I walked down the stairs and toward the lower building areas of the mountain. The Hall elder Hu Tian said that I’ll find a deacon here to help me settle and start cultivating and doing some tasks for the sect. That will come in handy.
Once I was at the bottom of the staired mountain, which took a great deal of time, I found myself standing next to various and numerous tightly packed houses of students and disciples of the Purple Cloud Sect.
One of the people moving about had a different set of clothes on him. When everyone was wearing light purple-colored robes, the man wore a dark set of robes, like a priest of the middle ages. He had a decorated fan in his hand that he constantly opened and closed as he watched over the people.
Once his eyes landed on me, the brows above them furrowed then he snapped his fan shut in an audible click, he tucked both his arms behind him and walked toward me. His expression turning from serious annoyance to mild disgust the closer he got to me. He saw the tumors.
He stopped a couple of steps in front of me and said, "What is the meaning of these clothes! State your name!"
"I’m Shen Bao, and I have just been admitted to the sect. As for my clothes, I don’t have anything else to wear. Elder Hu Tian said that I’ll need to find a deacon and present them with this." I said as I showed him the token.
"Humpf, a new disciple. Alright, I’m deacon Situ Zhan But, you’re too old. Still, it’s the elder’s orders, follow me. And don’t get too close, you stink and I fear that you could contaminate me with whatever abomination had plagued you."
"Yes, I’ll keep my distance," I replied and walked behind the deacon. We walked for half an hour until we arrived at a building that towered over all of the buildings in the lodging area.
"Wait for me here," he said and walked inside.
The building had a tower that had four stories and a large lower floor. Disciples walked in and out of the building and they all seemed to have a book in their hands. I managed to get a glimpse of the book’s title and it read Purple Cloud movement Technique. This is probably where I need to get my book.
Soon afterward, the deacon came out. He had a set of clothes in one hand and a small pouch in the other.
"This is your Disciple attire, it will change according to your cultivation level and status in the sect. for now, it’s the palest of the Purple color meaning that you’re an outer disciple. Which is not something to brag about."
"Thank you for your patronage," I replied.
"Don’t thank me yet, this pouch has a few pills. They Qi condensation pills, you’ll get three each month. Use them sparingly. And there is a list of the chores you’re required to do as an outer disciple. Do them all and you’ll receive an extra pill by the end of the month, do less than required and a pill will be deducted for every chore missed."
"Thank you, also I was asked to get a Purple Cloud movement technique from the Skill Pavilion."
A glint of greed flashed in the deacon’s eyes, once I spoke the words.
"Do you have the required token?"
"Hand it over, and I’ll see what I can do."
Now here, there were two options, I could refuse, and probably end up in a bad situation with this deacon, or accept and see what is going to happen. After all, I don’t need this skill, I already have the poison god’s book. Oh, wait there is another issue I need to fix. I have no idea where the book went.
I gave the Deacon the token that Elder Hu Tian gave me and he immediately tucked it under his robes, with enough speed that no one noticed what happened. It seems that he didn’t want people to know that he took it from me. This is something I’ll need to verify later.
"Here you go, now beat it," the deacon said.
"You haven’t given me my lodging."
"Right, you’re to head to the cultivation cave three thousand and four." 𝑖𝗻𝗻𝑟e𝒶𝗱. 𝒄𝑜𝑚
"Thank you," I said and picked up my things and left.
’Cultivation cave huh, it appears that there are not only houses but caves too."
I checked the pouch and it opened up, this was of course not a dimensional pouch. It was a regular one with three pills and a piece of paper telling me of the chores I have to do in the following month.
There was also a map of the whole sect on the back of the paper. It gave information on all locations of the sect and where everything is. Even the skill Pavillon which was exactly where I was before. I should have just walked inside and gotten the skill myself instead of giving the token to the deacon. Nevertheless, I’ll have to manage with the stuff I have now, and I’ll need to get to the cave I’m supposed to cultivate in.
I arrived at the cave in almost an hour. And it didn’t take me much effort to find it. There was a barren mountain almost at the exit of the Sect’s boundaries and there were a few people in it. They all looked haggard and exhausted. Unlike the ones that were closest to the sect’s core. The people on the outer sect were utterly miserable. Most of them had their skin sticking to their bones, malnourished, and were weak. Their clothes were wrinkled, dirty, and cut in several places. I’m gonna fit right in.
I walked up to my cave, number 3004. It was a small hole dug in the mountain that had a simple stone bed with a sheep’s hide for minimal comfort. And an oil lamp.
The cave had a boulder that closed and opened once one presented the sect’s token to the entrance. Simple, efficient, and enough.
I walked in, lit the oil lamp, and used the sect’s token to close the cave.
I sat down and decided against changing my clothes. I needed to take another bath if I were to wear these. I don’t smell right.
Also, I was wondering where the book had gone, but almost as the thought crossed my mind, a bright light shone from my chest and the book materialized in front of me. It opened up and from within the pages came the pouches of the cultivators that tried to kill me in the poison god’s pool.
"Oh, so you’re sentient and hid so no one discovers you. Quite nice." I complimented the book then felt that it was cringy and awkward that I was talking to a bunch of paper. Most heroes in those books had companions to journey alongside them, that way the reader wouldn’t be too bored with the main character’s monologues, but that’s not the case for me. Perhaps my story will be a boring one, full of loneliness, but who would write about someone such as myself, I’m not hero material, at least not yet.
I laughed to myself at the odd thoughts that crossed my mind, it was only by that that I could fight off the sense of loneliness and strangeness that I was so suddenly thrown into.
I sat on the stone bed in the lotus position and began rotating the energy within me. With the amount of Yin inside my meridians, and the abundance of the green energy from the Yeti that still needed to be processed I had a few day’s worths of energy to circulate and cultivate.
Time passed by, and I had to re-lit the candle three times. For every time, a full day had gone by.
And once I felt that my extra reserves had all been safely rotated and infused into my meridians, I knew it was time for me to leave the cave. I had some chores to do.
Looking at the piece of paper, I realized I needed to do a few things. Fill a few vats worth of water, and chop some logs and bring them down to the firewood storage. Also, pick a few herbs from a nearby mountain.
The first two chores required a lot of physical strength, which I didn’t have. As for the latter, I believe that I would enjoy that. The mountain was already inside the sect, which won’t make it too difficult to get, and I have the book to show me the herbs.
So, I decided to get the herbs first.
Like always please don’t forget to join my ******* and help me out if you could, it would mean a lot.
Huge shoutout to Frederick, thanks for the generous tip.
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