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Previous chapters: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20Quest
MC info Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/x5rCdZpq
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Beneath there heavens you are equaled by none and stand tall and proud without peer or rival. You are the Heaven's defying demonic beast and heiress to the primordial legacy of all magical beasts, the wild princess Huanliuxue (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed/ Happy to Shed Blood). You are also the founder and sect head of the heretical Palace of Natural Laws (宫殿的野生彝宪, Gōngdiàndīyěshēngyíxiàn) sect and the creator of the similarly apostate cultivation art, the Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law(统治者的这重大轮回法律, Tǒngzhìzhědīzhèzhòngdàlúnhuífǎlǜ). You are also the adoptive daughter of the Toad witch Monu and sister of her late daughter, the snowfox Xuebai (雪白, Snow white), who you have reason to believe yet lingers as a ghost on the mortal realms after hearing of Ping's encounter with the monster that had once been his fellow disciple in the loathsome and treacherous Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect (冬䓵智, Dōngfūzhì).

Deciding that, if the corpse thief was indeed the underling of your dead sister, that you should arrange a meeting between the wretched creature and his phantom patron, you sent your martial daughter Qiang and your ghostly serpent student Yujijiao to track down the beast of a thousand corpses and convince him and the spirit mentoring him to meet you and Monu within a certain, ice sealed cave high in the mountains.

But, you wouldn't wait, lazing around on a cushion or sitting on your hands idly for them to return with good news or the organ stealer's fox eared head as there was always work to be done and power to seek. And the quest you set out on personally, joined by your first follower, Two Axe Fu, was to develop both his nameless and self taught cultivation law and your own Ruler of the Great Wheel's law through a bit of joint training by going on a student teacher outing deep into the primordial wilderness where magical beast such as yourself roamed freely and without fear of being hunted down by daoists or gods.

The pure and undefiled wilds would be the perfect training ground for master and student both to get some practice in and refine their techniques and cultivation method against the hordes of monsters and rampaging beasts that called the beautiful nigh divine wilderness their home. But more importantly, besides being home to beasts and monsters worthy of being your prey, it was also the home where your two little sisters and fellow princesses of beastdom dwelled in familal harmony. The Geges, The Demonic Honey Bee Jiǒnghuāgége (炅花格格, Shining Flower Princess) and the Demonic Ant Tiěxīngége (铁心格格, Iron heart Princess), whom you hadn't seen in nearly four years, since you spent three or so years meditating amongst the dead and their graves.
Cont
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>>5584998

The poor things must be worried sick, since you had promised you'd visit them when you left them behind after meeting the old god on the mountain.


You tell Fu your destination and your reasons for choosing it as his household treats the both of you to dinner before you set off on your journey into the lands forsaken by man and god alike.

"Isn't that where you met Ping, Lei and Feiqing?" He asked politely, as he lounged in his chair, tipping it backwards as his little sister, Ju, played with your ears mercilessly, sitting on your back as you, in your natural form, sit across from him at the masterfully carved and decorated dinner table his servants had prepared for the evening's meal, even bringing out a long brocade of lilac cloth to service as a tablecloth before they brought out the first course of the nights' meal

"I met them not far from its borders, I'm sure they've told you of how I saved them from the sun worshipping cultists who thought their blood and ashes would end the magical blizzard some cultivator or sorcerer called down on the turf of the Winter blossoming wisdom sect" You explain, as you think of turning back to your human form just to get the little girl on your back to stop pulling your ears before remembering you'd need to redress yourself if you did. You decide Ju's playfulness was the lesser of the two humiliations

"Think our friend the organ thief had something to do with that?" Fu asked, grabbing a piece of apple coated and cooked in honey, plucking it from the boiling sugar without so much as flinching "Considering he's been doing most of his killing in that very same forest"

You tilted your head, and upon a little reflection, realized that was probably exactly right. After all, Jing...whatever was a former disciple of that sect and had been branded and outcast and crippled just as she had been, though you weren't aware of exactly what he had done to deserve such a harsh punishment before he became a corpse eating monster. Though you can't judge him for that, since you've also eaten the corpses of intelligent beings before both human and beast though you hadn't partaken of either in quiet sometime.

"Probably, he has a motive and if he truly is aided by Xuebai, he'd have the knowledge and power to summon such a storm" You mutter to yourself before your eyes widen with shock as a second, more horrible realization strikes you and you slap a paw on the table and stand up, nearly bucking poor little Ju off of your back

"Tsssh, I just remembered the Primordial Forest of the Tragic Lovers is in the territory of the winter blossoming wisdom sect" You hiss and spit as Fu nods
Cont
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>>5584999

"Indeed it is" He says calmly "But, they are a little preoccupied fighting your old enemies, the Ling, are they not? how will they know you're also their enemy? So long as you don't pick a fight, I'm sure they'd overlook the trespass of a renowned hero such as myself and a mysterious red haired beauty, even if they can sense we're cultivators. There are wolves howling at their door, after all"

"Oh, do not misunderstand, Fu!" You laugh, throwing your head back "I'm not worried they'll attack us, I'm worried I won't be able to restrain myself from killing them if they cross paths with us, for what they've done to my honored mother and venerated senior sister! I'd cut them to ribbons and break their bones if they so much as met my gaze!"

"And I'd chop them down like timber if you asked me to, they unleashed a terrible monster on the world with their cruelty" Fu calmly replied, grabbing another sweet to snack on "But we should be boasting so loudly, they might here us, even leagues away"

"Oh, I know, but I can't miss the chance to brag, Heh-Heh-Heh" You snicker, raising your paw to your snout, whiskers twitching "We'll just move quickly through their territory, no reason to stir up a hornets' nest, we'll simply fish in their troubled water and slip by unnoticed while all they're focused on fighting the Ling Clan's dogs and underlings"

"Looting their burning house" He said, with his mouthful of egg tart "Though if they pick a fight..."

"We'll just kill them" You and him say nearly in perfect unison, both grinning ear to ear

"Can I kill them to?" Ju asks, kicking her feet as she wraps her arms around your neck and sets her chin between your ears.

"Actually, we might crosspaths with Qiang and Yujijiao if we're lucky" Fu gasped sounding almost excited

"if we're lucky, neither us or they will draw any attention as we slink through our enemies territory" You say rolling your eyes

"Oh for certain" he said thoughtfully "But if we do run into them, say, if we've already been found out or suspect we're being spied upon, their assistance would prove valuable"

"If" is all you say in reply, though Fu's wise and pragmatic advise does linger in your thoughts. If you do run into trouble, it'd probably be wise to call on Qiang for help in dealing with it. How fortuitous that her mission and your journey will briefly cross paths! Though you doubt you'll need to, since you remember the exact route to the true Primordial wilderness like whiskers on your face! But, perhaps when you leave it, you'll once again be ambushed by some cocky novices who think they'll be the ones to hunt the happy bloodshed?

As you anticipated at the dinner table, your and Fu's treck through the forest of the tragic lovers in uneventful and even boring, though your disciple does try to entertain you by guessing the age of the ancient trees that make up its canopy and naming their exact species by the scent and feel of their bark and leaves alone.
Cont
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>>5585000

And you notices signs of other magical beasts, marking their territories or the location of their heroic last stands against their hunters, and you only notice more and more of these signs as you get closer and closer to the boundary.

But the landscape on the edge of the border between the forest and the basin containing the last holdouts of the old world, has changed since you last came here. Roads have been paved or uncovered, trees older than most nations have been cut down and you spiritual sense you can tell you are not alone. Like lanterns in the night, you're aware of several other cultivators nearby, marching in formation as if in patrol.

"Even trees can hold grudges" Fu growls, holding his forehead "I can hear their voices on the wind, crying out in anger"

You take in a deep breath, and then you to notice just how saturated the air is with the miasma of resentment, hanging low to the earth like a dense, clingy black fog. Motioning your student to follow you, you cloak the both of you in a cloak of darkness as you sneak further into the clear cut area.

it is not long before you see the reason all the trees have been cut down. There's a towering wall around the edge of the cliff of the basin that contains the Primordial wilderness, surrounding it as far as the eye can see. It is patchwork, and seems to have been made in a hasty scramble. A desperate barricade put up to halt and invasion, that has only now been properly connected and fortified. The vast water fall has had an iron wrought gate put into it, locking it off without stemming its flow, and the whole wall is shrouded in the spray of the mist it kicks up. The air is also no longer as humid and hot as it was when you first passed through here, which is a blessing considering there are no longer swarms of biting flies and beetles. But that does little to temper the outrage you feel at seeing a wall between the forest and the Basin, cutting it even further away from the world than before.

"The wall" Fu whispers sharply, noticing the fire in your eyes "Look at the wall! It isn't built to keep people out of the basin, it is only built to guard against what is leaving the basin! The side we're on is completely exposed and undefended"

"That's exactly what's pissed me off. They don't consider the beasts on this side of the wall to be worth their notice" You hiss under your breath "But that arrogance will be their undoing because they forgot to account for my presence on this side of the wall. What they've done her is an insult...no, and afront to the world"

"An affront that's well manned and guarded fiercely" Your bandage wrapped disciple pointed out "If we want to avoid attention, we can't start a fight or slaughter here, I have no doubt its one we'd win, of course, but It'd be troublesome to deal with the consequences afterwards, a real pain in the ass"
Cont
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>>5585003

What do you about the wall, Huanliuxue?

>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)

>Fuck the consequences! These bastards have defiled the ancient woods to cage in the last pockets of the old world unpolluted by their stench! You're killing them, here and now! (Martial Trial. DC 65)

>There's actually a way you can remove this eyesore without drawing attention to your passing. All you have to do is make the defenders go mad and kill eachother, that'll make it impossible for anyone to realize you caused it. Unleash the demonic art Blood Rain, Chaos Mist (Magic trial. DC 75. Failure means the BRCM spreads out of control)

>Decide to be diplomatic, and approach the defenders of the gate and actually ask why they built the wall before doing anything drastic, and use your jade like beauty to convince them to let you and Fu pass without being scrutinized.

>Write in
>>
>>5585004
Honestly? I'm apathetic to this act. A wall means fear, and fear means that they will keep their freaking heads down and fingers out.

>Just sneak through.

The wall is a net benefit, but we will exact our pound of flesh later.
>>
>>5585004
>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)
I'd rather we punish their arrogance in ways other than destroying their little sand castle.
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>>5585004
>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)
Builders of walls far from civilization must beware that they can be used against them... another time.

Also hey this outing would be a great opportunity to get some ingredients for that blood qi garden. One was the ancient battlefield soil iirc.
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>>5585004
>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)
The wall is good, means less people going in
>>
>>5585004
>Decide to be diplomatic, and approach the defenders of the gate and actually ask why they built the wall before doing anything drastic, and use your jade like beauty to convince them to let you and Fu pass without being scrutinized.
There are wonderful ingredients in the forest if you’re willing to brave it. We are. I can’t imagine this would be a hard sell to fellow cultivators.

If they send someone along with us, we can always kill them later if they prove hostile to beasts.
>>
>>5585004
>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)
I say that maybe when we go out we actually do something.

>>5585074
>One was the ancient battlefield soil iirc
That might be good, but It might also be a soil of corrupted Blood Qi. The one we had was pure because of time travel shenanigans, and only because we make that impossible roll for the Old God home, but we didn't go for the (possibly) intended Blood Qi source. Still, maybe it's a good idea to actually search for it and find a way to safely take it from the Ancient Forest to our sect without having problems with the wall
>>
>>5585262
I figured we could find out if it's usable when we get there, I'm more worried about disturbing a subsection claimed by a buried slumbering dragon. If not, the primordial wilds themselves closer to the Geges should work too. I suppose we'll find out if our gourd has a limit too, good thing we brought Fu for digging I mean training yep.
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>>5585004
>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)
>>
>>5585004
>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)

I get the feeling that there is a reason for this, and if not we can deal with it on our way back.
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>>5585004
>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)
>>
>>5585004
>Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness (Stealth Trial. DC 32. DC raised due to Fu's lack of experience in being sneaky)
We’ll sate nature’s grudge later
>>
Ending the vote, tallying now.

Fu is right, just sneak past the wall and into the Primordial Wilderness:9

Decide to be diplomatic, and approach the defenders of the gate and actually ask why they built the wall before doing anything drastic, and use your jade like beauty to convince them to let you and Fu pass without being scrutinized:1

Near landslide victory for simply sneaking past.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Fu is right. It'd be a real pain in the ass to punish these dogs even if you're confident you and Fu could easily humble them by beating their collective asses. Sure the beasts they've slaughtered and the trees they've cut down can't be brought back but that just means avenging them with bloodshed won't do so either. Though knowing that youngsters just stepping out into the world, naive and unaware of its multitude of dangers have been cut down and butchered makes you blood boil and seeing all the ancient trees being cut down to serve as a timber for a useless wall just makes your blood boil all the more ferociously, and the fact that a wall was build to surround the last truly wild place in the world makes you livid being words, now is not the time to fight. Its clear, now that you've taken a moment to think and calm down, that these fools think the beasts emerging and appearing from the woods have crawled out of the basin. This is troublesome for anything that wants to get out, but for now isn't this a good thing? If they've built a wall that means they're too frightened to venture into the Primordial wilderness let alone explore it beyond its borders or chart an expedition into its depths.

And that's good. Otherwise, if they were unafraid they might get bold and think they could survive in the basin and seek to stem the tide of demonic beasts directly or they might grow curious as to why the basin is so filled with Beast and so rich and dense with Qi and begin investigating the only sanctuary for Magical beasts outside of your own temple. And if they did that, then they might come across the Geges, your adorable little sisters and if they did find the two bug princesses and had any sense of ambition, cunning or greed, they'd do horrible things too terrible to consider or contemplate at length to them the least of which would be stealing away their precious divine blood honey!

So, as their elder sister, you cannot bring danger to their doorstep over a flight of pique. If anything would encourage these cowards to step into the basin, it'd be all of the defenders on the wall built around it turning up dead. That sort of thing would draw enough attention to make the big shots and arrogant young masters of the set curious and who knows what kind of monsters or dragons crouching amongst men would be hidding amongst the chaff and fodder?!

Taking all of this, the danger the Geges would be in and that some actually perilous enemies could appear if you lived up to your name and painted these insulting walls red, you decided your disciple spoke with wisdom beyond his age.

"More trouble than the satisfaction of cutting them down would be worth" You huff, lifting your chin up haughtily "We'll spare these fools for the day, follow my lead Fu and stay light on your feet. Teacher will show you how to walk like a cat"
Cont
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>>5586991
"A great honor, this student is overjoyed to be given such a gift" Fu chuckles with a toothy grin, cupping his fist before lowering himself to the ground, half crouching "You'll remain your true self for this lesson?"

"If anything it'll be less suspicious than if I don't. They expect to see beasts at the border, not radiant beauties and fairies accompanied by scarred warriors" You snicker and smirk "Though I'm confident I'll slip by unnoticed, so its not much of a concern how we'll look if we're caught"

"If I'm caught, you mean" Fu remarks, catching on quickly. You answer with a cheeky grin.

Roll 1d100. DC 32. Best out of four
>>
Rolled 47 (1d100)

>>5586992
>>
Rolled 49 (1d100)

>>5586992
Fu is actually Jeong Xina confirmed.
>>
Rolled 32 (1d100)

>>5586992
cats are literally sneak!
>>
Rolled 39 (1d100)

>>5586992
>>
I guess the wall has blood scented catnip, yikes. Close call.
>>
>>5586999
Lmao. Good success. Ten over DC
>>
And then, without anymore needless talking, you sprint forward, dropping your cloak of shadows as you clear the distance between where you and Fu stood and the wall you had been glaring at in the span of a breath, without using the Phantom Cat Step or its older brother the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step. To say you climbed the wall would be a gross understatement. You soared over it, using your Youling-Qinggong to turn less substantial and then leaping up to be carried on the cool breeze kicked up by the falling waters of the giant waterfalls the wall itself sit above. Ghost Empress Melody follows after you, chasing your tail as your curl around to watch Fu's attempt as you quite literally go over the heads of one of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Cultivators manning the wall. The simpleton scratches at his nose as an Ox sized Cat and her Guqin levitate in the air just behind him, barely shrouded by the mists of the churning, crashing water just below his feet.

The shadows you draped over Fu are failing now, and you can see he is struggling to apply your flowing feline movements to his own, clumsy and graceless human stomping. He is big for his age, with broad shoulders and back, so you're curious how a boy as strong as he is will move with the ease and quietness of a cat, if he can at all. You of course always move like yourself, whether your walking with four legs or two. Fu bows his head, takes in a deep breath, lifts his eyes and flashes a manic grin as his eyes flare with a light you can only call mischievous. Pulling his arm back of his head, he grips one of his axes by the throat of its haft and then flings it with as much ease as he were skipping stones. Frowning, you lift your head to follow the flight of the axe as the guard in front of your yawns and sweeps back his hair.

And as you track the axe through the air, you find yourself mirroring your disciple's cocky grin. He threw it at a great bell they had hung over one of the waterfall gates, to serve as an alarm in case they were attacked or over-run. Being struck by an axe would make a different sound than properly ringing it would, different enough to cause confusion across the wall without making them think they were under attack. Then, right before the axe strikes the bell, Fu sprints desperately forward, stumbling once or twice as he swings his arms up and down with so much force you'd think he was fighting back against a river's current if you didn't see he was running across an open field of dirt. A cloud of dust engulfs him as he runs as fast as his legs can carry him, bowing his head and pressing his shoulders in as he and his axe get closer and closer to their respective targets.

Trusting in his aim, he leaps into the air, using his own lightness skill to fly over the wall as his axe strikes and ricochets off the bell, creating this horridly shrill ringing note with a bone shivering reverberation that makes your teeth chatter.
Cont
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>>5587053

The guard that Fu just leapt over stumbles back, looking around frantically but never behind him as Fu's axe bounces off the edge of the wall and into his hands as he hangs on the nearest ledge, red in the face and out of breath.

"I don't know how Qiang can be so calm all the time, that was nerve wracking" He pants as you hover beside him, giggling and resting your head atop your paws as he is washed with the water of the falls.

"You've made quite the commotion up there" You tease as you hear the men stationed on the wall shouting and arguing amongst themselves, believe one of their number had decided to pull a cruel prank on the rest by pounding the bell with their fists. Fu flashes an amused smirk as he looks up at their shouting fools, before glancing down into the abyss of open air and rushing waters below

"Two miles to climb down, yes?" He asks as he begins the decent, his hands adept at pinching onto the rocks jutting outside of the cliff, even the ones worn smooth by the ever surging waterfalls.

"A miserable two miles of biting insects and hot air" You groan as you make your own way down, remembering the path you lead Ping, Feiqing and Lei down years before, hopping between rocks since just floating slowly down with your specter lightness skill would take too long and be entirely too boring to tolerate. Fu doesn't follow you, and instead just continues clambering straight down the edge, even braving moving through the waterfalls themselves. You never realized how incredible his grip strength was before now, and you find yourself gawking as you watch him descend by water slicked stones and moss covered roots, barely even being tossed around or loosened by the stone breaking force of the falling water. He makes it seem like light exercise even as he swings and throws himself from one handhold to another.

You end up taking longer to get down to the loamy soil beneath the falls, because you just can't look away from Fu's death defying feats of confidence. He trusts those hands of his more than you ever could your own! It must be because he has such strong arms! He's certain his strength won't fail him so he doesn't panic! And that means his palms never become slick with sweat! Or...or he just has trained his grip to be truly monstrous from all the stunts he can pull while swinging around those two axes of his. Its one or the other, you decide.

When you both reach the ground, you can't help but to once again admire the strange natural beauty of these ancient, untouched wilds. The Qi is as resplendently Pure, Thick and Heavy as it was when you last visited, and already you feel to have not only recovered from the climb down but are more energized than you were before you began climbing. Revitalized and brimming with excitement, you turn to Fu, to see that the boy has been struck dumb by the marvel of the primordial wilderness and the quality of spiritual energy within it.
Cont
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>>5587055

"Beautiful" Is all he can say. And he repeats it, often, until you grow tired of it and smack some sense into him with a swift strike of your paw.

What do you do and where do you go now that you and Fu have arrived at your destination, Huanliuxue?

>Visit the unborn dragon in the lake, and her siblings and show off your human form and tell them of the adventures you had since you last left.

>Make a beeline immediately for the home of the Geges, to introduce them to Fu and establish a base camp for the two of you to return to after a day of training/ fighting

>Make for the ruins of the first cities of mankind and the stubborn old ghosts that still dwell there

>Float down the river and subjugate the cannibal tribes that dwell alongside it. You're already worshipped by the more civilized clans here, so you might as well conquer the rest.

>Intrude into the tree top territory of the fabled Bird Clan

>Write in
>>
>>5587057
>Visit the unborn dragon in the lake, and her siblings and show off your human form and tell them of the adventures you had since you last left.
Let's make it know to Huan that she decided to born
>>
>>5587057
>Visit the unborn dragon in the lake, and her siblings and show off your human form and tell them of the adventures you had since you last left.
Gotta pay our respects.
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>>5587057
>Visit the unborn dragon in the lake, and her siblings and show off your human form and tell them of the adventures you had since you last left.
>>
>>5587057
>Visit the unborn dragon
>>
>>5587057
>Visit the unborn dragon in the lake, and her siblings and show off your human form and tell them of the adventures you had since you last left.
>>
>>5587057
>Visit the unborn dragon in the lake, and her siblings and show off your human form and tell them of the adventures you had since you last left.
>>
Man, this has to be our most divisive vote yet. I don't envy tally anon
>>
>>5587057
>Intrude into the tree top territory of the fabled Bird Clan
I wanted to go to the birdies last time already
>>
>>5587662
Indeed, this and the last vote have been very intimidating.
>>
>>5587662
His is the dao of the tally, even in the face of such titanic quandries shall the answer be made clear and devised so easily it is as though flipping one's hand.

Already senior brother Tally anon approaches foundation establishment, such is the ardor of the approach.
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the results

Visit the unborn dragon in the lake, and her siblings and show off your human form and tell them of the adventures you had since you last left.: 6

Intrude into the tree top territory of the fabled Bird Clan: 1

Near landslide victory for (Trying) to visit the (once) unborn dragon soul

Update will arrive shortly

>>5587786
heheheheh
>>
>>5587725
I feel ya anon, maybe we can do it on the way back
>>
Fu is laid out on the ground, ruefully rubbing the spot on his head where you smacked his senses back into him, eyes tightly shut and face contorted in pain.

"Did you need to be so forceful?" He complains, opening his eyes and sitting up with a swift lunge forward, pouting as he continues to knead the bump on his brow, glancing around to find you before quickly turning the other way once he does spot you, standing tall proud and entirely nude before the dragon lake, hands pressed onto your hips and with only your long, fluffy scarlet hair to cover you at all. And there was enough of a breeze to lift your mane up and hold it aloft like a cloth streamer or banner.

"Huanliuxue!" He barks angrily as if there's anyone around to leer at you and drool over you "At least pretend to have some shame! You nearly made me spit up blood"

"If it bothers you so much, Fu, fetch my spare clothing. I'd have thought you'd have grown accustomed to the feminine form with my mother waltzing around so proudly and Lanfen practically hanging onto you like a tick" You snicker, glancing back and teasingly swaying your hips back and forth as Fu clenches his jaw and covers his eyes with one of his numerous, now muddy, bandages "Besides! Beauty is meant to be admired is it not"

"Look at it from my perspective, a student does not want to open their eyes and see their master prancing around as naked as they day they were born" He said as he busied himself digging through your traveling supplies to find one of the robes you had bought before visiting Anjing-Yinshi, this one was various shades of red like blood slowly drying over the cloth and was patterned like it had blood spilt over it and had large, cosmetic stitching all over it, woven from sleek black hair. It reminded you of a bloody corpse pieced back together, with how uneven and unsymmetrical it was. The left side sleeve was cut off at the elbow, and the right side of the robe was shorter than the left, exposing most of your leg when you wore it. Its belt had fangs woven into it to form a crooked grin.

You thought it elegant, but you did not wait for Fu to pull it out from underneath everything else and dust it by swinging it in the air a few times before you approached the lake. Striding through the cattails and passing the mist, you waded into the crystal clear waters, a tingle going up your spine as you felt just how cold they were when you were not shielded by a dense layer of fur. It was like liquid ice, and even with the ripples and waves of your steps your reflection was as clear as if presented within a mirror.

You stop just short of going far enough to need to stand on the tips of your toes to keep your head above water, on the edge of the ink black depths of the lake but already adapted to the cold of the water and finding it more pleasant and soothing than anything else. The formless shadows converge and swarm around you, but never emerge from the water or get within arms reach of you.
Cont
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>>5588016

Like before they're content with simply watching you warily. That they approach you to begin shows they're much less cautious of you than they were before and are more curious as to why you've returned and the form you're wearing. And you're human now because you wanted to impress your little nameless bescaled sister, but you don't sense her presence amongst the shoals of formless shadow. A creeping sense of worry crawls up your back and sinks its teeth into your neck as you look around, hoping still to spot her and wondering if something had happened to her. Even though spirits lack flesh they can still be preyed upon. Even immortal souls can be devoured.

But your grim and gloomy musings are interrupted as the little dragon spirits suddenly scatter like fish from a rock, diving into the unknowable darkness of their home as the waters rise like a waterspout, a great peak forming from the morose of black and turning to white rapids. Something massive was lurking in the waters just a few yards from you, unseen and motionless until it emerged. The mass beneath the water surges forward and you find yourself thrown upwards before you can even adopt a fighting stance or try to defend yourself. Well, not so much as thrown as lifted up suddenly and harshly.

Water falls around you and you hold onto whatever has lifted you up out of the water to stay balanced and keep from falling off it. And looking down, find a pair of gigantic milky eyes studying you tiredly like a scholar reading a scroll by lamp light. Looking down, you realize what lifted you up was this great dragon's grey scaled snout. A snout which you're still astride, the long flowing catfish like whiskers brushing against your feet.

The dragon narrows it half blind eyes and lets out a booming laugh that bounces you so much you're nearly thrown off from your perch atop his head. Involuntarily, you let out a displeased snarl and dig your nails into his scales, barring your teeth. The Dragon bows its head apologetically, as you still crouch, hackles raised and fangs bared. The dragons mane is white like silk strands, tinged gold with sunlight and sparkling radiantly and indeed, even his antlers seem to be wrought of solid, polished gold.

"I had thought a poacher had come down from the walls up on the hilltop" He says meekly, clearly embarrassed by his intimidating display of power and size "For why else would a human walk so brazenly into the cradle of our young, if not to snatch them away into the night. Forgive me, forgive me. These old eyes of mine did not see the shape of your soul until it was right in front of me"

You feel yourself lowering down, as the dragon's body becomes enveloped in mist and motes of silverly spiritual energy, like moonlight plucked from the night sky.
Cont
>>
>>5588018

And moments later, you find yourself sitting in the shallows of the lake, Fu already at the shore, axes in hand and a crooked back old man holding onto your hand, twirling and fiddling with his mustache that hangs past his bear and to his knees. His earlobes are large and stretched and his head completely bald. He is ancient, beyond ancient. The oldest thing you've ever seen!

"Forgive me, Forgive me" He repeats, patting your hand like he were your own grandfather "It was most impolite and rakish of me to lift you up as I did. I was only intending to frighten you away, you see. I am well aware of my age, so the boy who reeks of hate can put down his axes, I do not intend to steal away your master. Far too old, you see, hah hah"

Fu's jaw drops with his axes

"You're a dragon!" He gasps, pointing and gawking, looking at you like you didn't see and hadn't just been bucked into the air by his nose

"What else could I be?" The old man says with a playful wink, lifting you up and patting your shoulder, smiling joyously as he looks into your eyes "And I have heard so much about you, "Elder Red Sister"! But I did not believe you to be so bold as to break one of heavens' foolish taboos. What a marvelous young girl you are, I can see why she admires and idolize you so greatly"

"She's alright" You sigh in relief as Fu stomps into the water, staring wide eyed at the old man

"You're a dragon!' He shouts, much more like an excited child than the raw disbelief of the first time he shouted it

"The eldest dragon. Weak and tired" The old dragon huffs, patting Fu on his shoulder "And you are Fu of the Two Axes, I heard you killed a disreputable demonic beast some years ago, yet your anger towards him lingers. Is letting go of past pain truly so difficult? And yes, she's alright. In fact, she is currently dreaming and waiting to be born"


"She is!" You gasp just as excitedly as Fu shouted 'You're a dragon' the second time, covering your mouth with you hands even though that won't be enough to hide away your ecstatic smile "Oh I was hoping I could show off my new self to her and tell her of all the things I've done to earn it"

"It won't be long until she hatches" He nods, stroking his beard "Well, from my perspective at least. I forget how humans track time and know beasts have little concept of it"

"He's a dragon" Fu says quietly, running a hand through his hair, revealing more of his face than he usually cares to

"I am a dragon" The dragon chuckles as you shake your head and cross your arms over your chest, forgetting just how far you have to hold them out to keep from squeezing your chest

"He is a dragon" You cackle before lifting up your chin and speaking respectfully to the old dragon "Well that's good news, I was worried she might've gotten whisked away herself and I'd have to go and crack some skulls, shame I can't meet her though. I've been wanting to talk to her again"
Cont
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>>5588020

"As protective as an elder sister and monarch should be" The old man says as he looks over the lake, ignoring Fu's gawking and your state of undress, which is actually starting to piss you off a little since usually even when you're clothed men and some women can't keep their eyes off of you. It feels somewhat insulting that he can look away so easily "And who says you couldn't? Your slaying of that gluttonous toad has made you rather popular amongst the youngest generation, they'd vouch for you and so would I. And my word would convince even the most cautious parent to let you into their nest"

An overwhelming feeling of joy bursts in your chest, warming and lightening you to the point you feel a little light headed with glee.

"I never thought I'd see a dragon" Fu says coming back to his senses without having to have them be hammered back into place

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Decide to arrange your visit properly and continue on your journey, thanking the older dragon for explaining the situation as you head to meet the Geges

>Not wanting to bother her parents, just tell the old dragon what you wanted to tell the little dragon spirit and trust him to tell your stories to her

>Put off your training and visiting the Geges for a few hours, and with Fu, Ride the eldest dragon to meet your friend's new family

>Ask the old timer if any of the cultivators atop the "Hill" have come down from it.

>Seeing that this old man knew of Fu, ask if there's any trouble making monsters nearby you can test your fangs and claws on, since you and Fu did come here looking for challenging opponents

>write in
>>
>>5588022
>Ask the old timer if any of the cultivators atop the "Hill" have come down from it.
>Seeing that this old man knew of Fu, ask if there's any trouble making monsters nearby you can test your fangs and claws on, since you and Fu did come here looking for challenging opponents
>Decide to arrange your visit properly and continue on your journey, thanking the older dragon for explaining the situation as you head to meet the Geges
He has offered to invite a cat inside a house. Logically, we must now refuse the offer as we are a cat.
>>
>>5588022
>It feels somewhat insulting that he can look away so easily
Careful with that thinking Huan, this gold crowned dragon probably courted the jade beauties of arrogant young masters as a hobby prior even to the rise of the Five Colors Celestial Emperor. Old, aloof, friendly, and karmically positive dragons aren't beyond having painted histories.
I wouldn't be surprised to learn this dragon offered the second of our greatest benefactors sagely advice.

This is a powerful chance to ask an ancient being stuff we might want to know about the past, or pry for cultivation secrets lost or forgotten, if we are truly brave. Sadly there's nothing too deep I can think of atm. Idly thought of asking for a drop of his blood, but in this situation it could come across as being rather spoiled.

>thank the older dragon for explaining the situation
>>Not wanting to bother her parents, just tell the old dragon what you wanted to tell the little dragon spirit and trust him to tell your stories to her
I think it would be best if we're both reunited in each our new forms, right? It has some fun weight to it.

>Ask the old timer if any of the cultivators atop the "Hill" have come down from it.
>Seeing that this old man knew of Fu, ask if there's any trouble making monsters nearby you can test your fangs and claws on, since you and Fu did come here looking for challenging opponents
>>
>>5588022
>Decide to arrange your visit properly and continue on your journey, thanking the older dragon for explaining the situation as you head to meet the Geges
It would be good to meet our dragon sister future parents.
>>
>>5588069
reading comprehension problem. changing
>Not wanting to bother her parents, just tell the old dragon what you wanted to tell the little dragon spirit and trust him to tell your stories to her
to
>arrange your visit properly and continue on your journey
>>
File: 1668526144281201.png (2.91 MB, 1328x2651)
2.91 MB
2.91 MB PNG
Just figured I'd mention that there's a new cultivation quest on the board, Facepunch quest, it just started. Have to do my due diligence and assist my fellow Daoists by telling you guys about it, and that Ring grandpa is on its third thread as well. Check it out if you have the time to or any interest to

>>5588069
>this gold crowned dragon probably courted the jade beauties of arrogant young masters as a hobby prior even to the rise of the Five Colors Celestial Emperor.

You should've seen him at his peak! youngster! You can only imagine the breadth and glory of his conquests
>>
>>5588022
>Put off your training and visiting the Geges for a few hours, and with Fu, Ride the eldest dragon to meet your friend's new family
>>
>>5588022
>>5588049 +1
>>
>>5588022
Supporting >>5588049
And I wonder whether we should bring the geges to meet the dragon. It would be good for her to immediately make friends.
>>
>>5588049
>Support

Offering us an inside nest? We must refuse. Especially after we ask for it!
>>
>>5588049
Support
Properly catlike as huan should be.
Besides even with the elder's approval the parents may not be so thrilled.
Who would let a cat near an egg?
At most arrange to visit before going home so it's not a surprise.
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the result now.

Ask the old timer if any of the cultivators atop the "Hill" have come down from it.:6

Seeing that this old man knew of Fu, ask if there's any trouble making monsters nearby you can test your fangs and claws on, since you and Fu did come here looking for challenging opponents:6

Decide to arrange your visit properly and continue on your journey, thanking the older dragon for explaining the situation as you head to meet the Geges:6

Put off your training and visiting the Geges for a few hours, and with Fu, Ride the eldest dragon to meet your friend's new family:1

Near landslide victory and three way tie for Asking the old timer if any cultivators have come down from their wall, asking if he knows of any strong monsters you can fight nearby, and deciding to properly arrange your meeting and thanking the dragon before continuing on your journey.

But these three actions can be easily done together, so they will be.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
>>5589126
Sorry, miscounted.

Decide to arrange your visit properly and continue on your journey, thanking the older dragon for explaining the situation as you head to meet the Geges had 7 votes not 6, so there was no three way tie. However the three actions will still be taken together
>>
But, like a shard of ice that refuses to melt before unrelenting sunlight, pragmatism and caution endure the happiness overflowing within you, and while your face burns from how merry of a smile you're wearing, beneath it all, beneath the relief and the joy that the little dragon is alright and will one day be born safely to a hopefully happy and caring mother and father, a question lingers in defiance to the cloudlike high of these potent and pure emotions.

Has any tried to steal away the unborn dragon souls before? Has anyone come down from the two mile tall cliff the dragon calls a hill? Are there enemies nearby? No good cultivators who still believe all talking beasts to be demonic in nature and cruel maneaters without a heart or consciousness, the kind of dog that you'll have to put down if you cross paths with them?

"Your thoughts have darkened into a mire of turmoil and paranoia, Elder sister red fur" The dragon chuckles, making your eyes pop open as you wonder if he just peered into and read your mind like it was written out on a scroll "Yes, yes I did youngster. And I assure you, no human cultivator has entered this basin before your student over there stepped his feet down beside the lake! They've done naught but cower on that hill, starring into the mists as if a great horned giant will suddenly rise out of them and smash them into paste! Freeloaders the lot of them! And while I may be an old man, if any of them did step down the hill and approach my charges, I'd deal with them as a"

He flashes a sudden, jovial and good humored grin, wagging a finger in the air in a way you recognize. It is the exact motion a cat like you performs when they're readying to pounce, wiggling their hindquarters to test their balance and if they'll make the lunge to their prey safely.

"A cat deals with rats" He snickers and Fu laughs at his joke, you try not to but are unable to resist as the old man's girlish tittering turns into a thunderous roar of laughter that you are certain the cultivators you're talking about and insulting can hear even two miles away.

"Well" You say, as you struggle to subdue your giggling "since you seem to know everything, everywhere and all at once. Even knowing about modern day heroes like Fu over here, Do you know if there are any strong monsters nearby for him and I to hone our claws on? We came here to train, you see"

"Oh and here I thought this visit was purely whimsical, an escape from the stresses of being a beast in a world of men" The dragon said kindly but sadly as he sat himself atop a rock "And I know of plenty. But the strong attract opponents naturally, I'm sure you'll run into a few just on your morning walk"

"That doesn't help us find them. If they're our equal or better, they'll sense my master's imperial aura of a thousand graves and if they have any brains at all in their heads, keep a wide berth between themselves and us" Fu boasts in your place, puffing out his chest and grinning cockily.
Cont
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>>5589268

"Some with brains will realize such an aura presents a conquest, a challenge to be overcome, power to be earned and taken" The dragon says as he plucks a piece of grass and begins to chew on it, resembling nothing more than an old cow "You...you're a bold one even in your thoughts, Heiress, Hahhahhah! A breath of fresh air even if you do not speak what you think, most are so cowed by the august presence of a dragon even their thoughts tremble and slink back"

"Can all dragons read minds?" Fu asks curiously, grin turning to a contemplative frown

"No, it is a art I trained when I was young" The dragon answers "It is an expression of enlightenment, you see, to behold another's ideas as if they were your own. I mostly use it to mess with youngsters these days, though it did help me survive to this venerable age I've obtained"

"I see, I see" Fu mutters, rubbing his chin and you wonder if he is thinking about spending years and years of his life to obtain the same skill, it would be quite useful in a fight

"A ruler should always be proud, or else they're not worthy to rule" You proudly boast, lifting up your chest and raising your chin as the smuggest most feline smirk ever worn on a human face appears on your lips "Weak rulers sow nothing but pain and suffering, strong rulers, willful rulers, those are the foundation upon which an enduring kingdom can be built upon"

The old dragon smiled warmly, as if he was praising you with that smile alone.

"I see, that would explain why, even if only in your thoughts, you'd call a dragon a cow and feel insulted he wasn't leering you over like a piece of meet, the pride of an emperor. I suppose its fitting for a cat to consider themselves the equal of a dragon" He says ponderously as Fu shoots you a disapproving look and you feel your cheeks warm and then burn as they turn as nearly red as your hair.

"FOR!" The old man suddenly roars, throwing back his head as he abandons his human disguise and rises up into the air "What is a cat but a tiger made small? And what is Huanliuxue if not a cat made giant, standing taller and prouder than even tigers do? When a cat stands above tigers, what does that mean for the world, hmm"

That's a question you need to meditate on, there's wisdom in those words but you can't quite grasp what they exactly mean, especially as embarrassed as you are now. Fu, thankfully, seems to have forgotten the dragon revealing your petty outrage so wantonly and is now, thankfully, pondering the dragon's question himself rather than judging his teacher for her pique. Then the dragon dives back into the lake and rest his massive head on its shore

"I suppose I should tell you where your worthy opponents mark their territory, to save you the trouble of hunting them down like so many mice" He chuckles and raises up a claw glowing with whisps of golden spiritual energy and taps it to the ground, creating a map of the region written in Golden Qi
Cont
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>>5589270

Then he lets out a great, fish scented yawn and begins to slip back into the bottomless depths of the dragon lake.
"I am certain you have the intelligence required to read this map, now, if you would allow me to take my leave and return to my slumber" He mutters tiredly

"Thank you, for explaining the situation and trusting me to tell me of the little dragon soon to be hatched" You say, cupping your fist and bowing deeply, Fu repeating the gesture right after you perform it "if I could trouble you to arrange for my visit to her family's household, so if not now, then before I return back to the wider world, I can meet her again and tell her of all my glorious deeds and great victories"

"Since you've been so polite, I shall" The dragon says earnestly "I would not deny you such a humble request, may your journey through these wilds be untroubled, except when you look for trouble of course, Hahhahah"

And with that, he was gone.

And Fu handed you the robe he fished out of your luggage, and he let out an exasperated sigh when you returned to your natural form after you pushed a stray lock of hair back into place with a swift flick of your wrist.
_
[Meanwhile, Elsewhere in the depths of the Primordial forest of the tragic lovers...]

"I already told you, I do not serve the Ling Clan nor am I a member of the Guardians of The Celestial Sunlight Sect" Qiang groaned, nearly growling from sheer exasperation as she stood, one foot a top a toppled log and hand over the hilt of her currently sheathed sword. Though she wanted to do nothing else but free it and teach the annoying brats harassing her proper manners, as it was clear to her, from her point of view as a killer, that they were trying to bully her into giving them an excuse to attack. 'Red hair was rare', she reminded herself, 'and valued, if I didn't take up the sword I'd have spent my life in a brothel'

Was that why these white and blue robed simpletons bothering her? If so they were completely lacking wit. Kidnapping and selling a cultivator would be a challenge. It could be accomplished yes, but not by these weaklings. She could sense, intuitively, that they had never ended another life.

'Oh, that's why they're doing it. This is a time of war and their elders and seniors speak proudly of the lives they ended' Qiang realized, her half lidded eyes opening just a bit more while her expression remained placid and wholly unconcerned with the gaggle of idiots who found her. Not do to any fault of her own, but because Yujijiao's presence caused a bit of a stir in the local wildlife and Qiang felt it was her duty to clean up after her junior sister's messes. She lazily glanced over to the leader of the pack of young cultivators, flashing her killing intent by just narrowing her eyes. A lethal threat.
Cont
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>>5589271

He gulped, but did not lower his dagger axe or motion for his toadies to step away. 'They want glory of their own, how banal' Qiang thought with a heavy sigh, hanging her head back and staring at the stars as she relaxed her whole body and went limp like a puppet without anyone pulling its strings

"That doesn't mean you are not allied with them! This could be a test, take the head of a winter blossoming wisdom sect disciple and be admitted to our ranks! That kind of test!" The head idiot cried out accusingly as Qiang slowly rolled and lifted her shoulders, before lifting her arms above her head and stretching. There was going to be a fight, there was no avoiding it. It would be a good idea to limber up while her enemies were so tense their assholes could bend iron. A relaxed mind and hand cut more cleanly than one trembling with rage and anticipation, that was something any assassin worthy of being called such knew.

"Yeah! Why else would you radiate such strong killing intent, You're vicious minded that even the natives of these words run in fear from you" Another one of them with a piggish nose snorted "You have to have come here with murder on your mind"

She glared at that chubby cultivator, hoping her expression would be enough to make it apparent that they had put murder in her mind when they chose to harass her and try to pick a fight with a trained killer. She didn't think it'd get through his thick skull, but didn't want to waste any more energy or breath on these fools.

Yujijiao curled around her feet, unseen but ready to strike the moment the bullies lifted so much as a finger against her elder sister. A breeze whispered through the trees, pulling on Qiang's crimson hair. She tapped her fingers on her sword's hilt. The band of glory seekers were still accusing her, shouting all sorts of fantastical accusations her way, but Qiang had tuned them out, she extend her spiritual sense and closed her eyes, tempering and pacing her breath as she waited for the inevitable start of battle.

a branch snapped, a leaf fell, a dagger axe cut through the air. She unlatched her sword's scabbard from her belt, and swung it, feinting as if she was going to unsheathe it and strike to kill.

A downward swing turned to a desperate guard, and she swung the scabbard with all her might into the idiot's stomach, using the Phantom Cat Step to increase the force behind the blow and line it up properly.

She opened her eyes, and pressed the end of her sheathed sword into the cut of the ringleader's belly, pinning him to the ground as she twisted and ground the dull point into his guts. His face reddened and his cheeks inflated as he looked up at her with defiance and discomfort.

Two were going to try and take her from behind, Qiang glared at them over her shoulder and with a flick of her thumb freed her sword from its sheath. Yujijiao shifted her coils and tripped them with a flick of her massive tail.
Cont
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>>5589272

The two tumbled to the ground and slid into the mud, their pale blue and snow white robes muddied and soiled. When they managed to pull themselves out of the mud, they immediately scrambled away from Qiang with a cry that sounded like "H...Hieeeee!"
"She...she threw them back with just a glare! What kind of monster is she!?" One of the ones who hadn't joined the fray grasped
"I've never seen a technique like that! To be able to exert such intense pressure with a mere glance, how fearsome" Another cried out
"She must've formed a sword with her mind, and struck with it. An invisible blade!" They continued raving
"She compressed the breeze into an edge, what masterful control of Qi manipulation!" Another shouted "She is no ordinary opponent

Qiang stood, frozen in place, with a single thought in her head 'What the hell are these idiots babbling about now?!'
_

"Finally out of that water logged cave!" Fu shouted, throwing his arms up as the two of you stood just out of the mouth of the same cave you used to come to the field of titanic flowers the first time you traveled through here, once more going around the jungle and avoiding what mysteries might be contained within its immense and sweltering expanse, by once more scaling the sand and bone covered white mountain with its rib like spires to travel through the tunnels lit by glowing mushrooms that were once inhabited by that loathsome toad that ate children and who was eaten by you.

"Welcome to the Land of Giants, my pupil, does it not rival the heavens themselves with its idyllic beauty and serenity?" You announce, stepping forward to allow Fu the chance to take in and properly admired all the splendor of the place, from its towering flowers, jade hued streams, bright blue cloudless sky, the chime tailed birds sitting on the silk leafed trees, the giant horned rabbits bounding and munching lazily on grasses as tall and wide as houses.

And of course, most beautiful of all, The Gege's children. The Dog sized bees bumbled here and there, gathering pollen as the iron armored ants stood in formation around the flowers they harvested from and marching along beneath them, patrolling for danger and escorting the pollen heavy bees back to their joined hives. And they also formed a grisly sight that starkly contrasted the peaceful image of the flowerfields. As bee and ant alike swarmed over the corpse giant horned rabbit, snipping and cutting away its fur and flesh into manageable chunks to be carried away with the pollen, dripping with its still steam blood and gore.

One of Tiexingege's diligent children spots you and comes marching up. Fu reaches for his axes and warily eyes the massive insect as it walks up to you, tilts its head, snaps its mandibles and taps you a few times on the brow with its antenna
Cont
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>>5589274

"What is it doing?" Fu asked through his teeth, glancing to you as you bow your head so the mindless child can more easily examine you. It skitters back, lifts up its head, and scurries away, vanishing into the grasses as it rushes to alert its mother that her elder sister has returned.

"Summoning its mother" You explain softly, a gentle smile already on your face.

What do you do while you wait for the Gege's to meet you, Huanliuxue

>Just sit down under a flower and explain their history to Fu and that it was here exactly where you told Feiqing and Lei about the true history of the world

>Visit the strange, flowering wearing tribe in your human guise, since your curiosity towards them has reignited after you've spotted an idol you're assuming they made for the Geges.

>Get some practice in fighting the Corpse eating monsters in the first graveyard alongside Fu (Martial Training. DC 75)

>The dragon that was sleeping when you last passed through here is awake, go talk with them and ask if they know the future parents of your little sister.

>Don't wait, follow the ant and waste no time introducing Fu to the Geges.

>Write in
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>>5589276
>Just sit down under a flower and explain their history to Fu and that it was here exactly where you told Feiqing and Lei about the true history of the world
>>
>>5589276
>Get some practice in fighting the Corpse eating monsters in the first graveyard alongside Fu (Martial Training. DC 75)
>Explain their history to Fu and that it was here exactly where you told Feiqing and Lei about the true history of the world

Our first disciple must be strong of both body and mind. While fighting, we will lecture him and he must respond intelligently to it.
>>
>>5589276
>>5589304 +1
>>
>>5589304
Why not
>Support
>>
>>5589304

I'll support. Very Huan to give a history lesson in heated combat.
>>
>>5589304
>>5589276
perfec, support
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>>5589304
Supporting, hopefully the DC doesn’t increase too much
>>
>>5589304
+1
>>
Having trouble falling asleep, so if I'm late with the update today or miss it, that's why. Figured I should give an early warning just in case sleep continues to elude me.

Also, a topic for discussion, Jingyu and Yaonan, which is the more monstrous?
>>
>>5589906
Jingyu. Yaonan is for the most part a battle maniac who gets off on bloodshed and violence, but Jingyu desecration of the dead and violation of what's natural for his own gain feel far more monstrous. But frankly they'll both die horrible deaths I feel, one for trying to come after our spiritual roots and the other for being a Ling.
Also hope you get some rest Gramps
>>
>>5589906
I’d say Jingyu as well. He was literally grafting pieces of others to himself and was “reborn”. There’s a decent chance he’s no longer “Jingyu”, but something else that happened to come, in part, from him.

Yaonan’s motivations are less well-known to us, but what I’ve seen so far still puts her in the category of “human” at least. Love, anger, (blood)lust. She isn’t trying to become something else, just perfecting what she already is.

This is setting aside any argument about “humanity is the real monster” stuff. Jingyu just seems less aware of any good vs. evil morals that should apply, which is the mark of a “monster” in my mind. You can’t use morality with a monster since it doesn’t understand. Yaonan knows the number of people she kills is wrong and just doesn’t care.
>>
>>5589906
Jingyu, no doubt. He's less deserving of Enmity until he kills a child but he is absolutely the archetype of a capital M Monster to my own sensibilities though notably not Huans.

I don't think Huan would actually take any objection with his methods, because is it not the way of the wilds to nourish yourself on the blood of your prey? He just does so in an unconventional manner of consumption.

The big issue is when he goes after the weak and undeserving. Then he runs into violation of another of our threefold views.
>>
>>5589906
Yaonan. Fo sho
>>
>>5589906
Using the heavenly gradient scale of human to monster, putting both Yaonan and Jingyu under the harshest of lenses, I would believe it to be Jingyu. Most

He was convinced to go as far as he has, but there is an implicit acceptance of it that goes beyond the ghostly words of our sister or what might be presumed as possession.

Yaonan is a battle junkie, an animal of wrath, defiant of a family she believes has wronged her. Though perhaps they have- they don't tell their children they carry demonic blood and power, so far as we know. And that is a fine betrayal in itself crafted to keep their dark history and its natural dangers to their own children out of view. I don't want to speculate too much based on the intermissions, but she strikes me as a product of her bloodline and her Ling household. Within this, her humanity is quite strong. It's just not the "good" parts.

Jingyu betrayed his sect out of spite and greed, Xuebai using him as a tool at that juncture. Giving into despair as a failure isn't where he stops after that, coveting the bodily treasures of his superiors was certainly a jealousy threading his mind before. This is where he becomes a monster, hunting people for parts while still using self pity as an excuse for power (at least based on the interludes).

How much of his history as a poet is coming across as being an actor in a play is another concern. If he's truly self aware but just pretending to hold onto his despairs as a form of "theater of principles", well that's actually badass, but would make him even more monstrous.

I would say his path defies the heavens even more than us, he is not borne of a celestial legacy to beastkind, but of his own efforts and our elder sister. Which... wait a second.
>>
>>5590201
Ah. You’re wondering if he was affected by our roar.

That is a good question I’ve only realized because of your response. Maybe we should have sent a better diplomat…
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>>5590201
If you look upon her introduction vote, she is abused, neglected and hated for her looks. She's then left when her mother died [who was the only one to give her any time], and went killing until the sects scooped her up.

She is absolutely a product of her family.
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>>5590268
Yes, that. I mean, what if he looks almost pettable now? Will he even be grateful? Something to consider.

And I had to reread the letter we got from the past to make sure there wasn't a way for our ancestors foresight to be twisted as some weird Jingyu/Xuebai combination to become the "future heiress" in our place.

If Jingyu the half-fox steals our eyes and Xuebai possesses/transforms him more with other parts of us that fit our color and grudge cultivation, there is a legitimate possibility for the thing that results from that to take our place in our ancestors foresight. But only then. Nothing weird timey-wimey to be worried about, I don't think we'd be so incautious to let such things transpire, but the broadness of the future heiress gave me some weird speculations. I'm certain now it's addressed to us. Mostly. And if not us, a daughter.

>>5590297
If we are to gain any more hate for the Ling, I can only wonder at Huan's reaction to getting Yaonan's backstory. Not that we can spare her, but I'm sure Huan can acknowledge the travesty. What a shame.
>>
>>5589906
Jingyu is more demonic in the classical sense
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>>5589906
Jingyu is a simp and Yaonan is a thot.
I can't decide which is worse
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>>5590388
I'm just gonna say it, if Yaonan wasn't a complete fucking sociopath I'd bang her.
>>
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Sorry for making you wait over the weekend. When I finally got to sleep, I was woken up by a loud crash, some villain had allowed one of my feline companions to enter my hidden meditation chamber and the little furry idiot knocked over the router trying to climb up somewhere and I spent all next day figuring out how to get it to work again, gave up and went to my local vendor to replace it. The cat has escaped punishment, by being adorable and because it didn't shatter any of my teawares, which would've caused me to suffer an extreme case of Qi deviation.

Anyways, now that I have relayed the tell of my woe and misfortune, Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

Just sit down under a flower and explain their history to Fu and that it was here exactly where you told Feiqing and Lei about the true history of the world: 1

Get some practice in fighting the Corpse eating monsters in the first graveyard alongside Fu: 7

Explain their history to Fu and that it was here exactly where you told Feiqing and Lei about the true history of the world: 7

So You'll wile away time by fighting the ghouls of the most ancient cemetery with Fu, and give him a history lesson in the mean time, concerning the Geges' history together and how you first told his martial brothers the true history of the world shortly before meeting them here.

Update will arrive shortly
>>5591779
Junior possess a dangerous dao heart...but may be a dragon among men!
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>>5591779
If the best-case situation comes to pass and we don't have to put her down like the Ling dog she is, maybe she can find her dream man in Lei.
For all her lust for bloodshed, she does some to have a maiden's heart, even if her views on love and romance are horrifically warped.
And Lei seems to be the easy going time that doesn't mind a woman that is constantly trying to beat his ass.
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>>5591958
>Junior possess a dangerous dao heart...but may be a dragon among men!
It can't be helped, I simply wish to summit her mount tai.

>>5591971
Lei is so casual about bloodshed and violence it sometimes beggars belief. They were made for each other. It really is a shame she's a Ling and a monster beside. But I suppose only the future will tell.
>>
>>5591974
>But I suppose only the future will tell.
Monsters that they are, with Jingyu ultimately being Xuebai """"Student"""" and Yaonan being only one or two incidents away from all but slaughtering the Ling for us in a bid for power, I feel like there's a path to reach...if no non-violent terms, then non-lethal ones.
What's a Heretical Cultivator without some heretical underlings?
As much as I love the lovable goofballs we call students, they're all very...nice. Non-problematic. And while I love them dearly for it, some variety would be nice.
Having Huan's surely jaded sister and her flunky, as well as a Ling Dog in need of some training on board will make things, if nothing else, very lively around the sect.
But again, I'm dreaming of the best, while expecting the worse.
We'll see how it goes.
>>
"This place reeks of ancient evil, curses slumber in the soil here" Fu muses outload as he stretches, loosening up his arms and cracking his neck as his namesake two axes stand in the ground in front of him, the end of their hafts driven through the grounnd "I can taste the Yin in the air, thick and dense like the stench of a decayed corpse. Strangely enough, its almost a soothing aroma, like we have stepped onto a patch of our temple's ground far separated from the rest. The vital breath of ghosts saturates the air and earth here, seeping into everything like ink spilled over a manuscript. It makes my bones tremble and my skin pale!"

"You aren't complaining now, are you Fu? I know Deathly Yin and Ghostly Yin energies can be unnerving and even deadly if they're out in enough force" You snicker as you confidently swagger into the confines of what might be the worlds oldest burial sight, spotting fresh mounds of dirt marking the site of freshly buried corpses and freshly upended graves marking the passage of the loathsome corpse eating beasts that prey upon the dead, ancient or freshly expired "But as my first disciple, you should be able to endure, nay even tolerate this miniscule amount of Yin essence"

"Miniscule? Hah! You overexaggerated master, this yard of corpses reminds me of nothing less than your own august aura of death and despair. I finally see what the others mean when they speak of standing before you being akin to intruding upon the grounds of a seemingly endless crypt!" Fu says with a chuckle and a grin, lifting his axes up from the ground, grabbing them just beneath their heads "I wasn't complaining at all, far from it! If this place matches your presence, than surely it must contain a challenge worthy of the Bloodshed and Woodcutter, eh?"

"I enjoy when you act so boyishly" You sigh warmly, swishing your tail as he jogs to match you pace, still wearing a beaming, youthful smile on his face "And that's exactly right! This is where the inhabitants of this untamed land come to bury their dead! And all beasts know to eat is to gain strength, is to surivive"

"The spiritual energy and earth of this basin is so dense and rich, I think even the dogs of the unworthy deities would degrade themselves to consume the corpses left in this patch of accursed earth" He remarks candidly, licking his lips to try and bring some warmth to them as his eyes dart here and there frantically, bulging and wide. Despite his bravado, it seems Fu isn't exactly excited to encounter the old spirits that dwell here. Luckily for him, those aren't the foes you've come here seeking.

"While their flesh might be rich in Qi, devouring it would only suit the desperate and depraved" You explain, sniffing the air and sensing the tell tale scent of a carrion eater "Its why ascended beasts of my caliber are so rare. Most only know strength can be gathered from their prey, never realizing the source of the power they meagerly cultivate"
Cont
>>
>>5592026

"Not like the orthodox are concerned with efficiency and results. I've seen how the cream of their crops compare to the even the least amongst our sect, their restraint and rigid adherence to their guidelines cripples them in the short and long term" Fu explains to you something you already know, in a scornfully mocking cadence "They do not innovate, they do not explore. Maybe the chaos of this era will whip them into shape and make them proper cultivators like you, master and teach them the virtue of experimentation and risk, yeh?"

'I hope not, that'll make them all the more troublesome to deal with. Even if they follow insipid and ponderously slow methods of cultivations and only practice safe techniques and pursue laws with few risks and challenges in its way, their are many monsters in the world of cultivation still, even if they are held back by their ideals' You think to yourself as Fu clatters his teeth one of his axe arms trembling as he jumps at a shadow cast by a swaying branch and by reflex chops the tree in half with a flick of his wrist 'after all, the Ling Ogress and the Corpse cutter have both shown how powerful the current generation can become if they cast aside any concept of honor or morality, and my students have shown how strong one can become even without crossing every line and forsaking every scruple in their pursuit too attain further power and cultivation, just by stepping out of the cage enforced by the daoist orthodoxy'

Up ahead, beneath a simple grave marker of branches bounded together with deer sinew and addorned with petals as large as an ox, dirt is flung high into the air and a slobbering, wet smacking sound can be heard alongside the cracking of bones and slurping of marrow. Fu's eyes narrow, and all his nervousness is immediately replaced with a black rage, as grudge smog trickles from his pours flickering like flame. A righteous indignation has possess him.

"I take it this is our quarry, master?" He asks softly, his voice gentle as silk upon the skin yet as wrathful as a storm, thunder rumbled in his throat as his eyes locked onto the disturbed grave and you saw a wailing ghost pulling and tugging and the greasy hair of the carrion eater

"One of them, yes. I don't look down on the eaters of the dead, all living things kill to survive" You say, as your fur stands up on end and makes you seem larger than you are "Yet, ever since I've attained human wisdom, I can't help but to feel disgust even though, logically, they do less harm than those who eat what they hunt rather than pick through the scraps. Guess its because the dead endear more respect amongst men than they do the creatures of the wild"

"A corpse must be respected" Your student says simply "But, now that you mention it, it is odd how men idolize lions yet scorn buzzards"
Cont
>>
>>5592027

"Monu never has" You say with a roll of your eyes as you quash the revulsion you feel, knowing if you were desperate enough you'd do the same as the ghoulish creature "She ferments corpses you know, to brew into medicines and refine into poisons"

"Granny Monu is also a witch" He says simply, not accusingly or disdainfully, almost respectfully in some odd way in fact "and the foremost example of why even we kindly heretics attain strength and progress so easily"

"She is my teacher and mother after all" You proudly state as from the corner of your eye you see Fu begin to stalk towards the opened graves, axes in hand and shining in the red light of the setting sun, and also spy another of the corpse eaters,watching from behind a marble pillar with wide, almond shaped eyes, its jaw gaping and hanging wide open with rows of crooked, hook like teeth. And a thought crossed your mind.

Fu is your first follower, your first student, your first ally besides Monu and yourself. He needs to be strong in both body and mind. So why not make this battle a little more challenging for him and yourself? Turn it halfway to a lecture and see if he can listen while balancing on the precipice of life and death! Oh that does sound fun!

"Heh-Heh-Heh" You cackle mischievously "Fu, I think since you're going to meet my younger sisters soon, you should know of their history and how they came to befriend me and achieve peace between themselves after a grave and nearly lethal misunderstanding"

He glances back, eyes aflame with curiosity as the second graverobber raps its knuckles on the pillar it hides behind, and you can see several more greasy maned heads rise up from the ground, ready to join the fray in defense of their brother and his meal.

"Oh? Do go on" He exclaims, wearing a toothy grin as you and he stalk towards the first corpse eater

"Their story begins with a storm, a fierce willed girl, a toad and a pure hearted princess of the skies" You begin solemnly as you think back to remember the story the two Geges told to you, of the moment Tiexingege's mind awoke in the midst of a storm and how she first encounter with Jionghuagege and how she saved her life that day from the Toad King, and how Jionghuagege awoke to the world by realizing the fun of flying amongst the petals, and how she was coerced into serving as the toad's toady, feeding him honey not long after, being threatened with being eaten alive if she didn't obey. And that the bastard even tried to force her to feed her own children to him. Somehow his putrid taste returned to your tongue.

As if reacting to your expression of distaste and disgust, one of the corpse eaters lets out a spine chill wail. But you do not stop talking

"See, the two were fortunate enough to awake close to one another and not long after one another" You explain as Fu curses loudly and begins grappling with the wailing monster that lunged at him, already tearing for his throat.
Cont
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>>5592028

roll 2d100. First roll. Best of four, for Huanliuxue. Second roll, Best of three, For Fu. DC 80
>>
Rolled 71, 29 = 100 (2d100)

>>5592029
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>>5592039
Not a great start, but a really neat roll all things considered.
>>
Rolled 4, 15 = 19 (2d100)

>>5592029
wew. This'll be a hard one.
>>
Rolled 26, 62 = 88 (2d100)

>>5592029
>>
Rolled 91, 94 = 185 (2d100)

>>5592029
the dao
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>>5592093
goodness me
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>>5592093
Nice.
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>>5592093
10 over DC good success for Huan, unfortunately

>>5592090
Fu is twelve under DC, but not twenty, so he takes a failure to the chin, despite this miraculous forth roll.

Update will arrive shortly
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>>5592117
Sorry, not twelve, 18. I had forgotten the dao of math.
>>
Fu continues screaming profanity as he is tossed to the ground and forced on the defensive, throwing up his arms and gritting his teeth as more and more of the carrion eaters emerge from the soil with the bow jointed, hanging arms and gaping maws stretched to cry out their wailing call to action and attack, a feral war cry that fills the air with the stench of rotten meat and sour spit. The one that bounced pins him, it slobbering jaw sucking and snapping at his throat as his eyes burn with a rage you've only seen in the boys eyes once before, when he brought his axe down upon Old Crooked Fang's neck again and again in a frenzy.

You however, dodge easily, masterfully utilizing your phantom cat step to blink and move through the shambling and leaping horde of grave diggers, hopping from grave marker to grave marker as you continue your tale while Fu fight's for his life as more and more of the rot lickers swarm around him, sensing weakness and like any good predator taking complete advantage of it. Fu snarls and grabs hold of his attacker's spindly wrists.

"Tiexingege was born during a storm that flooded the world of the littlest creatures, and though she was afraid of being washed away, she valiantly saved the lives of her mundane sisters, preventing them from being washed away by damming up the stream that had washed over their nest" You calmly explain, utterly serenely and composed as you leap again, over a now fallen corpse stealer that tried to tackle you the ground, and you prance over the heads of his infuriated comrades before skipping to land behind them, tail swishing and claws outstretched. There's a snapping sound, and you turn to make sure Fu is alright, to find he has broken the wrists of his first attacker and had thrown him to the ground, and is pummeling much like an ape would, swinging his arms without thought or technique, given completely over to the ferocity lurking behind his eyes. You aren't sure if he can hear you now, enraged as he is, but you'll keep telling your story as if he could.

"She realized it was the sap and dew of the great flowers of this dreamlike valley that turned her to a demonic beast, something that she could not replicate with her own siblings and children, they grew larger in size but never in intellect. So discouraged, Tiexingege sought out companionship, and Found Jionghuagege"

"FUCKING DIE!" Fu bellows, as, with his bare hands, he throttles and rips open the neck of the first ghoul to attack him, as three others hang on his back and rake their claws across it, despite this, he stands, and begins swinging his arms wildly, without skill or style, instinctively seeking out his axes as more and more enemies pile atop him and grab onto his legs and ankles with their grubby claws.
Cont
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>>5592194
"Now" You continue, after making sure Fu wasn't in any serious danger, haltingly speaking as you kept glancing back to him as you fended off your own opponents, drenching your claws in destructive AND ghostly Yin Qi, empowering your Whispering Death Claw (呢喃死亡爪子, Nínánsǐwáng zhuǎzi) while you coat your fangs in dripping Blood Qi, wielding the The Vein Draining Fang (血管 倾浆 獠牙, Xuèguǎnqīngjiāngliáoyá) as well. The first two opponents who rush you are cut down by your claws, their life essence draining out of their thin wounds in motes of pale white light that looked like dust caught in sunlight

"Jionghuagege" You continue, with the throat of the third in your mouth, its hot blood pouring down your throat and intoxicating you like a potent wine "Awoke from the comfort of her kin, while Tiexingege was lifted up by her drive to protect the, for the fear she felt was not for herself, but for her sisters. While Jionghuagege opened her eyes for the first time due to the simple joy of playing with her sisters among the flowers. However, this joy would not last, as while her counterpart ascended in relative safety, Jionghuagege was soon found by the repugnant king of toads, who bullied her into being his underling, demanding tithes of her miraculous, magical honey and even her own children in exchange for not swallowing her up like he did so many young dragons"

You gasp, surprised to see Fu also tearing out one of the monster's throat with his teeth, blood covering his eyes and soaking deep into his off white bandages, as he continued to punch and kick those that surround him, even as they tore at his flesh and bit through his skin. The only thing keeping him from being completely overwhelmed was his sheer aggression and mad ferocity.

"A...and so she would have remained in his service, too gentle hearted to fight back, too polite to really, if the thuggish yet gallant Tiexingege didn't happen upon her one day, and pitying the bullied Jionghuagege and unable to just leave her to fate, stood up for her, this began their friendship and sisterhood...and was also the start of their misunderstanding...Do you need Help Fu?"

"I'M FINE!" He shouted back, waving his hand as he was nearly dragged down, his words gurgled from the blood in his mouth which you knew wasn't just his own "JUST KEEP TALKING AND FIGHTING YOUR OWN BATTLE MY TEACHER! THIS IS NOTHING TO ME"

You stare at him, as you absent mindly impale several of the ghoulish creatures on your claws, ripping open their chests and using you blood control and vein draining fang to exsanguinate them immediately, using the Vein Hunting Eye (血管猎-眼睛, Xuèguǎnliè-yǎnjing) expertly to find where their arteries connect to their hearts before you even strike, to rip them open as you peel apart their ribcages with a crack and pulse of channeled destructive Yin Qi.
Cont
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>>5592196

It was actually somehow beautiful, seeing him struggle atop a mound of corpses he had made with his clawless hands and fangless teeth.

But, if he thought he could handle this trial, you had no business lending a helping hand, it'd be an insult to save him while he still fought so stubbornly.

"If you insist" You say lazily, flicking a claw over the throat of a ghoul as it over extends, trying to grab hold of the scruff of your neck, leaving itself open for your ghostly feline martial arts. Standing on your hindpaws, you bat and paw the next in the way, grabbing hold of them with your claws and throwing them to the ground to finish them off with a squelch by pulping their head with a swift series of stomps, using the weakest and slowest variation of the Shooting Star Stampede (流星挤踏, Liúxīngjǐtà) to stomp its skull into a paste with a half dozen kicks

"Now where was I?" You ponder outloud as you blink around four clever carrion eaters, and grab on of them by the back of their neck, finding their spine too thick to bite through, so instead you pour metal Qi into them, transmuting the marrow and blood in their spine partially while also shocking them still, with the impurities now hidden in their bones like a venom, a new trick you just though up after having seen how Feiqing imbued his own skin, flesh and bones with the metals he worked, you snap their neck and tossed them aside "Oh yes! See, the two princesses didn't understand eachother, despite their bond. Tiexingege believed foremost in strength and self reliance, while Jionghuagege preferred the comfort of a elegantly lived, worry free life. They were as Yang and Yin. The Black Iron Ant Princess saw Jionjuagege as weak, in need of protection and training, and didn't understand the meeker Shining flower bee queen saw what she intended as lessons and exercise to toughen her up to face the world on her own feet and by her own power, as the same sort of rough treatment and bullying she faced under the shadow of the toad king, and never even realized her sworn sister was trying to train her"


"Ah! There views of the world were so different, There three views incompatible" Fu cries out as with a disturbing grin her gouges out the eyes of one of the beasts, as one of his own eyes was half shit, its lid drooping and bruised. He..he wasn't looking too good "Have you seen my axes anywhere, by any chance"

"Pr..precisely" You say quietly, wincing as you watched the young man tear one of the beasts from his neck, ripping out its teeth with a rough palm strike. They were still embedded in his throat. The sight made you shudder. You couldn't look away even as you dodged and knocked the towering brute who tried to knock you off balance with his quaking stomps off his own feet with a headbutt to his exposed gut. Then taking advantage of his unbalance state, threw him to the ground by grabbing hold of his ankle and gently pulling back
Cont
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>>5592197

"See! Tiexingege thought Jionghuagege, in avoiding her and her lessons, was looking down on her and taking the glory and renown they won together in the battles they fought all for herself. And Jionghuagege believed Tiexingege was trying to brow beat her into subservience. And as they were children, never thought to explain themselves or try to see things from the others point of view" You say as you redirect a punch behind your head with your tail, causing the fist to break the jaw of its thrower's friend "As they thought the other thought like they did and shared their three views of the world. So already the two felt lied and betrayed, one thinking they were used as a stepping stone, and the other thinking the other's earnest attempts to toughen them up was her pushing her around"

"UHHUH!" Fu grunts, between headbutting a shrieking grave robber's head into pieces, gripping it tightly in his own hands as others tore at his arms and tried to pull chunks of flesh from them and his legs "AXES! SEE THEM? YES? NO?"

"So, Tiexingege saw Jionghuagege as a self centered schemer, and Jionghuagege saw Tiexingege as a remorseless brute, they're friendship breaking apart and deteriorating the longer they spent together" You saw as you slip under the legs of another ghoulish cretin and kick them over with one of your hindpaws "It all started after they overcame an older magical beast together, but each believe they deserved the credit for the feat. Tiexingege thought so because her poison coursed in its veins and Jionghuagege cause her stinger struck the final blow and neither could agree which killed him first. That is were their tensions began and...Fu?"

"Rggggh" Fu growled as he bit through the hand of one of his many, many assailants, giving a thumbs up as he tried to choke the life out of another by holding it under his armpit. 'I should probably lend him a hand soon' You thought, as using temperature lowering spell, boosted by your supreme yin physique, you froze the arm of one of the monsters you were fight, and with and pawing pat, exploded it by making the blood inside the frozen limb boil with a bit of clever blood alchemy

"Well, see their children were still beastial and driven by instinct, and being instincts, both Geges didn't understand subtly all to well, not having yet realized the gap in communication left by the pheromones and that the world they inhabited now was far more complex and simpler than that of bugs!" You shout as you try to break away from the larger and beefier ghouls that have chosen to fight you while the thinner, more starved counterparts hold Fu down and begins to pull him into their mob "And they thought, when Tiexingege's tried to steal honey or Jionghuagege's attacked the scouts she scent out in search of supplies and threats, that the other had ordered the attack as they were already upset with the other and assumed the worse. And that's where I come in and!"
Cont
>>
"SAVE THE DAY!" You bark, as you unleash the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step (血紅色列缺猫步, Xuè hóngsèlièquēmāobù) and the The Red Death Scythe (红色死亡 镰, Hóngsèsǐwánglián) to tear through the horde surrounding Fu, their blood and lifeforce flowing out of them in great rivers as they weaken and collapse, allowing Fu to rise out from their midst, having fallen to one knee and toss them off as they breath their last. Some of them are missing limbs, which had been sheared off by the sheer speed of your claws as you slashed through them. Hopping to slow yourself down, you spin around and erect a Dying Grudge Shield (垂死怨怼㕹,Chuísǐyuànduìfá), just in time to catch the tree trunk the largest of the beasts swings down like a club. It bounces back, fragmenting as Fu stands up, screaming defiantly to the heavens and painted as red as you with blood. and slams into the beasts brow.

But it just stumbles back, a giant too hard to fell so simply. Until back up arrives.

"OI! RED FUR! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME YOU WANTED TO SCRAP!" Tiexingege bellows, looking different than she did before, larger in size and more heavily armored, her chitin looking more like actual armor than it did before and the blades on her arms serrated. In fact, her hide shined more metallically than it did before, as if it had been polished "How could you train without me!"

The blades on her limbs have doubled and become serrated, giving her two steel scythes on each of her limbs

And a distant, silverly sparkle in the sky told you Jionghuagege was making her way over to.

The violence paused, as Fu grabbed another ghoul who ripped itself out of the ground by the throat, lifting up one of his axes to split its skull. Oh! He finally found them! That's a nice surprise. The carrion eaters look towards the front of the graveyard, where a vertible army of black iron ants are gathered, clicking their mandibles in a threatening rythm as Tiexingege uses her arm blades to slice through the tendons of the reeling giant and sends it crashing to the earth.

"Hmm, I was bored waiting for you to arrive" You answer amusedly, as you hear the chorus of a dozens of giant ants chewing through flesh and chomping through bone, and the hiss of acid. That's new. Seems that Tiexingege wasn't the only one whom evolved, in fact some of her children looked different than the rest. Specialized in shape and different colored. Curious. How curious

Green glowing dust falls to the earth and vines erupt as Jionghuagege, smelling fragrant and with curious tufts of fur differently colored than the silver that sticks out from between her own chitin sparkle and shine and you notice that her wings seem to have become those of a butterfly and are wrapped in flowering vines. A wall of foliage forms behind the fleeing monsters, preventing them from returning as Fu, still standing until this very moment, collapses backwards, panting and wheezing from the deadly fight he just endured
>>
>>5592200

"Oh dear, oh dear! Where are the other two! Oh we didn't arrive to late did we! oh what a tragedy, what a..." Jionghuagege frets, bumbling towards the ground as Tiexingege shouts foul words you are certain you did not teach her at the retreating corpse eater. Its only when she gets closer to Fu that she realizes he isn't Ping, Feiqing or Lei?

"Oh! I see" She shouts happily, spitting a weird green goop into Fu's open mouth, much to the poor boy's surprise and disgust but he's too wounded to stop it from happening "You were out for a stroll, admiring the flowers and came upon this poor soul in need of saving, and gallantly interceded on his behalf, even though you put your own noble life at risk. Oh how inspiring! Its just like from a story book, isn't it Tie-Tie?!"

"I'm Fu" Fu groaned "Her first disciple. I hadn't began to cultivate when she came here the first time, else we would've met when you met Feiqing,Ping and Lei"

Jionghuagege seemed amazed he could speak and you couldn't help but wonder if, in the time since you last saw her, she had forgotten humans could talk. But you didn't voice your suspicions, and merely watched as Fu, despite his many wounds sat up and too both your surprise and his, seemed to be already healing at an unnaturally rapid rate.

"Neat trick she has there, right? Its a spell she learned a while ago! Keeps you in the fight even if you've gotten a leg or two torn off" Tiexingege says proudly, tapping her antenna on Jionghuagege's back, as she walks up to Fu and clacks her mandibles in thought "Oh! So many scars! You've got to be a true warrior, the sort of guy who is a born fighter! How'd you get so many! Oh! Right, you're Red Fur's student, you've must've had many adventures with her and fought fierce opponents by her side. A little jealous, I have to admit"

"I..I expected him, your earliest student, to speak with more refinment" Jionghuagege says guiltily. Oh, that explains her surprise, not that she forgot humans talked, but that she expected Fu to talk with the demeanor and holding of a well bred gentleman.

"So what have you been up to!" Both Geges shout together, standing at either side of you, Jionghuagege excitedly and Tiexingege acting angry, though she was just as pleased as the Bee princess to see "And what took you so long to visit!"
Cont
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>>5592201

double vote
Fu has failed to learn anything, and has only earned a few extra scars

What have you learned from the fight

>A strike where you first land a physical blow on an arm or leg, then, take partial possession of the limb you strike, force the target to drop the guard or trip themselves

>Further Refinement of your blood control, to the degree you can use your veins as weapons or to spray boiling blood or even separate them from your body completely! (Or do the same for other's bodies once you've infected them with your Blood Qi) or even shape blood outside or within of a body into more complex shapes, like blades or crude puppets

>Inspired by Fu's brutality. Learn how to imbue your strikes with grudge clouds infected by the rage within blood, driving those you strike with the same ferocity, but under your command, rather than just rampaging around wildly.

>How to grapple, pin and lock more effectively, with both claws and human hands, arms and legs.

>Combining the Ice Forming spell and the blood boiling alchemy, create a deadly poke that if properly time can explode small ice crystals within the veins or organs of your victims

>Write in

And what do you tell The Gege's, Huanliuxue?

>"I've been busy raising my other students and helping our kindred survive in the outside world, but what about you two, you seem to be thriving!

>"Duty has kept me in my temple, I have many responsibilities as Sect head now and many disciples to mentor. Forgive me for taking so long, Heh-Heh"

>"Well, first I got attacked by assassin right after leaving, then I tracked down and saved several magical beasts, Conquered a bit of a kingdom of ghosts, Fought in a tournament in hell, killed the king of crow devils, possessed a human I befriended, traveled the land to learn how humans lived and thought, was complicit in the assassination of an emperor, fought an ogress, saved more beasts, fought spider devil OH! And I learned how to take on a human form! Praise me! Praise me!"

>"You two are as adorable as ever. But before I answer that, I need to ask, how have you trained so well on your lonesome. Have you found another teacher in big sis' absence?"

>write in
>>
>>5592203
>>Inspired by Fu's brutality. Learn how to imbue your strikes with grudge clouds infected by the rage within blood, driving those you strike with the same ferocity, but under your command, rather than just rampaging around wildly.
>>
>>5592203
>"Well, first I got attacked by assassin right after leaving, then I tracked down and saved several magical beasts, Conquered a bit of a kingdom of ghosts, Fought in a tournament in hell, killed the king of crow devils, possessed a human I befriended, traveled the land to learn how humans lived and thought, was complicit in the assassination of an emperor, fought an ogress, saved more beasts, fought spider devil OH! And I learned how to take on a human form! Praise me! Praise me!"
>>
>Inspired by Fu's brutality. Learn how to imbue your strikes with grudge clouds infected by the rage within blood, driving those you strike with the same ferocity, but under your command, rather than just rampaging around wildly.

And what do you tell The Gege's, Huanliuxue?

>"You two are as adorable as ever. But before I answer that, I need to ask, how have you trained so well on your lonesome. Have you found another teacher in big sis' absence?"
>>
>>5592203
>Further refinement of blood control

This is big. Massive even, fine control of this magnitude is amazing.

>You two are as adorable as ever.
>Show off a little by using the scarlet healing armour on Fu
>>
>>5592203
>Further Refinement of your blood control, to the degree you can use your veins as weapons or to spray boiling blood or even separate them from your body completely! (Or do the same for other's bodies once you've infected them with your Blood Qi) or even shape blood outside or within of a body into more complex shapes, like blades or crude puppets

>"Duty has kept me in my temple, I have many responsibilities as Sect head now and many disciples to mentor. Forgive me for taking so long, Heh-Heh"
>"I've been busy raising my other students and helping our kindred survive in the outside world, but what about you two, you seem to be thriving!
>>
>>5592239
+1
>>
>>5592203
>Further Refinement of your blood control, to the degree you can use your veins as weapons or to spray boiling blood or even separate them from your body completely! (Or do the same for other's bodies once you've infected them with your Blood Qi) or even shape blood outside or within of a body into more complex shapes, like blades or crude puppets.
>"Duty has kept me in my temple, I have many responsibilities as Sect head now and many disciples to mentor. Forgive me for taking so long, Heh-Heh"
>>
>>5592203
All I can envision now for the Fu-inspired choice is
>Call Xiongji to us, have him kneel
>Place a claw on his shoulder, infuse him with our grudge to control his strikes
>”Go forth and conquer, my general”

but that said, I will vote
>Further Refinement of your blood control, to the degree you can use your veins as weapons or to spray boiling blood or even separate them from your body completely! (Or do the same for other's bodies once you've infected them with your Blood Qi) or even shape blood outside or within of a body into more complex shapes, like blades or crude puppets
since pure blood Qi is something unique to us now.

For the geges,
>”It would be rude for a teacher to brag of her own exploits before hearing those of her students!”
>”What about you two, you seem to be thriving!”
then we can launch into

>"Well, first I got attacked by assassin right after leaving, then I tracked down and saved several magical beasts, Conquered a bit of a kingdom of ghosts, Fought in a tournament in hell, killed the king of crow devils, possessed a human I befriended, traveled the land to learn how humans lived and thought, was complicit in the assassination of an emperor, fought an ogress, saved more beasts, fought spider devil OH! And I learned how to take on a human form! Praise me! Praise me!"
Don’t forget to mention we kept the Emperor soul and are still considering how to use it, or that becoming human involved spitting in the face of the gods and we bellowed a roar that created and awakened several new beasts meaning Huan is singlehandedly responsible for the Beast Era.

Praise her more!
>>
>>5592203
>Combining the Ice Forming spell and the blood boiling alchemy, create a deadly poke that if properly time can explode small ice crystals within the veins or organs of your victims

>"Well, first I got attacked by assassin right after leaving, then I tracked down and saved several magical beasts, Conquered a bit of a kingdom of ghosts, Fought in a tournament in hell, killed the king of crow devils, possessed a human I befriended, traveled the land to learn how humans lived and thought, was complicit in the assassination of an emperor, fought an ogress, saved more beasts, fought spider devil OH! And I learned how to take on a human form! Praise me! Praise me!"

>"You two are as adorable as ever. But before I answer that, I need to ask, how have you trained so well on your lonesome. Have you found another teacher in big sis' absence?"
>>
>>5592203
>>5592337
+1!
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

Fu's Brutality:3
Improved Blood control:5
Icebomb strike:1
_
"Well, first I got attacked by assassin right after leaving...etc":4

"You two are as adorable as ever...etc":4

Show off a little by using the scarlet healing armour on Fu:1

"Duty has kept me in my temple...etc":2

"I've been busy raising my other students and helping our kindred survive in the outside world...etc": 1

”It would be rude for a teacher to brag of her own exploits before hearing those of her students!”:2

So You've refined your control over blood and the Veins its flowed through and you'll tell the gege's
"You two are as adorable as ever. But before I answer that, I need to ask, how have you trained so well on your lonesome. Have you found another teacher in big sis' absence?"
And
"Well, first I got attacked by assassin right after leaving, then I tracked down and saved several magical beasts, Conquered a bit of a kingdom of ghosts, Fought in a tournament in hell, killed the king of crow devils, possessed a human I befriended, traveled the land to learn how humans lived and thought, was complicit in the assassination of an emperor, fought an ogress, saved more beasts, fought spider devil OH! And I learned how to take on a human form! Praise me! Praise me!"

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Rubbing your cheek first on Jionghuagege's cheek and then Tiexingege's, receiving a happy chirp and delighted fluttering of wings and an annoyed clacking of mandibles from them respectfully

"You two are adorable as ever" You say dotingly and with a rumbling purr, shamelessly showing your fondness for the two younger princesses, as Jionghuagege looks at you with a pleased look in her sparkling eyes, her antenna flashing from green to gold and orange while Tiexingege rolls her head, doing her best to imitate rolling her eyes with the body she was given "But before I answer that, I need to ask, how have you trained so well on your lonesome"

You look down at the two, still purring and smiling as warm as the sun ever shining over their peaceful home of heaven breaching flowers. Tiexingege lifts up her head and moves to talk, before Jionghuagege bumbles over to her and shakes her head, sensing a breach of etiquette that her more roughly demeanor sister hadn't entirely missed. The Ant princess tapped her legs on the ground impatiently, clearly wanting to tell you something, wanting to boast and brag about what they have accomplished since your last visit.

The warmth of your smile twisted to amusement and shrank into a smirk as you narrowed your eyes and leaned over your little sisters, giggling under your breath as you jokingly accused "Have you found another teacher in big sis' absence?"

Jionghuagege glanced down to Tiexingege and nodded, and taking a deep breath, she stomped in front of you and gave a casual salute, clearly something her sister had forced her to practice.

"Nothing of the sort! The old bag of wind just gave us a few pointers is all!" She shouts brazenly and loudly, making you reel back from the pain in your ears

"That have allowed us to progress as far as we have in as short of a time as we did" Jionghuagege says softly, buzzing back off the ground "Though I do believe by focusing on our strengths, Tie-Tie and I made remarkable progress without that kindly old grandfather who smelt of sunshine and rain"

"Hmph! He spilled his guts and secrets out of fear of me!" Tiexingege claims half seriously, speaking an obvious lie as you can guess who this old man they met was, that being the kindly old god living on the mountain in the center of the basin, though as to why he wandered down from his retreat you can't even begin to guess "Or that's what I'd like to say, since his presence alone felt like a crushing boot. He was nice for an old timer, helped me refine my techniques even though I'd already honed them finely against the fuckers who keep trying to steal Jiong-Jiong's honey"

"And he helped to correct our meditation forms and taught me methods to cast more complex spells, he was an utter gentlemen, the most well bred amongst the humans I've met" Jionghuagege says as if she were half caught in a dream "He actually knew how to be polite, unlike the rest of the ruffians around here!"

Cont
>>
>>5593430

"Though that doesn't mean he's harmless! I saw the old bastard flip one of those rabbit killers over his head like he were tossing away a pebble! He even dug a mile underground to help expand my hive's fortifications and storage!" Tiexingege adds excitedly, hopping up and down "he was incredibly strong, even though he looked older than dirt! I'd admire him! Hey! You know him don't ya red fur? He said your name when he first came down from the skies"

"He did mention you directly, Lady Huanliuxue" Jionghuagege says sweetly "Spoke very highly of you, which is one reason I believe he is more sensible than most human creatures. And he seemed very well informed in matters of both martial and sorcerous pursuits and proper etiquette and courtesy. I wonder if he was of noble birth, like we three are"

"Not everyone who speaks with eloquence is a noble, or even rich. Some of the best poets of our time are poor men" Fu remarks, standing and patting his freshly healed wounds, seemingly to test if they were actually closed and mended. Jionghuagege dully ignored his challenge to her preconceived notions of the world. Instead, the bee flutters over to him and nearly knocks him over bonking him with her head

"Oh yeah, he was real smart! At first he didn't tell us anything you didn't teach us, about Qi and stuff" Tiexingege explains as Fu struggles against Jionghuagege's open affections and earnest curiosity about him, though her questions soon turn to fretting and tearful pleas for forgiveness, as she thinks all of Fu's scars are there because the two of them weren't able to arrive in time to assist the two of you in your slaughter. You glance away, already feeling the awkwardness on Fu's expression and annoyance in his eyes bleeding into the air around him.

"I didn't understand most of it, least until Jiong-Jiong explained it to me" She continues on, as the two of you sit down besides eachother "But he really opened my eyes to this cultivation thing and showed us methods to increase the results of our handwork and hasten our progress! It feels like the practices we had been doing were akin to laying around all day, without even cultivating any Qi at that!"

"I see...I see" You mutter to show you're still listening to her and closely at that "That'd explain why the two of you have changed so much, and not just in looks"

"Yeah..." Tiexingege mutters, her cheerful tone darkening and becoming gloomy as she quiets down "Say, Red Fur? Do breakthroughs hurt? Old wrinkle face said they could be dangerous, and I'm worried Jiong-jiong won't be able to go any further if it pains her. Neither of us have been getting much results lately, We need to spend all day meditating or eating dew or Qi Rich flesh all day to even get any progress at all!"
Cont
>>
>>5593431

"The ocean becomes a drop in the bottom of your cup" You sagely explain nodding your head "What once filled your dantians to bursting and made up a huge advancement is now a piecemeal. You've reached a bottleneck in your cultivation, simultaneously"

"Is that bad? We've been working hard! Day in day out, training, drilling, even meditating with Jiong-jiong and reading those books he let us borrow!" Tiexingege shouts frustratedly. You were about to say you thought the old man would've told her what a bottleneck was, before remembering she had trouble understanding his lessons and probably got bored or focused so intently on what he taught her about fighting and martial arts that she might've forgotten that she had heard about it admist her worry that she'd leave Jionghuagege behind.

"No, in fact its miraculous that you two reached one together" You explain in a soothing, gentle voice, more purring your words than speaking them "And remarkably fast as well, a little slower than I did. Guess you deserve being called me little sisters after all, Heh-heh. Must be something in the air"

"We've been cultivating on and beneath the tallest flower in these fields, old timer said it was the richest source of spiritual energy of heaven and earth for many miles" She says with a huff "Though I don't think Jiong-jiong knew that when she first started resting atop it, to be entirely blunt"

She paused and stared at you long and hard

"Wait a second! You still haven't told us why you took so long to get back here you trickster!" She bellowed angrily, snapping her mandibles and stomping her feet "You were stalling!"

"Not stalling Tie-tie, remember, she said she'd explain herself once you had finished telling her how it was we've become so much stronger than we were when we last met her" Jionghuagege says gently, humming as she flutters over and Fu follows after her "And do forgive me for the indiscretion and rudeness, I didn't know it was offensive to call one another's pet, Sir Fu"

"There's no need to apologize, you weren't trying to insult me" Fu said kindly "I'm just relieved this scarred face of mine wasn't what was driving you to tears. It was just a misunderstanding, is all"

"Oi! Scar face!" Tiexingege says, bluntly, marching up to Fu who's expression screwed into a grimacing glare at the nickname she had given him "We should train together if you two are sticking around awhile longer, even if I saw the tail end of your fight alone, you're impressively fierce for a fighter! After Red Fur tells us what she's been doing out in the world of men that's been so important"

"Do not call me that" Fu said, forcing a smile, not wishing to be rude by threatening or glowering at the little girl "And I'd be happy to, sparring is a wonderful way to bond"

Tiexingege huffed and walked back in front of you, sitting down by Jionghuagege as their daughters went about butchering and cutting apart the corpses covering the graveyard.
Cont
>>
And the two princesses looked up at you with big, adoring eyes, practically shivering with anticipation to hear your story.

Fu tied more bandages than usual around his face, hiding everything except his eyes.

Taking in a deep breath of air, filling your lungs with the comforting scents of a graveyard and the pleasant aroma of freshly spilled blood, you rapidly told the two youngsters what you had been doing, being vague about everything to get them excited to know more so you could tell the stories of each of your adventures at length rather than all at once!

"Well, first I got attacked by assassin right after leaving, then I tracked down and saved several magical beasts, Conquered a bit of a kingdom of ghosts, Fought in a tournament in hell, killed the king of crow devils, possessed a human I befriended, traveled the land to learn how humans lived and thought, was complicit in the assassination of an emperor, fought an ogress, saved more beasts, fought a spider demon after befriending his sister and killing a couple of their siblings!" You chatter spirited, wagging your tail back and forth and holding a paw under your chin as you sway your whole body to its rhythm "Oh!"

You gasped as if feigning surprise and Fu's eyes widened and with trained precision and speed, he loosened one bandaged and wrapped it over his eyes, already sensing what you were planning to do by the mischievous smirk on your lips and twinkling in your eyes. Hopping up, you leapt into the air, turning human mid air with a flash of Blood Qi to create a carmine colored flare of light and breathed out a dense cloud of grudge fog to be dramatic as you landed in front of them and threw up your arms over your head to show of the whole of your body, grinning ear to ear.

"And I learned how to take on a human form! Praise me! Praise me!" You shout, drunk on just the admiration and awe you imagine you'll inspire in them. But you grin faded as you saw that Tiexingege didn't look too amazed or admiring and more confused, though Jionghuagege was reacting as you expected her too, excitedly and merrily, the ant princess seemed more baffled than anything else

"What's the point of that? Aren't you stronger as a cat, sis?" She asks bluntly, talking like one does when they speak to someone who seems deranged or manic "Wouldn't it be better to learn how to turn into something with, I dunno, horns or natural armor? That body seems pudgy, even for a human. Fat in weird places and short and narrow in others. I don't get it"

"Oh my! Oh my! You're beautiful! So beautiful! More brilliant than any of the stars in the sky! Absolutely gorgeous! You'd look dashing in a dress, Huanliuxue!" Jionghuagege exclaims ecstatically, buzzing around you, intrigued by your transformation as you slouch your shoulders and fall into a slump with a gloomy look on your face "What an incredible ability to have, to completely change oneself! Now you can show those mean humans just how wonderful you are, big sis!"
>>
>>5593434

She continued piling on praises and compliments onto your shoulders, but it did not good, your good mood had been trampled by Tiexingege's bluntness. Grounded into dust and turned to mud. You almost wanted to kick her for it.

"Wait. Didn't that old fart say we could do this with some training? Can we only turn into humans?" Tiexingege grumbled "You need to train more, your chest is pathetic compared to your students and you need to eat less if you're gathering fat on it"

And that was the fatal blow. Pouting, you stomped away to sulk for awhile, laying in one of the open graves, arms crossed and brow furrowed and nose scrunched.

What do you do once you've recovered from this bullying, Huanliuxue? two options can be taken

>Test the Gege's to see what they've learned and how profound their cultivation has become since you left.

>Ask to see the manuals the Old god on the mountain lent them, and what exactly he taught them and showed them

>Spar with the Geges (With or without Fu?)

>Look for one of the strong monsters the ancient dragon told you about, so you can get some real training in

>Feeling vengeful, enlist Jionghuagege's aid in getting back at Tiexingege, by dressing her up in flowers and making a dress for her to wear as punishment

>Visit one of the human tribes as your humanself, to see if they're having any troubles up in their mountain homes.

>Write in
>>
>>5593436
Paaaaaaah!
Qi deviation probably feels less painful. Outch.

>Test the Gege's to see how profound their cultivation is
>Ask to see the Manuals the old god left them, so we can figure out how to help them past this breakthrough.

>Minor write in, when Tiexingege isn't looking or asleep, use blood qi to draw flowers on her.
THIS WILL TEACH YOU TO BULLY
>>
>>5593436
>Ask to see the manuals the Old god on the mountain lent them, and what exactly he taught them and showed them
>>
>>5593436
Supporting >>5593439
>>
>>5593436
Supreme Yin bros....
>Test the Gege's to see what they've learned and how profound their cultivation has become since you left.
>Ask to see the manuals the Old god on the mountain lent them, and what exactly he taught them and showed them
>Draw flowers on Tiexingege with blood qi
>>
>>5593436
>Test the Gege's to see what they've learned and how profound their cultivation has become since you left.
>Ask to see the manuals the Old god on the mountain lent them, and what exactly he taught them and showed them
Tietie hasn't seem the power of fingers yet, but she will one day.
>>
>>5593436
>Test the Gege's to see what they've learned and how profound their cultivation has become since you left.
>Look for one of the strong monsters the ancient dragon told you about, so you can get some real training in
Maybe on the way, we give them a little history lesson regarding why getting a human form is so significant.
>>
>>5593495
>Tietie hasn't seem the power of fingers yet, but she will one day.
Opposable thumbs are damn near a super power.
>>
>>5593436
>Ask to see the manuals the Old god on the mountain lent them, and what exactly he taught them and showed them
>Test the Gege's to see what they've learned and how profound their cultivation has become since you left.
>>
>>5593436
>Ask to see the manuals the Old god on the mountain lent them, and what exactly he taught them and showed them
>Spar with the Geges (With Fu)
>>
>>5593436
>>Feeling vengeful, enlist Jionghuagege's aid in getting back at Tiexingege, by dressing her up in flowers and making a dress for her to wear as punishment
>Test the Gege's to see what they've learned and how profound their cultivation has become since you left.
>>
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Forgive me juniors, for vanishing for three days. Had no time to sit down and write an update, but still, I shall give however much face is required to mend this. Anyways, theatrics aside, Ending the vote and tallying the result now.

Test the Gege's to see what they've learned and how profound their cultivation has become since you left.:7

Ask to see the manuals the Old god on the mountain lent them, and what exactly he taught them and showed them:7

when Tiexingege isn't looking or asleep, use blood qi to draw flowers on her.:3

Look for one of the strong monsters the ancient dragon told you about, so you can get some real training in:1

Give a short history lesson: 1

Spar with the Geges (With Fu): 1

Feeling vengeful, enlist Jionghuagege's aid in getting back at Tiexingege, by dressing her up in flowers and making a dress for her to wear as punishment: 1

So you'll Test the Gege's to get a measure of their development and ask to see the manuals they were entrusted with and what exactly he taught them in your absence

update will arrive shortly
>>
You decide to stop sulking and pouting after it begins to rain, and hop out of the grave as a cat, though your expression hasn't changed and you still feel the lingering burn of Tiexingege's thoughtless remarks smoldering somewhere in your chest like an infected wound. Stomping through the graveyard, you find Fu and Tiexingege sparring already, and to your surprise it would seem your little sister is evenly matched with your disciple. Certainly neither of them are having an easy time fighting the other and from where you stand you cannot easily determine who between them would be the winner if they were allowed to continue their practice match beneath the grey clouds and trickling rain. Fu isn't wearing his bandages, having taken them off to prevent them from becoming waterlogged, exposing his mangled and ruined face for all to see as he lunges and throws himself forward with renewed vigor after every earth shaking clash between his axes and Tiexingege's natural blades. The clanging of metal meeting metal bites into your skull like the ringing of gong or the booming voice of a towering bell. Bang, bang, bang.

Jionghuagege seems to be suffering with you, though its hard to read her expression considering her face is still that as a bee. But she seems to have made herself a patch of dry land beneath a towering fern grown and fed upon her Qi, so you decided that even if she doesn't share in your plight and pain, you'll act like she is and sit beside her to watch Fu and Tiexingege as they spar.

"Oh, so glad you could join us once again, Lady Huanliuxue" She says politely, her antenna shooting up right and glowing as bright as a flaring star "I was growing concerned that Tiexingege's slip of the tongue had truly wounded you and caused a grave offense. But I didn't have the time to scold her, since, well as you can see, she and your disciple have started to fight. They said it was for practice but...well I am no fighter by nature, you see, so I cannot tell the difference between a spar between friends and a lethal duel"

"Ah of course, we all have our areas of expertise" You say, trying to sound surprise, as though Jionghuagege's distaste for martial pursuits and physical confrontation was at all a revelation to you "Allow me to enlighten you, an easy way to tell if Fu wants something or someone dead, is what he aims for. Now an axe blow is nearly always assuredly lethal or at least crippling if it lands, especially if that blow comes from arms as muscled as his are"

"Such a brutish weapon, but at least it does not harm to its wielder, unlike a bee's stinger" Jionghuagege says "But, I cannot say Sir Fu wields it brutishly, there's an elegance to his strikes, as if he were following the sequence of a complex, traditional dance"
Cont
>>
>>5596875

"You should see how his peers fight. Qiang especially is an artist with her blade" You say with a proud chuckle as you watch Fu spin himself around as Tiexingege throws herself above him to try and strike his back, two strange techniques that perfectly counter the other "But back to Fu and his axes. See, if he wanted Tiexingege dead or mangled, he'd be aiming for her neck or the gaps in her armor. Instead he is swinging towards her arm and meeting her blades, same with her. She has mandibles that could grip and crush his neck, blades that could sever limbs and a stinger filled with venom"

"But she is only matching Fu's pace" Jionghuagege observes all by herself, though you lead her to the realization as gently as an elder sister should, and that brings a new layer of pride to the smile on your feline face "Oh! They're dancing! I see now! Here I was fretting you'd have to interrupt and keep them from tearing each other apart, but now I see they're just playing with each other, more or less"

"Exactly!" You declare, patting the bee on her head, setting your palm atop the gold piece of chitin shaped like a crown on her brow "This is how martial artists like Fu and brawlers like Tiexingege get to know eachother, kind of like sniffing the other's behind, Heh-heh-heh"

"That...is a rather crude analogy I must admit, princess" She says haughtily, fluttering her wings and lifting her head to show her disapproval for your choice of words

"It's accurate, Heh-heh" You sneer, shrugging your shoulder as you lounge and stretch out, laying on your side and yawning as the rhythmic clashing of axes and scythes continue to thunder through the valley so loudly it could be mistaken from for thunder itself! "Say, once they're done messing around, would you and Tiexingege allow me to test you in various ways? I can sense your stronger but without seeing what you're capable of and what you have learned, I won't be able to tell just how far you've advanced and developed with out me"

"Oh of course" Jionghuagege says politely, doing a skittering dance in delight "That sounds more fun than watching these two dull their blades in this aimless contest of strength. I've found I quite enjoy being taught when what is being imparted interests me, and knowing exactly what level Tie-tie and I have reached is something that interests me greatly! And oh, how I've been waiting for a chance to display my newfound mystical knowledge to you, Lady Huanliuxue! To see your eyes filled with wonder and pride would be my greatest delight!"

"Well then, let us hope these two will not leave us waiting for long. Even the blind gods above know Fu and Tiexingege are relentless once a battle starts" You say with a smirk as you close your eyes and decide to take a nap, knowing you might well be waiting there until the dawn of the next day before one of them gives in or the whole affair concludes with a draw once both of them collapse from exhaustion.
Cont
>>
>>5596876
_
[Meanwhile, Elsewhere in the depths of the Primordial forest of the tragic lovers...]

"You horrid bitch! You fucking whore!" One of the fools cried out as Qiang left her mark upon him, branding him with the edge of her blade in a way that couldn't be healed, imbuing the metal with ghostly yin qi and a whisper of a grudge to create a wound that'd scar vividly and never truly heal upon his brow. She sighed through her nose, glaring at him, her robes torn in places around her shoulders and stomach.

"I wasn't the one who tried to murder a passerby" She said coldly as she pulled the tip of her blade up, having carved upon his brow, just as she had his conspirators, the character for "Monkey", to show the world and warn others just how blindily stupid they were. She didn't kill them, well, cause it'd more cause trouble to leave behind corpses than a pack of prideful idiots who'd stretch the tale of their defeat to make Qiang herself be a whole school of rampaging heathens and murderous thugs. Nothing hurt a man's pride more than admitting they and their friends were beaten by a girl, and handily at that.

Of course, despite the former assassin sparring them, that did not mean she didn't just punish them as their elders would, if Monu and Ping were to be believed at least.

The man with tears in his eyes and blood flowing down his temple and pooling beneath his eyes for example, was clutching the stump of his severed arm. A crippling injury, but better than being dead. A wound not easily healed, if it could be healed at all, that would prevent them from assaulting other travelers in pursuit of hollow glory, while shouting for all to hear their victims were the "enemy" or "Spies".

"We should just kill them, Huanliuxue would be happy. Her and Monu despise these cold ones" Yujijiao hissed into Qiang's ear as she stood before the gaggle of now crippled idiots. One was missing an eye, another half a leg, a third she rendered mute with a shallow cut in the throat and for the rest, who hadn't aimed to kill her, she had left them off lightly by cutting off a finger or two. She still marked them, out of principle and because if they were stupid enough to follow the one's who received a harsher punishment, they deserved to be called monkeys as well.

A lesser swordsman wouldn't have had the precision necessary to be so selective in the scars they left behind.

"Know that your lives are spared because killing you would be a chore, and I have no quarrel with your sect" Qiang explained, both to them and her martial sister floating and coiled around her "And see no reason to cause one. I'm sure you'll lie about what happened here, but know that I can sneak into your bedrooms like a draft and finish what I started if you think of hounding me. Consider your crippling a warning, and a sign to step away from the villainous path you've chosen to taken"
Cont
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>>5596877

With a flick of her wrist, she spun her sword around, cleaning it of blood and sheathed it, strutting away from them unaware of just how arrogant her stride would seem from the perspective of the boys she left behind bleeding in the dirt. Or that Yujijioa thought of how much it resembled the posture of a cat swaggering away from the hunt, mouth and claws bloodied.
_
You couldn't help but feel that the old god on the mountain had swindled you by not teaching you what he has taught the Geges, who seem entirely unaware of just how valuable the techniques and powerful the spells and moves they've been taught actually are. The old man gave them the ripe fruits of his wisdom, and that explains easily how they were able to progress at a pace that nearly rivaled your own blazing ascension through the initial stages of cultivation. They could, despite lingering still in the Qi Condensation stage, fight on equal footing with a low level foundation establishment cultivator. You don't think they could fight you, only because you're this generations prodigy and have also taught yourself and learned troublesome techniques and many powerful abilities and wicked talents. You just have more tricks up your sleeve and more options than they do, and are more experienced with fighting opponents of equal or even greater strength or skill than your magnificent self and have even go as far as to spit directly into the eye of the nine heavens and walk away alive and unscathed.

Still, it does feel like the old god on the mountain could've easily taught to you half of what he taught to them in a day and the rest in a night if he cared to. Though you know he already gave you treasures enough in guiding you through the annals of history and taking care of the Geges and helping them in their cultivation in your absence, the arrogant side of you still feels rather insulted. Which is why instead of allowing that minor indignation grow into a grudge without meaning or purpose, you just asked them if you could read through the Manuals and scriptures the old god entrusted to them.

Besides he probably just didn't teach you because he knew you could create even greater techniques and attain insights far beyond what he has taught and given unto the Gege's so generously. It is only natural he would, after all it as clear as day you're a genius with a rare talent!
Jionghuagege has attained Qi Condensation Rank 9 (Focuses: Spells: Support and Healing, Leadership, Alchemy: Medicine) and is practicing an Ancient Cultivation law taught to her by the god (Wood Aligned law, Spell/Nature attuned/Demonic Beast Creation focused). Tiexingege has attained Qi Condensation Rank 9 (Focuses: Martial: Endurance and Instinct, Leadership, Formations: Battle) And is Practicing and Ancient Cultivation Law taught to her by the god (Metal aligned, Hard Martial Art,
Combat/ Strength/ Army Focused)

Cont
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>>5596878

In fact, if you were to help them break their bottleneck, they could easily breakthrough into the foundation establishment stage. And when Feiqing finished your commissions, he was on the cusp of doing so as well, and surely now that Ping was recovered from his brush with death, it wouldn't be long until he could take the plunge to the higher stage beside him. Fu, Siwang and Qiang were not far behind them either...

But in one fell swoop, with careful preparation, you could have at least Five additional foundation establishment stage cultivators in your sect. You shook these ambitious thoughts out of your head, and focused again on the manuals and scriptures laid out in front of you, written on parchment made of Qilin hide, written in ink derived from dragon horn and penned with phoenixes feathers, the lettering glowed and shifted in the air in front of you. It was draining, exhausting, just reading them. The knowledge within their pages so profound you could feel its weight and burden, it was taking all of your mental energy and endurance to even read a single page to completion. And the diagrams and illustrations within were some complex and in-depth it boggled your mind.

What do you focus your attention and studies on, Huanliuxue?

>Just take what the Gege's have grasped and use it to benefit yourself and Fu's cultivation immediately (Both you and Fu gain a bonus to your next cultivation/ training roll)

>Jionghuagege's law. Demonic Beast creation is a power you greatly desire and you see hints of being able to bend the environment and world itself to the users will... (Mental training/ Study trial. DC 82)

>Tiexingege's law. You haven't studied formations of any sort yet, and being capable of leading an army would be a worthwhile skill for any ruler, let alone once as illustrious as yourself. And the drawings show some really odd looking weapons... (Mental training/ Study trial. DC 82)

>Study them both, greedily trying to grasp all of the knowledge at once and take all of the benefits it'd bring (Mental training/ Study trial. DC 95)

>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)

>Write in
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>>5596879
>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)
Huan is the best big sister
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>>5596879
>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)
I’d rather level two disciples up instead of rushing our own development. We can puzzle over the manuals later, when we inevitably ask them to bring their cohorts and establish a true bestial palace for all to see. Plus having them break through to higher stages will help in fashioning their own kingdoms.

Can you imagine Feiqing, the geges, and Huan all working together to craft a city? A place that extends out above, on, and below the earth.
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>>5596905
Talking about Feiqing, I still want to give him the smithing relic and manual to him. We would lose on the fire resistance, but I think unlocking it's true power would be worth it.
Maybe it can be a reward for when he finishes the throne and axes.
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>>5596922
Feiqing, Heir of the Great Forge Devil has quite the nice ring to it, me thinks.
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>>5596947
Feiqing follows a law called ancient furnace deity doesn't he? I wonder if mixing divine and demonic smithing techniques, plus whatever is on that ghost manual would let him forge some really interesting and powerful things.
He was a potential MC afterall
>>
Oh shit, I didn't notice that you were Grandfather.
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>>5596879
>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)
The more we spread the secret behind attaining human form the less chance of it getting lost again
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>>5596879
>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)
I'd say getting to rediscover lost Qi and restoring Monu to her full potential were a worthy tradeoff. Also I need to see our sisters as humans
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>>5596879
>Be humble for once

While normally, I'd devour the information greedily, we're a compassionate sort.
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>>5596877
>>5596878
Qiang and Yujijiao... revered diplomats of The Palace of Natural Laws! Beginning to think Xuebai might become the voice of reason amongst the four. Also Yujijiao would be a great stand for Qiang.

>>5596879
>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)

It's a long ways off, but I await the day we have enough post-transformation magical beasts that we can fit a manual full of their humanization experiences/perspectives and insights. A work which will transcend generations and uplift possibly even its human readers with great wisdom.
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>>5596879
>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)
>>
You know, as the Gege's are now, I think we can begin building a tunnel from their lands all the way to ours.

It'll take years of efforts, but that's not really anything, compared with our lifespans, and their seemingly indefinite supplies of children.
>>
>>5596879
>>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)
Huanliuxue's gotta stop adventuring and take some time to cultivate soon. She has like +180 or something silly like that, and some of her juniors will be the same stage as her soon.
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>>5597409
Our own deeproad between the ancient wilds and our sect? Yes please.
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>>5597476
We know, we know. After the meeting with sister we will cultivate and not come out for 4 years.

Unless we can set the time for in 5 years, then cultivate.

But anyway yeah, we're set for stupid gains.
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>>5597476
We should be thinking of esoteric cultivation means on top of going deeper into the crypts. If there's something special we can pour on top of our bonuses, above just sitting on the star throne with the yin skull in our mouth, etc, in the method itself then the gains could be made heaven shaking. We're equipped to make it a challenge to ourselves rather than "just" refining our crypts dense meta/ghostly yin qi, a prodigious challenge for a prodigy even.

I'm struggling to think of fitting things for our ghostly/grudge cultivation. Since cultivation rewards tend to be in line with the methods.

Trying to contain the grudges of all those we've access to in our crypts to open a bridge from our soul to the fabric of enmity? Submersing ourselves in our own purest yin keyed to destruction and surviving? Something more complex to the essence of spirits in their phase of nature? Or take the minimal risks that come with advancement and just sit & refine qi. So many options.
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>>5597609
We still haven't done anything with the blood fruit right? That's something else we could look into for future development. As much as I want to take an adventure break and finally progress our cultivation, I want to at least dive down the next layer of the crypt first as well
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>>5597627
That's right. We could use it as an accessory Qi in our tomb, even, without consuming the fruit itself. I'd only worry about the fun interactions it might have with our ghost court while we're nose deep in dao.
Same, the benefits would be well worth it.
>>
>>5597627
>>5597721
I don't like the idea of using the Blood fruit for our next meditation just like that. Not unless we meditate in a environment more aligned with the Blood Qi, because from my logic that will only consume a valueable resource and we won't take the full potential of it by being tainted with the Yin Qi of the crypt.

If you really wanna stack all up with our huge Bonus, we still have the Emperors soul, and not only that we have that ghost general trapped that refused to talk after our victory. And not only that, we have Lei demon lying around catching dust in her box, and I don't want some stupid accident to happen where someone break it by accident.

I say that after securing the demon's box we should grab the Ghost General, make some special ritual ground and when we start our cultivation we drain him whole for years of his grudge that might have festered after his defeat. Either we drain his Yin Qi until he's a ghost light, or we drain him whole and be done with him. In the main time Ping and Qiang can keep order on the Crypt, we already heard of scouts coming to our level and they are really strong, so keeping guard of our Crypt level while we cultivate will give them experience and training, maybe they can bring our Moth daughter and train in the upper levels.
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>>5597855
Cultivating on the soul of one long dead and seeped in grudges, a divine yet horrifically unvirtuous soul, and the spiritual form of a demon. What a strange idea.
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>>5597855
I like these ideas very, very much. Highly heretical.
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>>5596879
>Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them to attaining a human form (Training Trial. DC 65)
>>
>>5597609
>We still have the souls of several ghosts who don't like us, right? How about we have them try to posses us while we use the strength of our own soul to stop them. That way we might be able to absorb Yin and grudge energy from them more directly since it is already inside our body
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>>5597855
Those are sound suggestions but i would argue now is a good time to clear out the whole crypt so we can cultivate on it's lowest level, trap the ruler of this cursed kingdom and cultivate on his grudge against heaven so we can refine our own.


But i would do so only after talking to xuebai at least once and devising a method for the ghosts to cultivate, else they may go crazy if they wait the years needed for our ascension.
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>>5597855
Draining him whole is just soul eating.
We decided not to do that. Its evil, not heretical, evil
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>>5597855
My big concern is that in our pursuit of trying to find the most optimal way to use it, we forget it’s there. Looking through the pastebin there’s already a assortment of items that probably haven’t been mentioned since the thread they were obtained.
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>>5598390
I'm comfortable spending the Sinner bone centipede ichor. That'll probably become less useful as we advance so we can use it now.

The other stuff I dunno man. I'm drawing a blank on what to use a lot of it for, especially since breakthrough is rather constantly on my mind.
>>
Ending the vote and tallying the result.

Be humble for once, and be happy with knowing the extent of the Gege's newly trained abilities, and instead focus on helping them break through and perhaps...just perhaps, guiding them attaining a human form: 10

Landslide victory for assisting the Gege's in their breakthrough and attempting to set them down the path to attain human forms.

Update will arrive shortly. Loving all the discussion and planning.

>>5596952
Heh.
>>
So rather than enduring the strain of such rigorous studies and going through the arduous process of preparing your mind to become the latest vessel for the mysteries unknown and truths forgotten, you shut the manual and rolled the scriptures, replacing them in the black and white jade storage chest they were stored in. You had already learned a great deal even if you only grasped a little of it but you were content with that much, just knowing what your little sisters could do, assured they could defend themselves and survive side by side. You were happy for how much they achieved, to know the extent of their newly trained abilities and how quickly the old god on the mountain's lessons had allowed them to transcend their limits and develop into fine cultivators and proper daoists. The arrogant but talentless might scorn them for only going so far on the back of a giants, but what vain idiocy would it be to claim that progress made by guidance is somehow lesser than progress made by one's lonesome. You were proud of the Gege's, even if there was a mote of jealousy as well. But, in the end, you decide that while any progress is good progress especially if its by leap and bounds, that such vast insights are profound no matter how they are found, that your path is that of the innovator and there's no need for you to try to clamber up the ladder used by others when you fully intend to fly by your own power. Like a tiger growing wings, Heh heh.

However, you realize after you shut and secure the chest's lock, if the great and sagely you had difficulty understanding these old manuals and dusty scriptures then the Gege's must be having an even harder time continuing their study of them. They had thought they had reached the limit of their potential because they reached the bottleneck at the end of the start of their cultivation. And the spiritual weight of the the teachings they were gifted certainly didn't help them understand how to proceed in their cultivation. But, while you still didn't understand most of what you read beyond the last page you assume Jionghuagege and Tiexingege had put any effort in to study, mostly since you didn't even really try to take that knowledge and make it your own, you at least had an inkling of an idea of how these ancient cultivation arts would progress. The methods seemed straight forward, if somewhat esoteric compared to the usual way of ascending to a higher realm. And less safe.

It was common knowledge one could breakthrough by nearly killing themselves with training or in the desperation of a life or death battle, but it was also common sense it was much more reliable to breakthrough by meditating on the insight's one has obtained and branded into their mind or search for new wisdom and profound knowledge, with the assistance of medicinal pills and spirit medicines of course.
Cont
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>>5598893

Another sign of the stagnancy of cultivation? Or just the most straightforward means of climbing closer to the heavens? You weren't certain, your first breakthrough was a risk few orthodox cultivators would take, but your innovation allowed you to "Skip" several ranks straight into Foundation establishment. Still, while there was no doubt that what little advice could be gleamed from the manuals who were so old their titles had been worn away into the leather that bound them would work as a foundation to breakthrough there was a wiggling sense of doubt worming inside your brains. Like a maggot.

It was effective, boldly so, but as easy as the method the books suggested seem you could tell they were equally as dangerous. Like your own inventive idea to turn your body ethereal before possessing it with your own severed soul or to transmute your whole body into a pool of blood to survive the fury of the heavens.

A realization struck you as you ruminated on what to do and how to help pull your adorable little sisters up to your level.

'I am an expert of improvisation! The plans I come up with in the heat of moment, under the shadow of death, tend to work out for me! My expertise in spontaneous schemes and natural genius would let me dull the edge of the Gege's cultivation techniques and protect them from the risk the traditional methods of breakthrough would entail'

And so, without a second thought, you decided you'd take the suggestions of the old, nearly falling apart manuals and just adjust them as you saw fit, trampling on the feet of the old masters who penned them. But who cared about that! Adapt or die was one of the numerous laws of the wild, and one you thought you embodied quite well!

"Princesses!" You bellowed, roaring as you ran through the warrens of Tiexingege's brood, trying to remember the way out without having to ask for help

Roll 1d100. DC 65. Best out of four.
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Rolled 78 (1d100)

>>5598895
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Rolled 14 (1d100)

>>5598895
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Rolled 33 (1d100)

>>5598895
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Rolled 22 (1d100)

>>5598895
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>>5598896
Nice Success, 10 over DC. Update will arrive shortly

>>5598914
>>5598918
weird.
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>>5598893
>And the spiritual weight of the teachings they were gifted certainly didn't help them understand how to proceed in their cultivation.

Sneaky old Five Colors, I see you.
>>
Got carried away writing this one.

Also, reminding you all that Huanliuxue is a [Great Teacher] so those she trains get better results and rewards she reaps in turn are increased.
>>
"Jionghuagege, Tiexingege! The time has come for you to surpass the first stepping stone and leap to the next! To leave behind the Qi Condensation Stage and begin to truly build up the foundations of your cultivation, properly since a hastily built and unsteady foundation will prove disastrous and cripple your chances of greatness!" You declare bluntly, eyes narrowed to slits and back held up straight as you sit atop a large rock with all the dignity and presence of an empress atop her throne "Many lesser cultivators fail this first step and stumble into the river of mediocrity or simply never muster up the courage or gather the power or wisdoms required to take the leap to start with. But you are wild princesses, like myself, Yesheng Geges and princesses by name. You might be my juniors but as far as noble rank goes you're pretty much my equal until I'm officially crowned the empress of everything, Heh-Heh-Heh"

Fu nods along, arms crossed and looking like he might be trying to covertly take a nap as the Geges and their seemingly ever growing legion of witless children stand attentively before you, arranged into columns like an imperial insect army. Some part of you delights in just standing before them, to feel like a monarch commanding their troops and inspiring them before battle. Thankfully that is a fantasy that can be indulged while you instruct the Geges in this key point of their development.


"But that doesn't mean you're sure to succeed. The ancient techniques taught to you do not adhere to common sense of cowardice and caution most of the cultivation world and its sects are beholden to. These are the old rites, the forgotten ways, the dangerous path to power, a road through brambles and thorns" You continue on, casting your gaze down upon the two younger princesses. Jionghuagege seems apprehensive and worried all ready but Tiexingege seems delighted to be presented with such a challenge "But the fruit at the end of this road is far sweeter and more nourishing than that of the tree constantly picked. Luckily, your elder sister is experienced in dealing with danger, and can help you find the safest route through those brambles and thorns!"

You take in a deep breath and grin manically, eyes glittering already in anticipation of seeing the Gege's succeed magnificently and by your assistance. It makes you giddy just thinking about it.

"Oh you are too generous" Jionghuagege exclaims, almost tearfully "To take time from your own training to lend us a helping hand. Truly you're a shining example of nobility and kindness! I'm grateful and touched beyond words! I'll repay you for this support one day, as your peer, Huanliuxue! I swear this now"

"Always good to get pointers, no shame in learning from the lessons of the strong. Only a brute without brains think they can conquer all challenges in the world by themselves" Tiexingege chuckles "Can't wait to face this struggle at your side, Red Fur! And Yours to, Jiong-Jiong"
Cont
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>>5599126

"Oh Tie-Tie! While it is certainly a frightening prospect to face this tribulation, especially with how fierce of a trial she makes it out to seem, together this is no obstacle we cannot conquer. Ants and Bees may be small but we're strong, and side by side there's nothing we can't accomplish together!" The girl herself merrily declares, completely confident in herself and her friend.

"Of course! She's just trying to scare us so we take this seriously as if her tone didn't make it obvious enough!" Tiexingege laughs boisterously "When we're together, no matter the odds, we can't lose! Flowers may wilt and Iron might rust, be we won't! I'll damn sure of that at least"

Unfortunately you have to rain on their parade

"Unfortunately, your two laws are incompatible. The elements are opposed and so are the natures of their breakthroughs" You say solemnly, looking away so you don't cry seeing the look of confidence and childish joy flee from their eyes.

"BULLSHIT!" Tiexingege shouts immediately "That's...that's!"

"Oh no, oh no" Jionghuagege frets

"It has to be this way, if you do this together, you'll only hold the other back or completely bungle their breakthrough by the presence of your spiritual energy. Metal and Wood don't get along" You say sharply, hissing and barring your fangs to truly impress how important it is they seperate themselves "If there was any other way, I'd allow it, but its too risky for you to perform your breakthrough anywhere near each other. I've done all that can be done to reduce the dangers you'll face. You have to do this on your own. I've already know of locations rich in Metal Qi and Wood Qi, of supreme quality and purity and with your children and Fu and I, you won't have to deal with any interlopers interrupting your meditation. But they're on opposites sides of this valley"

Tiexingege growls, but says nothing as Jionghuagege bows her head, agreeing to your terms without complaint though she looks miserable doing so.

"Fine!" Tiexingege shouts "If its for Jiong-Jiong's safety, I'll do this on my own. But I won't forgive you if she comes to harm"

"I know you won't, that's why Fu is accompanying you and I'll follow Jionghuagege" You say trying to calm the angry ant to keep her mind unclouded and focused, it'd only be a detriment to her if she was distracted during her breakthrough "I mean no offense when I say she is the easier target between the two of you"

"She really is, even though I've tried to change that"

"I'd defend myself but I know that's the truth of the matter" Jionghuagege admits sadly "Don't die Tie-Tie"

"I won't" She drawls back, speaking like a gangster as she lifts up her head "I should be saying that to you, when we're done here, we'll uh...relax alright? Have some tea and honey"
Cont
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>>5599130

"Oh! We will! I was worried we'd be right back to training after this! If its as difficult as Lady Huanliuxue makes it sound, we'll well deserve a reward" Jionghuagege says, clearly nervous about the ordeal she is soon to face.


Of course there is a reason besides that. The location you've chosen for Tiexingege is an ancient battlefield, littered with rusted weapon, iron so decayed it has returned to the soil. Soil that is already rotten with grudges and blood that has had eons to soak into a saturate it. And Hungry Ghosts as deranged and monstrous as those who call the depths of your catacombs home. You're sending Fu with her, to hopefully show her the benefits of a human body, which the boy actually had already done in his spar, suspecting without being told that you wished to instruct the Geges how to become human. He was always a clever boy like that. But, besides serving as an example as to the massive benefits of having opposable thumbs which is the only real way you can convince Tiexingege to decide a human form is worth the time and effort to attain, since you know she only cares about the strength her new body would have and nothing of the traditions of your ancestors and that it is unseemly for a heiress like her to not equal them in deeds along with her strength. But also because those ghosts are a threat she can't handle on her own. But Fu? He might not follow the Ruler of The great wheel's law and instead marches to a different tune and under a different Dao, but he has experiences with ghosts. And you're hoping, besides keeping Tiexingege from being cursed, and teaching her how worthwhile and fun being human can be, that he'll grow beside her.

It isn't exactly training alongside you, and you won't learn anything from it, but you and him can practice together and again and apply what you learn about the other's method and techniques anytime. There's no rush there. But The Geges need to breakthrough, and despite what you told them, Tiexingege's will actually be the more treacherous attempt, due to the ghosts and her bullheaded nature. Good thing Fu is here to act as her chaperone! Meanwhile all Jionghuagege has to do is connect herself to the flower she already meditates on and supp upon its sap and Qi until the flood of spiritual energy just breaks her bottleneck from sheer volume alone!

"Oi, what's got you cackling like that Red Fur? Its creeping me out!" Tiexingege barks.

"Nothing, nothing" You sneer, just as suspiciously as you had been cackling without realizing. But who can blame you, the triumphant feeling of a plan coming together is about as intoxicating as Kaoliang wine! And while Fu and Tiexingege face an actual challenge, Jionghuagege's relatively easy trial by comparison should give you a chance to teach her something about human wisdom, understanding and how different and similar they are to beasts.
Cont
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>>5599131

She's a clever girl and won't need any convincing, unlike her fellow princess, who you think would refuse the chance just because it doesn't provide any benefits in battle or make her a stronger fighter. But maybe Fu will convince her otherwise. Though you don't think, if she does try to obtain her bloodline legacy as you have, that she'll be too happy with the results considering the harsh words she had for your beautiful body.
-
Great Teacher Bonus applied to training results
Jionghuagege has transcended the Qi Condensation stage, and entered the Foundation establishment Stage, at rank 2! Tiexingege has transcended the Qi Condensation stage, and entered the Foundation establishment Stage, at rank 2! There is no greater reward for a master to see their students succeed! +10 to your next training/ cultivation roll, Bonus for raising a disciple to foundation establishment state +20, Bonus for raising a disciple to foundation establishment state +20, +50! Total bonus is now +218! And...


You stand, watching from a hill as great beam of emerald light rises up from the flower forest, piercing through the clouded sky as Jionghuagege, after a few days of meditation with only the dew of the eldest flower to eat or drink, finally fills her meridians and dantian with such an over abundance of Qi to simply shatter her bottleneck and enter the Foundation establishment stage in a gloriously display with an accompanying light show. Smirking, you glance back, and wait a few minutes, as the light tapers and begins to fade, flickering as the grasses around you grow and new flowers spring up already the size of sapplings.

On the opposite end of the horizon, there's a wave of black clouds and lightning, natural lightning not the sort thrown and tossed around by the gods in a fit of pique or insulted rage, falls down, telling your Tiexingege has also finished her breakthrough and now stood on the same level of Cultivation at you. Well, nearly. You'd guess, even with your expert advice and guidance, they were still a rank or two below yourself, though you could easily widen the gap between them and you ten fold if you wished. Especially from the insights you've learned from watching Jionghuagege breakthrough and putting into practice some of the meditation forms and breathing techniques the old God on the mountain taught her and Tiexingege in your absence. Not to mention learning how insects like bees and Ants think and how they differ from other forms of life.

You learned that when you were talking with Jionghuagege on the walk over to her makeshift cultivation altar, and you talked for hours as she mustered the courage to take that final climb and start her breakthrough, about how you saw the world as both a cat and a girl.
Cont
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>>5599132

How your perspective and understanding changed when you sought human wisdom, and the reasons why to a beast humans had such strange habits, explaining to her faith, authority, civilization and other concepts that don't exist in the pure world of animals. And as you spoke with her, she explained how odd even you as a cat alone were to her, and how alien the world of bugs were. So you sat her down, and kept talking, and with a bit of nudging she came to realize that the only difference between a city and a hive was the lack of unity.

Of course you spoke to her as a human, even if you kept shifting your form from beast to girl over and over again, mostly because Jionghuagege kept complimenting your beauty as both and you couldn't resist the allure of further praise.

But, now that you sit, nude except for your hair covering you and a few flowers Jionghuagege's children covered you in for some reason, you begin to wonder if that was a good idea. You want Jionghuagege to become human like you have done while remaining the wild beast you are, but thinking back to your long discussion from dawn to night about humanity, what was that look in her eye? That tone in her voice? It was just admiration or awe, it wasn't just curiosity or confusion. It was desire. No...no not desire. Desperation.

Envy.

Envy for a beauty she could not have as a bug. Did your story of how those who'd otherwise scorn you or run in fear from you falling head over heels in love over your human form hit a switch in her mind? Did she finally realize just what sort of life she'd live if she left the safety of her basin, that humans would fear and hate her rather than adore her as she believes, rightfully, she deserves?

Your heart skips a beat. She isn't ready to face the wrath of the heavens like you did and...

"My my, haven't you changed?" The old god says, standing astride a sword, looking down on you in the sky, a cheeky grin under his white beard, which is dancing like a banner in the wind, as Jionghuagege attempts to do exactly as you feared "More beautiful than those praised as jade beauties by the worthless decandents of the trash who rule the world, eh? How ironic. How fitting, that you'd be so blessed despite all the attempts of the world to beat you down and end your journey prematurely for the simple crime of being born with fur and claws, rather than skin and nails"

You stare at him as he commands his sword to land beside you, grinning as if you two were friends who just ran into the other in a market or gambling den and he had just invited himself over to chat over the price of fish or invite you to his table for good luck.


"What are you doing here?" You ask, eyes still wide as he frowns, as if pondering the question, while one of his hands digs into his sleeve and retrieves a steaming pot of tea. You glance down and see a table set with cups and sweets have appeared between you. He sits down, as if this were his home.
Cont
>>
>>5599133

"Hmm? Its my own garden is it not? I should ask why you are streaking through it. A good sense of freedom is always nice, but even I believe there should be some limitations of one's conduct in another's home" He says as he pours the tea, judging from the smell it is a not an oolong but rather a freshly picked green. You know this cause you got bored one night and read that book on imperial tea ceremony when you couldn't will yourself to sleep

"You're complaining a naked beauty is skipping through your garden? Are you even a man?" You tease, realizing he is just messing with you. He smirks and with a snap, clothes you in a robe of undyed silk that smells like old people.

"What naked beauty" He snickers as he glances back to the gathering clouds and maelstrom of energy "And to be direct with you, Huanliuxue, I'm here to join in the festivities! You've opened the gates for beasts to walk as men again, and shown those youngsters heavens they can't force nature to their whims"

"Why did you leave to begin with?" You ask, now somewhat suspicious

"Had to scold some youngsters, and see for my own eyes how much the world has changed in my exile here. And exactly how far we cultivators have fallen as a whole" He says simply, staring at the pitch black sky "Do not fear for her, you have a talent for teaching, she'll be fine"

"I'm not worried she'll fail" You say, glancing to the sky as you lay back and kick one leg over the other. The old timer glanced to the heavens almost boredly

"I dare them to strike that child while they're in my reach. You've proven your point by your own power, and announced a new era with a triumphant roar that reached even my ears" He says proudly, a warm smile on his lips and grandfatherly affection in his teary eyes "And so, built a bridge over the raging river you braved. You broke a law of heaven, and shattered the injustice Mandate that beasts cannot cultivate and cannot become men, even if the stubborn and blind have yet to realize it"

You decide, from how confident he sounds, that you'd like nothing more than the heavens to try and stop Jionghuagege from taking a human form. That would be a blood bath you'd love to see
_
[meanwhile on the opposite side of the valley...]

"What's happening?" Tiexingege asked Fu, who sat beside her, cross legged, observing the horizon while the ant princess finished her breakthrough without issue. Because he had personally dealt with a few hungry ghosts that wanted to ruin her attempt or take her life
Cont
>>
"If I have to guess, my master has taught your sister the secret of humanity, and she's attempting to do what she had done not to long ago. The clouds in the sky are exactly the same" Fu says simply "That's my best guess at least. Not sure if it'll work for her, since Huanliuxue spent months traveling in the guise of a human before she figured it out. Then again, she is an excellent teacher and Jionghuagege seemed like a bright kid. Maybe she'll succeed. Hope she does. Huanliuxue would be over the moon if she did"

"Tch, why? Its just a weaker body. I don't get why she's so proud about it. It doesn't have any use besides sneaking and hiding from her enemies, right?" She grumbled angrily "She loses her claws, fangs and most of her size. Its a complete downgrade and it isn't even worthy much as a disguise considering she smells the same either way"

"Its a legacy, she told me" Fu said profoundly "The magical beasts of old could all become human. Once, they were considered equals by other cultivators, rather than monsters to hunt and cut up into resources and materials for cultivation. Huanliuxue...despite her ego and pride, does admire her ancestors. She wants to surpass them, yes. She wouldn't be Huanliuxue if she didn't. But...I think in her own way, she wants to honor them and live up to their legacy. Does a human form make her stronger? No. Of course not. She's a cat. A perfect predator and a proud existence"

"Who cares what the dead did, they're gone"

"Not quite. The false gods did all they could to scrub them from history, but the memory remains. My master has made certain of that. She's fought stone giants and even went to hell in search of your people's history, to preserve it" Fu said, putting a gentle hand on Tiexingege's head "Once, it was a right of passage for a beast to take human form, rather than an afront. Something to be celebrated. Least as far as I understand it. Huanliuxue hasn't talked about it much and I haven't had much of a chance to study the manuals she learned the method from"

"Still don't see the benefits. Seems like a waste of time. Can't believe Red fur would waste time on so pointless a thing. Jionghuagege I'd understand" Tiexingege huffed as Fu shook her head "Least it didn't take her so long to figure it out"

"She had all the wisdom and insights before in the form of my lady. A talk is all it'd take. That, girl, is the sign of a true master. They can bring their disciples to enlightenment as easily as turning over their hand" Fu chuckled proudly "Besides, think of it this way. You can't carry a weapon"

"I have my own"
"Stuck to your limbs"
"So what?"
"They can't be thrown, and their movement is greatly restricted. It'd be like tying a sword to my arm"
"Tch, I can pick one up with my mandibles"
"It'd be pointless to. See how my arms move"
"I've seen humans before, we fought a few days ago, I know how you can bend your squishy body"
"Okay, do the same"

Tiexingege bowed her head and was silent in thought
Cont
>>
>>5599142

"Okay" She admitted "I can't, so what, I'm still stronger!"

"Are you? Your armor is attached to you, your swords are stuck to your hands, and you can't even pluck a blade of grass" Fu said harshly, demonstrating just that "Jionghuagege will be able to. In fact, she'll grow much stronger when she has hands to cast spells with, to make talismans with, to hold a spear in one hand and a shield in the other"

She was silent, head still bowed. Fu could taste her anger, but he kept pressing. He knew Huanliuxue became human because she learned how to think and feel like one. But every beast he met spoke of awakening from a strong emotion before. And that Edict his master read spoke of a second awakening. Surely, there was more than one way to stand on two legs.

And what could be more human than feeling left behind by a rival, Fu thought? Surely ants couldn't feel jealously naturally. But this one could. She already had, if her anger towards Jionghuagege was any sign of how she felt. But maybe, she hadn't felt true jealousy then and had just been offended. But Fu knew grudges. So Fu knew jealously. And Fu knew if he kept poking, he'd make her feel jealous that she had been surpassed. And that was all it'd take. And if Jealousy didn't work, Humiliation might.

"Then what use will she have of you" He said cruelly, feeling guilty he had to be so harsh on the little girl "You're here guardian. But when she can wear armor herself, will she need a shield like you? When she can take up arms, learn to fight with a sword, what use will she have of those blades on your legs?"

"Shut up" She whispered

"Running away from the truth will do nothing" Fu continued, not moving an inch as the ant who, by the pressure in the air, was a stage higher than him now. He was courting death. But it was his duty to Huanliuxue to see her will done, no matter the cost "Answer me? What could you do for her that hands could not? You love being useful to her, I know that much. She can't pick anything up on her own, She walks clumsily, relies on you to protect her, to do all sorts of things for her. But that is changing. And she won't need you the way she does now"

"Shut up!"

"How much of your identity will you lose, when the weak girl you've devoted your life to no longer needs you, when your the one who'll need help, who'll need to be protected?" He pressed on, looking down at her, sensing her rage growing and growing

"I SAID SHUT UP!!"

"Make me" He challenged, leaning over his axe as several ghosts came to see what was making such a ruckus over their open graves "It won't change anything. Your rival, your friend, your ward is surpassing you as we speak. What can you do besides fight? All that strength is worthless beside opposable thumbs and lateral thinking"
Cont
>>
>>5599145

She lunged at him, But Fu had used the lightness skill to leap up into the air, narrowly avoiding the swing of her blades. The rain had made the old battlefield slick with mud, Fu used this to his advantage by leaping out of Tiexingege's reach, onto a hill that was more a stream of mud and stood atop a rock. The hill wasn't tall. More of a clod of dirt, a bump. But, it was higher than Tiexingege could reach her jaws or swing her limbs, and the muddy ground kept her from rearing up onto her hind legs to try and extend her reach

"A human would have no difficulty shutting me up" Fu mocked, realizing now just how bad of an idea this was, even as a storm roared around them with wailing winds and sheets of rain "See how weak an Ant is? In a contest of strength, you'd win. But life isn't a battle, living for fighting alone is pathetic...have you changed at all? All the beasts I've know transcended their origins. Jionghuagege has certainly. But you just"

There was a crack. The rain had been so thick Fu hadn't noticed the spark of metal sheering itself apart.

But he did feel the knuckles on his cheeks, and the pressure of bone bending beneath his skin as his neck snapped back. A stray thought fluttered between his ringing ears. Jealousy? Humiliation? No, what caused Tiexingege to evolve in a moment wasn't either of those. It was rage, born from both.


"SHUT UP!" Tiexingege shrieked in a much higher pitched voice as Fu went flying, stunned. He'd never been seriously hit by a cultivator of a higher level than himself. She might've broken his jaw. Blinking trying to clear the fog in his head, he picked himself up to see a shadow in the rain....far shorter than he expected, if he was being honest.

He smirked, tasting blood and feeling lightheaded.

Then Tiexingege slipped and fell into the mud without even being able to take another step forward before she lost her balance. Fu sighed, and grabbed his jaw, wondering who he should thank for his good luck, since he refused to thank the heavens on principle

"Heeeeelp!" The little ant girl cried, as the rain swept her away on her back...in water that was only a foot or so deep. Stumbling, Fu ran after her, already thinking of how to apologize to her.

"NO NOT YOU! FUCK OFF ASSHOLE!"

He couldn't win, could he?
_

"Idiot" You scolded Jionghuagege, as she hung by her fingers from a massive white petal. She had actually managed to do it, and in a burst of golden light like pollen, took on a human form. Without thinking of where she was and immediately plummeted from the top of the flower. You stood beneath her, arms crossed. All you could see from under her was that she had long, silver hair and strangely had markings resembling her butterfly like wings on her back.

You could also see her ass, and unconsciously tried to figure out if it was bigger or smaller than your own. And judging from that pale ass of hers, she was freckled and you could only assume her other pair of cheeks were as well.
>>
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>>5599148

The clouds in the sky were clearing, and like the Old god had said, unlike your tribulation, the gods hadn't dared to try to stop either of the Geges. Whether that was because they had learned their lesson with you, or because he was here to scare them off, you couldn't say. You know beasts in the past didn't have to go through as much trouble as you did, but you doubted the gods had grown brains just because a few of them knocked themselves out of the sky like a bunch of jackasses.

"See, child, this is how easy it was supposed to be" The old man himself laughed and laughed, throwing back his head "Oh that poor girl, I feel bad for laughing at her, but its just hilarious isn't it? It reminds me of Old Niu! Oh it took him ages to stop running when he realized the technique he created didn't provide clothes, and it took him longer to escape the girls who caught sight of him in his flight and...and"

His expression fell, smile melting away immediately as his eyes became filled with sorrow and bitterness. He looked at his reflection in the tea.

"He's been dead for centuries. All of them are" he said quietly "And only you and I remember their names. Poor Niu, a loving teaching and chivalrous man is remembered only as a randy demon cut down by generic heroes in unforgivably boring and trite plays"

"H..Huanliuxue!? Something is...its cold between my legs" Jionghuagege whimpered, as a breeze wafted around her and between her shivering legs "Could you please get me down from here! I don't know how to change back AH! Something touched me again"

Grandpa was right. It was really hard not to laugh at Jionghuagege right now. The old man was looking at you forlornly, as if the look on your face as you tried to stifle your rude laughter had reminded him of someone he knew. You glared back at him poutingly, and he looked away, pretending to not have been boring a hole into you with his eyes.

"You should help her" He said, as if he couldn't just fly up there himself

"Ah! Ah! Why are my hands wet! Slipping! Slipping!" Jionghuagege cries out, her legs swaying as you stared at the old timer in disbelief.

What do you do Huanliuxue?

>Catch Jionghuagege and get her dressed. She clearly can't stand the cold and its pathetic seeing her shivering like that [Haste trial. Trivial with your techniques. Auto succeed]

>Question the old god off the mountain about Niu Bingwen, letting Jionghuagege fall so she can learn a valuable lesson about gravity|

>Wait a second. That laugh sounded eerily similar to another you've heard. The Ogress'. His eyes aren't Ling eyes but Call The old Man Ling Wucai and see if he responds

>Feeling mischievous, mess with Jionghuagege by floating beside her and teasing her relentlessly as she struggles.

>Go check on Fu and Tiexingege [can be taken with other actions]

>Write in
>>
>>5599149
>Catch Jionghuagege and get her dressed. She clearly can't stand the cold and its pathetic seeing her shivering like that [Haste trial. Trivial with your techniques. Auto succeed]
>Wait a second. That laugh sounded eerily similar to another you've heard. The Ogress'. His eyes aren't Ling eyes but Call The old Man Ling Wucai and see if he responds
Maybe Old Five Colors is the key to stopping the Ogress from being a bitch.
>>
>>5599155
And to add to the realization, we know that the first awakened beast was an Ox called Niu Bingwen and was the companion of the five color emperor, and he just referenced him.
Also Tie being an angry pipsqueak is hilarious
>>
>>5599149
>Question the old god off the mountain about Niu Bingwen, letting Jionghuagege fall so she can learn a valuable lesson about gravity|
We could be nice… or we could teach her to plan her actions better next time.

>Wait a second. That laugh sounded eerily similar to another you've heard. The Ogress'. His eyes aren't Ling eyes but Call The old Man Ling Wucai and see if he responds
We don’t need to follow this lead all the way down the rabbit hole, we can just open with it and take the win if he responds.

>Go check on Fu and Tiexingege [can be taken with other actions]
>>
>>5599149
>Wait a second. That laugh sounded eerily similar to another you've heard. The Ogress'. His eyes aren't Ling eyes but Call The old Man Ling Wucai and see if he responds
>Go check on Fu and Tiexingege [can be taken with other actions]
>>
>>5599163
I support these.

I'd also like to, now that our juniors have transgressed to the next stage, go back to their techniques and ABSORB THE KNOWLEDGE.

I don't think we can though, with lines like
>But, in the end, you decide that while any progress is good progress especially if its by leap and bounds, that such vast insights are profound no matter how they are found, that your path is that of the innovator and there's no need for you to try to clamber up the ladder used by others when you fully intend to fly by your own power. Like a tiger growing wings, Heh heh.

Barring us from that path, as it contradicts prior characterisation.
>>
>>5599149
>And only you and I remember their names.
And slowly that is changing... most of our students have heard us reference him. Or at least I would assume so, we've mentioned him at least twice when we marked our progress by showing off to our students.

>Question the old god off the mountain about Niu Bingwen, letting Jionghuagege fall so she can learn a valuable lesson about gravity|
>respectfully call the old man Ling Wucai and see if he responds
>Go check on Fu and Tiexingege [can be taken with other actions]

We did kinda already know given the legend and the number of graves his mountaintop had, it's a relatively simple connection. But maybe we can try for some progress on this little plot thread. Maybe he has been waiting for us to point it out, too.

Whenever he's been disparaging the gods and the state of the world it's basically the same as saying his former allies + his own grandchildren screwed up shamefully and it's mixed with the deep regrets of that final battle, meaning we should be tactful with it.

Heck, we have a letter addressed to us from his friend. How about that, yeah?
>>
A stray thought crossed my mind. A curiosity shooting through my thoughts like a bolt of lightning

What do you Daoists think the benefits of being a part of a bloodline started by Huanliuxue would be?
>>
>>5599201
bragging rights.
>>
>>5599201
I'm not sure what bloodlines do, so I don't have an idea what to suggest
>>
>>5599205
It would certainly have the pride and will that comes with it.
>>
>>5599201
Hmm. Huan’s pride is definitely a thing. But so is her curiosity and her benevolence.

I suppose her quick-wittedness. Creating her own dual-path dao as the first awakened beast in centuries to rise to foundation establishment speaks volumes to how quickly she learns.
>>
Ok guys, know that O think about it, maybe with the Geges we might have shaken things even harder in the cultivation world.

From what it looks like it wasn't as loud and shaking as our awakening, maybe only the people on the walls and the Winters Blossom Sect only noticed, but those are Big news that are going to spread and surely bring some assholes to this place to know what happened...

I thought maybe with the help of Jiong we can make Fu to meditate on this ancestral grudge of the trees we felt when we discovered the walls, maybe we can help Fu make a weird symbiosis with the Wood Qi and the Grudges of the Ancient Trees to make him into the Forest's wrath or something, Huan and Jiong covering him in moss, bark and leaves to make him a type of Swamp Thing to scare the guards in the walls, but that might only brought more attention into know that happens in the primordial wilds
>>
>>5599304
Fair point. We may need to bring up the “underground route to our land” idea. Seems like the metal law will allow for earth shaping to make it easier to dig. They’ll just need to dig well under the wall to avoid detection.
>>
>>5599339
Now that the Old God is here, maybe we can ask him for help with that project before he decides to go for another trip or starts to repairing his palace grounds (that from the sheer description that Grandfather gave as Huan passed it all by smelling the route, it might take a while)
>>
>>5599149
>Catch Jionghuagege and get her dressed. She clearly can't stand the cold and its pathetic seeing her shivering like that [Haste trial. Trivial with your techniques. Auto succeed]
>>
>>5599149
>Wait a second. That laugh sounded eerily similar to another you've heard. The Ogress'. His eyes aren't Ling eyes but Call The old Man Ling Wucai and see if he responds
>>
>>5599201
Nah but seriously, we are aware that roots are not hereditory so our kids won't get our mega roots.

But natural grace and a benefit of yin supreme body is a given, due to what would be passed down biologically.
The crazy shit is what happens when we add in our cultivation to it.

Probably something to the degree that they can interact with the ghostly world even prior to starting cultivation, able to see ghosts and talk to them and maybe be seen as "one of them" at the low end.
Or we could encode in their blood a basic body tempering technique.
>>
>>5599149
>Catch Jionghuagege and get her dressed. She clearly can't stand the cold and its pathetic seeing her shivering like that [Haste trial. Trivial with your techniques. Auto succeed]
>Go check on Fu and Tiexingege [can be taken with other actions]

I hope we can ask those other questions in the next vote, or at least one of those
>>
What this? A vote that is split between multiple choices in this thread?
A tally ought put a stop to that!

>Votes - 8
IM5lgQJA
nSeWvvaE
aOwzS9Pk
cu7x5rpu
oQFZmIFL
DIjblR5K
iL55yOPb
4BoXhHDA

>Catch Jiong - 3
IM5lgQJA
DIjblR5K
4BoXhHDA

>Ling Wucai - 5
IM5lgQJA
aOwzS9Pk
cu7x5rpu
oQFZmIFL
iL55yOPb

>Niu Bingwen - 3
nSeWvvaE
cu7x5rpu
oQFZmIFL

>Check Fu and Tie - 5
nSeWvvaE
aOwzS9Pk
cu7x5rpu
oQFZmIFL
4BoXhHDA
>>
>>5599782
You're always present on the times of need, when Grandfather is out fighting black guards or arrogant young masters, you're there.

Thanks for your service, tally anon.
>>
>>5599795
I did miss on tallying one vote that wasn't near unanimous this thread, so it's not like I'm always present.
Also sometimes other anons count before I do.
>>
>>5599149
>Catch Jionghuagege and get her dressed. She clearly can't stand the cold and its pathetic seeing her shivering like that [Haste trial. Trivial with your techniques. Auto succeed]
>Wait a second. That laugh sounded eerily similar to another you've heard. The Ogress'. His eyes aren't Ling eyes but Call The old Man Ling Wucai and see if he responds
>>
>>5599149
>Wait a second. That laugh sounded eerily similar to another you've heard. The Ogress'. His eyes aren't Ling eyes but Call The old Man Ling Wucai and see if he responds
>Go check on Fu and Tiexingege [can be taken with other actions]
>>
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Burned the fuck out of my hand, a gnarly two inch sear over two knuckles that hurts like buggery. There's Probably going to be no update today.
>>
>>5600283
Jesus Christ Grandfather.
Hope you get better, and good luck fighting the Curse
>>
>>5600283
The Dao of The Pen is tragically frail to the Dao of The Pan! Take your time well Grandfather, deep burns can take weeks to get better.
If it's truly severe try petroleum jelly after a burn cream has had its run, sometimes moisturizers aren't the best.
>>
>>5600283
Damn. That sucks.
Hope you feel better soon.
>>
>>5600283
Ah shit, that's extremely unpleasant.
>>
>>5599149
>>Question the old god off the mountain about Niu Bingwen, letting Jionghuagege fall so she can learn a valuable lesson about gravity|
>Feeling mischievous, mess with Jionghuagege by floating beside her and teasing her relentlessly as she struggles.
>>
>>5599155
I support this, but we need to make clear that we have questions for him before he vanishes away like batman while we're not looking.
And more than redeem the ogress we need to rope a way to resurrect the serpent and the fox ghosts, or at least cultivate.
Could a reincarnation like the dragon is doing work?
>>
>>5601332
>Could a reincarnation like the dragon is doing work?
From what it looks like... It's like maybe the baby dragons' souls rest into that deep pond until they wanna be born, and it's then we're maybe they go into this semi-ethereal form to look for some potential fathers, they choose and the female dragon then is capable to give birth to that exact baby dragon.

Surely the dragons won't tell us how they make that pond, or maybe even they can't tell, but we can maybe send Yuji and Xuebai here and let the dragons make the process of their rebirth (or maybe reborn is a more propiate term, idk). But I doubt they would let us, it might be offensive for them and after all, the most closer thing to a Dragon is Yuji, Xuebai it's just way different so maybe the process it's imposible for her.

I say that we should decide either dump the training bonus into focusing in Blood Qi and concentrate in the idea of make new life as a vessel for ghosts, or into the Ghostly Yin Qi to learn more about the souls states and have a better grip into what we can do to bring them both back
>>
>>5601414
Or put it into focusing on grudges. I’m certain there’s a number of grudges directed towards the cycle of reincarnation itself. We could always just hijack the cycle as a whole through overpowering hatred and make the universe give them new bodies.

Or something. Cats are known to knock things over and stare at the mess afterward. Big cat, big messes.
>>
>>5601437
I remember something like that idea. It was for trying to cultivate the Qi of reincarnation, where we'd fool the universe into thinking we're ready to "advance" in the cycle, only to steal the Qi within it. Maybe we can combine the possibilities?
>>
>>5601449
Qi tied to a fundamental underpinning of the universe? I’d sign up for that.

Investigate the nature of grudges that have been sated. Sating them often helps people move on in the cycle. That implies some interaction between grudges and the wheel of reincarnation. And Buddhism teaches that life is suffering and releasing yourself from the cycle is the true answer, implying suffering is suffused into the cycle of reincarnation itself. So either grudges gum up reincarnation, or grudges are baked in. Perhaps the cycle just doesn’t like grudges that are too “worldly” in nature, too far removed from the suffering that simply “is”. But Huan can sort that out. It gives us two ways to track how the wheel behaves, one of which should be true.

A still pond sees no change unless a pebble or fish breaks the surface. In that way, we could expect that a soul will not advance in the cycle of reincarnation unless something pushes or pulls it in that direction. If grudges prevent the cycle, then we should see it resisting something. When released, the force that drives souls to reincarnate would exist in the vacuum left from a sated grudge. If Buddhism is correct and the suffering is intrinsic, then even after all grudges are resolved then we should still see something resembling it clinging to them, drawing them to reenter the cycle.

Ponder this for our breakthrough. The nature of grudges, ghosts, and the great wheel.
>>
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Though my hand still hurts, I'm ending the vote now and tallying the result

Catch Jionghuagege and get her dressed. She clearly can't stand the cold and its pathetic seeing her shivering like that:5

Wait a second. That laugh sounded eerily similar to another you've heard. The Ogress'. His eyes aren't Ling eyes but Call The old Man Ling Wucai and see if he responds:9

Question the old god off the mountain about Niu Bingwen, letting Jionghuagege fall so she can learn a valuable lesson about gravity:4

Go check on Fu and Tiexingege:6

Feeling mischievous, mess with Jionghuagege by floating beside her and teasing her relentlessly as she struggles:1

So made suspicious by the familiarity of the Old god's laugh, you'll call him the name of the five colors emperor and see if he responds to it, then go Check on Fu and Tiexingege after Jionghuagege has gotten down from the flower, one way or another

Update will arrive shortly

>>5599782
>>5599795
Junior shall be justly rewarded with high privileges and honors for his service to the sect

>>5600294
>>5600332
>>5600466
>>5600614
And thank you all for your concern, it has aided me in this tribulation.

>>5599205
Hehehe
>>
However it wasn't because of the audacity of him telling you to help Jionghuagege down when he could have easily done so himself if he was so concerned, it was because in that moment you recognized his booming laughter that sounded through the valley like a thunderclap or earthquake. It was eerily familiar to another laugh you've heard elsewhere, one you don't believe you could ever forget. The deranged howling of the Ling Ogress, Ling Yaonan, laughed nearly exactly like he did. Sure hers sounded more bloodthirsty than mirthful and merry, and wasn't so much as warm as it was spinechilling hearing her giggle and titter like she were flirting while threatening to chop you apart or burn your soul to ash, and if it wasn't for her laughing boisterously rather than with those faked giggles and snickering she used as part of her teasing and playful act, you wouldn't have recognized just how similar her laugh was the one the old god let out of his belly moments ago.

Narrowing your eyes, you study him intently as he continues to look away like a dog who has been caught misbehaving, averting his eyes entirely and lifting his chin to avoid as much of your scrutiny as was possible. All the while Jionghuagege continued pleading for help and crying about the unfamiliar breeze and chill, her shadow swaying back and forth as the petal she clung to dipped from her weight and was then lifted aloft again by the same, gentle breeze whispering she was complaining about.

Just as you remembered, The old man's eyes didn't look like the treacherous eyes of the Ling family at all. There wasn't even a passing resemblance there. He had almond eyes, but every Ling you've met has had triangular eyes, the sort of eyes that makes it look like one is always scheming and plotting against whatever they're looking at or looking down at them with contempt. 'Ugly eyes', you thought, 'more so because they belong to the Ling'.

However that calm your suspicions. That laugh was too familiar and there were other reasons you believed this old hermit might in fact be the Five Colors emperor himself! Like how familiarly he spoke of certain figures, such as Niu Bingwen, how he referred to other gods as Youngsters and then the way he spoke of their crimes and the state they have left of the world, with as much guilt and sadness as anger. Then, the graves in his garden which survived his fury you awoke when you told him of the persecution of Divine Beasts such as yourself, a fury that ravaged the world with storms and natural disasters, a rage that split open the heavens to reveal the astral plane, an anger that cracked the earth and sky. He has the power to call the wind and summon the rain and with a flick of his sleeve destroy them both.

He is monstrously...no monstrously powerful isn't the right term, its lacking the punch that his strength actually has. He is level of power is on the other side of sanity! Just thinking about it makes you shiver in fright!
Cont
>>
>>5602260

But, fear alone isn't enough to dissuade you. You're bold! Peerless at least amongst your generation, since you can't claim otherwise in this old timer's presence. And you know he would not strike you for a slight of misnaming him or bringing up bad memories, if he was so cruel and small minded, he'd be constantly smacking you anyways! So there's no risk in parting your lips and saying a name that hasn't been spoken in many generations

"Ling Wucai?" You asks sweetly, like a spoilt little girl, sneaking up to his side, wagging your hips side to side like you were reading to pounce on him.

"Hmm?" He grunted, turning around instinctively, then he looked at you curiously, not offended or outraged, just surprised that you knew his name "Oh, I see, you've been burying that nose of yours into records of the worlds true history. As few as they are. I'm certain those whelps have gone to any length to erase the facts that would expose their hypocrisy and boundless ambition to their lesser. They named their own brothers and sisters demons, and spat on the graves of the others. Graves they put them in themselves. Utterly repugnant behavior, unbefitting an immortal, wouldn't you agree? It is by their hands you have suffered so gravely, Huanliuxue"

"You're a Ling" You say quietly, a sensation like freezing water oozing out from your heart, spreading like rot through the rest of your body

"I was adopted into the family" He says innocently, seeming even more confused why you, instinctively, recoiled away from him and lifted your lips as if to bare fangs "It's common practice amongst cultivator clans, or at least it used to be. Saved the patriarch's life back when I was young, ended up leading the family when he died childless after a failed tribulation. It wasn't a pleasant death my second father suffered. A small black hole formed in his Golden Core and he vanished....And judging from that horribly pleased look in your eye, The Ling Clan of the modern era have also wronged you, have they not? It is beginning to seem like every legacy I've left behind has been twisted towards villainy or used as an excuse for atrocities committed in the name of justice"

"Ah! Ah! My fingers hurt, I'm being pulled down! Scary! Help!" Jionghuagege shrieked and wailed, her tears falling around you like rain as he own kicking and struggling to clamber up higher ends up making the petal she's hanging onto bounce up higher and sway further, which scares her more and thus makes her flail around more which keeps the petal from falling still.

He sighed through his nose, white smoke curling over his lip like a dragon's whispers as his kindly expression darkened into a mask of seething outrage.
Cont
>>
>>5602264

"They're the reason I'm Huanliuxue to begin with, one of their number, without reason or cause, murdered my people and burned my home village to the ground. Soaking my white fur red with the blood of children" You say sadly, anger fleeing your body, you know it'd be wrong to blame him from the crimes of his progeny, so only sorrow and grief remain "I hunted him down, devoured any who wore their colors and when I finally caught up to him, ate him down to his bones. Yet the joy it brought me was fleeting"

You clenched a hand into a fist and snarled

"And I've fought another of their number, a brute of a girl whose more ogre than lady, Ling Yaonan, a sword maniac if there ever was one" You grumble angrily, remembering your bout with that madwoman in the imperial gardens

"I see" He says solemnly, falling to his knees and hitting his head to the ground "Allow me to apologize for the wrongs my descendants have done unto you, to your kind, and to the world. If you know my name, you must surely know the name of my son, the traitor who began this great perversion of the dao that so many now follow"

You don't but you won't reveal that and look the fool.

"There's no need for you to apologize for a mess you didn't make" You say quietly, awkwardly, fidgeting and curling a lock of your hair, not wanting to look at the Emperor degrading himself in front of you. Which was odd. Usually you delighted in such displays, but this one just put a heavy, twisting weight in your gut.

"But I did make it" He said mysteriously, sitting up to only kneel "If I did not retreat here to grieve and mourn, they would've never had the courage to usurp the heavens and slaughter their rivals. The lies that have become truth, would've never even been uttered. It is my shame"

"Uh, I don't know what you're talking about down there. The wind is muffling your voices, but its a plan to get me down isn't it? It is isn't It? Right? Right?!" Jionghuagege cries out

"And it is my pride to see that from the disaster I have wrought, one so benevolent has risen despite the circumstances of their birth" He says, ruffling your hair and making you feel even more awkward and uncertain, a burning warmth on your cheeks telling you you're blushed as red as your fur coat "Who would protect even those unloved by the heavens, and rectify the thousandfold injustices they have committed. You posses a pure heart, child, as I said when we first met. A treasure more valuable than any other. It brings tears to this old man's eyes to know that even for all the abuse and scorn you've suffered, at the hands of my own descendants no less, you still chose to be good. You had every right to become a villain, yet instead you chose to shield the scum of the world and befriend the worms in its soil. You are proud, yet you do not trample the weak beneath your feet"

His star filled eyes sparkled with pride as you noted a flock of giant bees flying towards Jionghuagege.
Cont
>>
>>5602265

"What better way to offend the heavens that scorn me than to be more righteous than they could ever hope to be. I might've been born from an act of cruel murderer, but I only ascended to what I am now because of the love I had for the victims" You say returning Wucai's warm smile with a beaming grin "The weak may be prey to the strong, Might makes right. But that is the right to rule, not bully"

"If only you were around to speak sense to my idiot son" The only Ling who you decide you don't despise laughs sadly, glancing up and sighing in relief "ah her children have saved her, while we have been talking of such sad affairs"

You glance over and see Jionghuagege being gently carried to the ground on the back of one of her daughters, trembling all over, her silver hair fallen over her eyes, hiding them completely. Now that she's closer you can see that her face's cheeks are freckled and that she is...a little pudgy. Not fat by any means, but she certainly has some extra meat on her belly and thighs. She unsteadily slides to the ground and wraps her arm around herself, as she looks around. She's shorter than you are though you wouldn't call her short by any means either. Resisting the urge to poke and knead her pleasantly round and soft looking tummy, you stride over to her, meaning to off her a coat.

She lifts her head and with two fingers parts her long bangs to reveal her eyes. Your breath is stolen as you let out a squeal of adoration. She's adorable! Her eyes are big and round, bright green with a ring of gold around her pupils, which if you look closely appear to be segmented like her natural form's eyes. Her face is round to, and cute, soft looking. You really want to pinch her cheeks mercilessly. Her eyebrows are in the same style as yours, a darker grey than the brilliant silver of her hair, which is actually sparkling in the sunlight you realize. Her lips naturally pout, making her seem all the more fragile as she looks up at you pitifully, still trembling and with tears streaming down her Rosey cheeks. She might not be a jade beauty, but she is certainly a cutie! You just want to hug her!

"Huanliuxuuuuue!" She cries out, sobbing as she throws up her arms and hugs you before you get the chance to, weeping into your chest. You hear a snap, and she's suddenly dressed in simple white robes, though she hasn't noticed, as she is too busy holding tightly to you and crying while wailing about how terribly frightening the ordeal of her breakthrough and transformation was. You sit her down and pamper her affectionately, as is your nature, delighting in seeing her adorably soft face brighten up with a smile as you praise and coddle her. Though she is happier when one of her daughters brings her a glob of honey, which she eats entirely inelegantly, shoveling it into her face and splattering it on the sleeves and chest of her robes.
Cont
>>
>>5602266

'I feel like a mother' You think lovingly and simultaneously annoyed as you wipe Jionghuagege's face clean before she can try to lick it clean as she had done her hands. She just stares at you with her bright, cheery eyes. She might be mannered for a honey bee, but as a girl she has a lot to learn about etiqutte. You intend to teach her, once the both of you have grown tired of talking of fashion and dresses in particular.

You meant to head over to see how Tiexingege's breakthrough went, but you got side tracked showing Jionghuagege how to put on make up that both looked refined and hinted at her heritage as a demonic beast, subtly of course. The Five Color emperor, surprisingly, gifts her several items of makeup and gives his own advice. Less is more he says.

So the three of you walk to the other side of the valley, Jionghuagege constantly checking her reflection and pulling at her robes, trying to get comfortable in wearing them and asking to borrow some of your clothes. And while she'd fit into them better than Lanfen or Qiang, you didn't want her ruining the silk by drenching them in honey.

"Oh dear" Jionghuagege mutters as you enter the battlefield "Someone should really clean up this mess, its awfully cluttered here"

"Gonna tear your hair out!" A shrill voice cries as you hear a scuffle and have to bite your tongue, hard enough to taste blood to stop from howling with laughter

You see a little girl, an absolute shrimp, on Fu's back, trying to rip chunks of hair from his head as he lays on the ground, trying to shield his head with his arms. You can tell that's Tiexingege. She's tanned all over, and has a few, thin white scars on her arms and legs, barely noticeable from a distance. In fact you'd call her roasted rather than tanned. Her skin was nearly as dark as her chitin, almost like red clay. Her hair was long and black and like Jionghuagege's had a certain metallic glint to it, though far duller than her sister's sparkling silver hair. Her eyes are sharp and give themselves naturally to glaring. And she is just so tiny! in every sense of the word! You're and Jionghuagege look like young women as humans, but poor Tie-tie looks like a little girl! A very bratty human girl! Though her compact size certainly didn't do anything to reduce her aggression or brute strength, considering she had pummeled poor Fu into the ground. And broken his jaw. Actually looking closely at her, despite her short stature, she has a very athletic body

You should probably help him.
cont
>>
>>5602267

Double Vote!

How do you help Fu

>Don't. Its funny seeing him get bullied by a little girl

>Give into your nurturing instincts and tackle Tiexingege to smother her in affection, using the height you have on her to keep her from running away

>Scold your little sister by smacking her upside the head (Strength trial. DC 65)

>"Oh! Black Iron! Haven't you gotten strong! Come here and try to knock me down, so I can see how much you've improved!" (Fortitude trial. DC 72)

>Write in

And what do you do afterwards, Huanliuxue?

>Entertain yourself styling the Gege's hair and dressing them up, overjoyed that they have become the second and third beasts to attain a human form, and praise them relentlessly

>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother (Martial/ Training Trial. DC 60)

>Seek out one of the monsters with Fu, to battle it and develop both of your techniques together.

>Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple. Tiexingege's kids and Monu's puppets should be enough of a workforce to make a path between the two

>Realize that the two breakthroughs/ Human form releases might draw attention and prepare accordingly

>write in
>>
>>5602268
>Give into your nurturing instincts

>Scheme to connect the basin to the temple
>Heal fu and spar with him
>Ask the old god to keep an eye on the garden and keep things "fair", by limiting anyone from the stage above foundation establishment from harrassing the gege's

I think the old man will accept this, as it's not bullying and there is still a large gap of people who can trounce the gege's, prompting them to get stronger still. But it prevents instant "SPLAT"

and finally
>Praise Fu for tutoring tietie in attaining human form and ask how the hell he did it by himself?
>>
>>5602268
>Give into your nurturing instincts and tackle Tiexingege to smother her in affection, using the height you have on her to keep her from running away

>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother (Martial/ Training Trial. DC 60)
>Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple. Tiexingege's kids and Monu's puppets should be enough of a workforce to make a path between the two
>Realize that the two breakthroughs/ Human form releases might draw attention and prepare accordingly
>>
>>5602268
>Scold your little sister by smacking her upside the head (Strength trial. DC 65)
>”I don’t care if you’re stronger, he’s my first disciple and would only have upset you to impart a lesson! One that must have been on the advantages of the human form since you have transformed on top of your breakthrough.”

Afterward,
>Healing armor on Fu (but no spar)
>Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple. Tiexingege's kids and Monu's puppets should be enough of a workforce to make a path between the two
I’m assuming only one real “action” hence skipping the spar. Healing armor can easily be done while we plan.
>>
>>5602352
Not really, unlike other quests I can think of, ties that aren't mutually exclusive are done together. And it's not like we have anywhere better to be, we're just doing some training while we wait for the meeting to be organised.
>>
>>5602268
>Give into your nurturing instincts

>Relentless praise!
>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him
>Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple
>>
>>5602268
One’s Pudgy and the other’s a womanlet, cute!
>Give into your nurturing instincts and tackle Tiexingege to smother her in affection, using the height you have on her to keep her from running away
>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor
>Seek out one of the monsters with Fu, to battle it and develop both of your techniques together.
>>
>>5602268
>Give into your nurturing instincts and tackle Tiexingege to smother her in affection, using the height you have on her to keep her from running away
>Entertain yourself styling the Gege's hair and dressing them up, overjoyed that they have become the second and third beasts to attain a human form, and praise them relentlessly
>Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple. Tiexingege's kids and Monu's puppets should be enough of a workforce to make a path between the two
>>
>>5602268
>"Oh! Black Iron! Haven't you gotten strong! Come here and try to knock me down, so I can see how much you've improved!" (Fortitude trial. DC 72)

Stop the bully with what she likes, hopefully jionghuagege will help poor fu.

>Realize that the two breakthroughs/ Human form releases might draw attention and prepare accordingly

Surely someone will come, what better way to test Fu and the geges training than stomping on greedy cultivators?
Though i wouldn't be opposed to ask a favor to the old god like >>5602275
Said.

...also i want to ask if he knows of ways for ghosts to cultivate/resurrect.
>>
>>5602268
>>Scold your little sister by smacking her upside the head (Strength trial. DC 65)

>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother (Martial/ Training Trial. DC 60)

>Realize that the two breakthroughs/ Human form releases might draw attention and prepare accordingly
>>
>Chunky freckled little sister
>Short tan scarred little sister
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.
This shit is about to make me act up.

>>5602268
>Give into your nurturing instincts and tackle Tiexingege to smother her in affection, using the height you have on her to keep her from running away

>Entertain yourself styling the Gege's hair and dressing them up, overjoyed that they have become the second and third beasts to attain a human form, and praise them relentlessly
>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother (Martial/ Training Trial. DC 60)
>>
>>5602268
>"Oh! Black Iron! Haven't you gotten strong! Come here and try to knock me down, so I can see how much you've improved!" (Fortitude trial. DC 72)
>Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple. Tiexingege's kids and Monu's puppets should be enough of a workforce to make a path between the two
>>
>>5602268
>"Oh! Black Iron! Haven't you gotten strong! Come here and try to knock me down, so I can see how much you've improved!" (Fortitude trial. DC 72)
>Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple. Tiexingege's kids and Monu's puppets should be enough of a workforce to make a path between the two

I hope we'll be healing Fu no matter which option gets picked
>>
>Votes - 11
OEVzD7o/
YiPTD5HE
nSeWvvaE
oQFZmIFL
/VaLHA/J
IM5lgQJA
BJvF8L+/
Rc6Bn6sc
DIjblR5K
iL55yOPb
oLD4fyDn

>Nurture - 6
OEVzD7o/
YiPTD5HE
oQFZmIFL
/VaLHA/J
IM5lgQJA
DIjblR5K

>Challenge - 3
BJvF8L+/
iL55yOPb
oLD4fyDn

>Scold - 2
nSeWvvaE
Rc6Bn6sc

>Scheme - 7
OEVzD7o/
YiPTD5HE
nSeWvvaE
oQFZmIFL
IM5lgQJA
iL55yOPb
oLD4fyDn

>Heal + no spar - 1 (2?)
nSeWvvaE
/VaLHA/J (?)

>Heal + spar 5 (?)
OEVzD7o/
YiPTD5HE
oQFZmIFL
/VaLHA/J (?)
Rc6Bn6sc
DIjblR5K

>Monster Hunter - 1
/VaLHA/J

>Praise Geges - 3
oQFZmIFL
IM5lgQJA
DIjblR5K

>Prepare - 3
YiPTD5HE
BJvF8L+/
Rc6Bn6sc

>Favor from Wucai - 2
OEVzD7o/
BJvF8L+/

>Praise Fu - 1
OEVzD7o/

Put a ? because I'm not sure if this anon >>5602411 only wants to heal or to also spar
>>
>>5603427
Damnit, why do people not wish to spar with Fu? It's the reason we came out here, alongside showing him the Gege's.

He hasn't advanced at all, so this would be our time. And if he ascends to foundation establishment from the insight, then we can gain another +20 to our roll. There's no loss there, even oppertunity wise, as the other options bar "prepare" can be done symultaniously.
>>
>>5603531
Our first disciple: neglected!
>>
>>5603533
Neglected!

Well. . technically a third trainee, but our first disciple!
>>
>>5603531
If you add praising the Geges to your vote, I'll add sparing with him to mine.
>>
>>5603533
but. . if you and I were to both drop scheming from our votes, then scheming would drop to 5. And then it would be tied with Fu's training vote, forcing it through.

But this idea relies on nobody else voting, and nobody else tipping the balance.
A risky proposition, what say you?
>>
I know that it won't make that option win, but I got to save face by making it a deal instead of a change. Bloody cultivator politics always make everything difficult.
>>
>>5603551
Done.

Adding praise to my vote here >>5602275
>>
>>5603557
Then I'm adding
>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother (Martial/ Training Trial. DC 60)
To mine
>>5602429
>>
>>5603559
and with this, it's 6 votes for Fu, pushing it over half.

Our disciple is no longer neglected!
>>
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>>5603559
>>5603560
How swiftly the tides have favorably turned in the span of a lunch, the dao of the deal reigning supreme yet again.
>>
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>>5603577
Sorry if it looks scuffed
>>
>>5603584
Looks great tbĥ.
The tale of immortal char creator I stole it from might get funner to play with once more of our students evolve, and the game starts getting more beast types.
>>
>>5603602
I recently learned of that game and was planning to play it one day.
>>
>>5603616
It's okay for the moment, but it is slated to be much fuller in another year or so.
>>
>>5603660
I guess I'll just wait a bit longer then, thanks for the heads up.
>>
>>5603427
I had wanted to go hunting for training rather than sparring, but since I'm seemingly the only person with that desire I'll fall in line with the sparring votes.
>>
>>5602268
>>"Oh! Black Iron! Haven't you gotten strong! Come here and try to knock me down, so I can see how much you've improved!" (Fortitude trial. DC 72)
>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother (Martial/ Training Trial. DC 60)
>Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple. Tiexingege's kids and Monu's puppets should be enough of a workforce to make a path between the two
>>
>>5603675
see the thing is, what we want to train him is in Grudge based Dao shit. Fighting it out against animals doesn't promise to expose him to any grudge stuff, let alone in a controlled enviroment.
>>
>>5603700
Wait, didn't we already fight with him in the cemetery?
Granted it was more of a history lesson while he was being wailed on by ghouls but still..
>>
>>5603762
Fight alongside him, yeah, But we didn't fight him directly.

Also, if you recall, he learned absolutely nothing from that. Such is the problem of not being a prodigy found once in 10 generations.
>>
>>5602268
>>"Oh! Black Iron! Haven't you gotten strong! Come here and try to knock me down, so I can see how much you've improved!" (Fortitude trial. DC 72)
>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother (Martial/ Training Trial. DC 60)
>>
>>5602268
>Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother (Martial/ Training Trial. DC 60)
>Give into your nurturing instincts and tackle Tiexingege to smother her in affection, using the height you have on her to keep her from running away
>>
File: g6z5yky8rww91.jpg (36 KB, 228x445)
36 KB
36 KB JPG
Ending the vote, tallying the result now.

Give into your nurturing instincts and tackle Tiexingege to smother her in affection, using the height you have on her to keep her from running away:7

Scold your little sister by smacking her upside the head:2
-I don't care if you're stronger...:1

"Oh! Black Iron! Haven't you gotten strong! Come here and try to knock me down, so I can see how much you've improved!":5
_

Scheme to connect the basin with your subterranean temple. Tiexingege's kids and Monu's puppets should be enough of a workforce to make a path between the two:8

Heal Fu with scarlet healing armor and spar with him to do what you came here to do, and learn from eachother:11
- Don't spar with him:1

Ask the old god to keep an eye on the garden and keep things "fair", by limiting anyone from the stage above foundation establishment from harrassing the geges:2

Realize that the two breakthroughs/ Human form releases might draw attention and prepare accordingly:3

Praise Fu for tutoring tietie in attaining human form and ask how the hell he did it by himself?:1

Seek out one of the monsters with Fu, to battle it and develop both of your techniques together.:1

Entertain yourself styling the Gege's hair and dressing them up, overjoyed that they have become the second and third beasts to attain a human form, and praise them relentlessly:4

So You'll fall victim to your nurturing instincts, and end Tie-tie's bullying by smothering her with affection, then, scheme to connect the Primordial Basin with your temple and heal Fu with the scarlet healing armor before sparring with him

>>5603427
Your work is ever appreciated, Junior!

>>5603577
>>5603584
Oh both the original and edit look incredible
>>5603602
>>5603616
>>5603660
>>5603667
Tales of the immortal is a pretty fun. Haven't gotten too far in it, since grinding to the highest level of foundation establishment burned me out. The I realized there were bosses I could fight for the materials I spent so long farming. Which really felt like the punchline to an arc in a WN, now that I think back on it.

Its the only game I've played that really felt like a cultivation game, ya know?
>>
>>5604760
Yes they've nailed down the feeling really really well, of course balance is ridiculous and can get truly unforgiving when weaker sword cultivators 8 blades release you 3x with half the cost of your earth ult. Which, maybe isn't entirely unintended...
>>
>>5604844
Swords are always OP on cultivation
We must keep an eye on Yaonan
>>
However, that feeling of concern is quickly and violently trampled by your nurturing instinct, which have been turned into an all consuming inferno within your heart the moment Tiexingege's new and adorable form fell into your eyes. Her shortness and childish looks only serve to further feed and empower your motherly instincts, as your worries for Fu's wellbeing are replaced by the same thoughts that crashed into them and trampled them almost into powder. Tiexingege looks like a kitten like that! So helpless and small!

The urge to hug and smother her in affection rises up like a mountain within your heart and the overwhelming instinct and drive to nurture and coddle her begin to form cracks in your composure, your regal and dignified expression melting in a watery eyed, trembling lipped look of purest joy and raw adoration. Jionghuagege noticed the change as you began to quake and shake as if you were about to rupture and explode like a firework in the night's sky. She wisely took a step away, hiding her face behind her sleeves as The Five Color Emperor plucked at his beard, seemingly unable to decided if he should be amused by Tiexingege's antics or concerned for Fu's safety.

But there was no conflict in your heart! It knew exactly how to react to this adorable creature standing before you. Tackle her to the ground, use your superior height to pin her to keep her from running away, and smother her affection until you've had your fill of her cuteness and have quieted your nurting instincts. There isn't a chance to accomplish anything else until this whim has been satisfied and indulged wildly!

So, you sprint forward, sheathing the muscles in your legs with Blood Qi as you wrap the same energy around your hearts and lungs, your veins bulging as you use blood torrent rush the most petty reason thus far. Tiexingege is barely able to lift her head up , still grabbing and pulling at Fu's hair, when you reach her, having sprung off the ground and stretched out your arms to reach her. Even you can't imagine the grin on your face is anything but goofy as you pounce on your little sister. The moment before you collide together, though, you see her grumpy face alight with panic, her eyes widening as she instinctively raises her arms to guard with blades that aren't there in her human form.


The ant princess lets out a squeak as you snatch her up into your arms and the two of you tumble down the hill together, you giggling drunkenly as she hisses and spits, hitting and kicking to try and squirm free from your crushing embrace. Annoyed by her actually quite hard punches, you decided to literally smother her, and with one hand push her head down into your chest, which just makes her struggle harder as you slowly roll to a stop and find yourself on your back.
Cont
>>
>>5604981

Absolutely covered in mud, with an adorable and furious Tiexingege glaring up at you trying to look intimidating, but with her cheeks squished as they are by your bosom, she just ends up looking all the more cute. Which just encourages you at this point

"So Cwuuuuuute!" You squeal, locking her legs in place with your own, much longer and more developed leg as you hug her tight and her angry eyes vanish as your push her head closer to your chest, and deeper into your cleavage "Oh I could just hold you forever, such a darling little girl you've turned out to be, eh Black Iron?"

"Y..you're courting death!" Jionghuagege warns as you try to lift up your falling robes and tighten them, but end up abandoning the endeavor when your captive tries to take advantage of the momentary slacking of her confinement and tries to wiggle out from your loving embrace, So you tighten your arms around her, taking full advantage of how much taller you are than her to keep her from escaping before you've suitably pampered her "Tie-Tie hates being held or coddled! She was already angry before, think of how mad she'll be when she gets out"

"Eh, brats always calm down in the warmth of an older woman's presence," You snicker, rubbing your knuckles against her scalp and playing with her hair, as you use your flexibility to free up your hands and pin her against yourself with just your legs "Hey, do you think she'd look cuter with her hair tied into two buns or ponytails? Or maybe a more traditional and dignified style will be more fitting for her, Even if it clashes with her demeanor and childlike looks?"

There's a painful clicking of bones

"For once I'm glad my face is so messed up" Fu groans, rubbing his jaw after presumably cracking it back into place and pushing whatever was broken back together, the thought alone enough to make you cringe, which makes you squeeze down on Tiexingege with your arms again, hugging her for comfort and making her give out another squeak, drier sounding and more pathetic than the one she made when you tackled her to the ground "If only because it means I don't share her fate, for looking just a little too cute while she's in a frenzy like this, Scary"

"This is the instinct of a elder sister, to embarrass and coddle her younger siblings" The Five Colors emperor sagely states, standing with such dignity as if he was issuing a brand new mandate of heaven, his hair dancing in the wind as he observes with a severe and completely serious expression.


"Help me!" Tiexingege gasps, managing to pull away far enough to be able to speak without the words being smothered by your bust "She's going to crush me at this rate! She's gone completely feral!"
Cont
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>>5604984

"Ehehe, you're just too cute not to!" You giggle, ignoring the blatant fear in your sister's eyes as You grab her head, sit up and once more condemn her to the pillowy softness and warmth of your chest, petting her head as she screams and claws at you, trying to find something to grab onto and scratch "Now come here and accept my love!"

"Can't say you don't deserve it, brat" Fu growls, still rubbing his jaw with a rueful look in his narrowed and glaring eyes

"Oh did she hurt you? Allow me to apologize on her behalf, Tie-tie can be overly violent at times, especially when her pride is wounded" Jionghuagege frets, shuffling over to Fu, who judging from how far his eyes bulge out, has only just now realized that the silver haired girl is the honey bee he had met earlier.

"Jiong-jiong!" Tiexingege cries, as she lifts up and hand, desperately pawing in the air for an escape "Saaaave meeeee! She won't let go and the fat on her chest is choking me"

"Fat?" You sharply repeat "What's fat is your cheeks!"

"Stop! Don't pinch my face!" She snaps, trying to bite your hand as you turn her around and hold her on her back, so you can pull and rub her cheeks, certainly not angry that she called a referred to a certain part of your beautiful body as mere fat, certainly not "You'll pull it apart! My armor is gone!"

"Just how weak do you think human bodies, are?!" Fu gasps offendedly as you pinch your little sister's face and immediately forget why you were angry at the sight of her squashed face, even if she's grimacing and clearly furious at you for playing with her like a doll.

"Cwuuute!Cwuuuute! I can't help myself!" You coo as you pinch her face a little more before hugging her close again, muffling her cries as you rub your cheek against the top of her head as she kicks and flails her legs and grabs onto your arms to try and lift or pry herself free "It has to be a sin to be so adorable! One that has to be punished with cuddling, right? Right?"

"I don't know the laws of the current heaven" Five colors says with a snicker "It might well be, so I shall refrain from interfering"

"You truly are Monu's daughter, master" Fu laughs before grunting in pain "Ow"

"You should really stop, she's going to be disastrously mad" Jionghuagege warns again as Tiexingege continues fighting to escape your crushing affections, but her struggles weaken as she tires and accepts her fate in your arms

"I'll get you back for this" She smolders, grinding her teeth as she relaxes and lets you brush and play with her hair and cheeks "I won't forget this humiliation, you'll be sorry Red Fur, I'll pay you back ten fold"

"Awww, its so cute how you think that's a threat, black iron" You snicker, pinching her ear softly "I welcome you to try, hmmm, I think two ponytails do fit you better, what do you think?"

"They look like antenna!" Jionghuagege helpfully points out, pointing and bouncing on her ears excitedly as Tiexingege glowers and huffs

Cont
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>>5604989

"They do, don't they!" you laugh as you wiggle the bunches of hair up and down, as Tiexingege scrunches her face so tightly in a pout as to close her eyes beneath her furrowed brow.

Unfortunately for her, you don't feel satisfied with coddling and cuddling her for quite sometime. But the moment you do let her go, having grown bored of holding onto and hugging her and burying and smothering her with your affection, she bolts and buries herself in the ground, glaring up at you and snarling.

So you leave Jionghuagege to lure her out and calm her down enough to stop sulking, and convince her to wear clothes as you relax and relish in the lingering warmth of your somewhat forceful sisterly bonding. Fu sits beside you, holding his jaw in place as the scarlet healing armor mends his bones back together, the scales of the restorative protection spell gathering on his cheeks and making him look like he had some dragon blood in him

"You know, I think with The Gege's children and Monu's puppets, we could carve a tunnel from this basin back to our temple. That'd make it easier to travel here and there" You think out loud, idly licking a paw while you watch the clouds in the sky "and it'd certainly attract less attention than going through enemy territory to break through their quarantine each time we want to visit them"

"Yeah, not to mention that'd let them join our sect and get away from the blind fools who'd see them as abominations. They're good kids, even if Tiexingege has a bit of a flawed character" He grumbles, wincing as his bones knit back together "And a hot head"

You wonder if it'd be rude to point out that Fu has something of a temper himself. Even if he rarely shows it around you.

"That to. It'd only benefit us to make a road" You agree, nodding as you stretch yourself out and yawn, blinking tiredly "I'm sure once Tie-Tie stops fuming, she'll agree to the plan as well, shouldn't be too great of an effort to tunnel through the earth"

"Hey where's the old guy gone?" Fu asks as you realize that the Five Colors emperor had indeed vanished without a trace as suddenly as he appeared

"Who knows" You say lazily "He'll show back up again, when we least expect it. Maybe he heard us talking about that tunnel and has gone below to make it himself, or maybe he's off fighting a dragon for messing up his flowerbeds, Who can say for certain"

"My jaw's fixed" Fu says, grabbing his axes "Don't think Tiexingege will feel safe to face you for the rest of the day and risk further cuddling. This is the perfect chance for us to get some sparring in, wouldn't you say, Teacher?"

You grin and stand up, flicking your tail, circling Fu as he does the same, anticipation glowing in his eyes as he flashes a hungry grin your way.

"I don't need to give an answer, do I?" You snicker as you extend your claws

Roll 1d100. Best out of 4. DC 60

Had a lot of Fun writing Tiexingege's plight.
>>
Rolled 23 (1d100)

>>5604991
This was probably very evil. . . EVIL TO BE THIS CUUUUUUTE
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Rolled 6 (1d100)

>>5604991
You can combine hair buns with ponytails!
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>>5605003
>>5605017
Eeesh, guys, don't talk about tie tie, she's gonna fuck with our rolls here.

And I do think this is a roll we should spend some of our accumilated bonuses on.
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Rolled 14 (1d100)

>>5604991
Please work
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>>5605025
Oh wow. It actually worked....and it's a shit roll.

>>5602710
This is me btw. I normally can't roll from work but I guess today is my unlucky day
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Rolled 56 (1d100)

>>5604991
PLEASE, A GOOD ROLL
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>>5605046
FUCK
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>>5605046
Eh, no big deal.

It's a training roll and we have +218. plu it's only 4 off.

So lets just give it a +24 so our bonus is +194 and get 2 dos on our grudge learning stuff.
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>>5605046
So close, but its still a failure, unfortunately.

Would you like to spend some portion of your current cultivation/ training bonus of 218?
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>>5605055
yeah, I posit that we can afford to give up 24.

This sort of stuff could really let us develop our "open up your old wounds" stuff since I think that really ties into both emnity and blood.
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>>5605055
Yes
As for how much, we can either spend 4 to pass, 14 to pass by 10, 24 to pass by 20 and have a 80, or 32 to pass by 20 and have a 88.
I feel like anything more would be a waste
>>
My vote for now will be just 4
It's both the smallest amount, and the number of death in it's purest form
>>
>>5605059
>>5605063
I mean... Do we go again after the 88 or we just go for the minimum? I say 24 is a good number. I don't know what 2 or 0 means in chinese numerology to see if we get some mysterious results, but I doubt there's one on this.
>>
>>5605063
>>5605070
Have we gotten 88 on a training roll?
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>>5605070
honestly I just want 2 Degrees of success. 24 has no arcane meaning that I know of. It's 4 times 6 but that's. . you know, fuck all.

and the given number would be 80, so. . eeeeh.

>>5605085
I think we reversed a 44 on a training roll before, which got us our stuff.
We got 88 training our natural fighting abilities against the spiders!
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>>5605055
I’ll vote 32 to bring the total to 88, or 2 44s, or 44 + 44, or 4 4s in a way.
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>>5605094
that only leaves us with 186. Eeeeeeeeeehh.

I don't like. Nor does fortune really equate to emnity here. would give us 2 dos and nothing else but. . . Eh fuck it. I only worry our constant rounding will mean that we lock out gifts through them not being a "rare" experience anymore.
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>>5605113
>>5605094
So that's 2 for +32

>>5605070
1 for 24

>>5605063
and this guy hasn't really decided other than "Yeah".

So I say give it like 15 minutes and if nobody else says anything then we go with 32.
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>>5605126
I'll support 32
>>
>>5605055
I vote for 24, keep is simple and 194 is still a colossal amount for our inevitable cultivation and chances are we’ll get distracted and make up for this loss later before we cultivate
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>>5605085
>>5605092
I don't remember where, but there was one roll where we got 44, sacrificed 88 of our training bonus and that's how whe got the best of 4 rolls.

And for the looks of it, the chinese has a bunch of arcane meanings in numbers even above 10, and it's linked with how the numbers pronounce and what word do they sound. But there's a point when we're going to be extremly autists with looking for a exact number for some extra results, but I guess it's only when we train that we actually can manipulate the roll with the training exp and the rest it's pure rng.

If anything we can go only for the +4 bonus, it's looks like really convenient number that we need to success on the roll and even with training with Fu... But there's also going for the +24 and end up with a 80 in total which translate into:

2 = A lucky number, because chinese people say that good things come in pairs (and there's some streaching when we think about a 1 on 1 training with Fu)
4= Unlucky number, related to death
8= Luckiest number, it brings fortune
0= Lucky number. It means the begin of things, the start of a new cycle

If Grandfather thought about it, then we just staked a bunch of numerical mystical stuff. If not, we still got a 20 over the difficulty which it's really good
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>>5605134
any reading on 3 and 2?
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>>5605137
As I said, 2 is a lucky number. About the Number 3, Wikipedia says: The number 3 (三, pinyin: sān; Cantonese Yale: sāam) sounds like 生 (pinyin: shēng; Cantonese Yale: sāang), which means "to live" or "life" so it's considered a good number. It's significant since it is one of three important stages in a person's life (birth, marriage, and death).

I feel we should check for the 3 when we make a training roll involving the Blood Qi.
>>
>>5605126
I have decided on 4
>>5605063
>>
>>5605150
There is a possibility by simply bringing this up we are setting new conditions up.

But hey, I take this reading best>>5605134 it has more advantages than not.

>Changing to support +24 again

So me, >>5605070, >>5605130 for 3

With >>5605128 and >>5605094 for 32.
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>>5605162
with wildcard answer of 4.

>>5605163
OOps, fix that
>For 24

why the fuck did I say "for 3"
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>>5605067
Sorry linked to the wrong post
>>
go for 24, no need to spend 8 for nothing that special
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>>5605180
this puts to 4 in favour of 24
>>
>>5605166
The path of 4 is a lonely one
>>
Lest we forget, successful training rolls involving our students are very rewarding. we might actually get some of the bonus back... That said voting for 24.
>>
alright so that puts you at exactly 80, 20 over DC with +194 bonus left for cultivation/ training, Which is a great success


Update will arrive shortly
>>
Big update coming

Which includes Qiang meeting with Jingyu!
>>
Fu nods and the battle begins. He makes the first move, leaping forward ferociously, one axe still resting on his shoulder and the other dragging through the ground, digging a furrow as he charges you and closes the distance between the two of you with a single step.

He tries to catch you between the swing of his axes, as he rips the one carving through the soil up and allows the one upon his shoulder to slide down for him to catch and continue its fall with a skull splitting downward strike. You blink behind him with the phantom cat step, but even in the brief span of slowed time, his eyes track you and by time your paw pads touch down on the mud, he's pivoting around, his heel dug deep into the soft soil. He swings both of his axes sideways, as if you were a tree to be felled. Instead of running, dodging or leaping away, you meet his attack head on! Sheathing your claws in Blood Qi, you rear up on your hindlegs and swing down with both of your paws, tearing through the air with brilliant carmine light, globs of which float freely in the air like spilled blood as the Vein Draining Fang snaps close on Fu.

But he counters, pulling his axes apart to catch your outstretched claws with the curve beneath their heads and spreads your forelegs apart. Then, he knocks the air out of your lungs with a rising knee. You recoil back, swallowing the pain and stalking around him as you see a drop of sweat drip down from your disciple's chin. He can't believe he managed to pull that off, either! Smirking, feeling a hint of pride for your student's combat sense and instinct, you resume your attack without mercy. Now you'll test his speed and reactions, the first phantom cat step was more of courtesy than everything. Lets see how Two axes stands up to its evolved form, the Blood Red Lightning Cat Step!

The shrieking winds whipped up by your sheer speed assail Fu as he stands his ground, axes crossed in front of himself and a glower on his lips. He's enduring the buffeting winds, hoping to find an opening in the flurry of strikes soon to assault him.

He strikes, knowing that if he remains passive he'll be overwhelmed, right as you zoom past his side. Patting his arm, you redirect his momentum to the ground. His axe is stuck in the mud. You leap over his response, a swing with his secondary axe, agilely dodging the blow to end up behind him. Where you kick the back of his head with both of your legs, using one of the moves Niu Bingwen devised so long ago.

But, he remains standing, one kneeling leg pressed into the mud. And you watch as his shadow transforms into a monstrous shade, rising from beneath him, as the grudges he bears on his back give form to the formless and attack you as he recovers! You dodge, weave and twisting around, curling around the rain of dripping shadowy blades and grasping ghostly hands that seek to grab hold of any of your ankles.
Cont
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>>5605307

One pulls your tail as you take flight and trample over the oozing heads of the grudge specters Fu has summoned, and you let out a yowl of pain and with a burst of carmine light transform into your human form.

Fu stands with a roar, the shadows crawling up his back to hang like the fur of a slain beast, secured by two skeletal hands clasped around his throat as if strangling him. Destructive Yin Qi crackles down the haft of his axes and rends through the metal of the heads, distorting the metal and forming new edges of jagged darkness as he throws himself to meet you in the air. Still in the process of exchanging forms, you throw out a leg, infusing every fiber of muscle in it with Blood Qi and reinforcing the bone underneath with Metal Qi to keep it from snapping from how quickly you kick and the strength you muster behind said kick.

The clash shakes the earth and clears the sky, ripples moving through the earth making it appear as liquid before it begins to crack, great pills of earth and stone jutting upward as the air is stilled completely. You wince, your leg met one of the axes directly on the blade and it cut deep, deep enough to reach bone. Already the metal qi reinforcement had paid tenfold for the spiritual energy you expended to perform it so rapidly. Fu snarls, the axe that met your leg vibrating fiercely as the kinetic energy of both blows meeting is caught between its steel and your leg, particuarly the bone in your leg. You can fiercly it thrumming up your hips and shaking your spine. A spark of blood red and pitch black Qi forms from the blood dripping from your wound.

Yin and Yang meet, and an explosion of force sends the two of you reeling back, you tumbling through the air and Fu sent rocketing through the earth.

Gasping, you suck in a breath of frigid air, revitalizing yourself and expanding your store of internal energy. Glancing down, you're pleasantly surprised to see that your leg is still attached, thought the wound has deepened and exposed the bone beneath. A grisly sight that would make any normal girl shriek in terror or faint in disgust, but you can't help but to stare at the rivers of blood pouring out of you and the twitching flesh underneath your jade white skin. It turns out, what's inside you is just as beautiful as the outside!

Quickly forming a square with your thumbs and first finger of both hands, you draw a barrier spell and settle the scales of the scarlet healing armor over your wound, and give your leg a few stomps to make sure you can still use it.

"How was that!" Fu yells, pulling himself out of the dirt, surrounded by ghosts, who cling to him like Lanfen does, though what's in their eyes is the hunger of lust, but rather the blood drenched thrill of battle "Your dying grudge shield turned into a spear!"
Cont
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>>5605311

"So that's how you nearly tore my leg off~!" You praise, clapping your hands as you stand completely nude before him, except for a coat of blood and mud, which has annoying gotten into your hair and matted it down "An impressive spear it is, to wound one a realm above yourself! Incredible!"

"I'd be a failure of a student if I couldn't punch above my weight class" He boasts as he staggers forward, one axe nothing more than split and twisted metal and wooden splinters held in his bleeding hand "I remembered the tale of your slaying of the crow thing and thought..."I should be able to do the same, if I am her student"

"Oh your making me blush" You purr, sashing your hips and cupping your face as Fu glances to the sky

"...I can see that" He growls, clearly trying to be the gentlemen even in the midst of a full contact and no holds barred sparring match

"My my, how clever. I'd be a trash teacher if I don't respond to such genius in kind! Behold a prodigy's creativity!" You roar, pulling up a slick of blood from beneath the scarlet healing armor's scales. Recently you've found that your control over blood itself has been deepened and refined to give you a finer, more minute control. That allows you to do things like turn it into a spear, which you've already altered with blood alchemy to turn it acidic.

Throwing it forward, you tear open your wrist with your teeth and command the artery inside of your arm to crawl out and become a whip in your hand, which with a few alchemical adjustments, becomes covered in cruelly curved spines and spikes of bone.

Fu studies the spear as it approaches, one of the withered spirits on his back pulling itself up to his ear and whispering to him, pointing at the spiraling javelin of blood, accusingly jabbing its yellowed nailed finger at it.

Fu drops his ruined axe and side steps the spear, as the miasma of enmity crawls from the wet soil and soaks into him through the soles of his bare feet. The muscles on his legs bulge, and he charges, empowering himself with the grudges of the dead. Showing that he to had learned the empowering attributes of Grudge Miasma, which meant he could also use it to weaken and slow as you so often did. However instead of creating a cloud that would strengthen him while he stood within it, he directly absorbed the grudges into his flesh and bone. A clever technique. One that you could use, surely, since you already use your stomach and lungs to store resentment.

He kicks the ground and propels himself through the air, the ghosts on his back merging together to form spectral, skeletal wings. Which...is an ability you had no concept of until you saw Fu spread his wings

"Magnificent !" You declare as you pull more of the artery out of your wrist, physically grabbing hold of it and tugging it out, bidding it to lash and writhe through the air of its own power, as you decided to use a slight bit of necromancy on your own blood as it drips over the Arterial Whip.
Cont
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>>5605316

You were gonna try to catch Fu's ankle with it and if that failed, just give him a quick few lashings. For, you used one of the many expressions of the Cat's Court: Spiteful Blood Legacy (猫 法院: 刻毒血遗产, Māofǎyuàn: Kèdúxuèyíchǎn) to turn each drop of blood into its own, agonizingly painful poison, saturated with the grudges taken from the air around you and your own internal supply of them!
_
[Meanwhile, in the Lair of Jingyu the corpse stealer...]

Qiang sat atop a stool made out of bones and dried human leather, one leg kicked over the other and her sword laid across her lap as the monster that she had been sent to meet sat across from her, lounging like a male prostitute, his robes loosened and opened to expose his chest completely. His teeth were fangs, slick with blood and bile, and his handsome face was splattered with gore as he picked through the stomach of a none too bright daoist who thought he could match his monstrous strength

"He's just trying to unnerve you, this is a game for him, I know that look of mischief. Its the same look as Huanliuxue gets in her eyes when she feeling whimsical" Yujijiao warned as she coiled protectively around her

"It isn't working is it?" The fox eared boy asked as Qiang ignored him, bored with the attrocious acts her host had been putting on to unsettle her. He winced as she spun the charm Granny Monu gave her around her finger as if it were a toy.

"I know what the insides of a human look like" She answered bluntly, feeling that the reason for her lack of a reaction should've been obvious "And cannibalism isn't terrible enough a crime to upset me by sight alone. I don't know the man you've made a meal out of, Fox's groom"

"You're a terrifying woman" Jingyu laughed, clapping his hands together "I knew you were followed by more than one ghost, but now I can see you've earned that entourage"

Qiang straightened her back

"Ah, that's gotten a reaction out of you" He sneered as she pressed her knuckle against the guard of her sword, thinking to unsheathe it before she thought better

"I'm not surprised I'm haunted, I've killed about as many men as you have" She admitted emotionlessly "I've even killed demons like yourself, its nothing to brag about"

"Oh, I like you! Unlike Ping, you can actually take a bit of teasing Keheheh" He cackled, clapping his hands as he sat upright and proper "So, have you come to ask for an apology for our little scuffle"

"little scuffle? You killed eachother!' Yujijiao hissed angrily, more so because of Jingyu's blithe attitude
Cont
>>
"Yes we did, I'd have thought that'd have mended our wounded bond" He said cooly, scooting his chair closer to Qiang's, staring directly into her eyes as she did all she could to look past him without looking away "Maybe it has? He has sent quite the beauty my why, with such a curious body. Both you and he reek of the dead, so you must be comrades, and you both had my benefactor's mother's sigil around your neck...hmm, but judging from your cool head, you aren't his student, so you must be"

"He other daughter's" Qiang sighed, getting tired of his guessing game before it even began

"O..Other daughter!?" He gasp, recoiling and looking as if he might spit up a mouthful of blood "Wh..what do you mean"

"Now that was quite the reaction" Qiang mocked, pulling the charm from her neck and holding it out "Tell your master to stop lurking, I can see her as easily as I do Yujijiao here. Her family sent me to arrange a meeting between them"

Jingyu glanced around, eyes bugged out as the temperature in the den plummeted as the fox spirit emerged from her hiding place in his flesh, frost crawling over every surface as she took on a monstrous appearance, a many eyed and many fanged fox demon with exposed bones and death on its breath"

"I have a sister?" It growled, Qiang simply pinched her nose, maintaining a completely apathetic expression as she handed the charm over to the ghost of Xuebai, who transformed into a far more pleasant appearance as she took it in her mouth

"You really have ice in your veins, killer" Jingyu said quietly, eyes narrowed in a manner Qiang did not like cause while he had been looking at her like a meal, now he was looking at her like she were a "Meal" of an entirely different sort. She must've let her disdain for the idea show cause the corpse stealer smirked and scooted closer to her "Care for some wine"

Jingyu did not flinch when, reacting on instinct, she brought her sheathed blade to his throat

"Stop toying with the girl" Xuebai barked "If she is one of my mother's disciples, you shall not bother her"

Jingyu frowned and Qiang sighed in relief

"Senior! How'd you become so strong!" Yujiiao asked, trembling as the ghostly presence of Xuebai spread to cover the whole of the Corpse thief's manor

"Girl. Tell me about my sister" Xuebai snapped, ignoring the serpent's question and awe "And how my mother fares. I know she was crippled like this poor child, and until recently thought she had died from old age, until an exorcist came here, bearing her scent"

Qiang wondered if Huanliuxue knew how bad of an actor and story teller she was, considering how often she asked her to do this sort of thing.
_
[Meanwhile, in the primordial wilderness]

"You've lasted longer than I expected you to, Fu" You admit, wiping blood from your mouth, panting as sweat drips onto your tongue. Fu wheezes under your foot, a satisfied smirk on his lips and a look of pride beaming in his eyes "And gave me more trouble than I ever anticipated. Magnificent"
>>
>>5605323

"We've been fighting for a day, master, I didn't want to disappoint you" He says weakly "And it felt more like I was fighting for my life than practicing"

"I concur, you put up one hell of a struggle, my student! I never realized just how fierce of a fighter you were until now, and how clever you could be" You praise, stepping off from him and stretching, popping more than a few joints and feeling every bruise that marred your otherwise flawless skin, which in the pale blue moonlight was so light you looked as ghostly as the friends Fu hid in his shadow "It was quite the work out, and not to mention greatly informative"

"No better way to learn another's technique than to be faced with it in battle" Fu huffed, sitting up and averting his eyes, as if he looked directly ahead, his vision would be dominated by your glorious buttocks "And you certainly didn't go easy on me"

"I know from experience, that the best learning comes from alongside the threat of painful death" You sneer wickedly, testing your teeth to make sure none of them have been knocked loose "And I heard from someone somewhere, that if pushed to their limits and fearing for their lives, a cultivator can at times spontaneously breakthrough from the duress of battle alone. So long as they aren't trash"

"What are you talking about?" Fu asked plainly, rubbing his head, somehow not having noticed that his power had peaked and kept climbing during the last quarter of your bout, and that's the reason you had as much trouble besting him as you did.

Sure you nearly had to kill him to shove him past his limit, but the sheer amount of Grudges he absorbed through his skin, and the Qi saturating the battlefield during your bout, tossed up from the ancient graves beneath your feet and spilled out from the landscape the two of you devastated together between the clashing of your attacks had filled his meridians and dantians and expanded his cultivation base greatly.

He had been so caught up in the excitement, he didn't notice. That was adorable in its own way, though you weren't certain you could bare the embarrassment of giving him the same treatment you gave to Tiexingege, at least in your present form.

"Hah! You didn't notice! Are you just a brute?" You scold, shaking a fist and threatening to clap him over the ears "As the sun set you surpassed your limits and stepped into the foundation establishment stage!"

"WHAT!" He shouts, standing up and palming his forehead. He was crying, weeping with joy!

"What, did you think I was just being a bully nearly beating you to death? You have a thick skull boy! The only way I could think to teach you was to literally beat the lessons into your head!" You declared half jokingly "And I'm certain you've learned more than a few techniques as well"
Cont
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>>5605324

"I...I have" He said, bowing his head "T..thank you, Lady Huanliuxue, for lowering yourself to lend me your aid. Now could you please put some clothes on?"

"No" You titter, wagging a finger, finding how flustered he gets around you like this rather hilarious at this point "Because if I do now, I'll ruin them with sweat and blood. I need to find a hotspring or stream to bathe in first. I refuse to lap up mud, before you ask why don't I just turn back into my natural form"

Fu sighed and dutifully wrapped his eyes with bandages, to resist the unconquerable temptation to stare at your beautiful body.

Fu has transcended the Qi Condensation stage, and entered the Foundation establishment Stage Rank 1, after his brush with death sparring with Huanliuxue. He has refined his nameless cultivation law, and gained the "Unbreakable Disciple" Talent (When sent on missions or into combat, Fu has less of a chance of sustaining a crippling injury or dying, even in fighting higher stage opponents or Entering High risk areas). But the fight had been as taxing for the student as it had been the teaching, and so both are rewarded for their labors! +16 to your next training/ cultivation roll Bonus for raising a disciple to foundation establishment state +20. +36! Total Bonus is now 230!!!

You stand proud in the moonlight, since, besides managing to get Fu to undergo a metoric rise of power from one sparring session , you had also learned from him as much as he learned from you!

But your triumph was short lived. For in the distance, in the mist, you saw lantern flames bobbing up and down. Someone had entered the basin.
Cont
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>>5605326

Double vote!
What is it you've learned
>A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over. This is what forced Fu to breakthrough, as he is basically nothing but scars at this point!

>An evolution of the Vain Draining fang born from your refined blood control. By pushing your veins to the surface of your skin, you're able to directly channel your blood Qi into the spell/strike and create a temporary weapon of Pure Blood Qi

>You've decided to tweak your body and make it so the arteries in your arms will always be barbed with bones and ready to send out like whips

>Studying how Fu absorbs grudges, you can now secrete them as liquid like a toad's poison or black sweat, and have saturated your body with the raw essence of resentment!

And what do you do now, Huanliuxue?

>Investigate the interlopers as a ghost, trusting the geges and Fu to watch over your body as you spy

>Warn the Geges and make sure that Tiexingege still isn't mad at you for your uh...outburst.

>Create a barrier around the Gege's meadow with Blood Rain, Chaos Mist, to scare away whoever is approaching

>Decide to arrange some trouble for them, by luring them into the territory of one of the powerful monsters you were planning on fighting.

>Hmm, with the Geges and You able to appear human, you could probably just...pretend to be incredibly foolhardy orthodox cultivators and convince whoever is coming down to leave without snooping

>write in

Also Fu had earned the "Unbreakable Disciple" due sustaining grievous injuries in three different fights against three different opponents within a week...or within a day in his case.

The ghouls
Tiexingege
And his spar with Huanliuxue.

Nearly forgot to explain that.
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>>5605329
Oh and you can present a write in for what Huan learned, Just forgot to put it there
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>>5605329
>A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over. This is what forced Fu to breakthrough, as he is basically nothing but scars at this point!
We really need this one, it scales with the enemies experience.
>Investigate the interlopers as a ghost, trusting the geges and Fu to watch over your body as you spy
Fu is a living wall now, nice
Also sorry Qiang, but you are the sneakiest phantom seeing emissary that we have.
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>>5605329
>A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over. This is what forced Fu to breakthrough, as he is basically nothing but scars at this point!
This is too cool to pass up.

>Decide to arrange some trouble for them, by luring them into the territory of one of the powerful monsters you were planning on fighting.
Make these fools regret coming here.

>>5605338
Quiang should realize that being a bad actor adds to sincerity.
Also i don't trust our body in the care of tie-tie, she's totally gonna shave huan's head bald.
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>>5605329
A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over. This is what forced Fu to breakthrough, as he is basically nothing but scars at this point!
It’s been a long time coming for this one. It’ll be extremely useful for dealing with battle maniacs like Yaonan or potentially punching above our weight without the need to nearly OD on drugs like we did against Baoli. I wonder if it’ll work on Jingyu’s rebuilt body or if using Fu’s mask /Cat’s Court’s blood memory thing will have to suffice.
>Decide to arrange some trouble for them, by luring them into the territory of one of the powerful monsters you were planning on fighting.
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>>5605329
Awww sweet! Our boy Fu made it.
>A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over. This is what forced Fu to breakthrough, as he is basically nothing but scars at this point!

Ok people, I say that for the cultivators that are coming we need to scare the shit out of them. Fu and the Geges needs to scare the cultivators without being seem, just move some leaves, make noices and make the forest creepy, bonus points if Fu can comand his ghosts into making shadows, howling and using his Qi into making the place to feel heavy and resentful, we need to scare them little by little to going back to the gates, if push comes to shove then Fu should cover in folliage, moss and mud to look like a forest monster. And Huan it's going to help, either making the atmosphere feels like the forest wants to actually kill them or something like that.

Once we scare these cultivators to the gates, Fu is going to try and concentrate into the Grudge of the trees the cultivators chopped down to make the gates, embracing it and maybe nudging Fu into our technique of Grudge Mein, to maybe give a Heart attack or two while Trees/Fu gives a statement: You better plant the seeds of the trees you chopped, or your bodies will be used as soil for them to grow again.

I really feel we should follow this lead we got when we got closer to the Primordial Wilds, it's something that's there from the description, so we either take that or Fu does, either way, that could be a powerful insight into Grudges and more strange life that are the Trees, that from the looks of it they can also feel resentment after being cut
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>>5605323
>Qiang wondered if Huanliuxue knew how bad of an actor and story teller she was, considering how often she asked her to do this sort of thing.
That's the thing, Qiang. One day you'll realize we totally do it on purpose. Because Cat.

>>5605329
Always knew Fu was a gem. Turns out that gem was a black diamond. Grudge shield as a spear... yoink.

>A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over.
I believe we wanted this forever ago, it's the perfect compliment to a Blood Qi based assault. ie broken anti-immortal shit.

>Also Fu had earned the "Unbreakable Disciple" due sustaining grievous injuries in three different fights against three different opponents within a week...or within a day in his case
...We should take as many of our more capable disciples that are available along with us in conquering the lower tombs when we get around to it. A truly unique feat of teamwork + training that can be enhanced due to our battle conscious presence of mind and tutelage.

Of course, main reason being there's also things down there that are definitely a challenge for foundation ranks. Welp that's a future maybe.

>>5605378
Use their invasion/investigation as an opportunity to explore nature's grudges/resentment of flora? +1.
Why limit ourselves to the mundanities of mankind. We know the fabric of enmity by its nature has no limits.
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>>5605329
I’ll toss out a write-in idea, even though I’m okay with getting the old wound one.
>For a time you fought while mantling Fu’s own Enmity, and pushed further beyond when he met you as expected by with a surprise blood whip. You have learned to maintain control over your own personal Qi while embodying a grudge, offering flexibility and skill that the original incarnations can’t match!

As for the lights,

>Hmm, with the Geges and You able to appear human, you could probably just...pretend to be incredibly foolhardy orthodox cultivators and convince whoever is coming down to leave without snooping
We can help sell it by going over to one of the strong monsters and fighting it. We’re grinding for rare mats! We totally fought a powerful beast not long ago! We’re still fighting them now!

When I said we’d only have time for one action; this is what I meant. Of course we were going to have people coming by to investigate!
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>>5605329
>You've decided to tweak your body and make it so the arteries in your arms will always be barbed with bones and ready to send out like whips
>Hmm, with the Geges and You able to appear human, you could probably just...pretend to be incredibly foolhardy orthodox cultivators and convince whoever is coming down to leave without snooping
Time to give the Geges people lessons.
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>>5605329
>A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over. This is what forced Fu to breakthrough, as he is basically nothing but scars at this point!
Decide to arrange some trouble for them, by luring them into the territory of one of the powerful monsters you were planning on fighting.
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>>5605329
>A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over. This is what forced Fu to breakthrough, as he is basically nothing but scars at this point!

>Investigate the interlopers as a ghost, trusting the geges and Fu to watch over your body as you spy
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>>5605329
>Open old wounds

>Create some trouble and lead them into the powerful monsters.
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

A curse that will open old wounds, even those that are scarred over. This is what forced Fu to breakthrough, as he is basically nothing but scars at this point!:8

For a time you fought while mantling Fu’s own Enmity, and pushed further beyond when he met you as expected by with a surprise blood whip. You have learned to maintain control over your own personal Qi while embodying a grudge, offering flexibility and skill that the original incarnations can’t match!:1

You've decided to tweak your body and make it so the arteries in your arms will always be barbed with bones and ready to send out like whips:1
_

Investigate the interlopers as a ghost, trusting the geges and Fu to watch over your body as you spy:2

Decide to arrange some trouble for them, by luring them into the territory of one of the powerful monsters you were planning on fighting.:4

scare the shit out of them plan: 2

Hmm, with the Geges and You able to appear human, you could probably just...pretend to be incredibly foolhardy orthodox cultivators and convince whoever is coming down to leave without snooping:2

All right, so you've learned a wound opening curse and will decide to cause some trouble for the unwanted guests by luring them into the lair of one of the monsters you were planning on fighting.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
While they could be put to good use as test subjects for the curse you discovered while fighting Fu, which was actually what pushed him over the boundary to breakthrough into the foundation establishment stage, a really nasty curse that would open up old wounds even if they had scarred over or began to fade away, which was quite effective on the poor boy considering he was pretty much made up of scars even before he began his career as a martial hero. But, that would draw even more unwanted attention, since it was clear that either the three breakthroughs, two human form releases or your spirited battle with your student was pushed them to investigate the basin to begin, though it was probably the combination of all three of those things that pushed them or rather pushed their seniors to force them to enter into the unknown and risk their lives in search for answers.

And while the cruel part of you would delight to see them bleed out from the wounds of their past, and it be fitting punishment for their slaughter of the poor beasts of the primordial forest of tragic lovers, that would certainly draw more eyes than you're comfortable with towards yourself and more importantly towards the Geges and the lesser intelligent beasts of this ancient valley. It was the duty of a ruler to protect her people, and exsanguinating a few trembling idiots in a fashion that anyone with a brain and eyes could tell was caused by a nasty curse would very much do the opposite of protect them. Besides, even if the threat of such a horrible death was enough to ward away those who thought themselves the owner of these untamed lands, using the Weeping Scar Curse (哭泣疤痕魔咒 , Kūqìbāhénmózhòu) now would mean rumors of it would spread and those with any sense could connect it back to you or anticipate it and create a counter-spell against it. Which would be a pain in the ass, and expose your identity if you were incognito as a human girl and were forced to use the really terrifyingly powerful curse on someone or something.

You were planning on killing them, if only so they couldn't bring back any intel concerning what lied in the basin and how valuable a territory it truly was, and you especially didn't want them to find out about the Divine Blood Honey, Dragon Lake or just how many Demonic Beasts lived here. Any knowledge getting out to the wider cultivation world would be a disaster. Greedy bastard and ambitious dogs would swarm to take advantage of this piece of heaven on earth and steal away its bounty and hunt down those who found shelter and peace here. Like the Geges, and all the other beasts who were so blessed to awaken to the spiritual energy of the world under the protection of the Five Colors emperor.

But, you knew just cutting them down would be stupid. Your self preservation instinct and caution that some might say veered towards paranoia at times warned you of that. You're methods of killing were pretty tell tale and unique.
Cont
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>>5607019

But you didn't need to dirty your paws or hands, did you? You didn't need to degrade yourself with the murder of bunch of trash by directly ending their lives, giving them the honor of being killed by Huanliuxue. They had to be expendable, but they were probably tough enough that their sect expected them to return alive. Mid tier cultivators at best. Perhaps one or two of the low ranks of the foundation establishment stage, leading a pack of Qi Condensation novices who still stank of their mother's milk. No one particularly skilled or talented, no heir to a prestigious technique or born with high quality meridians or spiritual roots. Rank and File whose deaths, while tragic, wouldn't cripple the coming generation of cultivators.

Though, considering the winter blossoming wisdom sect has been at war for sometime, they might allocate more resources to this mission and risk greater losers than they otherwise would have. They might believe the Guardians of the Celestial Sunlight or one of their underling sects have snuck past and are hunting beasts. Then you have a patsy already to shift the blame onto. And even if they don't, they'll just assume they got devoured by the beasts they believe have yet to escape the basin. They might seek revenge, but you could scatter the corpse's belongs far, far away from the Geges and any beast of a kindly and respectful nature.

And you certainly knew of several monsters who could make short work of unprepared and weak Foundation Establishment cultivators. You had sought them out to challenge them, to use them as a stepping stone for Fu and yourself, but these fierce devils would work wonderfully as executioners. And you wouldn't even need to degrade yourself by begging for their help or ask them if they'd like to partake in a little bloodshed. They wouldn't even know they were being used.

For, while orthodox cultivators were blind to the world, conceited and often hypocritical, a fair number of them were heroic souls or at leas thought themselves as such. The sort of person who'd drop what they were doing to, say, run off to rescue a fair, red haired maiden lost in the wilderness and chase after her without thinking of the dangers around them. Leading them to their deaths would be as easy as dressing plainly, like a wild woman, a young girl from a barbaric lost tribe and enticing them to pursue you.

Luckily you were pretty enough that you were certain even if they were a band of lady cultivators, their brains would turn to mush the moment they laid their eyes on you and they'd stop thinking about anything besides catching and protecting you.

You ignore the whispering voice in your head saying you should probably run this plan by Fu at the very least before carrying it out, since you've already decided you're going to carry out this scheme since it seems like it'll be as fun as it will be effective and because you can imagine him objecting solely because of the danger you'd be courting.
Cont
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>>5607023

And not see the bigger picture and that more lives would be risked than just your own if you just sat on your hands and observed the interlopers from a distance. So, with a playful smirk and a gleam of malice in your eyes, you set about preparing your costume and practicing your best "Teary eyed look of terror" and "Defenseless maiden pout" before setting into motion the downfall of the lantern bearers
_

[A few hours ago...]

Things had been hard since his older brother vanished in the pursuit of that Fox fucking traitor, Xiaosheng thought mournfully as he nervously lead his party down the side of the cliff face, urged on and encouraged by his elder brothers and sisters. Bugs bit at his face, and the heat made sweat fill his armor, soaking through his robes and dirtying them horribly as he scaled the sheer cliff face, avoiding the crushing current of the water falls and the unknown plantlife that for all he knew could reach out and strangle the life out of him.

The Corpse Thief was still active, he knew that much, no cultivator would've killed him and not boasted about it, and he doubted any denizen of the mortal realm would survive even stepping into that monsters presence. Worse yet, the Ling bastards weren't relenting, even though they had retreated to their territory and their were rumors one of their mighty elders had given up the ghost. Xiaosheng hoped the old fucker had suffered. He lost two cousins to raids carried out by the Guardians of the celestial sunlight, and an uncle of his had gone missing in the lands of one of the sects who turned their coat and betrayed the alliance centered on his own, righteous sect. Perhaps he had burned up and turned to ash? Or maybe he lingered yet like the Sect head? In agony as burning air and ash filled his meridians. He shook his head, he didn't like thinking about the wise old sage. It just pissed him off, thinking about how so great a man could be brought so low by so pathetic a piece of shit like Jingyu. He puffed out his cheeks, sighing as he paused, holding up a hand to tell his juniors to wait as he plotted their path further down the cliff.

Then, while they were still searching for the latest victims of Jingyu, a stampede of Demonic beasts emerged from the depths of the forest. And a great sink hole had been found to have opened up, probably during the thousand fold storms and calamities of a few years back, that was gushing with primordial beast essence. The sinkhole that he was now trespassing into, at the head of a band of eight. He had just managed to become a foundation establishment novice, barely, after begging his teachers and elders in the sect for pills and drugs to supplement his...lacking natural talent. And he had thought then, he have it easy, being kept back at the sect to defend it should the unthinkable happen and it was directly attacked. But no
Cont
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>>5607026

A portal to hell opened up and he was thrown into it, the moment he had recovered from the nightmare of breaking out of the Qi Condensation stage.

Worse yet, he had heard something about a series of strong bursts of Qi , like the kind that caused by breakthroughs and other, stranger fluctuations in the Spiritual energy of heaven and earth. He really didn't want to be here, but the only option was banishment. Something was going on under the mist.

What if the monsters we fought were fleeing greater beasts?

That is a thought that haunted him even when his feet returned to the ground, and to his surprise and gratitude to every god in the nine heavens, he was met with a scene of serene beauty of nature allowed to exist without the interference or greed of mankind rather than some wasteland of corpses and skeletons within a sea of fire and mountain of blades. He'd actually like to build a house here, when he got old. Certainly he could demand the privilege if he survived this mission and told the leadership of the sect about this wonderful place!

"Wow! The Qi in the air here is incredible! It feels as if I've been reborn!" One of his juniors, a recent recruit, some girl from a temple in the woods shouted happily "Look at the grass! Its like jade! I feel like I'm growing stronger just by breathing in! Its like lightning has filled my meridians"

"Well, Boss Xiaosheng, guess this answers the question of how so many demonic beasts have been born" Another of his underlings says, clapping him on the shoulder as he gawked at the idlyic landscape before him "They've been taking advantage of a heavenly gift, that is rightfully our property"

"I think this land of wonders has been here longer than the winter blossoming wisdom sect" Xiaosheng said quietly, running a hand through the soil "That jungle in the distance couldn't have sprouted over night and those bone white mountains are too tall to have sprouted up recently"

"Why else would there be so much Qi and Primordial beast essence in one place? Think that emerald wave that is still wrecking havoc around the world started here?" His brutish, ape like companion asked, picking at his nose as the young temple girl skipped and danced around, the other five huddled together, hands either on their swords or clasped together in prayer "Maybe it was unleashed when this place uh...opened up? Maybe its a sort of secret realm"

"Maybe" he muttered, dearly hoping that wasn't the case "We'll take out time and be cautious, if it seems safe here, we're establish a camp before heading towards the location of those bursts of Qi the mountain sages perceived"

He rubbed his knuckles in thought, as his underlings carried at his orders hesitantly, jumping at their own shadows. Just what would they find here?
_
[Presently...]

You were running through a jungle, slipping under and jumping over roots as you evaded the band of Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect members, who you had found bumbling in the dark.
Cont
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Their leader, a man with a somewhat familiar scent, spotted you first on the edge of the lantern light. And then, acting like a startled,ignorant native, you bolted, shrieking in terror and crying pitifully as he stared at you with wide eyes.

It didn't take long until he and his friends were shouting after you, chasing you in the dark, guided only by the light of their lanterns as you took full advantage of your feline grace to maneuver through he undergrowth with ease while they struggled and kept tripping. They hadn't immediately attacked you, and judging from their voices they were more concerned for your safety and were completely flabbergasted to find another human in the basin. They probably wanted to question you and take you on as a guide to lead them to the source of whatever disturbance you had caused that they had been sent to investigate. Their was fear on their breath, so they weren't stupid enough to think they were the masters of this valley.

You almost felt bad, leading them to their doom, with how earnest they seemed in their concern for you and their completely pitiful state of unpreparedness. As you thought, their masters had sent them here to be slaughtered. They seemed naive. Why else would they chase a strange woman dressed in fur into the depths of a monster filled jungle in the middle of the night? Did they think this was going to turn out like a fairytale? That they'd end up the heroes of some lost tribe of humanity? Or that they'd find treasure instead of death and suffering?

You paused, looking back to make sure they were still following you, and the break in running allowed the seeds of conflict to sprout in your thoughts.

They were members of the sect that killed your sister and mutilated your other, they'd kill you if they knew what you were and would bring an army of monster hunters down the cliff if they were allowed to escape. But they were also, as far as you can tell, good people entirely in over their heads, their first thought of seeing another person here in this dangerous wilderness wasn't one of suspicion but rather worry.

You weren't far from the monster who you intended to feed them to's den.

It'd be pragmatic to kill them, and the voice begging you to reconsider was a wispy whisper, while the one demanding blood was much louder. But they both came from deep parts of your heart. You had long accepted you were of a generally benevolent disposition, that your good deeds weren't merely flights of whimsy, despite how vengeful and bloodthirsty you can be. But it wasn't wrong to kill a threat. It was common sense wasn't it? Kill or be killed. It was a law every animal knew. You ate or you were eaten. A Simple fact really.

Just because they seemed nice and were worried for the girl you seemed to be, didn't mean they weren't your enemies and if they caught sight of your tail they'd either run away or try to kill you themselves. It was a simple act of survival, not just for yourself, but for others.
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>>5607038

It was benevolent to kill them, it was benevolent to spare them, but it was smarter to put them into the dirt and would be incredibly stupid to let them escape. Squashing the misguided pleas of your conscience, you took in a deep breath of humid, sour air and waited until you were just in your sight and started running again, resolve strengthened and steeled.

If they were truly good people, they'd be reincarnated quickly and return with new faces and names, so there wasn't anything wrong in tricking them and leading them to their graves, was there! Not that you'd care if there was, you didn't care about being a good person, you just tended to do good deeds and act virtuously despite acting like the beast you were!

"She's up ahead! Wait, we aren't trying to hurt you! We don't want to steal you away from your family or home!" One of them shouted "its dangerous out here! This place is the home of demons!"

You lost another chunk of pity for these idiots from that remark. Maybe killing them was benevolent because it prevent their stupid genes from polluting the next generation? Heh-heh-heh!

What do you do, once the eight cultivators have fallen into your trap, Huanliuxue.

>Leave and go back to the Geges and Fu and find a way to celebrate their success

>Wait around and pick through their corpses' pockets. Not reason not to loot them.

>Watch the battle, since you might learn something from their deaths (Mental training/ Perception trial. DC 72)

>Realize you could take further advantage of their naivety and jump into the den to save them at the last second, to feed them a bunch of lies to repeat to their masters! (Mischief/trickery trial. DC 44)

>Don't let their deaths go to waste, and try to befriend the monster you fed them. Never hurts to have more allies

>Write in
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>>5607046
>Realize you could take further advantage of their naivety and jump into the den to save them at the last second, to feed them a bunch of lies to repeat to their masters! (Mischief/trickery trial. DC 44)
They are trash, but there is always the chance that someone will come to investigate their disappearance. Lying to them is the only way to make sure that the information we want is the one that goes back.
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>>5607072
Although there is a risk of them babbling about the riches of the forest, and the winter sect could be desperate enough to try and loot this place. In which case
>Don't let their deaths go to waste, and try to befriend the monster you fed them. Never hurts to have more allies
Would be the smarter option. I'll see how the voting goes and settle for one of them.
We could also ask old five colors emperor to make the forest a no go zone too.
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>>5607046
>Realize you could take further advantage of their naivety and jump into the den to save them at the last second, to feed them a bunch of lies to repeat to their masters! (Mischief/trickery trial. DC 44)
This probably isn't the time to use our "Xiaosi" thread, these guys aren't ranked high enough for that to matter.
But all the little advantages matter when it comes to long term deception.
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>>5607046
>Realize you could take further advantage of their naivety and jump into the den to save them at the last second, to feed them a bunch of lies to repeat to their masters! (Mischief/trickery trial. DC 44)
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>>5607046
> Realize you could take further advantage of their naivety and jump into the den to save them at the last second, to feed them a bunch of lies to repeat to their masters! (Mischief/trickery trial. DC 44)

It is very cat like to play with the prey.
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>>5607046
>Watch the battle, since you might learn something from their deaths (Mental training/ Perception trial. DC 72)
>>
>>5607046
>Watch the battle to learn

>Then save them at the last second.

I mean, we can probably do both. Though the training DC may be higher if we are preventing kills.
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>>5607046
>Wait around and pick through their corpses' pockets. Not reason not to loot them.

Anons getting sentimental again, being torn apart by a monster is the best detergent here.
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>>5607505
Im willing to hear counters on this argument.

My idea is we can spin a yarn about this territory being taken by a cult of the five colours, for this is his garden.
And the beast we lead them into being "the humblest" predator of note, aka "all the shit here is gold core or higher, fuck off.

Though i can see the downsides, i think it could prevent plenty of more expiditions. Which we would need to keep killing until they classify the area as a forbidden zone.

>PvpnwX
Jeeze capatcha
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>>5607505

>Realize you could take further advantage of their naivety and jump into the den to save them at the last second, to feed them a bunch of lies to repeat to their masters! (Mischief/trickery trial. DC 44)
We kill them all, they send more and stronger cultivators. Because whatever killed this group definitely has a valuable core, obviously.
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>>5607046
>Wait around and pick through their corpses' pockets. Not reason not to loot them.
I don’t trust them to not slip up and let something slip
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>>5607046
>Watch the battle, since you might learn something from their deaths (Mental training/ Perception trial. DC 72)
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the result now.

Realize you could take further advantage of their naivety and jump into the den to save them at the last second, to feed them a bunch of lies to repeat to their masters!: 6

Watch the battle, since you might learn something from their deaths:3

Wait around and pick through their corpses' pockets. Not reason not to loot them.:2

Don't let their deaths go to waste, and try to befriend the monster you fed them. Never hurts to have more allies:1

So, realizing they might be more useful alive, leap to their defense at the last moment, ready to fill their heads with bullshit to tell their masters as truth.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
You pick up your pace, taking longer strides and lifting your legs higher as you sprint, vanishing from your pursuers sight as you lead them to the edge of the monster's territory. A monster who has to have been rudely awakened by all their shouting and yelling as they chased you into its den. Clambering up a tree the moment you're certain you've lost them, the other cultivators unaware of the danger they now face continue to run forward, looking for you so desperately they begin to fan out, breaking up their tight formation and leaving themselves all the more exposed and vulnerable.

Stretching out, you suppress a yawn that would've altered them to your position in the branches above them, and lay down on your belly, crossing your legs as you watch them bumble and grope around in the dark blindly, lifting their lanterns and craning their necks back and forth. They are all breathing heavily, except for the apparent leader amongst them who has to have a deeper reserve of stamina than the rest, singling him out as either a higher stage cultivator or simply one who is much more diligent with his exercise and goes on morning runs habitually. Certainly his is a physique that looks tempered and refined

"Where could she have gone? She vanished like a ghost in the mist" He says, voice rattled with dread as he glances around with squinting eyes "One moment she was within our reach and the second, Poof! Gone like a memory!"

"She's a local, judging from how she was dressed and that she didn't seem to understand us, her ancestors must've been trapped here ages before" The big brute of the group growls, pulling and snapping branches in what, to an animalistic mind, would seem as a display of aggression or a challenging call "She might've thought we were monsters ourselves or imagined we had ill intent, you know how barbarians are, they find wives by kidnapping them"

"Terrible, just terrible" A girl, rather young and petite mutters fearfully, covering her mouth as she cowers before the overstretched and giant shadows she and her companions cast "To be so frightened by her fellow man, maybe we were the first people she's seen?

"Or maybe" A boy with a rat's voice says through her teeth "She's a monster herself, how could a girl as pretty as that exist, let alone out in this wasteland? I heard demonic beasts used to be able to steal human bodies, maybe..."

"Do you have anything between your ears" The oldest amongst them scolds "Those are just old stories, myths to encourage proper virtues. And if she were a demon, she would've attacked us! They have an irresistible lust for human flesh you know"

You certainly did not. There were far tastier and more delectable meats out there. Though human flesh did taste better than toad.

"Did...did any of you hear a scream, I swore I heard a scream before she vanished" A more mature woman whispered, shivering beside the younger girl, looking entirely helpless in the wilderness.

Cont
>>
>>5609560

"And...and my daily divinations spoke of death" A man who looked like ping used to, with a completely shaven head and a few too many prayer bead whines, huddling with the ladies and you wonder if he might be a eunuch judging from his pudgy face and wispy facial hair.

"I think I heard something, but not a scream, more like a sudden gasp..m..maybe the poor thing has been snatched up! Such a shame! Nothing we could've done to save her" A fat man with a tightly bound hair bun huffs, sweating

The ground shook, and you lifted your head up. Oh, your accomplish had finally pulled himself out of his bed! Wonderful. Smirking cruelly, you rested your head between your hands and relaxed, ready to enjoy the nights entertainment as trees were trampled and uprooted like weeds.

"Hold formation!' The leader cried, his voice cracking and wavering as he drew his blade, which seemed to have an edge carven of clear ice "Something is coming! Something big!"

"Trespassers" a voice shakes the ground, rumbling like rocks rolling down a mountain side "You dare to enter my domain without announcing yourselves and paying the proper tithes. No sacrifice has been offered, no respect given"

Dammit, this is a monster with an over inflated ego and delusions of nobility. How contemptible and annoying!

"Hieee!" At least three of the winter blossoming wisdom sect disciples shriek as the monster's shadow falls over them, its three red eyes glaring down, burning with a light like the last embers of a lantern's wick. Judging from its outline in the gloom, it is some kind of gorilla, or similar to one at least, with long hanging arms and furry, muscular body.

"Run" The leader says breathlessly, flicking his sleeve and throwing his arm behind himself "I'll hold it off"

"How heroic" The monster growled, leering into the fire light, revealing its face and the fact that it most certainly was not a gorilla or any kind of demonic beast. It was uglier than feiqing if such a thing was possible! With warts and knots of flesh like burled wood, with bundles of horns that grew from its face like blossoms and four tusks, two on its upper lip and two stuck in its lower that were capped with polished gold.

All over it were burls and calluses and growths like it had been half overgrown by horns that grew like mushrooms. It hands were like spades, with curled, yellowed finger nails. Behind it whipped a scorpions tail that dripped venom. You...you had no idea what the hell it was, and could barely stomach looking at it long enough to see it bat aside the brave leader of these foolish daoists and close the distance to his underlings in a single step. They hadn't obeyed and rebelled against their leader's command to abandon him, and fought fiercely to defend him as he laid on the...no, not on the ground, the poor fucker had been pushed INTO a tree's trunk and was struggling to break free while uttering profanity as foul as it was creative.
Cont
>>
>>5609562

The...horned ape? just chortled grossly and relished in their desperation, drooling and licking its black lips with a bloated, pink tongue. "I suppose a meal shall settle my temper" it mocked.

They were all going to die. But, now that they were getting tossed around and beaten into the dirt, you realized. Wouldn't them reporting back cause less of a stir than them vanishing without a trace? Their elders might not get the message to stay the hell away with only eight deaths, considering how many disciples they've wasted fighting off the Ling Clan and Jing...Jingsomething. They're stubborn, from all you've heard about them. So...wouldn't it be better to just slap these brats on the ass, feed them a bunch of horsecrap, and send them running back to their grandfather repeating the lies you told them?

You pondered this, as the fat one got launched into the air and bounced off the horned ape's fist like a particularly rubbery ball. Certainly it'd be entertaining to see these white robes get slaughtered, but seeing them get pummeled had already brought a smile to your face. And it just might be smarter to take advantage of their naivety rather than having to deal with their more experienced and world weary seniors.

Making your choice, you stood up and clenched your hands into fists with a spunky smirk and deadly gleam in your eyes and leapt down from the tree tops.

'Time to perform a bit of theater, Heh-Heh' you thought playfully as you landed in front of the Horned ape, that stared down at you, eyes widening with a look of horrid realization. Oh! He recognized you even though you looked like this! Perfect! Now you just needed to bullshit rather than fight! How fortunate! Especially since you'd generously measure this brute to be about the equal of the second or third rank cultivator of the foundation establishment stage, a little too close to yourself for you to be completely confident the fight would be brief and painless

Roll 1d100. DC 44. Best out of four
>>
Rolled 77 (1d100)

>>5609563
Now now, there are scarier things here than you little monster. Run along and leave the intruders here to us.
>>
>>5609563
>>5609589
33 above with a 77 is a good roll to start. Wonder where everyone else is though.

I guess we can say we were swayed by their dedication to protecting each other and have them lap up the idea that we’re enamored with them?
>>
Rolled 61 (1d100)

>>5609563
>>
Don't worry, I'm still here, patiently waiting.
>>
Rolled 10 (1d100)

>>5609563
>>
Rolled 25 (1d100)

>>5609563
>>
>>5609589
Great success! 30 over DC. Update will arrive shortly. Sorry for taking a bit
>>
"You" It gasps, its lips trembling as it raises a shaking hand and jabs a filth encrusted and blood drenched finger your way. You narrow your eyes, glaring and curling your lip to bear your fangs, or presently dull and useless teeth. Thinking quickly, you step out of your mortal flesh, hoisting it up and keeping it from crumpling down to the ground with a clever bit of blood manipulation keeping its leg and arm muscles tense, making it appear as though you've adopted a causal though battle ready stance with relaxed shoulders and back.

"Listen to me" whisper into the apes ear, flitting over to it as a ball of ghostly fire, carmine light flashing in its eyes as it turns to face you, its faced painted with the blood red glow of your soul as it shivered either from blind terror or the unearthly and life sapping chill your potent ghostly Yin Qi produced "I have a plan and you're part of it. If you do not do exactly as I say, I will eat your heart while it still beats and wear your skull as my crown, are we clear?"

There's a was a flicker of comprehension in his bloodshot eyes, all three of them, and he nodded slightly, turning two of his eyes back to your empty body as the third remained locked on your ghostly form

"Don't say anything, and act like we're acquainted as enemies. I have need for these morons, and have lead them here to win their trust" You say only lying slightly as you transformed your spiritual form into a doppelganger of your true body "We shall make a show for them, and act out a battle for them"

His eyes flicked back to you and his lips parted as he struggled not to speak outloud the words "Without hurting eachother?"

"Of course you stupid monkey! If I wanted to wear your blood, I've had your throat out already. You seem to have a flair for dramatic with how you approached and spoke to these dogs" You hiss angrily "So keep it up and make this charade of ours believable or I'll just kill you for real, understand?"

He nodded slightly again as the beaten and bruised cultivators stared at your motionless form in awe, the old man and young girl's mouths moving as if they were trying to speak but lacked the courage or energy to do so. That our they were concussed and their brains would soon be leaking out of their ears, Heh-Heh-Heh.

"Of all of my rivals, YOU dare to show yourself before me, interrupting my meal in your usual manner!" He roar, slamming a fist on the ground, telegraphing it so you have ample time to dodge it by ducking to the side, having taken residence back within your body the moment he lifted his arm up "I shall not allow this INSULT to pass this time"

"Big talk for an idiotic monkey" You drawl, raising up your hands in a slightly adjusted form of your usual stance, to make it not so clear that the movements were feline in nature, empathizing the ethereal and floaty motions "Haven't I beaten you often enough for you to know humans are off your menu?"

He winced, making it clear he really did enjoy eating humans
>>
>>5609740

"If I recall, our last encounter ended inconclusively, brat!" He shouted back, glancing to his side to make sure the only real threat to him wasn't charging him from his blind spot. He wasn't. The brutish fellow was busy helping him pull himself out from the tree trunk he'd been whacked into

"Only because I got bored" You boasted, throwing an arm dramatically to the side and whipping your head around "If you can still stand, move away! I won't be able to hold back against THIS ONE!"

The cultivators gawked at you, staring wide eyed rather than retreating as you commanded them to. You turned your eyes to Horned ape and twitched your cheek, telling him to encourage them to flee to a safe distance. He bowed his head

"INSOLENT GIRL! TONIGHT WILL BE YOUR LAST! I WILL ENJOY PICKING MY TEETH WITH YOUR BONES!" He roared, standing up on his legs to beat his chest, grab a stone, and hurl it your way and the way of the bystanders without enough sense to get out of the way of a brawl between two monsters!

Sheathing your fist in destructive Yin, you made a show of winding up a punch before creating in the moment before the stone impacted with your knuckles and broke them a Dying Grudge Shield between your hand and the boulder. With the hand erecting the protection spell with a quick hand sign hidden in your sleeve, to any observes, it appeared you deflected the stone with a mighty punch that caused it to shatter midflight, showing the jungle clearing with shards of rock and much less dangerous pebbles which showered down on the idiots behind you.

The ape for his part lean away from the two largest chunks of the boulder flying towards him, dodging them both quite gracefully despite his bulk. Spinning around, he lifted his arms and held them aloft, winking at you in a way that made you think he was telling you to charge in. So you did with a flying kick that seemed to catch him in the jaw with enough force to send him stumbling back. In reality you just threw your foot up a few inches away from his face, but the speed of the strike was fast enough to make a sound like the dull thud of a jaw being snapped shut by force.

He lands on his back and you grab hold of a branch, swinging around it with the momentum of your kick to end up standing atop it, striking an elegant pose, one hand covering your mouth and the other lifted to point down disdainfully at the brute laid out bellow. He makes a show of being stunned, wiping drool he spat up from his mouth, before giving a monkey's howl and lunging at you, grabbing with one hand and bearing his fangs.

So the show continues, you evading his clawing hand and gnashing teeth, to bring a hard axe hit down on his skull, that in the dark and flurry of movement, the novices below wouldn't have seen was blocked by a suitably hard piece of wood he had grabbed with his other hand before leaping to meet you in the trees.
Cont
>>
>>5609741

He crashes to the ground and you flip in the air to land behind him, adopting once more your altered stance as you circle around him, waving your arms up and down to seem like you were warding off his intuition and foresight by shifting between potential attacks. You glanced to the side and gritted your teeth, they almost had their leader freed from his tree, you'd have to speed this up before he could rally his companions to joining the fray and ruin your brilliant plan.

"One last clash" you say between your teeth, whispering with a hiss "I'm going to make us seem evenly matched, so when they get that buffoon freed, they'll still be scared of you enough to not press the issue of your "Cowardly retreat"

"Got it" He muttered under his breath, smacking his open palms on the ground and howling in rage as he launched himself through the air in an actually impressive display of acrobatics, adopting his own odd one footed stance, the other lifted behind him so its heel was above his head. He needed to hold both his arms held out to keep from falling over and looked utterly ridiculous

"I grow tired of this warm up, Lets get serious already!" You shout angrily, smacking your fist into your open palm and rolling your neck, and made a show of "getting serious" By fiddling with the flow of your blood to make your skin redden. Really all you did was increase your blood pressure slightly and give yourself a fever

"I concur! We have no reason to act as if we were hunting mice! We are after all equally matched and have fought such deadly duels before!" He declared and you thought about actually poking one of his eyes out for giving such a terrible performance. At least the audience seemed to by it. He became shrouded with steam, and the ground beneath his feet began to liquify and turn to mud.

You both charged and met in the air with a clash of fist. You gave him a congratulatory smile as he threw his fist just past your head and you made as if you slammed your knuckles into his jaw. Then, with the assistance of Qinggong, go flying back. Pretending to stumble, you quickly "Find" Your balance, while the horned ape goes reeling into a tree and grins wickedly, licking blood from his lips! Blood spilt when he purposefully bit his tongue to sell the illusion and moved to resume the fight before he, acting shocked looked over to the leader of the cultivators and snarled, seeing him freed from the tree

"My pride is not so vast to preserve face in the face of death!" He declared, shaking a fist in the air "When you do not have numbers on your side, we shall prove once and for all which of us is the better!"

And with that, he ran into the jungle, sprinting away as fast as his lumbering legs could carry

"Hah! A coward as always!" You laughing, putting your hands on your hips and giving a triumphant smile. Then you see dung for brains charging after the horned ape, and put a hand on his chest to stop him
Cont
>>
>>5609742

"What are you doing" He slurs, barely able to stand on his own two feet "We can't let that man eating monster get away!"

"He's learned his lesson, he isn't enough of a fool to fight while outnumbered" You warn, wagging a finger in his eyes, mostly to make sure he could still follow it and hadn't suffered any permanent brain damage "and you're in no state to fight him! He's retreated to his home turf, if we followed, he might just be able to pick YOU off one by one"

He clenched his jaw and sighed, shutting his eyes in frustration as he sheathed his sword

"You speak with wisdom, adrenaline took hold of me and made me act without thinking" He said quietly, shuffling back to sit down on a piece of the boulder you broke apart "Thank you for, ow, intervening on our behalf"

"Yes! Thank you Ma'am for saving our lives! We're indebted to you!" The other seven shout in unison, cupping their fists and bowing deeply. And you couldn't help but to smirk like a drunk at the sight of the dogs of orthodoxy bowing to a heretic like yourself

"Any request, any service, and demand! We will fulfill it, even if it costs us our lives!" The brute of the party bellowed

"Don't get ahead of yourself" The leader meekly replied, clearly not wanting to give such a potent boon so easily to a stranger

"Hmm, you aren't one of ours, what is a young prodigy and beauty like yourself doing in this accursed land?' The old man asked, approaching you to scrutinize you or rather your breasts more closely, as the two woman of the party fawned over you and the other men, The eunuch and rat, the rat especially were more weary of you. And The fatty, cried out for help somewhere up in the canopy

Now was your chance

What is the first lie of many you tell them, Huanliuxue?

>That you're a disciple of a hermit god and tasked with keeping the monsters in the basin from escaping to the wider world

>Pretend to be a member of a clan of demon hunters sent to patrol the Primordial wilderness as is your ancestral duty

>Act like their fellow Daoist and orthodox cultivator and acted surprised they didn't know about this region and its dangers, as it is considered common knowledge in your sect.

>Seem confused about the question and ask them about their "Strange" manner of dress and dialect, pretending to be a local and ignorant tribesperson

>Write in (and feel free to include 2nd,3rd and so on lies here if you want)
>>
>>5609743
>Accursed? This is the personal garden of the Five Color Emperor, and the monsters here are his pets. And we're a member of the tribe of the FCE's gardeners, tasked with tending this place. You guys are trespassing by the way, better go back.
>If asked why we ran away, answer that we weren't sure what to do with them and hurried away to receive orders from our elder (who they can't meet). We have the orders now: any trespassers are on their own against any pets like Seventy-Poison Toad or the Invisible Gut Eater.
>>
>>5609784
I support this bout of lying.

But I also suggest the inclusion of
>You're lucky you only ran into old Horned Ape, he's merely at foundation establishment. If you met the more common golden core beasts then I wouldn't have been able to help you, let alone those in frequent few favoured pets who are even higher above.

and maybe call the place "five coloured gardens" and it's owner "A Hermit God" so that it doesn't seem like we're knowledgeable about any legends from the outside. If they put 2 and 2 together it should be fine.
>>
>>5609816
I second this. And also add that trying to hunt his pets for their cores is going to make the Hermit God very cross.
>>
>>5609784
>>5609816
+1. Also based on its description, the “ape” seems to be a chimera of sorts. I wonder if our roar caused this or if the primordial forest is just odd like that.
>>
>>5609743
Time for fun.
Accursed? This is the the Five Color Garden, the land of a hermit god, his pets, and his disciples. We’re a member of the “gardeners”, tasked with tending this place and keeping the more unruly pets complacent. You guys are trespassing by the way, better go back.
Merging >>5609784 with >>5609816
>If asked why we ran away, answer that we weren't sure what to do with them and hurried away to receive orders from our elder (who they can't meet) as people rarely come from the outside and the Roar has awakened more beasts. We have the orders now: any trespassers are on their own against pets like Seventy-Poison Toad or the Invisible Gut Eater.
Slight rework to toss in the Roar, we would have felt it here too.
>You're lucky you only ran into old Horned Ape, he's merely at foundation establishment. If you met the more common golden core beasts then I wouldn't have been able to help you, let alone those in frequent few favored pets who are even higher above.
Now for more fun!
>Mention offhand that the Roar has disrupted the land, but fortunately the more powerful beasts have awakened and they’re keeping the younger ones in line too. Act confused when they are confused by our statement. Many of the older beasts speak fondly of the hermit god, how wise and just he was. Of course they try to follow in his example while he is away. Are there not such beasts to help tend gardens elsewhere?
>The older beasts are even refreshing the techniques of the hermit god amongst our tribe. He chose not to leave scrolls behind and rely on oral tradition. Aspects of some techniques were forgotten and are being recovered to help us tame the unruly ones!
>No, we have no interest in tending other gardens. This land is dangerous to unaware outsiders, but it is ultimately harmonious. Disrupting that harmony would upset both gardeners and beasts, and likely the hermit god as well.
Throw the curveball that beasts can be friendly, and imply that we know FCE techniques but there aren’t any scrolls for people to steal. Also that even some beasts were trained with FCE techniques.

If they imply more parties will come, do something like
>Offer to take that message back to our elders. Do they have any trinkets to inform us of their visits in advance? Better than using a signal that some beasts could interpret as fresh food entering the garden. The elders will likely send a gardener to speak with them before they enter.
>>
>>5609743
>>5609846
Oh, and one more:
>Bemoan that you didn’t see the transformations that others did when the Roar hit since you haven’t been in the garden long enough. You wanted to move like a cat. Some of the others got wings or chitin or claws… why do you all look so afraid? That happens to gardeners as they cultivate due to the sheer density of primordial qi around some beasts. The transformations are a sign of experience and wisdom.
Let them know to expect people with animal characteristics in future visits, and the ones that show them are not to be fucked with.

Hopefully all of the above should be a good mix of BS with old “heretical” truths that the true elders think we have a continuous lineage that traces back to the FCE, that we’re content to remain as we are since we haven’t been heard of for centuries, that techniques the rest of the world forgot are still in circulation there, the Roar has only strengthened us while the rest of the world is divided by it, and that striking out would risk angering FCE and provoke foes the cultivated world hasn’t seen in far too many generations. The wall they built is going to get a lot bigger.

The only thing to worry about is people like Yaonan who don’t care about what fighting us would do to the world.
>>
>>5609784
>>5609816
+1
>>
>>5609784
>>5609816
Support, specially the part not directly mentioning that it's the five color emperor, but leaving it implicit.
This is the lie I wanted to tell them. And the best part it's that it's not even a complete lie, since old 5 color did the entire basin his garden while we were talking
>>
>>5609784
>>5609816
Ye +1.

>>5609846
>>5609855
I like most of this too, if they start asking questions related to our "how/why" which surely they will.
>>
>>5609846
>>5609855
This are good too, but I kind of want to see their reactions to the first lie so we can adjust them as follow up.
But if Gramps is ok with automatically changing it so we don't let slip something they don't know, like calling what they think is a wave a roar or something like that.
>>
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I say we should talk to Ape-bro, he seems cool and it's curious that he knows of us. Maybe our ruling legacy can expand into other animals? The only one we know that have a similar reaction are the Cats, si yeah, why the Ape know?

Also, that description of the Ape it's really curious and kinda familiar...
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>>5610068
>why the Ape know
Probably has seen us fighting Fu
>>
>>5609743
>>Seem confused about the question and ask them about their "Strange" manner of dress and dialect, pretending to be a local and ignorant tribesperson
>That you're a disciple of a hermit god and tasked with keeping the monsters in the basin from escaping to the wider world
The write-in is just giving extra details to this combination, and those extra details mostly make it really suspicious, rather than more believable, especially the stuff that's like 'there's definitely nothing good here for you'. it'd be more believable to, like, pretend that there is something good you're trying to keep hidden, but then accidentally revealing that it's something useless to them, like the 'secret metalworking' or the secret of writing.
the 'friendly beasts' stuff will also just make them call the local tribes heretical demon worshippers and make it imperative to kill them. and they ARE worshippers of Huanliuxue, so that's a really bad lie to throw out there.
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>>5610137
Hmm, that true.
I'm sticking to supporting the first two I did >>5609881
>>
>Votes - 8
YiPTD5HE
cu7x5rpu
/VaLHA/J
nSeWvvaE
4BoXhHDA
IM5lgQJA
oQFZmIFL
JOKHL2yz

>Five Coloured Gardens + extra - 7
YiPTD5HE
cu7x5rpu
/VaLHA/J
nSeWvvaE
4BoXhHDA
IM5lgQJA
oQFZmIFL

>Don't pouch from gods- 2
YiPTD5HE
IM5lgQJA

>Even more things, possibly too much - 2
nSeWvvaE
oQFZmIFL

>Tribal - 1
JOKHL2yz

>Hermir disciple - 1
JOKHL2yz

I still think we can use some of those ideas anon gave, depending on their responses and questions.
Also officially supporting >>5609821 telling them that hunting in this forest is going to piss off the boss.
>>
Im with >>5610137

All those extra details and shit only makes it more conspiratorial and incriminating. Just say that this is some kind of Garden of the "Hermit God", there's even crazier and deadly flora and fauna (even outside of "Demonic beast", just plain animals that are fucking huge and 10 times deadlier), and it's just a huge landscape of Qi that if you mess with it, it's going to mess with you even more.
>>
>>5610137
Good point with the beasts. The wilds have most of our actual worshipers even though they're tribally dispersed. I'm not sure the WBS would do something so stupid as sending out even the minimum force it would take to root out the heresy, but they've done dumb enough things already like feeding Jingyu and erecting a useless wall, we can't really underestimate their stupidity. The disciples here to investigate are barely cultivators to begin with, so that's a filter we need to keep in mind. Egg on our face for saying "friendly" beasts and causing a decimation.

>pretend that there is something good you're trying to keep hidden, but then accidentally revealing that it's something useless to them, like the 'secret metalworking' or the secret of writing

These are really funny. I'd actually love to see Huan use them in a dancing bear routine. ie; the savage seeing the refined/their "should be"-betters as less cultured, until we learn a little more about them. Our surprise with little ignorances can sell the whole act.

In fact, it may suit as well to be the one asking questions first. We're lying that this is our home, and they're effectively trespassing on the ground of our community. The latter of which is true. We could benefit by being a little suspectful, from a pretended perspective of naivety.
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>>5610167
Yeah, asking questions to start might be good, then we slowly reveal the whole gardener tribe thing.
What do we say if they notice our tail somehow? Part of the dao the gardener have? Mutation from all the nature Qi? That one could scare them off from trying to loot the place.
>>
>>5610178
I guess that does fit with what this anon >>5610137 went for actually, tribesmen + disciple
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>>5610137
There already is good stuff here that they know of and we can’t hide. Beast cores! Demonic beasts like the ape they fought are excellent for alchemy and those techniques shouldn’t be “heresy” to learn as you have to kill them to harvest it. It incentivizes culling the demonic beast population for materials and keeps humanity from allowing them to grow too large as greed sees cultivators compete for scarce resources.

So I figure we have to take the opposite tack. Fully admit that beasts are here, but suggest they’re too dangerous to exterminate in a single push and the counterattack will hurt whoever launched it. As the orthodox sects are at war, clearing the forest is a diversion no sect can afford.

As long as it sounds like we’ve been doing our own thing for a while and don’t care much for the wider world (which seems reasonable for cultivators) then they should avoid provoking the forest until they’re done with the war. Especially if their main “power” seems to come from being near beasts and the natural Qi of the area instead of artifacts or manuals. It’s very valuable in the right hands, but not immediately useful in war since they can’t tame the beasts and they can’t take the forest with them to a battleground. All they can get are good alchemy materials, and at a possible cost at that.

They’re already wondering if the “wave” came from here. They’ll enter eventually even if we didn’t give them further reason to. Our goal is to delay that as long as possible.

If we really want to be optimistic, hearing about beasts and humans living together in relative harmony ought to increase the number of cultivators/mortals flocking to Huan’s banner. Humanity started a war that has even cultivators taking sides, but Huan is seen as a defender. As a “divine” beast herself, is it possible she could bring the wilds to protect the weak and defend the land from intrusion? Could people tired of war truly know peace not just with each other, but with nature itself? The whispers would be heretical, but tyranny to stamp them out will only drive more people to flock under our banner and defend the wilds as humanity turns uglier and we remain a symbol of protection.
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>>5610178
>tail
We don't have a tail in human form.
>>
>>5610178
...Thought we had a handle on that.

But if they see others, we could preempt with the tribal angle already forwarded or extra lie about the resurgence of primordial beast essence making mutation causing cursed grounds via evil trees (not saying demonic, as not showing awareness to the topic) that we're sadly in the process of culling. Maybe add some tears to it, saying they were so beautiful before. Course simple is best, but the idea that there's people fighting against "the demonic" would delay any colonization ambitions, though they shouldn't be able to devote their strong to it anyways.

As well, the extra touch might help the WBS keep this under wraps, I doubt they'd want to share prospective grounds with other sects. They already put a wall up and staffed it with people who apparently have standing orders to investigate the area, that
OH THAT'S WHY THEY DID IT

They're branching out their forces as a reaction to their extreme losses, preparing to make incursions into the newly revealed primordial wilds to obtain resources for their strained war efforts! No duh. Should've realized that before. The WBS raising a wall out of safety didn't sound right in the first place, they haven't actually been into aiding mortals much before if Ping is to be believed and he is, but if it's out of greed and desperation it makes sense.
>paranoia overdrive
They're bait. Put here to test the dangers/potential of new ground with the weak forces they can spare.

>>5610187
>Our goal is to delay that as long as possible.
Perhaps some sect-to-sect instigation may aid us well...
>>
>>5610224
I thought the wall was to provide warning if beasts began spilling out into the countryside since the “wave” hit. They might not care about mortals, but roaming powerful beasts could take out traveling cultivators and impede the war effort.

Less greed, more desperation.
>>
>>5610259
I'm probably just paranoid, but their staffing solutions are so minimal that I'd wondered what the point of warning system would be. If they've no scheme to it, it does speak more to desperation.

In that line, ff they're so devoted to keeping their cards close to their chest, exactly who is going to swoop down and sweep up an actual beast problem?

Might we manufacture one to get one of their high-ranks out here and ambush them with ourselves + the geges? Some whittling action to injure their sect proper, individuals much older and more involved in the affairs we'll be stomping out inevitably.
>>
>>5610268
Not today, of course. But maybe later as part of our actual mission to destroy their sect.
>>
>>5610277
Since when is our mission to destroy their sect?
>>
>>5610277
Later? Of course, so long as we don’t have better ideas by then. If we’re going to make a move, make it decisive. Use all the tools at our disposal to kill or convert them so we can move onto other problems. I would expect the geges to be a willing part of that as long as we found a good fit for them in the plan.
>>
>>5610287
I believe it’s the Winter Blossoming Sect here. They killed our sister and crippled our mother so their long-term viability is in question regardless.
>>
>>5610287
So long as the ones who killed Snowy and crippled Monu still live I'm fairly sure at least Xubai's goals will not diverge from their death.
There's more to it than that but it's the gist.
>>
>>5610200
>>5610224
I thought we did because of this
>>5607038
>Just because they seemed nice and were worried for the girl you seemed to be, didn't mean they weren't your enemies and if they caught sight of your tail they'd either run away or try to kill you themselves. It was a simple act of survival, not just for yourself, but for others.
But maybe I misinterpreted what gramps meant
>>
>>5610356
I had assumed it was a turn of phrase.
>>
>>5610371
If we don't have one then that's probably it.
>>
>>5610137
I disagree, we should absolutely play up the danger, both in the form of the beasts strength and in the retribution people would suffer from a God's pets being poached.
>>
>>5610667
play up the danger, sure, but there's no point threatening them with a god's actions when he doesn't care about these beasts
>>
Remember that with lies, less is often more.
>>
Tally update

>Votes - 8
YiPTD5HE
cu7x5rpu
/VaLHA/J
nSeWvvaE
4BoXhHDA
IM5lgQJA
oQFZmIFL
JOKHL2yz

>Five Coloured Gardens + extra - 6
YiPTD5HE
cu7x5rpu
/VaLHA/J
nSeWvvaE
4BoXhHDA
oQFZmIFL

>Don't pouch from gods- 2
YiPTD5HE
IM5lgQJA

>Even more things, possibly too much - 2 (1?)
nSeWvvaE
oQFZmIFL (?)

>Tribal - 2
JOKHL2yz
IM5lgQJA

>Hermit - 2
JOKHL2yz
IM5lgQJA

Not much changed really
>>
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4.68 MB PNG
The curse has visited my temple once more, but valiantly I fought it off. Didn't burn myself again, but my PC wouldn't power on for two whole days after I shut it off to pass out after writing the last update. Mysteriously, it began to function again few hours back and after a few spirited blows to its side and rough shaking.

>>5610156
>>5611529
Thank you tally master, for doing the hardest task for me, you labor is as ever much appreciated

So You'll tell them "Accursed? This is the personal garden of the Five Color Emperor, and the monsters here are his pets. And we're a member of the tribe of the FCE's gardeners, tasked with tending this place. You guys are trespassing by the way, better go back."

and

"You're lucky you only ran into old Horned Ape, he's merely at foundation establishment. If you met the more common golden core beasts then I wouldn't have been able to help you, let alone those in frequent few favoured pets who are even higher above."

And if asked why you ran away answer that you weren't sure what to do with them and hurried away to receive orders from our elder (who they can't meet) and that you have orders now to leave any tresspasers on their own should they meet any other pets such as the seventy poison toad or the invisible gut eater (Very creative by the way, figured I should mention that, really all the write ins were very creative and inventive, Divine quality wordsmanship my juniors!)

Update will arrive shortly

>>5610377
it was, Huan doesn't have a tail in her human form. It was her thinking how they'd react if she met them in her Cat form.
>>
However, you realized that you were unable to repress the disdain boiling up inside you from the exact moment you heard the unmatched beauty and purity of the primordial wilderness as you took in the breath with which to speak the swarm of lies and mistruths to fill the empty heads of these naïve fools. It was a twitch of the eyebrow, you think or maybe a tremble of the lip or even a souring of your smile as it tried to fall into a grimace or pucker into a pout. Thinking quickly, you changed your plans and improvised a little bit, running through the scenario in your head how you thought these idiots would react to what you were saying. It was a gamble, you admit, a pretty big gamble especially for one with a healthy sense of caution such as yourself. It was always best to only say and reveal only as much as necessary, to keep some cards closer to your chest, more hidden up your sleeves, and some burned and their ashes dusted across the floor with your tail. But, you decided now it was necessary to pull out many of the secrets you'd have otherwise kept hidden away from any prying eyes, and practically shove them in their faces and gush and boast about them loudly!

"Accursed?" You said, allowing the chill of death's embrace to ooze into your tone as you stop holding back the contempt that term inspired within you, while still smiling cheerfully and warmly, not changing your posture or doing anything to the old fool who spoke the word, like say, pulling his beard out by its roots or polishing his head until its shone like a mirror and bled!.

Tittering cutely, you put a hand over your lips and giggled, bowing your head and nearly closing your eyes, keeping open just wide enough to see and gauge the reactions of the nine suckers in front of you.

"This is the personal garden of the Five Color Emperor, and the monsters here are his pets!" You cackled gayly, giving a flippant shrug as you decided acting casual and unconcerned was the best way to lull these dogs into a false sense of security long enough for them to accept the "Truth" You supplied to them.

Their reactions were mixed, some of them glowered suspiciously almost as if the claim personally insulted them, others ventured a nervous laugh, others froze and fret with their robes or accessories to keep from shouting loudly. They all glanced back to their leader, who was rubbing his chin in thought, eyeing you up and down, looking for any tell that what you just said was an off color joke or a blatant lie.

"Is that so?" He says calmly, offering a measured reply that neither challenged your word or showed that he bought what you were selling him

"It is, it is!" You cheerfully cheer, deciding to act more innocently and cutely to make it apparent to them that even if that isn't true, you "believe" it to be so, pressing your hands together and waggling your shoulders and hips "And I am a member of a tribe of his gardeners, tasked with tending this place"

Cont
>>
>>5612010

The monk seemed to be getting angrier and angrier as you spoke, though his companions merely eyed you suspiciously or judgingly as if they would find some token of The Five Color emperor on you, perhaps a tattoo or brand? Grinning ear to ear, you raised a finger, swirled it around and jabbed it into the leader's chest, making your joyful look seem especially fake as you did so, on purpose of course, though your own real offense that they dared to step into the domain of beasts did certainly assist the effort.

"And you all are trespassers, by the way!" You said sharply, twisting your finger into the man's robes "Better head back wherever you came from"

"You're a disciple of the five colors emperor?!" The monk like ping spat, eyes enflamed with outrage as he lifted up an accusing finger and had the audacity to jab it in your direction, your grin vanished into a contemplative frown as you held back the rising urge to snap his finger off at the second joint, either by biting it or ripping it from the hand it was connected "A valued servant no less, of several generations! That is quite the position and pedigree for you to claim! That he of all deities would create and tend to such a place as this and more than that, keep demons as pets!"

"Ru" The leader said warningly, not making to push your hand away from his chest "Compose yourself"

"Baldy" You said sweetly, though as sweet as poison and decaying flesh "Are you calling me a liar~? I've seen the celestial emperor personally and stood in the furthermost edge of his presence, I can assure you it was that of divinity and I know my bloodline to the root of its beginnings"

"Then you were misled, everyone knows the five color emperor has not set foot on the soil of the mortal realm for ten generations and rules austerely from his throne, distanced from the affairs of men and gods!" He smugly stated, wagging his finger now as if he was daring you to try and bite off "He is a supreme deity who cannot be concerned with the petty matters of men, a righteous avenger who abhors all devilry and demons! His power is so great that even a god stepping into his presence would be vaporized into mist and you claim"

"RU!" The leader shouted, shooting him a glare that screamed 'Stop antagonizing the woman who saved our lives and could fold you like fresh laundry if she had the mind to'

"Don't you know anything! it is why the five wise immortal sages serve as avatars of his will! He wouldn't need to employ landscapers and gardeners if he wished to pluck a piece of the world to serve as a flower garden, more likely it is a rogue spirit or clever..D..deh" He rants and rants before something catches his tongue as you open your eyes fully and tilt your head to the side, wearing a smiling mask but allowing the fierce ghostly essence within you to whisper into the air.
Cont
>>
>>5612011

A glimpse of your aura, not enough to ascertain its color or source, but enough to grip this talkative ass in a fear so cold and pure it must feel like being dumped in a frozen lake.

"I know what these eyes of mine have seen and what I felt" You say with a voice as sharp as snapping bones "I know what I have been told by my mother and my father, my granny and grandpa and so on. I've had the unmatched privilege to gaze upon his all elements aura to see how it differs from the rainbow in the sky. I do not appreciate being called a fool by a trespassing little boy"

The monk cowered and was smacked over the head by the brutish cultivator. The leader of the nine pinched the bridge of his nose, and sighed heavily

"Forgive my junior for his sharp tongue and his audacity to speak his thoughts outload" He shouted, clapping his hands and bowing deeply, to the point his forehead nearly met his leaves "It is...quiet the claim to make to serve the foremost god of all gods, but these are strange times and even the most learned of priests know little of the politics of the celestial courts and the uh, interest of their deities. I am certain they will be thrilled to here the savior of the world has such a down to earth hobby, Hah ha"

He was sweating now, no doubt thinking how easily you could beat them all to death if they roused your fury a little too much, properly intimidated by the show of force that was your pretend fight with the horned ape.

"You're lucky you only ran into old Horned Ape, he's merely at foundation establishment" You laugh as the nine awkwardly stand around, uncertain if they should speak their own misgivings and suspicions, obey the command of a strong stranger or merely wait for the others to act first. But that statement certainly was enough to make them tremble

"M..merely foundation establishment?" The fatty in the branches of the trees whimpered as the brute winced and began to shake nearly as much as the two girls of the party, who were so scared tears were dripping down their porcelain white cheeks

"At least one of you know proper courtesy and respect, though you're still a trespasser and need to leave" You say happily, pushing him with both your hands "Go on! Go on! Scram"

It was hilarious seeing his expression turn gloomy at being treated like a common garden pest.

You looked up at him, really surprised that gravity hasn't done its job and torn him from the bed of leaves he was thrown atop, blinking rapidly as you gathered your thoughts and recomposed yourself, adopting a refined look of dignity before you began speaking so you wouldn't blurt out your awe that that ball of lard was somehow still supported by the branches of even these ancient trees.
Cont
>>
>>5612012

"An utter weakling I know!" You laugh, a twinge of pain stabbing into your heart, as you yourself had "only" reached the Foundation establishment realm yourself "If you met the more common golden core beasts then I wouldn't have been able to help you, let alone those in frequent few favored pets who are even higher above"

"Okay I believe you serve a god, maybe not the illustrious five colors emperor, but a god none the less" The leader of the pack said in an awed tone that ventured towards numb terror

"Y..you believe the heresy she speaks?' The monk pathetically accuses "Only a demon god would keep such monstrous pets! That horned ape said he was going to eat us"

"Humans are made of meat to" You said bluntly , as if speaking to a particularly dull witted child, crossing your arms and brushing a lock of hair out of the way of your eyes idly

"Hmmm, if you're the student of a god, even a minor one, why did you run away from us?" The man you suspect to be a eunuch questions "Sure you are strong to fight off that uh, ape thing, but if you have such a powerful master, you'd have little reason to flee from weaklings like us!"

He winced, feeling the same pain you did when you called the horned ape a weakling for being in the foundation establishment stage of his cultivation.

"I..I don't mean to accuse you of lying, merely stretching the truth a little. Maybe you serve one of his underlings or are not a direct disciple of" he rattles on

"I am a gardener?" You say, acting confused, frowning and tapping your chin "Where did you and baldy come up with the idea I was his disciple? I'm just a servant in his gardens, as is the rest of my clan"

The implications of what you said and the strength you had shown inspired more dread in them all than your claim of monsters of golden core level being as common as rats in a granary here! How terrifying would the guards and warriors be, if you were a humble gardener they must be asking yourself. How strong were the more veteran gardeners for that matter!

"And to answer your question why I ran, I of course, as you said, had no reason to fear any of you!" You boasted, flashing your teeth in a cocky grin as you gave you hips a swaggering sway "I just wasn't sure what to do with you, so I hurried away to ask my elder, who told me with a red face "Help them once, and then leave them to pets loose in the gardens! and that goes for any other trespassers who come after them! Leave them to the likes the seventy poison toad or the invisible gut eater!"

The girls were now pale faced with terror, looking like ghosts as they and the Eunuch huddled together, repeating the terrifying titles of the monsters whom you made up as you spoke them.

"Really its more curtesy than we're expected to show unexpected guests" You ramble on, tapping a finger on your pouty lips and fluttering your eyelashes "Not that we often receive visitors from the outside"
Cont
>>
>>5612013

"You should keep these pets on chains!" The brute spat, rattled by the many "revelations" You've unleashed upon them like so many strikes to their kidneys "They're causing quite the ruckus in the world beyond your little garden"

The leader squinted his eyes, pushed his lips into a tight circle exposing his teeth, furrowed his brow, scrunched his nose and stopped breathing and glared with that horrible expression at the big idiot, trying to implant the command of "Shut up" into his stone thick skull without speaking it directly. While you almost felt like you could kiss the ruddy faced brute! He had just given you a chance to expand and refine your story and more perfectly concoct the lie that they would unwittingly feed to their sect's elders! Not on the lips of course, or the cheek, or anywhere on the face, maybe blown in his directions so you wouldn't have to actually touch trash like him. Maybe you could have Fu do it in your stead, Heh-heh.

"YES! If you truly service any virtuous master, any righteous deity they would not have allowed their "pets" to run wild as they have" The monk spits, and you shoot him another glare and glimpse of your imperial ghost aura and he reels back and covers his mouth as if he might spit up blood "I..I'm just saying! I didn't say your parents or elders were liars! or that your master wasn't a god, maybe just a re..rebellious one!"

"Tell me, lovely gardener" The old ghost asks humbly, managing to remove his eyes and stop oggling your body for a second to ask, with all sincerity "What...what did the Five Colors emperor's aura look like? I...I became a cultivator because I adored the stories of him my mother told me, and..and I've always wondered what it might like be to see his radiance in person! What is he like, even if you've only seen him once and at a distance!"

What is the next lie you tell them, Huanliuxue?

>That no beasts have escaped the Primordial wilderness in living memory, as another family keeps careful track of their location and which of them are awake and which are still slumbering.

>Ask if maybe that has something to do with the with the geyser of Primordial beast essence that drowned the world a little while back, and tell them its caused a fair amount of trouble here as well

>Laugh at the idea and state that the pets of the five color emperor respect his wisdom and try to live by his example, and keep the rowdier youths like Horned ape in line. And certainly they're too busy helping with chores to go cause mischief in the outside world

>Claim ignorance and suggest maybe something has been done to agitate or offend the beasts causing trouble outside of the basin

>With complete honesty, tell the elderly man exactly what the five colors aura looks like and as much about him as you know.

>write in
>>
>>5612015
>That no beasts have escaped the Primordial wilderness in living memory, as another family keeps careful track of their location and which of them are awake and which are still slumbering.
>This land is surrounded by cliffs for a reason. Almost nothing here can climb them, and what can is kept away from them.

>With complete honesty, tell the elderly man exactly what the five colors aura looks like, but not much more
I suspect he wants to compare our account with whatever he knows from the sect's lore. Let's hope their archives are accurate.
>>
>>5612015
>With complete honesty, tell the elderly man exactly what the five colors aura looks like and as much about him as you know.
Maybe leave out the exact bits about who his wife and pet were, as well as his complete stance on demonic beasts. Don’t want to overwhelm them too much. But speaking of his laugh, his smile, etc. should help sell it too.

Since that isn’t actually a lie,
>Laugh at the idea and state that the pets of the five color emperor respect his wisdom and try to live by his example, and keep the rowdier youths like Horned ape in line. And certainly they're too busy helping with chores to go cause mischief in the outside world
>Except for his cat. His most favored pet died long, long ago. The FCE still speaks of him fondly… more people should respect cats.
With the last bit colored by our own sadness and anger at the injustice of Niu being taken from this world. The very last line is both to puff up Huan and to sell the simplicity of our world that we consider being kind to cats an important moral lesson worth sharing to intruders.

>>5612069
At least we can agree the FCE really is a great guy.
>>
>>5612112
Niu was an ox though.
>>
>>5612015
>That no beasts have escaped the Primordial wilderness in living memory, as another family keeps careful track of their location and which of them are awake and which are still slumbering.
>Ask if maybe that has something to do with the with the geyser of Primordial beast essence that drowned the world a little while back, and tell them its caused a fair amount of trouble here as well
>With complete honesty, tell the elderly man exactly what the five colors aura looks like, but nothing more

>"No pets have escaped, I'm sure of it. However the unexpected wave of Primordial Chi has caused quite a lot of normal animals, that were meant to keep the natural balance of the garden and food to the more hunter pets, to change and mutate. It is possible that they may have escaped while our the tribes had our hands full trying to keep track of so many at once."
>>
>>5612015
>Tell the old man "Well, what do you think his Aura feels like? Do you know histories that describe it? I can tell you if you're right or wrong about that, and maybe tell a little bit more"
I say maybe this is a good response where we can both respond honestly or not. It's a grey area where he can't go and say "Gotcha" when the monk Kung Lao from millenia ago said "yeah, he's a fun guy" unless the same recordings are wrong.

>Tell the rest of the group that we have enough with the Beasts we have here and other dangers, either human or more mystical. We keep track of the Beasts in here and that the cliffs are a natural way of keeping them in, but if there's Beast in their world, then it means that's their own problem.
We can't let the WBS to came with a shitty conclusion like that other Ping-like cultivator said, and have a theory that ALL the Demonic Beast came from here and are the "root of evil". We're more than capable of handling our problems here and we don't want no one to come and bring their problems.
>>
>>5612155
Could have sworn I was misremembering, but the memory of a cat being on the Queen’s lap had me rethinking.

Looking back in thread 10, I see the name of the cat who hid away manuals for us generations ago and seemed acquainted with the family (possibly the Demon Queen’s housecat?) was never mentioned by name. I mistook that cat for Niu. We also learned that Wucai’s family name was Ling at that time so the “gotcha” we did with him earlier wasn’t actually relevant. Guess even Huan can forget things.

So the write-in I did is incorrect on that point. We could toss in something like
>”I wish his wife’s cat were among them. What little teachings survived of theirs speaks highly of the FCE. And cats are so cute too!”
to play up the innocence/cat connection instead. But it doesn’t pack the punch and ventures into more unknown territory since we don’t know what the legends say about Wucai’s family.
>>
>>5612015
>Claim ignorance and suggest maybe something has been done to agitate or offend the beasts causing trouble outside of the basin

>With complete honesty, tell the elderly man exactly what the five colors aura looks like and as much about him as you know.
>>
>>5612015
I'll support >>5612069

Lets just go on about his aura and his appearance, not his views. Other than "Being the most kindly grandfather we've ever met" or something similarly fawning.
>>
>>5612069
+1
>>
I'm just going to insist that we just say to that ping-looking guy "Hey, you have your Beast, we have FCE pets. We keep the pets under control, but if there's awakened beast outside here then it's your own problem
>>
>>5612921
I mean I thought that was implied in
>Nothing can get out of here.

But hey, if it isn't then lets add it to here >>5612252 because fucking hell "Our shit is in here, deal with your own" is the implied.
>>
>>5612921
Could we couple this with implying that the ping-looking guy must not be a very good gardener if he's complaining about beasts? Just for the extra cheek.
>>
>>5612943
>I mean I thought that was implied in
It kinda is, but there's a chance where they just go nitpicking with details and words, especially after so much information we give away. Maybe if we're just blunt and "honest" they get the message right away that this place and the "gardener tribes" are aislationist and leave us alone, unless they fuck around.
>>5612948

>Could we couple this with implying that the ping-looking guy must not be a very good gardener if he's complaining about beasts? Just for the extra cheek.
I wouldn't mind at all. Maybe he can stay quiet after that and actually chew our lies enough for him to believe it.
>>
>>5613011
we did tell them to leave repeatedly
>>
Ending the vote now, tallying the result.

That no beasts have escaped the Primordial wilderness in living memory, as another family keeps careful track of their location and which of them are awake and which are still slumbering.:4

This land is surrounded by cliffs for a reason. Almost nothing here can climb them, and what can is kept away from them.:3

With complete honesty, tell the elderly man exactly what the five colors aura looks like, but not much more:6

Laugh at the idea and state that the pets of the five color emperor respect his wisdom and try to live by his example, and keep the rowdier youths like Horned ape in line. And certainly they're too busy helping with chores to go cause mischief in the outside world:1
- except his ox....:1

Ask if maybe that has something to do with the with the geyser of Primordial beast essence that drowned the world a little while back, and tell them its caused a fair amount of trouble here as well:1

No pets have escaped, I'm sure of it...etc:1

Tell the rest of the group that we have enough with the Beasts we have here and other dangers, either human or more mystical. We keep track of the Beasts in here and that the cliffs are a natural way of keeping them in, but if there's Beast in their world, then it means that's their own problem:1

Tell the old man "Well, what do you think his Aura feels like? Do you know histories that describe it? I can tell you if you're right or wrong about that, and maybe tell a little bit more":1

I wish his wife’s cat were among them. What little teachings survived of theirs speaks highly of the FCE. And cats are so cute too!”: 1

Claim ignorance and suggest maybe something has been done to agitate or offend the beasts causing trouble outside of the basin: 1

So You'll answer the elderly cultivators question with complete sincerity and tell them that no beasts have escaped the primordial forest in living memory.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
"Beautiful beyond description" You say with utmost sincerity, smiling warmly at the elderly man as he rubs his hands together "Like rainbow hued tongues of flame, it surrounded him like an aura. Spectral golden arms could be seen, emerging from the radiant light that was every color of the Wuxing and every hue and mixture of those fire colors all at once. It made the sunlight seem dim and the sunset seem dull. But the Five Colors emperor himself looked like an ordinary old man, he dressed humbly in robes patched with straw and mismatched squares of fabric. He didn't have a single strand of hair atop his head, but his beard was magnificent"

"Magnificent?" The old timer squeals like a little boy being told about the latest adventure of their favourite folktale hero, the rat faced cultivator rolled his eyes as the old man nearly skipped over to

"Its the only word fitting to describe it, it grew longer than any other beard I've seen men wear, it was well groomed and properly cultivated, and would coil around him somewhat like a snake" You continue on cheerfully as he savors your words, his eyes closed as the monk that reminds you of the old Ping simmers with rage so visibly you half expect to see steam rising out of his ears "As for what he was like, besides his appearance, I'd describe him as the most kindly grandfather you could meet and of a intellect as vast and deep in the see. His wisdom was as clear to see as any other part of him, though I believe he has something of a mischievous playful side, I'm not certain as I've only seen him from a distance and have never spoken to him directly"

The monk seems somewhat appeased by your later description of him.

"I've been telling kids for years he wouldn't wear those gaudy shimmering costumes you always see in cheap theaters!" The old man declared triumphantly "Though I wonder why he'd wear such threadbare attire? Did he wear a crown? Did he have jade beads in his beard? What about his spear! I've always wanted to see which depiction of it in the historical records or the famous plays were closest to its actual appearance! Oh! Wait! I know, does he enjoy tea"

The other eight stared at their elder in disbelief as he asked more and more inane questions and you found yourself staring at him in the exact same manner. You had thought he had wanted to compare your account of the old god with the records and lore kept in his sect's archives. But now its clear that he's just a huge fan boy of the five color empeor, like a little boy whose never truly grown up despite all his wrinkles, liverspots and grey hair.

"Of course, he was having tea when I saw him, with a silver teapot pot shaped like a blossoming lotus" You answer kindly as the Monk glowers at his companion, knowing he wasted a chance to disprove your claims with his pointless questions
Cont
>>
>>5613389

"And to answer your question baldy, he hasn't allowed any of his pets to run wild. In living memory, no beast has escaped the primordial wilderness" You haughtily scold, crossing your arms and bouncing on your heels "Though its the duty of another clan to keep track of their locations and which of their number are active and which are still in slumber"

"Clearly they're doing their job poorly! Our territory has been assaulted by hordes of rampaging monsters and demons!" The monk shouts back, you frown and flick up you hand to brush some of your hair out of your eyes

"Are you certain they've come from here?" You ask sharply, looking into his eyes fiercely "Because I am certain that clan is doing their austere and ancestral duty properly as they have for generations"

"Where else would they have come from? This place is replete with divine quality Qi and Primordial Beast essence" He answers smugly as you tilt your head, doing your best to look contemplative and somewhat confused.

"So you don't have magical beasts in the outside world?" You asks plainly, rolling your wrist to motion to him with the hand you were scratching your chin with

"We do, but they're much rarer than they are here" The Eunuch answers at the bidding of the leader, who has fallen silent and is now sitting staring at you with his fist underneath his chin

"Well, maybe there's you answer, I don't know where the feral beasts causing trouble outside came from, but they didn't come from here" You explain, making sure to sound suitably annoyed and irritable "And you shouldn't be here, and should go back before the Horned Ape returns from wherever he's hiding or one of the more dangerous pets find you"

"I have questions concerning your master" The monk said with a huff

"And we can't return immediately" The leader says right after him "Perhaps you can lead us to shelter, it would benefit both the clans here and our sect if we knew more about eachother and this basin's mysteries.

"NO WAIT YOUR TURN!" The old man barked at the monk, shaking a threatening fist in the air above his head. You rolled your eyes and let out a exhausted sigh.

"We shouldn't concern ourselves about if he's the real deal or not" The brute sighed heavily "It'd be best to ask the gardener girl more about the monsters"

"Or exactly how her people survive in such a dangerous wilderness, their customs, habits, beliefs!" The eunuch cries excitedly

"Can someone get me down?" the fatty whimpers somewhere above, and soon only the two girls are silent, still huddling together with wet cheeks and runny noses, too terrified of their surroundings to even whisper
Cont
>>
>>5613390

Double vote!

What do you tell them about your "home"

>Make up a backstory for why the Five colors emperor is here and give an example of his power by mentioning the way he sunk a mountain into the earth by stomping it down

>Try to scare them by inventing a bunch of monsters, some of which might be gross exaggerations of your own disciples

>Attempt to make up a convincing way of life and culture for your imaginary clans of gardeners and pet keepers

>Nothing

>Write in

And how do you answer their request for shelter?

>Deny it and threaten to throw them back up the cliff if they do not leave willingly

>Accept, and pull Fu in your scheme by having him act as a member of the monster tracking clan. Hopefully he is a better actor than Qiang.

>Decide that Jionghuagege could make your "Gardener" cover more believable, and convince her to entertain them as her guests in her human form, in a cottage on the outskirts of the flower meadow

>Lead them to one of the numerous ruins and allow them to camp. Then mess with them as a ghost to make them also believe the basin is home to powerful ghosts as well as ferocious monsters

>Write in
>>
>>5613391
>Nothing

They have asked their questions and have been given answers, you don't like their tone and doubts so they can leave.

>Deny it and threaten to throw them back up the cliff if they do not leave willingly

What shelter? They dallied enough we won't lead them anywhere but outside.
>>
>>5613391
>Try to scare them by inventing a bunch of monsters, some of which might be gross exaggerations of your own disciples
>Big monsters aren't that dangerous if you keep in mind where each of them are from the daily reports of monster trackers and are careful not to approach them.
>It's the tiny and numerous ones with their poisons and diseases and curses that are the problem. We spend eight years studying their habits before we were allowed out of our village. For example, sleeping in this area in this time of year can get your brain eaten from the inside.

>Deny it and threaten to throw them back up the cliff if they do not leave willingly
>We have work to do and they're annoying.
>>
>>5613391
>Nothing
>Deny it and threaten to throw them back up the cliff if they don't shift

>Haven't I already told you to leave thrice? My elder instructed me to assist you once, so I am already transgressing by doing it this second time to help you on your way. Now LEAVE!
>>
>>5613391
>Nothing
>Deny it and threaten to throw them back up the cliff if they do not leave willingly
>>
>>5613391
>Attempt to make up a convincing way of life and culture for your imaginary clans of gardeners and pet keepers.
>Tell them of the society you’d imagine under your own rule, with beasts and humans working in concert, disruptions in the fabric by monsters and people who have evil set in their hearts, the noble judges like Siwang that would preside over punishing them, the homes that could be built by man and beast working together.
This one is easy Huan. Just think of your vision of the future, and let some words flow. Try not to choke up too much.

For shelter,
>Decide that Jionghuagege could make your "Gardener" cover more believable, and convince her to entertain them as her guests in her human form, in a cottage on the outskirts of the flower meadow
>Clarify to the intruders that you are acting against orders so they’re on thin ice. If they make any moves to injure or upset one of the cute, nice, and docile pets that requires little oversight then you will break them and scatter their corpses for for the greater beasts. Telling your elder you did it to protect the garden wouldn’t be a lie.
>Inform Jionghuagege to say nothing of life in the jungle beyond her own day-to-day life. If they ask about the humans, hunters, or gardeners that live her, tell them you’ve been told not to speak of them to protect their secrets. Which is true as it is your secret she is protecting!
>>
>>5613404
+1
>>
Pastebin is updated again with the latest two techniques, refinement of blood control and open wounds curse.
>>
>>5613447
Great work, records anon.
>>
>>5613447
Based
>>
>>5613391
Some monsters if we go that route:
>The Many-Headed Hydrangea - A plant that feasts on flora and fauna alike. Blends in with the jungle quite easily with vines, fruits, and flowers. Very annoying for the hunters to deal with if it moves due to natural camouflage, but the stillness of the jungle is a giveaway as it struggles to contain its appetite and devours all that wander near. You’re not sure if it’s actually a hydrangea, you’ve never been assigned to feed or contain it. Some of the lesser pets breed fast enough that sating it supposedly isn’t too difficult.
>Nightshade - A cat that stalks the shadows. Surprisingly a very loyal pet in spite of the usual fickle nature of cats! That said, its ability to blend in with the shadows, protective nature over the gardeners, and taciturn nature has caused more than a few scares and misunderstandings as gardeners have noticed something watching over them quietly. It’s not the only creature that stalks the shadows after all.
>Mothra - A white moth that feeds on corpses. Takes care of itself, but diligence is to avoid too much death in any one area. In large enough swarms they get confused on what is alive and dead as they eat their own dead and begin to attack their living brethren. Other living creatures that are around can be attacked then, and the acids they use to dissolve flesh and bone are just as effective on the living as the dead. Gardeners must move bodies around to prevent such frenzies.
> Weavers - A small clan of spiders that live in the forest. They are larger than the average gardener, so they require a lot of food to keep active. Their usual prey are the fist-sized bees that exist in pockets of the jungle. At some point the bees learned how to explode needles from their abdomen in all directions death, so the spider’s armor is quite thick. Hunters ensure that the spiders are informed when the bees start a new hive so their food doesn’t dry up. If they take too long, the hunters and gardeners turn into targets as well. They make wonderful garments for their favored hunters though.
> Bastion - A giant turtle that lived in a frozen underground lake. It swam through ice like water, and dirt… like muddied water you suppose. Unfortunately put down recently, it went on a rampage after the Roar hit and froze the garrison that watched over it. The elders were called in while Guards and Shaper kept it from breaching through to the surface and freezing over much of the jungle.
> Shaper - Shaper is one of the pets. Shaper allowed the elders and us to deal with you intruders. We know this because Shaper could have stopped you before you entered the jungle. Shaper allows itself to be tracked so we don’t panic. Shaper is never to be disturbed. Shaper approaches the tribe when it has needs, not the other way around. Within this jungle, Shaper knows. Do not inquire further about Shaper. You will not be saved.
>>
>>5613404
+1

At this point we need to be consistent with our huge lies, reinforcing the conditions of what we've put out. The WSB are going to send more prepared people later, though likely few. It may behoove us to instruct the Gege's accordingly.
>>
>>5613447
Just to let you know, you need to update the section about Enmity Incarnation
>>
>>5613404
+1, I am regretting letting them live
>>
>>5613404
Supporting. I voted to kill these assholes to begin with.
>>
>>5613391
>Attempt to make up a convincing way of life and culture for your imaginary clans of gardeners and pet keepers
>Accept, and pull Fu in your scheme by having him act as a member of the monster tracking clan. Hopefully he is a better actor than Qiang.
>>
Here's a tally.

>Votes - 9
BJvF8L+/
YiPTD5HE
cu7x5rpu
IM5lgQJA
nSeWvvaE
4BoXhHDA
oQFZmIFL
/VaLHA/J
oLD4fyDn
iL55yOPb

>Nothing - 7
BJvF8L+/
cu7x5rpu
IM5lgQJA
4BoXhHDA
oQFZmIFL
/VaLHA/J
oLD4fyDn

>Monsters - 1
YiPTD5HE

>Small are more dangerous - 1
YiPTD5HE

>SCPs - 0 (1?)
nSeWvvaE ?

>Culture - 2
nSeWvvaE
iL55yOPb

>Beasts with humans - 1
nSeWvvaE

>LEAVE ALREADY - 8
BJvF8L+/
YiPTD5HE
cu7x5rpu
IM5lgQJA
4BoXhHDA
oQFZmIFL
/VaLHA/J
oLD4fyDn

>We are busy - 1
YiPTD5HE

>Already helped too much - 5
cu7x5rpu
4BoXhHDA
oQFZmIFL
/VaLHA/J
oLD4fyDn

>Gege - 1
nSeWvvaE

>Warning - 1
nSeWvvaE

>Fu - 1
iL55yOPb
>>
>>5613914
We got Fu's grudge?

Right, I'll note that it gives us extra strength and a cloak of ghosts. Any other benefit from it that anyone remembers? Beyond sex appeal?
>>
>>5614692
We also used Monu's grudge, which gave us a more sultry and playful demeanor, immunity to poisons, knowledge of puppet making and control, and the ability to create a hailstorm. Oh and definitely sex appeal for Monu's grudge.Bamousha was lucky we used in our beast form.
>>
>>5613391
>>Nothing
>Decide that Jionghuagege could make your "Gardener" cover more believable, and convince her to entertain them as her guests in her human form, in a cottage on the outskirts of the flower meadow
>>
>>5613391
>Nothing
>Deny it and threaten to throw them back up the cliff if they do not leave willingly

I should have pushed harder for leaving them for dead. Now some smartass elder is probably going to barge in seeking instruction or at least a meeting with with our supposed ruler.
>>
>>5613391
This >>5613404

Letting them live was a mistake.
>>
File: d6i9wvo9m1091.jpg (291 KB, 2800x1218)
291 KB
291 KB JPG
Ending the vote, tallying the result now, I shall kotow and give face to be forgiven for vanishing over the weekend

Nothing:10

Try to scare them by inventing a bunch of monsters, some of which might be gross exaggerations of your own disciples:1
-Big monsters aren't that dangerous...etc: 1

Attempt to make up a convincing way of life and culture for your imaginary clans of gardeners and pet keepers.:2
-Tell them of the society you’d imagine under your own rule:1
_
Deny it and threaten to throw them back up the cliff if they do not leave willingly:10
- We have work to do and they're annoying: 1
-Haven't I already told you to leave thrice? My elder instructed me to assist you once, so I am already transgressing by doing it this second time to help you on your way. Now LEAVE!:6


Decide that Jionghuagege could make your "Gardener" cover more believable, and convince her to entertain them as her guests in her human form, in a cottage on the outskirts of the flower meadow:2
-Clarify to the intruders that you are acting against orders so they’re on thin ice...etc: 1

Accept, and pull Fu in your scheme by having him act as a member of the monster tracking clan. Hopefully he is a better actor than Qiang.:1

So You'll tell them Nothing and threaten to throw them up the cliff if they do not leave, telling them "Haven't I already told you to leave thrice? My elder instructed me to assist you once, so I am already transgressing by doing it this second time to help you on your way. Now LEAVE!"

Update will arrive shortly

>>5613447
Fantastic, good work junior

>>5613452
Creative, I like it!

>>5614592
The austere duty of the tally master shall always be given its proper respect.
>>
And then they just keep talking, interrupting each other, speaking over each other, pestering you with questions to the point their voices become little more than a buzzing noise in your ears. A maddening stream of questions that either inane, insulting, demanding or just plainly too clever for you to answer. They're testing your patience and getting on your nerves, and despite their generally pleasant and respectful manner you find yourself already regretting saving their lives and with half a mind to fix that mistake personally and bloodily. A vein pops on your brow, you lips curl back to show your disgust and you squint your eyes as your face becomes an infuriated grimace. You have to bite down on your lip to stop from hissing out of reflex.

"ENOUGH!" You roar, stomping a foot on the ground enough to crack it and lodge it up to its heel in soil, scowling as you stomp threatening up to the leader of the group and jab a finger hard into his chest, digging your nail into his skin as painfully as your able, to angry to think or care about appearances and never having concerned yourself with being respected by these drooling halfwits to begin with "Haven't I already told you to leave thrice?!"

The silence that falls as you pull your hand back is deafening, even the stinging bugs and howling beasts in the distance have fallen silence from the sheer force of intimidation produced just now. Gnashing your teeth, you jab you hand over their leader's shoulder, pointing in the direction they had entered the forest from.

"My elder instructed me to assist you once, so I am already transgressing by doing it this second time to help you on your way." You say putting on a strained front of politeness before the venom of the contempt you feel for these idiots and their blabbering reaches a fever pitch and you snarl "Now LEAVE!"

"Su..surely you could answer at least one question" The eunuch squeaks as the rat faced man scurries back, only not retreating completely away from you because he knows to walk this jungle alone is to court death

"Leave!" you repeat, cracking your knuckles just by flexing your fingers "Or else I'll throw you back up that cliffside myself!"

"Forgive us for our impudence, we did not mean to offend you or your austere clan" The leader says after a moment of tense silence, which consisted of the monk and brute sizing you up and quickly deciding to fight you would also be courting death when you send a crackle of electricity down from your shoulder, cascading until it reached your finger tips and began to leap and arc between them "We shall leave immediatly"

"Get the fat one down from the tree first" You remind them, not wanting to have to chaperone the useless sack of lard back yourself or pollute the ecosystem by introducing such a fatty and unhealthy meal to it.

"Of course, of course" He repeats, as his companions, now to terrified of you or otherwise too preoccupied with sulking to say anything themselves.
Cont
>>
>>5616790

Once that blubberball has been collected, the leader of the gaggle cups his fists and bow, muttering another apology before he leads his party back into the dark of the jungle and soon leave you in blessed silence. You watch the light of their lanterns fade slowly into the distance, tapping your foot impatiently. It seems you've gotten a little high strung from having to deal with those naive fools for a little too long. They started asking too many questions, after all, ones that you didn't have answers for or at least none that would've held up to scrutiny. Hopefully the lies you fed them before then would be believable enough to spread. Certainly all of them except the monk looking one bought all of what you said hook line and sinker.

What do you do now that they're out of your hair, Huanliuxue?

>Get your body to safety and track them as a ghost to make sure they leave

>return to the Gege's and Fu and get started on digging that tunnel to your home base

>Find the horned ape and apologize for stealing his meal and thank him for his help

>Decide to give them a reason to go back quickly and deal with the one who might speak out against the story the rest will tell, and murder the monk [bad karma]

>Help fu name his self made cultivation law (Can be taken with other options)

>Write in
>>
>>5616791
I don't know why you all regret letting them live. The tale is 8 to 1, and the leader himself bought it. The strength of the sect and their isolationist policies means that while they may eventually decide to try diplomacy, they can't spare anyone to do so at this current stage of their war with the Sunlight clan.

And in doing so, gives us time to cultivate to Golden core.

>Let Fu name his law
I don't want to aid him, just tell him to do so. We shouldn't taint the well, it's HIS law.

>Find the Horned ape and thank him for his help.
>Return to the Gege's and Fu and start digging.

I do want to go and study the laws of our gege's a bit more, but that can wait until after we come out of cultivation.
>>
>>5616795
On second though. We can start reading the laws of the Gege's after the tunnel is finished, If Qiang isn't back from her diplomatic mission by then.
>>
>>5616791
>Get your body to safety and track them as a ghost to make sure they leave
>>
>>5616791
>Help fu name his self made cultivation law (Can be taken with other options)
Way of the Avenging Warrior
>Find the horned ape and apologize for stealing his meal and thank him for his help
>>
>>5616773
I wasn’t too happy with how these monsters turned out. I liked what I did for the pinwheel spider and memory demon more. Probably because of the different tone I could take.

>>5616791
>Find the horned ape and apologize for stealing his meal and thank him for his help
I’m curious if we made him or if he’s always been here. We can start leading him back to the geges as we talk so introductions can be done.
>>
>>5616791
>return to the Gege's and Fu and get started on digging that tunnel to your home base
>>
>>5616791
>Find the horned ape and apologize for stealing his meal and thank him for his help
>>
>>5616791
>Find the horned ape and apologize for stealing his meal and thank him for his help

>Help fu name his self made cultivation law (Can be taken with other options)

I'm all for the tunnel idea (I might even be the anon who first proposed this a few threads back) but I don't really see how this needs our personal attention. Tunneling is an ant thing not a cat thing.
>>
>>5616791
>Find the horned ape and apologize for stealing his meal and thank him for his help
>Get your body to safety and track them as a ghost to make sure they leave
If we can't do these two, then the priority is for finding the horned ape. I just vote for the Ghost option because they might pull something sneaky to keep looking around before leaving.

>Help fu name his self made cultivation law (Can be taken with other options)
I have some ideas
The Burden Warrior
The Fallen Ones
The Restless Vengence
The Undying Retribution
The Ever-burning Grudge
The Haunted Vessel
The Grudge Carrier
The Haunted's Last Will
>>
>>5616791
>Get your body to safety and track them as a ghost to make sure they leave
>Help fu name his self made cultivation law (Can be taken with other options)
To clarify, I recommend leaving our body with Fu and getting that name hammered out once those 9 are well away. Tell him to think it over while he waits.
>>
>>5616791
>Get your body to safety and track them as a ghost to make sure they leave
>Help fu name his self made cultivation law (Can be taken with other options)
>>
Ending the vote, tallying the result.

Help fu name his self made cultivation law :6

Find the horned ape and apologize for stealing his meal and thank him for his help: 5

return to the Gege's and Fu and get started on digging that tunnel to your home base:2

Get your body to safety and track them as a ghost to make sure they leave:4

Okay so you'll track down the Horned ape to give them your appreciation and then help Fu name his currently nameless cultivation law.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Giving a haughty sigh, you snap your fingers for no reason except for dramatic effect and turn into a blood red, ox sized cat and stalk into the jungle, following the ape by the scent of its fear and relief and the tracks it left behind. He didn't make it hard to find him again and you find him crouched beneath a titanic tree, one of his hands clutching his chest just above his heart. He is panting and covered in sweat, trembling the way people do when they know they evaded death by a hair's breadth again.

"Sorry for dragging you into my game, Horned ape" You giggle, peering down from the tree branches and very nearly causing the monster to suffer a heart attack as he catches sight of your eye shine "But I needed to get those fools to trust me so they could spread a few lies on my behalf, I hope it wasn't too difficult a task? And that you aren't going to starve because of my whimsy?"

"You're the toadeater!" He accused, jabbing a yellowed and curled nail in your direction and you leapt down from the canopy and sauntered in front of him, exuding pomp and dignity.

"That's what you now me as?" You say, very disappointed, then you sit down and roll your eyes "Well it doesn't matter, that title might be terrible but I've been called worse. Just call me madame, lady or her excellence instead and we won't have any quarrel with eachother"

The horned ape slowly nodded his head, wincing with one eye like you were going to claw his face. You didn't have any reasonable reason to of course, besides the stench of his breath and hideousness of his face but you could endure both for a few moments longer.

"And stop wincing, I didn't come here to beat your or continue our mock fight for real, I just wanted to give you an official statement of my gratitude and thank your for the assistance you lent me just now" You say with a grin as you stand back up and turn around, giving your tail a flick "I hope the rest of your evening is uneventful. And oh, before I forget, if I see catch your scent anywhere near the palaces of the insect queens..."

"I'm dead" He whimpered, as more sweated beaded and crawled down his brow

"Clever boy!' You praise, cackling as you run into the darkness "Goodbye Horned ape, if I have need of you again, I will find you"

And with that you leave the monster to collapse from the sheer strain of staring down the face of death twice in one day. But as you make to return to your three disciples, a thought crosses your mind.

It's disgraceful that Fu's cultivation law hasn't gotten a name yet. As his teacher the polite thing to do would be to offer him assistance in bequeathing it a proper epithet, one that would endure the ages and strike fear into the hearts of his and his future students' enemies. So you began to think of names that'd work for his techniques and method, just in case he didn't have a title already in mind or the one he came up with was trash!.
Cont
>>
>>5618659

What do you suggest Fu name his cultivation method

>Way of the Avenging Warrior

>The Haunted's Last Will

>The Haunted Vessel

>Revenant's scripture

>Something else/ let him name it (write in)

And what do you do after doing that, Huanliuxue?

>Decide to stick around and hang out with the Geges a little longer, and make sure the tunnel to your home is started properly

>Strong arm the horned ape and other monsters weak enough for you to bully into protecting the Geges and the other magical beasts

>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu

>Study the Geges ancient cultivation manuals (Mental training/ Study trial. DC 95)

>write in

This update was exactly 666 words. Spooky
>>
>>5618662
>Way of the Avenging Warrior
>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu
>>
>>5618662
>The Haunted Vessel
>Strong arm the horned ape and other monsters weak enough for you to bully into serving the Geges
Ants and bees got the organization thing on lockdown. Best to draft them in helping build a city of the beasts.

Also, the Geges are probably stronger than most of the beasts we could bully easily. They won’t offer much protection.
>>
>>5618662
>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu

>Something else/ let him name it (write in)
>>
>>5618662
>Ghost revenger law

>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu

We could bring him with us to the hill tribes that worship us, see if any particularly horrid beast has given them grief and kill that.
>>
>>5618662
>Something else/ let him name it
>Decide to stick around and hang out with the Geges a little longer, and make sure the tunnel to your home is started properly

I don’t have any ideas here so I’ll just let someone else decide. I do care about that tunnel though. That’s a big priority for me when we know that sects are poking around the jungle and probably won’t ever willingly leave.
>>
>>5618662
>The Haunted Vessel

>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu
>>
>>5618662
>The revenant scriptures
It's so metal, without giving away it's trick.

>Study the ancient manuals
Guys. Guys. The scriptures. The scriptures with the demonic beast making focus. And the army leading focus. The gege's scriptures. The scriptures for the Geges.

I *want*
>>
>>5618662
>Revenant's scripture
>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu
>>
>>5618662
>Revenant's scripture
>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu
Blow off some steam kicking some ass
>>
>>5618662
>Way of the Avenging Warrior
>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu
>>
>>5618662
>Haunted Revenant's Scripture
Revenant is too generic alone, but having Scripture at the end sounds sick.
>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu
>Strong arm the horned ape and other monsters weak enough for you to bully into protecting the Geges and the other magical beasts
>Search out the enemies the dragon told you and about and fight them with Fu
If the monsters have some amount of coordination or purpose then it'll look more plausible that they're pets being controlled by a clan of gardeners. And any who don't agree get blasted
>>
>>5619131
Yes, Haunted Revenant's scripture is better, so I'll add that here >>5618959


But I now question the rest of the players, Why are we letting the manuals lie untended? We've the bonus and all the gain to get from it.
>>
>>5619366
I don’t want to burn a bunch of our bonus when I want to cultivate when we get back home.
>>
>>5619388
We won't burn a bunch of it. We just need to beat a 1 in 5 chance to get 80 and then we can equal it without dipping below 200.

If we rolled like. . I dunno, 5 as our highest, I'm happy to just let it go since going below 150 is. . ehh.
>>
>>5619405
I'm hoping to get enough beast core to evolve all our students and ourselves
>>
>>5618662

>Way of the Avenging Warrior
>Study the Geges ancient cultivation manuals (Mental training/ Study trial. DC 95)

How can we not go for forbidden knowledge?
>>
>>5619920
Then I would posit that if we knew how to create magical beasts, would that not grant us an advantage and insight into using the beast cores better?
>>
>>5619970
True but didn't we learn that already from one of the books we got from the underground library?
>>
>>5619981
The collected account of magical beasts does contain the secret to awakening magical beasts amongst other things.
However, I would posit that there is a distinction between a historical text telling us how to do it [which is force the beasts to have a surge of strong emotion] and a cultivation method built around being able to do it.

It's explicitly stated in the first option that it's knowledge that huan would dearly like to have, so it's probably an extension off the principle rather than redundant knowledge
>>
Tally time

>Votes - 12
IM5lgQJA
nSeWvvaE
2ifxsx3L
BJvF8L+/
OfFoyEjX
YiPTD5HE
OEVzD7o/
iL55yOPb
/VaLHA/J
38YyNAzr
JOKHL2yz
WNNKDRgq

>Way of the Avenging Warrior - 3
IM5lgQJA
38YyNAzr
WNNKDRgq

>The Haunted Vessel - 2
nSeWvvaE
YiPTD5HE

>Ghost revenger law - 1
BJvF8L+/

>Revenant's Scriptures- 2 (4?)
iL55yOPb
/VaLHA/J
JOKHL2yz (?)
OEVzD7o/ (?)

>Haunted Revenant's Scriptures - 2
JOKHL2yz
OEVzD7o/

>Let him choose - 2
2ifxsx3L
OfFoyEjX

>Hunt - 8
IM5lgQJA
2ifxsx3L
BJvF8L+/
YiPTD5HE
iL55yOPb
/VaLHA/J
38YyNAzr
JOKHL2yz

>Monster city - 2
nSeWvvaE
JOKHL2yz

>Tunnel - 1
OfFoyEjX

>Manuals - 2
OEVzD7o/
WNNKDRgq
>>
>>5620021
drat. 4 more votes needed for the scriptures, and with their value being self evident that means that others have considered the value and dismissed them. Damnit!

We'll get this knowledge eventually
>>
>>5620069
I think that’s why people are passing over them. I’m personally in the tunnel/city camp since that’s a long-term project and linking our realms would make returning to study the texts simple (or we could have the geges bring them to us when they visit) but I guess people want to hunt instead since we came here to train Fu. Which is fair! We didn’t come for personal enhancement, we came to be a teacher.

Alternately, we buy in to what Huan said about sticking with her own self-taught method. I don’t buy that as much since we’ve picked up the martial manual.