Previous chapters:https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20QuestLost chapter (thread 7): https://archived.moe/qst/thread/5334502/_You are the Sagacious, matchlessly cunning and elegant Demonic Beast Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed/ Happy to Shed Blood), blessed with boundless innate and natural talent and destined inheritor of the forgotten and wrongfully vilified legacy of the great Primordial beasts and empress of all things wild and all places where the dead are buried. Having realized that your predecessors, the Magical beasts that had existed and held the mantle you seek to reclaim from the mud and filth it was cast into by the unlawful and unjust rule of the heavens and its celestial bureaucracy, had nearly universally possessed the ability or knew a technique to take on a human form, you reached the conclusion that it'd be unbecoming for the sole wild princess beneath the heavens to be unable to attain such a thing, and so sought to possess the technique so long ago lost to your people.Having studied and contemplated an Ancient scripture left behind by one of the greatest Demonic Beasts to ever be born a second time, that being the Bestial Edict to Attain- Human Form (兽诏书为高达-人类形式, Shòuzhàoshūwèigāodá-Rénlèixíngshì) A divine tier relic from an era over ten generations passed, left behind by Niu Bingweng, who also created the common place orthodox law of cultivation, the Mountain Shattering hammer (㟑震裂榔头, Bózhènlièlángtou), you came to the realization that part of the process to assuredly achieve the potential to posses an alternative human form alongside the housecat body you were born into and take great pride in the natural beauty and power of, that you must come to an understanding of human nature and find out what separates mankind from all other beasts.Deciding the most effective means of reaching an insight concerning humanity and the civilization they populate, would be to walk amongst them as one of their number, you decide to take a leave from the safety of your subterranean temple beneath the mountain that seals the catacombs of the forgotten king and the bloodless war, and possessed the village doctor Yuyi, who was a student of yours in the ways and art of medicine, so you may, within her body learn how humans live and think by pretending to be her as you traveled throughout the land observing and contemplating the myriad ways and places humans lived in the hopes such study would reveal to you an insight concerning the rules and common sense of human society, as well as the true meaning of civilization.Not long after you had began your journey, you came across a seeming deserted village, and were met by a gang of courageous and kind old men, who were preparing to fight back against bandits who had deserted from the Chuan army, who had ransacked the poor farmers of what little wealth they had, as well as their daughters.Cont
>>5369312At once realizing that these villains could potentially serve as a lesson of human nature and sensibilities, and curious as the why they chose to become criminals instead of returning home, you left Yuyi's body in the care of the old uncles who benevolence eclipsed that of the self righteous gods of the nine heavens, and as a ghost entered into the Camp of the bandits.Only to be shocked to find that they were naïve imbeciles rather than true villains, who did not realize that the "Gifts" and "Willing brides" they had received from the village they had chosen to protect out of a sense of simple duty to protect the weak, as the Old timers of the village they were unwittingly bullying and oppressing had attempted to do by turning you away from the humble hamlet, out of fear of what the "Bandits" would do to a pretty young lady of noble birth such as yourself. Astonished that men could be so spoiled and ignorant of the world, so coddled as to not realize their bedraggled and wild appearance would make them appear as vicious thugs and remorseless outlaws, and so sheltered by their upbringing or vision of fairytale heroics that only a handful even realized the mess they were in even before they were mistaken for bandits by the terrified farmers of the village they had chosen to protect.And while you were enraged by the stupidity of these men who were so blind they never even saw , let alone considered the harm they had done nor their accidental wrong doing, you could not simply leave them to be hung as thieves and kidnappers or for their killing of a local priest, which you were not yet certain if that constituted a crime from your point of view, and so returned to the Bawling, accidental "bandit Chief" and possessed him once more as he nursed the hand whose fingers you had broken several of, to enlighten him of his mistake and the misunderstanding. Partially to relieve yourself of some of the frustration you felt immediately upon realize the ocean like depth and breadth of his and his men's innocent and now dangerous naivety, but also because you sensed that watching how he'd react to such news would provide valuable understanding concerning the mysteries you now chased after, like the tail of a fattened mouse.Once the man's mind calmed enough, and he ceased screaming pleas for mercy and begging you not to break his remaining fingers into powder, you, harshly and scornfully, revealed to him the truth of the village's gratitude and magnanimity towards him and his soldiers."You spoiled little brat!" You barked in his voice, toying with one of his already broken fingers by waggling it back and forth Cont
>>5369313"Do you even realize the troubles you have caused here! Or the dangers you have invited to this village?! Were you so blinded by the circumstances of your birth, the honored and high station you had inherited and the titles you were given as general, pointlessly I might add, considering you turned tail and ran away the moment you encountered true and bloody combat, that you had not once reflected on your circumstances or present appearance?" You snarl as you push his finger completely flat against the back of his hand, hissing as you clench his teeth, his mutt of a dog whimpering at his legs, its thoughtless mind probably reeling with worry for its master harming itself, and its instincts both trained and natural struggling to come up with a response for his bizarre behavior "Please, oh might demonic beast! I do not know what I've done to so severely offend you and draw your might wrath upon myself, but I beg you to spare my men from whatever punishment you have planned for me" He whimpers quietly"Idiot! Idiot! Idiot! I already laid out for you what you've done that's pissed me off so much in our last conversation!" You hisses smacking his cheek to try and make him pay attention through his blinding fear "Are so witless you couldn't piece together at least a vague image of your wrong doing?"His mental voice stutters, struggling to answer as you stand and frown as the pitiful hound at your feet presses himself to your host's legs, whimpering and shuddering "Don't answer that. I thought you might've been close to realizing it earlier, but I see I need to pry your eyes open with my own hands!" You grumble angrily, pacing around his tent, arms crossed "Considering the guilt in your voice when I raised the question if your tributes of food, valuables and wives were given willingly!""Oh" He squeaks, his voice ringing hollow as at last he looks back upon his recent deeds and choices from a perspective besides his own, and truly realize the enormity of his folly and fuck up "Those weren't...gifts""Of course not you pig headed monkey!" You say with blatantly faked tenderness, patting his head as you hope between his feet and grin manically "They thought you were demanding those things, and witless as you are, blind as you are, you couldn't see the fear in their eyes or hear it in their voices! Couldn't see the contempt hidden away in the eyes of the smiling brides they handed off to your men!""The...the monks" The now thoroughly horrified general whispers, his soul curling in on itself in an attempt to protect the mind within it from the dread revelation rapidly dawning upon it "They were right when they called us criminals, crooks and blackguards! We must've seemed like brutes, elbowing our way into the village, taking whatever we pleased, forcing hospitality from the elders who thought refusing us would mean death! Oh..oh"Cont
>>5369314"YES! Now you see why I'm furious! I came here expecting villains! Devils in the hides of men! And instead of find a bunch of idealistic little boys and noble lords who sincerely thought they were helping when they were causing no end of trouble to those they had sworn to protect! You aren't even worthy of the grudges those brave old men hold towards you, let alone my attention, goodbye, fool."And with that, you leave him to see how he reacts, sitting invisible above his head, curled up and comfortable. Paitently, you observe him weep and sob into the fur of his flea ridden dog, exchanging some of the vermin crawling through his own beard with those infesting the simple beast. The dog shivers, eyes locked with your own as it watches your spectral form warily, daring to growl in a vain attempt to scare you away from its beloved and wounded master. Then, with a purposeful stride in his step and a grim determination on his dirty face, the general turned accidental bandit chief marches into his camp, sniffling as he walks up to his men, sharing a knowing glance with those you have possessed, who sit curled on the floor, shivering even minutes after you took hold of them. Which is surprisingly, since the most even a girl like Yuyi will do after being privileged by your ghostly touch is shiver, like you touched the back of her neck with something unpleasantly wet."Gather the girls from the village' He says softly, his expression drooping into one of deeply ashamed sorrow "I've...realized we have all performed a grave indignity to those we swore to guard with our steel and our lives, a grave indignity indeed, an unforgiveable offense, truly"Some of them are confused, some are outraged they're being ordered to give up their loving brides, but others, mostly those you've questioned, bow their heads in understanding and follow along without complaint. You watch, from a distance as, with teary eyes, the flea bitten general wails his apologizes and pleads for forgiveness from the confused yet grateful women, who had, moments ago been spending every passing second fearing the safety of their lives or their chastity.It is then, the general, explains what has happened, unable to be eloquent as his words are interrupted by sobs every time he raises his voice to speak, and then, with surprising dignity, commands his men to form rank and escort the village girls and women back to their homes. And now you wonder, how the old men will react and so spritely return to Yuyi's body.And you find her, in the company of the old men from before, their aged wives and several other wrinkled old toads who are treating her with no end of respect and adoration. Yuyi yelps in surprise as you slip back into her body and take control of it, and the old timers, despite their eyes being clouded by their age, realize immediately something has changed in their guests demeanorCont
>>5369315Thankfully, your student and "robe" regains her composure quickly enough to catch you up on the details of her conversations with the elders of the village and help you keep them from growing suspicious of your two sudden shifts in personality, as Yuyi of course, was unable to accurately imitate your imperial and ethereal grace, poise and dignity when you left her and she recovered from her fainting spell.And, it is then, as you casually and serenely continue her conversation with the old timers of the village, assuring them that everything is all right, and you are not, as Yuyi explained away your sudden departure, again suffering from your "Frail constitution, brought about by an excess of Yin energies", that you learn she had, without prompting, told them their "Bandit problem" would soon be solved as she had "Foreseen it""Stop making that face like you've smelled something offensive" Yuyi cries out as you stare ahead at nothing, shaken by the sheer audacity of that statement and how much Yuyi had tarnished your shared image! You may be a princess, but you certainly aren't the sort that'd wilt like a flower left out of the shade!'No, no' You think at her 'this is actually beneficial! A real boon to my search for human wisdom, those "bandits" should arrive here any moment now, and I'm curious if they'll be forgiven'"EH!? You didn't kill them!" Yuyi shouts, so surprised her voice nearly leaves her lips 'Why would I, they were idiots, sure, but that's no reason to waste my time with ending their pitiful lives. Besides, I thought I might learn something if I saw how they would react to learning how greatly they had wronged this village without even realizing they had committed any wrong doing at all' You explain cheerfully, standing up, despite the protestations of the old women who had taken to entertaining themselves by fretting about Yuyi's well being"Eh?" Yuyi grunts, much duller than before, clearly still not completely understanding what's happening "You mean...they weren't actually bandits"You'll see soon" You say to her, raising your voice as you cross your arms and sigh, and turn to the old man who first greeted you at the door "That my prediction will come about, much sooner than you could've possibly imagined, they should be arriving here any second now""Who?" The old man asks gently, reaching to support you incase you fall over again"The men who've made a real mess out of your home, can't you hear them already? Making a ruckus loud enough to wake the dead?" You say, and as if planned by some higher power or god of playwrights, the loud, rythmic drumming of heavy feet in march resounds loud enough for even the deaf to hear in the village, and immediatly, the old men hustle to grab their spears and guard their aged wives as you peer out a window, and see the bandit chief, carrying three sacks of rice in his arms and as many pieces of jewelry and coins as he could hold on top of themCont
>>5369316'now thing's will get interesting' You think to yourself, with a sly, suitably feline sneer upon your carefully painted lips, as the old men gather their courage and prepare to meet their oppressors. But will they meet them with spears or words, you can't help but wonder, the air certainly is thick with the black clouds of their resentment. Will they forgive these men, who've only done them wrong? Will they be understanding? Oh its so exciting you cannot wait! You know what a cat would do, and instinctively flex your fingers to draw out claws Yuyi doesn't have, but you're uncertain what a human will do. You know they can hold grudges almost as long as a cat like yourself can, but can they let them go? Is forgiveness a virtue of civilized man? Or will they follow the laws of men, and try to punish these "Criminals""You should try to stop them from fighting" Yuyi says, as boldly as she is able to, when speaking to one as powerful and majestic as you"If it comes to that, I may" You whisper, as the first of the old timers musters up the courage to leave his hut and face the Outlaws who've made his life hellish, recently. The anticipation becomes so unbearable it almost feels as torturous as being held above a body of running water by a little snot nosed brat, before one of the kinder children beat him black and blue for tormenting a helpless kitten"Wait...you were just a cat once?' Yuyi gasp'How did you see that memory?' you spit at her angrily, turning away for a moment from the meeting between farmer and solider in the street, and nearly missing what happens next as you hear the rush of movement and the sound of something heavy dropping to the ground...._<Elsewhere, on a winding road leading to the territory of the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect>"Halt!" The cultivator dressed in the radiant colors of the Guardians of the Celestial Sunlight, all golden silk and sparkling light, barked as he held out one hand as the other gripped the hilt of his sheathed saber. Ping sighed heavily, lifting up his straw hat with the thumb of his living arm as he considered the stranger cautiously, standing no more than sixteen paces away from him. Even from that distance, his Qi heighted senses could make out that this foreign daoist was bedraggled and worn from his travels, covered in more filth than a member of such a respected, or formerly respected sect considering the current tumultuous state of affairs between the sects of the two neighboring provinces that had recently broken into outright conflict and war, as it had between the ruling families of the mortal realm.Its sleeves and hem were frayed, with stray fibers lifting out, and much of its luster had been lost, buried beneath blood and mud and other filth.Cont
>>5369318And Ping's trained spiritual sense, aligned with the world of spirits and the dead, could see that behind him marched the shades of several dead men. Cultivators, probably, but not all wore the colors of the sects he was expecting, those of his former school and their allies by pact and oath. Most were of the Ling Lead Guardians, hanging behind him like he was a haunted piece of pottery.Ping winced, as his "Ghoul arm" shuddered. He could hear Lady Huanliuxue hissing in his ear "Kill him, kill him, kill him" as the fragment of a grudge she had left when she blessed him and saved his life with her potent spiritual energy, roused and upon seeing the man in his path, began to assault his mind with all manner of desires his honored teacher would hold should she have stood in his place now. He knew she hated the ling, but for even a shard of a shard of her enmity towards them to produce such...vivid urges, was truly shocking, even for him, who had already been surprised by his master's virtue and sense of morality.Ping blinks, the man had spoken to him again as he resisted the foreign urge of his master's anger to cut the man down for the crime of serving and wearing the Ling's colors. The cultivator rolled his eyes, Dao now drawn"I said, Identify yourself and state your school! I have no idea where I am, and hope that if you are foe, you at least retain enough of a sense of honor to at least face me as a fellow daoist and honestly state your allegiances, rather than waiting till my back is turned!' the cultivator roared, and Ping's mind began to toil, as a cunning he had been forced to adapt after spending so long in the employ of a demonic beast and with an arm cursed by Ghostly energies, to survive the wilderness and the trials he knew were soon to come, awoke and began to think of how he can turn this unfortunate meeting to his advantage. Were his peers, the current generation of Orthodox cultivators so ignorant, that they could not, at a glance, recognize the Dark Qi that radiated with his ghostly arm"I do not recognize those robes you wear, pink so light it seems like it had been bleached" The cultivator continues on, blithely and unaware of the danger Ping could pose to him, as he rubbed his chin and looked down at him at his nose. Ping sighed, lifting up his living arm. He had tried to remove that dreadful hue from the robes Huanliuxue had found in that long abandoned dimensional treasure, but it seems he had not washed them thoroughly enough "Certainly not from any of our subordinate sects! Tell me! Are you a friend of the sun or the snow that melts beneath it!' The man roared, growing increasingly agitated and moving towards aggression as Ping despaired, realizing he was looking at a dim reflection of himself before Huanliuxue had shown him the truth of the world of cultivation and its history. Cont
>>5369320This young master was growing offended, enraged because he was met with something he didn't understand.He was, as Elder Monu put it, a mark so easy to fool he might as well not have eyes at all. "I have no such allegiance" Ping answered measuredly and calmly "Though if one goes looking for enemies, he is sure to find many. I am simply a wandering Daoist, seeking insights into my personal Dao, A lonely Dao, for I have no master nor no student"The lie burned his tongue, but it calmed down the feverish lunatic with the large sword, at least enough for him to sheath it again and keep it away from the budding exorcists neck "An Independent? A rogue Cultivator?" The man says, speaking the words with the same disdain ping once held for such renegades, but, even though his face had twisted into a grimace momentarily, his expression lightened "That means I can trust you, even if you are probably an apostate of sorts. Forgive me for my threatening posture, Wayward brother, but I have no idea how far from my comrades I am, nor where in the Chuan lands I stand, for I was tossed many miles through the air""There is nothing to be forgiven, you are, after all, a fellow daoist. We are, as you stated, like brothers" Ping purred, trying to imitate Lady Huanliuxue's dignified speech and calm demeanor "May this humble, lone wolf, ask how you were thrown so far through the sky?"The man's shoulders relaxed and he ran a hand through his hair, from his temple to the back of his head"That Damn Ogress ran us into an ambush, we were just supposed to be scouting for enemy movements, advancements towards the border. For even a hermit like yourself must know of the dread villainy of Winter blossoming Wisdom Sect, who murdered five of our brightest youngsters but a few years back and whom had the audacity to claim ignorance of their betrayal and vile murderer " He grumbled ruefully "We had found a party of the students of that wicked school, and were ready to inform out elders of their presence, when that relentless battle junky leapt at them, and got us into a life or death battle to satiate her own bloodlust. I don't know what happened, exactly, she used...odd techniques, and next thing I know, the earth was shaken from an explosion of spiritual energy, and I was sent flying! I don't even know if my brothers and sisters are still alive...that ogre probably is, I've seen her get beaten by the elders without flinching..."The Ling Ogress? The same that assaulted poor young Fu, Qiang and Hong in the streets of the boy's own village? It'd be a blessing if she were dead. And while Ping knew that Huanliuxue would, at best, be very much displeased that he even spoke to a servant of the Ling, and hadn't immediately thrown himself at them intent on ripping out and devouring their heart as her lingering grudge in his arm urged him toCont
>>5369322"I see, I see, you're a stranger in the territory of an enemy, I weep for your misfortune" Ping said pityingly, mock bowing and praying "If you wish, I can point you towards safety, if you would step out of my way on this road"The man's eyes narrowed, suspicious? did he finally realize the nature of Qi radiating from his arm?"I would prefer to know what business a rogue like you has in a battlefield between immortals" The man demanded, once more becoming troubling agitated. Ping sighed, and then lifted his head, as he realized that Orthodox cultivators are easily lied to, for they easily believe even the most flagrant of falsehoods, as he himself once had. And, besides, what he would say, was only partially a lie..."When the powerful war and battle amongst themselves, the common man's plight is overlooked. I, unlike many of our fellow cultivators, have not forgotten our purpose to defend the mortal realm and its inhabitants, and the local sects, in their arrogance, have ignored the threats they are supposed to be guarding against, in pursuit of temporal and personal power" Ping answered serenely, composed and graceful in both holding and tone "One such threat, is terrible sort of monster that steals body parts and organs""A demonic beast?" The man asked as Ping tried not to let his contempt for his answer show"No, a monster born from the heart of a mortal man, a predator that steals away the inheritance of cultivators, or those who have the potential to walk the road towards heaven" Ping explain, smirking as he put in motion his plan to acquire an ally against the beast Jingyu had turned himself into, to increase the odds of him passing his first true test as an exorcist, and hopefully breaking into the foundation establishment stage "He has forsaken his humanity, to practice true demonic cultivation""A Rouge hunting a heretic?" The young master gawked, as if that were somehow amusing to the point of incredulity "Such a rare circumstance, and I heard rumors the winter blossoming wisdom sect was haunted by some manner of devil, how can you be certain it is naught but a cover for their foul deeds""I knew the man he used to be" Ping answered truthfully "He may not have been my martial brother, nor a comrade true, but, when all other's overlook his monstrosity, the responsibility to end his reign of terror falls into my hands. So, I would ask again, that you do not delay me further"The cultivator stepped aside, bowing his head and cupping his fist, and Ping practically glided past him, chin lifted haughtily as he did"Wait, forgive me for this interruption of your noble quest" He spoke, lifting his eyes. Ping saw there was a fire within them, a heroic resolve similar to the one he felt when he confronted Lady Huanliuxue in the cave beneath the storm. Righteousness was its name Cont
>>5369326"But, I know not how far my home is from these cross roads, and these roads are dangerous, for they are watched by murderers disguising themselves as righteous daoists" he began slowly, trying to cautiously breach the subject of joining Ping on his travels "You, though you are not under their thumb, are at least acquainted to these lands and strong enough to walk them alone, despite the current chaos. As a virtuous daoist, the humble me cannot allow a man who remembers his duty even in such trying times of conflict, walk alone, when he may be attacked by the villains who control these lands""If you wish to aid me in ending the devil's life, you need only say it" Ping said warmly, inwardly celebrating the success of his ruse to lure the other cultivator into his service "On my part, at least, I am relieved and overjoyed to know that there reman cultivators in this world who remember the purpose of power""Too many think the weak are prey to the strong, especially since this damn war started" The man said with a grin, offering his hand to Ping "I would be honored to join you on your quest, to slay the organ stealing monster that haunts these lands, for, even if the schools here are my enemy, its people are not""You may call me Rejungui (忍俊鬼, Smiling Ghost) for we are still strangers, and during such an chaotic events, it is wise to keep one's identity hidden" Pin said kindly, gripping the man's wrist with his living hand, as he did the same "Art names reveal the contents of a man's heart better than those given to him at birth or when he first becomes a man" The cultivator said with a nod "And I take no offense for your caution, it is wise for us to protect ourselves in such a manner, in case the Snowchildren are watching, Then you may call me Qinxin (昑心, Bright Heart), Until we become better acquainted""Or you return to the safety of your home" Ping chuckled, pulling his arm back and folding it across his chest "Now, let us talk as we walk, for it would be wise to prepare you for the dangers we will soon face, should you join me in the pursuit of the Man butcher..."_You sat, arms and legs crossed as you observed the Villagers reunite with their daughters, as the deserters groveled and begged forgiveness. You kept your held tilted, as you pondered what you had learned from these Kind old farmers and the Naïve wannabee heroes. You certainly didn't expect the villagers to be as understanding as they were, but it lifted your spirits and made you glad to see the daughters reunite with their mothers and fathers unharmed. You were also satisficed and pleased to see the morons kowtow and humiliate themselves before the poor men and women they had troubled and without knowing terrified into submission. Cont
>>5369328Indeed, it is a sight you'd never find in nature, prey forgiving its predator, victim forgiving their abuser. And, you knew it wasn't the law of the kingdom to offer forgiveness and understanding to the men lead by the well meaning commander. By all the laws of men you knew, they should be executed just for leaving their posts, and would've met with much more gruesome and painful deaths if they had been caught acting as bandits as they had been. And despite that, the virtuous villagers listened to their explanation and pleas for forgiveness, dropped their sharpened sticks and farming tools, and accepted the men without hesitation. Some even embraced them, gently scolding them but holding not resentment towards them beyond thatYou had never seen a grudge vanish so quickly. But, when the fog of enmity lifted, it had revealed to you an insight of human nature and thought that you'd have otherwise never found. A deeper kind of understanding. While beasts would bite those who've done them harm and terrorized them, even if it was as accidental as stepping on an unseen tail, men could, if they were sensible and wise enough, see when a wrong done to them was an honest mistake and so be more lenient towards the perpetuator. If they chose to be.And that was the key to this insight. Choice. These grandpas and Grandmas were still steaming mad, as were their daughters and nieces, but they could comprehend that the "Bandits" that had oppressed and threatened them, had honest and good intentions at heart and never meant to cause trouble to begin with. So they swallowed their anger, and let go of their grudges, to give them a second chance to do good and be the guardians they had always thought them to be.Restraint. Something rare amongst beasts. Forgiveness, all but unknown in the wilds. Human intellect, allowed men to have deep thoughts, deep enough to restrain their instinctual reactions, which allowed them to overlook slights, challenges or even wounds and insults done or spoken to them. Something you've been doing without realizing. A sense of new found clarity and understanding washes over you, as one of the secrets of human wisdom is revealed to you fully, and you find you're comprehend it innately! Progress! And incredible progress as that! Many of the confusing and baffling actions of Humans you've witnessed throughout your life, now make sense!You leap up and cheer, throwing Yuyi's arms up. The Deserters and villagers both stare at you in shock, and the old man shuffles up to you, scolding you for over exerting yourself and giving you a lecture about the preciousness of life given to you by your mother and father. Still under the impression you're sickly, because of Yuyi's excuse for fainting earlier.Cont
>>5369330Where do you head next on your Journey to understand Humanity and civilization, Huanliuxue? >Just keep heading down the same road, observing the humble lives the peasantry and merchants who join you on your meandering travel. Apparently there's going to be a festival soon, you should join it!>According to your map, one of Suiqi sister cities is nearby, and is, according to Yuyi, much more respectable and lawful than Suiqi used to be, before you and Siwang cleaned it of most of its filth. See how a properly run and orderly city looks like! >There's a monastery nearby, buddhist apparently. You've never actually met a buddhist, but know many of your fellow Daoists dislike them, for some reason or another. Perhaps they'll show you another aspect of human nature?>The deserts have made you curious about war, and why human's wage it. Beasts fight for food, mates and territory and you know the Ling came to take land from the Chuan, but why the war continues and the other reasons for it being waged elude you. So seek out the nearest fort and ask around>Stay in the village for awhile, to meditate on what insights you already have. >Write in
>>5369331>>There's a monastery nearby, buddhist apparently. You've never actually met a buddhist, but know many of your fellow Daoists dislike them, for some reason or another. Perhaps they'll show you another aspect of human nature?The only people who can talk in more head-turning riddles than a daoist. But more importantly an insight into faith. Probably the single most baffling concept for a beast. Also what cultivators probably hate about them. Revering deities unseen rather than the living gods that have long since transcended.
Welcome back Grandfather!>>5369318Soul possession memory sharing works both ways?Could be used as a mentoring tool.>>5369331>There's a monastery nearby, buddhist apparently.I wonder what kind of Buddhists inhabit the Chuan region. As well if they're a kind of human we've never tried to know before surely they can provide insight we haven't touched yet. Especially since certain Buddhist beliefs may have some distant affinity to us.
>>5369331>>>There's a monastery nearby, buddhist apparently. You've never actually met a buddhist, but know many of your fellow Daoists dislike them, for some reason or another. Perhaps they'll show you another aspect of human nature?thank god you back.
>>5369331>There's a monastery nearby, buddhist apparently. You've never actually met a buddhist, but know many of your fellow Daoists dislike them, for some reason or another. Perhaps they'll show you another aspect of human nature?
>>5369331>Meditate on our insights
>>5369331>>Just keep heading down the same road, observing the humble lives the peasantry and merchants who join you on your meandering travel. Apparently there's going to be a festival soon, you should join it!
>>5369331>Just keep heading down the same road, observing the humble lives the peasantry and merchants who join you on your meandering travel. Apparently there's going to be a festival soon, you should join it!Doubt that the forts would let a woman ask around, and a monastery could try to exorcise us. So festival it is.Also, IT'S BACK BABY, LET'S GOOOOO!!!
>>5369312I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see Heretic Cultivator Quest has made a comeback. Thank you for continuing, Grandfather-- you've made my day so much better.>>5369331>There's a monastery nearby, buddhist apparently. You've never actually met a buddhist, but know many of your fellow Daoists dislike them, for some reason or another. Perhaps they'll show you another aspect of human nature?We might actually be able to make friends with the Buddhists more easily than other cultivators. IIRC, one of the core tenets of the religion is that all living things have the capacity for enlightenment, or 'buddha-nature'. I don't think they would be too mean to anyone, considering that Yuyi is a doctor.
>>5369331>There's a monastery nearby, buddhist apparently. You've never actually met a buddhist, but know many of your fellow Daoists dislike them, for some reason or another. Perhaps they'll show you another aspect of human nature?so our followers wear pink?
>>5369331>Just keep heading down the same road, observing the humble lives the peasantry and merchants who join you on your meandering travel. Apparently there's going to be a festival soon, you should join it!
>>5369331>Just keep heading down the same road, observing the humble lives the peasantry and merchants who join you on your meandering travel. Apparently, there's going to be a festival soon, you should join it!
Welcome back QM! Happy to see you again.>>5369507/qtg/ had some discussion going on about what Huanliuxue's human form should look like. Personally I wouldn't mind Rin as a source of inspiration>>5369614it makes some amount of sense: white is the color of death, red the color of blood. funerary robes soaked in blood, the way Huanliuxue's fur was, but washed out...something like that
>>5370655Honestly, Rin would fit way more if Huan went the Maogui route instead of Wild Princess, but still could be used if changed to be regal instead of demon.In the first thread, on .moe instead of suptg since those votes were deleted, an anon even voted for that option with a picture of her.
>>5370655>>5370697how about this for a human form?
>>5370712Not red enough/10
>>5370712witchy aesthetic is great though, total babe would give firstborn to
>>5369614>>5370655Yeah he must look awful. I'd want them to wear something that looks good, something like Imperial Red with white fittings with black detailing/lining can look good, garish if done badly.It would stand out way too much for someone trying not to be seen, likely why Ping washed em out. The gourds previous owner had some taste, shame they tried conquering a tomb ten levels above them. Lesser-Red travel clothing in general should have people assuming they're a monk, which isn't so bad. Or make it a dark blood red with bright white lining and sash and they'll be a walking feng shui breaker, enemy to all human standards.
>>5370655It was just robes that Huan looted in one of her adventures in the catacombs I think.Still, making the edgelords that are most of our sects wear pinks is hilarious and I fully approve of it.
>>5370750Pink was the manly color in the West until about 1900s, I think? I vote for pink. And the prettier, the better.
>>5370777Lucky trips confirm. Maybe have it start as a light shade and get progressively more scarlet and deep the further they get in their Law.
>>5370780Which can be seen as representing Huan's blood red fur and dark aura because of the yin qi, so the higher in the hierarchy, the closer you are to it.
>>5370780>>5370788That sounds fantastic. Perfect symbolism of advancing towards a deeper understand of life, through death.
Ending the vote now, tallying the results. Thanks for the warm welcome back.There's a monastery nearby, Buddhist apparently. You've never actually met a Buddhist, but know many of your fellow Daoists dislike them, for some reason or another. Perhaps they'll show you another aspect of human nature?:9Stay in the village for awhile, to meditate on what insights you already have.:1Just keep heading down the same road, observing the humble lives the peasantry and merchants who join you on your meandering travel. Apparently there's going to be a festival soon, you should join it!:4So You'll head to the nearby Buddhist monastery, hoping the monks there will show to you another aspect of human nature.Update will arrive shortly>>5370750Correct
Which forces you to endure the hospitality of the peasants and the recently reformed bandits, who now believe that you've been separated from your escorts or, as you heard some of the village girls gossiping when they were brushing your hair while you were attempting to have a conversation with one of the villages' mousers, who had decide your lap would make for an excellent cushion while you were sunbathing and reflecting on what you have learned about human thoughts and self image and certain were not taking a nap while waiting for your gracious hosts, who were privileged to shelter you while you decided your next destination on your search for human wisdom, that you were the sole survivor of a noble house that had been ousted from their position and removed of their titles and entitlements amidst the chaos consuming the lands after the emperor lost his mandate of heaven for sleeping around and being a generally useless as a man and leader, according to what the talkative old men and newly minted guard of the village would slur and slobber when they got drunk off the Flea ridden general's personal supply of wine. "Your mind is wandering to strange places today, Huan" Yuyi says idly, as you gaze up at the moon creeping from behind the clouds in the blue grey night sky, having grown tired with the attempted and clumsy courtship attempts of the recently divorced soldiers and the smothering affection of the women of the village, young and old, who seemed to think you were more adorable than imposing."Hey they were just being nice!" Yuyi shouts in defense of your generous hosts, as a very cat like smirk freezes on your lips "It's too much, like being pet when you've had your fill of attention, it just irritates me at this point" You explain grouchily, crossing your arms over your chest and resting one leg over the other "Besides, if I allow myself to enjoy their pampering, we'll stay here forever, since that "escort" of ours will never show up, considering they doesn't exist""Well couldn't we at least enjoy their hospitality for a few more days, being out in the boonies like this is...kind of nice, the hustle and bustle of Young Master Fu's city is kind of, well, exhausting" Yuyi said, sounding like she'd be pouting if she could "Its considered a city now?" You ask, suddenly curious as to when a village is considered large enough to be a city, and when its populated enough to be considered a proper town and thus given a place on most maps instead of just the local ones "Well, I'm happy for them if it is, those poor people had a hard life when I met that boy""So I've heard, I've been meaning to ask you personally, Lady Huanliuxue, about how much of the story he tells of your first meeting is true" Yuyi curiously and chipperly asks as you lay back and enjoy the cool night air "If I can make such a request to begin with"Cont
>>5370910"Fu isn't the sort to lie often or given to deception, as a rule. He's a remarkably serious kid. Pretty sure he hates Liars on principle, considering his view of the gods in the nine heavens, at least after he learned how much they've smeared and ruined the good name of us Magical beasts" You say quietly, after a moment of silent reflection and thought, tapping a nail upon your chin as you answer her humble question "So, besides a little exaggeration, probably all of what you've heard is true. Though, maybe its changed. After all, years I've spent meditating, Fu has spent growing and changing""I see" Yuyi says, in a manner like she was pursing her lips together tightly and making her face look like the bill of the ducks that surrounded her old, isolated home "Well I was wondering because he spoke highly of you, every time he told the story, and it reminded me of how much you helped me...despite the trouble you made when you first walked around in my skin"You giggle and shrug."So you saw a resemblance then? I tend to improve the lives of everyone who meets me, so long as they survive the encounter" You proudly boast with a smug grin "It is simply natural that meeting one as magnificent as I is a life changing experiences, like meeting buddah on the road"A sudden thought! You sit bolt upright and check the map you've been following since you began on your journey through the countryside of the Chuan family's lands and see that, just a few days travel from this quiet little village, is buddhist monastary! You've never actually met or spoken to a buddhist before, but know that there's some kind of rivalry or distrust between them and Daoists. Monu certainly doesn't seem to like them, though you've never thought to ask why. You know they tend to live humbly and meagerly, and usually spend their times in temples and get by off of donations. But you've never actually known a monk, at least personally, beyond Ping and Lei, but neither of them count because they're different. At least that's how you see it. You had argued with a few traveling monks, a couple of years ago, to help train your wit, intellect, and conversational skills, but you aren't certain if they were buddhist or Daoist!So it stands to reason, that spending some time with real, proper monks, who spend all their lives cooped up in a temple like chickens, would prove to be a valuable source of human wisdom and show you a different aspect of human nature."Its decided!" You declare hoping up to your feet "We'll travel to the nearby monastery and spend time in the company of the monks there, to see if they can reveal to me any deeper insights of how humans live and think! And religion and faith is a uniquely human concept and a part of civilization! Those shaved head baldies are a trove of wisdom, waiting for me to take it away!"Cont
>>5370911"Eh? Weren't we just talking about how you influence and better the lives of those who think of themselves as your followers?" Yuyi asked, obviously stunned by the rapidity of your decision making and natural brilliance! "Also shouldn't you kill buddah if you meet him on the road? I don't think anyone alive now could kill you if they tried, so it isn't really similar at all if you think about it""Huh? Is that what Buddhists do? Murder their honored teachers? I never knew it was such a bloodthirsty faith!" You say, feigning ignorance to see how Yuyi reacts. The answer is most amusingly, as she stammers and struggles to explain to you that its just a saying and not literal, even though you know the phrase means that "if you think you know everything, you don't". Though you don't understand how that became "Kill a respected stranger if you happen to run into them one day"Some finer details of human logic still allude you entirely.You and Yuyi eventually come to a compromise, that you'll leave in the morning rather than immediately, so the villagers can say their goodbyes and wish you good fortune and health on your travels. Of course, leaving isn't so easy, and you have to browbeat and use your commanding presence and a aristocratic voice to get the villagers and guards both to backdown and "Permit" you to travel without your "Missing entourage". Unfortunately, they insist upon giving you a "temporary escort" until you reach the temple, and while you'd very much like to slap the old man who came up with that compromise, you understand they're only worrying about your well being, and are trying to keep a seemingly defenseless young woman from traveling alone. Luckily, the guards you're saddled with are chosen by a drawing of sticks, which you make certain to rig by glaring furiously at the man holding the sticks, to prevent any of the men who've been wasting their time trying to convince you to be their mate from becoming your bodyguards, because such a fierce glare makes it clear you would happily kill them if they annoy you with their attempts at earning your affection, obviously."Or its because they don't want to offend someone they think could have their heads cut off on a whim, and care about your feelings?" Yuyi ventures, being completely wrong of course, even though the face that is glaring at them is immediately much softer and less intimidating than your own. Thankfully, the five or seven or so men who volunteered for the esteemed duty of protecting your person, are not much for conversation, besides occasionally pestering you with questions concerning your lineage, not so much curious about your asumed pedigree but to see if they've met or know any of your relatives personally.Cont
>>5370913 Though one of them gets annoying, boasting and bragging about his supposed accomplishments on the field of battle, having noticed you were of a higher station than himself or any of his family had reached, though never quite realizing that he was speaking to royalty and an imperial heiress or that you didn't belong to same monarchy as his family at all. He is easily shut up, however, when you make vague threats and references to those same imaginary family members he is seeking to impress, and completely silenced when you speak to him contemptuously and apathetically, which in turns makes the other bodyguards too scared to ask you their own troublesome, irksome and just plain pointless questions!Though, you have to admit, they are pleasant company and are almost even cute, at least when they're gushing and excitedly pointing out land marks and admiring the wildlife. You never knew their were humans who enjoyed the natural world so much, so at the very least, despite being boring, dull and at times annoying as companions, they at least serve some purpose to you."Beyond making sure I don't get eaten by starving beasts, of course" Yuyi chimes in, having gone quiet for most of the morning since you harshly scolded the ambitious guard for rambling on with imagined stories of his "Glory".'Ghost Empress Melody is more than enough protection against anything these idiots could protect us from' You point out as the temple's roof comes into view near the edge of the horizon, and one of the men following you begins to excitedly discuss its history, which you pretend to pay attention to but mostly just ignore and try to tune out as you gracefully plod along the dirt trail, forced to keep pace by the men surrounding you, who are eyeing the nearby trees and ditches with suspicion like they expect a thug to leap out, grab you by the neck of your dress, and drag you away.'How do you go about studying the Buddhist Monastery and Monks, Huanliuxue?>Quietly, and respectfully, acting as any other pilgrim and not causing trouble for them as you watch them at work, training and prayer.>By needling and pestering the monks about their beliefs and philosophy, asking them all sorts of questions and criticizing their form as they train their bodies>Pretending to be interested in giving a large donation, demand the head monk to give you a tour and the temple as a whole to serve you hand and feet, mostly just to amuse yourself and see how pious men will react to a spoiled brat.>You'll begin by loudly declaring yourself a Daoist, see how the monks react to see if the disdain most daoists seem to hold towards Buddhists is mutual, and then enter into a debate with the oldest monk you can find, confident you can run circles around him! (Mental trial. DC Variable/ Higher result = better outcome)>Write in
>Quietly, and respectfully, acting as any other pilgrim and not causing trouble for them as you watch them at work, training and prayer.Be respectful.
>>5370915>You'll begin by loudly declaring yourself a Daoist, see how the monks react to see if the disdain most daoists seem to hold towards Buddhists is mutual, and then enter into a debate with the oldest monk you can find, confident you can run circles around him! (Mental trial. DC Variable/ Higher result = better outcome)YOU BUDDHISTS ARE BITCH ASS MOTHERFUCKERSHave we crit failed yet in this quest? Because this would be the perfect opportunity
>>5370915>>By needling and pestering the monks about their beliefs and philosophy, asking them all sorts of questions and criticizing their form as they train their bodiesThe quickest way to be corrected is to tell everyone else they're wrong. I wonder if the reason why Daoists and Buddhists don't get along is because Buddhists are naturally quite passive and tentative which is the opposite of the general attitude of Daoists. Different approaches to enlightenment would certainly cause some friction, I suppose.
>Quietly, and respectfully, acting as any other pilgrim and not causing trouble for them as you watch them at work, training and prayer.
>>5370915>Quietly, and respectfully, acting as any other pilgrim and not causing trouble for them as you watch them at work, training and prayer.Drawing undue attention to ourselves isn't a great plan, and we're still in Yuyi's body, which is decidedly not as good as a cultivator of any level. We can always make mischief later if we want, but let's lay low for now.
>>5370915>Respectfully approach the monks not curently busy, and tell them that you are on a pilgramage to learn more of the world and it's people. As a raised daoist, you have only ever heard of buddhism, and wish to learn more of it's beliefs and philosophies.
>>5370915>>Quietly, and respectfully, acting as any other pilgrim and not causing trouble for them as you watch them at work, training and prayer.Be nice!
>>5370915>>By needling and pestering the monks about their beliefs and philosophy, asking them all sorts of questions and criticizing their form as they train their bodies
>>5370915>By needling and pestering the monks about their beliefs and philosophy, asking them all sorts of questions and criticizing their form as they train their bodies
>>5370947+1 to proactive learnin
>>5370915>>You'll begin by loudly declaring yourself a Daoist, see how the monks react to see if the disdain most daoists seem to hold towards Buddhists is mutual, and then enter into a debate with the oldest monk you can find, confident you can run circles around him! (Mental trial. DC Variable/ Higher result = better outcome)
>>5370910Man, that's a really run-on sentence there in the first paragraph.>>5370915>You'll begin by loudly declaring yourself a Daoist, see how the monks react to see if the disdain most daoists seem to hold towards Buddhists is mutual, and then enter into a debate with the oldest monk you can find, confident you can run circles around him! (Mental trial. DC Variable/ Higher result = better outcome)
>>5370915>By needling and pestering the monks about their beliefs and philosophy, asking them all sorts of questions and criticizing their form as they train their bodiesThe Huanliuxue way
>>5370947Supporting. Also welcome back after the heavens trying their best to strike you down for last couple threads
Sorry for making you guys wait over the weekend for an update, but there was a Birthday party in my family so I was preoccupied and it wrecked my sleep schedule.I'll end the vote later tonight, and next morning at the latest.
>>5374231Let me try to helpTotal votes16>Watch4>Debate3>Pester5>Learn4No option reaches one below half the total amount, I don't remember if we ever got one vote like that.Also it's nearly a 4 way tie, very rare.
I'll switch my vote from >>5370938 to >Respectfully approach the monks not currently busy. It should be an even tie between 'Learn' and 'Pester' now.
>>5374508>follower of the dao of chaotic neutralityWhat power.
>>5370915>>Quietly, and respectfully, acting as any other pilgrim and not causing trouble for them as you watch them at work, training and prayer.Hey, I finally caught up! Really cool quest.Had a weird thought.If our magical beast disciples can evolve into "divergent" forms, we have a perfect Four Divine Beasts setup:Chuandapo: XuanwuSiwang: ZhuqueHuili:BaihuYi:QinlongAnd I guess Huanliuxue herself could fit the Qilin role.
So there seems to be a consensus on behaving completely erratic and unpredictable, like some some sort of crazy person. I can dig it!
So now there's a three way tie between annoying the monks, just watching in silence and politely ask.Maybe Grandfather can merge them somehow? I did make the ask write-in because I wanted to fuse the quietly act like a pilgrim and the needling ones, so it might be possible.
>>5375186I think the appropriate thing to do would be for the Buddhists to force a choice on us while we flit around undecided.
>>5375020If the four divine beast plus a Qilin match the five emperors, than Huan being the yellow emperor/quilin, and therefore the one that rules over them can fit, specially since she has that special qi that could adapt to any, just like the five colour emperor
>>5375186I think that 'Watch' and 'Learn' are at least in the same ballpark. There's no reason we couldn't watch the monks that aren't busy before inquiring with the ones who aren't as to the significance of what they're doing. That said, I'm willing to change my vote again if it means we come to a conclusion. I like the quest too much to do much more than be a mild annoyance; Mostly just wanted to see what would happen in the event of a tie.>>5374509I am fickle, like a cat. A silly little creature, up to mischief.
>>5375207I also think mixing the watch and learn options could work, just wanted to say that I think the Learn and Pester also could mix, since that write-in was an attempt at a middle ground between them (plus the bit of the debate by saying that we are a daoist, just without challenging anyone)But to be fair, I'm also curious how Grandfather would solve a tie like this.
Pls no bulli grandad
>>5374231Grampa, are you ok? Did the curse go after you again?
>>5375737thanks lol>>5375872Not really? Just had to hard reset my internal clock by undergoing closed door meditation. Aka sleeping for most of two days. Sorry for making you, my fellow daoists, two more days for more Huanliuxue.>>5375186There isn't?Quietly, and respectfully, acting as any other pilgrim and not causing trouble for them as you watch them at work, training and prayer: 4You'll begin by loudly declaring yourself a Daoist, see how the monks react to see if the disdain most daoists seem to hold towards Buddhists is mutual, and then enter into a debate with the oldest monk you can find, confident you can run circles around him!: 3By needling and pestering the monks about their beliefs and philosophy, asking them all sorts of questions and criticizing their form as they train their bodies:5Respectfully approach the monks not curently busy, and tell them that you are on a pilgramage to learn more of the world and it's people. As a raised daoist, you have only ever heard of buddhism, and wish to learn more of it's beliefs and philosophies.:5Which means there's only a two way tie, which is easily broken with a coin flip, unlike a three way tie, which I feel would be kind of lame to tie break in such a manner.However, I think the two tied votes, Pestering the monks with questions and respectfully approaching the ones not busy to ask them those same questions can be easily taken togetherSo that is what will happen, and what Huanliuxue will doAlso, I have something EXCITING planned, that I've been waiting five/ six days to spring.Update will arrive shortly, after far too long. I'd kowtow for forgiveness, but smacking my head on the ground would risk the update taking even longer lol
The guards who had been forced on you noticeably calm down as the walls of the monastery come into sight, and along with them a herd of pilgrims and monks tending the fields surround the main branch of the humble rural temple. It isn't built upon a mountain, like daoist schools often are, or even a hill. Instead it sits, surrounded by trees older than the stones set in its path, amongst the dirt and beetles. This is a difference that immediately catches your attention and curiosity. Do all Buddhists make their home closer to earth than cultivators and even ordinary daoists? That would make sense, since most practicing and devout daoists, search for a means of immortality if not divinity. Well, at least those who would call themselves Sages, the lay daoist tend to have much humbler ambitions than surmounting the heavens. And even those who'd name themselves sages are completely overshadowed by the grand aspirations of cultivators such as yourself.With your curiosity now peaked, and thus your enthusiasm and whimsicality awakened fully, you hop and prance forward, having chosen to wear one of the pink colored daoist robes in preparation for your visit to low temple, instead of the fine dress and jewelry you had take from Yuyi's closet. So, bouncing, energetic movements cause the sleeves of your robes to bounce and sway in the air as you gently lift Yuyi's arms to maintain balance"We look like a child, dressed in their father's robes" Yuyi giggles, in good cheer and high spirits as your bodyguards approach one of the monks and explain that you were a noble woman, who had lost her previous escort and that they had taken it upon themselves to ensure your safety as you traveled. You resisted the urge to interrupt their conversation with the sweat soaked, shaved head man, as he had been busy lifting a broken stone lantern from the ground, though you did find the reddening of his face and twisting of his expression rather amusing. The exertion of his labor was so great, he was unable to answer besides nodding his head and huffing like he was choking in an attempt to speak as, dressed in his yellow and dull orange robes, he hefted up the lantern and motioned with his head, seeming to try and tell the men who had brought you hear, they and you were welcome inside their temple. Not that it was closed to you before, the gates of its walls were wide open, and you spotted other travelers and their oxen walking past the open doors."Should we help him?" Yuyi asked as you swayed, the end of of your robes drifting like a cattail in the wind as you swaggered into the temple, given a wider birth by the dirty faced petioners who moved their calused hands away from you, as if fearful that touching you would soil your beauty, or more likely end in a swift and painful punishment falling down upon their head like a bolt of divine retribution.Cont
>>5376645'How could we?' you ask in your thoughts as you take in all of the murals and carvings decorating the walls and buildings of the monastery, and the statues of shaved head, bow backed old men that at first you mistook for the same man but realized upon closer inspection were actually just very similar looking old men who you could only guess were once famous and respected Buddhists, or perhaps deceased members of this temple 'Even if I would lower myself to perform such back breaking work, I could only do so in my own body, yours is...weak even for a human'"Not everyone has the free-time or the stamina to exercise daily, lady Huanliuxue" Yuyi answers quickly, sounding some how offended by you telling the truth."Don't step so close to the statue of venerable brother Gao Ning" A monk, a little older than Feiqing scolds as he marches up to you, bucket splashing in his hand "The stonework is in need of repair, and it could collapse at any moment. Even the pressure of your approach could cause it to shift from its pedestal and fall upon you"You look to the furrow browed man, whose head and face are barren of hair except his bushy, caterpillar like eyebrows that you feel an instinctive urge to grab for as they squirm above his eyes, which you suppress so as not to embarrass Yuyi and more importantly yourself."Oh, there's no need to worry, We would've caught it before it hit our charge" One of the guards says, causing the monk to wince in discomfort at being suddenly approached by such a brutish looking fellow. You study his expression as your thoughts fill your head to the point of bursting with questions you want to ask him about Buddhism and why he has chosen to devout his life to it to the point of forsaking all other aspects of it! So many questions flew, trying to push their way out of their mouth, that it felt like your skull had become filled with a cloud of buzzing flies. "That could not be certain" He answers back calmly "And when rice is cooked, it is cooked. And I've noticed the little miss has been staring at me rather intently, I do pray I have not offended her with my tone or performed a faux paus by standing so near to one so high above my own station, I was only trying to prevent her injury""Do you not have any duties you must attend to?" You ask briskly, stepping closer to the man, avoiding being splashed by the muddy water in the pail swinging in his hand, as his fellow monk struggles by, walking bow legged as he struggles to carry the broken stone lantern "I must see to the tending of the garden, if the young mistress wishes to be given a tour, I would be happy to chaperone her through the grounds, considering the inattentiveness of her own guardians" The man says sweetly, smiling brightlyCont
>>5376647"Or perhaps, as you do not seem opposed to speaking to those beneath your station, you could join and observe me as I water our crop. It is almost harvesting season, after all, and I am sure your men would be better used to preparing your accommodations with my superiors in the temple, as that curiosity in your eye tells me that our humble Monastery will be honored with your presence for longer than a day" He continues, gently turning his hand and curving it through the air to "Correct, you have a good eye, monk" You say politely and kindly, as his eyes finely lower themselves from your eyes, and an brief look of dread and worry flickers across his genial expression "Though they won't have to work hard, I'm traveling light and alone, and they were only supposed to protect me on the trip from the village lower in the valley to here""A lady of your wealth traveling alone? Now that is an oddity, especially considering the hard times that have befallen both lands and people" The monk says warily, obviously recognizing your clothing as daoist robes as you follow after him "Do you intend to stay here for long? Have you fled from somewhere?""Lady Yuyi!" One of the guards cries out, as you leave them by the moss overgrown statue of the dead Gao Ning."No, I'm just on a journey, I suppose you could call it a pilgrimage, to learn more of the world and its people" You explain cordially, matching the monks pace as you place your arms in the sleeves of your robes and cross them over Yuyi's meager chest "I'm surprised you're getting alone better with a holy man, rather than those kind gentlemen we're leaving in the dust" Yuyi remarks"Ah, wishing to see the world that exist beyond your palace, you truly are a curious noble" The man with caterpillar eyebrows chuckles, relaxing somewhat "Most are content in the belief that all existents orbits their privilege and wealth""I am as curious as I am a curiosity, I suppose" You answer coyly, smiling as you lift a hand from your sleeve to hide the bottom of your face. You stand back as the monk lifts a ladle from the depths of the bucket, soiling his own robes, to begin tossing water over the vegetable garden he had lead you to, where several other monks and a few of the guests of the temple perform the same, dull work "Then, I must ask, what interest does as Daoist have with out humble temple to honor the buddahs?" He asks suddenly, as if a dam broke behind his mouth, You keep smiling, away from the mud and bugs in the field, smirking in a manner that resembles the natural shape of your real face's mouth "I am a raised Daoist, and, as you said, I lived a sheltered life. All I know about Buddhism comes from stories told by my maids. second hand accounts at best" You answer with a lie, eyes glimmering as the monk sighs, clearly thinking he can anticipate how your interactions will go from here to when you leave the temple once you've found the answers you seek or have grown bored of it. Cont
>>5376649However long that will take.The monk doesn't answer immediately, swirling his ladle in the murk of his pail, as he considers how to reply, seeming intent on maintain the air of cordiality between the two of you."You are blessed with a truly open mind, then, if all you know of us comes from the mouths of daoists" He says politely but somberly "Perhaps you could attain "Buddah-Nature", with such a mind, free and unweighted by the perceptions of others. Have you come to learn from us? to convert?" "Nope" You say, shattering his hopes, shaking your head and a hand in turn "at least, I don't believe I will, though I do wish to learn about your beliefs and philosophies""Hm, well, this is easy work, so I will try my best to answer them" He says, a twinge of hope coloring his words "Please, question me to your heart's content, you will find I am more patient than most"You open your mouth, and unleash all of the buzzing questions that you had been holding back, beginning your assault of curiosity by asking if they built their temple further away from the heavens than the daoists on purpose, before then moving on to ask about the basic tenants of his faith and its beliefs and why he has devoted so much of himself to follow it. And, for awhile, he is happy to answer them, which opens your eyes to Buddhism. And immediate you can see how it stands apart from the Daoism you practice and uphold , just from hearing a few of its core values, which the bushy browed monk calls "The noble eightfold path". Though, upon hearing them, you also realize that Daoists and Buddhist share a number of beliefs, that make the contrasts between the two more striking. Like how Buddhist seek to impede and one day end their own reincarnation through enlightenment, and thus liberate themselves of "Mortal suffering", which seems a rather dour worldview to have, but that could just be the daoist in you balking at the idea of escaping the great wheel of rebirth and transmigration. That would make sense, since you follow the dao of ghosts and the dao grudges, and are a devout follower of the natural order of things and intend to return things to the way they're supposed to be and were before your kind were barred from the world of cultivation and named demons. And reincarnation is a natural process, that not even gods or immortals can escape.But you do not mock the Buddhist for thinking they could break out from the cycle of death and rebirth, and listen closely to his words, when you aren't questioning him ceaseless and pressing and pestering him for more details and definition concerning the answers he does give. And, while it is clear you've surprised and overjoyed the man with the openness of your mind and acceptances of his beliefs, he soon grows weary and exhausted by your sheer exuberance and the vastness of your curiosity and yearning to learn all you can about him and WHY he has chosen to give up so much for his faith.Cont
Which, he doesn't have an answer for, and just stares at your queerly when you present the question and can't provide an answer for. Luckily, with his voice strained, he points you in the direction of another of his brother monks who may be able to answer your questions concerning the purpose and origin of faith and several other things, such as why they built their temple at such a low altitude Who you find training his body in a manner very similar to some cultivators do, strengthening his hands and fingers by breaking them against sand or stone bricks. And after shooting an irriated glare in your direction, is all to happy to invite you to sit down nearby, in the shade of a statue of a giant buddah, to watch him train and question him about the things the first monk couldn't. It would seem, he is better versed and more knowledgeable in some aspects of Buddhist belief that the other monk was lacking or nearly completely ignorant of, despite this monk being younger. And he has different experiences in life as well, so you spend about as much time talking with him as you did the first, though you quickly realize that while he has some answers the other didn't, he is still unable to answer all of your questions, though you do feel your understanding of buddhism and religion in general expanding. But, he to suggests you visit another monk, and so the cycle once more repeats.At which point you decide that it'll be very worthwhile to your goal of attain understanding of human wisdom and civilization and eventually come to possess a human form, by remaining in this temple for at least a few days, which you intend to make the most of by spending most of your day by pestering the various monks with questions whenever they're not busy with their duties or prayers!- ENCOUNTER! Red Cat "Hmm, I suppose a daoist such as yourself" The old, cloudy eyed head monk says to you as the rays of the sun begin to set, casting the prayer hall you had ambushed him in a beautiful arrangement of reds, golds, yellows and oranges "Who follows the natural flow of the universe, would find it strange that we seek an escape from that same flow. What you seek to align yourself to and harmonize with, the Dao, the absolute principle of all existence, is not too dissimilar from our Dharma, in truth, though many among both our religions would argue till they ran out of breath. Though, I sense you are an old sort of Daoist, considering you have not done so already""What do you mean, grandfather?" You ask, legs crossed as you paw at a stray lock of Yuyi's hair, as the woman herself takes a nap in the back of your mind "Well, I am not old enough to answer that, but It seems to me, most Daoists, even the immortal amongst them, have somehow forgotten what the Dao truly is. The natural order" He explains, unmoving from where he kneels, eyes focused on the empty state of the god whose statue he had been kneeling before, praying the prayers of other menCont
>>5376653 "And have bound themselves with codes of behavior given to them by other men, rather than that primordial source, the origin of all things. All things have the potential to attain enlightenment , but...in my youth as an exorcist, I once had an encounter with a young daoist, a cultivator I suppose, though I could not tell the difference from him and the alchemists who plunder graves for their contents" He rambles on, lifting his head above the head of the silent god he prays toYou swallow hard, and smile cheerfully to hide your worry, even if he cannot see your face, that he has somehow figured out your deception through some Buddhist trick or training, ready to stand and run away."He was adamant that only men could cultivate the Qi of heaven and earth, as is their way, you no doubt know as such a well informed and scholarly minded girl, considering how you have spent most of your time here as our guest needling my juniors about both our beliefs as buddhists and mortal men" He continues softly, closing his blind eyes in contemplation "And that, this innocent, intelligent being we had both happened upon, was a demon"The man sighed through his nose, a truly sorrowful look in his unseeing eyes."And the brat blinded me before murdering the creature, proclaiming I was enchanted" He says calmly "It was a beautiful creature, that deer. I do not believe it had ever harmed another, let alone terrorize the people as he claimed it had. Though, I should thank that brute, should I ever meet him, for robbing me of my sight, he had opened my eyes to the truth of the world"You stare, in awe of the man's gentleness and passivity, as well as his acceptance of your kind, even if he did not know what a magical beast was. But your brief reverence of his wisdom was shattered, as you leapt to your feet as something clattered to the floor. It was a plate, carrying a bowl of mealy medicinal broth, and a cup of boiled water beside it, both shattered, and standing before them, was a wide eyed monk who was looking at you with terror rather than the quiet acceptance or even affection that some of the monks had began to hold for you. And you realized immediately, you had never seen this particular monk in this temple before."Huh, wuh?" Yuyi groans as your suprise wakes her from her nap, as the old monk shakily stands to his feet with a wide smile as you and the youngster intruding on your philosophical talks with his master stare at each other intently. He isn't looking at Yuyi's face, but rather behind it."Ah! What miraculous timing!" The blind man cries out happily, clapping a hand down on the stick he uses to walk around with "Here is a monk you have not yet had the chance to squeeze of all he knows, Lady Yuyi! You two should get along, Yongzheng is also a doctor, much like yourself"cont
>>5376656"Master" The man says, keeping his attentions focused entirely on you, which all but confirms your suspicion that he can see through your possession of Yuyi somehow, or can, perhaps, sense your ghostly and grave imperial aura "May...I ask your guest to leave? so I may detail you the happenings of my journey to our sister monastery? In private?" he asks hurriedly, walking past you but giving you a wide berth What do you do, Huanliuxue?>Leave them and make a habit of avoiding Yongzheng as you remain in the temple, feeling you're a half step from reaching an insight and understanding of not just buddhism but human faith and wisdom. You can't let your cover be blown when you're this close to your goal>Haughtily demand to stay, since you were talking to the old man first, to prevent Yongzheng from revealing what he sees to him. The old Buddhist might accept magical beasts, but whose to say he'll be so generous towards one acting as a possessing spirit? >Begin plotting a way to remove Yongzheng, either by violence or humiliation, so you can continue pursuing the knowledge held by his brothers and master at your leisure [Bad karma]>Just reveal the truth to them both, and explain yourself and your intention here, and that you seek to "Become" human. Out of pride as a demonic beast, of course.>Write in
>>5376658>Leave them and make a habit of avoiding Yongzheng as you remain in the temple, feeling you're a half step from reaching an insight and understanding of not just buddhism but human faith and wisdom. You can't let your cover be blown when you're this close to your goal
>>5376658>Just reveal the truth to them both, and explain yourself and your intention here, and that you seek to "Become" human. Out of pride as a demonic beast, of course.
>>5376658>>Haughtily demand to stay, since you were talking to the old man first, to prevent Yongzheng from revealing what he sees to him. The old Buddhist might accept magical beasts, but whose to say he'll be so generous towards one acting as a possessing spirit?A doctor huh? Why we simply -must- compare notes.
>>5376658>Old Master of the temple>Claims that his blindness gives him insight into the truth of the world, the natural order, and even the Dao>Recognizes that we're different than the other daoists he's met, and instantly gets Huan on the defensive>Tells us a story about his sympathy for magical beasts>Has another disciple who can *also* see our true form, and is less good at hiding his reactions.>Write-in (modifying Tell the Truth)Both of these monks probably have True-Sight/Spirit Sense in one form or another, so I'd say the cat may already be out of the bag. Out of respect, maybe we should defer to the head monk's authority-- and ask if he would prefer that we excuse ourselves, as his subordinate wishes (with the implication that we will also leave the temple, if asked). Buddhists love riddles and subtle mind games, so he'll probably pick up on our real intentions. If the younger monk moves to tell him the truth, we should say it ourselves before he does, but for now we can play coy for a little longer.
>>5376658>Just reveal the truth to them both, and explain yourself and your intention here, and that you seek to "Become" human. Out of pride as a demonic beast, of course.>>5376472I might have counted wrong lol.Normally I don't worry about QMs taking their time to update, but since you had said that you were going to do it a day after, I thought something bad might have happened.Good to hear everything is alright.
>>5376658>Write in (Convince the old monk to have his junior join the conversation, since he seems scared to be alone around such a beautiful noble woman as ourselves.)Honestly, I'd want Yongzheng to join us in our talks with the old monk. Show him while Haun may be something to be afraid of, she means them no harm, and get whatever insight he'd have to offer.I feel like blowing our cover immediately is jumping the gun and the whole point of this exercise is to learn from humanity on a human level, and while I have no intention of keeping Yongzheng from spilling the beans, we don't necessarily have to give them all our secrets, just smooth over any worries they might have.We've done such a good job at being respectful, I'd hate to pull the "Haughty" princess card out know when the "coy and sly" royal card works just as well.
>>5376756Oh, and let me add>This possession is willing, Yui is a student of mine, although in matters of medicine instead of cultivation. When I attain a human form, I will no longer need to bother her by wearing her body to move unquestioned, and be able to leave her to her family and craft.
>>5376658>>Begin plotting a way to remove Yongzheng, either by violence or humiliation, so you can continue pursuing the knowledge held by his brothers and master at your leisure [Bad karma]
>>5376658>Just reveal the truth to them both, and explain yourself and your intention here, and that you seek to "Become" human. Out of pride as a demonic beast, of course.interested to see where this will take us
>>5376749>>Just reveal the truth to them both, and explain yourself and your intention here, and that you seek to "Become" human. Out of pride as a demonic beast, of course.This could backfire spectacularly on us but eh, worst case scenario is what, we get kicked out? Maybe they'll go as far as to try to exorcise us, that will be fun to watch.
>>5376658>>5376768Backing this. It can go along these lines:>You’ve seen something unexpected about me, haven’t you? You have good eyes, though I am certain he’s already seen it as well. That said, your manners are more lacking than your leader’s.>A lady must keep her secrets, no? Rest assured, I have been here for several days to understand Buddhism and how you view the world. It is a selfish desire so I may better understand my own connection to the world. It is difficult to speak so frankly with people on such matters! I’m sure you can understand why.>And your leader has said things concerning the Dao that even learned Daoists seem to overlook! If someone so wise speaks highly of you then I’m sure we can get along. You have nothing to fear from me, except perhaps my mouth. I seem to have worn down many of the other monks through my constant questions.Everything could technically be interpreted in public as a reference to our body and/or our status as a noble, but we all know better.
>>5377109switching to this neat write-in
>>5376658I'll switch to this (>>5377109), too. They basically articulated something I (>>5376749) wanted to try and say, but better.
>>5377399Thanks for your input though! I had glazed over the old man mentioning his blindness had opened his eyes in other ways, so my suggestions about him probably knowing who we were based off what you wrote instead.It makes sense that he’s seen through our ruse, but openly admitting it like the closest prompt suggests is akin to saying we lost the game! Our pride can’t allow that.
>>5377109>>5376658I'm game for coy dancing around the open secret.
>>5376658Oh, and this is completely separate from the vote, but the old man mentioned our conception of the Dao and their conception of Dharma not being too different. Huan mentioned that they seemed to go against the “natural order” though, so I want to spitball on how she can be considered “wrong” and how the Buddhists could be more “correct”.I figure if I can lead her to being incorrect logically, a prodigy like herself should be capable of it too.We can start on the general supposition that Dharma and Dao are the same, an overarching truth that all things spring from. Both interpretations support that reincarnation is a thing, life leads to death leads to new life. That said, the Buddhists. believe that this cycle can be escaped from, and Huan believes that this is a silly thought as not even gods/immortals can escape the “natural” cycle of reincarnation.All told, I believe Huan would be incorrect in believing that the Buddhists can’t achieve their goals. She is failing to make the next logical step from her own observations of humanity! What they believe as the “natural laws” of the Dao are actually traditions that distort the truth of the Dao. In this specific instance, those traditions are what relegate her to an unequal status in the worlds of men (and possibly some immortals if any had been able to ascend since the change). But if they can believe that such distortions are “natural” are just a tradition and not the truth, then can Huan not be wrong in believing what came before was not also just a “tradition” that simply allows creatures to become an immortal?I believe using the word”natural” gives the wrong impression. What is “natural” about the cycle of reincarnation is simply a tradition of the universe, and there is nothing inherently correct or incorrect about a tradition. It’s just a pattern. In much the same way that a rock can be fashioned into a ring, and it will forever remain a ring as long as it is not disturbed, so too can the universe establish and maintain a cycle of reincarnation simply by its current form.That said, Dao and Dharma are not the ring in that analogy. The ring is merely the shape they take. They are the rock instead, and could be molded into another form. Could the Dao support a universe in which the cycle did not exist? Yes! Could the Dharma support a universe in which life isn’t suffering? Absolutely!
>>5376658>>5377744Words are wordy.Will they? No. It is as Huan says. The cycle of reincarnation is the “natural” state of things. It is the form the Dao has taken. In theory, someone even closer to the Dao/Dharma could make the shape of the Dao/Dharma be different. It is all things, so it must be able to support all forms. The issue, of course, is that in getting that power and perspective likely means that you no longer care to change the system. What does the rock care what form it takes? It is, and will always be, a rock no matter its shape. So, it is left to the people who have not become the rock to live within the contours of the ring.So, to a degree, both Huan and the Buddhists would be correct. Huan is right to say that the cycle is “natural”, as it is either the form the Dao took without intervention, or someone molded the Dao into its current state before saying “peace out”. The difference is irrelevant. She is incorrect in thinking that this cycle cannot be transcended, as the Dao should be expressible in any form, even a form that did not have reincarnation. To argue otherwise is to say that the Dao can be “corrupted” which is made impossible by the definition of the Dao being all things. The Buddhists are correct in thinking that they can escape the cycle, as they can escape the ring and become the rock it is made of instead. They are incorrect in thinking life is suffering, as they are equating something transient to something else that is transient. Only the Dharma, the rock *is* anything. All else is merely interpreting the form of the Dharma, which is no less an incorrect view as choosing to become part of the material.To the credit of both sides, a Buddhist that ascended would be no different from a Daoist that became powerful enough to permanently elevate themself about the cycle. Maybe said Daoist might retain enough will to change the form of the universe before they stopped caring and find an expression of the universe that more creatures would interpret as “just” during their stay.
>>5377745Can a Daoist even ascend that high? In cultivation stories there is always reincarnated old gods, even from shards that fell instead of the whole soul.Although buddhas aren't free of that happening as well, given the whole Sun Wukong thing. So I guess it's even more proof it's all the same thing deep down?
>>5377776Why couldn’t they? All they need to do is be close enough to the Dao that they can shift it to be expressed in a different way. It’s no different in function than a god setting a sea on fire, just a difference in scale. And maybe the changes wouldn’t stick, but all we know for sure is that no one has ascended high enough to both a) escaped the cycle and b) gone back to tell everyone about it and c) bragged about changing the nature of reality while they did it, right? All a god entering the cycle shows is that they either lacked the power or the will to break out. And that’s not *wrong*. Buddhism views the cycle as suffering, but to a Daoist it’s just an accepted part of things. Why bother trying to escape the cycle if you don’t see anything wrong with it?The argument is ultimately that Buddhism and Daoism can be viewed as two different reasons to pursue the same path to a universal truth, and both are proven ways to reach that peak. It’s like a difference in cultivation laws. Buddhists just have the mentality that makes them push farther than a Daoist cultivator would. But given that life is still suffering, Buddhists clearly aren’t interested in changing anything once they manage to move past the cycle since their ascension method requires the dissolution of self. Neither the Daoist or the Buddhist “daos” individually produce the type of person that would change the expression of the universe.For all we know, there was another method prior to us that did, in fact, change how the Dao behaved and set up the cycle. If they never told us, how would we know?
>>5377745>>5377812Is Huan even a Daoist? I rather doubt it since as far as she is concerned they turned their back on the Natural Order the same as the Heavens they love and worship. It's why she is very clear about her true allegiances and beliefs. I mean its really the biggest reason why she even IS a Heretic cultivator besides supposedly being a demonic beast. Not even that compares to her primal beliefs in the Natural Order vs Heaven. In that regard she would get along better with Buddhist who aim to transcend the cycle entirely which she personally considers folly because it goes against the Natural Order(to be fair though she also views the Heavens in this same exact way).I would rather argue that Huan ways are far more shamanistic and primal in terms of belief system, especially in comparison to Daoism vs Buddhism. It is the single greatest why she is a Heretic. After all, she fucking hates Heaven and to degree Hell for betraying the Natural Order that she pledges herself to. Ultimately its also want makes her so dangerous since technically her own Daos and beliefs will passively guide her to the Origin, Primordial, and Primal Daos naturally on their own via natural development. Basically she is far too old school and primal to such an extent that for 'modern' cultivators she has far more in common with backward savage barbarians and obscure heretics.Even her own Blood Dao is so old even Hell was amazed at how ancient it was. Not to mention her own twist on the Dao of Graves and views on Nature. The things that modern cultivators have long forgotten naturally call out to Huan and she has an extremely easy time grasping them. Despite how they SHOULD be extinct or too obscure. That isn't even getting into what her primal natural stuff will unleash. Even the QM has pointed out how terrifying Huan actually could be if she bothered to on a mere couple of her specialties and what will happen when she starts teaching them to others.In truth arguably Huan's heresy/beliefs are simply due to it being too outdated and not 'modern' like Daoism/Buddhism.
You okay Gramps?
Ending the vote now, tallying the result. Sorry for vanishing over the weekend, got dragged away from my computer and didn't have time to tell you guys.Leave them and make a habit of avoiding Yongzheng as you remain in the temple, feeling you're a half step from reaching an insight and understanding of not just buddhism but human faith and wisdom. You can't let your cover be blown when you're this close to your goal:1Just reveal the truth to them both, and explain yourself and your intention here, and that you seek to "Become" human. Out of pride as a demonic beast, of course.:4-and ask if he would prefer that we excuse ourselves, as his subordinate wishes/ If the younger monk moves to tell him the truth, we should say it ourselves before he does/play coy:2-This possession is willing, Yui is a student of mine, although in matters of medicine instead of cultivation. When I attain a human form, I will no longer need to bother her by wearing her body to move unquestioned, and be able to leave her to her family and craft.:1Convince the old monk to have his junior join the conversation, since he seems scared to be alone around such a beautiful noble woman as ourselves:6-"You’ve seen something unexpected about me, haven’t you? You have good eyes, though I am certain he’s already seen it as well. That said, your manners are more lacking than your leader’s"...etc:5Begin plotting a way to remove Yongzheng, either by violence or humiliation, so you can continue pursuing the knowledge held by his brothers and master at your leisure:1Haughtily demand to stay, since you were talking to the old man first, to prevent Yongzheng from revealing what he sees to him. The old Buddhist might accept magical beasts, but whose to say he'll be so generous towards one acting as a possessing spirit?:1So you'll convince the old monk to have his junior join the conversation, since he seems scared to be alone around such a beautiful noble woman as yourselfSpecifically saying "You’ve seen something unexpected about me, haven’t you? You have good eyes, though I am certain he’s already seen it as well. That said, your manners are more lacking than your leader’s.""A lady must keep her secrets, no? Rest assured, I have been here for several days to understand Buddhism and how you view the world. It is a selfish desire so I may better understand my own connection to the world. It is difficult to speak so frankly with people on such matters! I’m sure you can understand why."And"And your leader has said things concerning the Dao that even learned Daoists seem to overlook! If someone so wise speaks highly of you then I’m sure we can get along. You have nothing to fear from me, except perhaps my mouth. I seem to have worn down many of the other monks through my constant questions."Update will arrive shortly>>5380480Yeah, just went on a bit of an unexpected trip with the family. Sorry if I made you worry.
He is clearly suspicious and fearful of you, why wouldn't he be? Even if he doesn't realize it, he is in the presence of royalty and a beautiful woman, though doubtlessly that fact is overshadowed by whatever image of you has been revealed by his unusually sharp eyes. Usually, ghosts and earthbound spirits only appear to mortals when they wish to be seen. Only those who possess an unusual amount of spiritual energy, innate qi, that is greater than the norm, can possess senses sharp enough to pierce the illusionary "veil" between that "Separates" the dead and the living. How curious. It makes you want to toy with the boy a little, since, even if he was born with more talent or treasures than most, it is unlikely he or any besides the old master of this temple are skilled enough as exorcists to forcibly oust you from Yuyi or do even worse harm to your unbound soul. So, as he hurriedly skitters past you, reminding you oh so very much of a mouse, you smirk coyly and narrow your eyes, hiding a slyness behind the geniality and gentleness of your expression. You can practically feel the chill this look sends down his spine, though to an outside observer, he merely looks intimidated by the obvious distance between your station and his and your unearthly beauty.Fluttering your eyelashes, you place the back of your hand under your chin to serve as a rest and look up into his eyes, your smirk turning cat like as you adjust your posture. If Yuyi's body had a tail, it'd be flicking back and forth in anticipation."Not because you want to eat him or anything right?" Yuyi asks, half jokingly as you sigh and bow your head with a regal sort of condensation "You've seen something unexpected about me, haven't you?" You say with a purring drawl, lifting your head at the chin as you lean closer to him and part your lips, as you savor the adorable and delectable nervousness and panic radiating from the younger monk like heat from an oven. He doesn't answer, those the muscles in his jaws tense and his lips twitch as if he intends to speak, though you do not allow him to interrupt as his mast shuffles over to greet him properly, his sagging cheeks flush and with a joyous grin on his wrinkled face.You let out a drawn out sigh, and slouch, catching your head in your hands as you pout, keeping your gazed fixed to the monk as your posture becomes very unseemly and lackadaisical, as you learn back and remove one of your hands from your chin to twirl lazily through the air as you all put lay down on the shrine's floor, which makes Yongzheng's eyes flare with anger, outraged at the flippant disrespect you show to the silent gods apparently inhabiting this room."Hmm, my, my, was your journey so straining and tiring that your nerves remain frayed even here, in the temple you have long called home" The senior monk asks as Yongzheng tries to hide away his confusion and fear behind a stern and stoic mask.Cont
>>5380726Smirking even more playfully, you tap your nails on your chin and titter."You have good eyes, though I am certain he’s already seen it as well" You say coyly, covertly drawing your eyes from Yongzheng to his master, and you wonder if he'll have enough sense to realize what you have already suspected, that the blind man sees more than he lets on"What are you" He asks sharply, eyes narrowed and hands stowed away in his robes, obviously grasping from a talisman or some string of beads"That said, your manners are more lacking than your leader’s." You yawn, as you pull you hand away from your chin and rest it near your stomach, relaxing idly as poor, befuddled Yongzheng looks between you and his unconcerned master, trying to figure out why a cat demon is in holy place and in the company of a completely serene monk"Oh, I see, I offer my sincerest apologies for not greeting you properly, but I was raised in this temple, and so know little about the etiquette of nobility, and certainly know nothing about the protocol expected of mere monk's such as I, when we enjoy their refined company and graces" He answers swiftly, figuring out at last that you've caught on to the fact he can see through your "Disguise""She's toying with you boy" The older monk, whose name you really should learn, chuckles softly, shaking his head as he narrows his eyes to slits, and that's all you need to know that he too is aware of your true nature and is...accepting of it. It would seem he actually, truly believes and upholds the teachings of the buddha and sees you as simply another curious visitor or student in need of guidance. A warm, fuzzy feeling blossoms from your heart and turns Yuyi's cheeks as red as your coat. Rarely are humans so open minded and accepting of "Monsters". Its almost enough to make you purr from happiness alone!"This here" He says, gesturing near to you, but not directly towards you "Is Lady Yuyi, a visiting lady of noble birth, as I am sure your undamaged eyes could tell from a glance, even before you heard the dignified and proud manner with which she speaks, at least, when she isn't in a well and truly excited. Ohh it warms my heart for one of such high standing and means to be so willing and enthused to learn from humble monks such as us"Yongzheng clenches his jaw, confusion now dominating his worry as he looks down at you like you were something so strange and bizarre, that he had trouble believing what his eyes showed him? Maybe he was second guessing the secret they had revealed to him? Still, the question remains, how can he and his master see through Yuyi to see Huanliuxue in all your natural grandeur? You're fairly certain even most cultivators of your level would be unable to see through the ruse or detect the possession as easily as they have. So what is the secret there? Yongzheng speaking suddenly interrupts your pondering about this queer ability of theirs. Cont
>>5380727"Forgive me for my terse and cold manner, but, I had never expected to meet an existence such as yourself in our modest temple" He says, nearly as coy as yourself now, as he realize this is a game to be played slyly, with cunning and politeness with rather than shouted accusations, vitriol and chanted mantras of banishment and protection "if it would not be untoward, or offensive, may I raise the question as to why, someone like yourself, so far separated from us monks and pilgrims, has come here? And why you are so curious to learn from us, to the point I've found you in the company of an old man""Something that would cause no end of troublesome rumors, if I were actually of noble birth" Yuyi giggles as you try and understand exactly why that is, and quickly realize exactly why it would cause people to gossip, which makes your cheeks turn an even deeper shade of scarlet before, while Yuyi laughs and laughs, clearly enjoying a rare show of embarrassment from the prideful and magnificent Huanliuxue."Didn't I just say why? Are you losing your hearing, Yongzheng? Your took long for your senses to dull like mine have" The old monk idly frets, shuffling closer to his student, looking like he's resisting the urge to laugh in a very undignified and uproarious manner at the expense of his well meaning student, as such things would be unbecoming of a monk of his experience and age. Seems the old timer has some cat like tendencies of his own, if he's decided to join you in toying with Yongzheng, though that just reminds you of the glaring question in the room.How are they seeing Huanliuxue instead of just Yuyi? Such a troublesome question, of course, isn't enough to make you lose your composure or your coy attitude and smile, but it does gnaw at the roots of your mind."I remember you mentioning she is a doctor, an odd hobby for nobility" Yongzeng mutters, trying to poke holes in your alibi as you giggle and throw a beaming smile in his direction "Though, I suppose studying at a temple, is also a rather strange thing for ladies of her status to do""A lady must keep her secrets, no?" You answer teasingly, pointing a painted nail shaped into a claw at him, making him lean away uneasily, as if he expects you to bury it in his throat or eye. You stand and stretch, throwing one arm up and grabbing it at the elbow with the other's hand as you pull yourself up and back and close your eyes, groaning as you work out the dullness of Yuyi's body. Then, hopping closer to Yongzheng, you wag a finger in front of his face while grinning mischievously"Rest assured, I have been here for several days to understand Buddhism and how you view the world" You say, as he bats you hand away, rather rudely."For what purpose I wonder?" He says, striding behind you, to put himself at a more advantageous position over you, and get away from your "Claws"Cont
>>5380728 "Forgive this monk's prying, but I was raised and tutored to be curious of all things in the world, to question and ponder, so if you would indulge my selfish desire, could you tell me what has brought you here? You wish to learn yes? But what knowledge from the teachings of Buddha, exactly, do you seek here and why?" He continues, standing two steps behind you, his back turned towards your own"Yongzheng, please, don't be so smothering and confrontational, this is a place of prayer, not passive aggressions" The old monk sighs, shaking his head as he leans against his walking cane"Master Shoushan, I merely ask so I may better assist in her search, if I've come off as rude, I would of course, offer my sinceriest apologizes to the Young mistress" Yongzheng says smoothly, and you can here the confident smirk on his face, think he's caught you by the tail. But he cannot see the one you wear yourself, until you leap and twist through the air to face him again, with a simple hop, since Yuyi's body can't perform anything more acrobatic than that"Hey!" Yuyi shouts "A doctor doesn't need to practice like a martial artist, to leap and soar through the air!"You ignore her and her excuse as you swagger and sway in front of Yongzheng, who looks rather put out that you've once more positioned yourself before him and made him face you directly, and annoyed that to walk past you against so you'd be back to back once more would make him look rather foolish"It is a selfish desire so I may better understand my own connection to the world." You admit with a blithe shrug as you rock your head side to side, giggling "It is difficult to speak so frankly with people on such matters! I’m sure you can understand why.""So you...seek enlightenment?" He asks, sounding less secretly hostile and on guard, and more earnestly curious. His eyes drift to the grey eyes of Shoushan, who only replies with a mysterious smile"And your leader has said things concerning the Dao that even learned Daoists seem to overlook!" You exclaim, throwing your hands up as you skip back to Shoushan, and find yourself winded soon after, panting and flustered from the meager exertion, but you quickly recompose yourself and look to Yongzheng once more, dignified in bearing and polite in approach"If someone so wise speaks highly of you then I’m sure we can get along" You say warmly, bowing your head slightly as Yongzheng sizes you up and studies you, eyes narrowed and expression rapidly souring as it looks like he begins fighting himself to figure out what to make of you and how to approach you now. In a manner like he was trying to get you to lower a knife pressed against Yuyi's throat, whom he probably thought was an unwilling host to your spirit and in endangered even if you posed no threat to him, his brothers or the temple itself, of which he was still uncertain.cont
>>5380729"You have nothing to fear from me, except perhaps my mouth" You say with a teasing, knowing titter, trying to set him at ease and keep him from doing anything reckless, like drawing your ire or annoyance He answers simply "That mouth of yours must be more useful a weapon in your life than any blade."She is possessed by good cheer and healthy spirits, and a strong sense of self-respect and pride and well taught sensibilities, as any proper noble should possess, but also a rare forcefulness, a willfulness many noble ladies never attain" Shoushan explains in your defense. And the wording he used would make you certain he knew what you were and had since you came into the temple, if you weren't already confident that was from how he's spoken to Yongzheng, his choice of story earlier and that he recognized you as different from other Daoists almost immediately after you had began your discussion of faith, belief and tradition " I seem to have worn down many of the other monks through my constant questions" You admit happily, as Shoushan finally makes his way between the two of you "So maybe it isn't a weapon in the way you imagine it to be?""You must possess a remarkable appetite for learning if you've exhausted my brother's through questions alone" Yongzheng states, before his cheeks turn red and you realize the accidental innuendo he's spoken right as he himself notices it "Not that I am implying you have performed any acts with them that would be unbecoming of a lady of your rank, or have otherwise harassed them" "You have an incredible talent for appearing ruder than you actually are, brother Yongzheng" Shoushan remark "It is like there is a little worm in your throat who twists your words to make them offensive when you mean no insult at all"Yongzheng nods, not even trying to speak in defense of his own blunder."Grandpa Shoushan~? Can Brother Yongzheng join our discussion? He seems scared to be alone around such a beautiful noble woman as myself" You asks, holding your hands to your hips and flaunting your...or rather Yuyi's looks, to the dismay of Yongzheng "I had come to the shrine to speak to Master Shoushan, privately, so the effect your presence has on me doesn't matter" Yongzheng tries to point out, but Shoushan just strokes his beard and nods, ignoring his disciples protesting "Of course, he could provide insights either your or I may not yet possess" Shoushan cheerfully proclaims as you smugly lift your chest and chin, and try to look down on the taller Yongzheng as his shoulders slump and he glowers at you. But his expression softens as he sees Yuyi's face and at least for now, doesn't take any action against youCont
>>5380730"As you wish, Master Shoushan, I will treat our noble guest with all the hospitality she deserves, and lend what little wisdom I myself possess, should she ask for it" Yongzheng says quietly, polietly cupping his fists and bowing "I am pleased to make your acquaintance, lady Yuyi, I hope you will forgive my earlier curiosity" What will you do as you continue your stay at the buddhist temple and grow closer to reaching the insights you came there for, Huanliuxue?>Continue to respectfully question and learn from the monks, speaking more openly towards Yongzheng and Shoushan, because they know of your true nature and you sense they are more enlightened than the other monks>Decide you have heard and learned enough, and meditate on what you have learned, saying goodbye to the temple and its monks, and continuing on your journey with new insight and understanding of both buddhism and human wisdom.>Make a habit of teasing and messing with Yongzheng as you continue your "lessons" with the other monks, cause his reactions amuse you.>Talk with Yuyi about what you have learned and think you understand of religion and faith, and how it separates men from other creatures, and its connection to civilization. Mostly to see if you're right>Write inReally enjoyed writing this update.
>>5380732>Continue to respectfully question and learn from the monks, speaking more openly towards Yongzheng and Shoushan, because they know of your true nature and you sense they are more enlightened than the other monks>Talk with Yuyi about what you have learned and think you understand of religion and faith, and how it separates men from other creatures, and its connection to civilization. Mostly to see if you're rightBoth or either work for me.Than I guess the next step would try to understand the way humans see nobility or goverment, with lineages, customs and the like? Huan was confused about our students that is a noble and her servant, and although we are obvious royalty, it is not because our parents were, either by birth or adoption.
>>5380732>>5380744This sounds like a good approach to me. I've been laughing the entire update, the interaction here is pretty delightful.
>>5380732>Continue to respectfully question and learn from the monks, speaking more openly towards Yongzheng and Shoushan, because they know of your true nature and you sense they are more enlightened than the other monks>Loop in Yuyi to ask them questions for additional insights.You did well with the write-in! I’m always disappointed when I see a write-in copied word-for-word with no additional pacing done to let other characters really respond.More on-topic, I don’t want to tease Yongzheng so much that it detracts from our learning. But I know the teasing will happen even if we don’t vote for it. We did too much initially for Huan to fully back off now. We even got the old man to dunk on him! We can’t let a partnership like that go to waste.Also, humans are social creatures unlike cats. We will not learn as much if we meditate alone. As for looping in Yuyi, it is self-evident that every human is human. No special qualifications or understanding required, just feelings. If we get too far into philosophy, she should ask the dumb questions to make us realize we’re getting too technical.With that in mind… I guess my vote is to also tease Great Teacher Yuyi. She’s lived her whole life being human, she should be able to contribute! Put her to work, Huan!
>>5380732>>5380744This seems like a good plan.
>>5380732>>Talk with Yuyi about what you have learned and think you understand of religion and faith, and how it separates men from other creatures, and its connection to civilization. Mostly to see if you're right
>>5380732>>Continue to respectfully question and learn from the monks, speaking more openly towards Yongzheng and Shoushan, because they know of your true nature and you sense they are more enlightened than the other monks>Make a habit of teasing and messing with Yongzheng as you continue your "lessons" with the other monks, cause his reactions amuse you.
>>5380732>>Talk with Yuyi about what you have learned and think you understand of religion and faith, and how it separates men from other creatures, and its connection to civilization. Mostly to see if you're right>Continue to respectfully question and learn from the monks, speaking more openly towards Yongzheng and Shoushan, because they know of your true nature and you sense they are more enlightened than the other monks
>>5380732>Continue to respectfully question and learn from the monks, speaking more openly towards Yongzheng and Shoushan, because they know of your true nature and you sense they are more enlightened than the other monks
>>5380732>Continue to respectfully question and learn from the monks, speaking more openly towards Yongzheng and Shoushan, because they know of your true nature and you sense they are more enlightened than the other monks>Talk with Yuyi about what you have learned and think you understand of religion and faith, and how it separates men from other creatures, and its connection to civilization. Mostly to see if you're right
Update is coming tomorrow. Meant to have it out earlier tonight, but I started feeling really sick for no reason before I could tally up the vote, . Sorry to make you guys wait longer. If the update doesn't come tomorrow, its because I'm still feeling too sick to write.Also, as a bonus, which of Huanliuxue's disciples would you a [Meanwhile, elsewhere] on in this update?
>>5384323 I feel like we haven't seen Feiqing in a while, so him I guess?Jiǒnghuāgége and Tiěxīngége
>>5384323I've forgotten everyone's names, but the stubborn exorcist with the dead arm.
>>5384327>>5384410Ok I take it back, I REALLY want to see the geges again.
>>5384323Give us the bug princesses
>>5384323We demand to see our little sisters gramps!
>>5384323jumping on the bug train!
>>5384327>>5384412>>5384421>>5384427>>5384460>>5384463Hear you loud and clear. The people want the Geges, so I shall give you the Geges. As soon as I cool my head off, since I am currently to the point of gnashing my teeth I am so fucking mad. I had ordered some really expensive teaware while I was fuming that the 7th thread had gotten deleted for no good reason andBoth of the pieces I ordered arrived as little more than a collection of shards and glaze chips. Looked like some asshole took a sledgehammer to both the pot and cup and I need to chill out before I can write, since I am quite literally trembling with rage. Hopefully I am able to get a refund, and the wealth I spent isn't lost like a clay ox entering the sea.I'll tally the vote once I'm no longer red in face, and bring you guys the blessing of the adorable insect princess
>>5384738Someone at UPS (or your courier assholes of choice) had a bad day and took it out on you.One must repay a favor threefold.
>>5384738The QM curse is getting creative in how it strikes
>>5384738Channel your rage into your cultivation Grandfather, rise above the heavens and become unstopable.
>>5384738First the curse targets health. Possessions come second. Third, it starts harming people around the QM. The fourth stage is a swing back to targeting health, but harder.Watch out for iron rain.
I've vanquished my heart demons, so I'm ending the vote, and tallying the result. Sorry to make you guys wait so long for more Huanliuxue.Continue to respectfully question and learn from the monks, speaking more openly towards Yongzheng and Shoushan, because they know of your true nature and you sense they are more enlightened than the other monks:9Talk with Yuyi about what you have learned and think you understand of religion and faith, and how it separates men from other creatures, and its connection to civilization. Mostly to see if you're right:8Make a habit of teasing and messing with Yongzheng as you continue your "lessons" with the other monks, cause his reactions amuse you: 1So you will continue respectfully question and learn from the monks, and talk with Yuyi inbetween your conversations with Shoushan and Yongzheng, about whatyou think you understand about religion and faith and how man is separate from other creatures/ the nature of civilization.Update will arrive shortly>>5384971grim portents indeed >>5384757>>5384794I wish I could find the fucker who mishandled the package
"Up late again, eh?" Shoushan calls out, as he hobbles down the stairs beneath the roofed pathway you have decided to sit atop to admire the bright, silver moon hanging in the sky, joined only by a scarce few stars and wispy clouds languishing and lazily drifting through the cool air of the night.You smirk, and look down at him, the handful of stray cats that inhabit the temple raising their heads to look at the blind master of the monks who also call it their home, who looks directly into your eyes, past Yuyi's, as he shuffles his way to sit upon a black and pitted standing stone that had apparently fallen from the sky one day, just like your sect's slab of star shade."It is a blessing of youth, to be able to so freely languish beneath the light of the moon on a night with breeze as chill as this without fear of illness or exhaustion come morning" He mutters absentmindedly as he crosses his legs, which you mimic and set your hands flat down on your knees while Yuyi tries to will herself to sleep by counting ducks, mumbling in the back of your shared head. He sighed, lifting his cane up from the ground, glancing past you and towards the tree growing alongside the pillars holding up the roof, which you had clambered up an hour or perhaps two ago, when the sun had finally dipped behind the mountains, and the fire in the sky was replaced with quiet and somber violet."Summer is drawing closer to autumn" He observes, upon feeling the wind alone "And the restless dead are wandering the world, at such an hour. Only ghosts and cats on the prowl should be awake at such an hour, I wonder, why then, our noble guest is roused and wide awake so late into the night?""My mind was lit aflame by our earlier conversation we had, with the other, more junior monks, concerning the place gods play in the lives of men. I am, not overly fond of any of the gods I've heard of, it was most enlightening and has filled me with an exhaustless curiosity that only grows deeper as I reflect upon what the day's earlier lesson has revealed to me of this world I was born into" You answer calmly and with a sweet timbre to your words, as quiet and gentle as wind rustling through dried leaves"Ah, so you could not sleep, and so chose to meditate amongst the mousers old and young. Better company you could not find when the hour is so late, unless of course, you enjoyed to festivities of stubborn souls yet unreturned to the Wheel of Dharma" Shoushan says, furrowing his brow as he bows his head, entering a meditative state, perhaps pondering the breeze or the agelessness of the stone he has sat himself atopIt is a fun game, playing coy with one another, even though both of you are aware that this blind old monk sat before you can see through mousey Yuyi to see the cat hiding in her shadow."They came to me, I was just basking in the coolness of night and the light of the full moon" You say with a shrug as you hop to your feet, Cont
>>5385109Sending the cat lazing on your lap falling to the ground and the rest who have gathered around you scattering into the gloom."So, what is tonight's extra lesson? Something to do with the purpose of divinity and its influences?" You ask excitedly as Shoushan strokes his beard"Oh, these old legs of mine only needed to be cooled by the wind so I may sleep peacefully" Shoushan chuckles, shaking his head "Had I known you were out and about so late, I would've dragged you back inside, not sought you out for another one of our philosophical or theological talks, though I suppose, we could ponder together what can be learned from the stillness of night. But, you raise a good point, for one born so privileged and well to do, what need is there in your life for gods? You are curious of the buddha at least, but I wonder, does your apathy for the heavenly extend past the physical and present, to the unseen and absent?""You speak of holding faith for gods no one has seen or met?" You ask, crossing your arms as you pace to the edge of the roof "Well, to be honest, the one god I believe I may have met, I didn't hate or hold a grudge against. He was kindly and supportive, like a grandfather""Hmm, well, the invisible gods I feel in the air of this temple, have always been supportive of me, even though I have never met them, I can at time feel their presence" Shoushan answers back quickly "Though I must ask, did you only like this old god, because he did not oppose or outlaw your way of life, if indeed it was a god you met?""He helped me in a way that could not be repaid with prayers and prostration alone" You answer "Though, I will admit, his temper did frighten me""Those born mortal retain a mortal's mindset" Shoushan somberly, almost bitterly remarks "Even if they have truly attained divinity and immortality, they remain...vapid and self centered, as most men are""Is that why you trust gods you have no proof exist over gods who actively interfere with the world for both good or ill?" You ask curiously, leaning forward, hands on your hip"The rain maidens will remain deaf the pleadings of thousands, and expect great offerings to end a drought" The old monk says stoically "or they might, on a whim, bright relief to arid farmlands or as a whole travel atop rain filled clouds and bring an end to a drought before it. A martial god, may, after taking offense for a slight by a single pilgrim seeking shelter in his temple, unleash a plague upon the surroundings or allow a monster to rampage. Or he might emerge from one of his idols to defend a helpless village against a horde of barbarians. These Goddess, this martial god, as can all members of the celestial Bureaucracy, can choose to be good, can follow their duties or forsake them in pursuit of acting virtuously, or they can choose to be apathetic to the suffering and troubles of the mortal realm"cont
>>5385111You frown, and sit back down, legs hanging over the ledge of the roof"And as they, like the grandfatherly deity you met, are corporeal and active enough to notice their passing, it is readily apparent when one god is cruel and another is benevolent. And from all the ills of the world, one could easily blame the calamity of the present era and the chaos embroiling this kingdom upon their shoulders. And while, certainly, the influence and power of such beings causes its fair share of problems, they are not the sole cause of suffering" Shoushan explains, tapping a finger on the burl of his cane "But, the fact that, a farmer may throw up his hands, and blame the absence of rain on distant goddesses rather than his own ineptitude or simply the quality of soil over which he toils, it allows for a terrible ignorance to possess the minds of the people""And how is that different than trusting that you are heard or cared for by gods no one has seen or heard?" You ask "What does the physical nature of life matter, if it is an illusion? What then, separates the illusion of a deity, from the illusion of me?" Shoushan asks curiously "The Daoist immortals, make themselves known and make their wills and desire known, they travel, they descended to the earth to freeload in their temples, they bicker, they fight, they love, and they even hold grudges" He took in a deep breath and sighed, his the wrinkles on his brow and face growing deeper as he scowled."What does it matter, if a prayer is met with silence, when others answer with a shout or else purposeful silence? Is it so bizarre to prefer to give one's faith to deities who visit only in dreams and visions? Whose influence is felt, on the gentle breeze passing through leaves, rather than bolts of divine retribution and edicts bellowed from glowing idols?" Shoushan laughs "For, one who has met their god, knows the powers they wield, and thus possesses little true faith even if they know their god is real and present. While he who kneels before a still idol, and with all of his heart and resolve, begs it for divine aid and providence, and sees godlike work where there may be none. What is more miraculous? More worthy of awe? A princess of the heavens shepherding clouds across the sky? Or the happenstance of rain, unguided by any hand or will?"You sit in silent contemplation, brow furrowed and eyes closed as contemplate Shoushan's words, and begin to feel as if the word and concept of faith has only now just been given meaning.-[Meanwhile, Elsewhere, in the flower fields of the primordial wilderness...]Jiǒnghuāgége (炅花格格, Shining Flower Princess), the princess of the bees, idly lay atop the petal of a truly titanic bloom, her children buzzing through the air around her, busy at work as they collected pollen from the tallest flowers of the towering forest of blossoms. Cont
>>5385113Beneath her, in exact formation, the daughters of her sister, marched and fought against the dangers below that would have otherwise harassed or attacked her darling daughters as they dutifully carried out her commands. Like black armored knights, the valiant progeny of the daring Tiěxīngége (铁心格格, Iron heart Princess) safeguarded and escorted her workers while she oversaw the transportation of the Qi rich pollen back to their shared hive, so it may be processed into the delectable and spiritually potent Divine Blood Honey. Or, that was her excuse she had given to Tie-Tie, since she really just wanted to not have to exert herself unnecessarily, while she battled against the ruffians and vagabonds of the wilderness who sought to take their shared treasure. Her older sister, Huanliuxue, had told her how valuable her honey was, so even if there was enough stored for both their families, the two of them tried to make as much as they could so they could give the excess over as gift to their shared elder sisterWhenever it was she was going to return from her luxurious palace of tombstones and play with them again or teach them another lesson. Besides, it wasn't like Jionghuagege was idle or foisting the hard and dangerous work to her sworn sister, it was just that...well, Tie-Tie was having fun trying out her new moves and martial techniques on the various savages and opportunistic villains who sought to steal from the two of them, and Huanliuxue as well. And since she only had a talent for controlling Qi and forming it into spells, like wax into a hive, Jionghuagege really was more of a help the further away from the action she was. Unlike Texingege, who's black iron carapace reflected even the fiercest of blows of the strongest of beasts or the strongest blows of the fiercest beasts.And she could best assist Tie-Tie and her warriors, when she was filled up with fresh and flowing spiritual energy, and it just so happened the Qi that the flower she lay on, produced the densest, richest and highest quality Qi in the forest of flowers. She was sure it had to do with its age."Yes" An unfamiliar voice said praisingly, as Jionghuagege fluttered up in shock, silver dust drifting off from her fur, and antenna and stinger now sheathed with her Qi, resonating with the ambient spiritual energy of the flowers, as she sawAn old human? There were humans in the wilds, but they were hidden and skittish and very uncivilized and ill mannered. This fellow was dressed well, and had a certain dignity about him that Jionghuagege had only felt from Huanliuxue's human pets. Except, his presence was much more noticeable and crushing, and she could almost see his aura flaring up around him like bursts of sunlight, constantly shifting between the five primary colors. She immediately recognized this man was not some one she, or Tiexingege could beat, even with their strength combinedcont
>>5385114But that didn't stop Tie-Tie from trying, having sensed the glimpses of power the old man had unleashed, mere wisps of his true self, and seeking to protect Jiong-Jiong, leaped up the thorns of the titanic flower with acrobatic grace and lightning swiftness, swinging the blades of her foremost limbs at the man as he smiled peaceably at Jionghuagege. And without looking or even reacting to Tiexingege or her war cry, caught both blades between two of his fingers, and lifted her above his head, to set down beside him. He then, as Tie-Tie was stunned and too confused to attack, dusted off his dirtied brown robes and patted the petal to his side, invitingly Jionghuagege to sit beside him"Forgive me for starling you innocent children, but I had become so excited upon seeing you students of young Huanliuxue, I simply had to approach and introduce myself to you both immediately" The old man spoke politely, talking like Huanliuxue tended to do "I see you too possess your elder, furred sisters talent, to intuitively sense the richest source of natural Qi to be found for hundreds of miles. And, as insects, you are both naturally blessed with an innate ability to perform Embryonic breathing, giving you a leg up on the competition. Really, Huanliuxue had a fine eye for talent, even if she didn't realize exactly why the two of you magical beasts could instinctively channel and wield Qi without even a single hour of proper training""Gyraaah! Old man! Let go of me! Are you afraid to fight me fairly" Tiexingege hissed, kicking her legs, before, like the stunned Jionghuagege, she realized the old man had spoken their elder sisters name"Oh there's no reason to apologize' Jionghuagege said after the two bug princesses exchanged quick glances and pheromone signals and decided she would be the best choice to speak to this stranger "We're simply unused to company that isn't?""Out to kill, eat or enslave us" Tie- Tie said, snapping her mandibles"Yes, I've noticed the beasts here, even awakened like yourselves, have become rather barbaric and primal since I last made a tour of this garden of mine" The old man said kindly, patting both the gege's on their heads "How do you know our elder sister? are you her teacher or merely an acquaintance whose heard of how much of a marvel of the world she is?" Jionghuagege"Many probably have, whereever she lives. Red fur is cunning, strong and wise, of course she'd be well known" Tiexingege says confidently"I wish I could say I was her teacher, I was simply passing by to go observe her progress, when I happened upon you two adorable children" The old man says kindly "Say...how about you show me what she has taught you, so I can give you some pointers on your forms and technique?"-Cont
>>5385115"Are you even paying attention to me?" Yongzheng drawled as you stared at him as Yuyi tried to answer the question you had raised while you talked with the exorcist in training, about the sensibility of religion and how its organization and control differed from the other kinds of laws and hierarchies humanity set around themselves like stone walls ,when suddenly, you were struck by a revelation that had slowly grown in the back of your mind, hidden away beneath the other realizations you have made of faith, belief and how necessary they were to the day to day life for most humans. And this insight was made to blossom by Yuyi's off handed answer to your question of "What's the point of all this""There isn't any, really. It makes people feel good, and gives them hope for tomorrow and beyond, which is important when one doesn't have the power to shape the world around them" Yuyi had mused as Yongzheng spoke a very similar point, as had several other of his fellow monks, you now realized, even Shoushan had imparted this same lesson, but the wording he had used had made you think of it more rationally, logically rather than emotionally. When Yuyi, who you considered one of your favorite humans, spoke it, you felt the words you had heard before, and understood them."I guess, since we know we don't have long to live, the idea of something bigger, more lasting than our lives gives us comfort, sort of a stability in the face of...well everything" Yuyi mutters meekly "At least that's what I think, sorry to interrupt your thoughts, Lady Huanliuxue, I was speaking without thinking and""Its reassurance" You whisper"Yes, I suppose" Yongzheng answers, looking pleased that you had been listening to his rambling "reassurance that the world isn't as chaotic and meaningless as it seems at a glance, that there is a great order beneath the surface, that there is a purpose. Listlessness is a disease that spreads easily, when one doesn't have a purpose. To accept that, inherently, the only purpose there is in life, is that which one makes themselves is...a hurdle that most cannot overcome, they desire guidance, approval. Because, unlike a beast like you"You snarl at him, upset he has chosen to spoil the fun of the unspoken knowledge between you, him and Elder Shoushan"Men aren't content with what nature has given him, with instinct alone. A life spent fulfilling basic needs and desires alone is seen as empty, and unfulfilling to most" Yongzheng pauses, taking in a sharp breath, as he looks up you, eyes open wide as he to is struck by a sudden revelation "And, that is why you've come here, not to make mischief or do evil, but because, you, somehow, became whatever it is you are now, because you were enlightened enough to think beyond the present, beyond need and instinctive desire, to feel thinking desire and experience want. And, at least while you're here, you want to understand...us."Cont
>>5385116"Even a blind man figured that out when he first spoke to me" You growl at him, pocking a nail in his chest angrily "and I need to do it at a human level, if I am to actually learn what humanity means. And you ruined that because of your dammed suspicion!, Now, when you and I talk, it is between beast and man, rather than two humans! Shoushan knew that it was vital for me to be treated as a human girl, so I'd see what one would see! What a wandering noble lady would perceive and...""But didn't you already find the wisdom you came here seeking?" Yuyi asks, causing Yongzheng to jump back, as she spoke and was heard, as she said it with so little thought, that it actually left the lips you shared"Oh!" You shout happily, clapping your hands together cheerfully, as Yongzheng blinks rapidly as he looks at you like you've grown a second head, and from his perspective you might have "You're right! you chose the perfect time to end the charade between us! Right as I attained the insight I came here seeking!""She is still awake? inside you...er inside herself?" Yongzheng gasps"I thought that much would be obvious" You state plainly, pouting as he covers his face with both his hands"What are you two chattering about? You know it is against our beliefs to pursue earthly desires, young man" Shoushan shouts, waving his cane in the air threateningly as he happens to walk by the abandoned portion of the temple to the two of you had been talking inside "What would the other brothers think, if they saw you now? Trying to seduce our honored guest, whose been so very respectful of our temple and beliefs despite her upbringing!"You smirk, you're going to miss this funny old man. But, knowing what you now know, still leaves you with questions concerning humanity and civilization. You understand it much clearer and deeper than you did before, and lots of things humans did that seemed strange or even insane to your eyes now have reasons and purpose, but there's still just as much that escapes your comprehension. What do you do now, Huanliuxue?>Spend one more night in the temple to thank Shoushan and the monks for the aid they've given you, and use ghost empress melody while they sleep to help with their morning chores.>Continue masquerading as a disposed remember of the gentry, and seek out hospitality amongst your own kind, the ruling class! >Find someplace secluded to meditate on what you've learned about human wisdom, maybe you've already learned enough?>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]>Test to see if you now understand how to "Feel human", by living amongst them without focusing on expanding your knowledge>Write in
>>5385119I shouldn’t be up at almost 4:30 AM. But I am.>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]All it costs us is time. Time that is a drop in the ocean when compared to how long our breakthrough sessions can take. I can see why apathy comes so easy do daoists…>For further enlightenment, we must do the unthinkable. Most of humanity is not considered “noble”, and thus our interactions as a noble are blinding us to how a human must interact with their equals. We must attempt to become a commoner.
>>5385119>>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]
>>5385119>Spend one more night in the temple to thank Shoushan and the monks for the aid they've given you, and use ghost empress melody while they sleep to help with their morning chores.>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]Gets Yuyi some more training too.
>>5385119>Spend one more night in the temple to thank Shoushan and the monks for the aid they've given you, and use ghost empress melody while they sleep to help with their morning chores.
>>5385119>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]We should keep our focus on blood (in this case: benevolently) and death.While healing people, we should spend some time to find information on funerary rites. Religious groups are surely well-informed on these topics. I wonder how something similar to Sokushinbutsu would interact with our techniques. Maybe it might also have a good interaction with our insight on the Carmine mysticism which we havent used yet.
>>5385119>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]>You have been nothing but good hosts, and taught much to me. I believe that there is much that Daoism and Buddhism can learn from each other. When I return to my home, I'll make sure that buddhists will be welcomed with open arms, treated as members of a sibling faith, instead of fools or rivals.What better way to be a heretic than straight up accepting another religion as equal?
>>5385119>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]It's also good opportunity to try to work with Yongzheng, too, since he's the sort-of the temple doctor. Anything we're able to teach him is more beneficial in the long term than just trying to help them ourselves.>>5385229You make a good point. I would be down to have Buddhists in with our group, if they're all this chill.
>>5385119>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]If there is nothing but what we make in this world, brothers... let us make good.
>>5385119>Test to see if you now understand how to "Feel human", by living amongst them without focusing on expanding your knowledgethis sounds fun
>>5385119>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]All these conversations with Buddhists and this particular good karma choice make me think of how powerful the Joy and Passion aspects of Blood Qi we're mostly neglecting would be, as not weapons or degenerating spells, but as helpful aids to general human and especially beast cultivators. Joy and Passion can rule minds and drive incredible potential in very broad directions, and they're fundamental to many or exist in compliment to most other things for souls. Even to Buddhists which try to separate themselves from their associated attachments, which may not entirely be wrong given what we know about the ancestry of blood carrying rage. We actually already have a spiritual hint to their goal, in fact.Theoretically, true separation from the cycle of reincarnation would require acknowledging many of the ancestral aspects of the living form (the stuff we saw through the epiphany lens of applied Blood Qi), and if every type of those basic attachments are separated from a living being, you've neutralized the connective spiritual aspects of their living form. So they would also not have anything binding them to the past, or any spiritual ties within them to pass onto the future, at least through blood. Being Monks, that kinda already plays a part. Though I can't think it'd really be what they aim for? They'd be a lone soul, disconnected from past and future, in a living body, with not many positives as to what that would do to their mind, or if a soul can still exist as part of the universe in a body that's been spiritually severed of its most inherent connections.If Joy/Passion share the same depths Rage has in Blood, as it should via ancestry and passage, then the "healing" we've been using our Blood Qi for is following somewhere along those specific aspects (well obviously joy and passion begetting healing and restoration/reproduction is rather simple in cultivated effect). Logically it's just a different path that we haven't seen into entirely, due to our intrinsic nature and the shades of experience that established the backing of our more violent combos that were gainable only with fundamentally Yin-leaning Qis.The Joy/Passion/Healing Potential/Strength Buffing are all solidly Yang-leaning, so to see their depths is a matter of experience in using those forms and knowing what they are to the Dao. Or achieved by gaining another yang-leaning Qi for exacting deeper combinations. However, pure yang can be gained through refining blood qi much like we refine ghosty qi for pure yin so we can just experiment with pure yang/blood qi combos at any point.
>>5385465But I think some training experiments after achieving human form would provide the best opportunity to see the other depths of Blood Qis inner aspects for the Yang-heavier parts.Mostly as a frame to it all, Joy and Passion for humans contain different qualities than those of beasts, and Huan's joys and passions appear to express deep Yang in emotion already almost despite our initial Qis so the human sides of those things ought to be useful as a comprehension aid.
>>5385119>Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do good [Good karma]
>>5385119>>5385137>>5385229Backing this write-in about welcoming Buddhists. We can tell the old man that he’ll find a home in our realm if he needs it.Though to ensure we have time to get that message back (who knows how long we’re traveling) we should direct him to the village where Fue lives. He can ask to be directed to the nearby Sect Leader from there. She’ll make the necessary arrangements for them to be welcomed in the area, so checking in with her is the simplest way to ensure everything is in order.Just, y’know. Be prepared to wait since she meditates and travels quite a bit. She’s even out traveling now, though she should arrive back around the same time we do.Coincidence is funny like that.
>>5385650>>5385229Yeah... also +1 this.
>>5385119>>Continue masquerading as a disposed remember of the gentry, and seek out hospitality amongst your own kind, the ruling class!
Here's my attempt at countingtotal13Pay back10Commoner1Nobility1Feel human1Ghost Empress Melody2Welcome buddhists3 or 4, depending if this post>>5385357Was a support or just an agreementEither way, it needs support from another 2 or 3 anons that already voted for it to pass the one less than half rule.Also I didn't even notice that the commoner vote here>>5385137was even a write-in, it's very well write-in and fits well with Grandfather's style. Good job anon.
>>5386525Very well written, not very well write-in.
>>5386525Sorry, I should have specified. >>5385357 was a support.
Definitely support welcoming the Buddhists
>>5386525Thanks! I do try to fit the feel.
>>5386540It's alright, I wanted to be conservative about it to not look like I was favoring my own write-in>>5386768Did you vote already as another ID or is this a new one?I only ask because if you are a new one, it turns the total votes into 14, so one less than half is 6, instead of 13 votes with 5,5.I also don't remember if Grandfather rounds it up or down.
I'm back, sorry for making you wait for a few days again, wasn't feeling well enough to write (a deadly combination of headaches and nausea), but I'm back to top condition now.>>5386525>>5387103And thank you very much for tallying up the vote and saving me the timeSo you'll Decide, to pay back the Buddhists and their unseen gods, to spend a little time as a doctor, treating patients who would otherwise have died and curing sickness. Choosing to do goodAnd I'll include the "welcome the buddhists" write, since I count it as a subvote of paying the buddhists back for their hospitality, cause that just makes sense to me.Which I believe puts Huanliuxue at a total of six good karma actions now? Update will arrive shortly.>>5385137And I do agree, that is very well written write in.
>>5389110Oh hey, that was one of the images that an anon suggested for Huan on qtg.
>>5389144My headcanon is that if Yuyi looked more like a cat, that would be perfect for her.
But, for some reason or another, you do not immediately depart from the hospitality and comfort offered by the buddhists and their humble little temple. Oh certainly, it'd be in character for a proud cat such as yourself to take her leave as suddenly and silently as morning mist swept away by the winds, or dried grass eaten up by a wild fire, but a certain whimsical urging keeps your feet planted firmly in pebbles overgrown with weeds, just beyond the shadow cast from the disused and nearly crumbling tower of rot and bug eaten wood that you and Yongzheng had taken to conversing beneath when the days were hot but the shade and breeze was cool. Shoushan shuffles closer to you, as his impudent disciple's face turns as red as your natural coat, though doesn't come anywhere close to matching the peerless beauty of your hide, of course, of course! You can't help but sneer and cackle like the witch who adopted you and named you her beloved second daughter, forcing Yuyi's mousey features to become as toad like as they can stretched into, with a grin some would describe as an unseemly, almost gross and a narrowing of the eyes that certainly made it look like you were plotting something mischievous or dangerous. You were trying to imitate the laughing face of your honored mother Monu, when she was still aged and frail. "Oh my, oh my, now that's a face a young girl like you shouldn't wear" Shoushan remarks, despite being blind, turning his milky eyes over to you as he approaches the embarrassed and very flustered Yongzheng, who is rightfully feeling guilty of his treatment of you, their respectful and gracious guest, thinking you were some kind of brutish, man eating monstrous or vile seductress."How can you see the expression I'm making?" You ask with earnest curiosity, eyes opening up immediately from the surprise of being asked such a question by a blind man. Could he see all along? You had thought he only had spiritual sight to rely on, having been robbed of his natural and worldly vision entirely by that murderer who killed one of your subjects before you had even been born."I know that kind of laugh can only be made by a toad like face, and even the peerlessly beautiful must twist their features to produce it" He says with a chuckle, as he gives a few playful, light whacks of his staff to the top of Yongzheng's head. The younger monk doesn't react with so much as a flinch or gasp of pain, instead he stands as diligently and solemly still as the stone statues of the temple's founders and deceased brothers. You smile flips over to become a concerned frown, as the exact choice of words Elder Shoushan have aroused your suspicion anew, as that accurately describes Monu. Even when she was aged and wrinkled and crippled, she was more beautiful than most humans to your loving eyes, and she is certainly toadlike in her manner and habits, and that's without taking into account her use and fascination of all things venomous or poisonous.Cont
Eyeing the old man warily for a moment, as he scolds Yongzheng for "giving into earthly desires and base urges", while the young man himself remains steadfast in his self reflection of shame and embarrassment. But that sense of caution and distrust proves to be brief, as the warmth of the gratitude you feel towards the monks of this temple, and these two in particular, overwhelms these feelings born of from survival instincts alone. You've had a wonderful time at this temple, and had been treated well and with respect, as you fairly and justly deserve. And, despite your pride and ego reminding you that its only natural for one as great and resplendent as yourself to be treated with reverence and generosity, you can't help but to feel indebted to these Buddhists and not just for how tenderly they've treated you and how warmly they've welcome you. They've taught you much about humans and their nature, that you would have otherwise never learned. Indeed, you get the feeling many humans don't even know what you now know about them! They're brought you wisdom worth far more than its price and jade, and it'd be impolite and selfish to simply leave without showing them your gratitude and giving them your thanks. It'd be unbecoming for a princess, queen or empress to be indebted to monks, and besides the whim that has kept you from simply walking away and continuing your journey further down the road, is that itching urge to do good!You might be called a demonic beast, and hold to the values and virtues of a wild animal firmly, but you also possess a benevolent heart, and know the excuses you make are meaningless before the simple truth of why you have, in a matter of moments, decided to remain at the temple for awhile longer, even though your stay here had served its purpose and you found what you were seeking. The reason is entirely moral. Because you WANT to be good and upstanding, and repay the charity and kindness of the Buddhist monks, as a proper and honest daoist should. Not to please your ancestors or to please yourself or improve your image to mock and humiliate those dogs of the Celestial orthodoxy, but because you can and should! Anything else is just you acting childishly, trying to fit your actions into a role you have long sense abandoned. Huanliuxue may be a Demonic beast, but she is no demon! And you may be a heretic, but you certainly are not a demonic cultivator! You are Huanliuxue, Sole Scion of the legacy and lineage of primordial beasts, Wild Princess and Heir to the ancient and wild rules of nature, founder of the Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law (统治者的这重大轮回法律, Tǒngzhìzhědīzhèzhòngdàlúnhuífǎlǜ) and first head of the the Palace of Natural Laws (宫殿的野生彝宪, Gōngdiàndīyěshēngyíxiàn). The laws you follow and live by are your own, and they tell you to do good, so good you will do! It is only natural, after all, for royalty to be as charitable and magnanimous as they are wise!Cont
>>5389213And Huanliuxue is wisest of all!"What are you smiling all smug for now?" Yongzheng asks, rubbing a sore spot on his head now that Shoushan had finished hitting him with his walking stick."Maybe she's pleased that this old man has tamed the randy beast inside his red faced disciple!" Shoushan says with one final tap, cackling at the harmless prank he had pulled on his innocent student"No, it isn't something as silly as that, Yongzheng is an ideal monk and wouldn't know what to do if he was forced into a woman's bed" You tease, tapping a finger on your red painted lips "No, Grandfather Shoushan, though you cannot see it, I am smiling because I am so very grateful and pleased with my treatment here""Is that so, is that so?" Shoushan says happily as Yongzheng stammers and tries to rebuke your claim of his inexperience as a man, knowing that it would be more painful for himself to claim otherwise but not wanting to bear the weight of your gentle, well meaning teasing.You hop closer, childishly clapping your hands together to show just how delighted you are with your treatment and the monk's hospitality."You have been nothing but good hosts, and taught much to me." You say, making Yongzheng bow his flustered face in shame, while Shoushan just nods to show he is listening"It has been our great honor to be able to host you and aid in your quest, whatever it might be, young lady. If one can do good, they should do good, no matter how small of a good it may be" He says simply, bowing his head "But we humble monks have little need for praise or compliments, we are content to know that we have not failed in our chosen duty, and have made at least one of the pilgrims seeking shelter in our temples walls feel welcome and safe admits the storm of mortal strife"You grin, circling around the old man, while Yongzheng tries not to make a face that screams "Why are you circling around him as if he were a wounded mouse", now that he has realized you aren't some slobbering, child devouring monster."I believe that there is much that Daoism and Buddhism can learn from each other" You state confidently, speaking in your most regal and authoritative voice, putting your hands on Yuyi's hips as she listens peacefully in the back of her own head "I don't think such wisdom has been spoken in many years" He answers, praising you with the softness of his tone "What will you do with this belief""I to, am curious" Yongzheng asks quietly, still rubbing his head"Hmmph" You huff, tapping a nail on your chin in thought before declaring without much of it "When I return to my home, I'll make sure that buddhists will be welcomed with open arms, treated as members of a sibling faith, instead of fools or rivals"Cont
>>5389214"How generous" Shoushan happily declares, nodding his head once before tapping his cane on the ground several "And sensible, I am sure many brothers of other sects of our faith would be as flabbergasted as Young Yongzheng was that a daoist such as yourself was not some wicked sorceress, isn't that right, boy"Yongzheng's cheeks redden, but then his eyes bulge and he scrutinizes your expression"You said when you return to your home?" He states, as if in shock "Does that mean you are not yet leaving the temple?""Of course not, I need to pay you back for how well, kindly and respectfully you treated me, despite my pestering and prodding" You state, shrugging your shoulders, closing your eyes as you swagger past Yongzheng"Do not forget, she is a trained doctor, brother Yongzheng, and giving the shifting of the seasons, we'll soon have our hands full with the ill and dying" Shoushan says happily "So, her presence will most certainly be a blessing, not only for the temple, but also the needy who come to it seeking relief and treatment""Well, I shall welcome her assistance with open arms. I admit, I had been wary of her, so this shall also give me a chance to make amends and treat her as warmly as my brothers have" Yongzheng says seriously as you giggle"Who said I was going to be YOUR assistant?" You cackle-[Meanwhile elsewhere, in a forest powdered with snow in the height of summer]"Rejungui, the air here is heavy, not only with this unnatural could but with malevolent and corrupted Qi" Qinxin whispered, wrapped in furs he and Ping had purchased from the last town they had stopped in "And, the village we had stopped by, a day ago, was eerily quiet and subdued. Its inhabitants felt more like clay dolls then people, with how they looked and stared at us without saying a word""You knew we were hunting a man made monster when you joined me in my travels, my martial brother" Ping said sternly "It is to be expected we would, as we approach the beast's territory, encounter such activity. Do not fear, those villagers were not possessed""I did not claim they were, and while it was obvious they are under the thumb of this cretin named the Organ-Thief (器官-窃贼, Qìguān-Qièzéi), that we seek out" The other man hissed "I also fear, that the Winter Blossoming Wisdom Sect, do not merely ignore the predations of this monstrosity, but encourage it""You are suggesting the local sages of permitting the growth of this demonic cultivator? For what purpose do you suppose they would commit such an affront to the command of the heavens and the universal Dao?" Ping asked quietly, masking his true reaction of amusement"They've already forsaken the rightful law of the world of cultivation, who knows how far they have descended into sin" Qinxin whispers "They are known to practice freezing magic, and are at their strongest in the snow. and a beast that devours cultivators would serve as a great guardian in times of war, such as these"
>>5389215"Hmm, perhaps, perhaps" Ping stated, acting warily "But we cannot be certain if that belief is true, even if the snowchildren have not made this beast their pet, then at the very least we should on guard now that we're in the edge of the lands they hold""And thus in the hunting ground of the Organ Thief" the other cultivators growled "An enemy warrior and a rogue cultivator with no allegiance, if we are found by the Winter blossoming wisdom sect, we shall both surely meet our death. Even though we are acting in accordance to our duty to protect the mortal realm from the threats they ignore and allow to rampage freely"Ping stopped, sniffing the air as a familiar fragrance passed by his nose, carried on freezing wind"Is something that matter, brother Rejungui?" He asked, shaking his shoulder"No, I just swore for a moment I had smelled opium smoke" Ping said in astonishment"Perhaps we should find shelter and make a fire? The cold must be playing tricks of your mind!" He laugh loudly, as Ping looked over his back, hoping to see the familiar beauty of Monu, the Toad witch, but only saw snow and swaying trees.-[Meanwhile, in the forge devil's furnace]Feiqing was hard at work, surrounded by the graves he had filled with the cultists who sought to prevent him from claiming his prize. His hands were burning, crackling with lighting and glowing red from heat. He had turned the skin up to his shoulders to steel with the iron dust he had massaged and worked into his flesh and the marrow of his bones, in preparation for this final trial before he could claim the material he needed to break his bottleneck and perhaps even ascend to the early foundation establishment stage.He swung his fists like hammers, bolts of lighting flowing from his clenched knuckles, as he used the spells of the lightning messenger technique (列缺 信差技术, Lièquēxìnchāijìshù) to supercharge the techniques of his primary cultivation method, the The Ancient Deity Furnace (古神熔炉, Gǔshénrónglú), combing the two metal laws to reach into the ore buried beneath the massive meteorite that had served as the idol of a band of devil worshipping cultists, to extract and refine it beneath the tons of stone between him and it. Each ringing strike he delivered, brought the miniscule pieces of ore together, slowly forming a core of refined metal as he used the inside of the meteorite itself as a furnace. Molten rock and useless slag rolled down his white hot arms, as he worked in diligent silence, a smirk on his ape like face as he imaged how much his teacher would praise him when he returned to the temple, having reached the foundation establishment stage in but a handful of years!Cont
>>5389217He did not rest, or pause for a break of any kind. He had worked for days, and for weeks, and would work for months longer without allowing himself a single night of reprieve, until he pulled from the remains of the fallen star, the ingot of cultivation material that would allow him to ascend higher into the realms of cultivation. He would not rest, until in his callused hands, he held a bar of Falling star iron!_[Meanwhile, in a certain Buddhist monastery, that has become much more popular of late] The spare and empty quarters of the temple had been filled to bursting, and construction had began on restoring its abandoned wings to deal with the constantly swelling number of pilgrims that had arrived, with their deathly ill relatives in tow to meet the "Miracle worker Yuyi" or "Saintess Yuyi" as she was being called now. When you were not diagnosing newly arrived patients with Yongzheng and Yuyi herself, you meditated on what you had already learned about human wisdom and nature, and what new insights you found and grasped every day. You stayed at the bedside of each of your patients, encouraging them and comforting them as you gave them the life saving medicine that had made Yuyi and the temple that housed the "Noble born Buddha girl", a title Yuyi had earned herself, as she sat beside patients that could not be treated or saved even with your knowledge of medicine and alchemy , and spoke to them as they passed, keeping them company in their final moments with tears in her eyes. And the local cats had realized inside the girl wandering the temple, hid their monarch, you suspected Shoushan had some how spoken to and informed your lesser kin of your identity, but you had no proof.And it lent an air of mystique around you, being followed and escorted by an ever growing clowder of shrine cats, as you, with a mere touch to a diseased person's temple, identified their sickness, and cured them in all kinds of ways, from acupuncture, realgar wine, traditional herbal remedies and for the most severe cases, a few spirit medicines you had covertly hidden on your person or made in the dead of the night with the assistance of Yongzheng.Who was strangely absent as you treated your latest patient, a little boy who suffered a paralysis of the lungs and fermenting of the liver, who need careful and continuous treatment to recover from what your recognize as the poison of a rare river berry Monu liked to use to paint her lips. He'd need to drink a boiling tea of aged ginseng roots mixed an extraction of the humming vines, and the tea had to reach his lungs, to force them to vibrate and free them from paralysis, while the ginseng would pass safely to his liver and repair the damages done there, so long as he didn't choke on the tea.Cont
>>5389219And with Yuyi's weak arms, it was hard to keep the boiling pot held up without spilling a drop of the Vibrating tea on the poor kid. But, you managed to accomplish it, and were met with a round of applause by both observing monks, visiting scholars, and local dignitaries that had heard of your work as a doctor. You smirked, but only smile as you saw the color slowly returning to the boys face as his weeping mother embraced him and with a hoarse voice, whispered her own thanks to you, which felt more valuable than any of the compliments given by the learned men and cunning doctors that had come to watch you work.And so, with a spring in your step, you moved to your next patient, suffering from cataracts, due to a constriction of his accupoints judging from his furrowed brow and shifty looking eyes. So, preparing a gold needle, you leveled it over his brow. And drove it in a centimeter deeper than necessary, drawing a drop of blood, as Yongzheng suddenly burst through the smothering crowd of sycophants gathering around you like all the cats and kittens of the temple. "Yongzheng!" You spit, as you try to pull the now stuck needle out of the man's forehead "Where have you been and why are you interrupting me now of all times! There are patients we need to treat, have you been out napping somewhere, eh?""No...Yuyi, an emissary of the emperor has requested to meet you" Yongzheng says, grabbing hold of your sleeve and dragging you forcefully away from your patient, who doesn't even know you've messed up but that doesn't matter! You know you messed up! So need to fix the mistake before anyone else does!"Hey let go!" You snap angrily"No, this is a problem, the Emperor is a troublesome, greedy man, whose brought much suffering to the world from his appetites and ill rule" Yongzheng growls "You need to leave, immediately, before they can take you back to that lecher's palace in the new capital""I...I haven't heard anything good about the current emperor, either, Lady Huanliuxue" Yuyi says, sounding frightened "He's the reason the whole celestial empire has been cast into turmoil and strife, as he has lost the heavenly mandate handed down to his line from the gods and I know you don't care much for what gods or other rulers have to say, but he's a very, very dangerous man! Especially around women"'Didn't Feiqing used to work for that scummy emperor?' You ask Yuyi as you stick your heels in the dirt as Yongzheng struggles to drag you out of the temple. Personally, you're completely unconcerned and unfrightened by this matter of an imperial envoy and the prospect of meeting a weak ruler who has failed his duty of protecting his people and being in anyway strong or dignified. Cont
>>5389220What do you decide to do, Huanliuxue?>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanity>Decide to be mischievous and mess with the envoy by demanding outrageous things to be given to you, and nigh impossible feats performed to "Convince" you to visit the Earthly Emperor, with no intention of actually going.>Listen to Yuyi and Yongzheng and leave quickly to continue on your journey, somewhere else besides the home of the head idiot of a failed dynasty.>There would be no better place for you to reject the heavens and attain a human form, so, tell the envoys you'll go, but then demand to stop the trip whenever you think there might be something to learn in a nearby city, landmark or random hut in the forest>write in
>>5389222>Listen to Yuyi and Yongzheng and leave quickly to continue on your journey, somewhere else besides the home of the head idiot of a failed dynasty.
>>5389217At least Ping knows Monu's story. Another matter if he can put two and two together. If she hides too well I'm not sure Qinxin will last.>>5389220>>5389222Well this presents an interesting opportunity.Also a bit surprised Huanliuxue thinks this. In a weird way, the Emperors actions are what created us. Our life wouldn't have happened if he was barely competent.The idea that in losing the heavenly mandate through lecherous and other actions, stupidity or mismanagement, he has stoked the return of old heresies and magical beasts via a massive loss in civilized stability. It all carries an odd poeticism. Problems that, according to what we know, are what primed the Ling to their actions. He didn't do it himself, but he caused it through weakness.If the stories can be trusted, we exist through this man's supreme failures. As almost the personification of what was lacking, in him. Which, makes logical sense? As in it universally paths out, like it's fate. The failure of the greatest "royalty" among men is what has birthed the truest royalty of beasts; the one whom tips that imbalance having been born from it. Whether that is out of or deeper into depravity is not yet known.We know he's going to have other Daoists near him, or at least sect envoys, it's not like the sects aren't watching or communicating with the Emperor in some fashion. It's pretty risky, but I think we can hope there won't be Golden Core ranks lying around since logically the sects are embroiled in their current standoffsI foresee a very real chance that being sought out and running away just means we're buying time until Yuyi is tracked down at a later date. In which case I'd prefer us having the wheel... and not having an imperial envoy visit so close to our sect later.>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanityI think we should Test this Emperor. Not just to understand humanity, but to see what the truth is outside of the stories. So long as they're alive we'll need to be dealing with them in some form, eventually, so using this chance to do so indirectly feels wise.>write-inGiven their warnings, I also think we should move our body closer while Yuyi "rests" on the trip, just in case she needs saving with claws instead of coyness.
>>5389222>>Listen to Yuyi and Yongzheng and leave quickly to continue on your journey, somewhere else besides the home of the head idiot of a failed dynasty.With how dolled up Yuyi is and her body language being completely different thanks to Huan being the one in charge, actually finding her once she goes back to her regular might as well be like trying to find a specific grain of rice in a bushel. This might as well be a wild fucking goose chase for the poor envoy if he persists in following the grapevine in our passing.
>>5389222>>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanityWe met with villagers, soldiers/bandits and monks. Only fair that we finish with nobility right?Besides if we leave the envoy might blame it on the monks. Don't want to cause them trouble.And I'm confident we can weasel our way out if we need to.
>>5389222>>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanity
>>5389222>Decide to be mischievous and mess with the envoy by demanding outrageous things to be given to you, and nigh impossible feats performed to "Convince" you to visit the Earthly Emperor, with no intention of actually going.Let's star with a jeweled branch from Penglai and go on from there.
>>5389222>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanityThis is a terrible idea that will, at best, lead to us running like a thief in the night pursued by who knows what or at worst end with us proclaiming our sect against the Emperor and the Heavens themselves in the middle of the Imperial Courtbut I'm still voting for it, because it's thematic as fuck, and because it might end up being really, really funny.
>>5389222>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanityThe only thing we are missing to see all types of humanity is nobility and merchants, and this is an opportunity to meet one of them.
>>5389222>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanity
>>5389222>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanityI think running away would place the Buddhists in danger as the Emperor would assume they helped us escape. Yuyi… should be fine. Hopefully he keeps his hands to himself, at least until we get to the capital and can work on an escape route for Yuyi.Still, the Emperor can wait. We screwed up on the acupuncture and that can’t stand.
>>5389222>Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanityA strong foil relationship is good.
Has yet another calamity befallen our dear grandfather?
>>5392224Yeah, right after writing that last update, I started feeling sick again (same symptoms), and got progressively worse over the night, and began to burn up. Turns out, I contracted Covid. I believe I've weathered the worst of that storm by spending most of it asleep, but I still feel terrible. I'll try to get to writing the next update soonThe curse really didn't pull any punches.
>>5392245I wish you a quick recovery.
>>5392245Ivermectin(horse paste), Zinc, and Vitamin C will treat it.
>>5392245I hope you get better soon Grandfather, covid is horrible.
>>5392270This is not a time for sarcasm.
>>5392245Get well soon.
>>5392245The fourth stage... the fourth stage!But in all seriousness, please take care of yourself.
>>5392311Covid is such a mixed fucking bag, man. My mother was basically bedridden. My father though seemed to just be more tired than usual. I just had muscle fatigue and a headache. I've had a flu that gave me more grief. Shit is inconsistent as all get out.
>>5393283Yes, I just got diarrhea and vomit, for my mother it was like a super flu, my father ended hospitalized for half a month and one of my uncles died, it's like roling dice for your health.I hope we don't end up scaring Grandfather.
Did you think your grandfather would die so easily? I might not be Covid free yet, but I certainly feel recovered and back to my ordinary self. It was a terrible tribulation, but one I have completely conquered!Apologies for the interruption, but I'm back. I'll have the update out later today or tomorrow, most likely tomorrow.But the quest, and thus Huanliuxue's story, will continue very soon! Despite the curses best efforts to end it AND ME.
>>5397971You shall be know as the first cultivator of the path of the QM to defeat the the curse.Also I find it kind of funny how I partially based that symbol on the Dharmachakra and we ended up becoming friends with a buddhist that thinks the dharma and dao might be the same thing. It's like accidental foreshadowing.
>>5397971An auspicious blessing that exceeds the furthest reaches of the heavens. Keep kicking Covid's ass and reign supreme beyond all curses Granfather.And thanks for not dyin.
>>5397971Grandpa is undefeated under heavens.
Ending the vote, after far too long, and finally tallying the resultListen to Yuyi and Yongzheng and leave quickly to continue on your journey, somewhere else besides the home of the head idiot of a failed dynasty.:2Meet with the envoy, viewing a trip to the imperial court as a chance to further you knowledge and understanding of civilization and humanity:8- we should move our body closer while Yuyi "rests" on the trip, just in case she needs saving with claws instead of coyness.:1Decide to be mischievous and mess with the envoy by demanding outrageous things to be given to you, and nigh impossible feats performed to "Convince" you to visit the Earthly Emperor, with no intention of actually going.:1So You will meet with the envoy, seeing this as a chance to increase your knowledge and perhaps achieve further insights of human wisdom and Civilized mindUpdate will arrive shortly>>5398010Funny how things play out, eh?>>5398217I am glad I didn't perish, as well!>>5398355Except against Master carpeted stairs...tripped on the same fucking stairs earlier today. Landed much better this time though.>>5389364Heh
>>5389364Just wanted to say that I didn't get this referenced to The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter until now.I'm slow.
This update is a big one
Well you are unconcerned with the emperor, his envoy, and his offer for an audience, until like a leaf on the breeze, a stray thought crosses your mind.'Wouldn't this be a wonderful chance to learn how the nobility of humans act' You think, which immediatly makes Yuyi groan in despair, sounding close to wheeping as you stubbornly dig your heels into the ground, tapping a painted nail on your powdered chin as a spark of intrigue lights your eyes as you sense the miraculous oppurtunity that has just landed in your lap like a meatbun falling from the sky! Of course, you are well versed in the proper etiquette and ways of wild nobility, but you've never met let alone spoken with a real human noble. You've killed your fair share, either when you were hunting the Ling and their Dogs, or during your game with Young yet oh so wise and worldly Siwang, but you've never had deep discussions or ponderous and dull conversations with a single one of them. And now the highest and most powerful amongst them, formerly at least, has sought You and Yuyi out! It is as if the heavens have for once aligned in your favor."That smile can only mean trouble" Yongzheng barks, grabbing your arm with both hands as you weigh your options, you could run away, surely, but that would be cowardly and shameful. Or you could meet with this failed emperor, this fool on the throne, and learn from his mistakes or see if, beneath the guise of a wastrel, there lurks some worthwhile wisdom for you to snatch and make your own. Worst comes to worst, you can always just kill the man. You doubt even the heavens that once gave his family their blessing to rule would care too much if he ended up in a pool of his own blood, if even half of the stories told about him are true.And YES! You are certain Feiqing worked for this worthless emperor! You remember him telling the story of how he ended up in the wilderness, and met Ping and Lei, a sorrowful tale of his learning for companionship and camaraderie, that ended with him running for his life as he got caught up in the first of many assassination attempts against the probably last emperor of the current dynasty. "Wait, Friendly Feiqing tried to kill someone?" Yuyi gasps as she hears your wandering thoughts, loud enough for Yongzheng to hear"That doesn't sound like a relationship we'd want overheard by the imperial envoy, that one of the red cat's students tried to end the life of his master" Yongzheng hisses "Don't you think? You are wise, close to attaining Buddha nature, I'd think, so please, Demon, listen to reason, if only for your loyal friend, Yuyi's sake""Oh I don't think he was a part of it, it took that man a bit of time to forge himself a backbone as strong as the steel he works with, The Feiqing of then would've never done half the courageous things I know Feiqing to have done" You say calmly, twisting and pulling Yuyi's arms free from Yongzheng's grip, leaving several painful bruises behind. Cont
>>5399380You rub the pained parts of your arm and pout, to try and make the brute of a monk feel guilty and ashamed. And the moment you see his face shift from looking domineering and angry to pitying, you grin widely and put your hands on your hips, and turn to march back into the hospital in the temple, and retrieve that needle you left in that poor fellow's scalp before the envoy can see your mistake in all its immensity, and spread word of your foolish misstep to people's who opinion and view of you actually matter. "Besides, if you fear for Yuyi's safety, that means you doubt my ability as a teacher and my benevolence as a beast. I would not dare to let even a hair on her head come to harm while her body is under my care and in my possession" You boast pridefully, sticking out your chest as you stride onwards, ignoring Yongzheng's tugging on your sleeve as you proudly march to find this Envoy and hear his request personally "I do not doubt you would not intentionally bring your host and friend to harm, Red Cat, but I do not want one as innocent and pure hearted to be caught up in your dangerous ambitions. Surely, your true self could escape the false emperor's palace unscathed, and leave what few warriors remain loyal to him as naught but corpses" Yongzheng says, trying to convince you with scolding, which he should know would never work considering how much time the two of you have spent together now "But could Yuyi, Faint from the presence of your powerful soul, flee to safety with you, even upon your back""I would never be so arrogant as to believe myself worthy to sit upon your noble back, Lady Huanliuxue, but I also do not want to visit the home of that legendary lecher if I can avoid it" Yuyi squeaks as you continue your march. With a roll of your eyes you sigh, and place your hands once more on your hips as you pout in a most imperious manner."Of course she'd be safe" You snarl, glaring at Yongzheng and taking a few threatening stomping steps towards him "I'm the great Hua...Demonic Cat, I would never let her come to harm, even if a thousand spears and bows were raised against her! Such a pitiful thing as an imperial army means nothing when brought against the Great me! Besides"You twirl around on your hear and giggle, as you unfurl a fan and flutter it over your face as you narrow your eyes shiftily."It is unlikely this audience will end violently, it presents little danger, to either myself or the body I inhabit at the moment" You purr, snapping the fan shut and jabbing it against the now red faced and scowling Yongzheng's chest Cont
>>5399383"However, it is an opportunity for me to deepen my knowledge of humanity, and I know, you'll grumble there's nothing there for me to learn, but I am a lady of noble birth, and it is wise to learn from the failures of my...well not peers, cause I am far grander and regal than any emperor born of men, but seeing how badly one can rule and the day to day life and running of a palace, will surely bring me many leagues closer to my goal!" You exclaim excitedly, with a joyful bounce to your step and sparkles in your eyes.Yongzheng makes a struggled, chocking noise, as you leave him on the path he was trying to lead you down. But, before you could reach the temple proper once again, and find where the monk's had lead to the envoy to distract him and give you a chance to escape, as if you were frightened of some, assuredly piggish or rat like man who just oozed with suspicion and schemes.And then, suddenly, he was at your side again, and his hand was wrapped tightly around yours. He had a determined glower on his face, with veins pushing through the skin of his forehead and a powerful look of resolve flaring in his now fiery eyes. You blinked, your beaming grin slowly twisting into a frown as he, to your surprise, pulled your forward towards the temple."Fine, if you're going to be stubborn, and refuse to listen to good council when its given, then I, in good conscious, cannot allow you to enter that pit of vipers alone, even if you can defend yourself. It would be as much of a sin as killing Yuyi myself, if I did not protect her now, I hope you understand, Lady Cat" He says boldly, as he, equally as boldly, holds tight to your hand and drags you forward. Which for some reason makes Yuyi, but not your heart, flutter in delight. You are more annoyed than entranced, and can't help but ponder what qualities Yuyi looks for in a partner if this makes her swoon and fluster. You'd have to investigate that man she's taken as her mate, to be sure he isn't some kind of a thug, for her own good of course."My my" You say teasingly, opening up your fan again to rapidly wave it in front of your face as you shoot a mirthful and mocking smirk Yongzheng's way "How Chivalrous of you, my assistant, were you not raised a monk, I am sure you'd have found your home amongst the great heroes of this era, tearing each other limb from limb over their master's ambition or to satiate their own lust for blood. Alas, such a brave and noble heart, was planted in the chest of a monk, quite the mismatch I'd say""Monks can be braver than any swordsman or general" Yongzheng says cooling, nearly making Yuyi, and thus her body, fall over from the shaking of her legs, as you begin to deeply question exactly what she finds attractive in this shaved head baldy, you thought you had that part of human nature already figured out. Cont
>>5399385You sigh through your nose and role your eyes, before you remember how brave Ping had been, when he confronted you beneath the storm, and despite your annoyance, you find yourself agreeing with Bold Yongzheng"I know that much to be true, which is why I am certain, besides my own abilities, that Yuyi and I shall come under no danger, with you at our side" You say, as Yongzheng suddenly snaps his head away from you, looking away from your gentle smile and praising eyes for no apparent reason. You frown, now even more confused as Yuyi giggles, but refuse to answer your question about the monks strange behavior! Humans can be so strange, even though you understand them far more than you ever did before.Sighing so hard as to groan, you and Yongzheng walk together in silence, as you pester Yuyi for why she is reacting to Dull Yonzheng in such a maiden like fashion. Which she remains stubbornly silent about, even when you ask why she's so enamored by him, when she already has a mate who, as far as you know, she was pleased, content and happy to be with. Usually humans are more loyal than that. But, you don't get an answer, just coy deflections and girlish tittering.So, when you are lead to only dining room of the monastery, shared by all the many monks and visitors to the temple, you are in bitterly sour and upset mood, determined to be cross with both Yuyi for not answering you and Yongzheng for...well being annoying.Which, leaves you completely undefended for when you see the envoy, as bitterly upset and pointedly irritated as yourself, dressed in fine silks and looking nothing like you had expected him to. He has a handsome face, though you only know that, because he is what Monu would call a pretty boy, though you would know he was handsome, even if your mother hadn't, one night after you had finished with your daily training, explained her taste in both men and women, not long after she had been returned to her former vitality and beauty, both of which had to your despair also brought back her old hungers and vices. Even if you hadn't spent most of the summer learning about humans, studying them and thinking like them, you could see he was more well shaped than most of the rabble you've seen, both in body and face. But, now that you have spent so long acting as human girl, you understood the beauty of his looks and saw more reasons why he was beautiful.His features were sharp, particularly his eyes, which were slanted and almost endearingly cat like and predatory. He had pale, flawless skin, which was not only highly prized by humans of both sexes but ALSO reminded you of the whitening corpses undergo as the last of life's essence bleeds and drifts out of them, which made you feel immediately comfortable in his presence, since he reminded you of death, which always set you at ease in whatever form you found it in, in a way even Monu called "Macabre". Cont
>>5399386Then, unlike the monks who cut their hair, the villagers who didn't do much with their hair, was well groomed, slicked back and tied into a dignified bun, held in place with a golden, lotus shaped pin, in a manner similar to how Daoist styled their hair, though none of your students wore their hair in such a manner. And he was clearly more muscular than an envoy had any right to be, they were supposed to be crooked back, short and conniving creatures, but he looked like, well, he actually trained and cared for his body."Ah" He said, his tone bored by pleasant as he spotted you entering the hall "At last, the one I have traveled so far to meet. I had thought these monks intended to kill me with dull conversation, so I am pleased at least one of them had the sense of mind to not grovel before me and actually bring to me the woman I've come looking for, to please my master and satisfy both his desire and curiosity"Yuyi shuddered and a chill traveled down your shared spine, as you gracefully approached the opposite end of the table that he sat at, and knelt down, gathering your hands in your lap as you composed yourself with utmost dignity and pride. The Envoy looked you up and down, studying you."The world is not fair, to bless one with both beauty and brains" He said, with a teasing smile as he, humbly offered you a cup of tea, despite him, as far as he know, being of far higher rank than the humble little country mouse, Yuyi "At least if rumors of your miraculous abilities as doctor and medicine woman are free, leave us, monks, this is now a private conversation, between the humble Me, Mao Wēixiào (猫 微笑 , Cat Smile) and the sagacious doctor, Yuyi"There was long, awkward silence as Weixiao and you elegantly sipped your tea, and you had to forcefully calm yourself as you experienced the sensation of sweetness for the first time in either of your lives, being perhaps the first cat to taste a thin. Meanwhile, Several of the monks stood around pitifully, they being the few amongst the brothers of the temple who had been earnestly and fiercly groveling and brown nosing the envoy before your arrival. Shoushan had left first, picking his ear and whistling. Slowly, the rest of the monks left the room, shuffling with their eyes fixed firmly to their own feet as you marveled at the odd sweet flavor and sensation of the tea, curiously indulging and basking in the flavor wholly alien to your tongue. Soon, only Yongzheng remained, firmly and stubbornly affixed to your side, his faced now covered by that cloth veil he had taken to wearing . Weixiao looked firmly at him, asking him silently why he hadn't left yet.The cats of the temple were already gathering in the hall, leaping and clambering onto the table in search of scraps of abandoned meal and the attention of their present monarch.Cont
>>5399387"I am the great Yuyi's humble assistant, Yongzheng. If the emperor needs her expertise, then he shall receive mine as well, for I have sworn to serve beneath Wise Yuyi and learn from her as much as I can, so I may take that knowledge and use it to bring good to the world, and comfort to the lives of the people" Yongzheng answered politely, clapping his hands together and bowing his head deeply. Weixiao rolled his eyes and lifted his cup"Then I shall not order you away from her side, if you are her student. It is not my place to dismiss you, I see now" He answered simply "But, I will request your silence on this matter, for it was intended for Lady Yuyi's ears as well, as the remarkable and renowned Jade Doctor alone was intended to hear this message, that if spread, could sow both discontent and panic amongst those same people you care so deeply about""That isn't how my name is read" Yuyi mutters sadly in your head, while you smile, knowing exactly why so many think she's called Jade Doctor, rather than the abominable name given to her by her parent, Fish ScreenYongzheng nodded, as you frowned, trying to pour out the last drop of tea onto your tongue, finding that you quite liked sweet things now that you had a taste of them. Weixiao looked at you oddly, as if you had suddenly turned green, but said nothing, and retained his air of dignity and quite respect"if, Lady Yuyi, would hear the command of the ever beneficent and honorable son of the nine heavens" He stated slowly as you tapped the back of the cup, refusing to allow even a single drop of the tea inside to go unfavored "and his demand that you travel to the new capital of our heaven's blessed empire, and have audience with him, as he so generously offers you, an offer that includes all of the comforts and hospitality offered by his ancestral home, with the extension of privileges and rights far beyond your station and place in society as a traveling healer, I shall explain to you, the need of which the emperor has of you. If you refuse to hear out his most benevolent order and ignore the authority granted to him by the mandated handed to his forefather's by the gods then..."His eyes shifted, drawing over the room"Well, I shall say it plainly, as I can tell by your eyes, you are a perceptive and cunning woman and would see through any deception I attempted" Weixiao said politely "There are soldiers outside the temple walls, and should you refuse, or resist my lord's order, they have been commanded to retrieve you by any means necessary"Yongzheng eyes become cold and hard as stone, but he kept his composure, and only showed his fury by a swift rising of his chest as he breathed into calm himself"I suspected as such" You sigh, as you set down the tea cup, which Weixiao immediately refills "But I have heard your master's command, as well as his demand. So, there is no need for such, brazen action, against kindly and harmless monks"Cont
>>5399388"It is not my will to do harm to them" Weixiao says sadly yet relieved, seemingly genuinely so as he offers you the cup once again, head bowed and eyes averted from your own "But, the emperor is crafty as he is benevolent, and he knew, in all his divine wisdom, that your refusal was an option he could not tolerate. But, he is wise as he is decisive, and listened to my humble suggestion that we first offer you the chance to come willingly and without...needless complications"You nodded, wincing as you found this cup of tea to be far hotter and thus more unpleasant than the first one you had"Ah, you have a cat's tongue, my apology, but Oolong must be brewed hot to feel release its flavor" The envov gasp, bowing his head in a show of asking forgiveness as you eyed him warilyYou frown and set the tea cup down, resisting the urge to cool your burn tongue by sticking it out"So, what purpose does the emperor have for me, if he would act so rashly and risk the displeasure of the buddhist gods and saints?" You ask curiously, resting your chin on the back of one hand as you use the other to swirl your steaming cup of tea, leaning forward and smirking playfully as Weixiao sighs and bows his head"He is dying" He saysAnd you drop your tea. Not from any sense of surprise, but because Yongzheng grunted loudly and Yuyi shrieked from the shock of the revelation"A..are you sure you could reveal something as dangerous as that openly?" You stammer, shifting uncomfortably now that hot tea has spilt over your legs, and certainly not because the revelation had caught you by surprise and shocked you, certainly not"I understand that you have a drive, or perhaps urge, to save others, no matter how terrible of an illness or injury has befallen them. Perhaps, that is the purpose and duty given to you by birth, when you were born into this world" Weixiao says, his voice wavering between stoic confidence and sorrowful desperation "My lord is dying, I suspect he has been poisoned, but none of the imperial doctors or alchemists have yet detected it within him, and if they had, they could not identify it or its source, I am certain. He is not ill, of that I am convinced. You, who were given the name Yuyi (玉医, Jade Doctor) by your parents, clearly possess skills beyond mundane healers and physicians. I am aware of...the higher realms, where immortal sages and Alchemists dwell. I do not know if you are a part of it, but I beg of you"He fell to the ground, kowtowing and smacking his head to the ground nine times as tears wetted his handsome face"We have been abandoned by our allies in the daoist sects, or pleas have been ignored by both sage and god. I beg of you, Yuyi, find it in your heart to extend your kind mercy to the son of heaven, when all others have turned their back to him and betrayed him" He cried, nearly sobbing openly now Cont
>>5399391"Please, I do not care if you are a mundane doctor, blessed with rare wisdom and insight, or a secret immortal traveling the lands, or even a goddess in mortal guise. I care not even if you are a devil of hell! I beg of you all the same, no matter what you are, to come with me, and heal my lord!" he then proceeded to wail, as he shuffled to your side and cried into your sleeve pathetically. You...were not expecting a man as stately and regal as Weixiao to act in such a manner. Double Vote How do you answer the emperor's request and Weixiao plea?>By accepting it, and traveling to the palace treat the emperor as well as using your time there to uncover more insights and experience more of human life>Plainly ask Weixiao to, without bias, explain to you what kind of man the emperor his, to convince you if you should save his life or not>Refuse with a cruel laugh, and explain sadistically that you despise the heavens and all their work. Even if the emperor has lost their favor, he is still their thing! Their puppet, and you will happily dance on his grave>Give a non committal answer, and say you'll travel to the emperor's palace, but not that you'll save the emperor.>write inAnd do you make an preparations for your further travels, whether you go to the palace or not, Huanliuxue?>Yes, this encounter has shown you you need more protection than ghost empress melody. Swiftly bring your body closer to Yuyi, out of the safety of your temple, so you can use it to defend against future dangers, without risking Yuyi's life>Only by gathering medicines and goods you can use in your travel or trade along the way>Pause your travels, and find some place to meditate to reflect on all you have already learned, and how it has changed you already>No! you're the great Huanliuxue! You don't need any preparation cause you can overcome any obstacle in the road ahead!>Write in
>Mao WēixiàoA pretty boy noble with a well trained body working as an envoy? A cats smile is worn best before a pounce, as we well know.If the rumors are true, the quality of the people that haven't betrayed the Emperor is deeply questionable.I don't trust even half a word of what he says, or how he acts. Even besides the obvious Red flags.>>5399393>By accepting it, and traveling to the palace treat the emperor as well as using your time there to uncover more insights and experience more of human life>Yes, this encounter has shown you you need more protection than ghost empress melody. Swiftly bring your body closer to Yuyi, out of the safety of your temple, so you can use it to defend against future dangers, without risking Yuyi's lifeI think accepting is the best way to pretend his lies are working. Aside from the troop escort he has at his disposal, a truly good doctor shouldn't refuse or question a genuine-seeming plea for help. Exaggerated or not. Refusing or not giving a real answer means he'll press harder, with argument first and eventually force.I mean, really, prefacing the plea with "you are a perceptive and cunning woman and would see through any deception I attempted.", When any truth he's said after can be the deception itself, by simple omissions and secondary qualifiers.
>>5399393>By accepting it, and traveling to the palace treat the emperor as well as using your time there to uncover more insights and experience more of human life>Send a message back home via a monk to have one of our human disciples keep close in case Yuyi needs an extractionAnd>Only by gathering medicines and goods you can use in your travel or trade along the way
>>5399423If anything I think he's treating this as a game. He probably knows a lot more than he's letting on. And letting little comments and melodrama slip intentionally. Cat Smile, man this guy is more like a Snake Grimace.Or maybe we're just very paranoid, eh?>>5399393>By accepting it, and traveling to the palace treat the emperor as well as using your time there to uncover more insights and experience more of human life>Only by gathering medicines and goods you can use in your travel or trade along the wayPart of me thinks this is a bit of a trap. Not for Yuyi but for us. And it's making me leery of having our body out and about undefended.
>>5399393>Give a non committal answer, and say you'll travel to the emperor's palace, but not that you'll save the emperor.Yes, this encounter has shown you you need more protection than ghost empress melody. Swiftly bring your body closer to Yuyi, out of the safety of your temple, so you can use it to defend against future dangers, without risking Yuyi's life
>>5399489If it's a trap for us, won't Yuyi still be in danger without us nearby for aid?
>>5399393>By accepting it, and traveling to the palace treat the emperor as well as using your time there to uncover more insights and experience more of human life>Yes, this encounter has shown you you need more protection than ghost empress melody. Swiftly bring your body closer to Yuyi, out of the safety of your temple, so you can use it to defend against future dangers, without risking Yuyi's life
>>5399393>Give a non committal answer, and say you'll travel to the emperor's palace, but not that you'll save the emperor.>Yes, this encounter has shown you you need more protection than ghost empress melody. Swiftly bring your body closer to Yuyi, out of the safety of your temple, so you can use it to defend against future dangers, without risking Yuyi's life
>>5399531Not if they think she really is just a quirked up peasant girl who can break it down medical style, no. If they're looking for the cat they wouldn't bother with a chick. Especially since she can still pull the "possessed" card and get out pretty much scot free. Probably.
>>5399393>By accepting it, and traveling to the palace treat the emperor as well as using your time there to uncover more insights and experience more of human life>Yes, this encounter has shown you you need more protection than ghost empress melody. Swiftly bring your body closer to Yuyi, out of the safety of your temple, so you can use it to defend against future dangers, without risking Yuyi's lifeYuyi is going to be know as the miracle doctor that saved the emperor's life.Fu is going to have to manage a lot of travellers into our little town.
I'd feel a lot better if we could get our assassin disciple to follow us closely. We're trotting into the lions den, tail high.
>>5399806I can support asking Qiang to guard our body.Maybe Huli and Siwang too, wolves have good senses and owls are quiet.
>>5399840Huili would definitely fuck that all up because he's a goober and he brings his wolves with him everywhere he goes.
>>5399853That's true.And Siwang might start judging all the nobles that still are on the emperor's side.So let's have only Qiang take watch. She should be powerful and sneaky enough to get the job done.
>>5399857Actually, isn't Lanfen a noble, and Lui her servant? Maybe they could accompany Qiang and our body to give her an excuse to be in the imperial city.Although if she ran away from her family, it might attract attention.
>>5399806>>5399840Sounds smart to me. +1 to +1'ing Qiang.
>>5399393>Plainly ask Weixiao to, without bias, explain to you what kind of man the emperor his, to convince you if you should save his life or not>Yes, this encounter has shown you you need more protection than ghost empress melody. Swiftly bring your body closer to Yuyi, out of the safety of your temple, so you can use it to defend against future dangers, without risking Yuyi's lifeour girl can sleep in peace knowing we have her back
>>5399840Yeah that too
Sorry for disappearing for nearly a week. Been very busy, and haven't had even an hour free the last few days. Update will come in the morning/ sometime tomorrow. Sorry for making g you all wait for more Huanliuxue
Ending the vote and tallying, sorry for taking all day to do so, had a few more errands/ chores/bullshit that needed doing still.By accepting it, and traveling to the palace treat the emperor as well as using your time there to uncover more insights and experience more of human life:7Give a non committal answer, and say you'll travel to the emperor's palace, but not that you'll save the emperor.:2Plainly ask Weixiao to, without bias, explain to you what kind of man the emperor his, to convince you if you should save his life or not:1_Send a message back home via a monk to have one of our human disciples keep close in case Yuyi needs an extraction:4-have Qiang shadow you:4Yes, this encounter has shown you you need more protection than ghost empress melody. Swiftly bring your body closer to Yuyi, out of the safety of your temple, so you can use it to defend against future dangers, without risking Yuyi's life:8Only by gathering medicines and goods you can use in your travel or trade along the way:2So you will accept the emperor's "order" and travel to his palace to both treat him and use the time you spent there ti experience more of human life and achieve further insights of itAnd understanding Yuyi's life may be at risk by this action, swiftly bring your body closer to her, taking it from the safety of her temple, so you may be able to access it more readily to defend her and deal with any yet unseen threats...Update will arrive shortlyAlso, going to say it now, Fu and Qiang will take it upon themselves to act as guardians for your "empty" body while your traveling to and visiting the capital, since they're good children.
>>5404622Based Fu and Qiang
>>5404622>yet unseen threats...Ellipses! Heavens grant mercy upon Fu and Qiang's enemies, for they will not.
Which immediately arouses your suspicions and awakens your sense of caution, stocking the flames of your paranoia as you now review and reconsider every subtle gesture, choice of words and tone used by Mao Wēixiào throughout the conversation, without being distracted as you were by his pleasing corpse like pallor, his handsome feline features and his relaxing regal bearing and air of stately importance. Is he trying to trick you? Has he hidden the weeds of deception amongst his flowery platitudes and compliments of your shrewdness, cunning and beauty? Does he think winning your favor and thus your expertise is a game. Is he playing with you, or trying to lead you to disaster? He clearly is more of a snake than a cat, despite his eyes and looks. The Emperor, even if he is as much of a hedonistic fool as stories make him out to be, would not be so simple minded as to trust his own survival with a man who'd shed tears while he begs or risk letting his salvation fall through his fingers by gambling it on a doctor's mercy or fear. Even if he tried to convince you with pleading and begging, he still let the soldiers who escorted him here surround the palace and prepare to take you by force if you were not moved by his tearful request to save his master. Which in of itself is suspicious, as one must question the quality of the characters who would still surround an emperor as vile and worthless as the current one, if only a quarter of the rumors and curses spoken about him have any truth to them. Even if he truly does care for his lord and master to debase himself before a stranger of no class, without noble blood or holding a station of respect and honor, for him to cry over such a beast reflects his true face. That of a viper rather than a cat. Of course, he could be entirely genuine, and not trying to manipulate poor Yuyi at all, but the ways he's acted and spoke have made you suspicious, though your paranoia might be greater because this is a servant of the son of the heavens, even if that family has fallen from grace and out of the graces of the celestial bureaucracy.And Monu did teach you not to trust someone just because they had a pretty face. Which you thought was strange, sense you can usually sense if someone isn't to be trusted or has some hidden flaw by the scent and presence they give off. And while Yuyi's nose is a lot duller than your own, now that your studying the smell and air that Wēixiào gives off, beneath the perfumes and the clinging aroma of the road and temple, you can perceive a faint trace of a bitter, sour fragrance. A rare, though mundane poison. Far beneath the toxins your mother has taught you to make, but supremely deadly and costly in the mortal realm.He's more than an envoy, even if he isn't trying to deceive you or harm you, his master, from all the stories spread around his name, certainly will be dangerous to meet.At least for Yuyi.Cont
>>5404768'However' You think to yourself, as you idly sip and lick at the now cooled tea 'that doesn't mean it wouldn't be worthwhile for me to meet him and be a guest in his palace, I haven't yet learned about human nobility and the intrigues of a crumbling court may prove to be as educating as they will entertaining''"I beg you to reconsider" Yuyi whines as if through her teeth, as Weixiao continues to wail and wet your robes with his tears, which are flowing too much to be entirely faked 'It'll be fine, Yuyi. I'll bring my real body from out beneath the mountain and transport it to the capital and alongside the convoy traveling their, so I can use it to protect you from any dangers lurking like snakes in the grass' You explain calmly as you frown and make a show of being in deep thought and contemplation 'Besides, you've built up a reputation as a miracle working doctor. No true physician, at least those with a good heart and upstanding character, would ever refuse or question such a heartful plea for help, as exaggerated as it may be'"But he's asking us to save that scummy, womanizing emperor, who dragged the whole kingdom into war with his sinful and careless ways" Yuyi complains to try and convince you to change your mind 'And a proper doctor would save even a king of hell if they appeared before them wounded and bleeding' You answer cheerfully 'besides, if we do save his life, your reputation will only grow. Even if people hate him with all their heart's might, a doctor who would put aside their bias to save another's life, will only be praised for it, even if the one they've saved is a piece of shit! Think of all the business you'll pull in, for pulling off another miracle, but one that can be seen from all corners of the world and the nine heavens'Yuyi pauses before she answers, and you can hear her mumbling to herself as she weighs the risks of traveling into the den of the trash emperor and being known as the woman who saved his life, against the reward of boosting her reputation tenfold and gaining more face than any other doctor has for at least a few generations. And judging from the pain and frustration in your voice, you've convinced her over to your line of thinking"Okay, I'll trust myself to you once again, Lady Huanliuxue, you're after all, far wiser and smarter than I'll ever be. Just keep your body nearby, so I'll feel safe while in the palace of that demon, okay?" Yuyi at last says with a deep and exhausted sigh'Eh, I've killed a demon king before, and though he wasn't the strongest of his kind by a far margin, I'm sure he was stronger than some fattened rat dressed in silks' You think with a giggle, hoping to reassure Yuyi further as you lift your eyes from your tea cup and give a gentle, dignified sigh as you gingerly remove the weeping envoy from your sleeve Cont
>>5404769"How could I refuse such an earnest request and heartful plea?" You say with a sedated airiness to your words and tone, trying to appear as regal as you can be "Though many men may despise your master, and many may abhor him and curse him with their every breath, who am I to choose who to grant treatment to and who to save from the...uh, cold embrace of death"You almost said comforting, before you remembered most people don't find death and reminders of it as heartening and calming as you doMao Wēixiào starts kowtowing again immediately, shouting your praises and thanking you with a hoarse and ragged voice, even going so far as to pray to the heavens to bless you with a long life, many children, and endless fortunes. Which makes you rather uncomfortable, though it does also please your pride."There's no need for such wild praising, I am merely performing my duty as a doctor. And I'd be a rather terrible hypocrite if I'd allow one man to die, when I'd save another if they found themselves in the same circumstances" You say, using your fan to hide your blushing cheeks and incredible smug and satisficed grin, as you gently pat the envoys head, to try and keep him from smacking his forehead on the ground and to stop fawning over you so excessively "So we shall set out at once, to bring the good news to the emperor and his family!" Weixiao shouts, grabbing your patting hand with both of his own, and holding it to his heart. You grimace by reflex, your mood souring to embarrassment as the satisfaction of being heaped with so much praise wilts and dies by the man's show of gratitude and his prior groveling."No, unfortunately he must wait, for I didn't bring my best medicines with me when I traveled to this temple to learn from the Buddhists here" You say awkwardly, fanning your fan to try and keep him from noticing any sign of you thinking up the excuse your giving to him for having to delay traveling to the capital, when it strikes you! Medicines are expensive when you don't make them yourself "As I traveled without my usual bodyguards, to keep a low profile in these volatile and bloody times and thus could safely carry my most valuable and effective medicines, out of fear of being robbed on the road while I sought out those in need"There's a long pause, and you begin to sweat as you wonder if Mao Wēixiào has seen through your lies or suspects you of treachery or scheming as you suspect of him. But he simply bows his head, pulling one hand away from yours, and kneeing in a much more dignified and manly manner as he looks up at you with a look meant to be charming, but what is charming for a cat is not what is charming for a human girl. For one, staring is seen as a challenge rather than a show of attraction or interest.Cont
>>5404770 And while you don't see every stare as a threat as a normal cat would, you still remember when you did, and that makes his attempt to seduce you fall rather flat as you cannot help but imagine him challenging you as a thug would, with drawled words and puffed up chest and scowling face.It takes all of your composure not to burst out laughing at the mental image of the pretty boy swaggering around like a roughly natured bandit, which makes you forget all about his attempt to charm you. Yuyi on the other hand, is as entranced by his eyes and handsomeness as he had hoped you would be. Unfortunately for him, you think he's pleasing to look at, for very different reasons than any maiden would and only ascetically, like a work of art rather than a prospective mate. Because his looks and manner reminds you of a cat and his paleness is very corpse like."I understand and am supremely grateful you would even listen to my plea, I shall wait here for your return" He says, much more subdued than he was a few moments ago. You sigh and bow your head"Thank you, I shall not be long" You answer quietly, as you shuffle away to keep Yuyi's body from fainting from too much exposure to that man and to keep yourself from laughing as your mind daydreams him acting more like a cat or delinquent to idly amuse itself._"You aren't going alone" Monu says bluntly, sitting with her legs crossed at the ankles, dressed in a long, ruffled robe of plums and forest greens, as she sits atop a pile of cushions, surrounded by opium smoke. Hong sits close by, pausing his drills to listen in on your conversation, while Siwang leads Chuandapo and Huli in their mediations. Lanfen and Liu are out shopping, and Feiqing and Ping have yet to return from their journey to break their bottleneck, which has left you rather worried. Yujijiao is currently in the catacombs, enjoying the hospitality of your ghost court. And too your surprise, the geges had found out how to send a letter out of the primordial wilds to ask if they could travel to your temple to visit, you didn't even know those two cute kids knew how to write! Qiang and Fu nod in agreement with Monu as you sit atop your sleeping body, still in Yuyi's own, pouting pitifully and tapping her nails on your chin."The Emperor is a dangerous man, as are the insects who gather around him, like flies to a corpse" Qiang remarks bluntly, as Fu, who is now wreathed in a cloud of grudges that at times shifts into the vague form of weeping ghosts or snarling demons "Though they've lost much of their power in recent years, the imperial family still has many contacts in the underworld and heavens, and many troublesome allies"Cont
>>5404772"And your body will be defenseless while you possess our friend Yuyi" Fu says sternly, lifting his chin proudly as you count the scars peeking through his bandages "We would be failures of students, if we allowed our master to risk her health as you intend to do. I mean no offense, Lady Huanliuxue, as I know well you can handle yourself, but at least while your body sleeps, may you listen to your mother""I know I must!" You shout, irritated now, causing Siwang to flap his wings in shock, which allows Chuandapo the chance to try and sneak off into the nearest stream and makes Huli's packmates howl in distress while the Ash gale himself warily opens one of his eyes "A daughter cannot disobey her mother lightly even amongst beasts! And I have no reason to be haughty and ignore my mother's demands, since, as you pointed out, even if the emperor is harmless, his palace is a dangerous place for demonic beasts none the less""Oh, I thought it'd take much more to convince a young and willful prodigy such as yourself" Monu cackles, grinning ear to ear "Though, it was these two children's idea, I didn't think you'd need protection even if a god was visiting them temple as well, considering how quickly you've gained power and skill. Who else could claim to have reach the halfway point of the foundation establishment stage, in just a few fleeting years, while following an self taught method centered on two overlooked and forbidden Daos?""I will be honored to be your shadow"Qiang says, bowing deeply as Fu tests the edge of his axe"I suppose children worry more for their mother, than her mother worries for her" He muses outloud "Though, Monu is more knowledgeable, and its bold of us to question her and bolder still for us to worry for the safety as one as strong as yourself, Master, but...is it not the duty of one's children to protect their parents, even if they're only related in a sense?""Oh don't get me wrong, Fu, I'd be happy to protect my adorable Huanliuxue beside you, as is the duty of a mother to protect her child" Monu explains, lazily waving her hand to clear up the harmless misunderstanding brewing between her and Fu "But, this beautiful, youthful face I have, is still well remembered by our enemies in the world of cultivation. The palace is a dangerous place for demonic beasts, and more so when they're accompanied by the worst heretic to arise in ten generations time""I understand, forgive me for my impudent words" Fu says, cupping his fist and bowing as Monu cackles, before she jabs her pipe at Lei, who has dressed himself in a ridculous amount of armor"No, you're staying" Monu says shaking her head "My lovely daughter told you to stay at the temple until Ping returned to remove that tick from your inner meridians, did she not"Cont
>>5404773"I did command that, didn't I?" You cackle as Lei's shoulders slump, and he staggers back to the armory, struggling to carry the weight of his armor and swords. The moment he vanishes into the nearest tunnel, You, Monu and Fu explode with laughter, While Qiang just frowns gently and sighs, her eyes lit up with barely perceivable amusement_ Encounter! Rebels on the road! You were sitting in the well appointed, luxurious carriage gifted to you by the emperor and given to you by Mao Wēixiào in his stead, surrounded by several women of jade like beauty who were pampering you, brushing your hair, applying make up in the latest style and rubbing your shoulders and feet. Suffice to say, you were as comfortable as a cat could be in a human body, enjoying the praises and sweet words of your attendants, as well as the softness of the seats, blissful and indulgent and comforted to know that only a short distance away, off the road and out of sight by any prying eyes, Qiang and Fu, disguised as woodcutters, carried your true body upon a cart, waiting for you to re-enter incase anything unpleasant, dangerous or just plain annoying impede your pleasant journey to the captial.And something did interrupt it. A loud thump, followed by the carriage you sat in suddenly stopping, throwing the servants around you around. Their shrieking was soon joined by the dying gurgle's of a man bleeding out of his throat and the terrified neighing of the horses pulling your carriage.You knock on the blinds keeping out the light from the carriage, to draw the attention of the imperial soldiers outside, and lift open the blinds as the girls around you crowd around you and cower, whimpering and shivering like kittens in the cold.To your surprise, a wild eyed Mao Wēixiào appeared, rather than one of the many hard faced and nameless soldiers under his command."What's going on" You bark before he can begin speaking"Do not worry, Lady Yuyi, we've been ambushed by a small party of brigands and thieves, nothing we cannot deal with. You and your ladies in waiting are in no danger at all, so please, do not panic and remain in the carriage. Already, twelve of our.." He begins to say reassuringly, softening his eyes as you hear an arrow pierce through flesh and hit wood and a man cry out with his last breath "ELEVEN! ELEVEN OF OUR BEST WARRIORS"And so the girls around you begin to cry, as an blithely amused smirk graces your painted lips"I see, I see" You say with a casual indifference.Cont
>>5404776What do you do, Huanliuxue?>Wait in the carriage, this isn't a serious enough matter for you to concern yourself over.>Play a short melody on Ghost Empress Melody, to summon Fu or Qiang to clean up this mess, so you can get back to being pampered as you travel to the imperial palace.>"Well then, allow me to take the place of the fallen twelfth man* *Play ghost empress Melody, and make short work of the "bandits" with its cutting winds*>Decide that, since you haven't met any "Real" bandits yet, it might be enlightening to be captured by some and so engineering your own "Kidnapping">Write in
>>5404780>Wait in the carriage, this isn't a serious enough matter for you to concern yourself over.>Attempt to discern the injuries that are being inflicted through sound alone and create a running commentary on how they would be treated.Just something to pass the time. I’m suggesting to speak the commentary out loud, but I realize that is mean so if we’d like to only think it then that’s fine too. We’ll probably be healing some of them anyway.
>>5404780>Wait in the carriage, this isn't a serious enough matter for you to concern yourself over.>Watch the battle from afar, using the ghost form. Seeing soldiers and rebels fight might help give insight on humanity, and their ideas of loyalty.
>>5404780>>5404802Switching to back >>5404804 instead, their write-in has a practical use.
>>5404780>Decide that, since you haven't met any "Real" bandits yet, it might be enlightening to be captured by some and so engineering your own "Kidnapping"Oh my god, that would be hilarious, but I couldn't do that to Yuyi. How about:> Pretend to faint and use ghost form to ride along one of your attackers, quizzing and pestering him with questions on his motivation.
>>5404780>>Wait in the carriage, this isn't a serious enough matter for you to concern yourself over.I'm not too worried. If they do kill the soldiers they'll probably just kidnap us. In which case we'll have plenty of time to butcher them.
>>5404780The bandits are part of the ploy! The Cat Viper is trying to see if we use powers or have allies in waiting! I read this setup in a web series!Well, most likely no. Paranoia can go too far after all.>>5404804+1
>>5404780>Wait in the carriage, this isn't a serious enough matter for you to concern yourself over.
>>5404822I like this anon way to explain how we would take the ghost form and how to find out the rebel's idea of loyalty.
We are on page 10
>>5407256I think the thread's on autosage right now because of one of the rules in the sticky.>Automatic permasage after 72 hours. The thread's over a month old. I'd say it's done decently, considering that Grandfather caught the WuFlu during.
>>5407921I know, it's not a bump but a warning for gramps to make a new thread when he writes the next update.
I've archived this thread. Sorry for vanishing again, but I was too stressed to write the last couple of days due to various reasons.I'll tally the vote and make a new thread, and pray I'll be more reliable with the updates in it.Wait in the carriage, this isn't a serious enough matter for you to concern yourself over:8Attempt to discern the injuries that are being inflicted through sound alone and create a running commentary on how they would be treated.:0Watch the battle from afar, using the ghost form. Seeing soldiers and rebels fight might help give insight on humanity, and their ideas of loyalty.: 5Pretend to faint and use ghost form to ride along one of your attackers, quizzing and pestering him with questions on his motivation: 1So you'll wait in the carriage and not interfere with the fight, however, You'll depossess Yuyi and leave her safely in the carriage, so you can watch the battle from afar in ghost form, hoping to gain insight on humanity's ideas of loyaltyNew thread will arrive shortly
New thread: >>5409033