The Rise of the Radiant Rooster (8 chapters total)

edited June 2016 in Original Stories
Genre: Xianxia, Fantasy, Comedy, Action, Adventure, (im)Mature


Synopsis: A rooster in a Xianxia world discovers a treasure that grants it sentience. So, it uses that newfound sentience to cultivate and become the most radiant cock in the world.

TOC:
Chapter 1: Rise with the Sun
Chapter 2: Comparing size
Chapter 3: Full Sail; Thrust from Behind
Chapter 4: Morningwood
Chapter 5: Cock Enhancement Pills
Chapter 6: That Feeling when it Touches your Lips
Chapter 7: Cancer's Cultivation
Chapter 8: Sticky White Stuff

Note: I've been posting this story on RRL under the name RomanticGravy. I remembered that I had this old account on Wuxiaworld; so, why not put it up here too since it is a Xianxia style story.Also, take heed that posting on RRL takes priority, so chapters may be late in showing up here. Some of the edits I've done to early chapters haven't been applied yet, waiting on laptop access to do that.

Chapter 1: Rise with the Sun

Once upon a time, there was a rooster. It was the king of the coop, the master of the sunrise, the father of all the new chickens in the area. It led a happy life and welcomed every sunrise with an enthusiastic clucking.

It lived in a coop behind a tavern on a path midway between two cities. The tavern got plenty of customers yet was somewhat wild with a forest within 10 meters of the tavern in every direction. 

Back to the coop, it was a simple wooden hut surrounded by a short fence meant to discourage wild animals from entering. The area within the fence was covered in shit from the chickens pooping wherever and the lack of someone cleaning it for awhile. 

Every morning, a worker would come around to collect eggs and release the chickens. The rooster would head out with the chickens and protect them. He would eat the occasional bug while keeping a lookout. The hens, on the other hand, wandered about recklessly. It was up to the rooster to protect them from wildlife, dogs, and drunkards.

Everyone respected him and treated him like a king. Even the workers kept their distance when they herded the chickens back into the pen for the night. Once the night set in he would intermingle with the chickens for a little bit before settling down in his roost for the night. Then everything would repeat in the morning; then the next, again and again onwards, until the day it dies. 

At least, that is how it was supposed to happen. But one morning the rooster was woken before the sun came up. The sounds of metal and clucking rang chaotically around him. So, he panicked and tried to run. Before he could, a hand shoved him from behind into a metal cage.

The front of its body crashed into cold, hard iron bars that dug through the feathers and skin to transmit pain and cold. All of his feathers stood up as he got pissed off. Someone dares to mess with his coop and capture him? Not if he can stop it.

The hands of the perpetrator held the cage from below and above, with its chest pressed against the back. This translated to 3 different places to attack to the rooster. It chose the hand holding the cage from below, as it was closest to its most powerful weapon, its claws.

The next moment a cry of pain stood out amongst the noise of clucking and metal. The perpetrator gripped his hand and stared at the three new gashes on his hand. Blood began to flow and fill the air with a metallic scent. Then he ran off as the other men in the area laughed at him.

The caged rooster fell to the ground, making it hit the side of the cage again. But he didn't care; he was triumphant over the person who tried to contain him. Unfortunately, the cage was shut tight or he'd run away or confront the perp's comrades, who were packing away the hens in cages.

The rooster's feeling of accomplishment hit a high as soon as the sun peaked over the trees. It let out a resounding crow for all to hear. The hens being caged went silent, the perpetrators stopped caging hens; the sounds of clucking and metal paused to listen to the rooster's majestic call.

Nothing could ruin this moment for the rooster. Except maybe the perpetrator he clawed coming back and kicking the cage violently. This time the rooster hit the metal with the side of his head and got knocked out. While consciousness escaped the rooster, the perpetrators held a conversation.

"Screw this rooster, it cut my hand open. I want to kill it now," said the perp while putting pressure on his wound with a clothe he found nearby.

Another one walked over with a caged hen in his hands and calmly stated, "Orders are orders, we need livestock on the boat for the journey or we won't have fresh food for months. You just got unlucky and were careless with the beast. Besides you might've just killed it now with that kick."

"Naw, it's still breathing. But I don't understand Captain Noah. Why can't we just bring some dried food?" Asked while kicking the cage lightly and seeing some movement from the rooster.

"Go ahead and eat foods while the rest of the crew has chicken or beef. The captain is just trying to make the journey less miserable."

"I'm miserable now..."

Then darkness took over. The rooster fell in and out of consciousness as it moved around. At one moment it was bouncing around in a wagon; the next it was on top of a crate by a body of water. Then a large ship came into view. 

None of this knowledge made sense to the rooster; it had never seen anywhere but the tavern and surrounding forest. Also, it was an animal that wasn't capable of comprehending what was happening to it. Fortunately for the rooster, it was knocked out for most of the journey, making it less stressful. And once again, everything went dark for the rooster.






Chapter 2: Comparing size

When the rooster awakened fully, it found itself in the cage again, stacked upon other cages. Above, below, and to the sides were other cages full of hens. Some he recognised, others were new. The rooster felt that this change might not be so bad.

It lifted itself up and gave the new hens a greeting with a light clucking noise. The response was the entire section of cages shaking slighting alongside a deep chirp. A few cages away stood another rooster. 

Its black feathers and deep voice gave it quite a presence. It shook its cage by flapping its wings and gobbling like a tyrant. The hens fluttered about before resting by the edges of the cages, clearing the way for the two roosters. The sounds of other, more exotic animals rang out in the background like trumpets welcoming the king.

There wasn't enough space in here for two cocks to fit. One of them had to give way to the other. And it wasn't going to be our rooster, if he could help it.

He let out a high pitched croon while letting his golden brown feathers start to puff out. Then he lifted his leg gently. The black rooster tilted his head slightly to the right in confusion.

Slam! A golden brown feather floated down amongst the sound of the entire cage rattling. A yellow leg, seemingly made of gold, connected to the metal bars separating the cages. A fierce display of power that could scare off everything from a curious fox to a rabid dog.

In response, the black rooster pruned its feathers casually; unfazed by the display of might. Then it let out a taunting cluck, resembling a human's chuckle.

Confused by this, the protagonist checked if there was anything wrong with its legs. Lo' and behold, his beloved claws were trimmed. Gone. The pride and joy that protected his coop disappeared without him noticing.

He lowered his leg. The other rooster took this as his win and flapped his sings in celebration. His head bobbed back and forth excitedly. 

But the battle wasn't over, there was one way to determine the fight now. If intimidation didn't work and claws were trimmed, then they must... compare size...

The size of their beards and crowns. Midway through the other rooster's celebration, our rooster puffed up his chest feathers and lifted up his head. The other rooster noticed and responded in kind. Both their bodies fluffed up their feathers as much as possible and showed off their beards.

Equally matched. That's all that could be said, either that or both were dissatisfied; neither had visibly larger beards. Onto their crowns then; the symbols of their royalty. Surely it could determine who's the real king of the coop.

It started with our rooster deflating his chest then lowering his head. Next, he leaned to the right, letting that delightful, red, and fleshy thing hang down freely.

The other rooster once again rose to the challenge. Bobbing his head up and down, making his crown bounce up and down sporadically. The hens in the other cages became restless from the display.

But there was one problem, its crown was smaller. It went crazy with it, but in reality the other rooster was all show. This weakness was noticed immediately, and so the finishing move was initiated.

From his lower right positioned head, our rooster moved. At first to the left slowly. Then diagonal upwards to the right. Finally, moving to the right with a quick jerk and flourish; flopping his fleshy crown to the left side of his face in the process.

It was fabulous. One of the hens fainted while the others fluttered restlessly. A sure win in both size and usage.

The other rooster couldn't accept the result. Letting out a deep, aggressive croon; rolling about in his mouth like a marble in a windstorm. Which was slowly building up louder and louder.

Little did he know, he was just digging a hole; our rooster was confident in his vocal skills and practised every morning without restraint. A response soon leaked out.

Both roosters slowly built up from a light rumbling croon to a loud and proud clucking. Both heads rose as high as possible and let out everything that was being built up at once. Low and high pitched mixed together and flew through the air.

It seemed like they were on equal footing. But the other rooster's deep voice scrapped against and irritated its voice, forcing it to stop midway. Leaving our rooster as the victor.

The other rooster then turned around and sat down, accepting its defeat. But it glanced back a few times with a look that said, "Next time, it'll be different."

Meanwhile the rooster stopped clucking and lifted up one of its legs, making somewhat of a victory pose.  It was a somewhat anticlimactic but satisfying win. All that was left was to make sure there was no other challenges to his newfound authority.

A quick glance around the cages didn't reveal any more roosters. But there was much larger animals that could be a problem. Most of them even had name tags outside of their cages.

The closest one contained a cow with the name tag of Clyde. The cow was munching away without a care in the world. A probing cluck captured its attention for one second before it resumed eating. Refusing to fight is the same as losing, moving on.

The next was a cage that was completely walled in. There was no way to see its contents, but a hissing sound leaked out of it. The name tag read Charlotte. Out of sight, out of mind.

Finally was cage labelled Bonnie, containing a boar. It let out a snort; annoyed by all the noise from before. Then bashed one of its tusks against the cage, breaking one of the links. Dangerous.

The grating noise of a door opening interrupted the rooster's search for a challenge. A voice said, "Shut those animals up and bring up tonight's dinner."

A man walked into the area with the cages under the instruction of the voice. He grabbed the cage of the black-feathered rooster. It was the closest cage to the man. The rooster inside moved to the side of the cage, as far from the man as possible.

Our rooster saw the man as the perfect challenge. It had won against one before but ended up being attacked unfairly and brought here afterwards. So it hit the cage with its leg to get the human's attention with the noise.

It was successful; the man set down the other rooster and came over. But something felt familiar about this man. He said, "Remember me?" while placing his hand on top of the cage.




Chapter 3: Full Sail; Thrust from Behind

It was the man that pushed him into the cage; the hand touching the cage had a bandage and it smelled of blood. So, the rooster tried to peck at his hand. But he pulled out before it came. Letting out a laugh at the attempt, the man grabbed a handle on top of the cage and carried him away.

After a few doors and stairs, they went outside. There was nothing but a wooden deck, mast, cabin, and rolling blue seas. They were on a ship with no escape.

The man walked up to another man and set down the cage. Saying, "Here's dinner for tonight, Captain Noah. Hopefully, one less rooster will reduce the noise."

The other man replied, "I'm more concerned about Charlotte than the noise. She hasn't eaten for awhile. Go feed her a chicken."

The man smiled and asked, "The other rooster? Will we be rid of that accursed noise finally?"

Noah frowned and walked towards the front of the ship while saying, "No, she prefers females. They're much juicier, you see."

"Got it," said the man while curling his lips as he walked back towards the area with the cages. Who knows if it was disappointment from not getting rid of the other rooster or disgust from what Noah said.

Meanwhile, the rooster was having trouble adjusting to the ship. Without its nails, it was hard to get traction on the smooth, wooden planks. The constant shifting of the ship against the waves didn't help. Especially since they were getting more intense.

Noah then saw something that unnerved him. There was an island ahead that wasn't on the map. Even worse, there was a storm between them and the island that they were heading straight towards. 

"Turn to port!" he shouted towards the back of the ship, where a crew member was steering. The wheel controlling the rudder of the ship was spun to the left, redirecting the ship away from the storm. 

The sudden turn forced several objects that weren't tied down to slide to the right side, including the cage containing the rooster; who began to cluck and flutter his wings nervously. The cage knocked up against a railing, keeping it from falling into the water.

This action hadn't lessened the shaking of the ship at all; in fact it increased, as the waves hit the side of the ship instead of the front. While the ship still headed towards the storm at an angle. Noah gritted his teeth and let out a roar, "Pull down the sails, continue turning port! The wind and waves are not on our side! Someone grab the oars!"

Confusion embroiled the ship as crew members tried to accomplish the tasks. The oars were below deck and the sails were tied up, but there was someone already at the steering wheel. The ship shifted until it was facing directly away from the storm.

Unfortunately, the sails were only half up when the wind caught it and forced it backwards. The wind was so strong that the rope was ripped out of the hands of the crewmen trying to tie it up, tearing open their hands viciously. The sudden motion also made a few crew members stumble and pushed the rooster towards the front of the ship.

There, the rooster decided to just huddle up and await his fate. Shadows stretched across the ship as it sailed underneath storm clouds. There was no rain, just increasingly wild waves and a low grumbling; like an evil beast was about to pounce on their behind and ravage them.

Noah ran to the cabin at the back of the ship. On the way, he saw some men trying to handle the oars and shouted, "Stop! It's too late, save yourselves!" Then he entered the cabin and never left it again.

A few idiots jumped ship, becoming seamen stains as the waves picked them up and battered the ship. Others held onto anything they could reach. Finally, laughter was heard from the top of the mast as the man in the crow's nest snapped.

Then silence dominated the atmosphere; the waves stopped and the sails sagged lifelessly. The sailors looked around questioningly. And the rooster shivered as its feathers rose up. Fear? No...

A bright flash lit up the shadows covering the ship. Then a cracking noise rang out as the mast began to fall. But it was quickly overshadowed by an explosive sound, thunder at point blank range. Everyone's faces were filled with fear. 

The rooster pooped itself in the cage. Then passed out when its feathers began to stand up again, signalling another lightning strike. The others weren't so lucky and were awake the whole time.





Chapter 4: Morningwood

The rooster woke up some time later; only able to see the aftermath of the damage. The rooster found himself floating amongst the ocean, with only a piece of wood to keep afloat.

This piece of wood was quite obviously a part of the ship; which was nowhere in sight now. The only thing that could be seen is an island and the dark clouds in the distance. Of course, there's also the morning sun rising off in the distance. Praise it.

The rooster let out a weak cluck to welcome the morning then it began pruning its feathers. There were all sorts of small cuts and bruises just beneath the feathers. Plus, they were all messed up and frilled from the static electricity.

The cage still surrounded our protagonist; but didn't serve its purpose anymore. It was broken and bent in various places, allowing the rooster to come and go from the cage as it pleases. It seems that the cage took the brunt of the damage that might've befell him.

The rooster nervously looked towards the clouds. They were far away now, but that wasn't reassuring as the memory of the lightning was fresh in his mind. Thankfully, the piece of wood below him drifted away from the clouds; This brought him closer to the aforementioned island, little by little.

Then it walked out of the cage; it was unpleasantly cold and bit into his feet. The wood below his feet was better than the cage but was still unpleasant. Every time he moved, it sunk down a little and water touched his feet. At least, there was no problems with traction; the wood was torn and chipped in several places. 

With water splashing against its feet, the rooster bent down and drank a little. To his horror, he found that it was salty and tasted nasty. This water part of an ocean and was, by no means, freshwater.

He walked back and forth on the piece of wood, looking for a dry spot. Ironically, whenever he found a dry spot, his weight shifted the wood; his weight pushed it down and made it partially submerged. The best spot he could find was the opposite side of the cage; the cage and rooster acted like kids on a pseudo-teeter totter.

It didn't stop the water; Instead, it kept the water even and just barely touching the rooster's feet. His solution to this was to alternate between lifting one leg and the other.

Meanwhile, the piece of wood slowly drifted off towards the shore of the island. The shores themselves gave off a feeling of paradise; it was lined with soft, white sand and spotted with trees. Farther inland was rolling green hills and verdant forests.

This feeling of paradise was shattered by only one thing; a rustling in one of the trees close to the beach. A snapping sound reverberated as one of the branches broke and fell, bringing an obese man with it. He seemed to slow down right before hitting the ground, making it so no noise occurred.

At least, no noise until he started shouting, "Master has told me to investigate the ship; it's best to investigate from high places. Alas, none of these trees can hold my weight. So I have no choice but to keep climbing to dutifully fulfill the request even though this may make me fail it." Then he started laughing maniacally.

Annoyed by the noise, the rooster let out a few clucks. This caught the fat man's attention; he rolled over to his stomach and looked over at the water. His eyes seemed to shine-no, they were actually emitting light. 

The fat man's stare seemed to look into the rooster's soul. A shiver passed through the rooster's body as he became completely frozen; relaxing his lifted leg and even breathing was impossible.

"A rooster... rooster rooster rooster? Cock? Dick? Richard? An idea is forming," mumbled the fat man. But to the rooster, it was like the fat man's mouth was right next to his ear. 

Then he looked away briefly, in a direction inland. Allowing the rooster to be free; collapsing on the piece of wood and breathing desperately. Even breathing in a bit of seawater and almost drowning.

"Master wants me to survey the destroyed ship and bring back any survivors. This piece of wood counts as surveying the wreckage and this rooster shall suffice as a survivor," this voice, once again, sounded like it was coming from right next to the rooster.

Except this time the fat man was right next to him; in the short time the rooster was trying to avoid drowning, he had somehow reached the piece of wood. It was like he just teleported there; even now, he was casually standing on the water as if it was solid.

The rooster tried to run, but there was no where to run. Soon, the fat man reached out and tapped both his feet; which stuck them to the wood somehow. Then the fat man slung the whole piece over his shoulder, leaving the rooster upside-down while the cage fell and sunk into the water.

For the next hour, the rooster had no choice but to be carried along with the piece of wood by the fat man. They moved inland quite quickly, passing by hills, forests, villages, mountains, plains, and valleys.

At one point during the journey, the fat man flipped the wood, preventing the rooster from dying from blood pooling in his head. The rooster was in no condition to be grateful; not that it would or could do so anyways. Instead, it just huddled up fearfully, remembering what the fat man was capable of.

"Master will be proud; I completed this mission and I now have the perfect thing for his request last week. The sun is shining, it's the beginning of a great day, and my name is Lo Qi!" mumbled the fat man named Lo Qi.

Once the sun reached its zenith and the morning ended, they reached a small building complex. It was composed of a cozy house, a walled in garden, and a horse stable. Lo Qi started giggling uncontrollably as he ran the last few meters to reach the cozy house. His fat rippled and swayed side to side majestically as he ran.

Upon reaching the door, he stopped and composed himself; trying and failing to stop his incessant giggling several times then knocking on the door.

From inside a powerful yet slightly harsh voice, as if the speaker was old or sick, responded, "What is it?"





Chapter 5: Cock enhancement pills

"What is it?" 

This voice, instead of sounding like it was right next to the rooster. It sounded like an echo coming from the top of a mountain that drilled into his head. It was a voice that screamed, "You're just an ant to me," without saying it directly somehow.

Lo Qi, in response, said, "Oh great and humble master, your faithful servant, Lo Qi, has come back. I bear good news; I have surveyed the wreckage and brought back a survivor."

A sigh came from inside the house, lowering the surrounding temperature by a few degrees. Then, the master said, "My faithful servant... Lo Qi?" the voice paused to contemplate those words.

"Yes, indeed. I always follow my master's words exactly.  It pleases me to fulfil the terms of our contract. And I'm almost ready to complete that order from before," said Lo Qi during his master's hesitation.

These words brought out a fit of laughter from the master. When he calmed down, he said, "My servant Lo Qi, you should change your name to Low Key. You're always finding ways to screw me over with sneaky loopholes in that contract. If it wasn't for your talent in pill-making and the uselessness of herbs in their raw form, I would've have killed you long ago."

"If master wishes, Lo Qi will change his name," said Lo Qi.

Meanwhile, the rooster was cowering on the piece of wood; his feet still stuck by some strange force. Left powerless and on the sidelines during a conversation between powerful men. The thought to challenge these men or do anything that could bring attention to him was not even considered. His animal instincts served him well.

With Lo Qi and master, they bantered back and forth for about an hour. One side being openly hostile; the other was extremely cooperative and submissive yet somehow managed to piss the other party off.

Finally, the conversation ended with Lo Qi bringing the conversation back to his mission. "Master, I have brought back some wreckage and a survivor. What shall I do with them?" 

"If you found wreckage, then it obviously sunk. Do what you wish with the survivor; I only wanted you to find one if you couldn't find the wreckage so we could find out what happened.

But, I believe I gave you a mission last week. Complete it with haste. My new mistress is coming up from the Hidden Valley in a few days," ordered the master.

"Ah, the girl from that ranch," said Lo Qi with a wide open mouth as if he was shocked or enlightened by something.

A loud thump was heard from inside the house and gravity seemed to increase twofold in the area. "Don't make me cut your tongue out. Soon, she will be my mistress so you must show her respect. Now begone!"

"Yes sir. From now on, I shall refer to her as 'young mistress' or 'my lady,'" stated Lo Qi obediently while saluting.

The rooster was quite stressed by this entire situation. It hadn't eaten or drank water in at least a day and a half, it's body was covered in wounds, and it got caught in the crossfire between immortals. 

He almost cried tears of joy when the doubled weight was relieved and Lo Qi freed his bond to the wood. The only thing stopping him was that Lo Qi immediately picked him up. Going from stuck to freedom to captured in only a second.

Lo Qi brought him over towards the fenced-in area off to the side of the house. There, he set the rooster down. The rooster found its feet stuck to the ground, once again. Then, Lo Qi began talking.

"As the master gave me discretion over you, I have decided to hire you as a servant here on this manor. This benefits the master as I'll have more time to refine the pill he wants by pushing all of my more menial work unto you. Starting with..." Lo Qi opened a gate into the fenced-in area mid-sentence, "...taking care of the garden."

With those last words, the rooster's feet were freed from the ground. As the fence reminded him of his old coop, he wandered in without hesitation. The area inside was filled with strange plants and seemed larger than it looked from outside.

Lo Qi came inside behind him and started picking some random plants. While doing so, he said, "As a servant under me, I grant you the name of Richard, as saying rooster all the time would be annoying and confusing if another rooster appears."

The rooster, now dubbed Richard, couldn't care less. He was hungry, thirsty, and was starting to get used to Lo Qi's unusual voice. And it found something familiar; at least, it looked familiar.

One of the herbs in the garden resembled cabbage or lettuce. Basically, it was a circular shaped plant made up of leaves folding around itself for several layers. Richard remembered a few times when the tavern keeper, that took care of him in the past, tossed out cabbage or lettuce that had browned slightly as feed. It was bland but edible.

One peck at the pseudo-cabbage brought a strong bitter taste that made Richard spit it out. It did not seem to be edible; or it was just too bitter for something to consume it normally. Either way, he was not eating that.

Seeing this, Lo Qi chuckled and tossed some seeds, fruits, and grains towards Richard. They were gathered by him while he was picking a few plants out. He didn't seem angry about Richard pecking at one of the plants; even though most of these plants were quite rare.

Richard was then preoccupied for a few minutes, eating the stuff Lo Qi tossed. They were quite tasty. But, each time he ate one, he felt some sort of weight inside of him. Like something was building up. Some sort of odd pressure that he had never felt before.

Not caring much about the pressure, he wandered about in the garden. Water was his biggest desire right now. Lo Qi, at this point, had gathered the plants he wanted and left. So, he could only wander about in this garden full of valuable herbs on his own.

Everywhere he went, the plants became slightly damaged. Stepping on them, pecking at them, pooping on them, and blocking them from the sun. Quite a few of them were delicate, killing them off when Richard passed by. 

Richard was truly living up to the task of taking care of the garden in the worst possible way. But, he found a ditch that ran through the center of the garden that was full of freshwater. And there was a tree that he liked to perch in when night fell. Which satisfied all of his basic needs.

Around four days later, Lo Qi came back. Seeing all of the herbs destroyed by Richard, he couldn't help but frown and his eyebrow twitched. But a smile came upon his lips and his face relaxed. He had thought of something that helped alleviate the pain.

Richard was close to the entrance at this time as one of the plants he fancied eating was close by. This allowed Lo Qi to find him as soon as he entered.

Richard wasn't sure how to react to Lo Qi. Before, he was slightly fearful of Lo Qi; now he was more indifferent. The conversation between the master and Lo Qi helped him adjust and four days helped him forget. 

Lo Qi walked over to Richard and pulled a pill out of his clothes. It was as small as a bean and was brown. Remembering the time Lo Qi tossed some food for him, Richard came closer and looked towards the pill excitedly.

"Richard you've done well with taking care of the garden and the master has decided to reward you with this pill. It is called the cock enhancement pill and its effects are unknown to me. Since it was the master's request, I chose the best of the best herbs randomly and combined them. The master's foresight is great; telling me to give you this pill eleven days ago when you've only been around for four days," said Lo Qi.

The words Lo Qi were strange and didn't seem to match up. And he was trying not to laugh the entire time he spoke. Alas, Richard didn't understand the human language, so these discrepancies were lost on him.

Lo Qi laid the pill in his palm and stretched out his hand towards Richard. Richard simply leaned his head forward and ate the pill whole. Then proceeded to walk away like nothing happened.

"How anticlimactic! I was expecting it to explode or something," said Lo Qi with the most truthful words he had spoken since being contracted by his master.

As soon as these words left his mouth, Richard froze up. A tightness and swelling attacked Richard's chest while pain assaulted his brain. For the third time this week, Richard fell unconscious.










Chapter 6: That Feeling when It touches your Lips

While Richard was passed out, Lo Qi came over and placed his hand on Richard’s chest. He found that the rooster was still breathing and alive to his surprise. Even more surprising, was that energy was starting to increase inside of the rooster’s body. His pill had turned an ordinary chicken into a cultivator. It’s not like it was a spirit beast; it was a domesticated animal, something that fundamentally shouldn’t be able to become a cultivator. 

Lo Qi grinned and began examining Richard in more detail. In his eyes, this rooster was promoted from a temporary tool for a prank into a fun, new toy. The loss felt from letting Richard destroy parts of the garden and using high-level herbs for a throwaway pill was alleviated. It felt like it was somehow worth it.

Hours later, an angry shout rang out from the house, “Lo Qi! Where is my pill?” It was the master calling for Lo Qi, wanting the pill that was fed to Richard. Lo Qi had been contemplating the effects of the pill while watching energy levels rise in the chicken the past few hours. Upon hearing his master’s voice, he grimaced and picked up Richard. His grimace disappeared, replaced by a friendly smile, as he walked towards the voice. 

At the house, there was an old man wearing a black robe out front with the door wide open. This man was Lo Qi’s master. He was revealed to be an old man that was not sick at all; in fact, he was quite lively with a slight blush of pure rage on his face. The hoarse voice mentioned previously was simply a result of aging.

“So… where’s the pill? And why are you carrying a chicken?” asked Lo Qi’s master.

“This isn’t just any chicken; it’s a rooster, also known as a cock. Quite the interesting nickname for an animal, isn’t it? And that should answer both your questions,” said Lo Qi in response to his master’s question.

Lo Qi’s master opened his mouth to say something before stopping himself. His face crinkled up like he ate something sour as he pondered what Lo Qi meant. Then it dawned on him; the wording he chose for the request and where the pill was. He had requested a pill to enhance his cock and now Lo Qi had an animal cock. There was only one inconsistency he could find.

“But that’s not mine. You disobeyed my order!” shouted Lo Qi’s master.

“What do you mean master? This is the survivor I found from the ship. You told me to do whatever with it, so I named it Richard and made it into my subordinate. As my subordinate, Richard is my possession; As your subordinate, I’m your possession and all my possessions are yours. Therefore, Richard is your cock,” said Lo Qi with a smug look, smiling with one of his eyebrows raised slightly.

Lo Qi’s master suppressed his rage as it wouldn’t help him at all in this situation. The fat man before him was annoying and purposely tried to mess up orders. He wished he could just kill him, but he was too valuable. The few times he completed orders properly more than made up for the numerous screw-ups. A symbiote that wished to be a parasite is what Lo Qi was to his master.

His attention switched to the rooster. Upon closer examination, he found that it was simply unconscious; the pill didn’t kill it. So, his gaze couldn’t help but lower down to “that” area and didn’t see much of a change. There seemed to be no effect from the pill at first sight. Assuming the pill actually did what he wanted it to do, then there’d be a change there. But, there wasn’t, so Lo Qi never made the pill he desired in the first place.

Once Lo Qi’s master cleared that assumption, he took Richard out of the fat man’s grubby hands and placed his hand on the rooster’s chest. He began probing the rooster for abnormalities and found some in its head. There he felt a minuscule amount of energy gathering. Needless to say, he was shocked.

“Tell me this is actually some spirit beast, like a cockatrice, you found and disguised as a chicken for a prank,” said Lo Qi’s master.

“I cannot do that master; that would be lying and break the contract,” said Lo Qi.

“This energy… the pill caused this? Can you make more of these pills?”

“Yes, I’ve got enough ingredients for six more of these pills.”

“What about the pill I asked about before? Can you still make that properly without any tricks before my mistress arrives?”

Lo Qi let out a nervous laugh in response to this question before looking away. His master let out a sigh of disappointment at this. The laugh was enough of a confirmation for him; either there wasn’t enough time or Lo Qi couldn’t make such a pill in the first place. But that didn’t matter because Richard woke up during the conversation and started pruning his feathers while being held by the old man.

“Oh well, I made some preparations in case you didn’t come through anyways. As for… Richard? I can gift it as a pet to my mistress,” said Lo Qi’s master as he looked at Richard. The rooster looked back. His eyes had an unusual depth to them as if they were an abyss.

It was hard to describe the feeling those eyes gave when they stared. It wasn’t like a chicken looking at him in confusion or sizing him up; the rooster’s eyes aimed straight towards Lo Qi’s master’s eyes. The eyes on both sides were intelligent. The rooster knew it was being watched. It watched back, waiting for the other’s response. It wasn’t natural; it was downright creepy. Lo Qi’s master dropped Richard out of shock and his face blanched, turning pale at his own thoughts.

Richard took the opportunity to start running. He somehow knew that response was bad and that what he just did was bad. Now was the time to try to get away, as far as he can. Instinct? No, it was more like a feeling that his mind came up with. He looked down and saw his legs lift up and slam into the ground as he fled, fascinating him somewhat despite the situation.

“Catch him! Quickly, Lo Qi!” shouted Lo Qi’s master at the top of his lungs.

The shout drilled into Richard’s ears harshly. He closed his eyes and tried to raise his wings up to his ears, trying to reduce the noise in any way possible. This strange action almost unbalanced him and made him fall. Fortunately, he just stumbled and continued on his way. There wasn’t a particular direction he ran, just running somewhere away from those two strange men. A strange feeling rose in his chest suddenly.

An object appeared in the corner of his right eye. It was massive and took the shape of a human. A hand reached out from this figure, stretching towards his feet. Its position was fixed right in that spot no matter how much he moved; it seemed like it was flying while matching his running pace perfectly. But that movement seemed somewhat familiar, a hand reaching for his feet. He felt like he should avoid that somehow. It was a seemingly undodgeable move that would cement his feet to the surface he was standing on.

The answer was obvious; just not be standing on a surface when the movement hits to dodge. Richard jumped into the air to the figure’s shock. Alas, this tactic was useless. The figure stopped trying to use its strange movement and instead reached out both its arms, catching the rooster in mid-air. The figure was, of course, Lo Qi following the order to grab Richard.

“These actions… could it be?” questioned Lo Qi with a serious face, both of his eyebrows furrowed and his lips in a neutral position.

“Yes, its eyes contain intelligence. It read my emotions through my eyes and predicted your attack. It even had enough time to think of a countermeasure to your move. The rooster has become a sentient being,” his master responded.

“Then, it’s no different from a spirit beast. Livestock becoming a spirit beast.”

“Not necessarily. We won’t know for sure unless we can get it to cultivate. First, we need to teach it how to read and find a suitable cultivation manual.”

“How do we do that? It may have gained sentience but it’s still a rooster. It won’t even be able to understand human speech.”

“We? How do you do it? This is your problem; I order you to teach Richard how to read.”

“Yes, sir.”

At the end of their conversation, Lo Qi wandered off with Richard while his master shut himself back in the house. A quick glimpse before the door shut showed a room that was several times larger than the house. It truly was larger inside than the outside, without any room for doubt. Perhaps, some strange magic was casted upon it and the nearby garden that seemed to have the same phenomenon.

Lo Qi walked over to a patch of dirt under the shade of a nearby tree. This tree was about one hundred meters away from the house. What should’ve been a minute long walk was covered in just a few steps. Once there, Richard was placed just outside of the patch of dirt and was forcibly kept in that spot by Lo Qi’s strange movement. He let out a light croon to voice his displeasure and tried to move his legs to no avail.

Lo Qi grabbed a fallen branch off the ground and gripped it in the center with both hands. Next, he pulled apart slowly, revealing a perfect stick; All of the curves, imperfections, and bark was stripped off and it became a perfect cylinder. With this stick, he began drawing on the ground. He drew the alphabet while saying each letter out loud whenever he finished writing them out. His lack of enthusiasm in this boring and thankless task quickly spread to the one he was supposed to teach.

At first, Richard was interested in Lo Qi’s actions and carefully watched and listened. After a few letters, he had lost interest and began looking at his surroundings. They were right below a tree. It wasn’t the first tree he had seen but it seemed special. He saw the colors and details on it for seemingly the first time. Before it seemed like somewhere he could roost on to dodge predators, but now it was an object in front of him made up of several parts.

Seeing the rooster getting distracted, Lo Qi smacked the branch against the ground. The noise managed to catch Richard’s attention again; this attention was directed towards Lo Qi himself, instead of what he was drawing on the ground. He was wearing a simple green shirt and brown pants. The material was soft and flexible, able to stretch along with his every movement comfortably. It was also very wide to suit Lo Qi’s overweight body. As for his facial features; his cheeks were chubby, he seemed to have two chins, he had hazel eyes, a rounded nose, and dimples. 

Richard continued to drift off for the next few hours as Lo Qi desperately tried to teach him. It was futile to try and teach him, though; not much time has passed since Richard gained sentience. It was like trying to convince a baby to speak its first words, except with writing instead of speech. Not that Richard could learn to speak at this point. A rooster’s lungs and mouth weren’t capable of imitating human speech, much less actual speech.

When night fell, Lo Qi’s master left the house and wandered over. He witnessed the scene of Lo Qi scrawling on the ground while mumbling and Richard looking off into the distance there. Was he angry? No, his feelings of disappointment were stronger. He chastised himself for expecting more and walked over to Richard. Lo Qi noticed his master and stopped what he was doing to watch.

Richard spotted Lo Qi’s master and avoided making eye contact. It wouldn’t help him out at all in this situation, but that didn’t stop him from trying. Lo Qi’s master simply grabbed his head and forced him to look at him. Then he spoke, either to himself or Lo Qi. 

“I wanted to avoid this sort of situation but I don’t have the patience for this. At this rate, it’ll take years before we see any results. I have to take matters into my own hands,” said Lo Qi’s master.

To Lo Qi’s shock and Richard’s horror, he then opened Richard’s mouth and pressed his mouth against his beak. It was just plain awkward for everyone. However, Lo Qi quickly noticed some energy being transferred from his master to the rooster. While Richard himself felt something strange occurring in his mind. Knowledge of words, letters, and speech flooded his mind. There was some sort of memory transfer going on to speed up the process of Richard’s learning.





Chapter 7: Cancer Cultivation

Once the memory transfer ended, Richard fell over and began convulsing. There was too much new information for him to process at the time. It felt like his brain was going through a blender as each meaning was branded into his brain.

"Teach it how to cultivate once it recovers from the side effects," said Lo Qi's master.

Lo Qi saluted enthusiastically and said, "Yes, sir. By the way, why didn't you use that technique in the first place?"

"One does not simply transfer memories without a cost. If it wasn't such an interesting subject, I'd never waste this technique upon it. Now, I'm going to bed. Thanks to that I'll need to sleep more these next few days," said Lo Qi's master before letting out a yawn and walking away.

In his master's absence, Lo Qi sat down and pulled the branch out from behind his back. Redirecting the rage of wasting so much time uselessly, he carefully broke the branch into a thousand tiny pieces one half at a time.

The sun set and rose before Richard recovered. The transferred memories were now his own. Everything he saw now could be associated with a word or described. No longer were the days that he took things for granted. He tried to shout out his happiness about this discovery but failed.

An awkward crow came out. The knowledge on how to say words were there, but the teeth and tongue necessary to say it weren't. It crushed Richard's spirit. Compared to a human being, he was no different than a mute. 

The noise woke up Lo Qi, who had been resting nearby. He let out a yawn and stretched out a bit. Then he said, "Awake already? Can you understand me now?"

Richard opened his beak to respond. No sound came out; he stopped himself, choosing to nod his head instead. It was impossible to communicate properly. 

"Ahh, right. You're not a true  spirit beast yet. With your sentience, you've got the spirit part down. However, with no cultivation, you're just glorified livestock. Speech is beyond your abilities and understanding was handed to you on a silver platter with no effort involved," said Lo Qi.

Putting it so bluntly enraged Richard. His feathers puffed up and he stomped his leg against the ground. Then, memories of what this fat man could do surfaced in his minds. Regret and fear barged into his brain, taking over while ordering him to hide behind the tree.

Lo Qi laughed and pulled a few books seemingly out of nowhere. They were quite varied in size, materials, and color. Richard peeked out from behind the tree to examine these books.

"Don't bother hiding behind the tree. I'm not so petty as to attack something for being cocky. Besides, right here I have the methods that can help solve your issue, cultivation manuals. Rather than growing a plant, you're going to grow your mind, body, and soul," stated Lo Qi.

Reassured by Lo Qi's words and knowledge that he couldn't escape, Richard left the tree's cover and walked up to the books. He tried choosing one to read, but couldn't decide.

Lo Qi stretched out his hand towards the ground in front of Richard's feet. Seeing this, the rooster jumped backwards, wanting to avoid being rooted to the ground. Lo Qi ignored this and drew two letters on the ground, 'E' and 'I.'

"Let's narrow things down so you don't have to read every book. I for internal, stores cultivated energy deep in your body's organs or blood vessels. It requires strengthening and widening those then filling them with energy. The energy used is from the environment around us like the ground or fire," explained Lo Qi.

Richard nodded his head as if he understood what was said. He knew the meanings of everything but actual knowledge about the topic escaped him. Now, he was just waiting for a keyword to catch his fancy. If he chose badly; he could just switch to a different manual after a quick read.

"Next is E for external. This is the path of cultivation I took. It focuses on gathering energy in the external parts of the body like hair, skin, and fat," when Lo Qi said fat, he slapped his belly. His obesity was revealed to also be his source of power.

Continuing, he said, "It relies on more astral sources of energy such as the sky, stars, the moon, and the sun..."

There it was; the keyword that Richard was looking for. Ignoring the rest of Lo Qi's explanation, he looked towards the sun. It was something that his life relied upon each day. Each day, he would cry out when it showed itself and illuminated the world. What other technique could possibly match up to something that important?

"...so, which kind do you choose? Internal or external?" asked Lo Qi as he wrapped up his explanation.

Richard took a step forward and reached out with his wing. His wingspan was limited though and it was difficult to reach that far without bending down. Finally, he placed his foot on top of the letter 'E.' 

Lo Qi kept a neutral expression as he swept away most of the books, leaving behind only five. These five were all external cultivation manuals. And supposedly, at least one of them was related to the sun. Lo Qi started pointing at each while explaining the basics.

"Here's Betelgeuse's Tri-Repetition Star Plane, absorbing power from the stars into fat. Next, we have Lupis's Beastman Moon Manual, power from the moon into hair. And here is Cancer's Radiant Sun Scripture..."

Once again, Richard drifted off after hearing about the book he wanted. The thought of perhaps a second sun related book being there slipped his mind. He focused all of his attention on the book.

It was a yellow, gold color with a symbol on the front. The symbol resembled a circle connected to a triangle. Beautifully simple compared to the other books' fancy words and colourful pictures. It was just a whim, but it felt like destiny.

Before Lo Qi had finished explaining the details of the books, he put his foot on the book; He didn't even try to hide the fact that he stopped listening and didn't care about the rest. Lo Qi didn't mind and just took the remaining books and left, leaving Richard to his own devices.

Removing his foot from the cover, he ran into a problem. How does he open the book without damaging it? Lo Qi had already left a few minutes ago.

First, he tried with his wing, shimmying his feathers between the pages then lifting. This failed miserably as he kept sliding into the wrong page or losing a feather while trying to lift.

Second, he tried with his feet. Since his claws were trimmed, he didn't have to worry about accidentally damaging the pages. However, this also made it harder to grip the pages. After some trial and error, he flipped to the first page and began reading.

A short summary of what was read was that Cancer was a researcher interested in the astral due his name's relation to horoscopes. The insistence of people saying their fortune could be found amongst the stars drove him to the external path, specifically the sun. After tasting power from each important astral being, he found that the sun's energy was the most direct and powerful; the energy would literally invade the body and damage it with prolonged exposure.

After this, Richard had to flip the page. Throwing concern out the window, he used his beak to drag the page up and flip it. An obvious mark was left behind on the edge, but that's Lo Qi's fault for running off.

The next few pages described how prolonged exposure to the sun would create natural containers of energy below the surface of the skin. These "containers" we're highly dangerous if handled improperly though. 

Basically, the technique amplified the sun to imitate hours beneath the sun within a few minutes. Then, speeding up the body's processes until a lump forms. And using some sort of technique to prevent the force creating the lump from spreading elsewhere while filling up the container full of energy.

This entire book was suspicious. It suggested using self harm from too much sunlight, amplifying all the effects, then hijacking and using the side effects. A normal person would close the book and look at the other options; They would never come back as they'd find safer methods in other books.

Richard was not a normal person; he wasn't even a person. So, he eagerly read the next few pages, finding detailed drawings on how to cultivate.

Turning to the last page, he was fantasising himself being able to speak, then slowly surpassing Lo Qi and his master. Being a lowly servant of a servant would not satisfy his ambitions. He was a king amongst the coop. And he won't rest easy until he became a king here too.

On the last page was a recommendation from the author. Somewhat of an afterthought that the author forgot to include earlier. It read that the best places to cultivate the technique on was areas where it wouldn't get in the way of the body. Places where the body already has stuff hanging around like earlobes or...

Comments

  • edited June 2016
    Chapter 8: Sticky White Stuff

    Author's note: Slight disconnect from previous chapter and time skip. I planned on writing a whole chapter about the new cultivation stuff, but decided it's better to skip that and come back to it later. 

    [hr]

    The next day, Lo Qi decided to take a break from whatever he was doing to visit Richard. He found that the rooster had started its cultivation successfully and had some visible results. Unconsciously, Lo Qi's expectations for Richard began to rise.

    Meanwhile, Richard's grievances with Lo Qi were about to burst. He had spent the last twenty-four hours trying to follow the book with the fat man nowhere to be found. At first, it was the page turning. Then, there was the deciphering of confusing phrases. And, of course, the cultivation itself was a rough ride.

    He stomped his foot against the ground and let out a crow. Before, this would've made a light sound as the ground absorbed the impact; now, it let out a bang as the foot broke the ground, creating a footprint and cracks surrounding it. Richard was no longer your everyday rooster in both strength and spirit.

    Lo Qi misinterpreted Richard's rage as a demonstration of newfound strength and a desire for praise. So, he clapped his hands a few times. Seeing that Richard was not amused, he thought it was insufficient and wandered off.

    "Follow me, I've got something to help you out," said Lo Qi with a wave.

    Since everything given to him by Lo Qi was beneficial, Richard followed and dropped his grudge. Animals will quickly lose their suspicion and fear when presented with benefits like food. Richard, despite gaining sentience, was no different. He had intelligence but lacked experience.

    They headed towards the garden of herbs. Inside, deep within at one of the corners, was a small shack the size of an outhouse. This was Lo Qi's home and laboratory; he slept in it and made medicine in it.

    Lo Qi had Richard wait outside as he carefully slipped inside. He cracked the door just barely, making it impossible for Richard to see inside. Most likely, like the garden and house, this shack was larger on the inside than outside.

    A loud ruckus was heard from inside. The sounds of another rooster crowing was heard inside alongside scraping metal and glass breaking. Lo Qi soon returned with a few things in his hands.

    That crowing... Richard wanted to see and quickly rushed the door. Lo Qi, however, was faster and slammed the door shut. His face was covered in sweat and smudged with a black, charcoal-like substance.

    Richard let out a crooning sound, hoping the other rooster would respond. Only silence came from behind that door. It was if the inside of the shack was another world with the only thing connection to here closed.

    "Yeah, there's a rooster in there. I know how aggressive your kind is. With your new strength, you'd tear him a new one. I've got him to test if the pill only works on roosters. Meanwhile, this soot," Lo Qi wiped the black stuff on his sleeve, "is from me trying to create similar results with more common herbs."

    Richard found this explanation to be reasonable but felt something was off. He wanted to see the interior of this shack. Curiosity killed the cat; what does it do to the cock?

    "The results from these experiments have been... mixed. On another note, try this. It's some of the leftovers I managed to salvage from the last failure. It might amplify the effects of the pill you took. And even if it doesn't, your newfound strength can save you from dying, maybe," said Lo Qi while holding a bottle full of green powder.

    He went over by the canal that provided water to the herbs and dipped the mouth of the bottle in it. A small amount of water slipped into the bottle and mixed with the powder. The water turned green as it absorbed the powder then slowed its movements down, solidifying to a sludge/slimy texture. It was not appetising and gave off a funky smell.

    Leaving him no time to consider, Lo Qi forced the bottle into Richard's mouth and made him swallow it. Just like that, the medicine was inside of him. He could only wait for the effects. Fortunately, nothing bad happened; nothing in general happened.

    "Either delayed reaction again or conflicts with the pill you've already eaten," stated Lo Qi.

    Lo Qi seemed like he wanted to say more but was interrupted by some loud shouting. It originated outside of the garden and wasn't the master of the house. Even Lo Qi, frowned at the unfamiliar voice, before rushing to the entrance of the garden. Richard followed from behind.

    There, they found a man breathing heavily and covered in sweat. Yet, he was desperately shouting, "My lord!" over and over. He was wearing dirty, brown furs as clothes. His attire reminded Richard of the poorest drunkards at the tavern, who were almost always kicked out after an hour or two.

    Upon seeing Lo Qi, this man sat down and tried to catch his breath. Lo Qi didn't bother saying anything, knowing that this man would talk when ready. By the man's condition, the situation seemed serious.

    "Please... our village is under attack. We need the help of the master," said the man when he recovered.

    "What village and what is happening? The master is currently recovering and cannot help. His servants, such as I, however, are free to help if the situation calls for it," responded Lo Qi calmly. Either he's been in this situation before or he was good at coming up with things on the spot.

    "It's the hidden valley village. For the past few days, females have been mysteriously disappearing. All we've found is this at the scene and in the forest to the South," said the man while handing over some cloth.

    On the cloth, there was this white stuff. Lo Qi poked at it with his finger and found that it stuck to his hands. This sticky white stuff resembled cobwebs or spiderwebs but was much thicker and was a pure white color. If made into clothes, it'd fetch a hefty price.

    Lo Qi twisted it around his fingers then tasted it. When he finished examining it, he said, "You're in luck, it's a common beast, not a spirit. Master isn't necessary to combat it. Us servants are enough to kill it alone."

    The man let out a sigh of relief and said, "Follow me, we need to get there as fast as possible before more women are taken. I'll be your guide."

    Lo Qi laughed. How absurd. He could easily make several round trips before the man could return to the village. Besides, he had the whole island memorised. A guide would be pointless. Pointless to him... but what about Richard.

    "Not me, master's other servant will take care of it. He needs combat experience to improve more," said Lo Qi while pointing towards Richard.

    Both Richard and the man widened their eyes and looked at Lo Qi. One thinking why a rooster was being sent with him. The other was thinking why he had to do such a thing. Neither found the situation to be favourable.

    "Don't look at me like that. Master once speculated that this rooster is actually a cockatrice disguised as a normal rooster. Richard, combat experience will speed up your growth and help you achieve 'that,'" said Lo Qi to push both parties to accept his motion.

    The man immediately became respectful of Richard, assuming that the master's speculation was correct. Richard thought of being able to speak and set his mind to do this mission. Also, he appreciated the respect that the man now had for him.

    "Good luck, I'm off to do more experiments. I'll check up on the situation later if I have time," said Lo Qi as he walked off.

    This left the mute Richard awkwardly standing with the man. The man remained silent and bowing out of respect. Eventually, to break the awkwardness, the man got up and started walking towards his village. After taking a glance behind, he found that Richard was following, so he sped up.

    The two of them rushed towards the village to rescue women from sticky white stuff.
  • Chapters 5,6,7 bump.
  • Chapter 8 bump, decided to edit it in on the second comment on a whim.
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