue's edge
>>
Aight, fuck it

I'll change my vote from >>5465030 to
>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)

I'm phoneposting btw
>>
>>5465106
Supporting tossing the ogress
>>5465173
I hate that you’re right
>>
>>5464914
>>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)
Honestly this is just really cool.
>>
>>5464923
what the hell I'm also switching to the meme maneuver
>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)
>>
>>5464914
>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)
>>
>>5464914
>Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back (Martial Trial DC 78)

It'll probably go badly, but eh, fuck it
>>
>>5464914
>>Throw your sword as a distraction, then tackle her and ruin you body using blood qi to toss her as high in the air as possible. Her monstrous strength will be far more meaningless in the air than pinned on the ground, and you’ll have time to get a new body and strike.
>>
>>5464914
> >Try to disarm her while she's gawking! It'll be a fatal mistake (Martial Trial. DC 100)
All or nothing baby
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the result now.

Using what little Yin Qi you can harness from the corpse, sheath your sword in destructive Yin Qi, and thrust it forward while she's surprised :6
-After the charge, fade away from the body to take another one, ideally while she is still reeling from our current attack:1

Throw the sword, and flee from the damaged body, to possess one behind the ogress, catch the sword, and strike her exposed back:8

Throw your sword as a distraction, then tackle her and ruin you body using blood qi to toss her as high in the air as possible. Her monstrous strength will be far more meaningless in the air than pinned on the ground, and you’ll have time to get a new body and strike.:4

Try to disarm her while she's gawking! It'll be a fatal mistake: 1

So You'll throw your sword and retreat from the damaged corpse you're controlling to posses one of the bodies behind the ogress, to catch the sword and slash at her back.

update will arrive shortly
>>
But only having one arm somewhat limits your options of attack and besides that cuts the force your can put behind each swing in half. This body's usefulness has been wrung completely dry! Its too damaged and broken now to be an effective tool, now it will only serve to slow you down and turn the odds in the Ling Dog's favor. Which is simply something you cannot abide. Without breaking your stride or slowing it, you pull the single arm you still have back, sliding its hand down the length of the broken swords hilt to grab a hold of its pommel.

Then, redirecting and gathering the filthy, polluted blood Qi you've been using to strengthen the old man's withered muscles into that arm, wrapping strands of it tightly around each muscle and joint, you thrust your hand and the sword forward, letting go only after you have torn every joint in the limb from its socket in a single, explosive burst of strength. You can hear and feel every fiber of muscle tearing and snapping inside the limb, followed by the dull popping of the dislocated bones. You've ruined it almost, reducing it to little more than tenderized meat. However, the sheer power provided by that self destructive display of strength is enough to turn that tipless sword into a rocket that flies as fast as the best fireworks. Then as the Ogress moves to, through fighter's instinct and most definently a well honed sense of warrior's foresight, sidestep the flying blade, you step out of the dead flesh you've been piloting and zip through the air, fluttering and whizzing as the dim crimson glow of your ethereal form draws patterns in the air similar to those left behind by fireflies.

But, the ogress cannot see ghosts, or if she can, she pretends not to, which you really hope isn't the case as that will spoil your plan and means she's much cleverer than the brutish character she presents herself as. You force that unpleasant, doubtful thought from your mind, chalking its presence up to directionless paranoia and overactive wariness.

You push yourself into one of the many bodies the ogress has gathered in the garden, and quickly spread your spirit throughout its still flesh, flooding into its nerves and the marrow of its bones to immediately take complete control of it. Then, leaping from the ground, you tuck your legs in and snatch the sword as it nearly shoots past you. And without a sound, you throw yourself forward, raising the sword above your head as you charge towards the ogress' exposed back, intending to mar it with a swordsman's greatest shame! A coward's cut! A retreating wound!

roll 1d100. DC 78. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 70 (1d100)

>>5466977
>>
Rolled 72 (1d100)

>>5466977
>>
Rolled 26 (1d100)

>>5466977
>>
>>5466989
Failure. update will arrive shortly
>>
Ling Yaonan turns on her heel. She sensed your approach, anticipated it when other swordsmen would've been caught by complete surprise. Now you are charging to meet her back, but rather her front. A front that is topped by a furious snarl, like an actual ogres face. Seems she has taken a great deal of offense over your attempt to humiliate her by scarring her back. Well that's bad. Instead of blocking, or creating distance between herself and your sword, she takes a step forward. More of a stomp really, a stomp of such power it sends a draft of air rushing against you and a cloud of dust rising from where her foot slammed down onto the stone path. The earth shakes from her monstrous strength, and a flash of steel soon followers as she kicks off the ground and leaps towards you, throwing herself forward to rush you down before you could stop yourself from running or redirect your movement away from the tall freak suddenly facing you with her ridiculously huge sword!

Acting as quickly as you can, you do the only thing that comes to your panicked mind. Try to block. Shifting your grip and stance, you lower the already broken sword in your hands and turn its flat-side towards the ogress as she charges, grabbing hold of its broken point to reinforce and make your hold on it sturdier. Not that it matters, since she just cuts straight through the blade with an overhead swing that also splits your head in half and cuts your torso nearly down to the stomach, cleanly separating both of the corpse's shoulders and slicing directly through its spine. Even though you could still puppet it and make it move, its now entirely worthless for fighting and would look ridiculous if you tried. Not wanting to make a joke out of yourself, and seething with humiliated anger, you leap from the ruined vessel into one that would be a few paces away from the crazy sword bitch even with her ridiculously long strides and rapid reaction times. Pushing yourself off, you dust your chest off and crack your neck, acclimating to the corpse's different proportions and greater weight. Unfortunately the closest corpse that you were confident the ogress wouldn't immediately reach the moment you possessed it, belong to a fatty and his ill fitting armor is chaffing against your skin. Which just serves to irritate and piss you off more than you already were over the ogress' swift dashing of your plan and ruining of your sneak attack. How dare she protect her sense of pride and dignity! Lings don't deserve to walk around with their heads held high! And look! She's wearing her smug smirk again! Right after you had just wiped it off by dodging her sword-ray!

Glowering, you grab the closest weapon to the blubbery body you've taken command of. And find a meteor hammer laid down at his feet. Which you hadn't noticed until you took a step back, cause the fat idiot's fat stomach was hiding it from sight.

Cont
>>
>>5466993
So close yet so far. It's a good thing these bodies are disposable for practice. I wonder where everyone else got off to. Like the cultists and remaining guards.
>>
>>5467005

"There's no reason for you to be all red-faced like that, chubby" The ogress mocked, wagging a finger "Honestly, you should be proud you managed to last as long as you did against me with that trash piece of steel you picked up! Amongst swordsmen, I am peerless, after all! There's no shame in being killed by my blade! You've lost no face in getting cleaved in two like that, so stop pouting and getting back in the ring! The night is still young!"

She's trying to make you angry by insulting and making a mockery of you. And it is working. Your pride demands swift and brutal retribution! But your not stupid enough to blindly charge at the ogress a second time! She's as dangerous as she is crazy! And you've just got a weapon that you won't need to get too close to her to smack her with.

Allowing one of the hammer heads to drop, you begin to spring it around, whole keeping the other held close to your fist, serving as an anchor for its opposite.

"Oh come on! Don't be so boring and get cautious now! You can't die and I've gotten sick of chasing down rabbit minded men!" She barked sternly, stepping forward "Don't think that ball and chain will be able to keep me from butchering you, fatty!"

Turning the other cheek doesn't suit you at all. Grinding and gnashing your teeth, you begin to side step, knowing how ridiculous you must right now, inhabiting a round cheek and bellied fatty's corpse and trying to look intimidating as your circle around the Ogress of the Ling, trying to not show your outrage and insult to give her the satisfaction of pissing you off.

"Are you puffing out your cheeks, or do they just look like that naturally? I can't remember if they looked that way when he was still alive, he didn't last long at all" She starts rambling, trying to distract you like she did right before she revealed her sword-light. This time however, you won't let her create an opening by gossiping like an old hag or air headed girl!

How do you try to shut the ogress up, Huanliuxue?

>Try and wrap the chain of the meteor hammer around her sword arm and lock it in place, sealing away her greatest strength [Martial trial. DC 90]

>Keep your distance from her, and try to smack her in the knees and shoulders with the heads of your new weapon, to try and weaken and slow her down [Martial trial. DC 80]

>Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation [Agility/ Magic trial. DC 70]

>Keep spinning the hammer, and wrap a small Dying Grudge Shield around it, strike the ground several times to "Charge it" And then throw it at her head right before it explodes! [Mischief trial. DC 60]

>write in
>>
>>5467008
>>Keep your distance from her, and try to smack her in the knees and shoulders with the heads of your new weapon, to try and weaken and slow her down [Martial trial. DC 80]
Kneecapping. Can't go wrong.
>>
>>5467008
>Keep your distance from her, and try to smack her in the knees and shoulders with the heads of your new weapon, to try and weaken and slow her down [Martial trial. DC 80]
Let her show us her techniques, don't show any of ours.
>>
>>5467008
>Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation [Agility/ Magic trial. DC 70]
Glad we aren't on our body, or this might have gone the way of the puppets.
>>
>>5467008
>Keep your distance from her, and try to smack her in the knees and shoulders with the heads of your new weapon, to try and weaken and slow her down [Martial trial. DC 80]

Yeah go for the knees. We should try to keep a level head and remember what we are actually trying to accomplish here. Once we feel we've learned enough we can fuck off and prepare to battle her in earnest after our next cultivation roll.
>>
>>5467008
>Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation [Agility/ Magic trial. DC 70]
>>
>>5467008
>Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation [Agility/ Magic trial. DC 70]

Avoiding her is pissing her off, and a normal dead body has demostrated itself inadequate.
Let's improve this one a little since it has the mass for it and turn the bulky fat into muscle.
Unless that's not how it works and we end up even fattier..
>>
>>5467008
>Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation [Agility/ Magic trial. DC 70]
>>
>>5467008
>Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation [Agility/ Magic trial. DC 70]
>>
>>5467008
>Keep your distance from her, and try to smack her in the knees and shoulders with the heads of your new weapon, to try and weaken and slow her down [Martial trial. DC 80]

There there dear Huanliuxue.
This is all in good fun.
A bit of probing and prodding to see what the girl can do while giving our parties in this assassination affair a chance to escape.
This is a time for experimentation, and if we humiliate and humble her in the process, that's a bonus, not the goal.
The fact she's out here, distracted, showing us all her best techniques, while we work on ways to counter them without true harm to ourselves and all our allies fulfill their tasks and escape unbutchered is victory enough, even if it’s in the nature of a peerless prodigy to prove themselves at every turn.
Be calmed by the fact you've already won, and any perceived victory by the Ogress is fleeting at best, if not true victories at all.
>>
>>5467008
>Knee cap her [DC 80]

Hm, Legitimately not bad.
>>
>>5467008
> Write in

> Focus on defense and take a moment to contemplate the nature of her Sword Light ability, hoping to glean some useful secret for later.

While the memory is fresh.
>>
>>5467008
>>5467225
My first thought was "we don't use a sword", and my second that was "but we do have claws." If there's anyone who could adopt a fabled and rare technique into something that could become a staple for magical beasts, we are them. The sweetness of Yaonan being indirectly responsible for our sect getting Claw Light or something is truly karmic. Plus, not like there's going to be a shortage of criminals for Siwang to train on.

Switching my vote to this.
>>
>>5467008
>Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation [Agility/ Magic trial. DC 70]
You’re right, turning the other cheek doesn’t suit us, and we still don’t need to breathe to talk. So let’s fire back.
>”Don’t flatter yourself. Any walking corpse or old man would do for a maiden like you. You find a partner with even a hint of stamina and you’re over them like an animal. It seems as your skill has increased, your standards have fallen.”
She didn’t like when we joked about meeting a grandpa under the moonlight, so I’m guessing it’s part of her backstory. Anyone want to test with me?

>>5467253
I don’t think we’ll indulge in the mountain of corpses needed to hone our claws like she has her blade, so I’d rather keep pushing her to reveal more techniques.
>>
>>5467277
It's probably because her teacher is her actual ancestor/related, and humbled her when she started getting uppity.
>>5460727
It think it happened in one of these posts
>>
>>5467286
It was >>5462658 and the next one.
>"What a scandal there'd be, if word got out you sat in a garden with a man old enough to be your grandfather, eh? <3" You mocked back, grinning an audacious and manic smile back at her, the milky eyes of the corpse twinkling and sparkling with the mirth you feel. That made her composure crack, and her smile twitch as she stood to her full, staggering height and lifted her arms above her head, locking her fingers together as she stretched even taller.
> "Old man, I have to admit, you piss me off. But at least you're not as uptight as most. It gets boring to deal day in and day out with stone faced busy buddies who can't take a joke. And those who can cast aside their face to make light of life and insult themselves and others without a care. Why, they're worth more than jade in my eyes. Shame those same words that brought me such relief and joy, also drove a nail into my heart. Though I'd still pummel you anyways, a few of the things you said to me have truly drawn my ire, grandpa <3"
>"Really, I'm glad you're using intermediaries for this fight, it'd be a shame to lose someone as fun as you are, Grandpa, even if you have insulted me and what little honor I care about"
> "Eh, I'd have thought you'd have forsaken all dignity and face! Now I'm curious what I said to get under your skin. Was it the confession? I assure you, young girl, it wasn't serious" You cackle, mocking her some more to see her face twitch and eyes narrow further "Oh don't tell me I've hurt your pride, did you think it was honest? Poor thing?
>"Shut your mouth, grab a blade, and lets get to killing each other, old man <3" She hissed through her tightly clenched teeth "before I lose my patience"
If I’m reading this right, I think she had a relationship with someone far older to her, maybe her mentor, who actually found her attractive in spite of her… bloodthirst? years ago. Then she found out later he didn’t really care for her, perhaps finding him with someone he called a proper “maiden” (she doesn’t seem to like the word) and she got even. It could have been the start to her cultivation, finding ways to defile even his blood.
>>
>>5467306
Oh, I know she got embarassed after we teased her in this thread, I meant that the reason for said embarassement is either in one of those or smething that can be infered from them.
Because that's a collection of every time Yaonan was mentioned or had a cutaway.
>>
>>5467312
Ah. I think we’re still on different wavelengths though.

I don’t think we embarrassed her. I think we pissed her off in the same way that someone joking about dead children would piss Huan off. I’m trying to poke that nerve again since others want to see more of what she’s capable of. The “test” is to see if the insult really does get under her skin like I think it will or if I’m drawing the wrong conclusions from our pre-fight banter.

Of course, if I’m right it’ll just make the fight harder. Maybe some others would prefer to keep it a bit lighter in case we can actually hurt her in some lasting way. Personally, I was okay with showing more of our skills so we can train in this unusual method of fighting against a strong opponent, but most others don’t seem to want that so I’m not angling in that direction as hard as I normally would.
>>
Grandad, are you ok? Did the ants win?
>>
>>5467008
>Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation [Agility/ Magic trial. DC 70]

>”Don’t flatter yourself. Any walking corpse or old man would do for a maiden like you. You find a partner with even a hint of stamina and you’re over them like an animal. It seems as your skill has increased, your standards have fallen.”
>>
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Ending the vote, tallying the result now. Sorry for making you wait over the weekend.

Keep your distance from her, and try to smack her in the knees and shoulders with the heads of your new weapon, to try and weaken and slow her down: 5

Avoid her, dodging and deflecting her attacks with the chain and heads of the meteor hammer, while you refine your body with some quick and dirty blood qi manipulation : 6

Focus on defense and take a moment to contemplate the nature of her Sword Light ability, hoping to glean some useful secret for later.: 2

”Don’t flatter yourself. Any walking corpse or old man would do for a maiden like you. You find a partner with even a hint of stamina and you’re over them like an animal. It seems as your skill has increased, your standards have fallen.”: 2

So you'll avoid and deflect her attacks with the chains and heads of the meteor hammer, while you try to refine the lackluster body with some hasty blood qi manipulation

Update will arrive shortly

>>5471340
Oh they've been crushed into nothing by the ancient technique taught to me by my clan's ancestor, spraying bug spray in every corner of the house.

I just spent most of the weekend sleeping, no idea why I was tired but I was basically in hibernation, then I had to run around all day to prepare for thanksgiving
>>
There's just one problem. And its concerning the body you've taken hold of. Its too heavy, weighty and sluggish, especially for you. The fatties joints are all worn and you can feel the weakness in his legs long pressed down by his girthy and overfed body. Its clumsy and graceless, absolutely unbefitting your fighting style and even your casual movements. Everything feels wrong, it takes too much effort to lift up his flabby arms and fat encased legs and the layers of blubber wrapped around every part of the corpse makes controlling it imprecise, either because of the added weight getting in the way of your movements or the simple dullness of the body keeping it from reacting as quickly as a skinner body would. All of the excess meat on this "robe" is holding you back, it feels like you've wrapped yourself in chains and donned training weights. Its terrible and you swear you can feel grease brushing up against you, and your presently only spiritual essence! Ghosts shouldn't be able to feel so filthy, but possessing this tubbies corpse is making it feel like you've curled up just under his flesh and it is a very unpleasant sensation being surrounded by rancid fat and flesh and beyond that, maneuvering worn down bones and tired muscles is exhausting even for the great and mighty huanliuxue, even with the refinements of your soul.

But, wait, hold on. This fatty is actually pretty strong. He's just slow and cloddish. But carrying around all of the extra pounds he's packed onto himself before he met the ogress and died gruesomely has made him rather muscular underneath all of the unnecessary and unwanted blubber. You like fatty meat, but not being surrounded by it! But, that muscle and strength built up by hauling around his own weight could be easily used to your advantage. The old man was athletic and took care of his body despite his age, but he hadn't undergone any special training to improve his body or strengthen it. But the fat boy? He had, without knowing, been performing arduous and exhaustive strength training for all his life! Pushing and testing his muscles without every knowing the strength he could unlock if he just stopped stuffing his face and slimmed down a little. You would call it a waste, but even if he had pushed and bettered himself, he'd still have been worthless and died to ogress anyways.

However, that power locked beneath blubber can be used much more advantageously by someone with actual brains. Like the sharp witted you! There's just one problem. The Ogress is almost done blabbering and talking to herself, trying to distract you with asinine conversation and directionless drivel. You can tell because her killing intent is becoming denser, like the air right before a storm rolls in. Her Murderous intentions are electrifying the air.
Cont
>>
>>5471479

But, now you have a plan. You just need to avoid losing this body, for long enough for you to refine it with Blood Qi Manipulation, turning its fat into fuel to before refinement and physical and inner transformations upon it, to make the useless corpse of this useless idiot capable of standing against the Ling bitch, at least long enough for you to humble her and smear her face in the mud. Maybe even force her to kowtow before you!

Gripping the meteor hammer in the middle of its chain, you raise it above your head and spin it around, glaring at the ogress as you try and fail to stand on the toes of one leg.

"Oh, so you will just make me come after you! Passivity is fucking boring!" She roared and began her assault, using her lightness skill to vanish, and appear right in front of you with a truly deranged sneer on her face and killer's coldness in her eyes. A coldness tinged with a maniac passion!

Roll 1d100. DC 70. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 32 (1d100)

>>5471481
Who is going to get their ass beat? Find out next episode of HCQ!
>>
Rolled 99 (1d100)

>>5471481
>>
Rolled 91 (1d100)

>>5471481
Passive these nuts
>>
Rolled 5 (1d100)

>>5471481
ALRIGHT LETS DO TH-
>>5471488
>>5471492
Oh wow.
Nevermind then. Lmao.
>>
>>5471488
WHAT AN AUSPICIOUS ROLL! One less than 30 over DC. 20 over DC, Great success.
Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5471488
>>5471492
Nice.
And this isn't even our true form!
>>
You center and compose yourself, focusing keenly as the ogress pounces on you, having closed the distance between you in a single lunging bound. In a manner that reminds you of a tiger falling on their prey, but that is neither here nor there and is a thought that in no way helps you to avoid being skewered, chopped to bits or simply decapitated by the rampaging battle slut. Achieving a state of a calm and serene mind in the face of overwhelming aggression, you maneuver the chains of the meteor hammer to wrap a portion of it around the nicked and notched gruard of ogresss' oversized sword, and pull it to the side as you step forward and to the side, stepping around the ogress's first powerful, downward swing. She immediately realizes what you are doing, and wrenches her arms and a sword upwards, trying to pull you off your feet to render you helpless and thus an easy kill. However, you anticipated that, and loose the chains around her sword, allowing them to slide smoothly off its edge as you release one end of the meteor hammer right as she throws all of her strength with a rise slice. Hopping back, you avoid being split down the middle by it as she tries to keep you from escaping by lunging forward at the last moment, adjusting her swing and stance mid strike, as she had noticed you had disengaged and released your hold on the hilt of her blade.

That makes her angry, and she begins hacking and chopping in a wild, relentless flurry of felling strikes that could slice through stone and steel with as much ease as they do flesh and bone. However, while this flurry is of a different style and rhythm than her first, it is still the same kind of assault, that relies on overwhelming and exhausting to opposition to forcefully create openings or crush their defenses as their stamina wanes. However corpses have no breath and they do not tire. And while ghosts and spirits can be weakened and drained, the ogress doesn't seem to know the arts and secrets of exorcism. Besides! Cat's fight by rapidly clawing and scratching! Fighting back against such attacks is instinctual, no matter who it is attacking you, be they another cat or a rampaging bloodthirsty bitch called Ling!

Her confident, cocky smile twitches and slowly turns into a growling, demonic grimace of impotent fury as you once again endure her assault and refuse to be butchered like countless others before you. She switches styles, trying different moves and techniques, on the fly changing from one martial art between three more without delay or pausing to adjust her stance or posture. However, you keep swinging and slamming the heads of your hammer into the flat of her blade, wrapping it with its chains or simply lean or sway out of the way.
Cont
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>>5471563

And all the while, you are performing blood refinement (血精炼 Xuèjīngliàn to alter, transform and improve the fatty's corpse. A process which the ogress seems fascinated by, which just makes it easier to dodge and deflect her careless and wholly undisciplined strikes!

"That's what I want! Now just hold still so I can help you trim down that fat weighing you down!" She cackles eagerly, her movements becoming less refined as the body you're controlling becomes more so, as layers of fat melt away and the hidden muscles beneath are revealed, as you work to improve them! Someone should be praising you for performing such delicate work while also battling against such a vicious and unrelenting opponent!

Each step, the corpse you wear becomes lighter and lighter, more graceful and less lethargic, as what it could've been with just a bit of work and exercise is revealed, like stone being chipped away to reveal the sculpture hiding away within it. The ogress happily keeps the pace you match, never once slowing her attack and thus keeping you on your toes and focused as you continue the process of whole body refinement, performing the equivalent of years of hard, diligent training in a matter of chaotic moments, forcing your vessel through a rigorous regimen of refinement. And again, someone should really be showering you with praises because you doubt there exists another person who could so expertly perform bodily transmutation and purification with the Blood Refinement ability whilst also dodging blindingly fast strikes and stabs, while a deranged psychopath is chattering like a song bird, trying to break their focus and concentration so they can brutally dispatch them! Truly you are a peerless prodigy, not only in cultivation or wits, but also multitasking!

You stand taller and taller, as your shoulders broaden and your chest lifts, and your legs stretch out as they're no longed compressed beneath a ball of blubber. Your arms feel longer, and certainly stronger, and soon the ogress doesn't seem as tall as she was before. She still taller than the body you've remade, but you're certainly much less shorter in it than you were before. And that has...only seem to encourage her! You're pretty sure she's drooling and she looks intoxicated.

"Physical cultivation? Never seen it performed so quickly. It can't be that. that isn't your body. It has barely any Qi in it, just what it was born with! What a dastardly technique! Oh I'm sure my elders would see your destroyed to seal away its existence. But where's the fun in that huh? You turned a gross fatty into a delicious looking hunk" She titters, eyes aglow with mirth "You really are a heretic! A true heretic! What kind of necromancy did you use their huh? What kind of demonic arts? Its so cool! Your keeping so many fun secrets from me! I can't anticipate what you're capable of"

Cont
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>>5471565

She licked her lips, as you swung your meteor hammer and wrapped it around the length of her sword, before pulling it down to the ground as she ran forward. The blade screeched through the stone, before becoming caught as she leaned over you, her tongue slipping through the cut in her cheek

"How exhilarating! Everyone else is so predictable! There's only so many techniques a "Good daoist" can follow, ya know. So restrictive" She says happily as the two of you stopped in front of each other, you trying to free the chain of your meteor hammer from the ground and her holding it in place so she can fill your ears with more buzzing "Orthodoxy is bullshit. The old fools who uphold its stifling traditions can kiss my ass! You turned a fat corpse into a wall of hard, tight muscle, giving it a physique men would kill to have! And who knows what you've done to it under the skin"

You had made some secret organs and internal mutations to make the body more comfortable and useful, nothing extreme that would give away the form of the technique you used, or that you were using blood Qi at all.

"I want to see" She whimpered, biting her tongue so it stuck out of her still bleeding wound "I wanna see what's inside you! Show me! Lemme rip you open!"

You leapt back, grabbing on the free head of your hammer and pulling as she thrust her blade straight through the ground, diagonally. Your shirt fluttered away, exposing the corpses bare chest, which was slick with sweat produced by your rough and dirty refinements

The other end of your meteor hammer soared through the air, and you caught it with your other hand

"Really know how to handle your balls, eh" She snorted, stabbing her sword through the ground and leaning on it, resting her wrists on its battered guard "Surely, with that beefy body of yours, you won't keep running? You could probably punch through iron! I'll be really disappointed if you keep running"

She doesn't move, and doesn't say anything. Her eyes narrow like a hawk's as she waits for you, sizing you up with..what almost looks like prudence.

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Try and get her to show you more of her techniques or magic, she's been cleverly holding back even if she showed off her sword light, so entice her (Martial Trial. DC 70)

>Wrap her leg in chains, and try to pull her off balance and to the ground, then stomp on her stomach as hard as you can (Strength trial. DC 75. DC lowered by improved strength)

>Stand still and irritate her into attack you, so you can throw a hammer directly into her face when she rushes you (Martial trial DC 65)

>Lie about how you made the fatty a worthwhile host, and boast about the false technique of transformation to the ogress, so you can catch her unaware with your ACTUAL technique (Trickery trial. DC 40)

>Write in
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>>5471566
>Try and get her to show you more of her techniques or magic, she's been cleverly holding back even if she showed off her sword light, so entice her (Martial Trial. DC 70)
>"I'm simply your superior Ogress, because you taint your Qi like a bitch in heat. Are the orthodox so blind that they not only let a demonic cultivator into their mist, but a careless one as well?"
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>>5471572
Actually, she hasn't revealed her Blood QI yet, hasn't her? Ignore that write-in taunt
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>>5471566
>Try and get her to show you more of her techniques or magic, she's been cleverly holding back even if she showed off her sword light, so entice her (Martial Trial. DC 70)
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>>5471566
>Allow her to continue to believe your trick was necromancy, but state you learned it by watching a another heretic! Beautiful and peerless in their mastery of Blood Qi, something that she can’t possibly understand with her only point of pride being her bladework!
>Such a shame too. The feats we’ve seen worked would elevate her form dramatically if only she had the aptitude for the Qi of Life. She might be worthwhile of learning from then, not just entertainment!
Oh, we can totally goad her into revealing techniques. Dangle the meat in front of her and she’ll snatch it up.

The DC will probably be ridiculous to survive, but that’s part of the fun!

Let’s see if the Li g dog has anything worthwhile to learn from.
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>>5471612
I don't think she understands it was actually blood qi at all. And I think most necromancy isn't quite compatible with blood qi. I mean, bones don't have blood, especially when their marrow has melted away, yet necromancers still make those bones as hard as iron. You know?
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>>5471612
+1 and I like the taunting hint.
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>>5471688
I agree, I think she believes it was necromancy. And I’d like her to keep thinking that! The insinuation is that we got necromantic insight by observing a practitioner of Blood Qi in action. Insight of the Dao can come from strange places and all, and we’re a body-snatching practitioner of some sort. We’re plenty strange as-is.

I think making the would-be necromancer have a “kink” for people practicing the opposite path would amuse Yaonan as well. As long as we can sell it, of course, and having Huan brag about herself indirectly is easy enough! I don’t think she’ll look to distrust us given her own lack of knowledge with necromancy and our obvious “infatuation” that likely clouds our eyes. Why lie so passionately about someone she’s never met, after all?

Given the low trickery DC for lying about the technique and attacking her, getting her to swallow this lie should be pretty easy.
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>>5471612
Is this about that attempt to trick her into practicing that Corrupted Blood qi that was mentioned? If so, then no. I'd like for Huan to deal with her personally.

Or is this about trying to recruit her? I don't want that either.

>>5471566
Im unsure of which action to take, a write-in action may be best but what would it be?
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>>5471706
I just don't see a point in mentioning blood qi at all. She would put two and two together eventually. Or she'd be inspired and do some dank shit and make it even harder for us later.
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>>5471566
>Try and get her to show you more of her techniques or magic, she's been cleverly holding back even if she showed off her sword light, so entice her (Martial Trial. DC 70)
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>>5471566
>>Try and get her to show you more of her techniques or magic, she's been cleverly holding back even if she showed off her sword light, so entice her (Martial Trial. DC 70)
Tick for tack, trick for trick, you gotta ante up if you want to play.
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>>5471566
I understand >>5471612 as an attempt to make her show off her techniques. Then I support it except don't mention Blood Qi.
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>>5471723
This is to imply that if she showed us Blood Qi techniques, we might steer her towards a mentor in the arts. Or an even greater fight, at least. I’m pretty sure she’s discovered Blood Qi on her own like we did our dao of grudges and graves, so the possibility of a fellow practitioner (and one we’re bragging about no less) should get her to play her full hand. She’ll want deets afterward, but we can manipulate her then or just leave.

It’s pretty low-risk since right now we’re just some spirit heretic. If she reveals her techniques and we learn a bit from them, but decide to leave her hanging, we’ll have lost nothing as Huan. She’ll be pissed at the non-existent person we’re pretending to be. And connecting it to Huan is unlikely since the realm of spirits is pretty broad, and a spirit heretic like us could have been kicking around for a long, long time. We’re more like bootleg Baoli right now.

I’ll probably try and leverage this to turn her against her sect and the Ling later since it strips her of allies, but it depends on how she reacts. Outright recruiting her… not possible anytime soon. I’ll still think on it since it’s an entertaining challenge, but I know we’d need to offer up only words or support we can easily take away, like the friendship of this spiritual heretic we’re playing the part of. It’d still need support from other anons like you as well.
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>>5472033
I want her to show her blood qi first, and then taunt her about it.
>>5471572
>>5471579
It's the reason I removed it
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>>5472033
No on recruiting her. She can go get fucked.
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>>5472033
I'd rather her die to Fu or Qiang in a climactic battle to be quite honest. Or just us. Separating her from her sect's support system is just stage one of that.
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>>5472034
I wanted to misdirect her here since having a spirit that can possess corpses AND openly uses Blood Qi may be a little too on-the-nose when we go back to being Huan. Our spiritual root’s ability to hold multiple types of Qi, especially conflicting ones, was apparently unheard of by Monu.

We could still talk as though we know some Blood Qi techniques later with my write-in. Our spirit heretic would have access to the dead, so digging up some information on their cultivation techniques because his heart starts going again at the thought of the other Blood Qi practitioner isn’t farfetched. It solidifies he’s got a few screws loose, but that was always a safe assumption. I probably won’t support sharing them with her after this battle unless it’s sabotage, but I’m not trying to lock other anons out of anything yet.

>>5472037
I’ll put it this way, as Huan I’ll be in your camp after the end of our encounter with The Orgress. She’d need to do some real heavy lifting over the next dozen threads to convince me otherwise. But I’m willing to plant some seeds if given the opportunity and see if she proves me wrong.

Main way I’m thinking right now is about telling her that this Blood Qi practitioner hates the Ling because of the war and that’s where we think she went heretical, but otherwise is actually a good person. Which is absurd. A blood heretic, being more moral than the orthodox sects! What could be more heretical?

Divorcing from the Ling to earn her favor? Easy enough, Yaonan is good at killing. Being a moral person? Well, Qiang made progress. I’m interested in seeing how much it hurts Yaonan. She’ll expect this practitioner to have a similar backstory and talent to herself I’m sure. But the idea that she took a higher road? That’s going to fuck with her. It’ll fuck with her hard. One other person who could understand her, someone walking the path of blood of their own volition, and yet she’s elevating her morals to the same extent as her power.

I’m hoping to have Yaonan break Yaonan. If you want vengeance, it’ll be satisfying to have a hand in it. If you want redemption, it’s necessary since she’s fucked up and needs to be torn down wholesale to build back better. If it makes her worse, I can at least be content in that it’ll kill off a lot of Ling at least. And the grudge she’d hold against the holier-than-thou blood practitioner would be delicious as well.

Thinking about it, we haven’t ever fed off a grudge cultivated against us, have we? We haven’t been around long enough to run into that. It ought to be worth some good insight into our dao even if she doesn’t realize it’s Huan that the grudge is against. Even more reason to break her mentally.
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>>5472085
Put this way I like the majority of the idea, but Yaonan feels too clever for some of it.

I've felt with the way she's acted thus far that knowing Huan would give her a similar chip on her shoulder to what we gave Baoli. Since murderbozos who believe they favor natural order tend to believe they're in the right by their strength, and we're a contradiction to that because we're pursuing a conscientious convergence of natural laws that genuinely reflect more of nature than what a power junkie is willing to see or act upon. And since she's descended down a path of bloodlust, our morality could just look like garbage.

Given that, I'd speculate her initial reaction upon seeing pure blood qi put to use by a more moral being would not be anything complicated. The baseline I see is she'll want to fight Huan, with or without any promise of aid. However, being beaten by a holier heretic will certainly fuck with her, but may also have her comparing us to her sect on a similar moral spectrum which would make manipulation more difficult. Even still, I agree that somewhere within that we might be able turn her into a time bomb to use her against her own sect.

Ofc, I can see it working both ways. If she hates her own sect enough to want its destruction she may attempt to curry favor with us knowing our history with the Ling since Chuan's regional rumors and our shrines have become hard to miss and common knowledge. Us "helping" her against her sect she can see as her using us to gain enough power to do what she wanted.
Being the demon turning her against the family that fears/despises her seems a bit obvious too, I believe her brute smarts could see through it without difficulty.

Doing all this to conjure a happy accidental meeting to drive the wedge in by baiting her to us feels inferior to simply outing her as a heretic through wider schemes.

Furtherly howeverly, it's been mentioned before that we've yet to cultivate a grudge against us, or even sow grudges to reap them as stronger ones later, and I've been thinking of situations where we could do that without it being the most demonic or manipulatively depraved thing ever and they are incredibly few. This is probably one of the only chances outside of the Baoli interactions that we'll get a realistic chance to do that.
So if we can at least try I'll definitely support it, despite the risks of creating a timb bomb that we'll have essentially armed and aimed at ourselves.
>>
>>5472223
To clarify, I don't mean only just making her form a grudge against us by doing/being what she despises. I'm thinking of what could be made if we do that on top of sowing/giving her a little bit of our grudge against the heavens and a medium amount of our grudge against the Lings.

Whatever arises from that within her soul will be worthy of our cultivation. And fairly just as dangerous as anything else worthy of our cultivation is.
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>>5472240
I agree that her likeliest interaction with the theoretical Blood Qi user is that of fighting first. I had been toying with the idea of not stating that this practitioner had pure Blood Qi so she’d think her more similar to herself, or stating that sue did somehow purify it and that puts her well above Yaonan in power to see if that changes anything, but it probably won’t. Still, I’d like to get to the end of this fight and try writing both directions to see which one everyone else (and myself, honestly) would want to go with. Or just not mention it at all, of course. Disappearing is always an option after the fight, as well as offering her tainted secrets.

Keep in mind, though, that I’m not stating Huan by name at any point, and Huan hasn’t had Blood Qi associated with her yet in the living realm as far as I know. So one of the options is to mention this practitioner and then blueball Yaonan on how to meet “her”, the mysterious practitioner. Alternately, tell her that killing Ling and going whole-hog with the whole heretic thing will naturally draw her to Yaonan. She could choose not to kill the Ling and attack randomly since she’s trying to draw out a goody two shoes and it’d work, but that encounter would end with one or both of them dead. Going against the Ling offers the opportunity for more spars if both sides find the other of sufficient strength since no red lines were crossed.

Is anything I just stated true? Not necessarily. But our spirit necromancer person thing is doing the talking here, not Huan, so he can spout off any bullshit he wants as long as it seems reasonable and I’d like to think I’m being reasonable for a deranged heretic.
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>>5472276
Informing her to kill Ling to draw out a mysterious Blood Qi user, namelessly, does actually sound like the best of both worlds for covering all our bases, coming from a crazy corpse dancer. It would also allow us to put her situation on the backburner while we deal with other things since she'll need time to actually prepare that commitment if she bites the hook.

It's gonna be a bit funny too. If she informs her sect of this battle at all they're going to tally up a spiritualist heretic/necromancer to hunt down and they're gonna get diddly squat for that in this immediate region.
Indeed we should finish the fight before that to see more of her techniques. If she manages to choke and get pushed hard in this fight, that'll make it easy to drop the dramatic "oh you think I'm strong but there's this other cultivator etcetc" standard MC bait on her.
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>>5472276
My only problem with the whole thing is though she may be an absolute brute and a boor to boot she has a beast's cunning. On our first engagement she sussed out we fought like how a kitty moves. Mention blood qi and she's already got it in her head how we fight like a cat and she'll pop them together "Oh I remember hearing about a demonic cat named after bloodshed. Maybe there's a connection. Or maybe not, but that village with the cute bandage boy sure liked that kitty. I should go visit again.".

She's far more astute than most give her credit for so it's not completely unbelievable she might do a little bit of puzzling. It might be a bit paranoid of me but I'll shadowrun so the rest of us don't have to. I wouldn't want more of those villagers to get hurt.

To be clear, I'm not opposed to making her think we have a master or an inspiration I just don't want her to be able to EUREKA! moment.
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>>5472383
It’s a fair point, I’ve been shadowrunnig in the back of my head too. Having her go to Huan separately is a possibility, much less due to a possible association with the corpse jumper.

That said, the risk seems manageable. We’re pretty much associated with the dead right now by anyone who actually has spent time near us, not blood. And we’re giving her a perfectly valid way of attracting the attention of this Blood Qi practitioner that fits her strengths. Go ham-hog and attract a challenge.

Our spirit friend has no way of knowing she has Blood Qi either in theory, my write-in is entirely spurred off the fact that she’s questioning our technique. We’re bringing it up in reference to something she questioned so she gets to seize on it as something she dug out of us, not as something we laid in front of her like a trap. So our “infatuation” with this other person (cat? animal?) should seem real enough to suspect that if Huan is this guy, then she can’t be the Blood Qi user. Which means she still needs to drag her out, and beating the info out of us seems fruitless since, well, she already is and we don’t care. How can she truly threaten something as strange as us?

I agree that she’s clever. But I also think it won’t change her actions that much. She can figure she’s being used, but she’s already being used by her sect. At least she’s accepted that heretics are more fun to hang with than the orthodoxy. We’ll do what we can with that and figure out whether we kill her or let a grudge fester during the rematch.

Honestly, the idea of a necromancer spirit pining for a Blood Qi user tickled my fancy once I thought of it. It’s why I kept thinking this through for so long.
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>>5471566
>Try and get her to show you more of her techniques or magic, she's been cleverly holding back even if she showed off her sword light, so entice her (Martial Trial. DC 70)
>>
Happy thanksgiving Grandfather!

Hopefully no cursed sentient chicken or dire ants have conspired to deliver ruination this day. Just in case, I've burned some rhubarb incense in an advanced array comprised of a few pastry foci for luck. May your fortune be heartening.
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Ending the vote and tallying the results now. Sorry for the wait-time, been busy. Fortunately found there's an excess amount of time before Thanksgiving dinner, so I'm good to write a bit earlier than I expected to/

Try and get her to show you more of her techniques or magic, she's been cleverly holding back even if she showed off her sword light, so entice her:5

Allow her to continue to believe your trick was necromancy, but state you learned it by watching a another heretic! Beautiful and peerless in their mastery of Blood Qi, something that she can’t possibly understand with her only point of pride being her bladework!
+
Such a shame too. The feats we’ve seen worked would elevate her form dramatically if only she had the aptitude for the Qi of Life. She might be worthwhile of learning from then, not just entertainment!:3
- don't mention blood Qi: 1

So You'll try and lead her into revealing more of her techniques or spells, which she has been cleverly keeping hidden

Update will arrive shortly


>>5474847
Thank you for the wishes and ritual. I hope you have one as well and good luck to.
>>
Immediately you recognize, she is holding back. Not in terms of brute strength or overwhelming power, but in technique and capability. Besides her grand display of early sword-light and talented guiding of her blade, she's been cleverly holding back the true extent of her ability as a cultivator. Beyond Qinggong she has made no use of any martial techniques or daoist sorceries. She's barely even used Qi at all, now that the lull in the excitement and action has allowed you to reflect on your opponent's actions. And while she has displayed openly an absolute mastery of swordsmanship that would make most grey haired masters seem like rank and file novices, that is only the surface level of her abilities. You can sense it, and she knows you can sense it. You're an unknown, a practitioner of forbidden rites, sealed techniques and outlawed arts. Despite her brazen demeanor and reckless attacks, she is being cautious as any creature should be when faced with the unknown. Knowing your fighting her through controlling corpses, she can afford the risk associated with aim to land killing blow, after killing blow.

Like yourself, she is trying to study you, to have the chance to read at one's own leisure the contents of her opponents repertoire and collection of tricks, skills, techniques and abilities. A beast's cunning. Measuring the power of the intruder on their turf, sizing them up before striking. She knows there is no real risk in this duel, beyond the potential loss of face and humiliation brought upon by being defeated by the bodies of the same men she cut down as easily as most trample grass, and with just about as much care given and guilt felt as well. Unfortunately, while the true depth of her expertise and potential as a cultivator remains hidden to you, even the basic form of your own Cultivation techniques and law are completely out of her reach. She believes you to be a necromancer of sorts. And why wouldn't she? All she knows about her opponent is that they puppet corpses and can greatly strengthen them through refinement, while also transferring a fragment of their true power to be able to use the techniques and powers that would otherwise be restricted only to their true body.

Beyond that, you're a complete enigma to her. A black sea of fathomless depths, until she braves its waters and dives beneath them. Even if she is a hidden heretic, she has no concept of the path her opponent walks.

This puts her at a disadvantage, as she has learned to kill swiftly, so now she must hold back and strike softer to try and keep you in one vessel long enough to be able to apply just enough pressure to crack but not break, and spill out the secrets she seeks. Just like you are trying to do. But, for you it will be much easier! Cause you know more about her and are leagues above her in terms of intellect and wit.
Cont
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>>5474911

All you need to do is entice her to pour out her own secrets. She is a battle junky after all, and has already revealed what most would consider a technique to keep well hidden, rather than display as a gross show of power.

And to entice her, you just need to provide a challenge and force her to step back. Force her to use her techniques. She only used her sword-light after you cut her face. A few more cuts should do it.

But there in lies the challenge you must overcome. A cat is a natural hunter, a natural killer, yes, but The ogress is as well, and she is much more used to using steel than you are. Oh you know how to fight with the false claws and mock fangs man has made for themselves, but she uses that oversized swords of hers as if she were born holding onto it, like you were born with claws and fangs to scratch and bite!

Breathing out, you cockily grinned and leaned your head far to the side

"Run? Why would I run from you when you have been dancing in my palm since this battle began!" You boast pridefully, puffing up your chest and swinging your long hair, now sleek and well groomed "Now my puppet is sharp and sturdy enough to match that ridiculous strength you were blessed with by birth, you've allowed me a severe, insurmountable advantage over yourself, in your arrogance and your pride, that naïve, childish assumption that you are the strongest this generation of immortals has to offer shall be your undoing, CUR!"

"Enough talk, if those changes are truly enough to be my match, then show me it! Don't keep me waiting! I've never been a patient girl, and all your boasting is making you look irresistible <3" She cheerfully answered, swaying back and forth where she stood, still leaning against her blade, in a very immature and naughty manner "To slaughter. And I'd hate to break your new toy, after you gave so much effort perfecting it, haah~"

She fluttered her eyes, and put a hand on her cheek, never taking her eyes off of you as she waited for you to restart the brawl.

Winding up the chain of your hammer, you anchored on side of it to your left hand, gripping tightly on that side's head, before with a single rotation of your right wrist, you spun up its opposite and sent it flying through the air with enough speed to create a low, rumbling howl. Like thunder.

She moved quickly in response, ripping her sword free from the ground and skipping off of it to meet the ball and chain head on. and you put all of your mental excellence to work figuring out how to beat a beast of battle like her in straight combat long enough to make her desperate enough to rely on more than just her brute strength and raw talent.

Roll 1d100. best out of three. DC 70
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Rolled 84 (1d100)

>>5474915
c'mon, big money big money...
>>
Rolled 96 (1d100)

>>5474915
>>
Rolled 71 (1d100)

>>5474915
Reveal you secrets
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>>5474919
BIG MONEY!
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>>5474919
Good Success! 20 over DC and nearly 30 over.

Update will arrive shortly
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>>5474916
>>5474919
>>5474920
All three passed, and we got a 96
>>
The air is filled with sparks and the sound of ringing steel, with the improvements made to the unfortunate puppet you control allowing you more easily keep to the pace set by the ogress. Unlike your previous meetings with her in this bout, this assault does not send you retreating hastily backwards, though it does cause a similar amount of collateral damage to your surroundings. The only difference is now instead the only sign left to indicate the clash being deep slashes and cuts in the landscapes, those are now joined by impact craters and ditches formed by the falling of your meteor hammer and the dragging of its chain. The two of you circle on another, both seeking to dodge the attacks of and exploit openings in the other's defenses, almost like a painstakingly choregraphed dance, that would appear as a blur of color, noise and flying sparks to any onlooker of ill enough fortune to stumble upon this duel. You try several times to wrap the chain of your weapon around Ling's own, or her arms or legs, but she avoids or bats away each attempt with contemptuous ease, however her self assured smirk and smug eyes begin to falter and show instead stern concentration, as you use those same chains to catch and guard against strikes that would be "Lethal" to you. Tying the chain around the blade of her sword as she brings it down with enough force to flatten grass and clear the stones of the path, you step to her side, using the blood Qi enriched muscles you have gifted the corpse to forcefully pull her arms as far as they'll go. She frees her blade by pulling it back, you launch one hammer towards her stomach. She deflects it with the flat of her sword, but is sent stumbling back, keeping herself from losing her balance from the sudden wave of force.

Without relenting, you slam the returning ball into the ground, slamming your foot atop it to cement it into the broken stone below and use it as an anchor as you hurl its twin directly at Yaonan's now snarling face. She moves her head, the hammer head grazing her uninjured cheek with a dull thunk. She, is, as expected, not stunned at all despite being struck in the cheek by an object thrown with enough force to punch straight through the trunk of the tree behind her. The chain is stuck taught, and she grabs hold of it, dropping her sword to her side, holding it still in a loose grip as she turns one feet sideways and stomps the other to dig its heel into the dirt.

With a single tug from her powerful arms, you're made to soar through the air. Unfortunately, while a human body is much less limber than a cat, you had made certain to make your vessel a touch more flexible than it was before and so you're able to curl your back as Ling thrusts her great sword towards you while dashing forward
Cont
>>
>>5475040

Rolling through the air, you land on your feet, and grab hold of the chain where it is connected to the hammer and pull it from the tree, slapping the flat of the back of your other hand against it to facilitate this by cracking its trunk clean in half. The ogress pivots around, using her back foot while lifting her front, and twirls to face you, one hand held up defensively and the sheen of pale blue light of a protection spell in front of her. Her giant sword is held above her head, in a position that is more suiting to a spear.

"So that was no idle boasting" She says simply, as a single drop of sweat crawls through the blood drying on her torn open cheek. Then, before you can reply, she lunges forward, throwing her barrier spell forward and pulling the hand that cast it into her sleeve, where, judging from the movement, she is perform a series of hand signs to cast another spell. Her sword drops to the side, tracing over the ground, as you grab the chain of your hammer with both hands and pull its other head back to you. Ling ducks, and you have to leap into the air to avoid your own attack. Which by sheer happenstance, also slams into the same tree you had just cut down, destroying what remained of it and leaving a convenient patch of flat dirt for you to land back on.

Your survival instincts chime in, as blades of grass cleanly cut fall around you. Throwing your meteor hammer wide, you manage to toss away most of the cloud of grass blades as they become actual blades, their edges glowing in the descending moonlight as Ling puts her cross her arm over her chest, reaching for something at her side. Something you cannot see as your more preoccupied dodging the rain of grass to be staring at her hips. But, judging from her sudden use of a Wood Aligned Spell, you know that whatever she is grabbing at must be dangerous, so you send the hammer head you sent spinning around yourself forward, bouncing it off the ground and towards her, aiming for her chest and thus her arm or her chin, hoping to shatter either of the three.

She tosses her sword in the air, spreads her legs apart and takes a deep breath, drawing in Qi from the rocks and hard packed soil under her feet, as she adapts her posture into one often used during endurance training, by both daoists, buddhist and common martial artists. She catches the hammer head in her now freed hand, thrusting it forward and holding it as it spins in her palm. That's an earth style defensive stance if you've ever saw one, bolstered by the ambient Qi of her surroundings. You pull the hammer back, but she grabs hold of it, and so only the chain returns, snaking through the air as she crushes the metal ball and breaks it into three pieces, which begin to rise in the air, as a magnetic field is produced by a ripple of Metal Aligned Energies in the palm of her hand.
Cont
>>
>>5475043

Then, like the blades of grass before, she sends the remains of one of your two hammers back in the form of a storm of needles, as she pulls a drinking flask from her side and brings it to her lips without pulling out the cork. Tossing the remains of your weapon forward after whipping the chain to get it twirling so it can knock the needles out of the air, you find a sturdy enough branch and with a solid grip, compress it down into a smooth staff as you run your hand down its length.

There's a crunching sound, and you see Ling just bit through the water filled flask she took out, blood running down its neck as she fills her cheeks with its content, some of it spilling out the cut you gave her as she throws back her head and lets the flask fall from her mouth. You blink, not really anticipating what trick she'll pull out next and somewhat stunned she used three elements in such a smooth sequence of moves.

You certainly weren't expecting her to spit out a spray of water over herself and onto her sword as it comes fall down, seeming to home into her open palm so she can catch it. And you were most definitely had not expected to see that same water suddenly begin to glow with a golden, heavenly aura as if it had captured the very essence of the light of the sun.

You were however, expecting Ling to immediately charge you again afterwards. And that is exactly what she did, sword and clothes drenched with water glowing from within with a golden, radiant light.

What do you do now, Huanliuxue?

>Shout "Only Orthodox techniques? You cannot beat me with moves that have been recorded and repeated an infinite number of times since they're creation! Especially not those taught by one of the most influential sects in the world of cultivation!" Then try to prove yourself right by avoiding her next sequence of attacks, as if you recognize her techniques [Defense/ Agility trial. DC 85]

>Throw your recently made staff forward, and using both your hands, fire a barrage of destructive Yin Spheres at her [Magic trial. DC 66]

>Catch her blade with your stomach and headbutt her [Strength Trial. DC 80]

>Continue pressuring her to show off more of her techniques, its proven effective thus far [Martial Trial. DC 75]

>Write in
>>
>>5475046
>Throw your recently made staff forward, and using both your hands, fire a barrage of destructive Yin Spheres at her [Magic trial. DC 66]
>"I'm beginning to regret offering this little challenge, I didn't think that the Ogress of the Ling was such a boring opponent. Did you even learn sword light by yourself, or were you showered by gifts from your grandfather after cutting down non-cultivators?"
>>
>>5475046
We’re doing good, but these rolls are hard. I’d rather not shout something then eat shit, so
>Shout “Only orthodox techniques? Is that the extent of your ambition? A prodigy settling for the path paved by others? Is the fire in your eyes truly so feeble?! Why even bother!”
>After this attack, sit down. You won’t continue fighting unless she shows something actually worth your attention.
>”Yes, yes, sword light in the foundation establishment stage. Yes, yes, you can clearly control all the traditional elements and rotate between them skillfully. You’ll certainly go down in history as one of the most successful failures of the last several generations of cultivators.”
Blueball her. We’ve proven interesting so far. See if she’s willing to show us something special if we challenge her orthodoxy and stop. She can only guess at our motives, but she knows we’re heretical in some manner. Is the risk of showing her hand worth the possibility of additional knowledge knowing that we’re likely unable to tell the rest of the cultivating world about any heresies she practices? I want to know.
>>
>>5475083
I planned on ending my taunt with "like all the other self called "prodigies?"", but I deleted it because I thought it could insult Huan as well.
Glad to see someone else thought of the same thing, but worded it in a better way.
>>
>>5475157
Always glad to help! I guess you posted posted yours while I was typing. Based on the timestamps, I was tweaking mine for a while.

The last bit did take me a while to think of. Being appropriately dismissive is difficult, but I eventually remembered that they haven’t had anyone ascend since “orthodoxy” became a thing and then it flowed well enough.

I’m partly banking on the fact that if she hasn’t realized it, she’ll understand the implication and truth of how daoists have strayed away from the Dao quickly.
>>
>>5475046
>Shout "Only Orthodox techniques? You cannot beat me with moves that have been recorded and repeated an infinite number of times since they're creation! Especially not those taught by one of the most influential sects in the world of cultivation!" Then try to prove yourself right by avoiding her next sequence of attacks, as if you recognize her techniques [Defense/ Agility trial. DC 85]
It's gotta be done.
>>
>>5475046
>Catch her blade with your stomach and headbutt her [Strength Trial. DC 80]
go big or go bust
>>
>>5475046
>Shout "Only Orthodox techniques? You cannot beat me with moves that have been recorded and repeated an infinite number of times since they're creation! Especially not those taught by one of the most influential sects in the world of cultivation!" Then try to prove yourself right by avoiding her next sequence of attacks, as if you recognize her techniques [Defense/ Agility trial. DC 85]
>>
>>5475046
>>Shout "Only Orthodox techniques? You cannot beat me with moves that have been recorded and repeated an infinite number of times since they're creation! Especially not those taught by one of the most influential sects in the world of cultivation!" Then try to prove yourself right by avoiding her next sequence of attacks, as if you recognize her techniques [Defense/ Agility trial. DC 85]
>"Is this the extent of your "heresy"? Taking to heart the teachings of doddering fools set in their ways and small in their scope? To count you amongst my ilk is insulting, you're no heretic, just another simple murderer. How unsatisfying."
Maybe treating her like a silly junior would set her off. Hinting at an imposed kinship may also get her in a tiff. She hates those boring daoists she has to play nice with, but another genuine heretic who isn't just a madman with a forbidden technique being disappointed in her? That cuts different.
>>
Supporting >>5475083
>>
>>5475046
Hmm. . . I think that the anons are right, in that we hold the dominant bargaining position.
But if she kills this body, we've just lost a good tool, making continuing the battle much more difficult.

Eh what the hell.
>>5475083
Supporting the disengage and sit down, but I prefer the taunt of this one >>5475335
>>
>>5475380
We don't actually need to continue the battle. Our goal is to take a look at her techniques, not to have a sparring match.
>>
>>5475383
We do need to continue if she keeps showing off more and more tricks.

so we can see, more and more tricks.
>>
>>5475392
We can use another corpse for it.
>>
>>5475398
reiterating, that using another corpse makes it harder, due to this body being super tuned.
>>
>>5475335
+1
>>
>>5475046
>>Continue pressuring her to show off more of her techniques, its proven effective thus far [Martial Trial. DC 75]
I think if Huanliuxue is unsatisfied with what the ogress has used so far, then she just has to keep ratcheting up the heat, and cook her slowly. Taunts can be effective, but I don't like the ones offered so far, and I definitely don't like letting this corpse be killed for no gain. Let the silence, and her defeat by simple martial skills, speak for itself.
>>
Has that longevity potion finished fermenting?
>>
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Ending the vote now, tallying the result. Just in time to not make you wait the whole weekend.

Throw your recently made staff forward, and using both your hands, fire a barrage of destructive Yin Spheres at her:

"I'm beginning to regret offering this little challenge, I didn't think that the Ogress of the Ling was such a boring opponent. Did you even learn sword light by yourself, or were you showered by gifts from your grandfather after cutting down non-cultivators?":
After this attack, sit down. You won’t continue fighting unless she shows something actually worth your attention.: 3

”Yes, yes, sword light in the foundation establishment stage. Yes, yes, you can clearly control all the traditional elements and rotate between them skillfully. You’ll certainly go down in history as one of the most successful failures of the last several generations of cultivators.”:2

"Is this the extent of your "heresy"? Taking to heart the teachings of doddering fools set in their ways and small in their scope? To count you amongst my ilk is insulting, you're no heretic, just another simple murderer. How unsatisfying.":3

Shout "Only Orthodox techniques?" and dodge her next sequence of attacks: 7
- Is that the extent of your ambition? A prodigy settling for the path paved by others? Is the fire in your eyes truly so feeble?! Why even bother!”: 2
-"You cannot beat me with moves that have been recorded and repeated an infinite number of times since they're creation! Especially not those taught by one of the most influential sects in the world of cultivation!": 5

Continue pressuring her to show off more of her techniques, its proven effective thus far: 1

So you'll Shout "Only Orthodox techniques? You cannot beat me with moves that have been recorded and repeated an infinite number of times since they're creation! Especially not those taught by one of the most influential sects in the world of cultivation!" And focus on dodging her next sequence of strikes

And I'll make the "Sit down and refuse to fight and taunt her" one of the options in the next vote, and will encourage write ins for it, cause you guys are great with coming up with them
anyways
Update will arrive shortly

>>5476895
Not yet, like any good medicine it takes time to mature.
>>
>>5478403
Slamming your roughly made staff to the ground, bending the wood from the force of your swing, you flick the bangs of your hair back with a flick of your hand and grin, eyes catching the golden glow radiating from the thousands of sun catching water droplets coating the ogress' blade and soaking into her clothes. Adopting a cocky, overtly confident stance, you turn half of your back to her while making sure she can see the pearly, now fang shaped teeth of the corpse you're inhabiting as you let out a deep, booming belly laugh, that shakes through you and pierce the relative silence of this night of slaughter and bloodshed.

Feigning offense and scorn, you sneer as you scoff at the charging swordswoman, whose eyes have narrowed into slits so small you can't even see the whites of her eyes, only their queer red irises, making obvious the disdainful fury she feels at being mocked so openly. Then, narrowing your eyes in much the same manner as she is, you say to her, voice filled with disappointment and seething insult "Only Orthodox techniques?"

Just those three words is enough for Ling's eyes to pop back open, as her rage is replaced by surprise at hearing the source of your amusement and dissatisfaction. But she doesn't slow or reduce her stride, as you continue your boastful taunting.

"You cannot beat me with moves that have been recorded and repeated an infinite number of times since their creation!" You declare, pointing at her as you place one foot on the end of your staff and smile much more kindly, feigning the effort of barely repressing laughter to get her properly riled up again, rather than her present state of bafflement. The light of the moon falls upon your back, as the sunlight summoned by your opponent becomes a brilliant, eye attacking glare of blazing light.

"Especially not those taught by one of the most influential sects in the world of cultivation!" You state with another scoff, as she leaps from the ground, drops of glowing water lifting and floating around her as she pulls her sword to her side and bows her head. This technique feels more powerful and profound than the three she used to delay you or defend herself moments before. Almost to the point you feel a little pressured just by watching her preform it! How exciting! How truly exciting! And uh, its also obvious to an intellect as great and towering as your own, that this sequence of strikes is going to be a bit more troublesome to avoid than those assaults that came before it. Possibly because she's become a bit more engrossed in the effort of wiping the smug look off of your borrowed face? Or because she's finally realizing your not a foe that can be overcome through brute force and raw strength, even if both are bolstered by her incredible natural talent as a swords man.

Roll 1d100. DC 85. Best out of three
>>
Rolled 49 (1d100)

>>5478412
LETS GO!
>>
Rolled 73 (1d100)

>>5478403
The Chad Body Cultivation GF is being a bitch to everyone.
She needs less punching young masters and more the bro for eternity.
>>5478412
Will Huan eat her words?
>>
Rolled 68 (1d100)

>>5478412
wonder if we'll start needing our techniques for a boost OR
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>>5478416
Yes she is.
If what I voted won, we would have succeeded.
>>
>>5478416
Failure, ten under DC. Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5478403
Why did my vote has a : instead of a number grandpa?
Did you count this as a change of vote?
>>5475157
If you did, It would have been ok, it was the closest one anyway.
>>
>>5478426
Oh, I just forgot to put a 1 next to it.
>>
Shuffling your feet around, and letting go of the end of your staff, you slide down it and thus swing up the half you had slammed into the ground, aiming to smack the ogress in the face with it. But with a quick hand sign, she revitalize the still living wood and causes roots and new branches and leaves to burst from it, forming bark over its slick green surface as you slip down its back and hop off just as it roots itself into the ground and becomes a surprisingly large sapling, about the half as tall as the ogress herself. She slips through the maze of its extending branches and densely packed leaves, losing only a few drops of the magical water she spat all over herself on them as before she emerges from the other side, bringing with her a cloud of torn leaves. That quickly become surrounded by ghostly, golden flames, as they sharpen themselves and form an array around her as the drops of golden water that were left behind spread and soak into the tree, causing it to grow even faster and be swallowed by the same, heavenly light that looks exactly like the light that fills the sky on a bright summer day. Blinking, you quickly adjust your stance, hold up your hands defensively, watching her carefully as she lands a few steps in front of you, and sprints, head still bowed. Yet, even though her eyes are closed and directed towards the ground anyways, her attention is wholly centered and focused on you.

Not the corpse you've possessed. But your wandering spirit. Even if she cannot sense its shape, or truly see or detect its presence, her killer instincts have honed in on her true opponent. Which is admittedly more than a little unsettling, approaching on terrifying. And that's bad. Not because you're actually scared of the brute of the Ling or anything of the like, but because that unsettling realization might effect your reaction times, which is bad. Very bad. It might've looked easy to her, but speed refining a body as trashy as the one you inhabited, with low quality and polluted Qi and a scarce supply of even that is difficult and requires shortcuts and clever and careful manipulations and internal evolutions to pull off. Which is easy cause you're a prodigy, but it'll be really annoying if you have to perform the exact sequence of physical refinements all over again just because you became worried that her instincts were noticing the unseen when he eyes and consciousness couldn't.

That's normal, nothing to be worried about, just slightly irritating. But having to, fiber by muscle fiber, vein by vein, bone by bone and organ by organ rework and improve another shitty body, you might just scream and abandon the duel all together, in the name of preserving your own sanity and composure.

Focusing, you consider your situation. You have no weapons. Just your hands, and most of your techniques and spells are sealed because you haven't brought along enough Qi from your real body.
Cont
>>
There is a monstrously strong swordswoman, performing a powerful technique, completely focused on chopping you up into bits a few steps away from you. This shouldn't be too hard. You'll just need to remain on the defensive and put all your effort on avoiding her attacks until you find a new weapon on the ground. Easy. Easy as turning over your paw.

And at first it easy. You duck, step and turn, expertly avoiding the first parts of her sequence, which is much more strict and organized than her prior assaults, which reeks of her stopping improvising and following to the exact movements a technique drawn on a scroll. Moves like that, which are made of several moves and take the form of sequence of attacks and precise movements, tend to be effective if predictable. And for awhile you do predict the flow of her strikes, weaving under and away from the edge of her blade as she follows the steps of her martial dance, which does keep her from landing crippling or felling blows on your puppet. But still, she strictly adheres to the set order of the motions and movements of her chosen martial technique, which, since you don't know it and it hasn't repeated, makes it a touch more difficult to anticipate where her sword will be swung or thrust next.

But you're still able to do so, and thus dodge out of the way or side step them just before they touch you. But each swing, each half step forward, she comes closer to landing a blow

And when she does. You yelp in pain

You yelp in pain

That hurt

That isn't supposed to happen.

Corpses can't feel pain. They can't feel anything, and controlling them feels sluggish and heavy and gross

But you just felt pain. The moment that sunlight wreathed blade scratched the back of your wrist, a sting of pain shot through your arm. The sunlight hurt you. Your soul

The shock of being hurt, actually feeling her attacks, is enough to stun you, and make your next backstep a stumble, and as you fall back, your mind races. That's an orthodox technique?! Is it an exorcism technique? You haven't heard of those causing pain to the ghosts they're used on, and that kind of casual cruelty seems like the sort of thing that would've been avoided or removed entirely when Cultivation was codified. It certainly isn't her invention. Her sect is called the Guardians of the Celestial Sunlight (监护人-天日光, jiānhù rén-tiānrìguāng), and it looks like stolen sunshine, so it has to be part of their cultivation methods or styles, that's only the only thing that made sense. And judging from the difficulty of raising up the wrist of the corpse, it wasn't just the SENSATION of pain. You're soul has been wounded. Has been cut

That could be a spirit subjugation technique. The sort used on troublesome hungry ghost, Jiangshi or demons. That would be dangerous. But, there's a scratching, tingling thought, a worry at the back of your mind. You thought the light looked heavenly. That is fitting for a demon subjugating ability, very fitting
>>
>>5478525

But that is also fitting for a destructive technique. Heavenly fire is as destructive as it is subduing. A purifying, suppression or sealing exorcism technique would still hurt, you imagine. But that they'd do more than hurt. If it was purifying, well it wouldn't do a thing to you, because you aren't a hungry ghost or an actual demon, just a demonic beast. Suppression would weaken your spiritual power inherent to your strengthened soul, which you can sense hasn't happened. If it was sealing, you couldn't have lifted the hand at all, as the part of your spirit you used to fill the corpse's wrist would've been locked away, probably in the sword.

That only leaves destruction. But that can't be right? right!? why would one of the pillars of the Cultivation worlds, the radiant paragons of its law and order and traditions, possess a soul destroying technique? Even the most hardline of exorcist wouldn't go so far to practice such techniques. The only techniques you know that can destroy souls is devouring them after performing Soul Stealing (魂偷垒, Húntōulěi). But, that scratching worry reminds you, if anything could destroy or burn away souls so easily it would be heavenly fire. A burning is a method of purification.

It could just be a form of spirit purification then, just a needlessly painful form. But it could still be a soul destroying flame. Only one way to find out. You catch yourself and steel yourself, clenching your fists and raising your arms. If you allow it to scratch you, and it does more than hurt, it is a spirit destroying technique, if it does nothing and the heavenly sunlight slides off of your spirit, than it is a purifying technique. But why would one of the prominent, most esteemed sects in the world of cultivation, even one headed by Ling Dogs, keep and practice a technique that could truly harm or even slay souls?! That's ridiculous! As cruel as they are too Magical beasts, to your people, they aren't villains by nature, they've outlawed actual demonic cultivation! It'd be ridiculous if...

You train of thought is interrupted by searing pain, and reflexively, you leap away, arching your back and lifting your lips to snarl, acting wholly on the instincts of a pain animal. Looking down at the slash across your chest, you can see that your bleeding into two ways. The blood you made flow through the corpse again, and spectral blood, more brilliantly scarlet than any living blood. Oh

Oh that's not good. That's not good at all! That's very bad! Why do they have a technique like that! Surely such a destructive technique would've been locked away with countless others! You know the Ling are a family of trash, but even if they're all scheming villains who through some black miracle managed to trick the whole world and maintain the good graces and providence of the nine heavens for so long, it'd be foolish to teach such techniques, or at least trust them to someone who might use them without care in a duel! '
Cont
>>
>>5478527

The Ogress may be a meat head, but she is no fool! This has to be one of the techniques permitted by the heavens! But why!? This makes no sense!

"Ah! That tells me a bit more about you, grandpa <3" Yaonan purs, as she closes the distance you made with a single stride, and swings her sword, aiming to take your head. But the moment she raised her foot to step forward, you fled the body.

Its head is lopped off, but yours isn't. Scowling, you pull the corpse back through the air, forming strings out of ghostly spiritual energy like those made by Ghost Empress Melody to bodily drag it up and hold it.

"Eh~" The ogress cries out, pouting as she whines and stomps her foot several times in frustration "Or am I wrong? Were you just messing with me, reacting so beautifully like you did? Trying to make a mockery of me, by acting like that hurt! I can't figure you out! What are you! If you were actually possessing that corpse or if you're just a master of puppets! I thought I knew the answer for a second, but now I'm uncertain! Stop being confusing dammit!"

What luck! You've some how manage to accidentally trick her, unintentionally keeping your injury hidden from her, and now she thinks you were just trying to tease her by acting hurt!

Whoever first said cats were lucky truly was wise!

But that leaves the question that is troubling you more than the wound on your chest and wrist, is why the Guardians of the Celestial Sunlight possess a spirit destroying technique! You're almost certain, no you are certain, a hundred percent! With all of your being! that those were one of the first things named demonic cultivation! Why is one of the paragons of heavenly law, those who follow the rules of cultivation put in place by the Celestial mandate of the Five Wise Immortal Sages (五哲仙哲, Wǔzhéxiānzhé), practicing a technique that can wound and kill souls? not purify or banish them. But cut and slay? It...it doesn't make any sense at all! Surely, even if they were a clan of scheming villains and all blessed with a natural gift of deception and trickery, someone would've found out about it! Or told the rest of the sects! That means it has to be permitted, which it can't be! That kind of secret can't be kept!

And as you considered the massive ramifications of this, the ogress pulled at her hair and stomped around, screwing her face into a grimace of frustration.

"I don't understand!" She wailed, before shooting the headless corpse and wide, toothy grin, childish but very much not innocent and giggling as she said "Oh this is so fun! Usually that's enough to win any fight. Wild Heretics are the best to fight!"
Cont
>>
>>5478528

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Pretend to recognize the technique and ask who taught it to her, while the fight is paused.

>Do not pretend to recognize the technique and instead plainly ask her what the hell it was!

>Realize that, while this is duel is just to learn more about your sworn enemy, you need to get more serious and call ghost empress melody to the garden and swarm the ogress with corpse puppets while you turn the corpse you were possessing into a monster to more equally match the ogress' strength (Magic Trial. DC 44)

>NOPE! Without all your techniques and all your power, fighting someone who can damage your soul is just stupid!

>Write in
>>
>>5478530
>"My, my, it seem you have the most hidden techniques. I wasn't expecting a soul destroying technique to be used so readily. But you are going to have to try harder to find the exact manner of my control, a true heretic should not be predictable, much less stick to only way."
>"Tell me Yaonan, Ogress of the Ling, have you learned it all by yourself, uncovering the deepest secrets, the skeletons on the closet of the orthodoxy, or do you have a master, one trying to bribe your loyalty with the techniques that they are most ashamed to admit?"
>"Either way, it is sad to see a true prodigy wasting their skill threading a road already blazed, much less one that will lead to a closed gate. The heavens will never accept your ascension, for it would change the status quo they have build for themselves. And when you are torn down, and resort to heresy, demons will corrupt you, because you never knew how make your own path."
>>
>>5478558
Actually, fuck it
>>5478530
>Do not pretend to recognize the technique and instead plainly ask her what the hell it was!
>>
>>5478525
Wùh oh.

>>5478527
>It'd be ridiculous if...
They've kept and maintained a store of forbidden techniques and over time those have been integrated into their styles and accepted by sheer momentum of clout and heritage?

In order to seal what they called demonic cultivation, it makes sense to keep the knowledge of it as a reference should any of it return to the world. To then incorporate ancient heresies as building blocks to techniques seems like a normal bleed of knowledge, for people craving control. Despite the obvious moral and hypocritical power-hungering implications of a sect embracing fractions of potentially demonic technique, it's frighteningly practical; you void the world of an enemy, and take their forms of power to fill that void. Tale as old as time.
If this is something they'd share with the Ogress then the older immortals of the Ling/Celestial Sunlight sect are cultivators to be extremely wary of, even when we meet or exceed their rank. Our Court would be easily sundered by her Ling sect. This is valuable knowledge.

>>5478566
I liked the dialogue.

>>5478530
>Write in
We probably only have enough remnant Qi for a couple serious techniques. Let's see if we can force her further with what will look like an additional strengthening technique.

Use Cat's Court: Spiteful Blood Legacy on the blood of our possessed to enhance it. In addition to that, this individual was killed by Yaonan, so summoning the lingering resentment in the body should help us recall the grudge of its spirit for an additional boost. If we manage to get this guys soul back here, that'll be extra fun.

We can use that lingering power to continue attempting a martial battle, or switch to a magitactical one. I doubt there exists here a path to incarnating his grudge or our others, we won't really have the time to interview, and the majority of our grudge power is in our bodies belly 20ish li's not here.

These are the few strong techniques we have besides refinement that are not "obvious," and can work while we talk at her.
>>
>>5478577
I'm worried that the technique is not actually orthodox, and we end up looking like a fool or being manipulated.
I don't think Huan's pride could survive that.
>>
>>5478582
I see. I suppose it's possible she assembled it herself using various things she learned. I wonder if she's carrying other vials of that water? We probably won't get the opportunity to nab one, but what I'm getting at is I doubt she made it herself. She used it to see what kind of spirit/cultivator we are, which combined with its appearance implied to me that it's a primary method of the Guardians of the Celestial Sunlight.

Egg on our face if Yaonan doesn't even know it's made to destroy souls directly or she wasn't even told.
>>
>>5478530
>Pretend to recognize the technique and ask who taught it to her, while the fight is paused.

>NOPE! Without all your techniques and all your power, fighting someone who can damage your soul is just stupid!

so basically try to find out more, but fuck off once this battle resumes in earnest.
>>
>>5478530
>Do not pretend to recognize the technique and instead plainly ask her what the hell it was!
>NOPE! Without all your techniques and all your power, fighting someone who can damage your soul is just stupid!
That was certainly a surprise, but we've got other places to be. Hopefully by asking her what the deal was she'll be distracted enough not to notice us slipping away until it's too late.
>>
>>5478566
Just realized that if we asked what it was, she would realize it actually worked.
If we leave, she would have time to inspect the corpse, and probably learn more blood qi techniques.
I think she might use puppet destroying strings next, so while she would overwhelmed, and we could upgrade the corpse again, she would noticed that it doesn't work on the main one, but does on the normals, and may return to soul destroying.

>>5478589
If that's the case, then I'm changing back to
>>5478558
but with a support for this
>>5478577
And maybe plan on self destructing the corpse so she doesn't get her hands on it.
>>
>>5478403
You had a real ball with the Buddhist temple write-in vote where we got to dunk on Yonhzheng, so I’m always willing to do write-ins! Whether they win or not is (mostly) irrelevant.

>>5478530
Yeah… Huan is new to corruption isn’t she? She’s gotten plenty of injustice experience thanks to her life, but this is how things start and adapt. It’s like >>5478577 pointed out, you need to keep heresy around in some way to recognize it. Dye it in different colors and call it a secret technique, and no one will bat an eye. Because that’s how power concentrates.

As for the vote, I’ll basically be doing the
>Stop fighting and sit down again
but with a different spin now.
>Possess a corpse and sit up
>”Thanks for being a dear and keeping an old man occupied for a bit. But you’ve gone and salted wounds that never healed, and now I’m back to being angry and tired at others now. My heart’s not in the fight anymore.”
“I’m the stereotypical ornery old man, and you just put me in rant mode”.
>”You’re certainly a prodigy. Sword light, spirit destruction, both at the foundation stage. Things that were apparently too “useful” to be considered heresy in spite of what they represent.”
>”Wasted walking a failed path. When is the last time one of the orthodox sects ever had someone ascend? Have they stooped to rewriting that piece of inconvenient history yet, that ever since they created the “orthodoxy” that it’s never actually happened?”
Make us seem even older than she might have thought.
>>
>>5478650
>Continued, I’m too tired to edit this down further.
>”Bah. I had hoped… nevermind. You’ve already deluded those fools into giving you the power you want and you won’t even get in trouble for flaunting it. You’ll do well enough.”
Attempt to leave, since getting hurt wasn’t in the cards. But if she buys into the “sour old man is whining about old grudges, failing to see Mount Tai” schtick and asks us to make an offer then,
>”You… alright. I had hoped you’d burn it all down. The orthodox sects first, followed by the heavens themselves. The right push, the right aptitude, the right techniques I and others have learned on our own. Necromancy, blood qi, forbidden poisons. Whatever you had aptitude or interest in. But it seems you’re far from being aligned with those, having shown such skill in the orthodox techniques. And for all your griping, there will always be someone or something they’ll send you out to kill. You’ll live a longer life with what you’re doing now.”
>”Take the advice of a kindly old grandpa. If your sect is truly so willing to share such secrets, stick with doing their dirty work. Why be a heretic if they’ll let you call yourself otherwise in public?”
Now, I’m hoping this seems sensible. She’s a prodigy, sure. But in that entire combat, she showed no techniques considered heresy by the cultivating world besides the state-sanctioned heresy apparently. So it’d be reasonable to assume that she either doesn’t have the aptitude for techniques that we could show her, or that she’s pretty much on the dream path cor a heretic right now where they get to be practically honest about it, so spirt jumper didn’t get what he was looking for.
On the other hand, we know she uses blood qi, and trying to fight against actual gods sounds like something she’d sign up for. If she’s really that crazy though, she can make the offer to us. Agree to partner with “corpse jumper” and whoever else he onows in exchange for the bigger and better fights.

We can talk terms afterward. After all this, I’m now thinking of posing Huan (though we’ll never say her name) as a fellow heretic that agreed to his cause of burning down the orthodoxy and shared techniques. Still angling to have her turn on the Ling to call “the blood qi” user to her via liberal application of swords to Ling faces, but I’ll talk that through later if she bites. And if not, we learned valuable things already.
>>
>>5478530
>Pretend to recognize the technique and ask who taught it to her, while the fight is paused.
>>
>>5478651
I think if we are going to play on the "angry old man yells at clouds" route we should be very indignant with her. After all, at her own admission, she was trying to actually kill us. And so far we've only really been playing with her. Such poor form. So ungracious. If that's how she treats playthings and sparring partners she's just a destructive, impulsive child.

Which she is, but still. Killing someone you have so much fun with is a surefire way to never have fun with them again. Then again, fightbrains are just wired different so maybe it's hard to get into their headspace. Battlemaniacs, not even once.
>>
>>5478530
>GET OUT

Hell no! HELL TO THE FUCK NO! We need to leave, like now.
I'm fine asking for shit but we need to GO.
>>
>>5478593
>>5478595
>>5479046
Can I try to convince you three to self destruct the body before leaving so she can't learn about the internal organs we created?
>>
>>5479050
Sure, if it's something we can do quick and easy I'm ok with leaving in a disgusting explosion of blood and guts, lol
>>
Votes
8

>Pretend to recognize the technique and ask who taught it to her, while the fight is paused. - 3
Nkq6YrBE
CPZwQAJq (?)
oyqS2U6h

>>Write-in pretending to know
CPZwQAJq (?)

>>Pretend to know and be be old
oyqS2U6h


>Wasted time on orthodoxy - 2
CPZwQAJq (?)
oyqS2U6h

>>Wasted time on orthodoxy in a different way
oyqS2U6h

>Don't pretend - 2
PES0n0nD
jv6l+axS

>Enhance body - 2
unb/TmBZ
CPZwQAJq (?)

>Flee - 4
Nkq6YrBE
PES0n0nD
CPZwQAJq (?)
dJlLexm2

>>Blow up/melt first - 2
CPZwQAJq (?)
Nkq6YrBE

I marked mine with (?) because I changed my vote a lot and I'm still unsure if we should just skeedadle after ruining the body, enhance it to continue fighting or pretend to know.
>>
>>5479050
I don't see why not. It'd be a fun experiment for Huan to try anyway.
>>
>>5479172
So here's the case for fleeing: due to HLXs soul seperation fuckery I've always maintained that even if an enemy somehow managed to kill us in our magnificent body, it will probably not be game over. So put another way THIS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS SITUATION IN THIS QUEST SO FAR! And we are at a serious handicap due to not being in our body, no matter how buff we made this rotten corpse.
>>
>>5479050
So long as it doesn't compromise us further.
I'd allow a corpse explosion to cover our tracks. But we NEED to avoid damaging our soul. That shit is hard to heal and could ruin future cultivation.
>>
>>5478530
>Blow up the corpse and run away
>>
>>5479250
I think fleeing wins handily over fighting at this point. I'll support making a quip and blood chunk pinata'ing ourselves.
Any last chance manipulations will have to be extra precise, if we want to.
>>
>>5478530
>Detonate our borrowed corpse and get out of there
Yeah, this was cool before you tried to murder our soul Ogress. At the very least it might be something to see if we can recreate later.
>>
>>5478530
>>Pretend to recognize the technique and ask who taught it to her, while the fight is paused.
>>
Something to keep in mind if we run away is that she’s likely to conclude her technique did actually hurt us, so if we pull this off again in the future against her she’ll be sure to use it.

Sticking around long enough to end the match for some other reason could give us some breathing room in that regard.
>>
>>5480332
We won't do the same schtick twice anyway. Next time we'll meet her we'll be in our own body and one level higher.
>>
When we get home, lets have our star metal forged into a cultivation throne, move down to the deepest depths of the crypt we are able, then use our big dick +180 [assuming we don't use more than 30 on attaining human form].

I want to see how far we can jump in stages and levels.
>>
>>5480332
That's one of the reasons I wanted to keep pushing.

Not related to that, her sect will still be looking to track whoever this is assuming she has been given no methods to do so at this time. Perhaps even associating our corpse dancer with the cultists, whom we know roughly zilch about. We should be relatively okay since they don't have a definite grasp of the nature of our cultivation no super item'd exact tracking soul finder compass array bullshit for the moment.

>>5480408
I think we should delay stage breakthroughs for now considering how many months even great successes tend to take. But human form is a different thing than those and we can do it almost anywhere iirc, but yes we should do it asap when we get home. It will also make a better scene if we do it there.

>star metal throne.
We've been sitting on not using it for a while, to be honest I'd +1 using it as the great cultivation chamber enhancement it could be.
There's lots of stuff we're sitting on at the moment that could help out in other ways too.

And in that vein, I think there's a good way to make a better Pure Blood Qi cultivation chamber than 1k/y blood peach. It's just a matter of whether other anons want to build it either for ourselves for special breakthroughs or for trusting one or more of our students with cultivating Blood Qi, both of which we may be far off from.
>>
>>5480456
We've been delaying it, I think, so we can ensure that Feiqing has the skills to make it the best he can. He's progressed to foundation establishment or Qi refining stage I think. So he's no longer a talented novice.

I disagree. Intensely. With the idea of delaying our breakthroughts. Our foundation is solid as shit, and compressing it further offers us no other benefits that I can think of.
Maybe nomming on that beast core to advance properly along primordial sense, but I'd prefer that we break through ourselves first to see if it can be pushed further or reveal other uses.

Human form, I believe we should learn about as soon as we gather our kits from this place and find a safe place to make camp. Attaining Human form should be a few hours affair, and after the fact we can return home, make our prep and then advance.
I understand you said do it ASAP when we get home, but I'm making a point against any delay of our breakthrough at current. Unless it's something vital to one of our core disciples survival, we should be home and advancing. With that bonus, we should step through ranks in months it would take the other protagonists years to do.

regarding the peach . . . Hmm. Blood is a secondary law rather than our primary, but it's a damn good complimentary law.
It's probably best to build ourselves, but I'm not sure what you want to make with it.
>In that vein
very punny
>>
>>5480470
I would like to try and grow more. It's a one of a kind thing.
>>
>>5480473
If we can find a way to grow more without strangling the life out of an entire mile of land to feed their growth that would be very, very nice. Then we could work to bring pure blood back and not this gross shit that passes for blood cultivation nowadays.
>>
>>5480473
It's a one of a kind thing that takes 1000 years to grow one. It's really not something we can afford to wait on, and will probably ascend within 2 or 3 hundred, at which point growing it will be of the same difficulty as flipping our paw.

Anyway, to refresh on what we took from the crow king.

A Second Sanguine Divine Spirit Peach! Ripe and uncorrupted, preserved in liquor.:
A massive pearl of Crystalized Primordial Beast! enough for you to undergo further evolution as a Demonic Beast! Or share with your beastly disciples, so they all may evolve:
Baoli-Wuyawang's corpse:
A Relic of the Old Era! A manual penned by Niu Bingwen, detailing the method an awakened beast may obtain a human form! Kept by the devils who ended his noble life:
A black horned skull that radiates with enough Yin Qi to curse and haunt an entire region of the mortal realm simply by being within it!

The cursed horned skull, kept near us, will be useful to boost our Yin consumption. Which should add another boost.
Star throne.

Manuel is pretty useless here, seeing as it isn't related to breakthroughs in cultivation.

And blood peach. Which I'm fine not consuming, that would be a waste at this point due to law of diminishing returns.
But I'm not sure what it could be used for to benefit us beyond a cultivation chamber or area.

Though if one is made, we'd need to set aside a special area for it, and work on containing it's
Qi spillage.

Don't want it contaminating the springs above.
>>
>>5480477
the pearl of primordial essence, I want to wait to see what transformation occurs after our passage into another realm.
Because I figure that this leap really should power up our primordial essence quite a bit.
>>
>>5480470
I only meant delay for as long as we need to see to other stuff, not delay for a full year. But I see your point, we can't just choose not to gain strength and then be frustrated with loss (of ourselves or our disciples) when a golden core shows up challenging us to a lethal rock concert. I still want to chill/be a better teacher before we do that though.

>>5480477
And the Emperors Soul, so long as we don't forget to pick it up!
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>>5480477
Well, we had the option of creating a blood pool without waiting a thousand years, but it would influence the surroundings.
So there is a chance there is a way to have a constant source of blood qi, we just need to figure out how.
I think that if we conquer the entire musoleum, we could make the pool in the deepest part, it probably wouldn't corrupt the surroundings.
Because if there was an aquifer, the Yin qi would also spread, right? We can even turn it into our throne room.
>>
>>5480484
I'm pretty sure the emperor's soul has run out of uses beyond momento and bartering chip. And I'm content to keep him as a trophy of how utterly incompetent a ruler can be, and the rewards of such stupidity.

>>5480486
A pool isn't a peach. The peaches are the only naturally spawning occurrence of pure blood Qi, and growing one takes a thousand years.

And. . . I honestly don't know how to stop the spread. But burying it as deep underground as possible is probably the best bet. Maybe use the Yin QI of our ghostly servants and the seals that prevent them going higher to cage in and restrain the Blood Qi's diffusion?

Being under a mountain, surrounded by immense ghost Yin Qi and being contained by spells empowered by said abundant qi should probably stop it reaching the surface.

Though that does cause issues if we want other people to come to it, due to the poision effect of that amount of Yin Qi, but potato potato, we can fix that later.
>>
>>5480497
I thought that the pool would use the peach, but if it doesn't, then it even better. Maybe we could create a second throne roo, one for the living and one for the dead. The simpler one on the surface, full of life to help contain the spread of Death and Blood qi, and to represent the wild part of our rule. But that's a bit more of a long term plan, when we are ready to reveal ourselves to the world.
As for the emperor, I was thinking of seeing if Siwang can use it as a focus. The man is already dead, but he has a very long list of crimes, so if it does work, it could help speed up his cultivation by a lot. And when it's done, we can choose between keeping him as a decoration, punishing him ourselves or just selling him to hell.
>>
>>5480509
Fu focuses on vengence, he could have a decent shot at meditating on his emnity with the emperor.
Though we did feel lots of it dissipate, so maybe it's not good for him.

And yeah, the pool consumes the peach, but I read this >>5480473 as "I would like to grow more peaches" rather than "more sources of blood Qi"

By the way, as a reminder, the next stage after foundation establishment is core formation. And after that, nascent soul. So this next leap is REALLY one to look out for.
>>
>>5480477
> A black horned skull that radiates with enough Yin Qi to curse and haunt an entire region of the mortal realm simply by being within it!
If we use this as-is, Yaonan will probably be sent to investigate the region for the corpse jumper. If he wasn’t behind it, it’d be reasonable to think that he would take advantage of whatever caused an entire region to die instead.

Trying to block it with the blood pool sounds laughably dangerous. I’ll vote in favor of it when the time comes, Huan will learn something profound regardless of success or failure.
>>
>>5480517
Yeah, I meant something like having a long term source of Qi to cultivate and study, instead of using a one time item for a quick boost.
I did give the impression I wanted another one, that's because I misremembered the blood pool as a garden when I wrote that and only afterwards I realized my mistake.
Sorry about that.
>>
firstly, my apologies
>>
>>5480486
One other concern is the qi difference causing problems in any natural interactions it has with ghosts. Heavy Yang Qi does tend to achieve a natural balance around Heavy Yin Qi, it's just quite often transformative. I might worry the Yin Qi that far down will be too counteractive, but there's nothing stopping us (that we know of) from just making new chambers and isolating them.

For the Pure Blood Qi cultivation chamber, it's a skeleton draft based on what we currently have on hand and the garden idea proposed before. It's got some autism, but Pure Blood Qi encompasses so much it feels warranted.

Looking at what the Jade Sanguine Shrine did, I thought why not use something of our own creation more suited to our goals?

That is to say the Sanguine Peach is the "height" of the Jade Sanguine Shrine's original applied blood qi knowledge, and it's an epitome that they were unable to sustain at a certain point in their later history. After seeing the mostly dead orchard I'm sure it wouldn't have saved them even if we hadn't stolen it, as they had been guarding it as their very last cultivation aid at the time. I feel the best answer is to deepen the potential strength of the garden technique by expanding their method while aiming to retain its purity.
Warning: greed, experimentation required, ingredient run rank AA, heavens will be challenged.

Built high above our sect, in cold and snowy climate, not at risk to spread potently or dangerously. The soil we use would ideally be going on top of a foundation, not directly on the ground, and same for the water. That alone is some serious architecture.
An array of some (shouldn't take more than two, we've got five) of our phoenix feathers to maintain the temperature of the chamber/area.

Spiritual earth taken from an ancient battlefield (probably best taken from that one within the primordial wilds because hot damn), imbued with one or multiple months worth of bloodletting Huan's pure blood qi enhanced blood. We've created blood pearls easily enough, using our own and pouring additional blood qi into them would be the simplest to ensure soil quality. BUT wouldn't that give the same problems as a pool, inevitably?
Which is why we can use the Qilin antlers (ground up) for their purifying, holy effects, to corral the spread of natural blood qi without type-inhibiting it and consecrate the spiritual earth. Which will be very useful considering the next set of ingredients. Though we might need more horns, one pair may not be enough for a garden to make what's basically nigh divine blood qi soil.
>>
>>5480614
This is the tricky part, since we should have the skills for it but it's not something we've been especially focused on attempting. Using our Blood Qi/Qi of Lifeforce and our alchemy expertise, attempt to splice/mutate together and create a new plant from the following:

Silver Berries: When dried and brewed into tea, they raised mental acuity and focus.
Red Thorned Nettle: Thins blood to the point it is sweated out, which is very useful for giving your blood to control and use.
Orange Yellow Sunburst Poppies: A kind of magical opium that greatly raises the body's resistance to heat as well as heating it up to the point they'll boil water if dropped into it.

It's important that the plant have a variety of lifeforce based effects AND resistances; these most recent herbs seemed a little better than the ones we first experimented with. Should we discover we can't do it up to a usable status, we can try modifying a range of plants- I suspect this was the original research the Jade Shrine did before choosing the "lol we grow fruit tree that = qi" method. The combination isn't a heedless thing, as nettles&thorns/berries/poppies technically should be able to exist as part of the same plant. Not too attached to this one, we just need a better plant and manageable produce.

And what will the plants need to drink? Blood! But we don't really want to initiate a blood tithe, so instead we can use the Pool of Refined Purified Sinner Bone Centipede Ichor (might need others, better stuff can go a long way) with a small amount of the Qi of five springs waters and do as we did then, by creating another spring; this one carrying and sustaining blood qi. Oh but that's not Blood or Pure Blood Qi, you might say, because in order for it to work at all it will still need the majority of its five qi!, and you're right. But that's exactly why it'll work better.

So, smarter than putting all your Blood Qi into one fruit: A Blood Qi based Herb/Berry/Toke bush built off that foundation, fortified with rare materials and supported as a complete cultivation chamber/garden. Which surely is a premium return of investment in allowing us and our students a Pure Blood Qi cultivation/meditation area. As well being a garden that will grow the ingredients best suited to those purposes, with both direct and alchemical uses.

Provided we make the garden big enough we can just keep adding different kinds of Blood Qi enhanced plants or offshoot garden chambers for them, too.
Being isolated on a high mountain above our sect is to help maintain its secrecy, balance the lifeforce feng shui (cuz thats something mountain do), and give our blood garden some of that d-aligned sun.
>>
>>5480615

I've neglected including our preserved peach as an ingredient to the potential cookbook of type gather+concentrate->purify, since we haven't taken a closer look at it. But once again, it was the Jade Shrine's design to epitomize concentrating multiple stage jumps worth of pure blood qi into a single plant. At high cost, and slowly. Anywhere we use it will have some of those properties, so it depends on how controllable we can make it. The preserved peach is the last of their favorable heritage prior to carmine mysticism's founding, if nothing else we ought to research it fully.

The importance of a garden for this method is fairly simple, it's essentially aligning multiple lifeforce/yang Qis to grow plants that concentrate Pure Blood Qi from multiple sources that are themselves enhanced; (qilin metalized/purified Huan's magical beast blood-infused soil & blood essence'd spring waters), and sunlight.

Ah! But the soil will run out of our blood and it will need refilling to sustain, right? But that's the benefit. The ideal state is that having made a better plant, it won't concentrate the Qi faster than it can naturally restore, so being fed blood directly won't be needed with so much abundant lifeforce and blood qi sources to concentrate. But does retain potential to be "watered" directly, should we deem it needed. As for a cultivation throne object to put in a garden idfk. The Star Jade will be better in the catacombs, something equal to that for Blood Qi won't be easy to find or may need creating.

Baoli's blood [currently being acquired by Monu], could further be aspect refined by us to support either the soil, or as used as part of the construction material. I wouldn't heavily suggest it since it's a bit strong on its own, and we might want to supe a potion up with it later. It is of a great depth of a higher cultivation grade which means we can use it if we can mitigate it, but I wouldn't want to spend it unwisely.

The Divine Blood Honey would be another obvious enhancement to one or more aspects; probably the best as it's wholly suited to accent any kind of garden or blood qi chamber from the get go. Not necessarily as simple as adding it to soils or water either.

That's most of it so far, there are other less possible ideas involving stronger ingredients and specialized arrays, as well some chamber formation ideas but I think Huan will do perfectly there, and most of the others are a bit out there for our current capabilities.

And if it doesn't work out: sentient blood drinking poppy plants! And the attention of every sect.
>>
>>5480612
There's no need to apologize for high quality cultivation plan autism, it's all fun in the end.
I'll have to reread more carefully to try and wrap my head around though.
>>
>>5480616
There was also the Chaos Mist Pearl and the Flood Dragon Scale, but I feel their best uses aren't for a chamber like this. The Carmine Pearl being for Feiqing to turn into axes for Fu?, iirc. The scale probably being best used in an artifact.

For other blood pearl sources, there is a dragon we know that if they've been born yet (probably not) who may allow us to refine some of their blood. Or we could hunt one or other mythical noble beasts to refine an ultravariety, if we're truly audacious.

>>5480626
that's good to hear. I think the best tldr is
cold isolated mountain garden heated via phoenix feathers; spiritual water and high grade battleground soil type changed & enhanced for blood qi, pure blood qi gathering custom plants.
>>
>>5480614
You will never get a tl;dr out of me. Though I appreciate that you understand it can make my head hurt since I’m not as familiar with the genre as you and others seem to be.

Trying to parse this to a more manageable level for me, you’re advocating building a full-fledged Blood Qi garden, where all the plants are infused with it to some degree. They’re weaker than the fruit, but more sustainable as they draw in other elements and refine it into further Blood Qi at a rate that isn’t categorized as “fireworks festival explosive”. They’ll also provide more interesting alchemical ingredients that probably haven’t been explored before because the sect that pioneered this said “good enough” after making the fruit, AND we get a good Blood Qi cultivation place.

All of this rigged in a setup and environment built to contain the spread if we’re wrong about how contained the growth is.

Is that summary correct?

Is that summing up
>>
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>>5480651
Ye
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>>5480656
Glad my skills at translating IT-speak to business-speak are also applicable to cultivation quests.

I can back it in principle. A prodigy should have spectacular successes and failures, and this has the potential for both. I’d rely on you to remember and advocate for this again further down the road though since I’m sure there will be competing priorities. Feel free to use my summary at that time as the tl;dr version.
>>
>>5480651
This is a good TL;DR
>>5480644
Seems we have a use for the location of the winter sect once we start our conquest of the orthodox. Or if we manage to subvert them from within.
Imagine, an entire sect of Pings
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>>5480644
We know a number of demonic beasts. Should we intermix some of their blood for unusual results, or do you thinks the risks outweigh the benefits? I’d assume more disparate bloods involved = more unpredictable growth patterns and directions, which is good for cultivating plants but bad for keeping it contained.

>>5480677
I imagine the Winter sect will be down to Monu, Ping, and fox-sister + her toy by the time we make a move on them. So I don’t think you’re completely off-base, but there’s a much higher proportion of “batshit insane” in those numbers than I’d like.

Maybe we can find the chill god and see if he’s okay with a spot of gardening on his land.
>>
>>5480677
>>5480709
I believed there were some mountains closer to our sect, now I wonder if I was mistaken.

>>5480709
Gonna ramble on a bit, blood has been really fun to think about.
In using other beasts, our students or mystical animals, they all have their own Qi and heritage that can affect their blood. I don't know the full effects. Since blood isn't its own element and more of a powerful composition detailing passions and sorrows of the soul, while leaning heavily towards Yang, I've thought it's best to keep type differences apart for maintaining purity and that requires knowing the blood's nature.

Simply put, keeping the kin natures of the origin creature's blood in line with the intended crafting combination either matching or enhancing, not too greatly nor too weakly, with respect to grade relativity. With plants able to thrive. For the grading it's mostly guessing based on the source environs.

For examples, the water dragon's blood would compliment the artificial spring (blood;water aspect) that wouldn't be overcome by the slightly yin-leaning element when it's coming from a young dragon. A hugely cultivated dragon's blood would have different results. In that, Baoli's blood is of a far higher grade than any second Qi of Five Springs we make would be, as Heavy Yang as it is even not even considering his preferred elements I believe it would create something entirely different used only on its own.

Strong properties can't always compliment or enhance lesser ones, at some point there's too much of one energy and a change has to happen into a different or altered state. So far that appears consistent with blood too. That's why I'd feel the Sinner Bone Ichor as a better alternative, considering its battlefield birth and the Qi it had in its unlife. In theory, we would want the blood of a more Yang-leaning creature to combine with it, but too much of anything put together may negate the properties of forming a new spring.

While for things like soils I was figuring the Qilin horns as absolutely perfect with our own blood due to related elements for the Qilin (often yang-leaning earth/metal/can be fire) and a degree of what can be called a "holy" factor. Their bones would work too, but horns are their most potent part. The earth aspect is strictly in accordance with the soil, but the metal aspect can help further the "travel" of blood qi. Yet, put too many ground horns into the soil or horns from a ridiculously strong Qilin and it will likely make the soil painfully electric, and perhaps unsuited to non-metal aligned plants.

Using our own blood as it's already acclimated to Pure Blood Qi (being potentially an excellent cultivation item for anybody, in pearl form) is primarily for the purpose of control. We can harvest lots of different types of blood, but our own made sense as providing us a leg up on the natural chaos of the dao of lifeforce.
>>
>>5480774
Put fully It's the refined cat blood (blood meal is excellent plant food) of a relatively balanced yin/yang magical beast; and it just so happens that the universe has determined that the Earth element often does best as itself when approaching balanced Yin and Yang. This is why I wouldn't suggest using additional refined Qilin blood for the soil, to avoid an imbalance of too much metal-leaning strengths, as their horns ought be sufficient.

And this carnival of elemental balance is what makes Divine Blood Honey one of the weirdest ones to attempt including. It's strangely high grade in application. Crystalized to an extreme it could even become a chamber focus, or a tinted glass ceiling, if we're to use an absolutely crazy amount. But despite its name I don't know if we can remake the material to attract blood Qi on its own. Its alchemical strengths are thorough enough that I can only bet its full strength can be revealed in direct mixing or combination with other construction materials, or our own refined blood.

It's complex enough that guessing is imprudent, while for beast\monster bloods it's just a matter of trying to get the right spectrum of elemental and inner natures, since for a garden they can actually matter.
The counter to this is If we were just concentrating powerful bloods for a spell or item or as a store of general qi, a larger amount with greater refinement would be enough, power is power.

But making a sustaining environment of cultivation-useful Qi requires either the natural world conspiring that result, or a stupendous event like what created our tomb. Cultivation chambers are just the manual versions of the world's methods. Using living things (or more active non-living things) instead of merely Qi-infused objects is basically the harder version of it, with most often a correspondent reward in greater effect. Consider that for (in theoretical greatest effect) we could make Pure Blood Qi collect to a very special mineral focus with metal-aligned properties, forged together with some particular metals hell may have. It should be possible, all the active properties are there in both blood and metal, so forged with our Qi we can say it can be done. But the environment to make and sustain it and the ability to use it effectively are fairly questionable. And there is what would happen to a qi condensation novice after they open the door they were warned away from and step in front of an odd floating lump that magnetizes blood into pure blood qi and, well, fog is year round.

The counter-counter to that is we can add varieties of beast, demonic, or other bloods to already growing or harvested plants with adequate Blood Qi control and having a stable base soil means it won't need to be considered itself for active experimentation.
>>
>>5480774
Well, our sect is on a mountain, but it's an artificial one since an immortal threw it at the nomad army to stop it.
I was just thinking of the sect because since they have ice magic, their home got to be extra frosty.
As for the Based God, he lives in prime real state, and in case something goes wrong, he should easily be able to stop it. Although I personally would rather try these experiments on our won, and only ask for happy if things get out of hand.
>>
>>5480477
The liquor the peach has been soaking in should also be tested for blood Qi, I mean it has been exposed to a pure source of it for at least centuries. At the very least it should be useful for some pills
>>
>>5480874
Would it make a better base to initially grow plants from? It might be more concentrated than even our blood is due to how long it’s soaked, so diluting it with Five Spring water would go much further.

Not sure if it’d make sense to do that first, then switch to the Ichor later.
>>
>>5481086
It's a strong magical alcohol, though plants generally dislike alcohols with some exceptions for drought conditions. With the peach's influence I've no idea what it could do, or what its dilution would mean in forming a new spring. Certainly should be a great for our alchemy.
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>>5478530
>>Realize that, while this is duel is just to learn more about your sworn enemy, you need to get more serious and call ghost empress melody to the garden and swarm the ogress with corpse puppets while you turn the corpse you were possessing into a monster to more equally match the ogress' strength (Magic Trial. DC 44)
Preferably with the Carmine Mysticism both for misleading her and for gaining some more experience with it.
>>
>>5478530
>>5478650
Supporting this. Let’s play the grumpy old man and fish for info.
>>
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Sorry for the delay, got distracted by fire emblem. Ending the vote now and tallying the results. Love all the discussion and in depth planning

"My, my, it seem you have the most hidden techniques. I wasn't expecting a soul destroying technique to be used so readily. But you are going to have to try harder to find the exact manner of my control, a true heretic should not be predictable, much less stick to only way."...etc: 1

Use Cat's Court: Spiteful Blood Legacy on the blood of our possessed to enhance it. In addition to that, this individual was killed by Yaonan, so summoning the lingering resentment in the body should help us recall the grudge of its spirit for an additional boost.: 2

Pretend to recognize the technique and ask who taught it to her, while the fight is paused.:3

NOPE! Without all your techniques and all your power, fighting someone who can damage your soul is just stupid!:5
- And detonate the corpse: 5

Do not pretend to recognize the technique and instead plainly ask her what the hell it was!:1

Possess a corpse and sit up...etc: 2

Realize that, while this is duel is just to learn more about your sworn enemy, you need to get more serious and call ghost empress melody to the garden and swarm the ogress with corpse puppets while you turn the corpse you were possessing into a monster to more equally match the ogress' strength: 1

So you'll decide that risking injury to your soul isn't worth the rewards/gains of fighting the ogress and flee the duel, after exploding the corpse your modified and refined through blood refinement.

Update will arrive shortly

>>5479172
Thanks for your help
>>
>>5481409
No problem gramps
>>
That's a very dangerous technique to face without your full and complete power. Even though you've upgraded and refined the now headless corpse, it is still a far cry from your true, beautiful body. Even with your adjustments, controlling it even in its present state is sluggish and dull feeling, due to it being, well, a corpse already beginning to stiffen and rotten. Even after returning some façade of life to it, it is still a low quality vessel even if it is a better puppet than most living men. You do not feel confident that you'd emerge from this battle unscathed if you continued it while wearing the former fatty's hide like a gleaming silk robe, or if you'd even survive the ordeal. Fighting with a handicap is the game of overconfident braggarts and soon to be dead fools, and you take pride in your well honed survival instinct, healthy supply of caution and a peerless ability of discernment. Sure, some would call running from a battle cowardly, but cowardice is an invention of mankind! Even the strongest of Beasts know the wisdom of running away to lick their wounds and live another day, and the wisest amongst men understand this as well, knowing the idea of an honorable death that could've been avoided by turning around and sprinting for the horizon is the treasure of imbeciles with brains like pudding and too much ego.

Oh certainly, Huanliuxue is a proud, noble creature, and you take pride in uh, your sense of pride and dignity, but you can endure a slight against it and a wounding of it. After all, Pride has little worth if you've been burned up into nothing, leaving not even ash and ember in remembrance of your existence. You're too smart to be so headstrong as to allow your proud sense of importance and regality to lead you into bearing deep, crippling wounds or court death with no purpose besides pleasing your, admittedly already ready well fed, ego. And its not like you have any face to lose, you're an outlaw! A wild animal! A Demonic Beast! Let the human cultivators fret and worry about the image they present and their reputation! You are destined for greater things than the end of a sword infused with heavenly light. And a princess need not deign to allow a commoner thug beat her black and blue and make her bleed just because it'd be "Undignified" rather than wise to retreat. The future empress of the wild, civilized and dead shouldn't be the kind of brickheaded idiot who'd offer up her neck to any vagabond who drew their sword in her presence.

Besides. Why would you give Ling the satisfaction she seeks? She's a churlish, brutish girl who enjoys drawn out, bloody and painful combat. A sadist through and through. She might not aim to take your head again, but she would certainly enjoy every wince of pain and relish in the clashing of your blades. You still hate the Ling. Why should you keep your promise to give her entertainment? Every Ling you've met before you pounced on from the dark and devoured.

Cont
>>
>>5481442

Deciding that honoring your deal with your sworn nemeses and that honor itself is not worthy risking one's own precious life over, especially a life as precious as your own talented self, and that the look on Ling Yaonan's face when her new favorite "Sparring" partner has left the ring before she was satisfied brutalizing them would be absolutely hilarious. You can have a proper match with her later, after all, Huanliuxue and a Ling can not live under the same sky, but only when you aren't being restricted and crippled by the weakness of your tools. Though you hoped to devour the tiger by pretending to be the pig, that doesn't work when one actually weakens themselves instead of just pretending to be weaker than they are.

"I grow bored of this child's game, I've indulged your trifling desires far too long already, girl" You say boredly, smirking to yourself as you see the ogress drunken glee shift immediately to furious outrage, as her smiling face is replaced with a mask of snarling rage that makes her look more ogreish than ever before.

"Don't you dare" She warns, her voice harsh, losing all of its teasing playfulness and mock naivety, as she shows her true character

"Fool that you are, you've gone and beaten the grass, scaring the snake" You laugh as she pulls her arm back, eyes widen with an incandescent fury. Is she going to throw her sword at you? That kind of stupidity is kind of cute, actually!

"Beetle! Worm! Ant! Vermin! How dare you run from me! What gives you the right to flee! Insolent bastard! Cowardly wretch! Stand and fight! I thought you of all people would understand the rush of mortal combat!' She rages, sounding actually more desperate than outraged, are those tears you see in her eyes? Oh that's just adorable. Adorably pathetic

"Black-Belly" You chuckle and mock , as you maneuver the strings of spiritual energy hold up your puppet, moving it as you speak through the hole in its neck with a truly disgusting, gurgling and bubbling voice, to mime mannerisms and dramatic flicks of its wrists and headless neck as you overfill it with Destructive Yin Qi, turning it into a fleshy bomb "When the tree fall, the monkeys scatter. If you had any cunning in your body, let alone as much as I do in my pinky finger, you'd know this! Truly you are a fool! the naivety of your youth betrays!"

And, that was the jab that broke her composure fully. Blinded by rage, she hurled her sword at you, so enraged by your mockery that she actually threw her artifact sword at a lifeless corpse! You didn't actually think she'd do it! You've really made her amazingly mad just by telling her you have decided your match was over, you had seen enough, and were going home.
Cont
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>>5481443

Laughing with that gross, gurgling throat voice of the corpse, you fling the remains now bloated and oversaturated with Qi down at the Ogress, as she is left defenseless without her beloved sword. Her eyes widen, as she quickly adopts an aggressive fighting stance, like she is going to try and punch the body your threw down at her.

When it explodes and is reduced to less than dust, knocking her off her feet and blasting a large hole in what's left of the garden. Her sword falls suddenly, and you realized she was controlling it like a flying sword rather than just hurling it like a common stone. But, after she was knocked on her ass and stunned like a beaten fish, it fell. And so she lay, eyes spinning and arms spread out, robes torn and with an expression between anger and happiness. She blinked twice, and sat up, her white hair covered in more dirt and dust than blood now.

You hadn't expected for her to recover so quickly, and didn't wait to watch her tantrum and rage over being tricked by you, though her bellowing and roars of impotent anger certainly did bring a smile to your face. And that alone was worth what little damage your pride had actually sustained in returning tail and running away.

'I wonder what sort of story she is going to tell her elders, and what sorts of rumors will spread both in the world of cultivation and mortal realm due to the events of this night' You thought with a giggle as you flew out of the gardens to collect Long Tiantunri's putrid soul and leave the ogress in the palace of corpses. Perhaps you'd have Yuyi's maids brush out your fur when you reunite with her, Yongzheng, Fu and Qiang.

What do you do, after returning to your body, Huanliuxue?

>Actually make the maids the maids Mao Weixiao had given to Yuyi brush your fur, while you boast to your disciples of your moral victory against the pigheaded ogress!

>Take a brief detour into hell, to get the dog emperor's soul appraised and see who has taken the crow King's place in the hierarchy down in Diyu.

>Return to your temple and check on your student's progress, and see if Ping and Feiqing have finished their questing. You've began to worry about the two of them

>Waste no time Finding a suitable place to undergo the trial to attain a human form! You have a wealth of insight of human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization! You are sure to succeed and be the first Beast to take on Human form in ten generations!

>Stop by the Buddhist temple, to escort Yongzheng back home and give the monks their your blessing, gifts and thanks

>Write in
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>>5481444
>Waste no time Finding a suitable place to undergo the trial to attain a human form! You have a wealth of insight of human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization! You are sure to succeed and be the first Beast to take on Human form in ten generations!
>Question about the three brothers. Did they follow Yongzheng? Did they leave? Did the oldest survive? If he did, perhaps it would be wise to inspect him. That is a rare kind of resilience.
Seeing Yonan throw a tantrum was definitely worth it.
>>
>>5481444

>>5481450
I'll back this. Attaining human form is just a few hours to a day thing, right? Now a "Sit in the dark for three months" thing?

Seeing her lose her shit was kino. I wonder if we could have made her actually cry if we had made an offhand remark like "Oh, we we're trying to kill each other?" and completely brush off her feelings.
>>
>>5481508
Yeah, it depends on how long it takes to get a human form.
If it's a long thing I would vote for
>Return to your temple and check on your student's progress, and see if Ping and Feiqing have finished their questing. You've began to worry about the two of them
So we can do it in peace.
Still want to check on the brothers though.
>>
>>5481450
+1.
At last!
>>
>>5481444
>>Waste no time Finding a suitable place to undergo the trial to attain a human form! You have a wealth of insight of human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization! You are sure to succeed and be the first Beast to take on Human form in ten generations!
>>
>>5481444
>Waste no time Finding a suitable place to undergo the trial to attain a human form! You have a wealth of insight of human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization! You are sure to succeed and be the first Beast to take on Human form in ten generations!

Let's complete our quest!
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>>5481444
>Waste no time Finding a suitable place to undergo the trial to attain a human form! You have a wealth of insight of human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization! You are sure to succeed and be the first Beast to take on Human form in ten generations!

>Stop by the Buddhist temple, to escort Yongzheng back home and give the monks their your blessing, gifts and thanks.

The Buddhist temple seems like an appropriate place for attaining a human form, honestly. It’s already got plenty of others trying to find their own way to the Dao. We’re just another person making a step on our own road to it.
>>
>>5481444
>Waste no time Finding a suitable place to undergo the trial to attain a human form! You have a wealth of insight of human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization! You are sure to succeed and be the first Beast to take on Human form in ten generations!

We got the bonuses, let’s use them.
>>
>>5481642
>>5481639

I'll shift to doing our human form at the Buddhist temple. What better place for a heretic to take a step forward like this eh?
>>
>>5481444
This post number is somewhat ominous

>>5481642
Supporting this.
>>
>>5481642
Supporting.

If it only takes a day or so rather than months, lets do it. Going home if it's like a week or more, we've prepared as much as possible for this.
Though I want to curb our bonus use to +30 at maximum. Save the majority for our cultivation
>>
>>5481706
>>5481792
>>5481806
no no anons we can't enter the Buddhist temple in our own body that would just be stupid
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>>5481840
How so?
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>>5481859
Abbott and Yongzheng both know we're a cat but no one else does. If a real demonic beast walks into this temple word is sure to get out. We have been doing pretty well remaining hidden until now, let's not become reckless now!
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>>5481860
Well, I certainly wasn't anticipating Huanliuxue going out in the open while performing her transformation, so wouldn't she just be on the outskirts or in a secluded area of the temple until she's ready to show herself?
>>
>>5481877
well I guess if we transport her body in secret until the transformation is complete I can support this choice.

>>5481444
loving this update by the way! Things to note:
-Huan convincing herself that running is actually the heroic thing to do
-Huan talking shit even while retreating
-Yaonan trying to trick us even in her blind rage (if we'd tried to catch that sword she would have changed course and impaled us)

Also I noticed how, to Yaonan, we must appear like a video game boss:
-mysteriously shows up during a side quest, giving you the toughest fight you've had so far
-when you think you have him he just switches bodies
-disappears while taunting you
>>
>>5481450
Supporting this
>>
>>5481888
Not just a videogame boss, but an annoying unwinnable boss fight. Yaonan is seething in the review section right now.
>>
>>5481907
>doing protect the emperor sidequest for shitty clan leader
>boring as fuck, don't even show up until the last day of the event
>a metric fuckton of shit-tier mobs, I think some were from a cult? don't care, boring
>two super cute NPCs about to fight. totally gonna pull my pants down for this one
>get interrupted by a ghost or something
>it starts talking mad shit and actually challenges me to a duel
>easy xp fuck it, okay
>fucker makes me wait to watch some lame guy die, I forget who so they probably weren't important
>slaughter a bunch of mobs until they stop spawning
>spirit bastard finally shows back up, expecting some lame puppet master add-spawning shit
>he actually squares up and ain't half bad, even gets a good hit on me while I'm still playing with one hand
>has a surprisingly huge dodge stat but I land a solid attack
>he bodyswaps
>stomp the fuck out of him for some jank ass teleports behind u shit
>swaps again into a fatty, now it's just funny
>??? pulls some random body mod shit out of nowhere
>holy fuck he's beating the shit out of me
>have to actually use some real techniques
>still has a huge dodge stat despite becoming meat mountain
>FINALLY land a crit, sounds like it hurts and deliver a final blow, it's a great fight
>it was a ruse
>he talks mad shit about how stupid I am
>throws body at me and it knocks me on my ass
>leaves
>get basically zero xp, no mats, no loot
>i'm fucking shaking rn
>fix your fucking dao devs
If she wasn't monumentally overleveled for that area maybe the anti-cheat miniboss wouldn't have spawned in.

If she weren't such a shitheel or a ling I might feel bad for her. No one deserves to get cutscened out of a good fight. Except her, of course.
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>>5481840
We snuck past cultivators. We can sneak past Buddhists, especially if there is a special room in the back that can be locked and kept out of while we meditate.

Anyway, I've got the next order of buissness to consider in regards to our past.
Maybe using the blood or dao of ghosts to see if our old friends have been reborn yet. To protect them is the least we can do.
>>
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>>5481912
>mfw your princess is in another castle
>>
Speaking of princesses if we go visit our fellow royalty again we should make a stop at the dragon cemetery, summon their ghosts and ask for permission to take their bodyparts. At the very least dragonbones might make for a good snake body, plus we all know bonemeal is excellent fertilizer
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>>5481444
>Waste no time Finding a suitable place to undergo the trial to attain a human form! You have a wealth of insight of human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization! You are sure to succeed and be the first Beast to take on Human form in ten generations!
>Stop by the Buddhist temple, to escort Yongzheng back home and give the monks their your blessing, gifts and thanks
I'm not sure about the whole argument about doing the Human form into the temple. Also i'm going to add
>Look out for the Three Dian Brothers and hope they are okay, maybe bring them to our village to be healed. If the oldest brother has some permanent damage in his body, we could actually try and use our Pure Blood tecniques to heal him

>>5481983
I was thinking about visiting the Geges before we actually train again and be lost for like 6 years or some shit. After all we got all the sidequest ready, or at least the ones we know of, I say paying a visit to them would be nice (And also because the Chill God actually helped them to send a letter, and I feel kinda bad if we don't go :C)

Optional:
1)See if our other divine beast disciples wanna go and meet their majors, because I wanna see Siwang interact with the cute Bee Queen and how cute the scene might be, and also there we could make the Wolf one actually grow a spine and be a wolf again in that wild place like before while we Cultivate (And our human disciples could go to them in case any other Divine Beast appear and maybe they could try to reclute them a la Avengers Iniciative)

2) After we hear Ping story and maybe either Huan or Monu get to connect the dots, we could seek out that other MC and try to stop him/recruit him and rehabilitate them into our sect.
>>
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>when you know how tribulations can go
Hope Our Grandfather uses the mild version!

>>5481642
Switching to this. We have supercharged our knowledge and are highly protected by good karma. A good scene indeed.
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>>5481983
We still have that date with the unborn dragons in the wilds. Especially the one who successfully managed to flirt with the MC the balls on that guy. Not to mention the need to recruit other creatures who gained awareness in the wilds too.
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>>5482882
Am I missing something? When did the unborn dragon flirt with Huan?
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>>5482882
What >>5482902 it wasn't flirting, it was just a compliment the dragon made

A dragon that, as you said it's unborn and a soon-to-be Child, plus the dragon was only saying on how fluffy Huan was
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>>5481444
>Waste no time Finding a suitable place to undergo the trial to attain a human form! You have a wealth of insight of human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization! You are sure to succeed and be the first Beast to take on Human form in ten generations!
>Stop by the Buddhist temple, to escort Yongzheng back home and give the monks their your blessing, gifts and thanks.
Now that we're done with this arc, we really need to whip our beast students into shape (beside Best Owl, he's doing great). Make Huli regrown his spine instead of being a dumb dog, get Chuandapo to be much more proactive about anything that isn't eating and sleeping, and getting Yujijiao either a body so she can finally start her training.
>>
It's tallying time

Votes
12

>Human form - 12
N5ZI5oM6
PES0n0nD
unb/TmBZ
ZCZTEBFt
SpxoLFBF
oyqS2U6h
dP8tYiUf
Yviz7gkE
dJlLexm2
ELBUArPQ
NyKA6ZKm
fIUtWYDY

>Three brothers - 4 (5?)
N5ZI5oM6
PES0n0nD
unb/TmBZ (?)
ELBUArPQ
NyKA6ZKm

>Return home - 0 (1?)
N5ZI5oM6 (?)

>Budhists temple- 7
oyqS2U6h
SpxoLFBF
Yviz7gkE
dJlLexm2
NyKA6ZKm
unb/TmBZ
fIUtWYDY

My ? on returning home is because of the conditional of how long it would take.
The ? on checking up on the brothers is because anon changed his vote from >>5481604 to >>5482064 , I want to be sure if he wants to abandon the idea to check on the brothers to get human form at the temple, since I don't think they are really incompatible.
>>
>>5483088
We were walling on the Ogress to buy time for our kits and the Dian brothers to vacate weren't we?

Like yeah, we should probably give a pill or something to Gang to make sure his heart problem doesn't become critical and restore some quality of life, if we are able.
That shouldn't really take a dedicated effort though, given we're getting them anyway, and it should require minimal effort on our part to help them.
>>
>>5483088
I suppose if they're not exclusive then both. Maybe the Dian's get priority because they're closer to us and not a longer travel like the temple.
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result. Sorry for the wait. Had to get Christmas shopping done and needed to catch up on my sleep when it was finished,.

>>5483088
Oh, thanks very much for doing the tallying for me, junior! Certainly saves time that would be better spent chasing jade beauties...I mean meditating on the Dao of questing, of course.

So You'll waste no time finding a suitable place to face the final trial in the way of attaining a human form, sure you'll succeed with the wealth of insights you've gained
AFTER
you stop by the lonely Buddhist temple in the old woods, escorting Yongzheng home and blessing the dingy monastery with the supreme blessing of your gratitude. (and it will be among the choices of location for the trial)

Have quite a few cutaways planned (including one involving the Three Dian Brothers...), so the update should be a fairly long one.

And it shall arrive shortly, sorry again for the two day wait. Shouldn't be a wait for the next one .

>>5481792
It most certainly is, hm, hm.

>>5481888
>>5481907
>>5481912
My sides have suffered grievous internal injuries after reading this, I'm coughing up blood as I laugh! Hilarious.

>>5482064
>when you know how tribulations can go
:)

>>>5481508
> I wonder if we could have made her actually cry if we had made an offhand remark like "Oh, we we're trying to kill each other?" and completely brush off her feelings.

That'd have been fun to write.
>>
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Well since the moment of truth is upon us, I got this other Huanliuxue image that I'd like to share that I received a week back.
This one is closer to my original concept, even if the human form and how some of the beast forms aren't quite what I was looking for.
Either way, I think things came out pretty nice and I hope you all enjoy it, even if Huanliuxue ends up looking nothing like this.
>>
>>5485115
BRUH a comission?

this is wild. Though we don't have a description I've pictured Huan as a midface cat and the arching feral figure in the center looks perfect. The robe design of blood splotches is phenomenal, and the two sect crests are well placed. I will say, the oldest looking form kinda scares me dunno why. Being less outwardly fluffy than second, and perhaps the expression making them look like a squished Balinese on the verge of tipping shit off a desk and loving it.
>>
>>5485115
That looks incredible, and is like the previous commission you made, as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns and is jade like in its beauty ! And once more made me suck in a breath of cold the moment I put it in my eyes, and once more I am over the moon and very humbled and grateful to see new art commissioned, especially of such high quality.

I really like, well everything about it and I adore the style overall, but getting to specifics, lets start from the bottom and move our way up.

I like how the robes human Huan wears flow all the way down to the bottom of the picture and their almost peach like color really is gorgeous and eye catching, and I really like how the colors shift between hues and gradients, the blood stains on the sleeves and hem make it more unique and striking, and I enjoy how the designs on the collar has taken inspiration from the Sect symbol, and how the left one is only partially seen and moves with the cloth realistically.

Pre-awakening/ Kitten Huan/ Little Notched Ear, is just plain adorable, and the bottomless sadness in her eyes and pitifull rends my heart in two, the blood splatter is a nice touch. And looks like a normal cat, which the black eyes also help sell, showing their intelligence hasn't awakened yet

The two depictions of Demonic Beast Huan that we all know and love, I really like the color of red used for and the way her fur was drawn, looks fluffy and untamed


The lower of the two, the exposed fangs look sharp and fierce, and I like how wide open the eyes are, so the designs of her eyes can be more easily seen. The black lips and nose are also nice touches and help contrast the red of her fur, as does the tongue . The pose she's striking, while I can't decide if she's just stretching and yawning, or hissing at an unseen aggressor, threat or annoyance, I enjoy for how dynamic it looks

The higher one, I really like the devious expression, cat like smile and squinting eyes, the more hand like paw and claws really makes her look more otherworldly/ monstrous. Otherworldly, that's really the feeling I get from the whole picture. It has an ethereal, dream like quality to it, which is really fitting I think

Now onto Human Huan. Her cold expression is striking, piercing even, and her long, flowing, unkempt hair is beautiful, especially topped by her two cat ears. The details of bangs and strands of hair really make it seem more realistic. Like the subtle details on her neck, shoulders, lips and nose, the bags under her eyes, the eye lashes...all marvelous. And this one lets us see her eyes fully, still cat like and shining, and they're just enchanting. The cat paws, again, make it clear she is a cat "Demon"/ "monster" rather than just a girl with cat ears. Her posture/ pose, is also still very cat like.

I like the different interpretation of the notch on her ear, and the fact all of her forms share the same eyebrows, which happen by sheer coincidence to be my favorite style.
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>>5485185
Also really like the barely visible background. Which look like paper lanterns or doors to me, and one just barely has a shadowy figure visible inside of it, and it really adds a spooky/ ghost story vibe to it all, which is really fitting for our heretic princess!

Anways! Back to writing the update. Just wanted to let my appreciation and gratitude known, as well as how much I love the art!

Thanks a billion, junior.
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Alright. Update is finally finished and its the largest in the quest thus far. I got a bit carried away and gave all of my energy to write i.

16 posts, 7963 words and a total of 43726 characters. Its massive. So here's a bit of music to listen to while I post it.

https://youtu.be/yvFgNP9iqd4

https://youtu.be/8H5TvPQOn74

https://youtu.be/xclh_676KwE
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Even the greatest of history's poets could not describe the sheer bliss of comfort and pleasure your spirit felt upon being reunited with the flesh it had been born into, after so long being separated from it and forced to inhabit lesser vessels and the most meager of dwellings. Except of course for Yuyi's body, it might've been rude and shameful for a teacher to posses the student, but her flesh and bones were quiet pleasing to settle into and control, though that might've had to do with your soul transforming and distorting her body to suit itself which uh, you hoped she had forgiven you for already?

'Certainly it couldn't be seen as anything but an improvement, to be blessed with even a fraction of a feline's beauty and grace' you thought smugly as you lifted your heavy head, finding your mouth dry and limbs weary. So you decided to take a long stretch and a longer yawn as you sat up on the cart Fu and Qiang had dragged your empty body onto when you had first left to possess lovely Yuyi. The sudden motion and sound cause Fu to jump up from where he had been taking a standing nap against a tree he had stuck both of his namesake and famous axes into the sides of. He blinked, staring at you, and you blinked staring back.

"Master" He said courteously, throwing an arm dramatically across his chest as he used the other to lift the tail of his robes from the ground as he bowed deeply a reverently.

"Oh, she's back? I thought she might've gotten lost chasing some flight of whimsy" Qiang said, sitting up from next to you on the cart, having apparently been using your fur to warm herself "Seems I lost our bet, eh brother?"

"You were betting on what your teacher was up to" You asked, trying to mask your amusement and seem stern and ready to discipline them, but you don't think the ruse worked.

"Yep, my loss" Qiang pouted cutely, as she flicked a string of a hundred copper cash at Fu, who snatched them out of the air and began counting them

"And for so little!" You gasped, gently smacking your paw on Qiang's head, as she frowned and bowed forward

"We didn't bring any Taels of silver with us, or spirit stones. Otherwise we'd have betted fortunes of each" Fu says with a broad grin, eyes twinkling under the bandages he wears "It is not that we don't think you weren't worth much, you see, we just, well, were broke"

"Fu has to keep replacing his axes, and I maintaining my sword is pricey, need high quality materials to keep the edge as sharp as I like" Qiang mutters tiredly "And even though we get a generous allowance, well..."

"I have a village to bankroll, and Qiang keeps making pour bets" Fu chuckles "Lei took most of her salary this season"

"He wears a mask! and you were the one who invited me to play dice with a man who never takes of said mask" Qiang said, with an uncharacteristic amount of emotion and anger

Fu chuckled

"He spends a lot in the markets in town" He said with a proudly cattish and devious smile
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>>5485428

"You villain" Qiang grumbled, pouting and looking miserable

And that was when you noticed Yuyi was also in the cart, looking skittish as she held what you recognized as Ghost Empress Melody, wrapped in one of the fine silk dresses the emperor had gifted you. That wasn't surprising. Despite how strong the presence of your spiritual essence made her, Yuyi was still a mouse by nature. And certainly seeing she didn't forget your most prized treasure in her flight from the palace and former? capital brought a smile to your face. You however, were not expecting some of the snarling tiger mask wearing guards given to Yuyi and Yongzheng to be also there, still wearing their pink and black uniform and armor and seeming rather unsurprised that they were guarding an Ox Sized Cat Monster. Their boss, Mao Weixiao, was nowhere to be seen. You starred at them, hard and suspiciously, standing as Qiang cling to the fur on your back and Yuyi looks sheepishly away. These hardened soldiers, looked away, trying to avoid your gaze and inspection, and some even began to tremble out of fear, as sweat beaded on their brows.

"Sir Mao fled out of the capital too swiftly to bring all of his servants with him" Yuyi explained, lifting her head to look in your eyes as she stood between you and men "And left all of the maids of the palace to fend for themselves"

"Besides, Divine Beast Huanliuxue! We were saved from terrible death by the intervention of some divine spirit!" One of the men shouted, eyes wide with terror as his hand shook even as he saluted "And your disciple told us it was only just for us to pledge our service to you, after being abandoned by our master and saved from the ogre that sent him running by the providence of the heavens"

Qiang looked away, smirking as you turned back to her, as she was still laying atop your back.

"I've tried to tell them that wasn't divine intervention, Lady Huanliuxue" Fu fumed as your smiled and glanced back at the men, who shrieked and by instinct stood at attention "But they're so panicked and terrified, they won't listen to reason"

"And..and they helped us get out of the palace, so they're trustworthy and owed a debt!" Yuyi huffed, puffing out her cheeks and crossing her arms boldly

"I did most of the work" Qiang said bluntly, eyes closed

"And the Dian brother's reputation as heroes certainly did more" Yongzheng said, as you suddenly noticed him admiring you from the back of the cart, a very unmonk-like thing to do, and with his arms stuffed in the sleeves of his robe "Since we helped them out of the palace, and the mob outside was...very pleased to meet them, and let us uh former guests slink away, and thus prevented Lady Qiang from wetting her blade further"

"Or me from having to knock some sense into empty heads of idiots dumb enough to try and harm one of your beloved students" Fu said proudly as Qiang rolled off of you and stood up to stretch
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>>5485430

"I wouldn't have killed them anyways, monk boy" She said emotionlessly "Swore an oath only to cut down the wicked with this blade of mine"

"Well, seems you had more of an exciting night than I did" You giggled as you padded off of the cart and gave the former Mao guards a scar by pacing around them, having smelled a familiar perfume around the front of the cart, and as you guessed, spotted Yuyi's maids hiding underneath it, along with a few other maids and ladies of the court, and one of the cooks.

Your reassuring smile only made them cling closer together, and Yuyi knocked you between the ears after clambering over the cart

"Stop scaring them!" She scolded, showing the small fangs she was growing. And while you were offended, you could only laugh at her new boldness, as her cheeks flushed cherry red and she immediately clapped her hands together and prostrated herself, begging forgiveness with more haste than falling lightning

"I was only glad to see they were alright" You cackled, your witch like cackling making the guards and servants look ready to wet themselves with terror. Yongzheng just rolled his eyes and walked up to you.

"So, this is the true, beautiful, majestic, peerless and regal form you've told me of" He said coyly, smirking as he stood by your side "Surely, you are deserving of the title you flaunted as ruler of all house-cats, for surely you are the most magnificent of all lap warmers"

"Testing your luck and my tolerance, eh, assistant?" You sneered, as Fu stomped angrily up to Yongzheng

"What did you call my master?" He snorted threateningly

"Oh I meant no offense, I just figured she deserved a taste of teasing, considering her habits" Yongzheng said in response, bowing his head

"You meant offense" You say dully as Fu did his best to look brutish and towering, which was easy, as he was built like an iron wall

"I did, but of a friendly kind, in all truth, you are a beautiful creature, divine in form" He said hastily as your first disciple look down at him and flexed his knuckles "But, you are also the greatest of all house cats"

"You certainly are a brave man, Monk Yongzheng" Fu laughed

"Brother Fu would've taken your head if you weren't a relation of our lady" Qiang said, and you weren't sure if she was joking, it was hard to tell because of how she talked and how dull her expressions tend to be|

"Surely the heroic two axe fu and one step killer wouldn't harm a virtuous monk such as I" Yongzheng said, wagging a warning finger "though I am humbled to be called brave by two of this lands greatest wandering heroes, the fact you call herself Huanliuxue's students, only goes to show how deeply wrong and misinformed my first impressions were of her"

"Just like brother Ping!' Fu and Qiang shouted together, smiling as the pressure in the air instantly disappointed, but not before their combined killing intent made most of the guards Yuyi had accidentally won herself faint
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>>5485431

"Well, I will surely tell others that even a demonic beast can possess a buddha's nature, though without revealing your virtuous lady to a world that abhors her for simply being born. Huanliuxue I" Yongzheng said, slowly losing his composure and dignity as he spoke, as his voice wavered and cracked and he began to sound like he was going to cry "I truly enjoyed the time I spent as your assistant, even if we got off on the wrong foot and I met you with distrust, The days we spent together, were some of the brightest in my life. I wish you well, and I hope we may meet again"

Then he began to swiftly walk away

"Eh? Where are you going? I was just about to say that I want to say flattery will get you nowhere, but that'd be a lie" You say, hopping after him, making him jump as he is still not used to you being in your true form "And then after playing a little longer, offer to escort you back to where you belong"

"There is no need, besides, you'll scare the petitioners and pilgrims" He said after he finished being stun and staring at you in awe

"We'll escort you anyways" Fu said with a brotherly smile "To pay you back for being so kind to our lady, and helping her heal the sick and weak, it's only fair"

"Besides, you might be cut down on the road, if anyone remembers you served the emperor, if even for a night" Qiang said, appearing at his side "And isn't it fortunate, that she, in her generosity and beneficence, chose to extend the bright days of your life, by still traveling with you"

"Yes! It'd be foolish to refuse a demand given by a divine beast!" One of Mao's former men yells, and you smack him to the ground, knocking him out and shutting him up with an annoyed huff. Who did he think he was to speak beside your disciples like that!?

"And it'll give me a chance to know you, Sir Yongzheng" Yuyi said kindly as Yongzheng closed his eyes and tried to hide his smile

"Fine, I shall indulge your ridiculous desires once more, Lady Huanliuxue" He said, relenting and accepting your offer to escort him back home "if only so you will not haunt our temple any longer"

"You're nearly as bad a liar as sister Qiang is an actor" Fu taunted, pinching the older monk's cheek to tease him

"You're nothing like the stories two axe, Lady Qiang is, however, just as described" He mumbled. And you could not help but giggle at how Fu responded.

"Oh it's fun seeing people get along" You giggled with Yuyi as Yongzheng fled from Fu's retribution of the slander he spoke, while Qiang lazily plodded after them

"Nyes it is!" Yuyi laughed louder, and paused. You laughed uproariously, as her face became stricken with dread from just meowing once. And so you you joined the chase for a moment, being pursued by your old robe, who was demanding a way to undo the changes to her body
_
[Elsewhere, in mountain retreat of the Guardians of the Celestial Sunlight Sect, in the private chambers of its grandmaster, Ling Yongzheng]
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>>5485433

"The earthbound emperor has been killed. The mortal avatar of the nine heavens, their blessed son, the holder of their mandate and carrier of its command, and intermediary of the will of the gods, was murdered in his own palace" The grandmaster of the sect said, as if the news bored him, as a outer disciple blessed with his favor brushed his long hair, as he lounged on his throne, fire and fury in his otherwise calm eyes "While you were present, and you admit to letting one you suspect to be guilty of conspiring against him past, you must be aware how this will tarnish our reputation"

"No one in the world cared for him, I might be praised even by our enemies for turning a blind eye" The heir of the bloodline joked, bringing a smirk to the otherwise stern face of the sect head, while drawing furious glares from the jade ogre masked elders gathered around the two of them

"Unfortunately, I will have to agree with my brutish grand-daughter" The crimson masked elder sighed, as he drifted to her sighed as she knelt on the ground "For all of her brutish and rebellious behavior in the past, and beastial actions towards our own. She is not wrong"

"I had no love for him, but until the gods themselves retracted their approval, it was common sense to save his life'" Ling Yongzheng growled "it was a very foolish thing to do"

"They only said they wanted to make sure he died" Yaonan shrugged her shoulders, smiling even though it tore the magical stitches the healers that had been sent to tend to her wounds had put to close the ghastly tear in her cheeks "Honestlt, who under the heavens wouldn't want to watch that show"

"If word gets out that one of our sect members, and one of our clan sat by and watched as the emperor, no matter how unpopular he was, was butchered in his own throne room, they'll be able to paint us as the scoundrels and villains they accuse us of being" He spat, pinching his forehead as he slunk back in his throne

"They have already proven to be able to speak the most outrageous slander and lies, even after murdering five of our disciples" The black mask elder grumbled, shaking his head "Such as accusing us of murder ourselves, and starting this war between immortal sages"

"They will soon be unable to speak at all" Yongzheng stated, making the five masked elders wince, as none of them agreed with his decision to immediately declare total war against the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect, and thus all the Cultivation sects in the vast Chuan region, who immediately rose to defend their neighbor "But still, this...misstep of yours, was not a complete folly, cousin of mine"

"Yes, the young master is right" Crimson mask muttered nervously "After all, by allowing them to pass you by, no matter what part they played in the death of the emperor"
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>>5485434

"After all" The scarlet mask elder cried out, flicking her sleeve "The Dian assassins possessed power far beyond mortal men, by the reports and stories that have spread after that night, it is likely they received assistance if not outright patronage from a Cultivator, perhaps not a fellow daoist but"

"Tch" The ogress clicked her tongue

"Perhaps not a fellow daoist? You heard the state those men were in as they walked from the palace! Only one unbeloved by the heavens would give out such poisoned gifts!" The jeering purple masked elder shouted, interrupting his peer

"Poisoned but potent, those pills would've been valuable even to us cultivators " The sullen white mask remarked

"Only able to be made by one well informed of alchemy, knowledgeable in pill making, and possessing rare materials and spirit grasses" The yellow and green masked elders spoke together "Certainly no dabbler"

"And certainly unlike any common pills of the type" The blue masked elder whispered as he stood beside Ling Yongzheng "otherwise our enemies across the border would've had much more success battling against us, at least at lower levels, were they to possess such drugs"

"And of such quantity to be able to hand them out to any thug, thugs now hailed as heroes across the empire" The grey masked chuckled "Certainly, the medicines we produce could easily"

Grey mask fell to the ground, as the incensed crimson mask, tired to the continued interruption, struck him with the back of his hand. The other junior elders immediately shut up

"As! the Young master! and I! were saying!' He bellowed angrily as Yaonan grinned, and flicked her tongue across her lips "Yaonan! by allowing the mysterious observer to pass by, whether or not they played any role or gave the Dian Brothers Three the pills that allowed them to nearly wipe out the remains of the imperial army! Discovered something of much greater value than the loss of face we've suffered because of it!"

"Yes" Ling Yongzheng said with a crooked smile "In fact, I'd even say it'd make up for the patrol you loss on your last mission"

Yaonan's grin grew wider yet, she remembered that mission! She was able to let loose and use her true techniques, not the unfitting garbage of the eight laws her sect had forced on her. Oh, sure, all of her underlings died, she was pretty sure, certainly that explosion of spiritual energy wiped out her enemies, but it was a fun outing, much better than the boring orders she had been given

"For, it revealed the existence of a skillfull and cunning heretic, presumably using the Chuan region as their lair. Perhaps assisting or even manipulating the fools of the Winter Blossoming wisdom sect from the shadows, or leading the cult that assaulted the palace at the same time as the emperor's assassination" The grandmaster spoke cheerfully "An assassination, that I might add, may finally bring peace to the mortal realms and end the Chuan "aggression""
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>>5485435

Even the sect head couldn't hide his incredulity at the term, which the mortal branch of the Ling bloodline parroted and cried for everyone to hear, when war began in the mortal realm because one of their scions, Ling Meng, decided to play general and break ten generations of peace even before the coalition against Tiantunri had formed, and began burning villages and claiming territory.

All of the Lings in the room, almost in sync, bobbed their heads as they thought nearly the exact same thing

'and was then devoured by a demonic beast that vanished from the face of the earth'

"We can only hope it will, before more lives are lost. Already this generations has lost countless talents and prodigies, and that is only because of our petty squabble with the Chuan region sects, as it is often said, the heavens and world of cultivation reflect the mortal realm" The crimson masked elder cheerfully explained, even though everyone in the room understood that philosophy

"We can only hope that remains" Ling Yongzheng said plainly, as he relaxed "See to it Cousin Yaonan is rewarded for this information, and for chasing off the heretic from the grounds of the palace, and the slaughtering of the cult, with whatever she desires"

Yaonan's eyes glittered like stars

"Except for a fight to the death with her fellow inner disciples, or the establishment of a lethal tournament" He immediatly added

And the ogress pouted and stormed out of the room childishly. Luckily for her, she thought, there was a day coming where she'd have a chance to break from this sect of righteous fools, and take at least a couple heads with her as she left.
_
[Elsewhere, on one of many battlefields in Ling territory]
"Lord Chuān Jianjun! Dread news from the new capital! The traitorous lord Bao and his conspirators have succeeded and slain the emperor!' A messenger cried out, dressed in the colors of one of the lesser families of nobility. The patriarch of the Chuan struggled to place a name to them. Guo? Hao? Cao? Shao? He was certain it had ao, in it, now that he thought for a moment on it.

"I! The last son of the Mao family and thus its lord by right, Mao Weixiao!" the man cried out, reading from the letter in his hands, the writing of which from what little Jianjun was well written, except for the parts concerning the name of whom it was addressing which were scrawled and drawn with fresher ink than the rest of its less "Thus demand you uphold the oath of subservience and the honor of your ancient house and family, to do as your forebearers did, whom swore their lines in service to the imperial family, to thus aid me in securing the last of his line from the clutches of the villainous Lord Bao, whom has stolen the wife so generously gifted to the late lord Tiantunri, along with the heir in her womb and"
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>>5485437

"Have this fool executed" Chuan Jianjun said coldly "And do not reply to the emperor's toady, we have no loyalty to the family who sat by and watched our fair lands be despoiled by would be conquerors. The Chuan and their vassals shall stand on their own, under the protection of the Happy Bloodshed, We shall not rejoin or swear ourselves to a fallen dynasty, nor to any imbecil who thinks the empire can be unified yet again"

"B..but my lord, I am just a messenger!" the messenger cried out as he was dragged from Jianjun's tent

"And it is good fortune to have a sacrifice prepared before battle!" Jianjun, a superstitious man, well learned and obsessed with the occult proclaimed to his rather less enthusiastic generals, one of whom excused themselves to be sick upon hearing their lord's plan to hold yet another human sacrifice, and one that had no connection to the Ling family, as all the others had been, at that

"Please! Anything but that!" The man cried out

As Jianjun had planned, for he was also an adept manipulator and a master at pulling the strings of men's hearts. After all, those sacrifice had kept his furious army from pillaging and raping the country side they moved through, and thus kept the populace still residing from it from conspiring against its occupiers for ill and monsterous treatment. And Jianjun, despite leading his army, did not wish to join battle personally and so had taken to using body doubles to keep his head attached to his neck, while also keeping the glory he had won as an avenging hero!

"Perhaps we can arrange for a deal" He said with a devious almost fox like grin "For your pleas have reached my noble heart"

A cat leapt onto the table, and the messenger, also a superstitious man, felt as though he had just been spared by the intervention of a local spirit.

He would go on to die in battle to several arrows, and Jianjun's legend and the support from both nobility and peasantry to his cause and name would only grow as he once again "rose from the dead"...but that is a story for another day.
_
[Elsewhere, in the Lands ruled by the Bao, in the courtyard of the Bao family's palace]

Lord Bao stood, his grim exterior shattered as he fretted and worried like any other carrying husband, his dark demeanor waning despite the shadows under his eyes and his shifty, villain's eyes. He was dressed in his finest, perfumed and surrounded by the brother of his wife, who was weeping into his sleeve, as his mother hugged him tightly and Bao's own brother grinned so brightly it could rival the sun itself. Word had reached them about the fall of the false imperial family as he marched his demesne, bolstering its defenses and training his army after the humiliation of his killing of the False emperor's body double and so immediatly returned home to welcome his wife and her saviors back home.

Cont

half way point
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>>5485441

From what he had heard, a charismatic young soldier, his two brothers and their men had broken off from his army not long after the burning of the imperial house, and they had snuck into the new heartlands of the false dynasty. And though they had been reduced to a meager three men, the soldier and their brothers, they had been spared by the rumored Saintess of the Ancient Tree Forest Monastery ( 古树森林梵刹, Gǔshùsēnlínfànchà) and treated, and then met a mysterious swordsman on the road, who vanished after giving them Heavenly Medicines, that allowed them to overpower the army the dog emperor still possessed and take his head! Why all of the singers, dancers, puppeteers and theaters across the land were telling their story, and it had been but a few days since they killed the emperor! The Three Dian brothers were famous! And Lord Bao hadn't even known their name until now! He had brought his three most beautiful daughters to meet them, and hoped he could joined his family to such heroic men. But, as the party approached his palace, he began hearing worrying rumors, as the details of their story became known.

Rumors that one, two or even all of them sucumbed to their wounds, or the miraculous medicines that had been given to them. And Bao's daughters had been so excited to meet the men who had saved their mother from that wretched son of a bitch who despoiled her, her elderly aunt and three of their younger sisters! And see the rotting head of that fat bastard.

'I had a feast and everything planned! it'd spoil the wedding plans if we had to hold a funeral for their prospective husbands and certainly make bitter sweet this victory of mine' Lord Bao thought, as he tapped his foot impatiently, as he waited for the party escorting the heroes and his wife back home to arrive.

"You know, I don't know why we're all waiting out here, it'll still take them a few weeks to arrive here" His eldest daughter sighed as she fanned herself "Do you intend to make us wait all that time in this summer heat?"

"Autumn will arrive soonish!" His second eldest happily replied "Besides, it is the pious thing to do! Mother has endured such abuse, to endure so minor an unpleasantness as this is the least we can do to show our respect to her"

"Filial Piety, huh" The eldest gloomily asked "Surely, we can go back to our rooms sometime before they arrive"

"Oh quit your whining" The third eldest hissed "Father only makes us step out in the courtyard for an hour a day"

"I hope he's pretty, if he's alive" The eldest huffed, as she turned and walked away

Lord Bao did not care for how she was acting, but he was far more concerned over the fate of the Three Dian Brothers...
_
[Elsewhere, in a roadside inn without a name]
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>>5485446

"Elder brother!" Dian Bo and Bao cried out, as they lay by the bedside of their beloved older brother, who hovered between life and death. He had become a shadow of his former self, weak, pale and thin, his cheeks sunken in and his skin dried. Even his youthful black hair had began to grey, and he could barely muster the strength to stand. He coughed up blood frequently, and needed to be carried and hand fed. His heat had become weak, and the strain on his body had left him susceptible to disease, like the fever that was now ravishing him.

He looked weakly up to his brothers, panting as even that expended what little energy he had left and strained him terribly. He could feel his life slipping away, it had taken all of his willpower to hang on as long as he did, and the palace doctors who had chosen to follow them from the palace could do nothing to cure him of the death he had invited by taking the strongest of the spirit drugs given to him by that red haired beauty they had met on the road.

"Tell...father, we saved two women, whom the world would be a much darker place without. Lady Bao, and Lady Yuyi. I regret I could not see the fair doctor again, or present to lord Bao the head of the false dragon personally" He gasped, feeling his heart tense up again "I do not have much time, and soon will take my final breath! Bury me here if you must, make haste back to our lord! His wife must return safely"

"Big brother" Bo and Bao wailed, pulling at their hair and clothes in grief, before yelping and stopping their show of early mourning as they nearly tore open the stitches on their wounds, and carefully opened up their bandages to see if their injuries had reopened.

"Fools" Gang laughed weakly "Fools you may be, but I am...it was a great blessing that I was born your elder brother, I feel great sorrow and sadness, that I shall not see you take wives and grow into the fine men I know you shall become with time. But, I feel no regret, for the choice I made, only shame that I could not uphold the promises we made and the oath we swore."

"But brother, your name is known" Bo yelled out, tears blinding him

"But brother, we've saved the day" Bao cried louder between sobs. Gang smiled

'I meant the promise we made as children, you oafs, not the one we made as young men and in service to Lord Bao' He thought to himself as his vision faded and he felt his soul leaving on his final, rattling breath 'That we'd own a farm ourselves one day, and raise our sons to be as close as we were...oh you idiots, I am going to miss you two ***'

And so Dian Gang, the hero of the people and slayer of the dog that took the place of the imperial dragon. Or he had.

"No, No, that won't do at all" A strange old man said to him, wagging his finger as he rose up in the sky, grabbing and hold of him and pushing him back in his body that had been a corpse for all of two seconds.
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>>5485449

His two brothers, fell to the ground as the old man fell through the roof, surrounded by a myriad of lights that made up the colors of the rainbow, an aura beyond divine and heavenly. Already on their knees, they watched in awe as this old man, surrounded by a halo of Five Colors, pulled a small white pill hued pink and roiling with miniature clouds, from his robe.

His bald head caught the light of the sun, and his long white beard coiled around him lifted up like fog as he pressed the flat of his hand on their brother's still chest

"I hate sad endings, and your lifespan still has plenty left to live. Foolish boy! Don't go racing off to heaven just because you had a few too many magical pills" He lectured the corpse, shaking his head "Still, can't blame the young girl who gifted them to you, she did give you a choice. And you chose the fool's path. But I've heard enough tales of honorable and heroic men giving their lives away for just causes. They always make me cry you see, and I've shed too many tears, as have you fine young men"

Bo and Bao blinked as the old man who was clearly a god looked to them with pride in his eyes and mirth in his smile.

"But truly, for the doctors of the imperial family to be unable to treat a simple medicinal overdoes...even if these were spirit medicines, they should have that simple knowledge at least! How far have the mortal realms and world of cultivation split apart, for men of such learning and station to be unable to treat such a malady" The old god huffed and puffed "Now, open up your jaw, and let me revive you, stop being stubborn and speaking about having no regrets, you clearly do! Has chivalry become so maddening it now mandates dying to be vital in a hero's journey? The world has gone mad these last few generations"

There was a great flash of blinding white light

Dian gang sat bolt upright, eyes bright and pallor healthy and full of life, nude as the day he was born, and covered in ash and ember

"What" He gasped as the old god smiled and patted his head like he was a little boy

"Big brother!" Bo and Bao wailed, as they threw themselves atop of him |

"Heaven's Defying Total Body Regeneration Phoenix Pill, Divine Quality, I have hundreds of them" The old god explained kindly, cupping his fists and bowing "Miraculous is it not? I was in the neighborhood and having heard your story a few towns back, I decided to follow you and see how your story ended"

"What" Dian Gang said, pressing his hand between his breast and feeling his heart beat, strong and steady, as his brother cried and cried

"Oh! you must be asking why I'm here, since the gods of this day and age seem rather shy. Didn't even come down when I hurled insults at their shrines and idols" He laughed, a deep, booming laugh from his belly
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>>5485450

"That, or they're too ashamed to face me, their grandfather, for all the ill they have allowed to be done under their rule. Well, you see, I was delivering a letter, since two youngsters I've been keeping an eye on were wondering of their elder sisters...oh well it doesn't concern you. That pill should've healed all the damage you inflected on yourself, and lengthened your lifespan. Perhaps long enough for you to see the world set right. Anyways, I've remember this inn having the best meat-buns for ten thousand leagues in any direction" he rambled on and on.

The old god frowned, as if he was wondering why the Dian brothers were still gawking at him

"Has the quality dropped in the last couple of thousand years?" He asked forlornly, as if the quality of the meat bun was of greater concern than the miracle he had just performed "I had told the family running this inn to keep the recipe, in-case I visited them again. Well, I'll have to chew out the current owner then...Or do you want me to buy you some meat buns to celebrate your brothers miraculous recovery and that your tale won't be remembered as a sad one in the generations to come"

He was given no answer, as two of the three brothers Dian were crying their hearts out, and the third and eldest couldn't lift his jaw off the floor to speak as the old god combed his fingers through his long, mutton fat beard. Being given no answer, the god off the mountain shrugged, and walked out of the room and down the stairs, only to meet with a crowd of mourners

"Oh, enough crying!' he shouted, smacking the nearest on the backside "He's alive, go see for yourself! You! Make me some meat buns! and don't cry in the dough or filling! I'll whip you if they're too salty!"

And so, the old god sat down at a table, and pulled a bottle of centuries old wine from his robe, before smiling to the men already sat at the table, and offering them a pour

"Do not waste a drop, even if this mourning turns to a celebration, this is the last of the same vintage as that worthless drunkard of a goddess spilled over these lands, and she'd come down to deliver divine retribution on your heads if she caught a whiff of it!" He said happily as Lady bao ran up the stairs, and promptly fainted at the sight of the "Ghost" of Dian Gang

And so the Tale of the Three Brother's Dian, was prevented from being remembered as a tragedy and gained a comedic character near the end of it. But that is a story for another day.
_
[Elsewhere, in Fu's village]

"They certainly respect cats in this region, don't they, eh Rejungui." Qinxin commented, as he walked beside his now sworn brother, both of them still tightly bound by the bandages they had been given by the fox spirit
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>>5485451

"This town even more than others, don't think I've seen a single building without a cat drawn or painted on it. And we've passed by, what, three or so performers telling the story of how Ling Meng was devoured? I quiet enjoyed the second, must've taken days to build that tiger suit...and a fortune to purchase all the ink" He idly continued, as he bit into an egg tart he had bought

"I'm glad to see you in high spirits, despite our failure to subjugate the organ thief" Ping muttered, eyes scanning the rooftops, knowing that Huanliuxue and his fellow disciples would be...at best, suspicious of his new comrade. After all, Huanliuxue despised the Ling, and Qinxin had been a member of the sect headed by that clan until he forsook his allegiance to them in favor of the bond forged between him and Ping. and some of his juniors in the sect could be just as volatile as their teacher. He hoped to be able to speak in favor of Qinxin, but he also knew how quickly cultivators could notice and react to intruders in their territory.

Luckily! It wasn't Fu, Siwang, Huili, Monu or Huanliuxue themself whom he met in the village, whom he considered the most likely to attack without asking questions, especially Huanliuxue the moment she spotted the color of the robes his companion wore, or Fu, who had come to share many of their master's grudges as his own.

Instead, it was Feiqing, stuffing his face at a noddle shop. Whom nearly choked as he spotted Ping and Rushed to embrace him

"Brother Ping!" He cried out as Qinxin sheathed his blade, having expected a fight, and not without reason. Being on guard was good survival instinct for a newly inducted heretic, after all.

"Brother Feiqing! I had hoped I'd return before you, seems I've lost our little contest after all" Ping laughed happily as he returned his sworn brother's show of affection "How is Lei, have they treated his...malady?"

"You look terrible! What has happened to you! I nearly thought you were Fu at a glance" Feiqing fretted as Qinxin looked around suspiciously "And now, but he has had luck in dice for once"

'He must've played against Qiang or Hong then, both of them have terrible luck in dice' Ping wondered idly as his companion inspected his brother closely

"Make sense for a demon as hideous as this to be allowed to walk freely in a town like this, that celebrates a demonic beast so openly as its guardian spirit" Qinxin said "To think such a den of heathens could exist beneath the heavens. Impressive that you could tame such a beast into being your brother, Rejungui"

Feiqing hung his head in a defeated fashion

"You're mistaken, Feiqing is as human as they come, he's just cursed with a hideous, ape like countenance" Ping quietly explained quietly
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>>5485455

"Oh! My sincerest apologies brother! I did not mean to insult my fellow Daoist, my tongue wagged without thinking! I just assumed since Rejungui is a heretic, he'd have made acquaintances and brothers out of the oddest of sorts, so I concluded that no mother could birth a child like you without demonic influence and...I am making this first impression of me so much worse" Qinxin awkwardly said, bowing deeply as Feiqing's look of pain only grew deeper

"Yes, yes you are" Ping sighed heavily "Let us hope Feiqing will make it easier to present you to my master"

"Why does everyone always think I'm a monster" Feiqing said weakly, eyes filled with tears "And...why is he calling you by a different name Ping?"

"He knows my name, but prefers the one I gave to him" Ping proudly stated

"Well, he should learn to bite his tongue about demonic beast this and demonic beast that, Granny Monu will...well she won't like it" Feiqing sniffled, wiping his tears from his eyes "And I expect a better apology than "You're so ugly I thought your mother fornicated with a devil" before I'll give my recommendation to him! I have some pride you know!"

"Oh, is the sect head not present?" Ping asked, as he entered the noodle-shop with teary eyed Feiqing and the Pentient Qinxin
_
[Meanwhile, at the humble Buddhist temple, currently Graced once again by your presence]

"Eh, I do not know why you think you needed to thank us just for showing good hospitality and manners to you, Lady Yuyu" Old Shoushan said, smiling as you joined him in the gardens to watch the carp, him to meditate and you resisting the urge to drool "or that you escaped from that villain's attentions unharmed, must've been your karma that struck him down, for looking at you with those lusty eyes of his...or all his bad deeds come home to roost"

"Something like that, Master Shoushan" Yongzheng said politely as you smirked knowingly at him

"Seems you too are getting along even better than before" Shoushan said happily "When you first met, It seemed almost like Brother Yongzheng was terrified of the harmless you, for some reason, Yuyi. It is almost as much of a shock as that, to learn you have such famous friends, as Two Axe Fu and The Lethal Draw Qiang"

"I've lived an eventful life, even amongst traveling healers" You excuse away as Yongzheng frowns, shooting you a glance at being forced to stomach such a blatant lie.

"I suppose you must have, with your skills, talent and knowledge" the old monk said, turning his blind eyes to you and smiling in a curious manner, reminding you that he knows as well as his student that he's speaking to Huanliuxue rather than Yuyi "Though I wonder if you're more of a man for your time spent in our esteemed guests company"

"Mrow?" You gasp, after a moment of the innuendo hanging in the air, and feeling your cheeks brighten as Yongzheng nearly shatters his cup in his hand
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>>5485457

"Master! I'd never dream of breaking my vows! Let alone with a girl as sassy and discourteous as her!" Yongzheng defends himself, but you take further offense to the words he used to describe you, so you trip him into the carp pond

"What was that noise" Shoushan says, barely keeping from laughing uproariously at the two of you but managing to maintain his composure and good manners

"Yongzheng fell in the pond" You lie with a smile, and a yelp as Yongzheng, seeking vengence, grabs hold of your wrist and drags you into the waters as well

"Oh, seems he's having some trouble, I don't know if he can swim. Let me fetch one of the other monks to help fish him out" Shoushan blathers, rising unsteadily to his feet "Oh, and i must thank you again for the generous donation you made upon this second visit to our humble temple! We may be able to fully restore the monastery and its grounds with it! We are truly in your debt"

"I'll claw your eyes out!' you hiss, furious at being wet, as Yongzheng tries to throw mud in your face

"Though I do not quiet know why you thought it necessary to include such strange red fur charms in the offerings as well" Shoushan wonders outloud, speaking of the blessings you snuck into the temple, as the true gift for the kindness and acceptance the humble Buddhist monks who lived here.

One of whom you were now trying to drown in a pond.

"Master Shoushan! She's trying to drown me! Help!" Yongzheng gasps, lifting his head above the water, before you force it back down with your heel

"Eh? What's that? I couldn't hear you there my boy!" Shoushan shouted back, faking being death.

Eventually though, he remembered to fetch his fellow monks, and you and Yongzheng were saved from drowning, after you forced the monk to apologize for calling you discourteous and sassy.

But, having brought him back home, shown your gratitude to the monks of the temple and apologized to Yongzheng for your "Attempt" on his life, which was just you playing with him, but he cried out like a kitten being bit a bit too hard, the spoil sport, you were ready to leave.

And at last, undergo the trial no other magical beast had taken in at least ten generations and attain your own human form, against the will of the nine heavens, the gods that dwelled within and the whole wide world of cultivation. You have a wealth of insights human nature, wisdom, thought and civilization and know what it means to be, feel and think like a human, and how little they are separated from beasts like yourself, even accounting for their society and rules. And you are certain you'll succeed, being the prodigy that you are.

There is just on obstacle in your way.

Deciding a location for this heaven shaking, momentous even that shall surely be remembered as a turning point in history and be the source of inspiration and awe for generations of Beastly Cultivators to come.
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>>5485459

Where do you decided to ascend to human form, Huanliuxue? Difficulty same across the board, and will be revealed next update

>Well, this temple is as good of a place as any! You won't have to travel at all and you'll be able to undergo the trial right now by this carp pond!

>Your own underground retreat should be suitable. Besides, it would only be right to honor the first generation of your disciples and your own mother by having them be present for this historical occasion

>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.

>Hmm, the heavens will probably take offense to you stepping up onto two legs. Better be careful and do it under the protection of the old god on the mountain. Besides, the geges want you to visit, so you will!

>Do it in hell. As Empress of all ghosts, its only fitting the dead get to bask in your magnificence. Besides you want to sell off the emperor's soul as quickly as possible!

>Somewhere else [Write in]

And that's all of them. I'm exhausted. Hope you enjoy this heavens' defying update.
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>>5485461
>Hmm, the heavens will probably take offense to you stepping up onto two legs. Better be careful and do it under the protection of the old god on the mountain. Besides, the geges want you to visit, so you will!
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>>5485115
This is amazing.

>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.
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>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.

Damn, once it was brought up as a location it seemed obvious to me to do it there.

Wonderful update, grandfather, I was on the verge of feeling pangs of guilt over Dian Gang's death, before his miraculous recovery.
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>>5485461
>Your own retreat

All in the name of efficacy. Once we are there, we can order our throne built by Feiquing, we can address Ping's new friend, get Ling fixed, ect ect.

Once we're done, I want to get underway with our breakthrough then see to the Gege's
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>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.

oh this is poetic. And the first thing we do with our human hands is build a humble shrine for the children. It'll be nice and intimate.
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>>5485441
Rest in Piss Cat smile, Toady of a failed dragon.

I wonder, if in the afterlife he is willing to gift this diligent allegiance to us that he might be worth something.
He's incredibly dedicated and rather resourceful in courts and politics, so he'd be quite the boon. The only issue is. . the matter of his loyalty to the dead emperor, and if that supercedes our own.
But hey, if we never reveal that we hold the bastards soul in our posession, he should have no conflict.
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>>5485106
It's no problem grandfather.
>>5485115
Baby Huan reminds me of the crying cat meme
>>5485430
>"Sir Mao fled out of the capital too swiftly to bring all of his servants with him"
Worthless just like the master he served
>>5485437
Yonan is definitely too much trouble to ever try to poach. Besides all the crimes that she already committed already, of course.
>>5485441
Jianjun is cunning man. Perhaps we could make an appearance to him one day.
>>5485446
Lord Bao thinks himself as a villain for what he done, but is actually a good person deep down. Kind like Huan acted before coming to think about it. I think he would welcome the court of the wild and it's new philosophy.
>>5485451
Old five colour emperor continues to be based without compare. Even saved the brothers after we chose to eat the grudges instead of healing them.
>>5485457
Poor Feiqing, maybe somewhere along his cultivation path he will be able to reforge his appearance so people will stop insulting him.
>>5485459
I love these buddhists.
>>5485565
The one that died was one of Mao's messengers, no the man himself.
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>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.
And this for my vote.
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>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Were better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.
Where it all began, we shall be born anew
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>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.
>>
I'm not sure how capable the divining knowledge of the current sects or other forces is, but I've gained the apprehension that the Emperor's truly unique soul may be traceable due to its remnant divinity. As for whomst who would, idk. If as a paperweight for us/gift for Siwan it manages to attract attention, it may be individuals we'd want to finesse.

>>5485441
>under the protection of the Happy Bloodshed
seeing our name be used by bigger mortals in this way rings my soul with REPUTATION
Honestly thought Mao would be smarter than trying to weasel his way into his current enemies inner circle, or at least not with vapid ill-fitting proclamations, but then again he did stay with Long Tiantunri. Sending letters out to see who would support a failed dynasty, what a sorry soul.

>>5485451
ultrabased grandfather

>>5485433
>>5485459
the sheer warmth of these interactions fills me with the utmost mirth. if anybody hurts my Fu or assistant Yongzheng who shares a name with the Ling sect head I'll kill everyone here and then kill their ghosts.

>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.
Superb update. I think this is the first time in months we've had so many characters able to bounce off each other.
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>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.

Sweet update. I’m not sure if this has been answered, but why do the Winter Blossoming and the Sunlight Sects blame each other for the dead disciples? With the large tournament announcing who would be sent out to the kill Huanliuxue shouldn’t they have just assumed that the disciples failed to kill her?
>>
Can we take a moment to appreciate that we embarked on a pleasure journey to study human nature and ended up assassinating the emperor? Monu will laugh her ass off when she hears this!
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>>5485804
You say that like "assassinating emperors" isn't a core part of the human nature.
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>>5485806
It is what unites commoners, soldiers merchants, nobles and even emperors themselves.
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>>5485450
>local grandpa unfathomably based

>>5485461
>>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.
Look at us, kiddos. Wish we could show your eyes and not just your memory. Poor children.

>>5485657
All Feiqing needs to do is literally mold his face out of bronze to be a handsome squidward. Become one with the metal.

>>5485744
I'm going to err on the side of caution and imagine that while Mao is desperate in seeking his allies he's also deliberate. He's certainly got more cunning than most of his peers. But this Jian guy is giving me some serious Cao-Cao vibes.
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>>5485835
>giving me some serious Cao-Cao vibes
What do you mean?
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>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.
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>>5485461
>Well, this temple is as good of a place as any! You won't have to travel at all and you'll be able to undergo the trial right now by this carp pond!
Voting against the grain. Part of why I suggested this location was to further unite Buddhists and (our) Taoists. Happy Bloodshed achieving a human form in the temple of Buddhists ought to be a big deal for them, especially with how big a deal we apparently are with Chuan.

The general basically went “I see you share the enemy of my enemy, but fuck you I have a cat and they’re better than whatever army you can offer” which is some serious shit. We’re going to be an empress sooner rather than later at this rate.
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>>5485461
>The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.

Monu-mental update!
Truly happy for how things turning out that i don't mind (too much) the ogress getting away with it and presents too
(Spoiled brat)

Asking the kind god for help would be smart, but doing things ourselves is how cats roll.

On the other side having our animal students present may give them a leg up on their own...

Doing it in the crypts feels boring, we passed too much time there already

And transforming in hell reeks of the kind of pride that karma and the heavens really like to punish judiciously.

All in all having a little me time, return to huan's roots and transforming where we started our journey feels right
Dunno if it's worse to be emotional during tribulations but a little bit of extra resolve may be the deciding factor here.


Besides i want to see the interactions when they see our human form and huan smugly bask in the praise.

Shame on the monk who lasted through no nut november, yuyi should step up her game now that she's got feline charms.
Granted the dude actually resisted giving huan belly rubs..
Truly a buddha amongst men.

Ps.
Poor Quixing is gonna get dunked by Fu into the latrine so hard his piss yellow robes may turn brown.
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Ending the vote and tallying the result now that I've recharged from writing the MEGA update, which I am very glad you all enjoyed.

Hmm, the heavens will probably take offense to you stepping up onto two legs. Better be careful and do it under the protection of the old god on the mountain. Besides, the geges want you to visit, so you will!:1

The village of your birth. Where better than where you ascended from base beastdom in magical beastdom and intelligence. Besides, you need to visit the graves of the children, anyways.:11

Your own underground retreat should be suitable. Besides, it would only be right to honor the first generation of your disciples and your own mother by having them be present for this historical occasion:1

Well, this temple is as good of a place as any! You won't have to travel at all and you'll be able to undergo the trial right now by this carp pond!: 1

So you'll choose the village of your birth/ awakening to serve as the site for the trial, and the place where you will surely defy the wills of the heavens.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Since the decision does not only concern the surrounding landscape and natural levels of ambient Qi and native spiritual energies, but also that surely the location you choose as the site as the place you'll do what no other beast has done in living or recorded memory, and attain human form, grasping that which the rest of the world of cultivation and the "moral, law-abiding" cultivators use the lack as an excuse to hunt and butcher your people like common livestock and wild, stupid beasts. Certainly, a monument will be placed, a statue of some sort, to memorize your great accomplishment and the historical even soon to transpire there.

'Surely' You think merrily, tapping a claw on the boards of the cart, that Fu and the guards are pulling, while Yuyi sits near your haunches and Qiang sits crouched on the front of the cart, hand hovering just above her sheathed blade, hidden by the long, hooded cloak she is wearing.

'And that is what makes this choice so difficult!' you whine in the otherwise blissful white field of your thoughts, dragging your claws through the wood, peeling and cutting through it 'if it was just a matter of choosing the best location, I could just sneak back into the the Five colors and Five purities (五彩和与五純度, Wǔcǎihéyǔwǔchúndù) and take a swim in that marvelous spring of theirs and slip out again, leaving them none the wiser they were visited by royalty, but having history forgetting the site of this momentous, heaven and earth inverting occurrence is something I simply cannot tolerate! Nor is letting it become a tourist trap in the hands of another Sect! It'd ruin the mystique. The quality and quantity of Qi in the air, soil, stones and water, do not matter as much as the importance of the place'

You frown, clawing the wood of the cart in thought as your thoughts echo around inside your head, bouncing back and forth, but one word in particular remains clear and resonating

'Importance' you ponder 'Attaining human form requires one to grasp unintuitive concepts and thoughts, and find themselves possessing strange ideas and virtues. To a beast who has not yet become civilized and learned to think beyond their instincts, who has yet to step beyond the lot of beastdom they were born into, Importance of location is access to water, food, shelter and mates. For intelligent creatures, the definition of importance changes and shifts from such base necessities to a more incorporeal, emotional meaning. Like the importance men place on the past, or particularly shiny jewels and metals'

Sighing, you bow your head, running through all the things you hold in your heart as being particularly important to you or your three views and personal beliefs. Friends, family, mother, students...home. Home. In your mind's eye, your underground temple appears alongside the now long abandoned fishing village on the border between Ling and Chuan lands.
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>>5487389

"Home" You say reverently, as illusionary life returns to the village in your memories, along with a stinging, bittersweet sense of nostalgia.

"It would be fitting, and certainly make for a good story to tell the future generations of magical and demonic beasts" You muse out loud, only loud enough for yourself to hear, though you know Yuyi, Qiang and Fu can hear it as well, due to their sharpened senses gained either through cultivation and self refinement or their partially feline nature "It seems obvious, now that I reflect upon the question, that that would be the answer. The place where my journey began, where I was blessed born twice. Where the world turned from simple black and white , to myriad rainbow of colors, emotions and thoughts"

"Hmm?" Qiang questioned wordlessly, as Yuyi turned to face you, Fu did not turn around but lifted up his head to hear your idle ponderings a bit more clearly

"Where the first grudge to afflict my heart and pollute my thoughts, enriched my mind and elevated my soul, and from the little white kitten with a notched ear who felt the emotions of enmity and hate, Huanliuxue was born amongst smoke, fire, blood and corpses" You continue on, standing from the back of the cart and instinctively turning to face the direction of your birthplace and awakening "Where I opened my eyes and truly saw the world for the first time. My roots. My origin, my beginning. How truly poetic. for it is not only the place where I was born and awoke to the world and all its complexities and its injustices and cruelties, but also"

You found you were smiling now, grinning as much as you possibly could as your memory of your hometown was replaced with Monu when she was a withered old hag, before her revitalization and healing.

"Where I met my mother, and began my cultivation. The first step of my journey towards vengeance and my journey towards immortality" You whisper, as the still air of the woods begins to move in a subtle way, the gentle breeze brushing across your cheeks and running down the side of your back, a pleasing coolness as if the world itself has sighed in relief the moment you made your choice "Where it all began, I shall be born for a third time, a second transformation even more radical and extreme than my first, when I became a demonic beast. Why it might be enough to overturn both heaven and earth, with just the first step I take after, Heh-Heh-Heh"

You hop from the back of the cart

"Fu! Take Yuyi and her new loyal servants back to her home, give the guards lodging somewhere in your village. Qiang, go with Fu, and tell Monu I shall return to our temple shortly and that my journey of seeking understanding and reflection, is over!" You command, with a voice that once more stills the wind and quiets the forest
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>>5487390

"Granny won't like that" Fu said, dutifully, as he lifted up the yoke of the cart with both his hands, lifting up with it the men who were helping him pull it, who began to kick and struggle in the air as he lowered his shoulders and got into a running stance "You know how much how she worries about you, her beloved daughter. She'll probably drop what she's doing to seek you out, the moment she hears of your plans to face this tribulation of fate alone"

"Tch, it'll be fine!" You declare boastfully as you walk in the direction of your first home and the only world you knew as a dumb kitten "Remind her I'm a one of a kind prodigy and wild princess, and won't make any sort of deadly mistake without her guidance. Sooth her worries with that truth, as I go and spit in the eyes of the gods!"

"What is Lady Huanliuxue leaving to do?" One of the guards still hanging onto the yoke asks

"Something that hasn't been done since the moon began chasing the sun" Qiang said poetically, as she balance on the lifted front of the cart "You should all be honored, for you are witnessing history in the making. Be grateful she has awarded you thusly! Oh if only the rest of our sect were here to witness it. Or that Yongzheng fellow"

"Certainly is a moment to remember and celebrate" Fu bellowed as he adjusted his grip on the wooden yoke "Miss Yuyi, are you and your maids secure? Wouldn't want any of you falling off"

"And this big oaf not noticing for a couple of miles" Qiang joked bluntly, rubbing her knuckles on Fu's scalp

"Hey, I'm not brother Hong! I can be careful and delicate when I want to be" Fu snorted \

"I can hold onto them, I think?" Yuyi squeaked, as she was still sitting at the back of the cart, gripping both of its walls, with the rest of her servants against her back "I really didn't realize how strong I had become! Though this isn't exactly comfortable, Sir Fu"

"I'll help" Qiang stated, slipping back down the cart "Fu runs like a boar, he won't stop until he hits something or runs out of breath"

"Wait, can we get on the back of the cart to?" The same guard as early yelped as Fu began to run at a full sprint away from you

"I wish you good fortune and success, Master! We'll prepare a celebration for your return, I'm sure Ju will be delighted to begin planning it" He shouted back, as you could very clearly hear Yuyi crying out in distress as the cart bounced and charged down the rough forest road

"Impressive, she kept her grip" You giggled to yourself, as you caught a single glimpse of her wide, panicked eyes as she and the cart itself vanished into the underbrush, along with all of its passengers and Cargo.

"Besides, I couldn't choose anywhere else, I've been meaning to visit their graves for sometime" you say to yourself, sadly, as tears filled your eyes. You blinked them away and stalwartly began your journey back home.
Cont
>>
>>5487391

You turned your gaze towards the star filled sky and paused mid-step, as, with a head filled with a memories of blurry, smiling faces and the innocent laughter of children and the warmth of their affections and chests, you felt obligated to speak to their long departed spirits

"Look at me now, kiddos. How magnificent and powerful little notched ear has become" You say somberly as more tears filled your eyes and wetted the fur of your face "I only wish you could've seen me as I am now with your own eyes, not as memories. Perhaps, in your new lives, we shall meet again. I hope we shall. Now I must go, and pay my respects at the graves I made for you, my beloved lost caretakers and companions"

And with that said, to the night sky and quiet breeze, you continued your journey in absolute silence, mind focused as sharp as a razor on your goal and the trial you most overcome, and entirely empty of anything else. There was no worry or doubt, just a serene sense of confidence radiating powerfully within your heart. You would succeed, even if the gods themselves intervened to make you fail.

You find the the ruins of the village of your birth, remarkably well cared for. There was a newly built Daoist temple nearby, a few miles down the road from it, but you choose not the investigate or visit it. The once dirt path leading to your home, has been set with stone, and is free of fallen leaves or tracks of mud. The air is rich with the scent of wet soil, burning oil and incense smoke. Frowning, you walk past the outskirts of the empty village, and find the houses and buildings that had once been burned have been cleared away, leaving not even their frames and husks behind. The whole of the village itself, except the rivers edge, has been fenced off, with red painted stones. In the center, a large, bronze bell hung and you could see the prints of hundreds of feet and knees in the dirt. It seemed the monks were preparing to make the grounds a place of worship, a temple in its own right.

You weren't sure how to feel about that. But you ignored the changes and the erasing of the once familiar landscape of huts, hovels and cottages, and the fresh graves that had been dug to hold the sun-bleached bones that had had covered the village streets for years. Your heart beat faster, as you approached the holy site at the end of the village, praying despite your views, desperately hoping the nine graves there have not been touched or removed.

And the sigh of relief you give, when you see the field of beautiful, colorful flowers around the humble grave markers you made when you became Huanliuxue. But, that is not what makes you cry, your falling tears shimmering like distant stars. The rocks stacked and piled over their little bodies, have been maintained and kept exactly as you left, each one surrounded by a boundary of rope, which itself was wrapped with paper prayers and little silver bells that jingled melodically in the breeze.
Cont
>>
The monks had taken care to ensure the graves would remain, untouched and unchanged. They were even still wrapped in the prayer beads they had been before, with new talismans holding them around the stacked and piled stones. And you could even see that new gifts and offerings had been left, just as when you had come here to tell them of your slaying of Ling Meng and avenging of their deaths.

You feel foolish, having ever feared they'd be gone. After all, they had been made into shrine well before the monks moved in just a bit further along the road. But the shrine itself, the wooden statue of yourself, had been replaced. It was now made of stone, striking a fierce protective pose in front of the nine graves, one paw raised with claws outstretched, and the other pressed down on a sheathed sword. In its jaws, sat a stone skull, with the Ling family name carved into its brow, cracked where its fangs pierced through it. To your displeasure, there were more offerings to you than the children, and you walked past the burnt out incense sticks at the pedestal of your shrine, to inspect each of the nine graves closely, feeling a quiet reverence as you approached and bowed your head solemnly to the first of them

"May your new life be filled with noting but joy, Pinwheel girl" You whisper, as the pinwheel stuck in between the stones over her body began to spin "And many yours be blessed with bottomeless fortune, Wart nose"

Smiling, you walked to the next two graves, forcing a smile onto your face even though you wanted to do nothing more than weep.

"May you have lots to eat and never know hunger, fat one" You say, struggling to remain dignified and respectful as you knelt before the two graves "And may you know only love and affection, too clingy"

Sniffling, holding your head high, you crawled to the next two graves, pouting despite your attempts to remain composed and reserved

"M..may you grow into the brave man you would've been, Little soldier" You sniffled, but did not cry "And May you see the seas and sail across them, Swimmer"

Tears soaked into your crimson fur, as your morosely moved onto the next graves in the line

"May you become a famous and adored artist, Toymaker" You wept, crying outload for anyone to hear, without shame or care for your image "and May you become a famed and cherish singer, Terrible singer"

Bowing your head, you moved to the last grave, that of ear puller

"And know I forgave you long ago for your tugging of my ears and tail, Ear puller, may you be blessed and loved" You say sweetly, feeling a great weight lifting from your heart as you bow your head, and pray as best as a cat can in front of each of the nine graves

And then you sit, in the dark shadow cast by your statue, amongst the flowers and amongst the graves. You already knew their ghosts would not be hear to meet you again, you knew it when you visited them after killing Ling Meng. Little soldier scarf dances in the air, bleached by sun and time.
Cont
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>>5487393

Your heart aches, and again wilts, Tears drip and fall down your face. You do not yowl, or cry out in pain, only cry in silence, shuddering as each tear falls.

But joy and warmth returns to you, like the sun rising upon the horizon to end the night. Pinwheel girl to wished to meet you again in her next life, you recall. Which means it is certain to happen! But that still does not fill the emptiness in your heart, and though you know the graves are empty of anything but bones, you turn to them and one by one, bow your head in front of them, stating "I miss you terribly" to each of the nine graves, before raising your head to the sky, as the sun does rise, painting the horizon with reds, oranges yellows and brilliant golds.

The skies above, colored warmly by dawns light, feel terribly cold and cruel, colder than any grave, crueler than any blade. Gods and immortals who watched these good, innocent children be slaughtered like dogs are past those beautiful skies.

"I shall defy you" You state plainly, not boasting or speaking from empty pride as you climb up atop the statue in your shrine "I must defy you! So children can laugh, so children can cry! So no one else must endure the pain you forced upon me by your apathy and arrogance! I will cast down the unjust laws and break the wicked rules you have made! I will make things right! I must make things right! It is my duty as heir to the legacy of all primordial beasts, my duty as a ruler of the wilderness and graves. Call me heretic, call me monster, NAME ME A DEMON! But am I not more righteous than any of you twats who sit in silence as men beg for salvation and women cry for mercy?! You fuckers in heaven! You proud gods! I! Huanliuxue! Young Princess of ghosts and beasts, defender of the young and pure, DEFY YOU NOW AND FOREVER!"

The sky darkens. Lightning flashes. Thunder Roars.

It begins
DEFY THE WILL OF THE NINE HEAVENS AND THE RULE OF THE CELESTIAL COURT
https://youtu.be/bMfvZmhqW0A
Unaltered DC: 200
Wealth of insights 1 -20 to DC
Wealth of insights 2 -20 to DC
Strong Foundations - 20 to DC
Internal Yin and Yang Balance (Ghostly Qi +Blood Qi spiritual roots) - 20 to DC
Good Karma Actions x 8. - 8 to DC
Total modifier -88 to DC
Final DC 112
Roll 1d100. Best out of three. Partial or Full +180 bonus may be applied. Higher result beyond= Better outcome+ Bonuses
>>
Rolled 34 + 40 (1d100 + 40)

>>5487394
I'm gonna wager 40. Should the amount we use be a vote? We'll certainly have time to debate it. If nothing else I'd like to pass at the very least.

But it's fine I'll get a hundo right now and bypass all the worries.
>>
Rolled 27 + 80 (1d100 + 80)

>>5487394
I'll go with 80. Let's show those heavens who they've made with their arrogance!
>>
>>5487403
I think the dice are in a mood tonight. Very inauspicious.
>>
>>5487411
Indeed, I'm hoping our next dice roll uses a higher amount of our bonus. I was considering even using the whole 180, but who knows what boons our transformation will have.
Though if it isn't used here then something may happen that could make it much more difficult to use in the future...
Either way, let's hope for a favorable result here.
>>
Rolled 44 + 120 (1d100 + 120)

>>5487394
You made me, a grown-ass man, weep. Good job

Wagering 120 to defy the will of the dice!
>>
>>5487421
Man, the dice just were not having it here. Does the will of the heavens reach even this far?
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>>5487398

>Should the amount we use be a vote?

yeah that was the plan.

>>5487421
With 44 (a most inauspicious roll)
The minimum bonus to achieve success would be 68


So

Bonus Vote

>Minimum for success (68), result =112, remaining bonus 112
>Half (90), Result = 134, remaining bonus 90
>Two thirds (120), result = 164, remaining bonus, 60
>Max (180), Result 224, remaining bonus 0
>Accept the failure.
>Custom

>>5487429
Apparently! The highest result is 44, very bad luck. But also fitting for Huanliuxue's cultivation law/ method/ theme in general/ interests
>>
I would imagine a failure here means we just keep some bestial traits rather than getting the perfect body we want. Maybe burn a treasure?>>5487433
Also its about time we roll bad just wish it was for something less important. This may humble us.
>>
>>5487421
And thanks!
>>
>>5487433
>>Minimum for success (68), result =112, remaining bonus 112
As much as I want to get extra goodies, saving the majority of our bonus for big dao energy is more important.

Just sucks that rolls were so low tonight. Another quest didn't even get a roll above a 30. RNGesus conspired against us all. That fiend. Unjust heavens in action.
>>
Rolled 44 (1d100)

>>5487433
>Half
Not much off from the bare minimum, leaves a big bonus for the future, and maybe gets us something extra.
Rolling to see what could have been
>>
>>5487440
Well, what happens depends by how much you failed by

>>5487447
>44 again. That's somewhat spooky
>>
>>5487433
>Two thirds (120), result = 164, remaining bonus, 60

It may be much of the bonus, but going well over the DC seems interesting here.
Besides, it's not like we can't gain more insights into the Dao, it's all-encompassing after all.
>>
>Max (180), Result 224, remaining bonus 0

This is arguably one of the most important rolls to make, with the Universe Itself trying to make it not happen. It feels important to try and smash through with all of your power anyway.
>>
>>5487433
>Half (90), Result = 134, remaining bonus 90

Anything less than stunning beauty would simply be unacceptable
>>
>>5487433
>>Custom
>86
I like round numbers.
Also, we should prepare even more before we go for the nascent soul stage, it's what makes or breaks cultivation.
With our human form tribulation being this hard, I think the heavens aren't going to pull their punches when the time comes.
>>5487440
One of the worst results of failure is to become an actual monster, losing our sapience while keeping our powers.
>>
>>5487433

I'm interested in the rewards, but. . I really just want to save for Dao. . Oh fuck it.

>Custom 88
Use 88 rather than 90. It's exceeding the DC by 20, which is an acceptable "good" roll with 2 dos.

>>5487470
>>5487480
2 over 20 over the DC doesn't really help us at all. But it could prove important in the Breakthrough, due to it having no set DC
>>
>>5487433
>116
For a round 160
>>
>>5487487
But that doesn't get us to a DC benchmark.
>>
>>5487484
I knew I would make a mistake while doing the math.
>>5487433
Here's a table so I don't do it again.

68 -> the DC
78 -> 10 over DC
88 -> 20 over DC
118 -> 30 over DC
128 -> 40 over DC
138 -> 50 over DC
148 -> 60 over DC
158 -> 70 over DC
168 -> 80 over DC
178 -> 90 over DC
>>
>>5487490
Heavens dammit I fucked up again.
Never count in a rush.

68 -> the DC
78 -> 10 over DC
88 -> 20 over DC
98 -> 30 over DC
108 -> 40 over DC
118 -> 50 over DC
128 -> 60 over DC
138 -> 70 over DC
148 -> 80 over DC
158 -> 90 over DC
168 -> 100 over DC
178 -> 110 over DC
>>
>>5487490
>>5487498
my man we rolled a 44
>>
>>5487503
Anon, the DC is 112. That is the increments of how much of the bonus we have to use to go past each benchmark.
>>
>>5487489
Welp, 118 then
>>
>>5487505
Yeah ok I'm dumb. Switching to 88 then, a nice auspicious number to offset the cursed 44.
>>
>>5487507
It's ok, I'm dumb too. Otherwise I wouldn't have made two mistakes in a row.
>>5487480
Oh, and count the 86 as a 88
>>5487498
Here's a more complete table so we have access to all the information.

68 + 44 = 112 -> the DC -> 112 remaining of bonus
78 + 44 = 122 -> 10 over DC -> 102 remaining of bonus
88 + 44 = 132 -> 20 over DC -> 92 remaining of bonus
98 + 44 = 142-> 30 over DC -> 82 remaining of bonus
108 + 44 = 152-> 40 over DC -> 72 remaining of bonus
118 + 44 = 162-> 50 over DC -> 62 remaining of bonus
128 + 44 = 172-> 60 over DC -> 52 remaining of bonus
138 + 44 = 182-> 70 over DC -> 42 remaining of bonus
148 + 44 = 192-> 80 over DC -> 32 remaining of bonus
158 + 44 = 202-> 90 over DC -> 22 remaining of bonus
168 + 44 = 212-> 100 over DC -> 12 remaining of bonus
178 + 44 = 222-> 110 over DC -> 2 remaining of bonus
>>
>>5487433
> 44 + 100 = 144

Sieze the bad luck, command it, make it our own! The grudge of heaven itself will be ours!
>>
>>5487508
So for 88 we have
9E, Dj [me], and nobody else

Minimum we have
PE,

Half we have
NK, who I really hope will move to join 88 given the close proximity.

Maximum
Pc

2/3rds is
YV

118 is
M1

And 100 is
SP

So really divisive voting here, with only. . . one option with two votes. Maybe three if NK changes his mind.

If things go as we do, we will have 2 dos and 92 to spend on our breakthrough. Though I hope to Heaven that we roll better than fucking 44 next time.
>>
>>5487609
I already said here
>>5487507
that I'm switching to 88
>>
>>5487433
>Custom
88 to auspiciously defy the heavens!
>>