Your name is Zhu Zhexian, you're 15 years old, and you're currently studying at the Royal Academy of Zhaotian Kingdom. In the past six months you've passed the Imperial Exams to become a government official, performed meritorious deeds in a beast horde, and completed several tasks as a bounty hunter before being sent to the Royal Academy for training. Now it's time for you to increase your strength in order to compete with the kingdom's young elites and prove your strength.Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/u/LostTomeTwitter: https://twitter.com/QmWalrusArchived Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Lost%20Tome (Thread #5 is actually #4, you're not crazy.)
Rolled 2 (1d2)Rolling rng on the last decision from last thread.Also, reminder that there will be a session this Sunday.Sorry, I should've been more on top of when it was going to fall off the board.
You stay back with the crowd and watch a few more people approach the swords, curious what the general result will be.As you watch people approach the swords, exert all of their strength, and repeatedly fail to lift the swords past their waist, you realize that this looks harder than you expected. The weaker students can only get the sword to around their knees. The level of difficulty seems to be pretty consistent for each sword as long as you're at the correct level of cultivation. Having seen the difficulty of the task you...>Try to lift the sword next to the sign saying "Middle Qi Emission Stage".>Try to lift the sword next to the sign saying "Early Qi Emission Stage". You're curious how high you can lift the lightest one.>Find a spot in the training halls to practice sensing qi with the "Qi Trace Technique".>Head to the bladed weapons hall to practice your saber.>Check out whatever's happening at the sparring grounds. >Other
>>3244356>Find a spot in the training halls to practice sensing qi with the "Qi Trace Technique".We can lift the sword later when there is less people or no one watching.
>>3244639>>3245028You leave the swords, figuring that maybe you'll try to lift one of them later when less people are there. After that you head back into the training hall to find a place to meditate and practice the "Qi Tracing Technique".You look around for a bit and find single person rooms for focusing and enter one of them. There's nothing in the room besides a soft cushion on the floor and a few lit sticks of incense, so you simply sit down in one of them and start focusing on what you read in the "Qi Tracing Technique" manual yesterday. You try to stretch your consciousness to its limit, focusing on the qi surrounding you instead of your physical body. As you focus, you feel the small amounts of qi around you moving, agitated by the attacks of people training outside the room.You settle into a state of half-consciousness as you begin perceiving more delicate movements of qi, before eventually you're startled by a loud knocking sound. You shoot up from the floor in confusion before you then hear a the voice of an older man saying "The campus is closing, it's midnight, head home." You...>Go home, you have no idea how that much time passed so quickly but you should get some sleep at least.>Respond that you think you're making a breakthrough in this technique and you'd appreciate if he could make an exception.>Other
>>3245062>Respond that you think you're making a breakthrough in this technique and you'd appreciate if he could make an exception.Sooo close, don't cockblock me old man.
>>3245062>Respond that you think you're making a breakthrough in this technique and you'd appreciate if he could make an exception.
>>3245074>>3245079You respond as politely you can in a rather flustered tone that you think you're making a breakthrough in a technique you're practicing and ask if you can please use the room for the night. You then hear the man yell from the other side of the door "You little bastards are supposed to submit the paperwork ahead of time for this stuff. Well, whatever, you can't always choose when something like this happens. Name and age?" You respond with your name and age and hear the man writing something before you hear footsteps walking away. Relieved, you immediately go back to practicing the "Qi Tracing Technique".As you go back into a realm of focusing on the qi around you instead of your physical body, you sit there for what feels like a short time before you open your eyes. You feel like you've gained what you can for now and exit the room, and find that while it was maybe an hour in total for you, about a day has passed since you entered the room.To your surprise, it seems you can sense the movements of qi within the room much more effectively, even though you aren't focusing on it all that much. The bursts of qi from punches and kicks and the small gaps where people are cultivating aren't that hard to feel. You're not sure why that technique was so easy to cultivate for you (you'll just leave that as another mystery of your cultivation technique for the time being), but you feel like this will be a major advantage given further practice. If one can sense qi well enough they'll have another tool in their arsenal to predict the attacks of their enemy or avoid sneak attacks.You go off in a pleased mood and...>Head to the bladed weapons hall to practice your saber.>Check out the sparring grounds.>Check the ranking boards.>Go to the dueling grounds in order to catch a glimpse of what the other student's skills appear to be.>Go to the building where merit points can be exchanged to find out what is offered.>Other
>>3245274>Go to the building where merit points can be exchanged to find out what is offered.So its next day?
>>3245274>Go to the building where merit points can be exchanged to find out what is offered.
>>3245274>Go to the building where merit points can be exchanged to find out what is offered.Let's see if we can use our apothecary skills to get some merit points.
>>3245292>>3245430>>3245442You navigate your way to the building where you can exchange merit points for rewards, recalling that it was somewhere near the entrance. After a few minutes you're in front of a sizable building with several guards. A sign on the front of the building reads "Merit Points Exchange".You enter the building and find that it's relatively calm, probably since not many students have points to exchange for anything. There's a woman behind a rather nondescript counter and a few pieces of paper on the wall describing merit point payouts. Anyone first in their age group receives three merit points a month, the top three receive two per month, the top five receive one per month, the top ten receive half a merit point per month, the top twenty receive merit a quarter of a merit point per month, and the top thirty receive an eighth. The paper looks like it has relatively new ink, so these amounts were probably recently changed. You approach the counter and...>Ask if if they have a catalog or something showing what you can receive for merit points.>Ask if you can get merit points for being an Apprentice Apothecary.>Other
>>3246844>>Ask if if they have a catalog or something showing what you can receive for merit points.>>Ask if you can get merit points for being an Apprentice Apothecary.
>>3246845You ask the woman at the counter whether you can get a catalog or something containing everything there she smiles and say "Of course! But only if you've earned five merit points first!" You're slightly surprised, but you suppose there's some logic to leaving most of the students wondering what's inside. You then ask "Can you receive merit points for being an Apprentice Apothecary?" just on the off chance that you might. The receptionist then responds and says "Yes, the reward for being an official apprentice in any licensed occupation come out to a one time payment of five merit points. When you pass the examinations you can come here to receive your points."You stand there for a few moments before going "I'm already an Apprentice Apothecary, I'm actually wearing the emblem right now. Can I see the catalog?" The woman seems greatly confused before she just says "You're what, 15. or 16?" and glares at your Apprentice Apothecary emblem as if wary of its authenticity. You confirm that you are 15 and she pauses for a moment before saying "Alright then, I'll bring a copy of the catalog out."The catalog is brought out for you and you see that it contains more treasures than you imagined. Pills forged by 1-star Apothecaries (funnily enough, one is forged by Gu Xinyi), weapons made by 1-star Blacksmiths, techniques held by the royal family, and so on and so forth litter the pages. The prices range from a single merit point to over 50 points to the most expensive items. You suppose the only way to get those is to save up for a long time or to make meritorious achievements. You then...>Leave, you'll save your points for now.>Exchange a merit point for a saber crafted by a 1-star Blacksmith's direct disciple.>Exchange five merit points for a saber crafted by a 1-star Blacksmith.>Exchange a merit point for a technique that allows you to lengthen the time between each breath. It seems to be for diving.>Exchange a merit point for a bow.>Exchange five merit points for a cauldron forged by a 1-star Blacksmith.>Exchange your merit points for some rare herbs, you might use them later. [State how many]>Exchange merit points for time being trained by the "saber maestro". It's one merit point for five hours. >Look for something specific.>Other
>>3246954>Exchange a merit point for a technique that allows you to lengthen the time between each breath. It seems to be for diving.>Exchange merit points for time being trained by the "saber maestro". It's one merit point for five hours. And lets exchange 4 point for 20 hours with maestro
>>3246954>>3246986This is agreeable
>>3246986>>3246991>>3247131You tell the woman at the counter that you'd like to exchange your merit points for the "Single Breath Submersion" technique and for 20 hours of training under the saber maestro. She looks at you for a moment and says "I'll get a copy of the Single Breath Submersion technique in a moment, but could you please demonstrate your skill with the saber first?" You oblige and do a few moves before the woman awkwardly says "This... you may want to wait a while before trying to get training from the saber maestro. To put it frankly, your skills are rather lacking, so you could benefit more later. That, and I'm not sure how the saber maestro would react." You...>Tell her that you'll buy the hours now and just hold them for a later date then.>Argue that your skill with the saber shouldn't matter here and that you'll be going anyways.>Exchange for something else with the merit points.>Accept her explanation and save the merit points.>Other
>>3247267>>Accept her explanation and save the merit points
>>3247267>Accept her explanation and save the merit points.
>>3247271>>3247277>>3247308You tell her that you'll keep it in mind and keep the merit points saved. You then leave the building and...>Head to the bladed weapons hall to practice your saber.>Read through the 'Single Breath Submersion Technique'.>Check out the sparring grounds.>Check the ranking boards.>Go to the dueling grounds in order to catch a glimpse of what the other student's skills appear to be.>Other
>>3247376>>Head to the bladed weapons hall to practice your saber.
>>3247376>Head to the bladed weapons hall to practice your saber.
>>3247378>>3247392You enter the bladed weapons hall in order to practice your saber and look around. Scattered around the hall are various students holding swords, sabers, knives, and spears while practicing. Most of the sword and saber users are either attacking targets, hitting objects out of midair, or attempting to scratch surfaces that appears to be extremely durable.You begin practicing your movements and aim a few slices at a wall made of some combination of metals. As you do so a man in their early 20s holding a short blue saber approaches you and says "Move your shoulder further to the right during the third movement and step back during the one you were just on." You follow his instructions and find that the the movements flow a bit better, but before you can thank him he merely issues more corrections. "Now rotate your wrist more during that movement. No, not like that, further. There you go, there you go, now step in more."After about 15 minutes of this the man walks away and goes back to practicing on his own, although he does correct a few other people nearby here and there. You spend the next few hours getting used to the different movements, and are getting used to them by the time you stop.You turn around, about to thank the man for earlier, but see that he's still practicing and that he looks like he's very focused. You don't think it's a good idea to bother him so you leave the bladed weapons hall and get something to eat before...>Reading through the 'Single Breath Submersion Technique'.>Checking out the sparring grounds.>Checking the ranking boards.>Going to the dueling grounds in order to catch a glimpse of what the other student's skills appear to be.>Other
>>3247579>>Reading through the 'Single Breath Submersion Technique'.
>>3247579>Reading through the 'Single Breath Submersion Technique'.
>>3247581>>3247800You find a place to sit and begin reading through the 'Single Breath Submersion Technique'. From what you can tell this would probably be most effective to practice at an actual body of water, although you could theoretically just hold your breath on land instead. The technique is supposed to allow one to hold their breath for around half an hour given a normal amount of activity, but if you were trying to fight underwater you probably couldn't even last five minutes, so it'd be best to try to escape if anything like that came up.You finish the book after a couple of hours and have a good understanding of how to practice it. You'll have to stop by the beach some time to practice it. As you get up from your reading you hear some excited yelling coming from the dueling grounds. You guess something major is going on there. You...>Head over to the swords, maybe they'll be vacant if everybody is over there.>See if the man from early is done training his saber.>Check out the commotion at the dueling grounds.>Other
>>3247812>>Check out the commotion at the dueling grounds.
>>3247812>See if the man from early is done training his saber.
>>3247812>Check out the commotion at the dueling grounds.
>>3248841>>3247818>>3249368You head towards the dueling grounds to check out the commotion and as you do so you see a crowd of people gathered around a long, rectangular area. The crowd is cheering loudly and you can't see much past them. You squeeze past the people until you can see what's in the center and find that two people who are probably in the 19-21 age group are dueling.The duelists are a man dressed in a blue robe while holding a metal rod and a woman wearing leather armor while carrying a spear. The two move around at a speed that astonishes you and you can see sparks appear as the woman constantly jabs her spear forward and the man roughly deflects the blows with the metal rod. This continues for a solid minute as you see the man slowly begin to lose ground, his movements becoming more hurried as he attempts to avoid injury. Just as it seems like a major blow is about to land any moment now, you hear the man yell "It's time to end this!" before instead of parrying, he ducks under a jab, and swings his rod towards the woman. The rod then splits into two halves connected by a metal chain that was contained inside.The woman, surprised, attempts to move but is stopped by the metal rod hitting her leg and then wrapping around it with the chain. The man then pulls on the metal rod with all of his strength and the woman lets out a surprised cry as she's dragged off of her feet and towards the man. This allows the man to begin fighting the woman in close quarters with an advantage and after around 10 moves he has a clear advantage. The duel closes up shortly after as his win, although he does seem to be both bruised and exhausted due to the risky close-quarters strategy.After the fight ends an old man steps onto the stage and yells "Yin Chin, ranked 19th in the 19-21 age group, wins against Jin Chao, ranked 3rd in the 19-21 age group!" This is apparently a massive upset based off of the chatter you can hear around you and the ranks involved, and the crowd seems excited. You look back at Yin Chin and see that he's still standing there. He takes a deep breath and yells "I challenge Tan Da, ranked 2nd!" before walking off of the stage. The crowd seems surprised by this and you can hear excited chatter discussing what the outcome will be. Someone near you says that the odds are likely 3:7 even given Yin Chin's newfound strength unless he has any cards he was able to hide through this fight, while you hear a girl simply say that Yin Chin will definitely win. When asked why that is, she responds that it's because he's hotter than Tan Da. You stop yourself from listening to more gossip and think about your priorities for your upcoming life at the academy.
[You have 10 points and you can put anywhere from 0 to 3 into each of these. These will decide your short-term priorities for training.] >Practicing your saber>Practicing the 'Single Breath Submersion Technique'>Practicing the 'Subtly Blowing Leaf' movement technique>Practicing the 'Split Boulder Fist'>Practicing the 'Qi Trace Technique'>Socializing with your peers>Looking into the Kingdom of Unbar and The Iron City (This will just take 'until it's finished' and then the focus can be redistributed to other things. If you opt for this option then list where you want to points to go after this is finished.)>Practicing pillforging>Other (if logical)
That should be the last update for today, reminder that there is a session this Sunday, as normal. It will begin in 10-13 hours.
>>3249400>Looking into the Kingdom of Unbar and The Iron City>Practicing pillforgingPills might just be the advantage we need to get ahead in duels.
I feel like I should provide an example of input for this just in case before I head out. To avoid biasing anybody i'm just going to use fake options.>Reading the Anarchist's Cookbook [-3]>Overthrowing the government [-2]>The plot [-1]>Obeying Chinese censorship to make sure this quest isn't banned by the great firewall [-3]>Shitposting [-1]
>>3249400>Practicing your saber 1>Practicing the 'Single Breath Submersion Technique' 1>Practicing the 'Subtly Blowing Leaf' movement technique 3>Practicing the 'Qi Trace Technique' 1>Socializing with your peers 1>Practicing pillforging 3
>>3249628>Practicing your saber 3>Practicing the 'Subtly Blowing Leaf' movement technique 2>Practicing the 'Qi Trace Technique' 2>Practicing pillforging 3I would change to that
>>3249400>Practicing your saber-2>Practicing the 'Split Boulder Fist'-1>Practicing the 'Qi Trace Technique'-1>Looking into the Kingdom of Unbar and The Iron City-3Redistribute the points to learning saber and other techniques after this is done.>Practicing pillforging-3
Accidentally slept in, I'll get the session started in an hour.
You decide on your priorities for your upcoming time at the Royal Academy and the time begins to go by faster than before as you get settled into your routine.>Practicing your saber 3>Practicing the 'Qi Trace Technique' 1 [Goes to 2 after you're done with your research]>Practicing the 'Subtly Blowing Leaf' movement technique 1>Looking into the Kingdom of Unbar and The Iron City 2>Practicing pillforging 3>Practicing the 'Split Boulder Fist' [0, goes to 1 after you're done with your research]As the days wear on you focus on mostly training, keeping to yourself, but you do figure out that the guy who gives people unsolicited pointers at the bladed weapons hall is called Qian Yan. Apparently the only explanation he gives for why he does this is that "he doesn't want to practice around a bunch of idiots". You guess you should be offended by that, but since you're benefiting you don't really care.After about two weeks you finally find information about Unbar Kingdom and The Iron City in a short section of a book about historical dynasties. Apparently they existed in the same area as Zhaotian Kingdom about 30,000 years ago and were the strongest power in the region. The Iron City is assumed to be the kingdom's capital, and by a few rough guesses about where it was located you can see that it would have been near your home village. You don't remember any major sets of ruins nearby, but you suppose most of them would disappear after that long.Around the same time as this you make your first attempt at forging a 'Frigid Qi' pill, one of the easier Tier-1 pills. You fail rather terribly, but it's a good learning experience. You're hopeful that you'll be able to become a 1-Star Apothecary soon.At the same time you make significant advances in your saber, and you see what the woman before meant by "lacking". Your skills were closer to an ordinary soldier instead of a cultivator, and you were nowhere near fluid enough with your movements. You're still working on it, but you're confident that you're improving.Another week passes and the old man in charge of your age group makes an announcement. "As you can see, this age group has reached 100 members. I'm sure none of you want to remember more names than that, but the government won't stop recruiting. To solve this problem, any prospective student of the academy can fight someone ranked below 75th, and if they win, they replace them. The max size for this age group is also capped at 100, so if anybody else wants to get in, you're all on the chopping block. Hopefully this keeps you all on your toes." This is... slightly worrying. You're still ranked in the bottom quarter of the class. You're also curious as to why the government would expand the academy so much on purpose and then use it to cause conflict, but it may just be to motivate the students. After hearing this news you...
>>3251189>Put it out of your mind and continue training for the time being, someone entering the school will likely try to challenge someone at the back, not you.>Challenge the ranked 75th for a duel. You just need to get into the safe zone, right?>Challenge the plump kid with the war hammer who was ranked 74th to a duel, 75th will be too contested over.>Challenge the person ranked 70th to a duel, that'll give you a bit of leeway against anybody else trying to get just barely into safety.>Challenge the person ranked 60th to a duel. You should be strong enough to handle them now.>Other
>>3251195>Challenge the person ranked 70th to a duel, that'll give you a bit of leeway against anybody else trying to get just barely into safety.I feel like both 75 and 74 will be hotly contested so we may as well go to 70. I don't mind going to 60 for a challenge but we should secure a place first.
>>3251227You decide to challenge the person ranked in 70th as to avoid the rush for places that will occur around 75th and 74th. You don't know who exactly they are, but given your level of cultivation you should be fine. You quickly make your way to the ranking boards (which seems rather busy today, likely due to people looking for someone to challenge) and figure out who the person in 70th for your age group is.As you do so you take a glance at the other ranking boards and find that they're all capped out at a round number as well. The 16-17 and 18-19 groups are also 100, while the 19-21 is 150 and the 22-25 group is 200. The 25+ group is the only one that doesn't seem to have some sort of limit imposed on it, but you have noticed that there aren't many people in that group, so they may all be formidable geniuses to begin with.The person in 70th for you age group is a woman named Zi Chin. You vaguely recall seeing her around on occasion but know nothing about her skills. You...>Try to observe her first to find out her skill level. It may seem rather creepy if she notices, but desperate times call for desperate measures.>Approach Mo Jian and ask if he knows anything about her.>Challenge her immediately, you don't want to risk someone else challenging her first and having to wait longer.>Other
>>3251317>>Approach Mo Jian and ask if he knows anything about her.
>>3251317>Approach Mo Jian and ask if he knows anything about her.
>>3251323>>3251329You ask around to find Mo Jian and find out that he's practicing his bow, so you go to the archery range in order to find him. After a quick scan of the place you find him shooting arrows out of a massive bow towards a target that's surprisingly far away. He seems to be hitting it with ease.You approach him and greet him, to which he grunts something back and continues training for a couple more minutes before turning around to greet you. He says "Oh, it's Brother Zhu, I haven't seen you in a while, sorry for the wait. Do you need something?" You respond by saying "Well, I'm still ranked at 80th and I was hoping to move ahead given the academy's new policy, so I was planning on challenging the person ranked in 70th. Do you know anything about Zi Chin?"Mo Jian thinks for a moment before saying "Err... she uses daggers? That's the only notable thing I remember, I don't really remember most people ranked that low to be honest." Having gotten a bit of information you thank Mo Jian and...>Try to observe her first to find out her skill level. It may seem rather creepy if she notices, but desperate times call for desperate measures.>Challenge her now, you don't want to risk someone else challenging her first and having to wait longer.>Other
>>3251382>>Try to observe her first to find out her skill level. It may seem rather creepy if she notices, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
>>3251395You head over to the bladed weapons hall to see if you can find Zi Chin there and find her in a corner, slashing away at a dummy with a dagger in each hand. You observe for a short while and see that she's rather swift with them, and at the end of each routine she disengages from the dummy and throws her daggers towards targets printed on it, so she's practiced in throwing them as well.After a couple of minutes she stops training and then angrily glares at you before saying "Have a problem with me?" You...>Challenge her, that should clear everything up.>Try to explain what you were doing, you wouldn't want them to hold a grudge.>Other
>>3251429>>Challenge her, that should clear everything up.
>>3251435You ignore the question and say "I'm Zhu Zexian, ranked 80th, and I'm challenging you to a duel." She then just says, slightly annoyed "I guess I have to accept then, I'm free three days from now. You can file the paperwork yourself." before going back to training.You write down the required information such as date, time, ranks, and et cetera, before handing the piece of paper to the old man in charge of your class. He grunts and says that everything is correct but then says "You were just a little late there, the person in 78th challenged them first. They'll get the right to challenge first, and you can do it a few days after." You're slightly confused since she didn't mention she had been challenged already and ask about this, but the old man just laughs and says "You don't have to ask permission if they're ranked above you. You just need to turn in a sheet of paper, it's not like they're allowed to reject. Of course most people do it for 'politeness', but I think it's overrated."You go back to your training after this and the next couple of days go by fairly normally until you get a bit of a shock during the duel announcements. "Duels in need of scheduling are Shao Chin, ranked 73rd versus Shi Ai, ranked 58th and Ye Su, ranked 98th versus Zhu Zexian, ranked 80th." This... you were challenged? You guess you just found out why nobody skips the morning announcements. If you didn't come then you might lose a duel without even knowing that you were challenged. Well, you guess you need to take care of this first. You...>Schedule the duel for as soon as possible, you just want to get it over with, especially since if you lose you'll fall to 98th. If you went to 70th and then back down to 98th that would be truly embarrassing as set you back greatly.>Delay the duel for about a week, you want it to wait until after you've fought Zi Chin.>Other
>>3251521>>Schedule the duel for as soon as possible, you just want to get it over with, especially since if you lose you'll fall to 98th. If you went to 70th and then back down to 98th that would be truly embarrassing as set you back greatly.
>>3252075>>3251975After the old man is done announcing the duels for the day you approach him and tell him that you'd like to finish yours as quickly as possible. He nods and says "There's an open spot on arena three in an hour, I'll schedule you for then. Tell your competitor, I don't want to." You then find Ye Su, your competitor, and approach him. As you do so he seems excited and says "I won't lose to you even if your rank is above mine, for I'm Ye Su an-" but you cut him off and tell him that the two of you are dueling in an hour and that he should get ready. He seems confused and says "Er, in an hour I kinda had something going on." You tell him that the time has already been decided and that he should reschedule before leaving to get ready.You spend the next hour at the dueling arena watching people fight while you polish your saber and make sure you're in good condition. Come time for the duel Ye Su seems infuriated at you and as both of you walk onto the arena he points at you and yells "As I was saying earlier, I shall win! Now it's not just about the ranking, but because you made me call off my date with your sudden timing." As he says this you can hear quite a few people laughing at him. You...>Respond that if he had something important he should've talked to you about what time to do this ahead of time.>Give him a cursory apology and wait for him to stop talking.>Tell him to stop talking and to get ready to fight because you weren't planning on this either.>Other
>>3252206>>Tell him to stop talking and to get ready to fight because you weren't planning on this either.
>>3252206>Respond that if he had something important he should've talked to you about what time to do this ahead of time.>Tell him to stop talking and to get ready to fight because you weren't planning on this either.
>>3252206>Respond that if he had something important he should've talked to you about what time to do this ahead of time.>If it was true love he would drop the challenge. And probably she wasn't worth it. Just to piss him off
>>3252783>>3252798>>3253487You yell back at Ye Su "If you had something to do you should've actually challenged me in person and figured out a time that worked instead of just springing this on me. Now just get ready to fight, I wasn't planning on having a duel this soon either." Ye Su stares at you, angry, as he pulls out a sword and dashes towards you. As he does so you begin driving your cultivation, upon which you can see an expression of shock and confusion on his face, since he happens to be in the Low Qi Emission Stage, like the majority of your age group.You...>Wait for him to approach and then engage in an exchange of blades.>Charge towards him as well in hopes to catch him off-guard with your speed.>Heckle him. You wouldn't normally do so, but the angrier he is the more likely he is to mess up.>Other>>3253480I'm going to tell the outcome of this just because imagining it was hilarious. You would say this to him and start driving your cultivation to fight and then he'd immediately notice the higher level of cultivation and decide to forfeit to go on his date since you gave him a way out that would give him brownie points with the girl.
>>3253637>>Heckle him. You wouldn't normally do so, but the angrier he is the more likely he is to mess up.Use what >>3253480 said.
>>3253637>Charge towards him as well in hopes to catch him off-guard with your speed.Just whoop his arrogant ass
>>3253637>Charge towards him as well in hopes to catch him off-guard with your speed.
>>3253697>>3253729You charge towards him at the same time he rushes towards you, saber unsheathed. Your speed is greater than his due to your superior cultivation, but Ye Su isn't caught off guard and focuses on your movement. You near him and slash towards his chest with your saber, but he barely manages to fend it off with a strike of his sword. While he may have avoided a major hit there, his sword has been knocked back by your strike and shouldn't be able to get back into position to defend him again. You...>Slash towards him once more before he can recover.>Aim a punch towards his abdomen. It should cause enough damage to make him admit his loss, but it will be far less likely to cause any permanent injuries than a saber.>Other
>>3254618>>Aim a punch towards his abdomen. It should cause enough damage to make him admit his loss, but it will be far less likely to cause any permanent injuries than a saber.
>>3254618>Aim a punch towards his abdomen. It should cause enough damage to make him admit his loss, but it will be far less likely to cause any permanent injuries than a saber.also seems like something less predictable
>>3254638>>3254644You kick off of the ground to dash towards Ye Su's now unguarded body, and while he's able to draw the sword closer to himself he isn't able to block or dodge in time to stop himself from being hit by the fist now shooting towards his abdomen. As you hit him Ye Su tumbles backwards while sputtering and coughing. It looks like that hit did a number on him.After Ye Su comes to a stop he quickly says "I might be able to carry on for a few more rounds, but it's clear who the winner would be at this point. I concede." before walking away. You're declared the winner and are free to go. You...>Return to your training.>Observe some of the other duels in preparation for your own.>Try to gather a few people to celebrate your first victory. At least you know you're not the weakest person here.>Other
>>3254705>Observe some of the other duels in preparation for your own.
>>3254705>>Observe some of the other duels in preparation for your own.
>>3254705>preparation for your ownDo we still dueling the girl with daggers? She kept her position at 70?
>>3254708>>3254712You spend the rest of your afternoon watching students duel among each other. Throughout the many duels you're exposed to quite the variety of weapons and tactics. Of course you can't get used to these tactics without fighting against them, but at the very least it's good to have knowledge of what various opponents could do in the future. By the time you leave the dueling grounds you've seen people from swift outfighters with odd weapons to heavily-armored strongmen fighting with only their fists.You train a bit more and head back to Gu Xinyi's manor for the day. You see Feng Qiu and Qian Shun and give the former a perfunctory greeting, while the latter you greet more amiably. From what you've heard lately Feng Qiu will be attempting to forge a Frigid Qi pill for his 1-star Apothecary certification in a month, but his chance of succeeding is maybe 30% from what Gu Xinyi has been saying. Still, he is talented since he's likely going to become a 1-star Apothecary around 40, and from what you know that uncommon in Zhaotian Kingdom. At the very least you shouldn't look down on him.You return to your quarters and there you see Hu Qiang, cultivating as normal. He's seemed rather motivated since you came to the capital, although you're not sure whether it's to keep up with you or because of something else. As you enter the room Hu Qiang takes a look at you and sighs before standing up and saying "Master, I think I'm within a few months of breaking through to the Qi Emission Stage. My late start means I may not get beyond that in my lifetime, but I'd at least like to improve my strength at this point in time. I was planning on going off on my own for a while and attempting to make a breakthrough while journeying across the kingdom. I should be back before this year's Royal Tournament. Is this fine with you? If it's not I suppose I can cultivate here and take care of things." You...>Respond that it's fine, he's the one that knows his cultivation best so if he thinks it should help it probably will.>Tell him that that's rather dangerous and that maybe you can just forge a couple of Qi Pills to help him. They're not traditionally used before the Qi Emission Realm, but you were fine while using some, so as long as he only takes one at a time or dilutes them he should be fine.>Other >>3254721You're not sure yet, their duel is tomorrow, but either way you've already challenged them so you're going to have to fight them. The worst case scenario is that she loses and you have to fight to take her spot in 78th.
>>3255273>Respond that it's fine, he's the one that knows his cultivation best so if he thinks it should help it probably will.
>>3255273>Respond that it's fine, he's the one that knows his cultivation best so if he thinks it should help it probably will.>Still give him couple pills for the road. Ask him to wait week or two if we need to prepare materials
>>3255372>>3255818>>3255835You think for a moment before saying "That's fine, just don't die or anything. I'll forge a couple of Qi Pills in a bit and you can take them with you, although I'm not sure how much of a help they'll be." Hu Qiang nods and thanks you for the understanding. You feel like he shouldn't be thanking you since he's serving you out of his own choice, but oh well.Later that day you get permission from Gu Xinyi to forge another set of Qi Pills with some of the ingredients that are stored and successfully produce two. They aren't as high in quality as the ones Gu Xinyi gave you, but they should help. You hand them to Hu Qiang and talk with him for a bit before heading to bed for the day.The next morning you return to your training before taking a break to attend Zi Chin's duel. You see her standing across from a man with hair dyed red wielding a massive sword with both hands. After a short bit of banter the man charges towards Zi Chin and the two begin fighting. The massive, roughly forged sword swings through the air as Zi Chin struggles to dodge it. Normally you'd expect the blade to cause the man to move extremely slowly, but the man seems to be adept at using it and isn't impeded by it. Several close calls later Zi Chin finally gains some distance and throws several throwing knives towards the man's vitals, but he moves the sword in the way of his body and stops the knives from hitting him.The man chases after Zi Chin as she flees, more free to do so now that she has some distance. Knives continually shoot towards the man who is forced to repeatedly block with his sword, but now Zi Chin is aiming towards different extremes of his body instead of vitals so that he can't block both areas at once with the sword. This makes it easier to dodge, but the man is caught by surprise and has a dagger impale him in the foot, impacting his movement.After landing the first hit Zi Chin manages to deal minor wounds a couple more times until eventually she pulls several large knives out from a sheathe, wielding one in each hand. You're not sure whether she decided that it was time to go on the attack or if she ran out of throwing knives, but either way she begins rushing towards him. The man smiles and readies his sword to fight her, but as he does so she quickly tosses one of her larger knives over to her other hand and grabs another throwing knife to toss at him. You hear him loudly swear as he moves his sword to block, but at that point she puts the throwing knife back and puts the oversized knife back in her other hand.
>>3256683The two are quickly in melee range and Zi Chin has an advantage for a short time due to her feint. She manages to pelt him with rough slashes, but you can see that she's getting tired. Eventually the man manages to get a stray swing to hit her and she's sent flying backwards like a puppet with broken strings.A few seconds after hitting the ground with a loud thud she lifts herself up, coughing up a bit of blood as she does so, before grabbing her knives again. She rests where she is as the man moves forward, sword in hand. Soon they're in melee distance again and the man launches another strike that would certainly end this duel if it lands. As he does so Zi Chin immediately throws both of the knives she's holding towards him. He's forced to drop the sword and move backwards, caught off-guard by the strike, but one of the them still lands in his shoulder. Zi Chin then dashes forwards with the last of her strength and pulls her knife out before going to stab it back in. The man quickly yells "I concede, I concede." before it can be driven back in and Zi Chin stops, a smile on her face. The two shake hands and Zi Chin goes to gather all of her throwing knives.A couple of minutes later Zi Chin leaves the stage holding the spot where she was hit and sees you. She then glances at you and says "Give me about a week to recover." before leaving the stage. You nod and leave the arena, surprised by the ferocity of their battle. They seemed decently matched.The couple of days go by normally enough until Gu Xinyi approaches you and says that 1-star Apothecary Xian Jin is leaving his research for the first time in a few years and that you should come with him to visit him when it happens. It would, after all, be more convenient to be acquainted with Xian Jin earlier than after you become a 1-star Apothecary since nobody ever knows when he's going to hole himself up for his research again. You tell him that you'd be happy to and remember the date in your mind.I'll update a bit more so that we can get to the choices in 70 minutes, I thought I'd be done writing this before my class, fuck.
After speaking to Gu Xinyi you wish Hu Qiang off, as he was planning on leaving that day, and then go to sleep. The next morning you go to the Royal Academy as usual but unexpectedly get contacted by Mo Jian. He greets you with enthusiasm and explains that he's going to a banquet in a couple of weeks and was wondering if you wanted to come along woth him. You...>Accept, it sounds fun.>Decline, you have better things to do.>Ask why he would ask you, the two of you haven't talked much.>Inquire as to what the occasion is.>Other
>>3256784>Check if it's not interfere with meeting Xian Jin>Ask if he sure? We are country bumpkin and probably embarrass him.
>>3256784>Ask why he would ask you, the two of you haven't talked much.>Inquire as to what the occasion is.
>Ask why he would ask you, the two of you haven't talked much.>Inquire as to what the occasion is.First time catching the update live live , keep it up
>>3256856>>3256883>>3256925You ask for the exact date to check if it will interfere with meeting with Xian Jin and find that it doesn't. After that you ask why he would ask you, the two of you haven't interacted that much and you haven't been in the capital for very long. Mo Jian laughs when you ask him and says "Brother Zhu, you're pretty sharp. Yes, there are other people I could bring along, but none of them have cultivation on par with yours. There will be other students from the Royal Academy there, mainly the stronger ones. By bringing you it implicitly implies that I have another person in the Middle Qi Emission Stage as a part of my faction. There are less than 10 people with a cultivation of that level under 16 here, so that's relatively important. With that the balance of power should shift slightly in my favor and it'll benefit my prestige here. Anyways, you'll benefit from going and if you're seen with me it could scare off those flies like Ye Su from the other day."Well, Mo Jian's explanation makes more sense than him inviting you out of the blue. He seems more scheming than you expected, although not in a bad way. You guess the political mindgames of the government start at this level. Many of the students here go on to become major officials after all.Finally, you inquire as to what the occasion is, and Mo Jian's face turns excited. He grins and says "That's the most amazing part! I managed to get an invitation to Tan Xun's 18th birthday! The Tan family extended quite a few invitations to young talents from the other major family clans, sects, and such because it's such a major occasion, but it's still rather unusual how many people are coming. Due to the amount of people our age invited there's a lot of gossip about what the celebration is going to be like. Anyways, you're coming, right?" You...>Accept without saying anything about having met Tan Xun and Tan Wuhan, it'd seem like you're boasting and you're not sure how Mo Jian would react. If he thought you were trying to show him up it may not end well.>Accept and note that you've met Tan Xun and Tan Wuhan before while travelling, if Mo Jian believes you have any sort of connection it would benefit you.>Decline, you'd rather not risk getting attacked by Tan Xun again in front of a room of other people. You honestly wouldn't be surprised if he was inviting all of these people just to beat them up.>Other
>>3256925Thanks for the encouragement, will do o/
>Accept without saying anything about having met Tan Xun and Tan Wuhan, it'd seem like you're boasting and you're not sure how Mo Jian would react. If he thought you were trying to show him up it may not end well.Might as well just see what happens, I can see him beating everyone that comes.
>>3257264SupportAlso we should train our dodging technique for the remainder of the week for our fight. Let's seek out a dagger expert for that.
>>3257829I think we shouldn’t specialize in combat too much, we are spilling time between pills and weapons right now. Our strong point is the speed of cultivation, we have just learned the basics of a sword for a cultivator. So unless you want to switch to learning the basics of a dagger, which is fine but it will take additional time. We are still learning the basics so it is fine to switch weapons at this point, but we should only focus on one and unarmed.
>>3257250>Accept without saying anything about having met Tan Xun and Tan Wuhan, it'd seem like you're boasting and you're not sure how Mo Jian would react. If he thought you were trying to show him up it may not end well.
>>3257264>>3257829>>3258120You have a slight foreboding as to why Tan Xun would invite such a large number of young talents to his 18th birthday, but it's not like you've interacted with him for that long. Maybe attacking travelers to train and that sort of behavior is out of the ordinary. Maybe Tan Xun and Tan Wuhan are actually very reasonable people underneath all that? ....Right? You accept Mo Jian's offer and both of you go your separate ways for the time being.After that the week continues going by in a flash while you train for your duel with Zi Chin. The day before the duel you train for a short time in the morning before deciding to cut it short for the day. A single day of training won't make much of a difference right now and while it's normally not a worry, you'd like to avoid being fatigued the next day in case you overdo it. After that you...>Track down Mo Jian and see if he's willing to hang out. He may have ulterior motives for talking to you, but he's still amiable enough.>See if Qian Yan is willing to hang out. He's not correcting you as much as he used to at the bladed weapons hall, so at least it seems like you're improving. You should thank him for the help.>See if anybody is idling about in the classroom and see if they'd like to do something. They're probably the most likely to say yes.>Other
>>3258470>See if Qian Yan is willing to hang out. He's not correcting you as much as he used to at the bladed weapons hall, so at least it seems like you're improving. You should thank him for the help.
>>3258529Support>>3257915What I meant was that dagger expert could give us pointers on how to fight a dagger user better not actually learn how to use daggers but that's null and void now.
>See if Qian Yan is willing to hang out. He's not correcting you as much as he used to at the bladed weapons hall, so at least it seems like you're improving. You should thank him for the help.
>>3258529>>3258604>>3258822You approach Qian Yan who's currently about to start training in the bladed weapons hall, as he does for the majority of every day, and ask if he'd like to hang out. He stares at you for a second and thinks for a moment before saying "Give me six hours, I'd like to finish training for the day first. You should practice too if you have the time." You then note that you're trying to avoid fatiguing yourself today and Qian Yan nods before going back to training. As you leave the room you can hear him tell somebody that their form is a mess and to straighten their back. Having been delayed by Qian Yan you...>Track down Mo Jian and see if he's willing to hang out. He may have ulterior motives for talking to you, but he's still amiable enough.>Read in the academy's library for the next six hours.>Go to the Apothecary's Guild and read for the next six hours, it's the best use of your time you can think of.>Head back to Gu Xinyi's manor until the appointed time and relax there and maybe chat with your fellow aspiring apothecaries.>See if anybody is idling about in the classroom and see if they'd like to do something. They're probably the most likely to say yes.>Other
Heads up, I may not have a chance to update tomorrow since I have some homework to deal with and a prior engagement because 2/14. If neither go too long updates will be as normal.
>>3259696>Read in the academy's library for the next six hours
>>3259696>Read in the academy's library for the next six hours.
>Read in the academy's library for the next six hours.
>>3260184>>3260646>>3261111>>3261376You go the academy's library to wait out the next six hours and open up some old, worn tome from a few hundred years ago. It describes various political squabbles among minor families, although you're honestly not sure if any of them are real or not.As you get halfway through your book you see the person who ignored you while reading a book on the first day of the academy enter. You try to greet them but they simply ignore you and start reading through books at a ridiculously fast pace. You're both cultivators so you both read faster than the average person and have better memories, but he really exceeds expectations. By the time you finish your book he has a small stack of books next to him that he's finished reading through, and he continues going through more at a rapid pace. You think you've met your match in reading, you can't exceed this. You...>Try your best not to compare the two of you and wait out your six hours in here.>Try to ask him how exactly he does that. He may not respond, but you can at least give it a few tries.>OtherI'll try to update within the next few hours on this one as long as I have votes, happy Valentine's Day and all that anons
>>3261428>Try to ask him how exactly he does that. He may not respond, but you can at least give it a few tries.
>>3261433You ask the youth how he reads so fast and he ignores you. After several repeated attempts over the course of half an hour, however, he probably determines that it's easier to talk to you to get you to stop rather than ignoring you and turns towards you. He then just says "How fast do you think you would read if you read every single day for 12 years? Now multiply that by a few times and call that multiple 'luck' or 'talent' or whatever you'd like. That's why I read so fast." He then goes back to ignoring you and you resist the urge to bother him again.After that you go back to reading and eventually it's time for Qian Yan to finish training for the day. You leave the library where the other student is still reading and make your way to the bladed weapons hall. There you find Qian Yan shining his saber, which he usually does after he finishes training. He looks at you for a moment and stretches before saying "So, what are we doing? Or should I decide?" You reply that...>You could go grab a meal.>You could go see the nightlife, you're sure there's something going on.>That you're fine with whatever he wants to do.>Other
>>3261565>>That you're fine with whatever he wants to do.
>>3261565>That you're fine with whatever he wants to do.
>>3261663>>3261679You reply that you're fine with whatever Qian Yan wants to do and he nods and makes a few vocalized "Hmmm"s before saying "Follow me, I have an idea. Oh, and take those emblems off of your clothes. And if anybody asks you're not a cultivator, you're just the son of a merchant. As for your name, make something up." You then follow Qian Yan, confused, before eventually asking what he's planning on. He then dismisses your concerns and says that it's nothing much, just some stress relief, before you're eventually led to an alley.Qian Yan enters the alley before knocking on a nondescript door rhythmically seven times and saying "Silverfish." The door then begins opening inwards. As this door opens you notice that you're only just barely able to sense Qian Yan's cultivation through using the Qi Trace Technique. As he does so you stop driving your cultivation as well and Qian Yan seems surprised, but gives you a nod of approval. The door then opens fully and you see a well-dressed man in his mid 20s. He looks at Qian Yan and says "Brother Dong, it's been a while since you visited. Who'd you bring along with you?" Before you can say anything Qian Yan then gestures to you and says "This is Brother Bai, his father is a merchant and he's next in line to inherit his family's business." The man then says "Well then, welcome to the Blue Oyster Junior Brother Bai, if you're a friend of Dong Yang then you're a friend of mine. My name is Chang Hu, but you can just call me Brother Chang."The man at the door clears his throat before asking Qian Yan "Have you told him what the purpose of the Blue Oyster is?" Qian Yan then shakes his head and says "I thought it was better he heard it from you." before the man nods and says "Alright then. The Blue Oyster is a training ground and mingling place for the next generation of young businessmen within Zhaotian Kingdom. Some of our businesses or future inheritances are aligned with various factions across the kingdom, but we put that aside here to enjoy ourselves and learn more. Come on in." Chang Hu then leads the two of you inside and you find yourself in a dimly lit bar filled with various well-dressed people who range from a few people your age to people in their early 30s.As you enter Qian Yan gets greetings from a few people sitting around combined with compliments and a couple of requests for help with business issues. Qian Yan greets them in turn before telling him that he'd like to get some drinks first. He then sits down at the bar and asks for 'the usual'. You sit down next to him and...>Ask why he goes here if he's not a businessman.>Ask what he's having to drink.>Ask about his reputation here.>Other
>>3262552>>Ask why he goes here if he's not a businessman.
>>3262552>Ask about his reputation here.
>>3262552>Dong>BaiPlenty of innuendo for valentine's day. Qm's getting laid on valentine's bros.
>>3262552>Ask why he goes here if he's not a businessman.
>>3262586>>3263463You ask Qian Yan why he visits here if he's not a businessman and he says "Because it's... interesting? Once you become a cultivator, power is all that matters, and sometimes you're looking for evidence that you're right. And then you see another world like this, one of mortals, and they're still struggling to gain power. We gain power and acquire resources to gain more power, while they gain resources to acquire power in order to get more resources. It's subtly different, but it's all the same."As Qian Yan finishes talking a few glasses arrive before him and he immediately gulps down the first one before turning to you and quietly saying "It becomes harder to get drunk once you're an immortal. I have to get the strongest stuff here just to feel the buzz." He then wipes his mouth with his arm before saying "And so this microcosm of the world exists here, a representation of everybody's struggles for strength. Of course, I benefit beyond my observations. By staying here I gain connections, and while most of them don't matter much, enough ants can take down a giant. Well, no, they can't, but we're not facing giants. Maybe it's better to say enough ants can take down a cricket." The two of you sit in silence for a moment before Qian Yan gulps down another glass and says "You know, I actually have quite the eye for business. Not that it matters much when I'm dedicated to the saber, but the people here seem to appreciate it, maybe a bit too much. I've got plenty of job offers lined up, although none of them are anywhere near better options than the Royal Academy."Qian Yan then stares at the last glass of alcohol before taking it down in one shot and saying "I need power, they need power, everybody needs power. Some just need it a bit more than others." He then stands up and stretches before saying "I think I'm going to play some poker. You want to join me?" You...>Accept and go with him to play poker.>Decline and then watch him play.>Decline and speak to one of the businessmen sitting around.>Other>>3263244Wait, how is Bai innuendo, I'm confused. Unless you mean that as in i'm saying 'bye'Also, not unless I comprehend Spatial laws
>>3263574>Accept and go with him to play poker.Bai as in bi as in biseks :^)
>>3263574>Accept and go with him to play poker.Do we know how to play it?
>>3263574>Decline and then watch him play.
>>3263628>>3263709You accept Qian Yan's offer to play poker and as you follow him he whispers towards you "You might want to back off on raising when I deal. Don't make it obvious but don't go all in or anything." The two of you then walk towards a table with about five people sitting at it with a deck of cards. Qian Yan then says "Mind if my friend and I join in?" A man at the table then chuckles and says "It's the card shark! Sure, the two of you can join in, I'll get you back this time."The two of you then sit down and start playing. The first two hands are fairly normal, although you do notice that you're able to get a glimpse of a couple of cards for brief moments because you're a cultivator and the other players aren't guarding against that fact. It's then Qian Yan's turn to deal and you see that he shuffles the cards far faster than a normal person would, although to the others at the table they probably just think he's a very seasoned gambler. As he does this you see that he can get a pretty good view of the cards and that he moves a couple on purpose at what's probably his maximum speed. The next hand goes without anyone saying anything odd about it and Qian Yan wins a big victory. Next it's your turn to deal and you...>Cheat a little as well, you guess that's another reason why he comes here.>Shuffle the cards without purposely trying to get a look at them and then deal them out.>Expose Qian Yan's cheating, you don't really like him taking advantage of normal businessmen.>Other
>>3265195>Shuffle the cards without purposely trying to get a look at them and then deal them out.
>>3266018>>3265213>>3265719You shuffle your cards the best you can in a fashion that won't let you get much of look at them and then deal them out. You continue the game in this fashion while Qian Yan continually cheats, although it doesn't seem like he's out for blood. If he really wanted to you feel like he could've gotten more money, but he's holding back either to keep it hidden or because he's not doing this just for the money. Either way the game ends a couple of hours later with you up 10 gold coins and Qian Yan up 45. You didn't purposely cheat, but you did get a bit of an advantage from your superior eyesight, and you're not going to fold every hand just because you accidentally get a glance of a card or two. After the game ends Qian Yan gets a few compliments for how much of a card shark he is and gives a bit of business advice to a couple of the people you played against. The two of you then leave the Blue Oyster. You...>Ask Qian Yan why he feels the need to cheat.>Tell Qian Yan not to cheat against mortals.>Make small talk.>Say nothing and see if Qian Yan is going to take you somewhere else.>Other
>>3266150just realized my name was offwhoops
>>3266150>Ask Qian Yan why he feels the need to cheat.
>>3266186>>3266634You ask Qian Yan why exactly he feels the need to cheat and he looks at you and shrugs. "It's my strength, so I don't consider it as cheating. If they were as strong as me I wouldn't hold it against them if they did the same thing. I do keep it under wraps because I know they're not going to view it that way, but whatever. If you think about it it's not that bad for them. They lose a bit of money on occasion, and in exchange they get some business advice and they get to play poker against a 'real cardshark'. You should try it some time, poker is more fun when you're applying all of your skills."The two of you continue walking through the rapidly darkening night and you...>Stay silent, waiting for Qian Yan to say something. You shouldn't push the issue anyways, it's not that important.>Make some small talk, silence would be too awkward.>Tell Qian Yan that the point of poker is to be on an even playing field from the start, and that one player being vastly stronger than the others undermines that.>Other
>>3268184>Make some small talk, silence would be too awkward.
>>3268250You put the issue aside and make some small talk, following behind Qian Yan as he goes towards the edges of the city. Eventually he stops walking and says "Hmmmm.... want to have a duel of sabers? I'll suppress my cultivation down to your level of course." You...>Tell him that you have a duel tomorrow and that it'd be too dangerous to do so now/>Tell him that you have a duel tomorrow and that it'd be too dangerous but suggest some sort of test of skill instead.>Accept, this sounds like a good opportunity to see what a true saber user looks like in action.>Other
>>3269376>Tell him that you have a duel tomorrow and that it'd be too dangerous but suggest some sort of test of skill instead.
>>3269467>>3269875You respond "I have a duel tomorrow, dueling with you would be a bit too dangerous. What about a test of skill instead?" Qian Yan then seems to think about it and says "Alright then, a test of skill. Follow me."The two of you begin leaving the city at a brisk pace and once you've left the wide streets of the capital and are into the surrounding countryside Qian Yan begins moving faster and faster until you're just barely able to keep up. After about 15 minutes you're next to a well-hidden stream with a cliff nearby. The cliff seems to be scratched by an innumerable amount of saber slashes.Qian Yan turns to you once the two of you arrive and says "This is where I usually practice when I want to be alone. It's fairly well hidden so we shouldn't be disturbed. As for a test of skill.... what about this. I'll suppress my cultivation to match yours and give you three... no, five minutes. You're to use your saber and if you can land a hit on me you win. If not then I win. Does that sound fair?" You...>Suggest something different [state what].>Agree with the terms and unsheathe your saber.>OtherI'll update a couple of times today if votes permit by may not update much for the next two days because I have a major exam coming up. I will probably have a session Thursday though.
>>3271715*but may not update muchtypoes
>>3271715>>Agree with the terms and unsheathe your saber.
>>3271715>Agree with the terms and unsheathe your saber.
>>3271727>>3271772You agree with the terms and unsheathe your saber. As you do so Qian Yan smiles and pulls out his own saber. Qian Yan slowly waves his short, blue blade about as you think of the best angle to attack from.A moment later you charge and thrust the blade towards Qian Yan. He quickly backs away, but you then follow the first attack up with several more. These are parried by Qian Yan, who doesn't bother to back up anymore. You continue pushing forward with more combinations of attacks but Qian Yan merely parries them, seeming as if he's changing the momentum of your blade into nothing.After another failed attack Qian Yan attacks your hand and you're forced to drop your saber. He then says "Think outside the box a bit, you're never going to land a hit on me like this. Try something more... er, novel I suppose? There are rules to what's good and what's bad, but that doesn't constrain one's ability to use the saber. It provides a framework for it to grow." You pick your saber up again and...>Try to come up with some sort of new combination of moves. If you can't use the ones you have memorized that maybe this is what he means by 'thinking outside the box'.>Throw the saber at him. He'll never expect it. It's definitely 'outside the box'.>Try to distract him before launching another flurry of slashes. It's definitely a less straightforward tactic, and one you wouldn't generally use.>Other
>>3272361>Try to come up with some sort of new combination of moves. If you can't use the ones you have memorized that maybe this is what he means by 'thinking outside the box'.
>>3272361>Try to come up with some sort of new combination of moves. If you can't use the ones you have memorized that maybe this is what he means by 'thinking outside the box'.Combined with:>Throw the saber at him. He'll never expect it. It's definitely 'outside the box'.
>>3272361>Charge at him with a saber and punch the ground next to him with full force to create a cloud of dust and then try to land a kick on him as he tries to retreat in confusion.Gotta go full Naruto on his ass.
>>3272361>>Try to come up with some sort of new combination of moves. If you can't use the ones you have memorized that maybe this is what he means by 'thinking outside the box'.
Rolled 41 (1d100)>>3273185>>3273200>>3273620You think for a moment trying to figure out what exactly Qian Yan means before getting ready to fight again. If he's telling you to 'think outside the box', maybe he means to try new combinations of attacks. You haven't practiced them before and you're not skilled enough to create powerful strings of attacks out of nowhere, but it has a better chance of working than hoping you get a lucky hit out of nowhere.You dash towards Qian Yan and swing your saber around haphazardly, trying to combine moves you haven't before. Qian Yan continues to rather effortlessly parry the attacks away, but now he has a smile on his face. He says "That's a bit better, yes. Er, that one won't work though, you can't just flail about. Or that one, that's the same as the normal version but with two moves interchanged- there's actually a name for that if I recall correctly."Over the next few minutes this continues until you hear Qian Yan say "30 seconds! Come on, give it your best!" You frown, figuring you don't have a chance to hit Qian Yan at all, but then you have an idea. What if you throw your saber at him! That's definitely outside the box! You then attack him and feint before pulling the saber back and throwing it at full strength. You hear a confused grunt come from Qian Yan before he...
>>3275107...whacks away the saber with his own as it comes near his shoulder, sending it flying across the ground until it lands about 100 feet away. Before you can really process just what happened you hear a light gust of wind and realize that Qian Yan is dashing at you. You attempt to back up but due to the close range you were engaged in he catches up almost immediately and lifts his saber to your throat.Qian Yan then lowers his weapon and says "And that's why you don't throw your weapon away in close combat. Although it's not like you'd win either way, so I suppose I can't fault you for it. Just be aware that it's a desperation move unless you either have another weapon or a way to get it back. Anyways, 5 minutes are up. Good try, it was entertaining. Hopefully you learned something."As you go to retrieve your saber you feel a sudden burst of qi stronger than any you've felt before appear from the top of the nearby cliff. You immediately turn your head towards it and see an old man wearing a blue robe with several scars on his face. He has either a sword or a saber sheathed at his side and is missing an eye. He looks angry, but it doesn't look like his anger is directed at you, so you glance at Qian Yan and see that his face has gone pale. Qian Yan scratches his head and says "Oh, Master, I didn't know that you knew about this training spot. Good evening!" The old man simply glares at Qian Yan before you hear his rough voice echo towards where you are. "What are you doing?" Qian Yan scratches his head and says "Helping a friend practice?" The old man jumps down from the cliff and, still loudly, says "Practice? It looks more like you were satisfying your own vanity to me. Anyways, that's not the problem for now, you're late. I don't care if you don't want to do it, it's time." Qian Yan then lets out a weak yelp as the old man grabs Qian Yan and throws him over his shoulder like a piece of luggage. The old man then jumps back onto the top of the cliff and runs away into the now dark forest. Er... that was odd. Well, you guess you should go home and rest for your duel tomorrow.You go home, more tired than you expected to be, and sleep until morning. You feel refreshed when you wake up and are ready to engage in your duel with Zi Chin.The couple of hours between your waking and your duel pass in a flash and soon you're ushered onto the stage again to face Zi Chin, who seems to have recovered from her injury in her last duel. You prepare to open the duel by...>Attempting to close the gap and dashing towards her, saber in hand. [1d100]>Throwing your saber at her. Qian Yan said it was a desperation move so she'll never be prepared for you to do it immediately. [1d100]>Holding your ground and seeing what approach she takes first.>Other
>>3275151>Holding your ground and seeing what approach she takes first.IIRC she's a dagger thrower, so I propose we let her exhaust her daggers while we're being on the defensive.
>>3275590You stay back and wait for her to make the first move and she quickly makes some distance from you before grabbing two daggers from her belt and throwing them towards you. Since you have enough time to react and your cultivation is higher you dodge the two without too much difficulty and you see her frown before she begins moving a bit closer, to within about 15 meters. You...>Try to dash towards her as she moves towards you, it'll catch her off guard. [1d100]>Stand your ground and prepare to for more daggers to be thrown towards you. [dodge/block rolls]>Other
If this thread dies before I get a vote then I suppose I'll open the next one up with the same post, if I get a vote before then I'll parse it immediately as the first vote of the sixth thread.
>>3277570>Stand your ground and prepare to for more daggers to be thrown towards you.It's easier to defend while being on the defensive than while dashing in. That being said,>Let's try to catch a dagger this time.