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File: second_patriarch-alt.png (898 KB, 1920x1011)
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You're Liu Zhu, a 14 year-old cultivator who's struggling to become the next patriarch of your family. Recently you went to train with the Yu family, and after your return found out that your older brother had gotten engaged and was winning the succession race. Shortly after this an assassin targeted you, forcing you to go into hiding before you left for the Northern Wastes in disguise to undergo training.
Right now you're in the Northern Wastes and you've fought a beast horde; found an artifact which gave you the bloodline of a "The Horned God", a sentient beast from long ago; and succeeded in becoming the disciple of Long Shi, a master refiner. Now you're heading towards the center of the Northern Wastes in order to search for lucky chances and broaden your horizons.
Cultivation Levels: https://pastebin.com/Dnc66S6L (embed)
Twitter:: https://twitter.com/QmWalrus
Archived Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Second%20Patriarch
>>
"Are you sure the beast is nearby? We haven't seen head nor tail of it, but you've claimed we've been 'close enough to touch it' for the whole day." The Meridian Opening cultivator in charge of your group, Yan Da, shakes his head as he says this to a mortal tracker. "I'm sure sir, the beast must be nearby. I've been following the trail good, I know I have. I don't know why we can't find it." You stand by as your leader argues with the tracker, looking at the forest scenery. You left Border City two weeks ago, heading towards the center of the Northern Wastes with Feng Jun and the his other friends. They're a rowdy bunch, but you've done enough work with them to get to know them. They don't get in over their heads, and they do careful, honest work. None of them are particuarly talented, but they're a reliable bunch that you can travel with.
As you watch the exchange between Yan Da and the tracker, you suddenly see the branches of the tree you're looking at rustle. Before you can say anything, a slim, green-furred panther shoots out of the trees. It's the beast you were tracking! A nearby tribe had a bounty out on its head since it was killing the local warriors, so your group hired a tracker in the village and took on the mission. Its strength is supposed to be between Late Blood and Viscera Tempering and Early Meridian Opening, so Yan Da figured he could safely take it. Still, it's a different matter when it has the element of surprise! Yan Da turns to face the creature, but it's too late- the panther bites onto his arm, sinking its claws into his body in the process. He should be able to shake it off, but being wounded at the start of the fight doesn't bode well. As the one closest to Yan Da, you'll have the first opportunity to do something. You...
>dash forward and save the tracker, there's a good chance he'll die while Yan Da and that beast are fighting.
>grab your guandao and slash out at the panther-like beast, you should help minimize the chance it has to inflict wounds to Yan Da.
>Other
>>
>>3648291
>grab your guandao and slash out at the panther-like beast, you should help minimize the chance it has to inflict wounds to Yan Da.
>yell at the tracker to alert the others while we buy him time.
>>
>>3648291
>>grab your guandao and slash out at the panther-like beast, you should help minimize the chance it has to inflict wounds to Yan Da.
A mortal dieing is less of a concern then that fucking panther
>>
>>3648291
>>dash forward and save the tracker, there's a good chance he'll die while Yan Da and that beast are fighting.
>>
>>3648291
>Use four desires on the panther as we run past it
>Attempt to save the tracker
>>
>>3648358
This.
>>
You're not just going to let that tracker die, but waiting to attack the panther until you've made sure he's safe will be useless- Yan Da will probably already be fighting it for real by then. Well, you'll have to compromise then. You dash towards the two as fast as you can, pulling out your guandao as you do so. You kick the tracker into a nearby set of bushes as you prepare to strike the panther with you guandao. He might break a bone or two if he's unlucky, but it'll get him far away from the fighting and make sure he doesn't die.
"4 Desires!" You cut down with your guandao at the panther, cutting into its fur in four spots as your guandao flashes throughout the air. Your attack doesn't heavily wound it, but the creature growls and loosens its grip, giving Yan Da a chance to grab it and pull it off of him. The panther flies through the air for several feet before re-orienting itself and pushing off against the tree, using the rebound force to return to the ground.
The rest of the group manages to reach the site of the battle during the exchange, surrounding the area.One person won't be enough to defeat it, but hopefully they can delay it until the rest of the ground catches up and attacks it. Yan Da approaches the beast, slipping on a pair of Etrium knuckles. The beast angrily growls in response and pounces towards his leg. The rest of you group run towards it while Yan Da strikes a fighting pose, blood dripping down from his right arm as he does so.
"Red Boulder Fist!" Yan Da yells as his fist crashes into the creature's face, breaking its snout and causing it fly backwards once again as blood spills everywhere. The panther quickly recovers, but not quickly enough to counter a combined attack between you, Feng Jun, and another members of your group, 'Punch'. "Sunlight Strike!" "5 Desires!" "PUNCH!" The three of you unleash your strongest attacks at the panther, creating a gaping wound in its side and quickly retreating. One of you alone might not be able to wound the beast much, but the full force of three of you was able to maim the defenseless beast.
Now that the beast is already wounded you watch as Yan Da quickly finishes it off, brutally breaking bones and tearing through its hide with his fists. Within a minute the creature is clearly devoid of life, while Yan Da stands over it, bloody and breathing heavily. Most of the blood isn't his, but it still looks like a somber scene. As your group is admiring Yan Da's handiwork, the tracker stumbles out of the bushes. "Y-You did it! You slayed the beast! My tribe is safe!" Yan Da laughs in response. "Of course we did! My cultivation isn't just for show! Anyways, everyone spread out, we're going to set up camp here for today." Looks like it's time to get to work. You...
>help Yan Da clean and bandage his wounds.
>start cooking dinner with Feng Jun.
>collect wood with 'Punch'. He's a dull man, but he's entertaining. Sometimes.
>Other
>>
>>3648513
>>start cooking dinner with Feng Jun.
We've got to get better somehow..
>>
>>3648513
>>help Yan Da clean and bandage his wounds.
>>
>>3648513
>help Yan Da clean and bandage his wounds.
>>
>>3648513
>help Yan Da clean and bandage his wounds.
>>
>>3648513
>>help Yan Da clean and bandage his wounds.
>>
You grab the pack full of bandages, herbs, and medical supplies. Next you go to Yan Da, who's currently washing in a nearby river. "Wait a sec, I'll be out after the blood is gone. It'll be a pain in the ass if it dries in my hair." You take the chance to clean your arms of beast's blood as well. A few minutes later Yan Da is done cleaning and asks for your help.
"Three things of Bloodberries. Right, crush them fo- oh, you've already got it." You take out a canteen full of water, some bandages, and a few herbs and begin your task. You've taken care of wounds and watched people do so since you left Border City, so now it doesn't require much thought on your part to do so. Using plants like this is a waste of medicinal essence, but anyone who could forge a pill wouldn't bother using these herbs- they're useless for an apothecary at Qi Emission.
You wash the wounds, drizzle crushed bloodberries over them, and then apply a mixture of Sunroot, Grey Root, and alcohol to the bandages. This mixture is commonly used to help prevent infections. Cultivators generally don't die from disease though, so it's more a precaution than a necessity. There are unique diseases that only strike cultivators, but they're rare in nature and not worth worrying about. You apply the bandages to Yan Da's wounds and are done after you make sure on tight.
"Mm, thanks. Hopefully this doesn't leave another scar. 30 years in the wastes and I've gotten too many." Now that he mentions it, he does have a lot of scars. That seems to be a common feature among the older figures here. "I suppose that means 30 years of fighting then?" "Yep. I got here as a young lad in my 20s, lagging behind in my cultivation and struggling to earn money. I managed to improve here, but it came at a cost. I spent my time wandering these forests and killing beasts while they tried to kill me. Hell, I even served in a few tribal wars as a mercenary. Each scar I have tells a story of those times, and today might join them. Anyways, I digress. Just don't stay in the wastes for too long- you've got a good cultivation for your age, so you can do something better than wander these wastes doing odd jobs." Yan Da goes silent after that and awkwardly begins sorting the items from the medical pack. It's clear he's giving you advice in good faith even if you don't need it, so you'll thank him. "Thank you. I'll be sure not to." Yan Da simply grunts in response, continuing to sort the already sorted items.
That night you eat well, celebrating over killing the beast. You spend the next day travelling to a nearby tribe and get your cut of the bounty for killing the beast- 150 gold coins. Upon arriving you...
>go spar with Feng Jun, besides cultivating this has been what you've been doing in your downtime.
>people watch. It gives you a good look at the people here and lets you know how they live.
>go to the bar with most of the group. You don't drink much, but it's entertaining to watch what they get up to and chat.
>Other
>>
>>3649510
>>go spar with Feng Jun, besides cultivating this has been what you've been doing in your downtime.
Gotta blow everyone's mind when we get home.
>>
>>3649510
>>go spar with Feng Jun, besides cultivating this has been what you've been doing in your downtime.
>>
>>3649510
>go spar with Feng Jun, besides cultivating this has been what you've been doing in your downtime.
By the time we go back home we should already be at late Bone and Marrow,maybe early Blood and Viscera tempering. We should also try to make something with the steelwater we got.
>>
>>3649510
>>go spar with Feng Jun, besides cultivating this has been what you've been doing in your downtime.
>>
Jeesh we're already at page 3.
>>
>>3651586
Yeah, OP has a great story. Hut not consistant enough..
>>
You leave the tribe's grounds and head into a nearby field to spar with Feng Jun. For the past two weeks you've done this a lot in your spare time, so you're both familiar with each other's fighting styles. Well, to be more exact you're more familiar with Feng Jun's fist techniques and movement- he never uses his sword against you.
The two of you take positions at opposite ends of a field before you dash towards Feng Jun, guandao in hand. You minimize force, focusing mainly on hitting him, but he easily dodges. You string together hit after hit, building up momentum, but they all swipe through the air. Feng Jun doesn't run away though- he dodges every single strike of your blade by inches, bending his body and contorting himself to make sure you don't even touch a hair on his head. His movement is actually pretty similar to the technique Zhu Chao gave to you now that you think about it, but it's probably not a formal technique- it's simply the fruit of over a decade of experience fighting in the Northern Wastes.
You keep missing and missing before Feng Jun smiles and says "I'll go on the offense." After another one of your slashes strikes air he punches forward faster than you can pull your guandao back. Several attacks strike the blade, nearly knocking it out of your hand. As you try to get a grip on your weapon he sneaks under it, dealing a heavy blow to your chest. You slide backwards from the blow but keep your stance, abandoning the weapon to put up your guard against his next blow. Feng Jun's fist strikes against your guard again and again, slowly pushing you back but not forcing you down. Rhythmic thudding sounds fill the area as the two of you exchange blow after blow, dozens of them. You focus mainly on dodging, blocking, and countering his blows and suffer quite a bit of damage. Still, since Feng Jun has been holding back both in terms of speed and power, you're able to barely hold on. This continues for nearly a quarter of an hour before you take a break, covered in bruises and sweaty. Still, you could continue- taking hits and keeping on are your strongpoints.
>>
After a short break the two of you resume sparring. This cycle continues several times before you return to the tribe with Feng Jun, bruised all over and completely out of breath. Feng Jun shakes his head as he wipes off his sweat. "God, you can train for so long- I'm not sure if I'll be able to help you with training that much if you make a couple more breakthroughs. You'd be able to go through three or four of me in the time it takes for you to get worn out." Feng Jun breathes in as he says this and glances at the sky. "Still, that's a good thing. To cultivate you have to put forth all the effort you can, but sometimes people just can't. Luckily for you it seems like you can put forth as much effort as you want- even after training like this almost every day you're still ready to go." You're not sure if Feng Jun is referring to himself when he says 'people', but either way you just take the remark to heart and return to making smalltalk.
The next morning you wake up from your lodgings in the inn your group is at, wash yourself, and then find everyone else. Most of them are suffering from a hangover, and you can only imagine how strong the alcohol they drank was to do so. It's not like cultivators can get drunk off of beer after all. A few hours later everyone is in their peak state again and Yan Da is going over the next part of your route. "Alright, now that we're done here we're done with the forest for now. I'm not sure if any of you have been through there there before, but next we'll be heading through..."
>the edge of Head's Canyon. The center is a danger zone you don't want to risk entering without someone at Qi Refinement or Qi Emission, but the edge will cut down on your route by several days.
>the Black Swamp. A nearby river overflows in the area, and there are all sorts of creatures hiding under the water. Still, their skins are valuable and going around it will take too long.
>the burial grounds. You might get into trouble with some of the nearby tribes going through it, but the borders of the area are vague and so it'd take at least half a week to go around.
>Other

>>3651614
Sorry mate, I write slowly. It'd be faster if I learned to just not be so long-winded, but shrug. I like this style.
>>
>>3651670
>>the Black Swamp. A nearby river overflows in the area, and there are all sorts of creatures hiding under the water. Still, their skins are valuable and going around it will take too long.
There are probly alot of herbs around here. And animal skins are nice.
>>
"We'll be heading into the Black Swamp. It's safe for the most part, but there is some risk due to the terrain and vicious beasts lurking under the water. Wherever you are, make sure there's someone with you- we're operating on a buddy system at all times. Got it?" Everyone in the group says yes and Yan Da goes on. "Alright then, on the bright side there are some valuable herbs and skins. Exotic alligators, weird fish, "Swamp Birds", stuff like that. Underneath the bogs there are sometimes more valuable items, but I need to warn you first. There are spots of quicksand in the swamp, and while some of them are too weak to drag us down, others could easily drag one of you in and suffocate you. If you see anything man made down there, ignore it! If someone died under the swamp then it's likely there are beasts nearby, quicksand, or some other danger." After Yan Da makes sure everyone understands the dangers of the area he explains the route in more detail and you set out.
You leave around 10 AM and six hours later reach the edge of the Black Swamp. "All of you know our route, right? You're free to split off in groups and look for good fortune, but make sure to carry lots of food in case you get lost- there's not much to forage here. And I can't repeat this enough, but bring a partner. Buddy system. We'll be camping at the first site I outlined, following this rough route. None of you are to wander off for more than an hour at a time or I'm declaring you 'lost' and we'll be stopping and searching for you. You know what that does to your wages if it's not an emergency. Anyways, since you all seem to get it, we'll be heading out."
Your group enters the swamp and you take a look at the scenery. There trees thin out, and are completely gone in places. The ground makes a squishing noise under your boots and water puddles on the surface in some areas. The grass thins out, instead being replaced by a thick, sticky mud. You aren't that far into the swamp yet, but if it gets worse further in then you can see why no one lives here. As your group advances forward you...
>stick with them, you don't want to risk anything.
>pair off with Feng Jun and look for an area with more water, you've never fought an alligator before.
>get Feng Jun and start combing the area for any herbs of value. You haven't been taught much about this area in particular, but the knowledge you do have should give you a base to work off of.
>Other
>>
>>3651660
No no I really like your style. That's not up for debate. What I do mind is not knowing if you're not going to update for the next 8 hours cause you went to sleep.
Emergencies happen and just not in the mood. But in sure we've all voted with in like 30 minutes and do t get something back till 13 hours later.
But I will say you cant rush creativity. And I really like how the story is developing and all its intricacies.

>get Feng Jun and start combing the area for any herbs of value. You haven't been taught much about this area in particular, but the knowledge you do have should give you a base to work off of.
>>
>>3652511
Oh, alright, I got it. I usually update around the same general time of day but it has been shifting around with my sleep schedule, do you guys want more heads-up when I'm going to sleep/won't be updating for a long period of time? It should be more consistent once uni starts because my classes are almost all in the same time every day.
>>
>>3652291
>>get Feng Jun and start combing the area for any herbs of value. You haven't been taught much about this area in particular, but the knowledge you do have should give you a base to work off of.
>>
>>3652528
I know I would appreciate it. Lol some days you do update at some times and then you dont. And I stay up an extra hour lol cause I think you might.
So yeah, only if like it's your last post for the next 8+ hours.
>>
This area of the swamp shouldn't be particuarly dangerous, so you should take the chance to look for herbs. "Brother Feng, do you want to look for herbs for a bit?" "Eh, I'm not sure if I'll be able to find much here, but sure." The two of you split from the group and head towards a patch of trees. You both examine the trees closely until you find a tree that's especially vibrant. Flowers have bud from its branches as it's strong and tall. "I'll dig around the base, you check the branches." Feng Jun nods and jumps up to look through the tree's branches for any useful plants or vines that may have grown up there.
While Feng Jun does that, you begin digging around the tree's base. The ground is sticky and thick, and a wet feeling covers your hands. It seems even the soil that's normal on the surface is annoying to deal with around here. In exchange for your effort you get your arms covered in bits of sticky mud, and a few Mud Orchids. They're all young specimins, but if you age them with your blood you should be able to make some good money off of them. You wipe them off and put them in your pack, making sure they don't ruin or stain anything.
This process continues for the next 40 minutes as you look for trees that are doing well, patches of flowers or tall grass, and at a couple of points sets of animal bones that might indicate that their nutrients helped fertilize the ground. You get a decent harvest, but both of you look like monsters that live in the swamp by the time you're done. You're not looking forward to cleaning up given that it will be quite the walk to a clean water source.
You return to the group and check in before departing once again. This repeats several times throughout the day. You don't find anything rare, but you're learning.
By the time night falls everyone has reunited your group makes their way to a nice, dry spot of ground. By this point the puddles have evolved into tiny ponds and your boots regularly sink inches into the ground, so it's clear you're getting into the swamp proper. Looking for a resting spot is a task in and of itself.
Everyone eats, spends an inordinate amount of time cleaning themselves, and dries their clothes by the fire, it's time to sleep. You all lay your bedrolls down in a circle and have someone keep watch. It's not your turn tonight, but you'll probably have one before you're out the swamp.
The next day you resume your journey through the swamp and the ground becomes increasingly tough to deal with. Today you...
>continue searching for herbs, the deeper in you are the better chance you have of finding something good.
>look for something to hunt, you're getting deep enough into the swamp to find an alligator or something lurking around.
>go and practice your movement technique, the ground is hard to traverse and it'll be beneficial to train here.
>stick with the group, as you get further into the swamp the level of danger should go up slightly.
>Other
>>
>>3652621
>>look for something to hunt, you're getting deep enough into the swamp to find an alligator or something lurking around.
Get some alligator skin for a pair of nice boots
>>
>>3652621
>>go and practice your movement technique, the ground is hard to traverse and it'll be beneficial to train here.
>>
>>3652621
>look for something to hunt, you're getting deep enough into the swamp to find an alligator or something lurking around.
>look for something to hunt, you're getting deep enough into the swamp to find an alligator or something lurking around.
>>go and practice your movement technique, the ground is hard to traverse and it'll be beneficial to train here.
>>
You want to go out and hunt some beasts while you're here, maybe skin something to practice making boots or the like. Still, it'd be a shame if you gave up this chance to practice your movement technique. After some thinking you settle on a compromise between the two. You'll be more tired whenever you enter combat, but you'll get the advantages of training while looking around for a beast to slay.
You and Feng Jun leave the group again and begin looking around for a larger body of water. Most of the beasts that live here are amphibious, so that'd be the best bet if you were looking for them. After nearly an hour of searching, a short break, and another half an hour you find nothing. You do benefit from constantly dashing across the wet, sinking ground while searching, but you are disappointed. Luckily you do eventually spot the mud-caked back of some sort of amphibian among some reeds, and you and Feng Jun take positions and attack it.
Both of you run towards it from behind nearby trees at the same time. Feng Jun stabs into it with his sword, while you cut at its legs with your guandao. The creature lets out a deep, nasally snort as you attack it before trying to bite at you. It's ridiculously fast in its home territory, and it does manage to bodycheck you as Feng Jun stabs into it. Luckily it misses its bite as you force it away, and then tries to attack Feng Jun since he's currently stabbing it. Feng Jun manages to dodge, and you slash at it in the meantime. Blood spills from two of its legs as you do, and the two of you manage to kill it in a couple more rounds of combat.
As you kill the beast its blood spreads through the nearby water, and you hear splashing sounds. Both of you stop skinning the beast and look around. You can faintly see two mud-covered objects inching towards you through the water, and it's possible there may be more. They probably won't be too dangerous to engage in combat, but there is a risk of a stronger one coming. If a lot of them live here it'd be normal for them to have an alpha, right? You...
>begin to retreat, you don't want to take the risk.
>go to kill the two creatures, even if there's danger if you retreat into the trees they probably won't be able to follow. Feng Jun is with you, so it'd be a shame to let the extra skins go.
>Other
>>
That should be the last update for the day.
>>
>>3653019
>>go to kill the two creatures, even if there's danger if you retreat into the trees they probably won't be able to follow. Feng Jun is with you, so it'd be a shame to let the extra skins go.
Risks are how we get nice boots
>>
>>3653019
>>go to kill the two creatures, even if there's danger if you retreat into the trees they probably won't be able to follow. Feng Jun is with you, so it'd be a shame to let the extra skins go.
>>
>>3653019
>go to kill the two creatures, even if there's danger if you retreat into the trees they probably won't be able to follow. Feng Jun is with you, so it'd be a shame to let the extra skins go.
We'll be swag when we get back home.
>>
There is danger involved in engaging an unknown number of alligator-like creatures in their home territory, but you believe you'll be able to run away with Feng Jun if things go to shit. You doubt they can jump high enough to chase after you if you run into the trees. You organize a plan with Feng Jun and then pretend to wander off. As the alligators go to slowly follow you both charge behind them, taking one at a time.
You deal a major wound to the creature you're fighting due to the element of surprise, but it's still able to fight. It will probably die from blood loss eventually, but that's not affecting its immediate combat strength. Its tail clashes against your guandao, pushing you back, and then it jumps at you. You fall to the ground to avoid it, rolling away in the mud, before pushing yourself back up and countering its claws. As you engage in combat with the alligator you get scratched and take a heavy blow to the chest, but you aren't heavily injured. At this point Feng Jun has thoroughly murdered his and goes to help you. Within a couple blows yours is subdued, and you gather the three you've killed into a pile.
Satisfied, the two of you start skinning the three. Before you can finish though, you notice more alligators. Probably a dozen of them. Maybe more. They all begin making that deep, nasally rumble and inch towards you. Feng Jun just says "I'll take two, you take one." and grabs two dead alligators before jumping into the trees. You grab the last corpse and follow after him as the alligators charge at you. One of them scratches your leg but you escape, managing to get into the trees before they can majorly wound you.
The running continues for at least five minutes before you and Feng Jun come to a stop. As you're coming to a stop you accidentally fall out of the tree, the mud on your boots slipping you up. You regain your balance and land on your feet only a couple feet away from what appears to be a very deep pool of mud and water. You're about to head to where Feng Jun is standing, but as you're about to leave you see something odd in the muddy water. There's some sort of metal item connected to a piece of glass at the bottom. You can't tell what exactly it is since it's so muddy. You...
>ignore the item, Yan Da already told you about the dangers of fishing for manmade items in these swamps. You'll probably get attacked or sucked into quicksand.
>grab for the item, it doesn't look like a weapon or armor so maybe it just washed up here by chance.
>get a stick and begin poking at the item. You might break it, but it can help you check for beasts or quicksand.
>Other
>>
>>3655135
>get a stick and begin poking at the item. You might break it, but it can help you check for beasts or quicksand.
Hopefully we don't break it like an idiot.
>>
>>3655135
>get a stick and begin poking at the item. You might break it, but it can help you check for beasts or quicksand.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d3)

>>3655165
>>3655170
Rolling to see if you break it because this is one of the few things fate controls
>>
You want to get whatever that is, but it's simply too dangerous to do so. Whether you have a hunch of not you need to check for danger. You tell Feng Jun to wait for a minute and grab the longest stick you can find. You begin shoving it into the muddy water, checking to see if it's sucked in by quicksand or if it attracts any beasts nearby. It takes more strength than you expect given the mud, so you're stuck carefully managing it so you don't lose the stick.
The stick reaches the bottom of the mud and water and it's not getting sucked in, so there's definitely no quicksand. You shake it around a bit to see if it attracts anything, but as you're doing so you feel it pierce through something. You... you hope that wasn't the glass. Fuck. After making sure nothing comes you pull the muddy stick out of the water and wade into the mud and water to grab the object. Your vision is clouded and it's hard to move, but Feng Jun is watching you so you don't need to be afraid of anything approaching you while you're like this. Eventually you feel your foot hit something, and then you pull the object up with your feet. After handing it off to Feng Jun you feel another glass object with your foot and pull it out as well.
Several minutes of extremely uncomfortable searching later, and you've pulled four objects out of the mud. You leave the pool, wet, sticky, and easily mistakable for some sort of terrifying swamp monster. You wipe your face clean and then glance back at Feng Jun, who's examining four muddy jars, one of them broken. You guess that's what you pulled out of the swamp. You never really got a chance to see. Feng Jun turns to you and spends a moment laughing at your appearance before speaking. "Well, it's not treasure or anything, but it's usable. I wiped off the jars and saw some pickled vegetables in one, yogurt in another, and alcohol in the third. I think the last one had alcohol as well, but the glass is broken and a bunch of mud and water got in.
Oh, so somebody was fermenting food here? You're surprised someone lives here, but if they're a cultivator then it's not too odd. Still, if they still live here you do feel a bit bad about stealing their food. They probably don't need it to survive, but it's not yours. On the other hand, for all you know this could have been sitting here for ages. This would keep for a long time in these jars, so maybe they fell out of someone's pack long ago and washed up here. You...
>take the jars, the rest of the group will enjoy the food and drink.
>reluctantly return into the swamp and put them back. You can't fix the jar of alcohol you ruined, but you can put back the rest.
>Other
>>
>>3655217
>take the jars, the rest of the group will enjoy the food and drink.
Also we'll need some clarifications with Yan Da about the dangers of man made items in the swamp.
>>
>>3655230
The gist is basically "swamp water is usually stagnant so if something manmade is there either an animal brought it there or somebody died, fell into the swamp, and left it there". If somebody died there it's likely something dangerous lives there or there's quicksand there. The only major exceptions are if someone died from something unrelated like starvation or disease, whatever beast used to be there left, or someone put the items there on purpose. Not much else to it, but you can ask him if you want.
>>
>>3655248
Oh ok,thought this place was haunted and cursed items just laid around for travellers,stick to my vote tho.
>>
>>3655217
>>take the jars, the rest of the group will enjoy the food and drink.
>>
Well, you found the food, you may as well keep it. Even if someone did leave it here on purpose they won't suffer much from losing it. On the other hand you just had to have a mud bath and you'd like something out of it, even if it's just food.
You return to the camp with Feng Jun, let whoever wants to have some of the food you found, and begin washing yourself. This process takes a ridiculously long amount of time without a clean source of water. After several hours you do succeed though, and no longer feel horribly, horribly uncomfortable after switching into a new pair of clothes. By this time Feng Jun has finished skinning the three alligators, and you take one and give him the other two. He had to do most of the work skinning and is stronger, so it's only fair to give him a bigger share.
The day continues and you go out hunting again, come across one more alligator, and immediately return after killing it. You take this skin, and not much else happens until nightfall. As your group is about to stop for the night, you notice something in the distance. It's very well hidden, but it's some sort of mud hut. You go nearer out of curiosity, keeping yourself hidden, and see a bunch of footsteps outside the hut. It's clear that someone is living here. You...
>bring Feng Jun and approach the hut, you're curious what someone living here is like.
>stay away from the hut. Given that there's almost no one living here there's a decent chance you stole their food earlier and would rather not have them get pissed at you if they see anyone else in the group eating it.
>Other
>>
>>3655443
>>bring Feng Jun and approach the hut, you're curious what someone living here is like.
>>
There shouldn't be any harm in visiting, you haven't seen anyone living here before and you're curious what it's like. Hell, maybe he can even give you some tips about this place. You tip off Feng Jun about the hut and he agrees to go with you. The two of you near the mud hut through the trees and then drop to ground level once it's close. As you drop to the ground you look around nearby and see that absolutely nothing is left outside- no wood, no campfire, nothing. Based off of this it seems like whoever lives here probably doesn't want to be bothered since he's trying to stay hidden, but the worst case scenario is they get angry and tell you to leave, so you continue onwards.
The two of you get within 10 feet of the hut and get a better look. The piece of wood you assume normally covers the entrance is broken into several pieces and is lying on the ground at the entrance. Glancing through the entryway you see that there's a large pile of mud, several broken pieces of furniture, and glass littering the floor. Did something happen? The two of you pause for a moment, but decide to enter anyways. These could all be signs of disuse and the wood rotting. If whoever lived here left along ago, that's normal.
As the two of you enter the house you're greeted by the sight of more destroyed furniture, glass and food scattered over the door from shattered jars, and two men digging a hole. You spot a flow splotches of blood on the wall. The two men stop digging a hole and stare at you and Feng Jun. Their cultivation is the same as yours. After some awkward staring one of the men break the silence. "Who are you and why are you in our house?" They live here? Then why is the house destroyed. Before you say anything Feng Jun replies. "We were passing through with a few others and spotted this hut so we decided to check it out. There aren't many people who live in the Black Swamp, so we were wondering if you could give us some help navigating the area. We aren't locals after all."
The two stare back at you before the same one who spoke before vehemently shakes his head. "Sorry, we can't help you. There's a reason we live here, we don't want to bother with you guys. Now if you excuse me, we have stuff to do." The two return to digging and you...
>leave, they don't want to be bothered.
>ask why everything in here is destroyed.
>ask why there's blood on the wall and what left it.
>ask why they're digging a hole in their house and not attending to the broken furniture and shards of glass.
>apologize for taking their food, the jars they have look similar to the ones you found.
>Other
>>
>>3655773
>>ask why there's blood on the wall and what left it.
>>
>>3655775
Oh fuck wait are these guys trying to die up some cultivators hidden treasure? Because this place is old and rotten, I dont think anyone loves here anynore
>>
Something's off here. You assumed everything was broke because the wood rotted, but now that you're getting a closer look at it, it's old but not that old. On top of that, some of the food on the ground is fine and the splotches of blood don't look completely dried. That means something happened here within the past couple of hours. "Alright, we'll leave, but I do have a question. Why's there blood on the wall over there? What left it?"
The two only glance back at you before returning to their digging while answering. "A beast charged into here last night and broke our stuff. Maybe the blood left is from it. We only saw it leave a couple hours ago, so it could've cut itself on the furniture on the way out." That... is a pretty weak explanation. The furniture here is clearly made out of normal wood. How would a beast strong enough to make these two run away injure themselves on the broken furniture?
As you think about this, the one who has mainly been talking grunts at you. "We said to get out. We're not gonna do anything, but we do value our privacy- we'd rather not have two travelers looking over our shoulders while we fix up the place. Not in a good mood after all of my shit got wrecked. Just leave, alright?" You...
>know there's something odd going on here but it's not going to help to get involved. You may as well just leave and let these two continue whatever they're doing.
>ask why there aren't any beast tracks outside. There were a lot of footsteps, but nothing that would indicate a beast or something of the like breaking in.
>pull your guandao off your back and ask what happened here. Given this situation you have a hunch that something odd and possibly illegal is going on here.
>Other
>>
>>3655869
>How is digging a hole fixing you're house?
>>
>>3656506
+1.
>>
>>3655869
>>pull your guandao off your back and ask what happened here. Given this situation you have a hunch that something odd and possibly illegal is going on here.
>>
>>3656506
This,let's not start beating up people just yet.
>>
>>3655869
>ask why there aren't any beast tracks outside. There were a lot of footsteps, but nothing that would indicate a beast or something of the like breaking in.

Time to be a wise-ass detective.
>>
>>3657270
>>3657050
>>3656506
If we're commiting to snooping around. Asking questions we've no real business asking we may as well be prepared for a fight
>>
>>3655869
>>pull your guandao off your back and ask what happened here. Given this situation you have a hunch that something odd and possibly illegal is going on here.
>>
"So... how is digging a hole fixing your house?" The two pause their digging and turn towards you again, looking slightly angry. "That... since everything in here is broken we figured we'd add a basement in. We have to make furniture and even out the floor in here again anyways, so it's a good chance." You would almost believe that if it weren't for the fact that this is all ridiculously fishy and they're throwing all the mud they dig onto the house's floor. If they're making a basement this method is rather counterproductive.
"...and why aren't their any beast tracks outside?" One of them looks back at you, getting visibly angry at this point, and after a few seconds nearly screams the answer. "It had wings! It flew in! Is that enough for you?! Just leave us alone for the love of god. If we wanted to talk to people we wouldn't be living in this swamp. We'd find a tribe, settle down, and run a farm." As the two say this they throw several glances at Feng Jun. They seem... wary of him? You guess that makes sense, both of them have a cultivation at Middle Bone and Marrow Tempering while he's at Late Blood and Viscera Tempering. If he makes a move there's nothing they can do. Hell, if you fight them there's very little they can do, but they don't know that.
You try to ask more questions about the beast and such but the two just start ignoring you and keep digging. Well, it looks like you're not going to get anywhere for the time being. You...
>leave, clearly something weird is happening here but you're not going to figure out anything by continuing to talk to them.
>pull your guandao off your back and ask what happened here. Given this situation you have a hunch that something odd and possibly illegal is going on here.
>note that it looks like they're digging for something.
>Other
>>
>>3657831
>>pull your guandao off your back and ask what happened here. Given this situation you have a hunch that something odd and possibly illegal is going on here.
>>note that it looks like they're digging for something.
And ny murder hobo skills tell me it could be good.
>inb4 there here to steal ancient pickled food
>>
>>3658069
Agreed
>>
It's clear you're not going to get anything else out of these guys unless you resort to force, and something illegal or immoral might be going on here. You grab your guandao and point it towards the two. "This is the last time I'm going to ask. What happened here." Feng Jun watches on, but he does reach for his sword.
One of the men glances back at you and freezes upon seeing you hold your weapon. "We told you what happened." He puts down his shovel, knocking into his friend as he does so. You near the men and the one talking says "Don't do anything hasty. I can tell you in more detail what happened, but it's exactly as I told you." You shrug and glance at the other man. "Alright, but I probably won't believe you. I want what really happened. Now get over here." A couple moments later you see a flash of light come from the other man who was facing away from you. Dammit, what would cause a flash of light... a sound transmitting talisman? He must've whispered a message.
You don't know who they contacted, but this can't be good. You rush forward with your guandao and attack the man you were talking to. He leans back and grabs the shovel he was using, but it's immediately cut into two when he tries to block with it. After that you leave a slash running up one of his legs, removing his ability to run away. As you pull back from the attack the second man approaches and tries to stab you with a dagger, but you immediately dodge and counterattack by taking the dagger and shoving it into one of his legs.
The two lay on the ground, swearing and glaring at you. "...It looks like you were digging for something. What is it." The two grit their teeth before one of them yells. "We weren't digging for shit! Let us go!" Looks like they're committed to their act. This means they're either stubborn or confident. If it's the latter, that means they probably contacted someone stronger than Feng Jun with their sound-transmitting talisman. You should wrap this up quickly. "Tell me or you're dying now. I know you're probably waiting for your precious boss to save you, but if you die first then it'll be for naught." There's silence for a few moments before one of them replies. "Some rich old man was living here. The gist of the story was that he robbed our fathers and grandfathers, sold off everything and hid the money, and then fled into this swamp to hide. We finally tracked him down and now we're getting our money back. Now scram if you don't want the boss to kill you, we're just retrieving what's ours." You...
>grab the two and return to the group, Yan Da should be able to get further involved into this. As it stands you and Feng Jun aren't strong enough to take the money or investigate further.
>leave the two and return to the group, if things are as they say then they have the right to the money.
>take them somewhere hidden and interrogate them on their story further. You're not sure if you believe them and you don't want anyone else getting involved yet.
>Other
>>
>>3658206
>>grab the two and return to the group, Yan Da should be able to get further involved into this. As it stands you and Feng Jun aren't strong enough to take the money or investigate further.
We have enough money we could share with the group. If anything our share will still be reasonable if there is any merit to this.
>>
>>3658270
>>3658206
We're more to law-fag than to take the money anyway, aren't we? Otherwise we would have just finished them off.
>>
>>3658206
>take them somewhere hidden and interrogate them on their story further. You're not sure if you believe them and you don't want anyone else getting involved yet
Going to Yan Da might be safer,but I just want to improve our...interrogation skills.
>>
You'd prefer to look into this yourself, but taking these two to Yan Da will be safer. Feng Jun takes one and you take the other before dashing back towards where Yan Da was going to set down camp for the night. After 10 minutes you're there, and you find Yan Da, who's currently setting up the fire. As you approach him, he stares at the two of you oddly. You're both holding injured, angry men after all. "Uh... who are they?" You explain the situation as quickly as you can to Yan Da and let him take over. "Ah, alright, alright, I gotcha. Well, I'll take care of this."
Yan Da takes the two men, walks away, and leaves you and Feng Jun to your own devices. Confused, you sit down, while Feng Jun makes a point of walking away. While you're wondering why he's going so far away when you're waiting, you here loud screaming come from maybe 50 feet away. You suppose that's why Feng Jun walked away. Finding the screaming both grating and creepy, you walk towards Feng Jun while feeling rather bad for those two. Sure, they were lying, and sure, they may have committed some violent act, but you have no idea if they're morally in the right. You can only hope they've done something terrible based on what you're hearing.
20 minutes pass before Yan Da returns with the two. They are now unconscious, bloody, bruised, and are missing most of their fingernails and toenails. One of them is even missing a finger and some teeth. As you approach Yan Da he yells for everyone to gather up before taking out a pipe. A few minutes later everyone is around the fire and Yan Da stops smoking. "Alright, so Zuo Shi and Feng Jun found these two in some shack. They're part of a large group of bandits who live nearby, and their leader is at Middle Meridian Opening. There are at least 20 or 30 cultivators with them. Most of them have a lower cultivation, but if it comes to a group fight we'll probably be roughly even. They came here to find an old man who stole a cache of money hidden by the 'Great Bandit' of the Northern Wastes nearly 50 years ago, figure out where he was hiding the money, and then kill him. The reason they have information about all of this is because their leader is that bandit's grandson. They found him and are now forcing him to lead them to the money. Our objective is to now either force the old man to give us the money or take the money from the bandits after they force him to get it. The value of the stash is probably several hundred thousand gold, so keep your greed in check and you'll all get a cut of it. Mine is half, and you all get ten percent each. Any questions?"
You...
>ask whether you should really be robbing this old man. He stole from bandits, so he never did anything wrong. Maybe if you save him he'll give you guys a reward anyways.
>say nothing and wait for further orders.
>ask what's going to happen to the two bandits you brought back.
>Other
>>
>>3658569
>>say nothing and wait for further orders.
Morals and large amounts of cash dont mix. We could get upwards of 50 to 60 thousand gold and that would allow us to by more wasteland scrolls and pills
>>
>>3658569
>>say nothing and wait for further orders.
>>
You have some moral qualms about this, but the sheer amount of money is making you care less about that. Plus, if you object then you're not sure what's going to happen. Feng Jun and Yan Da wouldn't do anything violent to you from what you can tell, but if you were forced to wait somewhere and cultivate while they took the money somewhere safe, you'd understand. You just can't deal with that sort of delay when the point of being in the wastes is training.
"Alright, seeing as there aren't any questions you'll be following me. Those two said their second-in-command was heading over to that shack to help them and kill Feng Jun and Zuo Shi. We're going to find him, kill or capture him and anyone he brought along, and then catch up to the main group." After announcing this everyone quickly begins to gather their things and prepare to head out. As they do Yan Da tells you and Feng Jun to come with him. You follow him and he grabs the two men you captured.
The five of you stop a few hundred feet away from where you set up camp, and Yan Da leaves the two you captured on the ground. "You found them, so it's up to you to deal with them. Here's some rope, and you have your weapons. Kill them or not, it's up to you. Just make sure they can't interfere and tip off their superiors, or it's your cut on the line." You look at the two bandits, and after a quick examination find out they're unconscious. They look pitiable injured like this, but you know that leaving them alive could mean innocents are killed or robbed in the future. You don't know if they've ever committed murder, but it's likely. You...
>ask Feng Jun what he wants to do with them.
>tie the two up against a tree. That should keep them.
>break their limbs, they won't be able to do much for at least a month. You can bring them to a tribe later and hopefully they'll retire and become normal members of society.
>leave and let Feng Jun do what he wants with them.
>kill them. It disgusts you slightly and you really don't want to do it, but it'll be better for society. They're criminals and likely murderers.
>Other
>>
>>3658947
>>ask Feng Jun what he wants to do with them.
And lets him do what he wants. If he believes there could be a bounty we could hold them up for that. Break their legs and tie them up so they will be waiting patiently for us. and hopefully, a beast doesn't get to them before we get back.
>>
>>3659157
Yeah I agree
>>
You'd rather not kill these bandits, but you'll leave the decision up to Feng Jun. "Brother Feng, what do you want to do with them?" After you ask him he immediately replies. "Tying them up should be enough. We were the first to attack so I'd prefer not to kill them. Maybe they have a bounty on their head, but it's nothing much compared to what we're looking at, so I'll just call it a favor for telling us about the treasure."
The two of you tie them to the tree high enough so that beasts can't get at them and then Feng Jun writes something on a sheet of paper before weighing it down to a nearby branch. You check the sheet out of curiosity, and it just says "If you leave we'll kill you. Stay tied up if you want to live. Our boss said he'd give you a cut, so there's something in it for you." Well, the last part is a lie, but it'll probably get them to stay still.
You catch up with the rest of the group just before they approach the mud hut. Yan Da stops everyone in a nearby stretch of trees, forcing you to lie prone in the wet, sticky mud. After several minutes of sitting there you see a thin, tall man step out of the hut. Yan Da grunts to himself in satisfaction. "That's him. I'll get him. Two of you help, the rest of you make sure no one jumps me." After saying this Yan Da immediately jumps from the ground and runs towards the thin man.
The thin man turns around and parries Yan Da's first punch, having heard him, and they exchange several rounds of blows as the rest of the group approaches. Yan Da has the upper hand, but it would probably take a few minutes for him to clench victory. Around the time you reach the battle you see several figures coming out of the darkness, but you don't have time to see how powerful they are. You...
>help Yan Da fight his opponent, it'll be safer than dealing with an unknown variable.
>hold off the dark figures, for all you know they could be as weak as those two back there.
>Other
>>
>>3659358
>>help Yan Da fight his opponent, it'll be safer than dealing with an unknown variable.
listen to instructions. Help him get the thin guy subdued/killed quickly. bounties all around!
>>
>>3659358
>>help Yan Da fight his opponent, it'll be safer than dealing with an unknown variable
>>
Was going to update but something came up, I'll have to put it off until tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
>>
>>3659358
>help Yan Da fight his opponent, it'll be safer than dealing with an unknown variable.
We'll we're pretty powerfull even at our level,so opening the fight with a 4 desire should fuck up the thin man quickly.
>>
You'll help Yan Da fight his opponent and leave fighting the others to whoever wants to. You don't know the strength of those figures in the darkness, but Yan Da has his opponent under control. You shouldn't be injured trying to help him.
You approach Yan Da's fight with the thin man, intimidated by their furious exchange of blows. You wait a few moments for an opening and then launch an all-out attack at the thin man's legs, aiming to injure him and force him to take a finishing blow from Yan Da. "4 Desires!" You thrust out with your guandao as another member of your group stabs towards his back. The thin man glances around before suddenly tilting backwards, forcing your strike to land against the sword sheathed on his back and dodging the stab aimed at him.
Your attack is mostly absorbed by the sword, barely leaving a few scratches on his back. Still, the combined attack of two of you gives Yan Da an opening. Yan Da's fist soars towards the thin man's face and smashes into his nose, drawing blood. The two of you are forced away as the two fighting fall to the ground, grappling against each other. Within 15 or 20 seconds it's over, the thin man's face beaten beyond recognition through punches and headbutts.
You turn your attention to the dark figures from before and see that they're mostly subdued. Yan Da finishes off the couple still fighting and then throws them all into a pile. There are five bandits dressed in black, most of them in Early Blood and Viscera Tempering or Late Bone and Marrow Tempering. Besides them is the thin man from before, the bandit's second-in-command. Yan Da looks over the group before addressing everyone. "I'll get some info out of their second-in-command, you take care of the rest. While you're at it, get someone to dig further in that house. Maybe you'll find something." Yan Da wanders off and you...
>go to dig, you don't want to 'take care of' these bandits.
>wait near the bandits and see what the rest want to do.
>keep watch, you should make sure no one else is coming.
>Other
>>
>>3661302
>go to dig, you don't want to 'take care of' these bandits.
They can take care of themselves.
>>
>>3661302
>>keep watch, you should make sure no one else is coming.
>>
Going with the first vote instead of RNG for a tiebreaker because I was writing it when the second came in.
You don't want to have to keep dealing with bandits, so you volunteer to do the digging in the hut and leave the rest of the group. You enter the hut and it's the same as before besides the blood now seeming dry. You grab the shovel that you didn't break while fighting and begin digging. This continues for quite some time, but you don't find anything. Only all sorts of mud, rocks, and clay. As you're digging you hear someone enter and turn towards the sound. It's one of the men from the group that were watching the bandits. He just waves at you and then throws something towards you. "Here's your share."
You catch the object before you can see it since it's dark in here. It's oddly soft and warm. What is this? You examine the object and see that it's.. an ear?! You look towards the man, confused, and he snaps his fingers in response. "Oh, right, you wouldn't know about that yet. For the minor bandits you need the ear for the bounty once they're dead. Nobody recognizes them so the bounty is just based off of their cultivation. It's easier than carrying a head, cleaner than a heart, and despite several tribes trying to instate it nobody wants to carry a dick." The man leaves the hut without saying anything else, but you get the message pretty clearly- they're going to kill the bandits and you're a part of it. This ear is gross, but you get over it quickly. They're just bandits after all, killing them is fine. You just don't want to do it yourself.
A few minutes later Feng Jun calls you back to the rest of the group where Yan Da is standing next to the thin man. He is still badly injured, but smiling. "This is Dai Zexi, second-in-command of the bandit crew we're following. He'll be following my orders in exchange for not crippling him and turning him in for the bounty as well as 5% of the money. He'll lead us to where the bandits were when he left, you guys follow behind."
You group leaves the hut without incident and Dai Zexi leads everyone further into the swamp, a dopey grin on his face. You're surprised he gave in that easily, but you don't think too hard about it. Maybe the share he got was even worse than 5%, there were a lot of bandits after all. As your group advances you see faint footsteps, broken sticks, and other signs of human activities. You guess Dai Zexi isn't lying about leading you to the bandits. Eventually you reach a thicket of trees and Dai Zexi stops everyone. "Boss told me that he'd send someone back here once they knew where they needed to start digging. I was supposed to come back with one of the culprits, so who wants to volunteer?" You...
>wait for someone else to speak up, this is too risky for you.
>volunteer yourself, if Dai Zexi is truly on your side then this is fine.
>Other
>>
>>3661619
>>wait for someone else to speak up, this is too risky for you.
Yeah fuck that. Not worth the risk.just some more money. We dont need it.
>>
>>3661619
>>wait for someone else to speak up, this is too risky for you.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d5)

You're letting someone else volunteer for this, you're not going along with this. You wait for someone to, but unsurprisingly no one wants to go along with Dai Zexi. Eventually Yan Da sighs and begins picking up sticks. After he gathers a few he leaves and returns with five shortened sticks held in his hand. "Since no one wants to volunteer we're drawing sticks. Whoever gets the shortest one has to go." Well, you suppose this is nothing if fair. You line up with the rest and draw a stick. After comparing them you...
>>
...have a short stick, but not the shortest. Someone else is forced to go, given a couple bruises by Dai Zexi for 'makeup', and then slung over his shoulder. Everyone watches from the shadows as Dai Zexi walks onto a hill and waits for a moment. After a few seconds a dark figure approaches him and the two leave together. Yan Da motions for everyone to follow and begins quietly moving forward.
The five of you sneak through the swamp for some time until Dai Zexi and the figure come to a stop. Dai Zexi sets the man he was carrying on the ground, waves to someone, and then walks into the distance. A few moments, Yan Da begins whispering. "He should be heading over to the rest of the bandits. I told him to get in position to launch a sneak attack on his boss. We'll wait a minute for him to do so, and then charge in."
A couple minutes pass, the silence only broken by some indiscernible yelling. After the uneasy wait Yan Da tells everyone to charge forward before you rush over a hill and towards the direction Dai Zexi left in.
Once you're over the hill and run a short distance you see somewhere between 15 and 20 people surrounding a hole in the ground. Next to the hole is a wrinkled old man with a bruise on his face having a laughing fit. Dai Zexi is standing next to a tall, sturdy man who you suppose is their boss. Upon your arrival the group of bandits looks in your direction and their boss looks furious. "Good! Good! Of course we have someone else getting the jump on us after this shit! Just you wait you old man, I'll get you back for your bullshit!"
The boss prepares to move towards your group as the bandit charges, but before he can Dai Zexi pulls out a knife and stabs towards his back. The boss reacts quickly, trying to grab the knife, but you see blood shoot fly through the air as the two clash. The boss swears and the two begin fighting as the bandits falter, confused.
Your group takes this opening and charges in. You...
>charge in and disable as many of the bandits as you can while they're confused.
>approach the fight between Dai Zexi and his boss, you might just be getting in the way in a fight between three Meridian Opening cultivators, but maybe you could prevent an injury by taking some pressure off of them.
>move to protect the old man, if he dies then no one can get to the money.
>Other
>>
>>3661882
>>charge in and disable as many of the bandits as you can while they're confused.
>>
>>3661882
>>charge in and disable as many of the bandits as you can while they're confused.
>>
>>3661882
>>move to protect the old man, if he dies then no one can get to the money
Disable as many as we can on our way to the old man.
>>
You're a bit afraid for the old man, but you don't think anyone would kill him unless it was a last-ditch effort to save themselves. Anyways, he could rob some great bandit 50 years ago so he should be able to take care of himselves. You charge into the group of bandits, guandao in hand, and try to take advantage of their confusion to disable them.
Yan Da rushes over to the fight between Dai Zexi and his boss, while the man you sent with him earlier picks himself off of the ground and joins you. The fight is 3:1, but the enemy is confused and many of the bandits are only at Bone and Marrow Tempering or even lower. You should be able to win.
A slash heavily wounds someone at Early Bone and Marrow Tempering, and next you launch 3 Desires at someone at Early Blood and Viscera Tempering. He snaps to attention and blocks most of the impact with his saber, but is still left with a nasty cut. You engage in pretty even combat for five rounds before he gets into the swing of things, pushing you back slightly. Still, you hold on and look for an opening. Eventually he attacks too wide in a bid to deal a major wound to you, and you steady your guandao, pushing forward. "5 Desires!" Your guandao flashes in multiple directions before your opponent cries out in pain. He hurried to block, but three deep slashes appear on his side. He tries to fight but you quickly deal another major wound, putting him out of the fight.
After that fight you help the others defeat a couple of stragglers. Those bandits end up meeting a rather unfortunate death unlike you opponents, and after 10 minutes of combat all the fighting is over. The bandit's boss is missing an arm and tied up on the ground, Dai Zexi and Yan Da are lightly injured but will be fine, and all of the bandits are defeated.
As you look over the scene you see that one of the men from your group is maimed. A massive wound goes through his right side, ending in a massive cut along his wrist. His right hand is hanging from a bit of flesh, almost like it's going to fall of at any moment. Someone quickly goes over to help him, pulling medicinal supplies out of their pack. As they do so you hear laughter break the somber mood.
>>
The laughter comes from the old man. He's drinking some alcohol while searching through a dead bandit's things. "Ahahahaha, thanks for the help! Well, if you excuse me I'll be leaving after my drink, have a good one..." As the old man goes to walk away, Yan Da loudly replies. "Stop. We know what's going on here and we're taking your money." The old man glances back at Yan Da before laughing again. "My money? Alright then, you can try it. If you have the balls. I was leading those bandits around and three of them died digging that hole. I don't think you guys have enough bodies to go around if that happens to you, right?"
Yan Da turns silent before glaring at the old man. "What do you want then." "What do I want? Well, for starters I'd like you to all fuck off and leave and old man to his rest. You can dig around and look for my 'treasure' if you want, but you'll have to do it alone. If you're willing to spend a few years looking for it I don't mind giving it to you- this old man doesn't have long left to live anyways. So, how's that sound?" Yan Da remains silent and just sighs. "I need to discuss something with Dai Zexi. One of you guard the old men, the rest clean up the battlefield and finish off the stragglers. The boss is all we need." Yan Da and Dai Zexi walk away as...
>you go to watch the old man, you'll make sure he doesn't leave.
>help the others de-ear and loot the dead bandits.
>help treat the maimed man.
>Other
>>
>>3662061
>>you go to watch the old man, you'll make sure he doesn't leave.
Chat him up. Why is he living in the middle of the Wastes?
>>
>>3662061
>>help the others de-ear and loot the dead bandits.
>>
I'll wait half an hour to an hour for a tiebreaker.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>3662407
>>
Well, you guess you'll watch the old man and make sure he doesn't run away. You walk up to him and he waves at you, still laughing. "Hey runt, want some booze?" He shakes the half-drunk canteen of alcohol in his hand and you shake your head in response. "Ahahaha, all the more for me then! Paaaah, that's the stuff!" As he finishes he gulps down the rest of the alcohol in a single gulp.
The old man just sits around and loots the bandits for booze, books, something to do while you chat with him. "So, how'd you steal from that 'Great Bandit'? You aren't a cultivator, are you?" The old man takes another drink before responding. "Mm, maybe I'm not now. 50 years ago was a different story though- I could kill everyone here without much trouble." You wait for the old man to say more, but he doesn't go on, simply sipping at another canteen full of booze he found. You'd write this off as drunken ramblings, but he seems to have good alcohol tolerance and looks serious. Was he really that strong?
"Ok then, how'd you wind up in this swamp?" The old man looks at you like you're an idiot and then dryly chuckles. "How'd I end up here? You try to steal the better part of a million gold coins from someone and find somewhere where they won't find you. I was planning on leaving eventually now that he's dead, but it looks like one of his descendants found me first, and now you thieves. I stole from a bandit, but now you're just robbing some poor old man. Don't you feel bad?" "Slightly, but not enough to do anything about it. That's a lot of money after all."
The conversation between you two fades into silence after a while before he turns to you, smiling. "Y'know what kid, I have a proposition for you. I'll lead you, and you alone to the money, and then we split it 50/50. Has to be more than what they're offering you, right? We have to do it now though, before your boss gets back." That's a tempting offer, but this is risky. The old man could be tricking you, and you'd rather not fuck over Yan Da and Feng Jun- you haven't known them for too long, but they've helped you out. Well, more Feng Jun than Yan Da, but he's a good guy nonetheless. You...
>decline, you're not interested.
>accept, that much money is just too much of a draw. You can cut in Feng Jun later.
>find Feng Jun and see if he wants in on the deal. A third each, and you'd have an extra helper. If he says no you might have a lot of trouble on your hands though.
>ask him what happens if everyone catches up with him. Does he have a way to stop the two of you from dying?
>ask what guarantee you have that he won't try to get you caught in some trap and leave you.
>Other
>>
>>3662689
>>decline, you're not interested
Trust that fang and his people wont screw us. And we wont screw them.
We are not in dire need of money. We will get a nice chunk of that anyway.
>>
>>3662689
>>decline, you're not interested.
Nah were mostly here for life experiences, not gold. And we'd have to flee the north if we did this
>>
>>3662689
We've got a decent weapon.
OP how much would you say our weapon costs? Also about how much would an upgrade be?
>>3662801
Yeah the way things are working we could likely make that much if we work hard with in 2-3 years.
>>
>>3662840
You're not sure about the exact cost, but it's probably somewhere from 80,000 to 100,000 gold coins. You wouldn't have gotten a weapon this expensive, but there weren't many guandaos in the Dozen Treasure Pavilion. Luckily for you no one will recognize how expensive the weapon is unless they're a refiner or examine it closely. It's a low-key weapon.
>>
The money is obviously tempting, but it's not enough to make you betray everyone else here. You're not here for gold anyways, you'll earn enough of that eventually. You immediately decline, surprising the old man, but he just laughs after you say that. "Of course no one would trust a shady old man like me. Oh well, I tried. I'll just have to strike a deal with your leader or die in the process. I was saving that money for when I left here. Figured I'd buy some businesses, spend my last 10 or 20 years as a leading figure in some small tribe. It's a shame you guys had to steal that from me."
The two of you sit in silence for a minute before the old man starts talking again, as if he can't stand the silence. "I've spent most of my life in this swamp. That does things to a man. The only person I've spoken for the past 20 years is a village merchant who I get my food from. I visit once or twice a year, bring everything here, and then I start storing or aging them." After a short pause he continues. "Fuck, I knew I should've gotten a woman before I came here. A woman makes everything more bearable."
After saying that he doesn't say anything else, and after a short wait Yan Da returns. He's splattered in blood, and he has their boss over his shoulder. In one hand he's holding a bloody burlap sack. You wait a moment for Dai Zexi to appear, but he's nowhere to be found.
Yan Da claps his hands together to get everyone's attention, ignoring the fact that Dai Zexi is gone. "Alright then, split your loot and let's get going! The old man is going to lead the front." Everyone begins gathering together, but the old man stays where he is. "Really? I don't remember agreeing to lead you." Yan Da frowns. "You don't have a choice." "Oh, really? What if I told you I could burst out with my full power and kill all of you, and the only cost for me was being even more crippled for the rest of my life. You should know how strong I was in my prime, right? You interrogated that brat after all."
There's a short pause before Yan Da says anything. "10% from my cut. You'll get paid the same as one of these guys." The old man smiles as he gets up and dusts himself off. "Well, that's not much but if you say so. Follow me..." As everyone begins following the old man you...
>chat with Feng Jun, you should be able to relax from here-on out.
>watch the swamp around you, you don't trust that this old man doesn't have traps set up.
>Other
>>
That was the last update for the night
>>
>>3663053
Thanks
>>3663047
>>watch the swamp around you, you don't trust that this old man doesn't have traps set up.
>>
>>3663047
>>watch the swamp around you, you don't trust that this old man doesn't have traps set up.
>>
>>3663047
>watch the swamp around you, you don't trust that this old man doesn't have traps set up.
>>
You would let your guard down, but you don't trust that this old man doesn't have traps set up. You walk through the swamp, warily glancing at everything that grabs your attention. Still, you don't see anything, and this march continues for several hours. Eventually, in the middle of the night, the old man tells everyone to stop. As you look around, you feel like this place is oddly familiar. You can't tell why though.
The old man gestures for everyone to come over and points towards a small patch of mud and water. "I hid it somewhere over there. Give me a moment." Every gathers around the old man as he walks around, examining the ground. It doesn't take him long, and eventually he says. "Here it is! It's under here, there's a problem though..." Yan Da freezes up before hesitantly asking what the problem is. "Well, there's signs of digging here. Recent digging. Someone was here. I can look for what's here, but it might be gone..."
After the old man says this you take a closer look at where he's finding and determine that he is correct- someone must have been digging around here. Then, a few seconds later, it hits you. You were the one who left those signs. You weren't formally digging, but you were disturbing the soil and picking through the mud to get those jars of food. Does that mean the money was hiding under it? You glance at Feng Jun, and he seems both amused and nervous. He must have realized it too.
Yan Da scratches his head and swears. "Just dig then old man, but if you hide the money from us we aren't going easy on you. If it is stolen then we'll look for whoever took it." As the old man is handed a shovel and begins stepping into the water and slowly digging, you...
>stay silent, you could clear up this misunderstanding but it just brings risk to you.
>tell Yan Da that this is where you found the food from earlier, this way the old man won't have any way to hide the money under the excuse of someone getting to it already.
>Other
>>
>>3664946
>>tell Yan Da that this is where you found the food from earlier, this way the old man won't have any way to hide the money under the excuse of someone getting to it already.
>>
>>3664946
>tell Yan Da that this is where you found the food from earlier, this way the old man won't have any way to hide the money under the excuse of someone getting to it already.
I knew we shouldn't have taken the food.
>>
As the old man digs you approach Yan Da and quietly tell him why the ground is disturbed. "No one should have gotten the money here, this is where Feng Jun and I found that food." "...Alright then, I'll keep it in mind." Yan Da then gestures for you to leave before calling Feng Jun over, likely to confirm your story. The two only talk for a minute or so before Feng Jun is left to his own devices.
Everyone quietly waits for the old man to finish digging, the nervousness of whether there's money or not stopping them from chatting. You do get your share from the bandits though- three more ears and a small coinpurse. After nearly half an hour like this the old man loudly coughs. "Alright, here it is. The money."
Everyone excitedly closes in on the old man, Yan Da taking the lead. He looks into the hole and his face lights up, grabbing something in the hole. Seconds later he pulls up an old, wooden chest. It's wet, but the wood is clearly rather expensive. Anything in there should have held up over 50 years. Yan Da sets the chest down and the old man hands him a key. Yan Da uses it to open a small, rusty lock hanging off the front of the chest. He excitedly opens the chest up, everyone leaning in to see.
Inside the chest you see a small layer of bills, but you can't make out the denonination. Yan Da examines one of them closely before he stops moving. "You... what is this. There are more chests, right?" The old man laughs in response. "More chests? Why would I buy more chests when I can fit all the money in one? That's everything that's left- 30,000 gold coins in 100 coin bills!" Upon hearing this everyone's excitement fades, confused and annoyed about the situation.
Yan Da puts the bill back into the chest and approaches the old man, angry. "It was supposed to hundreds of thousands. Why's there only 30,000." The old man smiles at Yan Da, seemingly not intimidated. "Well, what do you do with money?" A few seconds pass, and realizing he won't get an answer from Yan Da, the old man continues. "You spend it. I already spent most of it before I went into hiding. I donated a large portion of it to my home tribe, and the rest to other people I knew. I figured 30,000 gold coins would be enough to buy a few businesses and enjoy the rest of my life once I came out of hiding."
Yan Da stares at the old man before loudly swearing. "You... you bastard. Dammit!" The old man stares back, the smile disappearing from his face. "Any complaints? Or do you really want to die in exchange for crippling an old man. If you insist on dragging me on your little treasure hunt any further, then that's what's going to happen." This... isn't good. Yan Da is angrier than you would expect given the situation, and the old man has torn down his amused facade. You...
>keep quiet, you aren't getting involved in this.
>tell Yan Da that fighting won't help and that's risky.
>back away in case he pisses off the old man and he's telling the truth about being able to kill all of you.
>Other
>>
>>3665110
>tell Yan Da that fighting won't help and that's risky.
I mean we where out to steal the old guy's money,beating him up on top of that would be an ass move.
>>
You doubt Yan Da will escalate this, but it's not looking good. You guess you need to say something. "Yan Da, I don't think fighting that old man is a good idea." By the time you finish he's turned to face you, still angry. "I already know that! I'm not that dumb. Anyways, let's take our cut and leave." Your group takes 90% of the stash as the old man stands by the side with his 10%. As you all get ready to leave he waves at all of you, but his last words... surprise you to say the last. "Nice seeing you all. I'll be leaving the Black Swamp after this, so maybe we'll run into each other again. And if I've recovered from my wounds, I'll kill you!"
Yan Da turns back to face the old man, but after a few seconds ignores him and starts walking away again. "Are you all surprised? You didn't think I'd hold a grudge? Too bad! This is what happens when you rob innocents you greedy bastards! The 'Great Bandit' was on my shitlist originally, but now that he's dead a new group of bandits have replaced them." One member of the group turns to face the old man, angry, and the old man simply waves back at him and takes a fighting pose. Before he can do anything, Yan Da grabs him by the shoulder and stops him. "If you fight him we're going to die and he's going to be crippled. I'm 90% sure that's true based on what the bandits' boss told me and his attitude. Just let it go."
You group leaves, the old man leaving behind cheerful death threats as you do so. In exchange for this, you've earned 3,000 gold coins from the 'treasure' and at least half that in bounties and coin purses. Eventually everyone gets back to camp and sleeps. The watch is doubled for the night.
Everyone starts late the next day, and there's no much conversation before everyone starts walking. You should be able to exit the swamp tomorrow morning at this rate. After walking with the group you decide to...
>stick with the group, after the events of yesterday you feel it's safer here.
>hunt some beasts, you could use some more skins.
>search for more herbs native to the swamp.
>practice your movement technique across the water and mud of the swamp.
>Other
>>
>>3665302
>practice your movement technique across the water and mud of the swamp.

OP, what's even the name of the technique? I feel like we have techniques, but most of them are throwaways.
>>
>>3665431
Fair enough, here you go.
Guandao Techniques :
72 Desires [Currently at 5 Desires, got from the Yu family. You only have the first half in your possession.]
Polearm Techniques :
Extended Blow [Mastered, purchased at Border City. Mostly useless outside of 1v1 fights. Gives you extra reach/force in exchange for dislocating your shoulder for a moment.]
Movement Techniques :
Minute Deftness [Useful, but not mastered. Given to you by Zhu Chao. Helps you dodge blows by using as small a movement as possible.]
Spinning Leaf, Crawling Rat [Useful, will likely be mastered within a few months. Allows you to increase your base speed through your form and how you utilize your leg and back muscles. Bought at Border City recently.]
>>
Today you'll just try to practice that movement technique you bought in Border City as best as you can. The faster you become adept at it, the faster you'll be able to leverage your speed when fighting opponents with a higher cultivation than you. You approach Feng Jun and ask him to head out with you, but he unexpectedly declines. "Yan Da knows we dug near where the money was yesterday and we ended up getting less than expected. Given what happened afterwards I doubt he'd suspect anything, but either way it'd be better for us not to leave together. He has seemed a little off since last night, and if he jumped to conclusions it'd be unfortunate." You didn't consider it, but if Feng Jun thinks that it's something to worry about then you'll take it into consideration. You approach someone else from the group and they reluctantly agree to buddy up with you while you practice your movement in the swamp.
You leave the group for the next few hours, carefully controlling your movement across patches of deep, sticky mud, pools of grimy water, and deep reeds growing in the swamp. Eventually the person you came with gets tired of travelling with you and insists you return to the group. Later you switch out with a couple of other people, managing to get nearly a full day's worth of practice in. That night everyone is eerily silent, and Yan Da remains in a bad mood.
As everyone is sitting around the fire, quietly eating, Yan Da breaks the silence. "We'll head to the center of the wastes immediately and turn in these bounties. The smaller villages won't have the cash and I want to get rid of this annoyance as soon as possible." As he says this he points towards the bandits' boss, who your group has been dragging around since yesterday. At this point he seems to have given up struggling. "Plus, Ding Mu got injured yesterday in that fight. We shouldn't wander around while his hand is that badly injured. Without proper medical treatment he won't be able to use it."
With Yan Da's words the decision is made, and everyone prepares to head towards the center of the Northern Wastes at full speed. Your route goes through a set of forests, and then towards a main road that connects the five major tribes at the center of the wastes. All in all it takes five days, and with the protection of Yan Da it isn't too dangerous. You do spot bandits and animals that would be able to kill or injure you if you fought them, but luckily you're with a group. After you get on the main road this problem disappears, and it's smooth sailing up until you reach Green City, home of the Green Tribe.
>>
Besides Green City, there's also Red City, Blue City, White City, and Palette City in this area. They're all gathered around a large lake in the center of the wastes, although no one knows what lies within- apparently figures as powerful as elders of your family ventured in, but they never came back after going too far in. No one knows why they died, but due to this the natives have a healthy respect for the lake and there's heavy regulation on the amount of fishing done from it.
Your group is standing at the city gate of Green City, which is bustling with people. Something strikes you as odd though. There are a lot of guards near the gate, and everyone is moving slower than you expected. Maybe the inspections here are especially tight? You ask the others about this, the mood in your group having returned to normal by now, and Yan Da answers. "I've come here before but it wasn't like this. Whatever it is, it was implemented within the past few years."
You wait to reach the gate, confused, and eventually a guard approaches your group. "None of you have passes, correct?" Yan Da looks confused, but answers. "Passes? No, we don't have anything like that." "I figured. Alright then, I'll need a drop of blood from each of you." As the guard says this, he pulls out a clear, ordinary looking crystal. Feng Jun cuts his finger without much hesitation, but the rest of the group warily asks why the guard needs their blood. In response he shrugs. "All of the tribes around the Holy Lake are being required to do this. Don't worry, this is just for your first time entering the city, after that you can enter and leave freely with a pass. I'm not sure exactly what it was about, but I heard rumors that it was being done to find suitable members to join the tribes around here. They don't often do recruitment, but this isn't unheard of. One of my superiors mentioned something like this happening about 100 years ago. Anyways, give me some blood so I can put it against this crystal. Hurry up, I don't have all day."
As the rest of the group reluctantly goes to cut themselves, you pull out your dagger. You wouldn't worry about this, but your blood is special. You absorbed that object related to 'The Horned God', and due to the seed near your heart it can raise plants. Who knows what's going to happen if you let him check it. You...
>reluctantly cut yourself and let the drop of blood press against the crystal. He said it's for recruitment, so in the worst case some tribe will try to convince you to join.
>tell Feng Jun you'll meet him later and slip out of the crowd entering the city. You need to buy a pass off of someone.
>leave, the cities near the Holy Lake are too dangerous. If they're inspecting your blood at the gates then who knows what else is inside.
>Other
>>
>>3665642
>>tell Feng Jun you'll meet him later and slip out of the crowd entering the city. You need to buy a pass off of someone.
They are looking for our bloodline
>>
>>3665642
>>tell Feng Jun you'll meet him later and slip out of the crowd entering the city. You need to buy a pass off of someone.
>>
Whatever they're doing, you can't risk being a part of what's going on here. You tell Feng Jun that you'll meet him in the city after you buy a pass and begin making your way out of the crowd. As you leave you notice that there are quite a few others leaving too. You doubt they have as many secrets as you, but it's natural that cultivators would be hesitant about providing blood.
As you exit the crowd a woman in a dirty robe approaches you. "I see you're turning around, I can help you. Do you need a pass? 500 gold coins only, it's a special price for you!" ...That was fast. You didn't expect so many people to turn back, they even made a business out of it? You ask the woman if you can see a pass, and he hands one to you. It's a sturdy piece of paper with some sort of watermark on it. You guess that's to prevent counterfits. There's a name, age, sex, and cultivation printed on the front. On the back there's a short description including hair color, height, and other such things. This... this is way more information than you thought they'd keep. It might be harder to find a pass you can use than you thought.
Well, you may as well check with this woman. "Do you have a pass for someone with a cultivation at Middle Bone and Marrow Tempering? They need to be male, 13 to 16 years old, and have a description I can match." The woman scratches her head and hesitantly says. "No, no, not on me... I can check though! If you wait until I'm off duty then I can head back to our base. We have a few boxes of passes we've bought off of people there. Maybe there's one there." That sounds promising, but anything they have is only going to be a near match. You're going to need to change your name again while you're here too. Maybe it would be better to just look for a counterfeiter and get one made specifically for you? These look hard to counterfeit, but it's clearly not impossible- they're only slips of paper made by the tribes after all, not the bills produced by Hi Empire.
After considering your options you...
>wait for the woman to get off work, you may as well see what they have to offer.
>offer the woman some money to finish early and go look for a suitable pass with him. You want to get into Green City as soon as possible.
>decline his offer and go into one of the nearby villages. If you look around you're sure you can track down a counterfeiter and find something less suspicious.
>Other
>>
>>3666040
>>wait for the woman to get off work, you may as well see what they have to offer.
It just has to be close enough. I am sure the guards don't care that much. get the age and cultivation about right. And height and hair and we're good.
>>
>>3666040
>>offer the woman some money to finish early and go look for a suitable pass with him. You want to get into Green City as soon as possible.
>>
>>3666113
I'll change from this to
>>3666355
I like the option better actually. Faster and what not.
>>
You want to get into Green City now. It'll come at a premium, but you're going to pay them to finish early and show you what they have. As long as you can find something similar enough you can enter the city. It's not like the guards care that much. Hell, if you slipped them a few coins you could probably get in, but you're not willing to take that risk.
"I'll pay 1000 gold coins instead of 500 as long as you have a pass I can use. Do you want to head over to where you're staying now?" The woman stops her approach towards someone else fleeing the guard's checkpoint, and just says "1200". You're pretty sure you could pay several times less than this if you were willing to wait and haggle a bit, but you'd rather just save the time. "Alright, 1200 then." The woman looks ecstatic and smiles towards you. "Follow me, follow me, we have plenty of passes. I'm sure one of them will work for you!""
You follow the woman to a hamlet an hour outside of Green City. Upon entering you see several suspicious looking men and women, and boxes full of passes stacked up on one side of the room. "Sort through everything and take out anything with a cultivation at Middle Bone and Marrow Tempering, sex male, with an age from 13 to 16, and with a description this young master can match." ...You think she's going too far with sucking up with the 'young master' bit without knowing your identity, but you suppose money is a good motivator. Everyone in the hamlet sorts through the boxes, looking for passes that fit your specifications. It looks like it'll take a while. As you're waiting, the woman who approached you asks you how many passes you'd like. Theoretically you only need one, but you guess you can see the benefit in having a spare in case you get blacklisted for some reason. Still, it seems like a waste of money. You...
>tell her you only need the one, she's just trying to get more money out of you.
>say that you want two if possible.
>Other
After answering her question you...
>wait in silence, you just want your pass.
>ask how they managed to get this many passes. Do they just buy them off of people leaving the city? Do they hire people to go up, get them, and sell them? You're curious.
>Other
I'll update once before I fall asleep but that won't be for a few hours.
>>
>>3666459
>>say that you want two if possible
>ask how they managed to get this many passes. Do they just buy them off of people leaving the city? Do they hire people to go up, get them, and sell them? You're curious.
>>
>>3666459
>>say that you want two if possible
>ask how they managed to get this many passes. Do they just buy them off of people leaving the city? Do they hire people to go up, get them, and sell them? You're curious.
>>
Well, it might be a waste of money but it wouldn't hurt to have a spare. "If it's possible I'll take two." The woman smiles, cheerfully complimenting you on your choice. "The price then, 1200 gold coins times two would be..." ...Alright, she's trying to gouge you a bit too much. A bit of money doesn't bother you, but you're not a fool. "1200 gold coins was for you leaving early, the pass, and for you sorting through all of those boxes. I'll make it 1300 and you're still making a tidy profit. I doubt anyone pays 500 gold coins for a pass normally, do they?" The woman looks crestfallen, but agrees to your price without haggling.
The silence is killing you, so you try to strike up a conversation with this woman while you wait. "How do you get so many passes? Do you buy them off of people leaving the city? Hire people to get passes who don't care about entering?" "Why, do you want to enter the business?" "No, I'm just curious." There's a short pause before the woman shrugs. "Alright then, I can't tell you the details but I can mention one thing. There's no system to make sure no one registers for a pass twice. As long as the guards don't recognize and stop you then you can get a pass made as many times as you want. That means you can mass produce them." Well, you guess that makes sense. It might be suspicious to have a bunch of people with the same information wandering around, but you doubt anyone would notice.
After that she doesn't give you any more information and you get the only two passes that fit your requirements. Both say you're 16 and suggest that you're slightly taller than you are, but it's not enough to cause any problems. You thank the woman for her help and head towards Green City, passes in hand. Once you reach the crowd you wait patiently, are directed to an entrance for those with passes, and are waved through after a cursory inspection.
Despite the tight security measures, Green City's streets are lively. Trees and other greenery is planted all around, showing that the city lives up to its name. Near the entrance is a small horde of guides offering their services. Now that you're in the city you...
>hire a guide and get some information out of them, there are a few things you want to ask.
>find somewhere to stay, that's the first thing to take care of upon entering a city.
>wait near the gates and see if Feng Jun shows up. Hopefully he comes looking so you don't have to search for him yourself.
>look for somewhere to take on work first, that should be your first priority.
>Other
and now I sleep
>>
>>3666940
>>hire a guide and get some information out of them, there are a few things you want to ask.
Ask all the questions. We could do our sales and purchases before meeting up with anyone from the group. Then we meet up with Feng
While here we may want to sell our herbs and see about high tier techniques we may be able to find.
We don't want to add to many else we've too many things to work on. But possibly pick up some skills we could browse in the future. Or just see what could be a new addition. I'm sure we have plenty to throw around cash wise. and Restock on our high-class cultivation and survival pills
>>
>>3666459
>say that you want two if possible.
>ask how they managed to get this many passes. Do they just buy them off of people leaving the city? Do they hire people to go up, get them, and sell them? You're curious.
>>
>>3666940
>hire a guide and get some information out of them, there are a few things you want to ask.
ah fuck
>>
>>3666940
>hire a guide and get some information out of them, there are a few things you want to ask.
>>
>>3666940
>>hire a guide and get some information out of them, there are a few things you want to ask.

we should pay that old man back when we have the money to spend.
>>
>>3667445
He'll fucking murder us on sight.
>>
>>3667459
Agreed. Fuck that. What we could do is simply fuck off and never catch sight of him again.
And if we do we need to be at least 3-4 tiers higher so we can run away whole.
>>
>>3667480
Maybe QM will have him track each one of us down untill there's only us and Feng Jun running away from him,the dude is just creepy shouting death threats and waving when we were walking away.
>>
The first thing you should do is get a guide. You've never been here and you have some things to figure out. You'd also like to figure out more about this 'pass' thing and how taking blood samples could possibly be related.
You approach a man in his early 20s who's standing by the gates, advertising his services. "Four silver and I'll show you around for the day! Just four silver!" You pull some change out of your coinpurse and pay the man. "This is my first time in Green City, do you mind telling me more?" He stows away the money before nodding. "You probably already know this, but Green City is ruled over by the Green Tribe. They revere nature, and the city is filled with greenery as a result. The area near the gates is clean on the outside, but it's the poorest area of the city. Near the center you have the Green Tribe's buildings and other major buildings. There's the docks, although they aren't too active. People have given up on exploring the Holy Lake long ago, so it's mostly just fishermen. Then there's downtown, which has most of the nightlife and inns, and the business district where the market and organizations offering work are located. Anything else you need to know, or should I show you around now?"
That's helpful, but it doesn't answer the main question you had. "When did the 'passes' start? What are they for?" "When? Well, I think it was around a month ago. From what I can tell they're used to find new recruits to enter the Green Tribe, Red Tribe, Blue Tribe, and the White Tribe. I actually heard about two or three people coming through the city gates who were scouted into the tribe and given positions as officials for the time being. I heard the tribe was setting up marriages for them as well. The only other use besides that might be to reduce crime by filtering out known criminals." Well, you guess the guard wasn't lying then, they are trying to recruit people into the tribes. This isn't sinister, but you still don't want to get involved- some tribe headhunting you sounds undesirable.
Now that you've heard a bit about the city you...
>want to wait here and see if Feng Jun arrives.
>look for wherever bounties are collected, maybe Feng Jun is there.
>look for work in the business district.
>find some lodgings downtown, you need to take care of that first.
>check out the docks, you've never seen this 'Holy Lake' in person.
>see if there are any interesting landmarks in the city center.
>Other
>>
>>3666940
>look for a guide
Having some points of reference would be good, as well as some points of interest. We then need to find an accommodation, maybe sell our stuff, and regroup.

On a different note, what are we going to do about the old man? Dig up some information?
>>
>>3667604
Forgot to refresh, my bad.
>>3667580
>look for landmarks
>>
>>3667580
>>Other
Go to the business district. Sell our stock of herbs and what not. General restock. We should have plenty saved up. And look into any high class techniques we could use. This is a major city much better than border city we should be able to get some really quality shit here.
And after meet up with Feng. Collect bounty then get work.
>>
>>3667580
>>look for wherever bounties are collected, maybe Feng Jun is there.
>>
>>3667580
>check out the docks, you've never seen this 'Holy Lake' in person.

This smells like... Plot!
>>
Rolled 97, 29, 77, 50 = 253 (4d100)

>>3667607
>>3667628
>>3667629
>>3667702
guess I'll just order these by priority since we have a four-way tie, depending on the order I could fight several in one update
>>3667628
Sidenote though, Border City is a major city, in terms of development they're marginally better than any of the cities in the wastes. There is more work available here as well as rare items from the wastes due to the location though.
>>
You'd like to sell the cheaper herbs you found in the wastes and see what the Holy Lake looks like firsthand, but there are more important things to do first. "I'd like to see what's at the center of the city, after that I'll head to the bounty office." "Alright, that's easy! Off we go then." You follow the guide as you make your way deeper into the city, admiring the scenery and the orderly streets. Green City isn't as large as Border City, but everything seems more... well organized. You suppose this is because it has a tribe ruling over it. Border City had no unified leading force when it was founded and just developed as a place to trade.
As you approach the center of the city you see that quite a few people are wearing green robes. Most of them don't pay any attention to you, but a few of them seem like they're looking down on you. Before you have a chance to ask about it, your guide explains. "Those are the members of the Green Tribe. Their estate takes up the center of the city, and scattered around that are various houses and businesses owned by them. Ordinary citizens and travelers are allowed to visit the shops there, but they aren't allowed to own or rent property. The only exceptions have been earth-shaking figures with either a particularly powerful background or a cultivation at Acupoint Opening.
Your guide stops as you near the center of the city. The buildings ahead of all painted in a dark green, and far ahead of that you can faintly see a short wall. Apparently that's the divider between the Green Tribe's estate and the rest of the city. "This is where most of the important buildings are. Over there is the only Apothecaries' Guild in the wastes, although it can't compare to the one in the capital." You glance in the direction your guide is pointing in and see a large, multi-floored building with a green cauldron painted onto a signboard out front. The signboard just says "Green City Apothecary Guild". "There's also a few places that officially give work from the major tribes and other leading forces here. There is the Musician's Guild as well, although they aren't particularly prestigious. It's more of an arts thing than something that can assist with one's strength. I wouldn't recommend it."
After examining the center of the city your guide leads you to the bounty office, which is just a short distance away. Upon entering you see a clean lobby with several cultivators waiting around. Many of them carry around ears, heads, or people tied up or otherwise stopped from moving. A man with a cultivation you can't sense guards the door. After looking around for a bit you spot Feng Jun. It looks like your hunch was correct, he is here! He approaches you and gives you some money. Apparently Yan Da gave everyone a small cut from Dai Zexi and the bandits' boss.
>>
You turn in the ears for bounties, Feng Jun vouching for you since he was with the group that brought in the bandits' leader, and then the two of you leave. "I'm going to find somewhere to stay now. Do you want to come with me, or should we just meet up later." You...
>go with him, you need to find somewhere to stay too.
>want to check out the Apothecaries' Guild, hopefully they let laymen enter.
>go to the Musicians' Guild, you're not an expert but you have some experience. Much like poetry, music is something a 'young master' like you will be taught before they're able to cultivate.
>look for work in the business district.
>look for work from one of the establishments near the center of the city.
>check out the docks, you've never seen this 'Holy Lake' before.
>Other
>>
>>3667795
>>go with him, you need to find somewhere to stay too.
>>
>>3667795
>check out the docks, you've never seen this 'Holy Lake' before.
>>
>>3667795
>>want to check out the Apothecaries' Guild, hopefully they let laymen enter.
Wouldn't hurt. Gain. Some more info and possibly a book we pictures of most herbs around or something
>>
Rolled 25, 83, 47 = 155 (3d100)

>>3667836
>>3667853
>>3667931
efficient tiebreaking
>>
"I have a couple of places I wanted to visit first. I'll take care of that and then we can meet back here in a couple of hours?" Feng Jun just nods in response and says goodbye before heading off in the distance.
You return to your guide, who had been waiting outside the the building without complaint."I'd like to head to the docks now. I've never seen the Holy Lake before." "Good idea, the view is rather awe-inspiring. It's water and fog as far as the eyes can see." You follow the guide into the northern side of the city that borders the waters. As you do you see that the citizenry transitions into mostly fishermen, blue collar workers, or people doing their shopping. Once you're near the docks the house are smaller and more packed together, but the same trees, vines, and flowers are scattered about as the rest of the city. The view is as your guide said- water everywhere. Besides the water is a sprawling group of docks, where many small fishing ships are docked. There are maybe a dozen larger ones, but they're comparatively rare.
You turn to your guide and ask what the larger ships are for. "Some of them are for going further into the lake and searching for rarer and larger fish and sea creatures. The rest are for travelling between the five cities surrounding the lake. It's faster than on land, but not by too much. Considering the price it's usually for the wealthy, cultivators, or for travelers who enjoy the novelty of going across the water. Normal citizens don't use it." Interesting.
You look around some more and see that besides the groups of ships, there's also a fish-market selling countless varieties of fish. You haven't seen most of them before. After looking around you...
>go to the fish-market, you can buy some fish for dinner. You'll probably ruin it, but if worst comes to worst someone else can cook it for you.
>see if any of the larger ships going out to see need workers. You heard the lake was dangerous, so if they're going further in they probably need to hire cultivators.
>buy a dinghy. Maybe you can enjoy a day fishing sometime. (~100 gold.)
>leave and go somewhere else. (specify where)
>Other
>>
>>3668083
>>go to the fish-market, you can buy some fish for dinner. You'll probably ruin it, but if worst comes to worst someone else can cook it for you.
>>
>>3668083
Let's get some fish, Feng Jun can cook right?
>>
>>3668158
Also I'm kinda surprised we're going for the full tourist experience. It's a nice diversion.
>>
>>3668083
>buy a dinghy. Maybe you can enjoy a day fishing sometime. (~100 gold.)

Let us go fishing for treasure!
>>
>>3668083
>buy a dinghy. Maybe you can enjoy a day fishing sometime. (~100 gold.)
>>
While you're here you think you'll get some fish for tonight and look around for a dinghy. A day fishing doesn't sound like too bad of a diversion. It's not something you've done before, and the goal of this excursion is to gain experience, so you'd think this falls under the intended goal of you coming here.
First you go wander towards the stalls and look at the boxes full of fish. You recognize a few varieties, but the vast majority are large, colorful fish that you can't figure out the species of. After browsing through the stalls for a while you decide to buy a bag full of odd fish that resemble a swordfish. The major difference is that it's colored red all over and it's oddly small. If you weren't paying attention you would've assumed they were anchovies or something.
After buying your fish you look around a bit more but nothing catches your eye and you head to the dock. Someone has to be selling a dinghy or a fishing boat. As you walk around you get a few odd glances, but most of the fishermen and normal citizens don't pay attention to you. Eventually you come across a boat for sale. There's a sign on it advertising the selling price as 80 gold, and a bearded old man sitting on it. You approach the man and ask if he's selling the boat. The old man sleepily looks at you before examining you closely. "Do you know how to sail?" "No, but I can always learn. It's just a fishing boat after all, it's not like I need to learn to sail one of those larger ships. And even if I can't sail the thing I can just hire someone. I just want to go fishing on occasion, it won't be used for business." The old man shrugs and, apparently judging your answer as acceptable, takes you money and gives you the boat. After signing over a few papers to your fake identity here and going over the docking fees, the old man leaves you the boat. He says it's called "Ming Ming", but that you're free to rename it. You...
>rename the boat, you're the owner now. (Specify what or leave it up to my whims.) You never got to name the MC, so here's your consolation prize.
>keep the name, you may as well let the legacy of the dinghy "Ming Ming" live on.
After buying your fish and a dinghy you...
>go to find lodgings.
>want to check out the Apothecaries' Guild, hopefully they let laymen enter.
>go to the Musicians' Guild, you're not an expert but you have some experience. Much like poetry, music is something a 'young master' like you will be taught before they're able to cultivate.
>look for work in the business district.
>look for work from one of the establishments near the center of the city.
>check out the docks, you've never seen this 'Holy Lake' before.
>Other
>>
>>3668243
>>want to check out the Apothecaries' Guild, hopefully they let laymen enter

>rename the boat, you're the owner now. (Specify what or leave it up to my whims.)
Sasha
>>
>>3668243
>dinghy
Qing yun
It should translate to something like verdant luck, or also green transport, which seems appropriate for a fishing boat.

>apothecary
>>
>>3668368
I probably messed up somewhere in that name tho
>>
>>3668368
I am fine with that name.
>>
You think you'll name the boat... Qing Yun. It seems fitting. After double checking your papers and making sure everything is in order you leave the docks and head towards the center of the city again. Before you meet up with Feng Jun you want to check out the Apothecaries' Guild. Hopefully they'll let a layman like you inside.
You reach the building after a short walk and enter. The front room is quiet, and has a woman reading over a book at the counter. The right is some sort of book store, and to the left is a store full of various herbs and other ingredients for forging pills. You approach the woman at the counter, who glances up at you and asks what you want. "Are laymen allowed to look around? Or is the guild only available for apothecaries." "You can look around, but most of the guild is off-limits. We have a shop with common ingredients open to the public intended to help out ordinary apothecaries, a book store anyone who's currently studying the art, and you're free to take the test to become an Apprentice Apothecary if you come back tomorrow."
Apprentice Apothecary? You've heard the term, but you're not too familiar with how the guilds for each profession ranks their members. "Apprentices? So they would be the younger apothecaries who are studying? Are elders above them then?" "No, not exactly. Apprentices make up the vast majority of the guild, and in a place like this almost no one rises above it. I'm an Apprentice myself and I've studied here for 20 years. We do break the system up into Low, Middle, and High ranked Apprentices, but that's informal. Above Apprentices are Masters, and we have a single one." "...Do you mean you have a single guild master?" "No, I mean there's only one person who's skilled enough to be a master here. He happens to be a guild master, but it's not the same. On occasion we've had to have 'Quasi-masters'- Apprentices who are close to becoming a Master- assume the seat. We have two of them right now. They serve as the elders of this branch and would generally be able to become Masters if it weren't for their cultivation. The strength of one's soul is a limiting factor when forging pills, so naturally anyone under Soul Foundation will struggle to forge a pill that qualifies one as a master."
This has been education, but there are quite a few implications here... does this mean the leader of their guild branch is at the same level as the patriarchs of the Five Families?! What about the guild branch in the kingdom proper. You ask the receptionist this, and she seems slightly exasperated, but answers your question. "No, he's at Half-step Soul Foundation. He succeeded in finishing Acupoint Opening and tempered his soul slightly as a result. He was unable to step into Soul Foundation and continue this though. Any more questions?" You're still surprised by the guild leader's strength, but don't have any more questions. You never realized how hard it was to become a 'master' in a profession.
>>
After you finish asking your questions you...
>buy some more books on identifying herbs, that's about the only thing you're adept in and what you need.
>purchase some books on medicinal powders. They're far worse than pills, but easier to make. They still require a lot of practice to properly mix though.
>Other
>>
>>3668508
>>buy some more books on identifying herbs, that's about the only thing you're adept in and what you need.
>>
>>3668508
>>buy some more books on identifying herbs, that's about the only thing you're adept in and what you need.
We just need to be a herbalist not an apothecary
>>
>>3668508
>>buy some more books on identifying herbs, that's about the only thing you're adept in and what you need.
See if there is any books on growing them.
>>
>>3668504
>>buy some more books on identifying herbs, that's about the only thing you're adept in and what you need.
>>purchase some books on medicinal powders. They're far worse than pills, but easier to make. They still require a lot of practice to properly mix though
Better to have it and not need it. Than need it and not have
>>
>>3668504
I believe we are selling our herbs here to the guild. And we should lookfor/ask the best tier cultivation pills we can get. Seems like they would have some pretty great stuff here since we're at the apothecary's guild and what not. With out much residual stuff left behind. Invest the most of the money we gained in profit in this.
>>
For the time being you don't plan on becoming an apothecary, just collecting various plants and herbs and growing them with your blood. You buy some books the receptionist recommends on identifying and gathering herbs. A couple of them have contents focusing on the Northern Wastes as a whole, but several are more general and focus on areas such as Yutian Country as a whole, Hiqiu Sect, and other surrounding countries. They'll take a while to get through, but with proper study you'll be able to identify quite a few plants. As you're buying them you glance at a couple out of curiosity, and notice that the books on the Northern Wastes both have notes about how Grey Root isn't grey, and on the repeated arguments over the naming. This seems to be a recurring issue.
After you finish buying books on identifying plants you do manage to find a few books on growing them and properly managing a garden. You don't need to care about this as much since your blood is the best fertilizer there could ever be, but it couldn't hurt to read up on it. You also buy a single book on mixing basic medicinal powders, although you don't intend on delving into the subject. You may as well buy it since you have some interest, even if you won't use it.
You finish your visit to the Apothecaries' Guild and meet up with Feng Jun. "I found a decent inn, I got you a room too. Just pay me back and we're good." You thank Feng Jun for the help and give him the cost of the room. "I got some fish at the docks, can you cook them?" You lift your bag of fish as you ask, showing them to Feng Jun. "Mmm... yeah, I should be able to, you'll just need to grab a few ingredients for me first. If I'm cooking you can do the shopping. I would offer to switch roles, but I know how that would end up."
The two of you head towards the inn as Feng Jun tries to think of what he needs. As he's in the middle of writing his list of ingredients, he suddenly stops. "Oh yeah, I almost forgot to ask. What are you planning on doing now that you're in Green CIty. I was thinking of either taking a few jobs guarding those larger ships by the docks, or maybe doing something in the nearby woods. I'd probably only be a lackey, but it's good work." You...
>tell him you'll be staying in the city for a little while and fishing, reading, enjoying the sights. There's no hurry to get working now that you just got off of the road.
>say that you were probably going to visit the other major tribes in the coming days. It's only a day or two by ship to all of them, so you may as well.
>say that you'll look for some jobs the major tribes are offering.
>tell him that you were interested in working on one of those boats too.
>tell him that you were looking for work in the nearby woods as well.
>Other
Last update for the night
>>
>>3668599
iirc you already sold them at Border City, right? They end up averaging out at a little over 10k/month in profits, but it does take a couple months for all of them to grow to maturity.
also, if you guys want to you can buy more pills, although you already have quite a few to use
overloading on pills does risk an unstable foundation
>>
>>3668699
>>tell him you'll be staying in the city for a little while and fishing, reading, enjoying the sights. There's no hurry to get working now that you just got off of the road.
I think it won't hurt. We can cultivate and simply get a lay of the land. We've some money to hold us over for a bit.
and then I think we should work in the nearby woods too once Feng has done a couple jobs.
>>
>>3668699
>tell him you'll be staying in the city for a little while and fishing, reading, enjoying the sights. There's no hurry to get working now that you just got off of the road.
Then we'll go work with Feng Jun.
>>
>>3668699
>>3668720
Yeah this. Read some, go fishing, cultivate (we can probably get higher quality pills than anywhere else), if money gets tight get a job in the woods and look for some herbs while you're at it. In one or two months we should have the next batch of herbs ready but we can kind of take it easy.

We will need to go back to Border City some time in the future, we did sign up as disciples of master Long, but we can take our time in the meanwhile.
>>
>>3668699
When do we plan to go back to boarder town? And when do we plan to go back home?
>>
>>3669596
You guys are going on three months in the Northern Wastes by my count, so you'll probably leave in 5-9 months, exact duration is up to you guys. As for when you're returning to Border City, once again up to you guys.
I'll start updating in an hour or two.
>>
>>3668699
>>tell him you'll be staying in the city for a little while and fishing, reading, enjoying the sights. There's no hurry to get working now that you just got off of the road.
Honestly we should head back to the border town pretty soon. We lucked out being able to learn from a master refiner. That is probably the biggest thing to focus on right now, besides our cultivation
>>
"I'll be staying in the city for a little while and enjoying myself, seeing the sights, stuff like that. I'll take on some work after I'm done." Feng Jun nods in response before scratching his head, as if in intense concentration. "Rice or pasta... rice goes better with fish, rice." A couple minutes later you're sent away to go buy some food, and after trying to navigate through a crowded set of stalls to find seasonings, rice, and ingredients for sauce, you're finally free. You return to the inn and hand the ingredients over to Feng Jun, who you follow out of the inn and into a safer area to begin cooking. The inn didn't have a stove available, so you had to find somewhere it was safe to make a fire.
An hour later the two of you are eating dinner and chatting about Green City. Feng Jun had been to this region but hadn't been to Green City before, only Red City and Blue City, so this is the first time here for both of you. "Reminds me of Blue City. It's overflowing with ponds, fountains, and all sorts of water decorations, while Green City is full of plants. The tribes really take this stuff seriously." You take a bite of fish and rice before responding. It's good, although you don't know what to call this sauce. "What about Red City"? "Eh, not the same. Lots of mines nearby, but the city itself looks pretty normal. It does have a couple similarities to Green City though. All land in the center belong to the tribe, they wear red robes and look down on us, they have a guild near the center, stuff like that." "A guild? Which one?" "The Refiners' Guild. Green City has a lot of rare plants in the forests nearby, while Red City has massive sets of mines. Makes sense." Hm, that's interesting. Maybe you'll pay it a visit eventually.
After eating you give your goodbyes and return to your room. You sort out everything and...
>cultivate for a bit, it's a good time to practice.
>read some of the books you bought, the sooner you learn about the nearby plants the better.
>go around downtown, you heard the nightlife here was pretty active. You're not a fan of women or alcohol, but maybe there will be something that interests you.
>Other
>>
>>3669899
>read some of the books you bought, the sooner you learn about the nearby plants the better.
>>
Guess you'll get to some reading tonight. You're not particularly interested in the city's nightlife, and while cultivating is always useful you should get familiar with the area's herbs as quickly as possible. You go through the bag of books you bought earlier, putting aside the books on growing plants and the one on medicinal powders, and setting out the books on the Northern Waste's herbs before them. One of the books is separated by region, so you begin going through the plants found in the region one by one. It's sorted alphabetically, but you use the index in the back to begin learning in order of commonness.
The hours wear on as you look through the book, occasionally glancing at another one when a portion is unclear. Eventually it's late at night, you're a bit tired, and you figure it's time to bring this to a close. You make some notes on a piece of paper next to you, making sure that you don't forget how far you've gotten. You wait for the ink to dry, place the notes inside the book, and then put everything away,
The next morning you wake up bright and early despite your late night last night- cultivators don't need as much as sleep as your average person after all. At a certain point they can abandon sleep completely or meditate instead, but sadly you have not reached that realm. You get up, stretch, and...
>get ready to go fishing. You'll need to pick up some equipment and some food first, but it should be fun.
>start exploring the city, you saw a lot yesterday but you're sure there's plenty you missed.
>continue your studying, you need to strengthen both your body and mind.
>go to the Musicians' Guild, you have some experience.
>Other
>>
>>3670212
>>continue your studying, you need to strengthen both your body and mind
>>
>>3670212
Cultivate, study
Get swole in muscles AND brain
>>
For the time being you'll resume studying. You pull out the piece of paper from inside the book you were reading and look down the list of plants you had finished. You find the one you left off on, open the book, and resume your studies. You memorize the name, habitat, and other important information about the plants. While you wouldn't dare say you know anything about how to use them, you do know their basic properties. Some are used in healing, while others are used in pills for cultivation. Some are predisposed towards fire or water, yin or yang, things like that. There are quite a few that are mainly used in perfume, soap, or other similar things. Most of them aren't worth too much, but you memorize them anyways. It could be useful.
Your study continues through the early morning and until lunch. At that point you leave your room and get a hot meal of the first floor. You get a meaty porridge, some sort of bread to dip in it, and some steamed vegetables as a side. The innkeeper serves large portions, and you gladly swallow it all down. Your metabolism is far faster than a normal person's after all- you have to eat a lot. After your meal you happily return to your room and resume your studies once again. At this point your paper filled with small, cramped names of plants has many more crossed out than when you begun. You're making definite progress.
The day passes without much of importance happening, and you have a much better grasp of the plants in the region by the time you're done. Naturally you don't have the experience, but if you really wanted to you could make it up with the improved sense of the smell the bloodline of 'The Horned God' possesses. Still, you have to grow horns to use that, and you're not willing to do that in the Northern Wastes. At least not when you might be spotted.
The next morning you wake up similarly early and...
>get ready to go fishing. You'll need to pick up some equipment and some food first, but it should be fun.
>start exploring the city, you saw a lot yesterday but you're sure there's plenty you missed.
>continue your studying, you may as well just read for a few days as preparation and then prepare to do work.
>go to the Musicians' Guild, you have some experience.
>Other
>>
>>3670533
>>start exploring the city, you saw a lot yesterday but you're sure there's plenty you missed.
>>
>>3670533
>>start exploring the city, you saw a lot yesterday but you're sure there's plenty you missed.
>>
You'll go do some sightseeing. You did explore the city a bit, but it wasn't in depth. You have breakfast and head towards the city gates. There were plenty of guides there before, so you can ask them about anything else that's interesting in the city.
You find a guide near the gates and ask him what there is to see. "Well, there's the library, but only members of the Green Tribe are allowed in... oh, there's the gardens! It's near the center of the city, but everyone is allowed in. There's also the temple and the Hall of Patriarchs. The former has some nice sculptures and stained glass art, while the latter is a place of worship for the past patriarchs of the Green Tribe. Their remains are held elsewhere, but the hall is open to the public."
You make your way to the gardens first, returning to the center of the city. This time you actually cross into the area where only the Green Tribe is allowed to own property, and eventually are shown to what looks like a massive park. Countless varieties of plants are growing everywhere, but they're well-trimmed and fountains, benches, sculptures, and other similar things are scattered about. You dismiss your guide and begin looking through the gardens.
You wander throughout the gardens without much rhyme or reason, and eventually reach the center. In the center is a massive fountain with a deep pool of water. On top of the fountain you see a sculpture of a deer. Water is shooting out of its mouth. There are a few people meditating nearby. You would look closer but you don't want to risk disturbing them, so you go somewhere else.
As you look around you come across a small portion of the gardens which seems to be an artificial desert. Several different types of cacti are planted next to a path, and there are a couple of rock gardens placed nearby. You aren't familiar with the plants, but you don't think they're growing as well as they could be given the climate.
You don't find much else of note in the gardens, but as a whole the place is beautiful and rather calming. You can see why people like visiting it. Next you make your way to what the guide simply referred to as 'the temple'. Before you reach it you can see it in the distance. The temple is massive, and it could probably hold a massive amount of worshipers. As you near it you get a good view of the stained glass, and see that art of forests, plains, and nature as a whole is scattered about. You see lots of deer-like creatures, so you assume this temple is dedicated to The Horned God.
Upon entering the temple you see that there are finely carved pews with intricate designs on them. There are people scattered about, praying, on the pews and near the altar. There is no such thing as a sermon here, so people simply come when they like. Near the altar you see that there's a large amount of incense, food, gold, and other offerings. You wonder if the tribe keeps it or if it does some sort of ritual to formally 'offer' it to their god.
>>
After looking around the temple, admiring the art on the glass, and examining a massive statue of The Horned God, you leave. The only place left is the Hall of Patriarchs.
You enter the Hall of Patriarchs and see that it's actually smaller than you expected. Several guards are near it, and they watch everyone entering with a hint of suspicion. This must be even more important to the tribe than their temple or the gardens if they have this many guards posted. You enter the building and are immediately surprised. There's simply one room and a circular staircase. The main room has a few plaques talking about the Green Tribe, but they don't contain much of interest so you move on.
You head down the staircase, and after a short time find a room coming off of it. You enter and see a life-sized marble sculpture of a young man. The walls have several carvings of what appears to be Green City, and there's a large plaque near the sculpture. You go to read it. "Green Ho, 16th Patriarch of Green Tribe. Acupoint Opening, 73 acupoints opened. Aged 137. Quasi-master Apothecary. Ruled from 1542 to present. Took charge of the 3rd Renovation of Green City, defeated the 'Great Bandit', and led in the 'Plains Wars' of 1586." The plaque actually contains much more than that, in very, very flowery language, but that's the gist of it.
You leave the room and head down the stairs, each room being dedicated to a single patriarch. You enter each one, see a statue of the patriarch in their youth, carvings of Green City heading further and further into the past, and a plaque commemorating their achievements. About halfway down you find out that Green City was actually destroyed at some point in the past, in some 'great war'. Apparently the enemy was extremely powerful and the five major tribes united with other forces in order to drive them away. You can't find out much else, but it sounds interesting.
Eventually you reach the bottom of the stairs and see the sculpture of the 1st patriarch of the Green Tribe. The sculpture is clearly old, but it's in good condition. It must be made of a spectacular material to stay like this after 1600 years. The carvings show a small village built near a lake, with plains and forests nearby. You read the plaque and it mostly just goes on about the tribe being founded, likely exaggerating what happened. What surprises you the most though is that the first patriarch reached Soul Foundation. Besides a couple of patriarchs at Half-step Soul Foundation, all of the patriarchs were simply powerful Acupoint Opening cultivators.
>>
You walk back up the stairs and find that it's dark out. You must have spent a while in there. You get something to eat, return to the inn, and read a bit before going to bed. The next morning you...
>get ready to go fishing. You'll need to pick up some equipment and some food first, but it should be fun.
>continue your studying, you may as well just read for a few days as preparation and then prepare to do work.
>go to the Musicians' Guild, you have some experience.
>go to the center of the city and look for some work from the tribes.
>go to the docks and see if you can get work guarding any of the larger ships.
>go to the business district and find some work.

>Other
>>
>>3670883
>>continue your studying, you may as well just read for a few days as preparation and then prepare to do work.
>>
>>3670952
Yeah
>>
You decide to get back to studying those books you bought with a few breaks to cultivate and eat in between, and besides that you don't really do much for the next half a week. It's not that you originally intended to spend so long reading, you just got... sucked into it to say the least. You did want to go fishing at some point, but you forgot about it and left it hanging. Oh well, you can do it eventually.
After several days spent almost locked in your room, you get tired of reading seemingly endless entries about different types of plants. On the bright side, you have learned a lot. It turns out reading a book is far more useful than trying to get information out of old men searching for herbs. Having decided that you're sick of reading for the time being, you go to the...
>docks to find work on one of the larger ships.
>center of the city to get work from the major tribes or other forces here.
>business district to find some work from the shopkeepers there.
>docks to charter a ship to another city. (Red City, Blue City, White City, and Palette City are all in this area)
>Other
>>
>>3671319
>>business district to find some work from the shopkeepers there.
We should wait around for Feng. Find local work while we wait for him. And head out with him next time he can get us to work outside the city.
>>
>>3671365
Yeah. Working around with Feng seems like a good idea. Even if it leaves us as the lowest on the totem pole we could do some herb gathering for some extra pocket money. And some one to watch our back. With a decent buddy system.
>>
You don't want to do work on the lake for the time being as that sounds boring, so that leaves getting work from the major forces near the center of the city, or asking around in the business district. The work from the larger forces may be better, but in the end you decide to check the business district, thinking that they might find out there's a problem with your pass if you go there. As you're about to leave for work, you try to figure out what you want to do. You would do the same things you normally do, leaving the city and hunting beasts, gathering herbs, or generally doing whatever your employer wanted you to. The only problem is that Feng Jun is out of the city right now, and you would like someone watching your back. For the time being you should find your work in the city, or at the very least nearby.
You wander around the business district looking for work, but any work offered inside the city is... not what you're looking for. Positions as waiters, cooks, and janitors abound, but they are not what you're looking for. Past that there's things like deboning meat and construction that might give you practice, but there's still an ill fit. Eventually you find a forge that's looking for blacksmiths, paid on a per-item basis. Materials used will be subtracted out of the item's price. This actually seems like a pretty good job.
You go inside, and a massive, tanned man greets you at the counter. "Welcome to Qu's Weapons an' Stuff! What can I getcha?" "I was interested in the job opening. I was looking to do some work on my own schedule and practice my forging skills." The man scratches his head and awkwardly looks at you. "Er, that's great kid, but I'm certified as an Apprentice Refiner. I don't hire just anyone here. Come back in a few years, you need to gain some experience." You...
>ask to forge an item to show your skills, reminding him that if you mess up you just need to compensate him.
>show him the emblem you got from Refiner Long. If he recognizes it then that should easily get you the job.
>take out the brick from your pack and tell him you forged it. Maybe it'll help.
>leave and find something else, if he underestimates you that's his problem.
>>
>>3671690
>>take out the brick from your pack and tell him you forged it. Maybe it'll help.
>ask to forge an item to show your skills, reminding him that if you mess up you just need to compensate him.
Im sure it won't hurt. We still need to practice what we learned from the tips we get from our fellow disciples. And general practice all around.
>>
>>3671690
>>ask to forge an item to show your skills, reminding him that if you mess up you just need to compensate him.
Cooler heads prevail.
>>
>>3671690
>>ask to forge an item to show your skills, reminding him that if you mess up you just need to compensate him.
>>show him the emblem you got from Refiner Long. If he recognizes it then that should easily get you the job.
Maybe bring up who we are the apprentice of.
>>
You consider showing the man Master Long's emblem, but in the end you decide not to. It may be easier to get the job that way, but you're perfectly capable either way. He should employ you after seeing you forge something.
"Before you turn me down you can at least let me forge something first. If I mess up I can always compensate you, right?" After saying this, you pull your brick out of your pack and show it to the man. "I'm not sure if I'd say this is a work I'm proud of, but I did make this brick recently." He takes it to examine, and lightly hits it with a few tools. He also grabs a couple of tools off a shelf that you vaguely recognize as tools for sampling metal. As long as someone doesn't use them over and over on the same item they're useful in figuring out what something was made out of without damaging it. He uses them on the brick and after a few moments he nods his head in appreciation. "Etrium. Low-quality, but it's still etrium. Alright then, if you could forge this you can have a try." He gives you back your brick and you get into work in the forge.
You settle for something simple and begin making a dagger. A normal, sharp dagger- nothing special. After a scan through the forge's stores you find a decent piece of metal and begin heating it up. It requires a bit of purification to make a good weapon, but it's nothing like the ore Refiner Long gave you. You'll be able to make a weapon without boiling yourself in the process.
Half an hour later you've produced a good, if a bit generic, dagger. You still need to make the guard and carve a hunk of hardwood into the handle, but you're mostly done. The man in charge of the shop examines it, tentatively pushing it against his hand, before eventually nodding. "This is good enough. Alright, feel free to make items for my shop whenever you have the time. Just finish this first." Your new boss leaves the room as you begin to forge a proper guard out of a small strip of metal. You finish it in about a quarter of an hour, although it's nothing special. Next you get a carving knife and begin working on the wood. Refiners aren't carpenters, but given how often they work with wood for things like this many could pass for one. Soon you've carved a nice handle out, taking the time to carve a small picture of a seed with a guandao inside on it. Many refiners have marks or designs specific to them that they like to put onto items they make, so you figured you'd add one as well.
After finishing the dagger you...
>make some swords, they're pretty simple and you have experience with them.
>try to make a spear with a metal shaft. It's the most common pole-arm, so you can practice a bit without being completely lost.
>try to make a guandao. The pay will likely be low because not many people use it, and you might ruin it because you've never made one before, but you should know how to make the weapon you use.
>Other
Last update for the night, thanks for voting.
>>
Also, this is a tangent but when I say "Master Long", I don't mean as in a certified 'Master' with the Refiners' Guild, I mean as a master in a master/student relationship. He could be a Master, but that's not what I'm saying. If anyone is curious he's a Quasi-master.
anyways, good night
>>
>>3671934
>>try to make a spear with a metal shaft. It's the most common pole-arm, so you can practice a bit without being completely lost.
>>
>>3671934
>>try to make a spear with a metal shaft. It's the most common pole-arm, so you can practice a bit without being completely lost.
>>
>>3671938
Thanks, have a good one.

What do you guys think about spending most of our time, smithing and reading till Feng comes back? And obvious cultivate
>>
>>3671997
It's a pretty good idea,we came in the northen waste to improve quickly after all. Once Feng comes back we should go to border city and pass some of our time with Master Long so that we can one day make a super powerfull guandao.
>>
>>3672469
We just arrived. While I like the idea, we should simply practice our craft here. With this mediocre blacksmith. When in between jobs. And focus on doing a couple odd jobs in the near by woods for a while. We came here for a reason stronger monsters to challenge our self with. We do collecting herbs and hunting when out of the city. And reading and blacksmithing when between jobs.
>>
>>3673199
Mmmmmh,yeah I guess it would be too early. Let's just do this blacksmith thing as our first job and take some cultivator job/study in our free time. It would be very usefull to gather materials off of mining/hunting missions since making our own magical items seems pretty exciting.
>>
>>3673220
Think about it. Strength > Blacksmithing
We came out here to get stronger not just become a blacksmith. If we wanted more blacksmithing skills we would simply go back to border city. But I think we should fight and master a skill or two more and get to the next tier.
>>
>>3673199
Honestly I dont want to hang out here too long. I think training in the boarder city with a master refiner and a beast arena Is better then fucking around in the deep wastes.
>>
>>3673264
That being said, how about a conpromise?
We go to Red City instead? We stay in the deep waste. And they have better Refiners there.
We finish up here with a couple weeks of reading and blacksmithing in between jobs. And hunting/herb finding practice(while we do jobs with Feng)
Once we finish and are well acquainted with the herbs here. We move to red City.
We will have gotten a refresher on blacksmithing and practicing. So when we get to red city. We are not shit tier blacksmiths. And can find work. And do the same there. Except instead if herbing books we get blacksmith books from the blacksmith guild there.
And continue our routine, of reading and blacksmithing. And hunting and gathering jobs with Feng.

But I want to be clear, herbing and blacksmithing are supplementary. Not the focus. And here in the deep wastes we fight bigger and stronger things giving us more of a challenge. Giving us experience we need for cultivation.
>>
>>3673290
You say that but all we've done so far is fight a couple beasts and get ran around by an old man, and now we are just hanging out fishing. I guess if we actually get to the real point of this trip I'll be less upset a out it.
>>
>>3673263
Don't get me wrong,I love strength and especially when it's used for violence but I'm just saying that we kinda put the refiner aspect behind on those last threads and I want to catch up with it a little. We shouldn't forget to learn other skills that might be usefull,wich will be boosted by our cultivator skills (refining being part of it). The northen waste is an amazing opportunity to learn and get to Blood and Viscera tempering quickly.
>>
>>3673290
Yes,that's what I meant to do.
>>3673295
Well I personnaly don't have a problem with that,we've made it to middle Bone and Marrow already and learned a ton of things. We just gotta wait on the QM for the main story.
>>
>>3673299
Honestly if we're out her to train against strong beasts, we should be doing that instead of working with a sub-par refiner and reading all day.
>>
>>3673295
Yeah, idk wtf that was about I'm in agreement about the fishing. Buying the boat even more so..

We wont be becoming an alchemist or anything like that by my account. But it wouldn't hurt to know if we see/find rare plants. We can use/sell them. For a profit. Helping us buy better shit. I'm sure we would be able to regularly find better herbs once we finish the book and gain some practice. Increasing our monthly revenue.
>>3673310
Well you mae a good point. But I've been advocating for these things as we wait for feng. Always good to have someone to watch your back while we are in a strange and new place.
And just in general while we wait for new jobs. But as I said, I would prefer to do them with Feng. He seems like a pretty stand up guy. That won't screw us. He helps us practice and he can watch his back as he does for us.
>>
>>3673310
Well in this case we could skip red city and make a name for ourself in the arena and study with Long.
>>
You'll practice making spears for the time being. They're the most common polearm so you have some experience, and it will help if you want to craft your own guandao in the future. Your cultivation and skills are nowhere near the mark to make one better than the one you own, but it's best to start now in preparation for the future.
The shaft will be the easiest part, as you either need to make a rod of metal, or take one that's already made and then attach the spear head to it. You decide to go with a rod that's already made, as the forge has several, and begin work on the spearhead. You find a piece of ore with a decent hardness, similar to etrium but a bit easier to use. You raise the temperature of your fire by stomping on the bellows with all of your strength, making your metal malleable and easier to purify. You then begin to hit it with your hammer, trying to destroy anything besides the metal you're trying to forge into a spearhead. After several rounds of this you think the metal is good enough and begin shaping it into a spearhead.
You shape it into a spearhead and begin quenching it. You dip it in a nearby barrel full of oil to cool it down before heating it up again. You repeat this several times to harden it before moving on to properly sanding it. This isn't the last step when making a spear head since it needs to be sanded before being attached to the shaft. You make sure it's sanded, brush the metal shavings onto the ground, and begin making notches for it in the shaft. Soon you have it slotted in and you raise the temperature once again, lightly hammering the two pieces together and making sure the spearhead and the shaft are fused together. This isn't the kind of spear where you're supposed to be able to switch the spearhead out from the shaft after all, there's no reason to keep the two pieces separate.
You finish connecting the two pieces and then look over the spear again, putting on the finishing touches. Once you're done you carve your symbol onto the base of the shaft. It's not an amazing spear, but you like it. You show it to the owner of the shop, and he says it's alright but sees some flaws with it. He begins going over them with you, and you leave soon after, excited to test out some new crafting techniques tomorrow.
The next day you wake up, ready to go forge, but to your surprise Feng Jun has returned to Green City. Apparently he just finished the job he was on. Well, it looks like now's your chance to do some work outside the city, you were waiting for him to arrive so you'd have someone watching your back. You...
>go with him to find some work.
>trust him to find something suitable and go back to the forge, you need to test out what you learned yesterday.
>Other
>>
>>3673329
>go with him to find some work.
>>
>>3673329
>>go with him to find some work.
>>
>>3673329
>>go with him to find some work.
>>
You tell Feng Jun that you'd like to go with him to look for some work, and he just tells you to come along. You leave it to him at first since he says he knows a couple of places, and follow him. The first place he brings you to is a small building hidden away in the business district. Apparently it belongs to a cartography business. Despite the small building they're quite profitable, and they want to draw up some new maps of a nearby forest since its been a long time since they were updated. You and Feng Jun wouldn't be in charge of much, mostly just drawing maps and making sure not to die, but you might see a lot.
The second place Feng Jun visits is a place near the center of the city leasing out jobs from the Green Tribe. There are a few missions about collecting herbs, but there's one that seems to catch Feng Jun's attention. It's an assignment requiring a group of people to go to a secluded river nearby and keep track of what's living inside it. If you come across anything dangerous, you are supposed to rather brutally "mark" it with a weapon of your choice. Killing is to be avoided, but can be done if needed.
You go around and look at a few other places, but those two jobs seem to be what Feng Jun is interested in. You...
>decide to take the job mapping out the nearby forests.
>tell him you're interested in the ecological survey.
>say that you just want to look for herbs, it's simple and steady work. You'll also get to practice identifying them.
>Other
>>
>>3673328
I think after making this trek and convincing Feng to come along with us. Is a dick think to do along with a waste of our time. We came here for the stronger climate. We may as well make use of it. And in my opinion we spent way to much time to just leave. And go back there.
I am how ever fine with leaving Green City. Seems like that is a huge plot in and of ints self. If we get spotted by any of the horned gods green tribe people. But I'd rather not deal with that affair. And am fine going to the red city and hunting and doing what not there.
>>
>>3673384
>>decide to take the job mapping out the nearby forests.
We might see some neat shit fucking around in the forest, and we will definitely fight strong beasts
>>
>>3673384
>>decide to take the job mapping out the nearby forests.
Let's us see the wild life and we can try and identify/collect as we see more. As long as it doesnt get in the way of the job.
Also changed to the wifi. Stable internet. Cause it actually matters to vote.
>>
>>3673384
>decide to take the job mapping out the nearby forests.
I'd rather kill things.
>>3673385
I said that we skip red city because I thought that the other anon wanted to go back to Border City asap,but I don't have a problem exploring Red City either.
>>
"I'm leaning towards the job mapping out the forests nearby. What about you? " Feng Jun doesn't say anything for a moment before sighing. "I can't decide, so let's go with that. They leave tomorrow morning, so get ready today." The two of you return to the building where you were offered the job, accept it, and are given a small payment in advance and some mapping tools to familiarize yourself with. There will be actual cartographers there, but it's best that you can help.
You familiarize yourself with the mapping equipment for a bit before getting a meal, telling Feng Jun that you'll see him tomorrow, and returning to the forge. You practice making a spear again, adjusting for what you were told yesterday, and are satisfied with the result. Your sanctification is immediately broken down when the owner carefully examines the spear again, and tells you that while it's better it's still lacking. Later that night you're given a couple more pointers over things you got wrong. There's only so much help he give you given that he isn't watching your forge the spear and given that he's not amazingly skilled, but it's helpful anyways.
The next morning you rest yourself and cultivate a bit before it's time to join the group heading into the forest. You don't know what dangers you could run into there, but you should try to be in your top condition. You head to the front gate alone and meet up with the group. You're given a briefing which more or less amounts to "don't wander too far away, some parts of the forest are dangerous enough to kill all of you". You take the advice to heart and take a mental note of the cultivation of the others participating. There are quite a few lackeys like you at Late Bone and Marrow Tempering or Blood and Viscera Tempering, but there are also quite a few Meridian Opening cultivators. Apparently the leaders of the group are even more powerful than that, but you don't know by how much.
Your group leaves the city after having your passes checked, and reach the woods quickly. The outer edges are only a few hours away, so it's not much trouble. You're sent out to draw some rough maps that the cartographers can correct, and go towards...
>a lake, the only hard part about this will be constantly determining the depth of the water. Still, you'll only get wet.
>a few trails laid out the forest. They're confusing and some of them are overgrown, but they're simply enough to follow.
>a patch of woods. It's a bit hard to keep your bearings, but you'll get it done somehow.
>>
>>3673464
>>a few trails laid out the forest. They're confusing and some of them are overgrown, but they're simply enough to follow.
>>
>>3673464
>a few trails laid out the forest. They're confusing and some of them are overgrown, but they're simply enough to follow.
Nope,fuck that,I'm staying the fuck away from the lake.
>>
>>3673464
>>a few trails laid out the forest. They're confusing and some of them are overgrown, but they're simply enough to follow.
>>
You'll check out the trails for now. The forest is confusing when there's so few landmarks so it's best left to the trained cartographers, and you feel a bit uneasy about diving into a lake you know nothing about over and over. Who knows what's living inside it. At least if you look through trails it means it's safe enough that people were willing to walk through there. As you're about to go to the trails, one of the people in charge approaches you. "If any of the trails are too overgrown, trim the plants. It shouldn't take too long and it's beneficial if people are able to get about. The only situation you don't follow this rule is if the trail is completely covered. Then you mark it and we erase it from the map."
Well, that's a pain but you can do it. You go to the first trail and look through it, and luckily it's mostly intact. You trim some plants here and there, but it's not much trouble. You just mark a few places where it diverged from its old route, and you're done. Next you head to another trail, which is, much to your surprise, spectacularly maintained. It's paved, and the plants seem to be well taken care of here. You follow it, making note of it and marking down where additions to the trail have been made. At one point you even come off of the trail and find that there's a couple of benches and a covered table positioned around a tree, almost like it's part of a park. Someone must live here.
As you reach the end of the trail, you see a small cottage. It's pink and well-maintained, with a vibrant garden full of flowers and vegetables growing out front. As you approach, a young woman tending a garden on the side of the house comes into sight. You mark down the house on your map for the time being, and as you do the woman notices you. She waves towards you, and then before you can react shouts. "I haven't have a visitor in so long! Please come in, I'll make you some tea!" You...
>ignore her and leave, you feel a bit bad but have work to do. You don't have time to stop.
>stop for a bit, it won't matter if you take a short break. You've made good progress so far thanks to her taking care of this trail, the least you can do is pop in for a cup of tea.
>Other
>>
>>3673531
>>stop for a bit, it won't matter if you take a short break. You've made good progress so far thanks to her taking care of this trail, the least you can do is pop in for a cup of tea.
I dont see why we cant have a nice chat
>>
>>3673531
>stop for a bit, it won't matter if you take a short break. You've made good progress so far thanks to her taking care of this trail, the least you can do is pop in for a cup of tea.
Perhaps we should explain to her that we're mapping out the area ? We should mark her home on there. Hopefully she's not a ghost.
>>
Well, there's no harm in stopping for a while. You approach her and she stops gardening, putting her tools away and taking her gloves off, and approaches you. "It's nice to meet you, I'm Tan Li! Come in, I'll make some tea and we can chat, as I said I haven't had a visitor in a long time." You follow her into the house and see many flowers, cheap-looking landscape paintings, and a few easels. "You paint?" The woman smiles back at you as you ask the question. "Yes, I love painting! It's part of the reason I moved out here, I thought my paintings would get better if I was able to properly 'commune with nature' and all that. They're still just beginner's works, but I'm happy here."
The woman hums a tune you don't recognize as she prepares tea, incessantly chatting with you all the while. "So, why are you out here? Gathering herbs? Exploring?" "I'm actually helping map out the area. I was drawing the trails out here when I came across this house." The woman pauses slightly before continuing to brew the tea. "Oh, really? I didn't realize anyone would be interested in these woods. I moved here years ago but I barely get two visitors a year." "Well, I'm not sure how much interest there is outside of gathering resources, but it's enough to get me paid." The woman chuckles in response and finishes making the tea.
She pours out a couple of cups of tea in some flower-patterned cups and hands you one. You take a sip and continue chatting with her. The woman enjoys talking about nature, painting, and gardening, and from what you can tell you're not a cultivator. As you talk to her, you can't help but scratching yourself, as for some reason you're unbearably itchy. It doesn't seem to help though, the itching almost feels like it's inside of you. Ugh, did you brush up against some poisonous plant getting here?
The itching gets worse, and you excuse yourself. You're spent enough time here, and you're not in the mood for a pleasant conversation when this is bothering you. The woman seems dismayed when you go to leave, but you guess that's natural when they don't see anyone in so long. She asks you to wait a for a moment, and after a minute she comes back with a tiny clay sunflower. "I made it myself! Have it as a keepsake!" You accept the gift, and leave.
As you're walking away from the house, you hear the sound of something shattering. You turn around, wondering if something happened, and see that the woman is lying on the ground, next to a broken teapot. She has several cuts in her hand, and her hand is burnt from the tea. You...
>help her, you have some supplies on you and she looks injured.
>offer to take her back to your group, they should be properly equipped to take care of burns there, although a ways away.
>Other
>>
>>3673615
>offer to take her back to your group, they should be properly equipped to take care of burns there, although a ways away.
WE GOT FUCKING POISONED ! Also we should be fast enough for her to survive.
>>
>>3673615
>>offer to take her back to your group, they should be properly equipped to take care of burns there, although a ways away.
I knew once we didnt buy the poison pack we would need it!
>>
>>3673615
>>help her, you have some supplies on you and she looks injured.
What do you mean poisoned clearly we are just itchy and this women needs help now.
>>
That must be some primo poison if it's making us itchy.
>>
>>3673631
>>3673642
Dont let your ooc knowledge cloud your choices, we just get itchy at strange times
>>
>>3673653
I'm not letting it cloud my choice,it's just that she was lying on the ground,so not just a simple fall. If phones existed we could've just helped her there and call an ambulance but it's not the case.
Of course I'm making my choice thinking that she's lying there unconscious,if it's not the case we should just ask her if everything is ok.
>>
Shit, this is bad. You'd try to treat her wounds her, but you don't have anything for burns. You guess there's nothing for it, you'll have to carry her back to your group. You pick her up, putting her onto your back so it's easier to carry her, but as you do she moves slightly. Oh, she's still conscious? You turn to face her, and as you do she blinks, regaining focus. "Where are... you bringing me?" ...That's what she's going to ask? "I'm taking you back to my group, they should have what's needed to treat your wounds."
The woman's face pales as you say this, and she begins shaking her head in resistance. "Please, please, don't take me there. I'll be be with some burns, I don't need to go. I... I used to be a slave to the Green Tribe but I escaped, what if one of them recognized me?" Slave? Slavery is pretty uncommon here, but it isn't unheard of. It usually happens after one tribe wins a war against another, although it can be continued over generations. Well, this puts a wrench in your plans. A few burns won't kill her, but you'd still feel bad for leaving her like this. Also... now that you think about it, why'd she greet you like that if she's so afraid of being spotted? Could she just not help seeing anyone for so long, and is just afraid of a group? Maybe it's just the Green Tribe she's afraid of? You...
>ignore her pleas and take her to the rest of your group, nobody should recognize her. It's most important that she get proper treatment.
>set her down and do what you can with the wounds, there will probably be some injuries left behind, but they won't be too bad.
>leave her here and see if you can get some medicine for burns off of Feng Jun or someone else.
>leave her here and leave, you feel bad about her wounds but you don't want to be involved. This whole situation seems odd.
>Other
>>
>>3673761
>>ignore her pleas and take her to the rest of your group, nobody should recognize her. It's most important that she get proper treatment.
Or the bitch poisoned us. And she is a well known poisoner.
>>3673653
We know we got poisoned and we felt exactly like this. So its not exactly ooc
>>
Whether she's recognized as a slave or not, it's more important that she gets her wounds treated. It's unlikely that she'll be seen by someone who recognizes her anyways. You run towards the group as she lightly punches you in the back. You also feel something warm running down your back, which is either tears or blood from her cuts. Possibly both. You almost feel bad even though you're helping, but oh well.
Soon you've returned to your group, where you find Feng Jun currently mapping out a few patches of trees. You ask him if he has anything for burns and he shakes your head and go to one of the people in charge. Conveniently leaving out that you stopped to take a tea break, you tell him what happened. He goes through the group's supplies, finds a something for burns, and tells you that he'll have someone treat the woman.
You leave the woman alone since she seems to have calmed down and return to mapping out the trails. After the first two the next ones are in... significantly worse condition to say the least, and it takes you a long time to trim the plants around them.
You return to the camp after night fell, and inquire about the woman you left. They tell you that she reluctantly got treatment, chatted with a few people, and then left hours ago. Apparently her wounds aren't bad. Well, that's good. As everyone settles down for the night you...
>chat with Feng Jun, maybe something interested happened during his work today.
>talk with the cartographers that were sent along with the group, most of them aren't cultivators, but they're all well-learned.
>speak with members of the group you haven't met yet, maybe you can make some friends.
>Other
>>
>>3673992
>>chat with Feng Jun, maybe something interested happened during his work today.
>>
Rolled 17 (1d20)

You decide to chat with Feng Jun and ask him if any incidents came up during the day. "Well, there was one. I saw a beast about as strong as I was. It would've been a tough fight since I needed to protect one of the people we brought along, but one of the supervisors was nearby and murdered the thing in a second." Really? You realized they were strong, but to kill vicious beasts that strong immediately? That's impressive. "How strong do you think they are?" Feng Jun thinks for a moment before answering. "I'm not sure exactly how powerful the company that hired us is, but probably Qi Refinement? At the most one of them is Qi Emission. I can't see them employing anyone stronger than that."
As Feng Jun chat, you get one important piece of information: he got to fight more than you did. You're a bit jealous, but at the same time the strength of what he was fighting wasn't low. Maybe you're best as an observer right now. The two of you chat a bit about Green City, the forest, and other things before going to sleep early. You're supposed to start work at the crack of dawn, so you'd rather not stay up late.
The next day you continue going through the trails, some of them filled with weeds and plants, and others neat and well-trimmed. As you chart the long, winding series of trails you...
There are three results. 1, 2, and anything else.
>>
...don't come across much for most of the day. Later in the afternoon, as you're going through one of the final trails in your portion of the maps, you hear something. You stop in your tracks, looking around, and faintly spot a black snake staring at you from the trees. It's not extremely thick, but it's probably at least 50 feet in length. It quietly hisses at you from where it is, staring at you curiously. You don't recognize it, but it looks poisonous. You...
>grab your guandao and slash out at it, as long as it doesn't slip past your guard you'll be alright. It's best to attack it before it can attack you.
>grab your guandao and keep watch until it either tries to attack you or slithers away. If it isn't attacking you there's no need to kill it anyways.
>slowly back away, maybe you can leave without fighting it.
>Other
>>
>grab your guandao and keep watch until it either tries to attack you or slithers away. If it isn't attacking you there's no need to kill it anyways.
>>
>>3674196
>>grab your guandao and keep watch until it either tries to attack you or slithers away. If it isn't attacking you there's no need to kill it anyways.
>>
You don't know whether this snake is aggressive, so for now you'll just grab your weapon and watch it. It stare back at you, quietly hissing for a minute, until it suddenly jumps at you. It's extremely fast, and you swing out, but it only slices off part of the snake. A bit of blood comes out from the wound, and the remaining half of the snake bites your arm as hard as it can.
You feel a pressure as the snake bites down, piercing through your skin and injecting you with poison. Its fangs don't have enough power to do much else, and you immediately swing your guandao again, knocking the snake off of your arm and severely injuring it. It tries to get away, but the second blow injured it far more than the first, likely crushing some of its organs, and you're able to land a final blow using the extended blow technique you picked up at Border City, dislocating your shoulder and increasing your range just enough to kill the snake.
Your shoulder painfully pops into place a second later, and you examine the snake. You've been poisoned, but maybe you can nullify it with something like antivenom, you're not sure how this works exactly. As you're thinking about this, the area you were bitten starts itching violently, and then the areas around it follow. This is when it hits you that itching means you were poisoned. You recall something like this happening the day someone tried to assassinate you, but since nothing of note happened before it started, you never paid any attention to it. You were just told that they tried to assassinate you three times, but not how they tried to.
After the threat of being poisoned to death goes away, you're happy, but also worried. This means that the mortal woman from yesterday was attempting to poison you. Does this mean she really was a slave trying to hide from others, and that she was willing to kill you to do so? That would be the most 'harmless' scenario you can think of, but it could mean something else. This is bothering you. You...
>tell the leader of the expedition that the woman yesterday tried to poison you and let them work from there. (Come up for an excuse for why you aren't telling them/didn't realize until now)
>continue working, you can't do anything about it now. Since you're alive she may have fled by now.
>check the cottage from yesterday, maybe there are clues. Hell, maybe she's still there.
>Other
>>
>>3674347
>>tell the leader of the expedition that the woman yesterday tried to poison you and let them work from there. (Come up for an excuse for why you aren't telling them/didn't realize until now)
>>
>>3674347
>>tell the leader of the expedition that the woman yesterday tried to poison you and let them work from there. (Come up for an excuse for why you aren't telling them/didn't realize until now)
>>
If nobody has a probable reason for
>(Come up for an excuse for why you aren't telling them/didn't realize until now)
i'll insert one of my own.
Side note is that mine aren't good, and this is why I left the choice open to you.
>>
>>3674666
Honestly, don't think I could come up with a good one.
I don't think it would be good if we came out and said we didn't know we were poisoned till we felt it.
But we may be able to play it, considering she was apparently a mortal woman. And say when a snake bit us we felt the same as when the mortal "poisoned" us. We could say that she likely fucked up with dosing and under poisoned us. And felt the same hence we believe she did poison us.
>>
You need to inform one of the group's leaders, but first you need an excuse for why you didn't tell them before and why you're still alive. After some intense thinking you come up with something. As far as you can tell that woman was a mortal, so maybe you can pass it off as her only using a strong enough dose of poison to kill a normal person. You don't know how dangerous the snake that bit you was, but you can just pretend you were bit by a normal snake and then connect then say you connected the two sensations.
You quickly finish mapping out the trail and return to camp. You approach one of the people in charge and give your excuse to them. They shrug in response, apparently not caring much about the possibility of a normal person trying to poison you after you met. He says that you can kill her if you want, but that it's not worth worrying over. He'll make sure she's banned from the camp, but even if she shows up there's several dozen cultivators. What's she going to do, sneak past all of them and poison the food?
After being dismissed and told to get back to work, you visit Feng Jun and show the snake that bit you to him, asking what species it is. He gulps upon seeing it, unconsciously backing away slightly. "T-That is a... Black Widow Snake. They're not particularly strong, but their poison is enough to kill anyone under Qi Refinement. It could still affect people in Qi Refinement or Qi Emission, but it wouldn't be as deadly. Anyways, where'd you get that?" "It attacked me, but luckily enough it missed. Afterwards I landed a few blows on it, killing it before it could do anything. I suppose I'm lucky." Feng Jun nervously laughs and nods his head. "Yes, you're lucky, very, very lucky. Now that you've killed it you may as well keep it, their venom is worth quite a bit. Just make sure to wash your hands before you eat. And keep it away from me."
Now that you know how powerful your poison resistance is, you can roughly gauge how strong the poison the woman had was. It was about as strong as the snake's venom, which worries you. Why would a woman who isn't a cultivator have venom that strong? Does she specialize in poisons? Is there some force backing her? As you wonder this you...
>return to work, you can't do anything about it now. She probably fled already, assuming that she may have been discovered
>go to her cottage, even if she isn't there you might find some clues.
>Other
>>
>>3674854
>>go to her cottage, even if she isn't there you might find some clues.
>>
You should check the house. Even if that woman fled already, maybe she left some clues behind. You just hope that the group's leaders don't think you're slacking off.
You go up the trail you went up yesterday leading to the cottage. You keep a close watch for traps, but everything seems exactly the same as it was yesterday. You approach the cottage slowly, going around it, but the garden is just as healthy and there's no signs of anything odd. You warily enter, and inside it looks almost exactly the same as yesterday. The only difference is that the tea set she dropped is cleaned up. This means that she had to have returned at some point after she left your group. You quickly go through the kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, and what you can only classify as an 'art studio', but nothing pops out as suspicious to you, nor do you see the woman. She probably left.
Having finished your once over, you begin closely examining the house. You go through everything in the kitchen, tasting them one by one to test for poison, but nothing gives you the same reaction as her tea from yesterday. After this you carefully go through everything you see, but you can't find anything odd. After that you move onto the next room, and the next, but can't find anything.
As you're looking through the art studio you pour out the paint, exasperated at your inability to find anything. Pleasantly surprising you, something actually falls out of the paint. You carefully wipe it off, and see that it seems to be a tiny piece of cloth. It's sewn in a roughly spherical shape, almost like it's protecting something inside from the paint. After making sure all the paint is off you tear it open, and inside you see a sound transmission talisman. You finally found something! If she has something like this, then it means she's in contact with either a lone cultivator or some group that likely provided her with the poison. You have no idea of who they are though. You...
>use the sound transmission talisman, you need to say something to someone on the other end. (Say what)
>pocket the sound transmission talisman and return to work, you have some evidence, but it can't help you now. Your worries have already been dismissed and this doesn't tell you what's going on.
>bring the sound transmission talisman to one of the supervisors and try to get them to do something. Now that you have additional evidence they should do something.
>Other
That's the last update for the night, thanks for voting.
Also, on a sidenote, I'll probably change the OP image for next thread. This one is hard to spot in the catalog. Hopefully I can come up by something by the time this drops to page 8/9. I'll run it by you guys if I have time.
>>
>>3675277
>>bring the sound transmission talisman to one of the supervisors and try to get them to do something. Now that you have additional evidence they should do something.
>>
>>3675277
>bring the sound transmission talisman to one of the supervisors and try to get them to do something. Now that you have additional evidence they should do something.
I was thinking that the supervisors might be in to kill us but it's still better than to give away the fact that we know we're being targeted and doing nothing.
>>
You need to bring this to their attention, it's not like you can just do nothing. You return to the group and find the man you spoke to before. You show him the sound transmission talisman and explain the situation, and he sighs. "Alright, alright, I'll put a couple extra people on watch, are you happy? One or two people can't kill us, do you think the tribe's patriarch is hiding in these woods? Get back to work."
Well, at least you got him to do something, even if it's not much. You return to your work, charting out the trails scattered across the forest. You make good progress, and after you return to the group the leader says you'll be moving to another portion of the woods tomorrow afternoon. You eat dinner, chat with Feng Jun, and wash yourself, and nothing out of the ordinary happens. You're still on edge, but everything is fine for now.
You're not selected to be on watch, so you go to sleep with everyone else. You wake up, not to the dim light of dawn, but to yelling and darkness. You look around, but your vision is limited. All you see is that people are jumping up, confused, before you suddenly see someone jump out of the darkness, spear in hand. His face is covered in face paint and tattoos, and he's loudly screaming.
Shit, you're not sure yet but it seems like someone or some group is attacking. You can't see that well either. You...
>grow your antlers, you need to be able to see what's happening right now.
>stay like normal, it's important to know what's going on, but it's also important to not stand out while you're in the wastes.
and then...
>try to group up with everyone else, the enemy is probably someone they can fight.
>find Feng Jun, he was covering you so you should check to see if he's fine.
>try to run further into the forest.
>try to run out of the forest.
>Other
>>
>>3676657
>grow your antlers, you need to be able to see what's happening right now.
Just a quick glance,nothing fancy
and then...
>find Feng Jun, he was covering you so you should check to see if he's fine.
>>
>>3676657
>>grow your antlers, you need to be able to see what's happening right now.
>find Feng Jun, he was covering you so you should check to see if he's fine.
Fighting as a unit is a smart call. But we will be damned if we lose our one friend out here. We watch each others backs and then think about the unit.
>>
>>3676657
Could we get away with pushing it out 1-2 and not the whole way? like just leaving it out marginally. Way less likely to be spotted that way.

We wanted a fight, and we sure as fuck have one now.
>>
>>3676710
You can try, but you haven't practiced with it much. Writing now.
>>
You need to see where Feng Jun is first. He's helped you out, so you should make sure he's fine. You use the bloodline within you, letting your antlers grow out as everything around you becomes clear. Now that you can see everything like it's the middle of the day, you have a clear grasp of the situation. The group is slowly gathering together, but the stragglers are caught in fights with a bunch of tattooed men and woman who came out of the woods. You can sense the cultivation of some of them, but others are at Meridian Opening or stronger. Overall they clearly have more people, so you can only hope the average strength of your group is higher.
You spot Feng Jun, and see that he's busy fighting two people at Blood and Viscera Tempering. He could probably win after long enough, but he'd get caught in a fight with more people by then. You try to draw your antlers in partially so you can join the fight without drawing as much attention, but it fails, so you climb up a nearby tree and start moving towards it.
You manage to catch one of the men he's fighting by surprise with the speed increase from The Horned God's bloodline and from your positioning. He tries to pull away the dagger he's fighting with and attack you, but your guandao has a clear advantage in reach. You use 4 Desires, destroying his hurried defense and leaving a heavy wound on his front. You would have struggled to win in a one-on-one fight, but he can't block your finishing blow that easily.
With the first man injured Feng Jun dodges a blow aimed at him and slashes at the man you injured, cutting up his chest and through his throat. The second man lets out a crazed roar and pulls out a second dagger, aiming one at both of you. You manage to dodge out of the way, while Feng Jun cuts his arm. The man pauses, trying to switch weapons, but this gives the two of you the chance to attack at once. You use 4 Desires again, cutting his legs in several places and causing him to begin falling to the ground, while Feng Jun stabs him through the heart.
Feng Jun withdraws his weapon and glances at you, looking relieved but confused. You...
>tell him you're going to try to run deeper into the forest, the people attacking aren't guarding it as well.
>tell him you're going to try to run out of the forest, it's more heavily guarded, but if the two of you can break through it'll be easier to escape this place.
>begin moving towards the rest of the group, you don't know how strong your opposition is, but you'll fight.
>Other
>>
>>3676836
>begin moving towards the rest of the group, you don't know how strong your opposition is, but you'll fight.
I don't feel like abandoning people but if shits hit the fan we'll try to slither away.
>>
>>3676836
>>begin moving towards the rest of the group, you don't know how strong your opposition is, but you'll fight.
>>3676845
I agree. We may be able to turn the tides between Feng and us. Sneaking up and dishing out some damage so the top can get faster kills.
>>
>>3676845
We should also continue trying to pull in the antlers a bit.
>>
You don't want to turn tail yet, you don't know if your group will lose yet. The numbers don't look good, but that doesn't mean everything is decided. You try to reign in the antlers again, and they draw inward, but now you can't see in the dark. For the time being you guess it's either on or off, you haven't practiced with these much. You decide to let them grow and grab a blanket from your pack, wearing it like a weird turban. It looks ridiculous, but no one will care in the middle of battle.
The two of you group up with everyone else before anyone else can attack you, and help hold the line. You think there were around 25 people in all, but you only see maybe 18 right now. The rest must have died or fled. You assume the former- for someone who can't see in the dark, fleeing is a difficult task.
Everyone manages to fight the enemies back at first, but you simply see more and more come out of the forest as the vanguard is killed. This will be difficult. As everyone prepares for the second round of fighting, you notice an extremely tall, burly man covered in tattoos wander out of the forest. He stretches for a moment before smiling and moving towards everyone at an extremely quick speed. As this happens the other enemies begin moving forwards too. You prepare to defend, but suddenly you're knocked out of the way as your group's leader moves in front of you, trying to stop the man who dashed forwards first.
Before the group's leader can do anything, he's suddenly grabbed by the man and thrown to the side, breaking a tree and then skidding against the ground. He gets up relatively quickly, but he has several wounds. You turn your attention away from him, focusing on the closing in enemies, but then he screams as loudly as he can. "Run! E...Early Dantian Creation! Run, run now!" As he says this the leader tries to run away, but you see the tall, burly man who threw him begin chasing after him, quickly gaining on him. After hearing this you...
>grab Feng Jun and try to run deeper into the forest, the people attacking aren't guarding it as well.
>grab Feng Jun and try to run out of the forest, it's more heavily guarded, but if the two of you can break through it'll be easier to escape this place.
>try to negotiate with the enemies, maybe you can join them.
>Other
>>
>>3677025
>>grab Feng Jun and try to run out of the forest, it's more heavily guarded, but if the two of you can break through it'll be easier to escape this place.
We have the advantage of perfect sight. We've to make it back and report this. We may be here for a clan war of sorts. Rewards will be plentiful along with experience. And we could some what match Feng's speed since we've more stamina and the boost from speed.
>>
You glance towards Feng Jun, who has already moved towards you, and just mutter "We need to leave." He nods, and moves to leave, but you just whisper "Follow me, I can see in the dark. Don't ask me to explain." You move away towards the best opening you can find towards the forest's exit, and Feng Jun follows after you.
The two of you move towards the wall of people guarding the direction leading out of the forest, and you go for the best gap you can. As you approach it it seems like you aren't spotted, but before you can get past them one of the people keeping a lookout begins to turn in your direction. You begin to panic and immediately push yourself to the ground, pulling Feng Jun with you into a nearby bush.
You want to leave, but that did create some noise and the enemies nearby are on high alert. You're well-hidden enough that you don't think they'd find you unless they decided to sit down and search for a while, so you can't afford to make anymore noise right now unless you think you can fight them and then escape from whoever pursues. You...
>stay where you are, as long as you stay hidden you'll have your chance to leave later.
>charge out with Feng Jun, these guys are all at Blood and Viscera Tempering or below, so they aren't impossible to deal with. The main problem will be making sure no one catches you after you get past them.
>Other
>>
>>3677255
>>charge out with Feng Jun, these guys are all at Blood and Viscera Tempering or below, so they aren't impossible to deal with. The main problem will be making sure no one catches you after you get past them.
Wait for a good sneak attack to take out two immediately. And then keep pushing
>>
>>3677255
>>charge out with Feng Jun, these guys are all at Blood and Viscera Tempering or below, so they aren't impossible to deal with. The main problem will be making sure no one catches you after you get past them.
Seems like the risky option. But hopefully we can do that. Immediately kill the smtqo closest to us. And move to the city immediately.
>>
It's safer to wait, but you want to get out of here now, before the fighting ends. "On the count of three I'm going to charge out and we'll run. There's a Middle Blood and Viscera Tempering cultivator 15 feet to our right, and another one 20 feet to our left. We'll run, kill any of them that follow us, and find somewhere to hide." As you finish whispering you see Feng Jun faintly nod his head, and begin counting. "One... two.... three!" You shoot out of the bushes, Feng Jun following directly behind, as the few people closest glance towards you location, and then two begin chasing you.
Your speed isn't terrible anymore, but it still can't compare to a Late Blood and Viscera Tempering Cultivator. "Feng Jun, carry me so we can go faster, I'll call out directions. If you follow behind me we'll have to deal with more trouble." After you say this Feng Jun grabs and you get a position on his shoulder, calling out where the enemies are and any obstacles in the way. With the advantage of a small cultivation stage in speed and your night-vision, the two of you manage to widen the gap, and after a few minutes the people pursuing you lose sight of you.
The two of you slow down after that so that Feng Jun doesn't run out of stamina constantly going at full-speed, but you continue trying to get out of the forest as soon as you can. It will probably only take half an hour, and then a couple of hours in a mad dash to reach Green City. Hopefully nothing intercepts you before then.
As you're about to exit the forest, you smell something behind you. You look towards the smell, and your blood freezes. You can just barely make out that massive, hulking man who threw the man leading your group into a tree. You can't run away fast enough! You need to hide! You frantically look around for a place to hide before...
>diving into a nearby river, it's going pretty fast but you'll be fine.
>jumping into a chasm nearby, it's just wide enough for you and Feng Jun to brace yourselves against the walls.
>hiding in another bush, that should be enough to avoid him.
>>
>>3677455
>>diving into a nearby river, it's going pretty fast but you'll be fine.
As long as the river is flowing in the correct way we're good.
>>
>>3677473
Fuck it why not
>>
You'll go for the river. You don't know where it's heading, but it looks like it's exiting the forest at the very least. You tell Feng Jun to follow you and jump into the river. A second later you hear a splash, and he enters in behind you. The river is moving fast enough that it's hard to move around, but you can easily keep your head above water to breathe. The two of you just stay in the river, mostly silent, as it twists and turns throughout the forest. It's hard to keep your sense of direction, but you think it's heading out of the forest. At this point you can't see, smell, or hear anything odd, so you calm down a little and just wait for the ride to end.
The river starts to get a bit deeper and faster, and as you're considering trying to forcibly exit it, you're dunked underwater. A current that appears out of nowhere drags you down, and the river suddenly goes underground, going through a cave. You're struggling to keep your head above water, and as you're regaining your bearings you feel Feng Jun brush against you. He grabs you, keeping you above water with his superior strength, and the two of you are forced to wait there in the darkness for who knows how long.
As you're going through the cave, you suddenly hear a rumbling noise, which gives you a bad feeling. As you're trying to figure out what it is, Feng Jun says something. "Is... is that a waterfall?" Before the implication of that can sink in, you see light entering the pitch-black cave from up ahead meaning that the river is about to exit... and that there's probably a waterfall.
The river exits the cave, and you can now see that there's a waterfall about 20 or 30 feet ahead, meaning you have a precious few seconds to either brace yourselves or escape from the river. As you see it you suddenly feel a massive force counteracting the force of the river, and you suddenly go flying through the air. Feng Jun yells loudly, having thrown you with all the force he could muster. You don't fly far, only about ten feet, but it's just enough to get you out of the water.
You immediately grab your guandao, reacting faster than you thought was humanly possible, and reach it out into the river as you dash towards Feng Jun's location. You don't have time to look, so you simply have to hope you made it in time. You aren't sure until you feel more than a hundred pounds of extra weight added onto your guandao, and hear Feng Jun faintly yelling "Pull me up, pull me up. Fuck!" You pull in the guandao with all of your force, but it still takes nearly a minute to get Feng Jun to shore. He pulls himself onto the ground, panting, and then falls onto it. "Fuck, I... thought I was going to die. God... hooo..."
>>
The two of you lie there for a moment before Feng Jun turns to you. "Could you pop my shoulder in?" Confused, you look at him, and realize what the problem is. He dislocated his shoulder throwing you out of the water. You help him, although he swears a bit, and then the two of you lie down again. After a minute you get up, looking around, and you see that you're now in a giant canyon full of greenery. You're close to the top, and the waterfall has a massive drop leading to the bottom. You don't recognize this place, but it should be outside the forest.
After Feng Jun regains his bearings, he asks where you are. You describe the place and much to your surprise, he turns pale. "Are... are you sure we're in a canyon?" "Yeah, I am." Feng Jun seems to be in thought for a moment before continues. "I'm not sure, but this might be 12th Canyon." "That's an odd name. Why do they call it that?" "Because the 12th Patriarch of the Green Tribe died exploring here." Oh, you did read something like that in the Hall of Patriarchs. Fuck. "I guess that means we're in danger?" Feng Jun shrugs in response. "I'm not sure. People come here sometimes, it's mostly the depths that are dangerous. If we're not that far down, then we have a chance of getting out alright. Still, people usually don't enter 12th Canyon unless they're at Qi Refinement. I can only pray that this is somewhere else, but your description matches it."
Well, this could be terrible, and you're both wet and tired. You...
>suggest resting, you won't be able to do much until it's bright out anyways.
>begin looking around and finding a decent route upwards, you need to leave as soon as possible.
>Other
>>
>>3677706
>>begin looking around and finding a decent route upwards, you need to leave as soon as possible.
>>
>>3677706
>>begin looking around and finding a decent route upwards, you need to leave as soon as possible.
>>
You need to leave this place as soon as possible if it's as dangerous as Feng Jun says it is. "I'll look for a route upwards, you stay here." You begin the area around you. You're on a long stretch of stone, and not much is growing on it. There are plenty of ways upwards to the main part of the canyon, but most of them are steep and rocky. You walk the length of the area you're in, and you find a cave. It stretches off in a couple of directions, but you can't smell anything living inside, so it's probably safe. The only problem would be navigating inside. You decide to...
>enter the cave, hopefully one of the paths inside leads up.
>go up the least intimidating path you can find, it'll be a struggle but the two of you should be able to climb up if you take breaks and give it six or eight hours. If you had climbing equipment it'd be easy, but all you have is a rope.
>Other
>>
>>3678028
>>go up the least intimidating path you can find, it'll be a struggle but the two of you should be able to climb up if you take breaks and give it six or eight hours. If you had climbing equipment it'd be easy, but all you have is a rope.
>>
>>3678028
>>go up the least intimidating path you can find, it'll be a struggle but the two of you should be able to climb up if you take breaks and give it six or eight hours. If you had climbing equipment it'd be easy, but all you have is a rope.
Fuck caves man
>>
You don't want to stumble in that cave for ages, and it might not even have a path upwards. It's easier to just spend the time and start climbing up these steep, rocky paths. It'll take you at least six or eight hours to get to the main part of the canyon, but once you're up there you should be able to take one of the easier paths and be out of this canyon by tomorrow afternoon if you're lucky.
You return to Feng Jun, tell him about the situation, and then the two of you rest for a short time before heading to the area you scouted out. You head up first, grabbing the rocks and digging your feet in, and Feng Jun follows behind. The two of you climb up the almost cliff-like walls, straining your muscles in the process, but with a few breaks in between on ledges you manage to keep in good enough shape to complete it.
You make good time, and the you manage to make it up to the main part of the canyon pretty early in the morning. Your nose is flooded with smells, herbs and animals all around you. The herbs are likely valuable, but given where you are it may not be prudent to try to stick around and grab them. You...
>convince Feng Jun to accompany you and look around a bit for herbs, since you can smell most of the nearby wildlife it's safer than it would be otherwise.
>go through the most hidden paths possible and slowly advance towards the top of the canyon. You need to leave, and you can't let anything spot you.
>find the clearest route and begin quickly advancing. You need to get out, and hopefully nothing sees you.
>Other
>>
That's the last update for the night.
>>
>>3678278
>>go through the most hidden paths possible and slowly advance towards the top of the canyon. You need to leave, and you can't let anything spot you.
Last thing we need is for a beast with open meridians to see us
>>
>>3678278
>>go through the most hidden paths possible and slowly advance towards the top of the canyon. You need to leave, and you can't let anything spot you.
>>
>>3678278
>go through the most hidden paths possible and slowly advance towards the top of the canyon. You need to leave, and you can't let anything spot you.
We Made in Abyss now !
>>
You're tempted, but this place is far too dangerous. You can't let your greed get the best of you. You'll find the most hidden routes possible, stay on high alert, and avoid anything you hear, smell, or see. You find a large patch of trees and bushes and have Feng Jun slowly follow you through it. You adjust your route constantly, avoiding anywhere where an beast has marked its territory. This makes your progression remarkably slow, but you're still making progress.
The majority of the day is spent slowly advancing towards the edge of 12th Canyon. If you were strong enough to protect yourself here you could've been out by now, but the way things are going it will probably take a couple of days. You can only hope your strength with keep until then. As you're moving forward, you suddenly hear something. You stop, terrified that something has spotted you, and slowly look around.
About thirty feet away you spot what looks like a massive insect covered in mud. It smells exactly like the rest of the forest, so you weren't able to spot it. You immediately keep your head down, and Feng Jun does the same. The two of you lie there for nearly half an hour, the occasional unnerving clicking sound coming from its general direction. Eventually you hear it wander away from your location, and let out of a silent sigh of relief.
The two of you begin advancing forward after that incident, but suddenly you hear an odd call, almost like a balloon running out of air. You warily look in its direction, and see that a massive elk, around 15 feet in length, is staring at you and making the noise. As you look at it you feel something within you stir, and you think you can figure out why: this beast must be a distant descendant of 'The Horned God'! Maybe you didn't smell it for a reason to similar to why animals have trouble smelling themselves.
You stare at the beast, wondering if it's going to attack, and it just continues makes the noise, looking afraid. Maybe your bloodline is powerful enough to scare it? It doesn't look like it intends to attack for the time being so you look around it, wondering if there are any more of them. You can't see any evidence of them, so it looks like it's just the one beast for now. You look around at where it's living, and see that there's mostly evidence of it living around a massive tree which it has its back to. You examine the tree more closely and see that it has several long, curly fruits growing from its branches. The fruits are a mix of gold and red, and you can only guess that this beast is guarding them.
Having determined that the beast probably won't attack you, you...
>take this chance to finally rest, you won't be able to keep up if you stay awake for four days straight on high alert.
>move away, if you try to rest here you'll never know if this beast might attack.
>approach the beast, if it views you as its superior maybe you can tame it.
>Other
>>
>>3680526
>>approach the beast, if it views you as its superior maybe you can tame it.

We've also got to rest. If we can somehow stop and get some assistance and sustenance. That would be amazing.
>>
>>3680526
>approach the beast, if it views you as its superior maybe you can tame it.
It could help us find an easy way out,also wondering if the fruits can be eaten.
>>
>>3680526
>>approach the beast, if it views you as its superior maybe you can tame it.
>>
>>3680567
Yeah, if he is guarding it might even be something amazing.
We should see if we can find something about it in our book. Before we gmtry and swallow it whole. But anything this far should have some good properties.
We just have to share with our elk friend. And leave enough to get ripe and come back.
>>
You may as well approach it, if you can manage to get on friendly terms with this beast it could be helpful in escaping. You begin walking towards it, and in response the massive elk begins backing away. Are you really that scary to it? You stay where you are, waiting to see if it'll come back, and it just keeps a distance of about 20 feet from you. It stopped making that weird noise from before, and now it's just... staring at you. Feng Jun seems confused, and is gawking at you like he just saw the sun rise in the west. "This... why isn't it killing us? Is it a herbivore?" "Or, er, is it related to those antlers? I've refrained from asking questions since we're in this situation, but..."
Well, you guess it's natural that he'd ask something eventually. You tell him...
>it's a secret, you trust him but it's best that nobody knows.
>that you share a bloodline with the beast, it's the truth but vague enough not to invite trouble.
>that you have a trace of bloodline from The Horned God, and this massive elk probably does too.
>explain what happened in full and why you disappeared before, he's been here for longer than you so maybe he knows something that could help you.
>Other
>>
>>3680616
>>that you have a trace of bloodline from The Horned God, and this massive elk probably does too.
Fuck it
>>
>>3680616
>>that you share a bloodline with the beast, it's the truth but vague enough not to invite trouble.
Say it's a family thing. Or something.
>>
>>3680616
>that you have a trace of bloodline from The Horned God, and this massive elk probably does too.
So if we keep getting into little adventures with him after our trip we'll tell him everything,but telling what's important is good enough too. He's a good man and I fully trust him to keep it secret.
>>
>>3680660
>>3680639
X.x
while we have trust for him, we could have just elaborated at a later date. Giving him a vague idea would have worked. And showed we trust him to some extent to share some info with him.
>>
Well, you suppose it's time to tell him, you should be able to trust him. You don't want to narrate the incident in full, but he should at least know the final result. "I have the bloodline of The Horned God, and this creature probably does to. My bloodline seems to be superior to its bloodline, and that's why it's probably afraid of me." Feng Jun stares at you, probably expecting you to say that was a joke, but after a few seconds slowly walks away. "...The Horned God... I thought it was just from tribesmen's fairytales..." A moment later Feng Jun turns back to you and awkwardly finishes the conversation. "Uh... that's great! Does, this mean this beast won't attack us?"
That's a good question, and one you're not sure of the answer to. "Probably not, but I haven't come across this situation before. It seems too afraid to attack either one of us though." The elk continues staring at you, vigilance in its eyes. Well, you guess you won't make progress for the time being, but at least having this massive beast being nearby should scare off anything else. It looks stronger than of the other beasts you spotted. You...
>rest here, the elk doesn't look like it's going to attack and you need to sleep.
>try to climb the tree and grab the fruit the creature was guarding, it doesn't seem like it'll stop you.
>search the immediate vicinity for food, everything in your pack got soaked.
>leave, you don't think you'll be attacked, but it's not guaranteed. Maybe this beast will get tired of waiting for you to leave soon.
>Other
>>
>>3680748
>>search the immediate vicinity for food, everything in your pack got soaked
Come back with something we believe the elk may like.
>>
>>3680748
>>search the immediate vicinity for food, everything in your pack got soaked.
>>
First thing's first, you need to find something to eat. Everything in your pack got soaked in that river, so all of your food is ruined. It's a good thing that currency is waterproof or else you'd be out a lot of money. You start exploring the nearby area as thoroughly as you can for berries, roots, nuts, or anything else that looks edible. Given how terrifying most of the animals here are you won't hold out hope for meat, but who knows, maybe you'll come across something.
After nearly an hour in the immediate vicinity of the tree, not only have you not been attacked by anything, you've gotten enough food to last you for a couple days. As you return to the spot near the elk, you carry juicy fruits from nearby trees, nuts littering the ground, and berries from nearby bushes. As long as you're strong enough to fight against the animals it's not much of a struggle to find food here.
You return to the tree, finally sorting through your pack and seeing what you have left. Your sound transmission talisman connecting to Zhu Chao is luckily still fine, as an expensive, long-distance one like this is waterproof. Your money is fine as well, but some of it washed away in the river. You should have about 15,000 gold coins left. Most of the herbs are fine, but a few of them got damaged in the rapids. You'll just have to sell them as they are and deal with the losses. You still have the bead Zhu Chao can gave you that you can detonate to defend yourself, and you've been wearing the necklace he gave you the whole time. All in all you didn't lose anything you couldn't afford to, so you're lucky. You will need to get a new pass before returning to Green City though.]
As you eat you roll a fruit towards the elk as a gesture of peace, and it stares at it for a moment before eating it. It seems fearful, but tolerant, of your presence here. As long as you don't do anything that crosses its bottom line you doubt you'll be attacked. After eating you...
>sleep, you're exhausted from everything thats happened. It should be safe here.
>try to get the fruit from that tree, maybe if you only take one the elk won't mind too much.
>contact Zhu Chao, this spot is safe and exiting 12th Canyon is going to be risky. It will take a few weeks for someone to get here and save you, but as long as this beast doesn't change its attitude about you until then you'll be fine.
>figure out what you're going to do when you get back to Green City, that incident in the woods was something.
>Other
>>
>>3680959
>>sleep, you're exhausted from everything thats happened. It should be safe here
We ate now sleep. Let our body and mind get some well needed rest.
If we wake up earlier than Feng look into the book see if we can find anything that matches the fruits description.
>>
>>3680992
You would look up the fruit if you had the reference books you bought, but in interest of not having to carry around a pack full of books you didn't. And you're lucky you didn't, because if you did they would be completely soaked.
>>
>>3681046
Ahh, that makes sense. I thought for the most part we travel like a nomad. Taking everything with us as we travel.
>>
>>3680959
>>try to get the fruit from that tree, maybe if you only take one the elk won't mind too much.
I bet my left nut that this is a power up fruit.
>>
>>3681135
My thing is we should spend some time around the Elk. Get friendly, and more importantly if we've to run...we will have the energy for it.
I am in total agreement that we should grab a fruit or two.

I was even thinking about trying to bleed unto the tree get the fruit ripe faster. Possibly more. While we train with feng. And make nice with the elk.
>>
>>3680959
>>sleep, you're exhausted from everything that happened. It should be safe here.
we need the rest. 4 days of nonstop strenuous activity
>>
For now, you just need to sleep. Worrying about what to do can wait until tomorrow. You've been up for several days already, and if you add how long it will take to leave, that's at least four days on high-alert. You make a makeshift bed out of leaves and go to sleep, hoping that that elk won't change its mind about letting you be. You go to sleep, and wake up the next morning, after probably half a day of sleep.
You eat breakfast, forage a bit more, and watch the elk, which woke up immediately after you did. You're not sure if that's coincidental, or if it's trying to keep an eye on you. An hour or two after you wake up Feng Jun gets up and eats. Now that both of you are awake and rested, it's time to figure out what to do. You can try to escape 12th Canyon, which will take a couple more days of riskily navigating your way out. You already ran into a couple of incidents yesterday, but maybe you can safely make your way out. Besides that you could contact Zhu Chao with the sound transmission talisman he gave you so that he can send someone to rescue you. The last option is trying to stay here and finding a chance to take the fruit from the elk. If it's guarding it it must be valuable. You...
>decide to pack up your things and start trying to leave 12th Valley. If you stay here the elk could turn on you or something unafraid of it could arrive and kill you.
>decide to contact Zhu Chao with your sound transmission talisman and get him to send someone to save you. You'll need to get a better grasp of where exactly in 12th Valley you are first, but you should be rescued within a month.
>decide to stay here and wait for a chance to take a fruit. They could be valuable.
>Other
>>
>>3681343
>>decide to contact Zhu Chao with your sound transmission talisman and get him to send someone to save you. You'll need to get a better grasp of where exactly in 12th Valley you are first, but you should be rescued within a month.
>>decide to stay here and wait for a chance to take a fruit. They could be valuable.
>>
>>3681343
>>decide to stay here and wait for a chance to take a fruit. They could be valuable.
Train with Feng while we wait for a chance.
>>
>>3681343
Also have we ever noticed if we could make a fruit riper once we pick it off if we let it absorb our blood?
>>
>>3681425
No, but you probably could. The only problem is that your blood becomes less effective the higher the grade of the plants you use it on. That's why you don't just use it on plants ad-infinitum and raise some 1,000,000 year old oranges or whatever. If the fruit is really valuable you'll have to wait for your cultivation to rise.
>>
>>3681435
Thanks.
Do we know exactly how strong the grand elder is?
I'm perfectly fine doing a time skip of sorts. Just training and being friendly with the Elk. Exchanging stories with Geng and general training. We may just hit blood and viscera with just cultivating and training our skills with Feng. With our stamina and him being a tier above us it should let us really get much closer to mastering these skills.
>>
>>3681475
Zhu Chao? You're not sure how strong he is, but you have a general idea. He's extremely strong with Acupoint Opening, so he probably has at least 70 or 80 acupoints opened. (Side note, according to my pastebin this would make him a 'great genius with a bright future', but this refers to younger cultivators. Zhu Chao is old enough that it's very difficult for him to make a breakthrough to Soul Foundation, throwing those guidelines out the window.) This means he's more powerful a leader than a family your level would normally have, and only a bit weaker than the leaders of major families. Major families usually have patriarchs at Half-step Soul Foundation or slightly weaker, while the Five Families have figures at Soul Foundation.
anyways, I'll roll on whether to contact Zhu Chao or not if it's still a tie in an hour or two
>>
>>3681343
>>decide to stay here and wait for a chance to take a fruit. They could be valuable.
>>
>>3681499
Meh doesnt seem like anyone else wants to. Just go ahead.
>>3681511
I'll take that as a tie breaker.
>>
Leaving here is risky, but you think you'll hold off on contacting Zhu Chao. He could send someone to save you, but you have a good chance of escaping here alive. You tell Feng Jun that you plan on staying here for some time in order to find a chance to take one of those fruits, and while he questions the decision, he says that since you're the navigator, it's your choice.
You spend the next couple of days constructing a small shack with Feng Jun while making sure you don't draw the attention of anything nearby. You'll be here for a while, so it'd be best if you had something close to a home. It's temperate here, but it's still not ideal to sleep on a bed of leaves on the ground. The elk continues warily staring at you as it can do so, but at least it's not the fear it showed before. Although maybe if it was you would have a chance of taking one of the fruits without it retaliating. Still, it helped you out so your goal for now is to either gain its trust or to wait for it to leave.
The days slowly wear on as you get used to your life here, training with Feng Jun and cultivating in the range of the tree. You're constantly a bit on edge because of the danger of exiting this small area, but you suppose it's good to stay on alert. You slowly take the pills still in your pack after going through that river, trying to solidify your foundation without taking in too many pill toxins. Pills for cultivation may have greater effects than treasures of the same level found in the wild, but gulping them down like candy is a quick way to ruin your foundation and stagnate.
After two weeks in this area, you've grown used to your life and can tell roughly how long it will take you to get to Late Bone and Marrow Tempering. You broke through almost two months ago, and will probably make another breakthrough in the next month or two. After that it's anyone's guess at to when you'll make a breakthrough into Blood and Viscera Tempering. Hopefully it's before you turn 15. As you think about this, you glance at the elk. It's asleep, having slowly lowered its guard near you. Since you share a bloodline, it makes sense that it would eventually grow less worried about you after several weeks of harmlessly living next to it. You...
>quietly begin climbing up the tree, now's your chance. You'll get a fruit or two, wake Feng Jun up, and leave while it's sleeping.
>go to sleep, this isn't a good enough opportunity. If it wakes up while you're trying to steal from it, it might kill you.
>Other
>>
>>3681562
>>go to sleep, this isn't a good enough opportunity. If it wakes up while you're trying to steal from it, it might kill you.
We can cultivate and go herb collecting in the area. Keep feeding the elk and cultivating and practicing our dodge and speed
>>
>>3681562
>>quietly begin climbing up the tree, now's your chance. You'll get a fruit or two, wake Feng Jun up, and leave while it's sleeping.
Skram
>>
>>3681562
>>go to sleep, this isn't a good enough opportunity. If it wakes up while you're trying to steal from it, it might kill you.

He may be faking it. Also may have put himself in a light sleep. So it wakes up of it feels anything.
We may as well commit to the long haul. While feng may not be getting the most out of his trainings with us. I'm sure we might be helping brush up on his basics and stamina. So it's not a total loss for him.
>>
This isn't a good enough chance. You'd love to take one or two of those fruits, but who knows how lightly it's sleeping. Maybe it's waiting for you to try something. You go to sleep, figuring that you'll wait for a better chance. As you wait for this chance, several more weeks pass. Feng Jun and you spar every day, and you practice your movement. You'd love to practice gathering herbs, but given the limited distance you can safely move, you put the nix on that idea.
One night Feng Jun and you are eating a dinner of nuts and berries, chatting. "So, when do you think you'll break through to Meridian Opening?" "Mm, a few years hopefully? What about you?" "Two or three years. Hopefully before I'm 17." As the two of you are idly talking, you suddenly see the massive elk jump to attention. Seconds later you do too, as you smell something horrible approaching. "We need to run now." You grab your pack and dash away, taking refuge behind the elk. It might not protect you if something came to attack you, but whatever that is probably came here because it doesn't respect the elk's authority and wants to take whatever's here.
As the two of you reach a safe spot you see a horrifying creature approaching. It's like a mix between a spider and a scorpion, and it's thick with the smell of blood. It's nearly 20 feet long, with eight armored legs and a stinger dripping with poison. One massive eye is glaring at the elk from its front. The elk angrily snorts and hisses at the creature, and two of them stare at each other for an oddly long amount of time. After a minute like this, the two jump at each other without warning. The elk's antlers intercept several of the creatures legs, and the stinger shoots towards the elk's side, but it narrowly dodges. Luckily the two of you are far away enough not to get involved in the exchange. As the two are fighting you...
>stand by, you can't do anything in this fight.
>start climbing the tree with Feng Jun, even if the two beasts notice you they'll be too busy to do anything about it.
>find a chance to throw the bead Zhu Chao gave you at that scorpion. He said it should kill anyone at Qi Refinement and severely injure them at Qi Emission, but it's likely these beasts could be more powerful. Still, as long as it's not as strong as someone at Acupoint Opening, you'll be able to creature an opening for the elk. If you help, then maybe it won't mind you taking a reward.
>Other
>>
>>3681760
>>find a chance to throw the bead Zhu Chao gave you at that scorpion. He said it should kill anyone at Qi Refinement and severely injure them at Qi Emission, but it's likely these beasts could be more powerful. Still, as long as it's not as strong as someone at Acupoint Opening, you'll be able to creature an opening for the elk. If you help, then maybe it won't mind you taking a reward.
>>
>>3681760
>Other
Flank the creature. All we have to do is divide its attention. By approaching its side/back it will be forced to divide its attention and thereby create an opening for the elk. All we have to do is pressure it a bit and keep our distance from its stinger. If things go wrong then toss out the bead.
>>
>>3681760
>>>find a chance to throw the bead Zhu Chao gave you at that scorpion. He said it should kill anyone at Qi Refinement and severely injure them at Qi Emission, but it's likely these beasts could be more powerful. Still, as long as it's not as strong as someone at Acupoint Opening, you'll be able to creature an opening for the elk. If you help, then maybe it won't mind you taking a reward.
Hopefully karma will reward us here
>>
>>3681760
>>find a chance to throw the bead Zhu Chao gave you at that scorpion. He said it should kill anyone at Qi Refinement and severely injure them at Qi Emission, but it's likely these beasts could be more powerful. Still, as long as it's not as strong as someone at Acupoint Opening, you'll be able to creature an opening for the elk. If you help, then maybe it won't mind you taking a reward.
>>3681812
I agree but I don't think we would be able to make a difference at our level before we got murdered.
>>
>>3681852
I don't really want to fight it. Would rather force it to pay attention to us and thus make it easier for the elk to handle.
>>
>>3681869
Between a cop and a thief that both have guns. You dont all of a sudden put your fists up. Or get close enough to the thief with one shot in the chamber. That's how you get murdered.
>>
You could try to get the fruit in the chaos, but there's always the chance that these two will turn their focus to you and Feng Jun once you try to take what they're probably fighting over. Your best chance is to help the elk and hope that you can take a fruit or two without trouble afterwards. You pull the bead out of your pack and tell Feng Jun to stand back. You need to get a decent position to throw the bead at the creature the elk is fighting and then look for an opening. Given your low cultivation it can dodge at a distance, so you can't just throw it at any time.
You move towards the fight, which at this point is awe-inspiring. Each blow breaks smaller trees and whenever one of the two blocks a blow they move back, creating deep troughs in the ground in the process. This is the first time you've seen an all-out fight between participants this powerful. You're not sure if either of the beasts notice you, but it's more likely the just don't care. Your bloodline may inspire fear in that elk, but besides that your cultivation isn't anything special in your eyes. You don't know if they can sense that, but if they can, who would worry about someone like you?
You stand by the side as the odd creature's legs and stinger clash against the elk's large, winding pair of antlers. They exchange many, many rounds of blows as they slowly suffer injuries. As the elk suffers a blow to the side and the other creature has part of a leg torn off, you spot your chance. You throw the bead forward with all of your strength, towards the currently stationary scorpion. It's massive eye glances towards it, but it ignores it, gathering its balance and preparing for its next blow instead. That's the last mistake it'll make, as the bead hits its eye, exploding in a bright flash of fire and blood and rendering it blind.
The creature lets out a high-pitched screech as it's blinded, thrashing about. The elk immediately responds, dashing towards the spider-scorpion hybrid and thrusting its antler into its wounds. Blood and viscera shoots everywhere as its insides are torn into. It tries to counterattack, but the elk can easily dodge the blinded creature. The fight ends several minutes later without much fanfare, the creature lying dead on the ground. The elk returns to the base of the tree to recover from its injuries, although none of them are major wounds. After the fight is over you...
>go to loot the scorpion's body.
>try to clean the elk's wounds, hopefully it will let you get close now.
>climb the tree and try to grab a fruit or two, you've earned it.
>Other
>>
>>3681921
>>try to clean the elk's wounds, hopefully it will let you get close now.
and then
>go to loot the scorpion's body.
It shouldn't be an issue.
>>
>>3681921
>>try to clean the elk's wounds, hopefully it will let you get close now.
>>
>>3681939
>>3681930
I'm down. I want to tame the elk if possible..
>>
>>3681949
I'm more wanting to befriend it to get that cultivation fruit, I'd love to get an QI emission elk but I dont see that easily happening. If it does we could just go home, we won the north and will probley become the head of our family based solely of our cool elk
>>
>>3681955
I mean this fruit is clearly a stand in for the peach of immortality, I'm guessing it'll give a cultivation boost or strengthen our bloodline and I want it really bad.
Also what is our clan going to think about our sudden bloodline, what does our character think they'll think that is.
>>
>>3681955
>>3681974
Mhm i agree. As for our bloodline, why does anyone really have to even know? At best I would inform Chao.
Noone else should know about our bloodline. We(our brother and ourself) are literally the last bloodline in our family. No one else is blood related.
The only people who could help us tame and use our powers would be the green tribe. Which I wouldn't be opposed to talking to them if Chao was standing next to us.
>>
>>3681955
We should grab 4. But we should also eat it first before Feng does. It may be the kind of thing like our bloodstone thing. Where it may be to much power, but thankfully we have a ridiculous amount of vitality.
>>
>>3682006
Well I'd assume the fact that we now have a powerful bloodline might be important to figuring out who's going to be the next patriarch of our family for one.
>>3682011
I don't think we should press our luck, two already seems like alot to me and I'd only agree to it ro reward our friend
>>
>>3682017
Well I guess we could vaguely inform the elders a repition of what we did once we came back with the growth to our cultivation speed. Just an emphasis that we are just as good as our brother but not as lazy. I'm sure if we come back as a blood and viscera likely faster than he got to it. Possibly late blood and viscera with the fruit. It would really give us a huge leg up. Also will give us plenty of options marriage wise. We could now deal with since we are up and coming.
>>
You guess you'll try to clean the elk's wounds and then loot that scorpion-spider thing's body. You can try to make a move for the fruits later. You take what survived of your medical supplies and what you've gathered in the nearby bushes in the past five weeks and go to take care of the elk's wounds. It glances at you for a second as you near, before relaxing its body and letting you do as you wish. Chunks of blood and fur are caught in its wounds, and it takes a while to clean them, disinfect them, and bandage them up. None of the wounds look too serious, and luckily that stinger never landed a hit. You don't want to know how strong the poison is on that thing.
After making sure the elk is fine you go over to the other creature's body. You call Feng Jun over and the two of you begin looking over the body. You can carry all of this out with you, but given how hard the outside is, you want some materials from it. Maybe you could make some armor with parts from this. You take parts of the exoskeleton (although they're heavy as hell, so you may have to get rid of them), and collect the venom. You don't know how to properly do this so your hand does itch and tingle as you do so, but given your immunity to poisons you're fine.
After taking some parts from the sporpion (the only appropriate name you can think of for this creature) and cleaning the elk's wounds, you think it's time. You walk towards the tree where the fruit is, glancing at the elk as you do so. It lightly snorts, but it doesn't seem to be angry at you. You begin climbing the tree, and it simply watches as you begin climbing. You slowly climb up the tree, reaching around a hundred feet in the air before you're near the fruits. You see that there are five tiny, gold and red shoots. You guess those will eventually grow into fruits sometime in the future. The elk may be dead by then though. Besides that there's four large, curly fruits colored in gold and red. One of them is three-feet long, another is five-feet long, and the other two are eight-feet long.
>How many do you take? Which ones?
Fixed a couple of typoes that made it look like Mario wrote the update.
>>
>>3682077
>Two
Take the biggest and the smallest. Big for us small for bro. We are the only reason he is getting them so it shouldn't be a problem, and it might just kill him.
>>
>>3682073


>>3681955
Our best bet is to try to see if its intelligent enough to understand the beast cultivation method we have in our possession which is designed specifically for that bloodline. Its no ordinary beast so I'm hoping we can teach it the method and gain its loyalty that way.

>>3681974
Our bloodline is all kinds of wonky. We have the plant seed which enhanced us and gave us power over plants. Then we consumed a beast pill that gave us bloodline of beasts and some kind of power over them. We are practically a walking tonic for anything living that ISN'T human(oh the irony). We still got no idea how the two different bloodlines will interact with each other. We got really lucky in that the beast bloodline we gained is very aligned with plants. Which minimized any potential problems.

>>3682006
The less people who know about our bloodlines the better. Its all kinds of strange and would draw lots of attention if anyone knew. I do agree we need to somehow acquire the knowledge that the Green tribe has in their possession. Keep in mind though we are a serious threat to them since by existing we broke their monopoly over that bloodline.

>>3682077
Take two fruits. Give one to bro.
Grab one of those shoots which we will nourish with our blood. Hopefully we can grow it into our own plant in the future.

>>3682086
I think we should eat them here given we have the protection of the elk and we can finish ripening them with our blood. Mostly due to them being too goddamn big to take with us.
>>
>>3682077
>3
I say we should grab 3.
1 small, 1 medium, and 1 Large.
We are leaving One for the Elk which is likely what he would want anyway at the very minimum. We potentially saved his life and patched him up. We are still leaving him with some. We can give Feng a medium one. And we can keep growing the small one. By feeding it our blood. This is likely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Worst case if the elk is extremely angry we give him the small one to have.
>>
>>3682112
Or he kills us. That's the worst case
>>
>>3682112
Taking more then 2 is very bad idea. The elk doesn't mind giving us a share but keep in mind its far stronger then we are and hence needs more of the fruits in order to benefit due to the differences in strength. We can easily use less and still benefit a lot. It can't. Not to mention it can easily kill us. It only allowed us to stick around since we got the same bloodline.

Plus if you want to grow our own just take one of the sprouts and feed it our blood.
>>
>>3682116
I doubt he would kill us. :/
But it is in the cards. We should eat them here either way.
So you know what. I agree with your thing for now. A big and a small. And we give Feng the small one. And we both eat them here. We are almost at blood and Visera We should eat them once we level up. Less of a chance of blowing up and what not.
>>
>>3682126
I dont know man he seems to be a guardian of this grove. I'd say just getting a plant for both of us is the best way to go about this.
>>
>>3682134
I want to take three. But so long as we can take a branch and keep it alive with blood and try and get it home I am down to just take 2.
>>3682126
I agree we should take it after we hit our next level. That way we can absorb as much as we can. With the least amount of drawback.
>>
You grab one of the largest fruits and the smallest fruit. After that you find a branch with one of the buds and carefully separate it from the tree. Hopefully you'll be able to keep this alive with your blood grow it eventually. You'll leave the other two fruits for the elk since it's larger and will supposedly need more to benefit, and you and Feng Jun will both get one to use.
You climb down from the tree, fruits in hand, as the elk stares at you. It doesn't intend to do anything, so it must be ok with you taking the fruits. You take the small one and approach Feng Jun. "Here you go, this is for you?" He seems surprised. "Really? I've helped you out, but if it weren't for you I probably would've died in that ambush. I'm not sure if I deserve part of the payoff." "Just take it, consider it thanks for helping me out in the Northern Wastes. It would've taken longer to get around if it weren't for you. You said 'we need to put our lives on the line to seize every chance we get', right? You can't turn down an opportunity out of this just because you don't feel like you deserve it. How are you going to make breakthroughs like that?"
Feng Jun closes his eyes for a moment and nods. "You're right, I did say that. I won't stand on occasion then." Feng Jun takes the smaller fruit from you and begins examining it. "It smells good. I can't say I recognize it, but if you made this into a perfume it'd definitely be popular. I doubt that's the best use of it though." Feng Jun then begins putting it into his pack. You look at the fruit, wondering how to best use it, before...
>preparing to leave 12th Canyon, you're not sure what the best way to use this is, and if you just use it then it might be a waste. Luckily the fruit is flexible but has a strong skin, so you can store it in your pack easily after losing most of the replaceable items.
>finding a good spot and eating the fruit. This could be a waste of its efficiency, but if something happened on your way out you wouldn't forgive yourself.
>Other
>>3682111
I'll write what happens by giving it the cultivation slip after this choice, there wasn't a good spot to include it here.
>>
>>3682225
>>finding a good spot and eating the fruit. This could be a waste of its efficiency, but if something happened on your way out you wouldn't forgive yourself.
Eat it now. We could lose it on the way back, it's a fucking huge fruit
>>
>>3682225
I mean really we have super heavy scorpion plates and now an eight foot fruit. Let's just eat the damn thing.
>>
>>3682225
>>Other
Train and keep dripping our blood onto our fruit till we move up a level. That way we get the most efficiency we can from it. We are so close to hitting blood and viscera. We continue training and cultivating. The better our strength is when getting out of the canyon the better it is for us.
>>
>>3682299
For that reason especially we should try and get the most we can out of the fruit.
>>3682383
Do this and it may mean there is a lot less wastage. And we can carry heavier shit easier. Letting us get back to the city and see what we can do about this potential tribe war.
>>
>>3682383
So you want to hang out and then eat the fruit right?
>>
>>3682441
I'm pretty sure that it. Atleast that's my vote. Hang out cultivate & train. And keep feeding the fruit so our keeps getting bigger. Not sure if we should do the same for Feng's. I feel like we said to much already
>>
>>3682441
yeah, that is the plan.
>>3682498
basically
>>
You'll stay here and try to make a breakthrough before eating the fruit. Until then you can try to nurture it with your blood, although it probably won't do much with something of this caliber. You tell Feng Jun your plan and after some consideration he tells you he's going to eat it now. He'd hate to waste part of it, but he's not getting any younger, and the sooner he makes a breakthrough to Meridian Opening, the better it will be for his future cultivation.
Feng Jun prepares himself, calming down his mind, and the next day he begins to eat the fruit. After taking his first bite he freezes for a moment, but after that you see his muscles relax and a slight smile cover his face. A few minutes pass before you see him begin running around as fast as he can, attack nearby rocks and trees, and generally just use his strength to the extreme. This continues for an entire day and night (during which you're unable to sleep, he's rather loud), before he eventually stops moving about.
Feng Jun examines himself, looking surprised, before approaching you. "How was it?" "It... the energy was gentle, and radiated throughout my entire body. I had to put forth all of my strength to exhaust the excess energy and allow it to sink into my body. First it tempered my muscles, and then my flesh, and after that my bones. Finally I felt it passing through my organs. I feel like my foundation has been solidified greatly, even if I haven't made a breakthrough. I wouldn't be surprised if I reach Marrow Opening within a few months."
So that's what the fruit does? With a fruit this large, you'd likely be guaranteed either a breakthrough to Blood and Viscera Tempering or an incomparably stable foundation. For the time being you'd like to eat it after you make a breakthrough first though.
The night after Feng Jun eats the fruit, you wake up to an odd noise. You look around, and notice that it's just Feng Jun getting up. Before you can ask him why he's up, you notice that he has two horns. They would probably grow into antlers if he had a thicker bloodline, but they're simply too short to be called that. Well, you guess you could've predicted this if you really thought about it. One of The Horned God's descendants was guarding the fruits after all. As Feng Jun is standing there, confused, you say something. "Welcome to the club Brother Feng!" He looks back at you, confused, touching the two-inch long horns on his head. "Uh... yes, yes. I guess we share a bloodline now."
Eight days after getting the fruits, you feel a change in your body and smile. You've broken through to Late Bone and Marrow Tempering. You should be on pace to reach Blood and Viscera Tempering before you're 15 like this.
>>
At the same time, in 12th Canyon
A boy aged 16 or 17 years old and an old man are walking through the forest. The boy has nearly half a foot long, while the old man's are four inches. The boy turns to the old man, smiling. "I'll have to thank you again in helping push through my request for the Red-Gold Fruit. Even if we haven't been able to track down the thief, with the fruit that is only grown 'once in a lifetime', I should be able to catch up with their bloodline." The old man nods, also smiling. "Yes. I have to admit that I don't know how powerful the Bloodline Core is, but if that thief has any visions of taking over Horned Island, then they're likely too weak to absorb all of it. With your exceptional inborn bloodline and the support of a Red-Gold Fruit, at the very least you'll be able to compare to him. If an outsider tries to take over the seat of Highblood without having a bloodline far superior to yours, it'll be futile and he'll die in the process instead."
The two walk through the area, the old man occasionally stopping to kill one of the nearby creatures that was overconfident. As they walk through the forest, they suddenly come across an odd sight. It's a young teenager, maybe 14 or 15 years old, with antlers several feet long sprouting out of his head. He's looking through bushes for something, and a massive elk is following behind him. Behind him they see a man in his early 20s with small horns poking out of his forehead.
The two stand there, mouths gaping open, as the elk, young man, and the teenager glance towards them.
>>
After your breakthrough you decided to take a break from cultivating and gather herbs for a bit. Much to your surprise the elk begun to follow you, and so you decided to go a bit further than usual. Feng Jun naturally followed after you, as without the elk around he was at risk of being killed by one of the creatures in the forest. While you were gathering herbs, you heard someone approach, and then suddenly saw an old man and a boy a few years older than you. Antlers were poking out of both of their foreheads, meaning they're somehow related to The Horned God's bloodline.
Before you can ask either of the two anything, you hear the old man mutter something. "It's... that's the guardian of the Red-Gold Tree. Why is the guardian following this boy?" After he says this his eyes turn to your horns, and you see his eyes widen. "T-that... impossible... more than two feet...." The old man blinks for a moment, looking confused, and then clears his throat. "Hello, I'm Duan Tao, High Protector of Horned Island? May I ask which faction you come from?" That... Horned Island? High Protector? You...
>ask why they're asking, you're not in the profession of answers stranger's questions in the forest.
>tell him you're from the Liu family.
>tell him you don't have a faction.
>tell him you're Refiner Long's disciple.
>Other
>>
>>3682603
>>tell him you're from the Liu family
If were an outsider hopefully we dont need to fight
>>
>>3682603
>>ask why they're asking, you're not in the profession of answers stranger's questions in the forest.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>3682641
>>3682640
I am honestly not sure what to pick.
Of we say we're an outsider he may just be more inclined to kill us. But it's not like he will leave us alone.
In order of votes.
>>
>>3682640
Now that I think about it I'm glad it landed 2. For >>3682641
If for some reason they do know our family.. our dad killed a lot of people in the north..
>>
>>3682603
Ah fuck talk about worse case scenario. Shit. We cannot let them find out who we really are.

>ask why they're asking, you're not in the profession of answers stranger's questions in the forest.
>>
You don't know why you've run into these people, but you'd rather not answer their question. Horned Island sounds like a faction related to The Horned God, so theoretically you're allies, but you're not in the habit of answering strangers' questions like this. "I'm sorry, but why are you asking?" You expect the old man to at least frown, but he just keeps smiling. "Of course I'm asking because I just found our clan's new Highblood!"
Before you can ask what 'Highblood' means, the boy stares at him, aghast. "This... Highblood?! That's my position! You can't just give it away!" The old man chuckles at the boy next to him and shakes his head. "Duan Jin, we may share a surname, but we're only distant relatives. Of course I'd support you when the competition is close, but this? This isn't a difference of a couple inches, it's nearly two feet. You bloodline simply can't compare." As the teenager begins seething, glaring at you, the old man turns to you once again. "May I know your name, new Highblood of Horned Island?" You...
>give him your fake name.
>give him your real name.
>ask what a Highblood is, what Horned Island is, and why he's dragging you into this.
>tell them to leave you alone, you don't know what a 'Highblood' is but you're not interested in a position in the Northern Wastes.
>attempt to leave, you don't know what's going on but you don't want to be involved.
>Other
I'll make one last update before I go to bed, but last update for now.
>>
>>3682750
>>give him your fake name.
>ask what a Highblood is, what Horned Island is, and why he's dragging you into this.

I didn't expect this elder to be this committed to his clan.
>>
>>3682750
>give him your fake name.
>ask what a Highblood is, what Horned Island is, and why he's dragging you into this.


We have taught the elk the cultivation method for its bloodline right? I gotta admit though it was worth losing that bead in exchange for gaining its services.
>>
>>3682755
Second, I guess were the new clan head
>>
>>3682756
Shit, I meant to write what happened. Thanks for the reminder, here's the text for that:

Struck with an idea, you take out the jade slip you got in the The Horned God's ruin. You put it in front of the elk, wondering if it can cultivate it, and it simply stares at you. After half an hour of trying to get it to understand, you give up. You guess this body transformation technique was meant for a sentient beast.
>>
>>3682750
So we haven't even started to eat the big fruit then?
Have we seen a noticeable increase in size since we have been feeding it our blood yet?
>>3682756
I agree.
>>3682758
>>3682756
I do want to say, I was planning on learning what we can here. As the green tribe is likely similar to the 5 families. They should have some pretty incredible martial arts. And more importantly, training on our horned powers in general. That they should have refined over many generations of it. And give us a decent list of our abilities.
And then call Chao and fuck off sooner rather than later
>>
>>3682750
>>give him your fake name.
How strong is the elder?
>>
>>3682784
Nope, it's exactly the same size. Your blood's powers have been increasing slightly with your cultivation, but this fruit is likely too strong for you to affect, at least in the short-term. The bud hasn't died, but it also hasn't grown.
>>3682789
You can't tell, once someone's cultivation hits Meridian Opening you can't sense it anymore. The boy is at Late Blood and Viscera Tempering. Do you want to ask the High Protector what his cultivation is?
>>
>>3682800
Alright. Well that's enough to know we likely cant out run him.
>>
>>3682800
Alright, that works.
Well damn, it Seems like we have increased our cultivation speed by a lot now. Since we're even faster than what would likely have been the high blood of the green tribe.

We are likely cultivating as fast if not faster than the five great families heirs. Once we eat this fruit we will get a nice upgrade again. And should add a couple inches to our "horns"
>>
>>3682771
So wait beasts cannot instinctively cultivate? Then how the hell did they ever develop their own cultivation methods or share them much less grow stronger/smarter? Figured the beast god would have the means to allow the method to transferred into the minds of beasts. Thought something like that would be obvious for beast cultivators who need to raise up their less intelligent brethren. Something like that would be a necessity for them.

>>3682784
My concern is we are in fact an outsider and not a descendant of their Clan. Which means we just fucked their inheritance and monopoly over that bloodline powers. In order to maintain their position they have to get rid of us.
>>
>>3682844
Well, they don't have a monopoly over the bloodline or else they wouldn't be testing for blood and then marrying them into the family.
Clearly, some of the bloodlines have leaked out and some strains are stronger than even some in the family.

Also, I don't think they can. The whole point was beast or man that came in would earn a bloodline. And for beasts, he has a little extra since they could cultivate it.
The green tribe actually may have somebody refining technique we may be able to get if they had the same thing and have been working towards that for generations possibly.

And as high blood we sure as hell should gain acess to some pretty high class shit.
>>
>>3682750
Doesnt seem like you will get to make that post. But thanks for running while you could.
>>
You're still not trusting these people with your real name. It's extremely doubtful they're connected with whoever tried to assassinate you, but either way you should keep low. "I'm Zuo Shi. Anyways, what's a Highblood? What's Horned Island? More important, why are you dragging me into this?" As you see this Duan Jin seems glad, and quickly cuts in. "High Protector, he doesn't even know about us. Maybe it would be best for the tribe if we-" The boy is immediately cut off by Duan Tao, who ignores him.
"First of all, Horned Island is the secret force backing the Green Tribe. We appoint the patriarchs, control the flow of resources, recruit people from the tribe into the Horned Island, and dispatch people from Horned Island to serve in the tribe. Besides us there's Clawed Island, Winged Peak, and Scaled Palace. They control the Red Tribe, White Tribe, and Blue Tribe. Palette City is a neutral ground administrated by all of us." There's a short pause before he continues. "The High Blood is person with the highest bloodline purity within the clan. They're one of the positions with greatest control, and work alongside the High Protector, the strongest individual in the clan, and the council of elders in administering clan matters."
The High Protector is the strongest person in the clan? If Horned Island controls the Green Tribe, then wouldn't that mean they're stronger than the Green Tribe's patriarch? Or maybe they're the same person. "If you're the High Protector, does that mean you're the Green Tribe's patriarch?" Duan Tao shakes his head. "No, those are separate positions. The patriarch of the Green Tribe is generally one of the strongest elders in Horned Island, but they're almost always at Acupoint Opening. The High Protector is usually at Half-step Soul Foundation, like I am." Half-step Soul Foundation? That... this man is probably even more powerful than Zhu Chao. This means that Horned Island is a the same as a major family of Yutian Country, and that they want you to serve a leading role. You absorb this information and...
>refuse the position, you could certainly make use of it, but you'll be the next patriarch of the Liu family, and nothing else for the time being.
>accept the position, there's no need to look a gift horse in the mouth. This is a great stroke of luck.
>Other
There's the last post, good nigh and thanks for voting.
>>3682981
When I said 'last update for now' I meant I was going to take care of some stuff and then check in when I was done and about to sleep, sorry if you stayed up waiting.
>>
>>3683008
>>refuse the position, you could certainly make use of it, but you'll be the next patriarch of the Liu family, and nothing else for the time being.
Purity of blood doesn't mean much if the person bearing it has different values. Leave it to someone who cares about it.
>>
>>3683008
>Other
Bring up a possible conflict of interest since we are already a heir for different faction. If we can come to some kind of...arrangement then we will consider it. Basically we need to negotiate with them without outright refusing and hence earning their wrath. If they think they can reason with us they won't have a reason to turn hostile and we can gain some benefits.

>>3683013
If we turn it down then we lose the ability to make a strong ally of powerful faction for our Clan. Not to mention we won't be able to access their knowledge in regards to what we can do with the bloodline. Plus I rather doubt they will let us go considering it means losing control of a powerful bloodline that will spill out of their control. We are lucky in that this guy is friendly and very high up who wants to play nice first. Not to mention we would gain their personal backing and support for becoming the next Clan Patriarch. Blowing our brother out of the water.
>>
>>3683008
Refusing would either make Duan attack us or send a bunch of assassins at Meridian Opening pays us a visit. Accepting would give us an high position but it could involve some...unpleasant consequences. So I think the best choice for now would be
>We'll think about it.
>>
>>3683088
I am in agreement.
We should atleast say we will think about it. And we should see what they have to offer. Get out like a bandit. Once we absorb some knowledge guys. They are as strong as the 5 families if not stronger. Battle techniques and better control of our horned powers. Also as a nice small addition Feng could join us. And we could elevate him into the clan with us.
>>
>>3683287
I wonder if him and Cai Fang would accept to work for our clan since it already is pretty powerfull.
>>
>>3683033
I think we should just accept on the face of it. We should not let them know our real name or connection to any family till atleast Chao is around.
We can get back to their island, start learning the knowledge we want see how it goes. And contact Chao.
We can do a little more with some one backing us. And once we have eaten the fruit and gained horned island knowledge we've pretty much gained all we can from them. Legacy knowledge is a pretty powerful thing. We could likely bring back a dozen things back to know family even share with our lazy brother the small stuff.
But in theory we could likely gain a powerful ally instead, and connect ourselves to a powerful branch on horned island. Gain some trade and soft power for our family.

We may even be able to do that while talking to the grand elder here. But I am kinda opposed towards telling him the truth. I just want strength as strong as possible and they bring that to the table.
We will only have him and Feng to watch our back. Feng will be pretty weak considering all things.
>>
>>3683299
By him do you mean the Grand elder?
Cai fang isnt leaving his master any times soon. If we could some how get him to join our family, that would be a great addition. Once he learns more skills. And I guess we would be bringing someone into the clan that makes us more money..and arms the clan better.
But as for the clan elder I dont see that happening.
We should accept, keep feeding our bud and fruit. Absorb knowledge, eat fruit and cultivate and train.
We could likely set up our family to be a bit more prosperous via a couple trade deals with the "Green Tribe".

Also let's not forget about the tattooed tribe we found in the forest. We have to inform his about that when we can.
>>3683008
I just tried to stay up till I could. Lol thanks
>>
>>3683341
Talking about Feng Jun,he's going to break out to Meridian opening soon and he's pretty skilled.
>>
>>3683370
I mean sure. For a cultivator in his early 20's years old I'm sure he is talented enough for our family to warrant accepting him as a clan member. I dont think he would really be opposed to it.
But it may be a hard sale compared to joining the green tribe.
And instead leaving the "country" you grew up in to join some kid you've known for a couple months.
Good thing is I dont think he has any ties. And if we bring him with us, we can promise him plenty like a place in our clan for sure. Better cultivation resources and he could be our guard of sorts.
Given our current status, in sure we have a couple elders in our clan that are decently powerful. Not Chao powerful but he has given our clan enough to gather its self together and prosper so I'm sure we have elders that could hold their own and keep us stable. We bring in Feng and develop him along side us. And hopfully our brother gets his shit together and gets serious about cultivating. Once he hears about how much we are improving it should light a small fire under him. If it doesnt, I'm sure his fiance will
>>
>>3683418
Maybe he won't need to come back with us,I'm interested in expending the influence of our clan all over the country so he could work as some kind of supervisor in the northen waste. It'll guarantee him a job and a good pay so it'll be hard for him to turn this offer down.
>>
>>3683008
>>accept the position, there's no need to look a gift horse in the mouth. This is a great stroke of luck.
>>
>>3683008
>>accept the position, there's no need to look a gift horse in the mouth. This is a great stroke of luck.
We need time to gather our selves. Accept the offer without hesitation. We have already covered our ass with the fake name to some extent. We train and cultivate, let Chao know some of whats going on. He already knows about our vitality. So I guess we could tell him about our new bloodline. But the other elders can just know that our cultivation speed has been enhanced due to our shut-in cultivation.
Do you guys have any real plans
>>
So that's
>>3683013
one no
>>3683033
>>3683088
>>3683287
three maybe/negotiate
>>3683608
>>3683688
two yes
First update for the day will be in about an hour then.
>>
Now that you have a better idea of what he's getting at, you're actually not that opposed. Still, you need to talk about this first, you're supposed take over as patriarch of the Liu family after all. Maintaining your father's legacy is more important than this. "Alright, I understand. I'm not opposed to taking this position, but how will this work if I'm supposed to be the heir to another clan?" Duan Tao smiles as you says this and quickly replies. "Well, if you and your servant come from another clan related to The Horned God, I'm sure we could come to an arrangement about merging together and have a marriage or three to seal the deal." ...Is that what he thought you were part of?
"What about a normal family clan?" Duan Tao seems confused, but answers anyways. "Well, in that case you should be free to take on both positions at once. Horned Island is naturally a secret from the public, so few people would even know you're in charge of two influences. The Four God Clans have stayed a secret from the masses to protect our bloodline, and we don't plan on making our existence public unless we have a peerless figure who has reached Soul Foundation, or possibly even Soul Cleansing..."
Well, you guess you can do both at once. More importantly, you need to ask what you're actually supposed to do. "And what am I required to do as Highblood?" At this point you can see that Duan Jin is seething, but a small spark of hope remains in his eyes as you haven't accepted yet. Duan Tao ignores it and continues speaking to you. "Well, as long as you're in Horned Island we'd like you to make some appearances to increase morale, attend a few meetings with the council of elders and me in attendance, things like that. You don't need to be in the Northern Wastes all the time, just make sure to check in once every few years and keep communications open. Most importantly, as the Highblood you'll need to continue the bloodline."
Now that you've gotten a better idea of what this is, you...
>tell him you'll accept.
>tell him you don't want to become Highblood.
>Other
>>
>>3683911
>tell him you'll accept.
So we'll just be a public figure. I'm sure there's a catch somewhere and Duan Tao doesn't seem like the most trust worthy guy but sure,why not.
>>
>>3683911
>>tell him you'll accept
>>
Well, you guess there's not much of a loss here. You'll mostly just be there to improve morale and the tribe and attend meetings, right? "I'm fine with taking the position of Highblood then." As you say this the blood drains away from Duan Jin's face, and he loos... miserable to say the least. "NO! YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME, YOU OLD BASTARD!" As he yells Duan Tao looks at him with an odd mix of pity, annoyance, and disgust, but then suddenly his eyes widen. Duan Tao pulls out an odd wooden carving and screams! "Guardian, I don't know why you're here with him, but attack that impostor! I order this upon the command seal of Horned Island!"
As Duan Jin says this the carving hurtles out of his hand, landing on the ground as his arm is suddenly broken. Whatever happened was too fast to see, but it was likely the work of Duan Tao. You glance towards the massive elk next to you, on guard, and it just... stares at Duan Jin, snorting. You guess the 'command seal' didn't work?"
Duan Tao looks towards you, ignoring the injured Duan Jin on the ground. "I suppose that the guardian is too smart to be fooled by someone of inferior bloodline into attacking the Highblood." As Duan Tao says this he picks the carving off of the ground, handing it to you. "This is one of Horned Island's command seals. It contains a trace of The Horned God's aura, and our beasts are trained to obey it. This will grant you a certain level of control over them as long as a situation similar to... er, this, doesn't come up." Duan Tao then claps his hands together. "Well, since you're the new Highblood, I have good news for you! Duan Jin had be slated to receive a Red-Gold fruit, one of the clan's best resources. But now that he's losing his position and he dared to try and attack the new Highblood, I think it's more than fine to give it to you. Although we do have a few matters to discuss in exchange for this old man's assistance." As Duan Tao looks at you, you...
>tell him you've already gotten the 'Red-Gold fruit' he's speaking of, you're pretty sure that's what this massive elk was guarding.
>just tell him to lead the way, maybe you can get another one.
>ask what's going to happen to Duan Jin now.
>Other
>>
>>3683911
We should ask about rewards.
>>
>>3684061
>>tell him you've already gotten the 'Red-Gold fruit' he's speaking of, you're pretty sure that's what this massive elk was guarding.
We can inform him we already took something that he is likely describing.
With our own effort at a great loss to us and our braveness describing the fight between the elk and the scorpion.
Now if we are entitled to a large one we would take it
>>
>>3684061
>>tell him you've already gotten the 'Red-Gold fruit' he's speaking of, you're pretty sure that's what this massive elk was guarding.
>>
Connecting the dots, it's not too hard to figure out what the Red-Gold fruit is, and you probably already have it. You stop him and take it out of your pack, and Duan Tao just stares at you, confused. Duan Jin is still on the ground, and seems to be even more upset than before. Duan Tao clears his throat before saying "Yes, that is the Red-Gold fruit. Well then, I'll just go examine the tree then." As Duan Tao says this he aims a chop at Duan Jin's neck, knocking him out. The elk and Feng Jun are left to watch him.
You nervously follow Duan Tao towards the tree, and upon examining it his face darkens slightly. "Six... there are only four buds and two fruits. Did you take two fruits and a bud?" It looks like you've crossed boundaries a little bit, but he doesn't seem too angry so you'll fess up. While you're at it, you'll make a case for yourself by describing how you got it with your own merit, playing up the value of the bead you had with you.
After your story Duan Tao glances at your necklace a couple of times despite you not mentioning it, and sighs. "For the time being I'll keep this matter a secret in order to let you stabilize your position within the clan. Once you're powerful enough for it to not matter, we'll make it known the the elders that another fruit and a bud are gone. I'll make my conditions known upfront. You will need to take my granddaughter as your main wife within the clan. You're free to have other wives in or outside of the clan, but within the clan she will be your main one. After that, you will sire three grandchildren within ten years. Is that acceptable?" ...This isn't really the condition you expected. Is this related to your bloodline? Is this old man working together with you in a bid to strengthen his faction within the family clan? You now partially get why he's so eager to recruit you into Horned Island. You...
>state that you understand, you expected something worse in mind. This will tie you Horned Island more closely, but that's not a terrible thing.
>tell him you'll have to meet her first, you're not one for forced marriages.
>decline, at your current rate of cultivation you wouldn't be surprised if you reach Soul Foundation, or maybe the realm beyond that someday. Taking a wife here will be a shackle for you.
>Other
>>
Typo correction: "three grandchildren"
should be "three children"
>>
>>3684259
>>state that you understand, you expected something worse in mind. This will tie you Horned Island more closely, but that's not a terrible thing.
I mean let's not piss of the soul foundation guy.
>>
>>3684297
And honestly this is expected in clan politics anyway
>>
>>3684259
>>state that you understand, you expected something worse in mind. This will tie you Horned Island more closely, but that's not a terrible thing
Ask about cultivation techniques for your blood line. And battle techniques for ourself.
>>
>>3684259
Can we also ask this guy about our horns?
>>
Well, there are definitely worse conditions he could have proposed. If he just wants to use you to increase the bloodline within his faction in order to guarantee that future Highbloods are born within his clan, then that's fine. "I understand, that's fine." Duan Tao smiles and pats you on the shoulder. "Good, good, I'll introduce the two of you when we return to Horned Island. She's a nice girl, I'm sure you'll get along. Besides that the only other I thing I need to ask of you is that you back me while I'm trying to appoint you as Highblood and, more importantly, when they determine my rewards for finding you. Naturally this is within your best interests, and if I recruit such a promising figure into clan with a bloodline as pure as yours it's only natural that my rewards should be plentiful. " Ah, so this was his other motivation.
"I'm being direct, so I hope you'll go along with it. My reasons for recruiting you are half for getting resources in order to make a breakthrough to Soul Foundation and extend my life, thirty percent stabilizing the future of my family, and twenty percent for the benefit of the clan." Well, you can't say that Duan Tao is the most loyal person or motivated to help the clan at any cost, but you can appreciate the frankness. It's better than someone scheming behind your back.
The two of you leave after Duan Tao says this, reuniting with the elk, Feng Jun, and the unconscious Duan Jin. "Alright, we're done here so guardian, you should return to the Red-Gold tree." As Duan Tao says this he pulls out a command seal. The elk stares at him, confused, before Duan Tao sighs and makes several symbols with his hands. "They're trained, but they're not intelligent enough to understand human speech, although sometimes they can pick up on tone. That's why we used gestures and symbols, much like how people train dogs. Anyways, if there's nothing else it will time for us to head to Horned Island. Duan Jin will be tried for attempting to kill a competitor to his position, you will inaugurated as Highblood soon enough, and your companion is free to assume a minor position in Horned Island and receive some resources. We'll keep it a secret that he ate a Red-Gold fruit as agreed, otherwise his fate would be.. unpleasant to say the least."
>>
"Er, I do have a few questions first." "Hm? What kind?" "Is there a cultivation technique for this bloodline I'll switch to practicing? Will I receive battle techniques? What about these antlers?" Duan Tao chuckles and answers. "Yes, we do have a cultivation technique, although it's not specific to our bloodline. It's a wood-element cultivation technique that works well with our bloodline, it's derived from the same source as the Ki Family's, although it's slightly lower in grade. As for battle techniques and info on controlling your bloodline, those will also be provided once we arrived. My reasons for recruiting you weren't all for the benefit of the clan, but once you're recruited there's no reason for me to impede your growth. You'll naturally get access to the clan's resources."
You...
>tell him that you'd like to stop somewhere first, you have business to take care of. (Name a location)
>inform him about the matter in the forest and see if he can take care of it. You were going to report it to the cartography business, but this is good enough.
>stay silent, it's time to go.
>Other
Also, it's called Horned Island and not Antlered Island because Antlered Island sounds like an extremely dumb name and most people have horns since their bloodline isn't very pure. If I mix up the words at some point, my bad.
>>
>>3684386
>>stay silent, it's time to go.
Yeah I think this is more important
>>
>>3684386
And did we rat our fruit and do we know what it is meant to do.
>>
>>3684386
>>inform him about the matter in the forest and see if he can take care of it. You were going to report it to the cartography business, but this is good enough.
But otherwise Yeah time to go. We can say this on our way to horn island. It doesn't mean as much to us other than a reward for letting them know why they lost a big party of strengthen in warriors.

How does it compare to our current cultivation technique? Its the one our father earned in the war right?
>>
>>3684410
You'll figure it out in more detail on the way to Horned Island, but it's basically meant to solidify one's foundation in Body Tempering and enhance their bloodline. It's a treasure ideally meant for Meridian Opening cultivators (although its value is far beyond that, it could solidify the foundation of someone who's already past that), but that takes too long so you guys will eat it when you breakthrough to Blood and Viscera Tempering, as you agreed upon.
>>3684411
You don't know yet, you haven't seen it. You should know once you get to Horned Island and have a copy given to you.
and yes, it is part of what he got for fighting in the war against Hiqiu Sect. If he just wanted something for himself he probably could've gotten a technique equal to what the Five Families has, but he wanted the right to share it with his family clan, so it's considerably less valuable. For a family of your level it's a good technique though.
>>
Well, you suppose it's time to go. You don't know what that incident in the forest was about, but Green Tribe likely has it under control by now. Duan Tao leads the two of you out of 12th Canyon, the elk returns to its never ending duty of guarding the Red-Gold tree, and Duan Tao continues telling you and Feng Jun about Horned Island, the factions there, and other such things. It looks like you're not going to have a quiet moment for most of this trip.

That's the last update for this thread, I'll make a new one in a few days and post here, twitter, and in the /qtg/, thanks for reading!
>>
Oh yeah, and before I forget, if anyone has specific parts of the quest you prefer feel free to tell me, I won't derail the plot just to cater to them, but I like to keep this kind of stuff in mind while brainstorming.



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