previous chapters:https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Heretic%20Cultivator%20Quest_You are the peerlessly talented and genius magical beast, Huānliúxuè (欢流血, Happy Bloodshed/ Happy to Shed Blood), who walks the heretical and feared path of ghosts and grudges, being the sole inheritor to both uncorrupted Blood Qi and the primordial legacy of beasts. As the adopted daughter of the Toad Witch Monu, and the grandmaster of the recently named Palace of Natural Laws (宫殿的野生彝宪, Gōngdiàndīyěshēngyíxiàn) sect, you have a great responsibility to bear and many difficult trials ahead if you and your students are too survive in these chaotic times when cultivator fights cultivator.Having spent the spring tracking down and recruiting three newly awoken magical beasts, The flying executioner Wusheng Siwang (无声死亡, Silent Death), the man eating pack leader Huili (Ash Gale, 灰 䬅), and the bringer of unintended disasters Chuándǎpò (船打破, Ship breaker), you devoted the rest of the spring season in teaching, training, guiding and advising your students be they born with feathers, fur and shell or not. So your sect's disciples rapidly progressed, now following proper cultivation methods and tutored by a genius prodigy like yourself and an accomplished and veteran cultivator like your mother Monu. As Ping and Feiqing left the safety of your underground temple to seek a means to breakthrough their bottleneck, you helped Siwang and Fu create their own laws to follow and form as they saw fit.Qiang, however surprisingly, showed an aptitude to your law, now blessed with the title of Ruler of the Great Wheel's Law(统治者的这重大轮回法律, Tǒngzhìzhědīzhèzhòngdàlúnhuífǎlǜ), and so, while her fellow disciples diligently trained and meditated on the Orthodox laws they practiced, or experimented with and tested the limits of their own self taught laws, you personally took Qiang down into the Catacombs to train her in holding a court of resentful ghosts.And while discussing her sorrowful and painful past, you managed to break the wax seal holding in the secrets of the dimensional gourd that had been presented to you just prior to your attack and usurpation against the ghost governor Yin Zhao.And so master and pupil were both swept away and buried beneath the horde of wealth the prior owner of the storage treasure had kept and carried with him.Enlisting the aid of several loyal specters, you freed yourself and Qiang from the sea of twinkling trinkets and glittering baubles, and with the aid of the serfs, peasants and lackies of your fiefdom of the unquiet dead, you carried the mysterious treasures from the catacombs and one by one carried them out past the sealed Demon's Head Gate and into the stone courtyard of your subterranean sanctuary.You allowed Qiang a reprieve from her tireless efforts, and so she shambled off to bask in the mist rising from the spring of five elemental waters kept in the heart of the mountain, Cont
>>5240998Luckily, you managed to catch Feiqing and Ping as they were packing to leave on their journeys and caught your honored mother as she was grinding up caterpillars to make a poisonous pill to test her resistance to the poisons and toxins she cultivated and kept within herself.So, sitting down around the mound of treasures, the four of you catalogued all of the contents of the now empty dimensional gourd, while the lower ranked members of your sect carried them away as they were identified and inspected for any value or curiosities. Tally of the contents of the dimensional gourd: Eight hundred twenty four spirit stones (Total: 1268), Jade Ghost taming Seal (Exorcist artifact. Allows the binding of even fierce hungry ghosts to the user's will), Record of Wraiths and Phantoms (Manual detailing types of hauntings, ghosts and other supernatural beings and their abilities and weaknesses), Amber and Pearl prayer beads (Sealing artifact, each bead can hold one creature, living or dead within it. If broken, the occupant is released . Currently all beads are empty. Total Beads: 9), Qilin mane Fly Whisk (Fire imbued weapon, high quality), Pouch containing five highly refined spirit medicines (Two miraculous healing pills (instantly mends wounds) , One blood cleansing drug (Cleanses poisons and supernatural ailments), Two Fire body stabilizers (Creates a potent burst of Fire Qi within the body, giving a boost of Qi and Stabilizing the meridians and inner anatomy of bodies reformed with fire), Recruiting token of unknown sect (Polish Pink seashell), A rough map of the Chuan region (Including several locations not marked on any mundane map) a great fortune's worth of silver and gold coinage and pearls, and five pairs of pink silk daoist robes Lanfen and Monu play around with the mundane material wealth that spilled forth from the gourd, Monu taking a few pieces of jewelry and encouraging Lanfen to do the same, though, the young woman meekly approaches you for permission to keep a pair of black pearl earrings and a bangle of silver shaped into the image of a mermaid resting upon a rock with a long flowing tail similar to that of a well bred koi. You don't care for such a bauble and so the request is easy to allow. The rest of the silver, gold and pearls are stashed away in the deeper vaults of your temple, along with the spirit stones that have nearly doubled your sect's wealth in the cultivation world. The manual is placed with the others in the Manual repository, the medicines are taken to the medicine storehouse and wrapped in individual silk pouches for safe keeping. While the Ghost taming seal and Fly whisk are left within the armory, in a sealed section until they find an owner, where the steel tiger's claws Feiqing made from Old crooked fang's core would rest, if he hadn't taken them along on his quest for rare ores for self defense.Cont
>>5241000For the rest of the day, the outer disciples gossip and try to work up the courage to approach you or one of their betters to ask them to petition you to spend some of the apparently vast wealth of old coins and shining pearls to further expand your temple in various frivolous ways, such as giving even the lowest of the outer disciples fine silk robes and lodgings that would make the imperial palace's guest quarters seem like the dinging lodgings of an infrequently visited roadside in that served more as a home for mice and lice than men.You ignore them, and instead make your rounds through the ever expanding network of chambers and tunnels that make up your recently named sect's sole stronghold. Since you can't think of a better time to announce the recent naming of your temple, you'll wait until the communal nightly meal is readied and served to announce it. And then, if Qiang has recovered from the rigors of learning how to safely cultivate the Qi of ghosts, you'll take her back to the catacombs to open a portal to the underworld, so she may see that the sins of her previous life are nothing compared to some of the monstrosity men have committed against one another.'And I'm called a demon just for being what I am, when there are still emperors and warlords being all but worshipped who are tortured in hell for the crimes that allowed them to be so revered in life' you complain to yourself as you wonder through the various halls and caverns of your home, lighting your way with false ghosts lights and blood red spheres of illumination floating all around you like fireflies. Still, you have quite some time before you'll announce the naming of your sect, several hours until then, and taking Qiang into the underworld on a scholarly expedition will have to wait until at least after dinner. So, unless you wish to wander through the quiet and empty halls of your groto to pass the time, you should find something to do to distract yourself while you wait for dinner to be ready and Qiang to be well enough to attempt entering the chill air of the underworld.So, Huanliuxue, what do you do while you wait for Qiang to rest and recover?>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworld>Check on Chuandapo and see how she's acclimating to her new home, and tell her about the geges and how you hope they'll be her friend when you one day bring them out from the wilderness. >Force Huili to get back his backbone. Him acting like a dog was amusing at first, but now its just pathetic. If he wants to serve you, he needs to be proud, dammit. >Casually chat with your other disciples, as you plan how to spend your newly aquired wealth >Write in
>>5241002>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworldI'm curious.
>>5241002Leave the stronghold, abandon the sect, go to the mountains.
>>5241002>>Force Huili to get back his backbone. Him acting like a dog was amusing at first, but now its just pathetic. If he wants to serve you, he needs to be proud, dammit.
>>5241002>>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworldEventually whatever's in him is gonna come out when it's satisfied. Rather not let that happen.I'm wagering now, the only of our current beastly disciples with the potential to gain a human form is Siwang. Huli and Chu just don't have the right mindset to improve quite as much.
>>5241002>What is wrong with LeiAnd hey. Maybe we can gain inspiration from the affliction.
>>5241002>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworld
>>5241075The other two just need a change in mindset. We broke Huili without building him back up stronger and Chuan hasn't been really interacted with us post-recruitment so her simple ways have stayed the same. I'm still curious what the snake would have been like if we got our hands (paws?) on them
>>5241002>Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworldThis was a long time coming
>>5241002>Force Huili to get back his backbone. Him acting like a dog was amusing at first, but now its just pathetic. If he wants to serve you, he needs to be proud, dammit. Looks like Lei vote is winning and I'm OK with that, but I still feel we need to take care of Huili.
>>5241524Well personal motivation is also a factor. They'd need proper goals. And so far they don't really have goals beyond basic needs and wants. Which is why Siwang is so set in my eyes. He has a strong, completely independently determined ambition that also involves a higher philosophy. Couple that with a desire to learn AND practice and you got a recipe for tragedy or greatness. Kid's basically a total package. Chu doesn't seem to be doing too hot. Mainly cause she seems to have adopted the driftwood sort of path. She'll follow the currents and move aside when needed so long as she can keep floating. Easier to correct but a little frustrating.Huili got it real fucking bad though. On those beta meme hours. If he isn't scheming and biding his time then he's just going to ride the coattails of whoever he thinks is top dog. rip snek, you were probably a brat.
Ending the vote now. Find Lei and try to figure out what exactly is wrong with him, if he has a curse or a demon parasiting his Qi. Ping will be able to treat him, eventually, but it'd help to know WHAT exactly was wrong with the mute (Mental trial. DC 62). DC lowered by your knowledge of ghosts and the underworld:7Leave the stronghold, abandon the sect, go to the mountains.: 1Force Huili to get back his backbone. Him acting like a dog was amusing at first, but now its just pathetic. If he wants to serve you, he needs to be proud, dammit.:2So while you wait to announce the recent naming of your sect and for Qiang to recover enough to travel to the underworld, you'll try and figure out exactly is wrong with LeiUpdate will arrive shortly
Like a bolt of lightning flashing through the night, the answer for the question of how to keep yourself occupied for at least a few hours if not a couple of days fills your mind. The mute and ever loyal Lei, who, along with Feiqing was one among the first and earliest of your students. Yet, due to his rather peculiar ailment of the spiritual roots, the shadow that drains and absorbs most of the Qi he manages to cultivate, he has fallen far behind even those who had joined after you obtained Blood Qi and actually established a sect. And with how hard he labors in your name, and how loyally he has served you since that snowy night you freed him, Feiqing and Ping from their bonds and kept them from a most painful and fiery death, Lei certainly deserves your concern and attention. Your expert attention. Monu mentioned that the shadow that blocks him from cultivating was either a curse or a true demon, and while you have yet to study curses in depth, they're usually born of grudges are they not? And you have taken the essence of weak devils into your meridians and Dantians before, and have spent time in hell for various reasons in the past and have just recently have come to own a book that, while it primarily deals with earthbound ghosts and natural spirits, surely must have a chapter or two detailing the various breeds of demons and the native denizens of hell.'Unless of course, that was censored when the orthodoxy was put in place' You grumble in your head as you march to find Lei and interrupt his habitual mischief or whatever chore he has been given by Monu, as, from what you have seen, he only listens to you, your mother or his two sworn brothers and ignores everyone else who tries to command him or bring him to task. For, despite his comparative weakness, he still technically outranks everyone else in the sect through seniority alone. Or, maybe he doesn't realize that and he just can't understand their accents and dialects. You are never certain with Lei, since he can't speak and asking him to write his every thought down just to hold a conversation with him is incredibly tiresome.Plodding along through your temple, you find Lei, still wearing the red cat mask he bought from Fu's village that is styled after your own beautiful visage. The mute is crouched over one of the streams running from the miraculous five elemental spring bubbling in the depths of your sanctuary of stone.He lifts his head as you approach, and locks eyes with you. He tilts his head silently, letting the small stick he had been using to proud at the minnows with incredibly incandescent scales that have somehow come to populate the miraculous and Qi rich waters of the spring. Then, blithely, he raises his other hand and waves at you, as he lifts up his mask to reveal his face. His piercing eyes melt with joy, as his thin mustache lifts as he smiles and approaches you, in a manner very much reminiscent of a curious kitten.Cont
>>5242491Of course, he doesn't say anything to you, and merely listens with arms politely folded over his chest. You consider him for a moment longer, trying to figure out what he's thinking or if he's silently asking you something. But you give up that endeavor, as his expression does not change in the slightest and he makes no moves to explain himself with body language or a hastily drawn message written upon stone with water.So instead, you lift your chin, commanding him to follow you, and lead him from the stream to find the instruments Monu had Feiqing make to more accurately read and scrutinize spiritual roots.Maybe tonight you'd finally find out what was wrong with Lei's spiritual anatomy. Roll 1d100. DC 62. Best out of three
Rolled 79 (1d100)>>5242493
Rolled 48 (1d100)>>5242493
Rolled 78 (1d100)>>5242493
>>5242501Success, and 10 over DCUpdate will arrive shortly
Lei lays flat upon a stone slab, mask covering his face but exposing his eyes that state serenely towards the shadows flickering and swaying atop the ceiling. The design of the mask, with its exposed and barred fangs, makes it seem like he's sneering confidently as you, under the guidance of Monu, carry out the grading of his spiritual roots with a mixture of acupuncture, paper talismans and taking pieces of his hair, blood, mucus and skin to refine down to measure the quality of his spiritual roots without digging into his flesh to reach and expose his bones. It is, a somewhat crude method of testing his innate potential, but the magical tools and medical and ritual devices required for a more elegant and ceremonial process of grading his spiritual roots are simply beyond your reach. Monu, taking the instruments Feiqing made just for this purpose, begins to press them at the beginning and end points of the eight extraordinary meridians and then the twelve principle meridians. With a needle in nearly every acupoint, and now with sharp edged cups heated to various, sensitive parts of his body, Lei begins to groan in pain, eyes rolling bag but showing no distress or fear as Monu carefully removes the cups, revealing the bruised fleshed beneath, before jabbing a jade tipped needle into the center of each, allowing blood to flow out as you observe the exact hue of the bruising while she begins to remove the acupuncture needles one by one.This, is meant to stimulate the flow of innate Qi through the meridians, while the various samples taken serve to measure his elemental and chemical bodily balances, while the cupping makes the spiritual roots more visible beneath the slight flow of Qi. This method, as complicated and time consuming as it is, was abandoned for more graceful and pleasing practices. Like holding a pearl to the forehead, or pinching a specially prepared talisman wetted with blood from the recruits palm, or even swaying a spirit crystal of high quality from a chain above their central Dantian. However, this barbaric method is much more cost effective and reveals more than just the quality of his spiritual roots.So, while you could've measured Lei's potential and worth as a cultivator by gripping his wrist, and testing the resilience of his bones when exposed to a shock of Qi or by jabbing him with a Spirit crystal hard enough to reach the acupuncture points, the slow and ancient process better serves your goals.Since it can also reveal damages to the spiritual roots, which some of the more intricate methods and simplified procedures including those you have the means to carry, would only show such spiritual wounds as a lack of innate potential.It is why, as Monu cackled when she began slipping needles into Lei's naked body, that many sects still teach this old method, as clans will do anything before they admit that one of their descendants is talentless or unworthy of their name.Cont
And indeed, more than once, according to your mother in the same laugh, a great prodigy was turned away and scorned by one sect for failing the initial test, only to be found by another, rival sect, who performed a closer inspection and found them to possess hidden abilities or sealed powers.The hope of hiding away some secret talent, is what drove Lei to endure the honestly rather torturous test, as you and Monu spent most of the day picking, prodding, and jabbing him to try and create a reaction that could be studied and understood as a symptom of a specific curse or a sign of demonic possession. You watched the shadow over his meridians, shift, stretch and grow, as you flipped through the later chapters of the Record of Wraiths and Phantoms, looking for anything that resembled the gloom within that seemed intent on draining away the Qi Lei worked so hard to cultivate, no matter how pitiful of an amount it was. It was like a parasite, sapping away at the nutrients of its hosts. And that is why you didn't believe this to be a curse.A curse would seal. Lock away. Block. Destroy and scatter Qi. it would absorb it, it wouldn't store it. It wouldn't allow Qi to slip past. In your mind, in this scenario, a curse would be like a wall, rather than a grate. If Lei was cursed to be denied his destiny of being a cultivator, surely it would seal his dantians, block his meridians and wilt his spiritual roots, rather than wrapping around them like ivy to suck away the spiritual energy he took into himself.So you were certain, this was a possession. And from your own experience among the cities of the underworld and amongst the court of the graves, you were certain this was no guardian spirit, ancestral protector beast, or jealous ghost hitching a ride in Lei's body.No. This was, as Monu suggested before, a true devil. You are all but certain it is. The presence and energy is malevolent, but a demon's aura is different from a Hungry Ghosts or a protective spirit. While both, in theory, would parasite off of any Spiritual energy gathered by their host, only a demon could be so greedy. That, and the shadows have been shaping into a ogreish grimace for the last hour or so, which would be pretty hard to miss or misattribute to another sorcerous malady. "Mhrn?" Lei grunts, as Monu notices the face you've been staring at and judging, revealing itself from the shadows masking Lei's spiritual roots."Mch" She smacks her lips, narrowing her eyes "Seems it was a demon after all, guess we can't always be blessed with heavenly fortune when we're going against the heavens just by breathing?"She sighs, as Lei seems...entirely unperturbed by this revelation."You knew?" You ask sharply"Mhm" Lei snorts, nodding his head "Why didn't you say anything, you oaf" Monu snaps, slapping him across the head"You knew, that we could measure the strength of this demon sealed within you, and learn from it" You continue on, keeping your eyes locked with Lei's own
>>5242548"Of course!" Monu gasps, slapping her hands onto her cheeks as she rushes to the bowls where the pieces of Lei were boiled and muddled "A possession leaves behind physical markers, like any sickness! By studying the impurities refined out of his hair, skin and blood, we can gauge the power of the demon within him by the amount of impurity shedded after each refinement""Leeeei" You say soft;y, suddenly wondering just how much the Mute knew "Did you go along with this hours long, incredibly painful procedure, because you knew exactly what it would reveal in the end, once Monu wasn't being distracted telling stories?"Lei just lifts his mask and smirks"Where did you find him again?" Monu asked quietly, eyes narrowed with suspicion "No member of a run of the mill isolated cult would know any of this""He was dressed like one of them when I found him, Ping and Feiqing in that blizzard" You whisper, as Lei sits up as straight as a bamboo stalk, and yells out, as his movements move several of the needles in his legs deeper into his flesh"Is he pretending to be an idiot?" Monu wonders out load, tapping her silver pipe on the slab he sat on "or is he dull in some parts of his brain and sharp in the others""Who knows, but the mystery surrounding him only deepens. But I'm certain he didn't drive those needles into his leg to try and throw us of the trail of his past" You say, sauntering around Lei as Monu yanks out the now bent needles with a pair of pliers "I've seen a sage act like a drooling simpleton for half a century, my sweet, trusting daughter, anything is possible. Who knows what life Lei lived before he had a demon sealed within him" Monu grumbled "For all we know, he's an experienced heretic, a trained cultivator or an outcast from a hidden sect of"Monu's eyes glisten with realization as she sense an opportunity"Our fellow apostates!" She says, as Lei blinks calmly "Lei, if you tell me exactly where you came from, I'll reward you with a kiss"Lei shrugged, and was thus slapped across the head again by an irate Monu."I was a fool to get my hopes up!" She barked, crossing her arms "He really is an idiot, despite know far more than he's supposed to. Why must all the handsome one's be simpletons. Or have Demons locked away inside their bodies""You're taking that as a compliment?" You asked in shock as Lei beamed and turned red around his cheeks and ears "And is it often you find men with demons sealed inside of them?""Lazy exorcists think the human body is a better prison than a clay jug or jade box" Monu explained "And judging from filth produced from his hair and skin, the Demon inside our beautiful fool is pretty powerful, nothing we couldn't handle or subdue, but it'd have eaten a village or three if it was let out of him without being beaten down first"Lei's face turns pale, as he follows behind Monu like an obedient dogcont
>>5242549"Well, seems you agree with me" You say to him, nodding your head "That that possibility is a terrifying one""Or maybe it'd just burn a few temples, I don't study hell or its denizens. After all, I do plan on being immortal!" Monu boasted happily, patting your head as she, Lei and you left the surgery chamber and began to head for the dining hall "Well, if there's any consolation, at least by the end of dinner, your disciples will know what to call themselves, Huanliuxue. I just hope the rice hasn't gotten cold""Hong has probably eaten it all already if it has" You giggle as you prance beside your mother, and the obviously lovestruck Lei, who seems to have entirely forgotten that Monu had just rattled his skull twice with slaps that could crack and break stone.What do you do when you take Qiang on a field trip in the underworld, Huanliuxue?>Stay close to her, and explain to her the society and dangers of hell, as you show her the fate of particularly sinful mortal souls as well as the more exciting places within the outskirts and safer parts of the City you frequent>Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employers>Leave Qiang to explore and experience the sensations of hell, as you try and convince a powerful ghost or demon to help your with Lei's demon problem>Bring Lei along. Maybe the demon will leap out of him on its own accord, then? If not, maybe you could find a doctor of sorts who can extract it? Otherwise, you'll have to wait for Ping to return from his Journey to even attempt curing Lei at long last>Write inStill need to get around to making a pastebin for Huanliuxue's techniques.
>>5242550>Enter her into some fights.>Write in: and enjoy some ourselves
>>5242550>Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employersSounds fun.
>>5242550>Stay close to her, and explain to her the society and dangers of hell, as you show her the fate of particularly sinful mortal souls as well as the more exciting places within the outskirts and safer parts of the City you frequentGuided tour.
>>5242550>>Stay close to her, and explain to her the society and dangers of hell, as you show her the fate of particularly sinful mortal souls as well as the more exciting places within the outskirts and safer parts of the City you frequent
>>5242550>Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employers
>>5242550>Enter Qiang into a few fights against weak ghosts and demons, and have Yi Zhu pull some strings, so she can literally face her past in the form of fighting the tortured spirits of her previous employersThis sounds like it would be cathartic. Maybe even fun!
>>5242550>Bring Lei along. Maybe the demon will leap out of him on its own accord, then? If not, maybe you could find a doctor of sorts who can extract it? Otherwise, you'll have to wait for Ping to return from his Journey to even attempt curing Lei at long lastCan't we do that with the other options?