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Previous chapters: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20Quest
MC info Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/x5rCdZpq
Sect/ disciple info Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A0Yghkqs4WxALnnlVJ2uPpphQk9NQ4ME32DzC1qWp7Q/edit?usp=sharing
Folklore: https://pastebin.com/AnbsrDcd
_

You are the greatest Demonic Beast of at least ten generations, the stellar phenomena of an ever rising star, heiress the legacy of primordial beasts and rightful empress of too many things to list, The wild princess, The Blood Moon Cosmic Beast, (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed/ Happy to Shed Blood) Huanliuxue! The founder of the heretical Palace of natural laws sect (宫殿的野生彝宪, Gōngdiàndīyěshēngyíxiàn) and inventor of the Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law(统治者的这重大轮回法律, Tǒngzhìzhědīzhèzhòngdàlúnhuífǎlǜ) and many other accolades and epithets, some of which are complimentary and some of which are anything but, which is to be expected considering you're the heretic that's overturned rivers and seas and the heavens and earth themselves!

Currently, you're deep in the sacred groves of the Thousand Lotus Hall Sect (千莲花殿堂, Qiānliánhuādiàntáng), having generously offered to do a little pest control for the other sect, even though you had been planning to squash the vermin that had wormed its way into their gardens before you even met with the heads of the healing hall. That worm in the flowerbed would be none other than your ghostly elder sister Xuebai's (雪白, Snow white) rabid dog, Jingyu (静雨,Quiet Rain) the corpse thief.

Who is currently groveling at your feet, dressed like he was taking customers in the seedier district of Suiqi, fox ears flat against his skull and tail trembling as he presses his human hands and face to the ground, fangs revealed as he grimaces and dares not look at you directly. You already suspect him of having perverted intents with the young girl he's gotten trapped in a cage of roots, but there's another suspicion that overwhelms the one that is shouting and making your ears ring with demands to cut his worthless life short and be done with that.

And that suspicion is voiced by your sense of caution, that those who would not survive all the trials you've been through would call paranoia. This is too easy. Jingyu is like an eel, he can slip from most nets and is hard to keep hold of, as slippery as he is slimy. Sure, when coming face to face with someone who is to him a winged tiger to his shit-eating worm and vastly outmatches him in every conceivable way, the wisest move for him to make would beg to grovel, kneel and beg for his life that's as valuable as gnats. But while he's doing the first of those two things, he isn't begging for his life.

That's suspicious. He birthed himself a new body when Ping detonated his original mess of limbs and grossly stappled and stitched together flesh.
Cont
>>
>>5895635

Even if he got sloppy, as he is clearly trying to make you believe with how blatantly he's been moving and leaving a trail through the gardens he's defiling, leaving corpses strewn about everywhere, he isn't so careless as to not have a escape plan ready for the worst kind of like. Like perhaps the worst possibility of say, an angry golden core tier cultivator with peerless cultivation tracking him half way across all of Chuan intent on reducing him to a smear on the ground with a wave of her paw. And instead of trying to run, put up a struggle, or beg for his life, he's asking why you've come to kill him. A man who is certain he is going to die wouldn't waste his breath on such pointless questions, even if it'd give him peace in death and a worm certainly wouldn't. They'd look for the first hole they could vanish into.

He has given himself up to the fickle mercy of your capricious self, not because he knows there's no chance for him to slither out of your claws or even to scrape your cheek if he tried to run or fight back, but because he's confident there's a way out for him even in the face of red furred death. He isn't buying time for unseen allies to arrive and distract you by throwing away their lives to your fangs and claws, he isn't trying to seem so pathetic you'll feel sorry for him and let him go in spite all of how offensive his mere existence is to you, and isn't trying to make you lower your guard through your curiosity of him. No. No you recognize that glint in his tear filled eyes. He already had a plan in place for when he got cornered. He already had one on the off chance he was overwhelmed in a fight when he was starting out, you'd have to have a brain of gravel and mud to think he wouldn't have one now, after he's seen how scary his betters can be and after he's already had at least one close brush with death.

He's hoping to irritate you enough that you won't think about why he's given himself up to your claws willingly, even leaving his throat exposed since he became aware of your presence. He is hoping you kill him without blinking, that you'll move on from his corpse to speak with the scared child he's backed into a cage and scared to the point of tears. He's using what he's heard of you from hearsay and folklore to devise a plan to slip through your grasp by dying. The puzzle starts to fit together but the final piece is set in place when you think back to how exactly he survived like Ping did when the two of them clashed and both of them died, temporarily.

He knows how to make back up bodies. One of the most forbidden of demonic arts, and his method of making them has to be even more forbidden than most ways of creating a new vessel if the one you were born with has the misfortune of dying. And he made misstep when he spoke of his deal with the crow demons. He mentioned what he gained from it, demonic body parts.
Cont
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>>5895636

He's gambling the gains he's taken from Qi Qi and Sun Cuifen, with a demonic blooded back up hidden far away from his current hunting ground! This cocky bastard! The sheer audacity of his plan would be impressive if it weren't so cowardly!

A cold, harsh laugh, unlike your usual witch like cackle, rises from your throat as Jingyu freezes, eyes shooting up to yours with all the defiance a beetle can show to dragon.

"I must admit, that is cunning, in a low, cowardly kind of way. If you were dealing with anyone else, your plan might've worked" You back handedly compliment him, your voice booming like the crashing of stars in the void of space "But you made one mistake, and that was thinking you could trick me, that your vulgar mind could create a deception that could fool my towering, heaven piercing intellect!"

His grimace shifts into a churlish scowl as he pushes himself up by his knuckles to kneel, arrogantly lifting his head in your presses as his fox eyes narrow

"You certainly have a big head. I Suppose even after attaining human form, you are still a house cat at the end of day" He says as if that is supposed to be insulting somehow "So you've figured out my contingency, hm? Are you certain? If you're wrong I shall return and continue doing whatever it is I did that has made you look at me with eyes so murderous"

"I'm confident I have, are you confident I haven't?" You question, sending a jolt down his back as it straightens and his expression falls, becoming uncertain before he narrows his eyes fiendishly and flashes a cocksure smirk, flicking his tongue over his teeth, half way between human and fox fangs

"I think you've spent too long rooting through moldering bones to comprehend even a fraction of the principles of the demonic dao I proudly follow" He boasts, lifting his head up, still grinning as he fully exposes his neck to you "So let us see which way the dice will roll!"

You squint your eyes. But how would he escape to his demonic back up body? It can't be through his soul alone. He deals with demons and if he's met Ping and Qiang, he must have an inkling of what their teacher is capable of or at least a vague idea of their Dao. It'd be beyond risky, it'd be suicidal and pointless to try and flee as a bodyless ghost.

But he only knows you practice ghostly techniques and the sorcery of the dead, since he has ONLY met Ping and Qiang! That's it! A piece of the puzzle you thought was solved! A hidden image on the back of the board!

The Jingyu you're speaking to is a puppet. Or rather most of his body isn't "Jingyu". He's taken a lesson from his battle with ping, and has condensed his lifeforce and hidden it, reducing what could be considered "him" to a fraction of his body and sealed his consciousness and soul inside of it.
Cont
>>
>>5895638

He's gambling on you not noticing, that you'll take him by the throat instead of say, reducing his entire body to dust with a single move, so whatever it is he's turned himself into, he can't crawl away while you're comforting the scared little girl he's been terrorizing.

Clever. If you'd met him earlier in your life, you might've fallen for it. Then again, if you had, he'd have gone for your throat himself.

"I don't roll dice, I just set them on the result I want, and if any one complains that's cheating" You snicker as Jingyu's cocky expression falters and he shifts, trying to guard whatever parasite he's turned his true body into as you purr "Well they must have a wish to die, which I am always happy to grant"

Breathing out, you cover him a cloud of grudges and then with a flick of your tail launch a destructive Yin sphere into his stomach. It spirals and before he can scream in pain or surprise, Jingyu's body is twisted around, his limbs breaking and snapping as the essence of destruction ripples through his body before the sphere of Qi collapses in on itself explosively. You saunter forward, changing shape beneath the veil of resentment as Jingyu's body bursts like an overripe peach being squeezed by an invisible hand, tendrils of smoke and a mist of blood clinging to and falling over you as you walk from the gathered enmity with a grin, confident that is the last you'll see of Jingyu in this life. Considering you just pushed him through a vortex of spiritual energy in its most volatile and destructive state, he'd have to the emperor of all cockroaches to have any chance of surviving to sully your sight ever again.

"What...what did you do to it?" Qi Qi's ghost askes, voice cracking with mortal terror and fear even though he's already "He's gone! He's vanished! There's nothing of him left"

"What the hell kind of monster are you!" Sui Cuifen shouts "Get away from the young lady! Don't you dare hurt her!"

You roll your eyes and sigh heavily as you cross your arms under your breasts and rest your head in one of your palms, sighing as you hang your head and tune out the shouting spirits now swarming around you and trying to pull you away from the girl you'd just saved. Not that they're having any success, since their hands just slip through your body and slip away as they try to hold onto your....

"Oh!" You gasp and then laugh, throwing your head back as you slap it and then shake it, amused by your own air-headedness. You hadn't noticed you were naked until the ghost started pulling on you. It can be easy for forget when you switch between your feline and human forms, but this time is inexcusable since you had taken off your clothes before confronting Jingyu, so to spare them from being torn to shreds and ruined when you turned into an ox sized cat.
Cont
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>>5895639

How foolish! Luckily neither your mother or sister are here to tease you about it. Still, you should probably get dressed, if only so you don't frighten little Luli anymore than your initial transformation and execution of Jingyu did. A nude stranger is scarier than a dressed one, even if they're a rare jade beauty, but especially if they're splattered with blood, gore and have bone fragments stuck in their hair.

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)

>Comfort Lian Luli before questioning her, and make sure she's alright before you begin asking anything, assuring her that she has no reason to fear you

>Expel a bit of Ghostly Yin Qi and play ghost empress melody so Luli can see the ghosts of Qi Qi and Sui Cuifen, and they can join the conversation.

>ask her exactly what Jingyu did and what he told her while she was trapped down here with him

>write in
>>
>>5895638
>The Jingyu you're speaking to is a puppet. Or rather most of his body isn't "Jingyu". He's taken a lesson from his battle with ping, and has condensed his lifeforce and hidden it, reducing what could be considered "him" to a fraction of his body and sealed his consciousness and soul inside of it.
So he's a Lich. Fuck.
>>5895641
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
>Check Lian Luli for any sign of being Jingyu's New Body,
I don't know much from Xianxia, but I know Unknown Armies and it seems like something a number of antagonists from there would pull.
>>
Knew he was trying some bullshit.
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
>Comfort Lian Luli before questioning her, and make sure she's alright before you begin asking anything, assuring her that she has no reason to fear you
>>
>>5895641
>Comfort Lian Luli before questioning her, and make sure she's alright before you begin asking anything, assuring her that she has no reason to fear you
>>
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
Find the soul, confirm its his, and trap it.
if its not, we find and finish him.
To the anon who said look for a trap first, good job. For the anon who wanted to ask him questions, assuming we grab his soul, you will have your opportunity.
>>
>>5895641
>>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
>Comfort Lian Luli before questioning her, and make sure she's alright before you begin asking anything, assuring her that she has no reason to fear you
>Check Lian Luli for any sign of being Jingyu's New Body,

And, if at the end, somehow, Jingyu escaped from our attack to his original body I have an idea.

>Lick some of the blood that's on us, change to our Yang nature and using a more potent Blood Qi, find whatever trace of demonic or the lifeforce of Jingyu to infect him, like what we did to the blonde Ling which we were turning into a Jiangshi from biting her arm

Now that I think about it, if Jingyu was developing more around the grudges of his victims instead of going for a more Demonic focused Dao, he could've been a copy of us. But while he (apparently) works for a more material side compared to our Material and Spiritual Dao around bodies and blood, we have an upper hand I think.
>>
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
Lock that bastard down. Be nice after.

>Check Lian Luli for any sign of being Jingyu's New Body
Definitely never hurts to be sure.
>>
>>5895641
>>5895651 +1
>>
>>5895641
>Trap his soul.
>>
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
Of one thing i'm certain, he can't duplicate his soul, so to be sure let's trap him and be done with it.
>>
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
Since we committed to killing him, might as well go all the way and make sure he is down for good. The last thing we need is for him to pass on to hell right into the waiting arms of some demons. I don't even want to imagine the shenanigans he could get up to down there.
>>
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
So Jingyu has durability, we have versatility, Yaonan started with the most resources, and Feiqing I guess has his bloodline unlocking as his protagonist bonus
>>
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
>Comfort Lian Luli before questioning her, and make sure she's alright before you begin asking anything, assuring her that she has no reason to fear you
>>
>>5896008
I will add
>Comfort the girl

To my vote as well. We should trap that weasely sod fisr but then we comfort children.
>>
>>5896111
It's Jingyu, the bastard probably has a body waiting for him in Hell too. At least that sounds like something we'd have done.

It does occur to me that we're soul trapping right in front of a witness, which might not do wonders for our reputation. Oh well!
>>
>>5896179
She is a child and more importantly, a novice.

We are performing an exorcism.
What is she gonna say in opposition to that? That she knows better?
>>
>>5896179
>At least that sounds like something we'd have done.
He has shown himself to be a resourceful, and since he had an entire year while two major sects killed each other to gather up bodies it's not impossible for him to have a lot of backup bodies sprinkled around. Probably not *good* backup bodies, but good enough to stay alive and get back to harvesting.
Catching his soul is pretty important if that's accurate, otherwise we are never getting rid of this fucker.

>which might not do wonders for our reputation
Well, its a mixed bag I think.
On the one hand, catching souls, very spooky heretical technique, sure.
On the other hand, the person we are trapping is a corpse mutilating monster who nearly just killed the only witness. I think they are likely to find it in their heart to be understanding.
Besides, we have HERETIC in big bold letters all over our reputation already, even if it does get out, the news that we can catch souls will raise eyebrows at best. Unless we start showing off our soul collection or something.
And yeah, we can always play the "exorcism" card. Jingyu can clearly travel between bodies, so we are just taking extra measures to be thorough! Easy.
>>
>>5896179
>look she's evil, she fucks with souls!
>you know the ling have forbidden soul destroying techniques, right?
>HUH
Oh no, they'll think ill of us. Big whoop.
>>
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
>Comfort Lian Luli before questioning her, and make sure she's alright before you begin asking anything, assuring her that she has no reason to fear you
>Expel a bit of Ghostly Yin Qi and play ghost empress melody so Luli can see the ghosts of Qi Qi and Sui Cuifen, and they can join the conversation.
>ask her exactly what Jingyu did and what he told her while she was trapped down here with him
Seriously, we need to do all of it
>>
>>5895641
>Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later (Magic trial. DC 80)
>>
Ending the vote and tallying its result now

Before getting dressed and brushing out the remains of Jingyu from your hair, trap his ghost in something so you can question him later:13

Check Lian Luli for any sign of being Jingyu's New Body:4

Comfort Lian Luli before questioning her, and make sure she's alright before you begin asking anything, assuring her that she has no reason to fear you:6

Expel a bit of Ghostly Yin Qi and play ghost empress melody so Luli can see the ghosts of Qi Qi and Sui Cuifen, and they can join the conversation.: 1

ask her exactly what Jingyu did and what he told her while she was trapped down here with him:1

So before doing anything else, You'll attempt to capture Jingyu's soul before it can escape your clutches

Update will arrive shortly
>>
But, you push the almost motherly instinct to comfort the crying child a few paces behind you down, squashing it under foot along with the ever growing urge to clean and wash yourself and brush out your hair of the filth left behind by wasted potential. The natural etiquette of cats to keep their fur clean and sleek and the responsibility to nurture and comfort the young are working against your best interests, the instincts, principles and virtue you so often obey and indulge in without so much of a second thought need to be ignored. While it goes against your three views to not comfort a little girl whose so scared she's trembling, leaving her tears to dry to her cheeks, and it certainly goes against the standards and noble procedure you usually follow to not wash the bits of brain, skull and bloody chunks of meat out of your hair, you can't immediately tell Lian Luli she's safe now, everything will be all right and there's nothing for her to fear anymore and neither can you scrub off the detritus of Jingyu's exploded corpses even though the longer his blood settles onto bare skin and free flowing hair, the stronger the urge to start scratching and scraping what's left of him off becomes!

But if you take a moment, even a moment to clean yourself up and wash away the filth that's rained down onto you, if you stop to comfort the crying kid who that filth was terrorizing moments before, that source of both her fears and your irritation and present griminess will have a chance to once again slip away and get away with every vulgar crime he's committed against nature and the meek Thousand Lotus Hall sect. And he won't learn the lesson of "Don't be a disgusting monster within royalty's sight" or "Just don't be an afront to nature and its laws", which should be common sense even for a heretic whose lost his mind through the demonic cultivation he practices and didn't have even a hair's width of common sense before he embraced villainy and became the most repugnant sort of monster.

And just a coating of him is offensive enough that it is taking every bit of willpower not to put off capturing what's truly left of the freak until a hot perfumed bath can be prepared.

Growling in your throat, sighing through your teeth, squinting your eyes and wrinkling your nose and grimacing, trying to ignore the globs of wet fat dripping down your hair and down the back of your neck, you pull one arm from your blood soaked chest, leaving an imprint behind as you elegantly swish it through the air, brushing aside the clouds of resentment and miasma of enmity out of your way to reveal the place where Jingyu had stood. Blood, chunks of meat with hair still attached and half a tooth drip from somewhere above your outstretched hand, that you hope isn't your own hair, as you perform the grandiose and meaningless gesture of fanning aside the fog of grudges.
Cont
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>>5896916

'Alright, you little worm, how have you tried to squirm away from me now' Your agitated thoughts grumble as you begin to seek out the soul that got blasted out of Jingyu's body when it detonated like a firework.

roll 2d100. Best out of five. DC 80
>>
Rolled 49, 81 = 130 (2d100)

>>5896917
Leave No Quarter.
>>
Rolled 9 (1d100)

>>5896917
COME ON BABY, LET'S DO IT
>>
Rolled 75, 38 = 113 (2d100)

>>5896958
Wait hold on, I didn't remembered it was 2d100
>>
Rolled 78, 76 = 154 (2d100)

>>5896917
Yoink
>>
Rolled 3, 100 = 103 (2d100)

>>5896917
NO ESCAPE FROM THE RULER OF THE GREAT WHEEL'S LAW!
>>
Rolled 1, 58 = 59 (2d100)

>>5896917
>>
File: 76365276754.gif (2.97 MB, 506x285)
2.97 MB
2.97 MB GIF
>>5897000
>100
>>
>>5896984
70 over DC. A magnificent Success worthy of your imperial majesty and

>>5897000
A crit

Update will arrive shortly
>>
And you immediately realize exactly how he's trying to slip away, he's attempting to make you think you obliterated him body and soul, since he is well aware you can see ghosts and sense their presence when ever trained exorcist would struggle to feel their breath in the air. Even the ghosts who are trapped in haze and have their heads filled with fog and aren't really aware of the world beyond themselves would know it would be pointless try to escape the Ruler of the great wheel herself, instinctively. Jingyu, despite the surprise of being reduced to less than dust, pretty much scattered into atoms, in the blink of an eye, had planned for his escape as you realized how he was plotting to cheat death and rob you out of the satisfaction of cutting him down. The hidden organ he'd created to enshrine his soul and mind, it turns out, is incredibly durable. The craftsmanship of it probably a sign of your sister's abilities as a teacher more than anything else. Still, it is impressive how strong he made his true body, considering it wasn't completely splattered with the rest of him.

Which means Jingyu technically survived being hit center mass by a destructive Yin sphere you had put enough Qi into to blast a crater into a mountain side or erase a reasonably sized town. This guy really is crafty when his life is on the line. He expelled the "Seed" the moment you breathed a cloud of smoldering, freshly gathered grudges into his face and tried to scurry away while you were busy prancing and showing off. It might've fooled other, lesser cultivators, but you have unique insights into what has been forgotten and branded as forbidden, scary demonic cultivation. So you weren't looking for his wheeping specter to begin with, you were looking for the seed, on the off chance he had successfully "Dodge" the attack that had destroyed the rest of the body he'd built up around it.

"Honestly, how annoying you are to kill is kind of impressing me, I've met and killed demons who weren't as stubborn as you are" You complain as you get down on your hands and knees and using your vein hunting eye (血管猎-眼睛, Xuèguǎnliè-yǎnjing), Carmine mystic senses, and experience dealing with Blood Qi and Demonic mischief, chase down what Jingyu willingly reduced himself to, a form so miniscule and pathetic even your expertly refined and sharpened spiritual sense and five other, mundane senses struggled to pinpoint it in the piles of fox fur and human flesh.

With the dexterity of a Guqin player plucking their instrument strings, you thrust two fingers into a mass of flayed skin and shredded meat, and with your nails catch and pluck out a small, tadpole thing from beneath the pile of gore, that had been swimming in a pool of blood.

"So you've made your soul an organ, huh?" You ask, smirking as you watch Jingyu's true self flail and wiggle around between your fingers, struggling to escape you as he gives a shrill, squelching squeak.
cont
>>
>>5897111

Your eyes narrow to murderous slivers and fill with venom as you look over his pitiful wretched form and snarl "Perverting your spirit into flesh and blood, somehow you've surpassed yourself as a disgusting vermin. I'd aplaud you, but I don't want to squish you, Heh-Heh-Heh"

And then, opening up your dimensional gourd, you retrieve a small clay jar, the sort you used to imprison ghosts of all kinds, the design you copied and learned from the diary of the soul eater. All you need to do is put a little more blood into the mixture of bone-ash, gravedirt and blood, carefully pouring it in by the handful so as not to smear the sealing talismans inside, and taking what Monu taught you about making Gu containers, make it capable of supporting life. Or at least the perversion of it Jingyu has "achieved". It would be easier to just use one of your sealing pearls, but those are hard to come by and Jingyu really isn't worth using one. And making a cage for him this way isn't that much harder.

Once you were certain it'd hold him, you plopped him unceremoniously inside, and gave it a few shakes. The first couple were to test the jar's seal and spells, the rest were just to bully the worm inside of it. Heh-Heh-Heh.

Jingyu's "Flesh soul" acquired

Placing the jar on the ground, you used your ability to control blood to forcefully pull most of the mess splattered over you off, and worked the rest of it out with a comb, only not tugging and pulling it all out because you didn't want to risk pulling strands out of or fraying your beautiful head of hair.

Once you were satisfied and feeling clean and fresh, you dressed your self, patted your hair and shook your head to make sure there wasn't any Jingyu left in it, and then pick up the jar holding Jingyu by its lid, grasping it with three fingers and swaying it side to side as you sauntered up to the living cage of roots and branches holding Lian Luli.

"What...what was that little demon you scooped up just now?" Qi Qi asked sounding frightened to hear the answer as you pause, flip the jar onto you palm to balance it, as you pick up the jewelry you discarded with your free hand and just carelessly put a few pieces back on before smiling as turning to the terrified looking ghost of Qi Qi and the furious looking Sun Cuifen

"His soul" You answer plainly and with a lazy air "Don't know what he did to it to make it like that, but my usual method of keeping ghosts in jars should still work to keep him from scurrying away to hide in some puddle of filth or another"

Sun Cuifen looks aghast but wisely does not accuse you of anything or voice her distaste for your heretical ways, since she is bright enough to realize you could easily put her in a box or a jar if she annoys you enough.
Cont
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>>5897113

Qi Qi just trembles and stares at the jar wobbling on your palm as you stick the black bone hair pin behind you notched ear and with a cheeky smile, cheerfully skip up to the cage where Lian Luli is trapped inside.

She's holding her knees to her chest, wearing the mostly green robes that novices of Thousand Lotus Hall are given to wear, eyes bloodshot and weary, and cheeks soaked with tears. Her eyes, every shade of jade, emerald and the color of spring grasses and leaves flick from your smiling face to the jar swinging in your fingers' grip. She has a rabbit like presence, soft and fluffy, harmless with pale skin, and her hair is nearly the color of her eyes, the crown of it the color of dried grass before it gains color gradually making it the same, vibrant assortment of greens as her eyes. She looks like a fairy that ushers in the coming of spring, especially with her hair tied in such a childish style, two buns and braids.

And she scoots closer to the cage, your heart flutters and lightens until it feels like its resting on clouds as you tilt your head, smiling less toothily and cheekily and more gently and trustworthily, like a dependable big sister.

"It...he can't get out, can he?" She asks quietly, voice like a murmuring brook, the two ghosts of her elder martial siblings chewing on their nails or cheeks as they watch the two of you talk from a safe distance

"Not if this is my handiwork" You joke, pretending to inspect the jar in your hands as you sit down and examine the roots she's holding onto and frown "Yep, I made this, no chance he can slip out, even wrote the talismans inside of it lining its walls. He has a better chance of attaining enlightenment than he does breaking free of this cage"

There's more than wood Qi flowing through these trees that her ancestors became. The essence rolling through what was once their meridians is familiar, too familiar.

"You're a demon" She asks measuredly, trying to look mature and ladylike as, with a shaking hand, she brushes loose strands of hair out of her eyes

"No, Demonic Beast, there is a difference, though I prefer being called a Magical or Ascended Beast, to make it clear to idiots I'm no devil" You say sweetly, patiently, bowing your head and lowering your shoulders to look less intimidating and meet Luli at her level "And even if I were a true demon, I could never harm little girls like you"

"You aren't as scary as you seemed, miss" She says with a snotty snort of laughter, the spray of which you brush of without your smile breaking "I heard demonic cultivators were.."

"Like this wretch, Heh-Heh?" You snicker, smile twitching as you tried not to take offense "also, just a heretic, not a demonic cultivator, I know some but, well there is a big of a difference between the way I cultivate and the way Demonic Cultivators do"

"Are you sure he can't get out?" She asks wearily as you take a breath and repress the instinct to snap and defend your work, she means nothing by it
>>
>>5897114

"I have ghosts that'd make him seem like a house trained puppy held in jars just like these, you have nothing to fear, He isn't getting out. Your name is Luli, right?" You say as she lets go of the living bars as you lean closer to her. She turns away, her eyes looking distant and glassy as she grabs her knees again

"Mmm" She answers with a little sigh, but something is troubling her and you think you know what is. You reach out and brush the root and a shock shoots down your arm. You recoil on reflex, eyes widened by the shock of spiritual energy that zapped, but you aren't surprised. There are trace amounts of blood Qi flowing through these roots. But now isn't the time to ponder exactly why it's there is and if it is for the reason you suspect it is.

"He told you about your bloodline, didn't he?" You ask carefully and slowly as the girl shivers at the mention of the word bloodline

"He...he was lying, to lead me astray from the proper, righteous path, right? Demonic cultivators are liars by nature, dupli...dupli...deci...crafty" She stammers, so scared her voice sounds like breaking class. You bite your cheek, keeping a pleasant look on your face, gentleness in your eyes and a relaxed posture as internally you start shouting every curse you know.

"I won't become a tree, will I, Miss heretic? These are just normal, ordinary spirt trees" She says panickedly, hyperventilating and rapidly spiraling into panic as you stand on the balls of your feet, as she pats the walls of roots around her harder and harder to try and assure herself that they're just Qi rich plants. But you know different. You can sense traces of souls inside of the trunks of the tree and drops of old blood being pushed through them, and there is no reason for Tianhua to lie about the drawback of their clan's oh so precious bloodline.

You brush your fingers over the roots, another shock. Like a mother's hand slapping it away. The image of a cat yowling at a stranger, wrapped around her little, flashes in your mind as you lean back and sit down, legs sprawled out as you hold yourself up with your hands and let out a long, dreary sigh.

"Its nonsense of course" Sun Cuifen blusters nodding with Qi Qi "Her family is just...misfortunate, they never live long no matter how strong their foundation are, or how much they extend their bloodline"

"Some say the whole family is cursed, or spend too much time gardening to improve their own bodies much" Qi Qi mutters into your ear, wincing as Cuifen's ghost snarls at him, turning monstrous for a flash before returning to her normal, mangled self

You bite down on your tongue, stopping from thoughtlessly asking what happened to her and Tianhua's mother. It'd only make her fears feel more real, and make her certain of the awful truth of what she has been raised to consider a gift. Besides, lifting up your eyes to look at the smaller tree that has wrapped around Luli, you think you've been looking at their mother this whole time.
>>
>>5897117

And she isn't anywhere near as trusting as her little girl is. Still it is half a miracle Luli is speaking to you at all, considering what she's seen and been through, especially since that includes both your original form and the gruesome execution of Jingyu. You might be good with kids, but if she thought you were a monster, she wouldn't ne talking to you at all.

What do you tell Lian Luli, Huanliuxue?

>The truth as you know it.

>The lie, as she knows it.

>Keep her mind otherwise occupied, asking if she's alright, what happened before you arrived, and of her hobbies and friends if she starts getting too scared, while you figure out how to free her

>Distract her and keep her calm while you inspect the tree that is most likely her mother, and try to figure out her clan's bloodline and its origin (Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 140)

>write in
>>
>>5897119
>The truth as you know it.
>"However, I also turned sort of into a tree just recently for a bit, I should be able to help you find a cure with a bit of study. I'm the best alchemist with primal qi and a few other useful abilities. We'll ask your sister to see the records and as the most talented of the generation. Nay the most talented ever, I will help you. As long as you trust this big sis."
>>
>>5897119
>Keep her mind otherwise occupied, asking if she's alright, what happened before you arrived, and of her hobbies and friends if she starts getting too scared, while you figure out how to free her
>>
>>5897119
>Keep her occupied
>Imspect the tree to figure out its origin.
>>
>>5897127
Support

The cat doesn't lie to kids and she help them
>>
>>5897127
Support. We are uniquely able to try and sort this problem out.
>>
>>5897119
>>5897127
+1
We have learned many painful truths ourselves, and we achieved greatness because we accepted them, and vowed to forge on despite them. The truth will be painful, but lying would condemn Luli to their fate.
As for promising to help her, I was just thinking the Thousand Lotus Hall could help us understand our newfound plant powers, and now we have the perfect excuse to mingle with them more. Our luck continues to rival our intelligence, it seems.

>Flesh soul
...You can do that? I gotta say that is as impressive as it is disturbing. Jingyu was not fucking around.
It also occurs to me that this might be a way to allow Xuebai and Yujijiao to cultivate again. I'm not sure we would want them to convert their souls to flesh, but surely the technique could be used in more roundabout ways to create new bodies or something? It could be a nice angle to explore, since we have made very little headway with this particular conundrum as I recall.
>>
>>5897117
>Distract her and keep her calm while you inspect the tree that is most likely her mother, and try to figure out her clan's bloodline and its origin (Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 140)
I also want to invite Sui Cuifen into our sect. If her natural talent let her use a pacifistic Law to put up a good fight, it'd be such a waste to just let her go to the afterlife. She might even be able to develop ghost cultivation for us.
>>
>>5897201
She is a bit orthadox, and doesnt trust us.
But this is very very good, two decently powerful ghosts would make for delectable fonts of ghostly Yin Qi.

Make the offer, worst they can do is refuse. Still, this idea of asssiting, while noble in intention, has the potential to yeild fruit for our primordial vamp flower transformation. To say nothing of the political payout an alliance wull yield us.
Good idea all around.
>>
Now that I think of it. Would it be possible to adapt the process magical beasts use to assume human form to allow the trees to turn back into humans?
>>
>>5897119
>Keep her mind otherwise occupied, asking if she's alright, what happened before you arrived, and of her hobbies and friends if she starts getting too scared, while you figure out how to free her
>>
>>5897229
No. We ascended by comprehending human wisdom, these are humans who are transformed into trees.

Seemigly still possessing a level of consiousness.
My present ideas are transsublimation into a jingashi or perhaps speedrunning cultivation
>>
>>5897127
Supporting. It's a bit out of line to be making the offer to Lulli directly, but that's just how Huan is.
>>
>>5897119
>Distract her and keep her calm while you inspect the tree that is most likely her mother, and try to figure out her clan's bloodline and its origin (Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 140)

If we are to cure her
It will be through finding the origin.
Are we truly telling her the truth? Or merely what we think is true. Are we truly telling her a lie? Or what she believes to be a lie.
Find the truth of the matter and ascertain for ourselves. Then and only then can we in good faith speak, for our words will be true not just because we believe them to be, but also because the dao holds it so.
>>
>>5897245
So they already comprehend human wisdom, meaning they're 90% there.
>>
>>5897119
>Distract her and keep her calm while you inspect the tree that is most likely her mother, and try to figure out her clan's bloodline and its origin (Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 140)

I wouldn't know about it but i know of plants who, ...heh. cultivated and recently half-turned into a plant myself by mistake.
But it is plain to see there is a strong bond of love making these trees protect you so fiercely and if you want i can offer my insights on their true nature.
>>
>>5897119
Converting a soul into flesh and blood, might be useful if we also learn how to create a body Frankenstein style.
>Distract her and keep her calm while you inspect the tree that is most likely her mother, and try to figure out her clan's bloodline and its origin (Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 140)
Split between this and the write-in, but we can still offer to help if the dice go sour
>>
>>5897119
>Distract her and keep her calm while you inspect the tree that is most likely her mother, and try to figure out her clan's bloodline and its origin (Instinct/ Knowledge trial. DC 140
>>
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ending the vote and tallying its result now. Been playing Palworld. Hell of a drug.

The truth as you know it: 5
-However, I also turned sort of into a tree just recently for a bit...etc:5

Keep her mind otherwise occupied, asking if she's alright, what happened before you arrived, and of her hobbies and friends if she starts getting too scared, while you figure out how to free her:2

Distract her and keep her calm while you inspect the tree that is most likely her mother, and try to figure out her clan's bloodline and its origin: 6

So you'll distract Luli and keep her calm without giving her an immediate and definite answer so you can inspect the tree that is probably her mother and try to figure out the Lian clan's bloodline and its origin.

Update will arrive shortly
>>
Your mouth parches, your throat dries, a sensation somewhere between static electricity and haze of heat and radiation traveling through the cosmic void washes over you to churn and spiral in your head as you look down at Luli's wide, hopeful eyes tinged with fear and clench your teeth down, locking your jaw as tightly as you can to stop from telling her what you know as the truth. Her sister and tormentor both described the Lian's treasured bloodline the same way, one that cuts its possessors life as a human short. Truth can be unpleasant but lying to a child when they're afraid does no good, especially when the lie will be revealed anyways down the road, in a few years. How old was her mother when she? Died isn't the right word is it? When she transformed into a tree. Her elder sister, Tianhua, seemed very young for a sect head and patriarch of a clan of cultivators.

The struggle to be honest and truth and to not traumatize a scared little girl any further makes your head feel like its spinning, orbiting a yawning maw somewhere tucked inside of itself. Lying will do no good, she will learn the truth eventually. Every tree growing here is arranged purposefully to stand around the array carved into the floor of this inner most chamber of their former sect's mystical gardens. Did they come here willingly, knowing they'd never leave, or were they dragged her. You banish the thought, now is no time to theorize when there is a little, adorable girl on the verge of panicking, crying all over herself right in front of you. But you wouldn't need to use astrology to divine what would happen if you just opened your mouth and spoke the unpleasant, painful truth. It'd be like pulling a thorn out of her palm, or plucking hairs from her eyebrows, it'd hurt but that pain would soon pass. She's young enough that learning the truth won't ruin her life. But if she grew old, would she just meekly bow her head an accept it?

The thought of it doesn't sit well with you, but yet you bite your tongue and hesitate to tell her the price of the powers granted by her clan's bloodline. You don't want to scare her, you don't want to hurt her, even if its necessary. Is that why she hasn't been told? Sheltered children usually aren't aware of death until they face it directly, which, Luli just did by way of an exploding corpse thief. She handled it well, but knowing of death and accepting one day you'll die are two totally different things. You need to...want to tell her, but can't. But saying nothing will just convince her that Jingyu wasn't lying, why else wouldn't an adult, a wise elder, a senior daoist not be able to readily answer her question, unless the answer was worse than remaining ignorant.

'I'll distract her' you decided, keeping a gentle, sisterly demeanor and pleasant smile 'At least until I can figure out and gain my own insight concerning her clan's bloodline and its origin'
Cont
>>
>>5899780

But even so, deciding to do that makes you feel like you stabbed a knife through your own back. A self inflicted wound best mended by soothing the scared child knelt in front of you.

"Many cultivators decades your elders have eyes but fail to see Mount Tai" You praise softly, wiggling closer to the cage of roots and thorns, careful not to touch it directly as you study it from a distance. A close distance, but far enough so it doesn't shock you with the spiritual energy it still possess. Luli wrinkles her nose, screwing her eyes as she looks at you with a pout meant to look angry but it only makes her seem more rabbit like and adorable, despite her best efforts.

"What do you mean, what does that have to do with...." She questions, proving that she is more aware than most kids her age and quite a few cultivators several times her age. Clever girl. Wearing your best "mischievous elder" smirk, you lean forward, still trying to figure out where the human could be in the tree surrounding her, but like she said, it looks like an ordinary spirit tree if there could be such a thing. White barked, glowing blue vein like lines tracing up its trunks, branching into its pale leaves that glow softly in the mist.

"Everything. You are perceptive and clever enough to realize Jingyu would have every reason to want to trick you, to deceive you. Imagine how much face he'd gain in heretical circles if he managed to lead astray the heiress of the thousand lotus hall and turn her to demonic cultivation. Shhhhh" You explain as you, noticing that the lines in the bark look too much like veins than the usual pathways of Qi commonly found in high quality spirit trees or the ones that have had a century or two of growing and flourishing, before you snap your teeth down on your tongue, realizing you were about to curse in front of an innocent little girl, so you change the word about to jump off your tongue at the last moment "Senior sister even, despite being the friendly sort of heretic, delights in righteous cultivators joining her cause and becoming her disciples"

Admitting that strikes up a new curiosity, that last just long enough to distract Luli from the fear that was on the verge of swallowing her completely

"Why?" She asks, clearly seeing you more like one of her fellow students of the thousand lotus hall than a baby devouring apostate sage that delights in corrupting the youth and spreading lies

"Every convert they or I get proves that the philosophy and practices of their schools are enduring, that their three views have merit, that they are right and the others are wrong" You explain relaxedly, though your eyes remain sharp, mapping out every glowing blue vein along the trees bark as you connect the thin strips of light to the complicated vascular system of a human body
Cont
>>
"Isn't that childish?" She scoffs, not entirely buying your explanation as you realize that every pathway of spiritual energy matches closely with mental diagram of the human body's circulatory systems you're imagining in front of it, just stretched out and misplaced

"Aren't all cultivators a little childish? We're proud, haughty, arrogant and prone to temper tantrums and most of all we are all utterly convinced our way is the right way " You joke, shrugging your shoulders as you cautiously lift up a hand, now even more convinced the tree surrounding Lian Luli was once her mother, but unable to understand or receive a revelation or gleam insight as to why she became a tree or how such a bloodline could begin in the first place and the more you think about it, once you've trudged past the childish theory that her distant ancestors some how bred with a tree, the more you remember you jaunt into the past and the origins of carmine mysticism.

Luli tries to argue, but just ends up opening and wagging her mouth silently like a fish out of water, as you realize that to be able to truly comprehend the nature and origin of the bloodline that will doom her to a short, tragic life, you'll have to make contact with and connect spiritually and exchange Qi with someone who possess the bloodline itself. A brute force method Monu mentioned once when she explained the many ways a bloodline could be detected, and one that can be painful for both parties. So you don't reach towards Luli and instead grab hold of the roots surrounding her forcefully.

A fantasy of what this would look like if her mother still had her human body sticks itself firmly to your imagination. 'Her hand. I'd be grabbing her hand' you argue against your own imagination as you feel an intense shock shoot down your arm and attack your meridians, the tree taking immediate offense to your attempt to establish a steady exchange of Qi and sap that you suspect is blood between your body and its roots, which will let you study the bloodline as if all of its intricacies and hidden features were written with ink upon a scroll. It hurts! It hurts really badly! Not the worst pain you've endured, but it is unique. Like a thousand tiny roots are spreading from the palm of your hand and piercing the flesh around your bones. Is this what Ping went through when he nearly lost his arm?! Ouch! OW!

But stubbornly, you persist, and use the serene flow of Qi through your meridians to force the spiritual energy flowing through the roots to follow its examples and flow just like it, the synchronization being key to the transfer of qi and your plan to force the tree to give up the secrets of the bloodline it once held, so you can be sure what you tell Luli is the truth, since obviously once you put it in your eye you'll be able to understand every aspect of the bloodline as clearly as you do the balance of your feet! It'll be Enlightenment through brute force!

roll 2d100. DC 140. Best out of five
>>
Rolled 21, 31 = 52 (2d100)

>>5899786
For children I suppose.
>>
Rolled 46, 7 = 53 (2d100)

>>5899786
>>
Rolled 7, 79 = 86 (2d100)

>>5899786
Roll bad!
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>>5899789
>>5899794
>>5899793
Holy shit. Someone please bring it back
>>
Rolled 20, 28 = 48 (2d100)

>>5899786
It might be over bros
>>
Rolled 98, 94 = 192 (2d100)

>>
>>5899786
>>
>>5899815
We've never been so back
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>>5899815
Oh yeah, I'm thinking its a certified Huan moment.
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>>5899815
And here I was, doubting, like a fucking idiot.
Why would I ever doubt the great Huanliuxue?
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>>5899815
...Actually, is this our highest roll yet?
I know we have rolled in the 180s before, but I can't recall 190 or higher.

0.36% chance of rolling 192 or higher btw
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>>5899815
Shoutout to the haters and the non-believers, and for those praying for my downfall thank you, that only makes me stronger
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>>5899815
Seems Huan was pretending to be a pig to eat a tiger, a very fortunate success and an astonishing one, 50 over DC! as expected of the princess!

Update will arrive shortly
with some music to accompany it
https://youtu.be/2nCTPgrbQtY
>>
>>5899815
A tremendous clutch!
>>
>>5899815
Genuine jaw drop.
>>
Sparks fly, blood red and spring sky blue, between the point of contact between the palm of your hand and the smooth root. The green leaves glowing from it and glowing veins running through its sparks both begin to glow more brilliantly and brightly than before as the pupil of your eyes contract and turn to sickles as the surging and increased flow of QI through your meridians sets them alight as well, making your ghostly beauty seem all the more radiant and haunting as your veins and meridians alike burn with carmine light as your eyes flare with flying stars and moondust falls from your hair as the silent battle between you and the consciousness in the tree rages while Luli stares, sensing that you're channeling a great quantity of Qi but also realize that whatever you're discharging so much of it for is no danger to her. Across the array in the meditation chamber, the other trees begin to glow just as brilliantly as the one that had been Luli and Tianhua's mother. And they begin to divert the ambient flow of Qi from their roots, leaves and barks across the diagrams carved into the stone and infuse them into the tree and the cage its root have formed through them, by creating a liquid that is pure spiritual essence. Just the sight of it makes you want to drool, but that might just be that exertion of forcing first one and now many cultivators turned tree to connect the steady flow of their Qi with the admittedly abnormal currents breathing through your meridians.

Electricity, emerald green and ruby red, shoot up your arm and compress down into rings of light as you push more and more Qi into the roots and draw more and more of it out, taking inspiration from your little sisters, how insects drink sap and dew from plants to sustain themselves. You hair lifts further and spreads like you were floating between the stars, as your crescent pupils expand and widen into fool moons, pin pricks of light marking constellations within the color of your eyes and across the tresses of your hair.

And, with a loud snap like two fitted pieces of wood snapping into place or a femur being snapped between bestial jaws, You connect your cultivation base and meridians with that of every tree in the chamber and.

Suddenly something grabs hold of your soul, it doesn't have to use much strength or effort, considering how detached it is from your body and that you willingly followed along with it and entered into the other space it was trying to pull you in. The surging spiritual energy stops assaulting your body, and you find your soul, in its natural flame like state, floating in a sea of mist. The only feature besides the deep, soothing mists washing against you are several thrones woven together from living branches and roots.

And several figures who vaguely resemble Luli, with hair the colors of spring leaves, though some are the color of trees in autumn, and others so white to be nearly translucent.
Cont
>>
>>5899896

"Fool of a whelp!" The eldest amongst them brays, scolding a woman who looks very much like Luli and her elder sister, who is squatted on the floor with the fiercely protective expression only a mother could wear upon their face "You endanger our own squabbling with this intruder!"

"Carmine mystic!" The oddly churlish woman spits, and you taken aback wondering how she could've produced the sweet Luli and the composed Tianhua with an attitude like that "You can all sense it! This invader harbors demonic Qi withing their cultivation, and seeks to infect us all! Infect my daughter"

"So you are not descendants of the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine?" You purposefully blurt out, acting the role of the confused youngster to show the old souls you aren't a member of the school they fear you to be

"Don't act the fool, I sensed the refinement of your cultivation the moment you entered our chamber, Heretic" The eldest amongst them barks, flicking his sleeve your way "You exchanged spiritual essence with this child, seeking insight to our bloodline and its beginnings"

"And you cannot keep them from me now" You snicker as you mold your spirit into resembling your human form, and just to mess with the tree-spirits, dress it only in blood red petals as you saunter up to their leader and the apparent ancestor of the whole Lian Clan "I've wired my veins with the roots of her tree, and all of you are connected to them as well. Whatever is in my blood, I can meditate upon and study like any manual"

"Because you practice that abhorrent art" Luli's mother accuses wildly

"I have other methods, I'm rebuilding the sorcerous techniques and spell repository of Carmine mysticism from the ground up" You dismiss with a snort and glib wave of your hand as the ancestor and progenitor of the bloodline looks you up and down while all the others gather around and, having never been warriors in life, hurl empty threats and insults even if with their number and all of them being some level of golden core, could easily overwhelm you through sheer numbers if they tried.

But they don't.

"I recognize those eyes" He says slowly, a look of wordless terror etched in the wrinkles of his face "I have seen eyes like them before, without the starlight that glimmers within yours"

You blink and frown to stop a look of shock and panic from spreading across your own fair features. You recognize his face to. Its hard to tell with how much older it is, but you remember his eyes. They were much more carefree and have lost must of their kindness and purity, but those are the same eyes as the cultivator who covered for you in the past, when you stole the Sanguine Divine Spirit Peach from the...You push aside the realization and recognition, composing yourself and steeling your gaze.
Cont
>>
>>5899897

"In another life, perhaps, grandfather" You say sweetly as you circle around him, hands on your hips and a spirited spring to your step "But that you here, meditating in the boughs of these trees, can recognize the forbidden magics I wield, even though I've scrubbed them of the demonic dirt that they'd grown from, tells me that I wasn't far off from the truth of the matter when I tried to cover my tail with that foolish girl act, hmm"

"How dare you make such brazen accusations!"
"A demonic beast cannot be be free of devilry"
"A diabolists art pruned of its thorned branches still contains its poison"
"Junior, you dare! We keep records of that sect of man eating demons to guard against them!"
"You court death, cat! As mighty as you are, you are in our domain, where our will is law!"
"Retreat from our sanctuary, leave our descendant in peace, and we shall be merciful and only poison your meridians as a warning, rather than a sentence of death"

"Tch, you all are a bunch of bags of hot air and arrogance! You may not know who I am, but I hold dominion of the dead! And none of you are looking particularly lively to me, know your empress, ghosts!" You snap angrily, shouting and yowling loud enough to send a few of the specters flying through the air and to cow the others, who immediately give up trying to threaten you when you make it clear you won't be cowed

Except the elder with the familiar eyes, who is calmly stroking his beard.

"Take your leave, juniors" He commands with a voice like rumbling thunder "I shall discuss privately with this intruder this matter, so they are not forced to damage our rooted meridians and interconnected arrays taking the knowledge they desire"

And like that, they all blink away. Except Luli's mother, who gnashes her teeth at you and shoots you one hell of a murderous glare before she to turns to drops of light and vanishes into the roots revealed through the mist.

"None of them remember a time when your kind were welcomed with open arms as fellow daoists" The old man sighs sadly, slowly lowering himself to the ground "Meditate with me, for a moments passing, and I shall willingly relinquish the wisdom you seek, and the true history of the thousand lotus hall and the Lian family. That you are familiar with the sect whose name was stricken from all historical records and living memory outside of this hall I built, reveals the depths of your wisdom and the towering height of your intellect and the care you showed in merging temporarily with our living array..."

Living array. Something that has been outlawed as demonic cultivation. Interesting.
Cont
>>
>>5899898

"Speaks of the extent of your natural talent and the rare refinement of your cultivation. That child who fought your intrusion, does not know a faction of what you and I remember, of that which has been purposefully lost and forgotten" he continues on with a serene expression and musical tilt to his tone "And was blind to your heroism by the extent of her maternal instincts. Grab my hands and we shall begin this lecture"

"You are a member of Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine" You state boldly, keeping your hands on your hips as you lean over the primordial ancestor of the Lian clan

"Once. When they were worthy of being considered daoists, let alone humans" He answers sharply, eyes burning with rage long burned down to cinders in ash "To be specific, I was a disciple of the Temple of Carmine orchids branch of the once noble sect. I was the last generation, before they forsook their humanity and turned themselves all into Jiangshi. In their desperation, they lost their hope and their minds. I did not, even when my cultivation stalled, I simply switched to a wood aligned treatise to cultivate Qi and practiced the martial arts, spells and techniques of the sect, others did as well, but we were outliers and outcasts for it. They were obsessed with blood Qi, rare in its purest form, which I sense you have acquired through means unknown"

Means which set the peerless sanguine jade shrine sect down on their path of degeneration, villainy and eventual destruction

"And when their supposed salvation was found, you rebelled?" You question as the old man scrutinizes you with a curious glint in his eyes. He hangs his head and sighs, his shoulders weighed down with shame

"I fled, at the time, I was an elder, a leader of the sect, but I did not horde the blood my disciples wasted their youth refining like my peers did, I simply forsook out methods and traditions long before the traitors in our ranks did the same, forsaking them instead for the demonic magic that..." He says, pausing to grind his teeth as the cinders in his eyes turn into a raging inferno as he snarls and grimaces like a demon "That son of a bitch brought back from his voyage on foreign seas! They turned themselves into walking, bloodthirsty corpses, enchanted their blood and used it to fill their meridians in place of Qi. A living death they proudly called it, eventually he entitled it Carmine Mysticism"

"And when exactly did you run away, and abandon them to the monstrous fate they embraced?" You ask, trying to connect his story to the carmine mystic you fought in hell
Cont
>>
>>5899899


"When the other elders declared that villain the new sect head, after he exsanguinated the previous head after biting out their throat" He answered coldly, eyes smoldering and growing darker by the second "When my brothers and sisters embraced a curse and became a plague on the land. I ran away. Could I have prevented their reign of terror? Their destruction? I have thought of this often in my deathless meditations here, and much in my life"

"So you created the bloodline, to try and recreate the lost source of pure blood Qi?" You asked connecting the dots of the puzzle as the old man told his story "Using your knowledge of growing unusual and strange spirit grasses, herbs, trees, and fruit, you inscribed within your own genes inherited techniques and magical powers created for the sole purpose of"

"You are eerily astute for your age. I know cat's mature much faster than humans, but you cannot be older than..." He begins before you lift up your hand and smile politely, all but ordering him to stop before he says something to piss you off "But the reason was, I was certain they were still noble at heart, still redeemable. Other sects did worse, had clawed their way back to dignity after the rule of worthless or evil natured heads. If I could just re-create the fruit that lead the founding of the sect and whose theft had lead to its downfall, surely, I thought then, they would forsake the unforgiveable path they'd been lead down and betray the traitor whom they all served like sons and daughters but..."

He growled and pulled down the collar of his robes.

"Even though I held onto that hope in my old age, when I met with my closest martial brother, and told him of my plan, I had to put him down like a rabid dog" He says tearfully, shedding tears for the creature that nearly ripped his head from his shoulders judging from the scar left their "And it was then, when I was made aware that my old friends were truly irredeemable. Their thirst for blood became addiction, they drank more than they needed to maintain their bodies and progress their abhorrent cultivation of strength"

Your eyes must be sparkling, because you realize now where the plant like transformation technique the blood moon gave you for a night came from, how the branch of carmine mysticism it came from was created.

"It was your blood" You mutter under your breath, eyes wide as the realization blossoms into true insight

"Hmm?" The old ghost says, and you can't tell if he heard you or not

"Nothing" You say quietly, bowing your head "I understand why you made the bloodline now, but why make it put a limit on how long its inheritors could live, why turn them into trees?"
Cont
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>>5899901

"I was dying. My first son gave his live so I could retreat back to this realm" He explains sorrowfully, tears now dripping down his cheeks "The techniques I imbued into my blood, the enchantment, the alchemy, they were potent, strong, but only for growing spiritual plants or using them. And mastery of them was difficult, I had not been able to record every step of the process, how to use them in battle, how to control the results of hybridization, how to create replacement bodies through plant material to evade death. I believe, before I made the last change to the legacy I left behind, all that had been put to page in the manual detailing the bloodline techniques I created, was how to improve the quality of spirit herbs through spreading blood as fertilizer. It was an unformed art so...I condemned myself to this partial existence. I hadn't been able to leave the golden core stage in the end, but I knew my descendants could easily surpass me but"

"But then the decline of all cultivation happened" You guess and the old man nods his head, your chest swells with pride

"Precisely, the descendants who had surpassed me, died in the apocalyptic war, and ever since they haven't been able to cultivate quick enough to reach past the golden core stage" he explains weakly "The transformation was supposed to be a means to preserve knowledge, nothing more, those who couldn't attain nascent soul could forsake the practices and find another method of cultivation but...they began to see it as a feature rather than the disastrous flaw it was, for in the moments before they are wholly changed, they are capable of creating spirit grasses that surpass anything naturally occurring. Whether through greed, ambition or simple duty to the family and sect, they all gave their human lives to give heavenly gifts to their descendants. And eventually, it became procedure for them to do so. Eventually, they forgot it wasn't a choice. They began to believe once one began to practice the law unique to our bloodline, they had made it their destiny to join me here, in my silent vigil"

"They didn't tell the latest heir that she was going to turn into a tree at all" You state, fury rising as all you've learned here begins to paint a very, very unpleasant picture of the character of the elders of the thousand lotus hall

"Why would they? If they knew, they might take after their ancestor's example and run for the horizon" The old man says with a humorless chuckle and cool enmity roiling in his dark eyes "I have no illusions that they'll listen to you, as cheeky as you are, even though your cultivation would've been impress in my day and age. Even if you told them they could avoid the fate by taking up a different technique or reaching nascent soul, they'd continue on as they are, my descendants, and maintain the status quo"

"Morons" You ruefully comment, spitting on the ground

Cont
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>>5899902

"But you've stolen one legacy of mine already, Pure Mystic" He says with a twinkle in his eyes, as his words nearly make your reinforced and strengthened heart stop "Having somehow redeemed that dastard's techniques, and I grow weary of seeing so many young faces like my own surround me, to remind me of my failures and glory days. Would you like to be a thief again little sister?"

Fuck! Fuck! He knows! He figured out you were the one who stole the Sanguine Divine Spirit Peach!

"Hah! So it was you!" He laughs as he sees your shocked faced "Figured it was that strange cat I let in all those centuries ago! Guess this answers one question that has troubled me, but creates many more to take its place. Do not look so stricken and fearful, I've long ago stopped caring. If it had remained in their possession, I am sure that temple would've walked the same demonic path"

"Don't scare me like that, I might refuse to do it, but I know how to eat ghosts!" You threaten angrily, grinding your teeth, leaving out that you do not know how to devour souls and have in fact, locked away the living scripture that could teach you or anyone else desperate for power how to do it

"It'd be a mercy at this point" He drearily replies without missing a beat "So, thief, will you help this old ghost fix his final mistake, at least? The child I sense in this chamber, doesn't have the potential to surpass golden core, and I fear her seniors will purposefully stunt her growth to ensure she contributes another treasured plant to the sect's gardens. I created the bloodline, I can take it away, I can transfer it"

You sit down, as he asked you when he began talking with you privately and glower at him.

"This isn't a trick?" You ask

"Why would I tempt the ire of one who can devour souls?" He jests back, his eyes seeming to contain just as many twinkling stars as your own "It'd spare the child, and allow my descendants to finally enjoy the contentment of old age"

He wags his hand tempting you to take it and inherit his knowledge

What is your answer to the Lian Ancestor's offer, Huanliuxue?

>Accept it, an offer like this doesn't come around everyday

>Refuse, you'll make your own legacy, taking someone else's is beneath you

>Tell him to just remove it from Luli, you'll make up a story to explain its absense

>It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.

>Write in

two things.

First 5 DoS was the minimum required to get this outcome of being offered the bloodline, and second, this update is exactly 18,888 characters long, minus the links and this Bit. I just thought that was neat, is all.
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>>5899905
>It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.
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>>5899902
>You did not write down the method of forging a new body. But you know it? This knowledge, I can carry to your descendents. They will need to learn it rather than use it innately, but it can be done.

>It is Luli's choice if she wishes to risk it.
But otherwise, Im content to take such an offered bloodline if she doesnt want it. We can adapt and counter he transfiuration.
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>>5899905
>It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.

I guess trying for a sneaky pact with Luli to keep in contact and aid her in surpassing the limitation of her bloodline either by repressing the transformation or shaping it to become more of a dryad is an outcome we can aim for.

Or we can offer to make her a catgirl instead and piss off everyone.
Her choice
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>>5899905
>Write in
Offer to join forces and try to develop a way for the trees to turn back into humans. If demonic beasts can assume human bodies, and there exist demonic plants who presumably could do the same, it should be possible for former humans to do it. We can, for example, try to convert them into full-fledged demonic plants, or try and teach them a shape-shifting law.
Removing the bloodline can remain as a backup measure. Don't let Luli decide, the sect elders can press her into refusing.
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>>5899963
Support
It's doable, they still have there qi pathways honestly we could with a little poking and prodding have the trees fruit and create new bodies and shove the ghosts in them. It would be like the peach boy story going down the river heh heh.

Dao of ghosts to move the soul, blood and primal qi to create the fruit/ body. It would just take massive amounts of blood so much that we'd be hunted...
But we can turn water to blood.
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>>5899963
I support this as well
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>>5899963
The elders cant say shit. We are asking her here and now, and it will be resolved here and now.
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>>5899963
Also, why are you tryig to REVERSE the transformations that have already occured. They are dead. And their death is benefittitng their sect immensely already, its why the guild is so strong.
Why break that and not save the girl still alive?

Why not prevent future transformations,
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>>5899905
>It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.
I want to do this then
Offer to join forces and try to develop a way for the trees to turn back into humans. If demonic beasts can assume human bodies, and there exist demonic plants who presumably could do the same, it should be possible for former humans to do it. We can, for example, try to convert them into full-fledged demonic plants, or try and teach them a shape-shifting law.
But I want to let luli decide so not the rest of that vote.
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>>5900030
Because their deaths were a mistake.
If any of them decides not to turn back, that's their right. But they should have the option.
Also this shit is one step away from using women as cultivation cauldrons.
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>>5899905
>It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.
I want to ask Luli this first and foremost. Any solution we might develop later is theoretical, while the solution we have before us is very real. I think she deserves a say in it.
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>>5900341
Who gives a fuck, they are dead. I have zero interest in restoring them to life and a passing interest in the preservation of a childs life because this is within character for Huan.

The dead trees? Let em be trees. If anyone wants to leave we can bring their spirits with us.
But if its between an option of those trees and the living child, I vote for the living child. Which is not being given attention. Fixes rather than prevention.
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>>5900341
>Because their deaths were a mistake.
Yet a willful one. Ask not a martyr to renounce their sacrifice. They're fucking goobers that'd probably say no, anyway.
>>
I think that it's better if we ask the elder for a decree, in which he bestows upon us some kind of right to Luli's care and wellbeing, something that not even Luli's sister or her peers can't fight back.

Trying to return the trees to humans may be a waste of time, but maybe helping them make a human body for them to communicate with their sect heads could be better. If they're already some kind of connected being, having a body and voice for the elder to communicate and talk when requesting wisdom is something beneficial for the sect. They're still going to be the trees who benefit the sect, so their sacrifices are still going to bear fruit (pun intended).

We don't know if there needs to be an actual sacrifice each generation so the sect doesn't goes to shit if they skip one, so I say is better if we bring the sect elders and tell them the secret, so they all know there's no need of this generational sacrifice and we can spare the life of Luli, instead of being part of this cycle of misunderstood and needless lost of lives. If there's no need for it, then there's no reason to keep doing it, and if they're really dependant somehow from this act we can surely bring an alternative (Like being an active source of Primordial Qi which could bring rare or extinct plants once again to the existence and for the sect to compensate the possible loss of Luli's sacrifice)

At best, we spare the lives of Luli and there's more possibilities of more descendants with the Bloodline powers who can actually escape the minimal requirement of this failure, and keep young promises who won't make it at time and stop anything wrong that could happen if there's no one from the Bloodline coming with the gift before the last one perishes without bringing sons or daughters.

At worst, this is going to be like the whole sect going into withdrawal for Luli's sacrifice being interrupted, but surely we can take care of it. :^)
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>>5900448
The trees haven't died for 10 CULTIVATOR generations, they're gonna keep on living just fine without another to the pile.

The thing about this is, if we take the inheretence, THEY don't get it. Their garden's expansion stops and it remains as it is, and their crops no longer get the brief spurts of high tier crap.
but we can provide that, if we wanted to, by reaching Nascent soul, which luli can't do. She isn't talented enough.
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>>5900451
Speaking of which, if she refuses it, I DO want this. Its a shit bloodline because shit people have it.
We can make it shine
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>>5899905
A question, Grandfather-- if we accept this bloodline, are we precluded from taking or creating others? Can we, as the founder is currently choosing to do, pass it on to others if we so wish?
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>>5900448
Considering how he had to tell all of the others to fuck off so we could talk, I am sure they would never want to be people again. And their clouded judgement would preclude any advice they get.

>>5900458
Man we MAKE bloodlines we don't steal them. More though that we already took this guy's original path from him, I'd feel really bad to take the one he forged for himself from his descendants. It's his legacy. Not something lost or forbidden, just misunderstood. We're not dredging it out of taboo to show it for what it really is or reviving it from long dormancy. So it feels wrong to me. But that's just me. I understand if other anons aren't quite as big on letting him keep his goodies in his family tree kek
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>>5899905
>It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.

Being able to give Luli the truth about her bloodline appears to me to be the reason we decided to learn about the bloodline first. If she refuses to become a tree then I don't see a reason not to accept the bloodline, then we could probably even refine it and give it back to her at a later time.

But will she want to refuse it even if it's her great elder's wishes for her to do so? Her mother did get turned into a tree, and having the bloodline removed from her would appear to make it difficult for her to be with her mother again, at least is how it could seem to her. Maybe we could figure out a way for her to communicate with her mother without turning into a tree somehow and bring that up to her if she decides to keep the bloodline?
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>>5900530
Perhaps with this new knowledge we're bringing we can enable the heirs of this bloodline to choose when they become trees, near the end of their lifespan.
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>>5900352
>But if its between an option of those trees and the living child, I vote for the living child
It's not between, you absolute egg. Restoring the trees to human form solves Luli's problem as well.
>>5900375
>>5900504
Maybe instead of deciding they would refuse, we actually ask them?
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>>5900772
>Maybe instead of deciding they would refuse, we actually ask them?
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Grandfather here. The curse has struck me again. Seems I've been caught in am ip range ban, so I'm phone posting to inform all of you. So if the next update takes awhile, now you know the reason for the delay
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>>5900794
This sucks
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>>5900799
OKAY! Forgive me juniors for making your blood flow in reverse with worry, if any of you have coughed up blood from stress, forgive me. Everything is cool now, guess I only noticed I was affected by this devilish array near its climax. But man did that make me worried I was being forced to wash my hands in a golden basin

voting window is still open
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>>5900772
It is absolutely BETWEEN them. One will stop Luli becoming a tree and dying. The other is trying to revive dead cultivators from trees and in the process destroy a useful resource of their sect.
But sure, let her die before we ressurect them.
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>>5900827
First of all, it's not "turn the trees back into humans", it's "teach the whole sect, trees included, to turn back into humans", so anyone who becomes a tree can just turn back right after. And even if it's not good enough for your tastes, it doesn't preclude taking away Luli's bloodline.
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>>5900847
It isnt he whole sect, there is ONE family which has this bloodline and they are the rulers lt this sect.
That is it and they are the only ones this helps. Because the rest of the sect are humans and only humans.

So no it isnt good enough. And I want to give her a choice, but I really hope she doesnt want it because I want it.
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>>5900871
I don't see how it being a single family makes it not good enough.
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>>5900994
Because you made claim of this saving a sect, when it's not. The impact is dramatically restricted and goes from a few hundred people to 2-3 of the current generation, maybe a couple of dozen dead cultivators.

What makes it not good enough is that Huan has no reason to give a shit other than whimsy [which excuses most of our other not reasonable or characteristic attitudes]. Who cares that a bunch of old fossils turned into trees? We care because they are going to turn a child into herb food.

Moral compulsion [protector of children]. Reward Compulsion [We get a plant oriented bloodline]
Whimsy compulsion [We feel like it at the moment]

You're running on Whimsy and that's the weakest of the lot. Where's our benefit? Where's our moral impetus?

The sect won't reward us for helping them destory the key to their success. There's no morality we have that relates to helping idiots
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>>5901083
I did not make a claim of saving the sect, that's on you. But who we will be saving is the current sect head. Worth a debt of gratitude, isn't it?
Secondly, you're saying the trees are the key to the sect's success, but in truth they're a giant wall on the road of cultivation, preventing anyone from ever reaching nascent soul. With these trees, this sect is a dead end.
Finally, these "old fossils" are a bunch of the strongest and wisest sect members, golden cores. I bet they'd be more useful to the sect as humans than as trees.
As for the motivation, if this sect has any smarts it will become our ally and vouch for our character in front of other orthodox sects.
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>>5901139
>I didn't make a claim of saving the sect.
Accepting you didn't, then I'm going to give you your own words and say your intention here is unclear. ""teach the whole sect, trees included, to turn back into humans", so anyone who becomes a tree can just turn back right after""

>Saving the current sect head
Nope. She's not got the bloodline, her little sister Luli does. Now I'm curious if its for her bloodline or love of her sister, but irrelevant.

>These trees are the key to the sects success
Yep. They are the source of their top quality spirit herbs and that is related to their position as medicine and potion healers. Stated in previous threads "nascent soul" is a realm not seen in centuries/ages, so at present they are sitting at the top of a very short mountain. It's still a mountain and their value is tied up in medicines and healing ability. To remove the trees will damage that.
The sect doesn't turn their members into trees, it turns the ruling lineage into trees. And if a ruling member with this bloodline could reach nascent soul, they wouldn't become a god damned tree. They aren't good cultivators because they are all shit and the world of cultivation has stagnated, that's it.

>Old fossils are more use alive than dead.
No. Ehh, sorta. If you can revive them all, they are worth their weight in numbers? gotta be a couple dozen, which would catapult the sect into a very strong position by number of GC alone. But they are doctors and practice non-combat laws, unsuited and weak against actual aggression. At least dead they can make more spirit herbs and at better quality.

>Become our ally and vouch for our character in front of the other sects
Already going to have their support in the meeting by returning Luli to them alive. It's our payment for services rendered. Allyship is also likely, but frankly that's on them. They have nothing to offer us but political clout, we provide much more than that to them.
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>>5900806
kek
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>>5901170
>>Old fossils are more used alive than dead.
Having dozens of golden-core alchemists would create a golden age of pill creation.

I just wanted to give the daughters their mother back out of kindness. But Dozens of wood-aligned golden cores forging massive amounts of pills and Huanliuxue Primal qi can create massive amounts of herbs... And using a formation would push it further beyond.

It would catapult our disciple's cultivation levels by leaps and bounds. Not to mention the wealth generated and with such a strong ally another big win to suppress any collations forming with such a stranglehold on the pill market.

Yah. It's worth it. So damn worth it of it can be pulled off.
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>>5901288
>It would create a golden age of pill creation
No it wouldn't. They are not innovators, and they aren't heretics so unless they drastically adjust attitudes to discover actual good ways to adapt and utalise herbs. They are golden core so they aren't trash but they're not capable of ushering a golden age. We are in an age of decline.

>Kindness to children
Acceptable. I still don't hold it as very important, but it's acceptable.

>Catapult cultivation levels.
Yes, it can. But that's best reserved for bottlenecks. The reduction in supreme quality herbs will be a damage in the later years, present boon though is a surplus of competent alchemists.
>We will benefit from their pill making powers.
Though they are "allies" in this sense, not subordinates so we'd still need to pay for them. We don't benefit from the wealth generated because we are not their superior/tribulary sect. Providing Primal Qi would allow us to bargain in for a cut of the profits thought.

And we haven't got skin in the alchemy game. We are alchemists, and Monu is. Our Blood sages were mortal alchemists, nobody else really qualifies.
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>>5900502
It'll make it more difficult or more restrictive to , but you could make your own, the DC will just be higher or otherwise the bloodline will be shaped by this one and no. That's a founder only ability, inheritors can only pass it through their descendants, Usually. there are more esoteric means of passing bloodlines. Most of them unpleasant/ demonic. No one knows how many bloodlines someone could in theory inherit, since most of the ways to do it outside of being born into it are forgotten, forbidden or "forgotten"

Vote is still ongoing, just popping in to explain this
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>>5899905
>It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.
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>>5899905
>It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.
We can always kidnap her later.
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Ending the vote now that I'm not too busy to and have gotten some sleep, and tallying its result. There's been some fruitful and intense discussion this time, hasn't there?

It is Luli's decision if she wants to have it or not, you'll tell her the truth and let her decide if she wants to risk turning into a tree or not.:8

You did not write down the method of forging a new body. But you know it? This knowledge, I can carry to your descendents. They will need to learn it rather than use it innately, but it can be done.:1

Offer to join forces and try to develop a way for the trees to turn back into humans...etc:3

So you'll firmly state it is Luli's decision if she wants the bloodline and its attached risks, and you'll tell her the truth and let her decide what happens to her.

Update will arrive shortly

>>5901265
The experience nearly gave me Qi deviation

>>5901916
What cat like thinking. If a kitten is crying, just take it to care for it yourself.
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>>5902107
Oh, miss counted cause I missed>>5900055
the later half of this junior's vote. Doesn't change the outcome, but I'd be remiss if I didn't correct and point out this discrepancy, even if it is a small one
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Despite the shock of learning the identity of this ghostly grandpa and being smashed by the deluge of information and knowledge he gives you as offhandedly as if he were describing his morning exercises to keep himself limber, you do not spend even the time it takes you to blink contemplating or musing over his offer of handing over the golden finger of his entire lineage as if it was the last orange in a basket. There is really only one possible answer to such an offer, no matter how valuable or useful the powers and techniques he's offering up are. Your eyes sharpen and turn cold, stern and domineering and you level a look at the old fossil that some people would beggar themselves paying for just a glance of.

"That, is Luli's decision" You begin slowly, and forcefully, each word having all the authority of an empress sat atop her throne and the pressure exerted by a blackhole

"Luli? Ah! My youngest descendant!' The old ghost questions and upon seeing your furious gaze quickly saves his ass and pulls himself from the fire the very moment he stokes your ire "Curious. Entrusting the fate of such divine providence, such a heavenly treasure to a child ignorant of the harsh realities of life"

"Children aren't objects" You say flatly, eyes now even harsher and the look inside of them much more scathing, even a devil would pale and flee in the face of such a lethal expression "They can decide what they want for themselves, and she deserves the truth, which has been denied to her all her life just as any ability to choose her path in it has"

"Never knew cats were so maternal" The elder teases, trying to ease the tension between you and reduce the level of hostility you're sending his way as much as is possible "Very well, if that is your choice, then I shall release you to explain the situation and truth of the matter to my decendant in my stead'

"Hah!? Excuse me?" You balk, standing to your feet and jabbing a thumb at your own chest "I don't need anyone's permission to come or go as I please! I came here willingly! Did you think I'm only here because your hands pulled me in! Watch how easily I depart, leaving only a faint memory of a flicking tail and curious eyes!"

"But you haven't shown your..." The elder begins, taken aback but sounding intrigued if you can back up your boasting. And was it ever a question if you could.

You blink and when you open your eyes, you're sat in front of an awed Lian Luli who is pressed against the roots of her cage, looking like she just watched something incredible. And why wouldn't she have that look, a true thing of beauty is sat right in front of her, Heh-Heh.

Blinking again, you notice what, besides your natural radiance and imperial aura, could've made the little girl look so amazed. All around you, floating in the air, are patches of bark and thorny roots, and glowing faintly just beneath your skin are spell arrays.
Cont
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>>5902150

Simple ones, just a slightly more advance design of the humble protection spell. What is awe inspiring is that you seemingly instinctively created a defense against the drawback of connecting yourself to the living array so directly, that it could begin affecting and changing your body as a form of security. Seems the elders of the thousand lotus hall was wrong, the inner most cultivation chamber did have one defense of its own besides the fear of what unknown protections it could have. A lesser cultivator, an unwary one, who tried to tap into their ancestor trees and drain them of their preserved wisdom and insights to enlighten themselves as you forcefully did, would be subsumed and turned into a human shaped tree.

But your instincts and natural talent as a once in ten generation's prodigy and peerless master over the flow of your blood and the veins containing them, allowed you to rewire your circulation to create what amounts to blood talismans all throughout your body, creating wall after wall of internal spiritual barriers against the invasive Qi. It was a defense worthy to be called its own unique defensive magic. Did Xue Laohue use something similar to impede his own transformation into an icicle. That stray thought bringing a bitter taste to your tongue, you stop contemplating how you instinctively protected yourself against the natural defenses of the array of formerly human trees and turn your attentions back to the awe struck child in front of you.

"What did I just do?" You ask, since her jaw is stuck open and her face is frozen in a look of a wonder "I just waltzed into the afterlife and spoke with your ancestors"

Her enchanted look cracks and begins falling apart as she wrinkles her brow and screws her face, before her eyes go wide as the realization of you communing with the dead via touching the tree surrounding her means. She really is quick to pick up on things, isn't she?

"Then that means" She begins, dread dawning on her adorable face still chubby with baby fat as you solemnly nod your head

"Yeah, your mama gave me quite the rude greeting, but I am nothing if not forgiving" You say jokingly, hoping to keep the atmosphere light and cheerful, even while its clear that your efforts to keep Luli calm by being nonchalant aren't helping at all, you bright grin turns over into lips parted frown

"Then that means...No, no, no, no" She says frightened, eyes bulging and face gaining a corpse like pallor "No, no, that...My..Tianhua said that..."

"Calm down" You order, sharpening your expression and adopting the countenance of a firm teacher "Fear kills the mind, and leaves only prey instinct behind. Yes, your elders and sisters lied to you, I do not know why she lied but I have a pretty good guess why the elders holding the high seats of your sect have"

She blinks, eyes already glistening with tears, but like any good daoist, she sits and listens to her senior. A trained behavior of any worthwhile student.
Cont
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>>5902152

"Greed" You continue, spitting the word out like it was venom you were forced to swallow "The inheritors of your bloodline, as they reach the end of their lifespan, are capable of great feats of spiritual plant hybridization and creation. Each one of these trees, gave up their human lives and departed early from the world, to bring blessings to their descendants and student"

Luli looks confused as to why such a selfless sacrifice for the good of the temple could be a bad thing, but she also looks afraid, trembling like a child just told a scary story to make her behave. She must be having one incredibly fierce internal conflict inside that cute head of hers.

"Then...then its a choice?" She asks, little voice cracking by lifting with a youthful hope "I don't...I can refuse, when...when I get older and my cultivation is as profound as""

She gasps, finally hearing that you spoke of her mother as she pulls her hand away from the roots she is clinging to desperately and fearfully. The moment she recoils, they twist and slither towards her. Even if death, her mother is trying to nurture and dote upon her. But the roots of a tree are too rough to brush away tears, and the show of motherly love only serves to terrify Luli.

"It is. But not one you would have" You answer cynically, shaking your head with a sour expression, bitterness stinging your tongue with every word spoken "What is one life for a treasure that will uplift the sect and allow them to keep their privledged position amongst peers in the world of cultivation"

"But" She protests, unwilling to accept just how selfish her respected seniors could be

"Its for the good of the sect and clan, isn't it? What wouldn't you do to service your beloved family and hall?" You ask coldly, grimly as she shrinks back and grabs her knees, looking like she's trying to vanish away into nothing as she tries to become smaller by curling up into herself "You're naive, Luli. Ambition, Greed and Pride can make men do things even demons wouldn't do"

"But..but they've always been so kind...Tianhua, she must not, they have to be tricking her! Like the wicked elders from that story she told me!" She shouts back tearfully, voice hoarse now, ragged. Your eye twitches as it, to your ears, starts sounding like a cat mewling beneath the beating of hooves, the roaring of fire, and the screams of the dying, desperate to be saved.

"She told me the nature of your bloodline. I just spoke with the trees that were once your ancestors to confirm a few suspicions of mine" You say as she slumps like a doll dropped to the ground, hands clenching into trembling fists as wisps of a grudge rise from her, licking her like tongues of flame seeking kindly

"She...she" She repeats, struggling to throw off the dawning realization that the world isn't as simple and happy as she thought it was
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>>5902153

"Doesn't know as much as I do" You answer strongly, not sternly, but rather stalwartly, acting as a rock she can cling to in her time of confusion "Whether purposefully or through their own ignorance, the elders of your sect entrusted with the secret of your inheritance, forgot its rules. Or they never knew it to begin"

"Bwah?" She makes a noise that sounds like a question as she sways, looking like she's about to faint from stress and mental duress alone.

"Your clan's original ancestors put it in to preserve his knowledge, he was dying when he altered the bloodline he began to put a time limit on any of its inheritors who studied and reached the highest mastery of the law he created around his inherited techniques" You explain seriously "It isn't a curse or a means to enrich the sect with sacrifices of its own head, it was a mistake, the power boost that allowed the creation of so many treasured herbs, is a happy accident, and one that has turned sour and rotten"

She blinks dumbly

"He thought his descendant would be reasonable, and stop practicing the cultivation method he founded if they weren't capable of surpassing the golden core state" You explain, a little slower this time, hands on your knees and head leaned backwards to stare at the ceiling "There isn't really a time limit, but once you reach the gold core state and grasp certain insights, come to certain understandings, the transformation begins, the accidental blessing is reached, and you are doomed to join your ancestors here in increasing the density and purity of the Qi flowing through your gardens"

"My mama, they said she got sick" She says weakly, pitifully

"A lie to comfort a child" You answer plainly, looking back down at her and leaning closer to the roots, they do not shock you back now

"Then why did she..." She sniffles, rubbing her eyes with the sleeves of her robes

"I'm certain she made her choice for your benefit, little one" You lie, brushing tender hand down the length of one of her roots "She's still protecting you now, she even bared her fangs in my direction, something ever some gods would hesitate to do"

She sniffs and sobs, choking and hiccupping as you sit beside her.

"In her eyes, she was dying, at the end of her life. She must've put what was left of her energy into creating a spirit herb that would've made your life better, more privileged" You say after a ponderous sigh, tapping a finger on your chin as you pout your lips "If she knew there was a choice, that she could decide to give up the law she practiced in favor of one that wouldn't activate the bloodline's changes, she would've, I know"

"What does it all mean?" She whimpered helplessly
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>>5902155

"Either you forsake your family's legacy or you risk turning into a tree at the pinnacle of your life and cultivation, with how many of your ancestors have been transformed down here, it won't take you long to rocket through the stages of cultivation, and it means you won't live a long life" You say solemnly, locking your eyes with hers "Unless, you surpass them all, and become the first of your family and clan to become a nascent soul cultivator"

Her eyes look empty, exhausted mentally and emotionally.

"I even betray my sect and family, or I struggle for something that is nigh impossible" She mutters under her breath, somewhere between anger and sadness

"There is a third, secret option, one that only you and I need to know about" You say sweetly, reaching through the bars of her cage to ruffle her hair and pat her head. Her eyes get a little bit of light and life in them again as she looks up at you hopefully

"The founder of the sect and your clan, offered to take away your bloodline, seal it, or give it to someone else" You answer, leaving out exactly who that someone else was "You don't need to carry this burden, to walk to your grave hoisting up a responsibility you never asked for. You could live a normal life, er, as ordinary as an immortality seeking daoist can, Heh-Heh"

"Tianhua doesn't know about any of this" She asks sharply, eyes suddenly scheming and plotting

"None of it. She doesn't know that you aren't doomed to the fate of your mother, that you can't avoid that fate through excellence, and no one but me, you and your original ancestor know of the third choice" You answer just as sharply, curious what she is planning with what you've told her.

"She was expected to inherit the bloodline" She says quietly, grudges crawling up her cheeks like water seeking roots, but she shakes her head, a look of guilt or that of a stomach washing across her face as the grudges just...vanish complete. You lean back, twirling a curl of your hair, very curious as to how quickly she was able to stamp out her own feelings of resentment so quickly and effectively. That's incredible. Especially for a little kid. That takes a saintly level of forgiveness.

"I'm not giving this curse to anyone else" She says, as the greediest part of you wails and laments the loss of such a priceless treasure, but, it could only be Luli's choice if you ever received it or not. Its not like it would've had any drawbacks in your hands, your eventual attainment of nascent soul is a guarantee, after all.

"Ohhoooo?" You give an intrigued chuckle "So what will it be? Will you strike out your own path or"

The light in her eyes gives you your answer. You'd recognize that look and fire anywhere! Determination~! Ambition~! This girl is cut from the same proud cloth as yourself isn't she! She's actually going to go for it! She's going to strive to surpass her every ancestor and reach the nascent soul stage instead of taking the easy way out!
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>>5902156

That's a quality most cultivators lack in this era! Courage! Audacity! True Daring! The confidence to take risks and gamble their long lives to reach even greater heights and attain powers the meek can scarcely imagine.

A truly frightening and admiring grin graces your lips, as you look upon the young girl with more respect than you've given to her supposed betters, as your eyes twinkle and sparkle with delight.

"I see~ I see ~" You Purr, clapping your hands together and rubbing them as you stand up "That's a lot of ambition for a little girl to have, but who am I to argue, eh? Come on Kid, lets get out of here"

"I can do it if I try" Luli pouts, crossing her arms as the roots part, now that she isn't surrounded by dangers and the old ghost has tugged the ear of her mother's ghost and reprimanded her for being over protective and embarrassing the girl, surely.

"Perhaps" You curl your tongue and rumble your words with more delighted purr like cadences "I'm just impressed by your backbone is all, I wasn't saying you were making your own grave or anything"

"Because you can teach me, right, master?" She says cheerfully, hopping to your side, hands clasped behind her back as you freeze, face frozen in the smile you were wearing a moment ago

"Huh?" You ask, confused as to how she suddenly decided she was your disciple

"You know more than my sister about my bloodline, right? If you meet a master more informed and worldly of your teacher, who has a greater understanding of the dao, it's only common sense to beseech them to take you on as your disciple right?" She says, still cheerfully as you raise an eyebrow and give her a scrutinizing look. The bonds between students and teachers should be a lot stronger than that! The saying goes a teacher for a day, a father for life!

"You were born in the wrong generation, kid" You chuckle, kind of impressed by her brazenness and shamelessness as you shake your head

"So will you take me on as your student" She presses, stepping closer to you and looking at you with her big, adorable eyes. Did...did she just realize that you're weak to the whims of children and is using your instinct to dote upon them to her advantage?

What a frightening little girl. Monu would like her.
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>>5902159

How do you answer her demand to be taken under your wing, Huanliuxue?

>Accept it, who is going to tell you you can't. Beside it is her best chance for survival and success in her life

>"Well, there is an etiquette about abandoning your sect, you know, you have to ask your head and other teachers first if you intend to replace them..." Let her older sister deal with her childishness

>"Prove you're worthy of wearing my paw print, and I'll think about taking you one as my disciple. I only take on the best of the best, just ask Two Axe Fu, Quickdraw Qiang, Ping of the cursed arm, Forgebreaker Feiqing, Siwang the silent death, The princess of bees and the princess of ants..."

>Refuse, her lack of devotion to her teachers is a danger you will be avoiding!

>Write in
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>>5902159
>Accept it, who is going to tell you you can't. Beside it is her best chance for survival and success in her life
>>
>>5902160
>"Prove you're worthy of wearing my Paw print."
>You have until I and your big sister return from the conclave of sects to do so. Impress me.

I AM concerned about that like of piety. The secret is that we are testing how she thinks she can impress us, I'm willing to take her on anyway. But make it a task to become our disciple, and she might treasure it more.
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>>5902160
>"Prove you're worthy of wearing my Paw print."
>You have until I and your big sister return from the conclave of sects to do so. Impress me.
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>>5902160
>"Prove you're worthy of wearing my paw print, and I'll think about taking you as my disciple
>>
>>5902160
>"Prove you're worthy of wearing my paw print, and I'll think about taking you one as my disciple. I only take on the best of the best, just ask Two Axe Fu, Quickdraw Qiang, Ping of the cursed arm, Forgebreaker Feiqing, Siwang the silent death, The princess of bees and the princess of ants..."
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>>5902160
>Accept it, who is going to tell you you can't. Beside it is her best chance for survival and success in her life.
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>>5902185
I'll support this, though i'm unsure about having her abandon her sect outright.
I was thinking more of a mentorship role to add to her insights, possibly as an exchange with our bee princess learning something from their sect instead or together.
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>>5902160
>"Prove you're worthy of wearing my paw print, and I'll think about taking you one as my disciple.
>>
>>5902160
>Accept it, who is going to tell you you can't. Beside it is her best chance for survival and success in her life
I like this girl already. Welcome aboard!

Part of me is was sad that we missed out on the bloodline, but on second thought its for the best. Huanliuxue has never been one to follow someone else's path. We have made our own law, our own evolutions, our own sect, and we will make our own bloodline, one day. This feels right.
Besides, a good apprentice is worth more then all the treasures under the heavens. Especially given that with her unique talents, I suspect we will learn as much from her as she will from us.

Looks like Jingyu has a good eye for apprentices. Not sure how to feel about that.
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>>5902160
>"Prove you're worthy of wearing my paw print, and I'll think about taking you one as my disciple. I only take on the best of the best, just ask Two Axe Fu, Quickdraw Qiang, Ping of the cursed arm, Forgebreaker Feiqing, Siwang the silent death, The princess of bees and the princess of ants..."
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>>5902160
>"Prove you're worthy of wearing my Paw print."
>You have until I and your big sister return from the conclave of sects to do so. Impress me.
My big concern is how easily she was ready to jump ship.
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>>5903242
She DID just get told that she was going to be turned into a sacrifical lamb. Even snuffing out her grudge, she is still likely angry.

I think if we can make her treasure her studentship, as well as tutor her as a mentor and a mother like we do our others, then she will show greater fifial piety.
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>>5902185
Supporting
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Ending the vote and tallying the result now.

Accept it, who is going to tell you you can't. Beside it is her best chance for survival and success in her life:3

"Prove you're worthy of wearing my Paw print.":9
-You have until I and your big sister return from the conclave of sects to do so. Impress me.: 5

So you'll tell Lian Luli that she'll need to prove herself worthy to join the palace of natural laws, and she has until you and her older sister returning from the conclave of sects to suitably impress you.

Update will arrive shortly.
>>
Covering your mouth with the ends of your sleeves, you look over the determined little girl with her hands balled into fists and tenacity sparking in her eyes that are all the colors of spring, she isn't budging and is daring enough to meet your gaze directly and lock her eyes with your own as she stands before you with tears still staining and wetting her cheeks, while you mull over her sudden application to be your student that is all but a demand. Taking all the benefits and drawbacks of taking her on as a disciple into mind, along with your own personal feelings and fondness for the bold child, makes making the decision as tough as chewing through a dried and salted fish without any water to soften it. But you would be unworthy of being a ruler if you didn't know how to deal with difficult decisions like this, immediately and smoothly without causing a fuss or needless offense.

"My my, how bold of you to be making demands of me, the cat whose left her pawprints all over the moon and stained it in her colors" You snicker, smiling fondly behind your sleeves as you titter and tilt your head gently to the side, your blood red locks flowing over your shoulders as Luli's cheerful and ambitious expression begins to sour into a pout and her attempt to look fierce and severe nearly steals away your heart.

Straightening back up, and pulling one hand away from your face, you reveal your charmed and charming smile as you make a flowing gesture with your arm and the sleeve over it, motioning towards her with all of your hand to silent tell her to wait for what you say next before she reacts to what you've already said. The movement is similar the curling and flicking motions of your tail.

"But, I don't take on anyone as my students except those worthy of having me as their teacher" You explain gently, but with a smile that is specially designed to act a challenge and provocation for her actually try to earn your recognition rather than expecting to be taken under your wing because you feel bad for her and she wisely surmised that you're the best teacher she could hope to find beneath the heavens. And you want to help her, you really do, but without both the teacher and student having possessing rare potential or natural talent, raising a disciple up to the nascent soul stage can't be done. There's a reason there's so few of them, there's few golden cores of suitable quality to reliably reach surpass that already impressive level of cultivation.

And if she spends her life at your side, only to fail at the end due to no fault of her own except reaching the limits of her potential, it'll be much more tragic an affair and dangerous to your heart than simply leaving her to grow and attain whatever is the height of her cultivation on her own. Besides, if she becomes your student, there'll be no chance that she'll decide to reject her familial law before it can kill.
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>>5904126

She's already brazen enough to demand to be made your disciple, how proud will she become after she's spent a lifetime as your disciple, how much of your haughty and regal demeanor will she mimic or adopt? For your own future well being and to be certain you can save her rather than struggling only to meet failure and heart break, there is only one choice that won't make your bowels curdled that won't force you to drive a knife through your own breast in shame.

And that is, of course, to have Luli prove she has the innate talent to create a golden core of high quality and go even further beyond, to show her prospective second master that even at the beginnings of her cultivation she has the drive and talent to reach for the stars and actually take hold and grasp them for herself.

"Prove you're worthy of wearing my paw print, and I'll consider taking you as my disciple, my direct disciple, a rare privilege even within my school" You purr, flicking out your arm and lifting her drooping, bowed chin up with a single finger, forcing her to meet your gaze again, forcibly reigniting the fading sparks of ambition within her eyes and fanning the flames of hope in her heart "I only take on the best of the best, the palace of natural laws is no place for dragons and snakes to intermingle. Even those amongst my students who were not born blessed to be genius cultivators have other amazing talents or incredible aptitudes, and a few were already making names for themselves before they joined the sect"

Luli's eyes narrow and her lips tighten, but she remains austerely silent, hanging off your ever word as you crouch down to be at eyelevel with her, smiling daintily and pleasantly now.

"So show me you can be the equal of names like Two axe Fu, Quickdraw Qiang, Ping of the Cursed Arm, Steelfist Feiqing, Siwang the Silent Death, Huili the Ashen gale, Chuandapo the ship breaker, Weirdo Lei, The Princess of Bees and The Princess of Ants" You list of several of your best, most talented, and accomplished disciples "Then If you can stand out in the shadow of the Toad Witch and The Happy Bloodshed, I'd be happy to accept your petition to enter the halls of my temple"

You lift your hand away, and a sudden mischevious whim makes you flick her nose playfully but not hurtfully. Wagging your finger now, you add another clause to the deal struck between a master and a novice.

"You have until I and your big sister return from the conclave of sects to do so" You gravely amend, as you step back and straighten up your back, standing proud and dignified as you throw a few locks of hair out of your eyes in a grandiose fashion "Impress me"

"I will" She steely replies, not hesitating to accept your challenge or complain and whine that it is unfair
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>>5904127

"I'll hold you to that" is your reply as you hold out your hand and beckon her to follow you, genial and pleasant but still underlined with a provocative tone, still challenging her to do her best and strive to reach the bottom steps of the peak you scaled with only a few strides.

It takes longer to leave the gardens then it did to enter them, mostly because it takes a considerable amount of effort to avoid the gruesome sights Jingyu left in his wake. Innocent eyes like Luli's shouldn't be tarnished by such unpleasantness and filth until she is ready to face all the harshness and horrors of the world on her own terms. She remains silent, brow crumpled as she no doubts tries to figure out how she can impress you with so little time given and what she could even do to earn even your meagerest approval as a cultivator.

So it might take a little longer to leave the grove than it otherwise should, as you didn't get to admire its beauty and fragrances as much as you'd like when you entered it, but when you do eventually lead Luli out of it and leave and since she's tired, carry her upon your back back to the Thousand Lotus Hall's temple, you're met with a very different reception from when you first barged your way into its grounds.

Its highest ranked disciples, with robes more white than green, are lined up into two columns and kneeling down, while the elders and matriarch Lian Tianhua stand, dressed in their full regalia and holding various treasures of the sect and symbols of the positions and seats they hold in the sect. You don't know what any of those treasures are or what they're capable of doing, but the meaning and ceremony of presenting them is not lost on you. Neither is the pale faces of everyone knelt before you, the cold sweat staining some of their robes.

And a very flustered and onery Siwang who has a bandaged wing and is looming above the elders with more venom in his eyes than is in Monu's...well everything.

Your appreciative and indulgent smile turns into a disappointed glower as you gently set down the napping Luli on the ground, as two fretful maids rush over to hold her up and Shepard her away from the steely eyed demonic beast now glaring at their masters.

Tianhua parts her lips to give a rehearsed speech of the gratitude and joy they feel seeing you return with the most important missing disciple alive and no sign of the wretched vermin who slaughtered the other to in sight, when you snap your fingers and point at her crudely and snarl

"Explain why my student is injured!" You snap, surpressing your outrage until you have a target for it

"It was a...very unfortunate mistake" Tianhua says, pained smile stretched on her face and a vein bulging on her brow "A disciple of ours on patrol, was approached by your fair natured student, and being surprised and having overhead the discussion of the organ stealing devil"
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>>5904128

"Notched and loosed an arrow into my wing" Siwang chirps brassily, clearly vexed from being shot without warning "I however, knowing that this was no fault of my attacker, and that you, my master, would be displeased if I caused an inter-sect incident, withheld from retaliating to instead deliver my message. I have been otherwise treated fairly and with dignity"

"Message?" You ask curiously, anger temporarily quelled

"From elder brother Ping, who penned it soon after he heard you were traveling in such of that most evil of monsters" He replies instantly, cheerfully hopping from his perch and swooping silently over the heads of the others present "It was however soaked through with blood, but my memory is sharp, Elder Brother Ping, simply wished for you to know that while he is displeased that he was not trusted with the duty he believed to be his by right, that being the subjugation of Jingyu, he understands that as sect head and his master, it was your decision in the end and he does not hold any ill will nor fault you for deciding to personally slay the devil, though I to must note that if I had been asked to, I would have valiantly and proudly taken up the responsibility to bring the vile creature to justice!"

"I thought owls were supposed to be quiet, that one has quite a lot to say" The elder who boldly asked for the secrets of your techniques remark as you pout and grab Siwang's injured wing as he salutes with the other, the poor thing wincing as you stretch it out to examine the wound.

"You better whip whoever did this" You coldly remark as you mercifully let go of Siwang's wing, watching Luli like she were your own kit as she is ushered closer to her elder sister, who immediately loses her composure once she is within arms reach and scoops her up into them, peppering her tired face with kisses and frantically brushing her hair, like she were searching for cracks in a porcelain dish "That is as much mercy as I can muster, but that is a matter for later. I've ended the threat and retrieved your sister, and found the bodies of Qi Qi and Sun Cuifen"

And still have their ghosts at your back, but you do not mention that even as the two spirits bow their heads and kneel, expecting to be able to be seen.

"What, what state were they in" The elder of the two female elders asks hesitatingly

"Mangled" You state bluntly, taping a foot on the ground as Siwang bows his head in mourning for those he never met "If you want the grisly details, ask for them when the little lady isn't present, they're too awful for her ears to hear"
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>>5904130

"I...we will see when we retrieve the bodies" The elder states quietly, rubbing the back of her hand meekly as Tianhua grows worried by her little sister not returning her affections, but doesn't question her as she lets her go and tries to covertly clean up the smearing of her lipstick, no one in the crowd or amongst the elders so much as uttering a squeak about her open and unrestrained show of sisterly love.

'I'd be happy to tell you how you failed them' you ruefully lament, but do not speak your mind since you are trying to be cordial with these people, even if one of them shot Siwang with an arrow.

"I shall assist in their recovery!" Siwang declares loudly, flicking up his uninjured wing dramatically as he volunteers, and you roll your eyes

'And get rewarded with another arrow?' You think to yourself but once again, hold your back your scathing thoughts and do not allow them to become scathing words

"Thank you, thank you" Tianhua says tearfully, as she walks up to you and takes your hand in hers and holds it against her chest. you can feel her heart beating through the soft flesh your hand is being firmly pressed into, while Tianhua sniffles and continues to thank and praise you "I cannot in words describe the extent of my gratitude and thanks, you have done this sect and myself a great service this day, I will spread word of your selflessness and do all I can to clear up the false rumors surrounding your name. The Thousand Lotus Hall and the Lian clan are indebted to you, Huanliuxue, and you and any of your disciples will always be welcome here, as guests or as temporary students. This worthless excuse for a sister, who could not even protect her sister, thanks you, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, I cannot hope to repay this kindness, Lady Huanliuxue, not with all the treasures beneath the heavens or the wealth of this humble hall. If there is anything I can do to show even a fraction of my gratitude, feel free to speak your desire. For saving Luli, I'd do or give anything to reward you"

"I've already said, I do not need to be repaid" You say with a sly smile as you wiggle your hand free of her grip and slide it out from her cleavage "I was

"Senior is truly generous, Senior is truly beneficent, Senior is truly magnanimous" She praises after sniffling and wiping the tears clumsily from her eyes "Noble is not enough to describe Senior's graces and character! Your selflessness, integrity and virtue all amaze and humble this meek daoist. As I promised, you will our full support during the trial of the Winter blossoming wisdom sect and if there is anything..."

"I already said, I don't want or need any reward you can give me" You scoff, turning away from her as she seems oddly let down as one of the elders quickly shuffles between you, one of the ones who was silenced during the meeting for being impertinent.
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>>5904131

"Forgive me for my audacity, but we must confirm the demon has been subjugated before the sect head's promises can be made official and binding" He says, like a cheap fish monger trying to sell yesterday's catch. You blink, almost too amazed by his impudence, before smirking

And dropping the jar holding Jingyu's true form into his hands. He grabs it reflexively and goes corpse white as his jaw gapes and his eyes bulge. Giving a shriek, he recoils and pulls his hands away, and you catch the jar by its lid with three fingers before it can hit the ground and shatter

"I took his soul as a souvenir!" You declare with a manic cackle, sticking out your tongue and really indulging in acting the heretic "And you nearly let him out again, is that proof enough for you, boy~"

"Y...yesh" He gasps, clutching his throat, trembling all over as he retreats behind the pouting Tianhua

"I cannot fault you for using your own methods to ensure the evil does not rise again, but I would ask you not to frighten my disciples by displaying such a frightful prize to them, or directly dropping it into their laps as a joke" She says refined and acting as the resplendent and unreachable lady immortal of a hall of fairies of all kinds, but while her expression is stern and serious, her eyes are light and amused, while Siwang hops over and closely inspects the jar, tilting and rotating his head as he examines it thoroughly.

"I am permitted my whims" You snicker as you shake the jar, making Siwang start and click his beak together, threateningly "But you all look like you want to say something"

"We received a message from the jury awaiting your arrival" The younger of the two female elders says meekly, keeping her head bowed "And I believe every sect who has sent a representative to it has as well. Your lateness has been forgiven, and you have been permitted to bring one or two of your disciples, if you so wish"

There is a lot that isn't being said, but you won't press them now, mostly because you're going to press them to further punish the moron who shot Siwang! If they're so adamant about rewarding you, that can be their thanks for your heroic deed, instead of shooting an arrow into one of your precious disciples, the idiots!

Double Vote

What form do you arrive at the conclave in

>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease

>Feline form, to proudly display your nature and heritage

>Send a blood puppet in your stead, and watch from a distance

>Possess a temporary body, maybe something shocking like a corpse, just for kicks.

>Write in

And who, if anyone, do you bring with you, Huanliuxue? (Lian Tianhua will be traveling with you, unless you tell her not to follow you)

>Fu

>Qiang

>Ping

>Feiqing

>Siwang, he's already here

>Go alone.

>Someone else (Write in)
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>>5904134
>Send a Blood puppet.
No, I don't trust any of you fuckers.

>Swiang, Fu
They will be safe.

I do wonder how the sister will react to us taking her little sis as a disciple
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>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease
>Fu
>Ping

I feel like it won't be a trap no longer or at least not coordinated amongst all sects in attendance, in any case i'll elect to bring the most survivable of our students.
Maybe have Qiang hidden nearby since she's the stealthiest but I'll veto Siwang this time as he's injuried already.
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>>5904134
>Send a blood puppet in your stead, and watch from a distance
>Fu
>Ping's friend whatshisname
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>>5904134
> Feline Form
No more games! We are who we are and they damn well better get used to it!
> Fu
> Ping
Gotta apologize to Ping for stealing his kill, but there were lives at stake and no time to waste.
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>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease
Normally I would allow my paranoia to take over, but since we know there will be a sect there who can also vouch for us besides our allies, who I am sure will not be trusted for fraternizing with us, it would be very stupid for anyone there to try anything. The "b-but heretics!" excuse will only fly so far when the (supposedly) very popular sect of medics is there to vouch for our character, anyone who tries anything will instantly get shit flung at them from sects who value honour that might otherwise have looked the other way.
At least, that is the calculated risk that I am taking. Bottom line is I am confident we can get away if shit hits the fan.
>Fu
He has a reputation, which will help us, and is VERY hard to kill, which means we can take him into a potential trap without worrying too much about him.
Siwang would be an easy number two, as he could just fly away, but he is injured so that is not happening
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>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease

>Fu
>Ping
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>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease
>Siwang, he's already here

>"Have Siwang ask for compensation for being wounded, it's a good learning lesson for him. That if your wronged you should clear debts so there isn't bad air to follow."
>Fu

Also a note for later since I understand why Ping is miffed we still have the corpse stealer's soul in hand. Tell him when he and his sworn bother are fully prepared they can fight and beat down this evil.
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>>5904134
>Feline form, to proudly display your nature and heritage
>Siwang
>Ping
Fu would be bored by such affairs, and this is the trial of the century, we'd be monsters to not bring Siwang along. And we need to talk with Ping about settling matters with Jingyu.
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>>5904134
>Feline form, to proudly display your nature and heritage
>Ping
>>
>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease
>Ping
>Siwang
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>>5904134
>Send a blood puppet in your stead, and watch from a distance

It's already been revealed that there was some plan in place to do something to Huan when she arrives at the trial, given what the reactions were to her appearance to the Thousand Lotus Hall, so appearing in our human form or feline form probably won't make a huge difference. Even with the clout of the Thousand Lotus Hall sect, we're still a dangerous Heretic, and given all the time they've had to setup the meeting place, who knows what sorcerous trap is waiting there.

I won't vote to willingly bring our disciples into a trap we don't know the scale of.
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>>5904134
>>Send a blood puppet in your stead, and watch from a distance
Call me paranoid, but I am indeed paranoid.

>Go alone.
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>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease
>Siwang
>Ping
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>>5904753
We should stop underestimating our disciples, they are capable and valuable assets. Ping knows the Orthodoxy and their tired old tricks and Siwang is (on top of being the best lawyer/peosecuter in all realms) literally an owl which makes him extremely perceptive. Those two will have our back.

Oh and for the Jingyu affair I'd say we just tell Ping it was a family affair, as Xuebai has unleshed this curse on the world it was on us to stop it. He can safeguard the vessel if he wants.
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>>5904134
>Feline form, to proudly display your nature and heritage
You invited US, we'll come as we're most comfortable
>Ping and Siwang
Ping has his background as an member of an orthodox sect (plus he's probably harder to kill since he ripped his on heart out), and Siwang will get some great insight from this trial that I feel might be the last key for him to become human.
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>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease
>Go alone.
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>>5904978
The sort of trap that would be effective against a golden core will be like 1000x more effective against a foundation establishment, unless the foundation establishment is a direct counter to it, then it'd be something like 10x - 100x effective. It's not about underestimating, it's about accurate estimation.
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>>5905102
Is this a trial? This is more politics than anything else and if we end up compromising it may sour our relationship with Siwang.
Though seeing what happens might benefit him in the end.
Dunno.

But there's no limit on who to bring and most votes include all three of Fu, Ping and Siwang so we're probably taking all three anyway.
>>
I'm waiting with bathed breath for the fool that will appeal to the other Orthodox sects to censor Huan, bonus point if it's one of the disgraced gods that fell when she attained human transformation.
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I guess some other Anon already gave the idea, but I say we should ask Tian for some miracle cure for Siwang for his wing, and then bring him and Ping to the council.

I thought of Fu because we have that extreme fusion of his powers + our Guqin but I'm sure we can work something with Ping if the council wanna try something.. Plus, having Siwang who already has some reputation (I think) As a benevolant vigilante and Ping who already has a reputation of a really talented Exorcist, Ping can vouche that the soul of Jingyu is the same that's on the jar and maybe show it without getting him out, and then theres Siwang who can learn a lot from this trial and maybe even give insight or an idea of what the rightful sentence should be for this trial and the punishment.that BWS should face
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>>5905265
Actually had to check last thread that this isn't some mass misunderstanding, but we did vote to enforce a ceasefire and put the WBW under a trial after vaporizing Laohue.
>>5905372
We already have Scarlet Healing Armor for healing, so I don't see much of a point of asking for a cure
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>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease
>Siwang
>Ping
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>>5904134
>Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease
>Ping
A daoist, reformed and enlightened. He understands them better then our other disciples would.
>Siwang, he's already here
Represent our kind (besides us). His presence showcases how we are more then just beasts.
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>>5905265
>Is this a trial? This is more politics than anything else
Either way, it's an educational experience. Best case, we present him with excellent material for him to meditate over. Worst case, it's a ridiculous show trial and that lights a fire in his belly.
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>>5904145
I change fu for
>Ping.

As others have pointed out, he is previously WBS
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Ending and tallying the vote now. Love all the discussion and planning that went on this voting session.

Send a blood puppet in your stead, and watch from a distance:4

Human form, to keep your fellow daoist at ease:9

Feline form, to proudly display your nature and heritage:4
_

Siwang:8

Fu:5

Ping:11

Qinxin:1

Go alone:2
_
"Have Siwang ask for compensation for being wounded, it's a good learning lesson for him. That if your wronged you should clear debts so there isn't bad air to follow.: 1

So you'll head to trial of the winter blossoming wisdom sect as a human, to not spook the orthodox daoists, and you'll bring Ping and Siwang with you (Since while siwang is a bit short, most of the votes asking for Ping also want him, so I am being lenient)

Update will arrive shortly


>>5905339
Hilarious
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>>5907591
A thought has been bothering me so I will air it.

Was the primordial forest of tragic lovers named for old Ling Wucai and the supreme Devilmind? He placement fits and the age fits and it being an extension of his garden, which is in fact the site of his battle against her.
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>>5907636
Yes actually! Junior is most perceptive! As they say History becomes legend, legend becomes myth. It was also mixed with other tragic stories in folklore, both real and literary, and of course certain asshats encouraged it to cover up the original origin of the forest's name since you can't stop people from calling it what they always have, but yeah, the origin does come from Wucai and Moxin. Though it has been so long that even if the Five Wise Immortal sages didn't make the effort to muddle it into folklore, people would've forgotten about it and done it themselves anyway

Hence the primordial part of the primordial forest of tragic lovers. Incidentally, it is also a famous destination for love-sick nobles/ poetic types to commit "romantic" double suicide inside of it.
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Big update coming in
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But you put that issue aside for now, a suitable punishment for harming your precious disciple will need time to ferment before it can be put into motion, and its not like the thousand lotus hall can refuse any demands or "suggestions" you may make to them about how to punish their witless student for being a twitchy idiot who shot Siwang for the grand crime of startling him. Oh he would pay, he would pay for every feather he ruffled! But you control your burning need for vengeance and wear a pleasant, demure mask or as close to one as you can manage while smelling your own disciples blood in the air, and turn to the elder who informed you of the change of conditions in the meeting you set up, which is irritating at best and insulting at worse.

She shivers when your eyes drift over her and she winces on reflex as you nod in her direction, acknowledging her words and existence.

"Then I will be further delayed, as I will need to fetch my second disciple" You say cordially, tapping a foot and flexing your fingers like they were claws to try and suppress the urge to slap whoever had sent an arrow through innocent Siwang's precious wing, since a slap from your hand while you're this pissed off would probably take off their head.

"Understood" Lian Tianhua answers for her, bowing her head with her hands folded in front of herself "I will accompany you on the journey to collect this disciple, and on the journey to the trial, to ensure our arrival is simultaneous and I am thus capable of standing at your side, explaining the reasons for your tardiness, as well as other shows of gratitude for the heroism you displayed this day, and the generosity and kindness you've shown to our humble hall"

None of the elders like that, but they bite their tongues and they bite their cheeks, throwing worried glances the way of their matriarch, as in their language she had just declared she was going to dress herself in fresh cuts of pork and skip into a tiger's lair during a dry season. But they do not question the decision or try to intercede on her behalf. Is it because they trust her judgement, or because she is more disposable than Luli, in the grand schemes of the sect. You frown, brushing the conspiratorial thoughts out of mind or at least into a far corner where they won't bother you or make you act rashly

"Second disciple" Siwang mutters, uninjured wing thrown over his face like a sleeved arm, sounding giddy behind his facade of stoicism, which is rapidly failing "Them, Master, I am to presume that I am the first of these two disciples"
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>>5907714

"It'll be a good learning experience for you, and I can think of no finer example of the magnanimity of magical beasts than yourself" You answer and applaud, leaving out the few exceptions to that fact of the quality of Siwang's character and morals, since it should be obvious that YOU are the pinnacle of Magnanimity amongst beasts and amongst humans "I expect you to use all of your erudition and wisdom to our causes benefit, and help me in bringing justice to the winter blossoming idiocy sect. But I also expect you to listen, watch, and Learn"

Siwang's eyes sparkle. He's heard the unspoken command hidden between the words you've spoken. 'I think if you'll attain human form, if you follow me, and see the justice and law of the cultivation world first hand'

"I understand, Lady Huanliuxue, I shall not disappoint your towering expectations for this most humble of disciples, and will mark this day in memory" He declares loudly, for all to hear, the screeching making more than a few cultivators cover their ears "And if all goes well, as it surely will, for justice is inescapable in the end And Karma will always punish wrongdoers, I shall finally entitle the cultivation path you guided me towards!"

"If you do well enough, I might gift you a name for it myself, the same honor I have given to Fu" You chuckle, amused and relieved by Siwang's enthusiasm so soon after being struck by an arrow, if the identity of his attacker is made known to you, you'll bring him a second gift at the end of the trial, a coward's hide to claw through

Siwang gasps, eyes wide and adoring as he bows and hops backwards a few steps

"This disciple is undeserving of such an accolade, lady huanliuxue" He chortles, clearly thinking he is very deserving of such an accolade after all of his diligent training, meditation and "charity work" across Chuan

"Fu? Of the two axes?" One of the younger of the male elders scoff, might be the one who was dragged into the floor, you didn't bother to remember their faces or voices "So the rumors are true then"

"How can they still be rumors when he's battered aside dozens of lesser cultivators, and lead the charge in the clash that broke an entire' sects back?" You asked, incredulously and honestly baffled that people are still thinking that Fu being your first disciple are mere rumors

"There have been few if any survivors from the battles he's supposedly taken part in, the massacre at Suiqi and the earlier claiming of the city that brought a descent of us immortals upon that mortal city" He says as sharply and scathingly as he can without having his tongue immediately torn from his mouth by you, Siwang and Lian Tianhua herself. You smirk, and decide that such a smug barb against you was the perfect prompt to reveal just how many cultivators you had taken prisoner since Xue Laohue beat his war drums and lead himself and many of his students directly to their own graves
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>>5907715

"That's because I take prisoners rather than order executions when I win a fight, unless they've done something to offend or piss me off, or they're already dead" You answer just as sharply and much more coldly, cowing the elder with your voice as Siwang clicks his beak threateningly, resisting the urge to flap his wings. You'd heal his injury once you were out of sight from prying eyes that might try and fail to mimic your healing techniques or else claim the spirit drugs you gave him were stolen from their supply.

"That changes things" The elder solemnly admits, after a moment of awkward silence that got Lian Tianhua coldly sweating like the rest of her sect, while her younger sister watches the exchange with a look of youthful admiration, clearly enjoying seeing the elders who were planning to sacrifice her get browbeaten, ear pulled, and treated like disobedient children

"Truly yours is a merciful nature" Tianhua compliments you with a light smile, looking earnestly impressed "I shall confirm the survival of these prisoners, since few of our fellow daoists will believe the words of a demonic beast"

"Ascended Beast" Luli poutily corrects, her sudden interjection confusing her sister like she had just sprouted a second head or a pair of handsome cat ears "She prefers to be called an ascended beast, or Magical beast"

"I..I see" The elder sister says haltingly, stunned by the younger's sudden surge of confidence "There is a difference isn't there"

"Not really, even if one of my kind doesn't hunt or eat human, you still call them demonic beasts and hunt them down, supposedly there is a difference, between those that have eaten human flesh and those that haven't, but like many things, our fellow daoists ignore it in favor for their own benefits" You venomously elucidate, pleasant smile now parted to show your teeth "Doesn't matter, as truthfully, there is no separation between man-eaters and the rest. Well besides their personality and ethics"

Siwang clicks his beak, very much wanting to start a discussion about those ethics, but instead he appeases his own obsession with lawful behavior and order by stating "It is one of the most obvious shows of injustice and hypocrisy from orthodox cultivation, Chuandapo may have poor choice in friends and be rather careless and clumsy, but she has done nothing to deserve the fate that awaited her without our master's timely intervention, and neither has Yujijiao, may her rest be peaceful and eternal"

"Forgive me if I've said something unpleasant or awakened bitter memories" Lian Tianhua says hurriedly

"Eh, I call myself a Demonic beast as often as not, I just expect people who know me to know what I am, besides I met Yujijiao as a ghost" You say with a lilt of laughter, to show Tianhua she hasn't offended you by speaking clumsily or needs to be so high strung "And thank you Luli, for correcting your sister before I could explain myself to her"
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>>5907717

Luli beams with pride and puffs out her chest, little hands on her hips.

"A ghost?" One of the disciples surrounding you asks

"I see" Tianhua says, sounding rather crafty as she absorbs the new information presented to her "Your arrow is one steeped in the breath of the wandering dead, it should be no surprise that you cohabitate with specters and phantoms. I would like to express, that the thousand Lotus hall does not hunt magical beasts, of any character..."

"But you buy their cores with the spirit stones you receive for your medicines and herbs" Siwang's interrupts, eyes judging and staring like he could see through her. Lian Tianhua audibly gulps and redirects her gaze to her shoes, while everyone else looks away

"Moving on" She deflects quickly "If I am to travel with you to meet this second disciple of yours, may I know their name? Perhaps their personage is already known to me, otherwise, it will make for good conversation fodder on the road"

"We can all fly" Siwang chirps, not really getting that she was using a turn of phrase when she said on the road, but that just makes for a good oppurtunity for him to learn more human common sense, you'll have Tianhua explain it to him on the trip back to your temple

"Ping. Former disciple of the Winter Blossoming wisdom sect, sent out to die during a blizzard that for once they didn't cause" You rapidly begin listing off the abridged version of Ping's history "Found him about to be sacrificed by a daoist temple turned cult, he hounded me as I traveled the wild places of the world, realized I wasn't a baby eating demon, nearly died, had his arm cursed when I saved him from a horrific, gruesome and memorable death, and he has been my disciple ever since. He makes a hobby of traveling around exorcising troublesome ghosts, its how he refines his cultivation and technique. That arm of his is much more a blessing than a curse"

"He also stopped his own heart with alchemy and tears it out when he wants to make a point" Siwang adds blithely "Or just to show off while drinking with Elder Brothers Feiqing and Lei"

There is a long, somber silence like the quite of a deep winter. Lian Tianhua, blinks slowly and wets her lips while every other member of the thousand lotus hall sect stare at the two of you in disbelief or else dread, except Luli who looks very interested about Ping's odd choice body refinements, which admittedly is fairly fashionable and impressive from your perspective

"I see" Tianhua says finally, breaking the silence "I have heard stories from the battlefields your sect has entered about warriors fighting while possessed by ghosts, I assume Ping is one of the causes for such wild rumors"

You smile widely, stretching the smile as far as it'll go on your face, to keep from saying that it is probably Fu, who they actually know about and might admire or at least respect as virtuous young man, who is the actual source for those stories, that aren't stories at all.
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>>5907719

"He is, despite his change in fashion and allegiance, of good, moral and upstanding character and he is righteous by nature" You explain a bit about Ping, to avoid having to approach the awkward misunderstanding of who exactly is often possessed by the vengeful and furious dead "He is one of my most accomplished disciples, and stands proudly in my favor. He also died once fighting Jingyu but that is neither here nor there"

"Died!?" Tianhua gasps, blinking as she tries to piece together the puzzle she imagines you've scattered before her "So he is a ghost as well"

"He got better" You answer with a shrug, leaving her reeling "Now, I'll tend to my disciple Siwang's wounds, and then I shall be ready to collect Ping, so if you need to make preparations, wash your face or choose who you'll leave in charge, you should do it all quickly"

"May I watch? I am fascinated by the mystery of what healing techniques and spells a heretic beast would have developed in the wild taboo outside of the sanctity of the orthodox laws" The too curious for his own good elder asks, shuffling meekly up to your side like a girl confessing her love to a valiant martial artist. You stare long and hard at him, until he skitters away, before you lead Siwang out of the entrance of the hall, and into shadows you can deepen to hide the scarlet healing armor as you treat his minor though unforgiveable injury.

Lian Tianhua it terms out, is quite the gossip and once she is away from the elders who serve under her, she is willing to discuss all manner of things, forbidden and not. And more impressively than that, she is actually a good conversation partner, she doesn't easily get on your nerves, is unfailingly polite and respectful, and sure the praise she heaps upon you does become bland and flavorless after awhile, but you did just save her little sisters life so you can forgive her for being a little too worshipful of your majesty. The insights and gossip she shares with you are as captivating as they are intriguing and though the trip is short you learn a lot about rare spiritual plants and their preparations and uses in alchemy and medicine, as well as some delightful and juicy rumors about well known and respected figures in the sects of Chuan. All of which is useful.

You also learn she's a fan of Hare and Hunting Hound, though for whatever reason thinks Piao Tùzi should end up with a minor antagonist who you may have slightly based off of your own mother. Respectfully of course. Maybe you'll invite her to the book reading club, just to see how Yuyi reacts to another immortal barging into her home.

'I should stop by her house anyway, to play with Yanyu, Huian, Ya, and Jiao. Maybe I'll introduce Luli to them, they may be a few years younger than her, but...wait how old are they? How old is Luli?' you ponder as you drift lazily through the air like a leaf carried through the wind.
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>>5907720

Tianhua sits inside of a mortar large enough to crush corpses, something Monu and demonic alchemists own as well, and Siwang is scouting ahead.

You think on that now burning question, until your party of three reaches Suiqi, and Tianhua insists to make a stop there and spends some time gawking at the wolf sized housecats lounging around and patrolling the streets, the buddhist warrior monks marching with them, and the cat mask wearing daoists following behind them. You actually have to shake her to get her moving again once she sees the first new patrol, and she explains she thought she was having a fever dream.

Her first encounter with Tiexingege's kids is worse, for her, since she does more than freeze when she sees the giant black iron army ants, and instead screams her head off at the sight of them. Which attracts Tiexingege herself, who you wrestle into turning into her human form to keep Tianhua from cowering and her hair from turning white from fear. It turns out, the head of a gardening sect is terrified of insects which is...weird, all things you know about plants, insects and pollination considered. Tiexingege, despite being in theory weaker than Tianhua, terrifies her and bullies her without really meaning to. Jionghuagege shows up, mercifully in her human form which she seems to prefer, very unlike her sister, but not so mercifully, a squad of her daughters acting as her handmaidens, since Jiong-Jiong decided to force ascend all of her hive to be like her, causes the matriarch to faint.

So the short sighting seeing trip into the "Huan flavored Suiqi" as Lian Tianhua so chummily put it, is extended for a few hours as you wait for her to wake up and recover, and you have to track down Siwang, who sensing the presence of his rival, decide to spar with Yinying. Or that's what your self appointed royal guard and the windswift judge described it as, you'd call it profesional hide and seek.

And Tiexingege, misunderstanding, or not carrying that Tianhua thinks her and Jionghuagege's kids will eat her alive, keeps her five ascended daughters guarding you and her at all times.

"W..w..what are their names" She asks you, trying to be civil while clinging to your arm. She's gotten tears and snot all over your sleeve. She trembles, trying not to look at them as they march under their mother's orders, as she sits cross legged on top of the head of One

"One, two, three, four and five" You answer dully, shooting a pleading look at Tie-Tie, begging her wordlessly to actually name her daughters instead of just numbering them. She doesn't need to be like Jionghuagege, who named all her daughters before she turned them into demonic beasts with an array you really don't understand even with your expert knowledge of the creation of demonic beasts, but she at least should give them proper names. Alas, Tiexingege doesn't notice your silent plea, nor does she acknowledge Tianhua quietly asking her to please go away.

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>>5907723

The stop at Fu's village, is much more relaxing and pleasant for Lian Tianhua, who is amazed by Jionghuagege's work in creating the giant flowers that now dot the country-side around it, and again, she delays your arrival to the trial by insisting to meet the prisoners kept there, something she didn't have the mind to ask in Suiqi but that's understandable as she nearly wet herself with how terrified she was of the Geges' broods, so she wasn't in the state of mind to be curious after said curiosity got her into her waking nightmare.

Ju of course, having been taught bad manners by Tie-Tie, and Tie-Tie deciding to travel down with you, which meant Jiong-Jiong did as well, acts every bit the delinquent around Tianhua, trying to intimidate her and treating her like a captured enemy princess much to the amusement of Tie-Tie and adoration of Tianhua, who becomes immediately fond of and fawns the girl with only slightly less affection than her little sister Luli.

This means she shortly meets Shu, Fu and Yuyi, but she doesn't get past introductions before you drag her off, so she can meet with the prisoners, primarily Tian Mei, who is still locked up inside your temple and stop making you even later for the trial you demanded!. You have a change of plans immediately, as Tianhua reacts...poorly to the Qi of heaven and earth surrounding your temple and seeping into the landscape. The ghostly yin Qi is intense, if anything, your swift ascent through Core formation and breakthrough into uncharted territory of the golden core stage had made it stronger. That or the ghosts beneath your temple and catacomb kingdom have gotten more active after they fought Qiang, Ping and Fu while you cultivated in deep closed crypt meditation. Either way, she immediately falls ill from the density of the ghostly Qi, proving herself sensitive to it since Jionghuagege can come and go as she pleases without so much as faltering in her step!

So instead, you have Fu fetch Tian Mei and Ping.

Initially, Mei thinks you've captured Tianhua and tries to explain that being your prisoner isn't bad at all. Once that misunderstanding is cleared up, and they've had a short, private chat, you introduce her to Ping

She cannot stop staring at his ghoul arm, pale than the rest of him. So much so she doesn't notice his delightfully macabre band of prayer beads made out of human teeth and bone, or the odd scar across his bare chest. Wait. You blink and stare at his bare chest yourself, intently.

'Jingyu also didn't like to wear shirts, he wasn't wearing one when Qiang or I met him, and now Ping keeps his robe open to show off his self mutilation, what's up with that, is it something in the water of the wells of the winter blossoming wisdom sects temple?' You wonder as you gaze scholarly at his bare torso, noting that he's put on some muscle since you first met him.

"Master" He gasps, turning away and blushing, acting very girlishly as your curious stare turns murderous
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>>5907726

"Not like that, I'm not my mother" You snarl, smacking him on the head gently "Get your head out of the gutter"

"It did look like you were..." Tian Mei began before thinking better of it

"Ping" Fu sighs, rubbing his brow "You know her standards are not so appallingly low, do not fall into unrealistic fantasies"

"I wasn't, brother Fu" Ping snaps, blushing so much a bit of color returns to his ghoulish arm, his long white hair whipping as he turns to face his martial brothers, indignant and embarrassed "I simply misunderstood her expression, and recalled the...habits of her mother and elder sister, I was terrified not excited, I assure you"

"Why were you scared, huh~!?" You and Fu drawl thuggishly nearly in unison as Ping grinds and gnash his teeth.

"You are terrifying, master" he says, wisely saying no more than he needs to "And so is your mother"

Fu snorts, stopping himself from saying something rude you'd slap him for

"You must be Ghost arm Ping" Tianhua says, peaceably lifting up one hand to stop the argument from continuing but with a pained look in her eye that screams 'Stop talking about it' "I am to understand you will be accompany us to the trial?"

"I am?" Ping asks curiously, glancing to you, you answer with a nod "It seems that I am. As a former student of the winter blossoming wisdom sect, I have every reason and obligation to air our their dirty secrets, and can provide a unique perspective on the matter, surely, this is why Lady Huanliuxe chose me to join her, I presume Fu is the first?"

"Siwang" Fu answers bluntly "Its for the best, I might start taking heads if they insulted our master, or lose control of myself to my friends in my shadow. You and Siwang are much cooler headed than I am"

"Siwang once strung an attempted rapist up by his entrails, spreading them out across at least a dozen trees. It took him days to die" Ping answers, making Tianhua cough and shoot an unreadable look towards the Owl she knows as polite and generally cheerful boy

"I'd have done worse" Fu says darkly, not making it clear if it'd be through his own choice, the choice of the grudges he plays host to, or some combination "Much worse"

"Fair enough" Ping says, noticing the same, and gently backing away from the subject with a nod, before he turns back to Tianhua, bitterness and resentment boiling up inside his eyes and a haze of grudge energy darkening his face "And I am to understand, you are the famous Lian Tianhua, who my master rid of the evil known as Jingyu, as I know she would not allow something that disgusts her to exist beneath the same skies as her once she got it in her mind to exterminate them, no matter the thoughts or wishes of others"
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>>5907728

"She did, we were unaware of his presence until she appeared and informed us of it, and made us notice the strangeness of the length of time some of our disciple's had spent in our gardens" She says chokingly, glancing between Fu and Ping, "Fortunately, she had arrived soon enough to save my little sister Luli, but that monster still took from us two rising stars and rare talents"

"You have my condolences" Ping says with a bow "If I had been informed of that wretch's presence and activities, I would've gladly subdued him myself"

"And mine" Fu adds with a nod, arms crossed and two axes stuck in the ground in front of them "And you've said that a hundred times, I thought you got over it. Our leader does what she wants when she wants, it's her privilege"

"I have made my peace with it, doesn't mean I can't complain about being denied my chance for a rematch and vengeance for all the people I once knew who Jingyu butchered like pigs" Ping answers calmly, hands pressed together in a monk like fashion

"Thank you, your teacher did mention that you had history with that devil" Tianhua says carefully, trying her best not to upset or reopen Ping's wounds

"Did she tell you he killed me?" he asks curiously

"Ping, you know our master, of course she did, she probably explained it in all its grisly detail about how you exploded him with his own strike. Remember it was a mutual kill, nothing to be ashamed about" Fu says cheerfully, patting Ping on his cursed arm's shoulder

"She didn't mention it was mutual" Tianhua says quietly "Your martial brother is right, that is something to be proud of"

"Didn't matter. We both got back up" Ping says gloomily "Do you know how insulting that is? He killed four other cultivators that day, nearly killed the true companion I found in my hunt for him, and succeeded in killing me. That I pulled myself back from that edge, doesn't matter. Cause he did as well, with contemptuous ease! Like he was turning over his hand! He birthed himself again! I may be hurt I wasn't allowed the chance to take him down, but I must admit, that only Huanliuxue or the grand elder of our sect could hope to put a permanent end to that cockroach!"

"I think Qiang could figure it out, she has a plan to kill everyone she meets, she met him" Fu says flippantly, rubbing his chin in thought "Maybe Baifenchi as well"

"I am sorry that you encountered such a beast, and were unable to end him rightly. I regret I was unable to face him, to notice him until he had killed two of my students" Tianhua sympathizes, placing a hand over her heart

"Feiqing could if he had a forge handy" Ping says with a chuckle "And I thank you for your sympathy, but must beg your pardon, elder, to collect my travel necessities"

"Yeah Feiqing could, I could've probably" Fu says loudly to continue the conversation without moving from your side "Tiexingege as well"

"Only because she'd tear him to itty bitty pieces!" Ping yells back at the top of his lungs
Cont
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>>5907730

"Interesting disciples you have, he wasn't what I expected" Tianhua giggles "I was expecting some half decayed revenant when you talked about him, he's actually rather handsome, even with that unnerving arm of his"

Fu pouts, glancing away but says nothing.

"Oh, and Young Fu is exactly as noble and gentlemanly as he is in the stories told about him" She adds with a familiar, monu-ish twinkle in her eyes

A ghost of a smile reveals itself from Fu's pouting.

It turns out, among the necessities Ping needs to travel includes his friend Qinxin. You decide to ignore his presence, but only after Ping informs you that it was the least he could convince Monu to allow you to travel to the conclave with, talking her down from first going herself, to then sending every foundation establishment member of the sect with you, to Xuebai and Yujijiao, before he haggled her down to Qinxin.

Who you can safely ignore like you always do.

The trip to the trial in the middle of Chuan, is much shorter and get delayed twice by Tianhua being curious. The basin of a thousand rivers and lakes, is so deep its waters are wine dark, lending credence to the legend of a lush goddess dropping her wine cask onto Chuan one day, the same goddess you've usurped as the idol of most of Chuan. And like Monu told you years ago, you can sense from its edge that the waters are rich with Qi

And there is something, leagues down, where the pressure must be excruciating, that has a trace of Heavenly Qi. You only recognize it from the sea of ambient spiritual energy of the purest waters, because you snuck into Heaven and got nearly blinded by the Celestial breath of the nine heavens. So that means that legend is true, and proves your theory that most gods are natural fuck ups who got lucky or were born divine.

"They should be here" Lian Tianhua says, more to calm her own nerves than to assure you both hadn't wasted your time "This was the location we all agreed upon"

She tugs on her hair, plucking petals from the flowers she grows in it while Ping kneels down to examine the cold, crisp waters

"Lots of bodies sunk in this lake" He muses idly, making Tianhua wince and shake her head

"Every lake has bodies in it, every land has murderers clever enough to sink the evidence of their crimes" She argues for her own peace of mind

"This is a lot of bodies for a lake. I think the stories of its waters seeping into the underworld may be true" Ping remarks ponderously as he runs his pale arm over the waters

"I will ask Chuandapo to retrieve them" Siwang declares after a few moment of intense thought "So they may be given the proper rites and laid to rest"

"Odd then that the ghosts aren't rising up across its waters like morning mist" You muse idly, hands clasped behind your back "Maybe the second legend of the basin is also true"

"Also true?' Tianhua questions, your eyes gleam as you decide to allow that remark to become another layer of mystique around yourself.
Cont
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>>5907733

It takes half an hour, judging from the incense stick Ping lights after you get tired of waiting, but eventually an unfamiliar cultivator in robes marking him as a disciple of a sect you don't recognizes flies out from the center of the lake. His eyes scan over all four..er five of you, looking for a bloodsoaked cat the size of a dragon with a dead cultivator stuck between her teeth, instead he finds a world upending beauty, smiling pleasantly at him

Or instead the shimmering white piece of rope he's holding in his hands.

An immortal binding rope. A rarity in this era, but something common in the past. A magic tool to suppress the cultivation of any who is bound by it, one of the few ways to trap a cultivator without crippling them. Sometimes used to allow seniors to humilate their juniors by lowering themselves to their level before beating the crap out of them. It is Thin like spider silk. And you know spider silk, most of your clothes are made of it. You also notice the disgust he looks at Siwang and Ping with, and especially Qinxin. He at least has enough brains to now not to show his feelings for you on his face

"We did not agree upon this" Tianhua says, a voice as cold as ice, outrage rumbling like thunder in her otherwise delicate voice "This is an outrageous insult and show of cowardice from the sects of Chuan, whom the heretic Huanliuxue approached and offered a chance to save their misguided fellows who attacked her and her sect unprovoked and caused suffering not only in their territories but many of the territories claimed by their fellow temples"

"The demon reduced the strongest defensive magic master in the world of cultivation, not just Chuan Province, to so much red dust" The man whose hair is slicked back, giving him a weasel or ratty look that is only magnified by his buck teeth "The demon has spawned more of her ilk and lead them to possess human hosts, the demon consorts with hell bound spirit, the demon eats human flesh"

"She is Huanliuxue!" Tianhua shouts back, wagging her head and her hips "And she is no demon, she's just a somewhat macabrely minded girl. Huanliuxue helped the thousand lotus hall in its time of greatest need, Huanliuxue has saved my sister"

"The demon probably caused the ills that befell you" the man says drolly like he was a bureaucrat signing the deaths of an entire region during a time on famine without so much as looking at the edict before him "The demon has brought one of the murderous invaders with it. The Demon cannot be trusted"

'Fu was right not to come along, he'd be half way to beating this smug asshole to death if he were here. Even Ping looks ready to rip this arrogant bastard's head off' you think as you tilt your head and smile

"The demon is right here" You mock him, imitating his voice as greasily and whiny as your own melodious and elegantly smooth voice can manage

He glares at you, you grin cheekily back
Cont
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>>5907734

"You're all just too scared to meet her with the same trust she's given to you" Tianhua huffs, crossing her arms and unleashing her meanest big sister glare at the talking piece of garbage. It doesn't work. her face just isn't shaped for looking intimidating.

"The demon will not be allowed entrance or participation in the proceedings, unless they heed and respect the guidelines their betters have agreed upon" He says apathetically, disdaining every word he has to speak to you and looking increasingly furious with Tianhua "And this senior should realize how her defense of this demon reflects upon her reputation and good standing, perhaps, Senior has been enchanted by her wicked sorceries"

You tilt your head further to the side and sigh.

How far could you kick him if you really put all of your strength and effort into sending him flying?

"I was not informed of any decision to bind the person who, in endless mercy, chose not to slaughter her enemies, and instead trust their peers to settle upon a suitable punishment for their misjudgment, misrule, abuse of those beneath their protections, and unprovoked attack upon her" Tianhua argues as you stretch open your hands and clench them into fists, imagining throttling the smug dogfucker whose floating before you. Actually drowning him would be more satisfying, wouldn't it?

"You're treating her like she's the one on trial" She harshly adds

"She has committed many crimes and evils, that the winter blossoming wisdom sect also caused suffering in their attempts to repress the evil she embodies" The man begins before he suddenly sent flying back, looking very ungracious as he goes flipping through the air

You look to Siwang, smug even by your own standards

"A freak gale" He defends himself as you smile proudly at him "Such things often occur in places where the air is so dense with spiritual energy"

"The demon will not join the proceedings unless it submits to be sealed!" The man shouts back, flustered and clearly embarrassed now

"You...You!" Tianhua rages, to insulted on your behalf to even form words
Cont
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>>5907737

What do you do about these demands thrust upon, Huanliuxue?

>Reply by simply grabbing the rude worm by his throat, and use his life as a token to barge your way in, unbound (Haste/ strength trial. DC 100)

>Send Tianhua to argue against this outrageous demand, and wait on the shore, and not so subtly imply if they begin without you, you'll send them all and the waters of the basin to spray in the faces of the nine heavens/

>Accept and let them bind you with the damn rope. They've made the mistake in assuming you can only defend yourself with the strengths and powers granted by cultivating Qi. They've overlooked your beastial evolutions and natural cunning, among other things.

>"Ping, kick his ass for me, I don't want to dirty my foot doing it myself"

>Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again [Option Unlocked by possessing Tier 0 Golden Core or being in middle stage of the golden core realm with a tier 3 to 1 core, or Late stage tier 4 or 5]

>Write in
>>
>>5907739
>Accept then melt the fucking rope.
>Inform the assembled masters. "I will make myself very clear. I summoned you to place on trial the worms who have ruined Chuan's land, abandoned it's people and cast away it's face in an attempt to slay me, all because of a mortal spat between their mortal families. They are on trial, because I wish to be benevolent, as a good daoist ought. NEVER MISTAKE MY BENEVOLENCE FOR WEAKNESS OR RESTRAINT FOR HESITATION. Attempt this sort of duplicitous action again and I shall be impolite. Now, to the Trial."
>>
I wonder if the thousand lotus hall would be able to tell us anything about the plant core, of course we could also ask Luli. That said we should keep the peach a secret unless Luli manages to join us

>>5907739
Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again [Option Unlocked by possessing Tier 0 Golden Core or being in middle stage of the golden core realm with a tier 3 to 1 core, or Late stage tier 4 or 5]
>>
>>5907739
>Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again [Option Unlocked by possessing Tier 0 Golden Core or being in middle stage of the golden core realm with a tier 3 to 1 core, or Late stage tier 4 or 5]
Not a great start. But at least it indicates that they intent to shame more then assassinate us. I'm guessing the rave reviews we are getting with the common folk is upsetting their feelings, so they want to take this chance to nurse their bruised egos.
Unless they are so fatally dim that they actually believe we would willingly walk in there with this rope intact for more than 3 seconds, but I'm gonna assume there are at least a few elder cultivators in there that have more than 2 braincells to rub together, who realize that that would never work. A risky assumption to make, I know.
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>>5907764
Amog men, Lu bu.
Among horses, Red Hare.
Among cultivators, Huanleiaxue
>>
>>5907739
>Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again [Option Unlocked by possessing Tier 0 Golden Core or being in middle stage of the golden core realm with a tier 3 to 1 core, or Late stage tier 4 or 5]
>>
>>5907739
>>Reply by simply grabbing the rude worm by his throat, and use his life as a token to barge your way in, unbound (Haste/ strength trial. DC 100)

>>5907764
What makes you think they don't plan to sentence us to death?
The rope would make that a lot easier.
They already have in mind that we are their lesser and are already guilty.
We don't know the DC for breaking that rope, but I rather not gamble.
We are the ones who called for this meeting, but we did not agree to be bounded.
We are going inside if he likes it or not, if he had a problem he should've fixed his attitude.
The age where our kind is bound and slaughtered by the orthodox died with the leader of the winter blossom sect.
They aught to understand the new precedent. If they have a problem, they can air it out in battle. There is a limit to diplomacy and mercy.
>>
>>5907778
Grandfather didn't mention a DC for breaking the rope, so I assumed that the action was automatic, and would be instant when we decided to break free.
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>>5907779
if it is within our means, then I am willing to change my vote to breaking it right after entering.

That said I must ask Grandfather to clarify us in the the ways of the Dao of binding catgirls and know if we are safe.
>>
>>5907739
>Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again [Option Unlocked by possessing Tier 0 Golden Core or being in middle stage of the golden core realm with a tier 3 to 1 core, or Late stage tier 4 or 5]
>>
>>5907780
There isn't a DC because there's really no effort on Huan's part, because her cultivation base is just comprised of that much Qi, lower tier golden cores would have to role for it, but since a tier 0 towers above a tier 1, Huan busting the rope is just her normal levels of Qi overloading its ability to keep it locked away and her powers seal, like what happened to Monu when her cultivation was crippled/ broken.

Its the method that makes it not require a trial, as trying to damage it through brute force and not just excessive amounts of Qi, would require a roll but be impossible for anyone beneath the ropes maker level of cultivation.
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>>5907796
I see, thank you for enlightening this Junior.
>>5907778
I change this vote to
>>5907756
Supporting this one.
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>>5907739
>Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again
>>
>>5907739
We have come in peace and they threaten us with death, imprisonment and war. Based solely on hearsay, rumors, and ignorance. We SHOULD break this guys fucking legs for this. As well as every one of these arrogant pricks here. They should be throwing themselves at our feet just for not killing them.

I am truly disgusted by these walking piles of brainless filth.
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>>5907868
Let's accept the binding rope, destroy it for a power play, and once the court is finished we demand that we ourselves punish the guy with a slap that can cave in half of his skull. Or perhaps do it after the power play so they can't say shit.
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>>5907739
>Accept and let them bind you with the damn rope. They've made the mistake in assuming you can only defend yourself with the strengths and powers granted by cultivating Qi. They've overlooked your beastial evolutions and natural cunning, among other things.
Let them underestimate us. We'll reveal our true strength when the time is right.
>>
>>5907739
>Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again [Option Unlocked by possessing Tier 0 Golden Core or being in middle stage of the golden core realm with a tier 3 to 1 core, or Late stage tier 4 or 5]
It's funny and it sends a message.
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>>5907982
>tfw the giant cat that casts spells and does spooky shit is still a giant cat
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>>5907739
>Accept and let them bind you with the damn rope. They've made the mistake in assuming you can only defend yourself with the strengths and powers granted by cultivating Qi. They've overlooked your beastial evolutions and natural cunning, among other things.
>>
>>5907745
Support
>>
>>5907739
>Accept and let them bind you with the damn rope. They've made the mistake in assuming you can only defend yourself with the strengths and powers granted by cultivating Qi. They've overlooked your beastial evolutions and natural cunning, among other things.

If we can break it anytime then we can get much more information out of them, such as their true intentions, by acting powerless until we've heard enough.
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>>5907739
Seconding my fellow junior's write-in here >>5908101. I am trying to imagine the legendary sort of salty run-back these people try to pull after getting caught trying to pardon the WBW sect's crimes-- believing themselves to be safe because we're "bound". Let's see what they think they can get away with, and then turn the tables. They'll lose so much face they'll turn into Noppera-bō in embarrassment.
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>>5908101
+1
>>
>>5907739
>>5907986
I'll add anon's >>5908101 pretend we're helpless to dig for information to my vote. It's useful and would make the situation even funnier.
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>>5908101
Supporting. Give a wink or something to our disciples so they know to play along.
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>>5907745
my pride battles with my cunning, but this junior accepts that it'd be funny as shit to do.

Changing to>>5908101
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>>5907739
>Accept with the full intention of breaking the rope at the first appropriate moment.
But also:
>"Ping, get the rope from this murine moron and kick his ass."

I'm not opposed to the rope trick but i really can't stand the smugness this worm will have in his face when we agree.

Or we immediately break the rope which would be just as funny when the guy realizes the entity of how fucked he is.
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>>5908175
Nah I wanna see the faces of all the naysayers when they realize how much trouble all their shit talking has gotten them into.
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>>5908179
Pretend to be a pig to eat a tiger indeed.

We will see clearly the face of those who can listen without being threatened, and those who do not.
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>>5907739
>Accept and let them bind you with the damn rope. They've made the mistake in assuming you can only defend yourself with the strengths and powers granted by cultivating Qi. They've overlooked your beastial evolutions and natural cunning, among other things.
I hate it.
>>
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>>5908179
Have we mastered blood Qi and body transformation enough to transform only parts of our body? Because I would really like to flash a big sharp-teethed cat smile when we drop the facade.
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>>5907739
>Accept and let them bind you with the damn rope. They've made the mistake in assuming you can only defend yourself with the strengths and powers granted by cultivating Qi. They've overlooked your beastial evolutions and natural cunning, among other things.
>>
>>5908101
+1
>>
>>5907739
>Accept and let them bind you with the damn rope... until you get enough information.
It'll be funny and show we had enough mercy not beat them to a pulp the moment we walked in.
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>>5908649
Oh I'm sure we're in the Blood Qi realm of doing bodyhorror stuff. The problem would be trying to hide every trace of us using the Blood Qi so they don't know we have it and it's not just some side-effect of us killing people and having something fucked up in ourselves
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>>5907739
>Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again [Option Unlocked by possessing Tier 0 Golden Core or being in middle stage of the golden core realm with a tier 3 to 1 core, or Late stage tier 4 or 5]
>>
Think this is a new record of number of votes in an update. Ending the vote and tallying its result now.

Accept, but the moment you get to wherever they're holding the trial, use the size of your cultivation base and potency of your imperious aura to melt the ropes in a silent threat to every sect present to NEVER try this sort shit with you again:9
-Inform the assembled masters. "I will make myself very clear...etc:1

Accept and let them bind you with the damn rope. They've made the mistake in assuming you can only defend yourself with the strengths and powers granted by cultivating Qi. They've overlooked your beastial evolutions and natural cunning, among other things.:12

"Ping, get the rope from this murine moron and kick his ass.": 1

So you'll let them bind and tie you with the rope, deciding to pretend to be powerless to gather information/ See their true intentions & character and get them to underestimate you, very much pretending to be a pig to eat a tiger

update will arrive shortly

>>5907868
Now you're thinking like a cultivator

>>5907999
Exactly!
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>>5910334
扮猪吃老虎 moment
>>
Your left hand twitches, the tendons that would extend claws contracting as the ones that would pull its fingers into a choking vice grip pull back against them. It would be all too easy to make this smug piece of shit choke to death on his own blood, and it would be all too satisfying to put this arrogant young master who vastly overestimates where he is placed on the food chain in his proper place. But that would be uncouth, the actions of a beast who doesn't know anything beyond their instincts, who squanders their sapience and higher intellect by continuing to live as a wild, lawless animal unaware of the wider world. And more importantly it'd be foolish. Oh your pride is yowling for blood, and you have every intention of extracting every drop of it you can from this insolent brat when you smear his broken body across Chuan like the world's messiest painting brush, but you have only survived this long because you know when to reject your sense of pride and bury your dignity. It is wisdom that has gotten you far in life, and even lifted you beyond the limits of the nine heavens.

Cold, calculating cunning, the same sense of wariness that kept you hidden from the wider world of cultivation until you could pose a real threat to the orthodox sects. It is best to be prudent for now, to have some level of discretion and restraint. Sure a show of overwhelming power to cow the idiots who are so outrageously conceited they'd put the victim on trial before the accused, would be satisfying and less damaging to one's pride, ego and face. But doing so now wouldn't be wise, flaunting one's strength might scare off monkey's but a cornered rat will use its fang's against even the most fearsome of mouser if cornered. Revealing the true extent and brilliance of your cultivation may be guileful later on during the proceedings, but for now, acting weak to get these cowering old men and proud young masters to lower their defenses and underestimate the magnificent and great you is the best course of action you can take. Acting Low Key and Lesser than you are, beneath your station.

Oh how humiliating it is for a future empress to allow herself to be chained, for a Wild Princess to allow a leash to be hoisted over her neck, but this loss of face and shame shall be repaid a hundred fold. Especially on the toady messenger boy they sent to deliver the demands like he was your social superior and senior as a daoist. Oh his suffering would be legendary even in the depths of the yellow springs! But you maintain a pleasant, demure even, facade and a gentle, compliant smile, fluttering your eyelashes as you pretend to ponder your decision in a proper ladylike fashion. Acting with such modestness and humility feels like drinking a drought of your mother's deadliest poisons, some of which you're carrying on you now.
Cont
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>>5910592

That they asked you to submit to being bound at all, shows just how witless and uninformed these representatives and the sects they hail from are, especially about your abilities and achievements. Which is a great boon for you. The less someone knows about you, the lies they will believe about you can be much more wild and outrageous and the truth can be obscured and hidden much more effortlessly. And they seem to have forgotten, in face of your terrifying display of might that was melting Xue Laohue into steam, that even with your cultivation locked and sealed away, you are still an ox sized cat most of the time whose blood is saturated with moon dust and astral energies. And from how this brat has been referring to you, they expect a feral, dim witted and moronic animal that can barely piece together a sentence rather than the towering intellect you are. They are entirely defenseless to your cunning and sharp wit.

Raising up a hand, you stop Ping or Siwang from speaking out of Turn or launching an attack at the messenger, glancing at them with a relaxed smile to show them you have every thing under control and have a plan already in motion to turn this outrageous demand into a benefit and advantage instead of the restraint and danger it is meant to be. Only a fool with more air between his ears than brains would think a chained tiger still couldn't bite of their hand if they tempt it.

"Then so shall it be, I submit to being bound, tied up and wrapped in that Immortal Binding Rope, its owner should be honored I am raising the value of his family's heirloom by deigning to allow it to press against my flawless skin" You serenely answer, not entirely forsaking your sense of pride and imperial dignity, and not mentioning you plan to shred the treasure until it couldn't even stop a worm from using any Qi it might've absorbed through eating dirt "And you should be grateful I am feeling unusually lenient today, Boy!"

"I will bind my master and seal her immaculate cultivation and resplendent sea of Qi" Ping states, shooting you a concerned but trusting look, asking silently if you're sure you want to risk so much on a plan only you know the full extent of, your response is a cat like smile oozing with confidence "As I am her disciple, and the only one present with hands to work the rope, the responsibility is naturally mine to take, as no other man would be permitted to even so much as brush against her accidentally!"

The messenger's narrow, triangular, thuggish and scheming rat eyes alight with pique and offense against an imagined slight. In truth he wouldn't under ordinary circumstances be allowed to breath the same air as you, trembling like steam is about to flow out of his ears.

"A demon's disciple cannot be trusted to properly bind their master, a heretic's nature is one of treachery and deceit" He declares with an ostentatious flick of his sleeve and an even smugger, self satisfied expression on his face
Cont
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>>5910594

"Then I shall take the rope and tie her, as I while I am not her disciple, I am an acquaintance of her. It would be unsightly if a man were to rope up a young woman, especially one as fine as jade, an ethereal fairy like Huanliuxue" Lian Tianhua interjects hopefully, trying more to preserve your feminine dignity and pride as a woman than the pride you have as a cultivator or beast

"This senior is too close with the demon, and may have fallen beneath its spell, and I am unaware of the Thousand Lotus Hall practicing any sealing techniques" The man says, flicking his eyes contemptuously over his better who had just offered her hand to pull him out of the grave he was digging for himself, but as his eyes settled on you and narrow hungrily, lecherously as he looked you from scalp to heel and actually took a moment to admire the transcendent beauty of your body and fairy like face, he froze.

You tilt your head back and sigh, hoping that this idiot brat isn't stupid enough to actually try what that slavering, predatory look on his face makes you dread he will.

"I was ordered to bring the demon bound by this rope, this responsibility was mine and mine alone, whether the demon submitted to the will of her betters or struggled" he says boisterously, all puffed up with his chest lifted, looking disgustingly giddy and enthused as he steps down, not realizing if you did "Struggle" his corpse would've been spread across all corners of Chuan by now "Hold out your hands, beast"

You give him one last chance to make his eventually death not torturous beyond the comprehension of a tadpole like himself, releasing a wave of killing intent his way and affixing him with a murderous glare. But, alas, the man is too consumed by lust at the chance of being actually able to touch a woman, let alone one as peerlessly beautiful as yourself, to notice that he is making a mistake that will be preserved in history through horror stories and cautionary tales

"Be quick about it, I grow bored easily" You threaten, but he is to transfixed by the scenic view of the twin peaks on your chest now that he's right in front of you to listen to the second warning, you in all your mercy have given him, maybe Anjing-Yinshi would enjoy sucking him dry over a decade or two.

Roughly he grabs your wrists and snickering replies snarkily "I must be thorough to ensure the demon does not slip from its bindings". His cheek are a gross shade of red if such a thing can exist, and you swear you saw steam rising from his nose as he takes you hands and pulls them behind you, setting them against the small of your back. And the pervert has the gall to squeeze your buttocks, you do not give him the satisfaction of yelping and are to enraged to blush.

Tianhua moves to slap him, and Ping is counting the beads on his prayer talisman, staring at the precise location of the lecherous pig's heart in his chest while Siwang just glares, expression unreadable beyond a stark and murderous fury
Cont
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>>5910595

"Demons are tricksters, I had to check her for hidden weapons" he sneers, squeezing the other cheek as he moves the rope around your wrists and secures them to your waist. You could wiggle out of this with only your natural flexibility, since even when you're a human girl, you can contort yourself about as well as you can as a monstrous cat.

He runs a hand down your thigh as he pulls the rope up your front, leaving your legs mercifully unbound as he leans against you but wisely keeps his hips pushed back in the other direction as he lifts the ropes up higher, weaving it between your cleavage.

'No, A spider demon is too gentle a predator for scum like him' You decide furiously, remaining silent and stone faced as he squeezes one of your breasts like he was checking a peach for bruises 'Maybe I'll bring Jingyu back out and let him play with him, or hand him over to Xuebai. No, Monu. She knows how to make some truly suffer as they die and how to extend their death for ages and ages'

"You know, I have quiet the sway in my sect, if you become my woman, I'll pull some strings to make sure you get out of this alive" He whispers raspily in your ear, feverish with desire

And you laugh. And laugh harder at the expression of indignation he makes when you laugh in his face. As infuriating and disgusting as he's being, that is just too funny not to laugh at. The mere thought is so ridiculous it makes you laugh yourself sick.

He slaps you. Your laughter stops and you expression steels. Stars fill your eyes and something beyond rage fills your heart.

'Oh, Monu's gentle touch is too good for him. I'll just remind him what cat's do to cheeky little mice' you think as you start to pick yourself up of the ground, licking the blood dripping down your nose off with an unaffected smile 'If I can catch this mouse before those three do'

"Know your place bitch!" He whines, standing over you to try and mend his broken apart ego, grabbing for your hair before Ping grabs hold of his wrist

"Touch her again, and I shall show you exactly why heretics are feared, cur" He says, voice as cold as ice as you flip your feet around, roll back and hop to your feet "Such filthy hands soiling my master's silken hair, would best to be cut off, what I shall remove for your earlier transgression, shouldn't be said"

"You dare, I am..." The boisterous fool begins before he shrivels and shrinks as every blade of grass along the shore is torn from the ground and floated in the air, razor edges gleaming "I am..."

"Unimportant" You drawl through your aching jaw, dulcet tone more threatening than a cloud of grass turned into Qi infused flechettes or a dead arm gripping his tightly enough to crush diamonds "Lead us to our fellow daoists, if you would, Unimportant"
Cont
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>>5910600

"You cheeky little" he gapes and wheezes, tears in his eyes as he looks around and realizes none of the connections that made him think so big of his worthless self are around to defend him "Fine, I will deign to escort the demon harlot"

"You should be grateful my master's deigns and whims to be merciful, for the moment" Ping warns as Siwang just watches, one eye twitching as he rotates his head this way and that, feeling perhaps for the first time the true depths rage and can disgust can sink to, feeling twisted emotions and a yearning for vengeance few beasts can

You smile. At least one good thing came out of that humiliation. Unimportant remains silent as he leaves you to be carried like a kitten by its scruff by Siwang across the vast lake that would make some ocean's feel inadequate about their own size, and in the center is a pavilion of gold streaked white wood, floating atop a pillar of ice that could hold a village atop it.

Siwang sets you down, Ping holds you as you right your posture and the messenger flies off to complain to his master that he was bullied while acting like a creep.

And Daoists of robes of every color stand gathered, debating and gossiping to themselves, but the fall silent and any whipsers become hushed as you're placed down in the center of them, grinning audaciously despite the bruise covering half your cheek, the blood still steadily streaming from your nose, the mud and grass stuck to your hair and of course the bondage of the Immortal Binding Rope. Ping stands at your side, arms held in front of him in his sleeves, a ghostly wind billowing his robes and white hair as Siwang flies in circles around you, head turning and twisting as he keeps a lock on the perverted Young Master, quieter than he's ever been.

Lian Tianhua however steps forward indignantly, hands properly held in front of herself as she moves with the posture and demeanor of a big sister about to start tugging ears and scolding. She is interrupted by a howl of laughter, that freezes her in place, lips parted to begin the reaming. More voices join in and your blood turns to ice as several young masters in the gathering laugh in your face, pointing and jeering while their elders and seniors look with at your present state with expressions of horror and shock. They've lived long enough and are wise enough to realize it is a terrible idea to mock a devil, even if they're safely bound and tied up and as defenseless as a kitten. That, or they remember you were born from grudges and have actually listened to the babbling of the mere mortals beneath their mountain top retreats and hidden grottos. Tianhua gasps and stammers as some of them even make a show of toppling over as they insult you with their laughter.

Cont
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>>5910603

"She looks like a stray that got pulled out of a Carp pond!"
"Are you sure they didn't bring a cheap courtesan here by mistake?"
"Har! Displayed like a cut of meat, no more than a beast deserves!"
"How unseemly, how shameless to walk around, showing off such...unique interests"
"This is the demonic beast we've been told to fear? I feel sorry for the beauty she stole that body from!"
"I think I see how Xue Laohue was slain by a mere kitten, any man would be struck dumb with breasts like that in their face"
"So this is the empress of beasts? It is to be expected animals think mud and grime to be finery like silk robes and jade bangles"
"The Ling truly are a clan of simpletons if they were haunted by such a foolish creature, smiling as it is covered in filth and mocked"
"What a waste she was born a demonic beast, she might've been a heart stealing lotus blossom otherwise rather than a rabid animal"
"I was thinking our seniors were joking! Will the trial be delayed until the beast learns how to speak?"
"Who dressed her, that's so gaudy and frivolous, she must've bought that with stolen wealth"
"Her hair makes her look even more barbaric than those eyes of hers"
"HEY BEAST QUEEN, did you lose the tip of your ear fighting over days old fish?!"
"It is shameful to mock a child ignorant of the ways of the world, juniors, you disgrace yourselves"
"What a pitiful looking girl"
"So the fearsome Huanliuxue isn't so cowardly to keep hiding in a hole in the ground, once she is permitted to bring bodyguards?"

Ping's eyes are calculating, Tianhua looks like she's on the verge of tears, Siwang is still tracking the Unimportant pervert, and you keep your head held high, remembering everyone one of the faces that jeers and hurls insults and mockery your way, creating a tally of just how many people you're going to need to kill after this trial for the sake of pride and personal dignity alone. It would've been a bloodbath already if Fu was here instead of Ping or Siwang.

"Are you all stupid?" Qinxing shouts, stunned and awed in the worst way as you remember he exists in your presence as he steps forward, reprimanding the gang of long masters surrounding you with sneers and verbal jabs "Your masters should be ashamed you turned out like this. This is a creature that could squash you all with less than no effort, yet was merciful and just enough to offer your sects the chance to decide the fate of her defeated enemies, after they had wrought ruin and tragedy all through your lands! I'm astounded you gave the Ling's confederation so much difficulties! We might've had the ogress shaming us in our ranks, but you're all a bunch of children playing at being bullies"

"Brother Qinxin, please, restrain yourself' Ping says soothing, placing his living hand on his shoulders "I'm sure their seniors knew what would happen if they were sent to this trial, and chose them specifically because their deaths would be no great tragedy"
Cont
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>>5910607

A half a dozen voices shout "Junior, you dare!" at Ping and Qinxin's way as you finish up remembering the faces from the crowd who taunted and ridiculed you, as a thunderclap silences the argument before it can begin, and several of the young masters who'd formed a circle around you are dragged away by the arms, ears or even hair by their seniors. Who don't apologize for their actions.

"Confirm that the Demonic Beast Huanliuxue is restrained, and her cultivation is sealed and locked away" A austere and dignified voices rises above the rest. Five sages dressed in the robes of different sects walk up to you and flash a few hand signs, cast a few detection spells and put paper talismans against your forehead and arms, watching them for a moment before muttering amongst themselves and seemingly convinced you have none of your famous strength, pull of the talismans and boldly declare with one voice

"The demonic beast Huanliuxue is subdued and poses no threat!"

An arc of lighting flies through the crowd, and a fight breaks out somewhere in the back, some cultivator taking offense with another, apparently due to something they said just now. Which is odd.

"You should reprimand all of your loud mouthed disciples immediately! Whip them and have them scrape at Master Huanliuxue's feet" Master Su Zhe'xínglǚ who you didn't know was attending roars, raging as he flies above the crowd atop a sword "Their actions reflect poorly upon their temples and teachers, such rowdiness and surly behavior is unbefitting of daoists, they make a mockery of this assembly, insulting the head who called it so virulently and venomously, we are hear to judge the crimes of the Xue family and the misdeeds of the Winter blossoming wisdom Sect"

"That is true" Another voice, the same one that called for silence with a thunder clap "However, in the interim, the true extent of this self proclaimed queen of all beasts and matriarch of the unlawful palace of natural laws sect's crimes and villainy had been made apparent to us, so it was decided she to would be made answer for her own crimes"

"You're just showing favoritism to the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect" A Summer Sea Dawn cultivator bellows "Huanliuxue has been nothing but cordial and kind to the sects of Chuan, she sent missives and asked for aid instead of immediately marching to war when she was attacked"

"The fish fucker is right, The palace of natural laws, as we all remember, has been acting with dignity and grace since they revealed themselves, they gave you all a chance to avenge the wrongs done to your lands and peoples, and you sat one your hands and watched as Xue Laohue walked into his grave after rampaging through your turf" A dusk marsh wolf cultivator laughs

"As much as I am loath to admit, Huanliuxue hasn't committed any crimes besides existing and raising other demonic beasts" Fa Tang snorts, appearing beneath his master as the argument spreads throughout the hearing
Cont
>>
>>5910609

"She even saved one of the most valued disciples of the Thousand Lotus Hall!" Tianhua tries to be heard over the din.

"Silence! The allied sects of the palace of natural laws are welcome to take part in the trial against the winter blossoming wisdom sect and the trial against The Huanliuxue" The dignified voice from before yells as lighting streaks over the gathered heads of the assembly "But there will be order, any who speak out of turn will be punished, no matter if they speak to insult or raise a valid point, be seated and compose yourselves as Daoists"

The crowd immediately separates, and you can see several Winter Blossoming Wisdom sect members, some of which who look strikingly like Xue Laohue or Monu, shuffle through the crowd as outer disciples dutifully bring rows of seats for all of them. The apparent new head of the winter blossoming wisdom sect, stands next to the party dressed in the unmistakable garb of the sages of the shifting sands, the dog fuckers who answered your letters with insults and condemnation.

And as the mob parts, you see the head judge who probably bullied and bolster his way to the position, wearing electric blue and storm cloud grey robes, each color sectioned by article of clothing. His eyes are crackling with lightning and the hair not contained in the stately bun he wears, is standing straight up due to the static roiling in the air around him.

"Huanliuxue, it was not our intent to have you mocked and humiliated" He sourly claims but you don't believe it "That behavior is unbecoming of daoist cultivators, you have my apologies"

There is a silence, only he and you are standing. Ping and Qinxin are kneeling, Tianhua is seated, and Siwang is perched in the rafters of the palace like pavilion. The quiet persists, now that the hecklers are out of the way, every daoist sent to represent their temples are appraising, studying and scrutinizing your every move as you make an effort to appear harmless and submissive, which is only a challenge because of your self worth and pride.

"As she called this conclave, she has the right to decide the order of the trials" Master Tianhua gasps in sudden realization

"If our fellow daoists have any sense of ethics and morals, that is correct" Master Su adds, raising up a single finger

"Yes! She's the leader of this conference, not you storm cloud!" The Summer Sea Dawn Disciple from early impudently shouts, not at all helping your case

You sit down, crossing your legs as you listen to the obvious leaders of the jury debating amongst themselves, all elders from their sects, while their juniors and underlings sit in austere silence, awaiting for their decision

"That is correct, she did request this trial and so by technicality, is the head of the assembly" One of the elders says after what feels like hours of intense debate, a few young masters voice their dissent but the elders are unwilling to listen to their whining or let them have their way
Cont
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>>5910610

"Huan Liuxue, please stand" Another elder, dressed in tan and cream robes says dismissively "You may, if you wish, repeat the accusations leveled against the Winter blossoming wisdom sect, or ready your defense before hearing your own lengthy list of wrongdoings"

Oh they are just dancing in the palm of your hand, aren't they?

What do you do, Huanliuxue?

>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)

>Feign ignorance of what exactly they're asking you to do, to make them think you as simpleminded as they believe all beasts (Deception trial. DC 70)

>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain

>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.

>Get on the nerves of Laohue's replacement and their allied sects, and trick them into incriminating themselves before the trial begins (Trickery trial. DC 150)

>Write in
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain
Thought we would start killing already. Guess we can find out about the cretin who's genitals will be ripped off then force fed to, ask about what crimes those assembled are yapping about THEN start the culling.
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>>5910612
>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for
Brothers, forgive this junior but this one can barely contain the urge to break our restraint and slaughter them all. Peace is too good for them! They are better off fertilizing the ground!
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>>5910632
There is nothing to forgive brother, we SHOULD break our restraints and kill all the vermin before commencing the trial in full. It will be as easy as turning over one's hand.
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain

A beast we may be but what crimes have we committed?
>>
>>5910646
>>5910631
We should bring the attention over the winter blossom sect first, showcasing their wrongdoings and hihglighting them makes whatever they would accuse us of bear less weight later on.
>>
>>5910612
>>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.

I have become so angry I have integer overflowed into sheer giddiness at the thought of butchering all of these people. Never before have I known such glee. I am practically salivating at the idea. Even the Ogress' excitement towards battle seems like a flickering candle next to the bonfire of my unquenchable desire to destroy these idiots masquerading as thinking people.

Wait nevermind, I'm back to continent-shattering hatred again. I think Siwang is feeling it too. Aside from the glorious us. Patience, best bird. All we need is just a little more patience.
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>>5910612
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain

>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.
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>>5910650
How so? I don't think it will make any difference.
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness.
>With false meekness

I'm furious already. My blood is legitimately boiling. How fucking DARE HE!
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>>5910612
>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.
No false meekness, it has no point.
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain
This is fun, pay off will be great
>>
BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I HAVE AN IDEA.

>>5910612
>Feign ignorance of what exactly they're asking you to do, to make them think you as simpleminded as they believe all beasts (Deception trial. DC 70)
Let's test their patience, if after how our allies were vouching for us they think we're a dumb beast then this just leave them more out of balance, and after showing us as some dumb beast

>Tell how Unimportant treated us, describing it with some ignorance of the lustful approach that he used on us. (Deception trial?)
That leaves him on evidence, and if he feels the needs of saving face that way we can surely someone or himself is going to say his name and sect, where we're going to pay a visit maybe after the trial.

And this is the part where Idk what to do next. Do we let them list off our supposed crimes and do our defense? We can communicate with Ping by whispering the answer so he can talk for us when he doesn't know the answers, and wait until there's some serious allegation that we are the only one that knows of. We can keep playing dumb but defend ourselves, and once it's our turn to tell the crimes of the WBWS, we can destroy the binding rope as a power play and list off their crimes, they're going to be unstable with not only our dumb act but our actual power to destroy the binding rope.

But that leaves us to an early defense where the WBW sect head and company feels secure enough to give their speeches and "Proofs" so they don't feel pressured and possibly make mistakes, and in the end, we don't even know what is supposed crimes we actually committed nor what kind of shit they're going to try and accuse us of.
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>>5910741
>we don't even know what is supposed crimes we actually committed nor what kind of shit they're going to try and accuse us of.
Frankly, I don't care. They're wrong and they are stupid. They can go fuck themselves, we ain't paying shit for the dumb fucking nothing they're going to make up and imagine. It is taking all of my restraint already to not vote to bust out and murder them immediately.
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>>5910756
This is perfectly natural brother.

At the very least, This worm and his sect are enemies. And they need to hand him over to be executed. And then have their teacher publicly apologise for groping us.
This is the BARE FUCKING MINIMUM.
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>>5910612
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain

With any luck some of the crimes they claim are so large scale that we can mock them for not noticing it sooner and get either a few more allies, who at least realize we can't have pulled it all off, or make them look stupid for allowing a simple beast to get away with for so long and watch as they try to come up with excuses that don't hold up to scrutiny
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>>5910756
>>5910758
Like I said, I want Huan to rip his dick and balls off and and feed it to him. Break every single bone he used to grope her too. His transgressions should be repaid a thousandfold.
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>>5910763
We should skin him, Then regrow his skin. Then skin him again. Then disembowel him. Then regenerate his guts and skin. Then we should - you guessed it - skin him and pull his eyes out, with the optic nerve intact and connected so he can still see, then stuff his eyes into his throat, forcefully growing new tissue so he can swallow his eyes and still have them attached to their sockets, tie little lights to them as well so he can see inside of his own stomach. That's a good start.
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>>5910660
Because much of our defenses will have us bring up what the winter blossom sect did (specifically in regards to their wars), and our responses to it.
Remember on a fundemental level, the reason for our existence was due to a mortal level squabble that eventually brought sects into it. These combined resulted in the problems today.

If we address the WBS first, the context is already ingrained in their minds. Rather then just listing our crimes from the start and trying slowly rectify that piece by piece afterwards.

Honestly doesn't matter too much, but I'd rather we set the record straight in why we were in the right (i.e. WBS being in the wrong) before we go into why we weren't in the wrong.
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>>5910612
Seconding >>5910658. It might not mean much to play the part of the helpless maiden to these goddamn vultures, but we should definitely add this chucklefuck's crimes against us to the list.
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.
Fellow brothers, restrain your anger. We have a lot to gain here by playing this smart, and a lot to lose by letting our wrath take over, as justified as it would be.
Judging by the level-headedness the cult elders are showing so far, they are taking this trial here seriously, which is very good. The fact that they are putting us on trial for our """crimes""" is also excellent, because it gives us the opportunity to publicly rebuff their claims of us being criminals. If we win that trial and are found to be innocent, then no sect will ever be able to raise their hand or plot against our sect publicly, or else they will be the ones in the wrong. This will give us a massive amount of room to manoeuvre, which is exactly what we need. Besides, as strong as we are, we are not going to take out multiple sects attacking ours at once if we are found guilty and they decide to end us. Even if we can, our disciples will not. This is a golden opportunity to protect our sect and get every idiot sect from coming after us, and we need to take it.
We can think of colourful ways to end Unimportant's pathetic life after. While we are on the subject, you guys think it's possible to grow plants in people's flesh? Given our newfound mastery of blood and recent discoveries, it seems very possible. And I think I know the perfect seedbed... surely it should last a few decades if we take care of it properly.
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>>5910612
>>5910658
Support

It's gonna be real funny once they know that our girl isn't bound.

I wonder what we ask for this bullshit that they put up as clowns.
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain
Are the crimes I have been accused of as hideous and dishonorable as this repulsive creature has committed, dear Masters?
>>
I wonder if they sent the retarded one as a check to see our true nature.
A piece they could throw away and use as a sin and a justification for war.
Anyhow I say we hold another trial afterwards for all who scorned our girl.
And get our pound of flesh from each person.
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>>5910912
What I think is really darkly amusing is not only is he a molester and pervert, but he technically is a zoophile. Of all the things he wants to fuck, he picks a monster cat. It's a REALLY bad look for an orthodoxy dog.
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>>5910926
>I wonder if they sent the retarded one as a check to see our true nature.
That was definitely the reason. It is clear some of the people here respect decorum and are likely not complete idiots, so that was just their way of finding out what we would do if the ball was in our court. If we murdered him then and there, then they would know we are no better than a bloodthirsty beast.
The real question is, what do they think now? If they conclude that we are just a pushover, that would be perfect, but keeping them suspicious is fine too. They are probably keeping their eyes peeled for now. We will have to see how this plays out.
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>>5910937
I mean it's just a technicality isn't it
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>>5910947
Yes, but you think the stubborn and unreasonable Orthodox sects will care? Pretty much all of them unilaterally denounce us just for existing. Being a cat demon fucker probably wouldn't look good to them even if it was wearing a human skin at the time.
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>>5910612
>you don't care to hear what bogus accusations they dare to leverage against you. break the rope and take your place as head of the assembly as they agreed.
You said i'm the leader, no takebacksies.

>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.

There is absolutely no need to listen any longer and Siwang has the fucker in his sight so he can't escape.
Time to lay down the law.

I could be persuaded to have Tianhua justify to our lateness and swear of our good character as an introduction but beyond that the humiliation ends here.
There is so little to gain from losing even more face that i'm surprised any of you consider to keep the game up the trial won't get anywhere otherwise.
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>>5911062
wait for us to get a name
We need the name and sect of the bastard who dared to touch us.
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>>5911062
The biggest thing to gain is how deep they dig the hole for themselves. It'll also show which sects are enemies.

At any time we can break our holdings and whoop ass.
Remember the saying if the enemy is making a mistake don't correct him. The same thing applies.

It'll all the more sweater once we start collecting heads.
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>>5911075
Do we really?
He's in the crowd, we can pick him out easy and once in our hands he can squeal all of his connections.

>>5911092
There is such a thing as too much dirt, we already know they hate us and waiting for them to pile up on the grudge would only add to the need to kill to restore face.
Not very peaceable if we want to avoid the label of archdemon queen reborn, what you want is basically justification for the next three sect wars all at once.
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>>5911315
We already plan to show how powerful we are by breaking the binding, do we really have to show them how deviously cunning we are and how little reputation holds us back?
Better leave them thinking they can constrain us with propriety so we can smother their sects politically instead of all out war from day one.
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>>5911321
Besides what, do you want them to know Huan also got molested?
The allmighty powerful demon queen who could at any time get out of her bondage let herself be felt up by a creep?
Our reputation will turn to slutty in zero seconds to all of not!china forever and ever.

Please note how Huan already HAS TO kill all who belittled her to restore face.
If those present get pushed into a corner realizing they dug themselves too deep to survive this meeting they will band together in desperation and this assembly will turn into a massacre and our reputation will become that of a butcher.

We already have another sect war scheduled up against the sand assholes sect we do not need them to form a coalition of other dickheads.
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>>5911336
>Besides what, do you want them to know Huan also got molested?
>The allmighty powerful demon queen who could at any time get out of her bondage let herself be felt up by a creep?
>Our reputation will turn to slutty in zero seconds to all of not!china forever and ever.
This is probably the only good argument I have seen for NOT crying about it, really. On the other hand, it also shows cunning to allow someone to incriminate themselves so we could further humiliate and extort them. However, I concede. Reputation does matter, even amongst the lowliest of gnats and aphids.

>>5910612
>>5910658
Pretty please change my vote to not include the deception Grandpa. My intellect was reduced to that of a beast by my anger.
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain
>>
>>5910612
>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.
Those boys and Unimportant aren't why we're here. We're here to stick it to make the Winter Blossom Sect answer for their crimes against Chuan.
Remember the Blizzard. Remember the suffering it caused. Remember all the wrong Laohue did into our kind, to Xuebei and Monu, and hundreds of blameless innocent people. Remember he was so sunken into the Orthodoxy's view that he couldn't even conceive of it as wrong at all. Weigh that against this latest indignity, Seniors; there is work to do.
>>
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>>5911494
I agree but first we need to free ourselves otherwise nobody will listen and we will have to repeat everything again afterwards.

Anyway it's me, >>5911336
dropping a meme to boost my argument's reach
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>>5910612
>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.
>>
>>5910612
>>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain
They will all pay. Just be patient fellow juniors. Let them show their true faces first.
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>>5910612
If my count is correct, including the rope pervert, 17 heads will roll by the end of today (of course not including any additional hecklers who want to be added to the list)
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain
>Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for.
They make their “case”, we counter by presenting evidence of the WBW doing far worse.
>>
>>5911678
I don't believe this to be a case where evidence matters much, besides what evidence do we even have? Jingyu's soul in a jar?
And what do they have? Huan bound like a criminal.

It feels very much more a case where the stronger dictates their terms and the weak suffer.
Which is why dictating our terms while being bound won't matter until we show off to make them listen.
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>>5911748
This is true.
The mentality of justifying our case is only for the sake of proving we are in the right.
We are def going to showcase our power at some point. Its just a matter if its before or after we hear more from them or not.
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>>5911748
I want to hear their allegations and evidence mostly for curiosity's sake. If start the killing now they'll be babbling and prostrating themselves too much for us to get a coherent sentence out of them.

After we kill all the people we need to kill is when we should take control of this assembly and have Ping list the charges.
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>>5911757
>>5911752
what i fear is that peer pressure will force even those on the fence to declare shit against us thus ending up on the kill list.
and when we reveal our power and more than half the assembly realizes they damned themselves is when the negotiations will break down forcing Huan to kill to protect her students and the end result would just be a mess.
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>>5911765
Breaking out of our bindings and killing so many young masters is already gonna result in a mess. I don't see how sating our curiosity is gonna make that so much worse.
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>>5911748
You're correct that it is strong rule and weak falter. That's why we are playing dumb and weak, so their position of strength lets them put out all their shit as cassius belli.

Then flip the script.
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain
>>
>>5911775
This brother is correct. Most people watching this will die very painfully today anyway so it is matter of how much information we can get from them before we slaughter them. Very painfully.
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>>5911772
>>5911775
>>5911800

right now the kill count is only a dozen foolish young masters who are expected to die in stupid ways and they don't even need to die right now because they don't matter. (except rat face).

but I want you all to understand that what you are suggesting is very malicious and would be very hard to justify because if we end up slaughtering everyone who mouths off then our grievances wouldn't matter because nobody sympathizes with a mass murderer.

besides we already have enough casus belli to fuck over the sand sages since we have the very strong worded letter they sent us in response.
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>>5911821
You seem to have mistaken what world we live in. Sympathy is weak, alliances are strong as is rightiousness. It doesn't matter if they "Feel for our plight" it matters that they support us or they don't. And NOBODY ELSE would stand for this.

I want the winter sect judged in this trial.
Then I want Unimportant surrendered to us, or else we are declaring war on his sect.
Then to mitigate or dismiss the trial of us.

The actual murdering and grudges of the other young masters can damn well wait till later. They are unimportant, unlike the groper and the reason we called them here. Once the winter sect has been judged and we have the SOB, we can leave. They hold no power beyond their collective fighting power and we eclipse that immensely.

Remember that they work by rules for thee but not for me, and work accordingly.
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>>5911858
my point is if you want people to listen to you killing them until they do isn't gonna work.

And sympathy and honor despite being a heretic is what got us our allies in the first place.
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>>5911509
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>>5911866
threatening them with death until they listen will, in fact, work.

Not that I care about that. So long as we are rightious, then that's all that matters.
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>>5912017
I'm not sure how you convinced yourself that being duplicitous and deceiving is rightful but whatever, I trust grandpa to not get to the point that we're forced to massacre everybody just to save face.
>>
>>5911821
>>5911858
There's literally no need to go and kill those unimportant cultivators who talked shit NOW, and I doubt saying how the actual Unimportant acted with us is going to fuck up our reputation, like what the hell?

The guy is going to be a disgrace for the sect the moment we openly ask "Is this how the rightous sect members act with any other woman? Or this sect in particular who teaches this stuff?" They either accept the blame for the whole sect of Unimportant acts as a escape goat for that reputation assasination of acting like that. SPECIALLY after we show our strength and how actually deadly we are. And it's more fucked up if we follow the Orthodox stories of how Demonic Beast steal bodies, who on their sick mind think is Okay to grope and abuse the body of a fellow human that was snatched? They don't even know if the real person is still there or something, and he just still did it, and it's that misinformation the one we're going to use to give Unimportant to us.

And the other cultivators who mocked us? Easy: "With how I was treated, even after I was the one who called for this council, I'll demand that those Daoist who dared to insult me either pay those aggresions with a punishment of my liking, or that I'm compensated with an artifact precious enough for me to forgive them. The insults against my illustrious persona, even after I followed the demands of the council, I'm sure they wouldn't be accepted by any other respectable Daoist from any other sect."

The punishments? I say we ask what finger they use lees and we cut them. Or even a mark that they can happily wear for the rest of their lives but it still won't be crippling enough to fuck with their cultivation. Shame, painful, but not mortal for their cultivation or body.
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>>5912039
And indeed it is as you say a lot of shit will pile up on that disgrace, but the fact that we could have, at any time, stopped him and instead let him molest us make us sound like we wanted him to.
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>>5912097
And we could've just killed him before we accepted the terms the council was asking, and Unimportant abused of this just because. The people who asked for this terms and Unimportant sect are on fire because of his actions. Now ask if the elders or any of the present cultivators would feel if their significant other was put in such situation, with their powers sealed and abused like that. It doesn't matter if they could stop it, the action of Unimportant weighs more than what we could or couldn't do, because he was a representative of not only his sect, but all the elders, sect heads and council who asked for this measure against us
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>>5912039
I never said the hecklers had to be now. Unimportant however does have to be now, I can ignore the others. Our pride is big enough.

>>5912097
But I counter you. We got smacked and blood was drawn when we resisted, because we were bound and he is not.
That we know we could still kill him, doesn't matter so much as the others don't know that
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>>5912112
Unless we don't actually snap the rope they will know pretty soon.

But you're right the rat bastard screams of pain and despair will resound loudly as we dictate our terms.
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>>5912121
"pretty soon" is gonna be after we've rolled, and with a good roll, we'll have put the image of a maiden in the mind of everyone.

It's all about set up
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>>5910612
>Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect (Deception trial DC 120)
>With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain
>>
>>5912112
We shouldn't kill Unimportant though. I want to drag his ass back and start collecting on the blood debt he owes us, he can't up if he's dead.

Maybe we could use his ass as a footstool for the duration of the trial though.
>>
I wonder if blood mastery can allow us to turn Unimportant into a woman. Then we sell him to the shittiest brothel we can find.
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>>5912625
lol of all the vile torture fantasies mentioned so far turning him into an actual hooker sounds funniest. Onthe other hand a deviant like him might even enjoy this. Maybe we can sell him to some gay horse cock demon to ravage his ass for eternity?
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>>5912773
Weak sauce as it sounds, I couldn't condone a rape, and instead advise nigh eternal torture by demons.

Its a moral hang up.
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>>5912803
Whoring him out is a karmic punishment though. Let him taste his own medicine.
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>>5913014
I dunno, I am quite set on making him literally see inside of his own stomach while it's still in his belly.
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Such heated and spicy discussion, what wonderful righteous fury my juniors have displayed. Also think the record of votes has been once again broken, incredible. Anyways, chopping nail and severing iron, ending the vote and tallying its result

Sell the image of helplessness by tearfully complaining about your treatment and tell everyone present what Unimportant did to you prior to bringing you to the assembly . And make sure you learn his name and sect: 12

With false Meekness, ask what exactly are the crimes they're accusing you off. You are curious exactly what sort of villainy they think you've been committing behind the curtain:12

Ask Ping to list off everything you've brought the winter blossoming wisdom sect to stand trial for:11

Feign ignorance of what exactly they're asking you to do, to make them think you as simpleminded as they believe all beasts :1

Tell how Unimportant treated us, describing it with some ignorance of the lustful approach that he used on us. :1

you don't care to hear what bogus accusations they dare to leverage against you. break the rope and take your place as head of the assembly as they agreed.:1

So you'll fake helplessness, tearfully complaining about your treatment and reveal Unimportant's violations to the assembly, and learn his name and the sect he belongs to

then after the deception roll is made, acting meek as a bound prisoner should, ask what exactly you're being accused of, out of curiosity of what the orthodox sects think you've been doing in your spare time

This was a very close vote, update will arrive shortly

>>5911509
Hilarious!
>>
Well some of them are, and you can't allow the swelling pride at the sight of it to blind you. It wouldn't require unusual perceptiveness, natural acumen or an abnormal ability to read a room to tell most of the gathered representatives are equally dismissive and wary of you. They expect a "Demon" like you to have innumerable tricks hidden away in her sleeves and tucked away in her blouse, they are right to think so but they also are staring down their noses at you like a simple beast but warily so, ready to lash out with words or swords the moment you give even a hint of rampaging. The rope gives them a false sense of security, but their brains aren't rotten enough to think you entirely helpless. Too many of them still have their guard up and are acting with discretion and prudence, even though you're standing before them in human form. Actually that might be making some who would be entirely defenseless against your wiles wary and on edge because of the stupid myth that demonic beasts gain human forms by stealing them. Mock you as they have, even the young masters who jeered and slighted you look at you with the eyes of someone handling a starved tiger or bear, their expressions make it clear they think they're looking at a monster, dangerous even while chained and helpless.

Helpless. They don't believe you to be completely helpless, at least the important ones, the heads of the jury and the leaders of the assembly don't. The ones who actually matter in other words, even covered and mode and with a hand print bruised on your cheek, they recognize the danger of a magical beast as they might've actually fought a few that weren't scared and confused children. Pouting, a gleam flashes in your dreary, heavily lidded eyes as you keep your head bowed, as you realize exactly how you can trick these guarded elders and vigilant beast slayers to lower their guards and loosen their lips. You just have to sell them on the belief that the great Huanliuxue is helpless and at their mercy, a ruse that'll make the proud and haughty amongst the conclave to wrap themselves up tighter inside the web you're weaving in their minds and hearts.

And "luckily" you've been given the perfect means of creating a facade of helplessness, by way of the lust and pique of their messenger who fetched you and took advantage of his position to grope and bruise your magnificent body. The spoiled princess act will work wonders on the hearts and minds of your fellow daoist, even if they think the face they see was stolen from a corpse, it is still pretty and crystal like tears streaking down its cheeks will make even the most stone hearted men swoon and seethe with rage.
Cont
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>>5913183

Fluttering your eyelashes, making your lips even more pouty and full, you squeeze tears from your eyes and use every woman's greatest weapon to full effect, crying and pouting as the elders who just gave you precedence stare at you in silent confusion while the young masters they are shackled and stuck with have a...mix of reactions. Doing your best to look as pathetic and helpless as possible, like you've just tripped and fallen into a puddle in full view of the crowd, you shoot a pitiful look up with big watery eyes as you open your mouth to start complaining and whining feebly.

roll 2d100. Best out of 5, DC 120.
>>
Rolled 51, 54 = 105 (2d100)

>>5913186
>>
Rolled 42, 56 = 98 (2d100)

>>5913186
>>
Rolled 70, 89 = 159 (2d100)

>>5913186
Tears, a woman's most lethal weapon.
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>>5913200
Brothers and sisters... We got em
>>
Rolled 54, 39 = 93 (2d100)

>>5913186
>>
Rolled 38, 68 = 106 (2d100)

>>5913186
Let Justice be Done
>>
Mediocre but at least we got it done
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>>5913200
Good success, 30 over DC and a hair's breath from being 40 over DC. Update will arrive shortly
>>
"This is no way for a lady of my birth to be treated" You caterwaul, throwing your head back, movement and dramatic gestures limited by the fact you have your arms lashed to your back which is straightened by the same ropes "This is no way for any girl to be handled! No Daoist should abuse their sister in this manner! This isn't only unfair it is unjust and monstrous"

The silence surrounding your is deafening. They expected defiance against being roped and bound, furious but ultimately impotent insults or ill mannered complaints and a complete lack of the refined graces and elegance expected of lady cultivators. Some of the young masters freeze mid chuckle and look away, suddenly ashamed by their early actions now that none of their toadies, underlings or inbred friends are laughing with them. The stern faces of the elders darken as the more composed and inwardly reflective expressions and masks worn by the more senior daoists begin to show signs of cracking and crazing as the demon weeps and acts like the white lotus disciple of a honored sect being met most unkindly and treated most unfairly. That you look the part of an innocent fairy and are a head turning jade beauty, makes it easier for the act to strike directly at their hearts.

"I summoned you all hear, reached out to your teachers, mentors, masters and kinsmen to demand justice for the little helpless people that were trodden under foot! I understand I am terrifying and unknown to your sects outside of letters and rumors, and can permit myself to be bound for the peace of my fellow daoists minds, so they can meet me unafraid and without being coerced by their seniors to speak with a heretic such as myself, but going this far is not only outrageous, it is disgraceful!" You wail, stomping a foot in a childish and hare like fashion as Ping bows his head, saying nothing while Tianhua wipes tears of her own from her eye as Siwang flaps his wings in shock, quizzically turning his head at your performance

"If I was born with a tail and paws, just the act of binding me would be scandal, but having my pure, lawful and virtuous intent meant with mockery and humiliation is unforgiveable! " You accuse as you shake your head, scattering your tears to twinkle in the morning sun and fall like stars around you. The first amongst peers, elders amongst elders, the most valuable pawns risked being sent here by their temples and shrines look around frantically, having expected anything but this as even the most audaciously disrespectful of their juniors begins to realize the true magnitude of their "innocent" cheekiness and irreverence, when they hear it described in such a manner, from a crying and very beautiful woman's mouth. Standing before them like a stripped and shamed princess, you make a show of struggling not to sniffle as more tears flow down your cheeks, turning into streams of bitter shame and outrage.
Cont
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>>5913352

Hushed voices rises through the silence, whispered conversations, Master Su throws you a knowing glance, a look of fondness glittering in his eyes. He must be seeing a lot of your mother in you, at this moment.

"She is right to admonish all of you for your barbaric behavior and cruel treatment of her" The nameless Summer sea dawn sect disciple raises his voice, shouting it to the heavens as he shakes his fist.

"This behavior reflects most poorly on the gathered sects" Another voice remarks loudly "Even if she is a demon, publicly shaming her is going a bit too far"

"Novices and youngsters are not blessed with the gracefulness of age, and youthful cultivators are often impertinent and prone to swaggering and displays of vanity to impress their peers and relish their new found status within the world of cultivation" A woman with tan skin the hue of fired red clay says, explaining the obvious to you, thinking you aren't aware of the intricacies of human behavior and relationships "I shall personally reprimand those under my tutelage and advice my fellow elders to do the same to their students, even if you are our natural enemy, you deserve some measure of begrudging respect, for your accomplishments alone"

"Not to mention it would set a terrible precedent if the head of intersect trials can be freely abused and manhandled" Another elder, a glassy eyed old mutters from behind his hand, glancing to the delegation of the winter blossoming wisdom sect and sages of the shifting sands, who are looking around at their fellow cultivators like they've all gone insane, their jaws nearly dropping to the ground as they all look like they can't believe what their ears are hearing.

"Manhandled! That's putting it lightly!" Your age shrilly, before looking away and averting your eyes when you outburst draws the attention of the now shamed crowd, using your actual embarrassment to look flustered and humiliated in the way only girls can, wordlessly wounded and frightened. And while your Qi and spells are sealed, through carmine mysticism, your ability to control the flow of your blood isn't, so you make the furious blush on your cheeks spread down your neck and to your ears, making you appear catastrophically embarrassed and truly humiliated to the point even voicing the source of your shame would be enough to strike you dead where you stand.

There is a long, long silence as dozens of pairs of eyes look you up and down and truly pay attention to the shabby and sorry look they had mocked you for not even a few minutes prior. And it doesn't take a genius to piece together that state of your hair, the bruise and blood on your face and your beauty together to paint a very awful picture more offensive than a rotting corpse in their collective minds.
Cont
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>>5913354

"She's wearing some poor girl's corpse! Don't feel sorry for her, she's playing with your emotions using someone else's face" One of the sages of the shifting sand shouts in disbelief, reminding everyone of the "Fact" they all believe without any actual evidence or proof of a demonic beast having ever stolen someone else's body. But he is, accidentally, correct, unfortunately, your expert performance of the role of the "defiled maiden and abused princess" has more than made him seem like the true villain between the two of you in the eyes of most of the conclave.

"Which makes the implications of her present demeanor and sudden meekness all the more disturbing, Junior!" The storm cloud rumbles low, face half hidden behind his tented hands "Huanliuxue, I demand you explain the reasons for your outburst and present condition"

"Do you have any daughters? It should be obvious why she took offense to the use of the word man-handled!" Lian Tianhua shouts, giving you a chance to put on more of a show and make the act more realistic, by acting like you want to scrub your skin not only raw but off, looking deeply uncomfortable which isn't hard as you do want to wash away the filth of that lecher's touch, but you subdue the murderous rage you have and instead present the demeanor of a noble woman whose been defiled and wronged but still maintains her dignity and pride

"It is all right, Lady Tianhua" You say weakly, tears making your voice waver as you strike at the hearts of those elders who do have daughters and those students who do have sisters as you step forward and wincing, and with a grave, wounded and bleating voice address the Storm Cloud hesitantly, not meeting his eyes and instead staring at your feet "It is well within this Senior's right to demand such a thing. The disciple that was sent to meet me at the shore and was entrusted with the treasure binding me, took advantage of my weakness and"

You pause to relish in the looks of horror, disgust and shame that flicker across the crowd of cultivators as pulses and waves of killing intent flood through and rebound off of the walls and ceilings of the Pagoda. You shuffle your feet, look down, slack your shoulders and push out your chest, to make your next words all the more impactful.

"Touched and groped my body in a most illicit and perverted manner" You sniffle, pouting as you blink away more tears and force yourself to cry rivers "Ran his hands down my bound body, squeezed my breasts and rubbed my bottom"

Ping clutches his prayer beads, Qinxin grips the hilt of his sword, Tianhua rushes to your side to comfort you, Master Su and Fa Tang look downright murderous, the summer sea dawn disciples begin shouting over one another and for once the few Dusk Marsh Wolves present agree with the rivals and raise their voices with them to shout out in outrage.
Cont
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>>5913355

The whole of the gathering stops, and then notice that the other demon present has been staring with a devil's wrath in his star pupiled eyes at one spot in the crowd from the moment since your party arrived. With grim purpose and murderous intent.

There's a dry cough and shrill, weak laugh from a weasel's throat.

"When I refused his advances" You continue darkly, looking up to lock your eyes with several others, starting with the storm cloud, then moving from the apparent heir of Xue Laohue, the brazen Sand sage, before drifting them over to where Unimportant is trying to hide behind his aghast and disgusted looking seniors, sniveling and pleading as his teacher, a thin mustached, martial look man glares at him with a barely contained fury "Which included an offer to be his woman, he struck me, pushed me to the ground and grabbed for my hair"

"She's...She's!" Unimportant stammers weakly, trying to accuse you of lying, but keeps biting his tongue as he tries to muster the courage to save it beneath the collective pressure and killing exuded by the whole of the assembly, trying to avoid your piercing gaze and especially Siwang's murderous attention

"My disciple, Ping, however, risked our expulsion by acting against this abused of power and misplaced authority and preventing further harm to my person, as did the heroic Lian Tianhua, who endured accusations against her character and wild libel from the young master" You continue, the facade of helpless and wilting femininity dropping a little despite your best efforts, head bowed to the elders who bullied their way into heading the assembly "Before I hear the accusations and claims of villany leveled against me and my good character and reputation, would like assurances that that savage will be brought to justice and held accountable for the degrading and salacious things he has done to me and my body"

"That you stole" Someone mutters, but you can hear over the din of shouts and angry voices as Unimportant's elder martial brothers and sister's and his own master quickly come to the decision of how to respond the accusation against their junior brother and disciple. By distancing themselves from him by way of literally kicking him out of their little group and forming a wall together to keep him from scurrying back to cling to their thighs.

"The most austere temple of the White Jade Devil Opposing Army (白玉魔鬼抗击军队, Báiyùmóguǐkàngjījūnduì), turn over their Disciple Shi Shun, to be held accountable and punished for his vulgar actions this day, which do not reflect the beliefs or usual character for the members of our military force, nor the teachings of his master" Said master shouts as quickly as he can, hastily covering his own ass.
Cont
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>>5913356

Raising up a finger to jut towards the sky, he continues harshly "And let the records show that such actions were not within the orders he was given, when this master foolishly believed him capable of carrying out a simple command of sealing and ferrying the devil Huanliuxue across the waters, as his uncle, I am disgusted by his moral failings as well as his attractions to a beast inhabiting a bloodied corpse, forgive this daoist for speaking out of turn, but the shame I felt was too great to remain silent!"

Siwang looks even more confused now than he did when you started crying, but he keeps a predatory eye on the cowering Shi Shun, who is now the one having insults and abuse hurled his way, as well as a few spells and clods of dirt. It would seem absolutely no one approves of what he did to you, even from the side that would want nothing more than to see you drawn, quartered and sold in the market for their personal profit. Pursing your lips tightly to keep an unforgivably victoriously smug smile, you adjust your posture and stand resolute as the elders sat in the highest chairs demand order while Tianhua rubs you back and Master Su shoots demeaning glare across the crowd.

"You and only you are forgiven for the outburst" You state before Storm cloud can as you blink away tears and glance the way of the other supposed leaders of the conclave "But too not delay my own trial, I'd be content to put off his punishment until the end of the proceedings, after judgement has been passed on me and the winter blossoming wisdom sect"

"That is acceptable" Storm cloud glowers, but his attention is focused on Shi Shun rather than you "if you require a break to recompose yourself and calm your heart"

"I do not" You state firmly as Tianhua shoots you a worried glance, hand not moving from your side

"Then" He says, motioning to the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect delegation and the sages of the sand, who sends out from the closely knit group a man or woman, it is hard to tell with how much cloth they've wrapped around themselves like they were still in the desert enduring its heat and braving its sand storms "Please, present the evidence against Huanliuxue and list her crimes, we have all heard and been horrified by them, but for her benefit and the benefit of her followers and allies who have eyes but do not see mountain Tai"
Cont
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>>5913358

"The consumption of human flesh, the practice of demonic cultivation, harboring an exiled demonic cultivator, becoming the disciple of a known demonic cultivator, defiling a sacred site, plundering graves, starting an unauthorized cult, misleading the youth, dealing with wicked hungry ghosts, releasing sealed evil spirits, relations with demons, leading other daoists down a demonic path, devouring souls, intruding in and wrongfully claiming the holdings of other sects as their territory, unlawfully establishing a daoist temple, unlawfully proclaiming her ascension as the head of a cultivation sect, creation of a false cultivation sect, spreading heretical faith urging others to apostasy, Paganism, refusal and habitually breaking of the heavenly mandate, disrespect to orthodox cultivation, disrespect to various cultivators her senior, meddling in the affairs of mortal states, assassination of the son of heaven, Willful corruption, accidental corruption, Turning human, desecrating the dead in connection to attaining human form, harboring Demonic Beasts, raising demonic beasts, creating demonic beasts, unleashing demonic beasts onto the world, the murderer of" The rattle on and on, each time they speak an accusation you consider how to disprove or rebuke it entirely, the list of your supposed murders is extensive, but most of those you are accused of killing or at least who were considered important enough to be included aren't actually dead. You are certain of it the moment you hear the name Tian Mei sometime after Xue Ming, eventually the false murderer charges stop, but not the list of your supposed crimes

"Forcing mortal nobility into adopting a false faith, friendship with Buddhists and adopting of their beliefs, including righteous sects in her numerous illicit activities and making them share the blame of her villainy, lying, libel, assumed blackmail, causing catastrophe through way of altering the landscape, creating hauntings, transforming the populace through way of beast possession and the worse of all the crimes, creating a Stampede of Demonic Beasts, the first beast wave seen in ten generations, that is currently rampaging throughout the fractured empire!"

You blink, struck dumb by that last one as the sand sage smiles smugly as he speaks it, doting the dragon's eye as the assembly mutters amongst itself, looking aghast and hateful towards you for it, treating you like you're a terrorist and stating disbelief that even a heretic and demon would go that far. You have absolutely no idea what they're talking about with that last one, since the roar that made a wave of primordial beast essence, only gave birth to a handful of beasts and turned a few fortunate individuals more beast like.
Cont
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>>5913360

And your primordial weather spell, was centered on Suiqi and only affected its populace, and neither the kids born from the roar or the weather rampaged. Except maybe Huili. And Chuandapo you guess, but she wasn't trying to hurt anyone, and Yujijiao did kind of take over a desert oasis but she had good intentions. And Siwang's murder spree that you joined may be considered a rampage by some's definition. But they said throughout the empire. You've only left Chuan once, and you certainly didn't create a bunch of rowdy kids that you left behind to cause mischief and trouble.

This is some one else's doing, and because you're a shining pillar of Primordial Beast essence and have gathered a horde of demonic beasts under your banner, its being blamed on you.

"Huanliuxue"

And a lot of the rest of what they accuse you for doesn't hold any water or is a huge misunderstanding.

"Huanliuxue"

Really, its a relief! You'd had worried they might've had an actual case against you, but most of what they just said was just farting. This will be easier than you thought!

"Huanliuxue!

"Hmm?" You purr, looking up to see who wants your attention all of a sudden, and see one of the Xue's, not the replacement for Laohue, looking at you annoyedly

"What is your justification for these crimes, or will you rebuke them, or get this over with an offer your plea?" She asks haughtily, making an all too monuish expression

You smile ear to ear, grin turning like a toothy crescent moon.

"Ah" You gasp, and barely hold back a cackle

How do you answer, Huanliuxue?

>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)

>Plainly state that while you're guilty of committing some of those crimes, most of it is nonsense and ask Master Su to inform them of Tian Mei and the other prisoners survival while you try to sus out who actually caused the beast stampede they're condemning you for (Knowledge/ Wits trial DC 160. DC lowered due to ???)

>Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face

>Proudly proclaim you aren't beholden to the laws of man or the heavens. You're a demonic beast! this is ridiculous, would they put a wildfire on trial for property damages?

>Start insulting and inciting your accusers to get them to slip up and scuttle their own case against you without actually answering for any of the things they accuse you of doing (Trickery trial.DC 180)

>Write in
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>>5913363
>>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)

Watch a nat 100 and our boy Siwang obtains human form right there.
>>
>>5913363
>Inform them you have a legal expert.
Once that's cut down a bit.

>Explain that they have Misunderstood demonic beasts completely. [persuade roll]

I can come up with several arguments to support, if this would help.
>>
>>5913363
>Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face
Siwang! I choose you!

After that we are left with the remaining hard ones,
which with our rightfully earned sympathy
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)
>>
>>5913363
>Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face
>>
Honestly if they try to talk shit to Siwang about law he'd use facts and logic to dismantle their childish assertions. Which would be hilarious since logically and rationally, Siwang is air fucking tight when it comes to law and legal precedent. Genuinely they can't refute his conclusions without moving goalposts. That may actually be beneficial for him. To experience the failings of law when people think they are "above" it.

His experience has solely been on "fair" justice. Not the justice that man tends to live by, biased and ignored by the powerful.
>>
>>5913363
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)
I think this is a good start, if risky start. The one's who don't care won't listen anyway, but if we can convince the fence sitters or sow doubt among the less extreme elders then we will have achieved our goal. Besides, if we are going to try to sell our good cultivator façade Is it really much of a façade? We have acted very straight laced if you ignore the heresies. Grain of truth and all that. then we will need to find a way to convince them that a lot of the crimes we are accused of are not really crimes in the first place.

As far as the accusations go, some are true, like "consuming human flesh", or "murdering the son of heaven", others are debatable, like "meddling in the affairs of mortal states" and others are completely false, like "devouring souls". With the absolute Fuckton of charges they have thrown against us, it should be pretty easy to claim all of them are false, so long as we prove *some* of those charges are false, then simply claim that they are all false by association, and that the Winter blossoming wisdom sect is just trying to besmirch our good name to weasel out of their own legal predicament. But we will see about that later.

>>5913374
>Watch a nat 100 and our boy Siwang obtains human form right there.
I was thinking earlier that Siwang reaching human form in front of everyone here would be the textbook definition of perfect timing. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a goat to find, and the nearest active volcano to go to.
>>
>>5913363
>>5913385
Actually, adjusting my vote, putting
>Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face
first, and then
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)
If Siwang has a possibility to reach greater understanding here, and maybe reach human form, then we might as well stack the deck in his favour by putting the spotlight on him for a bit.
If we can only do one option though, then my previous vote stands.
>>
>>5913374
I'll switch my vote a bit and support this line of thought.
>>5913395
>>
>>5913363
>Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face
After Siwang cuts down the shittiest charges we can double team with him to take down the remaining ones.
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)

>>5913375
>I can come up with several arguments to support, if this would help.
It should help.
>>
>>5913363
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)
>>
>>5913363
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)
>"While, it is certainly possible for an Awakened or Demonic Beast to steal a dead body, this one is very much alive, very much my own. A cat is far too proud to do otherwise."

>"And yes, I AM a Heretic. I'll make no bones about that matter, can any one of you name an Orthodox Sect, in power at the time of my initial cultivation that would even be remotely safe for a talking cat to join? Heresy was my sole sanctum and remains to be for me and any other awakened beasts, and it wasn't we heretics who decreed that, it was your forefathers."
>>
>>5913363
>>5913395
I too will support this vote, I think Siwang is on the cusp of attaining human form in defence of his master right now, and with the perfect trust and confidence in each other Siwang and Huan can pass the ball to each other during the counterinterrogation to whittle down any accuse, they will applaud us for eating the ling bastard just you wait and see.
>>
>>5913385
>As far as the accusations go, some are true, like "consuming human flesh", or "murdering the son of heaven"
HOLD ON, WAIT A MINUTE

There's two ways we can go with the accusation of "murdering the son of heaven": The first one is that we play dumb, because who actually killed that men were the three Duan (?) brothers following orders of their emperors, and unless in that complot there was spies or orthodox agent that survived and escaped, I'm sure that Qiang went straight to save Yuyi and the maidens. We now there were orthodox agents + the ogress and a cult if I remember correctly, but we didn't actually killed them. So they either move the goalpost into changing it to complot, which I GUESS it could be dismissed because they wrote those charges before the council, and they got plenty of time to get their charges straight with anyone who was giving them the info.

If they're not dismissed and have proof that we did killed him, we can maybe "summon" the father of the last emperor to testify, and talk for himself how he saw more than justified that we ended the degenerate life of his son. I'm sure the soul of the previous emperor has a substantial weight even after death.
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>>5913360
>The consumption of human flesh
"I'm sure you don't understand us *Ascended Beast" because of your tendencies and laws you follow, but the moment we atain conscious is like being born for a second time. We just follow our instincts while having a whole blank slate in terms of morality and our newfound intelligence. Because of my nature as a cat, we're predatorial creatures, and the circumstances that made me Ascend just clouded my mind with anger and grudge. Imagine how mad a house cat gets once you take one of their kittens away, now give him the size of a hunting dog, and everything an Ascended beast carries on their newfound conscience. In actuality I'm not found of eating human flesh, there are so many delicacies that I would enjoy before getting back to it, and the Ascended Beast doesn't crave human flesh unless they're as sanguinary as (mention the tiger that killed Fu's father). And if you don't like what I say, you should now that even the most innocent Deer would eat rabbit and other animals flesh if it's in need, as any other herbivore do.

>harboring an exiled demonic cultivator
"Unless you have records and explain who this exiled demonic cultivator is, this is a baseless accusation and I won't address it"

>dealing with wicked hungry ghosts
You Daoists don't deal with Ghosts, the Exorcists with actual abilities to do so know, so I doubt you even know what the world of the dead are like. the "wicked hungry ghosts" that you talk about are a rude generalization and old lady stories like the ones such as the Ascended Beast. the ghost can turn hungry, wicked and mad, but only when they fall down into the dispair of their passings and the anguishes of their mortal lives, the ones that walk on my territories are as functional as everyday living people and can attend their mortal business before finally going back to the wheel of resurrection"

>devouring souls
False and a stretch, you only asume that but I doubt you have any proof of it

>intruding in and wrongfully claiming the holdings of other sects as their territory
I won't accept nor acknowledge this claim nor the one of "Meddling in the affairs of mortal states" until it's my turn to present the accusations against the Winter Blossoming Winter Sect

>friendship with Buddhists and adopting of their beliefs
In a world where the Daoist despise my kind I extended a friendly hand to the Buddhists, because they don't seek my destruction, the destruction of other Buddhists, and the goal in their beliefs, which adoption I doubt you have a proof aside from our cooperation.

Honestly Idk what i'm doing here but I guess that if they're correct there's a general idea that Huan could use. And this is the perfect moment for an actual Lawyer anon to come in a work a case on what we should do lmao
>>
>>5913542
honestly I'd just wait for siwang to remove the clutter and then we can begin actually giving arguments.
The list is long and we shouldn't waste our breathe until its actually our turn to speak.
>>
>>5913363
>Plainly state that while you're guilty of committing some of those crimes, most of it is nonsense and ask Master Su to inform them of Tian Mei and the other prisoners survival while you try to sus out who actually caused the beast stampede they're condemning you for (Knowledge/ Wits trial DC 160. DC lowered due to ???)
>>
>>5913363
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)
>>
>>5913363
Supporting >>5913375

>I have my attorneyyyyyyy... with me
>>
>>5913520
I'm kinda dumbfounded that we're accused of this, I thought we covered our tracks quite nicely. Did Yao spill the beans on us?
>>
>>5913542
>harboring an exiled demonic cultivator

I think that's Monu, and this accusation is a great excuse for the sob story to turn it against the winter idiocy sect.

>dealing with wicked hungry ghosts
Our very presence and cultivation soothes the souls of those ghosts and relieve their spirits of the mad anger poisoning their minds.

>devouring souls
our karma will disprove this if it can be measured, accidentally did they know we found out the ling have techniques to destroy souls outright?

>>5913520
>>5913802
I feel they are taking the piss and unloading on Huan all of the shit that happened recently, what we could say is how we actually aided the three heroes to slay the wicked emperor, (who we also cured of his karma ailments by the way)

Strange that i haven't seen anything related to carmine mysticism or trespassing into heaven, they probably do not know of it.
>>
Okay lets get started.

>Anything relating to demonic beasts
You haven't actually charged us with a crime of BEING an ASCENDED beast. Why is that? Because if you outright say it's a crime to exist, then anything related to this law is dismissed outright. The right of a species is to exist, and if you claim it is illegal to house, aid, make or associate with an ASCENDED beast, then you effectively illegalise any form of community and society from forming. Now I don't think that's an accident, seniors, that my Kind is wished to be isolated and alone, because a newly born ASCENDED beast is like a baby. It has it's instincts and the first brushes of thought as it learns to speak the language of humanity and that is all. And you wish to illegalise these children from being taught or socialised, then have the audacity to be surprised when they are not well behaved or kindly? Who even cares, because those who ARE well behaved and Kindly are slain on sight with the suspicion of being not!

And if it is not illegal to BE an ASCENDED beast, then why would you punish them for doing as men and beasts do, seeking companions and learning from one another? We know why, we ALL know why, but that is not Justice. That is bullying newborns and oppression of the highest order.

>Harbouring a Demonic cultivator
Dismissed in the above, her only crime being demonic beast harbouring, so not a demonic cultivator. But also, when we harboured her, she was unable to cultivate, having her meridians shattered. So she wasn't even a cultivator either. This changed later but still.

>Defiling a sacred site, Plundering graves, starting an unauthorized cult, relations with demons.
This, we can actually blame on Jingyu, And have these thrown out while putting egg on their faces.

>Causing catastrophe by way of altering the landscape
THAT WAS YOU DOG, THAT WAS YOU.

>Demonic cultivation
Prove that our Dao is demonic. Like actually, yellow springs, demon.


I'd also dismiss the Stampede with the fact we've never left chuan bar once however, Follow it up with "as the Queen of all beasts, I will take care of it. Inform me where they roam"
>>
>>5913363
>>Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face
>>Proudly proclaim you aren't beholden to the laws of man or the heavens. You're a demonic beast! this is ridiculous, would they put a wildfire on trial for property damages?
>>
>>5913815
>>5913836
I just want to point out that we are, in fact, harbouring a demonic cultivator, that cultivator being Lei.
They are not "exiled", as their demonic sect was wiped out if I remember correctly, but regardless we are gonna want to be careful with sweeping statements about us having nothing to do with demonic cultivation because that is not strictly true.
And yes, they are referring to Monu, which is where the "exiled" came from, and her not being a demonic cultivator is something we will want to clear up, but I find it unlikely that nobody from the Winter blossoming wisdom sect caught a glimpse of Lei while he was fighting during our big battle. It's possible, or maybe Lei was careful about what techniques he used so as to not give himself away, but I think we will want to thread carefully here.
>>
>>5913841
I, personally, Don't give a shit.

They mean Monu. Monu is who is being used against us, and out of all of the sects here, only 1 or two were with the winter sect in their battle against us.

So we address that Monu isn't who they say she is, and kick things off from there. Nobody is going to bring up Lei unless we do, so lets not.

>ATTENTION GRANDFATHER!
Oh, I also came up with a supporting argument for our lecture.
Human forms reflect the beastly forms which we come from, see our notched ear. And the colour of out hairs, and the shape of our teeth and our eyes.

If we can shift form, then duh, watch.
Though that might require us breaking the rope. But if we wear our armour, we can shift from one to another without stripping nude in front of these letchers.
>>
>>5913841
>harbouring a demonic cultivator, that cultivator being Lei
There's no proof of Lei existence, and from what we know, about his family Clan.

Idk if when we took the demon our of him, he told us if it was an accident that happened years ago or it was recently when we found him, but unless there was an Orthodox sect who KNEW of his Clan existence, why did they killed all the clan and not him? Why didn't they just kept an eye out for him? When did they finally knew of his whereabouts and didn't do nothing to take him either prisoner or Kill him?

They can come up with something idiotic like: "Well, it was on your sect ground!" And then we can call them negligent because they chose to save their necks and not get into the cursed mountain where you knew he was hiding.

>>5913849
>So we address that Monu isn't who they say she is, and kick things off from there.
In the Law of the Orthodoxy, raising or creating Demonic Beast makes you a Demonic Cultivator, even if her Cultivation Law is still withing the Orthodoxy Approved Laws, so there's not much we can do, aside from maybe make another sob story of what Monu went through before meeting us.
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>>5913921
By outright dismissing the rasing and creating of ASCENDED beasts [the phrasing is important], we clear her of the title.

It's a power move that can only be carried through by confidence and certanty.
Oh and her law isn't just Orthadoxy approved, it was one of the rare laws she was PERMITTED TO INNOVATE. Upstanding character and talent are the requirements for that, unless the sect wants to admit to bending rules, which Xue wouldn't have allowed. Character witness if we need to leverage it.
>>
>>5913841
I think they are probably referring to Monu with that charge. Since they all lack braincells and nuance and everything that isn't Orthodox is Demonic to them. The retards.
>>
>>5913363
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)
>>
>>5913363
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)

This is our greatest opportunity to make lasting change against the false history the five sages installed. I think it should be our main priority. Frankly the list of crimes is half true anyway, the main issue is that they're crimes at all! It's only after we've established that the laws themselves are unjust that we should unleash best bird.

>Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face
>>
>>5913363
>Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~! (Persuasion Trial. DC Variable (Higher result, more people convinced) +15 to roll due to sympathy earned)
>>
I appeal to my fellow Juniors that we utilize Siwang here to showcase the wisdom of other beasts besides ourselves and to assist in his path to enlightenment. If he infact ascends then and there it will surpass anything we could have said.
>>
>>5913363
>>Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face
I forgot to vote. I realize. So I shall.
>>
>>5913378
I would also like to note for Grandfather, that order of precedence matters here, so i'd rather withdraw my vote to start by explaining if it will contend this much with Inform the Jury. I believe the others had similar intentions for Siwang going first but I will not speak for them.
>>
>>5914411
That is true.

If someone can round up the votes, and we can see how many people need to unvote for something to get Swiang back in the running.

Its more likely that people adding him to votes
>>
Ending the vote, tallying its result now

Start by explaining their misunderstandings of the nature of Magical Beasts, asking permission to show verifiable proof by way of showing them the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts, their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain a human form, and the Beast saint doctrine, and give a flash lecture on your extensive insights on the nature and existence of demonic beasts~!:12

Inform the jury that you have a legal expert on your side, and have Siwang whittle down the accusations until only the serious ones and the one's you've unavoidably committed are left for you to face:11

"While, it is certainly possible for an Awakened or Demonic Beast to steal a dead body, this one is very much alive, very much my own. A cat is far too proud to do otherwise.":1

"And yes, I AM a Heretic. I'll make no bones about that matter, can any one of you name an Orthodox Sect, in power at the time of my initial cultivation that would even be remotely safe for a talking cat to join? Heresy was my sole sanctum and remains to be for me and any other awakened beasts, and it wasn't we heretics who decreed that, it was your forefathers.": 1

Plainly state that while you're guilty of committing some of those crimes, most of it is nonsense and ask Master Su to inform them of Tian Mei and the other prisoners survival while you try to sus out who actually caused the beast stampede they're condemning you for : 1

Proudly proclaim you aren't beholden to the laws of man or the heavens. You're a demonic beast! this is ridiculous, would they put a wildfire on trial for property damages?: 1

So since Sending in Siwang and Explaining the true nature of ascended beasts can be combined as many of you assumed, and both have enough support

You'll do both, informing the jury you have a legal expert and have Siwang whittle the list of accusations down to a manageable level (and hoping the challenge will give him the last push needed for him to reach the second awakening by understanding the unintuitive, abstract thoughts and common sense of humanity) before then interrupting your own trial to clear up the numerous misunderstandings surrounding your kind

Update will arrive shortly
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>>5914625
AND MAKE SURE THAT HUAN REFERS TO HER KIND AS ASCENDEN BEASTS just like >>5913957 told here, I do believe he has a point that it's time we start using that name
>>
This Intermediary update is so profound and heaven's defying, it might've broken the quests record for update size. I had too much fun writing this
>>
"My oh my~. That is quite the long list isn't it" You titter innocently, eyes down cast to hide the bitterness growing within their amber depths, but your bright and cheerful grin remains, unchanged and still as a corpse's expression on your lips. A fair number of those you wouldn't even consider crimes, even if in the eyes of the heavens and orthodox sects they're the worst misdeeds amongst the lot of crimes they're accusing you of.

"I will admit I tend not to pay much attention to laws that I didn't make up myself, so I'm not exactly an expert legalist. Prefer the commandments of nature than those written by those long dead who haven't lived my life but, ah but do not worry esteemed daoist sages, I came prepared" You say, biting down gently on your tongue to keep from cackling like a witch as you ponderously pull your gaze across the jury of your supposed peers "I brought a legal expert with me to make up for this particular failing of mine! He is as informed as the most carefully tutored and naturally gifted scholars raised to serve in the imperial courts, he will take my place challenging these wild and honestly ridiculous accusations raised against my fair self"

All of the eyes of the eyes that had been trying to peer through you to figure out what your gamble was, shoot immediately to Ping, who doesn't even lift his head from counting his beads formed of teeth and bones, humming a droning tone, a wordless mantra of the dead who've lost their tongues to carrion feeders and the passing of ages.

"It isn't Ping" You laugh good naturedly and airily "It is his Junior Martial Brother Wusheng Siwang, who is currently occupied it seems plotting the gruesome death of that worm Shi Shun, SIWANG!"

"Yes master?" Siwang immediately chirps saluting with one wing as they tear their predatory eyes off of the cowering pervert and looks to you, baffled as to how they suddenly became the center of attention while they were busy keeping a close eye on the enemy of your sect. White tinged blue eyes marveled at the crowd, his star shaped pupils shrinking as they all stared at him.

"This Demonic Beast is an expert on matters of law, legality and morality?" The Sage of the shifting sands who presented your crimes scoffs, earning them a furious glare from you and an insult chirp from Siwang "Do you believe us to be simpletons or do you truly have so little understanding of the laws of men"

"I understand them plenty, I just choose to ignore the ones that I think are stupid or that otherwise annoy me" You answer chipperly "And Siwang very much is a prodigy in this field, he's been pursuing justice and punishing injustices in this world since he was a mere fledgling! He is the best lawyer amongst us Ascended Beasts, isn't that right Siwang"
Cont
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>>5914811

"My master ever speaks truthfully! I have devoted my life to eroding the injustices of the world and ensuring justice arrives as swiftly as my wings carry me over the winds!" He proudly declares, flapping his wings and taking off to soar in front of the sand sage, who reels back and reaches for their sword, eyeing Siwang suspiciously through the bit of their wrappings that doesn't cover their eyes "You whose voice rustles meekly as though it is a desert wind whispering through a canyon past, are a braggart and blind to your own failings if you think to make light of my understanding of the laws that keep society serene, without even engaging in a duel of words with me"

"You're asking to debate me?" The sage chuckles, looking around like he expects this to be the punchline of a joke he wasn't let in on "Are you as arrogant as your master, little bird? You haven't lived amongst men, you're a mere demonic beast that has been given delusions of purpose and grandeur"

"Ascended Beast" You correct, lifting your chin as Siwang ruffles his feathers and snaps his beak in annoyance, clearly feeling the sage's insult

"You are ignorant of the life I've lived, I've spent most of it in the company of humanity and pursuing their best interests" He scoffs back, trying to mimic the motion of flicking his sleeve with his wing, turning his back to face the rest of the gathered cultivators "If there are no objections, I shall act as my master the future empress of all beasts' defender in this trial! are there any who, who, who object? And do not waste thine breath uttering such impertinence as my opponent! He who has not lived as a beast or amongst them knows nothing"

"I'll break your confidence and make you cough up blood, you may choose which crime to face first, fledgling' The sage says, making Siwang's eloquent and refined manner of speaking, making his mockery sound more childish than the boy actually is.

"From the beginning!" He declares boisterously, hopping away from the sage "The consumption of human, you clearly do not understand us awakened beasts, due to the very laws that your wield against the princess of ghosts, fair and noble Huanliuxue. The moment we become what you so crudely dub as demonic beasts, it is like a second birth, a time of confusion as the mind is expanded and enlightened. We know no morality, only instinct. My master is a housecat, housecats are one of the most prolific predators beneath the heavens and also one of the most successful, to my understanding. Her first emotions upon ascending, were ones of vengeance and hatred! Surely you've heard the story of how she came to become Huanliuxue? Or must I give an account to inform you of her origins"

"I do not pay attention to the superstition of mortals who are not even toads in wells" The sages answers proudly, rolling his eyes "There is no need to repeat the ghost stories of farmers"
Cont
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>>5914812

Siwang ignores him and begins a rousing retelling of the beginnings of your legend, as you have told it to him and his martial siblings countless times before. Clearly, your fellow daoists are not as entertained as you are, pinching their brows, noses and placing their heads between their hands, though some of them listen with rapt attention with shrewd, calculating expressions.

"What was the meaning of telling that fairy tale?" The sage says through gritted teeth, annoyed with Siwang's youthful energy already

"To inform you of the reason for my masters consumption of human flesh, and to show that we ascended beasts do not crave for or desire it, and that her hunting of humans during her infancy as awakened beast was more due to hunger and enmity of her victims. I can confidently state, Human does not make an appearance upon my master's dinner plate. But would it be a crime if she did? I've heard house cat is a delicacy in some towns, and you humans raise beasts for slaughter, what makes eating a certain piece of meat immoral? It isn't as if it is cannibalism for her or I to consume human flesh or blood" Siwang rapidly assaults the sage with his argument before he can get a word in "And as far as I am aware, there are no laws against beasts devouring humans, only cannibalism. My master has never eaten another cat"

"That isn't the point" The sage stars before Siwang fluffs himself up and angrily hops up to him, twisting and turning his head as he leans in close, the other cultivator reaching for his sword's hilt on instinct

"Then please inform me what law she has broken by eating the flesh of villains when she was younger? I am aware man eating beasts are hunted down, but do they count as outlaws, I am unaware of any legislations that account solely for the actions of animals, their are ordinances for the treatment of livestock and punishment for harming another's property, but in the written and recorded laws of the once united empire, and the edicts of our own society, there are none that pertain to beasts or name any of their actions criminal. All they state is that ascended beasts are outlawed and the product of demonic cultivation!" Siwang shouts into his face before twirling around, throwing feathers and lifting himself on a gale of wind "Thus, unless we are to punish every pig that has eaten its farmer, every wild dog that has devoured a weary travel, and every old tiger in the mountains, this law does not apply to my master, who at the time was unaware of the moral implications of predating a fellow sapient"

"That...that doesn't" The sage begins while several of the aged hermits overseeing the council stroke and preen their beards in thoughts, nodding in approval of Siwang's argument "That isn't why it is on her list of misdeeds, being unaware of a law doesn't make you immune to it!"
Cont
>>
>>5914815

"But at the time she was following only her instincts as a predator, are all predators then murderers? If she ate only other ascended beasts, would you have any complaint, it is your pride and belief you stand above us beasts that makes it seem abhorrent. Humanity is not free from the food chain, they can be prey as easily as they are predators" Siwang argues back, one wing covering his face "She had stopped eating human once she attained understanding of the world and her place in it, and satisfied the grudge that made her so bloodthirsty to begin with"

"The murder of Ling Meng" The sage states like that is a blow that will knock over Siwang's admittedly kind of confusing and meandering argument, but it seems to be effective, even though he's arguing as much for the laws of nature as he is the laws of men

"Was not included on the tally of my master's supposed misdeeds, so it has no place in this trial" Siwang answers coolly, head bowed "And before you claim the intelligence of the consumed victim is what makes it a crime, I must ask, how many of you cultivators butcher us magical beasts and use our flesh to make pills or Qi rich meals? If intelligence alone is what makes eating human flesh a crime, rather than cannibalism, then all of you who have hunted our kind should also be made to answer for the same abominable crime"

The sage, who had opened their mouth to counter Siwang's assertion, closes it silently and glares at him

"Demonic Cultivation" He says as Siwang repeats him like a chime a moment later

"Do you have any proof the cultivation technique and method my master practices in anyway breaks the laws followed by the righteous sect? She simply absorbs, refines and cultivates the ambient ghostly yin Qi produced in excess by powerful ghosts. And to remove another outrageous claim you've made, she does not devour souls. That is an easy path to power for one who practices the Dao of Ghosts, but Lady Huanliuxue is friend of the dead and does not hunt them, in fact, she once told me the practice is one of the most vile and unforgiveable forms of demonic cultivation" Siwang excitedly questions and answers, hopping around and stopping to preen his wings and give his opponent a chance to argue

"her mere existence is demonic cultivation" He plainly retorts

"Why?" Siwang snaps

"Demonic beasts are an affront to the heavens and the laws of nature" He confidently answers, arms crossed

"What proof do you have of that? When we live in harmony with the world and occur naturally" The owl gawks, taken aback and sounding a little lost and confused "You humans need to be taught to cultivate, we beasts"

"Emerge when an animal gluts themselves on human blood and fat" The sage declares mocking, eyes twinkling with malice and oozing with cockiness
Cont
>>
>>5914817

"That isn't true" Siwang says, sounding irritated "But that also has nothing to do with this trial, so I shall hold my tongue and suppress the urge to correct your wild misunderstanding of how we come to be. Animals scavenging corpses is a natural occurrence, and if that is what you believe creates us, what exactly about us is demonic cultivation besides our existence being forbidden in the ancient laws you adhere to without considering why they were made"

"The supreme devil mind" The sage of the shifting sand cultivator begins after standing there silent like a moron for nearly half a minute "Lead an army of devils and demonic beasts against the world"

"So now it is your turn to use folklore in your legal argument, folklore far less recent than the true tale of my master's second birth?" Siwang asks as the man glares at him and once again reaches for his blade

"Which means there is no explanation needed for why here mere existence is enough to be guilty of demonic cultivation, and her law, do you truly understand it? It is evil to use ghost to cultivate, even if they are not destroyed or consumed in the process!" The man shouts back

"Why?" Siwang quests.

"Deathly yin and Ghostly Yin Qi can spread sickness and weakens the body, it can be lethal when it is dense enough" He stammers, looking baffled as to why that would even be questioned. Siwang pauses, looks your way and then back to the sage, saying nothing. Someone stifles a laugh in the crowd.

"Perhaps for those of lesser constitutions. So it is forbidden because it is dangerous? Which would make it a restricted technique rather than demonic cultivation. A technique my master proved capable of practicing when she was taking her first steps as a cultivator. Then there is no issue for the nature of the dao she has chosen to follow." Siwang states plainly "Ascended beasts occur naturally, without any demonic sorcery behind their appearance, and as I stated, Lady Huanliuxue does not consume souls and her Dao possesses no other unseemly qualities, unless you can provide evidence or reason for either being demonic cultivation besides ancient texts proclaiming them to be, we shall move on, unless you have proof of my master swallowing spirits to empower herself, which I highly doubt you do and as I soar through the skies, my concept of highly reaches beyond the clouds!"

The sage of sands swallows hard and rubs their throat, looking like they want to do nothing more than to pluck and roast Siwang over an open fire.
Cont
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>>5914819

"You dare to transgress against the mandates of heaven! The celestial bureaucracy, the five colors emperor, the five wise immortal sages all outlaw Demonic beasts, they are thus demonic cultivation. Thus, anything she does, even if one over looks her practicing a heretical dao, abusing ghosts to serve as cultivation fuel, she practices demonic cultivation by being a demonic beast, harboring demonic beasts, your master taking any students is leading those guileless daoists down a demonic path" The sage composes themselves and as serene as an undisturbed spring, argues against Siwang. Who grows more and more frustrated and confused as the crowd begins muttering with approval

"That" He stammers, trying to find his words "That isn't... you are falling back upon and hiding accusations behind prior rulings that have not been amended or challenged, using tradition as a shield. is that not more offensive to those same gods, to not contemplate the deeper meaning of their edicts, to not meditate upon their wisdom and simply take it all at face value!"

"I can clear up this argument" You state before the two can exchange insults, though Siwang's frustrations and outburst are good omens, he had to really think how to rebuke the nearly unassailable defense given by his opponent, as weak an argument as it was, the will of the heavens is absolute...unless you're a heretic.

"Oh can you?" The sage chuckles, amused by siwang's frustrations, hesitation and bewilderment, not realizing he's helping the fledgling grow as Siwang climbs his way through the mire of his opponent's case that is more based in emotion and tradition than fact and logic.

"Yes" You purr, nodding your head "But please, move on from the subject of if our lives and mere existences are crimes against nature, I will share my insights, once Siwang has gone through the rest of your accusations"

The sage snorts but relents and accepts your reasoning with a nod, doubtlessly thinking whatever it is you'll say will prove him right in the end.

"Becoming the disciple of a known demonic cultivator" He starts pacifibly while Siwang gasps, outraged and at his wits end

"Grand Elder Monu is only branded a heretic because she raised a de..ascended beast!" He shouts vexedly, flapping his wings in protest "If awakened beasts are proven to not be an afront to the heavens, and stricken from the catalogue of Demonic Arts, her choice of teacher and adoptive mother will similarly be tossed out like table scraps to the dogs, present a fresh accusation, rather than retreading ground to irritate me"

You never thought you'd find someone smugger than you or your mother, but there he is.

"Defiling a sacred site, plundering graves, dealing with hungry ghosts" He lists, raising up his hand to count down as Siwang's eyes cross and her trembles
Cont
>>
>>5914820

"That would...those are only crimes if her cultivation law is proven to be a demonic practice. She has purified the tomb she built her temple nearby, she has taken nothing from the graves that were not freely given to her and she has calmed the hungry ghosts trapped within the" He begins, hissing each word as he struggles to control his rising rage at being presented with faulty evidence, pointless debate and twisting arguments

"Then you admit her dao is heretical, and this her every technique demonic!" The sage shouts, nearly bowling Siwang over

"What, what, what!?" Siwang roars as he rights himself, flapping his wings to maintain his balance "Where did...which of my words or explanations made the illusion of admitting guilt on my masters behalf!"

"She accepted gifts from evil natured spirits, and built her temple atop graves" He says plainly, yawning as Siwang's eyes blaze with outrage at the casual show of disrespect, this is the angriest the Eurasian Eagle owl ally of justice has ever been in his short life

"You are twisting my words and make grandiose assumptions in favor of your own case, you are disrespecting the very foundations of society by treating its laws like toys!" Siwang whispers, his words quick and sharp like whip strikes and twice as impactful "But I must not allow my personal feelings of outrage impede the debate. She, we...our temple was rebuilt from a shrine that had fallen to ruins, and the spirits in the catacombs beneath have been appeased and made languid like winter catfish"

"Defiling a shrine, demons and beasts have no business in a daoist temple, which leads me to" Siwang's opponent brashly stomps over his carefully laid rebuttal to push the trial forward and present a different assortment of crimes before Siwang was finished disproving the last batch. Your winged disciple twitches, head rolling this way and that way. His horn feathers rising and falling in sharp angles like a clock's hands, while he dry coughs and stammers, unable to speak through sheer exasperation

"Starting an unlawful cult, spreading a heretical faith urging others to apostasy, paganism, refusal and habitually breaking of the heavenly mandate, intruding into and wrongfully claiming the holdings of other sects as their territory, unlawfully establishing a daoist temple, unlawfully proclaiming her ascension as the head of a cultivation sect, creation of a false cultivation sect" He rapidly lists before Siwang can argue against a single one of it, rapidly gaining ground against your student by simply ignoring the spirit of the law and not allowing him to get a word in, not seriously debating his defenses and interpretation of the law, instead barreling over him by keeping a cool face and making him flustered by using an argument that wouldn't hold up in any court that didn't have an owl as one of the parties partaking in it.
Cont
>>
>>5914822

"She did not command Chuan to worship her, her uh, encounters with the Ling army made them revere her instead of you who ignored their plights and prayers" Siwang starts

"You dare accuse us, true daoists, of failing our duties and ignoring the adherents of our temples?" He, feigning insults, shouts in outrage as Siwang wobbles, clicking his beak in mounting fury as the debate becomes little more than an exchange of insults, a common tactic for when someone can't win a legal battle, they just attack the reputation and appearance of their opponent, something that would've never occurred to Siwang, who practically worships good laws and the ideal of justice. Its his first true face to face encounter with hypocrisy "You beasts have no shame, do you?"

"That is not pertinent to the trial, moving on!" Siwang spits, snarling as his blue eyes flicker green with primordial beast essence, his rising frustration and roaring rage slowly pushing him closer and closer to the second awakening. Tiexingege awoke through a similar method, Fu pissed her off and made her fear she'd be left behind by you and Jionghuagege, and she attained her human form through those strong emotions. This cocky retard is standing so proudly, unaware he's been in the palm of your hand all along

"See, the beast can't argue against it, they look down on us, think themselves our betters!" Said retarded howls, as his martial brothers and sisters lend their voices to verbally abusing Siwang and making more noise by raising their own accusations against him

"NEXT ACCUSATION!" Siwang bellows "Daoism has no heresy! Everything is in the dao! It cannot be separated, It is all and nothing! Thus she cannot be a pagan! She is daoist! The faith you claim she spread, was spread by those she saved and who saw her nobility"

"She clearly enthralled them with some beastly pheromone. I heard that Monu character you speak of is actually that Hao Liandyue, the infamous witch, the poison fairy" The sage chuckles, arms outstretched as he mocks Siwang's frustrated mannerism of flapping his wings stormily "No wonder she was able to seduce an entire province of superstitious yokels"

"You...you dare" Siwang starts before taking a sharp breath to calm and compose himself "That libelous accusation against my master and master's master, has no place in these proceedings, you are farting in the wind"

"Oh like your words have more purpose, your defense is weak and faltering, you ask for evidence but do not present any besides your words!" His opponent sneers and laughs mockingly, arms still held out at his side

"You haven't presented any evidence yourself" He remarks shaking his head "The claim of habitually breaking the laws of the heavens are meaningless, as the laws you speak of are merely those forbidding ascended beasts from cultivating or living as anything but sources of beast core for you ilk"
Cont
>>
>>5914825

"That is the natural order of the world, yes" The sandy sage answers contemptuously, looking down at Siwang and snorting like a bull. Siwang ignores him and his casual disregard for the value of both of your lives beyond the beast cores you have inside of you

"The temple above the catacombs were long abandoned, abandoned structures, if they are rebuilt and refurbished, can be legally claimed by whoever repaired them and cleared the grounds" Siwang says solemnly, voice cracking as he tries to remain calm and all but emotionless, failing as his debate partner mocks him by mouth his words and flapping his elbows like he was impersonating a chicken rather than an owl that preys upon deer when they aren't a magical beast "It was not claimed by any sect, nor was the mountain owned by any temple or school, cultivator or not. There are no laws laying out the proper procedure to establish a daoist temple, to found a cultivation sect, or to take a vacant leadership position outside of the traditions of individual sects and the ceremony of splitting from them form a new branch school or sever ties in pursuit of one's own destiny upon the winds of fate"

"Hmmm, no, There is. the law is, beasts cannot join or found temples, because they are not allowed to be cultivators or pursue immortality. Thus, everything you just said does not apply to your palace of natural laws, and it is thus a false temple, and charlatan sages and false priests can be tried and executed" The smug asshole snickers, grinning ear to ear with a shit eating grin as Siwang sharply inhales and tries to ignore him, but can't look away from him.

"You're making a mockery of the court and justice itself" Siwang growls "But, Lady Huanliuxue will disprove that claim once we are finished"

"Scared to leave the nest, needing your mommy to clean up your messes?" He mocks, knowing Siwang's weakness is his serious and rigid upholding of laws and veneration of the ideal of justice and the order it brings. He can't beat him in an open debate, so he's trying to make him make a fool out of himself and make a misstep that proves your guilt by way of your lawyer floundering his defense. Siwang remains stalwart and unshaken, but his defenses are breaking down and you can feel the primordial beast essence resonating within his beast core

"Next. Accusation" Siwang murderously requests.

"Well, all know how she's disrespected her betters" He begins

"Don't say it" Siwang warns

"She dares to claim herself a daoist!" He laughs, pointing at you "Dares to walk on two legs and look down at us, by using some cheap trick to rocket up the realms of cultivation. That alone should see her whipped and castigated"

"Next accusation" Siwang repeats monotonously, a strange something swirling in his eyes

"Meddling in mortal affairs, killing the son of heaven, willful and accidental corruption, her countless murders of good, virtuous daoists" He lists off
Cont
>>
>>5914827

"The three Dian brothers...brothers" Siwang says, knowing damn well how they got to the emperor and being unable to lie. You aren't actually certain if he knows what a lie is, come to think of it, but he has a defiant spark in his eye, his opponent had just handed him a victory, the murders you supposedly committed, as many of your supposed victims are living quite comfortably as your prisoners "May have been assisted by Huanliuxue, but she saved the emperor's life prior to it, and it is the duty of daoists to meddle as protectors of the mortal realm, and I do not know what you are referring to when you refer to corruption, please, explain further"

Siwang's chest fluffs up with joy, as he manages to drag the mockery of trial back to resembling something worthy of respect and admiration. Until the accuser opens his mouth again

"Of course, you don't know the definition of the word, after all you grew up eating worms and were never classically trained, you were just told you were smart by an scruffy alley cat" He insults and mocks, and something in Siwang's expression snaps, his hope and cheerfulness draining away as once more his beloved justice is dragged through the mud and made a mockery of right in front of his eyes "Corruption, Dishonest or fraudulent conduct, especially by those in positions of power"

"I know what" Siwang tries to politely interrupt, a certain insanity in his voice

"The action of making someone or something morally depraved, or the state of being so themselves" He continues, ignoring the boy trying to hold a respectful trial instead of a sham that has turned into little more than bullying and disrespect"

"I know" Siwang stutters, closing his eyes as he tries to pace his breathing to calm down, circulating his Qi through his meridians in a last ditch effort to remained reserved and cling stubbornly to formality and politeness

"It can also be a byword for decay or putrefaction, which your master must know, considering how often she keeps congress with corpses" He laughs bawdily "You did say she cultivates amongst graves, these are your own..."

"Shut up" You disciple says tiredly

"Eh, you wag your tongue at your senior, Junior you dare!" the retard shouts, insulted and enraged

"Oh shut the hell up you utter simpleton, if it would not be unjust I'd have opened up your belly and spilt your bowels! It would be no over reaction for how you've insulted justice itself and made a mockery of this trial and the laws you claim to honor!!" Siwang shrieks, his opponent dumbly opens his mouth, you aren't sure if its to speak, or out of shock that his punching bag suddenly struck back with vitriol and venom "I SAID SHUT UP YOU ABSOLUTE PRAT! YOU INBRED DOG! YOU SHIT BRAINED RETARD! SHUT THE FUCK UP! I AM TRYING TO BE RESPECTFUL, BUT YOU KEEP PISSING ON ME. SHUT UP! I SAID SHUT UP"
cont
>>
>>5914829

Siwang swivels his head around wildly, glaring at the whole crowd as many more jaws drop, he is manic with rage now. You'd be clapping your hands if they weren't, you know, tied behind your back.

"SHUT UP! SHUT UP DAMMIT! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL! LET ME SPEAK! LET ME PRESENT MY ARGUMENTS! LET ME PRESENT MY DEFENSE! STOP TREATING MY MASTER AND I LIKE WE'RE CLOWNS! LIKE WE'RE JOKES! EAT SHIT! CHOKE ON THAT SHIT! SHUT UP AND"

"LET"
"ME"
"FINISH"

There is a wave of emerald light, primordial beast essence explodes from him as a beam of that same light shoots into the sky

"You possess a truly terrifying intellect to set the board like this, Master" Ping remarks as Tianhua shrieks and clings to your thigh, hiding behind you. There are cries of confusion, of fear. Swords are drawn, protection spells are casts and as the light dims, standing their, simmering in frustrated rage.

Is Siwang.

Whose human form is a young teenaged boy, about as old as Fu was when you met him, his hair hanging down to his shoulders colored and speckled like his feathers, his eyebrows bushy and pointed like his feathery "horns" lifting from his face as his beak like nose scrunches with rage as he holds out his hands like talons, snapping his jaw as he hops between his feet, unaware his body has transformed, as a cloud of feathers falls around him drifting to the ground like flower petals. His bright blue eyes are big peach blossom shaped eyes, giving him the look of constant scrutiny and innocent curiosity or mirth. He's thin but not skinny, with long well defined limbs, he'll grow to be as tall as a pine tree. He's willowy, graceful and has the physique of a dancer, most of his muscles are in his legs . His ears, like yours, Jionghuagege and Tiexingege's are tapered to a point, and his face, while too round to be hawkish, is absolutely owlish. He's absolutely adorable!

However he isn't turned to you in a way to see if he has hair between his legs or not, as he lifts up his head, breathes in and swings out his arm. You can see he has tattoo like markings on his back in the shape of outstretched wings, just like Jionmg-Jiong

"As I was saying before being once more rudely interrupted" He says calmly, looking deeply relaxed like a dam inside of his has burst as the assembled cultivators stare at him, frozen in shock. Some have fainted, others are holding swords out like statues, some are peering from behind their chairs or more courageous martial siblings, but all of them are looking at the nude and clearly human Siwang, his eyebrows bouncing as he continues moving like an owl hoping on the ground.

Shi Shun and his debate partner both look oddly humiliated as he does so, eyes locked on his lower half.

"Junior Siwang" Ping says, pulling off his outer robes and covering Siwang
Cont
>>
>>5914833

"I am in the middle of a debate, Senior Ping!" Siwang protests before he screws his nose, pauses, looks Ping up and down, looks himself up and down, holds out and arm, flicks his fingers and stands straight as a bamboo shoot

"Huh? What's this, what's this? Something's changed!" He chirps and coos, moving his arms in a flapping motion, trying to get used to wearing clothes as he looks himself over again "I've...I've attained human form"

"Huanliuxue" Tianhua weakly says, as if it is a question

"Good show boy" Master Su applauds, folding up his fan to clap his hands

"HAH! See there's your proof!" the summer sea disciples shouts "I told all of you they had three beasts that could take on human form"

"Huanliuxue, you claim to be an expert on the nature of demonic" Storm cloud says hastily to hide his own fear of what he doesn't understand and confusion

"Ascended beasts" You smirk back at him

"Yes, yes, explain what just happened and why your disciple Wusheng exploded and a young, naked boy took his place" He sharply replies, lips thin and hands trembling as others start demanding you to answer the question immediately, forgetting your trial.

And the fact that Siwang admitted you were complicit in assassinating the last emperor of the dynasty. The adorable little bird brain.

"I still have at least a dozen crimes to answer to, Siwang was prevented from explaining..." You begin, smirking as storm cloud slams a hand down on his knee

"Explain, now!" He roars

"Well, I guess I'll interrupt my trial to explain why most of the crimes I'm being accused of, aren't really crimes at all, because like Siwang said when he started my defense, none of you understand us Ascended Beast" You snidely snicker, motioning with your head to Ping "Ping! Please uncork my dimensional gourd and retrieve from its storage these three manuals, the Collected Accounts of Ascended Beast: their histories and legacies left behind, the Bestial edict to attain- human form, and the Beast saint doctrine! Its time for a lecture and history lessen! Fasten your asses to your seats! Or don't, either way you won't be ready for this juicy revelation! I'm going to turn your whole, tiny world upside down!"

You bite your cheek to stop there, and not yell out 'Orthodox dogs!' at the end of your proclamation.

Additional +50 bonus to this roll from "Proof right before their eyes
Roll 2d100+65. Best out of five

Best boy is now a real boy!
>>
Rolled 5, 100 = 105 (2d100)

>>5914838
Let's fucking go Siwang you tell them.
>>
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>>5914846
Sorry I forgot the +65
BUT I GOT THE NAT 100 I FUCKING KNEW IT.
>>
Rolled 91, 72 + 65 = 228 (2d100 + 65)

>>5914838
Idk if this helps, but may I suggest a little crumb of a bonus because of our incredible trait that makes us the most brilliant teachers on this earth? We're not teaching of course, but I guess it could give us a little bonus

>Catpcha: MANNN
Indeed, Siwang is a huMANNN now
>>
>>5914846
Oh boy...

>>5914838
btw grandfather, as is really late now, is ok if we roll again soon or you're going to pause here until people roll and you post tomorrow? Because I personally can't wait to see what the hell happens with that crit we got and for this next update
>>
Rolled 30, 35 = 65 (2d100)

>>5914846
HUMAN

>>5914838
>>
>>5914867
I'm chugging shou puerh, I ain't going to sleep anytime soon, junior
>>
Rolled 79, 46 + 65 = 190 (2d100 + 65)

>>5914838
Oh my
>>
Rolled 83, 53 + 65 = 201 (2d100 + 65)

>>5914838
>>
>>5914887
I'm glad to hear that, Grandfather. But please, don't chug too much of it, I'm not a fan of tea so I don't know if drinking too much of such a concoction is going to be troublesome for your inmortal tummy
>>
>>5914862

As Water recedes, the rocks appear
So at 228, you've achieved a truly profound success on the persuasion trial surpassing your natural limits, since its over the Natural maximum of your capabilities due to the bonuses!

And then you got a crit >>5914846
due to this Junior blessed with the gift of prophecy

So yeah. Heavens are gonna be pretty salty

TURN UP THE MUSIC

https://youtu.be/yvFgNP9iqd4

Update will arrive shortly, I feel like I've been injected with chicken blood, my hands are shaking.

That might be because I've had two sessions of Gong fu today to wake up and stay up

Oh, also, Siwang ranked up to Foundation establishment Rank 3 along with becoming the fourth beast to attain human form in ten generations.

>>5914920
I follow the dao of tea, and need to consume it to keep my meridians balanced
>>
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>>5914833
>Shi Shun and his debate partner both look oddly humiliated as he does so, eyes locked on his lower half.
>mfw

>>5914846
Holy shit

>>5914862
HOLY SHIT
>>
>>5914846
>>5914862
...I really should sacrifice goats more often.
>>
>>5915015
>The Silent 'if mans being thick, whip out your dick' Death, Siwang
>The Silent 'Ding dong your laws Wrong' Death, Siwang
>The Silent 'This bitch before I deliver him' Death, Siwang.

A new meaning to the phrase, Courting Death. I love our little owl buddy.
>>
>>5915067
Genuinely best bird. He is fantastic. And now mogging grown men with complete "head empty" energy. He just can't stop winning.
>>
>>5914812
>are there any who, who, who
*wheeze*
>>
"The names of those scriptures sound fascinating" Master Su remarks, somehow having found stable ground to set up a tea table and begin preparing tea even though the pagoda and the ice shelf it was placed atop are still rocking from Siwang's second awakening and attainment of his human form.

"They sound foreboding, spring master" The storm cloud grumbles, walking from his high chair as his peers too descend to your level, the sages of the shifting sand apparent lead representative struck dumb or mute as he stares at Siwang, sounding like he's choking on his own tongue as he tries to regain the attention of the assembly to restart his sorry of excuse of a sham trial "Huan Liuxue, elucidate this old man of the contents of these three unknown manuals, before presenting them to the elders gathered here from their heavenly shrines"

"You are not touching them, they're my people's legacy, my precious inheritance, my most prized treasures" You spell out, half hissing "Ping and Siwang will hold them and you may look upon only the pages they turn. You're free to drink up the knowledge, wisdom and insights contained within, but only at my pace, because otherwise you who have been blinded for generations might leap to the wrong conclusions"

The elders exchange glances, those who haven't quite lived long enough or attained profound enough cultivation to be considered elders submissively and humbly bow away, sitting back down on their chairs to wait for their venerable and venerated seniors to be taught by the heretic so they may be told what happened from sources more trusted than said heretic. The young masters however are either whining and demanding to be allowed to look at the strange heretical scriptures or else biting their knuckles and drowning in their own bitterness.

"It would be uncouth to demand the ancestral artifacts of any other sect" Tianhua points out, raising up a single finger with a dramatic swirl

"Lady Huanliuxue is defensive of her property, especially that which she treasures, she treasures nothing more than the legacy and histories of her people, she is a proud wild princess" Master Su informs the Elders who are silently debating just ignoring your demand

"Very well" Says the replacement of Laohue, a man who looks older than Ming, with more monuish eyes, exhausted, world weary monuish eyes. he is the first and only from the Winter blossoming wisdom sect and Sages of the shifting sand to dare to step near you. He frowns when he is looked at with suspicion and curiosity by his fellow elders

"She may be our enemy and the heir of our great shame, but she has already been humiliated enough, being sealed and taken advantage of" He states drearily, had bowed "Let her keep hold of her treasures, I am curious what secrets she keeps that makes her so confident that all the orthodox sects know of demonic beasts is naught but falsehoods and lies"
Cont
>>
"That's a surprise" You remark with a whistle as Ping uncorks you dimensional gourd "And to answer your question Grandfather Thunder"

You pause as you see the disciple diligently kneeling behind the static wreathed old man, all scarred over like he's been struck by lighting. His face looks eerily familiar You've must've seen him somewhere before, but you can't put your finger on when or where. Ah well

"The first manual, The Collected Accounts of Ascended Beasts: Their histories and legacies left behind, is part historical account, part instructions and part combination cultivation Manual, it really is a useful book" You explain.

"Didn't know your kind kept historical records" The milky eyed old fogie muses

"We used to. Before we were cast out of the world of cultivation" You say, drinking in their shocked faces like it was the freshest spring water or most sweet morning dew "Yes, we used to be welcomed with open arms, we weren't always branded as demons, Ping, turn to the chapter explaining how Ascended beasts like Siwang and I come to be naturally, without outside interference, guidance or any ritual"

You hop in front of Ping, and motion with your chin

"All we are" You say as their eyes scan over the page, written in elementary terms so even a fresh novice or little kid could understand it "Are animals that can cultivate! We're just innately magical! The only reason we have a reputation for eating people, is because when ascended beast tastes the flesh or blood or marrow or whatever of someone else with the rare potential to cultivate, we can taste it! If humans made a habit of biting chunks out of each other, you would to. The Qi in their bodies, and you know I speak from experience, gives us more energy, it makes ordinary food tasteless and feel like its lacking nutrition"

You sigh

"Animals seek out what their bodies need, humans do to. Once we get a taste of Qi, we start needing it. This wasn't a problem in the past, because these beasts would be taken under the wings of cultivators sects and taught how to properly gather Qi, and how they were supposed to act. Every magical beast in the world, is like a feral child, blessed with higher intellect, enlightened and awoken to a world of innumerable colors, their primitive mind uplifted and expanded! it is an experience that...well you can only experience" You continue as more elder's gather around you and some not so sneaky lower ranked cultivators try to join the front row of the lecture "None of you would understand, Siwang does. It is magical becoming aware of the world and yourself, to become yourself, simply magical! And no one, for the longest time, knew why some beasts would grow, change into strange colors or adopt odd patterns and start speaking Chinese. Siwang and I are these type of Free ranged beast, never tamed nor domesticated"

"That means there is another type, purposefully raised up to your level" Tianhua gasps, realizing it quicker than any one else, except storm cloud
>>
>>5915117

"Precisely! And I know, everyone used to know the first of these beasts purposefully turned into a magical beast, who was forcefully awoken! Niu Bingwen! The noble and loyal oxen! The true founder and pioneer of the mountain shattering hammer law (㟑震裂榔头, Bózhènlièlángtou). Yes, that widely practiced method and its martial art was created by a "demonic beast" You excitedly explain, rocking from your toes to your heels "He was one of the first of us, and one of the greatest! I might be amazing, but it is his legacy I need to live up to, his and several other of my ancestors. Bingwen was ascended as a reward for his faithful service to his master, if you read...Ping turn to the chapter detailing raising magical beasts"

The new Xue patriarch's eyes darken

"This...Hao Lianduye practiced this exact method with the demon fox that got her branded a heretic, let it is detailed here mundanely, like a foundational technique widely practiced, basic knowledge" He says, voice trembling with dread as he looks to you "What is the meaning of this"

"Guessing mom found an incomplete version of this text somewhere, or rediscovered the magic herself" You answer with a shrug and pointed glare "Your grand"

"Father, you killed my father, I was his only son" He corrects, eyes flaring with indignity

"Oh, then papa crippled mama and murdered your younger sister for being born a snow fox" You cheerfully and bluntly explain, making sure to twist the knife as much as you can "Broke her cultivation, gouged out an eye, branded her! Because she did something that was once universally accepted, widely practiced everywhere, by every sect! If they were even slightly fond of a pet, cultivators of old used to make them intelligent, adopt them or at least take them on as disciples! Don't believe me? See how many of the sects present here once had beastily members, this manual might only list the famous and stand out examples of beastdom, but I'm confident all of you have some dark history in it, Ping, please, one at a time, show them their ancestors! You're more knowledgeable about other sects than I am"

Then you sit down, cross your legs as if in meditation and wait.

Some are outraged, some fall to their knees from sheer shock, one faints, a couple weep openly, but none accuse you of forgery or trickery or deceit. They know their schools' history better than anyone except the heads above them, and once you realize their is a gap in it or something missing or changed, it is as easy to notice as a hole through the back of your own hand.

They're silent now, meditating while standing, contemplating the soul crushing realization that the gospel they believed so deeply in, the law that had been in place since the beginning of time, that demonic beasts were always outcasts and monsters, was in fact false.
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>>5915119

"I thought I was a demon myself, before I learned better, when I was freshly awakened" You say ruefully as you hop back onto your feet, squirming against the ropes binding your arms "A few of us sided with the supreme devil mind, and somehow we all became devils, even though just as many of us remained righteous and pure hearted, and just as many humans turned to demons. Niu Bingwen even died protecting his master from that bitch's kind"

You click your tongue, stopping yourself from mentioning that bitch is also the ancestor of the entire Ling clan. You need to ease them into the truth, or else they'll reject it and start seeing it as a lie and you as a liar.

"In this manual, is his history. How he rouse from a simple beast of burden to create one of the pillars of modern cultivation, tell me, can any of you name a sect that doesn't teach a little of the mountain shattering hammers' techniques? I teach my students a bit of it, it is an amazing foundation and base on its own, but it can support any other kind of technique or martial style" You explain, suddenly feeling rather sad, as you always do when you talk or think about the buried legacy of your people and what was stolen from you, the respect, position and titles you deserve but were denied! Until now, if you play your cards right "They gave his achievements to his human student, who also died fighting true demons years after Bingwen did"

"How'd he die?" An elder of the dusk marsh wolves asks, swaggering his way to the front of the row

"Ping!" You shout "Show them the record of Niu Bingwen's heroic last stand"

He does as you command, after he wipes a few stray tears from his eyes.

The mood quickly grows depressive, and several voices swear oaths or make promises to adjust their sect's historical accounts to include Bingwen's life and its end, even some of the haughty young masters are driven to tears after hearing the honorable dusk marsh wolves read out loud the account of it written by his own disciples, the one who was wrongfully acclaimed for creating the mountain shattering hammer. It would seem his life is as inspiring to humans as it was to you, a couple years back.

"Niu Bingwen was the one who made us welcomed and he was the first to attain human form. His sacrifice, his diligence, his talent, and that of his contemporaries, The first magical beasts, it was their legacy of honor is what made adopting and creating ascended beasts such a wide spread custom. If you read a bit further, you'll see something juicy! I think all of you recognize the symbol! One of the oldest sects still kicking once had a songbird as their grandmaster, isn't that hilarious" You explain, trying to laugh at the last part of your speech, but sorrow of what was lost and denied stops you from really laughing, though you nearly manage to laugh when an elder from that most esteemed sect pushes their way forward, eyes wide and mouth agape

Cont
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>>5915120

"If you any of you wish to read further of any beast in particular, ask. But this should more than prove that my existence is not the result of demonic cultivation, and my people are not demons. Just the first few pages would, but eh, I like being dramatic" You say with a titter, and get a few requests, namely from the elder of that ancient sect who once was headed by a songbird. You of course stand by and offer further explanation, detail what isn't readily apparent and help the elders make sense of what they're seeing. Though you're reading to adults, some of who are elderly to the point of being fossils, their energy makes it feel like you're talking to children. Your earnest and truly saddened recounting of Niu Bingwen and honest explanation of the manual and openness to share its contents, have gotten them to forget their old prejudices. Which shouldn't have been hard, considering how obvious the dissonance between what their belief of what demonic beasts were or did and what awakened beasts actually are couldn't be more blatant, but cultivators have thick skulls and tend to stop using their brains after a certain age or just prefer to be willfully ignorant

By time they tire of the collected accounts of awakened beasts, the sun has reached the middle of the sky, and the atmosphere t the assembly has turned somber and depressive. Most are silent, reeling and struggling with the revelation of the true nature of awakened beasts, some are praying, trying to reach the often silent heavens to demand answers, some have already flown away to inform the rest of their sect. Its a mix of reactions. But eventually, someone, this someone being Xue Long, who technically is your brother by way of being Monu's son, though he refuses to accept the relation between the two of you or your shared parent, raises a question.

"How, if you don't steal corpses or possess human bodies, how do beasts attain human form, because Wusheng's transformation explained nothing to us" He states, as you sit, still bound, having Fa Tang gently lift a tea cup to your mouth while Qinxin fans you, as the heat of the day is really oppressive when you can move your arms

"Oh now this is going to take awhile! Its a puzzle you see. Niu Bingwen figured it out, and left behind a guide, coded and arranged to force the reader to think outside of the box and beyond their instincts, that is the Bestial Edict to Attain-Human form" You explain quietly happily, Master Su, Tianhua and Ping listening intently, as is everyone else, who is leaning over you hanging off your every word like young girls hearing the juiciest and most trashy gossip there is to hear "I uh, well I found it, and I agonized and worked myself to the bone studying it, eventually I figured out the method, since before Niu Bingwen wrote it down, beasts just kind of randomly learned how to transform into humans. Bingwen figured it out, second awakening or true awakening. Its a form of refinement, mental training"
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>>5915121

You swish the tea around your mouth in thought

"See, to every other creature, you humans seem insane, nothing you do makes sense from our perspective" You explain thoughtfully, carefully choosing your words "Beasts awaken and become magical beasts from strong emotion or sudden though, as I explained, but to attain human form requires comprehension, it requires knowledge and understanding. This to can happen naturally but uh, its unlikely"

"Did your disciple Wusheng achieve it naturally, or was it the result of hard training and diligent study on his part" Storm cloud, whose name is literally lightning, Shandian (闪电)

"He was naturally inclined to it" You say, looking over to and nodding to Siwang, who is diligently learning to write with a brush in his hand, as he uses the break in the trial to pen a length scroll detailing exactly why you aren't guilty of anything besides being gorgeous "Comes parcel with awakening the first time due to witnessing a miscarriage of justice, Grudges are my mother and father, but cat's can harbor them naturally, so it was a bit trickier for me, especially since I, in my pride, overcomplicated things a bit. The best way to put it is, attaining human form requires understanding civilization, humanity and their common sense. sort of like cultivating a tribal mind, learning abstract thinking and deeper emotions are a big part of it. Its why the edict has so many games and puzzles, it teaches unintuitive human virtues. But, you can force it pretty regularly if you know how to spark the important comprehension"

"And that is what happened to Siwang?" Tianhua asks "You put him in circumstances that'd force him to reach a realization and attain insight of the human mind"

"Obviously, Master Lian, there is no need to ask such a question of what insight he reached" Su answers with a nod "The insight was the shocking heights stupidity and arrogance mankind can reach"

"And the limits of frustration, true anger" You snicker, as Ping diligently shows the edict around

"These are children's puzzles" One elder says in shock "this is all it takes for a beast to take human form! its common sense it require dark ritual and pacts with darker powers, that it requires the death of an innocent and...and"

"And the worst beasts, the ones hunted the most fearsomely and remorselessly, are the ones who become human" Shandian says, as dreadful realization strikes him like a hammer to the head he is now rubbing "We've been killing the ascended beasts that could've lead them back to their previous role in our society, the ones who could've undone all this damage!"
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>>5915122

"And killing innocent children who don't know any better, otherwise" You venomously add, scalding your tongue as Fa Tang does not mention Su poured fresh and hot tea into the cup, so you end up spraying the undrinkable boiling water everywhere "You better run, Fa, or you'll wish you were never born once I get out of these rope, but ah, yes that's exactly right, we've been stuck in barbarity and savageness, cause none of us are allowed to learn and grow and learn how to live amongst civilized society, all most of my kind have are our instincts in a world that hates us for being born, that abhors and spites us for no fault of our own"

"Huanliuxue, I am so, so sorry" Tianhau sniffles as the rest of the assembly digests this newest revelation and realizes exactly why you have little to no respect for them and have done the things you needed to do to just survive in this word

"We never thought to talk to them" Xue Long groans so loud its almost a wail "My father is dead because we never thought to converse with beast cultivators, my sect is in ruins! One of my sons is dead, another blinded! And its all because of some Demonic cultivator ages ago fooled the whole world of cultivation and made us forget...too much"

And how much angrier would he be if he heard it was the Ling who started the oppression and wholesale slaughter of your people, that pushed Xue Laohue to his monstrous actions and you to needing to defend yourself against the whole world.

"No, none of you did, no cultivator had until Master Su over here let me wander through his temple and steal some of his special water, also Laohue laughed when I told him the truth, he was an evil black hearted bastard" You snarl and spit grumpily, legs crossed, as Fa Tang takes advantage of your bound state to try and force more too hot tea into your face

"There is one manual left" Shandian states after he and the rest of your fellow daoist grew tired of reflecting and meditating on the oh so painful truth

"Oh, the beast saint doctrine! I kind of just added it in at the end with the other two without thinking, its a manual recording the martial and mystical arts of the awakened beasts that came before me, but it does explain how we can evolve as beasts, wildborn evolution its called, I've attained two such evolutions, but again, useless to anyone who isn't a beast" You say, as a drunken sand sage stumbles up to you, reeking of wine and slurring his words

"What'z about the the people possessed by beasts all over Chuan" He bellows, nearly spitting on your face
Cont
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>>5915125

"Siwang" You order, and he is sent up into the air, held aloft by a sudden twister of wind "And to answer your question, I actually don't know why people started sprouting animal ears and tails and such. They either have more of a connection to nature or a beastial ancestor, but I haven't really devoted any time to figuring out the precise reasons and conditions for it. It has no drawbacks, its all benefits, unless you take offense to a cute new pair or ears, or eyes"

"like Yuyi" Ping chimes in

"Can I stop, sect head" Qinxin pants, having been fanning you for well over a quarter of the day now

"No" you cheerfully answer "But, now all of you can see most of the accusations against me are utter nonsense, since I'm just a heretical cultivator, not a monster or demon"

"You still killed a lot of cultivators, good men and women" Xue Long points out angrily

"Self defense, and that list is longer than it actually is, took most of them prisoner, and Jionghuagege, my little sister, has been taking very good care of them" You answer sweetly, swaying side to side, now very tired of being all wrapped up and constricted "and this history lesson and lecture on the nature of awakened beasts should prove that I have nothing to do with the stampede, I know how to make more of us, but I do not control or turn them into mindless, berserk animals. Though some of the charges do stick, they're overblown, basically not crimes at all anyways sooo"

"Your disciple Wusheng mentioned you assisted the Three assassins who killed the last son of heaven" Shandian suddenly speaks up

You frown.

"Yeah. Did you ever meet the dog emperor? He was disgusting and vile and unworthy of the title or any noble title for that matter. He was a stain upon the world, so I removed him from it. He would've died sooner if he didn't invite me into his palace in the first place" You answer plainly "and yes I am friends with Buddhists. Nothing wrong with it, they don't have anything against us daoists besides how arrogant we can be and how often some of us burn them alive!"

"And your rumored dealings with demons?" Long asked curiously

"I have to ask, were you just trying to blame me for every ill in the world and accuse me of every crime? My law requires me to visit the underworld for ingredients for a certain pill that can't be found anywhere else, and sure I enjoy spending time down by the yellow spring, but I am not friends with devils, well except for" You say, smiling fondly as you think about your eight legged friend "Well she isn't much of a demon to be honest, she reads romance novels and weaves clothes. What, did you think I trade in souls or something?

Technically you do, but you don't add any to the trade, so it isn't a bad thing, they were already being used as currency anyways.

"You're friends with a spider demon?" Tianhua says wincing.
Cont
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>>5915127

"She makes the uniforms for my sect, she's a famous fashion designer, I get pretty much all my clothes and outfits from her, she's a nice girl" You say plainly "Want to meet her?"

Tianhua shakes her head side to side hurriedly

"Technically that is forbidden, but we can't exactly try you after everything you've taught us" Shandian grumbles, like he's upset nothing pinned on you can stick, Long looks much less bothered. The sages of the shifting sand are all drunk now, having had their entire reality upturned. Turns out, they really, really hated demonic beasts, especially after Yujijiao accidentally became a tyrant in their turf.

"And our ignorance is what forced you down your heretical path" Tianhua sniffles, like its some great tragedy you didn't stunt your cultivation practicing an orthodox technique.

"No, I would've probably done it anyways, so does this mean I'm innocent?" You snicker, looking to Xue Long "Dear brother"

He looks at you hatefully.

"My sect can't endure the blow to reputation punishing you for all the wrong you've done to us or caused, since you've maneuvered your way into being seen as a wrongfully abused saintess and unfairly mistreated princess over the course of an afternoon" He says through his tightly clenched teeth, blood dripping from his gums "And people are already talking about having debates over the morality of beast hunting, since this isn't a secret that can be kept. I must say, I'm impressed, I see my father wasn't lying about my mother's talent at manipulating hearts and minds, if her adoptive daughter was able to make a conclave of all the righteous sects of Chuan switch from wishing her death and praying for her execution to weeping over her plight. I'll content myself with having temple's disciples returned'

"Xue Long, your sect still has to stand trial" you remind him.

The sound of shattering porcelain had never been sweater.

"Bitch" He growls as Siwang finally finish compiling his notes, only for Ping to gently inform him that it won't be necessary, since your lecture had managed to convince everyone whose opinion mattered that any wrongs you had done, you were forced to do to survive in the cruel world.

While being cleared of all charges was sweet, even after openly admitting to some of the worst of them, you were much happier that the slaughter of ascended beasts might start to decline, at least in the lands of the Chuan Province.

Cont
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>>5915128


What do you do now that you've aced your trial and opened up the minds of several dozen, important cultivators to the truth of ascended beasts, Huanliuxue?

>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.

>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple

>Strike a deal with Xue Long to drop the charges against the WBWS, and indebt him and them to you (Bad karma)

>Decide to continue pushing your luck, and drop the bombshell of the supreme devil mind's true identity and relations with the five colors celestial emperor (Persuasion trial. DC variable)

>Delay punishing the WBWS, to instead receive reparations from the White jade demon opposing army for Shi Shun's perverted conduct

>Break the immortal binding rope and leave, pretending to wander off cause you've grown bored, just to intimidate the cultivators

>Write in

So the roll of over 200 DC and the Crit made even those present at the conclave who really hate Huan's guts be convinced of the true nature of Demonic Beasts and that killing them for their cores is wrong, even if they still think Huan herself is an evil, vengeful bitch. Like her brother Xue Long or the entirety of the sages of the shifting sands sect

Good job!

>>5915067
Junior please, my sides can only take so much abuse!
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>>5915136
Write-in
>Let Siwang deal with ironing out the reparations from the WBWS and dealing with Shi Shun it should make up for not being able to use his notes.

>Also I want to be untied now and able to freshen up now that I am acquitted.

I say we also push that any ascended beast be given disciplehood or sent our way to care for them.

And that we welcome any guest to our halls who wish to learn more about ascended beasts and trade.
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>>5915136
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
>Write in
>Ask to be untied, as since you have been cleared of all charges, the rope in no longer necessary.
Of all the things I though Huanliuxue would achieve, of all the heights I though she would reach, actually convincing Orthodox cultivators of the truth was not one of them. At least, not before becoming a god.
Is there ANYTHING she cannot do? I am beginning to doubt it.

Frankly, with Xue Laohue dead and the Winter blossoming wisdom sect convinced of the truth, I don't particularly feel much enmity towards them anymore myself. They still need to stand trial, for the senseless loss of life inflicted upon the innocent people of Chuan, but perhaps there can be peace between us? Depending on whether or not they are appropriately punished and remain on their best behaviour, of course.

Also, I see no reason not to ask them to remove our binding rope. It was a ridiculous demand in the first place, surely now removing it was fine? Besides, breaking it off would be an impressive show of power, but the truest, most complete show of our victory is for the Orthodox cultivators to remove it themselves. It would be downright poetic.
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>>5915136
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
>Make arrangements to return the imprisoned disciples to the Winter Blossoming Extra-W go to bed GrandfatherSect.
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>>5915151
>Also, I see no reason not to ask them to remove our binding rope.
It lends the entire affair an amusing absurdity. A catgirl in shibari explaining the secret history of the world while on trial for cannibalism.
Xianxia is a special kind of crack.
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>>5915136
>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple
>>
>>5915136
>Let swiang gove his argument.
>Put them on trial.

You all fucked up BIG TIME and we demand recompense.
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>>5915165
Oh and
>Break the rope casually to stretch.

Just to flex
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>>5915166
>>5915165
Actually I want to amend this.

Let Siwang make his arguments, because he has been very good and it provides precedent.
Then qe can stand up and wiggle a bit.

>"Now hear me. I have been aquitted, my trial is over and you all know the folly you have perpetuated for generations. Now hear this. I am Huanliexue, the sovereign queen of beasts, inheritor of their legacies and Wild princess of Cats. The Ascended beasts of Chuan are under my rulership and stewardship"
At this point, break the rope and make sure to address everybody.
>"I would be very thankful to have my new subjects brought to me whereever they are found. And greatly displeased should attacks upon my subjects continue. Now, to the trial of the Wonter Blossoming Wisdom sect."

Honestly I think some good demands are forfeiture of lands and status as protectors of the Chuan. Along with recompense for rhe damage to our mountain and the capacity of the mortals ability to grow crops.
Willing to accept some of that compensation in cultivation laws.
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>>5915192
I'm reading infinite Dendrogram which I can definitively recommend even if it's exactly cultivation but the reason I'm bringing it up is because grudges and undead play an important part in the current arc. In fact the big bad of the arc has created an out of control undead flesh golem powered and controlled by countless grudges
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>>5915136
>Delay punishing the WBWS, to instead receive reparations from the White jade demon opposing army for Shi Shun's perverted conduct
>>
>>5915136
Oh, and
>Ask if you can be untied now, and when they move to do it, just break the rope
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>>5915210
How does this relate to the given situation?

Not being snarky, but I dont see the utility or relevance of that information as relates to this trial.
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>>5915136
I kind of expected one of the fallen gods to come and try to snipe us while we're bound but i guess if that was the case it would have already happened.

>Break the immortal binding rope
Since the demon scare is no more time to remind them we are a powerhouse.

>Delay punishing the WBWS, to instead receive reparations from the White jade demon opposing army for Shi Shun's perverted conduct
Now he pays.

>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
And the reason we are here, the winter idiocy sect.
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>>5915227
True I saw it more as related to the thread in general, especially since Grandpa sometimes also recommends manga but I should have though it through more. After all he is the author and not a random anon
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>>5915136
>>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
>>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple
>>
>>5915136
Supporting >>5915146. Our boy did good, and it's time to let him revel in that victory.
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>>5915298
Im not opposed to having recommendations placed in, you just linked to me and I read that as a response to my suggested course of action.

Thank you for the novel Rec anon. In turn, I suggest Martial God book 1. Its not that great but it is a sword cultivator and typical of the genre.
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>>5915136
>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple
>"We know that my case has already been dealt with, but I still think is important for Siwang to give his arguments"

>Ask if the inmortal binding rope is a special, important or an artifact with sentimental value, because in that case we ask to be unbind from it or we'll destroy it to free ourselves
Even if we've planned to destroy it before I feel that it's really shitty we talked about how important the history of the Ascended Beast was to be respected because of our ancestors and then we fuck up some sect relic. Plus, they can still think of us like a trickster who's bluffing, so it leaves to a doubt if we actually can do that... If they don't unbind us (Which I doubt after such good rolls) then we show off our power.

>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
idk what the other anons think but I honestly feel like how >>5915151 said. Our true enemy is the Ling, the WBWS got in this mess because of our true hatred towards Xue, but not the sect of their disciplines, and still they need to respond to what they did to the normal people under their past protection. I say we should ask for a light but just sentence, the lands that are under our control should be more than enough, taking into account how much of a bloody nose they have. BUT

>Offer some help to the WBWS in the efforts of either restoring the sect or how the mortals under their domain think of them, showing that there's no bad blood between us and how the Secthead feel really sorry how the last Secthead acted and the normal people were affected, because at the end he couldn't see mount Tai and was blinded in our conflicts.

Surely Long will see this reasoning as an insult to make him talk like that about his father to simple mortals, but we can clarify that he can address the apology however he wants, but it's needed to gain control over his new territory again.

Also, should we mention that we killed and captured Jingyu after we're unbinded? I say that it really helps our case to look like good faith as possible with Long, we might even mention how we met that deceased WBWS disciple on the Yellow Springs and using his name to know we aren't lying, we might not followed the request of the deceased disciple to a tee, but we did caught the monster and avenged him (Or at least we're close to do it)

Or, if he's really that offended and mad, we can ask for him to talk in private and either cure his blindness (Risk of telling how we recuperated the ancient Carmine Mysticism and actually made it work this time), or meet one of our disciples to show him his cultivation techniques and how that's not an impediment at all in his cultivation or life
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>>5915136
>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple
>Break the immortal binding rope and leave, pretending to wander off cause you've grown bored, just to intimidate the cultivators
Have Siwang start btfoing the claims as we flex
Then
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
Call WBWS gay and make them weep.
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>>5915136
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple
I think it's more fun to just let the ropes be and then before we leave slip out of it gracefully. We are the Queen of Beasts and we should display proper refined grace.
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>>5915265
It me.

Does anybody know what happens to the beast cores used for cultivation?
Because i think i remember them getting refined, so the icicle man probably already used up Xuebai's core in some way but otherwise we could demand it back.
Unless he did the equivalent of powdering it to snort it up.

But after this is over we could go to the Ling and demand the serpent beast core, it's possible that they haven't yet used it and maybe they still have the remains of her body.
Which is possibly the only way to get them their bodies back.
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>>5915420
He used it to make his scythe, which we still have.

But using a core destroys the core.
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>>5915431
Bummer about the core, who knows if there's a way to make an artificial one?
Or at least we can probably make her a body by using the scythe, humans go on okay without a beast core.
What is on a time limit is Jujiao's remains which may still be untouched somewhere.
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>>5915136
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
>>
>>5915136
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.

>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple
>>
>>5915136
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.

Back to the reason we came here. Ping, read the charges.
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>>5915136
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.

>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple
>>
>>5915136
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.

>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple

Well this event has developed even more beautifully than I was envisioning. I wonder how much turmoil is happening up in the heavens as in an afternoon their ten thousand year deception is smashed apart so convincingly to so many influential people.
>>
My thoughts have been wandering, and it occurs to me that transforming into a human must be *very* confusing for poor Siwang.
Consider all the differences! Humans can move their eyeballs, unlike owls, but cannot rotate their necks nearly as much. Owl ears face different vertical directions, giving them the ability to tell if sounds come from above or below, unlike humans. The difference in weight is something that needs no elaboration, or the fact that human and bird limbs are like heaven and earth. Beaks and mouths with teeth are another major difference, as are skin and feathers.
Finally, owls have the one cloaca, so all of *that* is entirely alien to the poor boy.
Compared to that, going from cat to human hardly needs any adjustments.
I'm not even gonna touch the two bug princesses, that is a whole can of worms I'm not opening.
>>
>>5915934
>A whole can of worms.
>Not a whole can of BEEEEEES.
>Not a whole can of Ants!

You disappoint not only me, but yourself.
>>
BROTHERS! Breaking the rope is a trick we can only do once. Should we really waste it on something so trivial?
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>>5916335
I second this sentiment, which is why I did not include it in my vote. Much of our strength is in mystery, and keeping the facade that such a binding is useful against us could lure someone in the future into foolishly planning against us with that in mind, ignorant to the true scale of our strength. Besides, it just adds more to our image of helplessness and mistreatment that we've cultivated during the trial, strengthening the image we'll present when having Ping list the WBWS crimes. So altogether holding out appears to be the wiser decision when we've already gone this far.
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>>5916335
And what? should we bring the rope home and start living with it until the time is appropriate?
We reassured them of our good will and good character now they will have to recognize our strenght and demands.
Beside none of these shmucks is a danger and our real enemies, the divinities, will not use such petty tricks against us.
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>>5916335
I don't think the majority of the votes includes it
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>>5916335
Yes. Yes we do. drive home, hammer the point. We are stronger than YOU
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>>5916373
>>5916482
Breaking what is likely a valuable treasure of whatever sect provided it just to flex is very petty and will just piss everybody off.
If they were our mortal enemies who believed we are a demon who deserves nothing less then a painful death, (like when we arrived) it would be a good idea, to intimidate them and convince them that messing with us is a bad idea, demon or not.
But now? We JUST convinced that the we are a normal, if mildly heretical cultivator, like all of them. We have no reason to be confrontational with them anymore, the opportunity to pull that stunt is gone, in my opinion.
And, again, having our old enemies take the rope off themselves is a far stronger flex to our present enemies than breaking it off ourselves.
>>
>>5916515
There is still the reason to flex and still the reason to intimidate them.
The world is run bynthe strong. The rules decided by the strong and the strong are not bound by the rules.

So by demonstrating the strength again, we reassert that we can ask for more than we oculd before.
Frankly fuck their treasure, it belonged to Shi shan and his ass is getting tortured for 4 years and 4 months and 4 days and 4 hours. Who cares if we break his or his sects toy. They cant say shit.
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>>5915136
>Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple
Best Bird can have this, as a treat.
>Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.
It’s why we were here in the first place
>>
>>5916515
>>5916557

Frankly speaking after what rat face did and how the treasure was used if this rope was the only thing forfeited to us it wouldn't be enough.
Besides fuck them.
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>>5915136
>>Delay punishing the WBWS, to instead receive reparations from the White jade demon opposing army for Shi Shun's perverted conduct
>>
>>5916596
it ISN'T enough. And we're going to take more in recompense.
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>>5914943
I forgot to mention this but Stack is kino taste Grandfather. This junior approves.
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>>5916715
I hope Grandpa finds an occasion to use Hanipaganda
>>
Grandfather here. Curse has struck me again, and it seems I won't have power for a couple of days, and as I am incapable of performing the profound technique of phone posting updates, it means the update will be delayed until my house is blessed with electricity again.

And also means I will be unable to drink any tea, a true tragedy
>>
>>5917112
That old bastard Shandian betrayed us! Damn all of his grandparents!
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>>5917117
I swear the heavens like messing around with me and this quest, and hour after I'm told it'll be three days until my part of town has power, and guess what? Lights turn back on.

Seems your threat pressured Shandian into compliance, junior!
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>>5917189
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>>5917189
Siwang REALLY wants to tell his speech, huh?
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>>5917112
By the grace of the heavens, you shall post this night, grandfather!
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>>5917326
It seems grandfather is undergoing tribulation afterall. We must pray for him, fellow juniors.
>>
Ending the vote and tallying its result now.

Let Siwang deal with ironing out the reparations from the WBWS and dealing with Shi Shun it should make up for not being able to use his notes.:2
Let Siwang give his argument, just to see what it would've sounded like and so he doesn't mope for the rest of the trip back to the temple: 10
-We know that my case has already been dealt with:1

Ask to be untied: 4
-and break the rope before you are:1

Put Xue Long and his sect on trial, he might've embraced the reality of your people like the rest, but the WBWS still needs to face justice.:13

Make arrangements to return the imprisoned disciples to the Winter Blossoming:1

Break the rope:4

"Now hear me. I have been aquitted, my trial is over and you all know the folly you have perpetuated for generations...etc:1

"I would be very thankful to have my new subjects brought to me whereever they are found...etc:1

Delay punishing the WBWS, to instead receive reparations from the White jade demon opposing army for Shi Shun's perverted conduct:3

Ask if the inmortal binding rope is a special:1

Offer some help to the WBWS in the efforts of either restoring the sect or how the mortals under their domain think of them, showing that there's no bad blood between us and how the Secthead feel really sorry how the last Secthead acted and the normal people were affected, because at the end he couldn't see mount Tai and was blinded in our conflicts.:1

So you'll let Siwang give his argument anyways to keep him from moping, before putting the winter blossoming wisdom sect on trial

update will arrive shortly

>>5917611
Nah just needed time to recharge. Power came back on when I was heading out for the day cause sitting in a powerless house sucks. And then I needed to drink some tea.
>>
"However" You say, glancing at Siwang as his expression dramatically falls into a look of absolute despair, his emotions very much evident on his face, he isn't used to have so expressive a face, being an owl and all "Before you and your sect trail for it's previous head's villainy and misdeeds, I would like to hear my legal experts argument, since it feels like kind of a waste to let all of his hard work go to waste just because I de-fanged most of the charges against me and my good name"

"And admitted to several of them yet rendered yourself immune to punishment by way enshrining yourself as a historian of a tragic past shared by us all" Shandian sighs, rubbing his temple "The last emperor may have been decadent, but you must understand how it troubles me no one, even the gentle matriarch of the lotus hall, seems to care you all but bragged about slitting his neck"

"I didn't do it myself, I just helped his killers avenge their lord's pride, and as I stated, I did extend his life for a time. His body had a lot wrong of it, poisons, diseases, ill health...It was one of my greatest challenges as a healer" You remark happily as Shandian pouts, rubbing his sparking beard while Xue Long glances to the wine bottle dropped by one of the sages of the sand, while the grandson who had apparently taken the reins of leadership grabbed his father's shoulder and empathetically shook his head

"It is still troubling, you may not be a devil, but you are a heretic yet, there is a difference but it is still uncomfortable seeing some one be proud of living outside of the laws of the heavens, even if one of the foundation stones of the orthodoxy was upended like it were a garden stone" He complains while Lian Tianhua titters cutely "Or maybe it is because I cannot help but think a technique unapproved by the gods is something dangerous and to be feared"

"You're right in that assumption, my techniques are very dangerous to my enemies" you snicker as Siwang, being informed by one of the more awake cultivators who aren't laid out in despair or drinking to drown their sorrows that he can in fact give the defense he spent the better half of the day preparing, and beaming, hops to his feet to start giving it. He hasn't even figured out how to switch between his two forms yet, how adorable.

"And as frightening and unnerving as they are, just because she meditates with ghosts and travels down to the underworld, doesn't mean she's a bad person, just one with a different perspective and a more primal three views than the rest of us" She says trying to give Shandian an excuse to not dislike you on principle for not coloring in the lines that have been filled, painted and erased countless times since they've been drawn
cont
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>>5917686

"That much ghostly qi, is a bad sign by the common sense of our world, that she is healthy and glowing isn't..."Shandian begins, before he turns, having heard a peal of laughter break out, turning to see a grinning Siwang standing there, in more fitting robes now since Ping took back the clothes he lent him

"Oh, he managed to come up with a loophole for your eating flesh that can't be argued, using the practice of hunting ascended beasts and twisting its purpose around" Tianhua "helpfully" explains as if you didn't just hear his argument yourself. To be fair You hadn't understood the legalese he used and spoke, but it sounded convincing "Its pretty much what he said the first time, but more refined and less flustered"

"How did he awaken" Xue Long asks as Siwang prances about, basking in the applause he gets for convincing a crowd of humans that eating human flesh can be forgiven in certain, very specific circumstances, what a terrifying ability

"His mother built their nest over another family's house" You explain, not reducing even unthinking beasts to be the lesser of man as Siwang continues on his argument, laughing mockingly at the crimes that are only on the list because of the demonizing of ascended beasts "One day, the father of the family had a spat with the wife, and stormed out to drink himself into a stupor, a thief crept in and brutalized both mother and child, leaving them as corpses for their husband and father to discover. He was found weeping over them by the other villagers, and was hanged without further inquiry. What Siwang felt at the sight of such injustice, was enough to kick start his awakening"

"Do all beasts have such sad stories?" Master Su asks, cheeks rosy, as he had started drinking when Fa Tang asked for a cup of wine to ease his own horror at the realization of just how much his world view was wrong "A kitten drenched in children's blood, and owl watching a tragedy unfold..."

"Tiexingege" You begin, perking up your ears as Siwang begins to explain in depth exactly why the accusations of your heretical law and other practices being demonic is an outlandish claim spoken from a place of ignorance, that he then blames on the stagnancy of Qi cultivation, the sects that practice it and their technique "And Jionghuagege didn't. Tie-Tie awoke out of a need to protect her sister ants from being washed away in the rain, and Jiong-Jiong as I understand her flowerly story, became a magical beast, due to the joy of bumbling through flowers with her mindless sister bees"

"That sounds like a lovely story, I'll have to ask them to tell me it themselves when I next meet them, so heroic and sweet." Tianhua remarks off handedly as she lifts her head up to listen to Siwang's rapid refutation of the charge of demonic sorcery, as several pairs of eyes glance your way, as hearing even the basics of your cultivation technique makes them realize just how talented you are.
Cont
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>>5917687


"These two, they're the leader of the army of giant ants and bees you have, yes?" Shandia questions as he reclines back, smirking in quiet amazement as Siwang continues explaining how your heretical methods of cultivation can't be considered illegal even though some of what you do is specifically outlawed by the edict of the five wise immortal sages.

Since they've been told absorbing the Qi generated from death and corpses is a quick path to sickening, crippling or even killing oneself, but they never tried to absorb the still breath of ghosts and corpses to see if it would harm them, let alone make cultivating it their primary source of spiritual energy

"Yes" You answer, sending a pointed look at the cute owl boy to keep him from saying too much about your law, lest people start pestering you to teach it or worse try to steal its secrets by force "They consider themselves sisters, and are the second and third magical beasts to attain human forms. They were lucky to be born outside of the world of man, so they didn't have to worry about being poached like I did. Had to stay on my toes and stick to the shadows until I shattered the void and became strong enough to throw my weight around"

"Must've been hell" The man reeking of burnt ozone admits, glancing to the now tied, bound and gagged Shi Shun, frowning and shooting a pitying look your direction.

"and yet she still turned out to be such a good kid!" Tianhua says, unknowingly rising up several tiers in your mother's list of people she's fond off which just those few words "The thousand lotus hall is indebted to her for the heroic deed she did in our name, righteously slaying a former disciple of your sect, Master Long"

Xue Long makes a very Laohue looking face, rolling his jaw as he glares as Master Lian.

"The one who lethally wounded my father?" He asked angrily "and killed several of our best disciples, and rising stars of the latest generation"

"The very same" You say, smirking as Tianhua shoots a worried glance the way of your dimensional gourd, knowing exactly who is trapped inside of it and stuck in a jar "He also butchered two of their favored disciples"

Siwang begins detailing comprehensively the mundane and cultivation laws and concepts of land and property ownership and management. You can't help but to wonder how he'll make killing the son of heaven no longer a criminal act.

"Good riddance" is all long says in reply, but there's more behind those two words than he is letting on. He taps his fingers on the table between the five, er, six of you counting Qinxin, since Ping has wandered off somewhere

"He's really shooting through those accusations" Tianhua admires, eyes wide "That's a dangerous weapon you had hiding behind your legs, Lady Huanliuxue"

"That boy could debate a turtle to give up its shell" Shandian laughs "He's managed to turn squatting in a ruined temple into an act of charity as far as laws are concerned"
Cont
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>>5917688

"Hmph If you saw I did to the place, you'd call it an act of divinity, my temple is pristine and well decorated" You shout defensively and perhaps maybe a little pridefully, head held high even though you're still roped and bound up like a hunk of salted and preserved pork

"Did he just make killing the son of heaven a merciful act of euthanasia?" Xue Long spits, covering his mouth as he sputters and coughs, blood coating his hand, eyes wild with disbelief

"Yes he did!" You shout, proud of your student and resisting the ever growing urge to sprint over and shower him with praise and a teacher's love "And if you'd laid eyes on what he'd become before I worked my magic, you'd agree! The dog emperor was practically a walking corpse, and I know my corpses! At least being cut to pieces by three angry rebel warriors has some dignity to it instead of rotting in your own filth in fine silk sheets!"

"My sect could've cured him, if we didn't distance ourselves from earthly affairs" Lian Tianhua says quietly "But from what I've heard about what lead to the state of anarchy the broken kingdom is in, we'd have had every right to refuse him"

"The three Dian Brothers did kill him partially to protect my chastity, or rather that of my friend Yuyi, who I was...borrowing" You darkly agree, nodding as Xue Long and Shandian both look at you fiercely "I practice a ghostly law, I'd be a failure of a cultivator, heretic or not, if I didn't know how to force my soul into others. Besides, she consented to it!"

"That was also how she first visited our temple openly" Master Su giggles, twirling a finger through his white hair like a little girl, clearly shitfaced now "Took on a lonely village girl as her student in medicine, and now she's married and the mother to a few daughters worshipped as divinely touched children"

"Side effects of her possession?" Tianhua presses, sounding very curious

"Enough Primordial Beast Essence in a human body tends does some curious things. Yuyi gained the ability to cultivate, but refuses to make use of her new potential, but she's a special cause in that. Most who are affected by beast essence just sprout some fresh ears and eyes" You answer cheerfully, squirming in your ropes as you forget you can't lift up your hands to mime bouncing animal ears atop your head, as Siwang, disproves most of the accusations off handedly, even though most of them have already been stricken out after your lecture on the true history of beasts and the world "But that can be "Fixed", if you know how to perform the right kind of alchemy"

Admitting to knowing how to perform blood refinement and blood alchemy would be pressing your luck and the strained acceptance these masters around you have for your heretical and untested methods.
Cont
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>>5917689

"Tian Mei is still alive?" Xue Long asked with a greatly sad look, as Siwang moves onto the last set of crimes that just explaining you and every other ascendant beasts weren't demonic couldn't brush aside. There is a hopeful ring to his words. He's hoping Ming is as well.

"I killed Ming, and hope I can meet him in his next life. He earned my respect with his defiant last act. He charged through the attack that reduced Laohue to cinder and steam" You explain quietly and respectfully "just to try and drag me down to the grave with him. It was magnificent, truly magnificent. And I do not give my praise or my respect lightly. His resolve was...well there are no other words for it besides magnificent. You should've been proud to have such a lion as your son"

Long looks at you with a conflicted look in his teary eyes

"If I find whoever branded your kind as demons, I will do worse than what I swore to do to his killer" Is how he replies, gingerly lifting a hand to his eye "It would seem your disciple is nearly finished with his argument for a closed and shut case"

"Oh no, he's just getting started, Siwang is excitable and diligent to a fault" You answer off handedly, yawning as you do, ignoring that Long just openly said he does intend to seek vengeance against you for Ming's death "if it makes you feel better, the Ling Brat that was sent with him died a dog's death. Unlike Ming, who I sent to his next life with dignity and grace"

"And left no body for me to bury" Long bitterly remarks, before he to yawns "A verbose little bird, isn't he"

"He hasn't stopped to breath once" Shandian sighs

"Must be his wind aligned law" Su theorizes drunkenly, leaning against a now sleeping Fa Tang

"Lady Huanliuxue, have you ever thought about hiring out his talent's to other sect's in need of legal assitance?" Tianhua asks, all business now.

Once Siwang has finished, what do you focus on first and center your accusations around during the trial of the WBWS, Huanliuxue?

>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives

>Make the trial mostly about their crimes against your family, since Monu and Xuebai's treatment would be criminal now in the eyes of the gathered cultivators

>Give accounts of Laohue's monstrous actions against beasts and Buddhists, and how the cruel punishments of his sect created not only Monu and thus Huanliuxue, but also Jingyu!

>Point out how greatly the WBWS misruled their lands and how often they were apathetic to the plight of their people, favoring their reputation to acting benevolently

>just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)

>Have Lian Tianhua lend her authority to your accusations (Can be taken with other options)

>write in
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>>5917691
>Just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)
>Give accounts of Laohue's monstrous actions against beasts and Buddhists, and how the cruel punishments of his sect created not only Monu and thus Huanliuxue, but also Jingyu!
>>
>>5917691
>Make the trial mostly about their crimes against your family, since Monu and Xuebai's treatment would be criminal now in the eyes of the gathered cultivators
>just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)
>>
>>5917691
>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended

>Give accounts of Laohue's monstrous actions against beasts and Buddhists, and how the cruel punishments of his sect created not only Monu and thus Huanliuxue, but also Jingyu!

>just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)
>>
>>5917691
>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
We already killed Laohue for his crimes against Xuebei and Monu.
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>>5917691

>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
>Point out how greatly the WBWS misruled their lands and how often they were apathetic to the plight of their people, favoring their reputation to acting benevolently
>just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)

I feel like these can be combined. I really want to make this trial about the common folk, who have been ignored and mistreated by cultivators for too long. After all, being an advocate of the weak and protector of the common folk is kinda our thing.
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>>5917691
>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
>>
>>5917691
>Focus primarily on their carelessness
>Point out their misrule.

>Allow Swiang to do it. Ping can help

We want to focus mostly on the twin pillars of abusing the small folk and misrule. Since these crimes allow us to press them to give up their land and holdings over to us
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>>5917691
>>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
>just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)

Well, our grudges are settled with family matters. It was their stance on the war that was crappy and should be punished.
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>>5917691
>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
>just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)
>>
>>5917691
I think Siwang had his fun for now, though we will keep him ready if they try to dispute us.
As I see it the grievances we have can be distinguished in two categories:
The personal sins of Laohue:
Basically anything and everything in the options really.
Which we should use to bury his memory in pigshit since he's already dead.

And the failings of the sect:
Cruel punishments, misrule of the land and indiscriminate use of the storm.

Then we should have them declare Monu cleared of all misdeeds just so we can deny her return to the sect which mistreated her so.
And finally demand they drop the "wisdom" part in their sect name until a time when they earn it back.
>>
>>5917691
>just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)
>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
>Give accounts of Laohue's monstrous actions against beasts and Buddhists, and how the cruel punishments of his sect created not only Monu and thus Huanliuxue, but also Jingyu!
Rather then mentioning their apathy, we should mention the fact it wasn't just that they didn't care about helping people, but also did care about how much they were fucking them over.
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>>5917691
>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
>Point out how greatly the WBWS misruled their lands and how often they were apathetic to the plight of their people, favoring their reputation to acting benevolently

>just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll. (can be taken with other options)
>>
>>5917691
>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
>Point out how greatly the WBWS misruled their lands and how often they were apathetic to the plight of their people, favoring their reputation to acting benevolently
>>
>>5917691
>Point out how greatly the WBWS misruled their lands and how often they were apathetic to the plight of their people, favoring their reputation to acting benevolently
>Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended lives
The focus should be their impact on the common people, we’ve gotten our fill by vaporizing the man who hurt our family.
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>>5918220
+1
>>
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Had to deal with losing power again, hoping that's the last tribulation I'll face of the kind, because it is infuriating, especially when it happens multiple times in one week. Anyways, ending the vote and tallying the result now.

Just tell Siwang to do it. The kid is on a roll.: 10
-And ping: 1

Give accounts of Laohue's monstrous actions against beasts and Buddhists, and how the cruel punishments of his sect created not only Monu and thus Huanliuxue, but also Jingyu!:3

Make the trial mostly about their crimes against your family, since Monu and Xuebai's treatment would be criminal now in the eyes of the gathered cultivators:1

Their carelessness and the damages it caused to the land and its people, focus primarily on the villages frozen solid and how much their magic snow storm ruined and ended:12

Point out how greatly the WBWS misruled their lands and how often they were apathetic to the plight of their people, favoring their reputation to acting benevolently:6

Bit of everything write in: 1

So You'll just tell Siwang to do it, since he's been composing himself phenomenally thus far, and will focus the accusations against the WBWS around their carelessness and the lives it has ruine