previous chapters:https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20Quest_You are the peerlessly talented and genius magical beast, Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed/ Happy to Shed Blood), who walks the heretical and feared path of ghosts and grudges, being the sole inheritor to both uncorrupted Blood Qi and the primordial legacy of beasts. As the adopted daughter of the Toad Witch Monu, and the grandmaster of the recently named Palace of Natural Laws (宫殿的野生彝宪, Gōngdiàndīyěshēngyíxiàn) sect, you have a great responsibility to bear and many difficult trials ahead if you and your students are too survive in these chaotic times when cultivator fights cultivator.Having spent the spring tracking down and recruiting three newly awoken magical beasts, The flying executioner Wusheng Siwang (无声死亡, Silent Death), the man eating pack leader Huili (Ash Gale, 灰 䬅), and the bringer of unintended disasters Chuándǎpò (船打破, Ship breaker), you devoted the rest of the spring season in teaching, training, guiding and advising your students be they born with feathers, fur and shell or not. So your sect's disciples rapidly progressed, now following proper cultivation methods and tutored by a genius prodigy like yourself and an accomplished and veteran cultivator like your mother Monu. As Ping and Feiqing left the safety of your underground temple to seek a means to breakthrough their bottleneck, you helped Siwang and Fu create their own laws to follow and form as they saw fit.Qiang, however surprisingly, showed an aptitude to your law, now blessed with the title of Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law(统治者的这重大轮回法律, Tǒngzhìzhědīzhèzhòngdàlúnhuífǎlǜ), and so, while her fellow disciples diligently trained and meditated on the Orthodox laws they practiced, or experimented with and tested the limits of their own self taught laws, you personally took Qiang down into the Catacombs to train her in holding a court of resentful ghosts.And while discussing her sorrowful and painful past, you managed to break the wax seal holding in the secrets of the dimensional gourd that had been presented to you just prior to your attack and usurpation against the ghost governor Yin Zhao.And so master and pupil were both swept away and buried beneath the horde of wealth the prior owner of the storage treasure had kept and carried with him.Enlisting the aid of several loyal specters, you freed yourself and Qiang from the sea of twinkling trinkets and glittering baubles, and with the aid of the serfs, peasants and lackies of your fiefdom of the unquiet dead, you carried the mysterious treasures from the catacombs and one by one carried them out past the sealed Demon's Head Gate and into the stone courtyard of your subterranean sanctuary.You allowed Qiang a reprieve from her tireless efforts, and so she shambled off to bask in the mist rising from the spring of five elemental waters kept in the heart of the mountain, Cont
>>5240998Luckily, you managed to catch Feiqing and Ping as they were packing to leave on their journeys and caught your honored mother as she was grinding up caterpillars to make a poisonous pill to test her resistance to the poisons and toxins she cultivated and kept within herself.So, sitting down around the mound of treasures, the four of you catalogued all of the contents of the now empty dimensional gourd, while the lower ranked members of your sect carried them away as they were identified and inspected for any value or curiosities. Tally of the contents of the dimensional gourd: Eight hundred twenty four spirit stones (Total: 1268), Jade Ghost taming Seal (Exorcist artifact. Allows the binding of even fierce hungry ghosts to the user's will), Record of Wraiths and Phantoms (Manual detailing types of hauntings, ghosts and other supernatural beings and their abilities and weaknesses), Amber and Pearl prayer beads (Sealing artifact, each bead can hold one creature, living or dead within it. If broken, the occupant is released . Currently all beads are empty. Total Beads: 9), Qilin mane Fly Whisk (Fire imbued weapon, high quality), Pouch containing five highly refined spirit medicines (Two miraculous healing pills (instantly mends wounds) , One blood cleansing drug (Cleanses poisons and supernatural ailments), Two Fire body stabilizers (Creates a potent burst of Fire Qi within the body, giving a boost of Qi and Stabilizing the meridians and inner anatomy of bodies reformed with fire), Recruiting token of unknown sect (Polish Pink seashell), A rough map of the Chuan region (Including several locations not marked on any mundane map) a great fortune's worth of silver and gold coinage and pearls, and five pairs of pink silk daoist robes Lanfen and Monu play around with the mundane material wealth that spilled forth from the gourd, Monu taking a few pieces of jewelry and encouraging Lanfen to do the same, though, the young woman meekly approaches you for permission to keep a pair of black pearl earrings and a bangle of silver shaped into the image of a mermaid resting upon a rock with a long flowing tail similar to that of a well bred koi. You don't care for such a bauble and so the request is easy to allow. The rest of the silver, gold and pearls are stashed away in the deeper vaults of your temple, along with the spirit stones that have nearly doubled your sect's wealth in the cultivation world. The manual is placed with the others in the Manual repository, the medicines are taken to the medicine storehouse and wrapped in individual silk pouches for safe keeping. While the Ghost taming seal and Fly whisk are left within the armory, in a sealed section until they find an owner, where the steel tiger's claws Feiqing made from Old crooked fang's core would rest, if he hadn't taken them along on his quest for rare ores for self defense.Cont
>>5241000For the rest of the day, the outer disciples gossip and try to work up the courage to approach you or one of their betters to ask them to petition you to spend some of the apparently vast wealth of old coins and shining pearls to further expand your temple in various frivolous ways, such as giving even the lowest of the outer disciples fine silk robes and lodgings that would make the imperial palace's guest quarters seem like the dinging lodgings of an infrequently visited roadside in that served more as a home for mice and lice than men.You ignore them, and instead make your rounds through the ever expanding network of chambers and tunnels that make up your recently named sect's sole stronghold. Since you can't think of a better time to announce the recent naming of your temple, you'll wait until the communal nightly meal is readied and served to announce it. And then, if Qiang has recovered from the rigors of learning how to safely cultivate the Qi of ghosts, you'll take her back to the catacombs to open a portal to the underworld, so she may see that the sins of her previous life are nothing compared to some of the monstrosity men have committed against one another.'And I'm called a demon just for being what I am, when there are still emperors and warlords being all but worshipped who are tortured in hell for the crimes that allowed them to be so revered in life' you complain to yourself as you wonder through the various halls and caverns of your home, lighting your way with false ghosts lights and blood red spheres of illumination floating all around you like fireflies. Still, you have quite some time before you'll announce the naming of your sect, several hours until then, and taking Qiang into the underworld on a scholarly expedition will have to wait until at least after dinner. So, unless you wish to wander through the quiet and empty halls of your groto to pass the time, you should find something to do to distract yourself while you wait for dinner to be ready and Qiang to be well enough to attempt entering the chill air of the underworld.So, Huanliuxue, what do you do while you wait for Qiang to rest and recover?>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworld>Check on Chuandapo and see how she's acclimating to her new home, and tell her about the geges and how you hope they'll be her friend when you one day bring them out from the wilderness. >Force Huili to get back his backbone. Him acting like a dog was amusing at first, but now its just pathetic. If he wants to serve you, he needs to be proud, dammit. >Casually chat with your other disciples, as you plan how to spend your newly aquired wealth >Write in
>>5241002>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworldI'm curious.
>>5241002Leave the stronghold, abandon the sect, go to the mountains.
>>5241002>>Force Huili to get back his backbone. Him acting like a dog was amusing at first, but now its just pathetic. If he wants to serve you, he needs to be proud, dammit.
>>5241002>>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworldEventually whatever's in him is gonna come out when it's satisfied. Rather not let that happen.I'm wagering now, the only of our current beastly disciples with the potential to gain a human form is Siwang. Huli and Chu just don't have the right mindset to improve quite as much.
>>5241002>What is wrong with LeiAnd hey. Maybe we can gain inspiration from the affliction.
>>5241002>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworld
>>5241075The other two just need a change in mindset. We broke Huili without building him back up stronger and Chuan hasn't been really interacted with us post-recruitment so her simple ways have stayed the same. I'm still curious what the snake would have been like if we got our hands (paws?) on them
>>5241002>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworldThis was a long time coming
>>5241002>Force Huili to get back his backbone. Him acting like a dog was amusing at first, but now its just pathetic. If he wants to serve you, he needs to be proud, dammit. Looks like Lei vote is winning and I'm OK with that, but I still feel we need to take care of Huili.
>>5241524Well personal motivation is also a factor. They'd need proper goals. And so far they don't really have goals beyond basic needs and wants. Which is why Siwang is so set in my eyes. He has a strong, completely independently determined ambition that also involves a higher philosophy. Couple that with a desire to learn AND practice and you got a recipe for tragedy or greatness. Kid's basically a total package. Chu doesn't seem to be doing too hot. Mainly cause she seems to have adopted the driftwood sort of path. She'll follow the currents and move aside when needed so long as she can keep floating. Easier to correct but a little frustrating.Huili got it real fucking bad though. On those beta meme hours. If he isn't scheming and biding his time then he's just going to ride the coattails of whoever he thinks is top dog. rip snek, you were probably a brat.
Ending the vote now. Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworld:7Leave the stronghold, abandon the sect, go to the mountains.: 1Force Huili to get back his backbone. Him acting like a dog was amusing at first, but now its just pathetic. If he wants to serve you, he needs to be proud, dammit.:2So while you wait to announce the recent naming of your sect and for Qiang to recover enough to travel to the underworld, you'll try and figure out exactly is wrong with LeiUpdate will arrive shortly
Like a bolt of lightning flashing through the night, the answer for the question of how to keep yourself occupied for at least a few hours if not a couple of days fills your mind. The mute and ever loyal Lei, who, along with Feiqing was one among the first and earliest of your students. Yet, due to his rather peculiar ailment of the spiritual roots, the shadow that drains and absorbs most of the Qi he manages to cultivate, he has fallen far behind even those who had joined after you obtained Blood Qi and actually established a sect. And with how hard he labors in your name, and how loyally he has served you since that snowy night you freed him, Feiqing and Ping from their bonds and kept them from a most painful and fiery death, Lei certainly deserves your concern and attention. Your expert attention. Monu mentioned that the shadow that blocks him from cultivating was either a curse or a true demon, and while you have yet to study curses in depth, they're usually born of grudges are they not? And you have taken the essence of weak devils into your meridians and Dantians before, and have spent time in hell for various reasons in the past and have just recently have come to own a book that, while it primarily deals with earthbound ghosts and natural spirits, surely must have a chapter or two detailing the various breeds of demons and the native denizens of hell.'Unless of course, that was censored when the orthodoxy was put in place' You grumble in your head as you march to find Lei and interrupt his habitual mischief or whatever chore he has been given by Monu, as, from what you have seen, he only listens to you, your mother or his two sworn brothers and ignores everyone else who tries to command him or bring him to task. For, despite his comparative weakness, he still technically outranks everyone else in the sect through seniority alone. Or, maybe he doesn't realize that and he just can't understand their accents and dialects. You are never certain with Lei, since he can't speak and asking him to write his every thought down just to hold a conversation with him is incredibly tiresome.Plodding along through your temple, you find Lei, still wearing the red cat mask he bought from Fu's village that is styled after your own beautiful visage. The mute is crouched over one of the streams running from the miraculous five elemental spring bubbling in the depths of your sanctuary of stone.He lifts his head as you approach, and locks eyes with you. He tilts his head silently, letting the small stick he had been using to proud at the minnows with incredibly incandescent scales that have somehow come to populate the miraculous and Qi rich waters of the spring. Then, blithely, he raises his other hand and waves at you, as he lifts up his mask to reveal his face. His piercing eyes melt with joy, as his thin mustache lifts as he smiles and approaches you, in a manner very much reminiscent of a curious kitten.Cont
>>5242491Of course, he doesn't say anything to you, and merely listens with arms politely folded over his chest. You consider him for a moment longer, trying to figure out what he's thinking or if he's silently asking you something. But you give up that endeavor, as his expression does not change in the slightest and he makes no moves to explain himself with body language or a hastily drawn message written upon stone with water.So instead, you lift your chin, commanding him to follow you, and lead him from the stream to find the instruments Monu had Feiqing make to more accurately read and scrutinize spiritual roots.Maybe tonight you'd finally find out what was wrong with Lei's spiritual anatomy. Roll 1d100. DC 62. Best out of three
Rolled 79 (1d100)>>5242493
Rolled 48 (1d100)>>5242493
Rolled 78 (1d100)>>5242493
>>5242501Success, and 10 over DCUpdate will arrive shortly
Lei lays flat upon a stone slab, mask covering his face but exposing his eyes that state serenely towards the shadows flickering and swaying atop the ceiling. The design of the mask, with its exposed and barred fangs, makes it seem like he's sneering confidently as you, under the guidance of Monu, carry out the grading of his spiritual roots with a mixture of acupuncture, paper talismans and taking pieces of his hair, blood, mucus and skin to refine down to measure the quality of his spiritual roots without digging into his flesh to reach and expose his bones. It is, a somewhat crude method of testing his innate potential, but the magical tools and medical and ritual devices required for a more elegant and ceremonial process of grading his spiritual roots are simply beyond your reach. Monu, taking the instruments Feiqing made just for this purpose, begins to press them at the beginning and end points of the eight extraordinary meridians and then the twelve principle meridians. With a needle in nearly every acupoint, and now with sharp edged cups heated to various, sensitive parts of his body, Lei begins to groan in pain, eyes rolling bag but showing no distress or fear as Monu carefully removes the cups, revealing the bruised fleshed beneath, before jabbing a jade tipped needle into the center of each, allowing blood to flow out as you observe the exact hue of the bruising while she begins to remove the acupuncture needles one by one.This, is meant to stimulate the flow of innate Qi through the meridians, while the various samples taken serve to measure his elemental and chemical bodily balances, while the cupping makes the spiritual roots more visible beneath the slight flow of Qi. This method, as complicated and time consuming as it is, was abandoned for more graceful and pleasing practices. Like holding a pearl to the forehead, or pinching a specially prepared talisman wetted with blood from the recruits palm, or even swaying a spirit crystal of high quality from a chain above their central Dantian. However, this barbaric method is much more cost effective and reveals more than just the quality of his spiritual roots.So, while you could've measured Lei's potential and worth as a cultivator by gripping his wrist, and testing the resilience of his bones when exposed to a shock of Qi or by jabbing him with a Spirit crystal hard enough to reach the acupuncture points, the slow and ancient process better serves your goals.Since it can also reveal damages to the spiritual roots, which some of the more intricate methods and simplified procedures including those you have the means to carry, would only show such spiritual wounds as a lack of innate potential.It is why, as Monu cackled when she began slipping needles into Lei's naked body, that many sects still teach this old method, as clans will do anything before they admit that one of their descendants is talentless or unworthy of their name.Cont
And indeed, more than once, according to your mother in the same laugh, a great prodigy was turned away and scorned by one sect for failing the initial test, only to be found by another, rival sect, who performed a closer inspection and found them to possess hidden abilities or sealed powers.The hope of hiding away some secret talent, is what drove Lei to endure the honestly rather torturous test, as you and Monu spent most of the day picking, prodding, and jabbing him to try and create a reaction that could be studied and understood as a symptom of a specific curse or a sign of demonic possession. You watched the shadow over his meridians, shift, stretch and grow, as you flipped through the later chapters of the Record of Wraiths and Phantoms, looking for anything that resembled the gloom within that seemed intent on draining away the Qi Lei worked so hard to cultivate, no matter how pitiful of an amount it was. It was like a parasite, sapping away at the nutrients of its hosts. And that is why you didn't believe this to be a curse.A curse would seal. Lock away. Block. Destroy and scatter Qi. it would absorb it, it wouldn't store it. It wouldn't allow Qi to slip past. In your mind, in this scenario, a curse would be like a wall, rather than a grate. If Lei was cursed to be denied his destiny of being a cultivator, surely it would seal his dantians, block his meridians and wilt his spiritual roots, rather than wrapping around them like ivy to suck away the spiritual energy he took into himself.So you were certain, this was a possession. And from your own experience among the cities of the underworld and amongst the court of the graves, you were certain this was no guardian spirit, ancestral protector beast, or jealous ghost hitching a ride in Lei's body.No. This was, as Monu suggested before, a true devil. You are all but certain it is. The presence and energy is malevolent, but a demon's aura is different from a Hungry Ghosts or a protective spirit. While both, in theory, would parasite off of any Spiritual energy gathered by their host, only a demon could be so greedy. That, and the shadows have been shaping into a ogreish grimace for the last hour or so, which would be pretty hard to miss or misattribute to another sorcerous malady. "Mhrn?" Lei grunts, as Monu notices the face you've been staring at and judging, revealing itself from the shadows masking Lei's spiritual roots."Mch" She smacks her lips, narrowing her eyes "Seems it was a demon after all, guess we can't always be blessed with heavenly fortune when we're going against the heavens just by breathing?"She sighs, as Lei seems...entirely unperturbed by this revelation."You knew?" You ask sharply"Mhm" Lei snorts, nodding his head "Why didn't you say anything, you oaf" Monu snaps, slapping him across the head"You knew, that we could measure the strength of this demon sealed within you, and learn from it" You continue on, keeping your eyes locked with Lei's own
>>5242548"Of course!" Monu gasps, slapping her hands onto her cheeks as she rushes to the bowls where the pieces of Lei were boiled and muddled "A possession leaves behind physical markers, like any sickness! By studying the impurities refined out of his hair, skin and blood, we can gauge the power of the demon within him by the amount of impurity shedded after each refinement""Leeeei" You say soft;y, suddenly wondering just how much the Mute knew "Did you go along with this hours long, incredibly painful procedure, because you knew exactly what it would reveal in the end, once Monu wasn't being distracted telling stories?"Lei just lifts his mask and smirks"Where did you find him again?" Monu asked quietly, eyes narrowed with suspicion "No member of a run of the mill isolated cult would know any of this""He was dressed like one of them when I found him, Ping and Feiqing in that blizzard" You whisper, as Lei sits up as straight as a bamboo stalk, and yells out, as his movements move several of the needles in his legs deeper into his flesh"Is he pretending to be an idiot?" Monu wonders out load, tapping her silver pipe on the slab he sat on "or is he dull in some parts of his brain and sharp in the others""Who knows, but the mystery surrounding him only deepens. But I'm certain he didn't drive those needles into his leg to try and throw us of the trail of his past" You say, sauntering around Lei as Monu yanks out the now bent needles with a pair of pliers "I've seen a sage act like a drooling simpleton for half a century, my sweet, trusting daughter, anything is possible. Who knows what life Lei lived before he had a demon sealed within him" Monu grumbled "For all we know, he's an experienced heretic, a trained cultivator or an outcast from a hidden sect of"Monu's eyes glisten with realization as she sense an opportunity"Our fellow apostates!" She says, as Lei blinks calmly "Lei, if you tell me exactly where you came from, I'll reward you with a kiss"Lei shrugged, and was thus slapped across the head again by an irate Monu."I was a fool to get my hopes up!" She barked, crossing her arms "He really is an idiot, despite know far more than he's supposed to. Why must all the handsome one's be simpletons. Or have Demons locked away inside their bodies""You're taking that as a compliment?" You asked in shock as Lei beamed and turned red around his cheeks and ears "And is it often you find men with demons sealed inside of them?""Lazy exorcists think the human body is a better prison than a clay jug or jade box" Monu explained "And judging from filth produced from his hair and skin, the Demon inside our beautiful fool is pretty powerful, nothing we couldn't handle or subdue, but it'd have eaten a village or three if it was let out of him without being beaten down first"Lei's face turns pale, as he follows behind Monu like an obedient dogcont
>>5242549"Well, seems you agree with me" You say to him, nodding your head "That that possibility is a terrifying one""Or maybe it'd just burn a few temples, I don't study hell or its denizens. After all, I do plan on being immortal!" Monu boasted happily, patting your head as she, Lei and you left the surgery chamber and began to head for the dining hall "Well, if there's any consolation, at least by the end of dinner, your disciples will know what to call themselves, Huanliuxue. I just hope the rice hasn't gotten cold""Hong has probably eaten it all already if it has" You giggle as you prance beside your mother, and the obviously lovestruck Lei, who seems to have entirely forgotten that Monu had just rattled his skull twice with slaps that could crack and break stone.What do you do when you take Qiang on a field trip in the underworld, Huanliuxue?>Stay close to her, and explain to her the society and dangers of hell, as you show her the fate of particularly sinful mortal souls as well as the more exciting places within the outskirts and safer parts of the City you frequent>Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employers>Leave Qiang to explore and experience the sensations of hell, as you try and convince a powerful ghost or demon to help your with Lei's demon problem>Bring Lei along. Maybe the demon will leap out of him on its own accord, then? If not, maybe you could find a doctor of sorts who can extract it? Otherwise, you'll have to wait for Ping to return from his Journey to even attempt curing Lei at long last>Write inStill need to get around to making a pastebin for Huanliuxue's techniques.
>>5242550>Enter her into some fights.>Write in: and enjoy some ourselves
>>5242550>Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employersSounds fun.
>>5242550>Stay close to her, and explain to her the society and dangers of hell, as you show her the fate of particularly sinful mortal souls as well as the more exciting places within the outskirts and safer parts of the City you frequentGuided tour.
>>5242550>>Stay close to her, and explain to her the society and dangers of hell, as you show her the fate of particularly sinful mortal souls as well as the more exciting places within the outskirts and safer parts of the City you frequent
>>5242550>Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employers
>>5242550>Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employersThis sounds like it would be cathartic. Maybe even fun!
>>5242550>Bring Lei along. Maybe the demon will leap out of him on its own accord, then? If not, maybe you could find a doctor of sorts who can extract it? Otherwise, you'll have to wait for Ping to return from his Journey to even attempt curing Lei at long lastCan't we do that with the other options?
Ending the vote now, tallying the result. Apologies for the delay, was feeling under the weather yesterday.Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employers: 6- And enter some yourself:1Stay close to her, and explain to her the society and dangers of hell, as you show her the fate of particularly sinful mortal souls as well as the more exciting places within the outskirts and safer parts of the City you frequent:2Bring Lei along. Maybe the demon will leap out of him on its own accord, then? If not, maybe you could find a doctor of sorts who can extract it? Otherwise, you'll have to wait for Ping to return from his Journey to even attempt curing Lei at long last:1So you will enter Qiang into a few fights you are certain she can win, and then get the Pig spirit Yi Zhu to pull some strings so she can face her past and cut down her previous sect mates a second time.Update will arrive shortly>>5244194I knew I forgot something, but yes, you could've.
BIG update incoming
It takes a few days to prepare Qiang for her sojourn into the world of the yellow springs. Whilst your other students train their bodies and practice hand signs and incantations, Qiang is given a regimen of Divine Blood Honey drugs to prepare her very much mortal body for the energies of hell, so it may not be weakened, sickened or emptied of lifeforce while she experiences her first journey into the land of shade. Then, her usual physical training, which normally composes almost entirely on tempering her hand eye coordination, manual dexterity and reflexes, is shifted to build up not only her body's fortitude and resilience but her minds. Your mother, ever generous and wise, offers a supply of hallucinogenic poisons to further steel the young woman's mind against the nightmarish sights and visions of hell, taken from the backs of toads and the powder of crushed beetle shells and black thistles. Qiang, takes this challenge and swallows the dose advised by Monu, and you watch her sweat and shiver as she experiences a waking nightmare whilst meditating beneath a waterfall of ice cold water, produced with the aid of Chuandapo and the frosty Magical bear hide. Then, the night and day prior to beginning of your brief trip into the Serene darkness, you have Qiang meditate once more with your ghostly courtiers to serve as her cultivation source and materials. The most vengeful and malevolent of your court, hungry ghosts of potency similar to as those warned within the chapters of the record of wraiths and phantoms detailing the various forms of "Mad phantoms" and "Fierce spirits", Xiongji is ever among them, though you would name him a "Calamity" level ghost, above the rest of the monstrous flock you've gathered around your nearest pupil in the ways of cultivation. You contemplated, briefly, bringing out the diary of the gluttonous devourer of souls, but quickly stomped out the notion, knowing how that tomb is possessed by the will of its writer. And while you may resist the temptation of his offer of power and guidance you doubt a novice who has yet to sever the immortal soul from their mortal vessel could. So instead, you just gather a few clattering skulls, to heighten the grim and gloomy atmosphere of the grave. You find such decoration to improve the mood and calm the heart and soothe the soul, you have no idea why Monu calls the jaw snapping skulls as "Macabre" and "Creepy", they're adorable in their own way.Qiang, if she has any preference for or against being surrounded by old bones gnashing their teeth together and trapped ghosts wailing and lamenting their fate set around her like cages of songbirds, she does not voice them. After she completes her graveside meditation, and is flushed with freshly refined ghostly yin Qi and the miasma of resentment fills her lungs and belly, you have her swallow in exact order a sequence of Divine Honey Spirit Medicines. Cont
>>5245371Beginning with the Tireless Stamina drug, followed by a Tea made from a handful of spirit grasses taken from your personal gardens, followed by pills to strengthen her lungs and heart, before being finished with The miraculous Hell's Mantle Medicine (地狱的斗篷 药, Dìyùdedǒupeng Yào), so Qiang will resemble a walking corpse rather than the rare and sought after commodity of a living human wandering the vast plains of the underworld like a ripe peach singing that it wanted to be eaten or have its organs ground up into various medicinal pastes while its skin is sold off to be sewn into high fashion garments.Just a precaution against having to fight off greedy demons from spiriting away your student to grind her up to sell in the market or keep as a pet. And the lowering of her core temperature, will also make certain she will not fal over dead from the shock of the sheer chill of the underworlds wind, even though her existences is becoming closer to a phantom and her body is adapting well to the cold stillness of the grave and their harsh temperatures .You'd give the same precautions to any of your disciples who wished to travel with you into the Earth Mansion when you need to resupply your reserves of underworld reagents, Though Qiang will not need to take such measures when and if she achieves the Severing of the Eternal soul and Mortal vessel! [刌 永恒魂会死㿾, Cǔn-Yǒnghénghún-Huìsǐzhù]. And, if your mother wished to accompany you on such an outing, with her renewed strength and power, she wouldn't need even the slightest protection and could safely drink in the winehouses and partake in the opium dens alongside ogres and demons if she wished.But for now, before stepping through the gateway leading into hell, Qiang and anyone besides yourself and Monu, will need to swallow these pills, just as a precaution. Calling all of your servants and underlings together, you have them collect the earthly remains and red dust of the occupants of your catacomb kingdom, to harness and condense the Yin Qi of dozens upon dozens of tortured souls and hungry ghosts within a single chamber. Your cultivation and meditation chamber, to be precise. Then, as you intend to enter the underworld as both spirit and vessel alongside with Qiang, rather than opening a path for her and then stepping over yourself, you must extend the ritual and mantras you've taught yourself to extend the duration the door between worlds will remain open and to enlarge it, so you can fit through it without issue.A few of your more desperate followers try to rush through the portal, to escape the catacombs, but you stop their attempt at escaping into hell by shooting them a disappointed glare, which sends them fleeing as a mist away from the entrance from the hell they imagine to be their salvation.cont
The colorless grey skies stretch onwards beyond your vision, as master and student are both buffeted by the harsh winds of hell. The squid ink patches of hardy grass rustle and sway above the soil hued like bleached bones. Strange, flickering shadows pass by the entrances of the gateway torn between the world of the living and the world of the damned. As the rush of icy air receeds, you motion for Qiang to follow behind you, and step into the underworld. She nods, and wrapping a grey hood and cloak around herself, she steps through as the icy gales tear against you both. Qiang's eyes widen to the size of plates, as she feels the sensation of being watched by an entity far greater and older than herself. You've pondered this feeling many times since your first journey into the underworld, and the most pleasant conclusion you have reached concerning it, is that, hopefully, it is King Yan, looking over his domain, rather than a creature like the long dead Demon Lord Zhìzūn-Móxīn.A rotting corpse, lacking a jaw and with a long black tongue like a thorny vine hanging down its chest, notices the warmth rushing through the passage leading to the world of the living, and shambles closer to investiage. Qiang's eyes widen further, and her hand, by reflex, shoots for her sword at her hip, nearly drawing it from her hip as the rotting and grotesque monster approaches her, and sniffs her.Your claws stretch out, as the creatures one red eye narrows suspiciously sizing up the red haired girl that emerged from the living world."Hnnnrrrgh" The corpse creature grunts as it shambles away from the gateway in disappointment, as it begins to narrow and slam shut. Thankfully, the underworld is densely statured with Yin spiritual energy, so reopening a path back to the land of the living will be as easy as raising a paw. You begin to march forward, towards the underworld city you've wandered through every time you've decided to visit hell for one reason or another. But, you realize that Qiang had not moved since she drew her blade, and hear a sound of metal rattling against lacquered wood.Glancing back, you see her breathing in ponderously, controlling her breath to calm herself as she resheathes her blade with shaking hands, that quickly tense and them calm."For a moment, I thought that thing could smell the life on my breath and the warmth in my veins" She sighs, clenching and unclenching her hands "That was unexpected""I always seem to meet one of those creatures when I travel here" You say chipperly, hoping to calm Qiang's nerves before proceeding any deeper into the underworld "See that city built from the great slabs of black stone, and towering pillars lacquered red? With fanged skulls set in its gates""And the white banners flying with nonsensical characters and designs?" Qiang asks, as she follows after you, jumping every time she passes by a wandering corpse farmer going about their duties in the fields before the city "And the great bell?"
>>5245373"So your eyes can see clearly so far away already" You quietly praise, nodding once as you find the river that flows through the city itself "That is our destination, and the site of your next lesson, trial and a gift from master to student. I have an acquaintance in that city, who performed a mutual service for me when I was beginning my cultivation, that helped me evolve into a Wild Princess (野生 格格, Yěshēng Gége), before I ever made your acquaintance""I see, I see. So he shall provide me a service as well? Some devil pawnbroker or ancient tyrant who owes you half a favor?" Qiang asks, voicing h more curiosity than she has ever shown before"No, a greedy pig who knows a golden goose when he sees one, and will be all to ready to back you as you train your talents and techniques against the more...uh, brutish denizens of hell" You explain, Qiang's eyebrows lifting but she shows no other outward signs of surprise. She falls silent, as the two of you near the city, as the pearl moon's light pierces through the ever hanging clouds and miasmas. Qiang's eyes dart over all the foreign and new sights surrounding her, barely having time to comprehend what she is witnessing as you lead besides the oily black water."This place reeks of contempt" She whispers "The air itself is charged with resentment and sorrow, it feels like every breath I take is dripping with spite""Makes you hungry doesn't it?" You say, narrowing your eyes at a familiar blue devil hawking the souls of unborn fetuses across the river filled with tortured souls, and monstrous serpents and tentacled things that torment them. One day, you'll rip that monster's head from its shoulders, but not today "Kind of" Qiang replies bluntly "The sourness of grudge energy does make my tongue wet"Qiang frowns as you pass by a gaggle of arguing soldiers, some of them Chuan, some of them Ling and many of them wearing colors and uniforms unknown to you. "The war takes its toll" She dryly remarks as you wait for a boat to pass by that both you and Qiang can fit on "So, where is this contact of yours, master?""In the city proper" You say "And probably in a low class bar, its been awhile since I've last checked on him, so I assume he's spent the fortune I've won him and lost the good graces of his betters without having me by his side"Qiang nods, and looks at you strangely when you chirp in surprise at the sight of the rower who brings his boat to the riverside to take you onboard. It is the same dead cultivator who first brought you to the city of the dead and damned. Qiang turns to face him, and his fanged mask, as he recognizes what she is from a glance, and with the same respect he showed you, sighs and bows to her.She recognizes him for what he is."Well, at least I know I'll find employment when I die" She jokes, to hide her own surprise that a cultivator would be so enslaved in hellCont
>>5245375"He's a heretic like us, which is why he's enslaved. A follower of Orthodox Daoism, would not be so harshly pun.." You happily explain, as the man lifts his mask and smiles, showing his sewn shut lips. Something about his eyes feel familiar to you know, and the way his face is shaped. You pause, as for a moment, your mind's eye overlays Lei's face over his. And finds too many similarities to be a passing resemblance. And, beneath the waterlogged, mildew scent of rot surrounding him, you can smell something nearly as familiar as his face. This condemned heretic is one of Lei's relatives, an ancestor, surely."Oh" Qiang gasps, as she notices the resemblance herself "I thought he was...""An ancestor, perhaps, nothing more" You whisper, as the rower smacks a ghost who didn't pay his fare into the loving grasps of a monster that is half octopus and half woman, who drags him down into the inky depths of the river. Qiang looks ahead, and keeps a hand on her sword, watching warily as ghosts and devils of all shapes and sizes step aboard, while the two of you sit at the front of the boat. Soon, you pass beneath the canopy of lanterns and prayer talismans just before the city's gates. "The streets are paved with mummified hearts and old bones" You say, as you notice Qiang leaning over the ship to get a closer look at the streets you pass by "And walked by ancient spirits and devils, recently deceased ghosts and stranger things yet. Be careful not to fall in, I don't think even I could pull you back out of those waters if you fell overboard""And no one else would care to help" Qiang astutely observes "So, where is your acquaintance, master? Does he live further in the city? Or are these slums his home?""Yi Zhu lives were ever there is opportunity and fools to trick out of their savings" You state, as you hop off of the ship, Qiang taking a moment before following you "It won't be hard to find me, I made a name for myself in this district of hell, the moment he learns his prized fighter is in town, he'll find us""So, we'll just wait for him to find us?" She asks as she takes a long step away from the river "Oh don't worry, it shouldn't be long" You say, as you walk through the streets, none of the spirits, ghouls or revenants around paying you and your student any particular attention, as, in hell, a demonic beast is nothing out of the ordinary. And, as you foretold, soon, you hear frantic oinking and squealing, as the fat bellied Pig spirit pushes his ways through the crowds to find you. "Lady Huanliuxue! Lady Huanliuxue!" The swindler cries out, as he shoves and pushes his way to stand in front of you, following to his knees and prostrating himself by slamming his head to the ground four times before rising, blood and sweat trickling down his wrinkled brow as he wrings his hands frantically Cont
>>5245376"Oh I had feared you had been lost to me! That I would never again witness the peerless beauty, unmatched magnificence with these pig eyes of mine. That your boundless radiance, as a predator without equal in elegance or ferocity! The jade of killers has once more graced my life! I am indebted to you, to be just allowed to glimpse your blood red hide, finer and soft than any silk, to be granted the sight of your whole being is greater than any gift fallen from heaven! Oh Lady Huanliuxue!" He wails and cries out, shuffling closer to you on his knees as his teeth clatter and his eyes water "Like the finest poetry, the patterns of your fur, entrance me, oh Lady Huanliuxue, the most beautiful feline ever born upon earth, the greatest of all felines, the supreme lady of...""You're in debt again" You interrupt, smile coyly as Yi Zhu nods rapidly "I..I promised my latest and most benevolent benefactor that you would grace the tournament held in celebration for his recent marriage" He squeals "Oh please, I helped you reach a higher state, my lady! Surely you would help me in this most dire hour. As I promised when last we crossed paths, it will be attended by the nobility of the underworld, emperors of every mortal dynasty! A venue worth of a fighter of your skill, of a princess of all things wild! Who knows! Perhaps you will reach a higher state yet in this arena I offer to you!"You sneer and lean closer"I told you, when last we met, I may not be in the mood for bloodshed, despite it being in my name" You say sweetly, just to tease the pig and make him desperate, since his pathetic squeals and pleading cries do greatly amuse you. As you do fully intend to help the farm animal escape the butcher's block and stew pot a second time. A kindness to repay a kindnessQiang looks at the pig with big eyes filled with awe."Its a talking pig!" She gapes, which, at last alerts the bawling sycophant to her presence."Is this your daughter? She certainly is blessed to share her mother's beauty!" The pig squeals, obviously trying to play with your heart and affections to convince you to save his bacon"You're the second beast to make that mistake, I'm a cat, she's human, is it really so hard to figure out?" You dully reprimand, glowering at Yi Zhu as he scurries away from her "But she is my student""I knew something about her resembled your greatness, a teacher and a mother are not so different!" The pig blabbers "Surely, it would be a learning experience, if she could witness her master in battle""Yes, I brought her here to learn. If you can make it so she can fight in the tournament as well, against opponents of her level" You whisper into his drooping, ping ears "and if you bring to the ring a particular a troupe of ghosts, I will attend the tournament personally and keep you from being made into an ingredient for your benefactor's dinner"Cont
>>5245378Yi Zhu hugs you, and you let him cling to the soft pink fur of your under belly before tossing him off and to the ground. Qiang's eyes practically sparkle as she remains focused on the pig spirit groveling before you, speaking your praises and shouting them for the whole city to hear. Then, he leads you further into the city, sniffling and grunting her goes, towards a palace within its center ring. What do you do while Qiang fights, Huanliuxue?>Cheer for her and place bets, staying close to Yi Zhu to make sure he isn't hassled and meet his current employers while Qiang fights ghosts and ghouls.>Watch the other fights, and using your warrior and natural instinct, try and pick out winners to be upon (Perception trial DC 55)>seek out underworld nobility and charm them to get into their good graces. Learn a bit of society of hell and make a few friends more useful than a pig. >Meet the opponents you're expected to fight later in the tournament, and decide if its worth it to keep your word to Yi Zhu.>Write in
>>5245380>Cheer for her and place bets, staying close to Yi Zhu to make sure he isn't hassled and meet his current employers while Qiang fights ghosts and ghouls.Go not-daughter, settle your grudges!
>>5245380>Cheer for Quiang.I want to make that perception check too. But only after we have seen her butcher her former troupe. I want to observe how her meeting her grudges again effects her, maybe resparking a dead grudge, maybe resetting it again.Its prime material
>>5245380>Cheer for her and place bets, staying close to Yi Zhu to make sure he isn't hassled and meet his current employers while Qiang fights ghosts and ghouls.
>>5245381Also, we should bring Lei here someday to meet his ancestor.
>>5245534They're both mutes.
>>5245380>Cheer for her and place bets, staying close to Yi Zhu to make sure he isn't hassled and meet his current employers while Qiang fights ghosts and ghouls.I would like to meet other people down here, but we did come here to teach Qiang, it wouldn't be proper not to at least watch her.
>>5245536They don't need to talk to meet eachother, and Feiqing can understand Lei's grunts somehow, so they may even have a way to comunicate.
>>5245380>Meet the opponents you're expected to fight later in the tournament, and decide if its worth it to keep your word to Yi Zhu.Unpopular opinion, but... it's probably for the best that we don't get in over our heads here. We're strong, sure-- but one of these days, we're going to meet someone that's an equal match, or even better. Better safe than sorry, and all that. We can still catch a couple of Qiang's matches and maybe place bets in the interim.
>>5245380>Cheer for her and place bets, staying close to Yi Zhu to make sure he isn't hassled and meet his current employers while Qiang fights ghosts and ghouls.>>seek out underworld nobility and charm them to get into their good graces. Learn a bit of society of hell and make a few friends more useful than a pig.
>>5245380>seek out underworld nobility and charm them to get into their good graces. Learn a bit of society of hell and make a few friends more useful than a pig.
Ending the vote now, tallying the results. Cheer for her and place bets, staying close to Yi Zhu to make sure he isn't hassled and meet his current employers while Qiang fights ghosts and ghouls.:7Meet the opponents you're expected to fight later in the tournament, and decide if its worth it to keep your word to Yi Zhu.:1seek out underworld nobility and charm them to get into their good graces. Learn a bit of society of hell and make a few friends more useful than a pig.: 2So you will Cheer for Qiang while placing bets and meeting Yi Zhu's "Friends" Update will arrive shortly
And what a palace it is! Such is its grandeur and excellence you are surprised you do not see gods in attendance to the festival being held in its walls of bleeding black stone, but what a macabre collection of celebrants is gathered there, behind the rusted gates and stomping in dance upon pathways of femurs besides pools of white water were weeping souls swim as carp. You cannot recognize any of them as human, only the most repugnant of mortal souls who have embraced their own sin and evil seem to be attending this party, the great nobles of hell and demonic bloodlines. Some of the servants are dressed as emperors, shackled in chains and grinding their teeth as they diligently serve the repugnant guests stalking beneath the shade of windswept gallows trees, strung up with prayer flags formed from flayed skins decorated with curses and mockeries towards the heavens. A thick fog of smoke rises and wanders throughout the courtyard beneath the swaying tower that rises high into the grey skies of the underworld, a smoke so black and putrid it can only have been produced by the burning of meat, fur, hair and bones. And indeed, as Yi Zhu hustles and tries to convince the bouncer at the door, an obese eyeless thing with a head like a centipede but a body like the fattest human to ever die, you spot cauldrons of boiling blood with severed limbs, skulls and several unfortunate ghosts stewing away within them as far more pleasant looking demons with feline eyes and graces prod them with long skewers and daintily pluck squares of crisped skin and meat oozing with fat from their limbs and back.Luckily for Qiang, the effects of Hell's mantle medicine hides the paling of her cheeks as she witnesses the grisly feast, which becomes so gruesome and terrible she is forced to look away as the more human seeming of the devils begin to relish in the sweet meats and steaming organs offered to them on plates, picking them with all the elegance of human nobility. You, however, remain entranced by the celebration and the party goers, perhaps because the smell of roasting human meat doesn't offend you in anyway and you are rather intrigued by the ways of hell's nobility, as well as their fashion. Though, what keeps you from looking away or demanding to be let in instead of waiting for Yi Zhu to grovel his way past the gatekeeper beyond anything else, even hunger and curiosity, is how many of the demons attending the party look almost entirely human! Most of what you have seen in the underworld, if you discount the common ghosts that make up most of its society, have been monstrous or bizarre in appearance. Either from the weight and corruption of the sins of their lives, their own seething grudges, or simply because they were born in hell as hideous monsters. But most of the devils here could easily pass as human by simply wearing a veil! They'd have an easier time hiding from the orthodox sects of cultivation than you do!Cont
>>5247112When Yi Zhu ruffles and pats his stained robes, searching for the bone slip that will allow him to prove he's the greedy pig he claims to be, you focus on the features of several of the human like demons, realizing after your brief research of the Manual you found within the Dimensional gourd you have now tied to your side, that they belong to several clans or species of demon that were written off in the later chapters of that text.It would seem that, at least judging from those demons who choose to or are only allowed to partake in the festivities outside of the palace itself, are mostly the kind of demon you are mistaken for. Cat demons. And some of them still retain their naturally feline features, beyond their eyes and fangs peeking beneath their painted lips. Perhaps word of your attendance as both a guest and fighter had drawn them here, as they expect you to be some distant cousin or bastard sired and left in the streets. Wait, would they even be able to tell the difference between a Awakened house cat and a cat devil? You've never thought about it before, but what is the difference between the two? Most cultivators wouldn't think there was one, but, despite being named a demonic beast, you are no native of hell. So, then what separates one from the other?You ponder this as Yi Zhu triumphantly produces his slip and you are ushered into the courtyard. Qiang closes her eyes and adopts a stony solemn expression as you are lead through the forest of trees and nooses, past the revelers and their feast, and the many enslaved souls who repay their wickedness in life by serving and being kicked around, which you cannot help but think is a lesser punishment than being served as soup. Though you would prefer the latter to being made a slave, out of pride a lone. Snorting, you lift your head, looking at the crescent spikes that rise from the palace and the sleek tiles of its roof as blood rain falls upon it. Yi Zhu grumbles in annoyance, as he leads you and Qiang into the palace itself, where you are immediately greeted by a hole in the floor and dozens of stories of railed balconies rising above it, all of them providing a view of the pit. Cages hang above it, with skeletons and rotting corpses sitting within and a few beaten demons and ghosts alongside them. Great stone carvings of horned, snarling demons grace the massive pillars holding up the higher stories and the edge of the pit, which itself is cordoned off by a length of spiked chain.Inside the pit, you can hear the clashing of steel and shifting of sands, telling you, that is the arena Qiang will fight in tonight, and yourself as well, perhaps. Yi Zhu leads the both of you to a strange contraption that appears to be a room no larger than a closet, that begins to rise up with a terrible metallic grinding noise. Qiang nearly loses her balance, and Yi Zhu grunts, fiddling with the bracelets he wears around his wrists as the rising chamber rises higher and higher. Cont
>>5247113Until it stops, high above the the arena below. Qiang hangs onto the railing, as Yi Zhu huffs and puffs and hurries towards a box screened by sparkling clothes as thin as a butterflies wings, in red, black and purple. It was made of black iron and gold, menacingly spiked and decorated further by two statues of winged demons sat atop it, posed as if leaping into battle. You follow, cautiously and see the latest "friends" Yi Zhu has indebted himself to. They're crows. With black feathers and black eyes. Two women, one older, and one fairer, sit beside the owner of the palace. The elder of the two woman, is a crone who makes aged Monu look like her younger self, with more wrinkles than skin and a single tooth. The younger, still dressed as a bride, sits staring at the fight below with red eyes and perfectly ordered black hair. Between them, sits a more bestial crow demon, with an avian head and talons in place of his hands and claws. His chest is muscular and his body is larger than either his bride or her mother. In fact, all he wears is a set of loose red pants that are threaded along the sides with bone needles, and two hanging necklaces of silver skulls. He rises, and shrinks and soon looks much more like his blushing bride. The sudden transformation, which was hidden behind a whirl wind of black feathers, happened so quickly, both you and Qiang nearly fall over in shock."I was wondering if I had to start looking for you in the stew pots of the slums, my friend" He cooed, brushing a feminine hand across Yi Zhu's sweat covered cheek "You were gone for so long, my wife was worried our son wouldn't inherit your services, my loyal pet""Oh, my radiance, I was worried you'd be angered your celebration was so delayed by my ineptitude" Yi Zhu says meekly, eyes closed tightly as his master stands before him, smirking kindly as he traces his black nails over his snout "Oh I was furious, and was planning on having you served to my mother in law, stewed into jelly so she could chew up even your bones' He says, his voice still incredibly kind and warm as he scratches a deep scar in Yi Zhu's face "There, now your face will reflect the loss of face you forced me to endure wretch!"And then, as Yi Zhu shrieks like only a pig can, the crow demon glides over to you and Qiang and pauses as he looks down at her, as he still stand a good two heads taller than her."Hmm, curious coloring" He says with a sharp whistle as he kneels down, turning his eyes from your disciple and to you "And such luxurious softness, what fine fur! You must be of excellent breeding to maintain such splendid fluffiness and pleasing softness, alongside such beautiful, rich tones of color! And you wash yourself in blood? Do you treat it in any fashion? In my experience, Lady Huanliuxue, blood is so very harsh on hair, when it is allowed to settle"Cont
>>5247115"No, though I do know how to refine it" You blithely state, ignoring Qiang's unease and Yi Zhu's agony "And what a compliment it is, that one of such high standing and great wealth recognizes my regal bearing, may I be privileged to know the name of the gracious host who has allowed an alley cat like myself into his home, alongside the corpse in her service?""You may call me Baoli-Wuyawang (暴力-乌鸦王, Violent Crow King), Child, and I would have to be blind to miss your innate elegance and refined beauty that can only come from one of good breeding and noble class" He cooed, as his rose to her feet, wings flapping as she cheered as, judging from the clamor rising from the crowd below, one fighter killed the other "Your presence is unmistakably that of a ruler, overflowing with dignity and pride. However it is also the presence of a warrior, unmistakably"He rose to his full height, and clapped his hands together"And, while I can barely contain my excitement to see that side of you, bloodshed, I must hold to the bargain this oaf of a porkchop made with my authority" Baoli- Wuyawang gleefully explained as he ushered you and Qiang past Yi Zhu, who whimpered, and shuffled behind you, tears in his eyes and blood dripping down his face "And restrain myself from beginning the main event, to please my wife, who is far more violent natured than myself. Does you student's stomach and tongue still function? Or have they festered and rotted?"He pauses, turning around as he motions towards a table set with steaming entrails, beating hearts pricked through with golden needles and a grey, brackish broth filled with eyeballs and tongues.Qiang coughs, looking at her feet to keep from vomiting at the sight of the food offered to her"She doesn't eat before a fight, ever since she got split open and had to look at her breakfast and dinner spilling out along with her bowels" You explain cheerfully, to save Qiang the trouble of explaining herself"Oh but that would be so entertaining to watch!" The bride of the Crow queen whines "And there's no need to praise her, look, she still walks on all fours! She'd be better treated as a pet than a guest"You narrowed your eyes and felt a grudge forming inside of yourself as you look upon the spoilt brat who you would be sharing the company of until you entered the ring yourself"Do not insult my honored guests" her husband whispered, eyes tiwinkling as the bold girl suddenly turned as meek as a winter catfish and turned away, clawing at her legs to hide her fear as her husband smile lovingly "I will forgive this outburst, but it will be the last insult spoken to Lady Huanliuxue! She is an existence to be praised and respected! A rebel against the tyranny of the celestial hierarchy, and a keeper of forgotten legacies. One day, she may outrank us both"He then suddenly grinned and placed a once more taloned hand upon your head, scratching your scalpCont
>>5247116"After all, she's found a source of blood Qi we have yet to taint, and feels so much like a ghost that none of you morons could realize she is still alive" He laughed, leaping back into his throne styled after his own wings "Or that she brought a living human down here! I must say, I respect such boldness. And the courage of your disciple to enter this den of wolves! Incredible! I am truly blessed to have such amusing guests! That will fight for my wife's amusement!"Qiang nearly collapses as your host flippantly reveals her status as a still living human, and you nearly flee out of instinct upon witnessing just how much this devil knows about you that no one should, especially in the courts of hell."I don't looked so shocked. A ruler must be knowledgeable and alert if he wishes to remain in power, the politics of the underworld are relentless!" He sneered, popping an eyeball upon his tongue "Sit down, Lady Huanliuxue, and do not fear for your student, her secret will not leave this box, understand?"His wife nodded hastily and energetically, eyes nearly popping from her skull"Good" He said, not taking his eyes off of you "Do make it known if you become famished or parched as she fights, It would be a great failing for the host to not see to his guests every desire. And you, killer girl, you'll have a real treat if you can make it to the end of the novice racket""T..thank you, truly your benevolence and generosity is unrivaled" Qiang nearly squeaked, still staring down at her feet to keep her composure in the face of such unrelenting dread. Even you were nearly driven to tremble by the sheer weight of this devil's presence, and you could tell her was hiding and restraining most of his power"You'll fight in the next match" He stated, grabbing another eye to roll between his thumb and finger "If that is alright with you, of course. Wouldn't want to presume and perform a faux pas to humiliate myself further, after a certain fat swine went around dragging my name through the mud advertising that "The great Huanliuxue" would fight for my wedding day and forced me to apologize and beg forgiveness for your peers""How the hell are you still alive?" You asked Yi Zhu, as he tries to hide and curl up so as not to be noticed "And Yes, Qiang will fight in the next match, so I can reclaim the face this idiot lost, since he's shamed me with his boasting of my name""Excellent, excellent. Yi Zhu, lead Qiang down to the ring, so your stench will no longer offend us" Your host sighed, nodding as he flicked the eyeball down into the arena "Are you a betting woman, Huanliuxue?""I will be for my student, who I shall cheer for so loudly all of the dead will awaken from the commotion" You say with a nod of your head "And do keep her close, Yi Zhu, if she's harassed or threatened, I'll do whatever is threatened unto her unto you!""Of course, of course" Yi Zhu mutters, grabbing Qiang's hand "Ooooh, I can't believe I've survived this!" Cont
>>5247118"I won't shame our sect, master" Qiang said dully, smacking a fist to her chest "I swear, I'll bring honor and glory to your name with this blade of mine. Forgive us, for the deception, my lord""I said it didn't matter, didn't I?" Baoli-Wuyawang laughed "Just fight fiercely, and please my wife with the blood you shed, and will be forgotten"You sit uncomfortably on the seat offered to you by masked servants, as your host continues snacking, his wife continues glancing at him fearfully, and his mother in low looks at you blankly, like an invalid. "Now is when you should ask any questions you have, before the tournament resumes" She suddenly says "My son in law is practically tearing at the seams waiting for you to ask something, anything really"The crow king nodded, and holds up two taloned fingers.So, you suppose you have time to ask two questions Well, Huanliuxue, what do you ask? Two can be asked >"How have you become so knowledgeable about me, even my own disciples do not know as much about me as you seem to. It is a little unsettling, If I am being honest">"So, how many rounds and opponents is Qiang expected to face before you give her "Her past associates" to tear apart, King of Crows?">"What kind of service does Yi Zhu give to you that you would forgive such a slight and let him off with so light a punishment? I admit, I feel pity for him for his plight, though less now that I see he brings it upon himself">"Can I expect a reward for shedding blood for your entertainment? Or am I to be satisfied with the winnings I'll make betting on my student? Whom I advise you to bet on as well, my most generous host">Write in
>>5247119>"How have you become so knowledgeable about me, even my own disciples do not know as much about me as you seem to. It is a little unsettling, If I am being honest"> What great prizes are awarded in this tournament of yours and do it include anything that can allow a mortal (soon to be cultivator) to enslave demons?
>>5247119>"How have you become so knowledgeable about me, even my own disciples do not know as much about me as you seem to. It is a little unsettling, If I am being honest">"So, how many rounds and opponents is Qiang expected to face before you give her "Her past associates" to tear apart, King of Crows?"Interesting people, this demon crow nobility.
>>5247119>How have you come to be so Knowledgeable>What reward is at the end, beyond the joy of slaughter?
>>5247131Yeah, I think that one is a good idea because Lei is going to be behind everyone else unless he can use the demon for his benefit in some way, although I was more thinking about absorbing it in his meridians or something like that.
>>5247119>"So, how many rounds and opponents is Qiang expected to face before you give her "Her past associates" to tear apart, King of Crows?">"Can I expect a reward for shedding blood for your entertainment? Or am I to be satisfied with the winnings I'll make betting on my student? Whom I advise you to bet on as well, my most generous host"I would ask how they became so knowledgeable, but frankly it seems pretty clear to me. The people we killed probably tattled on us after death. It could have been the criminals we killed to flush out Siwang, or the hunters who went after Huili. The hunters especially we killed while testing our full repertoire of blood techniques, so anyone hearing that story first hand who knows their Chinese magic would probably figure it out. We will most likely need to assume that so long as we guide anyone to their grave, Hell will know what we are up to.Not sure how they figured out Qiang, they are either very preceptive or just knew we were alive and thus our "servant" was likely to be as well.
>>5247119>So, how many rounds and opponents is Qiang expected to face before you give her "Her past associates" to tear apart, King of Crows?">"Can I expect a reward for shedding blood for your entertainment? Or am I to be satisfied with the winnings I'll make betting on my student? Whom I advise you to bet on as well, my most generous host"
>>5247119>How many rounds?>What reward is at the end, beyond the joy of slaughter?
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result. Had some internet issues."How have you become so knowledgeable about me, even my own disciples do not know as much about me as you seem to. It is a little unsettling, If I am being honest":4Ask about a reward:6-am I to be satisfied with the winnings I'll make betting on my student? Whom I advise you to bet on as well, my most generous host":2-include anything that can allow a mortal to enslave demons?:2-beyond the joy of slaughter:2"So, how many rounds and opponents is Qiang expected to face before you give her "Her past associates" to tear apart, King of Crows?":4I'll be nice and allow both of the 4 vote choices to pass through along with the 6 vote one.So, you'll ask the Crow King if you can expect a prize, how he became so knowledgeable about you, and how many rounds Qiang needs to find before she is served her the ghosts of her old sect on a platterUpdate will arrive shortly.
"How have you become so knowledgeable about me?" You chirp curiously as the crow king begins to rythmically tap his talons upon the arm of his throne, his black eyes turning to look upon you as a coy, almost playful smirk graces his lips revealing pale white fangs beneath them "Even my own disciples do not know as much as you seem to. It is a little unsettling, if I am being honest"A cackle rasped in his throat, as a twinkle of amusement filled his eyes and he narrowed his eyes, his smirk growing into a grin as he dug his talons into the arm of his throne and tilted his head, before letting out a mirthful sigh that you swore you could see rise from his lips like grey smoke."Simple, we crows listen to the dead. When we swallow their eyes, we see the last things they saw in life . Apologies if my knowledge upset you, but if I am to be honest, I didn't require any of the usual sorcerous methods my kind uses to steal away knowledge or memories" He explains, flicking a curl of wood from his fingers "You caused waves when you fought for Yi Zhu's sake, enough to get me interested, and then, when you became scarce and only stories of you lingered, I asked around and slowly gathered pieces of the truth as you carried on with your ambitions in the mortal realm""So the ghosts of those I've killed tattled on me, told you of the means I used to kill them, of my techniques?" You ask with nervous titter. Only for your host to shake his head "They couldn't comprehend your attacks, either being ignorant of cultivation and even Qi, or simply not being able to recognize the truth of your techniques. No, I simply trusted my own instincts, senses and knowledge to piece together the confused ramblings of those souls into an understanding of what you are, and what you have achieved" He explains, looking towards you again as his wife nervously combs her long black hair "And really, if I am to be honest once more, my honored guest, I figured most of it out when you walked in just now, very few of those fools who you cut down, had enough sins to linger here long enough before returning to the wheel of reincarnation and they could scarcely tell me of what you did to kill them""So how then did you manage to..." You begin before he lets out a deep, resounding laugh"Simple, the fact you are a wild princess is obvious to anyone with eyes to see, such is your natural regal bearing" He explains "And the fact you've managed to cultivate uncorrupted blood Qi is obvious to my nose, just as the beating of your and your students heart sounded like drums in my ears. And any simpleton would realize a magical beast at cultivation level beyond Qi Condensation would have decided to march against the heavens, in one way or another. I really didn't need to ask around or investigate you too deeply beyond simply pursuing your legend idly"cont
>>5249875"Ah, I see now, you weren't certain until I reacted with shock and unease" You sigh in defeat, resting your head atop your paws "What a foolish cat I am, to let my fears reveal my secrets""Oh worry not! they are safely kept. You and I share an enemy, after all, and it is far too entertaining a prospect to see what you'll achieve and become to simply let the cat out of the bag. Where did you find a source of untainted blood qi anyways? I was certain us devils were thorough enough to transmute all of it into demonic spiritual energy, when we corrupted the one sect that realized its power. But despite that, you found a pure source of it"A swell of pride lifts you chest and puts a twinkle in your eyes as you cackle and sneer"Its my prize, and mine alone, you may keep my secrets close to your heart, but I won't hand over such a treasure so you may defile it" You cackle as the crow king laughs "Respectable! I'm sure we'll find it someday, and corrupt it like all the rest" He blithely states, shrugging his shoulders "Truly, that is what makes you so interesting, to find a power that had been lost to the world long before you were born"You smile grows, but you resist the urge to boast about how exactly you came to possess the blood Qi now soaked into your spiritual roots, and flowing through your meridians and Dantians."So, how many rounds and opponents is Qiang expected to face before you give her her "Past associates" to tear apart, King of Crows" You ask once you finish snickering and revealing in the secret you still keep from everyone but yourself and the old god atop that mountain "Five, unless she's a crowd favorite" He states happily, eyes twinkling as he begins tapping his claws on his throne again "Since four is...unlucky and anymore would be unfair! She's only human after all! Wouldn't want to sour my first meeting with the great Huanliuxue by sending her disciple out to be slaughtered. It'd be rather impolite you see, to kill a servant of fellow nobility without just cause, especially one who has struggled and clawed her way to her position, and has come to hold...a really fascinating treasure within herself. If you'd tell me where you found the Uncorrupted Blood Qi wellspring, I'd gift you a worthy substitute in return, why, if it was rendered impure, you and I would grow even closer!""You mean, allow yourself to be corrupted by demonic energy and truly become a demonic beast" You say with a dismissive huff "I may be a heretic, but I have no desire to make my home in hell, despite having ambitions to rule over it. Ghosts and blood are my domain""Oh but it would be so fitting! Your power is derived from such wicked sources, at least according to the rest of the cultivation world" He sarcastically whines "You absorb the breath of furious ghosts, and lap up the blood spilt from the dead! You'll already seem like a devil to those eyes blinded by tradition, why not embrace it"Cont
>>5249878"The laws of hell are not the laws of the wild, and I am no demon, even if my cultivation method appears to be demonic culivation to those ignorant fools who bind themselves to the mistakes of the past" You say coldly "Lets change the subject, shall we?""Fine, the fighting will start against soon anyways, but we may as well cleanse ourselves of the bitterness of this argument" Baoli-Wuyawang growls "But, I must admire your obstinance, that's a sign of a true ruler. Willful and with resolve and conviction powerful enough to stand alone against all others, in pursuit of their own desires. To stand by ones beliefs, is a virtue even a demon can admire. I guess you remember what happened the last time one of your kind allied themselves with mine?""Of course, inheriting the legacy of ascended beasts has made me all too aware of the part you people played in their downfall and persecution, even if only as an excuse" You say sternly before a cheerful timbre returns to your voice "Can I expect a reward for shedding blood for your entertainment, Lord Baoli-Wuyawang? What great prizes are awarded in this tournament, besides the joy of slaughter?"A wicked grin graced his fair features, as his demonic nature manifested and made itself known in the form of black feathers sprouting and pushing through the skin of his bare chest and face."Ah ah ah, that's a surprise! Wouldn't want to let the cat out of the bag! Half the fun is in the anticipation, my dear stubbornly principled apostate" He sneered as his mother in law cackled in amusement "Do they include anything that could allow a mortal to bind a demon into their service?" You bluntly ask"Perhaps" is the only response you get"Do I have to be satisfied with the winnings I'll earn for betting on my disciple? Who I advise you to bet on as well?" You ask playfully as a gong resounded through the arena, signaling the start of Qiang's trial by hellfire. "Oh most certainly not, even if you refuse to commit yourself to truly demonic cultivation, I do intend to act as your sponsor" Baoli whispered "I just don't see the fun in revealing exactly how I intend to help your efforts, before you've proven worthy of them and given me a good time. We devils exult in bloodshed after all, and considering your name, so should you. But it seems you've allowed morality to creep into your heart"You turn your attention to the arena far below."A shame. Power is so much more easily grasped when one abandons ethics and morality completely" He sighed, hanging his head "So, dear wife? What's my gambling budget this decade? I think I'll listen to our guest and go all in on that little red haired morsel""A challenger has arrived!" A disembodied voice echoes from the pit all the way to the highest point of the towering palace Cont
"The wandering soul of a human swordswoman slain honorably and without regrets! With hair soaked red with blood of foe and friend alike, the nameless student of the Happy Bloodshed proceeds her master to bring glory and honor to her name! But, will she only meet her end once again by the sword she lived by!"Qiang steps out onto the bone strewn, blood soaked sands, sword already unsheathed and a wicked boar's mask hiding her face, while allowing her shockingly crimson hair to flow freely out of the back like a mane.. She's covered herself in ashes, in an attempt to further bury any lifesigns that may be noticed by the crowd or her opponents. "Enough! Stop grandstanding and wasting my time, I don't have all of eternity to hear your babbling!" Qiang shouts "Any tournament that needs an announcer to get the crowd excited is worthless that shit under my heel, it should be the skillful dance of the fighters that rouses their souls and ignites their blood, not some windbag whose never so much as held a dull knife in his life. Start the fight already before I fall asleep! I don't have all day"Baoli-Wuyawang looked practically aroused by Qiang's show of impudence"YOU HEARD THE GIRL! Enough chatter! Enough ceremony! We've been waiting too long! Just let the blood be spilt and flow!" He cries out, licking his fangs as some of his wife's pride returns to her as she begins cheering alongside him, calling for the tournament to restart without any unnecessary fanfare. The gong is sounded again, and a hungry ghost came bounding out from one of the snarling demon faces in the walls. Its arms were ripped off, replaced with blades of bone, and dozens of spears ran through its back."Hah! Impudent pup! You may have been peerless in life, but I have fought for three of your life..." The bestial spirit snarls, as the face of a man twists into that of a wolf"Clearly you learned nothing, if you talk so much?!" Qiang spat, and then, the booing and hissing of the crowd that her demand had created stills into stunned silence, as she releases her specter lightness skill [幽灵-轻工, Yōulíng-Qīnggōng], catching her confident foe in its boundary and altering his and the audiences perception of time, to all other eyes except your own and Qiang's, time seems to have been forced to a crawl. In reality, it is merely the illusion that time has been slowed, though those who fall under its influence will experience the illusion as reality, as will any who view the affect from outside its radius.Qiang blinks , her body flickering like a shadow cast by fire as she twirls her blade and catches it under her armpit. And then, with leaning forward and lowering herself, she performs the "Phantom Cat Step" [幽灵猫步, Yōulíngmāobù] and leaps forward. Her opponent, baffled by the brief span of time he was caught in slowed time, stumbles.Qiang does not allow him the chance to recover and find his balance. A thrust through the armpit, piercing through the neck.
>>5249888 A geyser of blood erupts as she twirls under her opponent thus tearing her blade from his throat. Then she once more swallows him up within her bubble of altered time. The fierce spirit tries to retaliate, whipping one of his arms where he last saw Qiang, only to find find his ankle cut through as she bounds behind him, her sword's edge singing as blood flows from it. Baoli-Wuyang's jaw drops, his wife looks around in bafflement unable to understand what was going on, and Qiang leapt into the air as her opponent collapsed to his knees, catching himself on his bladesExposing the back of his neck to Qiang. "YES! PIERCE HIM THROUGH!" You roar, pounding your paws on the ground "Elegantly executed! Impressive! Truly impressive! Now end this dog's life with your bite""Understood!" Qiang shouted back, as she planted her sandals on the ghost's shoulders and pressing one hand on the pommel of her sword, plunged it through his neck. With the wound she already made in its front, it only takes her three wrenches to tear the head completely from its shoulders. The ghost falls, and the crowd remains silent as your host jaw drops and his wife pouts like a spoiled child. Not a single voice is raised, as Qiang hops from the still corpse's back and sticks her sword beneath her arm, dragging it out to wipe it clean of blood against her robe. Then, with a flick, she raises it towards the distant box where you sit besides the lord of the palace, whose eyes seem to have become filled with countless stars they are so filled with delight."I dedicate this victory to my teacher" She sighs, nearly yawning as she staggered back to her side of the arena, with all the self assured swagger of a young delinquent "Send out the next victim before I fall asleep!"\A thunderous applause followed"Huanliuxue" Baoli-Wuyawang cooed, his voice dripping with pleasure and murderous glee "May you grant permission for young Qiang to fight more than five bouts, before being delivered her "Prize"? I NEED to see more of her! Such a skillful talent for execution and killing deserves to be flaunted and admired! " What do you do, Huanliuxue?>Don't risk it, and focus entirely on Qiang's fights, ignoring your host and his family to cheer even loud for Qiang (No chance of Qiang being injured/ killed)>Give permission and have Qiang fight more fights, and against more dangerous opponents (Chance of injury or death. Greater payout from bets)>"That's for her to decide, she isn't my property. Just my student".>"Ohoho? But I taught her that and have many more tricks hidden in my sleeve than she does. How about I fight instead, and me and her switch off every other fight. That should make it interesting, yes?" (Begin fighting yourself)>write in
>>5249890>"Ohoho? But I taught her that and have many more tricks hidden in my sleeve than she does. How about I fight instead, and me and her switch off every other fight. That should make it interesting, yes?" (Begin fighting yourself)>How about we add an extra round, after she receives her prize? Teacher and student together, against whatever you throw at them? If my regal presence is to take the stage, we might as well make it a spectable.>But first I must concel with her. That while I am her master both in teaching and rulership, she is not property, to be done as I wish witgout her consent.
>>5249890>"That's for her to decide, she isn't my property. Just my student".I would rather let her judge whether or not she can do it, she seems level-headed enough to me.
>>5249890>"That's for her to decide, she isn't my property. Just my student".
>>5249890>Ohoho, but I have taught her those tricks and many more. (FIGHT OURSELVES)
>>5249890>"Ohoho? But I taught her that and have many more tricks hidden in my sleeve than she does. How about I fight instead, and me and her switch off every other fight. That should make it interesting, yes?" (Begin fighting yourself)
>>5249890>"That's for her to decide, she isn't my property. Just my student"..
>>5251910>>5250429>>5250316Do you all not desire to take to the killing floor ourselves?Think of the potential for refinement!
>>5252463we are self-absorbed enough, should learn to kick back a little and give our students a chance to shine as well.
>>5249890>"Ohoho? But I taught her that and have many more tricks hidden in my sleeve than she does. How about I fight instead, and me and her switch off every other fight. That should make it interesting, yes?" (Begin fighting yourself)>>5252601you can never be too proud as a cat
Calling the vote now. Sorry for the radio silence, didn't have an internet connection. "Ohoho? But I taught her that and have many more tricks hidden in my sleeve than she does. How about I fight instead, and me and her switch off every other fight. That should make it interesting, yes?:5How about we add an extra round, after she receives her prize? Teacher and student together, against whatever you throw at them? If my regal presence is to take the stage, we might as well make it a spectacle.:2->But first I must council with her. That while I am her master both in teaching and rulership, she is not property, to be done as I wish without her consent.: 2"That's for her to decide, she isn't my property. Just my student".:4So, you will switch in with Qiang every other fight, starting the higher level bracket early and interspacing it with the novice fights.Update will arrive shortly
A sudden surge of pride rushes through you, like a gale of eight winds or lighting crashing to the earth. A crooked grin mars your beautiful features as you bring the back of your paw to the tip of your snout and first begin to cackle, before shifting your natural, crone like laugh you inherited from your esteemed and wise mother, to a more dignified titter that sounds like it emerged from the lips of a dainty, spoilt lady who has never seen the world beyond the gilded walls of her family's palace. Sickly sweet, and tinged with more poison and regal bearing than your usual, cackling giggle. But is it more terrifying? More intimidating? Like silk that can cut like steel? Who can say."Ohoho? But I taught her that move and have many more tricks hidden up my sleeve than she does!" You proudly boast, lifting your chest and purring as you lower your paw just enough to show your fangs to your host, a breech of etiquette surely, but it is clear that this crow is a lover of bloodshed and violence. The kind of ruler who would never take offense to seeing a beast bare its fangs at him, but rather fill his heart with exhilaration. An addict to the rush of battle. Like a certain ogress but much more composed and dignified in his violent compulsion than she, from little you've heard of the She Beast of the Ling."Of course, the master is deadlier than the student. Her claws may be made of iron, but yours have been sharpened on the backs and throats of monsters" He sneers back, lifting his lips in an gregariously careless grin that shows his own fangs as he slowly lifts a human eye to his mouth and balance it upon his dark tongue "I assume, that time slowing technique is unrefined compared to its later evolutions, which, judging from your smugness, you have already grasped and mastered like that girl has her sword. No! To an even higher degree!"A sense of near drunken euphoria flickered through your mind. Even the sharp eyes of the crow king couldn't realize the true form of the Specter lightness skill at a glance and realize it effects perception of time rather than time itself. A silent victory for your first true technique. "And as a cat, you'll move even swifter when carried by the rush of the once stalled winds of time. Oooh I've been waiting so long to see the butcher of the Ling in action" Baoli-Wuyawang exults before letting out a sigh so great it becomes a gust of wind "Alas, we must wait, for four more matches , until the end of the novice stage of this delayed tournament" "Don't get jealous over a cat, dear, they're fickle beasts and aren't known to get along with us birds" The old crow hag coos, as she peels a fetus peach for her daughter, whose been pouting so sourly it looked like she had eaten an entire tree of lemons "This is a passing friendship, between two predators, nothing more""Hmph" You puff, somehow feeling offended, as if the old woman had insulted you in some way that you presently cannot understand.Cont
But you quickly recover from the perceived slight, and don't outwardly show any anger towards the old bat as you instead look to her son and law, and with eyes squinted and paw hiding your fangs suggest. "How about I fight instead? And me and Qiang switch off every other fight?".Your host raises an eyebrow, showing interest but saying nothing as Qiang sits in the arena, sword resting on one of her shoulders, legs crossed and head bowed, looking as if she were meditating as the announcer, a small pot bellied goblin stared in wide eyed disbelief at the remains of her first opponent. Mostly at his head, which she had sat before herself as a grisly trophy. "That should make things interesting, yes?" You urge, forcing the matter forward."Yes, it would. I just hope the crowd doesn't get too excited after sampling the prowess of truly skilled warriors. Might make them bored with your student's showing, especially since she's set to fight the witch of the twilight mire next" Baoli-Wuyawang casually replies, tapping his claws again "I'll put a few extra souls and spirit stones down, that she decapitates her as she did her first opponent""A wise wager to make, I'll do the same. So I take it, I'll fight next?" You ask happily, lifting yourself from your seat."Of course!" He laughs, clapping his hands together suddenly "Against the sinner bone centipede! That's a ferocious devil! I'm sure it will be a stepping stone to you, but I need to get rid of the unseemly thing. It was..loyal to my predecessor""My father's pet? Oh, now this will be a much more exciting fighter. Kitten, tell me, do you know what arises from the bone piles of the most cold hearted of villains left to rot in the sun to be picked clean by ravens and crows when wandering heroes cut them down?" The Queen of crows giggles mirthfully "A little insect, that encases itself in an armor of bones and rotting flesh, that becomes one with it, as the Qi radiating from the corpses it hatched from fuses bone to carapace, and putrid flesh to healthy muscle"You raise your head confidently and disdainfully ignore her as you stalk out of the private box of the noble crow demon family, but pause to glance back and smugly state "Of course I do, their blood is paralytic due to the properties of death Qi and ghostly spiritual energy, and their venom erodes bones. Fortunately, I was raised by a toad far more venomous than any jumped up vermin and I've infused myself with the Vital energies of death long ago. I'll be sure to leave behind a memento, to bury with your father""Oh I ate his corpse" Baoli-Wuyang bluntly stated "Bitter old man, still stings my tongue"You hurry down to the arena, trying to ignore the casual mention of cannibalism while relishing in the scornful and humiliated mutterings of the Crow King's bride"Master? is it over already, what are you doing here?" Qiang boredly askes as you prance across the sands to meet her, before her expression freezes and her face palesCont
>>5254742"Don't tell me you're my next opponent. That's unfair, I've fought long enough to know an unfair fight before it begins" She resignedly sighs, slouching as she slowly stands, and the midget demon announcer looks up at you with all the instinctive fear of a mouse meeting the gaze of a experienced mouser."Of course I'm not, I'd have chosen a far grander stage for a demonstrational student teacher spar than this sand filled pit" You sneer "No, our eminent host has decided on a whim to switch up the tournament and have the higher level matches coincide with the lower tiers""Oh, the buddha is merciful, despite what Fu says" Qiang says with a halted chuckle "Well, I'll watch your fights and repay all the support you gave me, Huanliuxue?""As a student rightfully should, just as a teacher should praise their student when they triumph" You blithely muse as you take your place where Qiang once stood "Stay close to Yi Zhu""Don't have to tell me twice, lived too long to end up in a stew pot" Qiang mutters under her breath."C..can you take human form? I need to know so we can make the beginning of the match dramatic, when I introduce you to the..." The black, pot bellied imp whispers, standing on its toes to whisper in your earsYou knock him over with your tail and growl "I NEED NO INTRODUCTIONS! CUR! ANYONE WITH EYES CAN RECOGNIZE WHAT I AM! I AM THE HAPPY BLOODSHED! THE GUARDIAN OF THE CHUAN! DEFENDER OF ALL CHILDREN! THE DEVOURER OF LING MENG! SLAYER OF STATUES, TAMER OF TIGERS, SQUASHER OF OVERGROWN TOADS, RIGHTFUL RULER OF ALL GRAVEYARDS AND WILD PLACES. THE GRUDGE EATER! THE BLOOD EMPRESS! FOOL! SPEAK TO ME AGAIN AND I'LL SHOW YOU WHY I AM THE MOST FEARED HOUSE CAT BENEATH THE HEAVENS""Wow, if cultivation doesn't work out for you, you have a future as an announcer" The imp meekly compliments, as he scurries away "Hah! You're lucky I'm in a good mood, or else making a remark like that would be courting death" You joke as you sit on your haunches and begin grooming yourself, brushing a paw over your head as you wait for the Demonic monster you've been matched against to be released and let into the ring. You can smell it even before your spiritual sense recognizes its presence. A heady, sweet aroma of rotting flesh you've grown accustomed to, joined by the familiar dusty smell of old, bleached bones and a bitter scent of corruption, acid and steaming venom. It smells like a necromancers work shop. Your eyes shoot open, and you see the ghoulish things face, a human face that was palid and seemed to be melting, draped over the head of a centipede that stared out from the elongated mouth of its human hide cloak. It was completely white, and draped in bodies that had been made to serve as both armor and limbs. It was also massive. Large enough to nearly rise above the arena's walls, if it propped its body up and it would still leave half of its mass to curl through the sands.Cont
>>5254745"You've been fed well, haven't you?" You ask, smirking as a dense cloud of grudges reveals itself to you. The grudges of the villains whose corpses were used to cultivate the centipede and that were turned into its flesh.In response, it roars at your, fouling your priceless fur with grey flecks of spittle and corpse grease.How do you approach this battle, Huanliuxue? >Use Ghost empress Melody's Ethereal strings and slicing winds, to take the thing apart, piece by piece. (Magic trial. DC 70)>As quickly as possible! Utilize the Blood Red Lightning Cat step and Whispering Death claw (Martial trial. DC 60)>Fill the arena with a dense grudge cloud, weakening the giant monster, and then, using your natural agility, climb atop its back, and absorb its Qi (Agility trial. DC 40)> Preemptively shroud yourself in the scarlet healing armor, activate the vein hunting eye and give the crowd a show (Marital trial. DC 82)>write in
>>5254749>Use Ghost empress Melody's Ethereal strings and slicing winds, to take the thing apart, piece by piece. (Magic trial. DC 70)
>>5254749>As quickly as possible! Utilize the Blood Red Lightning Cat step and Whispering Death claw (Martial trial. DC 60)You though the Phantom Cat Step was impressive?WATCH THIS
>>5254749>As quickly as possible! Utilize the Blood Red Lightning Cat step and Whispering Death claw (Martial trial. DC 60)
>>5254749>As quickly as possible! Utilize the Blood Red Lightning Cat step and Whispering Death claw (Martial trial. DC 60)just finish this thing in 2 secs. also>Slayer of statueswell.. kinda... lol
>>5254749>Fill the arena with a dense grudge cloud, weakening the giant monster, and then, using your natural agility, climb atop its back, and absorb its Qi (Agility trial. DC 40)
>>5254749>Fill the arena with a dense grudge cloud, weakening the giant monster, and then, using your natural agility, climb atop its back, and absorb its Qi (Agility trial. DC 40)I may be alone in this, but I think it's better to be careful around the Demon Crow nobility. They've already openly admitted that they want to corrupt us (or at least, our pure Blood Qi), and they seem to have no qualms about turning on one another (given the casual mention of cannibalism, and so on). Just because they seem friendly to us right now doesn't mean they'll stay that way-- so giving them a free demonstration of our strongest powers, ostensibly just out of arrogance and a desire to show off, seems like it'll come back to bite us in the long-term. Moving forward, we should limit ourselves to more subtle moves, or stuff they've seen already-- using stronger techniques if and *only* if the situation calls for it..
>>5254749No balls.>Quick as possible Blood red Lightning cat step and whispering death claw.
>>5254749>Fill the arena with a dense grudge cloud, weakening the giant monster, and then, using your natural agility, climb atop its back, and absorb its Qi (Agility trial. DC 40)Finally caught back up
Ending the vote now, latter than I intended to, sorry. Meant to call it a few hours ago, but I was kept from my PC for awhile.Use Ghost empress Melody's Ethereal strings and slicing winds, to take the thing apart, piece by piece.: 1As quickly as possible! Utilize the Blood Red Lightning Cat step and Whispering Death claw: 4Fill the arena with a dense grudge cloud, weakening the giant monster, and then, using your natural agility, climb atop its back, and absorb its Qi: 5So you will blanket the arena in grudge energy to slow and weaken the Sinner Bone Centipede, then attempt to clamber atop it, and siphon off of the Qi of the corpses it has fused to itselfUpdate will arrive shortly.>>5255968Glad to have you. >>5254821Huanliuxue really doesn't like those statues lol
Incensed by the insult of having such a quantity of stinking liquid and putrescent filth thrown upon your treasured fur to soak until it reached your hide, you lifted a paw to step forward, summoning on the reserves of Qi you have carefully cultivated, refined and kept pure within your meridians, to in a manner repeat the steps of your own disciple. Overwhelm your opponent, by decieving their senses and perceptions, and using your own natural feline agility and grace bolstered by the Blood Torrent Rush (衁急流奔,Huāngjíliúbēn) beyond even your refined and trained bodies natural limits, to become lighting, before of course further increasing the advantage granted by such blistering speed, and dampening the negative effects it'd have on your body otherwise, with the specter lightness skill.After all, on earth and in hell, you have yet to meet a creature or spirit that could not be overcome by the evolved Blood Red lightning Cat step. But, you pause, momentarily. The combination of the phantom cat step and Blood torrent rush was trying on both the body and its Qi reserves. The blood torrent rush, was nearly self destructive and if over used could damage the muscles and sinew in the legs, or even the heart and lungs. It required careful balance, to maintain the physical improvements without destroying the organs and flesh it strengthened. Damage to your body and even your organs could be healed, but in a fight, especially against something you have never before fought, would be disastrous. But that was a worse cases scenario that you, as the techniques creator would be unlikely to blunder into. No, pouring your Blood Qi to hasten your movements beyond the limits of any natural, unrefined body and even plenty of supernatural and carefully prepared and strengthened bodies, more threatened to expend your stamina and breath. Rather than risking internal injury or catastrophic overclocking, it was more likely you'd tire yourself out.of course, you wouldn't need to maintain the exhausting speed and endure the strain the technique forced upon its user for long, just long enough to overcome the demonic centipede. And, if used as part of the Blood red lightning cat step, the risk of running out of energy or tearing something important inside of yourself, would be reduced to nil.But that was not the danger. Damaging your heart or lungs, was a risk, but you were aware enough of that particular risk to know when it was in danger of occurring. The cost in energy and Qi, were easily managed as well, made entirely inconsequential by the Specter lightness skill and primarily its expression in the form of the Phantom cat step, if they were used in synergy with the blood torrent rush.Nothe true danger posed by rushing down this monstrous assortment of bones and corpses, wasn't posed by the physical cost of the techniques or even the chance of a stupid animal like itself countering the unmatched speed of the combination technique.Cont
>>5256888No. Of course not. A prodigy could overcome the most exhaustive and life threatening techniques if she learned them, especially if she was the first to do so, as their creator. No no, a little voice that sounded very much like Monu's warned you, none of that was a danger to you, the great Huanliuxue.The danger lied above. in the eyes of Baoli-Wuyawang, his trembling and jealous bride, and the canny old crone who sat with them.They were demons. and the crowd, all of them were demons or ghost so long dead and twisted by their own malevolence they may as well be demons. Surprise, secrecy and confusion were your strengths. And while the Blood torrent rush and blood red lightning cat step, were not the most treasured abilities in your collection and were certainly not so great and mysterious as your two unique arts, The Severing of the Eternal soul and Mortal vessel or Enmity Incarnation, Devil of Grudges! (敌意具人形, 魔鬼的恩怨, Díyì jù rénxíng, Móguǐdeēnyuàn), Or the Demonic art of Blood Rain, Chaos Mist (血液雨, 乱象雾, Xuèyèyǔ, Luànxiàngwù) you accidentally created, they were perhaps among the most powerful of your various techniques. Increasing one's own speed so quickly that it turned still air into whipping and howling winds from their movement alone, while simple in concept, was incredibly effective.So, anything knowing about this technique, that you can move so fast as to carry the winds and turn them into a storm just by running, is a real danger and threat to you, the Ruler of the Great wheel's law itself and the whole of the palace of natural laws sect. All it would take, is a cruel whim or fit of pique, for this demon crow king to spread knowledge of your talents beyond his court, and a grave danger would befall you and all those you care and guard.But, the grudge breath, is one of the most basic techniques you utilize, and anything you fight will, likely encounter it.It would be much more prudent, to use one of your most versatile techniques that would both weaken your opponent and simultaneously empower you while being of little consequence if word of it spread beyond this arena. So, you place your paw down, take in a deep breath and then let it out, a great mist of black smoke flowing out of your mouth to fill the arena. Seen only by the eyes of those trained and tutored to perceive the very essence of resentment itself.And then, beneath the black clouds of enmity you bound forward. With your natural agility, increased further by the grudges in the air, it would be kitten's play to climb up the centipede to a position it could not harm you, and then, sit atop it to draw in the energies that allowed it to fuse its body to the mass of corpses it wore as armor. Roll 1d100. Best out of three. DC 40
Rolled 42 (1d100)>>5256890here to not failing
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>5256890
Rolled 11 (1d100)>>5256890
>>5256898Successupdate will arrive shortly
Through the mists of collected contempt and gathered hatred, you can see the centipede circling, rolling and twisting over itself as it throws its mass downwards, charging at your from the air, its insectile mandibles tearing apart the skin it wears as a mask as its rows of teeth begin to gnash and grind against one another, rotating and interlocking like gears of infernal machinery. However, it has become sluggish beneath the weight of all of the grudges you've taken into yourself and allowed to ferment and mature, and you are only quickened by the hissed curses and snarls that whisper through the seething mass of dark miasma. And so, leaping, bounding, hoping, and pouncing, you gracefully avoid the crushing length of the centipede, its stabbing, clubbing limbs and its grasping hands, and duck and sprint beneath its jaws as its slams its head through the sands. The crowd cheers, saying no words to instead holler like monkeys or bark like dogs, the excitement in the stands reaches higher and grows larger than even the cry of delight given by the audience when Qiang crudely and harshly severed her first opponents head. And you can hear, clear as the morning sky and autumn pools, the sound of the crow's wife cheering as she watches her father's pet spasm and curl as it tries to press you beneath its bulk, grab hold of you with its rotting hands with such ferocity it tears skin and flesh from them as it paws and pulls itself from the sands, and the crowing voice raises higher and more excitedly when its mandibles and teeth near your neck. But she, and the rest of the crowd falls silent every time you lean just out of the reach of its venom dripped fangs and dodge its deadly bite. Awed Gasps fill the silence, joined by the crashing, rumbling cadence of the behemoth rolling and thrashing its weight around to try to catch you beneath some part of it. Jumping, you land upon a segment of its back, and unsheathe your claws to keep a grip as you begin to climb up its massive length."Tch, what are all you gawking for? Lady Huanliuxue is far too agile, and much too dignified to allow herself to be wounded by a mere vermin!' Qiang shouts, much more boisterous and loudly than her usual, dull and nearly monotonous cadence "Besides, She's in her favored environment! A place where the air is saturated with bitterness and old curses. She holds every advantage in this match, her wits, her speed, even the atmosphere itself give her an edge over that abomination! There's no chance for that bug to so much as nibble her tail, and if any of you argue, I'll prove my loyalty to her the only way I now how!"Smiling proudly, you continue pulling yourself up the back of the centipede as it twists itself around, twirling its body high up into the air, carrying you higher up the tower as your claws tear through its false layer of flesh and rotted meat to grab hold of the carapace beneath.Cont
>>5256961Glancing over, through the clouds of bone dust and sand thrown up by the centipedes, ascent, you see Baoli-Wuywang and his family, the crow king as risen and stands at the edge of his private box, taloned hands breaking apart the railing as he grins with unrestrained delight, half of his face covered in black feathers as he snarls through his teeth euphorically, eyes glazed over with pleasure at the sight of battle alone. His wife sits, arms crossed and face pouting."How can see move so swiftly and confidently, when faced with such a terrible beast!" She complains, sounding like she's about to burst into tears "Even grown demons tremble at the sight of a Sinner Bone centipede! It must be foolhardiness and dumb luck!""Shut your mouth, girl! You know nothing of combat besides the sight of it" Baoli-Wuywang hisses "it is nothing more than experience that allows her to so boldly face the beast! An expert feels no fear, because their is nothing for them to fear! You cannot expect an animal to be a worthy foe for a warrior! Especially one that is a beast themselves! An evolved magical beast!""If your father trained you, he may still be alive, and you may be a little less witless, daughter of mine" The crow king's mother in law chuckles, waving sweetly as you lose sight of them as the centipede rises closer and closer to the ceiling. Snapping your jaw shut, you summon all of your will and finish your climbNow, sat atop the Great centipede's head, you sink your claws into the backs between its armored plates of bone, and press yourself flat.And then, you begin breathing as you have been trained to, and bury veins that purst from your paws and throat into the the centipede's true flesh. And then, sucking in a breath through your nostrils and its blood through your own veins, you begin to absorb the Yin Qi that radiates through the corpses it dresses itself in, and suck away even some of its own inherent spiritual energy. And then, you feel yourself begin to plummet towards the earth, as layers of rotten flesh, sutured and stitched limbs and plates of bone begin to first crumble and then fall away from the corpse born beast's body. As Qi the that was keeping its patchwork of limbs and stolen flesh alive and moving is drawn and stolen away into you, it all begins to fall as still as the corpses it was made out of. The centipede is falling to pieces, shrinking down as more and more of its body turns to dust or grey rot. But it is not dead yet, and judging from how fiercely its head whips about beneath you, it is intending to slam you into either the ground or one of the pillars of black stone keeping the tower standing in a desperate attempt to dislodge you.Cont
>>5256963What do you do, Huanliuxue?>Hop from its back, and attempt to sever its head by sending a crescent of Destructive Yin energy at the weakpoint created at its neck by the sloughing of its rotting flesh. (Magic Trial. DC 65)>Rear up onto your hind legs, and slam its head onto the ground with all the strength you can muster (Strength trial. DC 80)>There's no need for flair in a battle to the death, end this swiftly with the Vein draining fang, biting down into its skull and sucking out all of its blood, rich in Yin Death Qi. (Fortitude Trial. As your body is accustomed to ghostly spiritual energy/ Pure Yin Qi this trial is trivial and automatically succeeds)>Use the Specter lightness skill to float as it slams itself into the ground or support pillar, and gather Metal Qi into your claws and wait, hoping to anticipate its next desperate strike so as to slay it with a supercharged current of electricity (Timing trial. DC 72)>Write in
>>5256964>Hop from its back, and attempt to sever its head by sending a crescent of Destructive Yin energy at the weakpoint created at its neck by the sloughing of its rotting flesh. (Magic Trial. DC 65)It might be a good idea to keep the Vein draining fang secret as well
>>5256964I dont think the blood draining fang is all that worthwhile to keep hidden.It's a bite that kill's you. Everybody already tries to avoid anyone biting them.
>>5257038In which I mean>Use blood draining fang.
>>5256964>There's no need for flair in a battle to the death, end this swiftly with the Vein draining fang, biting down into its skull and sucking out all of its blood, rich in Yin Death Qi. (Fortitude Trial. As your body is accustomed to ghostly spiritual energy/ Pure Yin Qi this trial is trivial and automatically succeeds)
>>5256964>Use the Specter lightness skill to float as it slams itself into the ground or support pillar, and gather Metal Qi into your claws and wait, hoping to anticipate its next desperate strike so as to slay it with a supercharged current of electricity (Timing trial. DC 72)
>>5256964>There's no need for flair in a battle to the death, end this swiftly with the Vein draining fang, biting down into its skull and sucking out all of its blood, rich in Yin Death Qi. (Fortitude Trial. As your body is accustomed to ghostly spiritual energy/ Pure Yin Qi this trial is trivial and automatically succeeds)This is still only our first battle, we will have more opportunities to be flashy later. If we want to be, at least.
I was thinking it would be super cool to try and guide it to make the big dude impale itself to death on something. The pillars are probably to wide and dull for that though. Alas.
Please be just internet issues or IRL getting in the way again
Ending the vote, tallying the result.Hop from its back, and attempt to sever its head by sending a crescent of Destructive Yin energy at the weakpoint created at its neck by the sloughing of its rotting flesh.:1There's no need for flair in a battle to the death, end this swiftly with the Vein draining fang, biting down into its skull and sucking out all of its blood, rich in Yin Death Qi.: 5Use the Specter lightness skill to float as it slams itself into the ground or support pillar, and gather Metal Qi into your claws and wait, hoping to anticipate its next desperate strike so as to slay it with a supercharged current of electricity: 2So you will abandon flair and kill the bastard by using the Vein Draining Fang (血管 倾浆 獠牙, Xuèguǎnqīngjiāngliáoyá) to empty it of its blood, by biting into its skull and causing its ichor to erupt out.Update will arrive shortly>>5257038It can also be a ranged attack! >>5260690Mother's day came up, and I needed to show my filial piety. I meant to post a warning on the 7th, but it slipped my mind since I spent most of the day shopping. SO MY BAD! Please allow this foolish young master to kowtow and plead forgiveness.
>>5260700That's some potent Yin Qi right there. It'll help with our refinement
You, however, are not afraid. A cat fears no fall after all, and knows well when a surface is unstable and threat to the balance that all of your kind take great pride in. Not that such a trifle as standing a top the head of a massive centipede whipping its head and body around so quickly the rest of the world becomes a blur of meaningless colors and shapes, and all noises except the whistling wind and its panicked shrieks are drown out could threaten your sense of balance greatly enough you feared you would slip and fall. The vermin is truly mindless if it believes such a brutish and crude tactic could work to dislodge you from your back, especially after it allowed you to sink your claws past its armor of old bones and moldering flesh.And even if this insect somehow got lucky or summoned the strength to throw you off or break you deadly claws of in its hide, it'd still be an ultimately pointless endeavor. For, with the rotting corpses falling away from it, and the plate of bone set atop its head already cracked and peeled back by your claws, a deadly weakpoint has been created you will be all to happy to exploit before you're slammed into a heavy pillar of dense stone or dashed across the ground! You remember the lessons you learned in your battle with Old Crooked Fang, a concussion is not an injury you can bear with pride and dignity! But more importantly, a fight should be ended as quickly as possible, even if that means one must abandon flair and elegance! Its better than walking away with broken bones and bruised guts. Or filthy fur, but this wretch has already befouled your beautiful coat with its spittle!Which has kept your rage so heightened, you do not care that you'll further dirty your fur with its blood when you bite through its skull. Coating every fang in your mouth with blood Qi, you rear up as your mount and opponent rockets towards the ground like a falling star. But it freezes the moment you jaws clamp down tightly on the soft, blubbery flesh exposed upon its head. With no shell or carapace to impede your bite, your fangs sink easily into its boneless skull and pierce its simple brain. Which, would not be enough to kill a creature of the like of A sinner bone centipede. It is half undead, partially ghost, like yourself. It'd have to be, for it surrounds itself in such great filth and decay even a vermin like it would weaken and die from the fumes rising from its own armor.It is only through the Death aligned Yin Qi that birthed it, that allows it to survive past its first day. And this same blessing allows it to endure wounds that would fell any living creature besides the strongest and most stubborn. It must be cut to pieces, reduced to dust, or boiled alive.Or one must simply drain it of its blood, the treasure trove of vital energy that allows it to live while born partially dead. A dangerous task, for such a force of the very energies of death would gravely wound or even strike dead most cultivators.Cont
But Huanliuxue is not most cultivators! You are a great prodigy! And your body has been tempered and refined to accept the spiritual energy of ghosts as readily as it would any other source of Qi!This deadly poison is nothing but a luxurious, empowering meal to you!The killing blow comes not from your fangs, but from the Centipedes own ichor flowing out, after you infused it with a drop of your treasured blood Qi, which spreads through its entire body in a flash. And then, you draw its blood out through the numerous wounds you've dealt it, geysers of black green liquid exploding forth as the centipede submits to the Qi that created it. It's body becomes rigid, and thankfully so! The acrid, burning taste of its blood filling your mouth nearly causes you to faint, but you manage to maintain your grip on the centipede's head as it collapsed down slowly, cracking and turning partially to dust as it falls. With a flick of your tail, you forces the pools of sizzling blood to gather and begin to refine it to cleanse them of lingering toxins and impurities to render it a suitable material for cultivation, as you idly clean and preen at your fur glaring at the corpse of your bested foe, as the crowd remains silent, confused as to how exactly you killed it. You imperiously lift your eyes, considering the pool of bubbling ichor, allowing your self to smirk as the pot bellied goblin scurries into the arena with a long pole and begins to prod at the centipede. This beast's essence and blood will prove key to your further refinement, though you have several treasures of similar worth already, like that block of star jade or the Carmine pearl. 'But, it never hurts to collect more heavenly treasures' you think happily as you pull the cork sealing the Dimensional gourd which you had left tied to your side, and pull all of the centipede's now refined and purified blood inside of it for later use. After all, it may have a worthier purposes beyond strengthening your cultivation. Pool of refined Sinner Bone Centipede ichor acquired "I..I think its dead?' The announcer says, as if uncertain the crumbling mass of moldy flesh and dust was indeed dead and did not cling to life in some terrible, horrid manner.You huff dismissively and march out of the Arena proudly as the crowd begins to cheer after another second or two of delay, while the Crow Queen shrill wails upset your ears.You return to the private box of Baoli-Wuyawang and his family, and meet Qiang, who is very uncomfortably seated besides the crow king, being forced to use an even more bloodied and bruised Yi Zhu as a foot rest no doubt by your hosts own insistence. You feel bad for the greedy pig, even though its his own fault he chose to serve a cruel master."You know, that technique was similar to one used by the founders of carmine mysticism" Baoli-Wuyawang mentions off handedly, turning an eye towards you as Qiang takes her feet off of Yi Zhu's trembling, whip marked back
>>5260757No, not whip marked, claw marked, and seeing how the Crow Queen is sucking on her fingers, you can guess which of the two monarchs wounded him so."That was...blood refinement (血精炼,Xuèjīngliàn) was it not?" He asks softly, almost as if he were discussing a recipe rather than a demonic art, which you supposed was apt, considering he was a demon "Oh how nostalgic! I thought that art lost when those dogs of the nine heavens hunted down the lost nest of practitioners of carmine mysticism"He considers you for a moment as Qiang hurries out of the box, dearly wishing to spend as little time in the company of devils as she cans"Curious" is all the crow king says, muttering to himself as you sit next to him, as he presses the tips of his claws together before covering for his muttering by happily saying "Your student's next opponent is a witch of the twilight mire, if you remember"That was a near shamefully flimsy attempt to hide his fascination with your techniques and abilities. "Did you tell her that herself?" You asks dully, as you consider healing poor Yi Zhu with the scarlet healing armor or more subtly with a donation of internal energy, but decide it isn't worth the risk of offending your hosts. You can mend the Conpig's wounds after you have left this festival of violence"Of course not, where's the fun in that!" He exclaims happily as Yi Zhu shuffles away, rubbing his raw back as he goes "Besides, it'll show her worth as a disciple! One cannot harm spells as they do flesh, and one is worthless as a warrior if they cannot handle surprises"You ignored the angry whispers and hisses of Baoli-Wuyanwangs wife, and instead focus on the Arena, which Qiang enters much more informally than last time, merely hopping down the wall and unsheathing her sword."I assume I can place your bets in your stead?" The old crow crone asks "Same as my son in law? Considering both of you have chosen to put your faith behind that girl"There's no ceremony to begin this match the announcer merely walks in the center of the ring, banging on a gong as the gate opposite of Qiang opens up. Beneath her boar mask, Qiang narrows her eyes, as a pale violet mist seeps through the arena. A pale thing floats upon them, as if carried aloft by them, bone thin limbs peeking out from robes covered in Lichen and Mushrooms, its face hidden behind a veil that periodically weeps spores.Qiang adopts a cautious, low stands, her sword pulled back behind her head as she begins to circle the floating collection of rags and fungus. Your eyes narrow, noticing how she moves the fingers of her off hand, only briefly touching them to the hilt of her sword and flexing them all other times. "Oh, I've figured out her strategy for this fight" You purr, lowering yourself to your see as the mushroom sprouting wish begins to weave hand signs of an novice level, muttering a droning tone as a kind of mantra, as diagrams form before her fingers, subtle and tiny. Cont
>>5260760But see, as the violet mist washes up wards, they spread and begin to cluster together as her voice grows more and more fervent.Her veils lifts, revealing rows of brown and yellow teeth as she whispers a word, and the spell completes as she claps her hand together. A vortex of lights forms as the floating mystical diagram shatters and breaks into countless pieces as a moths emerge from the fragments and fly towards Qiang, carrying a payload of spores along with them that spark and explode as they sharpen and press themselves into needles.She doesn't even blink, but her shoulders sag and droop as she she sighs.And, as you predicted, she throws up her hands, feinting a charge as the mass of explosions nears her.A dying grudge shield forms in front of her and your vision is obscured by the dust kicked up. You activate the Vein Hunting Eye (血管猎-眼睛, Xuèguǎnliè-yǎnjing) just to be able to see what's happening, watching Qiang and her opponent through their blood and life force. Revealing to you just how malformed this witch has made herself by altering her own flesh to increase her own mystical power. She barely has any veins left. Qiang recovers from the blast quicker, regaining her footing after she was thrown back by the wind whipped up by it rebounding off of her barrier spell. The Witch, has been thrown to the ground, and is completely dazed. Qiang takes advantage, rushing forward with the phantom cat step. The witch raises her hands, and a burst of life energy erupts from her palm. You can only guess what she has done, but you imagine she has created a spike of mushroom flesh from her wrist, seeking to infect and weaken Qiang with the spores she has inoculated her own flesh with. But, Qiang is a smart girl, and she already noticed the spores flowing out of the witch are combustible.Your eyes lift from the arena as the witch shrieks, and remnants of her flesh fill the air as Qiang drags her blade and creates a shower of sparks as she swings it up. The resulting conflagration had explosively rent the witch's limb asunder.To give credit to the witch, she fights back more than Qiang's first opponent, despite being much less physically incapable, tendrils and webs of fungus burst from her remaining hand and stump and she manages to keep Qiang on her toes dodging and parrying with her sword for long enough for the dust to begin to settle, which also quiets the boos of the crowd, who have completely missed the fight. The sounds of steel cutting through loamy flesh fills the air in a most unpleasant manner, as Qiang successfully catches the witch in the radius of her Specter lightness skill, having been battling to just get close enough to do so the entire bought. And, to your displeasure, you see the witch realize the true nature of that technique as Qiang rushes her down, moment after losing her remaining hand to the kiss of Qiang's bladeCont
>>5260762Thankfully, she shall not be able to spread what she realized around, because Qiang drives the tip of her sword through her throat, cutting through her teeth and pulling the witch's fragile body apart as the mushrooms holding it together pop and explode into puffs of smoke as the lingering heat on the edge of Qiang's blade causes the spores within them to ignite."Cat, that girl who follows you" The crow king suddenly barks, glancing towards you with eyes narrowed in suspicions "She's an assassin, is she not?"You decide it'd be more amusing not to answer, and instead address her husband"So, my honored host, what kind of opponent am I to fight next?" You ask curiously, tail swishing impatiently behind you as part of the crowd cheers for Qiang's surprising victory, as to audience's eyes it had seemed she was at a disadvantage before they lost sight of the fight"Oh, I've had a changes of plans for that. I became nostalgic when I saw how that blood gathered after your fight with my predecessor's pet" he giggled, looking towards you with deceptively innocent eyes "It reminded me so much of old friends, who you happen to resemble anyways, Lady Huanliuxue, that I decide to summon one of them up with a promise of allowing them reincarnate if they best you"You smile falls, as memories of your jaunt to the past and stealing of the Sanguine Divine Spirit Peach returned to you suddenly"Oh? What's with the shock? You can't have possibly known any of those who claimed loyalty to the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine Sect!" He cries out in great amusement, hands clapping together in delight as wife looks at both of you in dull witted confusion "WHY! the last of them died generations before you! Before the mere existence of your kind was outlawed in the world of cultivation! JUST BEFORE LADY ZHIZUN MOXIN DIED! Though"The crow king, suddenly remorse frowns and bows his head"it took a little longer for daoist sages to kill them all a second time" He says with mock sorrow before smiling a smile so slimy you half expect it to crawl off his face to become an eel "Perhaps, my honored, blood soaked guest, you'll learn something from fighting them? After all, its not everday one has a chance to duel the scion of a lost style of cultivation"What do you do, Huanliuxue?>Try to weasel your way out of fighting one of the remnants of the sect your stole your blood Qi from>Ask to meet your opponent first, suddenly curious of the long destroyed sect's fate>Just fight them like you would any opponent, it doesn't matter if you lead them to the "Ghoulish fate" The old man on the mountain spoke of. Start the fight cautiously and defensively (Martial trial. DC 72)>Try to end the fight before the ghost of the cultivator can figure out you possess blood Qi, hoping to overwhelm it with a shower of Destructive Yin Qi spheres (Magic trial. DC 60)>Write in I Still need to make the pastebin for Huanliuxue's techniques
>>5260764>Ask to meet your opponent first, suddenly curious of the long destroyed sect's fateinb4 it was the dude that vouched for us
>>5260764>Ask to meet them first"I wish to meet my forerunners, those who so boldly indulged in the force of life. Perhaps, even, learn of their sect where my times have failed me."I think the cat is genuinely curious.
>>5260764>Ask to meet your opponent first>Write in (Go alone/Take precautions against being overheard)The demon crows are dicks, so, we shouldn't let slip that we traveled through time in any capacity in order to get our pure Blood Qi. Chances are that it won't be the guy that helped us out, but in the interest of giving them as little information as possible to go on, we need to minimize the chance that they overhear any information that links us to him, even something as simple as him recognizing us.
>>5260764>Ask to meet your opponent first, suddenly curious of the long destroyed sect's fate
>>5260764>Ask to meet your opponent first, suddenly curious of the long destroyed sect's fateonce you're done with the skills pastebin, do one for our followers, lol. Is Qiang stronger than Fu now?
Finally ending the vote and tallying the result. Wasn't feel well enough to write or crawl out of bed yesterday or the day before. I Think it was food poisoning from day old sushi. Sorry the quest's pace has been slow lately.Ask to meet your opponent first, suddenly curious of the long destroyed sect's fate:7- take precautions to being overheard:1Landslide victory for asking to meet your opponent first, suddenly curious of their long dead sect's fate.Update will arrive shortly
"And perhaps I will learn something meeting them, without first baring my fangs and brandishing my claws?" You suggest whimsically, a sudden curiosity overwhelming any guilt you may have felt for the part you probably played in the downfall, degeneration and eventual slaughter of the long extinguished Peerless Sanguine Jade shrine sect! Baoli-Wuyawang turns to your suddenly, eyes popped open in surprise, all of his smug air and weaselly grandeur briefly brushed away from the simple surprise of you stating you wish to meet the long dead ghost he plucked from their torment in a gambit to reveal the secret of how you managed to obtain purified blood Qi after his kind's meddling, and to almost certainly amuse himself with the worry and panic he imagined the revelation of your next opponent would inspire within you! But aha! He forgot you are the proud Huanliuxue! Heir of the primordial legacy of beasts, and future empress of all the wilderness and graves in the world who will return her people to their proper, natural place in the order of the world and life. One as great as yourself would never reveal such weakness or lose their composure so easily to so novice an attempt to sow disquiet and doubt in your noble, fearless heart!"Eh?" He grunts plainly, sharp wits dulled by your sudden interest in the creature he had intended to be your humiliation or downfall "Forgive me, my most well bred and noble born guest, but are you asking to meet your next opponent?"You grin merrily, a flash of defiance light zapping through your eyes as a mirthful titter escapes your throat"Of course, forgive me if I am being impudent or this is a breech of underworld protocol or etiquette" you smoothly reply, lifting yourself from your seat to pace closer to your baffled host, a sense of accomplishment welling up inside you and blossoming into wild pride as you draw nearer. Though he is dangerous and stronger than yourself, you have managed to catch him flatfooted and won a victory through conversation by making him lose his composure, which judging by the cold look that now dominates his expression, the crow king is all to aware of the small defeat he has suffered in the face of your endearingly charismatic boldness. Though, you can't help but wonder if any of the Crow Devils sharing this room with you would agree with that description of your manner."Why? It would be an unfair advantage for one fighter to scout the other's ability and techniques just prior to the fight" Baoli-Wuyawang politely and quietly scolded you, with out directly reprimanding you "And, the crowd may grow...unpleasant should they be denied their blood for much longer, as may my own fair wife"Not the words you'd lose to describe the paradoxically meek and brash creature he's wed himself to, but you have already prepared a retort that will surely force your host to allow you permission to visit your next opponent. Cont
>>5264584You dearly hope it shall, as your curiosity has grown so large, it threatens to swallow the rest of you up completely! "It is a rare occasion one is so blessed to meet the scion of a lost branch of cultivation, cut down by those fools blinded by tradition! Him and I are kin in a manner, we're both heretics, I just have proved to shrewd to be caught and cut down as of yet" You blithely explain "Besides, it goes both ways, if I am to find an advantage over my foe, its only sporting he should be allowed to do the same! He'd need every advantage to have a chance at besting me in battle after all! After all, every cultivator I've fought before was woefully unprepared to face the great Huanliuxue in combat""Hmmm" He says, the coldness leaving his face as a sparkling joy fills his eye, as he decides it'll be more amusing to see how you interact with the ghost of a cultivator he has found to mock you with than just watching you tear it to pieces without any dramatics to make the fight to come "exciting" to his cruel perceptions "Fine, I shall allow this. Qiang will fight her third match, while you speak to the dead ghoul. But, you can only speak to the creature for as long as the fight lasts. The moment it is done, the two of you will be sent to the arena"You shoot a exhausted glare at Baoli-Wuyawang, but do not test your luck further and keep a tight grip on your tongue to keep from speaking your displeasure to his face.Noticing your annoyance, he shrugs and bows his head in pretend meekness"Forgive me, Lady Huanliuxue, but this matter is out of my hands! I must appease the mob, less I too end up plucked and stewed" He cackles and snears, before raising a hand "My man shall escort you to the holding cell of the carmine sage's ghost, you must be quick with your questioning if you wish to satiate your burning curiosity""Cat's are curious creatures" His mother in law chimes in out of turn, wagging a finger "its common knowledge, even down here in hell. I dearly hope, dear guest, you will be satisficed with your conversation with the long dead mortal. If not, perhaps he can be your winnings?""Such a raggedy old thing?" The crow king dismissively snorts, as a demon armored in red painted armor leads you out of the box, holding a large, oiled axe that has a gleaming pattern in the shape of writhing serpents upon its edge "That would be unworthy of her, honored mother in law, entirely unworthy""tiresome, is he not?' The guard asks, glancing over to you as you stride besides him "The powerful are often grossly confident and proud to the point of being unseemly. He relishes in his position and the allowances and concessions it gives him in the courts of the yellow springs. Are nobles like that in your world, mortal thing?""I've only met a handful among the humans, and I've eaten them all" You admit, shrugging your shoulders "I've met a few others, and they were much better company"Cont
>>5264585"Hmm. Guessing that isn't how men treat their nobility" The guard guffaws as he marches you down a flight a cleverly hidden stairs, that had been kept hidden by a brocade of heavy silk robes and a curtain of dried skins, scaled and leathery "Guessing the ones you met and ate were Ling?""Yes. I don't see a reason to interfere with the mortal realm otherwise, especially the world of men" You say, speaking a soft lie. You have interfered before but it was for your own benefit most of the time, in search of the hearts of mass murderers, to recruit worthwhile students to your sect. But, other times, when you intervened in matters of men, even you couldn't make up an excuse for why you chose to help rather than ignore, not even the fickle nature of a cat seeming a sound enough reason to excuse the good deeds you habitually and happily performed.How amusing. A beast called a demon living more righteously than most of those who hunted her for the good of the realm and mankind. You became lost in your thoughts, and so were able to safely ignore the disgusting surroundings of oozing stone walls, moss covered floors and sour stagnant air that stank of piss and the choking vapors of free burning torches. Deeper and deeper, you went, until you came to a prison far beneath the foundations of the tower.The cells were all empty, save form bones, shadows and rusty stains you did you best to ignore, so as not to imagine what tortures may have left them behind to soak into the stones of the floor. Only a single cell was occupied, near the front of the prison, just by the stairs. A pair of crow winged guards, wearing red masks shaped into the image of snarling, tusked demons, stood guard outside of it, dressed in black armor of a cheaper and less covering kind than the red armored guard that lead you here."We shall give you privacy" the red armored guard states politely "As should be afforded to any lady, even if they are not of the local nobility, come, you wretches, we'll patrol the lower cells while our guests speak"Without a word, the other two guards depart, leaving you alone with a shadow cell. There's a rustling, followed by a rattling of chains. You stand firm, sitting on your haunches just beyond the rust and spike covered bars of the cell. First, a pale, yellow white hand emerges, tipped with pinkish claws. It gingerly grabs ahold of the bars, one finger curling around it at a time, as the silhouette of its owner emerges from the gloom cast by the oil lantern sputtering on a table set just a few feet away from the cell.The ghost's other hand shadows his eyes, pressed against his pallid, brow as he creeps closer and reveals to you the full pitifulness of his form. The crimson and chestnut robes clinging to his boney frame, are soiled with blood and dried dirt. His legs are like a chickens, thin and trembling and also tipped with claws. Larger, thicker and broader, like a hare's burrowing claws. Cont
>>5264588His chest is nothing but ribs and skin, caved in by what seems to be the broken front half of a jian stabbed through his body just above his heart. Which glows still, with an ethereal carmine radiance, that travels through his long dried veins and stagnant meridians as he looks you up and down with blatant confusion, considering every inch of you as you study every inch of him. Your inspection of the bedraggled corpse cultivator moves on from the body to the neck and head. And that is were the true horror lies.His cheeks are sunken, guant, like a corpse of a man dead from starvation, yet his neck is thick and bulging, with more muscles than the rest of him combined. Bloated, like a plague victim or a toad. His eyes are pinpricks, yellowed but with red irises and pale white pupils like a blind man's, which he is at least partially. He leans closer, his nose twitching as he sniffles and allows you to get a closer look at his ugly face, uglier than even Feiqing's ape like countenance! . His hair, once regal and of a healthy, respectable length has become nothing more than hanging patches of grey and white hair that cling to him like fur clings to an animal with mange. His nose is flattened somewhat, which when combined with his teeth and ears, increases his resemblance to a rodent. And what terrible teeth they are! His ears only resemble a demons, pointed, tapered slightly, but his teeth are fangs! four large incisors stick out of his think, pale pink lips, while many razors jut from the pale white gums of his bloodless skull, more being revealed as his mouth opens as if to speak.And he coughs dryly. and brings the hand gripping the bars of his cell to his mouth."Forgive me" He whispers hoarsely "I have not seen a living creature in so long, the warmth radiating from your veins enthralled me momentarily, brought back memories of my prior life. Forgive me, for my present decrepitation, child. It must be terrible to look upon me, when I am so starved of life force. My sect-brothers would heckle me, if they were to see me now. And, to stand before such beauty, makes my deformity all the grosser""You're a Jiangshi?" You say, having immediately recognized this ghost for what it actually was. But your voice rose as if in question, and you knew why immediately. This long dead daoist moved far too dexterously and smoothly to be a common jiangshi. He showed none of the stiffness, and though he was a ghost, it was clear to you his malformities had come in his last "life" if what he lived could be called life, rather than as a disembodied soul, as is the case of powerful Hungry ghosts"Of a sort, I suppose" he said sweetly, kneeling down in his cell "I suppose you are the opponent who shall allow me to live again? I must say, I am surprised to meet a magical beast who has reached as far as you have in cultivation, those self righteous fools have been most thorough in stomping out "Heresy""cont
>>5264589Just as you are surprised to see a mutant Jiangshi of all things.What do you ask the dead cultivator, Huanliuxue? You have time to ask two questions >"What exactly are you? You're a living dead, my spiritual senses reveals, but you are not of the ordinary sort. What did you turn yourself into, in pursuit of the power held in blood qi?">"Lost history interests me, and already I preserve the past of my people. Tell me of the fall of the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine sect and its final fate, so I may preserve it for future generations">"You are the result of the so called Blood sorceries and Carmine mysticism. Do you remember what lead your sect to discover such great and terrible mysteries?">"As you can no doubt tell, I possess undiluted and untampered Blood Qi. I've heard little of your sect, besides it was destroyed. Why did they begin to search for Blood Qi to begin with? Even before the tragedy that forced them to become...whatever you are?">Write in
>>5264592>Tell me of the fall, and the holdings of your peopleIt shouldn't take any extra time for him to relay his sect's old fortresses and hideouts.>You re the result of blood sorceries, what lead you to discover it?Maybe there are clues as to the utility of blood Qi.
>>5264592>"What exactly are you? You're a living dead, my spiritual senses reveals, but you are not of the ordinary sort. What did you turn yourself into, in pursuit of the power held in blood qi?">"As you can no doubt tell, I possess undiluted and untampered Blood Qi. I've heard little of your sect, besides it was destroyed. Why did they begin to search for Blood Qi to begin with? Even before the tragedy that forced them to become...whatever you are?"We already know they turned to drak srpcery because they lost their fruit, and that demons corrupted them, so these two are the ones with new information.
>>5264592>"Lost history interests me, and already I preserve the past of my people. Tell me of the fall of the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine sect and its final fate, so I may preserve it for future generations">"You are the result of the so called Blood sorceries and Carmine mysticism. Do you remember what lead your sect to discover such great and terrible mysteries?"
>>5264592 >"What exactly are you? You're a living dead, my spiritual senses reveals, but you are not of the ordinary sort. What did you turn yourself into, in pursuit of the power held in blood qi?">"You are the result of the so called Blood sorceries and Carmine mysticism. Do you remember what lead your sect to discover such great and terrible mysteries?"
>>5264592>"As you can no doubt tell, I possess undiluted and untampered Blood Qi. I've heard little of your sect, besides it was destroyed. Why did they begin to search for Blood Qi to begin with? Even before the tragedy that forced them to become...whatever you are?">"What exactly are you? You're a living dead, my spiritual senses reveals, but you are not of the ordinary sort. What did you turn yourself into, in pursuit of the power held in blood qi?"
>>5264592>You are the result of the so called Blood sorceries and Carmine mysticism. Do you remember what lead your sect to discover such great and terrible mysteries?">"As you can no doubt tell, I possess undiluted and untampered Blood Qi. I've heard little of your sect, besides it was destroyed. Why did they begin to search for Blood Qi to begin with? Even before the tragedy that forced them to become...whatever you are?"
Ending the vote. Tallying the result now. "Lost history interests me, and already I preserve the past of my people. Tell me of the fall of the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine sect and its final fate, so I may preserve it for future generations":3-And its holdings:1"You are the result of the so called Blood sorceries and Carmine mysticism. Do you remember what lead your sect to discover such great and terrible mysteries?:6"What exactly are you? You're a living dead, my spiritual senses reveals, but you are not of the ordinary sort. What did you turn yourself into, in pursuit of the power held in blood qi?":3"As you can no doubt tell, I possess undiluted and untampered Blood Qi. I've heard little of your sect, besides it was destroyed. Why did they begin to search for Blood Qi to begin with? Even before the tragedy that forced them to become...whatever you are?":4So You'll ask how the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine sect discovered Blood sorcery/ Carmine mysticism AND why they sought to harness blood Qi to begin with.Update will arrive shortly
But you bury that wayward thought, and look the creature in its beady eyes, smelling old, long dried blood upon its shuddering breathes as it's eyes twitch and focus upon your neck. Unnerved but not frightened in the slightest you wander closer to the cell, maintaining eye contact as the long dead cultivator tears his eyes away from your jugglar and returns the stare with an almost innocent smile, similar to the sort your honored and sagely mother has blessed you with as she's heaped upon praise and adoration at your feet?"Yes?" The strange Jiangshi asks curiously "You look like you intend to say something, is my repugnant self so terrible you are in disbelief I am real? or are you surprised you and I are kindred spirits beneath the oppression of orthodoxy and the righteous way?""I've seen worse monsters than you and far more wretched beasts" You answer politely as you're able to as the ghost struggles to keep from staring at your various veins, no doubt sensing their rare quality which they gained through the strengthening brought upon by your acquisition of Blood Qi, the potent Carmine hued spiritual energy, that rendered them as dense and hard as tightly corded iron and were improved even further by your internal refinements, blood flow exercises and physical cultivation that followed as you experimented with and trained the use of Blood Qi. "There is no reason to compliment a failure such as myself" He replied sweetly, bowing his head "You yet live, and have a chance to reach immortality, perhaps even godhood. I stumbled, and became less than dog shit in the end. What is it, then, you wish to ask this worthless worm, oh living apostate of the heavenly dao?""I must admit, I was not expecting you to be so well mannered and polite" You purr as you sit within reach of the mutated stiff corpse "Your measure of humility is also admirable, old ghost, but I have two questions that are rather similar""Even a small difference, can be as vast as the distance between heaven and earth, in terms of the knowledge or wisdom one receives in asking it. Your acuity of thought and depth of wisdom is rarely found in one so young" The bloodless spirit whispered hoarsely, but kindly even as it began to drool looking at your veins filled with warm, living blood. "You are the result of blood sorceries and carmine mysticism. Do you remember what lead your sect to discover such great and terrible mysterious?" You ask respectively, but do not bow your head.The Jiangshi's eyes become piercing and cold, judging you through the subtle shifts of your expression and movements of your body, down to the pace of your breath and the speed of your heartbeat."I remain loyal to my school and my long faded elders, to tell an outsider of our secrets would be an unforgivable offense. Giving Trust lead only to disaster in our past, you see, especially to outsiders' He answers sternly "however, as far as I know, none of us remain"Cont
>>5266446A queer smile graced his thin, colorless lips."To entrust our legacy to another, is shameful, but it may be the only way for us to be remembered, when even the stories told to frighten children are forgotten and the last of speck of dust of our mortal remains returns to the soil of the earth" He says solemnly, lifting up his chin proudly as some life returns to his inhuman eyes "There can be no harm done to what has already been killed, I suppose, even mangling a corpse serves only to humiliate the memory and ours has already been dragged through the mud and condemned to fade away. Besides, it is not as if you asked me for our dearest secrets and most powerful techniques""So, how did your sect invent blood sorcery and the schools of carmine mysticism?" You impatiently ask again"I do not know exactly, I never gained rank enough or earned a position lofty enough to be told the full history of our sect and its ways. I cannot say exactly how they came to be, as such mysteries were trusted only to the most loyal among us, those who'd sooner slit their bellies than betray our clan" He admits meekly, bowing his head further "However, you only asked what lead us to discover such knowledge"You narrow your eyes"We only have so much time to talk!" You bark in irritationThe Jiangshi laughs and holds up its hands, as if pleading for mercy"Forgive me, forgive me. I get carried away. The answer is desperation. I am told, we once had a wellspring of purest Blood Qi, The Carmine Breath flowed freely through our halls and into the students of the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shine" He explains "But it was lost to us, stolen in the night, I was told. There's a bit of Blood Qi in every living being, but our cultivation practices and laws required potent blood Qi. Many students abandoned the sect then, as we no longer had a means to cultivate. Others died seeking to recreate our treasure, or seeking out powerful monsters whose blood could serve to aid us in cultivation. We were dying, its was a time of degeneration, waste and weakness, and then""And then?" You pointedly ask, leaning closer to the bars of the cell"Our last grandmaster was visited by providence equal to the treasure we once had. They were a low ranked disciple of the time, recently promoted to be an inner disciple when our ancient treasure was stolen' he explains excitedly, clearly overjoyed you're interested in his story "When they discovered a new use of blood refinement, before it was outlawed and deemed a from of demonic cultivation and discovered the true worth and power of blood, living blood especially. See, we did not cultivate Qi, we cultivate blood. Blood, like all things, has Qi within it. It is the vital energy of all things, after all. But blood itself...there is a power there, hidden, lurking, waiting."His voice and expression darkened further with every word he spoke.Cont
"That power, was what our savior found. Blood refinement was one of our most basic techniques, used for both Qi gather and cultivation of strength and physique. We had always used it as a secondary means of cultivation, when the spiritual energy of blood was thin and weak, but there was not enough blood in the world to allow even our reduced numbers to cultivate effectively through refining blood alone. Most of the membership then, who were in later stages of cultivation, needed to spend decades refining many lives worth of blood into a single cup, just to progress a centimeter further. And they horded the high quality, rare blood that was gathered, leaving most of the sect as little more than lackies and servants who had no hope of finding immortality as they spent years refining worthless, common blood into a material of high enough quality to allow them to further their personal cultivation!"You glare at him, silently reminding him of the time limit of your conversation."oh of course. But, our last sect head, sought a different means. He reached the limit of what he could achieve through killing men, rival cultivators, divine beasts and devils alike and refining the blood he was allowed to keep to harvest the Qi within, as most was given as a tithe to the elders of the sect" he continues on drolly, clearly put down from being rushed "So he began to experiment, with daoist sorcery, rituals, Buddhist prayers and strange Alchemy he had learned from across the sea. This, lead him to discover a new path of internal refinement and physical cultivation, which lead him to discover a new way of alchemically altering his own blood with Ghostly Yin Qi, the energies of death you see, to turn his heart into a crucible of sorts. Which revealed the new path to him, as he straddled the line between life and death and found balance. He died, but still lived. Living death"He laughed, revealing the full length of his mismatched, rat like fangs as a kind of mania possessed his rodent eyes."His blood itself, became enchanted. His meridians filled with blood, and replaced the Qi in his cultivation base. It became the base for a new, great power that was born through the exchange of lifeforce. Blood sorcery, is an evolution of the supernatural abilities of ghosts, combined with Daoist mysticism, powered by ones own reserves of blood. The heart, turns even the most worthless of blood into a potent power source, and when combined with the transformative and mutative abilities of blood refinement"He leaned closer, globs of drool dripping from his chin."You create carmine mysticism. Blood Sorcery, can be used by anyone, even those who are not so...changed, as myself. It is nothing more than a school of sorcery, that relies on blood itself, rather than Qi. Many orthodox techniques are similar, expending internal energy or one's own life. But the cost of blood sorcery, the sacrifice, and the gruesomeness of its abilities, makes it forbidden" He says simply
>>5266451"And that would've been enough, if we only practiced Blood Sorcery, and slit our palms or sacrificed meaningless lives to serve as fuel for our spells and techniques, but Carmine mysticism goes further beyond the line drawn in the sand. Blood sorcery is strong, but Carmine Mysticism..." He ranted and raved, flecks of spit flying from his mouth as he shook the bars, his eyes narrowing and shrinking as he grinned hideously "Is stronger, it is the difference between a dragon and a serpent. It replaces cultivation of Qi entirely, while Blood Sorcery can be used alongside or improved with spells powered by any type of Qi, not just blood Qi, and can be used by anyone who learns the power of blood and the lifeforce it contains, Carmine mysticism cannot. It can only be practiced by creatures like me, and only those who have swallowed enough blood to fill a lake, for the weakest of its techniques, the merest of its powers. Blood, is how both of these gifts were discovered. We lost our divine treasure, that allowed us access to blood Qi, so we replaced it with blood itself, and became a different sort of cultivators entirely, forsaking the gathering of Qi outside of the stealing of the breath of our victims and the consumption of their blood to add it to our own hearts, but that is natural cultivation, the cultivation of beasts so I don't think it counts"And then you understand what he is trying to tell you. The rambling, overly poetic at times, explanation given to you by this mad Jiangshi, finally makes sense and a revelation dawns upon you."Cultivators of life and death, lifeforce and blood, you combined the truth of blood with the misunderstanding of it. And created" You say, pausing to keep yourself from snarling 'a perversion of both life and death!' and instead, after biting your tongue, continue by saying "A new road unlike any other. A breed of cultivation that only cultivates Qi as a byproduct, instead seeking life itself and spreading death in pursuit of condensing and refining one's own lifeforce and the blood that embodies it""Your Dao could be easily mistaken for it, converting with ghosts and bathing in blood, but you are still living" He says, ignorant of the fact you have severed your soul from your body as part of your cultivation practice "I must admit I am envious, for Carmine Mysticism is a curse, most would say the same of blood sorcery, but that does not afflict its user with an endless thirst for life, with the cold chill of death and this ever gnawing emptiness!"His eyes fill with a dark rage."You, mock us carmine mystics, with your mere existence" He snarls, snapping his jaws at you "just as our hunters mocked us by wasting their precious blood essence, burning away their life to cut down our greatest disciples! And its not like we were unique in expanding our essences through such murderous means! All cultivators increase their longevity! What did it matter that we stole the years from others!"Cont
>>5266453His voice raised into a roar "Refining blood...refining bodies! Refining souls! Were all accepted practices! And what do my forebearers get for improving a method of Qi gathering that most sects practiced at time! A time when even the virtuous would strengthen themselves by taking Qi from the fallen enemies Dantians or stealing it from them as they lived!? Blood refinement, Blood Sorcery and every form of carmine mysticism were outlawed, and we were hunted like dogs! YET HERE YOU STAND! A more perfect result of life and death, a more harmonious combination of the two! Flaunting yourself before me! When we failed and we cast from the heavens! Its maddening! Seeing you here! In all your grandeur! Hearing your heart beat! Your blood flow! What cosmic truth did you find that allowed you to mingle the energies of death and life, without degenerating like I have! Without becoming cursed as I have! Without becoming a monster! How did you come to cultivate blood Qi, untainted by other vital energies, pure carmine and beautiful and alive!"You back away awkwardly, as the Jiangshi's rage turns to bitter sorrow and he tries to cry but sheds no tears"Answer me, please, so I may no how my beloved sect went wrong, what mistake we made, what arrogance lead us to become wretched abominations that need to steal life to survive, that cannot practice true cultivation, forced to live as parasites and shadows, denied even a glimpse of the nine heavens" He whimpered "Please...please, tell me what makes you different, what law lead you to such harmony, when our greatest scholars and minds could only find..."He pointed at himself"This?" He wailed, falling against the bars"I cannot say" You lie, shaking your head before continuing with the truth "I think I have once or twice performed something akin to blood sorcery, but it doesn't come at the cost you speak of, at least I haven't had to pay it with how I use my blood. Perhaps I am simply a novice, unaware of what they've As you can tell, I possess undiluted and untampered blood qi. I admit, I've heard little of your sect, besides that it was destroyed""For seeking to reclaim their birthright, for daring to cling to their traditions and carry one the practices that saved them from destruction, because the effects of carmine mysticism were as monstrous as they were great, and only the most powerful and advance of its practitioners still looked human" he bitterly interrupted, shaking his head with pitiful whines "And they, were all killed, for achieving something great, for reaching immortality through another path"'they weren't very immortal if they were killed' you think to yourself smugly, but you speak much more kindly "And do you know why your sect cultivated blood Qi, before they switched to coveting lifeforce in the place of the treasured spiritual energy that was taken from them?"Cont
>>5266455"Oh, its simple, as you so wisely stated, worthy one" The carmine mystic said kindly, with a tone of praise and admiration "Blood is life, most associate it with death, a misunderstanding my school surely helped to spread, as we drained entire provinces of life and blood just to keep from going insane with thirst, just to expand and reform the laws we had followed for generations. It carries both passion and sorrow. It is the earthly embodiment of life itself, of the force of life itself I should say. We wished to be healers, and instead we became a plague. How ironic, though, I had no such ambitions, I wished to be the monster you see before you, I did not understand the price. Proper cultivation is a life long tribulation, a struggle without end. Only the talented and gifted can even dare to dream of achieving immortality, but...the many schools of carmine mysticism promise it, for only the price of devouring the others to fuel your own essence. Something that was once accepted and practiced widely, before the world of cultivation became afraid of the face of true power""Well, then the true legacy of your sect lives on" You state sympathetically "The Dao of blood I follow, is the Dao of life. With this Qi, whose reputation your ilk have ruined, I have healed, and I have saved lives""That is not blood sorcery" The defeated mystic stated reassuringly "Blood sorcery is the expenditure and perversion of lifeblood, using it as kindling for spells and physical refinement, a reagent for power. and carmine mysticism"He suddenly cackles, becoming jovial once more"You want nothing to do with, if you still believe blood is life, instead of power!" He snarled, like a feral dog "You, who are so blessed as to have found the same treasure whose loss lead us to this unseemly truth, have no right to ever practice true blood sorcery, or learn the most initiate of secrets of carmine mysticism, you're an insult to my kind and my life"He blinked twice and smile warmly"No offence, but you enrage me. Seeing you, with blood so rich in spiritual energy, as if you were a student of the old days prancing before me, it makes me sick" He says angrily, shaking his head "You could be so much more, so much more powerful, yet you restrain yourself. You're already a demonic beast, why not become a leech as well? Why not truly imbue yourself, body and soul with the breath of living death! Why do you hesitate! Why do you still live! Why do you not seek blood itself, when it has already soaked into your coat?!"You grow tired of speaking to a clearly insane ghost.Cont
>>5266460What do you do, Huanliuxue?>"Because, I follow the laws of nature. And you are an abject abomination to those laws and the world. Life, blood, Death, grudges, they're all parts of the cycles of life. A cycle you have forsaken, with all of your ilk. I am glad you were all slaughtered">Shake your head, and turn away to enter the arena. There's nothing more be said to this lunatic phantom, now that it has satisfied your curiosity.>Thank it for teaching you about blood sorcery, and promise to create a better legacy for the magic of blood than its kind had created>Offer to take it on as your student, when it is reborn as something intelligent, if it throws the fight.>Spend what time you have left before the match, meditating on the ravings on the Carmine mystic. Surely, you can create something BETTER and less twisted than Carmine mysticism. if you could only understand blood as power (Mental trial. DC 80)>Write in
Got a bit carried away writing the dialogue of the wretched carmine mystic. It was just so much fun
>>5266463>Thank it for teaching you about blood sorcery, and promise to create a better legacy for the magic of blood than its kind had created>"Because, I follow the laws of nature. And you are an abject abomination to those laws and the world. Life, blood, Death, grudges, they're all parts of the cycles of life. A cycle you have forsaken, with all of your ilk. I am glad you were all slaughtered">Spend what time you have left before the match, meditating on the ravings on the Carmine mystic. Surely, you can create something BETTER and less twisted than Carmine mysticism. if you could only understand blood as power (Mental trial. DC 80)I would consider offering it as an apprenticeship but sadly we do not have enough advancements in soul to know how it will reincarnate to easily pick it up yet. We need to advance a bit more in our doa before we can make those kinds of predictions to snatch up souls from the reincarnation cycle. Otherwise, I totally would want to redeem some blood heretic cultivators. The same is true for some necromancers.
>>5266463>Because you see the parts, yet you do not see the whole. Blood, death, life, grudges, they are all one and the same. Mere parts of a cycle that spin without end, reneawing itself along the way. What you done, is turn a wheel into an arrow, and ask yourself why it does not spin.>But I cannot blame your sect for their folly, because you only saw the other parts of the puzzle after your source was stolen from you, and the demons had already begun to corrupt your new one. Nor can I blame your lack of knowledge of us noble magical beasts, as the despicable cultivators had already branded us demons. In truth, I pity you, for you were misled by both heaven and hell.>Perhaps, if fate is kind, after our fight, you will be reborn as intelligent creature, so I may take you in at my sect so you may learn the truth that was denied from you.
>>5266487Switching to this. Much better than what I voted for.>>5266480Was my old one.
>>5266463>Thank it for teaching you about blood sorcery, and promise to create a better legacy for the magic of blood than its kind had created
>>5266463>Spend what time we have left meditating.Ayo ghost homie, I spent 5 minutes thinking and heres the solution you never considered.It's funny as fuck
>>5266463>>Spend what time you have left before the match, meditating on the ravings on the Carmine mystic. Surely, you can create something BETTER and less twisted than Carmine mysticism. if you could only understand blood as power (Mental trial. DC 80)Maybe a solution similar to Ping's arm would already suffice.Also I support the write in talk.For the fight, we should consider using our mass murderous blood/grudge spell. We cannot easily test it in the real world and here we can use it to leave an impression.
>>5266463>>Spend what time you have left before the match, meditating on the ravings on the Carmine mystic. Surely, you can create something BETTER and less twisted than Carmine mysticism. if you could only understand blood as power (Mental trial. DC 80)>Because you see the parts, yet you do not see the whole. Blood, death, life, grudges, they are all one and the same. Mere parts of a cycle that spin without end, reneawing itself along the way. What you done, is turn a wheel into an arrow, and ask yourself why it does not spin.
>>5266463>Spend what time you have left before the match, meditating on the ravings on the Carmine mystic. Surely, you can create something BETTER and less twisted than Carmine mysticism. if you could only understand blood as power (Mental trial. DC 80)
>>5266463>Thank it for teaching you about blood sorcery, and promise to create a better legacy for the magic of blood than its kind had created. I don't like the DC of the cultivation roll and we should not mess with this shit unnecessarily.
>>5268186It's not a cultivation roll. It is a roll to theory craft a better system of blood sorcery that Carmine mysticism
>>5268186Messing with this may not be the wisest choice, but it is totally in character. Curiosity ghoulified the cat.
>>5266463 >Spend what time you have left before the match, meditating on the ravings on the Carmine mystic. Surely, you can create something BETTER and less twisted than Carmine mysticism. if you could only understand blood as power (Mental trial. DC 80)
>>5268186I'm also switching to the write-in>>5266487
I would like to apologize for being so slow to update, but real life has just been kicking my ass lately. I think I've solved the various problems though and dealt with the stress they brought about.Ending the vote now, and tallying the resultBecause you see the parts, yet you do not see the whole. Blood, death, life, grudges, they are all one and the same. Mere parts of a cycle that spin without end, reneawing itself along the way. What you done, is turn a wheel into an arrow, and ask yourself why it does not spin.:8But I cannot blame your sect for their folly, because you only saw the other parts of the puzzle after your source was stolen from you, and the demons had already begun to corrupt your new one. Nor can I blame your lack of knowledge of us noble magical beasts, as the despicable cultivators had already branded us demons. In truth, I pity you, for you were misled by both heaven and hell:7Perhaps, if fate is kind, after our fight, you will be reborn as intelligent creature, so I may take you in at my sect so you may learn the truth that was denied from you.:7Thank it for teaching you about blood sorcery, and promise to create a better legacy for the magic of blood than its kind had created:2Spend what time you have left before the match, meditating on the ravings on the Carmine mystic. Surely, you can create something BETTER and less twisted than Carmine mysticism. if you could only understand blood as power: 5So all parts of the three part write in win, since I feel it'd be unfair to break it apart and let only the one part that got voted on outside of it to get into the update.the option for "remaking"/ refining carmine mysticism will remain open, as well. But, Huanliuxue will not attempt to do so right now. The choice did come close to winning, so that will be reflected in the update, which, in turn MAY lower the DC in the future or provide an alternate means of doing so!Anyways, update will arrive shortly.And here's a cultivation meme, that I just found.>>5268366But satisfaction allowed it to surmount that self inflicted tribulation?
However, despite your exhaustion for this rambling, confusing conversation, you cannot stop yourself from answering the desperate, ghoulish mystic kneeling before you and wailing in all the madness it had suffered through its two lives. Your expression twists, perhaps looking pityingly down at the creature as your sense of pride urges you to speak to the strange Jiangshi before departing to face it in the arena prepared for you. You sigh through your nose and shake your head, and lift your chin to look down haughtily at the repugnant ghost past your snout, as your magnificent tail flicks to and fro behind your back. But, you do not show scorn, disdain or contempt for the long dead sage, or even show the barest hint of mockery. You speak scoldingly and sternly, but in the manner of a teacher rather than a heckler."Because you see the part, yet you do not see the whole" You coldly but not cruelly lecture, as you turn your eyes towards its own, it falls silent immediately, instinctively listening to the wisdom you offer as any mortal cultivator with any sense would, understandable when one considers your obvious intellectual superiority to it "Blood. Death. Life. Grudges, they are all one and the same"A smile breaks the mask of quiet, regal disdain you had been trying to ware, as your voice softens as if you were speaking to one of your own disciples, rather than a half mad ghost that has all but admitted to wanting to drink your blood. Your tone does not become affectionate, but it grows warmer none the less."Mere parts of a cycle that spins without end, renewing itself along the way" You explain, nodding your head once as the ghost picks at the hairs on its chin in thought."The dao" he whispers, brow furrowing and eyes squinting as he realizes what you had realized the moment he began telling you his story of why his sect sought blood Qi and why they adopted blood sorcery and Carmine mysticism the moment it began. You speak your thoughts, without hesitation or remorse for whatever lingering remnants of pride this ghost clings to. With how highly he still thinks of his dead sect, it will no doubt wound him, but there is a chance he'll turn away from the revelation you have lead him to if you do not shove his nose into it forcefully!"What you have done, is turn a wheel into an arrow and ask yourself why it does not spin" You say, but instead of the forceful, near domineering tone you had meant to speak whilst giving that necessary revelation, you do not raise your voice and even use it harshly. The Jiangshi begins to dramatically pretend and act as if it were weeping, but its sorrow is real. It is just, even as a ghost, its alchemically altered corpse of a body can no longer produce tears to shed. A pang of the pity your tried so hard not to feel, stabs into your heart as you accept that, yes, you do pity this creature and the school it died twice for.Cont
>>5271840With the weight of trying to repress this empathy, for a reason you do not know yourself, lifted from your shoulders with this acknowledgement, you sigh again and shake your head sadly as the Jiangshi cries out "Were we truly so blind!?""But I cannot blame your sect for their folly" You say earnestly, though not comfortingly, you do not try to hide the pity you feel for the wretched ghost before you "because you only saw the other parts of the puzzle after your source was stolen from you, and the demons had already begun to corrupt your new one"The Carmine mystic ceases its act of crying, and suddenly its eyes open with a renewed vigor and fierceness from the moment you speak of demons and corruption. He grips the bars to his cells with such force, they begin to creak and bend beneath his bone fingers. But, he keeps his composure well enough to not gnash his teeth in fury. An aura of killing intent surrounds him, like the scent of blood that clings to his dried skin. And he remains silent and respectful, despite his growing rage. Was he unaware of the manipulations that lead to his sects downfall? Were they truly so blind and ignorant?"Nor can I blame your lack of knowledge of us noble magical beasts, as the despicable cultivators had already branded us demons" You continue , allowing your annoyance and offense with his casual disregard for the true nature and ways of your own kind to momentarily seep into your words "In truth, I pity you, for you were misled by both heaven and hell""You...you would not be so cruel as to weave such a lie" He snarls, jaw tightly clenched and rat like fangs bared as he holds onto the bars of his prison even more tightly, cracks forming in the metal above and beneath his hands "Nor would you have any reason to. But, if the truth is as you say, then...then"You ignore his fury and turn your back to him as you make to leave the prison. But you do not leave silently, and turn back to give a parting word."Perhaps, if fate is kind, after our fight, you will be reborn as intelligent creature" You say kindly, bowing your head before once more turning away from the now growling and spitting ghost in the cell, who now has a focus and direction for the rage and grudges that he had carried with him into death. A grudge against hell and its inhabitants. A grudge that shall surely prove useful to you soon, which is why you draw it it into your mouth, curl it around your tongue and store it inside of yourself so you may call upon its strength should the need arise. So loud are its howls of anguished, and impotent rage that you are uncertain if it hears the second part of your kind parting words"So I may take you in at my sect so you may learn the truth that was denied from you"And you do truly mean to keep that promise, should fate lead you and the carmine mystic to meet again in the mortal realm, or at least, lead its next incarnation to your door. Cont
>>5271845You hope, perhaps in vain, that the world is not so cruel as to deny him so petty a boon, that he may redeem his past under your instruction and achieve the destiny that was denied to him and the sect he had once served. But even as you ascend the stairs to head back to the tournament grounds, to fight the very same ghost you now pity, you cannot turn your thoughts away from Blood Sorcery and carmine mysticism. Blood sorcery itself is not inherently evil, though it is certainly macabre and gruesome and you can understand why it would be feared and reviled by the world of cultivation. But, so would be your Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law!Carmine mysticism however, is twisted and lacking. It offends not only you, but all of the world of the living and the world of the dead. It is an abomination, that, despite the power its practitioner spoke of, you do not see yourself pursuing unless you are backed into a corner from which you cannot escape with your own guile and wits."Blood is power" You muse, trying to understand what that means. Its like a koan. There's a deeper meaning and mystery to that declaration than is first apparent. But the mystic who spoke it to you was so addled, the knowledge he freely gave to you that could serve to lead you to understanding Blood as power rather than Blood as life simply do not serve the purpose. If you could know how blood could become power, you would surely find the means to create something better and more acceptable than Carmine mysticismTake the sullied legacy of the Peerless Sanguine Jade Shrine and remake it in your own image! Prove that you are the one true heir to both blood Qi and Death Qi! At least, for the time being. But, such a dangerous undertaking requires caution and careful planning, lest you fall for the same pitfall that lead the Carmine mystics to their demise and fate of being remembered only as stories to scare children.Alas, you do not have the time to contemplate such dangerous mysteries or explore the world locked behind the meaning of "Blood is power".As, even though you have only ascended the steps halfway, you can already hear the crowds of demons shouting your name, eager to see you torn apart or else slaughter your enemy. Your expression and mood sours. You hope you won't have to spend much longer fighting here, even if there is a prize at the end of this tournament for you to claim."Huan!""Liu!""XUE!"They cry and call out like zealots in a temple. Even though you've only been in the underworld for a few hours, it feels as though you've been in this palace of devils for days!cont
>>5271846How do you fight the Carmine Mystic, Huanliuxue?>Try to end the fight and its misery as quickly as possible, so he may be reborn once again (Martial trial. DC 30. DC Greatly lowered)>Unleash the Blood Rain, Chaos Mist, driving the already furious sage into a frenzy so it'll be easier to cut him down (Magic trial. DC 65. Failure means you lose control of the demonic art and it spreads to the crowd)>Greet him cordially and offer to make this fight more of a friendly exhibition bout, and take the chance to learn his techniques before ending the match>Decide that you can just take the prize yourself, and refuse to play along to the Crow Kings whims and declare this to Baoli-Wuywang himself (Dangerous fight)>Write in
>>5271847>>Try to end the fight and its misery as quickly as possible, so he may be reborn once again (Martial trial. DC 30. DC Greatly lowered)
>>5271847>Try to end the fight and its misery as quickly as possible, so he may be reborn once again (Martial trial. DC 30. DC Greatly lowered)
>>5271847>Offer to make it a friendly bout.Reveal your secrets to us, Sage.
>>5271847>Try to end the fight and its misery as quickly as possible, so he may be reborn once again (Martial trial. DC 30. DC Greatly lowered)I really want to learn more about his techiniques, but the dude been through enough.
>>5271847>Try to end the fight and its misery as quickly as possible, so he may be reborn once again (Martial trial. DC 30. DC Greatly lowered)dude still is a lunatic so any alliance with him would be fragile at best.
Ending the vote now. Tallying the result. Meant to do so yesterday, but I got distracted and fell asleep before I could sit down and write. Forgive me.Try to end the fight and its misery as quickly as possible, so he may be reborn once again:8Greet him cordially and offer to make this fight more of a friendly exhibition bout, and take the chance to learn his techniques before ending the match:1Near landslide victory for just trying to end the fight as quickly as possibleUpdate will arrive shortly
Before leaping back down into the sand filled pit, you look upwards towards the seats of the crow king and his small family, just to reassure yourself Qiang and Yi Zhu are still safe and uninjured. You may be proud, but you know a demon can only as trusted so long as you keep them in sight. To your relief, besides the lashings and abuse the greedy pig had previously endured for his failure to bring you to the crow king's court sooner, they are both uninjured. Certainly neither are comfortable or at ease in the presence of the malevolent and volatile Baoli-Wuyawang, but they have not been harmed which is what you fear. Especially since men, it is said, are prey to devils. Sure, men are also prey to you, the great and mighty Huanliuxue, but you would never dare to eat one of your own disciples. To do so would be akin to devouring your own kittens, as you see it, but even so you would also not eat anyone you were fond of, even if you were desperate and starving. You mind wanders as you think of various excuses you could use if any of the humans who you considered your family, friend or comrade pressed you for answers of why you would never consider predating upon them, mostly to keep your mind alert and quick as you waited for your opponent to be lead to the arena.The announcer kept his distance, perhaps thinking your were meditating as you began to, instinctively, measure and pace your breathing as if you were in the middle of focused cultivation. Of course, for those who call themselves your students you wouldn't need to make an excuse and doing so would be such an obvious lie they'd probably think you were joking. And, the more you think of it, you realize that besides Fu's family, the only human outside of your sect who you really like is Yuyi, who is also your student though in a different way than all the rest. And she also happens to be, perhaps, the only human in Fu's village who might be afraid you might, on a whim make her into a meal. If only do to her skittishness out waying her good sense, why would you eat someone who you put an effort into improving their life? But, if you ever decide to play a mean trick on her, you could just claim you don't eat her because she'd probably taste bitter, which wouldn't be seen as bullying by the other townsfolk. Since they'd hopefully have the good sense to realize it as a joke, since Yuyi deals in medicine, and medicines are also bitter. Wait...weren't you trying to find excuses for acting nice, rather than excuses to make jokes?Actually, thinking about it, would any of the people native to the Chuan's lands worry that you'd eat them, if you met them? By complete accident, they've come to worship you as something of a guardian spirit, for your devouring of Ling Meng and scattering of his forces. Maybe if the local sects made an effort to change their opinion, but as it stands, you don't think anyone would be threatened if you appeared before them. Cont
>>5274601"Huanliuxue? Forgive me for interrupting your meditations, but your opponent has arrived and been released from his chains and collar" The little pot bellied demon says with a trembling voice, his skin nearly turn from black as pitch to pale as snow as you turn down to him and glare, annoyed that you contemplation of your reputation amongst the mortals of your homeland was interrupted, and that you had become distracted as you had hoped to avoid while pondering something as pointless as making up reasons and excuses for not eating the humans you're close to. There's no reason to make excuses, unless you want to make a joke. A conclusion even a child could come to.You hid your embarrassment by glaring at the announcer, to send him away so you can dig a grave for the embarrassment you feel for devoting time contemplating something so banal. Your eyes catch movement, and your turn, stretching out your body in anticipation of an attack.But instead, you see the Carmine mystic, standing demurely at his corner of the arena, his head bowed by back straight, observing proper tournament conduct, with a crude spear at his side."Take your time, I can tell whatever you're meditating on requires your full attention, Lady Huanliuxue" He says politely with kindness sparkling in his dull eyes "Perhaps, a revelation has come within your grasp?"The hidden shame you felt came bursting out of the ground in your mind that you had interred it within, like a corpse possessed by a vengeful spirit."Unfortunately not, I was being vapid and thinking of pointless things" You admit, killing the shame by embracing it, laughing as the Jiangshi smirked.And you could feel the atmosphere in the tower sour, as the demons were no doubt expecting one or both of you to act like wild beasts or hate filled rivals for reasons you cannot understand. Demons are like humans in many regards, they come up with the strangest of ideas for the oddest of reasons."Well, then we shall begin at your discretion, you may take the first blow" He says, and you can tell he doesn't intend to fight seriously to instead hold back and meet your with only a portion of his might. To give you an easy win. Because he respects you? Or because he realizes you're kindred spirits? You sensed the ghoul was fond of you, when you spoke, when he wasn't screaming and cursing you for achieving what his defunct school failed to accomplish.You smile, a purr rumbling in your throat. He has shown you the respect you deserve, so you will give him his wish of a quick death and release back into the great wheel of reincarnation"Let us both strike at once, see who draws first blood" You boast, lifting up your chin and baring your fangs and unsheathing your claws "This fight may only last a single blow, these claws of mine can rend flesh with the utmost ease, and these jaws are powerful enough to crush skulls"cont
>>5274602"Hmm, Yes" The jiangshi says, playing along with you as he tests the weight and heft of his crude spear "my intuition shows that, bringing this spear against your fangs and claws, is a path that leads to my ruin"The two of you stand, the Jiangshi acting as if he were struggling and failing to find and opening in your instinctive defenses as you, confidently strode towards him. And then rushed towards him.The only way you wouldn't land this strike, and end this match and your opponent swiftly and elegantly is if his addled mind forgot that he intended to offer his neck to you and pass on without a struggle! Roll 1d100. Best out of three. DC 30
Rolled 90 (1d100)>>5274603
Rolled 69 (1d100)>>5274603
Rolled 11 (1d100)>>5274603
>>527460830 over dc! Incredible success. Not even a veteran of a hundred battles would doubt that both combatants gave their all and fought ferociously!Update will arrive shortly
Charging forward, you rear up to stand upon your hind legs, and bring both of your paws down, one after the other. The claws of your left paw dig through the Jiangshi's bone dry skin, tearing through it like a dried cotton sheets. But you pull back your right paw, and roll to the side, kicking off the sand as the ghost spear drives forward as he lunges through your attack, but, takes care to pull the head of his spear just far enough away from your chest to stab over your hide, passing through the fur and beneath your outstretched leg. Oh! He's trying to make a show and obscure the fact he fully intends to throw the match in your favor. Why shouldn't you play along! The ambience of the arena had become downright hostile when the two of you spoke kindly to one another. It would only be wise to make this all but rigged match a little more dramatic. So, hissing, you catch yourself, managing to keep your balance despite keep your unnatural bipedal stance, and then perform one of the movements of your feline martial arts, moving your foreleg with the spear beneath it out, stretching it over the haft of the spear itself before gently pressing down on its center. The point you've stepped on, becomes a sort of snag, a wall of force and momentum created by The Carmine Mystic's own thrust and charge. He stumbles, the direction of his spear redirected to the ground. You fall to your feet, and watch as he buries his spear deep into the sand and vaults over you, kicking his feet as he lightens his body and soars through the air.Bone thin bat wings burst from the crooks of his shoulders, covered by the thinnest and most tanned hide you have ever seen. He Pulling his spear back and sliding his grip further down its length, he holds it like a spear. You glare up at him, fur standing on end, and tail flicking back and forth. His expression becomes as stern as a cliff face, as he pulls his arm back and tosses his spear down at you. Activating your own variation of the lightness skill, the Yōulíng-Qīnggōng, you leap into the air after him, catching the spear just behind its head and batting it like a ball to turn it around to face its thrower.His squinting eyes widen in shock, as you manage to push the spear around without allowing it to fall through the air, and then, gathering strength in your paw, harnessing both internal energy and blood qi to increase the force of your blow, causing the muscles and veins of your leg to tense and then bulge outwards as you slam it in the back of the spear's pole and send it rocketing through the air.Directly into the shoulder of the carmine mystic and tearing into the membrane of his wings. He begins to plummet, losing height as his single wing struggle to hold him aloft. While you bound and run through the air, as light as a feather on the wind. You keep your eyes trained and focused on him as he falls to the ground. Cont
>>5274668Raising up his arm and pulling back his hand, he chops it through his spear, breaking it as if it were a mere arrow stuck in his flesh. Then, catching the splinters with his other hand, he draws what little undried blood remains in his veins by burying them into the mummified flesh of his palm. Slamming the his new staff into the ground, his free hand begins to contort and twist, flashing impossible hand signs as he adopts a defensive, lowered stance. Taking this as a cue to strike, you make your body fully tangible once again, and allow yourself to flow, stretching out all four of your legs and unsheathing your claws as you rapidly descend towards the mystic. He twirls his improvised staff around, and spreads his legs apart, fortifying and strengthening his stance to try and make himself immovable. The moment before you land on him, and crush him beneath your ox sized body he throws his staff forward and press both his hands against it, but holds the wrist of his spell casting hand, so as not to waste the blood he had shed to fuel his sorcery. But, the wooden pole breaks, not from your weight, but your jaws clamping down onto it. Wrenching your head back, you dislocate the arm of the hand holding to it, and throw the mystic through the air as if he were weightless. Which he nearly was, as he was still using the lightness skill. His injured arm hung limply, as he arced through the air above you and raised up his bloodsoaked hand.And slammed it to his bloated throat, suddenly, his tongue turned black and shot from his fanged mouth, launching towards you as you held what remained of his wooden staff between your jaws. You watched the disgusting, writhing appendage shoot through the air, squirming as it darted back and forth. A sucking orifice formed upon its tip, and immediately, you realized your next move. Moving your tail, and tracing your claws through the sand, you created a diagram beneath yourself and gathered metal Qi into it, charging the ground itself with more lightning than is in most thunderstorms.And then, as arcs of lightning dance around you and then sand begins to turn into particles of iron from the Density of Qi you have enthused within it, you finish drawing the spell. And send pillars of lightning shooting towards the top of the tower! The whole building is filled with blinding white and yellow flashes, as iron sand flies upwards and the create coils of lightning fly between them, creating a web of energy that crackles and snaps and sparks wildly."Incredible!" The carmine mystic shouts, as he is surrounded by at least a dozen bolts of lighting that then crash into him and fill him with the electric energy of the heaven's themself. All of the arcs of lightning converge on the spear tip jutting through his back, and are funneled directly into him, his bones begin to glow white and then blue and begin to burn and then glow brilliantly. Cont
>>5274670There's a loud popping sound, as black roots appear on his body and smoke rises from his now charred flesh as he falls to the ground.He hits it with a deafening thump, and to your astonishment remains standing. Your eyes meet, and he smirks, and with his blackened hand, forms it into a spear point, bubbling pools of blood gathered at his finger tips. They form a sheath of razor sharp rapids of flowing blood and with what little will and stamina remains within his charred husk, the jiangshi throws himself at you, becoming a blur of black smoke and the aroma of roasting and rotting meat.Which, makes it all too easy to track his position and measure the exact moment he'll meet you. So, you counter him, as he slows his final lunging step forward, and pulls his arm back slower than he has to. Allowing you to cut it off at the shoulder, using the wound in his shoulder to hook your claws on the bone and tear it off. The blood sorcery misfires, and carries his arm like a javelin through the air and into the stands erect around the arena pit.A horrid cry rings out, and a violet skinned devil falls over the edge of the arena, the carmine mystic's arm lodged through his throat nearly tearing his neck in half. Then, without hesitating a moment, you catch him by the throat and begin to apply pressure and crush it and his spine between your fangs.A laugh stops in his throat, as you press your bloodied paw down onto his head, and using his own speed as leverage, make him tear his head off through his own power as his body is forced to a sudden halt between your claws and fangs. He, literally, rips off his own head by continuing to one forward as single step more. Perhaps this was the most brutal application of a soft style in generations. But the display, which was only not bloody because all of the blood in the Jiangshi's veins had been reduced to red dust."You know" His head says, dangling from your mouth by its spine "I killed most of my victims that way, when I was among the living still. I suppose this is karmic punishment"And then, he closes his eyes as his headless body stumbles forwards four steps further and collaspes to its knees, turning to grey dust and ash as his severed head lets out a great sigh, as if all of the weight of the world has been lifted from his back. And then, that to, becomes nothing more than ash and dust.Leaving you alone in the arena, as his soul follows his sigh up and up, higher and higher, at last allowed to return to the cycle of death and rebirth.two tears soak into your fur as the bloodthirsty crowd cheers and shouts your name. Cont
>>5274671After watching Qiang's next match, what do you, Huanliuxue?>Just fight your next opponent, so you can be done with this Carrion festival>Pridefully ask to face however many opponents remains before your prize, so you can leave even faster>Confront the crow king, and ask what his motive for having you fight are. It can't be just entertainment, he's up to something. [Can be taken with other choices] >Give the winnings you have earned already betting on Qiang and yourself to Yi Zhu [good karma] [can be taken with other choices]>Write in
>>5274672>Confront the crow king, and ask what his motive for having you fight are. It can't be just entertainment, he's up to something. [Can be taken with other choices]>Don't give shit to Yi Zhu, our winnings are our own.
>>5274672>Pridefully ask to face our foes at once.>Confront the demon.Fuck Yi Zhu. Dont keep giving him money to lose.I may choose to re-evaluate this position depending on what our prize us.
>>5274672>Just fight your next opponent, so you can be done with this Carrion festivalConfront the crow king, and ask what his motive for having you fight are. It can't be just entertainment, he's up to something. [Can be taken with other choices]
>>5274672>Just fight your next opponent, so you can be done with this Carrion festival>Confront the crow king, and ask what his motive for having you fight are. It can't be just entertainment, he's up to something. [Can be taken with other choices]As much as I like picking good karma options, this is like giving an addict the means to continue his addiction.Yi Zhu got to stop getting himself into trouble and spending all of his riches, and just throwing more at him isn't the way to do it.
>>5274672>Just fight your next opponent, so you can be done with this Carrion festivalI might be in the minority here, but I don't think confronting the Crow King is going to be beneficial to us. I mean, he might be an asshole, but we have no reason to think he's *stupid*. If he has an ulterior motive for pitting us against the carmine mystic, I doubt he's going to tell us just because we asked-- letting him think his plot (whatever it is) went undetected is probably safer.
>>5274807This is ignoring that we suggested that we enter the arena ourselves.But I fully embrace the capricious nature of being a cat. If I vote to arch our back and rub against someone's side, I will then vote to scratch the shit out of their hand if they try to pet us
>>5274672>Pridefully ask to face however many opponents remains before your prize, so you can leave even faster>Give the winnings you have earned already betting on Qiang and yourself to Yi Zhu [good karma] [can be taken with other choices]
>>5274672>Pridefully ask to face however many opponents remains before your prize, so you can leave even faster>Confront the crow king, and ask what his motive for having you fight are. It can't be just entertainment, he's up to something. [Can be taken with other choices] why the hell would we give our shekels to a pig demon?
>>5275300Payment for services rendered to us.
>>5275316Fuck that noise. Everything he did, he did for himself. This pig is not our friend.
>>5275894Correct. But that doesnt change the fact that what he has done has benefitted us.We charged him before we left with being able to get us into a proper tournament. He has done so. If we get a priceless treasure out of it, that's worth tossing a few spirit stones his way.He will probably get in more trouble with that money, but that will probably benefit us too. His not being a friend or being self serving isnt a reason to refuse to pay him for getting us into the tournament. I simply dont want to pay him until I am sure of what prize we get, since a shit prize will get him a single stone if he is lucky, while a priceless treasure if worth suitable compensation.
>>5274672>Just fight your next opponent, so you can be done with this Carrion festival
>>5274672>Just fight your next opponent, so you can be done with this Carrion festival>Give the winnings you have earned already betting on Qiang and yourself to Yi Zhu [good karma] [can be taken with other choices]
Ending the vote now, tallying the result. Confront the crow king, and ask what his motive for having you fight are. It can't be just entertainment, he's up to something: 5Pridefully ask to face however many opponents remains before your prize, so you can leave even faster:3Just fight your next opponent, so you can be done with this Carrion festival:6Give the winnings you have earned already betting on Qiang and yourself to Yi Zhu:3So you'll ask Baoli-Wuywang what his true intentions are in having you fight, confronting the crow king before your next bout, while Qiang fights her next opponent Update will arrive shortly. Meant to call it sooner, but I hurt my wrist and needed to rest it.
Qiang's next opponent, seems to have been chosen by the Crow Demon King to try and counter her usage of the Phantom Cat step, for it is a crow demon like himself and possess a natural rapidity beyond your own and surely far above Qiang's body's limit of raw speed. However, Cultivators strive to refine themselves and so things such as natural limitations and physical hurdles are easily overcome. In fact, as you watch the younger demon flit through the air as a black feathered blur, you are certain that the blood torrent rush would allow you to easily outpace and overcome it in a contest of speed alone, which would reduce any theoretical battle to a contest between the swiftness of reaction between the two of you. A contest you are confident you'd win without much effort. For it is natural for birds to catch and devour birds and birds to flee and with how much you've already refined yourself and your physical capabilities, combined with the martial and mystical techniques and practices you have trained and honed, no bird even a demon crow could escape your claws. Except, of course, your fellow royalty, who watch with detached enthusiasm as Qiang fights for her life.Like they were watching children at play, rather than a mortal combat performed for their entertainment. The longer you spend in the company of these demons, the more reasons you find to abhor or at least distrust them. How could men call you a demon? When you are not even as half as haughty and cruel as these crows masquerading as nobility? You often in the past relished in your reputation as a demonic beast, but being among true devils makes the epithet feel more insulting than it had ever in the past. Though they look like and call themselves Crows, they are not part of the natural world or its order. They are outside of it completely. But, even that disconnect between you, a "Demon" cat and your hosts, these "Crow" Demons, cannot explain away why you feel uneasy in their presence.'Ah' You instincts gasp as you watch Qiang adopt a defensive posture, remembering her lessons as you tried in vain to translate the Ghostly Feline Martial arts you had taught yourself to the human form and locomotion 'It is because they're stronger and more dangerous than you are, making you feel threatened''No no' Your rationality grumbles in reply, as Qiang lightens herself and relaxes her stance and shoulders, mimicking the ethereality of ghosts without rendering her body partially intangible as she would when practicing the specter lightness skill 'We have been in Monu's company for years, and we have never felt this way in our honored mother's presence, if our instincts were warning us of their power, surely they would've done so when Monu was revived and remade by our hand?'You furrow your brow, scrunching your snout and squinting your eyes, as you searched for a reason for your distrust and disdain for these demons beyond the obvious reasons.Cont
>>5278810And as you ponder the exact source of your suspicions, beyond their natural untrustworthiness as demons, Qiang holds her sword in front of herself, her pretty face already reddened by half a dozen cuts running along her cheeks. She closes her eyes, drags one foot forward, allowing its toes to daintily brush the blood and ash covered sands as she breaths out as if practicing her meditation. The crow Demon continues circling her, sending feathers with a razor edge against Qiang as she bows her head. Your stop thinking, devoting your full attention to Qiang's battle as you begin to worry for your disciples well being as she is cut and cut, dark winds pushing against her like hammer blows as she stands with an odd yet familiar posture and stance. Her expression, though hidden by her hair that was cut loose during the demon's first assault and veiled by her own blood, remains composed and seemingly unaffected by pain or worry.She breaths in, adjusting her grip around her blade, before surrounding herself with a cloud of grudges. You realize what she's trying. Baoli-Wuyawang had forgotten the pride of any assassin. To kill in a single strike. And in his attempt to counter Qiang's natural killing instinct and her speed bolstered by your shared abilities, set her against a demon whose specialized in a death by a thousand cuts. The natural prey of a trained assassin. Especially one with the ability to seal away the speed and precision they rely upon to land their countless, shallow cuts. Or perhaps he had chosen this matchup, purely to allow Qiang to Win. Once more your suspicion towards the Crow king arises, as you struggle to decide if his affable front is genuine or merely a mask to guise his true intentions.'Perhaps, the source of my distrust is born from distaste for their cruel and wicked ways. Cat's like to play with their prey but that is different from torturing for pleasure's sake alone' You realize 'It is pointless sadism, just as their consumption of human flesh and souls is needlessly gluttonous. Men may eat beasts and beasts may eat men, but to overindulge in meat for thrill alone is to dishonor your prey and make yourself obscene. They do not eat for sustenance, they eat to shame the souls they predate upon. That, is why, we who follow the laws of the wild, find their manner unpleasant. They are spitting in the face of the relation between hunter and hunted, by eating to exult in the flavor of the pain and sorrow they inflict rather than to survive. Their way of life is specialized to degrade, torment and dominate others for no greater purpose than the pursuit of evil itself. Unlike a beast conquering new territory or taking mates from lesser rivals, or men forging kingdoms and defending their holdings with steel and fury'You dislike the company of demons, because they are truly evil and remind you of the terrible lies spread of your own kind. Cont
>>5278814The moment you realize this Qiang achieves her victory with a single masterful stroke. The crow demon, slowed by the weigh of the grudge miasma filling the arena, slows enough for Qiang to catch hold of him, without the assistance of the specter lightness skill. She grabs ahold of one of his wings, gripping it by its furthest edge. And then, stabs her sword's tip through the joint connecting it at the back, but only the tip. Expending only a little energy, she uses the speed of the demon's flight and power of his wings to tear it from his back. And is such showered in black feathers and blacker blood, as the muscles tear and rip themselves apart around the edge of her blade as they contract and pull around it.A loud cheer rises from the crowd, as the demon crow slams into the ground and plows through the sand, his arms and legs twisting and breaking from the force of the impact as Qiang holds up his wing, looking up to you to avoid looking at the mangled remains of her opponent, who were killed by their own rapid flight. She tries to smile confidently, but is unable to. Baol-Wuyawang's wife turns pale and then green, as she is clearly sickened by the gross end of her fellow crow demon, while her mother and husband rise and clap their hands in approval. And, you can tell, beneath the hollered cheers and shouts of praise, a good portion of the crowd is also disheartened by the sheer bloodiness of their fellow devil's demise. Perhaps, not all demons are as wicked as Baoli-Wuyawang? You nod once to your disciple, wordlessly congratulating her for her victory as she staggers out of the Arena, quickly dusting herself with sand to clot the blood flowing from her wounds, to keep the scent of her lifeforce from seeping out and rising around her like steam from a meatbun."Oh, I think the crowd is starting to favor your student, Lady Huanliuxue!" The crow king explains, smiling genially as he turns towards you, but his kindly expression vanishes when he notices your glare "Is some part of our hospitality to your disliking, my nine times honored guest?""Baol-Wuyawang, what are your intentions for having me fight before you" You say brazenly, as the crow king's smile turns cruel and his eyes sparkle with malevolence "It cannot be for entertainment alone, you've been matching both me and Qiang against opponents that seemed designed to either rouse our anger or force us to reveal the extent of our capability as cultivators. You are, as all crows are, shrewd and cunning, perhaps the wisest of all birds. You act the part of the blithe hedonist and sinner, but, while you are, by the laws of nature, and of men and of the heavens, truly a vilely sinful creature, you are not unintelligent by any measure and are certainly far more savvy than you wish to let on. You play the fool, hoping to keep your true intentions hidden"Cont
>>5278818"My my, how bold of you to speak to rudely to the great me" He laughs, feathers sprouting beneath the skin of his bare chest "Complimenting me in one breath, and accusing me with the other"He forces you to lock eyes with him, but you do not falter and look away and remain firm despite the wave of threat washing out from his expression"But you would be correct, certainly, watching you two fight is amusing, but I had sought you out to scout your potential and to understand your character, you who brashly crushed spirit and demon a like beneath your heel and boasted of your power and the splendor and regality of your birth" He admits, almost humbly, plucking a feather from his chest to twirl between his finger "I thought, perhaps, we could've been friends, that we were kindred spirits of a sort. An ascended Cat called a demon and a Demon crow, there's a certain romance to such a partnership. like a warped fairytale, a dark children's story. But alas, despite the macabre practices you pursue and the demonic seeming techniques you foster and the forbidden methods of cultivation you use, you"His expression falls, as disappointment etches itself across his every feature."Have become righteous despite your horrid upbring, the tragedy that surrounded your second birth. being mentored and mothered by a vengeful witch, cultivating off the vital breath of hungry ghosts and gathering their hatred inside of yourself" He nearly sighs as he collapses in his thrown, slouching posture entirely unbecoming of royalty "You'd think, a child that grew by eating the flesh of men, would be more monstrous than yourself. Even though you're a heretic, and thus we should be comrades, I cannot help be feel entirely disappointed with you, The Lady who is happy to shed blood, the Murderous Happy Bloodshed, the great and imperious Huanliuxue. Despite your circumstances, you have more of a heart and a stronger guiding morality than most cultivators who have passed by my palace gates in at least three generations! Though your values, concept of right and wrong, just and unjust and idea of virtue are wholly inhuman, I cannot help but to see in you benevolence of a wild, primal kind. You, a man eating monster, beneath your pride and ego, are kind and generous. More so than most daoists of the modern era"You blink, as the crow king covers his eyes"Do you understand, how disappointing that makes you? You who shackle ghosts to drain their essence, do so to ease the suffering of their damned existence. You hoard grudges, but do not sow and cultivate them! Despite being a heretic of the world of cultivation, you refuse to pursue power gained through unpleasant means" He continues on Cont
>>5278820"I learned all this, by listening to the conversation you had with the carmine mystic and from your morsel of a student's own accounts of your treatment of your court and disciples. You could be so much more, but, you have formed your own sense and code of morality that I cannot understand! Aren't the weak the prey to the strong?" He nearly wails with a shudder "Is that not the law of the wild?".You recall your meeting with the old god atop the mountain. The words you spoke to him resonate in your mind, rising to your ears as if spoken by another 'I suppose I came seeking something to help me right the injustices of the world and protect those unloved by the heavens' And then, the face of the unborn dragon replaces the old god's kindly smile 'A kingdom without a strong, willful ruler is a house without foundations' and once more you hear your own voice 'it is the way of nature, the strong lead and the strong rule'You realize, you could answer Baoli-Wuyawang, explain your beliefs, your three views and your understanding of the purpose of strength and power. But you do not speak it, for his ears would not hear it even if you shouted it in them. Instead, you smile smugly and cackle."I see the truth of that old idiom escape you, crow king" You say, all but mocking your host, whose eyes darken as his lips lift to reveal his fangs as feathers cover his arm and back "If you truly knew what that meant, you would understand my position and philosophy""Smug little brat, aren't you" He snarls at you, not caring to look you in the eyes any longer "But, I suppose, with your showing in this tournament, you have every reason to be prideful, Your disciple has two more matches to fight, before she is given her prize, it is only fair the master be given the same treatment as the student""Excellent" You answer blithely, smiling "What am I to fight next, my "resplendent" host?""Oh, a serpent we dredged up from the river flowing through the city, it was missing its head" He says with a wicked smile "So we had to find it again, and sew it back on its neck"You clench your jaw to keep from losing your composure and showing your shock on your face"Curious" You say under your breath "most curious indeed" How do you fight the ghost of Jade horn, Huanliuxue?>Just cut its head off again, and end the fight quickly so the poor thing can retain some of its dignity in death [Martial trial. DC 45]>Avoid its strikes and try to have a conversation with it, asking it about the human who cut its head off [Haste trial. DC 60] >Tear and blow apart its body with Ghost Empress Melody's cutting music and Blasts of Destructive Yin Qi [Magic Trial. DC 40]>Decide that you want a challenge, and mock The proud serpent, so it will be driven into a rage so you can play with it for awhile [Mischief trial. DC 50] >Write in
>>5278821>Just cut its head off again, and end the fight quickly so the poor thing can retain some of its dignity in death [Martial trial. DC 45]
>>5278821>Cause it some mischief (DC 50)
>>5278821>Avoid its strikes and try to have a conversation with it, asking it about the human who cut its head off [Haste trial. DC 60]
>>5278821>Avoid its strikes and try to have a conversation with it, asking it about the human who cut its head off [Haste trial. DC 60] We wound up having a much easier time with the Carmine mystic because we had an opportunity to talk to our opponent and understand their plight-- and I, for one, am looking forward to his *eventual* reincarnation so that he can become our student. What better way to cap off our discussion with Baoli-Wuyawang than by flaunting the sense of justice and morality that he mocks us for? We can still give the audience a show, and put the serpent out of his misery with some dignity, but winning over our opponent beforehand seems like the real chad move here.
>>5278821>Avoid its strikes and try to have a conversation with it, asking it about the human who cut its head off [Haste trial. DC 60]Gathering some information here could be nice.It seems we won't be making too many good friends in hell after all. If they except us to be evil like them, we can be nothing more then business partners at best.Ideally we should avoid actively pissing them off though, if we made them angry they could seriously fuck us over. Already they might be able to instruct various heretics to attack us, but the real trouble would be the sheer amount of information they could leak to the world of the living. I mean shit, Baoli-Wuyawang brought up pretty much everything there is to know about us, from our second birth to our teacher to our type of Qi to our philosophy. Any of that reaching the ear of our enemies would be really bad. And I'm not sure if outsmarting them in the game of information is an option either. We are likely to be on their good side while we still oppose the heavens, but if they decide we are more trouble then we are worth that might change. We should avoid antagonising them until we are strong enough to ignore the threat they might pose.
>5278821>Tear and blow apart its body with Ghost Empress Melody's cutting music and Blasts of Destructive Yin Qi [Magic Trial. DC 40]
>>5279085>>5279155The way I see it is Crowboy was always going to be a sort of rival. Whether friendly and good natured about it or merely by principle. We're not likely to be enemies per se because of the separation of both goals and location but there was always going to be some form of conflict between us. He is in a way a foil to us. But so long as he doesn't try to push into the world of the living and impose his rule there it won't really be a problem. That being said he's probably going to have a fire lit under his ass to expand his influence and power in the underworld even further knowing that we're up there being a twisted (in his eyes) mirror of his title.I wouldn't be surprised if we got the occasional occultist or heretic showing up simply to talk shit to us and throw down under his influence.
>>5279602I think even if we were evil he would be sort of a rival, like an alliance of bad people that would screw eachother over and work together at the same time, but are open about it.
>>5278821>Avoid its strikes and try to have a conversation with it, asking it about the human who cut its head off [Haste trial. DC 60] >>5279155We are the enemy of the enemy. Therefore an ally of convenience to Hell. Apparently, even Hell has forgotten the ways of the Natural Order that Huanliuxue is a member of. Keep in mind the real demons hate Heavens far more than they do us. They just think we are complete weirdos and understandably so. Our methods are so bizarre and heretical but not blatantly evil that even devils are left scratching their heads in sheer bafflement. Neither does Huanliuxue hide her affiliation from Hell or the underworld. They KNOW she is a part of the Natural Order faction. It is only the Heavens and Orthodox cultivators that are still ignorant about her. The demons won't say shit because we share a common enemy. Screwing us over is screwing themselves over...and most importantly we are NOT competition or rivals to them. Since our methods are completely different from their own. >>5279602>>5279615The fact that we aren't evil means we are not in fact a rival or competitor to him. So while 'disappointing' and 'strange' the sheer fact that while we share a common enemy, similar heresies, but differing methods/morals means we do not actually have much of a direct conflict of interest. This is a very peculiar arrangement assuming we don't encounter any lunatics who flip over the table and pick a fight regardless. Now that doesn't mean we obviously won't talk shit about each other due to our very differing moralities but the simple fact that we are both heretics and have common enemies but opposing moralities/beliefs mean allying is possible even if you talk shit about each other the entire. After all we each have our own different 'niche' in the natural order. The simple fact that demons have allies who are NOT demons but can still be trusted to work with them is an unexpected boon to them. Since they know better than anyone just how untrustworthy their fellow demons are and how nice it would be to not have to worry about being backstabbed all the time(see why they fail due to infighting and betrayal).So what it comes down to is who catches onto this fact the fastest and realizes the benefits of having a trustworthy alliance vs sticking with the old ways of endless infighting and betrayals that saw to their past defeats. Huanliuxue's faction is a gamechanger because it a NOT Demonic and therefore can actually be trustworthy. Something the Heavenly factions will regret since its forcing the Nature aligned factions to play nice and ally with the demons. Giving the smarter demons a way out via good allies.
>>5279615>>5279785To be fair, rival does not necessarily mean opposition. Allies can be rivals just as easily as foes. The level of hostility likewise varies.
>>5279855Rivals make it sound like we are competing over the same thing case whereas with the demons or even undead this is blatantly not the case. We prioritize entirely different things and our bickering is based mainly on differing philosophical/morality so we argue a lot. Otherwise, you are correct. It's interesting to note that we are indeed not actually opposed to hell because technically we have no reason to be due to how Natural Order works. This can somewhat vex certain demons who smart enough to also realize this and why they know we make trustworthy allies as we are 'heretics' but not THEIR kind of 'heretics' so that makes us both the most trustworthy and also the most irritating to them.Squabbles and arguments are to be expected but not outright hostility. As even the most depraved demonic lunatics understand the simple fact that their fellow demons are not a trustworthy bunch and they need trustworthy allies against common enemies. We just happen to not actually require the same things and share the same enemies. It's a dream come true but one that is very grating to them because we simply rub each other the wrong way. Not to extent of Heavens VS Hells mortal enemies tier but more like your pesky neighbors who no matter how much they annoy the shit out of you, joke with you, and play with you. You can still ultimately trust to have your back, work together, and fight against a common foe.To the demons by their very nature this is obviously going to be especially vexing to them given their very natures. Which is something that Huanliexue has already noticed and joked about with the demons. Knowing that both sides cannot actually do anything about it because both sides need each other and have entirely different objectives that do not entirely clash(see Huanliexue abides by Natural Order which acknowledges such necessary evils, not Righteousness or Heavenly Ways). While this pisses off the demons they cannot actually refute it. Hence despite having it rubbed in their faces they still acknowledge the MC and play nice with her. All good fun since they know they rub each other the wrong way, but don't directly compete with each other, and share common foes.I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Huanliuxue manages to make some very good frenemies among the demons because of this. We cannot possibly have that much fun with orthodox cultivators with the sticks up their asses but with demonic and heretic cultivators? Oh yeah, we can have some fun with them.
>>5280240This has the obvious issue.Demons cant trust other demons because demons will betray you. So why the fuck would we ally with the untrustables.And we havent even DISCUSSED his stance on children. Which will make or break this relationship.
>>5280384Yeah, that's the most important part.>inb4 he doesn't hurt children because there is no fun in breaking down the defenceless, and would rather they grow up seeking revenge so he get a proper enemy.
Ending the vote, tallying the result. Apologies for taking awhile to update, again. Had some Technical issues on my end.Just cut its head off again, and end the fight quickly so the poor thing can retain some of its dignity in death:2Decide that you want a challenge, and mock The proud serpent, so it will be driven into a rage so you can play with it for awhile:1Avoid its strikes and try to have a conversation with it, asking it about the human who cut its head off:6Tear and blow apart its body with Ghost Empress Melody's cutting music and Blasts of Destructive Yin Q:1So you will attempt to avoid its strikes long enough to strike a conversation with the beheaded serpent, by asking it about the human who cut its head offUpdate will arrive shortly.
This time, as you walk down the tower and past the crowd, you are greeted with a great clamor of cheers and praises. The demons who watched both you and Qiang shed blood to satiate their appetites for violence seem to have taken quite the gleam to the both of you, and make their favor known with their the volume of their compliments and gestures of admiration as you walk by. The exultation of your name and prowess is almost enough to push away and fully smother the bitter taste left by your last conversation with Baoli-Wuyawang and his near complete misunderstanding of your personal beliefs and character. Even though none of those denizens of hell shouting your name know you either, even if they included the proper noble titles and speak it with the reverence it deserves, belonging to not only a genius prodigy but also the last scion of the lineage of wild royalty, their adoration of the loving crowd of demons, rich in wealth or noble bred, certainly helps keeps both your morale and spirits so high they might reach the heavens. Proudly, you strut and hold your head high as you march down into the Arena, deigning to take the proper entrance this time, and find yourself moving past a row of cages containing fierce hungry spirits and damned ghosts that have been captured from the wilds of the underworld or taken from the streets of the city of ghosts and devils itself. They look at you with sad eyes, and for the briefest of moments, you wonder if that deeply sorrowful and pained look is the one Yujijiao will show you when you meet her in the ring.You still feel a twinge of guilt, despite the young horned serpents hubris in declaring herself a dragon and presuming to rule as a queen when you already claim that title, along with princess and empress, as you were unable to save her from a most assuredly grisly and painful death at the hands of the Ogress of Ling. And as you will one day be the Empress of all Ascended beasts, whether they call themselves Magical, Demonic or Divine, you cannot help but to feel you failed the brat who had her head taken and no doubt mounted before the gate of the retreat of the Guardians of the celestial Sunlight.A humiliation, you and all of your students, be they beasts or men would share if those proud fools discovered the existence of the Palace of Natural laws. But considering the Sects that live in the Ling and Chuan lands are on the brink of war with how aggressively they've been acting towards one another, aggression which the Guardians had encouraged out due to the same pride that lead them to send five of their disciples to die by your claws and fangs, being stuffed into a trophy is perhaps the least of your present concerns. Light obscures the end of the tunnel leading into the ring of sand, you step forward, closing your eyes and smiling rather smugly as you reflect on the chaos that has consumed the society which has scorned you since your second birth.cont
>>5284043'Maybe if I'm lucky, they'll all kill one another off before they realize how great of a threat I truly am' You idly wish to yourself, as you sit patiently at your end of the arena, making a game of seeing how many pieces of Qiang's last opponent you can still find scattered across the sand.So many blood soaked feathers, and ribbon thing strips of flesh still cover the floor, it almost looks like it was covered in a strange sort of carpet. Maybe you could buy some extravagant carpets woven of underworld silk with the winnings of your bets. That'd certainly add a pleasantly grave atmosphere to your already eerie subterranean palace.The arrival of your opponent, interrupts your interior decorating plans. You do not see her, before you hear her. A wheeze that sounds like a whimper, a pitiful sobbing cry. It demands you attention. So, you look into the darkness of the gate standing opposite of you, hearing the hissing, wheezing cry rise and grow louder as the subtle sound of great scales slipping over stone reaches your ears beneath the sounds of the Jade Horn.Her head, emerges first, pressed to the ground. Golden antlers, with only two prongs each, rise from her serpentine brow, beneath which read ringed eyes glare out, not out of malice but irritation, black tears roll down her cheeks, as she struggles to see. Blood spurts from the stitching at her neck, and you can see the Crow king had her pieced back together with bands of heated iron and red sinew taken from the wings of some great bird. Or more likely, the wings of servant who had failed or displeased him in some manner. You become enthralled by how the exposed muscles of her head and neck twitch and contract as she slithers across the ground. And, true to the name she had given herself in life, her scales are a hue of green that can only be found in the highest quality of green jade. Oily in texture, glistening as if polished to shine like the stars in the night sky. They're gorgeous, and would be worthy to sit amongst your blood hued fur like pieces of fat jade sewn into imperial regalia.Yet, despite the beautiful gems presented to you upon your opponent's hide, you cannot help but to envision Siwang in her place, his wise head struck from his shoulders and set between his feet. The moment your allow yourself to think of your disciples, your assaulted by visions of their corpses. Chuandapo crumpled in a heap, with a cracked and broken shell as her blood dyes a pond's water red. Huili's skinless corpse, surrounded by the bodies of his loyal pack left to the carrion flies and ants. The silver of guilt you felt for being unable to save Yujijiao grows into an inferno, as your imagination runs ablaze. Cont
>>5284044Tiexingege and Jionghuagege's bodies sprawled at beside one another, Tiexingege covered in wounds with her armor sundered, and Jionghuagege clearly having tried to crawl towards her sister with her final breath. Fu split down the middle, hands still wrapped tightly around his axes, eyes empty of thought and life. Qiang butchered and cut to piece, her sullen expression replaced with one of mortal terror. Feiqing slumped against his forge, his belly split open and filled with coals and fire, tears staining his face. Ping as a shriveled corpse dragged by a bulging oversized version of his cursed arm. Lei with blood dripping past his mask styled after your own face. Hong pierced through by countless arrows. Liu hanging by a willow tree almost as spindly as himself.Lanfen beaten to the point of being unrecognizable.You can see, faintly the faces of not only Monu, but the children who cared for you when you were little notch ear, and you forcefully quiet your thoughts by bringing to your mind the stillness and calm of the grave.You look at the ghost of Jade Horn, as she looks at you with seething, tearful jealousy. The match is called, by the blaring of a horn.But, you do not move to attack, and instead, driven by the pity you feel for the serpent and the personal shame of being unable to save her from the Ogress of Ling, you instead give up your chance at striking first to ask"Who was the human that took your head?" You ask pityingly.Yujijiao responds by striking at you, throwing her body into the air as if she has jumped despite having no legs to leap with, Her fangs reveal themselves and you frown"She was scary wasn't she?" You ask, as you begin to calculate when and how you should dodge her attack, and anticpating her second Roll 1d100. DC 60. Best out of three
Rolled 2 (1d100)>>5284045
Rolled 29 (1d100)>>5284045On dear.
Rolled 93 (1d100)>>5284045
>>5284078Thank you, Great high roll
>>528407830 over dc! Incredible success! Update will arrive shortly>>5284063Very frightening
The first, is a feign lunge. The real attack is a spray of venom, that is delayed a fraction of a second by the shoddy job of reuniting her head and neck. Leaping out of the way, it is followed by a bolt of lighting that shoots out from between her horns, which you avoid with a second bound, landing beside Yujijiao. Looking over her back, you meet her eyes and flash a smug smirk her way as you sit back down on her haunches and watch her whip around, coiling around herself and hissing, clearly annoyed that you moved so quickly and now seem to be playfully mocking her across the distance between the two of you."You must not have heard me, deafened by the envy you feel for my beating heart and natural grace" You say half teasingly, as you bow your head the ghost of the serpent "So I'll present my question to you a second time, Yujijiao, Was the human who cut off your head scary? and can you tell me anything about her. If the fear of your death still lingers in your still heart, I am content to wait until it dissipates, burned away by your incensed rage, for I well know how fear and enmity can persist after death. It is, one of the beautiful things about demise, at least I believe so"She responds with an actual strike, thinking you'll anticipate a spray of venom like her first attack. You just duck under her and lift your head to redirect her lunge upwards as you walk under her flying tail, swaying your head side to side. You sit back down, and watch as she coils upon herself to keep from slamming into the wall. She lifts her head, and upon seeing that you are still smirking at her, hisses and spits, blood spewing from her neck wound and tears streaming down her eye as a grey Miasma rises from her scale Judging from the smell in the air, it holds a sickness within it. Probably a refinement of her venom, transformed into a mist an excreted from her. Several breeds of vermin, snakes, lizards and toads possess a similar ability, which makes them valuable for the manufacture of poisonous gasses.Jade horn will use a sequence of attacks, you predict. First she'll kick up the sand, fire three bolts of lighting, then, charging her horns electrically, throw herself at you to try and impale you on her golden horns. You lift your ears, there's a chance she'll try to bite your legs when she fails to impale you, or sink her fangs into your side. Or maybe she'll wrap around you and cause you to trip. Thankfully, cats are adept at fighting snakes, so you don't need to predict what she'll do next, your instincts will guide you through her attacks unharmed.Closing your eyes, you avoid being blinded by the cloud of sand, and then, feel the air fill with an electric charge, sway to avoid the lighting bolts fired towards you, without having to use the blood torrent rush or the specter lightness skill, as your natural speed is enough to step out of the way when you know precisely where the lighting will strike.Cont
>>5284149 The charge, you redirect by brushing the back of her paw against her cheek. She pulls her head, tearing the seams at her neck and tries to bite onto your forepaw. You reel back, and push her head to the ground with both of your front paws, but she's the one who pushes it into the sand.She snaps and roars at you, as you look at her boredly"Calm yet?" You ask"Who are you to look down on me! You're just like that impudent woman!" She cries out, tears streaming from her eyes "This isn't fair! Who are look to look at me with disdain, and mock me with contempt! How do you know how I was killed? How do you know me, and what have I done to earn your disrespect! What have I done that was so wrong in life to be humilated in death as well! I am equal to a dragon, but a cat is laughing at me""When did I laugh? and this expression of mine, is not one of disdain, but pity. I sought you out you know" You say, not mentioning you intended to humiliate her and show your superiority by beating her up "But, alas, I was unable to find you before that brute of a woman did. I only know she cut her head of because..."The serpent stares at you in disbelief, tears still in her eyes as the crowd yells at you to rip her head off or crush her skull, unable to her your conversation with her due to the noise they're making themselves."Eh?" She grunts, as you lighten yourself, so she isn't under the full weight of your larger body."Oh it was terrible, the humans, they made puppet shows of your death! As if that ogress was a hero or something" You drawl, knowing exactly how to redirect her smoldering anger and strong sense of humiliation away from yourself, and towards her killer. After all, grudges are not only one of the things you have an experts knowledge in, but a weapon you've become skilled in wielding"They what!?" She cries out, twisting and thrashing around, conveniently selling that the two of you are still fighting, rather than talking"And they weren't exactly entertaining shows either, the puppeteers were clumsy and were awful story tellers" You sigh, shaking your head, as Yujijiao begins to froth at the mouth, so furious she's unable to speak, and so humiliated her rage looks more like a child's tantrum with how many tears she sheds as she practically withers in shame as you tell her of her only memorial in the mortal realm. Well, besides her skull, which you wouldn't be surprise to see the Ogress of Ling has Fashioned into shoulder armor or a pair of boots."Awful awful awful! Why would they treat my memory in such an insulting way! What did I ever do to them!" She cries out, snapping her jaws as sparks fly between her horns. You pat her head with one paw "And..and why did you seek me out! and why are you so nice to me! Even my subjects treated me like garbage, despite all the good things I did for them! I didn't even eat them when I was hungry"Cont
>>5284152"Simple, I wanted to take you on as my student" You answer, bowing your head to look into her eyes "But, Cultivators hate our kind, and I was unfortunately to slow to reach your oasis. It is a shame, to see a fellow princess die, especially at the hands of such a brute! It's a dogs death, one you were undeserving of" "P..princess?' She chirps, beaming as she looks at you as you smile, partly due to the joy the ghost shows you, and partly due to how easy it is to manipulate her perception of you with a few sweet words. Mostly due to the happiness she shows at being praised, but you'd be lying if you weren't pleased by how readily she allowed herself to be blinded by your compliments."Of course, you and I are of the same class, are we not? Look to your scales, look to my fur! We must be noble born to be blessed with such gorgeous and resplendent hides!" You say happily "I..I knew that! Of course I knew I was of such a high station! Naturally I felt I was special, but I didn't think I was royalty, but I suppose my splendor could only be imperial in nature!" She lies, huffing before a thought crosses her mind that makes her look at you suspiciously "Wait, you speak as if you know that terrifying creature, with the giant sword and blood red eyes, have you met her before? Was she a rival? Did I die because you sought to bring me to the palace I deserved?"'What an imaginative snake' you think to yourself before admitting "No, I do not know her personally, but I know her by reputation and the wounds she left on my human students. She blinded one, and beat another so badly her facial structure changed, and made one of my oldest students bedridden! She's one I've been meaning to meet myself, so you can imagine how enraged I was to learn she got to you before I could, oh how my other students wept when I told them of your fate, they were so excited to meet the great dragon of the desert oasis!" And Yujijiao continues to fall for the story you tell her, like a little kid believing a ghost story. In fact, she falls for the lies you speak so readily and so easily, you begin to feel a little guilty for how naive she is. She has a big head sure, but she didn't deserve to lose it, especially towards a battle junky like the ogress. Poor thing. You listen to her complain that she was unable to meet her admirers and that she died before she could be given the reward she had "earned" from just being born blessed, falling deeper into her post mortem depression as you stand atop her, as her tail twitches, weaker and weaker. Eventually, after bemoaning her undeserved execution by ogre, she looks up to you, eyes sparkling as if she were looking at her idol and asks you a pointed question.Cont
>>5284156"So, you want to bring that blood soaked creature to justice, for killing me and hurting those who would've been my juniors?" Yujijiao asks innocently "For denying me my fate? I didn't last long against her, but I sensed...something, she had a presence similar to your own, yet different. At first, she felt...indistinct, and she tasted to my tongue like many other things. Like ore, like stone, like ash, like raw grasses and many other things, as if she had taken the essence of these things in her...then.."She pauses and cries out, as the trauma of her death reawakens as she trashes around under your paws, spitting and hissing. "Then when I flicked out my tongue again, she tasted like a sea of blood! Like you do...under the bones and rot" She cries out, as if experiencing her death a second time "But, like dirty blood! Poisoned blood! Blood on a blade! your blood taste is like...warm blood, in a hare""Aha!" You cackle "So that brute is a heretic to, hiding amongst the orthodox? The audacity of that bold bitch!""What are you talking about?" Yujijiao asks bluntly"I forgot you were ignorant of the world of cultivation and its politics" You sneer, giggling as you only become more amused by the ogresses' incredible reckless and careless daring to hide herself in plain site, an option you simply did not have as a demonic beast "But you've just revealed to me a grave, social weakness of your killer, and told me she practices a school of techniques forbidden to her by the laws of the heaven. This is priceless information""I..I knew that!" She lies again Double vote What do you do, concerning Yujijiao>Promise her, that you will find her again, and raise her as your student in her next life, and crush her skull to free her from this torturous existence the crow king has condemned her to>Put on a show, and teach her about Qi cultivation and the dao, in the hopes she'll remember it in her next life>Decide to smuggle her ghost out of the underworld, by trapping her in your dimensional storage gourd, making it seem like you performed a banishing spell>Ask her to tell the story of her death, and then, declare she's submitted, so you don't have to kill the poor thing a second time.>write inAnd what do you after you've "won" this fight, and Qiang has fought her forth opponent, Huanliuxue?>Demand to fight your remaining two opponents at once>Ask to be allowed to choose your next opponent, from the two remaining>Ask Baoli-Wuyawang if he's ever heard of an ogre born in the Ling family (can be taken with other options)>Congratulate and praise Qiang as she returns from the arena, and then immediatly fight the next opponent >Write in
>>5284158>Decide to smuggle her ghost out of the underworld, by trapping her in your dimensional storage gourd, making it seem like you performed a banishing spell.Ask Baoli-Wuyawang if he's ever heard of an ogre born in the Ling family (can be taken with other options)>Congratulate and praise Qiang as she returns from the arena, and then immediately fight the next opponent
>>5284158>>Smuggle her ghost outONLY do this if ghosts can become cultivators. If not>promise to find her againThen>Fight our next foe immediately.Let's not ask about the Ling. We can use this properly ourselves, not give it to the crow
>>5284158>Decide to smuggle her ghost out of the underworld, by trapping her in your dimensional storage gourd, making it seem like you performed a banishing spell>Congratulate and praise Qiang as she returns from the arena, and then immediatly fight the next opponentI just had the dumbest idea to bring her back to life: Replace Lei's demon with Jade Horn's spirit, kind of like changing a parasite to a symbiote
>>5284236That would still stunt his potential, so no.Ghost cultivator. A regent in our court perhaps?
>>5284240That's why I said it's dumb. But it would be cool if it somehow worked and double their strength instead of halfing it.Anyway, I think we can find a way for her to cultivate as a ghost. Maybe if gathered qi from prayers and the like instead of meditation, she could become sort of like a divine spirit?
>>5284158>Promise her, that you will find her again, and raise her as your student in her next life, and crush her skull to free her from this torturous existence the crow king has condemned her toLet's not condemn her to life as a ghost>Demand to fight your remaining two opponents at once
>>5284158>>Promise her, that you will find her again, and raise her as your student in her next life, and crush her skull to free her from this torturous existence the crow king has condemned her to>>Demand to fight your remaining two opponents at once
>>5284158>Decide to smuggle her ghost out of the underworld, by trapping her in your dimensional storage gourd, making it seem like you performed a banishing spell.Descending to the underworld and bringing someone back to the world of the living is a classic!>Demand to fight your remaining two opponents at onceWe've been here too long
>>5284158>Promise her, that you will find her again, and raise her as your student in her next life, and crush her skull to free her from this torturous existence the crow king has condemned her to>Congratulate and praise Qiang as she returns from the arena, and then immediatly fight the next opponent
>>5284158>Decide to smuggle her ghost out of the underworld, by trapping her in your dimensional storage gourd, making it seem like you performed a banishing spell>Congratulate and praise Qiang as she returns from the arena, and then immediatly fight the next opponent There's gotta be a way for her to cultivate.
>>5284158>Promise her, that you will find her again, and raise her as your student in her next life, and crush her skull to free her from this torturous existence the crow king has condemned her to. we have enough ghostly followers we don't need her in our spooky court. Best to do this the proper way. >Congratulate and praise Qiang as she returns from the arena, and then immediatly fight the next opponent
Haven't fully caught up, but has anyone thought of combining our Blood Qi with our higher tier pills, or devoting a good week experimenting with Monu to create new ones altogether? Innate type strengthening, healing, mutation, in the applied qi itself appear to me to be the thing that should produce wonders in beneficial alchemy, or at least weird things that haven't been made before, that would be exclusive to our sect and beyond the normal cures and poisons.
>>5287718Do we even have any pills?
Ending the vote, tallying the result. Was out of commission for the weekend with some intense tooth pain that came and vanished out of nowhere. I can't seem to catch a break, lol.Decide to smuggle her ghost out of the underworld, by trapping her in your dimensional storage gourd, making it seem like you performed a banishing spell:5Promise her, that you will find her again, and raise her as your student in her next life, and crush her skull to free her from this torturous existence the crow king has condemned her to:4 _Congratulate and praise Qiang as she returns from the arena, and then immediately fight the next opponent:5Just Fight your next foe immediately:1Demand to fight your remaining two opponents at once:3So you'll decide to smuggle the ghost of jade horn out of the underworld, by trapping her in your dimensional gourd, then congratulate and praise Qiang after her next fight before fighting your next opponent without delay. Update will arrive shortly
>>5287734Not that it matters, but I realized as I hit post that I missed one vote for asking Crow boy about Ling Yaonan. Figured I should mention that
>>5287726Yes, unless they've been used since two threads ago. The four results from the divine honey experiments in the primordial wilds.Raging Devil Stampede Elixir, strength and endurance with berserk frenzy and a body size increase, which we said would kill those with weak bodies.Flickering Wind Pellet, which is a go fast pill. But I noted it because strangely it has no huge negative side effects. Should probably make more of those for reliable disciples.Hell's Mantle Medicine, gives heat resistance and lowers the body's temp to a corpse, allowing one to feign death and become immune to conventional flames. Seems OP?The fourth is a form of longevity potion that we said will have great power, but it needed to ferment to finish. Haven't seen it mentioned once since, I'm still read'n up, tho.
>>5287718>>5287746We had a lot to do after getting the blood chi, maybe we can do a bit of alchemy soon.
It wouldn't feel right to strike down this proud yet naïve ghost. Though returning her to the cycle of death and rebirth would be considered just by many, you can't help but feel that her current incarnation has potential yet unawakened, even after being reduced to a mangled corpse and vengeful ghost. It'd be a waste to allow her to reborn before she could achieve what she was denied in life by the ogress' ever thirsting blade. Unlike the Carmine mystic, who was corrupted and ruined by the life he lead and techniques he practiced long before he died, Yujijiao is only spiritually tarnished by the grudge born from her death. And you personally do not consider holding a grudge to be in anyway a flaw of character or soul. Enmity is as natural as any other emotion one can feel. You still keep your paws upon her head, as you consider exactly what is to be done with this ghost. You can't exactly declare a submission or forfeit in a tournament of this nature, where death is the only acceptable end to any match. The inborn bloodthirst of demons makes certain of that. You'll have to be clever, to steal away this ghost to add to your court.Or perhaps, you can find a means for her to cultivate even though her life has ended. The Dao is all encompassing after all, and you do possess a collection of forbidden texts that, if not providing a means for a ghost to cultivate Qi within themselves in their pages, may provide you, a once in several generations genius, inspiration to discover a method yourself. Or a suitable alternative. After all, the Carmine Mystics cultivated blood and the Lifeforce within it instead of Qi. Though the heavens are far vaster than earth, the mortal realm still contains more secrets than can possibly be recorded. And Death, holds ten thousand fold more than that.And then you realize how you can take Yujijiao back to the land of the living. She's a ghost. And you have become rather adept at trapping ghosts in containers. While usually the process of sealing a spirit, be it natural or once living, in a pot or gourd requires careful preparation and esoteric materials place within the intended prison, that is only if the ghost in question is unwilling. If it needs to be trapped or coerced. And while you are no exorcist by trade, you have studied the spells and techniques of the Night Lantern Sutra Law, though you've never tried to perform any of them, the knowledge alone is enough for you to fake a spirit sealing spell. With a plan formed, you lean down to whisper to Yujijiao, knowing that snakes don't have ears, you practically have to press your lips to her head, which hopefully will be mistaken for you mauling the poor creature to the eyes of your adoring audience of devils.cont
>>5287854"Yujijiao, I believe there is a way for me to still take you on as my student, and bring you to the privilege you deserved in life" You say sweetly, trying to tempt the depressed and hopeless ghost into accepting your offer "To bring you into the world of cultivation, despite having died wholly ignorant of not only it, but of Qi and the Dao itself"She squirms, trying to mover her head to look at you, but you stop her from moving with a gentle smack of your paw."But in attempting to steal you away from the world of the dead, I'll be risking my own hide" You hiss quietly, speaking sternly enough to convene the severity of the danger you would court for her benefit "however, it's only fair to repay the great service you have given unto me by telling me of the Ogress of Ling with similar generosity. After all, it'd be unbecoming to be indebted to one of my own disciples. That is, if you'd accept my offer and the risks that it entails for you"She blinks once, no doubt trying to figure out how not to sound as ignorant as she is, but having been confronted by terms she has no understanding over, she swallows her already gravely trampled pride and asks"I could be free from this awful place?" She asks wistfully "I don't know anything about Qi or the Dao or another world, but if I could escape back into the living world, where my killer lives, I'd follow any command you gave me. After all, you're the only other beast I've met whose royalty, and I've heard your supposed to respect your elders, so I shall follow your lead now, if you can keep your promise, and take me from the underworld""Of course I can!" You snap, smacking your paws on the side of her head again, not so forcefully as to hurt her, but enough to sell that the two of you are still locked in a life or death struggle "I am the great Huanliuxue! If you've had any doubts of my worthiness as a teacher, they'll soon be scattered as you witness my peerless intellect, girl! Now, do exactly as I say, and this duel will end without either of us dying or even shedding so much as a drop of blood"She nods, so you quickly whisper the stages of your scheme to her before you leap off of her, forcing your fur to stand on end with a short jolt of Metal Qi from your back, sparks shooting from it as you snarl and allow her to lift herself from the ground. The two of you circle one another, striking and dodging in a rapid exchange where not a single blow lands and every counter misfires and every spell either of you attempts to fire is interrupted with dirty tricks or fearless rushes. Though, the lightning Yujijiao fires is too weak to do anything but shock you like strong static, and the "Spells" you cast aren't real and are just dramatic shows of lights accompanied with grandiose sounding epithets and surges of Qi and internal energy that you waste just for show.Cont
>>5287858After a few minutes of this mock fighting, You and Yujijiao part, after you use your soft feline martial arts to redirect her rolling series of strikes to make her coil around you and bite into the sand repeatedly, though even that is all staged, and while you could've truly performed such a defense, her being moved and thrown around is all her own doing in this instance. Yujijiao is panting, actually exhausted from trying to match the pace and intensity you set, though you were still fresh and unfatigued, as this pretend fight was only as exhausting to you as light exercise."You're far too treacherous an opponent to beat with brute force alone" You declare, loud enough so you're certain the whole arena will hear you "I see I cannot rely on the weakest of my martial techniques to subjugated you, ghost of the Oasis queen, Be honored, for you will be one of the few to face the second tier of the magic I have mastered. Be honored for most would've been completely destroyed by the power of my weakest spells!""You're bluffing! Those petty tricks you showed me were all you had! Those words are nothing more than a bold lie to stand in for your failing confidence, ohohohoh!" Yujijiao laughs smugly, blinking dismissively as she rises high up into the air "A novice pretending to be the master, is like a toad dressing itself in the feathers in a swan!""You have eyes, yet cannot see mount tai!" You yell back "Realize your arrogance and ignorance, as you are consumed by the combination of my Ethereal style and Graveborn sorcery! the Soul destruction abyss wailing vortex of true damnation! (灵魂破坏深渊凄梗旋涡的真实被罚下地狱, Línghúnpòhuàishēnyuānqīgěngxuánwōdīzhēnshí bèi fá xià dìyù) Shall utterly consume you! Your tortured soul shall not glimpse even a fraction of paradise until the end of all time!"To stand in for the Soul destruction abyss wailing vortex of true damnation, you create a twisting sphere of destruction beneath your feet, out of Pure Yin Qi, forming a crater that then fills with a sheet of darkness and the flickering flames of ghostly orbs, that seem to pop and fizzle away with tormented wails. A Simple spell and sudden cords struck on you enchanted Guqin create the appearance of a terrifyingly potent and obsecene sorcery, which Yuijiao reacts to with very realistic fright as she acts as if she's being pulled into the expanding see of shadows and vanishing "ghosts" as you hide beneath the growing sphere of darkness and pop open your Dimensional gourd.Which, being a phantom, Yujijiao is able to slip into without the hassle of cramming her body through its small mouth. She cries out as she is pulled head first into the illusionary vortex, and lowers her voice to make it seem she is being pulled across a vast distance before suddenly falling completely silent, precisely as the tip of her long tail is pulled into the sphere and out of sight entirely.Cont
>>5287861You allow an unsettling silence to settle, before you use your tail and the sand to create a larger than average false ghost light to burn to the surface of the rotating ball of darkness, before slowly making the light weaken and fade away along the shadowy currents surrounding you. You have to extend the light show, since Yujijiao has to find a cranny in the gourd amongst all the supplies and treasures you keep within it.Then, securing the cork, you let the sphere to vanish and step from the deepened crater, walking calmly along the cracks that have formed in the ground that destructive rotations had created that extend even into the walls of the arena. And though outwardly you are the very image of proud poise and calm composure, inwardly you are fretting that someone will notice your deception and call upon the wrath of not only Baoli-Wuyawang but the whole audience of the fight, all of whom would be enraged to discover how brazenly you've attempted to fool them.But, as you leave the arena, no one raises their voice, and the crowds that had gathered around you now give you a wide berth and look upon you with open terror as you swagger past them. It takes all of your willpower to not burst out laughing and begin mocking all of the gullible fools that they are. Qiang meets you half way down the tower, and beneath the boar shaped helmet and mask she is using to hide her living breath, you can see she is smiling. A rarity for the usually sullen faced girl. But she says nothing as she enters the Arena.And Baoli-Wuyawang's wife's usually sharp tongue is quiet when you walk into their personal balcony, and her old crone of a mother is nervously picking at the feathers on her arms. The Crow king himself, just tents his fingers and glances at you with an indiscernible expression as you take your seat next to him. Which, makes you more nervous than if he had just openly admitted to knowing you were trying to pull the wool over his eyes and trick him into allowing you to spare Yujijiao. Even coyly suggesting he knew what you did would be less stressful than wondering if he knew and chose to remain silent despite the flagrant disrespect of your actions! The feeling of paranoia was almost too much for you to enjoy Qiang's next match.Almost.While she had more trouble with this next opponent, who was a headless ghost of a swordsman who died sometime ago, according to the announcer, and had apparently been somewhat renowned as a manslayer, Qiang clearly held the upper hand due to her physical refinements and cultivation. However, for some reason, she chose not to use any of the techniques you've taught her or even fight with all of her power. The crowd seemed impressed, even though she was just playing with her food. And as was obvious from the start, she emerged the victor of the pointless extended match. She wasn't even wounded, yet she chosen to parry and block the other swordman's strikes rather than ending him decisively. Cont
>>5287866From the onset of the battle, she could've ended it with a single move, yet she chose to lower herself to match her opponent's level of skill, which meant her fourth bout lasted well over a dozen moves than it should've had. But you are not annoyed by her fooling around, in fact that's what made the fight entertaining. As a cat, you understand the urge to play with your prey and in this instance, it allowed Qiang to show off her talent in wielding a sword without any additional powers or abilities, that she had value and strength beyond the tricks she inherited from you. Which, to your great joy, meant that the crowd came to shower her with nearly as much respect and adoration as they held for you. As Qiang deserved, as the only other practitioner of the Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law(She seems in high spirits as you meet outside of the Crow King's personal platform, and you cannot help but shower her in praises and compliments, as you were impressed by the cunning way she earned the audiences favor while blatantly showing off as well."What an elegant performance you graced us with, my student" You chirp happily as you curl around her, purring "It was true demonstration of your martial skill. While you could've ended the match swiftly, from the moment you performed the first drawing slice with your blade, you instead chose to give us the privilege of witnessing your talents with a sword beyond swift killing strikes. And what a display it was, Qiang! Almost like a dance of steel. As young as you are, you've already surpassed the old fools who call themselves swordmasters. And that is truly an accomplishment to be admired, which you more than showed you were worthy of with your showing against that dingy specter!""Most of them haven't actually experienced real combat before, my teacher, you humble me with your praise" Qiang answered dully, swinging an arm over her chest before taking a deep bow "Well, I can't actually say they haven't, since most of those old masters, at least in the Chuan region, have met their ends at the hands of that damn ogre brat! and despite being a heartless thug, at least the ogress of Ling knew battle, and to respect the sword she held even if she used it far too readily for my tastes"You snort"Oh you're better than her, she needed her freak strength to bully you, Fu, Hong and the rest!" You boast, to preserve Qiang's own honor "Hold your head high, Qiang, be proud, you've earned it by your blade""I won't allow myself to become confident in my abilities, till I shed that bitches blood, master" She said through her teeth "I've already been shamed by her once, there's no reason for you to bare the loss of my face with your own"She put a hand on you head, and stroke it down your neck as you parted waysCont
>>5287870"But I appreciate the gesture nonetheless, I wish you good luck in your next fight, teacher" She says with a firm respectfulness, though her eyes sparkle with glee at being heaped with such praises by her master. Smiling yourself, you decide to float down to the Arena.And immediately begin to shiver as you're overwhelmed by an unnatural cold, a cold deeper and more biting than even the wailing winds of the Underworld itself! Colder than the chill of the grave, than even death itself! Even your bodies resistance to cold cannot keep you from shivering as your strength is sapped away with all the warmth within you, down to the marrow in your bones.And across from you, you can see the cause. A block of ice, containing the spirit of a cultivator, dressed in the robes of Monu and Ping's old Sect, the Winter blossoming Wisdom Sect. They're a mutilated, skinned corpses. From a glance you can immediately tell they've been robbed of many of their organs and several of their bones. Their meridians are gravely damaged, along with their dantians, and they are leaking spiritual energy like a spring. At first, you think they were eaten and scavenged upon, but as you walk closer, you see that their wounds weren't caused by fangs or claws, but rather knives. That their missing organs and bones were severed and cut away."Ji...ji....ji...ji" It gasped through clattering teeth, its missing eyes weeping blood as it twitched, trying to raise its half butchered arms up to defend itself, entirely unaware of your presence "Whu..whu..whu"'how creepy' you think, as you take your stance, and are immediatly buffeted by a icy wind as the skinned and chopped up ghost begans wailing in primal terror, fangs jutting from its jaws, as the sheer monstrosity of its death begins to twist it into a terrifying hungry ghost."JINGYU! YOU BASTARD!" He cries out, as from shattered essence and broken flesh, the ghost degenerates into a monster like Xiongji, with claws of frozen blood and patches of thick eyes holding its fragmented body together "I'll freeze your traitor's blood in your veins! turn your bones to ice! You piece of shit!"'How terrifying!' a small voice in the back of your head whispers, as ice begins to gather on your fur.Cont
>>5287872How do you defend yourself against the cold, and maddened spirit, Huanliuxue?>Start acting like Xiongji to take on his ferocity, fortitude and literally burning rage and match mad aggression with mad aggression (Martial trial. DC 65)>Wear the mask of Monu's grudge against her old sect and its master to not only endure the cold, but to infuse yourself with it and poison and ice. And since Monu's role is much less restrictive than the rooster generals, unleash a barrage of destructive Yin Spheres while keeping your distance (Magic trial. DC 50)>Use the Yang aligned blood Qi within yourself, to wrap yourself in a protective covering of boiling blood, and use what spells you know from the Night Lantern Sutra to attempt to match the cold with fire (Magic trial. DC 70)>Open your gourd, and pop one of the two fire body stabilizer medicines inside of it, creating a burst of potent fire Qi within your body and raising your cultivation base , and a capsule of the Ghost princess' breath poison, to chill your lungs and fill them with the condensation of your own breath, so you can release it as steam as the Fire now blazing inside you causes it to boil! Fight the blizzard with your own burning breath! (Fortitude trial. DC 80)>write in
>>5287877>Wear the mask of Monu's grudge against her old sect and its master to not only endure the cold, but to infuse yourself with it and poison and ice. And since Monu's role is much less restrictive than the rooster generals, unleash a barrage of destructive Yin Spheres while keeping your distance (Magic trial. DC 50)Training for when we do end up having to fight one of them.
>>5287877>Wear the mask of Monu
>>5287877>Use the Yang aligned blood Qi within yourself, to wrap yourself in a protective covering of boiling blood, and use what spells you know from the Night Lantern Sutra to attempt to match the cold with fire (Magic trial. DC 70)Having the ability to take on other people's powers and radically alter our own fighting style strikes me as a sort of ace-in-the-hole that shouldn't be performed before a huge audience of demons. Taking on Monu's grudge also gives us her likeness, which means that someone is liable to recognize her. Given that our opponent is from the same sect, and we don't know how much exactly Baoli Wuyawang knows, using techniques that might give him a further avenue of investigation into our sect/allies doesn't seem wise.
>>5287945Fair.I change >>5287917 to>Use the Yang aligned blood
>>5287877>Use the Yang aligned blood Qi within yourself, to wrap yourself in a protective covering of boiling blood, and use what spells you know from the Night Lantern Sutra to attempt to match the cold with fire (Magic trial. DC 70)
>>5287877>Open your gourd, and pop one of the two fire body stabilizer medicines inside of it, creating a burst of potent fire Qi within your body and raising your cultivation base , and a capsule of the Ghost princess' breath poison, to chill your lungs and fill them with the condensation of your own breath, so you can release it as steam as the Fire now blazing inside you causes it to boil! Fight the blizzard with your own burning breath! (Fortitude trial. DC 80)
>>5287877>Start acting like Xiongji to take on his ferocity, fortitude and literally burning rage and match mad aggression with mad aggression (Martial trial. DC 65)This might not be the smartest choice but I really want to see this. Anons, don't forget that brother Xiongji is fire-aligned as well!
>>5287877>>Use the Yang aligned blood Qi within yourself, to wrap yourself in a protective covering of boiling blood, and use what spells you know from the Night Lantern Sutra to attempt to match the cold with fire (Magic trial. DC 70)
Update will come sometime tomorrow, so get any last minute votes in before then.
>>5291797Possibly dumb question, what element does blood qi count as or is that just not part of its system? Just wondering because it permitted a sort of blood detonation technique when combined with metal qi and forced into some martial artists, and idk if that was fluff or showing one enhancing the other.
>>5291800I consider it unaligned in terms of elements, similar to the Death/ Ghostly Qi, at least in the state Huanliuxue tends uses them. It could, due to its Yang alignment, be adapted to align to the Yang elements, like fire, just as The Ghost/ death Qi could be turned to align to Yin aligned elements. However, this would produce a different form of Qi than either the pure element or the pure blood/ Ghost Qi. But it is something you can do. Though with blood, you could also swing it towards water and metal, despite both being Yin, for obvious reasons. \Huanliuxue actually does this to her Pure Yin Qi, by separating it into its "Destructive" and "Dark" aspects. When you exploded those martial artists hearts? That was actually a combination of the three forms of Qi. Blood, Metal and "Pure/ destructive" Yin. Allow me to explain how that hastily cobbled together technique worked, before I hit the hay. Huanliuxue mixes Metal Qi with Raw Yin keyed towards destruction, and blood Qi, as she circulates it through her meridians before turning it into a pulse of Qi at her paws.The Blood Qi, allows the Qi to more readily target and transfer into her victims blood and more importantly their heart, basically focusing the Qi burst.The Qi burst which, like the dying grudge shield, uses the Destructiveness of Pure Yin Qi to Amplifying the electricity of the Metal Qi, which shocks into their hearts with such force to cause them to explode.The technique itself could be resisted, actually, if the Qi pulse could be stopped before it reached the heart.HOWEVER, A Blood detonation spell could, could be performed by cutting out the third option of the Metal Qi, but the techniques resulting this would be somewhat more difficult to perform.Since the three Qi combo move, mostly uses Blood Qi to direct and focus the attack through the veins to the heart, centering the damage and all but assuring its lethality. And Since the blood Qi isn't so dominant in this admixture, the Qi used is mostly Yin.But, creating a blood detonation technique, would be not only be equal parts Strong Yang and Strong Yin Qi, but it would also be using two opposite forces. Life and Death. So it would require a balancing act to harmonize the two so the Qi interacted and cycled properly and natural, without one overcoming the other.However, while this would be extraordinarily difficult for any normal cultivator to perform, especially since the two types of Qi are forbidden and considered spooky demonic cultivation, Huanliuxue is not only a genius prodigy but also has practice wielding both and insights into the connections and similarities between death and life, that they are, like all opposites just as complimentary as they are opposite.So she could easily create such a technique, and use it with comparatively much less difficulty. And its far from the worst such a combination COULD create...
>>5291821Damn, what a complete answer. Thanks! So the blood qi is acting as an identifier & limiter for the yin destruction+metal shock damage to focus into the targeted blood and organ. Like defibrillation, but with concentrated unkind force.A martial style utilizing consecutive pulses would probably be awfully rainy.The combinations of Life and Death seem almost endless, which makes sense. Potential blood targeting lightning storms or blood fire rain notwithstanding. It makes me wonder what other Qi would be the best compliment to our current two. But all I can think of are complex ones that would go "between" the opposites of pure blood and ghost/ death, rather than something equally pure that would enhance both directly or one that both of those would feed into, or off of.I guess there's always the potential of getting some Qi closer to earth to do... something with our natural inclination towards metal qi itself, but that doesn't sound as special or cool.
>>5292095We had the option of going for metal cat but we went full princess instead.
Ending the vote now, tallying the result. Sorry for taking awhile.Wear the mask of Monu's grudge against her old sect and its master to not only endure the cold, but to infuse yourself with it and poison and ice. And since Monu's role is much less restrictive than the rooster generals, unleash a barrage of destructive Yin Spheres while keeping your distance :1Use the Yang aligned blood Qi within yourself, to wrap yourself in a protective covering of boiling blood, and use what spells you know from the Night Lantern Sutra to attempt to match the cold with fire:4Open your gourd, and pop one of the two fire body stabilizer medicines inside of it, creating a burst of potent fire Qi within your body and raising your cultivation base , and a capsule of the Ghost princess' breath poison, to chill your lungs and fill them with the condensation of your own breath, so you can release it as steam as the Fire now blazing inside you causes it to boil! Fight the blizzard with your own burning breath!z: 2Start acting like Xiongji to take on his ferocity, fortitude and literally burning rage and match mad aggression with mad aggression: 1 So you will coat yourself in your own boiling blood, and use what exorcism spells and rites you know from your study of the night lantern sutra to attempt to match the mangled ghosts cold with FIRE!Update will arrive shortly.
You will have to act quickly. Death from cold is one of the quickest ways to die. Fortunately, having spent so much time amongst the graves and their inhabitants, you are at least somewhat protected by the freezing chill in the air. A blessing not shared by the audience, as already those without the good sense or instinct to remove themselves from the Arena's edge have become as statues carved from ice, their eyes wide and unblinking with the horror that can only be felt by those blind to their doom until the moment of their sudden demise. The breath of the dead flows through your meridians, protecting the flesh of your limbs and innards, keeping your body from flashing freeze by acting as a barrier of lesser cold. But, in your veins, your blood surges against the ice forming within, pushing past and over the crystals of frost creeping into your strengthened blood vessels. The circulation of your blood only continues due to the refinement and strengthening of your circulatory system. But, even that only buys you time, time to figure out a way to conquer this cold unlike any other you've faced. This storm of frost filled with fury that is so bitter it even smothers the natural chill of the underworld itself and turns all its winds touch to solid ice. If your mother, the toad witch, stood in your place, you have no doubt that she could stride through this deadly breeze with as much ease as she would any temperate spring morning even if she had remained a crippled crone.But she is, by nature of her cultivation method and physical refinements, has more ice in her veins and breath than most lesser cultivators have Qi in their meridians even if she does not flaunt her extreme level of power. While you, you have nothing but half measures and stop gaps. Already, to keep your lungs from freezing solid or your heart from stilling, you have had to wrap Blood Qi around them, sending pulses of the Carmine energy and your own internal energy to strengthen and revitalize your internal organs with every halting breath you take. You have only been exposed to this cold for a few moments, and already you breath freezes to your fur and whiskers, which have both began to return to the white of your first life from the powdery snow and frost falling upon your gorgeous scarlet hide.'So annoying' You complain internally, grinding your teeth as you devout all of your energy to swiftly finding an answer to this seemingly unconquerable foe. For you do not fear death as your soul is already separated from your body. It is more a point of pride, that you do not wish to lose your beautiful body to a lunatic phantom who doesn't even realize you're its opponent. And that pride, fighting back against the exhaustion brought along the cold, brings warmth back to your shivering bones and clattering teeth. And in the clarity of a mind scoured clean by the sheer cold the body is exposed to, you realize the path towards victory.Cont
>>5292718Your resistance to the chill of the grave and presence of death, has allowed you enough of a window to realize that the key to your victory lies within your very veins! How amusing! How very amusing! Blood steams upon snow, but eventually it will cool and freeze. But you wield the forbidden art of blood refinement and know its secrets. The alchemical transformation of blood within living veins. Focusing inwards, you begin to heat up your blood. There is a risk of cooking you will cook from inside out by boiling every drop of blood in your body, but it is negligible for an peerless genius such as yourself! The process of alerting your own blood is both painful and difficult, as there are no ancestral genes or locked bloodlines within you that produce boiling blood as far as you know. There might be in the primordial beast essence hidden within your core, but you are not so confident in your ability to tamper with your beast core in the middle of deadly combat! Really, it is incredibly dangerous for you to force the temperature of your blood to rise until it boils, one wrong internal transmutation, and your flesh will not be guarded against the heat and you will turned into the cooked bloodshed! (饪流血, Rènliúxuè)But such risks are beneath you, the greatest daoist cat to ever live!So with a howl of cackling laughter, you slice open your veins with your own blood and spill it out, steam surrounds you as the roiling boil of fresh blood rolls up your fur and wraps around you like a cloak, sticking to your frozen fur as it pops and hisses. spouts of steam rise from you as you drench your self in your Qi Charged and Spiritual rich burning blood and then begin to boldly approach the specter at the center of the killing blizzard, who recognizes you at once and glares murderously down at you."Jingyuuuu" It snarls, as you materialize the pages of the Night Lantern Sutra manual in your mind's eye. The easy part of your plan was creating a temporary adaption to endure the temporary mutation you brought upon yourself to protect against the cold.Now comes the hard part.Casting spells you have only studied before and never practiced. Fire spells. Exorcism spells. Both types you have absolutely no experience in performing, But you have wielded fire magic before, albeit briefly when you played the role of the rooster general! And Ping is your student and he wants to be an exorcist! So it should be as easy as turning over your own paw! So with head held high, you confidently approach the ghost, sure of your ability to be able to cast these spells first try! Roll 1d100. DC 70. Best out of three
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>5292721yeet
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>5292721>>5292721Let's try
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>5292721I'm so happy I'm awake to roll. Disaster.
>>5292733Failure, 40 under DC. Update will arrive shortly
>>5292740Well, 33 under DC , so closer to 30 under DC than 40 under.
>>5292742As they say in the businessouch
But, immediately, you are proven wrong. Not through any failing of your own, of course! You've practiced magic enough to know how to adapt the hand seals used by your human counterparts to your own anatomy, using your tail, whiskers, ears and even the ground beneath yourself to perform the motions and traces the signs and characters for each spell, and when its too complicated to perform on the fly, you can always prepare paper talismans to hold any spell you might need in your travels or wish to cast on a whim. But, the Night Lantern Sutra's exorcism arts are different than the silent spells you are used to casting. Not only do they require precise motions and sorcerous diagrams to perform, but they also require the chanting of Sutra. And more troublesome, the ending movement of each spell's sequence ends with clapping the hands together. And when you're naturally quadrupedal and have paws instead of hands, that simple part of the formula becomes much more difficult than it has any right to be!Of course, you had anticipated these obstacles because while you're prideful, your pride comes from knowing you truly are deserving of praise and reverence, not any misplaced confidence or ego born from early successes. Which is why you chose two specific spells. Lighting the Night Lantern (照明夜灯笼, Zhàomíng Yèdēnglóng) and Bright Butterfly Dance (明亮蝴蝶舞蹈, Míngliànghúdiéwǔdǎo), Which both belong to the lowest tier of the Night Sutra's exorcist arts, referred to as the "Earthbound Sutras" by the law itself. The first, while very useful on its own, leads into several more advance spells as the creation and lightning of a "Night Lantern", a condensed sphere of Yang Qi that radiate with both heat and light energy, which by simply being held at one's side, can banish weak ghosts by burning away their fading ties to the world with its light, but it can also be focused and used to ward off stronger spirits and passively cleanses any malevolent energy that falls within its its light . The Night latern is a worthy tool for any exorcist, as its light, besides chasing away evil can also deconcentrate and weaken Yin Qi where it gathers, which is often the cause for most hauntings to begin with, which also means it would be a real pain in the ass if someone brought it against you.The Bright butterfly dance, is one of the more advance techniques, and requires splitting open the night lantern to expend its charge of spiritual energy all at once to create a swarm of sparks and embers that, besides carrying fire, also carry the life force that has been poured into the night lantern, which, unless the spirit to exorcist is facing has already began to consume life essence or breath, will usually banish them away in a shower of lights and flames. Cont
>>5292792However, none of this matters, as you fail at casting either of the Sutras. They'd have only served to distract the spirit, so you could cast a more powerful spell, that would fill the arena with ghost burning fire. A desperation technique, if there ever was one. You cannot imagine why THAT spell would ever be used, unless some novice exorcist has gotten himself surrounded by hungry ghosts ready to cut him up and serve him as their nightly meal, but in this situation where you find yourself fighting against a ghost with power of winter winds and killing cold, it would find a greater worth than it would otherwise ever hold. A specific foe that is extremally weak to the ghost burning inferno it creates.However, despite the blizzard giest's rambling and it appearing to have completely lost its mind due to whatever horrific death it suffered at the hands of whoever this Jingnue person its wailing about, it retained some of it fighting instincts and memory when it was a cultivator. And it wasn't an overconfident novice, like the five you killed in the snow. No, this one has actually fought before, and was actually somewhat skilled. Far beneath yourself of course, but talented none the less.You realized this, the moment its eyes burned with cold light and its expression glowed with recognition as you began to chant the children's rhyme to forge the night lantern and begin your three part assault. It knew the sutra you were chanting, and the spell you were in the middle of casting.So it caused you to fail! The nerve! The impudence! The sheer rudeness of it! Lifting an arm held together by ice, it chanted its own Sutra, much faster than you spoke, finishing the spell just as you were struggling to press your paw pads together. And you are pretty sure the chant wasn't even a part of the spell! Which caused a small square of ice to rise up from beneath you. Reacting quickly, you hoped away, not wanting to be frozen in the block of ice. And then it exploded. Riddling you with shards of ice sized needles. The pain was nearly enough for you to fall victim to its second spell, a blue tinged wind that rose from its wrist and sought you out like a strangling snake. Your boiling blood melted the needles of ice in your skin, and you were able to just avoid the constricting, icy winds. The spell coming so close as to nearly tighten itself around your back legs.The force of the exploding block of ice had thrown you against the arena's walls. And while that hurt more than the needles, and you're back left a few cracks in the stone, The body being a wild princess has granted you was able to endure being slammed into solid stone, without any injuries besides bruises when most others would have at least a few broken bones.Boiling blood dripping down your fur, you hissed at the ghost, who was now much more composed and dignified in its posture."Demon" It whispered "I may be dead, but I recall my purpose..."cont
>>5292794'Oh just shut up you pile of limbs stuck in ice!' Your thoughts angrily spit as you try to ignore pain you feel from walking and the way your legs tremble with every step. At least your head didn't hit the wall.How do you next attack the spirit, Huanliuxue?>Try the same spell combination as before! (Magic trial. DC 75)>Retrieve ghost empress Melody. If this ghost cultivator can control the freezing winds, you'll just cut it down with your cutting melodies! (Magic trial. DC 65)>Realize your now angry enough to properly act as Xiongji without having to think how to, and use Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges to show this piece of shit what a real devil looks like! (Martial trial. DC 45)>Calm yourself, and fight cleverly. Fill the Arena with weakening grudge clouds, use the phantom cat step to close the distance between yourself and the ghost, and create a new form of the dying grudge shield, combining it with your gentle martial arts by placing two small barriers on your hands with which to reflect its blows and magic as you search for an opening (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 54)>Write in>>5292785Indeed.
>>5292799>Try the same spell combination as before! (Magic trial. DC 75)
>>5292794>"Demon" It whispered "I may be dead, but I recall my purpose..."Really? This dude really went and said that when he is literally surrounded on all sides by actual literal demons. Aight he's gonna get his ass beat. Goofy motherfucker.>>5292799>>Retrieve ghost empress Melody. If this ghost cultivator can control the freezing winds, you'll just cut it down with your cutting melodies! (Magic trial. DC 65)Plin plin plon nigga
>>5292799>Calm yourself, and fight cleverly. Fill the Arena with weakening grudge clouds, use the phantom cat step to close the distance between yourself and the ghost, and create a new form of the dying grudge shield, combining it with your gentle martial arts by placing two small barriers on your hands with which to reflect its blows and magic as you search for an opening (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 54)It might be beneficial to take the easier trial, after those spectacularly low rolls last time.
>>5292799>Calm yourself, and fight cleverly. Fill the Arena with weakening grudge clouds, use the phantom cat step to close the distance between yourself and the ghost, and create a new form of the dying grudge shield, combining it with your gentle martial arts by placing two small barriers on your hands with which to reflect its blows and magic as you search for an opening (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 54)
>>5292799>>Calm yourself, and fight cleverly. Fill the Arena with weakening grudge clouds, use the phantom cat step to close the distance between yourself and the ghost, and create a new form of the dying grudge shield, combining it with your gentle martial arts by placing two small barriers on your hands with which to reflect its blows and magic as you search for an opening (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 54)I wanted to vote for Xiongji, but this cultivator might be clever enough to take advantage of our limitations in that state.
>>5292799>Calm yourself, and fight cleverly. Fill the Arena with weakening grudge clouds, use the phantom cat step to close the distance between yourself and the ghost, and create a new form of the dying grudge shield, combining it with your gentle martial arts by placing two small barriers on your hands with which to reflect its blows and magic as you search for an opening (Martial/ Magic trial. DC 54)Please no puppet incident 2.
>>5292799>Realize your now angry enough to properly act as Xiongji without having to think how to, and use Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges to show this piece of shit what a real devil looks like! (Martial trial. DC 45)I'm telling you guys, this is a Xiongji moment if I ever saw one!
>>5292799>>Realize your now angry enough to properly act as Xiongji without having to think how to, and use Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges to show this piece of shit what a real devil looks like! (Martial trial. DC 45)
Ending the vote, tallying the results and making a new thread. Late cause I decided getting my ass kicked in Crusader kings 3 was a wonderful way to spend my day and night.Try the same spell combination as before!:1Retrieve ghost empress Melody. If this ghost cultivator can control the freezing winds, you'll just cut it down with your cutting melodies!:1Calm yourself, and fight cleverly. Fill the Arena with weakening grudge clouds, use the phantom cat step to close the distance between yourself and the ghost, and create a new form of the dying grudge shield, combining it with your gentle martial arts by placing two small barriers on your hands with which to reflect its blows and magic as you search for an opening:5Realize your now angry enough to properly act as Xiongji without having to think how to, and use Enmity incarnation, devil of grudges to show this piece of shit what a real devil looks like!: 2So you'll calm yourself and fight cleverly. New thread will arrive shortly
>>5294578 New thread.
>>5294580Thanks for running.