Nine Paths of Asura (Ch.132) The Maws of Star Stream Lake

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This story is about a middle world where fate itself has been broken. That means that those who would have lived ordinary lives, can now lead extraordinary lives, lives which could alter the overall scheme which the gods have put in place. But as these once ordinary individuals are freed from fate, the greater world is shaken as fate fails to control the order of things. While mortals squabble on the ground, will anyone look to the sky and see that it is falling? The story will begin with Lineir, a poor brat with a great ability to find trouble and treasure! But as we all know, in the world of cultivation, it's not finding treasure that matters, only the powerful...or the cunning... can find a way to keep it! Only those who are willing to sacrifice everything are capable of gaining true power. Check it out below guys~

Hi guys, if you have any comments at all, please comment! Love it or hate it, I don't know till you comment. If I could just get one person interested in seeing another chapter, I would be that much more motivated to keep it up. My bio-love wuxiaworld and all the translators in general, want more light novels but can't have it so why not make some of my own? While I know the story is a bit rough in terms of development and formatting, please bear with me. I'm hoping to improve with every chapter, and I hope you notice a marked improvement as every chapter is released. Journey with me together as we see how this story plays out! Please comment, I don't bite.. much. 



  • edited May 2017
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  • edited May 2017
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  • edited September 2015

    Chapter 1- Lineir

      The day started as usual. Lineir walked carefully along the broken steps of the old city, every winding path a challenge to the unfamiliar. To his knowing step however, it was the same as walking a brand new road with a few turns. Like a cat on a high rise, he had no fear of falling into a pit which could entrap many horses or of stepping on a broken step and collapsing a building. He made his living every day by sneaking into this forgotten ruin and picking out pretty scraps for a living. Sometimes he was lucky and he got enough to eat for a week or more. Other times, he was forced to resort to relying on his older sister to avoid starving. One time he had gone hungry for so long that he couldn’t get up again to keep searching. That time his sister had found him food and medicine when he knew she had left with a few coppers. He knew she couldn’t have made enough from the inn she worked at as a waitress. He never asked though. Afraid of hearing things he didn’t want to hear. He never let himself get so hungry that he couldn’t take care of himself again. Instead he reached into the upper class’s pockets. His favorite was the execution stand. Nobody, noble or guard paid attention to their purses when the axe came down, easy pickings for someone who had a mind to help himself to some coin rather than an eyeful of blood. Of course, such gains came with risk as well. One mistake and it would be his head on display. Today though was a different affair.

    Thing's had been looking up recently, his sister had been promised another year of work, her inn was doing a decent trade in Brackenrock City and she was guaranteed work until trading caravans were forced away by the winds of fortune again. That meant he always had bread on the table and sometimes even meat, though he preferred to stockpile rice whenever there was extra. If he had his way, he was never going to be without food again. Sometimes, he wondered what would happen if he had enough food to last him and his sister a lifetime. But then he dismissed the idea. He sure feet had almost tripped on an upturned cobble and he needed his mind on the task at hand. This time, he was looking for a new stash. He had dug out all his old stashes, they had ceased to yield anything but dust. Now he was doing the dangerous work of scouting out a new place to dig and search for valuables. This was the most important part of the job. Soon he’d be wandering outside of familiar territory and every step would be a potential hazard. If he didn’t find a good spot then all his efforts for the next few weeks would be a waste as he dug up trash. Presently, the landscape changed. Tombstone after tombstone appeared, chipped and smashed, but the majority still standing, a testament that the living still cared about the dead, he had reached a place he had never dared to venture before. It was at the edge of the old city, the mass burial of millions of lives. The tombstones here were but the beginning of a vast expanse of land which belonged to the dead. It was a well known fact that inside lurked hideous undead and worse, constructs of old magic gone horribly wrong, intertwined combinations of flesh and magic which could not be touched by ordinary steel. Only the strongest experts of the city, the White Horizon Sect’s disciples could hope to combat these unholy beings, and they did not dare venture into the old city anymore for fear of provoking their advance. As long as the new city was left alone, they were content to destroy the occasional wandering undead at the city walls and leave the graves to the dead. Linier however, had no fear. He had been observing the old city for years, and he knew that the outskirts of the graves had no undead, they had long since been annihilated or wandered away. During the day, when he could see farther than their rotted eyes, he had absolute confidence that he could make his escape if he saw one, and he had not in years. So far out from the city walls, other pickers dared not go. To Lineir this meant one thing. Profit… and food. And so he took his first step into the deadland.

    Around him were decrepit bones, but never complete skeletons, always shattered pieces. Anything whole on the surface above the calming magical runes of the tombstones would have risen up as undead. What was left was simply the remains of the many bodies here. In the past, city lore had it that a great battle had occurred here. All the major sects in the continent had fought and paid a bloody price here. For nothing. The White Horizon Sect which remained was nothing but a branch sect of these great sects. Compared to them it was nothing, and it was only allowed here because the major sects had decided that it was impossible to gain anything of value from the deadzone. It was considered taboo to talk about the tragedy which befell the major sects, but his sister had told him the story one time overheard in her bar. “Lineir, we are not locals, but since we will be staying here, it would be good for us to know the things anyone around here knows. Do you know why the great sects once fought here, and why the new city was formed far away from the old, and with high enchanted walls?” Lineir naturally shook his head, at the time, he hadn’t been old enough to find his own coin. “Well don’t talk about this casually or the guards will beat you. Once, a huge tear opened in the sky above the old city. From it, heavenly cries filled the air, and a great battle took place with swords of lightning and spears of fire. When it ended, the whole sky was alight with flames and below the old city was rent into pieces, our mortal mortar could not survive the strikes of such powerful beings, and even runed walls were rent through as easily as easily as a sea storm sweeps away a thatched house. What came down were celestial treasures, things which the gods hold dear. The great sects immediately seized control of the area and spent ten years searching. In this time, they found many world shaking treasures, and their fame became consolidated below the heavens. To this day, some of their most famed items come from the battleground. But after ten years, they were forced to stop searching. No matter how they tried, they could go no deeper. Even their greatest experts at the peak of levels below the heavens dared not tread another step. Why? Because the unburied bodies of those millions who had been crushed under the heavens began to rise by the thousand as undead. While initially, they were weak and the experts of the great sects could annihilate them at will, soon they began to join together as if something was controlling them. Eventually, they became hordes of undead. Unable to advance further into this undead sea, and terrified that whatever power was massing these undead would one day send them outside, the great sects formed the new city and created Brackenrock Cities famous light attributed runed walls to hold back any undead which traversed the old city and tried to come out. Few came, and eventually they stopped coming, and now the only sect which still bothers to keep watch is the White Horizon sect which is but a branch of the main sect. So remember, never go into the deadzone, in there are things which nobody under the heavens dares to trifle with.”

    At the time, Lineir had happily agreed with this statement. But soon the time had come for him to make enough to feed his own growing body, and the rest led up to this moment. He had just entered the deadzone, gravestones standing silently, watching him. It was growing just a bit dark, the sun preparing to give way to moon. In that moment, something moved. Lineir did not even bother freezing as a less experienced person might have. He knew there was only one thing that could live here, and that was something not living. Undead! Without even looking, he turned and desperately sprinted.

    "Damn my fortune, to think that an undead would actually still be lingering here, when I've just entered the deadzone. I haven't seen any from the outside for years!" He shouted at himself in his head, feeling mixed regret that he hadn't obeyed his sister's warning. Dashing straight back, he knew that his chances of surviving weren't bad. Somebody without experience would have tried to wait and see what was there. This would have allowed the undead to get close and their limbs would freeze in fear and they might panic and they might try to hide. But this wasn't a good way to deal with the undead. By running straight away, the undead would definitely find Lineir. But most undead were lower level undead, single corpses brought back to life. As long as it wasn't a higher level undead which usually only appeared deep inside the deadzone, Lineir could run away and the rotting legs of the undead wouldn't be able to even catch a single piece of his clothes. Feeling confident in his decision, he accelerated linearly, confident that the best way to avoid whatever was behind him was to outrun it. As long as it's really a lower level undead it shouldn't have the ability to attract others he thought. Right then, a ghastly dragging moan filled the air, filled with hunger.

    "Shit, I must have been a terrible person in my past life to have such terrible luck, to think that it's really an undead of a high enough tier to even have working lungs, I'm done for if a horde comes!" Behind him, the one moan became many as answering undead joined the chase.

    "This is ridiculous, there should only be a few undead in the outer zone but there has to be a whole horde behind me!" Lineir started going as fast as he could, frantically trying to put distance between him and certain death, when he realized that this would be a terrible mistake. He slowed and began to jog, trying to calm his racing heart.

    "If I sprint all out, I'll never last till the gates and the horde will certainly devour me. But if I keep my calm and never look back, I already have quite the lead on them. It should be enough to jog until I reach the gates and then the White Horizon Sect's guards will be able to summon experts to deal with this situation!" Beads of sweat poured down Lineir's forehead, anyone that wasn't a master of cultivation and thus couldn't fly to safety would feel the same. What was behind him was too terrifying. One wrong step, one overturned stone, and a small trip and fall could very well lead him straight to hell. Suddenly, Lineir felt pressure as a piece of his clothes was grasped. Somehow that first undead was right behind him, wailing away! The city gates were in sight, he began shouting, "Guards, guards, summon the Sect! Or we will all die here, undead at the walls! Start shutting the gates!!!" Lineir could feel the undead hand on his back, holding a strip of cloth on his back. He pretended it was his sister's hand guiding him, that it was nothing and sprinted faster, determined to outrun it and tear himself free. The gates came up and archers leveled their bows at him. "Please don't shoot until I get free! I'm a citizen of the city, guards wait please!" 

  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 2(Lineir)- A Nobody Becomes a Somebody But Nobody Knows Him

    The sight of Lineir and the undead on him was almost comical if it wasn't for the horde following. Like an adult chasing after a small child, there was a three meter high skeleton stretching out a tattered hand onto Lineir's shirt. Lineir, fleeing, was slowly gaining distance taking three steps to every one of the giant skeleton's, but he was hampered as his shirt refused to stretch any further and was dragged back. As it seemed like he would be unable to escape the undead pull, finally, the cloth gave out and ripped completely off and Lineir was free. He immediately dived for the floor as arrow after arrow whistled overhead. The guards hadn't bothered to wait for Lineir to be free, if his clothes hadn't been so worn then he definitely would be hornier than a porcupine right now! Fortunately, as it was instead the skeleton above had been hit by arrow after arrow, each head etched with enchanted steel burning into the rotting flesh and turning it to dust. Lineir could not help but breath a sigh of relief, when the towering figure behind him, though filled with great holes, began to slowly lumber forward. It was an undead of such a high level that even weakened by runic arrows, it would continue to march forward. Lineir hastily scrambled up and ran, rapidly putting distance between himself and the terrifying juggernaut behind him. The gate had shut out the horde, and they were beating on the runic wrought arcs, and they couldn't break through, but the original higher level skeleton was already through the gates. The guards panicked and continued to fire arrows, "Undead in the city!" Knowing that he was hardly a combatant, Lineir made his escape, leaving the situation behind him to the guards and whoever heard their cries.

     As he hurried to the small little apartment he shared with his sister, conveniently close to the outskirts of the city, he saw three white robed figures flying above. With a start he realized that these were experts of the White Horizon Sect who were rarely seen outside the inner cities where they meditated in seclusion. They had actually roused themselves for a situation that Lineir had caused. Lineir immediately ducked into an alleyway. If he was discovered to be responsible for such a troubling matter, it would be a disaster! A nobody like Lineir would pay for his transgressions, whether he mean't to  do such a thing or not didn't matter, with his life. After they passed overhead, he quickly darted out taking random turns so that anyone watching could not possibly know which direction he came from. Quickly, he was absorbed into the confused crowd as just another bystander.

    Like a drop of in the wide ocean, he was impossible to find, and none of the bigger fish or sharks would take notice of him. Successfully having escaped from disaster, he realized that he had forgotten something important! The ripped clothing on his back! An intrepid observer might note that the skeleton at the gate had torn the back of his clothes and be able to trace his steps in the city. With a quick yank the shirt was quickly removed and balled up into his pocket. "That should cover my tracks for now. I'd better be careful, nobody can know that it was I who caused such a ruckus, not even my sister or a nobody like me with no face will be done for." 

    At his run down house whose whole expanse couldn't even compare to the lowliest of inn rooms, Lineir stashed away his ruined shirt and changed into a new one to await his sister's return from the bar. At exactly three hours after sunset, she arrived, exhausted and harried but with a beautiful smile that she always had. Lineir was used to this late arrival, what with her status as an unmarried and uncultivated girl, she was unable to argue with any of the conditions at her workplace. To be frank, it was already quite generous that she got home before the moon reached its peak. As a serving girl at a bar, the owners of the inn didn't want her skin to be bad and her eyes to be like a raccoon's, and let her back early. Otherwise, it would be likely that Lineir wouldn't see her at all before he slept. 

    "Little brother Lineir, have you heard the news? Something exciting is happening in our Brackenrock City!" Lineir sighed inwardly as he heard his sister's exclamation. He already knew what the news was going to be about, and he was already feeling uncomfortable thinking about the ants nest he had kicked. With a suppressed shudder, he faced his one and only sister and smiled, "Big sister Yiu, I have heard the news, but only rumours, I suspect that you, as a server at the inn, know more than I, please tell me more." His sister's pretty face, which was as attractive as some of the nobles smiled back at him. "Little brother, let me tell you a story I heard repeated many times today, today, some young man wandered deep into the deadzone and actually pulled out a higher level undead! It had a whole horde of undead following it, though fortunately they were locked outside, but it actually got into the city! It was so powerful that three White Horizon Sect members were sent to suppress it when the runed arrows failed to bring it down!" At this moment, Lineir's face was developing into a distinctly red tone like an overripe peach. His sister mistook that for excitement though, "Amazing right?!" Lineir could do nothing but nod helplessly. "What about this young man who led the undead here, is there anything about him?" His sister frowned slightly, annoyed that Lineir didn't appear to be as excited as she was, "No, who cares about him, they say he almost got eaten alive, but nobody knows where he disappeared to, when it was over, he was nowhere to be seen." Lineir grew more and more queasy with every sentence, his guilty mind losing control of his stomach.

     His sister paused for a moment to take a breath, but then continued, "Do you know what's even crazier?" Not waiting for an answer she continued out in one breath, "The three White Horizon Sect members were actually killed by that higher undead in the gates! Afterwards, the entire sect went out and forcefully exterminated the enemy at the gate, even the elders came out. This is why I always told you to stay away from the deadzone and old city, I wouldn't want to be the perpetrator of all this when he is found out. At the very least he will be hung, and most likely his family exterminated as well!" With a chopping motion mimed at her neck, Yiu illustrated the point before panting and bringing out dinner, a few rolls of bread from the inn. Turning pale, Lineir pretended to chew a few bites before excusing himself and soundlessly concealing his retches outside. "I'm so f***** screwed, and to make matters worse, I may have dragged my one and only sister into this as well, what in the nine hells do I do?!!!"

  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 3- Without A Means to Avoid An End

    Lineir spent all night tossing and turning, trying to find a solution, but could come up with nothing. There was only one logical ending to him being discovered, and that was his end! To make matters worse, he felt sicker and sicker as the night went on. On his back, he had discovered where his clothes had made contact with the horrid undead, five glowing spots where the fingers had grazed him. These spread overnight into a interconnected tangle of swollen veins which itched terribly. Throwing his thickest most covering shirt on, he walked out and headed to a different gate. He dared not return to the scene of the crime, but he needed to find a new spot to search for valuables, his sister couldn't support them both on her own. With a huff, he hurried by the gate which had additional men this time. They called out to him, "Take care of yourself traveler, there's been undead round this parts!" but paid him little heed, people exited the gates all the time from any place, they had little stake in it.

    Lineir however, was sighing endlessly, unable to catch the slightest break. All his usual spots were indeed mined out, and he once again found himself nearing the tombstones of the deadzone. "What are the odds of there being more undead? The White Horizon's Sect ought to have exterminated them all. Still... do I count myself as a lucky man?" Working himself up to it, he stepped ever closer to the first headstone, unable to cross that line. As he neared the edge, he sighed once again and turned back, "It's not worth my life, only a fool would risk his life for this, I'd be better off pickpocketing, at least I would die cleanly and be buried properly!" At that moment, his back ignited in flaming pain, and Lineir folded over onto the ground gasping. It felt like something was trying to dig its way out of his back. A sickening squelch sounded as from his back, a blackish-purple spider erupted from the blackened area on his back and plopped to the ground. It was swollen and engorged with a glowing red orb on its back, filled with Lineir's blood. It quickly scuttled away into the deadzone, and all faded to silence. Lineir bleeding with a handsized portion of flesh missing from his back, laid there and fought for breath. Eventually he was about to try to stand when the sound he most dreaded sounded for the second time in his life. The call of a higher undead!

    Lineir scrambled up to no avail. His weakened body didn't have an ounce of strength left and refused to obey his commands. He could do nothing but flail about like a turtle on its back, unable to right itself. Soon, he felt grasping hands on his legs, and then they were lifted up and he began to move. He was being dragged away by the undead, deeper into the deadzone! Tales of undead hordes consuming men, making them one of them, flooded his mind, nobody knew whether those eaten by the undead were still conscious, trapped forever in a cycle of rot and decay. Lineir viciously fought to get away, he clawed at the ground and tried to kick free but the undead didn't care in the least. With a last feeble kick, Lineir passed out his bloodloss and exertion catching up to him. As he drifted off, he thought to himself, "At least now nobody will know it was me that got the White Horizon Sect involved. My sister at least will be safe, though she will never know what happened to me." 

  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 4- The Deadzone


    Lineir never expected to wake up again. But the heavens had different plans for him. His head thumped into the ground and the jarring shock pulled him back to wakefulness. Alert again, he slowly opened his eyes and saw that he was still being dragged, but he was far deeper into the deadzone than anyone outside had ever been. The bony hands on his ankles were still pulling with the same force as before, as a matter of fact, they felt even stronger, as if closer to the center of the deadzone, they were energized by the aura of death. Around him were scattered bones of every sort, and all was covered in a black substance which resembled dried blood. It was as if he was on a giant scab in the land. 


    Presently, his head smacked against the ground again and his ears rang from the impact. Shocked, Lineir let out a stifled cry, he frantically glanced at the undead carrying him, another huge skeleton which was remarkably well preserved. It didn't seem to care in the least that he was still alive and kept dragging him forward. Lineir was surprised that he couldn't see any other undead in this place, there should be millions of bodies here, but all he saw were scattered bones and that half dry black gel which covered everything. Smack, 


    The land rhythmically jumped every couple of minutes, and Linear immediately paled to the utmost as he imagined what massive undead could be causing this. Perhaps one of the legendary constructs of hundreds of thousands of undead together, a Bone Lord, or a Grim Herald. But Lineir felt there was something wrong with this idea. The ground was literally rising and falling rhythmically so hard that he was getting hurt. Whatever it was, was just too big, beyond anything he could think of. And he was getting closer, his head smacking more and more often. Eventually, he came to a stop and his leg was dropped.

    Lineir uttered a grateful groan as his aching leg was finally released. Looking around, he dared not make any sudden moves, but saw that his surroundings were scarier than any he had ever encountered before. A rising mound of corpses stretched out in front of him, higher than the walls of Brackenrock City. Every few seconds, it would pulse, a wave of movement passing through the whole mass. The whole thing was black and filled with that black scab-like substance. The skeleton that had been dragging him appeared to bow to the mass and then it kneeled and fell apart into pieces. The black liquid on the ground rippled and the pieces were carried away on this black tide into the mass in front. It continued until it was indistinguishable from any other part of the mass. At that moment, Lineir felt his whole body rise, the black substance beginning to ripple and propel him towards that black mass. 


    With that rhythmic pulse, Lineir realized what it was in front of him. Bony corpses squished together into a coherent mass and given shape, what was in front of him was no mere undead construct! It was a heart bigger than a city made of undead and he was about to be pulled in! At that moment however, a red light intruded into his view. The spider which had torn itself from his back and gotten him in this predicament was beckoning with a leg, its back no longer swollen with his blood but a smooth empty sack. Lineir thought it over. The thing had already taken his blood, but the undead heart pulling the black tide in would certainly be his end. He began to weakly stroke parallel to the tide, trying to make his way to the spider which was floating on top of the black substance. As he arrived, the spider grabbed onto his hand with its legs and then ran up onto his back and dug its fangs in again! "You leech! I'm about to die and you can't even let me go into the afterlife while I still have blood in me!"

  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 5- Red Line

    Lineir felt his lifeblood draining away for the second time this day and grew enraged. How much **** did he have to put up with? He was already a nobody who was going to die with only his sister to mourn him. His arms bent back at the elbow trying to grasp at his back and rip the fangs out, but it was latched on tight and at such an unnatural angle he was helpless. Eventually his heartbeat grew so slow that he felt like he was close to passing out again when with amazement, the wrenching suction in his veins stopped. "Finally full are you? Maybe you can **** off so I can die in peace? I hope I come back as an undead just so I can murder you!" The spider didn't seem to care in the least at his shouts and actually retracted its fangs and made off, it's back once again bulbous and red with Lineir's blood. It scuttled off on top of the black substance as if it was a water bug, and Lineir was once again taken by the flow towards the great undead heart. With no blood or strength left in him, Lineir couldn't even flounder and rapidly neared the pulsing mass of undead. At the end of his patience, he screamed out, "Take me already! Stop toying with me and finish me off!" 

    At that moment however, as mere inches away undead hands were reaching out from the massive heart to seize him, Lineir felt a spike of pain once again in his back and his body stopped moving, drifting in the black substance as a pulsing heartbeat swept the waters. He just barely managed to turn his head and see from an odd angle that he had been impaled through his shoulder by a finger wide red spear. It appeared to be made of... blood! A red line like a fishing hook led back away from the undead heart into the distance, and attached to it was the spider floating on the tide. It began  to wriggle its legs as if spinning silk, and Lineir was slowly dragged back towards it. He sighed inwardly, "This thing really refuses to let me go, well go ahead, you can't squeeze much more out of me before I'm dead." But when he reached the spider, for once it didn't bite into him. It wrapped its front legs around him, and clutching him tight began to swiftly run along the blood red line pulling him ever further from the undead heart. "This line is made of my blood... it saved me from being devoured, but where is it taking me? Perhaps it seeks to bring me to its lair as a snack for later!" He snickered, slightly delusional from blood loss, "I will definitely be dead soon, then I will be a terrible snack!" 

    Lineir must have closed his eyes sometime while being winched away, and he drifted in his mind, rather resigned to his fate. No matter how much he wanted to survive, with this much blood loss nobody would survive for long. At that time though, a confident voice filled his mind, "Kid, I've been stuck in here too long, I want to go out and have some fun again. But you're going to have to get up for that. Wake up, I've already returned your blood to you." A gasping Lineir surged up, and then fell back down, his back flaring up with pain from too much abuse. He was more clear headed than he had any right to be, and actually capable of moving again. Somehow, he was alive and recovered. The spider from before was no longer on his back but walking away, its back conspicuously empty of blood. He was in a huge pit, above he could see the dark night sky and stars twinkling mischievously, uncaring to Lineir's struggles. The black substance appeared to be pooling at the edges of the pit but couldn't get in, flowing around and around endlessly, but an invisible barrier kept it out. In the pit was only one other thing, a thin straight black sword embedded into the ground which was even darker than that black substance outside. No runes were visible on the surface, but lines of yellow would arc around the black blade like lightning in a night storm. The spider went up to the sword and impaled itself on the blade, collapsing in on itself until it miraculously became a metallic hilt with its fangs twisting round and round the smooth handle. Lineir didn't feel any particular pull towards the sword, but it was the only thing in the pit, and there was no way he was getting out of the sloping cavernous walls. He knew that whatever had drawn him here had only one purpose in mind. Steeling himself, he rose slowly and placed his hand on the handle and drew it out of the ground. Inch by inch the beautiful blade rose out of the ground, and as it did the invisible barrier around the edges of the pit ceased to function and the black substance came in. As it did Lineir heard a immense grumble in his mind, "Could you be any slower?" 

  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 6- True Power

    "I've been waiting for you to wake up for so long, sleepyhead. Are you a man? What do you need so much beauty sleep for?!" 

    Lineir was speechless, the voice in his head was bouncing around his skull and was enough to make anyone want to clap their palms to their head... but since it was all in his head he didn't even have that option! He looked at the blade in his hand closely and became immensely excited despite his fatigue.

    "You wouldn't happen to be a legendary immortal blade would you? Have I struck it rich? Will I finally be able to become a hero and never worry about food again?" The voice in his head seemed incredibly annoyed by this, "Me? An immortal blade? Don't be ridiculous. There's little time for your questions. That undead blood is coming in here, and the undead heart will know where I am after all this time. It's almost done refining souls. When that happens, not just you, but this whole city will likely perish. Choose now, follow my instructions and save the world or die here asking pointless questions!" Lineir hesitated, it could be a trick after all. This voice might deny that it was an immortal sword, but Lineir knew that only immortal swords could speak out their voice. Furthermore, it appeared like the blood sucking spider was actually the doing of this sword. However, it had apparently returned the blood to him,  he felt refreshed now, and the wound on his back had sealed as if it was never there. "Ok, I see that you are the kind that doesn't rush things. But there's really no time. How about this, I promise to answer any one question of yours truthfully, and then you follow my instructions. Afterwards, I will tell you exactly what you want to know in full!" Lineir paused, the black liquid pooling up to his ankles. Soon the pit would fill and he would drown if he didn't leave anyways. He asked the question that first came to mind and felt most important, "Can I trust you?" The voice chuckled, "Trust is a fine thing, but it is fine to know that I won't kill you right now, that undead heart over there though, that definitely will if it is allowed to return to life. So listen to me and run out of this pit now. If you can make it to the undead heart, I have enough power from your blood to stop it from resurrecting. Go, unless you don't value your own life or everyone in the city!" Lineir was sold, his sister was in the dangerzone! Immediately he realized that he was out of choice and began to sprint up the sides of the pit.

    Climbing up the side of the pit was far more difficult than it might seem. The black liquid made everything slippery and holding the sword, Lineir could only scrabble at the ground with two legs and one hand. Sometimes he would jam the sword into the side of the pit walls and use it as a cane. "Hurry, every second you delay, it gets stronger. Can't you hear its heartbeat? If it gets to the speed of a normal heart, even I can't stop what is coming." The voice in his head was urging him on calmly, Lineir felt frustration coursing through as he slipped again and received a face-full of black muck. "Can't you do something about this? If you're so amazing, then help me through this!" The voice sighed, "Look, I could help you through this, but I can only possess your body for a short time before your body will be corrupted and die. If I do it now, then when we get to the beast you will already be a dead man walking and I won't have time to seal the heart. Just get me there as fast as possible and I will take care of the rest. Don't worry about tiring yourself out, once you're there I will take over!" With that Lineir pressed upwards relentlessly trying to batter his way free. The voice of the sword shouted encouragement to him all the way. "Oh quite good, I didn't think you would get up past that spot so easily" and, "Oh, if you smash my blade in so hard, we'll get there in no time". With a tremendous cry, Lineir arrived at the top and landed on the street level of the deadzone, in the distance the giant undead heart, bigger than a city beat causing ripples to spread out endlessly through the black liquid. With every beat, more black liquid would pulse out of the rotting heart into the sky and fall down like rain. Soon the whole town would be drowned in it. Looking back, Lineir saw the pit he had been in was almost filled, in another ten minutes or so he would have been sucked in and submerged. "Kid, stop looking back, you're still not close enough, get me right next to that sucker, as a matter of fact, throw yourself at it. Only then will I be able to take over and end this. Run like your life depends on it. If you don't get there fast enough, I won't hesitate to use all your life force to seal this thing!" 

    While Lineir sprinted, the voice explained to him things which Lineir wanted to know, "I was once an existence which could touch the heavens and travel the dimensions. However, many years ago, in another world, my body was destroyed. However, to those who have reached true enlightenment in the way of the sword, our bodies' death means little. My soul in this sword sought to flee through a tear in the dimensions and recover my strength here. Little did I know that somehow enemies seeking my power were nearby. Alerted as I  tore through the planes, they followed me here and I battled them with but a phantom body, there was no time to recover. During that fight, I came to realize that without a true physical body, there was no way to win without some sacrifice. I seized upon my only option and used all my remaining power to seal the tear and trap myself here on this plane, killing my enemies as I did. However, I was too weak afterwards to devour their souls and ensure that they were truly gone. While they were not capable of surviving with just their swords as I am, they slowly used dark sorcery to refine the souls of the cities' dead. I had attached my spider to the wandering undead around here hoping to steal someone's blood and use it to revive myself. While it's a technique which I am not very proficient in, I hoped somebody with powerful blood might be stupid enough to be caught by the undead and I could be revived. After all this time, you came, and I used your blood to bring you to me. Unfortunately, you came a bit late and they are almost done reviving themselves in the center of that undead heart. I  have only your life force to work with, while unusually powerful, they have millions of souls to devour. If they finish refining them, they can immediately be reborn and it's over. Get me as close as you can and then try to hold on to your sanity!"
    Like a madman Lineir dashed towards the heart which could have engulfed a city. Having reached its base the voice triumphantly crowed, "Excellent work young man, I'll take it from here. Watch closely, you won't see this kind of power again on this continent." Lineir's limbs suddenly moved of their own volition, a black haze surrounding him as all the hair on his body began to stand up. With a wrench Lineir's back snapped as his chest was brought up without any urging from him. "OWWWWWW" The voice, "Sorry, don't you work out? Your pectorals are so light!"

    "I'm lucky to eat twice a day, you try putting on weight!" Lineir answered slightly in his mind cutting off as he fell into a sort of trance. The black haze around him condensed and suddenly he found himself shooting up, a great leap propelling him hundreds of meters into the air, till he found himself halfway up the length of the black heart. "Your blood is excellent kid, I got up to this height in one jump and I don't even think I had to permanently damage your life force!" With a vicarious cackle there was a boom as his feet kicked off of the black haze condensed in mid air and he found himself accelerated up and above the black heart and its pulsing rain of undead blood. Lineir in his trancelike state had no say in it as his knees bent and he tilted forward to face the heart below. "Well, I only have enough energy for one strike, and the real target is inside all that undead crap. Looks like I'll have to hold back the sword for the final strike and break into the center with something else... Sorry kiddo, only way, try to stay sane, it'd be a shame if you lost your mind after all this!" A final kick and Lineir felt himself plummeting face first into the undead heart. What was this person thinking? Surely the sword would be brought forth so at least if they were going to enter this festering corpse pile it would open a path. Then he remembered that the sword would be held back for the final blow. He plunged in with his forehead ramming into corpse after corpse at breakneck speeds.

    The black haze covered his forehead so he didn't directly touch the undead, but it was still horrifying to be moving through hundreds of meters of congealed flesh and bone with his forehead as the drill. Occasionally gaps in the solid matter would appear and he would be submerged in the black liquid as if he was really entering a heart and these were veins and arteries winding about. The whole thing shook every few seconds with a pulse. Suddenly, he broke through a final layer and in front of him were perfect bodies floating in the undead blood.
    "Excellent, we made it. They haven't completed their rebirth yet. After this strike, I will drain your body of all spare life force and try to escape, you will lose consciousness quickly and you can only pray that I get your body out to safety or else you will be lost in this pile of dead flesh forever. Before that, watch closely. This technique once broke the heavens and defied the gods. If you see it, even if you die, you will at least die having seen true power!" The sword behind his back swung forwards and a crushing  crescent of black haze solidified and rushed down like a tsunami. Whatever it touched appeared to be absorbed into it as if it was never there. It reached the perfect bodies below and they were instantly obliterated, but the blow didn't stop there. It continued down expanding the further it got, the entire lower half of the heart was simply gone. A huge current rippled and suddenly Lineir wasn't inside of the undead heart anymore, he was floating in the air as the rotting matter surrounding him was blasted away. The black haze around him quickly pulsed and he kicked off one last time into the distance. In a matter of moments he flew clean out of the deadzone and into the old city, with the walls in the distance. As he was about to hit the ground, a heavy fog coated his mind, complete exhaustion gripping him, and he immediately passed out. 
  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 7- So Valuable You Can't Sell

    A smug and irritating voice boasted, 
    "Your blood is strong, but you are weak, kiddo. Luckily for you, I've maximized the efficiency of every technique I used. Since every movement is perfectly executed, your body is comparatively, quite safe in my hands. The energy is directed outwards and you avoid the brunt of it. That being said, while there was almost no energy focused towards you, the amount of strain simple gravitational forces and the inertial force from moving so fast definitely stopped your heart and tore most of your meridians, to say nothing of your muscles and bone structure. I had to sacrifice the last of my stored power to keep you alive. You paid a heavy price. But know this, while when you wake, you will experience excruciating pain, you're longevity and overall body constitution has greatly improved.  I modified a few things and your meridians have been...tweaked... suffice to say, my forbidden techniques are truly awesome!" 

    Lineir didn't like the sound of this at all, "Excruciating pain... couldn't you have healed me a bit more?" For that matter, this voice appeared to be an expert who had once survived losing physical form. If such a person was warning him of "excruciating pain" he didn't think he wanted to wake up again. "Can I just sleep it off?" The voice scoffed, and for a second, he thought he caught a flickering image in his mind. "Sleep it off? If you don't wake up in the next thirty seconds, you're dead. I couldn't do anything even if I wanted to, I spent all my energy modifying your meridians over the last hour, and let me tell you was it a job. I can't exactly call it my greatest work, mediocre ingredients are simply unsuitable for creating a masterpiece, but a master can create greatness from nothing." 

    "You call yourself a master, what kind of master grinds the stone to dust before carving out a sculpture? You may not care, but that's my body that was almost buried there! I almost went insane when you used my face to enter the undead heart! Truly, you give my face no face at all!" Lineir was outraged, the sight had truly been disgusting. He was almost certain that for his next nine lives he would have karma exceeding even the great Buddha after such an ordeal. The voice chided him as if he was a child, changing the subject, "Now, now, I had to do what needed to be done, its for your own good really, would you have preferred it if everyone had died? Speaking of which, since you didn't die, how would you like to be my disciple. You've seen true power now, I've never known a man that could resist after a taste." The voice sounded almost seductive now. Lineir shuddered, he had just seen far too many rotting tongues and other ..."organs" in the undead heart. "**** off pervert, I know your an immortal sword which can pierce the heavens, when I get to the city I'm selling you off to the highest bidder and I'll never go hungry again!" The voice was silent for a second, and then exploded indignantly, "What the hell, are you without ears? No I'm in your head that's impossible, you definitely heard me, are you without a brain?!! I just offered you a chance to become so powerful you wouldn't even need to eat unless you wanted to, the only hunger a man should have when he hears this is a burning in his britches and he should immediately accept with eyes like the full moon!" For a second Lineir thought he saw a flash of a figure again, but it was gone far too quickly for him to make out. "And again! I am not an immortal sword, I am a soul in my sword, and even if I was a sword, I am hardly a mere immortal sword! F****ing plebes. You'd think after seeing my power which can't be seen in this whole continent you'd get a little respect around here!"  Lineir however was not backing down,

    "You think your special? Excellent! I can sell you for more! Lot's more, let me wake up so I can write this down, 'more special than an immortal sword, definitely worth at least a fortune, possibly two!'" With a grunt he wrenched open his eyes and stared wildly as in front of him were the city walls with possibly every face in the city standing on top looking at the outer city and him in it. White robed figures floated in the sky and were rapidly advancing towards the deadzone in which Lineir was on the fringe of. "We know you're out there young man, and that you have found a great treasure, hand it over and we'll let you live. Refuse or run and you will die wishing you had!" Lineir could almost see a smirking pair of lips in his imagination whispering, "So, what was that about selling me?"

    " Also, that excruciating pain I talked about will hit you as soon as the last of my Qi finishes clearing up your meridians. I suggest you run before that happens unless you want to start off the torture early for those old men."
  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 8- Burning Wish

    Like a shot, Lineir was running before the words finished echoing in his head. He wasn't sure, but he felt significantly faster than he was normally, perhaps this had something to do with the Qi in his meridians. Either way, he was nowhere near the god-surpassing speed that the voice possessing his body had drawn out. However, he was at least 30% faster than before, and while the White Horizon Sect people flying towards him could avoid obstacles on the ground, they honestly were not flying that fast. They would definitely catch him in a straight race, but he could definitely get out of view before they got closer. He ducked into the broken tombstones and crushed buildings of the deadzone and hoped to find a good hiding place. "Kiddo, finding a normal place to hide won't do. When the pain hits you, your body will face incomparable pain. Will you have the willpower to hold yourself in check and not make a single sound? I doubt it. Go find the pit where you found me. There should still be a pool of that undead blood there. I will make sure you can breath, though you'll have to find a way to keep your body from floating back up, you will be hidden there."

     The White Horizon Sect members were getting a little too close Lineir made his own choices and dropped into a building on the side. "What are you doing? That pool of blood is the only place you will be able to flail about unnoticed, you can't think you can hide in this building forever, soon enough they'll find you!" Lineir however didn't even bother answering. Soon enough, the voices of the sect drifted by. "Where is this kid, he was quite fast, he must be only a little bit ahead. Keep searching! We definitely must find out the reason for that eruption of energy earlier. Surely he discovered some treasure here which would make us worthy of gaining face even with the great sects again!" With that, the voices quickly passed over their position. "You've got guts kid. I'll admit, you might achieve mediocrity as a man one day. If the Qi in your veins had finished circling before they passed over had worn out then, you definitely would have been discovered, but it is true that I forgot that your speed is so inferior as a mortal. You probably could not have made it to the pool in time, it was a good gamble to let them pass by. Hurry and go before they realize their mistake and double back." Smiling, Lineir made his way to the pool filled with black liquid and stood there for a second. There was nothing to weigh himself down, his body would float back up in the liquid. In that moment though, Lineir calmly assessed his situation and smiled. "Make sure I can breath!" and jogged back from the edge. 

    "Why are you still facing the pit, I told you, you need to find something to counterbalance your weight first! Do you want the sects to find you floating *** up and spank you?" With a great huff, he began running, "No time for that, just make sure I can breath. By the way, I have to admit, you really are more than just a regular immortal sword, you're quite heavy!" 

    "At this time you still joke, never mind that, are you suggesting I'm fat!" An outraged voice thundered through his mind. Lineir smirked, "No, among swords I quite like your thinness, but great one, you forget, you yourself would make a great weight!" and so speaking he lunged into air and as he came down into the center of the filthy pool stabbed himself in the fleshy part of his left calf where there were no vital parts. Bogged down by the sword he sunk as a stone would into the lake and waited for pain.

  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 9- The Nine Paths And Perfect Harmony
    "You dare to use the great me as you would a brick? I ought to let you drown and become one with this festering pool! I applaud your audacity however, for that... though I should really punish you. You'll suffer enough on your own anyways." So saying, the handle of the sword once again expanded and crawled up his leg as a great spider. In a horrifying scene which nobody could see, it jammed its fangs into Lineir's mouth and extended a red line from its abdomen to the surface of the pool. Wrapping its legs around his face, Lineir received a steady stream of air. Little of the air would have gone in however, if the spider wasn't forcefully pumping air in and out. Lineir was too busy writhing in pain to be bothered with something so simple as breathing. 

    "Listen to me Kiddo, the pain you are feeling is inevitable. It is the result of all the changes I have created in your body, and you must endure it! I'm sorry but there is nothing I can do for you, even if you pass out this pain is so severe your mind will still suffer in your dreams. The number of forbidden techniques and transformations I have started are enough for any 'expert' in this continent to salivate and wish to tear your body apart to read like a scroll. None of them were mean't for those who have not at least touched immortality, and one of them is even an unnamed technique which is supposed to have originally been a teaching from the Nine Paths of Asura. If you survive this, you will one day have the ability to touch both the heavens and hell. Survive!" Lineir was wracked in such  terrible pain that he would not remember this but a faint few last words trickled through, "I haven't seen blood like yours in any plane, please survive, or I won't have any chance...." 

    Pain after pain shot through, Lineir didn't stay conscious for long, unfortunately the voice was right, and he was unable to avoid pain even in the unconscious corners of his mind. He dreamed a vicious dream where he was tormented by pain and couldn't wake himself no matter how he tried. In it he was lieing on his belly and in front of him was his sister, a hundred swords in her bloody body. As usual she was smiling, "Hello brother, didn't I tell you not to go into the deadzone, because of you, I was killed. Disobedient children need to be punished!" With that she pulled out a sword dripping black blood from one arm with the other and stabbed him in his left calf. "Don't you ever consider your family!" Another sword came, stabbing his other leg. Then his arm. Then his other arm. His chest. Every part of him was pierced through ninety-nine times and yet he could not cry as she had stabbed him through the eyes. With every stab, her smile had stretched a little until it wasn't a smile anymore, it was a grimace of horrid suffering. "Please sister, I never mean't for any of this, I just wanted us to be happy together, to protect you when I took away our father and mother. Please you can cut me as much as you want to appease your anger, your little brother deserves this!" with that, he grabbed the last sword in her chest, pulled it out and pierced his own. "Ahhhhhh, just don't doubt me, that's all I ask, I only wanted the best!" With that, though his eyes were pierced through, he knew that she was smiling again. Presently though, he realized the pain was gone.

    Also gone was his sister, in front of him was a girl, no a small woman, who was far surpassing her in every way. She was the definition of a beauty with long black hair to the waist, and a figure which neither man nor woman could not admire or envy. The contrast between her jet black hair and her fair skin was like that of pure yin and yang, striking yet perfectly in balance, and the contours of her body were as flowing and natural as a waterfall innately rises and falls down the ground it hollowed out. A viewer felt as if he was gazing upon such a waterfall, at first from a distance he is shocked to see such a great and magnificent power of nature, but as he approaches, he no longer notices this because he appreciates the fineness and closeness of such a perfect harmony between earth, land, and sky. As the rain falls, it gathers, and flows down, before being born again, a cycle which has no end, and is perfect. It sounds crazy, but this is what Lineir's eyes were treated to.
  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 10- Sheer Willpower
    "Good job staying sane. While you couldn't have died with me here, it would have done you little good to survive if you didn't have the will power to keep your mind afterwards. To do so, your blood wouldn't have helped, you could only rely on a truly insane animal drive to stay alive and keep going. I take back what I have said, while mediocre in body, you are a monster in the mind. To have lived in such a pitiful and small stage your whole life has been a waste. Come, I will take you as my disciple, and bring you to a place where you belong, where every enemy you meet will have the same mettle, and you will be able to strive to achieve ascension with every breath!" This beauty's lips moved and nobody could keep from intently listening to each word. However, while in theory, her beauty was perfect, Lineir couldn't help bursting out in laughter. This engrossing figure, that bewitching body, and enchanting hair, it was all overshadowed by the fact that she was absolutely and utterly, a shorty! The idea of following someone so small to go battle the heavens was just too funny. 

    Her face flushed terribly red upon hearing his laugh, and she moved as if to slap him before checking herself. "Hmph, kid, maybe you think somethings funny, but might I remind that I am the only reason you are alive? Do you find something off about my claims after seeing my true power, which I might add, was only a mere fraction of what I am capable of in my original body?!!!" Lineir controlled himself with great effort, the spell of the beauty broken by the moment, "Of course, of course, you are quite powerful, great one, simply say it and this one will be sure to reach the highest of shelves for you and will climb above the corpses of everyone to reach the heavens you no longer can!" The beauty took this the wrong way, "No need to make such promises, my state is only temporary, when I regain my body I will be able to once again fly above all the filth below me. Now wake up, and be careful, the White Horizon Sect will still be on the lookout for you. You cannot do anything if you die here." 

    In the pool, Linear's body which had been submerged like a drowned corpse for some time opened its eyes as if he was undead. He yanked out the sword from his leg which was weighing him down, and holding it in hand, began awkwardly swimming up to the surface. When he reached the top, the spider in his mouth was coughed out and it quickly reformed into the hilt and Lineir climbed out of the pit, a black-crimson covered figure looking a demon which had risen from the spawning pools of hell. He flopped over and began hacking. "What the bloody hell are you made out of, that spider tastes like ****" Instantly, as his coughs rang around the surroundings a hundred white robed figures flickered over the rooftops and floated on immortal swords whose blades were quickly leveled at him. 

    Lineir was surrounded by what appeared to be the entire White Horizons Sect. A figure with embroidered badges on his chest approached, "I knew you couldn't have gotten far. To hide in such a filthy place though, I am impressed by your willpower. Nevertheless, young man, I don't need to know anything about you. Rather, you should know something about me. I am getting old, my longevity is coming to an end. In my lifetime, I have often delighted in many things, my knowledge of the flesh is great. If you would like to experience this, you can not listen to my demands and I will take what I want from you. However, never let it be said that the White Horizons Sect doesn't care about face. In light of your impressive tenacity, give me that sword, and tell me everything about what happened here, and I will let you go. But be warned, at your age, I had killed many more times than you have lied. I will know if you are being untruthful and I am not a patient person. Speak, what will you choose!" 

    Lineir knew that he was in a bad spot. Would the White Horizons Sect really let him go, even if he said anything? More likely they would take him after learning what they wanted to know and interrogate him to make sure he wasn't lieing. In addition, they would probably silence him to make sure he didn't tell anyone else about what happened here. "Kid, I'm sorry that the heavens really give you no face at all, you must have  insulted Buddha in your last life. I'm afraid you're done for this time. I cannot get you out of this one, I used the last of my energy to change your body and heal your leg from that stunt you pulled earlier. You gambled well, but you lost, it's fine if you tell them everything about me, they may torture you less if you cooperate. I really did look forward to raising such a promising young disciple but I got ahead of myself." With that, the voice was silent as if already mourning Lineir's death.

    However, there was a look on Lineir's face. It was imperceptible, only those with great experience could make out such a subtle thing, but it was unmistakably the look of stubbornness. Sheer willpower that no one his age should possess. In his mind he said, "A sword as powerful as yourself, you can change shape right? Change into my blood when the time comes." With a sigh, he spoke, "I would rather die than tell you a single helpful word! Cooperate? Are you kidding me? I'll tell you something, this sword which you see is a treasure which is tied to my life force! It was my blood which revived it, and it is now linked to my soul. When I die, it will disappear without something to sustain it. You had better hope we do not meet in hell, or else we will meet and I will be your senior and give you the same treatment you gave me!" With that, he swung his hand, holding the black blade, ferociously up and into his own heart, piercing it through. " Kid, you idiot! I don't have the power to heal this, you're definitely a dead man this time!" An anguished voice, now distinctly feminine tones were trembling. Lineir however was smiling, sheer willpower holding his face into a victorious smirk. "Shut up and change into my blood and enter my veins. They won't realize what happened and you can wait for another who might climb the heavens with you. I'm sorry you used all your power to save me and now I'm wasting my life, but at least they won't discover you and use you for the great sects. If you can, try to find my sister when you regain your body, tell her Lineir sent you and don't let her go hungry ever again...." 

    "You...leaving me with no choice." with that the iridescent black blade seemed to disappear as it transformed into black blood and hid inside Lineir's veins.

  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 11- Pillarfall and Unexpected Chance (Beginning of this chapter is what was originally in the prologue I took it out because it was too slow for a prologue, but I'm putting it in here as a refresher) I spelled Budhha wrong like 10 times... karma -9.

    In a room carved out of the wall of a cliff, which hangs above the clouds. There is a screen made of mist, on it are fantastic portrayals of events in a city, and then a town, and all manner of life. The ocean, a dessert, and even the moon flash by, perhaps a good portion of the world will be shown in time. However, the screen crackles out, all seeing magic dispersed as the center is stabbed by cold metal.

    A black sword penetrated a maid’s silken chemise and opened a hole in her heart, thrusting her body through the rapidly fading mist plunging the room from animated life into darkness. As the woman died, she painfully smiled, enjoying the thought that her death was always part of the plan. “You know the Mistress will never let you go, not after what you’ve done here!” With a weak moan she slid down, to stare feebly at the ceiling, the smile fading, blood spent.

    A white-robed man took back his sword from her chest and laughed without a hint of real mirth, crimson stains slowly dyeing his front a spreading red. “Let me go? As if I care about punishment! When I’m done with this world, there won’t be anyone left to hold a hand higher than mine. The Mistress of Fate has always taught that she controlled, but tell me, after all these years, why is it that you lie here dying, and I stand here delivering your eulogy? Why is it that the lands, which you oversaw, are free of your cursed influence now? Man need not be born in chains at all. All that needs to be is your end! I will not be stopped by Gods, nor Goddesses, and certainly not by men or women. I will show you all what the true order looks like, and it is in no way so random as to allow the Mistress of Fate free rein. It has been done before, and I mean to do it again. To set man on the proper path!”

    The woman died with a few whispers, perhaps the man didn’t even catch them all. “If we were to cut our ties…perhaps we would be immortal…” Her smile faded into the mask of death. “You wish to follow in his footsteps, but you don’t even know the beginning of his intent. You will see, when you meet the Mistress, remember what I told you and remember that I am laughing in the next life. You remember the words of The Unbound One. But do you remember how his dream ended? The destruction of an eons old age and the loss of millions of souls.”

    The man spoke too late to have the last word, she was already dead, “I’m sorry. But so long as the heavens do not fall, nobody will see past the sky. Nobody that is, except dreamers. This is my dream. As for Madraeyal… Madraeyal is not dead.” He walked out, whether he truly had regrets or not, there was no one to say. As he walked out, the cavern began to collapse, towering spires and age old architecture falling indiscriminately. The entire cliff shook, the tip falling into itself to be nothing but broken dreams. However, while there was no one left in the room, the screen displayed one last image. Somewhere, a small province is shown, and in this province miraculous things are happening. An old man with kind hands stumbles upon a crying child clutching the bloody hands of dead parents. Perhaps he takes her in, the screen flashes mercilessly onwards. A bright eyed youth enters the service of an army, perhaps he is successful. A princess is locked in her castle, perhaps she escapes. Some man finds true love, perhaps he is successful in keeping it. Each scene comes faster than the last, and the screen is spent at the end, unable to show more as the rocks pile down. The cliff, a pillar holding up the heavens is broken and no more, and yet nobody below notices.

    Lineir was definitely dead. Even those who had achieved immortality and did not age would not consider a sword to the heart a trivial injury. That being said, where was Buddha? He should be free of suffering and desire and reach enlightenment. Instead, there was the owner of that voice in front of him, and she was staring blankly at him in his innermost mind.

    "So if I'm dead, does that mean your Buddha? If I had known Buddha was so beautiful, I would have killed myself long ago."

    "Who's your Buddha? I'm to be addressed as master, or great one! Also, what ARE you doing here, you should definitely be dead." Huh? So this wasn't the doing of the sword. How was he still here. "Well, I'm sure the reaper will come to claim your soul soon anyway and drag it to hell, so I suppose you might as well know my name, maybe it'll gain you some favor with the demon gods. I'm called Fung-Mei by those who are worthy."

    "Excellent, Mei-Mei, my name is called Lineir and I'll be in your care." The face of an angel frowned, but then quickly smiled again. "Call me whatever you want, the reapers coming for you, look, you're definitely dead." An image was projected in front of his mental form. "I never would have believed he'd actually have the guts to kill himself just to spite us. What did we ever do to him? Does anyone even know his name" The image showed him from above, his body was crumpled on the ground and the white robed figures were prodding him with their swords. One searched him looking for the sword which had vanished after carving a hole in his heart. "Looks like he was telling the truth, there is nothing on his body, not even a penny, let alone any treasures. We've wasted our time here. Throw his body into that pool of undead filth, that way he can more peacefully rest where he belongs. He wanted to hide from us? Well he can stay there forever. We tell the Great Sects nothing understood? If they know what happened here they'll come back and overturn our city stone by stone. We must find out what happened before then. There is always something to gain from miraculous events such as this, but only if we discover the truth first!" With that, Lineir's body was unceremoniously tossed back into the pool of black liquid and the members of the sect flew off back to the city for the night.

    "See the size of the hole in your chest? Impressive, you really put your all into it, how you're still here is beyond me. Maybe your a ghost in the sword!" The beauty in front of him seemed rather happy at the thought, despite how she feigned a graceful atmosphere, she must have been quite lonely alone all these years. Lineir was unbelieving though, "Something's definitely wrong here, I can't be dead... ahh jeez look at that black liquid getting inside of the hole, that's definitely going to be infected.

    "I'm telling you, you're dead, nobody short of the immortal level could survive what you just did, look even the White Horizon Sect thinks you're dead. Just accept that you're stuck here in the sword with me and we will wait until somebody worthy comes along just like you did in a few decades." Lineir panicked then,

    "I can't be dead, what will happen to my sister! For that matter, there were so many things I wanted to do in life, once I sold you, I was going to be rich, and live happily ever after!" He was naturally, not able to accept that he was dead despite the evidence in front of him. The two began bickering naturally, to be honest, Lineir had given up hope. His body was definitely dead and not only was his heart not beating, it might not even be there anymore it had been completely destroyed by his suicidal actions. There wasn't much else to do but argue, it distracted from being dead. Unbeknownst to both of them however, the image Mei had summoned was still projecting, and something very interesting was happening. As undead blood slowly seeped into Lineir's crushed heart, it began to take solid form. Strand after strand of liquid weaved around inside of his body and soon it took a shape. This shape was something the two would recognize if they could see it but they were too busy bickering. It was the undead heart! A small miniature version had formed in Lineir's chest cavity and after it did, the cavity slowly closed, a black scab covering the cut. As they were arguing, suddenly Lineir's mental form winked out and the beauty was left alone, "Hey, where'd you go? Did the reaper finally take you?"

    Lineir opened his eyes and stared around. He was surrounded by black liquid and yet he didn't feel particularly bad. As a matter of fact, for a dead man, he felt pretty amazing. He immediately reached down and grabbed his chest looking for the hole. With shock he found the black scab and gasped. Or tried to, there was no air in his lungs. flipping himself upward, he took a breath of air, floating on top of the pool. A few strokes and he found himself climbing out of the pit for the third time in two days. "Mei, what the hell is going on, I was dead! Yet now I'm here... and this..." pointing at the hole in his chest now just a dark black patch.

    "I don't know either, kiddo, this is a first even for me. I've seen a lot of things, but I was sure you were dead." Lineir continued to feel his chest, and then froze, "I don't have a pulse! What is going on! Could I be.... undead?"

    "That's impossible, you had no heart, there is no way you would rise from the undead no matter how much death Qi is here... unless... no! Those old bastards dare chase even this far!?" Mei who was currently fused into Lineir's blood found it a simple matter to see what was going on his heart region. " HAHAHAHAHA, those old bastards really overestimated themselves this time, this shouldn't be possible, but apparently it is. The undead heart we slew before was created by those old bastards who chased me through the heavens. I thought I destroyed them, but who would have thought that some of the undead filth actually still retained a will! When your freshly dead body was flung into the pool, it must have entered you then and immediately built a new heart. However, this heart is not beating because it's of an undead nature, if this continues your mind will die and you will become a mindless undead just like any other.

    Fortunately, I am with you. I am skilled in the arts of manipulating darkness. It should be a simple matter for me to gain control of this thing from within you. This'll only take a moment." A second later Lineir felt a huge pain in his chest as if an electrical current was running through him, and a second later a mighty thump in his chest so loud he could actually hear it came out. Then again, and again, until it was inaudible. "Got it on the first try! I'm just too good, I'm not even a healer and I brought somebody back from the dead...!" Lineir was jubilant as well, "So does this mean I'll be okay?" Mei took a moment before answering excitedly, "Better than ok, there's no way your body would have survived without a working heart for so long if I hadn't already worked on it and used so many forbidden techniques. However, since I managed to take control of this new heart, I am now part of it, I can even manipulate your heart, look!" Lineir staggered as suddenly his returned heartbeat faltered and missed a step. "Ow!"

    "Sorry, my mistake, but the point being that your new heart is quite durable, there's an unusual amount of death Qi in it as a matter of fact. Given time, I might even find a way to harness this energy... but for now, just know that you have been given a second chance at life. Don't waste it this time, remember, the White Horizon Sect absolutely cannot know your alive, they won't be fooled again." Lineir sighed. His life just kept getting more and more difficult. But then he smiled. "You're forgetting something Mei-Mei, my gambit worked again, you have to admit, your disciple has promise Mei-Mei."

  • I must admit I started liking your story when the action picked up. Also glad he doesnt listen to the sword like a tool.
  • Hehehehe glad you liked it, and thanks for the comment! Was at the beach so I couldn't reply, but really happy to see readers XD
  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 12- The Bone Scythes Appear
    Man for some reason this website adds random paragraph breaks and takes away my indents randomly. So Annoying! Alright enough griping here we go.

    An irate Mei was trying to persuade Lineir to see reason, 

    "Disciple, look here, the White Horizon Sect is still on high alert, trying to sneak back into the city is folly. You would do well to leave off and take the road. Give me a few years and you can come back and make that city yours for all I care, just don't waste all the energy I have spent pouring Qi into your meridians on something so trivial as a family trip!" However, Lineir was not convinced.

    "I'm sorry master, but I need to at least show my sister that I am alive. She must be worried sick, and she'll no doubt cause quite the ruckus looking for me. The White Horizon Sect may even catch wind of this and suspect that she may be related to me! I must tell her what has occurred before I can leave this city. Hence, I beg of you, help me enter the city!" 

    Mei grudgingly agreed realizing that this youth who had often disobeyed her would not bend in the slightest in this matter. 

    "Fine, I'll help you get in. However, you absolutely must go straight in and out. No matter what she says, we must leave immediately. Word of this will not stay contained in this little city no matter how the elders of the White Horizon Sect might try. The Greater Sects of this continent should have ears and eyes willingly reporting to them everywhere. Tell your sister some semblance of what happened, leave out most of it, she doesn't need to know and it will only endanger her, and then let us be on our way!" 

    Like a creeping panther, Lineir crawled on his belly out the old city. 

    "I have to keep following the wall until I get to the Eastern Gate, if I come in from the Western Gate, questions will be raised and I might be suspected of having come from the deadzone. Master, do you have any idea how I can get in without my face being recognized by the guards? I might be suspected dead, but I'm sure after all I've done that a young man such as myself will be suspiciously regarded by any guard no matter which gate I come in." 

    "Kiddo, your master may have lost a lot of precious energy... as a matter of fact a FORTUNE OF ENERGY FOR YOUR SAKE... but some uncultivated guards are less than nothing to me. Small fry will be small fry, just approach the gate quietly without raising suspicion, and then relax and let me do the rest." Mei's voice suddenly got extremely wicked pricking Lineir's suspicions. 

    "Mei mei... you weren't planning on doing anything... fatal to those guards were you? They're just drafted to serve the White Horizon Sect, they have no choice in the matter. They might even be somebody I know!" Lineir quickly inquired, he, even after all that had happened was still after all, a youth.

    "Of course I was planning on killing them. How else are we supposed to get in! If you have a problem with your master's methods, get in yourself then!" Mei had not a trace of guilt in her words. Lineir sighed, this was going to be tricky. His clothes were covered in filth and smelled wretched. Furthermore, he dared not cover his face with his shirt, which would expose the wicked black scar across his chest. Finally, he settled on a plan. "There's no other way, seeing my sister is more important than my dignity!" He quickly stripped off his pants and covered his face. With that, he was ready and headed to the gates clad below in only his underwear.

    Lineir found himself slowly walking by the guards in only his underpants, for all the world looking like some poor sop who had had far too much to drink and fallen many times as drunks do. The guards, as well as Mei were snickering endlessly. 

    "Kiddo, I have to admit, your ingenuity knows no bounds. But your master questions your taste. Perhaps I shouldn't be empowering somebody of such a vulgar nature at such a young age. I fear what would happen when you grow up." The guards as well were holding their sides in laughter.

    "Drink a little too much last night and get on the wrong side of someone? Perhaps you ran afoul of some robbers? You are quite bold to come waltzing in here with your pants on your head. Be careful in the city, some old man might take a liking to you in that attire!" With that, Lineir almost made it in to the city. Of course, the path is rarely so straight and level. "Wait, young man, you look a little young to be drinking. Come here and let me see your face for a second." Lineir's heart began to beat faster. He had been so close. 

    Bathump, Bathump....

    "Look, do you want to humiliate me when I'm down on my luck? Just let me go home and change, my wife will be looking for me." Lineir hoped the casual mention of a wife would help make him appear older. Mei, despite the situation was still laughing endlessly, "My, my, don't get caught for underage drinking! That would be terrible, your family will be so ashamed!" She stopped laughing however when suddenly the guard whipped out his sword from it's sheath and leveled it at Lineir's throat. 

    "No, I don't think you're quite old enough to have a wife yet. As a matter of fact, you look remarkably similar to another youth I saw a few days ago. Somebody who brought the dead hammering on the city gates and caused quite a bit of trouble. There's even a reward out for this person. You wouldn't happen to have come from the deadzone would you?" With that, he took a slow step closer. Lineir's heart began to beat even faster, each thump feeling like it would hammer out of his chest. He had never had this sort of feeling before the events of last night, he had always kept his cool but right now he couldn't seem to control himself. "Master, you're controlling this undead heart of mine right? Could you slow it down a little? I'm getting a little shaky here, it's kind of hard to lie like this." Mei however was stumped.

    "It's not me kiddo, this heart is acting up to your fear. I can't slow it down without stopping it, and you don't want that. You'll just have to bear it. Hold strong and find a way out or let me take over like you should have from the beginning, you're still too soft, at your age I killed without hesitation."

    Badump, Badump, BADA, BADA, BADA, BADA

    His heart was completely out of control. As the guard reached him, his sword a few feet from Lineir's throat Lineir turned and faced him. 

    "Pull down your pants from your face kid. If your innocent, you can be on your way after I get a good look. What the hell is that crap on you anyway, it almost looks like... blood..." The pants slipped off of Lineir's face then and the guard's eyes widened as his sword came ever closer. 


    Heart going crazy Lineir shouted, "Mei-Mei, don't kill them!" At that moment however, something strange happened. As the sword came to his throat, Lineir's eyes followed the steels arcing path, the world seemed to slow down. He leaned backwards, and the sword passed over his head by inches, yet at the crawling speed the sword was moving in Lineir's eyes, those inches might as well have been miles. A huge wrenching pain from his chest, and then his arms felt like they were being ripped out of their sockets. a huge curving sickle of bone shot out from his right elbow, following his forearm before ending a good six inches past his fingertips. His hands outstretched and waving in the wind from dodging the guard's attack, the bony attachment immediately sliced through the guard's throat. At that moment, another guard behind yelled out in astonishment and rushed at Lineir. To him, this guard might as well have been walking. As the guard's sword came towards him, a second bone sickle erupted from his left elbow and his arm outstretched automatically towards the rapidly approaching man's chest, the guard impaled himself on the sickle, face twisted in shock. "You... you....!" Lineir, speechless, immediately ran off into the city terrified of what had just occurred. "Master! I told you not to kill them!" 

    Mei said slowly, "Foolish kid, I was going to... but you killed them before I could do anything..."

  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 13 - Parting, Promise, and The Path

    The first thing Lineir did was sprint home. The bone scythes on his arm terrified him to no end. They were inside of him, but he didn't control them! They just popped out without his meaning to. The expressions on the guard's faces. Utter shock and disbelief! Lineir couldn't get them out of his head. He ran and ran with only the desire to reach somewhere safe from accusing eyes.  

    "Disciple! Your path is too linear, you need to take a few side routes at least! If you head directly to your house, it will be too easy to trace your steps! What happened was not your fault, and I would have put those men down anyway! Calm down or those blades in your arm will keep coming out and give the game away!" Mei frantically urged Lineir to at least have some forethought. For once, Lineir listened, and he quickly ducked down several side alleys, taking an indirect route to his house. Once there, he realized he had long since lost his key after the events of the last couple days. He grew more and more panicked as nobody answered the door despite his furious knocking. "Where is she! I need to know if she's okay!" 

    "Kid, this sister of yours, she probably has a job right? It's still early in the evening, she's probably working." Lineir realized he had been unreasonable and thought it over. "You're right, she's probably at the bar, even with me missing she has to keep working or else she wouldn't be able to eat! Let's go!" Lineir finally calmed down a little, and the bone scythes on his arms which had been oscillating in and out of his elbows slowly slid back under his skin with an uncomfortable smoothness. "Kid, you need to change first, I'm sure there's another way into your house, it's hardly the height of security. Look at yourself, if you brought yourself to a bar right now you'd be letting the whole city know you're the killer!" The word killer echoed throughout Lineir's mind over and over. He quickly and without complaint went around the back and climbed up the side of the apartment. Entering his compartment through the broken window, he changed and headed back out, looking haggard and smelling of unknown substances, but at least visually less suspicious. 

    A quick jog and he arrived at his sister's inn, the Green Goose Nest. Walking in, he immediately saw his sister busily serving drinks at the bar. When she turned and saw him, her pinched brows straightened and curled into a huge smile, 

    "Little Brother, you're okay! Manager, my brother who has been missing finally turned up, can I take a moment? The manager, a heavy-browed woman eyed Lineir and nodded. 

    "Make it quick, drinks don't serve themselves!" With that she headed with Lineir around the back. "Little brother, where have you been this whole time? Why do you smell like filth, good god, is that blood? Are you hurt?!!!" ignoring the fact that Lineir smelled atrocious she immediately began patting him all over looking for the source of the blood. 

    "Sister, just listen for a second okay? I'm not hurt, I just need to say some things." His sister's worried expression only grew deeper, "What happened?"

    "Look, I've been outside the city, and some things happened. I can't tell you much, but look, we've only had each other ever since he left. I can't say much, but I need to leave, and I don't think I will be able to come back for a very long time." With that, Yiu's face grew pale, 
    "What are you saying little brother, we've always been together, is it the money? Don't worry, I can feed you even if you can't find anything outside the city, you don't need to worry yourself about that!"

    "No sister, it's not the money. This is serious, you have to listen closely, I need to go. I offended some big people, and you absolutely must not allow anyone to know I was gone. It would be better to pretend that you didn't have a brother from now on. Both our lives depend on it!" Lineir was crafty, he avoided saying anything which would really give Yiu a sense of what was going on, while simultaneously implying that if she said anything, not only she, but he would be in trouble. Yiu might endanger herself, but she would never put Lineir in danger. "Just remember that I'll be back one day, and when that time comes, we will never be hungry again, and tell no one! I'm sorry!!" With that he turned, breaking out of her grasp and ran off as she called his name. 

    "****, I'm such a bad brother, but it's for her own good. Leaving her alone like that, nothing had better happen to her while I'm gone!" 

    Mei had no snide comments to say, "You did the right thing, right now there's only one thing for you to do, and that's get out of this city as fast as possible. If they haven't discovered the bodies yet, then they will soon. When that happens, security will be tightened and you will be in deep trouble. If you can get out before then, you should be able to disappear with no one the wiser. If your sister is smart, she'll follow your advice, as painful as it might be, and she'll be fine. The best thing you can for her is to go!"

    Though Lineir's heart was beating fast, and he feared those dreadful blades would come sliding out of his flesh, his passage was uneventful through the gates. The guards were actually extremely distracted, "I heard that the guards at the Eastern gate were murdered! I can't believe something like that would happen in our small Brackenrock City. Truly, between this and the undead I wonder what will become of our city?" They were staring off at the Eastern gate as if trying to see what was there. Lost in a small group of wagons and men he quickly progressed through the Western gate and was on his way out. From there, he had to make a choice. "Mei-Mei, where should I go? The path splits in three here, which direction do you think is best?" There was a sign. The leftmost branch said, "Adriassia City" the middle, "Beltearas City", and the right, "Deltoir Fords and Dracherus City" 

    Mei was no help however, "Kid, the world is vast, and might I remind you that I don't come from around here? I know of little here, and I'll leave the navigating to you. However, if you want my opinion, I would avoid cities for now. You're too conspicuous and cities are poor places to cultivate for the poor. You want to get strong and be able to return for your sister right? In a city there are far too many people sucking up and blocking the natural Qi. Only the rich can afford the cultivation resources in cities. A rat like you is much better off in the wilderness. I have an extensive knowledge of how to survive alone. I promise that if you follow my instructions, you won't die in all likelihood, and you'll grow strong faster." 

    "Alright master, I hope you aren't just saying empty words as I will stake my life on them. I have heard that there is a great wilderness which can be accessed near Dracherus City. We'll head along that route!" So saying, he headed off to the right.
  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 14- Coincidence
    Argh, so tired. But broke 1k! Excellent friends, keep it up, *scribbles furiously* chapters chapter chapters, must increase supply!

    The path was more or less straight with a  few small bends that corrected themselves within a few hundred meters. A glorious midday sun shined down on Lineir's black hair like heaven's blessing, filling him with warmth and renewed desire to continue on his path. As he went, he would periodically close his eyes for a straight stretch of road and meditate, attempting to probe the inner workings of his body. As Mei said,

    "When you have mastered meditation, you will be able to fully control your body. While these blades of your's are very strange, I'm almost one hundred percent certain that you can control them with practice. It seems to me, that when your heart gets excited, they come out, but I imagine they are a side effect of the undead heart in you and some of the more volatile forbidden techniques. Only with practice and a steady mind will you be able to fully overcome this. Until then, you should avoid getting too close to people. If you become threatened, you may unconsciously attack them, whether you want to or not. Additionally, these blades of yours are very strong and contain a portion of the death Qi in your heart. Even if you catch yourself at the last moment and prevent a fatal blow, the resulting transfer of Qi will likely be poison to even some cultivators, let alone those who walk the path of mortals. Stay strong and quickly learn to control yourself. When you do, you will  have gained a powerful weapon which you can rely on, rather than a liability!" 

    While Mei made this sound like an eventuality, the task was far from easy. While Lineir tried to control his heart rate and look inside himself for the source of the death Qi, the blades would often slide out randomly, and once when he tripped after having his eye's closed for too long, the adrenaline rush made the blades come all the way out and he almost fell on his own sickles. However, Lineir was merciless on himself. After the killing of the guards he had become fearful of what his body was capable of. Had he been in more control, perhaps there would not have been a need to kill the guards which were only following orders. Mei insisted that he had not done anything wrong but regardless Lineir didn't want to ever lose control again like that. Persevering, after three lonely days and nights on the path, Lineir lost his fear of being followed and gained a modicum of control over these strange weapons of his. Now, at least, he was capable of sheathing and drawing them at will. However, Mei, sensing Lineir's satisfaction quickly took him down a notch yelling in his mind suddenly and unexpectedly. Lineir, surprised immediately jumped and the blades slid out again. "What was that for!"

    "Don't grow so satisfied with such basic control. You're still a threat to anyone around you. It looks like these blades are still automatically reacting to anything which is close to you. If you were near a person, even if they weren't the ones causing you danger, those blades would attack them first. Only when  you can stay calm under any and all pressure will you have mastered yourself and be ready to be near people." Lineir, could only agree after seeing this demonstration, and resolved himself to meditate some more. As such, his progress was very slow, even though he could walk faster than most uncultivated people now, his body empowered after being touched by so many forbidden techniques. However, on the fourth night, something unexpected happened. Travelers on the road, a small group of five people on a wagon came from behind Lineir. 

    "Greetings friend, why are you walking alone? Don't you know that it is unsafe to travel without a group? There is safety in numbers and this way at least if you meet a group of bandits or even a magical beast, you may have a chance of surviving. Come, somebody as young as you shouldn't be traveling alone, join us up here and enjoy a leisurely ride."

    Lineir frowned slightly before covering it up with a quick smile. "kiddo, you shouldn't go with them, based on how they came from behind they may have come from Brackenrock city also. If you travel with them they may find you suspicious and guess that you are the troublemaker!" Lineir however had different ideas and hopped onto the wagon. "Thank you elder brother, it is truly dangerous to travel alone, I am glad for your offer, every night I sleep cold and afraid for my life!" So saying, he was introduced to the five and settled in. Mei however was outraged, "Why did you agree, you're not even going to Dracherus city, they will find it exceedingly odd when you don't enter the city!" 

    "It's okay Mei-Mei, they would have found it more odd if I didn't take up this excellent chance. Furthermore, if I travel in a group, I am less suspicious to anyone else on the road. As long as I keep calm and avoid saying anything odd, I should be able to travel more safely and comfortably at the same time." Mei was silent for a moment, resigned she simply said,
    "Look, I don't have a problem, but remember kid, you're still not completely in control of those scythes of yours, if something happens, you must remember to stay calm and avoid showing those things. Not only would that alert everyone to something strange, you may even hurt someone innocent in doing so. While I don't care, I'm sure you'd feel guilty and this would impact your training. Pretend to be a sleepyhead and meditate as much as you can!" 

    Thus, Lineir kept his head down and avoided associating too much with his fellow travelers. Fortunately, this was relatively common, and they didn't feel offended. Indeed, it would have probably been weirder if Lineir had been oddly social, as he did not hide his lack of desire to socialize they were actually reassured that he was just some random person. In that way, he continued, spending long periods of time with a strip of cloth over his eyes meditating and trying to control his breathing. After a few days, he felt a change as his whole being suddenly felt hot. His heart rate also increased, but at this point he wasn't too worried about such a minor thing, his control was too great to be bothered by that. Instead, he wondered what was going on, his body was excited, as if anticipating something instinctively, yet he himself had no idea what had triggered the reaction. "Mei-Mei, what did I have for breakfast? Something must have been bad, my body feels weird." 

    "Excellent kid, so you've noticed huh? What you're feeling is the beginning of your inner elements forming in your veins. Now that you've begun to meditate so much, your body has naturally begun to absorb elemental energy and you are becoming attuned to the Heaven's and Hell. This obviously would be impossible with only a few days of cultivation at your age normally, however with all the forbidden techniques imbued in your body and my guidance, how could you not begin to enter the path of immortals? Sooner or later, you will be tested by your elements, and should you pass, which you will with me around, your body will be allowed the right to form an elemental core and you will officially have taken the first step towards cultivation. Come, continue meditating, the faster you reach this first step, the safer you will be." Lineir shrugged and kept meditating, he wasn't sick but actually becoming more powerful! Who would stop here?

    "Hey kid, you okay, you've been quiet a long time." A hand roughly shook Lineir's shoulder and brought him out of his meditative state. Oddly enough, he almost felt like he had felt the touch coming before it came. It seemed like the more he meditated, and the greater control he gained over himself, the more attuned he became to even small changes in his environment. As he pulled the cloth on his eyes back, he squinted as he found himself looking directly at the setting evening sun, "Sorry, I'm always tired. Where are we?" the man who had invited Lineir aboard didn't mind, he had grown used to this. The other travelers paid them no mind at all, their group was not very close and mostly traveling together for safety.

    "We've almost reached Deltoir Fords, as planned we should make it before nightfall and be safely at the Nine Heart's Inn." Lineir nodded his head in thanks, but then felt a little panic. He didn't have any money! The man seeing his look immediately guessed what was bothering him. "I'm gonna say you don't have much in the way of money huh? Don't worry, you can stay in the stables with the horse even without paying. It'll be warmer and safer than outside and you can come with us in the morning, I assume you're going to Dracherus City." Lineir nodded, it was more or less his goal. "Alright, that's it right up head, just in time, the sun's almost gone. I'll arrange things with the owner, you go in with the others and enjoy a meal on me, such a young man needs to eat to grow strong!" Shaking his head in dismay at Lineir's skinny frame, he quickly disembarked and strode towards the inn. Lineir looked at the other travelers who looked at him with varying expressions of disinterest. "Can't say no to a free meal..." 

    Inside the Nine Heart's Inn, it was much cleaner than the inn his sister Yiu had worked at. This was probably because it was just in a small village and didn't receive all the rough and dirty crowd which attended the inns in cities. Nicely aged oak boards lined the floors and walls, and a cheerful fire burned in the corner casting the room in a bright glow. The inn was only about half full, and the owner had no qualms with Lineir staying in the stables, it was a common arrangement. When the food came out, everyone at their table wolfed it down quickly, they hadn't eaten in quite a few hours and the hot food was far better than the hard biscuits and wild meat they had been eating on the road. The neighboring table however, had more ale in them then on the table and was wildly discussing the latest news. Lineir paled at the topic of their discussion, though he had been somewhat expecting it.

    "Would you believe it? Two guards murdered at the same time in Brackenrock city, and nobody knows who the murderer was!" 

  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 15- Unspeakable Element

    "You know what the scariest part is? Have you ever heard of the deadzone? It's basically a big graveyard after the great battle in the heavens decimated the old city. A little while before the guards were murdered, several members of the White Horizon Sect died at a different gate! And they died from undead from the deadzone, lured over by some foolish man." The man's companion was incredulous, 

    "Impossible, the members of the White Horizon Sect, while only a branch family, are still cultivators. To suggest that a few undead could hurt them is preposterous. They'd have to be middle ranked undead at the very least!" The original spreader of the rumor, clearly intoxicated boasted out to the whole inn, 

    "It was a higher undead! And I heard from my cousin that when the Sect caught the man who had caused the incident, they killed him, but they killed him in the deadzone!" The man's companion's eyes narrowed, 

    "So what? Why is this a big deal? Of course that would happen to anyone stupid enough to do such a thing and get caught." Lineir was face palming inside, from the outside, what he had done did sound really stupid. 

    "Well, obviously the deadzone is filled with undead. When they killed him there, he would have died without a grudge! What if he resurrected as a hungry ghost and killed those guards, and is even now, lurking in the city waiting to take revenge on the Sect!" The man at this point was yelling so loud that people were openly glaring at him, the manager quickly walked over, but before he could do anything the man had already collapsed face down onto the table. His companion apologetically tipped a few extra coins and bought a round of drinks for the rest of the inn before carrying off his friend to his room. Lineir's patron, noticed that he was very pale, "You're not actually scared young man, it's just some drunk with ghost stories. Happens all the time, you should just focus on eating more, you've barely touched your plate. Once you put on a few pounds you'll be a real man and you won't worry about these wild stories! Look, I've got great news, you don't have to sleep out in the stables. The owner here knows me well, and has agreed that since his inn is only half full, you can have a room on the house. Just be sure to spread the word of the Nine Heart Inn's generosity okay? You'll be safe in there, I'll be in the next room over and no ghosties are gonna get you." Lineir sighed, unable to explain why he was scared to the well meaning man. 

    Mei, had also noticed Lineir's discomfort, "Relax kiddo, nobodies going to connect that story with you. It was just a coincidence, go to your room and meditate if you're so worried." Lineir, realizing that there was little to be gained by socializing, quickly finished his food and excused himself. Entering his complimentary room, a small affair, but cozy with clean sheets and a window overlooking the stables, he couldn't complain. Immediately, he locked his room and sat on the bed to meditate. Looking deep inside himself, he immediately grew hot again as natural energies trickled in as if they were waiting for him. "Keep it up kiddo, a lil more and you should be tested. Ignore everything else and focus only on seeing what's inside of you!" 

    Gradually, Lineir began to peirce the veil of darkness which he normally saw when he closed his eyes. Deep inside of him, he almost saw, but more felt, it was hard to explain, a little movement. It was just a gentle tug, like the touch of a child, but it led him deeper inside himself. At that moment, energy burst into him, first shocking yellow currents, then a deep all encompassing dark black, and finally a crimson red which shone even around the black entered through his pores and began to circulate all throughout his veins. "Excellent, excellent, the test has arrived, you must stay calm, and envision the energy. Can you see it? Take it, and feel it, now that it has entered you, you must make it yours. Is there more than one color?" Lineir was too focused on the task at hand to answer, but Mei seemed to pick up on a positive cue from him, "Good, good, that means you have more than one element. Elements can be gained later on, but that takes time, and the ones you first receive will usually be your greatest strengths. It is a great advantage to have more than one." 

    Lineir looked deep inside himself and could practically feel the energies movements, it moved as if it wanted to be controlled, the reason it was circulating so wildly everywhere was because it was searching for direction, someone to take it over. With a mental tug, he guided the surging yellow energy to his internal center, where that childlike tugging motion was. Instantly, when the energy and that slight motion met, the yellow was sucked in and the gentle tug became a strong hungry pull. Lineir felt a growing crackling power inside him as the energy was stored and bent to his will. He was connected, and it was part of him, as much a part of him as an arm or leg. He was master and it was willing to serve him. "Excellent, you've managed to pass the test and feel one of these energies. Now try another!" 

    This time Lineir tried the black one. Once again, it seemed to want to be directed, but at first Lineir couldn't quite feel it, he couldn't see it completely. When he focused on it more, gradually it too began to be guided to the tug in his internal center, which had become more of a strong pull. When the two touched, it was immediately sucked in as the yellow had and Lineir was bonded with it. Finally, he tried the red. However, this time, it was different. The red refused to be guided into his center no matter how hard he tried. Mei called out impatient, "What's going on Kiddo, you should have been done by now. By my estimates you should have two done now, is the third giving you trouble?"

    Lineir tried one last time to grasp a feeling of the red but it evaded him, and continued to frustratingly remain diffuse in his veins, stubbornly refusing to enter his center. "I can't get the last one to enter my center, I can't feel it at all!"

    "That's okay kiddo, sometimes this happens, it will come eventually, be it a day, a year, or a century, if you live long enough. Tell me what were the colors of the elements which you got? I can tell you more if I know." Lineir described the vivid yellow and deep black.

    "As I expected, since I am fused in your veins, you are naturally inclined towards my main elements. The yellow is the devastating power of elemental lightning! As for the black, it is the strange and variable power of darkness! However, what is the color of the third, if I'm not mistaken this third color should represent your original attribute, and be unrelated to me. Lineir replied truthfully,

    "It was red. A crimson red which pervaded everything." Mei was silent for a long, long time. "Hello? Mei-Mei, did you fall asleep? Do you sleep?" In a serious voice Mei asked,

    "Disciple, you are telling the truth right, you're not color blind and telling me random stories? You saw red?" Lineir irate replied, "What reason would I have to tell stories, of course I know what is in my own veins, though I cannot guide this energy to my heart. What element is this?" Mei, hearing this refused to answer,

    "Interesting.... I can't tell you until you master this energy and gain control of it. Until then, just train diligently in my elements." Lineir felt something was suspicious, "Is there something wrong with red? Why are you so offhand all of a sudden. You only needed to know the colors of the others, don't tell me a great expert such as yourself has no explanation, master?" Mei was obstinate though,

    "Just trust your master and don't speak of it again until you fuse with it. Now, see if you can feel the inside of your center again. Having passed the first test, you should now have the most crucial part of any cultivator, the Second Inner Heart. Or in your case, I guess the third heart, since you already lost your first heart and gained a second." Lineir felt this joke was obviously covering something up, but he let it go. There was no point prodding her, he might as well just wait to fuse with the red energy. 

    At that moment there was a great crashing noise and the floor was violently shaken. Glancing through the window Lineir saw that the stable was aflame! A call from the hallway came, "Guests, fire! The stable is on fire! Help put it out quickly! Before it spreads!" Immediately doors banged open as guests raced out to answer the call. Lineir staring out his window noticed a dark shape furtively bound away from the stables. A furious knocking on his door came along with the voice of the patron, "Young man, quick, come help, the owner of the inn needs our help to put out a fire!"  Lineir sprung up, he could hardy ignore the debt owed to the owner. With a quick dash, he was still dressed, he was out the door and joining the line of people forming to carry water to the fire.

  • Scribble scribble :)

  • Scrabble scrabble
  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 16.5 - Burning ______
    Title withheld until the end to avoid spoilers. Also, this chapter is retribution for the most unfortunate grievance against nature I may or may not have accidentally committed last night.

    Lineir quickly joined his spot in the fire-line, passing buckets to squelch out the fire. The stable had lit up like a giant candle with all the hay inside and was burning steadily, but with so many strong mercenaries and determined managers, it was quickly put out. While many of the members of the line were hungover, not a single bucket was dropped and a minimum of sloshing ensued. It was unspoken rule that everyone helped put out fires, being a quick spreading affair in such a small town where the most common building material was timber. It helped that a lot of the horses had shied away to one side of the stable and if the fire wasn't put out it would have begun to threaten these expensive animals. Even before the first tinges of dawn seeped into the sky, the fire was little more than a steaming heap of hay. "Thank you so much for your help customers, please go inside and refresh yourselves, breakfast will be free for all who participated in saving our livelihoods!" With that, the line dispersed and everyone tottered back to their rooms to clean up. Lineir, however, unnoticed, crept away, in a different direction. That dark figure he had seen last night, it had almost seemed to smolder in the night. He was sure that whatever it was, it had been responsible for the fire. Using his increased speed, he quickly separated from the crowd, and located the direction of the culprit. 

    On the ground, were little black flecks of burnt grass. They came in patches and were separated by a distance of two to three meters. Obviously, they were tracks, and whatever had made them must have been leaping incredibly far with each bounding step to have such a gap. The odd thing was however, the flecks were tiny, either the culprit was ridiculously small, or it so fast its feet barely sunk into the ground when it landed. Lineir shuddered at the thought of something that fast. However, he was intensely curious, and Mei hadn't said anything against it so he continued to follow the tracks. He had entered the nearby woods, and the tree trunks were still widely spaced out at the fringes of the forest. With a start, he realized the burning tracks had disappeared. Had the culprit climbed up a tree? "If the tracks ended here and the culprit climbed up a tree... that would mean it's right above me!" Instantly Lineir's head shot upwards as Mei screeched in alarm.

    Nothing was above him, just empty branches. "Kiddo, I sense a great concentration of Qi flickering below you!" Looking down, Lineir saw that behind the tree, was a large hole, a meter across, completely blackened as if scoured by fire. As he approached... he grew tense, he allowed his bony blades to slide out to their fullest. There was no one to see them here and it would be best to be prepared for anything. Staring deep into the blackness of the hole, he noticed a glowing orb. "What the heck is that?" It started to grow in size, and Lineir realized with a start that it was coming closer. Backing up, he fell over as the orb grew and grew and became an orange ball of fire which blasted out of the hole and passed over his head, the heat singing his eyebrows as it went. "Da **** is that a rabbit?" 

    Indeed, the thing which had passed over Lineir could be described as such. It was in fact, a burning bunny with flaming fur. It was only about two palm sizes in length, but the flames on it's body stretched out another good three palms and it had leaped from the hole, past Lineir, and then some in one bound. Staring into Lineir's eyes, Lineir realized it only had one orange eye which seemed to swirl with molten heat. The other eye was tightly squeezed shut and the flaming aura around it failed to extend over this eye. Quivering one last time, it sprinted off into the forest at a furious pace which Lineir couldn't hope to match. 

    "Kiddo, I've seen a lot of things, but I've never seen such a cute bunny! You absolutely have to come back when you are stronger and catch it!"

    So yea... I might have accidentally ran over a wild bunny, and thus the title of this chapter shall be Burning Bunny in this unnamed creature's honor.

  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 16 Continued-Basics of Cultivation

    Lineir didn't say anything when he returned to the inn, and everyone was too sleepy from the events of the night to bother noticing that he came from outside. Sharing in a hearty free breakfast he truly felt quite blessed, "A free room, and two free meals, my luck is quite good!" In the morning there were only a few hardcore drunks who would drink. Thus there was no loud incidents like last night and Lineir was able to happily have a care-free meal. Afterwards, the five travelers and Lineir bade the inn owner goodbye, with Lineir thanking him profusely for the hospitality. He didn't bring up the flaming rabbit however. There was nothing to be done about that anyway, even if the owner did know. After paying, the head of the wagon quickly checked with everyone and decided to head out immediately for Dracherus City. "Alright kid, I know you're going to want to sleep the rest of the way, at your age I always wanted to nap as well, it'll be another four days before we come upon the city, I'll  call you out for meal times."

    Little did the wagon leader know that in fact Lineir hadn't slept at all these last days! Instead of sleeping, he had actually been meditating furiously, and he no longer needed sleep to maintain his mental state. The only time he needed to sleep would be when extremely exhausted, or if his body needed to recuperate after suffering a grievous injury. Otherwise, meditation was far better for his long term cultivation! 

    "Kiddo, you remember my attack on the undead heart right? That attack was an imitation of my ultimate technique which utilizes the horrifying weight of darkness combined with the suddenness of lightning. At the time, I only had some darkness Qi which I had slowly been accumulating, there was no way for me to gather substantial lightning without a body. Indeed, the only reason I could gather darkness Qi was because I was leeching off of those in the undead heart. Since death Qi shares a similarity to darkness, I was able to quietly steal some for my own purposes. But make no mistake, while that fake attack of mine may have looked powerful, it is nowhere near as impressive as the true attack with both elements combined! You must carefully cultivate both the lightning and darkness elements inside of you. It's not enough to simply absorb the energy, you must always seek greater understanding and control of the shape, form, and nature of these things. That way you will be able to use higher level techniques which cannot be formed just by throwing energy at the enemy!" Mei stressed the importance of not cultivating unconsciously. That was a trap which many amateur cultivators fell into. While their power base might rise quickly, if they didn't also spend time trying to understand how to properly control this power it would be useless when they tried to apply it in battle.

    "In these four days, you won't be able to practice externalizing your power, this wagon is too public. We'll have to wait until you leave this group for that. However, you can still meditate, gather more energy, and practice circulating the energy throughout your body. Additionally, you have many forbidden techniques, an undead heart, and those bone scythes. I am not sure how these will react to the circulation of energy, and this is the perfect time to get a feel for it. Use it well, this group is fairly safe, you should be able to practice without fear of being eaten or robbed." Lineir unceasingly meditated, practiced circulating the lightning and darkness style energy, and occasionally tried to guide the red energy in his veins to his core. He only stopped for meals but otherwise placed a cloth strip over his eyes and laid back viewing his Second Heart and internal Qi paths. The Second Heart greedily sucked in energy from the surroundings, and Lineir had begun to notice a slight rotation, as if it was becoming a whirlpool. When he mentioned this to Mei, she was excited. 

    "Good, good, as expected from my pupil, you have begun to reach the Early Storm Stage of cultivation. In essence, the Second Heart which forms the core of your inner self and is the place for your meridians and Qi paths to meet, has begun to spin slightly! This is important, you must try to always increase this spin. In doing so, the Qi in your center will be sucked inwards more and more. When this happens, it will grow exceedingly dense. The more dense it gets, the more pure it will be and the stronger effects it will display when you use it in battle. Furthermore, power attracts power. Like gravity, the more energy you have, the faster energy will be pulled in. This is why powerful experts can use powerful  techniques and not tire. They have so much dense energy that they absorb far more energy than beginners and replenish it much faster. Thus, you have to increase the spin, the faster it spins, the more attractive you power will be, the more dense it will get, and the stronger the pull will get in an endless cycle. This is the basis for all standard cultivation." 

    Fate, however, could hardly allow Lineir such an easy time to cultivate. There was a soft whoomph and Lineir, despite having his eyes covered, could see, or rather feel, that an arrow had shot into the wagon. "That was a warning shot, stop the wagon and come out with your hands up or we will kill you before taking what we want!"

  • I love the intro xo gonna start reading now xD
  • Hehe, thanks, but I have to warn you, that intro was actually for a different story which I took down. The only original part is what was originally the prologue which I moved to the chapter titled pillarfall. Don't get me wrong, the intro will be the overarching plot for the story, but don't expect it to get to that epic final confrontation for a good long time. We're just getting started. Thanks again for reading and commenting, hope to see ya round!
  • Freakn awesome! this is the best story and writing by far out of all that are currently on this forum. ty keep it up. no hate for other writers it's just the truth xp you should learn from this guy ^.
  • edited August 2015
    Chapter 17.5- Everyday Choices

    Lineir felt the wagon grind to a halt. In a flash he had the covering removed from his eyes and was rapidly casting his gaze about, trying to find the culprits. All the members of the wagon turned to the head, the de facto leader and actual owner of the wagon. In the life of a traveler, life or death decisions such as these were in fact, everyday choices which had to be made. Only someone both lucky and wise could hope to survive in the long run. As the most experienced of the group, this man was naturally the one best suited to make the choice and every member gave his respect in the form of natural deference. "Amateurs. They want to take the horse alive. They can't be one of the more established groups. Shield your heads, we ride!" He lashed the horse and ducked beneath the sides of the wagon as every man immediately covered themselves. Naturally, now that the choice had been made, they were in it till the finish, the bandits would hardly show mercy at this point. 

    "I told you we should have killed the horse first! Everyone, after them, take down that horse and board the wagon, there's only six of them!" The same voice called out and the whole group quickly emerged from the forest, a dozen men rapidly pursuing. None were mounted, however the path had begun to enter a winding section and the horse with the heavy wagon was unable to change directions quickly. The men fell behind, but not very fast. From their rapidly approaching hands arrow after arrow was fired. However, this only proved their incompetence. Firing an arrow while running is a futile task and none even came close to the wagon. 

    "See young man, I told you sticking with us was a good idea, if you had been alone on foot, you would have been robbed blind!" The middle aged leader chuckled as he clapped Lineir in the back. As this slap hit Lineir the older man stiffened, his face displaying shock. A dark jagged-headed arrow had penetrated straight through his chest, the head coming out and spraying dark red drops on his head. The man's eyes, light fading, suddenly widened and he grabbed Lineir dragging him down and covering him with his own body. Thump after thump was heard. A few grunts and occasionally the body on top would jolt as new arrows would rain down. When it was over, Linear staring around could see that the rest of the wagon was dead, the other travelers having nothing but their arms to try to pitifully cover their heads. Amazingly, the man above whispered to him one last time. His willpower was truly ferocious. 

    "Sorry, this is all I can do for you, maybe if you hadn't been traveling with us this wouldn't have happened. Get away quickly, they're after the treasure in our holds, not you...if you get the chance, tell the king of Dracherus what happened here. Warn him... that the time of end nears..." Before he could finish, his whispers dropped to nonsense and his head similarly thudded into Lineir's skinny chest. Immediately, Lineir's bone scythes sprang free of his flesh, his heart pounding sickeningly. They pierced the man's body who had shielded him as if thirsty, they wanted to drink. The body was actually lifted off of Lineir slightly, and he tossed it away gently so that it slid off the blades with the rest of the dead crew, all skewered with countless black arrows. A dangerous look filled Lineir's eyes and it almost felt like the air crackled around him and the light was blackened. "Mei... you're right, I am far too soft. I give you my permission to kill whoever did this in any way you wish. Make them suffer!" 
  • Kind of glad he finds himself soft now, he will finally be on the path of Asura.
  • Oh he'll walk the nine paths one day... but I mean this was just a random wagon, and he really only cared about one of the guys... imagine if his sister...jk I wouldn't touch such a cute and bright girl...would I....
  • LOL I think you would and probably be the breaking point in him on the Nine Paths of Asura. You know its not a random wagon lol. It has treasure I got some guesses but I wont say with confidence. Its making me think they got some Path of Asura manual then I'm like why would our MC need that if he got an immortal teacher.
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